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Jalana

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  1. ( Jeffries Tube Alpha 35 - USS Ursa Major - 7 years prior to current events ) oO Ah, c'mon! This is the third time this week. Oo :: Sparks flew around Eileen's knees as she scooted backwards rapidly to avoid an arcing connection. They'd been working on Ursa Major's sensor suite for too long now, in her estimation. It'd become almost expected for there to be new glitches and cross-connections with the varied work teams trying their best to speed the upgrade under the circumstances they were in. Smoke began to issue forth from the hub she'd been working on and with little thought she pushed herself back further, unsure of what was causing the new addition to the current problem. She then thought better of remaining in the access crawlspace and turned to open the Jeffries tube hatch. :: McCleran: Dammit! :: light coughs punctuated her sputtering diatribe :: Freaking stupid...:: more coughing :: ...broken-down...:: coughing ::...sparking circuit stupidity... :: light coughs with a deep inhale of clearer air :: ::Swatting away the remnants of the smoke that trailed from the crawlway, she slid down the wall to land on her rear, head leaned back to rest on the bulkhead behind her. This was going to take forever. Every connection she'd made in the last week had shorted and she couldn't figure out the reason why. The best she could surmise was that the power grid simply wasn't designed for this many taps from the same system, but the CEO wasn't having it. It needed to get done, and it was going to be done. She closed her eyes and like she had the first time she suggested it, she closed her eyes and nodded.:: oO Thy will be done...Oo :: It was probably her frustration that was driving her at this point. She new better than to assume she knew better than her superiors who'd served aboard the ship far longer than she'd been a green Ensign. It didn't make it easier to take, however. :: Little boy: Are you okay? ::The voice of a little boy brought her head back down to see a boy standing in the corridor, looking at her like she'd crawled out of the Jefferies tube with a second head. He looked to be all of 8, maybe 10 if he was a slow grower, with an olive complection and chubby cheeks. What would have been a thick mop of unruly black hair if it were allowed to grow out crested his head with big amber eyes below, taking in the scene before him. A chewy fruit snack she didn't recognize was held close to his chest, as if unsure if the strange lady from the smokey cave would try to steal it from him.:: McCleran: :Said chuckling: Well....I eh...I'm fine. oO Wait...what the hell is a kid doing on deck 19?Oo Say...what's got an explorer like you down here? Little boy: ::The boy shifted his weight, as if he was suddenly thinking that he might be in trouble:: Um...Dad said to wait here. ::Standing, while brushing herself off and giving her hair a shake to get it back into a semblance of order, she closed the hatch for the accessway and turned back to the boy, kneeling before him to put herself more on his level.:: McCleran: Your Dad works down here? Little boy: Mhmm. ::he said through a mouthfull of the colorful confection. It was a pull taffy of some sort, like one she remembered from back home but way more colorful. It was like someone made candy out of melted crayons.:: McCleran: ::Waited a beat, and realizing that she'd gotten an answer to that question chastized herself internally. What else was a kid going to say to such a dry question? :: So, what's he do down here? Little boy: Umm...he's a trac'or beam teknishun. McCleran: ::Eileen almost squealed as she smiled.:: oO Oh my god, he's so adorable you could just sop him up with a biscuit! Yay for kids talking with their mouths full! Oo Well, let's go see if we can't find him. Hmm? Little boy: ::The boy shook his head.:: Nuh-uh. He said. McCleran: Oh, well, honey...see my uniform? ::She waited a beat for him to nod, which he did, thankfully:: I work all over the ship. And I'm sure that he'd like to know you're okay and what all you saw since he posted you here...huh? ::The boy seemed to think it over, and then responded with a smiling...:: Emil: Mhmm. :: Before he took another bite of his treat.:: McCleran: My name's Eileen. What's yours? Little boy: Whatchur rank? McCleran: I'm an Ensign. oO :: They weren't that far from the tractor beam generation section, round the next corner and forward on this deck, so she stood and nodded in the direction of the corner, to be rewarded by a happy smile and the sound of the little boy following her against the constant *thrum* of the ship's engines one finds on a starship. They began to walk the short distance to the next four-way. :: McCleran: Soo...I bet your Dad is really good at his job. Little boy: Mom says he's the best teknishun on the ship. He won't say that, tho. McCleran: Oh, I bet your Mom's right. Dad's don't like to brag. Mine never did, either. Little boy: Does your Dad work here too? McCleran: ::stifling a gag at the idea of working with her Father:: Uh, n..no. He's retired. He does things back at Earth to keep himself busy. :: Arriving at the four-way, Eileen stepped around the corner and began to walk down the corridor. :: Little boy: Does he still love you? ::The question caught Eileen completely off balance and stopped her dead as a rock. It was surreal enough that it didn't even trigger her usual eyebrow affectation. Squinting slightly, she turned around, and saw that the little boy had stopped in the middle of the four-way a meter or so back, still holding his fruit treat to his chest.:: McCleran: I'm....I'm sorry...what did you say? Little boy: ::Kicking the carpet a little, he sighed and looked at the floor.:: I asked if your Dad still loves you. McCleran: W...well of course he does, hon. Why would you ask that? Little boy: ::Looking up from the carpet to meet her gaze:: B'cause you lie. :: Now her eyebrow shot up nearly to bump into her hairline. :: McCleran: What? Son, why would you say that? ::Her emotions began to churn between confusion and feeling hurt that a child would blindly say such a thing.:: Little boy: 'Cause you do. You lie and hurt people. McCleran: ::Taking a step towards the obscene little boy.:: No, son, I don't. I'm an officer in Starfleet and we take that sort of thing... Little boy: NO YOU DON'T! You lie and you let people get hurt and you lie about doing it and you don't get to call me son. You're not my Mother! :: Looking around, down each corridor at the four-way, Eileen saw nobody else in sight, regardless of how unnerved she was by the odd little boy before her. :: McCleran: Now see here... :: The little boy dropped his treat and began to skip in an arch that circled around her like a petulant child disobeying a babysitter they hated. A sing-song quality came to his voice and he sang as he skipped:: Little boy: Iiiii know a sec-ret and Iiiii don't have to telllll youuuu. I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuuu! McCleran: Now stop that! Your daddy's not gonna... :: As if she were operating a camera on a boom, her personal point-of-view suddenly jerked away to rest now in a turning, spinning circle that followed the little boy in his skipping pattern around another her standing at it's middle.:: Little boy: You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! McCleran: Wha.....::beginning to feel instantly dizzy, she spun once in concert with the little boy before collapsing to her knees, her arms holding her weight as she shook her head and closed her eyes tight against what felt like chaos threatening to overwhelm her eyes.:: What is this? Little boy: You don't know? You don't know! You don't know! You don't know! You don't know! :: The cadence of the boy's teasing chant seemed to follow the now banging of his steps upon the carpet as he pranced around her unceasingly. She could feel her pulse begin to race, keeping time with the one-boy parade that surrounded her like a never-ending truant from her childhood.:: McCleran: No, what is this? What is this? I don't under...understand! What is happen...::a wave of nausea washed over her and she caught herself just in time to keep from losing her lunch all over the floor. Fighting it back down, she opened her eyes and saw something completely unbelievable in the silence that had then befallen her. :: :: Surrounding her was a totally different place. The carpet on the floor was gone, replaced by what looked like a form of acoustical dampening and insulating material, white and with a high-gloss sheen. The walls surrounding her were made of similar material but also had what appeared to be thick pipes bracketed to them, running the length of what seemed to be a meters wide chamber with a wide door almost the width of the chamber on either end. It was then that she noticed that the boy was gone. The air around her, cool and silent as that in a tomb.:: McCleran: Son? Where are...what is this place? I don't under...GAH! ::Her hands flew to the sides of her head as an earsplitting, utterly piercing warble shot through her head like a lighting bolt. It felt like her head was going to explode, then switched to feeling like infinite pressure was threatening to crush it out of existence. Back and forth, like a psychotic saw bouncing between each sensation, until her compromised and unready mind loosed a shriek from her lungs as if a banshee wailing for the death of family. Her scream felt like it outlasted her breath, and she spun around with hands gripped tightly into fists of hair and tension near her temples.:: ::Then, there was no more sound, outside the steady *thrum* of the engines on board the Ursa Major, it's carpet back beneath her knees and nobody else in sight down the four corridors that met where she sat akimbo. Slowly, she released her fists and in looking she saw that her nails had drawn tiny amounts of blood in her palms. Terrified, she struggled to stand, her eyes wide and hands stretched out to her sides as if to catch her if stumbled. She turned, once....to face one passage of the four-way....then another....and another. Turning back one she wavered on her feet a moment before finding her feet again slowly. She was shaking, as if she'd been dunked in ice water and left before an air conditioner. As if the heat was being drained from her.:: McCleran: Where am I? ::no answer:: Who are you? ::again no answer, tears began streaming from her reddened eyes:: Why are you doing this to me?!? :: A voice from behind her, male and soothing said...:: Because... ::She spun to face the opposite direction. There, some 15 feet away from her, stood a man in Starfleet uniform, short-clipped chestnut hair and lightly tanned skin of average height for the human she took him for, his eyes cast down. Raising his head, she could tell he was crying. :: The Man: ...because you deserve it. :: From behind the man, she heard a large, hollow bellow of a distant explosion. The corridor, seeming now to stretch on into infinity started to become brighter in the distance, an orange tinge reflecting off of the distant bulkheads of the impossibly long hallway. As Eileen's eyes widened, she knew what was coming down the corridor. Fire...roiling and bubbling as if in zero-gee filled the far end of the corridor like an avalanche of Hell itself. The man before her turned, and began to walk towards the conflagration approaching with mounting speed. She screamed out, trying to warn the man back and away, but he continued for a few more steps before starting into a run. Sprinting at the destruction, he gave a strong leap and flew into the center of the flames, as if it were water in a pool.: ::Eileen's instincts took over and she threw herself in the opposite direction. It was in mid-turn that she was stopped short by a form before her, one that dragged a scream from the fleeing engineer.:: :: There, before the woman, stood a small form, smoking and charred, carbonized and seeping in the worst imaginable state one could find a child. From it's cracked and broken lips, an impossibly loud voice issued forth. Eileen felt the heat of the firestorm at her back and it's roar filled her ears. The sensation of her skin beginning to dry out, her uniform melting, the scent of her hair burning all overtaking what were assuredly her last few moments before the pressure wave hit her. Then, silence, a heartbeat before...:: Little boy: You should have died, too. ( Deep Space 5 - Temporary Quarters ) ::Screaming at the top of her lungs, the pain of doing so shocked Eileen McCleran awake into a sitting position. Her hair was soaked. The room veiled in shadow that sufficed to swallow the Ensign as she sat, wide eyed, shaking and gulping air in great breaths. She pushed herself backwards along the bed till she met the wall and jerked the covers up to meet her, covering herself, not yet feeling the strain she'd just put on her left shoulder and arm. She brought her knees to her chest, hugging them to her tightly as her own walls caved and she bawled. It was that inconsolable, deeply heaving sobbing that one most often finds at a funeral. Her eyes clamped shut, not caring about anything accept that right then, she had to cry. To wail. To mourn...something that she didn't understand in the slightest. :: -- ENS Eileen McCleran Engineering Officer USS Apollo
  2. (( OOC: As you can see the story is inspired a lot by Alice in Wonderland, but completely written by myself and adding my own spin on it with turning the Apollo into the strange new land. Hope you enjoy )) --- ((MedLab, Apollo)) ::Oh no. This could not be. Alice stared with wide eyes to the red glistening fluid on the ground. Her pale face lost every drop of pigmentation. This was disastrous. It was not a secret that the CMO had been working on this experiment for weeks, and now every bit of it was spread on the floor and unusable for anything but wiping it away. Alice felt her stomach sink and join the mess on the smooth surface.:: ::Quickly she grabbed a piece of cloth and removed the signs of the mishap and then peeked outside, making sure that nobody saw her. Then she legged it and ran out of Sick Bay. Maybe nobody would notice and she could sleep over it. Tomorrow hopefully it would turn out to have been a dream and everything would be alright.:: ((Quarters)) ::Alice dropped her lab coat on the floor, kicked the shoes away and dropped exhausted onto the couch. She had no idea how to make this better. Tonight she could not do anything anyway, but in the morning she would have to confess. Her boss would kill her.:: ::With a deep sigh she sunk into the couch and closed her eyes. Trying to relax she did not notice her mind drifting, further and further away ...:: Voice: Oh my! ::Alice jumped up on the couch and looked around. Where did that voice come from? Was someone in her quarters?:: Voice: I am too late, too late, too late! ::Alice's head jerked around and there she saw it coming out of her bedroom: a huge white rabbit in a Starfleet uniform and an old fashioned watch on a chain dangling from its communicator. She laughed, that sight was ridiculous. The white rabbit came to an halt and looked at her, its nose wiggling.:: Rabbit: There is nothing funny about tardiness. I'm too late! Alice: Too late for what? Rabbit: No time! Too late, way too late! ::With that the Rabbit hopped out of the quarters and vanished from her sight. What a curious thing. What could a rabbit be late for? With the nagging pull of curiosity she raised from the couch and followed. Just as she looked outside she saw the rabbit vanish in the hatch of a jeffrey's tube. That little voice on her right shoulder told her to follow, to find out what the rabbit was up to. If the other side said something she did not hear it. She quickly stepped to the hatch and climbed inside, following the distant bunny tail that almost seemed floating as the black uniform pants merged with the tube's lack of light.:: ((Somewhere)) ::As soon as Alice was in the tube, the hatch behind her shut with a loud noise echoing in her head, and the whole place tilted. She tried to hold onto any edge or latch she could find but the tube was smooth as if made of glass and she began to slide, first slow then rapidly until she hit the ground with her behind and the pain of impact jolted through her body.:: Voice: ::sleepy voice:: Looky there, a strange new face. Ever wonder why you ::yawn:: race? ::Rubbing her backside Alice looked around. A yellow collared officer was lying on a hoverpad, floating through a moving and billowing sea of blue goo, that stuff that bio-neural gel packs were filled with. She knew she'd seen that man before, if her memory was right his name was Johnson, and he just floated out of view in this blue glowing river. Curious where it would lead too she got to her feet and jumped on another hoverpad that just passed by, following the one with the tired Helmsman.:: ::The walls were overgrown with exotic plants in all the colours Alice could imagine, flowers emitting bedazzling scents, making her wish to never leave this magical place. Colours began to dance in front of her eyes, soft voices were carried into her ears. As she looked at the flowers, faces grew out of them, faces she had seen before all over the ship. There was the engineer Eileen. Another came closer, Alice's nose touching the flower's as the young woman recognized the new Romulan Intel Officer. The gentle voice sang in a language Alice did not understand. Then her eyes started glowing and the flowers began to giggle before the gentle splashing stream suddenly accelerated and Alice fell almost off her make-shift raft.:: ::Rapidly the stream lead through hallway after hallway, all covered by flowers and plants, showing faces of the crew she had seen on hallways or in her workplace, giggling and singing.:: Flowers: Row row row your boat... ::Alice clung to the hoverpad as good as she could, though her fingers slipped over the wet metal. The edge of the raft got caught in the frame of a door that opened that very moment, jerking her off and into the room where she crashed on the ground. Immediately the door closed again and the scent of sweet smoke embraced her.:: ::As Alice looked up a really tall Andorian sat cross-legged on the terminal that stood in the middle of the room. He had a long strange looking sword on his lap, holding it with one hand, while the other slowly lead a stone along the blade to sharpen it. It was a smooth movement, steady and repeating, almost hypnotizing.:: Alice: Excuse me, Sir but did you see a rabbit come by? ::The tall Andorian kept sharpening without looking up. In the corner of his mouth rested a small metal tube that was connected to a longer flexible one ending in a big bottle with a bubbling liquid. His mouth opened sometimes and circles of smoke danced out into freedom and around his head as if following a path. As the man finally answered his dark deep voice sent chills down Alice's spine.:: Andorian: Who are you? Alice: ::pushing her hands into her hips:: Did nobody tell you that it is rude to answer a question with another question? Andorian: What is rude for one is normalcy for others. Alice: Well if you ask me... ::Before she could finish the sentence the giant of a man suddenly jumped onto the floor and was so close that Alice stumbled backwards against a wall, roots and stems of plants embracing her limps as she felt the cool metal of his sword on the skin of her neck. His cold deep eyes stared directly into her soul while colourful circles of smoke framed her face. He pushed the words out one by one.:: Andorian: Ask - you? Who - are - you? ::Alice's eyes grew and her heart began to pound heavily in her chest. Quickly she dropped and slipped away running past him and the terminal to a door she had just noticed.:: Andorian: Hey! You should know something! ::His voice startled her, and she thought about running, but curiosity won. She stopped and turned around. Her heart jumped as she saw him closer to face than she had anticipated and leaned in, blowing smoke into her face.:: Andorian: Watch - your - head! ::Coughing up the smoke she had inhaled she stumbled backwards again, noticing that the way she ran into was too small for Big Blue and he could not follow. Relieved she kept running, roots that had no place on a space ship and flowers with faces and leaves as hands tried to grab her, hold her and slow her down - who planted those things anyway? Every turn looked the same, every corner had three possible ways to go. Alice was not sure where she was any more and after a felt eternity she fell to her knees, sobbing because she felt lost like never before.:: ::Suddenly a soft humming filled the air, the plant-work squeaked under steps and as it was a few steps close to Alice they stopped.:: Voice: Lost something? ::Alice recognized the voice and looked up. In front of her stood the former ACMO, Sundassa Faranster, who had just recently been promoted to First Officer. The vibrant lilac hair was not something that could be forgotten, neither her eyes of equal colour. Instead of the usual red collared uniform the woman wore a lavender coloured dress with dark purple markings that reminded Alice of a tiger or a house cat. Alice wiped away her tears and spoke with meagre voice.:: Alice: My way, where do I go? ::Sundassa's face almost split in half as she grinned widely, her arms spread to both sides in a welcoming open gesture.:: Faranster: Depends. Where you want to go? Alice: Doesn't really matter. ::The catlike dressed woman laughed and leaned against the plantwork.:: Faranster: Then you can go any way. ::She paused and a moment later stepped forward, bending down to face Alice with a wide grin.:: But if you want to know ... he went this way. ::Pointing left:: Alice: ::sniffing:: Who? Faranster: ::tilting her head:: Who what? Alice: ::confused:: Who went this way? Faranster: The bunny, silly! ::Sun laughed and began to hum again, prancing into one of the other overgrown hallway. Alice watched the lilac hair bounce and make snake like movements as if it had a life of its own, before it actually waved at her and the First Officer suddenly poofed into thin air.:: ::Alice blinked, wondering if she had fallen too hard on her head - oh wait that was her butt not her head - or if that woman really just disappeared. Shaking her head slightly she got up onto her feet and looked into the direction Faranster had pointed, before heading into the overgrown mess, hoping to find the rabbit and finally learn what it was too late for.:: ::She walked for a felt eternity until she finally heard something that grabbed her attention.:: Voices: ::singing:: We all live in the little maaad house, little maaaad house, little maaad house... ::Curious about who was singing there in those abominable off-key notes she looked for another exit somewhere and found a was wide open door, leading into a colourful wonderfully scented garden. If she had to guess she'd say that she was in the Arboretum now, just because it would not make any sense anywhere else. But on the other hand, nothing of this really did. The voices became louder as she approached and finally she saw a table covered with cake and cups, filled with steamy beverage, the scent mixing with the flowers' fragrance.:: Voices: ::singing:: In the town where I was born, lived an old man who was crazyyyy, he was caught and brought right here, where he lives now... next to meeee. Alice: What are you doing? ::Just then two heads popped up from behind the high backrests of the chairs surrounding the table. Alice blinked in surprise as she looked into the black eyes of Captain Jaxx, the other she thought she had seen him in Engineering before, the one who looked like a human but was none. Before she could think about it further the Captain raised his cup.:: Jaxx: Celebrating our craziness of course! ::Alice stared at them both and shook her head vigorously.:: Alice: I am NOT crazy. I am perfectly normal! Torv: If you are not crazy you cannot stay! Jaxx: Pah! Of course she is crazy, or she would not be here! Alice: But I am NOT. Jaxx:::giggling::You are out of luck, deary. We are all nutters here. Come and celebrate, grab a cup of vreeca! ::He grabbed a pot and poured a cup for her in a sloppy way that half of the hot beverage covered the cake now. Splatters of it hit someone else and the end of the table, jumping up from his seat.:: Johnson: Hot Hot Hooooooot! ::After dancing around to shake it off he simply dropped in the chair again and fell asleep once more, his body slumping over so that his face got buried in the cake standing in front of him. Nobody seemed to care about the lack of oxygen he might have with that method of sleep. Alice felt a hand pulling her abruptly to the table, the cup slammed down in front of her while the men began to sing again.:: Jaxx & Torv: We all live in the little maaad house, little maaaad house, little maaad house... ::Alice had no idea what she had gotten into and with the way those guys swung the kettle and pots, the cups falling over as Jaxx jumped onto the table to show his best crazy dance, she did not think that she'd get anywhere really. But she had to try.:: Alice: Pardon me but, did a rabbit pass here? Jaxx & Torv: Of course, he went this way. ::Torv showed left, while Jaxx showed right. That moment she heard a giggle right behind her and turned around in the chair. There she stood again, the First Officer with her wide grin. The slender fingers wiggled a playful wave while her hair got its own life again and pushed in between the ranks and roots and pulled up as if it weighted nothing. That made a hole into the 'hedge' and Alice did not hesitate for a second. She jumped off her chair and slipped through the - hopefully - right way, accompanied by the off-key song behind her.:: ::There he was. The rabbit just hopped around a corner and Alice quickly followed him, trying not to lose him again. She walked for a while, seeing him here and there, but then she heard the sound of beeping and glass touching something else. As she turned another way she saw huge vials with light blue liquid stood around everywhere as if they grew in the room. Teal coloured uniformed people walked around between them, climbed up ladders and then poured something into the opening, turning the liquid into a bright red.:: ::Alice recognized that colour right away, it was the same as in the experiment she had shattered earlier. Shaking her head slightly she then realized that the officers began to sing. A few she even recognized. There was Jamison the Counselor, Kaliantha the new medical officer and Carrigan a nurse, not to forget the blue haired man over there was Shelter the brother of the First Officer.:: Officers: ::singing:: We're dying the liquids red, there is no time for bed, she sees them blue and right on cue she'll be the worst you ever met. We are fond of our head, so we dye the liquids red. ::Who was she? And what did they mean that she would be the worst they ever met? What would happen to the heads, if those liquids were not red? She went closer to one of them.:: Alice: Why are you changing the colour of the liquids? Jamison: Because the Queen likes them red. Carrigan: If they are not, she punishes us all! Alice: Who? Who would punish you? Rabbit: I'm late. I'm late. ::Quickly he hopped past them all and to a terminal that stood at the end of the garden and he pressed a button.:: Just on time, phew. ::The sound of the transporter beam had them fall silent. Then in a hectic chaos they quickly tried to hide the colour pots and the ladders before arranging themselves in one row, standing attention. Shelter grabbed Alice's arm and pulled her close. She mimicked their posture, thought peeked around them to see who was coming.:: ::Her heart almost stopped when she saw the bright red hair of her very own CMO Jalana Laxyn. But the ice cold gaze, wandering around the strange garden and the officers was new and sent chills down Alice's spine. Nobody dared to speak or even move an inch. Alice snapped back into attention and waited nervously.:: Laxyn: WHAT IS THAT? ::The sudden explosion of the usual soft voice made everyone jump and turn around. With terror they saw red splatters all over the floor.:: Kaliantha: We... we had to...::stammering:: Laxyn: HAD TO WHAT? LIE TO ME? ::Alice knew why she was so afraid to tell Laxyn what had happened, but this was worse than she had expected. Silence fell again, from everyone but Laxyn.:: Laxyn: WHO DYED MY LIQUIDS? ::There was an eerie silence, something that made Alice look up and what she saw let her blood freeze. Everyone but pointing at her. With wide eyes she stared from one to the other and shook her head.:: Alice: I have not... ::Laxyn's face changed to a furious red and slowly her arm raised to point at Alice, before the loud voice bellowed through the garden, almost shattering the vials.:: Laxyn: CHOOOOOOOP OFF HER HEAD! ::Terror shook Alice and she did the only thing that came to her mind right now. She ran in the opposite direction. Hearing the heavy steps running after her, trying to get her to follow the CMO's command. She ran and ran and her lungs hurt as a familiar voice floated into her ears.:: Voice: Alice! Hey Alice, come on... it's time. Alice! (( Quarters )) ::Alice's lids jumped up and the first thing she saw was her room mate hovering over her. Blinking she tried to shake off the strange dream she had. What had been in her coffee that she had thought this could be real for even a second?:: Alice: What...? Hannah: You slept the whole night on the couch. It's time for work. And I think you have to confess something,eh? ::Alice grimaced as she peeled herself from the couch. There was no time left to get into a new uniform and she sighed, following her room mate outside where they parted ways. Alice headed the right way to Sick Bay and just for a split second she could have sworn to see the white fluffy tail of a bunny vanishing around the corner ... --- LtCmdr Jalana Laxyn CMO / 2nd Officer USS Apollo
  3. That sounds like a fun idea. Sadly I am the only one left from my Academy training, including trainers. I might come and crash one of the other folks party then hehe
  4. so much LOVE, frigging amazing
  5. Secrecy. No joy in that, but duty is duty, sometimes we have to do things we do not like.

  6. I guess it goes more about the feel of the picture but what is that on the pic? I have not seen the movie so I don't know and I have trouble identifying it.
  7. In the 1 1/2 years I am in the group I have *seen* combat, but I never had to write any. It is not only ship and position, but also if you choose to participate. When a scene begins where combat happens you can still choose to just lie down on your belly waiting that the phaser fire stops or just retreat because i.e. it's not your job.
  8. To be seen as a god is a rather odd feeling. To be called one, even stranger.

  9. ((Dark Room - USS Apollo)) :: Liam still had trouble working his head around what might drive a man to do what the Colonel had done. On a very basic level, he understood. There was only so much a man could take before he reached his breaking point,and it was obvious that Tark had reached that point. But what caused him to cross the level of anger that he must have had was something Liam couldn't get his head around.:: :: And perhaps there was a reason. There was a passion in the Colonel's words. A conviction to his speech that betrayed the sense of loss the man felt, and the sense that what he was doing was a part of something much greater than himself. It was, in a way, not unlike the reason Liam had decided to join Starfleet. But this conviction fell on the opposite of the emotional spectrum. Whatever pride Liam felt for the work he did, the Colonel must have felt in loss.:: :: Perhaps, he realized, it was not an inability to understand, but rather an inability to relate. As much as Liam had been through, including an all to real brush with death, it was nothing when compared to the things that the Colonel had seen, or at least what he believed that he had seen. It was the kind of loss that one couldn't understand without experiencing it.:: :: Liam's philosophical musings were cut short by the sound of Janus having completed the task he had requested. A report had been located, filed by the USS Nighthawk and filed with SFI. Liam was slightly surprised he even had the clearance to view it. He skimmed over the highlighted sections of the report, connecting it with the report he had filed. One name stood out in both reports.:: Frost: Tark... :: He downloaded a few sections of the document on to his PADD and began to make his way out in to the corridor.:: ((Brig - USS Apollo)) :: For all intents and purposes, all that existed of Javan's world was the few square meters that comprised his cell, and what little contents it had. He was genuinely surprised by what it afforded him. The bed was more comfortable than some of the field barracks that he had slept in during the revolution, and they had been gracious enough to allow him one of their PADDs and limited access to their library. It gave him enough to read to stave off the boredom most of the time. There was even food replicator, though the choices were understandably limited. But as unpleasant as it was, it was a [...] sight better than he would have faced in a prison on Galaras. If he had made it that far.:: :: He had spent most of his time reading, particularly about the history of Earth. He was surprised to find that these humans had, in their past, experienced the level of despotism that he had vowed to fight against. So far he had found at least half a dozen names that reminded him of why he was here; Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Khan Singh, Phillip Green. All of them had promised their people a better life, and each and every one of them had, eventually, led those same people to ruin.:: :: It was, in a way, comforting to know that Humans had eventually shed that past, and had moved far enough to become a founding member of an organization like the Federation. It was something that he hoped his own people might one day be able to accomplish, though he wondered if such an event were likely to happen in his lifetime.:: :: HE was snapped out of his musings by the sound of the door to the brig opening. He watched as a man in a black ad grey uniform entered the room. He an air of confidence around him, despite the fact that he barely looked older than Javan's own son. He carried the markings on his collar, the most Javan had seen on any officer thus far. But there was something familiar about him...:: :: Liam entered the room with what he hoped was a good mix of casual and purposeful bearing. He gave a nod the the duty officer, who allowed him to pass without delay. It was one of the advantages of his new position. He made his way towards the cell that he wanted.:: Frost: Colonel Tark. :: Javan looked at the man carefully before his memory put the pieces together. This young man was one of the individuals sitting at what he had, at least in his own mind, referred to as the table of heroes. He was friends with the blue one who had caused them so much trouble.:: Tark: And you are... Frost: Commander Liam Frost. Starfleet Intelligence. :: Intelligence? That explained why he was the only one Javan had seen wearing a black uniform. It also meant that this was the kind of man that Javan had been trying to reach. And he had been a witness to what had happened in the hotel. It had the potential to further his plan, or deal the final blow to it, depending on what kind of man he was.:: Frost: You're being transported with us to Earth to face trial for your actions on Izar, as I'm sure you already know. Tark: I am. But I will say this, Commander. What I did, I did for the good of my people. I didn't plan for it to end the way it did, and for that I am sorry. And I will gladly face whatever justice your government sees fit. But I will not apologize for trying to stand up for my people. :: Liam could see the conviction in the man's eyes. He believed with all of his being in what he was doing. Ad while he was far from agreeing with the Colonel's methods, but it was hard not to sympathize with his motivations.:: Frost: I'm not here to ask you to, Colonel. I heard the speech you gave. And if you're telling the truth about what what's happening on your planet, then there's a part of my that understands why you ended up here. :: Liam watched the man's reaction carefully. It appeared, for the moment that the Colonel was taking him seriously. Frost: Make no mistake, I don't support what you did. But a part of me understands. :: Javan could see something in this man, something that hinted at a wisdom that belied his age. Tark: With due respect, Commander, I don't think you do understand. I don't think any one of you understands what I've seen. :: He paused. The COmmander didn't understand what Javan had seen. But if he chose his words carefully enough, he might be able to at least give him a hint of understanding. At least enough that he might be willing to pass along the information to his superiors.:: Tark: Your history is filled with the names of men who promised their people a better world. Hitler, Singh. Green. They all promised the same thing. And they did it for those loyal to them. But at the cost of millions of lives. My world is no different. :: Javan thought back to all the things he had seen, all the things that he had believed that he was fighting for during the Revolution. He was fighting for the freedom of his people.:: Tark: When I joined the Revolution, I fought for what I believed in; for the rights of my people to live in the kind of world that you take for granted. But the people in power did more harm to our people than the people we overthrew. They murdered dissidents in the streets, and sent anyone suspected of plotting against them in prison.Including my wife. Your people have an equivalent, I believe they called it the Soviet Union. :: Liam was aware of what the Colonel was talking about, at least in a general sense. They had overthrown a monarchy and replaced it with one of their own making. They claimed it would usher in a utopia, where the people and the state were one and the same. But paranoia and distrust led it's leaders to commit atrocities against it's own people for the sake of their own power.:: Frost: There are parts of our history that we're not exactly proud of. But it's a part of what makes us what we are now.But none of that was why I came here today, Colonel. ::Turning to the deck officer.:: Ensign, if you wouldn't mind. :: The crewman did as Liam asked, and for forcefield shimmered for a moment before disappearing. Liam handed the Colonel a PADD before the field was reactivated.:: Frost: I thought you might want to see this. :: Javan looked at the device. From what he could read, it appeared to be an intelligence report. He had seen enough of them in his career to recognize the format. The majority of it appeared to be redacted, no doubt to keep him from seeing anything he was not meant to. But there were sections that were readable. And unless he was imagining things, it looked like it was referring to Galaras.:: Tark: What is this? Frost: It's an intelligence report from the USS Nighthawk. After some of the reports that came in from your world, Starfleet Intelligence sent in an observation to see if there was any truth to the claims. A lot of what they said appears to back up your claims. I can't say for certain if we'll be able to do anything to help you, but I thought you should know that at least someone is taking you seriously. :: For a long moment, Javan had no idea what to say. It was the best outcome he could have hoped for, though he had wondered if he would have lived to see the day his people's plight brought out into the light. He might not see his home changed, but knowing that someone on the outside knew what was happening gave him some measure of relief.:: Tark: Thank you, Commander. Frost: There's something else you should know. One of our agents was able to get inside one of the prison camp. She spoke to a lot of the prisoners to gather evidence of what was happening. :: Javan looked at the man in front of him. There was something happening here that Javan couldn't figure out. This was undoubtedly a classified report. There had to be why Commander Frost was showing it to him.:: Frost: The name of one of those prisoners.. was Leandra Tark. :: Javan looked down at one of the sections of the report that was highlighted. For a moment his knees went weak, and he very early fell over. He was able to steady himself on the wall. He knew the reputation of the labour camps, what happened to those that went in. He had made peace with the idea that he wasn't going to see his beloved again. And in a way, that was still almost certain to be the case.:: :: But there had always been that small part of him that had wondered, that had wanted closure about what had happened to her. If she was dead, he could have accepted that in time. But it was the not knowing that had kept him awake at night, wondering if she knew he was out there thinking about her, or if she knew what he was willing to do to see her free, even if it meant never seeing her again.:: :: Liam watched as the Colonel reacted to the news that his wife was alive, and it confirmed what he had believed. Tark spoke of grand ideas like freedom, and a better life for his people. And he had no doubt that that was part of it. But there deep down, it was the woman he loved that motivated him. And his redemption was to right the wrong that he had allowed to be done to her, even if she wouldn't know that he had done it.:: Tark: Thank you, Commander. :: Javan heard the sound of the door opening as Commander Frost left the room, but he wasn't really aware of it. He was too occupied with the report. Someone knew what was happening to his people. And perhaps that knowledge might one day set them free. He knew he might not live to see a truly free Galaras. But knowing that it might happen one day, perhaps, in the end, it was all worth it.:: Colonel Javan Tark Galaran Resistance Front & Commander Liam Frost Chief of Intelligence USS Apollo
  10. ((Tal Tel-ar's Quarters , USS Apollo)) :: So Tal was out of Sick Bay again. Sherana wanted to check on him, to see if getting him off that planet had been worth it or if he decided to make it all a waste. When she arrived, the Nurse had told her that he had been discharged. Well, that was good, so at least they didn't run around in the heat for nothing. The Orion hated how it had made her feel, when he disappeared. She had not only been angry, that he went out alone to such a place without any company in that condition... but also worried. She cared more than she wanted to admit, and that was probably what he wanted to achieve.:: :: Either that or wanted to give her the chance to realize it. She had known that she cared, just not if she cared enough for a relationship. She knew the answer, but she had to tell him as well, since that was a thing she could not do alone. Arriving at his quarters she looked at the door for a moment, not quite sure how to even begin, but she would do what her people did for a long time: go with her guts. So she pressed the chime.:: :: Tal took the last knife off his wall, wrapped it carefully and then walked over and placed it in the case in it's slot. Just then his door chime sounded. :: Tel-ar: :: Tal turned and moved to his door as he spoke. :: Enter. :: When the door opened Sherana stepped forward. She moved to within arms reach and then stopped. As always the sight of her made his senses swim. He had never felt such a need before. It was primal, almost animalistic and it was very hard to fight. :: :: Looking up to him, she took a deep breath, inhaling his scent that floated to her as it always did. She did not say a word. Instead she pressed her hand on his chest, pushing him back further into his quarters, a growl in her throat as the doors closed behind her. She kept pushing until something got in the way, pressing in Tal's back and she stepped so close she could feel his warmth through her clothing. :: :: The feel of her hand against his chest made him want to pull her close as he allowed her to push him backwards. The low growl that escaped her throat almost forced a similar one from his own throat and while his mind fought with his desire for her the small fragment that still functioned realized she was not acting like herself. :: Tel-ar: Sherana... what... :: That's as far as he got before she interrupted him. :: Sherana: :: growling :: Never. Do. That. Again! :: Not giving him the chance to reply she pulled him at the collar of his shirt and crushed her lips into his, pressing her body against the big blue man and her free hand held on to his hip, her heart pounding wildly in her chest, heat rushing through her veins, making her blood boil. Yes, she knew what she wanted. She wanted him. She had wanted him for quite a while, why had she closed her eyes to that until now? :: :: When she pulled his head down and kissed him a fire exploded inside. He could not help but feel her body pressing against his. He gave in to his need, kissing her back while he slid his arms around her. His hands wandering over her body as he lifted her so that kissing her was easier. He spun while holding her, walking the half dozen feet over to his bed where he turned and sat, then lay back while turning on his side, still holding her, kissing her the whole time. :: :: She wrapped her legs around him, the moment he lifted her from the ground. Vaguely somewhere in the back of her mind she realized that they moved, but she didn't care, the urge of feeling him close, to make sure that he was really well won the fight over her curiosity. As she found herself lying on the side, she just used that chance to press herself against him with the support of the bed, their breaths ragged and heavy filling the air. :: He lost track of time. His whole mind becoming consumed with desire, his senses drowning in the sensations being produced by such close, intimate contact. Finally he broke off the kiss. It was the last thing he wanted to do but the last tiny shred of logic won. :: Tel-ar: Sherana.... what... what's changed? :: Her actions... heck even her reactions to his response was so out of character that he had no idea what was really happening. :: :: She did not want to talk, she wanted to feel him, catch up on what she had missed, on what she had refused to have. She had almost lost him, and it again reminded her how stupid it was to not live in the moment. She looked up into his eyes.:: Sherana: I wasted time thinking too much like some human nuchpu', until you almost died, and not the way we wish for as warriors. I cannot throw away another minute. //Feigling :: Tal stared deep into her eyes for a moment. Her response was not what he had expected.... it was more than he had hoped for... he kissed her again. This time trying to convey his passion, his desire for her through his touch, using his entire body to let her know that he wanted her. Finally... long... long moments later he managed to regain enough mental control to break contact. He rolled back and sat up. Undoing the top of his uniform as he did. He could feel the bed shift as Sherana also sat up. :: :: His kisses befuddled her, make her vibrate and tremble in desire, burning in her veins. As he pulled away again and started to undress, her eyes followed, taking him in, until she saw something next to the bed that she did not remember seeing before. Sherana sat up and stared at it. A container stood right there and as she looked around there were more, some were open and half full, others were closed and marked. What in Gre'thor was going on here? :: Sherana: Why are these containers here? :: It took Tal a few seconds to understand her question. By the time that he had he had pulled his arms out of his tunic and he was naked from the waist up. :: Tel-ar: I am packing. Sherana: :: Turning her head to face him:: Packing? You are going to leave? :: Tal stopped and turned to face her again. He still felt the desire, the need but her question cut him worse than any knife ever had. He had spent the last year here on the USS Apollo and the only thing he would miss, the only thing he wanted with every fiber of his being was her. :: Tel-ar: I have been transferred... :: That answer was not what she had been expected. Her dark eyes were fixed on him in disbelief. She was blown away but that. She finally wanted to throw everything on one card and he wanted to leave?:: Sherana: You are kidding me. Tel-ar: No... :: For the first time in his life Tal wished he was kidding. Saddly he was not. :: Sherana: Did you ask for this transfer because you could not wait for a decision? :: She was surprised how calm she sounded, but she needed answers and she would not get them if she slit his throat.:: Tel-ar: No. I would have waited as long as it took. :: short pause. :: These orders were waiting for me when I returned to the ship. Sherana: I ... understand. :: She really did. The Klingon Empire did not do it much different. While one had a position on a ship, it could change any time when one was needed elsewhere. She had seen many warriors leave for greater cause, for smaller cause, for the cause that needed people at this time. It was military life and for the first time she hated it. :: Tel-ar: Sherana, I wish it was not true.... but.... :: Tal stopped talking as she stood up and moved away from him. :: :: Standing up from the bed she walked a few steps, her hands clenched to fists as she ground her teeth that tried to cage the growl in her throat. Her dark eyes darted around from crate to crate and found something that looked like a stone, maybe it was a souvenir, she didn't care but grabbed it and pressed her fingers against it, as if she tried to squeeze any possible life out of it. :: Tel-ar: :: Tal stood and moved over close to her before he spoke again. :: I am sorry Sherana... :: Hearing his voice broke any possible focus she had tried to keep to contain her anger. Without thinking she spinned around with a swift swing of her arm and sent the stone shattering into the wall next to Tal. She heard a terrible scream like that of an animal in pain, but realized a moment later that it was her own. She had no idea where all this anger and pain suddenly came from, but it broke free with a shattering force that threatened to tear her apart.:: :: For a moment Tal did not know what to do. Her reaction baffled him. Then he realized that she was simple expressing the same pain and anger he had felt at the news. Instinctively he reached out and took her into his arms. For a moment she fought him but in the end she too needed to be close. The feeling of her pressed so close provoked him to speak. To say what he felt. :: Tel-ar: Sherana... I wish I could take you with me... I wish I had more time... weeks and months before I had to leave... but I don't... I have never regretted being a Starfleet officer... and I have never hated an order as much as I hate this one... but... :: As he spoke he reached up with one hand and caressed her cheek, then tilted her head so that he could see into her eyes... as always her beauty took his breath away and for a second he seriously considered punching his fist through a wall. If nothing else it might, just might make him feel a tiny bit better. :: :: She had not wanted for him to hold her, but after a short half hearted fight she had given in and leaned against his big overshadowing frame. She was not the type to cry, she could not remember ever doing so, but her hands trembled in fury, digging into the fabric of his shirt, forcing herself to not tear it apart. She had to collect all willpower she could muster to speak, though a low growl vibrated in her voice. :: Sherana: I know. Don't forget that I was an officer. I grew up with this kind of knowledge, the chance of sudden change. Tel-ar: The advantage of a warriors upbringing... still... :: Tal could not help it. He had to kiss her... to hold her... he leaned down as he pulled her closer. Her chest was pressed tightly against him and he could feel her, 2 firm round mounds squashed against him as his lips captured hers. One hand tangled in her hair as his antenna leaned forward to touch her, to drink in her scent, more intoxicating than anything he had ever enjoyed. It lasted forever.... then suddenly she pushed against him and against his will Tal let go. :: Sherana: ::Looking up into his eyes:: Does this mean we end before we even started? Tel-ar: I do not know.... I Sherana: You don't want anymore. Tel-ar: Of course I want you... :: Tal reached out and pulled her closer, grabbing one of her hands and pressed it against his naked chest as he did. :: You can feel my heart, it's racing, you cause that simply by being here... :: Her eyes dropped from his to his chest, her fingers held by his and she could feel it strong and fast. Her voice was merely a whisper, surprised as she was by it. :: Sherana: I feel it.. Tel-ar: At this moment, I feel more like a man than I have ever felt. Sherana: :: knitting her brows:: Do you really mean that, Tal? :: Again Tal reached up and caressed her cheek as he replied. :: Tel-ar: Yes I mean it... I will never lie to you... everything I have said I have meant... all of it... Sherana: :: Nodding she faught with her voice. She was not used that it left her so often. He made her weak and for the first time in her life she did not mind as much. :: I believe you. Tel-ar: I am glad.... :: The suprising thing was that he really was. :: Sherana: You will have to leave soon, your new crew will await you. :: She did not want him to leave, but she knew he would have to. She was not the type to beg him to change his mind, nor did she want him to do that, it was his duty that would pull him away, his honor. And that she could respect, even though she hated that they did not have more time to explore what had started between them. And she did not have any idea how couples that were stationed on different ships were dealing with the situation. She did not think she could deal with that herself. :: Tel-ar: Unfortunately.... yes... I have to leave... Starfleet waits for no man. :: She turned her gaze up to him, thinking about his words, about possibilities. She'd come here to not waste anymore time after almost losing him in on the planet and then on Sick Bay. Now she would lose him to duty and it tore her apart. She raised her hands a bit more to grab his neck, pulling him down to her. The dark brown eyes were fixed on his as she whispered. :: Sherana: Let them wait, just a little bit more. :: With that she tiptoed, pressing her lips against his, wanting to feel at least once what she would have to leave behind. Not wasting any time of the few glimpses they had left. If their souls cried in anguish, she wanted that least something in their memories would be worth to sing about.:: :: Again Tal pulled her close, lifting her as she wrapped her legs around him. His antenna leaning forward to touch her. Grateful that his departure flight to the Mercury was still more than a day away. It would still not be enough time but... Tal stopped thinking at this point, letting himself go. Really letting go and reveled in the contact, the passion. :: ((33 hours later)) :: Tal laid on his back staring up at the ceiling. Soon he would have to get up. Get dressed and then leave. For a moment he wished that the station would get stuck in some weird spacial anomaly that forced them to remain stuck, unable to move. Unfortunately he knew there were none anywhere near the station. :: :: With regret he turned and looked down at where Sherana lay pressed up against him. Her ebony hair lay loose, spread out like a mystical black curtain. With a smile he reached over with his free hand and gently pushed back the few strands that had drifted down to cover her face. The feel of her soft skin under his hand, the contrast between her green skin and his blue making it easy to tell where her body started and his ended. :: :: Soon he would be leaving her, transferred off to another ship, another posting. One that would take him far, far away. He felt a sudden surge of emotion. A confusing maelstrom of conflicting urges, feelings and desires. One that left him so confused that at first he did not notice the wetness on his cheek. Once he did, he reached up and touched it. More confused than he had been. Tears??? He had never cried in his life, not even when Elina had told him that she wanted a divorce. He wiped them away and returned his look to Sherana. Was she the reason??? :: :: She was beautiful true, exotic, thrilling... just being with her was enjoyable. The whole time he was thinking, watching her he held her. His entire side warm from the intimate contact. Her one arm draped over his chest and her legs intertwined with his. She shifted in her sleep, squirming against his side. The contact was invigorating and he felt his passion jump back to life. For a moment he almost woke her up. Seriously considered it. :: Computer: USS Hayes will be leaving the station in 3 hours. :: The sound of the computer warning him to the fact that the ship that would bring him to the Mercury would soon be leaving shattered the peaceful moment he was enjoying. It also served to waken Sherana. As a result he no longer forced himself not to awaken her. He rolled slightly towards her, touched her cheek and then kissed her. One thing led to another and time vanished, consumed in a firestorm of exotic possibilities and explosive conclusions. :: ((2 and a half hours later)) Computer: USS Hayes will be leaving in 30 minutes :: Tal lifted his head, his hair soaked with sweat as was his entire body. He gazed down into her eyes, a fierce desire to claim her as his thundering through his mind. :: :: Stretched with a yawn, she had spent more than a day in Tal's quarters in the knowledge that this might as well be the last time she'd see him. And she had enjoyed every second of it, savouring that she had forgotten the world outside of these quarters for a while. As he looked into her eyes, she returned the gaze. He made her feel like a woman, understanding why her mother saw this as an important part of her life. Though she still was herself, which meant that she was not a sappy kind. :: Sherana: You have to get up. Tel-ar: I know... Sherana: Will I see you again? Tel-ar: I do not know... Sherana: :: She had expected as much and nodded slightly. :: We will see. ReH 'eb tu'lu'. //There is always a chance. :: Tal leaned down and kissed her before she could finish speaking. The kiss became more, his hands wandered and suddenly he pulled back. If he did not stop now he might never leave this bed. Both a welcome thought but one that was not realistic. He did not need anyone coming down looking for him and finding them like this. Especially as he should have been off the ship hours ago. :: Tel-ar: I would rather spend the rest of my life here, like this than anything else..... Sherana: You will have to leave though, it is your duty. Tel-ar: I know... :: He kissed her again, then rolled away, throwing the sheet off as he did. Then he got up and headed towards the shower, pausing before he went through the door into the bathroom to look back. A smile on his face as he saw her there, sprawled out on his bed. A sudden thought provoking a question. :: Care to join me? :: Sherana looked at him, and though her face did not show any reaction, her eyes lit up and rolled out of the bed and hurried after him into the shower.:: (( A few minutes until departure )) :: Tal and Sherana had walked along the docking ring and now stood in front of the airlock that lead to the USS Hayes, which would bring him to his new destination, his new post on the USS Mercury. During the last day a lot had changed between them, but they didn't change too much really. Still the Orion had her hands in her wide pants pockets as before, still she wore a wide sweater, her heavy boots and her hair in a ponytail, but she felt the change anyway. One that would possibly leave with him. :: :: What would stay for a little while would be the pain of the bruises, scratches and possibly some other marks of their passion. Thankfully Tal did have a medkit in his quarters so the small fractures and tears had been fixed already. She would remember him every time she moved, that much she knew. :: Crewman: Sir, we are going to depart in 3 minutes. Tel-ar: Understood. :: Tal turned away to face Sherana. This was the moment he had been dreading, the one he could not avoid. :: This is it. Time for me to go. Sherana: I know. :: She looked up into his eyes. :: Tel-ar: I am going to miss you... so very much. :: As he said it Tal reached out and took hold of one of her hands. Holding it in his . :: Sherana: :: Feeling his hand on hers, her face softened slightly. :: I will remember you. Tel-ar: I hope so :: Tal replied with a smile. Then he pulled her close and kissed her. Putting his entire heart and soul into the kiss while his antenna leaned forward, his enhanced senses awash in her scent, so unique, just like her. :: :: Even though she still was not one for public display, she returned his kiss, taking in any scent and taste, burning it into her mind. She did not regret anything, but maybe to have waited so long. But their lifes would go on, and they both understood the importance of living the moment, as it may be the last. :: Crewman: Sir, we are departing, you need to step aboard please. :: With regret Tal broke off the kiss. With even more regret he let her go and stepped back. :: :: Once Tal removed his lips from hers she stepped back and put her hands back into her pockets. :: Sherana: Fight well and with honour, Tal. Tel-ar: I will. :: Tal smiled, his steel gray eyes alive with some mysterious spark as he spoke again. :: Till we meet again Sherana. You will live in my heart forever. ::Then he gave a slight nod of his head, then turned and walked away, through the air lock and out of her life for now. :: :: She watched him as he stepped through the airlock. Now that he was out of sight, she headed back to the docking spot of the Apollo, seeing the other ship pass by the windows as it maneuvered away from its position. Tal was on his way to his duty, so she should go back to hers as well. And no matter how much she understood that he had to leave, no matter how much she respected him for doing his duty, a part in her hated to see the airlock close behind him, cutting through the line of their time. That same little part of her hoped that she might see him again at some point. And be in that he might be granted a honorary spot in Sto'Vo'Kor.:: **** Sherana Botanist USS Apollo simmed by Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn Chief Medical Officer USS Apollo & Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Tactical Specialist USS Mercury
  11. ((Woodland Outside of New Seattle, Walking Distance, Planet Izar)) :: The two of them had walked for what seemed to be a short while towards the woodland. After the events that had unfolded earlier in the day, there was a sort of time-dilation taking place in his mind. There was no shortage of adventure that had gone down, but throughout it all, there seemed to be this lingering train of thought on his mind, one that could possibly change the way he participated in Starfleet. it was one thing that was important to him on many levels, and he could think of no better person to go over this with than the one he loved. But for now, he was enjoying the walk. :: :: They had made their way up to a marked trail that was clearly meant for tourists as they journeyed up to the cliffside to scope out the views of Izar. Before they could step onto the paved pathway, he stopped for a moment and took Jal’s hand. :: Lanius: Care to take the road less travelled? Laxyn: ::looking around she knitted her brows.:: I only see one road. ::raising her eyes to Vik she looked at him quizzically.:: What do you mean? Lanius: An old earth expression I suppose. Read it in a book somewhere. :: Chuckling. :: Just wondered if you’d like to stray from this path a bit... Explore. We’ve got time. Laxyn: ::Time sounded nice. Especially after that time in the hotel where at times it seemed as if they would not have much of it left.:: Sounds good, I’ll follow you anywhere. Lanius: I thought you might :: touching his forehead to hers for a moment. :: ::She closed her eyes for just a short moment as their foreheads touched and squeezed his hand slightly before straightening up again, starting to follow him to the side of the pathway, with no hurry.:: Laxyn: How do you know about this place? Lanius: I read about it just before coming down for dinner. There was a flyer on the wall in our suite. It was talking about the beautiful Argon pleasures of Izar’s night sky. Figured we’d have a look. Laxyn: ::smiling:: I cannot remember that flyer.. might have to do with the distracting company I had in there. :: They took their first steps off the pathway through some initially thick brush. He had a decent sense of direction, and could get from point A to point B without the help of a tricorder or PADD. It was something that he learned as a boy, growing up in woodland and farmed areas. Getting lost was often the best way to find yourself in the right spot. :: :: They made it past the brambles and tough sawgrass in the area, finally coming into an area of tall oaks, or what he could equate to oaks, with high tree tops and few branches. He immediately thought of some of the great halls in ancient Rome; pillars of marble and obsidian running in lines; rows upon rows of greatness. There was something magnificent about the woods. Something that made him feel at home once more, and he loved it. It was things like these that he enjoyed showing Jalana the most. :: :: Her green eyes slowly wandered over the surroundings, knowing that his hand would lead her, make sure that she would not fall. The way the nightlight played in the crowns of these majestic trees was quite magical to her. Here and there the wind bent the twigs, making room for a distant star to peek through the gap onto the couple, watching them for just a moment, before the leaves decided that they had seen enough.:: :: It felt so different than the city. Even though the trees stood close it felt more spacey as if they had all the room they ever wanted to have. As she stretched out her free hand her fingertips brushed the rough bark of the tree next to her. Something jumped around in the crowns but it was too dark to see what it was. But that just added to the mystery of the forest.:: Laxyn: ::whispering:: This is beautiful. Lanius: If there’s one place, on any planet, in any system for me... its the woodlands. Laxyn: ::keeping her eyes gen the sky, trying to see anything up there in those trees.:: Don’t you feel just small with those giants around? They must be so old.. do you think that the settlers brought them here or have they seen the time before? :: It was a brilliant question, one that made him want to ask the trees themselves. Oh what sights they must’ve seen, how many countless sunrises and retirements they’d laid eyes on. One thing was for certain was that this forest was old. He could feel it; smell it. He knew that there was more history here than the city of New Seattle, and he suddenly wished that he’d more time to stay and explore. Then again, he would need a lifetime to learn its secrets. :: Lanius: I have a feeling that these wonders have seen countless wanderers. Many people who’ve probably asked the same thing. These just may have been here before either of us knew what trees were. :: There was a cracking sound behind them somewhere and Jalana winced, swirling around. That movement also wrapped her in Viktor’s arm as she scanned the space behind them. Her heart rate jumped up and chills ran over her back. Followed by a wave of relief, as a small animal came out of the bush, looked at them for a short moment and ran away into the other direction. Jal raised his hand to kiss it gently. She really did not want to feel jumpy like that, it seemed that despite her attempts to ignore it the whole thing was still a bit in her bones. :: Laxyn: :: muttering:: Just an animal.. Lanius: Seems the toils of others bent on revenge is lingering with you? Laxyn: No... yes... I .. ::sighing she looked up to him.:: I have not ever before looked into a rifle for wanting to do my work... or in general really. :: It was times like this that he had his black ops background to thank. In terms of the lady and gentleman in the Vittian, all he could really do was sit back, enjoy his drink, and watch as they carried out their deeds. He thought it child’s play compared to the sights and horrors he’d seen. If there was ever a time he thought to change careers, it would be to that of a writer, and the first thrilling novel he’d publish would’ve been titled, “Trials, Tribulations... and Massacre of an Innocent Mind.” Of course, he had always grappled with the fact that he himself volunteered for the at-the-time experimental mental conditioning program... but he never expected the horrors that he was exposed to then... no one could really. :: Lanius: Revenge is often one of the hardest things to reconcile with. There were a few individuals in that room that would stop at nothing to slaughter a few innocent Starfleet officer and Federation citizens. It’s their nature. The only thing they didn’t have in their corner was complete and utter revenge. :: Jalana looked at him, listened to his words and let them distract her from what was on her mind. She was not sure why it pulled her thoughts away but she did not care, everything was better than thinking about how close she’d been. :: Laxyn: What do you think went wrong for them? Lanius: It was Bratunk’s own heart that was his undoing. His empathy that lead to the failure of his mission. Laxyn: ::Thinking about that she continued to walk slowly next to him:: Really? Lanius: Their actions affect everyone. Your empathic heart threatened them greatly. Think about that for a moment. Your greatest weapon... :: chuckling :: A big heart. Laxyn: ::grinning:: Well looks like I have a really big weapon then. Let’s hope that whoever comes in our way next does as well. :: She pushed the returning pictures away, she wanted to enjoy the time with him now, though they were really nasty little buggers nudging at the back of her head every now and then, demanding attention she did not want to give them.:: :: They continued to walk for a moment longer, and he took notice of the surroundings once again. He could just feel the anxiety from Jalana, and for a moment, he thought that the woods themselves didn’t seem to help any. It could, at times, be your darkest fear, or your lightest embrace. :: Lanius: You know... I grew up in places like this. It was often times my only friend, and sometimes my greatest enemy. There’s a balance out here... one that you can’t find anywhere else. At times, there is a quiet so vast:: raising his voice a bit, cancelling out most of the noise as the bugs seemed to take the que :: that even pin drops quiver in anticipation; and then again, :: lowering his voice to almost a whisper softly into her ear, as the bugs began their song and dance once more :: a chorus of life that could bring down empires. ::Moving forward once more :: Lanius: All beings have struggles... but in the end a balance is struck. And I think this place is the best example, the greatest anecdote I could ever share to illustrate that. It’s trials that make us who were are. Much like this walk. Taking the path of uncertainty, running into critters you’ve not seen before, but trusting enough that things will turn out ok... that builds you up. :: She thought about that, wondering how things would be if she would not think that things turned out to be okay. She would not take risks, she would not fight for things, she would not be able to do her work or even basic living because what was it worth doing it all for when things did not have a chance to turn out well? Then she could give up right away. But this way they grew thought experiences, but why could that growing stuff not happen right away? :: Laxyn: I think you are right. ::smiling slightly up to him:: It might just take a bit for my mind to really understand and get through this. Lanius: One of the greatest minds I’ve ever known. Don’t ever doubt that about yourself... not for a second. :: He knew that their walk was coming to an end, as he saw a break in the treeline up ahead. The twilight hours were beginning to dwindle now, and he knew that the sun would be rising soon. he could smell salty water now, and knew that the coast would share its vastness with them soon enough. A few more paces... :: Lanius: There! :: He made a break for the gap in the trees, where the nicely paved trail made its re-entry to the woodline. The cliffs were vast, sprawling even. They seemed to take up most of the coastline. And to think he almost left the planet without even seeing them. :: Laxyn: ::gasping slightly, as she spots the scenery in front of her.:: Oh my. I had no idea that there are places like this here. :: He stood there with her in his arms, looking out onto the horizon. It was still plainly dark out there, but the stars were amazing, each one brighter than the next. The water crashed gently against the cliff side, spraying a salty smell and light breeze up their way. Her hair was waving across his shoulder as she lay her head against him. He could start to see it happening. The purple and gold brilliance was beginning, even before the sun made an appearance. :: :: Strands of white pearls at the horizon rolled on the surface of the uneven mirror before slowly sinking through tiny cracks beneath the surface, as if finding new places to hide for divers seeking treasures. It was almost as if they wanted to find their way down to the ground, before the guest of honour would arrive, though knowing that they would not be fast enough and had to greet her if they were in the mood or not.:: :: Despite their race, the peace covering the scene like a blanket was all too apparent. Just for a few heartbeats time stood still, nothing would be able to disturb this quietude. Gentle breaths of the couple mingling with the gentle salty breeze floating over them from the waterside, twirling around their bodies, before taking refuge in the forest behind. :: :: Then a first subtle change, the celestial canopy shifted from dark purple to violet shades, interrupted, though not violently, a bright orange aura peeked over the edge of the world as they saw it this very moment. Gradients of pantones arranged in circular manner slowly showed more of themselves. As the first beams broke free from their restrains finding their way over the rippling surface of the ocean, gradually turning the dark blue into a sea of light.:: Lanius: And with all things... in darkness... comes the greatest light you’ve ever seen... :: holding her tight now :: :: Right on time, the sun began to poke up over the horizon, still a vibrant hue of bronze, not quite bright yet. It was unlike anything he’d seen before. Here in the hall of the wilderness, with his greatest love, he was seeing the dawn of something new. If there was any time more perfect than now... he’d not seen it. He began to slowly reach into his pocket now, reaching for something he’d held onto for the longest time. It was something near and dear to him, that he’d had since he was young. He could feel the smooth metal patterns on the outside, and even the engraving on the inside. He held it tight for a moment, thinking once more about what he was about to say. :: Lanius: :: Standing beside her, he turned to meet her eyes, looking down slightly. His hand caressed her cheek gently, as he eyed her, looking for signs of intuition. :: What would you say if I said to you that sometimes when you feel what you feel, and you know what you know, and you know that something is just... right... would you agree? :: She watched the stunning display of natural beauty in front of them before she felt his hand taking hers and she turned her head to look up at him, at his lips as she listened to his words. For a moment she had a hard time following them, but her mind started to sift through them, sorting them and repeat them a bit slower. Just then she nodded slowly.:: Laxyn: Of course, why do you ask? Lanius: Well we’ve learned that life is vast and unpredictable... much like this coastline. It’s sprawling with possibility, and can be lifeless, or full of adventure. The skies here are a gleaming metaphor for the web we spin. Vibrant and brilliant, ever-changing :: now looking out to the sky once more as the sun crept a bit higher :: You see, the thing is, we’ll see this today, and then by tonight, we’ll be gone. Just like that. Whisked away to some other place. :: Her gaze followed his, the bright sphere of warmth and life had started to engulf the world with its might that would last until the moon would demand its time. His words were kind of sad, how fast things went by, how they changed from one to the other moment. The Trill turned her head again to look up to him, her mind in wonder what he was trying to say. :: Lanius: Things change in an instant. And we can lose track of some of the smallest things. Some of the most beautiful things. I don’t want that. I want this sunrise... these woods... I want you and I. For as long as we can. :: He had in that time, pulled his hand from his pocket, placing a small ring in the palm of her hand. It was his mother’s claddagh ring; her wedding ring. He watched her carefully as she opened her hand, now realizing that there was something in it. He was excited, but serious in his next set of words. :: Lanius: Jalana, this is something my mother wore. She wore it because it reminded her of some of the best times in her life. She received it from her mother before her, and never left it alone. It was her sunrise... And I want it to be yours... ours... If you could be my sunrise for the rest of my time here... That would make me the most humble person in quite possibly the universe... :: The moment his arm moved it pulled her attention away from his face and she looked down upon his hand that slowly opened. In the beginning light of the day she saw a short glimpse of the reflection of light on metal. Though the next moment she realized that he held a ring on his palm and her heart skipped a beat. He wouldn't... would he? She did not move, not an inch and just when her lungs screamed for air she realized that she had held her breath and gasped.:: :: Her green eyes raised in wonder, wide open and looked at him. His words singing the most beautiful melodies in her ears with a direct connection to her heart. This was unlike anything she had ever expected to find here on Izar, here after this day, that was washed away even if only for a moment by his speech.:: Laxyn: ::Fighting with her ability to speak she looked at him for a long time, finally pushing the sound of a word over her lips.:: I... ::She gulped and then laughed slightly, with no idea where it came from. Which also went for what she heard herself say.:: With our time here... I hope you do not mean until the shore leave ends. Lanius. :: For just a second, his stomach sank even lower than where it normally resided. He was a bit confused at her response, but suddenly realized she was at a loss. :: No! No not at all :: laughing a bit :: Laxyn: ::Raising her hand to her lips, it finally sank in what it meant, what happened here. She had known but now her whole body finally caught up and her voice was merely a whisper, her head nodding in support just to make clear what she was saying.:: Yes... I - I would love that. Lanius: You would?! :: he could do nothing more than to place both hands on her head and pull her in for a kiss, closely thereafter hugging her, picking her up off the ground.Holding her there for a moment, not hurting of course :: Then this is ours, from here on. Our sunrise... :: As he picked her up she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, her head dropping forward to be next to his, her laughter bubbling through her lips. She couldn't believe that this really happened, but now she could not imagine anything better filling the moment. She still remembered the first time she had seen him, the way he had peaked her interest in a field of music, without him even knowing it. It was breathtaking how far they had come, how deep she had felt for him in a short time. And now they had done this new step, a huge step.:: :: He had taken one of the biggest steps in his life with Jalana, and she was apparently ready to take that step with him. He thought back for a moment to what he had told her earlier. People had a way of just knowing when something good came along, and he knew that that something, or rather someone, was Jalana, since the day his eyes met the beautiful greens of hers. This was absolutely right in every way, and with a few close calls in recent times, he knew this was something he had to act on before it was too late. Quatal brought that into perspective for him. :: Laxyn: ::Still without ground beneath her feet she held his shoulders and looked down to him, for the first time she seemed to be a bit taller than him, that it was only because he held her up didn’t matter.:: Will it change anything? Lanius: Well if you mean in terms of the Apollo... I don’t think it’ll change a thing... It shouldn’t. Laxyn: I do hope that Jaxx won't object, I'm not sure about any regulations... Lanius: That doesn’t matter to me. All that matters right here, right now, and from this point forward, is you and I. :: he slid the ring over her left ring finger, and without really having a way to know ahead of time, he was glad it seemed to fit fine. The silver ring was brilliant before, but he thought it even more brilliant now on her finger.:: :: Watching him slip the ring on her finger, the light sparkling on it as she moved her hand slightly, was a moment she would never forget. It was perfect, anything she could have ever wished for. The words he had spoken before came back into her mind, this ring had history. Quite a bit actually. It had been passed on through generations and now it made her part of the story. :: Laxyn: ::choking at the words:: It is beautiful. Lanius: It’s yours now, :: resting his forehead once again to hers :: And I want it to bring you the same luck it brought my mother. I want it to be perfect for you. Laxyn: ::Laughing slightly, she placed her hand on his cheek, gazing up into his beautiful eyes:: Yes. ::She whispered:: Everything is perfect. :: Perfect was something that simply didn’t do the situation any justice. For once, in the weird and wonderful imbalance of the world, the two of them seemed to blossom into their own field of existence, and in it, their two worlds combined to make one. And with the sun in its place, the Agron auroras slowly subsiding leaving a wake of pearl like particles to float along with the wind, it seemed almost a snow had fallen on the two of them. With the trees in their places, they’d once again seen a couple of wanderers making their way through their dense underbrush, brambles and endless limbs. They had walked through to find their own coastline, their own sunrise... Their own balance. ::
  12. ((Somewhere in the Habitat District, Starbase 118)) ::The driving need to touch, and feel, everything around her pushed her onwards and further from the beaten path. From the smooth metallic feel of the handrails that guided others here or there, to the moist, almost grainy feel of the dirt that was now running through her fingers, everything offered her something new and completely amazing. Lost to the compulsion to see, feel, smell, and touch, the Captain's lookalike had left the path behind and now found herself ensconced in trees.:: ::Far overhead, though not as far as one might have thought, an artificial sun began setting to one side of the artificial habitat. Animals, who didn't know the difference, began bedding down for the oncoming night, preparing to seek shelter from others, who only came out when the darkness called. Silently, Anya moved further into the trees, knowing that she was nearing the middle of what might have looked large, but was, in reality, both contained and quite finite.:: ::But she didn't let those thoughts interrupt the idea that she was somewhere else.:: ::Walking along, slower now, she stooped to look at a particularly interesting leaf. Green, with veins of red running through it, she knew it wasn't like the others. Yet here it lived, and thrived, on a vine with others of its kind. Touching it gently, she never saw or felt the stab of pain that shot through her and ultimately took her consciousness.:: ::Almost as if a gentle breeze had simply put her to sleep, the woman's body fell ever so gently to the ground and her eyes closed. To her, the sun had already set and an endless darkness had taken over.:: ((Dreamscape)) ::Drip.:: ::Drip, drop.:: Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaanyaaa... ::Blinking slowly, and allowing her eyes to adjust to the light that washed over her face, Anya remained still and silent. She had thought she'd heard a voice call her, but after a long moment, she found herself drawn to the sound of dripping water. Propping herself up on her elbows, she allowed herself more room to move her head and look around.:: ::Drop, drip.:: ::In the distance, under shade provided with much taller trees than she remembered, she could see a small pool. The light that made it through the thick canopy above reflected off of a glasslike surface and shone on a nearby grey stone.:: ::Drip, drop.:: ::Slowly, Anya pulled herself up and brushed herself off. The telltale sounds of the station, and people not far away, had dissolved into nothing, but she was not afraid. Finding herself drawn to the pool, leaves and twigs and strange creatures around her were ignored as she stepped softly and quietly closer until she was standing next to the pool and gazing inwards.:: Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaanyaaa. Time for dinnnnerr.. ::Snapping her head up, she looked around for the source of the voice, but found nothing at all. Even a breeze seemed to be lacking in the new place she found herself in. When the voice didn't go on, her gaze turned back to the water and the reflection of her face that looked back at her. Suddenly, that reflection spoke.:: Reflection: You really should go. Mama will be worried. ::Both of Anya's eyebrows shot upwards and she found herself completely lost for words. How was her own reflection speaking to her? Suddenly, the voice turned deep and sounded familiar, though the face never changed.:: Reflection: It didn't work. ::And then it was gone. Despite looking at the same place in the water, there was no reflection at all.:: Voice: Anya dear, child, it's time to come home.. ::Still distant, the voice seemed to have more coherence to it than before. Still, intrigued by the water, Anya reached out one finger gingerly. Slowly, she let it descend until it touched the surface of the pool. Ice cold shocked danced up her arm and through the rest of her body, but no ripples appeared.:: Cody: ::With a crooked smile.:: It's time to return to a place where time and space end. ::Glancing up, but still feeling the ice [...]s dancing on her skin, she saw the face of a man she thought was unconscious in sickbay and lost to their world. Yet, before her, he seemed so real.:: Anya: I don't understand. ::The form faded slightly, before mutating into another familiar face. Keito Nicholotti:: Keito: Come child. It's time to go home. ::Behind her, a robed figure appeared suddenly, with eyes sunken and a sorrowful look painted across his visage.:: Gareth: It didn't work. ::But before she could say anything, they both disappeared. Standing there, in the grips of a chill that didn't seem to end, Anya felt a million images enter her mind. Long forgotten, memories of eons gone by drifted through at warp speed, giving her only a moment to grasp at them before they were gone once more. Suddenly, she realized that these were the collective thoughts of the Greeters.:: Voice: ::Echoing.:: We're sorry, Anya. You were such a beautiful creation. ::Shadows fell around her from nowhere, filling her with a sense of definite dread. Yet, as scared as she felt, she could not move. Instead, she looked back down into the pool of water in front of her. At first, nothing happened, but as the darkness seemed to get closer and close her in, tiny strands began moving in the liquid.:: ::Slowly, and ever so deliberately, they came together, wrapping around each other into perfectly mapped strands of what she recognized as Human DNA. But pieces were missing. Here and there, chunks had been replaced with something else that didn't belong. The strands tried to take over, replicate and duplicate themselves into a whole, but something went wrong and it all started falling apart.:: Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaaanyaaa.. ::This time, the voice sounded much farther in the distance than before. Anya shook her head and wondered what she was seeing. To her, it was so strange, so out there, but then again, her mind was full of images and knowledge shared with her by the Greeters. Not much made sense now.:: ::Drip, drip, drop.:: Kalianna: It's alright Anya. We'll remember. ::Whirling around, she saw the woman who she had been modeled after. It was her DNA that enabled Anya to even be created. Still confused by the puzzling nature of the conversations and the people she'd seen, the biomatrix clone finally took a step away from the pool, only to fall into some kind of perpetual darkness that lay outside the tiny pool's circle of light.:: ::Then, only blackness remained.:: ((Somewhere in the Habitat District, Starbase 118)) ::The body of Anya had fallen into a small alcove, with leaves already covering where it lay. Without warning, something changed. Silent, and stealthy, the youthful look faded, and the matrix disintegrated, leaving nothing behind but particles of Human DNA. The strands, physically goo at this point, drifted further and further apart, sinking into the dirt that the body had just lay in. With nothing to hold them together, and the process to convert the matrix to DNA having failed, the being that was Anya scattered quickly.:: ::A signal skittered quickly on subspace bands; the last known aspects of the woman leaving the station and the body behind. Darkness encircled it, pushed it onwards, and chased it along in a long trek towards the end of time. An artificial rain began to fall, dripping on the leaves and washing away the last traces of where she had fallen.:: ::Drip.:: ::And then, she simply was no more.:: -End-
  13. ((Matthew's Bedroom - London, England, Earth )) ::Sat in the dark and gloom of his bedroom, a small boy crossed his legs and pulled the covers over his head. Night Light zipped through the covers, phasing through it effortlessly. It was like firefly; a hologram hovering in mid-air and liked to follow him around the room. Night Light knew the purpose of the deed, such was his intelligence.:: :: Matthew's father had sent him the latest in novel history, the pinnacle of the realms of the imagined and the forefront of the Starfleet mission - the new Federation Man comic!:: ::Carefully, he turned the padd on and started his journey into the dark underworld of the Federation aided only by Night Light, his sidekick.:: (( Space, Comic Universe )) ::The blackness of space stuck out like a carrot in a bag of turnips. Stars twinkled and flashed as a mysterious object floated past them, unnoticed by a cluster of meteorites and the occasional lump of space debris. Time seemed to standstill.:: ::There was a great thud and a crash! Suddenly the mysterious object became aflame with bright burning embers! The blinding blue flash of a torpedo whizzed past and sank poetically into the hull of the mysterious object. It turned, trying to hold onto the stability drives as the structural integrity field began to collapse beneath the strain it was put under. As the light shone over the gun metal grey hull plating, the name of the object glimmered like a beacon of forgotten heroism.:: ::The USS Defender exploded.:: ((Matthew's Bedroom - London, England, Earth )) ::Matthew jumped at the final screen as it showed the beautiful USS Defender, the home of Federation Man and the pinnacle of all that was just and wonderful shattered like light into a pit of obscurity. His heart sank. What a way to start the new adventures! Matthew was enticed. He poked his head out from underneath the covers, Night Light darting out, illuminating the shadowy bedroom.:: ::Satisfied there were no monsters, he ducked his head back underneath the blanket and read on.:: (( USS Defender, Comic Universe )) ::24 Hours Before...:: ::The USS Defender floated seamlessly through the unknown sector, touching the intricacies that the universe had to offer as many souls on board spent their time on a little rest and relaxation. The light from a distant sun and moon glinted off the highly polished ablative armour, the forcefield windows glistened as they automatically adjusted the light to an acceptable level for those inside the vessel and the nearby planet shone in a blue hue.:: ::Captain Robin Sharp stood beside the window, his arms crossed over his chest and he surveyed the glinting darkness. His ship cat, Duck, lay on the sofa, swishing his tail back and forth as he dreamt of mice scurrying along old mooring ropes. The feline stretched his back paws into the air, as though catching an invisible ball of yarn.:: Sharp: Night Siege ::A voice behind him echoed in the back of his mind.:: Lockstock: So, you want us to stay here, then, sir? ::Robin didn't smile, his face as stoic as a Vulcan's. His eyes a staunch frown.:: Sharp: Yes, I am connected to this place. Lockstock: If you don't mind me asking, sir, this area of space is entirely unexplored; we needed Starfleet permission to enter here. Other than that wreckage off the port bow, it looks deserted. ::he bristled:: What is this place? ::The floating wreck of a vessel that may have once resembled a Federation starship floated in the distance, captured by space, unwilling to let it go. Robin narrowed his eyes and looked back.:: Sharp: This is where I died. (( Argent Sphere, Comic Universe )) ::Meanwhile....:: ::The ship groaned in the twinkling hue of the starts, flying with a whisper past the great star in the system. The vessel made of spires and spikes, composed of fire and brimstone, crackled through space like lightening through the sky. The engines roared brilliantly, deafening, rising to the sound of a violin string stretched across chasms that would never snap.:: Crazefury: The Federation ::he spat the words:: put their misguided faith in one starship to protect them. ::his fist curled:: We will CRUSH them slowly... painfully ::A fist slammed into the metal table, rattling it to the foundation bolts in the decking. The fists' owner growled, snarling underneath the black brim of the cap resting atop his dark hair, before speaking in voice that shook those present to their very core.:: Night Siege: Federation Man is mine. ::the words dripped like blood:: My plan is proceeding as expected. Sharp will investigate the wreckage and find what he has been looking for. ::The low guttural growl intensified, rolling out of his throat. A green light, a beam the width of a pencil shone onto the viewscreen windows of the dark Argent Sphere, creating a targeted ring around the wreckage and a shuttle with blue nacelles heading towards it.:: ((Matthew's Bedroom - London, England, Earth )) Gillian Brice: Matthew! ::The boy squeaked, pulling the cover off his head, his heart pounding inside his small chest. He looked up into the friendly face of his grandmother who was already tucking the covers back around the boy, taking the PADD from his hands and placing it down on the bedside table.:: Matthew Brice: But... but... ::She shook her head.:: Gillian Brice: No buts, mister. Bedtime. Federation Man can wait until morning. ::With a kiss to his forehead, Gillian left the room, the door closing behind her as Night Light sped across the darkness. He waited until he could hear the footfalls down the corridor before grasping for the PADD again, only this time he reread the letters from his father and his Kolla.:: ::As his eyes started to drift to a close, he began to dream of being Federation Man, out there on the USS Defender, protecting his parents.:: TBC PNPC Matthew Brice Civilian, Child Future Federation Man Earth As simmed by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Brice Research & Development Engineer USS Apollo, NCC-71669
  14. ((Corridor, USS Apollo)) :: Tal stood tall and straight, his back against the wall as he waited calmly for Sherana. Part of the conversation he had, had with his best friend Lt. Cmdr. Jason Stone replayed in his mind. :: ((Flashback a couple hours, Tal's office)) :: Tal sat at his desk, the image of Jason Stone looking back at him on the monitor. :: Stone: I'm glad to hear it. I was afraid you would just retreat into your work. Tel-ar: Sherana is merely some-one who shares my interests in unusual weapons. Stone: She's female and Orion to boot. Tel-ar: I fail to see why that should make a difference. Stone: Well I will tell you why that makes a difference. She's female and Orion. The only time you start spending time with a female is because she's beautiful and something about her sparks that reclusive male hidden deep inside you. Tel-ar: I will admit that she is attractive but I would have never thought of myself as reclusive. Stone: You may not be but you suppress your male urges a lot. That is until you find a female that interests you and then BAMMM!!! Tel-ar: Bammm?? :: Tal repeated while his left eye brow rose and then returned to its normal position. :: Stone: You sweep the lady off her feet and your relationship becomes extremely physical. :: Tal could feel his face heat up a little. Maybe Jason was right. Every relationship he had ever had with a female had started out slow and then quickly escalated into a passionate firestorm of physical activity. :: Tel-ar: I assure you that is not my intent. Stone: Keep telling yourself that. As your best friend and physician I can tell you that's #$%^&*. Tel-ar: I see... In that case maybe I should stop before it gets physical. Stone: Try if you want but it is basic biology. Males and females need each other. Did it ever occur to you that the reason she wants to spend time with you is that something about you attracts her? Tel-ar: Is that not an illogical assumption? Stone: Under normal circumstances I would probably agree. Especially since you're normally such a cold emotionless @#$%^&*. Still that never seemed to impact on your ability to get the girl. Tel-ar: May I remind you that during our Academy years you arranged all the double dates. Stone: I may have set things up but you closed the deal all on your own. Tel-ar: I see... :: Tal paused to consider that bit of information. He had never really thought about it but in many ways Jason was probably right. :: Jason: Anyway. I hate to cut this off but I am due in surgery in 10 minutes. Tel-ar: I understand. Jason: I knew you would. Take care buddy. Stay out of trouble. :: With that the channel was closed and the image on the screen changed. :: ((Flashback ends, Corridor)) :: Suddenly Tal's antenna detected the faint yet unique aroma that belonged to Sherana. It instantly banished the thoughts of Jason from his mind as he turned to face her. She had changed out of her work clothes and cleaned up. :: :: Tal had to admit to himself that she did indeed spark certain feelings with in him. His conversation with Jason had been helpful in that matter. The only question now was, what should he do and were those feelings mutual. :: :: Last thing in the world that he wanted to do was to offend Sherana. Her company had gone a long way towards his being able to clear his head and it had helped a lot with him getting him past the tempest of hidden angst that he had had to deal with when his wife eradicated their marriage. :: ::Sherana had worked for a while, but she had not been able to focus much on it, no matter how much she tried. It had been a long time that she had been able to see weapon collections and to train with an actual person. She was looking forward to do that. She would lie, if she said she didn't also look forward to see Tal. But she tried to push that thought away into a corner of her mind. This was only weapon training and she did not have much experience with any men, but Klingons. She would not even be able to interpret any signs, if they were even there... is she would even see them.:: :: But she had enjoyed the time she had spent with him so far. He had been thoughtful and calm... rather quiet. Just as she was, unless she was among Klingons. Sherana was still hesitant to just be herself, but she could do this already better with him, than with the others aboard. When she had met K'Nor after so many years she had noticed how much she missed to be among her own people. Maybe it was possible to see this very unusual Andorian as one of her own or at least an equal, as they had much in common.:: :: When she walked around the corner her eyes spotted him already waiting. Almost she wanted to smile but it vanished just as quick as it had come, she was not sure if her face was even able to still do that, she had not smiled in so many years. Of course she had a reason, but she never talked about it and the last time someone asked had been a while ago. The Orion pulled slightly at the black sweater she was wearing to her dark blue jeans, as her boots stepped further forward pulling her with them, making the ponytail bounce from side to side with her steps.:: Sherana: Are you waiting for long? Tel-ar: Not that long. Sherana: Good. :: nodding :: I heard about the quarantine. I hope it was nothing too bad. Tel-ar: Not bad, simply... time consuming. :: As he said it Tal stepped away from the wall. Turing slowly so as to walk beside her in the direction of the lift and eventually his quarters. :: Sherana: Good, then you do not suffer from after effects? Tel-ar: I was not infected. I had no injuries at all. That should make this more interesting. We can both give it our all. Sherana: :: Raising her brows she looked up to the tower of a man. :: I would not let you win if you were still injured, what makes you think that? If you fight while injured it is your fault for losing. Tel-ar: I tend to agree. I was merely reassuring you that I was fit and ready. :: Tal stopped walking and stood waiting for the lift doors to open. As he stood there his antenna twitched, her scent was provocative and this close to her it was hard to ignore. :: Sherana: ::She nodded to his words, walking next to the tall man, matching his steps.:: It is good to hear that. :: The doors opened and Tal stepped in, turned and faced her as the doors closed behind her. She had followed him and stopped dead the moment he turned around, raising her eyes she put her head into her neck. :: Tel-ar: I assure you Sherana. As with most things in life I take training very seriously. Sherana: :: The Orion eyed him up for a moment before she nodded slowly. :: That we have in common, Mister Tel-ar. It is a desirable feature. :: The lift doors opened and Tal stepped out, leading the way to his quarters. :: Tel-ar: I am not sure. I am who I am. :: As he said it they arrived at his quarters and the door slid open. Tal walked right in. :: ((Tel-ar's Personal Quarters)) :: Sherana followed him inside, staying at the door one moment to take it in. She had been curious how he lived. She slowly stepped further inside the room, as her dark eyes scanned her surroundings. :: :: The room was one large open space with only a couple pieces of furniture. A small table with 2 chairs against one wall and a very large bed against the other wall. The floor, walls and ceiling looked like they were made of some kind of light brown stone and the longest wall was covered in weapons. Blades of all kinds, shapes and sizes as well as other unusual things that defied description but obviously had to be weapons as well. :: :: Tal moved over by the bed and removed his tunic, then his boots before he turned to face her again. When he did he saw that she had moved over near his collection. She was slowly wandering down the wall looking more closely at all his toys. :: :: Tal moved soundlessly over to join her. Reaching out and taking the 2 Bat'leth off the wall he faced her, holding one in both hands. She turned to face him and a startled look flashed across her face. It seemed to take her a few moments before she realized he was offering her, her choice of the 2 blades he held. One an ordinary Bat'leth and the other a rare Honour Bat'leth. :: :: The Orion had been surprised at the change of attire of the Andorian leviathan. For a moment she allowed her eyes to roam over the blue skin, reminding herself that she was here for training. It was a very unfamiliar sensation, she usually was not that easily distracted from her task. Blinking she pushed away those strange thoughts and finally saw the blades in his hands. She recognized the markings on one of them right away, she had one herself though had not brought it. That would have been too conspicuous. Her eyes stayed on the blade and the Orion wondered how he had gotten into possession of it. :: :: Tal's antenna twitched again as a new more potent scent mingled with her natural floral aroma. It startled him a little but he steeled himself to ignore it and maintain a proper professional demeanour. After all she was here to practice, to be his sparring partner. :: Sherana: Where did you get this Bat'leth? Tel-ar: It was a gift from my teacher upon completing my training. :: She seemed ill at easy. Had he done something to offend her? Or was she offended by the thought that he owned a Honour Bat'leth? :: Sherana: Your teacher must have been impressed to give you this. Tel-ar: That is my understanding. However I only reached the first level of master with the blade before he was recalled from the Klingon Embassy back to the Empire. :: Tal noticed a slight change in Sherana's breathing. Most likely her preparing for their sparring match. :: Sherana: I will bring my own next time, for now this will have to do. :: She grabbed the other Bat'leth, while she was sure that the Honour Bat'leth was better balanced, it was not hers to take unless she would win a proper fight with him, since he earned it, it was his honour. :: Tel-ar: When-ever you are ready let me know. :: As he said it Tal stepped back, waiting calmly. :: :: While her hands balanced the blade, she stepped back with a last look at his chest and then turned to swing the Bat'leth, warming herself up a little, rotating her shoulders. She had been looking forward to this and knowing that he had learned from a Klingon master made this an even more enjoyable thought. :: :: When she turned to face him again she looked him over. He was much taller than her and probably stronger, but that did not mean that she had no chance. She was smaller, harder to grasp and with that also faster. She had fought against Klingons of many sizes, not always winning, but she also had not always lost. Most just underestimated her, not only because she did not look like a Klingon but also because she was small. :: Sherana: 'oH SoH 'eH? /Are you ready?/ :: She assumed that if he had fought and learned of a Klingon, he would also speak some basics of her language. Since K'Nor had been aboard and visited her, she had more desire to speak in her own tongue again, though she would change back to Standard if she would find Tal having problems to understand her. What good would an opponent do who didn't know what she spoke. :: Tel-ar: Ko'vha / Yes. :: Tal replied simply as he slowly moved the weapon into position. He reminded himself that he needed to take it easy on her at first. At least until she had learned that he was both stronger than any Klingon she might have sparred with in the past but faster as well. :: :: Tal also doubted that she understood just how much of an advantage his antenna gave to him. They could not only detect her faintest movement by sound but the way that the air moved as she changed stance or attacked would be conveyed to him in such a way that he could have easily fought her blindfolded and still have had an advantage over her. Added to that was the fact that he could smell her easily as well and you began to understand just why Andorians had such a reputation as warriors. :: :: Unfortunately it was an ability that he could not turn off. There were times, rare ones where he wished he could. This was one of them. In some ways it did not seem fair but that was the hand he had been dealt at birth. So he had no choice but to accept it. :: :: Tal watched closely as she moved into position. Her movements were fluid, graceful. Again he admired her athletic form, so feminine, curved and desirable yet dangerous. Suddenly she shifted position using her size, speed and co-ordination to make a sudden fake movement followed by a waist high slash. Normally Tal would simply block it but this time he simply dived over it. As he did he looked down into her brown eyes, her face not showing any expression, as usual. Not many people realized just how easily it was for him to move his 6'4'' frame, doing things like this that were completely unexpected in a man his size. :: :: But Sherana had seen him move. She was trained as Warrior, she could see behind the muscles, behind the uniform. Seeing a step in front of another was not just a simple walk for her. It was a message, a part of a puzzle to be able to see what kind of opponent the other was. That was, what the Academy had taught her during her whole childhood and youth. Many underestimated her, just because she was small, a woman, looking like an Orion. That was her advantage. Her little attack had been merely a test to see if her analysis had been correct. And he did not disappoint her.:: Sherana: ghobe' mer naDev. /No Surprise here Tel-ar: Mah'vo drin'cha kav min'dra tov'ul garn sur'teth kiv'ro turb'kovha / Simply because I am tall does not mean I am inflexible. Besides that was not a difficult manoeuvre. Sherana: 'oH ghaHta' ghobe' Daq taH qej /It was not meant to be. :: As he said it Tal completed the roll that brought him back to his feet, spinning to meet her next attack. This time he did block it. Her Bat'leth struck his rebounding as it met an immovable force. :: :: Her dark brown eyes were focussed on him, he could see the spirit and determination gleaming in them and for the first time he could see the twitching in the muscles of her face. Not to a smile, but to that of a wild animal wanting to slay its prey, baring her teeth beneath the dark green lips. He thought for a moment to hear a low growl before she pulled away and in a flowing motion tilted her hand with the Bat'leth, the pointy end of the blade into the direction of his stomach. She deked with her left arm as she only had to swing her right arm in a swing contrarious to her left. :: :: This time Tal moved to meet her attack. Stepping inside her next swing and blocking her forearm was his palm, he closed his hand gaining a grip on her forearm as he did so. However a sudden shifting of her body weight prevented him from completing the move. :: :: She felt his grip around her arm, thankful for the layer of thick fabric between them, that way it was not as distracting as it could be. Therefore she had a free mind and she could react quickly. She moved one foot, shifted her body and swung her free arm to hit him with the blunt hilt of the Bat'leth in the small of his back. She was stronger than women of her size and species usually were, thanks to her training, so that he would feel the blow. :: :: Tal felt the blow strike his lower back. A shot of pure agony lanced up his spine and for a second he lost feeling to his lower body. For a second a flash of fear swept through him. Last thing he wanted was to be a cripple again. He was not sure if he could handle that. :: :: Tal took a step forward, all most uncontrolled, fighting to try and force his legs to work. That's when she hit him again. This time he could not supress the need to cry out in pain. :: Tel-ar: AAAGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! :: Feeling that her arm was free again, maybe in the reflex or in surprise she did neither know nor care, she could twirl around fully, pressing her pointy elbow into the right spot on his spine to trigger the reflex of his knees to bend. To not lose time she raised her foot, setting her boot on his Sacrum, the lower end of the spine and kicked to bring him down onto the floor. :: :: Tal felt something give, a white flash swept his mind as red hot pokers of pain rocketed up his body. He was falling, his legs would not work. He tossed the Bat'leth aside as he tried to catch himself but failing due to the angle of his fall. His elbow slammed into his rock floor, numbing his entire arm but he did not care. :: :: Tal gritted his teeth, trying by force of will to make his legs work. The pain crashed against his will, smashing it, slamming it with wave after wave of pure agony. In the distance he thought he heard a voice mumbling gibberish. Nothing made any sense. He felt like he was sinking, being swallowed up whole by some mysterious other worldly force that try as he might defied his best efforts to fight his way free. :: :: Sherana watched him going down and saw that he threw his blade aside, possibly because he did not want to land in it and kill himself. She still had the red veil of the training over her eyes, staying in her stance. Sherana: Qam Dung 'ej Suv DoH! /Stand up and fight back! :: The Orion watched him and pulled her brows together. It took her a few moments until she noticed that something was wrong. He did not react, did not talk back. Instead he just laid there on the ground, making a noise here and there that made her think he was in pain. She hesitated but then lowered her blade and stepped to him. Was it a trick or was he really down? Was the Andorian physiology so different that she had possibly hit a more sensible spot than she had thought? :: :: Sherana lowered herself down onto her knees next to him, placing the Bat'leth next to her on the ground before she reached out, placing her hand on his bare shoulder.:: Sherana: Tal? 'oH SoH rIQmoH /Are you injured? :: She had never called him by his first name before, but right now she did not care, and the worry for a fellow warrior took over. :: :: Tal sensed someone kneel beside him as a hand touched his shoulder. More words that made no sense seemed to flow over him as he turned to see who it was. Green skin? They had green skin... Sherana... suddenly it all came back to him. They had been sparing, she had struck him in the back, sensed his weakness and taken advantage of it. :: :: She saw that he looked at her, at least some reaction. But he did not say a word and while she had fought many times, this had only been a training session and he was apparently injured even if he did not say it. She switched back to standard and kept her voice unusually soft for her. :: Sherana: Are you injured? Do you need a medic? Tel-ar: No medics... there is nothing they can do... Sherana: But you do look like you need help. Tel-ar: I will survive... I did the last time... :: With-out realizing it Tal's voice had changed, become more cold, hard and unemotional than normal. The memory of being confined to a hover chair, of being half a man crashed through the barriers he had erected in his mind to keep them locked away. :: Sherana: :: Pulling together her brows she looked at him. :: What ... last time? Tel-ar: It is nothing... do not worry about it. :: When he spoke there was a hint of something hidden under his voice by will alone. :: :: She got aware, that her hand was still on his shoulder and she pulled it away, thinking her cheeks suddenly got warmer. What kind of person was she to feel like that when he was lying there in pain? :: Sherana: Obviously I injured you. I do think I have a right to know. Tel-ar: I was injured a few years ago. Repeated blows to the lower back by a steel pipe. I was crippled for a while. It took more than a year before I was able to walk again. :: She kept her eyes on him as she listened, wrinkling her brows. Why didn't he tell her that before? Maybe he did not want her to hold back or show sympathy. This was just a trainings session after all, right? And he was a big and strong man. Who would have known that something like this could happen? :: Sherana: What can I do to help? :: She did not have much experience with that, neither with helping others really apart from standing at their side, or the like. But he was a fellow warrior who apparently did not want to see any doctors, so there had to be something she could do. :: Tel-ar: Look in the closet. You will find 2 black cases. Bring them here. :: In a fluid movement the Orion was on her feet and headed to the closet. Her eyes wandered about the things inside. Everything was in order, and she didn't really expect anything else. :: :: Tal waited while she went to get them. It seemed like forever before she returned. She found the cases quickly and grabbed them to head back to Tal. Flowing down onto her knees she placed them in front of her. :: Tel-ar: Open them. :: She raised the cases slightly, finding the mechanism to unveil their content, while Tal spoke. :: Tel-ar: You should see a medical tricorder. It is programed with my personal medical data. Do a scan. :: The Orion with Klingon upbringing could not say of herself that she had any idea what these things on the screen of the Tricorder meant in detail, that had not been part of her training, but she had to try at least. So she pressed the button that was thankfully labelled to start the scan and watched the lights and listened to the sounds of the medical instrument. :: Sherana: Uhm this here looks... I am not really sure. :: Tal had never heard her like this. She was clearly not sure and in a way out of known waters that it vibrated in her voice.:: But If I were one to guess, I would say that something is pinched... :: Because she thought he would know better what this thing would say she turned the tricorder and showed the display to him. :: :: Tal waited while she did the scan then listened as she spoke before turning the device and showed him what was on the screen. Not as bad as he had feared but still not good news. :: Tel-ar: In the second case you will find a slim black device with a slightly raised ridge down the center. It has to be aligned perfectly with my spine. When you press it against my back tiny lights will come on. When they are all green it is in the right place. :: The woman nodded to let him know that she understood. She opened the second case and saw the devices in it. They were of different sizes and shapes. But they all had those lights on them that right now did not show any life at all. Her hands took some of them and then found the one with the ridge he had talked about. She switched it on with a hit on a button and the lights came to life, turning red. :: :: Leaning over his back she placed it carefully on his spine watching the lights she let it slide along downwards. She had to bring it further down and hit the waistband of his pants. The lights were still red. :: :: Tal waited while she got it and placed it against his back. :: Sherana: Could you shove your pants down a bit? Tel-ar: If they are in the way remove them. You will have to attach 2 more smaller devices to the backs of my thighs and 2 more to my calves. They all work together to allow me to control my lower body. :: Her dark eyes wandered up to him with a raised brow. Remove them? It was not the first time she had seen a half dressed man but she had not assisted with undressing any before. Her gaze wandered back to his pants before she shrugged her shoulders and scooted downwards to be next to his legs. To not hurt his back more than it already did, she carefully bent over, took the sides of the waistband and pulled. When she got stuck she slipped one hand under him. :: Sherana: I have to raise you a little. Tel-ar: I understand. Proceed. :: Tal gritted his teeth and tried to help as he felt her lifting his midsection. It was all he could do to shift his arms and help a little. :: :: As soon as he was high enough the other hand pulled at the fabric and she lowered him again, pulling out her arm. Now she could remove the pants completely, baring his legs as she slipped the fabric off and placed it folded next to him. Sherana had to take a deep breath. It was one thing to have him fighting bare chested, but to see him only in his starfleet boxers was a bit much. She was only a breathing hot blooded woman after all. :: :: So she crawled back next to his spine sliding down the device a bit more until the lights finally jumped to green and to her surprise the device changed its color so it could be barely seen against his skin. A fascinating view. :: Sherana: There... :: she cleared her throat slightly. :: ... we go. :: She quickly grabbed the smaller devices, focussing on the task, hoping he did not notice any of her treacherous signs of her inexplicable attraction. She placed the small devices and moved them ever so slightly until the lights turned green as well. Sherana realized that she had to align them properly top to bottom. And with every single one of them she could see the change of color to match his skin as well. :: Sherana: They are all affixed. Anything else I can do? :: She crawled closer to his top again, bending slightly forward to look at his face, slightly covered by the white hair. She noticed his antennae, that seemed to follow her and she remembered that they were part of his senses. Again she hoped that he had not noticed anything, before turning her eyes down to his. :: :: Tal could feel the pain start to subside. One of the advantages of the larger device attached to the small of his back. As a result he noticed almost instantly when Sherana moved close beside him. His antenna tracked her movement and her scent. Now it danced along his senses containing with in it an almost intoxicating hint of sinful pleasures. :: :: Tal fought the urge to respond even as he sensed the warmth radiating off her body. It had been a while since he had been this close to a woman. One that he felt attracted to. :: :: When she spoke the musical tones of her voice caused a slight tremor to vibrate through his antenna. It did not help that he could feel her warm breath on his cheek. :: Tel-ar: I should be OK in a moment. :: Tal could hear the slight huskiness in his own voice as he spoke. Obviously he was being affected by her presence even more than he had expected. :: Sherana: :: nodding slightly she looked him over. :: Good.. do you need help getting up? :: Tal knew that he should get up. The devices were working properly so he did not need her assistance but if he got up he was not sure how she would react. He could feel his body respond to her presence. :: Tel-ar: I think I can manage. :: As he said it Tal started to get up slowly. :: :: Sherana leaned back to not be in the way, but kept herself ready in case he needed help, even if he thought it would be alright. As he moved slightly she kept him closely in her gaze as she slowly removed herself from the floor as well. :: Sherana: How long will it take until you are fully recovered? Tel-ar: Hopefully I will be back to normal with in a few days. :: As he said it Tal stood up in one quick move from having one hand and his knees on the floor to fully upright. Under normal conditions it would have been an easy move for him. One that he could have done with casual grace. :: :: Not today. No today he stumbled slightly. Falling towards her and she reacted with the speed he expected from a trained warrior. :: :: As soon as she saw him stumbling she stepped forward and raised her hands, placing one of them on his chest and hugging the rest of her body against his side, for the highest leverage, so he would not bury her beneath his body, back on the floor. Her other hand rested on his back and she was not sure why it was a surprise that his skin was so warm; maybe because of the blue colour. It was confusing, why did her mind drift like this?:: Sherana: ::in a soft, slightly throaty voice:: Careful. :: The feel of her soft yet firm hand against his bare skin was electric. Add to that the sudden feeling of her pressed against his side and Tal had a sudden and immediate physical reaction that he needed to conceal from her. :: Tel-ar: Thank you. :: He replied as he stood up straight fighting to try and conceal any emotion that might show in his voice and fearing that he was failing. :: :: Her dark eyes wandered up to him. She was not sure if she was imagining the change in his voice or not. With a questioning gaze she tried to find the answer in his face, in his eyes. :: Sherana: Of course. :: That was so not like her, to behave like this. Holding him still her fingers slightly moved over his skin before she could wonder, what the heck she was doing there. Her green face darkened gradually, her equivalent of blushing, before she checked if he was standing on his own now, and stepped slightly back, her hands brushing over his back and chest as she hesitated to remove them fully. :: :: The feeling of her fingers slowly caressing his skin was pure sensual pleasure. Tal had to close his eyes for a moment as he lost himself in the enjoyment of the moment. It was with difficulty that he managed to slowly clear his mind but once he had he found that he had gently put his arm around her as if to prevent her moving away. :: :: He knew he should do something. She was standing there looking up at him as if she was expecting him to do or say something. What he wanted to do was to pull her into his arms and kiss her but what he did instead was to speak. :: Tel-ar: Sherana I... thank you.... :: He should have said something... Why was it so hard for him to talk about his feelings. :: :: Personal space, she had to remember that weird invention of some species. Not that she searched closeness, even Tao's hug had been weird to her. But she was also not someone who would step away if she got close to someone for certain reasons, she was a warrior who went right into the space of people to be victorious over them. But this time... she did not know why she took so long to step away. They were not fighting anymore, and he could stand alone, so she had no reason, right? :: Sherana: Ex... cuse me. :: her voice was raspy again as she finally took a step back and her eyes avoided to look up at him. :: :: Tal let go of her as she stepped back. It was hard for him to do. He did not want to let go and for a second his arm refused to release her but in the end he did. Instantly he missed the feeling of her being so close. :: :: For a moment he just stood there, looking down at her. She was looking away and for some reason he wanted to look at her, to look into her eyes. He started to lift his hand, paused while his emotions fought with the logical side of his mind and in the end his instincts took over. :: :: Tal lifted his hand to her cheek, turning her head gently so that he could look her in the eyes. As soon as he did he felt a sudden rush, a almost dizzy sensation. What was happening, why was he having such a reaction to her. He knew it could not be the legendary Orion pheromones. He would have sensed them if that was what it was. He seemed to be lost and it was a new feeling for him. :: Tel-ar: Sherana... :: He knew there was something wrong with his voice, but he did not care. :: I... you... :: As she felt the touch of the warm hand on her face her eyes jumped up to meet his. What was he doing? And why didn't she slap his hand away? Something happened with her, something that she had not experienced before. This something turned her insides upside down, created a tumult in her stomach. Not the kind she had when she had seen a dead man for the first time as a child, though she got used to. No, it was that kind she only had heard about in stories her mother had told her. That wasn't possible. Was it? :: :: Tal turned so that his body was now facing her, still lost in those dark brown eyes. His hand was now gently caressing her cheek. :: Sherana: :: Her lips opened slightly, she wanted to say something, but her mind did not find the words. She should possibly turn and leave, but she did not want to. :: Yes? :: She whispered, her voice betraying her. :: You... wanted to say? Tel-ar: I do not know.... I want... need... :: Tal felt frustrated with his inability to make any sense but then nothing about this situation made any sense. Not unless Jason was right and if he was then it all made sense. :: :: She did not think much, though she felt like thinking about what she was doing, but her hand did not agree. It simply raised to cover his mouth with its fingertips, hindering him to speak more. The Orion was surprised of her own gesture, her gaze dropping to the fingers moving like those of a stranger. :: :: At the touch of her fingers covering his mouth Tal gave up trying to express how he was feeling. He simple stood, calmly waiting to see what would happen next. The whole time his blood was pulsing through his veins like a runaway express train. :: :: Again her mouth opened. But no words left. What in Kahless name was going on? They were warriors. And now they stood here as if they were teenagers not knowing what to do with the opposite gender. Well it was not that far off, but it was a pretty stupid behaviour for people like they were. They fought, crossed blades, shed blood, they took what they wanted. Why should that change now? Maybe... because they did not know what they wanted? :: :: Sherana raised her eyes again and something in her kicked her, talked her into that she knew what that was. It flashed up in her eyes, only a moment before a low growl left her throat as if someone had activated it per remote control, not by herself. Her dark green fingers slipped with a brush from his lips, and with a surprising certainty wandered over his neck into his hair to pull him closer. Not close enough to actually touch him, just a sign, a message for the Andorian. :: :: Tal enjoyed the feel of her hand as she slowly pulled him a little closer but when she stopped pulling him it never occurred to him to stop. In fact his arms also moved, reaching out to encircle her. :: :: He pulled her close as his lips made contact with hers. It was a gentle kiss. As soft as a breeze dancing across a flower petal. Yet for all that it was electric for he could feel a surge of energy pounding through his entire body. :: :: Before he knew it he had pulled her closer, pressing her to him. This time when he kissed her it was with an intensity and desire that exploded from his inner core. Like a herd of wild mustangs suddenly making that mad dash to freedom. :: :: The gentleness that they had in this still new experience, the careful feeling their way was washed away just a moment later, when their instincts took over. Sherana shifted, wrapping her arms around his upper body as one of her hands remained in his neck as if she was afraid that he could walk away, the other brushed over his back, though making sure she did not kick off the device on his spine. :: :: Tal could feel her hands on his naked back. One second they were as gentle as could be and the next they were clutching him, pulling him closer and the whole time they were kissing. :: :: She had brought her hands to his shoulder blades, pressing her whole body against his, pulling him close as if she tried to crawl into him. The emotional storm rioting inside, took away her breath, but she did not pull away, as if he was the one refreshing her breath that seemed to dwindle. :: :: Tal ran his hands over her back. In the process one hand was suddenly pressed against her bare skin under her black sweater. Her skin was as soft as silk, warm to the touch. :: :: She gasped in surprise at his touch, not expecting that he would cross this frontier exploring the new area, as dug her nails into his shoulders, though due to her job they were not very long they still could leave marks on his blue skin. As her dark eyes jumped open she stared at the Andorian, tearing her lips from his, breathless and confused. :: :: Suddenly she pulled back, her eyes open staring up at him. He could feel slight tremors running through her body and sense her confusion. He felt it as well. He had never expected this to happen, for them to have lost control so easily. :: :: The Orion tried to grasp any thought, though her mind twirled with so many impressions and questions that she could not single out a single one of them. As much as she tried, she could not remember anything what she had heard about such situations before. :: Sherana: ::breathless:: I ... should maybe... leave.. before it is... too late. :: The last thing Tal wanted was for her to leave, he did not want to let go. It felt so right holding her in his arms and yet he did not want to rush her, to ruin what might be. He lifted one hand to the back of her head, tangling his fingers in her hair as he replied. :: Tel-ar: Too late.... I understand... :: Sherana wanted to go. Logic told him he should let her while instinct said to heck with that. He knew he should let her go. It seemed to be what she wanted and yet... he felt so confused... :: :: The female warrior was not sure if she really wanted to leave him, but she had the feeling it would be better. This was too fast, even for someone who just grabbed what they wanted. Maybe her inexperience whispered into the back of her mind when she stepped back slightly. :: :: She seemed about to step back even farther from him, with-out even thinking Tal stepped forward, crushed her to him and kissed her neck. If she had to go he was going to leave her with something to think about because he doubted that he was going to get any sleep this night. Not with all the sensory data and sinful thoughts dancing in his head. :: :: Feeling overwhelmed by the sudden 'attack' she gasped in surprise of the force behind his action, and her obvious physical reaction to it. The shiver on her spine, the goose bumps on her skin... the rapid heartbeat. She felt as if a whirlwind took her with it, so she clutched to his chest for security. :: :: Tal forced himself to stop for a second. He did not want to hurt her, to rush her. He knew he was holding her very close, maybe to tightly so he relaxed the grip while letting his hands wander gently. One hand under the sweater on her back and the other on top of the sweater tangled in her hair. He lifted his lips from her neck and pulled back far enough that he could look her in the eyes. :: :: Breathless she returned his gaze, holding his as if she tried to find all the answers in them to the questions twirling in her mind. Why were they doing this? How did this happen all of a sudden? Was it really from one moment to the next or did she just miss the signs in the few occasions they had been spending time together. Should she have seen it when he asked her to accompany him to the officer's party on the station? Or was this all new? :: :: Suddenly Tal forced himself to let her go and he stepped back. Not far mind you, just barely out of reach as he took a couple deep breaths trying to clear his mind. It must have worked because while he still felt the desire and want, his logical mind was able to nudge him towards sanity. :: Tel-ar: Sherana... I understand... this is unexpected... sudden... if you want to leave... I won't stop you... :: As he said it he was kicking himself mentally. He did not want her to leave. He wanted her to stay but his logical mind knew that he could not, must not rush her. If she was going to stay it had to be because she wanted to, not because he seduced her... :: Sherana: :: Blinking her gaze wandered between his eyes. :: Do you want me to leave? Tel-ar: No I don't want you to go... :: As he replied he could hear the emotion in his voice. Strong, vibrant and husky with desire. :: but it has to be your choice... :: It was all he could do not to move closer and sweep her up into his arms. He wanted to feel her skin against his. To feel the warmth of her body next to him. His antenna writhed and swayed, consumed by the scent of her. :: :: She still looked at him, as he spoke, though that she was not able to think clear, was maybe just the sign that she needed. She knew she was passionate, but she had no idea how to handle this. This kind of passion was new and she had to think about it first. How atypical for her kind to think about something first when they could just follow their guts. But even the fiercest warrior would train first before he went into battle. Not that she would train this, but she needed to think. :: :: Sherana nodded slightly and finally stepped back enough to feel his hand slide off her skin. The thoughtful expression on her face was new to him and to her. Slowly the woman turned around and headed to the door, though just a step out of sensor reach she turned around and looked at Tal. :: :: Tal watched her walk away. He clenched his fists and fought back the urge to go after her. It was her choice to make. He would just have to live with it. :: :: She did not want him to think that she did not want to stay. Oh boy did she. But it was the smartest thing to do, even though she was not known to always do the smartest thing. She sighed before taking a few firm steps back to him and with a fast motion she grabbed his face and pulled him down into a toe curling kiss, until they both had no air to breathe left. :: :: When she turned and walked back to him he almost let himself smile. Then she reached up and pulled his face down for a kiss. He let himself go, enjoying the kiss. His antenna leaned forward until they could touch her. Then she broke off the kiss and just stared into his eyes for a moment. He knew before she did it that she was going to leave. He forced himself not to react before she had left and the doors closed behind her. :: :: Just then she took another deep look into his eyes, her face still without any hint of her emotion, only her eyes gleamed in the dim light. She let go of him and finally left his quarters. Just to halt not even a meter away, dropping against the wall to catch her breath, brushing her hair - that had partly left the ponytail it had been in before - out of her face, wondering what in Kahless name this man had done with her to throw her off her balance so much, she could not find it even with warp speed. :: :: For a long minute Tal simply stared at the door. He clenched his fists and took deep breaths while he attempted to gain control of his emotions. They swirled and danced inside of him free of the iron chains that he normally kept locked in place. :: :: It was no good. Even with Elina he had never allowed himself to lose control like this. All of his senses were alive with sensations that reminded him of Sherana. Her smell, the softness of her skin, the feel of her breath on his, the way she felt in his arms and the kisses. His lips could still taste her. :: :: He had to get it under control. Normally meditation or practising martial arts would help him to clear his mind and allow him to suppress his emotions. Unfortunately he knew it would not work this time. :: :: Without another thought Tal turned away from the door and moved over to the single wall panel that was not covered by synthetic stone. This one was covered in a thick padding the same color as the stone. He immediately started to hit it as hard as he could. Putting his entire body into the blows so that he felt it right down to his toes. :: :: He quickly lost all sense of time as he relaxed his mind and let it drift. Blow by blow, punch, kick, jab and then all over again. Slowly, bit by bit he could feel the hurricane of emotions and desire being consumed by the fire of his activity. :: :: Still he could not totally eliminate the image of her, of Sherana. It drove him on, fuelled his drive so that his blows retained their earlier force or in some cases smashed into the padding even harder than before. :: ((Jump ahead 5 hours and 52 minutes)) :: Suddenly the wall panel shattered followed by sparks and the loss of power in his quarters. Even then he still kept hitting it until a jolt of power shot up his arm and shorted out his back brace. He immediately fell, collapsing like a puppet with its strings cut. :: PNPC Sherana Civilian Botanist USS Apollo simmed by Lieutenant Jalana Laxyn Chief Medical Officer USS Apollo And Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Strategic Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669 Director of the SDC
  15. Accidentally forgot the P in the PNPC in the subject, sorry about that. If anyone could fix that, that would be aces
  16. ((Corridor, USS Apollo)) ::Ensign Vincent Pierce had just recently returned to the ship from rescuing a shuttle that was abandoned on the surface of the planet of which the Apollo remained in orbit. He had had a rather busy day, the only time he had to relax was right after he reported for duty and he hadn't realized how tired he was until now.:: ::Once he finally had a moment to think, he realized what the date was, March 30th. A date that will forever remain in his memory and not for positive reasons. It was on this date that Rygel VII, the colony on which he grew up, was attacked by Orion slavers who kidnapped all the colonists who would fetch them a nice price and murdered the rest. His mother was one of the rest.:: ::Pierce prepared himself for the inevitable onslaught of unpleasant, angry thoughts that would proliferate inside his mind for the next few hours as he reminisced about his family and friends that were now lost to him:: ::He needed a drink.:: ::As Pierce walked aimlessly down the corridor until he noticed a pair of doors with large windows on them, labelled "Complex 39". He heard the sound of chatter and laughter, and assumed that this was some sort of mess hall.:: ((Complex 39, USS Apollo)) ::Pierce walked into the room and saw a large amount of people. Most gathered around tables which were arranged along the long windows which overlooked the planet the Apollo currently orbited. On the other end of the room was a long bar area with stools, a number of which were empty. Since Pierce didn't know many people on the ship yet, he opted to sit on one of the stools at the bar.:: ::When he sat down the barkeep asked him what he would like, Pierce just asked for a plain, dry scotch. It was a plain, dry scotch kind of evening. He drank his scotch with the firm intention of being alone for the entire time. Then someone walked in, the kind of person he did not expect to see on a Starfleet ship, let alone the ship he was serving on: an Orion.:: :: Sherana had another long day behind her. Not only to do her work in the Arboretum, but also had she seen the most unusual things like an officer stuck in a maintenance shaft. She still was not sure who that had been, but he certainly had not been the usual officer aboard a Starfleet ship. She thought he could have easily served upon a Klingon ship, nobody there had a sunshine and rainbow attitude.:: :: Now she had returned to the Complex, another box of fruits and vegetables in her hand, since most of the delivery she had brought earlier became the victim of Tao's attempt to make that kind of Hasperat that the Bajoran Engineer would enjoy. It had taken quite a few tries and resources. What a luck for the host, that Sherana always planted too much and still had a few reserves.:: :: The Orion wore her usual attire, the bulky wide clothing to hide any signs of femininity, barricading any hint of curve behind the loose working pants with a lot of pants for tools and the like on the sides and a woolen sweater that must had been at least three numbers too big. The working boots just rounded the whole look, with its counterpart on her had, a hat to cover her hair, apart from the ponytail in the back. :: :: Heading into the Complex she noticed that it was not empty. that meant to just hurry in, deliver the box and leave again, instead of any talk with Tao. Though that woman would possibly try to hug her again and Sherana would not mind to escape that. What an awkward gesture when it was not combined with some hitting on the shoulder for a congratulatory moment. She walked to the bar and shoved the box with a flowing motion onto the counter.:: Sherana: Delivery for the kitchen! :: She simply announced her purpose, the barkeep acknowledged her presence and brought the box to its intended destination, while Sherana turned to leave again, just to see that to eyes were upon her. A stranger, though on a ship of that size not really a surprise. She could not interpret the look he gave her, almost as if he was willing to slit her throat right here. Of course that was not possible. He did not know her and from the few things she had heard about the people who she had to thank for her green skin, Orion females were a pleasant company. Not that Sherana would understand any of that. But this look was unnerving, so very unexpected. :: Sherana: Do I have soil in my face? ::Maybe that was the reason he looked at her and the rest was pure imagination. .oO That must be it Oo. ::Pierce's snarl turned into a look of contempt. When Sherana asked him a question, he was unsure how to respond. He turned his head and faced forward, trying his best to ignore her. After taking a gulp from his glass of scotch, he finally spoke with forceful resentment.:: V Pierce: No :: She pulled her brow up slightly, meeting the hem of her hat. The tone of his voice made her wonder if her dismissive reaction to her thoughts was a little too hasty. She turned to him fully, her dark eyes looking into his without hesitation.:: Sherana: Then.. have we met and I forgot? ::Pierce took another gulp of Scotch and set his glass, still half-full, on the table. The anger inside of him was growing, boiling like a pot of water on a stove. As he got more heated, the anger boiled evermore until it reached a critical point. Vincent decided that it would be prudent to extricate himself from the situation before his anger reached that point.:: ::Pierce got up and almost made it to the doorway. Almost.:: :: Sherana looked after him, confused about that reaction. She could not remember ever meeting that man, though his reaction to her was, as if she had and in that meeting offended him somehow. Did she once fight against him? She pulled her brows together trying to remember. Her dark gaze wandered as she thought about it and saw that his glass had a considerable amount of fluids in it.:: :: She never was one for wasting a good drink and while she could just have taken it for herself, according to Tao's attempts in bringing any social customs closer to Sherana that was considered rude. Hesitating for just a moment she had grabbed the glass and stepped after the man.:: Sherana: You forgot your drink. It would be a shame to waste it. ::Pierce turned around to face Sherana. All his efforts to contain his anger seemed to go to waste. In a fit of anger, he slapped the drink out of her hand and went crashing down on the floor, shattering into numerous pieces.:: :: The gaze of the Orion woman followed the movement of the glass, seeing the shards of the shattered beverage on the rug. She was quite sure that Tao would not be happy about it, just after that she wondered why the man had done that. She raised her eyes to look at him, her face not showing any expression, in contrast to the dark brown orbs that shone in confusion.:: :: Suddenly, the complex went quiet and in a strong voice, fueled by fiery emotion, Pierce bellowed.:: V Pierce: I don't care about the drink and I don't want to be be your friend. Just stay away from me, Orion! ::With that, Pierce stormed out of The Complex, searching for somewhere to vent his anger.:: :: The woman stood there, her hand was still extended from the offering, her eyes on the closing doors of the complex. .oO What in Kahless name did just happen? Oo. If she had thought that his action of obviously denying the offer with destroying the glass and wasting the Scotch was confusing her, this topped it by a lot.:: .: Since she had left Quo'nos she had been worried about people judging her for being a warrior, for her Klingon upbringing, because the wars in the past and the tension at present. She had hidden it, did not talk about it much so she would not be judged and accused of being a murderer or a spy.:: :: And now she stood here and she was being judged, quite obviously, because he was angry at her, without ever meeting her. But not for being Klingon, the culture, way of life and customs she grew up with that were in her heart and soul. No, she was judged for something she did not know anything about. For something she did not feel even being part of her, the color of her skin she had wanted to shed so often while she'd been at home. For something she did not know what it meant. For being Orion. And she had no idea how to deal with it.:: :: Sherana blinked a few times finding back to herself before she headed back to the bar and got something to take care of that mess. After all, Tao would hate seeing someone step into glass shards.::
  17. Thank you very much. I'm happy you enjoyed
  18. I am really excited. Thank you so much All the stories have been a great read, thanks for sharing them with us and congratulations to you as well Brayden
  19. I am not quite sure how to improve it. I just have been looking through the rules and they are pretty simple itself. One thing though I noticed when looking through the dates of the submissions, that from November to January seems to be a gap? Or is that all submissions from November go to January where round 1 states Submissions: through 01-05 ? I get a little confused by that since December itself does not seem to have any submission period with the finals. Could someone clarify that?
  20. Oh wow, makes me want to buy the whole Etsy store of that guy
  21. White glittering diamonds. That was the first thought slipping through the young boy's mind when he stepped outside the new house, his father had bought on this strange planet called Earth. Last year at this time, actually not even two months ago, they had been on their home world Qo'noS, but after his mother died, his father wanted to honour her life with returning to her home world, so the boy would learn from her roots from those who knew more about it than himself. G'Tok stood now in front of the door, looking up into the sky where soft bright flakes slowly floated down to join their brothers already spread all over the landscape like a white blanket. He had never seen anything like this before, but if his teacher was right, this was snow. He did not know Mister Finnegan that long, but he was human and therefore surely would know this stuff. G'Tok held his little hand out and watched how the flakes landed on his slightly tanned skin, a mix of his Klingon father and his human mother. The flakes were really cold and melted right away, so after just a few moments he held a small puddle of water in his palm. A curious thing, he thought to himself, this snow must be weak, otherwise it would not allow the heat of his hand to melt it. The 6 year old boy dropped his hand, the drops trickling down his fingers until the last one met the glittering snow beneath. Crunching sounds accompanied his steps, the cool air filling his lungs as he left the front yard. Behind the hill he could see the high buildings of the city, swarmed by shuttles like a wasp nest. It would just be a few minutes to be in a complete different world. But something pulled him back into this one, something hit his shoulder and he turned around with a deep growl, just to see a girl from his class giggle, a ball of white something in front of his feet. He crouched and raised it. "What is that?" "A snowball dummy, never seen one?" She laughed and hunkered down to make a new one, while he wondered how that weak fluffy stuff could make something that hard. His mind putting one and one together and the next moment he threw his arm back and catapulted the snowball into the girl, who fell back on her behind and looked at him with big eyes. "Whoa!" she exclaimed. And just a moment later, they both threw snowballs at each other, the air filled with laughter. G'Tok thought that this was all going quite well for him and he would make his father proud of fighting with her like that, but then she got up from the snowy street and brushed the remains of their battle from her jacket. "I've got to go. Santa will come soon to bring presents and I shouldn't miss it." Raising her hand for a wave she turned and ran along the street to her home, just a few houses away. Santa. That was a name G'Tok had heard before, from his teacher. But nobody had explained who that mysterious person was. Seeing the girl vanish in her house, he realized that he had no idea what her name was, but who could remember all those new things at once? Looking over the shoulder to his own house, he pushed his hands into the pockets of his jacket and stumped back to it. Carrying the snow inside he stormed though the house into the back, where his father was cutting some wood, for a new figurine he wanted to create. His father liked to make little wooden statues of Klingon Heroes and tell stories about them to G'Tok. That taught him about his roots, well at least the one side. "Dad! Dad!" he shouted out, the thick boots stomped over the wooden planks and slithered the last few meters, leaving wet marks before stopping in front of the tall hunk of Klingon, working on the wood turning lathe with a surprising gentleness. "Who is Santa?" The sound of the rotating wood meeting the cutting tool stopped and Molagh turned his head to the boy. "Where did you hear that name?" "A girl of my class, she said that he comes and brings presents and that she can't miss it!" G'Tok felt the big hand petting his small head. "That's right boy. There will be dire consequences if she does." The deep voice vibrated in the boy's chest and his eyes grew full of curiosity. "Why?" he barely whispered and looked up to his father, as if he held the key to all the secrets of the world in his hands. "Come, let us sit and I will tell you the story of the mightiest warrior of them all." he grumbled in his usual voice, stomping through the door into the living room. G'Tok followed right away, peeling out of his thick coat. "But you said Kahless was the mightiest!" "Oh yes he is, but when the winter comes, around this day the 24th of December, even Kahless fears the judgement of Santa Claus." Sinking down into the big leather armchair in front of the fireplace he leaned back, watching his son dropping onto the ground in front of him, crossing his legs and eyeing him with such an innocence and inquisitiveness in his look that he almost could not hide his smile. "Many many eons ago a man wandered this planet, he was happy and content, and celebrated every day as if it were his last. His wife and children loved him and he believed to be the most blessed person alive. Then one long winter's night the enemy fell into his home town." The boy gasped and Molagh waved his arms as if fighting with his blade. "They slaughtered and murdered everyone living they could find, among them Santa's whole family. The only reason Santa was spared was that he had been in a different city to buy presents for his children. When he came back, the smell of death and blood filled his lungs, he found his wife on the living room floor just like this one, right where you are sitting now, covered in her own blood and those of her children." Gasping G'Tok looked around the ground as if he could see her. "His children were not to be found, and in his rage he took the big sword laying on the ground, left by the enemy to mock him and swore to himself to find his kids. He headed out, searching land in and out for the enemies who stole his life. When he found a camp he sought his revenge and killed everyone of them with their own blade. His coat of fur soaked by their blood warmed him in the cold winter night. When every single one of the murderous enemies were dead he still could not find his child and began to search the whole Earth for them. Whenever he found an enemy camp he climbed onto the roof of the assembly hall and slid in through the chimney for the element of surprise. But because he was a good and hard working man, he did not just take all their lives, because it could be that those men and women had sworn off the bad deeds. So he began to ask them first if they had been good or bad this year.." G'Tok leaned forward, his mouth and eyes wide open, and slightly bounced up and down. "What happened if they were good?" "Then he would reward it with a little gift. Nothing too big, just a coin to show his appreciation of their good ways. But if they were bad, they felt his blade. But after many years he had searched the whole planet, and still could not find his children, so he asked a witch to help him fabricate a vessel that could bring him to other worlds and she bewitched a sleigh, that could not only fly him anywhere he wanted but also visit all those places in one single night." G'Tok's eyes grew and grew, every now and then he looked to the fireplace, wondering if that warrior would visit them as well and what exactly would count as bad to be punished by him. "Did he find his children yet?" he asked with a quiet voice, before looking back up to his father. Molagh shook his head, his long wavy hair swaying from side to side. Leaning forward his face came close to his son's, so he could lower his voice. "No, my boy. He still looks for them. He once reached the end of the galaxy and for each planet he searched he put a bell on his magical sleigh. When he flies through the sky, the bell jingle can be heard through the night, and all over the galaxy this sound shakes the bones of the strongest and bravest warriors, of the most ruthless and heartless men, knowing that the warrior will come, whose blade took endless lives and whose clothes are soaked with the blood of the naughty." The last words were merely a whisper and G'Tok swallowed hard. "Can... one fight him?" he asked and Molagh grinned, proud that his little son would ask such a question. "You can try, but you have not been a bad boy this year, have you?" "I think so, but I don't know what he thinks is naughty. Maybe throwing those snowballs at the girl hasn't been nice." Molagh couldn't help but laugh and slapped his thigh before raising from his chair. He walked up to the wall at the side, decorated by his Bat'leth. In front of it was a smaller case, uncovered so everyone could have access, as it was normal in the house of a warrior. And in that case was a Mek'leth he pulled out of the holding. Turning to his son he stretched out his arm. "Take this. If he comes and you see him raising his blade, you will be able to stab it into his big belly." G'Tok jumped to his feet and hurried to his father, taking the blade out of his hand. He looked at it with big eyes and nodded with a proud face up to Molagh. "I will make you proud father!" And the older man did not have any doubt of that. Later this night, G'Tok put the Mek'leth under the pillow of his bed and looked out of the window. It was still snowing and slowly the lights of the houses around went off, leaving the white landscape in a peaceful glow, though he knew that this peace was only an illusion. Laying down he knew, that this night he would come, the most feared warrior of them all and he had to convince him that he'd been good. Just when his eyes closed and he drifted into sleep, the jingle of the sleigh's bells started to fill the winter night...
  22. I am considering to participate in the writing challenge for the first time and would like to make sure that I understand it correct. The story can be either about one of my characters or an imaginary new character, right?
  23. Excited for finishing my first book, but it takes a lot of time from Simming. I'll sim for a bit before going to write the second book lol

  24. Trying to find a way to wake up the Captain, though welcoming date night with Viktor to relax a bit before my head explodes of too much work.

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