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Ben Livingston

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Ben Livingston last won the day on December 16 2014

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About Ben Livingston

  • Rank
    Sci-Fi Groupie

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  • Current Vessel
    USS Columbia
  • Current Post
    Commanding Officer

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  • Location
    Connecticut, USA
  • Gender
    Male

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  1. Some really great work from everyone on these images! It's always a surprise to see the skills of our Image Collective, and you've left me looking forward to seeing some more creativity!
  2. ((USS Columbia - Deck 8 - Carson's Quarters)) ::It had all come down to this; the evidence had all fallen into place and with equal parts luck and skill, Tyler was moments away from a slam-dunk arrest. He could almost feel the pats on the back he'd receive for this one, he could imagine the the pretty little notation in his Starfleet record. What he didn't know was that the universe seemed to have other plans.:: Kelly: Starfleet Security! ::He knocked strongly door 3 times:: Come out now or we will force entry. ::A voice came through the door, sounding mildly perturbed..:: Gerard: What is the meaning of this? ::Tyler recognized the voice of Carson's aide, though he didn't have any cause to arrest him, he had gotten a very strong impression that Gerard had been a party to Carson's misdeeds. Both of the men were pompous, arrogant thugs that thought they were too smart to get caught. Tyler's resentment for them was all-encompassing. Even now with the impending arrest of his employer, Gerard sounded almost bored.:: ::Refusing to acknowledge the smug, glorified man-servant, Tyler ignored him:: Kelly: Robert Carson, come out with your hands where we can see them. ::He heard foot steps in the distance, his men weren't far now.:: ::Tyler was about to give a final warning, when Carson emerged. The man's face was far too calm for the circumstances, but Tyler figured he'd continue his act, and ignored it.:: Kelly: You're under arrest for the murder of Aiden Richardson and Karen Stone. Do you understand that anything you say after this point can be used against you in any trial that may result from this arrest? ::Tyler made every attempt to speak in a calm, matter of fact tone, but the contemptuous look on Carson's face nearly sent him over the edge. Carson shoved a PADD in Tyler's direction, but Tyler just let it fall to the deck as he pulled his wrist restraints of his belt and began to secure the murderer's wrists. All at once his four crewman arrived on the scene and Carson called out in protest, his pompous tone caused Tyler's blood to boil, pushing him ever closer to the edge.:: Carson: Before you dig a bigger hole than the one you are already in Lieutenant you better check those credentials. ::Tyler nodded his head towards Carson, motioning for his crewman to secure him as he retrieved the dropped PADD. Tyler was livid. This man had come onto his ship, murdered two people and now he thought he could present some "credentials" and make it all go away. Tyler replied, making no attempt to soften his tone. He was no eternally placid Vulcan and in this moment, he was no longer the neutral professional he always tried to be, he was human with flaws and weaknesses and he HATED Robert Carson.:: Kelly: oO Before I dig a bigger hole? Who does this clown think he is dealing with?Oo Kelly: I am entirely uninterested in your [...] credentials Mister Carson. ::If words could kill, Carson would be a dead man.:: You know what you have done and there is nothing here that means anything imp-... ::Glancing down at the PADD as he spit his venom, he realized that it did appear to be an official document. Even as the security officers had him cuffed and restrained, Carson continued smiling, obviously under the impression that he had it all figured out. Tyler's hands clinched so tightly around the PADD that he felt the boronite casing flex as he read it's contents. Tyler's mind was racing, considering options, following all the different choices he could make to all of their possible conclusions.:: Carson: It means that no matter what proof you might think you have it is worthless. ::He smiled at Tyler.:: I have diplomatic immunity Lieutenant. I am Ambassador at Large for the Son’a Solidarity. Now I suggest you leave before you make a worse figure of yourself. ::He tilted his head slightly.:: We will arrange for your apologies later. ::In his minds eye, Tyler imagined his hands around Carson's neck, giving it a good squeeze. Shaking clear of the deranged fantasy, he made his decision acted without hesitation.:: ::In one smooth motion, Tyler threw PADD hard into the deck with all of his strength, shattering the screen and rendering the device unusable.:: Kelly: Oh no! How clumsy of me! ::He offered Carson a smile that nearly matched his own smugness.::These credentials will have to be verified through proper channels now! There's no telling how long that might ta- ::He was interrupted again, by Gerard this time. Tyler Turned slightly to face the man, with no shortage of disdain for him either.:: Gerard: Perhaps it is best we call on Commander Livingston Sir. ::Turning towards Tyler.:: I am sure the ship has a diplomatic officer that can testify for Mister Carson’s credentials. Will you call them or shall I? ::Tyler's eyes narrowed slightly, he had enough. If they wanted to play rough, he could play right back. Maybe he was making a mistake, but he had a hard time coming up with a scenario where securing a murderer was the wrong thing to do.:: Kelly: oO Even if we have to turn him loose when we get to the colony, there won't be a killer loose on my ship... Oo Kelly: You are quite right Mister Gerard, but I'm afraid all of the Senior staff were called into a very important meeting that starts in minutes. ::He faked an apologetic tone:: However, I'll be sure to present this matter to the Captain and CDO at my earliest convenience. Gerard: I will see the Captain myself Sir. Carson: I know you will Gerard. But don’t worry, I am sure the Lieutenant will take good care of me. Kelly: I believe we're done here. ::He turned to his crewman.:: You two take Mister-er, sorry, ::He emphasized the next word:: "Ambassador" Carson to the brig. ::Tyler turned to the remaining two crewman.:: Kelly: You two confine Mister...::He shot Gerard a glance:: or are you an ambassador as well? Nevermind. Confine Gerard to quarters, until further notice. ::The men acknowledged his orders and set about completing them. Tyler found Carson and Gerard's reactions to this move be particularly satisfying.:: Gerard: I must protest Lieutenant, you have no grounds to confine me. I believe you are making a huge mistake. Carson: Come now Gerard, the Lieutenant is an intelligent, I am sure he realized already this is a mistake and he can’t do things like that. Kelly: We shall see gentlemen, we shall see. ::With that, Tyler strode away heading for the bridge. He'd taken a gamble, but in his heart he felt he'd made the right choice. He only hoped the Captain that he'd yet to meet would agree.:: ::As he headed for the meeting, he did know one thing was certain; It had been one hell of a first day.:: ======//////======> Lt. Tyler Kelly Security Officer USS Columbia NCC-85279
  3. Unbelievable! I couldn't believe all the rooms they included.
  4. Congratulations to both of you! I look forward to reading more!
  5. To Kieran's point ... our Chief Tactical Officer has yet to fire a weapon! That doesn't mean he doesn't stay busy, though.
  6. Downloaded my copy! Great idea. I'm looking forward to reading these on a kindle rather than an LCD!
  7. This round featured great writing all around -- and I'm always surprised by the interpretations of the themes. Thanks, everyone, for the great reads!
  8. The price of ignorance is extinction. When a person grasps that truth –not comprehends it but truly appreciates its intricacies and its final implications – when a person realizes that, there’s nothing else to do. Knowledge must be sought wholeheartedly and without reservation, shedding the blanket of ignorance that, though warm and comfortable, offers no true shelter. My father learned this through experience. He, like so many others, perished on Sherman’s Planet during the famine before I was even born. As did so many like him. And is that fair? Was he truly less suited to life there than any other? His refusal to eat – so that my mother could, so that she and I would survive – was the death of him. Is this noble quality to be rewarded? No. It is shunned by the universe. In life, it is not the chivalrous but the selfish who survive. We have been abandoned and betrayed by the laws of nature, and therefore man cannot afford to play by the rules. The house always wins. To survive, we must break the rules – rewrite the rules. And by doing so, we can be greater than nature ever intended. Perhaps this is the mark of greatness: to see the universe as it is, to recognize its depraving nature, and to not allow oneself to succumb to it. It is not laudable to survive long enough to pass on one’s genes. Any scum swimming in a vast and empty ocean can replicate itself, make an error, and die, leaving nothing but a flawed copy. But for mankind, evolution was only the first step. We developed civilization, developed culture, developed technology – and these things gave us the power to subjugate and kill and devastate without limit. But these same tools, when we shed our narcissistic nature, propelled us forward at a rate unprecedented, adapting to the world around us faster than biology would otherwise allow by passing on to the next generation not just genes but ideas. The transmission of ideas was the first step we took toward breaking free of the shackles of the natural order. As we would eventually break the so-called sound barrier and the so-called light-barrier, so too did we break the evolution-barrier. But it did not stop there. The passing of knowledge from one generation to the next gave us tools with which to overcome our weaknesses. But man himself was still weak. And our weakness was the inspiration for those men who first set out to change humanity. From the turbulence of the twentieth century arose – first slowly, then rapidly – a new breed of warriors and warlords, of thinkers and leaders. They might have been Philosopher Kings, but the world banished them . What went wrong? I have spent many evenings pondering this over an Acamarian brandy, thinking on the fates of those lost souls, lost to space. The nearest to an answer that I can offer is this: the same drive that pushed them to succeed is present in ordinary men. But to ordinary men, the terms they offered appeared as a kind of death, against which every living thing revolts. That is the one natural law. Thou shalt survive, at whatever cost. And so, with the failure of those most superb persons, man’s potential was forgotten – but it was not lost. If there were a world now that faced Sherman’s famine, what would happen? Fathers would still die. Children’s growth would be stunted. Society and all its benefits would grind to a halt. To this day, man remains weak. We had a chance to transcend these perils. We refused it. Instead of adapting himself to thrive wherever, man turned to adapting wherever to himself. And so was born a new science. This, was readily accepted where genetic engineering was shunned. It offered the same new hopes and new horizons offered by self-improvement, and it did so without the need to admit any flaw or weakness in ourselves. This is the genius of it. The genetic engineer and the terraformer were both as gods; the difference is that the terraformer offered to remove obstacles where the geneticist offered strength to overcome them. And which of these is the greater? That is to be decided not by those alive today, but by those men and women who come after us. For my part, I shall say only this. One approach must be repeated over and over at each impediment. The other allows each generation to grow upon the other, each effort further extending man’s reach; this is much the same as the passing of ideas from one generation to the next, which is the very adaptation that first allowed us to thrive. The path to this objective is to reach inside ourselves. We must study ourselves, learn how we are built and how we work. It is by studying the blueprints of humanity and then rewriting them that we can develop more efficient bodies and quicker minds by taking ourselves down a path that evolution never intended. Nature is not fair, and it is not good. It falls to us to survive; we receive little assistance from our environment. Our locus of control lies within. Physics has no care for dignity. We strive against nature. From the moment when man first looked upon the world and decided to change it, the path of the universe was forever altered. One day, the universe shall no longer be the master and life the slave. We have remade Earth to our liking. We have the power to remake other worlds into new earths, precisely as we want them to be. But this is not enough. Imagine a time when we do not need an earth. Imagine a world where man has naught to fear. Imagine these things and they shall be so. Have the strength to let go of what is today. We must continue down this path, or we are doomed to die, as all creatures do. But the strength and intelligence with which we imbue our children grows exponentially each generation. We cannot imagine, now, how far this will take us. Do not let the ignorance of unexceptional men deter you from your efforts, but strive always with your fullest vigor toward our goal. We have revived our heritage from the dust of the past. Continue our work, and we shall be the heroes of future generations. We shall be the gods who took mere dust and created something worthy of life. Lieutenant Ben Livingston Assistant Chief Engineer USS Excalibur-A
  9. Remember the days when you could walk into a store and buy the four cds it took to install a game? Those days seem to be behind us. I shudder to think of how many attempts it would take me to update STO now.
  10. The darkness slowly gave way to the pale light of dawn, coupled with the untroubled calls of perching birds. Into this acoustic garden, the heavy grunt of a brawny man’s awakening burst forth, not shattering its beauty so much as giving it purpose. Hector’s eyes opened to the familiar quarters he had called home since his arrival on Starbase 118 all those years ago. The light panels glowed, slowly intensifying as his eyes adjusted to them. It has taken months to settle on a lighting program to which he wanted to awaken; the audio back then had been news, not birds. But so much had changed – had changed him – since then. One heavy foot after another landed on the ground as he sat up and filled his lungs with that first deep breath of the morning. Oxygen was again coursing through his arteries, rushing to their destination with fervor of the day. Moments later he was on his stomach, toes gripping the hard floor and hands pressed flat. He pushed himself up, a gruff exhale commanding his body into its rapid motion. One. Now resting on his outstretched arms, he let his body slowly down again, and repeated the motion. Two. He continued his morning routine, pushing up again, and again, and again. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. His mind wandered back, as it always did during this ritual, to the off-season with his high school parrises squares team. He was such an old man now, looking back. His time with them, though, was what had pushed him toward enlisting Starfleet to begin with. “You’ll never win if you’re afraid to get hurt,” Dak had said. Yes, the team captain, always looking out for the safety and morale of the group. But day after day of hearing it had its effect. Eventually Dak wasn’t admonishing “it’s just a scratch” as he rolled his eyes; he was soothing Hector with “the doctor says you’ll only be here a week” as a tears of guilt rolled from his eyes. But Hector hadn’t minded, once he was out on the field again. He was in the best shape of his life, he felt vibrant, and they had finally started to win. Not just here and there – their team was recognized as a force to be reckoned with. Seventy-four. Seventy-five. Hector held his position for a few extra seconds, gauging how tired he had become. Time had taken its toll on his body since his days playing parrises squares, but his whole outlook had been changed by it. Physical vitality was critical to a full life, he’d learned. Activity and competition could fill a person with sensations otherwise unimaginable. That love of experience and dynamism was what had brought him together with Karla. So in the end, any injury, any scar he had gotten from the game had been well worth it. His heart held captive by memory, he struggled against the weight as he stood up. Minutes later, he was stepping out of the sonic shower, and staring at himself in the mirror. There used to be another face beside his, here. Karla’s visage in the glass was as familiar as his own they prepared for the day together. More than that, her playful touches and endearing laughter had been as much a bathroom fixture as the sink. They were things he would never experience again. There had been a time, as he grieved, that Hector had considered programming her voice into the morning alarm. Only as he went through their recordings to find a good clip did he realize that her illness had passed on a disease of his own. Using Karla’s favorite bird calls was as close as he dared – perhaps as close as was healthy. Hector shuddered as the memories flooded back. He looked in the mirror; he was the only one there. Everything was normal – it was all as it had been for years now. He stood alone in the bathroom, looking at his face in the mirror. His clean-shaven face – a practice he had meticulously maintained since … well, for as long as he’d lived alone – revealed the scar under his chin. He scoffed at it. That was the scar that had given himself shaving for the first time after her death. It had been months since he’d last seen the skin beneath, and they had told him that shaving would be like peeling away the sorrows and allowing himself to move on. Well, he had never missed a day since then; they’d even told him they were impressed by his courage. But they didn’t understand that he had worn that beard as she lay in the biobed. He would never wear it again. That scar was the first step in his healing process. The wave of remembrance passed as Hector stepped out of the bathroom; the physical reminders of their daily preparations were behind him. His uniform hung, as it always did, beside the wardrobe, waiting to be put on for the day. And yet it struck him in a new way. The pip of the Chief Petty Officer, gleaming as it always did, was not glinting any differently in the light. The uniform remained clean and crisp, as usual. But something seemed different. It just looked so strange there, hanging empty, with no person inside of it. Hector stood staring at it for minutes on end, trying to decide why it bothered him. Oh. Oh, no … it’s me, he thought. The empty uniform was not just him … it was what he had become. He had filled it once; his career gave him pride, but there was so much more beneath it. That uniform had once been bursting at the seams, trying in vain to contain his joy, his energy, and all the wonderful days he spent with friends and family. And yet today … today he was getting up and going to the lab. Once there, he would wonder with which junior officer – whether Cody or Orionar or some new face – he would do battle in his crusade to keep the Science labs running as they ought. In the evening, he would have a quiet meal alone, read a few reports, and turn in. This uniform – this shell – was all that was left. With a sigh, he tenderly took it in his hands and dressed himself with it. Ready for the day, he passed through his quarters toward the door. Next to the exit on a small table was an inverted glass vessel on a base. Within it hung suspended in midair their two wedding rings, clasped eternally together and interlocked as were their souls. He smiled and stayed a moment longer, letting the floating remembrance imprint itself again upon his mind, as it did daily. ----- Lieutenant Ben Livingston Assistant Chief Engineer Starbase 118 Ops
  11. Welcome, Gor! It is a great community, and some of our other members write in part to improve their English language skills. And I think we all have improved, whether it was a goal or not!
  12. ((Starbase 118, Ops Office)) :: Her rather short communication with her intended target had produced at least the beginnings of the desired results, and after having tracked him down Pandora walked through the door with her padd in hand.:: Raiden: oO Come in then!! Oo How can I help you :: He looked at her neck. :: Lt? Pandora: I was under the impression that you would be of use. Was I mistaken? Raiden: Depending what you what and why you need it? :: He looked at her from behind the desk. :: :: Ah yes, the inevitable request for an explanation as to why she was there and why the Drake needed an almost complete re-stock of parts and supplies - *without* revealing information that was classified higher than even the inhabitants of SB118's Black Tower would be cleared to know.:: :: Though quite how that restriction was supposed to be enforced when the local media were crawling all over those of the crew who had tried to leave the ship, she was less certain.:: Pandora: Short version, I require the contents of this list as soon as practically possible. :: Holding out the padd, she waited for him to take the hint - and the item in question.:: Raiden: Ok. :: Marcus took the padd from the female. He still had no clue who she was though he had been waiting for the chief engineer of the Drake. :: oO (Marcus) Could this be her? Oo :: Marcus looked over the padd. As he got to the bottom his mouth was almost wide open. He put the padd down on the desk. :: Raiden: Ok. You might want to take a seat. :: Pointing to the chair :: :: Pandora looked at the chair, then back at the man behind the desk. She understood that he was likely being polite, but since she was here on business she had no need that she could see to waste time and energy on doing the same. Instead, she simply folded her hands behind her back and stood still.:: Raiden: oO Guess not!! Oo Ok I think I can get you the stuff. What sort of time scale you needing it? Pandora: Immediate. Sooner might be better, but Temporal Investigations are eager enough to investigate as it is. :: Which was nothing he couldn't get off of the news feeds around here...:: :: Marcus was drawn from sorting out what she needed by the words Temporal Investigations. :: Raiden: Temporal Investigation? As in time traveling? :: Thinking the situation over, she decided a quiet sigh would be somewhat appropriate to the situation and manufactured one.:: Pandora: Indeed. Involuntary, if that will make any difference to the investigation - which I hope it will. Training a new captain would not be how I would prefer to spend my time. Raiden: Ok then. Just a word of warning then we have had an increase in reporters around here so be careful who and where you say stuff. Pandora: I believe I may have walked over one or two on the way here, but your warning is noted. :: And it would be a good trick indeed if he could tell whether she was joking about the "walked over" part. She wasn't, particularly, but since when did that make a difference to what people perceived about her behaviour?:: Raiden: I just noticed you asked for full ammo restock. What type you want, quantum or or photon? Pandora: Photon. Until I have had the opportunity to work with our tactical officer to ensure that the launchers will not explode when used, I would prefer to keep the potential damage to the Drake to a minimum. :: Of course, her ideal fix for the Drake's assorted... quirks... was a complete keel-up rebuild of the vessel, but that was unlikely to be available as an option, given that this was not a full space-dock facility. In fact...:: Pandora: Filling this request will not compromise your own stocks? Raiden: No I can get some ship here with in 2 days to restock us. If we need them between now and then, we have 3 starships here for repairs. :: He smiled at her. :: Ok that's the last, you should have everything transfered to the ship shortly. Oh the medical supplies - I will have to check with sick bay but it does seem we have plenty of stores. Pandora: ::nodding:: Understood. Thank you. :: Turning to head for the door, she paused as one of her more deeply embedded bits of coding made itself known. Turning back, she studied the male behind the desk for the moment, then decided he was as good a person to ask as any.:: Pandora: Since we may be here for a short while, do you have any recommendations as to where I might find people. Raiden: oO People?? Oo What type of people? :: She *had* thought her question was clear enough, but apparently not.:: Pandora: People. Going about their usual business in a way that can be observed without attracting undue attention. :: Marcus was very puzzled by the request. What did she mean? He looked at her silently as he thought. He had met a few non-living things before, which had been the most likely candidates in his experience that would have that sort of interest, but she looked very alive and quite hot, he thought. :: Raiden: I would suggest the Open-Air Gastropub in the commercial sector of the station. Pandora: Thank you. I have learned it is usually wise to consult a native guide in such matters - though that does not *always* work. :: She considered mentioning Rogers' beach trip that she had accompanied him on, the one that had "accidentally" turned out to be to to a naturist resort, but embarrassing her Captain like that was a waste of time unless he was present to squirm there and then.:: Raiden: Your welcome. :: He was still confused about her and was going to keep his eye on her while she was here. :: I better let you go. Should you like to come to my shop again feel free. Pandora: I will. :: The way she said that left no doubt at all that she was taking him *exactly* at his word. With a final curt nod, she headed for the door, intending to make sure everything was proceeding as it ought before indulging those core subroutines that she was *still* trying to figure out the point of.:: :: And if the dock crews performed to the standard she had come to expect, she knew exactly who's office she was going to be coming to, and exactly how little Raiden was going to want that to happen...:: -------------------- Lt Pandora Chief Engineer USS Drake http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Pandora & Lieutenant Marcus Raiden Operations Officer Starbase 118 Ops http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Raiden,_Marcus
  13. Hey, congrats!! Also, I can't believe there's ANOTHER Victory out there. Can someone say "crossover"?
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