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Sal Taybrim

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Everything posted by Sal Taybrim

  1. A really lovely character building JP, showing off what can be accomplished with a little teamwork during shore leave! ((Atmospheric Lab, Deck 510, StarBase 118)) DeVeau and Kudon had just ended their meeting with Galven and were about to proceed along a few tracks to determine the best way to neutralize the Death Fog leftover on Vankoth II. One was to separate the silicon from the silicon platinum chloride. The second was to add ascorbic acid to chemically neutralize it. And there was the third possibility of a combination of breaking the Death Fog molecules apart and adding something. One way or the other they needed to get rid of the SiPtCl2. There was also the matter of getting more accurate data from the Klingons on the level of Death Fog in the atmosphere Kudon: So, Commander DeVeau, shall we go to a containment holodeck or do you want to work on the models first before trying them out? DeVeau: Best to take things carefully I think. Let’s work on a few models, then test. The two of them headed to the Science Main Office on Deck 506 to develop the models together. Once there, the two sat down at a computer station and started exploring possibilities. Kudon: I would recommend that we first translate the algorithm into Klingon and send it to them and hopefully get their data soon. The more accurate our data, the better our models will end up being. DeVeau: And the sooner we get that information, the sooner we can find a solution. Agreed. Kudon: After that, I would be most interested in us starting on a model on your idea of adding ascorbic acid to see what effect that may have. While he was genuinely interested in DeVeau’s theory, Kudon also knew it was smart to defer to one’s superior officer. He would get a chance eventually to try out his model. Better to show respect first. DeVeau: We can run more than one model at a time. ::Alora pointed out.:: So let’s be efficient, eh? Making the best use of their time would get to an answer sooner rather than later. Alora focused her attention on the task at hand. Translating was made a little more difficult by the fact that some of the vocabulary used was not common. Some words didn’t have straight Klingon translations. Eventually, however, they accomplished that task. Then they went about setting up the models. If they gave promising results, they would then take them to the holodeck and run some tests. While they waited, Alora leaned back in her chair and studied the man across from her. DeVeau: So please tell me about yourself, Kudon. This took Kudon quite by surprise. He was not used to superior officers, especially ones he just met, to want to get to know him. After a moment of hesitation he replied. Kudon: Well...what exactly do you wish to know. DeVeau: Whatever you’re willing to tell me. He wasn’t sure where to begin, so he just went with the basics. Kudon: I am 22 Terran years old and fresh out of the Academy...plus one mission obviously. I am from Vulcan. That wasn’t surprising to Alora. While not all Vulcans were born on Vulcan depending on what their parents did, most were indeed from their home planet. DeVeau: How did you end up in Starfleet? Kudon: I’ve always known I wanted to be an Engineer. Or at least a science officer. At the Academy, I focused on maximizing the efficiency of fusion and warp core engines when they are operating together. He was presenting what was his usual stump speech about what work he had done. He usually assumed superior officers cared more about his resume than his personal life. With Hael as quite the exception...in many ways. DeVeau: Surely there’s more to your life than that. Vulcan’s weren’t generally known for being forthcoming, but Alora did prefer to get to know her comrades. After all, they worked together, they lived together. They fought together. They were family - maybe not biologically, but family none the less. Kudon: I spent little time off planet growing up on Vulcan. My youth was rather immersed in a number of different Engineering projects. I entered many science competitions and I will be honest that I won most of them. If I may, Commander, if we are aquainting ourselves with each other, may I ask what brought you to Starbase 118 Ops? DeVeau: Why certainly. I was assigned here. Before that...well, I can’t say, classified, but before /that/, I was in the Shoals on the Veritas. Kudon: Interesting. That must have been quite different than here. DeVeau: Yes, very. Being on a base is quite a bit different than being on a ship, but not only that, the area was different, the people different. Atmosphere in general. The way you live is… Just then, an alert went off on the computer and Kudon took a look, Alora following suit. Kudon: The first iteration of each of our three models has completed. The two of them scanned over the data results on the screen. DeVeau: Oh, this looks promising. Alora pointed at the information on the screen, though it was quite unnecessary. Kudon: Yes, it appears that Silicon can break off from the platinum chloride, as long as the temperature is kept within reasonable range. The model with adding ascorbic acid is also successful. What readings do you have on the model with both splitting the Silicon and adding the ascorbic acid? DeVeau: Same - results show in an effective break down of the Fog. Kudon: So all three seem like effective methods to neutralize the gas. The trouble is figuring out, which one is best. And I don’t like the p-value of breaking off the Silicon only being .03. 97% chance of success is good, but a lot can go wrong 3% of the time. While Kudon certainly wanted to go with whichever model produced the best outcomes, part of him was very hopeful that his Silicon model would work. This algorithm that had now been modified multiple times to detect, and now destroy Death Fog, was his ongoing project and if his theory of breaking off the Silicon were correct, it would help him feel somewhat redeemed for the limitations his algorithm had faced during the mission. DeVeau: True. Alora broke off, pondering the information they were presented with. Kudon: We can recalibrate and try another model run, but I think we need that data from the Klingons before we can do so. DeVeau: I concur. The more information we have, the better we can prepare, the better success we’ll have as well. We’ll, unfortunately, have to wait. Kudon: Very well, Commander. While we are waiting, I understand you are from Earth, correct? Alora leaned back in her chair, crossed one leg over the other, then used the foot that remained in contact with the floor to twirl around. When she was facing the Vulcan again, she nodded. Kudon was rather taken aback that his superior officer was twirling on a chair in front of them. Not that he necessarily minded, but it was not what he expected. On the other hand, she did seem to want to get to know him. He could show her the same courtesy. DeVeau: I’m an Earthling, born and bred in Georgia, spent quite a few years in Japan. Some of my family still lives there. Question. Kudon: Do you want to ask me a question? DeVeau: What kind of music do you like? Kudon: That is a..surprising question, but I am happy to answer. In fact, Commander Hael is the only person I have spoken with about music since I arrived. We both appreciate an old Terran group called Metallica. If you haven’t heard of them, they were what was called metal. Very emotional music. In fact, I like most music that expresses deep feelings. At that point, Kudon wondered if it made sense to tell her that he was a Vulcan that had chosen to experience emotions. It helped fit with his like of emotional music. But he hardly knew DeVeau and he did not want to seem like he was confessing or giving up some dirty secret. So he kept quiet about it for now. DeVeau: Do you like to dance? Kudon: Well, metal is not exactly the type of music to dance to. But come to think of it, I have never danced to any type of music before. What do you ask? DeVeau: Just curious. So what type of things do you do when you have downtime? What floats your boat? Kudon: What floats my...what? Alora giggled and twirled around, this time in the opposite direction. Kudon felt strange that she did the twirling again. As someone who chose emotions, coming from a culture that does not, he usually struggled with ambiguous social situations. And here he was not sure what the line was between professional and personal communication and behavior. He found DeVeau to be a very nice person, but nonetheless he felt awkward. DeVeau: It’s an earth saying - it means, what interests you? Kudon: Oh I see...I enjoy cooking a variety of different dishes. Sometimes I’ll replicate certain ingredients, but I like to make things from scratch as much as possible. It feels very creative. I like to cook dishes from a variety of cultures, not just Vulcan. I also read a great deal, about engineering of course, but I took a number of Academy courses on interstellar diplomatic relations, so I enjoy reading about how different planets, empires, and so forth both cooperate and compete with one another. What about you? What...floats your boat? Alora grinned. A Vulcan who expressed emotions /and/ adopted idioms. She knew they existed, but she’d never met one before. Very interesting. DeVeau: Oh, lots of things, really, but I’ll just choose one. Singing. Kudon: How long have you been doing that? DeVeau: Since I was born. Alora grinned and shrugged. DeVeau: My mom’s a musician, I heard it in the womb, evidently, I came out singing myself, so to speak. Kudon: What is your favorite part about it? That was not a simple answer. Alora leaned back further into the chair pondering the question. She forwent twirling about and, instead, just turned it from side to side a little as she considered the question. What was her favourite part? About singing? DeVeau: I guess...being able to express one’s self in a way that’s augmented by the music. Pain is more painful, joy more joyful when music is added. And then...being able to become someone else and something else, even just for a little while. Not because I dislike myself, but because it’s interesting to explore different thoughts, ideas, and situations. Which...kind of goes along with another thing that floats my boat - acting. Kudon: Wow, that does sound very enjoyable. You should get some of the other crewmates together and we could all do it as a group. I almost forgot to ask you, what kind of music do you--- He was cut off by the computer alert, just as DeVeau had earlier. The Klingon data had come in. Kudon: The Klingons certainly sent us the data very quickly. It is not like them to be so immediately cooperative. At once, Alora was all business. As much as she enjoyed learning about people, she also knew there was a time for chit chat, and a time for work. She eyed the data on the screen and nodded. DeVeau: Sounds like they want to get rid of this stuff as soon as possible - which is understandable. Kudon: What I’d like to do is have the computer translate it back from Klingon and then run our three models again. DeVeau: Okay. Alora didn’t argue though she was fully capable of translating it. Perhaps he wanted it written down, which she could understand. As he started the translation, Kudon was starting to fill with excitement. There was just something about the combination of abstract mathematical analysis with real life data. Kudon: Reverse translation complete. Ready to input the data into our three models. Let’s see what kind of light we can shine on this Death Fog. Alora took a few moments to read over the information, though she chose to do so in the original Klingon. DeVeau: Let’s input the data on all the models and see what happens. Best not count our chickens before they’re hatched. Kudon: I agree that would be the best approach...I must say Commander, ::getting more and more animated:: and I think you can appreciate this as a Science Officer, there is just something so exciting about creating an algorithm and seeing it work in the real world. It may seem silly, but I actually am nervous about what the results of our models will be. Accurate, inaccurate? Worse, better? So many think of science and engineering as just brainpower, but there is real creativity and, dare I say, emotion involved. Don’t you agree? So he had let her know about his emotions after all, albeit indirectly. Alora’s verdant eyes twinkled. Little did he know she’d already seen that he allowed emotion - after all, Vulcan’s didn’t use terms such as ‘like’ and enjoyment when referring to themselves. That display, however, showed that he did indeed allow his emotions to the forefront for more than simply descriptive words. When she didn’t answer, too entertained by his excitement, he queried again. Kudon: There must have been a time when you felt like this? DeVeau: Oh definitely. And I agree. More creativity is needed than people suspect, you have to think outside the books, look at things from different angles - like an artist. Kudon could not contain himself to sit down so he started pacing behind the chairs they were sitting in. He was about to respond to DeVeau when the computer did one final alert to indicate the three models had finished running. Kudon: What are the results? Alora didn’t answer right away. She perused the results for a moment, then turned to the pacing Vulcan. DeVeau: It looks like a combination of our ideas would work best. It offers the most stability, and it actually speeds up the process by a whopping fifty percent! Kudon: Fascinating. I think we should let Commander Galven know immediately. DeVeau: Yes, yes we should. I also think we should run it through the holodeck and test it out that way, but I suspect we’ll get the same answer. Alora stood, allowing the chair to finally go still. Kudon: I must say, Commander, I have enjoyed working with you. Still standing, Kudon put out his hand to shake hers, with a small, but quite obvious, smile on his face, thinking how their teamwork had led to potentially very positive results. Alora’s smile lit up her face and she accepted the hand warmly, though surprised as Vulcans were usually uninclined to touch due to their telepathy. At least, that’s what her experience had been. DeVeau: I feel the same, it was a pleasure working with you. I look forward to doing so more in the future. Ensign Kudon Starbase 118 Ops Engineering Officer O239703K10 & Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239008AD0
  2. Aly - I know I'm writing this scene with you, but I want you to know that you are doing a wonderful job of realistically portraying Sheila and her struggles. Your narrative here is growing ever stronger, and more compelling and I am so engaged in her struggles. You have done a fantastic job! <3 OOC - This sim has mention of abuse, not graphic. All thoughts and opinions are of that of my character. ((CO’s Office – The Hub – StarBase 118)) Bailey: It should. Sheila knew that she was sliding backwards. When she left home for the academy she didn’t have a reminder of her Uncle. Maybe that was because she was getting used to a whole new level of gravity. Her Uncle didn’t even come up when she was first posted to Federation starship. She guessed that her mind had just been strong for too long and it was finally time to face what he had done to her. Overall she was in a constant internal battle where she had a desire to be strong. That was now coming up against that small voice in her head that threw back everything her Uncle said to her; put it right back into her face. Taybrim: ::Gently:: And why would you say that? Bailey: I’ve struggled, in my younger years, to not believe all the abusive things my Uncle told me. Not hurt myself in similar ways. Sal nodded, showing that he was listening. Sheila appreciated that. Taybrim: That is one of the most difficult things you will grapple with. But you can overcome it. Could she overcome what he had done to her? In a way it would always be with her but she could get to a point that it would no longer bother her, that the thoughts would no longer come up and that she would no longer feel she would have to tell her commanding officers what had happened. Those thoughts didn’t come as a surprise to her. She knew the medical science behind what she was going through as she studied it in her training. Sal however made it all that much more real. He spoke reassuringly. He didn’t sugar coat anything. Bailey: I feel that if someone tells you, you are a failure so many times one can not only start believing that but acting like that as well. Taybrim: It is, most unfortunately, a natural part of a being’s ability to learn that means that if you are taught something with enough repetition – including a destructive lie, that the brain will pick up that pattern and absorb it. You are not weak for that, you are simply sentient and capable of learning – a trait that your abuser took advantage of. Sheila was now feeling very uncomfortable. She had told other people but never in this much detail. It physically hurt. Not like the panic she felt during the mission but much more like someone was squeezing her. She pulled off her sweater leaving it on the floor by her chair. She also realized that yes her Uncle had taken advantage of her. He took advantage of her in so many different ways. He had told her that no one other than him would want her. That she couldn’t outshine others; that would draw too much attention to her. Lead to mistakes. And everytime she did something he didn’t approve of he showed her physically that she had messed up. Usually what he did was pull at her hair and throw her around. It would give her a loss of control. These uncomfortable thoughts had her telling her friend, who was sitting across from her, about the worst thing he had done to her. Bailey: I have a permanent reminder of what he did. Under her sweater she was wearing a simple white tank top which made it easier for her to show Sal the small white but still visible scar that she has on her upper spine. She turned around in her chair to do so. The scar didn’t hurt anymore but it left a slight phantom pain anytime she brushed her fingers along it. She was only glad that it was in a hard to reach location as well as in a place that she couldn’t see when she looked in the mirror. Bailey: You see that there? That small white scar? He did that to me and it won’t go away. ::her voice sounded desperate:: Taybrim: I am so very sorry, Sheila. ::His voice was tender, soft.:: No one deserves to have that sort of pain and abuse done to them. No one deserves to have that reminder carried with them. No one as bright or as compassionate as you ever deserves to have their world twisted by an abuser. I am so very sorry. Sal wasn’t faking his honest sympathy. Bailey: I know I don’t deserve what he did to me. ::she turned to get more comfortable in her seat:: I just...feel like I’m stuck in this endless loop of failure. It feels hopeless right now. Taybrim: No ::He shook his head gently, watching her move back into a more comfortable position.:: I don’t think it is hopeless or that you will fail in your career. I think you are farther along the path to recovery than you think you are, but I also know that yes, the road ahead is difficult. Bailey: It’s going to be hard. I know that for a hard cold fact. I studied about the subject in medical school. It’s however not the same thing as fighting the criminals of Starfleet. We go after then as we have strong evidence as to them committing criminal acts. My Uncle, he not only hurt me but after he would tell me how good I was or how much I wanted it. Words like that. Working in Starfleet was easy as they had clear reasons to go after the people they did. Bailey herself knew that the “death fog” was deadly based on its chemical makeup, so in her mind it was a clear black line of bad. With her Uncle however he seemed to go back and forth between black and white so quickly and easily that she wasn’t sure if it really was his intention to hurt her. What she later learned was that yes he did have a reason to hurt her and her sisters. Of course he hurt them less then her but that never made that any easier. Taybrim: I believe in you. I know you can do this. Again, you’ve already taken the first step – you recognize what your Uncle did and you called it out – abuse. You can see it, and you can talk to people about it – that’s not easy and it shows you are strong and brave. Sal’s tone was firm, reassuring. Bailey: I’ve told those I felt had a right to know. I still find it hard to tell myself that I was told lies my whole life. Even when I do it doesn’t make it better. Taybrim: You learned these abusive things through repetition, continually being taught them. You can unlearn them through repetition and continually being taught something else. And, you’re right – simply telling yourself that it’s a lie won’t help. You can know that it’s a lie and still feel those emotional welling within you because you’ve been taught that guilt and shame by a horrible person. You have to unlearn those basic responses. The Elaysian woman hardly knew what to say at that. In all honesty she felt a bit choked up. Her body was cold but if she put her sweater back on she felt like she would overheat. With that she left her sweater on the floor. It was a silence that seemed to stretch on forever. Sheila could feel the anticipation of what Sal was going to say. Throughout their conversation it was the first time she hadn’t spoken which got her mind thinking in a million different directions. Taybrim: This may be the hardest part for you. You are a medical officer, a compassionate soul who is dedicated to caring for others. But you need to re-establish your own sense of self beyond what your Uncle taught you. That means setting up a sense of self-preservation where you reinforce the self you believe in when your Uncle’s voice haunts you. ::He leaned forward a bit to explain.:: The reason this will feel so difficult for you is because you will need to be a little selfish. You may not be able to endure other’s emotional trauma while you are protecting yourself and re-establishing a new sense of self outside of your Uncle’s abuse. Sheila Bailey didn’t completely freak out at Sal’s words. From the tension she felt she thought he was going to tell her that she was going to have to step away from Starfleet for a time. If she left she was going to break down fully no doubt about it. But was that what Sal was meaning? She wasn't sure. Sheila figured that he didn’t but thinking about it she in fact didn’t know. Her brain was torn between what she knew and what she felt. In the end her feelings won out. Her feelings won out to the point that she started tearing up. Bailey: You're not asking me to quit my job are you? Taybrim: Response Bailey: I...I don’t understand. Taybrim: Response Bailey: Okay..Okay..::Sheila was taking deep breaths as she spoke. Her breath was shaky however, making her feel slightly more uncomfortable:: Let me backup. My Uncle abused me. That is a fact. Sheila was trying to recap some of what they had talked about in order to try and understand what Sal, her friend, was asking her. Make sure those feelings that had her thinking she was going to have to quit could lose. If she broke it down then they would lose and she would be left knowing what she knew all along. That Sal was only asking her to limit herself and know her boundaries. And throughout their conversation he was guiding her through finding herself in a way that didn’t connect to her abuser. Taybrim: Response Bailey: I know it could affect my work, not that I’m going to let it. I am a compassionate person and work strongly in helping others. You’ve just got my brain fighting against my heart. I know your not asking or even telling me to quit right? Taybrim: Response As she listened to the man in front of her talk she went about wiping her eyes, her breathing slowing. She had just been confronted with her biggest fear but she knew the right outcome even through the confusion. Sheila was glad that she had taken a step back and asked for clarification. Bailey: Thank you. I’m just so scared. How do I move forward when I work in medicine? Taybrim: Response TBC/TAG Lieutenant JG Sheila Bailey Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239512BG0
  3. Sal's office is the place for all the important conversations. Not his ready room, he hardly uses that. No, his big office on the starbase. It's like an office and counselor's workspace all rolled into one.
  4. An absolutely devious and devastating finish to a long running side story about addiction and personal choice. Bravo! ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution)) T’Mar and Saveron sat across from each other, each with a cup of their preferred beverage, the picture of cool Vulcan composure. T’Mar: I see. ::pause to sip her tea:: You have spoken to Commander Foster. Saveron: Affirmative. ::There was no logic in denying it.:: He informed me of your extended use of Lexorin following a medical procedure which, I understand, resulted in unwanted effects related to your natural empathy and telepathy. He watched her expression, not really expecting it to change but wanting to be certain that he had the story straight. There was no benefit in proceeding on incorrect assumptions. T’Mar: Succinct. So he had understood correctly. Saveron: Would you wish to talk about the procedure? The details were probably of more use to medical in the context of resolving the situation, but sometimes simply talking through a traumatic situation could be beneficial. Being heard was a powerful medicine. The clatter of the teacup indicated that he had, as some cultures put it, ‘hit a nerve’, which she tried to cover by carefully setting the cup down. There was definite trauma there, that tiny slip confirmed it, and he wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Perhaps one day she would have the confidence in him to let him work to reduce it’s impact, but first he had to build that confidence, that trust. She closed her eyes for a moment and he remained silent, giving her that space in time. T’Mar: Not particularly. It was done against my will. I was given medication to prevent me from blocking out the feelings and then subjected to a bombardment of emotions. It was.. Unpleasant to say the least. Vulcans were the masters of understatements. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like, being subjected to the emotions of others, multiple others, against one’s will. But he would not ask her to relive that day now. Saveron: Will you describe for me the changes that you experienced following the procedure? T’Mar: I.. ::pause:: I had a strong feeling of violation, but I also experienced an inability to properly suppress my emotions as well as my empathy. Hardly surprising that T’Mar felt violated, and Saveron suspected it could well have led to a distrust of other health professionals, whether consciously or unconsciously, which would have reduced even further her desire to seek the follow up she should have had. The anger that welled on her behalf was heavily suppressed. Now was a time of logic, and through logic, hopefully, the gentle unwinding of the knot T’Mar had gotten herself into. Saveron: Disagreeable. ::He empathised.:: And for these symptoms you were prescribed Lexorin? T’Mar: Indeed. I was hesitant at first, however, it was necessary. The Counsellor set his empty cup aside and laced long fingers together. Saveron: Entirely understandable. ::There are times when such support was beneficial; but it was never meant to be permanent.:: And I anticipate that the medication has been supportive. The question is; how to do you wish to proceed from this point? Saveron wasn’t aware of that particular part of her conversation with Cade, but T’Mar was exactly right when she insisted to Foster that no treatment would be efficacious, no effort to resolve her addiction succeed, if she was not willing. Given that she had been an unwilling participant in the original procedure, consent and active participation was particularly important. T’Mar: I am quite content continuing on the way I have been. Saveron: By which, you mean continuing treatment with Lexorin? He paraphrased to be certain that he understood her. T’Mar: There seems to be this notion that I am doing something wrong, but this medication helps me, Commander. The defensive tone of her words was obvious. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t the right answer, and she’d heard accusation from him where he’d deliberately offered none. Oh, he could have, but he anticipated that Cade might have already taken that path, and was possibly not the first. He was deliberately walking a different one, since clearly the other had not been efficacious. Saveron: One presumes that others have championed this notion, based on the recommended treatment protocols. T’Mar: That’s a matter of opinion. The protocols were, technically, a matter of opinion, but a several very educated, expert opinions. Saveron: The general medical opinion is that long-term Lexorin use is to be avoided. He said it to see what she’d say to that, whether she’d acknowledge the current medical wisdom. T’Mar: I had hoped that you of all people could understand the complexity of my situation. And that was a no. Saveron: I am endeavouring to do so. ::He assured her evenly.:: I have never had another’s emotions forced on me, nor known what it is to be perceptive to the minds of others at range. ::Every telepathic contact he’d experienced had been individual, and consensual.:: I… cannot truly begin to comprehend such a violation, or the after effects. ::He admitted.:: Only that they would be intolerable. I understand that you would not wish to endure them. T’Mar: ? He inclined his head in acknowledgement. Saveron: I collated these documents for you, in anticipation of your preference, to provide you with relevant information. He offered over a PADD for her to take. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I have included several studies of the long-term effects of Lexorin, including a metanalysis of the available data. In addition there is an account from a patient who was under palliative care for a terminal illness, and also on Lexorin, which provides a more personal rendering, so that you know what to expect. He spoke in the same, even tones, entirely professional, even dispassionate, in the way of their kind. A sharp contrast to Commander Foster. The analyses detailed the relative effectiveness of the medication over time, the cumulative neurotoxicity and eventual progression of synaptic breakdown. Sopek had documented his mental condition in great detail, until he was no longer able to do so. Because that was the reality of what T’Mar was facing if she continued the way she had been, as she wished to. And since they were being logical, stoic Vulcans, he was simply providing her with information with which she could make informed decisions and plan for her future. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a long one. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I can provide a prescription of Lexorin for you; it will be dependent on quarterly neurological scans. ::And be set to cancel immediately, should a scan be missed.:: Once the scans show neurological degradation, you will be discharged from Starfleet on medical grounds. Not only for her own sake, but for that of her colleagues. T’Mar: ? Saveron: Depending on your current synaptic state and frequency of use, and based on those studies, I estimate that you will have between two and five Standard years of service, before that occurs. The synaptic degradation curve is exponential, so once it becomes detectable you will need to enter care. I have included a list of care facilities that specialise in telepaths’ medical needs. The one on Betazed is particularly highly regarded, but has a long waiting list, so I would recommend submitting your application now. Five years, maximum, and she wouldn’t be able to look after herself. T’Mar was absolutely right, it was her choice. But the important thing about the freedom to choose was that it came with the responsibility to accept the consequences. That was a lot of life to miss out on. T’Mar: ? TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10 ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution))
  5. @Quentin Collins III- I remember when you were a newly posted ensign all full of energy and excitement on the Eagle and I am so proud of how much you have grown and developed as a writer! You have done a great job and I am so excited to see you recognized for this award! Keep up the great work! @Addison MacKenzie - You have been such a strong writer and helpful staff person this year going through a lot of changes and always managing to still write well. I love writing with you in the Academy and the Thor is so lucky to have you! I'm so happy to see your recognized this year - stay awesome my friend! @Wes Greavesand @Ben Garcia - I have seen how supportive and helpful you both are for your fellow crewmates and your ship's staff. I'm so glad to see you both recognized. Keep up the great work and keep on making the galaxy a bit more brilliant with your writing! Fly high, Vikings, fly high! And finally, @Romyana Casparian - you are an absolute delight to write with. I love your energy, I love the soft characterizations you place into Romyana. I was touched as she made fast friends with Ensign Steiger only to see him injured on the mission and transferred to Starfleet medical. I loved the little downtime conversation while we were playing out the clock on the bridge. I loved the effort you put into improving Lt. Bailey's braces. You connect with your fellow crew both in sim and on Discord and you deserve this recognition. Thank you for being awesome and I look forward to so many future missions together! To all the duty post winners: CONGRATULATIONS! You inspire the fellow writers on your ships and across the fleet. Stay brilliant, stay creative, stay awesome. ❤️
  6. I would like to thank @FltAdml. Wolf for going above and beyond this awards ceremony. So much hard work was done behind the scene and if anyone deserves a drink and a vacation it's this guy right here! Thank you so much for your hard work! Thank you @Jo Marshall for all the hard work you did in getting this awards ceremony together as well as massive amount of back scenes management to get all those votes tallied and all those nominations sorted. You did a great job, thank you! Thank you to every player in this game. Remember simming is collaboration, and we gain more by writing with others and letting others help us write. Keep dreaming, keep writing beautiful stories and keep supporting one another! Oh and... @Randal Shayne - thank you for the wonderful and heartfelt thanks ❤️ However we have written together - for quite some time - on the Eagle. I have two characters, remember? I look forward to seeing everyone back for Awards 2021!!
  7. Yes! cross ship shenanigans sounds like a blast! ❤️ thank you for the kind words!
  8. Thank you all so much. ❤️ If you know me behind the scenes, I do not like to seek recognition; even pushing to see others recognized above myself. But I am so thankful for having a fantastic and supportive crew who put forth some deep, meaningful nominations. You are all the very best, thank you so much ❤️ ~*~ @Roshanara Rahman - Congratulations! You are truly one of the best staff people I have ever worked with. You're probably the most tireless, hardworking person in the game beyond Admiral Wolf and one of the biggest champions for Fleetwide unity and positive progress. You have an uncompromising ability to look at situations fairly and from multiple viewpoints and you are an advocate for all players of this game. Though we have never simmed together (but we should change that in the future!) I know you as one of the most dependable, level headed and responsible people in the fleet. Thank you so much for all you do, and once again CONGRATULATIONS! @Oddas Aria - This really was the year that you started to shine. From the Capstone project, the fostering of Commander Shayne through his Commander's exam and to his own launch, the building up of LtC Collins into a promising fleet staff member and the continued support of your crew to your dedication and work on the EC as our Captain at Large, CONGRATULATIONS, these recognitions are well deserved! @Quinn Reynolds - Your leadership of the training team has been a tremendous light and has made that team into a well-oiled machine. You help foster all our new members as well as working as a mentor and guide for many of our new COs who all speak highly of you. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into this game year after year, and CONGRATULATIONS on your well-earned recognition in this new award! @Jarred Thoran - Thank you so much for bring a dedicated and popular Commanding Officer who had formed a model of communication for new ship launches. I know you have struggled and overcome some difficult things in your command and have emerged as a strong CO that can confidently lead your crew moving forward, CONGRATULATIONS on the PIke award, you have earned it! @Randal Shayne - Thank you for all the hard work you do with the Trivia Chat, on the Picard committee and now in transition to your new launch. CONGRATULATIONS and best of luck for bright futures and wonderful adventures moving forward! We have faith in you! Or it that Faith of the Heart?! Congratulations everyone for helping make this game run as smoothly as it does for 26 years!
  9. @Roshanara Rahman, @Dassa Alexander-Dalton - 10 years already?! WOW! Here's to 10 great years of simming and hopefully another 10 in the future!! @Geoffrey Teller - CONGRATULATIONS on the Rising Star! You have done a great job ushering in the transition to the Thor and supporting a bright new crew! I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things in store for the future! @Blake - I cannot imagine how much work you put into the wiki, but you do a fantastic job! Thank you so much for keeping everything tidy, running and up to date! I'm so glad we were able to recognize a role that sometimes goes overlooked and celebrate all the hard work you do! Thank you @Jo Marshall for all your hard work on Discord, we love the bots, icons and fun you bring to our chat! @Alieth - despite being with us for just a short time you have made a BIG splash! Thank you so much for all you're energy, creativity and awesome graphics! CONGRATS on this well-earned award, I'm so glad we are able to celebrate your hard work and I look forward to seeing all the awesome things in store for you moving forward! @Sheila Bailey you are such a vibrant and passionate writer, I am so proud to have you on Ops. Thank you for all your effort and wonderful writing over this past year and I look forward to amazing adventures to come Lieutenant Stendhal - I'm not seeing your tag on the forums so I'll just have to e-mail you a link You have been such a joy to write with. Your humor, clever writing and charm shines through in every post you send. Thank you for being a wonderful addition to our Ops crew! And thank you so much @FltAdml. Wolf for founding this game and continuing to champion it year after year. you make it possible for us to dream, and through dreams our lives become better. Thank you so much. ❤️
  10. I hope we get to do that in this upcoming year! ❤️
  11. A fun little perspective on the ongoing courtroom drama! ((Starbase 104 - Courtroom)) Along with his quick pit stop for a snack Scooter took a stroll to stretch his legs. He had been spending so much time recently digging through various files that he had managed to secure (don't ask him how), messaging people involved in the case for more information and comment (with almost zero luck), and writing draft after draft of the story to date. He needed a little exercise and some time out of that dark FNS writer's room. His PADD gave a beep letting him know he had an incoming message. He removed his PADD from his jacket pocket and looked at the message. The trial was resuming. He decided that exercise back to the courtroom would have to be enough for today. He needed to get to the courtroom to hear some of the testimony to see how it connected to his findings so far. He slipped in quietly while the prosecution was finishing cross examination of one of the witnesses and took a seat in the back row. The defense attorney rose and addressed the court. Maddox: I have one more witness; Commander Maxwell Traenor. He has joined the crew in Captain Rajel’s absence and with him, I would like to introduce new evidence. ::looking between Aubrey and Skepus:: Before I proceed. I want it on record that three separate Starbase 104 engineering and science teams have reviewed the findings and concur that they are authentic and accurate. Scooter sat up a little higher in his chair. It seemed a little odd to him that the prosecution would provide a preemptive explanation of the evidence they were about to present so he figured this must be something good. Really good. Well, depending on your point of view and Scooter's point of the view was whatever story got him the promotion. Maddox: Here are the original, undoctored orders for the USS Constitution-B’s mission to Zeltin IV. It shows that Captain Rajel was ordered to negotiate trade. Commander Traenor, can you walk us through how you and Ensign Foley uncovered this as well as walk us through the details of the document? oO Oh this is better than I thought! Oo Traenor: The metadata obscuration protocols and packet traffic trace details are appendicized in the presentation to the court. I can elaborate on the technicalities if required, but otherwise will condense our findings. On Stardate 239706.01, on the orders of Commander Maddox and with the authorization of the court, Ensign Chip Foley and I completed a thorough parse of related mission communication logs embedded in the USS Constitution's computer core. File size metadata inconsistencies, elaborated in Appendix I, between Starfleet Command and the Constitution were noted. Following the packet data routing outlined in Appendix II, it was found that the communication files in question were altered on Stardate 239704.26. Scooter was a little lost in the technobable jargon that was coming out of the man's mouth but he was putting the basic pieces together. Someone had altered the orders to frame Fleet Captain Rajel. Traenor: Despite having a skilled decrypter in Ensign Foley giving me assistance, the terminal point metadata had been expertly obscured. We were able to ascertain that the alteration had occurred from someplace within Starfleet Headquarters, but no further. The instigator of the comm log alterations had sufficiently covered their tracks. That is, except for one small overlooked packet regarding travel distances to Zeltion IV. Once we were able to parse that metadata, it gave us the key to unlock the altered metadata on the rest of the communication logs at question. We were able to not only unlock the original orders as they were received, but were able to pinpoint the terminal responsible for the alterations, and narrow it all down to one individual, thanks to that one overlooked message. Skepus: Your Honor, I– … This is highly irregular! Scooter was shocked. This was not the reaction that you would expect from a JAG officer, and a Vulcan one at that. The prosecution's case was quickly falling apart. Aubrey/Any: response Maddox: And with whom did this document originate? How high up the chain of command are they? Traenor: The key document, which allowed us to verify the alterations of all other listed comm documents, originated from the terminal of Lieutenant Dolen, personal adjunct of Admiral Fraser. You will find their dossiers and their personal and professional links to the Zeltion IV mission in Appendix III. Maddox: Please keep in mind the three independent teams reviewed this prior to my submission into evidence. Scooter couldn't believe his ears and from the sounds of the courtroom either could anyone else in the room. Did he just hear what he thought he heard? The office of Admiral Faser had given the original orders and changed them when things went south to save face as he set off into the sunset years of his life? Scooter thought he had a heck of a story when this was about Fleet Captain Rajel but the REAL story trumped that by quite a bit. Aubrey: response Maddox: ::bowing her head::Thank you Commander Traenor. I have no further questions. Skepus: Your Honor, in light of recent evidence, I withdraw my case. :: To Aria, cooly :: Perhaps we will resume this at a later date. Boom. And there it was. The case against Fleet Captain Rajel was over and Scooter was sure the case against Admiral Fraser was just starting. He was hoping for a little downtime after writing this story but it was about to get even better. Aubrey/Rajel: response The room was more than a little chaotic at the moment. People were standing. Some were hugging. The room was buzzing with various conversations. Skepus was obviously frustrated and doing his Vulcan best not to let his emotions get the better of him but anyone watching him didn't need to guess at the inner turmoil he was going through. Scooter wanted a comment and did his best to make his way through the crowd of people. McGee: Excuse me. Excuse me! He continued to gently push his way through as he made his way to Maddox and Rajel. The two were understanbly surrounded by people to whom this case was very personal. McGee: Well let me be one of the first to congratulate you both on the outcome of the case. Maddox/Rajel: ? McGee: Scooter McGee. Reporter with Federation News Service. I've been covering the case but nobody really wanted to talk on the record while the trial was still underway. Now that the trial is over can I *finally* get a comment before we all turn our attention to Admiral Fraser? Maddox/Rajel: ? McGee: Your crew seems very devoted to you as shown by their commitment to helping prove your innocence. And I must say I am extremely impressed by their skill and resourcefulness. You are lucky to have them. Maddox/Rajel/Any: ? -tag/tbc- PNPC Scooter McGee Reporter, Federation News Service as simmed by Lieutenant Junior Grade Jacob Horne Engineering USS Constitution-B C239408JH0
  12. So, since I already wrote *pages* about Ops and how much I love them all, let me give some shout outs to other ships in our fantastic fleet! Seriously, if you get the chance, check out your fellow ships and installations and get inspired! We are a fleet with a mission of unity in 2020 and the awards ceremonies are a great way to get inspired to check out other ships! So without further ado... @Lazarus Davis - you have done a fantastic job this year in building your character. From your relationship with queen, to your portrayal of Skepus, the Vulcan everyone loves to hate, you have really grown as a writer and a simmer! I'm so glad to see you honored with both the Khan Award and TOSMA! @Addison MacKenzie - I have really enjoyed writing with you in the Academy, so I'm not at all surprised that you're also the Thor's choice for TOSMA this year! Congratulations!! Keep up the fantastic work, and I hope that at some point I'll be able to guest write on the Thor and get to write with you and your wonderful crew in person! @Artinus Serinus - I have heard nothing but great things from your CO, crew and everyone who sims with you. Congratulations on the Genesis award and I look forward to reading more posts from you moving forward! Keep up the great work! @Chloe Waters - You have always been such a fun simmer to work with on the Eagle, I miss simming with you! Congratulations on the Russ Bar and best wishes for you moving forward on the Arrow! I know you will continue to do a fantastic job! @Toryn Raga - I have loved simming with Lystra on the Constitution and I hope to someday be able to meet your primary character! Congratulations on the Scotty Cross and keep writing amazing characters! @Quentin Collins III - You? Write a devious badguy?! Say it ain't so! You have always been a joy to write with and I hope you keep up the fantastic work! Congratulations, Quentin and keep flying high on that shiny new ship of yours! @Zephyr - You're one of my oldest friends in this game, and I'm honestly shocked that you've never gotten the B-Plot award before now! CONGRATULATIONS! I hope that I can meet your new toon Timothy and get together with Skyfire again in the future! @Jalana - I love writing with you, you know that? If you didn't I'll say it again - I love writing with you!! @Randal Shayne - I miss writing with you, you are a joy to sim with! Congratulations and best of luck with that shiny new ship of yours! I am sure you will do a fantastic job! @Geoffrey Teller - You know, if I had a wishlish of 'people I would like to sim with' you would be at the top. I hope we get to write together someday! Congratulations on your awards and keep being awesome! Good job everyone! Keep writing, keep being awesome!
  13. I am loving all these looking into each crew's mind in the aftermath of a difficult mission! ((Quarters, Habitat Ring, Starbase 118)) ((Time: Shortly after returning to his quarters from the Narendra)) (OOC: I'm not familiar with using FOA, please do correct me if it's not used right) Drevas: Okie dokie, computer, start recording. Ensign Drevas Matthel. At the confirming beep from the computer, he set about organizing his quarters proper. He hadn't the chance upon graduating proper after all. Personal log, supplemental. Whew! What a first couple of days. I betcha most officers don't get shot at by five warbirds on their first day on the bridge. Kinda hair-raising if you ask me. But hey, what can you do? Starfleet life, if that's how it's gotta be I'm cool with that. I didn't sign up for the cushiest job in the fleet after all. Slender fingers deftly undid the clasp on his travel case, extracting a few personal belongings of his. His father's spare earring, given to him by his mother just before he left. A pen and paper notepad, accompanied by a simple black ballpoint, which he planned to use to scribble notes if he had to. Sometimes typing while panicky didn't exactly leave behind the most understandable of words, though legible. A family photo taken when he was a little boy; a final reminder of Drevas Artur before all hell broke loose with the Dominion War. Along with a couple more odd trinkets. Gotta say, I didn't expect chasing after a couple of cultists to be so complicated. What's his name? Janul? The Defense Force commander? Can't quite figure out what his deal is. He seems pretty acquainted with the captain. Don't quite know how they're related. He was clearly flying with the rest of the cultists who shot at us - so why help us? What's his game? There's definitely something I'm not seeing or knowing here. On the small workdesk, next to the monitor went the picture; a small reminder of home, tilted towards him where he could see it easily if he swivelled his chair around. Over the edge he hung the earring. His family, all together in one place - they'd watch as he went about his work, surely. The Prophets would take care of them all, surely, wherever they were at any point in their life. But hey, that's not the be all and end all of my first couple of days. Getting shot at is one thing but meeting the rest made things so much better. The engineers on this ship seem to be pretty well acquainted. There's Romy. Sweet girl, never without a smile for the hour or so I spent talking to her and her colleagues. Interesting attitude and outlook too. In good ways. Pretty refreshing actually! Kudon the Vulcan - definitely gotta chat to him a little more sometime. I haven't had much opportunity to interact with that many Vulcans so far. Except maybe professor T'Lang in Tactical Strategies. Next a couple of books came out from the travel case, stored away on the bookshelves. Bajoran scripture text, some of it, but mostly literary works from across the quadrant. There was even a 'Learning Chinese for Dummies' manual he'd gotten at a sort of flea market held on campus once. And then there's Miskre. She's an interesting one. I'll admit, I have never, ever seen a species of plant-based humanoids in my entire life. She has this sorta... ethereal quality. Kinda... drifty. A sort of carefree-ness. Y'know? Always with a smile to her. You can kinda tell that she smiles a lot. And that's okay. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting her again sometime, and finding out more about her and her people. Finally, he replicated himself a proper dinner: A bowl of Chinese lotus root and peanut soup made with pork ribs. Delicious. He'd fallen in love with the stuff when his classmate introduced it to him, thinking that he might like it considering his resemblance to the race of humans that invented it. And she'd been right. Taking a seat at the coffee table he took slow sips of the piping hot broth. For now I've got answers to find. Who's Janul? Who is he to our captain? What are the staff like? Where can you get the best synth springwine on base? Lots more, but hey, one step at a time. The Prophets never gave anyone answers that easily. Reap what you sow. Slow and steady. And you know what? I'm happy to wait and get those answers nice and slow too. In the meantime I've got a lot of exploring to do, lots of people to meet. Checkup first thing in the morning tomorrow - gotta look presentable. It's gonna be a long journey ahead, but hey, who's to say that's a bad thing? If the Prophets will it then so be it. I'm not walking this path alone, anyway. I've got others to accompany me. With that he put down the bowl of soup, half-finished, and began typing out a letter to his mess hall companions that night. Perhaps they'd be open to meeting one more time. And who knows? It might just become a regular gig. // To: Ensign Romyana Casparian, Ensign Kudon, Crewman Miskre Swenhart From: Ensign Drevas Matthel Subject: Meet again sometime? Hey! So nice to get to know you all that night on the Narendra. Crazy experience, huh? How'd you all like to hang out sometime? Visit the holodeck, walk the commercial district, or maybe just go into the depths of the starbase and find our way back like explorers. We'll see! Now that our nerves aren't quite so buzzing I think it's going to be something awesome for all of us! How about... this weekend? 1000 hours? I'll follow up with a meeting place. If anyone else wants to come along that's perfectly fine! Regards, Drevas Matthel // Message sent he put his PADD away and finished the last of the steaming hot broth. Something like that never failed to warm him up before bed. Mother used to tell me that we're all authors, writers penning the story of our own lives for others to read. Every stage in life is a new chapter. A new arc, with new characters sometimes. My Academy days are over - one chapter closed. And today I've written the first few words of the next one. And I can't wait to write the rest. Drevas: Computer, end log. With that he recycled the now-empty bowl and lay down in bed. Tomorrow was a new day and he planned to clinch it. And he couldn't do that sleep-deprived. Casparian/Swenhart/Kudon: Response Ensign Drevas Matthel Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra 0239706DM0 --
  14. ((Starbase 118 – Meeks’ Quarters)) What a bang up first day at his first duty assignment. After arriving back at the Starbase, Anthony received his crew quarters assignment and quickly found where he would be living for the immediate future. Having rested on the Narindra, Anthony was ready to get to work. Training for a Marine was more like leisure than work, so making reservations for a training holodeck was no burden for him. He hadn’t been integrated into the Marine unit on the station, and while he waited for those orders to come through, he figured he might as well sharpen his skills. It was never fun to train alone, so he tapped his combadge while he walked. ((Starbase 118 - Glover's Quarters)) It had been a hell of a first mission for Glover but he came out of it unscathed. The ride back to the Starbase was one that Noah spent in quiet contemplation, allowing his mind to settle around the events that had taken place. Having been through such an ordeal and looking death in it's nasty eyes, Noah was thankful for those moments of solitude. Now that he was back on Starbase 118 he spent the early part of the day getting settled into his new crew quarters. They were bigger then he had expected, being more roomy then the crew quarters that they had showed them in the academy. That was one of the big perks of being assigned to a Starbase. Unpacking didn't take long, just some clothes, a few pictures from home, and some of Noah's favorite books. Meeks: =/\=Meeks to Ensign Glover=/\= Glover: =/\= Glover here =/\= Meeks: =/\= I have an hour of holodeck time and I’m going to do some training. Wanna join in?=/\= Noah perked up at this. Anthony and Noah had served together during the academy and during their recent mission the Captain had assigned them both to the Klingon shuttle together. Noah liked Anthony, he handled himself well during the mission. Glover: =/\= I would love to. I will suit up.=/\= Meeks: =/\=Copy that. I’ll meet ya on Training Holodeck Thirty-Two.=/\= ((Starbase 118 - Training Holodeck Thirty-Two)) Anthony tapped the console outside the door of the holodeck and loaded the program. With a chirp, the computer acknowledged the command and the holodeck doors slid open. Stepping inside, Anthony found himself standing in a mid sixteenth century Japanese dojo. The walls were dark wood framed rice paper and the floor was bamboo matting. Racks of period weaponry lined one of the walls. Taking the time while he waited for his new found friend, Anthony started a stretching routine. Noah arrived outside the Holodeck shortly there after. He was unsure exactly what training program they would use and felt it best to be prepared for anything while in his uniform, so he opted to wear his Starfleet uniform. Noah smiled when he entered and noticed Anything was already there and stretching. Glover: Ah, great choice on the program. I love the martial arts. Meeks: I figured we’d start slow with some stretches, then work our way into some jujitsu and aikido. How’s that sound to you? Noah smiled and nodded then quickly joined Anthony and began to do some stretches, making sure his body was prepared for the work Noah was about to put it through. He was happy to have made friends with a marine, he knew that Anthony would keep him challenged which would prove very useful in his line of work as a security officer. Glover: I will never get tired of the magic of the Holodeck. It is like we are really in Japan, I can even smell the Japanese wood. Meeks: ::Unable to suppress a smile:: It is pretty amazing. Sure beats a sweaty ol’ gym. Once they were warmed up, the pair moved to the center of the room. They squared up on each other and Anthony moved first. He was a little surprised when Noah slipped to the left of his advance, and before Anthony was able to regain his balance, he found himself on the floor. Rolling to his back, he took up the guard position as Noah mounted him. Bracing himself, Anthony arched his back and locked his legs around Noah’s waist. This kept Noah from being able to strike. They struggled for a few seconds in that position then broke, regaining their feet. Meeks: Smooth, Amigo. You got some moves, my friend. Glover: Your defense game is on point. Meeks: Let’s try that again. Glover: Brace for impact Lieutenant. ::chuckles:: Once the motion started, it was Noah who found himself on the floor again. He had dropped to lunge under Anthony’s raised arms and Anthony stepped into his advance. Anthony grabbed Noah around the waist and twisted, throwing Noah onto the bamboo mat. Before Anthony could advance on him, Noah rolled onto his knees and to his feet. It appeared to Anthony he had found a worthy sparring partner in the young Ensign. The twisting and turning grappling match went on for the full hour, and by the time the chime sounded, signaling their time was up, both men were sweaty and maybe a little bruised. Anthony grabbed a couple of towels from the rack and tossed one to Noah. Meeks: Now the only thing left for me to do, is buy you a beer. You game? Glover: A beer sounds perfect. Meeks: Promenade in an hour? Glover: I will see you there. Thanks for the workout Anthony. ::smiles and waves goodbye as he exits the Holodeck:: ((Starbase 118 - Glover's Quarters)) Noah stepped under the warm water of the shower and released a long sigh as the water massaged his sore muscles. He couldn't help but smile as he thought back over the past few days, his dreams of being a Starfleet Security Officer finally a reality. The fact that he had already made friends with Anthony made it even that much better. ~~~ End ~~~ ~~~ Ensign Noah Glover Security Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239706NG0 and 2Lt. Anthony Meeks Marine Officer - 292nd TMR Starbase 118 Ops R238801IG0
  15. ((Corridor, USS Constitution)) Maxwell Traenor had both a professional and a personal interest in the subject matter of the social meeting he was currently walking towards. Chip Foley, an engineer that Maxwell had known since they had both graduated from the Academy (improbable as it was that a Commander and an Ensign shared an Academy graduation), had extended him an invitation for coffee. Now, Maxwell was always down for a good caffeine jolt, but Chip had described his process for extracting that dark brew with an exuberance that exceeded even his usual superhuman excitement, and it was infectious. The scientist in him wanted to know how exactly a brewing process, homogenous across many civilizations and stagnant for centuries, could possibly be enhanced. In this day and age of post-scarcity, where a replicator in every room made every culinary whim available at the simplest voice command, a personal touch was rare. Therefore, a hand-drawn coffee deserved a similarly thoughtful accompaniment. Unlike others on the ship, Maxwell had zero culinary skills. He had dined at the tables of friends aboard the Conny and beyond who could be artistic in whipping up savory or sweet concoctions in their spare times, however those skills were forever beyond Maxwell’s capabilities. Therefore, he leaned on the skills of others to bridge his deficiency. When he had found out that the confectionaries at the Brew Continuum were handmade and baked in-house, Traenor made that his de facto source for a visitor’s gift to this social event - a box of caramel tarts that he felt would compliment any good brew of joe. Rounding the corner, Traenor saw the door to Chip’s quarters, and was pleased to see that he was neither early nor fashionably late. Mr Foley struck him as the type who would appreciate punctuality, he mused with humor. Most engineers were a stickler for details, a professional trait surely, but Chip… well, Chip certainly took the engineer stereotypes to a whole other level. Chuckling, Maxwell rang the buzzer located next to the quarters door. ((Personal Quarters - USS Constitution)) Normally Chip's quarters were - well, not MESSY, certainly. Not chaotic. That was anathema to him. But they were very BUSY. Chip tended to utilize every inch of his living area, with his expansive modular workbench and his meticulously organized tools and his enclosed safety field for more energetic experimentation and his elaborate floating kal-toh set and his virtual computing rig and his microaeronautic drone combat sim table ... ... like unpressurized vapor, Chip tended to expand to fill available space. This tendency had quickly led to him being assigned a single occupancy dorm at the Academy. However, it did make socialization in his quarters difficult. Dr. Nygard, his Academy counselor, had worked with him extensively on this topic. "Chip, people need more than the exact surface area required to sit in one place free if they're going to visit you. They'll feel ... constrained! Trapped! Remember when I tried to come visit you at your dorm and I couldn't get past that table with the little ships and one of them shot at me? That wasn't a good visit, Chip. We didn't have much fun, right? I understand you like things where they are, but you need a way to create more SPACE. You love solving problems like that - maybe find a way to pack things AWAY sometimes! Please, Chip. I don't want anyone else who might become friends with you in the future to bonk their forehead into that floating pile of metal bars like I did." So Chip had spent the early hours carefully putting things away, packing away the more space-consuming items. He'd left out a few pieces - things of particular visual interest or "conversation pieces" (he made mental air quotes) - and left a carefully-calculated amount of space for free movement. Now that he'd set his space up in a presentable fashion, his primary focus was the hovercart with his hyperpercolator mounted on it. The hyperpercolator represented years of effort. Experimentation, research, specialized permits, miniaturization of existing technology, security clearances, and the reconsideration of certain theories of phase change in organic matter. He made sure the power modulation was at the correct levels, and checked the stability on the internal forcefields, and then rechecked it just to be safe. One could never be too safe with the hyperpercolator. He glanced up and to the left, a habit he had when restlessly checking the chronometer in his field of vision, sort of the way someone with less internal equipment might check a wrist-worn piece or a wall clock. It was almost exactly time for- The buzzer rang. Well, buzzed. Chip beamed sparklingly bright, and moved quickly to the door to tap it open. Foley: Optimal timing, Commander! Almost to the quarter-second! Come in, come in! He gestured grandly with his cybernetic hand at the neatly-appointed quarters, with two entire chairs set out around a small modular table composed of interlocking hexagons, and lots of carefully color-coded boxes stacked at the walls. Foley: Welcome to my humble abode! Although I'm actually quite proud of it. Which still tracks, since I'd be proud, and not the aforementioned abode. Although an abode can't really be humble, either. Humbly appointed perhaps? But isn't humility subjective in that instance? That's outside the point! Which I had originally. Ah! Yes! You're here! Welcome! Maxwell chuckled, by now expecting and eternally amused by the running commentary that Chip was wont to engage in. If exuberant conversation was a spectator sport, then Foley would be the Buck Bokai of that competition. Traenor: Thanks for having me over, Chip. And it’s Maxwell, there’s no pips when coffee and treats are involved. He proffered the box of confectionaries he had brought along to punctuate the sentiment, taking a surreptitious look around Foley’s quarters as the exchange took place. One could discern a fair bit about an officer by the quarters they kept; take Maxwell, for instance. The current scarcity of his own quarters was a telegraph of his emotional state at the moment, a slight feeling of impermanence among recent upheavals. Chip’s quarters? Well, to Maxwell, they were just like the man they belonged to. Fascinating, amusing, and just a bit confusing. Foley: Optimal, Maxwell! ::Chip beamed, his silver eyes glowing with extra lumens as they tended to when reflecting their users’ satisfaction:: Oooh, treats? That’s one of my 71 favorite words! The order of the words’ prominence on the list changes over time but “treats” is frequently highly ranked! He glanced with undisguised eagerness at the parcel Maxwell had, measuring it with his eyes. Measuring, evaluating surface temperature, getting a rough estimate of materials involved in its manufacture ... Traenor: ::nodding at the box:: I’ve found that caramel enhances most coffees, so that’s what I went with this time as well. Hope I’m not proven wrong in this instance! Foley: Ah! Extremely optimal choice! The maltols and alpha-enol adjacent carbonyls in caramel are indeed a chemically perfect pairing with the 2-Isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine of coffee! Organic chemistry is not one of my PRIMARY interests but I did make a fairly intense - albeit highly specialized and specific - study of it in the course of engineering my coffee making system! And also a broader study of sugar in general! Mmm, caramel. Traenor took a more in-depth look around the room this time as he made his way towards the seats. In particular, he was trying to eye the by-now much vaunted hyperpercolator. A recent conversation with the ship’s premiere bartender about stills and home brewing - of a different sort from today’s brew, but no less interesting - had whet his appetite about learning the hows, whats, and whys of these particular talents. Any journeyman scientist worth their salt would be engaged in such subjects, he felt. Traenor: ::unsure if he was even pointing at the right contraption:: And is that… is that the coffee maker? Chip grinned brightly, which was really the only way he could grin with the titanium teeth. He moved to the hovercart with the air of an artist preparing to unveil his magnum opus, or a composer tossing back his coat tails and sitting at the bench to play his finest étude. Foley: Behold - the HYPERPERCOLATOR! I took some time considering the name and ultimately decided that since percolation is key to the delivery of the final product then it suited the device. Also I like the duplication of the “per” phoneme! But yes! The HYPERPERCOLATOR! Patent not pending! Totally open-sourced, but only a handful have been bold enough to attempt its final construction! I like to think of that as a compliment to my dedication and engineering skills and not a commentary on my lack of regard for the risk of annihilation! Never fear - I have STRONG anti-annihilation protocols in place! On the hovercart before the two men sat a cylindrical device, about a meter long, perhaps a third of a meter at its widest with clearly distinguished chambers, much wider at one end and narrowing at the end to a somewhat fanciful chromed tap. It pulsed with energy, and there was the sensation of repressed power not entirely unlike being in close proximity to a warp engine. Chip waggled his hairless brows, crinkling his vast forehead, and his eyes glowed with both good humor and a literal output of energy as a side effect of their extensive modifications. Foley: May I offer you The Hyperpercolator Grand Tour, trademark pending? Traenor: ::eyeing the contraption with the measured respect it deserved:: Trademark pending? I thought you had mentioned it was open-source - or did I mis-hear? Foley: Yes, the hyperpercolator itself is open-sourced but my particular style of dissemination of information on its structure and function is FIRMLY protected by relevant galactic trade law! Hypothetically! I haven’t tried to sell it yet. Although one never knows! Now, allow me to demonstrate! Chip raised his metallic left hand and extended his forefinger - and then kept extending it, an additional 10 centimeters, to act as a pointer. He’d initially developed the extensible digit function to allow better access behind heavy fixtures and into narrow spaces, but it was very helpful for scientific demonstrations! Eye catching! Quite literally, the one time someone had drawn too close during an enthusiastic exhibition of a theoretical design for a plasma-edged rotary saw. Traenor: Let the show begin! Maxwell was no engineer, but he appreciated equipment that led to chemical processes. And make no mistake, the preparation of coffee from beginning to end was a chemical process, which was squarely in his wheelhouse. The selection, propagation and cultivation of coffee trees was the rival of the most pristine of viticulture; precise maturation and maillardizing of the beans were essential; and of course, the solvency of the volatile organics into steeped water with the emulsification of the extracted oils… it was a chemistry slash horticulture lab supplanted onto a kitchen counter. He rubbed his hands together with a wicked grin in anticipation. Foley: So the essence of the hyperpercolator began with my consideration of how to best CONDENSE the essence of coffee. I’d had all the various forms of the beverage - my father is a coffee enthusiast, if not an addict - as well as exoterran varietals like raktajino. I’d researched and reviewed the science on French presses and espresso machines and vacuum coffeemakers, on cold brews and nitrous brews and flame roast and barrel roast. But I felt there was further opportunity. I wanted a way to concentrate the inherent ESSENCE of coffee, to enhance and intensify it. And so I looked to phase change! Specifically to SUBLIMATION. He tapped the wide end of the unit with a little tink, and the hyperpercolator thrummed, the lights within the device pulsing. Traenor: Sublimation! Of course! What an elegant source for distillation! Foley: Precisely! A sufficient application of energy to be able to entirely convert the coffee beans into vapor! Hence the plasma generator that acts as the heart of the hyperpercolator and certainly one of its more entertainingly dangerous components! It took at least a year to be able to determine the exact level of energy output in megajoules and the appropriate duration for the plasma pulse into the bean chamber! There was then the matter of incineration to consider - coffee beans, like most other organic material, are subject to radical carbonization and compressed ash makes a highly unsuitable drink in most cases! Traenor: My first thought is, ‘how do you preserve the volatile organic compounds’? We all know how fragile they are to heat of any degree. Especially purines, which would mean bye-bye caffeine jolt... Foley: Ah-HA! Just so! And so I needed something that would allow the phase state change to take place while maintaining the volatile organic flavor compounds and, naturally, the trimethylxanthine! My eventual solution after extended research was a specified medical stasis field established in the bean depository, miniaturized of course, to sustain the more delicate organic compounds! Combined with a vaporous nitrogenic fixative, this allows for essentially instantaneous conversion of the coffee beans into a pure coffee bean vapor with the relevant stimulants and flavonols intact - and even intensified! Traenor: By the fates… you’ve basically aerosolized the organic compounds in a forcefield-stabilized molecular stream. It took the heat of a tiny singularity to do so, but what a feat! You know, you could revolutionize food replication technology with this... That was just so. In order to maintain the complex flavorant compounds in food when setting replicator recipes, transporter technology to break down products to their constituent molecules was used. However, it had its limitations, as anyone who compared replicated food to its naturally prepared version could attest. Transporters were highly efficient at breaking down matter to the atomic level, converting it to an energy stream, and recompiling it into an exact replica of matter at the other end. However, your average replicator didn’t dematerialize a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream sundae behind your quarters wall and reconstruct it in the alcove you reach into. It had a gross approximation of the matter reconstruction protocol, and used inert matter stores as the base to make a degraded facsimile of your request. Ergo, not quite “right’. The same concept was in play when one tried to reinvent the wheel with coffee brewing. The extraction of the myriad chemical compounds that produced a fine cup of coffee was borne of a specific method - mainly, the dissolution of those compounds from coffee beans into hot water. You try to change that too radically, is it even coffee anymore? With enough advanced applied theoretical engineering and chemical sciences, the answer was apparently yes. Foley: Ideally! The technology for this application was quite exact, but once the guidelines of securing volatile organic cellular chains within specified miniaturized stasis fields utilized in micronic pulses and powered by a plasma chamber are understood generally, particularly by the Operations oversight committee of Starfleet … it would certainly make using a replicator more energy consumptive, and the process may not be suitable for every application, but I suspect it would make certain delicate flavors much more accessible! Imagine how shipboard dinner conversations could be improved without people either lamenting or defending replicated food or discussing the limited resource-heavy workarounds to replicated food and drink they’d come to, generally with varying degrees of smugness! Chip was at maximum eagerness, gesturing broadly with both the organic and inorganic hand, moving his beryllium-titanium fingers in delicate patterns as if to demonstrate the enclosure of delicate imidazoles, swishing the extended pointer finger with its glowing green tip, from the base of the device where the fusion cell and plasma chamber were built, to the secured and shielded coffee depository, through the narrow glowing chamber through which everything was theoretically forced, and to the wider slightly belled end with a tap on the very tip and a neatly installed blue-glowing cube that was recognizable to the science officer as a small hydrox generator. Foley: From here the coffee vapor is pressurized, slowly forced down into a liquid state, pushed along this condenser and into the distillator where it’s combined with pure extractive water created from absolutely pure hydrogen and oxygen, on demand! I once tried drinking the condensed coffee vapor as a pure liquid - and I did not sleep for 5 days, nor could I taste anything adequately for another 22! The INTENSITY, you see. It exceeds the normal capacities of the gustatory cells! Thus, the condensed distillate requires a VERY specific temperature of water at an absolute purity and a specified vacuum-bound micro-aeration in order to become remotely palatable but still maintain its character! And that character, I must reiterate - is INTENSE. It had been a very long while since he had researched the subject (for a prank on a much younger and much more haughty instructor at the Academy) but Maxwell was brought to mind of the effects of caffeine overdose, or caffeine intoxication as it was sometimes known. Restlessness, excitement, periods of inexhaustibility, rambling flow of thought and speech… nah. He was sure it was just a coincidence. He smiled at Chip, urging him to continue. Traenor: Well, the proof is in the edible non-newtonian fluid, as they say! Brew me up a jolt and let’s see what you’ve got here. Foley: As you wish, my good sir! Make yourself comfortable! Stand at ease! Be of good cheer! Oh - ah, yes! Ha ha, nearly forgot! In addition to all the comfort and good cheer, there is some required … precaution to be taken! The hyperpercolator was mounted on its hovercart in the center of the room, of course. Just beside it, with a chair on either side, was a pedestal table made of interlocking hexagons. In front of each chair was a small ceramic cup, big enough for just 0.5 ounces each, and sat neatly between them was a toolkit with a few essentials that might come up in standard operation of the hyperpercolator: a heavy-duty shielded tricorder of the sort used in evaluating high energy discharges, a spare krellide power cell, an EJ7 interlock, a plasma torch, what appeared to be a field tissue regenerator, and a pair of heavily tinted polarized goggles, which Chip handed cheerfully to Maxwell. Foley: The plasma pulse combined with the photonic output of the multiple field interactions can be slightly retina-scorching to the unprotected eye! Another challenging aspect of bleeding-edge coffee generation! Make use of those - unless of course you’d like a fetching pair of prosthetic eyes like mine! Always a viable alternative! Traenor: ::fumbling quickly with the goggles, speaking in a tone not unlike a squeak before clearing his throat:: Yes, hmm, I think the Conny crew can do just fine with one set of enhanced eyeballs. Let’s just slip these bad boys on. Chip chuckled, and began to set about the delicate processes of setting the device up. Most adjustments were made virtually - Chip did not fully trust analogue controls since they were subject to alteration from exterior forces, so most of the controls were adjusted purely digitally, through a PADD interface built into the hovercart. The percolator thrummed, almost crackling with energy that slowly increased. Delicate adjustments were made. The exterior lights began to pulse. Foley: The beans are the strongest and most robust I can find - although the hyperpercolator extracts the most essential properties of almost any breed of Coffea Canaphora, the amount of energy expended in its use means that I want to get the best possible return on investment, as it were! And it were, in this case, optimal to use the most intense beans I could find! These were bred by a clinically insane botanist on an asylum station near Exo III - an interesting fellow! We played tri-D chess by subspace for a while. He always led with his bishops! But he grows EXCELLENT coffee. And apparently talks to the plants! Evidently they occasionally talk back, according to some of our idle chatter between chess moves. I assume that was mostly metaphorical, but it’s difficult to confirm! Chip opened a small magnetically sealed box full of exactly 3.75 ounces of unroasted stones from the coffee berries provided by the mad botanist, ideally not from talking plants. At a tap of Chip’s control pad, a port at the wide base of the hyperpercolator irised open, and he tipped the stones in. There was no point in an external roasting process, Chip had determined, since the pulse of hyperpercolator’s sublimation chamber was 277760 degrees Celsius. He secured the bean depository, and there the slowly rising harmonic of a sweep by the scanner of the adjusted stasis system, miniaturized and built into the strange device. It pulsed louder. Foley: Payload secured …. And now we initiate MAXIMALLY OPTIMAL COFFEE! He said it in the tone that another hypothetically intense scientist may have once shouted “GIVE MY CREATION LIFE!” in a lightning storm, and instead of a large knife switch he tapped the console on the hovercart. The plasma generator thrummed, the cart shook slightly - and Chip’s eyes automatically shifted from glowing silver to a dulled polarized gray as there was a massive corona of light, a huge FLARE of energy. Everywhere there was suddenly the intense smell of roasted coffee - so intense that it went beyond what mankind previously imagined as that smell, transcending it. It was the scent of PLATONIC coffee, roasted in the heart of a star, secured by forcefields at the cellular level and made sublime. Foley: Compression initiated! THIS PART IS ALWAYS SOMEWHAT INTERESTING FROM A RISK-ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE! Traenor: ::cupping his ears:: WHAT! ::determining it was futile:: NEVER MIND! I’LL JUST WATCH! The two had to begin shouting here as the hyperpercolator pulsed and began to cool the superheated vapor, releasing the stasis fields, the fixed nitrogen flooding the chamber and a level 6 forcefield just 10 centimeters across began to compress everything into the central body of the hyperpercolator. Now it became clear why Chip had mounted the device on a hovercart - it would have shaken apart any moored surface. The vibrations were intense, even with the hovercart’s antigravitic stablizers, like a ship passing into the higher warp factors. Traenor had never seen a steam engine in real life. The archaic and highly inefficient motive device preceded the scientist by a good 5 or 6 centuries on his forebear’s home planet. However, it was still a romanticized device among humans, so he was familiar with it. Maxwell surmised that in an alternate reality, where steam technology progressed through an algorithm like Moore’s Law to supplant internal combustion, nuclear energy, and eventually M/A reaction to become the dominant energy force of the 25th century, then such an engine would look like this. He found himself shrinking back into his chair involuntarily. Traenor: ::still speaking quite loudly as his ears were ringing fiercely:: Was it supposed to do ::waving vaguely at the overwhelming sensory overload provided by the device:: that?! Foley: Everything is OPTIMAL! We are approaching MAXIMUM COFFEE ENGAGEMENT, MAXWELL! Sorry, I don’t actually need to shout since the vibrations have ceased but I’m always very excited by this point in the percolation process! It's so SPARKLING! Traenor: ::with an uncertain grin:: I’ll risk life and limb on a good cup of coffee. Er, I mean that metaphorically, of course. Foley: Yes! Metaphorically! There’s only a 7.25% chance of significant device failure leading to possible catastrophic injury and-slash-or maiming! If that! Frankly I was a bit generous with those probabilities, erring on the side of caution! Which I find is frequently the best side to err on when considering possible disastrous outcomes! It’s always better to plan for those in advance, particularly when you’ve lost 25% of your limbs. But behold! The process had indeed quieted. After reaching nearly 1800 Hz in vibrations, and pulsing with energies that lit the entire room and likely would have triggered alarms in Main Engineering AND the Security Complex had Chip not carefully registered his device with the relevant authorities … the hyperpercolator now just quietly bubbled. The sublimated coffee vapor had been condensed and had mixed with pure di-hydrox, pure H20 condensed at the atomic level. The dispensation chamber burbled cheerfully as the two liquids were aerated together and adjusted to an optimal temperature by way of a heat transference panel. At last the bubbling stopped, the glows all faded - and there was a cheerful DING! Foley: Optimal coffee achieved! :: he grinned brightly :: At least based on prior experimentation! Now for PEER REVIEW! Chip carefully brought each little ceramic cup over to the shiny chrome tap of the hyperpercolator - its only really analogue component - and twisted the tap, dispensing steaming near-black liquid (approximately 19-1111 TX on the Pantone scale). The bald man set a cup formally down in front of Maxwell, moving with that curiously liquid way he had and delicately holding the cup between two metallic fingers, and then sat eagerly in the chair facing the commander, cradling his own cup in one hand. Foley: Cheers! No, that’s more appropriately alcoholic. To your health! Well, no, that’s not entirely accurate with the effect this has on your metabolism. Oh! No, wait! A cadet at the Academy informed me of an appropriate toast - 'IwlIj jachjaj! ::it was pronounced with the sort of awkward care only made possible by a rigorously obsessive student repeating after someone over and over while not understanding the language, each syllable chiseled and isolated:: Maxwell brought the goggles up off of his eyes and rested them on his forehead, completely cementing the pulp fiction image of two mad scientists cackling over their doomsday device. The actual scientist narrowed his eyes in consternation at Chip’s use of Klingon, which Maxwell had never fully learned and was extremely rusty on. It SOUNDED like something to do with parentage and the scent of elderberries, but that certainly couldn’t be right. Traenor: I, er, don’t think I know what that means. Or at least not what I think I heard. Foley: I was advised that it means “May your blood scream!”, although it’s used proverbially as a toast! Although hyperpercolated coffee has been known to occasionally cause pulse rates to increase to the point that blood forced at that impelled velocity over a sufficiently acoustic surface COULD likely produce a certain scream-adjacent sound effect! Traenor: ::a confused expression belying his words:: Ah. That makes more sense. Though hardly any more reassuring. Before Chip could query him about what he thought he heard initially, since how could he possibly explain that, Maxwell interjected right away with a segue back to the topic at hand. He took up his own espresso cup and wondered why his eyes were starting to water. Traenor: This will likely be a revelatory experience for me, won’t it? Chip paused a moment in consideration of the various meanings of the term “revelation”, and decided that there were a sufficient number of religious traditions that utilized mental or physical challenges in the pursuit of enlightenment - and thus revelation - that it qualified. Foley: Indeed! It very likely shall! Let us leap! They both tipped the cups back. Imagine if you will the difference between powdered milk and real, fresh organic cream. The difference between the recirculated oxygen of a pressurized aircraft and a rushing mountain breeze. The difference between Beethoven played through a small portable speaker sat on a particle board desk and the same piece in a symphony hall played by a 100-piece orchestra. To Chip, at least, that was the difference between standard coffee and the hyperpercolator’s brew - they were the same thing, but one was magnified. Intensified. Everything one considers in a cup of coffee - the acidity, the bitter notes, the complex roasted elements, the strong body thanks to the scientifically-suspended oils - it was all present, but AMPLIFIED. It activated every relevant taste bud at once, coating the whole mouth. And the sensation of caffeine uptake was almost immediate - it was like a hit of a Medical stimulant, like the hyposprays used to bring people out of sedation. Chip’s eyelids lifted and he smiled in contentment, his whole face animating. Foley: Ahhhhhhhhh. It was a sound of radiant satisfaction, like a steam release valve being slowly opened. Chip’s energy output was so constantly high that this was like refueling. He immediately seemed more ACTIVATED. His hairless brows rose in curiosity. Foley: So! How do you find the brew? Maxwell was gingerly trying to pick himself up off the floor where he had fallen out of his chair. His pupils were dilated at different rates, and the room was buzzing… buzzing? Yep, definitely buzzing. A few minutes from now, when he could feel his tongue again, Traenor would start to wonder why he chose to chug instead of sip. When he spoke, it was with a ragged breathlessness. Traenor: ...smooth… Foley: Oooh! You’ve achieved supinity! Sparkling! Ah, I remember those heady days of early experimentation, frequently finding myself awakening in strange postures in the culinary lab after caffeine-related syncope. You’ll find the second cup is much less traumatic, although I recommend considering a waiting period before you indulge! That can vary, of course, based on your particular neurochemistry and your willingness to embrace danger! Chip rested his elbow on the table and leaned over, peering curiously at Maxwell, his cheerfully glowing cybernetic eyes roving and evaluating the man’s skin temperature and heart rate for display in Foley’s optical HUD - both elevated, but not to any immediately lethal point. The commander was also returning to his chair at a reasonably careful speed, so Chip opted against getting up to come around and drag him up. After all, hyperpercolator brew sometimes lent an intense dermal sensitivity that could make being touched challenging for a few moments after ingestion. Foley: So! Maximum veracity! On a scale of 0.1 to 28.7 how would you rate your satisfaction with the overall flavor, complexity, and neurostimulation? Don’t pad your evaluation on my behalf! Objective experiential data is the KEY to improvement! Back in his chair, finally, and trying to re-establish at least the air of respectability, Maxwell regarded the question. Well, regarded might not be the best word. Devoured? Assimilated? His brain felt supercharged, turbocharged. The caffeine rush was exquisite, even if the tremors weren’t. Traenor: Ooh, flavor! Complex, fine acidity, bitter notes of cacao and vegetals and definite undernotes of terpenes! Sweet toasted sugar notes! Atomic crunch tooth rattles! Wait, that’s not a flavor but a sensation. Hmm, I’d give it a 𝞹 times 9! Wait. Maxwell didn’t know pi past the first few decimal points off the top of his head, let alone how well enough for off-the cuff equations. He looked at Chip with awe. This was damned fine coffee in so many ways - if you could ride out the side effects, of course. Foley: Good, good! Optimal! SPARKLINGLY optimal! We are approaching scale maximum AND in an appealingly precise fashion! Explicate! Have you noticed any curious distortions in perception? Any indication of dissociation? Alteration of primary sensory capacity? Also, and this is crucial, should we eat those caramel tarts NOW or would you rather wait until some of the aftereffects fade? Traenor: ::settling in with a grin:: Man, we have a lot of coffee talk to get through! Grab them tarts. END -- Commander Maxwell Traenor Science Officer, USS Constitution A239111MT0 and Ensign Chip Foley Engineering USS Constitution-B C239704CF0
  16. ((Main Engineering, USS Narendra)) After informal debriefings with Galven, Taelon, and other members of the science team, Kudon went to Main Engineering to record his report for the mission, as Galven had requested. He sat down at a station, further away from technicians currently on duty, so that he could have a bit of privacy. Kudon: Computer, record Engineer Officer Ensign Kudon's mission log, Stardate 239706.22 In the mission recently completed, I was assigned with Commander Galven, Lieutenant Bailey, and Ensign Taelon as a team to be responsible for neutralizing Death Fog, which was stored on Vanokth II. We were further charged with rendering the Death Fog's production facility nonoperational, in order to make the production of additional deadly gas impossible. Prior to deployment to the planet, here on the Narendra, Ensign Taelon had developed unique Death Fog neutralizers known as Breathers. I had programmed the Breathers with an algorithm that in pre-deployment testing showed remarkable success at using statistical analysis to detect the Death Fog, using a modified Kalman Filter, specifically an Autoencoder. When we beamed down to Vankoth II, the algorithm was successful in detecting the presence of Death Fog in two locations, one at the southeast end of the compound and one at the north end. Kudon paused here, feeling the disappointment of the words he had to utter... Unfortunately, while the area of the Death Fog's dispersion was likely accurate, the algorithm failed to be able to fully determine the Death Fog's density and therefore it was impossible to tell which location was the storage facility and the production facility. Based on pre-deployment testing, this should not have happened. I will analyze the data later, hopefully with the help of Ensign Taelon, to determine why it failed and if it could be improved for future chemical detection. Kudon paused to breathe again, as his mind shifted to the fighting that took place. The fear that had gripped him during battle had proved overwhelming, but he would have to save that for his personal log. After we had detected where the gas was at least, we were discovered by several cult members and a major battle ensued. Commander Galven had ordered that only non-lethal force should be used. While this was respected by all of us under his command, it was not respected by a non-cult member Klingon named Asoq, who killed a significant number of Molorians, using both a rifle and a dagger. Little is known about this Klingon, but he claimed to have broken free from cultists who had interrogated him under torture. His severely disfigured face certainly lent credence to his claim of torture. He helped lead all of us into the compound, although Ensign Taelon and myself initially, followed by Commander Galven and Lieutenant Bailey. He wondered if he was remembering all of this correctly. So many events had happened so face and the fear he had felt certainly may have interfered with his memory. To the best of his knowledge, the report was correct so far in the events, but was it correct in order? Ensign Taelon, Asoq, and I sent a Breather into the production facility's pipe system with the goal of using it to trigger an explosion that would melt the release valves of the Death Fog. The idea of melting the valves was Ensign Taelon's. It was my idea to use a Breather, based on the possibility that connecting the algorithm to the Breather's gas scrubbing mechanism would allow it to separate out the silicon and platinum chloride of the Death Fog, ideally triggering explosive chemical reactions from unchained silicon and organic compounds in the air of the vents. When Commander Galven and Ensign Bailey rejoined us, our plans had to shift because of a countdown breach in the reactor core at the compound. Commander Galven, having been severely injured, ordered Ensign Bailey and myself to reach the outside of the compound in the hope of finding our fellow officers in the team rescuing Lofsha, the kidnapped Klingon Commander. Once we were outside, an explosion was triggered, but it is very unlikely that it was caused by the Breather. Before the explosion, Bailey and I were transported aboard the Klingon ship qulCha’par...The success of this last Breather in isolating silicon or triggering detonation is unknown...I hope to study this further... He had to stop there, not just because it was the end of the story...surely more details could be added, but he felt further disappointment not knowing whether his algorithm had worked in the chemical reactions. Kudon was in a variety of ways disappointed in his performance. His algorithm had worked at detecting the Death Fog initially, but it underperformed expectations. And he had no idea if the second use of the algorithm in triggering an explosion had worked at all. Then it crept into his mind again how his fear in battle had rattled him so much, leading him to overestimate the chances of success and not think through all the consequences of his decisions. This had come out in a sudden burst of a sort of confession to Galven down on the planet. He wanted to process of all his feelings about this in his personal log, but right now it was all too much. Kudon closed his eyes and took two minutes to do Vulcan meditation. He opened his eyes and left engineering to find some distraction. NT Ensign Kudon Starbase 118 Ops Engineering Officer O239703K10
  17. ((IKS qulCha’par, Shuttlebay)) Korv had made it to the qulCha'par's shuttlebay unnoticed and he was just outside in the corridor looking at a bundle of wires spilling out of the door lock panel that he had pried off using his trusty dagger. Korv: ::irritatedly under his breath:: Argh, more locks to open. What did the old bat say again? ::scratches his chin:: Red and blue... Brainpower was not Korv’s strong suit and now his right arm was broken he was not being delicate with the wires either. He punched the wall with his good hand and proceeded to simply rip all the wiring out. To his surprise the shuttle bay doors opened and he rushed inside, glancing around to quickly find cover. There shouldn’t be any opposition there yet, but just in case. You never knew-- he had heard those Starfleet officers were like nasty rodents... they are everywhere and hard to get rid of. Luckily there was no-one. The shuttle bay was deserted. At the far side of the room stood a small craft. Korv: ::huffs:: Just my luck. A flying tin! It didn’t really matter that the shuttle was the tiniest he’d ever seen, barely room for two people, it would serve his purpose, to escape and limp back to the Cult’s main hideout. There he could warn them of the events, and after that, hopefully let him live to fight in the name of Molor once more. Leaning against the outside of the tiny shuttle, he took a minute to examine his broken arm. He had left a messy trail of pink blood, dripping from a wound that - he only noticed now - had a piece of bone sticking out of it. Back in the test facility, the rush of battle had numbed all pain but now, even though he would never admit it out loud, he felt pain. He made a rip in his uniform shirt and tucked his hand inside to support it like a makeshift sling. Then he felt a tremor starting to build up. It resonated in the floor and the walls. He knew exactly what it was - the qulCha’par’s engines were ramping up. Korv: oO Hopefully this flying tin is too insignificant to have any extra security on it. Oo Resolutely he got back to his feet. He had to move quickly now to be ready if his escape was going to be successful. The shields could only be raised if the large vessel was high enough up from the ground and when they did, he would smash to pieces on the inside of the invisible containment field. Korv wasn’t smart, but this he knew. Korv: ::plonks himself down on the pilot seat and taps the console:: Let’s see. Good. Not long now. Hopefully I will be gone before anyone realises. A flick of a switch initiated the opening of the shuttle bay door. The screech of an alert sounded throughout the bay and to Korv it seemed as if the door was opening in the slowest way ever, as if it was taunting him on purpose. Korv: ::yells frustratedly and smashes his fist down:: Aaargh! Open, you stupid door, or I will blast my way out! There were no weapons on the tiny flying tin and he knew it. Still, he was angry and screaming felt good. He held his hand over the power controls, ready to speed off. When the tiny shuttle finally did shoot away, like a cork out of a bottle of fermented bloodwine, he realized he wasn’t all that far away from the ground at all yet. He was speeding towards the test facility, that was crumbling and nearly falling apart. Computer: Pull up. Terrain. Pull up. Korv: I can see that. Shut up! ::punches the controls frantically with one hand in an attempt to raise the little craft’s altitude:: It was working, he was on course to just skim over the top and have a clear getaway. He allowed himself to sit back more comfortably in the pilot seat and let out a loud relieved laugh. Korv: Ha ha ha! Honor is useless. Survival of the fit-- ::eyes wide with horror and mouth breathlessly open:: As it was passing low over the top of the building’s large dome, a wall of flame and debris shot up from the production compound. There was no time to react and the tiny shuttle flew right into it, completely being engulfed by the explosion. It didn’t come out of the other side, not even a trace. Bullying only works when you know your target is not capable of fighting back. Ironically, being bullied in his past had made Korv a bitter and cowardly bully himself and drove him to join the Cult of Molor, a group of Klingons who ruthlessly terrorized their own kind to gain support for their twisted ideals. He had helped kill and torture countless people in the name of the Cult in the misguided hope that someone, someday would be proud of his achievements. It was all he really wanted. But who could be proud of a broken honorless lost soul like Korv. (END) -- Korv Klingon follower of the Cult of Molor simmed by Ens. Romyana Casparian Engineering Officer Starbase 118 Ops - USS Narendra O239703RC0
  18. Slight warning - Klingon justice is pretty dramatically dark, but this was a fantastic read to the end of a very nasty villain! ((IKS qulCha’par – Interior)) Luthas picked the cult leader up by his feet and unceremoniously dragged the man behind him as he followed Lofsha to the bridge which wasn’t the best action to take because now his gag had come off as it untied itself when it scraped against the floor. Gach’ah: Such imbeciles! ::head bumps on the ground:: Oof! You cowards! ::head bump:: Oof! They entered the bridge to find Lofsha’s crew powering up the ship and beginning the processes for take off. Lofsha: G’maj, find Asoq, beam him to the bridge. G’Maj: Yes, Commander! Lofsha: How long until the Death fog is expelled? Luthas: :: Luthas shrugged :: I lost track when the fighting started so anytime between right now and 7 minutes. :: Probably should have had a timer running. Oh well. :: Gach’ah: ::chuckles maniacally:: Any moment now and every single one of you will be choking to death on the gas! Lofsha: No worries, Gach’ah. You will see your plan in its glory up close and personal. Luthas: You’re going to kick him out the airlock? :: That didn’t seem very Klingony but what did he know. :: Gach’ah: Oh, so dishonorable of you, Commander. Maybe you should join the Cult of Molor. ::winks with a nasty smirk:: Lofsha gave a single nod and one of her crew punished the cultist with a blow to the chest to keep him still. He laughed as a few coughs expelled from being hit in the ribs. Golden light filled the area as the battered but honorable form of another Klingon appeared. No doubt the one she had asked to be beamed aboard. Lofsha: Asoq. ::A curt greeting:: Friend of my family. I trust you have made the cultists blood run freely? Asoq knelt down and put his fist to his chest. Asoq: Commander, it is an honor to be in your presence. I took the lives of many traitors today, but far too few for what they all deserved. Lofsha: This is Gach’ah, dishonorable leader of this despicable place. ::She waved towards the cultist.:: Do you think he should see his handiwork up close and personal? Asoq rose to his feet and as he glanced Gach’ah’s way, the cultist snarled and then spat at the Klingon, but it missed by a long shot. Asoq: Yes! Only the beginning of a fitting punishment! Luthas: If you’re gonna leave him there alive, might I suggest a cement shoes approach. Prevent him from leaving wherever you drop him off. Gach’ah: ::confused:: What is cement? Lofsha: Get one of the cargo weights. The one that weighs 800 kilograms. Chain it to him. Asoq: Commander, let me have the honor of chaining him down. What in the world? Gach’ah had never heard of these tactics before. He wasn’t sure if they were still messing with him with their own mind games or if they were actually serious. For the first time ever, words escaped him as Lofsha stepped forward, getting right up close and personal to Gach’ah. Lofsha: I’m going to beam you into your compound, right by the tanks so you can have an up close, front and center personal view of the chaos you have created. You know, Molor would want it this way. Both of his thick eyebrows arched clear up his forehead, then when Lofsha stepped away, Asoq took his turn to look into Gach'ah's eyes with his face no more than 6 inches away. Asoq: I want you to remember that for every honorable Klingon that you had tortured or killed, for every dishonorable act you did, for all of your supposed shrewdness, I was there for the Empire, passing along your every deed. Doesn't it bother you that you never knew until today that you let a spy into your inner ring? What would bother him about that? He had done the same thing when he fooled everyone in the Empire. The previous cult leader came up to him during his earlier years and spoke off Molor and what their purpose was. Gach’ah was already sold on the idea essentially just before the leader ended his speech. What was even better had been the fact that the man was someone he would have never guessed to be against the Empire. Gach’ah hissed at them both. More so at Lofsha which caused his action caused him to cough up some blood which he spat at them which landed perfectly between their feet. He was about to stand up when all of a sudden, a colored hue of the transporter whisked him away and mere seconds later, he was now back in his compound ((Inside Compound, Vankoth II)) He didn’t have much mobility since he was still tied up. He pushed himself up as he rested his shoulders and collarbone on the wall, then with some leg strength still available, Gach’ah finally managed to stand. Although how he did that only caused more severe pain from the beating he took from Lofsha’s crew. Galven: =/\= Just a few more seconds, sir. =/\= Mr. Taelon, come on! Let’s hurry! Taelon: I need to shut down the full release or this is pointless. Just - give me a moment - The cultist heard a couple voices that echoed down the corridor which was pretty far away. They sounded like Starfleet officers which tickled Gach’ah because he knew that he would’ve been able to kill at least two people. He started off with a limped half jog, but wasn’t that much successful at really going anywhere, but there were maybe a few inches he had managed to get out of his efforts. Nijil: =/\= Is everyone in your team with you? =/\= Galven: =/\= Negative, sir. I told them to head outside towards your location. =/\= Nijil: =/\= Understood, ::he had to pause to catch his breath.:: Prepare for transport - =/\= Gach’ah: Transport? What?! You filthy miscreants will not hear the last of me! A loud rumble which caused a thunderous cracking sounded which caused Gach’ah to turn around since he was actually curious as to what was happening. Not a nanosecond later, an enormous fireball lit up the corridor, then as if sound itself left him behind, a shock wave threw him backwards and he landed with a thud on his back. He weakly sat up, but there wasn’t even much of a moment for him to digest as the billowing explosion reached Gach’ah which caused him to start screaming at the top of his lungs as he was engulfed in flame. ((OOC-The End of Gach’ah!)) ---- Gach’ah Former Cult of Molor Leader V239507GG0
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