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AvarisTorrin

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About AvarisTorrin

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    Civilian Rabble Rouser
  • Birthday 08/04/1984

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    USS Darwin
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  1. (( Deck 6 - Crew Lounge - USS Darwin A)) ::After spending a lovely meal with Ashworth (who had been summoned back to his quarters by his girlfriend and made his leave), Avaris had stood ready to go to his quarters and rest, but found himself less steady on his feet than he would have liked to be. The Romulan bartender smiled at him :: Rhean: You need something to perk up? I have fresh raktachino brewed. Torrin: Yes! That sounds, perfect. ::She was pouring his a large mug of the potent stuff, when the doors whooshed open and Artem arrived back, his meeting over. :: Rhean: Welcome back mister Dragumov. Can I get you anything? ::Avaris turned towards him and smiled. :: Torrin: Hey buddy! How was your important Starfleet business? Dragumov: Important as always. ::To Rhean:: I think Ill have a coffee too... do you have Earth coffee though? That Klingon stuff dosn't agree with me. Rhean: If you don't mind replicated, coming right up. ::Avaris closed his eyes and smiled, he knew he was going to be dragged back to their quarters soon, but was enjoying the warmth of the Klingon brew in the meantime :: Dragumov: So. That officer had to go? Torrin: Yes he did, wanted to check in on the little one before reporting into engineering. Did you know he was on the Apollo as well? His girlfriend kid is Henry, the boy I told you about taking to see Dr Renos in sickbay with a crayon in his nose. Its nice that there will be a few familiar faces around. Dragumov: You seem to have relaxed a bit since this morning. ::He opened his eyes, and stood up, gesturing towards Artem, who seemed to be glowing.:: Torrin: Yes, I feel MUCH better actually, and YOOOOOU seem full of some kind of weird excitement. What trouble are you getting yourself into? Dragumov: Well actually I might get to go on an away mission. We are rendezvousing with a survey ship, an old Antares class called the Dunbar. Apparently their chief engineer has gone missing and they want some muscle to accompany a repair crew. ::And just like that, everything became annoying again. ((Flashback - Orion Syndicate vessel Harrid Tar - 21 Years Earlier )) ::Avaris was 17. He had left Trill on the pretense of academic business, the contacts refusing to meet inside Federation Space, a precaution for which Avaris could hardly blame them. They had rendezvoused with his and Jaxans small 'borrowed' transport ship as planned, the wanderer class Herrid Tar had been where it had said is was going to be, and they had been escorted to the lavish meeting room without incident apart from a cursory pat-down, Jaxan had even been allowed to keep his sidearm... which made Avaris nervous. These guys were not worried in the slightest, that put them at a disadvantage. :: ::The room had seemed at first to Avaris as though it were desperately trying to fool them into believing it was a tent, luscious drapery adorned the walls, hanging crystal lights shone dimly illuminating the space just enough to see but dark enough to maintain a mysterious atmosphere. The Harrid Tars' captain, a ridge-nosed alien of unknown species lounged on one of the many chairs, the translator working without 100% accuracy of his largely un-encountered dialect and making it sound as though his Federation Standard was richly accented. :: :: Jaxan had chosen to sit, but could not disguise his illness-at-ease entirely, his back straight and seated at the edge of the recliner. Avaris had remained standing during the brief conversation, feeling better about looming in situations where he needed to be negotiating, finding his size to be one of the few advantages he could hope for. :: ::They had discussed the transfer of the stolen Federation weapons from their craft to the Harrid Tar and the Maquis rendez vous point for drop-off, and the mobsters had seemed pleased enough with their arrangements, asking few questions and generally putting on an air of agree-ability and competence. :: ::And then the captain had handed Avaris a PADD which had a manifest, and directions to a decrepit neutral starbase nearly 15 lightyears away. :: Torrin: What is this? Syndicate Captain: That is your payment for our services, Trill. ::Avaris looked at it carefully. It appeared to list several crates of Betazoid truffles. This had not been a part of the plan... usually when the Syndicate agreed to trade in favours, they held onto them. They were not prepared to make a journey right away, and Avaris had not expected to be included in seeing through their end of the deal at all, it was something someone else would do as he had taken on the responsibility of this trip. :: Torrin: What am I looking at Captain? Syndicate Captain: What does it look like? We need you to drop off a shipment of truffles. Torrin: And is that really what they are? ::The captain rose. :: Syndicate Captain: I cant see how that is any of your business, princess. ::Torrin took a step closer to him. The man was slightly shorter than him, but could easily snap him in half without thinking twice about it. :: Torrin: I think you will find that it is. The stasis chambers are large, and we agreed that my group would do whatever you asked, apart from involvement in your slave trade. If I opened the stasis chambers would I find mushrooms Captain ? ::The captain grabbed him by the collar and threw him backwards. He crashed into the chair, where Jaxan had been sitting on edge but now jumped upward reaching idiotically for his firearm (the good it would do them, there were four guards in the room with weapons drawn already ) :: Torrin: JAXAN STOP IT. Listen Captain, there is no need to get cross here, I just need to know what we are getting into. ::The syndicate Captain laughed throatily:: Syndicate Captain: No, what you need is to learn your place, or perhaps you have mistaken us for the Syndicates not-for-profit charity branch? Do you have ANY currency to pay us for this dangerous mission you are not capable of seeing through on your own? ::Torrin scowled up at the man. :: Syndicate Captain: No? Well then perhaps you should respect that we are generously offering to barter with you in the first place, and not ask asinine questions that are, once again in-case you are too air-headed to have listened the first time, not any of your concern. ::Torrin sulked silently, while the large and frankly repulsive man shambled up closer to him. Avaris' eyes widened in horror and murderous rage when he reached out his hand, gently touching Avaris' long hair, which he had worn down, and which had flown in his face when he was thrown backwards. The captain brushed it out of his eyes and continued speaking . :: Syndicate Captain: Unless of course you would like to find another way to pay us.. our doctor could turn you green, a pretty boy like you could fetch a price on the market for sure.... ::Avaris stood up and snarled in the mans face, his impulsive anger cancelling out his concern for his own physical safety :: Torrin: The deals off then. We agreed no slaving and if you wont promise me that's not what we are doing that we will find another way to get these weapons where they need to go. ::The captain laughed again . :: Syndicate Captain: You have the fire of the green bosses women as well as their curves princess... I am just teasing you relax! :: He muttered a curse Avaris had never encountered before, and continued :: You Federation citizens are all so serious all the time. Lighten up, it will make you live longer. ::As he spoke he made his way to a cabinet, pulled out a bottle of blue liquid, and poured three large glasses :: Syndicate Captain: Because you are funny, and I hate seeing sensitive creatures crying like you surely are about to, I will tell you what you are carrying, it is a fungus used to make a drug that these guys ::he gestured to the glasses of romulan ale:: cant get enough of, it really messes the green bloods up. This station is home to a bunch of exiles, banished from the Empire they have a little ghetto in the lower decks. This fungus is really popular there, and will get us the money we are owed by you. Now do you want to keep getting cute with me or shall we drink? :: Avaris narrowed his eyes at the man, but raised his glass, and drank the liquid fire in one long, continuous gulp, smashing the glass down on a nearby table afterward. Wanting to preserve some dignity, his only farewell was a nodd, before he turned around walking out the door back towards the transporter room. He could hear thecaptain chuckling to himsef, and so he called back over his shoulder when he reached the door :: Torrin: Arrange to receive our shipment as soon as you can captain. We will wait for your order. ((Flash Forward - 10 hours later - Trill Transport Vessel Ash'alaz )) ::They had not been prepared for another long leg of journey, and in spite of his atheistic principles, Avaris was beginning to suspect that gods did exist, and were bent on ruining his life. Of course their warp field generator had glitched out halfway to the station, leaving them traveling the remaining 5 lightyears at impulse. Additionally, their subspace comm system was on the fritz, something they had known about beffore leaving, but which would have really come in handy right about now. Their trip which would have taken a few days at their rust-buckets maximum warp factor of five was now going to take years, unless some kindly passing ship happened past.... and they were carrying a restricted substance so that could also go poorly for them. :: ::They had argued for nearly 3 hours straight about what to do. Jaxan was in favour of remaining silent, where Avaris thought trying their luck with a distress signal was the best plan. While it was true that their group might miss them after a few days and send someone looking for them, there was no guarantee that they would be able to "borrow" another ship quickly, or that they would have any idea where to start looking, they were well off their planned course, having had to make this detour on their errand. :: Torrin: Look, you know I can talk us out of anything if the Feds respond, and if its someone else we will either get robbed or they probably wont care what we are carrying. Jaxan: No we will just straight-up get robbed Avaris. That's what we are looking at. Losing valuable Orion Syndicate cargo AND going to jail, or else just losing valuable Orion Syndicate cargo and having to deal with them about it. Torrin: Well what do you suggest? I don't know about you but I have some plans for the next five years. Jaxan: I DON'T KNOW but we are not putting out a distress signal because that's ludicrous. Torrin: Can you have another look at the comm system? If we can get the subspace link up and running we can just call home and have them... :: Jaxan, in an attempt to lighten the mood a bit, attempted the Syndicate captains accent as he spoke :: Jaxan: I have already tried "princess", you are welcome to take a look yourself. Torrin: That is not funny... ::There was a chirrup from the comm console, interrupting Avaris with a sense of timing which again challenged his disbelief in vengeful deities with sadistic senses of humor. There was an incoming transmission. He cursed under his breath :: Jaxan: Don't answer. ::Avaris frantically worked the sensor control panel, as the computer continued to chirp and warble, reminding them that someone was trying to say hello:: Torrin: Its Starfleet, looks like a small survey ship.... ::Jaxan cursed loudly. :: Jaxan: Don't answer! Im not pretty or tough enough to make it in a penal colony. Torrin: Don't sell yourself short Jaxan. Convicts aren't known for being especially picky. ::He began to yell :: Jaxan: DON'T ANSWER IT AVARIS! Torrin: I'M DOING IT WE DON'T HAVE A CHOICE!!! ::they physically struggled briefly, but Avaris came out victorious, and accepted the incoming transmission, immediately switching into an exaggerated calm and cheerfully professional tone of voice. :: Torrin =/\= This is the TSS Ash'alaz, Hala Rex speaking. =/\= Vantassel =/\= This is Commander Vantassel of the USS Dunbar, do you require assistance mister Rex? =/\= ::Avaris and Jaxan exchanged concerned looks. :: Torrin: =/\= Hold please. =/\ ((End Flashback )) :: Avaris was shaken out of his daydream by the sudden unexpected arrival of Commander Renos, who upon seeing him approached a bit hesitantly. :: Renos: Ah, Mister Torrin, so good to.... ::The effort with which Avaris attempted to seem approximately sober was admirable, if impossibly misguided. He annunciated everything just a bit too clearly, and seemed stiff and robotic in the way he tried to appear casual leaning on the side of the bar.:: Torrin: Commmmmmmander. :: He knew he wasn't passing for sober, but he hoped he was passing for less drunk than he actually was, while also trying to to lose his composure over the fact that of all ships in all the Beta quadrant, they had to be rendezvousing with the Dunbar. :: Renos: I believe you left this in my office earlier. I'm sure its very important so please take extra special care of it in future. :: His mind was so clouded with a desperate need to take the commander aside and tell nem everything, explain why he needed to hide out somewhere, hope that they were close enough that ne would understand without asking too many questions... it was all such a mess. After an awkward silent moment, it dawned on him that the PADD was likely connected to their other, different shady business together, and shaking off his anxious musing, responded :: Torrin: I'm... so sorry, its very kind of you to return it in person sir. ::Ne tentatively handed to red J'naii PADD over, but did not immediately let go of it. Avaris tried to sound reassuring. :: Torrin: Trust me, I wont be so careless with it in the future. ::The commander released the PADD, and Avaris with an exaggerated sense of purpose placed it carefully in his leather satchel bag. :: ::Artem had been silently observing the interaction, his bristling suspiciousness clear in his body language. He addressed the Commander, seemingly for no reason other than to relieve his own tension. :: Dragumov: Have you considered my proposition to lead the security detail Sir? Renos: Mister Jorey has been tasked with organising the away team and I’ve given him room to select the team he wants to take over there. Dragumov: I know these old ships Commander, I grew up on an old freighter, I know where anybody might be hiding, the unique quirks of older classes, I think Im the right man for the job. Torrin: oO not as well as I know it buddy Oo Renos: I’m glad you mentioned that Mister Dragumov. I’ve no doubt your expertise on that ship would be invaluable. Torrin: You just make sure you dont lose my husband commander, I heard officers have been going missing out there. ::Before Renos had a chance to respond, the door opened, and the ships First Officer swanned into the room, arms outstretched like he was about to burst into song. :: Jorey: Well, if it isn't my favourite couple, the darlings of the USS Darwin. :: Avaris glared at the first officers dramatic entrance. He was in no mood for goading right now, and he desperately needed to talk to the Commander. :: Jorey: I see someone is on a liquid diet today? ::He turned to Artem and smirked.:: I hope YOU have been sticking to the synthetic stuff Mr. Dragumov? :: Avaris was ready to jump down the smug Betazoids throat, but his oncoming rage-blackout was cut short by Artems' firm grip on his waist, reminding him to remain reasonable. :: Dragumov: Quite right sir. Jorey: I thought I would grab a little lunch before we made it to the anomaly. ::He watched his new captain in the corner of his eye for a reaction.:: I just don't work as well on an empty stomach. ::Turning fully to Renos.:: What about you? Here for a quick bite? Renos: I’m afraid not this time Mister Jorey. I’m eager to return to the bridge. Perhaps we can share a bite to eat another time however. May I say though, that I was talking to Mister Dragumov here just a moment ago, he has some experience with the old freighters such as the Antares. I’d recommend including him in your away team… ::He felt himself tensing, ready to throw himself into the man and start a bar brawl right then and there. What a great impression that would be, early afternoon and their first day on a new ship and him arrested for assaulting an officer. He composed himself as best he could, and addressed the group in general. :: Torrin: I am sorry to interrupt, but I would like a word with you Commander, rather soon actually. Could I perhaps cut into your very important officer business and convince you boys to give us a moment or two? Artem why dont you take mister Jorey over to the table by the window there? We won't be a minute. ::Artem looked like Avaris had asked him to jump out an airlock without an EV suit, but acquiesced. :: Dragumov: Sounds good to me? I wanted to talk to you about the away team anyways... Jorey: Alright, Lieutenant. Grab us a table. I'm just going to get some food. ::Avaris led Commander Renos to face away from the group. The commander was tense, but not nearly as tense as Avaris, who was about to tell nem the most incriminating part of his personal history.... well, the part of it ne needed to know in order to keep him from dancing with trouble. :: Torrin: We need to talk about this. Renos: Are you referring to that item I just gave you? ::Avaris was so intent that for a moment he actually forgot what the Commander might be referring to, after a moment realizing it must be the PADD in his shoulder bag. :: Torrin: ::Intensely dismissive:: No no not that, there is something else that’s a bit more pressing. :: Renos face sank, as ne seemed to mull over the possibility that something more urgent and sketchy was afoot than the PADD in Avaris' shoulder bag. :: Renos: ::Sounding a bit weary:: Go on… Torrin: Remember when I asked if you were sure having me on-board was a good idea earlier this morning? Well I need to... tell you something that you aren't going to like. Renos: Alright, I supposed you’d better out with it then. Torrin: Its... a bit complicated. How much time do you have? ::Ne sighed, wearily:: Renos: As long as it takes I suppose, why is this a long story? Torrin: It could be... it depends how much you want to know. Renos: Is this a conversation best had in my ready room? Torrin: I... suspect so sir. Renos: Then let’s relocate accordingly then. ((Flashback - TSS Ash'alaz - 21 years Earlier )) Torrin =/\= I'm sorry Commander, our viewscreen is damaged. =/\= :: After another brief physical struggle over the comm consoles, Avaris and Jaxan had decided that they couldn't just stay silent without raising suspicion, and Avaris had opened the frequency again as audio only, the fewer officers that saw their faces the better, just in case things got complicated. :: Vantassel: =/\= Roger that Ash'alaz, I repeat, do you require assistance ? =/\= ::Avaris looked to Jaxan who was furiously working on the PADD with the manifest, trying to change what it said and having no luck. His green eyes locked with Avaris, an expression of panic in them. Avaris sighed, this was going to be tricky. :: Torrin: =/\= Yes we do... we are initiates who are doing our volunteer hours, we are on a humanitarian mission bringing medical supplies to the Aquilla 6 neutral station, but our warp field generator seems to have broken down, and neither of us are particularly talented engineers sir. =/\= ::There was a pause, while the Dunbar no doubt scanned their systems, hopefully only looking for damage to the warp field generator and not... anything else. :: Vantassel : =/\= Yes I see the problem, its not a hard fix, we can replicate the part you need no problem... you kids are a long way from Trill without an engineer though, it seems a bit foolish =/\= Torrin: =/\= I couldn't agree more Commander. Trust me its not a mistake we will make again. =/\= Vantassel: =/\= Well you are lucky we found you. Our chief engineer can beam over as soon as we have the part, stand by =/\= Torrin: =/\= Thank you commander =/\= ::He cut the signal and they immediately began squabbling again. :: Torrin: Look, at least only one of them is coming aboard, all we have to do is act like nothing is up and maybe he will just fix our problem and go back. Jaxan: We need a backup plan Avaris, what if he starts snooping around? Torrin: There is no need to borrow trouble! We might be fine! Jaxan: Or we might go to prison. Torrin: ::angrily:: or we might go to prison! We were carrying stolen weapons, dealt with the Orion Syndicate, and now we are carrying narcotic fungus, prison has always been a possibility Jaxan. What we are doing is worth the risk, or are you losing your resolve at the first sign of trouble? Jaxan: You are delusional if you actually think this is the first sign of trouble, this entire action has been trouble from the get go. Torrin: Well keep it together. I can't be managing your panic attack AND schmoozing a Starfleet goon! ::Their voices had reached maximum volume by this point, spit flying from their mouths as they primally howled at each-other, when the computer interrupted them again. Avaris once again assumed an aire of calm and professionalism as he re-opened the comm channel. :: Torrin: =/\= Rex here =/\= Vantassel : =/\= my chief engineer is ready to beam over. =/\= Torrin =/\= Acknowledged. =/\ ((End Flashback)) ((Deck 1, Captains Ready Room - USS Darwin A)) :: Renos was sitting at nir desk, and Avaris paced nervously, ignoring the Commanders invitation to be seated. :: Torrin: I don't know where to start commander. Renos: Start at the point, which makes most sense. The beginning is usually a good place to start. Torrin: ... I don't know how much you would want to know, and I certainly don't know how much I would like to share... I am probably over-reacting, I mean, it was 21 years ago and who knows, it might be a completely different crew now... Renos: Okay, breathe and slow down a little please. This is clearly a big deal and very tough for you. Now, please explain to me what’s got you in a fluster. :: With kindness :: Torrin: Okay you are right. The short version is this: I did something 21 years ago that I am not at all proud of, but which at the time seemed like the right thing. I have... encountered the USS Dunbar before, and not under... ideal circumstances. Renos:: I see. That’s… not promising is it? Torrin: Well... nobody died, if that helps? Renos: Well it’s good to know at least. Why don’t you tell me what did happen? Torrin: I am sorry! This is ... just so... twisted, I mean, you are a Commander, a Starfleet Commander, and you are the first person I have ever told this too and the last person I ever would have thought I might... even Artem doesn't know this Renos. Renos: I understand and I’d like to help you if I can. I just need to know what I’m helping with. Torrin: Well... alright, nobody died, like I said, but I may have been involved in some light... kidnapping. Renos: Kidnapping! ::Shocked:: ((Flashback - TSS Ash'alaz - 21 Years Earlier )) ::The engineer had finished installing the fried part which had rendered them incapable of their pitifully low maximum warp, and wiping the grease off his hands with a newly replicated towel chuckled to himself. :: Mancini: There you go, good as new. You boys sure are lucky we came across you, why werent you sending out a distress signal anyways? ::The two of them both stood stiff as boards, trying and failing to appear natural and not concerned by the humans presence onboard. They wore their phase pistols openly, deciding it appeared less suspicious to be armed than not, being that they were in dangerous neutral space, and the Engineer had arrived with a phaser himself, so at least they did not seem any more dangerous than he did. :: Torrin: We are so close to Klingon space... it seemed dangerous, we were banking on the commission sending a search party before we were found by pirates or a bird of prey... thank you again so much for the help... Mancini: Its nothing, you really shouldn't travel this far from Federation space without an engineer though. I would think the Symbioses Commission would know better than to send you to Aquilla 6 with only a pair of phase pistols... did you want me to take a look at your comm system while I am here? The Commander said your viewscreen was down. ::Jaxan had started grinding his teeth nervously, hard enough that he could be heard. Avaris shot him a dirty look, and replied :: Torrin: Oh there is no need, we figured it out ourselves... I guess we aren't completely helpless after-all. ::He laughed loudly, inappropriately so. his nervousness was beyond obvious. The engineer looked warily at him, but shook it off, chuckling again, though a suspicious edge was clear in his tone. :: Mancini: Alright then. I guess that's all there is too.... :: He had been putting the bulkhead he had removed to access the components in need of replacement back were it belonged, but the age of the ship and the many haphazard repair jobs it had suffered meant that there were certain things about it that were dangerously not up to code. The razor sharp edge of metal that had not been sanded down properly the last time the bulkhead was repaired was one such thing, and the engineers sentence was cut off and replaced with a loud curse as his palm was sliced open and the bulkead was dropped to the floor. Avaris head swam at the sight of the blood, and he thought he might pass out:: Mancini: ::cursing loudly:: ugh do you have a dermal generator onboard?! Jaxan: Yes in the cargo.... :: Avaris smacked him upside the head but it was too late. :: Torrin: Let me get it for you. Mancini: No I'm fine, I can get it myself. Torrin: No really, you just stay there Ill run and get it.... Mancini: LISTEN I'm FINE ill just go and... ::There was a flash of light at a thunderous bang, superheated atmospheric molecules crashed into eachother, displaced by the sudden blast of directed phase energy. The engineer collapsed, still clutching his badly bleeding hand. Avaris, eyes wide with horror, looked to Jaxan, who in a moment of sheer panic and utter lunacy, had shot the engineer. He stared for a long pause, as Jaxans chest heaved, his own eyes widening with the realization of what he had done. Avaris was eventually able to speak through clenched teeth:: Torrin: ... please.... tell... me.... that... was... set....to stun. ::Jaxan looked at the weapon, and sighed in releif. :: Jaxan: Um, yes. Yes it was. Torrin: Huh. Well... good then. So what do we do now genius? Jaxan: ... i.... im afraid I don't really know. Torrin: Right. Okay then. ((End Flashback)) ((Deck 1, Captains Ready Room - USS Darwin A)) Torrin: Like I said, I don't really see the need to get too specific here, and I don't know that you would really want to know the gritty details, but back before the war, I was involved in a smuggling operation that went badly. We were getting supplies to the Maquis, and we had engine trouble, the Dunbar intercepted us and offered to help... Renos: did the crew of the Dunbar know what you were up to? Torrin: I don't know, does the fact that I was a Maquis supporter back before the war surprise you? It sort of seems pretty on point with what you know about me so far. Renose: Hey hey, not judging okay… Torrin: Yeah fair enough. Anyways, things went badly, they sent over an engineer to help us and it may have gotten a bit out of control. Renos: What sort of out of control? What happened? Torrin: Well, he may have ended up stunned, and we might have taken off with him still on-board. Renos: Sounds like you were having a great day then! ::Sarcastically:: ((Flashback - TSS Ash'alaz - 21 Years Earlier )) Jaxan: They are right on our tail! ::Jaxan was manouvering the smaller, slightly faster ship, desperately trying to avoid the Antares class survey ships tractor lock. They had emptily threatened the Starfleet officers death should his ship give chase, and were immediately called out on their threats emptiness when the Dunbar immediately began pursuing them and they immediately continued to not murder the Dunbar's engineer. At least his presence on-board had stopped them from firing weapons on the unarmed ship, but they could not avoid tractor lock forever, and the Dunbar was clearly close to a match for their maximum warp factor. :: ::They had strapped the engineer into a chair only with a seatbelt, having nothing to tie him up with, and really only to avoid further injuring him. Avaris had done a quick dermal generation job on his hand, but the cut was deep and he was not confident the damage would not be lasting if he didn't see a qualified doctor soon. :: Torrin: They have a tractor lock! Jaxan: Not for long. :: The ship lurched sickeningly as the gravity field tried desperately to keep up with Jaxans lunatic pitching and rolling. Meanwhile the stunned Mancini started to moan quietly, no doubt close to regaining consciousness. Avaris jumped out of his seat back to the passenger chair holding their prisoner, snatching the phaser from his belt and hitting him with a hypodose of sedative. :: ::The ship lurched again, and Avaris cracked his forehead on the armrest of Mancinis seat. Cursing loudly and robustly, he held his hand up to the injury and was relieved to see no blood when he looked at his fingers. He was fortunately bracing himself against the seat already when they lurched again. :: Jaxan: We can't keep this up Avaris! Torrin: I know! Let me think! Jaxan: There is no time! ((end flashback)) ((Deck 1- Captains Ready Room - USS Darwin A)) ::Avaris had slumped down into the guest chair on the other side of Renos' desk, and put his head in his hands, staring at the floor. :: Renos: So what happened after that then? Torrin: Well, we got lucky. They pursued us and would have trapped us in with their tractor beam, but our little chase had attracted some other unwanted attention. A Klingon Bird of Prey decloaked just when we were ready to give up, and engaged the Dunbar. This was before the Dominion War remember, the Federation and the Empire were still at each-others throat. Renos: ::Wincing:: Harsh for them for sure. I take it you used that as your opportunity to escape… Torrin: We couldn't have helped them anyways. our ship had no weapons. I heard after the fact that the Dunbar crew survived, their dilithium cargo was enough of a trophy for the Klingons, whose captain decided killing the freighter crew was not glorious enough or whatever. We were long gone in an unregistered ship we traded at a ridiculous loss for the Ash'alaz by the time the Dunbar reached Aquilla 6 to retrieve their engineer, who we left with all the currency we had as well as his phaser in the stations infirmary. He was the only crew member who saw us, and I doubt he is still serving on-board, but... there is a chance... Renos: Ah… Torrin: Anyways, that's it. The war started not long afterwards, and the Maquis were all but slaughtered, so it turned out in retrospect that it was even more pointless a mission than it seemed even at the time. I want you to know that I am not proud of any of this. Renos: Okay Avaris. I really appreciate your honesty and the fact you felt you could come to me with this. The one thing you haven’t told me, is what you want to happen next… ::Avaris raised his head, feeling entirely sober, and also devastatingly sad. He had not even shared this story with his husband, and now he had put the ships Commanding Officer in a completely impossible position, which, if it had been any other Commanding Officer would not have bothered him nearly as much as the difficulty he had with the moral dilemma he was forcing his friend into. He tried to put on a brave face - whatever happened now, he was prepared for. Even if it was the worst-case scenario, and Renos would not or could not help him. :: :: The commanders attitude was cool but not cold, it was measured and even, nir gaze was intense and focused, but Avaris was having trouble gauging just how... angry ne might be. On the off chance that ne was not furious, he decided to start with the assumption that ne would be cooperative, but also honestly reassure nem that he understood if ne needed to report him to Starfleet. :: ::Of course that was a lie. If ne actually decided to report him to Starfleet.... well they would cross that bridge when they came to it. He had a feeling the PADD ne had just given him might come in handy. :: Torrin: oO Stop it right now Avaris. You are borrowing trouble, and ne almost certainly is not going to do that. Do you really think you would blackmail nir after everything? Oo ::He wasn't sure. He had always done what he needed to, when it came to dodging the consequences of the misadventures caused by his early years. :: Torrin: Well there you have it then. I think it would be best if I laid low while we are aiding the Dunbar, I know its been a long time, and as far as I know only one of their crew saw me, and even then most of the crew must have turned over in 21 years.... unless you want to turn me into Starfleet now. I wouldn't blame you... I have been dreading this moment for two decades now, I always knew I might get busted. But if you want to keep me around, and you still want my help with your own side-mission, we need to figure out how to keep me under the Dunbars radar. What are you thinking? :: Ne paused for a long, anxious moment, seemingly collecting nir thoughts. He didn't even realize he had been holding his breath waiting for nir to collect nirself to come up with a response. :: Renos: I could turn you in Mister Torrin but I won’t. 21 years is a long time. I believe we never had this conversation and you will be making yourself scarce… ::He exhaled loudly. There was a mix of feelings that were difficult to sort out, he was grateful but there was a sourness tinging it. It was a reminder that their power balance had changed, and that he was racking up favours he owed to a person who had he met nir under different circumstances later in the game, would have just automatically been placed into the category of "probably an enemy". But ne had never expected to meet a Commanding Officer who would show such an interesting balance of moral integrity, willingness to subvert protocol, and like himself, not be doing it for selfish reasons. He could never imagine himself or Renos holding up a bank. But he could see them sneaking J'naii fugitives across the border into Federation space together. He felt dizzy, perhaps still a bit on the intoxicated side. Ne sat, prettily watching him, wearing an expression that could best be described as neutral-but-almost-showing-some-anxiousness, as ne waited for him to respond. :: Torrin: Thank you Nes Renos. I'll get some work done in my quarters while we are here. Renos: I also believe you owe me dinner, probably for life but who’s counting? ::Avaris laughed as he stood up. His first impulse was to grab the smaller commander and pull nir close into a hug - which was obviously inappropriate for a variety of reasons - and so he overcompensated in the opposite direction, and maintained too much distance between them. It was awkward, the Commander seemed prepared to shake his had, but he was staying out of reach for some idiotic reason. His social skills were completely fried, after too much alcohol, not enough sleep, too much drama, and a lingering weird attraction to the ships Commanding Officer that he was trying really hard to not acknowledge. :: ::Realizing that he was being ridiculous, he took a step closer, to where the Commander was now leaning, sort of perched on the side of nir desk.:: Torrin: There is Hasperat at the lounge on Deck Six, I actually know the manager from before, a lovely Bajoran woman ..... ::He trailed off, remembering belatedly that he shouldn't be giving away anybody else's secrets to Renos, as much as ne had just proven to be a lot less judgmental and harsh than someone in nir position might otherwise be assumed to be. Instead he left the sentence trailing awkwardly, which was probably worse - the J'naii Commander might imagine all sorts of unseemly connections knowing only that nir ships Bajoran bartender was a past known associate of Avaris. Ne placed her hand gently on his shoulder, the surprise of the physical contact made him fight off a flinch, not because it was unwanted, but because everything was weird right now. :: Renos: Perhaps. At any rate I should be getting back to the bridge. Torrin: And I should get to my hiding out. I guess Ill see you around when we move on from here. ::He nodded politely and smiled, thinking of an old Trill fable, the lesson of which was "sometimes getting what you want turns out to be not what you want at all"... an imaginary magical creature called an Arx which had the torso and head of an old woman but cephelapod tentacles for arms, and six more for legs from the waist down who granted wishes went to a series of children and asked them what they wanted more than anything in the world. They would ask for things like money, or being famous, or cake, and the Arx would grant their wish, which always came with a cost the wisher didn't expect and would never want to happen (having their parents killed to inherit a fortune, becoming famous because they are framed for a horrible crime, everything they touch turning to cake etc.) :: :: Torrin: oO Well, you wanted some time to get caught up with your writing. Careful what you wish for Avaris. Oo ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Avaris Edral Torrin Civilian USS Darwin - A ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  2. LOL at the forum censoring the word for tilting your head inquisitively.
  3. Really good work here from everyone ! I had a lot of fun reading all of your work. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor
  4. ((Bay Front Park - Vrans, Trillus Prime )) Aelya: Nearly a month ago, we all suffered a devastating loss. He was a devoted brother, a beloved friend, a loving partner... ::The middle aged Trill woman waved a strand of dark red hair out of her face, and tucked it behind her left ear, leaving a small smudge in her running makeup. Her voice started to falter, and she continued, in almost a whisper :: Aelya: ... and my beautiful boy, my oldest son. ::Avaris was seated on the grass, amethyst waves lapping against the rocky beach, the sound of seabirds occasionally punctuating the calming rhythm. He was watching a mother on the verge of breakdown, delivering a belated eulogy, on the day that should have been Jaheran's 20th birthday. His brother Jazren stood next to her as she leaned on his muscular arm for support. :: :: There was more of a crowd than Avaris had expected, enough to attract the attention of the police, who stood at a respectful distance, but seemed tensely aware that the situation could become volatile at any moment. There were no Starfleet uniforms amongst them. Too bad. One of those pigs showing up would have ensured things got interesting.:: ::Aelya allowed herself a momentary loss of composure, before her expression hardened. She transitioned from grieving mother to revolutionary general, and began an emotionally charged tirade. :: Aelya: My son, who would legally be a man today, but who was always more of a man than anybody. My sweet gentle Jeheran, who joined a crew of volunteer medics to go and support our the brave men and woman who stood against the Cardassian Fascists, even when our own weak and illegitimate government and their dogs chased them down for it. My son put his life on the line to stand up for justice, for those that the so-called Federation abandoned when they needed them most. And he made the ultimate sacrifice, doing what was right. ::She surveyed the silent crowd. Avaris and Andressa Castyr consolingly held each-other, her having lost an adored older brother, Avaris having lost the love of his life. She had been quietly sobbing throughout the first part of her mothers speech, but was now paying rapt attention, her own expression a hardened mirror of the Castyr matriarch. :: Aelya: And comrades, let us not ever forget who took him from us. Death came too soon, not by the scaled hands of a Gul or a Leggat. Jeheran Castyrs murderer wore a red collar, held the rank of captain. The war criminal Benjamin Sisko poisoned a world to strike at Federation Citizens who refused to leave their homes, refused to bend to them or their Fascist allies. And where is this monster now? ::She paused, and then raised her voice, roaring so that the cops in the back could hear her clearly :: Aelya: He still commands DS9 and his experimental warship! Starfleet has shown its true face, not even dressing up as explorers anymore, attacking dissenting Humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Bolians, Andorians and us, Trill who are proud of our single lives, and who refuse to be their pets! We are at war now, their friendship with the genocidal expansionists culminating predictably in betrayal, but we must not EVER let that make us forget who the real enemy is. The Dominion wants to destroy our civilization, but our leaders might beat them to it if they are not forced into accountability! :: The crowd roared furiously, the mothers rage spread through them like flames through a dead standing forest. But for Avaris, the death of his lover had sapped away any spark of furious desire for action. He had once been first to the fight, at the front lines of any demonstration, putting himself in the line of fire with reckless abandon, but he had always done it with Jeheran at his side. Without him, it all seemed gray and pointless. He knew that many of the assembled crowd were preparing to march, but all he wanted was to drink himself into a stupor. :: ((Later - The Commissioners Daughter Tavern)) :: Avaris was several drinks in, and dreamily staring off. The group was reminiscing, Jeheran had been larger than life, and everyone seemed to have a story. He had been a joker and had tormented his younger siblings. He had played matchmaker for Nyta and Baxin. He had organized some of their most triumphant actions, being at once jovial and kind while also deathly serious about challenging the ruling institutions of their planet. He had treated friends injuries on the battlefield of violent, riotous demonstrations, practicing the medical skills he had planned to see through to becoming a doctor.:: :: Avaris hadn't said anything, and nobody had pressured him to. He was not ready. The Jeheran they all knew was a great man, but the part of Jeheran that Avaris pined for the most, was the part of him that had been for Avaris alone.:: :: It was a vague collection of sensations, hardly even something he could put into words anyways. Avaris stroking his long red hair and gazing into his soulful, hazel eyes. The moments they would sneak away for a kiss during gatherings. The feeling of lying awake, ready to get out of bed and start the day, but lingering there so that he could hold him a bit longer. :: Andressa: Avaris my dear, I think you have an admirer. ::The group laughed a bit mean-spiritedly, the idea of Avaris with anybody so soon, let alone a Terran was beyond ludicrous. But there he was, in a small cluster of aliens. The one that was looking at him had fair skin, light hair, and eyes the colour of ice. He was admittedly handsome, but Avaris was having none of it. Raw from loss and embarrassment at being leered at by a human at what was essentially his lovers wake, he snapped at the boy. :: Torrin: Can I help you? :: He flushed with embarrassment, looking away from the furious Avaris. His friends giggled.:: Andressa: What... you wouldn't go there? Some of them have enough freckles that they almost look normal. Torrin: Andressa, please! Jazren: ::sarcastically:: Yeah why not Avaris, you look like you could use some unwinding. Torrin: Is that an offer Jazren? I had no idea you and your brothers tastes were so similar ... ::Avaris jokingly put his arm around Jazren, who had just taken a sip of his drink and now sprayed it out, the others laughing and banging on their table like a bunch of Klingons. :: :: While they were laughing, Avaris looked back to the aliens, and felt a rush of anger, the Terran was stealing sidelong looks at him still. It was flattering, but right now he wanted nothing more than to punch every human man woman and child squarely in the face, not even remotely in the mood for flirting :: Andressa: Your drink is gone Avaris, why don't you go get another one? The Human might even buy. ::Avaris rolled his eyes... this was getting old fast :: Torrin: Don't be stupid... you know how humans are above money, he is probably mooching off the Bolian. ::He stood and approached the bar, and by necessity, the group of aliens, scowling in a way he hoped seemed unapproachable. One of the human girls was giggled, her eyes darting up to Avaris, whispering to the fair one. Avaris rolled his eyes, and stood at the bar waiting for the single elderly bartender who always seemed to be the only one working at the grimy dive. :: :: As he waited , the whispering to his left reached a fever pitch, culminating in the girl actually shoving the boy up to the bar, who was clearly mustering up his bravery. :: :: Avaris wanted to end it. :: Torrin: You keep looking at me. ::It was a statement, and was meant to be curt. The human fidgeted, stuttering his reply. :: Dragumov: Do you guys live around here? Torrin: Of course we do, why else would we be drinking here? Dragumov: ... well I am here, and I am not from around here. ::Torrin snorted:: Torrin: Look I don't actually care. You seem like a nice guy but I am not in the mood for this right now okay? ::The human looked crushed, but possessed surprising determination. Instead of giving up, he for some reason continued talking. :: Dragumov: We just arrived, we are staying in the dorms at the school waiting to get picked up by the USS Gloriana. ::He beamed with mistaken pride in his own impressiveness :: Dragumov: We have enlisted to go fight the Dominion. ::Avaris' eyes narrowed. :: Torrin: Oh. Have you now. ::The human blithely unaware, continued on. :: Dragumov: We are here for two weeks before she arrives, and were hoping to meet some interesting locals... you guys seem pretty interesting. ::Torrin looked back to his table. Jazren was making a lewd gesture at him, delighting in his discomfort. Nyta was showing off by throwing bar nuts in the air, and not managing to catch almost any. Andressa had drank so much that she was unknowingly spilling liquid all down her front, almost completely avoiding her mouth. He wasn't wrong, they were interesting. :: Torrin: Look I am going to be honest with you. We are here celebrating the birthday of a very close friend, he was killed about a month ago... he was collateral damage in a Starfleet attack on the Maquis. Now might not be the right time to try and make friends with us. ::The humans eyes widened. :: Dragumov: Thats horrible... I am so sorry! Here, let me buy you guys a round! ::Torrin was a bit taken aback by the offer:: Torrin: But...you are human... you have money? ::The blonde haired man smiled at him, but confusion was plain in his voice :: Dragumov: um.. yes? You don't think humans aren't allowed to have money do you? ::Avaris was so embarrassed that he forgot to tell the human not to buy his friends drinks. And so he did, and before he knew it, he was taking a bottle over to the table of shocked Trill anarchists. When they arrived, he addressed the scruffy, tattooed assembly of Unjoined Majority. :: Dragumov: I am so sorry, I heard about your friend, here, this is on me. ::He smiled kindly, either totally unaware of the tension he was causing, or simply not bothered by it. He turned back to Avaris, being much shorter, his head tilted upward to meet his eyes. :: Dragumov: Its Artem Dragumov by the way. Ill leave you alone now, but it was nice to meet you. If you want to show me around sometime, we are at Raxan Hall for two weeks. ::Avaris felt the need to decline right then and there, especially with the present audience. But before he had a chance, he heard Andressa snarl. She shouted towards a group entering the bar :: Andressa: I was wondering when you were going to show up, you never missed any of Jeherans other birthdays, beating your faces in was his favorite present every year. ::Avaris looked to the door, and his heart sank. Five familiar faces, matching shaved heads, and decked out in their ridiculous matching leather outfits, with haphazardly stitched angular red patches, almost a parody of Starfleet uniforms. They called themselves the Essentialist Militia, a violent branch of the conservative movement within the Federation. They were the polar opposite of the Unjoined Majority anarchists, and brawls were common, particularly at the Commissioners Daughter, a haunt frequented by outcasts of all stripes. The militiaman at the front laughed cruelly. :: Taxal: We just wanted to come and drink a toast to Captain Benjamin Sisko, who not only captured the traitor Eddington, but exterminated one of Vrans' most persistent vermin in the process. Maybe the rest of you Castyrs and your Unwashed Majority will follow his example, I hear the Maquis numbers have been dwindling lately, I'm sure they would welcome some additional disruptor-fodder. ::Avaris friends all stood, fists clenched and with stony expressions. He bent down slightly to whisper to Artem.:: Torrin: Get your friends and get out of here buddy... you aren't going to want to see this. ::But Taxal saw Avaris talking to the human, and called out to him :: Taxal: Well isn't that cute Avaris, its nice to see you moving on so quickly. I was afraid you would never get over that scumbag, but look at you go! And on his birthday too, good for you for living your life. Andressa: Today's not the day Taxal, leave it alone. Avaris: ::To Taxal:: Why, you jealous? Taxal: Never, you always save me a dance Avaris. ::The bar erupted into a flurry of chaos. Avaris and his friends launched themselves over their table and crashed into the leather-clad militiamen. Glass shattered, chairs were thrown, tables overturned. The alien soldiers-in-training stood their ground admirably, a few of them even tried to break up the fight. Avaris was swinging at Taxal when he looked up and saw the broken glass slash across Artems face. He kicked Taxal out of the way and ran to the annoying human, who had crumpled like paper, holding his face which was bleeding horribly through his fingers. Avaris crouched down beside him and dragged him behind an overturned table, shielding them from the melee. Torrin: Okay! You are okay! Let me just take a look .... ::He pried the boys hands away from his face, and his stomach cartwheeled at the sight of so much blood. Shaking off the oncoming nausea, he took the smaller man by the arm, and pulled him up. :: Torrin: Come on, this way! ::Torrin burst through the doors to the small dirty kitchen, where he knew the delivery door to be, and together they escaped through a back alley, and ran a block. When they were safely out of the range of danger, they both started laughing. Torrin convinced him to let him have another look at his battle wound, and upon second inspection, was less concerned. It was nothing a dermal regenerator could not easily repair, and he had one stashed away back at his apartment. :: Torrin: Come on, Ill get you fixed up. I'm not far, you okay to walk? Dragumov: Yeah, its just a scratch.... thank you.... Torrin: Its Avaris. Dragumov: Avaris... you Trill have such ... flowing names. Torrin: Dont make this weird soldier. Come on. ::As they continued walking, Torrin joked meanly :: Torrin: I shouldn't get attached to you, based on tonight I don't know how well you'll do at the front buddy. ((Avaris and Jeheran's Apartment)) :: Avaris was nearly finished with the dermal regenerator. Artem was lucky, the swipe of broken glass had missed everywhere it could have done real damage. :: Torrin: Do you want me to keep going? Or should I leave a sexy scar? ::The human blushed crimson. Torrin giggled to himself, his hand lingering on the human mans face. :: Torrin: I think it would make you look rugged, but suit yourself. Dragumov: Is this place yours? Do you live here alone? Torrin: ... yeah, I do I guess. ::Artem winced :: Dragumov: Right, what that guy said... your friend who died. ... Torrin: Don't worry about it. There. All done. ::He stood up. Eager to put some space between himself and the human, he had begrudgingly felt a spark or two pass between them, and he wanted to avoid that... it was too soon, and too weird. :: Torrin: Can I get you anything? Dragumov: No thanks, I should really be going I think... Torrin: Yeah. Well, sorry things got so... Dragumov: Yeah. ::They stood in silence for a minute. :: Torrin: Do you know how to get back to the school buddy? Dragumov: I ... er.. not really. I can find it though I'm sure. ::Avaris sighed dramatically :: Torrin: Ugh why don't you just sleep on the couch, I am a Teachers Assistant there so I can take you back with me in the morning. Dragumov: Um, thanks... you sure? Torrin: ;:tersely:: I wouldn't offer if it was putting me out. Let me get you something to sleep in. :: He withdrew to his room and rifled around in the piles of laundry for something passably clean. Finally finding a cotton tunic that smelled fresh enough, he went back into the living room, and tossed it to his guest. :: Dragumov: Thanks, ::The human started to undress without any ceremony or embarrassment. Avaris found himself paralyzed as his incredibly attractive, incredibly human, and incredibly wanting-to-be-a-Starfleet-soldier guest disrobed to his underwear, and went to put on the tunic. :: :: He stopped, with his arms partway through it, noticing Avaris staring.:: Dragumov: Can I help you? ::He said it in an exactly perfect impression of Avaris. :: Torrin: ... I doubt it very much. ::Artem smirked, shy, but intent. :: Dragumov: ... could I try? ::They stared into each-others eyes. He dropped the tunic on the floor. Avaris broke eye contact for a fraction of a second, his gaze darting to a holoframe containing an image of Jeheran and himself, surrounded by a crowd carrying banners and angrily shouting, a line of police in riot gear blurred in the background. The world burned around them, and they were kissing as though they were the only two people alive. Andressa had taken the picture a year ago, when they had marched in solidarity with the Maquis through the streets of Leran Manev, it was by far Avaris' favorite picture of the two of them. :: oO Forgive me. Oo :: He looked back to Artem, and in that moment, abandoned everything :: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Avaris Edral Torrin Civilian School Headmaster USS Apollo - A~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  5. Avaris Torrin sat at the bar, finally enjoying a moment of peace. His husband, Cadet Artem Dragumov would by now be beginning his final exam, well on his way to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a Starfleet officer. Avaris did not really know what his dreams were anymore, but having just had the awkward experience of explaining his marriage to the Ferengi waiter (who had, upon recovering from the shock of the idea that two men might be in any sort of relationship together aside from business, had actually, and with no apparent sense of embarrassment, asked which of them 'wore the clothes') his immediate plans were to read over some research notes and enjoy his drink without any more interruption. He brushed his long dark hair back, revealing a row of Trill markings running from his temple down to his neck, almost black in their darkness and in stark contrast to his pallor, and distractedly sipped his Andorian ale without taking his eyes off his datapad. He was vaguely aware of the presence of a new patron sitting at the stool next to him, but did not look up from his reading until he heard his name spoken. "Torrin? What are you doing here?" He looked up at the woman seating herself next to him. A Trill with firey red hair and a glint of mischief in her eyes. "Andazira! I can't believe it, you look exactly the same as when I left you!" The two old friends embraced, patting eachother heartily on the back. "I never in a thousand years would have thought Id run into you on a Federation station!" She exclaimed, releasing him. "What brings you to Starbase 118?!" "My husband's exam is in progress. If all goes according to plan, he will be an officer by the end of the week". Avaris sipped his ale keeping his eyes ahead of him, feeling more than a little bit awkward facing an old friend. He had nearly reconciled his beliefs with the reality that he was soon to be living on a federation vessel, but had not yet encountered any old colleagues who understandably might find his new life difficult to accept. "Avaris Torrin, husband to a starfleet officer, living on a starship.... I never thought I would see the day". She looked like she might continue talking, but the bartender arrived to take her order, momentarily sparing them both from the discomfort of this encounter. She ordered something green and fizzy, and turned back to Avaris, eyes narrowed and a serious expression on her face. "So, Torrin, are you still in touch with anybody from back in the day?" Avaris eyes darted about the bar. She was being careful to couch her words in vagueness, but his paranoia was unyielding. "Not really, most of the old crew are ... unhappy with the choices I have made". "I dont doubt it" she replied, and paused to sip on her drink. "So, what will you do on a Federation starship professor Torrin?" "I am hoping to have a chance to do some research, and maybe if Artem is assigned to a large enough ship I could teach. I miss teaching, even if it was young children I think it would be good for me to get back into it" "Well, I cant say I understand, but I hope you are happy. Now if you will excuse me, I have some business to attend to" she finished her drink quickly and stood up. "I never asked you Andazira, what brings yourself to a Federation starbase?" She smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes. "I dont think you want to know Avaris. And even if you did, you must understand that your ... choices as you call them... change things. I hope you are happy though, and I wish you well" She nodded courteously, and very quickly and subtly made a gesture to him, a sort of salute, with her hand over her heart, and only her index finger raised. It was called the Sign of One. Avaris had no reason to believe anybody in this bar would recognize its significance, but panic showed on his face anyways. She clearly noticed his expression of concern at her gesture, as her own expression saddened even further. Without another word she left him alone. Avaris Torrin did not know if he was making compromises he could live with, did not know that he could ever be excited about life in Starfleet, or that he could live with his unofficial exile from his oldest and most trusted companions. But he did not wish to dwell on any of that now. His immediate plan was to enjoy a quiet drink and read over his research. Perhaps now he could manage it with no further interruptions.
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