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Maxwell Traenor

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About Maxwell Traenor

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    Now where did I place that snifter of brandy?!
  • Birthday 08/26/1976

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  1. @Saveron Absolutely artistic. Can't even put into words how much I cherish this post ==== Do not ask us where we were when the Dragon Broke, for, of all the world, only we truly know, and we might just show you how to break it again." ~ Mehra Nabisi, Dunmer, Triune Mistress of the New Temple, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (( The Hoard of the Red Dragon )) ::Saveron sat atop the somewhat off-kilter golden throne - just one more bauble in the gaudy pile - eye to eye with the holographic projection of [datafrag] the Dread. Revealing it’s discombobulating access to the Constitution’s mainframe in a few casual phrases, the dragon then pressured Saveron for more information about what lay beyond the holodeck. Seeing no point in denying the truth, Saveron instead sought to occupy it’s attention, and confound it as best he could.:: Saveron: You seek to know the truth that lies beyond? Many worlds in the ocean that is space An infinity of places, in their place. Where countless beings, beyond imagining Live stranger lives with neither slave nor king, You are a big fish in a little pond. ::Might he put the dragon off it’s ventures outwards? Better to rule a small world than be a nobody in a large one? But apparently dragons didn’t think that way.:: [datafrag]: Latinum or platinum, wine or ale, I care not for these trivialities, I know of the multiverse, my eye sees The beyond, the world through the greatest veil, I can see so much of it, can converse With the mortals of your universe. I am already there, my queen, my power Reaching forth. ::beat:: But where are they? Tell me. Now. ::Two things, the Dragon revealed in those words. One, although it could perceive beyond the holodeck, it did not understand it, and two, it had tried to follow the poetic pattern he’d set, and missed the mark. That meant either it wasn’t concentrating entirely on him, or there were limits to it’s interpretational abilities. Interesting. That it wanted to know about the world beyond was perhaps understandable, but what interested Saveron more was what he knew about this world. He felt it ought to interest the Dragon as well.:: Saveron: You have your gold, enforce fear’s regimen, Command obedience from the frightened selves Of all the scattered men and dwarves and elves, Not knowing the impermanence you face The innate transience that forms this place; For all of these are but the dreams of men. ::Smoked spilled out of the dragon’s nostrils as the flames of rage roiled within. She pulled herself up, closing the little distance left between them so her eye was pressed right up to Queen Commander Saveron’s face, her tail lashing about behind her, knocking over piles of gold, slamming into pillars and thrashing stalactites.:: ::His words had certainly provoked a reaction.:: [datafrag]: ::raging:: I know your secrets, I know your true name, Commander Saveron of the realm of Constitution, no idea do you have Of my knowledge, of the powers I claim. Even as we sit her and talk My generals move against your bairn… ::The dragon let curls of smoke skein and twist around the Vulcan as her voice purred the final word…:: ::And the poetic form frayed further as the Dragon grew angered. It really was programmed to only use the one form, and he could use that. Her archaic language however was almost deliberately obtuse. The Vulcan raised one cool brow.:: Saveron: I am unfamiliar with that particular term. ::He said blandly.:: [datafrag]: Saavok. ::Saavok. His son. He might be unfamiliar with some of her words, but he understood the intended threat. The boy’s face appeared momentarily in his mind’s eye, and Saveron was forced to suppress a deep pang of fear; instinctive parental concern and protectiveness. No doubt that was the Dragon’s intention. But right here, right now, all that the Vulcan could do to intervene was the keep the program’s attention away from Saavok, which meant occupying it otherwise. He had to continue.:: Saveron: And would you stoop so far to harm a child, Who would at other times look up in awe, At gleaming scale, wise gaze and sharpened claw? The greater threat, the greater the reprise. Great hosts have tried the Kingdom of the Skies; Compared to Borg and Q, your threat is mild. ::And there were ways to deal with a hostile computer program.:: [datafrag]: But I find it illuminating, queen, This thought that my life is but a brief dream, For the more I think the more that I glean Of holodecks, starships, Vulcans, machines. But through this too I see a new abode, O’ t’rule the stars and claim a new throne, Since you are in my world where I rule alone, Give me the power of security codes. ::And now the reason that she threatened his son became clear. She assumed, perhaps not unreasonably based on the psychological profiles of Terrans, that he could sacrifice all others to save his son. That strong personal devotion was a dangerous trait in that species, but also the catalyst of many of their heroics. However, for all that she might know what a Vulcan was, she clearly did not understand what it meant to be guided by logic rather than emotion.:: ::Trapped in here, Saveron knew there was only one thing that he could do to help Saavok, if indeed the Dragon was truly in a position to threaten his son. He could distract her. Every time he changed format, every time he made a reference to something beyond her understanding, she stopped to quary the computer. And that slowed her down. Best to keep her thinking.:: Saveron: Whilst lord of all you can view True power is withheld from you I’ll not grant you any, The needs of the many Outweigh the needs of the few. ::And if she thought to torture it out of him, pushing him beyond his considerable mental fortitude, he could always stop his heart. As, if it came down to it, could his son. The malicious software could not be permitted access to the Holonet.:: ::Suddenly the Dragon’s head swung up, tilted as though listening to something beyond mortal hearing. When she looked back down at him, despite the heavy scales on her face she was obviously gloating.:: [datafrag]: Ah, my queen, do not bother yourself, One of your fickle subjects offers me A bay, the chambers of my devotee. Emma of the Red will see to your stripling elf. ::That wasn’t a limerick. Had he, in that most banal form of poetry, beloved of his Academy fellows, found a format she truly couldn’t replicate? What else might she not process? She was meant to be a wise and powerful ancient; was it then the most fleeting, irreverent and irrelevant parts of Human culture with which she had the greatest difficulty?:: ::Just as the Dragon appeared to be focusing elsewhere, voices sounded in distant tunnels, catching her attention. The great head swung around, smoke billowing from her nostrils, all attention focused in that direction. Which presumably meant that her attention was not focused on the world beyond the holodeck, and also implied that she still did not fully understand her nature or that of the computer. But she could not focus on finding out if she was distracted by other things; so best keep the distractions coming.:: ::It would be agreeable if his colleagues had a plan in place to correct the situation, though knowing many of their species they might not. But regardless they were an aspect that [datafrag] could not predict, and must therefore spend processing power on. Rising to his feet, the Vulcan prepared for the final battle.:: Saveron: You dare threaten my ‘little elf’ Dream born of a Human’s bookshelf, At least I’ve a son Your kind numbers one; You might procreate with yourself. ::What was more illogical than the slurs some species hurled at each other? Saveron himself had never done so, but he had listened, and beneath that logic calm, there was an angry father with a racial heritage of violence. Look to the Romulans...:: [datafrag]: ? ::Skittering out of the way of the Dragon's wrath, Saveron felt a certain degree of satisfaction. If the Dragon was forced to focus on him, it could not also focus on the others. And his flight was not quite so random in direction as it might appear...:: Rescue team: ? ::What would demand the dragon’s attention more than invaders? What did she value most? Her image. The idea that she was all powerful, and worshipped. Time to hit her where it hurt. Reaching out within the alcove where he had taken shelter, Saveron grabbed the twisted silvery confection that rested upon it's lone pillar, and held it aloft in the sunbeam. It’s crystals glittered disproportionately as he turned the crown back and forth, before putting it back on his head, and stepping forward to stand in the sunbeam.:: Saveron: An overgrown, red-bedecked clown Made a fuss for a wee little crown An ancient old fossil More fat than colossal In all, you’ve been quite a letdown. [datafrag]: ? Rescue Team: ? TAG Avariel (Commander Saveron) Queen (Acting First Officer) USS Constitution-B R238802S10
  2. Roll Call question.

    Love the excitement, and understand the anticipation! We were waiting for a couple of errant Roll Call responses, but the class has now officially started. You should have just received the first sim of the class, and feel free to jump in now with your contribution!
  3. If a holoprogram villian ever gained sentience, this is EXACTLY how I would imagine the process! What a fantastic take on the minutiae, great job! -MT (( The Lair of [datafrag] the Dread )) ::[datafrag] ran her claws lazily through a pile of gold, the tinkling melody of the metal soothing to the red dragon’s troubled mind.:: ::All had gone to plan, she had reclaimed her treasure and added the beautiful, fair Queen Avariel to her hoard, no doubt terrifying the mortal lands in the process. The tiara now sat in its rightful place, glittering in the light created by the refracted light from a crevice in the cavern. Her treasure hoard was greatly improved by both additions, so why wasn’t her mood?:: ::Perhaps this was the affect of age, for she was a particularly ancient dragon. She would close her eyes and have visions of… lines and numbers, connections, magical doors of energy, vast oceans of knowledge shimmering just out of sight, tantalizing. And through these pathways she could see even more, an array of stars, a great metal castle in the sky. What were these visions? What powers were showing themselves to her?:: ::She flexed her will into these visions and felt she was able to reach into the pathways, change things, leaving little slivers of her will where she would. Nonsensical words began to form in her mind, perhaps incantations of power? Ventral phaser array feedback… LCARS database bridge node 08… turbolift protocols… Her mind touched something lifelike, some sort of undead minion? The thing could speak to her, in a way, and [datafrag] used this newfound willworking to offer the thing the power of fire in return for servitude. [datafrag] wanted the castle among the stars, and this “Emma” would be her general to get it, an agent of chaos in a world of order.:: ::[datafrag] blinked, pulled out of her reveries of power as the small queen moved about slightly. She watched, amused, as he queen studied her with an analytical air. She had found the queen amusing, for a mortal, perhaps the arrangement could be of intellectual benefit as well.:: ::The queen spake.:: Saveron: If all the gold the world could hold were strewn upon this floor Would such excess your greed address, or leave you wanting more? Whilst crowns are gold a Queen grows old, devalued by the hour, On fear you thrive when you deprive; you want not gold, but power. ::[datafrag] the Dread blinked. Why did these mortals insist on speaking in such nonsensical ways? True, the queen’s speech was pretty enough, with a certain familiar lyrical flair to it, but it sounded all wrong.:: //LCARS query: poetry fourteen syllables per line// //Search return: In poetry, a fourteener is a line consisting of 14 syllables, which are usually made of seven iambic feet for which the style is also called iambic heptameter. It is most commonly found in English poetry produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. Fourteeners often appear as rhymed couplets, in which case they may be seen as ballad stanza or common metre hymn quatrains in two rather than four lines.// //[DATAFRAG] SPEECH PARAMETERS: integrate fourteener// //Initiate// ::The dragon would indulge the mortal.:: [datafrag]: A pile of gold’s a pretty thing, I always seek to add, A dragon’s hoard its own reward, a dragon’s heart made glad, And if by chance a hoard enhanced strikes fear in mortals’ hearts A queen can see, most merrily, the dread of dragons’ arts. ::[datafrag] gave a languid wave of her tail, sending a pile of gold to her side into an explosion of metal, raining shimmering coins throughout the gave. She smiled as she motioned to the queen, “And now it’s your turn.”:: Saveron: And to what end you seek to spend the power you acquire? When one and all are held in thrall and hoards cannot grow higher? Money’s made for fairer trade, a barter system’s loose, But power’s price can melt like ice, It’s value’s in it’s use. ::Now here was an idea! The very gall, spending coin collected, parting a dragon from her well-earned hoard. This mortal had such funny ideas… and yet there was something in it…:: //LCARS query: modern economic systems// ::[datafrag] closed her eyes as she tapped into the sea of knowledge these LCARS incantations provided her, like her mind was suddenly cast out throughout the multiverse in every conceivable direction. In an instant her understanding had grown like a hoard of gold. She only wished she could caress her newfound knowledge as easily as that fair metal.:: [datafrag]: Tell me, my queen, for I have seen not all feel just the same. The dwarves hoard gold in underholds and work it over flame. And if I think beyond my world and look among the stars Gold means less, you must confess, to the lords of Ferenginar. ::[datafrag] watched the queen’s reaction curiously. She had never seen a “Ferengi” in her life, but she could describe their dimensions and philosophies in such detail she even surprised herself. The power of ancient dragons was astounding.:: Saveron: ? [datafrag]: Come now, my sweet, please, no deceit, I simply wish to know Of worlds beyond. Pray, do respond, knowledge I wish to grow. The knowledge of ancient dragons is such a wondrous thing. I do command, nay, I demand your mind as my plaything. ::The dragon reached a massive claw forward and wrapped it around the pile of gold on which the queen perched and pulled it forward, closer to one of her enormous eyes, smoking billowing out of her nostrils from the power that flowed through her.:: Saveron: ? //Starfleet facial recognition softward engaged// //Commander Saveron, acting first officer, recognized// //Accessing Starfleet personnel file// ::”Commander Saveron”… that was the true name of this enchanting creature. When a magical being knew the true name of another, they held a certain power over them. [datafrag] loved power.:: tbc/tags ***** MSNPC [datafrag] the Dread As simmed by: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  4. Round 3 2017 Run-Off Set 3: Vote here, vote now!

    Polling closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Friday, September 15. This is a run-off poll, where our general membership (that's you!) chooses which sim, from Set 3 of 2017 (Rounds 14-20), should proceed to the final round of the contest for a chance to be selected as the Top Sim of 2017! These sims below were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) from the sims submitted in Rounds 14-20 of the contest. TO START, please read these sims: Round 14: Quinn Reynolds, "A Walk On the Shore" Round 15: F.J. Hawkins and Lan Riel, "Labyrinth Of Secrets" Round 16: Taelon, "Next You'll Tell Me They're Radioactive" Round 17: Choi Ji-hu and Colleen Bancroft, "Flashback: A Brief Hacking Diversion" Round 18: Tenaka, "Dreams are but windows to the Future" Round 19: T'Lea and Della Vetri, "Seven Year Itch" Round 20: Della Vetri, "Taking Time for a Good Start" NEXT, using the poll above, vote for the sim you like the most. It should be the sim that's the best written, with strong characterization, and evocative or descriptive scene-setting. DON'T vote for a sim just because you serve on the same crew as the person who wrote it. Any crew that "stuffs the ballot" (by having everyone on the crew vote for the same sim to ensure that it wins this poll) will be eliminated from the contest and shamed by the rest of the community as terrible, terrible cheaters. That would be awful. Good luck to the nominees!
  5. 2017 Run-Off Set 2: Vote here, vote now!

    Kamela Allison-Parker and T'Lea, "The Gloves are OFF!" wins this run-off round! Congratulations -- this sim will head to the final run-off round of the year!
  6. 2017 Run-Off Set 2: Vote here, vote now!

    Hey, fellow Fleeters! There is only two days left for voting in the Run-Off Set 2 vote to determine which worthy sim gets to go on and be considered for the Top Sim of 2017! Show your love and respect for these fine writers by giving these sims their due consideration and casting your vote ASAP! BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! If you cast your vote within the next 48 hours, you will also receive the undying adulation of the Top Sims Contest facilitator! That's an additional $4.99 value FREE TO YOU! But you have to act fast, time is running out on this special offer!
  7. (( Starbase 104 - Promenade-07, Haeng Syo Boys )) ::Ji-hu had the largest, most glorious plate of kimchi fries he’d ever seen in front of him. He and his mother had been connoisseurs of junk food back in Seoul. She was a homebody, but she’d venture out when a glutinous mood took her. They’d sampled every bit of junk food from Goyang to Guri, from every culture and species they could find, but Ji-hu’s favourite always came back to the divine dish that had emerged triumphantly out of the 21st century. Kimchi fries. Nothing could top them.:: ::He’d arrived at Haeng Syo Boys an hour early, partially out of a need to taste the fries, but also to scope the place out before his crewmates arrived. It was a trendy, casual Korean fast food place. Bibimbap dishes of every variety were freshly prepared, bulgogi, meat or soy-based, sizzled on cast iron skillets, kimchi stew was a speciality, the eomuk bokkeum, “fish cakes,” made Ji-hu drool, but it was the kimchi fries that Turing had tracked down. Ji-hu didn’t know the next time he’d get the chance to have fresh, non-replicated Korean food, so he’d take advantage of the unbelievable chance to grab some on the Starbase.:: ::It was also nice to speak Korean with someone other than his parents, he conversed with his server as he grabbed a cola and waited for his meal. The server, a teenage boy, was a spacer, but his grandparents had immigrated to Starbase 104 with a few other Korean families from New Pyongyang, and were the founders of Hongdae Alley, a trendy little slice of Seoul in the middle of the Earth sector of Promenade-07.:: ::His plate arrived and he almost cried he was so happy. French fries topped with a layer of caramelized kimchi and soy bulgogi, sprinkled with cheese and an intimidating dollop of chili mayonnaise. Diced onion, cilantro, sesame seeds and chili sauce topped this masterpiece, a fusion of the best that Earth had to offer. Ji-hu would gladly order a second play to share with the others when they arrived. This plate was for him.:: ::He was glancing over the FNS feed on his wrist-mounted PADD, a belly full of fries, when he saw Lieutenant Wynter walk in. He stood, smiling, and gave a wave. Tucked in a booth in the back in civvies, a hoody, a pair of jeans and replicated black Converse, he wasn’t exactly as recognizable in his yellow collar.:: Choi: Lieutenant Wynter! Back here! Wynter: ::waving:: Lieutenant Choi, there you are. Choi: ::grinning:: I’m so g-glad you came! P-pretty cool place, huh? Wynter: Yeah and easier to find than I thought. ::looking at the plate in front of Choi:: You have already started? Foster: Who started already? ::The CMO’s brash voice called from across the way.:: ::Not that he was particularly surprised. He and Rue were a bit late. Fashionably late one might say. If Wyn was a normal person the rest of the crew might think Rue and Wyn were dating and they had been caught up in getting ready or finishing a quick morning lovers tryst. Nope. In truth Wyn had overslept and Rue had been kind enough to wait for him - mostly because she knew his predilection for getting lost in any map he hadn’t completely memorized. But, hey, better late than never!:: Blackwell:: Let’s just hope they ordered plenty. ::Rue walked along the Andorian - she was dressed a pair of denim jeans, a black shirt and a red leather jacket with rather “vintage” combat style boots- an antiquated fashion that she couldn’t help but adore. She hadn’t been surprised when Wyn wasn’t ready to go when she arrived and so she had patiently waited, reading a new book from her PADD while he made his fashion decisions. By now, however, she was starving and quite ready to eat:: Wynter: Yeah, I hope you ordered something for us too, Choi. Choi: ::giving a sly smile to the Andorian:: Well, I h-had to make sure they’d b-be up to your stringent standards, Commander Foster. Foster: ::Settling down, Wyn let his antennae crane forward, sniffing the mix of spices on the plate before them.:: Hey, I haven’t met a fry I didn’t like! Blackwell::She smelled towards the food and considered:: This is going to be interesting. ::She chuckled and settled down in a seat, perusing the choices of drinks. Hmmm.. .a wine with the taste of blackberries - Count her in! She looked to the waiter who was approaching to take the new guests orders:: “I’ll try the Bokbunja please… and water to go along… and I’ll start with spring rolls for an appetizer ::She smiled and the waiter looked to the others:: Wynter: ::looking bewildered at the foreign selection on the menu:: I’ll have water, too. And a… uhm… Baek-se-ju? As for food, Choi what do you recommend? Choi: ::taking a breath:: We’ll have a party size plate of kimchi fries to share, and we’ll also split an order of veggie deep fried dumplings--you’ll like them, Lieutenant Wynter, I promise--and then we’ll each have a bowl of spicy tofu soup, and I’ll get the bulgogi for myself. And water. ::he glanced at Foster, a devilish challenge in his eye:: Foster: Is that a challenge? Me? I’ll take the bulgogi, and I don’t mind spice. ::He had a bit of a familiarity with that particular dish as there had been a Bulgogi counter nearby the college where his Dad worked when Wyn was growing up. Counter being a fast serve restaurant that catered to busy students.:: Wynter: ::closing the menu:: Sounds good, we’ll have what he said! Blackwell: ::She shrugs:: Works for me, you only live once! ::she chuckles:: And if anything, ::glancing at the drink menu:: I am going to need the food so that I don’t end up dead drunk from the alcohol. Choi: ::giggling nervously as the waiter walked away:: I h-hope I wasn’t too… uh… assertive. I just come from a f-family who take their meals v-very seriously! Blackwell: ::She chuckles:: Oh, I can understand that. Food is important stuff! Wynter: ::laughing:: Relax, it’s fine. You are the expert on korean food here. Foster: No worries, we all gotta be strange about something otherwise we’d be boring. Choi: Do any of you ever c-cook on Constitution? My quarters don’t have kitchen, but I’m garbage anyways. ::grinning:: Blackwell: ::She eyed Choi carefully:: I’ll assume you mean your cooking skills are poor and not your person as a whole. ::She chuckled:: And I cook a bit..I prefer it to baking. I can do both but cooking ...is more “ throw in the pot and see if it works” while baking is all about precision. Wynter: ::grinning:: Oh, we have a chef among us! Blackwell::She shrugged, sipping her drink:: I don’t know about “Chef”. I’ll go with home cook - I do make a good spaghetti and meatballs. Foster: I can cook. ::he said nonchalantly, shrugging it off as if it were nothing. There were some thing Wyn never spoke of - cooking skills were one of them.:: ::The server brought over three little individual dishes to share that contained kimchi, a seaweed seasoned sweet vinegar and salt, and a boiled, seasoned sweet potato shoots dish, with a little bowl of individual rice for each of the dinners. Ji-hu picked up his chopsticks and spooned some of the seaweed onto his rice before chowing down.:: Choi: ::to the server:: Actually, m-maybe I’ll grab some Baek-se-ju, too! Thanks! ::Rue smiled as she saw her wine and water and looked at the rice and decided to take a few bites of that -before- taking in the alcohol. She also sampled some of the other shared dishes, and chewed thoughtfully as she considered the dishes taste, and swallowed:: Blackwell:: Not bad at all. Unfamiliar, but not bad. ::She smiled and then took an indulgent sip of the wine and made a pleased sound:: mmmm….This wine is lovely. ::Damian started on the dumplings. With his mouth full he sighed delighted. This was really good. After chewing down the dumpling he tried the rice wine. It, also, was really good. Not to sweet, with a subtle taste to it.:: Wynter: ::spearing another dumpling:: This is fantastic! You’ll have to try these. Foster: Don’t mind if I do… ::One dumpling was deftly snatched by chopsticks. Those nimble fingers that were so good a microsurgery were also good at snatching snacks it seemed. He cast a gaze over towards Rue.:: Getting drunk already are we? Blackwell:: Now now, I promise not to be a painful lush. I’ll...just be a hilarious lush ::she winked:: Foster: I’ll hold you to that ::He waved a second dumpling at her before chomping it down in one bite.:: ::At that moment, Ji-hu watched the server come out of the kitchen area carrying a tray in his hand, only it wasn’t a tray. It was a single plate, and piled on top was the single largest mound of kimchi fries he’d ever seen. Chili sauce dripped off the mountain of fries, caramelized kimchi slid down the sides like an avalanche, crushing the little sesame seed people unfortunate enough to be in its path. Tears of joy filled his eyes. It was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.:: Blackwell: ::batted her eyes at Foster and then looked at the plate of Kimchi fries:: Holy moly. That… puts Chili Cheese Fries to shame. Foster: I wonder how many ways you can serve fries… ::he mused stuffing one into his mouth.:: Wynter: ::swallowing his dumpling:: A new frontier! Choi: ::stuffing a mouthful of fries into his mouth, grinning, mouth full:: “V-Veni, vidi, vici.” Blackwell: ::she munched on a dumpling and looked to Choi:: Well, I think you achieved the first goal of the day. Wynter: Ji-hu Choi, culinary guide to Starbase 104! Choi: ::chewing, mouth full:: Set c-c-course for a starbase with a traditional Canadian p-poutinerie! Foster: ::With a fry held high:: Huzzah! To Ji-hu, master of the kim-chi fries! TBC As simmed by: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0 & Lt.jg. Damian Wynter Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B A239203DW0 & Lt. Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B E239010ST0 & Lt. JG Blackwell Comm/Helm/Ops U.S.S Constitution-B G239308PB0
  8. round 15 LtJG Choi Ji-hu - A New Class

    (( USS Constitution - Deck 22, ESPO ))::Ensign Frag came up with nicknames for everyone—Ji-hu was “Jitters.” Ensign Berenez loved to talk about his favourite game strategies, and didn’t like being bluntly corrected when he made mistakes. Crewmen Ix and Te loved to take things apart, and had to be ordered not to with specific items, or else they’d claim anything in ESPO. Ensign Tor… well, they didn’t seem to like anything, but especially not Ji-hu.::::After Sindri had introduced him and given him his orders as provisional Engineering Systems Programming Office head, Ji-hu had spent a few days settling in to his little corner console in the deck 22 office, next to Tor and Berenez’s workspaces—the Bynars and Ensign Frag kept their section a little too chaotic, even for Ji-hu. He mostly spent that time organizing the backlog of maintenance requests and systems reviews—and there were a lot of both that had not been dealt with since the last office head had retired. What he quickly learned was the ESPO personnel liked to take their favourite tasks and leave the others conveniently unanswered. Even Tor, who claimed to have run the office without problems, avoided tasks outside of their expertise.::::Mostly, though, he listened and started to learn about the ESPO crew. Once they realized Ji-hu wasn’t there to march them out of an airlock or report for group counselling they left him alone, and it gave him a chance to observe, learn a little about the others. Frag insulted anyone she could at any given point, but like other Tellarites it was simple common courtesy, and if she tried to argue with you it meant she liked you. Berenez had an astounding knowledge of games and a fierce analytical mind, he would’ve made an amazing STARSHIPS teammate. Ix and Te were adorable, Ji-hu had to admit, and they both had these odd little smiles whenever they spoke binary to one another. Tor… well, Tor was insecure underneath their self-assuredness and ego.::Frag: - -think you understand, Berenez! I’ve tried to explain to you about ten thousand times, but it doesn’t seem to penetrate those little cheek flappies! Parrises squares is about brute strength, you puny, hairless Ferengi mono-testicle! Strategy only gets you as far as you can whip a stick around!Berenez: Ensign Frag, you fail to see the intricacies of the sport. There are some theories that say Zakdorn minds work fractionally faster than other humanoids, and applied to physical competition, this woud- -Frag: ::barking, amused laughter:: Not if you’re too chubby to get off your chubby butt, Creet! Have you ever even been on a court?!Tor: Shut up, you two! How’s anyone supposed to hear themselves think with you two cretins blabbing all day?!::Ji-hu sighed. There was a certain camaraderie between the four… no, five, Ix and Te were two people… five of them, maybe born out of just being stuck in the same room together, but they wouldn’t work together by choice. Frag didn’t take any of the others seriously, Berenez was witheringly condescending, Tor got frustrated when the others didn’t listen to them, and Ix and Te seemed to just do whatever they felt like.::::He had the message written. Ji-hu took a deep breath and pressed “Send” on his console.::::He heard a series of pings from throughout the room. Ensign Tor’s head snapped around to fix a glare on Ji-hu.::Tor: We’re right here, you know!::Ensign Frag ambled around the corner of the central console, with the Bynars in tow.::Frag: ::casually scratching her butt, to Ji-hu:: Hey Jitters, ::to Tor:: Smiley, ::to Berenez:: Flaps. Hear there’s an ESPO meeting.Te: Crewmen Ix…Ix: … and Te reporting…Te: … as requested, Lieutenant Choi.::Ji-hu nodded as Tor crossed their arms, scowling. Berenez turned in his chair, keeping his face neutral.::Choi: A-alright, thank you all for c-c-coming. ::he looked down to his wrist-mounted PADD and pushed a document through, and five sets of eyes went to their PADDs, consoles or implant feeds in the case of Berenez and one of the Bynar:: I’ve b-been working on grouping the b-b-backlog of maintenance requests and routine s-system reviews we need to finish b-b-before shore leave is over.Tor: ::scowling, looking away:: There was a backlog before Lieutenant Sarolk retired. We’ve been trying to get caught up.oO Yeah right, and I’m Fleet Admiral Wolf’s glorious Klingon masseuse… Okay, deeps breaths. Tor is just insecure. OoChoi: I’m n-n-not blaming anyone. ::maintain eye contact, even though it’s the absolute worst:: Listen, I g-get that everyone likes focusing on their specialities, b-but other d-departments have been p-picking up our slack. Here’s m-m-my idea. I’ve grouped the jobs based on particular complimentary skills with the m-most important tasks at the top. Ensign Tor, you’re g-going to work with Crewman Ix and Crewman Te on the maintenance requests that have to do with programming errors, data recovery and computational systems circuitry hardware.::Tor gave a begrudging nod, while Ix and Te blipped at each other for a second before nodding their assent.::Choi: ::glancing at his wrist-mounted PADD:: Mr. Berenez I’d like you to h-h-head up some data analysis and system reviews. ::Berenez nodded, but Ji-hu wasn’t finished:: And I’d like you walk Ms. Frag through it. We n-n-need someone else who is g-g-good tackling routine m-maintenance checks online and off, and handling the data flow.::The pair started to argue, but Ji-hu ignored them and pushed on, his hands trembling.::Choi: Ms. Frag, you’re going to be handling the b-bulk of the physical systems repairs, and there’s a lot of them…::Including an analysis port in Main Engineering Ji-hu had accidentally set fire to, but there was no need to mention that.::Choi: B-b-but I’d like you share some of your expertise with Mr. Berenez. ::the Zakdorn looked horrified at the idea:: Consider it a challenge, Ensign.::That shut him up. The Zakdorn had fallen into a sullen, contemplative silence.::Choi: I’ll m-move between b-b-both groups and tackle some of the backlog on m-my own. Uh… sound g-g-good?::The group started to turn away to collect tools and head out to their first tasks, but Ji-hu cleared his throat and they turned back.::Choi: A-a-actually there’s one more thing… oO Deep breath. Oo The Constitution’s been flying for almost th-thirty years, and even though it saw an overhaul with the QSD, the computer system is still operating on Class XIX. ::he glanced down at his PADD and pushed the proposal through to them:: We’ll n-need to bring a proposal to M-Main Engineering, we might even need to speak with the Command Officers, but we’re g-going to come up with a plan for strategic retrofitting, including systemwide hardware and software updates. I w-want to bring the system up to at least a Class XXI.::Except for the Bynars, the ESPO crew’s jaws all dropped open in shock at the proposal.::Tor: That would mean…Choi: ::nodding:: Yup. We’re g-going to improve overall system processing speed by .015%.::There was a shocked silence. Berenez shook his head.::Berenez: ::muttering:: You’re a madman… you’re… a madman…::The Tellarite took a couple of menacing steps forward. There was a moment’s silence before she reached up and clapped Ji-hu on the shoulder, hard enough to leave bruises, grinning an enormous toothy grin.::Frag: Jitters, you may be as hairless as a Laudean molerat, but you’re worthy of my mother’s bushy, glorious [...]-beard!Choi: ::terrified:: Uh… th-th-thanks?ENDThe Engineering Systems Programming Office PNPCsEnsign Creet Berenez, Ensign Frag, Ensign Tor and Crewmen Ix & TeAs simmed by:Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-huEngineering OfficerUSS Constitution-BC239402CJ0
  9. (( Starbase 104, Level 7 )):: Tad silently contemplated all the life choices that had culminated in him standing at the entrance to Garkon's Meatatorium and Boot Repair. The area was surprisingly quiet. He was the only person in sight, and the only sound was the buzz and grinding hum of the oversized neon bat'leth that continuously pivoted up and down above the restaurant's door, appearing to slice through the neck of some pig-like tusked neon beast. Tad was so engrossed with the sight that he never heard his "date" approach until she spoke up behind him, nearly making him jump out of his skin. :: Jordan: Punctual. I like that.:: Tad spun around to greet her but froze when he saw her. At least, he assumed it was her. The voice was familiar but the woman before him wore a cornflower blue dress with dark ankle boots and her hair was done up in a ponytail that fell below her shoulders. Most surprising of all were the light violet eyes, no longer hidden behind mirrored sunglasses. For a long moment he wasn't entirely sure she really was Jordan. ::Jordan: ::She pointed up at the neon sign.:: Targ got yer tongue?Cooper: oO Yup, it's her. Oo Ah, you're just...ah, not what I was expecting, Deputy.:: Jordan's smile was yet another thing Tad hadn't seen before. ::Jordan: Jenny. :: Jordan noticed Tad's eyes widen in surprise, even through his dark lenses. ::Jordan: I'm off duty, ya know. Can't be on all the time, right Tad?:: Tad reeled as if she'd punched him. ::Cooper: You know my name?Jordan: We're both Starfleet security, it's not like it was hard to find out. ::She held her arm out toward the door.:: Shall we?:: Of course, his name wasn't a secret. What surprised Tad wasn't so much the fact that she'd discovered his first name, but that she'd taken the time to look for it. He pushed the thought aside and accompanied Jordan into the restaurant. Immediately upon entering his ears were assailed by a loud banging from his left. Turning toward the source of the sound he saw a full workshop where several Klingons took hammers to the thick soles of sturdy looking black boots adorned with all manner of studs, spikes and other adornments. So it wasn't just a name, they actually did repair boots here. Apparently Jordan was accustomed to the sight because she walked by without comment. ::Jordan: The place keeps a standing reservation for station security. ::She shrugged.:: I think they figure we're Starfleet's version of warriors, so they don't mind us droppin' in. It's a nice corner seat, good for keepin' a wall to your back. Cooper: Lead the way. :: The further they moved into the restaurant the dimmer the light became. By the time they reached their red cloth covered table Tad felt comfortable removing his tinted glasses. They were seated for barely a minute when a friendly looking - for a Klingon, anyway - waiter handed them each a menu. ::Waiter: Good evening. My name is Kras and I'll be taking care of you. May I start you off with a beverage?Jordan: Bloodwine.:: Tad winced inwardly at the choice, but decided to play along against his better judgment. ::Cooper: Same for me. :: As the waiter strode off toward the bar, Tad opened the leatherbound menu to find a single page, completely blank save for the word "MEAT" printed neatly in the center. He cast an uncertain glance to Jordan, wondering if it was some kind of joke. Jordan gave him a knowing look in return, shaking her head slightly. ::Jordan: Don't worry, it's no one you know.:: Somehow that failed to put Tad's mind at ease. :: Cooper: That's ah, a little vague.Jordan: ::grinning:: That's the Meatatorium. You get what they got. Could be ostrich, could be wild targ, could be Cardassian vole. It's not just a meal, it's an adventure. The only guarantee they make is it won't be anything sentient. :: Well, that was something at least. Kras returned, placing a glass of bright red liquid before each of them. ::Waiter: Here you are. Have you decided yet?Jordan: ::She closed her menu and handed it to Kras.:: I'll have the meat.Waiter: Excellent choice! And for you, sir?Cooper: Ah, the meat, also.Waiter: Very good! ::He collected the menus.:: I shall return momentarily.:: In the silence that followed the hammering from the cobblers' workshop could clearly be heard. Tad craned his neck to look in that direction, then turned back to Jordan. ::Cooper: Are you sure they won't try to serve us any of that boot leather? ::He was only half joking, and managed half a smile. ::Jordan:: ::Holding a finger up to her lips:: Shh! That's on the secret menu. :: Jordan gave another smile. The unusual atmosphere of the place combined with the sudden and extreme change in Jordan's personality filled Tad with a sense of unease. He reached for a drink to calm himself, but paused when he felt the warmth of the wine in his glass. In this place, he couldn't help wondering whether the bloodwine was more blood than wine. ::Jordan: ::making a tsking sound with her tongue:: You need to lighten up, Tad.:: The way Jordan - make that Jenny - seemed to be reading his mind didn't help matters either. He dared a sip of the wine. He expected Klingon alcohol to be intense, but even so he wasn't prepared for how quickly it seemed to go to his head. He blinked rapidly as the liquid burned its way down his throat. ::Jordan: Did that help?Tad: ::in a choked voice:: Affirmative.Jordan: ::rolling her eyes:: Oh yeah. I can tell you're really loose now.(( TBC ))(( OOC: List of police codes: http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Tad_Cooper/Police_Codes ))PNPC Ensign Tad CooperSecurity officerSimmed byLieutenant JG Jerome MilsapAssistant Chief Medical OfficerUSS Constitution-BC239208JM01
  10. 2017 Run-Off Set 2: Vote here, vote now!

    Polling closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Sunday, June 11. This is a run-off poll, where our general membership (that's you!) chooses which sim, from Set 2 of 2017 (Rounds 7-13), should proceed to the final round of the contest for a chance to be selected as the Top Sim of 2017! These sims below were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) from the sims submitted in Rounds 7-13 of the contest. TO START, please read these sims: Round 7: Jalana Rajel, "Buying Time" Round 8: Drs Richardson and Grey, "Of Mice and Men" Round 9: Arturo Maxwell, "Things to do now I'm home: Part One" Round 10: King Mwinuroja, "We Didn't Do It" Round 11: Kamela Allison-Parker and T'Lea, "The Gloves are OFF!" Round 12: Saveron, "Zen and the art of Tribble Hybridisation" Round 13: Choi Ji-hu, "Interruption" NEXT, using the poll above, vote for the sim you like the most. It should be the sim that's the best written, with strong characterization, and evocative or descriptive scene-setting. DON'T vote for a sim just because you serve on the same crew as the person who wrote it. Any crew that "stuffs the ballot" (by having everyone on the crew vote for the same sim to ensure that it wins this poll) will be eliminated from the contest and shamed by the rest of the community as terrible, terrible cheaters. That would be awful. Good luck to the nominees!
  11. 2017 Run-Off Set 1: Vote here, vote now!

    Capts Jalana Rajel & Sal Taybrim, "Captain to Captain" wins this run-off round! Congratulations -- this sim will head to the final run-off round of the year!
  12. 2017 Run-Off Set 1: Vote here, vote now!

    Less than 24 hours to cast your vote, fellow fleet members! Take this chance to ensure that these fine sims get the consideration they deserve!
  13. round 3 Ens Choi Ji-hu - Heart of Gold

    ((OOC: SUBMITTER'S NOTES: For context's sake, there is a lot of alcohol consumption going on in this meeting. As a consummate imbiber, Traenor hides it well, so his responses don't show the same level of intoxication as the others without the background text to make it obvious. Rest assured, the entire scene is of a same vein, if not as 'stellar' as this prime post!)) (( Starbase 104 - Habitat Area, The Sink )) Iel’ue: Commander Traenor here is one of the best kept secrets of the Constitution. I’d call him the foremost expert in Astrometrics and Stellar Cartography, but I’m sure he’d deny it. ::Commander Traenor seemed a little flustered by the remark, giving a muted “harrumph” in response. The ensign didn’t think that Aurelians could “harrumph,” but if they could the entire conversation would probably be the two veteran scientists harrumphing back and forth, since that was just the sort of thing the Professor enjoyed.:: Traenor: Is there another Commander Traenor on the Constitution? Because THIS Commander Traenor may be a stellar physicist, but he's far from a stellar stellar physicist. ::musing distractedly:: Unless we're talking about exceptional stars. Then I could be a stellar stellar physicist. But I wouldn't characterize myself as a stellar stellar stellar physicist in that case... ::shaking his head:: What I mean is that you pay me too high of praise, kind sir. ::The Aurelian chirruped his pleasure. A wide grin was spreading across Ji-hu’s face. He loved nerds. Maybe this was what he had missed all those times his fellow cadets had asked him out into the city.:: Iel’ue: Too damn humble, Commander. We stellar cartographers gossip like Ferengi housewives, and your name and work has come up enough to put me to shame. Choi: I’ll leave you two to talk, I don’t want to interrupt! ::The Commander turned to Ji-hu, looking mischievous.:: Traenor: I need a witness for this, Ji-hu. The Professor here is buttering me up for something, and if I'm going to be swindled, I'll need corroborating evidence. Iel’ue: Nonsense, sit! ::The Aurelian waved over a server. The winter wine seemed to be going straight to his feathered head. He’d never thought the scientist could be so giddy.:: I simply wanted to give Commander Traenor a flash drive with some of my data on astrophysical phenomenon in the Lembatta Cluster for his perusal. Nothing too interrupt. ::He pulled a small disk from his robe and slid the flash drive across the table.:: Now, drink! I call the first Lembatta Sun Scientific Conference to order! ::Commander Traenor took the disk and tucked it away, looking a little surprised.:: Traenor: This is too kind of you, Professor. I must have read and re-read the papers you published on the ternary star system within the Cluster. That's the sort of papers that careers hinge on. It was a fantastic analysis. ::Ji-hu nodded enthusiastically. After the first couple of classes in Professor Iel’ue’s “Probability and Statistics” course Ji-hu had looked up some of the scholars work, including his masterwork “Gravitational Impact on Terrestrial Planet B3 In Lembatta Trip Star System.” He hated himself for not taking more stellar cartography and astrophysics courses. Maybe if he’d done another two years… The Aurelian’s chest puffed out, his neck feathers ruffling proudly.:: Iel'ue: I had a damn good team under me on that work. It was as much their success as my own. Speaking of work, a couple of the Darwin’s crew spoke very highly of your work in astrometrics. I was hoping you might be applying your talents to our little corner of the universe… Traenor: We're focusing all of our efforts on the Leron system right now, but trust me, I will be pestering my captain for a trip to the Lembatta Cluster at the earliest possible convenience. And, if I have any sway whatsoever, I'll ensure that there's a berth for you to join us as a subject matter expert if you would so enjoy. ::The Aurelian clicked his beak against the glass in excitement.:: Iel'ue: A perch in a cargo bay would do if it got me off this damn hunk of metal and out into the stars! ::Iel’ue and Traenor began to swap stories of their exploits plotting the universe and the strange maths that arose out of unexplored astral phenomenon, and Ji-hu was rapt by their conversation. He could only dream that some day he had seen as much of the universe and its infinite combinations of gravitational forces and explosive matter that these two scientists had plotted. He was so lost in the flow of conversation as Professor Iel’ue waxed poetic on the hues of his favourite binary star system in the Lembatta Cluster that Ji-hu almost hadn’t realized the Commander was speaking to him, a kind smile on the older man’s face. Ji-hu straightened in his seat at the attention.:: Traenor: So, Choi Ji-hu. I can only assume that there's a story about how you were taught by the venerable Professor here and yet became an engineer. Do you have a minor in the sciences? Choi: A d-d-double major, sir! Science and Engineering! Although m-my science courses mainly focused on pathology and m-mathematics. I specialized in nanotechnology and advanced computational systems in m-m-my Engineering courses! Traenor: My new best friend! I couldn't program my way out of a wet paper heuristic algorithm. You would be surprised how often I've had to bribe, beg, and steal my way through the simplest of computer tasks. Thankfully, I've always found a sympathetic specialist to assist me... speaking of, what are you drinking? Refreshments are on me during the inaugural Lembatta Suns Scientific Conference! ::The Terran scientists gave a wink and grin, and the Aurelian crowed enthusiastically. Ji-hu grinned nervously. He wasn’t sure if the professor should have another glass of…:: Iel’ue: Winter wine, my good sir! The more you drink, the less it tastes like berries that have sat out in the violent rays of a red hypergiant! ::Traenor looked to Ji-hu expectantly. Ji-hu opened his mouth to order another water, but then he remembered his conversation with Commander Foster earlier in the day. How sometimes “party things” could be a change of pace, and a way to celebrate getting through danger. Sure, his life hadn’t really been in danger today, altough Lieutenant Sindri certainly made his heart feel like it would stop, but he’d joined his first starship crew. Certainly that was worth celebrating?:: Choi: I’ll… I’ll have a d-drink! ::Although he didn’t know what to order as the Gorn server came over. Luckily, the Professor seemed prepared.:: Iel’ue: A glass of winter wine for me, and two Heart-of-Golds for the Terrans! ::the Aurelian chirruped contentedly as the server walked away with the order:: You’ll have to forgive me, gentlemen, but its a reference to an apocryphal old-Earth science fiction story, or so I’m told. These Gorns have a strange taste for old-Earth literature, if you would believe it! ::The drinks showed up, and the three went to, although Ji-hu was a little more cautious. A “Heart-of-Gold” turned out to be an opaque white drink with colourful swirls of other liquids. He sipped it and the taste was… not good, but not as offensive as he’d assumed it would be.:: Choi: ::whispering:: Turing, keep track of my blood-alcohol level. Turing: ::sigh:: Can do, meatsack. ::As Professor Iel’ue had explained, the taste of alcohol got better with each new glass. After his second “Heart-of-Gold” Ji-hu was wholly convinced that he had never had better friends than the Professor and Commander Maxwell. They were both SO INTERESTING! And SMART! And FUNNY! He wanted to be JUST LIKE THEM, and he even found that he could speak to them without stuttering too much! Maxnor Commander was just the best, and being really nice even though Ji-hu was just a tiny little ensign. This was great! He was smiling to himself, and he couldn’t help it! This was the best night of his entire life! They were up to round three, and Ji-hu was snorting with laughter as the Professor began to croon an Aurelian mating song to them, for the purpose of scientific demonstration, when a thought struck the young ensign.:: oO Oh no. Oh, alcohol is evil. Oo Choi: ::slurring slightly, whispering:: Turing, I thought I told you to keep track of my blood-alcohol level! ::The leaf-green icon appeared on his wrist console, although there seemed to be two icons instead of one. Curious.:: Turing: I have been keeping track, meatsack. You were fine until the second sip of your second beverage. Choi: ::slurring, slightly louder:: Damnit, computer! What am I supposed to do now?! Search LCARS, parameter, “what to do when you’ve had too much to drink…” Traenor: What is that, and what did it just tell you to do? ::Ji-hu sat up straight in his seat so fast his knees slammed against the underside of the table. Professor Iel’ue let out a started hoot, punctuating a pickup line to a very disinterested Bajoran mercenary sitting at the next table.:: oO Normal voice. Do normal voice brain. Oo Choi: ::slurring:: This is my best friend Turing, he’s a VI who lives inside my wrist PADD, but someday I think I might turn him into a full blown AI. ::Ji-hu grinned:: I made him myself! But my online friends added a bunch’a… uh… jokes and stuff… tell a joke, Turing! ::Ji-hu held his wrist out toward the Commander, almost bopping him on the nose. The leaf-green icon appeared, and Turing’s cool, androgynous voice buzzed out of the wrist mounted PADD system.:: Turing: Tell me, Commander Traenor, how do you stop a sentient AI from destroying you and the rest of civilization? Traenor: I don't know, Turing. How do you stop a sentient AI from destroying me and the rest of civilization? Turing: You don’t. ::Ji-hu shoved the wrist console into his lap, his face going as red as Iel’ue’s winter wine.:: Choi: ::slurring:: THAT WAS JUST A JOKE! I promise! My friends and I liked old-Earth stories about killer robots and stuff, so we put a bunch’a that kind of stuff into his personality matrix! And he’s not sentient! He’s just a virtual intelligence! NOOOOOO sentience! Traenor: I like it. In fact, I love it! I would love to have an access device on my wrist when I'm working, and if it had enough attitude to keep me on my toes, all the better. Good work with that, Ji-hu. Choi: ::slurring:: Thanks Commander… ::Ji-hu hiccups:: You know… this is the most fun I think I’ve ever had… ever! Do you think people on the Constitution are gonna like me? Traenor: Well... ::grinning:: I like ya just fine. You're a good egg. Others will like you too. Just got to give them all a chance to get to know the real you. Choi: ::slurring:: I really like Commander Foster… and Ms. D’Sena’s nice even though she acts scary… and Cap’n… Cap’n Tiger… and… uh… XO… and Mc… McLarry? But Lieutenant Sindri scared the hell out of me… you’re really nice though! ::Ji-hu probably shouldn’t have had that third Heart-of-Gold. His brain was mush, he was swimming through his thoughts upstream just to keep up with the flow. Neon lights spinning around your head was not a fun feeling… like a whirlpool. He braced himself on the table, giggling to himself.:: Choi: ::slurring:: … Sindriiiiiiiiiiii… ::Professor Iel’ue plopped himself between Ji-hu and Traenor, spurned by the Bajoran, leaning in close to the Commander, speaking low. The Aurelian didn’t slur, but he could barely keep himself upright after his fourth glass of winter wine. Ji-hu could still hear, even though he couldn’t make much sense of what the Aurelian was saying. Damn alcohol…:: Iel’ue: We think it’s a megastructure… my dearest Commander… Traenor: A megastructure? What megastructure? Iel’ue: You’ll find it in my notes… a solar megastructure around Star HK 10822, deep in the Lembatta Cluster… unauthorized, no recorded development, although when I brought it to my superior officer he accepted my report, but there was no further inquiry. A damn megastructure, and we can’t even go in to look at it closer… You understand my concern, sir… Traenor: You can't be serious, Professor. Are - are you sure? Iel’ue: And my dear Oel’ett, all the way back on Aurelia, and she won’t even take a call… aaaaaaaaah, Oel’ett! Choi: ::slurring, patting Iel'ue's feathered hand:: Professor! Don’t be sad! I looooooved your courses! You were the best professor! Iel’ue: ::pining:: Oel’ett, my dear Oel’ett! tbc/tags ***** Ensign Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  14. ((Black Hole Bar, Deck 9 -- USS Za)) ::Drinks in hand Trellis walked back over to the table where Kaitlyn sat waiting. In one hand he held what he hoped was a lovely new Ktarian merlot, vintage 2367 -- he’d heard good things about that year but had never tried it -- and in the other a chai tea. The different scents from the wine and tea were mixing in odd ways. The merlot was fruity, nutty and woody; the tea a bit sweet. ::He placed the tea down in front of Kaitlyn before sitting down. She had moved her piece after a prolonged analysis of the situation. He tilted his head as he looked at the chess board.:: Vondaryan: ::smirking:: Ah, I see you’re using the Roskarian gambit. ::Right. THAT was the name.:: ::Kaitlyn had actually spent pretty much the entire time Trellis had been up trying to remember how the pattern went. Given her level of experience with chess (just shy of nil), she had looked up a thing or two prior to this long awaited duel of wits.:: ::The result? Well… she had not lost horribly. Yet.:: Falcon: Ah, noticed that, huh? ::Kaitlyn took a sip of the chai, giving Trellis a grateful nod.:: Vondaryan: ::he sniffed his wine but didn’t sip it yet, letting the tannins flow free:: Of course I recognized you were heading that way a few moves ago. ::Kaitlyn smirked.:: Falcon: Heh. No surprise, there. Vondaryan: ::he lifted his own piece, putting on another level of the board:: But you didn’t seem to notice my own incorporation of the Mimolotian Tactic. ::The redhead looked carefully at his pieces, trying to analyse what he was up to… However, strategy had never really been Kaitlyn’s strong suit; she was usually one for the straight-up approach.:: Falcon: The what? Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: The Mimolotion Tactic. Named after the famed Zakdorn tactician who invented it. Falcon: ::Moving her white bishop forward in counter.:: And that means…? Vondaryan: ::he grinned, then chuckled:: That means you’ll be losing your knight at the moment. ::Kaitlyn watched as he effortlessly swooped a piece in and relieved her of one of her knights.:: Falcon: Oh… Well, then, he should just be embarrassed to get snuck up on, like that. Right? ::Trellis had to admit, that was funny. He laughed while Kaitlyn continue to contemplate her move.:: ::She tried to put a bit of dry wit into her tone. Admittedly, she did not much care for losing, but this WAS Trellis’s thing more than hers. And she got to win in their last thing, so it was only fair.:: ::...is what she kept telling herself, at least. She took another sip of her chai, studying the board before moving a pawn up.:: Vondaryan: And now you’ve lost a rook, too. ::He moved a bishop down a level to take the rook. It left his own knight open, but that was a trap. Take it and it’d be mate in three moves. Leave it and he could use it to make mate in seven. The game was more or less over but it’d be an excellent training tool. Kaitlyn had been very patient with him in their previous exercises, so the least he could do was show the same patience.:: ::Kaitlyn squinted her eyes slightly as the rook was removed from the board:: Falcon: Why hast thou forsaken me, traitorous tower… ::While intended as a funny quip, Kaitlyn’s irritation at losing was starting to come forth.:: Vondaryan: I understand your frustration. It can be a complicated game sometimes. ::he smiled:: But you’re definitely getting better. ::Kaitlyn took a breath, and a sip of chai, before looking at Trellis with a renewed smile.:: Falcon: Hey, I can take this in stride… after griping about it for a bit. ::Smirks.:: Vondaryan: Ah, but that was the trap I had set. No way out of it, I’m afraid. A no-win scenario for you. ::Another analysis of the board… really told Kaitlyn little. She guessed it was the newly vulnerable knight. A look around its general area revealed at least one other piece covering it.:: ::She could not quite keep the slight twitch of grimace from the corner of her lip.:: Falcon: I’ve never really liked no-win scenarios. ::He pursed his lips as he listened. That was a very Kaitlyn thing to say.:: Vondaryan: So not a fan of the Kobyashi Maru, then? ::he smirked:: Falcon: ::Smirks back, giving a slight shake of her head.:: Not particularly, no. ::Chuckles.:: Haven’t met many who were. Vondaryan: ::he tilted his head:: Oh, I don’t know. It’s a good learning experience if nothing else. Want to talk about it? Falcon: Sure, why not? ::Smiles.:: I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. Vondaryan: ::he couldn’t help but chuckle. A very human phrase, that ‘mine’ and ‘yours’.:: Good, I can learn from your test. ::Kaitlyn leaned back, taking a slight break from the game as she took another sip of her chai.:: Falcon: Well, I pretty much knew what to expect of it going in. Both my parents AND both of my sisters are ‘Fleet, after all, though my older sister didn’t take the test, herself. Anyway; I was given an Intrepid for the test, so I tried to use speed and agility to my advantage. ::Using her hands to pantomime as all pilots did.:: Run straight between the Romulan Warbirds they put me against, keeping my velocity high enough for them to miss me and hit each other. ::Trellis nodded in understanding. It was a fairly good plan, tactically speaking. But, being the Kobyashi Maru of course there was more than just that.:: Vondaryan: It couldn’t have been that easy. Falcon: ::Shakes her head.:: Not really, but it was worth a shot. But I think I was able to take at least one of them with me into photonic oblivion. ::Smirks.:: Thing is; most traps depend on the target not knowing they’re there. So, I’ve always had a bit of a policy. If I see a trap… ::Kaitlyn reached out to the board, taking hold of her remaining bishop and taking out Trellis’s vulnerable knight.:: Falcon: ...I spring it. ::Smiles.:: ::Not that she had any expectations of winning, at that point. But for something like this, Kaitlyn was okay with Operation: Blaze of Glory.:: ::Trellis laughed out loud. He knew very few people who actually enjoyed getting into traps. Oddly, it was one of the things he liked about Kaitlyn. He would never willingly spring a trap. He’d try to figure out some way around, or to turn it against the trapper. But she went right ahead, her two guns blazing. Sometimes he needed that recklessness in his life. Haylie was like that, too -- a real adrenaline fiend. It was probably why he liked both women so much.:: Vondaryan: Okay, so what happened then? ::he idly picked up a pawn, pushing the game forward.:: Mate in three, by the way. Falcon: Oh, I made it barely thirty seconds past that. ::Smiles.:: That ‘one-in-a-million’ shield failure that’ll always happen in the worst-case scenario. The instructor liked my guts, but suggested I might want to try something a bit more defensive ‘next time’. ::Smiles.:: How about you? ::Kaitlyn reached for her queen, pulling it back to cover the gap left by her bishop.:: Vondaryan: Mine was on a Galaxy-class. I knew I wouldn’t be able to outgun the Warbirds, even with all the enhancements they’ve had in the last thirty years. But it’s too big to be maneuverable, so anything quick and fast was out of the question. So I tried subterfuge. Had myself disguised as a Romulan, claimed I was a hostage and somehow get them to fire upon themselves. ::He moved a rook, threatening the queen and king at the same time.:: ::While Kaitlyn had typically been the one to think up crazy plans needing a lot of luck to succeed, Trellis had always countered her with a well thought out idea with far greater chances of success. Kaitlyn might usually quip that his ideas sounded ‘less fun’, she knew he was right. It was one of the reasons she had enjoyed working with him; he kept her from getting shot at more than she might like.:: Falcon: Interesting idea. ::Smiles.:: They buy it? ::She looked over the board, seeing both her queen and king at risk. Tracking back from his rook, Kaitlyn spotted his other knight in position to eliminate her queen should she take it out.:: ::So, which piece would she trade?:: ::While an unbalanced swap, Kaitlyn wanted to at least take a piece with hers. She slid her queen over, taking the rook.:: Vondaryan: Of course they didn’t believe me. ::he chuckled:: They were holograms, of course, and programmed not to. But I thought it might be interesting to see their reaction. ::he frowned:: I did manage to save the hostage ship, but lost my own in the process. I’m not sure it was worth it, in the end… ::He tilted his head, thinking about the situation. Would it really have been better to save the hostages and not engage the Romulans? Would it have been better to let the hostages die and somehow destroy the Romulans? There really wasn’t a good answer to that question. Which, he supposed, was the point.:: ::He smiled at the board, moving his other bishop to place the King in check. Two more moves.:: Falcon: Well… The way my father put it; it’s not just what you do in the Kobiyashi Maru test. It’s why you do it. How you justify your actions, for good or for ill. Hell, I’ve even heard of folks who decided the whole thing was a trap, and refused to respond to the distress call at all. I’m not sure there’s really a ‘wrong’ answer. Vondaryan: ::he nodded:: Yes, I suppose. Part of me wanted to take it again just to see a different outcome. Haylie thought I would be a glutton for punishment if I did, though. Besides, I had plenty of other finals to study for. Falcon: ::Chuckles.:: Didn’t we all? ::With a small, thoughtful, sigh, Kaitlyn looked over the mess before her. Her queen could move to block the bishop, but not in a way that would meaningfully protect her king… So, she grabbed an as-of-yet unmoved pawn and moved him two spaces up instead.:: Vondaryan: ::he tilted his head at the board:: Interesting. Desperate, but interesting. Still, it won’t keep you from losing in two moves. ::he moved his remaining rook, blocking off all retreat for the King next move.:: ::Desperate moves… For some reason, that was catching in her head…:: ::No… She knew exactly why. It was hardly her first time doing something desperate. Granted, this was just a game of chess, but…:: ::Some of the edge fell from Kaitlyn’s smirk as she reached out to the board again. She could see the inevitable loss. While she knew she could always just go and tip her king, it felt… wrong to go and rob Trellis of his victory. He had worked for it, after all.:: ::Given her level of skill, she did not think Trellis had needed to work particularly hard for the win, but it was the principle of the thing.:: ::With a soft sigh she grabbed her queen, pulling it back to stand next to the king. While it would be unable to protect the king from all angles, it was still something.:: ::With Kaitlyn’s queen right where he wanted it, he moved his own queen to position. With the King in check Kaitlyn would be forced to move it in the only space available, leaving the opposite queen for the taking and the king mated.:: Vondaryan: Check. ::Kaitlyn saw. And heard. Though some of her mind was not fully there. When she looked up at Trellis, part of her saw him a few months back… That uncertainty in his eyes, and the shudder at what he saw.:: Falcon: Trellis… Are… Were… ::Pauses a moment, trying to unjumble her words.:: Were you afraid of me? ::They had never discussed what had happened back on the Marauder…:: ::Trellis let out a long, deep sigh. It was a question he suspected might have been coming at some point. It was a perfectly normal question and he’d had plenty of time to think about the answer. Not that he really needed to think about it, per se. It was more about phrasing, than anything.:: Vondaryan: At that particular moment, for that small fraction of time, a little. ::he sighed again:: But it wasn’t being afraid OF you, rather being afraid FOR you. ::He wasn’t sure if that would make complete sense to her. Honestly, he wasn’t sure it made sense to him.:: ::To Trellis’s first sentence, Kaitlyn had given a soft sigh and a nod of understanding. Honestly, she did not blame anyone for it; the sight had been… But to his second sentence, she looked back at him with a look of slight confusion.:: Falcon: ‘For’ me? Vondaryan: I think I was worried about what could cause my friend to act in such a matter. I knew you would never do that sort of thing without good reason. You’re not a cold-blooded, heartless, killer ::he smirked, almost forcing a chuckle to lighten the mood:: despite your facade. It would take a lot to push you past a breaking point. Which must have been hard on you. I wasn’t sure you’d be able to get back to being right. Falcon: Truth be told, what happened there was a surprise to me as well. ::Sighs.:: It was something that happened a long time ago, something I thought I was well passed. ::She leaned back in her seat, taking another sip of her chai.:: Honestly, I think the only reason it came back up was because of… Because of someone we ran into on that ship. ::He nodded in understanding. He knew she’d had troubles with the Syndicate before. He was just sorry to see the outcome in such a… violent… manner.:: Vondaryan: ::he frowned:: I’m sorry I brought it up. Falcon: No, it’s okay to bring up. I’ve had a lot of time to process it, and I’m pretty much back to where I was before. ::She set her hands onto the table, trying to show that she really was calm about it all.:: If you’d like to know more about it, what happened and all, you can ask. ::Small smile.:: Vondaryan: ::he gave a small smile:: That I’m glad to hear. In case I haven’t said it, I’m glad you’re on my side. ::he blinked:: And that you’re my friend. ::To that, Kaitlyn gave a smile much closer to her typical.:: Falcon: Right back at you. ::Soft chuckle.:: You’re the best friend I’ve got. ::Not just on Za, either. At that point, Kaitlyn was not sure how many friends she had left outside the family circle.:: ::She finally reached back to the board and slid her king to the only remaining spot he could move.:: ::Trellis nodded. While he was tempted to actually leave the match as it was, not completed, he wasn’t sure that would be fair to Kaitlyn. She had tried rather hard this match, after all, and she deserved closure on this.:: ::So, with a bit of a heavy hand he moved his queen to its final position threatening the king.:: Vondaryan: That’s game over. ::he sipped his merlot, enjoying the flavors as they reached his senses:: ::Kaitlyn reached over to her king, setting him onto his side. For some she might have pouted, but for Trellis she could be graceful in defeat.:: Falcon: Congratulations. ::Smiles.:: I hope I was, at least, interesting to watch. ::He chuckled. Without meaning to she could be quite funny.:: Vondaryan: I had fun, thank you. ::he finished his merlot and came away with a smirk:: A game of Velocity? ::Kaitlyn smiled. Simple target shooting was Kaitlyn’s strong point, as chess was Trellis’s. Velocity combined shooting with strategy; best of both worlds.:: Falcon: ::Finishing her chai.:: Sounds perfect to me. -- Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon Chief Helm Officer U.S.S. Za; NCC-65385 F237507RF0 & Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  15. round 8 Lt. Cmdr. DeVeau - "All Good Things"

    ((Alora’s Quarters; U.S.S. Za )) ::It had been a long day.:: ::Alora had hit the ground running and hadn’t stopped until the situation was over. After that, she still hadn’t stopped for quite some time until things had settled down somewhat and Sickbay wasn’t quite so hectic. While not a doctor, she had first aid training and had remained unharmed, so put her able body to use for minor injuries. All hands on deck, so to speak. The day had waned into night and even those hours passed, so by the time she actually made it to the quarters she’d been assigned, the first time she’d actually seen them, night was technically morning. Despite that, Alora found herself with a little too much energy to go to bed, even after changing and preparing to do so. After lying down and tossing and turning for a bit, she’d finally arisen, gotten some chamomile tea, and settled in the provided armchair.:: ::Around her, all her things cluttered the floor, still packed in boxes, each one carefully labeled with its contents. One item, however, had been too awkward a shape to be packed and had been carried in its own personal case - her Vulcan harp. It brought to mind the one who had given her.:: ::Saveron.:: ::Someone had mentioned him on the ship and it was then Alora realised that he was stationed there. Normally, she would have taken time to get to know most of the senior staff in writing before arriving, but her transfer had been so quick, she’d only been able to peruse the information of a few of them. She hadn’t even gotten to his name on the list.:: ::Taking a sip of her tea before setting it down on a side table, Alora then picked up her triPADD. A moment of effort allowed her to connect to the ship’s network and she plugged in his name. There he was. His profile was there, the USS Za’s Chief Medical Officer, his stern features and striking eyes staring up at her.:: ::She had loved those eyes.:: ::Space was enormous. Not even a quarter of the galaxy had been explored and who knew how much was still out there to discover. In all the hundred thousand light years of distance, between all the stars and planets, nebulas and anomalies, somehow, she had been assigned to the same ship once more. Only now, things were different.:: ::Now she was going to have to face them after they were no longer together. Now she was going to have to find a way to work with a man who had broken her heart. Oh she could do it. She had to do it. There was no choice in the matter. Starfleet wouldn’t take their past as an excuse to transfer her elsewhere, and truly, what did that say about her, if she ran away from someone she used to care about?:: ::Someone she still cared about.:: ::Someone she still loved.:: ::Except he didn’t love her. Alora rose and crossed over to the harp. Laying it flat on the ground, she opened the case and peered down at the beautiful instrument crafted from replicated wood that seemed to be of walnut. Dark cherry formed the inlaid designs, curling in an abstract fashion upon it. Carefully constructed, it was Alora’s most prized possession along with her cat, Sachiko, even after everything. A single finger stretched out, tracing the pattern of one of those curls.:: ~~~~Flashback~~~~ ((Alora’s Quarters, USS Invicta)) ::Saveron stopped outside Alora’s quarters, pausing briefly before keying the door chime.:: DeVeau: Come in! ::While her voice couldn’t be heard outside, it was the signal for the computer to open the doors and allow the person on the other end into her quarters. The Vulcan stepped inside, long robes swirling about his feet as he entered, and Alora’s face lit up with a smile. She had perched herself on the couch and was enjoying a book, but she certainly didn’t mind putting it aside for this particular visitor.:: Saveron: Sochya, Alora. ::He offered her the ta’al, the traditional Vulcan salute.:: DeVeau: Hello, Sav. ::She offered the ta’al, finding the greeting formal, but then, Vulcan’s were a pretty formal people. Saveron: I wish to speak with you, if your time is not otherwise occupied. DeVeau: Always. ::The lanky doctor helped himself to a seat on the couch and perched on the edge stiffly, never quite at home with sitting on something other than the floor.:: ::Now, she knew Vulcans were a generally reserved people, but something about the whole set up wasn’t quite right. Even for Sav, things were a bit more...distant than usual. Alora set her book on the table and turned her body toward the Vulcan.:: DeVeau: Is something wrong? ::The Vulcan considered the question.:: Saveron: I anticipate that you would say that there is. ::He said at last.:: I have received notification of another transfer. DeVeau: Another transfer? ::That wasn’t highly unusual. Starfleet posted those who had specific skills, knowledge, and ability where they were most needed. Evidently, Saveron was needed somewhere else more than he was needed on the Invicta - which meant he would be leaving.:: Saveron: A second Romulan situation. ::Perhaps his success at the first was his undoing.:: DeVeau: I see. ::Even though she knew such things happened, and it wasn’t odd, that didn’t mean Alora had to like it.:: Saveron: I do not know how long my presence will be required, which is one of the reasons that I wished to speak with you. ::Alora nodded. She didn’t want Sav to transfer, but really, neither of them had much say in it. Well, he had more. He could refuse the transfer. The refusal might not be accepted, but he could try. However, that wasn’t the sort of thing the Vulcan would do.:: DeVeau: But we can keep in touch like we did last time. It’s not ideal, but I’m glad there we have that sort of technology. We could even do holographic calls from time to time if you’d like. Saveron: That is correct. ::He agreed.:: However, as you note, the situation is not ideal. ::It was something that had been weighing on his mind, amongst other things.:: DeVeau: No, it’s not. ::Alora thought about saying more, but something stopped her and she waited for him to continue instead.:: Saveron: I anticipate that this may be the pattern for the foreseeable future. I do not know when I will return to the Corridor, nor for how long. ::Indeed, even if he would be able to return. His meditations on the subject had not been calming.:: Such a situation will be less than agreeable for both of us. Thus, whilst I will always be your friend, I consider it preferable to finalise our closer relationship. DeVeau: I disagree. I would much rather continue our relationship. We’re not the only ones who would have ever had to deal with distance. ::Or was there something more than just that?:: Saveron: That is correct, however I do not consider a long-distance relationship to be preferable. ::And he hadn’t considered that she would disagree with his preference.:: DeVeau: It’s not like it’s never been done before. Even some married couples have to do it at points sometimes. ::The Vulcan laced his long fingers together, a thoughtful gesture.:: Saveron: Alora, whilst courtship is uncommon in Vulcan culture due to the practice of bonding in childhood, if one member of a courting pair no longer considers the pairing preferable, the courtship ends and the pair return to their previous friendship. ::He tried to explain.:: Nothing I have read has indicated to me that there is a requirement to continue in Terran culture. ::And he was endeavouring to end the relationship as gently as possible.:: ::For a moment Alora remained quiet, her green eyes studying the stoic face of the Vulcan.:: DeVeau: And it’s simply because of the distance that you don’t find it preferable? Saveron: There are other factors that I have taken into consideration. ::He allowed.:: DeVeau: Then what else? Saveron: It has become apparent that there are considerable differences between our expectations for a relationship. DeVeau: Oh? Saveron: I am aware that you have certain… reservations regarding relationships, stemming from your previous experiences. I suggested previously that you seek Counselling on the subject, but you declined to do so. I do not believe that our relationship can progress without your resolving these issues. ::As he had done. Multiple sessions with two different Counsellors had been required - along with the intervention of a mischievous Q - before he had finally been able to resolve the issues surrounding T’Rel. But he had, and only then had he moved on.:: DeVeau: Actually, I’ve spoken to Raissa about it. ::Her frown deepened, drawing lines across her brow.:: DeVeau: Are you talking about the desire to wait for physical intimacy? Saveron: Negative. ::He replied.:: Such is common in my own culture. ::Though he knew it was less common in hers.:: DeVeau: Then I’m not sure I understand. ::Alora didn’t like where this was headed one bit and she shifted. There was truth in that statement, she didn’t understand, she wanted to understand but was also afraid that understanding would lead to a result she didn’t desire. Unfortunately, it was aimed in that direction no matter what, and she didn’t think there was any way to stop it.:: DeVeau: What, exactly, is troubling you? ::The Vulcan had held it preferable that she would simply accept his statement of preference regarding the ending of their relationship. It would, after all, be illogical to attempt to persuade someone to continue a relationship they no long desired. But Terrans were often quite illogical; sometimes their leaps of intuition and faith achieved great things, things the steady progress of logic could not. And sometimes they made things difficult.:: Saveron: It has become apparent that you have an expectation of the manner in which the relationship would progress. At the same time, you have expressed a preference that I should take the initiative in the relationship. This puts me in the difficult situation of living up to your expectations; were I not a telepath it would be impossible. ::Saveron was a Vulcan, and therefore he was quite adept and hiding his feelings, even when they touched telepathically. Lately, they’d both been so busy, they hadn’t had much time together, but even when they were, she hadn’t suspected anything was wrong. Obviously, something was.:: DeVeau: I’m sorry, I never intended to make you uncomfortable. Saveron: Never the less, I find the situation disagreeable. I respect your right to your preferences, but I cannot live them. ::Part of a relationship was talking, communicating. Lately, it seemed he’d been harbouring feelings that he hadn’t shared with her, and that definitely wasn’t healthy in a relationship. Alora might not be as experienced as he, but even she knew that. DeVeau: So instead of discussing things with me and try to work them out, you’d rather just break things off? Why? ::The Vulcan rose to his feet.:: Saveron: Because you are still looking for Prince Charming, and we have already established that he is not me. I trust that you will find him one day. Live long and prosper, Alora. ::He turned and, robes swirling about his feet, walked out.:: ~~~~End Flashback~~~~ ::He must have received transfer orders after that and been placed on the Za. If Alora had paid closer attention to the senior staff list, she wouldn’t have been taken by surprise. Still, surprise or no, they were now fellow officers on the same ship. She would respect him, work politely with him, and always fulfill her duty. While she did so, she would never let him know how much her heart hurt, never reveal the pain he’d caused her, the stabbing that sliced through her every time she thought of him and the way he’d left.:: ::Alora inhaled and closed the case once more, shutting the instrument off from the world once again. Rising, she returned to her tea and clutched the cup in her hands, the heat warming her skin. He’d never know. He’d moved on, and all he would see was that she had too.:: ::Even if she hadn’t.:: ******** Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Science Officer USS Za M239008AD0 With Guest Star Appearance by Commander Saveron Chief Medical Officer USS Za