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Maxwell Traenor

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Everything posted by Maxwell Traenor

  1. Hi Gabby, and welcome to SB118! We're so glad you found our group, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with just how close-knit a community we have here. Even though a predisposition to writing isn't a requirement thanks to our first-rate training program, it doesn't hurt to love to write Enjoy your training, and we look forward to having you join us!
  2. 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!
  3. Froze-up Glam Hobbit. My new favorite insult. Thanks for that!
  4. Congratulations, everybody! This is an impressive list of recipients! @Renos, I wish I could say I was surprised that you are only the second person to ever receive this award, but anyone who's had the pleasure and honor to work with you cannot fault your undying dedication and effort to absolutely everything you put your mind to. A big THANK YOU for everything you do, and this award is only the most basic way we can show our gratitude! @Oddas Aria, when I was part of the Training group, it never failed to amaze me how quickly and how often you would throw your hand up to help in any way you could. Thanks for making the rest of us look like slackers in the process, haha! /jk With this level of dedication and willingness to help, it's no wonder you received both of the awards you did. Thank you so much for being such an active and proactive member of our fleet! @Graeme Cook Cookie! Look at you go! You have always been the life of the party, and now you're stepping up and leading by example. I always knew you had it in you, my friend, and I can't wait to see the dizzying heights you attain in this game! @FltAdml. Wolf, can you imagine how rare it is for the very tip of an organization's pyramid to be so accessible? Goodness knows I've harassed you enough myself, and you've always been so quick and eager to help out in any way you can. That this trait carries through to everything else you do for the fleet, especially in its promotion and advertisement, really is no surprise. All the cookies to you for being such a wonderful and inspiring cheerleader! @Jalana, when I was approached to pen these award presentations for you, I cannot tell you how honored and pleased I was. You have been a good friend from the very first day, and even though I try to express my gratitude as often as I can, I want to thank you yet again for everything you do for the fleet. @Valdivia, man, it's so great to see you get this award! One of the most intelligent people I know, I'm not surprised that you are able to hammer out so many PotW questions that are so engaging and thought-provoking. I have leaned on you so much in the past for your vast Star Trek and scientific knowledge, and now the fleet gets to benefit from those very same skills. Congratulations! @Nikki Ryan and @catscatscats, so few of us can relate to how taxing it must be to be so active and engaging when faced with difficulties. That is precisely why this award is so important, and my deepest gratitude for being so inspiring! @Mirra Ezo, we've hardly worked together if ever, but that doesn't stop your name from being so recognizable! That has to be a testament to how active you are about the fleet, and in recognition of how important that is to the enjoyment and longevity of the fleet, I'm glad to see you get this award. Congratulations!
  5. Woot woot! Thank you to all of you for your continuing dedication and excellence! I can't wait to see all your names hit the next milestone awards!
  6. Y'all didn't make it easy to cast my votes on who got which award from the impressive lists of nominees! @Roshanara Rahman, as my very first taste of excellence in the fleet during my time in the Academy, you've left a lasting impression on me, Rich. I'm so glad to see you get such prestigious awards! @Renos, I wouldn't be where I am in the fleet today without your masterful tutelage and guidance. A truly excellent person in every way, know that whenever I give praise to anyone for anything, it is ALWAYS implied that you are first and foremost in my gratitude for giving me the same skills and opportunities. @Toni, you've always been such a great sport when I get to write with you, I only wish I had more opportunities! Your lasting impressions on the game itself reverberate to the core of the fleet and its history, and I'm honored to get to work with you whenever I get the chance. @Sal Taybrim, I've said this elsewhere, but I don't know how you do it! You are such an active and engaging player all over the fleet, from the CC, through the ships you serve on, and through your OOC activities. I absolutely love writing with you, and I know I'm not the only one! @Brell, Brell, Brell... I miss you a ton, Lee, and I know you're one of the good ones! Keep on doing your thing, and this will be far from the only Staff award you'll earn! @Tony (Kells-Solzano-EM), alas, our time together was cut far too short. Thank you for launching such an innovative ship in the Za, and I hope that I get to work with you again in the near future! Thank you so much to each and every one of you for your unfailing dedication and excellence! Our fleet is in great hands with fine folks like you keeping us on a true course!
  7. It is so wonderful to see so many deserving award winners! I know how much thought and consideration goes into handing out these awards, so that these recipients are truly worthy of the honor! To my current Conny crewmates: @aphelion Choi Ji-hu, all the awards to you, and a plate of cookies besides! No pressure, but you are definitely a future leader in this group! @Prudence "Rue" Blackwell You are a masterful writer, and the fact that we get to see you get better day by day is so much fun to behold! @Solaris Thank you so much for your unfailing dedication to the ship! @Jalana What a wonderful and vibrant new campaign area you've allowed us to help build! @Doc_Milsap You make your character so relatable and endearing, and thank you for laying the groundwork for our best new species to play around with! @catscatscats T'Reshik has been the highlight of the series so far, and that's with her being indisposed for most of the past half year! Great job! @Sal Taybrim I don't know how you balance running Ops while still being such an integral player on the Conny, but we wouldn't be nearly the same without our little blue friend! I also want to send out some love to some past friends who saw some well-deserved recognition this year... @LunarStar and @Alexander Williams (Roel), I'm not surprised to see you two win multiple awards. You two are so much fun to write with, and I'd welcome the Dutch Invasion any day! @Taelon and @AlexV, really masterful writers and I'm honored to have had the chance to write with you both! @Randal Shayne, @KriJBa, @Kurt Logan, @Brell, @Merrick R'Ven, @Graeme Cook, I hope you all know how much I miss you guys! You all receiving awards is a testament to how strong and engaging you all are as writers, and I could go on and on about each and every one of you and how awesome you are! I have had personal and in-depth character arcs with each of you, and they are some of my fondest simming memories ever. Great job, guys and gals! My admiration isn't limited to just these players, of course! I'm so proud and pleased to be part of a fleet with so many great and inspiring writers. Congratulations to each and every one of you!
  8. Greetings and welcome, Kasper! We're so glad you found our little corner of the internet! The amount of cameos in Star Trek over the years is absolutely staggering, and it's so fun to see a face or a name you recognize from elsewhere. Whether you catch the cameo of an actor at the beginning of their career, the height of their career, or in the waning of their career, it's still a neat experience. Man, there's even been real-life royalty on Star Trek!
  9. 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!
  10. Intruder alert! Intru- Oh, hai! Who's this fine looking pirate? What's that? You know your way around a matter/antimatter alignment subroutine? Well then, drop in anytime!
  11. 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!
  12. Last year, Traenor sported a spiffy suit from a famed Ferengi fashonista. However, he was subsequently hit with a fine for wearing Ferengi fashion without the proper permits as per some obscure Rule of Acquisition. He tried to contest the ruling with the Ferengi Commerce Authority, but the permits needed to contest the ruling were prohibitively expensive. Therefore, this year Traenor decided to stick with a more traditional (and more Terran) wardrobe.
  13. Good gosh. I want to play this so bad, but I just don't have a good base of roleplay friends where I live. Sigh.
  14. (( 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
  15. (( 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
  16. (( 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. ((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
  21. Show of hands, who wants to replace the Conny's computer AI with that of Turing's?
  22. Where do I even start with this fantastic sim?? On second thought, perhaps I should have just posted the whole darned sim in here. Bloody fantastic writing!
  23. ((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
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