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Maxwell Traenor

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Everything posted by Maxwell Traenor

  1. Rom for the win! I mean, when we first meet him, he's meek and downtrodden. But throughout DS9, we see him grow exponentially. Despite the abuses of his brother, he eventually stands toe to toe against him and becomes a model of a progressive Ferengi. He maintains excellent relations with his son, and contributes meaningfully to DS9 and the Dominion war. He even gets the girl and becomes Nagus! The perfect Star Trek example of the ordinary person becoming the extraordinary.
  2. Okay, all you artists and creative geniuses! I know you're out there, because I've seen all your awesome graphics and artwork already! There is still almost two weeks left in the contest to design Astrofori One. This is a rare opportunity to have your work showcased as a major fixture for one of our fleet's groups. The premise is a fascinating one: major galactic powers come together to build a station, and that gives us the freedom to put any number of elements into a unique and eye-catching design. The command and crew of the Garuda deserve a healthy choice from many different selections, and it's up to you to give those selections to them! So put pen to paper, hands to keyboard, or stylus to tablet and let those creative juices flow! I'm certain the Garuda will appreciate your efforts, and I for one am dying to see just how inventive all you artistic creative geniuses can be!
  3. Hey all! For the consideration of the Garuda crew... I've kept the working files for the different elements of the design separate, so coloring, lighting, etc. can be altered at will if desired.
  4. ((Deep Space 6, Deck 18, Nebula Bar)) :: Todd had received the dreaded message, the summons he had been waiting on. He looked like a dead man walking as he slouched his way through the crowd, making his way to the Nebula bar. The tell-tale signs of the second annual shuttle race were everywhere. He’d already spotted some of his competitors from last year, seen the posters, listened to excitable whisperings and tried to ignore the FNS report blaring from the large view screen in the middle of the Nebula Bar as he weaved his way between tables. Predictably N’rila was exactly where she said she would be. Forcing his expression into one of intense boredom and neutrality he sat down. Beneath the surface his pulse raced, his stomach knotted and his anxiety was rising in an exponential way. :: Manius: Hello N’rila. How have you been? ::His voice was devoid of emotion,which was probably an increase in friendliness since last year. Since he was expecting this to be extremely bad news for him he didn’t want to antagonise her and being friendly had just as much risk, if not more of doing that as she’d probably think him smarmy. :: ::The Orion woman looked far from impressed. This little weasel had seen fit to try to disappear on her without a trace the year before, after majorly letting her down on an extra-legal job she had instructed him to do. Fortunately for him, she was a patient person. Otherwise he would have wound up watching a special news report letting all of his primary-coloured collar wearing friends know just exactly what kind of a man he was.:: N’rila: I’m surprised you can sit down, Manius, being as I have such a tight hold on your balls. Good call deciding to actually show your face this time. Manius: Well you know what life in Starfleet is like but like a boomerang I always come back, eventually. ::With a wry smile:: :: He wasn’t really trying to make light of things and knew there was going to be a steep price for what he’d done. There was just no way he’d been willing to right one wrong but making an even bigger one though. What she’d wanted him to steal, there was no way he could live with himself had he done it knowing full well the uses of that stuff. It was illegal to even attempt to try and acquire it for very good reason! :: N’rila: Funny. If only I’d known you had such a flair for comedy, I would have put you on the stage. Then maybe we would have raised enough cash to actually enter the race last year. Your little disappearing act cost us that, so I’m here to tell you what you owe. ::She blamed herself for being soft on him, to a degree. They had been friends once, but he had taken the decision to turn his back on her and the team without even so much as a word.:: :: That’s what he was expecting and hopefully it wasn’t something as unreasonable as last time. They could only do this dance so long before she finally snapped and turned him in to the authorities. More and more he began to think she would never let him out of her grasp. Every crime he committed would add to the evidence she had against him. Even after a year he hadn’t figured a satisfactory way out of this hell and it was a considerable burden and stress point for him every day of his miserable life. :: Manius: Okay. What do you want? N’rila: I want a shuttle, Todd. I want to enter the race this year. At the moment, I got nothin’, and you’re going to make it happen for me. ::She folded her arms and leaned back in her chair. She didn’t really care so much how he got the job done, but she wasn’t letting him off the hook this time.:: :: Todd thought about it. The task he could complete through legal means. It wouldn’t be easy because if it was then they wouldn’t need him to do it. They would already have one. This was going to be a huge drain on his time and his resources. He would have to be cunning and probably pull in some favours but he could do it.:: :: Last year he had been less willing to help and he’d ended up getting worse and worse tasks. She hadn’t asked him to pilot it – yet. He really would be happier if he never had to fly a shuttle again, whether in space or underwater (as he’d done last year on the planet of Asav). However since he’d seen the sort of lengths she would be willing to go and to push him to for success this would be an easier pill to swallow. :: Manius: Fine. I’ll get you a shuttle. ::She laughed and waved a finger at him.:: N’rila: Oh, no, no, no… I know you too well. You’re like a Deltan eel. Slippery, and with a vague hint of fish. ::She leaned in a little closer, her previously mirthful features contorting into a snarl.:: N’rila: I don’t just want some old bucket that you scraped together your pocket money to buy. I intend to win this race, Todd Manius. So choose something you can fly us to victory inside. I don’t care how you get it, you can go to a little auction and ask for something flashy to be delivered to us through those precious ‘above board’ channels that you seem to love so much, but one way or the other we will be standing on the top of that podium as a team. Do you understand what I’m asking you to do? :: Yep. There it was just as he suspected. She never liked to make her demands all at once. He hadn’t raced in years. He was going to have to hit the simulators hard because while some teams were putting shuttles together and seemed happy to take part, there were some serious teams out for the megabucks prize. All the trouble of getting a good shuttle would be for naught if he didn’t win and he knew she would not accept anything less. Todd Manius didn’t look like a man catching up with an old friend but he as trying harder than ever not to let her get under his skin. He wanted to see if they were on the same page about where this nonsense was to end. :: Manius: Yes. You want the best shuttle and you want to win. I do that for you and we’re done right? This whole problem disappears? ::The Orion shook her head. She was wearing a look that was smug enough to melt the bar.:: N’rila: Ahhh, that would be a no. Your little stunt last year cost me big, and I’m afraid that translates into costing you big. You get this shuttle and we win this race? That puts us back to where we were this time last year. Until then, your debt isn’t anywhere close to being repaid. :: The smug look she was wearing made him want to flip out with rage but at the same time he really didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. He had known the price for deceiving her last year would be big but ultimately he wouldn’t change it. She was unscrupulous enough to sell biomimetic gel to those who would use it in the creation of biogenic weapons, organic explosives or be involved in illegal genetic and cloning experiments. He’d destroyed lives in his past and he’d spent the last nine years trying to contribute positively and give people back their lives. He felt he had done significantly more positive in life than the other way about. He felt sick to his stomach and for a while said nothing, nodding in silent acceptance. :: Manius: I hear you. Anything else, or are we done for now? ::She grinned, enjoying seeing him squirm. She used to look up to him, but now he was nothing more than a pathetic worm on a hook, wriggling about until the inevitable moment came where it was all over.:: N’rila: Oh, I think we’re almost done. Before you go, though, I’d love for you to tell me how you plan to keep me updated with your progress. I mean, you’ll forgive me for not exactly trusting you, but I’d rather not get double-crossed like the last time. Manius: I’ll check in around shifts, send pictures of my progress periodically. N’rila: Pictures? With stardate stamps embedded in the code that I can use to verify the authentication? Sounds like a good start. I’ll expect you to send them at least twice a day. ::She didn’t trust him as far as she could throw him. Being as she was smaller than he was, that wasn’t very far at all.:: :: There was absolutely no way he was going to be doing twice daily updates and she could demand it just about as much as she wanted. In fact he could see several days in a row where she would get no updates whatsoever. Certainly if she pushed her luck too far he just wouldn’t bother with them at all. He was going to have to draw the line there. Frankly if she wanted him to do this then she was going to have to accept it. :: :: The alternative was for her to make good on her threat and something told him she didn’t want to do that because then she would still be left without a shuttle and a pilot. If he was wrong and she did - well he had a contingency plan. It wasn’t a great plan, otherwise he would simply execute it rather than sit here trying to barter for a freedom that deep down he felt he would never truly have. :: Manius: I’ll send updates as of when I have time. ::The Takaran nearly choked on her own laughter.:: N’rila: What, from the other side of the sector? ::She slammed her fist down on the bar. Several people turned their heads.:: Do you think I’m stupid, Todd? You’re the one who has made the poor life choices. You’re the one who keeps screwing everything up, and you think you can just keep behaving in a way that craps all over your former friends. Well if you want to grow a spine, fine, it’s about [...] time, but do not think for one second that I don’t have enough on you to really make you suffer before I finally take you down. ::She took in a slow deep breath through her nose.:: N’rila: There’s that … woman, for example. The scientist. It would be a terrible shame if anything were to happen to her. :: It sounded to Todd as though N’rila had somehow found out about Ela and was now using her as leverage to get what she wanted. So enraged by this was he that he was certain any telepaths in the bar would be able to feel the radiating off him. He thought about breaking things off with her but first of all he didn’t want to do that and even if he did, he still didn’t want to see her come to harm. Cutting ties wouldn’t necessarily prevent it. :: Manius: ::With deep hatred and loathing:: Excuse me? ::The angrier Todd got, the angrier N’rila got. She was sick of this weasel trying to screw around. He had a debt, he’d already reneged on it once and he was for [...] sure going to pay it this time.:: N’rila: Oh, you heard. You’re not the only one who can raise the stakes, Mr. Manius. So I’ll look forward to those twice daily updates, even if they say you’re still working on making progress. You might like to think you’re in control of this, but you gave that up a very, very long time ago. Now do we have a deal? Manius: No. We don’t. What you ask is unreasonable. I may be used in an away team or the Darwin may lose communications, heck I might get injured or killed - that is the nature of Starfleet life. There may be times it’s physically impossible to provide those updates. So threaten all you want I’m not about to agree to something I can’t do. :: This whole stressful business had been hanging over him for a year now and he was absolutely sick of it. He wasn’t sure how much more of this he could deal. Frustratingly, he never had been able to recall anything from that sickening night when his whole world had been shattered. He understood all too well his debt but he wasn’t going to repay it by committing even more grave offenses or making impossible deals. :: N’rila: “Computer, send notification to my contact that I have been called for away team duty.” How long did that take, Todd? ::She stared through him, full of contempt. Then her expression softened, as realisation dawned on her.:: N’rila: You know what, no… that would be far to easy, wouldn’t it. Sign yourself off on away team duty and drop off the radar. Can’t be having that. ::She took in a deep breath. There was a way that she could really keep tabs on him, without having to rely on him taking any action. Let’s face it, she was just setting herself up to be betrayed again if she did. This would need her to speak to one of her contacts and incur a little expense, but it would be worth it in the long run.:: N’rila: Forget the updates. Forget the calls. Forget you getting chances to have any say in this. You don’t want any responsibility? Fine. I’ll take charge. You will meet me here 48 hours from the time of our initial rendezvous and I’ll give you a transponder. You put it in your quarters. It sends me an encoded databurst at random intervals, containing a timestamp and your distance from it. If you’re out of range of it for more than three days, you can kiss your woman goodbye. :: Todd shrugged, feigning disinterest when really his heart was hammering so hard in his heart he feared it might break through his ribcage. He was angry as much at himself as he was N’rila for dragging Ela into this. If she hurt Ela then she would be the one who ended up most sorry out of this whole thing because he would absolutely take her down even if he took himself out in the progress. The woman meant more to him than anything or anyone else and he wasn’t going to allow this unscrupulous, nasty piece of work get in the way. :: Manius: What’s the range on it? ::N’rila smirked. She’d got the rebellious little scumbag back right where she wanted him.:: N’rila: Oh, it should be enough to cover the length and breadth of the Darwin… maybe a little further. Let’s hope there are no blind spots. :: Todd wondered how long it would take security to pick up an outgoing signal from his transponder and grow curious about it. More than that he imagined that if they discovered it, they might feel it posed a security threat and shut it down altogether. He knew she wouldn’t care a fig about his legitimate concerns and would see them as weaselling excuses. :: :: If the transponder malfunctioned or was shut off by security he was likely to have Ela’s untimely demise on his conscience his entire life that was an unbearable thought. N’rila could certainly forget about her shuttle in which case as Ela was one of the few things worth sticking around for. If that transponder was stopped broadcasting for any reason the first thing he would do is appeal to Ela to get the heck off Deep Space 6 as quickly as possible, through whatever means. He’d also stop working on that shuttle altogether because as far as he could see that situation would render it a fruitless exercise. :: Manius: ::Standing up and glowering down at her:: See you later N’rila: Yes, Todd. Yes you will. ::She turned her back on him and returned to her drink. She would enter that shuttle race come hell or high water, and Todd Manius was going to get her over the finish line in first place if it was the last thing he ever did.:: =========================================================== Commander Renos - Commanding Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A And PNPC N’Rila - Subspace Scimtars manager Simmed by: Iy - USS Darwin NCC-99312-A ===========================================================
  5. ((Valdivia's quarters, USS Darwin-A)) :: Valdivia had been resting in his bed for some time. Odd as it might be, ono of the worst parts of his experience being phased had been being unable to rest leaning on a wall or bed or chair or anything. Lying on the floor at most, and yet it was just thanks to the artificial gravity, the floor didn't hold him per se. So being able to rest on something was something he needed. First the chairs at Natural Selections, and then his bed. But as his body rested, his mind could not, so he started thinking. :: :: Soon enough, though, he realized the problems he was thinking about were supposed to be left to rest during shore leave. Furthermore, most of them would become problems for someone else once they were assigned a new mission. :: Valdivia: oO Because we will be assigned a new mission, right? I knew the Darwin was just called as a response to the Prometheus incident, but... I like it here, we will keep working as an active ship, right? Oo :: As his mind approached there, it grew even more restless. He finally decided he had to do something else. But what? :: Valdivia: oO I wonder... if my programs will still work... I have not loaded them on a holodeck since the academy, holodeck protocols ought to have changed a bit. Oo ((Holodeck, USS Darwin-A)) Valdivia: Computer, load random generated scenario. Class M planet, tropical latitude, rainforest. :: He waited a bit as the computer ran the automated protocols to create a random rainforest. The trees started appearing around him. It was raining. :: Valdivia: Computer, I hate you. ::apologetic beep.:: No rain. Change weather to sunny. :: That was better. Shortly, the forest was created as far as he could see. That part was the computer's creation. Now began his part. :: Valdivia: Computer, start programmer mode. Don't freeze the scene. :: A digital panel appeared next to him, with orders he could choose to change the forest around him. Selecting and object and changing it's size, position, color... modifying the terrain, adding actors... :: Valdivia: Computer, load tool set Valdivia003, motion control. :: A gaunlet of his own design appeared around his right hand. That allowed to run the same commands the panel could run, but with gestures. Grabbing the air in an object's direction selected it, and he could manually change it's position, enlarge it, modify a specific part...:: :: Just for practice, he started modifying things. Pulling his hand up created a small mound, and moving two fingers in front of him moved a tree around until he found a nice place for it. He grabbed the air and pulled, creating a new long branch on a tree, and opening the palm widened the branch to a small platform. :: Valdivia: It has been some time since I last did this... Computer, set gravity to 0.6G. :: He jumped a couple of times to let his body get used to the lowered gravity, took a deep breat, and started running. He ran towards the tree, and using it to push himself up he jumped a couple of meters up. A gesture with his fingers made a new branch appear for him to grab, and using it to pull himself even further he landed on the wooden platform he had created shortly before. :: Valdivia: oO This is the taller tree around here. Let's climb it. Oo :: A quick gesture up with his hand moved the platform, launching himself up flying. His smile broadened as he felt the air on his face, and as he felt himself starting to slow down, another gesture created a set of stairs in front of him, so he ran up on the stairs that appeared as he climbed them. As he arrived to the end of the stairs, he prepared of one of his favorite tricks, that required some precision. As he ran towards the end, his fingers drew a tornado, he finally jumped from the platform and the air under him started to blow up, pulling him up towards the top of the tree. :: Valdivia: oO Just a little push... Oo :: Either he had miscalculated or the gravity was a bit too high, but he didn't reach the top, his hand missed by an inch and he started falling. With a broad smile, he turned around to look at the rapidly approaching ground. :: Valdivia: Hello, ground! :: He knew even if he fell, the safety protocols would prevent any harm. But ending his adventure crashing on the ground was not that funny. Looking around, he found the computer had created a lake when generating the forest. Crossing his fingers, he deleted the tree, and with a sweep of the hand he moved the lake to right under him. With a final gesture, he made the lake deeper and deeper, to make sure he would not abruptly find the ground underneath. He finished all this barely a few meters above the surface and prepared for a refreshing dive. He dove several meters under the water. It was cold, but not too much. Cool enough for a refreshing experience. :: Valdivia: I don't understand how people can use the holodeck without using programmer mode. They don't know what they are missing. :: He used to do this, as a kid in Luna, and at the beginning of his academy years, but he hadn't come to a holodeck in some time. Not alone, at least. With his fingers, he moved the sun towards the horizon, creating a beautiful setting sun scene. He relaxed on the water for a bit. :: Valdivia: To think how frequently I did this as a child... I wonder how Camelot is doing. :: He even had a program on which he was a powerful mage, Merlin, and his programmer privileges were his powers. Typical teenager fantasy, he believed, although on second thought it might not be so typical. :: Valdivia: I will visit it. But another day. One more dive, and I should head to sickbay. Doctor Manius should have already visited everyone else who has phased. :: His fingers started to slowly draw a whirlpool around him, and as he started moving with the flow of water, he started pushing up, the whirlpool climbing up and pushing him towards the sky. Once he was high enough, he looked down, and when he closed his fist, the ascending whirlpool disappeared, leaving him to start flying down to a final dive. :: Valdivia: As far as I know... there is no program that let's you fly. It would be quite hard to control. But maybe... :: He had to force himself to remember the time. :: Valdivia: Another time, perhaps. Computer, close program. Delete all memory caché. :: Once the familiar black and yellow grid appeared, he walked towards sickbay. :: Ensign John ValdiviaScience OfficerUSS Darwin-A
  6. ((Jellico’s personal quarters – USS Darwin-A)) ::Michael had seen that he had an priority message marked urgent as soon as he had got back from the Dunbar but he hadn’t opened the mail. He’d known the message was going to be an update on Brooks and he’d been too afraid to open it encase it was bad news. He’d ignored it as long as he could with the justification that there would be nothing he could do until the Darwin reached Deep Space Six. But now the Darwin had reached Deep Space Six and he was forced to confront his fears, of course he wasn’t forced to do it sober. He opened a bottle of real scotch whiskey that he’d been saving for an emergency, poured himself a large shot and downed it quickly. He drank two more shots before he was strong enough to open the message. It wasn’t the way that whiskey was supposed to be enjoyed, but he wasn’t interesting in savoring the flavors, he wanted to be numb when he heard the news that Brooks was gone from his life.:: ::Michael glanced over the two line message which informed him to contact the family liaison office on earth and hit the provided link. A familiar spinning logo appeared and Michael found himself pouring another glass and pictured brooks in his mind as he waited for someone to pick up on the other end. He’d meet Staff Sergeant Brooks Gwinnett aboard the Victory, inadvertently walking in one of her private workout sessions on the Holodeck. He should have left straight away but instead he stood there gawking at her tight outfit as she stretched for a warm down. She'd caught him, pointing out that he was steering and an apology had somehow turned into a drink, then a dinner date and dancing. It was odd, he’d always hated Marines and was of the opinion that they had no place on Starfleet ships and yet.... somehow he'd fallen in love with one.:: ((Flashback - Gwinnett's Personal Quarters - USS Victory)) ::Michael had surprised Brooks with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift for visiting him in sickbay. But the visit was only part of the reason, Michael’s roommate had visited him as well but, unfortunately for him, PO Sankar hadn't received flowers. Michael had been attracted to her since he'd first laid eye on her and although he was afraid to admit it his feelings towards her were growing, flowers seemed like the perfect gift. Although he never would have imagined that he would give flowers to a Marine. He'd had bar fights with Marines many times, but never given one flowers.:: Jellico: Would you be interested in a meal to go with your flowers? I can’t really cook at the moment, ::He gestured again at the arm:: but I’m sure we could find somewhere on the surface.... if you are interested? Gwinnett: Sure, I would love to. I can cook almost anything. But the taste, well.. no one ever criticized me for very long. If you know what I mean. ::Michael did know what she meant. Brooks was officially a combat medic, but the joke was that she could cause more damage than she could heal. Michael was still digesting the joke when the lips of Brooks were suddenly pressed against his cheek.:: ::Michael froze, savoring the moment.:: Jellico: I don't think a kiss on the cheek has ever... ::Brooks interrupted him softly.:: Gwinnett: Quiet. ::Then Michael saw her move forward and instinctively he leaned forward too for a gentle kiss on the lips.:: Gwinnett: Let me put these in some water, and get dressed. You will have leave for a few minutes, as much as I would like to give you a ‘show’ there are some things that are “worth” waiting for. Jellico: I'm sure. ::Michael said with a small laugh.:: I'll wait outside and try not to let my imagination get the best of me. ((End flashback)) ::Michael smiled faintly as he remembered their exchange, but the voice of the Commander on the monitor in front of him snapped his attention back to the present. Soul: Son, it's about Staff Sergeant Gwinnett. As you know, you are listed as her secondary next of k.... Jellico: Is she dead? ::Michael said the words coldly and realized that his entire body was tense as if trying to brace himself for a bullet. The Commander's face creased, he clearly didn't like being interrupted but he sat on his urge to respond angrily.:: Soul: No, in fact her condition has improved. ::Michael felt his heart jump in his chest.:: Jellico: She's okay. Soul: She's far from okay, but her condition has improved. She's breathing by herself again and shes awake. ::Michael nodded unable to process the good news, he’d been certain that she had died while he was on the Dunbar. He had been told that she’d crash-lined after being transferred from the Tiger to the Victory and that her spinal surgery hadn’t been without complications and yet now he was being told that she was recovering.:: Jellico: Where? ::The single word came out raspy.:: Soul: She’s receiving treatment here on earth. I’ll send you the full details in a download. ::Michael nodded.:: Jellico: Thank you sir. ::The Commander nodded uncomfortably.:: Soul: She’s a fighter by the sounds of it. ::He paused.:: I’ll contact if I have any more updated but I strongly encourage you to make you own contact with the sergeant. ::Michael actually smiled at that comment.:: Jellico: Will do. Thank you again sir. Soul: Take care Mr. Jellico ::The Commanders face was replaced with the Starfleet emblem and Michael reached for the bottle again with a shaking hand as the tears came again.:: =/\= Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Jellico Security and Tactical USS Darwin-A
  7. Great entry! Glad to see that most science offices look the same... cluttered - er, I mean busy!
  8. ((USS Dunbar: En Route to the Bridge)) ::A team of tireless engineers rushed past Brayden and disappeared around a corner. He hoped that the ship could be made strong enough for the Darwin to tow it out of harm's way. The whole mission had felt like a losing battle since their first steps on the Dunbar. Brayden made his way slowly through the hallways toward the turbolift trying to get a sense of Cadfael Peters. He was the team's engineer who, like many of the Dunbar's crew, had vanished.:: ::He wasn't sure what it was when he'd first arrived, but at some point, Brayden felt as though a part of his mind was being pulled into some other reality. It was distracting, strange, but mostly just unsettling. He had encountered the Dunbar's missing science officer. A pretty little thing, terrified, and in tears. It was confusing. Brayden could sense the woman's fear and sadness, but underneath or within it were strokes of compassion and love.:: Jorey: Computer, what is the location of Lt. Peters? Computer: Lt. Peters is currently in engineer… ::glitching:: is not on the Dunbar. ::Brayden kissed his teeth in frustration and turned the corner. He could see the lift door at the end of the long corridor. His steps slowed as he felt a presence coming up from behind him. A small, quiet voice called out from around the corner behind him.:: Child: Mother said to hide. ::He turned and a took few rushed steps to peer around the corner - he saw an empty hallway. A strange feeling of uncertainty took hold of him. He looked around to see if anyone else heard the voice, but there was no one else around to hear it. He turned and rounded the corner again. The hallway seemed somehow longer and the lift door further away. He moved a little quicker hoping he'd be fine once he got to the bridge.:: Child: We have to hide from the bad man. ::Brayden nearly tripped as a small child with long dark hair ran in front of him giggling. She continued running for a few steps before turning to look at him. He stopped. The Zalkonian girl turned. She was holding a small toy in her right hand so tightly her knuckles were discoloured. She tilted her head with a confused expression and then smiled at him.:: Child: Mother said to hide. ::She turned quickly, continued running, and turned a corner up ahead. Brayden was momentarily paralyzed as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. He wondered if the Dunbar would have Zalkonian passengers and why. He moved forward and looked around the corner into the hallway. He saw the Dunbar's missing science officer bending down to speak with the girl. She brushed her bangs behind her ear and spoke softly to the girl.:: Byranna: There is a bad man coming this way. We'll have to go another way to hide. ::She stood up and took the girl's hand and started running toward Brayden. He stood firm forcing the officer to stop. He had questions and hoped that Ensign Byranna would have answers. He was surprised when the officer, with child in hand, ran past him.:: Byranna: Run! ::He saw two Zalkonian soldiers step into the hallway and break into a run toward him. He turned and followed Byranna and the girl around the corner and back toward the turbolift. The little girl stopped running when she dropped her toy, but was dragged on by the science officer. Brayden picked up the small furry toy animal and continued to rush toward the turbo lift.:: ::The doors opened as Byranna and the girl approached. They entered. Brayden dive-rolled into the lift and pushed them apart moving them to the sides where they would be protected from arms fire. He turned and drew his phaser pointing it down the hallway. The Zalkonian soldiers rounded the corner and took a few shots into the lift. Fortunately, the shots passed by Brayden without incident and the lift doors closed.:: Jorey: Computer, emergency lockdown. ::The computer made a sound acknowledging the command. Brayden holstered his phaser and then offered his hand to Byranna to help her up. He found himself arm stretched toward no one. He snapped around to see if the girl was still there. He was alone in the lift. He clasped his hands behind his head and let out a primal, angry scream. He was losing his mind. Seeing people who were not there. Things that never happened. He calmly lowered his hands to his sides and took a long, exaggerated breath.:: Jorey: Computer, end lock down. Bridge. ::The turbolift began to move. He shuffled his feet nervously and felt something on the floor. He knelt down and picked up the small, plush version of an unfamiliar animal. He held it in his hands. If what he saw wasn't real, he wondered how the toy could feel so real. He wondered who the little girl was and why her own people seemed to be hunting her down like a criminal.:: Jorey: oO How could such a small child be a criminal? Oo ::Deep down, Brayden knew the answer. He didn't want to admit it. Even acknowledging the answer made him feel vile. He read Captain Turner's reports about the lunar concentration camp in Zalkonian space. He'd seen first hand what their government was doing to their own people. Brayden clutched the toy tighter trying to fight back the sorrow and anger pushing their way up.:: ::The lift began to slow and then finally came to a complete stop. The doors opened to the bridge, but Brayden found himself looking into the barrel of a phaser rifle held by a Zalkonian soldier. The light from the energy discharge blinded him before knocking him back. His body slammed against the back wall and he fell to the floor with a heavy thud. Brayden laid there unsure why he was still conscious. A blast at that range should have killed him.:: ::Brayden's vision slowly returned to him. He saw a deck officer standing in the doorway looking down at him. He looked around the lift for the child's toy, but it was gone. He pushed off the floor, stood up, and tried to shake off the feeling of being shot dead. It wasn't an easy thing to do.:: ::He nodded to the deck officer to let him know he would be alright and the officer moved out of the doorway and back on to the bridge. Brayden stepped forward into the doorway and looked into the bridge. Everything seemed to be normal all things considered. Artem had already relieved a few officers. Clearly Brayden was the only one to have experienced anything out of the ordinary.:: ::Confident everything was as it should be he stepped out of the lift and on to the bridge. The lift doors closed, but their familiar hiss was drowned out by the sound of a terrified little girl's scream from behind the closed doors. Then a single phaser shot. Then silence.:: Brayden: oO No… Oo TBC Lt. Commander Brayden Jorey - First Officer, USS Darwin-A NCC-99312-A
  9. Don't know how much effort you spent, but holy man does it ever look worth it! What an awesome piece of art!
  10. ::Hael had to take a double take at D'Sena. For a minute he thought she didn't have any eyes. When she looked at them, he had a dumbfounded look on his face. But recovered, poorly he was sure, and nodded at the welcome. oO My what big eyes you have... What's next? Big ears?...Oo Hael gave a quick glance at Dorsorak oO ... Really?Oo:: I lol'd at this. Perfect comedic effect!
  11. Ditto, and ditto. I might not be overly fussy about the bridge, but the rest of the ship was really nice.
  12. Before he had the means to replicate the real thing for his quarters, Maxwell would have to practice before gigs in the holodeck... This might make you cringe, but I lost the full-res image I was working on, leaving me with this. I still kinda like it, though, and had put some amount of work into it, so I figured I'd post it anyways. Valuable lesson learned today about letting others access your computer while you're mid-project...
  13. Your project turned out really nice! The layering really added a visual pop to the image that drew me right in.
  14. So, slowly catching up on my backlog of sims to read when I caught this line by Lt. Dragumov: "...whenever the Federation danced with the Empire, it could only end in Bloodwine or Bloodshed." This quote really resonated with me. ::slow hippie drawl:: So deep, man! Way trippy! =) But honestly, really cool saying.
  15. Hehe, she should confiscate it, for later in the day. "Put away that hypospray, Doc. I brought my own anesthetic."
  16. I re-e-eally thought about how much fun it would be if the bottle had gone missing on Max, but that would force me to show a dark side of him that nobody wants so see. Hehe! The brandy is not so much even that important, but the bottle is sentimental now, so I had to have him spirit it away. I promise though, next time Max brings alcohol to an emergency, we can hide it on him!
  17. Dang, there goes my plan lol Whew, I'm safe on the Apollo after all! =)
  18. Hey, if you had to study spatial anomalies day in, day out... =)
  19. I know you issued an OOC correction for the post this came from, but this still made me choke on my coffee... ::Nate laughed, he suddenly didn't feel so bad about being stuck with the fruity flute.:: But, it made me think, in only the way my mind circles erratically. Imagine what to a Risian is a lute, actually looks to a Terran like a flute? They hand it to you, thinking there's really only one way to play it, and you try to play it in a completely different and unexpected manner? I imagine it would set up a scene not unlike this...
  20. I am happy that I had a chance to participate in a writing challenge before they were pared back. I cannot imagine the drain in time and resources that go into adjudicating these challenges, especially considering how dedicated and precise the judge's responses are. With that, I can totally understand the need to step back and refocus efforts on other forum challenges. Still, it's a shame to see this wonderful opportunity pass, and I'm sure that many will be sorry to see it go.
  21. Thank you so much for the recognition! It's one thing to write collaboratively, working together to advance a storyline. It's another thing altogether to compile a piece solely for adjudication. Putting yourself out there, willing to be critiqued for your work, is challenging in any aspect of life. I respect and admire this group for creating a venue to do so in a supporting, safe environment. It's what drew me to SB:118 in the first place, and I haven't looked back since! I am awed and humbled to have had the opportunity to compete with such talented writers, and I enjoyed everybody's submissions so much. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my story, and I hope the humor of it gave you a bit of happiness, as I enjoyed writing it immensely. It's a shame that this contest will be pared back, but I look forward to reading more quality submissions from across the fleet in other forum venues such as the Top Sims contest. Again, thank you for the unexpected honor. It is highly cherished.
  22. ((Quarters - Torrin )) ::It was late afternoon, the Apollo was safely docked at Starbase 118, but Avaris had stayed put in his room, sorting through documents relating to his new position at the shipboard schools Headmaster. His day had been beyond weird, and he had eagerly awaited Artem's return for the few hours he had to relax before going back on duty. He wanted to tell him all about his conversations with D'Sena and Counselor Walker, to celebrate their probationary acceptance of the School Boards offer of employment. He even wanted to tell him about meeting Dr Renos, although he had planned to gloss over that part a bit... he was still very nervous about the call he needed to make later on. But Artem had arrived home, eyes bloodshot and temper raging. Avaris had greeted him with an excited smile, only to be met with a seething glower and a snarled accusation :: Dragumov: Explain to me why a civilian reported to security today, that she had overheard a bearded, long haired very tall Trill man discussing with a J'naii doctor his involvement in an arson case, while he was walking down a crowded hallway, in the middle of the day. ::Torrins face blanched, the smile evaporated from his face. :: Dragumov: The citizen said that this Trill was whispering, which is good I suppose, that he wasnt just yelling treasonous things like a crazy person. So she could only hear snippets of conversation, but that he seemed to be confessing to taking part in the burning of a library of some sort, back on Trill. Explain to me how that happened Avaris, because I am sure there is a reasonable explanation, and that the reasonable explanation that there is would not be that you, in fact, were talking openly about burning down a building on Trill. Perhaps there is another tall long haired bearded Trill ex-anarchist onboard the Apollo. Perhaps she misheard you. Tell me, for the love of god, that there is a reasonable explanation Avaris, why on my FIRST DAY of active security duty, I heard a report that seemed to be about you. ::Torrin sat down on the couch silently, unable to look his husband in the eye. :: Dragumov: When you are finished explaining to me why that happened, perhaps you can also explain to me why the ships first officer asked the security department to remotely search our quarters computer terminal, and determine how it was that you came into possession of an old intelligence report on yourself. :: Avaris stayed silent for another beat. Looking back up to his husbands furious expression, he smiled weakly :: Torrin: Are you still feeling rough from the party last night buddy? ::It was the wrong tact, and Artem roared furiously :: Torrin: I am sorry Artem... today has been a bit of a roller coaster... Dragumov: I don't care Avaris! Is this a game to you? This is our life, and we have been here for THREE DAYS! How are you already on their radar in three days Avaris? ::Torrin stood up, slowly approaching his enraged husband, speaking as soothingly as his shaking voice would allow :: Torrin: baby, you know I was on their radar before we even got here.... I am so sorry, I didn't mean to stress you out today.... ::Artem shoved him away, clearly not interested in being touched :: Dragumov: Its fine, you cant help yourself apparently. I knew that when I married you... so its my fault I guess. ::His words cut deeply, sounding dangerously close to regret that they had gotten married, that he had included Avaris in his new life as a Starfleet Officer. The computer interrupted the thick miasma of silence growing between the two men, cheerily informing Avaris that a message waited for him. He went to the terminal and sat down, opening the communication. He looked at it, his eyes widened... was this a joke?:: Dragumov : What now?! Torrin: There must be some mistake, commander D'Sena has asked me to meet herself and some of the crew for... a team building exercise tomorrow? Maybe its supposed to be for you? ::Artem glowered, but an expression of puzzlement was showing slightly through his scowl. Torrin got back up, and walked towards his husband, snatching the communicator from his chest, he activated it. :: Torrin =/\= Torrin to Commander D'Sena? =/\= D'Sena =/\= D'Sena here, what can I do for you, Mister Torrin? =/\= Torrin =/\= I apologies for bothering you... I just got a message from you about a team building exercise tomorrow, I am wondering if there has been some sort of mix-up and it was meant for my husband? =/\= D'Sena : =/\= I can assure you, Mister Torrin, that it was meant for you. =/\= ::Avaris looked anxiously to Artem, whose own look of horror could only be matched by the one Avaris himself must have been wearing :: Torrin: =/\= Well... thank you so much for thinking to include me Commander, but I'm afraid my preparations for duties in the school will be keeping be busy for most of the day tomorrow.... =/\= D'Sena : =/\= You will have enough time for that after we are done, Mister Torrin. From my reports, I see that you are now a member of our crew, and therefore will be participate in our exercise. =/\= ::Avaris sighed, defeated :: Torrin: =/\= well... of course I suppose you are right. Very well commander, I will see you tomorrow. Torrin out =/\= ::He handed the comm badge back to Artem, who angrily snatched it from him :: Dragumov: Great. This is just great. Now you are going to spend more time with the command staff, where you will no doubt continue to make an amazing impression for us both. I cant do this right now, I need to lie down. We will talk about this later Avaris. Torrin: I'm really sorry Artem... can I get you anything? Do you want some water? Dragumov: Just leave me alone right now. ::Artem stormed into the bedroom and threw himself on their bed without even taking off his uniform. Avaris went over and activated the door, to give his brooding husband some time to calm down. He was right, Avaris had been very sloppy today... he was finding adjusting to life on this ship far more difficult than he had imagined, and he had imagined some pretty serious difficulty. He went to the replicator and made himself a tumbler glass with some ice, opening the bottle of Saurian brandy he had done a number on the day before, pouring carefully at first, but abandoning pretense halfway through and filling the glass. He had felt like he had gained some ground, and that Artem might even be proud of his efforts, it had been no small thing getting himself hired on at the school. But without meaning to, he had set them back two steps for the step he thought he would gain, and they were fighting, again. He caught his mind wandering, wondering if this was the right thing, wondering if he had made a huge mistake, before snapping himself out of it. There was no use thinking like that right now, they had only just arrived, and they could make this work, he absolutely had to believe that. At least he had a project. The Doctors friend, on the J'naii homeworld. That was something he could do. The doctor still hadn't given him any details, but he figured sending out some preliminary feelers would be proactive and make him feel a little less worthless. The first step was going to be brutal, but now seemed like as good a time as any to do it, he didn't think his estranged old colleague, and once good friend Andressa Castyr could possibly make him feel any worse than he already did. He sat down at the rooms terminal again, and instructed the computer to place a subspace call back home to Trill, hoping that she wasn't home and that he could just leave a message. He realized he didn't even have any idea of what time it was in Vrans, he had so thoroughly acclimatized to the 26 hour Starfleet Standard time that he might be calling in the middle of the night. Luck was not with him, the call was answered. A pretty, slight middle aged Trill woman with long red hair and a prominent chest tattoo framing the symbol of the Unjoined Majority in its centre appeared on the screen. As soon as she registered who was calling her, she scowled and went to disconnect the call. :: Torrin: Wait! Andressa please.... Castyr: I have nothing to say to you Avaris. Torrin: Hear me out, please its important, I have an ask. ::The redheaded woman scoffed dramatically. :: Castyr: You dont get to ASK for ASKS anymore Avaris Torrin. Where is your husband? Is he monitoring this call? You gonna play bait in a sting? Nobody here would fall for it, just to save you some time... Torrin: Adressa, please, you know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. ::She banged a fist on her desk, the screen wavered with the reverberations of the impact. :: Castyr: You have some nerve Avaris, calling me in the middle of the night out of nowhere, from a Starfleet ship no less. You fitting in nicely with those pigs then? They putting you up to this? oO so it is the middle of the night in Vrans then. Good timing as always Avaris Oo Torrin: ... I am sorry it has been so long Andressa... you were a sister to me for so long, I miss you so much. It has been hard here, trust me, it has been... so hard Castyr: Good. ::Avaris blinked back a tear. The worst part of it was, a part of him thought she was right to be so angry. :: Torrin: ... like I said, it is important. Our friend Jenny is out of lipstick again... ::The Trill woman glowered, her eyes narrowed and her lips were pursed so hard that they were white. But he had gotten her attention, Jenny was their less-than-imaginative code word for any J'naii "Deviant" who was in danger, in need of help from their network of support.. :: Castyr: ...Alright then. Where is Jenny now? Torrin: I dont know yet, she is also a friend of someone else onboard, I am just relying a message... would you be able to get some lipstick to her if I found out where she was?? ::She paused, still glowering. :: Castyr: I could look into it for sure. But to be clear, I'd be doing this for Jenny, not for you. Torrin: Thank you Andressa. Castyr: By the way, for future reference, don't you dare call me sister, you don't get to call me sister ever again Avaris. I cant even imagine what Jaheran would think of you if he could see you now. Just send the information when you get it, don't call me again. Give love from all of us back in your old life to Officer Dragumov. ::She disconnected the call abruptly, before Avaris could say any more. With the screen black again, he allowed a single tear to roll down his cheek, remembering his old life and his old friends, remembering Andressa, and remembering Jaheran. What would he have thought of Avaris now? It was best not to think about it. He wiped the tear away, and continued to pour over the School Board documents, mentally preparing his plans to prove himself capable of molding the minds of the next generation of Federation citizens. :: Avaris Edral Torrin Civilian School Headmaster USS Apollo - A
  23. I want to reiterate, that life threatening food allergies are something to be taken seriously, and I do not intend to belittle or demean the topic. This was meant purely as fictional satire. Thanks!
  24. On the sixth day in orbit around Coralla Prime, it was decided that first contact with the Corallans had progressed so excellently that the crew of the Apollo would be given restricted shore leave. A draw had been made, among the officers of the ship who were off duty, to participate in a cultural exchange on the surface and Ensign Maxwell Traenor had been lucky enough to draw a slot. Once on the surface, the ensign had been drawn in to an establishment where he joined at a table with a Corallan, and polite conversation ensued. Maxwell, being a physicist and not at all a xenoanthropologist, had been initially concerned, but fell into comfort fairly quickly. The Corallans were an amphibious race, but despite their cultural and physical differences, Maxwell and Siath, as his counterpart was named, found much to talk about. The only issue was the universal translator, which infrequently stumbled upon deciphering the odd word in either language. Tilting her head, Siath addressed Maxwell. "Would you like to try our food?" It had been noted that the Corallans tilted their heads quite frequently in conversation. The cultural debrief had stated that it was a physical quirk of the species, with both physiological and social implications. It either depicted deep thought processes or an emotional entreaty, depending on the situational context. Maxwell found it endearing, possibly because of the resemblance to an iconic gesture of domesticated dogs back on Earth. In this context, he assumed it to mean that she felt strongly about him trying the local cuisine, and felt loath to decline. In truth, he was nervous; an adventurous diner he was not, but it was expected of him as part of his involvement in the cultural exchange. "Thank you, Siath, I would really like to try your cuisine." Siath tilted her head again, the nictitating membrane of her eyes rapidly moving back and forth. This as well was covered in the cultural debrief, as a signal of confusion or fear. It was not nearly as endearing as the head tilt, but Maxwell had seen it before. It most likely meant he had said something that the universal translator couldn't decipher into the Corallan tongue. "Please say again, Tray-e-nor, I do not understand." "Um... I would like to try your food?" That seemed to work, because Siath perked right up. Apparently 'cuisine' had no analog in her language. "Excellent, Tray-e-nor! There is a food that we are proud of, I will serve you. It is called *ktckkk*." It was now Maxwell's turn to sport a look of confusion, for the universal translator commonly stumbled over proper nouns in the Corallan language. The species' gravelly, guttural vocal intonation was hard enough to follow when the translator worked, but when it didn't, the sound was especially jarring to Traenor's ears. "I'm sorry, Siath, can you try again?" "Our food, it is called *ktckkk*. I cannot explain, it is *tchrrkl*... It is sweet after meal food." "Oh! What we call dessert, perhaps?" Again with the look, and if she had lips, Maxwell would assume she would be sporting a bemused smile. "I do not understand your word. But no concern. I bring now." Maxwell Traenor waited patiently while Siath went into an adjacent room. After only a few moments, she returned with a plate. The scientist watched her approach with morbid fascination, worried about what he might see. What if it was live grubs, not unlike Klingon gagh? Cultural sensitivity or not, he was unsure if he would be able to stomach such a dish. As the deep bowl was placed before him, he peered over the lip of the dish. It was chocolate! The smell that permeated the air above the bowl was heavenly. Floral and berry notes wafted forth on a strong undercurrent of an earthy vegetal scent, sweetly caressing his senses with its sugary headiness. The more he drew the perfumed air deep into his lungs, the more it enticed and intoxicated him. "This looks wonderful, Siath!" His spoon crackled through the sharp brulee crust, leaving slivery shards of caramelized sugar spidered across the top. Inside, the utensil swam through a creamy mousse, interlaced with ribbons of viscous fudge. Maxwell drew a spoonful of the delightful confection up to his lips, and let the taste tingle on his lips and tongue. The wonderful nutty, woody base flavor carried an exotic song of spice, citrus and vine fruit across his palate. It was like the best chocolate he had ever eaten, except more vibrant and intense than any that had come before. He blocked out all else, letting his being immerse in the experience of that dessert. It sang in his brain, it swam in his veins, it lifted him to the heights of euphoria. He absently scratched at his face as he devoured another spoonful of the manna in his bowl. "Siath, this is the most wonderful food I have ever eaten. It... it completes me... it's fantastic... The spice in it is heavenly, though a bit strong. It makes my lips and tongue tingle so much that they almost feel numb..." Yet another spoonful, though it was thicker than he had originally thought. It stuck in his throat and was hard to swallow, but worth every morsel. He knew he should slow down, not eat so quickly. He was shoveling it in so fast that he could barely catch his breath between bites. He scratched more insistently at the persistent itch on his neck and throat. "Tray-e-nor, you are happy, yes? You bloat with joy and change color because you are pleased?" Bloat with joy? What a strange comment, thought Maxwell. But that thought was hard to grasp, as was any thought. His mind was hazy and unfocused, difficult to grab onto any one topic. He wheezed with difficulty, trying to put but one more taste of that creamy, sugary wonderfulness between rubbery unfeeling lips that could not part... ... ... "...has been treated with adrenaline. I mean, a chemical that reverses the effect of his immune system from overreacting. That is why he couldn't breathe." Coming to and looking up through squinted eyes, Maxwell could discern the comforting blue collar of a Starfleet medical uniform. Beside the doctor was Siath, the membrane over her eyes fluctuating rapidly. He felt bad for putting her through so much distress. "I did not know! Our cultural document stated that flushing of the skin of the species of Tray-e-nor indicated arousal. I only assumed that he was enjoying the *ktckkk*!" O foul temptress! O what terrible fate! The divine dessert had turned on him? He had suffered an allergic reaction to the wondrous treat? How could life be so cruel as to deprive him of a love of which he had just experienced but once? Nothing short of perfection had been introduced to him, and it had tried to kill him? And why was his oxygen-starved brain spinning in addled Shakespearean soliloquies? "Not to worry, he will be fine. See, he is already rising again to his feet. We will mark this reaction in our medical documents, so hopefully this unpleasantness can be avoided in the future." Suddenly, the medic reached out and swatted Traenor's hand. "For goodness' sake, Ensign, drop the dammed spoon already! And don't look so petulant." But it was so good... Ensign Maxwell Traenor Science USS Apollo-A
  25. I think I'll try a tangential hook to this theme...
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