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Theo Whittaker

Captains Council member
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Theo Whittaker last won the day on September 9

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About Theo Whittaker

  • Rank
    Star Trek Groupie
  • Birthday 10/18/1987

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  • Current Vessel
    USS Gorkon

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  • Location
    UK
  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Fashion, Music (namely 1980s and 1990s pop music), vinyls, gaming, reading, RuPaul's Drag Race, LGBTQ+ Activism

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  1. This was such a great read and it brought a huge to smile to my face. Kudos to you, Ensign Bollore!
  2. ((Hong Kong subdistrict, SB118, some time between Final Examination and reporting to the Columbia) When Gervan's friends steered him toward SB118's Hong Kong District, he began looking forward to the evening. Before going to the Academy, Gervan could count the number of times he had been to Earth on one hand (perhaps that was an exaggeration. But not by much). All his pre-Academy technical training had been off Earth, and even when he had been at the Starfleet Technical Services Academy, the only time he left Mars for Earth was on a two day visit to Rennes, mainly because his family back on Lemnos would have never forgiven him if he had failed to visit Bro Gozh ma Zadoù. The Academy had given Gervan a chance to see more of Earth, but even if Gervan had not had his academic obligations to the Academy, four years would not have been enough time to see all that was Earth. The place was huge, both in size and diversity. So when Gervan's friends told him they were going to SB118's Hong Kong District to celebrate the collective passing of their final examinations, Gervan was thinking they were going to the The Fragrant Lotus Tea House., the one place in that district he had heard of. Gervan had only a passing knowledge of Cantonese culture and cuisine, though there was a restaurant type called a cha chaan teng he had been told about that sounded interesting. Maybe this Tea House was one of those type of restaurants. Gervan didn't know, but he was looking forward to finding out. Instead, Gervan's friends took him to something called a malt shop and sock hop, which was supposed to be a duplication and/or reminiscent of mid-twentieth century North American culture. Gervan sighed when his friends excitedly showed him where they were going to be spending at least part of their evening, not only to celebrate their first assignments but also the successful publication of "Redeye Love," the holonovel the four of them had collaborated on. Gervan had first met Nilevaar, Ishilaon and Targigg in Application of Creative Design in Holodecks. The four had been assigned as a work group at the beginning of the term, to complete a holodeck novel that would incorporate everything that they would learn in the class. Gervan had internally groaned at the prospect, for several reasons. First, he had no imagination. Well, he had no imagination except when it came to solving technical problems. But when it came to artistic creativity? His limericks were appreciatively bawdy, but that was about it. Second, he was assigned to a team with an Orion, an Andorian and a Tellarite. If the four of them walked into a bar, it would be a classic joke. What could four such disparate beings have in common? As it turned out, all three of his teammates were aficionados of some aspect of mid-century North American culture. Nilevaar was a fan of something called the noir detective, or the detective nor, or something like that. Ishilaon enjoyed the dramatic presentation of the popular culture, Targigg the food of the era, and both had a disturbingly intimated knowledge of the transportation phenomena known as "muscular cars." And all three knew the music of the period. There is nothing quite like hearing an Andorian and a Tellarite singing "Greased Lightning." Gervan, on the other hand, had grown up on a colony that had been "lost" to the rest of humanity for two centuries, and even though Lemnos had "rejoined" the Federation before his birth, Earth culture was just as exotic to the humans of Lemnos as the culture of any other Federation member. The only ancient pop culture icon that Gervan knew was the protagonist of a late twentieth-century entertainment series who modified available items into unique configuration to solve dilemmas in a nonviolent manner. And he only knew that individual cause his Vulcan mentor had introduced him to it. Apparently, that particular ancient Earth entertainment series had a "cult" following on Vulcan. So the rest of the team had wanted to do a holonovel set in their favorite Earth era. Except none could agree on exactly what should be in it. And they expected Gervan to be the "tiebreaker," even though he knew absolutely nothing about that time period. And thus Redeye Love was born. The holodeck novel starts with the playable protagonist driving a muscle car across a seemingly endless desert highway with music blaring from the speakers(there were two modes of driving, one realistic, the other not). The sun has just set, and the protagonist was required to retrieve someone at the airport, who was arriving at dawn. But before the protagonist could do so, they must recover a stolen statuette highly valued by the arriving passenger. This required the protagonist to solve a minor mystery, and create a minor device, in each chapter, that culminated in building a major device and then using it to solve a major mystery in the final chapter. Redeye Love barely had consistent internal logic, with one chapter being in Los Angeles, then Malibu Beach the next. But Gervan did manage to incorporate all the diverse facets his new found friends loved about the era, which made them more enthusiastic about working on the project, which in turned made sure the technical aspects of their holonovel was beyond reproach. And since that was what the group was being primarily graded on, that was good enough for Gervan. Who knew that people would actually like the thing? Or that one of their fellow cadets had an uncle who was a publicist? So with a little minor tweaking, Redeye Love was becoming a popular sensation just about the time the four cadets had gotten their first pip and their first assignment. So the other three Ensigns had decided to start the evening in a restaurant that celebrated their favorite era. One that didn't even serve beer, Gervan sadly noted. Thankfully, they would only be starting the night there. ---- Ensign Gervan Bollore Engineering Officer USS Colombia C239605GB0
  3. ((The Look Outt - Deck 10 - USS Columbia)) :: Rune sat in her usual seat in the Look Outt, close to the window facing the door so she could see who came and went. Krystyan sat in a booster seat beside her shoveling cereal into his mouth by the handful. She wasn’t sure where Na’Toth had gotten off to and she really didn’t care. The Verillian was good with her son but still managed to get on her nerves rather quickly and she wasn’t in the mood for him. :: :: She took a sip of her Masala Chai tea and continued to read the reports on her PADD. She had been flabbergasted when she got the notification that T’Lea was being transferred to Columbia. She had mixed emotions about serving with the crazy Romu-Vulc again. According to the reports, much had changed since the last time they had spoken. :: :: Rune leaned forward with one hand cradling her forehead. She took a deep breath and released it. T’Lea’s mother had been murdered. Her throat tightened slightly as she read the details. Ravius wasn’t what she would consider a good person but she wasn’t entirely bad either. She had helped Rune find out information of a personal nature and for that, she had agreed to do certain things in return, mainly not kill T’Lea… as if she would. :: :: There was also mention that T’Sara was gone, though she couldn’t find any information about where she had gone or the circumstances. :: Krystyan: Toth! Toth! :: The sudden outburst caused Rune to drop the PADD and sit up straighter. She rolled her eyes the moment she saw the Verillian ‘waddling’ toward their table. Krystyan was kicking his feet, one of which was kicking Rune in the shin. After the third time, she grabbed his foot beneath the table and held it in place. :: :: N’Toth scruffed Krystyan’s curly blond hair as he sat down. At the same time, he pushed a PADD toward Rune. She glanced down at the PADD and then back up at the blue faced annoyance. :: Jolara: What is that? N’Toth: ::grinning around the horns protruding from his face:: It’s what’s called a PADD. You know, Personal Access Display Device. Jolara: ::sucking in a breath:: I know that. What is it you want me to look at? N’Toth: It’s your itinerary for shore leave planetside. I took the liberty of planning your R&R since you were obviously not going to do it. :: She pushed the PADD back across the table without looking at the contents. :: Jolara: Not interested. N’Toth: You have to. All work and no play is making you… ::waving his hand:: meh. :: Rune [...]ed her head to the side as her brows grew together. :: Jolara: Meh? What is meh? N’Toth: Dull, grumpy… among other things… Worse than usual. ::He picked up the PADD and activated it. Turning it around so she could see the screen, he scrolled through photos and local information.:: There’s skiing… or rather the Losarian form of skiing, ice skating, sledding. ::He grinned and looked at Krystyan who was leaning as far over as possible to see the pictures.:: He would love sledding I bet. Krystyan: YA! Wan go swedding. Jolara: No. It is too cold. Krystyan: Wan go swedding! Wan go swedding! N’Toth: Come on. It’ll be fun and good for both of you to get some fresh air. ::Pointing at the PADD.:: Or you could go hiking. I know you like hiking. Jolara: I like hiking… ::leaning over:: when it is WARM. I do not like cold. It hurts. :: Her jaw clenched. She had been looking forward to going planetside for some sun and fresh air. But that was before she knew the entire planet was freezing. Not all Al-Leyans were adverse to cooler temperatures but the majority were and for once Rune was among the majority. :: Krystyan: ::louder and slapping his hands down on the table:: Wan go swedding! :: Rune grabbed Krystyan’s hands. :: Jolara: By the branch! Do not do that! :: The moment the words were out and her son’s expression changed from happy to crying, she regretted it. She took a breath and let it out, releasing his hands at the same time. :: Jolara: ::softer, wiping away his tears:: I am sorry. Do not cry. Please. ::to N’Toth:: This is your fault. :: N’Toth shook his thick blue skull. :: N’Toth: You did this all on your own. Further proof you need to go down there. Maybe freezing your a… ::Rune raised an eyebrow.:: butt off will do you some good. Krystyan: ::his little lower lip quivering, tears flooding his deep blue eyes:: Pwease mommy? :: Rune sucked in a breath. She still couldn’t handle when Krystyan cried. Even less so when she had caused it. :: Jolara: Fine. We will go sledding. oOBesides, it will give me an excuse not to see T’Lea just yet.Oo :: Krystyan’s expression immediately brightened, all thoughts of crying forgotten. He let out a squeal. She gave N’Toth a look that said she would kill him if she froze to death. ::
  4. This a stunning piece of writing by @Jona ch'Ranni who gives us a glimpse at his life before joining Starfleet. Phenomenal work, Jona!
  5. ((Bridge, Deck A, Dilithium Freighter Verlaxi of the Andorian Merchant Marine)) ((Time Index: 5.5 years ago, Stardate 239008.14)) ::The palest blue color flashed on the viewscreen. It was a thing of beauty. The sensor overlay alarm indicated they had found their quarry.:: th'Ryken: Bring us about nice and slow, crewman. ch'Ranni: Aye, Captain. ::Jona tapped the thrusters that would align the freighter with the asteroid.:: ch'Ranni: Adjusting pitch positive two degrees, yaw negative five degrees. ::beat:: Ready, sir. ::Captain Tov th'Ryken flashed a smile at the new helmsman, impressed with his abilities. Jona prided himself on how quickly he had familiarized himself with the ship's controls.:: th'Ryken: Good. Bring us within 100 meters of the surface. We'll use the cutting lasers to carve out the section on grid pattern G-4. ::Once Jona had the vessel at the right distance, the young woman, Jhetu sh'Qaarah, sitting to his right activated the cutting laser as bits of dust and ice spewed away from the hole created by the super-heated ionizing beam. Within seconds a quarter ton chunk of rock floated free from the main asteroid and the ship's tractor beam caught it and lifted it away.:: sh'Qaarah: Analyzing. ::pause:: Confirmed, sir. Dilithium ore is present. ch'Ranni: Yes! ::composing himself:: Sorry, sir. We could send crews down immediately to set up extraction charges. th'Ryken: All in good time, crewman. Just take in the sights for a moment. There's nothing quite like it, is there? Look at that asteroid belt out there. :: The immediate field of vision was obscured by the crowding of the closely-spaced bits of rock. Jona knew that if the ship was at a higher plane he would see they really stretched outward for a few thousand kilometers. That made for millions of asteroids and a few of them contained prizes like this one. He smiled back at his captain.:: ch'Ranni: Aye, sir. Quite amazing. th'Ryken: You don't know the half of it, boy. I've been mining dilithium for forty-two years now. Each discovery still brings chills to the back of my neck. These resources will be used to power the greatest ships the Federation can produce. And its our job to mine them and get them home safely. Keep your eyes peeled, you know the Nausicaan pirates have been on the rise in this area. ch'Ranni: Aye, aye, Captain! ::Jona definitely felt excitement when he signed on to the crew. His charan, Vorka, had been ecstatic when they young Andorian expressed interest in getting some experience piloting a freighter. No doubt his father had visions of Jona one day piloting an Andorian Guard cruiser just like him. Jona had conveniently left out the secret hope which he maintained - that this experience could be a stepping stone to his entry to Starfleet.:: th'Ryken: Watch the drift, Jona. ch'Ranni: Yes, sir. Compensating. ::He mentally chided himself for his wandering thoughts. He needed to pay closer attention. "Be in the moment", as his thaven, Spel, always berated him. He loved both his fathers but they could be a little demanding in both their expectations and criticisms.:: sh'Qaarah: ::whispering with a small smile:: Yes, crewman. Watch your drift. ::Jona chuckled lightly and shot back a retort at the Operations Specialist.:: ch'Ranni: I'll watch the drift, if you watch the stabilizers on the tractor beam. Your waveform is out of sync by five kiloveds, Jhetu. sh'Qaarah: Yeah, and you're sitting there with your hand on the targeting lock. Its more efficient to let the lock float unless you're actively targeting something. ::Her antennae writhed in agitation at the young man.:: ch'Ranni: Well, you obviously ... th'Ryken: Children ... ::the Captain slowly drew the word out in an almost sing-song voice so as to stop the quarrel but also take the bite out of the chastisement. He paused for several seconds until both crew members turned to look at him.:: That's better. Now, shall we go collect some galactic jewels? ch'Ranni: Yes, sir. ::For the moment, Jona was happy to comply. He valued his life aboard the Verlaxi and was grateful for the experience it gave him in piloting.:: ::But his heart belonged farther out among the countless pin[...]s of light scattered across the blackness of space.::
  6. ((Shuttlecraft Verne - open space)) ((Time-index: Two and a half hours before the ceremony.)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in a shuttle with a view of a million stars just outside a window. Nelis was sitting in the right pilot seat pressing a few buttons to cure his boredom. He thought to himself of the freedom he had with a shuttle and a pilot's control panel. On a big ship he went where the captain wanted him to go, but with a small shuttle like this, he was really flying. Of course, the computer was doing all the work; Nelis himself hadn't ever flown such a thing. Nelis had been sitting in this shuttle for over twelve hours now and he would be for just about six more. Six more hours before he could see that old fellow. :: :: He hadn't exactly told that old fellow, his husband, that he would be coming to the Columbia. Sure, he had mentioned that he'd been writing a formal letter to request a transfer, but he said that could take months. Then suddenly, he was called to the chief's office that his request had been approved by the XO; only two days after talking to Pholin. He wanted to say it to him so badly, he wanted to deny every regulation there was to share the most exciting news in ten years. But the transfer approval of the XO came with one condition, he was to share it with no-one. :: :: Now, he understood the secrecy of the mission they had been on for the last two years; they were dealing with information and enemies that would cause chaos and destruction throughout the Federation. He had been on those kinds of missions before, and although they were challenging mentally, the whole army of counselors helped to deal with that. What really bugged him is how he couldn't even share with one person that he had been transferred. Like that would cause any harm! :: :: So, that meant: sitting alone in a shuttle for 18 hours. Normally he would just grab a book or two and enjoy life, but he was excited. He was going to see his husband without a stupid screen in between them for the first time in twenty-one months. He was going to a new ship, with new people, in a new region. Not that he'd been seeing much of it, he would be repairing conduits in different jefferies. He had once enlisted in Starfleet just because he wanted to fix things, and he still loved doing that. It was just... :: Nelis D.: oO Ben ik jaloers? Oo (Am I jealous?) :: The Dutchman had encouraged his husband to join Starfleet; it was his dream! But now he actually saw what Pholin was doing, and what Nelis could've been doing for the past twenty-or-so years. It bugged him. Pholin was just in the fleet for a week before he went down to a planet to save his captain. Nelis had never been on an away-mission in his entire career. Now that was exactly the reason he enlisted, so he wouldn't have to throw away four years of his life to become a "Starfleet officer". He would have responsibilities, he would have to be on the bridge, he would have to go down to planets. Twenty years he was satisfied by that, but his officer Pholin had maybe changed that. :: Nelis D.: oO Soon I will see him, only six more hours... Oo ((Pholin's Quarters - Deck 9, USS Columbia)) ((Time-index: Two hours after the ceremony)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in fresh new quarters with a view of a million stars just outside the window. Pholin was lying on his bed glancing through the one window in his new room. The Operations department had arranged Lieutenant's quarters within the hour. Pholin had packed his few belongings and left for Deck 9. He was closer to the science labs now... hurray. He sighed, he had been trying not to think about it for the entire hour he had been laying there. Exactly 53 minutes ago he received a call from the Denobulan National Waters Organisation, more simply known in the family as "work". :: :: Both his parents and his single brother were in the Navy, all on the submarine Pak'cha, and had been for way too long. Pholin hated any large bodies of water, which in his childhood quickly determined he was not fit for the Navy. Of course, his parents had been devastated. Family tradition, and all that. Luckily, his smaller brother was happy to join and so the tradition lived on. Three happy Denobulans were under the water 27 hours a day for 6 months at a time. His father was the captain, so he stayed on the entire year. Now, since it was winter all three of them were happily sailing the seas currently. :: :: Emphasis on were, past tense. The DNWO wasn't just here to chat: the Family Spokesperson had informed him that the Pak'cha had gone missing in the line of duty. Assumed lost. No sign of the ship on any sensors. The moment the woman on the screen said that, his head started spinning, he was disoriented, he was confused. Pholin listened to the woman but didn't respond. His brain had turned itself off. Pholin didn't speak, Pholin didn't cry, Pholin was just there. The woman said she would be calling back and ended the call, leaving Pholin alone. :: :: So, that meant: lying alone on a bed for 53 minutes. His night shift had actually already started, but he had called in sick. He was told to report to sickbay but didn't want to. They'd see him being in this state, he would have to talk to a counselor. He would have to think about his family. He would have to realize that they were not there. They were gone. No way to contact them. No sign that they were anywhere near Denobula. They could've been eaten by ka-cheeys. They could have drowned. A tear streamed down his face. Two more followed, then it didn't stop. His entire life had he been with his family, and now it could all be gone. :: Duyzer: oO Ti kalem ra-gundai ah? Oo (Am I alone?) :: The Denobulan had begun to realize what had been told fifty... four minutes ago. He did not like it, he wanted to change it. Pholin looked in every corner through his window hoping that - somehow - Nelis would be there. He didn't want to be alone. He had been missing Nelis for ... about two years. The ship he was posted on was highly-classified, so much so that Pholin didn't even know what ship or class of ship he was posted on. The poor fellow hadn't gotten any shore-leave until last month. He wanted to hug him and cry in his arms. :: Duyzer: oO Soon I will see him, only a couple of months... Oo
  7. I want to take a moment to wish @Renos and the crew of the Apollo-A all the best as they launch!
  8. Another submission from myself! @Tatash manages to make even the simplest of tasks an engaging and thoughtful read! This is some fantastic writing! Bravo!
  9. ((USS Columbia - Main Shuttlebay)) ::Was it possible to be stalked by an inanimate object? Did it's complex computer circuits feel some sort of wanton affection for the Gorn that couldn't keep it away? No matter how far he seemed to run, he always ended up back inside the giant squashed bug that is the Columbia. Any soreness he felt about it was more in jest then truth, he just hated to admit that he loved this ship in return. It wasn't the fastest, nor the prettiest. It wasn't as smart as some of the new dedicated science ships, and it wasn't as powerful as a the massive star cruisers being pumped out by the shipyards. It was old, it was clunky, and even the new carpet couldn't hide the aged architecture and nearly retro design behind them. Old fashioned would be the term, just like the Gorn that once more patrolled it's halls. Even now he could feel his legs ready to stride back down those corridors without so much of a second thought for navigation, muscle memory that had not been lost despite his time on the starbase, and the Avandar before that.:: Whittaker: To Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker, Stardate 239509.10. You are hereby requested and required to take command of the U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 as of this stardate. Signed, Admiral Vivian Hauke, Starfleet Command. ::beat:: Computer, transfer all command authorisation codes to myself. Voice authorisation: Whittaker Delta Five. ::Tatash watched, and waited, as the ship sucked in this new information, mulling it over in those processing engines:: Computer: Transfer complete. U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 now under the command of Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker. Pandorn: Captain on deck!!! ::smiles at his CO:: ::Without thought he snapped to attention. Some habits are impossible to break, clanking his heels on the deckplate:: Any: ? Whittaker:Well, there you have it people. Our new ship. We have an exciting opportunity ahead of us. This is a storied vessel with a lot of history behind her. Let make sure that we do her all proud and that the history books never forget our names. G’Renn: Time to add another chapter to this ship’s history. Any: ? Whittaker: ::with a smile, he brought the ceremony to its logical conclusion.:: Dismissed. Tatash: Walk and talk, people.::he growled:: Last thing you want is a cargo shuttle landing on your head. ::He delivered it with a light, good humored tone. Already he could see more running lights hovering outside the large force-field protecting them from vacuum, there was apparently still a lot of supplies and crew to get on board, more then just using the transporters would allow. People broke into their own teams, each of them looking genuinely excited to be on board the illustrious vessel, although he held himself back a little making sure the landing pads were clear of personnel before moving to the side of the door, his yellow eyes watching the next couple of vehicles touch down safely before heading out of the main door himself. The corridors smelt new at least, the carpet freshly laid and plush enough that his massive boots sunk into its surface. The new paneling giving what used to be brightly lit beige a more naval tone yet still capturing some essence of regalia. It was a facelift and a half, but still he knew the layout despite it's visually pleasing upgrade. That was reassuring, the thought that they would have rearranged any of the key area's was practically heresy. He nodded to people as he slowly walked past, the same inspection route he'd taken hundreds of time, the same predictable set of events that a security chief undertook before each voyage. First he would make sure they had their teeth, then he'd make sure the ship had hers. His first stop was towards the deep heart of the ship, located near the brig for obvious reasons (which, without any prisoners in, was a pointless trip).:: Computer: Authorization Required. Tatash: Tatash, Alpha One Nine Eight Three. ::The door opened with an obedient hiss, the weapons locker of the Columbia laying itself bare. Racks of weapons, not as many as the massive QM on Starbase 118 and certainly none of the heavy weapons the corps used. The key difference here was everything here was so very new. Compression rifles, standard phase rifles, armor, grenades, everything pristine almost in it's packaging. The room smelt of lubricant and polish, the tang of energy cells fully charged, the faint hum of the security fields keeping the weapons in check unless authorized to fall. But most importantly, there wasn't an empty space. He threw a brief glance down to the PADD he'd been clutching since arrival, then looked back up at the numbers above each rack. All present and correct. Good. His next stop was a few further decks up, after leaving the armory locked behind him. The doorway here was larger, a lot more solid. More designed to keep anything inside from exploding outwards.:: Computer: Authorization Required. ::He wished silently the damned thing would just remember him:: Tatash: Tatash, Alpha One Nine Eight Three. ::This door clunked open with a loud whine, revealing the racks upon racks of ominous looking black oblongs. Again, no gaps in the housing and every mount seemed to have one of the large torpedo's nestled snugly inside it. Again, the entire room was new. Gone was the old fashioned slip n slide style of loading that needed several people to operate. This was newer, faster and deadlier. He tapped a claw on the small console at the end of the mechanical spool, the entire housing shifting with a steady clunk as each shelf was rotated to bear its deadly charge if required.:: Tatash: Computer, how many torpedo's are on board? Computer: One hundred and eighty. ::The perfect number, If anything this was starting to get a little boring.:: Tatash: =/\= Tatash to Pandorn Pandorn: =/\= ? Tatash: =/\= You have a full magazine down here. Loading system functional. Pandorn: =/\= ? Tatash: =/\= You're welcome. Out. ::It would be up to Tactical to make sure the phasers were operational, there was so many arrays dotted all round the ship that a visual inspection of each would take hours, if not days of work. Torpedo's he could count, complex engineering work, not so much his forte Again he strode out, his routine swinging him back towards the brig, this time into his own security office. Small, compact. Barely room for a desk and a couple of chairs on the other side along with the usual readouts of the ship. Already someone had put the box containing his handful of desk ornaments considerately down for him on the [...] wood surface. For a brief second he felt himself almost pulled back in time, had he been standing in this same place sometime, wondering how he would cope with the duty suddenly thrust on him as a head of department? When did that anxiety become replaced with the quiet confidence of slipping on a comfortable old glove? Still, his mistake back then had been spending too much time in this room. It had been that which had stunted him developing friendships, leaving him moping around for the first few missions. A mistake that he had no intention of repeating as he moved back to the turbolift:: Tatash: Bridge. ::The machine whirred upwards at a breakneck pace, he was almost convinced he'd left his stomach down where he'd embarked by the time he'd been practically vomited out onto the bridge. He blinked a few times, now -this- was a new set up. Gone was the sweeping arcs, the aged design of Starfleets optimistic classic design replaced with the more genuinely navyesque modern decor. But still everything hummed with machinery, beeping and whirring like a tinkerers toybox. It was, if anything, overwhelmingly complicated.:: Tatash: This is a bit much. Any: ? ::He hadn't really been aware he'd said it out loud, gesturing with his hand to the controls so polished that the overhead lights gleamed off them:: Tatash: I mean, look at it. It's all so -new-! Any: ? --- Lt. Commander Tatash Acting Chief of Security USS Columbia C239108T10
  10. Oh my goodness! What kind words, Im ever so touched by them. Thank you ever so much @Valin Dermont 😊
  11. I'm usually loathe to post something of my own, but I feel this is rather 'historic' since it is not every day that you get to launch your own command! I hope you all enjoy!
  12. ((Main Shuttlebay - Deck 3 - U.S.S. Columbia)) ((Time Index: Approximately three days after the transfer orders)) Whittaker: oOSomebody pinch me.Oo ::As the small craft, a Class-8 Starfleet shuttle came to a soft and virtually imperceptible stop as it landed on the deck of the U.S.S. Columbia’s main shuttlebay, Captain Theo Whittaker was almost overcome by a strange wave of disorientation that made him think for one brief second he was dreaming and that this was not reality. The fact that Starfleet Command had seen fit to assign him to the newly refitted Columbia as it’s commanding officer (and then hand him and his crew a historic long term assignment thousands of miles from the heartlands of the Federation) had yet to sink in and had been many moments in the preceding three days where he thought he would wake up in his cabin aboard the Blackwell.:: ::Gazing out of the [...]pit’s transparent aluminum window he saw a number of officers waiting for him. He picked out all of his senior staff from the Blackwell as well as several other officers and dignitaries who had been invited to witness the re-commissioning of the historic Nebula-class starship. He had specifically requested that Starfleet Command keep the senior staff together for this assignment, knowing that each and every one of them deserved the chance to prove they were ready and able to handle whatever challenges the galaxy’s edge would throw at them.:: ::The brief disorientation passed and he turned to regard his First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jarred Thoran, who had made the trip from Deep Space 26 to the Columbia with him. He wondered if the man was as thrown by this turn of events as he himself had been.:: Whittaker: oOThe man works his way through the chain of command, finally gets to trade his yellow collar for red and then finds himself reassigned!Oo ::at that moment he realised that it was not unlike his transfer from engineering to command, only it had happened after the reassignment and he had been the only one from the Columbia (at first) to be positioned aboard StarBase 118.:: Shall we do this, Number One? Thoran: ? ::Theo grinned as excitement took hold of him. Here he was, about to step foot back on to his first posting out of the academy-only this time he was coming back as it’s Commanding Officer. He had, in many ways, come full circle. Columbia had long held him under its spell and it was and always would be his ‘first love’. Engineers across the fleet were often derided for their attachment to starships and anthropomorphizing them, but when a ship was as unconventionally beautiful as the Columbia was- it was not hard to do do; especially after the latest round of refits that had ensured it could operate for well over half a decade without the support of a major starbase.:: Whittaker: oOShe truly was a thing of beauty.Oo ::He got to his feet and made his way to the rear of the shuttlecraft, Thoran following behind him. The side hatch opened and Theo stepped on to the deck of the Columbia. He paused to savour the moment, taking a deep breath of the crisp air and for the first time he realised that this was not a dream.:: ::It was real.:: ::He was home.:: ::His standard issue duty boots clacked against the surface of the deck plating, causing them to echo in the cavernous shuttlebay. An enlisted crewmember stepped forward and blew into a boatswain’s whistle, causing all of the assembled Starfleet officers to snap their legs together and throw their arms rigidly against their side; all of them standing to attention. Even those civilians who were watching joined them despite not being required to (though they were a good deal sloppier). After another deep breath, Theo lifted his left hand to read from the PADD that he had quite forgotten his was holding. His thumb brushed against the touch screen which activated the device and displayed the orders he was to read out.:: Whittaker: To Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker, Stardate 239509.10. You are hereby requested and required to take command of the U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 as of this stardate. Signed, Admiral Vivian Hauke, Starfleet Command. ::beat:: Computer, transfer all command authorisation codes to myself. Voice authorisation: Whittaker Delta Five. Computer: Transfer complete. U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 now under the command of Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker. Any: ? ::That was it. The Columbia was now his. Strangely, it felt a little anticlimactic as he had dreamed about that very moment for as long as he had been a commissioned officer in the fleet. He felt that assuming a new command required something with a little more pomp and circumstance. But it was what it was. Dismissing the interlude of disappointment from his mind, he lowered the PADD and looked at the assembled officers. A few, well chosen words felt appropriate at that moment.:: Whittaker:Well, there you have it people. Our new ship. We have an exciting opportunity ahead of us. This is a storied vessel with a lot of history behind her. Let make sure that we do her all proud and that the history books never forget our names.Any: ? Whittaker: ::with a smile, he brought the ceremony to its logical conclusion.:: Dismissed. Any: ? ::As they all began to disperse, Theo looked to his Number One and beckoned him to approach with a wave of his index and middle finger.:: ::It was time to get down to business.:: Whittaker: Jarred, I’d like you to have the senior staff report for an assignment briefing in two hours time. And… ::he paused as a small smile took hold.:: ...have us ready to get underway for the Delta Vega system in an hour. Thoran: ? ::Looking around the shuttlebay, he imagined that he could see the entire ship. It was strangely familiar but so new all at once. Gone were the old Galaxy-class aesthetics that had defined his first two tours of duty aboard her, replaced instead by deep reds and navy blues with gold trims. Every aspect of the Columbia outside of her main spaceframe had undergone extensive refits; an uprated sensor suite based on those found aboard Luna-class explorers, dozens of new science labs, a new bridge module that blended the Sovereign-class with the Galaxy, improved warp engines and even a brand new Captain’s Yacht to replace the ageing Kumari. Yes, he felt like he knew the Columbia while also acknowledging that, in many ways, she was complete stranger to him.:: ::He had the chance to get to know her all over again.:: Whittaker: oOSomebody pinch me.Oo Thoran: ? ::His Executive Officer’s voice pulled him from his reverie. Caught unawares he blinked, struggling for a moment to understand what Thoran had just said.:: Whittaker: Hm? Oh, my apologies. I was just caught up in my own thoughts. ::a warm smile, almost one of love, danced across his face.:: I got her back, Number One. :: he said as he whirled one finger around to indicate the starship as a whole.:: I can’t quite believe it. Thoran: ? Any: ? TAG/TBC! OOC: And we're off! Have a wonderful time everyone. I cannot wait to see what we come up with! -- * -- Captain Theo M. Whittaker Commanding Officer U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 ID: 239203TW0 -- * --
  13. I don't think I've ever read such a wonderful character study before. This is truly exception writing @Randal Shayne and you should be extremely proud of this!
  14. (Holosuite, DS26)) Shayne: Indeed. He is incredible. Whatever you did, sir, I thank you for it. ::Smiling slightly.:: ::Awkwardness, ineffectuality, a fear of creating problems that bordered on impotence- this was the reality that Shayne had come to see in himself. His need to find fault in his own actions would have made Hornblower look like a guidance counselor in comparison. Of all these faults, and many more, however, there was one skill Shayne could not deny possessing.:: ::He was very, very good in emergencies.:: ::Leaving behind the insipid, quiet, and contrite individual in the face of danger or strife, Shayne could immediately- and painfully temporarily- become another man. Focused, attentive, steely eyed and able to spring into any role a situation required. And now, despite the fact that they were in perhaps the most pleasantly non violent environment conceivable, despite the fact that he and MacKenna both were surrounded by peers, comrades and compatriots who had already made their well-wishes known, Shayne felt his senses perk up. No, that wasn’t true- his senses had been quite perky; MacKenna had assured that, and though he was still digesting his feelings and attempting to think past the initial thrill of contact (literally and figuratively), a higher calling urged him. MacKenna was in pain- anyone with a similar constitution could see that. And if there was something he could do about it, he would. The ship might not be falling apart, but there was a way he could help. And this he’d never turn down.:: ::So he had taken the unusual act of engaging others on his own terms- definitely a new sensation, especially with a fellow of conversation that bore as high a rank as Taybrim. Yet, he was pleased he had been able to. It allowed him to move past the ambiguous, if only for an instant, and focus on the concrete- a form of understanding in high demand for those as blatantly neurotic as he.:: Taybrim /Jolara: ? ::He listened, interested, but his [...] boldness, momentary like the high of a drug, began to fade in his breast. The confidence deflated, the glow abated. He felt like he was falling, back into the monotony of himself. A glance at MacKenna gave him just enough of a bolstering to do what had to be done.:: Shayne: I’m sorry to break this up, but I must leave to attend to something. Commander MacKenna, I don’t want to impose, but if you have a moment, I could use your assistance. ::The words had not been considered and yet somehow, on autopilot, he’d made his excuses, apologies and requests with a minimal of bumbling. He’d even managed to sound appropriately officious- this mustn't appear to be anything but an unfortunately timed request for purely operational assistance.:: ::Why though? He wondered for the briefest of moments. Would not Taybrim and Jolara sympathize and understand? But again, this wasn’t about them. It was about MacKenna. Any such understanding, even meant in the best interests of kindness and respect, would mortify the poor woman, if her previous behavior was any indication.:: ::To his delight, the answer was not long in coming.:: MacKenna: ::Smiling slightly.:: I’d love to. ::Shuffling slightly, she began moving toward the door. Shayne casually followed- and in this case, “casually” meant “with a stiffness rarely seen before or since”.:: Jolara/Taybrim: ? MacKenna: Have a good night. ::With that, both individuals exited the room, each doing their utmost to appear as natural as possible. Shayne had the impression that, despite his best efforts, or indeed because of them, he bore the appearance of a penguin with its [...] on fire. MacKenna, following behind, likely bore superior grace, if only due to the fact that she was not Shayne. In any case, MacKenna and the fraught second officer managed to escape the oppressive friendliness of their comrades and companions. For the first time, they could be alone.:: ::Of course, instinct and practicality drove them to continue their march onward- the corridor was still a painfully public space. But even as the some of the doubt returned to Shayne, some of the apprehension took its familiar place in his chest, the slight decompression of MacKenna’s shoulders made it all infinitely worthwhile.:: ::The silence was electric and tranquil- peaceful in its comfort and livid in its excitement. The anticipation was there, of course, the ambiguousness hovered, but it seemed like, whatever happened, the outcomes could only be good.:: MacKenna: Thank you. ::Her words! To him! With no one around! And most importantly, he’d been right! She did want to escape! Dear god! Shayne could’ve dissolved into tears right there, but he was slightly stronger than that. So he simply inclined his head in a slow, kind display.:: Shayne: You are most welcome. ::Shayne had often heard the platitude, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. Well, he certainly wished that someone would have extracted him from social situations early in his career. Perhaps, for once, he was living up to that ideal.:: ::They kept walking, the shared silence of two beings that didn’t require speech to speak to one another. Shayne had not particular route in mind- his gambit had been played. But MacKenna didn’t seem to particularly mind. As the wandered in the low lighting of the starbase, Shayne realized he wouldn’t mind doing this for a month at a time.:: ::Finally, with an uncertain but smooth movement, MacKenna pushed back her mane of glorious crimson hair. Her pale face shined through, and for the first time he could get an unhindered look at the woman he’d saved from the torture of socializing. His breath stopped in his throat.:: MacKenna: I uh…well. What can I help you with? ::He stepped in slightly closer, making sure to keep a respectful distance. Shayne wanted her to feel protected and soothed, not threatened. And if he’d seen anything about her, it was how threatened she felt in the presence of another. He’d rather chew off his own arm than make her uncomfortable in any way.:: Shayne: You already have. ::He realized how true it was. Though he had learned, through struggle and error, how to survive such events, the fact was that didn’t enjoy them any more than MacKenna. She’d aided in his retreat, whether she realized it or not.:: Shayne: But. Um. There’s a… there’s a power fluctuation in… ::He stopped. It appeared that his fumbling was not gone, simply postponed. And now it reared its head when he could least afford it.:: ::With a sigh, he surrendered.:: Shayne: Would- would you like a drink? I mean, not back in there. Somewhere… quieter? MacKenna: ::smiling again.:: Sure. That would be great. ::But they didn’t move from that spot. Their eyes locked. Shayne’s surroundings fell away, lost to the vacuum that left him and her immovable and intact. He was so tired. So utterly exhausted. How had he stood before? She kept him awake, alert, the expression of care and vulnerability on her face giving him every ounce of strength he had left.:: ::She reached out to him, a gesture of intimacy Shayne would not normally permit or expect. He hated getting close to people. How was this happening? And yet, it felt right. It felt necessary. Designed. And he was too tired to fight against the will of the universe.:: MacKenna: Is everything alright? ::Even now, she cared. She felt. She worried. He wasn’t floating, but this came close.:: Shayne: Yes. ::His instinct was to lie, to protect, and to distance himself. It was what he was good at. But his diversion failed before it began. He knew the lie would not hold up to scrutiny. And besides, even if it did, Shayne knew that, wherever this relationship led and whatever it became, he did not want it based on lies. As painful as it was, he backpedaled.:: Shayne: It is… improving. Slowly. I… turned down the first officer position a few days ago. I think… I think that may have been a mistake. ::Or perhaps the right thing had been done for the wrong reasons.:: ::And how did this suddenly become about him? And how did he simply reveal a huge fact like that to someone he’d just met? Was that even permitted?:: MacKenna: ? TAG/TBC… Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Ops Officer/Second Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0
  15. This was a lovely, rather moving post that I found compelling and absorbing! Well done to @Kali Nicholotti for such wonderful writing!
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