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Theo Whittaker

Captains Council member
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Theo Whittaker last won the day on January 13

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About Theo Whittaker

  • Rank
    CO, U.S.S. Columbia (NCC-85279)
  • Birthday 10/18/1987

Previous Fields

  • Current Vessel
    USS Columbia
  • Current Post
    Commanding Officer
  • Elite Team Status
    Training Team Member

Profile Information

  • 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. ((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
  2. Theo Whittaker

    We’re launching a ship: USS Apollo-A returns

    I want to take a moment to wish @Renos and the crew of the Apollo-A all the best as they launch!
  3. Theo Whittaker

    Lieutenant Commander Tatash: Doing The Rounds

    Another submission from myself! @Tatash manages to make even the simplest of tasks an engaging and thoughtful read! This is some fantastic writing! Bravo!
  4. ((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
  5. Theo Whittaker

    Captain Whittaker: The Beginning Of Something Beautiful

    Oh my goodness! What kind words, Im ever so touched by them. Thank you ever so much @Valin Dermont 😊
  6. Theo Whittaker

    Captain Whittaker: The Beginning Of Something Beautiful

    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!
  7. ((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 -- * --
  8. Theo Whittaker

    Lieutenant Commander Shayne: Divulging

    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!
  9. Theo Whittaker

    Lieutenant Commander Shayne: Divulging

    (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
  10. Theo Whittaker

    Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna: The Great Escape

    This was a lovely, rather moving post that I found compelling and absorbing! Well done to @Kali Nicholotti for such wonderful writing!
  11. ((Holosuite, DS26)) ::With the announcements made, and the surprise promotion granted, people were now milling about and breaking into smaller groups to converse. Way too many were approaching the new Captain, and for a moment she definitely felt for him, but that feeling turned back to herself when she found herself in the middle of a similar group and conversation as the others in the room. It had been some time since she had seen the now Captain Taybrim, but even though she was familiar with him, the need to socialize, and socialize in a socially acceptable manner was incredibly stressful.:: ::But somehow she muddled through, her mind distracted for the most part with other things. The parts of her that would normally be asking if she was speaking appropriately, making the right statements, or standing in a manner that expressed what she was hoping to express were focused on something else instead.:: ::And he was standing just a few feet away.:: ::In a way, that forced her anxiety up to another level, because her mind wasn’t focused on the interactions, she knew she was probably doing something wrong. Once more, she planted her feet and forced herself to stand still, but she wanted to do anything but. She wanted to leave and go somewhere she could breathe.:: Shayne: Indeed. He is incredible. Whatever you did, sir, I thank you for it. ::Smiling slightly.:: Taybrim /Jolara: ? ::The conversation kind of stalled, and the counselor seemed to look at some of the others in the room. For a brief moment, Ash wondered what it would be like to be so natural at moving from one group to another, speaking to many people here and there. A bit of sorrow mixed into the anxiety that controlled her just then, as she realized that would probably not be something she would ever learn.:: 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 voice was something of a song, calming and soothing in a way she couldn’t explain, or didn’t want to explain. For someone so wrapped up in science and the minor details of how the universe worked, it was uncharacteristic but deep. In all her years she had only met one other person who had a voice like that, and she’d quickly learned that some things just couldn’t be explained away.:: ::She’d just met him, but there was something about him…:: MacKenna: ::Smiling slightly.:: I’d love to. ::She offered a nod to the others to say her goodbyes and allowed her feet to move her towards the door shortly after.:: Jolara/Taybrim: ? MacKenna: Have a good night. ::Knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel was right there and that all she had to do was avoid running out of the room and looking like she was nuts, she found a bit of strength to stand up a bit straighter and push her hair back ever so slightly as she followed Shayne from the room. It was already starting to clear, which made their path easier, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way. The surroundings faded into a background and her focus remained solely on him.:: ::It was that which kept her mind in one place until they were clear. As the doors closed behind them, Ash let herself relax ever so slightly. Her shoulders dropped just a bit as the tension, at least some of it, drifted off with the night. The corridors were empty now and Ash allowed herself to fall in step with him as they walked.:: ::Then finally she gathered all of the courage she could, and she spoke.:: MacKenna: Thank you. Shayne: ? ::Something about him told her that he understood. There was no explanation required. There was no need to elaborate. He’d saved her, in a way, and offered her an anchor in a stormy sea. The only thing she wondered was if he knew all he had given her in that short amount of time.:: ::As they walked, Ash grew more and more alright. With no one else around she almost felt at home. Finally, she pushed her long strands of fire red behind her ears, showing her pale face more than she had all night before looking over at him.:: MacKenna: I uh…well. What can I help you with? ::She almost said ‘commander’, but then thought better of it. Would ‘commander Shayne’ be better? Just Shayne? Randal? Sir? Internally she mulled over all of this, nearly sidetracking her cognizance from what was important.:: Shayne: ? ::Though the party was over for her, Ash was quite certain she didn’t want the night to end there. Yet, expressing that in the right way, well, that was a nightmare for her in and of itself. A new set of nerves overwhelmed her, though strangely enough the feelings were different. She realized then that in this moment she wasn’t really scared. Worry, maybe, or the questioning of what came next was certain, but for once she wasn’t fearful.:: ::And that spoke volumes.:: ::It wouldn’t have mattered what he said he wanted help with, she was perfectly content with it as long as he would be there too.:: MacKenna: ::smiling again.:: Sure. That would be great. ::Her eyes finally met his and held the gaze for more than a moment. For the first time she took it all in and was hit with a pang of concern. The extent of the fatigue in his eyes was far more than she’d previously glanced at, and it looked as if he’d be through a fight against something not long ago. Perhaps not a person, but definitely against something. It was strange, but she immediately felt worried.:: ::She stopped for a moment and reached out, with her real hand, unsure of what she was really doing.:: MacKenna: Is everything alright? Shayne: ? TAG/TBC Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force R238605KN0
  12. Theo Whittaker

    MSNPC Captain Rex McMillan - Go Ahead... Move a Muscle

    Beat me to it, @Jarred Thoran. This was an excellently written and absorbing simm!
  13. Theo Whittaker

    Lieutenant (J.G.) Na'Lae Mandak - Let's Get Outta Here

    I really, really enjoyed this look at part of the routine day of our conn officer!
  14. ((Bridge - Deck One - USS Blackwell)) ((Time Index: 1 month later)) :: She woke to the PADD announcing some incoming orders. She rolled over in her bed with a slight grumble, and saw that the orders came from the CO. She needed to get out of bed and ready for the day. They'd be leaving Deep Space 26 today. Off to the shower she went, with at least a pot of coffee or more down the hatch. The shore leave life was seeming to have settled in, and she needed to kick it. The shift had started as it usually did. She walked to the bridge, maneuvered to her chair at the conn, and turned it around to see Cayden. :: Mandak: Well hello there Commander. Adyr: [Tag] Mandak: Take it we're shoving off now. It feels like we've been here a real long time anyway. Adyr: [Tag] Mandak: Was starting to feel like a bum some days. Roll out of bed whenever. Hit the kitchen on the way out and grab whatever was still on the replicator plate. Reminded me of being a civilian... :: She laughed :: Adyr: [Tag] Mandak: I wonder where he - :: The turbolift doors opened, and out stepped Commander Whittaker, ready and raring to go. :: Whittaker: Are you ready, Commander? Adyr: [Tag] Whittaker: Oh yes, indeed! If I’m honest, I am raring to go! ::he turned towards the operations console and looked to its occupant, Lieutenant Commander Shayne. There was a twinkle in his eye as he spoke.:: Mr. Shayne- hail DS26 docking control and request permission to depart. ((ooc - I wrote the raring to go part, then laughed when I read the raring to go dialogue lmao)) Shayne: [Tag] Whittaker: Excellent! Lieutenant Mandak- ::he looked ahead, to the back of the Rekarian conn officer.:: - Standby on my mark to release mooring clamps and lay in a heading on four-oh-seven-mark-three-one and prepare to engage when we clear DS26’s traffic zone. :: oO That's me... Oo. She wasn't used to hearing the lieutenant part yet. She'd been running a ship before, but even then, they all used their names when talking to one another. Rank typically didn't play a role unless they were actually engaging in a deal, or something similar. She took her orders and punched them into the grid. She panned out to sector space finding the 407 grid section, the panned down to the 31st subsection. She didn't see anything unusual in the grid, and nothing would be obstructing their pattern of flight. :: Mandak: Course laid in sir, dock is responsive and waiting for orders. Whittaker: ::he turned in his chair until Jarred Thoran came into view.:: Mr. Thoran- are all of our people back aboard ship? Thoran: [Tag] Whittaker: Thank goodness! ::he grinned:: I don't like the idea of leaving people behind. Lieutenant, disengage mooring clamps and back us away from DS26. Maneuvering thrusters only. Mandak: Low and slow, roger sir. :: With the sending of electronic signals to the docking platform, the mooring clamps blew away from the hull of the Blackwell. In smaller ships, she would always wait for the tell tale shudder of the ship as the decompression would send the thing rocking back and forth, but not with these big ships. It was smooth. She actually had to wait for the dock to indicate that the guides were clear. Slowly she'd engaged the reverse thrust, and moved the ship backwards, and beginning a turn to the south. She would need to get outside of the outer docking bay walls as well, which she'd done a million times with a ship smaller than this. Made for easy work though as she cleared the outer doors and made for open space. :: Whittaker: ::to himself more than anyone else.:: To boldly go… Adyr/Shayne/Thoran: [Tag] Whittaker: Ready for anything, Mr. Pandorn? Pandorn: [tag] Whittaker: Carry on, Lieutenant. Pandorn: ? (if any) Whittaker: Please ensure that the senior staff report to the briefing room in an hour, Commander. I have our new orders to share with them. Adyr: [Tag] :: Lae watched as they began to clear the immediate traffic pattern of the other outgoing vessels. She looked across some of the registries that were listed on the information section. She was looking to see if she knew any of them. The Expanse often served as a coveted rest area for those on deep space missions. Sadly, she knew none of them. It would seem that a generation of traders had moved on, with others to replace them. The CO spoke to her again. :: Whittaker: Lieutenant, are we clear of the station's traffic zone? Mandak: Aye sir, smooth and clear sailing from here. Whittaker: ::with another grin.:: Then by all means -engage! Mandak: With pleasure sir. Warp 9. :: She spread her two fingers across the nacelle readouts, throwing the power distribution into full swing. :: Any Present: [Tag] -- Lieutenant JG Na'Lae Mandak Helm Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force O238901VL0
  15. OOC: While it might seem rather big headed of me to post a simm I had a direct hand in writing- I'm actually posting this because @Kali Nicholotti absolutely knocked it out the park here. An absolutely stunning piece of prose from her! -- (( USS Blackwell - Deck 1 - Captain’s Ready Room )) (( Time Index: 1000 Hours - 2 Days After the Holodeck )) ::Theo Whittaker had already had three coffees that morning and it was shaping up to a day where he would have three months. At least. On top of the minutiae that came with his new role as Blackwell’s Commanding Officer, he had to sign off several to new duty rosters while also continuing to learn all he could about the Par’tha Expanse and the volatile situation threatening to unravel on Arndall. But above all that day he had to deal with the fallout from Lieutenant Commander Cecil’s decision to retire from Starfleet for the second time.:: ::The Pelian had inferred that his wife would not be happy with his hastily reactivated commission at their first meeting. Apparently he had not anticipated the depths of her displeasure. According to Cecil, she had been so enraged that she had threatened to dissolve their marriage if he did not return. Not wishing to stand in between a man and his wife, Theo had been forced to accept the situation. He had informed Starfleet Command immediately and requested instructions on how to proceed. To their credit, they had acted quickly. Less than 24 hours later, new orders had been received.:: ::He drained the dregs of his coffee as he reread said orders for the second time. Certain that he understood them, he nodded to himself and settled back in his chair. Taking a deep breath in, he tapped the communicator afixed to his uniform.:: Whittaker: =/\= Lieutenant Commander Adyr, please report to my ready room. =/\= ::Theo had expected Starfleet Command to assign somebody from outside the Andaris Task Force to the role, given that there had been a recent influx of new blood, himself included. With that said, he could understand the logic behind the decision- another new face in such a senior position, might be difficult to accept for some. Although Adyr was still relatively new to the Task Force, she was at least known to a good number of the crew and she had served as a Command Advisor aboard the U.S.S. Apollo-A. Those facts coupled six lifetimes from being a joined Trill told Theo that the Lieutenant Commander was a good fit for the role.:: ::With Adyr summoned, he little to before she arrived. Eyeing the now empty mug, he considered getting himself another coffee but he reasoned that he wait awhile lest he jumped to transwarp. He downloaded Adyr’s new orders onto a PADD and sat in the quiet of his private sanctum. As the seconds passed by, he found himself listening to the omnipresent hum of Blackwell’s engines. His engineer’s hearing told him that something was not quite right- probably a slight misalignment of the Torque sensors. It was nothing to be concerned with as he knew that those sensors were often temperamental and he was confident that Ensign Avarin would see to it. Smiling to himself he closed his eyes, pleased that two years of command had not dulled his ability to pick up the various ‘tells’ of a starship.:: -- ((Adyr’s Quarters, USS Blackwell)) ::The depths of fatigue that had been brought on by the long holodeck adventure spanned more than just a few hours, but well into the next day, and beyond. Muscles protested slightly, especially those used to rapid fire the bow that had been in use throughout the program. She was fit, but she didn’t fire arrows at things often. Or at all in this lifetime.:: ::Sleep had only done so much. Now she sat at the table in what was the small kitchen area of her quarters, staring at the steam drifting upwards from the mug on the table. In that steam was a million memories, and the easiest way to disconnect. It was mesmerizing and it always seemed to take her to a place in the distant past.:: ((Flashback - 2370, USS Valor)) ::There wasn’t another location that could even come close to offering the view that the lounge did. A few years after taking command, Ric had put in a proposal and to his surprise, it had been accepted. It seemed that Command didn’t mind catering to proposals that would increase the wellness of the crew and their ability to sustain in deep space.:: ::And so, the grand lounge had been born. With massive windows that gave off the impression that one was standing out in the middle of space itself, and decor that only accented the feel, anyone could come and relax, connect with the universe, and simply be. He had spent many hours there, right next to the best friend he’d ever had.:: Reese: How many of them do you think we’ll visit. ::Ric considered the question as he sipped from the blue hued drink in front of him. There were billions of stars out there and they were still discovering and exploring them all. Would they ever get to see each one?:: Adyr (Alaryc): Us personally? ::The question was a valid one. The Adyr symbiont had survived through multiple lifetimes and many years. The fact that this could go on for quite some time would lead Ric to believe that perhaps one day, each of those stars would be known to Adyr.:: Reese: No. As an intelligent group of species I suppose. Adyr (Alaryc): Hmm. If we survive long enough, maybe all of them. ::Wishful, perhaps, especially for a starship captain. But that was how he chose to live his life. There was good in everything. Sometimes it just needed to be found.:: Reese: I guess. ::Ric only nodded and took yet another sip of his drink. Silence and contentment in that moment surrounded them and the stars seemed to brighten ever so slightly as if to offer hope for the future.:: ::Then his badge chirpped.:: ((End Flashback)) ::Cayden heard the badge and the ensuing command, acknowledging it and gulping down the rest of the now-lukewarm coffee in the mug. It seemed like today there would be no rest either, but she was used to that.:: ::Tugging at the bottom of her uniform jacket, she left her quarters and made her way to the Captain’s ready room.:: -- (( Ready Room )) ::Theo had drifted into idle thought long enough to be startled by the door chime that indicated that somebody wished to enter the ready room. He did not know how much time had elapsed but je knew it could not have been more than a few minutes, after all Blackwell was not a big ship. Shifting his chair, he straightened himself before speaking.:: Whittaker: Enter. ::In walked Cayden Adyr and at the sight of the black collar of her uniformed he smiled, knowing that very soon she would be swapping it for deep red. He got to his feet and picked the PADD up off the desk and held his hands behind his back. This was going to be a first for him. He had never had the privilege of telling an officer of a new assignment.:: ::As she entered, Cayden noted that he stood. It was kind of a strange thing, and one she certainly wasn’t used to, but this was a new CO and he undoubtedly had his own way of doing things.:: Adyr: Reporting as ordered, sir. ::She stood at attention until it was apparent that he wanted more than to just tell her something. This wasn’t the normal interaction she’d expected.:: Whittaker: Yes, yes. Thank you for coming so promptly, Commander. Would you care something to drink? Tea perhaps? ::Shaking her head, she declined, but thanked him.:: Adyr: No, thanks. I just finished my third coffee moments ago. ::She smiled at him, but it seemed like he was a bit distracted. This wasn’t the normal call to the ready room she’d expected, and apparently it wasn’t a social call either.:: Whittaker: As you are already aware, Commander Cecil has chosen to step down as Blackwell’s Executive Officer due to a family crisis. ::Theo had already informed the crew about the Pelian’s decision to step down the day before but had chosen to be as vague as he could with regards to the reasons out of respect for the man’s privacy.:: I have just received new orders from Starfleet Command in regards to his successor. ::He produced the PADD from behind his back and passed across to Adyr.:: Congratulations! ::he grinned at her.:: ::She looked at him quizzically and then took the padd from him to read the orders there. In plain language, it was all laid out. It appeared that she had been placed as the new first officer of the Blackwell. Involuntarily one of her eyebrows shot up.:: Adyr: I can’t say I expected this. ::Indeed she hadn’t. Years ago, when she had begrudgingly agreed to rejoin Starfleet at the bequest of an old friend of Alaryc’s, Cayden had been quite hesitant. Then they removed the block on the memories of the symbiont and it all came crashing back like giant waves on a tiny island. She’d come to terms with all of that, but she never in a million years thought that they’d put her back into a command role.:: ::Theo peered across the small cabin, searching for something that was not there. Quite naively, he had expected a more…. excited reaction. Who wouldn’t find themselves elated at the idea of becoming First Officer of a starship. Adyr’s grounded reaction served as a reminder in that moment that not everybody aspired to be a CO or an XO. Some never aspired to be placed in a position of command at all. And then it hit him- he himself had been one of those people. He had wanted to be an engineer, nothing more. He had wanted to regulate plasma flows, prevent holodecks breaking down and to repair faulty replicators. That dream seemed so long ago, like a lifetime. The realisation was as profound as it was unexpected.:: Whittaker: You seem… ::he struggled to find the right adjective to use for several moments.:: perturbed? Adyr: Starfleet and Adyr have quite the history. I’m not sure what you have and have not read, but I never saw this coming. ::Or did she? It would have been a waste of talent to never tap her for command again, wouldn’t it have been? Her eyes narrowed and she wondered if her old friend knew. Perhaps later she’d send him a message.:: Whittaker: I’m aware that one of your previous hosts was a Starfleet CO and that, presumably, you have his memories of that life. ::beat:: I also know that you were Starfleet Command’s first choice for this role. ::he smiled:: Cayden- if I may call you that- I may not know you very well at this point but Starfleet Command clearly believes in you and I believe in them. So in a roundabout way, I believe in you. Adyr: Of course I am not planning on arguing orders, I just hope that this host can live up to what they are expecting. ::Cayden was not Alaryc. Did Command know that…?:: Whittaker: ::he stepped from around the table.:: I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I said something very similar to Captain Taybrim when he asked me to serve as StarBase 118’s XO. I’m not a joined Trill and I only have one lifetime- but I have some idea of what you must be feeling. I was an engineer before I ever put on a red collar, and I had never aspired to be a leader- but here I am three years later in command of a medical vessel. ::he smiled again, pointing to her black collar.:: You’ll need to change your uniform. I can step out while you replicate yourself a new undershirt if you like? ::What choice did she have? Cayden thought back to Ric’s old friend Jack, who she felt originally got her into this mess. Back then she was only to be a civilian advisor, and now here she was, on the command track in a modern Starfleet. It was strange where life took you. For a long moment she thought back to the moments she’d spent with Liam Frost, and how their connection eventually sealed this deal.:: Adyr: I guess now is as good a time as any. ::She wasn’t defeated, or upset, just slightly surprised. Perhaps that took away the reaction that Ric had given when he’d moved up to XO. That day stood out in her mind and for a moment she wondered if she were doing herself and her captain a disservice by not being quite so excited.:: ::He nodded.:: Whittaker: Well, I will be on the bridge whenever you are ready. Take a moment, if you need it and then we’ll announce your appointment to the Blackwell- ::he smiled again at her as he moved towards the door leading to the cramped command centre.:: - Number One. ::Cayden offered him a smile, both reassuring in nature and grateful. She was well aware that there were others who would kill for the opportunity, and to that end, she had shoes that required filling.:: Adyr: Sure thing. ::Interwoven lifetimes and the paths taken on each had led her here, to this moment. From the songs of the Typhon Expanse, to the ‘Retreat’ that she’d built on Ops. Each and every step gave her the knowledge and experience that she had now. As she pulled on the uniform of red and gave her appearance some extra color, she found herself staring into the mirror.:: ::There, in the image, was the eyes of so many - Alaryc, Eliza, Rodan, Jazra, and even Norah. Her face may have been young, but her eyes showed just how old she was.:: -- (( Bridge )) ::As Theo walked the short distance to his chair in the centre of the bridge, he heard the familiar voice of his personal yeoman, Lieutenant Haneer, calling out.:: Haneer: Captain on the bridge! ::As he took the chair, he shot the Angosian a waspish expression. He did not feel comfortable with such formality yet and he had never served aboard a vessel where the crew were required to do that. He had no idea whether Captain Zaekia had expected the Blackwell crew to do that- but now that the vessel was under his command, he was content not to indulge in that ancient naval tradition.:: Whittaker: As you were. ::he glanced over his shoulder and looked at Haneer, dropping his voice to a whisper.:: Don’t ever do that again. ::His order was undercut with a smile.:: ::Having dispensed with that moment, Theo looked down at the left arm of his command chair- a small panel was built into it that allowed the CO to access various ship’s systems such as the navigational array, tactical overrides and, mostly importantly in that moment- the vessel’s internal communications system. He tapped in his command code and opened a ship wide transmission. A boatswain’s whistle sounded.:: ::Cayden walked out onto the bridge as the whistle sounded. Taking up a position next to the Captain, she stood in silence as he spoke.:: Whittaker: This is your Captain speaking. ::he considered asking for their attention, but decided against it- feeling that the whistle had already garnered that.:: As I announced yesterday, Lieutenant Commander Cecil stepped down yesterday as Blackwell’s Executive Officer. I have been in communication with Starfleet Command who have now transmitted new orders. Effective immediately the post of Executive Officer is to be filled by Lieutenant Commander Cayden Adyr. ::Short. Sweet. To the point. There was no turning back now and Cayden knew that. It seemed like she was in it for the long run this time.:: Adyr: Sir. ::Nodding her head in acknowledgement she looked out into the tiny area they called a bridge and for once longed for the Valor again. It was a strange feeling, and one she’d never share, but it represented a turning point for her. She’d given up the fight and would do only her best for this new crew, and Captain.:: ::It was the dawning of a new day, a day where she was more than just a footnote in history from a prior life. No, this time she’d be the one making history.:: ::And she still wasn’t quite sure how that would go…:: OOC: Feel free to simm your reactions from the bridge- or anywhere else on the ship for that matter! -- Commander Theo Whittaker Commanding Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 Andaris Task Force C239203TW0 & Commander Cayden Adyr Executive Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force R238605KN0
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