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Trellis Vondaryan

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Everything posted by Trellis Vondaryan

  1. ((Ruwon’s Office - Deck 4 - USS Za)) ::Ruwon absently twirled the [...]tail glass in his hand as he read the reports in front of him. Their newest transfers had a history - a long one, both together and apart. The list of misadventures was longer than usual, though the whole ‘ended up in an alternate reality that nearly killed us all’ bit stuck out, to put it lightly. And one, Skyfire, had a requirement for mandatory counselling. Privately, Ruwon wondered if a few others in the crew couldn’t do with some of that, but he wasn’t going to force anyone onto the couch that wasn’t interested. He set the glass aside as the man in question opened the door, right on time.:: Ruwon: Mister Skyfire. ::He smiled, broadly, and offered a hand.:: Counsellor Ruwon. It’s a bit late, but welcome to the Za. :: Chythar smiled and took the offered hand when it was offered. He was never one for formality, though being called “mister” seemed so long ago. He hadn’t been called that since he first started in the academy, so it was a bit of a throwback for him. :: Skyfire: Ah prefer the label “Doctor”, actually. :: He glanced between the couch and chair. :: Which do yeh prefer tae conduct business in? Ruwon: The couch or chair is fine; whichever you prefer. Can I get you anything to drink? Skyfire: Jasmine tea, please. :: As he took a seat at the desk, he took a breath while the Romulan got the tea. Once it seemed Rin..no, Ruwon...was ready to begin, he began with the long boring part of his demographic information. He’d spent the better part of his morning memorizing the educational history, because counselors for whatever reason loved starting with all the boring stuff. :: Skyfire: Lieutenant Chythar Daniel Skyfire, MD. Serial DC-981-851, medical officer, USS Za NCC-65305. Age discrepancy of one year in my records, which state ah’m 32. Actually 33. Current telepathic status, T4/E6. Educational history. Diploma, Roosevelt High, 238007.06. Doctor of medicine, University of Washington, 238402.05. Starfleet Academy, science - xenobiology major 239002.17. Sexual orientation, prefer not to answer. :: It wasn’t because he didn’t like the question, as he knew it was a necessary part of these evaluations, but he didn’t want to jinx it. His relationship with Alex was still solid, just a bit strained since he mentioned the level of connection with Lael. :: Ruwon: That all matches your records. ::He sipped from his own cup - black coffee, in his case - and flipped the PADD over, shoving it away across the desk.:: I’ve read them over. I suppose the best place to start is with what it is you’re here to see me about. :: CD nodded faintly and allowed the counselor to begin with the interrogation questions in earnest as he considered some of the questions he was asked in his last mandatory meet the counselor discussion. As he began, his accent dropped. :: Skyfire: Yes. Social anxiety, mild autism, and a list of loathing about as long as my forearm. Probably a bit of PTSD mixed in. My record doesn’t say it, but it’s probably there. Likely because of the time spent in the alternate universe. Hope to gain an outsider’s perspective on mental discipline which doesn’t involve mind melds. Ruwon: Mind melds? ::He raised a curved eyebrow.:: You’ve tried those before, I take it? :: Now, he actually had a good reason to explain. He took a sip of his tea and began slowly, his accent fading as he told his story. :: Skyfire: My abilities began as limited to humans after treating a Dokkaran patient with a vision impairment. I somehow linked nervous systems with him, and he rewrote my genetics when I assisted him getting his sight back. Over the course of two years, my abilities morphed into what they currently are. I have strong connections with four people in total, 2 of which were formed out of freak accidents similarly to how I gained my gifts, and 2 which formed because I got close to them. In this universe, I used a specifically targeted set of melds to show my story to Saveron, in hopes that he’d be able to see what I went through and how I got them. Since then, I’ve used melds infrequently to gain temporary shielding help until we got stuck Over There. While we were trapped in the alternate universe, I met another Vulcan who wanted to help me gain control, so melded with him a couple times to learn additional techniques, which resulted in a fractured hand from anger when I smashed a table. When I returned here to this universe and on the Gorkon, I participated in a process known as the Exchange, which is some sort of El-Aurian telepathy with another counselor.The first time, it was fine. The second time, she lost control of it and exposed me to some of her memories of her family being assimilated by the Borg. I never want to go through anything like that again. I want help, but you’ll forgive me if I display reluctance for telepathic contact with your teaching. :: He didn’t add that he needed this in order to sort out the mess he accidentally caused with Lael by refusing to let go. He hoped that Ruwon was understanding enough to provide the help he asked without engaging in the need to see his mind. :: Ruwon: ::He laughed, softly.:: You don’t need to worry about that with me, trust me. I’m afraid I find such techniques, mmm - ::He paused a moment; the correct answer there was distasteful, fuelled by his own long-held fear of having other people in his head. In the end he went with a more diplomatic answer.:: Situational. If they haven’t worked for you in the past, there’s no reason to pursue them further. ::He set his cup down, running a thumb over the curved handle as he thought.:: Ruwon: It sounds as though your goal is mental discipline, then. Why are you pursuing that? :: He raised a quizzical brow, but the reasons now were probably different than when he began receiving counseling. He had another sip of his tea as he contemplated an answer. :: Skyfire: My mind is mostly a disorganized mess of chaos. All my mental training has either come from mind melds and the occasional Betazoid interaction. If my gifts are to be of any use to anyone besides myself, I need that structure and sense of control. If any of that will help me keep foreign influences out of my head, then it’s a welcome fringe benefit. I’m taking jiu-jitsu lessons, but it’s not helping with the mental part. Ruwon: Well...I’m not sure I can help you improve your telepathic talents, as I’ve not been so blessed. But if control and calm is what you’re after… ::Ruwon sipped his coffee as he considered.:: Ruwon: There are many methods that are almost purely cerebral. Meditation, of course; programming, writing, and music can be helpful. Personally, I tend to lean towards music, but that’s personal taste. I suppose it would depend on your own interest and what form your mental chaos tends to take. :: That made a lot of sense, though how writing and programming helped, he had no idea. He knew music had a purpose in this, but he hadn't considered it seriously enough to help with his meditation. :: Skyfire: How do you figure? Ruwon: ::He crossed his legs, steepling his fingers.:: Intrusive thoughts, night terrors, physiological distress…humans in particular have a lot of things that can lead to a feeling of lack of control. :: That was true. There were many things in this whole business he didn’t have control over. One of them was apparently forming these sorts of empathic links with patients, as he didn’t want that to happen again. Although, now he thought about it...why didn’t one form with Quinn when he pulled her back from the brink of death four times? It didn’t make sense at the moment, but it probably would later. :: Skyfire: Makes sense. What would you suggest? Ruwon: For your purposes, a regimen of meditation, cerebral skills and self-control is where I would start. Skyfire: Regimen of meditation already integrated into my days, along with incense and light meditative music. I do occasionally have nightmares, and my current meds are not helping with that. Ruwon: Meditation isn’t necessarily so complex. ::He tilted his head slightly; medications being ineffective wasn’t surprising, exactly, but coming from a medical man it was a bit surprising.:: What medications are you currently taking? :: CD nodded slightly as he considered, a lock of hair falling across an eye. He brushed it back behind his ear and ran his hand along his chin for a moment. When the question came up, he reached across the desk for the PADD and pulled his records with the prescription information in it before sliding it back to the counselor. :: Skyfire: Anxiety meds, mostly. Any reading material you can recommend for either the skills or self control would be helpful. Ruwon: Hmm. You mentioned music, incense, the meditation ceremony - do you find that effective? Can you do it easily? :: Ceremony? A bit more formal than most regimens, perhaps, but it was working for him. Just not so much on the self control bits. :: Skyfire: Yes. Sometimes more easily than others, but it’s all dependent on the circumstances. After code blues, meditation takes a lot longer. Otherwise on a low impact day, it’s a cakewalk. Ruwon: Makes sense. What do you do in moments of immediate anxiety? :: He reached under his collar to pull the chain of tags out and started rubbing them, offering a brief explanation from his previous posting. :: Skyfire: In my work with my previous counselor, she had me on a behavioral therapy program. It started with a rock in my pocket. Once Alex gave me these, I’ve started rubbing them instead. :: He paused and realized he hadn’t explained what they were. :: His dog tags from his days as a marine. Ruwon: So you use physical stimulation as a way to center your thoughts? :: The doc’s brow furrowed thoughtfully and offered a silent nod, his fingers idly running over the pressed metal within his hand. It was probably not the best place to start, but it helped. :: Ruwon: ::He nodded, as if in answer to the man’s silent affirmation.:: What sort of thought exercises do you do? Skyfire: Haven’t tried any. Ruwon: Really? ::Alright, that did surprise him.:: Are you familiar with the concept of centering? :: He thought back to his days on the Garuda, and the work he did with his family after he returned from the alternate universe. After a minute or so of silent recollection, he nodded. :: Skyfire: Yes. Ruwon: In what form? ::He watched Skyfire curiously.:: Skyfire: Rhythmic breathing. It’s been a while since I last did it regularly. oO May need to start adding that to the meditation regimen again. Oo ::Ruwon nodded, considering. After a long moment he got to his feet, walking to the shelf behind his desk and pulling out a small stack of PADDs. He flipped through them as he sat back down.:: Ruwon: I think, given your goals, you might find the concept of physical centering useful. It’s a skill that can be difficult to acquire, but has quite a few benefits - especially with anxiety attacks. ::He found the PADD he was looking for and handed it over.:: Ruwon: It’s a focus on the purely physical - draining one’s mind of all conscious thought until you can focus single-mindedly on sensation. :: CD’s brow furrowed as he accepted the device, then fired an inquisitive glance at the man before him. Purely physical techniques to gain mental control was probably the point, but Chythar was a bit of a skeptic. :: Skyfire: And you think that, given what I’ve explained, this will help? Learning how to focus on sensation rather than a physical stimulus? Ruwon: It may, yes. Learning to use your own body as your stimulus and having the mental control to shut down rushing, intrusive thoughts seems a good place to start. It’s similar to meditation, so I imagine you’ll be able to determine if you find it helpful fairly quickly. :: Again, Chythar gave a nod. He was intrigued by the notion of being able to shut the thoughts down before losing his calm in high-stress situations. If he had to start somewhere, that’d probably be as good a place as any. :: Skyfire: I’ll give it a go and get back to you. :: Then he paused and considered again. :: Do we need to adjust my meds, given this conversation? Ruwon: Mm. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’ll need other’s opinions. I’m not intimately familiar with medications, unfortunately. ::He smiled apologetically.:: But we have others on board who are. I’m sure we can safely make adjustments if you’d like to go that route. :: As much as he didn’t like the idea of mentioning it, he knew Shira was aboard and could be of some assistance in this regard. :: Skyfire: I’d recommend you touch base with Dr. Yishira Somlen, one of my previous counselors. She’s another recent transfer who is familiar with my case and meds. :: He paused again, and decided not to bring up his other issue during this meeting. He’d seek advice on that one later. CD left out the part where she was the above-mentioned El-Aurian, but Ruwon would probably figure that out when they met. :: Ruwon: ::He inclined his head.:: I will. I have to ask, though; would you prefer to continue seeing her? Skyfire: I’d rather not. She’s a good person and all, but I’m not comfortable with her methods. Ruwon: Understood. I’ll do what needs to be done to make sure you’re content. ::He smiled.:: I trust you’ll let me know if you feel uncomfortable? Skyfire: :: nodding :: You can count on it. Ruwon: I appreciate it. ::For a moment, the Romulan’s face shifted - a flicker of doubt, before returning to his typical placid look.:: Do you have any concerns about your current post? Being a medical officer offers a unique challenge, no? Skyfire: It can, at times. No concerns about it at the moment. I am intrigued though that the present CMO is a jay-gee. Ruwon: It’s an odd situation, to be sure - are you concerned about serving under her? :: He nodded slightly in understanding of it being a unique situation. He knew he was only a medical officer here, but he had worn the title of CMO with distinction across a couple vessels now even before his demotion took effect. If he could be of any help to his boss, he would do so in a heartbeat. :: Skyfire: No. Not looking to replace her, just looking to help her become more comfortable in the role. :: He paused thoughtfully, running a hand along his beard. :: Are you worried I will intimidate her somehow? Ruwon: To be honest? ::He shrugged.:: Nurse Cattan is competent, but also new to her position. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t intimidated. That said - I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Skyfire: oO She’s a nurse, but leading a department. Impressive. Oo Ruwon: Sometimes people need an extra push to prove themselves. Perhaps you can supply that. Skyfire: Totally understandable. I look forward to the challenge. Is there anything else you feel we should go over before I leave you to other appointments? ::Ruwon considered for a moment, glancing at the PADD in front of him. Then he smiled.:: Ruwon: I think that’s it for now. Try the techniques I mentioned; we can reconvene in a week, when I’ve had a chance to speak with Dr. Somlen. Does that work for you? Skyfire: Aye, it does. Thank you for your time, counselor. Ruwon: Any time. Let me know if you have any questions before then, Lieutenant. :: He stood up and left Ruwon to his thoughts, deciding now was a good time for a stiff drink. He had a long overdue appointment with the barkeep. :: === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire Medical Officer USS Za O239002CS0 & Ensign Ruwon Counselor USS Za O239303T10
  2. The month flew by, didn't it! Now that we're into May it's time for flowers and kudos for April: Congratulations to Ens. Sorel Kaidun on his first article about the science of science fiction; The Federation News Service contributed the monthly vessel reports once again, eight in all; Cmdr. Brell & LtCmdr. Valdivia together submitted four Poll of the Week articles; LtCmdr. Traenor submitted two Top Sims Contest articles; LtCmdr. Jorey submitted two Featured Bio Contest articles; Capt. Rahman submitted the article about monthly post totals; Cmdr. Blair contributed an article about the Academy applications/graduates; Cpt. Nugra wrote a writing workshop article; and Admrl. Wolf submitted eleven articles, including the Jorey congratulations (congratulations!), a donation drive, a Lower Decks interview, donation thanks and the SciWorld reminder. Thanks everyone! May is off to a strong start, so let's keep it going!
  3. ((Skyfire’s Quarters, USS Za)):: It had seemed like forty eight hours since his conversation with Lael about nightmares. He was in between getting off work and getting ready for bed, just out of the shower when he heard a familiar chirp from his badge. He pulled on some sweat pants before going to answer it. ::Alexander: =/\= Alexander to Skyfire. =/\=Skyfire: :: He sighed and tapped his badge to reply. :: =/\= Go ahead, Dassa. =/\=Alexander: =/\=You and I need to have a little chat.=/\=Skyfire: oO Oh boy… Oo =/\= A’right. Ah’ll make the tea. =/\=:: He wasn’t looking forward to a ribbing from Dassa, but after the last conversation it didn’t seem like he had much choice. It was going to be a long and drawn out conversation, he was sure. He got out a couple tea cups and a pot of tea when he heard the chime. ::::She arrived quickly, having been waiting almost an hour for him to finish his shift, and pressed her thumb to the doorchime.::Skyfire: Enter.Alexander: ::steps inside, pinning him with a harsh stare:: She told me everything.:: He had poured one cup of tea before noticing the stare hot enough to melt glaciers. ::Skyfire: Alright...why are you mad at me?::Dassa sighed. She was frustrated in general, really. Lael was miserable. She didn’t need an empathic connection with the woman to see that.::Alexander: She’s miserable, Chythar. Surely you can see that.Skyfire: Aye, but it’s nae my fault! She came tae me with nightmares last night and ah helped her through it. Ah was nae expectin’ there to be a crush on me involved.Alexander: ::grimaces:: The way she tells it, it’s more complicated than that.:: He nodded. That meant she knew about the connection, then. ::Skyfire: Aye. She told you about that too, ah’m guessing...similar to what she had with you, but stronger. Final levels: T4/E4.Alexander: ::grimaces:: She’s trying to play it off, like usual.Skyfire: Again, nae my fault. :: He poured the other cup of tea and took a sip of his as he motioned to the empty space on the couch. ::Alexander: ::sighs and sits down:: I know it’s not. You didn’t ask for this any more than she did. ::grimaces:: I should have never let go...and this wouldn’t be happening.:: He sipped his tea, taking a long swallow of it and savoring its flavor to stall for time. Once he had finished it, he decided to address the frustration which seemed to be radiating off her. ::Skyfire: Just the situation, then and not me specifically?Alexander: ::grimaces:: I can only guess how hard this must be for her. I’ve been on the other side of the equation.Skyfire: Any tips?Alexander: ::grins wryly:: Not really. I mean, you saw how unsuccessfully I dealt with it. Jealous at every turn. ::shudders:::: He closed his eyes and nodded, taking another sip of his tea. He still felt tense, and kind of terrible. But, his shields were up and he was doing his best to keep Lael from the effects. He was silent and contemplative for several moments. ::Alexander: ::smiles wanly:: I wish I had a solution. But all you can do is ride it out and try not to pour salt in the proverbial wound.:: He nodded again and exhaled slowly, letting himself breathe before taking another sip of tea. ::::She laid her hand on top of his.::Alexander: As hard as it is to believe right now, everything will turn out.:: He set his mug back on the table and worried his lip for a moment. ::Skyfire: Did she tell you about the onboard approximation to an expert on the matter?:: He was referring to Somlen, but he was curious just how much Dassa was told about his conversation with Lael the previous night. ::::Dassa’s features softened and she nodded. It had been like pulling teeth, but she’d gotten more details than she’d hoped for. Lael was an immensely private person and the only reason she’d been privy to the details from the other ‘verse is because of their empathic bond.::Skyfire: Ah still haven’t come to a decision…Alexander: I wish I could be of more help in that area, too, but I’m still struggling to get a rein on controlling my emotions. ::grimaces:: Since the surgery, I’ve been without my anchor. I’m so used to having Lael in my head to help me deal.:: He didn’t know how to answer her. None of his connections, save for Alex, were on the ship. Truth be told, they weren’t anchors either, the connections just existed. Instead of formulating a response, he had another sip of tea and ran his fingers deftly over the tags again. ::Alexander: ::sighs:: You and Lael both...you know how to get yourselves into some serious messes.Skyfire: :: flippantly :: Come off it...ah didnae as to be on the away missions when stuff exploded and required yeh to do the surgery thing…Alexander: ::pauses:: What’s going on...it is just one sided, isn’t it?Skyfire: Not that ah ken of. Ah feel her all the time….and ah’ve been putting in extra effort to shield.Alexander: ::shakes her head:: That’s not what I meant.:: He raised a brow. ::Skyfire: Elaborate, please?Alexander: ::pauses:: What Lael feels for you…:: On the one hand, he was with Alex and happy. On the other hand, Lael was one of his best friends and losing her would cause a degree of pain he wasn’t sure he knew how to handle. How it pertained to Dassa though was unknown. ::Skyfire: She’s one of my best friends. Almost like the little sister ah never had.::Dassa grimaced. Hearing it out loud sealed it. There was no way out of this for Lael but through it. It would be painful...possibly a repeat of what she’d been through with Jansen. Dassa only hoped that the breaking of their connection wouldn’t make it harder for her to help her.:::: He watched her expression, his own stoic and curious. Why she was so damn interested in something that he couldn’t clearly explain, he had no idea. ::Alexander: ::pauses:: You have no idea, do you?Skyfire: Please, enlighten me. :: He wasn’t trying to be flippant, but this conversation had not provided any enlightenment so far. ::Alexander: Imagine what you feel for Alex. Multiply it by two and add that to what Lael already felt for you before this whole thing. That’s what she’s dealing with.:: He managed to keep the surprise off his face, but not out of his muscles as they tensed up. Now he was just trying to make it through the conversation. He didn’t really have a response to that. Again, not his fault… but still disconcerting. ::Alexander: She’s trying to sort through all of that to figure out what her feelings are. ::grins wryly:: With the strength of your connection, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten a blast of it.Skyfire: Remember the part where ah said ah was putting in extra effort to shield? Far as ah ken, it works both ways.Alexander: ::sighs:: I guess she’s been more open with me. I had to meditate nightly when she and I were still connected to sort through things.:: He understood that all too well. He meditated nightly because he had to in order to keep ahold of his gifts, not just because of the emotional connections he formed with Sal, Alex and Ris. Now, with this added connection, and the extra effort he had been putting in as a precaution more for himself, it was more mandatory than ever. Again, instead of answering, he gave a nod. ::::Dassa regarded him for a few moments, not sure what else she could say. She’d come here in hopes of helping her friends, but it seemed all she’d done is make things worse.::Skyfire: What are you after, Dassa? Ah barely understand what the hell happened.Alexander: I was only trying to help. ::grimaces:: She’s really hurting and without our connection, I don’t have a way to help. She’s sealed herself off from me completely. She won’t talk to Anjar, Leya, or Michael either.Skyfire: And our chat did….not help, ah’m guessin’.:: None of the names she rattled off rang any bells, except Anjar. He continued listening, though. ::Alexander: ::grimaces:: She hasn’t talked to me since just after the surgery...not really. I finally had a bit of a breakthrough earlier tonight, but she still won’t let me inside her head. I’m only relaying what she’s told me...and what I know from experience.:: Trapped between a rock and a hard place, he was. The rock being the fact he was in a committed relationship with Alex, the hard place being the fact Lael’s harboring feelings for him beyond that of a simple crush. ::Skyfire: Ah’m not sure what else to say, really.Alexander: ::murmurs:: Me either.:: He sipped the last of his drink in silence, breaking eye contact and feeling confused. On the one hand, he didn’t want to cause more harm than he had already. On the other, he didn’t want to complicate his relationship with Alex any further than it already was. This just...it was a new dimension to their next conversation he had to have. ::Alexander: ::sighs:: I’m worried about her, Chythar. Just when she was starting to get past things with Jansen, this had to come up.Skyfire: Doesn’t make me feel any better either, lass. Ah’m worried about her too, but ah’m only human. Nothin’ much ah can say tae make this better. Even Lazarus has limitations.::Dassa nodded, her gaze dropping to her hands. She missed Tobian most in moments like this.:::: He was silent again, keeping his gaze on the teacup. His body was still tense, and he was now wordless. Completely. He had a couple friends he couldn’t help at the moment because he wasn’t made of magic. ::---PNPC LtJG Dassa Alexander, PD, PDSMedical OfficerUSS ZaI238110RH0&Lieutenant Chythar SkyfireMedical OfficerUSS ZaO239002CS0
  4. There's very little canon about Vissians, so there's not much to stereotype. I'm happy to build my own character.
  5. Spring is here (for many of us) so let's congratulate everyone who helped shepherd in this great time. The Federation News Service contributed the monthly vessel reports once again, eight in all; Cmdr. Brell & LtCmdr. Valdivia together submitted four Poll of the Week articles; LtCmdr. Traenor submitted two Top Sims Contest articles; LtCmdr. Jorey submitted two Featured Bio Contest articles; Capt. Taybrim wrote one Fleet Chat reminder; Capt. Rahman submitted two articles, one about monthly post totals and the other an FNS cross-post; Capt. Holly contributed an article about the Podcast; and Admrl. Wolf submitted nine articles, including the Brell congratulations (congratulations!), two player interviews, donation thanks and the whitelisting tutorial. Thanks everyone! This isn't an April Fool's, either, I really mean that!
  6. February flew by. Unfortunately, many of us were busy being sick, working or being otherwise engaged, so we missed a few days of posts. For those who were healthy enough and had enough time to post something, thanks so much! The Federation News Service contributed the monthly vessel reports once again, eight in all; LtCmdr. (at the time) Brell & LtCmdr. Valdivia together submitted two Poll of the Week articles; LtCmdr. Traenor submitted two Top Sims Contest articles; LtCmdr. Jorey submitted two Featured Bio Contest articles; Capt. Taybrim wrote two Fleet Chat reminders; Capt. Rahman submitted two articles, one about monthly post totals and the other an FNS cross-post; and Admrl. Wolf submitted two more articles. Thanks everyone for their contributions!
  7. ((First Officer’s Quarters, Deck 2 -- USS Za))::Trellis sat at the desk in his quarters, subspace communicator at the ready. He was excited to have his weekly conversation with Zaina. He had a lot to talk to her about. This last mission had been quite emotionally, physically and psychologically draining. He needed the Risian’s good spirits and happy face to help cheer him up. A good glass of wine or three wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. For the moment, though, he’d willingly accept Zaina’s beaming face. He was sure she had a lot to talk to him about, too. ::He hit the call button and waiting patiently for the relays to connect. While waiting he looked over at the chess set on the table in the corner. It was his move in his correspondence game and he was analyzing his options. Another board was on another section of the table. That was for his regular games with Kaitlyn and other members of the crew. Finally, after what seemed like minutes, he saw the blonde hair of his long-distance girlfriend appear. He grinned when he saw her.:: Vondaryan: Hello! Am I glad to see you! Zaina: Trellis! ::She beamed:: It’s so good to see you! ::It really was. The Academy had been everything she had hoped, and at the same time so much more than she had expected. It was certainly exhausting, and with her term finally complete she was enjoying some down time at her brothers beach house, sitting on the deck and enjoying the warm sun of Little Risa while Antero and the rest of the stations senior staff were off saving the universe. Or whatever it was they were up to, it was slightly above the cadets clearance level. Thankfully the massive Pina Colada next to her was working wonders to help her not worry about it. Now she had something even better though, losing herself in those dreamy blue eyes. She only wished she could wrap herself up in his arms and take in his scent.:: ::He sniffed the tea he held up to his nose as she spoke. It was aromatic, with a hint of orange spice and moba fruit. It was an intriguing mix which he had to admit he rather liked.:: Vondaryan: How was your first full term at the Academy? Have you got your finals results back yet? Zaina: Yeah! I did alright. The basic engineering classes were a lot of fun, but some of the other core classes like TAC110 didn’t go all that well…::She deflated a bit, averting her gaze:: Thankfully the phasers all default to stun, so the instructor ended up being fine... Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: That wasn’t exactly what I expected to hear, actually. But good to hear nonetheless. Zaina: Oh ::She slumped her cheek into her hand.:: and History of the Federation? Ugh, way too many Stardates to remember. Vondaryan: I was being serious about getting the answer keys for you. ::he tapped a few buttons on the display:: It wouldn’t be much of a problem and you would have lots of extra time for other activities. Zaina: ::She giggled:: Great idea until I get caught. Only one of us is smooth enough to be a master spy. ::She stuck out her tongue with a little smirk.:: Besides, I’ve managed to get by so far. I even joined a casual volleyball league. Vondaryan: ::he raised his eyebrows:: You have been busy. I hadn’t realized. Zaina: Yeah, but I like it. It’s better than being stuck working at the family resort my whole life. People here see as more than just a person to give their drink order. ::She gave him a happy smile.:: It’s nice. Vondaryan: How’d your brother take the news? ::Trellis had fond memories of Antero Flynn. They both had a love of fun and drinking, among other things. It was amazing how similar Vissians and Risians were. Probably why he really liked Flynn’s sister.:: Zaina: Antero didn’t really take the news well, but he came around. Once he accepted it he showed me a lot of support. ::Shrug:: Plus I guess he realized I would be getting a lot of the same outcast treatment that he got for joining. Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: I’m sure you get much better treatment. ::he smirked:: After all, you’re WAAY cuter than he is. Zaina: Your sweet. ::A gentle smile.:: But i’m sure we have MUCH more interesting things to talk about. By which I mean you. ::A playful smirk:: How are your adventures in deep space? Been staying out of trouble I hope. ::He frowned. While technically true that he hadn’t been in trouble -- thankfully he’d remained parasite free throughout -- the last mission had been tough nonetheless. He didn’t especially want to talk about it at the moment so took a sip of his tea instead.:: Vondaryan: I don’t get in trouble… But it has a habit of following me around. ::he snorted:: Just another day in the life of a Starfleet officer, really. Zaina: Sounds like that’s something I’ll have to get used to when I graduate. ::She sat up as she took a sip from her iced beverage..::What’s it like being a first officer? Are your quarters nice? Vondaryan: ::he tilted his head:: Oddly, quite similar to being an intelligence officer. Lots of paperwork, sifting through reports and gathering the right information for the right situation. ::he chuckled:: Though this time I get to be more open about it. ::he smiled:: My quarters are about the same size as back on Ops. Lots of chess sets around and even a small workspace for my engineering projects. Zaina: I bet your bed is huge. ::She gave him a devious grin.:: Have someone to help you keep it warm? ::He blinked at his girlfriend. Why would she be asking such a thing? Before he had left Ops they’d agreed to continue their relationship long-distance. Did she suspect something different? Why would she think that?:: Vondaryan: ::he blinked again:: Um, no. I’ve actually been quite lonely without you here. ::Her heart broke a little at his expression. It wasn't a feeling of guilt, but of familiarity. From the moment the pair met the chemistry between them was obvious. Their relationship blossomed into something beautiful, and while their time together was rather short lived, being with him made her heart soar. Once he was reassigned though, she was filled with a very different feeling. The kind of feeling that was so obvious to her friends like Theo, Mirra and Aitas that she had been dragged out of the beach house more than once. Her eyes wandered to the damaged exocomp unit that he had bought for her at the Curious Bauble. It was a project that she was thrilled to undertake with her new sweetheart, but with his departure it she couldn't bring herself to work on it without it being a reminder of his absence. As it turned out, long distance was hard...:: Zaina: Trellis…::She left out a soft little sigh, wishing she could hold her hand to the side of his face as she gazed into those brilliant blues..:: I’ve been lonely too. I just feel like maybe we need to go easier on ourselves. Vondaryan: What did you have in mind? Zaina: I want us to embrace the time we had together, and the time yet to come. But maybe the time in between we shouldn’t close ourselves off to the comfort of others? I just don’t know if pining for each other all the time is doing us any favors.. ::Well. That was unexpected. Not entirely unprecedented in either of their cultures, necessarily, but unexpected.:: Vondaryan: ::smirking playfully:: Does this mean you’ve got someone in mind at the Academy? Zaina: Well, not really…::She matched his smirk.:: Would you really want to know if I did? ::He pursed his lips, considering. He was still a little shocked at her proposal, truth be told. He had grown to like and perhaps even love her in the short time they were together. While he wasn’t typically a jealous person, did he really want to hear about his girlfriend’s love life outside of him? He thought better of it.:: Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: No, probably best I don’t. I don’t have anyone on the Za in mind, but I haven’t been looking, either. ::he sighed:: It does make sense, though. I believe there’s an old Earth saying: ‘What happens on Vega stays on Vega.’ ::he shrugged:: So I guess we’ll consider this our time on Vega, until we see each other again. Zaina: ::Grinning:: Well rest assured, there isn’t anyone on Ops half as handsome or clever as my trelly bear. Vondaryan: Trelly bear? ::he raised his eyebrows in surprise:: Zaina: ::A mock frown.:: What? All healthy couples must have lovey dovey nicknames that they embarrass each other with. ::She gave a serious nod.:: It’s a fact. Vondaryan: ::he chuckled again:: Oh, well then by all means, let’s get nicknames. I am, after all, a fan of facts. ::he tilted his head:: Just not ‘Trelly bear,’ okay? Zaina: ::She giggled.:: Well I did say embarrass each other. Besides, you can pay me back with my own little nickname. Vondaryan: How about Zay-zay? Or Zany? ::he pursed his lips:: No, too plain. Zaney poo? ::He gave a sour face. Even he didn’t like that.:: Zaina: Well I do tend to be a bit Zaney, ::She scrunched her nose.:: but maybe a version with less poo in it. Vondaryan: Well, I’m open to suggestions. Zaina: Hey, I can’t pick my own! ::She grinned:: You just gotta use that officer thinking and come up with something. Vondaryan: I’ve never had to give anyone a lovey dovey nickname before. This is new to me. ::he grinned:: It’s a good thing I like new experiences, then, isn’t it my Zanthi fever. ::he shook his head.:: No, that’s not good at all, is it. ::Sometimes he was too literal and linear for his own good. He was really struggling with this nickname issue.:: ::She let out an amused laugh which relaxed its way into an expression that portrayed her deep affection for the man. She met his eyes, as best she could through a subspace feed.:: Zaina: You are way too far away. ::She shot him a little pout.:: I miss you. ::He sighed. She had a point. Sometimes he regretted his new posting. Those times were few and far between, but sometimes. Usually when he was alone in bed or talking to Zaina. Still, the fact that they could speak was great. They’d be back together soon, too, he hoped. The years would be gone before he knew it and he’d be back with Zaina.:: Vondaryan: I miss you too. ::he kissed his fingers then put them to the screen. It was the best he could do for now.:: -- Zaina Flynn Engineering Cadet Starbase 118 As simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Antero Flynn Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 Ops C239205AF0 and Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  8. We almost hit our daily goal for January. The State of the Federation Address (SOTFA) happened and, generally speaking, we're in good shape. Let's continue that for 2394 and beyond! So, without further ado, the kudos: Congratulations to Ens. Francis Ryan for contributing his first article, a Lower Decks interview; LtCmdr. Rustyy Hael wrote an article for the Species Spotlight; The Federation News Service contributed the monthly vessel reports once again, eight in all; LtCmdr. Brell & LtCmdr. Valdivia together submitted three Poll of the Week articles; LtCmdr. Traenor submitted two Top Sims Contest articles; LtCmdr. Jorey submitted two Featured Bio Contest articles; Capt. Taybrim wrote one Witty Wordsmith article; Cmdr. Blair submitted the monthly apps & grads count; Capt. Rahman submitted two articles, one about monthly post totals and the other an FNS cross-post; and Admrl. Wolf submitted seven articles, including the SOTFA, leadership roles and vacancies, promotions and more. Let's keep the new year going strong. Thanks everyone for their contributions!
  9. I'd like to volunteer from the Za if no one else has yet.
  10. ((Ruwon’s Quarters - Deck 14 - USS Za)) [Time Index - 3 Hours After ‘Mother’s’ Death] ::Ruwon got back to his quarters late at night - certainly far after his shift had ended. Given the circumstances of the firefights and the invasion, he didn’t doubt he’d be up again in just a few hours. But he had one rather pressing issue to deal with before he collapsed. He stood just inside the door and looked around his silent apartments. The lights had dimmed automatically as ‘night’ set in, and to most the place would have looked untouched. His cold cup of coffee still sat on the kitchen table. A book lay on the couch. The door to his bedroom was open, the sheets undisturbed since he’d folded them back into order that morning. Ruwon knew the place a bit better by now, though. The couch retained the creases along the arms it’d had this morning. The ottoman was still underneath the coffee table. The kitchenette cabinets were still open from when Ditala hadn’t been able to find her favorite cup. There was one tell, though: a slight smear of rubber on the glass top of the lounge’s side table. Ruwon walked up to it, balancing on one knee and reaching up to the ceiling above. He knocked three times on the ceiling panel, then drummed it with his fingers. A few moments later, it slid back. Looking down at him from the dark void above were the glittering eyes of Ditala. She took only a second to make sure it was him before she ducked out of sight and pulled the panel all the way back. :: Ditala: Dad! You took forever! Ruwon: ::He held his arms up to her as she swung her legs out:: Sorry, Arrie. Things were complicated this time around. Ditala: No kidding? I was in here for...for forever! Wait, hold on - ::She reached behind her in the hidey-hole and pulled out a disruptor.:: Take this first. ::Ruwon set the gun aside before helping the girl down. She braced herself on his shoulders so she could click the entrance back into place; it sealed against the other panels invisibly, hiding the fact Ruwon had carefully cut it loose over a month ago.:: Ditala: What happened? Ruwon: ::He put her down on the floor, standing up. She then took stock of him - the dirty uniform, his messed up hair, the circles under his eyes.:: Hijacking, Arrie. By worms. Ditala: ::Ditala wrinkled her nose.::...right. Sure. Ruwon: It’s a bit more complex than that. But they’re all dead now. ::He sagged onto the couch. It’d never felt so welcome.:: Ditala: ::She frowned.:: How many of ours did it take to accomplish that? Ruwon: ::He reached out and ruffled her hair.:: One dead. Ditala: Just one? Ruwon: It’s something of a miracle, given the circumstances. ::Ditala picked up her gun and set the safety before turning it off, her face a mix of uncertainty and impassiveness. :: Ruwon: Arrie - we’ve got a new rule. Ditala: ::She looked up.:: We do? Ruwon: Yes. ::He sat back up again.:: We need a password. Ditala: Why? Ruwon: ::He hesitated, running a hand over his face.:: Let’s just say there’s a chance when I come to get you, I might not be...me. ::His daughter eyed him thoughtfully, then nodded.:: Ditala: Okay. ::She thought for a moment.:: Pufferfish. Ruwon: Pufferfish. Ditala: We’ll change it monthly? Ruwon: ::Ruwon nodded, then smirked slightly.:: Why pufferfish? Ditala: ::She shrugged.:: We learned about them in class today. If you eat ‘em wrong, they’ll kill you. ::He laughed softly - tiredly. He wanted to sleep...well, take a shower and then sleep. Maybe he could sleep in the shower stall...he sat up and looked at his daughter with what might have been fatherly concern, had he had the face for it.:: Ruwon: Did you do your homework? Ditala: Dad! I was in that crawlspace for - for hours! Ruwon: ...and? Ditala: I didn’t have much else to do, so…. Ruwon: ::He ruffled her hair.:: That’s my girl. PNPC Ditala Child / Civilian USS Za && Ensign Ruwon Counselor USS Za O239303T10
  11. As CBS itself said, I'd rather have it be good than rushed. I don't mind waiting as long as it's actually good.
  12. Since DS9 is my favorite series, and “In the Pale Moonlight” one of the best episodes of that series, I went with Other and voted that. While TOS established the Prime Directive Kirk was never very good at obeying its rules. He would be heavily involved in other civilizations, pre-warp of not. The Prime Directive really came into its own, and the repercussions of breaking it, in TNG. That said, sometimes the Prime Directive was tossed about as a plot device. Sometimes it meant non-interference in any species, sometimes just non-interference in pre-warp cultures. With the DS9 episode we got to see the reasoning behind the Prime Directive, how a captain struggles with the decision and the eventual outcome of what happens when a captain does break the rules.
  13. ((Sickbay, Deck 4 - USS Za))::With a yawn, Noros Tanna slowly allowed her eyes to flutter open. It felt like she had been in a deep, dreamless sleep, and it took her a few moments to realize where she was and why the environs were so bright. Once her memories resurfaced, she started with a jolt. The vivid recollection of the attack she had endured outside the guest quarters flooded in, and she was surprised to feel no ill effects. The Bajoran security officer had been in a lot of pain, both physically and to her pride after the small Trill survivor had bested her so spectacularly, yet all that remained was the bruises to her ego. The physical effects were no longer there.::::Tanna turned her head to see the likely source of her newfound well-being, the resourceful and kindly Femi Cattan. She was attending another patient, and as Femi sighed and turned towards Tanna, the prone security officer could see the object of her ministrations. Ezra, the sell-out dabo girl that was a disgrace to Tanna's outdated sensibilities, appeared to be held under an induced medical stasis. Absently, Noros considered the lapse of time during her unconsciousness, and wondered what had brought her countrywoman to this state.::Cattan: How do you feel?::The medical officer was looking down upon her, appearing harried and concerned, but still tempered by a sweet demeanor. Noros felt first and foremost an affinity towards Femi for her effortless ability to project a cheerful and outgoing vibe, though there was a slight twinge of jealousy. These traits of Femi's were ones she herself had never owned, nor was she ever likely to obtain them. At this time and place, however, Femi had all of Tanna's gratitude.::Noros: Better. Much better. ::moving around tentatively to ensure that all her pains had fully abated:: You do great work, Ms Cattan. ::a bit more seriously, and with a hint of a scowl:: Good enough to give me a rematch with the waif who bested me, I hope.Cattan: ::nods:: I understand, your experience with Miazra can be of use to us ::to Porus and Soxco:: how do we proceed?Soxco: While I don't tend to agree with my culture way of life, they do have a valid point of knowing first who or what we are dealing with::Noros was about to object that she knew exactly who she wanted to deal with. Miazra Peeex, formerly an occupant on the Morning Star, soon to be an occupant of the Za's brig. But common sense shortly prevailed, and she realized that there had to be more to the story than just a common misdemeanor. No Trill that Noros had ever heard of possessed the superior strength and reflexes that she had witnessed in Peeex, and there was no telling what new information had come to light during her unconsciousness. So, she bit back the bitter retort borne of shame and frustration in the circumstances beyond her control, and decided to listen instead.::Porus: Agreed, found anything of use in that database?Cattan: ::she nods:: did something like this happen before?Socxo: We are dealing with a being that can take over a person mind and force it to its will. The USS Enterprise had to similar situation and dealt with it swiftly by finding the source of its problem ::Looking at the others:: If you push the head of the infected person aside, and lower the collar down you will see a green tail stick out of the neck. This is how you notice the person to be infected and it can be removed by precize point to point transport. But it requires some time and effort.Noros: So there's aliens controlling these survivors?::The information actually gave Tanna a small measure of relief. She had been ashamed to look her fellow security officer Porus in the eyes, thinking herself a fool for allowing herself to be bested by Peeex. But, if Peeex was under the influence of an undetectable performance-enhancing alien, then Noros could be forgiven for underestimating the situation that had led to her being overwhelmed. At least with this knowledge, she could ensure it wouldn't happen a second time.::Porus: I guess that means we stun them and remove the buggers?Cattan: ::she turned around:: I don't think it's that easy. 2 phasers on maximal stun, fired three times didn't work out as we thought either. ::she showed them the monitor with the brain activity on display:: These parasites are still “awake” but the host is knocked out.Socxo: ::looked at the file:: The Enterprise seemed to have contain the problem by taking out a being called the Mother? I got no real idea what it is...but it neutralized all beings and hostNoros: So no problem, then. We frag this Mother. Where's my phaser, I'll happily do the job.::Tanna sat up and swung her legs off the side of the biobed, and instantly regretted her bravado. Though she didn't swoon, her head swam a little at the rapid movement, and her hands had to grip the padding of the bed tightly for a moment in order to regain her equilibrium. Had she known about the introduction of anesthazine to the atmosphere during her incapacitation, she wouldn't have been quite so concerned.::Noros: oO Just how long had I been laying here? OoPorus: It might solve the problem but if I understood correctly it won’t remove the beings from their heads right?Cattan: with precise point to point transport we can remove them from their hads but it is risky. ::she thought for a moment:: do we know where this Mother is?Socxo: That ...::He shrugs a bit::... we don't know as the files indicated that the Enterprise crew were guided towards it.Noros: Well... okay then. When we DO figure out where this Mother is, let me know. I'll gun her down. I'll even gun down Peeex. ::shrugging, with a smirk:: Y'know, as a precaution.::A new entry to the sickbay was heralded by the opening of the main doorway, and an escorted officer entered the room. The escort, a fellow security officer by the name of Carritaro, stood at attention at the doorway. Noros gave him a friendly nod, which he returned in kind.::DeVeau: Hey, it’s just us!Porus: ::Lowering the phaser again:: Sorry…Cattan: ::to Porus:: No need to apologise. Since she could've been taken over we have to be very cautious.Socxo: It is a precaution to our own safety, we do not know whom to trust or whom we can't. But thanks towards the Enterprise files we can see it to their necks ::pointing to his own neck below the collar::DeVeau: oh no, I totally get it. Just not quite the welcome I was expecting. Noros: Wait, did I miss something during my beauty sleep? Not only is there an alien presence in some, if not all of the Morning Star arrivals, but they have been infecting the Za crew?Porus: That is correct… unfortunately, we are not sure how they spread their influence. We could be looking at a dozen casualties right now. It's seems to be spreading and give those under their control a lot of stamina too.Cattan: Yes, it makes them very dangerous.::Tanna nearly did swoon this time, but it was an emotional response instead of a physical one. The thought of another creature entering her body and using her as a puppet... it was more than she dare to consider. She looked pleadingly at Femi.::Noros: Was... Is... Am *I* infected?Cattan: No luckily you aren't. Peeex flew before she had the chance. If you didn't call us it could've been too late. ::she looks at Noros:: But Pandorn and you were both talking about the same kind of creatures.::The relief was palpable and overwhelming, though Tanna still felt herself gingerly touching the back of her own neck subconsciously looking for a protuberance that wasn't there.::Noros: Well, that would explain Peeex's words and actions. By the Prophets, that was a close call! PNPC LtJG Noros Tanna Security Officer, USS Za ~as simmed by~ LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor Chief Science Officer, USS Za =/\= Top Sims Contest Facilitator =/\= A239111MT0
  14. ((Main Computer Core - USS Za)) Losak: And now the bridge has been sealed. ::smiling:: Which means they can't get out, either. Well, then, let everyone fire away! Petras: ::finally looks up.:: What did you do? ::She shrugged.::Losak: Wasn't me. The bridge must have done something... But since they can't get out, it shouldn't be a problem. Lushington: which means they’re trapped…no time to lose. Don’t forget we still got a brother up there. Wouldn’t like to lose him either. Petras: And he will understand the sacrifice we may all have to make to achieve our goal. ::Her console beep. And she turned to look.:: Clever girl… ::He rolled with his eyes. He had made some sacrifices himself. With his hand he softly rubbed his swollen chin and cheek. It stung a little bit but the swollen parts were numb and speaking became more difficult. He shakes his head:: oO That damn Romulan gave me a good beating, he even kicked out my tooth. I will get my revenge on him Oo ::The bleeding luckily stopped quick enough but he couldn’t understand that his beautiful Faran still gave him a kiss. That she still showed some kind of interest in him though he looked hidious:: Lushington: ::He looked on her console but couldn’t understand one thing:: Whas hapfened? ::he knew that it sounded weird but it was the best he could do for now:: Losak: What's that, Nicky? You want to know what's happened? ::she didn't intend to sound like she was speaking to a young Tumerian prairie pup, but she didn't change the inflection of her voice either:: Someone has launched a set of probes. Unmodified, by the look of it. Petras: I warned you they would take action and they have done so. Lushington: Witw ‘they’ youw ean thew weowle on the bridge wighthh? Losak: ::sharply:: Who else would 'they' mean? Petras: They began by attempting to restrict access to personnel on the bridge only. ::pauses and then types rapidly.:: Oh… very clever girl… Lushington: vefy cwever indeed…what awe we going to dow abous it? Losak: Not much. There's no point. We weren't going to the bridge anyway. Petras: The captain has sent out probes… ::nods to herself:: I can make use of this… Lushington: awe we lucky to hawe yous onboarwed. ::he looked agry at th’Enise who was laughing at him and grabbed him by his collar:: dowt laugh at me owe I will woop youw [...] pfall!! Losak: ::she chuckled at the thought, then scowled back at Nicky, chiding in her voice:: Now, now, boys. We have work to do still. No time for fighting among ourselves. :: The console chirped tentatively as afraid to give more bad news. ‘Petras’ cursed in a manner which didn’t suite her Vulcan no-emotion look:: oO DARN IT, they trampled all our ideas down before we could even come up with another plan Oo Losak: Well, that doesn't sound good. What now? Petras: The captain has locked out slipstream, warp and long range communications. ::shakes head:: It will take too much time to bypass. Lushington: ::he didn’t understand it at all. She was talking about systems he never heard of:: so we hawe to be qwick and take ofer the sjip… ? Losak: If it were only that simple, little simple Nicky. ::sarcastically:: What do you think we've been trying to do? th'Enise: ? Petras: ::looks at the Andorian:: They will move the ship to follow the probes. I can access them. Send the signal. ::To Lushington and Losak.:: Connect with the rest, we need to regroup if we are to salvage this mission. Lushtington: Yesh good pwan Ma’am ::After what happened earlier in the turbolift he tried to be as kind as possible to Petras. He knew that she was his sister now, but the amazing strenght she had wasn’t something he wanted to feel a second time:: Losak: Does anyone know where the others are? :: He grabbed Losak’s hand and they walked towards the doors. He reminded himself that finding her was probably the second best thing that happened in his life. His Casino was of course the first thing but still. Before leaving trough the doors Losak’s comm.badge went off, but the call wasn’t meant for her:: Lers: =/\= Lers towards Lush....boy it is now in your hands to take control of this situation. Both myself and Peeex will be not available a certain amount of time...."=/\= ::He leaned in so he could speak trough her comm.badge. He tried to keep his distance but he felt, especially one cheek, blushed a little bit.:: Lushington: =/\= Mr. Hish. We wewe about tow m-m-meet up withs you. ::paused for a moment and glanced at Faran:: But you can fuwwy twust on me…and ush! ::pause:: wiw you be back again? =/\= Lers: =/\= Don't worry we will be coming...just hold your ground=/\= Lushington: =/\= whatewer you awe up to…be savw and pfrotect Lady Miazwa! =/\= ::The conversation ended and he looked up into Faran’s beautiful eyes. This called for a change of plans:: Lushington: So, whaf do we do now? Losak: Relay the news, obviously. ::Nicholas turns around to the others. He had to discuss this in the group. Their options changed quite a bit and he didn’t know how to achief it without losing lifes from his siblings:: Nicholas: so, Mr. Hish and Miazwa are up tow somefing….we have to twust them of couwse but our pwan to meet up withs them ish gone now. ********************************************************** Nicholas Lushinton Sadly, a former Morning Star member and a proud Casino Dealer (missing a tooth) As simmed by, Ensign Femi Cattan Nurse Officer USS Za Z239308FC0
  15. Apologies for missing a few months. October and November saw a lot of participation, so thanks to everyone who contributed. To close out the year, here's December's kudos! The Federation News Service contributed the monthly vessel reports, eight in all; LtCmdr. Brell & LtCmdr. Valdivia together submitted five Poll of the Week articles; LtCmdr. Traenor submitted three Top Sims Contest articles, including one about the 2016 winners; LtCmdr. Jorey submitted a Featured Bio Contest article; Capt. Nugra wrote one article about the podcast; Cmdr. Blair submitted the monthly apps & grads count; Capt. Rahman submitted two articles, one about monthly post totals and the other an FNS cross-post; and Admrl. Wolf submitted eight articles, including donor thanks, promotions, interviews and various announcements about vacancies and leadership roles. Thanks to everyone for helping us end the year on a high note. We've already hit the ground running in 2394, so let's keep it up!
  16. From a pure hilarity standpoint I'd say Garak as Santa (who is obviously part of the Obsidian Order being able to track all the kids) and Spock as an elf.
  17. What? A few of us got some friendly pets. What's wrong with that?
  18. I'd prefer a real person as the love interest, but whether that's character or PNPC I don't care very much. I had just started a relationship with another player's PNPC when I transferred and we're currently still 'involved', though we haven't simmed anything since.
  19. I sense trouble... And no Raisillius to help shoot the troublemakers.
  20. ((Sickbay - USS Za)) ::After what seemed like an eternity after being awakened, the three survivors from the Morning Star finally had a moment alone together. From the time they had been reanimated from the stasis pods, to the evacuation to the Za, to the pokes and prods and scans and ministrations of the medical staff, the three had been under the supervision of someone or another constantly. Now, finally, they had a chance to speak in private.:: ::Miazra Peeex looked around to ensure that they were well and truly alone, before the scared and confused look that had graced her face since the time she had been awoken fell. In it’s place was a rictus grimace of frustration and annoyance.:: Peeex: ::in a harsh whisper:: Starfleet. Of course it would have to be Starfleet that found us. ::eyes rolling in disgust:: Lushington: :: he gave a gentle smile:: I fully understand your feelings dear Lady. But don't forget their intentions are true. Lers: Don’t worry my child, they are by nature a curious bunch of explorers ::The Tellarite spoke old and wise:: Peeex: ::to Lers:: Can you believe how that man called you a frozen ball of pork?! And that Vulcan, the way he manhandled you? I think you showed great restraint, considering how you could have reacted… ::devilish grin:: We’ll see who’s laughing at who soon enough! Lers: ::He rose his hand:: We have the advantage here, let's keep that intact if we rush things right now we will lose the element of surprise and they will know our hidden agenda. Lushington: ::he nods:: I agree with you Sir. ::to Peeex:: Young Lady, Please, don't let yourself get ruled by your negative emotions. Peeex: ::sighing:: I know. I’m just not… adapting as well as you two. Something about being Trill is affecting things. It even left me with some semblance of consciousness while in stasis. That wasn’t supposed to happen, was it? Lers: ::hums a bit:: No it shouldn’t affect the progress, but it seem to happen to my own body also.. Lushington: I have to admit that I had a similar experience during the stasis process. Sometimes I was on the verge of sleeping or dreaming the other time I was wide awake, counting sheep. Peeex: Well, if you two had the same experiences in stasis, then it’s more than just me being Trill. Still, we can’t afford me spending any more time in Sickbay. There’s too much risk in being examined too closely. The nurse is kind enough, but the pointy ears are sure to get suspicious after too long. ::The Vulcan doctor and the Romulan counselor were by nature more critical and suspicious, and all three survivors from the Morning Star knew that they would need to keep their guard up around them.:: Lushington: ::Nicholas nods. Even he didn't trust the pointy ears. They’re too smart:: If I may ask something, How do we intend to proceed further? Lers: I would suggest that we divide ourselves and get closely towards those that seem to….get along with us. Will it be positive or negative, it does not really matter….I already have security going after me. I believe you Nicolas have that focus on the ladies, use that charm! Peeex be yourself but not yourself? Could you please do that... Peeex: ::grinning wickedly:: I can garner some attention myself, I’ll let you know! ::Nicholas tried to hide his laugh behind his hand. He wasn't supposed to laugh at the young Lady but he knew it could be difficult for her with such a grand personality:: Lushington: ::he grinned:: It's not something I'm proud of Lady, Sir. But I don't mind being in company of these beautiful ladies. ::his smile faded when he realised something important:: We somehow have to convince them to come with us to our planet. Without making them suspicious. Lers: We need the Captain for that, convince the Command team would be our priority goal... ::Miazra scratched her thin thoughtfully, a concerned expression etched across her face. Nicholas understood why. Every attempt they made to get in touch with the Captain “failed”. They couldn't get near her at all.:: Peeex: True, but we need to exercise caution. We’ve dealt with Starfleet before, and it didn’t end well. We still have the upper hand, and as long as we can get them to the planet, then we’ll prevail. We’ve waited for 30 years, we can wait a little longer if it means proceeding safely. Les Lushington: ::he nods. For that was true. They had to be cautious:: they seem willing to “rescue” our people. We made it clear enough they need their help. Lers: I wonder about that, Peeex already mentioned a few times, but no real action was taken ::He pointed out with a shrug:: Peeex: And in the meantime, we don’t want to spend *too* much time together. As the only survivors of the Morning Star, the people on this ship will expect us to cling together, but if we spend all our time alone, they might get suspicious. Lushington: Indeed my Lady. We can spend time together but we have to get acquainted with some. ::he looked at Miazra:: you seem to have a good contact with my ‘little lamb’ and she seems to like you. ::he looked at Hishnend and smiled devilish:: Sir, with all the respect, I believe they don't like you one bit. Lers: It comes as a second nature my dear boy, we Tellarites love to argue and debate ::Hishnend nodded to himself when speaking:: Lushington: Well, as long as you stay away from the Bearded Guy and Panda Guy. They’re particularly sharp when you're around. Lers: Don’t worry Mister Lushington, I don’t intend to provoke them to much. They are cautious already about letting me near any of their technology. Time will tell…. Lushington: of course Sir ::he made a small bow:: I fully trust on your instincts. It was just meant as advice. As you said ::he gave them a wink:: I'll try my best with the ladies once more. Lers: ::Giving a slight nod to him he looked at Peeex:: Focus on the young nurse, she has shown….affection to you. Maybe their counselor might be of use also. ::Frowning, Miazra didn’t like the idea of approaching the counselor at all. His lineage, not to mention his profession, made him a risky person to spend too much time with. However, if it was necessary in order to reach their goals, then she would do it. She looked carefully around the room, and noted that some of the medical staff were sparing glances in their direction. It would be best to wrap this up until she was released and they could enjoy the privacy of their assigned quarters for further conversations.:: Peeex: ::quietly:: Understood. I can do that. ::then more aloud:: Well, thanks for visiting, guys! Don’t have too much fun without me. Hopefully they’ll release me soon enough. Les Lushington: ::he takes her hand and kisses it softly:: take care my Lady. We'll meet up soon enough. ::he gave her a naughty smile and whispered:: give my greetings to my ‘little lamb’. Lers: Don’t mock to much dear, we will be back soon! ::He gave a slight nod to her and moved in the direction of the doors:: ::Hishnend nodded and Nicholas waved a last time at Miazra they didn't like it to leave her behind, but they knew for what cost they had to do this. They walked out through the doors of sickbay where their “bodyguards” were waiting and headed towards their own quarters. They didn't talk much while walking, they only gave each other a nod before entering their own guest rooms. They knew what to do. The game was on:: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Miazra Peeex Cabin Steward, Morning Star ~as simmed by~ LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor Chief Science Officer, USS Za =/\= Top Sims Contest Facilitator =/\= A239111MT0 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Nicholas Les Lushington Casino Dealer, Morning Star ~as simmed by~ Ensign Femi Cattan Nurse Officer, USS Za Z239308FC0 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Hishnend Lers Engineer, Morning Star ~as simmed by~ Lieutenant (JG) Nak'aqi Socxo Assistant Chief Science Officer, USS Za FNS & Podcast Member Z239308NS0
  21. It's not epic, but there was a lot of emotion and info about Sto'vo'kor in "Once More Unto the Breach" that I really enjoyed.
  22. ((Bridge -- USS Za)) ::The Deep warship had made its move in firing upon the Klingon ship. Trellis had moved his own pieces on the board, positioning the Za between the Defender-21 and the Krorgh. The game was coming to a close, he considered. The Deep were in check and weakened. Now the Za waited for them to realize that.:: Vondaryan: Can we beam the Captain and her team back yet? Petras: We will need to remodulate our defensive shields to pull them through… Baxter: Transporter room has locks on all the away team. One of the life signs are showing weaker than the other indicating that someone has been injured. Williams: Its useless as long as the Deep shields are operating. My scans show they are still up. And even if they are not I hate to drop ours while taking fire… I think the captain is better of where he is right now. The Deep ship can take a beating too. ::Trellis didn't like the information that one of the signs was weaker than the rest. The away team was in danger and he should be over there leading it. He was frustrated there was not more he could do about it here.:: Vondaryan: Acknowledged. ::The turbolift doors opened, but Trellis was too focused on the viewscreen to notice who came in. It was only when spoken to that he noticed a Klingon officer now on the bridge.:: Socxo: Commander I was wondering where the Captain is? I got a plausible theory for the illness… Williams: I doubt they’ll listen right now ensign. As you can see we are in the middle of a battle. Vondaryan: The Captain is aboard that ship there, ensign. ::he nodded in the direction of the viewscreen showing the Defender. He looked to the science officer and tilted his head:: Does this mean you've discovered a cure? Petras: I have been monitoring the science-medical team. Awaiting confirmation from medical. Vondaryan: Well, that is good news. Continue working as quick as you can. There should be an available science console over there. ::he motioned toward one of the empty work-spaces along the wall:: ::Stationed as they were in between two ships it was inevitable that they would take a stray shot or two. Thankfully Falcon was managing to dodge the majority of them and, when she couldn't, the shields absorbed the rest. Still, he didn't expect this stalemate to last much longer.:: Williams: The incoming fire its takings its toll on our energy reserves commander! Falcon: I think they’re getting mad at us. Vondaryan: Make no aggressive moves. Keep us between them as long as you can, Falcon. Baxter, can you increase energy to the shields? Shut down any non-essential functions necessary. Falcon: If it’s just them, I can keep this up for a while. I make no promises if the Defender starts moving, too. ::Thankfully Baxter was able to increase power to the shields for a little longer, as the Za continued to get rocked by an occasional stray blast. They weren't suffering any damage yet. ::From the bottom of the viewscreen a smaller ship suddenly appeared, firing a different color phaser bolt that hit the Defender. Where had that come from?:: Williams: Commander, unless my sensors deceive me the small Deep ship just fired on the Warship. Baxter can you confirm sensors are working? ::Ah, that would explain it. Trellis had almost forgotten about Arbiter Ydem.:: Vondaryan: The Arbiter has fired upon the Defender? ::he tilted his head and smiled:: Excellent news. ::he'd never heard of a piece changing color in the middle of a game. It was an interesting development.:: Baxter: Yes, Ydem-18 has fired a low energy phaser beam at the other Deep ship. Petras: There is some significant damage to the Defender… Williams: It doesn’t make sense… why would they do that. That are no match for her, or the Klingon ship for that matter… ::Trellis was fairly confident he knew what was happening. When the communication came through from the Explorer he felt vindicated in his belief.:: Ydem-18: =/\= This is Arbiter Ydem-18 aboard the Explorer-46. We have fired upon our vessel Defender-21 because we want to show, as strongly as we can, that we disagree with their course of action. Though our actions may have been brash in dismissing support from Captain Bron and the Krorgh, we would never think of provoking him and his crew into battle. We stand now with the Krorgh and the Za against Defender-21. Defender-21, stand down. =/\= Williams: Well that is an uhm… Baxter: Interesting turn of events. Falcon: Good way to put it. Vondaryan: How are the Klingons holding up in this battle? Has the Defender moved its target? Do we need to move into position to defend the Arbiter's ship? ::Trellis could feel the adrenaline pumping through him. He was nervous. He could not understand why Ryael had continued this game for so long already. Surely she must give up now being outnumbered 3 to 1. Her king was surrounded on all sides and close to checkmate. It was an inevitable outcome, and her delays only drew out the game for no purpose.:: Williams: No sir, she is still targeting the Klingons. Lucky Ydem... one or two shots and she’d be space dust… ::Trellis shuddered at the thought. That would be a horrible end to the first contact mission.:: Williams: Commander, if I may. I suggest we move ourselves towards the scout ship. It’s in no position to defend itself and it seems the Klingons and Deep are unable to finish each other off at this rate… Vondaryan: Yes, make it so Falcon. Falcon: On the move. Baxter: The Deep ship is signalling surrender. ::His eyes widened at that. He had been hoping for this outcome. He let out a small sigh of relief. Ryael had knocked over her king.:: Pandorn: =/\=Pandorn to Za. The Defender-21 is standing down. Repeat... the Defender-21 is standing down. Prepare to beam the away team back and have a medical team standing by. We have an injury. =/\= Vondaryan: ::he stood up:: Get them out of there as soon as you can! Have a medical team prepare to meet them in the transporter room. Falcon: We’re still well within transporter range. I intend to maintain position. Petras: I have signaled the transporter room and sickbay, Commander. Baxter: The Deeps shields are still up. Falcon: I don’t like this. ::He gave a small growl of frustration. ::He sat back down as they were waiting for the Defender to actually power down to fully signal its surrender. Trellis looked around the bridge. Most everyone was looking slightly more relaxed now than they had mere moments before. Except for Williams at tactical.:: Williams: What is THAT?! ::Trellis looked to where the man pointed on the screen. It zoomed in to the top of the Defender where some sort of cannon structure started to appear.:: Williams: Is that our missing piece of the puzzle? Baxter: I thought they were surrendering. Vondaryan: I believed that, too. What can you tell me about that cannon? Baxter: That thing is drawing a lot of power. It seems to be a very powerful phaser, from the power output I’d guess it would fire a beam of 10 times our phasers. Petras: I do not believe our shields can handle a weapon with that kind of output for very long. ::The blood drained from his face as his heart rate zoomed back up. His hands broke out in a cold sweat. With a weapon that powerful they stood no chance of survival, even outnumbering the Defender 3 to 1.:: Ryael-3: =/\= This is Defender-21. Our cannon is now armed and ready to fire. We will defend ourselves and the Explorer from any hostiles -- even from the Explorer itself. =/\= Ydem-18: =/\= You would fire upon your own people? =/\= Ryael-3: =/\= You have already done so, diplomat. =/\= Williams: If that thing is really as powerful as Baxter just told us we can only withstand a few hits sir… And a few less for the Klingons. Baxter: I suspect it would need time to recharge between shots. Falcon: Depending on the speed of their shot, we can probably shift to take the hit to the port and starboard fringes of the shields. Might buy us some more time… ::Clearly Ryael had been moving toward this position all along. The supposed surrender was merely a ploy. This was like another piece being added to the board in the middle of a chess match. Trellis had no defense against it.:: Vondaryan: Open a channel. ::he paused as the communications opened.:: =/\= Defender-21. We have no wish to engage in a fight. Our actions must have proven that to you by now. All we've wanted to do is help. Surely we can talk about this without any further rash actions? =/\= ::he motioned to mute the channel so the chatter from the bridge wasn't transmitted:: Baxter: Maybe it’s a deterrent. They did seemed to want to surrender and hopefully talk things through. ::Trellis gripped the ends of his chair. If anyone looked at him they would see his hangs going white with effort. He certainly hoped Baxter was right. He so wanted her to be right.:: Vondaryan: How long will it take that thing to activate? Baxter: I’d estimate it will be operational in less than 10 minutes from the way the work is progressing. Falcon: Then maybe we close the distance? So close they can’t track us and get a shot off? Ryael-3: =/\= No. No more talk. This poor exercise in exploration and assistance from outside ends now. We are the Deep! We need no help from beyond our borders. We need-- =/\= ::Her voice was cut off mid-sentence. Something was happening over there. Trellis wished he knew what.:: Vondaryan: Status? Damage report? Falcon: Nothing on our end. Petras: All system optimal. Shields holding. Baxter: Confirmed. Williams: It sounded like a hand phaser being fired in the background… Maybe there is a mutiny? Maybe the captain took over? Porus: Firing on a Deep diplomat would be an usual diplomatic maneuver… Typical among my people but unheard off in the Federation. Williams: Shields of the Deep warship are dropping sir. We have a lock on our people. ::So, the Defender was finally lowering their shields. The king had been toppled after all. Unless there was some other last-minute piece added to the board.:: Vondaryan: Get that away team back, now! Falcon: Still within transporter range. Baxter: Shields are still up. ::Moments after he gave the order, the Captain's voice came through their system.:: Solzano: =/\= Solzano to Za. Four to beam over. Beam th'Enise directly to Sickbay and have a med team standing by. =/\= vav Felvh: =/\= Acknolwedged. Energizing. =/\= Williams: =/\= Williams to sickbay. Prepare to receive injured. =/\= Baxter: The Deep have lowered their shields. :: She watched the reports come in from the transporter room.:: We have all the away team back. ::Trellis let out a huge sigh and slumped into his chair. It was over. Everyone was back aboard the Za, and mostly safe. Now they just needed an actual cure and they could leave these xenophobic peoples to their own devices. Still, a part of him wanted to learn more about them.:: Vondaryan: Socxo, how's the cure coming along? Socxo: The cure is in progress and we found the reason behind their problem. It was caused by cadmium. Vondaryan: ::he smiled:: Well done. Very well done indeed. Beam the information over to the Explorer at your earliest convenience. Socxo: I will sir, the Commander is working now to send the relevant data over towards the Deep. Vondaryan: Well, the Captain did order me to send you over there, but I think I'll belay that order in this instance. ::he smirked:: Unless you'd prefer to give them the cure in person? Porus: I would be happy to accompany you… Socxo: ::Shaking his head:: I rather stay on the USS Za, I have other projects to attend to sir. ::Trellis let out a hearty laugh.:: Vondaryan: Yes, indeed. First round will be on me. ::he tilted his head:; I wonder if Zogi has any good wine's I haven't tried... tag/tbc -- Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
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