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Hutch

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Hutch last won the day on September 13

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About Hutch

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    "It'll be reet."
  • Birthday July 18

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  1. ((CMO Office, Sickbay, Deck 7, USS Gorkon)) Genkos sat at his desk, head in his hands. One finger was gently plucking at a hair on his chin - he had shaved hurriedly this morning, wanting to avoid any kind of facial furriness. Clearly he had missed a spot. It was reminiscent of ‘Kos, a man he definitely wasn’t, and from whom he needed a clean break. That meant no facial hair, no drinking alcohol at all, and plenty of uttaberry tea to wash the foul taste of Spoonie, no Cardassian, blood from his mouth. Finally getting purchase between forefinger and thumbnail, he tugged at the offending follicle, and felt a sweet release when it broke free. He examined it closely; short and black, with a slight curl already, despite it being relatively young. He placed it on his palm and softly blew, watching it disappear, never to be seen again. He snorted a silent laugh at the absurdity of it; as if blowing away a single hair could get rid of all he’d done, all he’d seen, all he’d committed as ‘Kos Sim, Maquis combat medic. He could still hear the wet splat of his makeshift spear entering that Cardassian’s torso, feel the soldier’s bones cracking under his fists, smell the heady aroma of the blood. Genkos closed his eyes to meditate; he tried forcing the memories away, herding them much like a sheepdog herds lambs into a pen, trying to seal them behind a giant brick wall where they could never again hurt anyone. But it was no use; much like trying to get Tasha’s cat Sparks to do anything, it was impossible. A stray thought always broke free of his mental grasp, and escaped deeper into the recesses of his mind. Last time they’d been away to the land of the Skarbek, he’d come back with Erin’s real memories as well as his own, but this was somehow worse. True, he hadn’t discovered some dark secret about his father, but he had discovered something incredibly horrifying about himself. He was just as capable of murder as Tillul. Perhaps even culpable - who was to say which parts of the Q’s machinations were real and which were purely phantoms? Perhaps that Cardassian really did exist and Genkos really did murder him. He’d been told that Johns had died in the Q-verse, but had come back though, so maybe not? But the Q was there to torture them, so who really knew what it was capable of? Again, he closed his eyes to meditate, attempting to clear his mind of all thoughts. It was a technique that Baina had taught him an age ago, back when they were trying to control and shape his mental abilities after the last Skarbek sojourn. It wasn’t working; flashes of splattering blood and foul red rage kept barging their way into his brain, disrupting the whole process. Instead he opened his eyes, and turned to the work he had open on his desk. He was attempting to write up a report for the Admiral about the incident with the Q, examining the physiological effects of the whatever-it-was. He’d spent six and a half hours this morning, visually examining every crew member who reported travelling over to the Skarbek-verse. He’d traipsed over the ship with Loxley and T’Hal, scanning them with tricorders and giving them the once over. Many reported having wounds, some serious, some trivial, that disappeared on their own on their arrival back to the Gorkon. Nobody showed any signs of these wounds except in the forms of memories. He manually entered all of the data they had collected into the ship’s computers and compiled it. It made for very tedious reading, but he summed it all up in a short paragraph and sent it to Quinn. It wasn’t much, and it wasn’t informative. “As far as our bodies are concerned, nothing happened and no time passed” was effectively the conclusion, but there was an addendum - if nothing happened, why were they all suffering? It was true that nobody came off well in the Q’s experiment; emotionally they were all distraught by what they had been manipulated to do, and what the Q had said about them. Her comments about his abilities were the most cutting. Ayiana had tried to tell him they weren’t true, that it was the situation but Genkos knew differently. That satisfaction that he felt on killing those Cardassians was real. He was a monster, and unfit to be a doctor. This report to the Admiral would be his last. Finishing up the report, he sent it to the Admiral and to Jo and began writing up his resignation. He would sleep on it first, before he handed it in, he decided. ((Genkos Adea’s Quarters, Deck 8, USS Gorkon - the next morning))) Genkos was fully dressed and sat on the edge of his bed. Toto was curled up on the bed beside him, his eyes staring up at his master. Genkos’ eyes, however, were focused on the PADD beside him, which contained all he needed to end his Starfleet career. A lead weight sat in his stomach, and he could feel the cool metal inside of him, turning his every vein to ice. His mother had visited that morning, to break her fast with him, but he hadn’t heard a word she’d said. He hadn’t even reacted when Rumi arrived and the two of them spent the meal exchanging bites of scrambled ktarian eggs and pulpless orange juice. Although Laxe could tell was something wrong, she hadn’t pried. She knew her son, and trusted him to make the right choice. His finger hovered over the PADD. Adea: To send, or not to send, that is the question, dear Toto. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous Q, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them… Toto just yapped. He didn’t get Shakespeare. Genkos smiled sadly, and tried to remember all the good he had done as a doctor in Starfleet; he’d saved some of the crew aboard the Njörðr from a slow and painful death at the feet of Rushton’s, he’d performed emergency surgery on Caedan and countless others, as well as on Dhisuia. Although, said a little inner voice remarkably like the Q’s, you were the one who got her beaten half to death in the first place. Genkos shook his head violently, causing Toto to leap up in alarm and let out a single bark. Would he let his mistakes define who he was, or would he use them to make a better man? The latter! He threw the PADD onto the table, a familiar rage bubbling inside him; just days ago he was content to be a Starfleet doctor, remarkably higher in rank than he had expected; Chief Medical Officer and Second Officer aboard a literal flagship. He wasn’t about to let a Q get in his head and ruin his life. Never. He would do what good he could aboard the Gorkon, ‘Kos Sim be damned. -------------------------- Lieutenant Commander Genkos Adea MD Chief Medical Officer & Second Officer USS Gorkon G239502GS0
  2. ((Sienelis’ Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon)) The mugs slipped from Valesha's hands, her fingers suddenly slack, one shattering as it caught the corner of a table. The warm, spiced infusion of aesollh and the rich, bitter roast of coffee burst into the air as the drinks splattered across the carpet, a few drops burning against the skin of her bare feet, a razor shard of ceramic drawing emerald blood from pale flesh. She didn't notice. As Valesha was exactly where she had been before the Q had taken them, so too was Chris. Sprawled in her bed, he'd been looking at her with that cheeky grin and mischievous sparkle in his hazel eyes, laughing at... she couldn't remember. She couldn't remember. But there was no smile now. No light in those eyes. Her ballerino, always in motion, was perfectly still. It was a strange sensation. As though she had floated clear of her body, the Romulan watched herself as she walked across the room. Watched as she crawled onto the bed and knelt beside him, reached out with a trembling hand and laid her palm against the bruised, ashen skin of his cheek. He was so cold. With a sharp inhale she drew back in, no longer an observer of herself, but there and present in the moment. Valesha's chest blossomed in sharp, biting pain, slicing behind her sternum as surely as if someone had taken a scalpel to her. She doubled over, eyes burning hot with unchecked tears, a wordless sound of anguish pulled from a seizing throat. Time slipped past, neither caring nor cared about, all the while the Romulan knowing she should call someone and completely unable to do so. They'd take him away, and she wasn't ready. She wasn't ready. But all tears eventually run dry. Laid next to him, slim fingers brushed the short crop of his hair, touched the scar on his scalp whose origin she'd never discovered, over the delicate skin of his eyelids, along cheek and nose and mouth, across the scratch of the beard that had tickled when they kissed. Her hand came to rest on his chest, over his heart, met with final, still silence. An ache rolled through her like distant thunder, deep and resonant. It was time. Sienelis: ::Softly,:: Ehhaisam ehsiu, e'lev. A tender kiss pressed to his forehead, and Valesha let her head fall back to the pillow. She closed her eyes, breathing out a shuddering sigh. It was time, but just a few moments. Just a few moments more. -- Lieutenant Valesha Sienelis Science Officer USS Gorkon simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  3. ((Peshkova Colony, Demilitarised Zone)) ::The upbeat tunes of a whistled song joined the nature sounds, as Graham walked next to the antigrav unit, his eyes on the road, making sure there weren’t any obstacles for the unit to pass. It would be a huge shame if the cart would tumble and all the food stored on it would fall on the dirt road.:: ::In his own personal opinion, he was a bit late, courtesy to his Andorian misses who had insisted to add a few more particular dishes on the cart. But he was lucky, the ship was still there, the silhouette of the Condor Class ship clearly visible. It wasn’t the first time he lay eyes on the ship and as long as the ship was space worthy it wouldn’t be the last.:: ::He kicked a little stone, before he pushed a button on the unit, picking up the pace a bit. He started whistling another merrily song as he approached the open spot in front of the ship, clearing his throat as he looked at the people sitting nearby the remainder of what had been a large campfire last night.:: ::Seeing the flames in the distance the night before had been his and his misses cue to get up early this morning and started preparing breakfast for these folks. They were fighting for a cause he supported and he figured it was the least he could do.:: Graham: Breakfast is served ladies and gentlemen. ::He called out to those at the campfire, already sipping something that was being kept warm at a smaller campfire, looking at their faces and as expected, he recognized a couple of them but there was also at least one new recruit. Not that he bothered to learn their names. Graham knew full well the next time the ship would land, part of the crew would already have been replaced by other faces, other species.:: Graham: We’ve got fresh baked bread, rolls and whatnot. ::Nodding towards the baskets on the side of the cart.:: Take your pick. ::He lifted the different lids from the different food warmers, revealing all different kind of dishes. Baked sausages, bacon and eggs, made from fresh collected goose eggs that very same morning, for those who had to wash away a hangover. A few more lighter and veggie based dishes for the non-carnivores. Yogurt and fresh cheese for those who had a rather sensitive stomach after all the drinking they had done the night before. There was something for everyone.:: ::A loud siren suddenly sounded as he pushed a button on the cart, once he was done with his preparations, a call to those inside the ship, to come and get some non-replicated food in to them, before they went on their way again. Who knew when would be their next well cooked meal.:: ::He took a few steps back and sat down on a big boulder, nodding here and there towards those coming from inside the ship, as he recognized a few faces from people traversing his fields as they went up to the Memorial Rock each time they visited the Colony. They left his crops and fields alone and he respected them for that, while in return he made sure no one was doing any harm upon the shrines setup on Memorial Rock in their absence.:: ::Graham leaned back, he felt like he owed these people something. It was only thanks to them, he knew what had happened with his son. Contrary to many others who had children out there fighting for the cause, he knew what had become of him, while other parents would never find out their offspring were still alive or not. And ever since that day he and his misses had promised each other to serve breakfast to the crew each time they visited. As if he was paying off a debt, he knew he didn't have.:: Farmer Graham Food/Breakfast Provider Sympathiser to the Cause Simmed by: Lieutenant Samira Neathler Assistant Chief of Security USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  4. ((Ooc: the song https://youtu.be/oVGTGfZ9HVc )) ((Courtyard, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) :: The reception was splendid. A gorgeous backdrop, accompanied by delicious- if unusual - appetizers were passed to handsomely attired guests. Ghant had asked at the Bride’s final fitting if he might play something at the reception. He hadn’t decided until just before he walked onto the platform. Nerves pulsed through him, making him glad he hadn’t eaten much yet. He nodded to the bolian piano player before taking a seat behind his harp:: ::He blew out a breath as he looked into the crowd and then began plucking the opening notes. Quinn and Brunsig were still standing apart, each receiving guests with good humored smiles. The first officer was speaking with Tasha and some other women he didn’t recognize. Genkos was laughing with Corliss and Loxley. Chris and the woman he assumed to be Valesha were eyeing each other and the dance floor The cadence of the song suggested dark beauty and mystery to his ear. The piano player had picked up on the tune and followed along.:: ::Ghant croned out the beginning of the poem-turned-song. He felt it fitting the strange beauty of the evening, even if he felt removed from it personally.:: ~Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font. The firefly wakens; waken thou with me.~ ::His eyes turned to the table where Jo and Tasha said with the others he didn’t recognize as he sang the next line of the song:: ~ Now droops the milk-white pea[...] like a ghost, And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.~ ~ Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.~ ::Then he caught Quinn observing him. Her expression as blank to him as her mind, he had no idea how she would find the song:: ~Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.~ ::Finally he chances looking at Genkos, who was either pretending to not notice him, or actually wasn’t. Either way was a disappointment. His eyes glistened as his voice warbled out the final verse of the song:: ~ Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake. So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.~ ::The reception was deathly quiet for what felt like an eternity. Then applause began to sound. Ghant’s cheeks flushed with color all the way to his ears. He quietly stood and exited the platform.:: Xerix: oO Who is he to ignore me? Do I mean so little to him? Oo :: With that thought, he made for the bar. Strong liquor was in order.:: — Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix HCO Officer USS Gorkon V239505GX0
  5. I found this sim particularly evocative and creepy! I can well imagine the main bad guy in a film speaking to his chief henchman in such a way, plotting their next nefarious move.
  6. ((Saeihraoi Estate, Rator III)) ::The grand estate was nestled into the thick, coniferous forest, a vast manor house surrounded by pristine gardens that changed with every season, all perched on the shores of a crystal lake. Centuries old, it had always been a stronghold of the ancient house-clan Saeihraoi. After the destruction of Romulus, it had become its beating heart, perfectly positioned for its scions to wield their considerable influence in the new capital of the Star Empire. ::As his subordinate completed his report, the patrician stepped away from the window, the long black and indigo fabric of his senatorial robes sweeping across the marbled floor. His dark brows were the only hair on his head, a clean-shaven scalp highlighting a strong jaw and pale green eyes. He carried himself with a predatory grace and military precision, a statesman who had served his time in the trenches, his ambitions and intellect now turned toward politics and power.:: Traian: Disappointing, Khaiell. No schematics, no Nei'rrh, and we have lost our asset aboard the Gorkon. Hardly your usual standard of work. ::The younger man bowed his head in respect, briefly pressing a closed fist to the centre of his chest. Disappointing was am extraordinarily gentle way of phrasing it; he had failed to achieve any of his goals, and what's more, he had cost his lord and house-clan in the process. Years of prior loyal and successful service were the only reason he was still permitted to draw breath.:: Khaiell: No, my Lord. My apologies. I was not prepared for, ::he grimaced, a distant echo of pain in his shoulder,:: how capable they were. ::The apology was accepted with a nod, the explanation with a smile. A swell of pride and amusement blossomed in the older Romulan's chest, warming him through; of all the reasons for his agent to fail, that alone was the pleasing one. With a gesture, they began to walk through the vaulted corridors of the mansion, Traian's robes whispering across the polished floors, Khaiell's boots a soft, echoing thud.:: Traian: Perhaps we should take both instruction and pride in that. You are fully recovered? Khaiell: I am. ::After some considerable efforts at the hands of the surgeons, no doubt. The daughter of Llaiira t'Sienelis hadn't just dislocated his shoulder, but completely incapacitated it, fracturing bone, tearing ligaments, and severing nerves in a single, vicious move. She might have left the Empire, but its lessons remained close to her heart. Inconvenient for Khaiell, but perhaps promising for the future.:: Traian: Good. Then where do we stand? Khaiell: The Gorkon has returned to Earth with the schematics for the ih'fvullhajun eiyyha. Admiral Reynolds was also successful in having the charges dismissed, and it is unlikely we will be able to pursue that avenue again. Traian: That woman continues to both infuriate and delight. ::He steepled his hands together, pointing down, jewelled rings gleaming on his fingers. Indeed, Starfleet would not be so readily duped a second time now that Reynolds had shone a light on the lie. But perhaps the attempt hadn't been a complete waste of time and resources. Seeds of doubt had been sown, a lesson driven home, a little Romulan stray reminded that she just didn't belong. ::A knife driven into the flesh, to be twisted at just the right moment.:: Khaiell: It is rare to find a human with such... cunning. Traian: Quite. It was not a trivial thing, installing someone aboard her starship. ::He arched an elegant, upswept eyebrow.:: The Marshall boy was an opportunity that won't easily come again. Replacing him will be much more challenging. ::He did not need to be more direct than that, the tenured retainer more than capable of hearing the order. Khaiell inclined his head in a nod, his able mind already running ahead.:: Khaiell: I will see it done. ::Just as soon as he figured out how, of course. There were indications that Reynolds had known of Marshall's dubious allegiances from the start, though at least his connection to the Empire had been obfuscated through the Syndicate. Finding another available agent who could be inserted aboard the Gorkon without raising any suspicions was a mountain to climb, to put it mildly.:: Traian: I have every confidence that you will not disappoint me again. ::He left that hanging in the air just long enough before dismissing the subject in favour of another.:: Now, tell me of this tedious business in the Typhon Sector. Khaiell: It is unclear exactly how the Red Star came to be over a hundred light years away from its original route, :;that earned him a raised eyebrow,:: but it appears that Commander T'Kona is involved. We believe he engineered the theft in order to acquire the quantum slipstream drive, and he appears to have delivered the passengers to D'Lore. ::A man such as Traian had a stern constitution. He had seen war, seen the terrible things that sentient species were capable of inflicting upon one another. He had done some of them himself, and given such orders to many others. But he knew of D'Lore, and he didn't have to imagine what fate had befallen the passengers. Pointless, cruel experimentation. Bioweapons that had no purpose or place in warfare; not just ethically, but practically. ::With the vast distances between the stars, plagues did not spread easily between worlds. One might be able to wipe out some backwater colony that no one really cared about, but the core worlds? The Federation would swarm with its hospital ships, evacuating the healthy and quarantining the sick, while any fool with a transporter and a spare half hour could update the biofilters. ::Unsubtle. Imprecise. A waste of resources. The weapon of choice for those who had not the foresight, talent or finesse for the fine art of war. No wonder T'Kona was drawn to it.:: Traian: Why would he— ::A despairing sigh escaped the lungs of the patrician, and he shook his head while Khaiell offered a look of professional sympathy. The man actually thought that the Federation was installing the drive on its passenger liners before his own people had even mastered the technology. It couldn't be that no one would trust a brute like him with a slipstream ship, it had to be that the Empire had not yet mastered the technology. A tragic example of one man's short-sighted hubris.:: Traian: Perhaps T'Kona will oblige and get himself killed, and save me the trouble and expense of an assassination. How anyone that boorish managed to acquire a command, I will never know. Stealing passenger liners and murdering civilians, ::he shook his head.:: Unnecessary. Crude. Banal. ::His retainer nodded in agreement. Khaiell was the knife in the dark, the poison in the wine, a creature of specific and subtle death. Why destroy an entire population, when the removal of a single soul could so often achieve the same aim?:: Khaiell: That said, we may be able to turn it to our advantage. Traian: Go on. Khaiell: While the Federation is distracted with the Red Star incident, it could give us the opportunity to take action on Væron. Tensions have been building within the colony and it is only a matter of time before Starfleet takes an interest. ::The observation earned Khaiell a smile, the senator seeing where his mind was going. Væron was an unremarkable colony of no strategic importance. At least, it hadn't been, until it was realised that it was a source of benamite. Unfortunately, this realisation had occurred after it had seceded in the wake of Hobus and welcomed a significant Federation presence to its surface in a crafty manoeuvre to ward off a forcible Imperial repatriation.:: Traian: But before they do, it provides us with an opening to welcome our wayward Republic cousins back into the tender arms of the Star Empire. After all, we can protect them from the grasping predations of the Federation. ::He nodded, gesturing further down the corridor, to where his luxurious office awaited and scheming could be done in comfort.:: Come, Khaiell. Let me summon my son, and we shall talk more on this... fin -- Traian i-Ra'tleihfi e-Valai tr'Saeihraoi Senator & Lord of the House-Clan Saeihraoi Romulan Star Empire & Khaiell ir-Rator e-Terrh tr'Saeihraoi Knife in the Dark Romulan Star Empire simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  7. (( Corridor, USS Gorkon )) ::Hiding away in his quarters for the space of their QSD jump had only seemed to get Bear so far and now was the time the man needed to do what he’d feared. Each controlled step from the turbolift down the corridor peppered his thoughts with buckshot of what ifs and he was quite sure his brain bore a resemblance to raw dough. ::He tried to reason with himself as he combed his fingers through his blond beard. When he’d fled the ship with Valesha, when the Admiral had asked him to do what she’d asked him to do, he hadn’t believed he would be coming back to the Gorkon. Even if they succeeded in their task, which they did if only by the skin of their teeth, returning to the Sovereign-class had seemed a complex imagination at best. ::Yet, there he was, and here Sami was, and so much had changed in the time between leaving and coming back. Like sand pouring from a broken hourglass, Bear’s emotions had been slowly leaking for a while and it was time to reel them back in. He squared his shoulders, set his jaw, and pressed the button beside Samira’s door.:: (( Security Office - USS Gorkon )) ::Having tossed her gloves on her desk, Samira was standing near the small viewscreen, reading an incident report. Seems a couple of the crew managed to get into a brawl with one another at the Gym. One of them being having been a team member on her last mission. At least the hybrid had managed to win the fight, it was the only positive thing she could think off. She turned and placed the PADD on her desk when there was someone at the door.:: Neathler: Come in. ::Frowning, she felt her heart skipped a beat when she saw who walked in. Briefly Samira looked into his blue eyes before she looked away. She'd fallen once for those eyes, she didn't need to be trapped again.:: ::As if he hadn’t been planning his opening sentence since the moment he’d stepped off the turbolift, his words stumbled and caught in his throat as he saw her again. Barring the award ceremony, the last time he’d seen her face she’d been a lot closer, and in such different circumstances.:: O. Marshall: Can we talk? ::Talk? Now he wanted to talk? After four or five days travelling? She wanted to yell the words into his face, but after helping Meg cleaning up Tem's quarters she was too tired to raise her voice.:: Neathler: A bit late for that, ain't it Bear? ::She shrugged.:: It was all in the reports, at least the info we were allowed to read. It was all a setup, you delivered your package, or Romulan rather, and you returned with a package for the Admiral. oOAnd another someone, if rumors are true.Oo ::She shook her head.:: And it even got you a promotion so congratulations Lieutenant. ::She returned to the viewscreen, leaning against the bulkhead, staring to the stars outside. Why did she find it so difficult just to look at him?:: ::The sheer bloody indifference in her voice irked at the few soft spots so recently under the hammer from the Romulan’s unexpected condition, invoking a flare of shame he had anticipated to feel but not so soon out of the gate. As easily as Samira had slid beneath his skin and touched parts of him he hadn’t felt in a long time, she was so simply dragging across said skin with the sharpened fingernails of the betrayed. ::He stepped inside, allowing the door to close behind him before the rest of security got an unexpected earful of nothing to do with them. One, two, three steps he took into her office, enough to stand on the other side of the desk, as physical a barrier between the two as they could get.:: O. Marshall: You think you know what happened over there because you read a report? ::The reports were the only thing she had to go on. Did he expect her to run to the Admiral to ask for an explanation? She’d never have the chance to ask her question. She kept quiet, taking a deep breath. She turned around and observed him for a moment. His blue eyes, remembering the scar, not visible from where she stood, mostly hidden behind his blond beard.:: ::He did have a point, even if it took him half a week to come to that conclusion. Hadn’t he warned her from the start about him, that evening on the beach? She owed it to him to let him explain things and it might be her only chance to gain some answers. She nodded towards the chairs on his side of the desk, a silent invitation for him to sit down, speaking softly.:: Neathler: I’m listening. ::Forgoing sitting in favour of standing, Bear braced his hands on the back of the chairs in front of the desk. A deep exhale fled from his lungs, his hand wound up through his hair, words coming slow and thick, like the gradual melting of glaciers into the ocean. He tried and failed to speak until he finally lifted his hands up in frustration, dropping them back down to the back of the chair.:: O. Marshall: To go undercover with the Syndicate, we were ordered to make it look like an escape. It was the only way they’d believe it if we got caught. ::His gaze dropped from the dark-eyed woman to her desk.:: I couldn’t tell you, I couldn’t tell anyone. You had to believe it, too. ::Why had it been so easy to be mad at him in the past days when she hadn't seen him. And now seeing him struggle, all that anger had disappeared like snow underneath a blazing sun, and her heart was reaching out for him. Yet his words didn’t answer what she really wanted to know.:: Neathler: That part I do believe Bear. ::Didn’t the Admiral hide the fact that the agent they had to retrieve on Nassau was her own brother. How many times hadn’t Marlon mentioned things would have gone different on that rock if it had been her in that team to begin with. Even though Samira’s presence in that team would have jeopardised everything. Didn’t she freeze when she had seen Marlon in the shuttle bay of the Triumphant after so many months? Or maybe the Admiral hadn’t known either. Who was she kidding, of course the Admiral had known. She nodded to Bear even though his eyes were focussed on the desk.:: Neathler: Go on. O. Marshall: We ended up in Ma no Umi, at an old outpost haunt. We met the contact, he took us to Lena. From there… ::A frown took over his face and he swallowed, recalling the events of that evening. One drink in the Dungeon had turned into several, listening to the variety of conversations going on around him. Downstairs, Valesha had struggled against two Romulans as they’d tried unsuccessfully to kidnap her. If he hadn’t gone back downstairs then, if he hadn’t disrupted their attempts to do so, what would’ve happened? Would she be gone for good? He wiped his mouth with his hand and stood up, watching Samira standing at the window, the stars zipping past behind her. Sympathy caught on her expression.:: O. Marshall: From there, ::he rolled his shoulders back and stood up,:: we were on the Labyrinth’s Scream. Thertas was willing to defect to the Federation, given the right carrot. ::The ship the Gorkon encountered and helped to blow up. While some people on board that ship, Bear and Valesha included barely made it back to the Gorkon. For the first time since he'd entered her office Samira moved, rounded the desk and ended up on his side of the desk. She hopped on the table and sat down, picking up her gloves and tossed them a bit further on the desk. Even from her elevated position she still had to look up at him, to look him in the eyes. She finished softly.:: Neathler: Where lieutenant Sienelis got severly hurt and you both, with a few others, barely made it out alive. And all for something the Admiral wanted. ::Why was it always coming down to that? She studied his face for a moment.:: Bear... Why didn't you come by sooner? I can understand things were rough over there, but... ::She swallowed, thinking, trying to understand a few things.:: How can you let someone help you if you don't talk to them? O. Marshall: I’m perfectly capable of dealing with this on my own. ::The response was a snap of words and eyes up to hers, as quick as a flash and gone. A flare of anger caused by the insinuation he wasn’t, that he needed anyone to process and deal with it all. He’d been a Ranger for a reason. Solitary missions, relying on himself and his wits alone, without the addition of someone else’s baggage to navigate around. He looked to each of her eyes in turn, the depth of brown and himself reflected in them.:: O. Marshall: Why didn’t you come to see me? ::Just as with his previous snappy answer Samira was somewhat taken aback by his question. So he was throwing the ball back in her camp. She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly, trying to form an answer in her mind.:: Neathler: I… ::Her hand palms flat on the desktop, her fingers gripping the edge of the desk, she looked him straight in the eyes, gauging his reaction.:: Neathler: I didn't think I was welcome anymore... I… I heard you had female company in your quarters. ::She wanted to say more, yet the words failed her.:: O. Marshall: She’s a friend. Convinced Thertas to defect, got us through all of that alive. ::And yet, that wasn’t what Sami had meant. It wasn’t the who, as much as the why. His hands dropped to his hips, his jaw looked as though it chewed on his tongue and he exhaled deeply through his nose. A manifestation of kindled guilt where it hadn’t kindled before. He hated it. Hated the curdling feeling as it crawled under his skin and festered there.:: O. Marshall: Sam, I like you. I do. ::He meant it, then stopped, rolled his lips between his teeth and continued.:: But I’m not… I can’t be who you want me to be. I’m not that guy. ::A mixed ray of emotions washed over her all at the same time, as she sat there quietly for some time, her gaze had shifted from his face to a fixed point on the floor in front of her. Anger, betrayal, but also acceptance, understanding and what else. For a split second she felt her eyes burning, next the feeling was gone as the anger flared up in her, followed by something else. So she had just been another score in his list, one of his victories, his words on the beach and elsewhere had meant nothing. Another lesson learned.:: ::She swallowed as she slowly slipped off the desk, her teeth gritting together, as she slowly breathed in and out, trying to regain her control. She was tired, drained and this time the words flowed and she didn’t bother to stop them.:: Neathler: Like me? You've got a funny way of showing it Bear. :She shook her head.:: What man exactly did I want you to be Bear? Have I ever told you what I expected from you? Have I ever demanded something from you? Have I ever asked you to come rescue me? ::She shrugged and turned towards him, confusion etched on her features.:: Why put up this whole charade, ::Nothing he had said except those last words were new to her.: only because you needed to tell me you've already moved on and found someone else? ::She shook her head again, as she had rounded her desk, reaching the spot where she had tossed her gloves earlier, her left hand reaching out to grab them.:: ::His arms folded over his chest as his jaw set, each round fired like torpedos from the launchers seeking out the fleshy bits of his human-shaped target, and they hurt as they hit square on. With a deep swallow, he stepped a foot back, as though he tried to deflect some of those blows from landing with such accuracy.:: O. Marshall: That’s not what I’m saying and this, ::he pointed to the two of them in turn,:: isn’t anything to do with her. I chased after you on the Njordr because I care about you. ::He wiped his hand over his mouth, considering whether or not to say what he wanted to.:: I left this ship and all I could think about was you. And it made me weak. ::Someone had told him once that if he made his heart into a weapon, he’d only use it on himself. That was his reality. Lies interspersed within lies. Space filled with stars of sorrow and heartache, pin[...]s of suffering used by lovers to navigate through the darkness. His jaw twitched and in that moment, his eyes looking at her as though she were the northern star in the sky, he felt pathetic and it wasn’t an emotion he cared for.:: O. Marshall: I warned you not to want me. ::It was the simple act of taking her gloves and shoving them in the backpocket of her black pants, while she focused on her breathing, that she was able to get her emotions and thoughts under control again. Something in his words, made her change her mind and she approached Bear, confused by his words. He no longer wanted to be with her because she made him weak? Silently she shook her head as she stepped in front of him. Why did he have to make things so complicated? She looked up and tortured herself by looking in those gorgeous blue eyes of his.:: Neather: I don’t understand Bear. You say you care and yet you’re pushing me away? ::Her gaze lowered towards the hidden scar on his cheek, raising her hand she gently touched it with the back of her fingers, tracing it underneath his blond beard, like she had done the last time they had been together, a faint smile with a touch of sadness or regret emerged at the memory, and she had to use all her willpower not to kiss him. Her gaze shifted back to his blue eyes as she swallowed softly.:: Neathler: I know what you said back then, but I’m still here, ain’t I? ::She paused as she lowered her hand, being fully aware of their proximity.:: So it’s okay for you to care for someone else but not the other way around? ::She paused a few milliseconds before she continued softly.:: It doesn’t work that way Bear and it doesn’t make you weak, if anything it only shows you’re human. ::Human, with a human heart and mind, wrapped up within human limitations. He took hold of her hand as it lowered between them, without the gloves her palm soft and tender beneath his fingertips. Dark-eyes greeted him as his gaze looked up and his lips rolled between his teeth, trying to find some anchor in all of it to attach himself to. One of them would end up with their heart broken.:: O. Marshall: Samira. ::His voice gravelled through his throat, walking the lines of deep and quiet.:: I’ve spent most of my life alone. If I need to leave here tomorrow, I need to do so with no regrets and nothing left behind. What we had, ::he took a breath, ribs sore with the exhale,:: was a way of passing the time. ::There he was; that callous-hearted stone bristled man, arisen from the burning ashes of his bridges. He felt it wash over his skin like a storm. It would be easier this way; easier for her to find someone to build a castle with strong foundations, rather than shifting sand beneath torrid scorched earth. He tilted his head to the side; the [...]y, self-assured arrogance swelled like a tide, sweeping out the affection and left the sharp shale in its wake.:: O. Marshall: And you liked being distracted as much as I did. ::His words cut through her heart like a knife, her hand, first feeling the warmth of his skin, now felt ice cold in his grasp.:: Neathler: I guess I was wrong to believe that knowing someone was waiting for you to return, would give you that extra incentive to keep going. That it gave you that extra bit of courage and strength that you needed, when things were rough. Like when you did the unimaginable to bring lieutenant Sienelis back home again 'cause you knew there was someone back home that cares for you. ::She swallowed as she raised her hand, still holding his.:: Neathler: You were more than a distraction Bear, but if… ::She swallowed again, looking up, noticing he didn't even dare to look her in the eyes anymore. His roguish look, his blond beard. Her voice grasped in her throat and she merely whispered as she continued.:: Neathler: If this is what you want, if you never allow someone to care for you, you'll end up a very lonely man Bear and I'm not really sure that's the kind of man you truly are deep down. And don't tell me you don't care for people. We've both seen and know otherwise. ::Had his recent actions not shown that? If he didn't care, Valesha would no longer be among them, the Vulcan he nursed on the USS Njörðr after he rescued her. Why was he denying a bit of warmth into his life? She had nothing more to say, instead she gripped his hand a bit tighter, holding it between them, a last bit of support as she rose on her toes and gave him a final, soft, gentle kiss on his cheek, before she let go.:: ::A numbness travelled the length of his spine as she kissed him, accompanied by a cavalcade of questions he had shoddy answers to. If whomever he’d been working for could threaten his family, could threaten his sister, had ways and means of getting to them all, they could do the same for her. The mission with Valesha had only raised more doubt, more problems, assuaged some, and prompted others. A life he couldn’t let her sink herself any deeper into, for fear of her feet never reaching the bottom. ::He felt her heat disappear from his skin as she let go of him, replaced by a cold crawl slipped across each part of his flesh where her hands had traced in privacy. He hadn’t lied when he said he’d wished he’d known her earlier, and if he had, the sequence of events might have been altered, played out differently. In all those infinite possibilities, there had to be one where he took her in his arms, kissed her; a desperate promise amidst the risk of losing one another. ::However, this wasn’t that universe, and he wasn’t that man.:: O. Marshall: Then you really don’t know me as well I thought you did. ::Bear stepped back, his jaw tightened to stop the quiver of his chin, legs made of lead. Forcing himself to move, he let his hand slip out of hers. The two parted, the door slid into the recesses, and he was gone.:: ::Silently Samira watched him leave, a feeling of loneliness and helplessness engulfed her, as their conversation still milled around in her head, over and over again. She stood there motionless for quite some time before her hand slowly reached for her gloves and she put them on. She needed a strong drink, several. Moving, her eye caught the PADD laying on her desk. Or a good brawl, in the holodeck. Or maybe both. As she headed through the door she still had no idea which option to go for. ::Although she was sure from one thing: this was the first time but also the last time she got involved with someone from the crew. She was certain never to make that mistake again.:: fin -- Lieutenant Samira Neathler Assistant Chief Security/Tactical USS Gorkon G239508SN0 & Lieutenant Orson Marshall Logistics and Communications Officer USS Gorkon G239304JM0
  8. Yeah, I figure Ess jumped ship to set up home with her sister. Not sure if she would have asked Starfleet permission first or not!
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