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Posts posted by Hutch

  1. ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Gorkon))


    Index finger hovering over the chime outside Quinn’s ready room, Serren Tan felt suddenly nervous, an awkward tight feeling in his pouch. He had wanted to find the time to talk to Quinn on their trip, and... well, within a few hours they were fighting for their lives.


    It was only now, in the days after, that it really sank in how close to disaster they all had come. If Quinn had just been slightly more injured. If Cayne hadn’t been there. If the Triumphant had not shown up exactly when it did...


    Would have, could have, should have. Questions for the counsellors, questions for the days and weeks between ends of long warp flights. Questions for shore leave... which would slowly get unpacked like the luggage sitting in his quarters, unopened.


    Slowly it would leak out, like coffee from a cracked mug, but for now, his desire to see his long-time friend overrode every other concern. He pressed his finger to the chime.


    Reynolds: Come in.


    Tan slipped through the door as it opened, stepping inside. He had a formal posture, but his face belied a casual, friendly smile. Standing beside her desk, Quinn glanced up from the PADD she was reading. She looked nothing like the Admiral she was; hair in a messy bun, shirt half-tucked into jeans, battered sneakers instead of polished boots. There was no sign of a uniform anywhere in the room, though she had pinned her communicator to her belt.


    Tan: Good morning, Admiral. Since I don’t think we actually formally got around to it... Ensign Serren Tan, reporting for duty.


    Reynolds: Aren't you supposed to be on shore leave? ::She raised her eyebrows, with a small, wry smile and placed the PADD down on the table.:: I know I am.


    It showed, but in a good way. She perched on the edge of her desk and gestured to the chair in front of it. He relaxed and sat, resting his arms on the armrest, taking just a moment to take in a deep breath, hold it, and let it out.


    Tan: Well, I kinda have a lot of unpacking to do, but don’t worry. I have plans. ::he paused:: It’s good to be back on the Gorkon. Or... as I’d prefer to call it, home.


    Reynolds: Already?


    He couldn’t help but flash a broad, lopsided smile and it echoed back to him on her lips — albeit much smaller and more reserved. She never was one for big shows of expression.


    Tan: It’s... well. I know this might sound like a whole bunch of Trill nonsense, but I feel connected to this place. I don’t know why, but I just do. On a related note, I am digging this new host. Everyone I meet is so much shorter than they used to be, and everything is lighter. Corridors are more cramped, which is a downside, and everything is more fragile, but... yeah. It’s good to finally be joined properly. It feels good.


    The hybrid nodded, quiet for a moment while questions tumbled through her head. Was it disorientating to wake up one day with that perspective? It had been normal for Serren's entire life, then with a surgical procedure and an implanted symbiont it wasn't normal anymore. She wondered how that aligned with how some Trill found their coordination increased after joining. 


    Perhaps it was like those memories of the Skarbek, often there, haunting the edges of memory. Knowing that Walter was devoted to Starfleet, yet seeing the ghost of a Maquis cell leader when she looked at him. Glancing toward Sevo and hearing the whine of a phaser cannon, wondering when she would be subject to the woman's violent, unbridled temper. Knowing Genkos as a dedicated healer, yet feeling a twist in her gut at the memories of what he was capable of, in another life.


    Reynolds: I'm glad it's settling well for you. We had an emergency symbiont transplant a little while back and... while the Commission had already approved him as a host, he had difficulty adjusting.


    That comment caused a pair of raised eyebrows. He hadn’t heard of that at all.


    Tan: That’s not unheard of. Sometimes hosts just don’t sit well with the hosts. Best analogy I can think of is... it’s kinda like a blind-ish date. Sometimes you hit it off, sometimes you really, really don’t. I’m sorry to hear that. How’re they doing now?


    Reynolds: I'm not sure. He went home to Trill on an extended leave of absence and tried to return to active duty a little while ago. But I think he needed some more time.


    Quinn had kept an eye on Ferier after he left the Gorkon, as much as she could without intruding on his privacy. She felt a sense of responsibility toward him, and she had never been entirely comfortable with what had happened. He wanted to be a host, he'd even gone through the process and been approved by the Commission... but the situation had been so desperate, so last minute, it had left a bad taste in her mouth. 


    One that had only got worse once the initial rush had worn off, and the Trill began to struggle. Ferier had been reassigned to the Juneau after his return to active duty, but the next time she'd checked in to see how he was doing, he was marked as on a leave of absence, and that talon of guilt had carved through her innards once again.


    Tan just nodded. Things were always going to be difficult on that front. Having one of your brains ripped out and shoved into someone else was going to cause... problems. No matter how much training you had.


    More time would help.


    Tan: Regardless, it’s good to be back. I... ::he sheepishly adjusted his collar:: It’s good to see you again, Quinn. I just wanted to, uhh, say...



    He inhaled, held it, then let it out. She didn't interrupt, giving him the chance to compose himself and find the words he needed. 


    Tan: I’m sorry the asteroid didn’t go well. I know I didn’t handle things perfectly, but I’m going to improve. Obviously I still have a lot to learn. It’s just... you know. Dylan was in danger, and... I probably should have done a better job.


    Quinn dwelt in a brief silence again, picking her response carefully. So many thoughts had gone through her mind in the aftermath, turning a troublesome question over in her mind. Would Eddy have made a run for it, if he hadn't received that beating? It was easy to imagine a scenario where the young man had been more frightened of the Starfleet officers than Lladre — after all, they had beaten him to a pulp, while she had promised to get him off the planet. 


    Reynolds: Yes. ::She nodded, rarely one to beat around the bush.:: But it was a difficult situation, and for all you've done this before... you haven't done this before. We're all on a learning curve, even the ones who wore the uniform in a past life.


    Tan: Ain’t that the truth. There’s a reason why joined Trills who have served before don’t get to keep their ranks. Relearning everything takes time, and a massive adjustment like being rejoined will really mess with your ability to make judgement calls. ::he considered a moment:: I’ve always thought it was a bit unfair, really. We get to discharge whatever debts we don’t like when we’re rejoined. Sometimes a debt should be kept.


    Reynolds: I don't know. You share some memories and traits, but you're different people. It would be like passing a debt to a child, I suppose. There's a reason we eliminated that practice centuries ago.


    He couldn’t help but smirk.


    Tan: Hey, that’s the rules of Trill. Guess who makes the rules of Trill? Disproportionately joined Trills. Turns out they slip-a-rooney’d in one there that said, hey, if they get rejoined, all sins are forgiven. How convenient for us, huh?


    She raised her eyebrows, not daring to comment. Quinn worked hard to keep an open mind, remind herself that practices that seemed strange to her were not inherently wrong, just different. Still, there were things about the nature of joining and the Symbiont Commission that made her uneasy. He chuckled, but the laughter faded after a moment.


    Tan: I mean... speaking of debt. I’m, uh... sorry about Safine. I barely remember anything about her, just brief flashes, but I know this isn’t the first time I’ve failed you. I’m aware of it, and I’m aware that I can discharge that debt if I want to... but I don’t want to.


    Reynolds: Safine didn't fail anyone, Serren. ::She frowned.:: If anything, she was the one who was failed.


    He had fully anticipated something like this, but still, guilt was a funny thing. It was like a weed that could take root in the most inhospitable soil.


    Tan: Not by you, of course. You’ve always had my back. Watched out for me. As Alleran, as Safine, and now again. I feel like you give me so much, and I give you so little. That’s not fair. I want to give something back.


    Reynolds: I wouldn't say that. ::She paused, clasping her hands together in her lap and dropping her gaze toward them with a faint frown.:: It meant a lot to me, to have Alleran as a friend. He was there at a very lonely time.


    The words hit him pretty hard. Words from another life. Serren leaned back in the chair.


    Tan: He... was also lonely. In a different way, I think, but it ate at him a bit. He lost a lot when the Avandar was decommissioned. It was good to have you there. And he appreciated every second of your company. I don’t think he ever really told you that. But he did. You were a quiet source of strength for him, right up until the very end.


    Quinn pressed her lips together, controlling her expression as an ache spread its wings from underneath her breastbone, unfurling to the tips of her fingers. She'd thought about Alleran often in the intervening years, another friend lost to the march of time and disaster, missed dearly. Knowing she'd been a comfort in his last days and hours was an answer to a question normally unanswerable. Clearing her throat, she nodded.


    Reynolds: I'm glad I could be there for him.


    Serren felt as though some great weight had been discharged from him. A few words taken from the grave into the world of the living once more, and delivered where they needed to go. A spotty courier from the afterlife. His message delivered, he suddenly felt a surge of crushing nervousness. Serren fidgeted, managing to keep them still after a moment’s restlessness.


    He almost didn’t ask it, but the words escaped anyway.


    Tan: Uh. Actually, I had... one more thing to ask. You were with him at the end, right? After... ::he patted his pouch:: And I don’t have that memory, so it feels strange to ask, but...


    It was hard to ask the question without asking it. She raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to complete the sentence.


    Tan: I know it’s private, between you two, but I just have to ask: did he say anything weird to you? ::he grimaced slightly:: Anything I should know?


    Reynolds: Yes, it was private.


    Her voice was mild, absent accusation or rebuke, but it was firm. Whatever had passed between the two, when it had just been Quinn and Alleran, she would not share it.


    Of course it was. And he knew, clearly, it was wrong to ask. It was embarrassing that he had.


    But whatever part of him was Alleran had to at least try to find out.


    Tan: Of course. I... yeah.


    It was an uncomfortable, unusual feeling for him — not because of anything the good Admiral had done or not done, but to have a piece of Alleran’s history missing was not something that was common. He was content with it, curious but content.


    After everything that had happened, Al’ had earned a few minutes of privacy.


    Tan: Anyway. I just wanted to say... it is good to be back, and I’m looking forward to doing what I can to serve the ship. And, uhh, it is wonderful to see you again.


    Finding a bittersweet smile, she looked back up at him. He was easier for her to like than Tan's previous host. Maybe that was just who Serren was, or maybe the complete joining meant there was more of Alleran in him than there had been in Safine. Quinn didn't know, and she wasn't sure she wanted to go delving into the complicated mess of history and emotion that understanding demanded.


    Reynolds: And I'm pleased you meet you again.


    Tan awkwardly slid out of the chair, that sheepish smile still on his face, and then he waggled his fingers. Likewise, Quinn slipped off the edge of the desk, her hand unconsciously wandering to the PADD she'd put down a short while ago. 


    Tan: Enjoy shore leave.


    Reynolds: I do my best. ::She smiled, a little wider than before.:: And if you need anything... Well, you know how to find me.





    Ensign Serren Tan

    Security & Tactical Officer

    USS Gorkon





    Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds

    Commanding Officer

    USS Gorkon


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  2. ha! Dukat was my first thought, too!

    He's an incredible 'villain' because he's such an excellent character. Everything he does, he does for a reason, and it's mostly for fairly unselfish reasons too - he's as much about Cardassia as he is about himself.


    That said - my vote has gone to the Borg. I think they represent such a perfect villain to the Federation because they are so similar, yet so different. The Borg want to unify everyone as one peaceful whole, not that dissimilar to the Federation. But obviously their methods differ... and they are in many ways the antithesis of the Federation - diplomacy simply doesn't work on them. They can't be bargained with, or talked around with a well-reasoned Picard monologue. 

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  3. (( Shuttle Bay II - USS Triumphant ))

    The USS Triumphant. It wasn’t the first time the ship came to a dire needed rescue. Not surprisingly considering who was commanding the ship. The first time Samira set foot on the vessel, she unexpectedly reunited with her brother Marlon. Right here, in this particular shuttle bay. She walked in seeking some solitude after everything that happened on Trueno, not really looking for any company. A mug with cold milk in her hand, she slowly walked towards the back of the bay and sat down on a crate. Trying not to hinder any of the working crew.

    After exiting the transporter room a few hours ago, she neglected the suggestion of the Ensign adressing her in the corridor, to go to Sickbay. The place would already be swamped with people to begin with. She was more concerned about the welfare of the other crew members still on the planet. So she practically dragged the Ensign towards a console where together they could figure out who already beamed on board and who was still playing tag with the dinosaurs. With some relief, she read that the first team to come on board was the team of the Admiral, so at least she knew the senior command officers were in safety.

    Next to beam on the ship, had been the team visiting the aquatic exhibits under the command of the Chief Ops. Yet she panicked when the team originally visiting the petting area lacked a person, namely doctor Genkos Adea. Surely the good doctor hadn’t changed into Lieutenant Commander Sevo during the transportation? Strange transporter accidents like that didn’t happen, right? It wasn’t until the Ensign finally figured out that the Gorkon had recalled the doctor for some urgent reason that she relaxed somewhat. At least all the Gorkon crew had returned safely, maybe not unharmed, but they were all accounted for.

    The people working for the BetaGen Inc. was another matter, however. The USS Triumphant had no lists of who escaped the asteroid, so they had to go on the different life signatures to beam up any of the remaining BetaGen employees. Samira wanted to return to the transporter room and give the people there a hand, but it wasn’t until the Ensign finally had the nerve to speak up and tell her she’d do more harm than good in her current state, that she finally gave in and walked towards the assigned crew quarters on deck 2. By the time she reached the place, she was shivering in her still damp clothes.

    The first thing she did in the petite area, compared to her own quarters, was replicate a new set of clothes before she headed straight for the shower. She had no idea how long she had stood there in the confined space of the sonic shower. Sometimes her eyes closed, yet wide open when the images of the dinosaurs became a bit too real. Only dressed in the bathrobe, she walked towards the bunk bed. In any normal situation, she would have opted for the top bed but she was too tired to jump or climb, nor did she know if they assigned someone else to the same quarters so she opted for the lower bed and get some much needed sleep.

    Or that was the idea. Laying on her back or her bruised left side, didn’t seem an option, and after gazing into the darkness for half an hour, she gave up. She exchanged the bath robe for the uniform, ordered a mug of milk at the replicator and headed for deck 3, the shuttle bay. And here she was, sipping of the cold milk, leaning with her not bruised shoulder against the bulkhead. She pulled up her knees to her chest, placing the half empty mug on the crate beside her, her thoughts drifting to the conversation she had with her brother in this very same location, for over a year ago. And this time, it didn’t take long before she finally drifted off to sleep.

    Chief of Security&Tactical
    USS Gorkon
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  4. Loxley avoids sports as much as possible (he has a note from his mum) but I imagine he tried his hand at acting... and found out he was absolutely terrible. But he still would have felt obligated to muddle his way through a bunch of awful productions of Shakespeare before finally putting his acting career out of its misery. 

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  5. I’d love to see a show based around the Enterprise B or C, but I guess those are topics for another time.

    for prequels, I’d have to say Archer. I’m not really a fan of Enterprise, or of Archer, but something set in that period, with humanity on the cusp of such a huge moment, could be really interesting. The decisions they make, and the sacrifices, as humanity changes from its selfish last to selfless future.

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  6. Damn that’s a good question!

    Jona makes a valid point - as soon as the ‘original’ Commander dematerialised, he ceased to exist. Which would mean both of the current versions of him are copies - neither of them is more or less real than the other.

    I’d also go for the option of relieving them both until the issue is resolved, which might involve merging them back into one person again. 

  7. ((Research Outpost, Giáng Sinh))

    Jona stood up one last time from his chair near the fire and bobbed his antennae at each person in turn.
    ch'Ranni: Counselor, ... Commander, ... James. Thank you all for the talk. I think I know what I need to do now. Thank you all.

    Fortune: Ah! Thank you for joining us! If you need anything, just pop back by, okay?

    Colquhoun: See you later, Jona.

    Sevo: It was an...interesting sort of pleasure talking.
    Jona slowly moved off from the group and toward his assigned cabin. He had a lot of thinking to do and a couple of letters to write.
    After a few hours of laying in the prefab cabin's bunk - wide awake - Jona sat up and activated the light switch next to the bed. He grabbed the PADD sitting on the side table and cracked his neck each side.
    The Andorian tapped away at the tablet, calling up his personal communication repository. His thin, pale blue fingers danced across the surface as he queued up a new message. It was time to get something off his chest.
    ch'Ranni: Record personal communication. Authorization ch'Ranni delta zero one nine two. Lieutenant Jona ch'Ranni, USS Gorkon, to Vexa zh'Lev, Dehner Base, Delta Vega I. Dear Vexa...
    Jona paused. He didn't really know how to begin. How was he suppose to tell her everything that was in her heart? Could he even do that? Did he himself even know what was in his heart?
    ch'Ranni: Vexa, I've missed you so much this past month. It was so hard saying goodbye. I think we were both worried that the long distance thing wasn't going to be easy. Believe me ... it hasn't been.
    He stopped speaking for a second as he pictured the impish smile of his girlfriend. They had believed they had all the time in the world and then life and duty slashed that naivete to pieces faster than a rookie at a bat'leth competition. It was done and over far too soon.
    ch'Ranni: I just wanted to say that ... due to recent experiences ... I have been thinking a lot about life and the choices before me. Am I happy with the way things are going, the way they've turned out? No, not really.
    The Q's skewering of his personality and sum of life choices had really gotten to him. More than he wanted to admit, especially to his new shipmates. Was he stuck on autopilot? Was he caught in the current of life, destined to make the same decisions no matter what?
    ch'Ranni: I want to see you. I want to make this work. I'm not happy without you and I hope you feel the same way. I'm determined to be there for you. Don't give up on me, Vexa.
    Satisfied with the words, Jona tapped the send button and immediately saw that a message had arrived while he was composing his. It was from Vexa! Jona grinned and remembered a Terran expression about great minds thinking alike. He quickly opened the message and his grin slowly began to fade from his face.
    Vexa: Jona, this isn't working. I care about you very much. But, this isn't working. This past month has been hard on me and I'm sure it has been on you two. You deserve better. And so do I. I've met someone, Jona. A new addition to Dehner Base's security personnel. I'm so sorry. I hope you find happiness and peace.
    Jona powered off the screen and clicked the room's light off. He lay his head back down on the pillow as tears wet his face.


    Lt. Jona ch'Ranni
    Chief of Operations
    USS Gorkon (NCC-82293)
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  8. ((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



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