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aphelion last won the day on December 2 2017

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About aphelion

  • Rank
    Scruffy-looking nerf-herder
  • Birthday 09/08/1988

Fleet information

  • Current Vessel
    USS Eagle
  • Current Post
    Engineering Officer

Personal information

  • Location
    Toronto, ON
  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Interests
    Gamer, writer, journalist and table-top roleplayer

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  1. @Randal Shayne Your honour, I'm just a man with a constant craving for food buried under other food buried under cheese.
  2. I actually laughed out loud, stopped shaving and ran to my computer to share this Wyn quote. Exquisite snarkiness.
  3. A line that could sum up the survey away team's entire mission. Bless you, Dr. Milsap.
  4. I'm gonna start the Drajev Flamespeaker fan club. I'm making t-shirts that say, "Diplomatize This" with an arrow pointing down.
  5. Honestly, I haven't even read this sim yet, and the pun wins already. Well played, sir. Well played.
  6. I think we need to start a list of Constitution idioms. I supply my own, from the holodeck party: “When on Qo’noS…”
  7. :: For someone who was trying to get Tad to loosen up, Jordan certainly seemed to be doing her best to keep him off balance. Everything from her surprisingly casual off-duty demeanor to the weird atmosphere of the restaurant she'd picked for their meeting - Tad refused to think of it as a date - was keeping Tad on edge. He decided to cut to the chase and try to make some sense out of the evening. ::Cooper: So why exactly did you invite me here?Jordan: ::shrugging:: I don't like to eat alone. And, also I guess I wanted to say again that I appreciate the help. You Constitution folks are all right in my book, no matter what anyone says.Cooper: ::defensively:: Wait, what who says? What have you heard about....:: Before he could finish his thought the waiter reappeared and laid a plate on the table before each of them. Tad was surprised at the speed with which their order was served. Then again, when the kitchen only offered whatever was handy instead of taking custom orders it probably cut down on preparation time. ::Waiter: Here you are, two meats. Can I get you anything else?Jordan: I think we're good for now. Waiter: All right, just call if you need anything. ::The waiter flashed a grin that would have appeared predatory under other circumstances and left the pair alone. While Jordan began carving away at her meal without hesitation, Tad simply stared at his plate. "Meat" was the only real way to describe it. There was a heap of it, and not only was it not all the same cut, it didn't appear to be all from the same animal. Still, it did smell appetizing enough. He cut a small piece from a larger hunk and chewed it tentatively. ::Jordan: ::smiling hopefully:: Not bad, huh? The only problem is if you find somethin' ya like, ya really can't request it again next time. :: Tad nodded as he chewed. It really wasn't bad. ::Jordan: Speakin' of food, I hear some of your crew got sick from that bad leaf. How are they doin'?Cooper: They've mostly recovered, thankfully. Unfortunately some of them had complications. Jordan: I'm sorry to hear that. ::She shook her head.:: Gonna have to keep a closer eye on that black market for a while.:: Tad nearly dropped his cutlery as he looked up in shock. ::Cooper: Keep an eye...you mean wipe it out, right?Jordan: ::snorting:: Wouldn't that be nice.Cooper: ::His knuckles started to whiten as his grip on his knife and fork subconsciously tightened.:: It would be your duty. How can you acknowledge criminal activity on your station and do nothing to stop it?:: Jordan put down her utensils and leaned forward to rest her elbows on the table. ::Jordan: Lemme explain somethin'. You work on a ship. Now granted, it's a big'un. You got, what, maybe a thousand people on board?Cooper: ::He forced down his rising ire.:: That's about right.Jordan: And nearly all those people are Starfleet officers, trained to respect authority and follow orders. And most of the rest are families of those officers who probably ain't inclined to start much trouble, either.:: Tad diverted his eyes downward as he started to suspect where she was going. ::Jordan: ::She raised her hands to encompass the room in a sweeping motion.:: Have you seen the size of this place? At any given time there are nearly a million beings on this station, and relatively few of 'em are Starfleet. A lot of 'em are just visiting. They don't live here so they don't much care what happens here. They can raise all the hell they want 'cause they'll be in another system the next day. And a lot of the folks who do live here couldn't give two squirts about Federation law. My team makes up less than a percent of the population of this station, and it's our job to make sure the rest don't get too outta hand. If somethin' big happens, if there's a major threat, then believe we deal with it. If a couple 'a Ferengi are bootleggin' Saurian brandy from the back of their shuttle, we know about it, but we let it slide. We pick our battles here, Tad. We do everything we can, but nothin' we can't. Sure it ain't a perfect situation, but that's how it works in the [...] end of nowhere. :: Along silence fell between the two. Jordan resumed her meal while Tad just picked at his own, his appetite suddenly diminished. After some introspection he spoke up. ::Cooper: I can see what you mean. I suppose I'm so used to having a structured surrounding I forget the whole galaxy isn't like that. Jordan: ::nodding:: I get that. I was the same way back when I was on a ship.Cooper: ::looking up at her and chuckling:: You were on a ship? Jordan: ::frowning:: Uh, yeah. What's so funny about that?Cooper: ::forcing his smile away:: Nothing, nothing. I'd like to hear about that, though.Jordan: ::smirking:: Well, that's gonna hafta wait for another day. Recon I've bared enough of my soul for one night.Cooper: Fair enough. I guess I'll just have to come back to the station again later.Jordan: I guess you will. :: The rest of the evening passed in relative silence as they finished their meal. When Tad returned to the ship and retired to his quarters for the night, he reflected on what Jordan had said. Hearing the situation described from her perspective gave him something more to chew on. ::
  8. (( USS Constitution - Corridor )) :: There is a cliché, in certain old Earth movies, of two automobile drivers pulling up beside each other at an interchange. They look over each other's vehicles. Perhaps one tilts his sunglasses down. Perhaps the other revs his engine in invitation.:: :: This is not entirely dissimilar to how Ensign T’Reshik and Akeelah D’Sena met for the first time. :: :: Turning a corner on her way back from physiotherapy, T'Reshik had not been expecting to find herself alongside someone at the same eye level, and certainly not someone piloting a similar craft. The need for motorized wheelchairs - or hoverchairs, as this woman had - was scarce, thanks to ever-advancing medical technology, and T'Reshik had deemed it statistically very unlikely that she would meet more than a few other users over the course of her lifetime. To have two on the same ship was a coincidence indeed.:: :: She looked D’Sena over, her keen physician’s eye searching for clues regarding the nature of her condition. Rodulan female (non-contact telepaths, she recalled), somewhere between 40 and 70 terran standard years, no abnormalities in facial musculature, posture and hovercraft controls suggest full use of arms, eliminating a small number of systemic conditions and any injury higher than C8… :: :: Akeelah had just brought her visit with the CMO behind her, it had been taxing and despite her needing the burn of alcohol in her throat she was grateful that it hadn’t been real because she preferred a clear mind. Too bad that her situation made that almost impossible. Her mind was full and she felt restless. But her usual treatment of meditation didn’t come to her easily these days. Her decision was now made, a step in the right direction. :: :: Waiting for the lift she stared at the doors. She did not see the other woman, but she eaily felt her presence. Even without actively reading minds, Rodulans were sensitive to surface thoughts, but that person had control over those or the ability of shielding them. Another Telepath. But nevertheless she couldn’t hide from Akeelah’s senses, and having been a Security Officer for all of her adult life - other than the few months of being the First Officer and Acting CO of the USS Apollo before Rajel had taken over as CO - she knew when she was watched. And while usually she didn’t care, ever since she was in the chair she couldn’t stand it. :: :: Akeelah didn’t look up, didn’t turn around, her voice just cut through the silence. :: D'Sena: What are you looking at? :: Oh, right, she probably shouldn't stare at strangers without talking to them. Social skills and all that. She knew from past experience that “Sorry I was staring, I was trying to diagnose what you have” didn't go down well, so she groped for the next best thing. :: T’Reshik: Interesting. I considered a hoverchair myself, but I opted for better power retention and more space for the on-board processor. Is there a significant terrain advantage? :: That got Akeelah’s attention and her head slowly turned around, surprisingly finding the other woman at her eye level. A Vulcan, at least she still had the ability to make out other Telepaths. She was glad that she was blank to them though, it had helped her job many times. But that was not what occupied her right now. She couldn’t believe it. Another person in a chair? Did Starfleet lose their marbles?:: D’Sena: That must be a really bad joke. :: T’Reshik blinked at her. :: T’Reshik: I do not understand. It was not my intention to be humorous. D’Sena: They send another officer in a wheelchair? :: T’Reshik looked down at her chair, then at D’Sena’s. Technically, she wanted to say, yours doesn’t have any wheels. But she thought that might be irrelevant. :: T’Reshik: I am not sure what you are alluding to. :: Akeelah ignored what she didn’t want to see, or rather feel: that the other woman really had no idea. It did not fit into the view of the scene, what she believed to be true. Anger boiled in her guts and who was better to push it on than the person right in front of her? :: D’Sena: Don’t pretend you don’t know. It’s obvious that it’s Starfleet’s bad attempt at sending me the message of life not ending now that I sit in this bloody chair. You can tell whoever sent you, that they can stick it right where- :: T’Reshik glanced at the woman’s pips.:: T’Reshik: Lieutenant Commander, am I to understand that you seriously believe I was sent here for your benefit? D’Sena: That is rather obvious. T’Reshik: In which case - notwithstanding the fact that I doubt Starfleet have the resources to assign officers based on such arbitrary considerations - I would seriously question the wisdom of sending a convicted criminal whose injuries were self-inflicted. :: Now that was interesting. Akeelah turned her hoverchair slightly to face the moment a little more. She was a Security Officer after all, and had been for several decades. Her fully black eyes squinted as she kept an eye on the other woman. :: D’Sena: What injury have you inflicted on yourself? T’Reshik: A traumatic brain injury, sustained in the course of illicit scientific experimentation. I was released from a criminal rehabilitation centre no fewer than six months ago. I may never recover from my condition. Not exactly an encouraging example. :: The Rodulan’s brow jumped upwards. She apparently had been wrong in her assumption of a sick joke played by Starfleet. A sigh left her as she exhaled. Great first impression. :: D’Sena: I agree. I owe you an apology for my wrong assumption. ::She paused, before adding.:: I am Commander Akeelah D’Sena. Security. T’Reshik: Ensign T’Reshik, Science. I am Vulcan; apologies are unnecessary. May I ask what caused your injury? D’Sena: An incident during an away mission. Not planned to be permanent. How did your condition occur? :: T’Reshik paused.:: T’Reshik: An uncontrolled neurochemical imbalance, typical to Vulcans of a certain age, which was exacerbated by the illicit experiments I mentioned earlier. It is not known whether I will recover, but the specialists deem it unlikely. D’Sena: That is … unique. ::The lift door opened and she pressed the nav stick to move herself into the lift, making sure to be as close to the back and side as possible so the other woman would fit in as well. :: I wouldn’t be able to tell if there is a terrain advantage. I have not been on anything but this ship since I got the chair. :: T’Reshik eyed D’Sena’s rig again as the two of them navigated themselves into the lift. :: T’Reshik: An interesting choice, then. D’Sena: I want to add that I have not chosen it myself. It was given to me by the attending doctor after my injury. But there have been made adjustment by an engineer to assist with a couple of things like getting in and out or hygiene. T’Reshik: ::Raising both eyebrows:: Clearly your attending doctor never needed one of these themselves. Those considerations were already included with this one. D’Sena: ::Looking over the chair T’Reshik sat in.:: Yours does not seem to be the standard model either. T’Reshik: It is not. ::She tapped a few buttons on the armrest and pulled up a flat screen, swivelling it to show D’Sena the basic schematic.:: There have been adjustments made to the onboard processor, obviously, and I had the chassis replaced with a lighter and more streamlined material. :: The moment the screen came out she already raised her brows in surprise. But the schematics she saw were rather impressive. It looked like that chair could be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. :: D’Sena: Fascinating. T’Reshik: As I understand it, the only advantages that a hoverchair holds are frictionless movement and ease of maintenance, which I believe are offset by the far shorter battery life and the lack of space for additional components. For example. Surya? Switch to auto-navigation mode. How long from here to Engineering? :: The chair beeped in acknowledgement. After a moment, it spoke in a harsh, mechanical tone.:: Surya: At your current default speed, it will take fourteen minutes and twenty six seconds to reach Engineering, with an error margin of three minutes. There is one turbolift on your route. I am ready to engage. T’Reshik: Surya, cancel. ::She quirked an eyebrow at D’Sena:: D’Sena: ::And her brow wandered upwards again.:: Fascinating. ::She realized she repeated herself.:: Surya is an unusual name for an on board computer. T’Reshik: I did not choose the name; it is, I believe, a reference to Earth mythology. But it has been incredibly useful. And of course there are more mundane functions; automated level matching, pre-set seat adjustments for transfer in and out... the only thing it lacks is a portable phaser turret. D’Sena: As a scientist you shouldn’t need one either. A regular hand phaser should do the job well enough. T’Reshik: A valid point, but I would prefer a degree of versatility. D’Sena: As they say, if you do every job, you will do none properly. Trust that our security team will do the protection. :: T’Reshik decided not to press the point, given that D’Sena was actually on said security team.:: D’Sena: Your chair is rather impressive as is. If my condition was more permanent I’d request a replacement, but I am starting rehabilitation in a few days, which will hopefully change that. T’Reshik: You anticipate recovery, then. May I ask the specific nature of the injury? D’Sena: My spine made hard contact with a tree. It’s a T6 injury, crushed a section of my thoracic vertebrae and severed nerves. A substance that found its way into my body during that away mission caused an infection after the reattachment surgery, and with that complications. :: She resisted the impulse to ask about the specific nature of the infection. Not everyone was so fascinated by diseases as she was.:: T’Reshik: How long ago was that? D’Sena: Half a year now. ::It sounded so long, it had felt even longer. Especially since she avoided contact with people for at least 80% of that time. :: How long has it been for you? T’Reshik: Five years, two months, eight days. D’Sena: ::Akeelah’s stomach sunk at the thought of being in the chair for that long.:: That must have been difficult. T’Reshik: It was challenging. But not insurmountable. ::She paused, glanced around. :: We are holding up the turbolift. Where did you intend to go? D’Sena: To my quarters. You? T’Reshik: Actually, I planned to visit the gym. I have just concluded a session of physiotherapy on the holodeck and wanted to embark on my prescribed exercises early. D’Sena: That sounds like a good idea. ::She wondered what kind of exercise she would get prescribed once she’d gone through with the surgery.:: T’Reshik: Join me, if you wish. I do not usually socialise, but we have common aims. ::Pause:: Besides, my parole officer instructed me to try and “make friends”. I need to at least appear to be complying. Engaging in communal activities seems like the most efficient way to do this. :: Now that sounded familiar and Akeelah couldn’t help but laugh slightly. The whole not having someone on board she’d call a friend, was apparently not only her, but others too. It was oddly comforting. :: D'Sena: It appears that we are - as humans say - in the same boat. It sounds like it would be beneficial to both of us to share the activity. ::She could do upper body training. She had neglected her training very much, if not to say completely ignored for way too long. It would be a start to get used to it again. :: :: T’Reshik was slightly confused by the laugh, but let it slide. Perhaps D’Sena was just happy. She hadn’t intended to say anything amusing, but Vulcans often said things that were “inadvertently hilarious”, according to her fellow inmates back at Bayeaux. :: T’Reshik: Excellent. It seems we have a common goal. D’Sena: Then lead the way. :: T’Reshik nodded. :: T’Reshik: Computer, Deck twelve. :: The turbolift doors slid shut. :: A JP by LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena Security Officer simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0 And Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
  9. (( U.S.S. Constitution - Deck 03 - Sol’s Quarters )) (( The Day after the party. )) :: The party the night before had been fun but after she'd had gotten back to her quarters she had spent a lot of time thinking about things. She had found her ribbons and her new pip sitting on the desk. And that had gotten her thinking again. Maybe it was time to talk to the Captain. The worst that could happen was… well a lot of things, actually. :: McLaren: Computer, locate Captain Rajel. Computer: Captain Rajel is in her quarters. :: Sol picked up the PADD containing the official requisition to SB104 for their new Flyer and headed out of her quarters. :: (( Deck 02 - Captain’s Quarters )) :: Sol’s hand hovered over the button, almost as if hesitating for a moment, before she pressed it. She was still wearing her new cloak. Being off duty had its perks. :: :: Jalana had enjoyed the party, the music, the people, seeing everyone relax and enjoy themselves. That was what made a lot of things worth it. Now she was looking forward to her date with Jerry, but had to do a few things before she could fully jump into that. Like finding the right outfit for example. She was now dressed in a sporty spandex outfit with a loose shirt covering the top part of it and sneakers. She was quite sure that as soon Jerry saw that he’d try to get out of their adventure, but she was looking forward to it. The Trill dug through her little drawer to find her hairband when the door chimes went off. :: Rajel: Come on in. :: Sol stepped in. :: McLaren: Hello, Captain. Rajel: ::Without looking up she recognized the voice and rummaged through the things in the drawer, planning to sort and order this sometime soon..:: Hey Sol. McLaren: I hope I’m not intruding? Rajel: Of course not. ::Her fingers brushed over a smooth material and she dug in deeper pulling the hairband out. :: HA! Gotcha. ::She raised her hand triumphantly and turned to Sol, blinking once, twice.:: Nice cape. ::A wide grin.:: McLaren: Its not a cape… :: Sol grinned. :: It's a cloak, it has a hood. :: She chuckled. :: Find what you were looking for? Rajel: Oh this old thing. ::chuckling, she grabbed her hair and with help of the newly rediscovered hairband put it in a ponytail.:: What can I do for you? :: Sol stepped further into the Captain’s quarters. :: McLaren: You remember that shuttle idea I pitched to you? :: Jalana gestured to the seats, and sat down on one herself, pulling her legs up and getting comfortable. :: Rajel: Yes, I remember. :: Sol took a seat, producing the PADD from within her cloak. It was almost as if the PADD had just appeared. :: McLaren: I checked with the 104 Quartermaster before things took off last mission… they have a Flyer we can requisition. So I drew up the appropriate paperwork for you to submit, along with a list of equipment the shuttle would need. :: Sol handed the PADD to Jalana. :: Luckily, we have or can replicate nearly everything needed to outfit the ship properly. ::She took the PADD and browsed over it, reading some bits here and there. She had liked the idea the moment Sol had proposed it, it was exciting to see that they could bring it to life. :: Rajel: That is great news. How long do you think until it’s done? McLaren: Depends. Once the requisition is approved and we get the shuttle, it shouldn’t take that long to modify most of it, if I got Engineering involved. The longest job would be the hull plating modification… the rest of the Flyer-class is pretty modular. I’d say a couple of weeks at most and we would have a proper intel prowler ready to go. Rajel: You have some great people helping you with this. I’ll send the files today, so you’ll be able to start as soon as possible. ::She smiled and looked up to Sol.:: I have the feeling though, that this is not everything you have on your mind. :: Sol nodded, smiling faintly. :: McLaren: No… if this were the only thing… I would have just filed it to you electronically… Rajel: Thought so. ::She placed the PADD on the table.:: So what can I do for you? :: Sol leaned back in the chair, playing with the edge of her cloak. She looked back to the Captain. :: McLaren: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the other day after everything went on on the Starbase… and especially after last night. :: Jalana nodded, the events could have that effect on people. She herself had thought a lot about many things ever since they had come here. For some reason it appeared that Sol was nervous about what she was going to talk about, so Jal didn’t want to hold her back so she could get it out and gestured to Sol, to go on. :: McLaren: I think… it all came to a head when I got around to looking through a box of my grandmother’s things… she was so much like me… but with a drive that I didn’t have… or at least one I didn’t think I had... Rajel: ::She listened carefully, and her observations did lead to a conclusion, but she did not want to take the matter from Sol’s hand. So instead of doing some guesswork, she asked a question.:: And now you found that drive? :: Sol was sure the Captain could see where this was going. :: McLaren: I want to look into command opportunities… :: One thing to be said was, that Jalana had been right in where this was going. She had seen the reports, she knew that Solaris had done great work during the last mission on the bridge keeping everything in mind, in her eye, coordinating not only the Conny’s departments but also with SB 104. She had seen many people have the bridge, but not all of them kept a cool head in a chaos like that. :: Rajel: I believe that is a great idea, Sol. McLaren: Really? :: Sol seemed surprised, especially after having previously explained what her outlook was to the Captain. :: Rajel: I know that you enjoy your job in Intel, but I have also seen you in action outside of your department. ::She leaned forward, her arm resting on the arm of her chair.::I don’t think there is any reason for you not to pursue … more. McLaren: What would that mean? Rajel: We can look into this together. There would be the possibility to get the bridge more often, to lead away teams, to lead team building exercises. Just for starters, since nobody starts that path on the top. ::smiling:: What do you think? McLaren: I’d like that… how would it work? Rajel: Well, I try to give everyone the chance to shine, to show me what they are made of. So I can’t promise that you’d be ‘up there’ every time, since others are waiting for their chance as well, but if you are willing to put the work into it, I’m absolutely willing to work with you and get you there. :: Sol nodded. That all made sense to her. :: McLaren: I'm willing to work to get there too. Rajel: So where exactly do you see your ‘there’? I do recall you saying that you couldn’t imagine you in the big center chair before, so that info might need an update. ::smirking:: :: Sol chuckled, but shook her head. :: McLaren: No… I don't think the center chair is exactly right for me… not full time. Second officer, yes. XO even, yes… but I don't think I could ever fully command a starship. Not for a long time anyway. Rajel: ::chuckling:: Fair enough. It is good to know your limits and what you want. That’ll make it easier to work towards that goal. :: Sol smiled. :: McLaren: I'm sure this will be a good move for me, plus I think red might look better than black does.. :: She stood, her cloak closing around her, making her look almost as if she were just floating there. :: Thank you, Captain. I’ll let you finish getting ready for your day… Rajel: ::Jalana watched the cloak fascinated, wondering if that would be a good look on herself, but then followed suit and got up from her seat.:: Anytime, Sol. ::She grabbed the PADD from the table.:: I’ll get this going for you right away. :: Sol made her way toward the door, before pausing. She looked back. :: McLaren: Have you heard anything from Essen? I know she took leave, but not much else. Rajel: Sadly not. She and her sister might have some things to take care of, since both left, but I don’t know anything else. McLaren: No, I didn’t think so, but I thought I would ask. I think about her pretty often. :: She smiled faintly. :: Lá maith, Jalana. Rajel: ::Smiling, she was not surprised that Sol did think of Essen.:: If I hear anything I’ll let you know. ::The farewell did not go past her, she had caught a few words while visiting Viktor’s family on Earth years ago. So she nodded, trying to keep the smile on her face.:: Same to you, Sol. :: Sol turned and left the Captain’s quarters with a bit of a flourish from her cloak. :: :: Jalana looked after her, tapping the PADD against her fingertips. Before she would do anything else she’d make good on that promise and signed the paperwork, before transferring it back to SB 104’s hands. Sol’s visit had been a pleasant surprise, seeing Sol grow from her first days on board to the woman she was now had been quite something. Jal looked forward to see more of that in the future. ::
  10. ((Isolation Unit 1, Sickbay, USS Constitution)) :: It was warm, far too warm. T’Reshik took a moment to remember where she was. She lifted her head from the ground; her forehead was sticky with blood. Sutek took her arm, and she looked up. For some reason her husband was in his burial robes. She wondered for a moment what it might have been like if their marriage had been something other than a sham. In the right light, his looks were almost graceful. :: T’Reshik: What happened? Sutek: Large-scale hematohidrosis shortly before you murdered me. Do you not remember? T’Reshik: What? :: The world slammed sideways and suddenly she was in the isolation room again, gasping for breath on the biobed. The cooling packs had stopped working. She grabbed one and flung it against the wall, uttered a curse. :: ::How long had she been in here? Had she been hallucinating or dreaming? She hefted herself into a sitting position and considered contacting the sickbay staff, but a small chime from her combadge told her that someone else had got there first. Automatically, T’Reshik grabbed a second cooling pack and prepared for the throw. :: Saveron: =/\= Commander Saveron to Ensign T’Reshik. =/\= ::The voice spoke Modern Golic Vulcan, the language used around Shir’kahr and the Temple of Gol, but possessed a faint accent, breathy and musical.:: :: Another Vulcan, then, T’Reshik realized - but not one whose name she recognized. For one awful moment she wondered whether Cadet Thyar had somehow managed to locate her biological father and bring him here. Which was disturbing, because he had a really nice voice - but also promising, because caving his skull in with her fist would provide a very satisfying resolution to the Pon Farr. (T’Reshik wasn’t really giving much thought to long-term consequences right now.) :: T’Reshik: ::carefully, coldly:: =/\= T’Reshik here. =/\= ::In Sickbay the Vulcan counselor watched the patient’s medical readouts with a calm that belief professional concern.:: Saveron: =/\= I would attend you, with your permission. =/\= ::He said carefully.:: =/\= I am a trained Counselor and it has been suggested that I may be able to assist. =/\= :: Annoyance flared. The last thing T’Reshik wanted to do was speak to another counselor. She put her head in her hands for a moment and tried to clear her mind so she could work out how to get him to go away. Just to be difficult - and also because her spoken Golic was incredibly rusty - she answered him in her home dialect, Da-leb province Vulcan. Not impossible to understand for a Golic speaker, but probably different enough that he might struggle. :: T’Reshik: =/\= I do not see any benefit in having you disrupt my meditations. Commander. =/\= ::She used the deliberately impolite form of the verb, and the last word was delivered almost like an insult. :: ::The Vulcan Counselor raised one eyebrow. The choice of dialect was deliberately obstructive, and spoke volumes. This was a delicate situation; how to progress it?:: Saveron: =/\= You made a request for information... =/\= ::He began.:: T’Reshik: =/\= I only asked Cadet Thyar to find that out because I wanted her to leave. I have no interest in my genetic heritage. =/\= ::Not that angle. Perhaps the direct one? He switched to Nel Gathic Vulcan, his own native language, from the other side of the planet from Gol and once deplored disgustedly by his Academy linguistics instructor as ‘Gaelic for Vulcans’. :: Saveron: =/\= Logic serves those who embrace it. =/\= ::It was however a very common proverb. He switched back to Modern Golic.:: =/\= Without disrespect, one would observe that your meditations do not appear to be effective. Your cortisol levels are rising. =/\= ::Cortisol was the hormone that drove the whole Pon farr process.:: :: T’Reshik switched to a hybrid of Nel Gathic and Da-leb, a kind of creole spoken by the displaced second and third generations of native speakers like her mother. Most often used when her youthful behaviour had challenged her mother's composure and T’Reshik was too far away for sign language. One of the drawbacks of VSL; you couldn't use it to shout at people. She spoke it with a slightly provincial accent.:: T’Reshik: =/\= Yes, Commander, it is almost as if I keep being interrupted by interfering psychology professionals. =/\= :: It was also a very good medium for sarcasm.:: ::That was unexpected. Saveron rarely heard his own language outside of his family, and T’Reshik’s file had indicated a childhood on the main continent. Yet what she spoke was a kind of pidgin some emigrants used. Unusual.:: ::But not the distraction he suspected that she had intended. The blame-shifting of her accusation did not negate the fact that there had been no improvement in her biological indicators; rather a steady progression in spite of her efforts. T’Reshik might meditate for a thousand Vulcan cycles, and she would not bring her Pon farr into remission. And she did not have a thousand Vulcan cycles. She was dying.:: ::Respect for a patient’s preferences always had to be tempered with the ability to act when those preferences were so far beyond rational that they bore no relation at all. Unfortunately his own people’s cultural conditioning meant that their response to this particular part of their biology was often far from rational and Vulcans died, of stubborness.:: ::Keying the parameters of T’Reshik’s health and responses into the computer, Saveron received the confirmation that she was not in a rational state, and intervention was warranted. Keying the door of her isolation room he stepped inside, a couple of Sickbay staff eyeballing the back of his head before the door slid shut.:: :: Saveron’s silence at the other end of the line made T’Reshik wary. It was perhaps too much to hope that he’d given up and left her alone. Sure enough, the doors opened after a delay, and T’Reshik retaliated using the closest weapon at her disposal.:: ::There was a smack as Saveron caught the ice pack as though he had expected it, then let it fall to the floor. Pale grey eyes flicked over the tortured form of the young - by Vulcan standards - woman who lay on the biobed.:: Saveron: I am aware that I am unwelcome. Accept for the moment that to me the fact is irrelevant. ::He said blandly.:: :: T’Reshik said nothing; merely tried not to look at him. If she did, her mind would start coming up with lots of very good reasons for him to stay in the room, and she was sick and tired of having to fight that sort of thing down.:: ::Pressing a couple of keys on a wall console that was locked from the patient’s access, a short platform extruded from the wall and he sat down. Objects and furniture were kept to a minimum in these rooms; less to sterilise or cause injury.:: Saveron: Are you aware that, whilst resolution through meditation is the ideal touted by the Temple of Gol, statistics show that such is virtually unattainable for those who have not already undergone the kohlinar? Only 0.3% of the uninitiated succeed. ::And he knew from her file that she was uninitiated.:: T’Reshik: ::tersely:: Of course I am aware. I refer to that same study in six of my own papers. ::He nodded briefly. She was an intelligent woman and it was apparently an area of interest for her, in a not particularly healthy way.:: Saveron: One would suggest, having read your file, that your own markedly antagonistic view of Pon farr may itself be an obstacle for the calm necessary for such meditations to succeed. :: T’Reshik glared up at the ceiling. She was well aware how undignified she must look right now. Her eyes were deep with shadows, her hair unbrushed and chaotic; she’d given up on putting her uniform jacket back on after she’d tossed it across the room in a rage and then realized she’d have to call an orderly to get it back. It had been a long time since her wheelchair had been this far out of her reach, and she resented the helplessness that came instead.:: T’Reshik: Antagonistic. That’s an odd way of pronouncing “logical”. Saveron: I would be interested to hear your logic. ::He replied mildly.:: T’Reshik: It warps our reasoning; destroys our lives if we are not careful or fortunate. If Vulcans were not so obsessed with tradition and secrecy, we would treat it like any other pathological condition and find a way to stop it happening. Saveron: On the subject of tradition and secrecy; I concur. The Temple of Gol particularly has promoted the view that Pon farr is to be controlled and hidden. Such an overwhelming biological drive clashes with their extreme doctrine of emotional elimination. But it is not a ‘pathological condition’, it is a natural part of our biology. T’Reshik: So you are suggesting I change my views in order to preserve my own life? As if it were that simple? ::If Vulcans had been cowboys in a Western, ‘your logic is flawed’ would have been fighting words. Saveron did not say them now. He was not looking to antagonise T’Reshik but to reason with her. Flawed logic was dealt with by debate.:: Saveron: I would suggest that you be open to the idea that the extremist view is not the only one. oO Nor the most valid. Oo Consider the Romulans. Pon farr does occur, but it is much rarer, and without the same strength or impact, and when it does they resolve it in the obvious manner, without our associated cultural baggage. It was our very embracing of logic that supplied a positive selection pressure for the drive; lust is, after all, an emotion. ::And so those whose biology compelled them to mate and breed had more offspring, and the urge was selected for. A beautiful piece of scientific theory in action.:: T’Reshik: Your point being? ::He shrugged slim shoulders.:: Saveron: Consider also what you have already wrought upon yourself in your efforts to subvert your own biology. ::His words were grave. Surely the damage she had done showed the lack of logic in that path?:: I would counsel you to accept your own nature, resolve the situation naturally, and move on with your life. It only dominates you if you let it. :: T’Reshik closed her eyes for a few moments. :: T’Reshik: The… damage was caused by my methods - not my reasoning. And even if I were willing to take that option, my husband is dead, I have no close associates, and I refuse to impose that kind of obligation on a complete stranger. It is not a choice anyone should be forced to make. ::The loss of a bond-mate was always deeply regrettable, and if T’Reshik had not yet resolved that loss it might go some way to explaining her current obstructivism.:: ::It was fascinating, he mused, what a difference a few years exposed to other cultures could make to one’s point of view. Saveron’s native Nel Gathic culture was somewhat more philosophical than the dominant Golic one, but meeting Betazoids, Deltans and Denobulans had certainly opened his eyes to other ways of viewing certain aspects of life.:: Saveron: If you were willing, I would offer. ::He said simply. From her words, plainly nobody else had and she would not ask.:: Since you are not, have you considered the Holodeck? I am aware that companionship simulations have been found lacking, but there are adequate combat simulations. A Jem’Hadar would no doubt provide the necessary life threat. ::He was aware that she was paralysed, but it was not for him to say what she could or could not do. Let her be the judge of that.:: :: T’Reshik shot him a look. :: T’Reshik: Anecdotal evidence suggests that holodeck combat therapy only serves to worsen the condition after the initial catharsis. And my university ethics board refused to allow me to conduct controlled experiments to prove or disprove that hypothesis. Without more data, I must seem it an unacceptable risk. ::That was not unreasonable.:: Saveron: If you are determined not to resolve your situation any other way, I can provide you with the necessary forms for voluntary euthanasia. There is no logic in prolonging your suffering, though your loss would be regrettable. ::It was said blandly, the logical conclusion of their conversation. Did she realise that death lay at the end of the road she walked? It would be a terrible waste, in his view. But you could not help those who would not help themselves.:: :: She looked at the ceiling again, teeth gritted, but there was sadness in her expression rather than anger.:: T’Reshik: I do not wish to die. ::Those were the words he had been looking to hear. From that basis, a solution could be sought.:: Saveron: It would be vastly preferable that you did not. ::He said gently.:: I would be interested to know the basis behind your logic regarding Pon farr. ::When and how had she formed such an extreme view?:: :: She turned her head to him suddenly.:: T’Reshik: I was very young when I discovered that my parents were not who they claimed to be. Do you know why I never tried to find out my genetic origin? Saveron: Negative. ::He said evenly.:: ::He didn’t know T’Reshik beyond this encounter, and such was not in her file.:: T’Reshik: Because I already knew what had happened. Not in detail. But through a process of logical deduction and the fact my parents had withheld the information, I concluded that whatever the specific circumstance, at least one and possibly both of my biological parents had somehow been deprived of their choice in the matter. No other developed society in this quadrant possesses such a… such a glaring blind spot in their attitudes to bodily autonomy. :: She raises herself up on one elbow and looked at him, eyes aflame.:: T’Reshik: You ask me to accept my biology. How can I, when it is inherently unjust? The choice to engage in physical intimacy - it should be driven by individual decisions, not biological imperative. And the fact that it is “natural” does not invalidate my argument. Diseases are natural. We still treat them. ::Her voice weakens a little:: If I… give up, and consent to the conventional treatment, I am abandoning my commitment to the rights of all sentient beings to decide what happens to their own bodies. I am abandoning my principles. ::There were multiple reasons why an infant might be adopted out, but Saveron judged that pointing out such would be futile since he already knew that she was correct. Perhaps she had always known, subconsciously. After all, they were a telepathic species, and the developing child was exposed to the mother’s thoughts throughout the pregnancy.:: ::More concerning was T’Reshik’s apparent determination to die for her cause. Her subconscious trauma surrounding her birth and abandonment could be worked through, but only if she survived. Right now saving her life was paramount.:: Saveron: If you die, your principles die with you. ::He pointed out gently, pausing to lace his long fingers together.:: There is no law in the universe that says the results of our own evolution must be just. But we do have a choice; we can own it, or we can be subject to it. ::T’Reshik repeated his phrasing skeptically.:: T’Reshik: “Own it”? ::Perhaps an example might make a simpler explanation.:: Saveron: It has been nine Terran years since my bond-mate and I were Unbound. ::And he was certain that even in her current state she could do the maths.:: Whilst hardly exact, one’s cycle is reasonably predictable. I was stationed on the USS Garuda in the depths of the Menthar Corridor when my last Pon farr approached. Rather than being caught by my own biology, I arranged to take leave and return to Vulcan, where I reunited with a friend whose bond-mate had been killed in a shuttle accident. :: There were times when T’Reshik looked at herself and wondered how her life had got to this point. Now, detained in an isolation room, listening to a superior officer talk about his sex life and trying her damnedest not to think too hard about those strong, slender hands, she briefly revisited the thought once more.:: Saveron: We discussed bonding, but she would not leave Vulcan and I did not intend to stay. We considered a distanced bond less than preferable. ::He shrugged slim shoulders.:: But I chose the manner in which I underwent my own Pon farr. ::A faint light, the barest hint of amusement, flickered in those grey eyes.:: It was not disagreeable. T’Reshik: So we are deprived of bodily autonomy once every seven years but at least we can sleep with our friends. :: Her words were probably meant to be cutting - T’Reshik had given up on neutrality by this point - but she only succeeded in sounding bitter and sad.:: Saveron: You attempt at being deliberately inflammatory does not negate my point. One can choose to take control of one’s biology to the extent possible, or one can choose to be a victim. ::He said in mild tones, ignoring her baiting.:: You are correct that such is not ideal, but you also acknowledge that we currently have few alternatives available. I acknowledge your efforts to find such an alternative; I would consider it preferable that your research efforts not die with you. ::He faulted her approach certainly, but he could not fault T’Reshik’s reasons. The ability to stop the Pon farr cycle would be as revolutionary as contraception, and as freeing. Yet it was embedded deep within Vulcan cultures, and difficult to address. Free thinkers like the one before him were the type of people who brought about such change. If only her researches had not come at such a cost to herself. That determination could change their people forever.:: T’Reshik: Even if I did take you up on your hypothetical offer - and frankly, I try not to associate with anyone whose judgement is poor enough that they would voluntarily spend time with me, given I actively discourage most social overtures by cultivating a difficult personality -... You saw my criminal record, Commander. I have already killed for my principles. And while it is not logical… I cannot help but… feel… :: -the word was uttered almost like an expletive- :: ... that it is a kind of cowardice, not to die for them now. Saveron: Do you consider that your dying for those principles is a statement that will change the situation? ::He asked, knowing that she would not be the first.:: Principles that are worth dying for, are worth living for. ::And that was important. Also they needed to work on her self-esteem. And possibly go through her history, since her crimes obviously still concerned her. But such could be dealt with if she survived, and whatever her personal nature it wasn’t it currently a concern.:: Saveron: I am not offering to ‘spend time’, nor form a relationship. ::He said blandly.:: I am offering to save your life. I was a physician before I was a diplomat. You are dying, and I consider it preferable that you live. ::It was simply emergency medicine. And in his own logical way he assumed that, once resolved, the nature of the resolution would have no bearing on future interactions. Perhaps in that he was naive. He wondered, in that moment, what Ashley Yael, his half-Denobulan friend from the Embassy, would have made of the situation. No doubt he would have laughed himself sick over various species’ hang-ups, given his adoption of his father’s culture. Now there was one of life’s ‘what if’s.:: ::He didn’t know T’Reshik, but from what he had learned he suspected that if she survived he would be seeing her as her Counselor; it would be unethical to be involved with her. And he had no interest in being so; her views on their natural biology clashed strongly with his own, and were probably just the tip of the iceberg. What was important was that she and her views survived; Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. His offer was the logical response to her situation. Still, he was surprised that the ship’s doctors had not made the same.:: :: T’Reshik was silent for a while afterwards, looking down at her hands. The conversation seemed to have calmed her, in one respect, but it was almost as if her anger had been replaced with a kind of resignation. :: T’Reshik: May I have some time to consider this? Saveron: Of course. Your decision is your own. ::Any patient had the right to refuse treatment.:: :: She looked at him. :: T’Reshik: Could I be remanded to my quarters in the meanwhile? ::He met those pained green eyes with a level gaze.:: Saveron: If you will permit ship Security to sweep them first, removing any possible weapons and locking down the professional functions of your console, I can see no logical reason why not. Pending Doctor Milsap’s approval. ::A Vulcan in the grip of the plak-tow might do any number of destructive things, and T’Reshik could not be far from it. Still, regardless of the choice that she made, Saveron did not see why she could not have the comfort of her own quarters.:: T’Reshik: Thank you, Commander. :: She thought for a moment longer, and then her expression changed, closing off again in a determined way, as if corralling her reserves of strength for one final bout of control. :: T’Reshik: If I can be transported directly there, I will not require access to Surya or any manual mobility devices until the condition is resolved - I have a floor-level replicator and console in case of emergencies. Saveron: Direct transport would be logical. ::He agreed.:: T’Reshik: :: Now ensconced in thought again :: I assume you have sufficient upper body strength to assist me should I need to be moved for the purposes of voluntary euthanasia or, er, alternative treatment… you will of course need to administer yourself some kind of contraceptive in that eventuality… and I will require continued access to the ship's medical and recreational databases in order to conduct the required research beforehand. ::She was taking the offer seriously. That was a vast improvement over her previous determination to die for her principles.:: Saveron: To answer your requirements: I can lift three times my own bodyweight in Federation Standard gravity. ::He assured her. He might not be particularly strong for a Vulcan, but he was far stronger than human.:: I have a two-year contraceptive implant with fourteen months remaining, placed by Starfleet Medical, and the civilian console functions will remain active, including database access. ::Still... :: You deem research necessary? T’Reshik: To be candid, Commander, while I possess the relevant theoretical knowledge, I am entirely inexperienced. My marriage was a front for the purposes of illicit scientific collaboration, and as a scientist, I refuse to embark on something like this without extensive preliminary reading. Also, if I choose to accept your offer, we will need to pre-establish some interpersonal boundaries-- :: She stopped suddenly.:: T’Reshik: ::slowly:: What do you intend to tell Doctor Milsap? ::The unexpected revelation was - perhaps fortunately - overridden by the pointed question.:: Saveron: I intend to tell him the facts, as necessary. ::He said simply.:: ::And he intended to ask a few pointed questions, such as why, on a ship with a crew compliment of one thousand, no one had been found to make the same offer.:: ::For a moment it might have looked as if T’Reshik was going to protest, but instead she just narrowed her eyes resentfully.:: T’Reshik: Fine. Are we done? Saveron: Affirmative. ::He bowed and left T’Reshik in peace.::
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