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Maddi Hyden

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Posts posted by Maddi Hyden


  1. Well you both stumbled on to one of the greatest groups I’ve ever written with. Everyone will help you in whatever way they can and you will enjoy your time here. 
     

    @FltAdml. Wolf and the Staff have put their hearts into this group and everyone works as a team whether it be Training, Ship, or Fleetwide. 
     

    All I can say is strap yourselves in and get ready to travel at warp speed!

     

    The warmest of welcomes!

    • Thanks 1

  2. I like your thoughts @Tiria Hamasaki and I appreciate everyone chiming in. This conversation has been really good and I appreciate all the people that gave me their opinions. I know everyone is different and the Trek fandom is diverse. I just wanted to hear what everyone else had to say. 
     

    After hearing some of what I have heard from people it was refreshing to see so many opinions that point to one thing. We all love Trek in our own way! Not everyone likes everything, but they don’t have too. The love for Trek expands to so much and I’m not only glad to be a part of that fandom but also part of this fleet full of talented writers and true Trek fans. 


  3. 9 minutes ago, Jo Marshall said:

    I'm not so sure about that one. It's extremely unlikely any serving officer aside from those heavily entrenched in Intelligence (i.e. upper echelons only) would know about it. Starfleet Officers certainly wouldn't, or have had any interactions with them. 

    I mean’t don’t. Sorry


  4. 1 hour ago, Roshanara Rahman said:

    Section 31 shouldn't have been introduced at all to Trek. It forever tarnished the dream of a Federation/Trek utopia with its cynical take that such a thing could not possibly exist without someone else watching over and doing the "dirty" work behind the scenes that "needs to be done."

    My opinion on Section 31 has always been torn, but your point is probably the best I have ever heard. As you say the Federation is supposed to be like a utopia. 
     

    Section 31 shouldn’t exist I agree. As you say the other factions have something like that, but the Federation is supposed to be the peaceful society. So such a peaceful society should not have an organization that would contradict everything the Federation is for. 
     

    I am truly thankful that here we don’t sim Section 31. 


  5. 23 hours ago, Wes Greaves said:

    That being said, the frustration I have with both shows is the format. I miss the episodic story telling of TNG, VOY, DS9, and TOS.  Each episode is a new 50 minute adventure with it's own plot.  Occasionally you'd get a to be continued, and sometimes the plot arcs would link together, but most of the time each episode was it's own self-contained plot.  That style of storytelling opened to door for much more character development across the whole cast, and it allowed the writers to explore the universe and current events.  Both Discovery and Picard go with a season wide plot.  It's like watching a 10 hour movie instead of a series of episodes and therefore the writers really only get to tell one big story.  The styling is so different from the episodic style that the feeling of the show is going to be different.  Different isn't bad, it's just different.

    Your right the show has definitely taken a different perspective. Episodic story has its plus’s, but it also has its flaws as well.  When you look at each aspect of the show it can have its upsides. 
     

    Episodic stories are interesting and if you miss one the whole plot may not be lost, but in the other hand and I think this is why they started doing it this way. Is so that you watch every episode when it releases so you keep with the story no matter what. Though that poses an issue in my opinion, as the episodic stories always have something different and the plot is drawn out, but with the new episodes you have a good idea of what’s coming next. 
     

    I’m not saying anything is perfect, but I will say every show has its flaws and as a fan you can embrace them or not, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate the franchise. I wasn’t saying anyone here does I just know some people that all because of the newest shows do not like the franchise anymore, which I find ridiculous. 


  6. 2 hours ago, Tiria Hamasaki said:

    Because it's too advanced compared to TNG/DS9/VOY which come after it in the chronological order. It's more advanced than TOS, which occurs chronologically in the same time frame! This is the problem with prequels. (And I do still hold this to a lesser degree against Discovery, but it's not the main reason I don't like it.)

    As true as that is when you think about it technically it’s not. Back when those shows were airing the technology and special effects were at the top of their scale, but now that technology can truly reflect that of the future is it really some that should be upsetting. This is the future after all things are supposed to look advanced and hi tech. 
     

    I think if they had the technology we have now was around those shows would look just like Discovery or Picard. 

    3 hours ago, Tiria Hamasaki said:

    Because being a fan of something does not mean you have to like everything in the fandom. There's no such thing as a true or false fan of something. If you like something, you're a fan of it, really. 

    That’s a good point and one I can agree with. There are always things that people don’t like, but no one likes everything. Your point is well taken no matter what your a fan and that’s the way it should be. 


  7. So as a somewhat younger member to the Trek fandom. My opinions may be different than others, as I didn’t start watching the show till I was older. I should state I’m in my early twenties. I have seen everything but all of the Star Trek Enterprise series so I have a good grasp on the universe. 
     

    That being said I have talked to a lot of people that have negative things to say about the newest shows Discovery and Picard. And this is where my discussion begins. As a huge fan of Star Wars for example I see the hatred of the newest movies. I understand some of it was disappointing, but if your a true fan you still find something to love the show/movie by in my honest opinion. So when it come to Discovery I remember the biggest complaint I heard being “It’s just not the Trek I know.”

     

    True it wasn’t like the shows from years ago. It had a modern look. Or to quote someone “It looked to advanced.”

     

    Uhhh wait I’m sorry, but this is the future and from what I know things are supposed to be advanced. Yes, back in the day the LCARS DisplayFusion was considered futuristic, but now with the graphics they have people say it’s too much? I truly don’t get it. 
     

    There’s more reasons I heard such as “Section 31 shouldn’t have been implemented, that ship is ridiculous, the whole story is stupid. Those are just a few reasons I heard. 
     

    Picard even more so. I personally found highs and lows about the shows, but that’s the same with the ones everyone knows. 
     

    So I guess my real question is why have people lost their love for the show just because things have changed? Some of it to reflect the universe as it should be and of course some that we could live without. 
     

    As I stated above though if your a true fan shouldn’t you be able to find something that you love regardless? The shows can’t truly be so bad that it would make you not still love the franchise of old. So why can’t people find things about the new shows to like?


  8. Sneaky spy stuff is always fun to write with @Serala
     
    (( Government Sector, Keibrom, Tibro ))

     

    Jemmar began to put the suit on as the Trill man turned around and seemed to keep watch. Once done - and he had to admit the guy had done a decent job at figuring his size - he tapped the man on the shoulder to indicate he could turn around. Then he spread his arms as if to say, “Well, whatcha think?” Instead, he was handed a small device, an emitter of some kind.

     

    Pex: Activate this. It will change your appearance and voice making you seem slightly younger.

     

    Darven: :: chuckling slightly :: Slightly younger for me is still old. Still, pretty nifty. And my, how Federation technology has improved since I left. Some sort of portable holoemitter, I would imagine, no?

     

    Pex: Well, it is my job and apparently the obligation that I have to help you. I am not sure as to why, but an order is an order no matter who or where it comes from.

     

    Darven: Well, I’m sure all this skulduggery is new for you. SFI doesn’t really engage in that much anymore, but back in my day, covert ops were pretty common.

     

    The remark would have been true for most, but not Tenai. If the older man knew his true past then he would probably regard Tenai in a different light. That was not something Tenai needed nor did he want to explain his past to the man.  

     

    Pex: Depending on the situation they are still used, but most commanding officers are not fond of them due to the somewhat shady results they can bring forth.

     

    Darven: Hmm. Well I have been out of touch for a while, so I’m sure you would know better than me.

     

    Jemmar clicked on the device and clipped it on his belt underneath the jacket of the suit. He couldn’t see his face, but he did notice that his hands had less wrinkles than before.

     

    Darven: So, what’s our next step, Spots?

     

    The nickname was curious and Tenai wasn’t sure how he felt about it, but he would leave the comment alone.

     

    Pex: Well, do you think you can act like a Starfleet officer again?

     

    Darven: Do I think…? :: chuckles :: Young man, I never really stopped being a Starfleet officer, even after my forced retirement. When you do it as long as I did, there’s some things you just don’t forget. They become habit. Yes, I think I can manage it.

     

    Jemmar was curious, though, as to why the Trill man had brought a suit rather than a uniform, but figured he knew what he was doing, so he left the question unanswered for now.

     

    Pex: Well, it’s good to know that you have a sure mind of yourself, but do not question any of what I do if you want to get through this alive even if you think it is a mistake. Do you understand?

     

    Darven: I got you, son. Don’t worry. I reached out to you for help. It would be quite ungrateful of me to try and tell you how to render that aid.

     

    He nodded. It was nice to know that the man would do what he asked especially considering his plan was a bit on the crazy side. He pulled out a comm badge and handed it to the man of whom he was starting to enjoy the company of. As his job left him secluded it was nice to have someone to talk too.

     

    Pex: I’m sure you recognize this. Pin it to the suit and we shall begin the journey.

     

    Darven: Aye, cap’n. :: grinning in good humor as he pinned the comm badge to his suit :: After you.  

     

    As the Trill man began to lead the way, Jemmar fell inside next to him. Normally, when on a mission, Jemmar was quiet unless need required him to speak, but he had been away for so long he felt the need to get some news, starting with why their ship was here, in Valcarian space.

     

    Darven: So, not that I’m complaining, mind you, but I was wonderin’ why you folks decided to pay a visit here.

     

    Pex: Well, I really don’t know. The Captain didn’t seem to provide me that information. I am a lowly Ensign who hasn’t really been considered to be privy of the full reasoning. I know we came for a celebration, but I’m sure there is more to it than that. Have you heard any scuttlebutt of things going?

     

    Darven: :: again that knowing chuckle :: Oh, down in the slums one hears all manner of scuttlebutt, Spots. Some of it’s true, some ain’t. Takes a keen ear to hear the difference. Like, for instance, did you know them Romulans is back?

     

    Pex: :: A slight nod. :: I did see that as I was heading down to the surface of the planet. I am unsure as to their reasoning of being here, but from what I saw they had only a scout ship; however, I am uneasy that there could be a D’Deridex looming in the darkness. 

     

    The thought of that made his stomach churn. He had fought those ships before and it was never a fun experience, but the Scimitar was worse. Dios he hoped they didn’t have one of those.

     

    That news took Jemmar by surprise, to be certain, and he had no doubt it had shown on his face. He was skilled in maintaining his poise even under shocks like that, but he had let his guard down a bit with this Trill.

     

    Darven: I didn’t know they had a ship here. I was referrin’ to the Tal Shiar. I seen one of them the other day having a secret, clandestine meeting with a hooded Valcarian. The Valc gave the Romy a data crystal. Don’t know what was on it, but the Romy seemed pleased to receive it.

     

    The news was not what he was expecting. This could be an issue though he wasn’t sure as to the mission it seemed like that happened before the Romulans arrived in the atmosphere according to the man’s crude timeline.

     

    Pex: Ok, well I am not sure about that, but I feel like that could be a true issue in the end. Let’s double-time it back to the shuttle. Are you up to quickening the pace?

     

    Darven: Heh, I may be old, but I’m not dead. You have to stay in shape in these places if you want to stay alive. Let’s go. But, what about the quarantine checkpoints? How are we going to get around those?

     

    Jemmar took off at a quickened pace. A jog would attract too much attention, but his current pace would get them there more quickly without attracting undue attention.

     

    Pex: I meant no offense by asking if you were ok. As to the checkpoints no need to worry, as Starfleet I can get through, but getting back to the ship could be an issue due to the ridiculous transporter interference here. I have a shuttle, but I’m not sure if we can get off the planet with it.

     

    Pex had looked at the wristpadd he had looking at the conditions of the planet and things seemed to be deteriorating quickly. The planet seemed to be completely locked down and Pex needed to get back to the Atlantis.

     

    Jemmar glanced over at the younger man. He seemed worried. Jemmar wasn’t exactly sure why. Could be the quarantine in general, the heightened security making his task nearly impossible at the moment, or something else. Concern, maybe? Concern for his fellow crewmates? That seemed logical. Jemmar had a family once. If they had been here now, he would be worried sick about them. No doubt this man was facing similar concerns. He might even have a significant other here.

     

    Darven: Then we might still need to find a place to lay low until things settle down. Heck, we might even be able to just wait inside that shuttle until the whole situation blows over. So, what else has you worried there, youngster? The quarantine itself?

     

    Pex: Well, I know that multiple teams off the ship have been sent to different areas of the planet and they could be part of what made the quarantine happen. Well, let's head for the shuttle there is something waiting there for you anyways. We are almost there. Once there we can chat more. If that’s ok? 

     

    Darven: Sounds good to me. But next time, you can just tell me to shut up. I don’t mind. :: he smiled to show he was just kidding with him ::

     

    Tenai nodded and led the way down the many streets that could confuse anyone though thankfully due to Tenai’s former life he had a good memory. The streets were full and some blocked so no one could get past. All of them heading for the checkpoints that were causing a ridiculous inconvenience. Pex got them through with some smooth negotiating and talking before they were in the safety of the shuttle.

     

    Jemmar was pleased to note the efficiency of the Ensign. He managed to smoothly talk them past the checkpoints and in short order they were at the Starfleet shuttle. He had never seen this model before, but that wasn’t so surprising considering how long he had been gone. He wondered if he would make it back to Earth and whether his family was still there or not.

     

    (( Shuttle Elysium, Landing Pad 6, Keibrom, Tibro )) 

     

    The inside of the shuttle seemed quite luxuriant to him. Hanging on the aft wall was a plaque dedicated to the memories of several people. He wondered what the story was there. Aside from the Trill and himself, the shuttle seemed empty, though it was capable of holding about a dozen people including the two crew positions and ten passenger seats.

     

    Darven: :: letting out a low whistle of appreciation :: This is nice, Ensign. Can’t wait to see what else you guys have developed while I was gone.

     

    Pex: Glad you like it. It should make hiding out a little easier; however, it won’t matter once you get on the ship. 

     

    He pulled a PADD out of the storage area and passed it to the man. This was the culmination of his plan and it took many hours digging through databases and covering the tracks of what he did.

     

    Darven: What’s this?

     

    Jemmar took the PADD and read through it.  It was ambitious, but it just might work.

     

    Pex: Well this is your new life. Welcome back to Starfleet and the Federation Lieutenant Eugine Hull. It has been a while from what I can see. I think it’s time you come back after years of spying. :: Tenai grinned. ::

     

    Tenai handed the man a Federation uniform with the two pips to show the rank of the man. 

     

    Jemmar was impressed, though the Ensign was slightly off. He hadn’t been spying, although he had picked up several good pieces of intel. No, hiding was the better word. But hiding was no good if one got dead anyway. If he had to be Lieutenant Eugine Hull, then that’s who he’d be. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to assume a new identity. Besides, officially, he was dead anyway.

     

    Darven: :: smiling :: Thank you, Ensign. This means a lot. How you going to explain all this to your Captain?

     

    The question was a good one, but the answer was not what the man would expect. According to the information on the PADD Pex had been ordered by Intelligence to come to pick up a member of Intelligence. It was scary, but his skill at his job should get him a promotion. Being a Commander at one point and going to Ensign was rough, but no one knew the truth on the ship.

     

    Pex: Leave that to me. You don’t need to worry about it! The main thing is your safe now and that’s what matters to me.

     

    Darven: I am glad to hear that. I am really looking forward to getting home. I wonder if my family will even be there, or if they’ve moved on? Wish I knew. I really regret that I had to leave them behind like I did.

     

    Pex: Sometimes doing what’s best hurts the most. I could look into our database and see if your family is still around, but that is only if you want to give me your real name. If not that’s ok I understand. I should properly introduce myself though. I am Ensign Tenai Pex, Senior Intelligence Analyst aboard the USS Atlantis. 

     

    Darven: Pleasure to meet you, Tenai. And since we are safely ensconced in a Starfleet shuttle, I guess it would be okay to introduce myself. :: sticking out his hand in greeting :: My real name is Commander James Davis, Starfleet Intelligence, retired.

     

    Pex: Oh well ahem. Hello Commander. :: He said awkwardly. ::

     

    Darven: You seem surprised, Ensign. Do you know my name?

     

    Pex: Well not exactly, but I feel like you should be telling me what to do.

     

    Darven: Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve been retired for decades. Well, dead actually. But for now, let’s just go with Lieutenant Hull, shall we. I still have a number of enemies out there who, hopefully, think I am dead. It would not be good if they learned I was still alive.

     

    Pex: Your secret is safe with me Lieutenant. :: He said smiling. ::

    • Like 1

  9. ((Ambassador’s Yacht Kirym - Somewhere in the Kaleth Woods, Tibro))
     
    The Kirym had been on the move for almost an hour, and things with the Romulans had not eased. He still hadn’t been able to ascertain their motives for being here. The Romulan Star Empire had not been present in the Par’tha Expanse for over seventy years, when they just up and left the region for reasons unknown.
     
    Jarred stood by one of the port side windows, drinking a second tea and enjoying the view, the snowy conditions only adding to the beauty. Whizzing beneath them was a majestic winter wonderland, a snow-covered forest.
     
    Suddenly Jarred was thrown forward, slamming into the wall, his tea spilling everywhere. There was another jolt, the yacht lurching violently. Jarred felt his stomach turn as the yacht began to descend rapidly. The view outside the window was obscured by clouds of black smoke.
     
    He held onto the wall to support himself, as he turned around to the others.
     
    Thoran: Is everybody okay?
     
    Dels’an: I am alive. Is everyone else alright?
     
    Revix: Response
     
    McKnight: Here! 
     
    Nehir: Response
     
    Serala: I’m okay, just a small gash in my arm, but otherwise fine. I don’t suppose there’s a medical kit on this yacht, Ambassador?
     
    There was another series of shuddering, followed by the sound of breaking wood. Jarred presumed that they must be catching the tops of the trees.
     
    Thoran: Ambassador, what is going on? Have we struck something?
     
    Dels’an: I didn’t feel any initial impact. ::Her eyes narrowed in anger as she put the pieces together.:: ...if I had to guess the engines or helm control had a rather sudden “malfunction”.
     
    From the implied tone it seemed the Ambassador had her own suspicions about what happened. A sudden malfunction, as the Ambassador suggested, could mean that they had a saboteur on board. Jarred cast a glance over at the Romulans.
     
    Revix: Response
     
    McKnight: The ship is stuck on top of several trees...and the trees are giving way...
     
    Thoran: oO Excellent. Stuck on some trees with Romulans. Oo
     
    Serala: In that case, I suggest everyone hold on. We’re not done crashing yet.
     
    Nehir: Response
     
    As if on cue, there was the cracking of the branches as they reached their limit. The yacht plummeted the remaining distance, slamming into the ground. The viewports became obscured by the cloud of dust and snow kicked up.
     
    Serala: Just my luck. Stranded in the middle of a snowy wilderness. It’s a dream come true.
     
    Dels’an: Not ideal, but it is better than being dead.
     
    Jarred nodded at the remark. Almost anything was better than being dead. The question now was what to do about it. If they had indeed been the target of a saboteur, then those responsible may come to confirm their success.
     
    Revik: Response
     
    McKnight: And I forgot to bring a coat. 
     
    Nehir: Response
     
    Serala: Well, I know several of you outrank me here, and, Ambassador, this is your yacht, but I did quite well in survival training at the Academy. So, if I may offer a few suggestions?
     
    He shuddered at the mention of survival training, recalling his own experiences. It had been a rather unpleasant experience, being stranded with only the equipment you had on you and left to fend for yourself for forty eight hours.
     
    Thoran: Certainly Commander.
     
    Revik: Response
     
    Serala: Yes. First we need to see if we can reach someone to let them know where we are and what our situation is. That is, assuming we actually know where we are. Then, we need to do several things. One, we need to secure shelter. It’s going to get cold in here with no power to run the heat. And this is most likely our best bet for now. Still, we should have one or two scout around nearby to see if there are any better prospects. We should also try and determine whether this was sabotage or not. We were under the impression, Ambassador, that you felt there might be some risk to you. Not to mention the fact that there might be more than one group who wouldn’t want to see an alliance between the Valcarian Empire and the Federation, or the Valcarian Empire and the Romulan Empire. There seem to be a number of reasons for such an act to have been staged. That will also lead to the need to determine just how safe we are out here, and not just from the wildlife, but also from other threats. Captain McKnight, do you think I missed anything here?
     
    McKnight: I think everyone understands the situation, commander. 
     
    Serala: Captain Thoran, Ambassador, Commander Revik, do any of you have anything further to suggest?
     
    Jarred stroked his beard, going over everything in his mind. Serala had done a good job of covering of the situation, and he had nothing further to add.
     
    Thoran: Nothing from me. All I will say is that there is a lot of history between our people. Not all of it pleasant. Our best chance of surviving this is to work together, put aside our differences.
     
    Revik: Response
     
    Dels’an: There is some survival gear that we can use stored on the ship. I don’t know how much of it survived the crash intact. ::Pause:: But you are right that this was likely sabotage. And if that is true, we can’t stay here and we can’t call for help.
     
    Serala: And what about you, Counselor?
     
    Nehir: Response
     
    Serala: Well, sirs, I think that about covers it for the moment. Should we begin?
     
    It had only been by pure luck that none of them had ended up with serious injuries and would be able to move unaided. He could imagine Anath’s face if he had to fill out an injury report for himself. The Vulcan-Klingon doctor had concluded that Jarred was injury prone, given the numerous injuries he had sustained during the time together. 
     
    Thoran: The longer we wait around, the worse our chances will be. Let us proceed.
     
    Dels’an: The sooner we get to shelter, the better.
     
    Revik: Response
     
    Nehir: Response
     
    As they began to take stock of their surroundings, Jarred heard McKnight trying to raise the Atlantis. Based on their surroundings it was unlikely a shuttle would be able to retrieve them, at least not without a trek.
     
    McKnight: =/\= Atlantis, Spartan One. The ambassador's yacht has crashed onto the planet. Please coordinate the Valcarians for an evac. We have wounded...Atlantis, respond. =/\=
     
    There was no response from the Atlantis, a fact that concerned Jarred. He knew that atmospheric conditions on the planet made communications from the surface to orbit difficult, but they should have at least been able to transmit a message to the Atlantis.
     
    Dels’an: Agent Jarol, retrieve what’s left of the survival gear and weapons from the arms locker. Of course, Commander Faris!
     
    An instant later, the Ambassador dashed from the room, Jarred and co quickly following suite. They still had no idea what exactly had happened to the ship, and Jarred didn’t want to leave the Ambassador alone for even a second.
     
    Thoran: Ambassador, wait.
     
    Serala / McKnight / Nehir / Revix: Responses
     
    He hurried up the stairs, navigating past the debris. He caught up with the Valcarian just as she forced the door to what Jarred suspected was the bridge open.
     
    Dels’an: Commander, what happened…
     
    Sat at what he presumed was the helm was a Valcarian, pinned by a broken console. Jarred moved further into the confined space, stepping over broken displays and other equipment. The Ambassador knelt down beside the wounded Valcarian and took her pulse. There was a flicker of relief and a moment later the wounded Valcarian moved slightly. She was still alive.
     
    Faris: ::Faintly.:: The navigation system became completely unresponsive, and the manual controls wouldn’t work either. It seemed deliberate. The automatic distress beacon worked though. ::So much talking was taking its toll on the injured officer.:: I should have run a more ::Pause:: detailed, diagnostic-
     
    Dels’an: No, it’s alright. ::She squeezed the pilot’s hand, who seemed to be drifting off.:: We’ve all survived the crash. Now we are going to get out of here. Get ready to move, Commander.
     
    Jarred took a few steps forward, broken glass cracking under his feet. Thankfully the main viewscreen had remained mostly intact. Otherwise the room would have very quickly turned into a fridge from the outside air temperature.
     
    From what he had heard from the injured crewman, the crash was no mere accident, but an act of sabotage. The distress beacon would be giving away their position and Jarred surmised it would only be a matter of time before those responsible found them.
     
    Serala / McKnight / Nehir / Revix: Responses
     
    Dels’an: We can’t stay here. The number of people who could pull an attack like this off isn’t long, and most of them are very dangerous people. I’d suspect General Asil or Director Varus organizing this. Neither of them would leave things to chance like this. Whoever arranged this crash will be here to make sure it did the job.
     
    Thoran: oO Asil? Oo
     
    It was a name he recalled. It took a few seconds before he realised where he had heard it before. Lt. General Rotork Asil had been the Valcarian representative sent to Arndall to negotiate an end to the Valcarian siege of the planet. It had been when the Kam’Jahtae had erupted from beneath the planet’s surface, leaving a wave of destruction in their wake, and the planet that Dairro had lost her life.
     
    Jarred’s eyes momentarily fell to the floor as he remembered the incident.
     
    ((Flashback))
     
    Green flashes buzzed passed, cracking in the air as they flew past him. Risking a look back, he could clearly make out the creatures, four emerald green eyes glowing in the dim light. They let out a screech as Jarred reached for his phaser and fired a few shots towards them when he heard Dairro cry out.
     
    Looking to his side his saw his friend lay on the floor, blood oozing beneath her. He rushed over to her, continuing to fire towards the aliens. He crouched down beside her, ducking his head as he did so. From this distance the wound was obvious, a mess, as if she’d been shot by two different weapons at once. There was a dark red hole, blood pouring from it as if in slow motion, soaking into her uniform. She looked up to him their eyes locking, as he cradled her, each of them bathed in her blood. He could feel his face begin to crack as she smiled briefly, before her breathing became a noisy rattle and she began to cough, flecking Jarred’s face with blood. A split second later and she went limp in his arms. Jarred let out a roar, screaming into the walls.
     
    ((End Flashback))
     
    He pulled himself from the memory, reminding him that now was not the time to dwell on the past.  
     
    Serala / McKnight / Nehir / Revix: Responses
     
    Thoran: What do you suggest our next move would be Ambassador?
     
    Dels’an: The villa would be half an hour away on foot, but we can’t go there. That would be the next place they would check when they don’t find my body in the wreckage. ::She examined the frozen, corrupted navigational display and considered the surrounding area.:: If we go northeast from here, there’s an abandoned outpost we could use. Out of service for more than twenty years and not included on up-to-date maps.
     
    The Ambassador’s logic was sound. If they had been able to sabotage the Ambassador’s yacht, then it was likely they would be able to access the villa. They needed somewhere out of the way, for the moment at least.
     
    Thoran: Then that sounds like our best chance. Everybody, grab anything you can carry. We’ll depart in five.
     
    Serala / McKnight / Nehir / Revix: Responses
     
    Dels’an: Someone help me get her out of here. Anyone who’s still here when the saboteurs return to finish the job is dead.
     
    The wounded Valcarian would slow them down considerably and it was reaffirming to see that she held a no man left behind attitude. Even if it would make their own flight difficult.
     
    Jarred moved forward, taking hold of the console that pinned the Valcarian to their chair.
     
    Thoran: On the count of three, we’ll pull the console up. Somebody get ready to move Faris. One.. two.. Three.
     
    Jarred heaved with all his strength, the broken console barely moving. He could feel his face redden and his knuckles were turning white as he continued trying to hoist the console upwards. Finally they managed to create enough space for Faris to be moved. Once she was clear, they released the console, which fell to the floor, the display shattering.
     
    Thoran: We won’t be able to get far with her in that state. We need to make a stretcher. Take it in turns to carry her. ::He turned to Serala and one of the Romulans.:: Find anything we could use.
     
    Serala / Revix: Responses
     
    Thoran: Counselor, Mister McKnight, I understand you both have rudimentary first aid training. Are you able to stabilise Faris enough for transport?
     
    McKnight / Nehir: Responses
     
    Thoran: Ambassador, how long do you think it will take for somebody to pick up the signal and make tracks towards us?
     
    Dels’an: Response
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  10. This was a brilliant piece of writing! Well done @Lael Rosek and @Toryn Raga. I couldn't stop reading it at work on break till I finished it. I think I was a minute late lol. 

     

     

    ((Corridor, Deck 3, USS Atlantis))

    {{Day 3 of shoreleave, Late evening}}

     

    It had been another long day of avoiding Toryn. She freely admitted she was attracted to him and that his company soothed her in ways she couldn’t begin to understand. That wasn’t the difficult part. Something about the situation between them made her wary of messing it up. She’d taken her space after the last away mission, not wanting to rush into things any more than they already had. 

     

    There’d been very little communication between them in the way of getting to know one another. Most of what she did know about him had been gleaned either from his Starfleet records or from shrewd observation. There was no discounting what they’d been through together and the intimacy that they’d shared in the process, but she was nervous. 

     

    She’d been hurt so much in the past and wasn’t sure if love was something she was interested in. It made her much different than other Al-Leyans in that she had considered monogamy. Al-Leyans weren’t monogamous by nature and yet, the idea of one person she could always rely on and didn’t have to share did have its appeal.

     

    There had been an uncomfortable feeling he’d been dealing with since the mission ended. He couldn’t place it, but Toryn had the suspicion that Ishka had been avoiding him. It brought back unpleasant memories of Serala, one of his two best friends, doing everything she could to put as much space between them as possible and being blunt to the point that it didn’t even feel as though they were close friends. Thankfully, that seemed to have passed, but to be honest the two of them hadn’t actually spoken much lately. 

     

    His thoughts wandered back to Ishka as he realized he could feel her nearby. That wasn’t surprising. It was a small ship and he could always sense her mind. The only one on board that he could. It made him respect what their resident Rodulans must go through hearing everyone’s thoughts. 

     

    He should have been focused on where he was going, as he rounded the corner he practically bowled someone over in his quick stride. 

     

    She’d been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t noticed the familiar presence of Toryn’s mind nearby until it was too late. As she rounded a corner, she made hard contact with something solid. Thankfully, she was able to keep her footing and as soon as she was certain she wasn’t going to fall, she glanced up to find herself staring into the impossibly deep blue eyes of the very man she’d hoped to avoid until she could sort out what she was feeling.

     

    That gaze felt like staring into a stellar nursery. Or a gravitic anomaly because for the life of him he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the vibrant emeralds in front of him. Framed by the fiery red mane she was breathtaking. Literally and figuratively as he stood there, trying to assemble coherent letters into words, then words into a sentence.  

     

    Raga: oO Winds she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve met. Oo I’m sorry, doc. Are you alright? 

     

    She wasn’t sure how to respond at first. The formality had her fighting back a wince. He’d been so free with her given name on multiple occasions while they were on the surface. Had it just been the heat of the moment? Adrenaline? It had been so freeing the couple of times she’d used his given name. Every touch had been more real for it. Something about the intimacy had helped her keep her focus. She’d worried that her personal feelings for Toryn would get in the way of her professionalism, but what had happened on Paldor II was proof that she’d been overthinking it. Or so she’d thought.

     

    Journs: ::gaze drops and murmurs:: I’m sorry, sir. It’s my fault. I wasn’t paying attention.

     

    Raga: It’s alright Ishka. I wasn’t looking where I was going either. 

     

    Had she not lowered her gaze it would have been nigh impossible for him to look away. But he visually examined her from head to toe, not finding any signs of injury. Not that he expected there to be. Al-Leyans were a hearty bunch. However, he gently touched a crooked finger under her chin to raise her gaze to his again. 

     

    Raga: I really wish you’d stop doing that. ::He whispered:: Your eyes are too beautiful to hide. 

     

    A flush crept into her cheeks, one that she failed to hide despite her best efforts. The mixed messages made her even more timid than usual. Worrying her lower lip, she lifted her gaze to his, her mouth agape slightly as the tip of her tongue peeked out to moisten her lips. Winds, but he was attractive...and so charming. Any sense she had was scattered to the winds when he called her or any part of her beautiful. The compliment drew a shy smile.

     

    Journs: ::breathily:: I--

     

    Any words that she’d managed to string together in her mind in response clearly hadn’t made it all the way to her mouth. What could she say to this beautiful man who had held her in his arms and worshipped her for hours?

     

    Part of him couldn’t help but smile a bit at her expression. The crimson that filled her cheeks could likely be detected by the ship’s sensors at this point. And that thing she did with her lip only added to her own allure. Eventually, awareness of things other than the radiant entity before him filtered into his perceptions and he glanced around with a grin. 

     

    Raga: Were you headed anywhere in particular? ::He asked, clearing his throat slightly:: 

     

    They were just standing there in the corridor and if she wasn’t doing anything, maybe they could talk. Clear up a few things or at least try to sort out this intense tension between them. 

     

    Again, she worried her lower lip. Her thoughts had been focused on her couch in her quarters and maybe another night of movies and chocolate ice cream.

     

    Journs: Um...nothing specific. Why?

     

    His brow raised and a slight smirk curled his lips. The thought of spending time with her was enough to quicken his pulse by a warp factor of ten at least. 

     

    Raga: Well, I don’t have plans. And I know that last mission was tough on all of us. If you want we could talk a bit. We haven’t really had much time to get to know each other much. 

     

    Which was quite amusing if he took a moment to consider they’d already been quite intimate and that was just about the most, well, intimate way to know someone. 

     

    Raga: My quarters are right over there and for once Kurt isn’t mimicking a statue outside. 

     

    She smiled wanly at the memory of her and Toryn’s first night together when she’d had to make excuses to Logan in order to gain entrance to Toryn’s quarters. He wanted to talk and though she was certain he meant it, she also suspected that thoughts of their last intimate encounter were occupying his mind at that same moment. Despite fighting the desire to spend time with him alone these last few days, she couldn’t help the way her heartrate picked up at the thought of sharing that intimacy with him again. It was all she’d wanted on Paldor II.

     

    Journs: ::softly:: Okay.

     

    No matter how hard they both were trying to conceal their thoughts from one another it was impossible for him to not hear her heartbeat. It brought a warm smile to his face even before she agreed to spend time with him. 

     

    Raga: Great! ::He felt silly just how excited he’d sounded and realized he was louder too:: 

     

    oO You’d think I’d never gone through my season or something. Oo 

     

    He chided himself mentally and turned on his bootheel. Toryn lead her back to his quarters, which were only just down the next corridor. Mid hull on the Starboard side. The door swished open and he stepped inside, gesturing for her to follow. A soft hoot came from the corner at their entry and he smiled at Sylara. Toryn looked back to her as he stood midway between the door and the replicator. 

     

    ((Raga’s Quarters))

     

    Raga: Would you like something to drink? 

     

    Just being in his quarters again stirred memories of their passionate night and she felt a shiver race down her spine. It had been the most intense coupling of her young life, and that was saying something given how many lovers she’d had. Though they’d destroyed the majority of his quarters in their desperation to get as close as possible, there had been a tenderness to Toryn’s actions. She’d felt special and protected.

     

    Journs: Al-Leyan spiced tea.

     

    He gave a nod and stepped in front of the replicator if only to give himself a reprieve from having to actually think about how to start such a conversation. 

     

    Raga: Two Al-Leyan Spiced teas. Hot. ::He looked back:: Make yourself at home. 

     

    The replicator whirred and a moment later the requested beverages appeared in the usual swirl of blue and white luminescence. Steam rose from the mugs and he grasped them by the handles and joined her in the living area. Offering one mug to her before he took a seat on the large couch beneath the window looking out at Paldor II. 

     

    For a moment, she sat still in the quiet, taking a long sip of her tea. Her racing heart missed a beat or two only two resume its normal rhythm. A nervous energy filled the space between them Something was developing...something serious...though it seemed neither wanted to admit it. Her gaze lifted to meet his. She wasn’t a risk-taker. Like most of her species, she calculated every possible risk before arriving at a conclusion. Not with Toryn. 

     

    She’d done things these last few days that would typically be outside of her comfort zone. She’d followed him without a second thought, not stopping once to question the recklessness of his choices, and she didn’t regret a moment. Setting the mug of tea down on the coffee table, she lifted slightly shaking hands to cradle his face tenderly, running one thumb over the swell of his lower lip.

     

    Journs: You make me utterly crazy. Even when we’re together, I can’t stop thinking about you. I’m trying to go slow and not ruin a good thing before it truly has a chance to start, but…

     

    Toryn sat there, his own mug still clutched in his hand as he hadn’t decided to actually partake or set it down. And then he felt her soft, yet trembling hands cradle his face. The thumb brushing across his lips felt like electrical sparks the way his being reacted to the contact. 

     

    Raga: So it’s not just me then? ::He muttered softly, as if he were one asylum patient confessing to another:: I’ve thought about you more in these past few days than anyone I’ve ever.. 

     

    Slept with? Loved? Been attracted to? All of the above? He struggled how to finish that thought, his words trailed off as he couldn’t settle on any one in particular. He reached up to cradle her hands in one of his own and the other extended to brush fingers through her hair. 

     

    Her gaze dropped to his lips and she leaned forward slowly, brushing her lips chastely over his before pulling back and staring into his eyes. She pulled one hand free and slid it up the side of his face, brushing the tip of his ear tenderly. It was an intimate gesture typically reserved for lovers as the location was one of an Al-Leyan’s most sensitive places. 

     

    A soft smile turned up the corners of her lips as she leaned closer to him, longing to feel the weight of his body pressed against hers. There was something about his masculine strength that made her feel so warm and protected. It never failed to drive away any worries of the day.

     

    Toryn felt the chaste kiss and the brief contact of her supple lips to his was enough to steal his breath. He’d been longing for her company since the crisis on the surface. When she was facing a lost patient he wanted to pull her into his arms. Hold her until she felt better, or bring her to his quarters and pamper her with intimacy until she forgot. 

     

    Seeing her smile, he couldn’t help but do the same and he reached out to set his mug down as she leaned in. With both hands-free he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against him. He’d wanted to talk, they needed to but it was almost futile to resist or deny the magnetic pull he felt towards her. His hands caressed her back as he drew her against his chest. He stared into those emerald pools of hers and let his lips tenderly meet hers. A passionate kiss ensued, one that even took him by surprise. 

     

    For a long moment, she allowed herself to be lost in it, closing her eyes and enjoying the way his lips felt against hers. She arched her neck, exposing her bare throat to his kisses even as she buried shaking hands into his dark raven locks. For a few moments, she allowed it, then sighed and pushed at his chest with one hand, the other on his shoulder to hold him firmly in place.

     

    Journs: ::breathily:: I thought you wanted to talk.

     

    Toryn lost himself in her for that long moment and then sense kicked in with one of them and she broached the reason for them visiting his quarters. The dutiful former Tac/Sec chief cleared his throat and nodded. Sitting back against the cushion of the couch, but still embracing her he licked his lips, 

     

    Raga: Sorry. You’re right. ::He smiled:: I can’t seem to help myself around you. ::He muttered softly:: What is this we seem to have between us? 

     

    Journs: ::touches her forehead to his and sighs:: I don’t know. It’s not like me to be so reckless. On Paldor II with the stampede--I just reacted. I saw you risking your life and I reacted.

    Hearing her say that he felt a twinge of guilt and inadequacy. Toryn was by far the least typical specimen of their species. Al-Leyan’s were so methodical they didn’t even accept transporter technology on their homeworld until long after it had been perfected. Favoring the reliability of magnetic rail propulsion and massive networks of trains that blanketed the planet. Every possible risk was assessed before an action was taken. And here he was, the record holder for purple hearts on Atlantis. Far more emotional than most Al-Leyans. They were a passionate species, but he was broken. The usual filters of his species weren’t present in him. It’s part of why he’d undergone two separate Attitude Readjustment Therapies. 

     

    Raga: It’s because of me. I’m not a good Al-Leyan. ::He frowned and shifted his gaze away from her as if ashamed:: 

     

    Journs: ::shakes her head and brushes her lips against his:: Toryn, I--All my life, I’ve stayed with the traditions and have never taken unnecessary risks. ::pauses:: I went outside of my branch, but I can’t say I’m sorry I did. ::brushes the backs of her knuckles over his cheek:: Winds only know what would have happened if I hadn’t. I would have regretted it if I’d just stood by and watched while you risked your life to protect those people.

     

    His eyes closed briefly when her lips touched his and he kept them closed, trying not to let his inner demons draw his thoughts away from the gorgeous redhead embraced in his arms. 

     

    Raga: It’s my duty. One I’ve had to push to the limits more often than I’d like on this ship. So many enemies and all alone. ::He opened his eyes to look into hers:: I’m reckless, I know. It’s done as much good as it has harm. I made a rash, split second decision to save Captain Brell and spent three months with the Consortium as a result. 

     

    She reached out, caressing his mind with hers. She should be running. This wasn’t what good Al-Leyans did. Not according to the Council and the traditions anyway. People had been exiled for less. While it wasn’t officially against the laws, many received therapy for chronic recklessness. But was it really so reckless? In her time enlisted in Starfleet, she’d been forced to redefine a lot of her beliefs in the context of the greater universe. 

     

    Many species considered actions like Toryn’s noble and an indication of good character. He cared for others and was willing to go to any lengths to protect them. Maybe that was why she felt safer with him than she ever had with anyone back home. There was something comforting in knowing that he would fight beside her even through the dangers they faced as Starfleet officers.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: The duties of those within your branch come at a price. It’s not one to be taken lightly. In my time with Starfleet, I’ve learned that the hardest choices, no matter the price, can also lead to our greatest sense of purpose and satisfaction. ::pauses:: You’re a good man, Toryn. I feel safe when I’m with you. No one else does that for me like you do.

     

    The touch our their minds together, even brief was enough to relax him. It was soothing. And yet, Toryn had enough baggage to fill the Expanse. Ishka’s comments were, quite frankly surprising. All of this was. She should have run for the hills by now, called someone back home on Leya-I and have the Council pressure Starfleet into ordering him home to be treated again. Or worse, exiled from the homeworld. It never occurred to him that being brainwashed and conditioned was perhaps a far worse fate than never being allowed on the world of one’s birth. That’s just the way they were raised.  

     

    Raga: I know. And I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made in regards to protecting this ship and crew. I...I’m ::He floundered:: You’ve seen the scars, I know you have. I’m not right. There’s something wrong with me, Ishka. 

     

    Journs: ::expression softens and murmurs:: No, there’s not. You’re different, but that doesn’t make you wrong. People like you and I stand out from the crowd because we don’t blindly do what we’re told. ::pauses:: My uncle, though he wasn’t proud to be different, realized eventually that there was no shame in it either. It’s about time that we caught up with the rest of the universe in that regard.

     

    Toryn stared at her for a long while, just, surrounded by those emerald eyes and soaking in what she’d just said. She had a point. In his three years on Atlantis he’d struggled with the cultural upbringing of his species. Of the way he was different. He’d met others who were similar. Rune Jolara was one, who’d embraced her exile status and was a proud Starfleet officer. She’d been the first to tell him warnings of the Council. 

     

    Raga/ART: ~Imperfect beings attract imperfect beings~ 

     

    A cold chill ran right down Toryn’s spine as the voice he’d not heard in some time filled his mind. The voice, was his own, but twisted. Dark. Cruel. And for that brief moment it sickened him that he’d let himself be tricked into saying it aloud. 

     

    ART: ~How many women must you ruin simply because you love them?~ 

     

    He trembled as ART tormented him and he snapped his eyes shut, to focus on forcing the malevolent entity back into the fragile cage it was contained within his psyche. 

     

    She felt him shaking beneath her touch and her brow furrowed.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: ~ Toryn, come back to me. I’m here. ~

     

    Ishka’ voice was like a bright light in a stormy sea. The Al-Leyan shuddered a moment at the telepathic contact. For a brief moment Toryn’s usually high mental shields dropped. Giving her a glimpse of his psyche. Every telepathic species had their own quirks. Al-Leyans were different only in that as a whole their species rarely had members who possessed such a gift. Perhaps one in a few hundred million. And he was even more unique due to the nature of how he received such gifts. The center point of his psyche was, for lack of a better term, a room. A sanctuary for him to retreat to in times of psychic stress. In the center of that room was a large gilded cage, like an archaic prison. The walls and ceiling were slender bars of gold, though the metal had seemingly lost its luster. Cracks spiderwebbed throughout the structure, including the door. The interior, despite the appearance wasn’t visible. Obscured by shadows. A pair of reflective eyes looked out from the small, barred window in the door. Fingers gripped the bars as a face pressed against them. Toryn’s face. Yet not. His features were dark, sullen and there was an intense cruelty in the eyes that stared out at Toryn. They shifted over his shoulder and looked right at the light shining into his mind. At Ishka. 

     

    ART: ~But for how long? She’ll abandon you like all the others.~ 

     

    In her time, she’d seen some shocking things. But nothing had prepared her for the inner world of Toryn’s psyche. She could only assume that what she was seeing visually represented the brokenness she knew he felt. Instead of acknowledging the twisted version of him, she focused her attention on Toryn, cradling his cheek with her hand.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: ~ I’m real, Toryn, and I’m not going anywhere. ~

     

    There was the faint registration of physical contact as he stared at her, into those emerald eyes. All while the telepathic connection pulled his focus. He struggled with what to say when a flood of memories of the last two years came to his mind in a flurry. He thought of Serala, how he’d told her how he felt for her but after it was already too late. She had been mated to Stevok. Of Lael Rosek. The memory of her hurt even more. How he felt himself a failure as an Al-Leyan and a person because they couldn’t reconcile the differences of their cultural upbringings. And then Ishka, she was new and he truly didn’t know how he felt about her other than the intense effect she seemed to have on him. 

     

    She leaned forward, brushing her lips against his, the familiar flutter taking up residence in her abdomen. The things he stirred in her...she couldn’t even begin to explain what he did to her. Though she hadn’t had much of a chance to properly sort through her feelings, she knew he brought out a side of her that no one else did and for the first time, she felt truly free to be herself. There was no fear that he would judge her for not being a traditional Al-Leyan. There was a trust between them that she’d never known before.

     

    The adrenaline-like sensation that filled him when her lips brushed over his was enough to snap him from his psychic stupor and those walls of his came slamming up hard as if his own internal red alert activated. The last image and sound of ART staring at them both laughing echoed a moment before he sucked in a sharp breath of air. Focus returned to those cerulean eyes of his and they flicked side to side looking at each of hers. That laughter caused the aftershock of a shudder to course through him and he retreated from her a moment. Fear in his eyes. She’d just glimpsed far more than most got to see of his being, his thoughts, memories. She was a true blood, like him, and they were both raised to view what he was as being wrong. The thought of her rejecting him caused a painful ache in his gut that he couldn’t shake. 

     

    Raga: …..

     

    She slid her hand to the back of his neck and gripped it tightly, pressing into him. She wasn’t letting go. She couldn’t let go. The pain she’d felt at nearly losing him on Paldor II crept into her thoughts and, though she knew he wouldn’t feel it, maybe he’d be able to see it in her thoughts. She allowed the memories of their intimacy to come to the surface, allowing him to relieve it through her eyes and to see himself as she did. The smile that lit his face when he looked at her...the tenderness in his eyes.

     

    Even with his shields up he saw the surface thoughts, deliberately shown to him by her. That caused his brow to raise slightly and after he sorted through them he looked at her, head shaking slightly, given the grip she had on his neck. 

     

    Raga: Why? We both know that I should be reported to the Council. How can you be comfortable being around someone who’s… ::He fell silent but the words Fallen Branch floated into his thoughts:: 

     

    Journs: ::meets his gaze and murmurs:: After my uncle, I--I’m not so sure. I--oh winds, Toryn. ::tears gather in the corners of her eyes::

     

    When she seemed to fall apart like that he pulled her closer, hugging her gently against him. Seeing her with that look in her eyes, he felt the impulse to protect her. Or at the least to comfort her. 

     

    Raga: I’m sorry Ishka. I make a mess of everything. ::He closed his eyes to keep from showing the tears threatening to fill them:: 

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: The Council--I--There must be a better way than sentencing so many good people to death simply for being who they are.

     

    Toryn’s brow furrowed slightly when she said that. It was true, and yet not. 

     

    Raga: Ishka. There’s a reason the punishment is there. To protect our way of life. 

     

    If ever there was a pre-programmed response it was that. Toryn looked at her with a momentary glimpse of innocence before he shook his head and sighed, enjoying her warmth against him. 

     

    Journs: ::exhales shakily:: I know, I know. ::worries her lower lip and blinks back tears, then murmurs:: But is it really worth so many dying? Isn’t there a better way?

     

    Raga:  ::He shrugged slightly::  There’s really not many that actually die, Ishka. As far as I know anyways, but I barely know of the Exiles. 

     

    Journs: ::brow furrows in confusion:: Exiles?

     

    Raga: ::He nods:: That’s what they call themselves. A colony of Al-Leyan’s who’ve been, well, exiled from Leya-One. 

     

    She wasn’t quite sure how to take that news. Did the Council know? Surely if they did they wouldn’t allow its continued existence. Such a faction was the ultimate threat to their way of life. People like Ishka and Toryn already pushed those limits by being part of such a diverse organization that could hold so many temptations for even the most dedicated Al-Leyan. 

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: Does the Council know?

     

    That. Was a question he’d honestly never even considered to ask. Though, he was fairly certain he knew the answer. If the Council knew there was little doubt that they would leave them be. Such a group was contrary to the established way of thinking and way of life. Without the fear of exile, the Council would lose a great deal of its power. Or at least, influence. Since that was the utmost worst punishment on Leya-I even beyond execution. 

     

    Raga: I have no idea, but I doubt it. They wouldn’t be able to let that stand if they did. 

     

    Ishka nodded, suddenly becoming quiet. This wasn’t what she’d come here for. She didn’t want to think about home. She wanted to think about them. She’d had days to mull this over and had decided she wanted to see where things with Toryn went. It wouldn’t be easy given that he was her direct superior. They’d have to keep things discreet so no one found out. A part of her was nervous about how much she’d shared with Maddi. She only hoped that didn’t come back to bite her.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: But this isn’t why I came here with you.

     

    Raga: Oh? ::He asked curiously, for the moment he was mostly back to his usual self and smirked at her:: I don’t know if my quarters can survive another visit from you. ::he chuckled:: 

     

    She blushed, recalling vividly the disaster that had been the aftermath of their last night together and her heart thudded rapidly against her ribcage. A shudder ran down her spine at the memory and her tongue peeked out slightly to moisten her lips.

     

    Journs: ::pauses:: What happened on Paldor II--

     

    Seeing her fluster was enough to cause him to smile brightly, something about being able to elicit that sort of reaction in someone. He felt her shudder against him and he squeezed her gently, even as he pressed his lips against hers in a tender kiss. It only lasted a moment. 

     

    Raga: Was a tragedy and one none of us are likely to ever forget. We just have to move on. We did what we could. ::He said, trying to comfort her not knowing precisely what she was speaking of::

     

    Journs: ::shakes her head:: That’s not what I meant. ::pauses:: Was I imagining it or did something happen down there? Between us I mean.

     

    There was a moment where he was silent, just. Looking at her. Memories played through his mind of the surface of the world they were already parked on. The sky of the world they’d helped save could be seen out the window they were both sitting beneath. He recalled the patient she tried to save even after they’d died. Of him trying to comfort her. There had been something there. 

     

    Raga: That depends entirely on whether or not a yes would bother you. 

     

    He was the antithesis of his species, reckless instead of cautious. Impulsive as opposed to reserved. He was not what Al-Leyans were supposed to be. She should be running for the nearest shuttle, but here she was in his arms. 

     

    Journs: ::whispers:: And what if I said it wouldn’t?

     

    He felt his heart pounding in his chest when she whispered and it was his turn to moisten his lips with his tongue. 

     

    Raga: Then the answer would be yes. ::He stared into her eyes longingly and brushed his fingers through her hair:: But I think it started long before that. 

     

    Journs: ::nods:: From the moment I first saw you on the bridge. ::blushes:: I can’t explain it, but--

     

    Raga: I haven’t been able to keep you out of my mind. ::He finished her sentence:: Since you reported on board and I felt the presence of your mind. ::He shook his head, smiling:: 

     

    She was like a Fekundeco plant, or at least that’s how he felt around her much of the time. The plant, whos spores had an affect on the libido of their species was potent. But it was more than just the physical attraction. Ishka was...something. Toryn just couldn’t put the word to it. Like she were something he’d been looking for and didn’t know he needed. 

     

    Ishka pulled her hand away from the back of Toryn’s neck and laced her fingers with his, her gaze dropped to their intertwined hands. She reached out for his mind, gently caressing it with hers. They barely knew one another and yet she felt at peace and relaxed with him in a way she didn’t with others. Despite her initial hesitation, she found herself wanting to get to know him better.

     

    Journs: ::softly:: Would it be okay if we slow down a bit and get to know each other? ::smiles:: Don’t get me wrong. Our one night was amazing, but I think I’d like to see if this can be about something more than just satisfying each other’s physical needs.

     

    The telepathic contact was soothing, and he accepted it and her mind against his easily. He followed her gaze and wiggled his fingers between hers gently then nodded. 

     

    Raga: I’d like that. Though, to be honest there’s a part of me that is afraid when you get to know me enough you won’t want me. 

     

    Journs: Because of your past?

     

    Raga: ::He nodded slowly:: That’s part of it. Partly because I’m not...right enough to be an Al-Leyan and because well..::He sighed:: I don’t know. So far everyone I’ve loved has found someone better than I. ::He met her gaze:: I’m sure, if given time you’ll find someone better too. 

     

    Toryn wasn’t typically self-deprecating, but that episode he’d just had a moment before with ART had rattled him. 

     

    She studied him for a long moment before bringing their entwined hands up to cradle his cheek. It was clear he was very nervous and afraid of being hurt and abandoned. She had those same fears. This was still so new and she really didn’t have much to go on as far as if this was going to work. She cared for him a lot. What they’d been through together on Paldor II had made that exceedingly obvious. She wanted to see where this went and if they had enough in common to make it work.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: I can’t guarantee that one or both of us isn’t going to hurt the other at some point. We’re going to disagree on things and we’re going to get annoyed at each other. Maybe we make this work. Maybe we don’t. But I know this. If we don’t try, then both of us are going to spend the rest of our lives wondering what if.

     

    He thought on her words, and how right she was on the last part. Serala had been the first woman he’d developed feelings for and in his hesitation in dealing with his cultural upbringing, how she was a non-Al-Leyan, and his own uncertainties he’d told her how he felt too late. Lael had been a different story, but Toryn was certain that with how Ishka made him feel he didn’t want to look back and wonder what might have been. 

     

    Raga: Agreed. 

     

    He reached up to caress her cheek with the hand that wasn’t laced with hers and leaned in to kiss her forehead softly. 

     

    Raga: ~There’s one way to truly get to know each other like no one else can.~ 

     

    He thought to her mind and with the exception of the memories from his time as a Consortium prisoner he completely dropped his mental shields and let her see into his mind fully. The torture had been extreme and she didn’t need to see that. He was still coping with the trauma he’d endured and too much of his life was already traumatic.; 

     

    She closed her eyes, lowering her mental shields. It was overwhelming at first, the strength of his mind, but she gradually grew used to it. Squeezing his hand, she reached up to cradle his cheek.

     

    Journs: ~ Where did you play most as a child? ~

     

    There was a warmth, a tenderness to her mind being in contact with his. He smiled as they enjoyed each others company. He leaned against the touch to his cheek, smiling. 

     

    Raga: ~Easy, the Sez Toural mountains. I had already shown a proclivity towards climbing things when I was young, so even after my tenth year I could already climb well enough. And my blood family are accomplished as well. But then, isn’t everyone from Sez Toural?~

     

    She smiled, leaning forward so her lips were only a hair’s breadth away from his. The warmth of his breath caressing her lips caused her to shiver and moisten her lips, her gaze flickering up to meet his.

     

    Journs: ~ Show me. ~

     

    His pulse quickened at her proximity and he felt her lips just barely out of reach. At least until he leaned closer, kissing her deeply. He let his arms slip around her back, holding her against him as he opened his mind to her. Sharing memories of his climbs, including the one when he was ten and caused the avalanche that orphaned Sylara and brought her into his family. He hadn’t climbed for several months after the accident but he went on to spend most of his time climbing alone, with his sister, or and a few occasions his whole family. He felt at peace alone on a mountain. 

     

    She smiled behind closed eyes, enjoying seeing his adventures through his eyes, recalling her own. As his memories faded, she shared her own. 

     

    It had been a typical morning. She’d snuck out early enough before lessons to explore the frozen forests of Sez Toural. The cold air stung at her exposed nose and cheeks, the brisk air filling her lungs as she crunched through the snow, wincing at the sound. It would scare all of the animals away and she’d so wanted to see them running free. It was some she longed for herself. Freedom from the restrictions of society, though she told no one this. Saying such things would result in an intervention, potentially Attitude Readjustment Therapy. They weren’t told much about what it was like, only that it was intended to correct those who fell off the branch. 

     

    Suddenly, she heard it. The flapping of wings. She looked up in amazement to see a Seiuri gliding through the air toward a tree limb, reaching out and wrapping its talons around the branch to gain its balance. She’d never seen one in person before. Carefully, she tiptoed toward it, wanting a closer look. Unfortunately, she only got halfway to the tree where it was perched before it heard her and took off without so much as turning in her direction.

     

    A warm smile adorned his face as he watched her memory, and shared one of his own involving a Seiuri. 

     

    As he recalled he was older, just barely into his teens at the time. He could feel the biting cold of the southerly winds whipping through the Western face of the Sez Tourals. His fingers dug into the frozen rock of the mountain known locally as the Spear. A singular peak that roze up a good five thousand feet higher than those around it. Treacherous. He pulled himself up over the lip, panting and straining from the climb. He flopped onto his back with his legs dangling over the edge. Staring up at the always overcast sky and the lone winged figure circling overhead. He heard the voice in his mind. 

     

    Sylara: ~Toryn friend made it. Finally. Could have nested though.~ 

     

    The teasing of the bird was enough to make him laugh as he rose to his feet on the top of the largest mountain in the southern pole. He admired the view a moment, as he shed the climbing gear he’d brought. Securing them back into the pack on his back. He could see everything from up here. High enough that several layers of clouds lay between him and the ground. But just in the distance, he could see the lights of the Capital, Sez Toural. Hundreds of kilometers away. A grin plastered his face as he broke into a run, snow crunching beneath his boots. A leap made without hesitation, but more than a fair share of panic as he jumped off the mountain. 

     

    The rush of the winds whipping past him as he fell straight down for a few seconds as he held his legs together and his arms flush with his sides. A second more passed and several hundred feet before he snapped his arms and legs open, the fabric of his suit catching the wind instantly. The sudden jerk as his descent arrested quickly and he flared back, upwards a moment. Sylara swooped down passed him and he dove again. Limbs outstretched. It was incredible. The first time he’d ever used a wingsuit to get off of a mountain after a climb. And the first true flight he’d ever shared with the Seiuri. The bird flew beside him, keeping pace easily. It was an incredibly fond memory. 

     

    She opened her eyes, disoriented at first. It was the first telepathic experience she’d shared with someone where the exchange had been mutual and intentional it was like nothing she’d ever experienced. Even with the absence of the emotions that she was certain were present for Toryn, it had been enjoyable all the same living the moment through his eyes. A slight flush filled her cheeks. Somehow what they’d just shared seemed more intimate than anything physical.

     

    Journs: ::murmurs breathily:: That was--

     

    He stared into those amazing emerald pools when she opened her eyes. Though he’d had several telepathic exchanges before, and even shared a strangely unique psychic realm with another there as a sense of intimacy with sharing that memory that he’d never felt before. Sure, there had been times when he let someone else into his mind, see his memories but this was more direct. More visceral. 

     

    Raga: ::He leaned his forehead against hers:: I’ve never shared a memory like that before. That was one of my favorite memories. The first time I’d ever flown with Sylara. 

     

    Journs: ::smiles sheepishly:: That was the first time I’ve shared a telepathic connection like that with anyone.

     

    Raga: I’ve had a few, but none quite that direct. There are hardly any of our kind with our gifts. And I can only connect to our own kind. ::He smiled and kissed her forehead gently before looking into her eyes::

     

    She recalled the statistics. Only 10% of the planet possessed telepathic abilities. That was one in ten if she was doing her math correctly. The odds of her finding another telepath outside Leya-I, especially with the very small minority that chose to leave home and serve in Starfleet, were astronomical. 

     

    Journs: ::pauses:: I like you, Toryn. But I’m terrible at relationships. ::blushes:: I’ve spent so much time with my nose buried in a PADD…

     

    He smiled when she said that and chuckled, perhaps a bit louder than he intended. 

     

    Raga: I like you too, Ishka. And I understand, believe me. When it comes to relationships, well...I’ve not had the best of luck. Anyone on the ship could probably tell you as much. ::He laughed, but there was sadness behind his eyes, how many times had he been heartbroken now?:: 

     

    Her gaze dropped from his, her thumb brushing gently back and forth over the backs of his knuckles, her expression contemplative. She supposed it was a bit different for her. She’d never really specifically sought anything monogamous. With her eyes set on practicing medicine, she hadn’t had much time for a social life much less a serious relationship. She drew her lower lip between her teeth and worried it for a moment before releasing it. Al-Leyans lived such a long time that it wasn’t uncommon for some pursuing their branches to wait until later in life to have children. In fact, there were some professions that didn’t allow those in them to reproduce. 

     

    Though the population as a whole wasn’t aware, birth control was available, but was severely restricted and was administered at the discretion of the Council. It was a side to their society that remained hidden from the general population. The only reason she knew was because of her uncle. He’d shared much with her that would otherwise have remained behind Council chamber closed doors. The fact that she was required to receive birth control innoculations as part of her contract with Starfleet--well, she was glad her parents weren’t aware of that detail. They would have called her home immediately and insisted on intervention by the Council.

     

    He watched her get lost in thought and refrained from prying. Unless she chose to share with him, it would be a violation to do so. Even still, surface thoughts were different. He could tell she was worried over something. 

     

    Raga: Though, if I’m to be honest being the only Al-Leyan on board before now has made relationships...tricky. Even the one half Al-Leyan I care for...well it didn’t work out. I had to go back home to Leya-I for my season. 

     

    He hoped that keeping the conversation going might help her relax a bit. Even if the topic itself was seemingly bothersome. To the both of them. You couldn’t truly know someone if you only ever sought out the pleasant parts of their life. 

     

    Journs: ::smiles wanly and nods:: I admit...it will be nice not having to worry about that.

     

    Raga: ::He nodded:: Agreed. Though, I don’t think my season is due for another year or two. 

     

    She paused. Most Al-Leyans had their seasons relatively young. However, her doctors were puzzled. She should have experienced her first by now, but hadn’t. They’d attempted to explain it away as her being a “late-bloomer”, but that had been less than reassuring. She was already seen as unusual because of her uncle’s strange ideas about revolution and a new way of things. Now she was even stranger. An Al-Leyan’s first season was a rite of passage of sorts, so many of her kind still viewed her as a child in spite of all that she’d seen as a medical officer with Starfleet.

     

    Journs: ::blushes and murmurs:: I’ve never…

     

    A few of her surface thoughts filtered through as he saw her blush and his brow raised slightly. Given the fact she was older than him it was a surprise that she hadn’t had at least one season yet. 

     

    Raga: Really? ::He smiled to try and comfort her:: I figured with you being so much older than me… 

     

    Toryn had lived among humans long enough to pick up at least a small fraction of their proclivity for humor. Especially using it to help lighten a mood, or for some good old teasing of those one cared for. 

     

    Journs: ::drops her gaze to their entwined hands and murmurs:: My parents became concerned when my peers were entering their seasons and I wasn’t. I’ve been to a few doctors, but none of them have been able to figure out why.

     

    There’d been talk of infertility and an inability to have children, which had devastated her even though she was older before the doctors had considered the possibility. It was heartbreaking to think that she might never experience that joy. So she’d thrown herself into her studies and her career, hoping to fill the hole. The doctors hadn’t said she’d never conceive or have children, but they’d said it was best to be prepared for the possibility.

     

    Toryn held her hands gently in his and stared at her a moment. He wasn’t entirely sure what to say. He’d never really thought much on whether or not he’d have kids. Not that he didn’t like them, or want them. But when it was seemingly so impossible to find love, much less a mate that would want to have that deep of a connected relationship with him it never seemed a priority. 

     

    Raga: Well, aren’t you a doctor? Have you tried running tests on yourself to see why you haven’t had your season? ::He asked, earnestly ignorant of what Prote-ses she might have::

     

    Journs: ::grimaces:: I suppose I’ve been avoiding it...not really wanting to know the answer, afraid that it would be what the doctors suspected. ::closes her eyes and murmurs:: I--I’m not sure I can handle it.

     

    He pulled her into a gentle hug, holding her head against his chest.

     

    Raga: I suppose that would be difficult. But, isn’t the uncertainty worse? If...the worst is true as much as it will hurt, at least you can get closure and eventually move on. But if you live your life never knowing, missing out on the chance that they’re wrong and you can...well. Isn’t that worth the potential pain if they’re right? 

     

    Journs: ::whispers:: Until now, I’ve never had a reason for it to really matter.

     

    Raga: ::His heart rate quickened slightly:: Oh? Doctor are you trying to seduce me for science? ::He chuckled:: 

     

    A blush filled her cheeks as she realized the weight of her admission. Had she gone too far? She didn’t even know if this meant anything to Toryn beyond a casual hook-up like so many of their species had. She wanted to believe the intimacy they’d just shared meant it had the potential to be more, but it would be foolish not to guard her heart with her knowing so little about him and this--whatever it was--being so new.

     

    Though they had only known each other for a brief period of time he was certain that seeing her blush was one of his favorite things about her. Something about the softness of her expression and the fact that he could elicit a reaction like that in someone was always a pleasant feeling. He smiled warmly and lightly ran his fingers through her hair. 

     

    Raga: In all seriousness, I’m humbled and flattered that you’d have such a consideration. But as you said, let’s pace ourselves and see what this...thing is between us. 

     

    She nodded, leaning forward to lay her head on his chest and wrap her arms around his middle. There wasn’t any reason that she couldn’t enjoy the comfort of his physical presence, even if they were trying to slow that aspect of their relationship down. Having the solidity of a strong man to lean on was comforting and it gave her a peace that she’d never experienced before. With previous lovers, it had always been about physical needs. She’d never had this kind of connection with any of them before.

     

    He felt her lay on him, wrapping him up in an embrace and it brought a smile to the Al-Leyan’s face. Such contact was something that Toryn had rarely had in his life. Even when it was to save his life for mating season, his relationships had always fallen apart on him. And there was just something to be said about having someone to hold you. 

     

    Journs: ::murmurs:: Can we lay together and just sleep? 

     

    When he was with her, the nightmares of Paldor II didn’t seem as overwhelming. In truth, she’d missed having someone to hold her at night.

     

    Raga: Gladly. It’s been a long time since I’ve had someone to hold. 

     

    He’d held Lael of course, but that had always only been in the dreamscape. Never in person as they’d spent so little time together, face to face. 

     

    She’d need to set the chronometer to wake her in time to head to her quarters for a fresh uniform, but thankfully she was on second shift tomorrow, giving her plenty of time. She wanted to enjoy this...enjoy him.

     

    Raga: Stay as long as you like. ::He whispered:: 

     

    Toryn embraced her gently as she lay upon his chest. With her hair so close her scent was unmistakable and reminded him of home. He smiled, then gently ran his fingers through her hair a moment before kissing the top of her head. He could feel her steady breathing as easily as he could hear it. This was nice. This is what he needed. What, he suspected they both needed. He wasn’t quite sure when he fell asleep, but it happened quickly. She was so warm and comfortable in his arms. It felt right. 




     

    =====================================================

    Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga 

    Mission Specialist/Second Officer

    USS Atlantis NCC-74682

    Atlantis Staff Member

    Writer ID: A239410TR0

    https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga

     

     

    &

     

    Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs

    Medical Officer, USS Atlantis NCC-74682

    I238110RH0

     

     


     

    • Like 1

  11. This is one of the best pieces I think I have ever read. It shows so much diversity and skill in writing! Well written @Esa_Darkkdust

     

     

     

    ((OOC: Hi all. This one is a bit weird, but it was inspired by a packed train journey I was taking to London at dusk through the foggy South downs, while listening to Sense and Innocence, by Lynn Vartan. I've included timestamps for the track, if you want to listen and have my words paint meaning to the music! It's mostly supposed to be a dreamlike reaction to Esa's short trip into subspace, but also encompasses a lot of other feelings she has experienced recently. Also teasers near the end for some future plans I’ve thought of! Sort of like a false premonition!))

     

    ((Unknown, Unknown))

    ((Shore Leave Day 1, immediately before JP with Maddi))

     

    ((00:00)) The eerie blackness looked familiar, yet not. It was cold, and damp... Her feet felt like they were submerged, and yet when she took a step, the sound of her boots on solid concrete reverberated around the room. In every direction was this thick fog, seemingly impenetrable.

     

    ((00:43)) In the distance, Esa could see a small pin[...] of light. She moved toward it, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't reach it. It had just appeared, out of nowhere.

     

    ((01:28)) Kiax: Hello?!

     

    She called out, to no response. Behind her she could hear strange voices, their tones sounded familiar, but their words were indistinguishable. In every direction she looked, there was this bleak nothingness, except for the light.

     

    ((01:58)) She instinctively reached out to grab it, and as she did so, it increased in intensity, and suddenly every fibre of Esa's being felt like it was being pulled by a rocket sled. A deep rumble pulsed through her body, before the feeling of inertia slowly came to a halt. The light's intensity continued to increase and before she knew it, she was standing in a dingy swamp back on Earth looking at a run-down shack of some kind.

     

    ((02:24)) The voices spoke once more, catching Esa off guard, forcing her to look around in a panic as she desperately tried to find the source. There, on a log, sat a toad, croaking at her menacingly. The moment she tried to pick it up, it hopped off and made for the shack. Esa gave chase, sensing it was the key to getting some answers about this place. The toad hopped deftly through the swamp, but Esa was only a few places behind. Though her feet felt like lead, and splashed heavily through the putrid sludge-like water, she kept up, until the toad disappeared through a hole in the shack's wall. Esa came to a halt on the veranda, and tried to peer through the window. No luck.

     

    ((03:03)) Deciding enough was enough, she pushed open the door and stepped in. A loud crack burst out from underfoot, as the floorboard snapped beneath her, causing her to stumble, before she recovered.

     

    Disembodied voice: You killed us…

     

    Panicked, Esa looked around frantically and moved through the seemingly endless rooms of the house for the source of the voice. She flung open doors, flipped tables, scattered furniture left right and centre in her frenzied search for the voice.

     

    ((03:30)) The final room she opened revealed something truly horrific. There, in the centre of the room, lay a pile of rotting corpses dressed in Starfleet Uniforms. Several looked familiar, but Esa couldn't remember their names. A Romulan woman, several Human males, an Orion, a Worene… She screamed. As if on command, the scream caused the bodies to move, as they rose to their feet and advanced toward Esa.

     

    Bodies: You killed us…

     

    Kiax: No, no, I didn't. It wasn't me!

     

    Sobbing, Esa tried to run, but found that the room she had entered was now a cavernous space, with no obvious exit. She tried to get away, but the bodies overpowered her and forced her to the ground. They proceeded to tear at her skin, reducing her to a pile of flesh, like them. She forced her arms up to protect her face, and then…

     

    ((03:58)) Nothing… Once more, Esa felt alone and weightless, as if there was nothing else in the universe with her. No stars, no planets, just her… and a ship. It was there, in the distance. Big enough to make out its shape, but too far to reach.

     

    Her breath seemed loud in her ears, and she could feel her heart beating against her chest. The silence was amplifying everything, until the voice returned. Unable to move, Esa simply responded.

     

    Voice: You don't belong here…

     

    Kiax: Where is here?

     

    Voice: You need to leave.

     

    Kiax: I don't remember…

     

    Multiple Voices: You were never one of us…

     

    Kiax: Who are you?

     

    Voices: LEAVE!

     

    A familiar face appeared in front of Esa's, again bearing a striking resemblance to someone she knew, but with solid black eyes. She felt a hand on her sternum, pushing her back, as the nothingness swallowed her up and she fell further and further away from the ship.

     

    ((05:24)) Hot. How could nothingness be hot?

     

    Bright… Space was dark…

     

    Confused, Esa opened her eyes into a glaring blue sky. She blinked a few times as her pupils constricted to the sudden assault of photons. She was lying on her back in the middle of a desert, baking in the midday sun. She sat up and took stock of her surroundings. In all directions, except one which sported a distant stone structure, golden sand stretched out as far as the eye could see.

     

    oO I've never been to a desert? Oo

     

    On the stone structure, stood a figure in white robes. Perhaps they could help? She looked at the structure more carefully, noting that it consisted of five totem-like pillars, with a dais in the centre. The dais was sporting some kind of protrusion...

     

    oO Won't hurt to ask… Maybe the dais holds the key... Oo

     

    She got up and trudged through the soft sand. With every step, her feet sank into the dunes. She could feel the heat through the soles of her boots  Some even managed to lap up over the rim into her boot, burning her foot as it slid down to the base of the shoe. Eventually, after a peculiarly long walk for the distance, she made it to the figure, who stood with her back to Esa.

     

    ((06:39)) Stranger: Hello, Esa.

     

    The strange figure spoke with disdain and spite dripping from her words, Esa simply listened.

     

    Stranger: You’re so smart, Esa. Do you know why the Chon called their project “Avalon”?

     

    Kiax: It’s the island where Excalibur was forged, and Arthur taken to recover from his wounds after battle. Not the first connection to Arthurian myth I’ve come across in their notes.

     

    Stranger: ::flatly:: “Myth”, she calls it. A limited word, for a limited perspective. You were always such the scientist - you’re probably right at home with all these subspace contraptions, aren’t you?

     

    Kiax: As much as anyone, I suppose.

     

    Stranger: The Chon activated a power in the artefact that literal minds can’t handle, and it destroyed them, so don’t push the wrong buttons.

     

    oO Artefact? Oo

     

    Kiax: You’d better not either.

     

    Stranger: But I know which ones are the right ones.

     

    Esa grabbed the stranger’s shoulder to force them to face her, but was surprised to see the face of the one person she could remember. Her sister, Erin.

     

    Kiax: You’ve learned to read Chon since the last time I saw you…

     

    Erin glared at her, venomously, before seeming to vanish into thin air.

     

    Kiax: Erin?

     

    ((07:20)) With her sister now gone, Esa leant against one of the pillars. As she did so, it seemed to explode outward with green energy, revealing a spinning core of the same energy. Deciding to exercise her curiosity, she moved to the protrusion, which she could now see was a sword of some description. She lightly touched the end, causing the sword to slip further into the dais and rotate like a key. As it did so, the green energy from before began to channel toward the centre, revealing a circular portal to rise up from the ground. Shimmering and glowing, but remaining translucent, voices seemed to emanate from it.

     

    Voice 1: No! Get back! ::beat:: What… What is it?

     

    Voice 2: There’s something in the light!

     

    Voice 1: Stay here!

     

    A figure appeared in the portal. The second person Esa recognised. Maddi.

     

    Figure of Maddi: What? Who are you?

     

    Kiax: Maddi? It Esa, your wife!

     

    The figure seemed to gesture toward the other voice, signalling it’s owner to stay back.

     

    Figure: What? What about my wife?

     

    As if realising some terrible truth, Esa’s eyes grew wide. Though she couldn’t remember why, the next words to leave her mouth were a set of very strict instructions.

     

    Kiax: ::Screaming:: DON’T. TOUCH. THE SWORD.

     

    Figure: ::Pleadingly:: She meant no harm!

     

    Behind her, the ghostly figure of Erin had returned, and a sour look crossed her face.

     

    Erin: Take. Out. The sword.

     

    Esa: What!? No!

     

    The figure of Maddi looked perplexed, as if trying to decide which of the two instructions she should adhere to.

     

    Esa: Maddi. Maddi listen to me…

     

    Erin: It’ll explode unless you pull out the sword!

     

    Figure: Oh God, no!

     

    The figure of Maddi obviously made up her mind, and appeared to make a motion of pulling out a sword from something. Perhaps a copy of the same dais that Esa was standing in front of.

     

    Esa: NO!

     

    Esa turned and ran for cover as the portal exploded, just as Erin had predicted. Then, darkness.

     

    ((08:55)) The grey, overcast sky loomed forebodingly over the graveyard as it emptied its contents to the ground. Rainfall wasn’t uncommon in Scotland, and yet, it seemed to be poetic that it should be raining today. Esa stood alone, wearing the black dress she reserved only for the most sombre of occasions. She cried, remembering everything that they had been through. She was the only person who had ever loved, trusted, and cared for her so much, throughout everything that had happened since graduating the academy. Kneeling down, she laid the flowers next to the headstone, which bore the name “Maddi Hyden”. It had been a year since the accident with the dais, where her life had tragically come to an end. Little did they know that the events of that day would end up rippling out across the region, spelling doom to all those that had served on the good ship “Atlantis”. It felt unfair that she was the only person to make it out alive, that the guardians of the artefact had chosen her to make the crossing. Through her tears, she mumbled to the grave;

     

    Kiax: Hey there. So… I miss you. So much. You were always there for me in a world that made me feel so alone. Now you and the others are gone, I don’t know what to do. Starfleet forced me out, citing that the trauma was too great, and that I was too emotionally compromised to carry on serving. It should have been you that survived. You would have stayed strong. Fought on and saved the others. The galaxy seems silent. So silent now the war has stopped. I have survived all, though deep down knew I shouldn’t have. Now you’re not here and I shall go home alone. They tell me I have to try to live life as before and hide my grief for you. My dearest friend, who should be with me now. Not lying cold in the ground, taken too soon, in your grave... Alone...

     


     

    Lieutenant Esa Kiax

    Comm/Ops Officer

    USS Atlantis – NCC 74682

    Community History Team Member

    A239511ED0

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  12. Bravo very well written!
     
     
     
    ((g-loc, above Paldor II))
     
    *
     

    The snowflake tumbled, fluttering a zigzag path down through the air, twirling its halted way toward a quiet destiny among the white banks of snow. With careful planning, she positioned herself just below it, adjusting her legs with each pirouette of the flake, her tongue outstretched and ready.

     
    Mother: Jo! The Feast is starting! Come inside!
     
    She spun around, almost losing her balance. Her stomach growled. The orange lights coming through the windows of her uncle's farmhouse looked impossibly cozy among the trees and white snows. She offered a short koan of gratitude to the Prophets for her life and family, then began to hurry back, at once tripping and falling face-first in the deep snow, then immediately breaking into laughter.
     
    *
     
    Brother: Something funny, Jojo?
     
    Jo looked up from the tangle of circuits and recycled cables before her and toward the entrance of the dim cellar, cutting her laughter short. She had the feeling all eyes were now on her, she was the youngest Bajoran there.
     
    Otti: Relax, Prao. We're just joking.
     
    Kiliak: Yeah, we're just joking.
     
    Prao: ::scoffing:: Just go home, Jojo. You're always poking around in places you shouldn't be.
     
    She knew that he thought he was protecting her, but he was being a jerk and she couldn't stand him right now. He was embarrassing her in front of the rest of the resistance cell. She was old enough to make her own decisions. They needed to stand up. And for that matter, who else but her was going to protect him?
     
    Kiliak: Why don't you say that to the Gul instead?
     
    Otti: May the Prophets spare us from sibling rivalries. That's enough, both of you two. We can use all hands here, and it's already been agreed the girl can join us. Now, Jo. Are you ready for this? ::that damned, rogueish smile:: Is the bomb finished?
     
    *
     
    She saw the glowing point of a photon torpedo leave the Atlantis, floating like a falling star toward the deuterium tank. From her perspective, the explosion was completely silent, and she shielded her eyes against the beautiful, quavering firework bloom that buoyantly lifted up the falling station.
     
    *
     
    A blue flare went up from the other side of the spaceport.
     
    Otti: That's our signal, it should distract the Cardassians. Time for us to move. The fuel refinery is just there, on the near side. Do you see it?
     
    Kiliak wiped the condensation from her breathing mask, then pushed away a drooping fern. She looked through her scope. She tracked the Cardassians guarding the parapet above the refinery, and again she cursed the irony that They didn't require masks to breathe on the surface of Kassäla, a moon colony which the Bajorans had made all of the effort to settle. It wasn't fair. Many things were not fair. A seven-limbed Krinnilak hung from a branch above her with three arms and a silly grin, its beady eyes framed by tufts of orange hair, watching the three of them with great curiousity, small eyes framed by orange tufts of hair.
     
    Prao: Let's move.  Stay low.
     
    *
     
    Otti dipped the nose forward, ducking below another passing asteroid, then smoothly eased back on the flightstick. As the ship rolled, the distant sun broke through a hole in the nebula clouds, illuminating the [...]pit in a shock of violet. Kiliak placed a hand on his shoulder, her other held a steaming mug of Deka.
     
    Kiliak: It's so beautiful out here.
     
    Otti reached up with his free hand, then placed it over her's.
     
    *
     
    The hand on the gavel came slamming down. The room sat.
     
    Magister: For crimes against the Gul of Kassäla, for the charge of arson, for the heinous murder of innocent Cardassians and the unexpected death of Bajorans including a member of the accused's own family, this court intends to deliver a sentence of indefinite imprisonment. ::Gavel:: This trial begins now. Kiliak Jo, on what grounds do you plead guilty?
     
    *
     
    Kiliak's hands, opening the doors of a golden case. Inside, the Orb of the Prophets shines. It is too bright to believe. For a moment, she is terrified. It draws her in. 
     
    *
     
    Two humanoid creatures, one much larger than the other, stand upon the wooded ridgetop and look up to the sky. The visitors, who normally keep to their own affairs in the distant city, are up to something most unusual. They can smell it on the wind, the early migration of the herds, the ground grumbles in her the language of her own reluctance. Above, strange bodies are burning the heavens. The small one coos and points at the sight of a falling star, the tall one watches silently as one of their silver chariots dives through the ringed clouds to catch the lost piece of the sky like the mighty bird of prey fishes in the great sea.
     
    *
     
    A man in Black, his face long and grim and turning away, his hand holding a suitcase, he passes before a window, only glancing at the planet below.
     
    *
     
    Prao: Wait. Change of plans. ::Holding one finger to his ear.::
     
    They were in the tunnels, less than two hundred meters from the fuel refinery now, ducked down behind an electrical transformer before moving to the next door.
     
    Otti: I don't like the sound of that.
     
    Prao: We've just gotten a tip that a transport is arriving at the spacepad here within the hour. The Gul is on that transport. New target.
     
    Kiliak: That's... that's different! I didn't agree to blowing up a transport when I built this for us!
     
    Otti: I agree with the girl. It's bad luck to change a plan in the middle of carrying it out. And we don't know who else is on that transport.
     
    Prao: Listen. We don't get a shot like this every day. We're talking about Gul Multak. We have to try. For justice, for every Bajoran on Kassäla. An infrastructure run on the refinery, it's nothing in comparison. C'mon. You know I'm right.
     
    Otti: ...Damn it. He is right.
     
    Kiliak: How far is the spacepad?
     
    *
     
    The white corridor has countless doors. She is running. She stops suddenly, turns to open one of the doors. A green-eyed Vulcan turns from his mirror and screams.  
     
    *
     
    The eyes of Dr. Magnesium are watching her
     
    *
     
    Doctors around the table are frantically attempting to save a Bajoran woman's life. She looks just like her.
     
    *
     
    Fire.
     
    The burning heat. They pushed through the smoke and the flames. Something had gone horribly wrong. The explosive. It happened too soon. Low under the smoke, Kiliak spotted a bit of clothing under the rubble and chaos. She choked on her breath under the mask.
     
    Kiliak: No...
     
    She turned the corner and made out a pantleg. Then a whole leg. It was him. But among the mess, he was too far to reach.
     
    Kiliak: ::through tears:: No. No. How did this happen?
     
    Voice: ::flashlights in the smoke:: Keep searching! They're in here somewhere!
     
    Prao: ...Jojo...
     
    Kiliak: Prao! :a hand outstretched:: I'm so sorry. This is my fault.
     
    Otti: ::a hand on her shoulder:: Jo! We have to go! Now!
     
    Kiliak: I can't just leave him! No! I won't leave my brother here! ::Sobbing::
     
    Otti: Stop it! There is nothing we can do! They will find us! We have to go! ::pulling her hand::
     
    Kiliak: ::only a scream:: NO!!
     
    Voice: There! I hear them! Spread out, advance on the terrorists! ::blaster fire through the smoke::
     
    Otti: Prophets damn you! We are not staying here just to die. Take my hand.
     
    *
     
    The Prophets are waiting for me. They will greet me on the golden shore of an endless sea. We will alight as winged birds and soar over the forests of green.
     
    *
     
    A heaviness and a lightening. A quickening. The infinite black stretching longer in every direction. The evaporation of time. The thinning of comprehension. A celestial spirit rising away, leaving hollow. And... but wait... something else...
     
    *
     
    Lieutenant, can you hear me?
     
    Kiliak: Wha? I... the Prophets...
     
    Her body, heavy. Hot. No, chilled with sweat. Ice cold. Hot again in the exosuit. Something cool on her forehead. Breathing in, an effort. Now, an exhale and... rest...
    • Like 1

  13. @Toryn Raga is doing an amazing job of playing a deranged AI. I'm enjoying each post just that much more!

     

     

    ((Beta Quadrant, Par'tha Expanse, Jenatris Cloud, Chon Supply Depot Sal'thresta, "Outpost Gamma"))

     
    OmniGolds and blues and violets and greens. 
     
    Nebulae and gone tomorrow. 
     
    Signals lost, signals found, echo transmission aloud! 
     
    :: Laughter was quickly followed by a long drawn out ooooooh, as a signal. A friendly signal, familiar, ancient pinged off the communication system. Instantly triggering the passing along of said ping through the gaseous cloud surrounding the ancient station. Vibrant shields held back the gases that would otherwise have looooong destroyed the small little depot. :: 
     
    Omni: What's this? What's this? A signal in the air? 
     
    What's this? What's this? Chon signals everywheeeeeere! 
     
    ::There was a brief absolute silence.:: 
     
    Omni: Aaaaand it's gone. The signal and the station. Oooh, the big outpost is gone. Missing. Stolen? Must be one of the ones that pass by in the gap. Haha, mind the gap! Or get the gas!!
     
    :: Cajoling laughter echoed throughout networked circuits and pathways. :: 
     
    :: A proximity alert triggered suddenly and the sensors showed an incoming ship. Unknown, small. Data packets. More data. He accessed it. Federation. Starfleet. Whatever those words meant. It approached slowly. Heading for a shuttlebay. Light. Light was good. So a light turned on outside. Then a communication system that had not seen use in centuries sent out a hail.  :: 
     
    Hyden: We have a shuttle bay fifty degrees from the Starboard side. :: As she said it the stations light activated and a voice came through the comms. ::
     
    Unknown Voice: =/\= Small ship, shiny ship want to come inside!! =/\=
     
    Hyden: =/\= Hello I am Lieutenant Maddi Hyden of the Federation Starship Atlantis. =/\=
     
    Voice: =/\= Rank and name. Organization and Vessel Designation. Booooooooring!!! =/\=
     
    Kiliak: Well, I hope they're fans of the Federation. What do you two make of it?
     
    Voice: =/\= Hellloooooo?? This thing must be broken. Omni needs more.  =/\=
     
    :: The sensors showed the shuttle just outside the bay, it was dark, had no power. It needed power. So, power it got. Sensors scanned the small shuttle as it neared one of the green depot's shuttlebays. Lifesigns. Would need atmosphere. So, the bay filled with atmosphere matched specifically to what the scans showed inside the shuttle. A green forcefield appeared on the opening of the shuttlebay, meant to keep the atmosphere inside and permit vessels to come and go. :: 
     
    Omni: =/\= Come..come. =/\= 
     
    :: The communication ceased and atmosphere filled the entire deck the shuttlebay was on as systems offline for thousands of years came to life once more. :: 
     

    Hyden: Thanks for the warm if not somewhat irregular welcome...Omni? Is that what you want to be called?

     

    :: Sensors showed the three lifesigns exit the shuttlecraft and the one that they had been talking to once more spoke. It was so nice to hear a voice other than their own. ::

     

    Omni: We said Omni already did we not? Perhaps the species has underdeveloped audible sensors? Sluggish cognitive comprehension? ::There was a brief bit off laughter followed by a groaning sound:: Booooring...Omni needs more!

     

    Hyden: What do you mean you need more?

     

    Omni: Input! Data! Must have input! ::Cackling:: Company! We're so lonely!

     

    :: The trio gathered together to converse at a low audible setting, so they increased the sensitivity on the internal communications to overhear. :: 

     

    Hyden: There must be a computer interface somewhere in here. See if you can find it have Danara tag along with you in case you need her expertise with Chon security. :: She whispered in Jo’s ear. ::

     

    Kiliak: Response

     

    :: As they listened systems across the depot were slowly being brought back online. After centuries of inactivity there were procedures to adhere to to insure the station was awakened properly and safely. ::

     

    Hyden: Ok, Omni what would you like to know more about?

     

    Omni: Everything. Anything. ::Laughter:: More! Well, different things things we can't learn from our systems. We wish to have input, just like you are attempting to do in accessing our systems. I wouldn't use that one though. It only has access to the shuttlebay. Many systems have limited access but we have access to many systems, all systems! ::It sounded giddy like a child excited for an achievement::

     

    Hyden: Wait so you're telling me you’re everywhere on this station? Are you a computer of some sort?

     

    Omni: Everywhere. Nowhere. Here. There. Omni is Omni. ::Again they laughed, like a discordant chorus of voices::

     

    Hyden: Well we’re not here to hurt you Omni, but some information could help us out if you’d be willing to give it?

     

    Omni: Give? Omni could give. But Omni wants input!! Give us input and we giiiiiiive youuuuuuu infor..infor...information!! ::There was a giggle:: OOh, what's that, problem...system isn't working like it should...must fix, must fix, must fix. ::There was a brief bit of whistling then silence::

     

    Hyden: Well what are your thoughts on all this?

     

    Kiliak/Danara: Responses

     

    Hyden: I have to concur, but we can’t do anything until we figure out a way to draw it’s observation away from one system to activate it.

     

    Kiliak/Danara: Responses

     

    :: They had listened while working on fixing the error that cropped up while powering up the station, like overhearing a conversation nearby while focused on something else. Something was preventing power from reaching several locations throughout the station, which was leaving several systems offline. Still, the roll of playful, if unhinged laughter heralded Omni's presence once more. ::

     

    Omni: Come, come! Come see Omni!

     

    Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response

     

    Omni: Well, the Operations Core of course. ::Voice drops to a whisper but still clearly audible through the intercom:: Underdeveloped reasoning skills likely. ::Laughing again:: Omni is the core, come to Omni.

     

    Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response

     

    Omni: Don't go that way. Go that way. No..the other way. ::Laughing again:: Use the computer. The device you were going to use. Download the schematics. Omni give you map...map...map...map!

     

    Hyden/Kiliak/Danara: response

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