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  1. ((Corridors Outside Sickbay, USS Columbia)) ::It had been a very long time since she had last stood in this place, and it looked entirely new. Nothing was left of the battles fought, save for the memories (or lack thereof) and the log entries and damage reports from years prior. It hadn’t taken Kali long to uncover her link to the ship before it had been refit, and in a way she hoped that her history with her would open the doors to some memories somewhere.:: ::But here as she stood, just outside the doors where the dragon had apparently crashed through the bulkhead, she still remembered nothing.:: ::With a frown, she looked down at the padd in her hand at the damage reports and the images they included. Deep claw marks marred the metallic walls and the doors themselves had been thrown haphazardly to the side in the process. Dark stains on the deck left little to the imagination when it came to the price paid by those who defended sickbay that day, and the lighting itself seemed dim in the aftermath of it all.:: ::And yet Kali could not remember any of it.:: ::The logs from the event that would eventually take her and her crew through the waycorridors to Odyssey station, in another galaxy, outlined the trials the crew faced from the newly named Draco Stellarium, barely making it out of the Azure nebula alive. The destruction to the ship was awful and complete, leaving entire sections uninhabitable until their return to the Starbase.:: ::As Kali looked up at the door she saw, nor remembered, any of it. The pristine surfaces only rang of a newness that didn’t come with history. The carpet on the deck was clean and fresh. There was no trace of claw marks or death, aside from the idea that this was sickbay. And in her mind, there was no trace of any of the memories that should have been there.:: ::With a sigh, she stopped thinking about it. The pictures on the padd looked so unfamiliar, not just in the context of her past, but in the context of the present as well. The ship had truly been refit, completely and totally. It shone like it had just come off the assembly line, still in need of her first shakedown cruise. Perhaps that was what threw her…:: ::Apparently it threw her so hard she didn’t even notice that she was blocking the door until she was nearly face to face with an officer she didn’t know.:: Duyzer: ? ::Kali blinked, focusing her crystalline blues on the person who had seemingly materialized in front of her.:: Nicholotti: Oh, I’m sorry. ::Smiling.:: Guess I kind of got lost with my thoughts there. Duyzer: ? ::The ambassador stepped back to give him room to enter the corridor. She nodded in greeting.:: Nicholotti: Indeed. I don’t recognize you. Are you newly assigned here? ::Of course he was. Kali let her own mischievous grin dance across her face at her own question. They were all newly assigned, so this officer she didn’t know was also.:: Duyzer: ? ::With a slight bit more flourish that was probably necessary, Kali bowed slightly, letting her long raven hair fall over her shoulder.:: Nicholotti: Ambassador Kalianna Nicholotti, at your service. Duyzer: ? TAG/TBC Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti Federation Ambassador at Large As simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Columbia R238605KN0
  2. ((Main Shuttlebay - Deck 3 - U.S.S. Columbia)) ((Time Index: Approximately three days after the transfer orders)) Whittaker: oOSomebody pinch me.Oo ::As the small craft, a Class-8 Starfleet shuttle came to a soft and virtually imperceptible stop as it landed on the deck of the U.S.S. Columbia’s main shuttlebay, Captain Theo Whittaker was almost overcome by a strange wave of disorientation that made him think for one brief second he was dreaming and that this was not reality. The fact that Starfleet Command had seen fit to assign him to the newly refitted Columbia as it’s commanding officer (and then hand him and his crew a historic long term assignment thousands of miles from the heartlands of the Federation) had yet to sink in and had been many moments in the preceding three days where he thought he would wake up in his cabin aboard the Blackwell.:: ::Gazing out of the [...]pit’s transparent aluminum window he saw a number of officers waiting for him. He picked out all of his senior staff from the Blackwell as well as several other officers and dignitaries who had been invited to witness the re-commissioning of the historic Nebula-class starship. He had specifically requested that Starfleet Command keep the senior staff together for this assignment, knowing that each and every one of them deserved the chance to prove they were ready and able to handle whatever challenges the galaxy’s edge would throw at them.:: ::The brief disorientation passed and he turned to regard his First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jarred Thoran, who had made the trip from Deep Space 26 to the Columbia with him. He wondered if the man was as thrown by this turn of events as he himself had been.:: Whittaker: oOThe man works his way through the chain of command, finally gets to trade his yellow collar for red and then finds himself reassigned!Oo ::at that moment he realised that it was not unlike his transfer from engineering to command, only it had happened after the reassignment and he had been the only one from the Columbia (at first) to be positioned aboard StarBase 118.:: Shall we do this, Number One? Thoran: ? ::Theo grinned as excitement took hold of him. Here he was, about to step foot back on to his first posting out of the academy-only this time he was coming back as it’s Commanding Officer. He had, in many ways, come full circle. Columbia had long held him under its spell and it was and always would be his ‘first love’. Engineers across the fleet were often derided for their attachment to starships and anthropomorphizing them, but when a ship was as unconventionally beautiful as the Columbia was- it was not hard to do do; especially after the latest round of refits that had ensured it could operate for well over half a decade without the support of a major starbase.:: Whittaker: oOShe truly was a thing of beauty.Oo ::He got to his feet and made his way to the rear of the shuttlecraft, Thoran following behind him. The side hatch opened and Theo stepped on to the deck of the Columbia. He paused to savour the moment, taking a deep breath of the crisp air and for the first time he realised that this was not a dream.:: ::It was real.:: ::He was home.:: ::His standard issue duty boots clacked against the surface of the deck plating, causing them to echo in the cavernous shuttlebay. An enlisted crewmember stepped forward and blew into a boatswain’s whistle, causing all of the assembled Starfleet officers to snap their legs together and throw their arms rigidly against their side; all of them standing to attention. Even those civilians who were watching joined them despite not being required to (though they were a good deal sloppier). After another deep breath, Theo lifted his left hand to read from the PADD that he had quite forgotten his was holding. His thumb brushed against the touch screen which activated the device and displayed the orders he was to read out.:: Whittaker: To Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker, Stardate 239509.10. You are hereby requested and required to take command of the U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 as of this stardate. Signed, Admiral Vivian Hauke, Starfleet Command. ::beat:: Computer, transfer all command authorisation codes to myself. Voice authorisation: Whittaker Delta Five. Computer: Transfer complete. U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 now under the command of Captain Theo Michelangelo Whittaker. Any: ? ::That was it. The Columbia was now his. Strangely, it felt a little anticlimactic as he had dreamed about that very moment for as long as he had been a commissioned officer in the fleet. He felt that assuming a new command required something with a little more pomp and circumstance. But it was what it was. Dismissing the interlude of disappointment from his mind, he lowered the PADD and looked at the assembled officers. A few, well chosen words felt appropriate at that moment.:: Whittaker:Well, there you have it people. Our new ship. We have an exciting opportunity ahead of us. This is a storied vessel with a lot of history behind her. Let make sure that we do her all proud and that the history books never forget our names.Any: ? Whittaker: ::with a smile, he brought the ceremony to its logical conclusion.:: Dismissed. Any: ? ::As they all began to disperse, Theo looked to his Number One and beckoned him to approach with a wave of his index and middle finger.:: ::It was time to get down to business.:: Whittaker: Jarred, I’d like you to have the senior staff report for an assignment briefing in two hours time. And… ::he paused as a small smile took hold.:: ...have us ready to get underway for the Delta Vega system in an hour. Thoran: ? ::Looking around the shuttlebay, he imagined that he could see the entire ship. It was strangely familiar but so new all at once. Gone were the old Galaxy-class aesthetics that had defined his first two tours of duty aboard her, replaced instead by deep reds and navy blues with gold trims. Every aspect of the Columbia outside of her main spaceframe had undergone extensive refits; an uprated sensor suite based on those found aboard Luna-class explorers, dozens of new science labs, a new bridge module that blended the Sovereign-class with the Galaxy, improved warp engines and even a brand new Captain’s Yacht to replace the ageing Kumari. Yes, he felt like he knew the Columbia while also acknowledging that, in many ways, she was complete stranger to him.:: ::He had the chance to get to know her all over again.:: Whittaker: oOSomebody pinch me.Oo Thoran: ? ::His Executive Officer’s voice pulled him from his reverie. Caught unawares he blinked, struggling for a moment to understand what Thoran had just said.:: Whittaker: Hm? Oh, my apologies. I was just caught up in my own thoughts. ::a warm smile, almost one of love, danced across his face.:: I got her back, Number One. :: he said as he whirled one finger around to indicate the starship as a whole.:: I can’t quite believe it. Thoran: ? Any: ? TAG/TBC! OOC: And we're off! Have a wonderful time everyone. I cannot wait to see what we come up with! -- * -- Captain Theo M. Whittaker Commanding Officer U.S.S. Columbia N.C.C.-85279 ID: 239203TW0 -- * --
  3. (Holosuite, DS26)) Shayne: Indeed. He is incredible. Whatever you did, sir, I thank you for it. ::Smiling slightly.:: ::Awkwardness, ineffectuality, a fear of creating problems that bordered on impotence- this was the reality that Shayne had come to see in himself. His need to find fault in his own actions would have made Hornblower look like a guidance counselor in comparison. Of all these faults, and many more, however, there was one skill Shayne could not deny possessing.:: ::He was very, very good in emergencies.:: ::Leaving behind the insipid, quiet, and contrite individual in the face of danger or strife, Shayne could immediately- and painfully temporarily- become another man. Focused, attentive, steely eyed and able to spring into any role a situation required. And now, despite the fact that they were in perhaps the most pleasantly non violent environment conceivable, despite the fact that he and MacKenna both were surrounded by peers, comrades and compatriots who had already made their well-wishes known, Shayne felt his senses perk up. No, that wasn’t true- his senses had been quite perky; MacKenna had assured that, and though he was still digesting his feelings and attempting to think past the initial thrill of contact (literally and figuratively), a higher calling urged him. MacKenna was in pain- anyone with a similar constitution could see that. And if there was something he could do about it, he would. The ship might not be falling apart, but there was a way he could help. And this he’d never turn down.:: ::So he had taken the unusual act of engaging others on his own terms- definitely a new sensation, especially with a fellow of conversation that bore as high a rank as Taybrim. Yet, he was pleased he had been able to. It allowed him to move past the ambiguous, if only for an instant, and focus on the concrete- a form of understanding in high demand for those as blatantly neurotic as he.:: Taybrim /Jolara: ? ::He listened, interested, but his [...] boldness, momentary like the high of a drug, began to fade in his breast. The confidence deflated, the glow abated. He felt like he was falling, back into the monotony of himself. A glance at MacKenna gave him just enough of a bolstering to do what had to be done.:: Shayne: I’m sorry to break this up, but I must leave to attend to something. Commander MacKenna, I don’t want to impose, but if you have a moment, I could use your assistance. ::The words had not been considered and yet somehow, on autopilot, he’d made his excuses, apologies and requests with a minimal of bumbling. He’d even managed to sound appropriately officious- this mustn't appear to be anything but an unfortunately timed request for purely operational assistance.:: ::Why though? He wondered for the briefest of moments. Would not Taybrim and Jolara sympathize and understand? But again, this wasn’t about them. It was about MacKenna. Any such understanding, even meant in the best interests of kindness and respect, would mortify the poor woman, if her previous behavior was any indication.:: ::To his delight, the answer was not long in coming.:: MacKenna: ::Smiling slightly.:: I’d love to. ::Shuffling slightly, she began moving toward the door. Shayne casually followed- and in this case, “casually” meant “with a stiffness rarely seen before or since”.:: Jolara/Taybrim: ? MacKenna: Have a good night. ::With that, both individuals exited the room, each doing their utmost to appear as natural as possible. Shayne had the impression that, despite his best efforts, or indeed because of them, he bore the appearance of a penguin with its [...] on fire. MacKenna, following behind, likely bore superior grace, if only due to the fact that she was not Shayne. In any case, MacKenna and the fraught second officer managed to escape the oppressive friendliness of their comrades and companions. For the first time, they could be alone.:: ::Of course, instinct and practicality drove them to continue their march onward- the corridor was still a painfully public space. But even as the some of the doubt returned to Shayne, some of the apprehension took its familiar place in his chest, the slight decompression of MacKenna’s shoulders made it all infinitely worthwhile.:: ::The silence was electric and tranquil- peaceful in its comfort and livid in its excitement. The anticipation was there, of course, the ambiguousness hovered, but it seemed like, whatever happened, the outcomes could only be good.:: MacKenna: Thank you. ::Her words! To him! With no one around! And most importantly, he’d been right! She did want to escape! Dear god! Shayne could’ve dissolved into tears right there, but he was slightly stronger than that. So he simply inclined his head in a slow, kind display.:: Shayne: You are most welcome. ::Shayne had often heard the platitude, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. Well, he certainly wished that someone would have extracted him from social situations early in his career. Perhaps, for once, he was living up to that ideal.:: ::They kept walking, the shared silence of two beings that didn’t require speech to speak to one another. Shayne had not particular route in mind- his gambit had been played. But MacKenna didn’t seem to particularly mind. As the wandered in the low lighting of the starbase, Shayne realized he wouldn’t mind doing this for a month at a time.:: ::Finally, with an uncertain but smooth movement, MacKenna pushed back her mane of glorious crimson hair. Her pale face shined through, and for the first time he could get an unhindered look at the woman he’d saved from the torture of socializing. His breath stopped in his throat.:: MacKenna: I uh…well. What can I help you with? ::He stepped in slightly closer, making sure to keep a respectful distance. Shayne wanted her to feel protected and soothed, not threatened. And if he’d seen anything about her, it was how threatened she felt in the presence of another. He’d rather chew off his own arm than make her uncomfortable in any way.:: Shayne: You already have. ::He realized how true it was. Though he had learned, through struggle and error, how to survive such events, the fact was that didn’t enjoy them any more than MacKenna. She’d aided in his retreat, whether she realized it or not.:: Shayne: But. Um. There’s a… there’s a power fluctuation in… ::He stopped. It appeared that his fumbling was not gone, simply postponed. And now it reared its head when he could least afford it.:: ::With a sigh, he surrendered.:: Shayne: Would- would you like a drink? I mean, not back in there. Somewhere… quieter? MacKenna: ::smiling again.:: Sure. That would be great. ::But they didn’t move from that spot. Their eyes locked. Shayne’s surroundings fell away, lost to the vacuum that left him and her immovable and intact. He was so tired. So utterly exhausted. How had he stood before? She kept him awake, alert, the expression of care and vulnerability on her face giving him every ounce of strength he had left.:: ::She reached out to him, a gesture of intimacy Shayne would not normally permit or expect. He hated getting close to people. How was this happening? And yet, it felt right. It felt necessary. Designed. And he was too tired to fight against the will of the universe.:: MacKenna: Is everything alright? ::Even now, she cared. She felt. She worried. He wasn’t floating, but this came close.:: Shayne: Yes. ::His instinct was to lie, to protect, and to distance himself. It was what he was good at. But his diversion failed before it began. He knew the lie would not hold up to scrutiny. And besides, even if it did, Shayne knew that, wherever this relationship led and whatever it became, he did not want it based on lies. As painful as it was, he backpedaled.:: Shayne: It is… improving. Slowly. I… turned down the first officer position a few days ago. I think… I think that may have been a mistake. ::Or perhaps the right thing had been done for the wrong reasons.:: ::And how did this suddenly become about him? And how did he simply reveal a huge fact like that to someone he’d just met? Was that even permitted?:: MacKenna: ? TAG/TBC… Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Ops Officer/Second Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0
  4. ((Holosuite, DS26)) ::With the announcements made, and the surprise promotion granted, people were now milling about and breaking into smaller groups to converse. Way too many were approaching the new Captain, and for a moment she definitely felt for him, but that feeling turned back to herself when she found herself in the middle of a similar group and conversation as the others in the room. It had been some time since she had seen the now Captain Taybrim, but even though she was familiar with him, the need to socialize, and socialize in a socially acceptable manner was incredibly stressful.:: ::But somehow she muddled through, her mind distracted for the most part with other things. The parts of her that would normally be asking if she was speaking appropriately, making the right statements, or standing in a manner that expressed what she was hoping to express were focused on something else instead.:: ::And he was standing just a few feet away.:: ::In a way, that forced her anxiety up to another level, because her mind wasn’t focused on the interactions, she knew she was probably doing something wrong. Once more, she planted her feet and forced herself to stand still, but she wanted to do anything but. She wanted to leave and go somewhere she could breathe.:: Shayne: Indeed. He is incredible. Whatever you did, sir, I thank you for it. ::Smiling slightly.:: Taybrim /Jolara: ? ::The conversation kind of stalled, and the counselor seemed to look at some of the others in the room. For a brief moment, Ash wondered what it would be like to be so natural at moving from one group to another, speaking to many people here and there. A bit of sorrow mixed into the anxiety that controlled her just then, as she realized that would probably not be something she would ever learn.:: Shayne: I’m sorry to break this up, but I must leave to attend to something. Commander MacKenna, I don’t want to impose, but if you have a moment, I could use your assistance. ::The voice was something of a song, calming and soothing in a way she couldn’t explain, or didn’t want to explain. For someone so wrapped up in science and the minor details of how the universe worked, it was uncharacteristic but deep. In all her years she had only met one other person who had a voice like that, and she’d quickly learned that some things just couldn’t be explained away.:: ::She’d just met him, but there was something about him…:: MacKenna: ::Smiling slightly.:: I’d love to. ::She offered a nod to the others to say her goodbyes and allowed her feet to move her towards the door shortly after.:: Jolara/Taybrim: ? MacKenna: Have a good night. ::Knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel was right there and that all she had to do was avoid running out of the room and looking like she was nuts, she found a bit of strength to stand up a bit straighter and push her hair back ever so slightly as she followed Shayne from the room. It was already starting to clear, which made their path easier, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way. The surroundings faded into a background and her focus remained solely on him.:: ::It was that which kept her mind in one place until they were clear. As the doors closed behind them, Ash let herself relax ever so slightly. Her shoulders dropped just a bit as the tension, at least some of it, drifted off with the night. The corridors were empty now and Ash allowed herself to fall in step with him as they walked.:: ::Then finally she gathered all of the courage she could, and she spoke.:: MacKenna: Thank you. Shayne: ? ::Something about him told her that he understood. There was no explanation required. There was no need to elaborate. He’d saved her, in a way, and offered her an anchor in a stormy sea. The only thing she wondered was if he knew all he had given her in that short amount of time.:: ::As they walked, Ash grew more and more alright. With no one else around she almost felt at home. Finally, she pushed her long strands of fire red behind her ears, showing her pale face more than she had all night before looking over at him.:: MacKenna: I uh…well. What can I help you with? ::She almost said ‘commander’, but then thought better of it. Would ‘commander Shayne’ be better? Just Shayne? Randal? Sir? Internally she mulled over all of this, nearly sidetracking her cognizance from what was important.:: Shayne: ? ::Though the party was over for her, Ash was quite certain she didn’t want the night to end there. Yet, expressing that in the right way, well, that was a nightmare for her in and of itself. A new set of nerves overwhelmed her, though strangely enough the feelings were different. She realized then that in this moment she wasn’t really scared. Worry, maybe, or the questioning of what came next was certain, but for once she wasn’t fearful.:: ::And that spoke volumes.:: ::It wouldn’t have mattered what he said he wanted help with, she was perfectly content with it as long as he would be there too.:: MacKenna: ::smiling again.:: Sure. That would be great. ::Her eyes finally met his and held the gaze for more than a moment. For the first time she took it all in and was hit with a pang of concern. The extent of the fatigue in his eyes was far more than she’d previously glanced at, and it looked as if he’d be through a fight against something not long ago. Perhaps not a person, but definitely against something. It was strange, but she immediately felt worried.:: ::She stopped for a moment and reached out, with her real hand, unsure of what she was really doing.:: MacKenna: Is everything alright? Shayne: ? TAG/TBC Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force R238605KN0
  5. This exchange from a current Academy class made me laugh, so I wanted to share it.
  6. ((OOC: This is set on day six of shore leave.)) ((South Beach, Neva Island, Aheitga Archipelago, Lydor IX )) ::Brell had again seen that the islands would be open to the crew for some enjoyment during their time here in orbit of Lydor IX. The last few days he had been to several meetings with the Freeworld’s investigators to give his testimony and answer follow up questions they had. He very much needed some respite after dealing with legal matters. So when the topic of his previous trip to the beach came up during his weekly meeting with his chief engineer a plan was quickly set into motion. The one thing he had not done last time he brought the family to the islands was beachfront barbecuing. Something Dermont was keen to join in on.:: ::Once again Brell beamed down most everything they could need. Picnic tables, stasis coolers for drinks and the replicated food they would be cooking, along with anything else they could think of. The grill they were to use had to be replicated in parts and assembled on the surface by the current, and former engineers.:: ::Dermont’s frustrations and lack of direction the last couple of weeks had been weighing rather heavily on him. Raga’s deep issues and the Consortium still at large was something that older engineer was taking personally, despite rational thought to the contrary. So when the captain had suggested a day at the beach with an actual real grill they would cook food on, he jumped at the chance. It was work and it was food. Two things he loved.:: Dermont: oO Those durned pieces were heavier than anticipated… Oo ::Finally assembly of the grill was done and he took a chance to step back next to Brell and just appreciate the work they had accomplished. A two level grill with four separate side burners for pots and the like. A small section for broiling and one side would even be set to be used as a smoker. Counter tops had been set up at ninety degree angles to the massive grill, so the two chefs would be boxed in on three sides. They had almost created a kitchen in the sand. A grin came upon Dermont’s face.:: Dermont: Well, Captain...I guess it’s time fer the real fun part! Brell: Indeed, I have not had a proper cookout in a very long time. ::The human heaved a large cooler upon one counter and began uploading a few items. They were unsure of who was going to be attending this particular beach-side even, so more was better. Two giant racks of pork ribs were unloaded onto a chopping block, along with four huge blocks of ground hamburger meat. It had taken him some tweaking of the replicator to get it to product a color and fat consistency to his like, but when it did, he made sure he had lots of it.:: ::Next were blocks of bleu and cheddar cheeses, along with an assortment of veggies. Then came spices and a bag of apples. He was feeling good. He hadn’t cooked fresh since he had lived on Bolarus IX and today had kept him so busy he hadn’t had time to dwell on much of anything. He needed to get the apples on and the meats marinating and then he’d have his first real bit of free time today.:: Dermont: oO Of course...today is the day Brie is due ta arrive… Oo ::Brell too had brought a large stasis cooler filled with meat. Some he had let age for days since replicating to prepare for this event. He had a dozen ground Flk’ji patties, a dozen Nal’xi drumsticks, around forty shimmershells he planned on using a special family recipe for, and those well aged Relik steaks also numbered at a dozen. To add a vegetarian choice he had wrapped up seatubers in foil, along with some Xaize he would grilling in their husks, and had made a fresh kelp salad that would be set out when things were done. As Bolarus was poor in spices he had much fewer to add as put his various items on the grill as his human friend did. He often wondered if other planets would have used aging meat to add flavor like his people did if their worlds had less spices. Some worlds seemed packed with things to enhance flavor growing all about. :: Brell: oO If only a couple crew members show up we will have leftovers for the next week. Oo ::Grinning at his own thought.:: Oh well. Oo Dermont: I feel we’ve...ehh...been rather ambitious in our goals ‘ere... Brell: ::Standing back to take it all in.:: It is indeed quite a spread we have put on here. Dermont: Yessir. I certainly hope there’s a bit o’ assistance eatin’ all o’ this. ::Brell got to work once more, setting each cook zone to the precise heat they needed to be at for each of the items he was cooking, and ignited his side. Utilizing the flat top grill area for the shimmershells he began to add the spiced carro root glaze to each of the still glowing shelled mussels making sure he was getting enough on every last one.:: Brell: Now this is relaxing. Is grilling something you did often when living on a planet? ::That question brought back pleasant memories on Bolarus IX of his family and Mazius’ cooking along a beach a lot like this one. Of course those memories were immediately followed by far sadder ones. His smile turned sad for a moment, but he surprised himself. Normally following that thought train would lead him dark a darker and more volatile path. But now, while those memories were sad, it didn’t take away from the good times as much as it used to.:: Dermont: oO I’m sure the doc would say I’m learnin’ ta process my grief constructively...bugger ‘im...Oo Dermont: Aye, sir. We didn’t spend a lot o’ time on the ground, as those runs out ta the far colonies past DS6 ran long...but those couple o’ weeks between hauls, aye. Mazius’ father used ta make me cook terran hamburgers. O’ course, he made me age it a bit first... Brell: I grew up in an undersea farmstead, so we only ever did this kind of cooking when we went to one of the mainland beaches for an outing. Dermont: We ‘ad an apartment a few kilometers outside o’ the main metro area o’ Bolsetu. Just a skip down from the waterfront. Ya know, they’d been passin’ legislation ta keep several beaches there free from the development, so we ‘ad sand and sun right outside. Brell: If the water was a bit more teal, and the plants around us a bit more colorful this could be mistaken for one of those Bolarus beaches. Don’t you think? ::With an ale in hand, Dermont leaned against a counter for a moment and just stared out at the water. He could imagine Brie barely up to his knee splashing along the shore and Kurdan seeing how far he could swim out with Maz’s youngest cousins. For even a briefest moment he could even remember how it felt to have Kyleanna’s arms wrapped around him, trying to distract him and then sneak past him to steal a bit of food from the plate next to the grill. He blinked back moisture as he cleared his throat.:: Dermont: Indeed, sir. I was thinkin’ the same thing. ::A sigh.:: Those days on Bolarus were good times...the best o’ times. Brell: I do miss it, no world has quite matched the coastal beauty. Dermont: Exactly. Even Risa’ beaches, engineered though they be, cannae compare ta the shores of yer home, sir. oO Our home. Oo ::Leaving earth before he turned twenty, he had either called the deck of a freighter or the shores of Bolarus IX home. He had always felt more at home around the hardworking Bolians than he did around most humans. Granted, they tended to have a slightly more positive outlook than Dermont did, but that development was really more recent than he made it seem.:: ::Brell had left home for starfleet at nineteen and then returned after his first tour of duty. In those years he appreciated his homeworld in ways he never did in his youth. After living on, and visiting many other planets the uniqueness of his Bolarus were all the more apparent and something to be cherished. It was why he went so far to have things from home with him now.:: Brell: I try to keep as many reminders of it as I can around, plants in my quarters, the seaweed tanks, the little luminescent fish in them and such. ::Dermont turned back to finish up with the seasoning of his ribs so he could wrap them and put them on to slow cook. He checked his sliced apples mixed but the butter and sugar in the pot...nice. He turned to Brell as he wiped his hands on a towel:: Dermont: Captain, didn’t you say yer relatives run that lil’ place on DS6? Brell: Yes! The Blue sea Bolian Deli. My uncle Garll operated it for a long time, and now his son is keeping it going. ::Dermont gave a grin as more memories flooded him.:: Dermont: When Brie was a small, small thing, we’d stop there fer a bite. She’d have trouble with the replicated mess on the ship, but a fresh kelp salad would put her mood right, ever’ time. Brell: I have a large bowl of the fresh kind in the other stasis cooler to serve with everything. Dermont: Brie would love some. I’ll have ta make sure she knows. Brell: So, if you went to Garll’s that means you have heard stories you didn’t know were about me. ::Laughing.:: Dermont: ::A sly grin appeared through his beard.:: Well, now that ya mention it...there was an odd tale er two of a certain nephew twas smarter in the mouth than he was in the head. But that doesn’t sound like mah Captain at all... ::The husky Bolian looked over to the human though he was in the middle turning over everything he was cooking in a precise order. He gave him a look that was a coy attempt to look offended. It was only :: Brell: I will confirm or deny nothing! oO Though that most certainly was me. Oo Dermont: Bah, yeah...Bolian families are big. Probably plenty o’ nephews. ::He just trailed off with the grin fading as he took a swig of ale and looked away. Those tales spun darker sometimes...with that same nephew getting into trouble he almost couldn’t dig himself out of. Garll tales would start off comical, but one who was looking could always see the smile turn sad towards the end.:: Dermont: oO That boy couldn’t have been Brell. He’s literally the finest example of Starfleet that I’ve ever met… Oo ::Dermont filled the moments of silence by taking bigger swings and stirring his apples.:: Brell: Speaking of your daughter, isn’t she due here today. ::Happy for new conversation, he nodded and his expression became nervous.:: Dermont: Yessir...I haven’t seen ‘er in person since b’fore I graduated. So ‘ere’s ta positive thoughts and not makin’ a royal mess o’ things! ::He took another swig of ale.:: But anyways, sar, I know we love ta eat, but surely we can’t eat it all. Brell: With the amount of food here we might want to send up a message to Atlantis for anyone to join in if they wish. Dermont: Agreed. =/\= Dermont ta Atlantis =/\= Atlantis Ops: =/\= Atlantis here, sir. =/\= Dermont: =/\= The Captain and I seem ta ‘ave made too much food. How about spreadin’ the word any hungry folks should meet us down ‘ere. And we’ll save a bit fer yerself, too. =/\= Atlantis Ops: ::there could hear the smile in the man’s voice.:: =/\= I think that can be arranged, sir. And thank you, sir. Atlantis out. =/\= Dermont: So sir, you at a stoppin’ point? These shorts are trunks and I’ve got towels...fancy a swim? ::The Bolian grinned, and sat down his spatula, beginning to un button the loose fitting beach shirt he was wearing.:: Brell: Things are at a point they could simmer awhile, and as I learned when I brought the family down a few days ago. The water here really is splendid. ::They closed the grill hoods, and headed to the enjoy the pristine waters. Probably making quite a sight to any of the permanent planet residents unused to seeing unfamiliar aliens.:: ((OOC: We got this one out a bit later in the shore leave than intended, however either of us would be happy to backsim with any that wants to join in. Or feel free to mention your character stopping by in your own leave wrap up simming.)) Captain Brell - Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 Academy Deputy Commandant E239109B10 & Lieutenant JG Valin Dermont Chief Engineering Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 A239410VD0
  7. ((Brigand Cruiser “Rebuke”, Corridor - Deck Unknown)) ::The sound of screaming wasn’t exactly a rarity in those decks of the Syndicate ship Rebuke. However, it was the first time those walls had heard the laboured cries of a Laudean. By now the wailing had subsided into eerily melodic whimpers and gasps for clean air through the stench of her own sweat, blood, burnt hair and embarrassing urine. It wasn’t the poor girls fault. The urine wasn’t from fear or some unintended involuntary response. It was a side-effect, a by-product, of the electrical currents that were being forced through her from the electrodes attached to her fried, crispy and patchy haired scull. The room had seen this kind of thing before. It wasn’t about torture. - that was just a pleasant coincidence. The purpose of the currents, drugs, and implanted memories were about reprogramming. It forced those outside of the Syndicate to become the most loyal of operatives.:: ::The young Laudean woman Fasha wouldn’t be able to remember any of this place, nor the horrors that took place that day. She would wake up shackled in a cage with the others. Scars healed by dermal regeneration her head shaved clean. Her luck was about to change. She was going to be rescued. But she would be haunted by the shadows of these forgotten memories forever. They would lie deep in the black ocean of her subconscious. Then, one day, when her unseen masters were ready her memories and self would fade away and be replaced by what ‘they’ wanted her to be. Although she would live and move on, her life would never be hers again. She didn’t know it yet. How could she? But her tears that day were not shed for her pain. They were shed by her subconscious for her death.:: ((Brigand Cruiser “Rebuke”, Main Bridge)) Conn: The Thunder has dropped out of warp Magren. Jishi: So quickly? ::She laughed as she sat up in her chair.:: The Romulans would rule the galaxy if the Tal’Shiar moved as quickly. ::They had just informed the asteroid outpost of their pending arrival less than twenty minutes ago. Their operative must have been in the right place at the right time to get that tidbit of information so quickly and relay it to the Thunder. Her comment didn’t seem to be sitting well with their Romulan attache.:: Romulan: They move too quickly. Nothing verified, motives unchecked. If the Tal’Shiar worked as they do, the empire would have revolted or fallen centuries ago. They fell for your ploy far too easily. ::In a passive aggressive defiant tone.:: Perhaps, they merely lost track of us and decided it best to stop. Conn: Impossible! ::In protest of the accusation.:: I made certain they would be able to track us. Jishi: No. They were tracking us. They know where we are going. ::Jishi was confident in the plan and pleased with their progress. By the time they arrived at the asteroid outpost their Laudean sleeper would be ready. Starfleet would do what they always do - swoop in and save the day. Little did theyy know they would be returning to Til’ahn with a ticking time bomb in the facade of Laurel Fasha...:: ((Brigand Cruiser “Rebuke”, Corridor - Deck Unknown)) ::The room was quiet now. The corridor no longer echoed with terror and pain. Inside, on a dirty biobed, the living corpse of young Fasha lay cleaned and pristine like an ancient monarch on display. A dim, cold white overhead light, cast dark shadows over her calm face. Her eyes moved behind closed lids as she dreamed about sweet treats, beautiful creatures of fantasy, or whatever young Laudean girls dreamt about. Her mind and body experienced the kind of shock and trauma that a mind instinctively buries to protect itself. It would be weeks before the wraiths and demons of her death started to haunt her dreams. Then a few more before they started haunting her days too. But for now, at least, the numbness brought her peace.:: PNPC Magren Jishi The “Rebuke”, Commanding Officer And The Corridor - Deck Unknown As simmed by Commander Jorey - Commanding Officer USS Thunder-A Veteran Affairs / Training Team / CC T239002BJ0
  8. ((Midnight - Vessine Glade Camping Site, Trill)) ::The evening had worn on. Some had retired to their tents relatively early, while others seemed determined to party until the point of collapse. Unusually, she couldn't see Nkai leading the charge on that one, and she wondered what drunken mishap had befallen the Rodulan to take him out of the running so early. Perhaps something involving Marshall -- his chief conspirator in arms -- given that there was no sign of her, either. ::Her attention was drawn away from the revelries by the approach of a tall, broad blond. Dressed in jeans, a light shirt and sturdy boots, Walter looked perfectly at home in the countryside. He'd been missing for most of the evening, stealing away to the forests for a walk. One hell of a walk, given how long he'd been gone and how dusty his boots were. She didn't resent him the solitude -- she understood his need for it, especially now that he was captain of one of the most cramped ships Starfleet had to offer. Everyone lived in each other's pockets aboard a Defiant, and it was hard for people like them.:: Reynolds: There you are. Good walk? ::He grunted in the affirmative, and took a seat next to her, surveying the scene in front of him. He smelt of the forest, of sweet tree sap and rich, earthy soil, and it was glorious. Oblivious to her appreciation, Walter watched the crowd, snorting in sardonic amusement at the drunken antics unfolding in front of him.:: Brunsig: Tomorrow will be filled with hangovers and regret. Reynolds: ::She chuckled.:: No doubt. ::As they sat there, he reached into his pocket, retrieving a small item and pressing it into her hand. The manoeuvre caught her by surprise, and he clearly anticipated her first question, answering her before the words had been formed in her throat.:: Brunsig: It was Oma Else's. ::Walter's grandmother. Quinn had only met her a few times, and it was quite clear where he had got his temperament from. The woman was as sharp as monofilament knife, in both intellect and tongue. She was a judge, and a skilled cellist, and Quinn had rarely heard anything so beautiful as the melodies she'd played -- except perhaps the duet grandmother and grandson had performed.:: Brunsig: She wants you to have it. Old family heirloom. ::Quinn looked down at the item in question. The small, luxurious box indicated that it was it was a piece of jewellery, though the blush-red of the fabric covering was faded with age, threadbare at the edges of the hinged lid.:: Reynolds: Shouldn't it go to your mum, then? Brunsig: ::He shook her his head, a frown pinching his blond brow together.:: Since she wisely extricated herself from He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, and hitched up someone who actually treats family like human beings instead of punching bags, she's out of the running. ::That made sense, though it wasn't something she'd expected. She knew that Else had kept in touch with Walter's mother, and had supported her throughout the separation and divorce. But divorce meant that Annalise was no longer Else's daughter-in-law, and technically no longer in line to inherit. The thinking seemed a bit antiquated for the woman, but then again, so was the item in question -- perhaps Else was leaning on tradition more strongly for an heirloom than she otherwise would.:: Reynolds: I see. ::She looked down at the box, and began to push the lid open with her thumb when Walter spoke again.:: Brunsig: I asked you a question. ::For a moment, she was off-guard. Had she got lost in her own thoughts? It did happen, but she was quite sure it hadn't just happened. So what in the world was he talking about?:: Reynolds: ...No you didn't. ::He sighed and frowned, impatience mixed with something else that was quite unfamiliar. She resisted the temptation to reach out and touch him, and gain that extra, telepathic insight into his thoughts. It was a cheat, and an invasion, and at best it would annoy him.:: Brunsig: And you said you needed some time to answer it. ::The air got stuck in her lungs as she forgot how to breathe. *That* was what he was talking about? He wasn't wrong, she'd never given him a definitive answer… but then again, the question had been posed years and years ago. It was only when her head began to spin through lack of oxygen that she forced herself to suck in a deep breath, spluttering out her surprise afterwards.:: Reynolds: This-- ::She pointed a finger at the offending box in her palm.:: This is an engagement ring? Brunsig: If you want it to be. It's up to you what finger your wear it on, it's yours either way. I'm under instructions from Oma; "Sie hat dich so lange ertragen, mein Junge. Sie geht nirgendwohin. Sie ist Familie." ::Quinn's German was just about good enough to piece together the meaning. She couldn't imagine being with anyone else -- she didn't *want* to be with anyone else -- and she knew the feeling was mutual. He was hers, and she was his, and together with Dylan and Amelia, they really were a family. A slightly odd and somewhat complicated family, but nonetheless. ::Family. ::Her delay in responding prompted a frown from Walter, and he started to turn away. Impulsive and desperate to avoid causing him any pain, she leaned across, catching his cheek with her hand and pressing her lips against his. Such public displays of affection were usually anathema to them both, but he answered her kiss with the same abandon, caught up in the heat of that unique, curious moment where they were transitioning from devoted lovers to a couple engaged.:: Reynolds: Let's get married. ::She murmured the words against his mouth, and he responded in kind.:: Brunsig: If we must. ::She leaned back and laughed, shaking her head, and he grinned back at her. A flush of pink had caught hold on his pale cheeks, and Quinn was quite sure it was echoed on her own. Their shared blush only deepened when he flicked open the box in her palm, plucking the antique ring from its cradle, taking her left hand in his. ::The diamond cluster glittered in the firelight, flames reflected in the intricate gold band. It was beautiful -- perhaps a little more extravagant than she'd choose for herself -- but she was proud (perhaps a little terrified) to be the new bearer of a Brunsig family heirloom. To her surprise, it slipped onto her ring finger as though it had been made for her.:: Reynolds: It fits. Brunsig: I had it resized. Reynolds: You know my ring size? *I* don't even know my ring size. ::He huffed, rolling his eyes. Despite the show of annoyance, he was still holding her hand, and that shared connection betrayed the amusement and fondness in his heart. Walter didn't say it often, but he loved her, just deeply as she loved him.:: Brunsig: It never ceases to amaze me how someone as capable as you can be so utterly hopeless. Reynolds: It's part of my charm. Brunsig: ::Dryly,:: You keep telling yourself that, Cupcake. ::She grinned at him, and despite his best efforts, he smiled back, sliding his arm around her waist. There was a lot to think about, such as where to hold it, who to invite -- she knew for a fact her father would hunt her down to express his extreme dismay if he didn't get to be there -- and even how they'd marry. But for now she was content to enjoy the moment; the simple pleasure of being close to him and watching the world go by.:: -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  9. (( Science Lab 22, Biochemistry Lab, Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) ::The lab was silent, ghostly even, the occasional sound of footsteps tapping along the deck plating, or the clanging of glass partially filling the absence of noise:: ::T’Pann’s slender body slouched over a metallic workbench, her dark, hawk like gaze, watching over a see-through petri dish. Accompanied by several analysis devices and a high powered microscope, cluttering the space around her. One hand, T’Pann used to hold the dish still, and another gently holding a tube full of a brightly coloured, yellow fluorescent liquid. T’Pann’s expression continuing it’s stoic dominance over her features. The steel bench was cluttered with PADDs, tricorders and other scientific equipment.:: ::T’Pann’s cold stare was broken ever so suddenly, by the dry sound of the doors sliding open, halting her from completing the next stage of her experiment. Irritation draped T’Pann’s features momentarily as several annoyingly energetic footsteps led to the inevitable breathing down her collar, all seeming to come much too soon. The peaceful silence of the labs, broken by a cheerful whisper, that escalated into a blaring shout.:: Sterling: So! Whatcha doin’? ::T’Pann moved away from the workbench, the tube still in her hand and her ringing like a bell. Only for the half vulcan’s eyes to meet with a familiar Tiburon/Terran hybrid, one who seemed to appear in the science labs far too often for than she really should. Ensign Iriin Sterling, a medical officer, primarily assigned to the ship’s morgue, sometimes referred to as ‘Mortisha’ by the crew, mostly due to her oddly cheerful approach to her profession.:: T’Pann: Rather delicate work, Ensign, I’d prefer it if you were a little more silent, i’m unable to focus when my ears are ringing. ::T’Pann spoke with a hint of sass in her tone, obviously attempting to express her displeasure of Sterling’s unrequired presence.:: Sterling: Sorry! I couldn’t help it! Our shifts ended early, mostly to celebrate being accident free for, get this, a whole 25 hours! :Her excitement bubbled like a steaming pot, bubbles of gigling joy practically secreting from her.:: ::Iriin backed off slowly, her posture easing onto an unoccupied console. T’Pann was oddly surprised at Iriin’s uncharacteristically docile state, much of the time she was described as, to put it lightly “Targ stool crazy.” by the other science staff that worked with her. Often taking to her work much more extreme methods than regulation would allow, often leading expedition teams into her idea of ‘fun’.:: T’Pann: I’m happy for you ::She replied in a sarcastic tone.:: Perhaps next time, a plasma burn may be more opportune. Sterling: Oh please! You love my presence! ::As T’Pann replied, she placed the tube of yellow liquid in a small rack beside the petri dish, before turning back to her salmon tinged crewmate.:: ::Truth be told, T’Pann found it difficult to maintain her stoic, “vulcanness” over her human side, especially around types such as Sterling, or even the more colourful Gorkon crew. The crew lacked harmony amongst their ranks, T’Pann often found herself concerned about the rowdiness demonstrated by the crew.:: Sterling: ::Iriin stepped forward:: So… aren’t you gonna introduce me to your… organisms? ::Iriin gestured to the experiment set up.:: T’Pann: Yes, you may. They’re a newly discovered form of amoeba, our scans detected them while we were in orbit of Sikuna. They replicate in a very odd manner, the amoebas use the remains from their own self combustion to reproduce at the end of their 2-4 minute lifecycle. Which seems to replace a cycle similar to mitosis. We have yet to figure out how this effect is achieved, our scanning equipment is not effective enough to penetrate the membranes of the organisms, let alone, locate the biological factors involved. ::T’Pann picked up a PADD.:: My hypothesis is that the proteins leftover contain the organism’s genetic information, which perhaps may be able to replicate itself, into forming a simplistic life form. Sterling: Interesting… though, i don’t understand why you’re not trying to modify a scanner. T’Pann: We’ve tried, yet our facilities aren’t advanced enough to attempt such an upgrade, though, we have several engineers on task with a tricroder that can scan the membrane. If we were on an Oberth Class, a Nova Class or even on Vulcan however, we’d be able to find a much simpler, and effective way through the membrane. However, since we are not on said starships, or planet, we must adapt using what materials we have. Sterling: That’s one hell of a membrane. Though, i do see your point. Our facilities aren’t as sciencey, or advanced as some other ships. It’d be a very bad idea if you had an Oberth class on the frontlines of the though, they’re science ships. I’d love to see the day when we get one of those Prometheus Class sickbays. I heard that the EMH program has shipwide access. ::T’Pann pouted slightly, turning away from the joyful Tiburon before her, picking up the tube of yellow liquid once again and placing the PADD nearby. T’Pann prepared herself to pour a small amount onto the petri dish, to act as a dye, which would allow her to observe the replicative process more closely. An archaic measure it was, as the countless exo/xenobiologists on board had been unable to scan the organisms more precisely. It appeared the membranes and the proteins were made up of an epidermal material that resisted conventional means, putting this advanced and civilised organisation in a tough space of waiting for an upgrade, or doing what they could in the name of science. T’Pann added several drops of the yellow liquid to the dish, before quickly slotting it onto the stage of the high powered microscope.:: T’Pann: That would be quite convenient. ::T’Pann’s icy, vulcan glare travelled down the eyepiece, observing a whole colony of yellow coloured, shapeless forms, going about their business as usual. Consuming nutrients, and reproducing. T’Pann watched carefully at the process of an organism over indulging, only to ignite itself moments later. In a matter of seconds the burnt remains slowly reconstructed vaguely similar life form, shortly before being interrupted once again by her loudmouthed colleague, but with a somewhat unheard of hushed tone.:: Sterling: So.. T’Pann, Baidan and I were wondering whether or not you’d be interested in filling in a spot at our jazz recital, which we’ve arranged to perform at the awards ceremony. One of our strings people had to pull out last minute, and we were wondering if you’d fill in with your... vulcan harp thingy ::T’Pann turned away from her microscope, turning to the salmon coloured medical officer on the tip of her heel. Her stoic impression, unchanged. The offer mildly peaked her interest, T’Pann had grown quite withdrawn from the instrument she’d been playing for years on end. She wasn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity, but nevertheless, it interested her to see how well a vulcan hard would fit in amongst the band.:: T’Pann: When will I be required to participate. Sterling: Hopefully after your duty shift, we were gonna have a meeting later tonight at 18:00 hours on holodeck 1, and maybe we’ll squeeze in a jam session, so bring your harp!. ::Iriin spoke, finishing her sentence with a ‘jazz hand’:: T’Pann: I will… consider your offer, I will see if I can accommodate your performance into my schedule Sterling: ::Iriin deepened her voice.:: It would be most illogical not to participate. I need another set of strings to go with my fiddle ::T’Pann sighed deeply, replying to Iriin’s vulcan impression with a disappointed glare.:: T’Pann: If you’re attempting to appeal to my human side, it is just as unimpressed as my vulcan side, Ensign Sterling. Sterling: ::S[...]ing.:: Well, it was worth a shot. ::Iriin tapped T’Pann’s shoulder, before shortly retreating to the door.:: See you at the meeting. Don’t be late! ::T’Pann replied with a solid nod, returning to her work of proving her own hypothesis. An oddly potent hum cut through the silence of the lab as data seemed to pour into her PADD, seeming to offer T’Pann a greater deal of focus in her work.:: ___________________________ Crewman 1st Class T’Pann - USS Gorkon - Science Officer ___________________________ Simmed By _________________________ Ensign Emilia Krugol - USS Gorkon - Security/Tactical officer - G239409EK0 __________________________
  10. ((Yzieme Beach, Trill)) ::The light was fading from the sky about the same time as the sun began to set in the old man's eyes. ::The blond woman -- who had but this morning been Kudrem Kian -- sat cross-legged on the beach, nestled amongst the pale white sands. She was a stranger to many, barely a footnote on a ship that regarded crew as family. But even those few who knew her, would have been hard-pressed to recognise her. A fire blazed in her eyes, fierce and passionate, transforming her whole body. No more was she the shade stalking the corridors, seeking refuge in oblivion, terrified that everyone would realise that she was a failure. Now she was filled with passion and purpose, straight-backed and determined. ::Kudrem Kian was gone. Lladre had been reborn. ::Laid in front of her, head cradled in her lap, holding her hands as they lay upon his chest, was the man who had offered to help her only a few days earlier. He too was different. With the symbiont removed, his hold on life was fading fast. He was no longer Lladre; Perdut had been his name when he had been born, and that was what it would be when he died. Perdut: You shouldn't have done this. You don't have the time. ::She looked down at him, a fond and gently amused smile on her lips.:: Lladre: You of all people know that I don't like to be told what to do. ::Oh, he did. And how he'd loved it; the rebellion, the freedom, the carefree way that Lladre had lived their lives. The symbiont had offered everything he'd ever wanted, and so much more besides. He was dying now, but it was as a man contented and at peace.:: Perdut: How's Kian? Lladre: In stasis. That's more than it deserves. ::She snorted, and her lip curled in disgust.:: Weak-willed little creature. I would've recycled it with the rest of the garbage, except I think it'll be useful. ::Lladre had nothing but contempt for Kudrem's former symbiont. It had been wasting the life of a talented host, letting her wallow in misery and mediocrity when it could have been guiding her to greatness. They had only been joined a few hours, but already the woman was happier than she ever had been with Kian. ::Perdut smiled in reply, weariness barely lifting the corners of his mouth. He had, after all, heard much worse from the symbiont. They had *done* much worse. And he regretted none of it. Laws and morals were nothing more than the excuses of the weak-willed and passionless.:: Perdut: That's good. You'll need the insurance. Stealing from Starfleet will cause you some trouble. Lladre: For a little while, no doubt. ::She chuckled, smiling down at him again.:: But I have a plan for that. ::He smiled, and it felt like an effort that would move mountains. That didn't escape Lladre's notice, and her expression turned mournful, her hands squeezing his tightly.:: Lladre: I'm going to miss you. ::It was Perdut's turn to chuckle, a quiet, rasping wheeze of a sound. His time was ending.:: Perdut: I'll always be with you. ::He looked away from her, toward the stars glimmering in the sky, breathtaking in their beauty. He'd seen so many of them, experienced wonders that he couldn't even begin to describe. Lladre had taken him from his tiny, miserable life and given him a gift beyond measure. Every memory was a treasure, and he let them flood through his mind, filling his heart and soul with joy.:: Perdut: Thank you. ::He died with a smile on his lips, a solitary tear on his cheek. It was joined by more, falling from Lladre's eyes, as she leaned over to kiss his forehead. The decision to move on from Perdut had been one of the hardest she'd had to make, and his loss was keenly felt.:: Lladre: Thank *you*. ::She sat there for some time, the heat fleeing his body as the night cooled. Then, a quiet chime came from the device in her pocket, reminding her that time ever marched on. With a deep sigh, she untangled herself and stood, leaving him there in the sand, resting forever under the stars.:: -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  11. ((Enroute to the Engineering Deck, USS Fortwith)) ((OOC - You can fit this into the timeline how ever you'd like folks, just had this fresh in my head, so I wanted to get it out there. )) :: Parsons had been a loyal officer, but perhaps even his mind had been a little warped since the beginning of all this. Mac moved quickly through the corridors that didn't have lift access, making sure to keep eyes out along the way for crew members that would need to be ready for the explosion ahead. He didn't even know if he fully trusted what was about to transpire, but they had no other choices, no other options that would even sound remotely sane or possible. He had to get to the core. oO What has gotten into him? Oo. :: :: He remembered the first time he'd brought the man aboard his ship. He remembered how green he was, and also how he had advanced through the ranks fairly swiftly. He remembered his pinning ceremony to that of a Lieutenant Junior Grade under his tutelage. He held back the smile that so often came to his face. But this time, he held his hand on his pistol, drawing it out in preparation for what was to come. The tone of the man's voice had Mac sniffing out mutiny... :: ((Engineering Section, USS Fortwith)) :: The doors to engineering slid open, squeaking as they did having been clearly damaged in the crash. The power was on, and the place was lit, but there was smoke about, and sparks now and again. Some of the uninkured crewmen were making projects of the sparks and smoke, attempting to clean what they could. He holstered his pistol for now, approaching the command and control station. Jeffrey was there. :: McMillan: I don't think the comms were working correctly Lieutenant... Parsons: No... no they worked just fine :: as he turned to face the man before him. :: McMillan: Listen, they have a plan... One that could get us home. Parsons: And you believe it right? There are Klingons onboard Mac... Klingons... McMillan: And they've proven useful thus far. Why now all of a sudden are you doubting me? Listen if you're not gonna follow orders, then I guess I'll have to do this... :: He was cut off by a punch to the throat. He fell to his knees, grasping at his neck. He looked to Parsons, who then kicked him in the face sending him backwards, striking his head hard on the floor. The man walked over to him, securing his weapon in his hand and stepping back. :: McMillan: :: With a winded, raspy voice. :: What the F*&# are you doing.... Parsons: You've been colluding all along... With the Klingons. You brought us here... You killed us REX... YOU KILLED US ALL THE MINUTE WE ENTERED THIS SYSTEM. McMillan: You don't know what you're talking about. That doesn't even make sense Jeff! Parsons: I do... And I'm not letting it go any further... Right after we attempted to get rid of the Klingon that came to Earth. We ambushed them... but somehow, we made it out alive. Somehow, even though many others gave their lives, good ole Rex made it out alive. And now we're here, with Klingons aboard trying to render aid. You're a traitor... :: He was so confused. He hadn't seen this coming at all, not even a hint of it at all. He stood for now, keeping his distance. :: McMillan: Well. Hmph. :: beat:: I guess you'll just have to take me into custody then right? :: You couldn't even touch the tension with a knife. He glared at the boy... who glared right back at him. He was swollen with pride, that he had everything all figured out. He wouldn't know the error of his ways. :: Parsons: Oh you can count on it... :: he started moving towards Rex :: :: He waited for the man to move within a foot of him while turning to place his hands behind his back. He turned suddenly and dove into the man's midsection, sending him backwards into the console. The pistol went flying to the left. Jeff returned with a series of blows to the back of the head, and a kick to the chest. Mac fell to the floor, head cloudy, face a mess... He turned his head right... oO The pistol... Oo. He lunged with every ounce he had left, grabbed the weapon, and turned it towards Parsons... He pulled the trigger, and a round flew, narrowly missing Parsons, and striking the area of the core. He recognized the green that began to spew from the coupling he'd apparently hit. Parsons was nowhere to be found. There he was again, only this time he wielded a spanner, striking Mac in the shoulder. He returned with a head butt, sending Jeff crashing to the floor. He moved to the console and opened the comm as quickly as he could :: McMillan: =/\=BRIDGE! GET READY!=/\= Bridge Folks: =/\=[Tag]=/\= McMillan: =/\= I don't have a lot of time here... There's... AAHHH.... There's plasma venting into the room! =/\= :: He turned to see the plasma spilling into the room, the coolant lines had gone, and the core was going awol at least per the console. He watched as plasma enveloped Parson, setting him ablaze and sucking the air from the room at the same time as ignition. He felt choked. He heard Jeff screaming, and watched as his skin bubbled like the crackling of a roast pig. It fell away from him and then into nothing but carbon spent along the corridor floor. He felt the heat rising... :: Bridge: [Tag] McMillan: =/\= DON'T YOU DARE RACHEL, THERE's NO TIME! I'M EJECTING the co...... Ugh..... AHHHHH..... =/\= Bridge: [Tag] McMillan =/\= Just make sure this wasn't for nothing..... =/\= He cut the comm :: :: His uniform ignited as the green plasma approached. He could feel the air within him boiling, rushing from his lungs, his legs caught fire, then his back and torso... He took his hand and put in the short code for ejection, just as his consciousness left him... :: :: The room suddenly was quiet, and rushing with wind all at once. The air was sucked from the room as the port side hatch opened, ripping the doors from their posts, sending the warp core flying through. It would eject from the side of the vessel in a smoldering heap of junk, ready to burst at the seams. The decompression seemed efficient enough to send the core some distance. :: TBC/Tags -- MSNPC Captain Rex McMillan Commanding Officer USS Fortwith NX-03 as Simmed by Lieutenant JG Na'Lae Mandak Helm Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force O238901VL0
  12. I jut had to share this sim. I roped one of lieutenant Dermont’s PNPCs into what I thought was going to be a chance for some exposition of my background but he completely blew me away by making a scene that’s both funny and touching while also giving the reader SO much more insight into both of our characters! ________________________________________ USS Atlantis, Sickbay - Deck 5)) ::As the most junior doctor on the staff currently, Toh'jak had been given the short straw and assigned the third shift. It was no matter to the Klingon. He was currently bend over his pad, tweaking a ballad he had been attempting to write. He enjoyed singing during his morning exercise routine, he thought he would give it a try to create one himself. He was so engrossed with it, whispering the words under his breath as he went that did not even notice the doors to sickbay open.:: Termine: :: trying to catch the other Ensign’s attention without seeming rude or impatient, though he was definitely one of the two:: Uh… Ensign Toh’Jak. I need medical assistance. ::Glancing up quickly, he stood even as he flipped the PADD face down. His eyes did a quick glance to the ensign before him holding one hand within the other. He recognized the man as the one who had welcomed him on his first day. What was his name? Ah, right.:: Toh’jak: Ensign Termine, what is the matter at this time of night? Termine: Uh… Just a cut on my hand, that’s all. ::The Klingon grinned at the comment as Dante revealed the deep laceration. It was clear that is was not a simple cut. They need to stop the bleeding and knit the muscle quickly.:: Toh’jak: Ah, your "just a cut" is bleeding onto the floor and you will be lucky retain full function of that hand. Termine: I thought doctors were supposed to say things like “That doesn’t look too bad” or things like that. ::His grin grew even wider until it was all teeth.:: Toh’jak: Bah! You have clearly never been to a Klingon hospital. Termine: well, that’s fair. ::He indicated that Dante should sit on the edge of the closest bio-bed and as he did so, Toh'jak rolled his cart of instruments to his side.:: Toh’jak: So how did you manage such a severe wound? Working on some Federation tech, no doubt. Termine: I’d… prefer not to say Doctor, my injury is… a personal matter. Toh’jak: Ah! Well I have had several "personal matters" that have ended in injury. Though I was under the impression the Federation does not like us to settle our issues in such a manner... :: The two sat in silence for a moment while the doctor began his work, blue light shone over Dante’s red wounds and he felt the dermal stimulator begin it’s work with a tingle. Whether it was Dante’s distaste of silence between people, or the calming feeling of being taken care of, Dante soon found himself speaking again.:: Termins: Are… Are you close with your father Toh’Jak? I know Klingon houses are patrilineal, but I’m afraid I don’t know much about Klingon parenting. ::The question man Toh'jak freeze right in the middle of his work. He glared at the human for a bit. His father? The klingon gave another smile to Dante, but this time it was not in mirth. Bitterness was the closest word that might describe it.:: Toh’jak: Klingon fathers try to teach honor above all. But just as humans, we do no always see eye to eye with our parents. Why? Are you not close with yours? Termine: My father? Well… close wouldn’t be the right word. I spent my whole childhood with him, even being homeschooled, but I’d never say we were close. He… my father.. lets just say he has a strong personality. ::According to humans, almost all Klingons seem to have something of a strong personality, so that description was not much to go on.:: Toh’jak: Indeed? So among your kind he was a leader? Termine: My father is a renown opera singer, so I spend my childhood on tour with him. He’s been incredibly successful and attributes it all to expecting perfection from his cast and crew. It makes for fantastic performances, but a not-so-happy home life. Actors, at the end of the day, get to go home. Children don’t. ::Toh'jak eyes glittered a little at hearing about his father's career. Music was a noble pursuit. Some of the greatest heroes in Klingon lore were warrior bards. And while many would focus only the warrior half, much of their history would have been lost if not for the bard half. A song has power and life. The doctor nodded. Such a man would indeed have great weight upon his shoulders.:: Toh’jak: The path of the bard is a noble one, but a difficult one. I imagine that he took pride in make sure everything was perfect during a performance. The burden off-stage...a heavy load. Termine: Perfection… Perfection was the sword that always hung above my head growing up. Everything I did, everything I was had to be perfect in my father’s eyes, or I was nothing. I was to be his protege, the continuation of his legacy you see. He started training me vocally from before I could stand. The goal was that when he got too old to sing, he would manage me, so he’d never truly have to stop being… well, himself really. ::The wound was almost healed. He turned the dermal regenerator down to the lowest setting and slowly start knitting the skin back together. There would barely be a pink patch when he was through.:: Toh’jak: While there is a great honor to follow on your father's path, a child's destiny is their own. A confident man can accept that, knowing that his deeds will stand on their own. Given your present location, you clearly chose a different career. Was he accepting? Termine: Well… He didn’t actually agree to me joining starfleet. I ran away if you can believe it. I bribed a Ferengi cargo merchant to take me to San Fransisco when we were on tour on Vulcan. It was to be my debut performance, Don Giovanni, in the great stone amphitheater of T’herat. But I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want that life but I was too afraid to tell him, too afraid to… disappoint him I guess.. but I never wanted to be a singer, or to have him control my life. I wanted to be an officer Toh’jak. I wanted to be here, making the universe a better place. oO I have met the human that mirrors my own life... Oo ::Toh'jak himself had left the Empire against the express wished of his father. He tired of watching warrior after warrior die in battle when they could have been saved by Federation medical technology. And the Federation was willing to share, but the oh so proud Empire disagree. His father had screamed at him as he left..."If it is a warrior's time, then it is his time!" But what if his time could be in another five years? Why not allow the warrior another dozen years of battle?:: ::So Toh'jak left after six years of service as a doctor onboard a battlecruiser and applied for Starfleet. His father has already been disappointed he had chosen the medical field, despite Toh'jak still being no doubt a fine warrior. But when he had left for the Academy? "For this dishonor, there is no atonement...":: Toh’jak: You did what was right for you! Follow your path, Termine! No man chooses for you. But how does this story give you such a gash? Termine: My cut? ::Dante had forgotten all about the pain in his hand as he had spoke:: oh… well…I guess he does have something to do with the cut. I got a letter today, from him. He has somehow tracked me down, through some of his friends who just to happen to be starfleet admirals. They told him which ship I’m on and, since we just HAPPEN to be in the same quadrant, he’s insisting that he comes for a visit. Toh’jak: And this led to anger? And a cut, somehow? Termine: I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I cut myself when I smashed my own glass desk with my hand… although I guess if anyone could relate it would be a klingon, huh? Toh’jak: We generally try to inflict injury on the target of our wrath, but indeed. I can relate. ::He turned off his tools and pushed the cart away. Toh'jak grabbed Dante's hands and gave it a few squeezes to see if the young man cried out. After he did not, the doctor gave a nod. Toh'jak: All healed now, Ensign Termine. And I have learned much about you today. I too have a stubborn old man for a father. I wish you luck in the conflict that is no doubt soon to happen. Termine: Uh… thank’s doctor. For lending an ear and a derma regenerator. I just hope neither I nor my father end up back here, although I’m sure you’d be just as understanding of something like that as well, wouldn’t you? ::Toh'jak just gave another toothy smile to Termine as the ops officer stood and made his way to the door. Just as the doors opened, the Klingon called out.:: Toh'jak: Termine! If your father is determine to challenge you on this, suggest to him you settle it the Klingon way! As your crewmate, I would be honored to be your second for that... ::As the other man disappeared, Toh'jak just chuckled to himself. His voice had made the comment sound like a light jest, but with a Klingon one never really knew.:: END ============= Ensign Toh'jak of House Suhtaek Medical Officer USS Atlantis stubbornly simmed by: Lieutenant JG Valin Dermont Engineering USS Atlantis A239410VD0
  13. ((StarBase 118 – Deck 1040, section 3, Adler’s Quarters)) :: Adler’s quarters were not far from the Dungeon he was just in, only a few decks up really. He had programmed the computer to play music upon his arrival, so when the doors opened, he was greeted by a waltz, “An Der Schonen, Blauen Donau” by Johan Strauss II. :: :: After his first whiskey down at the Playhouse, Conrad had switched to hot coffees instead, and now he was just about ready to hit the sack. He leered at the mirror on the wall near the door and decided his hair didn’t need refitting before bed. He opened his jacket and unzipped the gold tunic about halfway on his way to the bed chamber. When he got there, he did an about face toward the exit and let himself fall backwards onto the oh-so-comfortable mattress. :: oO Nice quarters they have here. Not at all like on a starship. Unless I was an admiral. That’ll be the day. Oo Adler: Computer, decrease playback volume 50 %. :: The computer obeyed, and the music quieted a little. Conrad let the mixed excitement and frustration of the day escape his lips as he closed his eyes and let the computer waltz him to sleep. :: Computer: Incoming transmission from cargo freighter Tilma. :: Adler’s eyelids slowly reopened themselves. Adler: :: Quietly, to himself. :: What? Computer: Incoming transmission from the cargo freighter ... Adler: Yes, yes, I heard the first time. :: Conrad sat up in bed, sighing. :: Let’s hear it, Computer. Computer: Text only. oO Of course. Oo :: Conrad rubbed his eyes, smacked the back of his head a couple times, lightly, and got up and went to sit down at the computer terminal on the coffee table in the middle of the main room. When he activated the monitor, there were all sorts of promotional messages about station amenities he decided to deal with later. He opened the message from his family’s cargo ship. Essentially it told him that everyone was doing well, except that their space cat, Munkwitz, had passed on. :: oO Oh, that’s a shame. Oo :: It also told him he had a new baby niece and expressed hope he would be able to see her before she graduated college. :: oO We’ll see. Oo :: The letter concluded with well wishes and some kind of allusion to his mother’s most recent success in the freighter’s tiny kitchen, something about making a blood pie that didn’t sicken the crew. :: oO Oh, that’s a plus. Nice work, Mom. Oo :: Adler rose from the couch he’d sat on and stood looking out the window at the stars. An unbeatable view, always similar and dissimilar to other views from space, always home. In the morning, he would report for duty, but for this moment was his to take in as another waltz finished off in the background. :: ((Time Passes, undetermined)) ((Adler’s Quarters)) :: Aboard the freighter Tilma, things were getting hot. Conrad’s parents had been unable to afford the upkeep of their fine vessel’s gold toilet fixtures, so they’d been smuggling various contraband to keep up. Conrad had warned them time and again that Starfleet would eventually take notice and send him out to catch them. So, that must be why he was aboard right the Tilma now. Yes, that must have been it. Now they were under heavy fire from an unidentified pirate ship and had taken damage. His father was yelling something about never giving up. He said He’d blow up his own ship first. Amid Conrad’s pleas that he take no such extreme steps, the com system rang him awake and out of his dream. :: Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\ oO What? I just went to bed. Oo Adler: What do you want! Crazy! :: Adler opened his eyes. :: Oh, I mean ... =/\= Adler. What can I do for you, sir? =/\= Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\= :: Adler sighed and looked up at the ceiling. :: Adler: Computer, cancel playback. :: The music stopped. :: =/\= I’m sorry about that, sir. I had just gone to bed. What are your orders, sir? =/\= Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\= Adler: =/\= Thank you for your concern, sir, but I assure you I am ready for duty. =/\= :: As an afterthought, Conrad double checked the uniform he was still wearing. It seemed okay. :: Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\= :: As the Chief of Operations filled him in, Conrad got up and walked to the replicator. :: Adler: =/\= I’ll get right on that, Commander. :: Barking at the replicator :: Double espresso, one sugar, hot! =/\= Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\= Adler: =/\= Sorry, Commander. I was just getting coffee. I’ll get right to work, Sir. =/\= :: Conrad took a sip before the channel closed, then set the cup on the nearby table. :: Silveira/or other Senior Officer: =/\=???=/\= :: Conrad went to the toilet, straightened up, zipped up the tunic and jacket, and rechecked his appearance in the mirror there. Running his fingers through his longish hair and running a hand across his neckline, he decided he could use a trim under the beard but let it pass for now. He had bigger fish to fry. Hopefully no one would put him on report this first time. He went to retrieve his personal tool case from under his bed, left the bed chamber, picked up his coffee, and left his quarters. Ensign Conrad R. Adler Com/Ops Officer StarBase 118 Ops O2395O7CA0
  14. I've been meaning to add this here for days. Awesome stuff, Anders!
  15. ((USS Gorkon, Deck 5 5OQ23, Tasi’s Quarters)) ::There was nothing more boring than waiting and after the last mission Tasi needed to talk to a friendly face. On the Gorkon she hadn’t really connected with anyone yet. There were a good number of people she could call on Deep Space 26, but the time difference meant most would be asleep or on the night shift. That’s what she told herself but deep down she knew it was a deflection from the real reason she had chosen to dial up this particular old friend. Finally, the slowly spinning Federation Symbol and ‘connecting’ progress bar were replaced with a familiar face. Tasi’s slack jawed, glazed over expression instantly melted away. She beamed at him with sparkling eyes and a playful smile.:: Tasi: Hello Commander. I hope you’re not too busy for a social call. I thought I’d keep that promise about keeping in touch. Tasi: oO I hope he wasn’t just being polite about that. Oo ::Tasi didn’t usually use rank around her friends - not off duty. She hadn’t seen Shayne since Commander Brell’s promotion to Captain and before that they’d fallen out of touch for some years. His career had prospered while hers had stagnated and she didn’t know how informal she could be with him yet.:: ::The face that appeared on the screen could not have been more welcome. The melancholy that always followed social occasions had weighed down on him since the end of the promotions ceremony. He’d been hoping- vainly, he’d expected- for a pleasant interruption to his musing, and a restoration of the energy that had been drained from his every faculty. Shayne was not a social person, but for a select group, that fact seemed to not apply. Take Tasi, for instance.:: Shayne: ::Feigning irritation.:: Look. If we’re on the bridge, call me commander. If we’re in the presence of an admiral, call me commander. Anything else, please just call me Shayne. ::She was one of the few people he preferred to drop rank around- not because he was a career-minded, bureaucratic paper-pusher obsessed with position and title, but because it simplified so many situations that might otherwise veer in an unpredictable, uncomfortable direction. Besides, Tasi had kept her promise to keep in touch with him, and Shayne was hardly going to punish her by insisting on strict military protocol. For the length of this conversation, “proper” bearing could find an airlock to fly out of. He gave a small grin, which she returned. It felt good to know that they could still have good-natured banter like this without having to worry about the rank barrier.:: Shayne: ::Utterly genuine.:: It’s good to see you. ::He realized he’d been holding his breath, and he released it, hopefully escaping the notice of the perceptive Tasi. Fortunately for him, she was too occupied suppressing signs of her own relief to notice his.:: Tasi: Thank you. It’s wonderful to see you. What’s new with you? ::Before he could stop himself, a putrid wave of resentment and cynicism rolled over him, a mere drop in an ocean of festering negativity. Pond’s disappearance had gnawed at his soul for months now. Though he’d tried to contain it, he suddenly felt utterly exhausted, and the moment he’d spoken, he knew he was making a mistake.:: Shayne: I haven’t died yet, so the usual. ::He bit his lip loathingly, wishing he could take back his words, and the vigorous anger he’d flashed at Tasi. She was so not deserving of his rancor- indeed, she was probably the one that would help him do something about it. Shayne generally despised counselors, and their offices, and their practiced strokes that delved into the psyche. As far as he was concerned, they could keep their intellectual tenderhooks to themselves. But with Tasi, it was different. Deeply different, and he was still at a loss to explain why, exactly. But it didn’t matter. He could not afford to lose her.:: ::Tasi was stunned. She’d had friends and patients lash out in this sudden, unexpected way many times before. Sometimes there were behavioural tells that gave subtle clues that this could be coming. Other times it hit you like a punch in the face. This felt like the latter. She hadn’t seen it coming and didn’t know what had provoked it. This didn’t seem like the Shayne she knew, but then how well could she say she knew someone she’d barely talked to in years. She became aware of her heart pounding harder and faster in her chest and took a slow, deep breath, collecting her thoughts before replying with a measured tone tipped with concern.:: Tasi: It doesn’t take a counsellor to see something’s troubling at you. Would you care to talk about it - friend to friend? ::Counselors! Why did they have to be so infernally perceptive? Of course, it wasn’t like he’d done a good job of hiding his distress. He glanced at her, and for a moment in time, it seemed like she was strained, worried.:: ::Afraid.:: ::And it felt wonderful, inexplicably so, disgustingly so. It felt so utterly etherial to be the one causing concern, instead of the one marinating in his own terrors and doubts and worries and miserable musings. For an instant, he was free.:: ::And then it all came crashing back down. How dare he feel anything positive about his friend’s discomfort. How dare he turn her well meaning, loving concern into a stepping stone for his own emotional strength. How dare he use her, the first friend he’d ever had in the fleet, and nearly the first one ever. He couldn’t have felt more soiled if he’d messed his trousers. He took a shaky, self-hating breath, and began to repair the damage.:: Shayne: I apologize. You, of all people, do not deserve me as you see me. ::Already exhausted, he let it all go, far more easily than he normally did with privileged information of this sort.:: ::He stared at it, at Tasi, at it, back at Tasi.:: Shayne: Pond has vanished. I don’t know where she is, or even if she’s alive. I haven’t spoken with her in months. ::As he said this, he began to pace, and absentmindedly fiddle with his full, lush ponytail. At the word “months”, he twisted, and ripped a sizable wad right out of his head.:: ::He stared at it, at Tasi, at it, back at Tasi.:: Shayne: ::Matter of factly.:: Ow. ::Whoever this Pond was, she clearly meant a lot to him for him to be so worried. It was hard to resist the urge to tell him everything would be okay. It never felt like things would ever be okay again when wrestling with grief and loss. Life moved on though. It was the harsh truth and to say so would be nothing other than callous. His emotions were completely normal though it would come as small comfort. Time was the only thing that could ease his pain, and having channels to vent his emotions. She wasn’t his counsellor - he had options aboard his ship for that, but that didn’t mean she couldn’’t be there for him as a friend.:: Tasi: I am sorry Randal. There’s nothing anyone can say to ease the pain and worry of someone we care about going MIA. I’m sure it comes as small comfort right now, but it’s normal to feel worry and grief. I just want you to know that I’m here for you. Do you want to talk more about it? Shayne: No. Most definitely, assuredly not. ::There was nothing more to say on the matter- certainly nothing Tasi deserved to receive. Maybe a trip to the holodeck would be in order, before he beat someone into a pulp. Or ripped out any more of his usually well-tended locks.:: Shayne: The Gorkon! How is it? Finding your way there? Is it as crazy as I’ve always heard? You know, I always wanted to transfer there, just to see what it was like. ::Through the midst of this loud, forced menagerie of preposterous questions and outright falsehoods, he could feel the disciplined part of himself recoil in horror at his explosive exposition.:: Shayne: oO Shut up, you ragged, impotent fool, shut up! Oo ::His goal had been to cover his despair, but he had failed spectacularly. Tasi knew this was a deflection. He was hurting very badly and didn’t want to talk about it. She wasn’t here to force him to do it. She shifted her weight in her chair and smiled with all the grace of a queen, choosing to pretend Randal wasn’t acting to wildly out of character for him. Instead she chose to focus on the question itself, answering in good humour.:: Tasi: It’s not what I expected, but then is that really a surprise? Things so often seem to go that way where Starfleet is concerned. My first mission has just concluded.. It… could have gone better. ::He listened as if his life depended on it, using her words and her voice as a life preserver. He knew that, from this point on, he could only speak truths, else he give away even more of his distress to the one person he both cared about and was able to protect in this moment.:: Shayne: ::Sensitively.:: What happened? ::She didn’t want to speak ill of the crew, or of the first officer. It wouldn’t be proper to talk of the mission and the diplomatic incidents caused by Commander Sevo, or Doctor Sim. They were good people and it wouldn’t do to spread gossip that might negatively affect their reputation. How many lives had the joined Trill seen? Not enough, clearly. Tasi had thought someone who had lived many lifetimes would be much more diplomatic. Instead, the red-headed woman suffered a short temper. Doctor Sim on the other hand, Tasi wasn’t sure if he was just young and inexperienced or if there was some underlying issue she should be aware of. She would talk to him about what happened in due course, but for now, her friend had her attention and he was awaiting a reply.:: Tasi: I think the important thing is that we did achieve our goal… We just did it in a more round-about fashion than anticipated. We have some downtime now on Trill. ::”Roundabout”. Despite their goals and training, that’s how most of their missions seemed to progress.:: Shayne: I’m just glad you’re alright. Tasi: Thanks, my friend. You know there’s something I’ve always wondered… ::There was a strange shift in the air around him, almost like the calm before the storm. Unconsciously he recognized it, and it frightened him for some reason.:: Shayne: Uh oh. ::It was his customary response to, well, anything really.:: Tasi: Are you made of copper and tellurium? ::He’d been expecting something… unexpected, but this trounced all that. It was such a seeming non-sequitur that his brain actually stopped, locked up, and refused to process it.:: Shayne: ...what? Tasi: Because you're CuTe. ::It was strange. He hadn’t thought it possible for his face to literally feel as if it was sliding off his skull. And yet, Tasi, as she had done many times before, was proving him wrong. Part of him was desperately confused. Never had Tasi given him any reason to think that they were anything more than close friends. That part of him was spiraling out of control, and Shayne had little hope of ever seeing it again. Bye bye, fragment of sanity. The other dominant emotion at the moment was a piercing… pain? Yes, pain. That pun was… astonishing. He felt his brain give up, and fizzle out his ears in a vaguely diarrhetic release of synapses. Compared to the cute romantic overtones Tasi, he just felt… shattered. :: ::Tasi watched his reaction coyly, and Shayne desperately hoped that his face was simply blank. It was a monumental effort to incite any sort of functionality, but he managed to smile, clear his throat and lean forward.:: Shayne: How long? ::”How long have you felt this way” seemed brusque, cruel almost. He’d have to break the news to her, and then try to smooth over the feathers. God, why did people find him handsome, or desirable? Then he wouldn’t be in this well-intentioned mess.:: Tasi: Does it matter? ::Her heart sank. While she hadn’t expected much, her heart still sank to see the expression written plain across his face, and to hear his strained voice. It was as she had always thought. What was she thinking? She held her breath in anticipation of the inevitable rejection.:: Shayne: Tasi… um… I… I really don’t know how to break this to you, so I’m just gonna say it. I have a girlfriend. We’re… we’re nearly engaged. Tasi: oO Nearly? Oo ::He felt his heart fracture a bit at those words, knowing how crippling they’d be to him if their situations were reversed.:: Shayne: oO And “have”? No, that’s not entirely true. Right now, all you have is hopes and memories. But you can’t give up now. She’s out there! Oo ::What could she say? She’d made him feel more awkward. This was supposed to bring a smile to his face how? It all seemed so foolish in hindsight. The corners of her mouth turned down, betraying her true feelings before she forced the most natural smile she could muster. She had learned something more about her enigmatic friend at least. Could things have been different had she been more courageous?:: Tasi: I’m really happy for you Randal. How did you meet? ::Her tone was as genuine as her interest. Regret might fill her thoughts later, but right now she still wanted to be the best friend possible. Maybe talking about his girlfriend would cheer Randal up.:: ::Despite the circumstances, he smiled grimly, recounting their first meeting.:: Shayne: A birth in Sickbay brought us together. An overdose brought us… close. ::He remembered the shifting, waving patterns in his eyes as the pain killer had done its work altogether too well. It had lowered his inhibitions, to the point where the usually silent helmsman had confessed his feelings about Pond’s beauty. One thing lead to another, and they were a couple. It was the fondest memory he’d ever had on a biobed.:: Shayne: And now, she’s gone. ::He hadn’t meant to say that, and he certainly hadn’t meant to say it so casually. But the damage was done. Again.:: Shayne: She was transferred, or lost, and I don’t know where. I don’t know why. And I don’t know when. No answer. But I can’t contact her. It’s driving me insane. ::No wonder he was behaving abnormally. The amount of stress and worry he was under. Tasi’s expression was completely serious and her heart went out to him.:: Tasi: I’m so sorry Randal. That’s truly awful. I can only imagine how difficult that must be for you. ::Someone would know what had happened to her and she was sure Randal would have chased down every avenue to find out what was happening.:: Tasi: No one was able to help you locate her? Shayne: No one wants to. I can’t get a clear answer out of anyone. ::He seethed, and wondered how long this could continue.:: Tasi: I hope you’re able to hear from her soon. Shayne: ::Smiling weakly.:: Thanks. ::The silence was deafening, and Shayne nearly tapped his fingers.:: Shayne: Well! It was… um… great to, you know, talk to you. Tasi: Sure. Goodbye Shayne. Take care. Tasi: oO That was a complete shuttle crash. Oo Shayne: Take care. ::And with that, he slammed his finger onto the off button with such vigor he felt his joint crack. He placed his head down on his desk, and didn’t lift it for a good six hours.:: ::The screen went dark much more suddenly than expected. She got up and flopped onto her bed, letting out a long sigh. That was embarrassing, especially for someone who was supposed to be good at talking to others. In that moment she felt like a fraud.:: Tasi: oO There’s one person I’ll never hear from again. Oo ::Exhaling loudly again, Tasi grabbed a pillow and put it over her head. She remained that way until the computer reminded her of a camping trip she was committed to attending. Reluctantly, she got up and started to get ready for it.:: ------------------------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Ops Officer/Second Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0 AND Lieutenant Tasi, Counselor - USS Gorkon Simmed by: Rear Admiral Renos Executive Council & Captain's Council Member A238805EB0 -------------------------------------------------------------
  16. I always love it when @Randal Shayne is left in charge ----------------- ((Bridge, USS Blackwell)) Whittaker: ::he looked to Shayne and spoke directly.:: Report. ::Shayne felt himself shift out of the role of commander, and into the mindset of a first officer, both relishing the relief that Whittaker’s presence afforded, and trying not to concentrate too admimently on the sudden drop in exhilaration and adrenaline. He hoped his decision to bring Whittaker back to the bridge had not interrupted anything the captain had been doing below, but Merzan’s request, the Klingon ships’ sudden movement toward the anomaly, and the other equally dangerous or problematic features of their situation left Shayne feeling as though no other choice were possible. Some part of him chafed at his cowardice- running for daddy as soon as matters got even slightly over his head. Nevertheless, Whittaker was one of the most competent officer’s he’d ever had the pleasure of working with. If anyone could take care of this, it was him. Succinctly, Shayne broke down there current dilemma.:: Shayne: Commander Walker is preparing to test a solution- I don’t pretend to understand it, but it has something to do with beaming down to the surface and attempting to rescue our people. It’s dangerous, so I figured I’d best get your approval on it. They’re on their way to the transporter room now. ::His mind raced, trying to remember that Whittaker had just arrived, and had not been party to the events of the recent past. What else was important?:: Shayne: The gik’tal has begun to move toward the rift- I’ve got Commander Ezo warning them off. Additionally, Mr. Ramirez reports that the anomaly will be closing again soon, in a matter of three hours or less. However, he believes that focusing anti-particles in to the midst of the rift might stave off that closure for a time. And, intriguingly, Commander Merzan has requested to join Walker on her escapade to the surface. ::His words, especially to an outsider who had not witnessed the exchange, sounded somewhat absurd, and so Shayne did not blame Whittaker for consulting with Jolara. It was at that moment that Shayne realized that he should have done just that. She was the counselor, after all, trained to read emotions and detect falsehoods as a secondary but important side effect of her main work. Whittaker hadn’t been on the bridge ten seconds, and already he was making Shayne feel foolish just by implementing sensible behavior. Whittaker: ::to Jolara:: Do you have any reason to suspect Merzan's motives? Jolara: ? ::Shayne’s own confidence in Merzan, and his own determination to not look like an impotent knob, had likely influenced his decision to not consult any of his other officers. He vowed to learn from his error, while still maintaining confidence in Merzan’s sincerity. He had not met a Klingon yet that lied, and he refused to believe that his first encounter with one would be with a Defense Force starship captain. Nagging doubts lingered, of course, but from what he’d seen of Merzan, and Walker, if anything poor were to happen on their little voyage, he felt it unlikely that it would stem from a betrayal on Merzan’s part.:: Whittaker: Alright. Mr. Shayne- give Commander Walker to go ahead to traverse the rift then take Ensign Ramirez, Lieutenant Mandak and Lieutenant James to deflector control to implement the ensign's idea to delay the decay of the rift. ::Shayne gave a swift nod.:: Shayne: Aye, sir. ::The first order of business was communicating Whittaker’s command to Walker, ostensibly in the transporter room at this point.:: Shayne: =/\= Shayne to Walker. The light is green. You may proceed. =/\= Walker: =/\= Will do Commander. We’ll be back soon. =/\= ::He had faith that Walker’s statement was true, but he couldn’t help but pray all the same. He liked this pink-haired commander, and though he regretted the loss of any Starfleet officer most deeply, it would likely be ever so slightly more painful if Walker were to not return. She had such a spark of life, and a love for the same. And, of course, a pregnant wife complicated the mix greatly. Suddenly, he wondered if he should request to take Walker’s place. Shayne was fairly confident that he could handle Merzan’s brusque brutality. But he certainly didn’t have the technical abilities, despite his status as Operations Officer. This was only proven by the fact that he still did not comprehend entirely her plan.:: ::They all had their assigned duties. His were waiting for him in Deflector Control.:: Shayne: On me, folks. ::Shayne made for the turbolift, and could hear the subtle scuffling as the other three individuals moved to follow him.:: Whittaker: Lieutenant Drass, keep monitoring the situation from up here. Ensign Leath, start scanning for anything that might give us a clue as to who is responsible for the creation of this rift. ::From the beginning, the readings had been strangely… formulaic. Orderly, in a way. The idea that it was an artificial creation had lingered in Shayne’s mind throughout this affair. Whittaker’s words now seemed to confirm that perspective. Whatever they’d found, he hoped it would cast more light on their problems.:: Drass/Leath: ? Mandak: And here we go... ::The turbolift doors shut before him, and the quartet plummeted into the bowels of the Blackwell. :: ((Deflector Control, USS Blackwell)) ::Shayne hated the Blackwell’s bridge, mostly because it was a preposterously small affair, deeply insufficient for the volume of people needed within it. When he’d served aboard the Apollo-A with Nicholotti, he’d be astonished by the sheer size of the Odyssey class control center. A transporter room in the back?! Multi-tiered seating? It looked more like a conference room. In his career, he’s luxuriated in the unnecessarily spacious, and groaned in the unreasonably cramped. Now, as he beheld Deflector Control, and how it was not too much smaller than the bridge he’d just exited, he finally resolved to talk to Whittaker at their next refit stop. Perhaps they might be able to scrounge up a larger bridge module for the Blackwell. It was worth a shot, anyway. He put those thoughts aside as Mandak spoke.:: Mandak: So... What now? ::Once again, he was entering a situation that demanded everything but his expertise, or so it felt. He thought himself rather fluent in engineer-speak, but Walker’s plan, and now Ramirez’s idea, eluded his grasp.:: ::Fortunately for the second officer, help was not long in coming.:: Ramirez: Uhmm… Lt. James, you are an engineer, right? ::A good question. He was aware that James was Walker’s wife, but beyond that (and a fleeting understanding of her skill set) Shayne knew virtually nothing about the pregnant officer.:: James: Yes. That’s right. Ramirez: Good. What I need from you is to configure the Deflector to produce the chroniton anti-particles. :: tapping on a PADD, and passing it to James :: These are the characteristics of the anti-particles we need to produce. Do you think it is possible? ::Shayne raised an eyebrow. The newcomer was already taking charge, and from the sounds of it, most competently.:: James: It is possible. Ramirez: Thank you. Please, let me know when the modifications are complete. I will give you then the information about the energy output and how narrow the beam must be. ::The ensign then turned to the newly promoted Mandak, and… did Shayne catch a whiff of affection? Or infatuation? Either way, the brief look on Ramirez’s face vanished within an instant of its appearance, and business was once again on the forefront of his mind.:: Ramirez: :: clearing his throat :: Lt. Mandak, Can you provide the exact location of the outer and inner rims of the anomaly, please? ::The request was simple, but satisfying it would likely be time consuming. Unlike what Shayne had come to expect from anomalies in his travels, this one stayed fairly consistent in size- another factor leading him to personally believe that it was created by mortal instruments, not by the random authority of chance.:: Mandak: ? Ramirez: Please, patch that information to my console once your calculations are complete… Mandak:? ::There was a controlled excitement in Ramirez’s slightly accented voice, and Shayne almost wanted to share in it. Their newest science officer was clearly looking forward to seeing what would result of his idea, and beyond that, Shayne knew that many science officers held the thrill of discovery above almost everything else. Casually, he looked at Ramirez, who promptly noted the intrusion.:: Shayne: You’re looking pleased. Anything I can do to help? ::Just like Merzan, Shayne despised sitting idle. When others around him were working, thas resentment morphed into an intolerable burden. He actually wanted an ensign to give him instructions- anything to be a part of the team.:: Ramirez: Sorry, sir. :: clearing his throat again :: Hmmm… Can you monitor the anomaly and keep an eye on the rift’s chroniton density, please? :: providing a PADD :: Here you will find instructions about how to do it, sir. Please, that that station :: pointing the a place close to Mandak's :: ::Shayne now raised both eyebrows. Most cadets or brand new ensigns demurred from taking command of any situation if offered the opportunity, and those that didn’t often had an inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities. But Ramirez was proving to be a most pleasant surprise. What a remarkable display of competence.:: Shayne: Aye, ensign. Mandak: ? ::After a short time, during which Shayne was just beginning to wrap his mind around his assigned task, James spoke up.:: James: The modifications are done, Ensign. Ramirez: Response ::There was no doubting the concern in James’ voice as she replied. Indeed, Shayne shared some of that apprehension.:: James: ::as casually as she could manage:: And you’re positive this will work ::The doubt was still present, but Ramirez’s confidence gave Shayne the courage to put some faith into their work.:: Ramirez/ Mandak: ? Shayne: From what little I understand, it’s got a good chance. James: Okay… Ready when you are. ::Shayne consulted his instruments.:: Shayne: Ensign, chroniton density is dropping, slowly but surely. We’ve got to hurry. Ramirez/ Mandak/James: ? ::As the process began, Shayne’s panel lit up with a warning he didn’t immediately recognize. After a moment, though, it came to him.:: Shayne: We’re firing an antiproton beam directly into the center of the anomaly. ::He squinted and looked closer.:: Shayne: Some strange readings over here… Ramirez/ Mandak/James: ? Tag/TBC… Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Ops Officer/ Second Officer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0
  17. ((Set on Day Two of Shore Leave)) ((USS Atlantis, Dermont's Personal Quarters - Deck 4)) ::Dermont trudged into his quarters and tossed a PADD and his thermos into a chair. He unzipped his uniform and took off the outer jacket, allowing it to share space in the chair. He sat on the edge of his ottoman and bent down, giving a groan of relief as his boots slipped off. As he leaned back, something across the room caught his eye. It was a slow blink on the his personal console. He frowned at it. Really he had almost forgotten about it. That light had been blinking since long before the repairs at DS26 and just yesterday he would have been content to let it blink for all eternity. but now...:: oO What's changed? Yer still the same ole pain in everyone's [...], yeah? Oo oO Didn't use ta be that way...some would've called me fun. Oo oO You mean yer wife, right? Isn't she yer ex-wife now? Oo oO Shaddup... Oo ::Sighing heavily to himself he strode over to the console and pulled out the small chair from under it. He took a seat and decided it was time to do something about that light. The greying engineer hovered his finger over the button for several seconds, letting out an audible growl at his own hesitation.:: Dermont: Damn you...me... ::He jammed his finger down much harder than he needed to. The console immediately sprung to life, displaying his list of awaiting messages. He swore a second time, this time under his breath and he gripped the edge of the console hard. What the hell?:: Dermont: Sixty-three....::It came out as little more than a whisper.:: ::Sixty-three messages. He had not checked his messages since graduating the academy. And any time someone had tried to make contact with him live, he always found an excuse that he was too busy. It was never really a lie. Dermont was always busy. He made sure of it.:: oO But sixty-three? I don't even know sixty-three people...and damn sure not sixty-three who liked me. And how long have I no checked a message? Eight months? Nine? Oo ::There was nothing to do now except listen to them. He took a deep breath and then another one. One the third he tapped the first message. So it began. An image of his mother appeared. Helen Dermont. The wonderfully kind Mama Dermont, halfway to eighty years now. She had a sad smile.:: Helen: Valin, I know you didn't wanna fuss, but I've gotta tell ya, I'm just so proud of you. Over forty or not, yer my boy and ye've made me so proud... ::He frown as he listened. Another growl escaped his lips as he went to the next message. Mama again.:: Helen: I know ya need yer space, son. But I love you... ::Next. Mama again. Next. His father. The of them looked very similar except Marcus Dermont's hair was cropped short and his beard was trimmed. There was a familiar scowl planted on his face.:: Marcus: Dammit, boy. You better call your mama. She so proud of you fer some damn reason and yer breakin' her heart ignorin' her. Ignorin' yer family... ::More messages congratulating him. His ex-wife sent a brief note saying well done, be mainly reminding him to send a message to their kids sometime. The time was daughter, Brienna, and he nearly cried. Thirteen years old and brilliant. She was a jewel of perfection with the exception of one thing: she still thought her father was someone special.:: oO Poor kid... Oo Brienna: Dad, I know you've not talked to Mama Dee or mother and I just wanting to say that it's okay. I know you just miss Uncle Maz. I just wanted to say I love you... ::He jumped away from the console and kicked the chair across the room. Dermont suddenly felt a pain in his chest and found it hard to catch his breath. He stumbled to the shower, peeling off his clothes as he went. He crawled into the stall and just lay there, trying to breath between tears. He didn't know if he was more angry than sad, but he didn't it wasn't anyone's fault but his own.:: oO Oh you wanted ta be alone, didn't ya! Well here ya go! You get to look at all the people ya pushed away! Get ta see how yer bein' an [...] makes them hurt just like ye'd been hurtin'! This is all yer fault, ya damn idiot... Oo ::He wasn't sure how long he laid there, but at some point he actually took a shower and got himself dressed. He gathered back up the chair and sat back at the console. He tried to control his breathing as he began again. The old engineer decided he was going to finished this list. He needed to. They had reached out to them and he owed it to every person on here to listen to what they had to say.:: Helen: Merry Christmas, Valin! It sure would be nice to hear... Brienna: Merry Christmas, daddy! We heard you were moved to the Atlantis! Mother got me... Kyleanna: How about you just try and act like a father for Christmas?! Your daughter hasn't heard from you in months... ::The messages went on and on. He heard from his uncle and his aunt. His brother and his younger sister. His mother kept up the called, sometimes breaking into tears. Maddius, his old boss and best friend's dad reached out, as did nine other members of that family. That almost made him smile. That Bolian family had adopted him over twenty years ago and were reminding him they were still there.:: oO Great, so ye've disappointed two families... Oo ::He frowned as a picture of Rhona Dermont appeared on his screen. Commander Rhona Dermont of Starfleet Security, currently stationed on Earth. Her hair was pulled up into a severe bun and looking as intimidating as ever at fifty-seven years old. She gave the screen a harsh glare.:: Commander Rhona: So Lieutenant Junior Grade, it appears you are causing me disruptions at my work. I do not enjoy mother showing up in my office asking me to drop what I am doing to hunt you down. Call her. Oh, and I would offer you congratulations on the quick promotion, but I've seen the manifest for the Atlantis. ::slight smile.:: It is pretty slim pickings... ::He scowled at the screen as her image disappeared. The two of them had never been very close. Her and their father both never saw much in the younger Valin Dermont. Too impulsive. Too emotional. He shook her words from his mind and kept going. A message from Rav'riunt the Nausicaan collector that made him scowl. Sent two weeks before the man tried to frame Serala for espionage and then attempted to kill Dermont's son. He deleted it. Next a message from a nameless Bolian. They said four simple words. "Talk to you soon.":: oO Oh, great...just great... Oo ::He got to the last message, not even bothering to hide his tears. There were people that loved him and had not stopped reaching out, trying to reconnect. And how had he repaid them? By ignoring them. He was sad, mad, and happy all at once. The final message was from his son Kurdan.:: Kurdan: Hey dad. Just wanted to say thanks to you and your friends again. Even if it was your fault I appreciated you know...you guys not letting me die. And I know life it hard for you. But hey it is hard on us all. I knew Uncle Maz since I was born, remember? Anyway, I am just saying I will try if you will try. Oh, and why didn't you tell me Brienna was heading to stay will you on the Atlantis for a while?! She'd here now and leaving on the next shuttle leaving DS26! So she will be to you...uhhh...soon, I guess. Anyway, talk to you later, Lieutenant. oO Um...what? Oo ::Brienna coming here? Since when? He had just listened to all the messages and while his daughter he spoke of it several times, Dermont had obviously made no such plans. He sighed for what felt like the thousandth time.:: Dermont: Well, Valin...it appears ye've got a few return calls ta make. ::He tapped a few keys, cleared his throat and looked at the console.:: Dermont: Hi, Mama. Well, a lot has happened... ================= Lieutenant JG Valin Dermont Engineering USS Atlantis A239410VD0
  18. (( Migehn River, Thorain Mountains, Trill )) ::The vicious waves of the river crashed unendingly on the small boat. Emilia’s heart pounded as she struggled to paddle in the back, and steady the direction away from the rocky shores. A mix of excitement and anxiety brewed in Emilia’s chest, as the violent waves drenched the two officers with the fresh, lukewarm water of the river. Emilia’s grip was like iron on her paddle, iron that powered through the cold rust, clinging on for dear life in the midst of the overpowering waves of the river as it paddled. Despite everything however, she chuckled excitedly, the rush of adrenaline seeming to almost force a feeling of amusement and joy.:: ::The warm echo of the sun bounced off the crystalline surface constantly, creating an abnormally bright glow as Emilia’s eyes focused forward despite the chaos. She wondered how Jo was feeling through the circumstances.:: Krugol: Are the waters always this rough?! ::Emilia spoke, raising her voice above the volume of the waves.:: ::In the midst of fending off a splash of water to the face, Jo wiped her mouth on her shoulder and laughed, her stomach dropping out as the boat hit a bad patch of a dip between waves. She shouted forward over the noise.:: Marshall: So it said! Something about the temperature of the glaciers on the Northern Hemis- ::The boat rocked heavily, throwing out her words with the jolt.:: -phere and the friction between the narrow channel and the larger river south of us! Krugol: I wonder if that makes things difficult for the locals here! Marshall: They’ll be used to it by now, I’d imagine! ::The boat tipped to the side as the underside hit an incoming wave from a rock formation, both crew paddling fiercely to avoid capsizing against it and headed back into the river run. Another crew up ahead of them steered away from an eddy, dipping out of sight, the telltale sign of what was to come. Jo shouted forward again.:: Marshall: We’re hitting the Middle Fork! Drop coming up in three! ::Emilia’s heart pounded in excitement. Quickly, she braced herself, moving her legs to the edges of the kayak to stabilize her form a little more. The anticipation built up in her stomach like a rampantly breeding swarm of butterflies, fluttering every which way, creating the sickly feeling of excitement that rose to her throat.:: Krugol: Let’s do it! ::A strong undercurrent swept through beneath the small kayak, increasing the speed, forcing them towards the gully created by erosion in the rock below. Jo mentally counted down and braced herself for the oncoming onslaught of water as the front of the boat carrying Emilia angled down over the edge. Adrenaline in the riders spiked. The vital readout beeped to acknowledge it. A moment teetering on the edge where time seemed to hang, the view ahead of the canyon they were about to descend into. Then, they tipped over.:: Krugol: WOAH!!! ::Emilia’s gaze locked with bottom of the drop very briefly, the rush of adrenaline practically drowning her as she held on for dear life to the Kayak.:: ::They hit the bottom of the drop with a clear splash, sinking for a matter of a second before bobbing back up amidst waves and the twisting churn of whitewater.:: ::Jo shook her head, spraying water everywhere, accompanied by a loud and happy laugh.:: Marshall: That was BRILLIANT! ::Replicating Jo’s motions. Emilia laughed uncontrollably. Exhausting every breath she’d clung to during the descent. The water came up to Emilia’s neck as she tread the water around her, managing to keep herself afloat amongst the much calmer waters. Her feet kicking from under her almost constantly, fighting to keep her afloat.:: Krugol: That. Was. AMAZING!! We definitely have to do this again when we get the chance! ::Jo ran her hand up shifting the water from her face and up into her now drenched hair. Their kayak bobbed on the surface of the wide river a couple of feet away and she made a grab for it before it got any further. Treading water, she tried to touch the bottom with bare feet and could barely reach it.:: Marshall: Definitely! ::She grinned widely, pushing the kayak over to her friend.:: Grab that. We'll drag it to shore. Krugol: I wonder if we’ll have a chance to do this next shore leave. ::Emilia wiped her face with a free hand, clearing her vision clouded by the water in her eyes. She sniffled somewhat, swimming herself over to the capsized kayak in attempt to swim it closer to the bank.:: Marshall: I hope so! M-Class planets have always got something crazy to jump off of. Or out of. ::They shifted the sprightly buoyant but capsized kayak over to the riverbank. Planting her hands, Jo hauled herself out of the water onto the grass feeling twice as heavy, then held her hand out for Emilia.:: Krugol: Thanks. ::Emilia took Jo’s hand gratefully. The water-filled wetsuit, spilling water onto the hard bank of the river. Her body felt tired and heavy. Nevertheless, Emilia pushed through, driven purely by the leftover adrenaline in her system.:: I wonder how many people we can talk into doing so. You never know, there may be a few equally crazy people on board. I know a certain, equally insane flyboy that may or may not enjoy a couple of jumps. ::Jo laughed, pulling the kayak out of the water with the Trill’s help, settling it on its side and pitching out whatever water it had decided to take on in the fall when it kicked them out. She stretched her arms behind her back and shook her head of water clinging to her ears, then grinned at the woman.:: Marshall: Our crew isn't short of maniacs and adrenaline junkies. Next shore leave, we'll find somewhere, if we're on-world, and lure them in with promises of a barbeque for the first one over the edge. ::However, her grin tinged with mischief.:: I'll bet you a weeks worth of rotation cargo checks that you can't get the Admiral to do this. Krugol: ::Emilia chuckled loudly.:: That’s possibly the most devious thing I’ve heard from you Jo, I like it. As for the admiral… ::Emilia snapped her fingers competitively.:: You’re on. Even if i lose, shouldn’t be too much to handle. But that’s a big if. ::Emilia stretched her arms, following it closely with a yawn. The adrenaline slowly seemed to die down. She began to shake out each of her limbs individually. The sudden cold breeze causing a brief shiver against the drenched wetsuit. Emilia wondered what kind of barbeque was going to be prepared. Images, and flavours of pork belly and well done steaks invaded her mind.:: ::It was a big if; Jo was already starting to plan what music she'd have blaring in the cargo hold. She moved her neck to the side, feeling it crunch from the exertion of the ride down the rapids, and the cold starting to invade her otherwise temperature resistant wetsuit. Now came the glorious task of hauling their kayak back up to their starting point. Grabbing one end of it, she patted Emilia on the shoulder with the casual familiarity of two friends having braved an adrenaline-filled danger and come through still alive.:: Marshall: Thanks for coming, this was a lot of fun. Krugol: You’re welcome! It was a very eventful ride to say the least. ::She returned the casual pat with a bright smile, and a thumbs up to the fellow gold shirt. Emilia felt comfortable in Jo’s presence, no nagging thoughts telling her to do this or that, or even anything making her nervous enough to stutter.:: ::Emilia, following Jo’s lead, shifted the weight of the kayak onto her shoulder, the weight somewhat encumbering her. With Jo’s help however, Emilia was able to easily share the burden on her shoulder. She let out a sharp breath as she began to march forward. Her legs, jolting excitedly with each spring in her step.:: ::The climb was going to be a long one, nonetheless it was worth it just for the views of the canyon they'd splashed into. Kayak safely secured, ready for the haul, Jo grinned at her fellow trudger, squinting under the midday sun.:: Marshall: Best foot forward. Beers on me when we get back up there. Krugol: It’ll be a cider for me until I can work on my lightweightness ::Emilia threw a chuckle Jo’s way, glancing up at the long walk. But who better to walk with, than a fellow friend.:: _________________________ Ensign Emilia Krugol - USS Gorkon - Security/Tactical officer - G239409EK0 ___________________________ & ___________________________ Lieutenant JG Jocelyn Marshall - Operations Officer - USS Gorkon - G239304JM0 ____________________________
  19. ((Observation Lounge, USS Gorkon)) ::She didn't know why she was sat here, staring out of the window. Any console where she could access the ship's sensors would be far more helpful in her current endeavour. The many sensor pallets of the Gorkon were vastly superior to her own eyes, and yet she desperately wanted to see the arrival of the Triumphant in person, rather than through a console screen. ::So there she sat, and there she squinted, waiting for the tiny, familiar dot of white to get close enough for her eyes to find it. ::It took a while, but there it was. A smile like the breaking dawn caught her lips, and she watched as the punchy, powerful little ship took a slow, graceful arc toward the planet. The orbit insertion was a complicated, fancy manoeuvre -- Walter was clearly letting his helmsman show off, and it made her chuckle. She watched the little ship circle the planet for a while, indulging in a little nostalgia about her time aboard it.:: Brunsig: =/\= Brunsig to Reynolds. I'll be in the transporter room in five. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= Aren't you supposed to ask permission to come aboard? =/\= ::She grinned at the impatient sigh that echoed through the channel.:: Brunsig: =/\= I assumed that the Ktarian chocolate puff I've brought with me would do the talking. =/\= ::She was out of her chair like a torpedo from its tube, heading straight for the closest transporter room.::: ((Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon)) ::The next morning, the first sensations she had on waking was perfect comfort and warmth. Warm, in no small part, due to the other body in the bed that was laid against her, the comforting weight of an arm draped over her waist, legs entangled with hers. Her small movements prompted a breath of air against her neck, a kiss just underneath her ear.:: Brunsig: Morning, Sunshine. Would you like bacon and eggs, or toast? ::She replied with a sleepy laugh, recognising the words. He'd first said them to her back on the Triumphant when she, as a newly promoted JayGee, had dozed off in the torpedo control room after working through the night on the targeting systems. When he sat down next to her to check her work, she had inadvertently curled up to him in her sleep, as though he were her favourite teddy bear. Back then, those words had been said with the express intent of embarrassing her; Walter couldn't be accused of being good with tactile contact, either giving or receiving it. ::Since then, it had become an odd little ritual of theirs, a greeting shared whenever they woke up together after some time apart. She usually got the offered breakfast, too. Today, she thought, she'd go with the bacon and eggs. ::Her train of thought was broken by another kiss on her neck and a murmured question in her ear.:: Brunsig: Gone back to sleep? Reynolds: Just thinking. Brunsig: I've a cure for that. ::She laughed and he grinned, pulling her close and into a kiss that made it explicit exactly what his intentions were.:: ((Hiking Trail, Taidel Woods, Trill)) Reynolds: So… I haven't told Dylan about you and I. Brunsig: I'm surprised, Cupcake. Look at me. This is my surprised face. ::He scowled at her. Of course he did.:: Reynolds: Oh, don't be like that. I just… I wanted to give it, to give *us* a little time. To get used to being us again. ::He didn't answer for a little while, and she didn't push. There was no need and she had no inclination to do so. They had miles to go, and she knew him well enough to know that prodding for an answer would only earn her sarcasm and snark in return. ::Instead, she let herself soak in the surroundings. It was a pleasant day; the sun was peeking through the canopy, casting dappled light across the trees and bushes of the forest floor. The trail underfoot was soft, cushioning their booted feet, and easy enough to follow. And it was quiet, with only the breeze rustling through the leaves and the spirited calls of birds to listen to. It was heavenly, the kind of place she usually only got to visit in a holodeck.:: Brunsig: I'm assuming this means you want to tell him now. Reynolds: I'd like to. But only if you're happy with it. Brunsig: It makes no odds to me. ::She hadn't expected a ringing endorsement -- this was Walter Brunsig she was talking to, after all -- and yet she found that response somehow disappointing.:: Reynolds: Okay. ::His eyes, the colour of the clear sky above the trees, swung away from the path ahead to look at her. Brunsig: Look, Quinn. We're… ::he hesitated, a discomforted frown on his face,:: ...family. A screwed up family, but nevertheless. So I'm fine. It's good. You should tell him. ::She smiled at him, and she was granted one of his rare, fleeting smiles in return. It changed his face, and she felt her heart skip a beat. Funny, the way things went; when they first met, she couldn't stand him. And now here she was, loving him so much that sometimes it hurt.:: Reynolds: I love you. Brunsig: And yet you're usually so smart. ::He smirked at her, and she rolled her eyes, laughing. His fingers intertwined with hers as they continued their walk, hand in hand.:: ((Shuttlebay, USS Gorkon)) ::The next day, he was here. The shuttle door opened, pivoting on its hinge, and Dylan stepped out. She swore he was taller than the last time she'd seen him -- but then, she always did. He'd had a hair cut, which suited him, and he was more tanned than when she'd left. Which, instead of concealing his freckles, had only seemed to birth even more. It was funny how similar mother and son looked -- the both of them with brown hair, slim builds and naturally pale, freckled skin -- given that there was no shared DNA there at all. ::With his bag swinging over his shoulder, he smiled at her and she smiled right back, her heart leaping at the sight of him. He sauntered over, straight into a hug, and didn't even complain when she kissed him hello on the cheek.:: Dylan: Hi Mum. Reynolds: Hey, Pickle. ::He pulled away and frowned at her, evidently finding his childhood nickname entirely inappropriate now that he had reached the grand old age of ten. Then he turned and wrapped his arms around Walter's waist, and an awkward grimace took root on the blond captain's face. But to Quinn's surprise, he returned the hug, scowling at her when she dared to smile about it.:: Dylan: Dad. Brunsig: Offspring. Dylan: Hi. Brunsig: Yes. ::Quinn rolled her eyes, while Dylan grinned as he stepped back; unlike her he was entirely content -- happy, even -- with the monosyllabic exchange. His gaze swung between the two people he considered his parents, and then with the with offhand manner that only children could pull off, he stuck a pin the balloon of apprehension she'd spent the past few days inflating.:: Dylan: So you two are back together, huh? ::She stared at him, her carefully prepared and rehearsed speech out of the window with one throwaway question. Quinn wasn't sure if she was annoyed or relieved.:: Reynolds: Uh… Yes. We are. ::There was a pause as she hesitated, debating whether to ask him how he felt about that, when her eldest child preempted her again, this time with a casual shrug and a nod of approval.:: Dylan: Neat. I'm hungry. Can we eat? ::She stared, wordless, while Walter snorted in undisguised amusement. Jabbing his thumb toward the large shuttlebay doors, he answered the youth's question.:: Brunsig: Come on, Pickle. Let's hit the lounge. ::Eyes twinkling with mirth, Walter shot her a look before starting off, Dylan trotting along beside him. All she could do was shake her head, and follow.::
  20. * I especially loved the description of cats. 🐈 ((Trill, Conservationist Camp, Venar Mountain)) ::Beset upon by a creature with all the fury of a ticked off gopher, Lanta lay on his back being snuffled into a panic attack as the "Graamig" delighted in tasting his rapidly proliferating sweat glands. Attempting to placate, from a safe distance, Jo felt her heart rise up in her throat at the awful connotation that the thing wanted more than just a good investigation of the Trill's jugular.:: Lanta: Pleeeease get it off before it either bites me open or makes love to my face ::screaming loudly until his mouth was filled with the sticky fur of the animal making further sounds incomprehensible:: mummf flummf hmmf ::Neither of which did Jo want to see with her pure and innocent eyes.:: zh’Aella: Could we? ::Jo shot a look to Sera who was in the midst of gripping her axe, making a chopping motion toward the creature. That didn't strike Jo as a particularly good idea, considering the thing was a little more sprightly than any of them, and Lanta had some decent working organs in his upper chest cavity.:: Vahir: Well, you could, but I don’t think Graamig would like it, and if you missed Graamig or she moved, I don’t think Mister Lanta would like it. Marshall: We're working on it, Lanta! Just hold still! Don't secrete any... pheromones if you can help it! zh’Aella: Could one of us distract it, while the others grab it? Maybe pin it to the ground or grab it by the scruff of the neck, like a cat? Vahir: What’s a cat? ::How would one explain a cat to a none-Human without the accompanying billions of archived pictures from twenty-first century Earth?:: Marshall: Small animal with sharp pointy claws. Supreme Overlords of Earth and single people. Managed to domesticate Humans millennia ago. Still worshipped as a deity given corporeal form. ::A long snuffle emanated from the creature, attempting to find out just how much sweat a Trill could produce under pressure.:: Marshall: How about cooing to it? Give it biscuits? Throw a stick, maybe? zh’Aella: Nice Graamig. ::She said it softly, it was meet by a louder snarl.:: Are you a good Graamig? ::She tried in a sing-song voice.:: Vahir: Oh yes, Graamig is very nice, she keeps her pelt nice and sticky. Marshall: With Trill blood? ::That was apparently the wrong thing to say as the loud snarling quietened, a sandpaper tongue darting out from Graamig's snout and taking a decidedly elongated lick up the side of the Trill's neck. ::However, one among them had the gut and experience to deal with the situation. Their Trill Mountain strode past Sera, his palm extending like an opening umbrella and clamped around Graamig's snout, sealing it shut. She squealed as he hauled her off Lanta's chest by the scruff. ::Lanta scrambled back up onto his shaken feet and leaned against the trunk of a nearby tree, gulping down air, eyes darting around, a new lease of life in his system, or so it looked. Jo hid a small chuckle behind her hand. Of course, if that had been her pinned to the floor with a drooling creature trying to make lots of little creatures with her ear, her feelings would have been very different.:: Marshall: You were very nearly papa to some Grammig babies. zh’Aella: Response Lanta: Well ::Panting:: That … was… fun Vahir: Graamig is harmless. Now, had her husband turned up, that would have been a different story. Vardam makes her...well, let's just say it would have been messy, but you would certainly have survived Mister Lanta. Lanta: Not from where i was laying... ::Some of his [...]sure attitude was drawing back.:: Nothing like a brush with death to make you feel alive ::No truer words were spoken. Jo chuckled at the statement, resting her axe on her shoulder.:: Marshall: Is that not your life motto by now? Or a tattoo? zh’Aella: Response Vahir: No, you were never in any danger Mister Lanta! ::He gave a roar of laughter:: Graamig eats the bark off trees, not the necks out of Trills! ::He pinned Graamig under his armpit and held up her front leg, showing off her two inch claws.:: You can tell that Graamig is female as her claws are shorter and fatter. Males claws are much longer, five to six inches, and much more slender. Graamig is local, she has been giving the science lads some trouble. They think they may have accidentally disturbed her nest, and caused Vardam to break up with her, or their equivalent of that. ::He released her leg and exposed the side of her neck, and a long scar.:: He gave her that about a week ago, that was when we found her. ::A frown descended on Jo's brow, and while the creature had given them a total fright in varying magnitudes, that was just a little heartbreaking. She considered petting Graamig but one flash of the sharp pointy teeth made her think otherwise. She appreciated having fingers.:: Lanta: All that over a lovers quarrel? Marshall: Oh dear. You poor thing. Are there no other mates in range? Do they compete? Vahir: Graamig and Vardam are Melg’oona, a species quite common in this region, but highly territorial, so they are the only pair in this area. zh'Aella: Response Lanta: Hope they manage to pair up again after we have moved on ::Vahir lowered the sticky mess of fur and snarls to the forest floor. She gave them a quick growling grumble of derision and scampered back off into the line of trees in a flash.:: Vahir: Now, where were we? Ah yes, the tree! ::Hojen glanced up at the swaying behemoth.:: Mister Lanta, if you have recovered from Graamig’s advances perhaps you would like to strike the final blow as they say. ::Hojen collected a large triangular wedge and a large sledgehammer off the stump of an old tree and passed it to Lanta:: Place that in the uphill cut, then use this hammer to force it in, that will push the tree and cause it to fall away from us. Just be sure you stand off to the side of the tree, in the off chance if kicks out as it goes down. Lanta: Ok who get to shout timber like they used to shout on Earth Marshall: You do; you're finishing it off. Big, loud, puffy chest! zh’Aella: Response ::Lanta nodded and mentally prepared himself to place in the wedge and then deliver the death blow to the huge tree. Placing the wedge into where the huge Trill had indicated he gathered his strength and hit the wedge following through the blow and then quickly stepped to the side.:: Lanta: Timber! ::The shout was loud and clear, echoing into the distance, bouncing off every tree in their vicinity and then some. With a creaking crack of breaking bark, the gigantic tree fell over, taking several smaller trees down with it, smacking into the ground with a dull thud that vibrated through the ground. Birds fled from nearby treetops to the sky to escape.:: Lanta: So can I have some of that tree to start my new hobby of wood carving? ::The Trill's question was hopeful. The tree would be logged up, probably by them, with some going for analysis and other slices going to Trill carpenters. Jo felt a small puff of pride in her chest at the accomplishment, it was a grand sight to see.:: zh’Aella/Vahir: Response ::Some branches were still descending, dropping to the floor with a rustle, but other than the infrequent sound, everything else was silent. The singing birds chirping away had ceased, lending an eerie quality to the forest that it hadn't held before. Jo looked at their team, ready to get on with the rest.:: Marshall: So, what's - ::She didn't get chance to finish the sentence, as a communication device somewhere on Hojen's massive person dinged.:: Bahx: =()= Bahx to Vahir. =()= Vahir: =()= Response? =()= Bahx: =()= Oh, by the body! How-How-How is the team? =()= Vahir: =()= Response? =()= Bahx: =()= Good! Good, good. ::He seemed out of breath.:: Our archaeology team have made it back to camp, sustained some injuries, nothing to worry about, but we are quite concer- =()= ::Again, he was interrupted, only this time the noise doing so wasn't coming down the communication line. It was coming from the forest. A deep, low, guttural grumble that rumbled through the air and vibrated at Jo's stomach lining with vigour. Jo glanced behind her into the green and purple coloured tree lining, trying to discern the nature of the noise, watching some of their felled branches move and it definitely wasn't natural. ::Down the other end of the comm line, Bahx cleared his throat, having heard the same thing they did.:: Bahx: =()= We're concerned the permitter line has failed, so if you could just... make your way back... nice and slowly... Don't try to eat anything! =()= Vahir/zh'Aella/Marshall: Response?
  21. ((Mak’Ala City, Res Residence, Front Porch)) ::Emilia stood firmly in front of the pearl white door of her former home. Her hand, balled into a fist, was raised to knock on the lukewarm wood before her, freezing barely centimetres above the pearl white surface. Emilia’s heart practically trembled in her chest.:: oO Deep breaths Emilia Oo ::Taking in a gulp of air, Emilia finally knocked on the door. Feeling as if a weight was lifted off her shoulder, Emilia’s arm retreated to her side. From the other side of a door, resounded a muffled, but loud female voice. Immediately Emilia assumed it was her mother coming to tend to the whoever was at the door.:: ::The door swung open, revealing a tall, trill female, Emilia recognised the woman to be . Her dark hair suspended in a low ponytail. Her head was turned, facing behind her:: B. Res: I’ll be back in a second mother- ::Bisreel’s head moved slowly, locking eyes with Emilia for a split second, only to break the contact with an oddly strong embrace.:: Emilia! ::Bisreel’s suffocating hug caught Emilia by surprise, figuratively giving her a heart attack in the process. Bisreel backed off with a bright smile.:: Krugol: It’s so good to see you! I haven’t spoken to you in so long! B. Res: Everyone’s waiting to see you! Come in! ::Bisreel stepped aside, her hands gripped firmly around the front door. Emilia thanked her and stepped inside, allowing the peculiarly fruity smell of home to invade her nostrils.:: ((Mak’Ala City, Res Residence, Front Hallway)) ::Shortly after the closing of the front door, Bisreel’s body brushed past Emilia, barely touching the warm, tangerine coloured wall. Bisreel’s hand motioned for Emilia to follow, gingerly, Emilia followed behind her eldest sister, somewhat careful not to disturb the peace of the house, with the sound of her heels against the hard, tiled flooring. Three distinct voices echoed through the house, each getting louder with each step the pair took to the kitchen.:: B. Res: You’re a little later than we thought! Good ol’ middle sister started to wonder if you were gonna show up! ::Brushing the comment aside, Emilia chuckled.:: Krugol: Well you know me, Bisreel! Window shopping is a very time consuming hobby. ::Jokingly, she tilted her head upwards.:: B. Res: Yeah, I know, I seem to remember a time where you made your two sisters wait ten minutes while you tried to give yourself another makeover. ::Bisreel chuckled triumphantly, swiftly ending the sisterly exchange.:: ::The tangerine coloured walls passed by the pair of trill as they travelled down the hallway. Countless old pictures and family photos almost entirely covered the walls of the hallway, leaving little room for the technically orange backdrop to shine through, each framed in an old wooden frame. Shining its way through the kitchen, the bright trill sunlight highlighted the almost marble looking tiles beneath their feet. Basking in the colours cast by the walls around her, Emilia smiled joyously, her legs bouncing like springs as she took each step. The familiar family home, seeming to bring out many pleasant memories.:: B.Res: Mother!! We have a visitor ::Bisreel’s thunderous voice caused Emilia to visibly wince. The sheer volume of her sour tone was like a speaker at max volume.:: oO She takes after mother alright. There’s no doubt about that. Oo ((Mak’Ala City, Res Residence, Kitchen)) ::The pair entered the kitchen to the sound of chatter, two Trill women leaned against the marble countertops, one trill, not much taller than Emilia, and the other seemed a little stockier build wise, but also seemed much older in comparison. Their attention shifting to the arriving newcomers, greeting them with two surprised grins.:: A. Res: Emi!! ::Without even a chance to say a word, Emilia was overwhelmed by a suffocating hug. WIthout a second thought, she reciprocated the contact with an equally suffocating hug, squeezing Alu as tightly as possible.:: A. Res: Ouch! Too tight! ::Emilia broke the contact, grinning cheekily at Alu as their mother quickly interjected.:: M. Res: Leave some of her for the rest of us. ::Returning their grins, Emilia quickly made her way to the far side of the kitchen, shielding her eyes from the bright sun that shone through the large window.:: M. Res: I’ve missed you so much dear. ::Miraah wrapped her arm delicately around Emilia, planting a soft kiss on her cheek in the process.:: Krugol: ::Emilia pulled away, continuing on with her smile.:: Is father home? ::Just as their mother was about to open her mouth, Bisreel interjected.:: B. Res: You just missed him, he got a call from the institute. He said it was urgent. ::Upon hearing those words, Emilia’s grin dropped in a hint of disappointment. The one member of her family she perhaps missed the most, seemed as illusive as ever. But nobody could blame him for taking his work seriously, the family knew how much work life meant for a greying man like him.:: M. Res: You three have some catching up to do, why don’t you all go sit down, i’ll get some tea boiling, as well as bring out some food. ::As lovingly as ever, Miraah ushered the sibling out of the kitchen fairly light-heartedly. The three leaving through the short continuation of the hallway, presumably heading to the living room to continue on their catch up session:: _________________________ Ensign Emilia Krugol - USS Gorkon - Security/Tactical officer - G239409EK0 ___________________________
  22. ((Par'tha Expanse, Shuttlecraft B’hala)) M’Roa: oO How good to finally graduate. This one’s path has been long and winding. Thorny bushes have obscured the way and cut M’Roa’s beautiful soft fur as she hacked and carved a path through. Oo ::By contrast, R’Iondr’s path was well traveled, with smooth brick underneath to guide the way. They met one another as starry eyes freshman cadets, yet he had completed his training, a year long cadet cruise and graduated a full four years ahead of her. She had been left alone from that point to raise their cub and S’Emar was such a daddy’s girl. It was no wonder she was so clingy with him now.:: S’Emar: Are we nearly there yet? R’Iondr: For the last time, no. Now settle yourself. We’ll get there when we get there. ::His tone was firm but not harsh. He let out a long sigh and looked longingly around the cramped shuttle. There weren’t many seats and few of them were empty but it hadn’t stopped S’Emar from trying them all out. The young Caitian was moulting into her summer coat and leaving short hairs everywhere. While R’Iondr and M’Roa both wished they could stretch their legs, there wasn’t really anywhere to go. They weren’t filled with the impudence of youth and could tolerate discomfort for much longer.:: S’Emar: S’Emar is bored! ::Whining petulantly:: ::M’Roa didn’t blame her. They had all talked for many hours when reuinted on the shuttle. After having spent so much time apart, it felt like they would never be able to catch up. Yet, they had and while the adults were content to simply enjoy one another’s company now, the lack of bold and exciting stories left nothing to distract their child from the boredom.:: M’Roa: Why don’t you read one of your novels then? ::There wasn’t room to lay out card, dice or board games. What little entertainment they’d brough along had to be quiet to avoid disruption to other travellers. S’Emar’s PADD had various ebooks downloaded. M’Roa had let her choose her own, hoping that would ensure they’d hold her attention. S’Emar liked funny and scary books the best.:: S’Emar: Borrrring… ::It also had some interactive games. As long as she used the earbuds, it wouldn’t disturb the others.:: R’Iondr: What about one of your games then? S’Emar: Okay! ::M’Roa was sure she would have set to licking their boots clean if R’Iondr had asked for it. Rolling her eyes they settled back as S’Emar contended herself a while longer. A Bajoran woman approached. Up until now the olive skinned woman had been occupied with other things and they had paid her no mind.:: Udro: I’m sorry I have not been much of a traveling companion to you all. M’Roa: Apologies are not necessary. R'Iondr: You are heading to Atlantis too, yes? Are you new, or returning? Udro: I’ve been on Atlantis over a year now, its a good ship. Will this be your first postings M’Roa: For M’Roa, yes. This one just graduated. R'Iondr: This humble engineer has served at Deep Space 26 a few years now. We’re glad to be reunited. M’Roa: We just thought it might be on a planetary assignment or a station. ::The advisors at the Academy had assured them that Starfleet families were quite common and that as far as reasonable possible, they did try to keep families together. They said they tended to avoid placing families on ships with more dangerous or far flung assignments and that they would likely work different shifts to ensure at least one parent was able to be with the child as much as possible. It had certainly put to bed fears of being absent parents with a child raised by a computer. Things weren’t working out entirely as envisioned but Starfleet has kept their word about keeping the family together and that was the most important thing in their minds.:: S’Emar: S'Emar is hungry! M’Roa: oO Sun and moon! We still have a good days worth of travel ahead and she is increasingly restless. Oo M’Roa: There are snack bars in your bag. S’Emar: Mother refers to ration bars. This one is sick of dry, tasteless ration bars. S’Emar longs for steak. M’Roa: You can’t have steak just now, but as soon as we get settled into our new home, we will celebrate with the most succulent steak you’ve ever tasted. S’Emar: Okay! ::Her tone was bright and chipper. She was a true child of the sun:: But what can this one have now? ::Neither of them could blame S’Emar for being tired of the same textures and flavours. They’d tried to include as much of a variety of foods as possible and she’d been really good about things up until now. The shuttle was equipped with a small replicator, but one could hardly sit and eat a delicious bowl of soup. One little bump in the ride and they’d all be scalded. Still, perhaps it was time to retrieve something a little more exciting.:: R’Iondr: R’Iondr knows just the thing, hold on a moment. ::He went to the replicator, leaving her with the nice Bajoran lady.:: M’Roa: What role do you serve in on the Atlantis? Udro: Response M’Roa: How is Starfleet life? What’s it really like beyond the pretty advertising, the sunshine and smiles. Udro: Response Ensign M’Roa Intelligence Officer USS Atlantis A239506M10
  23. A D'Delnor Skewering A warbird filled with enemies supplied Of mighty weapons, and against the tide, Lieutenant zh'Aella, the story's told, Led a team so brave and bold. Storm the Bridge, they did attack Under hails of gunfire, did our lumberjack, Seize the moment, crisp and clean, To wrestle an Andorian, twice as mean. A choke hold, with thighs of steel, Turned her aggressor from blue to teal, A scuffle, this was, amidst such pressure, When spotting a dagger, a knife, a treasure. Saw his opening, did our hellish foe, And skewered our girl from head to toe. But did she feel it? Not at all For it affirmed her rivals downfall. PO Brooks a-patched and aided, While zh'Aella lay on the deck, a-bladed, Blood a-pouring from a wound still free, She was approaching her apogee. Brooks, fearing this a fruitless task, Opened up a foul-smelling flask, zh'Aella, replied with the hope of a Cadet, "Very reassuring PO, but I'm not dead yet." A battle raged on the deck by Officers akin, The self-destruct, a plan, a lynchpin, To blow the ship and beam off speedily An order followed quite obediently. When all were transported, the deck aflame Back home to the Gorkon, lame and maim, Brooks could be heard, tone perplexed, "First Andorian blood and then vomit, what is next?" Written by Lt jg Jo Marshall.
  24. ((USS Fortwith, Crashing towards somewhere...)) ((ooc - If there are any audio visual folks in the room, I wrote the first part of this to this song "Song for Bob - by Nick Caves and Warren Ellis")) :: whirring sound, like wind tunnel... darkness...:: :: The last thing he knew they were plummeting towards a planet of some sort... Flores as at the helm while he stood by. Just because she was there, there was no certainty that they'd even make it; even with one of the most experienced flight directors int he fleet. He wasn't ready to die. :: :: The view screen closes down as the power retreats in a shower of sparks. :: :: He braced the back of the chair to the helm position and positioned his feet in a way that 'might' keep him from flying about. But then again, there they were hurtling towards an atmosphere of literal unknowns. This was only his third year in command of anything... oO Short and sweet I guess... Oo. Gravimetrics were offline by now... :: :: whirring is louder now... realizes it's in his head... he looks about the cabin, watching as some others brace as well, and one cries out loud. :: :: He felt the deck plates shaking apart... The heat in the room increased... They had gone through what atmosphere that planet had. What should have been a clean 2 minutes was taking an eternity. He wasn't sure if he was ready to die... or to pick up and start again wherever they were, if that was even an option. He thought of his wife... his children... He thought back to that time they had mistakenly ended up halfway around the world because he booked the wrong pleasure cruise after their honeymoon... He thought of teaching Ella how to ride her first speeder. Or the first time Ryan took to flight professionally. If only he could see them all one more time... :: :: The vessel lurches to the left, sending plasma bursting through the room, and the Captain flying to the floor... There was flame coming into the room now... One of the crewman nearest the hole was sucked through, followed by a large piece of metal that seemed to cover the hole. :: :: He regained his stance, and made for the center chair... He could see Flores yelling to him, bracing... but he couldn't hear her. As were the others... :: :: Whirring is intense... nearly the only noise in the room... growing louder... room becoming overwhelmed with emotion, fear, anger, flame against his face... then... darkness and silence.:: ((USS Fortwith, Sometime later)) :: The room was spinning in a thousand different points of light and darkness. He felt as if he was in five million parts... but then again, he was feeling. He thought for sure that he was dead. That was until he felt the pain... Pain on the left side of his face... He began to scream. A gutteral scream that must've caught some attention. Before he could move... darkness again... :: :: This happened a few times before he finally would awake to a far less painful state. He realized then that he was in his own sickbay... Rex began to sit upright, as the doctor ran to this side to attempt sedation once more. :: McMillan: NO! Doctor: Sir! McMillan: GET AWAY FROM ME... That's an ORDER... :: His face felt stiff... He ran his hand across one side, just to feel hard flesh, and pain. His ear was gone. His mouth was stretched to one side. He realized he'd been burned... badly. He didn't care though... He was alive... and with a massive pit in his stomach. :: McMillan: I'm sorry... I... What the frack is going on? Doctor: Sir, we've been crashed on this rock for a few hours now... Lieutenant Flores has been in command... McMillan: Where is she... I need to know what's happened. :: He began to stand, and felt pain shooting through his right side. He didn't care... :: Doctor: Bridge sir... :: He didn't even acknowledge him, but he heard. He turned and immediately made for the bridge... :: ((Fortwith Bridge)) :: The trip took so long... The damage to the vessel was unspeakable... there were bodies in the halls... there were just as many seemingly trying to make something out of nothing as they attempted repairs, or care for the injured. He stepped over them, in desperation of his XO's face. He had to know if she was alright, and what the situation out there was. The bridge lay ahead, with the doors propped, and he could hear her voice speaking... He crested the door to the bridge, and was immediately attacked... by a Klingon. :: Krenn: [Tag] :: He began to struggle with him at first, but was overcome by the pain in his body... then there were others... people he didn't recognize at all. They were dressed strangely. All this he managed to see while being nearly strangled by the Klingon in front of him, shouting obscenities. It was all really too much. The strangely dressed one managed to control the Klingon long enough for him to struggle away and over to Flores. :: McMillan: What in the HELL is happening around here??? And Who is this? Or you? Krenn: Response Thoran/Little/Krenn: Response McMillan: :: His look was incredulous. :: I have no clue what he's saying... Pandorn: ::quietly and evenly wih a scowl:: When you go hand to hand with a Hur'Q, then talk to me. Krenn: [Tag] Pandorn: Broke its back against a wall. Made a very nice cracking sound. The same Hur'Q we ::indicates the away team:: drove off Arndall. If you doubt me... Krenn: [Tag] Pandorn: That's right. We fought the Hur'Q on Arndall and won. We could fight the entire time we're here, or we could work together to fix this. What's it going to be, Sogh? Krenn: [Tag] McMillan: WHAT IS GOING ON HERE! My ship is crashed, my face is burnt... There's a Klingon on my ship which I never thought would happen unless there were here taking my head back to Qo'Nos, and here stand you people to make it worse, arguing about who's PHOTONS are bigger? Pandorn: [Tag] McMillan: :: Interrupting him:: LIEUTENANT, might I get a report please... :: Holding his side, staring at the Klingon:: Flores: [Tag] :: He looked around the room... the whirring started again. He looked to the Klingon, and the seemingly friendly man in yellow that was holding onto him like some sort of puppy. He didn't like this... He didn't know these people... Some of his have died, and now there they stand... :: Thoran/Little: Response McMillan: Lieutenant Flores... he drew his weapon, and nodded for her to do the same. :: Get these people together... we need to figure out what's happening here. Thoran/Pandorn: [Tag] McMillan: ::Sticking the black phase pistol straight to the man's face. :: I want to be crystal clear... :: whirring stops:: We were morphed to this space... struck with something... I wake up with half my crew DEAD or DYING... and a bunch of weirdos and a Klingon on my deck... Don't TELL ME to calm down. Now take a step back... against the wall... all of you. :: :: A few other crewmembers had drawn down as well. :: Anyone: [Tag] TBC/Tags - - MSNPC Captain Rex McMillan Commanding Officer USS Fortwith - NX-03 As simmed by Lieutenant JG Na'Lae Mandak Helm Officer USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force O238901VL0
  25. (( USS Nerandra, Sickbay)) ::No plan survives contact with the enemy. At least not in its original form, because there is always that imponderal that reality shoves up on your face. But Vitor was never much fan from Moltke the Elder. In fact he always considered the Prussians generals a little over rated, mostly because he was never a fan of Clausewitz and always thought his book was not the broader military manual most considered. However now was not the time to bring in war theory considerations, it was time to adapt the plan to the detail the Devil has put in front of him. And there were at least 4 or 5 details, in the form of the Romulans that beamed in to Sickbay. In the second he realized it, he went for his phaser and shouted again.:: Silveira: SEAL THE MORGUE. INCOMING… ::Not waiting for the replies from the rest of the team, as the Romulans materialized he fired his phaser up in their general direction and shut the door to the morgue. He jumped for cover. Raising his phaser from behind the biobed he was now kneeling behind he fired again, as disruptor fire blasted around him. He was pinned down and he only hoped the others reacted quickly. In a second he made a decision. In the next he almost changed his mind, when he realized he would never consider this. He was always the first to step in and ready to sacrifice himself. Always ready to make the last stand. Not this time.:: Silveira: I surrender... ::It was time to change the plan. His mind returned to military strategists, and the one, and Vitor didn’t cared about the discussions surrounding the real authorship of the book, he considered the real master of war. The one that put on the principles that were truly “The Art of War”, over 3000 Earth years ago. And as Sun Tzu wrote, “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill”.:: Vrerik: Yes, I’m sure you do… ::Vitor threw his phaser over the biobed, before slowly raising behind the biobed with his hands above his head. He avoided looking to the Morgue door and firmly kept his eyes on who appeared to be the leader of the team.:: Silveira: Lieutenant Commander Vitor Stone Silveira, Starfleet number O238907VS0. Vrerik: Well, Lieutenant-Commander Silveira. ::Motioning with his pistol.:: Why don’t you have a seat? ::He walked slowly to the bench the Romulan pointed to him. With relief he saw him motioned for three of the guards to leave and secure the hallway outside. Besides the leader there was just another gard. He hoped the others on the morgue could listen to them and were taking what little time he was buying them.:: Vrerik: I have some questions for you, Commander. ::Stepping closer, the Romulan promptly back-handed Vitor with his pistol.:: How many others have you brought aboard? ::Vitor managed to remain seated as he was struck. It was a good blow and he felt the blood inside his mouth. It hurt, but he had taken worse blows. Vitor raised his head and smirked at his captor, with his best teasing expression, in spite the sore cheek.:: Silveira: Just a few. We don’t need much to take back what is ours. ::Then the alarms sounded around them. Quarantine fields were raised and Vitor smiled realizing the plan was in motion and the others managed to beam out the canisters..:: Vrerik: I asked you ::Another backhand:: how many!? ::Vitor nearly fell off this time and now it really hurt. His left side felt warm and he lost sight for a moment. He felt something else on his brow, but now he couldn’t tell if it was the bruise or a cut. Knowing it was a matter of time he kept the defying expression, forcing himself to a wide smile, and hopping Max could hear him.:: Silveira: Shirley. You can’t expect me to tell you. ::That looked like it worked. He wondered if the Romulan knew that classic humor gag. He pressed his pistol into Vitor’s forehead, with a cruel smile on his face. It wasn’t the first time he was on a hot spot like this one. But there is always something about having a gun in you head, and an enemy ready to use it. Vitor kept his posture, but he couldn’t help it as the thoughts of the two most important persons in his life rose from the back of his head. Jonathan and Fai. And again time, but not really about the form, or the fact it had been just a few seconds that feel like hours. But of future and present. Because that was what Jonathan and Fai meant to him right now, and for them he would risk it all.:: Silveira: Like the klingons say, today is a good day to die. Vrerik: As you wish it, Starfleet. ::The Romulan pressed harder the pistol and Vitor closed his eyes. Perhaps he overplayed his bluff. Could it be that the final moment really come? After all the years on the edge, sometimes ready to leap, was it now? Even closed, his eyes began to burn, as he felt tears forming in them. He was losing the future, Jonathan. Seeing his son grow, proud of his heritage, half Human half Andorian, in a Federation that although it wasn’t perfect it would allow him to live free, and work with others, boldly going where ever he wanted. And the present, with Fai. More than anything else he feared for how she would suffer from his loss. In that second, that relative second that felt like an hour, his thoughts were to them. He barely realized the pressure from the pistol eased, until it was gone, and he only opened his eyes when the Romulan spoke.:: Vrerik: What…. ::A growl.:: Starfleet tricke- tric- ery…. ::His enemy began to collapse, losing his pistol and fighting to keep himself straight. The tears in his eyes fell as he smiled. He felt them burn when they pass by the side of his face that was hurt, but he kept smiling. Forcing himself up he spoke, uncertain if the Romulan could hear him.:: Silveira: We learn it from the Romulans. ::He pushed himself forward and walked to the nearest console, tapping it to open a line to the morgue. To his surprise it was already open, and his smile widen as he spoke.:: Silveira: Sorry about that, Shirley here wanted to spoil our party. Zel,Elspeth,McLaren,EMH,Maxwell: ? ::Vitor nodded even if they couldn’t see him.:: Silveira: It worked, thankfully it worked… Zel,Elspeth,McLaren,EMH,Maxwell: ? ::Vitor’s head began to hurt and he had to lean down.:: Silveira: So… Who is going to give me a hand here? Shirley gave me a couple of slaps with his pop gun and it’s hurting like hell. Zel,Elspeth,McLaren,EMH,Maxwell: ? ::Vitor tried to answer them, but his legs gave in and he stumbled to the ground. He felt dizzy, hurt and couldn’t think straight.:: Silveira: oO Dammit… Don’t let me die on the beach… Oo TAG/TBC Lt. Cmd. Vitor S. Silveira Chief of Operations Starbase 118 Ops O238907VS0 --
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