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  1. ((Some ooc backstory, the Columbia is being decommissioned. I have included @Jona ch'Ranni's ooc note regarding that. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, tragic, personal story with the crew. I think the whole fleet deserves a chance to see it.))I ((OOC Note: This series of sims was something I was holding on to for our next shore leave. I'm altering it a bit setting-wise to have played out during our last shore leave because I wanted to share it with you all before Columbia is decommissioned. Hope you enjoy.)) ((Observation Deck, Freighter Bion J. Arnold)) ch'Ranni: Look there's Talar! That means the bluish one over there is Gamma Trianguli and the orange one is Kappa Persei. ::Jona pointed to each star point in succession as Vexa looked on. She was not as enthusiastic as the former helmsman but she tried desperately to feign interest in what was unmistakably an obsession with her counterpart.:: zh'Lev: Wonderful. And how much longer will it be? ch'Ranni: We should dock at Starbase 47 within two hours. After that we will board the USS Abilene who is traveling at high warp to Pollux. And from there three more days to Andoria aboard the IKS Chang'Kza. zh'Lev: Ok. I think I can manage that. ch'Ranni: ::peeling his eyes from the starscape:: What's wrong, Vexa? zh'Lev: Nothing. ::beat:: I'm bored. ch'Ranni: Well, just wait til you see the Betreka Nebula! ((Timeskip: Nine days later)) ((Transporter Room, IKS Chang'Kza)) ::The two Andorians stood atop the transporter pads awaiting their final departure approval. The Klingon male at the console leered at them as if he'd drunk some bad prune juice. A high-pitched beep signaled on his board and the operator barked at the passengers.:: Veng'tuk: Your departure has been approved! I will transport you to the surface now! :: He tapped a key combination on his controls but nothing happened. The Klingon quickly lost his temper and slammed his hand on the side of the station.:: ch'Ranni: Did you remember to engage the primary energizing coil? Veng'tuk: Do not tell me how to do my job! zh'Lev: Hey! Don't yell at him! :: A low growl began in Veng'tuk's throat as his voice grew quieter.:: Veng'tuk: Control your woman, pet'Q. ch'Ranni: Vexa, step back on the pad. zh'Lev: But he ... ch'Ranni: It's alright. Step back on the pad, please. ::The two Andorians returned to their positions as the Klingon operated the console once again. Jona was quite satisfied to see the Klingon engage the primary energizing coil and then felt the slight pull as they dematerialized in a swirl of reddish-gold.:: ((Spaceport, New Sheras, Andoria)) ::The two Andorians rematerialized in the bustling Arrival Sector of the New Sheras Spaceport. People milled about them on their way to their own individual destinations.:: ch'Ranni: Come on. This way. ::Jona grabbed Vexa's hand and lead her to the left. They advanced to a large waiting lobby. Above the expansive room, a glass ceiling kept the frigid temperatures and snowy wind at bay, yet still seemed to let the starkness of Andoria's surface shine through.:: ::Weaving their way through the crowded terminal, Jona spotted his destination. A tea cart that always seemed to be set up in the same spot every time he visited stood in an offset corner of the building. Jona ordered each of them some srjula tea and gratefully accepted the steaming cups of bright yellow liquid from a wizened Andorian woman.:: zh'Lev: How long must we wait? ch'Ranni: Not long I think. ::Jona proved correct as he heard his name shouted by someone from far behind them. He turned and broke into a wide grin as he spotted his shreva waving wildly from across the spacious room.:: ch'Ranni: There she is. ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Spaceport, New Sheras, Andoria)) zh'Lev: How long must we wait? ch'Ranni: Not long I think. ::Jona proved correct as he heard his name shouted by someone from far behind them. He turned and broke into a wide grin as he spotted his shreva waving wildly from across the spacious room.:: ch'Ranni: There she is. :: The middle-aged Andorian woman jogged toward them and threw her arms around Jona's neck, hugging him close. Vexa stayed a few steps back letting mother and son have a private moment in the crowded terminal.:: Nota: I've missed you, Jona. ch'Ranni: ::tears welling up in his eyes:: Me too. ::The older woman took a step back and touched her forehead to Jona's until her eye caught sight of the petite girl standing a few feet away.:: Nota: Who's this? ch'Ranni: My shreva, this is Vexa zh'Lev. Vexa, please meet Nota sh'Ranni. Vexa is a scientist assigned to a research base in the region that my ship is assigned to explore. ::beat:: She's my girlfriend. ::Nota raised her eyebrows for a second and then her face softened. She held her arms out to Vexa and embraced her lightly.:: Nota: Welcome. We're so glad you could come. Please, let's gather your things. Mir is preparing a meal back at the house. We shouldn't keep her waiting. ((Ranni Clan, New Sheras, Andoria)) ((Time Index: An hour later)) ::The winding tunnels leading to Jona's boyhood home were as familiar as they were worn. These particular passages were hundreds of years old. Where they occasionally broke through the ice and rock to the surface, forcefields kept the inclement weather away. Jumping thalaas frogs licked up ice mites along the walls of the spacious corridor, unconcerned as people came and went.:: Nota: So tell me about your work, Vexa. Jona said you are a scientist? zh'Lev: Oh my, yes. My specialty is in energy fields. At Dehner Base we are studying the long and short-term effects of the Galactic Barrier on living tissue. We have some very promising results we have discovered recently. What with the Barrier contracting over the last few years, we may have a whole new region that could potentially be opened for habitation. Nota: That's very interesting. Sh'letha sren granta lullsla. ((Andorian Graalen for "You are quite talented.")) zh'Lev: Thank you, Nota. And Jona tells me you are a linguist in the Andorian Guard? Nota: Yes. Aboard the Marvassi. Vorka, Jona's charan, also serves aboard as the helmsman. That's probably where Jona got his love of piloting. ch'Ranni: And you are the one I got my love of languages from. vImuSHa' SoS ((Klingon for "Love you, mom")) :: As they continued conversing, Jona noted the recent construction that had taken place around the clan settlement. Impressively reinforced structures stretched upward a hundred meters to the ice cave ceiling above. Small patches of vegetation with artificial overhead lighting provided micro park-like areas that broke up the more austere surroundings.:: ch'Ranni: When did all of this happen? Nota: Oh, there have been lots of changes in the past two years. We received a grant to protect the clan holdings from icequakes and the resources have gone a long way to modernizing the Ranni clan. ch'Ranni: That's great! ::pause:: How does Spel feel about it? ::The mention of ch'Ranni's thaven, one of Nota's co-husbands, made Nota's face darken ever so slightly and the smile on her face faded away slowly.:: Nota: You know your father. He's set in his ways. ::Jona shook his head at his father's stubborness. He was a history professor but he himself was stuck in the past, just like the clay artifacts he proudly displayed in his office.:: ch'Ranni: Yes, that's Spel. I assume he's at the Military College. Nota: You know he is. He'll be home late tonight. ch'Ranni: oO He couldn't come home early to see us. Figures. Oo ::The trio turned left down the worn path and Jona's boyhood home came into view. Jona took a breath and let it out slowly. He turned to Vexa and grabbed her hand.:: ch'Ranni: Home. ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Ranni Clan, New Sheras, Andoria)) ((Three days after arriving on Andoria)) ::Jona padded barefoot into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He stretched his lanky frame to work out the kinks of sleeping on an unfamiliar bed and smiled at Vexa who was sitting at the table with a steaming cup of srjula tea. He poured himself a cup and sat next to her.:: ch'Ranni: Morning. Been up long? zh'Lev: About an hour. ::smiling impishly:: Mir had some wonderfully embarrassing stories to tell about you. ch'Ranni: ::in mock horror:: Surely not! zh'Lev: Your first day of school. ch'Ranni: She loves telling that one. Gods, that was the worst day. zh'Lev: And the time you fell from the ice sculpture in the clan square? How did you manage to end up naked? ch'Ranni: That was not my fault. It was ... unavoidable. zh'Lev: ::patting his cheek:: I'm sure it was, Jona. Now, what's on the schedule for today? ch'Ranni: Lunch with Nota and Vorka. And then I thought I might show you one of my favorite museums in the city. zh'Lev: Sounds nice. I can't wait. ((Timeskip: Two hours later)) Vorka: So there we were, facing the business end of a Nausicaan warship. I banked the ship hard to port and cut behind a slew of asteroids. We used a modified tractor beam to scoop up one of the large ones. ::The aging Andorian used his fork, in-between bites of food, to illustrate the path of the ship:: Then we slung it around in a wide arc, accelerating it as it went. Smashed those pirates right in the engineering deck. COM-pletely destroyed their ability to manuever. Let me tell you something, Little Miss, they were a lot nicer when Nota re-established the comm-link with them. zh'Lev: ::patiently:: I can imagine. Vorka: And then there was the time we had a Tholian cruiser try to tear through our supply convoy... ch'Ranni: Dad? Dad ... hold on a minute. I think Vexa has heard enough of your stories for right now. There will be time later to talk more. Vorka: Hmmph. zh'Lev: ::grinning:: Vorka, tonight I promise. I want to hear about those Tholians. Vorka: Fine, fine. ::He stopped to look at his son before taking another bite from his plate.:: So, Jona, still in Starfleet? ch'Ranni: Yes. A full lieutenant now. I'm serving as the Assistant Chief of Operations aboard the USS Columbia. Vorka: Lieutenant? Took me three years to make that rank. And Operations you say? Well, its close to piloting at least. ch'Ranni: I served as the Helmsman for nearly a year before taking on this assignment. ::beat:: Starfleet's been good to me. I've learned a lot. Vorka: ::grunting:: Well, you were always one to make your own choices. ::turning to Vexa:: Wouldn't listen to a word we said. ch'Ranni: I'm happy with my choices. ::looking sideways to Vexa:: All of them. Vorka: Well, I suppose ... if you hadn't run off to Starfleet you wouldn't have brought this pretty young thing home for a visit. Here, have some more tuber root. zh'Lev: Thank you. Your family has been so hospitable these last few days. I can't believe we have to head back to the Sagittarius Reach tomorrow. It feels like we just got here. ::Jona smiled sadly and looked at his two parents sitting across the table from them.:: ch'Ranni: Listen you two. I know that you may not have always agreed with my pursuing a Starfleet career. But please remember, I'll always love you and nothing will change that. Maybe some day you'll understand my reasons. Nota: ::nudging Vorka in the ribs:: Go on, tell him! ::Vorka gave his wife a dirty look and then stood up from the old belayla wood table. He stepped over to a cabinet and fiddled with the metal latch until it popped open. He retrieved a single PADD and handed it to his waiting son.:: Vorka: Here. You should read it on your trip back to the Columbia. ch'Ranni: What is it? Vorka: The ramblings of an old man. Communiques that I recorded over the last four years but didn't send to you. I was too caught up in what Spel and Mir wanted for you. I couldn't defy them. But now ... I don't care. ::Jona moved his thumb to the activation switch.:: Vorka: I said read it on your way home! Not before. ::Jona's eyes met his father's gaze and for the barest second he could see the pain and regret that filled the man's soul. The younger man gave a short nod of mutual understanding and set the electronic device on the table top.:: Vorka: Well, then. ::beat:: Where are you two off to this cold afternoon? ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Guest Quarters 5-B7, Freighter Bion J. Arnold)) ((Time Index: Two days into return trip to Dehner Base)) ::Jona sat on the edge of the cot with his thumb hovering over the power button on the PADD. For some reason he felt nervous activating the device. He knew that Vorka wanted him to view its contents but he didn't understand why his father wanted him to wait until they left Andoria.:: ::His finger fell the last few centimeters and the bright screen activated. An image of his white-haired father's face shone on the screen. He looked upset.:: Vorka: Stardate 239111.04. Jona, you've been gone a month now to the Academy and I think it's time I set a few things straight. I don't oppose you joining Starfleet. I think you will make a difference out there among the stars. You are destined for great things. ch'Ranni: oO Then why did you ghost me with all the rest? Oo ::The recording continued despite Jona's musings.:: Vorka: Of course, I would have preferred for you to join me and Nota in the Andorian guard. The things I could have taught you with you by my side at the helm of the Marvassi ... ::shaking his head:: Well, anyway, I know this is what you wanted and I'm proud of you. ::The screen went black and Jona could see his teary-eyed face in the reflection of the transparent aluminum screen. He cycled back to the index and tapped on the next entry.:: Vorka: Stardate 239112.08. Jona, I hope things are going well for you in your studies. I've been opening up to Nota and I think she feels similar to how I do. We both care about you very much. I wish I had been able to say these things in person. Stay safe out there. ::The young Andorian tapped through the list of message. Stardate 239201.02, 239201.30, 239202.15. The list went on and on. Vorka had crafted messages every few weeks to his son and saved them all here. He swiped up on the PADDs screen and activated the final message in the list which was just less than a year old.:: Vorka: Stardate 239510.17. Jona, my boy. Today you have graduated from Starfleet Academy. You have no idea how it broke my heart to not attend your graduation ceremony. You are truly gifted and I'm sure you'll be assigned to the flagship. Steer her right, Jona. You always did have a steady hand. ::beat:: Spel and Mir both continue to refuse my pleadings for them to reconcile with you. Although, Mir is slowly coming around. I know they both miss you terribly. Perhaps one day. ch'Ranni: ::nodding:: oO One day. Oo Vorka: Jona, there's something else. ::pause:: I've been diagnosed with advanced S'sraanian Syndrome. The doctors say they can't do anything. I've lived a long, full life. I'm happy with my choices. ::beat:: All except one. I should have never rejected you, my boy. You deserved better. ch'Ranni: oO Dad? Oo Vorka: The doctors say I have a year at best. I hope to see you again before then, son. Safe travels. ((Timeskip: An hour later)) ::Jona sat despondent on the cold, metal floor. He had tried to hail his father unsuccessfully and he knew the truth. Vorka was gone. Vexa had returned to their shared room and sat slowly patting his mop of unruly hair in between the sobs that wracked his athletic body.:: zh'Lev: He was a good man, Jona. You do your best to turn out like him. ((END)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0
  2. ((Student Dorms, Starfleet Academy Campus - Starbase 118.)) It was early morning. Very early morning and Mareta really didn't want to get up. She had no classes today, and in theory her schedule was devoid of absolutely any activities – both social and study – save one. One that she couldn't have dreamed of in her studies last year. She lay there for a few moments, and then her alarm went off. A long sigh escaped as she hit the snooze button. It was on old 20th Century-style alarm clock that had been a gift from her cousin Arturo. A bit of an in-joke between the two of them when she had been getting ready to start her first year of study. Mareta was easily the least morning-orientated person in the galaxy and she sighed again as she rolled over and away from the alarm clock. Liva was still asleep, and Mareta snuggled in behind her as she tried to make the most of the ten minutes snooze time she'd given herself. Liva was her dorm-mate, best friend and “secret” partner. The two girls found the student are-they-aren't-they gossip quite amusing, and they ignored it as the free drinks and attention from some of the boys on campus was rather flattering. They had almost everything in common, even down to having relatives on the station. For Mareta, it was Arturo, and for Liva, it was Beatrice, her human half-sister. What felt like barely a heartbeat later, that infernal alarm clock was making its teeth-grinding Bzzt Bzzt Bzzt noise again and Mareta reluctantly rolled over to switch it off. This time, Liva woke up as well, and she sat up. Shuffling backwards, Liva leaned against the headboard and rubbed at her eyes. Liva: What time is it, Bee? Liva's voice carried a strong accent of her home in Kendra Province on Bajor, and Mareta's own voice gave statement to her own birthplace in Italy. It made for a strange yet gentle contrast of tones when they spoke together, although it didn't help whenever the two girls tried to practice the others native language. As a result, there had been many laughter and wine-filled nights in their room as the pair each butchered the pronunciations of a new language. Mareta: Seven thirty. A massive, cheerful smile spread across Mareta's face as she clambered out of bed and disappeared into the small refresher. Liva picked up her PADD from her bedside table and began to scroll aimlessly through the student news pages as she heard the shower start up. You never knew when you'd stumble across an unadvertised – but very useful – seminar by one of the Academy Professors, or even one of the stations senior officers. When she heard the shower cut out, and the sound of damp feet moving about, she put down the PADD and flopped forwards on the bed, chin resting on her hands, feet up and crossed. Liva: So what's got you so smiley this morning? Clad in a wrapped towel, Mareta reappeared, scrubbing away at her teeth and Liva waggled her feet slightly. Mareta: Nrp evry d'capn! Liva: What? Mareta: Mrtern d'capn tdy! Liva began to laugh, and waved Mareta back towards the refresher. A few minutes later she reappeared and sat down beside Liva, who sat up and crossed her legs. Mareta bumped her playfully with her shoulder, her broad smile appearing once more along with an excited sparkle to her eyes. Mareta: It's not every day you get to meet the Captain! Liva: Really!? Your placement was granted? ::She shuffled a touch closer and put her arms around Mareta.:: That's wonderful! Mareta: It's only one full duty shift every other week. Liva: But still, it's a full shift with the captain! Think about all the things you'll get to learn directly from an officer who's really done it all! Mareta smiled, giving Liva a hug in return before standing and heading for the far wall. She replicated a fresh uniform and pulled it on before moving to her bedside table and picking up the four elongated pips that marked her out as a final year Cadet. Liva hopped up and took her hand, before putting the pips on for her. A long hug later, and Mareta was off out of the door and on her way up to deck seven of the command tower, and specifically the office of Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim. As the door closed, Liva sat down on the bed again. What was she going to do with herself today? Her PADD pinged at an incoming message and she reached over for it. Thumbing it to life she raised a curious eyebrow at the screen. Message Received. Text Only. Sender; USS Narendra. Lt-Commander Gogigobo Fairhug. ~*~ Cadet 1st Class Mareta Bianchi. & Cadet 1st Class Liva Jardel. Starfleet Command School. Starbase 118 Academy Campus. Simmed by; Lt-Commander Arturo Maxwell. Chief Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  3. Absolutely love the feigning the character does! Great job @Kiliak Jo ((en route to Deep Space 26, low orbit over Paldor II)) Absentmindedly ignoring the pratter of the jarheads and sacrificial security drones crowding the small shuttle space, Perkins set his finely-tuned wonder of a mind to the task at hand. How was he going to singlehandedly rescue this station and the planet below from imminent disaster? The uncooperative nature of the Atlantis company of misfits only made clear his burden as the lone champion called to serve in this dark hour. He stared out the window and mused, clasping his hands together wisely, bringing the tips of his index fingers together just beneath his nose to indicate his status of deep contemplation. Just as he was gathering together the last details of a perfect plan, he was snapped from this reverie at the mention of weapons fire. Serala: Remember, check your fire this is a high collateral engagement zone. If it's not shooting at you, don't shoot at it. Not without confirmation. Perkins: Yes, please double-check your "trigger happiness." I have many friends here. They soon disembarked the shuttle and boarded the station. At the sight of the familiar Chon architecture, Perkins felt overwhelmed with relief to finally be back home, at last, he had escaped from the clutches of these Atlantean nincompoops. Though it was true that they desperately needed his help, he would not go back if they dragged him kicking and screaming. Solana: Contact, four o'clock. Looks like a dozen all scrambling to get those support craft off the deck. I don't see any Valcarians. oO These idiots can't even keep proper time! It's still morning by the standard Federation clock. Simply unbelievable. Oo Kiax: I wouldn’t be surprised if they were controlling more critical areas of the station. Operations, Engineering, Fusion Cores, Auxiliary Fire Control, Central Damage Control… With direct access to the computer core I can probably get us a significant foothold. Perkins: That can be arranged. I can direct you through some of the more basic processes, get you a username and a password, before we ultimately get to the more complex stuff at which point I will naturally take- Calasio: =/\= Welcome to the newly acquired Imperial Relief Station Alpha-One. =/\= oO Excuse me? Oo Kiax: =/\= You mean the Federation Starbase Deep Space Twenty-Six? =/\= oO Hmpfh. Indeed. Oo Calasio: =/\= I wish to speak to the one in charge of your team. =/\= Perkins: =/\= Yes of course, I am-- =/\= Serala: =/\= This is Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. I am in command of this team. =/\= oO Rude! Fine. I'll let her believe she's in charge if its so important to her. Oo Calasio: =/\= This is Commander Yanek Calasio of the Imperial Navy. I am sure you are aware of the situation we all find ourselves in. I wish to make an arrangement. =/\= Serala: =/\= Well, Commander. I’m actually not fully aware of the situation. I know this station is plummeting to the planet below it and unless we can find a way to stop it, everyone onboard, not to mention millions on the planet, will be killed. But I have no idea what has been happening here for the last several months. Without a debriefing, I am afraid I am at a disadvantage in any sort of bargaining or decisions to make agreements. Of course, we did bring a substantial combat force and I would image that some of the Starfleet personnel that didn’t make it off are still here somewhere. I could always fight my way to them, join forces, then retake the station from you. =/\= Calasio: =/\= Now, Commander...you are in no real position to do anything but listen to me. You have just arrived. I have been here for weeks. Do you really think we have not created a battlefield prepared to our advantage? I assure you this is not a fight you want to wage. The station is already falling apart. On top of that, we've rigged bulkheads with explosives, set snares throughout the access tubes, prepared tricks and traps level by level. I've read up on your ship, the Atlantis. I know your Captain Brell is a man of peace. Of discourse. He would listen. I suggest you do the same... =/\= Perkins: =/\= Ha! Brell isn't even- =/\= Serala: =/\= Captain Brell is not here. I am. And I do things my way. I will answer to Captain Brell later, if needs be. If he wanted a peaceful resolution, he should have come himself instead of sending his Chief Security and Tactical Officer. =/\= oO Ahh ha, I see. The Romulan wants to keep my presence here covert, her secret Ace in the Hole. The Ringer. The Showstopper. Got it. All right, okay, I'll play along with your little gambit, Miss Siracha. Oo Serala: =/\= Still, there is something to be said for a peaceful solution. Fighting our way through could be costly. You haven’t held your position as long as you have by being unprepared. So, what is your proposal. =/\= Calasio: =/\= It’s quite simple, really. This station is plummeting to its doom. We have seized control of this station at quite at high cost and have no intention of losing it now. I propose to allow you and your ship to assist with evacuating all non-Valcarian personnel from the station. You can use this landing bay for those purposes. We will also coordinate with Atlantis to find a way to stop the station from hitting the planet below, possibly even relocate away from the planet a distance. Once everyone is cleared out and the station is safe, we will take full control of the station and the space around it. Assuming the station doesn’t get destroyed before then, I estimate you should be able to get everyone off in about 36 hours time. Anyone remaining onboard after that forfeits their life and will become subjects of the Empire. =/\= Perkins mind began to wander. oO Say, where did that infernal marine with the attitude problem get off to? Oo Serala: =/\= A very well thought out request, Commander. I have a request of my own first. I need to speak to the Starfleet Officer in charge here on the station. I need to get a sitrep before I can make any decisions which might affect them. I am sure you can understand that? =/\= Calasio: =/\= Your request is understandable, Commander. However, we have no direct communications established with the Starfleet personnel. In fact, station communications are down, which is why I have had to rig this form of communication for us. Still, I will try to get a message through and have them come down to you. =/\= Siracha spoke quietly into her commset, then pointed now to another marine, the big one who had yelled at the problematic one earlier. Perkins didn't understand why she was pointing. Was his fly unzipped or something? He held up his hands to indicate the ineffectiveness of her communication. She pointed again, more pointedly, as the others gathered behind the marine. Perkins narrowed his eyes. Did she want him to keep an eye on this goon to make sure he didn't shoot any bystanders? Yes, that must be it. Good call. Perkins tailed the big monkey, ready to disarm him in a flash if the day's duties came to that. Serala: =/\= Commander Perkins. You know this station better than anyone here. I want you on lead. Get us to Operations. We’re taking that back one way or another. That might give us a better position to bargain from. =/\= Perkins: =/\= Ah, I see. Of course, of course. I will lead the way. ::pushing himself to the fore of the others:: Company, aa-t-tention! Follow me! And-a march one two hut one two, that's it, lively now! =/\= (( Short timeskip )) oO Wait. No, it's the other way. Oo Hardly his fault. He was only rarely down in these sections. He turned around and doubled back, offering the others his charming smile as they continued to follow his lead. This sublevel was really more of a Lieutenant Junior kind of working environment. And all these corridors look the same anyways. Soon they reached a corner, and Perkins was sure that this time it would lead them into Operations. Birmor: Halt. Who goes there? Serala: Lieutenant Commander Serala, Federation Starship Atlantis. Birmor: Sorry friend. This area is off limits to non Valcarians. Serala: We’re here with permission of Commander Calasio. Birmor: Really? Serala: We have some things to discuss and the form of communication we were using was insufficient. Since we’re here under a truce, perhaps you would be kind enough to escort us to him so we can speak in person? Birmor: Sorry Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. Standing orders are to only allow Valcarians past this point. ::She made an obvious effort to look at the group of Starfleet Officers.:: And you don’t much look like Valcarians. Serala: And would he be less pleased if his favorite :: quickly checking her rank :: corporal failed to let us past and it resulted in a full-scale invasion from our ship? Just because of a misunderstanding? Wouldn’t it be better to take us to him and let him decide what to do with us? Birmor: Excuse me a moment. ::he momentarily vanished:: Perkins: Do you want me to talk to him? I'm great with people. Serala: Birmor: Well Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis, it seems you have been granted passage. oO Hmpfh! Could at least get her name right. I'll let it slide though, in the name of diplomacy. Oo Perkins: Took you long enough. Let's head out, troops. McKnight: Let's move. Serala / Toh’jak: Response Birmor: It was my absolute pleasure. Commander Calasio is down in the Engineering Section on Level 46. As this used to be your station, I’m sure you know the way. Perkins: Er, yes of course. That's, uhm, fastest way is those stairs back there, or...? Serala / Toh’jak: Response Out of nowhere, bolts of blaster fire. One blast struck Perkins right in his good shoulder. He went down, collapsing into a crumpled pile immediately, a tactic to shield himself from possible continued fire as his eyes wetted with sudden tears. McKnight: AMBUSH! oO Is this it? Am I going to die? Here? Just in my moment of liberation? Who will help all these people if I must perish now? Oo Birmor: STAND DOWN! CEASE FIRE. CEASE FIRE. Perkins: It's a trick! I'm hit! They shot me! Ambush! Betrayal! Shoot back, you worthless imbeciles! McKnight: Cease fire! Cease fire! Secure the area! Serala / Toh’jak: Response Clutching his wound, likely a mortal wound, Perkins heard a disembodied voice nearby. His vision was blurry. Was it... his father? The voice of God? McKnight: You alright, Commander? Perkins: I'm so sorry. ::coughing:: I don't know if I'll make it. You must go on... without me... ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Perkins Engineer at Large Deep Space 26 A239509KJ0 ---------------------------------------------- courtesy of ---------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Kiliak Jo Asst. Chief Engineer USS Atlantis A239509KJ0 -----------------------------------------------
  4. ((Starbase 118 - Crew Quarters - Malko’s Room)) As if led by his nose like a bloodhound, the commander went straight for the replicator service panel. No doubt he smelled the slightly sweet odour. Malko began to panic, clasping his hands together in an attempt to compose the anxiety flitting across his skin. Hael: You ain’ has no issues with the replicator either has ya? Malko: Issues? None. Hael: You-uh ::he pointed at the signs of tinkering on the wall.:: doin’ yer own maintenance? The Denobulan was sweating through his grin. Hael was onto him. How did he know? Malko had lost his cool less than an hour ago and not a soul had been witness. And he was about to lose it again. Malko: Oh. Oh, that? I had to reboot the thing once or twice, and I didn't have a screwdriver. I'm a counsellor, not an engineer! ::he chuckled nervously:: Hael: Ya’know Therr be folks stationed ‘ere to do jus’ this kind’a thing. Tha’n ways you ain’ gotta do it. ::he chuckled as he began to take scans.:: Malko: Is, that against the law? Hael: No’ real’y. Folk always try’na fix their own stuff. Jus’ mentionin’ tha’ therr be folks ‘ere to do jus’ this thing, so you ain’ inconveincin’ anyone, none. Malko: ::gulp:: Commander, I... I have a confession to make… Hael: ::he leaned to one side.:: Real’y ani’ no thing. If’n sumthin’ broke we can fix’r no problem. Malko: I'm the one you're looking for. Hael: I’m’a sor’y Doc… You wanna run tha’ past me one more time - only.. ::he put his hands up.:: a bit slower, eh? oO Is he coercing a confession out of me? Oo Malko: I made a mistake and I was too ashamed to tell anyone, I'm sure you know - why else would you be here? Hael took a few seconds to retrace the words Malko had spilled forth. Hael: Well’s.. Uh… We can ge’ through tha’ .. ::he mumbled.:: mos’ likely. Malko: Yeah? What sort of trouble am I facing? Hael: ? Malko sat in his office chair, facing the Commander who was kneeled in front of the panel. This was a different counselling that what usually occurred in Malko's office. Malko: Well, you see... I was trying to research recipes - to make a dessert I could bring to the crew that would wow everyone. I did a preliminary search for some award-winning cakes, and was having the replicator make me some samples. He covered his forehead in embarrassment. Malko: And when I asked for Chocolate Infinity Cake, the replicator must have misunderstood -because it began making 'infinite chocolate cake'. I attempted to verbally cancel the process, but it was locked in some sort of request loop - leeching energy from the floor. The pot-lights dimmed in my office menacingly. At first I tried catching the fountain of cake in whatever empty vessels I had around the office, but they quickly filled. By that time the cake had begun spreading across the floor. I rolled my pant legs and waded through the molten flow, armed with a decorative letter opener. By the time I got the access panel open, well, the cake was threatening breaching the room. I wasn't sure what I was looking at in there, but I steeled myself and flipped a bunch of breakers until I saw the cook light die out - and finally the cascade of cake ceased. Shovel by shovel, I packed the viscous maroon sludge into the refuse chute - and attempted to scrub any traces out of my office and skin with diluted cleaners I stole from the sanitation closet. Ultimately, I was able to dispose of the cake batter, but I could not disguise the incident or my shame. Please - have mercy. Hael: ? Malko: Pardon? Hael: ? Malko: Sir? I - I don't understand. Hael: ? Malko: Then how? Hael: ? TBC
  5. ((OCC: This is the start of a mystery. The first 8 posts will set it up. After that, anyone who wants to join in can do so. This is Part 1 of 8 Flashback Scenes)) Alone ((Epsilon Argyros, Scylanthia, Alastriona’s Office – 239606.10 – Four Months Ago)) ::And she finally stopped playing their song when she realized that she was dancing alone. – Anonymous:: ::Like a dying firestorm, the red star Epsilon Argyros began to set below the horizon, bathing the room with fading passion. Alastriona looked up at her long bare legs, which were perched up on top of the glass table of her office, high above her homeworld, Scylanthia. It was summer outside, and she had chosen a pair of jean shorts, a red t-shirt and sandals to wear. Her pale skin warmed up nicely, even though the large glass windows were tinted.:: ::The building hovered over two thousand feet in the air above the city Cleeia. Outside, hundreds of multicolored balloon-like people – Scylanthian’s – drifted about. She could see the beaches far below, near her house. The ocean, tinted with a rainbow of colors cast down from the exotic atmosphere of the planet, turned cherry red as the sun fell into the sea. A scattering of stars came out: Theta Tauri, Gamma Tauri and Delta Tauri were first, followed by Epsilon Tauri and Aldebaran.:: ::Alatriona leaned back in her chair, stretched out her arms, and yawned.:: ::The computer was undeterred by her behavior.:: Computer: The mass segregation of the star cluster is consistent with the observed distribution of stellar types – DeTroyes: Ordinateur, arrêt. :: Another yawn filled her face. ::I’ve studied long enough today, ::she grumbled.:: ::The computer’s refusal was simple.:: Computer: Negative. ::The machine continued to drone on.:: Stellar evaporation occurs in the cluster halo as matter. . . ::Irritated, she dropped into English.:: DeTroyes: Computer, halt! ::In a condescending tone, the computer argued,:: Computer: The study schedule, programmed by YOU, continues for another two hours. DeTroyes: What’s with the attitude? Ten hours is enough for today! ::she complained:: If I can’t pass the science exams when I get to earth, maybe I’ll quit Starfleet altogether! :: She was grumbling, but knew the computer was right, or rather, she was right to have programmed the computer to try to force her to continue on. She was a hundred and twenty years out of date. It had been nearly a year since she’d asked for a leave of absence from Starfleet, so that she could study the current scientific theories. It was so embarrassing to ask people such simple things as how to use a modern tricorder.:: Computer: Starfleet re-certification exams begin in 56 Earth days. Since you’re scheduled to leave on the transport La Fayette in thirty six hours, and it takes 53 days at warp 8 to reach Sol, it is advisable to . . . DeTroyes: I know! ::Exasperated, she reached over to shut the thing off, but she hit the wrong button and it triggered a very old message buried inside the computer. Whispers came out of time, bringing back old memories. It was the voice of her sister, Genevieve.:: Genevieve: Alastriona, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear this message – Starfleet tells us that you’re science station at the edge of the milky way was destroyed, but I had a dream about you. . . . and I know that you’re still alive. . . . ::There was a pause where Alastriona thought she heard her sister crying. Then Genevieve continued,:: Genevieve: I have some terrible news to tell you. Everyone in our family is dead. Both of our parents, our cousins – everyone – are gone. They say that a curse killed them. I’m leaving Scylanthia and moving to a planet called Bijou Bleu, which is in the Gliese 777A star system. Hopefully, I’ll be okay there. I wanted you to know so that you’ll be careful if . . . I mean, *when* you get back. I hope this message really does reach you. I love you. ::Her sister’s words hit her like a thunderbolt. Alastriona felt a cold tingling sensation dribbling over her body. Her parents, Telfour and Chantel were both dead. All the rest of her family were gone too. She knew that they were dead of course, since they lived a hundred years ago, but to hear the news that they had died prematurely, that they had never had a full life, was too terrible to bear. The shock of it filled her with silence.:: ::Occasionally, she had entertained the thought of trying to contact the descendants of her family, but never did so, feeling uncomfortable at the idea of getting to know her great-great-great-grandchildren. But they had never been born. Or had they?:: DeTroyes: Computer, locate the DeTroyes family on Scylanthia. Computer: There is no one with that surname on Scylanthia. ::Alastriona put her feet on the floor and whirled to face the computer monitor, as if it was another person, listening to her shock and grief. She shook her head. :: DeTroyes: Let’s make it simple. Computer, take my Starfleet file and extrapolate all data for my relations and descendants. Locate any of my living relatives in the Federation. Computer: Working. . . :: Alastriona leaned back in her chair, and looked down on the coastline near the city of Cleeia. She had walked those beaches with her sister, so long ago. . . :: Computer: There are no matches to be found anywhere within the worlds of the Federation. :: It felt like someone had punched her hard in the stomach. Alastriona felt dizziness whirling around and around. Getting up, she grabbed the computer and threw it at the window. :: DeTroyes: NO! ::The monitor bounced off the glass, which had been reinforced against the storms of Scylanthia, to keep out the sometimes poisonous gasses that drifted down from the more dangerous bio-zones above.:: DeTroyes: What happened to them? :: But the computer was silent. It lay in ruin on the floor of her office. :: ::Genevieve’s message had been like a death knell. Was it some kind of disease or was it really some kind of curse, laid onto their family by some angry mystic? Alastriona walked over to a white couch and dropped onto it.:: DeTroyes: Superstition and nonsense. ::If it was some kind of familial plague, was she infected? Could she become infected? How long did she have? Shaking her head, Alastriona didn’t really care if she died. She began to cry. All that her family was, all that her family could have been today, all that they might have been, were gone.:: ::Truly, Alastriona was alone.:: ~*~ Ensign Alastriona De Troyes Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239609AD0 ((Disclaimer: All wicked, evil, dastardly comments by Alastriona are purely IC.))
  6. ((Secondary Sickbay – USS Narendra)) Malko: First thing's first, we need to find out how much Fairhug knows - and what the situation is on the bridge. For all we know they could be locked in combat with them now. Termine: Malko, Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ((Deck 2, Jefferies tube – USS Narendra)) Termine: Oh quit your whining, neither of us are equipped for a battle and we seem to have good luck in small tubes. Malko: I hope you know where you're going, the last time I followed you into a Jeffries I landed in hazardous material disposal. Prophets - I sound like B character in a fantasy movie. Also, do we need to crawl? Termine: That's true, it does make me feel a bit like a hamster… But it's our best shot at seeing if Fairhug is on the bridge and keeping safe — Ah! Here it is, the ladder to deck one. come on, keep it up doc, Malko: Why don't you let me peek first, you're still wearing a diplomat uniform - they'd take you hostage on sight. Termine: That's not a bad idea - But hold up one second I think we're nearing the bridge! They were thankfully only a few feet from the bottom of the ladder when the explosion pitched the ship sideways and the two slid off the slick aluminum alloy and into the catwalk below. Geysers of steam puffed intermittently as pressurized energy sources were damaged and diverted. Termine: Holy hell!! they're shooting at us. We need to get out of here! Malko: Stay down - and look for an access panel. Almost galloping on all fours, the counsellor scrambled behind Dante as he combed the well of the tube for some blades of light peeking in from the exterior. Dante swivelled and plunged his boots into the screws of a panel - it's bent form gave way and the officer slid out the hatch. Termine: *cough cough* Err…. Lietuenant JG Dante Termine reporting for duty. sir. Malko could hear Dante speaking to someone, but couldn't make out who it was. Fairhug: ? Termine: Well, just trying to play catch up sir - it looks as if you've got everything sorted out here. Sliding face first out of the hatch onto the bridge carpet, Malko did his best to hold his medical gown shut with one hand and salute with the other. If he only had a third to keep a grasp on his composure... Malko: Ha ha! Yes, sir - we came to make sure you're OK. And now that we see all is fine... Termine: Ah! Sorry, Malko is here too. Not exactly the entrance I wanted to make but, I guess the team's all back together again huh? Fairhug: ? Malko: Yes, it had dawned us we had been infiltrated, too. We had some theories about isolating the breach and getting to the bottom of how this all happened. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko: With some cross-referencing of ship registry timelines pre and post intervention on the cult attack of Gorn, as we as some more detailed information about the status of the Narendra's Sickbay and its patients at the time of the... incident... we believe we can move to a better understanding of todays' events. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko nodded at Dante, maybe their shore leave wasn't going to be a break from work after all... Malko: Understandable, we are eager to help anytime. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko: Thank you, sir. We will leave you be... Termine, we can use my office - I need a change of clothes, anyway. Malko half bowed and gestured to the turbolift, backing out of the controlled chaos that was the bridge. Even in the midst of a crisis, the bridge crew volleyed tasks like a professional sports team - beginning to rebuild Malko's sense of safety he hadn't felt since the crash. ((OOC: wrapping up for shore leave, but we can continue this subject later!) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ LTJG Malko Counsellor Starbase 118 Ops A239508M10
  7. ((Deck 14 – Secondary Sickbay– USS Narendra)) ::How odd it felt for Ariwyn Vananth, to go from holding a person at arm’s length because she felt the green color of his uniform meant he would be a mindless soldier to speaking at length about trust and violence. She didn’t usually misjudge people – but she also focused her considerable telepathic and empathic intentions on those she negotiated with. This incident made her realize how often she overlooked those who stood beside her, worked behind the scenes or played a side role in each diplomatic affair. Even those she might have dismissed as insignificant she found had a vibrance, depth and intelligence she would not have initially assumed. And somehow she and Daniel Cain had come to an understanding – formed a mutual respect. Each was vulnerable, each was complex and each was strong in different ways. Ariwyn had learned something, and despite the pain she felt she had a calm sense about her, satisfied with her own thoughts.:: Glebben: Oh my, look at you both! Let’s get you inside and patched up! We have open beds for wounded. Come, come! Vananth: Looks like we have an open invitation. Cain: I didn't even know a Ferengi was on board. ::The Ferengi nurse bustled around, generally treating everyone like she was their grandmother and they all needed band-aids, milk and cookies. That was not especially unusual for female Ferengi, especially ones old enough to remember the cultural status quo before Grand Nagus Rom started social reforms.:: Vananth: Well,. I hadn’t expected a Cardassian onboard either. You seem to have a very cosmopolitan crew. ::pause:: She seems nice enough… ::Ariwyn was trying to keep an open mind.:: Cain: There's a Klingon over there. ::That there was. And yet no one was shooting at him. Ariwyn took in a deep breath and closed her eyes.:: Vananth: I do not sense any murder in his mind or heart. There is anger but not hostility. ::Maybe it was one of the diplomatic crew? Or maybe they had Klingon allies? She didn’t know.:: Cain: I'm going to see what's going on. Are you gonna be ok? Vananth: I’ll be OK. Seems like a nice place, they have beds and meds. Cain: I'll be back soon. ::Ariwyn nodded and leaned back, letting the nurse tend her wounds, lost in her own thoughts. How long was she lost? She honestly had no clue, but she must have fallen asleep because when she opened her eyes it was dim and quiet in the sickbay. She sat up gingerly, finding her shoulder was bandaged and there were regeneration patches stuck to the still healing flesh. It burned, but the searing pain from before was gone. Slowly her eyes focused, and her telepathy reached out. There was someone else in the vicinity. For a moment she was startled.:: Taybrim: ~Careful, the new doctor will come and scold you if you get out of bed…~ ::The thoughts were warm and calming, steady and resolute. She found that surprising for a male.:: Vananth: ~Will you scold me, too?~ Taybrim: ~No.~ ::He moved gingerly inside and sat nearby. He looked tired and she could see regeneration patches on the backs of his hands and the skin by his neck, likely to repair areas kissed by frostbite.:: Taybrim: ~I heard you wanted to see me?~ ::She chuckled a bit in a dry, sarcastic tone:: Vananth: ~I’ve been trying to reach you for a week, Captain. You’re a hard man to reach.~ Taybrim: ~Next time I’ll try not to crash-land before a diplomatic conference.~ ::The two Betazoids locked gazes. Sal had some humor in his eyes as if he was gently teasing her while Ariwyn manged to look admonishing despite the fuzz in her mind from the painkillers.:: Vananth: ~I had wanted to talk with you about the conference, but there is now something far more pressing.~ Taybrim: ~And what is that?~ ::She paused, drawing in a long, slow breath before she reached out a hand towards him.:: Vananth: ~I should not have done it, but as I watched an innocent man fall, blood spilling on the floor, watched others in the line of fire and felt my own shoulder tear open I entered the kind of the cult leader – Klempeth his name was.~ ::Her cheeks burned hot with embarrassment.:: Taybrim: ~Honestly you know I cannot judge you. Your role as a daughter of the sixth house is far higher than my role as a Starfleet Captain when matters of telepathy are concerned.~ ::he paused and gently took her hand.:: ~But for what it is worth, I understand what you did.~ Vananth: ~Then will you allow me to share with you what I learned?~ Taybrim: ~What did you learn?~ ::Another deep breath as she steadied herself.:: Vananth: ~I took everything from him. Every thought, every plan, every detail I could grab… I know every infiltrator.~ ::Sal’s gaze hardened. What Ariwyn had done wasn’t considered ethical by Betazoid standards of telepathy. He understood exactly why someone in duress would reach out and crush a mind like Ariwyn had done – her telepathy was far more powerful that Sal’s. Actually it was far more powerful than most of his species, most would not have been able to do so much damage or sift so much from Klempeth’s mind. And now she tempted him with forbidden knowledge. Part of Sal Taybrim wanted to turn her down, to take the moral high ground and reject the ill-gotten information. And yet in doing so he would condemn her after he had already admitted understanding. Part of him would do anything and everything to ensure the safety of his ship, and she was offering him a very tempting key to unlock a passage towards that safety. And he was curious. Dangerously curious.:: Taybrim: ~And now what?~ Vananth: ~I offer to share it with you~ ::And there it was, the devil’s bargain. Sal was not the sort of person to waver on a decision. He picked a course and moved forward.:: Taybrim: ~I accept.~ ::She nodded, understanding the risks, while drawing him closer.:: Vananth: ~prepare your mind for the flood.~ ::Sal Taybrim very rarely dropped his telepathic defenses. He kept his damaged telepathy in check, and even among others of his own species he rarely used telepathy and certainly never lowered his mental shields. But desperate times called for desperate measures. If there was one thing that he would risk the sanctity of his own mind for, it would be a chance to protect his crew. As his mental guards dropped, images flooded in. The thoughts and mind of Klempeth in his last moments poured into his consciousness. Only Ariwyn’s control pulled the floor back to a manageable flow. Sal drew a breath in through his teeth as his mind struggled with the onrush of information and when it was done, both of them were gasping for breath.:: Taybrim: ::after a long pause:: ~I do not envy you, touching this mind firsthand.~ Vananth: ~The sheer hatred and murderous intentions were hard to pierce through. I tried to filter it for you.~ Taybrim: ~for that I thank you.~ ::The sat in silence for several long moments before she releashed his hand.:: Vananth: ~You are tired. You should sleep.~ Taybrim: ~I have too much to process.~ Vananth: ~You should try.~ ::He offered her a faint, hollow smile.:: Taybrim: ~So should you.~ Vananth: ~Then together we will try. Goodnight Captain Sal.~ Taybrim: ~Goodnight Ambassador.~ ~*~ tbc ~*~ Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer StarBase 118 Ops ~and~ MSNPC Ambassador Ariwyn Vananth Head of Klingon Affairs, Trinity Sector First Daughter of the Sixth House of Betazed "Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must" ~Julian Beck E239010ST0
  8. ((Peshkova Colony, Demilitarised Zone)) ::The upbeat tunes of a whistled song joined the nature sounds, as Graham walked next to the antigrav unit, his eyes on the road, making sure there weren’t any obstacles for the unit to pass. It would be a huge shame if the cart would tumble and all the food stored on it would fall on the dirt road.:: ::In his own personal opinion, he was a bit late, courtesy to his Andorian misses who had insisted to add a few more particular dishes on the cart. But he was lucky, the ship was still there, the silhouette of the Condor Class ship clearly visible. It wasn’t the first time he lay eyes on the ship and as long as the ship was space worthy it wouldn’t be the last.:: ::He kicked a little stone, before he pushed a button on the unit, picking up the pace a bit. He started whistling another merrily song as he approached the open spot in front of the ship, clearing his throat as he looked at the people sitting nearby the remainder of what had been a large campfire last night.:: ::Seeing the flames in the distance the night before had been his and his misses cue to get up early this morning and started preparing breakfast for these folks. They were fighting for a cause he supported and he figured it was the least he could do.:: Graham: Breakfast is served ladies and gentlemen. ::He called out to those at the campfire, already sipping something that was being kept warm at a smaller campfire, looking at their faces and as expected, he recognized a couple of them but there was also at least one new recruit. Not that he bothered to learn their names. Graham knew full well the next time the ship would land, part of the crew would already have been replaced by other faces, other species.:: Graham: We’ve got fresh baked bread, rolls and whatnot. ::Nodding towards the baskets on the side of the cart.:: Take your pick. ::He lifted the different lids from the different food warmers, revealing all different kind of dishes. Baked sausages, bacon and eggs, made from fresh collected goose eggs that very same morning, for those who had to wash away a hangover. A few more lighter and veggie based dishes for the non-carnivores. Yogurt and fresh cheese for those who had a rather sensitive stomach after all the drinking they had done the night before. There was something for everyone.:: ::A loud siren suddenly sounded as he pushed a button on the cart, once he was done with his preparations, a call to those inside the ship, to come and get some non-replicated food in to them, before they went on their way again. Who knew when would be their next well cooked meal.:: ::He took a few steps back and sat down on a big boulder, nodding here and there towards those coming from inside the ship, as he recognized a few faces from people traversing his fields as they went up to the Memorial Rock each time they visited the Colony. They left his crops and fields alone and he respected them for that, while in return he made sure no one was doing any harm upon the shrines setup on Memorial Rock in their absence.:: ::Graham leaned back, he felt like he owed these people something. It was only thanks to them, he knew what had happened with his son. Contrary to many others who had children out there fighting for the cause, he knew what had become of him, while other parents would never find out their offspring were still alive or not. And ever since that day he and his misses had promised each other to serve breakfast to the crew each time they visited. As if he was paying off a debt, he knew he didn't have.:: Farmer Graham Food/Breakfast Provider Sympathiser to the Cause Simmed by: Lieutenant Samira Neathler Assistant Chief of Security USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  9. Just have to say, I think I speak for all of us Atlanteans when I say he's never been more deserving of a punch in the face. Or being beamed into space. Great job as always @Kiliak Jo ((ooc: I offered to write for the incomparable Mr. Perkins some months ago, so I figure I'm up. Uh, obviously I love you all, but I'm writing as Mr. Perkins below, so... rest assured it's all in good fun... I recommend you go easy on the tags ahead though, I'm not trying to upstage your mission with 'local knowledge' if you get my drift)) ((Guest Quarters, USS Atlantis)) Out the window of his cramped, temporary quarters, Lt. Commander Perkins stared at the broken shape of the place he called home and watched the flurry of frantic traffic buzzing away from it. He sipped his water, then shook his head and rubbed at his shoulder, rotating the cuff -- at times it still ached from the heroic shot he had suffered in the line of duty on that fateful day months ago. That nurse they employed on board, the insufferably bubbly Avy or whatever, kept saying she could find nothing wrong with it now, but what did that prove besides a distinct inability to do her job? Serala: =/\= Serala to Lieutenant Commander Perkins. Report to Main Shuttlebay on the double. And bring standard equipment for an away mission, including a Type II Phaser. We launch in 30 minutes. =/\= Perkins: =/\= I am at your service and so pleased to be invited. And I'm even to be allowed a phaser. Capital. =/\= It only further proved his case of how fundamentally lazy, how abundantly incompetent the Atlantis crew was that they could be expected to layabout for half an hour before embarking on such a crucial mission as saving his home station. He endeavored therefore to arrive in half the allotted time just to make a point, and of course, he succeeded. Perkins: First assigned to live under Romulan space and now here I am serving under a Romulan. Never thought I'd see the day, but life is full of surprises, isn't it? Serala: Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t like you and I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you - and trust me I would like to find out how far that is - but you did serve on this station and so your knowledge of it is going to be important to me. You’re coming with us, but I will be keeping a very close eye on you. Be careful, Commander. I am just looking for a reason to throw you in the brig. I still think you have been involved with almost everything that has happened to us since even before the bot attack. Perkins maintained the inscrutable yet undeniably attractive expression he preferred to wear. He had already been confined to quarters twice since arriving aboard, once on some trumped-up charges from a jealous officer and later due to the impossibly-thin skin of an Atlantis crewmember after all he had tried to do was offer some helpful and constructive criticism. Such frequent and flagrant displays of Atlantean stupidity reminded him of a conversation he had once shared with a colleague, that perhaps incompetence was the most perfect cover-up for acts against the Federation. Perkins: My oh my. Serious charges. I'm sure that such a professional and... charming Starfleet officer such as yourself would not offer these creative conspiracy theories without a substantial body of -::ahem:: proof? Serala: No, I can’t prove anything. And that is why you are still walking free and wearing that uniform. And as long as you are, you will conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to a Starfleet officer. And for now, that means helping us on this mission. Perkins: Despite your personal attacks, I will of course be the better man and offer you my full and invaluable support, ::he counted her pips:: ...Lieutenant Commander? oO Really? Starfleet isn't the organization it used to be. Oo Serala: Very good. How many times had he and his team helpfully gone the extra light-year to patch up this sorry excuse of a ship after the merry band aboard saw fit to go gallivanting off into another speck of trouble? This was his thanks. He rubbed the nose of his bridge to stave off another of the headaches he'd been suffering since unceremoniously being forced aboard. He couldn't decide whether the problem here was either a shallow-minded ingratitude or an utter lack of discipline, probably both. Honestly, he wouldn't be all too surprised if these "rescue operations" ended with his station being blown to smithereens. More space trash to float about the Expanse. At that moment, the rest of the assault team entered the bay and he could hear the heavy thumping footprints of some neanderthal stomping over from the shuttle area. Logan: What is he doing here ? Perkins turned and looked over the somewhat-smaller-than-expected marine-clad buffoon, scanning him up and down as he puffed out his chest like a gorilla and pointed. He couldn't recall if they had ever met before. He also couldn't particularly care. Perkins: A little thing called "my duty." Perhaps you've heard of the concept, Mr...? Logan: QUIET! You lost the right to speak a long time ago ! oO And you seem to have rather lost the ability. Oo Serala: As you were, Captain Logan! He’s coming with us. Logan: I'd trust a first year cadet more than him any day. Perkins: That's little cause to behave like one. Logan: I SAID QUIET !!! Serala: ENARRAIN LOGAN, FAEHOR IUT’FEHILL TEMOHRIE AIHR’RRHAAREVHA!! (CAPTAIN ...STAND DOWN AND THAT IS AN ORDER!!) The grumpy Romulan and the Marine with the loose screw stared each other down for a moment. Perkins checked the time. Was this how the new Captain Torham intended to run a ship? Brell was not ideal, but this... Perkins could not understand why Starfleet Command had not elected to select his own commission from the pool of applicants to serve as the new Atlantis Captain and whip these fools into shape at last. But looking around, he considered now whether he had been in fact blessed by being passed over. oO Honestly, they can hardly board a shuttle without a fight breaking out. Oo Serala: He is coming with us, Captain and that is final. I trust this will not be a problem for you? Logan:: Turning his gaze back to the Engineer:: No Ma'am. I won’t let the cause of our problem prevent me from helping to fix it. Kiax: Apologies for my tardiness. I had to show our new crewmate here the way to the shuttlebay… ::She said, jokingly.:: Whatever he did or did not do isn’t our problem right now. Let’s just get underway and sort the blame later. We’ve got a planet to save… The Marine Captain pushed his way through the pair of hot tempers and turned on the unhinged soldier, who didn't seem inclined to back down. McKnight: Captain Logan, stand down. You're speaking to a superior officer. Perkins: And so at last, welcome Miss Kix. Do you have no need to voice a problem against my presence here as well? ::Perkins remembered Shadydust from her role cross-examining him as Killiak's Advocate, and he had read in the crew sheets about the transfer of the Kix symbiont into this young, supposedly "brilliant" Trill. But if Durrmont was any indication, "brilliant" had an entirely different meaning aboard this ship.:: Kiax: No Sir, I’m just eager to get underway. The longer we spend arguing about what got us here, the less time we have to get myself, and SOUL here, to the station’s computer core and figure out a way to get it back to where it belongs. Logan: Response Captain McKnight turned back to Serala. McKnight: Commander, we have a mission to get started on. Best not to keep my men antsy Serala: You’re correct, Captain. I just needed to make sure everyone here understands were all on the same team. If anyone...anyone! … feels that they can’t work within those guidelines they should leave now. Anyone? No? Good. The two Marines had a little talk, probably about what exactly the process of a court martial would look like after assaulting a superior. The paranoid Romulan gave them a few minutes to finish, then decided they had waited long enough. Serala: ALRIGHT! LOAD UP! DEPARTURE IN TWO MINUTES. YHFEV! (MOVE IT!) Perkins: Finally. After you, gentlemen. Chop chop. Hero-work to do. ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Perkins Engineer at Large Deep Space 26 A239509KJ0 ---------------------------------------------- courtesy of ---------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Kiliak Jo Asst. Chief Engineer USS Atlantis A239509KJ0 -----------------------------------------------
  10. Sensational sim and world building @Tahlin Alse. //Begin Message: Recipient: Lieutenant Commander Chambui Lkhagvasuren, USS Shinano I did not have the best introduction to Ketar V. As I'm sure you've now read about or seen on the news the local liaison officer was murdered and by one of his own officers. That's a major scandal in of itself but alas it didn't end or even start there. Commander Armin Illanos was not what you'd call a model officer, the list of his crimes is so long that one might wonder if his murder in the end was justifiable but I have neither the time nor the inclination to recount his misdeeds here. After that though, it hardly got better. Lieutenant Teller decided to try and remedy the situation of the Romulan refugees in one of their slums, their tenement having caught fire before my arrival during a CCMS raid that nearly devolved into a riot. Chambui I thought Meridian was bad but seeing children, children! in the shadows of burned out buildings with so much... dust in the air it reminded me of what I've been forced to see before. They're trapped, hopelessly so. Yes, after a few days we were able to do a little urban renewal, which is more than I could say happened on Meridian but it feels altogether different here. What happens on Meridian is a tragedy, what's going on, on Ketar V seems... criminal. We take care of refugees in the Federation. My parents, the Bajorans on Maravel, so many others, they didn't have it easy and of course they faced discrimination but I don't think I'd ever see a group of people just... abandoned to the elements, content to let whatever illness they see in what these people represent fester until it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I don't... I don't know. I'm amazed that's all I have to say at the end of it but there it is. It's enough to make you question a lot though. I've seen what happens when the might of the Federation's humanitarian largess comes to bear on a problem, how much concerted effort can achieve on such a massive scale and yet here, in one little corner on one little planet, they are content in their apathy, sufficed to surrender their responsibility to their fellow man. Unfortunately I've come to learn how many resources such charity requires, even on a small scale. Lieutenant Teller cleaned out the cargo bays, what was left of them, with his scheme, which of course in my sentimental state I allowed. Yes, let's call it sentiment, let's say that was my motivation. Of course we're light years away from the nearest Starbase or supply depot so guess who had the task of securing, individually, all of the quantities of supplies we needed? That's right? This guy, yours truly. Please don't think I'm complaining though, well I am but not in the way you think. It was daunting sure and as it turns out organizing accurate shipping and receiving times in the Shoals is almost impossible but I kind of liked it as my first challenge onboard. I know you're going to say that's hindsight, nostalgia always has been a fatal flaw of mine, but I actually came to enjoy it, crossing off items on the list and hey I have staff to help me carry and unload it. I also got to meet some really interesting people, do a bit of networking that I'm sure will be useful in future. One of these encounters I'm sure you'll appreciate. Do you remember that trip to New Zealand we took for spring-break my sophmore year to practice our Maori? Well as it turns out like Esperance most of the Humans on Ketar V come from Oceania. In Ketar V's western hemisphere Maori and other Polynesian languages are dominant, alongside English of course, just like New Zealand but it was nice to understand both halves of a bilingual society. Still, my cultural literacy didn't help me much in this case... (( Te Ranga, Te Ranga Authority, Selwyna Region, Ketar V )) Tahlin looked out the window over the Te Ranga cityscape, like most of Ketar V it was dominated by megalithic pre-fab colonial structures but here visaged in a striking alabaster white, which against the deep blue of the ocean and the vibrant greens of the rolling hills of the shoreline of the Bay made it a paradise compared to the dry desert steppe of Centennial City, or anywhere else Tahlin could think of for that matter. Such a striking landscape was worthy of the place so many of these men and women's ancestors had left centuries ago and having seen the motherland for himself, Tahlin could see why so many of the colonists from New Zealand opted for the lush, continental atmosphere of western Ketar V, in contrast to the vastness of the east which knew only the suffocating humidity of the tropics or the dry wisps of the desert plains. It reminded him of where he had been born on Maravel. Aixa was more truly Continental, Te Ranga was pleasantly Maritime all year round but all things considered it was a convincing facsimile. Turei: Prince Tahlin Aiolande Alse, blood of Vytogoreds and Iseldt, of the blood of Vertomacher and Bondochar, Panna of Phraatia and Grandee of all the Isles, bearer of the Seventh Coat of Arms and the Bordered Blue Banner and now a Starfleet Officer, tell me where does "Ensign" fit in to your menagerie of titles? Tahlin's face was marble. All life had slowly peeled away from it as he was addressed by names and titles he had never once used altogether. Most of those styles weren't even in his Starfleet record, you would need an almanac of El-Aurian royalty and high nobility for them and somehow Tahlin didn't think they were being printed, much less updated anymore. Lifelessly and mechanically his head turned towards the dusky skinned man in a sharp suit to match his selfsame tongue. Instinctively he smiled, as he had trained himself to do, though he was nowhere near at ease. Alse: Military honors and rank usually come first but etiquette and protocol vary of course. At the other end of the room was Ransom Turei, perhaps the second wealthiest man on Ketar V, though he was sure to attain the prime position before the year was out. He was the owner of the Torutaimana Group, a conglomerate of banks, trading groups, light and heavy industries and even a notable entertainment concern. But despite the... impressive introduction he had lavished on Tahlin, this was not a social call. Located in one of those many holding companies, divisions and myriad subsidiaries was the Chokonu corporation, which manufactured bio-neural gel-packs. Civilian Grade though they were, they were rated for Starfleet use and Tahlin needed them, only there had been... complications in securing his request for the parts. Turei: :: Pressing his lips into a bemused smile.:: Quite... He looked Tahlin up and down for a moment, sizing up his counterpart like he would in any business negotiation or so Tahlin assumed, he had the unnerving feeling that Mr. Turei knew a great deal more about him than was typically possible, or appropriate. Alse: I thank you for taking the time to see me Mr. Turei, though I admit I was surprise that... :: Tahlin walked closer to the man as he rounded his desk before he put a silencing hand up.:: Turei: You've been busy Ensign Alse, and it's not everyday we get a request from Starfleet to supply them. You're bound to make a similar request at some point in the future and with the recent unpleasantness involving your people :: He made a tsking noise.:: I thought we should meet in person. :: He took a seat but did not gesture for Tahlin to take one.:: Alse: Well, I'm flattered by such personal interest in our supply matters. Turei leaned back in his chair and tented his hands as he lifted his feet to rest on the top of his desk. Turei: Don't be. :: He said curtly but with a smile.:: Tahlin stood there for a moment, a smile turning on his own face, unable to come up with a response to the man's attitude. Alse: I don't mean to presume or offend... Turei: Let me be straight with you. :: He cut off Tahlin once again, this time without his dismissive hand raising.:: I don't like Starfleet. I think you're a bunch of overactive priers despite you're policy of 'non-interference'. That was hardly an uncommon attitude, especially here in the Shoals, one Tahlin had braced himself for, he just hadn't expected to come up against it being displayed so brazenly in the civilized, sanitized halls of a corporate office. Turei: You play at being explorers, peacekeepers, humanitarians. the military and yet you fail at being all of them, and the rest of us have to make up for your mistakes and the gaps in your... interests. Tahlin merely pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows, trying to seem intrigued or at the very least bemused at the man's pontificating he would no doubt need to suffer through. Turei: It's why we don't take military contracts, though of course you're just asking for a single shipment of supplies. Bio-neural gel packs, something you can't replicate and yet are essential to the operations of your starship's systems, part of me wonders what happens when a starship runs out but the Federation has a reputation for technical prowess, it's probably nothing but a minor inconvenience to you. Still I'm at a loss as to why I should break my principles and supply you with these gel packs when one stop at one of your Starbases could clear everything up. Tahlin moved to speak but Turei cut him off again. He seemed intent on this being a monologue, not a conversation. Turei: Right, right we're isolated out here and I'm guessing you don't have time to drudge back and forth across our little region of space, especially when the supplies you need happen to be here already. Solution seems obvious doesn't it? Only instead of just fulfilling your request and sending you on to whatever gaseous anomaly or kittens-stuck-in-trees your Command deems more pressing you're dragged half-way across the planet to meet with me. :: He pulled his hands apart and tilted his head back.:: Now that you're here though I'm still forced to ask the question, why should I help you? Tahlin knew better than to try and formulate a response and Turei smirked. Turei: Austerity, such a refreshing emotion here on Ketar V. :: Leaning back in his chair, making a show of searching his mind.:: Aguda Township, Aixa Autonomous Banner that's on Maravel right? You know how to kow-tow? The pause was longer than before but Tahlin still wasn't going to take the bait and try to answer. Turei: Seems a little medieval if you ask me. // Oh he likes the sound of his own voice, Mr. Turei, though I don't suppose you get to where he is without the slightest bit of megalomania. It was interesting, growing up on Cardassia, living among a people who love to talk and being from a race of listeners. You tend to learn a lot, you learn that there's no such thing as idle conversation. Not that my encounter with Mr. Turei was a conversation but as much as he seemed to know about me he seemed to forget that El-Aurians are a race of listeners and whatever he was trying to subject me to by his sermon was nothing I wasn't equipped to deal with. While I entered the meeting at a supreme disadvantage, just by hearing him talk I was able to level the field, learn more about him than what he was so freely offering to me. Turei: Well you've been a good enough sport and It's getting late so why don't you and I make a deal yeah? I'll give you your bio-neural gel packs, call it generosity or whatever you like, for me it's just a tax credit. Tahlin merely nodded and smiled in appreciation. Turei: Practice, practice, can't imagine what discipline silence takes. :: He smiled and pulled his feet down from his desk.:: You're gel packs should be awaiting transport to your ship Ensign Alse, why don't you go see to it. Tahlin bowed from the neck in both agreement and deference to Mr. Turei's largess, briskly turning on his heel to walk to the end of the room and be done with this encounter. Turei: Oh Ensign! Tahlin stopped but did not turn around. Turei: Make sure you've ordered enough yeah? They might not be in stock next time you ask. Tahlin merely exhaled and walked through the office doors, letting his footfalls clamor against the floor as he made his way towards the lift. He would be happy to not see anything or anyone in this building ever again, but that left the question of where he was going to get supplies the next time. // On Ketar V the thing that seems to drive people, strange as it may sound seems to be their complacency, their apathy, their need to have things exactly as they are or as they were. It's not nostalgia for the past exactly it's like nostalgia for the present, only no one seems to see it exactly how it is. The planet has fallen behind the other colonies, social problems abound and yet everyone seems placated. On Meridian there was a reason for this: prosperity elsewise. On Ketar V there is none of that and yet there is an impetus for things to remain exactly how they were or are and everything that doesn't figure into that image of the way things are is ignored. It's a curious place, and not one I'm keen to see again for a good long while. END Ensign Tahlin Alse Operations Officer USS Veritas Writer ID: C239305TA0
  11. ((OOC: My sincere compliments to @Wil Ukinix !)) ((Room 04-3417 – G’var/Ukinix quarters, USS Veritas)) Standing in the mirror with only a towel wrapped around his waist, Wil rubbed his fingers over his jawline to ensure his skin was completely smooth after shaving. As he observed the deep blue eyes that were staring back it him, he came to a realisation. ((Flashback - Terra Tanunda Vineyard, Barossa Valley, Australia, Earth – Stardate 237312.10)) Little Wil was sitting on his grandfather’s lap, shielded from the hot dry sun under the back veranda of the refurbished estate cottage. Astrad: So, young Wil, what do you want to be when you grow up? Ukinix: Ummmm… Starfleet occifer. In space! Astrad dropped his jaw and smiled in pretend shock, while tickling Wil’s chest. Astrad: (Giggling) In Space, just like Mummy was! (Cheekily) Are you sure? Ukinix: Ummmm… Wil clasped his little hands together, and looked up at the veranda roof, before nodding and looking at his grandfather’s perfectly black irises again. Ukinix: (Excitedly) Yeah! His grandmother who was sitting nearby sipping a glass of cold Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris spoke up. Hayley: But Wil, it might get dangerous in space! (Teasingly) What if you fall out of a starship? He clasped his hands together again and turned his head to look at Hayley. Ukinix: Buuuuuuuut, naaaah, but, it’s OK, cos, cos, you might have to wear a special suit, a viralmental suit, and (shrugging) it means you can do breaving! So you can do breaving, OK?! Mummy said that’s what occifers on a starship do, OK Grandma? Hayley: I’d be worried about you, Wil! You’re my grandson, I want you to be safe. Ukinix: (Hand on cheeks, half laughing) Grandmaaaaaaa, I’ll be safe in my viralmental suit! She leaned forward and tickled him under his chin, which made him move his head down and lean back to avoid her hand. Hayley: You’d better be, Master Ukinix! Wil squirmed on his grandfather’s lap, giggling and squealing in delight. ((End Flashback)) He watched himself smile in the mirror at the fleeting memory of that moment. He was now a lieutenant, and becoming an experienced Starfleet officer. The one thing he had set out to do from a young age had actually *happened*. He had overcome the huge speed bump of becoming strongly empathic in his teenage years which had threatened to derail that goal. And there he was, staring back at himself on a starship, that contained a full crew, some of which he considered his good and close friends. One of which who, despite being in many ways the opposite of him, shared quarters with him. And he adored her immensely. As he moved back into the bedroom to get dressed for the day, he realised he’d been through a hell of a lot since he joined the Veritas. So had many of the crew, which meant he wasn’t alone. Ukinix: (Under his breath, singing) Dun-dun-dun dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun-duuuuun… After getting dressed, he picked up his combadge, and breathed on it before giving it a polish against his gold uniform. He placed it on his chest, then lifted it up slightly to inspect it. As big smile came to his face. Ukinix: (Quietly, smiling) I bloody did it. Every day brought new challenges and new opportunities to smile. Even on the “bad” days, deep down he knew he loved being part of Starfleet. And being part of the Veritas was the huge layer of chocolate icing on top of the already impressive rich chocolate cake. As he left his quarters and entered the corridor, his smile got bigger as he made his way down a corridor towards the turbo lift entrance on Deck 4, still singing very quietly to himself. Ukinix: (Under his breath, singing) Dun-dun-dun dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun-duuuuun… (interrupting himself)- wait Before a few seconds later back tracking, and then turning the other way instead, towards the turbo lift entrance on Deck 4…. Ukinix: (Under his breath, singing) dun-dun-duuuuun… (inhaling) Dun-dun-dun dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun - (interrupting himself, looking back)- hang on. …only to stop himself, gently slap his forehead, and back track *again* to turn back the way he was originally going towards the turbo lift. ((Main Engineering, USS Veritas, about an hour later)) The “ear worm” that he had given himself several hours earlier while he was getting dressed wouldn’t go away. Not that he minded, it was a song from his collection that he liked fondly. The lyrics were depressing, and he thought reflective of a time on Earth that, by all accounts, wasn’t great. There were even some dark were times in his life when he identified with elements of the song. Thankfully not anymore - he even felt a little guilty for even still liking it. But damn, the tune was good. And the classical string instruments made for a catchy intro riff. Which he kept repeating quietly over and over as he stood at the impulse monitoring board. Ukinix: (Under his breath, singing) Dun-dun-dun dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun-duuuuun… dun-dun-duuuuun… In fact, the riff was so good he reached for his nearby PADD, and made a few taps to access his personal files. After a few more taps music started playing quietly out of the device’s crystal-clear speakers, enough for him to hear it but not enough to distract everyone else. As the beat started, he tapped his hands on the board in front of him in perfect time as he monitored the impulse engine’s diagnostic readouts. PADD: // ‘Cause it’s-a bitter-sweeet… sym-pho-nyy-yy, that’s liiii-hiiife… // A smile came to his face as his friend and Chief, Lieutenant Geoffrey Teller, entered main engineering and gave him a nod. When Wil realised Teller was possibly heading towards him, he reached up to the PADD and tapped it to stop the playing song. But instead of walking towards him, Geoffrey simply gestured with his head in the direction of the office while still walking. Wil got the message, and left the monitoring board to walk behind him, following him inside. As the doors closed behind him, his Chief hurriedly sat down at his desk, working his fingers at the console that was mounted there, while somehow also managing to gesture for Wil to sit down. Wil could strongly feel Geoff’s sense of urgency, as he seemed to be flicking between different screens on the LCARS display. Teller: Sorry Wil, just a minute, need to do this before we talk. I promise it's important. Ukinix: No worries. Wil placed his elbow on the desk, then rested his chin on his palm. He looked up at the small shelf on the wall behind Geoffrey, and the unsealed bottles of Romulan Kali-fal sitting on it. The brightness of the blue liquid inside was mesmerising. Teller: Well, that's done...but now I'm in the wrong chair. Wil eyes darted back to look at Geoffrey, who leaned forward to rest against his side of the desk. There was a small smile on his Chief’s face, which made Wil furrow his brow. Ukinix: Huh? Teller: Wil, you know you have my complete trust, right? Ukinix: (Quizzically, confused)…. Yyyyyyeah… where is this going…. Teller: Good. Do you know that every man and woman in this department respects the hell out of you, both as an officer, and as a colleague? Wil’s face brightened as a smile came to his face. Ukinix: Ah! That’s because (raising finger) I slip them latinum every now and then. When his Chief ignored his joke and just kept looking at him, Wil furrowed his brow, this time squinting his eyes. He still didn’t know where the conversation was going. He rested his chin on his fist. Ukinix: Okaaaay…. Teller: Well, they do. A lot. They know you're fun to work with when things are calm, and a rock solid professional when things have gone pear shaped. They trust you. You're going to find that valuable. Ukinix: Thank you. (Smiling, sitting up) Sorry I didn’t realise it was performance review day. That’s valuable information for when the time comes- Teller: When you're leading them. Which starts the minute those doors ::Teller nodded towards the closed office doors:: open. As of about 15 seconds ago, you're acting Chief Engineer of the Veritas. Ukinix: You what? Wil’s face turned to one of concern. Ukinix: Wait, are you OK? Chief, you’re my friend, is something going on? Teller: Don't go getting all sappy on me, this is just temporary. Commander Delano asked me to join him for a few weeks at the shipyards here, working on some new ship that's still mostly in the transport crates. Apparently everything that's gone on lately has impacted productivity at the Livernois Shipyards....who could've guessed? He swivelled in his seat, and looked at the adjacent wall with a neutral expression, apart from his widened eyes. What Geoffrey had said had half sunk in, but so had the shock. Ukinix: Oh. Teller: Look, I know it's a lot to take in. When I got promoted to the acting Chief role, I was still an Ensign. You had barely been off the shuttle five minutes and we had just finished getting shot at by a bunch of grouchy windchimes. I had no idea what I was doing, but between you and I, we've forged a hell of a department in the last year. He nodded slowly in agreement, looking at a lower part of the wall he was staring at. Ukinix: (Quietly) We have. Slowly, a smile formed on Wil’s face, before he swivelled back to look at Teller, and stood up. Ukinix: (Nodding) Yes, we have! Teller: More than that, Wil. You're my best friend, and there's nobody in the galaxy who I hold in higher regard. You're ready for this. You have been for a long time. Congratulations, Chief Ukinix. ::Teller stood and offered his friend a hearty handshake which quickly turned into a fierce hug:: Wil put his hand in Geoffrey’s and shook it vigorously, before he found himself wrapping his other arm around him, giving him several firm slaps on his back. Ukinix: (Muffled) Mate, thank you, I don’t know what to say! (Cheekily) Except that I promise not to blow anything up… And I consider you my best mate too. Teller: Alright, alright. ::Teller turned away and surreptitiously wiped at his eyes.:: A beaming Wil took a step back to pat Geoffrey’s shoulder, while shaking his head in disbelief at two pieces of news that he didn’t expect. He was now the acting Chief Engineer of a Starfleet Starship, and his Chief considered him his best mate. Wil wasn’t always great with words, and there were times he wished he could project his emotions on to others, so they knew how he felt. This was one of those times. Ukinix: (Still patting Goeffrey’s shoulder) You’re a legend, Chief. (Chuckling) Wow, this came out of the blue. There was a moment of happy silence between the two. Teller: Well, back to business - Skipper told the XO that he'll have pick of the litter if we end up needing more staff, so I may have to poach a few people from you for a few weeks, but I won't know who till I get there. I'll keep it to a bare minimum. Ukinix: (Playfully rolling eyes) Chief, they’re your people, I’m just minding them. You take who you need, we’ve got things covered here. (Lifting finger, smiling) Except for Char, she’s awesome. She stays. Teller: Other than that, you know the shop status as well as I do, so there's no sense going over that. As for standing orders - Take care of the crew, take care of the ship, and take care of yourself. In that order. Beyond that - it's your department to run, Chief - enjoy yourself. I know I have. Wil stood up straight, and placed his hands behind his back, giving Geoffrey a nod. Ukinix: Aye sir. Good luck, mate. Turning his head to watch his Chief leave, Wil looked around the office before he almost jumped as the doors shut. He looked out of the window and watched the crewmembers of the engineering department diligently working away, blissfully unaware of the temporary personnel change that had just happened. The gravity of what he had just been told sunk in. He placed his hand over his mouth, and felt a wave of excitement and fear roll over his body. He slowly let out a breath through his lips, before adrenalin coursed through his veins. Ukinix: (Quietly) Oh boy. He leaned forward and placed his hands on his knees, to regain his composure. He was now a department head. Even if it was only temporary, he was now charged with a responsibility he didn’t think he’d have for a long time. Ukinix: oO Am I ready? Oo His thought was broken by a voice over the office’s speakers. Phan'ta'Go: =/\= Hello Lieutenant Ukinix? =/\= Wil closed his eyes, and exhaled through his nose, before tapping his combadge. Ukinix: =/\= Yes, Crewman, can I help you? =/\= Phan'ta'Go: =/\= Not really, I’ve got some information for you. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= (Sigh) OK… =/\= Phan'ta'Go: =/\= Can you hear me? =/\= Wil stood up straight, and placed his hands on his hips. Ukinix: =/\= Yes, C’lem, actually I can hear you, and in fact, looking out the window of the Chief’s office, I can even see you a few metres away across the other side of engineering, looking at a console! =/\= Without turning to look back at Wil, C’lem continued speaking. Phan'ta'Go: =/\= Well that’s good, because there’s been a personnel change. Apparently, you’re now Acting Chief Engineer of the (console beeping sounds)… USS Veritas. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= Funny that. Chief Teller just told me about a minute ago. =/\= Phan'ta'Go: =/\= Do you mean Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Teller, First Officer aboard the USS Diligent? How could he have told you. =/\= Wil closed his eyes and placed his hands on his temples, before smiling. There was nothing bitter about this moment. It was just “sweet”. [End] Lieutenant Wil Ukinix Acting Chief Engineer USS Veritas V239511WU0
  12. @Quinn Reynolds Got to love Brunsig's insight on the Gorkon's crew. 🙂 ((Courtyard, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) ::On her own for a few minutes, Quinn searched the crowd for her absent partner. She spied him after a short while; talking to Stoyer and Tereen and looking none too pleased about it. Like her, he wasn't someone who ever felt particularly at ease in large gatherings — and unlike her, he tended to express that in a very particular way. She considered wandering over to rescue him from the well-wishers, but he was perfectly capable of extracting himself if that was indeed what he wanted to do. ::That, and her attention had been captured by another of their guests. The Trill approaching her was a lovely woman, tall like her father, with his kind brown eyes and gentle smile. Falls of copper hair flowed, the tan of her markings stark against pale skin across her bare shoulders and shins. The knee-length blue dress was lovely, simple in design with beaded accents on the bodice and near the hemline.:: Reynolds: I wasn't sure you'd come. Tam: I think Dad would haunt me if I didn't. ::Quinn smiled at her, the expression coloured with a touch of sorrow, one that was echoed in the other woman's eyes. Kael had been gone for years now, and every once in a while, that wound felt as raw as the first day. Times like this, when she would have loved to shared her happiness with a dear friend. Instead, she was sharing it with his daughter.:: Reynolds: I think that's a distinct possibility. ::Aimi laughed, a smile coming as easily to her as it always had her father. Warm brown eyes travelled across the reception, the guests and then back to Quinn.:: Tam: He would have liked to have been here. Reynolds: I'm very pleased that you are. ::Quinn hadn't know the girl well, prior to the Gorkon's misadventure into another universe. She'd known of her, of course, but it was only after their return and Kael's death that she'd come to know Aimi. They'd kept in contact; at first just exchanging memories of Kael to help one another with their grief, but over time it had evolved into conversations about what they were doing in the there and now.:: Reynolds: How's the academy going? Tam: Hard work, but you already know that. ::She smiled.:: Graduation seems altogether too close and too far away. ::Having parted ways from Tereen and Stoyer — who, Quinn observed, had left the conversation with a face filled with thunder — Walter drew up beside her, his hand touching briefly to the small of her back and then coming to rest on her hip. He eyed the Trill Quinn was speaking to, then dipped his head in a curt nod of greeting.:: Brunsig: Aimi. ::She smiled back at him, and there in her eyes was the knowing look of good humour that Kael had so often worn. It pinched at Quinn's heart, and the hybrid couldn't quite tell if she liked or loathed it.:: Tam: Good to see you outside of a cell. ::He huffed, a rare and quiet sound of wry amusement, one corner of his mouth tugging upward. Walter regarded her for a long moment, then shook his head.:: Brunsig: You are annoyingly like your father. Tam: ::She smiled warmly at him.:: Thank you. Brunsig: Case in point. ::Cutting in to their repartee, Quinn nudged Walter with her shoulder. Tall as he was, she could still see her mission specialist through the crowds, and from his taut body language she got the sense he was still stewing over whatever had been exchanged between the two.:: Reynolds: What did you say to Stoyer? Brunsig: "For what", "now that tedious social obligation is completed, off you trot", "disperse". ::He ticked off each of the sentences with an extended thumb and fingers. Quinn sighed, shaking her head. On the Brunsig Scale of Rude that was relatively mild, but she could see how Stoyer might have been embarrassed by it.:: Reynolds: You infuriated him in three sentences. That must be a record. Brunsig: I'm a high achiever, Cupcake. ::He shrugged, not caring in the least.:: But my personal best is one. ::Of that she had no doubt. He smirked at her, his steel-blue gaze flickering out among the crowd, locating Stoyer and Tereen. They'd been joined by Neathler, and given the glances sent in his direction, it seemed for at least for a time the topic of conversation was Walter. He did have a tendency to set himself up for it, sometimes even delighted doing so, but the idea he was being sniped about at his own wedding reception made a leaden stone settle in her stomach.:: Brunsig: He knows exactly who I am, Quinn, he knew exactly what to expect. It wasn't about me, that was all for the next ex-wife he had in tow. ::He [...]ed his head to the side, pouting his lips in mock sympathy.:: "Oh, poor Cory. Wasn't the mean, bad man so very mean and bad. Let me kiss your... ego... better." ::He rolled his eyes.:: I only gave him what wanted. ::Aimi bit her lip, though Quinn couldn't quite tell if she was holding back a laugh or disapproval. Quinn was swallowing down a mix of both, knowing she shouldn't find it funny and yet was struggling to keep a straight face. From the sly curl at the corner of Walter's lips, he damn well knew it, too.:: Reynolds: Yes. Well. ::She cleared her throat.:: Now that you're done playing the Curmudgeonly Cupid— ::The music on the stage drew their collective attention. Where there had been the soft melodies of a string quartet, there was now the ring of plucked harp strings accompanying the piano, in a somewhat eerie choice of key; F# Major, if she wasn't mistaken. A few bars in, the harpist's voice joined the instruments, and she heard an impatient sigh erupt from the blonde standing next to her.:: Brunsig: Is there a single member of your crew who isn't determined to make our wedding reception about them? ::Perhaps it was starting to feel a little bit like that, what with congratulations quickly shifting into tales of missing sons, lovers tiffs and outrage at Walter acting like Walter. She absently toyed with the neckline of her dress, recognising the words of the song. They reminded her of Harry, who'd been known to quote Tennyson when they'd been a couple, and that drew out an awkward smile. He was at the party, somewhere, tactfully keeping out of Walter's path as he minded Amelia and Dylan.:: Reynolds: He did ask if he could play something. ::Truth be told, the reception was for just about everyone but them. They were private people, neither of whom enjoyed the fuss. Initially, they'd both been leaning toward a quiet ceremony and dinner to celebrate afterwards — if that. But there were family and friends who expected (and in some cases, demanded) the chance to celebrate. As strident as both could be in command, sometimes it was just easier to take the path of least resistance in personal affairs. Enduring one uncomfortable evening was easier than weeks, months or even years of earache for not having one at all. ::And so they had compromised. A quiet ceremony for them, and a big reception to keep everyone else happy.:: Brunsig: Well, once Boy Wonder up there has finished murdering his harp, would you like to dance? If we're lucky it'll keep the well-wishers away for a few minutes. Reynolds: That's why I married you. Walter Brunsig, the eternal optimist. ::His gaze snapped away from her, toward the copper-haired young woman who was grinning at them both. Holding up a warning finger, he raised an eyebrow in the Trill's direction.:: Brunsig: Don't do it, Tam. Tam: I can't help it. You are kind of adorable together. ::Quinn chuckled, even as Walter let loose an exasperated sigh. At the dying notes of Xerix's song, he dropped his hand from her waist, catching her fingers between his. As their fingers entangled, so too did their thoughts, and she was buffeted by a complicated mix of affection, insecurity, devotion and frustration. Stealing a little while together without interruptions, even if it was only for the length of a song, was something they both needed.:: Reynolds: At the risk of being more adorable, would you excuse us, Aimi? I'd like to dance with my husband. Tam: There's a few people here I'd like to say hello to. ::She just kept grinning at the pair, beginning her retreat.:: Enjoy. ::Quinn breathed a quiet laugh and squeezed Walter's hand, walking alongside him to join the other dancers. With a sly smile, he lifted their hands as they stepped onto the dance floor, turning her in a languid spin before drawing her close, the two musicians finding the rhythm with ease.:: -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  13. ((Starbase 118 - Rustyy Hael’s personal Home - Trinity sector - coastline)) ::Rustyy sat idol at the large round table, the mock sunlight just barely gleamed in through the window that faced the waterfront. Today he had woke up unusually early, like something from far away drew him up at the unseemly early hours for the man. Dressed in lose sleep pants and an oversized long sleeve, he sipped slowly from the replicated coffee. Black, no sugars no sweetners. He sat still, slouched back in his self proclaimed chair. The others in the house still slept soundly. Nothing disturbed their peace. In crept a thought… how the coffee here would never taste the same as what his mama made. She always told him it was because she ‘knew how to make it right.’ A distracted smirk slipped onto his features. They had kept him in the loop, his parents that was. About his daddy’s illness. Him mama would try to tell him why was going on but she didn’t understand it very well. So a lot was lost, which left him very much out of the loop and confused. Yellow and orange chased away the dark blue in the sky. It too never would compare to home. Rustyy coughed and stirred in his suddenly uncomfortable chair. Why so sentimental suddenly? How long had been out here - and in all that time how often did he stop to really think about home in a way to cause a ping of pain to his heart. He stretched out his legs and crossed them at the ankle before he took another long sip of the coffee. The console chirped not far from him, but the man was lost to his thoughts. It beeped again for his attention. And again. In what felt like slow motion it registered. Rustyy turned his head to look and sighed before he rose from his chair to answer the incoming call. A sixth sense of dread seeped into his body. The communication console twirled the Starfleet logo for a second before the worn image of his mama filled the screen. Her blonde hair a bit more greasy than normal, the frown creases on her forehead set in a little deeper. But she smiled, loving and warm and just as any mother did. He returned the smile with his own thin lipped smirk.:: Hael: Hiya mama. ::paused.:: It be good ta’be ‘earin’ from ya. Sabrine: An’ you too’s me babe. How be things’a goin’, eh? Yer siblin’s bein’ goo’an’all? ::There was something to be said about the Hael ‘accent’. It was unique to their town. A place that refused to grow with the times or modernize their wilderness. To an outsider it was hard to understand stand them. Though many of the Hael children’s accent had faded through time away from their homeland. Rustyy’s still the thickest of all the children.:: Hael: Ya suppose’n’so’s. ::he chuckled softly.:: they’s’a fine. How’s ya and pa? Sabrine: ::She looked down at her hands a minute before she looked back at her oldest child.:: No’ so goo’ … she stood in a huff and paced just inside the view screen.:: Them’s vodo docs from tha’ therr’s big’ol city talkin’ crazy. I don’ be knowin’ ‘bout what they be sayin’ but it don’ sound like no answer fer us. Ev’r time them claim to be fixin’ one thin’ anoth’r two things be pippin’ up..?! Nah they be don’ knowin’ nuthin’. ::Rustyy sat quietly as the much older woman ranted on. He understood. Almost a child of two worlds he could see why she struggled so much. But also that the doctors knew what they were doing. The life they lived was chosen to be hard. For Terrans anyways. They still hunted their food and moved about by dog sleds. Every few years something would come through and make people sick or some virus in the animals they ate. Always something. He smiled softly and listened, not like an adolescent boy but a young man who had aged and matured in recent years.:: Sabrine: He ain’ nev’r none been sick now them’s wanna be sayin’ therr be nuthin’ righ’ wit’em? ::she sat harshly back down with a distraught expression.:: ::He wanted to hug her. To tell her it would be okay. That in today’s mordant world they could fix so much. He didn’t want her to be alone through all this.:: Hael: Mama? ::pause.:: Mama wha’ really be goin’ on? ::She took a long breath.:: Sabrine: The docs wan’ya to comes ou’ this’a way. Thems be sayin’ you, rus-rus, be gotten somet’in they be needed to be helpin’ yer pa. ::He couldn’t help but notice how hesitant she was to say such a thing. Did she think he wouldn’t come? That he wouldn’t do anything to help. He was slightly hurt by the thought, but chose not to show. After all he didn’t really know that for sure.:: Hael: … An’? … Sabrine: An’ fer ya’ll to be comin’ backs too… jus’ Incase. Thems ain’ able to ge’i’ done in time… ::solomnly.:: ya’know’s. ::The oldest son sat still for a long time. His mind jumbled and emotions tumbled about. He never thought the time when his parents would die…:: Hael: We’ll be there’s. Soon as possible mama. It’s gonna be okay’s. If’n thems docs say so then it be true. ::His dearest friend out this far was a doctor. He knew the man capable of anything. So surely these doctors were the same. The woman offered one last heartfelt smile, blew him a kiss and left him to a dark screen with a lazily twirling Starfleet symbol. Guess that was why he woke so early.:: ((Timeskip - Earth - San Francisco -Main Starfleet Hospital )) ::in anticipation to Rustyy’s arrival, his dad was transferred to a much closer hospital. It was the logical choice and one that would speed up their work. Six Hael siblings stood at the main receptionist desk. The mood was muted and feet shuffled subdued-like by the youngest few. Vivian even seemed downtrodden, in her dreamy like state. Rustyy didn’t bat an eye, he offered information and did his best to fill a role usually filled by their parents. He wasn’t that good at it. Still he had high hopes and optimism on his side. The doctors came, took him away from the herd, and on his way to the labs for better testing he could hear his mama’s pleased voice from afar. To have been separated from those who once filled her home had been a difficult transition. One she for a while blamed to be the cause of the dad's illness. The sterile smells, the to white of walls, the white gowns and long corridors of doors put a heavy pit in the bottom of his gut. But onward he went. He was put in a private room with doctors coming and going, a never end in sight for tests. The doctors spoke gibberish to him and he nodded with little understanding. Only an hour passed but to him it felt like the whole day. He now sat propped up on one of the bio beds The door to his room opened yet again and he tried to hide his discomfort.:: Sabrine: Hiya Rus-rus. ::she spoke kindly.:: how’s my babe doin’s eh? Hael: ::he smiled.:: Good mama. I’m’a good. They be sayin’ every thin’ lookin’ good. They took what thems needed - Sabrine: Yea’ they’d done said same to me. Jus’ be waitin’ now. Hael: It’ll all be fine. You’ll see. ::She offered another smile before she dove into better catching up. How she had missed her babes.:: ((Timeskip - next day)) ::The result looked promising. That’s where they were at. It would still be a day at least before they knew if everything was truly improved. But it looked promising. Rustyy was released after the news was passed along. And he was more than ready to vacate the premises. He slipped out before the release papers were signed and his family bombarded him to early. Dressed in torn up blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt, he headed out. They were on a real world he could see without risk of dangers. Who wouldn’t take advantage of that….:: ((Timeskip - few days later - Private Hospital room)) ::The official results were in - their dad would live! There was a great cheer from the hospital room at the end of the hall. It would take time for a full recovery… but he would recover and continue to have a fulfilling life. However, shortly after this came about one of the few large arguments the family had ever had. Rustyy of course would return to Ops… but Sabrine hadn’t expected any of her other children wanting to too. She didn’t like it, didn’t want it. She argued and sworn, ranted and raved. In the end… Rustyy, Vivian, lily and Sebastion would leave at the end of the week. Their mom threatens to stop speaking with them.:: Hael: Hey pa - Steve: ::he offered a tired smile.:: Eh boy ‘ow ya be’s? ::He shrugged in response before he took the vacant seat next to the bio bed.:: Steve: Ah’s I’s see’s. ::he eye twinkled knowingly.:: She don’ really’s mean’s it Ann’s you know’s i’. Hael: ::long pause.:: yea’ suppose I do… ::another pause.:: She blames me fer it though. Steve: well’s you is the first’s to goes… Hael: ::he crossed his arms and huffed.:: I’m perdy sure I was done sent off’s cause I needed more … displine? Steve: ::he waved his hand.:: You’d had wan’d to goes since the night’s was long and you a wee kiddy and all’s you could’s see’s was them’s stars. Hael: ::another shrug.:: Them’s wanna go… Steve: Yer mam don’ like’s no changes. Bu’ she’ll ::he nodded.:: She’ll be’s okay’s ::Rustyy nodded again. They were little kiddies anymore. And he nor his mama had any control over what they did. He just offered another place to go…:: ((Timeskip - Earth’s port - Leaving for Starbase 118)) ::Sabrine stood a little taller at the gate for departures. Her kids were packed and ready to go. Now all but 2 had left her and their home. They promised to write and call often. And despite the pain and fear of their leaving, she was proud and happy for them.:: Lily: Bye mama! ::she squeezed tightly to her mom.:: Sebastian: Bye ma - ::he also gave their mother a hug.:: Sabrine: Now’s don’ ya’ll be strangers none! ::her voice cracked slightly as she planted motherly kisses on each cheek on each twin.:: ::Rustyy stood back a little, not exactly sure what to do or expect. It wasn’t like any of them to be angry and offer threats. He hated the feeling he’d created a rift. But she approached him after saying her farewells to the twins and Vivian.:: Sabrine: You’s be makin’ me proud… ::she hugged him.:: Ev’ry days. ::He hugged her back and held a minute longer before he stepped back. The last call rang out over the intercoms. One last goodbye. One last hug and they were off…:: -- ~~ Lieutenant Commander Nijil Executive Officer Starbase 118 Ops A239202RH0 ~~
  14. ((OOC: Read Alastriona’s introduction to Starbase 118 here: https://bit.ly/2kiJa3y )) ((Starbase 118, Deck 808, Suite 0200, Alastriona’s Suite)) :: Rising from a bed where she dreamt of long rides past castles and burning embers, the dark starlight lay happily upon her lap. She had suffered and survived the night, bathed in dark water, like any blade of grass.:: ::Alastriona DeTroyes arose, steadily confronting the morning's silence. Her cats, Hansel and Gretel remained sleeping upon soft clouds, drifting through the night's starlight. She glanced at the Hypervision 3D holographic wall, where balloon-like multicolored Scylanthians drifted by in a simulation of the native species on her homeworld. It brought a smile to her face and she jumped out of bed, to the annoyance of her cats, who climbed back on and drifted away again. Alastriona ran a hand down Hansel’s back and the cat stirred, stretched and yawned.:: DeTroyes: Come on, sleepy! Time to get up. :: Her morning was like a dance in the sunshine. After feeding her cats and breakfasting on croissants and mint tea, she put on her Star Fleet uniform for the first time in quite a long time. A teal sweater underneath a tunic, a skirt, and a pair of black boots.:: oO Not as attractive as the old uniform back in my day. Oh well. Oo :: She touched the ensign insignia on her collar, wondering what her new assignment would bring. A smile touched her face.:: oO Probably a boring place. Its just a starbase spinning in the vacuum of space. Oo DeTroyes: I bet nothing ever happens here. No more running around shooting at aliens for me, no. ::Brushing her long blonde hair, she wondered if she should braid it or continue trying to brush it. Her hair always ended up in a wild entanglement, no matter how long she tried to tame it. With a sigh, she put her hair into a ponytail and departed her home.:: ((Starbase 515, Stellar Cartography)) ::Uniformed and refreshed, she entered Stellar Cartography. As soon as she stepped inside, a dome of stars appeared, slowly spinning overhead, like snowflakes drifting down on a quiet day. Alastriona went to stand under the dome, and stared up into the simulation of the Milky Way galaxy. Some distance away from Sol, a star flared bright and emitted a tiny bubble, which expanded into the cold.:: DeTroyes: I knew it. Data verification is such a pretty sight. ::Her assistant, Ensign Eileithyia Sophronia walked into the chamber.:: Sophronia: Alastriona, what are you -? ::Alastriona raised a hand, silencing her assistant.:: DeTroyes: Did you know? ::Eileithyia shook her head.:: DeTroyes: Supernova explosions can break through the galactic disk and inject hot gas into the galactic corona. These drive a series of galactic fountains, wherein the gas cools and condenses, and eventually recycles matter into the galactic disk. Sophronia: Why is it - ? ::Intent on her research, Alastriona wasn’t listening. She interrupted her assistant once again.:: DeTroyes: These hot gas clouds can suppress stellar winds so that interstellar gas and dust can enter star systems in quantities great enough to affect the star and life on any planets surrounding it. Sophronia: Should we tell someone? ::Alastriona giggled.:: DeTroyes: No, silly. These events take thousands of years to manifest. Sophronia. Oh. Alastriona tilted her head in curiosity. DeTroyes: Why have you come? Sophronia: I thought I’d remind you about your appointment. ::A lightning jolt went through her body. Alastriona turned the simulation off.:: DeTroyes: Thank you kindly, Eileithyia. I’d better get down to the Academy. ((Academy Campus Green – StarBase 118)) Stepping out of the turbolift, Alastriona walked over to the campus green where three figures stood. An attractive, tall man stood there, panting slightly, as if he was out of breath.:: oO He may be tall for earthlings, but most of them are short and fat by Scylanthian standards. Hmm, I wonder if he’s from a light gravity planet, like me? Oo :: He wore a beautiful tunic of purple, not what she’d seen very often in uniforms aboard starships. Next to the attractive man was a Caitian woman with reddish brown fur. Alastriona smiled. She liked Caitians. The third was an Andorian, who stood calmly chatting. She noticed that he wore green.:: oO A marine. Joy, joy. What have I gotten myself into now? Oo Dal: Thank you both for joining me. Termine: My pleasure sir, it's nice to be back on duty - although I wish it was under better circumstances. Are there more details available? M’Wash: Hello, sir. Dal: ::looking up.:: Ah, perfect timing. Ensign Alastriona De Troyes? DeTroyes: Yes, sir. Bonjour. Dal: I am Commander Ishreth Dal, acting Commanding Officer while Fleet Captain Taybrim and Commander Fairhug are away. This is Lieutenant Termine and Ensign M’Wash. ::He introduced gently.:: :: Dante bowed at the hip.:: :: Alastriona smiled and nodded towards him while the Caitian greeted him.:: M’Wash: Hello. Dal: I’m tapping all three of you, as well as two more officers as a rescue squad for our support ship, the USS Narendra. Please, come with me and I’ll explain on the way. The information is sensitive, so we can get to know one another until we’re in a secure location. ::They went over to the main turbolift, which took them up and away from the academy. Alastriona hesitated getting into it. Stifling a grin, she shook her head a little and got into the turbolift. The commander told the lift to bring them to the shuttlebay.:: ::Alastriona bit her lip.:: oO I hope Eileithyia remembers to feed my cats. Oo :: The man interrupted her concerns.:: Termine: Do we have any intel about the occupying force of the state of the captives? DeTroyes: Is there any indication that they are even alive, sir? Termine: That's a very good point De Troyes, M'wash the Major said you've dealt with this cult before? Any general insights you can share with us? I'm just new to the sector myself and haven't yet had time to read the briefing material. M’Wash: Well, there was a chaos at this Starbase a few months ago. I am not sure, but the Cult might have been responsible for creating a chaos at this Starbase. Holodecks were reprogrammed at this Starbase. ::Alastrion leaned back in the turbolift until the back of her ponytail struck the wall. She closed her eyes.:: oO Klingons. Why did it have to be Klingons? Millions of light years into space and where do I end up? Next to those animals. Oo ::She whispered to herself,:: DeTroyes: And I was having such a wonderful day. Dal : ? Termine/M’Wash: ? ::Alastriona snapped her head forward and opened her eyes. The others were looking at her with mixed expressions.:: DeTroyes: Oh, nothing. I was just involved in some research this morning. I’ve made a discovery. Dal : ? Termine/M’Wash: ? ::Alastriona tried to make it simple for them.:: DeTroyes: I found that the clustering of extragalactic, extreme ultraviolet sources at high galactic latitudes is consistent with the hypothesis that the Local Bubble may actually be part of a cylindrical cavity that pierces the galactic disk. ::Alastriona made a face and shook her head.:: DeTroyes: Never mind. Dal : ? Termine/M’Wash: ? ((Starbase 118, Deck 44, Shuttlebay)) ::After an interminably long - at least as far as Alastriona was concerned - turbolift ride, the doors opened to a magnificent view. A dozen vessels were docked inside a vast chamber and a row of shuttles stood to one side. People were coming and going everywhere, but one of them motioned for them to approach one shuttle, whose doors were open and, presumably, inviting.:: Dal : ? Termine/M’Wash: ? ::Alastriona stepped inside first. A man with slightly curly dark hair looked up at her as she entered. There was an Andorian there too, and another marine. Wrinkling her nose at the marine, Alastriona sat down and nodded to them.:: DeTroyes: Bonjour. Hael: ? Foster: ? Marime: ? ::As the others entered and took seats, Alastriona muttered to herself,:: DeTroyes: No more running around shooting at aliens, no. Ensign Alastriona De Troyes Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239609AD0
  15. (( Mount Forbes, Alberta, SFMC Mountain Warfare Centre Range 7 )) :: Stefan dug his ice axe into a craggy crock and knelt over double. The weight of his rucksack felt bone breaking, and his cold feet, aching back, and sore knees made it feel like this was an eternity. They were only halfway into their hike, so eternity would have to last a little longer. He looked up ahead to the lead line, and saw three of his Marines led by Gunnery Sergeant Kang, the spry yet surly South Korean who was now in a similar position, one hand on his knee and the other holding a climber’s pole. Behind him, Stefan felt a tug, and saw Sgt Wilkinson waving. Stefan paused, and waved him up, his thick puffy glove seeming like it was slow motion in front of him. The frost on his goggles made it hard to focus on his peripheral vision, so he had to stay directly looking at John as he trudged upwards. :: Wilkinson: Hey! Keep an eye on Mwalke! That moron keeps tripping cause he ain’t paying attention! Germanovich: Okay! :: he flashed a thumbs up, and un-thethered himself for a brief moment, connecting to the free line that ran the length of their group :: :: Stefan trudged up the mountain to the young African, and soon found him squatting, nearly keeled over, sucking wind quickly in and out :: Germanovich: Hey dude, are you okay? Mwalke: :: gasping for air through an O2 tank :: Corporal I’m not feeling too great. Germanovich: We’re only three hundred metres until the next stop, then six after that to camp. Come on buddy, just push a little harder. Mwalke: :: nodding :: Okay, I’ll try. :: Stefan tapped his thickly padded shoulder with his free hand :: Germanovich: That’s the spirit! You drinking water? :: Mwalke flashed him a thumbs up, strangely misshapen due to the glove, and Stefan chuckled, shaking his head as he trudged back, feeling the rocks and ice scrape his boots. The wind howled mercilessly, and while there was no storm forecasted, the wind was significantly harsher than they had been briefed. Stefan arrived back at his axe, and slung it around his wrist momentarily, and once he had clipped it to his belt securely with a carabiner, extended a climbing pole and clipped back onto the team’s lead line. :: Wilkinson: No! No! Mwalke N-! :: Stefan turned, and felt the world slow down. Mwalke had stood up too fast, and with his altitude sickness now tripped sideways, the weight of his rucksack pulling him down as gravity fought against him. :: Germanovich: Damnit! :: he felt the tug of the rope as his waist was yanked forward and he cried out :: :: John ran forward and grabbed onto Stefan’s hood, awkwardly suspending him half on the cliff’s ridge and half off. In front, Gunny Kang looked around, and yelled out as some threw themselves to the ground for purchase, and others were pulled off the cliff face :: Germanovich: No! :: He watched Mwalke fall, his tether slamming him into the cliff face twenty metres below them :: First Lieutenant Stefan Germanovich Marine Officer SB-118 Ops D239208KV0 =/\= Navem in Litore =/\=
  16. Nothing quite like reading about the daily grind of an Operations Officer. Great work @Esa_Darkkdust ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Atlantis)) ((Final Day of Shore Leave)) Even as the excitement, heartbreak, arguments and joys of Shore Leave began to draw to a close, there was still a reasonable level of ‘holiday buzz’ around the crew, even as they prepared to depart for their impending assignment. Nobody was really any the wiser about what Starfleet had in store for the intrepid crew of Atlantis, except maybe the Intelligence folks, who had probably intercepted every transmission between Starfleet and the Captain by now, despite it being Esa’s job to route incoming signals around the ship. After her conversation with Ishka a few days ago, and no doubt her subsequent conversation with Alex, Esa had found herself posted to the Alpha shift every day for the next month. It was pleasant to not have to constantly swap between the three. Keeping to a routine and forcing her body clock into a normal pattern would certainly do her mental health a world of good. 0700 to 1500 every day, without fail. Esa took pride in the fact that she had been put on the Alpha shift. It made her feel that little bit closer to being chief, without actually holding the title. It also served to keep the cacophony of personalities in her head in check, as the day shift was notoriously busy with so many departments requesting operational support from Esa and the team. She had, much to her dismay, started her day by receiving a request for a janitorial team to make their way to the bathrooms on Deck Ten. The communication had gone something along the lines of a foul stench emanating from one of the pair toward the fore of the ship, just behind the torpedo launch bay. Naturally, this meant a whole world of problems for Esa, who had to report the issue to Engineering, as there was likely going to be fallout in the waste processing and water treatment areas as well. It simply wouldn’t do to have a sewage explosion so close to their departure date. Fortunately, only a mere half-hour later, the janitorial staff had reported that it was simply a blocked lavatory, and that the issue would be fixed as soon as the air purifiers had a chance to work their magic. This would, however, prove to be the most interesting thing that would happen for the next few hours. With many of the ship’s departments working to finalise their prep work before departure, the number of physically actionable requests dwindled steadily toward the middle of the morning, with the majority of requests around this time relating to power management, and system upgrades. The main computer core had to be taken offline for a short while (much to the annoyance of Engineering, as their usually quite responsive secondary engineering core had become bombarded with requests), as Esa had received yet another new LCARS revision from Starfleet. This one was only minor in terms of feature updates, with the bulk of updated material pertaining to bug fixes and UI improvements. Esa was unsure how people on later shifts would react when the layout of their console had changed while they had been sleeping, but it was nothing the seasoned computer engineer couldn’t handle, and the update went by smoothly and quickly. Not only this, but holodeck time requests were still coming in to be allocated amongst the crew, with much of Holodeck 1’s timetable for the day booked up wall to wall; The Marines were using their holodeck down on deck 13 for training scenarios today, so Esa had been unable to assign any overspill from the leisure use decks on deck 6 to it. While all this was happening, Stellar Cartography were fighting it out with Astrometrics over use of the sensor suites, as both were trying to update their star charts and navigational data at the same time; and Evie was asking for yet more power to be routed to Science Lab 01, no doubt to facilitate the development of her AI into the Electronic and Cyberwarfare suites. The proposals that she had looked at seemed to be solid, which wasn’t a surprise, seeing as the woman held four degrees in the subject, but she had advised her to hold off any further integration with the ship until she had had a chance to review the specs with the Captain. Alas, he had been far too busy meeting the other heads of departments to deal with her at the time, so the request had gone unanswered. Esa didn’t mind, but Evie had given her a substantial dressing down for her incompetency and lack of effort. Evie’s words had been quite harsh, but her bark was far worse than her bite, and the threat of having an official complaint written up about Esa had gone unactioned. A few times the mundane routine interactions with the ship had been interrupted by new crewmembers transferring aboard, having finished their meetings with the Captain and XO, now coming straight to Esa for their new quarters assignments. Having never been an enlisted, Esa sometimes wondered what it was like meeting a new roommate for the first time. This was quickly followed by a request to have someone from Logistics help move their belongings from the cargo area on deck 8 up to their new homes. A few departing officers and non-coms were also making several requests of the logistics team, who were obviously in high demand today. Around the middle of the day, mere minutes before Esa had planned to take a quick break to grab some lunch, the quartermaster from the armoury on deck 4 had reported a series of missing explosive charges from one of their storage lockers, and was demanding an explanation. Esa had to explain to them a number of times that they had been taken by the marines for the boarding drill, and were due to be returned at some point later today. Evidently, with the shakeup in the Tactical/Security departments, a few memos had missed their intended recipients. She was still kicking herself for not managing the communications better surrounding the drill, but the thing had happened so quickly that she had little time to inform the right people of the prep work. No doubt Esa would be apologising to Maddi for that one when she got home later tonight. Finally, a good ten minutes of explaining later, Esa managed to flag down a passing colleague to man her post while she grabbed a sandwich. That was the one downside to working the Ops station; The need for it to be constantly manned meant there was very little in the way of flexibility when one needed to take a comfort break. After a quick 30 minute lunch break, Esa was back on the bridge, this time dealing with the request from engineering to divert power away from the main navigational deflector so that they could perform a diagnostic and alignment pass. Naturally, this took priority over the science labs use time, so she had assigned them the secondary deflector while the engineering crews worked. She was met with a less than favourable response to this, as one of the labs had been using it to project a tightly focussed energy beam onto some nearby graviton particles as part of an experiment they were undertaking. Naturally, the need to get the ship ready for departure took priority, and Esa apologised for spoiling their results. She always took the blame for scheduling errors, though most of the time it wasn’t her fault. People liked to have someone to complain to, or about, and as she was the one making the decisions it made sense for it to be her. The remaining two hours of her shift were spent overseeing the delivery of a new spare warp core into the storage tube that ran between decks 10 and 15. The freighter captain had offered no explanation as to why they were receiving a new core, only that a request had come in and his job was to deliver it, not ask questions. Esa had little choice but to agree, instead wondering why the Captain, or Engineering, for that matter, would have put a request in for such a thing. What did their assignment hold in store for them that necessitated such a piece of equipment? Once the delivery and install had been finalised, Esa handed over to Fiorr, who was on the Beta shift for the next few days, and bid him farewell. While on duty, she had managed to slot some R&R time in on Holodeck Two for herself, and planned to spend the rest of the afternoon giving Ishka’s spa recommendations a whirl, before dinner with Maddi. Travelling via her quarters to get dressed, she flopped down on the bed for a moment to deflate, letting her arm hang down to pet Lyra, who was a welcome presence in what had been a rather busy, stressful day. Her small face looked up at Esa, her dark eyes regarding the Trill. She offered a small bark to draw Esa’s attention whose response was to invite her up for a cuddle. Esa: You have no idea what a day I’ve had today. You know, I envy you sometimes, Lyra. Not a care in the world… Lyra let out a small woof in response, seemingly in agreement. Esa laughed slightly and replaced Lyra on the floor so that she could change. Lieutenant Esa Kiax Comm/Ops Officer USS Atlantis – NCC 74682 Community History Team Member A239511ED0
  17. ((Ravenna’s Dorm- Starfleet Academy, San Fransico, Earth- Dream)) Ravenna sat in a pile of books taller than her standing height. Each spine revealed another medical or science-based text and the smell that drifted from them wrapped her in a blanket of comfort. The fire crackled on the opposing wall and the whistle of the tea kettle pulled her from her dream world. Tea for dad and hot cocoa for herself. Daniel had ducked into the library to ask Ravenna if she wanted marshmallows, only to find that she had disappeared in the two minutes he had been gone. It wasn’t uncommon, and though he would never tell her, he always knew right where she had ventured off to. Daniel: Little Blackbird? Where did you wander off to? Ravenna peaked her head out from behind the books in time to see her father walking in with a tray of drinks and nighttime cookies. She ducked back before she thought he could see her, but she hadn’t been quick enough. Daniel sat them on the side table and took up residence in the chair he sat in ever night while he read to Ravenna, or any more, she read to him. I Daniel: Blackbird, whatcha doing in the stacks again? Ravenna: ::giggling:: Picking out a book to read. She carefully climbed out from the tilted stacks and revealed her selection for their bedtime story. Daniel was always perplexed by how Ravenna’s mind worked. It was a true gift and where he knew his wife hated it, he loved it. He could talk to her and have intelligent conversations with her, but since she was so young, she had an innocent and simple way of looking at problems. Some of the problems he had spent all day going over, she had asked one simple question that made everything click. Many of his colleagues had laughed at him, but when he was ever asked about who his best friends was, he would genuinely respond that it was his daughter. Daniel: Are you sure you want to read… ::checking the title page as the name had long worn off the spine:: Gray’s Anatomy? Ravenna stared at her dad. She would have thought that it was obvious. Ravenna: I’m going to be a doctor someday, just like you daddy. Daniel felt the pride swell in his chest. Daniel: You are going to be a fantastic doctor, Blackbird. Now, should I quiz you or are we reading? Ravenna looked at the fireplace for a minute while she contemplated her options. She knew this book pretty well already, but perhaps, for the time being, it would be best if she just read it some more. Ravenna: Reading ::she punctated the decision with a nod:: Daniel smiled at his daughter while she climbed up onto his lap. She was growing like a weed and sooner rather than later he would have to get her her own chair. Maybe a matching one so they could sit side by side in the library. He dreaded the day that she wouldn’t be his little cuddle bug anymore. It broke his heart to even think about it. The rest of the night was spent reading up on bodily functions and looking at anatomical diagrams. Occasionally Ravenna would hop up and inspect the teaching skeleton that stood in the corner. Any other child would have found that eery glow from the fire reflected in the skeleton’s eye sockets creepy, but Ravenna didn’t seem to notice. The fire alarm went off mid skeletal inspection and as Ravenna made her way back to her father, the fire alarm morphed into an alarm clock. ((Ravenna’s Dorm- Morning)) Ravenna woke with tears in her eyes. Sometimes she was thankful that she still remembered her father. Other times, she wished she remembered less because maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. She pinched herself. No, every memory with her father was a cherished memory. Ravenna made her way to the bathroom to get ready for class. The eyes that looked back at her were her father’s. She teared up a little more. Surely, being a first-year, she would get harassed for crying. It wasn’t like she could hide the puffiness. She finished getting ready and walked out the door. This marked the start of a new adventure. ((Memory- Ravenna (five years old))) Daniel was standing next to the front door with his bags all packed. Ravenna sat on the bottom step poking the bags as though they had personally offended her. Elizabeth stood in the doorway with her arms crossed. No one said a word, but the air between the adults was so thick you could feel it in your grasp. Ravenna looked up at her dad and then to her mom. Daniel was hunched over and his usually relaxed demeanor had somehow soured. Elizabeth looked mad. Ravenna could tell something was wrong, but she couldn’t know the extent of it. Ravenna: Why are these out here? ::she poked the bags again for good measure:: Daniel: ::glaring at Elizabeth while Ravenna wasn’t looking:: Well, Blackbird, I have to go away for a little while. You see there are some sick people who need my help. :: he attempted to sound nonchalant about the situation, hoping that if he didn’t sound agitated then maybe Ravenna would be okay.:: Ravenna looked up at Daniel with tears in her eyes. Ravenna loved her mother dearly, but her dad was the one who took care of her. ::her desperate pleas ripped at his heart in a way that no one could ever imagine:: Ravenna: Daddy, no! You can’t go! :: she sprung up and grabbed his legs:: I need you to teach me, please! Daniel moved Ravenna’s little arms so he could kneel down to her level. He whiped away her tears as the fell. Daniel: ::trying to control his voice:: Oh, Birdie, don’t cry. Please! I’ll be back before you know it. Ravenna: Take me with you! ::She was sobbing now:: I can help the people too! He rested his hands on her shoulders as she pled with him. Daniel: I wish I could, but I need you to stay here and keep your mama company He pulled her close just as he felt the tears well up in his own eyes. He looked up at Elizabeth his jaw clamped shut. His tears hit Ravenna’s hair. There was no way he was going to willingly leave his daughter behind, now, he knew Elizabeth would have to pry her away when his taxi arrived. Daniel: Please, Little Blackbird, please don’t cry. :: he was rocking the two of them back and forth.:: He had sat on the ground with Ravenna in his lap and he was still rocking back and forth when the taxi arrived. The elderly driver got out of the car and was putting Daniel’s bags in the car. Sadly, it didn’t take him long enough and it was time to go. Elizabeth: Come on, Ravenna. It’s time for him to go. Ravenna yelled and clung to Daniel tighter as he stood up, still holding Ravenna. He was almost afraid to put her down. Now the thought of his little girl being all grown up before he sees her again came to mind and he wasn’t afraid of showing everyone that he was crying too. Reluctantly, he stood her up and looked his little blackbird in the eyes. Daniel: Now, I want you to behave for your mother while I’m gone. :: he leans over and gives her a kiss on the forehead: Daniel hopes that just like ripping a bandaid off, this will make leaving easier. He knows he’s not fooling anyone. Elizabeth comes down the steps only to snatch Ravenna away and hold her back so that Daniel could leave. Before he turns he says one thing to Elizabeth that haunts Ravenna. Daniel: I hope you’re happy. Elizabeth’s grasp on Ravenna tightens and she yelps. Her shoulder hurts from a mixture of how she is being restrained and struggling to get loose. Daniel turns and opens the car door. He looks back to Ravenna one more time before pulling away. Elizabeth lets go of Ravenna, who bolts into the non-busy street and watches as the car carrying her father fades into the distance. She screams after him and it’s enough to alert the neighbors that there is something going on. Many take to their porches to watch as Elizabeth yanks Ravenna back toward their own house. Ravenna ran inside and locked herself in the library. A mug of hot cocoa and a plate of cookies were set out on the side table with a letter: Little Blackbird, I am so sorry I had to leave you. Just know that I will see you very soon and that I love you more than anything in the universe. I hope that someday you can forgive me for making you stay with your mom. Someday, I hope you can understand why I left. I’ll be back soon. I promise. With All my Love My Dearest Blackbird, Dad Ravenna tucked the letter into her pocket and climbed up into the seat. It was so much bigger without her dad sitting there with her. She ate half of the cookies and drank her hot cocoa, which was still warm. Ravenna stayed locked in there for three days. There was a replicator that she used for food and water and a bathroom was attached. She didn’t want to see her mom. She needed time.
  18. The long awaited marriage on the USS Gorkon! Beautifully written and absolutely draws you in from the off. Now, to the Reception! ---- ((Former Chapel, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) ::It was a small gathering of people in the castle's old chapel. Quinn's father, of course, shepherding Dylan and Amelia. Her elder brother and sister were there too, accompanied by their spouses and the small horde that was her nieces and nephews — including the eldest, Ryan, who had elected to wear his dress uniform to the occasion, much to her sister's dismay. Walter's family was smaller; his mother and step-father, and his indomitable grandmother. ::Petra Bjarnadottir was there as Walter's witness, in a sunny yellow dress that befit the season, her hair tumbling over one shoulder in thick curls. Not a surprising choice, all told. He had a soft spot for the fiery administrative officer, as he did for anyone who could legitimately hold their own against him. The pair had met as members of the infamous Yarahla Nine, and it had been to Walter's ship that Petra had first sought refuge on when her marriage had begun to fall apart. ::On the other side was Jo Marshall, who had only managed to stop smiling within the last five minutes. Her hair down for once, the waves of blonde reached her shoulders and flown down over her tea dress, the cut falling just below her knees. A friend to both, this time there solely for the bride; her commanding officer, and a friend through the trials and tribulations weathered together. Hands clasped in the small of her back, unable to fully leave the officer behind, she glanced over at Petra and shot the woman a quick wink. ::Then of course, there was the bride and groom themselves. Walter wore a navy three-piece suit, waistcoat and tie in dove grey, and he wore it well. Neatly pressed, shoes shined to a mirror polish, he was as perfectly turned out as it was possible to be. Quinn stood beside him, her dress in shades of silver and sky blue, the delicate chiffon embroidered and beaded with flowers. Her hair was swept up and away from her face, but otherwise left to fall in loose waves about her shoulders. ::Leading the ceremony was a local officiant, Miriam Schulte. With a head of short, white curls and a twinkle in her grey eyes, she was clearly a woman who loved her job. With the bride and groom stood in front of her, the guests seated and (more or less, in the case of the younger children) settled, she began.:: Schulte: Family and friends of Walter and Quinn; welcome to their wedding ceremony this afternoon at Reichsburg Cochem. In this place, high above the busy town below, we take ourselves out of the usual routines of daily living to witness a unique moment in their lives. Today they join together in the union of marriage and to all their guests, they are happy to share this moment with you. Because you are the ones who love, support and know them so well, it is only fitting that you are the ones to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them. ::Her accent was almost identical to Walter's, though stronger for remaining in the lands of her birth. Warmth exuded from her every word, genuine in her delight.:: Schulte: Walter and Quinn are pleased to have their parents and children in the front row, close by for the ceremony. Quinn thanks Stephen for providing her with opportunity possible and for being the best father anyone could ask for. ::Glancing over her shoulder, Quinn saw her father swallow as he smiled at her, his adam's apple bobbing in his throat.:: Walter appreciates all the love and support Annalise and Daniel have given him over the years. ::Where his temperament had come from his grandmother, it was clear where Walter had got his looks from. His mother had a head of luxurious, pale blonde hair, swept into an elegant chignon for the wedding, and the same piercing blue eyes as her son. Annalise smiled at him, squeezing the hand of the man stood beside her, Walter's step-father Daniel Wolff.:: Schulte: A wedding day is often a day when couples miss those no longer with them. For Quinn and Walter, there are family members whose memories they hold dear. Walter's sister Emilie passed away some years ago; he misses her very much and holds her always in his heart and mind. Quinn would like to take a moment to remember her mother; she wishes Sarah could have met Walter, and knows she would have been happy for them both. And so it is that our couple present themselves to be married; with fond memories to brighten the day, and surrounded by the people they love the most. ::If she was honest, when it came to her mother Quinn wasn't sure of any such things. But she knew that the sentiment was something that would delight her father to hear, and so into the ceremony it had gone.:: Schulte: As our couple prepared for this part of this wedding celebration, they reflected on what brought them together, and what keeps them together. A shared career, shared interests, a shared stubbornness, ::a quiet chuckle rippled through the guests, while the bride and groom shot wry grins at one another,:: and through it all, an implicit acceptance of the other as an individual, as well as a partner. It is this mutual respect and understanding for one another that led them to select "On Marriage" by Kahlil Gibran as the reading for their ceremony, which will be read by Walter's grandmother, Else Brunsig. ::At the mention of her name, a slim, elegant woman stepped up to the lectern. She had a strong jaw, severe blue eyes, ice-white hair and a voice that made everyone sit or stand a little straighter. A formidable woman and a serving judge, Else commanded the attention of the room with ease.:: E. Brunsig: "Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow." ::The sentiment echoed around the former chapel for a few moments, resonating through those in attendance. Else returned to her seat, though first she sent a sly wink in her grandson's direction, and his answer was a wry, crooked smile and a dip of his head.:: Schulte: We come now to the words that take Quinn and Walter across the threshold from being engaged to being married. A marriage, as we here understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to be married today. ::She paused, and smiled first at the bride in blue.:: Quinn, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Walter in marriage? If so, answer "I do." ::A small grin caught at the corners of Quinn's lips and she glanced up at Walter. Standing there, doing what they were doing, it wasn't something she'd ever really thought would come to pass. And yet, there they were, saying the words and sealing the deal.:: Reynolds: I do. Schulte: Walter, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Quinn in marriage? If so, answer "I do." Brunsig: I do. ::Quinn's breath caught in her throat, a supernova igniting behind her ribs. There hadn't been a gram of hesitation in his baritone, his answer assured and confident.:: Schulte: Walter and Quinn, having heard that it is your intention to be married to each other, I now ask you to declare your marriage vows. Please face each other and hold hands. ::If there was any part of the ceremony that made her nervous, this was it. Quinn wasn't one for emotional declarations, for putting the fragile parts of her heart in the plain view of others. She turned and reached for his hands, smiling at the warmth of his skin against hers, the light scratch of his calloused fingertips. His thoughts brushed against hers, soft and frictionless, like silk sheets sliding against one another. That sent her mind spiralling, and it was only a gentle tug on her hands that brought her back into the present, a blush on her cheeks and a sly, knowing smile on Walter's lips.:: Reynolds: There are three words that are stronger than I love you. Today I stand in front of you to say "I choose you". I choose you over all others. I choose you to share happiness with. I choose you to care for. I choose you to have a family with. I choose you to grow old with. ::She took a breath.:: Walter Brunsig, I choose you to love for the rest of my days. ::She felt his hands tighten around hers, a faint flush creeping up from under the collar of his white shirt. The effect of her words on him, and the effect of the words he was about to speak.:: Brunsig: Today, Quinn Reynolds, I join my life to yours. From the moment our paths crossed, you’ve fascinated me, challenged me, frustrated me and improved me in ways no person has done before. I have fallen in love with you again and again. I promise to be true to you, to support and encourage you, and to challenge and frustrate you. I know that we're good for each other and that we will continue to grow stronger together. ::Quinns stood there, smiling at him, struck by his vows and the fondness in his gaze as he'd spoken them. Left wordless and quite enraptured, it was a good thing that there was someone there to propel the service along.:: Schulte: Your wedding rings are the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible bond which already unites you. Petra, please give Quinn's ring to Walter. ::The Icelander stepped forward, pressing the simple ring into his palm with a nod and a smile. After a pat on his elbow, Petra stepped away from the broad-shouldered blond, and the officiant continued, still beaming away, her eyes sparkling.:: Schulte: Walter, place the ring on Quinn's finger and repeat after me— ::He took her hand again, echoing the words while he slipped the gold band onto her finger, next to the glittering diamonds of her heirloom engagement ring.:: Brunsig: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows. Schulte: Jo, now please give Walter's ring to Quinn. ::Stowed in a particular place for safe keeping, Jo retrieved the band from the pocket of her dress and smiled at the woman with a small nod of her head as she handed it over.:: Schulte: Quinn, place the ring on Walter's finger and repeat after me— ::One hand curled around his, Quinn eased the ring onto his finger. Nerves dried her throat and slid a tremulous rasp into her voice. For once, she didn't care.:: Reynolds: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows. Schulte: May the wedding rings you exchanged today remind you always that you are surrounded by enduring love. ::The officiant smiled and clearly elated, she clasped her hands together:: Now, by the power vested in me by the town of Cochem, it is my honour and delight to declare you husband and wife. You may seal this declaration with a kiss. ::Their hands still intertwined, Walter dipped to do just that, and Quinn rose up on her toes to meet him part way. Soft, tender and lingering, he left his forehead resting against hers, just long enough to murmur a few words.:: Brunsig: Wife. Reynolds: Husband. ::She grinned.:: We actually did it. Brunsig: Chilly day in hell. ::He smirked at her, the wry observation making her huff a quiet laugh as they parted. Quinn wasn't the only one laughing, and Miriam Schulte chuckled, gesturing open-armed to the pair.:: Schulte: I am pleased to present the newlyweds! Walter, Quinn — your wedding ceremony is over, and it's time to celebrate! -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0 & Captain Walter Brunsig Commanding Officer USS Triumphant
  19. Loved this little insight into one of the Symbiote's former lives from our newly-joined Trill officer. --- ((Lilla Kiax, Mount Voslaarum, Ayai'leh-hirh Range)) ((Stardate 230006.25)) Up with the Lark, her eyes barely open. She strolled through the dark, the lamp as her guide. The wind brought a chill as she buttoned the fleece up to her neck. She paused, and enjoyed the dawn’s misty light. The temperature would warm throughout the day, but out here in the Ayai'leh-hirh Range, the night had a chill that could rival most arctic circles. Inside her pocket lay a small PADD, which she reached for with practiced ease. A few button taps later, and she spoke up. Lilla: Lilla Kiax, expedition log. Stardate 230006.25. Today marks the start of the hardest part of the climb… Weather looks favourable, but we won't be going anywhere until this mist lifts… The rising sun peaked out from one of the neighbouring mountains, blinding her momentarily. Lilla: The sunrises here are always spectacular. It’s a shame Ojass isn’t here to witness them. Illo would probably end up writing a suite of Bell music to describe it. Aadin would probably be unmoved. ::She laughed quietly to herself.:: He always was a bit of an odd boy… Her recording was interrupted by the sound of someone shuffling around in the tent behind her. A few moments later, a rather bedraggled looking blonde Denobulan poked her head out from the entrance. Indaura: Do you always have to talk so loud? It’s the middle of the night. Lilla: I know. Look at how bright the moon is though! ::She stated, sarcastically, pointing at the sun.:: It’s almost like it’s morning! Indaura looked unimpressed and crawled back into the tent, grumbling away to herself. Lilla turned back to her log and continued recording as she prepped the equipment for today’s leg of the climb, while detailing the progress they had made yesterday. Eventually, a good half hour later, Indaura re-emerged and the pair ate some breakfast before breaking down their camp and loading it into the packs for transport. ((Timeskip)) The pair had climbed all morning, for a good six hours before stopping for a breather while waiting out the afternoon heat. The going was monotonous, with both of them effectively scaling the same section of rock three times before proceeding. Once up, to clamp a new SLCD into a crack, attach to it, then back down to detach and remove the last, then back up to place the next. Eventually they had reached an outcrop where they could set up their portable shade sail, and the pair stopped for a bite to eat. Lilla grabbed a canteen of water and the Trangia from her pack, before sitting down next to Indaura. Lilla: Here. Drink up. We’ve still got a ways to go before we get to the campsite for tonight. Indaura took the canteen and gleefully sucked down the water as Lilla sifted through the remaining ration packs. Indaura: What’s on the menu today? Lilla: Steak with sautéed potatoes in a peppercorn sauce, or pan fried haddock with string beans and a bechamel sauce. Indaura: Do we have anything not from Earth? ::She grumbled.:: Lilla scanned the remaining packets in her pack, only to find that Earth was the only planet left in their supply. Lilla: Sadly not. Earth’s finest cuisine is all we have left. Reluctantly, they picked their meals and ate them, though they weren’t particularly enjoyable. The pair sat and looked out over the range, admiring the beauty that lay before them. Indaura took to taking some holoimages, while Lilla continued reading the book that she had taken with her. Before long, it had begun to cool down slightly, and they had resumed on their way two hours before the sun was due to start setting behind the neighbouring peaks. It wasn’t long before they had made considerable headway, and Lilla was half way between her existing cam and the place she wanted to lock her next. The rockface had become slightly slick, what with the drop in temperature, but it wasn’t enough to deter her enthusiasm. Indaura had been ahead this time, leading the way for Lilla to follow. She had made it to the campsite plateau first, and was lying on her chest with her head sticking over the edge. Indaura: Lilla! Get up here, you slacker! Some of us want to get some sleep before the morning! Lilla: ::Surveying the rock face:: Just a minute, Indaura. We have some structural concerns… The extreme changes in temperature, evening dew freezing in the night and then melting during the day, had lead to some rather unstable sections of the rock face. Lilla carefully locked in her next cam and attached to it, before dropping back down to remove the last. Indaura: Would you just get up here?! Lilla tested the rope by tugging on it a little, making sure she was confident that the crack she had pried the cam into was tight enough. Satisfied, she unlatched the lower one and clipped it back onto her harness, before ascending again. The top was almost in sight, and she was excited to get some shuteye before their final day tomorrow. In her excitement, she had neglected to check the area ahead of her thoroughly enough, and though Indaura had passed over it minutes before, that was enough to spell disaster. The small crack she placed her hand in to pull herself higher suddenly crumbled and gave way, causing Lilla to lose cohesion with the wall, and fall suddenly, passing the lower cam to which she was still attached. Fortunately, the SLCD arrested her momentum, and she came to a sudden halt. In that same moment, the forces exerted on the cam were enough to cause it to snap, resuming Lilla’s fall to her death, the last thing she saw before everything went black was a last glimpse of Indaura’s despairing face. ((Esa and Maddi’s Quarters, Deck 3, USS Atlantis)) ((Day Five of Shore Leave, Early Morning)) The audible memory of the sickening crunching and snapping of bones rang in Esa’s ears as she woke with a blood chilling scream and sat bolt upright, drenched in sweat. Reliving your own death really was the stuff of nightmares. Lieutenant Esa Kiax Comm/Ops Officer USS Atlantis – NCC 74682 Community History Team Member A239511ED0
  20. ((Ooc: the song https://youtu.be/oVGTGfZ9HVc )) ((Courtyard, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth)) :: The reception was splendid. A gorgeous backdrop, accompanied by delicious- if unusual - appetizers were passed to handsomely attired guests. Ghant had asked at the Bride’s final fitting if he might play something at the reception. He hadn’t decided until just before he walked onto the platform. Nerves pulsed through him, making him glad he hadn’t eaten much yet. He nodded to the bolian piano player before taking a seat behind his harp:: ::He blew out a breath as he looked into the crowd and then began plucking the opening notes. Quinn and Brunsig were still standing apart, each receiving guests with good humored smiles. The first officer was speaking with Tasha and some other women he didn’t recognize. Genkos was laughing with Corliss and Loxley. Chris and the woman he assumed to be Valesha were eyeing each other and the dance floor The cadence of the song suggested dark beauty and mystery to his ear. The piano player had picked up on the tune and followed along.:: ::Ghant croned out the beginning of the poem-turned-song. He felt it fitting the strange beauty of the evening, even if he felt removed from it personally.:: ~Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font. The firefly wakens; waken thou with me.~ ::His eyes turned to the table where Jo and Tasha said with the others he didn’t recognize as he sang the next line of the song:: ~ Now droops the milk-white pea[...] like a ghost, And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.~ ~ Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.~ ::Then he caught Quinn observing him. Her expression as blank to him as her mind, he had no idea how she would find the song:: ~Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.~ ::Finally he chances looking at Genkos, who was either pretending to not notice him, or actually wasn’t. Either way was a disappointment. His eyes glistened as his voice warbled out the final verse of the song:: ~ Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake. So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.~ ::The reception was deathly quiet for what felt like an eternity. Then applause began to sound. Ghant’s cheeks flushed with color all the way to his ears. He quietly stood and exited the platform.:: Xerix: oO Who is he to ignore me? Do I mean so little to him? Oo :: With that thought, he made for the bar. Strong liquor was in order.:: — Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix HCO Officer USS Gorkon V239505GX0
  21. (Brilliant characterization. Easily the best thing I've read in my time on Columbia. You really brought these characters to life, @Anath G'Renn.) ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::After greeting those family members who could make it for the wedding and having a somewhat chaotic lunch, he and his sister were finally able to sit down and have a conversation together. T’Pril listened as he explained the latest events happening on the Columbia before sharing the latest news of her orientation tour of the Aldebaran Music Academy and a new piece of Vulcan lute music that she was composing. Before returning to the guest quarters that she had been assigned, T’Pril had given him a family photo album she had made for him. Savok had looked forward to examining the album later. Given that holophotography was one of T’Pril’s hobbies, she would have no shortage of pictures to choose from.:: ::Anath was gone, attempting to organize her family together for a tour of the ship that they were taking. Savok had stayed in their quarters for a moment, meaning to look closer at the photo album that T’Pril had given him. Across the cover, in golden Vulcan calligraphy, was the word memory. He opened the album and examined the pages. Each page contained a few photographs, all neatly aligned with each other and each one carefully labeled with the time, date, and location. T’Pril had been very thorough, not leaving a single picture unlabeled or out of place. Having noticed that the pictures appeared to be in roughly chronological order, Savok started with the first page.:: ::One of the first images was a portrait of his class at the Syrran Learning Center. The Vulcan children were neatly lined up in their student uniforms. However, there were two students who did not fit in standing next to him in the class picture. They were smiling and waving to the camera as opposed to the two rows of disciplined Vulcan children. The Human and Klingon/Vulcan children in question had two of the largest disciplinary records in the history of the Syrran Learning Center. Alexa Kennedy and Anath G’Renn had also become two close friends after he met them for the first time at the learning center. It was an encounter that he would not easily forget.:: ((Flashback - Syrran Learning Center - T’Paal City, Vulcan - 237408.29)) ::There was a heightened sense of security and tension everywhere. Savok had lived in T’Paal City for a year and had started to notice changes. Recently more security officers seemed to be stationed at major government buildings. He knew what was going on. The Federation News Service had been discussing something called the Dominion War. It was a concerning thought, that Vulcan could be perceived as being under threat. Savok could not help but notice these things as he and his mother walked through the streets of T’Paal City and approached the large building in the center of the city that housed the Syrran Learning Center. Savok was dressed in a newly replicated uniform in line with the dress code of the learning center and was carrying the necessary supplies that would not be supplied. His mother had also said that she was going to introduce him to one of his classmates, the daughter of one of her work colleagues.:: ::Savok followed his mother through the doors of the Syrran Learning Center and into the building lobby. Teachers, faculty members, students, and their parents were standing in the lobby or moving through the lobby to various classrooms or offices in the building. V’Len was moving in the direction of a Vulcan woman in a dark maroon set of Vulcan robes kneeling down and having a conversation with a young girl wearing the same student uniform that Savok and all of the other students were wearing. As they approached he could hear the end of the conversation.:: Lyras: Will you attempt to behave appropriately on your first day? ::As the girl looked around the hallway, Savok saw something unusual. Not only was she not Vulcan, but she had the strange forehead ridges that he knew meant that she was a Klingon. Klingons were a much rarer sight on Vulcan than all of the different species that were part of the Federation.:: G’Renn: Yes, mommy. Lyras: Thank you Anath. ::V’Len led him closer to the Vulcan woman and the Klingon child. His mother and the other Vulcan silently greeted one another with a Vulcan salute before she looked down to him and introduced him to the two.:: V’Len: Savok, this is Lyras from the Neurology Department of the Vulcan Biology Institute. This is her daughter, Anath. ::Savok greeted the two with a Vulcan salute, as he had been taught was the proper thing to do.:: Savok: It is agreeable to meet you both. ::The Klingon, Anath, seemed very excited to meet him. Rather than use the Vulcan salute that he and the adults were using she enthusiastically waved and had a large smile on her face. When she spoke, her tone was also significantly more energetic than the tone of everyone else’s voices.:: G’Renn: Hello! Nice to meet you! ::Savok raised an eyebrow and took a moment to consider what to say in response. He eventually settled on the most logical question to ask his classmate on the first day of the academic year.:: Savok: Are you looking forward to starting your education at the learning center? G’Renn: I hope that it’s going to be fun. My sister Jolash says that this place is boring and that the teachers are no fun. ::Savok considered what he had learned so far about the learning center. Given that Anath was worried that the Syrran Learning Center was boring perhaps he could provide an interesting fact in response. His parents had told him about the history and background of the school.:: Savok: This is a very old building with an interesting history. It used to be the office for a cultural exchange program and an art museum. G’Renn: My friend Alexa found a mural on the second floor. ::That was unsurprising. During a previous orientation at the learning center Savok had found that the building housed a large collection of artwork. Several walls on the administrative level were decorated with murals. There were also tapestries and sculptures in the hallways from various eras of history. The dedication plaques next to them identified many of them as being made by artists local to T’Paal City.:: Savok: That sounds very interesting. G’Renn: It is. Come on, I’ll show you where it is! ::Suddenly, Anath had grabbed his hand and was leading him down the front hall and up the stairs. No doubt they were off to see the aforementioned mural. He was very surprised by the sudden movement as Anath guided him up the stairs, no doubt to go see the mural. While being dragged along, he looked back to his mother who was discussing something with Lyras.:: ::His new Klingon acquaintance led him by the hand up the stairs leading to the administrative level above. Down the hall there was a short Human girl with freckles and brown hair standing in front of a mural. Like Anath, she was also wearing the student uniform of the learning center. Savok followed behind as Anath greeted the other student. The mural they had found depicted some kind of battle near a mountain. There was an odd cloud shaped vaguely like a mushroom in the distance. Savok examined the dedication plaque, which called the work The Battle for Mount Seleya.:: G’Renn: Alexa! This is Savok and he’s going to be in our class. He wanted to see the mural too. Kennedy: ::Waving:: Hi Savok. ::Savok waved back uncertainty.:: Savok: ::Quietly:: Hello. ::The behavior of his new classmates was unexpected to say the least:: ((End Flashback)) Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0 ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::There were also holophotos of the landscapes of the Raal Province. T’Pril had included panoramic photographs of T’Paal City and the nearby Fire Plains. One particular location stood out. The Kar Sand Dunes were just on the edge of the city and was where he had spent several hours of his free time exploring or going for hikes through the desert with his father. It was also a favorite spot for Alexa, Anath, and her siblings given the close proximity of the Kennedy home to the dunes. On one occasion, Anath had convinced him to partake in “sand sledding”.:: ((Flashback - Kar Sand Dunes - Raal Province, Vulcan - 238004.03)) ::Between examining the replicated sled that he had been given and the slope of the large sand dune that he, Alexa, Avarak, and Anath were standing on top of, Savok was uncertain as to the wisdom of attempting to sled down the sand dunes. Meanwhile, the other three seemed much less concerned. Apparently this was not the first time they had tried this.:: Savok: Are you sure that this is a good idea? ::Anath’s younger brother Avarak spoke up, already sitting on his sled.:: Avarak: It’s really fun! Kennedy: We use these sleds all the time here. You’ll love it once you try it. ::Their testimony did not entirely convince him. As he looked down the sand dunes, Savok could easily envision all of the potential ways that sledding down the sand dune could go wrong and cause injury. The sleds themselves seemed stable, but he was still unsure if it was a good idea to sled down the dunes.:: G’Renn: Together? Savok: ::Pausing to consider the idea.:: Very well. ::Savok lined up his sled next to Anath’s. She smiled and started to count down from three. On one, she pushed forward and the sled flew down the sand dune. Savok followed suit and held onto the handles of the sled so he would not fall off.:: Savok: oO Something feels wrong. Oo ::The movement of the sled started to become erratic. His sled was slowing down and began to veer to the left. The edge of the sled knocked in to Anath’s sled and they both flew out of control. Anath slipped off the sled and was left lying in the desert sand. Savok managed to keep his hold on the sled after the collision. However, that might not have been a logical course of action. The sled continued to slow down before stopping suddenly and sending him flying forward and landing on the slope.:: ::Savok sat up and checked to make sure he was uninjured. Anath also appeared to be on her feet and walked down the sand dunes to check on him, along with Avarak. She held out a hand and helped him to his feet. Savok brushed the sand out of his hair and looked around to see his overturned sled lying a few feet away.:: G’Renn: They usually don’t get caught or wipe out like that. But it was still an exciting rush, right? ::He examined the replicated sled and considered how the design could be improved to avoid a similar outcome should he ever be convinced to make a second attempt. It seemed as if sand had built up in front of the sled and prevented it from sliding on top of the surface of the dune smoothly.:: Savok: I suppose that you could characterize events that way. ::Beat:: Perhaps a wax coating to reduce drag could be added to the bottom of the sled? ::Anath smiled and turned to Alexa for her opinion.:: G’Renn: That’s the spirit! What do you think, Alexa? Kennedy: My dad could probably replicate something like that we could add to the sleds. Let’s go back up to the house and ask! ::The other three children turned around and started walking back up the sand dune with sleds in tow. He followed them up the dunes to the nearby neoclassical Golic house overlooking the Kar Sand Dunes on the edge of town. His mind raced with ideas of how to use science to determine the optimal design for a sand sled.:: ((End Flashback)) ::Alexa and the G’Renn children had all been his friend. He found speaking with them interesting and he even gained a tolerance for the more frivolous or dangerous activities that the group would partake in. Whether it be touring an art museum or hiking through the desert and avoiding sehlats, they had always been close. But then they moved on. Jolash had briefly lived on Qo’noS where she met her future spouse. Alexa applied to Starfleet Academy to be an engineer, not a surprise given her family’s history with Starfleet. What was more surprising was Anath’s decision to join Starfleet as well. There were many medical schools on Vulcan and she had the skill to earn admission to them. And then it was only him left on Vulcan.:: ::Savok had elected to attend the Vulcan Science Academy rather than apply to Starfleet Academy. His education had provided opportunities to learn not only about science but Vulcan culture and history as well. The ancient fortress that was now host to the Vulcan Science Academy sat in the middle of historic ShirKahr. When he was not busy with his studies he would learn of great painters and their techniques browsing the stores in the Artisan Quarter. Visiting the Outskirts Area would allow him to meet travelers visiting Vulcan from every corner of the Federation. Touring the Old Quarter gave him new insights into Vulcan history. His years as a student were very rewarding, but they had to end as he entered a new chapter in his life.:: ((Flashback - South Courtyard - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239006.02)) ::The South Courtyard was more crowded than usual. It was the final day of the term and there were several visitors on campus in addition to the usual public lecture attendees. Savok was being presented with his degree by Doctor Dyroc, a senior professor in the biology department. His parents and sister were standing nearby, observing the proceedings.:: Dyroc: You are hereby awarded a Master of Science degree with a major in botany. Congratulations, Savok. ::Savok took the diploma that Doctor Dyroc had offered to him and bowed respectfully.:: Savok: Thank you Doctor Dyroc. Dyroc: I also need to discuss another matter with you. May we speak now? ::Intrigued, Savok nodded and followed Doctor Dyroc as he walked down one of the pathways lining the South Courtyard. He noticed that they were moving away from the visitor entrance and administrative building and in the direction of the primary Research Center. He waited to hear what it was that Dyroc had to say.:: Dyroc: Your work in Advanced Mycology and Introduction to Biomedical Research exceeded all expectations. Your skill set makes you an ideal candidate to be a botanical researcher. ::Savok raised an eyebrow, considering what point Doctor Dyroc was trying to make. He had set out to become a botanical researcher and had guided his academic career to forward that goal. It was good to hear that his instructor felt that he was qualified to achieve his goal to be a researcher.:: Savok: That is my primary career goal. Is my coursework related to the other matter that you wished to discuss with me? Dyroc: The botanist on the Life Sciences Research Team retired unexpectedly. The team director and I would prefer that you take the position. Would you be interested in the position? ::He had not been aware that Strenvek had retired. For more than a decade, Strenvek had been a senior member of the Life Sciences Research Team at the Vulcan Science Academy. He would occasionally give guest lectures in the more advanced courses in botany. A position like his would be an ideal assignment. But Savok did not expect to be offered the position that Strenvek had occupied a few months earlier. Given his goals, there was only one logical response that he could give.:: Savok: I would be very interested, doctor. ((End Flashback)) ::His tenure as a full-time researcher in the labs of the Vulcan Science Academy had been very rewarding. Savok had received his education in science, better understood the methods of scientific research, and gained an insight into different cultures through transfer and exchange programs. He would become involved in one such program a few years into his career as a researcher.:: Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0 ((G’Renn and Savok’s Quarters - Deck 5, USS Columbia)) ((Time Index: The day after the arrival of G’Renn’s family)) ::Savok immediately recognized one of the holophotos on one of the next pages. He had taken it himself. One of the major projects that the Life Sciences Research Team had been working on was an inventory of the flora and fauna of Bajor. When a new planet joined the Federation and scientific cooperation with the new member became more regular, the Vulcan Science Academy would conduct a survey and add information about the new member world to the VSA database. When the academy sent a team of researchers to Bajor to assist in a survey of the poorly-explored Jaitza Mountains he had been assigned to the team. T’Pril had insisted that he take holophotos while he was there. He had taken that particular image from the balcony of the expedition’s base camp facing the mountain range to the east.:: ((Flashback - Expedition Base Camp - Janitza Mountains, Bajor - 239302.11)) ::It was the final day of the University of Bajor’s collaboration with the Vulcan Science Academy in surveying the Janitza Mountains. Tomorrow they were going to return to Vulcan with the data gathered during their survey. Over the course of three months they had created detailed scans of the mountains, collected samples of rare plant specimens native to the mountain range, and observed the behavior of a pack of hara cats for almost a month. To celebrate the end of a successful expedition their Bajoran hosts had served Klavaatu and springwine at dinner:: ::Savok had excused himself from the festivities and had found solace in meditating on the balcony of the base camp’s upper floor. While the rest of the team continued to enjoy the meal or discuss the data they had gathered or future projects, he had allowed himself to become focused entirely on the light mountain breeze. He had banished all other thoughts and sensory experiences from his mind so that he could organize his thoughts.:: ::When he was done meditating, Savok remembered his promise to T’Pril. He unpacked the holographic imager and adjusted the settings to capture images of the Janitza Mountains. The shutter snapped a few times, recording images of the Bajoran landscape around him. He did not notice the arrival of Ule Varr on the balcony as well. Savok finished taking holophotos and noticed the senior Bajoran researcher standing beside him.:: Ule: Good job today with placing the tags on those carnivorous rastipods. Especially given that you’re used to dealing with plants and not animals. I suppose plants don’t bite as much, do they? ::Savok looked down at his forearm where he had been bitten earlier that day. On their way back down the mountain, the team had encountered a small herd of carnivorous rastipods. The zoologists in their group wanted to tag the members of the herd for future studies on their population. When Savok volunteered to help, he had underestimated how strong the creatures could be.:: Savok: They do not typically bite. Ule: Luckily that rastipod looked healthy. Did you get the test back yet? ::After getting back to the base camp he had reported to the first aid center to have his bite treated and to be tested for any infections.:: Savok: The bite did not infect me. Ule: I sure do hope that being bitten isn’t going to change your perception of field studies. You will find that being out here in the unknown is where the real fun and discoveries are. If you want to find out the truth you have to come to the source. We’ve still only started to explore these mountain ranges. You’re quite handy to have on a scientific expedition. Have you ever considered transferring out of the lab and onto a science ship? Savok: I have not. Do you think that I should? ::Savok looked over at Ule curiously.:: Ule: Absolutely! Haven’t these three months been so educational and informative? ::Over the course of the expedition he had learned how to apply a tracking tag, assemble a tent, drill for rock samples, and climb and survey a mountain. When the Vulcan contingent of the expedition returned to the Vulcan Science Academy, they would have no shortage of data to study from the field study.:: Savok: Both approaches appear to have their own costs and benefits. Ule: Well, do a cost-benefit analysis and see if the Vulcan Science Academy has any openings for research out on the frontier where all of the excitement is. ::He poured two glasses of springwine and offered one to Savok.:: To discovering new things? ::He accepted the glass of springwine and raised it in toast, imitating Ule.:: Savok: To discovering new things. ((End Flashback)) ::He had not taken Ule’s advice right away. Soon after returning to the Vulcan Science Academy he had received an invitation to become an instructor in the biology department. After discussing the job offer with his father, himself a former teacher, Savok had decided to take the position. The next image in the album was a picture taken by T’Pril during his first lecture in his classroom.:: ((Flashback - Classroom E-24 - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239309.10)) Iria: This is the classroom that you have been assigned. ::She held out a PADD:: This contains the access codes for the laboratories on the second floor and the schedule for internal department meetings. ::Savok took the PADD in the professor’s outstretched and scrolled through its contents. He quickly committed the access codes for the laboratories to memory. Once he had set up his classroom those were his next destination. He could examine the schedule after his meeting.:: Savok: Thank you, professor. Iria: My office is located at the end of the hallway. If you need any assistance please schedule a meeting. Welcome to the Biology Department. Do you have any questions for me at this point? Savok: Not at this time, professor. Iria: I will leave you to your work. Live long and prosper, Instructor Savok. Savok: Peace and long life, Professor Iria. ::Professor Iria walked out of the classroom. Savok surveyed the room. The room had rows of desks on one end facing the front of the room. The front of the classroom was dominated by a large display screen for lectures. And off to one side was his desk. He walked over to the desk and opened the box of his possessions that had already been delivered. He removed his collection of books, a stack of PADDs, and a potted plant from the box. It was a night-blooming throgni that his friend Anath had brought back for him from her last family trip to Qo’noS. Savok set the plant down on his desk and admired the rare Klingon flower.:: ::Perhaps he should write a letter to her. She would be in her final semester of medical school at Starfleet Medical Academy. He opened his desk monitor for a moment and considered whether or not to begin writing. In the end he closed the lid of the desk monitor and returned to sorting the contents of his desk. After all, there was a public lecture on cybernetics starting in half an hour he hoped to attend.:: ((End Flashback)) ::The last photo in the book was from the Starfleet database. It was the image of a Starfleet ship, circling a familiar alien space station. Right away he recognized it as the USS Blackwell. What an improbable occurrence, for the Vulcan Science Academy to have assigned him to the same ship that Anath had been assigned to.:: ((Flashback - Botany Lab 3 - Vulcan Science Academy, ShirKahr, Vulcan - 239501.25)) ::Savok had been asked to assist the Assistant Chair of the Biology Department with an experiment in Botany Lab 3. The researchers had collected the data and left to have a meeting. He had volunteered to remain behind and clean the lab. As he dematerialized used petri dishes and replicated new labware, he noticed something on a display screen on the wall of the lab. There was a new faculty-wide announcement. Savok picked up a PADD and accessed the announcement to read the entire text. What he read was very interesting.:: ::The announcement was for a researcher exchange program with Starfleet. There were three positions open on Starfleet exploratory ships. Staff members of the Vulcan Science Academy could apply for these positions. While it seemed logical that the program would be focused on the full-time researchers at the academy, there did not appear to be any limitations on who could apply. Even he, as a junior instructor without significant research obligations, could send in an application.:: Savok: oO This could be an excellent opportunity. I am much better suited to research than I am to teaching Introduction to Botany. Oo ::Once he returned to his classroom, Savok began to fill out the application. Below the fields to fill in his information he noticed a list of the ships involved in the program. The USS Mantis, the USS T’Klass, and the USS Blackwell. If he could choose, he would select to be placed on the USS T’Klass. It was a Starfleet ship he had heard of before that was crewed entirely by Vulcans. It would be the ideal ship to be assigned to. No doubt that he could be able to make connections with the crew of an entirely Vulcan ship easily.:: ((End Flashback)) ::Beyond the last image of the USS Blackwell, there were dozens of empty pages in the book for additional images. He and Anath could continue adding photographs to the photo album if they so wished. She had actually mentioned starting a similar project before, but they had never started. Savok’s reflection on past events was interrupted by a familiar voice, although one he did not expect to come from his combadge.:: Rol’Q: =/\= ::With a raised voice, almost shouting.:: Rol’Q to Uncle Savok! =/\= Savok: oO Did someone actually give him a combadge? Oo ::It did not seem logical that anyone had given a child so young direct access to the ship’s communications system. Clearly he did not understand how to moderate the volume of his voice.:: Savok: =/\= This is Savok. Go ahead. You do not need to speak at such a loud volume to be heard. =/\= Rol’Q: =/\= Mommy and Aunt Ana say that we’re about to start the tour. =/\= ::Savok closed the photo album before responding.:: Savok: =/\= I will be there shortly, Rol’Q. =/\= ::He stood up and placed the photo album on the glass coffee table sitting in the middle of their quarters’ living area. It was a very interesting experience to see a photographic record of his life. Clearly T’Pril had put significant effort into creating the photo album. Savok was surprised that she was able to locate some of the photographs at all. He would have to dedicate more time to reading it after the tour.:: Savok Civilian Researcher USS Columbia ===as simmed by=== Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Columbia A239402AG0
  22. (I keep forgetting to post this…) Some of the Gorkon Crew are visiting the Holodeck for an adventure game during shore leave. I'd say a welcome read for something non-trek. :-) Well done guys. (( Weta Holoarena 4 - Wellington, New Zealand )) ::After her journey home to Earth, Caitríona Cayne returned to the USS Gorkon feeling fresh and new outlook on her life aboard the ship. The meeting with her brother went well enough - at least she returned all in one piece, however, while she was down there she took Counsellor Fortune's advice and took up a hobby. ::They both seemed to decide that one involving some form of physical work out would suit her and surfing was what stuck out the most for Caitríona. She grew up very close to the sea and she always adored being in the water, she was a great swimmer and could definitely handle the cold waters and waves. Her attempts to surf on Earth were interesting but it got the job done all the same. She has now returned to the Gorkon with a refreshed purpose - she didn't feel so negative about herself, nor would she want to again. ::So now here she stood in the middle of the Holoarena, feeling like a completely different person - she looked like a different person too, because the woman who stood there was not Caitríona Cayne - she was Caitris. ::Light snow while fell from the sky like a feather that drifts lightly in the breeze, landing in copper hair which was tied tightly into a pony-tail, a braid of intricate patterns which flowed down to the woman's waist. She wore a tightly fitted jumpsuit, green as the lands from which she hailed and golden elven patterns trailed along her curves and edges extenuating the woman's smaller frame. On top of this a white cloak as bright and as white as the snow at their feet, it almost disappeared off her back, blending into the surrounding area. ::She stood at a distance from the others for now, as she tilted her head to look out into the expanse of the forest, her pointed ears would come into the view of anyone who noticed her. They were obviously different from a Vulcan's - they were far more tapered at the top and slightly longer. As the cold snow drifted down and landed onto those tips, her ears twitched - the joys of the twenty-fourth century meant she could make her ears similar to the old descriptions of elves, and that wasn't the only thing different - her eyes were now a bright green similar to her clothes under the cloak, a stark difference to the woman's usual icy blue. After pulling up her hood and facing the others she began to make her way towards them - being an elf, her stealth overall would be far better than it actually was. With the help of the computer, there was no crunch, no sound, nothing, coming from her as she walked to the group. ::Reaching her hand behind and underneath the heavy cloak which draped around her like it was her - she pulled out what looked like a lute, but the item was grotesque, the wood looked rotted and strings, worn. Holding the lute comfortably between her body and arms the woman began to pluck at the strings with her right hand - the left moved along the top, she stroked the item as delicately as it appeared to need. The sound which came from the lute was quiet at first, building up slowly to quite a melodic piece. She could feel her own ears tingling as she played - like energy was gathering, was it coming from her or the lute? Either way, both were needed to create the energy that was emitted. A. Sevo: Welcome, all! MacFarlane: Good t’ be ‘ere. This promises t’ be a good adventure. Adea: I’m excited to be here. ::Caitris (Cayne) who was pacing around the back behind the others, her fingers still plucking gently along with the instrument she held walked towards a woman she hasn't met and the Doctor - Adea. He was the only one in the group she was familiar with, and he even mentioned to Caitríona she should come along on this little adventure of theirs in passing. Now, the small creature which seemed to be the Doctor's - she wasn't so familiar with, the bark from Toto caught her attention and she smiled happily towards him as she continued her pacing. She began to hum gently - this projected the energy she was building slowly out into the air, she could feel some of it die down as she released it, her ears not so sensitive. ::Her hearing after getting these newer ears seemed different, especially from some enhancement from the computer itself. She could hear someone approaching and turned a little in her pace, she saw as the larger woman approached.:: Rhone: Greetings. I am Rhone. Might I join your quest? ::Glancing at the woman - the bright green eyes of the copper headed elf cut through everyone else who stood between them. She was interested in the larger woman, for a moment at least.:: Cayne: Greetings Rhone. A. Sevo: If you’ve got mounts you’d like to use, import ‘em into the program and tack them over by Serenity and Diablo over there. :: She pointed to her white unicorn and Toran’s black horse. :: Behind the sleeping tents, we’ve got tents for blacksmithing, alchemy, and the like if you care to gear up. ::Her attention was now brought back to the leader of their group - she suspected they were the one responsible for their gathering, she was already thankful for that. This was going to be a good adventure.:: MacFarlane: One step ahead o’ yeh. ::She put her fingers to her mouth and let out a piercing whistle:: Aurora! ‘ere girl! ::Out of the woods trotted a second Unicorn. Similar to Serenity, her coat was pure white, however, her mane was shot through with streaks of chestnut and specks of black. Just as Ayiana had reconstructed her Skarbek mount, Tasha had too. Doctor Adea had a brown horse, who quickly trotted up to the stable, alongside a Gypsy Vanner breed of Rhone’s. Her horse was much larger and more muscular than the rest of the mounts, probably to account for Rhone’s size. Out in the distance of the woods, Caitis (Cayne) could hear her horse approaching after she shifted her fingers to create a higher pitch. Once he came towards the clearing the brown horse looked towards it's other and settled, remaining still like a statue as the music became soft again.:: A. Sevo: I’ve got some stew brewing in the campfire. Not sure what’s in it, come to think of it. Tread carefully. MacFarlane: ‘as long as its ‘ot an’ tasty I’m ‘appy. A. Sevo: Dunno. The program started up with it brewing. Think it’s rabbit and potatoes. T. Sevo: :: Having already swiped a bowl. :: Tastes delicious to me. I’ve had much worse. MacFarlane: Response ::Finding her place amongst the others, Caitis (Cayne) who stopped playing the Lute but still continued to hum the tune was finding it easy to integrate and feel comfortable - there were so many strangers but she wasn't Cayne here, plus having Adea - a familiar face helped to. She decided to sit near the Scot, she could tell from her accent - they had a very similar culture after all and that would definitely be a good place to start. She reached out and took a bowl from the larger pot of stew, noticing Genkos giving a smaller bowl to his animal companion.:: Rhone: I have some bread of a sort, could I barter for some stew? A.Sevo: Help yourself. MacFarlane: So, are we stickin’ t’ th’ names we already know each other by, or ‘ave yeh all come up with new ones? A. Sevo: I...hadn’t thought of it. For now, I’m just Ayiana the Mage. T. Sevo: Toran the Righteous! MacFarlane: Well in tha’ case, I am Tasha o’ Clan MacFarlane, fiercest Barbarian in th’ land. Adea: Well, you can call me Genkos, preacher of the faith, healer and this is Toto. ::he barked:: He won’t respond to anything else. Rhone: I am Rhone, The prince’s champion. :: She placed a reassuring hand on the hilt of her falchion. :: A. Sevo: Surprised you didn’t run off with the prince. ::Feeling a bit strange choosing a different name before she came here, Caitris (Cayne), decided to stick to her guns. She was feeling this character and she didn't want to change anything now, before speaking she set down the bowl of stew near her feet. Her hands found the familiarity of the lute again and plucking the strings, taking over from the humming sound.:: Cayne: Well I haven't met some of you - most of you, yet. I am Caitríona Cayne, but for our little adventure - why not call me Caitris, your faithful elven bard. ::She tilted her head to look at the Scottish girl, fighting the instinct to talk to Genkos - she needed to talk to someone she doesn't know, meet new people. That's why she was doing all of this really.:: Cayne: Where in Scotland are you from? MacFarlane: Response Cayne: Oh really? I love Glasgow, it's a beautiful place - and yes, I'm Irish. I am down south near Cobh. ::She nodded with a smile.:: We will have to talk sometime, maybe have a drink after all of this? MacFarlane: Response Adea: So once we’re fed and watered, do we just roam into the forest and see what happens, or do we have a quest? ::That was when her attention was brought to Adea. A quest - it was something that was on her mind too, she was curious what exactly they would be doing, which only added to her excitement.:: A Sevo: I’ve got the program in Sandbox mode for now. Once everyone’s here, I’ll enable questing. We can do just about anything we want here, from saving old ladies from bandits to toppling the Empire. The program is remarkably dynamic. We can just start exploring if we want. I suggest we head down to the nearby village and ask around about any problems. Seems a good way to start. MacFarlane: Response Adea: ::handing round a leather pouch he kept in a thong around his neck:: Anyone want a nip of this before we start. It’s “holy water”. :: Without wasting time, Rhone took Genkos up on his offer, quickly taking a swig of the drink, nearly coughing it back up in the process. The pouch was passed around the group quite quickly. :: Rhone: Consider me blessed. Adea: Bless you child. A. Sevo: Why Father, isn’t drinking a sin? :: She said sarcastically, smirking at Genkos as she took a sip. It burned on the way down, similar to Cory’s moonshine. :: Adea: My backstory doesn't say whether or not I'm a good priest. ::Caitris took the drink next, her left hand coming away from the top of the Lute but her right still plucking away. Seemingly, she was the last person to take a sip from the pouch. Shaking it, it seemed to still be quite full - it was pretty impressive considering how many of them were here.:: Cayne: Is this a magical pouch? ::She asked with a raised eyebrow and smirk on her lips as she handed the pouch back to its owner - completing the circle:: MacFarlane/Adea/Anyone: Response :: Once everyone had arrived and was sufficiently prepared, Ayiana mounted Serenity, who gave a slight neigh. Genkos mounted his own Chestnut, and heaved Toto into his lap. He squirmed and yapped excitedly. Rhone swung and climbed aboard Nakkin, needing to nearly do the splits for the massive warhorse. Caitris (Cayne) disappeared into the edge of the woods and mounted her companion, stepping back into view and now the horse was revealed as it came into the light. His coat was as dark as the shadows of the forest it came from but seemed to shine in the light as it stepped into the open, particularly from the snow which was on its feet. The horse also seemingly, didn't make noise as it trotted, similar to its companion now on it's back. ::She approached the others, she didn't hold onto the reins of the horse - in fact, it seemed he didn't have any. He listened peacefully which she continued to pluck delicately on his back, her melody ever flowing, ever controlling.:: A. Sevo: Computer, disable sandbox and enable questing. ::The chirp of acknowledgement was the only indication that anything had changed. Caitris (Cayne) watched the others as they looked around - particularly, the bigger woman, Rhone. Her hands now began to move faster, the tempo picked up to mark the beginning of their adventure.:: A. Sevo: Alright, let’s go, my merry band of...um… Y’know what, we need a name. ::She slowed the music down again - it wasn't time to go yet, it seemed.:: T. Sevo: The Gorkonites! :: He raised his pipe mace in triumph. He looked around at everyone else, hoping for agreement. :: Anyone? No? Adea: I quite like the Gorkonites. It sounds suitably Arthurian. ::Arthur being an old Terran legend, about whom many many holoscripts had been written.:: MacFarlane/Rhone/Anyone: Response A. Sevo: “Drunk and Disorderly?” Hehe. Rhone: Filthy Casuals….? ::Caitris (Cayne) giggled as they joked about - her laugh, however, blended so well into the music she played, it was barely noticeable.:: MacFarlane/Anyone: Response Adea: Can't we stick to Gorkonites? It's easy to remember, easy on the ear, and it's thematically appropriate. Cayne: I agree - also, I think we should just get on with it. ::She smiled at everyone and plucked at the strings of the lute harder, the tempo picking up again.:: MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response Adea: Let's ride! ::And so they set off - Caitris (Cayne), stuck to the back - after letting down her hood to feel the cold air across her face she smiled, looking around and plucking the strings of the lute in her hand. She began to sing - with the help of the computer, just like had this whole time with the lute..:: Cayne: ::Singing:: Io Ihol atten Eitná neme-vîta sílo dínniël iso olth a fasah lamanto dînea! A Hîro Akumunnûn gilthoniëla, lev lionet ia Cúviël! ::Happily singing - she was distracted. Hearing the noise of the others not of their party too late. She stopped dead in her tracks - her voice silenced, the lute now quiet but tense, the strings sounded strained. A small band of raggedy looking troops appeared. They had filth-encrusted armour, and only a few had any kind of metal swords - the rest carried thick sticks, heavy farming tools and one had a bow. The latter was notching an arrow. They were clearly deserters from some kind of army.:: The Bowman: Stop or I shoot! ::Caitris (Cayne) watched as the big one brought out her weapon - although the action was obscured from their potential rivals, it was visible to Caitris from this angle. A subtle note played, the deception lingering in the air.:: Adea: What do we do now? Fight them? ::Watching as Rhone approached, Caitris (Cayne) watched kept her ears perked up - listening for any danger that could be coming in.:: Rhone: We are the Gorkonites, we quest for glory. Join us or make way. If you attempt to stop us, you’ll be nought but carrion in moments! ::Snap - something caught her attention. A branch, a twig, she wasn't sure but an alarming noise all the same. Her horse picked up on this also and let out a deep huff and the note of deception played again.:: Cayne: It's an ambush! Watch your sides! Adea/Rhone/MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response ::The hand on her Lute now stuck the strings, flicking along them quickly. Danger approached them and a battle was sure to be the outcome. ::Feeling the energy build-up from the loot like it did when she first took it out, this time it was more intense. It felt like electricity crackled around her head, the snapping noises close to her ears, she could feel the hairs on her body stand up and the ones on her head felt like they were trying to do the same. It felt like her hearing was even more amplified now - she could have sworn she heard what sounded like the draw of a string. ::Like an instinct, she let out a scream, her head snapping towards the woods on her right side. The energy seemed to erupt from her causing a force-field made of electricity to appear for a moment, separating their band of fellows from the enemy. Multiple arrows appeared from the woods and struck the field. -ZAP- Like insects hitting those old Terran machines that drew them in and killed them, the arrows fizzled out of existence. The wall fell and from the forest, the Bandits charged.:: Adea/Rhone/MacFarlane/A.Sevo/T.Sevo: Response Bandits: Response -- Ensign Caitríona Cayne Medical USS Gorkon A238808CH0
  23. ((San Fransico Bay, Earth, Dreamscape)) Ed felt the tickle of saltwater foam between his toes as he stared out at the sunset. Light reflected off the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. Ed has always found the name of the historic landmark strange. It was not golden. In fact it reminded him of Mars with its rusty red colour. Ed looked over to his left. Angela sat in the sand, staring the same direction as him. Her normally playful expression was serious, as if she were contemplating the most dire of questions. For just a moment, Angela almost looked like someone else. Another woman? She seemed all at once familiar and yet not. Ed blinked. Angela was back. She was staring at him. Spears: ::Softly:: Are you alright? Heartmier: ::Shaking her head.:: Ed... We promised we’d always be together, right? Spears: We did. He felt a pang of regret. It had been a juvenile thing to promise eternity together in first year. Their love was new, exciting, fresh. But they were more mature now, abs graduation loomed for both of them. What were the odds they would be posted to the same ship? Or at least the same region? Heartmier: That was silly of us wasn’t it? ::A tear rolled down her cheek.:: Spears: Maybe... But first year does that to a person doesn’t it? And Angela, no matter what happens I will never regret a moment spent with you. Heartmier: Me neither. Don’t you ever forget about me Edward Spears. Spears: I won’t. I couldn’t. The couple sat together in the sand as the horizon went from orange to deep red, to black. Ed could feel the weight of Angela’s head on his shoulder as his own silent tears rolled down his cheeks. End. Cdt Edward Spears Starfleet Medical Simmed by Lt Edward Spears, MD Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B C239502ES0
  24. This recent joint post by @Irina Pavlova and @Randal Shayne just absolutely blew me away. I am not afraid to admit that it made me a little misty eyed as I read it. Because NOT ONLY is it a beautifully written piece of scene work by two immensely talented people (people I just so happen to serve with #humblebrag). But it speaks to the amazing dynamics we can find between our characters, as well as just how rich the personal lore/canon people have built here over the years is. Sims like this are precisely why I wanted to join up and I thank y'all so much for allowing me to do so. And thank you for providing me amazing things like this to read. Enjoy. Pavlova: I pulled her marksmanship scores from the academy and they are better than average. Shooting skills aren’t my concern, its her attitude that bothers me. ::Shayne nodded at that, understanding. Waters was obviously dealing with a lot, but the “woe is me” routine had to stop. They were bound for more trouble than any of them were prepared for if she didn’t. Fortunately, her recent chat with the helmswoman gave him a small inkling of hope in the matter. Only time would tell in the end.:: Shayne: You’ll set her right. This isn’t about her shooting. Gotta get her to move past whatever’s holding her back. ::Shayne would not give Pavlova the satisfaction of hearing that he could think of no one better qualified for the job.:: Pavlova: I figured you would say that. By the way, you might want to pick up the pace or you’ll still be here for tomorrow’s shift. Shayne: Sounds kind of relaxing, actually. I could grab a spare cot, and just tear paper away. Rip. Rip. Rip. ::Indeed, for some strange reason, the prospect had a strange sort of appeal. But he could think of no more effective ways to start the rumor mill and earn the captain’s wrath than by spending the night in Pavlova’s security office.:: Pavlova: You want a drink? We are off duty now, and by your sluggish pace you’ve got at least another hour or two of work ahead of you. ::Generally speaking, Shayne was not a big drinker. It didn’t agree with his temperamental stomach, and it didn’t do favors for his head, either. But it had become something of a tradition between the two of them recently. At first, it was a matter of relaxation. Then it was a matter of medication. Now it was… what? Tradition? He wasn’t sure he knew anymore. But considering the fact that he still had no idea what was waiting for him in the box, he could think of no better way to steel himself.:: ::He turned his head to accept the proposal, but Pavlova was already up and grasping several objects from inside a… was that a freezer? She brought them back to the desk, and Shayne looked at her in untempered astonishment, tinged with a drop of jealousy.:: Shayne: You know, I seen me a mermaid once. I’ve even seen a shark eat an octopus. But I ain’t never seen no phantom Russian minibar. ::The first officer watched as his frenemy poured a reasonable amount into the glass before Shayne, and then forego any pretense of civility by filling her cup to the brim.:: Pavlova: Nostrovia! Shayne: Skol! ::Shayne took a small sip of his vodka as Pavlova downed hers with the experience of someone who’d done it often. The stuff was noxious to Shayne, but he would not be outdrunk by Irina. He braced himself, and knocked back the rest of it, trying desperately not to appear in pain as his esophagus swiftly turned to liquid.:: Shayne: Well, if it’s a rabid vole, at least I’ll be able to laugh at it now. ::Nevertheless, he quickened his pace. If he stayed here too much longer, Irina might feel the need to pour them both another shot, and whether he ended up enjoying it or not, the result would not be good at all. Still careful to keep count, he began tearing at the paper in earnest.:: ::Irina saw him speed up his pace and couldn’t help but smile, then downed the rest of her drink and filled it up again.:: Pavlova: That’s the spirit! ::He tore and tore and tore, and got passed two hundred, and very narrowly missed tearing the oddly folded… something. Curious, he carefully removed it, and looked at it. This was no rabid vole. This was no Jack-in-the-Box. This was… an old piece of paper. Very old by the looks of it. On it was the sigil of the NX-02, and on the bottom… Commodore Vittorio Moretti USS Columbia, Commanding Shayne looked at Pavlova, eyes wide.:: Shayne: Now, wait just a minute… ::Either this really was an elaborate prank, or Pavlova was actually giving him something truly, substantially valuable. Something unique.:: Pavlova: What? You haven’t seen linen paper before? ::He honestly didn’t know what to feel. If this was a joke, he was going to feel mighty foolish. But he had a feeling this was more. And if it was…:: Shayne: ::Quietly.:: Is this real? Pavlova: I don’t know, how much did you drink? Of course it’s real., but its also still wrapped, so keep unwrapping. ::He knew the feel of what he was touching, and with a final tear, beheld the contents. Inside was a vibrantly colored, fully embroidered patch. The dark blue and red trim circled the image of an old Earth starship, and the words along the edge boldly proclaimed “Columbia.” On the bottom was Latin, and though he’d taken several years of it in school, he needed none of it to speak the motto emblazoned on the bottom.:: Shayne: “Fortune favors the bold.” Irina, this is… incredible. Pavlova: I know, right. I mean, of course it is. ::Shayne tried to frown at her words, but he couldn’t. It was absolutely gorgeous.:: Shayne: How the hell did you know I collected patches? I haven’t told anyone that here. Pavlova: What kind of detective would I be if I couldn’t find out all of your secrets? ::Shayne’s eyes squinted at her shrewdly. He kept his secrets very close to the chest, thank you very much, and he disliked the thought of Pavlova having anything on him, however innocuous.:: ::But the patch was really nice.:: ::As he ruffled further, he found the rank pips for a 22nd century lieutenant commander, and pulled them out slowly as well. He held it in his hand, sighing gently. It was gorgeous. Patches were his hobby, but rank and insignia of any sort stoked his fire.:: Shayne: All my secrets? Nah. But you’ve found the important one. ::Irina was very happy to know she still had it.:: Pavlova: I guess that means I won’t be transferring to Janitorial, which is what I was planning if my detective work had been poor. ::But there was more. On the bottom was a heavier package, and unwrapping it revealed… a jacket. No, Shayne realized. Not just any jacket. A certain dark brown leather affair. And on the side… was another Columbia patch.:: Shayne: Oh, no way. Pavlova: When mine was issued, I bought an extra for …., for someone important to me. Since I returned and learned of his oO and EVERYONE ELSE’S Oo passing, I’ve just kept it in storage. I know how much affection you have for your Columbia, so I thought you would appreciate this piece of my Columbia. ::The rivalry, or whatever it was, lay forgotten in that moment.:: Shayne: This is absolutely incredible. Thank you. ::He tried not to offer thanks too readily- in his experience, it was all too easy to confuse appreciation with an excuse from reciprocation. But here, there really wasn’t much else to say.:: Pavlova: I’m glad you like it. When you wear it, I hope it brings you good memories of your friends from your Columbia, and those who came before. ::She had meant the gift just as a simple movement of an item, from someone who no longer needed it, to someone she knew would treasure it, but memories got the better of her and a tear slid down from her left eye, over her cheek and then down onto her shirt.:: Pavlova: Too many of us never finished our tour. 36 went down to the surface of Kjenta II, but only four came back. ::She didn’t mention those rescued a few years later on the Thunder and not disclosed to Starfleet for their own protection.:: Pavlova: 48 went into stasis, and only 12 came out. Out of all of us, only two are still in Starfleet. ::Another tear, this time from her right eye, and again ignored.:: Pavlova: That jacket was meant for Katya’s father. I didn’t know I was pregnant when we shipped out, and we’d only been intimate the one night before, but we were best friends, inseparable since before either of us could even crawl. I was two months older, and Dimitri lived two doors down in our apartment building in St. Petersburg and my grandmother used to take care of both us while our parents worked. He was closer than my own brother and sister, but when the time came to join the defense forces, I was selected for recon sniper and he for navigation. ::She wiped a finger across her left eye, catching the forming tear before it could fall. She turned slightly away and took the opportunity to refill her glass and his, careful again to pour his very short to just one shot while actually overflowing her own by a few drops.:: Pavlova: Damn. Sometimes its all just a little too… ::She turned back, eyes slightly redder than usual and raised her glass.:: Pavlova: To those who didn’t come back, either completely or in part. Vittorio Moretti, Nicholas Lennon, Lan Treng, Prea Rashingham, Bill Thomas, Joan Hudson, Naomi Sakamura, … :: she went through the entire list, unerringly, of everyone who set sail with her that 20th of July in the year 2169.:: Pavlova: Gregori Stetlin, Eva Hauser, Graciela Solis, ::beat:: and an impossibly young Irina Pavlova. ::With the list complete, she raised her glass an inch or so, then downed it all again.:: ::Shayne watched, his elation taking on a grim stoicism. In a way, he almost wished he’d been there, if only to offer some kind of comfort to Pavlova. Would she take it if he offered? Would anything be served by commiserating? What could he do to make her feel the slightest bit better about her trauma? Nothing, he decided. There was nothing he could do, and it tasted like the bitterest ash. He had never subscribed to that mentality before, but in the face of grief like this, loneliness like this, of a sort that he could barely get his head around, nothing he could say would do much. Even trying to put himself in her shoes seemed like an insult of the highest order. So he simply sat there, uncomfortable but ready to listen, and found the slightest scrap of comfort in seeing that this person was a person. Not invulnerable. Not godlike. A person. And that he could drink to, shared experiences or no. He lifted his glass.:: Shayne: To the impossibly old one as well. ::Holding her with his eyes, he downed his glass again, enduring the stinging sensation as a rite of passage and enjoying an act that bore weight.:: Pavlova: Yeah, her too. ::Her voice was soft, another tear rolled down, but there was something more, a hint of a smile.:: Pavlova: You would have liked them. ::She poured them both more of the no-longer-ice-cold vodka and proceeded to tell him about those who had come before until far too late and far too many shots.:: LtCmdr Irina Pavlova Chief of Security, USS Eagle Author ID O238908HA0 And Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne First Officer USS Eagle NCC 74659 G239202RS0
  25. ((Saeihraoi Estate, Rator III)) ::The grand estate was nestled into the thick, coniferous forest, a vast manor house surrounded by pristine gardens that changed with every season, all perched on the shores of a crystal lake. Centuries old, it had always been a stronghold of the ancient house-clan Saeihraoi. After the destruction of Romulus, it had become its beating heart, perfectly positioned for its scions to wield their considerable influence in the new capital of the Star Empire. ::As his subordinate completed his report, the patrician stepped away from the window, the long black and indigo fabric of his senatorial robes sweeping across the marbled floor. His dark brows were the only hair on his head, a clean-shaven scalp highlighting a strong jaw and pale green eyes. He carried himself with a predatory grace and military precision, a statesman who had served his time in the trenches, his ambitions and intellect now turned toward politics and power.:: Traian: Disappointing, Khaiell. No schematics, no Nei'rrh, and we have lost our asset aboard the Gorkon. Hardly your usual standard of work. ::The younger man bowed his head in respect, briefly pressing a closed fist to the centre of his chest. Disappointing was am extraordinarily gentle way of phrasing it; he had failed to achieve any of his goals, and what's more, he had cost his lord and house-clan in the process. Years of prior loyal and successful service were the only reason he was still permitted to draw breath.:: Khaiell: No, my Lord. My apologies. I was not prepared for, ::he grimaced, a distant echo of pain in his shoulder,:: how capable they were. ::The apology was accepted with a nod, the explanation with a smile. A swell of pride and amusement blossomed in the older Romulan's chest, warming him through; of all the reasons for his agent to fail, that alone was the pleasing one. With a gesture, they began to walk through the vaulted corridors of the mansion, Traian's robes whispering across the polished floors, Khaiell's boots a soft, echoing thud.:: Traian: Perhaps we should take both instruction and pride in that. You are fully recovered? Khaiell: I am. ::After some considerable efforts at the hands of the surgeons, no doubt. The daughter of Llaiira t'Sienelis hadn't just dislocated his shoulder, but completely incapacitated it, fracturing bone, tearing ligaments, and severing nerves in a single, vicious move. She might have left the Empire, but its lessons remained close to her heart. Inconvenient for Khaiell, but perhaps promising for the future.:: Traian: Good. Then where do we stand? Khaiell: The Gorkon has returned to Earth with the schematics for the ih'fvullhajun eiyyha. Admiral Reynolds was also successful in having the charges dismissed, and it is unlikely we will be able to pursue that avenue again. Traian: That woman continues to both infuriate and delight. ::He steepled his hands together, pointing down, jewelled rings gleaming on his fingers. Indeed, Starfleet would not be so readily duped a second time now that Reynolds had shone a light on the lie. But perhaps the attempt hadn't been a complete waste of time and resources. Seeds of doubt had been sown, a lesson driven home, a little Romulan stray reminded that she just didn't belong. ::A knife driven into the flesh, to be twisted at just the right moment.:: Khaiell: It is rare to find a human with such... cunning. Traian: Quite. It was not a trivial thing, installing someone aboard her starship. ::He arched an elegant, upswept eyebrow.:: The Marshall boy was an opportunity that won't easily come again. Replacing him will be much more challenging. ::He did not need to be more direct than that, the tenured retainer more than capable of hearing the order. Khaiell inclined his head in a nod, his able mind already running ahead.:: Khaiell: I will see it done. ::Just as soon as he figured out how, of course. There were indications that Reynolds had known of Marshall's dubious allegiances from the start, though at least his connection to the Empire had been obfuscated through the Syndicate. Finding another available agent who could be inserted aboard the Gorkon without raising any suspicions was a mountain to climb, to put it mildly.:: Traian: I have every confidence that you will not disappoint me again. ::He left that hanging in the air just long enough before dismissing the subject in favour of another.:: Now, tell me of this tedious business in the Typhon Sector. Khaiell: It is unclear exactly how the Red Star came to be over a hundred light years away from its original route, :;that earned him a raised eyebrow,:: but it appears that Commander T'Kona is involved. We believe he engineered the theft in order to acquire the quantum slipstream drive, and he appears to have delivered the passengers to D'Lore. ::A man such as Traian had a stern constitution. He had seen war, seen the terrible things that sentient species were capable of inflicting upon one another. He had done some of them himself, and given such orders to many others. But he knew of D'Lore, and he didn't have to imagine what fate had befallen the passengers. Pointless, cruel experimentation. Bioweapons that had no purpose or place in warfare; not just ethically, but practically. ::With the vast distances between the stars, plagues did not spread easily between worlds. One might be able to wipe out some backwater colony that no one really cared about, but the core worlds? The Federation would swarm with its hospital ships, evacuating the healthy and quarantining the sick, while any fool with a transporter and a spare half hour could update the biofilters. ::Unsubtle. Imprecise. A waste of resources. The weapon of choice for those who had not the foresight, talent or finesse for the fine art of war. No wonder T'Kona was drawn to it.:: Traian: Why would he— ::A despairing sigh escaped the lungs of the patrician, and he shook his head while Khaiell offered a look of professional sympathy. The man actually thought that the Federation was installing the drive on its passenger liners before his own people had even mastered the technology. It couldn't be that no one would trust a brute like him with a slipstream ship, it had to be that the Empire had not yet mastered the technology. A tragic example of one man's short-sighted hubris.:: Traian: Perhaps T'Kona will oblige and get himself killed, and save me the trouble and expense of an assassination. How anyone that boorish managed to acquire a command, I will never know. Stealing passenger liners and murdering civilians, ::he shook his head.:: Unnecessary. Crude. Banal. ::His retainer nodded in agreement. Khaiell was the knife in the dark, the poison in the wine, a creature of specific and subtle death. Why destroy an entire population, when the removal of a single soul could so often achieve the same aim?:: Khaiell: That said, we may be able to turn it to our advantage. Traian: Go on. Khaiell: While the Federation is distracted with the Red Star incident, it could give us the opportunity to take action on Væron. Tensions have been building within the colony and it is only a matter of time before Starfleet takes an interest. ::The observation earned Khaiell a smile, the senator seeing where his mind was going. Væron was an unremarkable colony of no strategic importance. At least, it hadn't been, until it was realised that it was a source of benamite. Unfortunately, this realisation had occurred after it had seceded in the wake of Hobus and welcomed a significant Federation presence to its surface in a crafty manoeuvre to ward off a forcible Imperial repatriation.:: Traian: But before they do, it provides us with an opening to welcome our wayward Republic cousins back into the tender arms of the Star Empire. After all, we can protect them from the grasping predations of the Federation. ::He nodded, gesturing further down the corridor, to where his luxurious office awaited and scheming could be done in comfort.:: Come, Khaiell. Let me summon my son, and we shall talk more on this... fin -- Traian i-Ra'tleihfi e-Valai tr'Saeihraoi Senator & Lord of the House-Clan Saeihraoi Romulan Star Empire & Khaiell ir-Rator e-Terrh tr'Saeihraoi Knife in the Dark Romulan Star Empire simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
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