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  1. Aly - I know I'm writing this scene with you, but I want you to know that you are doing a wonderful job of realistically portraying Sheila and her struggles. Your narrative here is growing ever stronger, and more compelling and I am so engaged in her struggles. You have done a fantastic job! <3 OOC - This sim has mention of abuse, not graphic. All thoughts and opinions are of that of my character. ((CO’s Office – The Hub – StarBase 118)) Bailey: It should. Sheila knew that she was sliding backwards. When she left home for the academy she didn’t have a reminder of her Uncle. Maybe that was because she was getting used to a whole new level of gravity. Her Uncle didn’t even come up when she was first posted to Federation starship. She guessed that her mind had just been strong for too long and it was finally time to face what he had done to her. Overall she was in a constant internal battle where she had a desire to be strong. That was now coming up against that small voice in her head that threw back everything her Uncle said to her; put it right back into her face. Taybrim: ::Gently:: And why would you say that? Bailey: I’ve struggled, in my younger years, to not believe all the abusive things my Uncle told me. Not hurt myself in similar ways. Sal nodded, showing that he was listening. Sheila appreciated that. Taybrim: That is one of the most difficult things you will grapple with. But you can overcome it. Could she overcome what he had done to her? In a way it would always be with her but she could get to a point that it would no longer bother her, that the thoughts would no longer come up and that she would no longer feel she would have to tell her commanding officers what had happened. Those thoughts didn’t come as a surprise to her. She knew the medical science behind what she was going through as she studied it in her training. Sal however made it all that much more real. He spoke reassuringly. He didn’t sugar coat anything. Bailey: I feel that if someone tells you, you are a failure so many times one can not only start believing that but acting like that as well. Taybrim: It is, most unfortunately, a natural part of a being’s ability to learn that means that if you are taught something with enough repetition – including a destructive lie, that the brain will pick up that pattern and absorb it. You are not weak for that, you are simply sentient and capable of learning – a trait that your abuser took advantage of. Sheila was now feeling very uncomfortable. She had told other people but never in this much detail. It physically hurt. Not like the panic she felt during the mission but much more like someone was squeezing her. She pulled off her sweater leaving it on the floor by her chair. She also realized that yes her Uncle had taken advantage of her. He took advantage of her in so many different ways. He had told her that no one other than him would want her. That she couldn’t outshine others; that would draw too much attention to her. Lead to mistakes. And everytime she did something he didn’t approve of he showed her physically that she had messed up. Usually what he did was pull at her hair and throw her around. It would give her a loss of control. These uncomfortable thoughts had her telling her friend, who was sitting across from her, about the worst thing he had done to her. Bailey: I have a permanent reminder of what he did. Under her sweater she was wearing a simple white tank top which made it easier for her to show Sal the small white but still visible scar that she has on her upper spine. She turned around in her chair to do so. The scar didn’t hurt anymore but it left a slight phantom pain anytime she brushed her fingers along it. She was only glad that it was in a hard to reach location as well as in a place that she couldn’t see when she looked in the mirror. Bailey: You see that there? That small white scar? He did that to me and it won’t go away. ::her voice sounded desperate:: Taybrim: I am so very sorry, Sheila. ::His voice was tender, soft.:: No one deserves to have that sort of pain and abuse done to them. No one deserves to have that reminder carried with them. No one as bright or as compassionate as you ever deserves to have their world twisted by an abuser. I am so very sorry. Sal wasn’t faking his honest sympathy. Bailey: I know I don’t deserve what he did to me. ::she turned to get more comfortable in her seat:: I just...feel like I’m stuck in this endless loop of failure. It feels hopeless right now. Taybrim: No ::He shook his head gently, watching her move back into a more comfortable position.:: I don’t think it is hopeless or that you will fail in your career. I think you are farther along the path to recovery than you think you are, but I also know that yes, the road ahead is difficult. Bailey: It’s going to be hard. I know that for a hard cold fact. I studied about the subject in medical school. It’s however not the same thing as fighting the criminals of Starfleet. We go after then as we have strong evidence as to them committing criminal acts. My Uncle, he not only hurt me but after he would tell me how good I was or how much I wanted it. Words like that. Working in Starfleet was easy as they had clear reasons to go after the people they did. Bailey herself knew that the “death fog” was deadly based on its chemical makeup, so in her mind it was a clear black line of bad. With her Uncle however he seemed to go back and forth between black and white so quickly and easily that she wasn’t sure if it really was his intention to hurt her. What she later learned was that yes he did have a reason to hurt her and her sisters. Of course he hurt them less then her but that never made that any easier. Taybrim: I believe in you. I know you can do this. Again, you’ve already taken the first step – you recognize what your Uncle did and you called it out – abuse. You can see it, and you can talk to people about it – that’s not easy and it shows you are strong and brave. Sal’s tone was firm, reassuring. Bailey: I’ve told those I felt had a right to know. I still find it hard to tell myself that I was told lies my whole life. Even when I do it doesn’t make it better. Taybrim: You learned these abusive things through repetition, continually being taught them. You can unlearn them through repetition and continually being taught something else. And, you’re right – simply telling yourself that it’s a lie won’t help. You can know that it’s a lie and still feel those emotional welling within you because you’ve been taught that guilt and shame by a horrible person. You have to unlearn those basic responses. The Elaysian woman hardly knew what to say at that. In all honesty she felt a bit choked up. Her body was cold but if she put her sweater back on she felt like she would overheat. With that she left her sweater on the floor. It was a silence that seemed to stretch on forever. Sheila could feel the anticipation of what Sal was going to say. Throughout their conversation it was the first time she hadn’t spoken which got her mind thinking in a million different directions. Taybrim: This may be the hardest part for you. You are a medical officer, a compassionate soul who is dedicated to caring for others. But you need to re-establish your own sense of self beyond what your Uncle taught you. That means setting up a sense of self-preservation where you reinforce the self you believe in when your Uncle’s voice haunts you. ::He leaned forward a bit to explain.:: The reason this will feel so difficult for you is because you will need to be a little selfish. You may not be able to endure other’s emotional trauma while you are protecting yourself and re-establishing a new sense of self outside of your Uncle’s abuse. Sheila Bailey didn’t completely freak out at Sal’s words. From the tension she felt she thought he was going to tell her that she was going to have to step away from Starfleet for a time. If she left she was going to break down fully no doubt about it. But was that what Sal was meaning? She wasn't sure. Sheila figured that he didn’t but thinking about it she in fact didn’t know. Her brain was torn between what she knew and what she felt. In the end her feelings won out. Her feelings won out to the point that she started tearing up. Bailey: You're not asking me to quit my job are you? Taybrim: Response Bailey: I...I don’t understand. Taybrim: Response Bailey: Okay..Okay..::Sheila was taking deep breaths as she spoke. Her breath was shaky however, making her feel slightly more uncomfortable:: Let me backup. My Uncle abused me. That is a fact. Sheila was trying to recap some of what they had talked about in order to try and understand what Sal, her friend, was asking her. Make sure those feelings that had her thinking she was going to have to quit could lose. If she broke it down then they would lose and she would be left knowing what she knew all along. That Sal was only asking her to limit herself and know her boundaries. And throughout their conversation he was guiding her through finding herself in a way that didn’t connect to her abuser. Taybrim: Response Bailey: I know it could affect my work, not that I’m going to let it. I am a compassionate person and work strongly in helping others. You’ve just got my brain fighting against my heart. I know your not asking or even telling me to quit right? Taybrim: Response As she listened to the man in front of her talk she went about wiping her eyes, her breathing slowing. She had just been confronted with her biggest fear but she knew the right outcome even through the confusion. Sheila was glad that she had taken a step back and asked for clarification. Bailey: Thank you. I’m just so scared. How do I move forward when I work in medicine? Taybrim: Response TBC/TAG Lieutenant JG Sheila Bailey Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239512BG0
  2. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time! 🤣 Great job, Nyka! ========================================== ((USS Juneau - Sickbay)) Wyss: I gotta know… gotta know if it worked. There was no way she was going to rest until she found out if the syphon was a success. There was also no way she could fight the hands that were ushering her back to the biobed. All she could do to resist was kind of cling to the person so that she didn’t take an embarrassing nose dive straight to the floor. Bellweather:::pulling the blanket up:: Relax Kid, Cadfael has things well in hand, we're all safe'n'sound...thanks to you ::squeezing her shoulder. As soon as Nyka hit the biobed, she gave up the fight and reached for her aching head. Wyss: Uhhgn… why do I feel like I drank the warp core? Bellweather:::smirking:: more like swam through it Luv. ::patting her arm:: you're lucky Karise was here, she saved your life. The use of Doctor Indobri’s first name caused a hiccup in Nyka’s brain for a split second. Personally, Nyka had never called the Rodulan Karise so it took a moment to figure out who she was talking about. That alone added to the crap factor of how she felt. Wait… what the hell was a Cadfael? Was it an acronym for something? Was this dark haired woman named Cadfael? There were so many questions running through the Nyka’s fried head in that singular moment, but she was only able to pluck the most important one from the muck. Wyss: What happened? Indobri: oO You died! That’s what happened! Oo The engineer winced at the painful words. Each one seemed to pierce her skull like a stabby little icepick. The origin of the voice wasn’t clear, but she gathered it was her own conscious yelling at how stupid she had been. Bellweather:::raising a brow:: Outstanding question. I'm not a hundred percent sure what happened but the CHENG was able to keep us from blowing up. As for you, you're out of immediate danger, but will need a lot of rest. My hope is there is no permanent damage ::smiling warmly:: time will tell. Cheng? Was that a person? No, not Cheng. THE CHENG. The Chief Engineer. They had a Chief Engineer? Since when? Just how long had she been unconscious? Wyss: ::sighing:: Ugh. Nothing makes sense... She was trying to recall the events in the M/ARA, but the fragmented information she was hearing only made things more fuzzy and confusing. Nyka’s tone was lit with a heavy shadow of gloom. Her brain felt like it was in a thick fog. Bellweather:::holding her hand:: Hey, I'm right here and so is Karise. ::squeezing her hand:: I don't give up on my patients and I don't expect them to give up on themselves. ::smiling:: You're never alone. Wyss’s hazel eyes drifted up to the… was she a doctor or a nurse? There were two full pips on her collar. She was a Lieutenant. Bingo! That had to count for something. But having come from a place where medical types weren’t to be trusted, Nyka found herself reverting back to that way of thinking. In that moment she actually found herself wishing that Indobri was there, even if it meant tip-toeing around awkward subjects. Wyss: You sound like a stalker. A flat joke. It was the best she could muster to hide her uncertainty about the woman, and well… every-damn-thing. Bellweather:::laughing:: I may have gotten a little jingoistic ::winking:: all the best Doctors do Kid. ::smiling warmly:: As for you just sit back and rest, the Ship is fine, so I'm giving you permission to focus on yourself. ::digging into a pocket:: Here take this and I'll be right back with something for you to drink ::holding out another blue lollipop:: Trust me I'm The Doctor. That answered that question. She was a Doctor. Her name was Doctor Cadfael. Nyka absently twisted the stick of the blue lollipop in her fingers, and then gave a lopsided frown at the cartoon Band-Aid on the back of her hand. She almost smiled at it, but pulled her gaze toward a familiar voice. Indobri: Well, look who has returned to the land of the living! The smile Nyka gave her was soft and welcoming. She was actually grateful to the Rodulan for the humor, and a great many other things. Indobri: You know, if you wanted to get my attention, all you needed to do was buy me a few drinks. Stopping your heart probably wasn’t the best choice. Was Indobri flirting with her, or was Nyka delusional? It was probably best to give a neutral reply. Wyss: Sorry about that. She looked down at the lollipop, and then it registered what was said. Wyss: Wait, did I die? Indobri: ? Nyka was entirely buying it. She remembered passing out a couple of times, but dead? Wyss: Like… a little dead? Or a lot dead? You mean, somewhere in-between dead and not-dead? Like undead? Indobri: ? Wyss: Oh. That kinda sucks. Yep. That sounded seriously serious. The redhead paused in thought and then gradually started to ease a smile. It was customary in her universe to do one thing every time something like this happened. Wyss: So, good news. That makes today officially my new birthday thanks to you. There will be a mandatory party when I get out of here. That definitely wasn’t the standard reaction after having left this plane of existence. Usually somebody might pause and reflect, or somber at their own mortality. Maybe it would hit her harder later, but right now she was feeling pretty dang lucky. She held up a finger to stop any comments. Wyss: But for now… can you sit with me for a moment? oO Don’t say no, don’t say no, don’t say no. Oo There was something she needed to say, and if she waited any longer it was just going to become awkward again. What was coming probably was a bit of a reflection on her life, or better yet a correction. Indobri: ? The redhead scooted over on the bed allowing a space for her to sit. There was a moment of hesitation, mostly to gather her nerve, but also to find some strength physically and mentally to put the words together. Conversation wasn’t exactly easy to produce, but if she didn’t say it now, then it might not ever get said. Wyss: I’m… oO Don’t be an [...], just say it. Oo Wyss: I’m sorry for the way I left things the other morning, ::frown:: and every day after. Like ripping off the Klingon band-aid on her hand. Fast and more painful than it’s supposed to be. Indobri: ? Wyss: Wait, just let me finish. ::beat:: I like you. Like, really like you, and I enjoyed our night together. ::blushing:: Like, really enjoyed it. Oh, for frak’s sake she sounded like a stupid teenage girl. She quickly ran a hand over her face in frustration. This was going poorly. Time to make a course correction. Wyss: Okay, I’m just going to lay it all out. I suck at relationships. I avoid them like the plague. They usually end horribly for me, and I freaked out the other morning because well… If I’m being honest, I don’t usually stick around that long afterwards. Not that I do that kind of thing a lot, but… oh hell. ::it just went from weird to humiliating:: Forget that last part. So here it is, I’d like to get to know you better, and I don’t know maybe we just don’t label it anything right now. You know, in case… I don’t know whatever. ::beat:: That sounded better in my head, and this was a bad idea, and I was dead so I’m not sure what I’m saying. You probably have patients to check on. There. That was an easy out for both of them. Ensign Nyka Wyss Engineering Officer USS Juneau Author ID I238301T10
  3. @Dassa Alexander-Dalton I thoroughly enjoyed all of the descriptions in this sim! I found it thoroughly gripping and I just wished I could keep reading. So intense! ((Outside the Service Entrance, Conference Center)) ((Short Timeskip)) The closer they got to the place where Lyra had last seen the assailant, the more nervous she became. Her gaze flickered around the area near constantly, looking for anything that could be used as a weapon in case she needed to defend herself. She was more likely to [...] them off than to do any real damage, but at the very least she could provide a temporary distraction while someone with more training incapacitated them. She jumped at the sound of voices around her. She’d been so lost in thought that she had forgotten who was around her. th’Koro: Doctor, you okay? Journs: ::exhales a shaky sigh:: I’m fine. This whole situation was making her very nervous. They were all exposed and there was no way to predict the lengths the spy would go to in order to keep from being found out. Clearly, whoever it was had a poor moral compass and likely wouldn’t think anything of killing anyone who got in their way. Journs: ::to Lyra:: Through that entrance? Tralan: Response th’Koro: Looks good to me. Thoran: Let us continue then. Remember, keep your guard up and watch for anything. Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val / Tralan: Response Her ears perked up at a clicking sound from the door and she heard shuffling that sound like someone dragging something along the floor. She turned to her commanding officer who was putting in a good deal of effort to open the door. She allowed Amuro to enter first before she followed behind. The others were behind her. A faint chirp caught her attention and she turned. A commbadge. th’Koro had been on the verge of entering the room apparently when it had sounded. Kiax: =/\= Kiax to Lieutenant Knight, Ensign Lephi and Ensign th’Koro; I have a request to make of the three of you. =/\= While th’Koro took the comm call, Ishka took the opportunity to study the room they were in. Nothing about it really stood out beyond the posters along the walls. However, she was too distracted by her thoughts to pay much attention to the contents. They were in a semi-dark room with no way of defending themselves. th’Koro: You probably heard that, sir. With permission I will need to head to the MSD and complete the shutdown. Without the virus, it is unlikely that the spy can complete their mission. She grimaced, feeling even more nervous. Of the group, the Captain, th’Koro, R’Val and McKnight were their most experienced fighters. Having one of them depart, regardless of the reason, increased the chances whoever they were tracking could cause one of them injury before they even knew what was happening. Thoran: Carry on Mr. th’Koro. Stay safe and keep comms open. Watching th’Koro leave, she felt her heart jump to her throat and her stomach plummet. She released a shaky exhalation in an attempt to calm her nerves. Her first semester at the Academy had been rough. The officer put in charge of her group of incoming cadets had given no quarter. She’d always suspected that he’d been applying pressure to see if she’d quit. A few around her had packed their bags for home within the first week. Some had lasted a few weeks longer, but in the end they’d done the same. The recruiters had put stars in their eyes with promises of exploring and meeting new species. However, those realities quickly dissolved as they learned just what they were committing to when they’d signed their papers. She’d come from a world of order and peace, so naturally hearing about the wars and incidents throughout the galaxy over the centuries had been a shock. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she really didn’t have much of a home to return to, she’d have likely followed in the footsteps of the departed. Studying their current surroundings, she had the distinct feeling that was nothing to what she could come face to face with here. This was a real danger. It wasn’t some holodeck or battle simulation. Lives were really on the line here. Thoran: Lyra, do you recall which direction they headed in? The Captain’s voice drew her attention back to the situation at hand and she mentally shook the thoughts from her mind. She had a duty to perform and couldn’t afford distractions. Tralan: Response Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val: Response She followed silently, reaching for the tricorder holstered at her side. They hadn’t brought weapons, but as a medical officer, a tricorder was an essential piece of equipment. Her medical kit was back in their suite should they need it. It was her sincere hope that they didn’t. The sound of shattering glass caused her to wince. It was loud, but not loud enough to keep her from gauging the distance. She stopped, listening closely for any other sounds that would give more clues as to what had broken the glass. There were voices, distant and indistinguishable, but they were there nonetheless. Her gaze narrowed as she tried to determine from the timber and the tone if they were male or female. Thoran: Any idea what that room is? Tralan: Response Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val: Response She saw the Captain’s gaze shift in the direction of the sound and her grip tightened on the tricorder. A glance at it revealed two lifeforms, but something was interfering with the device’s ability to get a clear read on their physiology and their exact location. The others lined up alongside the wall beside the door and she followed suit, adjusting the settings on her tricorder all the while keeping an ear out for trouble. A loud noise disrupted her focus and she looked up. It all happened so quickly that she wasn’t entirely sure what had occurred until she looked down to find the captain lying on the floor in a pool of liquid. Her eyes widened and she sucked in a sharp breath as she scanned the liquid with her tricorder. Blood. Journs: ::to the others:: He’s bleeding heavily. We have to move quickly. ::to Tralan:: Look around for some kind of clean fabric to apply pressure and slow the bleeding. Tralan: Responses Journs: ::to McKnight and R’Val:: I need something sterile to create an incision and something to cauterize the wound. Something hot. McKnight / R’Val: Response Journs: ::to Bjørge:: I left my medkit in our suite. Run as fast as you can to get it. It has medicines that we need. Keep an open comm line. Bjørge: Response As the others got to work on their tasks, she studied the captain and noted a tear in his uniform on his abdomen. Grabbing the edges, she used her strength to rend the fabric to get a clear look at the injury. Journs: oO Sorry, sir. I’ll replace it out of my rations. Oo She exhaled slowly, trying to focus. There was a lot of blood. Studying the dispersal, it was mostly from the abdominal wound. She’d been worried that some came from the collision of his head onto the hard floor. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t hemorrhaging there. Picking up her tricorder again, she began scanning his body for injuries. It wasn’t as detailed as a medical tricorder, but it would have to do until Ensign Bjørge returned with her kit. She noted all of the landmark symptoms of intracranial bleeding, but due to the severity of his injuries, she just couldn’t be sure until she either had a medical tricorder in her hand or until she beamed him back to the ship for a more detailed analysis of his condition. Journs: ::taps her commbadge:: =/\= Journs to Serala. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: =/\= The Captain has sustained serious injuries. I’m still working on determining the extent of them. But there’s a lot of blood. He needs to be stabilized quickly and beamed back to the ship. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: =/\= He might very well need surgery. If I had the weapon that caused the injury, it would go a long way toward determining what happened. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: ::nods:: =/\= Understood. Journs out. =/\= ::turns to the others:: How’s it coming? We really need to hurry before he bleeds out. Tralan / McKnight / R’Val: Response Bjørge (if present): Response --- Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs, XnP/GS Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Atlantis, NCC-74682 I238110RH0
  4. As a HCO officer, I dig procedural sims - it's great to see how the ship ticks over. This post by our talented Chief Engineer @Sirok and mighty marine @Wes Greaves ticks lots of boxes for me. I like the inter-departmental collaboration, the fact that we see a team struggle to get the basics right and two department leads having to figure it out for the benefit of the ship! Nice one! ((Marine Quarterdeck, Deck 9, USS Thor)) The quarterdeck was oddly quiet for being mid-morning on a duty day. Hannibal’s reassignment had been abrupt and equally as shocking to the Marines as the move to the Thor. Despite the ever present need to train, the detachment had gathered to give the Major the proper send off he deserved before his departure. For yet another morning after their last mission, Wes regretted the alcohol related decisions of the previous night. Come to think of it, most of the detachment was probably regretting the choices of the previous night. Wes whistled softly to himself, and immediately stopped as the piercing noise caused a shooting pain in his head. Reading a training report on his padd, he was enjoying the abnormal quiet of the quarterdeck. The Marines were hardly rowdy in the near sacred room, but it was uncommon to be able to hear the dull hum of the engines so clearly. The man was lost in his own thoughts, no longer focused on reading the words on the device, when a notification caused the padd to beep and vibrate softly. Puzzled upon receiving a message from the newly appointed Chief Engineer, Wes opened the communique and read through it quickly. Wes looked up from the padd and gave a mental shrug. Now was as good of a time as any to run such drills. Well maybe not this specific moment, with most of the detachment hung over. Regardless, most of the crew would be in reduced working hours or off ship. The officer looked up across the quarterdeck to the empty office once occupied by Major Parker. The reassignment had been so sudden, no one had spoken to Wes about the change of command. He was reluctant to occupy the office intended for the Detachment Commander until someone told him he was the new boss. Even so, Wes was the ranking Marine aboard the ship now, and as Commander of Troops, it was his call to make. ((Main Engineering, Deck 20, USS Thor)) Sirok was waiting in engineering for Greaves. The activity in the huge chamber seemed to be what it should be. All the repairs had only been completed a few days ago. They had been exhausting. After them, the engineers had had to take mandatory shifts, including the chief engineer, in order to get back to normal, physically and mentally. Once the repairs were completed, the space in the cargo bays where the Azcou and the colonists had been, could also be fully recovered. Therefore, the cargo bay the Marines had assigned themselves had to be shared. At the time Ensign Sirok simply told him that given the small space of a starship it was practically impossible for anyone to be assigned such a large space. For the same reason he had to talk to the captain one day about the bowling alley, it was totally illogical from the point of view of the available space. Sirok: Lieutenant Greaves, welcome. ::Without further preamble or ceremony, the Vulcan turned on his holographic table, displaying a three-dimensional map of the ship.:: Wes smirked as the chief offered a greeting. Greaves: Nice display you’ve got there. Excited to see me? Wes wasn’t surprised that his friend decided to ignore the joke and he listened attentively as the Vulcan dove directly into business. Sirok: To simulate a situation in which your men are deployed, I have chosen a yellow alert situation, which will turn red once the simulation begins. It's practically impossible to know where they might be in a normal situation, some in their quarters, recreational or training areas. So I think it's best to start in a controlled situation. Greaves: A logical decision. Wes studied the holographic layout of the ship. The Vesta class really was large, and the detachment was just a drop in the bucket that was the manpower of the ship. There was no way they could cover even a portion of the vessel’s emergency responsibilities themselves. The moment struck Wes with the weight of the need for teamwork in the bleak hostility of space. Sirok: The engineering team is distributed near the most important locations, shield control, deflectors, weapons controls, thrusters... You can see it on the map. Unless the command officers order otherwise due to circumstances. As you know, security usually sets up teams on different decks, to protect key locations. Greaves: Right. They’ll make sure that no unauthorized personnel are about, and defend the critical ship functions are protected in case of being boarded. Sirok: I do not know the deployment of your men in a situation like this. Reinforcing security work and a strike team on standby in case they have to go after a target? Wes turned inward in thought and crossed his arms as he wracked his memory. Honestly, the precise reactions in the different alert states needed review as they hadn’t been discussed in detail since the Thor was an auxiliary vessel to the Embassy and most the Marines were assigned to the Thunder-A. For not the first time, he missed Major Parker’s expertise and experience. He tried to remember how they did it back on the U.S.S. Hood when he was there. Greaves: If I remember the S.O.P. right, during yellow alert the Marines report to the armory and don combat gear. On red alert, the squad on duty sets up as a quick reaction force on the quarterdeck. They are responsible for repelling boarders or rushing to emergency locations. The other squad reports to main security to reinforce their positions. Sirok: I will set up the teams for the simulation as you say. ::The Vulcan started typing on the console and the marine teams showed up in the yellow alert simulation.:: Greaves: We could rewrite our procedures so our medic reports to sickbay and our combat engineer leads the fighter maintenance personnel as damage control teams. Wes paused as he turned the idea over in his mind more. Greaves: Actually, it might be better to keep the medic with the reaction force as an emergency trauma team. . . Regardless, that’s a discussion to have with our medical department. Our combat engineer is the perfect leader for a damage control party. Sirok: I do not know how many doctors you have but I would keep them distributed near their equipment. Except in an extremely serious situation, the infirmary should be able to proceed very quickly. In many cases your medics should not even give them time to stabilize the patient if the transporter is available. But as you said, it would be better to coordinate with Dr. McKenzie. ::Sirok spoke as he entered the data to place the teams as Wes had said in red alert.:: Sirok: As far as your combat engineer is concerned, their knowledge should be taken very seriously by the teams they are on. Greaves: Agreed. So what were you thinking for drills? It’d probably be smart to start with some classes and demonstrations on the appropriate tools and responses before we dive into some full scale drills. Sirok: It would be convenient. I would start by teaching them the operation of the systems closest to the areas to which they are sent. Security protocols for the most common damages and ways to disconnect that system and to switch it to the secondary if it has not been achieved remotely. Obviously in that process they would be taught how to use the necessary tools and where to find them on the ship. Wes nodded along as Sirok described his plan of attack and made his own mental notes on how best to organize the classes before turning to some live drills. ((Training Holosuite C, Deck 9, USS Thor)) It was a strange feeling to step out of the quarterdeck, walk down the hall, and then step into a holographic representation of the same quarterdeck. Immediately upon starting the simulation Wes determined he did not like it. It was disorienting. How could he even know if he ever left the holodeck if the simulation looked and felt exactly like being aboard the ship. Wes visibly shook his head to clear the thought. Surrounding him and anxiously chatting with each other were seven Marines in full equipment. The lighting of the simulated room was normal, but diodes built into the walls gently flashed yellow indicating the alert status of the ship. This was going to be their first try at a damage control simulation after Sirok’s classes and Wes was sure the chief engineer was going to be putting his Marines through their paces. For their part, the teams talked amongst themselves and watched the officers calmly. At least as long as they thought Sirok wasn't listening to them. Sirok: We are on yellow alert, move on. :: Sirok: It was hard to tell if the Vulcan was saying it in an informative way or half a lecture, because of his monochordly tone. :: At the sound of the Vulcan’s voice, Wes and most of the Marines turned to face the Vulcan. Sirok: For the purposes of this training I will not act as chief engineer, someone must supervise. We can use a more impartial arbiter later, perhaps Commander Teller. Given our current area of operation on the Thor, it simulates a battle with tzenkethi ships. Greaves: Sounds like as good of a plan as any. Let’s get started. Wes turned to the group of Marines and began addressing them. Greaves: Alright, here’s the deal. We just hit yellow alert while in Tzenkethi space. Per the regs, you all were on duty and raced to the quarterdeck, geared up. What happens next is on you, and the simulation. Take Chief Sirok’s classes to heart, and we’ll do just fine. ::motioning to Sirok and himself:: We’ll be monitoring your progress from here. Any questions? Wes looked about the room at the assembled group. Aside from a few glances, and one imperceptible comment in the back, no one made any indication of wanting to speak. Greaves: Very well then. Computer, begin simulation. Immediately the room shook as if the Thor had taken a violent impact and the yellow flashing lights on the walls shifted to an angry red. Wes shot a dirty look toward the Vulcan who designed the training simulation. Greaves: oO He’s not giving us any down time in this sim Oo All the rooms turned red followed by the alarm buzzing indicating that the ship was on red alert. Sirok: Now everyone must go to the designated red alert stations. :: The Vulcan had configured the simulation so that the physical effects of the simulation would not affect him, so that when the ship had a first shock, he stood still, like a column, looking at his padd. He had never looked so much like an artificial being as he did at that moment. :: Another teeth rattling tremor rocked through the room and the Marines looked back and forth between one another, not exactly sure what to do. Sirok looked up from his padd when he noticed that the Marines were not moving. Sirok: If you studied the documents that have been administered, you should be able to know where you have to go. If you have not, think, act logically. But move on. ::He looked at Greaves in case he wanted to add anything else.:: Wes didn’t exactly shout, although his voice was no longer at a conversational volume. His face and body language wasn’t that of a furious man, but he obviously was not relaxed. His words and his posture suggested something else altogether. Something that the assembled group had no desire to discover the true meaning of. Greaves: It’s not play time. You’re Starfleet Marines and your ship is under attack. Do something. It was obvious the group hadn’t studied or prepared for the exercise and cold rage burned within Wes’ chest. He had a certain style of leadership that centered on mutual respect. He treated all of his subordinates like the grown men and women they were, and he expected them to adhere to their responsibilities as such. The obvious lack of preparation was a spit in his face and Wes intended to correct that attitude following the simulation. Fortunately, a few of the group had studied, and they quickly took charge, snapping the trainees out of their stupor and into action. Within a few seconds, the simulated quarterdeck emptied for all but Sirok and Greaves. The Marines broke off into two teams and scattered across the holographic recreation of the ship. Sirok: Both teams are far behind their designated position. They're not taking the optimal route. :: He shook his head slightly, foreseeing what would happen.:: Greaves: :Stroking his chin:: Seems so. It’s pretty obvious they aren’t even remotely ready for this duty yet. ::gazing off into the distance:: Oh, we’re going to play games after this... Sirok raised his eyebrow at Greaves' comment. Sirok: I just think they have decided not to read the protocols properly. Immediately after his comment, a huge impact was felt on the simulation.The Vulcan waved his hand from his padd to one of the walls, where the contents of the padd were projected. In the large projection, a diagram of the Thor could be seen, with colored dots showing the position of the Marine and engineering teams. A yellow area of the ship was shown on Decks 4 and 5, due to the impact of a Tzenkethi weapon. Wes tapped a few buttons on a nearby wall console, and holographic screens appeared to either side of the diagram of the Thor. After a brief pause, the floating screens faded from a dark gray into a video feed of the yellow indicated area. A long corridor stretched off screen, with the camera focused in on an intense blue and yellow jet of flame just outside of a turbolift. From what Wes could gather, his best guess was a ruptured EPS conduit. Greaves: Here comes the first big challenge. Let’s see if they remember how to deal with this. Sirok: At the moment they don't seem to know what to do. ::He touched the padd a couple of times to save that precise moment, for later evaluation.:: The screen showed the damage control team approaching the inferno. Now clad in heat resistant EV suits, the Marines of the ad hoc team attempted to spray flame retardant on the EPS rupture. Sirok: They are only delaying the real problem, they must go to the panel in the next section to make the derivation. Greaves: ::Shaking his head in disappointment:: Yup. They didn’t pay attention at all. The ship took another big jolt, this time the damage was to the secondary hull. Closer to the antimatter containers. Apparently the battle was not going well for the Thor. Sirok: So far the damage would only cause some personnel casualties and damage to secondary systems, but if they don't help contain the problems near the antimatter, the simulation will be over. Greaves: Agreed. They’re not going to put out the fire from that EPS conduit until they redirect the flow anyway. If they don’t start thinking…. Wes trailed off as he watched the pair of video screens. While the left most screen continued to surveil the team battling the raging inferno on deck five, the other monitor clearly showed another Marine damage control team approaching the antimatter storage tanks. The teams approached the danger without hesitation, perhaps because they knew it was a simulation. But there was a sense of improvisation in tackling the problem, rather than knowledge and organization. Greaves: If containment is lost on that storage tank, it’s all over. At least one of the teams is thinking right. Sirok: The antimatter leaves virtually no room for improvisation. The floating diagram hovering in front of Sirok clearly showed angry red indicators surrounding main engineering and the antimatter storage tanks. Multiple EPS conduits spewed jets of plasma into the compartment, flickering brightly in high winds. The environmental controls fought against a small hull breach that hadn’t been sealed by a force field, and the oxygen being pumped into the compartment created a harsh wind as it was sucked out into the simulated vacuum. Greaves: Did you program that or is it a random simulation? Sirok: There are a number of base situations that appear randomly. Depending on how they help control damage, Thor will either improve or worsen her combat performance. If the damage is not controlled, the ship will be destroyed. Greaves: That’s pretty challenging for their first run through the gauntlet. Sirok: The events they faced, for the most part, appeared as examples in the technical documentation given to them. The more complicated ones, but those that will appear less, require using their technical knowledge in an inferential way. Greaves: Fair enough. You’re the chief, and they’ll be working for you if we find ourselves in a situation like this for real. Wes watched as the Marines braced themselves against the wind. One stand out in the group pointed enthusiastically toward the hull breach. Greaves: Seems like with the ruptured conduits, there isn’t enough power for the automatic force fields to engage. Sirok: Cascade failures begin. They can still divert power and get the force field going. Wes watched in surprise. As the pair of officers spoke, the Marines hurried to reroute power in the compartment. Almost as soon as they had mentioned it, the EPS conduits stopped spewing plasma, and power was restored to the compartment, sealing the hull breach. A smile grew on his face, his chest swelling with pride. Greaves: Well, I’ll be… they managed it well. Wes noticed a new indicator on Sirok’s diagram. A long snaking line that ran directly underneath the antimatter storage was now flashing red. Sirok: A plasma fire is reaching the power system of the containers. ::He didn't have to explain to Wes that a failure in the containment field would cause the antimatter to touch the matter in the container itself. Which would result in an uncontrolled release of energy that would destroy the entire ship. Sirok: They have one minute to put out that fire. Wes watched the right most video feed as several of the Marines high fived each other, oblivious to the simulated problem below their feet. On the left screen the damage control team still attempted to suppress the plasma fire on deck 5 with flame retardant to no avail. A silent countdown slowly ticked away the time remaining to containment failure on Sirok’s overlay. Greaves: They’re too busy celebrating their small win to even notice the new problem. Wes watched in silence as one of the Marines near main engineering finally recognized the imminent failure, too late to matter unfortunately. Both screens flashed bright white momentarily. Computer: Simulation Complete. Antimatter containment field failure. USS Thor destroyed. The room in which Sirok and Wes were standing, which had previously been an immaculate representation of the Marine Quarterdeck, was replaced with the black walls and orange grid pattern of a holodeck. In one far corner of the huge room was the damage control team from engineering and in the other corner was the team from deck 5. Wes shook his head in awe. The number of calculations and the sheer processing power it took to allow three groups of people to explore a ship in a single holodeck without bumping into each other, or the walls, was impressive. The two damage control teams took a moment to reorient themselves to the change in the environment before making their way over toward Wes and Sirok. They knew they had failed miserably, and they approached with bowed heads, not wanting to make eye contact with the two officers. Greaves: ::sternly:: It is exceptionally obvious that you all disregarded the classwork and technical reading that Chief Sirok assigned. Your performance was down right awful. At any moment we could be thrust into a combat situation, and one way you’re going to keep the Thor fighting is to make sure it doesn’t explode. Wes paused his lecture to size up the Marines and let his next words sink in. Greaves: Usually I’m proud to serve with each and every one of you, but today I’m overwhelmed with disappointment. Wes let his gaze sweep across each Marine, none of which were willing to return the look. Finally he turned to Sirok. Sirok: The task at hand was not easy. But a lack of knowledge has been noted. Improvisation is useful up to a point, but to use it correctly you need to have enough knowledge. Still, congratulations on solving problems 3A and 6C. ::Sirok used a technique to help sentimental beings accept criticism. Start and end with something positive. It was something he was trying to use with his own crewmen and so far it wasn't giving him bad results.:: Greaves: ::glowering and with a reluctant voice:: Agreed. Sirok: If you have any doubt about the material, or need to practice any particular circumstance do not hesitate to consult. What you are learning will help you to work better with other crew members, not only on the Thor but on any other starship or space station where you are posted. The assembled teams still refused to make eye contact, but seemed to have regained some of their composure at the Vulcan’s reassurances. Greaves: There’s a saying I’m fond of. Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can’t get it wrong. ::Looking over the Marines:: We’ve got a long way to go until we can’t screw that up again. Looks like we’re just going to have to keep practicing. End ========================= First Lieutenant Wes Greaves Acting Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Ensign Sirok Acting Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  5. ((Counselling Suite, Deck 7, USS Gorkon)) Trepidation forming like a stone icicle in the pit of her stomach, Jo Marshall, ever the effective evader of most things emotionally explaining, slipped into the Counselling Suite with her hands clasped behind her back. Some while since she’d last had anything that approached near to counselling, despite sending new Ensigns and fellow officers off for their heads to be shrunk, the guilt of that hypocrisy had finally reached a little pinnacle and toppled over, which led to Jo standing there, which led to Jo feeling uncomfortable. An appointment made with the bubbly Counsellor, Jo pressed the button for the contact on the side of the door. Fortune: Come in! Inside was the usual style of Corliss’ office, various colored chairs, her plant at its home on a shelf, and herself settled in a seat with a PADD, one leg slightly bouncing. Fortune: Jo! It’s nice to see you. Marshall: You too, Corliss. Feels like it’s been an age. The blonde took a quick glance around the counselling office, a representation of the internal workings of their unique counsellor. Fortune: Well, it feels like decades between missions sometimes. It’ll take a bit for my internal clock to reset itself. She chuckled, sweeping a loop of pink hair back behind her ear, gesturing at a chair. Fortune: Come, come, sit, sit. Need anything to drink? Leaving the safety of the doorway behind, Jo walked inside and took up a seat where instructed. Ever comfortable on a ship she knew like the back of her hand, coming for an appointed talk was something that set her on a bit of an edge. With a heavy exhale, Jo relaxed into the chair and smiled. Marshall: Coffee would never go amiss, but I think I’ll go for green tea, this time please. Influence of the better half. Fortune: Strangely, I’m not at all surprised Erin drinks tea. Some people have that feel to them, I suppose. Anything added to it? Marshall: I’ll take it how you have it. ::Said with a grin.:: Show me the ways of the tea. Fortune: A roommate showed me the glory of a dab of honey inside, and I’ve never gone back. Corliss happily replicated them a pair of cups of tea, slipping the steaming cup onto the table between them towards Jo. Her own cupped into her hand, the steam warming her face a little as it curled up. Across from her, the blonde picked up the mug and cradled it in her hands; the little warmth was welcome. Fortune: So! Here to chat things out, I take it? Marshall: If you’re willing to have your ear bent in all kinds of directions. I’m not one for sticking to a particular topic when the flood gates open. Fortune: Everyone likes a listening ear, sometimes just as a sounding board, or just to reason things out to themselves. ::she cooled her tea with a breath, taking a sip.:: If walls could talk, I’m sure they’d report me to Quinn for losing my common sense...and, sometimes, a random object. They always end up on the dresser… Marshall: Always the dresser. Or the coffee table. I’m half convinced there’s a blackhole down the back of the sofa that just randomly drops things back onto various bits of furniture from pockets. Sipping at the warm tea, Jo relaxed a little further into the chair. Never one to sit in a chair like a normal person, she tucked a leg underneath her and leaned to one side. This was just a conversation; nothing to worry about, no hidden depths to probe, no hidden meanings to discover. Just a conversation with a friend over tea. Marshall: It’s been a while since I’ve sat down for this, you know. Last time wasn’t long after we came back from Over There. I’m a bit rusty. Fortune: Momentum is a funny thing like that. Once you get going, there’s no stopping. Marshall: I’ve never found it easy to do, not about me anyway. ::She hazarded a smile, motes of nerves threading through it.:: People can be usually persuaded to talk about themselves more. Anyone who does find this kind of thing easy to do are right up there with those who eat salad for breakfast. Fortune: ::she wrinkled her nose at that thought.:: Salad? I’m more of a waffle person. ::she grinned.:: Actually, a lot of people find it hard to talk about themselves. They’re not sure what to say, or how to say it, until they’re asked questions or something pertains to their interests. Nodding, Jo dropped her gaze to the tea in her mug, floating there without a care in the world. Marshall: What do you suggest? Fortune: Well, your bike...or talking about Erin...oooorrr maybe something you’ve done on shift lately? Maybe anything with the recent mission…? Jo pursed her lips for a moment, teeth chewing on the inside of her cheek, mind revolving around several things simultaneously. Despite the appearance of being as shallow as a teaspoon sometimes, there were hidden depths in there, as deep as the oceans of the planet revolving beneath them, as expansive as the space around them. Marshall: I’m finding it harder to… ::The false start didn’t help and she rolled her eyes at herself.:: Do you ever find yourself so angry with someone it just sits there? Fortune: Ah, stewing anger? ::she popped her lips in thought.:: Sometimes, if I’m frustrated. It’s a normal response to certain events, but it’s not healthy to keep it rolling around like a hot ball in a pan, you know? Marshall: I’m aware completely ignoring these issues is an unhealthy coping mechanism, ::she took a sip of tea and exhaled,:: so I’m ignoring that fact, too. Fortune: Ignorance may be bliss, but only up until whatever it is sideswipes us across the face. The young blonde exhaled again, this time through her nose as the tea mug came down away from her lips and rested in her lap. On the out breath, her shoulders relaxed and she willed her heart to stop beating so fast, like a drum behind her ribs, solid and consistent. Marshall: I— ::She bit her lip at the false start again and closed her eyes.:: When we were trapped in the dreamworld, ‘Kos and Erin did a mind meld to get back and wake the Admiral up. They… I don’t know, merged minds? Is that a thing Betazoids can do? Fortune: Not…::she paused, as if trying to work through her words.:: Not...really...in a way. Marshall: It’s a difficult one to explain, ::she exhaled with a self-deprecating smile,:: I’ve thought about this in so many ways. Is it like how Vulcans share their melds? Like how Deltans do? Or something else entirely. Fortune: Not like Vulcan melding, in...a way. So. ::She sighed, raising her hand up, then placing it back down in thought.:: So there is something, like bonding, but it’s not something any one Betazoid can do on their own. A blonde eyebrow raised as Jo took a sip of warm, fragrant tea, enjoying the soothing effects of it more than anything else, though still surprised she hadn’t tried to drown in the contents of the mug. Marshall: You guys do this in groups? Fortune: Oh you need priestesses, some people from the Houses to stand over and ensure all goes well. ::she flittered her fingers in the air.:: But not like how Vulcans can...reach in and grab someone’s mind. I...suppose our difference would be like...well, like a river. ::she placed her cup down, lacing her fingers together.:: With Vulcans, they’re fisherman. They can reach in, grab up someone’s thoughts, and physically touch them. With us, or rather, in my experience, it’s like...grazing the river. You can touch the river, but not the fish. Marshall: And you make a bond with the river or the fish? ::She scratched at her cheek with a slender finger, confusion bouncing around on her features.:: I’m not sure I understand. Fortune: There’s not a bond as much, unless a familial link of course. Is...there something you’re worried about for the both of them? Wrinkling her nose, Jo looked down at the liquid in the mug sloshing around as she held the vessel in her hands. That was the Skarbek; this simmering layer of viscous liquid and the rest of it beneath the surface. They were different people in there, leading different lives under different circumstances, but out of it… She chewed her lips as she looked back up at the lively counsellor and her shoulders deflated. Marshall: Yes and no, with a hefty dose of I don’t know in there, too. ::Her tongue stuck in her cheek and she exhaled heavily.:: Erin says it’s like a library in her mind; there are all these books there dedicated to Kos’ life and she could choose to read whatever she wanted, but she doesn’t. It’s a choice not to. Fortune: How intriguing to think of it like a library...and kind of her not to intrude in on his privacy. Is it the fact she’s able to access those memories…? Marshall: That she’s in that position in the first place. That she’s walking around with someone else’s every thought and memory in her head. It didn’t do anything, it didn’t change anything, it just implanted this in her head and her in his. She leaned forward and placed the mug down on the table, fingers threading into her hair as she sat back, curling one leg beneath her. Visible agitation wasn’t in Jo’s litany of behaviours and she didn’t know what to do with herself while every cell tried to vibrate on an unfamiliar wavelength. To Corliss, it was like watching sparks of electricity around a statue, shifting and crackling in equal measure. Marshall: He knows more about her than I ever will, and he knows more about me than I want anyone but her to know. Fortune: And...you don’t like that. Jo chewed the inside of her cheek as blue eyes unfocused somewhere around where the table was; the serious side of the middle Marshall brimming up to the surface through those deep layers where she kept it as buried as possible. It made her heart hurt to think about, and had done for the longest time; tarred on the inside, set aflame and left to burn. She bit her lips as the rolling urge to burst into tears in a hot ball of rage melted and stemmed. Marshall: I can’t be mad about it and I can’t even begin to talk to Erin about it. She’s the one with all of this to deal with, not me. What kind of person feels like this is anything to do with me? Fortune: A private person. A concerned one. And, it makes you human, Jo. Marshall: Does it have to? Fortune: Well, mortal, human, same? ::she laughed, shaking her head.:: All the same, it makes you a person. If there’s something besides ‘just a feeling’ that’s making you worried, for instance, some new habit she has or the like, then I’d suggest encouraging her to talk to someone about it. With a shake of her head, the young blonde lifted the mug to take a drink, thinking through the year since. Erin hadn’t changed; still as funny, unassuming and genius as ever. Jo had lost countless hours watching her talk, laugh and frown and so much love had given her the strength to seek counselling for all the anger with nowhere to go. Marshall: And if there’s not, what do you suggest? Fortune: Well...I suppose you should think about your view on privacy. A frown crested for a second and Jo leaned forward, elbows on her knees as she looked at Corliss as though self-reflection were a foreign concept. Her hand found the back of her neck, feeling coming in waves like fluctuations in temperature. Growing up in a Federation colony, the majority population Bajoran, the sharing of telepathic and empathic thoughts and feelings was a near foreign concept to her until she started seeing more of the galaxy. Perhaps picking up on the fact she didn’t know quite what to say, Corliss continued. Fortune: It wasn’t until I went to Academy that the foreign thought of someone not knowing what I was thinking, or about to do, had settled into my mind, and made me feel...alone. For some of my friends, the thought of their families being able to access and stroll through their mind like a walk in the park made them cringe. ::she shrugged, lacing her fingers together as she watched the other.:: Every feeling someone feels is valid. I do think you need to talk to Erin about this. It’s about her, and about Genkos, and about your relationship as well, and being open and honest in a relationship is something I always encourage. Nodding, as though the information had filtered through her mind and wrapped in vines around her heart, her lips disappeared behind her teeth for a second as she thought on it, then exhaled again slumping back into the chair, hands on the arms of it, fingers drumming. Talking to Genkos would be difficult, talking to Erin doubly so. Pinpricks of tears started at the corner of her eyes as her jaw clenched at the back, one long breath exhaled and she smiled; a fleeting thing that barely remained. Marshall: How are you, Corliss? I’m sorry I haven’t asked. ::Picking up her mug again, she smiled.:: Your hair looks good, as always. Fortune: Ah, do you think? ::she slipped a hand up to a stray curl, winding the pink hair in a small circle.:: I gave it all a good scrubbing on my shift off, it’s my own form of stress-relief, I suppose. ::she cracked a grin, tilting her head.:: Would you like to talk about my wigs, I take it? Marshall: I can only take so much talking about me. ::Her lips thinned into a smile that verged on the self-deprecating, or mawkish, certainly nothing joyful.:: And it’s a rare occasion we see each other; not properly since we were on Nassau playing pirates. Fortune: It’s hard talking about oneself, it’s true. We tend to prey upon our own fears and embolden them in ways that others don’t tend to see them. ::she hummed, shrugging.:: Plus, I think I made a convincing pirate captain. A chuckle through a mouthful of tea shook Jo’s shoulders and she nodded, remembering full well the destructive force that was the Captain persona Corliss had undertaken on their Nassau journey. It wasn’t the most welcoming of places; even when they’d first touched down, it was touch and go whether they would be able to stay or not, and Jo recalled trying to think of an easy escape route should it go south. Marshall: The fact that you pulled the character out of the hat with a seconds’ notice was incredible; that you kept it up while an Andorian with a mohawk asked for the docking fee was something else. I can just about remember you talking to the docking agents when we were trying to leave. Fortune: Well, I think had they pressured more questions, I might have cracked. I do like the name Marisol however, it’s very...rolls off the tongue, hm? Marshall: It does. Maybe she’ll make a reappearance one day. Their trip there had been anything but simple, and resulted in the near-death of not only the Orion trying to prevent their escape, but Jo had almost tripped the light fantastic too; sitting in the back of that shuttlecraft, preparing for the eventuality that seemed a little too inevitable. With Corliss’ quick thinking, they’d finally got free of the asteroid and back into space to meet up with the Triumphant, and it couldn’t have come soon enough. Fortune: How are you and Erin? Beyond the…::she wiggled her fingers in the air.:: with Genkos, how are things when you’re together? Anything new? Any sentient plants I might need to warn the Admiral about?? ::she teased.:: Marshall: There’s always sentient plants to warn the Admiral about. ::She grinned at the mention of her partner and settled a bit further into the chair, not quite the live wire she’d walked in as.:: We’re fine, at least I think we are. She’s met my parents recently, she seems to get along with my younger brother fairly well, through a mutual love of adrenaline rushes and building things. Fortune: Ah, a pair, are they? ::she chuckled.:: It’s good they’re getting along, I know some feel anxiety over if their family will care for someone they are in a relationship with. ::she took a sip of her tea again, humming.:: Mm. So...what’s brought all this on then? Marshall: Guilt, I think. ::Her teeth chewed around on the inside of her lips, the feeling like a warm stone sinking from heart downwards.:: She’s empathic; I know she can feel it when I’m… ::Her hands made a gesture as though she were holding a lump of energy between her palms.:: A tiny ball of rage. Corliss nodded. People in a rage tended to sit like a stone around her, feeling like they were about to burn to a crisp should they continue to smoulder. It certainly was an odd feeling. Fortune: Yes. She’s most likely waiting for you to come to her about whatever it is. I’m told it’s improper to bring up someone else’s emotions if they don’t talk about it first. Jo chewed the soft fleshy bit of her cheek as she nodded slowly, trying not to imagine how hard it would be if their roles were reversed, knowing she’d be afraid of asking the question in case the answer shattered them like glass. But they were made of stronger stuff than melted sand, sustained heavier blows than an internalised quarry over a Betazoid/Deltan mind warp. As if knowing Jo needed an explanation from the part of a Betazoid, Corliss continued. Fortune: Thoughts, emotions, they’re all kept tight under lock and key. Those of us who can easily feel or read them, we try not to step into the pitfalls of privacy that others may have. ::she paused.:: It can be hard, especially if you care for them, but can’t bring it up under the pretence of privacy. Marshall: You're right. I haven't really... ::she sighed with the words,:: thought about how it feels for her. You'd think an operations officer would be half decent at communicating. ::Swallowing down a swell of emotion and ran a hand into her hair, she exhaled a laugh.:: Selfish in more ways than one. Fortune: Not selfish...well...::she gave a helpless shrug.:: It's so much easier to read someone's mind than to talk it out that speaking can oft seem straining. Speaking was often straining, especially about the tumultuous warp core performing the fusion reaction every day. Jo felt selfish, and that was the issue; at the core of herself, where her internal M/ARA drive pumped fluid around her vitals. Erin — the ichor and nectar of her life as they tried to navigate being together — was different. Part of her wasn’t human, and it was that part which made Jo’s spine tingle and flesh goose and read from her skin that crosscurrent of emotions. It was selfish that Jo had tried to hide it for so long while Erin could feel it simmering beneath. Fortune: Lots of couples dance the dance of 'do I or don't I?'. People, in general, do that as well. They don't want to talk about something, but at the same time, wish the other party just...knew what they were thinking. If you...want, there's also mediation you two could do. Marshall: As in diplomatic mediation? Fortune: Mostly I sit here as you two talk to one another, and fill the silences in-between with compliments to your uniforms for the day. ::she cracked a grin, chuckling.:: But no, some people find a serious talk daunting and having someone they can rely on, a little, to help get their words across, helpful. The thought had some merit as Jo’s blonde eyebrows furrowed in thought, winding her way through how that would work between them when a red blush caught her cheeks as she remembered how Deltans usually took their diplomatic mediation. With a grin, she shook her head. Marshall: I errr, I think it might be best if I do this one alone, Counselor if you don’t mind. Fortune: Ah, no insult taken, but it’s there if you’d like it to be. Has our talk panned out like you thought it would? ::she smiled.:: I’m told counselling can be…’an experience’. Not sure what that could entail. Marshall: An experience. ::She smiled with an exhaled laugh, heart feeling a little lighter for the moment, even if it wouldn’t last long.:: I haven’t had counselling like this for anything other than work and myself for a long time, and I’m glad it was with you. Fortune: You’re kind, Jo. ::she chuckled.:: So, what’ve you got in mind then? Marshall: Some kind of an action plan, I think. ::That was the best way she worked, after all. Give her a task list and it would all be done in no time; let her mind wander and she’d be thinking of new bike parts.:: Erin deserves an explanation and I… ::she forced the words out as they tried to stop in her throat,:: need to talk about this with her. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth having ever is, is it? Fortune: That’s how the saying goes, I believe. So! ::she clapped her hands, looking excited.:: Action plan it is! Some people find writing out what they want to say easier so that they can let it all out at once. The blonde nodded again, the process of getting her thoughts down onto a PADD to make sense of them seemed like a good idea. Seeing everything in a line would give it a priority, give it purpose, let her refine her thoughts before they came tumbling out into her partner’s lap like tribbles from an overhead storage locker. Fortune: There’s no guessing how she’ll respond, but you can take the time to craft out your beginning explanation, that way there’s no...hesitation, or fumbling for words. And then, from there, the conversation flows. Marshall: I think I might just have to do that, Corliss, thank you. ::She smiled and let out a breath to relax her shoulders again; armed with a plan, it would be easier. Armed with a plan, she could do next to anything. It was only two steps. Two steps she could do. It filled the inner cavity with a motivation; a need to press on and do it now.:: Would you… would you mind if we cut the session here and I go do just that? Fortune: Oh! Not a problem at all! ::her hands fluttered a bit in the air, although she figured Jo would want to go and get started now that she had a starting point.:: It’s always as long or as short as you prefer. If you need me, I’ll be here! Filled with the inspiration to do just that, Jo deposited the empty mug into the recycling pad of the replicator and when she returned to Corliss, it was with a growing sense of gratitude, perhaps a little bit of a high now they were finding a way through those mental blockages like her brain had started to speak in a language she understood instead of strings of curses. Fortune: As my great-grandmother would say, may fortune be with you! And probably an admonishment on not visiting more often. Marshall: Then, I’ll definitely try to. Next time, I’ll bring danishes and we can talk about my parents. ::Her lips twinged in a smile, definitely finding its way to her eyes this time.:: Thank you, Corliss. I was dreading this and… you’ve actually made me feel a lot better about it. Like I can try and do this. Fortune: I’ve never doubted you, Jo. Danishes sound very good! I’ll look forward to it. ::she grinned, pleased with how relaxed Jo looked now.:: There was a slight moment of hesitation, as if Jo wanted to say something else and just couldn’t quite bring herself to, then she smiled and shook her head. Another time, perhaps. She had other things to worry about. fin -- Lieutenant Corliss Fortune Highest Quality Counsellor Brain USS Gorkon G239510CF0 & Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  6. An absolutely devious and devastating finish to a long running side story about addiction and personal choice. Bravo! ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution)) T’Mar and Saveron sat across from each other, each with a cup of their preferred beverage, the picture of cool Vulcan composure. T’Mar: I see. ::pause to sip her tea:: You have spoken to Commander Foster. Saveron: Affirmative. ::There was no logic in denying it.:: He informed me of your extended use of Lexorin following a medical procedure which, I understand, resulted in unwanted effects related to your natural empathy and telepathy. He watched her expression, not really expecting it to change but wanting to be certain that he had the story straight. There was no benefit in proceeding on incorrect assumptions. T’Mar: Succinct. So he had understood correctly. Saveron: Would you wish to talk about the procedure? The details were probably of more use to medical in the context of resolving the situation, but sometimes simply talking through a traumatic situation could be beneficial. Being heard was a powerful medicine. The clatter of the teacup indicated that he had, as some cultures put it, ‘hit a nerve’, which she tried to cover by carefully setting the cup down. There was definite trauma there, that tiny slip confirmed it, and he wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Perhaps one day she would have the confidence in him to let him work to reduce it’s impact, but first he had to build that confidence, that trust. She closed her eyes for a moment and he remained silent, giving her that space in time. T’Mar: Not particularly. It was done against my will. I was given medication to prevent me from blocking out the feelings and then subjected to a bombardment of emotions. It was.. Unpleasant to say the least. Vulcans were the masters of understatements. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like, being subjected to the emotions of others, multiple others, against one’s will. But he would not ask her to relive that day now. Saveron: Will you describe for me the changes that you experienced following the procedure? T’Mar: I.. ::pause:: I had a strong feeling of violation, but I also experienced an inability to properly suppress my emotions as well as my empathy. Hardly surprising that T’Mar felt violated, and Saveron suspected it could well have led to a distrust of other health professionals, whether consciously or unconsciously, which would have reduced even further her desire to seek the follow up she should have had. The anger that welled on her behalf was heavily suppressed. Now was a time of logic, and through logic, hopefully, the gentle unwinding of the knot T’Mar had gotten herself into. Saveron: Disagreeable. ::He empathised.:: And for these symptoms you were prescribed Lexorin? T’Mar: Indeed. I was hesitant at first, however, it was necessary. The Counsellor set his empty cup aside and laced long fingers together. Saveron: Entirely understandable. ::There are times when such support was beneficial; but it was never meant to be permanent.:: And I anticipate that the medication has been supportive. The question is; how to do you wish to proceed from this point? Saveron wasn’t aware of that particular part of her conversation with Cade, but T’Mar was exactly right when she insisted to Foster that no treatment would be efficacious, no effort to resolve her addiction succeed, if she was not willing. Given that she had been an unwilling participant in the original procedure, consent and active participation was particularly important. T’Mar: I am quite content continuing on the way I have been. Saveron: By which, you mean continuing treatment with Lexorin? He paraphrased to be certain that he understood her. T’Mar: There seems to be this notion that I am doing something wrong, but this medication helps me, Commander. The defensive tone of her words was obvious. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t the right answer, and she’d heard accusation from him where he’d deliberately offered none. Oh, he could have, but he anticipated that Cade might have already taken that path, and was possibly not the first. He was deliberately walking a different one, since clearly the other had not been efficacious. Saveron: One presumes that others have championed this notion, based on the recommended treatment protocols. T’Mar: That’s a matter of opinion. The protocols were, technically, a matter of opinion, but a several very educated, expert opinions. Saveron: The general medical opinion is that long-term Lexorin use is to be avoided. He said it to see what she’d say to that, whether she’d acknowledge the current medical wisdom. T’Mar: I had hoped that you of all people could understand the complexity of my situation. And that was a no. Saveron: I am endeavouring to do so. ::He assured her evenly.:: I have never had another’s emotions forced on me, nor known what it is to be perceptive to the minds of others at range. ::Every telepathic contact he’d experienced had been individual, and consensual.:: I… cannot truly begin to comprehend such a violation, or the after effects. ::He admitted.:: Only that they would be intolerable. I understand that you would not wish to endure them. T’Mar: ? He inclined his head in acknowledgement. Saveron: I collated these documents for you, in anticipation of your preference, to provide you with relevant information. He offered over a PADD for her to take. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I have included several studies of the long-term effects of Lexorin, including a metanalysis of the available data. In addition there is an account from a patient who was under palliative care for a terminal illness, and also on Lexorin, which provides a more personal rendering, so that you know what to expect. He spoke in the same, even tones, entirely professional, even dispassionate, in the way of their kind. A sharp contrast to Commander Foster. The analyses detailed the relative effectiveness of the medication over time, the cumulative neurotoxicity and eventual progression of synaptic breakdown. Sopek had documented his mental condition in great detail, until he was no longer able to do so. Because that was the reality of what T’Mar was facing if she continued the way she had been, as she wished to. And since they were being logical, stoic Vulcans, he was simply providing her with information with which she could make informed decisions and plan for her future. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a long one. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I can provide a prescription of Lexorin for you; it will be dependent on quarterly neurological scans. ::And be set to cancel immediately, should a scan be missed.:: Once the scans show neurological degradation, you will be discharged from Starfleet on medical grounds. Not only for her own sake, but for that of her colleagues. T’Mar: ? Saveron: Depending on your current synaptic state and frequency of use, and based on those studies, I estimate that you will have between two and five Standard years of service, before that occurs. The synaptic degradation curve is exponential, so once it becomes detectable you will need to enter care. I have included a list of care facilities that specialise in telepaths’ medical needs. The one on Betazed is particularly highly regarded, but has a long waiting list, so I would recommend submitting your application now. Five years, maximum, and she wouldn’t be able to look after herself. T’Mar was absolutely right, it was her choice. But the important thing about the freedom to choose was that it came with the responsibility to accept the consequences. That was a lot of life to miss out on. T’Mar: ? TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10 ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution))
  7. ((Corridor, Deck 6 - USS Juneau)) What a way to spend one's holidays. Maxwell Traenor had allotted several weeks of his pent-up earned leave in order to attend a major symposium on Starbase 821. There was an exotic and unique discovery in the Dialrin system in the Aavaro Wilds, and scientists from around the quadrant were being drawn in for study. Maxwell was attending the symposium out of personal curiosity rather than as a professional requirement, unlike many of the Starfleet physicists and geologists and xenoarcheologists and all other kinds of 'ologists' being transferred to the starbase for the task. His path from his ship's area of operations to the symposium was a veritable tour of the Federation, spanning almost the full breadth of the Alpha Quadrant. The milk run needed to transit the route had Maxwell hitching rides on 5 starships and 2 transports over the course of 9 days. Finally, though, he was on his last leg on the Juneau and he was content relaxing in the luxurious guest quarters on the relatively new starship. Until the klaxons started, of course. Maxwell was off duty, almost technically a civilian, though of course not really. A Starfleet officer on a Starfleet vessel or installation was always to be ready for duty, especially in an emergency. So despite having absolutely no idea what was going on, or what was where, or even if he could be useful in any way, Maxwell struggled into a uniform and exited his quarters. Random Lieutenant: Sir, didn't you hear the hail? Hurry, we need to get to Transporter Room 4! Traenor: But- The gaggle of officers led by the interjecting lieutenant had swept him up in their group before he could even catch his breath. Were they abandoning ship? What were their orders? His collective knowledge of personnel on the Juneau resulted in three - the transporter chief who had welcomed him aboard, the Ops ensign who had checked in on him in his guest quarters, and of course the bartender in the lounge. And he didn't even know their names, likely wouldn't even recall their faces from a lineup. Maxwell still didn't know what was going on as he was all but frog-marched onto the transporter pad. He couldn't even glean what was going on though the excited chatter of the others who crowded the pad alongside him. Transporter Tech: Prepare for transport. Traenor: But- ((Corridor, Deck 4 - USS Arrow)) Wherever it was that Traenor and his gaggle had materialized, it was Starfleet through and through. The corridor design was unmistakable. There was much to be said about the housekeeping, however. His comment card at the end of his trip would certainly reflect that. It was dark, dingy, dirty, and most egregiously, hot. Those who had beamed over with him scattered in all directions, leaving him standing there bewildered. A different officer, a JayGee in operations colors, approached rapidly and before Maxwell could utter a sound, she shoved an engineering kit into his chest. Engineer: Commander, this way! Traenor: But- Engineer: ::without looking over her shoulder to ensure Maxwell was following - which of course he was, because what else did he have to do?:: I know, I know, not your specialty. But this is triage, just of a mechanical kind. Do your best, sir, and start with that junction over there. The officer pointed one direction and walked another, leaving Maxwell alone and no less bewildered. Dammit, he was a physicist, not an EPS plumber! But, an emergency was an emergency, so to work he went. He even managed to keep grumbling to a relative minimum. ((Bridge, Deck 1 - USS Arrow)) Ugh. Grimy and sweaty. Not a scientist's natural state. Well, maybe if one was a speleologist, but Maxwell was not one of those. The bridge of this vessel, which he had finally learned was called the Arrow, was marginally better than the working conditions that he had endured belowdecks. The lights were back up, there weren't techs lying under every elevated surface fixing things, and there didn't seem to be too much panic among the resident officers. The center chair was supporting a man in a blue collar, who Maxwell had never seen before and would likely never see again. He shuffled over to stand tangentially before the officer, and waited until the object of his attention noticed the weary and discomfited scientist before him. Traenor: Sorry about your ship, Commander. But the officers from the Juneau seem to have most of the big problems back under control. If you would be so kind as to give me leave to return to the Juneau, I'll be on my way. Collins: response Traenor: But- He looked mutely and slack jawed between the viewscreen and this harbinger of disastrous news, as if by sheer will he could beckon the Juneau back from wherever it was off chasing or doing or whatever. Now how in the hells was he supposed to get to the starbase in time for the symposium? And why oh why did he have to be so nosey as to leave his quarters? Collins: response Of course, Traenor was fully aware that any officer at any time could be commandeered and pressed into service wherever they found themselves, which was the automatic reaction that had lured him out of those now long gone comfortable quarters on the Juneau. It's just... well, this was supposed to be his holidays! It also meant that he might have to explain to this fine officer that no, he was not trying to be insubordinate, it's just that he should never have been here in the first place. Unlike the Juneau officers who had been specifically ordered to be here, he was... well... just along for the ride? Traenor: ::defeated:: Well, that's that then. I don't suppose we'll get anywhere near Starbase 821 in the next, oh, 24 hours or so? Collins: response Traenor: ::shrugging, determined to make the most of it:: I'll make myself useful around here then, sir, if you've anything in mind. You won't find me on the Juneau's roster, since I'm transient, but you can find my service record if you search a bit further out. If you have need of a scientist, then I'll do what I can. Maxwell Traenor, at your service. He wasn't going to make the symposium after all. He was on an unknown ship, added to the roster at least until it was returned to a starbase for the desperate repairs it needed. His vacation was shot. But! It was a bit of an adventure, and Maxwell was willing to tough it out - after a hot sonic shower and a hot meal. There *was* going to be a shower and a meal soon, right? Collins: response TAG/TBC -- Commander Maxwell Traenor Chief Vacation Specialist, USS Arrow A239111MT0
  8. I'll make a confession: I'm a verbose person. I begin to write and I easily exceed the number of words I had intended. That's why SIMs like this marvel me. It has many good things and, its conciseness is only one of them. In a very succinct way, without dialogue and with a very short and elegant description, it shows us a very intimate moment of a character that, in a usual way, is a force of nature. With very few lines and in a very subtle way it reflects what past events have meant for the character, how they still weigh on her and what she is dealing with. All in a missive to home, a sweetened message to really conceal what is in her mind. A true delight for its succinctness, its intimacy and the vulnerability it displays. Thanks for this gem @Addison MacKenzie ! ____________________________________________________ (( Room 0502, Deck 5, USS Thor )) Addison sat on the couch in her quarters with her feet up and re-read the letter composed on her PADD. To: Priscilla MacKenzie, 34 Linnaean Street, Cambridge, MA, Earth From: Lt. Cmdr. Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS Hi Mom, I know, I know – I don’t write or call enough, and you’re right, so let’s just get that out of the way now. Things have been crazy, as you well know from the bits I’ve been able to send you. I’m on my third assignment in a year and a half, which either means they really like me, or they really hate me. Time will tell, I’m sure. We recently got took on several new junior officers, including a Vulcan doctor. While she’s a colossal pain in my [...], she’s an excellent addition to this crew, and so too for medicine as a whole, I’m sure. The rest of the lot are a good bunch and will make fine officers. Hopping the galaxy does have its perks, though – I had the best burger of my life at a greasy spoon on Ketar V. While I wouldn’t recommend The Shoals as a destination hotspot, these burgers might be worth it… I know Ryan would love them. Sorry I don’t have time to write more. Try not to worry too much – Geoff is still here and keeps me in line. Give Dad and the bunch a big squeeze for me. Next chance I get, I’ll be home to visit. Promise. All my love, Addy She decided not to mention the part where she had been abducted and abused, though it was likely her parents already knew – they always seemed to have a way of finding things out. Addison took a deep breath and hit send. She desperately hoped she was able to keep that promise. --- Lieutenant Commander Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS Chief Medical Officer USS Thor V239601AM0
  9. ((Starbase 118, Marine Training Holodeck 3)) Training was a mainstay for a Marine, and even with the hangover from the excursion into Little Risa, Anthony could not let himself rest. After selecting some equipment from the armory, he made his way to the training holodecks exclusive to the shipboard Marines. He selected a training program and entered when the doors opened. He found himself on a rocky hilltop overlooking a grassy meadow approximately 80 meters below. There were targets set at random distances, some clearly visible to the naked eye, some not so easy to see because of their distance from him. The targets were approximately one meter tall by one-half meter wide and rectangular in shape. All were black in color, silhouetting nicely contrasted by the bright green grass. Anthony unrolled his pad and took a prone position on it. He placed the Type 32A Operational Support Rifle in front of him, extending the bi-pod for a rest. His wind meter told him there was a slight left to right breeze at his position and the ambient temperature was a comfortable 19 degrees C. The humidity was right at 23 percent, making the air dry by relative comparison. The sun in the simulation was behind him, which tactically was not the best situation, but it made it far easier to see his targets, not having to look against the glare. All things considered, the conditions were perfect. Taking a position behind the rifle, he set his PADD next to his left forearm on the ground in front of him. Anthony tapped a tab on the PADD, opening his notes. He had never used the Type 32A OSR before, so he would be starting with fresh DOPE. DOPE, or Data Of Previous Engagement, for lack of a better term, is the data recorded from rounds fired at a range. It is used as a reference for the sniper to estimate what elevation and windage adjustments must be made to ensure a first round hit on the target. The optics on the Type 32A OSR were enhanced using active scanning technology, but the weapon still relied upon the user to deliver the projectile accurately onto the target. Anthony placed his cheek against the side of the weapon’s stock and allowed his right eye to focus through the scope. He kept his left eye open to avoid losing his situational awareness. It was a comfortable position and he allowed himself to relax against the ground and the gun. From his position he, he had a complete view of the field of fire. Anthony focused on one of the targets and the range finder in the optic indicated the black rectangle was 800 meters from his position. Taking in a deep breath, he held it for about four seconds before letting it out through pursed lips. When he had expelled the air, he slipped his finger onto the trigger and began to press. He could feel the slack leave the trigger and the pressure against the weapon’s sear. Only a few ounces more pressure and the weapon bucked lightly against his shoulder. Through the viewfinder, Anthony watched the projectile strike the center of the target, about 10 cm lower than the reticle indicated the point of impact should have been. He entered the information into his PADD for the first shot, and without making any changes to the equipment, repeated the ritual for a second shot. The second round impacted in nearly the same place, touching the impact of the first. After entering this information into his PADD, he repeated again and fired a third. The results were the same, and the three round group told him all he needed to know about the adjustment on the optic. After entering the DOPE into the PADD, he adjusted the elevation on the scope and settled in for another three rounds. This time, the point of aim and point of impact were consistent. Checking his wrist chronometer, he realized he had been lying in the same position for over an hour. Oh, how time flies… 2Lt. Anthony Meeks Marine Officer 292nd TMR Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narindra R238801IG0
  10. Oh my goodness! The masterfulness of this is beyond words. XD So good. It's not hard to immensely dislike. Well crafted, @Toryn Raga ((Mephinii Spaceport, Illara Prime)) Zhelrad: Oh. Look. More Starfleet. Are you renovating the Administrator's office in preparation for your invasion? ::She spat at the Atlanteans, then glanced to the Naylari:: There you are Brex. I believe you've been avoiding me Representative. Brex: ::smiles:: Of course not, Ambassador. I very much enjoyed our conversation earlier. I was simply consulting with the Federation officers on important matters. Ganarvuss: There’s no invasion here, Minister. We have been assisting Representative Brex with conference security, as requested by the Freeworld Council prior to our arrival on Ilara. Marie: ::Nodding her head in agreement:: We are only here to help. Minister nothing more. ::Smiles:: While the meddlesome Starfleeters attempted to assuage her with platitudes of their honest intent, the Minister scowled at them all. She'd seen the reports on this Atlantis. She knew what had happened on Tibro. Of their involvement in inciting a coup between the Grand Admiral turned 'ambassador' and other decent Valcarians. The facade of good intentions and honor, selflessness was something she could see through. All of it was nothing more than a polite means of conquest. But it wouldn't be the Federation that would own the Expanse. No, the Valcarian Empire had the divine right to rule over all. Brex: I apologize, Minister, that these matters have resulted in me being indisposed. However, as soon as the situation has been resolved, I would be happy to speak with you on whatever topic you’d like. Logan: response Zhelrad: This is a trade conference. And we are both trade representatives, are we not? It's in poor form for such proceedings to ignore your duties lax my dear Brex. We can't have you following Treyla's example here. ::She said, taking another jab at her aide:: Treyla remained silent, but glared daggers at the Valcarian's back. Marie: ::glance in Lephi direction and then to the others:: Let us just create some distance and please refrain from snide comments. The young junior officer's comment elicited a derisive scowl from the Valcarian woman. She looked the brown haired Terran up and down slowly, the way one might eye an unruly pet that was doing something out of turn. That the low ranked individual would even deign to speak to her as if they were anywhere near equal status was an affront itself. Ganaravuss: On the contrary, Minister, Representative Brex has been attending to his duties as security liaison exceptionally well, especially given the absence of the station’s security director. Logan: response Zhelrad: Convenient that the Administrator is suddenly unavailable right after the Federation shows up. Marie: ::speaking softly to Zhelrad:: Do you not think any negotiation would be better in the open? where no words can be taken as insult. Lephi: ::muttering:: We can probably handle this without you, Representative. The Valcarian was now actively ignoring the brunette in teal uniform. She was of the lowest rank to be considered an officer among her own organization and as such, not worthy of speaking with such an illustrious personage such as Myrine Zhelrad. She didn't see a single Starfleeter of appropriate rank among those assembled. Unless the scant few pips on their collars marked any of them for Admirals, or Commodores. Even a Captain would be something. So she kept her focus on the Naylari. Ganarvuss: Indeed, Representative. I would certainly prefer to question the Minister’s staff without her watching over their shoulders. Brex: ::steps forward:: Now, let us all take a step back. I’m certain Minister Zhelrad is just as concerned with ascertaining what has happened here. ::to Zhelrad:: If you would be so kind, we would like to speak with each member of your staff separately. Zhelrad: I care not for the excuses of lesser beings. ::She glares at Logan:: I'm here to talk trade. Now, shall we find some place to converse away from unscrupulous eyes, or do the Naylar have no interest in commerce? ::She gave a hard look at Ganarvuss:: And you'll do no such thing. My staff are barely competent as it is without being detained from their duties by the likes of you. Brex: ::inclines his head:: We do have others we are looking to speak with as well. However, as this is still an ongoing investigation, I’m not at liberty to reveal who these individuals are. I’m certain you understand, Minister. ::smiles:: We wouldn’t want any perceptions of bias nor would we want to risk tipping off the party actually responsible should they be nearby listening. The Valcarian's brow raised but that irate scowl did not diminish in the slightest. Lephi: Representative Brex has been a boon to our investigation so far, I'm certain that once this is resolved, commerce discussions can be held in a good natured way. For now, please let us work. Marie: ::Gently placing her hand on minster shoulder:: Indeed. We only wish to figure what has happened here. Surely you can understand that? The instant she felt the woman's hand on her shoulder she recoiled as if she had been burned by acid. The sheer look of incredulity on her face spoke volumes. If it wasn't evident before, the woman considered herself of a station far beyond all of them and to be touched by one of them unwarranted was akin to being bitten by a stray animal. Zhelrad: You'd do well to keep your hands to yourself, girl. ::She sneered:: You may fool the others but I know what's going on here. Using these disturbances to assert yourselves in these proceedings. The Empire will not take such interference lightly. Logan: Response Ganarvuss: Regarding the safety of the conference and the whereabouts of its security director. Surely nothing that concerns someone of such pomp and circumstance as yourself, Minister Myrine Zhelrad. Myrine's gaze snapped to the woman in the gold collar and her brow furrowed, gaze narrowing on the woman. She knew a condescending comment when she heard one, the Minister had loosed more than her share in her lifetime. Brex: I believe we have wasted enough of your precious time, Minister. Certainly you have more pressing matters to attend to. ::glances at Treyla:: We will speak with your aide first I think. Zhelrad: I will not forget this insult. ::She said in a cold tone, glancing to all of them in turn:: Fine. Take her. She barely does her job as it is, I'll hardly notice she'd absent. With that the Valcarian Minister stormed down the corridor in a huff. These Starfleeter's were an insidious and encroaching weed, threatening to ruin the Empire's divine rule. Someone would have to rip them out before long. Myrine left Treyla and the others behind and went back into the common area. Perhaps she could still salvage this day and arrange some trade deals. And when she was done, she'd have to send a communique back to the homeworld. The Emperor must be told of just how much of a threat this Federation was to his divine rule. END ========================================================= Minister Myrine Zhelrad Valcarian Trade Representative Antar & Treyla Vosh Illaran Adjunct and Assistant to Minister Myrine Zhelrad simmed by Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Mission Specialist/Second Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 PodCast Team Member Training Team Member Atlantis Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga
  11. @Lephi I genuinely laughed at Lephi's reaction to Brex!! ((Security Director’s Office, Mephinii Spaceport, Illara Prime, Par’Tha Expanse)) Ganarvuss: Captain Logan, I’d like to take Ensign Yalu or Lephi with me to talk to the suspects. Logan: ? Lephi paused for a brief second, considering her situation as she stood on the balls of her feet reflexively, trying not to look too eager. She was weighing the pros and cons methodically in her head trying to figure out where she would be most helpful. Lephi: All due respect to Ensign Yalu, I truly feel I would be better suited to come along. I've been thinking about it and although my hand to hand combat is rusty, my diplomacy is a strong point. Ganarvuss: Is that so? Lephi was almost certain that there had been some disbelief in the tone from Ganarvuss, but decided that it wasn't worth making a scene with the Ensign over. Besides, she reasoned that Ganarvuss' hesitation was likely based on lack of knowledge rather than malice. Lephi: I might be an engineer in Starfleet, but I've brokered many deals in my short life, and you can't do that unless you're good with your words and reading people. Logan: Response Yalu: I’m happy to go wherever I am needed, Ensign Ganarvuss. If you’d like someone to stay behind and work with Dr. Nidhar’s team, I can do that. But if you think I could be of use elsewhere, I mean, not that staying here wouldn’t be useful, I just... Brex: ::inclines his head and turns to Ganarvuss:: With all respect, Ensign, I agree with your Ensign Lephi. His shrewdness might be beneficial. ::pauses:: Also, as I stated to your other officer, I feel I would be of more use with the interview process. Dr. Nidhar has the situation well in hand here and your doctor could be beneficial to her investigation here since he’s the one who discovered the thoron radiation. Lephi turned and shot the Representative a hard glance. oO His shrewdness? His?! Oo Lephi was fuming. She instinctively reached up, gently feeling around her ears. She always had been self conscious about their size. Typical Ferengi females had lobes that were much smaller. She stifled a growing urge to unleash a verbal lashing on this Freeworlder. No, this needed to be handled professionally. She couldn't end up in the brig on her first mission. Lephi: ::speaking through thinly veiled irritation:: Thank you for that ringing endorsement, Representative. Ganarvuss: Alright, then. You’re hired, Lephi. Dr. Yalu, I agree with Brex on this. Your insights could be most helpful to the forensics team. Lephi felt herself tip ever so slightly as she adjusted, allowing both feet to once again be firmly and flatly on the ground. Now it was time to shine. Although she was great at computer languages, her favourite language remained negotiation. Lephi: ::not taking her eyes off of Brex:: Thank you, Ensign, an interrogation is just an intense negotiation, after all. On Ferenginar we just call that an average Tuesday afternoon. You'll get your answers. She hoped she didn't sound too intense in her reply, with her emotions on a roller coaster she struggled to filter her tone. Moderately worried that she was tanking her Starfleet career before it ever got off the ground, she turned her gaze back to Ganarvuss and added in an attempt to be less intense Lephi: Thank you, Ensign Ganarvuss. I hope we make a good team. I look forward to working alongside your very capable self. oO Rule of Acquisition number 33, it never hurts to suck up to the boss! Oo She thought to herself with a wry chuckle, a faint smile turning the corners of her lips upwards slightly. Yalu: Understood Logan: Response Brex: ::nods:: Of course. ::smiles:: It is your decision. I will help however I’m needed. Ganarvuss: You made a good point earlier, Representative. I think it would go a long way to have you with us when we interview the suspects. Lephi: oO Oh this is just perfect. Oo ::deadpan:: It'll be great to have you along Representative. Brex: Response Logan: Response Nidhar: ::pauses:: I wouldn’t mind the extra hand. Lephi was impressed with how quickly Ganarvuss was able to take control of the situation and get things done. She filed that away as a mental note. She reasoned Ganarvuss might make a good ally to have. Ganarvuss: You got it, Doctor. Representative, Lephi: Let’s go. Logan/Nidhar: Response Lephi: I'm on your six. Brex: ? Ilana led the way out of the office and Lephi followed closely behind. They hadn't made it very far before Lephi was forced to stop on short notice, almost running into Ganarvuss who was turning back to face them. Ganarvuss: I imagine the place to start looking would be the main conference center. Lephi: Seems like the best starting point, I agree. I know it's not my place, but if I may, perhaps we should split up to try and cover more ground? It is time sensitive after all. She was determined to put some distance between herself and the thoughtless representative. Of course he'd think she was a male! She was good at being Ferengi! Lephi wondered how he'd feel if she were to make some broad assumption about his species. Brex: ? Ganarvuss: That makes sense. Lephi: Alright, I have my orders, I will accomplish them. Lephi knew she sounded a bit distant and cold, but she hoped that her colleagues would attribute that to readying for the task at hand and not that her feelings were hurt. Ganarvuss: Response Brex: ? ---------------------- Ensign Lephi Engineering Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 A239706L10
  12. A fun little perspective on the ongoing courtroom drama! ((Starbase 104 - Courtroom)) Along with his quick pit stop for a snack Scooter took a stroll to stretch his legs. He had been spending so much time recently digging through various files that he had managed to secure (don't ask him how), messaging people involved in the case for more information and comment (with almost zero luck), and writing draft after draft of the story to date. He needed a little exercise and some time out of that dark FNS writer's room. His PADD gave a beep letting him know he had an incoming message. He removed his PADD from his jacket pocket and looked at the message. The trial was resuming. He decided that exercise back to the courtroom would have to be enough for today. He needed to get to the courtroom to hear some of the testimony to see how it connected to his findings so far. He slipped in quietly while the prosecution was finishing cross examination of one of the witnesses and took a seat in the back row. The defense attorney rose and addressed the court. Maddox: I have one more witness; Commander Maxwell Traenor. He has joined the crew in Captain Rajel’s absence and with him, I would like to introduce new evidence. ::looking between Aubrey and Skepus:: Before I proceed. I want it on record that three separate Starbase 104 engineering and science teams have reviewed the findings and concur that they are authentic and accurate. Scooter sat up a little higher in his chair. It seemed a little odd to him that the prosecution would provide a preemptive explanation of the evidence they were about to present so he figured this must be something good. Really good. Well, depending on your point of view and Scooter's point of the view was whatever story got him the promotion. Maddox: Here are the original, undoctored orders for the USS Constitution-B’s mission to Zeltin IV. It shows that Captain Rajel was ordered to negotiate trade. Commander Traenor, can you walk us through how you and Ensign Foley uncovered this as well as walk us through the details of the document? oO Oh this is better than I thought! Oo Traenor: The metadata obscuration protocols and packet traffic trace details are appendicized in the presentation to the court. I can elaborate on the technicalities if required, but otherwise will condense our findings. On Stardate 239706.01, on the orders of Commander Maddox and with the authorization of the court, Ensign Chip Foley and I completed a thorough parse of related mission communication logs embedded in the USS Constitution's computer core. File size metadata inconsistencies, elaborated in Appendix I, between Starfleet Command and the Constitution were noted. Following the packet data routing outlined in Appendix II, it was found that the communication files in question were altered on Stardate 239704.26. Scooter was a little lost in the technobable jargon that was coming out of the man's mouth but he was putting the basic pieces together. Someone had altered the orders to frame Fleet Captain Rajel. Traenor: Despite having a skilled decrypter in Ensign Foley giving me assistance, the terminal point metadata had been expertly obscured. We were able to ascertain that the alteration had occurred from someplace within Starfleet Headquarters, but no further. The instigator of the comm log alterations had sufficiently covered their tracks. That is, except for one small overlooked packet regarding travel distances to Zeltion IV. Once we were able to parse that metadata, it gave us the key to unlock the altered metadata on the rest of the communication logs at question. We were able to not only unlock the original orders as they were received, but were able to pinpoint the terminal responsible for the alterations, and narrow it all down to one individual, thanks to that one overlooked message. Skepus: Your Honor, I– … This is highly irregular! Scooter was shocked. This was not the reaction that you would expect from a JAG officer, and a Vulcan one at that. The prosecution's case was quickly falling apart. Aubrey/Any: response Maddox: And with whom did this document originate? How high up the chain of command are they? Traenor: The key document, which allowed us to verify the alterations of all other listed comm documents, originated from the terminal of Lieutenant Dolen, personal adjunct of Admiral Fraser. You will find their dossiers and their personal and professional links to the Zeltion IV mission in Appendix III. Maddox: Please keep in mind the three independent teams reviewed this prior to my submission into evidence. Scooter couldn't believe his ears and from the sounds of the courtroom either could anyone else in the room. Did he just hear what he thought he heard? The office of Admiral Faser had given the original orders and changed them when things went south to save face as he set off into the sunset years of his life? Scooter thought he had a heck of a story when this was about Fleet Captain Rajel but the REAL story trumped that by quite a bit. Aubrey: response Maddox: ::bowing her head::Thank you Commander Traenor. I have no further questions. Skepus: Your Honor, in light of recent evidence, I withdraw my case. :: To Aria, cooly :: Perhaps we will resume this at a later date. Boom. And there it was. The case against Fleet Captain Rajel was over and Scooter was sure the case against Admiral Fraser was just starting. He was hoping for a little downtime after writing this story but it was about to get even better. Aubrey/Rajel: response The room was more than a little chaotic at the moment. People were standing. Some were hugging. The room was buzzing with various conversations. Skepus was obviously frustrated and doing his Vulcan best not to let his emotions get the better of him but anyone watching him didn't need to guess at the inner turmoil he was going through. Scooter wanted a comment and did his best to make his way through the crowd of people. McGee: Excuse me. Excuse me! He continued to gently push his way through as he made his way to Maddox and Rajel. The two were understanbly surrounded by people to whom this case was very personal. McGee: Well let me be one of the first to congratulate you both on the outcome of the case. Maddox/Rajel: ? McGee: Scooter McGee. Reporter with Federation News Service. I've been covering the case but nobody really wanted to talk on the record while the trial was still underway. Now that the trial is over can I *finally* get a comment before we all turn our attention to Admiral Fraser? Maddox/Rajel: ? McGee: Your crew seems very devoted to you as shown by their commitment to helping prove your innocence. And I must say I am extremely impressed by their skill and resourcefulness. You are lucky to have them. Maddox/Rajel/Any: ? -tag/tbc- PNPC Scooter McGee Reporter, Federation News Service as simmed by Lieutenant Junior Grade Jacob Horne Engineering USS Constitution-B C239408JH0
  13. I thought this was a very well written Emergency Medical sim and enjoyed the details and medical know-how very much. (( Main Medical, Deck 7, USS Juneau )) Oddas: =/\= Response =/\= Nicholotti: Well, now we know. Indobri: Yes. Let’s hope it’s not that severe. But we had best be ready just in case. Karise began to direct the staff and was elbows deep in the preparations when the Ambassador caught her attention and directed it to a nearby biobed. She could see the residual traces of a blue transporter beam nearly gone. The body laying in the bed was in a full EV suit and was unmoving. One arm and a foot were dangling off the side of the bed and the body was so still it appeared lifeless. The only real information she had about the patient was the gender was clearly female. As she neared, she could see telltale signs of scorching in various areas of the suit. The Ambassador began trying to peel the suit off, but it seemed to be fused together. As she got closer, two more realizations came to her. First, the patient didn’t seem to be breathing. Second, she couldn’t sense much mental activity. None, in fact. Indobri: She’s not breathing! Get that suit off her now! She had completely forgotten rank now. This was a true emergency and all of her training was now in full tilt. She activated the monitors on the bed and checked the vital. Nothing. Nicholotti: Already on it! As Karise began to assess the woman, Ambassador Nicholotti began to work on the suit. Somehow, she had found a cutting tool and was now cutting chunks off. All indicators showed that this woman was either dead or so close to it that the monitors couldn’t tell through the suit’s shielding. Her primary concern was whether she was getting any air at all since the EV suit appeared to be completely nonfunctional. Indobri: Is she getting air? Nicholotti: The suit appears dead. That means no air, but I can’t say for how long. This was not good. Whoever this was didn’t have long. Even if she was dead, there was still a chance she could revive her depending on her condition and how long it had been. But that suit needed to come off first. In fact, she needed the helmet off now. Indobri: I don’t mean to rush you, Ambassador, but do you think you can get that helmet off first? She needs air. Nicholotti: Response Properly chastised, Karise did indeed offer a hand and in relatively short order the helmet had been removed. As soon as it came off, Karise’s heart nearly stopped. oO Nyka?! Sweet Dikken, she’s blue from hypoxia. Oo Indobri: Nurse! Triox compound. Stat! The nurse handed Karise a hypo full of the requested compound and she injected it directly into Nyka’s neck. Next, she grabbed a respirator and placed it over her face. oO Come on, Nyka. Breathe! Oo Nearby, the Ambassador had nearly removed the entire suit. The engineer was badly injured. Karise had noted several severe bruises and some burns that presumably came from whatever source had burned the suit and fused the helmet on. Indobri: If I can’t stimulate brain wave activity, her body is not going to take the oxygen from the respirator. :: turns to the nurse :: I need the neurostimulators. Once the nurse had handed them to her, she placed one on either side of her forehead and activated them. Looking at the bio-monitor she was satisfied it was doing it’s job. Hopefully, if it hadn’t been too long, the brain would start to fire on it’s own. Meanwhile, the neurostimulators would provide the neural charges needed to maintain synaptic activity. Next was the cardiovascular system. Nyka’s heart had stopped also. That was to be expected if there had been some sort of electrical discharge. In fact, that could explain a large amount of the injuries she was seeing. She reached over to the medical tray that had been brought over and grabbed the cardiostimulator and placed it over Nyka’s heart. oO Come on, Nyka. Come back. Oo Nicholotti: Response Indobri: Yes. I don’t know what happened, but this looks like she took a heavy jolt from a high voltage discharge. Or maybe even several such jolts. I wish I knew what she had been doing. Nicholotti: Response Indobri: Now, I continue charging her heart and brain until they decide to fire on their own. :: to nurse :: Tricordrazine. 2 ccs. The nurse measured out the requested amount and handed her the hypo. Karise pressed it to the redhead’s temple and depressed the activator. Looking at the bio monitor, she saw the synaptic responses begin to fire. But she would need to wait and see if that was merely due to the combination of the Tricordrazine and the neurostimulators or if they were beginning to fire on their own. Until her brain was active again, her heart wouldn’t beat on its own. Nor her lungs breath on their own. oO Come on. Take it. Oo Lieutenant Karise Indobri Medical Officer USS Juneau NX-99801 A239412S10
  14. I am loving all these looking into each crew's mind in the aftermath of a difficult mission! ((Quarters, Habitat Ring, Starbase 118)) ((Time: Shortly after returning to his quarters from the Narendra)) (OOC: I'm not familiar with using FOA, please do correct me if it's not used right) Drevas: Okie dokie, computer, start recording. Ensign Drevas Matthel. At the confirming beep from the computer, he set about organizing his quarters proper. He hadn't the chance upon graduating proper after all. Personal log, supplemental. Whew! What a first couple of days. I betcha most officers don't get shot at by five warbirds on their first day on the bridge. Kinda hair-raising if you ask me. But hey, what can you do? Starfleet life, if that's how it's gotta be I'm cool with that. I didn't sign up for the cushiest job in the fleet after all. Slender fingers deftly undid the clasp on his travel case, extracting a few personal belongings of his. His father's spare earring, given to him by his mother just before he left. A pen and paper notepad, accompanied by a simple black ballpoint, which he planned to use to scribble notes if he had to. Sometimes typing while panicky didn't exactly leave behind the most understandable of words, though legible. A family photo taken when he was a little boy; a final reminder of Drevas Artur before all hell broke loose with the Dominion War. Along with a couple more odd trinkets. Gotta say, I didn't expect chasing after a couple of cultists to be so complicated. What's his name? Janul? The Defense Force commander? Can't quite figure out what his deal is. He seems pretty acquainted with the captain. Don't quite know how they're related. He was clearly flying with the rest of the cultists who shot at us - so why help us? What's his game? There's definitely something I'm not seeing or knowing here. On the small workdesk, next to the monitor went the picture; a small reminder of home, tilted towards him where he could see it easily if he swivelled his chair around. Over the edge he hung the earring. His family, all together in one place - they'd watch as he went about his work, surely. The Prophets would take care of them all, surely, wherever they were at any point in their life. But hey, that's not the be all and end all of my first couple of days. Getting shot at is one thing but meeting the rest made things so much better. The engineers on this ship seem to be pretty well acquainted. There's Romy. Sweet girl, never without a smile for the hour or so I spent talking to her and her colleagues. Interesting attitude and outlook too. In good ways. Pretty refreshing actually! Kudon the Vulcan - definitely gotta chat to him a little more sometime. I haven't had much opportunity to interact with that many Vulcans so far. Except maybe professor T'Lang in Tactical Strategies. Next a couple of books came out from the travel case, stored away on the bookshelves. Bajoran scripture text, some of it, but mostly literary works from across the quadrant. There was even a 'Learning Chinese for Dummies' manual he'd gotten at a sort of flea market held on campus once. And then there's Miskre. She's an interesting one. I'll admit, I have never, ever seen a species of plant-based humanoids in my entire life. She has this sorta... ethereal quality. Kinda... drifty. A sort of carefree-ness. Y'know? Always with a smile to her. You can kinda tell that she smiles a lot. And that's okay. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting her again sometime, and finding out more about her and her people. Finally, he replicated himself a proper dinner: A bowl of Chinese lotus root and peanut soup made with pork ribs. Delicious. He'd fallen in love with the stuff when his classmate introduced it to him, thinking that he might like it considering his resemblance to the race of humans that invented it. And she'd been right. Taking a seat at the coffee table he took slow sips of the piping hot broth. For now I've got answers to find. Who's Janul? Who is he to our captain? What are the staff like? Where can you get the best synth springwine on base? Lots more, but hey, one step at a time. The Prophets never gave anyone answers that easily. Reap what you sow. Slow and steady. And you know what? I'm happy to wait and get those answers nice and slow too. In the meantime I've got a lot of exploring to do, lots of people to meet. Checkup first thing in the morning tomorrow - gotta look presentable. It's gonna be a long journey ahead, but hey, who's to say that's a bad thing? If the Prophets will it then so be it. I'm not walking this path alone, anyway. I've got others to accompany me. With that he put down the bowl of soup, half-finished, and began typing out a letter to his mess hall companions that night. Perhaps they'd be open to meeting one more time. And who knows? It might just become a regular gig. // To: Ensign Romyana Casparian, Ensign Kudon, Crewman Miskre Swenhart From: Ensign Drevas Matthel Subject: Meet again sometime? Hey! So nice to get to know you all that night on the Narendra. Crazy experience, huh? How'd you all like to hang out sometime? Visit the holodeck, walk the commercial district, or maybe just go into the depths of the starbase and find our way back like explorers. We'll see! Now that our nerves aren't quite so buzzing I think it's going to be something awesome for all of us! How about... this weekend? 1000 hours? I'll follow up with a meeting place. If anyone else wants to come along that's perfectly fine! Regards, Drevas Matthel // Message sent he put his PADD away and finished the last of the steaming hot broth. Something like that never failed to warm him up before bed. Mother used to tell me that we're all authors, writers penning the story of our own lives for others to read. Every stage in life is a new chapter. A new arc, with new characters sometimes. My Academy days are over - one chapter closed. And today I've written the first few words of the next one. And I can't wait to write the rest. Drevas: Computer, end log. With that he recycled the now-empty bowl and lay down in bed. Tomorrow was a new day and he planned to clinch it. And he couldn't do that sleep-deprived. Casparian/Swenhart/Kudon: Response Ensign Drevas Matthel Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra 0239706DM0 --
  15. ((OOC: I think this small, personal scene has a tremendous amount of warmth and heart. The characters are wonderfully familiar and the whole tone of the thing is pitch perfect to me. Great job, @Ben Garcia)) (( Ben calls home from his quarters 05-1202, U.S.S. Thor. )) Samantha: Where are you? The room looks smaller? Ben? Garcia: Hi mama. Samantha: (Shouting over her shoulder.) Thom! Thoooaaaaaom! Thomas: (Muffled in the background.) Always the rush! (Shouting.) Coming! Samantha: I read the email Ben – is there two ships now? Both named Thor? Garcia: I’m on the Thor now. The crew got reposted from the Embassy to the Menthar Corridor – we took the Thor with us. The posting is ship bound now, ma. Thom cut across the frame, blocking the screen with his hip. Thomas: I’m here, I’m here. Samantha: (To Thom.) He’s on the ship, it’s moved. They’ve left the planet behind. Oh the beach Thomas … we’ll have to plan something else now. Ben craned in towards the screen. Garcia: Hi? Samantha pulled her husband onto the settee. The surprise of the weight nudged Samantha’s pillows making her head wobble. Thomas: Alright Ben, I’m here. Samantha: (To Thom.) He’s in a corridor, that’s why the room is small. (To Ben.) Right Ben? Garcia: No, we got re-assigned to the Thor permanently and we travelled to the Menthar Corridor. Thomas: Which is …? Garcia: A region of space between the Cardassian Union, Breen Confederacy and Tholian Assembly – Samantha: (To Thom.) Is he at war – is our Ben at war?! (To Ben.) Is this war Ben? Garcia: No, nothing like that ma. Thomas: (Shaking his head.) Let him speak Samantha. Anger and worry crimped across Samantha’s face. Samantha: I knew this would happen. I said – I don’t want Ben in a war. Garcia: The Thor is an exploration vessel. There’s no more trouble here than where you are ma – don’t worry. (Ben laughed.) It’s busier and there’s a lot going on – but it’s just folks going about their business. Samantha clasped her hands on her knees. She was less agitated now, but the worry of combat had unsettled her. She shuffled to the edge of the couch and then stood up. Samantha: I need a drink. (Nodding to Thom to keep the conversation going.) Thomas: So, how has the reassignment gone? Settled in? Garcia: It’s a gear change from being planet side. (Beat.) For all my uncertainties about being stationed on a planet right out of the Academy … I sort of miss it. Thomas: Understandable, son. Garcia: We’ve got the hollo-deck. But. Before, I had the gardens, the beach, the forest (Ben’s eyes widened.) continents. Thomas: We’ll it makes sense, it’s a planet Ben. Ben huffed in amused exasperation. Garcia: Paps. Thomas: So, you’re not settled? Ben shook his head and touched the back of his neck. Garcia: It’s not that. I wanted a ship, I got a planet. (Ben shrugged.) Now I’ve got the ship Thomas finished the sentence in unison with Ben. Thomas: -- you want the planet. Garcia: I want the planet. The pair laughed. There was a warmness. Thomas: It’s just change, Ben. It’ll settle. Garcia: I know. Cheers pa. Samantha’s voice could be heard from off in the background. As she got nearer, the hmmm and duuumm of her tune came into focus. Garcia: (Loudly, with a wink to his dad.) There was some news, pa. Samantha: (Calling from the back of the room) News? Ben –what news? Hold on – Thomas shook his head and wagged a finger in feigned rebuke at Ben. Now Thomas’ head wobbled as Samantha surprised the couch with her weight. Samantha: (With arched eyebrows.) News? Come on! Let’s hear. Ben ran his finger along his collar, stopping at the new half pip. Samantha: (Her eyes widening.) Promotion?! Thomas cusped his ear as Samantha screamed. Thomas: Well done Lieutenant ... There was a pause and Ben filled in the blank. Garcia: … Commander pap. Samantha: (Punctuating the sentence with her hands.) Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia. Samantha clasped her hands together and kissed Thomas on the cheek. Thomas gave her a squeeze back. Samantha: We need to organise a celebration! Let me pull the diary up. Ben sat back in his chair. Thomas smiled. End. ---------------------- Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia Second Officer/HCO USS Thor NCC-82607 Author ID number: G239102MR0 SB118 News Team
  16. I had to share this absolute gem written by @Dassa Alexander-Dalton today. The way she paints the picture of Representative Brex is masterful and I had tears of laughter at one point. ======================================= ((Security Director’s Office, Mephinii Spaceport, Illara Prime, Par’Tha Expanse)) The woman left and he returned his attention to the matter at hand. They now had two tasks that required attention: the re-analysis of the crime scene and interviewing suspects. Forensics wasn’t his area of specialty and he felt all he’d end up doing here was standing and twiddling his thumbs. Ganarvuss: Captain Logan, I’d like to take Ensign Yalu or Lephi with me to talk to the suspects. Logan: Response Lephi: All due respect to Ensign Yalu, I truly feel I would be better suited to come along. I've been thinking about it and although my hand to hand combat is rusty, my diplomacy is a strong point. Ganarvuss: Is that so? Lephi: I might be an engineer in Starfleet, but I've brokered many deals in my short life, and you can't do that unless you're good with your words and reading people. He smiled and nodded. For one so young, the Ferengi certainly was bold. Perhaps it was a species trait. Given that this was the first Ferengi he’d ever met, he couldn’t be sure. However, he could say that he found it refreshing. Despite her earlier nervousness, he imagined she’d make a good business partner. Logan: Response Yalu: I’m happy to go wherever I am needed, Ensign Ganarvuss. If you’d like someone to stay behind and work with Dr. Nidhar’s team, I can do that. But if you think I could be of use elsewhere, I mean, not that staying here wouldn’t be useful, I just... Brex: ::inclines his head and turns to Ganarvuss:: With all respect, Ensign, I agree with your Ensign Lephi. His shrewdness might be beneficial. ::pauses:: Also, as I stated to your other officer, I feel I would be of more use with the interview process. Dr. Nidhar has the situation well in hand here and your doctor could be beneficial to her investigation here since he’s the one who discovered the thoron radiation. Lephi: ::speaking through thinly veiled irritation:: Thank you for that ringing endorsement, Representative. Ganarvuss: Alright, then. You’re hired, Lephi. Dr. Yalu, I agree with Brex on this. Your insights could be most helpful to the forensics team. Lephi: ::not taking her eyes off of Brex:: Thank you, Ensign, an interrogation is just an intense negotiation, after all. On Ferenginar we just call that an average Tuesday afternoon. You'll get your answers. ::turns to Ganarvuss:: Thank you, Ensign Ganarvuss. I hope we make a good team. I look forward to working alongside your very capable self. Yalu: Understood. Logan: Response He nodded. There were multiple angles to consider with this and he presumed that Ensign Ganarvuss knew the strengths and talents of her people better than he did. He was commenting from a limited time in the room with these people. Brex: ::nods:: Of course. ::smiles:: It is your decision. I will help however I’m needed. Ganarvuss: You made a good point earlier, Representative. I think it would go a long way to have you with us when we interview the suspects. Lephi: ::deadpan:: It'll be great to have you along Representative. He gazed at the Ferengi woman curiously. Though he wasn’t overly familiar with her species, he could have almost sworn he detected a note of irritation. Given her upbeat attitude not a moment or two earlier, he had to surmise that something was bothering her. He’d noted her reaction to Ensign Ganarvuss’s words and had thought that was it, but her attention was focused on him now and he had the strangest feeling that he was somehow the source. Logan: Response Nidhar: ::pauses:: I wouldn’t mind the extra hand. Shaking his concern about the Ferengi officer from his mind for a moment, he turned to Eisla with a small smile, pleased that she’d warmed up to the idea of help from the Starfleet officers. Ganarvuss: You got it, Doctor. Representative, Lephi: Let’s go. Logan/Nidhar: Response Lephi: I'm on your six. With one last glance and smile at Eisla, he nodded and followed the two Starfleet officers from the room. As he did, his gaze flickered to Ensign Lephi, his expression contemplative. Ensign Ganarvuss’s voice drew him from his thoughts. Ganarvuss: I imagine the place to start looking would be the main conference center. Lephi: Seems like the best starting point, I agree. I know it's not my place, but if I may, perhaps we should split up to try and cover more ground? It is time sensitive after all. His concern regarding the sudden change in Ensign Lephi’s demeanor grew. Splitting up didn’t sound like such a marvelous idea given that they had a spy on the loose. Any of them could be the next target. No. In his mind, it made more sense that they stick together. Brex: ::pauses:: Given that we have a spy on the loose who doesn’t seem adverse to any means to achieve his end, I believe dividing ourselves further could pose an unnecessary risk. ::pauses:: It is, of course, your decision. Ganarvuss: That makes sense. Lephi: Alright, I have my orders, I will accomplish them. Ganarvuss: Response As they resumed walking, Drezon took the opportunity to meet Lephi’s gaze, deliberately allowing Ensign Ganarvuss to get a bit ahead of them. Brex: ::pauses:: Though I’m a negotiator and a businessman by trade, I prefer when necessary to get to the point. There’s no sense in wasting one another’s precious time. Lephi: Response Brex: ::inclines his head:: I’m concerned with the sudden change in your demeanor. Lephi: Response Brex: ::smiles:: I’m no man’s fool, Ensign Lephi. Four decades of brokering deals and negotiating with buyers leaves a man with an almost sixth sense for these things. Lephi: Response ((OOC: Happy to continue this as you see fit. I didn’t want to box you into a corner.)) Ganarvuss: Response --- MSNPC Representative Drezon Brex Tradesman, Naylar Representative Kala'din IV As written by Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs I238110RH0 -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "UFOP: StarBase 118: USS Atlantis" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to sb118-atlantis+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/sb118-atlantis/CABVKAYRhmVZraU7CvQEXZJ3KEMu-JoZ481LcnqLCL1b%2BwcmXgA%40mail.gmail.com.
  17. @Sal Taybrim Even though I'm in this scene as well I really want to commended Sal for the way in which they wrote the atmosphere and emotions of this scene from their characters point of view. I could more than 100% feel how sweet and caring Sal was being towards Sheila. In the end the sim gave me fuzzy warm feels. I also love how they changed there signature to best fit the context of this scene. ((CO’s Office – The Hub – StarBase 118)) Now, back at StarBase 118, Sal felt he could relax more. Reconnect with friends and crewmates, and, unfortunately, get some paperwork done. That was, perhaps, his only dislike of command was the endless stream of official reports. Even with staff to help him with the mundane part of the reports, there were always the classified bits and the things he needed to sign off on. Which meant that Sal was always happy to have a distraction while he was working on after-mission reports. Fortunately he had a scheduled meeting so he tucked the paperwork away in his desk and leaned back to enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation. It was calm in the CO’s office this late morning. Behind Sal was a large bank of windows affording a wonderful view of the traffic coming in and out of StarBase 118. He had the lights set to a soft golden glow, giving a warm feeling to the room. Moby was nestled all warm and snug in his terrarium, cooing softly that his master was back home. The air smelled of Rigellian orange cider, overlaid with the slightly spicy, floral scent of long pepper. He looked up as the chime rang, feeling the emotional presence of Doctor Bailey before he called out. Taybrim: Please come in. Bailey: ::entering the office:: I’m sorry to be so forward. I want to thank you for meeting with me. Mind if I sit? He smiled gently at her, in a welcoming manner, moving out from behind his desk to join her in a sitting area with a variety of comfortable chairs, some higher, some lower, some with arms and some without arms, gesturing for her to choose the one she liked. Taybrim: Please do Once she was seated he took a seat that was close by, but not directly next to her, pulling it forward to be able to converse comfortably. Taybrim: Please, tell me what is on your mind, Doctor? His voice was warm, open, calm. Not pushing. He watched her gently. Empathy told him that she had heavy thoughts in her heart. No, he couldn’t safely read her thoughts and wouldn’t do so even if he could. But with the damage to his telepathy he navigated the loss of that sense with the compensation of his Empathy. It was his guiding star in almost every interaction he had with anyone. Bailey: I wanted to let you know of some personal details that could affect my work. So far it hasn’t but in this most recent mission I felt like it could have. Sal nodded gently. He did not judge crew who had such trauma in their past, and he was honestly very proud of her for addressing it before it became an issue. That showed self-awareness and maturity, two things he valued in up and coming crew. Not to mention that almost every person had some sort of ghosts they were dealing with. Including himself. Having such ghosts was never a problem, but how one dealt with them spoke volumes about the person as well as how they would progress from those ghosts. Taybrim: I know ghosts of the past are a difficult subject to discuss, but my ears are open for you. Bailey: I would like to mention this to my friend not my CO if that’s okay? He nodded to her in assent. He could separate himself from Sal the commanding officer and Sal the person. He was, in both roles, Sal the counselor. But that had always benefitted him – not the idea that he was trying to shrink heads, but the idea that he had learned how to listen to people. To ask good questions that prompted them to talk more. A good counselor was never in the pilot’s seat. Always the co-pilot. The person speaking was the driver and the only one who could make true, lasting changes within themselves. Taybrim: I promise you that this is friend to friend. ::he reached up to his collar and removed his pips, setting them on the table, before he looked back at her.:: Off the record. Bailey: Thank you. My Uncle, Marc Clarence, was not a nice guy. Not nice to me. He spent his life physically and mentally abusing me and my sisters. During this mission I was reminded of those instances while fighting Klingons and treating Commander Galven. Reminded me of how I had failed. Sal nodded gently, leaning forward to rest his chin on his hand, full attention afforded to the Elaysian. Taybrim: Why do you feel that you failed in the past? The question was open, not accusatory. But gently pushing her to consider how she saw herself. And that was the one thing Sal immediately picked up on. The feelings of shame and blame. He could understand why someone would feel that they failed in an instance like this, but part of his role as a counselor and as a friend was to help people adjust how they saw their role in such things. To reassign blame to those who deserved it and forgive themselves for past actions, eventually erasing that mark of failure from their mind. Bailey: ? Taybrim: Did anyone speak negatively of you beyond your uncle? He wanted to know if she was told by someone else that she had failed, or if this was something implanted by Marc Clarence’s actions. Bailey: ? He shook his head slowly, reassuringly. Taybrim: No, I do not need details of what happened, unless you would find it cathartic to speak of them. I believe you when you state that he was abusive and I understanding how manipulative a relationship like that can be, and it’s entirely valid to feel like a failure after that. ::He paused and caught her gaze:: However feeling like a failure does not make you a failure. Bailey: ? Taybrim: ::Gently:: And why would you say that? Bailey: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Sal Taybrim Sometimes just your friend and counselor StarBase 118 Ops
  18. I guess you may already know that but USS Arrow simulation was just launched last Monday. In order to celebrate such unique event here are the nominations for the Top Funny Quotes of the Season. 🤣😆😂😝
  19. ((Starbase 118 – Meeks’ Quarters)) What a bang up first day at his first duty assignment. After arriving back at the Starbase, Anthony received his crew quarters assignment and quickly found where he would be living for the immediate future. Having rested on the Narindra, Anthony was ready to get to work. Training for a Marine was more like leisure than work, so making reservations for a training holodeck was no burden for him. He hadn’t been integrated into the Marine unit on the station, and while he waited for those orders to come through, he figured he might as well sharpen his skills. It was never fun to train alone, so he tapped his combadge while he walked. ((Starbase 118 - Glover's Quarters)) It had been a hell of a first mission for Glover but he came out of it unscathed. The ride back to the Starbase was one that Noah spent in quiet contemplation, allowing his mind to settle around the events that had taken place. Having been through such an ordeal and looking death in it's nasty eyes, Noah was thankful for those moments of solitude. Now that he was back on Starbase 118 he spent the early part of the day getting settled into his new crew quarters. They were bigger then he had expected, being more roomy then the crew quarters that they had showed them in the academy. That was one of the big perks of being assigned to a Starbase. Unpacking didn't take long, just some clothes, a few pictures from home, and some of Noah's favorite books. Meeks: =/\=Meeks to Ensign Glover=/\= Glover: =/\= Glover here =/\= Meeks: =/\= I have an hour of holodeck time and I’m going to do some training. Wanna join in?=/\= Noah perked up at this. Anthony and Noah had served together during the academy and during their recent mission the Captain had assigned them both to the Klingon shuttle together. Noah liked Anthony, he handled himself well during the mission. Glover: =/\= I would love to. I will suit up.=/\= Meeks: =/\=Copy that. I’ll meet ya on Training Holodeck Thirty-Two.=/\= ((Starbase 118 - Training Holodeck Thirty-Two)) Anthony tapped the console outside the door of the holodeck and loaded the program. With a chirp, the computer acknowledged the command and the holodeck doors slid open. Stepping inside, Anthony found himself standing in a mid sixteenth century Japanese dojo. The walls were dark wood framed rice paper and the floor was bamboo matting. Racks of period weaponry lined one of the walls. Taking the time while he waited for his new found friend, Anthony started a stretching routine. Noah arrived outside the Holodeck shortly there after. He was unsure exactly what training program they would use and felt it best to be prepared for anything while in his uniform, so he opted to wear his Starfleet uniform. Noah smiled when he entered and noticed Anything was already there and stretching. Glover: Ah, great choice on the program. I love the martial arts. Meeks: I figured we’d start slow with some stretches, then work our way into some jujitsu and aikido. How’s that sound to you? Noah smiled and nodded then quickly joined Anthony and began to do some stretches, making sure his body was prepared for the work Noah was about to put it through. He was happy to have made friends with a marine, he knew that Anthony would keep him challenged which would prove very useful in his line of work as a security officer. Glover: I will never get tired of the magic of the Holodeck. It is like we are really in Japan, I can even smell the Japanese wood. Meeks: ::Unable to suppress a smile:: It is pretty amazing. Sure beats a sweaty ol’ gym. Once they were warmed up, the pair moved to the center of the room. They squared up on each other and Anthony moved first. He was a little surprised when Noah slipped to the left of his advance, and before Anthony was able to regain his balance, he found himself on the floor. Rolling to his back, he took up the guard position as Noah mounted him. Bracing himself, Anthony arched his back and locked his legs around Noah’s waist. This kept Noah from being able to strike. They struggled for a few seconds in that position then broke, regaining their feet. Meeks: Smooth, Amigo. You got some moves, my friend. Glover: Your defense game is on point. Meeks: Let’s try that again. Glover: Brace for impact Lieutenant. ::chuckles:: Once the motion started, it was Noah who found himself on the floor again. He had dropped to lunge under Anthony’s raised arms and Anthony stepped into his advance. Anthony grabbed Noah around the waist and twisted, throwing Noah onto the bamboo mat. Before Anthony could advance on him, Noah rolled onto his knees and to his feet. It appeared to Anthony he had found a worthy sparring partner in the young Ensign. The twisting and turning grappling match went on for the full hour, and by the time the chime sounded, signaling their time was up, both men were sweaty and maybe a little bruised. Anthony grabbed a couple of towels from the rack and tossed one to Noah. Meeks: Now the only thing left for me to do, is buy you a beer. You game? Glover: A beer sounds perfect. Meeks: Promenade in an hour? Glover: I will see you there. Thanks for the workout Anthony. ::smiles and waves goodbye as he exits the Holodeck:: ((Starbase 118 - Glover's Quarters)) Noah stepped under the warm water of the shower and released a long sigh as the water massaged his sore muscles. He couldn't help but smile as he thought back over the past few days, his dreams of being a Starfleet Security Officer finally a reality. The fact that he had already made friends with Anthony made it even that much better. ~~~ End ~~~ ~~~ Ensign Noah Glover Security Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239706NG0 and 2Lt. Anthony Meeks Marine Officer - 292nd TMR Starbase 118 Ops R238801IG0
  20. ((Corridor, USS Constitution)) Maxwell Traenor had both a professional and a personal interest in the subject matter of the social meeting he was currently walking towards. Chip Foley, an engineer that Maxwell had known since they had both graduated from the Academy (improbable as it was that a Commander and an Ensign shared an Academy graduation), had extended him an invitation for coffee. Now, Maxwell was always down for a good caffeine jolt, but Chip had described his process for extracting that dark brew with an exuberance that exceeded even his usual superhuman excitement, and it was infectious. The scientist in him wanted to know how exactly a brewing process, homogenous across many civilizations and stagnant for centuries, could possibly be enhanced. In this day and age of post-scarcity, where a replicator in every room made every culinary whim available at the simplest voice command, a personal touch was rare. Therefore, a hand-drawn coffee deserved a similarly thoughtful accompaniment. Unlike others on the ship, Maxwell had zero culinary skills. He had dined at the tables of friends aboard the Conny and beyond who could be artistic in whipping up savory or sweet concoctions in their spare times, however those skills were forever beyond Maxwell’s capabilities. Therefore, he leaned on the skills of others to bridge his deficiency. When he had found out that the confectionaries at the Brew Continuum were handmade and baked in-house, Traenor made that his de facto source for a visitor’s gift to this social event - a box of caramel tarts that he felt would compliment any good brew of joe. Rounding the corner, Traenor saw the door to Chip’s quarters, and was pleased to see that he was neither early nor fashionably late. Mr Foley struck him as the type who would appreciate punctuality, he mused with humor. Most engineers were a stickler for details, a professional trait surely, but Chip… well, Chip certainly took the engineer stereotypes to a whole other level. Chuckling, Maxwell rang the buzzer located next to the quarters door. ((Personal Quarters - USS Constitution)) Normally Chip's quarters were - well, not MESSY, certainly. Not chaotic. That was anathema to him. But they were very BUSY. Chip tended to utilize every inch of his living area, with his expansive modular workbench and his meticulously organized tools and his enclosed safety field for more energetic experimentation and his elaborate floating kal-toh set and his virtual computing rig and his microaeronautic drone combat sim table ... ... like unpressurized vapor, Chip tended to expand to fill available space. This tendency had quickly led to him being assigned a single occupancy dorm at the Academy. However, it did make socialization in his quarters difficult. Dr. Nygard, his Academy counselor, had worked with him extensively on this topic. "Chip, people need more than the exact surface area required to sit in one place free if they're going to visit you. They'll feel ... constrained! Trapped! Remember when I tried to come visit you at your dorm and I couldn't get past that table with the little ships and one of them shot at me? That wasn't a good visit, Chip. We didn't have much fun, right? I understand you like things where they are, but you need a way to create more SPACE. You love solving problems like that - maybe find a way to pack things AWAY sometimes! Please, Chip. I don't want anyone else who might become friends with you in the future to bonk their forehead into that floating pile of metal bars like I did." So Chip had spent the early hours carefully putting things away, packing away the more space-consuming items. He'd left out a few pieces - things of particular visual interest or "conversation pieces" (he made mental air quotes) - and left a carefully-calculated amount of space for free movement. Now that he'd set his space up in a presentable fashion, his primary focus was the hovercart with his hyperpercolator mounted on it. The hyperpercolator represented years of effort. Experimentation, research, specialized permits, miniaturization of existing technology, security clearances, and the reconsideration of certain theories of phase change in organic matter. He made sure the power modulation was at the correct levels, and checked the stability on the internal forcefields, and then rechecked it just to be safe. One could never be too safe with the hyperpercolator. He glanced up and to the left, a habit he had when restlessly checking the chronometer in his field of vision, sort of the way someone with less internal equipment might check a wrist-worn piece or a wall clock. It was almost exactly time for- The buzzer rang. Well, buzzed. Chip beamed sparklingly bright, and moved quickly to the door to tap it open. Foley: Optimal timing, Commander! Almost to the quarter-second! Come in, come in! He gestured grandly with his cybernetic hand at the neatly-appointed quarters, with two entire chairs set out around a small modular table composed of interlocking hexagons, and lots of carefully color-coded boxes stacked at the walls. Foley: Welcome to my humble abode! Although I'm actually quite proud of it. Which still tracks, since I'd be proud, and not the aforementioned abode. Although an abode can't really be humble, either. Humbly appointed perhaps? But isn't humility subjective in that instance? That's outside the point! Which I had originally. Ah! Yes! You're here! Welcome! Maxwell chuckled, by now expecting and eternally amused by the running commentary that Chip was wont to engage in. If exuberant conversation was a spectator sport, then Foley would be the Buck Bokai of that competition. Traenor: Thanks for having me over, Chip. And it’s Maxwell, there’s no pips when coffee and treats are involved. He proffered the box of confectionaries he had brought along to punctuate the sentiment, taking a surreptitious look around Foley’s quarters as the exchange took place. One could discern a fair bit about an officer by the quarters they kept; take Maxwell, for instance. The current scarcity of his own quarters was a telegraph of his emotional state at the moment, a slight feeling of impermanence among recent upheavals. Chip’s quarters? Well, to Maxwell, they were just like the man they belonged to. Fascinating, amusing, and just a bit confusing. Foley: Optimal, Maxwell! ::Chip beamed, his silver eyes glowing with extra lumens as they tended to when reflecting their users’ satisfaction:: Oooh, treats? That’s one of my 71 favorite words! The order of the words’ prominence on the list changes over time but “treats” is frequently highly ranked! He glanced with undisguised eagerness at the parcel Maxwell had, measuring it with his eyes. Measuring, evaluating surface temperature, getting a rough estimate of materials involved in its manufacture ... Traenor: ::nodding at the box:: I’ve found that caramel enhances most coffees, so that’s what I went with this time as well. Hope I’m not proven wrong in this instance! Foley: Ah! Extremely optimal choice! The maltols and alpha-enol adjacent carbonyls in caramel are indeed a chemically perfect pairing with the 2-Isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine of coffee! Organic chemistry is not one of my PRIMARY interests but I did make a fairly intense - albeit highly specialized and specific - study of it in the course of engineering my coffee making system! And also a broader study of sugar in general! Mmm, caramel. Traenor took a more in-depth look around the room this time as he made his way towards the seats. In particular, he was trying to eye the by-now much vaunted hyperpercolator. A recent conversation with the ship’s premiere bartender about stills and home brewing - of a different sort from today’s brew, but no less interesting - had whet his appetite about learning the hows, whats, and whys of these particular talents. Any journeyman scientist worth their salt would be engaged in such subjects, he felt. Traenor: ::unsure if he was even pointing at the right contraption:: And is that… is that the coffee maker? Chip grinned brightly, which was really the only way he could grin with the titanium teeth. He moved to the hovercart with the air of an artist preparing to unveil his magnum opus, or a composer tossing back his coat tails and sitting at the bench to play his finest étude. Foley: Behold - the HYPERPERCOLATOR! I took some time considering the name and ultimately decided that since percolation is key to the delivery of the final product then it suited the device. Also I like the duplication of the “per” phoneme! But yes! The HYPERPERCOLATOR! Patent not pending! Totally open-sourced, but only a handful have been bold enough to attempt its final construction! I like to think of that as a compliment to my dedication and engineering skills and not a commentary on my lack of regard for the risk of annihilation! Never fear - I have STRONG anti-annihilation protocols in place! On the hovercart before the two men sat a cylindrical device, about a meter long, perhaps a third of a meter at its widest with clearly distinguished chambers, much wider at one end and narrowing at the end to a somewhat fanciful chromed tap. It pulsed with energy, and there was the sensation of repressed power not entirely unlike being in close proximity to a warp engine. Chip waggled his hairless brows, crinkling his vast forehead, and his eyes glowed with both good humor and a literal output of energy as a side effect of their extensive modifications. Foley: May I offer you The Hyperpercolator Grand Tour, trademark pending? Traenor: ::eyeing the contraption with the measured respect it deserved:: Trademark pending? I thought you had mentioned it was open-source - or did I mis-hear? Foley: Yes, the hyperpercolator itself is open-sourced but my particular style of dissemination of information on its structure and function is FIRMLY protected by relevant galactic trade law! Hypothetically! I haven’t tried to sell it yet. Although one never knows! Now, allow me to demonstrate! Chip raised his metallic left hand and extended his forefinger - and then kept extending it, an additional 10 centimeters, to act as a pointer. He’d initially developed the extensible digit function to allow better access behind heavy fixtures and into narrow spaces, but it was very helpful for scientific demonstrations! Eye catching! Quite literally, the one time someone had drawn too close during an enthusiastic exhibition of a theoretical design for a plasma-edged rotary saw. Traenor: Let the show begin! Maxwell was no engineer, but he appreciated equipment that led to chemical processes. And make no mistake, the preparation of coffee from beginning to end was a chemical process, which was squarely in his wheelhouse. The selection, propagation and cultivation of coffee trees was the rival of the most pristine of viticulture; precise maturation and maillardizing of the beans were essential; and of course, the solvency of the volatile organics into steeped water with the emulsification of the extracted oils… it was a chemistry slash horticulture lab supplanted onto a kitchen counter. He rubbed his hands together with a wicked grin in anticipation. Foley: So the essence of the hyperpercolator began with my consideration of how to best CONDENSE the essence of coffee. I’d had all the various forms of the beverage - my father is a coffee enthusiast, if not an addict - as well as exoterran varietals like raktajino. I’d researched and reviewed the science on French presses and espresso machines and vacuum coffeemakers, on cold brews and nitrous brews and flame roast and barrel roast. But I felt there was further opportunity. I wanted a way to concentrate the inherent ESSENCE of coffee, to enhance and intensify it. And so I looked to phase change! Specifically to SUBLIMATION. He tapped the wide end of the unit with a little tink, and the hyperpercolator thrummed, the lights within the device pulsing. Traenor: Sublimation! Of course! What an elegant source for distillation! Foley: Precisely! A sufficient application of energy to be able to entirely convert the coffee beans into vapor! Hence the plasma generator that acts as the heart of the hyperpercolator and certainly one of its more entertainingly dangerous components! It took at least a year to be able to determine the exact level of energy output in megajoules and the appropriate duration for the plasma pulse into the bean chamber! There was then the matter of incineration to consider - coffee beans, like most other organic material, are subject to radical carbonization and compressed ash makes a highly unsuitable drink in most cases! Traenor: My first thought is, ‘how do you preserve the volatile organic compounds’? We all know how fragile they are to heat of any degree. Especially purines, which would mean bye-bye caffeine jolt... Foley: Ah-HA! Just so! And so I needed something that would allow the phase state change to take place while maintaining the volatile organic flavor compounds and, naturally, the trimethylxanthine! My eventual solution after extended research was a specified medical stasis field established in the bean depository, miniaturized of course, to sustain the more delicate organic compounds! Combined with a vaporous nitrogenic fixative, this allows for essentially instantaneous conversion of the coffee beans into a pure coffee bean vapor with the relevant stimulants and flavonols intact - and even intensified! Traenor: By the fates… you’ve basically aerosolized the organic compounds in a forcefield-stabilized molecular stream. It took the heat of a tiny singularity to do so, but what a feat! You know, you could revolutionize food replication technology with this... That was just so. In order to maintain the complex flavorant compounds in food when setting replicator recipes, transporter technology to break down products to their constituent molecules was used. However, it had its limitations, as anyone who compared replicated food to its naturally prepared version could attest. Transporters were highly efficient at breaking down matter to the atomic level, converting it to an energy stream, and recompiling it into an exact replica of matter at the other end. However, your average replicator didn’t dematerialize a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream sundae behind your quarters wall and reconstruct it in the alcove you reach into. It had a gross approximation of the matter reconstruction protocol, and used inert matter stores as the base to make a degraded facsimile of your request. Ergo, not quite “right’. The same concept was in play when one tried to reinvent the wheel with coffee brewing. The extraction of the myriad chemical compounds that produced a fine cup of coffee was borne of a specific method - mainly, the dissolution of those compounds from coffee beans into hot water. You try to change that too radically, is it even coffee anymore? With enough advanced applied theoretical engineering and chemical sciences, the answer was apparently yes. Foley: Ideally! The technology for this application was quite exact, but once the guidelines of securing volatile organic cellular chains within specified miniaturized stasis fields utilized in micronic pulses and powered by a plasma chamber are understood generally, particularly by the Operations oversight committee of Starfleet … it would certainly make using a replicator more energy consumptive, and the process may not be suitable for every application, but I suspect it would make certain delicate flavors much more accessible! Imagine how shipboard dinner conversations could be improved without people either lamenting or defending replicated food or discussing the limited resource-heavy workarounds to replicated food and drink they’d come to, generally with varying degrees of smugness! Chip was at maximum eagerness, gesturing broadly with both the organic and inorganic hand, moving his beryllium-titanium fingers in delicate patterns as if to demonstrate the enclosure of delicate imidazoles, swishing the extended pointer finger with its glowing green tip, from the base of the device where the fusion cell and plasma chamber were built, to the secured and shielded coffee depository, through the narrow glowing chamber through which everything was theoretically forced, and to the wider slightly belled end with a tap on the very tip and a neatly installed blue-glowing cube that was recognizable to the science officer as a small hydrox generator. Foley: From here the coffee vapor is pressurized, slowly forced down into a liquid state, pushed along this condenser and into the distillator where it’s combined with pure extractive water created from absolutely pure hydrogen and oxygen, on demand! I once tried drinking the condensed coffee vapor as a pure liquid - and I did not sleep for 5 days, nor could I taste anything adequately for another 22! The INTENSITY, you see. It exceeds the normal capacities of the gustatory cells! Thus, the condensed distillate requires a VERY specific temperature of water at an absolute purity and a specified vacuum-bound micro-aeration in order to become remotely palatable but still maintain its character! And that character, I must reiterate - is INTENSE. It had been a very long while since he had researched the subject (for a prank on a much younger and much more haughty instructor at the Academy) but Maxwell was brought to mind of the effects of caffeine overdose, or caffeine intoxication as it was sometimes known. Restlessness, excitement, periods of inexhaustibility, rambling flow of thought and speech… nah. He was sure it was just a coincidence. He smiled at Chip, urging him to continue. Traenor: Well, the proof is in the edible non-newtonian fluid, as they say! Brew me up a jolt and let’s see what you’ve got here. Foley: As you wish, my good sir! Make yourself comfortable! Stand at ease! Be of good cheer! Oh - ah, yes! Ha ha, nearly forgot! In addition to all the comfort and good cheer, there is some required … precaution to be taken! The hyperpercolator was mounted on its hovercart in the center of the room, of course. Just beside it, with a chair on either side, was a pedestal table made of interlocking hexagons. In front of each chair was a small ceramic cup, big enough for just 0.5 ounces each, and sat neatly between them was a toolkit with a few essentials that might come up in standard operation of the hyperpercolator: a heavy-duty shielded tricorder of the sort used in evaluating high energy discharges, a spare krellide power cell, an EJ7 interlock, a plasma torch, what appeared to be a field tissue regenerator, and a pair of heavily tinted polarized goggles, which Chip handed cheerfully to Maxwell. Foley: The plasma pulse combined with the photonic output of the multiple field interactions can be slightly retina-scorching to the unprotected eye! Another challenging aspect of bleeding-edge coffee generation! Make use of those - unless of course you’d like a fetching pair of prosthetic eyes like mine! Always a viable alternative! Traenor: ::fumbling quickly with the goggles, speaking in a tone not unlike a squeak before clearing his throat:: Yes, hmm, I think the Conny crew can do just fine with one set of enhanced eyeballs. Let’s just slip these bad boys on. Chip chuckled, and began to set about the delicate processes of setting the device up. Most adjustments were made virtually - Chip did not fully trust analogue controls since they were subject to alteration from exterior forces, so most of the controls were adjusted purely digitally, through a PADD interface built into the hovercart. The percolator thrummed, almost crackling with energy that slowly increased. Delicate adjustments were made. The exterior lights began to pulse. Foley: The beans are the strongest and most robust I can find - although the hyperpercolator extracts the most essential properties of almost any breed of Coffea Canaphora, the amount of energy expended in its use means that I want to get the best possible return on investment, as it were! And it were, in this case, optimal to use the most intense beans I could find! These were bred by a clinically insane botanist on an asylum station near Exo III - an interesting fellow! We played tri-D chess by subspace for a while. He always led with his bishops! But he grows EXCELLENT coffee. And apparently talks to the plants! Evidently they occasionally talk back, according to some of our idle chatter between chess moves. I assume that was mostly metaphorical, but it’s difficult to confirm! Chip opened a small magnetically sealed box full of exactly 3.75 ounces of unroasted stones from the coffee berries provided by the mad botanist, ideally not from talking plants. At a tap of Chip’s control pad, a port at the wide base of the hyperpercolator irised open, and he tipped the stones in. There was no point in an external roasting process, Chip had determined, since the pulse of hyperpercolator’s sublimation chamber was 277760 degrees Celsius. He secured the bean depository, and there the slowly rising harmonic of a sweep by the scanner of the adjusted stasis system, miniaturized and built into the strange device. It pulsed louder. Foley: Payload secured …. And now we initiate MAXIMALLY OPTIMAL COFFEE! He said it in the tone that another hypothetically intense scientist may have once shouted “GIVE MY CREATION LIFE!” in a lightning storm, and instead of a large knife switch he tapped the console on the hovercart. The plasma generator thrummed, the cart shook slightly - and Chip’s eyes automatically shifted from glowing silver to a dulled polarized gray as there was a massive corona of light, a huge FLARE of energy. Everywhere there was suddenly the intense smell of roasted coffee - so intense that it went beyond what mankind previously imagined as that smell, transcending it. It was the scent of PLATONIC coffee, roasted in the heart of a star, secured by forcefields at the cellular level and made sublime. Foley: Compression initiated! THIS PART IS ALWAYS SOMEWHAT INTERESTING FROM A RISK-ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE! Traenor: ::cupping his ears:: WHAT! ::determining it was futile:: NEVER MIND! I’LL JUST WATCH! The two had to begin shouting here as the hyperpercolator pulsed and began to cool the superheated vapor, releasing the stasis fields, the fixed nitrogen flooding the chamber and a level 6 forcefield just 10 centimeters across began to compress everything into the central body of the hyperpercolator. Now it became clear why Chip had mounted the device on a hovercart - it would have shaken apart any moored surface. The vibrations were intense, even with the hovercart’s antigravitic stablizers, like a ship passing into the higher warp factors. Traenor had never seen a steam engine in real life. The archaic and highly inefficient motive device preceded the scientist by a good 5 or 6 centuries on his forebear’s home planet. However, it was still a romanticized device among humans, so he was familiar with it. Maxwell surmised that in an alternate reality, where steam technology progressed through an algorithm like Moore’s Law to supplant internal combustion, nuclear energy, and eventually M/A reaction to become the dominant energy force of the 25th century, then such an engine would look like this. He found himself shrinking back into his chair involuntarily. Traenor: ::still speaking quite loudly as his ears were ringing fiercely:: Was it supposed to do ::waving vaguely at the overwhelming sensory overload provided by the device:: that?! Foley: Everything is OPTIMAL! We are approaching MAXIMUM COFFEE ENGAGEMENT, MAXWELL! Sorry, I don’t actually need to shout since the vibrations have ceased but I’m always very excited by this point in the percolation process! It's so SPARKLING! Traenor: ::with an uncertain grin:: I’ll risk life and limb on a good cup of coffee. Er, I mean that metaphorically, of course. Foley: Yes! Metaphorically! There’s only a 7.25% chance of significant device failure leading to possible catastrophic injury and-slash-or maiming! If that! Frankly I was a bit generous with those probabilities, erring on the side of caution! Which I find is frequently the best side to err on when considering possible disastrous outcomes! It’s always better to plan for those in advance, particularly when you’ve lost 25% of your limbs. But behold! The process had indeed quieted. After reaching nearly 1800 Hz in vibrations, and pulsing with energies that lit the entire room and likely would have triggered alarms in Main Engineering AND the Security Complex had Chip not carefully registered his device with the relevant authorities … the hyperpercolator now just quietly bubbled. The sublimated coffee vapor had been condensed and had mixed with pure di-hydrox, pure H20 condensed at the atomic level. The dispensation chamber burbled cheerfully as the two liquids were aerated together and adjusted to an optimal temperature by way of a heat transference panel. At last the bubbling stopped, the glows all faded - and there was a cheerful DING! Foley: Optimal coffee achieved! :: he grinned brightly :: At least based on prior experimentation! Now for PEER REVIEW! Chip carefully brought each little ceramic cup over to the shiny chrome tap of the hyperpercolator - its only really analogue component - and twisted the tap, dispensing steaming near-black liquid (approximately 19-1111 TX on the Pantone scale). The bald man set a cup formally down in front of Maxwell, moving with that curiously liquid way he had and delicately holding the cup between two metallic fingers, and then sat eagerly in the chair facing the commander, cradling his own cup in one hand. Foley: Cheers! No, that’s more appropriately alcoholic. To your health! Well, no, that’s not entirely accurate with the effect this has on your metabolism. Oh! No, wait! A cadet at the Academy informed me of an appropriate toast - 'IwlIj jachjaj! ::it was pronounced with the sort of awkward care only made possible by a rigorously obsessive student repeating after someone over and over while not understanding the language, each syllable chiseled and isolated:: Maxwell brought the goggles up off of his eyes and rested them on his forehead, completely cementing the pulp fiction image of two mad scientists cackling over their doomsday device. The actual scientist narrowed his eyes in consternation at Chip’s use of Klingon, which Maxwell had never fully learned and was extremely rusty on. It SOUNDED like something to do with parentage and the scent of elderberries, but that certainly couldn’t be right. Traenor: I, er, don’t think I know what that means. Or at least not what I think I heard. Foley: I was advised that it means “May your blood scream!”, although it’s used proverbially as a toast! Although hyperpercolated coffee has been known to occasionally cause pulse rates to increase to the point that blood forced at that impelled velocity over a sufficiently acoustic surface COULD likely produce a certain scream-adjacent sound effect! Traenor: ::a confused expression belying his words:: Ah. That makes more sense. Though hardly any more reassuring. Before Chip could query him about what he thought he heard initially, since how could he possibly explain that, Maxwell interjected right away with a segue back to the topic at hand. He took up his own espresso cup and wondered why his eyes were starting to water. Traenor: This will likely be a revelatory experience for me, won’t it? Chip paused a moment in consideration of the various meanings of the term “revelation”, and decided that there were a sufficient number of religious traditions that utilized mental or physical challenges in the pursuit of enlightenment - and thus revelation - that it qualified. Foley: Indeed! It very likely shall! Let us leap! They both tipped the cups back. Imagine if you will the difference between powdered milk and real, fresh organic cream. The difference between the recirculated oxygen of a pressurized aircraft and a rushing mountain breeze. The difference between Beethoven played through a small portable speaker sat on a particle board desk and the same piece in a symphony hall played by a 100-piece orchestra. To Chip, at least, that was the difference between standard coffee and the hyperpercolator’s brew - they were the same thing, but one was magnified. Intensified. Everything one considers in a cup of coffee - the acidity, the bitter notes, the complex roasted elements, the strong body thanks to the scientifically-suspended oils - it was all present, but AMPLIFIED. It activated every relevant taste bud at once, coating the whole mouth. And the sensation of caffeine uptake was almost immediate - it was like a hit of a Medical stimulant, like the hyposprays used to bring people out of sedation. Chip’s eyelids lifted and he smiled in contentment, his whole face animating. Foley: Ahhhhhhhhh. It was a sound of radiant satisfaction, like a steam release valve being slowly opened. Chip’s energy output was so constantly high that this was like refueling. He immediately seemed more ACTIVATED. His hairless brows rose in curiosity. Foley: So! How do you find the brew? Maxwell was gingerly trying to pick himself up off the floor where he had fallen out of his chair. His pupils were dilated at different rates, and the room was buzzing… buzzing? Yep, definitely buzzing. A few minutes from now, when he could feel his tongue again, Traenor would start to wonder why he chose to chug instead of sip. When he spoke, it was with a ragged breathlessness. Traenor: ...smooth… Foley: Oooh! You’ve achieved supinity! Sparkling! Ah, I remember those heady days of early experimentation, frequently finding myself awakening in strange postures in the culinary lab after caffeine-related syncope. You’ll find the second cup is much less traumatic, although I recommend considering a waiting period before you indulge! That can vary, of course, based on your particular neurochemistry and your willingness to embrace danger! Chip rested his elbow on the table and leaned over, peering curiously at Maxwell, his cheerfully glowing cybernetic eyes roving and evaluating the man’s skin temperature and heart rate for display in Foley’s optical HUD - both elevated, but not to any immediately lethal point. The commander was also returning to his chair at a reasonably careful speed, so Chip opted against getting up to come around and drag him up. After all, hyperpercolator brew sometimes lent an intense dermal sensitivity that could make being touched challenging for a few moments after ingestion. Foley: So! Maximum veracity! On a scale of 0.1 to 28.7 how would you rate your satisfaction with the overall flavor, complexity, and neurostimulation? Don’t pad your evaluation on my behalf! Objective experiential data is the KEY to improvement! Back in his chair, finally, and trying to re-establish at least the air of respectability, Maxwell regarded the question. Well, regarded might not be the best word. Devoured? Assimilated? His brain felt supercharged, turbocharged. The caffeine rush was exquisite, even if the tremors weren’t. Traenor: Ooh, flavor! Complex, fine acidity, bitter notes of cacao and vegetals and definite undernotes of terpenes! Sweet toasted sugar notes! Atomic crunch tooth rattles! Wait, that’s not a flavor but a sensation. Hmm, I’d give it a 𝞹 times 9! Wait. Maxwell didn’t know pi past the first few decimal points off the top of his head, let alone how well enough for off-the cuff equations. He looked at Chip with awe. This was damned fine coffee in so many ways - if you could ride out the side effects, of course. Foley: Good, good! Optimal! SPARKLINGLY optimal! We are approaching scale maximum AND in an appealingly precise fashion! Explicate! Have you noticed any curious distortions in perception? Any indication of dissociation? Alteration of primary sensory capacity? Also, and this is crucial, should we eat those caramel tarts NOW or would you rather wait until some of the aftereffects fade? Traenor: ::settling in with a grin:: Man, we have a lot of coffee talk to get through! Grab them tarts. END -- Commander Maxwell Traenor Science Officer, USS Constitution A239111MT0 and Ensign Chip Foley Engineering USS Constitution-B C239704CF0
  21. (( USS Juneau - Temporary Quarters)) The new counselor stood in front of the mirror, applying the last finishing details on her makeup. She wanted to look perfect for her new assignment, well as perfect as SHE could look. R'Ariel looked at the Padd containing her orders, and realized how much time she had before reporting in on her new assignment aboard the USS Arrow. With a few basic navigational inquiries, she found her feet and made a mild-mannered entrance into the Clanhouse, a relaxing Lounge on Deck 10. She almost got lost twice... not the best thing for nervous energy release. oO Sure will be nice to have a few less dozen or more less decks to memorize, less chaotic I think. Oo After arriving she took a seat near a window, she deliberated on her choice of drink. Would she go with one of her old favorites, or on such an occasion as this, try something new? Waiter: What can I get you Ensign?:: inquired a friendly, but tired waiter.:: R'Ariel smiled at the waiter, hearing her being referenced as an Ensign, was still a new and pleasant experience. Behind the waiter she coul see her own reflection in the window behind him, a reflection of herself disappointed in herself for not having decided just yet what she was going to drink. oO Maybe you should get some milk, just be careful not to get it all over all that hair you have, you don't want to be a mess for your new assignment. oO:: the Deltan side of her reflection seemed to say, silently chiding at her half-Caitian heritage.:: She closed her eyes, and shook her head, before opening them again, intent on replying to the waiter. Her reflection had changed in the window this time. oO You wish getting milk on your fur was a problem, you don't even have a single wisp of hair or fur on your entire face. Oo ::her Caitian heritage silently rebuffed:: R'Ariel looked up at the waiter, with an apologetic look. She half wanted to ask the waiter if he agreed she was an ugly Deltan for having all that hair, or an ugly Caitian for having no hair on her face, or if perhaps, as she endeavored so arduously -if her meticulous attention to style, makeup, and the like, sufficiently covered her unappealing features... R'Ariel: You know what they say about the psychiatric field... it starts with the person wearing your own shoes. ::R'Ariel quipped with a well rehearsed chuckle:: A confused waiter replied stood there staring at her Waiter: I'm not sure I know that drink. R'Ariel: No worries, I... R'Ariel's combadge chirped, it was time for her to leave, her new life was about to begin. R'Ariel: I am so sorry, I guess nothing. Thank you. (( Bridge - USS Arrow )) Everything was happening so fast. She had joined her new crew on the Bridge of the USS Arrow, the trip itself went from null-eventful to just trying to keep from being underfoot, over-eventful. In fact it was going to take her awhile before she could even review the minute details of how she got here, to this place, right here, right now. oO And to think I thought it would be less chaotic here. Oo Trying to take it all in, it was awe-inspiring and there was Commander Collins, at over 6 feet tall was a strong statement on the Bridge, reminding her in both his physical stature and his rank how little she was - Ensign - 4 foot 2 inches small. And the emotions on the bridge, it was enough to send little telltale twitches of nervous energy to her tail, it gently thumped on the wall beside her. oO This is certainly no simulated Cadet exam, these are real life and death decisions with heightened emotions and pheromones to match. Oo From a workstation in the back, she attempted to monitor things, though the extent of the ship's issues, lockouts, viruses, etc made her efforts seem trivial at best. Computer: Deletion Halted. Re-installation of Core Systems Commencing. Collins: Sound off, everyone. R'Ariel: Ensign R'Ariel, Ship's Counselor reporting in sir! Anyone: Responses --- Ensign R'Ariel Counselor USS Arrow ID-J239706R10
  22. ((Main Engineering, USS Narendra)) After informal debriefings with Galven, Taelon, and other members of the science team, Kudon went to Main Engineering to record his report for the mission, as Galven had requested. He sat down at a station, further away from technicians currently on duty, so that he could have a bit of privacy. Kudon: Computer, record Engineer Officer Ensign Kudon's mission log, Stardate 239706.22 In the mission recently completed, I was assigned with Commander Galven, Lieutenant Bailey, and Ensign Taelon as a team to be responsible for neutralizing Death Fog, which was stored on Vanokth II. We were further charged with rendering the Death Fog's production facility nonoperational, in order to make the production of additional deadly gas impossible. Prior to deployment to the planet, here on the Narendra, Ensign Taelon had developed unique Death Fog neutralizers known as Breathers. I had programmed the Breathers with an algorithm that in pre-deployment testing showed remarkable success at using statistical analysis to detect the Death Fog, using a modified Kalman Filter, specifically an Autoencoder. When we beamed down to Vankoth II, the algorithm was successful in detecting the presence of Death Fog in two locations, one at the southeast end of the compound and one at the north end. Kudon paused here, feeling the disappointment of the words he had to utter... Unfortunately, while the area of the Death Fog's dispersion was likely accurate, the algorithm failed to be able to fully determine the Death Fog's density and therefore it was impossible to tell which location was the storage facility and the production facility. Based on pre-deployment testing, this should not have happened. I will analyze the data later, hopefully with the help of Ensign Taelon, to determine why it failed and if it could be improved for future chemical detection. Kudon paused to breathe again, as his mind shifted to the fighting that took place. The fear that had gripped him during battle had proved overwhelming, but he would have to save that for his personal log. After we had detected where the gas was at least, we were discovered by several cult members and a major battle ensued. Commander Galven had ordered that only non-lethal force should be used. While this was respected by all of us under his command, it was not respected by a non-cult member Klingon named Asoq, who killed a significant number of Molorians, using both a rifle and a dagger. Little is known about this Klingon, but he claimed to have broken free from cultists who had interrogated him under torture. His severely disfigured face certainly lent credence to his claim of torture. He helped lead all of us into the compound, although Ensign Taelon and myself initially, followed by Commander Galven and Lieutenant Bailey. He wondered if he was remembering all of this correctly. So many events had happened so face and the fear he had felt certainly may have interfered with his memory. To the best of his knowledge, the report was correct so far in the events, but was it correct in order? Ensign Taelon, Asoq, and I sent a Breather into the production facility's pipe system with the goal of using it to trigger an explosion that would melt the release valves of the Death Fog. The idea of melting the valves was Ensign Taelon's. It was my idea to use a Breather, based on the possibility that connecting the algorithm to the Breather's gas scrubbing mechanism would allow it to separate out the silicon and platinum chloride of the Death Fog, ideally triggering explosive chemical reactions from unchained silicon and organic compounds in the air of the vents. When Commander Galven and Ensign Bailey rejoined us, our plans had to shift because of a countdown breach in the reactor core at the compound. Commander Galven, having been severely injured, ordered Ensign Bailey and myself to reach the outside of the compound in the hope of finding our fellow officers in the team rescuing Lofsha, the kidnapped Klingon Commander. Once we were outside, an explosion was triggered, but it is very unlikely that it was caused by the Breather. Before the explosion, Bailey and I were transported aboard the Klingon ship qulCha’par...The success of this last Breather in isolating silicon or triggering detonation is unknown...I hope to study this further... He had to stop there, not just because it was the end of the story...surely more details could be added, but he felt further disappointment not knowing whether his algorithm had worked in the chemical reactions. Kudon was in a variety of ways disappointed in his performance. His algorithm had worked at detecting the Death Fog initially, but it underperformed expectations. And he had no idea if the second use of the algorithm in triggering an explosion had worked at all. Then it crept into his mind again how his fear in battle had rattled him so much, leading him to overestimate the chances of success and not think through all the consequences of his decisions. This had come out in a sudden burst of a sort of confession to Galven down on the planet. He wanted to process of all his feelings about this in his personal log, but right now it was all too much. Kudon closed his eyes and took two minutes to do Vulcan meditation. He opened his eyes and left engineering to find some distraction. NT Ensign Kudon Starbase 118 Ops Engineering Officer O239703K10
  23. ((IKS qulCha’par, Shuttlebay)) Korv had made it to the qulCha'par's shuttlebay unnoticed and he was just outside in the corridor looking at a bundle of wires spilling out of the door lock panel that he had pried off using his trusty dagger. Korv: ::irritatedly under his breath:: Argh, more locks to open. What did the old bat say again? ::scratches his chin:: Red and blue... Brainpower was not Korv’s strong suit and now his right arm was broken he was not being delicate with the wires either. He punched the wall with his good hand and proceeded to simply rip all the wiring out. To his surprise the shuttle bay doors opened and he rushed inside, glancing around to quickly find cover. There shouldn’t be any opposition there yet, but just in case. You never knew-- he had heard those Starfleet officers were like nasty rodents... they are everywhere and hard to get rid of. Luckily there was no-one. The shuttle bay was deserted. At the far side of the room stood a small craft. Korv: ::huffs:: Just my luck. A flying tin! It didn’t really matter that the shuttle was the tiniest he’d ever seen, barely room for two people, it would serve his purpose, to escape and limp back to the Cult’s main hideout. There he could warn them of the events, and after that, hopefully let him live to fight in the name of Molor once more. Leaning against the outside of the tiny shuttle, he took a minute to examine his broken arm. He had left a messy trail of pink blood, dripping from a wound that - he only noticed now - had a piece of bone sticking out of it. Back in the test facility, the rush of battle had numbed all pain but now, even though he would never admit it out loud, he felt pain. He made a rip in his uniform shirt and tucked his hand inside to support it like a makeshift sling. Then he felt a tremor starting to build up. It resonated in the floor and the walls. He knew exactly what it was - the qulCha’par’s engines were ramping up. Korv: oO Hopefully this flying tin is too insignificant to have any extra security on it. Oo Resolutely he got back to his feet. He had to move quickly now to be ready if his escape was going to be successful. The shields could only be raised if the large vessel was high enough up from the ground and when they did, he would smash to pieces on the inside of the invisible containment field. Korv wasn’t smart, but this he knew. Korv: ::plonks himself down on the pilot seat and taps the console:: Let’s see. Good. Not long now. Hopefully I will be gone before anyone realises. A flick of a switch initiated the opening of the shuttle bay door. The screech of an alert sounded throughout the bay and to Korv it seemed as if the door was opening in the slowest way ever, as if it was taunting him on purpose. Korv: ::yells frustratedly and smashes his fist down:: Aaargh! Open, you stupid door, or I will blast my way out! There were no weapons on the tiny flying tin and he knew it. Still, he was angry and screaming felt good. He held his hand over the power controls, ready to speed off. When the tiny shuttle finally did shoot away, like a cork out of a bottle of fermented bloodwine, he realized he wasn’t all that far away from the ground at all yet. He was speeding towards the test facility, that was crumbling and nearly falling apart. Computer: Pull up. Terrain. Pull up. Korv: I can see that. Shut up! ::punches the controls frantically with one hand in an attempt to raise the little craft’s altitude:: It was working, he was on course to just skim over the top and have a clear getaway. He allowed himself to sit back more comfortably in the pilot seat and let out a loud relieved laugh. Korv: Ha ha ha! Honor is useless. Survival of the fit-- ::eyes wide with horror and mouth breathlessly open:: As it was passing low over the top of the building’s large dome, a wall of flame and debris shot up from the production compound. There was no time to react and the tiny shuttle flew right into it, completely being engulfed by the explosion. It didn’t come out of the other side, not even a trace. Bullying only works when you know your target is not capable of fighting back. Ironically, being bullied in his past had made Korv a bitter and cowardly bully himself and drove him to join the Cult of Molor, a group of Klingons who ruthlessly terrorized their own kind to gain support for their twisted ideals. He had helped kill and torture countless people in the name of the Cult in the misguided hope that someone, someday would be proud of his achievements. It was all he really wanted. But who could be proud of a broken honorless lost soul like Korv. (END) -- Korv Klingon follower of the Cult of Molor simmed by Ens. Romyana Casparian Engineering Officer Starbase 118 Ops - USS Narendra O239703RC0
  24. Slight warning - Klingon justice is pretty dramatically dark, but this was a fantastic read to the end of a very nasty villain! ((IKS qulCha’par – Interior)) Luthas picked the cult leader up by his feet and unceremoniously dragged the man behind him as he followed Lofsha to the bridge which wasn’t the best action to take because now his gag had come off as it untied itself when it scraped against the floor. Gach’ah: Such imbeciles! ::head bumps on the ground:: Oof! You cowards! ::head bump:: Oof! They entered the bridge to find Lofsha’s crew powering up the ship and beginning the processes for take off. Lofsha: G’maj, find Asoq, beam him to the bridge. G’Maj: Yes, Commander! Lofsha: How long until the Death fog is expelled? Luthas: :: Luthas shrugged :: I lost track when the fighting started so anytime between right now and 7 minutes. :: Probably should have had a timer running. Oh well. :: Gach’ah: ::chuckles maniacally:: Any moment now and every single one of you will be choking to death on the gas! Lofsha: No worries, Gach’ah. You will see your plan in its glory up close and personal. Luthas: You’re going to kick him out the airlock? :: That didn’t seem very Klingony but what did he know. :: Gach’ah: Oh, so dishonorable of you, Commander. Maybe you should join the Cult of Molor. ::winks with a nasty smirk:: Lofsha gave a single nod and one of her crew punished the cultist with a blow to the chest to keep him still. He laughed as a few coughs expelled from being hit in the ribs. Golden light filled the area as the battered but honorable form of another Klingon appeared. No doubt the one she had asked to be beamed aboard. Lofsha: Asoq. ::A curt greeting:: Friend of my family. I trust you have made the cultists blood run freely? Asoq knelt down and put his fist to his chest. Asoq: Commander, it is an honor to be in your presence. I took the lives of many traitors today, but far too few for what they all deserved. Lofsha: This is Gach’ah, dishonorable leader of this despicable place. ::She waved towards the cultist.:: Do you think he should see his handiwork up close and personal? Asoq rose to his feet and as he glanced Gach’ah’s way, the cultist snarled and then spat at the Klingon, but it missed by a long shot. Asoq: Yes! Only the beginning of a fitting punishment! Luthas: If you’re gonna leave him there alive, might I suggest a cement shoes approach. Prevent him from leaving wherever you drop him off. Gach’ah: ::confused:: What is cement? Lofsha: Get one of the cargo weights. The one that weighs 800 kilograms. Chain it to him. Asoq: Commander, let me have the honor of chaining him down. What in the world? Gach’ah had never heard of these tactics before. He wasn’t sure if they were still messing with him with their own mind games or if they were actually serious. For the first time ever, words escaped him as Lofsha stepped forward, getting right up close and personal to Gach’ah. Lofsha: I’m going to beam you into your compound, right by the tanks so you can have an up close, front and center personal view of the chaos you have created. You know, Molor would want it this way. Both of his thick eyebrows arched clear up his forehead, then when Lofsha stepped away, Asoq took his turn to look into Gach'ah's eyes with his face no more than 6 inches away. Asoq: I want you to remember that for every honorable Klingon that you had tortured or killed, for every dishonorable act you did, for all of your supposed shrewdness, I was there for the Empire, passing along your every deed. Doesn't it bother you that you never knew until today that you let a spy into your inner ring? What would bother him about that? He had done the same thing when he fooled everyone in the Empire. The previous cult leader came up to him during his earlier years and spoke off Molor and what their purpose was. Gach’ah was already sold on the idea essentially just before the leader ended his speech. What was even better had been the fact that the man was someone he would have never guessed to be against the Empire. Gach’ah hissed at them both. More so at Lofsha which caused his action caused him to cough up some blood which he spat at them which landed perfectly between their feet. He was about to stand up when all of a sudden, a colored hue of the transporter whisked him away and mere seconds later, he was now back in his compound ((Inside Compound, Vankoth II)) He didn’t have much mobility since he was still tied up. He pushed himself up as he rested his shoulders and collarbone on the wall, then with some leg strength still available, Gach’ah finally managed to stand. Although how he did that only caused more severe pain from the beating he took from Lofsha’s crew. Galven: =/\= Just a few more seconds, sir. =/\= Mr. Taelon, come on! Let’s hurry! Taelon: I need to shut down the full release or this is pointless. Just - give me a moment - The cultist heard a couple voices that echoed down the corridor which was pretty far away. They sounded like Starfleet officers which tickled Gach’ah because he knew that he would’ve been able to kill at least two people. He started off with a limped half jog, but wasn’t that much successful at really going anywhere, but there were maybe a few inches he had managed to get out of his efforts. Nijil: =/\= Is everyone in your team with you? =/\= Galven: =/\= Negative, sir. I told them to head outside towards your location. =/\= Nijil: =/\= Understood, ::he had to pause to catch his breath.:: Prepare for transport - =/\= Gach’ah: Transport? What?! You filthy miscreants will not hear the last of me! A loud rumble which caused a thunderous cracking sounded which caused Gach’ah to turn around since he was actually curious as to what was happening. Not a nanosecond later, an enormous fireball lit up the corridor, then as if sound itself left him behind, a shock wave threw him backwards and he landed with a thud on his back. He weakly sat up, but there wasn’t even much of a moment for him to digest as the billowing explosion reached Gach’ah which caused him to start screaming at the top of his lungs as he was engulfed in flame. ((OOC-The End of Gach’ah!)) ---- Gach’ah Former Cult of Molor Leader V239507GG0
  25. ((Bridge – USS Narendra - Azure Nebula)) After having received a knife in her right shoulder from a foul move of their own helm officer, who beamed away before being able to get caught, Romyana had been quickly patched up by doctor Foster and continued to work. The erratic flight moves in the exceptionally rough ship battle caused her to topple over and brought the pain back. Casparian: ::flinches as the doctor deftly adjusts the bandage on her shoulder:: I’m sorry for being snappy, Sir, it’s just that there is a lot going on right now. ::taps a few more buttons on the beeping console and huffs:: The hypospray hissed against her neck, taking effect almost immediately. The throbbing pain in her shoulder began to ebb and her snappy behaviour faded away with it. She always reacted cold and defensive, sometimes up to the point of aggressive, when hurt or wronged. It was the quarter Vulcan in her that heightened her emotions without ever having been trained to subdue them. Foster: Don’t feel bad. I’ve been in the fleet for seven years and this is a new one on me. Casparian: ::gives him a quick appreciative smile:: Really? I wish I could say that makes me feel better, but truthfully… it scares me a bit to know that this is a highly exceptional situation even for the senior staff. How can they stay so calm? The blue skinned Andorian doctor cast a glance at Taybrim and Maxwell. Foster: Experience. ::he stated simply. He just knew it in his bones. There were things that didn’t cause him to flinch anymore either because of experience.:: They’re done this before… and lived to tell the tale about it. Casparian: ::nods:: This is my first time as a bridge officer on a starship and-- ::beeps on her console briefly took her attention and she entered some commands using both hands:: Anyway, I joined Starfleet to meet and learn about new things and meet different people, but I know this is part of the job too, to defend. There was determination in her eyes when she said that last remark and subconsciously she stood a bit taller. She was proud of what the federation stood for and she was going to do her best to defend it against rogue organisations such as the Cult of Molor who tried to undermine it. Foster: This is true. He finished up the better bandaging to ease the majority of the pain and gave her arm a gentle pat in the uninjured area, both for support and to let her know that everything was done. Casparian: What about you, Sir? ::gives the bright blue eyed Doctor an inquisitive look and a friendly smile:: What appealed to you to become a doctor on a starship, if I may ask? Foster: Grew up on a Starship, Dad was a Starfleet Doctor. I followed in his footsteps. Casparian: ::nods thoughtfully:: Foster: What about you? Casparian: Why I joined Starfleet? Because...::drops her head briefly:: because of many reasons, ::looks back up at the doctor:: but mostly to see all the wonderful things that the universe has to offer, to explore, ::her eyes brightened more and more with every word:: explore places, explore cultures and meet people--really get to know them. She stopped there, though she could go on and on. She felt at ease talking to the outgoing and talkative Andorian doctor. If he had lived on a starship he must have seen a lot! So many questions popped into her head. Though, maybe the ship’s bridge in the middle of a death defying ship battle, it wasn’t the place to talk like this. Foster: You know what? If we live… ::he paused, looked at her, realized he had three pips on and corrected himself:: When we live through this, let’s sit down and just chat over coffee or something. Something normal, quiet, not-shooty. Casparian: Yes, it’d like that very much, Sir. ::smiles joyfully:: Someplace where there are no knives! Foster: It’s a deal. ::He looked up as the Captain raised his voice again to address the whole bridge:: Oh boy, I think it’s brace for impact time again… Casparian: It is. Hold on tight, Sir. ::grasps the edge of her console firmly with one hand and slightly bends her knees to brace herself.:: With the pain gone, her normal positive attitude was back completely. And the little chat with the Andorian, who was rather more expressive than usual for his kind, made her anxiousness fade, now replaced with renewed confidence and determination. Taybrim: After this is done, we have to prepare for the final stand. The loq’Noom should be in place. We’ll take any opportunity we can get. ::He sat in the command seat again.:: Prepare the slingshot, on Lt Blackwell’s mark. Maxwell: ::To Blackwell:: How far up their noses can you get us? Blackwell/Taybrim: ? Casparian: The repair teams are still working on the shields, Sir. We need...more time. She wished she could give them an exact number, but she knew the time her colleagues were trying to buy them was measured in mere minutes. None of the repairs would be fully complete, emergency patch-ups perhaps. She could only signal Chief Engineer Hael who was orchestrating everything down in engineering to hurry, and be ready for some more heavy duty flying. Drevas: We could give them a couple of shots across their hull, draw attention to us as we move, sir. Get them angry so that they become reckless. Maxwell: Ever heard the old earth term, “kamikaze”? Casparian: ::flicks her head around to Maxwell:: Surely you don’t want us to actually... ::swallows:: collide? Her eyes were wide with disbelief and terror. She could already imagine the structural damage such a move would make, if they would survive the move at all, they would be dead in the water and easy pickings. Blackwell/ Taybrim: ? Maxwell: So we give it clogs tae make some space between us and them and boost what repairs we can. Then the fun begins. ::He leaned back in his seat slightly.:: We drop impulse and pull a one-eighty via thrusters. ::He grinned again as he thought of it like a handbrake turn.:: Then we give her all she's got and go at them. Blackwell/Taybrim: ? Casparian: The engines and thrusters are fine, Sir. They can support that kind of move, yes. Before she could warn them about the need for the shields and integrity fields to keep the ship from ripping itself apart, the tactical officer already continued to explain the rest of his daredevil plan. Maxwell: We'll be down their throats before they know it. We give them volley ae everything as we pass by and it'll take them fair time tae turn about and chase us. By that point we can scoop the away team and be halfway home before they have chance tae scratch their heads. Blackwell/Taybrim: ? Casparian: Aye, Sir. She was definitely not happy with the plan, but she had learnt in the academy that it was not her place to question orders, out loud at least, and when a plan was decided upon, to work as a team to make the best of it. She began dancing her fingers across her console to get everything ready for their, hopefully, final stand. ((Short Timeskip between part 1 & 2)) (END of PART 1) -- Ensign Romyana Casparian Engineering Officer Starbase 118 Ops - USS Narendra O239703RC0
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