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  1. I'm really excited to read more of this plot arc @Alieth and @Sirok are writing. I'm already in love with Rekika. She's just how I imagined her to be! ((Vulcan - Kyr Province - Sobok family House)) T'Lil had prepared the wedding from multiple functions. On the one hand a show of unification between Vulcans and Romulans. On the other hand an attempt to continue the family saga if all went well. And as an introduction to the Vulcan society for Sirok himself. The Vulcan matriarch, if in private she had disparaged Sirok's Starfleet career, opted to picked out every positive trait in public, everything of what her son could learn and do for Vulcan and Kyr as a Starfleet officer. And she highlighted his rapid rise through the ranks despite his relatively young age. The event itself had perfectly fulfilled all the precepts of a very traditional Vulcan wedding, implementing old elements of Romulan weddings, which had quite a few things in common with Vulcan’s. In itself the act was meant to exemplify unification. While for some the Vulcans and Romulans present it was just the most fitting way to carry it, for others it was just too soon for something like that, or even something that should never have happened. Some inhabitants of Vulcan, old and new, thought that Romulan presence was only temporary, until they could once again claim a planet as their own. For Sirok the situation had resulted to be a test. In the days before the ceremony, he had tried to memorize the names and faces of each of the attendees. And that was just a quite long list. Although T'Lil had conveniently overlooked to invite any of the Thor's crew, not even the captain. Her excuse, of course, was only logical: those uniforms made some of the bride's family skittish. And she had had just enough to do with dealing with her son's feelings to add other’s to the mix. The young engineer was not used to such social events. He most time tried to avoid them, even though he understood the usefulness of such rituals. He endeavored to behave like a Starfleet officer in a diplomatic situation and follow the instructions that his parents have give him. As soon as he saw an opportunity Sirok decided to retreat and took refuge in the secondary house. A building erected by his great-grandfather for S'Vec and T'Lil to live in, while he still occupied the main house, while Sobok remained on the USS Elcano and his wife preferred to live near the Academy of Sciences. It has remained uninhabited since Sirok's great-grandfather passed away, as Sopeg lived with his wife in the capital. Even there, at that distance, he could still hear the faint chimes of vulcan lutes, as much as the barely audible murmur of multiple conversations. So, he entered the house and without even close the door, he looked for a dark place, a hidden spot where he could shut his eyes and tried to control his breathing. He repeated in his head principles of logic, endeavouring to free his mind and take hold of his feelings. If he weren’t wearing for the ceremonial robes, he would attempt to practice suus mahna. When he had barely managed to regain some degree of mental equilibrium, his efforts were interrupted by the sound of light footsteps behind him. Rekika: So this is where you have chosen to escape… The words were left hanging in the air, sharp, with no trace of sympathy in them. She followed shortly after, abandoning the shadows she had inhabited. She strode across the narrow chamber to his position, her gait confident and steadfast, the tap of her heels ricocheting firmly against the polished floor, as if she were part on a martial march. Only when she was just a few centimetres away from the young Vulcan did she halt, her gaze at almost the same level as his. She held his gaze as the minutes thickened, cold and tense amid the desert heat. At some point, the Romulan woman determined that she had had enough and examined him from top to bottom, scrutinizing him in unabashed detail. Rekika: Since my family moved here I have had ample time to learn your language, son of S'vec. So tell me, Sirok, are you so outside of hope as your name implies? Sirok stood staring at her for a brief moment, the situation was strange. Legally he was linked to that woman and it was a logical link for many reasons. But given the speed of the whole new situation the young man, who followed strong routines to help his memory, was not quite used to it. Sirok: I thought they told you about my condition. A smile crept across her features, whether there was mirth or disdain in her was somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Rekika: They did, but humour me with your version of the facts. Sirok: We should go somewhere else, now it is also your home, and you should be familiar with it. She gave a slight shrug and the smile etched in her face became somewhat more skewed, albeit no less ambiguous. A motion of her chin suggested that he should lead the way. Without waiting for a more elaborated answer, he turned on the light and escorted her into the living room. As every chamber in the Sobok’s property, it was tidy and spotless. Nevertheless, the design was somewhat old-fashioned, yet every little detail was strictly functional and every piece was made of the finest materials. Sirok: Sometimes I came here to meditate and study when my brother's Sehlat did not allow me to enter the main house. Have a seat. Rekika: Lovely, even the little kitten despised my groom. She sat down just before kept talking, at ease and leisurely, as if she owned the room. In some ways she did, or would do so in the future. Sirok: the reason why he did not accept me is related in part to my condition. :: he said as he sat down. :: Rekika: Is that the answer to my question? Sirok: As you should know now, I was born with brain damage. It mainly affects my telepathic abilities, which are practically non-existent. Also, my memory is worse than it should be. Although unlike telepathy I have applied techniques developed by some of the best Vulcan masters to alleviate its effects, making it practically unnoticeable for the time being. Sirok said it with his usual dreary tone. Only someone who knew him very well would know that he was showing some nervousness. Rekika: … for the time being :: She echoed, her tone much more nuanced, if as contradictory as her expression.:: And what about the future? Will I find myself married to a chunk of worthless meat soon? She tipped her head fractionally and indulged herself in a momentary display of compunction. Something she studiously made an effort to prove that she did not feel. At all. Rekika: No offence to your brother's condition. Sirok: I am a follower of Surak. I am not offended by such comments. But as you said, yes, I have a higher probability of having neural afflictions of different nature. Rekika: When. The word was delivered both as a query and a demand. Sirok: I cannot know. It should not happen for quite a few years, I am still young, so maybe plenty. Or perhaps it will never happen. Only if everyone has some chance of that kind of disease, mine is higher. This probability will increase with age. The Vulcan was direct, no secrets, no half-measures. Rekika: So you are like a ticking bomb scheduled to explode. We just don't know when or if you'll do it. Sirok: This is quite accurate. She chuckled openly, a clear, musical laugh from one who had never had to suppress it in her life. She laughed not at him, though, nor at the response to her remarks, but merely because of the brutal sincerity and endless candour of her groom. It was, somehow, refreshing. Rekika: I can live with it, or with the lie underneath it. Sirok: I recommend that you accept it for what it is. It is simply the truth. He did not know what Rekika thought about Surak's teachings, but Sirok thought that following them was the best thing to do, more so for his situation. Rekika: Perhaps, but my version is more fun. The smile widened dangerously on her lips. Sirok: But it is a long-term danger. The lack of telepathic ability disrupts certain biological functions of my species. For example in the ceremony, when we have joined together and our fingers touched, a certain bond should have been created. I only felt your skin and you felt mine. He maintained his monotone. But he had used all his concentration to suppress the fear he felt in that situation. One of the moments he dreaded most in his life. Rekika: That's what happened for you? She left the question lingering in the air, as if her experience had been different, but her face retained the same derisive expression that had accompanied her for much of the conversation. Still, her mind buzzed with ideas: she had trained herself to engage a vulcan, to have a spy inside her own mind. She had woven lies within her lies, hidden behind shadows of half-truths. But her new husband? He was something else. Something quite different. Oh, and convenient. She allowed herself to lean forward, amidst a ruffle of the fabric of her betrothal gown. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. She leaned back and raised an elegant hand in front of her. Rekika: My family and the people associated with it will continue to have the rights to occupy a portion of your family lands to formalize a Romulan settlement. You will be provided with assistance in carrying out this endeavour without interference. Alongside this, my family's trading enterprise will be sustained, by helping to smooth out any friction that may arise with the Vulcan government. She fell back for a moment and watched him carefully before resuming her speech. Rekika: The other details are less important, but that is the heart of the matter. Your role, naturally, will be as caretaker of it if your family decides to break the agreement. Sirok:My family has always supported Unification, even before the Hobus disaster. So as long as there are no criminal acts we will continue to do our best to keep Unification moving forward. Another musical laugh echoed through the stark Vulcan chamber. Rekika:::In a playful tone:: No promises, my dear The Vulcan raised an eyebrow slightly. Sirok: I expect that it is a joke that I do not understand. The smile stretched across the Romulan's face once more. Rekika: Don't worry my dear, you'll figure it out... over time. Whether she meant the joke or the allegation of the illegality of her family's deeds was left unsaid. Sirok remained silent for a moment. Sirok: I understand then that there is no problem for me to return to the Thor to do my job. Rekika: And meanwhile I'll wait here, as a faithful bride longing for her gallant officer, while i help in the family business. Sirok: Everything has been so sudden that I have not been able to know what is your business. She then made a faint smacking sound with her lips and leaned back in feigned annoyance. Rekika: There's nothing to drink here? So much chatter makes me thirsty The young engineer got up in the direction of the kitchen. Sirok: It has been years since I have been in this house, but there was a good selection of juices. At the wedding alcoholic beverages were served in courtesy to our guests, but it is not something we consume. He spent a moment searching without success. So he fired up the replicator and replicated a pair of vulcan mocha. The replicator had not been checked for some time and did not work as the young man would have liked, he would check it when he had time. When he brought the cup towards her she took it in turn and managed to ensure that their fingers touched. Her hands remained there for a time and, as she did so, she glanced up at his face in search of a reaction, or lack thereof. What she saw on Sirok's countenance brought a mirthful gleam to her eye. Sirok: I expect you like it. Thereupon, she settled back against the back of the couch and drank the cup almost dry in a single gulp. Next, she slipped her right hand onto the armrest, the nearly drained cup held loosely between her fingers. Rekika: Excellent and adequate. As expected. Sirok nodded. Despite Rekika's positive response, he would check the replicator. The young man returned to his seat with his own cup in his hands. Sirok: You were going to tell me what you do for a living. Rekika: Oh well, we're mere traders. My people need commodities that can't be obtained on the planet, and we provide. Sirok: I know that the population increase is being a problem for a reasonable use of Vulcan's resources. She looked into his eyes and held his gaze for a moment. Rekika: :slowly: I think that given our shared situation it’s better to start calling it Ni'Var. The Vulcan took a long sip of the mocha. He hadn't realized his mouth was dry until he had felt the liquid. Sirok: A designation to exemplify the unification. It is appropriate. Rekika: You'll learn soon enough that I don't speak in vain, sweetheart. Sirok: as it should be. Without further ado she laid the cup indifferently on the arm of the couch and rose to her feet, with an almost feline elegance. In a vaguely coquettish manner, she arranged the slight misalignments in her attire before she resumed speaking. Rekika: Well, enough of the chitchat, we should get back to the party. She held out a hand waiting for him to take it, as was expected of a married couple. Sirok stood up, leaving the cup on a nearby table. Placing his hands with her in the traditional way, feeling her skin again. Rekika: ::Casually::. By the way, will you please be sure to inform your captain that I'll be joining you on that Starfleet vessel of yours? The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, not expecting such a proposition. Sirok: I think I can reason with Captain Kells. But I do not think my mother will allow both of us to be off planet given my brother's situation. Rekika: Don't worry about that, I'll make T'Lil see the logic in my decision to join you. A musical laugh followed them as they crossed the lintel of the secondary house and flickered in the air for a moment before the Romulan whispered her follow-up remark. Rekika: And in case I fail... my father will persuade her… She was certain that he would see as much merit as she herself did in her returning to cross the stars aboard a starship. Even more so in one so different from the Birds of Prey in which she had served a decade ago… ========================= As simmed by Rekika of Romulus Former Romulan Star Navy Lieutenant Romulan Colony of Ni’Var E239702A10 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  2. Both @Lephi and @Toryn Raga have done such a beautiful job at developing this culture from an idea on paper into a living, breathing complexity of life. Yet another fine example of the deepening of who these people are by @Lephi. Keep up the amazing work! ---- ((ooc: Warning, this sim deals with some difficult subjects of oppression and colonialism. Read at your own preference.)) ((Mosh’ka Alet Camp, Eladar IV (Fari), Deep underground)) Qalipu’fari had walked the visiting aliens out of the main cavern. The caves all around him filled with screams of despair, most of which came from his own people. He offered little in the way of goodbyes to the released prisoners beyond a simple ruffling of his feathers. The man had tried to speak, but found his voice choked in a sob and only a light gasp escaped. He turned and headed back to the main cavern, beginning what felt like a slow march to his death. Tears welled in his eyes as he contemplated the life that had brought him here. He had never known freedom, not really. From a young age he was expected to answer to the Feladoni, or face the consequences. It hadn’t always been easy, and his political success within the Awane settlement had an unintended impact on her family who faced increased isolation from the Mekra’fari who judged his borderline fe’jit behaviour. Stepped on from one side, shunned and cast out from the other for his increasing volatility, Qalipu had no real choice in the matter when word had come from deep within the caves with talks of rebellion. The sounds of weapons firing jarred him back to the present moment, and the ever growing threat of danger. As he neared the gathered avians again, he heard Katnar’fari making an impassioned plea. Katnar’fari: Steady. These fe’jit (honorless) mean to take from Fari’s heart. Slain those born of her womb. We are Mekra’fari (Children of Mother), and we will not let them harm this sacred place. This is our day. Or honored death. As Qalipu made his way through the gathered Mekra’fari, he made eye contact for a brief moment with Katnar’fari. He picked up his rifle and thought back to the pledge he had made to her when he had first come to the caves. Fari is strong. We are strong. Fari is resilient. We are resilient. Together the children save the Mother. Ketlamite'teket (She Has Faith) The words reverberated in his head, the only sound he could hear. Everyone was watching the tunnel, waiting for whatever evil was headed their way. He positioned himself behind a stalagmite and aimed the barrel of his own weapon at the opening as well. Having seen the damage that the intruder’s weapons could do, he wasn’t sure the rock he stood behind would do much to save him. Sudden beams of light cut through the darkness of the cave and his throat tensed up. First one figure appeared and his finger hovered over the trigger. This was it. All these years of planning, plotting, and dreaming, and the fight to save Fari wasn’t even against the people who deserved it the most. He shook off the creeping self doubt and steadied his aim. Through the scope she could see two men standing in the entry and had just a brief moment to process it before the cavern filled with the sound of weapons fire once more. A horrible stench filled the air, unlike anything Qalipu had ever smelled before and the colour drained from his face as he realised he was smelling his friends and colleagues being struck by the invader’s disrupter beams. His stomach turned and he doubled over, sliding into a sitting position against the stalagmite. Sounds of war filled his ears. He could hear his people bravely laying their lives on the line, and he was stuck here frozen from fear. All the planning in the world could not have prepared him for the harsh realities of the real thing. His cheeks glistened and he poked his shaking head out from behind the rock to survey the battlefield. He was in a state of pure shock seeing all of the bodies strewn over the cave floor, and the air was thick with a smoke he had no desire to find the origin of. It had all happened so fast. A loud bang echoed through the cave and before he had a chance to think about it, he found himself thrown up against the cave wall. A rocky outcrop pierced his wiing and he cried out, looking around to assess the damage. Qalipu’fari: Katnar! Are you okay? Katnar’fari: I’ll be fine. We cannot stop...there are more. ::She winced, feeling her fur a bit singed:: He did his best to free his wing from the wall and braced his legs as he fell the last foot or so to the floor. He was alert now, the pain had enraged him, allowing him to overcome his fear. He wasted little time, and after tucking his damaged wing in behind him, began fighting the nearest Caraadian. Katnar’fari: The Song Shards!! ::She yelled to alert her kin to the danger and rushed to the sacred cave:: The elder Mekra’fari’s words made his heart sink. The song shards were one of the things the Mekra’fari considered most sacred. It was bad enough that she had shown the peaceful outsiders, and now this invading scum was going to defile the sacred cave. As he rushed to the cave, he was outraged to see several of them attempting to rip sound shards from the walls. He fired several shots into the crowd to get their attention and noticed two of the beings drop to the floor, stunned. He had only hit one of them, and turned to find the source of the second shot just in time to see Katnar’fari struck and isolated. Before he could make his way over to his troubled friend, two more Caraadians flanked him with their guns pointed right at him. He threw himself at the invader to his right first, swinging the butt of the barrel of the gun in an upwards motion causing him to stumble backwards. In the lull while the man regained his footing, Qalipu quickly pointed his rifle at the other man and pulled the trigger. He didn’t have a chance to refocus on the other man before an intense noise pierced the air. The armed invaders dropped to their knees and blood began leaking from their ears. Strange, he thought to himself, the song was quite beautiful today. He closed his eyes, and let the sound wash over him. In that moment, there was peace. Images of Kinikwejit’fari and others that had fallen not just today but everyday under the oppressive Feladoni regime floated in front of her eyes. The bodies of the last remaining Caraadians hit the dirt around her and the thump that each one made brought a name of the fallen to his lips. Qalipu’fari: ::Thud:: Kinikwejit’fari. ::Thud:: Aplekemu'fari ::Thud:: Sasqatu'fari. There was a brief pause before he continued. He opened his eyes and looked to the ceiling, bringing his elbows together and extending his hand upwards in a V as he spoke. Qalipu’fari: Iga'lul, nigmaq. (I release you, my family) ((Small timeskip)) He opened his eyes and wiped his tear-stained face. Looking around he noticed Katnar slumped over on the ground and ran over to help. As he got closer, he noticed that the more peaceful aliens had returned at some point. He had been too distracted to notice before, but found himself thankful they had decided to come back. Qalipu’fari: ::Resigned:: Please. I know I’ve no right to ask it, but she needs your help! Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response He stood and watched as the visitors tended to his friend,, quietly praying as they worked. He breathed a big sigh of relief when she came too again. Katnar’fari: Fari…::She gasped:: What happened? Qalipu’fari: I could ask you the same thing. Those Car-aad-eens have been dispatched for now. I have a feeling more will come now though. Katnar’fari: Response Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I know you have a non-interference rule, but you never did answer our question. What if somebody from the world ::emphasizes word:: asks for your assistance. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I fear for Fari now. Our lives will never be the same, and now we have more hostiles to worry about. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: Again, on behalf of my people. Wela'lin, na ta'n teliula'lin. (Thank you, I do well by you) Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response ‐--------------------------------------- Awane'jit Qalipu'fari Awane'jit Tribal Leader Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed by, -- ============================= Lieutenant JG Lephi Assistant Chief Engineering Officer Community History Team Member Chat Team Member Wiki Team Member USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 A239706L10 =============================
  3. I just love the glimpse we get at the emotional rollercoaster Noa goes through as she works through what she's seeing and hearing. Such a beautifully complex character. Amazing, @Noa T'Nessa Levinson. Keep up the amazing writing. ---- ((Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV)) Katnar’fari: This is why we have taken you. This is what my people have lived with for centuries since the Feladoni realized that if they do not openly attack us, we won’t resist. Because they know they cannot beat us in battle. They never have. Noa nodded once again. She believed she could understand the dynamics, at least from the Mekra’fari’s perspective. Yet, one piece of the puzzle still eluded her. Qalipu’fari: Doesn't stop them from trying though ::beat:: This will. Now they will have to listen. Snow: I still don't get it… Levinson: I see. Yet I am still puzzled as to how... taking us would be of help. Rosek: ::pauses and turns to Katnar’fari and Qalipu’fari:: If I’m correct, you believe that we are here to aid the Feladoni? That we are a threat and the means by which the Feladoni can completely overpower you? Qalipu’fari: The Feladoni will not want to risk angering your people. They know they cannot beat us, but nobody on Fari knows your capabilities. They'll take you seriously. Katnar’fari: You arrive on our world shortly after we reach into the stars and have already spoken to the Feladoni in charge of the test flight. You clearly have technology and understanding beyond our own and I know the Feladoni would not willingly include us in talks with such visitors. We have to be sure we can protect our people, even if they won’t raise a hand to protect themselves. Levinson: I see. ::Beat:: I suppose there is a logic in that. Snow: A few moments ago your people were complying with the Feladoni and wouldn’t resist. The Feladoni haven’t proceeded any differently, but you gave your people an order to fight back. Not that I disagree, it’s your world, but what changed? It certainly was a valid question. What did the Mekra’fari consider the border between peaceful cooperation and resistance? Looking at the two Mekra’fari, Noa waited patiently for the response. Qalipu’fari: ::curtly:: Your arrival, of course. Katnar’fari: The Mekra’fari you saw fighting back were those who’ve chosen to risk being marked with dishonor in order to bring about change to our people. We are willing to become pariahs, ‘jit, in order to give our children, my children and others, a chance for a life where we are not viewed as lesser. Or as pets. Snow: And you didn’t fight back sooner because? Noa turned to face Snow after she asked that question. Was she… inciting them? Questioning who they were? Qalipu’fari: Mesgei' (I am sorry), Ma'am, we do things differently here. Katnar’fari: Because some of us have had enough. I want my children to be able to live alongside Feladoni without being marginalized, only able to do the work that the Feladoni tell them they can do because they aren’t seen as smart enough, capable enough. Even though the willing take the metals we create to build their cities and use our scientists and engineers to build their Spacefold ship and the satellites in orbit to provide global communication. Snow: Apparently we have different definitions of violence and self-defense. oO That is for sure. Oo Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Rosek seemed to attempt to shift the conversation to a less charged subject. Perhaps it was not that bad of an idea. Qalipu’fari: ::under her breath:: That much is clear. ::turning to Rosek:: I think you'll find that you don't have much of a say in the matter this time. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? Levinson: Usually, when a civilization achieves faster than light travel, we perform first contact. Introduce ourselves. In this situation, however, that did not exactly go well. At all. Snow: Response While this was not Noa’s first close brush with the Prime Directive, it was certainly the most direct one she has had. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: It prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. The Prime Directive has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Indeed. Its very existence was not only beneficial for security purposes, but also for research - by studying pre-warp civilizations without interference, one learned about their own past. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari: Or demands it? Noa opted to remain silent on that one. Looking over to Commander Rosek, she hoped she had a better answer than herself. Snow/Rosek: Responses ((Mini Time Jump)) Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Immediately looking at the monitors, she saw a small group enter the main area. They were neither Feladoni nor Mekra’fari, that was for sure. They were not of their own either. Levinson: Who are these? Snow: Response Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? Caraadians. This region was close to their space, was it not? As for what they were doing here… there were multiple options. Considering her limited understanding of them, she did not assume they were exactly interested in first contact. Qalipu’fari: ::sounding the word out:: Car-aad-eens? Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Levinson: They are not. Snow: Response Qalipu’fari: More of your coalition? Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? The weapons discharge that was heard echoed through the caves. Looking at the monitors again, she saw that Caraadians… simply disintegrating them. They definitely were not there for a first contact, that was for sure. Considering the system’s and planet’s properties, and the blatant disregard to local life, there was really only one explanation Noa could deem logical. Feeling a bit of feeling building up, she knew she had to take a moment to calm herself down again. What did she feel? Was it anger? Fear? Disgust? A combination of them? Whatever feelings she was experiencing, they just yearned to slip outside of her shell, escape her cover. That wasn’t something she was going to allow. Taking a long, deep breath of the cave air, she closed her eyes and focused her mind on remaining neutral, and saving those feelings for later. It was still not the time for emotions. Now was the time for logic. Logic and neutrality. Opening her eyes, she looked directly at the two bat-people. Her brow was slightly more furrowed than it was before. Levinson: They are not of our coalition. I believe the most likely reason for their presence is your world, not you. Snow / Rosek: Responses Qalipu’fari: What do they want with Fari and her people? Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. oO Without even a proper burial. Oo Levinson: My belief is that they are here for mining. Dilithium, the crystals you have shown us, is an important component for faster than light travel. oO Belief?! How is that even logical?! Focus, Noa! FOCUS! Oo Noa slightly shook her head sideways as she took another deep breath. It simply wasn’t helping. She needed to focus, and yelling at herself to focus was certainly not going to do that. Snow / Rosek: Responses Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Noa looked at the bat-like woman directly in the eyes. She could see her desperation. Her acknowledgement of defeat. Facing death. All they went through - from forced relocation to kidnapping literal aliens - so they could have a chance for true, moral freedom. And just like that, it was just going to be blown away in mere moments by a group of supposed “miners” who saw the planet, the system, as nothing but a collection of molecules. Telling this story… would not be simple. As it stood, they didn’t really stand a chance. She had hoped for a better resolution, but with what she knew at the time, there wasn’t one. They stood no chance without phasers. Levinson: ::Without sound:: I will. Snow / Rosek: Responses Qalipu’fari: We can get you safely to the edge of our cave, if you need. Shaking her head slightly, Noa tried to shove her feelings to the side slightly. Levinson: I believe that would be adequate. ::Beat:: We still require our technology, however. It wasn’t exactly an easy request to make, but they couldn’t just go blind without their tricorders… Not with the danger of being shot to dust. Not to speak about their combadges... Snow / Rosek / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: We have caused you much harm, this is the least we can do. Levinson: ::Nodding:: I understand. Snow / Rosek / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: As Katnar'fari has said, please. Tell our story. Noa bowed slightly in the Mekra’fari’s direction. She couldn’t exactly bring herself to say a goodbye of some kind without breaking her cover down too much, so she opted to remain silent. Snow / Rosek: Responses With their technology back, the team was on its way back to the surface. Noa kept scanning for Caraadians consistently as they went, feeling a lot more comfortable with a scanning instrument and a torch to light the way. Levinson: The metals around us interfere with my scans. I cannot get a clear reading of lifesigns. Snow / Rosek: Responses Levinson: I do not believe it will take us long to reach the surface. Rosek: Response Levinson: ::Turning around:: Commander? Snow / Rosek: Responses Levinson: ::Still considering what Commander Rosek said:: I... see, Commander. Very well. Snow / Rosek: Responses -- Lieutenant JG Noa T'Nessa Levinson Science Officer USS Chin'toka E239701NL0
  4. There has been some truly amazing writing for our current mission, but this was so beautifully written. It really hit me in the feels. 😢 ---- ((ooc: Warning, this sim deals with some difficult subjects of oppression and colonialism. Read at your own preference.)) ((Mosh’ka Alet Camp, Eladar IV (Fari), Deep underground)) She noted how their leader remained silent, likely just letting them slake their own curiosity rather than asking her own questions. The reserved nature of this woman further confirmed her belief that she must be some sort of Chief among her people. Katnar’fari: This is quite...interesting but we know the Feladoni. They take from Fari without care most of the time. They do not respect her for what she provides all of us. Qalipu’fari: Responses Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: I can appreciate the care you show for Fari. My mother’s people quite nearly destroyed our home through thoughtless actions. However, that changed centuries ago. We are much more enlightened and strive to take care of what we have been blessed with. Katnar’fari: The way you speak, you are of two different peoples? Born of two worlds and two different species? She asked and looked to Qalipu’fari and the others. Such a thing would be the ultimate vision of equality. Where peoples could truly join together completely in every way. Such a thing must be a wonderful thing to live with. She hoped that one day her own kin could know such prosperity. Qalipu’fari: Response Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: I am both Human and Al-Leyan. My mother is from Earth and my father is from a world called Leya-I. They met through her service in an organization called Starfleet. Snow: As am I. It’s quite common amongst our quadrant of the universe. Qalipu’fari: Response Rosek: ::shakes her head:: Not at all. Our interest in your world is scientific in nature. But we wouldn’t dream of taking or harming your natural resources without your explicit consent. Katnar’fari: Of this we only have your word, but that for now is all we can judge you on. Your future actions will show your true intent in time. Qalipu’fari: Responses Levinson: ::Inclining her head:: Quite logical. Katnar’fari: I must ask, Lieutenant Commander Rosek. Your eyes. They are quite remarkable. They did not look like this outside, but here, they glow. Can you see better in the dark? Rosek: It’s one of the perks, yes. The glow is especially prominent when the light makes contact, such as with fire or a handheld light source. The Mekra’fari woman smiled warmly and gestured for the group of prisoners to follow her a few steps. To the large cavern she had been meditating in before, with the hundreds if not thousands of crystals all gleaming in the light. Reflecting the lighting from the larger chamber where her people gathered in a dazzling array of colors. They called them star crystals for the way they twinkled like the stars in the sky when exposed to light. Others might call them by another name. Dilithium. Kantar’fari: I think you will appreciate this then. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: Wow.. ::she looked at it in awe:: Rosek: ::whispers:: This is incredible. Levinson: Those are dilithium crystals… The wonder and surprise from the trio, as well as the recognition suggested that what they were seeing was known to them and also of some value potentially. She made note of this observation. Katnar’fari: Dilithium? We do not know this word. What.. She was interrupted by the sudden subharmonic vocalization that rang out in the chamber. A cry of alarm from one of her people. All the Makra’fari in the room suddenly looked to the younger one standing by a computer with rows of monitors. Youth: Chief! They’ve begun the relocation early! Her heart sank when she heard the announcement and she rushed over to the male who had given her the alert. The larger monitor that was affixed to several stalactites descending from the ceiling. As it turned on Katnar shifted her view to the screen and the older Mekra’fari scowled. As she watched the slightly static filled image shifted as if being held by someone moving. In it, dozens and dozens of Feladoni security personnel dragged Mekra’fari from their homes. Men, women and children. Some not even being permitted enough time to gather their things before being forced out of their caves and surface dwellings and into many, multiple wheeled vehicles for transport to the new ‘reservation’ that their oppressors had deemed a better place for them to live. None of the Mekra’fari seen did anything to resist. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: They’re not even resisting. Rosek: ::murmurs:: Oppression can have unseen psychological impacts, Lieutenant. Katnar’fari: They will not resist. ::She said in a somber tone:: My people view any violent act not done out of self defense to be abhorrent. It’s why we here are shunned. Qalipu’fari: Responses Rosek: ::nods:: A difficult choice. The elder chief gave a curt nod. Katnar’fari: ::She picked up the mic for the radio transmitter:: Now, strike at them when they enter the caves. No more. We can’t let them dictate where we can and can’t live any longer. Do not kill them if you can help it. The Mekra’fari set the mic down and watched as the image showed dozens of Mekra’fari suddenly emerging from shadows of caverns, taking down the security like ghosts. Or openly firing their disruptors at them. One even shrieked at a pair of soldiers when his weapon was damaged beyond use and disabled the pair from the sonic waves unleashed on them, though Katnar knew it would mean intense pain for that young warrior. It was a brutally fierce few dozen minutes, but when it was all over, all of the Feladoni were dispatched, with only a scant few casualties. Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: This is why we have taken you. This is what my people have lived with for centuries since the Feladoni realized that if they do not openly attack us, we won’t resist. Because they know they cannot beat us in battle. They never have. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: I still don't get it… Levinson: I see. Yet I am still puzzled as to how... taking us would be of help. Rosek: ::pauses and turns to Katnar’fari and Qalipu’fari:: If I’m correct, you believe that we are here to aid the Feladoni? That we are a threat and the means by which the Feladoni can completely overpower you? Qalipu’fari: response Katnar’fari: You arrive on our world shortly after we reach into the stars and have already spoken to the Feladoni in charge of the test flight. You clearly have technology and understanding beyond our own and I know the Feladoni would not willingly include us in talks with such visitors. We have to be sure we can protect our people, even if they won’t raise a hand to protect themselves. Levinson: I see. ::Beat:: I suppose there is a logic in that. Snow: A few moments ago your people were complying with the Feladoni and wouldn’t resist. The Feladoni haven’t proceeded any differently, but you gave your people an order to fight back. Not that I disagree, it’s your world, but what changed? Qalipu’fari: response The chieftain gave the woman a warm, motherly child for a moment. She could tell there was innocence there behind the comment and the eyes staring at her. It reminded her of her own children. She wanted to give them a world where they could keep that innocence. Katnar’fari: The Mekra’fari you saw fighting back were those who’ve chosen to risk being marked with dishonor in order to bring about change to our people. We are willing to become pariahs, ‘jit, in order to give our children, my children and others, a chance for a life where we are not viewed as lesser. Or as pets. Snow: And you didn’t fight back sooner because? She heard the tone and looked to the woman with a determined gaze. Katnar’fari: Because some of us have had enough. I want my children to be able to live alongside Feladoni without being marginalized, only able to do the work that the Feladoni tell them they can do because they aren’t seen as smart enough, capable enough. Even though the willing take the metals we create to build their cities and use our scientists and engineers to build their Spacefold ship and the satellites in orbit to provide global communication. Qalipu’fari / Levinson: Responses Snow: Apparently we have different definitions of violence and self-defense. The frills along her neck rippled slightly causing the fur to bristle slightly at the intonation of the young woman’s comment. She wondered how this one could understand if she lived in a world where all were considered equal, she likely had never been viewed as anything ‘lesser.’ Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson: Responses Rosek: ::inclines her head:: It prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. The Prime Directive has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses ((Mini Time Jump)) Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Katnar was keenly aware of it as were all of the Mekra’fari within as they were especially sensitive to changes in noise, sound and sonic vibrations. She tensed immediately and looked to the monitors, to her shock she saw unfamiliar faces. Clearly not Feladoni, perhaps more of these aliens. They must have used their advanced technology to find them and were trying to free them. Snow/Levinson: Responses Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? The question from the alien leader was surprising and she looked to the glowing eyes of the female officer. Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses The revelation that they had a species of highly advanced peoples with a civilization of their own closeby Fari was as shocking and unnerving as seeing these aliens for the first time had been. She couldn’t have comprehended before just how large the universe was but she was beginning to see that they were just a small, small speck in a grander scheme. Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? Dozens of sub-harmonic vocalizations resounded through the chamber as word from one of their scouts reached them. Shortly after the unmistakable sound of a weapon discharge not their own echoed through the caves. One the monitors, she caught glimpse of one of their guards trying to make contact in warning for these Caraadians to halt and watched her being gunned down by several of them in a hail of energy discharges. Several gasps echoed through the cavern as they all watched the Mekra’fari not just die, but was completely reduced to ash. Katnar had never witnessed such a weapon in use and she instantly felt a wave of panic and fear well up in her gut, causing her fur to bristle while she cried out in anguish. Their body was gone, destroyed, which meant their spirit could not be properly freed from the body. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses The sound of weapons fire echoed through the caves as her people fought back. Their sonic disruptors at least seemed effective against these aliens. But their weapons utterly destroyed those they struck and there were so many of them. She only had two dozen Mekra’fari with her in the camp. Holding her rifle weakly in her hands she looked to the glowing eyed woman. Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses ======================== Lofali’jit Katnar’fari Formal Tribal Leader Leader of the Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed humbly by Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Second Officer/SOR Team Leader/Acting FO USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 PodCast Team Member Training Team Member Chin'toka Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga
  5. A lovely little bit of family life from our Ensign! This was fun to read. ----- ((Tahna's Quarters, Deck 5, USS Gorkon)) Meru set a small white and gold prayer candle on the table beside her bed, something of a finishing touch. She hadn't had even time to unpack before her first mission and her first order of business post-ribbon ceremony was to fix that. She looked around her quarters -- still pretty empty, but she would have plenty of time to fill them. She finally felt settled in. She was about to change out of her newly decorated uniform into something more casual when the PADD on her bed chimed. Changing would have to wait. She plopped down on the bed in front of the PADD before answering the incoming transmission. Meru: Hanyu, ah’no peldar aka rokaya! Rej: Hanyu, ja'ral! Meru's mother and father waved at her from the screen. She smiled back, slipping easily back into her native Bajoran though it felt like forever since she'd had a chance to speak it. Her father, Rej, had the same easygoing lopsided smile she knew and loved; her mother, Yavarel, was never half as stern as she looked. Yavarel: How goes your first assignment, Ensign Tahna? Meru: ::Smiling:: I'm still in one piece. Yavarel: And decorated. Care to share? Meru laughed awkwardly. This was why she had hoped to change before their call. Meru: I had a run-in with some Orion criminals. Scared them away with fireworks. You know, the usual. Her mother did not look satisfied with that answer but to Meru's relief she pressed no further. Knowing her parents she guessed that her mother could identify the red and black Prisoner of War ribbon, though her father certainly could not. She had no doubt her mother would question her about it later in a private message when she could do so without worrying it would hit too close to home for her father. Yavarel: All in a day's work. ::She paused before changing the subject.:: Your father was complaining that you don't send enough pictures. Rej: I wasn't complaining, but I would love to paint the Beta quadrant if you see anything striking. Meru: ::Smiling:: Only if you send me one of your paintings, fa. Rej: Of course, Mer. As many as will fit in your quarters. Yavarel: Have you had a chance to get settled? Meru looked over her quarters. Her uniforms hung neatly in the closet. A small painting her father made of the budding kava fields on her uncle's farm hung over her desk; below it sat a family portrait taken the day before Meru left for the Academy. Her father's hair was still auburn in the picture, now she saw it had grayed considerably since she'd left. Her mother looked the same as ever -- like she hadn't aged a day since Bajor joined the Federation. Meru: I just finished unpacking actually, and I can definitely fit more of your paintings. Her father smiled in delight. Rej: I'll get right on that. Yavarel: I'm sure you have plenty to do. We won't keep you- Rej: But we love hearing from you, Mer. Meru: It's good to see you both. ::She smiled:: I love you. Rej: We love you too. Yavarel simply nodded and the call ended with a beep. Meru set the PADD down and fell back on her bed. Her mother was right, she did have plenty to do, but she felt exhausted from all the day's socializing. She stood up to change into something more comfortable, setting her PADD on the desk as she passed it. So much to do, but nothing said she couldn't start with a nap. ((End.)) ((OOC: Bajoran translations from here: http://www.cyberspaces.net/Star_Trek/BajorDictionary.html)) -- Ensign Tahna Meru Science Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) G239801TM4
  6. ((Chief of Operations Office, Deck 13, USS Gorkon)) Tap tap tippity-tap Jona sat hunched over his desk idly tapping his thumb on its shiny raven surface. A quick glance let him know that ten more minutes had passed since he'd last looked and he gave a low sigh. The shift was beginning to drag and he stole a brief glance out his office window to the starbase's lengthy form outside. He'd promised himself that he'd make time to visit DS224 again before the ship was called away on its next assignment. His gaze returned to the PADD and he scrolled down with the singular swipe upward of a pointer finger. Tap tap tippity-tap Apparently the counselor and doctor had come across quite the haul on the starbase. The good doctor had submitted a special request for the beaming of some extra large items to the ship. The Andorian Ops Chief didn't see any issues with that as long as it wasn't hazardous to the Gorkon. ch'Ranni: Wait, wha-? A castle? The manifest listed a castle! No way. Absolutely not. His finger stood ready to trigger the reject button but he hesitated. He'd have to double check that. Surely, there was some mistake. A quick inspection of the request details listed the item with a large, but not unmanageable, weight. He deduced it must be a miniature version of the real thing. As he checked the approval button and forward the order to the Cargo Bay techs, he wondered if it was a gift for the little red fire-breather Loxley had introduced to him. ch'Ranni: Smug? Smoogle? He shook his head once and decided it didn't really matter but made a mental note to find out for sure. The creature had definitely given him the evil eye but Jona tried to not hold it against the diminutive dragon. The creature deserved a nice little kingdom to command. Maybe he could even replicate a few tritanium figurines for the castle - get in the lizard's good graces. Tap tap tippity-tap Becoming annoyed at the sound of his own drumming thumb on the desktop, Jona shifted in his seat and moved the electronic tablet to his other hand as he moved on to the next item. The two crates of stem bolts had arrived from Starbase 118. The seismic stabilizers for Delta Doradus III, the spare ablative armor plates, everything seemed to be in order. Inventory check complete. The Azetbur was back from its refurbishing visit to the base and right where it should be - nestled up against the saucer section. He nodded approvingly at the technician's report. They had even managed to fix the annoying squeak in the [...]pit door, not to mention removal of every last vestige of the garish green paint on her hull. ch'Ranni: Excellent. Ready for her next adventure. Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona let out another breath and rose from his chair. He arched his back and stretched as if he were a Caitian sunning himself in the beam of sunlight entering the nearest window. Maybe another cup of raktajino wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. ch'Ranni: Raktajino, hot, with cream and double sugar. The food slot coalesced particles of inert matter into the requested beverage and he took a testing sip. The warm liquid hit his bloodstream and made his eyes open just a touch wider, banishing the tiredness from his brain. He walked slowly to his bookshelf by the window and pulled out his most recent acquisition. Emily Dickinson. A few minutes looking it over wouldn't hurt. In fact, it might clear his brain even further. It would also give him a little small talk to bring up with Meru the next time they saw each other. The [...] leather cover, a dark blue, weathered thing, fell open of its own accord and he began reading the words on the cream colored paper ch'Ranni: Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all The prose was haunting, chilling even. And that was saying something for an Andorian like Jona. He returned the book to its spot on the shelf with the few other books stacked there. Taking another sip of his steamy drink, the department chief returned to his chair and swiveled it from side to side distractedly as if the ship were being rocked by an invisible salvo of phaser fire. The author was clearly trying to evoke a comparison of hope to a free-flying bird. He mused between sips of dark drink that having hope could be uplifting and freeing to the mind. Just the promise of good was enough to keep one reaching forward, battling the wind and gravity that threatened to beat it down. Still, the poem had an edge of sadness that juxtaposed its earnestness. Sadness. Tap tap tippity-tap He grabbed up the copy of Helmsman Today and flipped it open to the spread on the center page. Interesting. An advertisement for the Centauris' Cup. That was the biannual race Jo had mentioned a few weeks ago. Would the admiral really be open to entering the Gorkon in the event? She could certainly give any other ship out there a run for their latinum. He threw the magazine down on the reflective, inky desk and paused to look at his reflection in its perfect sheen. What was he doing? Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona's left hand moved slowly to the drawer on the desk. It hovered for a second as if it was deciding whether it was safe to proceed. Then, ever so slowly, his long thin fingers found the activation keys which unlocked the compartment. He pulled the wood and glass rectangle from the drawer and rested it in his lap. The smiling face of the young woman - with cornflower blue skin and face framed by snow white hair cascading to her shoulders - gazed back up at him. Her expressive antenna poked through her hair and emoted the joy that the snapshot in time had captured. Jona ran a finger across the glass to remove a bit of dust that had landed there. His lips thinned to a slight frown and a tightness formed in his shoulder blades. Why had the gods broken them apart? What did he do to deserve that cruel weight? Where were the fluttering wings of hope to be found in that stark reality? A single drop of rain landed on the picture's glass protector and Jona determined there must be something incredibly wrong with the environmental systems to allow for such condensation. He wiped the remaining tear from the corner of his eyes and placed the framed picture back in its drawer. ch'Ranni: ::whispering:: Miss you, Vexa. ::closing his eyes and even more softly after a long pause:: Maybe one day. -- Lt. Commander Jona ch'Ranni Chief of Operations USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) C239510JC0
  7. I honestly loved how this flowed. It's like you can feel the emotion without any emotion. Great job @Saveron and @Alieth! --- (OOC: Timeline wise this would have taken place before the Constitution left Starbase 104 for the Shahar Nebula.) ((Saveron’s Quarters, USS Constitution / CMO’s Office, Main Sickbay, deck 10, USS Thor)) Saveron wasn’t expecting a call when his console chimed. He glanced at the originator for a moment, the USS Thor, before he pushed the accept button. The only crewmembers on the Thor with whom he was acquainted, that he was aware of, where Fleet Captain Kells and Doctor del Vedova. The Federation logo disappeared, replaced by the face of a Vulcan who was unknown to him. Automatically, he raised a long-fingered hand in the ta’al gesture. Saveron: Sochya heh dif. Whom am I addressing? Alieth: Dif-tor heh smusma :: The petite Vulcan replied, as she raised her hand in a perfect imitation of her countryman:: I am Doctor Alieth, Chief Medical Officer of the USS Thor. I hereby contact you, Osu Saveron, in order to consult you on a couple of issues. One is medical in nature regarding one of my patients. The other is of... personal matter. The woman shifted slightly in her seat, straightening her posture, and folded her hands over the desk, as a restraining mechanism. There was the faintest rise of one eyebrow as Saveron registered the Vulcan formality, and the nature of the request. Reading the unspoken in Alieth’s words, this was Vulcan business, not Starfleet. He suppressed curiosity. Saveron: I have no objection to consulting with another Vulcan. ::Quite the opposite.:: How may I assist? The multi-species environment of Starfleet could be a minefield for those of their kind. Alieth: The patient is a 28-year-old Vulcan male. He has a congenital malformation in his brain that makes him telepathically null, as well as a couple of associated problems. Telepathically null. Not only unable to establish a telepathic connection, but unable to receive one. Unusual in their species and not without implications. Saveron: Interesting. What investigations have been performed on the individual? The young doctor tapped briefly before she continued speaking. The familiar sound of a sent file rang out on Thor's sickbay, to echoed back a galaxy away, with the familiar ring of a received file. Alieth: These are the tests and scans that we have carried out so far, but the patient's history has been either manipulated or the information obscured, so I cannot provide the evolution of the patient in the past, only over the last few months. The Constitution’s First Officer ran a practiced eye over the results. It had been some years since he’d been a practicing medical officer, but this was his home ground as it were, and his psychology experience was very recent. Still, the comment that the patient’s history had been manipulated was extremely suspicious. Saveron: If we do not have the patient’s history, then we must work with what we do have. ::He acknowledged.:: The condition is unusual, but not entirely unheard of. However, in other cases of which I am aware such is the cause of a traumatic injury. And Alieth had already said that the malformation was congenital. Alieth: Indeed, we have seen some parallels with cases of trauma or telepathic assaults, but so far this has defied any other case of which I have record. This meant, essentially, that they dealt with a fascinating mystery. Saveron: You mentioned associated problems? ::He recalled.:: This manifests in other ways than telepathically? Alieth: Indeed. The patient has medium-term memory retention deficiencies. The patient has developed methods to overcome this deficit, but I am concerned that the difficulties with his memory will worsen over time and lead him to make a mistake that could endanger the crew, as his position is critical within the ship. Saveron: Presumably he was able to pass all mental acuity testing during his time at Starfleet Academy. Have you observed any degradation in his memory retention since his posting to the Thor? Alieth: I have been monitoring it since stardate 239711.27 and there have been no significant changes since then. Saveron: Then one would suggest, in the interest of doing no harm, that no action be taken with the patient at this time, beyond monitoring their situation. ::He said mildly.:: Alieth tilted her head fractionally, as she pondered over the ramifications of what had been suggested to do. Upon a brief moment of silence, she resumed her perfectly poised stance and performed a small bow. Alieth: I will proceed along those guidelines. Saveron: It would not, however, be inappropriate to undertake further research, and to consider the future implications of the patient’s condition. I assume from his age that he is sub-adult. Meaning that he had not reached sexual maturity. That tended to occur from the late twenties to late thirties in full blood Vulcans, with there being far more variation in hybrids. Alieth: ::with a slow nod:: He is, indeed, an immature sub-adult. Saveron: Then you may wish to consider the potential implications of this individual reaching maturity. Telepathy played an important part in Vulcan relationships. What many non-Vulcans didn’t realise was that Pon Farr was not satisfied by physical interaction alone. That was why holograms were useless in alleviating the drive. What happened to a non-telepathic Vulcan, when that drive hit? Often it depended on the individual and the reason for their lack of telepathy. It was something that most Vulcans were loath to talk about, but Saveron was old enough and ugly enough to have lost any illogical embarrassment about the subject. He’d dealt with it often enough. Alieth held her tongue in silence for for a moment before she replied. Alieth: ::deadpan:: So far, the most likely outcomes are that the patient will die or kill someone. Both were physicians, and Vulcans, so there was little reason to beat around the bush. Sirok, with his condition, was not capable of establishing a telepathic connection with a partner, Vulcan or otherwise, so if no contingency measures were prepared for when that time came, there were only these two options possible. Biology left little options for their kind. Alieth: Both of these scenarios are undesirable in a deep space mission. Understatement. And a difficult situation. Saveron: Indeed. ::He said gravely.:: It may be possible to resolve the situation by utilising a violent holodeck scenario with the safeties disengaged. ::Threat to the individual’s life would take priority, resolving the Pon Farr urge.:: Otherwise it would be advisable for the individual to establish an advanced care directive; to be acted upon before he endangers others. Which was not a simple or agreeable prospect. Alieth: I will take it into account, grateful for your insight, Osu. The older Vulcan nodded gravely. Saveron: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. The young Vulcan woman leaned against the edge of the desk and amended her posture. Alieth: As for the other matter… She failed to carry on with the statement, so, she stretched out her slender fingers in front of her and eventually clasped them together to avoid fidgeting with something on the desk, a behaviour that would surely have been frowned upon by any fellow Vulcan. He noticed the movements, generally indicative of nervousness or discomfort. He wouldn’t say so of course, accusing another Vulcan of an emotional display was the height of rudeness, but it didn’t go unobserved. He waited patiently. Alieth: Osu, You have been a senior officer in Starfleet for a while and, as I could easily read in your profile, successfully. Nevertheless, I fail to understand how effective leadership can be achieved when most of the hierarchy is subdued by irrational emotions. That was an interesting way of putting it. What did that say about Alieth’s view of aliens? And what effect might that have had on her interactions with them? There were reasons that their kind were the only ones who had single-species ships in Starfleet. Vulcans could be the epitome of Does Not Play Well With Others. But they could also be very effective crewmembers; it was agreeable to the older Vulcan that Alieth had recognised the issue, and asked him for counsel. He decided to try to get a fuller picture. Saveron: Have you experienced cooperative challenges with individuals of other species? Alieth: I think curt and snotty were the most repeated adjectives so far. None of which suggest anything significantly positive. That would be a ‘yes’. And it was easy, oh so easy, to see the bizarre and sometimes completely irrational behaviour of other species and dismiss them as entirely unprofessional and not worth one’s time. It was also extremely common amongst Vulcans. But unless one wanted to get relegated to a Vulcans-only crew, a shift in viewpoint needed to be found. Saveron had been extremely fortunate in that he was a natural xenophile, fascinated by difference and by aliens in particular. Had he been otherwise his career might have been very different. Could he help Alieth to see them a little differently? Saveron: You are a medical officer. One assumes that you do treat non-Vulcan crew. The petite Vulcan nodded curtly, the previous discomfort aptly quelled by a return to a subject she found familiar. Alieth: Most of my patients are, indeed, non-vulcanoids. Saveron: So you do hold a preference for their wellbeing. Alieth: It is my duty to look after their physical well-being, as well as to encourage them to make decisions that favour preventive health care and awareness. :: The young woman's nose wrinkled up slightly before she was able to suppress that faint expression of frustration:: A commitment that often collides squarely with their unreasonable habits. Saveron: I cannot argue with your observation. ::He observed dryly. He’d said as much himself before.:: It is also your duty to act in a manner which best facilitates crew functionality. She tilted her head, with a mixture of curiosity and restrained exasperation. Alieth: It is, of course, included in the responsibilities of the position. Saveron: Then you will acknowledge that having an adversarial relationship with your crewmates is contrary to your duty to the crew. In order to function at optimum efficiency, the crew must operate cohesively. Which was all well and good but even Saveron could admit that sometimes non-Vulcans left him scratching his head. Alieth: Adversarial is arguably not the most suitable term, although a few remarks about the most efficient way of accomplishing the work could be misinterpreted as such from a purely non-rational perspective. Of course Alieth was not excusing herself or on the defensive. Although, maybe, she crossed her arms across her chest in a way that could be interpreted that way. The erstwhile counsellor considered his words carefully. Saveron: My choice of adjective was perhaps not ideal. ::He acknowledged.:: Yet being less than logical at times is the nature of other species, even as logic is ours. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. ::He pointed out, being devoted to the IDIC principle himself.:: There is an ideal which perhaps may serve you; One should have the serenity to accept the things one cannot change, the courage to change the things one cannot accept, and the wisdom to know the difference. Or to hide the bodies of the people one had to kill today because they [...]ed one off. But that was the apocryphal version. Alieth: Wise words, which deserve to be meditated upon and cherished. Nevertheless, I do not recall reading them in Surak's teachings... is it in the work of his disciples? Saveron: Not Surak in fact, nor his disciples. It is a Human expression of aspiration. They can be logical, on occasion. The young woman blinked repeatedly, an obvious indication of her shock. By the time she was able to regain control over herself, she leaned forward a bit in a small bow. Once her dark eyes fell in the other Vulcan once more, there was a small glint in them. Alieth: You have provided me with a considerable food for thought, osu, and this conversation has been more enlightening than I had anticipated. Saveron: That is agreeable. It is my preference that I assist you in appreciating the… interesting side of working with other species. Once one got past the sometimes puzzling behaviour, aliens really were intriguing. His friends had given him fascinating insights and broadened his viewpoint over the years. With a little consideration, Alieth might be able to experience the same. Alieth: I would like you to consider making these conversations a regular occurrence, as I might benefit from your mentorship.::She tilted her head slightly:: If you consider me worthy of it, or I can compensate you for your help somehow The request was unexpected, but not unwelcome. Saveron: I would have no objection. This has been an interesting conversation, and I appreciate the opportunity to act as a mentor, if you would view such as beneficial. No compensation is required; it is a privilege to assist. She offered a deferential bow in front of the screen. Alieth: So it is settled. There is no need to occupy any more of your time now, but I will contact you in a further two weeks' time. Saveron: Then I shall anticipate our next conversation. Live long and Prosper, Doctor Alieth. Alieth: Peace and long life, Savensu Without further ado, both screens flickered off, closing the link that had connected two starships millions of kilometres apart. And two beings billions of kilometres away from their shared homeworld. [[END]] OOC: Sochya heh dif→ live long and prosper Osu → sir Savensu → teacher, professor, one who teaches Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  8. So many wonderfully written sims have been written during our first contact mission to Eladar IV that I would love to be able to post them all. The amazing writers behind them took the time to really pour their heart and soul into them that they did indeed hit you in the feels. This one in particular sent chills down my spine. Thank you, @Lael Rosek for this one. Keep up the good work Chin’toka, you all are awesome 💙 OOC: This post may contain descriptions that could trigger unsettling feelings. Read with care. ((Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV)) Having heard more than enough, Lael decided to shift the conversation in a different direction. She would have a discussion with Snow later in a less public setting about tact. Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Qalipu’fari: ::under her breath:: That much is clear. ::turning to Rosek:: I think you'll find that you don't have much of a say in the matter this time. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? She’d had her share of difficulties over the years with the Prime Directive and how those around her had chosen to apply it. As a younger officer, it had always seemed like a convenient excuse to escape helping others. But now that she was in a tenuous position, she had a greater appreciation for the reasons Starfleet had put it into place. Early Earth starship captains had encountered enough issues to a great enough degree that it became necessary. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: Our Prime Directive prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. It has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari: Or demands it? She knew that the beings were in no place to demand anything. They wouldn’t resort to violence to coerce them to help. There was a slight stutter to her breath as it exited her lips, betraying the emotion she was trying so hard to hold back. This was no easy situation they’d landed themselves in the middle of. Anyone else would have high-tailed it out long ago. Rosek: ::murmurs:: I wish we could. But the consequences for those who disobey the Prime Directive can be extensive. Her chest ached and she struggled to draw breath, torn between her duty and her conscience. Could she really leave these people to fend for themselves? An ironic grin twisted her lips. She had no choice. She refused to be responsible for anymore unnecessary deaths. Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Lael was keenly aware of it as she hadn’t been able to entirely block it out. The lack of noise was even more deafening. On the monitors, she saw a small group enter the main area, causing the Feladoni and the bat-like beings to freeze. Her gaze narrowed. She couldn’t tell clearly, but she could have almost sworn they were-- Levinson: Who are these? Snow: Who is that? :: at the same time Noa asked her question :: Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? They hadn’t detected a Caraadian presence in the system when they’d entered it, but was it possible the metals had thrown off their sensors that much? Then she realized that the Chin’toka hadn’t attempted to make contact. Even with their comm badges in the hands of their captors, the devices would have made noise if the ship had tried to get in touch. The hairs on the back of her neck raised, suspecting that the Caraadians weren’t limited to ground troops. Qalipu’fari: ::sounding the word out:: Car-aad-eens? Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Levinson: They are not. Snow: Lieutenant Levinson is correct. They’re most certainly not. Qalipu’fari: More of your coalition? Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? That was a very good question. Her gaze flickered to the screen and her lips thinned. Watching the scene took her back to the holovids she’d been shown at the Academy. Though they hadn’t impacted her as severely as the torture vids, they’d still been enough to unsettle her. She’d seen enough combat in her years that many would expect her to be desensitized. A bat-like creature huddled in a corner protecting a young one caught her attention. No. Far from it. If anything, the more she saw of this kind of violence, the more she felt compelled to act. When it had been a matter between the two races native to this world, it had been different. The Caraadians were outsiders. An unstable element introduced into the natural atmosphere of this world. Surely she had some responsibility to prevent genocide from an outside source. Levinson: They are not of our coalition. I believe the most likely reason for their presence is your world, not you. Qalipu’fari: What do they want with Fari and her people? One by one, she watched the execution-style deaths of countless bat-like creatures. The anguished sound from Katnar had moisture gathering against her will, a pain worse than any she’d ever known constricting her lungs and throat. It hurt to breathe and it was nearly impossible to think. The neural suppressants and her mental shields were no match for the maelstrom of emotions swirling in the room, both from their captors and her colleagues. Was this what she’d become? Cold and heartless, bound by a duty that came at the price of her conscience? Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. Qalipu’fari: Gesasijig gloqowejg wa'so'q wela'gw. (The stars shine bright in heaven at night). Now she will never see them. She clenched and unclenched a fist at her side in an effort to release the pent-up emotion. They had to leave, but she was frozen, her feet refusing to obey her mind. Levinson: My belief is that they are here for mining. Dilithium, the crystals you have shown us, is an important component for faster than light travel. Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Levinson: ::Without sound:: I will. Snow: Our people would never take things that far. We value life as much as you all do and we try to avoid killing if at all possible. Empty words, no matter how true they might be. Qalipu’fari: We can get you safely to the edge of our cave, if you need. Lael simply nodded, not trusting herself to speak. They had to leave before she could change her mind. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to live with, but it would be easier than living with more blood on her hands. Levinson: I believe that would be adequate. ::Beat:: We still require our technology, however. Snow: Katnar’fari, please. You and your people have to fight back. You have the means to do so. There is no shame in it. You don't have to kill them. You're people know these caves better than anyone. This is your home. :: her voice pleaded with the Merka’fari woman :: Only you can change your fate. Katnar’fari: Response Qalipu’fari: We have caused you much harm, this is the least we can do. Levinson: ::Nodding:: I understand. Snow / Levinson / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: As Katnar'fari has said, please. Tell our story. What Qalipu was asking...Lael couldn’t imagine ever having the mental fortitude to speak of what she’d seen today to anyone. Even the mandatory counseling session that she knew would follow this mission was going to be excruciating. Perhaps one day when she had enough distance, it would be more than an after-action report. But not now. Not even soon. Snow: Good luck to you all. The tricorder and commbadge felt heavy in her hand as it was returned to her. Each step after felt like her boots were made of lead. Her bad leg stiffened up more than once and it took all she had to keep moving. She remained utterly silent as they walked, her mood somber as she tried to assuage her conscience. She’d done the right thing. It wasn’t their place to interfere with the natural development of a society. The regulation chased itself around in her mind. Her thoughts consumed so much of her attention that she was scarcely aware of what was going on around her. Levinson: The metals around us interfere with my scans. I cannot get a clear reading of lifesigns. Snow: Commander, is there really nothing we can do? I really can't just sit on the sidelines as the Caaradians tear this world apart, killing innocent people. It isn't right.. Rosek: ::stiffens:: It’s not our place. They were the only words she could muster and even as they left her lips, they sounded empty and meaningless. Her gaze flickered to the walls, noting drawings that she hadn’t seen there when they’d arrived. Likely, she’d been too lost in the possible danger to notice. Stories. She’d read about how some cultures depicted their history on whatever surfaces they could find. These, it would seem, were no different. Generations of bat-like creatures. Their triumphs, their failures. Memories of Abigail’s last moments seized her mind and her thoughts went instantly to Maddy, and then to the young child cowering near its dead elder. To the child being cradled in the arms of its parent. Levinson: I do not believe it will take us long to reach the surface. She stopped, making up her mind. Rosek: oO I might get court-martialed for this, but to hell with it. Oo Turning on her heel, she faced her team, her expression determined. For the first time since the violence had begun, she felt a weight lift from her chest as she made her decision. Rosek: I’m going back. Levinson: ::Turning around:: Commander? Snow: Wait.. what? Rosek: Those people in there are dying. I’m going to help them. Pausing, she regarded the two women in front of her. She couldn’t ask them to risk their careers. It was a decision they had to make for themselves. Rosek: I can’t ask you to turn your backs on your careers. ::jerks her head toward the exit:: If you want to walk away, I won’t blame you. Levinson: ::Still considering what Commander Rosek said:: I... see, Commander. Very well. Snow: I take it you have a plan? For a long moment, she was at a loss for words. It humbled her more than she could say that Levinson and Snow were willing to follow her into this. Their commitment moved her to near tears. Clearing her throat, she blinked back the moisture and refocused her attention on the situation at hand. Rosek: ::pauses:: Frankly? Not really. We have no weapons, so there’s a good chance that, unless the Chin’toka sends back-up, this will be a one-way trip. Snow: :: nods :: I'm with you. Levinson: Response She nodded. At least she had her hand to hand. She’d probably stand a decent chance. Her gaze flickered to Snow. Lephi would likely never forgive her if something happened to the woman. Snow was a decent fighter but was likely no match for energy weapons. It was going to take a hell of a miracle for them to get out of this alive. She sighed, closing her eyes and picturing her fiance and their daughter aboard the Chin’toka, unaware of what she was about to do. The moisture that she’d been fighting back finally spilled over at the thought of being separated from them, even if it was not forever. Not for the first time today, she clutched at the cross around her neck, covered by her uniform, and prayed for protection. God was calling and she was going to answer. Pressing her commbadge to open the line on the off chance that it gave the Chin’toka something to lock onto, she pocketed it and looked in the direction they’d come from. Snow: On your lead, Commander. Levinson: Response Rosek: ::exhales shakily and looks at each one of them in turn:: Ladies, in case this goes south, I--it has been the greatest pleasure serving with you. Without another word, she took off at a run back down the tunnel and into the fray. When they entered the chamber, she grabbed the first Caraadian she saw and disabled him in a matter of seconds. For long moments, others stared in surprise before rushing toward her. Rosek: oO Once more into the fray, dear friends. Oo Snow / Levinson: Responses She disarmed her opponents one by one, scarcely noticing the blows she took as she rendered them unconscious. If she survived this, she was going to be very sore. Any: Responses ((OOC: Didn’t want to leave too many tags here as I don’t know what the other away team and the Chin’toka plan to do.)) ---- Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D. Chief Engineer USS Chin'toka, NCC-97187 I238110RH0
  9. I really enjoyed this collaboration between @Sirok and @Geoffrey Teller. I especially enjoyed seeing more of Sirok, one of our resident and most emotional Vulcan. ((Vulcan - Kir province - Sobok family mainhouse)) Sobok and Sirok materialized in front of a . It was of straight lines and its glass exteriors, orderly, designed for a simple use of the interior space. A classic Vulcan construction of the 23rd century. It was built on a small promontory surrounded by several trees with reddish leaves that gave warmth to both the exterior and interior of the house. Sobok knew the coordinates well and was able to give them accurately enough to save him having to climb the small hill that led up to the house. He had also arranged for his and Sirok's luggage to wait for them in their respective rooms, not wanting to leave the young man to carry both . Feeling the increased Vulcan gravity indicated to the chief engineer that the transporter cycle had ended and Sirok looked around for a moment. It was the first time he had been back since being admitted to Starfleet Academy and he looked for any changes the house might have undergone. As he expected there were none. The trees were so carefully trimmed that they seemed frozen in time.There was no noticeable stain or scuff on the glass surface of the house. The grass around the house grew to the desired height, never beyond. The distant sound of the drones that controlled the plantations indicated like a calendar what time of the year it was and what was the state of the crops. He had left his uniform and rank on the ship and like his grandfather wore a simple light colored robe. That robe was one of the few belongings he had taken with him when he left and was part of the few belongings he brought back. They approached the front door and it opened, revealing the figure of a slender Vulcan woman. Her bearing was elegant, regal. She kept her hands behind her back and looked inquisitively at the two newcomers. Sobok: Good morning, T'Lil. Sobok stopped, leaning on his cane and staring at T'Lil. Sirok stood behind him. Sirok: Mother. :: It was his brief greeting. :: T’Lil considered the sight before her the way some would review a shipping manifest. Her son, home for the first time in many years, was here in the company of his grandfather. She noticed the tiny imperfections age had left upon her sons features, along with his disagreeably emotional greeting. She noticed everything, but made no comment beyond a simple reply. T’Lil: Son. Sirok: What is the status of Sopeg? T’Lil: Unchanged. His biological functions are being sustained efficiently. His injuries have been evaluated by the Vulcan Medial Institutes Dean of Neurosurgery. What can be done has been done. Your arrival here is another matter entirely. T’Lil arched an eyebrow, her gaze landing on her son with the weight of Mount Seleya, a sliver of genuine concern flashing through her mind. Her son had been among emotional species for far too long. Sobok: I know there is a lot to catch up on. But my physical condition is not adequate to do it at the entrance, standing up... Can we enter? A long moment passed before T’Lil replied. Even the wind was still and silent. T’Lil: You may enter. Sobok: Where is S’Vec? Where is my son? T’Lil: S’Vec is where he is expected to be, running the organization this family has maintained for generations. Her emphasis on the word generations was subtle but the jab was sharp. Sobok’s irresponsibility had disrupted the work of centuries and led to her son's needless dalliance with Starfleet. As T'Lil spoke Sobok slowly walked to a wide couch, where he slowly sat down. And he did not respond until he had made that slow heavy movement. Sirok kept an eye on his grandfather in case he needed help, since he had arrived at the Thor he had clearly noticed how he was finding it more difficult to walk. Sobok: And he has done a great job. Despite making risky bets. :: Sobok glanced at Sirok for a moment before turning his gaze back to T'Lil, remarking on the situation they were now in. :: Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly, not quite understanding what bet Sobok was referring to. The young engineer had long since removed himself from any discussion of family and its activities. He had focused all his efforts on his Starfleet career. T’Lil: His time is in exceedingly short supply, as is mine. I will inform him of your presence…::she took a long look at Sirok, and then at Sobok:: You may wait. Sobok kept his gaze on T'Lil. And remained silent for a moment, letting the sound of some bird and the distant drones fill the room. Sobok: Well, we will wait, when you reach a certain age it becomes an habit. But at other ages time is exceedingly short, so let's take advantage of it. For example I can tell you that your second son achieved the rank of Lieutenant and Chief Engineer of one of the most modern ships in the Fleet in a single year of service. A much faster promotion than I had at the time. Sirok fell thinking that he would not be given importance he saw no point in informing his parents of his progress in Starfleet, or even what ship he was serving on. But Sobok did not make that comment gratuitously, the defective son now held a position of importance in a respected organization.He was not just the son of S'Vec anymore. Sirok: It has been a matter of circumstances, although rebuilding a ship almost from scratch has been an experience from which I have been able to learn significantly. Sirok did not try to be modest, it was what he thought of his rapid rise as he believed he still had a lot to learn. If T’Lil was proud, or impressed, or even the smallest bit respectful of her son's achievements, none of it showed on her face. If anything registered, it was a slight deepening of her scowl at the thought of her son risking himself needlessly, and in a pursuit as foolish as Starfleet. T’Lil: I am gratified to learn the son of S’Vec is now a skilled mechanic. It is certain to reflect highly on our esteemed family. Her tone implied the opposite. Sirok: Is the Romulan refugee colony progressing properly? His entire family had always been strong supporters of the Unification between Romulus and Vulcan. When Hobus went supernova and Romulus was destroyed, they offered several of their lands to create settlements for refugees. Not just to take in temporary refugees, but to make them permanent residents on Vulcan. Sirok held his family's efforts in that direction in high respect and believed that this was the future for his planet and his people. A minute sigh escaped T’Lil’s lips. T’Lil: It is progressing. I believe it is premature to determine if it is doing so properly. Reintegration after millennia of distrust is a complex endeavor. One in which you could assist, son. Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly. As Sobok kept his eyes on T'Lil he foresaw what he was going to say. Sirok: I have participated in some first contacts, but my diplomatic skills are not very good, at least with beings who are driven by their emotions. :: To logical beings, the young engineer performed as expected even by his family. :: T’Lil: I have made what arrangements seemed logical to me so that our family can achieve its goals, efficiently. I do not see why either of you would object. Sirok: I will try to help if possible, mother. Sobok looked at his grandson. As a good follower of Surak he felt no pride in his relative, but his grandson though naive, seemed praiseworthy to him. Sobok: I have never meddled in your handling of these matters. But if you saw it necessary I would consider interfering. T’Lil: Sopeg’s injury leaves our family in a challenging position, one to which we must adapt. So we shall. Your wedding is scheduled two days hence. ::T’Lil glanced at the Starfleet uniform in dissatisfaction.:: You will dress in something more befitting our people. Sirok watched his mother for a moment. Sirok: the Starfleet uniform is perfectly suitable for such a ceremony, as it is in a multitude of other options. Although that is a trivial detail. So far you have not sought out a wife for me, and the difference in doing so now as opposed to when it was due is that I have a duty to perform. Sobok said nothing, on the one hand his grandson was right. But biologically speaking he needed a mate. Due to Vulcan physiology his life would be in danger when the time came if he didn't have someone to share it with. T’Lil: Your logic is flawed, son. I have sought out a wife for you and all the arrangements have been made. There is only the ceremony remaining, and that requires your presence. Sirok: May I know with whom you intend to marry me? T’Lil: Her name is Rekika, and she has completed all the necessary arrangements to my satisfaction. Sobok raised an eyebrow slightly, it was not the response he expected. Sirok in appearance remained unchanged. Though his family, who knew him well knew that he struggled to keep his feelings contained and in control, with relative success. So it was Sobok who kept asking questions, trying to make the young man maintain as much dignity as possible. Sobok: Do they know Sirok's condition? It is a very difficult situation for the chosen one. :: Part of the reason why such an agreement had not really been sought until now. :: T’Lil: In this instance, his deficiency will not be a detriment to the union. Your intended is one of our long separated Romulan cousins and her expectations are already quite low. Sobok: Be that as it may, the agreement should not affect Sirok's Starfleet career. T’Lil’s expression hardened and a room normally exposed to desert breezes became suddenly colder. T’Lil: I do not recall seeking your council or input on the matter, Sobok. T’Lil glanced back to her son, the lowly starfleet engineer. A small part of a small system, one of questionable value and enormous personal risk. T’Lil could see the logic in the pursuit for others, but not for her family, and certainly not her son. Sobok: It is one thing to adapt to the situation and another to ruin his career, which is being successful. Besides, you are already used to having an absent family member. Another one is not going to change the situation. :: Sobok had known T'Lil for many years and at all times avoided reacting to any comment. Although it was well known that the old Vulcan was more protective of Sirok than any other member of his family. :: T’Lil: Sirok has an obligation to fulfill for this family, and the needs of the many should always outweigh the needs of the one. He will come to appreciate this in time. Sirok kept quiet. Until that moment, observing the not-so-veiled dialectical conflict between his elders. Sirok: I will do as I am asked, if she accepts me. :: He barely managed not to say "and my condition". :: But as Sobok has expressed, I will maintain my Starfleet career for the time being. Consider it my training for the position you want me to take if Sopeg does not recover. T’Lil’s lips, which had never been especially emotive, pressed into a line so thin they seemed to disappear entirely. She disapproved and would work to make the arrangement ultimately untenable, but for the present her goal had been achieved. Her son would wed, and their bond with the emerging Romulan families would grow stronger, and their own family would grow in influence and respect. T’Lil stood and prepared to leave. T’Lil: It is gratifying to discover you have not entirely lost your discipline, son. Your responsibilities to the family are paramount. So long as those are dispensed properly, you other conduct is your business and ::T’Lil glared daggers at Sobok:: no one else's. I will take my leave of you now. T’Lil offered her hand in the ta’al, but turned and exited before either man had even gotten out of their chair. Sobok watched as T'Lil left and then looked at his grandson. Sobok: Are you sure of your decision? Sirok: I am the emotional one of this family. It is normal for me to make an illogical decision. Yet I cannot find a better one. Sobok: Neither do I, for the moment. The old Vulcan looked out the window. The landscape he saw was different from the one he remembered from his childhood. Now it was a sumptuous place, even the trees looked strong and lush. The irrigation system and the care of the land were being used with meticulous precision. When he was a child the crops, although sufficient, seemed rickety compared to what he saw now. The house they had was being expanded and renovated from the ruin his grandfather had. A person who practically lived in hiding because he belonged to the Syrranite movement. That house was demolished by his son to build the current one. It was much more modern and served as a control center for all his operations. Sobok stood up with great effort, leaning heavily on the cane. Sobok: Sirok, help me get to my room. It has been a long trip, I need to rest. Then I will let you free, I am sure you have a lot to do. He doubted that the family chosen by his son and daughter-in-law had the disaffection for politics that Sirok had. Sirok: Yes grandfather. :: he said showing her his arm for support. :: At a very slow pace and with short steps they both headed for the room they had prepared for the old vulcan on the first floor. =============================== T’Lil of Vulcan Matron of House Sobok V239509GT0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  10. Justin is cementing his All-Star heavy hitter (as a writer) status. This has been such a well written antagonist. This sim in particular shows a friendly cultural misunderstanding and even a little jab at his own PC. MVP all the way. (( Transporter Cube 1, Nascaik Transport Vessel 318-559 )) Shes observed His son carefully from behind the control panel of the Transporter Cube. He had ordered the boy to stand at attention nearly 10 minutes ago, and he was. Foss was highly disciplined for being such a young boy; he would go far in the military. Far, but by a quirk of genetics, not far enough. Foss’ misfortune wasn’t the only one that this mission would put right. Once Vionus IV was theirs, the Nascaik would have as many Hypermales as they needed. Malyk arrived right on time, carrying the rebreathers, and Shes begrudgingly fitted the apparatus over His nose and mouth. Tapping the control panel to test the seal and the airflow, Shes took a few deep breaths. Satisfied the device was in working order, He nodded to Foss, and the boy mirrored his father’s actions. Shes keyed in the transport coordinates and transmitted them to the Federation ship, then he, Malyk, and Foss all climbed into the cube to await transport. (( Transporter Room 1, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Having never used a Federation transporter before, Shes found the experience curiously uneventful. None of the usual hallmarks of a trip through a Nascaik transporter were there. No dizziness, no nausea, no rotating limb syndrome. His lips weren’t even numb. Curious people these Federation types were, indeed. If it weren’t for the change of scenery and the aliens staring back at him, he’d not have guessed he’d used a transporter at all. As soon as the transport was complete and the strange blue beam had dissipated from around him, Shes took a deep breath in and immediately knew they’d been the second party to come aboard. Ar-Dev: oO It stinks of trees in here. Oo MacKenzie: Rossk Ar-Dev – I’m Commander MacKenzie, and these are my officers. On behalf of Starfleet and the Federation, we’d like to welcome you aboard the Resolution. Shes did His level best to remember the hundreds of bullet points in the dossier He’d been given. The newly written Nascaik diplomatic protocol was full of unnecessary details and jangly words that would only shroud things in a haze of confusion. However, as Malyk had reminded Him so many times in the lead-up to this mission, this was a unique battlefield with its own rules. Shes stepped forward and took the Commander’s outstretched hand, momentarily surprised at the strength of her grip. A strange ritual, the shaking of hands. Ar-Dev: Commander MacKenzie. ::gesturing:: This is my aide, Terza Malyk Vey-Dex. And this is my son, Foss. MacKenzie: ::nodding:: Welcome to you both. Vey-Dex: response Ar-Dev: ::steps from the transporter pad:: I suppose we should get started. ::inhales:: I gather that the Thama delegates have already arrived. MacKenzie: Actually, before we get to work, we have a tour of the shi- Ar-Dev: Your instructions said that we would be meeting in something called “Conference Room A.” ::gestures toward the door:: I trust we can find the way ourselves. The human opened her hands, which took Shes by surprise. Surely the Federation mediators had been briefed on all relevant aspects of Shes’ professional and personal life, including the fact that He had been married for decades. He could not believe the commander would so brazenly proposition Him in such a way, and in front of His own son, no less. When she continued talking about the tour of the ship, however, Shes realized he must had misinterpreted her physical gesture. He ignored the offense she had caused, but it was quickly replaced by a growing impatience. Why were they attempting to stall? MacKenzie: We just wanted to offer you a tour so that everyone can get acclimated to an unfamiliar- Ar-Dev: Commander, unless this ship is a gift you are presenting to us as part of some diplomatic custom, I am frankly not not interested in seeing any more of it than I have to. The human clenched her jaw ever so slightly. Shes was intrigued. He had not expected to find the human species so fascinating and complex. He could almost see the commander change tactics on the spot. She would likely be a brilliant tactician, if given the training and discipline from six years of study at the Academy of War. MacKenzie: I’m sure you’d rather dispense with the formality, but the tour won’t take very long, and you would do me a great honor by accepting this gesture. I’ve actually assembled a team of my finest officers to show you around. In fact, Commander Ilsam is our mission specialist – I’m sure you can find common ground discussing military strategy. Shes regarded the officer whom the commander identified as Ilsam, and the two others flanking him. Ilsam: Response Vey-Dex: Response Ar-Dev: Very well. If it would do you the honour, I suppose we can oblige. A brief tour to inspect your facilities and your soldiers. MacKenzie: I’m so glad to hear that. In addition to Commander Ilsam, I’d like to also introduce our helmsman, Lieutenant Yalu, and one of our security officers, Lieutenant Sherlock. The trio of officers was a grab bag, indeed. Ilsam, the military strategist, would perhaps give Him an insight into how this Starfleet military was constituted. Even by glances, it was far removed from anything He was used to. The security officer, Sherlock, excluded confidence and competence in equal measures. He would be interested to know more about her role on this ship. The helmsman, Yalu, was tall, but otherwise completely forgettable and not worth paper to describe. Ilsam: response Sherlock: Terza Vey-Dex, Rossk Ar-Dev, it's an honor to have two representatives of the Nascaik, as esteemed as you are, aboard. ::looking at Foss and giving him a smile and a nod:: Welcome. Vey-Dex: response Ar-Dev: Very well, Commander, Lieutenant, Lieutenant. Lead the way. As the group of six exited this room and continued down a corridor, Shes tried to retain His focus, but the sheer foreign-ness of the ship’s layout was highly distracting. Ar-Dev: So, tell me, Commander. How many planets has this ship conquered? Ilsam: response Any: response Tag / TBC MSPNPC Rossk Shes Ar-Dev Military Commander, Nascaik Planetary Expeditionary & Defense Forces Diplomatic Representative, Nascaik Defense Coalition simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0
  11. This entire thing just made me laugh. ((IKS Yan – Unlisted Shuttebay 14)) A secret shuttlebay. A janky old B’Rel class warbird. Wearing his old, comfortable drifter clothing with his trusty Cardassian disruptor pistol in his boot. Could this mission get any better? Well yes, they could succeed, live, have a party filled with every type of egg dish imaginable and then all get to sit in hot tubs. Separate hot tubs, probably, at least for Zel’s latinum. The commline shrilled and he peeked his head out from underneath the helm console where he was hard at work with a laser welder, determined to get this thing performing to some degree of accuracy. It wasn’t quite ‘turn on a dime’ but at least it was no longer ‘turn on a half a planetoid.’ McLaren: =/\= McLaren to Zel. Get the ship ready to leave... you’ve got 5 minutes. =/\= Zel: =/\= I’ll have it ready for you in four. =/\= ::He stated with the utmost confidence:: =/\= What’s going on? =/\= McLaren: =/\= I’m on my way to the bridge now, I'll explain when I get there. =/\= Zel: =/\= Right on. =/\= Ok, time to finish up his work and get things heated up. The good thing was this was a simple system and it booted up far faster than a federation vessel of the same age. It also had far less finesse and relied mostly on the skill of the driver to prevent the thing from flying into a sun or crashing into a StarBase. Fortunately Zel liked to think of himself as a very good driver. Pulling himself out from under the helm console he saw his team gather at the cramped bridge area. Zel dusted himself off, looking every inch of a scrappy drifter. Looking every inch of who he was seven years ago. But a bit more well fed and a bit less broken down. Starfleet medical was a magical thing once he had stopped being utterly paranoid about doctors trying to kill him. McLaren: We're launching as soon as Tony and his team are aboard. Zel: Right on. Hey, on the bright side I got the computer banks working with Rue’s translation program, so Merry Birthoween, you can now read your consoles and panels in Federation Common! That was a legit holiday, right? Zel didn’t celebrate holidays. He just had a drink every time he didn’t die and that was celebration enough. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? McLaren: The Cult is pushing the tempo... and they have Max too. Zel: That doesn’t sound good. Master of understatement, Zel Rohan was. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? McLaren: I would have like another couple of hours, to be honest... but we dont have that luxury anymore. We'll have to finish everything else as we're in route. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? Zel: I assuming we’re going to cloak as soon as we clear the Base’s shield array? That might have been the only thing that was fully working on the ship when it arrived. A bunch of things still weren’t working so hot. Not the least of which was the air circulation system, which made the dim, cramped bridge smell keenly of Klingon farts and fermented fish. Weapons targeting was still calibrating, though they should be able to finish that well before they reached Klingon space. And they had a shipment of emergency rations because the replicators were at best sketchy and at worst a surefire way to a week long stay in sickbay. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana/McLaren: ? Zel: And we should practice who we all are on this mission. I mean cover persona. Zel assumed he could still go as himself. But if Sol directed against it, he had a backup plan. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana/McLaren: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ pNPC Lieutenant JG Zel Rohan Helm officer StarBase 118 Ops
  12. A wonderful little character study, well done @Ashley Yael! ((Starbase 118 Operations - Counselor Yael’s Quarters)) Ashley set about a few things at a rapid pace after leaving his meeting at the Black Tower. First, he canceled his appointments for the foreseeable future, making certain the other counselors knew to take on his cases. He hated leaving them to take on the brunt of the work, but it was for a mission after all, so it was necessary. Next up, he gave a call to the base petting zoo and arranged for them to take Feazel. He wasn’t sure if that would be permanent, but he certainly couldn’t leave him without care in his quarters for an extended period of time. The Denobulan lemur glanced at him as he said his name… the petting zoo staff agreed to take him in for the time being. He did warn them he wasn’t *quite* domesticated yet… though he wasn’t quite as face-clutchingly clawtastic as he was the day he’d arrived. Next he requisitioned several items from medical… first, a dozen emergency med kits, and a complement of portable medical equipment, including a full bio-bed with a surgical dome and body scanner. One bio-bed was better than nothing, and since it was all portable and not directly integrated into the ship systems, they could excuse the Fleet technology as a black market purchase. He also made a point of having sub-dermal communicators prepared in injectors. They wouldn’t be able to use their normal communicators, but they may need a way to discreetly communicate. Injecting the team could be his first medical duty. He arranged to have all the gear transported directly to the Yan. After that, he set about packing a few things for himself, and replicating some clothing. Off came the uniform, everything that could identify him as an officer or Starfleet was dismissed. He needed to look the part of a semi-successful merchant… but still be functional. After putting some thought into it he finally got the combination he was going for. The only item he didn’t discard was his electro-stabilizing wrist braces. Couldn’t do without those… but they weren’t Fleet-specific technology. Dressing, he pulled on a pair of snug black pants. The material was leather-like but still quite comfortable, with a laced-down pattern running down each side from hip to ankle. Next he pulled on a pair of black boots that appeared simple, but they were made of a luxurious Terellian leather. They gave him an extra inch of height, having a thick, ridged sole. He made sure to add just a little scuff to the boots, to make them look not-quite brand-new. Next he pulled on a black button up collared shirt, which had a bit of formal flair down the chest, and slipped on a decorative red and black vest atop it, buttoning it down. It was embroidered with a classic Denobulan pattern. Finally he buttoned the wrists of his shirt, a double cuff decorated with amethysts that were almost as pale as glass. Ruffling his hair and sweeping it forward somewhat haphazardly, he made certain it was a bit more care-free than his typical well-kept look… he was glad he’d been growing it out. It looked much less “Fleet” this way. Overall, as he took a look… he looked *expensive* and somewhat formal, but not stuffy. The look of a relatively successful merchant with an eye for the finer things, without looking extravagant or overly wealthy. For good measure, he raided his stash of latinum, sliding several strips into the hidden pockets on the inside of his vest. He lifted the last item he’d requisitioned and had replicated. A set of rather pricey looking wire, frameless eyeglasses… which were actually a wireless smart computer. He could interlink with it using pre-set eye movements, or verbal commands, and he could link it with any unprotected computer system. Definitely not standard issue gear… he set them atop his head in his hair, and the slightly iridescent sheen of the screens reflected the color of his hair. It had limited processing power, but it was just the sort of toy a tricky merchant might use for his benefit. Finally, he used an ankle brace to hold a small medical hypo-spray close to his skin and hidden beneath his pant leg… the daily medication he had to take. Not something he could do without, but something he didn’t want to advertise... or lose. Standing, he smoothed down the vest. Overall… he was definitely liking what he saw in the mirror. If he went to work at counseling like this, no one would take him seriously. But for a rogue merchant on a commandeered Bird of Prey? It was random, individualistic, functional… and as far from Fleet as it got. He had one more stop to make… for cosmetic alterations. Making his way from his quarters to the Promenade, he found the tattoo shop and stepped inside, quickly getting the attention of the artist who was unburdened by a client. Yael: I need a few piercings. He pointed to the end of his eyebrow just at the upper arch before his facial ridge began. Yael: One here. Then he lifted a hand to his opposite ear, gently gripping the curve of his inner helix. Yael: And three smaller ones here. All amethyst. The artist eyed him curiously but didn’t ask questions. Thankfully the Human woman was fast at what she did. Four quick stabs of pain later, and tolerating the small touches required to get it done, he had four new piercings. Nothing he couldn’t have healed up when they returned home. For good measure, he had a semi-permanent tattoo done… a thin line of black liner added to just the top of his eyes, adding a touch of glamour, he thought, and completing the almost-ostentatious look he was going for. He was quite pleased with the overall disguise, actually. Now he just had to *act* the part. Paying for the cosmetic service and giving the artist a smile, he walked to the nearest transporter and had himself delivered to the Yan so he could get the lay of the Bird of Prey's, and place the emergency med kits in a variety of vital points. ~*~ Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  13. More adorable family stuff from the skipper. Shore leave stuff! ----- ((Leaf and Bean, First Promenade, Deep Space 224)) It was loud here. While there was always background noise aboard a starship—the hum of the EPS, the low bass thrum of the core, the whisper of life support systems cycling air—it was quiet, in more ways than one. The subtle, subdued colour scheme of Federation starships was no accident, selected for to counteract stress and encourage focus. People usually worked in small groups, Quinn was often on her own in her ready room, and even the largest of the crew lounges didn't have the space for a sizable crowd. So here on the Promenade, with brilliant lights and colours bursting from the shop facades, with hundreds of people heading back and forth, conversations ranging from the low to near shouted, the pound of footsteps interspersed with bursts of laughter and the occasional whooping shriek of delight... it was loud. She liked it. It was vibrant and alive, pulsing with energy. A reminder of her connection to the universe, beyond the confines of her fancy tin can in space. Taking a sip of her tea, the hybrid looked back toward her son, his voice animated and his hands making sweeping gestures as he talked about his latest classroom project. D. Reynolds: ...used polaritons to create a giant quantum vortex, which I used to model the Bouman black hole— A. Reynolds: Daddy! Amelia launched herself out of her seat before Quinn had time to react. The tiny blonde whirlwind shot across the cafe's seating area, weaving between tables and people, only avoiding collisions thanks to the fast reflexes of the adults whose paths she crossed. Her target reached down and scooped her up, planting a kiss on her cheek and grimacing at the childishly wet one he received in turn. Brunsig: A terror as usual, Schatzi. Reynolds: Why don't I get an adorable German nickname? Brunsig: What would you like? He planted a kiss on top of her head as he completed his approach to the table. Like her, he was out of uniform, dressed in a simple pair of khaki slacks and pale blue shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbow. It suited him, and she felt her heart give a gentle thump against her ribs, a small flourish of pink appearing under her freckles. Brunsig: Schnuckelschneke? Igelschnäuzchen? Hasenfürzchen? Dylan snickered at the series of suggestions—Nibble Snail, Little Hedgehog Snout, and Bunny Fart respectively—and Quinn threw up a hand in defeat. Stick with the classics, don't change the habit of a lifetime; she knew a lesson when she walked into one. Reynolds: Cupcake it is. It was a nickname she'd not only got used to, but grown oddly fond of, at least when it came from him. He smirked at her as he settled into an empty seat, clapping Dylan on the shoulder. Amelia clung on to him and settled in his lap, exhaling her delightful, bubbly giggle, a sound which rarely failed to make Quinn smile and lift her spirits. D. Reynolds: Hey Dad. Brunsig: Pickle. A. Reynolds: Haha, Pickle! The grin dropped off the teenager's freckled face, and he rolled his eyes at the invocation of his childhood nickname. Quinn offered him a sympathetic look, only half-heartedly trying to keep the grin off her face while Amelia sang "pickle pickle pickle" on repeat. Much like Dylan at her age, once she discovered something funny, the young girl clung on to the joke well past its expiration date. It was cute right up until it wasn't, and then it was a very specific kind of hell. D. Reynolds: Can I go? Reynolds: Your Dad's only just got here. D. Reynolds: I'll be back for dinner. I promised Mirra I'd show her sickbay on the Gorkon while everyone's on leave. She wants to be a doctor, and on Ketar she never really— Quinn frowned, ready to object further, but Walter waved off the extended explanation. He flicked his hand in a shooing gesture, granting permission for the young teenager to abscond. If he didn't mind, she didn't mind. It was just hard, sometimes, to realise how grown-up and independent Dylan was becoming. A young man in his own right, with his own ideas and ambitions in the world. Brunsig: Go on, beat it. ::He wagged a stern finger in his son's direction.:: Don't get into any trouble. Slurping the last few dregs of his papalla juice, Dylan muttered a hasty goodbye and dashed off into the crowds. Walter watched him go, presented Amelia with a PADD to keep her entertained—a tactic both immediately and thoroughly successful—and turned to Quinn. She sipped her tea and caught a server's eye, and lifted a hand to show she'd like to order something soon. Brunsig: Who the hell's Mirra? Reynolds: Sienelis' niece. They're about the same age, she's a smart kid. It's been good for him to have someone his own age to knock about with. Brunsig: And develop a crush on. Reynolds: What? No. ::She paused and looked at him, and he looked back at her with raised eyebrows.:: You think? Brunsig: Sometimes, Cupcake, you're so dense it hurts my soul. He shook his head in despair, though she could see the smallest tug of a grin and a light sparkling in his blue eyes. She chuckled in reply, though it was a little muted. Dylan and his first crush. Quinn hadn't the faintest idea how, or if, she was supposed to guide him through the tangled web that romance wove. After all, she hadn't exactly navigated her own in an exemplary manner. But she hoped it was a good thing. Growing up the way she had, she'd always been self-conscious about her Deltan heritage, and rarely interacted with people her own age. She'd never had the chance to have a teenage boyfriend or girlfriend and experience young love, and sometimes Quinn wondered what she'd missed out on. Reynolds: This is good for him, right? Normal... interpersonal or social development or something. Brunsig: Or something. Reynolds: ::She sighed, and he shrugged.:: You're no help. I'll have to talk to Corliss. Brunsig: Bring some insulin. And save me some peanut brittle. Her chuckle had a little more force and warmth to it this time; Corliss had won over even Walter, reluctant as he was to show it. The approaching server drew her gaze, a young Andorian woman with a brilliant smile, powder blue skin and hair dyed the colour of candyfloss. Before she arrived at the table, the German picked up the menu and scanned its contents, while Quinn finished her tea. Brunsig: What's the coffee like in this place? Reynolds: Jo approved it, so it can't be half bad. Brunsig: Pastries? Reynolds: I can recommend the Delvan fluffs. A. Reynolds: Can I have one? Quinn grinned and shook her head, the precocious five-year-old able to zero in on anything food-related, whether it was a comment in a conversation or a replicator spinning up two rooms away. Walter looked toward her, and she shrugged. It was a special occasion, the family together for the first time a while, and there was no harm in a few treats. Reynolds: I suppose so. She answered with a delighted squeal, scrambling off Walter's lap and back into her chair, ready to receive the baked bounty. Quinn leaned back in her chair, smiling as she watched her daughter, while her husband laid out the order for their cheerful server; fresh drinks and pastries for all. Sometimes, she thought, it was easy to believe she wasn't an admiral, he wasn't a captain, and there weren't starships outside waiting for them. It was nice to forget that anything existed outside of moments like this. And so she did. -- Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0 & Captain Walter Brunsig Commanding Officer USS Triumphant
  14. I just have to put this stellar piece by @Toryn Raga up here for everyone to appreciate. The man really knows how to tell a story and bring life to a first contact species. Top notch writing. I'm sure this will go down as 118's least violent kidnapping. (( Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV (Fari) )) The scouts had been thorough. In some cases it was easy finding information, when one was considered little more than a pet. Those who considered themselves masters often weren’t cautious about what they said around those that were practically invisible. There, but forgotten because it suits the one in charge until they either made themselves known through irritation, or were actually needed for something. When she had received word that not only had a small vessel of unknown design entered the atmosphere and was last seen in an area where several notable Feladoni elite had residences, but that a handpicked group of Feladoni security had been tasked to escort some dignitaries, she had put the two together. These visitors were exploring the preserve, under escort, though none of her people understood how they had gotten there. No further reports of vessels entering their planet had come in. Which concerned her. Still, this presented an opportunity that they couldn’t pass us. And that Katnar felt she had to personally handle. She’d gathered Qalipu’fari and a dozen of their best and headed into the preserve. It had taken little time to find them. The Feladoni were known and easy to spot. But seeing aliens for the first time was a shock itself. Three looked similar in many ways. Fair of skin. Feminine. Two had pointed ears. And one was male, probably. And he was Blue! Katnar forced the shock down and made some subharmonic chirps of calming encouragement to the Mekra’fari with her. Using the tones and changes in sound far below at least what the Feladoni could hear to direct her people to spread out and stalk towards the group of what could be scientists. At least they were unarmed. This was a dance they were used to. Sneaking up on Feladoni. Taking them down silently. A quick strike to the back of the neck here. Or grabbing the mouth and nose and pulling them into a choke hold until they passed out. Violence not done in defense. It was unheard of among her kind. They should only touch, or take an item, or leave one behind to show they got close but didn’t harm. But now, they had to act. Do the unheard of to help their kind break the yoke of inequality. Snow: Anyone else hear that? Rosek: ::softly:: Yes. I have the feeling our Feladoni escort is no longer with us. Levinson: ::In a lower volume and relatively neutral tone:: I concur. Something has happened. th’Koro: Response The Feladoni security on the perimeter went down quietly, quickly. Katnar moved up closer, and stepped out of the brush, weapon in hand and leveled at the group. The rustling in the bushes was one of the Feladoni security not being incapacitated quickly enough. She would have to speak to her people later. Katnar’fari: Do not move, please. ::She held her sonic disruptor rifle pointed at the group:: She had no idea if these aliens could even understand her, but she hoped that, having seen their escorts with weapons, that they would recognize that her and the dozen Mekra’fari that made themselves known surrounding them, all similarly armed, would get the hint. Rosek: I am Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek of the Federation starship Chin’toka. I respectfully request that you state your intentions. th’Koro: Response Qalipu’fari: Response Katnar’fari: I do not know how you speak like we do, but it is good. It will make this easier. Snow: It’s a universal translator. It helps us communicate with and understand other species as we explore the galaxy. We mean you no harm. Qalipu’fari: Response th’Koro: Response Katnar’fari: We do not wish to harm you, but we will if you leave us no choice. You will come with us. Qalipu’fari: Response th’Koro: Response Katnar’fari: ::She raised the rifle in her hands:: Then we will render you unconscious and you will come with us anyway. The choice is yours, but make it now. ::She said directly to the one who seemed to be their chief (Rosek):: Rosek: ::turns to her team:: Looks like we’re taking a slight detour. Tricorders out and keep your eyes on the terrain. Wouldn’t want any sprained ankles for Doctor Snow to need to fix. Snow: Thank you. ::quietly:: Noa took a deep breath before even considering opening her mouth for a reply. Levinson: ::Nodding:: Understood, Commander. th’Koro: Response Rosek: Your lead, … ::pauses:: How can I refer to you? ::grins:: I don’t want to assume and, in my culture, “Hey, you” isn’t the most polite thing to say to someone. It was good that these aliens were cooperative. Already they were branches ahead of most Feladoni, who would have certainly fought back and lost. Qalipu’fari: Response Katnar’fari: Good. ::She said sternly:: You may call me Katnar’fari. And before we leave, you must relinquish all of your technology to us. ::She raised a hand quickly:: We do not wish to keep it or study it. Only to ensure we are safe. These are unknown to us. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: As you wish. Qalipu’fari: Response She nodded to the pointy eared alien and made several sub harmonic tones to instruct her people to take their devices away from them. And to flank the group, keeping an eye out for Feladoni as well as watching their captives. Katnar’fari: My people will make sure you do not cross anything dangerous. She offered up after several minutes of travelling to assuage any fears they might have of their surroundings. th’Koro: Response Qalipu’fari: Response Eventually, they came out of the woods and approached the mouth of a dimly lit cave. Snow: If it's not too much to ask. May I inquire what you want from us? With a nod, the other pointy eared one added their own question. It was odd, Mekra’fari ears were quite large, meant to pick up all manner of sounds. Theirs were much smaller, but she knew better than to assume that they could hear as poorly as the Feladoni. Levinson: And for how long do you intend on keeping us with you? Rosek / th’Koro / Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: You are an opportunity. One my people and I have been hoping for for a long time. As for how long we keep you with us. ::She looked to the one who asked with a soft, but unwavering gaze:: As long as is necessary. Levinson: I see. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Qalipu’fari: Responses Eventually their journey led them to a cave in the hillside that gradually descended downwards. Katnar’fari kept her eyes on the aliens the entire time, while their scouts guided them down, down, down. Over the next two hours they walked through one twisting tunnel after another, often seemingly backtracking and turning in just about every direction. Every Mekra’fari among them knew precisely where they were going. Their echolocation gave them the precise layout and memory of their well used tunnels. But the intentional trip through the caves was meant to disorient their prisoners in the hopes that should they escape, they would have a difficult time finding their way back. Or so she hoped. Katnar’fari: We are here. She announced as the group emerged within the larger cavern that they had been using as their headquarters. Having passed by their outer sentires who were well concealed in the tunnels, some hanging from the ceiling to remain out of sight. The chamber was filled with tables, computers and various crates full of food, necessary equipment and materials and even weapons. Many with the telltale markings of Feladoni security upon them. As they entered the previous sounds of conversations suddenly halted as the dozens upon dozens of freedom fighters she’d gathered got their first glimpse of beings not from their world. Hushed voices and many wide eyes were met with a droning sub harmonic chorus of tones that mingled with the curious voices taking in the sight of aliens. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Levinson / Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: Take a look. Our world will never be the same from this day forward. See to it they are secured properly. They are our guests and our prisoners. No harm shall come to them, unless they bring it upon themselves by trying to escape or call for help. She stated clearly and so the group they’ve abducted could understand she meant every word. Unlike the Feladoni, her kind provided proper care for their captives. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Levinson / Qalipu’fari: Responses ======================== Lofali’jit Katnar’fari Formal Tribal Leader Leader of the Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed humbly by Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Second Officer/SOR Team Leader/Acting FO USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 PodCast Team Member Training Team Member Chin'toka Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga
  15. A bit of context because this sim deserves it. This series of sims are based on the premise that "Teller has a Vulcan katra (Sern) in his head and it's not where it should be". Obviously, that leads to problems, so the inevitable "let's see if we can find that katra and get it out of his head" is compulsory. What does that give us? A mind-melt, a guided tour through little vignettes of the character's career and previous life, intermingled and confused and at the same time delightful and amusing. My perception may be a little biased in this matter, but I think it's a great representation of something we've seen in several star trek series, and it's always a fascinating story. thanks for this @Geoffrey Teller I can't wait to see where we go next. ((Chief Engineers Office, USS Veritas, 2396)) Teller: What do you mean, my fault? Why is it always my fault? Alieth: Usually a meld can be guided into the core of someone else's mind. It often takes the form of a library, or a household and one only has to look for the correct book or unlock the required door to find out what is sought. Geoff considered the idea and looked around with fresh eyes, somehow no longer surprised. The Veritas had been a home for him, and one that had nurtured him in ways he was still discovering. He'd made lifelong friends and celebrated their successes. He'd seen the officer he wanted to be in the people around him. Alieth: But since you are a calamity incarnate, your brain is not wired as a small house but as a whole engineering deck full of Jefferies tubes in which everything is interconnected.:: She let out a small sigh:: This is going to take a while. Geoff laughed, a little bit too delighted at the prospect. Teller: Are you kidding, this is great! I haven't gotten to crawl around in the jefferies tubes for months, and I could take you through the ones on this ship blindfolded. I should've let you go wandering around in my brain earl...::Geoff stopped midsentence, his hand going to his temples. The stabbing pain behind his eyes was getting worse.:: ...alright maybe we'll skip the grand tour this time. Alieth crossed to his old desk, lifting a Brew Continuum mug and inspecting the coffee ring left behind on his desk. Otherwise, his desk was unusually clean, not covered in the routine assortment of PADDs and reports that typically accumulated on the real one. Alieth: Are you aware that the fact that even the core of your mind has some sort of caffeine shrine speaks very poorly of your restraint with these brews? We are going to have to deal with that when we get out of here. Geoff snorted, but the look Alieth gave him was grave. As his wonder at their surroundings passed, a feeling of wrongness had begun seeping in around the edges of his perception. The lack of crew had been jarring, but there was a strange unnatural stillness to everything. Teller: When we get out of here, after we find Sern, right? Which we're going to do....how, exactly? Alieth: I do not know, even though you belong to a telepathically null species, you are like a kind of telepathic sponge, and I have little control over all this. Geoff held up his hands defensively, fairly certain he'd been insulted. Again. Alieth: The plan is to go out there, open a door and see where it leads, and hopefully we will find some indication of where Sern's katra might be, maybe something misplaced, or not as you remember. But I have no way of where to start on…. ::waving her hands around::: ...this, so you are the one who should lead us. Teller: I just want to be sure I've got this straight. We are going to wander around in the hope we accidentally trip over Sern? Is that about the size of it? She gave a very, very slow nod. Alieth: Trial and error is an apt description. Geoff shrugged and turned to face the office doors that would lead out to Main Engineering. The Warp core would be on his right, the main workstation table to his left, and the Engineering lab off to the side behind reenforced doors. He knew every jefferies tube access point on both floors, and exactly how to get anywhere on the ship from here. Teller: Well, fine, so how do we get started? Alieth: You just need to get out of the office. Geoff stepped forward, the doorway parting silently. His foot stepped down but the deck was gone. ((First Landing Park, Tuckerberg, Archer IV, 2376)) His foot found soil and grass, and the sky opened above them to just the right shade of blue. Flowers he hadn't smelled in years tickled his nose, and it was a struggle to keep his eyes from watering. The wind came down from mountains, as it always had, cool and pleasant on the warm spring day. A day that had passed almost twenty years earlier. Alieth: Does this place look familiar? Geoff fought to keep the lump out of his throat. He could feel his memories of the day, his emotions. The love and simple delight of childhood. It was nearly overwhelming. Teller: Yes...this is First Landing Park. It was near our house...we came here all the time. Alieth: Makes sense. ::Her gaze fell into the small group:: So they are...? Teller: Mom and Dad, and my older sister Sarah. We'd go to an old tree, down near the south end of the park. There's an urban legend that it was the first tree Porthos ever peed on, it's supposed to be good luck. My parents thought that made it a good spot to picnic. ::Geoff could feel tears at the corners of his eyes, and his voice grew quiet:: They were right. Geoff stepped forward, lost in the moment, longing to join his family in the distance. He would've been gone forever if a strong hand hadn't closed around his wrist and stopped him cold, breaking the dangerous trance Teller had fallen into. Her voice helped to pull him back and ground him. The pain behind his eyes had become an almost blinding pressure. Alieth: We will not find Sern here, Geoff, so we should leave. :: She then made a pause and glanced at the plain expression on his face.:: But I can help you to come back later, when we get all this sorted out... Geoff shook his head. This moment was best left to the past, a halcyon day that would stay forever green in his rememberings. Teller: Lets get out of here. Alieth nodded and they stepped forward in unison, the hiss of a starship door closing behind them. Immediately, the hairs on the back of Ensign Geoffrey Teller's neck stood on end. oO No. Oo ((U.S.S. Artemis, 2395)) The endless corridors yawned before him once again, and Geoffrey Teller was standing inside a dreaded memory. He'd been newly assigned to the Veritas, on his first mission as Acting Chief Engineer, and it was as close to death as he'd ever come. Computer: =/\= All Hands, Prepare for Slipstream in t-minus Six Minutes. Warning. Slipstream corridor instability detected. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Automatic Safety Interlocks Non-Responsive. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Slipstream jump in t-minus five minutes and fifty seconds. Warning.... =/\= The lighting and the drone of the computer voice were all exactly as they had been, and Teller felt a dangerous panic creeping into his thoughts. Alieth: What...? Is this the Veritas again? Teller: No..no...we're...we're aboard the Artemis...we have to...::the pain behind his eyes magnified tenfold, collapsing him to his knees.:: We have to get to the shuttlebay...the ship is going to explode... Geoff felt a new pain, a sudden horrible jarring in his chest. The first time, he'd broken a rib trying to escape this ship, and it had punctured his lung. Before Taz Shandres strapped him into the only flyable thing left aboard, he'd begun coughing up blood. As he was now. Geoff looked at the crimson splatter in his palm and began pulling himself forward, desperate to escape. Teller: We have to get to the shuttlebay Taz! Come on! It's our only hope! Alieth: Response Geoff was jogging down the hall, picking up momentum even as his head felt like bursting. He was lost in the memory, his mind solely focused on flight. He had to get out. Computer: =/\= All Hands, Prepare for Slipstream in t-minus Six Minutes. Warning. Slipstream corridor instability detected. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Automatic Safety Interlocks Non-Responsive. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Slipstream jump in t-minus five minutes. Warning.... =/\= Teller: You can't give me an order, now come on...::Geoff lurched to his feet, moving as quickly as he could.::...we have to... Alieth: Response A strong hand was on his shoulder, keeping him from moving forward, impeding his escape. Teller: Dammit Taz! Don't have time for... Alieth: Response Geoff felt himself falling, tumbling away from the deckplates and hallways of the Artemis. He landed somewhere worse. ((New Risa Resort and Spa, Limbo, ~2395)) Lt. Jg. Geoffrey Teller looked around in horror at the sunbaked survivors encampment that had come to be jokingly called the New Risa Resort and Spa. An agency from the far future had tried to remove the Veritas from the timeline, and had arranged for the crew to be marooned here, on this tropical moon where time moved more quickly than the outside universe. The crew experienced months of relative time while only moments passed in the outside universe. It had been a special hell for a Chief Engineer, where little technology worked and he was focused on digging ditches and building an irrigation system. They had been some of the most difficult months in his life, and they had passed in an eyeblink. But his uniform was tattered, and his face felt itchy with the thin scraggly beard he'd accumulated. Geoff lost his temper and began yelling at the air. Teller: Sern! If you want a slideshow of all my personal traumas, subscribe to Taz Shandres's channel on Fednet like everyone else. Enough of this! Come out you irritating son of a b... Alieth: Response Geoff tried to focus but found it impossible. Teller: I can't...it's...I can barely think. It's not...it's not going away. Alieth: Response [[Tag! & TBC]] =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  16. Exploring the relationships that define a character are some of the most difficult sims to do well but Lieutenant @Alieth & Ensign Saja Jehe make this heartfelt and poignant moment between two characters come alive. From the characterizations to the small details in their signatures, this little window on the private lives of those lovably logical Vulcans is a real delight. =============================================================== [[Flat complex 26, first floor, Chi-ree, Xial, Vulcan]] Alieth stared at the door for a while, so long that she could have melted it simply with the sheer power of her anger. Or so she would have liked. She clenched her fists at her sides, clenched her jaw and made up her mind. Three determined steps allowed her to cross the tiny room until she reached the window. She deftly opened it without a single sound, with the efficiency of habit, and let the night air into the room. It brought the scent of rain and the small flowers that festooned the small garden at the entrance to the building. The tiny vulcan bent down and took off her shoes and, with great care, swung one leg over the window sill. She groped her bare foot along the roof tiles, until she found the broken one and dodged it, leaning her weight on the one next to it. Only then did she pushed herself up with a little hop and leapt out of the window. With her arms spread out at her sides, she strode quietly along the small roof until she reached the corner of the building. The bulk of the building blocked out the light of the city behind her and allowed a view of the night sky over the desert, studded with stars. She sat there, letting her legs dangle over the edge of the roof. If she chose to, she could reach the ground and leave that place. It was barely a jump of four or five metres. Besides, she'd done it so many times, she knew she could do it without any real trouble. In fact, it was more than likely that the boots she kept hidden nearby were still in place. She could call for transport to the Thor and the next day... Saros: I see some things never change, ko-fu. The voice was - unsurprisingly - calm, and came from around the corner of the building, an older Vulcan male stepping out along the same roof that wrapped around their flat. He stood with utter disregard for the height, and semi-precarious nature of their vantage point, and as unsurprising as his calm, in his hands he cradled a cup of warm tea. Alieth: Sa-mekh…. Saros: I sense you are troubled, ko-fu. There are many pressures on you, even here, even now. Especially now, no? He did not smile, of course. And yet, something in the tone, calm and measured, was designed to set her at ease. The effectiveness of that, however, was debatable. Alieth: Mother's fixation on pointing out the wrongdoings she perceives in my former actions do not help. Saros: I would say simply that this is unfortunate. ::With care, he settled down next to her, allowing his own feet to hang off the edge.:: And your journey to meet with our pid-kom? The young woman averted her eyes from the sky and glanced to the left, where the hills met the desert, there where the old manor houses stood, around the original oasis on which the city had been founded. Alieth: Tomorrow… Saros: So soon. She nodded lightly. Alieth: It is better to deal with this as soon as possible, Sern's katra is very weak at this moment but nonetheless it is having an impact on his vessel. If I cannot get some help for them soon... Saros: Then there is risk to both Sern’s katra, and the man within whom the spirit dwells. Measured speed in this case is only logical. Alieth: Indeed. She looked away and turned to look at her father, his serene face more aged than the last time she had been home. The silence hung in the air for a while, full of unspoken things. Alieth: How has all this been for you? Since the wedding, since... since Sern died. For a long moment, the older Vulcan did not speak. His lips pursed slightly, as if he was carefully considering his words. Saros: It has not been without difficulties, though life is rarely so kind as to be completely calm, no matter how much we may...wish it. ::There was not a smile, but a crinkling around the eyes that gave the impression there in.:: We as a people are fond of saying ‘it is agreeable to see you again’. But in honesty, it is a relief to see you again. It is regrettable that the circumstances are as dire as they are. The frown that had been on Alieth's face visibly relaxed and her stern countenance somehow became more peaceful. Alieth: Your absence from my life has been regrettable. The young woman leaned to the side, and laid her head on her father's shoulder. Alieth: Even if you still refuse to share your tea... Saros: I am old, child, not senile. ::He sipped the tea, slowly, arching an eyebrow as he did.:: They stayed there for a while, as the night grew darker and the stars brighter and somewhere in the mountains a Sehlat roared in defiance. Behind them, inside the house, their own pet Sehlat growled gravely, evidently insulted. Alieth: I will endeavour to settle matters with Mother, if I can manage to get all this fixed. But I need the pid-kom's authorization to approach a suitable Healer, if I can get her consent. Saros: Settling matters will be...what is the humans are fond of saying? A...two way street. You are not the only one that must make the effort. Regardless... Pausing to sip from his tea, Alieth’s father took a moment to let those words settle in before pressing forward to the other, somewhat more time sensitive matter before the pair. Saros: Would it not simply be more efficient to ask pid-kom to perform the fal-tor-plak? She is not without some small talent in the matters herself. There was the slightest twitch at the corners of Saros’ mouth, as his ever present penchant for understatement once again shown forth. Alieth: I suspect that if pid-kom were the one to pull his katra out of the Commander's brain, he would be permanently impaired. Humans are so fragile.... One greying eyebrow rose slightly on the old man's forehead. Saros: I begin to see wisdom beyond your years, ko-fu. ::He sipped the tea, savoring the flavor as he turned his gaze to the garden below.:: but your Commander has managed thus far. He is perhaps sturdier than one might expect. Alieth:I have asked Meimei to assist me, as she has experience in dealing with Clan leaders as well as her training as a counsellor can be beneficial in her capacity as an advisor. Saros: An interesting choice, ko-fu.I am sure that she will only be an asset. How has she fared of late? I sense that you may know more of her well being than myself.::His mastery of understatement persisted.:: The question made her reach a hand to her shoulder and rub gently at the body decoration she had acquired thanks to her krei's friends. Alieth: She has been behaving herself pretty well since the brig and the tattoos. Saros: ...One would think that I have seen enough years in this world to not be surprised by such words. I understand them, individually, and yet, taken on as a whole, I sit here, surprised. I am not so old that my hearing has failed me, yet comprehension is ....::He reached up, grasping with one hand at the empty air.:: Just out of reach. She was careful to suppress the greenish tone that gradually crept up to her ears. For the most part. Alieth: Sa-mekh, you really do not want to hear about my participation in that whole incident... Saros: A first. You perhaps show more wisdom than I. And yet, as your Father, I have an obligation to tread where weaker men may fear. A brig? Tattoos? Enlighten me, ko-fu. Alieth: It all began with a heated debate about the merits and innumerable flaws of a Klingon scientist's research project. Perhaps there was a certain degree of intoxication in the whole affair, as living with humans leads to the exposure of substances, harmless for them, that produce some unexpected effects on Vulcan physiology. Saros: I dread to ask which sucrose laden confection you came into contact with. I take it that given the nature of such events, completely unexpected, of course, things deteriorated? Alieth: At one point there might have been a few punches involved. However, as you can expect, I merely fought in self-defence. Saros: But of course. Only in defense of yourself and others. ::A pause.:: I take it you won? A mischievous sparkle glinted in the young doctor's eyes. Alieth: Sa-mekh, let me question your senility if you are unaware of the answer to that query... In the distance, a lone cry split the night once more, adding an ominous tone to the conversation, though Saros paid it no real head. Saros: I suppose that is irrelevant. It does no harm to ask pid-kom to arrange access to a more specialized mind Healer to oversee the transfer of the katra. I do not foresee any great difficulty on that subject. She winced a bit. Alieth: Provided that she will not contemplate prosecution for the theft of her grandson's katra. Or that she refuses to let the Memorial Halls of the Clan be tarnished with traces of a human soul, or that even though everything unfolds under the most favourable conditions, it will be too late and some or neither of them could be saved. She had many more reasons why everything could go horribly wrong, but something made her fall silent. Straightened up again, the brief moment of familiarity over, she looked at her father's face. Saros: I did not say there would be no difficulties at all. ::He allowed a finger to unfurl from the earthenware mug, wagging ever so slightly.:: Much as come to pass since you last walked among these sands and warm winds, my child. The young woman suppressed a snort, which didn't make any sound but made her nostrils twitch a bit. Alieth: You always used to tell me that hardly anything changes on Vulcan. Saros: This is true. And things have changed. In the grand scope of the History of Vulcan since the coming of Surak...both can be true at once. A fascinating mental exercise. Again, that not quite smile graced his face, and his shoulders gave a shrug that would, to a non vulcan, be nigh on imperceptible. Alieth: In this, you are correct. As you often do. Saros: It is gratifying to hear you say that, ko-fu. Though I am far from…infallible. Something I might not have been aware of in my youth. Alieth: Are you suggesting that I should exercise moderation, sa-mekh? A mischievous sparkle flashed in the young woman's eyes, but she hid it swiftly, her gaze again on the distant horizon. Alieth: Or are you just about to regale me with a tale of your youth, old man? You know I have always cherished those. Alieth was well aware that Saros could not exactly be labelled an old man. Though he had surpassed a hundred years of age during Alieth's childhood, he could hardly be considered middle-aged by the standards of their kind. Nevertheless, she would honour the new silver in his hair. Saros: Perhaps I spoke too soon about the wisdom you have gained, my child. ::The eyebrow twitched up ever so slightly.:: The escapades of my own irascible youth might give you some insight, however. Very well. At that the older - if hardly elder - Vulcan squared his shoulders, pulling in upon himself the look of someone searching through memories. Saros: Let us ruminate upon the merits of friendship and loyalty then, in the face of clan doctrion... The night grew darker, and the stars lighter, until the first rays of dawn forced them back to the reality of the coming day's events. [[THE END]] OOC: sa-mekh → father ko-fu → daughter pid-kom → Matriarch, Female that leads a Clan fal-tor-plak → ritual transfer of a katra from one keeper to another, or a katric ark krei → cousin- female, a female relative descended from siblings of parents or earlier line of descent ================================= Saros of Chi-Ree Chi-Ree Regional Tea Master Father T239712JS0 ================================= & ================================= Alieth daughter of Saros Chief Medical Officer Wild Child E239702A10 =================================
  17. A fun little look at our lower decks by the Chin'toka's Noa Levinson. Thank you for an entertaining interlude, @Noa T'Nessa Levinson ---- ((Port Observation Lounge, Deck 6, USS Chin’toka)) Kisau was quite excited after her shift. While she wasn’t involved in that work directly, she’s heard some… curious chatter among the more superior officers. A first contact with a new species! Even without a lot of details, that was really exciting. She only graduated a few weeks ago and the ship was already getting ready for a first contact?! That was just awesome. She entered the lounge, still in uniform, and headed directly for the replicator to order something to eat. A burrito sounded good. With her food in hand, she spotted a familiar face she befriended. She waved at him with a smile. Pes: Oh hey, Brian! Mind if I sit with you? Stenner: ::Gesturing to the chair opposite:: Not at all, please. She quickly paced over to the table, and took a seat while placing the tray on the table. Pes: Thanks. ::Wrapping her right hand around her burrito:: You heard some of the first contact chatter going around? Stenner: ::With a wry grin:: Only hearsay and musings, though Doctor Snow did brief us before she left. She seemed particularly concerned about bringing back unknown pathogens, so I've been setting up the quarantine procedures all afternoon. Still - First contact with a brand new race! Very exciting. Pes: ::Grinning, obviously excited:: I know, right? I don’t even have a lot of details and it sounds awesome! Stenner: Did you just come off shift? Kisau nodded, still somewhat excited. Pes: Yep. Figured I’ll grab myself something to eat before catching some rest in my quarters. The two kept chatting a bit more about various subjects, including the first contact - she was still really excited by it, and she was sure it was gonna stay there for a while. She definitely looked forward to how it was going to turn out. -- Ensign Kisau Pes Science Officer USS Chin'toka As simmed by Lieutenant JG Noa T'Nessa Levinson Science Officer USS Chin'toka E239701NL0
  18. I'm so happy to have @Geoffrey Teller guesting with us on the Resolution for this mission. I'm always amazed by his ability to find his way inside a character with very little information to go on and yet, he's incredibly descriptive and elusive at the same time! ((A Grove of Seven Trees, Memorial Forest, Thama Homeworld)) A warm breeze flitted through the graceful, slender branches of the l'far trees, filling the grove with a gentle rustling that Ashal Koas found pleasant and soothing. Her spade dug into the rich black dark soil easily as it had for the last two hours, shifting the dirt aside and forming a small mound nearby. With each load of soil moved she got closer to her goal but her pace was unhurried and regular. Even here, in the company of those she held most dear, she didn't risk letting her mask slip. Not now. Not when she was so close. Another scoop of dirt set aside, and she was a step closer to finishing her journey. The wind gusted, the l'far trees swaying, the light playing off their crystalline leaves. She could hear them speaking to her. They encouraged her when she had lost faith and purpose. They gently reminded her of her sworn promise. If she closed her eyes, she could hear their voices again. She was so near to them, now. Closer than she had been since the accident. Her expression remained neutral, but the next thrust of the shovel bit into the soil more deeply. She had planted these trees seven years earlier when she was just sixteen years old. She'd cared for them and nurtured them across the years, as they had cared for her, serving as her sounding board and confidants when she grew dejected or uncertain. The living cenotaph to her family, here in a hidden corner of the Great Memorial Forest, was the keeper of her secrets. It would not need to be for much longer. The wind shifted again and she could hear the voices of the other children, her brothers and sisters. They laughed and sang, which always made Ashal smile during the darkest times. Ashal looked towards the smallest tree in the grove, named in honor of her younger brother Ascal. He was always the first to joke, the first to tease his sister when she got into one of her intense moods. Branches shook and leaves whispered, a music knowable only to her. Koas: Don't be difficult, Ascal! You're always such a troublemaker, getting your branches tangled. Dotra and Jimberline never cause as much of a fuss. The other two smaller trees offered no immediate response. Ashal continued digging without pause, carrying on with her conversation. Koas: We've spoken about this before and you know why I have to go. This is everything we've hoped for. I've been assigned to the negiogation team as a junior diplomat. No one questioned it. Ambassador Niran chose me personally. The smallest tree in the grove fell silent. Ashal dug for a while longer, then stepped up and out of the void she had created, satisfied. They were ready for the saplings. Her people had few traditions that could be considered spiritual, but this ancient practice had grown with the Thama, much like the memorial trees themselves. New life born out of loss. It was the great cycle of all living systems and the Thama, more than anything else, respected the sanctity of life. She moved the first sapling into position, gently placing it where she should've been, among her brothers and sisters, reciting the old words for the eight time. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer, let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud, then pressed the soil down with bare hands. Her meticulously precise facade didn't waiver, but a tear escaped from her eye and fell upon the soil. The second sapling was moved into position, low and away from the family of trees. Ashal tried to repeat the litany without emotion creeping in, only the subtlest notes of cold rage tinging her words. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer...::Ashal looked back towards her family and felt their eyes upon her. This was her final gift.:: Let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud with venom enough to wilt the nearby grass. It was the first time a Nascaik had ever been honored with a tree in the Great Forest, but Ashal believed strongly in the tradition. New life born out of loss. Something to blossom while something else withered. She pressed the soil into place and turned to face her family one final time. Their voices had grown still but she could feel their warm embrace. She longed to be with them, and looked lovingly at the sapling. Koas: You're home now, little Ashal. Grow strong and tall for me, here with your family. I have to go now but it will be fine. This is the cycle. The breeze picked up once again, rustling and whispering in the branches around them. As she changed out of her soiled work clothes and into something more befitting a junior diplomat, Ashal heard the voices of her parents and her siblings. She heard them calling out to her, demanding justice. They didn't wish to burden her so, but she was all that remained. It had to be her. By the time she stepped out of the Memorial Forest for the very last time, Ashal Koas had renewed her resolve. She would see her plan through to the very end, as she had promised all those years ago. She felt a calm elation as she returned to her offices, just one junior bureaucrat among many returning from midday break. She imagined the grove and smiled. Something wonderful would blossom there. While something else withered. [End] ==================================== Ashal Koas Junior Assistant to the Ambassador Thama Scientific Sovereignty V239509GT0
  19. Thank you, @Mei'konda ,for making us laugh. I throughly enjoyed the read as I know some others did as well. Also, I hope I did this right. Lol (( Inside Tych Manor, Elazar IV )) Kiax: With all due respect, Representative, that doesn’t really seem fair. Surely we should be dealing with a representative from both species governing bodies here? Yourself, and a Mekra’fari. Dagden was just opening his mouth to angrily rebuke Kiax when Serala stepped in. He closed his mouth, and did his best to settle down. This was an uncomfortable situation to be in. Once again, no one in his life would dare question him to this point, not even his own family. It made him angry. It also made him feel afraid, because if this Kiax got upset enough, would she pull some hidden weapon and simply kill him where he sat? He had no idea… but he didn’t doubt that they might have that kind of technology. As Serala spoke, he took the time to settle down. Serala: That’s enough, Commander. We are their guests here and have no right to dictate to them how they govern their world. No matter our own opinions on the matter. Kiax: Aye, Commander. Kiax might not respect him, but at least she quieted down when instructed to by her leader. Drawing in a deep breath, he exhaled it slowly, and glanced toward Azorius when the furred one hastened to speak so that he could further smooth the tensions. Azorius: We mean no disrespect, Representative. We are just accustomed to a different way of life. As you know, we value all species equally and share our ships, our resources, our lives with every member of our crew. Their race, gender and background are irrelevant. It is hard for some of us to understand your ways as it is for you to understand ours. Serala: We have had our share of conflicted opinions about others of different species in our own histories. But we have moved past that kind of attitude, and some take it a bit more personally that others. However, it’s not our place to dictate how your world behaves. All species equal? The notion of idealists, and of aliens who had just visited this planet and who, as far as he could tell, had thankfully not met the Mekra’fari. As much as he wanted to make use of these people and what they had to offer, it was getting difficult to suppress his irritation with them. Zadok: Response Serala: I am curious, however. Why do you view the Mekra’fari in such a negative light? What is it about them that you consider inferior? Our scans seemed to indicate an equal level of development between the two of your species. They really didn’t seem to have any idea. As advanced as they were, Dagden decided to try his best to explain. He slowed his speech and leaned toward Serala a touch, as though explaining a simple concept as best he could to a child. Tych: I don’t view them in a negative light, Commander, I only view them as they are. As they’ve proven themselves to be over centuries of coexistence. Surely you can understand that not all races are intellectually equal to each other. That must be the case, even where you come from. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response Serala: I am confused. If they are so inferior, how is it they managed to develop along the same technological lines that your own people did? I mean, we have detected a third species on this planet and they are clearly at a more primitive state of development. Perhaps you could explain this for us? So, they’d picked up the Elnazri beneath the surface of the oceans. Dagden once again felt his frustration growing. Tych: General, could you… take this question, please? Zadok: Response Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response Serala: Fascinating. So, how does it work then? What is the exact relationship between the Feladoni and the Mekra’fari? Dagden spread his hands out on the table. Tych: Do your people have pets, Lieutenant Commander Serala? Zadok: Response Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response Tych: Then it’s very simple. Think of them as… exceptionally intelligent pets. They are usually well behaved, and quite useful. We occasionally allow some of them to work in our businesses. Even the Spacefold complex has some Mekra’fari employees. We share technology with them, hence the… shared technological lines that you mentioned before. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response Dagden finally shook his head. He felt as though they were going in circles in this conversation, and that it was time he asserted his authority over his own home. And, to an extent, his planet. Tych: Well. In any case, this has been a highly productive meeting, but I feel that perhaps you have questions that I am simply unable to answer. Or… :: He paused, glancing at Kiax. :: that I am going to be judged harshly for answering. Perhaps, then, I should retract my previous statement, and give you my blessing to go and meet some Mekra’fari for yourself. No doubt, an interaction with them will confirm what I’ve told you. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response =============== Representative Dagden Tych Political Representative overseeing the GSEO (Grand Space Exploration Organization) As Simmed By Aaron / Captain Mei’konda Delano / Lieutenant JG Jamie MacNemar M239002M10
  20. There are times when reality and fiction intermingle a little bit and our characters allow us to articulate and cope with things we otherwise wouldn't be able to. Today I saw a little piece of @Alora DeVeau's soul here and, as I expected, it is deliciously beautiful, like her prose, despite the sorrowfulness that permeates these words. Here for you my friend ((USS Thor - Alieth’s and Peri’s Quarters)) Everything was fine. The computer sounded the alarm and again and again until the dark eyes of the one occupant finally opened and Peri pushed herself up to rub at her eyes. A moment later, her soft command hushed the continual noise and silence descended. With the absence of her roommate, there was no one to worry about waking, but Peri made little sound as she shifted from under the covers and swung her feet over the side of her bed. Only the soft hush of fabric, the gentle hum of the sonic shower, the tinkling flow of the water as she brushed her teeth followed her as she moved about her quarters and proceeded to prepare for the day. Making her way back to her bed, Peri dropped to her knees and began to pull out something stored beneath. Another chirp from the computer made her stop and she straightened as she turned her gaze to check the time. Then she did a double take. It was almost time for her shift to start! How had she lost track of time? Had it slipped so quickly by that she’d simply mistaken the amount she had for opportunity? Whatever the reason, it did not matter, for she could not spare a moment to do what she most wanted lest she be derelict in her duty. Jumping to her feet, Peri almost rammed into her doors she was so quick to rush from her quarters and run down the hall. With the lift doors firmly shut, she had no choice but to stop and wait, her teeth worrying her lip, hands playing at one another, until they finally parted and she darted inside. When she arrived on the proper deck, Peri made a beeline for her lab where she found others already at work. Cheeks aflame, she quickly made her way to the console. No one remarked about her tardiness. No one hardly looked at her to admonish her. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she set about looking through the latest data that had been gathered by the sensors. It was all right. Everything was fine. Looking to the console, she switched to a different pane. There, in between the lines of information, marked by an alternating array of curves and straight lines, Peri caught her reflection. Black hair had been pulled back into a standard bun, one of her usual ways of wearing it while working. In her haste, a few strands had wriggled free and played over her cheeks, but she ignored them. Her face was muted and blurred by the screen, her visage more like a shadow than a reflection. Glancing down, she input another series of parameters. When she lifted her gaze, another reflective figure stood to the side just behind her. The red curly hair was kept at bay with a hairband, the sweet heart-shaped face displayed with a smile. In the dusk of the monitor, the eyes were shadows, the warmth of their hazel left only to the imagination. With a gasp, Peri whirled around, only to find herself alone. It had been a shadow, a bare whisper of a memory come to the mind’s eye upon that day of all days, when the eyes yearned to see and the heart ached to remember. Taking a deep breath, Peri turned and peered at the screen, but all that was left was her own face marred by the contents that poured over it. Only her thoughts, only her imagination, projecting something that wasn’t there. That presence that she missed so dearly, that face that had greeted her with a smile almost every day since their first meeting, it was just a memory, a wish that would never be granted. But it was okay. It would be okay. The chirp of the computer seemed so cheerful in comparison to the thoughts that pervaded the young scientist’s attention. Attempts were made to focus, and eventually waves of reflection and contemplation were swept into a corner, not to be disposed of, but simply placed upon a shelf for further introspection, but later, when the demands of her duty could be set aside, properly attended to and well done. She kept them at bay, those unwanted recollections that seemed so intent to haunt her. They thrust out into the forefront at her meal time, for her mind had been left to wander, no longer distracted by the intrinsic luminosity of stars or extragalactic distance of galaxies beyond their own. Peri’s own turmoil reared its head, unwilling to be silenced in the stillness of her brief respite, and it’s unpleasant attendance spurred her to rush through an otherwise pleasant fare, left half eaten in the wake of the unrest the objectionable visitor had stirred. Her own internal galaxy had been invaded, a recurring reminder printed upon every data stamped with the date, every mention made of time. Time had come to a stop for some, but for others, it continued, and those left behind could only reflect upon the ravages of the past. And yet, as much as time could plunder, it could also heal. The sting was still present, perhaps more so on that particular day, but the retrospection was, perhaps, a little easier than before, not quite so overwhelming, not so consuming. To be sure it remained, ever present, little things bringing to mind, more obvious than on other days, but the deep breaths cooled the flames of unrest and sorrow. They still existed, still habited the heart, but the power they held over it had lessened. The ability to move through the veil they threw over the might thinned, and life could seem almost normal. Normality continued through the rest of the afternoon. Her attention thus occupied by the calculations of the mass of stars, the distance and chemical makeup of nebulous matter, the gravitational force of a nearby black hole, all these tasks took up room, leaving little chance for those memories to distract from the course of her obligations. Time continued as it always did, passing by until she was left with a reminder and her shift had come to an end. Usually, Peri would linger, too intrigued by the prospects and information that the Thor’s powerful sensors collected and displayed, but she had a task to perform. One she would have completed had she not lost track earlier that morning. She would not allow herself to renege in the ritual, and so allowing herself only a few moments extra to make up for what she’d lost in the morning, Peri excused herself and returned to her room. Upon arrival, her roommate had still not returned, a fortuitous opportunity that would allow her time, time alone to focus upon what she had to do. What she wished to do. Returning to the small space beneath her bed, she tugged from it a box a couple of feet wide, and of a similar length, it’s depth about half that. From within, she pulled out a small candelabra with five positions, each allowing a single candle - those residing inside the container as well - but only one was chosen. The holder was arched, the middle setting the highest, and it was upon this one that particular candle was placed. Breathing in, then out several times, Peri clasped the lighter and brought a spark to life, then used it to light the wick. The fire took to its new residence quite gleefully, dancing despite the lack of a breeze. A candle lit, a flame dancing in place of the one that had been snuffed out, the warmth of its glow filled the dimness of her room, cutting through the shadows and adding a cheerful disposition. With a small smile, Peri bowed her head, her words moving, her voice soft as she uttered familiar words. Katsim: Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon Ayna... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek… She had spoken those words upon the death of her closest friend, and then again a year later. Now, two years had past, yet she expressed them once more, though time had put more distance between the past and present. Though the pain had dulled, or perhaps she had become better at wearing it, she had promised she would say them, again and again, every year, on that very day. A reminder of what had happened. A reminder of what she had. A reminder of what she’d lost. Settled upon her knees, Peri stared into that flickering light, so gleeful on its perch. Alive, much like the soul that was lit for had been. Since their meeting, Ayna had taken it upon herself to be a shelter for her, a child of two worlds, trapped between them, uncertain of where she should place her feet. For Ayna, it hadn’t mattered, and her place had been at her side, friends, close as sisters. With Ayna, things had gotten better. She had made them better. And now? And now she was gone. Two years gone. Another shaky breath followed and her eyes shut, cutting out the light that tried so desperately to shine in that darkness. In her mind's eye, she could see it, see the flame in its gentle brilliance, a reflection of the brilliance of the life Ayna had led and so willingly shared with her friend. Yet, in the hollows of that distance, in the darkness that followed, her presence was still there, a part of the universe, dancing with the Prophets among the stars. Peri could almost hear her laughter, her gleeful countenance forming in the foremost parts of her thoughts. And though the ache painfully clenched about her heart, and tears trickled down her cheeks, she knew it would be all right. Everything was fine. Everything would be fine. Because Ayna had always known it would be. So she had believed. So Peri believed. It would be fine. She would be fine. ~~*~~ In memory of Kirsti Andrea Anderson, June 02, 1964-March 3, 2019 -- Ensign Katsim Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0
  21. @LtJG Aine Olive Sherlock does a smashing job as a security officer in this sim, thoughtfully working through the intricacies of an upcoming diplomatic negotiation and offering inventive, yet actionable, suggestions for ship's security. Very nicely done! ((Conference Room 'B', Deck 7, USS Resolution)) She hadn't been down on the lower decks much, and if it hadn't been for this meeting, she'd almost have forgotten that Engineering had its own conference room. Walking in a little early with her PADD in one hand and tea number three in the other, two officers were already present. Sherlock: Lieutenant Commander Ilsam ::giving him a wry smile::, good morning. ::turing to Chandra:: Commander Amari, slipping her PADD under her left arm and extending her hand:: it's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome aboard the Resolution. Ilsam: Response Aine returned the Commanders smile as they shook hands. Amari: Thank you. It’s been a wild ride so far. I can’t wait to see what happens when you guys get going. Just then the door to the conference room hissed opened and in walked Dr. T'Suran. Amari: Doctor T’Suran I presume? T'Suran: Response Sherlock: Yes, let's get started. They took their seats around the table and Commander Amari began to lay out what was in store for them. A blue glow fell unto her face as Commander Amari queued up a holo display of a planet of which Aine had never heard of. A brief pause gave everyone just enough time to read the name as Chandra started her brief. Amari: This is Vionus IV, currently disputed territory of two races, the Thama and the Nascaik. Both want it for different reasons, and neither is willing to share. Given that, we’re going to provide mediation and hopefully a peaceful solution. Ilsam/T'Suran: Response Amari: Ah, but that is the question. As the commander put it, to get them to talk, we’ve got to get them in the same room, which might be difficult given that the Thama’s homeworld is smaller than Earth, so they are going to feel mighty heavy when they arrive here. And the Nascaik breathe a methane mixture apparently, so our air will likely end the talks before they begin since they can’t breathe it. Sherlock: ::raising an eyebrow:: At least that will limit their movement on the ship. But then when we need to move them, well, that's going to be tough. Ilsam/T'Suran: Response Sherlock: Adaptations in their quarters will be easy enough. The real question will be where do we put them? Where will the meeting be? And how do we get them there under guard? Any: Response Thinking back to her earlier statement, Aine tried to imagine herself as one of these visiting diplomats. Even with certain, and understandable, restrictions, feeling caged wasn't something she imagined anyone would want. Sherlock: This idea may sound strange ::bites lower lip briefly:: but maybe their escorts onboard could be in EV suits? I know it will look strange, but allowing them some freedom of movement in adapted areas, may feel a little more welcoming. (OOC: Feel free to continue the conversation concerning the needs of our guests.) Chandra looked over at the security officer then. Amari: And of course there’s a security wrench to throw into all of these moving gears. The ends of Aine's mouth curled slightly at the image in her head. Large lumbering gears like in an old clock tower, but instead of a wrench a phaser gets tossed in. She tucked away the childish thought and refocused. Amari: There’s inevitably some who think these talks aren’t worth it and that they should just take what is perceived as theirs. Thus, we are also tasked with making certain this ship, and those aboard in any capacity, are protected. Sherlock: Yes, I skimmed over the briefs on the Thama and Nascaik that Commander Ilsam forwarded to me ::giving Tai a nod::. With some ideas about how to deal with the environmental needs and our limitations with them, I think if we shut down the science labs while they're here, that will give us extra power we may need for adaptations. We could also lock down the ship. Confine all non-essential personnel to quarters, keep the Bridge and Engineering staffed. We could have the extra science personnel working deck patrols, that would allow my security teams and the Marines to focus on our guests. Externally, I'm most worried about the Nascaik. Any: Response Sherlock: If there is indeed disagreement in the higher ranks of the Nascaik, it wouldn't be far out to assume even one of them would want to stop these talks. If we do power down the science labs, we can keep the sensors maxed out. We could also raise shields once everyone's on board to prevent transporting and be ready for an attack. I think even at 20%, they'd do the job. Any: Response Tag/TBC Lieutenant Junior Grade Aine Sherlock Security Officer USS Resolution R239712AS0
  22. OOC: I just love Cheesecake. The dog...and the dessert. But I especially love how this sim ended. [[ U.S.S Thor, Deck 6, Senior Enlisted Mess Hall. ]] The biped held the delicious thing in front of her for a moment but then, to Cheesecake's despair, he pushed it away. Even worse, he said the forbidden word. "No." Not only that but he repeated it several times. This was, no doubt, a definitive verdict that condemned her to an eternity of not being able to taste whatever it was that the biped didn't want her to have, which was, to begin with, tragic, and to follow, unfair. As every dog, Cheesecake was aware that rules were more like guidelines and so, they could be pushed a little in the right direction, namely, in the direction that would get her what she wanted, if she was a really good girl, and she pulled her ears back, put her snout down, and gave him THE LOOK. Of course, Cheesecake had had to up the level THE LOOK since her handler was a pointy-eared biped and she had learned the hard way that pointy-eared bipeds required a LOT MORE coaxing. But she had certainly picked up the lesson very well, so the other biped who used to live with her handler always, ALWAYS fell under the spell of THE LOOK. Of course, she proved victorious in the staring contest. Kerr: Access favorite replicator options for Crewman First Class Watanabe. Wantanabe: Boorf Boorf! Computer: Crewman First Class Watanabe's list of food preferences, Cheesecake contains 1348 items, listed chronologically as: Canine kibble number 33, socks, Vulcan meditation candle oil type e49b, miscellaneous bone remnants, cheese (non descripted), tofu, batbird soup Hasoor VII variety, medium quality paper, standard mid-sized padd, electronic components for medical tricorder parts 458 to 567, kibble number 45, cat kibble number 2, standard mattress stuffing.... Kerr: Computer, proceed with top recommendation. Computer =/\= Unable to comply. Replicators offline. =/\= The biped shook his head and Cheesecake tilted it. She took her job as a therapy dog to heart and she knew exactly when someone was down, so she was more than willing to help. Kerr: Alright. Let me get this filter swapped out, and then we’ll get some lunch. Then her new best friend left the thing away from her, with all the gestures that indicated that he really wasn't going to pass it along because he wanted it just for him, and utter display that indicated that he didn't like to share. Cheesecake pouted ruefully. She loved to share, sharing was caring. Especially if other people shared with her. Kerr: We’re going to leave that there. (Slowly backing away.) Jussssst theeeereeee. That’s where it’s staying. It’s not going to be touched. Agreed? Wantanabe: soft whining Then, the biped climbed on one of those things that bipeds used to reach places and... disappeared. More or less. But he kept talking anyway, so Cheesecake remained there, wagging her tail cheerfully every time the biped uttered a word. Kerr: (Head deep in the filter unit of replicator two) Just got to align the cartridge. There was a loud snap and click, and a tail wagged for a few seconds. Kerr: (Leaning further into the filter unit) Then twist and lock to connect the sensors. Got to use the hexkey to secure it and ... Wantanabe: (In earnest) Woof Woof A hand came out from a box with something that looked suspiciously like a stick and, for an moment, Cheesecake stood on all four paws, awestruck (and flattered) by the sudden session of FETCH. Kerr: Gross! No fetch. Disappointed whimper, rear on floor. The scene played out over and over again for a few minutes until, finally, Cheesecake stretched out on the floor, rested her head between her forepaws and... she snoozed, the purpose of her mission forgotten, except for the fact that the biped somehow needed her support. Only later, when the speakers in all the corridors blew an annoying honk and the lights changed in two different degrees of colours that, of course, a dog could not fully differentiate, Cheesecake woke up. It was then, and only then, that the big mastiff remembered a number of things: That she had made a new friend, that really needed to have someone listen to him, so she was going to have to visit him more often. That this noise meant work and that therefore she should head to a sickbay. That she should remember to not get in the way. For real. And that she had to help. So, without dawdling for too long, Cheesecake barked a farewell and, just as she had entered, she left the mess hall. Her surprise was complete when she found one of her favourite two-legged friends in her workplace, sprawled out on one of those things that moved bipeds around. And as one would do with good friends, she booped his hand to tell him that she was there and that, despite everything, he was not alone. [[END]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  23. I don't know why, but I just got such a giggle out of Regan crooning out this tune in the mess hall after discovering his ex works in the shuttle bay.
  24. ((A Grove of Seven Trees, Memorial Forest, Thama Homeworld)) A warm breeze flitted through the graceful, slender branches of the l'far trees, filling the grove with a gentle rustling that Ashal Koas found pleasant and soothing. Her spade dug into the rich black dark soil easily as it had for the last two hours, shifting the dirt aside and forming a small mound nearby. With each load of soil moved she got closer to her goal but her pace was unhurried and regular. Even here, in the company of those she held most dear, she didn't risk letting her mask slip. Not now. Not when she was so close. Another scoop of dirt set aside, and she was a step closer to finishing her journey. The wind gusted, the l'far trees swaying, the light playing off their crystalline leaves. She could hear them speaking to her. They encouraged her when she had lost faith and purpose. They gently reminded her of her sworn promise. If she closed her eyes, she could hear their voices again. She was so near to them, now. Closer than she had been since the accident. Her expression remained neutral, but the next thrust of the shovel bit into the soil more deeply. She had planted these trees seven years earlier when she was just sixteen years old. She'd cared for them and nurtured them across the years, as they had cared for her, serving as her sounding board and confidants when she grew dejected or uncertain. The living cenotaph to her family, here in a hidden corner of the Great Memorial Forest, was the keeper of her secrets. It would not need to be for much longer. The wind shifted again and she could hear the voices of the other children, her brothers and sisters. They laughed and sang, which always made Ashal smile during the darkest times. Ashal looked towards the smallest tree in the grove, named in honor of her younger brother Ascal. He was always the first to joke, the first to tease his sister when she got into one of her intense moods. Branches shook and leaves whispered, a music knowable only to her. Koas: Don't be difficult, Ascal! You're always such a troublemaker, getting your branches tangled. Dotra and Jimberline never cause as much of a fuss. The other two smaller trees offered no immediate response. Ashal continued digging without pause, carrying on with her conversation. Koas: We've spoken about this before and you know why I have to go. This is everything we've hoped for. I've been assigned to the negiogation team as a junior diplomat. No one questioned it. Ambassador Niran chose me personally. The smallest tree in the grove fell silent. Ashal dug for a while longer, then stepped up and out of the void she had created, satisfied. They were ready for the saplings. Her people had few traditions that could be considered spiritual, but this ancient practice had grown with the Thama, much like the memorial trees themselves. New life born out of loss. It was the great cycle of all living systems and the Thama, more than anything else, respected the sanctity of life. She moved the first sapling into position, gently placing it where she should've been, among her brothers and sisters, reciting the old words for the eight time. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer, let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud, then pressed the soil down with bare hands. Her meticulously precise facade didn't waiver, but a tear escaped from her eye and fell upon the soil. The second sapling was moved into position, low and away from the family of trees. Ashal tried to repeat the litany without emotion creeping in, only the subtlest notes of cold rage tinging her words. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer...::Ashal looked back towards her family and felt their eyes upon her. This was her final gift.:: Let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud with venom enough to wilt the nearby grass. It was the first time a Nascaik had ever been honored with a tree in the Great Forest, but Ashal believed strongly in the tradition. New life born out of loss. Something to blossom while something else withered. She pressed the soil into place and turned to face her family one final time. Their voices had grown still but she could feel their warm embrace. She longed to be with them, and looked lovingly at the sapling. Koas: You're home now, little Ashal. Grow strong and tall for me, here with your family. I have to go now but it will be fine. This is the cycle. The breeze picked up once again, rustling and whispering in the branches around them. As she changed out of her soiled work clothes and into something more befitting a junior diplomat, Ashal heard the voices of her parents and her siblings. She heard them calling out to her, demanding justice. They didn't wish to burden her so, but she was all that remained. It had to be her. By the time she stepped out of the Memorial Forest for the very last time, Ashal Koas had renewed her resolve. She would see her plan through to the very end, as she had promised all those years ago. She felt a calm elation as she returned to her offices, just one junior bureaucrat among many returning from midday break. She imagined the grove and smiled. Something wonderful would blossom there. While something else withered. [End] ==================================== Ashal Koas Junior Assistant to the Ambassador Thama Scientific Sovereignty V239509GT0
  25. What makes this sim great is how the description of time highlights Alieth's feelings of vulnerability in this emergency situation; it's brought into painful focus with the Olympian effort needed to complete the routine and mundane act of tapping the comm badge. Really neat writing. ((Transporter Room One, Deck One, USS Thor)) Time, occasionally, gave the appearance of dilating and contracting simultaneously, without any particularly significant gravitational alteration, or any obvious anomaly. This fact, of course, had more to do with a sense of urgency and the action of hormones and neurotransmitters on the sympathetic nervous system than with what humans called general relativity, naturally, nonetheless it was a remarkable circumstance. That was one of those moments. As soon as they all fell onto the pads in a haphazard pile, the Commander rose to his feet and leaped towards the transporter controls. Alieth, in the other hand, stood up slowly, very slowly, like moving through a dense, sticky substance instead of thin air. Her eyes remained fixed on the engineer's hands, which seemed to blur over the control panel. Something rolled beside her and halted just next to her leg, and only that was what pulled her eyes off to see Peri's pale face, greyer than usual, her eyes tightly closed. The doctor was just about to kneel beside her to check her status when a voice broke the silence. Greaves: =/\= Captain Greaves to Commander Teller. Sir, I've got a nice warm seat here on the bridge with your name on it. =/\= Peri opened her eyes and Alieth’s gaze darted again to the First Officer. Teller: =/\= Standby Bridge, forgot somebody. Retargeting transporters now. =/\= That was the moment when time seemed to stretch even further. Possibly only a few seconds passed. Even less. Just a breath, long enough time before Mr. Greaves snapped out of his shock and asked the next question. Yet it seemed like minutes. Hours. Decades. Enough time for a seemingly abandoned Zet to plummet to the ground. A quick but painful death. Greaves: =/\= What do you mean we forgot one? =/\= Of course, at this point time sped up, regaining all the momentum it had lost. Teller: Clear the pad, now! They all moved quickly, as gracefully or gracelessly as they could, as the centre of the room began to pulse, to whirr, golden streaks of particles cascading from the emitters in the ceiling. And time, once more, stretched like a rubber band, dilated anew. Alieth turned to the other lieutenant. Before she spoke, she could see every detail of her face, her attentive expression, despite the weariness obscuring her eyes. The tear marks wing had left in the corner of her eyelids. The ridged nose slightly puckered, a tiny freckle over the left cheekbone that she had always noticed but had never had time to observe in detail. It took Alieth a lot of energy to break the spell of that rubbery time and raise her hand to her chest. Squeeze the combadge. It clicked lightly first, before the familiar chirp indicating that the connection had been established rang. Her throat seemed to take centuries to respond to her brain's commands. All that lifetime took just a few tenths of a second. Alieth: Alieth to Main Sickbay, send three stretchers and a trauma team to transporter room one. Salo: =/\= Roger, on route=/\= As soon as the combadge beeped a second time, she turned to her colleague. Alieth: Dr. Quen, what is your physical self-evaluation? Quen: Response Teller: =/\= Volumetric lock established, standby bridge, energizing... =/\= Alieth looked forward again. Without being aware of it, she leaned slightly forward, as the light grew brighter and brighter. And it began to solidify in the centre of the room. The lights flickered faintly. The room filled with the distinct aroma of the Zet metropolis. A long-limbed, spider-like figure curled into herself materialized in the centre of it all, barely an inch away from the reception pad. A breeze that wasn't really there hit them in the face and ruffled the curls that framed the Vulcan's visage. She was there. Nenni was safe. There was a plaintive buzzing sound and the whole complex system seemed to shut down at once. Teller: Doctors, if you're alright, please check on Ensign Katsim and Nenni. I need to...get to the..bri.. The sound caught her off guard. Her first impulse was to rush to help, but she held back for a second. The commander's crooked nose was... REALLY askew. And swollen. And splattered with so much red and purple that it would be worthy of many an artist's abstract expressionism phase. But despite its striking appearance, it did not necessarily look life-threatening. Moreover, Teller had survived a runabout falling on his head and was stubbornly back on his feet just hours later. She was sure she could survive for a few seconds while they sorted out the situation. Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= We have her, we are all here. There will be a report on bridge in two minutes, but, effective immediately, Commander Teller is relieved of duty per medical advice. (Beat, concealing relief.) You are still in command, Captain Greaves. =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= As she was speaking, both of her teammates had lost no time and leaned over the crumpled Zet, appraising her condition.With that front covered, the Vulcan approached the collapsed first officer and crouched beside him. Katsim: Are you okay? Nozku/Quen: Response No sooner had the tiny CMO accomplished her movement when an arm rose up from behind the transporter control station, followed by a plaintive cough. Teller: =/\= Bridge...Transport..Successful. Red...Alert.... =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= Indeed, mister Greaves =/\= At that moment, the room doors hissed open, the Orion nurse and the rest of the trauma team carrying the triage equipment as well as several floating stretchers. Soon, the entire team was examined, Nenni and Teller carefully positioned on stretchers, cortical monitors attached to their foreheads or temples. Alieth: (After pressing a hypospray on the side of the young hybrid's neck) Ensign Katsim, I would like you to report on the bridge to explain what has happened to Captain Greaves. (Turning to Deena) Dr. Quen, you are welcome to accompany her to provide your eyewitness account as well, but I will need you in sickbay soon for a reconstructive surgery. Katsim/Quen (optional Nozku/Teller): Response Alieth nodded silently before turning back to Malak. Alieth: Nurse, make sure that they reach the sickbay in good condition and, most importantly, that none of them attempt any foolishly bold attempts to make their way to the bridge. Adventure is over for the day for them. Salo: (Smiling broadly and winking ostentatiously) Of course, ma'am, even if I have to strap them to the stretcher. Perhaps there was some protest. Or an incoherent babble. But Alieth ignored them and escorted both stretchers out of the room, her attention focused on the welfare of both patients. She could only look out for them at that moment, the conclusion of the mission in the hands of Captain Kells and the staff on the bridge. But she trusted them, she had shared so much with that crew and had learned that she could rely on them. Delegating was a skill, one that every officer had to learn at some point, even if some did it sooner than others. As she entered hastily in the turbolift and the door hissed shut behind her, the Vulcan realized something: Time had resumed its usual pace and rhythm. [[Tag! & End of the Scene for Alieth]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
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