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  1. ((Main Engineering, USS Veritas - Stardate 239512.30)) ::Finally working together again in Main Engineering, Ensign Wil Ukinix and Lt. Jg. Geoffrey Teller monitored the status of the crippled USS Veritas as it slid into its docking berth at Esperence Starbase. The damage to the ship from their recent adventures had been extensive and the yardmaster was estimating the repair time in months. The nav deflector itself was a lost cause, the melted and fused remains of which would have to be cut out of the hull and replaced entirely before the ship could be spaceworthy again.:: ::The status board showed that the docking clamps and support umbilicals were attached and secured. With systems switched to external power, Teller took the warp core offline and stood back from his console with a sigh. After all the work they had done to bring the ship back online, it hurt to shut it down again so soon, but Teller knew it was only thing to be done. As the thrum of the core ceased, Ukinix slid down the ladder from the upper deck and bounded over to the status board cheerily, slapping Teller’s shoulders:: Ukinix: Well now that’s all sorted, what do you say we go down to the planet. Get a couple of beers or something. We should have a quiet celebration after getting off Limbo. Teller: Sounds like as good a plan as any - last time I was here I was just passing through on my way out to the Veritas, didn’t have much of a chance to look around. ::Wil walked over to the nearby console. He knew nothing about Esperance, so he decided to look it up on the Starfleet database.:: Ukinix: The largest city on Esperance is “Adelaide”. Huh, ironic. ::Looking at Teller:: My grandparent’s winery on Earth is north of a city named Adelaide. Teller: That’s a weird coincidence. Ukinix: Actually I don’t think it’s coincidental. ::Looking on console:: The main part of the city is surrounded by parks and has a similar grid layout. In fact ::smiling ironically:: some of the street names are the same. ::Wil brought up a detailed map of the city centre.:: Ukinix: “Rundle Street” seems to be a hub for bars and restaurants. We could head there for a few quiet brews. Teller: Sounds good, I’m going to hit my quarters and change - last thing we want is to be in uniform down there, we’ll attract every lowlife and scam artist in town. I’ll meet you in the transporter room. Ukinix: We’ll have to go up to transporter room one, two and three are out of action. Teller: Still better than a shuttle. ::shudder: Meet you there in a few minutes. ((Rundle Street, Adelaide, Esperance)) ::It was sunset. There were people everywhere, of all different species, and it was noisy from everyone's chatter. Roads, in the traditional sense, were redundant here. Rundle “Street” was a wide, luxurious promenade, with tracks for the hover light rail that ran down the middle. On each side of the walkway were door to door bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Wil had read on his console that this eastern end of the 2.5km street was upmarket - the other western end was known for having a seedier reputation. They both looked around, deciding which establishment to go to first.:: Ukinix: ::Raised voice:: So much for a couple of “quiet” beers! Teller: Sounds like music to me Wil - I got enough peace and quiet on Limbo to last me two lifetimes. Lets just pick a place at random, I bet the ale all comes from the same place anyway. ::Wil laughed when he saw an establishment that looked out of place in the rest of the upmarket locales. One of the interior walls was covered in fake wood - and hanging from it were many different types of analogue clocks. One of the other walls had flags painted on it, which Wil assumed was the flags of the old countries of Europe. Hanging from that wall was lots of cowboy hats. The people behind the bar were wearing English police “bobby” hats, chequered shirts and vests. In the middle of the otherwise open front of the establishment were a set of saloon doors made out of fake wood, for no particular reason. Behind the bar was a small replica of the Eiffel tower. Ukinix: “Ancient Earth European Cowboy Beer Bar”. That’s so bad, it’s perfect. Teller: ::chuckling:: It looks like the builder knew a guy who hung out with a guy that visited a guy who heard about a guy that had seen a guy who once told a story about a guy who had been to Earth, then said ‘yeah...that’s what humans like. Earth Stuff.’ Ukinix: C’mon, it looks really trashy. We have to check it out. Just for one drink, then we’ll go somewhere better. Teller: I’m telling you right now, I’m grabbing one of those hats. ((Several drinks later)) ::Teller’s scalded taste buds still smarted as they shambled back onto the highstreet and both men squinted against the bright light after leaving the dim ‘pub.’Teller’s oversized cowboy hat somehow sat so oddly it did nothing to block the glare:: ::Geoffrey and Wil walked back into Rundle Street from the ‘Earth’ themed bar.:: Teller: I wonder how they got the idea that European beer is best served boiling?! Ukinix: Sorry about that Chief. ::cheekily:: That had to be seen to be believed. But at least we’ve had a drink now. You pick this time. Teller: Yeah once I explained the idea of second degree burns to them, the ale was entirely serviceable. How about that place? ::Teller pointed across the street to ‘Lusty Andorian Maid,’ which had a number of brightly lit holosigns advertising diversions and potables from across the quadrant. Loud music leaked from the doors every time a patron entered or exited.:: Teller: With a name like that, how could we possibly go wrong? I’m buying this round. ((Several more drinks later)) ::Geoff and Wil stood on the stage of the Karaoke bar, belting out another old Earth shanty to the amusement and catcalls of the well sauced crowd:: Teller/Ukinix:: OOoOHhHhhHHhHHh Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber, send him down to the depths below Make that [...] walk the plank with a bottle of rum and a yo-ho-ho! ::The crowd cheered as both men finished the song by chugging down the entirety of their drinks before stumbling off stage towards the bar.: ((Several local “Eagle Eye Meadows” Whiskies later)) ::Geoffrey and Wil had said goodbye to their musical fans and were still in the heart the seedier western end of Rundle Street. Wil had to look a few times at the front of the establishment in front of them to read the name properly - “Rocksoff”.:: Ukinix: What - what is this place? ::A large, well dressed Orion male approached them from the front of the establishment.:: Orion: Best holosuite in the city! Any pleasure or delight you like. Teller: ::hiccup:: Hard pass….I’m not letting some ::hiccup:: poorly programmed forcefield rummage around…::hiccup:: ::Wil just simply shook his head.:: Orion: But sir we’ve got a special tonight….::the Orion trailed off as Wil and Geoff wandered further down the street:: Teller:...don’t want to catch a computer virus! Ukinix: Let’s call it a night. ::Lifting his hand:: I’m having trouble focusing. Teller: One more round, then we’ll pack it in. Hmm...ya know…::hiccup::...that holosuite place does give me an idea...::hiccup::….I wonder how small we could make a holo-emitter? Feb 13Wil Ukinix ((Numerous Romulan Ales Later)) Ukinix: Ah mate, bloody people from Adelaide. They’re - ::drunk laugh:: they're either chardonnay sipping [...]-clowns, or feral bogans... Letsss drink to em anyway, cos they're a losst cause. Teller: ::hiccup:: To the boggarts! ::hiccup:: Andorian: Hey! What’d you say about people from Adelaide?! ::Teller found himself having trouble focusing on the large Andorian fellow with tattoo sleeves on his arms and a purple mohawk who had drawn himself up in front of their table, along with several of his very large friends of different species, including a human. Everything seems pretty funny, though, especially the way the room kept drifting back and forth.:: Ukinix: Nah, I was jussst talking about - about - about people from*Earth* Adelaide, mate. Not here. ::The Andorian’s human friend spoke up.:: Human: I’m originally *from* Earth Adelaide before I moved here. And let’s get one thing clear. We’re not your mates - ::challenging voice:: mate. Ukinix: ::To human:: So which one *are* you, Earth Adelaide. ::quiet burp::. Chardonnay ssssipping [...]-clown, or... ::Wil pointed at the human male’s mullet hairstyle..:: Ukinix: Ah. Feral bogan. ::The Andorian grabbed Wil’s top and yanked him out of his seat. Wil tried to do the same back to him, but struggled to get past the man’s huge arms. So instead he kicked him in the ankle, which made him let go of Wil. He stepped back, as his friends moved closer.:: ::Teller came to his feet, wobbling slightly, and leaned against the table. His display of bravado did not impress the locals.:: Teller: Look buddy ::hiccup:: we’re all just having a good time. How about I buy you and your….::hiccup:: girlfriends here a round? ::The Andorian’s human friend pushed Teller on the shoulder.:: Teller: ::lopsided grin:: Won’t your ::hiccup:: girlfriends be jealous if we go out dancing? Andorian: Stupid Pinkskin! Teller: Ugly Smurf! ::The situation quickly deteriorated after that. The lead Andorian flipped their table out of the way, scattering drinks and other patrons, most of whom looked on the tussle with bemused boredom. Teller felt himself being lifted off the floor by the Andorian who had at least a half meter on him before sailing over and landing behind the bar. Wil joined him on the floor a few moments later, ricocheting off the back wall and dislodging several bottles which clattered to the ground. Undeterred, both men helped each other up as the remainder of the Andorian’s friends pushed their way forward. With a smile and an incoherent war cry, both men launched themselves back over the bar and collided with the lead Andorian, toppling him to the ground in a fury of poorly aimed blows. :: ::The brawl turned into an impromptu interspecies wrestling match, as Wil, Geoff, the Andorian and his friends all got tangled up on the ground. Wil continued to taunt the ‘bogans’ as Geoff got lifted into the air on the large Andorians shoulders. Remembering a tip from his mentor Old Jan, he grabbed both of the Andorians antenna and yanked hard, causing the azure man to cry out in pain and toss Teller off like an angry rodeo bull. Landing in a heap in a partially occupied booth, Teller apologized to the mildly startled locals, grabbed and finished one of their drinks, then rejoined the fray:: ::Finally, several security personnel stepped in and pulled the melee apart. They first bounced Teller and Ukinix out of the bar, followed by the lead Andorian and his burly friends, with stern warnings not to return. As Teller and Ukinix began laughing and dusting themselves off, Wil felt a large hand on his shoulder. Wil put his fists up ready to fight again, but the much larger Andorian put his palms up in a sign of friendly surrender..:: Andorian: Woah woah woah! Hey. If we get thrown all out together, we all go to the next bar for a round of drinks. It’s local tradition! C’mon pinkskins, whaddya say? Teller: ::rubbing his jaw:: I’d say you got a pretty good right, Papa Smurf. Who are we to ignore local tradition, right Wil? ::Wil jumped up to put his arm around the Andorians shoulder.:: Ukinix: Alright, but it’s your buy first, bogan! Andorian: ::Laughing:: Cheeky [...]! You’re on! ::The group of them began shambling down the street together, nursing their wounds and supporting one another while continuing to trade crude jokes and laughing insults.:: ((A lot of Romulan Ale Later)) ::Teller became aware of the sound of raucous laughter. Pushing against the drunken haze, he looked around to see what appeared to be the interior of a poorly lit and questionably hygienic tattoo parlor. Across the room, several of the locals they had previously tussled with were drinking and laughing happily while Wil flipped slowly through a catalogue of images for his own tattoo. An ill tempered Bolian holding a laser etcher approached Teller.:: Bolian: I’ve got the burner all heated up for you if you’re done trying to teach me how to sing old human songs. You sure about the image? ::Teller had no memory of the singing lesson or choosing an image, but nodded dreamily and rested his head back in the chair. He dimly realized he still had a bottle of something in his right hand and took a long pull on the cold, bitter beverage as awareness pleasantly faded..:: ((Quite a few more drinks later, Engineering Lab, USS Veritas)) ::Teller awoke to a pounding sound that he at first imagined was only in his head. Taking stock of himself, he found that he was propped precariously on a worktable in the Engineering lab, back aboard the Veritas, and that Wil was snoring loudly a few feet away, draped boneless over a stool. The pounding grew more distinct and seemed to be accompanied by impossibly loud, angry yelling. Angry Klingon yelling, Teller’s addled brain eventually worked out. Blearily taking in the room, his eyes finally settled on a shiny crimson prosthetic arm sitting on the workbench, connected to several diagnostic and charging panels. Reeling, Teller stumbled his way across several empty beverage containers and half-consumed food packs to Wil, who he had to shake awake.:: Teller: Uh..Wil...did we...borrow G’var’s new arm last night? ::Wil could hear Teller talking in his dream. Which made him realise that he was in a dream. Which made him snap awake. He sat up quickly, which made him grab his head - he had a throbbing headache, and still felt a little drunk. He eventually squinted his eyes, to look at Geoffrey, before what his Chief had said sunk in. His eyes snapped open, and his head turned to look at G’var’s arm. Without G’var attached to it.:: Ukinix: ::Covering his mouth:: Mate, we need to get this back to her- Teller: Well I’m pretty sure she’s on the other side of that door and she doesn’t sound happy. ::Wil’s eyes and mouth opened wide as he stood up. He could hear G’var yelling.:: Ukinix: ::Quietly:: I’m a dead man. Teller: Ungh my head. What the hell did we do to it? And why does my arm hurt? ::Teller rolled up his sleeve and his eyes went wide at the image on his bicep. A stylized rendition of the Veritas, similar to the one printed on the coffee cups for his cafe, but with one very notable and very naked addition.:: Ukinix: What the hell is… hang on, is that- Teller: Uh...I think it’s supposed to be...you can kinda tell by the...perkiness. ::Wi’s jaw dropped, before looking away.:: Ukinix: That creeps me out. Teller: I know I know, I guess the guy took some artistic license. She’d need a back brace! Ukinix: Mate, you need to get that off. I’d hate to think if- ::Wil grimaced for effect. Then he jumped when there was another bang on the door from G’var. Wil looked at Teller in horror.:: Teller: Ungh, one problem at a time. Look around for a tricorder, we need to figure out what we did to this thing ::Teller gestured to the prosthetic:: and quick, cause I’m pretty sure she’s going to break through that door soon. ::Teller rummaged around the debris on the floor and tables, finding several more empty beverage containers, one partially dismantled phaser emitter, a half-eaten hasperat, one large cowboy hat, a brochure from someplace called ‘Pegasus Pallox’s Spare Parts Emporium,” and several components that could’ve been a holo-emitter before being torn apart by a pack of wild targs. His head was pounding.:: ::Wil’s ankle felt sore, and he didn’t know why. But he ignored it as best he could, as he spotted a tricorder in the corner - next to several empty bottles of beer.:: Ukinix: Looks like we got a replicator working after all. I don’t even remember doing that. ::Amid the mess, Teller found and opened the compartments med kit. Digging around for a capsule of inaprovaline, he set the dosage and pressed the hypo against his neck. The injector hissed and Teller’s headache immediately began to clear. He attempted to toss the hypo to Wil but his aim was wildly off and the hypo bounced off a console before landing on the floor.:: ::Just then, the door slid open to admit a furious one armed Klingon tactical officer.:: ((Continued in ‘Shore Leave Traditions - Supplemental, with special guest star Lt. JG G’var!)) ========================================================================= Lieutenant JG Geoffrey Teller Chief Engineer USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0 & Ensign Wil Ukinix Engineering Officer USS Veritas V239511WU0
  2. Character death can be so hard to do right but @Emilia Krugol nailed it. Well done! ((Deck 3, Transporter Room — USS Njörðr)) ::Flames blazed viciously in the heat of the moment. The transporter room was in ashes, smoke filling the confined space with a noxious cloud of cinders and embers. Raging fires and debris filled the area. Panic shot through her body as frantic voices filled the air. Deiara didn’t need to be an empath to feel the adrenaline rushing through the very room.:: ::The door had malfunctioned, trapping 5 other ops officers in the room with her. Currently it was a battle against time. Above the ops officers was a forcefield containing possibly tonnes of debris from the upper decks, ready to cave in at any given moment and judging from the violent showers of sparks from the emitters, it wouldn’t be long until it gave out. Deiara’s ash covered fingers worked as best as they could with the amount of burns they’d sustained. Currently the others worked on fighting the fires, but to no avail, each flame continued burning like the rage of a bloodthirsty klingon.:: ::Billows of smoke constantly plumed the area, barely giving Deiara space to work between coughs and wheezes. The amount of ash getting into the open circuitry was making it incredibly difficult to restore power to the doors.:: Statton: Petty Officer! Get that door open! ::Deiara’s ears rang like a horn blowing over and over again. Ensign Jennifer Statton, the highest ranking officer in that room as of now was barking orders like there was no tomorrow. It was taking every possible ounce of patience not to knock her out. The blonde’s face was feeling very punchable at this time. However, Deiara turned her head and practically screamed over the franticness of the crew.:: Venn: I’d get it open if you weren’t running your mouth every five seconds! Ensign sit down, or fight the damn fires before we suffocate! Don’t stand there barking orders like your some captain! ::She didn’t speak. Stanton was terrified. Fear coursed through her veins to a point where she was frozen in place. Deiara returned to her work, once again attempting to route power to the door. Nothing.:: ::The effort was becoming more and more desperate with the constant violent hums of the forcefield above. Holding back possibly even an entire deck worth of hardware. Deiara’s fingers stung with every point of contact she made, every wire, every button that was pressed was pure agony to touch. Her body quivered in fear, anxiety reaching it’s peak in her chest. It was hard to breathe, even harder to see what she was doing.:: ::Finally the doors opened, remaining hardly even ajar with the lack of power supplied. Deiara grabbed a piece of metal and jammed it between the two doors, keeping them open for the time being.:: Venn: Go! It’s open! MOVE!!! ::Deiara screamed at the height of her lungs. Ushering and almost shoving people through the gap in the door.:: ::Frantic voices sounded as Deiara moved over to the transporter console. All transport functions were either offline or destroyed. Currently she was attempting to reroute as much power to this decks structural integrity as possible before it comes apart. In her weakened state, her hands glazed over the controls. Uprooting every ounce of possible power in the redundant transporter systems just to keep this deck from coming apart.:: ::The last officer made it through the doors with a laboured limp, right before the opening snapped shut. Deiara stared at the door defeatedly, continuing to do everything she could to keep this bucket of bolts together.:: ::Three violent crackles of electricity shot out from the forcefield emitters before letting out several small explosions in it’s wake. The screeches of metal on metal were the last specs of life she heard. Deiara looked up, tears welling in her eyes as she stood on the doorstep of her fate. Everything, she felt everything, it all came at once like a violent rush of pain in her mind. The deafening cries of agony were silently drowned out by the crashing of debris. Like a tree in a forest, nobody heard it..:: ::The warm crackling of fire silently swayed in the midst of the fallen metal. Softly burning away at the past that was left behind.:: ___________________________ Petty Officer 3rd Grade Deiara Venn - USS Gorkon - Transporter Operator ___________________________ Simmed By _________________________ Lieutenant (JG) Emilia Krugol - USS Gorkon - Security/Tactical officer - G239409EK0 __________________________
  3. I'm not going to copy and paste the four parter joint post as it's very very long, but I would like to say that it is an absolutely amazing piece of writing from the pair of them. @Jo Marshall @Cory Stoyer Finally Cory has stopped being an [...]!
  4. @Kayla Drex and @Maddi Hyden this was a great read, I really enjoyed it, good work ((239109.14 - Starfleet Academy - San Francisco, CA - Earth)) ::Kayla hadn’t been in the gym long, but her heart rate was already well over 130 bpm. The beating she was giving the holographic sparring partner looked like he’d said something particularly offensive about Kayla’s mother. The door to the gym hissed open, but Kayla didn’t register the sound at all, focusing instead on her training. ::She didn’t hesitate as a large Hirogen fist barrelled toward her stomach. Deftly stepping aside, she used the momentum to swing up onto the back of her would-be assailant, wrapping her legs around his midsection and landing a flurry of punches to the base of his skull. The padding armor he wore made it impossible to reach her, and her legs were too strong to disengage in front. ::A final jab resounded with a loud crack, and the hologram dissolved, dropping Kayla to the mat. She lay there panting and rubbing her bruised knuckles. Only now did she look toward the door.:: Drex: ::panting:: Hi Hyden: ::Shyly:: Hello :: The unexpected hello threw Maddi for a loop she didn’t expect, usually, when she came to the gym it was empty. She realized she was wearing a top that revealed her tattoo something she kept hidden. The person saying hi seemed to be very athletic from what Maddi observed, but she still didn’t know what she should do. She knew most people would say more, but she wasn’t most people. She just stood there awkwardly. :: Drex: ::Getting to her feet:: Um … how much of that did you see? Hyden: Well um….I saw you murder that holographic Hirogen like he did something to you...kinda frightening, as a first impression. Drex: See the thing is, I'm not usually so, er, decisively violent when I train. I just had a really trying morning. Hyden: I don’t normally do this, but what’s wrong? Drex: There’s this guy in one of my classes… German Galven. He’s been getting on my nerves, which is no small task. Hyden: Ahh well I have found the best way to take out my aggravation is doing the same, like you, but if you’d like a sparring partner I’d…….I’d join you. ::she said hesitantly.:: Drex: I think that'd be fun! I um … won't do what I just did to the Hirogen ::Kayla laughed a little embarrassed add she toweled off, got a drink of water, and tightened her gloves.:: Drex: What are you in the mood for? Is there a particular martial art you practice? Hyden: Well to start I feel an introduction is in order I’m Cadet Maddi Hyden. Also, I don’t think you’d get the chance with me that you got with that Hirogen. ::She laughed.:: Where do I start? I am a 10th Degree Black Belt in Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, Kenpo, and Tai Kwon Do, but I’m still learning more. The real question is what do you want to practice? Drex: You're absolutely right! Where are my manners? He must have gotten to me more than I realized. I'm Kayla. Kayla Drex. ::The two shook hands:: It sounds like you're very well-rounded, Maddi. Do you want to just improvise? My primary art is Jiu-Jitsu, but I've got a few others in there too. Hyden: I don’t usually talk to someone this soon, but I can say it’s great to meet you Kayla quite a stunning person if that’s ok to say. Improvisation? Hmm, what do you have in mind? Drex: Mix it up! You know, a bit of this, a bit of that. ::Kayla assumed a standard defensive Kung-fu stance, but arranged her hands in a Karate ready form.:: Hyden: I see if that’s the case. ::Maddi assumed her cover down position and got serious. She immediately lunged at Kayla, but not how she was expecting instead she swept her legs and took her to the ground. A slam could be audibly heard as Kayla hit the mat. She let out a small groan as she hit the mat. Maddi stood up and motioned for Kayla to get up.:: Hyden: Ok I’ll admit that was dirty, but you did say mix it up. ::she winked.:: ::Kayla stood up and smiled. Ok. She’d underestimated this new girl. Best not to do that again.:: Drex: Maybe a little dirty, but that’s part of improvisation, right? ::She watched Maddi as the pair began slowly circling. Kayla became instinctually aware of the smallest twitches of muscles in the girl’s arms and legs. She had scars on her arms that looked like she’d learned some hard lessons from weapons that weren’t exactly blunted for practice session. ::Kayla shifted most of her weight to her right foot, leaving just the toes of her left in contact with the mat. Her hands assumed a ready aggressive form. She assumed Maddi would not make the same attack twice, but assumptions are what landed her on the mat last time. When Maddi lunged this time, Kayla didn’t defend. She took the punch full in the stomach, flexing her abdominal muscles to absorb as much of the impact as possible. The wind was still knocked from her. She had the opening she needed though. Her ready left leg hooked between Maddi’s and arced upward. ::The move was a good one. It had landed even Philip (Kayla’s brother) on his butt countless times in their training. Kayla was therefore surprised to see Maddi roll backward and up to her feet with alarming speed.:: ::Though Maddi didn’t expect the move she expected something, but she brushed that off and got back up. The speed and reaction seemed to shock Kayla. Good it might let her understand just what Maddi knew. Maddi noticed her eying the scars on her arms. The truth was still as painful as when it happened. Abuse and pain from her childhood. The thoughts fueled Maddi’s adrenaline. She stood straight with feet facing forward. A usual fatal flaw in fighting. Kayla cautiously started an attack, but she had left her side open. Maddi immediately got into a defensive posture and threw a roundhouse quick with precision and speed that showed hours of training. Kayla faltered slightly, but didn’t fall.:: Hyden: Your form is good actually the best I’ve seen in awhile, but sometimes you have to know your opponents move. I know that sounds crazy, but it can be done. I see you’ve been looking at me quizzically why? oO Though need I actually ask. Oo Drex: Honestly? I’m trying to figure you out. I hope that doesn’t sound weird…. Hyden: Well, I don’t exactly know what you mean. ::They circled once again as Kayla continued:: Drex: Your scars - they don’t look particularly fresh, but they clearly happened over quite a span of time. My best guess if you’ve gone through some … difficult times. If they’re from training, your trainer was kind of a jerk. Still … the fact that’s all you have means you’re a formidable opponent, and a quick learner. ::Though not unexpected it threw Maddi off the way Kayla seemed to guess correctly in a way.:: Hyden: What are you trying to get at? Drex: Well, there aren’t two scars too close to each other. That means you didn’t make the same mistake in defense more than once. oO It means I can’t use the same attack twice Oo ::Kayla dove just to the right of her sparring partner as Maddi’s foot came swinging down in response. This time, Kayla responded correctly. Catching the foot with her crooked legs, she used her own momentum to unfoot her.:: ::Maddi fell to the floor, but instead of getting up tears starting running down her face. The past seemed to haunt her.:: Hyden: These scars are not from training. They have come from something much much worse. A pain and a fear that I still seem to cling too. ::She rubbed her fingers over the scars feeling ashamed.:: Abuse and bullying were a big part of this, but that’s two of the reasons the last well it’s the deepest secret I have and it’s the darkest moment of my past. ::Kayla didn’t really know how to respond to that. That was a lot of honesty from this otherwise quiet girl. Kayla rolled up to her knees next to Maddi, gently picked her hand up in her own, and simply held it. The two girls’ eyes met, and Kayla hoped that all the feelings coursing through her were conveyed.:: Drex: You’re here. Your past happened. However bad it was, you rose from the ashes. Is … is that why you have the Phoenix? Hyden: ::wiping a tear from her eye:: Yes, but it also reminds me of the fire I’ve brought in my life. My past has built me to be strong and take nothing from no one. Those ashes are numerous and they still reappear. I feel like I can trust you. My deepest pain is something I hope no one has to ever go through. ::Maddi pulled down her top revealing scars that explained just what she was hiding.:: Hyden: There’s more of these on my body and it has ruined my body. All the beauty of my body is now defiled and there’s nothing I can do about it. Drex: Maddi … ::Kayla paused for a moment to consider her words. The other girl said she trusted her. That spoke volumes about her strength of spirit. To go through such pain, but still retain the ability to trust - that took incredible fortitude. Kayla just couldn’t figure out how to convey this to the tear-stained, broken but rebuilt girl before her.:: Drex: You can trust me. Always. And not that you need it,::rubbing the spot where Maddi’s fist had connected:: but I’ll have your back, ok? Hyden: Thank you I’ve never opened up to anyone with this. It’s the one thing that haunts me and it seems like that will never go away. I’ll reverse your words and say I’ll have your back. This secret is something I hope we can keep between us. :Maddi’s face changed from the tear touched face to a face of resolve and strength. She stood to her feet and helped Kayla up. She embraced her in a hug something that entwined Maddi’s trust in her forever.:: Hyden: Well after that what should we even do? Drex: I think there’s only one option. We need brownie sundaes. ::The two chuckled as they walked, an arm each still around the other, out the door toward the smaller of the two dining halls on campus.:: ~ End ~ Simmed by: Lieutenant JG Kayla Drex Science Officer USS Eagle, NCC-74659 Image Collective Writer ID: E239510KD0 Science is life, art is soul, love is home Wiki: Kayla Drex ~ and ~ Ensign Maddi Hyden Security Officer USS Atlantis - NCC 74682 A239511MH0 There is no real security except for whatever you build inside yourself.
  5. ((Counselors Office, USS Gorkon)) ::Tasha took a deep breath and looked at her mother. She gave a nervous smile and glanced back at the door before her.:: T. MacFarlane: Are...are yeh sure about this ma? N. MacFarlane: Aye, it will be good f’ both o’ us...righ’? ::Tasha took her mother’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, then took another deep breath and pressed the door chime.:: Fortune: Come in! ::Corliss grabbed up an additional PADD, smiling as the door opened.:: Fortune: Hello again, it’s good to see you again, Lieutenant. ::Stepping into the room Tasha flashed a small smile at the pink haired Ensign.:: T. MacFarlane: Aye, I’m a bit more awake this time. This is m’ mother, Natalie. Ma, this is Ensign Fortune, th’ ships counselor. N. MacFarlane: Pleasure t’ meet yeh. Fortune: Pleased to meet you as well, ma’am. Although, I take it this is less of a social visit then? ::She chuckled, waving at the seats.:: Fortune: Sit, sit. Would you like something to drink? T. MacFarlane: Tea please, f’ both o’ us. Jus’ ask th’ replicator f’ MacFarlane blend three. ::The two women sat and Tasha nervously tugged at her sleeves. Natalie placed a reassuring hand on her daughters thigh.:: N. MacFarlane: Its alrigh’ Tasha. ::Corliss chuckled, flicking on the replicator as it made up the two teas. She brought them over, setting them on the small table.:: Fortune: here we are. ::Tasha gave a small smile and looked to the pink haired Betazoid.:: T. MacFarlane: Shall we cut t’ th’ chase counselor? ‘ow much o’ m’ counselin’ record ‘ave yeh seen? ::Corliss sat with her own tea, earl grey with a massive amount of sugar, so much it was probably just sugar with a dab of tea. She sipped it slowly, humming.:: Fortune: I did read over what happened with your arm...and I know, certainly, that this whole dream incident has probably had a horrendous lasting effect. Is...that what this is about? Or something that happened in the dream? T. MacFarlane: Well, it actually ‘appened when I was…’ow old? N. MacFarlane: Four. T. MacFarlane: Four, but I didnae remember until th’ dream brought it up. ::she took a deep breath.:: Counselor, I ‘ad a twin sister. She died when we were four. I...I didnae remember she existed until th’ dream, an’ even then I wasn’t sure if it was true. ::Corliss tilted her head, holding the cup lightly.:: Fortune: As children, what we remember and what happened sometimes melds together, so I can understand why you felt uneasy about that... N. MacFarlane: It...it was my fault. Evelyn slipped and fell down th’ hill. ::tears were starting to roll down her face.:: I...I...there was nothin’ I could do t’ save ‘er! M’ baby girl! Gone! ::Natalie began to sob, and Tasha gently wrapped an arm protectively around her mother.:: T. MacFarlane: Hush ma. Its alrigh’. Its good t’ let it out. ::Corliss handed over the tissues easily, nodding.:: Fortune: Yes, it’s never good to hold it in. I can see you’ve been holding it in for years, ma’am. N. MacFarlane: ::Dabbing at her eyes:: Y-yes. It w-was more than t-twenty years a-a-ago. ::Corliss leaned back, tapping the cup lightly.:: Fortune: It sounds like it was a horrible freak accident, and I’m sorry this has happened...however, Miss Natalie, have you ever talked about her? N. MacFarlane: O-only at th’ t-time. M’ husband was th-there too. Who else could I m-mention it t-too tha’ m-might underst-stand? Fortune: To...anyone, I suppose. Talking things out...helps, in their own way. It hurts, it reopens old wounds, but for them to heal they have to be reopened, sometimes. I think Tasha has her own grief on this, although separate and different. T. MacFarlane: Aye. ::Corliss put her empty cup down, sitting up.:: Fortune: Tasha, you didn’t recall her until the dream. Twins, even siblings, that find out they once had a sibling that died years back still feel grief. It’s a grief, a sadness, of missing someone you don’t know. Miss Natalie, you knew your child, and that’s a greater sadness that could possibly be told in words. However, I think if we...talked about her, perhaps what she was like, what she loved to do, how alike or different she was from her sister...perhaps that can lighten the load a tad, as it were. N. MacFarlane: Evelyn was...happy. Always. Both o’ yeh were. ::She looked at Tasha, struggling to hold back the flow of tears.:: Yeh were inseparable, always laughin’ and smilin’ with each other. Yeh were sad an’ quiet f’ months after th’ accident. Tha’ ‘urt almost as much as losin’ ‘er. Eventually yeh returned t’ yeh usual ‘appy self. I think tha’ must o’ been when yeh started t’ forget about ‘er, tha’ was also when yer father joined Starfleet. ::She reached into a pocket and with drew the holophoto of the twins. She gently traced Evelyn’s features with the tip of a finger and gave a sad smile.:: Not quite identical. Evelyn was more like yer father, yeh ‘ave his eyes, but my hair. She was all ‘im. ::Corliss smiled softly.:: Fortune: They look happy together. T. MacFarlane: Ma...th’ photo. Where was it taken? N.MacFarlane: In our garden. Only a few weeks before...before...I can’t! ::The photo slipped from Natalie’s fingers as she buried her face in her hands, sobbing. Tasha’s arm snapped out and caught the photo before it hit the floor. Carefully she turned it around and looked at it with intense scrutiny, committing the details of her sister’s face to memory.:: Fortune: ::nods:: I understand. These things take time. We can’t fully wrap everything up in one session-not that I would force you, anyway-but, I think this was a good thing… ::She hummed, watching Natalie a moment.:: Fortune: I...would suggest counseling, privately, for yourself, ma’am, perhaps to slowly shift through the grief itself. It certainly wouldn’t hurt...we can pause here, for now, if you prefer, or we can go over something else besides Evelyn, if you feel up to it? N. MacFarlane: I...I think...I…::She rubbed her palms across her eyes, wiping away the tears.::...I...twenty years an’ it still feels as fresh as th’ day it’ ‘appened. Why Miss Fortune, why does it still ‘urt so much? Fortune: Grief, whether over a death of a family member or the end of a relationship, is varied and...odd. It’s not like a scratch you’ve made with a fingernail that heals but burns for a while, nor is it like hurt feelings after an argument. ::pauses:: There’s an old saying about wounds healing, but a death is much more like a scar. A scar is made from a deep wound. Sometimes when the wound heals over with a scab, we think the underneath is healed, but it isn’t. If you, say, pull back the scab...you get all the pain and heartache as if it just happened. N. MacFarlane: So...you think that my coverin’ it up is th’ problem? I should o’ let it out earlier? ::Corliss gave a soft smile.:: Fortune: However, there’s something to be said about...letting a wound ‘air out’. If you dig into it, continuously obsess over it, that’s not good either. But slowly retelling what happened, remembering her in small instances, can gently let that heal into a scar. The scar won’t fade, you won’t forget your daughter, but eventually, you’ll be able to recall her without having it ache so badly. N. MacFarlane: I...I think I understand...thank yeh counselor. ::She went quiet for a moment as she gathered her thoughts.:: So...how do yeh think I should start doin’ tha’? Fortune: Small steps, of course. Perhaps, rather than speaking about what happened that day, why not talk about say, her first word or something they both did that was silly as children? Or, you could write it all down in a journal of a sort, and if you don’t remember something, that’s okay. It’s...been a while and memories are fickle things, but any little bit helps. N. MacFarlane: A journal...I like tha’ idea. Make it permanent. Keep her memories with me. T. MacFarlane: D’ yeh think I could read th’ journal...once its done o’ course. ::A solitary tear traced its path down, Natalie’s cheek and she gently took Tasha’s hand. She squeezed it and nodded.:: T. MacFarlane: Counselor, d’ yeh know any way tha’ I might be able t’ remember more o’ Evelyn? I...I remember nothin’, ‘cept ‘er accident. Fortune: ::Smiles:: I think a journal is a perfect starting point. You can write down memories, hopes you had for her, so on. For you, Tasha...hmm… ::She thought for a moment, jiggling her foot lightly.:: Fortune: You said you were four, yes? T. MacFarlane: Aye, four. Fortune: Mmhmm. At that age, significant events do leave an impression, whether they end up being traumatic or something as simple as moving rooms. ::hesitantly:: There are several ways of...forcing memories to the forefront. One such is hypnotism, however, there’s also the threat of implanted memories. There is also the...interesting therapy in which one is brought back to their younger years. ::Both MacFarlane’s sat back and listened. Hypnotism seemed like a plausible option, and this therapy where one was brought back to their younger years seemed like an odd, yet sound idea.:: Fortune: There’s also support groups, which I would greatly suggest to you both. Natalie, there are quite a few for the parents of children lost at a young age. Tasha, you may find groups that focus on talking through their own memories of siblings or close friends that they lost at a young age to be a great help. N. MacFarlane: Thank yeh, you’ve given us much t’ think about. ::There was a determined fire in Natalie’s eyes, as though finally speaking about her lost child had brought something to life within her.:: T. MacFarlane: Aye...d’...d’ yeh think we could perhaps try one o’ those therapies yeh mentioned? Th’...th’ hypnotism or younger years thing? Not today o’ course, but perhaps next time? Fortune: Perhaps, yes. How about in a few days time, you come back around and we’ll discuss it further and see what we can do? ::Hypnotism wasn’t so hard to figure out, plus it seemed to help assure Tasha...and well, it had a good track record with buried memories, even with the small amount of false ones.:: T. MacFarlane: I would apreciate tha’, thank yeh. Fortune: Wonderful! Alright then, is there anything else I can help with? If not, perhaps we’ll break for lunch then, and I assume the rest of your visit, Natalie? T. MacFarlane: Aye, lunch sounds like a good idea. Thank yeh f’ yeh time Counselor. N. MacFarlane: Aye, Thank yeh Miss Fortune. ::The two MacFarlane’s stood and headed for the door. The session had pulled many things to the fore, and it would take quite some time for them to work through all of these new, and reawakened feelings.:: ----- Natalie MacFarlane Civilian Holonovelist & Lieutenant Tasha MacFarlane Chief Engineer USS Gorkon G239311TM0 & Ensign Corliss Fortune Counselor USS Gorkon G239510CF0
  6. ((Camp 2 Medical Tent, Day 119 - Late at night)) ::Wil hesitated, and took a deep breath, before walking into the medical tent.:: :: Treet Treet ::beat:: Chirl Chirl ::beat:: Rihm Rihm, G'var laid still and tried to rest as, whatever it was, continued to sing just outside the tent flap. Doc had given her something for the pain but she could still feel her hand. Try as she might she couldn't stop her fist from clenching and unclenching, the sensation was most unsettling and sleep would not come. Instead G'var had decided to focus on the Song outside, breathing in the floral scent of a bush not far away. Breathing deep the aroma, G'var let herself relax. Everyone was safe for now, they had found so many of the missing. Suddenly the song stopped, She kept her eyes closed as someone entered the tent, a faint smile formed on her face as she recognized Wil’s familiar scent.:: ::Thinking that G’var was asleep, Wil went to turn around to leave - but spun around again when he heard G’var speak.:: G’var:::Opening her eyes::-Wil ::beat:: what brings you by? Ukinix: Hey there, Lieutenant. G’var:::looking Wil up and down::-How are you doing ::beat:: you're not injured? ::Wil simply raised his eyebrows, and was surprised at her concern.:: Ukinix: ::Small laugh:: I’m fine. More importantly though, how are you? :: Stifling a laugh, at the absurdity of the question. Looking down at her ruined arm, bruises were already formed on her abdomen and her legs had friction burns on them, She was mess. G'var smiled wider, it was a price she was willing to pay for the others.:: G’var:::waving her hand down her body::-Doing outstanding ::beat:: How are you doing. Ukinix: I’m not the one with half of my arm missing, G’var. ::Seeing the concern on Wil’s face and hearing the worry in his voice , G'var knew she shouldn't be so flippant. No one had ever shown her such genuine concern before.:: G’var:::taking a deep breath::-A price I was willing to pay ::beat:: My Team is alive ::beat:: you're safe ::looking to her ruined arm:: A price I was willing to pay. ::Wil exhaled through his mouth. He wasn’t sure he agreed, but he let it slide. He decided to change the topic to what had been weighing heavily on his mind all day.:: Ukinix: Hey, um - do you remember briefly waking up, when Doctor Maxwell cauterized your wound? ::Cocking her head, G'var gave Wil a quizzical look, thankfully she didn't remember that part of the Doc’s treatment, though she had a vague memory of floating.:: G’var:::smirking::-Thank Kahless, no ::beat:: I remember the Beast pouncing ::beat:: then swinging my blade ::beat:: then falling, after that just bits and pieces ::beat:: flashes really ::beat:: then waking up here- Ukinix: You yelled - screamed, in fact - out loud, and almost burst my eardrums in the process. And you screamed my name. It didn’t sound good. I um - are you angry at me? Was this my fault? G’var:::laughing:: What? ::motioning to her arm:: Was this your fault? You think I'm angry with you? Ukinix: I guess I thought maybe my singing attracted that thing. I mean, I hope it didn’t. ::propping herself up on her elbow, G'var looked Wil in the eye, it seemed he was serious, what could ever make him think she was angry at him?:: G’var:::shaking her head::-No Wil I'm not angry with you for anything thing. My actions were my own. How could any of this be your fault. ::Wil crossed his arms, and nodded slowly. He couldn’t sense anger, but he knew what he had heard.:: Ukinix: Hmmm... G’var:::rolling her eyes::-I'm an honest being Wil ::beat:: If I'm ever angry with you, you're going to know ::beat:: cause I will tell you. You don't control my actions ::beat:: I do ::beat:: I never blame others for my actions. ::taking a deep breath:: I care too much for you Wil to ever be angry with you. Can you not say the same? ::Wil took a moment to think. He looked at G’var, and smiled.:: Ukinix: OK, honestly? You intrigue me. And you scare me. Although, ::looking down at G’var’s arm:: not at the moment. ::English accent impersonation:: Right now, I fink you’re ‘armless. ::G'var raised a brow and have Wil an incredulous stare. Wil looked at G’var’s face, and opened his eyes a little.:: Ukinix: OK, bad joke. G’var:::smirking::-little too soon tool pusher ::holding her hand out:: Thank you though for try to make me laugh. ::Wil gently held on to G’var’s hand.:: Ukinix: Of course I care about you, you’re my good friend. I’ve made - being marooned on Limbo, I’ve made many good friends, from such different backgrounds. ::Smiling:: Mum said I would, she was right. G’var:::exhaling::It's nice to be cared for. Ukinix: I need to ask you something. I spoke to Wren tonight. She said that you ordered her to retreat back to the pod and cover you. Why didn’t you just order her to fill that thing full of phaser fire? Why take it on with nothing but a bat’leth? ::Wil’s question was fair, why hadn't she ordered Wren to fire? The truth was she had made a mistake. G'var could blame the fire in her Klingon blood, the primal need to test oneself against a worthy foe. That would be lie, she had been caught of guard by the surprise of the attack, the need to keep everyone safe had blinded her. Now as she felt her phantom hand clench, she knew she had put them more in danger. Her injuries left her vulnerable and were a resource drain.:: G’var:::staring up at the tent roof:: I made a mistake Wil! ::growling:: I reacted and didn't think ::beat:: My training should have kicked in, but it didn't ::beat:: I could have gotten you all killed. ::Wil looked at G’var. He could sense the regret in her, which he didn’t expect. He suddenly felt bad.:: Ukinix: No, wait, I - that question came out wrong. Everything happened so quick, I’m not meaning to pick a split second decision to bits. G’var, you succeeded, you *saved* our lives. G’var:::turning back to Wil::-Thank you ::beat:: it's still my mistake no matter how you sugar coat it. ::squeezing Wil’s hand:: Thank You ::Wil smiled, and looked down, swallowing. He came to a realisation that G’var wasn’t a reckless Klingon after all. She was a Starfleet officer, and relatively fresh out of the Academy - just like he was.:: Ukinix: We’re both new in Starfleet. ::Smiling:: Hey, at least you didn’t suggest to Captain Rahman that we pull a Burnham and start a war by blowing up Tholians in their territory. ::Wil gave G’Var an embarrassed but reassuring smile. Then his mouth made an “ooh” shape when he realised *who* he had just made the reference to. He decided to quickly smooth it over by changing the subject.:: Ukinix: Cole did an amazing job, treating you in the field like that. G'var:::smirking:: Bicondova said something similar when she came by earlier ::beat:: she also told me how you where stroking my cheek when I was unconscious ::smirking: -I do seem to recall you stroking my cheek. Ukinix: No, I didn’t - ::frustrated sigh:: - she said that to me too. I *didn’t* stroke your cheek! G’var:::cocking her head:: Bicondova was quit descriptive ::beat:: about the tenderness you showed. Ukinix: She’s wrong. I *patted* your cheek. Quite firmly! To keep you awake. G’Var:::giving Wil a sultry look:: Not how she described it Pusher. Ukinix: ::Rolling his eyes:: Then Wren is full of it. ::Wil’s could sense warmth from G’var. They had a professional relationship and he respected her immensely, but it had also been flirtatious at times.:: G’Var:::lifting a brow::- Is the thought of stroking my cheek that distasteful to you Wil? Ukinix: What? Oh, no not at all, I - G’var:::squeezing Wil’s hand a little stronger::-I it’s like we're engaged Wil ::beat:: It's was just a kind act ::beat:: You’ve shown me more kindness than I deserve. You make me laugh, and I feel I can be myself around you. You stood next me when I need you, and you asked for nothing in return. Ukinix: Ah - well I might get you to source me some blood wine - ::Wil’s sensed that warmth turn into something more. He wasn’t sure what to say, nor what to do.:: G'var::laying back down::-What's that Terran phrase ::beat:: You've hit the Jackcauldron? Ukinix: ::Smiling:: “Jackpot”. It’s Jackpot. ::Wil took a deep breath, and looked at G’var. It wasn’t lost on him what G’var was feeling. He smiled, looked away, and looked back again. She was attractive, even though he knew she could snap him in half.:: Ukinix: ::Teasingly:: You’re a Lieutenant now, isn’t there a Starfleet rule about fraternising with lower ranked crew? G’var:::raising a brow::that's not how that works Wil. ::Wil leaned forward, and put his other hand around hers.:: Ukinix: ::Quietly:: We gotta focus on helping get everyone off of Limbo. ::Rolling her head back, G'var knew Wil was right, they still had a Mission to complete, the Crew were counting on them to get them back to New Risa and off this rock. Still they had two months, it wasn't like she was going to get off the cot right this second and start a forced march. Looking up to Wil G'var decided to go for broke. Reach up she grabbed Wil by his collar and pulled him lower.:: G’var:::winking::-You're so dense for a pusher sometimes. ::With that G'var leaned up and gave Wil a Kiss, not between friends, but what she hoped was something more. After a few seconds she let go of Wil’s collar and laid back down.:: G'var:::smiling::-You get me now ::beat:: or do I need to draw it out in the sand for you? ::Wil suddenly had multiple flashbacks. His first girlfriend, who’d left him for another player at his footy club. The occasional female friend in his gap years before starting at the Academy. Kissing the Andorian woman when they were paired together for a training session at the Academy. But other than that, he’d only really had one focus in his life - joining Starfleet.:: Ukinix: Oh, G’var. Bloody hell… ::He looked at her, and decided he couldn’t fight it anymore.:: Ukinix: ::Cheeky smile:: If you start throwing stuff at me, I’m leaving. ::Wil leaned in, and gently kissed G’var.:: ::G'var returned the kiss. Pulling Wil closer running her hand through his hair. G'var had never experienced these emotions before, no one had ever given them back either. All her life she had never experienced love. She tried not to laugh at the absurdity of finding Love on this mudhole. G'var revelled in the sensation for a few more seconds then then leaned back down. Wil could sense a “soothing” feeling in G’var, although he couldn’t quite explain or comprehend it.:: G'var::placing a hand on Wil’s cheek::-Don't worry I don't throw things ::beat:: I do have an iron mallet though ::smiling:: don't worry Pusher ::beat:: It's gonna be awhile before we get that far. ::Wil put his hand on her arm.:: Ukinix: ::Laughing, nodding:: OK. G'var::holding out her hand::-For now just sit with me ::beat:: I could use the company. ::beat:: tell me how the debriefing went with the camp ::beat:: and Wil ::beat:: if you draw another sand table ::beat:: I will start throwing things ::smiling:: ::Wil sat on the cot, next to G’var, and held her hand.:: Ukinix: Well, Captain Nickson suggested we shouldn’t leave until you feel better - that makes sense. But I’m sure we’ll all leave real soon. It’s the logical thing to do. ::As a small muscle spasm ran down her leg, G'var silently agreed, admittedly she wanted to leave as soon as possible as well, but seeing as how even breathing caused her pain right now, she could see the Logic in resting as well. G'var continued to hold Wil’s hand as he debriefed her on how the Camp took their news. Squeezing just a little tighter, she was comforted by Wil’s Presence and the start of what she hoped was something much more than friendship.:: ============================ Lieutenant Junior Grade G'var Security/Tactical Officer USS Veritas V239511G10 & Ensign Wil Ukinix Engineering Officer USS Veritas V239511WU0
  7. ((Hidden Temple of Molor)) ::K’Nubis sat over a dusty tome, running his fingers lightly through the flame of a candle - slowly enough that he could feel the fire bite at him. It flickered weakly in the ancient hall, but held bright illumination against the void of darkness encompassing the room. The words and lore were a constant reminder of his path, his purpose, his calling. He took in the words of Molor and savored them, for they were his truth and he was their voice. The true path of the Klingons had been lost with the traitor Kahless, and had plunged the Klingon Empire into weakness and complacency. He stood slowly, his expression almost vacant as he walked the length of the hall, his robes dragging through the dust of the ruin behind him. Exiting the sacred place, two acolytes took up position behind him as he walked. Not a whisper was spoken. Their armor was accented with a dark maroon cape and was adorned with the symbol of Molor, a ceremonial Mek’Leth strapped to their waists. He entered a similarly dark chapel and walked the central path between a gathering of his followers who dared not speak in his presence. The edges of the room were lined with candelabrum and a small stone alter stained with blood stood at its head. He took his place before it and silently regarded those before him as the two acolytes that had followed him took up positions at opposite sides of the room. K’Nubis: Children of Molor, I stand before you as the humble servant of our great father. ::His voice was calm and soft but almost hollow as though void of any emotion.:: I come to you this day with grave news, for one of our own dear brothers has failed in his duty to our cause. ::He looked out over the assembled. A rag tag group of Klingons and a number of other species - all brought together in search of something greater than themselves. His eyes stopped on a fellow Klingon - one who’s stoicism was betrayed by the sweat upon his brow and the trembling of his hand.:: K’Nubis: I call forward Trok son of Kurod. Present yourself to the judgement of Molor and state your transgression. ::The man stepped forward with a brave face and set his ceremonial Mek’Leth upon the small alter.:: Trok: I present myself to the mercy of Molor that he may allow atonement for my weakness. ::He held his head high, but the faint tremble in his voice betrayed his confidence.:: I sent an encrypted transmission to my sister in the hope of alleviating her concerns for my safety. ::A deafening silence stifled the air as he paused before continuing.:: This was foolish, and forbidden. I seek correction and alignment. K’Nubis: I hear this plea and grant reformation. ::His voice hollow and unwavering.:: May your purification through pain be an enlightenment to us all. ::The man took a knee and braced himself for what may come. Two acolytes approached from the back of the room carrying an urn and placed it on the altar before Trok.:: K’Nubis: We can all count ourselves blessed for this reminder. That those that follow Molor are the only true family worth value. Through our true brothers and sisters we find strength, and in all others we are compelled to actions of selfish compassion and weakness. This is not the true way. ::K’Nubis took the urn and knelt calmly before Trok, offering it out to him. Its contents a swarm of small creatures known far and wide for the ability to cause excruciating agony in all that came in contact with them. Roughly translated from their Lethean homeworld - Hornet Eels. Trok looked to the dark opening - his breathing becoming more rapid until he pulled in all the breath he had and held it, plunging his hand into the urn and all of the anguish that awaited him. There was the slightest moment when all was quiet, but any hope of an aversion to punishment was quickly dismissed when his teeth barred and his body tensed with a heavy groan as he grit his teeth. His pride kept his mouth shut as his warrior spirit compelled him to remain strong - but only for so long. He howled in agony and attempted to pull his hand back but K’Nubis was ready. He grabbed the tortured man's arm firmly and forced it down. His calm expression breaking only with a small curl of his lip - enough to hint at a quiet rage as he asserted his dominance and authority. Finally - Trok collapsed to the ground, his body no longer able to endure the punishment. K’Nubis extracted the damaged hand and set the url calmly back upon the altar and composed himself.:: K’Nubis: Let us all celebrate the blessing that has enlightened us through our brother. Today he has been made stronger, and his faith and duty bolstered. Never again will he commit such a misguided blunder, for he has been purified by pain. It will forever be a reminder of his mistake, and will help guide him on the true path. The path to a stronger Klingon Empire - One that is not weakened by the frailty of personal agendas and the follies of ambition. Unity is the only path to dominance, and self interest is the enemy of unity. ::His sermon was short - his lesson over. The display had sent the intended message. Dismissed, the assembled dispersed. Trok still lay passed out before the altar, sweat pouring down his face and his hand covered in painful welts and discolorations. K’nubis stepped over him as two acolytes once again took their place at his side as he departed the room. It was time to get back to business - there was much to be done, and there was no more room for mistakes.::
  8. ((OOC: A few months ago, I thought it'd a neat idea for IC interviews. With the help of @Kayla Drex and @Geoffrey Teller, we were able to come up with this! Thank you guys and if anyone else wants to be interviewed by a flamboyant and eccentric TV host, let me know!)) ((ICL Broadcast 27, Studio 9, San Francisco, California, North America, Earth)) ::The camera pans down on a modern news studio, replete with an enormous anchors desk, couch and chairs. Upon the desk, next to the oversized microphone is an assortment of sleek, hypermodern PADDS, all in the most fashionable colors, arranged in an eye pleasing rainbow. Entering the studio to raucous applause we see our host, Dresdon Mitchell, an almost artificially handsome human male with perfectly coiffed hair, an exceptionally well tailored, multi-chromatic suit and a high voltage smile.:: ::He strides to the desk confidently, clearly the Captain of this particular ship, and takes his seat with a dramatic flourish and crosses his leg over his knee with gusto. Behind him, the majestic San Francisco skyline twinkles like the stars and the Golden Gate bridge is perfectly framed. The camera settles on Dresdon as he, with false modesty, accepts the adulation of the crowd and settles in.:: Mitchell: ::smiles wide:: Hello, my name is Dresdon P. Mitchell and this is ICL, or the Intergalactic Comm Link if you've been living on Rura Penthe! On tonight's special episode, I’ll be showing you the gift of gab with a splendid young woman aboard a distant Starfleet vessel so you, my wonderful audience, can see where they've been Boldly Going and what they've been Boldly Doing! ::He then turned a quarter way in his chair and tapped a few demands on his PADD. The San Francisco skyline blurred as the image of a beautiful young officer wearing a teal Starfleet uniform was superimposed.:: Mitchell: ::smiles and arches both eyebrows:: Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between, I'd like to introduce you to my most special friend, Lieutenant Kayla Drex! Kayla is currently a science officer aboard the USS Eagle and she's doing a great job! Let's hear it for her folks! ::The crowd cheers enthusiastically:: Mitchell: Wonderful wonderful. How are you tonight, Kayla? Drex: I'm doing very well, Dresdon, thank you for having me on! How are you? Mitchell: ::chuckles:: My viewers already know how great I am! ::laughter from the crowd.:: So tonight is about you! How are you enjoying your time aboard the Eagle? Drex: I'm having the time of my life. I grew up hearing about all manner of deep space phenomena, and now I get to actually see and study it up close and personal! Maybe I'm just a huge goober, but this is like a dream come true for me. ::The crowd laughs supportively and finishes with an appreciative 'awwww':: Mitchell: Stop it, you'll make me blush! ::smiles and winks, crowd laughs:: That's wonderful to hear though, it's so moving when a young person like yourself has their dreams fulfilled by a life out there in the stars! Now, I understand from my notes here that you grew up with a very interesting family. Your father, Dr. Gulliver Drex is a renowned Quantum Physicist, winner of the 2261 Hawking Prize for his work in...particle...sya...well...folks I can't pronounce this!::laughter from crowd:: What was it like growing up in the presence of such a famous figure? Drex: I had the best of everything - not possessions; mom and dad always the value of living with a minimum of baggage, but as far as opportunity, I was never lacking. Between Dad, Mom, and my four brothers, there was never any lack of something … interesting happening. ::smiling to herself as though at an inside joke only she knew:: Mitchell: ::smiles and covers his mouth as if something was shocking:: Gasp, sounds like someone was playing with wormholes at home! ::hoots and laughs from the crowd:: My research team also received a note from one of your colleagues, a Lt. German Galven. ::a chorus of ascending ooOOOOOs from the crowd:: He said to make sure we ask you about your time together at the famed Starfleet Academy! Can you tell us what happened, KayKay? Apparently you two shared some classes but Mr. Galven says he graduated faster than you! ::shocked laughter and amused boos from the crowd:: Drex: I bet he did. I'll have to send him a message thanking him for his delightfully sharp memory. ::a little chuckle:: The Academy was honestly very different than I originally envisioned it being. In my mind, I imagined some cross between an ancient campus of brick buildings, state-of-the-art technology, and military boot camp. What I experienced however was a place where literally anything can and did happen. My last two years were actually self-directed study, because they didn't have classes for my specialization. That's what I mean though: they didn't just say, “Sorry, kid, you're just going to have to take the same thing as everyone else.” They heard my ideas, gave me guidance, and let the ideas grow. It was … incredible. Mitchell: Sure sounds that way! I do self-directed study myself all the time, mostly on the mating habits of our alien friends. ::raucous hoots from the crowd:: So, after the Academy, you went directly to the Eagle? Take us there with you, KayKay! First thing. Go! Drex: The first thing I did when I got on-board was introduce myself to the ship. That sounds kind of weird, but I used to walk around the woods by my house growing up, and I always kinda felt like they were watching over me - like they had a form of consciousness I couldn’t quite understand. The Eagle - and I guess all ships - she has a personality - I wanted her to know me, and know that I’m grateful for her. ::realizing this isn’t a 1-on-1 conversation:: Aaaaaand now everyone is going to think I’m crazy. Mitchell: ::laughs:: I’m sure nobody here thinks you’re crazy ::looks offscreen with a smirk:: Oo, it seems we only have a couple minutes left - before you go, I understand you’ve been promoted recently. Congratulations! How'd that feel? Drex: I was pretty surprised it happened so quickly to be honest. When Commander Oddas pinned on my new pip, I felt like I was flying. I’m starting to feel the weight it carries though. Mitchell: ::more awws from the crowd:: Aw, smart, lovely and humble! Starfleet sure knows how to pick them! Final question - After everything you've experienced, what’s the one piece of advice you'd like to pass on to all the impressionable young Kaylas watching right now? Drex: Never stop dreaming, always try to see from new perspectives, and never believe anyone who tells you “It can’t be done.” It just hasn’t been done. ::The smiling young officer is replaced by the circling Starfleet logo before it fades completely, again revealing the majestic San Francisco skyline. Dresden turns to look directly at the audience and camera.:: Mitchell: ::smiles wide:: Inspiring words from an inspiring young woman. Here from all of us at ICL, we wish you luck on your journeys, Lieutenant Kayla Drex - make us folks on the ground proud! That’s all we have for tonight, everyone. Tune in next time when ICL will once again bring the furthest frontiers of the Federation right into your living room with absolutely zero chance of getting space sick! GOOD NIGHT! ::the crowd cheers as the set lights come down and Dresden dramatically tosses his PADD aside, waving excitedly to the camera.::
  9. ((Rue’s Quarters - U.S.S Eagle)) ((2 days post mission)) ::Rue was sitting on the couch, starting quietly out the window that allowed her the view the void of space. After the mission and the excitement, she had slept… and then had a long, thoughtful talk with Saveron. It was a conversation that she knew she had needed to have with him, she only regretted that it had been well… too little, too late. She closed her eyes, leaning back her head against the frame of the window. It hurt. Losing what could have been hurt. More than she wanted to admit. The temptation to sit on that thought, that hurt, and simply hide out for shore leave was there, but she had to consider… that simply would be doing the same thing that had caused her hurt in the first place… hiding, and concealing. So instead, she hit the comm badge on her shoulder to Wyn Foster:: Blackwell:: Hey Wyn ? Foster: =/\= Hey what? =/\= ::The Andorian’s voice was sharp and dry as ever:: Blackwell: =/\=Feel up for playing bartender tonight and hanging out? Perhaps you, me and Choi? We could even watch a movie… that you and Choi choose. =/\= ::she managed a sound of humor following that:: Foster: =/\= Sounds horrifying.=/\= ::There was a thoughtful pause:: =/\= I’ll bring the good alcohol. =/\= Blackwell:: Sounds good. See you then. ((Time Skip - Wyn’s Quarters, U.S.S Eagle)) ::Wyn no longer had the expansive set of family quarters that he did on the Galaxy class USS Constitution-B. Then again he wasn’t looking over his dad, an adopted kid and an adopted hologram… well he still had the hologram, and the hologram’s holographic dog but his Dad (who truth be told looked after Wyn as much as Wyn looked after him) had taken a nice cushy starbase position, Ozameen was now old enough to enter Starfleet Academy on his own… and Wyn was now in a modest set of senior chief’s quarters on this tiny ship, with Mark set up in a makeshift hologram recharging area in sickbay. And even with all those changes he still had enough time to set up a bar. He also did the nice thing for his guests and raised the ambient temperature of his quarters by quite a few degrees. Just so it was warm enough for humans to be comfortable, but no so warm that Andorians were miserable. There was a fairly known understanding that ‘one should bring a jacket’ when visiting Wyn’s quarters. He did not, however, adjust the lights. Heat he could handle, bright lights were his nemesis and foe to all things drinking and carousing.:: Foster: So, hey come on in. ::He looked up as the door chime rang and the door opened. ::Ji-hu ran into Rue just outside of Wyn’s quarters. He still wasn’t used to being on the smaller vessel after the Constitution and then living on an Immense-class starbase. The name said it all. He’d never understood the concept of being fashionably late until ending up on the Eagle. He seemed to be ten minutes early for everything.:: ::Ji-hu made sure to wear a heavy hoody to Wyn’s. Seoul was steamy and while sunny San Francisco could be cool depending on the seasonal, Wyn’s place was--understandably--always a bit like a fridge.:: Blackwell: ::She showed up and was wearing an elegantly oversized sweater that fell to her knees like a tunic and leggings underneath and simple shoes, with a light hint of makeup and hair done. She carried a box in her hands. She stepped in and looked about:: Nice place already Choi: Aww, I miss your big dining room table. Guess that’s the switch off from a Galaxy-class. Foster: Yeah, small place. Everything here is smaller. That’s OK - it just makes the bar look bigger. Blackwell: :She grinned at that and stepped in with her box:: There are so many jokes I just won’t make. Choi: ::grinning:: I… well… I won’t say anything. Foster: Did you eat yet? I don't want anyone drinking on an empty stomach. Blackwell: ::She held up the box:: That is what this is for. I had the replicator make a series of small snacks and hors d’oeuvres to eat while we drink. Choi: I ate, but I’m always up for snacks! What’re you serving tonight, Doctor? ::Only a few people knew that Wyn Foster was a competent chef. Not a gourmet chef by any stretch of the imagination, but competent. He had grown up making dinners with his Dad and kept the tradition alive with his odd little blended family on the Constitution. But his forte was mixing drinks. He knew hundreds of classic [...]tails from various species, and had a good nose for mixing things to people’s tastes. Tonight they would be drinking his favorite.:: Foster: Samarian Sunsets! Choi: Sounds good to me, make mine a double! I need it after the last few days… Blackwell:She looked to Wyn and nodded to what Choi Said:: ::Ji-hu took a seat at the corner seat of Wyn’s bar, his back against the wall.:: Choi: I’m glad we’re finally getting a bit of time together. Launch was pretty nuts. How’ve your duty shifts been? Foster: I got stuck in sickbay. Nothing new there. ::He harrumphed as he mixed the alcohols for the sunsets and gently layered them in the glasses before he prepared to add the pinch of acid that would make the sunset bloom.:: Blackwell: I’m getting the hang of it, ::She grinned a bit:: It was a bit nuts but… nice to have control of the wings around us. Choi: Yeah, I got to work with some of the senior officers down on Verellia. And Ensign Drex. ::taking a sip:: She was amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was running Starfleet by the time the year is out. Foster: ::ever the pragmatist:: She’s an enthusiastic kid, but I wouldn’t wish running Starfleet on anyone... Blackwell: ::She giggles:: I like Drex. She’s fun, intelligent and has energy. She’ll do well here. Choi: Everything okay, Rue? You seem a little… blue. ::to Wyn:: Not that there’s anything wrong with being blue! ::Wyn blinked at that - not the ‘blue’ comment but that he picked out Rue as being down after she was giggling. Either that was T’Choi talking or he was shooting blanks in the dark.:: Blackwell::She paused, and wondered briefly if what ever had happened to Choi in the past few months had given him additional sensitivity, or if he had always been so empathetic. She started setting out the treats she had brought - Crab Rangoons, bruschetta, fried shrimp and sauce and some chicken wings things along with some fruit and vegetables and considered what to say:: I… did need a little company tonight, if that is what your asking… hence why I strong armed Wyn into a little get together. ::She chuckled:: Everything is fine. ::Ji-hu shot Wyn a look. He’d had enough drinks to notice she didn’t seem to be her usual high-octane self, but Wyn knew her better.:: Foster: What? ::He used the opportunity of Choi looking at him to flick Choi’s glass, causing a cascade of colors to bloom throughout his drink as he handed it to the engineer:: You’ve never seen her down before? :Rue felt a pang of guilt. She relied on Wyn...too damn much. And she was in a way, doing it again. But she hoped instead to push away from that, she wanted support, to feel cared for, but...in a way that everyone was enjoying the benefits, not just her. Then again, the advice that Saveron had given her echoed in her mind:: ::Wyn was starting to wonder if he was the only person who saw his crew through their ups and downs, at their best and at their worst.:: Blackwell: ::She looked between the two and settled in a seat at the little bar and rested her chin in the cup of her hand:: I… don’t want to make tonight about discussing my problems, gentleman… and it isn’t really a problem. It’s something that makes sense, just still… stings. Like certain healthy medical procedures… right Wyn? You hate the initial feeling, but know you need it done. ::Stings. ::His antennae flared up, it was time for Wyn to be the mind reader. His guess was Saveron was what stung. The oh so logical Vulcan didn’t want attachments, and after a failed marriage and then a romance that turned into stalking Wyn could understand why. Still Rue was a human and no matter how hard humans tried to not get attached… they got attached.:: Choi: ::nodding sagely:: Like regular checkups and annual stress tests! ::eyes going wide:: Oh yeah, I still haven’t done my stress test this year... Foster: You should get in and get that over with, before the mission while you can still use the holodeck instead of running on a treadmill in Sickbay. Blackwell:: She chuckles:: I hate getting shots, but I know when I need them… Right around when Wyn tells me. Foster: Hey, at least you listen to the reminders - that’s better than some crew. ::he smiled a bit:: Blackwell: ::She returned Wyns smile and shrugged:: Well, I like to ...try and not be a pain in the [...]. Sometimes…….but hey, in terms of how things are going overall, I think ...for a first mission, things are going well. The new crew is easy to work with thus far, It’s good to have you back Choi, and my room is very nice, if smaller. It’s cozy. I sort of wish I had a pet though. Maybe I need a holocat. Choi: I could mod you a program! There’s some really interesting new holo-companion lines coming out of a Starfleet R&D for deep space installations! Their cats have extra disdain subroutines and the kinetic meshing is superb! You can really feel it jumping on your face at four in the morning! ::As if on command, Olaf whuffed and trotted out from Wyn’s bedroom to lay his head in Rue’s lap, looking up at her with big brown eyes as if to say she was Momma:: Foster: He still remember you. Blackwell: Oh my gosh! Olaf! You kept him? He’s here? ::She looked extremely pleased and leaned down to give Olaf a face pet and squeeze, and started making cooing noises:: Choi: ::sagely:: I’d hope so! You can’t just throw out a pet, even if they are holo-simulated! Foster: Of course we kept him! He sleeps with Mark when Mark recharges off duty. It’s just that these quarters are quite a bit smaller than the ones on the Conny. We’ve had to make some adjustments. Blackwell: It is fine...I am just glad to see him. Foster: Ok, I’m mixing a second round, who wants one? Blackwell: Me! Choi: I… I guess! Another double, Dr. Bartender! : :And that was the start of what would prove to be a very interesting evening…:: ((Shar’Wyn Foster’s Quarters - USS Eagle)) ::Over an hour and many drinks later and no matter how cool Wyn Foster kept his apartment it was starting to feel quite warm.:: ::Rue had… after a few drinks, had to shed the sweater. She was wearing a light tank top underneath that was modest enough, but it let her cool off, but meanwhile, she had leaned back to listen to Choi tell stories. Her mind was feeling warm and fuzzy and wandered from the way that shadows caught Wyn’s attractive cheekbones, and How Choi’s face was so kind when he laughed. She couldn’t help but just lean back and enjoy their presence, and the view a bit while she sipped another strong and well mixed drink:: Choi: … and then I said, “You put your hyperspanner in there and it's going to cause a haptic spooling cascade!” ::Ji-hu laughed, sloshing his drink slightly. He missed working on his R&D lab on the Constitution, reminiscing with Wyn and Rue about the crew had reminded him of that. He’d have to have a conversation with Commander Oddas about setting up a field lab on the Eagle. He’d already been eying a piece of property on the stern section with a perfect view of the nacelles.:: Choi: ::pause:: Get it? With the response time the temporary storage on the prosthetic would have caused a cascade to make it look like… the hand was… you know... Blackwell: ::She laughs hard and leans back:: OooooOoo. Naughty naughty Choi! Foster: Well I’m glad you guys got it because I didn’t get a dang thing. ::He grumbled into his rapidly emptying cup.:: Choi: ::slurring a little:: Sorry, been awhile since I’ve been out drinking with crewmates! Didn’t really get to know anyone too well on Starbase 104, lots of turnover in the R&D department. Anyways, you know, haven’t had this much to drink in ages! Blackwell: Aw, that’s a bummer. Foster: Turnover? You mean you didn’t keep all those charming companions like that Tellarite and stuff? ::That was as accurate as drunk Wyn got.:: Blackwell: Oh that Narrows it down, Wyn! ::He threw his arm around Wyn and Rue.:: Choi: Sure have missed the two of you! We should do this after every mission! Foster: The drinking or the hugging part? ::he asked as he rocked to one side, not resisting the hug.:: Blackwell:She blinked as she was caught in the embrace, feeling herself embraced. She laughed and then joined in, stretching an arm to hug Wyn, and Choi:: Aw, but Wyn doesn’t like hugs! Choi: ::squeezing Wyn slightly:: Too bad, Dr. Foster! We’re treating your grumpiness with a regimen of more hugs! ::Ji-hu realized how ridiculous he sounded. He should probably drink some water…:: Foster: I never said I didn’t like hugs! ::he tsked his tongue against the roof of his mouth:: It’s just not something you rush up and do in broad view of others now is it? Blackwell: So worried about keeping up appearances aren’t you, Wyn? ::She teased at him:: Choi: ::teasing:: He has his reputation as a surly medical professional to keep! Foster: I’m pretty sure keeping up appearances is a human thing. Blackwell: Hmmm, a little bit, yeah ::She shakes her head and laughs with a ruefully:: the problem with that is we get so mixed up in … keeping appearances, we just end up living with a lot of regret... but… I’m gonna change that for myself. ::She nodded, as making some sort of promise to herself, or the booze, or both. Either way, she then downed what was left in her glass in one, long, satisfied drink:: Choi: Oh yeah? What’re you gonna change, Rue-Rue? Blackwell: By… not worrying so much about appearances… and missing opportunities because of it… ::She started to blush deeply and look at them both:: woo...the liquor is talking now, Quick Wyn, get me more booze to make it stop! ::She laughs, and then goes suddenly quiet, and in a quick movement, she leans in and kisses Wyn, warmly, and gently, and looks to Choi, and gave him a gentle kiss as well, and blinked as if she wasn’t quite ...sure the magnitude of what she had done, and stared for a moment:: ….More booze? ::Wyn just stopped at that, antennae curling in confusion.:: ::Ji-hu blinked, his head spinning a little bit from the drink, still not sure what just happened.:: Choi: Just water for me. ::pause:: That’s… that’s not a comment on you… you know! I just think I’m going to fall over if I drink any more! ::He shot a look to see how Wyn would react. He knew they were close friends but Ji-hu always wondered if there was something more between Rue and Wyn. He also valued their friendship… and of course more with Wyn, but he knew how feelings could make things change between people.:: ::Silence. More silence. Slowly all eyes fell onto the most explosive person in the room.:: Foster: Wh-- what the hell was that?! ::He finally blurted out, looking between them.:: Blackwell:She swallowed and felt her heart beating through her chest:: Wyn...It was ..a kiss. ::While Rue was heartfelt, Ji-hu was oddly silent. Wyn’s antennae curled in dismay, wondering if the pair of them were trying to pull a cruel joke on him. He didn’t want to believe that they would… but this toyed with his emotions, and a core that badly wanted some sort of closeness with people while a massive part of him shielded himself from the pain of failed relationships.:: Foster: Yeah, ok, kissy drunk. ::He frowned a little, looking between the pair.:: Right, sure. Blackwell: Wyn ::She straightened, and while the liquor was still addling her brain, a sense of adrenaline was was sobering her up very quickly:: Foster: Yes? Blackwell:....What….am I missing? Why are you so...[...]ed? Foster: I’m [...]y because I’m confused. ::He said bluntly, pouring his companions both a water and himself a double shot of the strongest thing on the bar.:: Blackwell: Confused...how? ::Oh, it was a stupid question, but her brain was working at the speed of molasses and she was just trying to comprehend the magnitude of how badly she had just screwed this up:: Why? ::Wyn blinked, not really angry at Rue, but feeling perhaps more than a little drunkenly hurt at Choi’s silence. Then again it was a trend for the two of them when relationships came to pass.:: Foster: Why shouldn’t I be confused? I used to date him ::he pointed at Choi:: I’ve known you forever and a day ::He pointed to Rue:: I’m drunk and I’m biologically hardwired to be attracted to both sexes. ::And he was none too happy about that either.:: Blackwell::She set her empty glass down and leaned forward, pressing her hands together:: ….You’re right, you have every right to be confused...and angry. ::she pursed her lips, and stood up, which she soon realized was likely a mistake, but rather than undoing it, she leaned a hand on her chair:: Truth...is ….I’ve been attracted to you for a long time. Started...as a girlhood crush..grew into something more. ::pushed her hair back from her face:: Which...I...fought back after you and Choi got together...since well, you deserve...happiness and Choi made you happy. ::she exhales and throws her hand up:: But nothing - and I mean nothing- of my friendship to you was artificial, or fake. ….::and her mind jumped as she still attempted to sober up, but the words came tumbling out::Then I was...attracted to Saveron...for a long time, probably since after the Hinji mission..and well, chickened out on that…::She frowns a bit at herself:: I’m a -coward- when it comes to people. I can face enemies, surgery, my own death, but when it comes to people, I choke. ::Wyn Foster hit a dead stop and he tinged a very curious navy tone. It was irritatingly cute on his pale blue skin. He tried to maintain that gruff pessimistic doctor demeanor, but it crumbled into one seeking word question uttered in soft tones.:: Foster: Why… didn’t you… tell me? ::He felt supremely stupid that he never noticed. Able to perceive a heart murmur at thirty paces but see a relationship right in front of his face? Pure miss. Way to go, Wyn.:: Blackwell:: ..Why? Well hell, Wyn, maybe because I was afraid you, Saveron, everyone else would just turn either be hurt because of me, by me, and not only would you be hurt, I’d lose you. ::She had a bit of vehemence in her face, starting to work herself up::. First, I know damn well I am a mess of a person. I’m cracked in all sorts of ridiculous places and its stupid and -no one- but me should have to try and fix it. Second, while you won’t let me in further than the shallow end of your particular pool Wyn, I know things have happened to you since you’ve joined starfleet. I don’t know the facts, but I see the self deprecation, I see the when you get bitter and [...]ed off. And you don’t need to try and fix me and handle my nonsense while you are dealing with your own baggage. ::She would look for her sweater, suddenly feeling cold:: Foster: You’re not a mess of a person and Saveron will always be your friend. ::He sassed back in a sharp, confident tone, carefully sidestepping the other question posed.:: ::Choi stuttered a little and whispered a question only Rue could hear. Well, that wasn’t true, Wyn’s hearing was far better than Rue’s but he wasn’t listening at the moment, she was.:: Blackwell:: No, Choi, me kissing you isn’t a false reaction either. I get attracted to people, you included. Probably some repression on my part and then I let it out an inch and it just goes stupid ::She started to try and slip on her sweater, getting entangled in the thing, and trying again::: Why did I kiss both of you - first, I meant what I said, I’d rather start feeling like rubbish because I was too bold rather than regretting never taking a chance….And frankly put, the first thought that popped in my brain after I kissed Wyn was that if I kissed you too, besides the fact your a handsome man, was also that you could then be [...]ed at me and not Wyn for my actions. ::Ji-hu seemed both drunk and embarrassed by this and went quiet. Wyn on the other hand fixed his clear blue eyes on Rue. He wasn’t sure who was taking this harder - Choi who felt awkward because he was not attracted to Rue in that way or Wyn, who was biologically wired to be attracted to both sexes equally and, in fact, was attracted to Rue in that way. And Choi in that way. And at the moment being attracted to either one seemed an absolutely horrible, unprofessional idea.:: Foster: I don’t think anyone’s [...]ed. Unless we’re talking [...]ed as in drunk [...]ed. ::He drew in a breath:: but gotta admit, Rue that’s as Saveron would say, pretty dang illogical, dontcha think? Blackwell: Well no, I know I don’t make any sense. I’m a human, we don’t make sense at all, and...damn sweater! ::She huffed and finally just wrapped it up in her arms and exhaled again, leaning against a piece of furniture to keep her upright: I’m.sorry….I go..going to leave...just as soon as the room….stops spinning. ::Caretaker mode kicked in and he grasped her elbow.:: Foster: No, you need to be safe. Sit down, rest. Everyone keeps their clothes on, everyone sleeps, we eat breakfast in the morning and can talk about this with a clear head. Sound good? Blackwell:::She looked as her elbow was held and she seemed to think long and hard for a moment, until her own treacherous lack of equilibrium made the decision for her and she nodded. She glanced to Choi for a moment and blinked a bit:: “Choi?” ::He looked over to Ji-hu:: Foster: I think he’s already asleep. ::He drew in a breath.:: Lucky him, maybe? Blackwell: Maybe. ..:She gave a slight huffing chuckle:: I...I don’t know if I want water or another drink now... ::He sat down and looked at her earnestly:: Foster: You wanna talk about this now so it’s not so awkward in the morning or sleep on this now and talk about it in the morning? Blackwell: ::She followed him and sat down across from him and held her tangled sweater in her arms and blinked for a moment:: Now, we should talk now. I...I just don’t know what to say….I don’t know if I should start trying to fix this or …::she pushed some hair from her face and paused:: Just...hear you out. Why don’t you go first...I babbled. Foster: What do you want me to say? ::He paused and realized that sounded crass about a half second after he said it.:: I mean… where should I start? Blackwell:::She exhales slowly:: I...I don’t know. Maybe...can...this be fixed? I mean...have..I broken our friendship? ::She looked fearful for a moment, her hands wringing into her sweater:: Foster: Why would you break our friendship by being honest? [...] I’ve said worse things and I was sober. Blackwell: ::She exhaled slowly:: No, you...are right. Saveron wishes to remain friends. He was ...worried that I had high expectations but I told him..clearly that what was between us...was...without strings. Did I hope a little bit? Certainly...but I..understand where he is coming from….I...just was also thinking about other things. He said …::She paused a bit:: He said that if there was one thing I should do..is give others the chance to care and protect me…::she gave a huffing laugh:: I’m sure you, as a good doctor, would agree Foster: I do agree. ::He nodded an even assent:: As you support your crew and friends, you deserve love and support. Blackwell:::She smirks faintly:: And do you think everyone deserves that? Is that a prescriptive statement? ::His antennae dropped. He had walked right into that one. He would blame being drunk.:: Foster: Well, yes. Everyone needs love and support. ::A gruff grumble.:: Even me. I admit that. Blackwell:::She grinned a bit and leaned in towards him:: So my question is...when will you let others care for you? Foster: Well, yeah. ::He huffed a little. He was a little too drunk and too defensive to completely let his guard down. Besides they weren’t really alone. Still he was trying.:: I mean I can be affectionate. Blackwell: Oh, yes, I know you give affection...but..you are very much the one who wishes to fix things from what I’ve seen, there are very few you allow...to help, and know what is beneath that ...adorably cantankerous surface Foster: Adorably cantankerous? ::He perked a brow and an antennae in unison. He was slightly flustered and slightly flattered by that.:: is that flirting? Blackwell::She laughs:: I’m drunk still…….I might not have the courage again so of course I am going to flirt….::she pauses: :unless you tell me to stop. Even drunk, I know...no means no….::she grins:: Knowing and No-ing? Foster: Nah, flirting is better when sober. ::He tossed back lightly:: Then it’s like this delicious game of cat and mouse. You chase, you pounce, one gets eaten, you die. ::A smirk:: of pleasure… good metaphor. ::He looked oh so innocent at that.:: Blackwell:::she paused at that and just threw her head back, giggling:: Foster: What?! It was a met-a-phor! You learned that one back in middle school! Blackwell: It...It was a good metaphor. :Her giggles subside to softer chuckles:: I just had a terrible image of a cat with two antenna...Little blue cat ::She snickers and leaned back into the seat she occupied, curling up her legs and her head on the arm of the chair, having given up on putting her sweater and just using it as a blanket of sorts:: I...I just had an image and had to giggle…..::She pauses and looks to him: I...guess tomorrow the awkward question ….is...if I were sober, would you want to continue the flirting? Foster: I mean I like to flirt so is that really a question? Blackwell: You know what I mean, I..I guess, your not going to feel..insulted..or like this was ...cheap? Foster: It’s only cheap if you’re doing it dishonestly. ::He said with conviction.:: I like romance, I like relationships. I don’t find them awkward in the same ways humans do. But I hate being lied to and I hate being betrayed. ::He really hated that second one, deep to his core.:: So avoid those two and you’re golden. Blackwell:::She stiffened for a moment and swallowed:: I won’t ever lie, nor would I betray you. I know that pain far too much, Wyn. I’d rather …...never mind,,,::she shook her head and then looked back at him at the second part:: Wait…..::She paused and sat up at that:: You...like romance? Relationships? Why Doctor Foster...are you telling me I was mistaken with the seeing you as the Bachelor Physician? Foster: ::He coughed:: Well, at one point I was quite the Casanova… but then a Starfleet commission happened and it’s been pretty dull since then. Blackwell:::She raised her eyebrows at that and gave a lopsided grin:: Oh, Oh now I want to hear stories. Foster:They’re not very interesting… ::He coughed.:: Blackwell: Oh come on...you’ve seen my personal life…..I told you that ..Saveron was quite an experience...why not share with me...a little? Foster: I mean I have a bartending license for a reason. You get invited to all the best parties in the Academy and you can hit on all the cute chicks and guys… I’m an equal opportunity flirter. Well, you know what, sometimes drunk partying students really wanna go home with the weird short blue guy with the odd accent. ::he offered a charming smile.:: Blackwell: Oh really….::She smiled demurely, and batted her eyes teasingly:: Prove it. Foster: What do you mean prove it? ::He huffed:: Fine. I can dance. ::He said with confidence.:: Bet you didn’t know that. Blackwell: Oh really now? Let’s see ::She gestured for him to stand:: I am so curious now. I dance a bit myself ::She stood slowly, testing her ability to remain steady and finding some of the inebriation had left her system:: Foster: Steady there, cowgirl. ::he caught her, and then straightened to a proper ballroom dance posture with the correct hand placement.:: So, who taught you how to dance? Blackwell: It was an agreement with my mother...I’d take a class that wasn’t focused on martial arts or fighting...and then take a class of my choosing. She chose ballroom, I chose Krav Magna. A bit of Swing, then I chose Mixed Martial Arts...so on and so forth. I can’t sing worth a damn like she can...so she was pleased to at least see me learn a bit of creative dance. ::She straightened as well and placed her hands correctly on him, ready to allow him to lead:: Foster: Swing dance, huh? I don’t swing too well, either. But Dad always said it was good to learn something to keep friends and enemies completely off balance. He didn’t have an ear for music, but he was well coordinated and good at dancing. So dancing it was. ::Antennae meant awesome balance, and that meant no stepping on toes whatsoever. Wyn was quite graceful as he led her around the small quarters in a gentle step without music.:: Blackwell:::She found herself a bit giddy as they danced, impressed that first, she was still upright. Second, that indeed, he was so graceful, and third, still felt a little bit of the fluttering in her stomach. She kept her hand on his and moved with his pace, and snickered softly:: Oh very well, Wyn, you are indeed the Bartending Dancing Doctor ...charming women and men close and far Foster: Hey, I worked very hard to make that so. ::He said with a hint of pride.:: Blackwell: You know I am, even as my head is truly deciding if this was wise….but...I would rather a night end with a dance than regrets...so I cannot complain and sometimes I have to say, I love the weightless feeling a bit of true alcohol gives, makes being ...somehow...makes things a little more dreamy. Foster: Maybe we should sit… ::He offered gently, bringing the motion to a stop.:: Blackwell: Mm..you think about how much liquor you put into those drinks, and then you consider how drunk I still am? ::He put a hand at her back to guide her gently to the nearest couch.:: Foster: That is what we used to call ‘a lightweight’ ::he chuckled.:: Blackwell: Indeed...I would gauge myself as still a good 8...with 10 being close to falling asleep on the floor singing show tunes….1 being stone cold sober. Foster: Did you want to be a perfect ten? ::He queried gently:: Blackwell: Oh no, I won’t complain….I needed this… Foster: Then how about I get you a blanket and we call it a night? Blackwell: Mm….wouldn’t it be hard to sleep...with it so warm for you? ::Even if she was a little chilled, she wasn’t blind to the fact he needed a chill environment:: ..I can head back to my room. I’ll make it... Foster: No, my personal bedroom is about fifteen degrees colder. Twenty if I’m in a bad mood. But I’ll get you a heated blanket nonetheless. Blackwell: ...Oh, I see. ::She nodded slowly and would lie down on the couch, curling her legs up a bit and resting an arm under her head:: Mm. Couch. And a ...warm blanket...would be nice…. ::It didn’t take long before he returned with two nice fuzzy heated blankets.:: Foster: Blanket for you, Ma’am… ::Oh, nope, she was out like a light, too. He turned both of the heated blankets onto medium and draped one over Choi, patting him on the head as he did so.:: Blackwell::She was softly breathing when he came back, the liquor having lured her into a deep sleep, One arm under her head, one hand on her stomach, and legs having loosen to stretch out:: Foster: And one for you. ::He tucked Rue in, kissing the top of her head before he was done.:: Sleep well my drunken little princes and princesses. May we not feel too awkward in the morning. ::And Rue would snuggle deep into the blanket, mumbling something softly before falling into the lush sleep of liquor and warmed blanket:: ~*~ A JP By: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Eagle C239402CJ0 ~and~ Lt. Prudence Blackwell Chief HCO U.S.S. Eagle G239308PB0 ~and~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Eagle E239010ST0
  10. A fantastic introspective by @Saveron and @Prudence "Rue" Blackwell. "No, I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying!" 😜 ==== “And a thousand memories….is all I take with me...cause your smile is just too much to see….You’re just a thousand memories” ((Saveron’s quarters, USS Constitution)) ::As Rue had promised, the book she had given Saveron was well loved. The cover was aged, but had been cared for to avoid the degradation of time, and meanwhile the pages looked like they were turned carefully. Also as promised, there were odd little notes in the book. Sometimes written on the pags near the spine, and sometimes simply written on little pieces of paper tucked between pages, which gave the book a thickness that was a bit unnatural to it.:: ::On the inside cover of the book was a series of names, though only one with the name Blackwell, that being Rue’s : Prudence Blackwell, 323 West Burnside, Portland Oregon, 97706. And then a series of small notes, such as one written in an elegant script:: Note: To my dear granddaughters, May you make all of your own stories in the future to share with your grand daughters ::The rest of the cover was blank, save for a small child’s drawing of a unicorn in the corner: ::Saveron handled the book with care, mindful of its age and obvious value both as a family heirloom and as a paper book. Rue had given it to him freely, but he already knew that one day he would return it. There was too much family history here to simply leave with one who was not a part of it. The thought gave him pause for a moment, before he began turning the pages.:: ::As he flipped through the pages, some folded note papers fell out - some on proper stationary, a bit brown from age, and some from a lined notepad. On one page was something perhaps curious that stood out on one of the notes at the end of the book, written along the margins in neat handwriting:: What would it be like to love someone who would ultimately only ever see you as a fond memory….someone so beautiful...that you’d give everything...and then in the end..they simply could not return it. Lear ends up being one of the saddest people in this story. ::Lear. The isolated prince who loved the woman that the unicorn became; an unnatural shape for her. Real but temporary, ultimately his affection had centred on an illusion. The Vulcan considered the concept odd, but was coming to understand that such stories were metaphors. Terrans, like many other species, based their relationships on mutual attraction rather than practical compatibility. How often did they encounter the situation of that attraction not being returned?:: ::Considering his own experiences with them, perhaps far too often. It was not an agreeable thought.:: ::On another page towards the center:: Then again...I can understand Amalthea/the Unicorn. Having to be someone you cannot be for the one you love...seems like death. ::curiously, that one is added to, in a similar handwriting that seems refined by time:: And it is...it is a death of sorts. Gabe wants me to give up the stars for him. He wants children, but for me to raise them essentially on my own. He wants support, without it in return. I love him….and I don’t always know that he loves me back. Hell, mom wants grand children...and all I can hope for is that Lucas and Darcy will do that for her. ::It was a terribly personal revelation, and given what Wyn had told him about Rue and Ish’s encounter with an Ensign called Gabriel on the Starbase, he had no doubt who had written the note. It seemed like a bizarre kind of voyeurism, and yet Rue had known the notes were there when she gave him the book.:: ::Was the logical conclusion that Rue had wanted him to have that information? Or was that reading too much into the gesture? Perhaps she merely wished to share the story with him, and did not mind that her musings went with it. Terrans were not always logical. And yet… there were questions.:: ::Fairy tales had puzzled him greatly for a long time. Simple fiction he had eventually come to understand as a way of gaining alternate experiences, but the fantastic nature of tales like this one made them rather more complex. Eventually he decided that they were a manner of allegory and metaphor, often more than one. That didn’t necessarily make them easier to understand. But this one was important to Rue.:: oO If you have questions… Oo ::Rue and Wyn had transferred to the Eagle some months ago, and he had promised to maintain contact. Setting the book carefully on the edge of his desk, Saveron punched in the details for a call to the Eagle, and the owner of the book.: ((U.S.S Eagle, Rue’s quarters)) ::It had been while since she gave the book to Saveron. A while since they had parted. She had been busy on her new ship - new duties, new friends, and while she hadn’t forgotten Saveron by any means, she had been forced to put the occurrence to the back of her mind to focus on the present. When she got a call however, she blinked at the name and hit the console:: Blackwell: Saveron, how are you? Saveron: Sochya Rue, I am well. And yourself? Blackwell: I am well, I’m sorry I haven’t written much….admittedly it’s been a bit crazy. Saveron: I do not doubt that with her launch, the Eagle’s missions and duties have kept her crew occupied, as have those of the Constitution. ::After all, he hadn’t written either.:: However, now that we are on shore leave, I considered it an appropriate moment to enquire of your welfare and your progress aboard your new posting. Blackwell::She chuckled a bit to that:: Well, I won’t complain to that. I am good, the new posting seems to suit me thus far, and the crew is good to work with. ::The Vulcan inclined his head in acknowledgement.:: Saveron: That is acceptable. Is Wyn Foster also finding the posting agreeable? Blackwell: I think so….it turns out Choi was transferred here too, so they have been reunited. ::She smiled a bit to that, and rubbed her neck. She looked at his face on the screen and admittedly it was good to see him. She hadn’t forgotten the grey of his eyes, the calm in his voice, but it was so much better live than in memory, even through a console:: ::Choi and Wyn back on the same ship. The pair hadn’t parted under the best of terms, and Saveron was all too aware that Choi’s personality had likely been impacted by his entanglement with T’Reshik’s katra. He had done what he could, but there were limits.:: ::Still, Wyn and Choi had the opportunity, if they wished, to re-visit what there had been between them. Seeing Rue again, hearing those words, raised the question of what might have happened, had they not been separated. But he knew that there was no logic in dwelling on the thought, much as Rue’s brief company, her warmth and optimism, had reminded him of how preferable it was to have a close companion. But she was a million miles away. :: Saveron: One would express the preference that their reunion has been positive. ::He said mildly, round-about question.:: There were… complications, when they parted. ::But Rue knew that.:: Blackwell: I think they are doing well, though admittedly, I’ve been attempting to give Wyn...a little space ::She cleared her throat:: This might have been bold, but I accidently let it slip that..I helped you through your Ponn Far. ::She grinned a bit:: Afraid you left a few bruises that I had to explain. ::She hoped he saw the humor in the comment, or as much humor as a Vulcan could experienced:: ::The Vulcan considered the revelation for a moment, then shrugged gnomically. The Andorian physician knew more about the Vulcan’s sex life, such as it was, than he’d presumably ever wanted to. But he knew he could trust Wyn’s discretion.:: Saveron: Fortunately I did not require a medical in the days following your departure. ::He returned dryly.:: Blackwell:::She grins a bit:: Standard Procedure - Physical before full duty on a new ship, and well we both know Wyn wasn’t going to let me past that. ::She shrugged:: Anyways.. ::The Vulcan changed the subject.:: Saveron: I have read the book that you gifted me. ::So saying, he picked it up from the edge of the desk and brought it into view of the console’s camera.:: Blackwell: Oh? Did you enjoy it? ::She leaned forward, close to the screen:: Saveron: I was interesting. ::He allowed.:: I have always found the nature of ‘fairy stories’ to be somewhat challenging; the extended nature of the metaphor can cause it to become quite complex. Blackwell: Well, sometimes they are a bit vague...though with the Last Unicorn….I always considered it about a discovery of ...oneself. The self one knows can be there, and the one that someone avoids. But that is a personal interpretation. ::After a moment’s thought he inclined his head silently in acknowledgement. It was an interesting interpretation; one which he would meditate on.:: Saveron: Some of the notations within the book assisted in the translation. Others were… considerably personal. ::She swallowed faintly and smiled a bit:: Blackwell: I..suppose they were. I hope...you didn’t find anything offensive or...disturbing. ::She looked to him:: Saveron: I did not. ::He assured her.:: Rather I considered whether it was information that you might prefer not to share. Blackwell:: Oh...well..::She exhales: I ...figured in some ways...you got to..know a side of me few will ever see….and well, I was privileged to see a side of you others may not...so I..was ...and still am comfortable with you being privy to everything in that book. Saveron: Then I have no objection. ::Though he did consider that perhaps one day he owed her some answers in turn. But no, freely given.:: May I request some elaboration? Blackwell: Ask away. Saveron: In one of your… notes, mentioned that you ‘would not give up the stars’ for another’s preference. That is entirely reasonable. But what is your preference? ::He was curious. What did Rue want out of life?:: Blackwell: My preference...is well, to be able to..live a life where I can be free to explore..well, anything. To have adventures, to take chances, within reason. And in the end, if I do have a partner, then ...it’s with someone who may not want to do everything with me, but is always appreciative of why I might enjoy something, respects that...and I do the same for them. I mean...I guess in a way a bit like my parents. My father has done some strange, ridiculous things...and my mother as well…..because they ..have stars they want to grasp...and yet at the end..they come back to each other. I guess I sort of want that for myself. Perhaps it’s a bit selfish...or overly optimistic ::She grinned faintly:: ::The Vulcan considered her words.:: Saveron: I do not think so. Knowing what one wishes to achieve is the first step to doing so, and giving one’s partner both the support and the freedom to achieve their goals is part of what makes that whole greater than the sum of it’s parts. ::He opined.:: I am aware that many species base their relationship on mutual attraction first; amongst my own people, where it is necessary for an adult to find a partner, we look for congruency of views and life plans first. ::And it sounded as though Rue might do the same. Affection, if such were important to a Vulcan couple, could develop later. Of course many Vulcans had their partners chosen for them in childhood, but their parents still looked for similar or complementary personality traits.:: Blackwell: And for yourself? ::He considered before answering, not wishing to give a shallow response.:: Saveron: I seek to aid others, and to seek new experiences. To explore. ::He said mildly, with a slight incline of the head, acknowledging that she had used the same word.:: I wish to interact with other species and thus learn more about sentient life as a whole. I wish to see the galaxy. ::And since Rue had spoken of her personal preferences, he reciprocated.:: Whilst I appreciate the opportunity to raise Saavok, given the dangers to him that have been demonstrated I do not wish to have more children whilst I am in Starfleet. ::It wasn’t logical to expose them to such, and he already had kids.:: If I were to find a mate, I would prefer that they shared an interest in exploration, but also exercised significant independence. And, if not of the same species, would be accepting of my culture, as I would of theirs, rather than placing their cultural expectations on me. ::But that was the voice of experience talking.:: Blackwell::She nodded to that:: It makes sense...I...have a question...am I the first terran woman you have...had relations with. ::A pause, and then the Vulcan gave a slight shake of the head.:: Saveron: Negative. I had a relationship with a Terran woman whilst on the USS Invicta. ::He revealed.:: She was an agreeably intelligent individual with a comparable enthusiasm for space exploration, however her expectations for our relationship appeared to be based distinctly in her own culture. I... tired of disappointing her. Blackwell: ::She blinked a bit...the dots connecting faster than she wanted to admit:: Saveron: I elected to end the relationship after five months. I was finding it less agreeable, and I considered that she might prefer a partner of her own species. However… she reacted… very badly. ::He wouldn’t say ‘emotionally’ because such accusations were rude in his culture.:: It significantly damaged our previous friendship. I… did not wish to cause her grief, but I could not see how to avoid doing so without remaining in a situation which I found increasingly unsatisfactory. ::Which perhaps explained why, if the signs had been there from Rue, Saveron hadn’t seen them. Perhaps he hadn’t wanted to see them. And what Rue didn’t need to know was just how much she had in common with his previous girlfriend. She appealed in all the same ways, but ‘once bitten, twice shy’.:: Blackwell:::::She looked to her hands for a moment, and then back up, slowly speaking::: Unfortunately, sometimes..that happens.::She looked down for a moment, her arms wrapping around herself:: When Gabe and I broke it off...I also took it badly. We both did really...I just tried to rebuild my life faster...I know that ..sense of abysmal sadness ...so I mean to always grow a full enough life that when losses happen, I have something to go back to. Something to keep moving for and to...but perhaps that is a bit of whimsical rambling on my part ::she smiled faintly:: Saveron: ‘Abysmal sadness.’ ::He echoed, turning the phrase over and finding it fitting.:: A pre-Surak poet once described such as ‘a hole in the soul where the wind blows through’. ::And having experienced the loss of his own bondmate, he had no wish to inflict such on anyone. He wasn’t certain of the assertion that it was ‘better to have loved and lost’. But Rue’s remedy was logical.:: I left Vulcan to pursue my interest in aliens and their cultures following my Unbinding from T’Rel. Following that interest gave purpose, like your own intentions. ::Responsibility for one’s own purpose and contentment could not be laid in the lap of another.:: I had not realised that such fallout was common amongst species who are more expressive with their emotions. Blackwell: I think at least amongst humans it is. We can be...illogically resolute in burning emotional bridges sometimes. What about with Vulcans...how does it work? Saveron: Whilst betrothal in childhood is common, there are situations where adult Vulcans are required to find their own partner. If an individual’s expression of interest is not reciprocated, or even if a brief courtship ends, the expectation is a return to the previous friendship or professional relationship. ::So the fallout of his last attempt had been something of a shock.:: Blackwell::She nods slowly:: Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is a weakness of humans, or other species, but….I can at least say that for specifies where..emotional control isn’t as firmly taught, it can be difficult to separate the emotions and move past them. It depends on the individual of course, but..I know in my past...I haven’t been precisely good about compartmentalizing ...but I hope to be. ::The revelation was both reassuring and concerning.:: Saveron: When a more… long-term relationship breaks down, even we can struggle to process it. ::He commiserated. He certainly had.:: ::Of course, if the breakdown ended in khun-ut-kal-i-fee, there would be no ‘loser’ left to struggle.:: Blackwell: I am...getting.. better at it. I have figured out ways to...focus on the present, what is important, though I think I’m almost too good now at putting emotions to the side without sorting out the ones I should act on, lest I regret the inaction ::she smiles faintly:: ::Those words earned another slight tip of the head, silent acknowledgement.:: Saveron: A difficult proposition. One which I have not resolved myself. ::He admitted quietly.:: There are times when the universe beyond Vulcan appears to evolve too quickly. If I deliberate as I would prefer, I may find the situation has already changed. ::For a moment there was the hint of lift at the corners of his mouth, a slow, almost sad blink.:: Blackwell:::She smiles faintly:: ..That sounds trying.. Saveron: I have considered that understanding one’s own preferences in advance aids in knowing them and thus recognising opportunities. ::It was something that he had pondered.:: It is something which I am meditating on. ::It was hard to seek what you wanted if you didn’t know what that was. That didn’t mean he’d found the answers yet. Like most Vulcans, Saveron had that external manner of calm and control, Rue was one of the close few whom he let past that outer facade, with whom he felt comfortable sharing his uncertainties.:: Blackwell: How so? ::She was feeling that moment as of now...hindsight was 20/20 and she was realizing that her foresight...was just about blind:: Saveron: In light of missed of missed opportunities. ::He said gently.:: Blackwell: ::She paused at that, and felt a sudden tightness in her chest, a forewarning:: Yes? ::She wanted to hear him say it. Saveron sought for words that would convey his meaning whilst also being acceptable to his cultural conditioning.:: Saveron: Had I recognised my own preference for companionship, I may have recognised your interest in a relationship. ::Maybe. It was an area where many species became quite difficult to read.:: Blackwell: I..I know. I wish that I had acted sooner. ::She looks down:: In a way, I wish I could have been like Lear...he ...is tragic, but he knew who he wanted, and was brave enough to try. Saveron: That is true. ::And even he had not succeeded. Was it better to have loved and lost? Saveron was not convinced, but at the same time he was aware that if one did not try, not only did not not have the chance of succeeding, but the potential for lingering doubt. Still, their current situation would not be changed by dwelling on it.:: Saveron: I note that Lear is considered a tragic character in the book. However, one notes that, like Mommy Fortuna and her harpy, he gains immortality in the memory of the unicorn. Do you think that being remembered, ‘when men are fairytales and books written by rabbits’ has any meaning? Blackwell: I think...in the end it is about the actions that we take...we hope that somewhere, somehow, we are all remembered. Mommy Fortuna did what no other witch could do, even the most talented, and Lear saved a unicorn...both of them did something that was ..thought beyond them, and even Schmendrick did that. Though I think if you are going to explore symbolism, Mommy Fortuna and Schmendrick is an interesting place to start. ::The intellectual challenge was intriguing.:: Saveron: Interesting. Why do you say that? Blackwell: Well, they are foils - Mommy Fortuna is a fake, a false witch, who dabbles and does so effectively with horrible intent. Schmendrick wishes to do ..basically the right thing, and is in fact a true Wizard..he doesn’t think that he needs to be immortal or whatever, he just wants to be acknowledged for what he is. Same with Lear, who is a hero..a true hero...and both of them in that..find immortality without even attempting. I suppose also humans have a very odd obsession with immortality...one which could take years to discuss. ::It was an interesting concept. The cemetery encountered in their recent mission rose in his thoughts.:: Saveron: I am not certain that Mommy Fortuna is a fake, though she is not as powerful as others. She was able to imprison two immortal beings. ::He pointed out.:: Perhaps rather she is a moral lesson, demonstrating the outcome of using one’s abilities, however strong or weak, to the detriment of others. ::He suggested.:: But immortality was important to her. ::He acknowledged.:: ::It seemed odd to him that Terrans might be obsessed with such, given their shorter lifespans, but perhaps it was because their lives were short. Always it had seemed to the Vulcan that they lived those lives to the fullest.:: Blackwell: Vulcans..have some sense of the everlasting, correct? ::She knew a bit of Vulcan culture, but she knew there were gaps:: Saveron: Affirmative. Some disaster notwithstanding, when I die my katra will be preserved in a katric ark. All that I remember will be stored and available to my kin. And all whom I remember. ::Which would certainly include Rue, whose mind he now knew.:: Blackwell: ::She smiles faintly and nods:: It is a beautiful tradition. I think humans try to..do the same in our own small ways. Saveron: I… have observed that theme in your literature, and visited a Terran cemetery. ::He acknowledged, recalling the rows of carefully crafted memorial stones.:: Know that I will not forget you. Blackwell: :She chuckles faintly:: Nor I you. You make yourself rather unforgettable. ::He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement.:: Saveron: Rue, I trust you recall our conversations, on the morning of your transfer. Blackwell: Of course ::She smiled faintly:: ::He didn’t take a deep, steadying breath; his emotional control removed the need for such. Otherwise he might have.:: Saveron: I wished to express that I would not have objected to exploring a further relationship, given the provision that it not impact our friendship. You are an interesting person, whose company I find personally agreeable. ::He’s spent some time meditating on the subject. His previous relationship with a young Terran woman - also an agreeable and interesting individual - had not ended well, but he was also aware that no two individuals were alike.:: Blackwell: ::She quirked a brow and paused to listen, tilting her head:: Saveron: However, I do not believe that there is logic in attempting a long-distance relationship, and I do not doubt that there will be those on the Eagle who will find you personally agreeable as well. And whom you might find personally agreeable. ::They were not easy words to say. Rue’s close company that night had been a poignant reminder of how it felt to have another to share one’s life with. Beneath his control, he wanted that. But if there was such a thing as a ‘one true love’ then Saveron would still have been on Vulcan. No, with the population of the Federation passing one trillian sentient beings, there was definitely more than one ‘special someone’ potentially out there. Plus he knew she had long carried a torch for Wyn, if nothing else.:: ::It was a moment where she wasn’t sure whether to laugh, or cry, or perhaps something between a both. She had known, and felt herself a long distance relationship would fail, but she couldn’t deny that she had held, in the cloistered corners of her mind, a small little whimsical fantasy. She looked to the screen and smiled with a bit of a soft smile:: Blackwell: I agree, and I think that you will also find someone personally agreeable as well. ::It took everything in her not to say that with a shuddering catch of her throat. And she was relieved when it came out easily:: ::He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement of the possibility.:: Saveron: If you do, do not wait until right before a transfer to inform them. ::He said mildly.:: Blackwell:::She looked down and chuckled for a moment:: True..I just..Oh I suppose I’m a bit of a coward. ::She grins a bit:: A...confusing coward, but a coward nevertheless. Saveron: I would not have said so. ::He said gently.:: Blackwell: I have always ...been afraid of..not losing people, but hurting people. More getting people hurt. It’s...a long story but..I for a long time blamed myself for an injury my brother received protecting me. And in some ways, I’ve...internalised that. Saveron: Hence why you began learning self-defence. ::He remembered her telling him.:: Yet no person is a rogue planet. Would you not come to the aid of a friend, a colleague, oO a lover Oo if they were in need? Even at the expense of your own safety? Blackwell: I would...absolutely. Of course I would. ::The truth was..she’d bring down the world to save those she loved:: Saveron: Then do not begrudge others the same privilege. ::He counselled, and the smile that did not show on his face was obvious in his voice.:: Freely given. Blackwell: I am...I am starting to work through it. It’s difficult, but I’ll get there. ::Again that slight inclination of acknowledgement. Romulus wasn’t colonised in a day; some wounds took time to heal. He knew that all too well.:: Saveron: You are not... aggrieved? ::He asked carefully.:: You did not have other expectations? ::Such would be illogical, but he had learned the hard way that not everyone embraced logic as he did.:: Blackwell: ..Aggrieved…::She paused, and swallowed again. She wished for a moment she had his control, his mastery of emotions..but she had to settle with the safety of a long range transmission that she hoped hid the line of tears that wanted to fall::. I mean ::She looked down:: I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I regret waiting. I’d be lying if...I say I won’t miss you, and ...feel a loss not of friendship...but of what could have been. But...as for that night...I meant what I said then, and I’ll say it now. Freely offered, Freely taken. We had one night, a wonderful night, and I’ll treasure it, but...even if I had remained on the Constitution-B..I would have not obligated you to anything…..The only thing I ask is that we remain friends, and that we both try and live well. ::Behind the wall of his emotional control, a flood of relief was being suppressed, along with the regret which had already been there. It was, perhaps, not a dangerous emotion. Having touched his mind Rue would know that, behind his control, strong emotions ran deep. But because of his cultural conditioning he found it difficult to express them in words; even when he wanted to.:: Saveron: That is acceptable... though I would return the sentiment. ::He said quietly.:: I value your friendship highly Rue, and I would prefer that you ‘live well’, and have your adventures. I would not object to hearing about them. Blackwell: Of course ::She chuckled a bit:: I mean, the next time I do something irrationally human, and Wyn gripes to you about it..I’ll have to tell you my side of things...right? Saveron: Affirmative. And, if you would not object, I will keep you - and Wyn - appraised of my own activities. ::That was how it was done, was it not?:: Blackwell: I would appreciate it. Saveron: Then let it be so. We are ever only a subspace call away. Blackwell: Yes, and we will...always have our memories. ::They would.:: Saveron: You may contact me whenever you wish. Blackwell: You as well, any time, just call. Saveron: Live long, love well, and prosper. ::He said, [...]ising the traditional invocation to something more personal.:: ::If there was anyone whom he wished well, it was Rue.:: Blackwell:....and to you. May joy and peace surround you, Contentment latch your door, And happiness be with you now, And bless you evermore. Good bye, Saveron...all the best. ((Saveron’s quarters, USS Constitution)) ::The connection closed and Saveron sat back, regarding the Starfleet logo which had replaced Rue Blackwell’s face for a long moment, then switched the console off. Picking up the book, he asked the replicator for a Vulcan scriber, then settled onto a floor mat, placing the precious volume on the low table.:: ::The book was a foil, a metaphor for many aspects of existence, and a collection of careful insights into a number of different minds. Perhaps it might also prove educational to those who would come after.:: ::First, he added his own name to the list inside the cover in flowing Vulcan script, then he turned towards the pages at the end, where Lear and Schmendrick contemplated the unicorn’s departure. Whomever read his notes would need to either read Vulcan script or have their PADD display a transcription, but such gave insight into the writer.:: ::Is it truly preferable to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all, and realise one might have done so?:: ((Rue’s Quarters, U.S.S Eagle)) ::She watched the connection close and turned off the console. The room on the eagle was cozy, decorated, but for a moment, it felt cold, and massive, and lonely. She pressed her face against her arm and let out a shuddering cry, one she wanted to choke down, one she wanted to ignore, but couldn’t. The tears came, the frustration, the anger, and tumultuous thoughts of how she should have, how she could of, and how she had lost...as a result of inaction….bad luck….she wasn’t sure:: ::After a long, and exhausting cry, she stood up and walked to her restroom and turned on the hot water, letting the steam fill her nostrils. She exhaled, and then rubbed her face with some of the warm water, clearing out some of the tears, with hurt, and pain. She considered for a moment that...in some ways, she was someone who understood regret...and now….had the knowledge that someone would potentially keep her in their memories forever….and while it was a bitter sensation, there was a sweetness to it. She straightened and looked into the mirror and murmured softly:: I can go on. I can live with this…...I’ll make sure...his wishes come true...Live long and Prosper, Saveron..you were loved well, and I hope you love well again soon... :And with a flick of a panel, she turned off the bathroom light and walked back into her main sitting area:: END A JP by Lt. Prudence Blackwell Chief HCO U.S.S. Eagle And Commander Saveron Emergency Medicine Specialist USS Constitution-B
  11. @KDrex and I made a tribute video for the fleet! Congratulations on 25 years and more to follow where no man has gone before!
  12. ((Shuttlecraft Verne - open space)) ((Time-index: Two and a half hours before the ceremony.)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in a shuttle with a view of a million stars just outside a window. Nelis was sitting in the right pilot seat pressing a few buttons to cure his boredom. He thought to himself of the freedom he had with a shuttle and a pilot's control panel. On a big ship he went where the captain wanted him to go, but with a small shuttle like this, he was really flying. Of course, the computer was doing all the work; Nelis himself hadn't ever flown such a thing. Nelis had been sitting in this shuttle for over twelve hours now and he would be for just about six more. Six more hours before he could see that old fellow. :: :: He hadn't exactly told that old fellow, his husband, that he would be coming to the Columbia. Sure, he had mentioned that he'd been writing a formal letter to request a transfer, but he said that could take months. Then suddenly, he was called to the chief's office that his request had been approved by the XO; only two days after talking to Pholin. He wanted to say it to him so badly, he wanted to deny every regulation there was to share the most exciting news in ten years. But the transfer approval of the XO came with one condition, he was to share it with no-one. :: :: Now, he understood the secrecy of the mission they had been on for the last two years; they were dealing with information and enemies that would cause chaos and destruction throughout the Federation. He had been on those kinds of missions before, and although they were challenging mentally, the whole army of counselors helped to deal with that. What really bugged him is how he couldn't even share with one person that he had been transferred. Like that would cause any harm! :: :: So, that meant: sitting alone in a shuttle for 18 hours. Normally he would just grab a book or two and enjoy life, but he was excited. He was going to see his husband without a stupid screen in between them for the first time in twenty-one months. He was going to a new ship, with new people, in a new region. Not that he'd been seeing much of it, he would be repairing conduits in different jefferies. He had once enlisted in Starfleet just because he wanted to fix things, and he still loved doing that. It was just... :: Nelis D.: oO Ben ik jaloers? Oo (Am I jealous?) :: The Dutchman had encouraged his husband to join Starfleet; it was his dream! But now he actually saw what Pholin was doing, and what Nelis could've been doing for the past twenty-or-so years. It bugged him. Pholin was just in the fleet for a week before he went down to a planet to save his captain. Nelis had never been on an away-mission in his entire career. Now that was exactly the reason he enlisted, so he wouldn't have to throw away four years of his life to become a "Starfleet officer". He would have responsibilities, he would have to be on the bridge, he would have to go down to planets. Twenty years he was satisfied by that, but his officer Pholin had maybe changed that. :: Nelis D.: oO Soon I will see him, only six more hours... Oo ((Pholin's Quarters - Deck 9, USS Columbia)) ((Time-index: Two hours after the ceremony)) :: It was a strange feeling. Sitting alone in fresh new quarters with a view of a million stars just outside the window. Pholin was lying on his bed glancing through the one window in his new room. The Operations department had arranged Lieutenant's quarters within the hour. Pholin had packed his few belongings and left for Deck 9. He was closer to the science labs now... hurray. He sighed, he had been trying not to think about it for the entire hour he had been laying there. Exactly 53 minutes ago he received a call from the Denobulan National Waters Organisation, more simply known in the family as "work". :: :: Both his parents and his single brother were in the Navy, all on the submarine Pak'cha, and had been for way too long. Pholin hated any large bodies of water, which in his childhood quickly determined he was not fit for the Navy. Of course, his parents had been devastated. Family tradition, and all that. Luckily, his smaller brother was happy to join and so the tradition lived on. Three happy Denobulans were under the water 27 hours a day for 6 months at a time. His father was the captain, so he stayed on the entire year. Now, since it was winter all three of them were happily sailing the seas currently. :: :: Emphasis on were, past tense. The DNWO wasn't just here to chat: the Family Spokesperson had informed him that the Pak'cha had gone missing in the line of duty. Assumed lost. No sign of the ship on any sensors. The moment the woman on the screen said that, his head started spinning, he was disoriented, he was confused. Pholin listened to the woman but didn't respond. His brain had turned itself off. Pholin didn't speak, Pholin didn't cry, Pholin was just there. The woman said she would be calling back and ended the call, leaving Pholin alone. :: :: So, that meant: lying alone on a bed for 53 minutes. His night shift had actually already started, but he had called in sick. He was told to report to sickbay but didn't want to. They'd see him being in this state, he would have to talk to a counselor. He would have to think about his family. He would have to realize that they were not there. They were gone. No way to contact them. No sign that they were anywhere near Denobula. They could've been eaten by ka-cheeys. They could have drowned. A tear streamed down his face. Two more followed, then it didn't stop. His entire life had he been with his family, and now it could all be gone. :: Duyzer: oO Ti kalem ra-gundai ah? Oo (Am I alone?) :: The Denobulan had begun to realize what had been told fifty... four minutes ago. He did not like it, he wanted to change it. Pholin looked in every corner through his window hoping that - somehow - Nelis would be there. He didn't want to be alone. He had been missing Nelis for ... about two years. The ship he was posted on was highly-classified, so much so that Pholin didn't even know what ship or class of ship he was posted on. The poor fellow hadn't gotten any shore-leave until last month. He wanted to hug him and cry in his arms. :: Duyzer: oO Soon I will see him, only a couple of months... Oo
  13. (( Gym 1, Deck 9, USS Montreal )) :: Shin exited his quarters a took a deep breath. It was his first day off since he had arrived on board the USS Montreal and their first mission was at its end. Today he had full freedom to do what he wanted, from what was available to do on a starship. He straightened up his orange tracksuit and then headed for the gym. A good workout was exactly what he wanted, and if he was lucky, a good sparring match as well.:: :: He wasn’t sure how gymnasium one and two differed so he headed to the first to scope it out. It had a track space and most the equipment he wanted to use so he decided to check on the second gym later. First, he started with an active warm up with some dynamic stretching, then he moved on to some stagnant warm-up stretches. Once his muscles felt warmed up and his joints were loosened he was ready to start his workout. The gym was empty which helped him get into mind and position. He grabbed a set of five-pound dumbbells and started to do a boxers calisthenic routine.:: ((Corridor, Deck 9, USS Montreal)) ::Lael strode at a brisk pace through the corridor dressed in her typical workout outfit of black yoga pants, white and pink running shoes, and her sleeveless gray “Starfleet Academy Alumni” shirt, her hair pulled back in a somewhat messy bun. The dark circles that had formed around her eyes from the sleepless nights she’d endured for her first month as first officer were beginning to fade now. Once the dust had settled from the pirate situation and she’d reported in for a mandatory follow-up in Sickbay, Chythar had threatened to invoke his role as CMO if she didn’t get a good night’s rest. A hot meal and she’d crashed hard, exhausted from the stress.:: ((Gym 1, Deck 9, USS Montreal)) ::She stepped through the open doors, her gaze drawn to an Asian man by the free weights. After a moment of studying him, she turned away and moved toward the mats. She started with a few quick stretches, mostly so she didn’t risk pulling something, before looking toward the salmon ladder she’d custom designed and enlisted the help of a couple Engineering crewman to actually build it. She’d gotten approval, of course.:: ::The piece of equipment had a solid metal bar running horizontally from metal vertical beam to the other with notches to move the bar higher. The frame itself was twice her height and made of duranium. It was still one of her favorites, helping her to keep up both her upper body and core strength, both of which were critical in martial arts.:: ::She grabbed the fingerless grip gloves laying near it and slid her hands into them before jumping up to grip the bar, her feet dangling just above the ground. Once she was certain of her grip, she propelled herself upward with a soft grunt, using her momentum to move the bar up to the next rung. Once there, she hung for a moment before repeating the process with the next rung. By the fifth rung, her chest was heaving, sweat running down the sides of her face and down her neck and arms.:: :: Shin paid little mind to the first officer when she entered the gym. She seemed to observe him as he finished his routine for a moment but then proceeded to her own workout. He completed his one, two, three, jab, punch, cross, combo while holding the five-pound weights. Then he finished his routine with a rotation of squats and uppercuts. Once he was done with his whole routine Shin stood up straight and stretched his back some while controlling his breathing. Next, he removed the tracksuit top and set it on the bench nearby. He had a pair of workout thermals on underneath his suit and he was beginning to sweat a lot with both layers on.:: :: He observed the commander as she hoisted her self up the rungs on the ladder, the last time he had used a device like the one she was on he was about eighteen and on the beach in California on Earth. It looked like a good workout and she was nearly at the top so he decided to wait for her to finish so he could try his hand at it. He didn’t want to stand there staring at her though so he started doing some light shadow boxing on the open mat while he waited.:: Shin: oO I wonder how good a fighter Commander Rosek is. Oo :: Shin amused himself with a daydream of sparing with the commander and winning with ease while he practiced his form through shadowboxing. He hadn’t noticed but his imaginings had caused him to crack a wide smile and become a bit offbeat in his movements.:: ::Having reached the top rung, she released the bar and dropped gracefully to the deck. Despite her surgeries and injuries, she only needed one nearly unnoticeable shift in her balance to maintain her footing. Her chest heaved, her arms, face, and neck covered in sweat as she went first for the towel hanging from the side of the metal ladder, patting her face. She then stopped to take several small drinks from the water bottle sitting upright beside it. She must have been more worn down than she thought because a moderate run on the nearby treadmill was already sounding more appealing than her free weight routine.:: ::She grimaced, heading for the racks where they were head, grabbing a pair of 15 pound weights, one in each hand, before beginning reps that combined standing dumbbell flys with bicep curls. It wasn't the most fluid looking combination, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She wanted to lose herself in the burn, hoping it would distract her from the racing thoughts that had been plaguing her since the last mission. Gradually, the repetitive movements lulled her away from the negative thoughts, focusing her on the task at hand.:: :: Shin became aware of his daydreaming and smile when Lael landed at the end of her exercise. He quickly put on a more serious face and focused on his movements, while glancing at her any time he faced her direction. Once she had moved on to a new exercise he stopped his shadow boxing and headed over to the ladder himself. He took a few drinks from his bottle of water while he looked the device over a moment.:: :: He set down his bottle of water and made sure everything was set and ready to use then paused a moment wiping his hands on his clothes to keep them dry. Next, he jumped and took hold of the bar and ensured he had a tight grip. Then he hoisted himself up with a strong pull and landed the bar on the next rung. He tried to immediately drive himself up to the next and nearly missed the rung having not generated quite enough momentum. Shin took a breath and then continued up that ladder at a controlled pace.:: Shin: oO Oh,man I am out of shape. Oo :: He thought to himself.:: :: He could feel a noticeable difference in his condition and strength since the last time he had gotten a good workout. The busy work days had eaten heavily into his fitness time. He was now near the end but breathing much more heavily than wanted to, and much more loudly than the commander had in her workout on this device. It was making him self conscious due to his competitive nature, when he got to the last rung he forced himself out of sync and tried to end the workout faster. He was able to land the right-hand end of the bar on the rung but slipped the last and within a second he found himself fall back first to the ground.:: ::She’d noticed the man making his way over to the salmon ladder out of the corner of her eye, smirking and shaking her head as she returned her attention to the readouts on the treadmill before her gaze lifted to the far wall. Her thoughts drifted to Earth and the Christmas feast she was going to miss at the Kincade keep for the third year in a row. She hadn’t been there for Christmas in far too long.:: ::She sighed heavily. The Kincades had been like a second family to her, showing her what family should be like. They were far from perfect and squabbled their fair share like any other family. She chuckled as she recalled from the last Christmas she’d spent with them how Elina had chased her brothers around the Great Hall, threatening to chop their ears off if they didn’t give back her claymore. The two mischievous men, still children in their hearts, had apparently snuck into her room while Lael, Elina, and Becky had been out hunting in the forests near the keep earlier that day.:: ::The Kincade siblings seemed to never tire of playing practical jokes on one another. She recalled another visit where she and Elina had let loose a red squirrel in Douglas’s room while he slept. They’d nearly died laughing when he’d yelped loudly and come flying out of his room, stumbling over his feet in an attempt to get away. Douglas had hated squirrels ever since.:: :: Shin ensured to hold the bar in a way that would prevent it from hitting his face, and then he used the falling technique he had been taught in his martial studies when he landed on the ground.:: Shin: Akha! :: He made an awkward sound as he landed with a solid thud.:: ::She turned at the sound and slowed the treadmill, covering her mouth, her amusement clear. Once she’d managed to get her laughter under control, she moved in his direction, offering him a hand as she approached to help him up.:: Shin: I’m ok. :: He said as soon as he noticed Lael.:: :: Shin accepted the commander's help and took her hand. Together they pulled him up from the ground. Shin looked at her and then at the bar on the floor.:: Shin: I’m a little out of shape. :: He said to her in a matter of fact style.:: Normally this thing would be no problem. ::She arched an eyebrow. She couldn’t tell if the man was trying to impress her or if he was just that confident. Not a single Human she knew could tackle her salmon ladder and even then, only a few non-Humans could. Her Al-Leyan strength had allowed her to overcome the more challenging aspect, though admittedly it had taken a great deal of practice to do so.:: Rosek: No problem, huh? Shin: No, not at all, normally this thing would have been a warm-up if anything. :: He replied, believing the [...]y words to be true as he said them.:: Rosek: ::grins, shaking her head:: I won’t think any less of you, Lieutenant, I promise. ::glances up:: I did construct the last rung rather high up. ::meets his gaze:: Only after I discovered the extent of my physical abilities. I needed a bit more of a challenge. :: Shin looked up to the last rung, he hadn’t noticed but it was a rather high climb. Still he felt that he could have gotten to the top and back had he not been so out of sync with his fitness lately.:: Shin: So it is. ::beat.:: Come to think of it I didn’t see one on the USS Wyoming. Rosek: ::lays a hand on the frame:: They don’t really come standard in starship gyms unfortunately. I wish in a way that they did. Shin: I see, in a way, I was thinking of setting up some specialized exercises. :: He motioned to the pads on the far side of the gym room.:: I’ll need people though. ::beat.:: Maybe I should start a martial arts class, where the crew can share their martial knowledge and skills through sparring.. Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: Commander Delano had something like that set up back aboard the Veritas. It would be good for non-security and non-tactical personnel to have more advanced combat training. (( Gym 1, Deck 9, USS Montreal )) Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: Commander Delano had something like that set up back aboard the Veritas. It would be good for non-security and non-tactical personnel to have more advanced combat training. Shin: That is true. I just like to learn and practice. ::beat.:: I’m sure there are members of the crew who have much more effective tactics than the academy course. Rosek: ::nods and smiles:: The basics they teach at the Academy are useful, but in regions like the Shoals, you almost need more than that. It’s far from a cakewalk out here. Shin: That's one reason I took this assignment, I was hoping for more excitement in my career. ::She grinned wryly, shaking her head. She'd had more than enough excitement in her career, thank you. Between her time in the other universe and her first and subsequent missions aboard the Victory, she'd experienced more than most officers twice her age. Her father liked to say she was an old soul and she felt it some days.:: Rosek: ::murmurs:: Excitement is overrated. Shin: So I assume ya know a bit about martial arts then? Since there was a similar class on your last ship. :: Shin looked the Lael over as he spoke. He couldn’t help to crack a small smile which he quickly covered up with a smirk and a nod in an attempt to appear cool.:: Rosek: ::shrugs:: I've been practicing Jiu-jistu since I was five. Shin: Oh really? Feel like testing your skills? ::She arched an eyebrow, studying the jay-gee security officer for a moment before smiling in return.:: Rosek: If you think you can handle me. :: Anytime Shin found himself around a fit and confident person he couldn’t help but to get a little curious and competitive with them.:: Shin: I’m sure I can manage. ::Tossing the towel down onto the bench, she smirked at him and moved toward the open space of the mats, stretching before dropping down into the familiar stance.:: :: Shin responded in kind, choosing to wait for her to make the first move before acting himself.:: ::They circled each other at first, Lael watching his posture and movements for weaknesses. Her initial punches were half-hearted jabs really only intended to provoke a response. After a few moments, she changed it up with a couple of kicks aimed at first for his shins and then for his knees, testing his balance.:: :: Shin didn’t really know whether she was just messing with him or trying to gauge him with her initial strikes. He decided to test her in his own way. While moving around one another he had noticed a moment she often repeated in a certain step, he attempted to use his brute force to strike at her inner thigh as he was taught in his sumo classes in japan. He quickly learned that she was much faster than he thought.:: ::The attempted strike caught her by surprise, but she recovered quickly, dodging it. In the same movement, she got behind him and delivered a jab to his shoulder only intended to throw him off balance before backing off and again assuming her stance as she waited for his response.:: :: The strike to his shoulder had thrown his momentum forward more than he had wanted which he tried to fix by falling into a low sweep kick that in his mind had seemed tactical but once he had turned he only felt foolish. She had already moved out of his reach. He tried to hide the embarrassment from his face as he stood up and took a boxing stance and started in at her once more with a set of jabs and punches.:: ::She blocked each with precision, watching his hands closely all the while aware of the rest of his movements. When he leaned forward to deliver his next punch, she again spun behind him jammed her foot into the back of the his knee before delivering another jab to his shoulder.:: :: Shin fell forward face first into the mat and then rolled to the side as fast as he could. He turned again and stood up taking his stance again and waiting for her to come to him.:: Shin: Hoo, your tricky. Rosek: ::shrugs:: I picked up some Al-Leyan moves and a Magna Roman combo or two. ::smirks:: Got to keep you on your toes. Shin: Don’t know much aside from Earth arts. Never needed anything else. :: He replied with a very [...]y tone.:: ::She nodded, trying to determine her next move. She didn't want to put him on the mat every few moves as that was no fun for her. His skills didn't seem to quite match his confidence. She went for light jabs mostly, intended to throw him off balance, but not to floor him.:: :: Shin gathered that she was probably going to continue showing him up in a standing fight so he watched and waited for a moment to grab her. When he saw his chance he grabbed her right hand out of a jab and tried to step in and trip her to the ground.:: ::The move surprised her and she let out a gasp. Her left knee locked up and she found herself falling to the mat, staring at the ceiling, dazed and confused.:: :: The fact that his plan had worked so well threw him off and he lagged in a follow through response. Shin tried to bring himself down and pull her arm out into an armlock but by the time he tried to continue with his attack she had seemed to regain herself.:: ::Her mind quickly caught up as he tried to subdue her with an arm, but she was able to dodge his grip and grab his arm, using his own weight and momentum against him to flip him over her shoulder to the mat behind her. She rose to her feet, dropping into stance as she readied herself for his next attack. When he was back on his feet, she went at him with a series of punches, most of which he managed to block. Just to keep things interesting, after a feigned punch, she wrapped her leg around his at the knee and tugged.:: :: Shin was growing a little frustrated, he was sure he was red in the face by now, he was not only flustered but was using much more energy than he knew he should. He wasn’t sure is the people he had sparred with in the past were just awful or if she was just much more skilled than he had thought. Even in the academy he had performed better than this, he felt it was as though he was in slow motion to her.:: :: When she locked her leg around his and pulled he noticed a distinct lack of force. He had expected a much stronger pull. He was convinced she was going easy on him now which made him grow even more competitive. He quickly took advantage of his opening and bear hugged her around her middle catching her right arm in the lock. Next he threw all his weight into the two legs that were locked in an arcing motion which heaved the both of them onto the floor. Next he turned until her was on top of her with his body over her head and upper body with his chest to hers and his feet sprawled out on his toes as he was taught to do. He had only one arm pinned and wasn’t able to fully lock his grip however so he squeezed with great strength hoping that it would be enough to make her tap soon.:: ::Her chest heaved as she stared up at him. His grip hurt, but she'd felt worse pain. She was still in a slight daze after landing on her back, the force of the fall knocking the air momentarily from her lungs. She'd underestimated him and he'd taken advantage of her moment of weakness. A slight flush filled her cheeks as she realized how this could look to people walking in and she worried her lower lip a moment before allowing her body to relax, hoping he would pick up on the nonverbal gesture of surrender.:: :: Shin waited a few seconds and then realised he was not getting any resistance from her so her let up to check and make sure he hadn’t hurt her on accident.:: Shin: You okay? :: He asked through his heavy breathing.:: ::She rose to her feet, still feeling a bit vulnerable from the quick pin. She wondered if it had even occurred to him. Granted, not everyone would make the assumption that it was anything more than a sparring match. But she had no desire to find out for certain.:: Rosek: ::blushes and murmurs:: I'm fine. It was just a bit... awkward is all. :: Shin stayed on his knees and caught hit breath as they spoke. Although he still felt embarrassed he wasn’t really sure why anymore. He did as he always does and played off his emotions with a cool attitude.:: Shin: I’m sorry, was I too rough? Rosek: ::shrugs:: I've had far worse. You just caught me off guard is all. I got distracted. :: Saying he had just caught her off guard confused him, he was certain that she had just been going easy on him and he wanted to show her that it wasn’t necessary.:: Shin: Everyone gets lucky right? :: He tried to joke with her.:: Rosek: ::smiles wanly:: And everyone gets unlucky, too. I guess that’s what I get for underestimating you. :: Her statement served as an instant ego boost for him, which put him in a better mood. He stood up and offered her a hand shake.:: Shin: I look forward to our next match, Commander. ::She grinned, grabbing his offered hand. It hadn’t been quite the match she was expecting, but it was a nice change of pace. It got boring if she won every match, after all. Shin kept her on her toes and she was interested to see how their next one turned out.:: Rosek: As am I, Lieutenant. We’ll certainly have to do this again sometime. :: Shin smiled at her and then headed over to where he had left his towel and track suit top. He wiped himself down with his towel and then did a few ending stretches before grabbing the rest of his stuff and heading for the shower door. He hadn’t planned on sparing when he started his day, he felt he may have pushed himself too hard this time. His shoulder was kind of hurting. He decided to head to sickbay after his shower to have it examined.:: --- Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek Executive Officer USS Montreal, NCC-64927 I238110RH0 & Lieutenant JG Kawakame Shin Security/Tactical Officer USS Montreal NCC-64297 V239503TD0
  14. An excellently written joint post by @G'var, @Geoffrey Teller, and @Cole Maxwell showing the evacuation of the USS Veritas (( FLASHBACK - Sickbay, USS Veritas )) ::The panels and instruments in sickbay beeped and chirped softly as the medical staff continued about the business of their rounds. The few patients occupying the biobeds were all well out of danger and required little more than observation at this point to ensure they were all thoroughly healed. MedTechs checked readouts while the CMO sat in his office, updating casualty reports now that the crisis of the Artemis had passed. One patient, a short, red haired Ensign, was busy dismantling a molecular imaging scanner and spreading the parts on an unoccupied biobed next to his. :: Teller: oO I’m running out of stuff to take apart in here. Can’t believe I’ve got to sit it out while the rest of the Engineering team has to glue the ship back together. I didn’t get blown up THAT badly. Oo Teller: Hey Doc, if you let me out of here, I’ll find you a polarization inhibitor for this thing ::he gestured vaguely towards the pile of inert components:: should give you much better resolution than the stock model. :: Cole was conferring with a nurse about the reports while he sat at the desk and heard the Chief Engineer’s yell from the main room. He looked over to see Teller had taken apart a scanner. He took a deep breath and sighed with annoyance. :: Maxwell: oO Just another hour… Oo Maxwell: ::forcing a grin:: While I appreciate that Chief, I’d prefer if you didn’t go looking for things to tear apart anymore. You’ll be able to go back to work in about an hour. Teller: I appreciate you being thorough but come on, it was internal bleeding. ::Smirking:: That’s where the blood is supposed to be! And it’s not like I haven’t got a spare lung. Who needs two anyway? ::Teller laughed as Maxwell scolded him with a look, then turned back to the pile of components. He began to whistle a tune but before he could get two notes out, the deck was washed in the blue of disaster alarms. Teller was momentarily transported back to the interior of the Odyssey and his heart skipped a beat. The Captain’s voice on the Comm only partially snapped him out of his remembering:: Rahman: =/\= All hands, this is the Captain. Proceed to the nearest escape pods and Abandon Ship. I repeat, all hands Abandon Ship. This is not a drill. =/\= ::Teller dropped the components in his hand and froze in shock for a moment.:: :: Cole rose from his desk and instinct took over. He’d drilled for a starship evac at the academy and the procedures were drilled into his consciousness. Rushing in to sickbay from the office, the medical officer started giving orders. :: Maxwell: We’ve got three patients, let’s get them stabilized and prepped for evac. ::to Nurse Imari:: Imari, contact the shuttlebay and confirm we’ve got a shuttle ready to go. ::to another Nurse:: Get the emergency evacuation supplies out of storage and get them down to the shuttlebay. ::to Teller, with a knowing smirk:: Chief, looks like you’re coming with us right now. Teller: oO Not again. Please not again. Oo :: Cole jogged over to the main LCARS interface and began downloading a copy of the medical database as a backup, along with any files containing specialized medicine or treatments the crew needed. He hoped the replicator on the shuttle would suffice for making anything they might need. :: ::Teller looked around in a mild daze, paralyzed for a moment by shock and confusion. He tried and failed to go in several directions at once and settled for pulling off his hospital gown and grabbing a uniform jacket out of a nearby locker. The parts of his mind not reeling in shock took stock of the cabinet and he began throwing equipment into a gear bag hurriedly as the staff in sickbay went to their stations and began doing the same. Doctor Maxwell coordinated the frantic efforts like a trained orchestra conductor. Moments later, A fierce Security Ensign ran into the room, already with several people in tow :: ::As G'var entered Sickbay she was greeted by the same chaos as in the Corridor. G'var watched as the Ship’s Medical staff frantically ran from cabinet to drawers, cramming whatever they could into kits and packs. Scanning the room G'var could see Doc Maxwell right in the middle giving orders to the staff and trying to keep the chaos moving as orderly as possible.:: G’var:::striding over to Maxwell::- Doctor! One of your staff flagged us down in the corridor, said you needed help evacuating Sickbay. ::motioning to Bicondova and IA:: We came to help out, what do you need us to do? :: Cole looked up from the console again. He’d been answering questions and furiously trying to get people focused while dismissing non-essential personnel to the escape pods. It was taking everything he had to remain calm in the face of danger. Now that G’var was here, the doctor grinned knowing he had even more help. But then he saw she had the Orion woman in tow and the grin vanished. :: Maxwell: G’var, you two grab a gurney and help her ::motioning to one of the patients in sickbay:: onto it. She should be stabilized and ready for transport. Teller: Are we under attack? Is it the Tholians?! ::G'var could see the CHENG was agitated, he was wearing his uniform a little crooked and his hair was unkempt::: G’var: oO hope the CHENG is good to go, this must be one rough wake-up.Oo G'var: Negative CHENG, there have been no secondary explosions or decompressions, from what I was able to gather in the Security Center it appears to be an internal problem with the deuterium supply. IA:::sauntering up to Teller::-Darling!!! There’s not a Tholian within a parsec of the ship.::giggling:: You've just run out of fuel, and we’re all about to suffocate. ::Holding her hand out to Teller:: Now why don't you just take Mistress IA’s hand and i’ll fly you right off this heap. Teller: ….your voice sounds real familiar….you’re the woman from the damn interceptor! IA:::doffing a hand in recognition::-indeed ::beat:: you can address me as her Most Magnificent, Mistress IA. Can I Autograph something for you? :: Cole heard a beep and grabbed the PADD with the newly downloaded database backup. He grabbed his own medkit and stuffed the PADD inside. Walking over to IA and Teller, Cole pulled out a hypospray with the pheromone suppressant and jammed it into the Orion woman’s neck. :: IA:::Rubbing her neck::-Noy Jitat! ::leering at Maxwell:: I didn't know you liked the rough stuff Doctor, after we get of this dump, show a girl a good time. Maxwell: ::shrugging:: You were due for a top off. ::G'var gave Doc Maxwell a silent Thumbs up as he re-inoculated IA. From the corner of her eye G'var could see that Teller was hurriedly trying to back a carry all with whatever would fit. G'var could sense the apprehension and nervousness radiating from the CHENG. She was just about to say something when she saw Doc Maxwell begin to step over.:: :: Cole saw that Teller was still frantic. He put the hypo back in the medkit and grabbed the red haired man’s shoulders. He then brought his eyes down to the Chief’s level. :: Maxwell: Teller! We’re going to be fine. I need you to focus for just a few minutes. Alright? Teller: Huh?! Oh...right Doc. Sorry. Alarms got my nerves a little jangled, I’m alright. ::Teller looked around, his heartbeat thunderous in his ears. Staff were pulling themselves together quickly and professionally. Teller tried to calm his breathing but couldn’t entirely squelch the sensation of panic. The lack of a clear task and his own recent experiences were compounding his indecision badly:: Teller: oO This is too much like the nightmares. I do NOT want to hurtle off another doomed ship this week. Not doing that again. Oo :: Cole hoped that sedating the Chief Engineer wouldn’t be necessary, but kept the idea in the back of his mind. Looking around, he saw everyone seemed to be ready. :: Maxwell: Alright people, let’s move! Shuttlebay! ::G'var took an over laden pack from one of the staff and quickly threw it across her back. Motioning Bicondova over, G'var squatted down and took hold of the gurney. Bicondova huffed as the back she was carrying shifted and she nearly tipped over. G'var nodded approvingly as she shifted her gait and kept her balance. Together the two lifted the unconscious Crewman off the floor.:: G'var:IA! ::Nodding to a pile of medical equipment:: Make yourself useful and take something with you. IA: Darling, I don't lift, I supervise. Teller: I saw the state of your ‘ship.’ lady - that thing made a Tellarite garbage scow look well managed. IA:::haughtily::-Fine..::Shouldering a Pack and picking and a case.:: Let’s get this show on the road. Teller: Now that said I couldn’t help but notice you’ve got a fine singing voice - don’t suppose you know any Orion pirate shanties? I’d love to learn a new one! ::Mistress IA rolled her eyes at the smirking Ensign as they headed into the hallway of the dying ship:: ((Turbolift 6, USS Veritas)) ::The ride down to deck 9 had been interesting G'var was thankful the power held out long enough to get everyone and everything down from Sickbay. With all Escape pods launched from Deck Six, the Shuttlebay was now their egress point. As they made their way to the shuttlebay, G'var stripped off her equipment pads, clicking out of the last strap, she smiled slightly, the pads had protected her one last time climbing out of the lift tube, the car having stopped halfway between decks 8 and 9. :: (( Corridor - Deck 9, USS Veritas )) ::Teller, G’var, Doctor Maxwell and party headed to the shuttlebay as the ships lights flickered around them. Teller could hear systems failing and rerouting, the dip and hum of the power system struggling vainly to meet demand. Teller knew that whatever was overwhelming their ship was doing it with shocking speed. Teller tried to open a comm line to engineering but only got static..:: ::As the group hurried through the empty corridor to the shuttlebay, G'var could feel the ship’s systems begin the spin down; the familiar hum of the deck and the buzzing of the bulkheads was fading. To her right the CHENG kept tapping his comm badge trying to raise anyone in Engineering. G'var, prayed to Kahless that there was no one left in Engineering, that were all safely off the ship.:: G'var:::looking to IA::- When we get into the Shuttle I want you to take the Helm, get the ship ready to fly. :: looking her in the eye:: All our lives are in your hands now, you read? IA:::smacking both hands to her chest::-Darlings! I keep telling you, I'm the best Fraking Pilot in the Shoals, you're more safe in my hands than at your mother's breast. ::winking:: Trust me when I say, I have no desire to end my life in a fiery crash on some desolate planetoid. G'var:::smirking::- Now that I can almost believe. ::Teller ground his teeth. The woman’s voice, which at first had seemed so sensuous, was now rapidly becoming exceptionally grating.:: Teller: Could’ve fooled me, way you kept your ship. I’m amazed you lived this long. Maxwell: Let’s focus people. We’re almost there. :: Cole was pushing one of the two gurneys behind the rest of the group to make sure nobody fell behind. He kept his eyes on Teller in particular. :: Teller: oO This is infuriating, something's killing the ship and I’m running through a hallway away from my station. I should be downstairs making sure everybody got out. I’m not making that mistake again. Oo Teller: Computer, Verify that Main Engineering has been completely evacuated? ::The computers reply stuttered and was garbled badly:: Computer: Main Engineering has been ccCCcc evacuated. All on-duty personnel have reported to theEEeEEeir assigned evacuation stations. Teller: I sure hope that’s true. Wait. Computer, Verify that Crewman Shandres has left the ship? G'var: That girl can't still be on the Ship! Computer: CCCCCCCCCCCCreman Sandresssssss departedddddddd the ship at 15:42 hours in Escapppppe Pod Seventeen Sig... Bicondova:::under her breath::-That girl has more lives than a cat...good luck Taz.::smiling:: ::Teller kept running as the main computer core shutdown. Systems all over the ship were failing to their independent emergency redundancies. He only hoped that whatever affected the ship wasn’t crippling the smaller and more fragile shuttles.:: ::The loss of power was affecting more and more systems, by the time they reached the Shuttlebay, G'var was forced to access the emergency door locks, with power down the doors had to be forced, with everyone’s help they were able to get the doors open enough to allow everyone through.:: (( Shuttlebay 2 )) G'var: Everyone get to the Ferdinand, we’re wheels up in five! ::pointing to the shuttle:: IA get in there and start warming her up. CHENG! ::looking to Teller:: Let's see if we can get those doors open shall we. ::Teller skidded to a halt at the lip of the shuttlebay, a wave of vertigo making him nearly double over. Every instinct was screaming at him to run the other way. He heard G’var’s request from a distance and it was enough to keep moving, but panic was fighting its way to the front of his mind.:: Teller: ….should...yeah...doors...ok. Maxwell: Right! Imari, take Crewman Keller from G’Var and get her loaded. Imari: Yes doctor. :: Cole, his medical team, and the two patients in tow boarded the shuttle. The doctor helped get the two unconscious members of the crew onto the benches and strapped them in. Once done, the team chucked the gurneys out of the shuttle and onto the bay floor. The nurses and techs were securing the medical supplies and Cole took scans of the two patients again. :: ::Teller jogged over to the control station and with shaking hands began the departure sequence. An alarm echoed through the bay and the great doors began sliding upwards. The shimmering environment field was flickering, dangerously close to collapse. Teller frantically tried to pull up a ships diagnostic but the panel went dead under his hands. In frustration, he punched the panel hard enough to make his knuckles bleed:: ::As the Medical Staff strapped in the injured Crew. G'var moved to the cockpit. Taking the co-pilots seat G'var was impressed by how quickly and expertly IA was getting the ship ready. Perhaps her earlier boast had some truth to it.:: G'var:::turning to Bicondova::-I want you to stay with the Medical Team, make sure they have what whatever they need and keep them and yourself safe. Now go back and strap in this could get bumpy. Bicondova:::Giving a quick salute with her rifle::- Aye Aye Ma’am! ::Teller jogged to the shuttle, but each step seemed to make his legs heavier and his heartbeat louder. He knew he had to get off the crippled Veritas but the animal part of his mind was gnawing at itself with panic. Hesitating at the boarding ramp, his hand went to his recently healed left side. He could feel his breath again growing short and his chest throbbed with imagined pain. Teller slumped into the crew chair just inside the door heavily and desperately tried to stop hyperventilating:: Teller:: oO Just can’t trust these little buckets in an emergency. Anything could happen. Oo ::As Bicondova went to the rear, G'var turned to IA.:: G'var: Can you fly this ship? All our lives are in your hands now, don't let us down. IA:::Laughing::- That was one hells of a pep talk Ensign ::sensually stroking the flight controls:: Don't worry Darling, I'm about to make love to this big boy, strap in ::beat:: tight. You're in for one hellova show. G'var:::placing her face in her palm::-Just get us on the ground in on piece. Maxwell: ::Aloud.:: Alright we’re good to go back here. ::towards the flight controls:: What’s the hold up?! IA:::Pressing a control on the console::-Nothing My pretty, just setting the mood.:: :: Cole rolled his eyes and let out a breath of frustration. :: Maxwell: oO It’s always SOMETHING! Oo ::As IA powered on the engines and began to raise the shuttle from the deck a strange melody began playing over the internal speakers.:: Foghat:...Slow ride...Take it easy… :: Cole smiled without realizing it when he heard the song. :: Maxwell: oO Foghat? Oo G'var:::reaching for the mute button::-what is this Noise, Focus on flying. IA:::slapping G'var’s hand away::-Pilot picks the music ::beat:: shotgun shuts her cake hole.::winking and smacking her lips as G'var:: Hold On Back There this is gonna be ::throwing yoke forward:: bumpy! ::Everyone lurched backwards as the inertial dampeners struggled to keep up with Mistress IA’s suicidally aggressive piloting. Hastily piled gear shifted around the cabin as people struggled into whatever seats they could find. The bay vanished in a rush behind them moments before numerous alarms began blaring from the cockpit:: IA:: Oh my. It seems we’re using fuel at an alarming rate, darlings. ::Teller looked up at the alarm in the woman's voice:: Teller: What? This thing should be good for hundreds of light years! IA: ::purring:: Perhaps you’d like to explain that to our fuel reserves. Oops. Too late. There they go. ::Everyone watched in muted horror as the moon filled the viewport window completely. The shuttle continued inexorably downwards as systems, starved of power, failed one after another. Using what remained in the shuttles attitude control system, Mistress IA pointed the craft in the general heading their failing sensors suggested was shared by numerous escape pods. Buffeted from side to side, crew, patients and gear were thrown violently around the shuttles interior as the atmosphere thickened around the craft. The slight whistle of atmosphere turned into a deafening howl as people fought to hold on. Emergency lighting flickered and sparked as the uncontrolled descent wrought destruction on the delicate electronics of the shuttle. In the dark, someone wept. IA: ::pouting: I said no flaming death! This is what I get for being a good girl! Hrmph. ::The clouds parted and the viewport briefly filled with glimmering seas and verdant green jungle. A turquoise sea sparkled to the horizon and a string of small islands was visible nearby. The onrushing ground rapidly filled their perception as the shuttle began shearing through treetops hundreds of meters off the ground. One burning nacelle was torn away as the tumbling shuttle plowed into the landscape, coming to rest at the end of a smoking, half kilometer gouge.:: ((Crash site - Day 0 - Limbo)) ::The remains of the shuttle sparked and popped in the smoldering black soil of the island. Nearby animals angrily hooted and squawked as they fled from the noisy intruder. In places, the jungle burned openly. Several columns of black smoke rose above the treetops from other nearby landing sites as streaks of light in the sky heralded the imminent arrival of more evacuees. Sonic booms rolled over the water from the numerous hurtling craft. The shuttle hull itself clicked and popped as it cooled. A momentary shower of sparks from the rear of the craft dispersed as the heavy metal hatch was explosively jettisoned by one of the few remaining emergency systems. Oily black smoke poured from the shuttle as crewmen staggered out, half blinded by the brilliant sunlight and coughing violently from the fumes.:: ::Teller winced as he dragged his gearbag towards the hatch, certain something in his arm or shoulder was badly out of alignment. He hoped it was only dislocated.:: Teller:: oO Never getting in one of these things ever again. Never. Oo ::G'var carefully disengage the safety harness, bracing her arm against the Flight console she slowly stood. Beside her IA lay unconscious, her chin resting on her chest. Reaching her hand to the Orion's neck, G'var found her pulse, her breathing steady. G'var let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. Looking back into the shuttle, she could see others beginning to get to their feet.:: IA:::gently covering G'var’s hand::-Why Ensign ::beat:: I didn't know you cared. G'var:::retracting her hand::-You're awake, that's good ::beat:: are you injured ::beat:: can you move? IA:::standing shakily::-I’m fine Ensign ::Turning to the back:: Go see to them. ::As G'var moved to help the others IA called back over her shoulder.:: IA:Remember Darling ::beat:: Big Shiny Medal made of Latinum! G'var:oO Yeah :: beat:: she’s fine.Oo :: Cole had been taken a spot on the shuttle’s floor and had tried to help brace the unconscious patients as the craft crash landed. In the process, his head flew back upon impact with the surface and banged into the shuttle bulkhead. The bright light from the open hatch brought him back to some semblance of consciousness, but pain throbbed in his head and his vision was blurry. :: Maxwell: Huh.. what? ::He shook head to try and clear the daze, but while it helped his vision the pain only intensified.:: Maxwell: oO Got… to… get out… Oo ::Cole was able to grab one of the benches and get to his feet. He instinctively clutched at the back of his head due to the pain. When he brought the hand back into view, his fingers were red.:: Maxwell: oO Damn… Oo :: The doctor looked around and saw that the rest of the crew were making their way out of the shuttle. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Cole followed suit, trying to put the pain aside. But not before stopping to make sure his team and patients weren’t in any critical condition. :: ::Shuffling clear, Teller’s feet sank a bit into the soft soil as he tried to shake the ringing from his ears. Within moments, Mistress IA, G’var and Maxwell also exited the remains of the craft, signaling that no one remained aboard. After seeing to the disposition of his patients, Maxwell and G’var joined Teller at the foot of a nearby tree and tried to take stock of their situation.:: :: The shuttle had come to rest in a small clearing surrounded by what looked like tropical rain-forest. The sky was filled with a large ringed gas giant planet. Cole immediately felt the heat and humidity on his skin. :: Teller: Doc, G’var...I’m glad you made it down mostly in one piece. You ::looking pointedly at IA:: I’m still on the fence about. IA:::Smirking::-I did get us safely to the ground Mr. Spitfire. Show me a Starfleet pilot whom could do any better.:: Slapping the hull of the shuttle:: You know these Starfleet designs are flying bricks ::beat::..very resilient to abuse ::smiles::. G'var:::raising a brow::-I hate to say she has a point CHENG. Maxwell: ::nodding:: Uh huh… :: Cole was just happy to be on solid ground. He was making every effort not to throw up. :: Teller: Right. Now we get to play the survival game. Instructor at the Academy said it goes like this - seconds, minutes, hours, days- you have to figure out if you’re going to survive the next sixty seconds, then fix those problems, then extend it to ten minutes, then to an hour, and on and on. I’ve got some ideas for a search grid if you’re up for a bit of a hike, G’var. G’var:::stretching::-would love nothing better, we need to find any many other pods and crew as we can. Teller: Doc, if you’d be willing, I think you’re in the best position to get an inventory together, then we can figure out what kind of timeline we’re looking at. ::Teller’s head was swimming. The heat and humidity were oppressive. It was getting difficult to focus and the ground was quite soft.:: Maxwell: ::Nodding and looking around.:: We should probably see about having people make their way here to this clearing since it’s open and we have the shuttes resources. I’ll go make sure the shuttle’s emergency beacon is functioning and begin triage as people arrive. Teller::oO Good that’s good...just need...quick break. Oo Teller: Great. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to pass out for a little while. ::Teller slumped against the tree behind him as Maxwell began examining the mans shoulder and arm with his tricorder.:: Maxwell: Teller! G'var: By Kahless’s Beard! :: The tricorder showed the man’s shoulder was dislocated. :: Maxwell: No ligament damage at least. ::to G’var:: Hold him still. G’var:::Bracing Teller::-Check! got’m Doc! :: The doctor, fighting through his own pain, positioned himself next to the nearly unconscious Chief Engineer and took the man’s arm into his hands. With a silent count to three, Cole rotated the arm quickly to reset the shoulder back into its socket. Teller jumped back to life with a yell of agony. :: Teller: Ungh….can’t a guy take a nap in the jungle? Maxwell: ::trying to smile:: That’s what you get for taking things apart in my sickbay. G’var:::lightly kicking Teller’s foot::-Come on CHENG they ain't pay’n us by the hour. Do some push-ups and you’ll be fine.::smiling:: Teller: ::groaning as he stands:: Well it sure ain’t Risa. ::The three of them took in the balmy tropical clearing with a shared look of trepidation. In the distance, the local animals began to hoot again as birds wheeled high overhead.:: [End] =============================== Ensign G'var Security/Tactical Officer USS Veritas V239511G10 & Ensign Cole Maxwell, M.D. Medical Officer USS Veritas V239512CM0 & Ensign Geoffrey Teller USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0
  15. oO ((Deck 13 - A Strange Experience)) When she could see again, the first thing she saw was herself. She was lying on the floor of Deflector Control, her eyes were shut. Raga was leaning over her, he was mouthing words but made no sound. She looked down at her hands, they were her hands, and she wasn't frightened but she couldn't help but wonder if she was alive or dead. A voice answered her. Prao: Still poking around in places you shouldn't be, eh Jojo? She spun around. Only one person called her that. It was unmistakably the voice of her deceased brother. Kiliak: Prao? How is this possible? He smiled, but then turned away. Kiliak chased after him, but he moved with an impossibly fast step. She couldn't catch up. He disappeared into the Turbolift, but when she entered it, the lift was empty. It came to life with a quake and took her up to the next floor. ((Deck 12 - The Kiliak Breakfast Table)) She stepped out of the lift and was engulfed in blackness. As she walked, buzzing lights began to pierce the black veil, vibrating in the black. She looked back for the lift, but it was gone. Her body drifted, helplessly, like seaweed swept up in an unknowable cosmic tide. Just beyond the edge of her sense's peripheries, she knew there were creatures of insatiable appetites lurking, stalking her. A red sun approached her, then with a thunderous crack, split open, pouring forth its golden honey into a cup of Deka tea, its steam rising, twisting, forming the golden blue hues of the Jenatris Cloud. Beside her mother's cup of Deka tea, the morning's Hasperat Stew cools on the breakfast table. A man has come to the door to whisper and to scare them. Jo sees herself slinking low beneath the table. Why is mother crying? But she knows why. Today is the day they learn the rest of the story, they learn what happened to Prao. But she just saw him! He's fine, he's okay! She wants to tell them all, but she cannot find her voice. It was all a lie, it never happened. The man lies, he says Prao was shot down, killed by Gul Multak, and she couldn't believe it then and she was right, she was right, she knew it all along. Then there is another person at the table. She shouldn't be here. The beautiful, dark-eyed alien sits at the breakfast table, her name is all X's and L's but Jo cannot remember her but is sure she knows her from somewhere. They make eye contact there and the woman's eyes widen with surprise, and then Kiliak is falling, falling upwards into the infinite blackness of those eyes. Kiliak screams. ((Deck 11 - In Line at Ashalla Spaceport)) Jo screamed and her vision was blurred with tears. She feebly kicked at her mother's shins with tiny feet, her mother muttered curses Jo had never heard before. The Bajorans around her each stare at the dirt, and everyone knows this feels wrong, other children are crying, other mothers are scolding. The ship is ugly, it looks like it will fall apart before it gets to orbit, it will be too hot inside, she hates it, she hates it, she wants to stay here on Bajor with her friends, with the woods behind her Uncle's house, with the Bickett that sometimes would come to her window for a surreptitious snack. Bajor is all she knows. Her mother places her on the ship's ladder. She doesn't cry anymore. She looks up, and dutifully climbs the rungs. ((Deck 10 - Bajoran freighter Tol'Riki)) Inside the ship it is another ship, one she recognizes, the freighter Tol'Riki, the first interstellar ship she came to truly know backwards and forwards, and there in the [...]pit, she sees herself, a grown woman now. She inhabits this other self, this mirror image, and she leans deeply over a man with a high-ridged nose in the pilot's seat. She places one hand on his chest. He smiles shyly, looking at something else. She looks down at herself, at her body filled with youth and vigor, the memory now like a haunted mirror, a sick wave of envy passing over her for powers now bygone like Moba rotting in the late autumn, here was a woman who was basked in irresistible light and didn't know, who only scratched the surface of learning that she could take whatever she wanted from men. Otti. She has him in this moment, in this simple smile, and she will have him for months, weeks, nights until one hour, an hour when after it passes, never again. Otti: What do you say? You take the copilot chair and see what it's like to drive from up here for once? Kiliak: Just like that, hm? Close the airlocks and make a break for Risa? Kiliak looked out the viewscreen. The station beside them blinked with lights, and traffic of small droids buzzing about. Then the black, pulsing with stars, calling. She looked back at Otti, and he opened his mouth to speak, but the voice wasn't his and the words were all wrong. Otti: Request emergency medical transport directly to sickbay. She has the foreign device in her hand. It didn't make any sense. She looked at her hand and saw she was holding a tacklebox. She looked ahead. There, through the viewscreen. Out there. She could swim to the surface of the River of Stars. She dived. ((Deck 9 - The Frontmost Edge of the USS Atlantis)) It was so ordinary to swim through space, she wondered why she never realized she could do it before. She spun round into a backstroke, looking back at the shore of the ship, her Atlantis, so large and beautiful, and there sitting on the frontmost edge was Captain Brell, wearing a floppy hat and bearing a long, stringed pole. Brell: Oh good, you have it! Just what I need! As Jo sat beside him, Brell selected a lure from the tacklebox and cast his rod into the Cloud. Kiliak: I'm really confused. Are you here? Am I dead? I can't believe what I am seeing. A comet streaks past them, the fiery cobalt light warming Kiliak's face, engulfing her in blue. Brell: The eyes tell capricious lies. Appearances are deceiving. Something is tugging on the line. He reels it in carefully, expertly, coaxing the strength of this unknown nebula swimmer to him with gentle, controlled turns on the reel. But all of a sudden, the line snaps with a flash of lightning. Kiliak looks back at Brell, but it will not be Brell she sees. Gul Multak: You will follow me now, Kiliak Jo. She will run. She will try for the shuttlebay doors. She will not make it there. Leather-faced guards will tackle her to the ground before she makes it to the courthouse door. ((Deck 8 - Cardassian Holding Cell)) These four walls. Tomorrow will be the Gratitude Festival. She will not eat. Gul Multak comes to her door. Gul Multak: Eat, child. You cannot truly expect your pathetic protest will come to anything. Nobody will notice your death. Eat. She will not touch the food. She will look up, through the small viewscreen. She will see herself, in another year, another night, another Gratitude Festival, with friends gathered all around. She will imagine she can fly there with a simple thought. Oo ------------------------------------ Ensign Kiliak Jo Engineering USS Atlantis A239509KJ0 ------------------------------------
  16. ((Captain’s Yeoman’s Office, Deck 2, USS Triumphant)) ::Petra Bjarnadottir-Stoyer had suffered through a rough couple of days. When she’d left their shared quarters after tell Cory she was leaving, it took everything not to turn around and go back, but she knew that she couldn’t. It broke her heart. ::With everything that was going on, Cory avoiding her and Ayiana not coming to her to tell her, she couldn't stay. Captain Brunsig had been wanting her for the Triumphant for a while now, so she took him up on the offer. ::A little separation would be good for everyone involved. ::So, she transferred over and settled in. Her quarters were a lot smaller here than onboard the Gorkon. She didn’t plan on staying in there a lot. The short amount of time she stayed in there the madder she got, spending hours pacing back and forth.:: oO What did I do wrong? Oo ::The words crossed her mind several times over the last couple of days. ::She thought she was a good wife, whatever that meant. She risked her life and career following Brunsig in stealing the Yarahla and searching for the Gorkon. ::Things seemed to be great. Weren’t they? ::But after waking up from the dreamscape, everything went downhill. Cory spoke about what happened, waking up in Ayiana’s arms. That shook her, but Cory assured her there was nothing between them. ::She scoffed as she paced in her rooms. What a fool she was.:: ::A day later, it changed. He came to her and told her that there was something between them. It devastated her in ways she didn’t think it could. ::Her husband and friend. The woman she chose as her maid of honor.:: ::So, they avoided one other, when all three of them knew it wasn’t supposed to end that way. ::Petra wanted to go ask why, but decided to see if someone else would come first. She waited. Nothing. The silence was deafening, the hesitation damning. Cory had been actively avoiding her. She had been keeping tabs on him, the perks of being the Flag Aide to the Admiral. After she found out he had been hurt during one of those darn programs she hated, Petra knew it was time. She visited him in medical, made her choice, and packed at home. ::Something inside her wanted to go back to Cory and shake him until he came to his senses, then drag him to the counselor. She could not to that Ayiana, despite a deep longing to. Her friend hadn’t spoken to her. It tugged at her in places she didn’t realise it could. ::Frustrated she threw the stylus back on her desk and stood up. Throwing her braids back over her shoulder, she stretched.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Why? ::She’d had enough of crying.:: ::She’d cried for the first several days, hiding away inside her quarters on the Triumphant. Brunsig had left her to it; not asking, not disturbing either. But those days were over, buried and forgotten in a mass of pillows and blankets. She refused to shed another tear. She loved Cory; she loved him so much, and this had cut deep and hard, splitting her open. ::Sitting back down, she finished getting everything ready for Captain Brunsig for the morning review.:: ::He’d told her there was a small, impromptu gym set up in the Shuttle Bay. She had to work off this frustration or she would never get to sleep.:: --- (PNPC) Lieutenant Junior Grade Petra Bjarnadottir-Stoyer Captain’s Yeoman USS Triumphant Simmed by Lieutenant @Cory Stoyer Mission Specialist USS Gorkon C239111CS0
  17. Lt. JG Choi Ji-hu, you are hereby charged with the following egregious crime; that you did knowingly, and willfully, elicit prolonged and genuine laughter from this writer, on Tuesday, December 18th, 2395. Upon opening the email, the victim came across the best opening he had ever seen in a sim. HOW DO YOU PLEAD, @aphelion?!
  18. ((Holodeck, USS Columbia)) ::The cold night air bit at the few areas of skin exposed to it as the pin[...]s of light continued their trek across the sky, oblivious to the scattered movements far below. Gusts drove whispers through the trees, sending darkened leaves into a frenzied dance as they rushed to escape the icy fingers of the darkness. Silent bootsteps fell between the equally feverish swirls of grass blades, giving the impression of dark waves moving swiftly across the land.:: ::In the distance, the singular call of a wolf rang out into the night, howling at a non-existent moon with a mournful feel that traveled for miles. The horizon, dotted by white-capped mountain peaks by day, became a darkened sea of green-turned-black in the dark of midnight, hazily fading land into sky.:: ::Despite the chill, droplets of sweat poured down the hooded face as small clouds of breath found manifestation in the night air. Steadily they came, in time with the footfalls that made no noise, allowing the emergence of a rhythm that could only be described as life. As a heartbeat, one foot hit the ground before the other, one breath hit the air before another, over and over again.:: ::Then, the grass came to an end.:: ::The whispers of the night’s wind remained behind him as he looked out into an even darker pool before him. Everything changed when twilight came for it. The robust greens of the world darkened into greys and blacks with little depth, while the black of Hell’s Half Acre became ever darker and ever more the stuff of nightmares. It was on its edge he now stood, as if standing on the edge of the pit of emptiness.:: ::Having stopped, the temperature finally caught up with him. Drenched from the long run, the wind cut deeper and sent more than a single chill through his bones. Nodding to no one but himself, he took a deep breath and launched forward into the lava fields knowing full well what he was getting into. And just as he had more times than he could count as a teen, Vincent began his trek across the sharp, glassy rocks that had long ago transcended time itself.:: ::The uneven ground presented a difficult path by day, rocky, sharp, and unforgiving in the heat of the midday sun. By night, when the lack of human-capable vision in the dark became his biggest weakness, the path grew downright treacherous. Sudden steps, sideways rocks, sharp outcroppings that seemingly didn’t belong, and a definitive lack of anything plainly horizontal made for a challenge well beyond that any obstacle course could. More than once he’d suffered cuts and bruises, sprains and broken bones, among the dark rocks.:: ::But that had never stopped him.:: ::Like so many nights before, the ex-Marine pushed himself. Faster, harder, further; the dark shades of the leaves, and the way the wind moved through them, were left in the distance like a memory while the basaltic rocks of the ancient lava flow encompassed him completely.:: ::Above, the even more ancient points of light dotted across the sky paid no attention at all to the man, nor the haunting past that chased him across the rocks far below.:: TBC CWO 1st Class Vincent ‘Jonesy’ Jones Diplomatic Security Specialist/SFMC Counter-Intelligence USS Columbia As simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Columbia R238605KN0
  19. ((Stoyer’s Quarters, Deck 5, USS Gorkon)) (OOC - This take place after Cory is released from medical.) ::Cory stood outside the door to his quarters. As the last days have shown, he normally would ask where Petra was better heading home. But after everyone has told him it was past time they talked. He did not know what he was going to say, but seeing how mad she was when she came by medical, Cory was not looking forward to this. On top of that, he was sure that the skipper would know what happened and a stern talking to was coming.:: oO Great, that was going to be fun. Oo ::Stepping inside Cory winced a bit. Everything was healed, but sore. Carefully, taking a deep breath he turned and saw Petra moving around the bedroom. He watched her for a moment. How she could look so beautiful with everything going on and looking in the mirror look so rough. Knowing that he was procrastinating talking to her he called out.:: Stoyer: Hey! ::She stepping into the door of the bedroom.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Hi. ::Cory could feel her looking into him. He had done a good job of avoiding her.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: I am glad you are OK. Stoyer: Thanks. Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Welcome. ::Cory had not felt a colder welcome ever. For a warm and passionate woman, she could be very cold and distant if needed.:: Stoyer: I….uh, think we need to talk. ::A smirk cross her face. Cory braced himself for a blast from her. Nothing came, that unnerved him even more.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: What makes you think that? The fact that you lied to me about having feelings for another woman or the fact that you have been avoiding me for days. Or to top it off you tried to get yourself killed on the holodeck. ::Cory hung his head in shame. She was absolutely correct in everything, well except the part about trying to kill himself.:: Stoyer: Look, what happen…. ::Petra cut him off before he could even try.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Cory, don’t. You know I hate it when you use those programs. They are dangerous enough already, so don’t stand there and tell you weren’t trying to hurt yourself. ::Cory shut his mouth.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: I am so mad at you right, I can’t stand it. So say whatever you have to say. I have things to get done. ::Cory looked at her again and noticed something different. This time he noticed there was an extra “pip” on her collar.:: Stoyer: When did you get promoted? ::Petra paused for a second before answering.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Captain Brunsig promoted me earlier today and the Admiral approved it. ::That surprised him. Well, it should not have. Captain Brunsig always respected Petra for her abilities and skill. She was part of the Yaharla Nine and even stood up to him at one of the legal discussion for him trying to take the fall for the entire group.:: Stoyer: Why, would Captain Brunsig promote you? ::Petra crossed her arms over her chest and took a deep breath.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: I was going to tell you. ::an awkward pause.:: I have been transferred to the Triumphant. I am going to be Captain Brunsig’s Yeoman. I am headed over there now. ::Once again the sledgehammer welded by a large angry Gorn hit Cory in the chest. It was everything he could do to stay standing. He looked at her.:: Stoyer: What?? Why? ::Even as he said it, he knew why. He had driven her to transfer. They both agreed that neither of them would hold the other back.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: You know why? I can’t live like this. You are a mess and are not even trying to get help. Stoyer: I’m f…. ::Petra again cut him off.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Don’t even say you are fine. You are avoiding me. You aren't talking to me. You look tired and worn out. You haven’t been eating and sleeping well. Yes, I have been keeping an eye on you. ::With that, Petra reached behind the door and grabbed a shoulder bag. Hoisting it to her shoulder she walked over to where Cory stood and looked him in the eyes. His heart is below his navel.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Cory, I still love you, but you need to get help and get yourself sorted out. You need to get your priorities straightened out. ::Petra reached up and touched his cheek. He felt the warmth of her hand. Her eyes were on the edge of tears.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: The beard does look good on you. Stoyer: Thanks. ::She turned to leave. Looking back at him one more time.:: Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: Let me know what you want to do. ::Her eyes got hard one last time.:: But don’t wait too long. ::Cory nodded and she was gone. He stood there feeling nothing. Everything in him was gone. He stiffly moved to the couch and tried to sit down, but missed the seat and landed on the floor. Looking around at their quarters still felt nothing. He was hollow and numb inside. The tears would not come.:: Lieutenant Cory Stoyer Mission Specialist USS Gorkon C239111CS0
  20. ((Transporter Room 4 - USS Constitution)) ::If one wandered into the rarely-used Transporter Room 4 during the Beta shift, they would spy a lean, lanky and tall Grazerite behind the control console. Day in and day out, he stood there, sometimes running minor diagnostics, sometimes rearranging the layout of the LCARS panels, but mostly he ruminated. And the odd time, one would see him at his journal.:: ::An archaic keepsake, that journal. Hide-bound, tied with silk ties, it was emblazoned in gold leaf on its cover in florid Grazerite cursive - "THE STYLISTIC WRITINGS OF THE ESTEEMED MULLAN-ABHA". See, for when Mullan-Abha wasn't running minor diagnostics or rearranging the layout of the LCARS panels, which honestly didn't take hardly any time at all, then there was nothing else to do. It wasn't like he had responsibility for the prestigious Transporter Room 1 or anything, or even Transporter Room 2, which though not as prestigious, still had its charms.:: ::Mullan-Abha didn't mind, though. Blessed with the calm demeanor and easy temperament of his ancestors, he was content just knowing that he could be depended on if Transporter Room 1 failed. And Transporter Room 2. And Transporter Room 3. All at the same time. It was important work, being quaternary in line as a backup. His parents were proud.:: ::Long story short, Mullan-Abha had a lot of free time on his hands. And he fancied himself a bit of a pithy and sharp-witted writer. Just because he was a docile sort didn't mean his wit wasn't as sharp as a razor - after hours of contemplation, of course. So, when the minor diagnostics had been run, and the LCARS panels had been rearranged, and there was little chance of unexpected transporter users (which, let's be honest, was par for the course in Transporter Room 4), Mullan-Abha would crack out his journal, take out his archaic inked stylus from it's worn groove at the spine of the book, and write a pithy short story or poem. Today, he was hard at work at his latest masterpiece.:: ==== T'WAS THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS - CONSTITUTION EDITION Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the ship Every creature was stirring, because of a blip An Away mission had been planned out with care But before too long the Away teams weren't there The shuttles were jostled but landed in place Despite a rough landing all had gone apace With dust in the air and a cave very near The teams had gone forth without nary a fear When up on the bridge there arose such a clatter The crew were all gone! No-one knew by what manner The sensors were blinded, the probe was no aid Those left behind felt clueless and dismayed An odd old transmission was all that was heard Static and shadows and all else perturbed When what to the crew's efforts finally appear? Exotic machinery spanning the years Temporal displacement was its main aim Sent to the past, this tech must be to blame More rapid than transporters, shuttles, subspace The teams had been whisked to a new time and place! Now Rajel! now, Lystra! now, Yito and Atan! Gone, Mason! Gone, Saveron! And gone Sh'Thelzan! To the past they have gone! To the far land of Earth! The cause is quite dire, please suspend your mirth! The bridge crew did scramble and fight with the scans The static too random, it messed with their plans Commander Blair sat in the big chair ill-eased Too stoic to show just how much it displeased And then, just like magic, they heard very faint Away team transmissions, an image did paint Of their crew safe and sound, if a little bit lost They had to retrieve them, no matter the cost! So what would they do, could they beam them away? The distortions meant that this wasn't the way A feverish effort to hash out a plan Taxed the brain of every woman and man They had to resort to another shuttle But how to avoid a similar muddle? Metaphasics and displacement shield Untested theories with hope of a yield So now with another Away team at risk Activities aboard the ship are quite brisk Except for a locale where all is a bore Here I am stuck in Transporter Room Four I'll watch from afar and hope for the best The action will go to the best and the rest I'll quietly exclaim as they fly out of sight "Good luck to you all, and have a safe flight!" ==== ::Mullan-Abha lowed quietly in humor as he put away his stylus and closed and tied up his journal, slightly embarrassed to be making light of the current situation... but one could never deny their afflatus, no matter how inappropriate. Yes, a pithy writer he was indeed, though he would never dare show his work to others. His journal was for his eyes only, and he would continue to document the lives of the crew around him, so long as he didn't have a minor diagnostic to run or an LCARS panel to rearrange, of course.:: CPO Mullan-Abha Transporter Chief ~as simmed by~ Commander Tanin Kelbi Operations, USS Constitution A239111MT0
  21. First and foremost, I'd like to thank @FltAdml. Wolf for creating this so many years ago. I wish I had known about this a lot sooner! You have made an amazing world within the Star Trek universe and the community at large is so awesome! I've only seen a little on how things work. I have a feeling I've only scratched the surface and I'm so willing to learn more as I grow here IC and OOC. I'm so honored to part of the Community News Team and humbled that you let me become a part of that as well. @Roshanara Rahman and @Mei'konda. I'm so blessed that I came and started my simming experience with you two. You two have taught me so much and I have yet to take it for granted. Thank you for encouraging me to better myself. I've seen such an improvement over the last few months with my sims concerning my actions! I love reading your posts and how you describe every little detail, I can actually picture what the scene looks and feels like! @Sky Blake Thank you for being my mentor and being there when I needed help with a sim. Also sticking around when I had my meltdowns. I'm a hot mess, I know this. haha You've calmed me down so many times when my anxieties flared up and I can't even thank you enough. You always have the right things to say. @Lael Rosek and @Skyfire You two also helped me a ton when I need help and I'm so forever thankful to you guys encourage me to better myself as a person as well as my characters. I don't know what I'd do without you guys. The Veritas and the Montreal has been everything, but boring when we write scenes together! I also want to give a special shout out to @Ayiana. You were such an amazing trainer. Thank you for being the frontrunner in the tips and advice when I was training. I continue to enjoy our chats on Discord. Glad there's someone that's just as nutty as I am. I mean as German is. Second shout outs to @Jalana and @Jo Marshall Thank you so much for my pictures! I know I get distracted and forget to thank you guys so here's a HUGE THANK YOU! haha More shout outs! @CoryCodeRed @Pholin Duyzer @KDrex @Sotak @Tasha MacFarlane @Randal Shayne @Mirra Ezo @Wallace Williams You guys have so much enthusiasm and it keeps mine flowing all the time! Our chats are nothing, but boring. I'm sure I'm missing others. If you don't see your name, don't get offended too much. I'm a scatter brained scientist. And last, but not least... @Groznin Smith You showed me this little rabbit hole back in the beginning of July and I haven't looked back since! Without you inviting me here, my life would be totally different! Much appreciations go to you as well!
  22. ((Main Engineering, Deck 4, USS Montreal)) Galven: ::to Harkrow:: Good idea about the holo-emitters. You and Doctor Skyfire should work out a way to get that going. I’m sure Lieutenant Greyson is around here somewhere. He could help. ::to Anara and Esbrun:: You two follow me. I’ve memorized everyone’s shifts and it’s about time the both of you should be on the Bridge. ::Galven bustled the other ensigns off toward the forward end of Engineering, leaving Cob and Doctor Skyfire momentarily alone at the central console. They shared a look, and then started pulling up information about the status of the ship’s holodecks and what all they’d need to gather to pull off what Cob was already starting to think of as The Big Holo-Defiant Project.:: Harkrow: Now that I’m looking at these schematics, it looks like actually pulling the holo-emitters is going to be more or less a one-person job, and designing the array we’ll need to install them in is going to take computer time but shouldn’t need outside input for... an hour or so, once it’s going? If you’ve got any medical things that need taking care of or want to go assist with the generators, I can comm you when I need a hand. Skyfire: Response Harkrow: Sure, no problem. I can handle this part. Skyfire: Response ::Cob punched in the final sequence of commands to start the array design simulation, and had just hit the button to execute when Lieutenant Commander Rosek came in through the Engineering blast door.:: Rosek: Ensign Harkrow. Harkrow: Commander. I’m just about ready to head down to Holodeck 2 and start pulling out holo-emitters. Something I can do for you? Rosek: Is Lieutenant Thoran around? ::pauses:: I had hoped to meet with the science team and Ensign Anara as well, but… ::motions around:: Harkrow: You just missed all of them, sir. Anara and the science folks headed up to the bridge a few minutes ago, Swenhart and Greyson are going to be getting the spare generators in Cargo Bay 1 up and running, and Lieutenant Thoran… ::Cob looked past the first officer toward Thoran’s office door. He and Crewman Swenhart had been in there for a good few minutes now… Dang it, whatever was going on between Rosek and Thoran, or Thoran and Swenhart, he didn’t want to be anywhere near the middle of it if he could help it. That was going to be a big “if”, apparently.:: Harkrow: Lieutenant Thoran is meeting with someone in his office right now, but I think he and Lieutenant Michaels have a plan to build a couple extra generators from parts; it looks like the spares we’ve got in storage add up to two almost-generators. Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: I see. Then I’ll just leave you all to it down here. Harkrow: Aye, sir, we’ve got it covered. ::Lieutenant Rosek nodded to Cob again, and turned to leave, but paused briefly as she passed through the blast door, letting out a slow breath. Cob frowned; he hoped she was holding up all right, even as another part of his mind insisted that it wasn’t his job to make sure his superiors were all getting along with each other; the ship had a counselor for a reason. :: ::Once she was out of view, Cob gathered up a PADD and a hyperspanner and headed for the exit, but before he reached it he heard the door of the Chief Engineer’s office hiss open behind him, followed by the voice of Crewman Swenhart.:: Swenhart: You know, mister. You owe me big when this mission is over. ::There was a pause.:: Your impossible to resist. ::Another pause.:: Sir. ::Nope. Cob did not want to hear this, because hearing was the difference between suspecting and knowing and he absolutely did not want to know this and just, just nope. He picked up his pace before he could hear anything else, rounding the corner and heading for the turbolift. Nope, nope, nope...:: ---------- Ensign Jacob Harkrow Engineering Officer USS Montreal NCC-64927 ---------- M239510JH0
  23. A great innovative post from my fellow Security/Tactical grunt Ensign @G'var. Great work! Holodeck 2 USS Veritas )) // Security Officer log - Stardate 239511.18 - Ensign G'var, reporting For the last two days Commanders Blake and Kelrod have been running the crew through combat simulations on the holodecks. Lt. Cmdr. Blake has assigned me the task of training the Gamma shift crew in close quarters drills. I have been assigned Security Chief Endilev along with Crewmen Bicondova and Welling. The Team and I have had little rest. We have been working through the alpha shift for their training time. Commander Kelrod's expectations are that we get all crew through the holodecks for close quarters as well as ship to ship combat. Tholians are an unknown when it comes to hand to hand combat, Starfleet's own records are limited. It seems the Tholians don't board ships, so much as capture in them in their webs and flood them with radiation, eliminating the Crew and any need for close quarters combat. Chief Endilev and I have been working with the Medical and Engineering crewmen on techniques for self defense, while Crewmen Bicondova and Welling have been running ship to ship and spatial combat drills. My Team has worked tirelessly and without complaint, each deserves commendation for their work in preparing their shipmates for any coming battles with the Tholians. // ::G'var stretched her arm as she watched Chief Endilev run the last group of engineering specialists through a simulated combat drill against a pair of Tholian soldiers. She smiled inwardly as the engineering team quickly isolated and contained the Tholians. Moving her hand across the control console G'var decided to add an extra Tholian to the encounter. Crossing her arms G'var watch the Crew's reaction as another Tholian ripped its way up through the deck spraying the corridor in debris, raising its weapon it began firing towards them indiscriminately. Tholians used compressed radiation beams, anyone caught in one would not survive, so as her team had been instructing them, the crew moved to the bulkhead seeking as much cover as the corridor provided. Staying calm the crew returned fire, weapons teams had recalibrated the phasers to fire in the upper harmonic frequencies. One of the computer specialists scored a direct hit shattering the upper carpis of the Tholian. Momentarily disoriented it began firing wildly down the corridor trying to kill whatever had wounded it. Again G'var smiled inwardly as the crewmen continued to follow their training, keeping under cover and laying down suppressive fire. A second team approached from the starboard corridor and neutralized the threat. Letting a small smile show G'var knodded in approval of the crews performance, at least the last two days hadn't been for nothing. If the Tholians did board the Veritas the crew would be as ready as possible. ::As the simulation ended G'var made a few notes on her PADD, the crew performed well, perhaps she need to up the threat level for the next crew. The Tholians were not going to be push overs. If they did board the crew needed to able to handle themselves. G'var looked up as Chief Endilev approached, his White hair mated to his scalp with sweat, antennae still twitching, rifle at pointed down at the deck.:: G'var: don't tell me your tired Chief, we still have 5 more Teams to run through drills before the end of shift. Endilev: Not all of the crew are warriors Ensign, we have doctors, explorers, and scientists onboard too. ::G'var raised an eyebrow at the Chiefs comment.:: G'var: I understand that Chief but very soon they will all become warriors. The Tholians do not care whom they are attacking, just look what they did to Astrofori One. Endilev: That's true Ensign, but if the crew is to exhausted to pick up a phaser rifle they won't be any good when the Tholians do arrive, they need a little rest. ::G'var crossed her arms again, what the Chief said wasn't wrong, but the crew needed to know their limits and how to overcome them. If you don't know your limits your as good as dead in a fight and worse you'll get others killed with you. It was their job to get the Crew ready for a fight. The crew got to be tired when the threat was over, not before.:: G'var: Give'm 10 minutes to hydrate and rest then run them through Drill Theta Alpha Seven, got me Chief. Endilev: Aye, Ma'am! ::Chief Endilev nodded curtly and left the room.:: G'var:-oO I hope the Chief's not to upset, but we don't have time to rest, HA! Time, with all that's happened in the last two days time is a luxury we seem not to have. The crew has to be ready to respond, for whatever awaits us, for whatever these TIC Agents have planned. I cannot fail them. Once this is over I'll apologize to the Chief, but for now we have to get everyone ready.Oo ::Cough:: ::G'var spun around to find Crewman Bicondova standing at attention behind her. Standing almost a foot taller than the crewman G'var new she intimidated the young Terran, she could smell her anxiety, but the Crewman steeled herself and showed no sign of fear on her face. A young face, soon those blue eyes would possibly see real combat.:: G'var:-oO was I ever that young and naive? It's good the girl is in control of her fear, she will need that in what's to come.Oo G'var: At ease Crewman, report. Bicondova: Ma'am, Welling and I have completed the last round of ship to ship simulation with the Medical staff. ::Hands G'var a PADD.:: The Average time of survival is 12:15 minutes before the ship is destroyed. At 20 Tholian ships the crew gets overwhelmed . Welling and I feel that we should adjust the simulation to add support from the Montreal as well, it may help the odds a bit more Ma'am. ::G'var studied the PADD for a few moments checking what the Crewmen had reported. A little over 12 minutes before the ship was destroyed, against three hundred ships not to bad. The odds were still long though. Commander del Vedova may be on to something, perhaps a diplomatic solution was the answer, two days of drills had just proved that a direct confrontation with the Tholians only ended in disaster. Mr. Ekal being here proved the future was not set and changes could be made. Kahless always said the greatest victory is the one that came without battle. G'var: Tell Welling to add the Montreal into the next Simulation, but add one more Tholian ship at each 30 second interval, Let's not make it to easy. Bicondova, Aye, Ma'am. > ::The Crewman did a smart about face and quickly headed back to holodeck 1. Studying the PADD for a few more moments, involuntarily flexed her right hand, G'var knew the majority of the Crew had never seen what it was like in hand to hand combat, many had seen ship to ship engagements. However, Spatial combat lakes the intimacy of close quarters combat, seeing the look in another beings eyes, feeling their breath on your skin, hands on flesh, that was an experience few on the ship had. G'var breathed a calming breath, giving a small prayer to Kahless:: G'var:-oO Kahless give us the wisdom to know when to fight and when not to fight, Kahless give us the wisdom to know how to fight this superior foe, Kahless give us the spirit to fight with honor, Kahless, give us the time to prepare for the coming battle.Oo :: Looking at the chronometer it had almost been ten minutes since the last battle drill, strapping on her mek'leth, G'var gripped a rifle from the rack and entered the Holodeck. Nodding to Chief Endilev, she looked around at the engineering team relaxing on the floor.:: G'var:::charging the rifle.:: Alright Third Herd ready for another round! ::looking exhausted the Crew on the floor slowly began to stand:: G'var: Everyone on your feet.::G'var walked down the corridor inspected each crewman and looking each one it the eye.::: I know your all tired and want to go to your bunks. ::beat:: I know each of you is scared of facing over three hundred Tholian ships. ::beat:: To be honest so am I, and if your not afraid then you're either a liar or a Borg. :: beat:: It's what you choose to do in spite of that fear that will make you all warriors. ::The crew nodded in agreement:: G'var: Kahless said that a true warrior wins first then goes to battle. ::beat:: That is what we must to, beat the fear in your heart, then only together can we go into battle and be victorious. ::looking back to the Chief:: Chief spin up the holodeck.-::looking to the rest of the crew::- Alright you Mugatos, lets kick Tholian Carpis! Ensign G'var Security/Tactical Officer USS Veritas V239511G10
  24. Borg + Holodeck + Scavenger Hunt = lots of fun! ((Holodeck, USS Apollo-A)) ::Without a word, the two of them began to pick their way through the drones, who stood immaculately still. After what probably seemed like a much longer time than it actually was, they found themselves standing face-to-sphere with whatever this thing was. Dante’s mind was racing, he felt his gut dropped and a chill run down the back of his neck until he heard a voice:: Borg Queen: Greetings, one of two, two of two. ::The officers looked at each other. Evidently the sphere was addressing them as their Borg personas. It was...unsettling, to say the least. But in that unsettling voice Dante found comfort. It felt like everything around him was chaos, out of controll and trying to team him apart but there was a calm stillness in the voice, there was order. :: Borg Queen: You have wandered far from the Hive, but fear not, you are home now. :: Bliss rolled through Dante as he heard the voice speak once more. As he opened is eyes, or rather, seemed to peer harder with his holographic scanner that took the place for his eye Dante was puzzled for a second as he saw that he was now standing alone in a black void with nothing but the glowing ball. He paused for a moment, unsure what to do.:: Borg Queen: I see you are failing to understand. Perhaps you have been absent from the collective for too long. ::The darkness retreated for just a moment and Dante saw a Mandolin on the ground, just like the one he had as a boy. He hesitated before going over to it:: Borg Queen: Take it. You know what to do with it. This is where your answers lie. :: As Dante took the instrument he began to pluck out a few notes, the notes of the dirge that he had heard before. As he did the darkness retreated even more and he saw the figure of Gogi as a Drone playing some strange instrument of his own, but playing perfectly what Dante was playing. As they continued on the blackness retreated further and further revealing all of the drones in the room , still in perfect formation, holding instruments of their own. Together they filled the room with a perfect harmony of thousands of instruments playing precisely the same tune. Every note was perfect, every player in their place It was a beauty which Dante had never experienced before and he began to openly weep, overcome by the harmony of it all. Everything made sense, everything had a purpose, there was an undeniable reason for his existence and he had nothing to wonder about. :: ::Then, Dante tried to wipe the tears from his eyes and Dante found that his arms no longer moved of their own accord:: oO what’s this? My… My body. I can’t move my body! Oo :: Under the beauty of the music Dante now heard a new sound. It was the sound of millions and millions of voices screaming in pain and in anguish. countless bodies controlled while minds were suppressed, shredded and sacrificed for the order of perfection. If Dante felt nauseous before he felt like he was had just plummeted off of a cliff and his stomach rode in his throat. :: Termine: Commander!! Commander! :: Dante called out but he say that the Commander was still playing his strange instrument but deep in his eyes there was fear and tears:: oO I… Have… to.. MOVE. I Have to… RUN! I have to SAVE….. my … CREW! Oo :: With all the mental effort that Dante had inside him he willed his feet to move and slowly they began to, step after step Dante brought himself closer to Gogi and with one last heave threw his limp body at the other man’s. They both collapsed to the floor. With that the spell was broken and what was once music was now entirely screams and horror. :: Termine: Commander we have to RUN! Fairhug: ? :: The two men stood up and began to run to the perimeter of the circle, while every drone began to move slowly twoards them. Dante could now see their face and among them there were face of the crew of the Apollo,:: Termine: We need to escape this, we can’t outrun them for long and there’s too many to fight. Fairhug: ? Termine: It’s a better idea than anything I’ve got! :: From behind them the ball of light grew brighter and the screaming stopped and in it’s place a thousand voices chanted:: The Borg: We are the Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile Lt. LG Dante Termine USS Apollo - HCO Officer A239503DT0
  25. ((Jona ch'Ranni's Quarters, Deck 20, USS Columbia)) :: Jona entered his quarters and sat heavily on his bunk. The hours he had been awake were starting to catch up to him. His apprehension at the counseling session with Lieutenant Commander Jolara had long since passed. It was probably healthy to get some of his issues out in the open. And the pleasant conversations with Mandak and Duyzer at the Look Outt had done a lot to lift his spirits.:: ch'Ranni: oO Guess it doesn't hurt to make new friends. Oo :: His antennae twitched as he thought back to the message that was still waiting for him on the control panel. His agitation wasn't the result of being contacted by his parents. It was from not being contacted for the last four years. Their deafening silence toward him had been a knife in his side the entirety of his time at the Academy. It was hard to forgive such passive aggressive behavior.:: ch'Ranni: Alright. Let's see what they want. :: Jona activated the communication subroutine on the panel and the console sprang to life. The stardate and origin point of the message splashed across the screen in the standard blue lettering. The familiar face of his shreva appeared on screen. Her slight smile softened the middle aged features of her face. Nota sh'Ranni: Chei ... my son, I hope this finds you well. :: Jona sat back in his chair and crossed his arms, waiting for the recording to play out. :: Nota: I know it has been a while since we've talked and I'm sorry about that. Please forgive me. We have received every one of your messages and I just want to say that I'm proud of you. :: She paused and moistened her throat with a sip of srjula tea that sat steaming in front of her.:: Nota: When I heard that you have received your first assignment I begged the others to join me in sending you a message. Jona ... it's going to take them a little more time. All of us were very hurt when you decided to join Starfleet. Right or wrong, we felt you were abandoning your heritage and our family's legacy of service on Andoria. Vorka, Spel and Mir all love you very much. Please be patient with them. They'll come around soon. ch'Ranni: oO How is wanting to explore the galaxy a rejection of my family? It isn't! I wanted more than a boring life on my home planet. They should have understood that. Oo :: Jona looked away angrily from the monitor and the recording paused its playback automatically. He was far more hurt at his parent's actions than even he realized. Tears began to well up in his eyes as he shifted his gaze back to the screen. :: Nota: Jojo ... please. Give us a chance to make it right. We were wrong to hold you back. I know that now. You can do so much more in Starfleet than you ever would be able to in the Andorian Guard. You're such a good pilot, just like your father. You know what? I shouldn't tell you this ... Vorka simply loves that you got assigned as a helm officer. He can't stop bragging about you. "My chei, the helmsman." he says to our shipmates all the time. They just shake their antennae at him when he does that. He begins nearly every conversation with that - "my chei, the helmsman." :: Nota smiled and took another sip of tea. She set it carefully back on the table and then looked back to the screen. :: Nota: Please keep sending us updates. We would love to hear how things are going. And don't tell Vorka I said anything. It's our little secret. Love you, Jojo. Talk again soon. :: Her image blinked off and left the screen a blank black as dark as space. Jona could see his reflection in the glass surface of the screen and could make out the tears that now streamed down his cheeks. He wiped them away and composed himself. :: ch'Ranni: Computer, begin recording subspace message. Recipient, Nota sh'Ranni aboard the Andorian Guard vessel Marvassi. Computer: Recording. ch'Ranni: My shreva, I received your message today. It was good to hear from you. This message may take a few days or more to reach you as we are pretty far out in the galactic arm in a region called the Sagittarius Reach. I'm adjusting well to life aboard the Columbia. Let me tell you what's been going on these first few weeks. The excitement started when we lost contact with the captain while he was away from the ship... -- Ensign Jona ch'Ranni Helm Officer USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0
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