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  1. 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
  2. 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 ------------------------------------
  3. ((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
  4. 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?!
  5. ((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
  6. ((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
  7. ((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
  8. 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!
  9. ((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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. ((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
  13. (( Corridors en route to Main Sickbay - USS Gorkon )) :: Ayiana and Emilia had taken the ride in the turbolift down to Deck 7 in silence. Much to Ayiana’s embarrassment, she had completely overlooked the thought that Krugol would want to be with Ferier’s side. She didn’t even know the pair had any sort of relationship, at least not outside the quickly fading Dream. Then again, Ayiana was often quite oblivious and dense to such things. Her motivation for being at Ferier’s side during the Joining was to make sure it went well, and that she was there in case Ferier or Doctor Yiggtissi needed help or advice. :: Sevo: I’m sorry, Ensign. It didn’t occur to me that you’d want to be there when I...erm...volunteered to come down. Krugol: ::Emilia replied with a soft sniffle.:: It’s not your fault, sir. F-Ferier and I didn’t exactly make our relationship public for all the ship to see. :: The corridor they’d arrived in was almost eerily silent. As Ayiana and Emilia continued through the empty decks, nothing seemed to change. The same monotone doors, passing by the same coloured bulkheads. The familiarity of it all was somewhat comforting. At least that was one thing in her life that wasn’t about to change. Emilia dragged a cold finger across her face, attempting to sweep away the remainder of her breakdown on the bridge.:: Sevo: It is none of our business, anyway. Krugol: I guess you’re not wrong :: After a few moments, Ayiana stopped walking suddenly, and pounded a fist into the corridor wall. :: Sevo: Dammit! Why am I even coming? You were right; Ferier needs *you*, not me. And with Doctor Hahn on board, Doctor Yiggtissi has all the expert Trill advice he needs. :: Massaging her fist. :: Ow. :: Emilia jumped at the sudden impact on the wall. Her eyes locked with Ayiana’s reddened fist as it hit the wall. Her shocked expression desperately searched for something to say, but nothing seemed to come to mind. Emilia carefully stared at the commander’s angered features, hoping that by some possibility she would be able to say something reassuring.:: Krugol: Commander… you’re our first officer, and more than ever we need you to be there. I know for a fact that you may not have much of a relationship with Ferier, but for many of us onboard… much like the admiral, you give us the morale to keep going. It’s at times like this where we need you… sir. :: Emilia spoke anxiously, attempting to calm the angered trill before her. She was almost at a loss of reassuring words. Emilia had hoped that something she’d said got through to Ayiana.:: :: Ayiana turned to her fellow Trill, smiling. She never really thought she was that vital to the crew. Ayiana was well-aware that she tended to be introverted and quiet. :: Sevo: Really? I didn’t know. I’ve never been one for socializing, and I didn’t think I had that much of an effect on the crew. oO Maybe it’s this red collar. Perhaps it’s not as tight as I thought. Oo Krugol: Your reputation says otherwise. I-I’m not speaking for all of us junior officers when I say this, but... we look up to you, not just you, but to the senior staff. You’re an inspiration to those of us trying to reach a point in our lives where we’re accomplished enough to be validated in our Captain’s, or Admiral’s eyes. Instead of being seen ‘as that ensign I now know the name of, but will probably forget later’. A-And we see you as a person who’s reached a stage where we adore you, we adore how accomplished you are, we adore your ability to stay cool under pressure and we adore how much you’ve worked to even be here. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what you’ve been through to earn the privilege to sit next to the Admiral. Right now.. more than ever, we need you to be there for us, Ferier needs you. :: Emilia smiled at Ayiana, returning her smile with a soft, closed mouth giggle. An odd feeling of ease seemed to come about reassuring her fellow crewmate. She offered her hand in a friendly gesture, semi motioning for Ayiana to follow.:: :: Ayiana paused at Emilia’s words. It warmed her heart to hear the younger Trill woman say those things. At the moment, Ayiana could only stand there in the empty corridor as Emilia continued. :: Krugol: Someday, I hope I’ll be like you. I hope I’ll learn to be like you... Lieutenant Marshall, Lieutenant zh’Aella, Lieutenant MacFarlane and even Ferier… so I can tell stories of my time in Starfleet in god knows how many lifetimes. The stories of the ship named the Gorkon, and all of its wonderful people that kept me going, and inspired me to become more than I ever could be. Sevo: I...uh...I don’t know what to say… Krugol: ::Emilia stared at the commander.:: For now, w-we should get moving. They won’t wait up If Kian gets there first… ::Emilia replied, returning to her usual dainty, pitched tone of voice.:: Sevo: You’re right. And thanks, Ensign. (( Main Sickbay – USS Gorkon )) ::The medical staff had once again settled as Dr. Yiggtissi and Dr. Hahn prepared to begin the Joining. It was a rather disquieting scene but as the seasoned physicians began, a wave of confidence rushed over the attending staff. Yiggtissi thought back to his training and recalled the simulations he had participated in, almost as easily thumbing through a medical journal. He quickly looked up at Hahn who appeared calm, if a little troubled. It was clear by his methodical movements that the Trill clinician was no stranger to this practice. :: ::Yiggtissi turned his eyes to Ferier. The very mild sedative that he had administered early was in full effect, as Ferier’s eyes opened and closed at random. It was standard practice in Joinings for both parties to remain awake with local anesthesia being used at the site of the incision. Hahn had prepared the opening on Ferier as Yiggtissi waited by the small stasis table that had been pulled close.:: ::Lanta laid back on the biobed. Usually, he felt calm but on this occasion, his nerves were jumping as if electric was running through him. He had left the Bridge without a word to Emilia, hoping that wouldn’t be a regret and hoping when the Symbiont was implanted he felt the same he still wished he had said something, anything to her. His feelings ran deep for Emilia in a short time he had come to love everything about her. Lanta had no idea if Emilia felt the same, although he suspected she did. In a very short time, she had become the most important person to him and he had just turned and gone to sickbay to be changed forever a blending of personalities of memories. Lanta was nervous and scared. It never occurred to him not to be a host any more than it could occur to him not to breathe. He was approved by the Commission and had spent his all life preparing to join. Why then now did he have second thoughts, was he really that scared of losing Emilia. Lanta turned to the Chief Medical Officer and the Counsellor all the nurses and other medical staff. He was missing people. He wanted friends, family, and loved ones. Yes, there was the Trill medical officer but as he didn’t know him he didn’t count. He wanted Emilia there to be the first thing he saw as a joined Trill:: Lanta: Doc, ::To Yiggtissi.:: Can I have Ensign Krugol here with me, please? Yiggtissi: Of course. I’ll call her down. Lanta: Thank you, Doctor. ::Hahn's dark eyes flicked over toward Lanta, a small frown of concern drawing his greying brow together.:: Hahn: Are you sure? This is an ending, as much as it is a beginning. Lanta: I am, I have to do this for me and Kian. ::The doors to sickbay slid open once again revealing Lieutenant Commander Sevo and Ensign Krugol. They quickly made their way to the side of Ferier. Yiggtissi had completely forgotten how much support the young man would need once the Joining was complete. Usually, family and friends were in attendance during and after to make the adjustment from host to host. Yiggs was happy to see Sevo in that respect. As for Krugol, he assumed she had come to offer the same, having no knowledge of the delicate relationship the two officers had formed. :: Yiggtissi: ::Looking back at Ferier, smiling,:: Well it would appear she heard your request from the bridge. ::Lanta’s heart leaped with joy as he saw Emilia come into the sickbay. He was quite surprised to see Sevo. Working on the Bridge he had worked alongside her a lot but never really on a personal level. As he thought about it he realised he was happy she was there. It was fitting that as a Trill she was there too.:: Sevo: We wanted to be here, both as emotional support- :: gesturing to Krugol. :: -and in case you need any help or advice. ::Lanta was grateful for the both of them. Looking at Emilia he understood what potentially they were both giving up for the sake of Kian.:: Krugol: Ferier! Lanta: Emilia! ::Emilia embraced the man she’d called her love with open arms. Her arms coiled around his body tightly, almost refusing to let go. Emilia took a deep breath, she was truly uncertain with how things would go. Maybe by some miracle, the symbiont wouldn’t overwhelm his personality, maybe by some miracle, she wouldn’t have to let go. Emilia shifted her gaze, quickly scanning the room around her. From the looks of it, the inevitable was almost upon them. Just how much would the pair really lose once that time comes? After a brief moment, Emilia surrendered her tight hold on Ferier. She took a step back.:: Sevo: oO Well, this is awkward. Oo ::Lanta returned the hug. Of all the people he wanted close Emilia was at the top of the list. He would have also wished for Groznin to be there as his friend and Jo as his colleague plus the Admiral. Realising that shipboard matters were of the uppermost importance he was overjoyed that she had allowed Emilia and Sevo to be there. Tears formed in his eyes and he blinked them away.:: ::After a few minutes had passed, the sound of a transporter signal began to hum and the familiar shape of a teardrop began to materialize on the small table. Yiggtissi flipped open his tricorder and waved it quickly over the symbiont. The screen scrolled through several images and various bits of information as the Saurian processed it all. :: ::Ayiana stared at the tiny life form on the table. It was hard to imagine, even to a Trill, that the little mass of primarily brain tissue could contain so much knowledge and memories. Yet for all that, it was incredibly fragile. Ayiana often wondered what evolutionary pressures forced such a being into existence - needing another life form to explore its surroundings. Otherwise, a Symbiont was completely and utterly at the mercy of predators. The prehistoric Symbionts would have had to have unwavering trust in any creature they came across. :: Sevo: How is Kian? ::She referred to the Symbiont by name, rather than simply "the symbiont" as many aliens were keen to do.:: Yiggtissi: Its life signs are fluctuating slightly which I can only assume is a sign of post-stasis shock. We should begin immediately. ::Hahn nodded in silent agreement. The Trill doctor was unusually quiet, and despite his professional demeanour, there was the distinct sense that he was unsettled about something — the procedure, or perhaps his participation in it.:: Sevo: Yeah, it can’t survive long outside of a host or it’s spawning pools. Krugol: The sooner, the better. :: Yiggtissi carefully picked up the small creature and turned back to the biobed. As Yiggtissi held the Kian symbiont in his hands, he could feel the warmth emanating from it. He could almost feel the lives of several lifetimes in his hands as he placed the symbiont on Ferier’s stomach. He looked at Hahn who frowned slightly and gave a quick nod. :: Ayiana approached the bed where Ferier was laying. He was garbed in the usual dull hospital gown, except it had a large opening over his abdomen. She still wasn’t sure why she wanted to be here; her sudden request on the bridge surprised even her. Doctor Hahn was aboard and participating in the Joining, and Ensign Krugol was more than capable of being Ferier’s emotional support. Perhaps Ayiana felt she was taking on a more of a "maternal" role with Ferier. :: ::Emilia stood at Ferier’s side, her hand holding tightly to his. She watched as the symbiont was placed on Ferier’s stomach, it was a strange sight, to say the least. Not many individuals ever got the chance to witness a living Trill Symbiont, nevertheless witness an implantation. Emilia’s hand trembled with a cinch of fear as she looked upon the symbiont. A sour taste laced her tongue. Despite the beautiful sight, it was certainly a very decisive view. It wasn’t Emilia’s place to question Ferier’s decision, nor did she think she could sway the man in the wake of saving legacies worth of experience. A tear effortlessly slid down Emilia’s cheek, carelessly landing on the back of her hand.:: ::Lanta laid on the biobed, thanks to the mild sedative and the closeness of Emilia he was now relaxed. He gripped Emilia’s hand tightly but somehow also gently. This above all he did not want to lose. It was his duty and privilege to become a host. It was also his privilege and honour to be with Emilia this above all he would not change. He understood there would be changes, after all, he was going to absorb several lifetimes of experiences and memories. Maybe if he thought of nothing but Emilia he would essentially remain as deeply in love with her as he did now. Mentally he sent a message to the Symbiont, mess with my feelings about Emilia and I will rip you out. Life without Emilia wasn’t living it was just existing:: ::Doctor Hahn. It was strange seeing him. He was yet another doppelganger from the alternate reality Ayiana and much of the Gorkon crew were trapped in over a year ago. But his prime counterpart from this universe was an unjoined Guardian named Kael Tam who helped Toran with his zhian’tara. Due to the traumatic death of Toran, his memories were buried by the Sevo symbiont. Later, Ayiana ran across Tam on the Gorkon, now a Starfleet officer, who had recognized the Symbiont name Sevo, and was instrumental to Ayiana in remembering Toran and beginning the process of unlocking his buried memories. Unfortunately, Kael Tam had died Over There, and Ayiana rarely saw Hahn. So it was with mixed feelings that she was working with him today. :: Lanta: Is everything OK? Hahn: Kian's a little weak. ::He glanced at the readings on the biobed, frowning.:: It looks as though it's been in stasis for quite a while. ::For a moment, it looked as though he had more to say, but after he glanced toward Lanta, he held his tongue. Ferier’s heart flipped back and forth as he took looks at both the Symbiont and Krugol. He hoped that following the implantation his feelings would be as strong for the beautiful Trill as they were now. :: Lanta: oO Please let this symbiont be OK. Oo :: Ayiana moved to the head of the biobed. :: Sevo: I want to check with you one more time, Ferier. Are you doing this for yourself, or out of an obligation to save the symbiont? Despite what the Commission often says, its life is not more important than your own. You have free will. Lanta: I’m doing it for both, Commander! Sevo: If you think this is not for you, or you are not ready, say so now. In four days, this will be permanent. :: Lanta looked at the symbiont and then at Emilia. So many gains and so many potential losses, well one loss. Was the price worth the cost? He hated himself for the answer, but it was yes. To preserve the memories and experiences of several lifetimes his and Emilia’s emotions came second best.:: Lanta: The time is now, please proceed. :: Ayiana smiled, giving Ferier a light pat on the shoulder. :: Krugol: You’re going to be okay Ferier. I-I’m here. ::Emilia’s delicate grip tightened around Ferier’s tender hand. Her hand began to tremble as each moment ticked past. It was like watching a countdown. Waiting for each second to tick past felt like an eternity in her eyes. Each eternity she attempted to cherish with her beloved. Each eternity of seconds, moulding into countless minutes that ticked by unnoticed, lost in those precious seconds.:: Lanta: Thank you, Emilia ::Yiggtissi watch the interaction between Krugol and Ferier and as he did, flashes of his wife ran across his mind. He had remembered, briefly, being with them on Trill but what happened after that, he had no clue. He knew that over time, those memories would return but at the moment, it was very disconcerting not knowing. :: Yiggtissi: Everything is normal, Ferier. Simply relax. Sevo: Have you opened his pouch yet, Doctor? Hahn: ::Mildly,:: No backseat doctoring, Commander. Sevo: Sorry. ::Hahn shook his head, accepting her apology with a tired, kind smile. As infractions went, it hardly registered, and he turned his attention toward Ferier and Yiggtissi.:: Hahn: Are we all ready? Yiggtissi: Let’s proceed. Lanta: Yes! ::Yiggtissi gently picked up the Kian symbiont as Hahn slowly opened the small flap of skin on Ferier’s stomach. He slowly inserted the living mass inside Ferier and watched a part of the symbiont attached itself to the young Trill’s insides. It burrowed deep and as soon as it settled, its color immediately began to improve, turning from a pinkish-grey to a deep brownish-red. Yiggtissi shot a nod toward Hahn and he expertly and neatly closed the pouch. Grabbing the tricorder from the side of the bed and starting at the implant site, he began a careful diagnosis. The little device began to spit out information as Yiggtissi waved it up and down the length of Ferrier’s body. After several seconds, he closed it up and set it down. Looking over at Ferier, a smile stretched across his face as though he had suddenly walked from a cold room into the warm rays of a beaming sun.:: Yiggtissi: How do you feel? ::Kian looked at where the Symbiont had been placed and subsequently Joined with him. The picture that would stay with him forever was the image of Emilia looking down in concern. As the symbiont settled into place, memories flew through him each new second revealing a past that was his and yet not his. Emilia, the thought of her still made his heart jump. Amazingly and thankfully he still felt the same about her. Memories from Kudrem filled him. She had been a willing accomplice, and had agreed to the removal of Kian, knowing that it might result in its death. This would need to be discussed with the Admiral later. He had more important things to resolve right now:: Ferier Kian: I am whole ::He looked toward Emilia,:: Emilia… I love you that has not changed! ::Emilia drew a shaky breath, reaching out a hesitant hand towards Ferier. She questioned, just how much of him was left. Was it Kian talking? Or was it really him? Once that first tear fell, the rest followed along in an unbroken, constant stream. Emilia’s hand broke away from Ferier’s as she pressed it against the biobed. With her free hand, she covered her mouth, begging for nobody to see her in such an ugly state, muffling her suffocating sobs. Her mind was a cluttered mass of emotions, filled to the brim with relief, mixed with fear, fighting against her churning sorrows and anxieties. In reality she had nothing to worry about, he was alive and well. Emilia’s stomach gurgled in an almost sickly manner, as her face was drenched with the wet stains of her anxieties. She fought her first instincts to hug him in reassurance.:: Krugol: ::Muffled.:: F-Ferier ::Hahn glanced between the pair, another frown creasing his brow, though once again he kept silent on whatever thoughts were running through his mind.:: :: Ayiana hoped Ferier’s feelings for Emilia would remain. His personality could still change as the Symbiont’s memories and personality slowly blended with his own. The pair was going to have a rough few days as they tried to figure out the new Ferier Kian. :: Sevo: How are you feeling? The initial rush of memories can be disorienting. Kian: To say the least, so many memories. Sevo: Take some time to acclimate yourself to your new...um...you. You’ll find a lot of things have changed. Kian: And a lot of things have remained the same. ::Kian looked at Emilia. It was amazing, even with new memories and experiences she still looked as beautiful as when he was Lanta. He held her hand, not willing to ever let it go:: Krugol: ::Emilia looked to the doctors.:: Doctor.. May I hug him? Kian: oO Say yes, Doctor Oo ::Hahn glanced between the pair of them, the frowning shifting to make room for a worn, gentle smile. He nodded, gesturing toward Ferier.:: Hahn: Of course. Physically, he's fine. Kian: So can I get up as well? :: Kian, without waiting stood and moved towards Emilia. His arms raised ready to embrace her. He felt a little weak, but then considering what the entire crew had been through it wasn’t a surprise.:: ::Emilia graced Ferier with a smile, almost knocking him over with a longing hug.:: Krugol: I’m glad you’re okay… ::Kian practically fell in to her arms.. Laughing and crying tears flowed freely. Maybe it was due to the implantation as he had never been overly emotional before. He pulled Emilia in closer. He could smell the scent from her hair. The closeness of her made him weak at the knees. Her shape fit in snugly as he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face deeper in to her shoulder.:: Kian: I am OK, ::To the Doctor:: Am I cleared for duty, Doctor? Sevo: I’d suggest he at least be checked out by a counselor. Yiggtissi: I’d say take it slow for the next twenty-four hours but I see no reason to keep you here. And I agree with the first officer, you should see Ensign Fortune right away. :: Yiggtissi nodded and watched the two lovebirds held each other close, locked together like two swirling galaxies ready to collide. He removed the red tunic, revealing his duty vest underneath. Yiggtissi felt as though he had been awake for days but there was no stopping just yet. There were shift assignments to approve, files from new transfers to examine, reports to read on the status of Nkai and he needed to speak with Denato. He glanced back over his shoulder and watched as Ferier and Krugol sat on the bed, still glued together. A smile stretched across his face. He wasn’t quite sure what provoked Kian to remove her symbiont and leave it for dead. Was it just a ploy to make a quick escape? If so, then she was more cold-hearted than anyone realized. :: fin Lieutenant (JG) Ferier Lanta/Kian HCO Officer USS Gorkon G239501FL0 & Lieutenant Yiggtissi, MD Chief Medical Officer USS Gorkon G239406Y10 & Ensign Emilia Krugol Security/Tactical Officer USS Gorkon G239409EK0 & Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo First Officer USS Gorkon V239109AS0 & Doctor Kael Hahn Civilian T238401QR0
  14. This is an appreciation shout out for the crew of the USS Gorkon! Our last (current) mission saw us in Deep Space, in deep sleep, and about twenty years in the past stuck in a dream. Awakening to a life as a member of a Maquis Resistance Cell on the raider Skarbek , everyone took to it immediately, temporarily redesigning aspects of their character makeup and made it work. It was truly an awesome mission (it's still going on) and there's so much love on the Gorkon for everyone's effort in bringing the Maquis to life in our own special way. Thank you, everyone, and especially @Quinn Reynolds - It's been such a ride! Having said that, you're all insane. Justifiably, as per the below, but nevertheless. Completely bonkers. We're fully aware that trying to explain any of this to anyone would warrant a buckled cuddle jacket and a padded room. Coupled with the fact that this will be completely out of context... Here are some of my favourite bits of the entire escapade pre-wake up call, in chronological order. Enjoy! --- ::The engines of the Cardassian raiders screamed through the night sky, a banshee wail of fire and devastation. The outpost was rapidly being reduced to ruins, buildings collapsed and aflame. The worst of the bombardment was over, paving way for the troops to hit the ground and try to mop up the survivors. Thankfully, the civilians had mostly been evacuated before the Cardassians had reached the planet, leaving only the Maquis fighters still on the ground. ::[Brunsig] was proud to say that they were living up to the name of "resistance fighters". There'd been casualties on both sides, but the number of Cardassian corpses were outnumbered by those of his own people. For now.:: --- Brunsig: You think we do that? To them? Do you think we swoop down on civilian outposts and burn their homes to the ground? ::He had no doubt she'd heard the commotion outside. But seeing it, tasting it, hearing the heat sear her face… he saw her expression shift, horror forming in her hazel eyes, even as she fought to keep her composure.:: Reynolds: I can't. Brunsig: Listen to me, *Cupcake*-- ::He stopped himself, clenching his jaw. Now was not the time, as gratifying as it would be to yell in her face.:: --- Brunsig: =/\= If I have to scrape your corpse up, I'm giving your bike to the kid. =/\= ::She snorted a laugh, her first for the last day, at least. The gruff guy knew just where to jab the painstik to make sure her priorities were in order.:: Marshall: =/\= Scheißhaus. If you do, I'll make telling him your nickname my dying words. Which of us will be worse off? =/\= --- ::The voices up ahead grew louder as she drew unendingly closer, Emilia’s pace increased to a light jog. Her ‘holster’, (aka, a glorified leather satchel) tapped soundly against her thigh, a sensation Emilia had gotten relatively accustomed to over the past several years in DMZ. After abandoning her place in the federation, carrying a weapon almost constantly was the new standard equipment. Having a weapon was one of the few luxuries that help Emilia sleep at night. Life had been a real kick in the backside since leaving her home on Trill, but it was a worthy sacrifice for a cause she believed in. Sure she’d never see her family, but Emilia wasn’t going to stand by as these people suffered at the hands of the Cardassian Union.:: ::A flash of pink entered the corner of Emilia’s vision, a somewhat, but glossy ribbon whipping in the weak wind as it held her hair in a side swept ponytail. That flash of pink was all she had left of home, nothing more and nothing less, but it was a good reminder of what Emilia fought for. The freedom of countless federation citizens, a cause she gave up a utopia for, but it’s not much of a utopia if those who govern it refuse to help their own.:: --- Brunsig: =/\= They're killing us down here, Red. =/\= :: Ayiana smirked. Everyone in the cell had taken on a nickname, always chosen by everyone else, and not always flattering. It was mostly to hide their identities over open communication channels, but over time, everyone had gotten used to the nicknames. It was pretty easy to figure out why people started calling Ayiana “Red.” :: Sevo: =/\= So kill them first. I’d say ten minutes until we’re down there. :: Boom! :: Assuming we’re not blown out of the sky first. =/\= --- ::Tasha gave a shriek of laughter as she grabbed ahold of a nearby access panel and tore it off the wall. In the recessed alcove was a mass of relays. Some would call it messy or unordered, but to Tasha it made perfect sense. She reached in and located the switch buried beneath the relays and flipped it. There was a high pitched whine and Tasha glanced at a nearby console and grinned.:: ::She plunged her arm back in, navigating the mass of relays on memory and instinct. She located a second switch and flipped it too. The whine dropped to a dull drone, and when Tasha flipped a third switch the sound vanished. She extracted her arm and jumped to her feet and raced to the nearest console, hurriedly entering several commands, and grinning as she watched the shield strength increase.:: MacFarlane: =/\= I’ve got more shield strength f’ yeh Red! An’ more speed f’ yeh Sticks! Show those spoonheads what yeh can do laddie!! =/\= --- :: Yiggtissi noticed the phaser that had appeared in Sim’s hand. No doubt it was his trusty sidearm that he almost never left home without. The Saurian patted himself down looking for his own but couldn’t find it. He looked around on the floor. Finally, under the rubble of a table, he saw it. It was a small silver disruptor his oldest brother had given him when he first joined the ragtag group of renegades. He snatched it up and gave it a once over. It was half charged and now covered in a couple of scratches. :: Sim: For luck :: Yiggtissi looked up and saw the infamous flask sitting in the air. It had become sort of a tradition between them both since they first went into battle together. Usually, before the two medics did something extremely stupid, they would take long draws from the flask and head off into the throws of battle or bar fights. Yiggtissi smiled a toothy grin and snatched the flask from his air, taking a long drink before handing it off to the rest. He used his remaining sleeve to wipe the dribble from the corners of his mouth. :: ::Cory declined. He had remembered the last time they had been together and the flask had appeared. It was a bar fight on Penthios IV and it cost Yiggtissi a broken jaw, Stoyer a black eye and Sim a nice cut on his forehead from a broken bottle. Good times, indeed. :: --- ::Ferier “Stick’s” Lanta loved to fly, as a boy all he wanted to do was fly starships. Rejected by the Federation for Starfleet Academy and finding no interest in flying Transporters from Trill and finding a hatred for the “spoonheads” for their actions on Bajor he had drifted in to the Maquis he had been found by Brunsig. After been caught stealing Brunsig had helped him out and quickly gained his trust with a speed that still astounded him. ::So here he found himself flying admittedly a run down Maquis ship. Held together by what Sparks called unicorn power, something he quite firmly believed having seen Sparks find miracle cures for the little ships mechanical woes. Usually, his job was difficult taking the battle to the Cardies. Today it seemed impossible. Fighting off Cardie attack vessels swerving around and between them. :: --- Vondaryan: Don't try anything. Brunsig: That goes both ways. How about you tear your eyeballs off her [...] and earn your keep? --- Marshall: Avoiding is better than a full frontal firefight. We're in no condition to take the fight to them. How's your chair doing on the rubble? Sim: I'm fine, don't worry about me. The old girl's done more miles than you've had replicated meals. --- Krugol: As much as you’re itching to shoot something, I doubt it’d be a good idea to delve headfirst into a bunch of Cardassians that can call for help. Vondaryan: We could try to draw some of them off with a distraction. Then the rest of us could make a run for it. ::He rummaged through the pack.:: I'm sure there's a few disruptor grenades in here somewhere. ::He made it a point not to volunteer to be the distraction himself. He was much too valuable to waste in a potentially lethal way.:: --- Stoyer: Hey Blondie! If this works you gonna talk Red into going out with me when we get out of here? ::Jo's eyes flitted upwards. A fight to the death came second to a dry spell apparently - she didn't expect any different from the charming Engineer. It had been the same on the night they'd met. One bar fight, smashed bottles, his flirtations exchanged for her eye-rolls aplenty. And, now, she was the wingman. Power ballads were written for that kind of friendship.:: Marshall: Sure, Strip. That impending shuttle wreck is exactly what I want on my mind! --- D’fini: Are you alright?::Concerned. She didn't want to rain on his parade. In fact, it was nice. It wasn't a quantum torpedo explosion by any stretch but it was nice and she liked it.:: Smith: Of course it wasn’t my first kiss.... ::She knew that was a lie. However, it might be interesting how to teach this one the fine art of it. She gave a small smile.:: D’fini: Not bad for a first kiss. Not bad at all. ::She watched his face go red. Davine had caught him and she wasn't going to let it go for a moment.:: --- ::Laugh, or cry? Hard to decide. A short, sharp smack with the butt of her rifle also seemed like a valid alternative. Finally, the pair decided to pay attention to the destruction and potential death that surrounded them, but from the direction their weapons were pointing, it looked as though they hadn't realised who was approaching them. Sienelis: It's us. ::She hissed, still not sure if she was amused or annoyed by (or jealous of?) their antics.:: If you've finished trying to mount each other while the world burns, we're leaving. --- Sevo: Computer, run program “Cavalry.” :: The computer acknowledged with a quick chirp. As the ramp lowered, Ayiana heard the opening riff of AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” blasting over the external speakers. Simultaneously, the ship flashed it’s running lights in tune with the beat. Once the ramp was open, Ayiana stepped up to the edge. Grinning widely, she let loose a barrage of phaser energy packets at over two-thousand per minute, straight into the Cardassians on the ground. :: Sevo: :: To ground teams. :: =/\= WAHOO! THE CAVALRY HAS ARRIVED!! =/\= (( OOC: https://youtu.be/4gDch1p4c_M )) --- Yiggs: Almost like that skirmish on Devro. :: He paused. :: I didn't think we were gonna make it this time. ::Genkos thought about the skirmish on Devro. If he remembered rightly, he'd annoyed some rather fierce Klingons whilst under the influence, and Yiggs had to come to his aid. They'd managed to corner the Klingons in an alley, and had to beat them to death with their own bat'leth. Again, fun.:: Sim: ::locking eyes with his friend:: Me neither. I was certain my little stunt was going to get one of us killed. Although it looks like we did okay. That explosion sounded pretty impressive, even if I do say so myself. --- Brunsig: I'll head to the bridge and see if I can get hold of him. ::He paused, eyeing the Starfleet officer, holding out the cuffs to whoever took them first.:: Cuff her again, put her in one of the empty crew cabins and make sure there's a guard on the door. Whoever's left, defend this ramp. Sevo: I got enough power to hold out. Go. ::Emilia nodded to Brunsig eagerly, deciding not to pay any attention to Trellis’ antics.:: Krugol: I’ll stay, and give Red a hand ::She spoke, holder her phaser up.:: Vondaryan: I'll make sure she's nice and safe. Sevo: Yea, that’s not creepy at all. --- Vondaryan: Don't worry, I won't begin any interrogations yet. ::He smirked.:: I'll just let her stew in the cabin for a little longer, contemplating her fate. ::The Maquis Raider was a far cry from the sleek, elegant engineering of the Starfleet vessels she served on. Cramped, dingy and damaged, she couldn't help but feel it echoed the personalities and attitudes of the people who inhabited it. Some Maquis were sympathetic in their struggles, noble warriors fighting a dirty (if misguided) war to protect their homes. The Skarbek's crew, by and large, were not counted among that number.:: Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: Have you ever contemplated yours? Vondaryan: Look, if we can get away from the Cardassians on a regular basis, we can certainly keep ahead of Starfleet. ::He smirked once again, in an underserved show of confidence.:: They haven't caught us yet. You're in this for the long haul. ::Oh, but the Cardassians had caught them, hadn't they? Only it hadn't been the Maquis who had suffered for it, rather the people who had lived and worked in the outpost currently in flames. Now an entire community was homeless in the Demilitarised Zone, left to hope that someone would take them in. Perhaps they'd head back to the Federation, where they'd be safe. She hoped so. ::Quinn answered as the EPS system on the beleaguered raider began to whine, power being pushed hard through the ship's systems. It looked as though they were entering the final stages of their escape from the outpost.:: Reynolds: You'll forgive me if I choose to believe otherwise. --- ::Cory ran over to the warp core and looked over it. He traced his finger to the top and located the injector under the Deuterium tank. It looked a bit out of alinement. Climbing up to reached it, he remembered that his toolkit was back near the shield console. Cursing, he climbed back down, ran over and grabbed it. Slinging it over his shoulder Cory climbed back up and started loosening the brackets that kept the injector alined. ::When they were loosened, Cory used a small rubber mallet to whack the injector a couple of time to see if it would move. Nothing. So Cory hit it harder. Cursing, he hit it with everything he had and it moved slightly. Hitting it again, it seemed to straighten back up and a light came on. Cory dropped the hammer and started tightening the brackets. Climbing down and wiping the sweat off with a rag from his bag he beamed at Tasha as she climbed out of the Jefferies tube.:: MacFarlane: Structural integrity is back, ‘ow goes it in ‘ere? Stoyer: I got the injector repaired. See I did learn a few things from you. --- Lanta: Don’t mind me while I close my eyes and pray. ::Muttering to herself, Jo turned her waning attention back to the console in front of her and the systems screaming for the power she didn't have to give. Whatever was going on in Engineering needed to get fixed fast, otherwise, they were going to be the guest stars at a Cardassian [...]tail party. Forgoing praying to any deity that was listening - because if their luck was any indication, none ever did - Jo concentrated on the image of Walter in a [...]tail dress, providing just enough amusement to see her through to the sticky end.:: --- Brunsig: =/\= Did you get it? =/\= E. Reynolds: =/\= Yes, and you owe me a new liver. I'm *still* hungover from all the bloodwine they made us drink. =/\= ::She wasn't kidding. Her head felt like someone was using it as an alternative to timpani in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and she hadn't eaten in over 24 hours, still quite convinced that her stomach still wasn't ready for anything solid. The Klingons had found it hilarious just how much the tiny woman had been able to put away, but boy had she regretted it the next day. Which, oddly, had only seemed to endear her a little more to them.:: Brunsig: =/\= Sure thing, Bärchen. But if we're talking about who owes who a new liver— =/\= E. Reynolds: =/\= Fine, fine. But you have to admit, that was *good* gin. =/\= --- Reynolds: But your cause isn't as just as you pretend it is, is it? It's an excuse. A chance to kill and maim people who had nothing to do with the attack on your home. Then they use that as an excuse to hurt more of our people. And so it goes, round and round. ::An eye for an eye, and the whole galaxy goes blind.:: --- ::Suddenly sparks and smoke began sizzling out of an exposed panel under the tactical console.:: Krugol: Dammit, ::Yelling:: Hey Red? Could you possibly break it to Sparks that the motherboard got fried again? Sevo: Nope. Lanta: Don’t look at me I think it’s Emilia’s turn. Krugol: What do you mean ‘No’? I told her last time, it’s only fair that you do it. ::Emilia whined:: Burke: Here I got it. ::Eli said crawling onto the floor.:: Nobody needs to get the Queen of Scotts involved. --- Gwinnett: Come on someone. ::She had used the intercom so many times that she had gotten the answer. 'Don't call us, we will call you'. She had been quiet for hours now, but it was just another minor offense on a service record that was marred with minor offensives.:: ::She sighed and rolled over. Finally she got thin mattress and got on the floor. She got down and started to start her exercise routine. It was something that distract her for a little while. The pushups started in earnest. Slowly at first until she found her rhythm.:: Gwinnett: Three, Four, Five, Six. ::Her body started to transform into a machine, doing the same near prefect motion time and time again.:: ---- Yiggtissi: Here. It’s not much but you will need the protein. Besides the obvious, do you feel alright? Pain? Injured? Vondaryan: I doubt there's anything you can do for her wounded pride. :: Genkos could not read a thing off their prisoner, either through his natural empathic powers or in her body language. She was a slight woman, and it appeared that she was trying to appear smaller. It might be that was from genuine fear, to appease Slick's aggressive attitude, or from another feeling altogether. Pride was funny, and Genkos was pretty sure the only person feeling any level of pride at that moment in time was Slick himself. Genkos was fairly ashamed that they were having to resort to kidnapping a Starfleet officer, he was pretty sure Yiggs felt the same way as the tenderness he was showing their prisoner was touching. Whilst the look Blondie was giving Slick could kill Julius Caesar many times over.:: --- Reynolds: Why does it matter, anyway? ::She smiled, a hollow expression that didn't reach her eyes.:: The intention isn't to let me remain fine, is it? ::The bile rose in Genkos' throat. Clearly this woman believed they were going to torture her, and that was the last thing either of the two doctors wanted. Even without their experiences with Chok, they'd taken an oath to do no harm. Whilst they'd relented on that vow when it came to Cardassians, they still would take care of their own, as well as anybody who was decent and innocent. And whilst the Starfleeter in front of them was probably not innocent, she hadn't proved herself to be indecent.:: Sim: That's unfair and untrue. It's not Brunsig's way, it's not my way, it's certainly not Yiggs' way. --- Thomas: If we consider we can’t find time to bring it offline, what do you think about a few compensatory modifications to ensure that we do get to where we’re going at least? ::Poor Kael. So serious and sensible in his suggestions. It really wasn't fair that Tasha was hooting with laughter almost immediately after he'd asked the question. Valesha shot him a wry look, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. Unhinged as she was, the woman was both good at her work and popular with the crew. All you could do was put up with her… idiosyncrasies.:: MacFarlane: Compensatory modifications...Bahahahahahaha!!!!! ::Tasha doubled over, cackling away.:: Oh, that’s a good one!!! A better way t’ phrase tha’ might be; delay th’ problem until its too late. Sevo: We’re meeting up with the Inayat-Khan. Erin is bringing supplies and some new recruits. I hope we can at least make it a few light-years, Sparks? MacFarlane: Oh aye, ol’ Skarbek will get us where we need t’ go. Won’t yeh ol’ girl? ::Tasha fondly ran her hand along the edge of her console.:: But, she didn’t like jumpin’ in th’ atmosphere, she protested long an’ loud. --- Sim: Isn't that the reason we have law enforcement? To help curtail the worst echelons of the various species of the galaxy? Yiggtissi: I think our esteemed beside manner is useless here brother. Reynolds: I'm not going to voluntarily tell you anything I know. Beyond the fact it's my duty not to, I'm not going to help you kill more people. So let me ask you this; what options does that leave you with? --- Neathler: ::quickly Samira stood up, causing the chair to fall over:: Hey, what did I... :: Samira stopped midsentence, she was yelling at a closed door anyway. She stared at the door, her eyes flashing from one side to the other as if she was trying to read something that was printed on the door. Finally in her mind, a few loose ends came together and she figured it out. She shook her head as she picked up the chair and with a deep sigh she sat down. :: Neathler: :: talking to her self :: I should have known, some friend you are... --- Burke: I don’t know. Somewhere between killing people and letting people get killed. ::Eli responded in a tone acknowledging the entire universes spanning the distance between those two ideals.:: ::Idealism was what got people killed out here. Eli couldn’t afford to be idealistic anymore, for himself or for the people he was protecting. Part of him hurt admitting that, but it was true. And at the same time, the paradox of the issue confronted Eli because determining not to adhere to an ideal in order to save lives was an ideal in itself. So in his efforts not to be idealistic, Eli exercised idealism. If he was going to be idealistic either way shouldn’t he adhere to the ideal his heart, his spirit, told him was most important, the core of the issue? --- ::Emilia felt a strange feeling in the pit of her chest, the uncomfortable feeling as if she was being watched. Emilia’s hands formed into fists tighter than a ferengi, her knuckles going white with irritation and anxiety. As if someone was trying to burn a hole in her skull sheerly by staring, a feeling she despised with a passion. Emilia’s temptation to snap some snarky comment at the gawker was immeasurable, but she held herself back, she didn’t want to cut Eli off.:: Krugol: I see… oO Okay, that’s it. Oo Thumper, give me a second, will you? ::Emilia’s head snapped around in one swift motion, causing an almost visible disturbance in the air. Her narrowed eyes matched with a familiar blue, her body freezing for a second in hesitation. But, like steam through ice, Emilia’s snarky comment flung itself at the trill before her, like an asteroid.:: Need something? Or are you just staring for the hell of it? Try drawing a picture, it’ll last you longer. Lanta: Sorry Princess but no its nothing. Guess I am losing it. --- ::Talara saw a bright flash in the sky through all the haze and smoke. Had somebody really gone to warp in the atmosphere like that? They had to be crazy. ::Then again, this whole operation was crazy. She never should have left the Imperial Guard. What had she been thinking? She'd been thinking of Shral, of course. What was best for him. They would never be safe with any threat of Cardassians impeding upon Federation territory. Who knew how long it would be until the Cardies wanted Andoria, or some other occupied world in the heart of the Federation. The Federation may be willing to sacrifice the DMZ, but she wasn't. It was the principle of the thing. You had to stand up to bullies. The spoonies were some of the biggest bullies in the galaxy. ::With a roar of her own and her antennae pressed flat against her head Talara "Wires" zh'Aldrashi stepped forward to face the onslaught that awaited her. As the Klingons would say, "Today is a good day to die." She would take as many spoonies out with her as she could in the process.:: (Trellis Vondaryan) --- Marshall: Whatever you say, sponge. If you can explain to me where that dent came from in the Mess Hall table, I'll let you out. Gwinnett: I'll take responsibility. I think it was me.::She wasn't sure, but to fall on your sword at this point didn't hurt her.:: Alright so I shouldn't of been drinking. However, I should of been relieved hours ago. Not that a little liquor ever interfered with my aim. One has to wonder how many times....::She went on and on about her concerns. Gwinnett always had steam to blow off and keeping it bottled up was even worst.:: ::Finally the door slid open and Marshall was standing there. Brooks looked up and got up from the floor.:: Marshall: Fancy a trip to Engineering? Gwinnett: I was starting to think that no one cared.::Smiling.:: --- ::Genkos pushed himself closer, and Yiggtissi handed over his tricorder, still linked with the transmitter on Krugol’s neck. It had been constantly recording the various data and storing in the device’s memory. Genkos looked at the readings. They looked perfectly normal, sedate even, for somebody asleep. Glancing upwards, he saw Princess sat on the edge of the biobed. Definitely not asleep. He looked down again at the readings again – her limbic system was acting like it was in deep REM sleep, but she was wide awake.:: oO What the... Oo Sim: So I am reading this right – her brain is asleep, but Princess is awake. I'm not missing anything? --- EMH: You have a very serious disruptor wound, Lieutenant. ::Caedan started to laugh, then groaned at the molten pain the motion sent through his torso. Was it bad enough to kill him? It *felt* bad enough to kill him, but he was certainly the most biased person the assessment.:: Nkai: No kidd— ::his words stuttered in his mouth as he grimaced,:: —dding. EMH: Can you explain what's going on? ---- MacFarlane: Uhhh...All o’ it? I can fix th’ table, hang on. ::Tasha placed her flesh hand on a still flat piece of the table, while she reached underneath with her prosthetic. She easily located the dent, and with a couple of well-aimed and steady thumps she more or less smoothed out the crater.:: Reynolds: ::Sincerely,:: Then my lips are sealed. MacFarlane: Thank yeh, I do nae want m’ friends t’ think I’m mentally unstable. --- Marshall: Take your time. It's probably a byproduct of whatever gas Sparks uses in Engineering. Huff too much of that stuff and you'll be seeing fairies and unicorns. Sevo: I don’t know. This was weird. I mean, weirder than Sparks’ moonshine fumes. I...I think I’d better go to sickbay. Marshall: You gonna be alright going on your own, or...? ::However, the woman was already making her way toward the stairs, full steam ahead.:: Or just go it alone, into the dark, smash your head open on a step, make ME the bad guy... ::Muttering to herself, Jo jogged to catch up with her before she fell down them head first and face planted the floor. Their Maquis Health Insurance wasn't what it used to be.:: --- Brunsig: So to be clear; we're all exhausted and strung out on adrenaline; we've just narrowly escaped from the burning wreckage of Schulman, breathing in deep lungfuls of toxic smoke from an outpost's worth burning buildings and their contents; you're using equipment that was basic and bargain basement when it was new twenty-five years ago; said equipment took a battering along with the rest of the ship when we were being shot at by Cardassians... ::He paused for dramatic effect, sweeping his piercing gaze around the people collected in sickbay,:: Brunsig: ...but you think the *reasonable* conclusion is that we're all lucid sleepwalkers? Including yourselves. Who are diagnosing sleepwalking. In your sleep. ::He scowled.:: Is there such a thing as a common sense transplant? ::He glanced toward Vondaryan.:: What's the going rate on those, these days? --- ::Some of them had seemed quite promising, to start with. Some fury, some violent tendencies, a desperate desire for revenge… but they were all too loyal to (or afraid of) their "captain". It was a frustration that the dream state could only be created with broad brush strokes — goals set, scenario created — with the dreamers filling in the blanks. It led to situations like this, with Starfleet officers putting a captain in charge and following him like the sheep they were.:: Mirovan: Mmm. ::She paused, gesturing at the screen with a milk-pale, slender finger.:: In addition, the joined Trill are proving to a be problem— Lladre: ::Dryly,:: Story of my life. Mirovan: —as they're experiencing corporeal bleed, due to their unique neurophysiology. I can increase the intensity of the field to counteract it, but it does risk permanent brain damage to both symbiont and host. ::Face impassive, Lladre locked her gaze with the Dokkaran woman. Ana was almost monochrome: white hair, anaemic skin… the only splashes of colour were her pale pink lips and translucent blue eyes. She really was very fond of the mild-mannered, desert-witted woman. They had been friends for a very long time, through several hosts, and she was one of the few people Lladre would ever inconvenience herself for.:: Lladre: I fail to see how that's a problem. Mirovan: I thought you might say that. --- ::In an instant, her hungry eyes seized the book’s form, Emilia’s nails jamming in between the marked crevices of the novel. Dramatically and slowly, she freed the printed text from darkness that plagued the pages. The relief of escaping to a world of fantasy upon her once more, as she set her famished eyes on the bold, black letters that sunk deeply into the pages.:: ::It felt rather ironic really, suspecting one of dreaming, but once again indulging in the dreams of another man. Quite odd really? Perhaps it was… but the line between dreams and reality appeared to thicken once again as Emilia occupied her thoughts on the coarse pages. Though, she still couldn’t shake the feelings she had earlier. Each image within her mind, sticking with her like glue. Each recollection, causing a strangely ghostly feeling to reach through the very centre of her chest.:: ::But what could it all mean?:: --- Smith: Me and Davine? Noo...... ::He was lying through the skin of his teeth and it was very obvious, but he knew people would find out quickly. He just needed to be careful about what he said as they weren’t anything, they as Davine said we’re “just having fun” Yiggtissi: This is a small ship Kid. Every time someone passes gas around here, it’s like a major breaking news event. Sim: Although we're not going to tell anyone. ::winking at the Kid:: --- Brunsig: ...but you think the *reasonable* conclusion is that we're all lucid sleepwalkers? Including yourselves. Who are diagnosing sleepwalking. In your sleep. ::He scowled.:: Is there such a thing as a common sense transplant? ::He glanced toward Vondaryan.:: What's the going rate on those, these days? ::Trellis snorted. He tried motioning to say "I told them, they don't believe me," and "I can't just *buy* common sense for them" but wasn't sure how effective he was with a mere shrug and a roll of his eyes.:: --- Johns: Alright, alright. No need to take a chunk out of my tush, I was only asking. Consider my rump roasted. Lanta: What I wouldn’t give for a plate of fresh gagh or some Targ steak right now. Sevo: I don’t know, Soup, you would have made a pretty decent mirror. All we would need to do is just bend you over, and stick your [...] around a corner to look for any surprises --- MacFarlane: =/\= MacFarbles t’ Yiggy. I figged yer equibmint. =/\= Yiggtissi: =/\= Thanks. :: He paused. :: Are you ok Sparks? =/\= MacFarlane: =/\= Wha? I’m line...brine...lime...uhhh...I am completely alrigh’ =/\= Yiggtissi:: =/\= So there was nothing wrong with the devices? Hard to believe but I trust you. =/\= MacFarlane: =/\= Well, then come t’ shikbay an’ sheck it yerselb. Or no! Were are yeh? I can take da shricorbers t’ yeh! =/\= --- ::Erin smiled, tugged forward as Jo slipped her fingers into the belt loops of her trousers. She happily fell into the woman's arms, squeezing back just as tightly as she was swept up into a bear hug. It was good to be home.:: Marshall: Welcome home, sheya. E. Reynolds: I missed you. ::She paused, closing her eyes in a grimace of discomfort and annoyance.:: But, um… for your continued personal hygiene, you should probably put me down. --- ::Quinn hit the deck with a thump, and laid there in a daze for a few moments. The bare metal of the Skarbek's deck was cold against her cheek, and she couldn't tell if she was relieved or disappointed to have woken from the intense dream. Her heart was still pounding, and she could almost swear his scent still lingered on her skin, her lips still tingling from his kiss. Relieved. Surely she was relieved. Walter Brunsig was a traitor and a terrorist, and not a man she wanted running through her thoughts in *any* capacity if she could avoid it. What was her brain even doing, conjuring up a scenario like that? ::With a groan of an entirely different sort, she tried to bury her face in her hands, only to be reminded that she was still in cuffs.:: Bondon: If you're quite finished. ::Quinn began to move, her head turning toward the source of the voice. Caught entirely unawares, she wasn't quick enough, and the toe of a booted foot slammed into her midriff, leaving her in pain while gasping for air.:: Bondon: No, no. Stay down. You and I need to have a conversation. Or rather, you need to talk, and I want to listen. --- Smith: Basically, Yiggs and Kos are convinced were asleep. that this is some sort of collective dream. what if.. :Hesitating for the third time:: what if they're right, what if we don't know each other on.. where ever there is. our friendship means a lot to me. I don't want it to go away. ::He started to tear up, and a singular tear fell down his cheek.:: Or worse what if one of us doesn't exist and is just a part of one of our dreams. I... don't know what to do Dav, it scares me. ::He fell against the wall and slid down it, his knees upright and his arms around them. his head in his lap. he broke down, endless thoughts of what might and might not be real went through his mind, Jang, his parents, old friends, were they real. was he real. he didn't know what to believe anymore, more tears started to fall, quickly he wiped them away trying to avoid anymore embarrassment he had caused himself. Looking up he saw Dav, she started to talk. even just looking at her he felt a tiny bit better. if he wasn't real he was glad to be spending time with her. --- ::While Trellis moved aside some papers Wheels went to a desk drawer and took out a pair of shot glasses. He poured drink into both, took the slug, refilled, and only then handed the other glass to Trellis. He too downed his shot and refilled it. All the while Wheels climbed out of his chair to relax on his bunk before actually looking at Trellis. The pure black Betazoid eyes staring back at him still managed to cause shivers down his spine whenever he looked into them for any amount of time. Tonight was no exception.:: Sim: ::in a mock Austrian accent:: So Mr Vondaryan, tell me about your dreams... Vondaryan: ::He ran a hand through his blond hair, letting out a deep sigh.:: Well, it was a series of images... ::He paused, trying to remember the exact details.:: There were shiny lights. And... and touch screens. And colored collars, I think... --- Lanta: Relax let the music take you, you don’t have to count listen to your heartbeat and feel your way naturally ::Emilia said nothing in return, only resuming her pace in response. Her gaze bridged with Ferier’s, instantly softening the echo against her chest. Emilia drew a shallow breath before quickly continuing her somewhat slow pace in dance. She couldn’t explain it, but the slight taste of fish formed against her taste buds as her feet pattered unendingly against the deck. Following the rhythm of each beat. Emilia moved each body part as if her heart was a metronome.:: Lanta: You dance excellently, Emilia. ::The use of her name sent chills down her spine. Sticks had never called Emilia by name before, and it was strangely familiar. Familiar enough to feel almost illusive, it was a very cold feeling. Amongst her chills, the song finished, and Emilia stood gracefully in her finishing poze, standing under Sticks’ chin. A breath escaped Emilia’s lips, followed by a soft panting. Once everything had finished, it was as if the fatigue finally had a chance to catch up.:: --- E. Reynolds: Quinn! ::Erin sprinted inside, the scent of copper hanging heavy in the air, dropping to her knees in front of the prone form of the Starfleet officer. Her twin was out cold, her face bruised and split, blood matting a patch of her brown hair, dusty boot prints visible on the dark material of her uniform. Her hands were still cuffed, her hands and wrists covered in welts, as though she'd been using them as a shield. The blood rushing in her hears, Erin reached for her sister's throat with a trembling hand, checking for a pulse, while behind her, Jo thumbed the controls of the internal intercom. A breath she didn't realise she'd been holding escaped when she felt that gentle, regular thump under her fingers.:: Marshall: =/\= Doctors, medical emergency in... in Quinn's quarters. Move it. =/\= --- th’Koro: Right, so have you ever heard of the last Thursday theory? Namura: I can't say that I have. ::Her eyebrow angled flawlessly.:: Care to enlighten? :: Excitement coursed through him but he realised that he can easily bore people with all of his weird Science things. He knew far too much about it :: th’Koro: ::Teasingly:: Well I could but it is long. Namura: It's not as though we haven't got the time here, Newbie. You're into the Science. Let's hear it. th’Koro: ::Taking a big breath in:: Basically, it suggests that the whole universe was created Last Thursday...or whatever day takes your fancy. And it is absolutely impossible to disprove. Like if you say, ‘ooh but I know what I was doing last Wednesday,’ I could just say, ‘ You were created with those memories last Thursday.’ See, a little Reductio ad Absurdum. --- Johns: Sweet saints of all that is holy, you scared the crap out of me. ::He lowered his hand with a brief flash of apology on his features and quelled his shallow but rapid breath.:: Can't you wear a bell or something? Sienelis: No. Johns: Look, I've already been tenderised like a cutlet with a beef mallet on Schulman. The Docs had to pull a five-inch stake out of my buttcheek. So, if you’re about to beat me up, know that I’m tired, and I haven’t shaved my legs. ::Her nose wrinkled, just a little, and she regarded him with clear dismay.:: Sienelis: Nothing you just said enriched my life. --- Stoyer: Well, you are a bit intimidating. Again, I have seen you use that frankengun Sparks put together for you. :: Ayiana couldn’t help but giggle. Did she really seem that way to people? :: Sevo: Sorry. I never really intended to come out looking like that. But you have to try that thing; it’s so fun! --- Smith: That was quick. Also you’re wearing my clothes. MacFarlane: Mine wash bein’ too loub. Beshidesh, ish nob all yersh, thish ish shtill my jacket. Smith: Still that’s my... Hang on were are your clothes Tasha? You could’ve just put them back on MacFarlane: Uhhh...I think m’ clothesh are in yer quartersh shomewhere? Maybe I forgetted where I leaved them. --- Brunsig: Why don't you call your union rep and we'll all have a sit down to discuss the unfair working hours of freedom fighters. ::Stoyer's voice started to rise as he continued. For someone who changed partners as often as most people changed their socks, he was surprisingly upset.:: Stoyer: I know you don’t like me, but remember one thing. I am not here for you or your revolution. I have my reasons. ::He shot a quick glance at Jo, then began to step away.:: Also, you might try if it is in your nature to be a bit nicer to your crew. You may just get more out of them. Brunsig: You're right! How could I be so blind. Someone's just beaten Reynolds into a pulp because there wasn't a guard on her door *as I asked*, ::he glared at Sevo,:: but clearly what everyone *really* needs is a cuddle and a round of Kumbaya from Papa Bear. --- ::When Corliss had been sent ahead to the ship, she...well she...wasn't expecting uh...what had happened. What happened was...she wasn't entirely sure? One moment she was in the ship the next...ah, she wasn't sure now that she was being pulled from the dreamland. She knew she was a mix of afraid and nauseous and her head was pounding a bit. She made a noise, her hand sliding up and covering her face.:: Reynolds: Ensign? Fortune, can you hear me? Fortune: ::mumbling:: Boss, shussshhh, I was dreaming.... --- th’Koro: I’ll only do it if money is involved. :: So the Andorian petaQ wanted to get “paid”, huh? Fine. Without warning, Ayiana swung her right fist at Thalas’ face, hitting him hard on the cheek. :: Sevo: There’s your payment! --- MacFarlane: Ah...that doeshn’t sheem wise...hash anybody eber told yeh tha’ yer a really nice shade o’ green? ::She reached out to try and touch him:: Yer a pretty man. :: The Saurian’s brow lifted a bit as his eyes widened at her comment. It was the first time that anyone had paid him such a compliment, besides his mother of course. Living in Boston, he never caught the attention of women. Even his own species seemed to look at him as a traitor for leaving Sauria and deciding to live among the soft skins. He knew it was the lingering effects of the alcohol but he took Tasha’s comment and smiled. :: Yiggtissi: Thanks Sparks. And for a soft skin and someone I consider a sister, you’re not bad yourself. --- Vondaryan: I didn't realize we had contracts. Maybe the Ferengi wrote them without telling us. Lanta: If thats the case we have a whle slew of backpay coming th’Koro: ::Glaring at Red:: That would be nice :: Samira said nothing. If someone had joined the Maquis with the idea to earn a living, they were surely mistaken. Red's reaction said it all. They should be happy to still be alive at the end of the day. :: Sevo: :: Facepalming. :: It’s a figure of speech. Anyway, Slick, Walter wants *you* to lead this investigation, because apparently you’re good at such things. --- Vondaryan: Right, as we observed from Red and Buttons here, we've got an assailant on the loose. Someone, and I'm not naming names, yet, defied Papa Bear's orders not to harm the Brainiac from Starfleet. We've got to figure out who. ::He rounded on the nearest person to him.:: So where were you an hour ago? ::He could smell the discomfort coming off of the rabble. Everyone was a suspect until they weren't. And right now everyone was a suspect. Except him, of course.:: --- Neathler: :: Trying to remain calm. :: Now why would I want to do that? I didn't even know you had a Fleeter on board, where she was kept captive or how she looks like. And even if I knew, you honestly think I would have kept a fleeter alive? :: Samira was furious, she shouldn't have said the latter but it was too late now. :: --- Sevo: I was having dinner with Stripper. In the galley. Tons of witnesses. ::Unfortunately, Tali could attest to that, with nauseating detail.:: th’Koro: Does this ship have cameras or something or any way to see the corridors in front of the quarters. Sevo: Ha! It’s not like this is a shiny Starfleet ship with a security guard on every corner. Namura: We only needed the *one* guard, to be fair. --- Fortune: ::She grinned:: I'd say it's fair to say not every day you see a brightly pink haired woman in normal company. I'm also very good with my words. However. You definitely owe me a party after this. ::She winked playfully, then winced, rubbing at her temple.:: I'm joking. What's the plan? ::Quinn managed a faint smile, having guessed at the joke — her startling pink hair was barely worth a second glance among the incredible diversity of a Starfleet crew. The Gorkon alone counted a huge variety of appearance among the individuals in residence; a purple-haired Antosian, blue-skinned and antennaed Andorians, a green-skinned, lizard-like Saurian, a Romulan, a battle-scarred and aged Klingon, and last but most definitely not least, a Pahkwa-thanh — a talking dinosaur in a Starfleet uniform.:: Reynolds: I'm sure that Lieutenant Nkai would be delighted to indulge your request. Nkai: Any excuse is a good excuse for a party, sir. --- The dream starts to unravel... --- :: They were currently standing in a small cave, with several tunnels leading off in different directions. In the center of the cave was a raised pool with murky, bubbling water. :: Sevo: I...I think this is a Symbiont pool. From Trill. Lanta: I don’t know but isn’t it beautiful --- :: Samira reached out with her right hand and let some of the confetti fall on her glove. The colorful material quickly changed color on touch down into snow white flakes. Yet something didn't feel right. She looked up, the cave was now filled with snowflakes, blurring the view, the seahorses and jellyfish were nowhere to be seen. Confused she looked at her glove, seeing the flakes were acting as a corrosion and started to eat the leather of her glove. In a bit of a panic she shook her hand trying to get rid of the flakes but it was in vain. :: :: Quickly she turned around, dashed out of the cave, back to the others, ran to the pool and quickly dipped her hand into the murky, bubbling water, hoping the water itself wasn't boiling. Shaking the excess of muddy water from her glove, she muttered her first words since she left the bridge. :: --- ::Without warning the lights flicked back on, brighter than ever. Trellis shielded his eyes from the sudden change in lighting. When his eyes had adjusted he noticed, at the end of the corridor, stood what he thought Humans called a "clown." A being with an obviously fake set of fiery-red hair, paint stains on its cheeks, and a fake, giant, red nose. It smiled to reveal a set of razor-sharp teeth that made the entire image unsettling.:: Namura: P-please tell me someone else sees him. Vondaryan: ::He hissed.:: The thing you call a clown? Yeah. And it's in my way. --- :: Lost in a universe of calamity and incalculable odds, the macrocosm had seen fit to join these two lights together in travel. The thought of losing that pained Yiggtissi to his core and if he could cry, there were would be tears staining his jacket as the two shared this moment in time. :: Sim: ::looking deeply into his friend's eyes:: Whatever happens here today, brother, I will always appreciate your friendship, your loyalty, and your alcohol abuse. ::he felt the tears watering at the corners of his eyes:: Now, lift me up on to that bed before I change my mind. Yiggtissi: :: He bent down and lifted him up. :: Whatever happens, we will find each other again my brother. Our travels are not complete yet. --- MacFarlane: We’re in Scotland ::frowning:: ‘ow th’ hell did we get ‘ere? Stoyer: Why are we here? What did you do? MacFarlane: I did nothin’! We came through t’ door an’-- --- Sevo: KID! What the hell are you--! :: The [unicorn] didn’t move, or even tremble. It freely let Kid touch it’s forehead in a bare place between plates of the armor. Carefully, Ayiana moved up as well. She got so close, she could feel the warm air one of them was breathing out its nostrils. She noticed a silver nametag on it, just like the others; the one in front of her said “Serenity.” :: :: Groznin turned back to Ayiana in confusion.:: Smith: Well what do we do? --- Lanta: ::muttering:: I wonder ::Without another word he climbed a rock near to one of the creatures and climbed the rock and then on to the unicorn. It stood patiently as if expecting it and looked round to make sure he was sat firmly. Then it turned and with no run up cleared the gap with one delicate seeming jump:: Smith: Umm.. ::Groznin was in amazement.:: Lanta: Looks like this is the way across guys --- Gravelled Voice: It's up here. We're to grab her kids and bring them up to the bridge. Rasping Voice: Lladre wants a bargaining chip, huh? Gravelled Voice: Something like that. Don't think his— ::there was a momentary pause, as if the owner of the voice was self-correcting,:: —*her* current plan is working out. ::It took Quinn a moment to realise that her phaser was already out of its holster, held in a vice-like grip. On this deck there was only one set of quarters hosting children — her own. The temptation to up the setting on her phaser was near irresistible, but she gritted her teeth and forced herself to think straight. Now was not the time to lose her cool, as much as she wanted to charge around the corner and start shooting at the people threatening her son and daughter. --- ::Two guests, clad in plate armor and standing proud before the two humans were a pair of Unicorns. Slowly Tasha approached them and extended her right arm towards them, her flesh and blood arm. One of them, slightly smaller than its friend shook its mane and stepped towards her, lowering its head to sniff at her hand. She carefully petted it, her eyes brimming with tears of joy, the fear of moments ago completely forgotten. With a wide grin she looked over her shoulder at Cory.:: MacFarlane: Cory…look...Unicorns…it’s m’ dreams come true! --- E. Reynolds: I just… ::She kept her voice low, her words for the other woman alone.:: If we wake up and this is all… if *we're* not… ::She trailed off, unable to quite bring herself to say it.:: I just want to say that it doesn't matter. The way I feel about you, that's real. Marshall: ::Quietly,:: I know, sheya. I know. It's real for me too. ::She looked between them, at their laced fingers, and gave them a gentle squeeze.:: It'll be all right. Whatever happens, it'll be all right. ::She tried to smile, but it wouldn't quite come, worry lines running in parallel across her forehead. Swallowing, Erin reached for her partner, cupping her face in her hands and scooting up onto her tiptoes to steal a kiss fraught with fear and desperate affection. Jo pulled her close, arms around her waist, hands splayed on her back. Erin could feel her emotions reflected back at her, the aching sense that this was somehow a goodbye.:: Marshall: Whatever happens, whoever we are, I'm yours. ::Her voice wobbled in a way that made Erin's throat hurt, even more so when Jo tucked a stray strand of her hair behind her ear, her skin tingling in the wake of her touch.:: Time to take a deep breath and face whatever this is together. --- ::He pirouetted his body around, darting forward towards the golden shade. It was an experience not dissimilar to swimming, but there was no water resistance, and it was solely a mental effort. His new body was a construct after all. Still holding Erin's hand, they travelled together towards the golden shade, who looked eerily similar to Erin's, except that she was clearly wearing a Starfleet uniform.:: Sim: It's not me, she is wearing a Starfleet uniform, right? E. Reynolds: She is, yes… Sim: Good. ::clearing his throat:: Quinn Reynolds. --- :: He kicked his knee out frantically and noticed a crack of light come through. He kicked again, causing the crack to become larger. He could hear the excitement from the voices but still, no idea who they were. He pushed out with his elbow and a different crack of light appeared. Yiggtissi began to shuffle his entire body and beams of light began to appear from everywhere. Suddenly, bright light rushed in blinding him once again. His stomach turned a bit as he felt as though someone picked him up and held him in mid-air. The cold air rushing around his body causing him to lose his breath. :: :: The white light began to fade slowly and his vision started to clear. The blurry images began to focus and in his mind, he was shocked. He saw the young face of his mother, who was holding him under his arms, his body dangling in the air. A loving smile streamed across her face as she turned to her husband, who was peering over her shoulder. :: Cairittin: Look at him, Tuk. Isn’t he wonderful? Tukmeeh: He has your eyes, Cairittin. --- :: Samira walked over to one of the cabinets and opened the door. Dozens of yellow rubber ducks fell out of the cabinet, quaking and making other noises. She slammed the door shut, ready to give the door another beating with her fist but stopped. There was no point, she'd only hurt her already fragile fingers. Instead she bent down, took one of the rubber ducks and threw it in the direction of the still dancing isolinear chips on the table, trying to break its formation. A couple of those chips jumped up, letting the duckie pass. The duck bounced from the table to the wall behind it, grew a set of wings and flew out the door into the corridor, quaking loud as if it was laughing at all of them. :: :: She took a few steps back and leaned against the bulkhead next to the doorway, crossing her arms in front of her. :: --- MacFarlane: ‘ow, what, who are yeh? ::The yellow teeth what showed from the smile disconcerted Cory. The beard was impressive Cory thought, as the little dude stroked it.:: Skar: A good question gal. What d’ ya want ta call me? ::He held up a hand before either of them could speak:: Sorry, that was not a very useful answer, I know. Ya can call me Skarbek, but I prefer Skar, but I will let you use whatever is better for ya mon. MacFarlane: Skarbek...yer named after our ship? Skar: Ya ship? Na mon, ya mah crew, I’m not ya ship. Ya didn’t think o’ that did ya gal. --- Reynolds: What the— ::Her gaze landed on Erin, and she scowled.:: You. ::Erin sucked in a sharp breath. Clearly something had happened between the two sisters in that moment.:: Sim: Commander Reynolds - Reynolds: Get out of my head. --- Skar: ::smiling widely:: Ey gal, its no troubal. Once ya undastand tha world ya live in, it is easy ta shape. Now go on, who knows how long that passage will remain open for ya mon. ::Tasha glanced at Cory, then back to Skar. He nodded encouragingly. Still unconvinced she looked to the Unicorns who neighed and pawed at the ground, gesturing with their horns for them to enter. Seeing no other option than to continue roaming the Highlands, Tasha dropped to her hands and knees and began crawling into the hole. It slowly widened, eventually to the point where Tasha could stand.:: ::Looking around Tasha was surprised, they appeared to be back on the Skarbek, in one of its narrow corridors. She looked back over her shoulder and saw Cory behind her, and no sign of the tunnel they had just passed through, only more corridor. Frowning she opened the nearest door and carefully stepped through, into the deflector maintenance bay, which had been her original goal.:: --- :: Ayiana brought up a biological scanning suite, and started scanning the pool of blood. It quickly returned a result; just not the one she was expecting. The top screen had a strange game playing out - a yellow smiley head eating through a row of dots, all leading through a maze to the center with a coin-like object. Four ghost-looking characters were chasing it. :: Sevo: Hmm. Very interesting. Neathler: Yeah very. --- Reynolds: Well, half. ::She didn't even attempt a smile at her own, half-hearted joke.:: My Dad... I think he's relieved too, underneath it all. And my brother and sister. She– ::Whatever Quinn had been about to say, it was lost as the sentence died in her throat. She shook her head and stared out past the shattered walls of sickbay, where a setting sun painted a rippling sea in shades of ruby and bronze. Sister? Singular? Didn't she have *two*?:: Reynolds: I love you, Walter. ::He flushed and stiffened, wanting to take a step backward and yet somehow unable to. What in the flaming hells was this? The words rang familiar in his ears, and feelings began to uncoil in his chest that echoed them. But what about Carys? How could some dream conversation feel more real that the memories of the woman he'd *married*? ::Quinn looked at him, a fragile smile on her face, as though she'd been expecting his reaction, playing out her part in the dream-memory without missing a beat.:: Reynolds: I'm not asking anything of you. I don't expect you to do anything about it. But you should know; you're loved. That's all I came here to say. --- :: Tired of everything Samira brushed away the figure that was still pulling at her hand. The girl fell on her bum in the middle of the table, yet stubbornly stood up, returned to Samira's hand, grabbed her thumb and started pulling again. Samira looked at the others not knowing what to do. Maybe she should just go back to her quarters and get some sleep. What if that was the solution to everything? She looked back at the girl on the table. The girl was now holding some kind of device in front of her mouth and shouted something through it. :: Girl: Follow the yellow brick road. Neathler: What yellow brick road? --- Skar: Ya mon! Ya know what I’m talkin’ about! ::Cory mumbled something vile under his breath and headed to assist Sparks. She grabbed the panel that was over the components they needed to fix and pulled it off. There was a sudden gasp from the little dude. Cory looked over at him.:: Skar: Ey gal! Be gentle! Those are mah insides ya are pullin’ an’ tossin’ around. --- ::Trellis could see the Trill coming out of her stupor, eyes fluttering open. She was still struggling to regain consciousness, let alone understand what was happening. He was fully cognizant of everything and didn't understand.:: Krugol: I-... Vondaryan: Shut it, just relax. ::To the others.:: We've got to get through that door. Thoughts on how to proceed? --- Sienelis: Ri'ran! ::Diverting away from the door, Valesha darted over to the woman and took her hands, trying to pull her to her feet. The woman didn't move, or even acknowledge Valesha's existence, going about her data entry as though there wasn't a full-grown adult tugging at her wrists.:: Johns: What's wrong with her? She's like a- Sienelis: Chris, please, help me! ::She looked at him with wide eyes.:: It's my mother, we can't leave her in here… she's going to— ::There was a dull, clunking sound that echoed through the bay. None of the inhabitants seemed to pay it much mind, barring a few stray glances, having got used to the odd sounds that the ship made around them and having little experience in living aboard a starship. But those who did, recognised it for the dire warning that it was. In response, Valesha pulled every more frantically at her mother's arms, but it was like trying to shift a statue.:: --- ::Cory quickly looked around, but didn’t see any umbrella except the one the little due was holding. Stepping forward he made a grab for it. He missed and the little dude quickly stepped away and just as fast bopped Cory on the head with the umbrella. He had never seen anyone move that fast. Cory growled a bit and tried to grab the umbrella again. And again he was bopped on the head. Cory swung a punch at the little dude. All of his frustration and anger boiling over. Missing and getting bopped again. Cory stepped back. The rain was continuing to fall. His head hurt from the boppings.:: oO All of this over an umbrella. Oo --- Reynolds: We'll take the turbolift. ::She glanced sideways at Nkai.:: Just stay with us a little while longer. ::He nodded, pain lining his ghost-white face and she guessed that was all he was capable of at this point. They shuffled forward, moving as fast as Nkai could manage, lurching toward the turbolift.:: ::Corliss slowly shuffled with him, seeing his pale face. Last time she saw someone that pale, they threw up in her lap at one of the bars her friends had dragged her too. Yuck. She knew this was from pain though, although she couldn't fault the man if he lost his lunch.:: --- ::Again Genkos kept quiet, waiting for Quinn to respond. She was clearly trying to decide what to tell them, if anything.:: Reynolds: Everyone aboard the Skarbek is a actually a Starfleet officer, and we serve aboard the same ship. Right now, someone is trying to steal that ship and I haven't yet figured out what purpose the collective dream has in— ::She stopped, frowning, and Genkos shivered. It seemed her realisation had made him cold:: Sim: What is it? Reynolds: My command codes. ::She shook her head.:: The codes you were after in the dream. They're actually the Gorkon's command codes. --- Sevo: Make...it...stop… *hurk* :: As the loop leveled out, Ayiana saw them heading towards a bright blue nebula. But instead of heading into it, the car looped around and towards a star; far too close for Ayiana’s comfort. She could feel the heat emanating from the cosmic fusion plant. Ayiana closed her eyes, and braced for collision with the dwarf star. When she expected to hit the surface, they instead flew right *through* the star, and back into darkness. Moments later, the car slowed and lurched to a stop. The bars around her retracted, and Ayiana scrambled out as fast as she could. :: Smith: WOHOO! That was fun. Can we do it again red!? Lanta: It was average at best Sevo: :: Heaving. :: ‘L-lemme ‘lone. *Hurk*--! :: Poor Cory. He worked so hard on that stew. :: Neathler: ::Grumbling. :: Leave me alone. Just give me a minute. --- ::Determined burned behind her blue eyes as she stared at the doctor, seized by whatever crackpot idea she'd had. The question was, was it completely crackpot, or only dreamworld crackpot?:: Marshall: Can you induce a hemorrhage? Without beating me to a pulp. ::Completely crackpot, then.:: Brunsig: ::He pinched his nose.:: What fresh new hell is this. --- ::In the distance Tasha heard the loud whistle of a steam locomotive, and, just as the rain around them changed to lumps of falling coal, Skar stepped close to them and the madness vanished. The rain remained, but thankfully it was a liquid once more, although it had taken on a smoky, black taint.:: Skar: See mon. I’m on ya side. I’m tryin’ ta protect ya from, oh hey wow! Another one bites the dust! MacFarlane: Another one bites th’ dust? Stoyer: What are you talking about? Skar: Ya doctor, the Saurian ya call Yiggs. He woke up! --- ::The young one, barely out of childhood by the looks of him, paced back and forth. Bondon kept his eyes down, assessing the situation.:: Smith: Let’s start with your name. What is it? Bondon: ::He snorted.:: Like I'm going to tell you that. Bondon don't tell nobody his name. --- Everyone: Three! Two! One! ::He closed his eyes one more time. The shiny walls were at least not full of desiccated bodies. That was a plus.:: Vondaryan: Where are we now? I- I don't recognize this place. --- Sevo: How rude. Perhaps a fist to your face might loosen your tongue? :: Ayiana raised a balled fist towards Bondon’s face threateningly. :: Bondon: No, I don't think I will. Maybe *you'd* like a punch to the face! :: Before she could react, Bondon somehow freed himself from the ropes, and swung a blade that he had somehow managed to get a hold of. Ayiana jumped back, trying to dodge the knife, but she wasn’t quite fast enough; the knife cut a large hole in her shirt. :: Lanta: Watch out! Sevo: Oy! This is my favorite shirt! --- Lladre: Then that's our cue to leave. Alert the others, we'll meet them aboard our ship. ::There was one last thing to do before they left. As Ana contacted the rest of their team, Lladre shifted the one device they had yet to use to the centre of the bridge, tapping out a few quick commands. Lights flashed into existed on its control panel, flicking on and off in something that looked suspiciously like a countdown.:: Lladre: We're set. Let's go. ::Ana nodded, and three transporter beams materialised on the bridge, stealing away the two thieves and the unique device they'd used to pacify the crew. Through the confinement beam, she could see people starting to stir, and was entirely unable to resist a mischievous wave as she vanished in front of their eyes::
  15. Damn! Right in the feels @Kali Nicholotti & @Randal Shayne ((Sickbay, USS Columbia)) (Time Index: Shortly After Returning from the Planet’s Surface) ::He was haggard, and miserable, and ill, and spaced out to degree he’d not experienced since the night he’d graduated the Academy, but there were duties to attend to. It was this that allowed him to proceed from hour to hour since his most timely return to the ship. A mission as hectic and fraught as the one he’d just undertaken (and failed, by most honest recountings) would have taken the spark out of anyone, and the radiation still had yet to leave his system entirely. But the subspace information packet he’d found in his quarters upon his return made him wonder if hallucinations were joining his growing list of symptoms.:: ::Dear god, he was being transferred.:: ::His focus on the orders was kept to an absolute, so that he might not have the mental freedom to consider their implications for him down the line. He liked it here. A good ship, with a good crew, on a good mission. He trusted these people, worked with them for years in some cases. His best friends were here- and it was that, more than anything, that left him absolutely gutted. But orders were not negotiable, and though it was not a habit conducive to maintaining relationships, Shayne had a habit of going where the fleet needed him, whether he was asked or not.:: ::So, with his gear prepped, he steeled himself for the most crippling part of this effort- saying goodbye.:: ::Quietly, he approached MacKenna’s bed. He’d heard of her actions on the planet below- nothing could quite describe just how painful the thought of not being there to defend her was. With a kind smile that belayed his unhappy news, at least for the moment, he spoke, in a voice just loud enough for them both to hear.:: Shayne: It is so good to see you. How are you feeling? ::Like her normal self, Ash hadn't been paying attention to anything or anyone approaching. When she heard him, she finally looked up with a smile the likes of which hadn't graced her face since, well, she didn't know how long.:: MacKenna: A little lopsided. ::It was a joke, though she was markedly horrible at humor. She rarely shared it with anyone around her, but for whatever reason, he was different. She looked up at him, reaching with her remaining hand, wanting to feel that he was actually there. So much was running through her mind, it was hard to just let it all settle, but when she caught a glimpse of his eyes it instantly faded into the background. There was something there.:: ::But what was it...?:: ::He’d heard of her injury, but had no idea her hand was mechanical before asking about her. It was common knowledge, so he wasn’t violating any level of privacy, but it still felt intrusive. Still, upon hearing that her hand had nearly been torn off, he’d been happy to hear it was a mechanical apparatus, and not a sudden amputation.:: Shayne: Will you be alright? ::It wasn’t a question he originally wanted to ask- for if she wasn’t alright, he’d be compelled by affection and care and decency to do everything he could to alleviate her suffering. But orders wouldn’t permit him to stay long.:: MacKenna: I will be okay. They are already working on a replacement for me. ::She still couldn't really handle looking at what used to be her hand, so she didn't. Instead, she tried to delve deeper into his eyes to figure out what was really going on. And maybe it was nothing, she hoped it was nothing, given her inability to read people. But something in the back of her mind told her it wasn't. No, he had the same look in his eyes then that Radi had given her...:: ::It wasn’t fair to keep the truth from her. If he didn’t tell her now, he’d never get another chance. And from the way she was searching through him, rifling through the files of his mind with her eyes, she knew something was amiss already.:: Shayne: Ash. I’ve… been transferred.:: ::He didn’t think he’d ever referred to her by her first name, and it felt right. But it also filled him with heaviness- when would he get the opportunity to do so again?:: ::There is was. Ash was stunned, but not at the same time. Something deep inside knew that was what was coming, but the majority of her mental capacities were trying desperately to keep it from being thought of. Now that the words spilled out into the distance between them, there was no hiding from it. The worst part of it was that this was the life she had chosen.:: ::Internally, her mind began its own meltdown. She did not give her feelings easily, and she did not grow close to many people. Somehow, this man had found a way in, and quickly. It had taken her by surprise in so many ways, on so many levels, but the current had been so strong, so determined that this was the correct path to take that she’d not been able to fight it for long.:: ::A future she longed for, but would never have, flashed between thoughts of how inadequate she had to be. The universe had to see her as unworthy. Everyone left, and the changes that followed were impossible to deal with. It made her more than uncomfortable, it made her want to scream, cry, throw things, or just hide. She didn’t know how to cope. She didn’t want to cope. Her mind saw only impossibility and loss.:: ::Internally the idea of the looming loneliness festered, the meltdown gathered momentum, her insides screamed with her inability to do anything about this. Behind her pools of emerald green, tears welled up and threatened to unleash a flood. Yet, outwardly, she barely managed to hold it all together.:: ::Barely.:: MacKenna: When? ::She barely managed to get the word out and even then it sounded more like a squeak, like a forced question just to divert his attention away from the fact that she was falling apart.:: ::Shayne quite nearly shattered at that single utterance. It was so filled with hurt, with disappointment and longing and pain that he simply couldn’t process it. His empathetic nature felt like it was dissolving him whole, and there was nothing he could do. His chest felt like it was collapsing in on itself. It took about ten seconds for him to force his lips and voice to provide an answer.:: Shayne: I just found out a few hours ago. I leave today. Soon. ::A million thoughts raced through her head and she fought them all. What was the right thing to say?:: oO Don’t leave. Don’t go. Stay here, stay with me. What about the things you’ve said? The look in your eyes? The feel of your touch? What if I loved you? What if I wanted you? What will I do without you? Oo ::It wasn’t fair. He, more than anyone else, had made this feel like home. She’d not been aboard long, but his words, his actions, they had all made her feel as if she belonged right where she was.:: ::Now that would be gone.:: MacKenna: But…::The fight against her tears turned in favor of the tears. A single one escaped and rolled down her pale face.:: What about…? ::The sight of the single tear unraveled him. If his body followed the example of his mind and his heart, he would have collapsed into a puddle of sorrow and misery. He’d often seen people saying goodbye in films, in holodeck programs, and had wondered why each had been so consistently overacted. Now he knew- they weren’t overacting at all. This is how it felt to leave a soul mate, a partner, a friend. A dream. The will to get over the pain quickly faded, and he let it wash over him, years of repression leaking forth as his own tear began a downward trend.:: ::She couldn’t get the words out. Yet, at the same time, she needed to know. Had they been headed on the path she had been imagining in her mind? What would happen now? She didn’t know about them, but she wasn’t able to just turn off the feelings and the needs and the wants.:: Shayne: I have to. ::He’d wanted to say so much more, but his throat was tightening like he was suffering an allergic reaction. If he had any sort of choice, he wouldn’t be taking off now. He was happy here! Columbia was a home- his home! He knew the crew, knew the ship, saw a future to be sought after within these walls. Now all he saw was dust and broken promises, both of his making, spread eternally before him.:: ::Reaching out, with her remaining hand, she pulled herself up and to the edge of the bed. As soon as she’d gotten his hand in hers she gripped it harder than she probably should have.:: MacKenna: I don’t want to give this up. ::Whatever this was. Oh how hard it was to keep from wrapping herself up in his arms in some grand attempt to physically keep him there. It would be impossible, given her size versus his, but she certainly wanted to try. Her mind was screaming all of the reasons he should stay, but she didn’t dare want to say any of them for fear that he would either take them as her being too much, or in speaking of them they would become real.:: ::And the only other time she’d fallen for anyone, he’d been transferred and killed in combat.:: ::A shiver ran down her spine. It was like history repeating itself, only this time she had been given a small opportunity to say what she felt.:: ::But could she…?:: ::He gave a slight gasp, and he wanted to believe it was the strength of her grasp, but he knew it was the sensation of finally being wanted, and knowing that, in a few hours, he’d likely lose that sensation permanently.:: Shayne: I don’t want to either. ::Truer words had never been spoken. He had touched the face of peace, of hope, of sanity and of kindness, and it was hers, locked behind a curtain of flame red hair, held back by bright, shy eyes. He genuinely didn’t know if he had the strength to go. At this point, it almost seemed like the battle was being lost.:: MacKenna: I think… ::squeezing his hand more tightly, her voice shook enough to show how difficult all of this was for her. Still, she had to get it out.:: I think I’ve fallen for you. You can’t leave. ::As the statement was made her voice trailed off into almost a whisper. Had he heard her? And how would he take it? And where would they go from here…?:: ::Shayne died.:: ::It was as simple as that. One moment, he was a man, a Starfleet officer, a proud cog in the finest machine ever devised, and a lonely, disheartened figure, kept warm by the glow of his love for the Federation. The next moment, that man was replaced. The most important thing in his life was no longer to be found behind the helm of a starship. It was here, on this biobed, clutching his arm like a drowning angel. How could he leave this? For the first time in his entire life, he just didn’t give a damn about orders.:: ::Almost as if he was in a trance, with his free hand, he slowly reached up past his torso, up to his chest. His clammy palm gently caressed the sigil that had defined him for his entire life.:: ::He clenched it.:: ::And with one final, mighty effort, removed it from his chest.:: ::He was free. He was free now, to love this woman the way she deserved, the way they deserved. He’d not wanted to say anything, for fear of jumping the gun. But they were too close not to care for each other, to similarly handicapped to not cling to each other. Orders be damned! The scrawl of some ancient, withered admiral was all that was preventing Shayne from staying, and sharing with MacKenna the care and affection he showed to the people who mattered. The badge was off. For this moment, he was not an officer. Now he could stay with her, happily and joyfully, perhaps as a civilian, watching her increase in rank and supporting her on her journey to greatness, all the while adoring her.:: ::And then the vacuum swallowed him.:: ::Even as he watched MacKenna’s gorgeous, vulnerable, deep green eyes, he felt… wrong. Almost as if he was taking advantage of her. He knew what it was, but didn’t want to admit it. The combadge, still clutched firmly in his hand. It gave him purpose, direction, drive. Without it, he was a shell- hardly the man MacKenna had come to know.:: ::If he stayed now, he’d be a broken man- emptied and spiritless, even with such beauty by his side. Ash deserved better. She deserved someone with life!:: ::Bracing himself, and digging deep for whatever strength he had remaining, Shayne grimaced, and shoved the combadge back on, almost like he was driving a stake through his own soul. Another tear rolled down his contorted features.:: Shayne: I have to. ::He righted himself, and overshadowed her, and placed an adoring, affectionate kiss on her forehead.:: Shayne: Because I love you too. ::He gave a sharp exhale, and prayed that no one was watching them- he’d never been so vulnerable.:: Shayne: This is not the end. I promise you that. ::He could almost feel the universe itself capitulate to his decree, and he wouldn’t have accepted anything less. Now that’d he’d found joy again, nothing short of Judgement Day would keep him from the other part of his spirit.:: ::The sheer ferocity of the emotions struck her deeper than anything ever had before. She could feel it shoot through her like lightning. Words, feelings, nothing was left unsaid. Nothing was left unknown. And when the smoke had cleared it became apparent that even now, even as protocol stole him away, maybe she wasn’t alone in the wide and all encompassing darkness that was.:: ::Knowing that these moments would be all that she would have for the time until they met again, she stood in his shadow and drank it all in, committing each and every detail to memory. The feeling of strength that came from a connection deeper than words could possibly define was not something she would soon forget, or let go of.:: ::No, this would not be the end.:: MacKenna: I refuse to say goodbye. ::Her voice trembled slightly. She would not say it. No. The universe had brought them together once. The distance would only be temporary. It had to be.:: Shayne: We will see one another again. BE with one another again. If I have to swim the Empty myself, then so be it. ::Taking in the warmth of his proximity, the overly shy and normally silent red-head looked up and for a moment lost herself in his gaze. Putting every little bit of resolve behind her next words, Ash knew he would believe her. He’d have to, as she’d never been so sure of anything else in her life.:: MacKenna: I’ll be waiting for you. ::Then, she pulled him closer and kissed him, letting her actions tell him all that her words could not.:: TBC! Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Columbia And Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne Chief Engineering Officer USS Eagle
  16. This post with Emilia's feelings on show really hit me in the feels enjoy guys ((Bridge – USS Gorkon)) ::Upon seeing what she saw, Emilia regretted being right in her judgement. A woman appeared on screen, a trill she didn’t recognise. The woman stared mockingly at the bridge crew, her glare was like that of a basilisk. Watchfully staring into the viewscreen, almost hoping one would cower in fear from the woman in the tacky white suit.:: Reynolds: ::Murmured,:: Ensign Kian? Sevo: :: Muttering. :: That’s not Kian... Lladre: Not quite. But I see that you're trying to follow us. ::She smiled.:: In the interests of… oh, let's call it humanitarianism, I feel that I should warn you that following us means that the Kian symbiont will certainly die. ::Emilia’s eyes widened in shock, killing a symbiont?:: Lanta: You would kill yourself. ::Emilia stood with her eyes forward, glaring at the viewscreen with every speck of anger she could muster up. Whoever this “Kian” woman was, or whatever symbiont she had within her. It didn’t make it any less despicable, murdering something that could hardly even defend itself. Klingons still had better morals.:: Sevo: :: Standing up out of her chair. :: Murderer! Krugol: You disgrace the very concept of being trill! ::Emilia spat.:: Lladre: Oh, no. Nothing so crass. ::She looked a little dismayed at the suggestion, but was that just a performance?:: No, the haplass Kian is currently in a stasis chamber, floating a few million kilometres away from you. But unfortunately it *really* wasn't designed to function in a vacuum, and I doubt it's got much more than… thirty minutes left before its systems fail? :: Emilia’s eyes widened, the situation was dire. How could something so small slip through their grasps? Let alone the life of another symbiont. It was truly offensive what this woman was doing. How could she even *think* of committing such an act?:: Reynolds: You expect me to believe that you've removed your symbiont to enable a getaway? It might be believable, except for the fact you'd be killing yourself as well. Lladre: ::She smiled.:: Your concern is touching, but I'm going to be just fine. Kian, on the other hand… Lladre: Well, I imagine you'll have to implant it a new host to keep it alive. How fortunate you have a Commission approved candidate just waiting for a symbiont of his own. ::Emilia’s heart dropped like an anchor, Ferier? Emilia knew that he wanted a symbiont, but so soon? Emilia couldn’t believe it, everything she’d had with him, everything she’s shared with Ferier… is slowly vanishing just like that? Tears fought their way down Emilia’s cheek. She was trapped between saving the relationship she’d cherished for such a short time, and her moral obligations to save the symbiont.:: Lanta: Kudrem what are you on about? Without the Kian symbiont you will die. Unless, you have a new Symbiont in. But that is impossible. Sevo: :: Gasping. :: No, it’s not... Krugol: That must mean- Lladre: That would be telling. Tiny little things like that can be hard to spot, even for a Sovereign-class. But once you've found it, it should only take you a few minutes at maximum impulse. ::She grinned.:: Have fun now. :: Kudrem winked at Ferier as the channel closed. Emilia’s mind fumed with a storm of fear, disgust and rage. Oh how she hated that woman. Emilia stood idly, staring at the console before her defeatedly. Quickly she dried her tear stained face, fighting back the quiet sobs. Now wasn’t the time to be upset. Now was the time to do her duty, even if it costs her the love she’d fought for.:: Lanta: What did she mean by that? Sevo: She’s trading the Kian Symbiont for her getaway. If we chase her, Kian dies. Krugol: ::Emilia sniffled.:: D-Does that mean the trail we were following could be false? Reynolds: Bring us to a complete stop and start scanning. Once you've found it, lay in a course and engage. Lanta: Aye, Sir. All stop Krugol: I-I’ll get right on it, Admiral. ::Emilia replied with a shaky voice.:: Reynolds: =/\= Reynolds to Yiggtissi. =/\= Yiggtissi: =/\= Go ahead Admiral. =/\= Reynolds: Do you still have Ensign Fortune with you? Yiggtissi: =/\= Yes sir. She is here with me. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= I need you both to stop what you're doing and head straight to sickbay. We may be recovering a Trill symbiont in critical condition and— ::she glanced towards Ferier. :: —it may require an emergency implantation. Prepare sickbay to receive the patient, and for the procedure itself. Doctor Hahn is still aboard, he'll be able to assist you if you need it. Yiggtissi: =/\= Understood sir. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= Ensign Fortune, I want you to speak to Lieutenant Lanta and make sure this procedure is fully considered, and that he's as prepared as he can be. =/\= Fortune: =/\= Aye, sir.=/\= Reynolds: Lieutenant Lanta, report to sickbay. Speak with Fortune and Yiggtissi. ::She paused, and added more quietly.:: And only go through with this if you feel it's the right thing for *you*. You're not a sacrificial lamb. Lanta: Yes Sir. ::Ferier left with a spring in his step. Emilia watched as he left the bridge intently, she glanced at him once again. Almost begging for him not to go. But nothing happened as he disappeared through that turbolift. Would he come back as a different man with the same face she fell in love with? All Emilia could do was pray, that by some chance he still loves her when he’s back from that operating table.:: Marshall: =/\= Lieutenant Marshall to the Bridge. =/\= Sevo: =/\= Bridge. =/\= Marshall: =/\= In shuttle bay two with Sim and Smith. There's no sign of a hasty exit from here, and we've got a full complement of shuttlecraft. Ensign Kian seems to be at the centre of all this. She's no longer registering on the ship. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= No. She's aboard a ship heading for Klingon space. =/\= Sevo: =/\= Have you figured out what she was up to on the ship while we were out? =/\= Krugol: =/\= No, i dare say we haven’t. =/\= Marshall: =/\= We're investigating two avenues now — what Kian was working on prior to the public catalepsy, and who they greeted coming off the shuttlecraft. When we've got a beat on either, we'll update. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= I don't know if what Ensign Kian was working on will be much help. It appears that she's not Ensign Kian anymore. It might be best to focus on who came aboard, and follow the leads from there. =/\= Marshall: =/\= Understood, Sir. =/\= Reynolds: =/\= Very good. Bridge out. =/\= Reynolds: Any luck locating Kian? Sevo: No, sir. The particle trail is decaying too quickly, and we’re not even sure if it’s legitimate. Only thing we could tell for sure was that it was heading towards Klingon space, but they could easily change direction once outside of our sensor range. Krugol: We’ve saved their course heading to the compute memory banks, but we should also be careful we’re not following a false trail, commander. ::Emilia replied in a sterner than usual voice.:: Reynolds: Response Sevo: Admiral, sir! Request permission to leave the bridge! Reynolds: Response Sevo: I want to be there for Ferier’s Implantation. ::Emilia said nothing to the trill before her. There was nothing to say to her.:: Reynolds: Response? Sevo: I have the utmost faith in Doctor Yiggtissi’s skills, but the Joining is a delicate procedure, and there’s more to it than just some quick surgery. Ferier will need emotional and moral support as well. Besides, if there are any complications during the procedure, I can advise Doctor Yiggtissi. I have been through the Joining five times, after all. Sir. ::Emilia bit her lip, fighting back the inevitable waves upon waves of tears welling up in her tear ducts. Sevo had a point, but how could Emilia just sit there while the man she loved basically had his entire personality overwritten. Her breathing heavy, Emilia tried not to say anything to Aiyana, but it proved even harder to try and speak as well as hold back the jet of tears in her tear ducts.:: Krugol: I-... ::Emilia spoke, with a shaky voice.:: A-Are you sure that’s the best course of action..? W-While i don’t doubt your expertise commander… nor do i intend to sound i-Insubordinate. B-But family members, friends and *lovers* typically attend a joining ::Emilia’s face began to turn a deep shade of crimson. A gentle tear slipped down her cheek, landing on the console in front of her.:: b-but, it’s not my place to question your decisions, sir. Reynolds: Response ::Emilia’s eyes began to buckle under the waves forming in her tear ducts. Quietly she attempted to choke back her shaky sobs.:: Krugol: R-Right, I apologise. I know my place is on the bridge sir. B-But I-I... Reynolds/Sevo: Response? ::Suddenly all at once her eyes began to water uncontrollably. Emilia covered her mouth with a shaky hand, attempting to soften the sobs to no avail. She felt so helpless, trapped in a shell of her own morals. Unable to work up the nerve to save the man she loves, but at what cost would it be at? Was Emilia truly being so selfish that she’d carelessly throw away years of memories and experience in the hopes that her relationship would last? It was almost traumatic, the man she loved would be but a shell of the man she knew once he leaves that operating suite.:: Krugol: I-I’m so s-sorry, I-I just I-I.. Reynolds/Sevo: Response?
  17. My access to the internet is limited and I have not been able to post sims or mention things I'd like to here, now since I have some time today I am going to give some praise to the people who have helped me and been great friends and influences since I have joined. I am unsure of all the character and username differences that may exist so I will tag everyone with their character name. First, shout out goes to @Lael Rosek !!! Who was my academy instructor as well as my mentor once I had graduated and joined the Veritas! You helped me a lot by getting me in touch with people when I needed it and by always giving me great suggestions, explanations, and tips! I appreciate that you were so willing to work with my hard headed eagerness and you have done a great job of it at that! Next, I would like to thank @Roshanara Rahman @Mei'konda @Skyfire and @Sky Blake. All four of you have taken the time on many occasions to allow me to run my ideas by you and/or ask questions about the wiki and have given me good feedback. Thanks to Y'all I have been able to incorporate my ideas into our stories and I have re-learned the few things I once knew about editing wiki's and have learned much more as well. Next, a shout out to @German Galven. You have helped me develop my characters greatly IC since you joined us. I enjoyed your use of my NPC Sissel in your sims and I look forward to our future JP's and character interactions. I have also enjoyed watching you hone your wiki and forum skills and become a fairly large contributor and active member of the community, I hope to match you at this one day when my living situation allows for better internet use and interaction, and I look forward to working with you more in this way at that time. Lastly a LARGE shout out to @Moonsong @Kelrod @Alora DeVeau and the several other members of the Veritas and Montreal Crew's who have allowed me to share some great stories with them and their characters! Sorry, I don't have time to link sims or find the proper names to tag. p.s. I'd like to also thank the community and staff in whole for making this community so fun to be a part of! -Cory Hall, CoryCodeRed. T'Katt Dugoras/Kawakame Shin.
  18. An excellent post by Ensign @Geoffrey Teller on board Veritas. Coffee aficionados of the world, unite! ((OOC: During shoreleave, a few days after the awards ceremony)) ::Between the full repair schedule and the personal project Teller had been working on, he hadn't had much time for sleep in the last few days. Exhausted and wiping his hands on his crumpled uniform pants, Teller took a moment to look around the converted conference room that had so occupied his waking hours with a smile. The place didn't look like much yet, but the parts he'd been able to scrounge or build had come together nicely and the crew had been enthusiastic to help. A few empty transport crates stacked two high and three across serving as the bar at the rear of the room, with folding chairs and transport crates covered in spare emergency blankets serving as seating around the room. A large, stylized rendition of the Vertias itself was stenciled on the bulkhead covering the rear wall and, Teller hoped, caught the eye as you walked in. It would distract from the otherwise utilitarian setting, at least until they made their way to the serving station. Teller inspected the converted atmospheric pressure monitoring gear anxiously, making sure the unusual array of tubing and cables still didn't show any signs of leakage or trouble. Content that things were as ready as they could be, Teller headed behind the bar into the small hydroponics bay he'd created out of a disused storage closet. Teller smiled at the small bushes which had already born their first seeds, the very same ones that were rattling through a combination tumbler/roaster he had assembled out of a geological mineral analysier that had been slated to get reclaimed for replication mass. The room smelled of nutrient fluid and the bright lights were well balanced for the needs of growing plants, but Teller could already see he'd need to expand this part of the shop soon or they'd be opening a new arboretum on this deck. The beds themselves were amazing technology and had cut the growing time of the trees to a tiny fraction of what they'd need in soil on a planet, he just hoped it wouldn't affect the flavor badly. As he inspected the readouts on the hydroponic beds the tumbler/roaster chirped successfully and ejected a vacuum sealed canister out one side. Teller looked at it apprehensively. Either this canister would contain the thing he'd been desperate for since he came aboard or it was another failed experiment and he'd have to try again with a completely new batch. Opening the seal gingerly, Teller took a tentative whiff of the freshly roasted beans, judging their color and casing with a practiced eye. Eyes widening in surprise as the heady aroma of the caffeol, Teller smiled widely.:: oO Oh these will do just fine. These smell better than anything the replicator can spit out on its best day.Oo ::Teller took the beans back to the bar in the main room and poured a portion into the grinder he'd assembled. One part modified ore sample processor thanks to a colonist on Havelys Hope, one part molecular analyser lifted from the remains of a tricorder, the grinder automatically calibrated itself to produce a grind perfectly tailored to the bean, not too fine or coarse, or so Teller hoped. He had started this project with nothing much more than the dream of a decent cup of coffee on his mind but, like most projects, this one had sprawled and took on a life of its own as soon as he started building. Tapping the controls on the side, the grinder whirred to life and began crumbling the beans down into a fine powder. While he waited, Teller resealed the precious beans into their storage container and tapped a few buttons on his makeshift pressurized water pump and brought the temp to 91c and the pressure to 58kg.:: oO I'm going to need to train a team of monkeys to run all this for me, or I'm going to need to get to my shift an hour early. I wonder if anybody on this ship knows how to run a bar. Maybe once these poor people have a real cup of coffee, they'll start lining up to do it. Yeah, right.Oo ::The grinder completed its work and dispensed a perfectly formed puck into the waiting filter basket with a chime, smoothly tamping down the edges into what used to be a biological sample collector, now re-purposed. Lifting it away from the grinder and connecting it to the pump, Teller was pleased to see his machining skills hadn't degraded in his time at the academy. The flush connection between the pieces looked perfect and Teller could see no liquid or steam leaking from the seams. Teller went to draw the first shot but then realized he had forgotten something critical.:: oO I didn't make any mugs! Replicator has made me lazy, it always provides the cup and the drink at the same time. Hmm... Oo ::Teller walked to the replicator embedded in the wall and considered his options briefly. The catalog had a wide variety of cups and containers he could choose from already on file and with time, he could design and fabricate his own design from scratch. Looking around the room again with a smile, his sights set on the stylized Veritas behind the bar.:: Teller: Computer, load image file 'Teller theta six one.' Resize and apply it to mug design sixteen, variant c and produce two dozen, half tumbler sized, half full sized. Execute. ::The computer churned on the request for a moment and then materialized a tray of mugs, each bearing the artistic Veritas in silver on the black vaccum flasks. Teller was pleased, these would keep peoples coffee piping hot all day and wouldn't spill on a duty station due to their sealed lids and adhesive base. He hoped the Captain wouldn't mind the bit of artistic license. Lifting the tray, he returned to the bar and stashed the mugs underneath. Setting the pump for a quadruple shot, he placed a small shot glass under the dispenser and hit the switch with crossed fingers. Within moments, the rich aroma of dark brewed coffee began to fill the small space and Tellers smile spread further. Checking the pressure gauge, Teller was pleased that the deeply re-purposed gear was performing as hoped and within 20 seconds, the very first real shot of espresso ever brewed aboard this ship was ready for him:: oO Looks good...got three bands of color from light to dark, a nice crema on the top...nice even blend. Only one thing left to do. Oo ::Teller inhaled the aroma of the shot with a happy sigh, brought it too his lips and took a hesitant sip which quickly turned into a desperate gulp.:: oO Perfection. Absolute heaven in a cup. I haven't had a cup this good since I left the yards. Old Jan would be proud. Oo ::Energized by his success, Teller began drawing additional shots into the newly printed mugs. Teller briefly considered making a cappuccino or a cortado, or even a 'Vulcan Hello,' but stopped himself. He had traded for some 'milk' from the colonists as well but he didn't think he was up to that much experimentation just yet, especially when the coffee itself had come out so perfectly.:: oO Alright, I need to make good on my promise now that I'm relatively sure this won't kill anybody. Oo ::Senses buzzing with the infusion of caffeine, Teller finished making drinks and shut down the apparatus. Putting the pump and grinder into a cleaning cycle so they'd be ready for the next customer, Teller looked around his little contribution to ships morale with a deep sense of satisfaction. Teller decided now was as good a time as any.:: Teller: Computer, where's the Captain? Computer: The Captain is in her quarters. Teller: =/\= Teller to Captain Rahman =/\= Rahman: =/\= Response =/\= Teller: =/\= Sorry to disturb you Captain. Wanted you to be the first to know I've completed the project we discussed at the party and I've got some very promising results I'd like to share. =/\= Rahman: =/\= Response =/\= Teller: =/\= Understood Captain, I'll be right there. Teller out. =/\= ::Teller grabbed two of the sealed mug and the vacuum sealed container of beans, then headed out of the converted conference room.:: oO I really need to think of a name for this place. Maybe...Veritas Brewing? Nah. Core Breach Coffee? Nah. Warp Plasma Roasters? Damn, this was going to be harder than building the place. Oo ::Teller headed to the turbolift at the end of the hall, whistling off key to himself, an extra bounce in his step.:: ((A few minutes later, Outside Captain Rahman's Quarters)) oO Hope she likes strong coffee. This stuff could take the paint of a hullplate but damn if it isn't tasty. Oo ::Teller depressed the call button on the Captains door and was asked inside. The Captain was at her desk working, a cup of replicated coffee cooling at her side. She stopped working on her console long enough to look up at the diminutive Ensign and the items he was cradling. Teller snapped to attention as if in a parade line.:: Teller: Captain, thanks for letting me run with this. I hope you're as happy with the result as I am. ::Teller placed one of the vacuum sealed tumblers on the Captains desk reverently and took a respectful step back.:: Teller: What do you think, Captain? Good enough for the Veritas? Rahman: Response Tags & TBC =============================== Ensign Geoffrey Teller USS Veritas - NCC 95035 Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding V239509GT0
  19. @T'Lea Wrote two wonderful joint posts together. An outstanding writer.
  20. ((Poseidon's Lounge, Deck 2, USS Atlantis)) ((OOC: Day 1 of leave evening hours.)) Raga: Careful, Valin. That's the spiciest dish my people make. Unless you want your own exhaust manifold cleaned for the rest of eternity, you might want to avoid it. ::The Al-leyan grabbed a plate for himself and joined Dermont at the buffet. The engineer gave a big grin at his best friend on board the Atlantis and ladled even more into the bowl. There was no doubt Raga was right, but there was just something about being told he shouldn't that just made his want it all the more.:: Dermont: Bah, Toryn. Have faith in yer good buddy... Raga: Oh I do. I have faith that that will send you to sickbay. ::He chuckled:: ::Dermont's plate was now stacked high and he thermos was tucked under one arm. He carefully balanced his food and with one free hand pointed a finger at the other man.:: Dermont: Don't ya think I've fergotten yer little mutiny either, lad. Raga: Mutiny? What in the winds are you talking about, Valin? Dermont: You in cahoots with sickbay gettin' me in fer mah physical. I know ya were in on it. Just been thinkin' on an appropriate response. Can't let ya go unscathed now can I? ::Watching the Al-Leyan go stone-faced on him was all the admission of guilt Dermont needed. He glanced at the owl-bird-thing perched on his friend's shoulder. Even her expression seemed suddenly stiff. It was like the two of them practiced in the mirror together. Dermont slowly guided the conversation towards an empty table.:: Raga: I have no idea what you're talking about. I would never need to use such underhanded tactics to get the Chief Engineer to report for his physical knowing he a responsible, Starfleet officer who would never shirk his mandated duties by creating problems with the ship he feels compelled to fix on his own when he has an entire department of engineers to delegate the work to. Because he trusts them to know how to fix their own ship to his highest of standards. ::Dermont narrowed his eyebrows and gave the Security Chief a hard stare. The man wasn't giving anything away, but the engineer would swear the other was attempting to be funny. The terran leaned in closer, seeing if Toryn's mask would slip. Without taking his eyes off of him, Dermont began to stuff his face with a biscuit, smacking loudly. Nope, nothing. Spitting crumbs in the security officer's direction, Dermont relented a bit.:: Dermont: Well, o'course not. Yer Mister Shinin' Example. That'd be a terrible thang ta do ta yer good friend Dermont. Causin' him ta need all sortsa nonsensical tests and pokes and prods. Ye'd never do anything ta bring 'bout such hazards to poor lil ole me. Bah...what was I thinkin'? Yer too good a soul fer such antics! Knight, maybe...never Mr. Raga.... ::The other man just took another sip of his damn tea and said nothing. He wondered how long they'd play this game, but before they could find out a voice cut through the air. It was a beautiful voice that brought a sad smile to this face. He couldn't help but stop his eating and just listen. He had no clue what she was saying, but somehow the words cut straight to his soul. He just sat there when it was over as all around him applause broke out. Toryn's elbow brought him back to the here and now.:: Raga: That was beautiful. Dermont: Aye it was. ::He banged his thermos on the table as way of adding to the applause.:: ::A clanging of a utensil on glass cut through the clapping, and the first officer addressed the crowd.:: Williams: ::Raising his voice slightly:: My dear shipmates. I am pleased to see you all here. As you can see and hear we have a ship of many talented people. Although we only know each other for a year, and some only for a few days, we still have much to explore. This quadrant has its mysteries but so do the wonderful people we work with. The singing skills of Ensign Maeli here are but an example. I hope we can do this more often. A talent show like the old days on Earth might be a bit overkill but if you want to interest your fellow crewmates into a hobby we could have a monthly entertainment evening or something. Right captain? Brell: ::Responding loud enough for the room to hear.:: Agreed! We must remember to pursue our off duty passions, and share them with fellow shipmates. Williams: That settles it then. I want you all to enjoy your evening tonight. Relax, feast and enjoy! That’s an order! Brell: Just don’t go anywhere, In about an hour I have a few surprises to share. ::As if in challenge, another song picked up and carried over the party. He instantly recognized the tune as a Klingon one. In face, he himself had sung it on more than one occasion on board the Endurance. His Klingon crewman had taught all of them many a song while drinking their evenings away on whatever local pub their freighter parked in orbit over. Dermont had to grin as he listened to the Klingons and their Worene companion carry on with what must have been a slightly intoxicated enthusiasm.:: ::A glance over at his friend revealed that Klingon drinking songs did not elicit the same warm memories. He knew that Toryn had a troubled past with the Klingons, and did not hold the feelings against him. They had cost his brother his life, much as the Romulans had taken Dermont's old crew from him. However, his was the superior officer of one of the two officers and outranked both of them. If Dermont could hold it in and not shoot Danara or Serala on sight, Toryn could reign it in. Of course, he had noticed the Al-leyan's temper had become much shorter as of late. But that was a whole other mess...:: oO Which is perhaps a good reason ta shoot Serala...heritage aside... Oo Dermont: Perhaps ye'd best leave the scowlin' of junior officers ta me, eh? Raga: Huh? Bad enough having one of them on board. Now there's two. ::He said with far more spite in his tone than he would have expected to hear.:: Dermont: Rein it in....Lieutenant. One of those lads calls you a superior officer.... ::Another song from the Rodulan and their first officer. Despite himself, Dermont found himself enjoying the evening. Of course everything hurt and he was so tired he couldn't help but stifle another yawn...but still. Enjoyable. His eyes couldn't help was wander on the group and he spied Serala enjoying the singing as well. Which made it his turn to scowl. He still wasn't convinced that she wasn't under some sort of mind compulsion. The scans he had covertly taken of her and her husband had revealed a large presence of mental stimulation, as well as increased levels of dopamine during said stimulation. Perhaps she was being brainwashed...:: oO She had better hope she is...fer her sake... Oo ::Dermont couldn't help but look over at Toryn. The poor lad had been finally struggling past his own brainwashing due to his bloody heritage to try and tell Serala how he felt and then she went an got married! Without warning. It had crushed his soul. And while Dermont had just overcome to own prejudices to start calling Serala a friend, he couldn't see past such as transgression against Toryn. There was just no way the damn woman didn't know how Raga had felt. Their junior officers had known it, everybody had known it. The watched the bird peck at Toryn.:: Dermont: Is yer bird thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? Now yer hidin' from her? From her?! She should be on bended knee tryin' ta make amends! ::Dermont had been in a biobed at the end of the mission, on a Romulan Warbird. Then he had been stuck in Jefferies' Tubs since he had gotten back...he had not yet heard any gossip about the two of them.:: Raga: Valin, please it's fine. I need to stay away from her for a while. The cloud messed us both up and she's dealing with what happened. Besides. ::He turned to face the grizzled engineer:: I think things between Lael and I are going well. So, I have someone to focus on as well. oO Happened? Somethin' happened... Oo ::But the mention of Lael brought an even deeper scowl to the engineer's face. Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Chief Engineer of the USS Veritas. Half Al-Leyan, and a pain in Dermont's [...] by proxy. She was a woman in a relationship...who had spun into Raga's life and turned it upside down. He had taken great pains to know as much about this woman as he could. And he didn't like her not one bit.:: Dermont: Bah, damn pain in mah [...]... Raga: Why do you not like Lael so much? oO Fair question... Oo Dermont: Hmmm...ya know, it was originally because I was rootin' on ya endin' up with someone from the home team. ::He put up a hand before the emotions rolled out of Toryn.:: I had me heart set on you and that damn Romulan. As far as I'm concerned, that's still the safe bet, despite current events. And this damn Lael just swoops in and put yer heart all a'tangled. And unless yer plannin' on playin' third wheel, doesn't she have a man already? ::The engineer knew that many cultures didn't not practice monogamy, and Al-Leyans sometimes needed to have intercourse with literally the first Al-Leyan of the opposite sex they could find. So perhaps that wasn't as important to them. But dammit, Dermont was a human and Lael was half-human and he doubted his current partner wasn't going to be keen on Toryn climbing under the sheets.:: Raga: response Dermont: Yer so wrapped up in all of this...can ye just take a step back...from all of it. Just fer a bit. Ye've got so much drama fer a man without any ex-wives... Raga: response ::Dermont was a very overprotective friend. He knew he had his nose firmly where it didn't belong, but he had no plans on removing it any time soon. The more angry or embarrassed or depressed Raga become the more the old Terran was going to latch on. He'd drag the damn Al-Leyan boy to the other side of this mess one way or the other.:: ================= Lieutenant Valin Dermont Chief Engineer USS Atlantis A239410VD0
  21. (OOC: I have simmed in this region, on that station, with these characters. For me, the prologue to the Veritas's latest mission was incredibly powerful) Part 1 Previously: https://fednewsservice.com/2018/10/18/federation-council-announces-sanctions-romulan-star-empire-failed-duronis-invasion/ https://fednewsservice.com/2018/10/24/romulan-star-empire-withdraws-support-astrofori-one-response-federation-sanctions/ ((Astrofori One, Menthar Corridor)) ::It was an otherwise normal day on Astrofori One for the command deck. Minor docking disputes were at a minimum, no diplomatic incidents of note, and all of Starfleet contingent seemed to be in perfect condition - minus the flu outbreak medical staff were currently dealing with.:: :: In the office of Cassandra Egan Manno, mission commander for Starfleet’s presence on Astrofori One, things were much as they usually were--which was to say, somewhere between “busy” and “crazy.” This morning, “busy” seemed to be the order of the day, which was just fine with Cassie. The past few days had seen a contingent of screeching Peppalexan monks visit the station, a trade conference that ate up most of the Comm Quad, and the Klingon holiday of Qo'bo'val--which, while interesting, had taken over six different entertainment establishments with the ritual reenactment of Kahless’s fight against Molor. :: So, all things considered, a regular “busy” was just fine with Cassie. :: Her aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Commander Gnisky, sauntered in a few minutes after Cassie arrived on duty, which was always a good sign. Gnisky wasn’t in any hurry, and that boded well for the rest of Cassie’s day. :: Egan Manno: Today’s the day we’re welcoming the Cardassian poet? Gnisky: And attending her reading tonight, Captain. Plus, there’s the committee. :: Cassie did her best not to groan. The committee, which was overseeing the gathering of several dozen delegates to discuss the impact of Federation terraforming practices on type-O worlds, was the one thing she continued for forget about. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested, just that others took care of all the details, and what she couldn’t do herself, she forgot at once. :: Egan Manno: Is there a meeting today? Gnisky: Tomorrow. But the organizing committee would like you sign off on forty-three of the proposals before then. Egan Manno: Tag them for me, alright? I’ll take a look this afternoon. :: Gnisky gave a nod and a knowing smile and bowed herself back out of Cassie’s office, while Cassie turned to her massive pile of unanswered comms and notes. Time, once again, to bail that sinking ship. :: ((Bridge, USS Minerva, on patrol along Astrofori One defense perimeter)) ::Captain Kaneshiro Tatsuya of the Minerva sat watch in his chair, not that there was much to watch with the screen showing only endless black space. The mood on the bridge of the Veritas class ship was quiet with only the beeps and hums of their consoles punctuating the silence as the crew diligently attended to their stations, that is, until the captain spoke up.:: Kaneshiro: Next time we’re required to stop at the Anchorage, remind me to schedule them another health and safety check. ::Lt. Commander Chaulok, the Minerva’s Vulcan first officer, looked over from her station behind the captain’s chair with a raised eyebrow. Although she had served with Kaneshiro for the last three years, she still found the human eccentricities such as “small talk” difficult to decipher at times.:: Chaulok: I will program the computer’s calendar to trigger a reminder when the conditions are met, Captain. Kaneshiro: Honestly, I’ve no idea how they get away with it. You *had* to have been even a little uncomfortable. ::Chaulok leaned back, staring at the viewscreen with a perplexed expression as she cleared her throat.:: Chaulok: I did not find the station’s particular environmental conditions that extraordinary in its divergence from order and cleanliness as seen with most non-Vulcanoids, sir. ::The captain gave her an incredulous look.:: Kaneshiro: Are you calling this ship ‘dirty’, Commander? ::A few heads turned on the bridge to witness the exchange, another classic moment between Shiro and his XO.:: ::Lieutenant JG Michael Goodwell glanced up momentarily, but unlike some of the others, he scarcely reacted to the comment. He was too focused on the readouts in front of him. Some might even say he was flying partly on autopilot given that the last couple of days had been monotonous and fairly routine. His focus was on performing his duties and he wasn’t feeling particularly social.:: Goodwell: ::shakes his head and offers sarcastically:: I hope not, sir. I heard the maintenance staff have been working overtime to keep this ship spotless. ::The Vulcan remained unfazed, however.:: Chaulok: Not at all, captain. As the ship’s executive officer, it is after all my duty to ensure the Minerva exhibits the high standards you and I have set for the crew. Thus, I can confidently say this ship is exceptional in every sense of the word. ::Shiro had to force his mouth closed, still a little shocked and humoured by his XO.:: Kaneshiro: I’ll note that in my log. ::A few chuckles were murmured but before Chaulok could continue the banter, a sensor alert began sounding from the operations console.:: Ops: Captain, I’m picking up three. . . ::The officer stammered suddenly, verifying she was reading her console correctly.:: Ops: …*hundred* vessels on an intercept course. ::The number was quite unexpected, but while the others on the bridge may have suddenly been shaken, Chaulok calmy verified the readings on her own console.:: Chaulok: Confirmed captain. It appears to be a fleet of 322 small-sized vessels to be exact. Based on their trajectory, I believe they are actually headed towards Astrofori One. Kaneshiro: Source? Chaulok: The signatures read as Tholian. ::The captain’s breath hitched in his throat as he considered his next action. They weren’t the only ship out here, but *three hundred Tholians ships*? There was simply no way *two* of them could take that on. ::A Tholian fleet in the Menthar Corridor . . . but why? What purpose could it possibly have- ::Astrofori One.:: Kaneshiro: Red alert. Contact the Stalwart, and tell them to prepare for an attack by the Tholian fleet. Helm, set a course to rendezvous with them at maximum warp. Chaulok: Aye, sir. ::As their helm officer acknowledged the order, the Vulcan quickly called up the Minerva’s Defiant class counterpart which was patrolling nearby. Most of Task Force 105 had been diverted to deal with a sudden crisis on the Community’s home world in the Zeta Equulei system. The collective consciousness species had begun overtures towards membership with the Federation, and Starfleet in turn was eager to show its willingness to render aid.:: Goodwell: ::brow furrows:: Sir, the Tholian fleet is hailing us. ::The captain stood from his chair, breathing a little heavy.:: Kaneshiro: Onscreen. ::The image of hundreds of small triangular vessels racing towards them was replaced by the bright orange face of the crystalline species.:: Tholian Admiral: =/\= Federation vessel, this will be your only advisement. Your presence in this sector is a violation of Tholian sovereignty. Furthermore, the Assembly will no longer tolerate the threat to our security from the illegal outpost that you have installed. You have precisely one hour to evacuate from the outpost before its neutralization. =/\= ::The comlink was closed before Kaneshiro could even get a word in. He huffed.:: Kaneshiro: Sounds like they’re not in a mood to negotiate. ::Michael shuddered as he recalled his last encounter with the Tholians about the Victory. They’d faced down a couple of ships that were intent on a craft they discovered floating dead in space, and they’d soon found themselves snared in Tholian webs. These guys didn’t fool around, and they never meant anything less than business. With all of the casualties during that particular encounter, he was prepared for that possibility with this one.:: Goodwell: These guys don’t play around, Captain. Last time I met a group of them, they nearly destroyed the Victory with those Tholian webs. ::Shiro took a seat back in his command chair.:: Kaneshiro: Hail Astrofori One. TBC… The Crew and Residents of Astrofori One The Crew of the USS Minerva As written by Tony aka FltCapt. Cassandra Egan Manno/Cmdr. Nic del Vedova (V238208LV0) Rich aka Capt. Roshanara Rahman (I238705TZ0) Deliera aka LtCmdr. Sky Blake (C238803SB0) Gina aka LtCmdr. Lael Rosek (I238110RH0) Cameron aka Cmdr. Evan Delano (T239007ED0)
  22. @Solkar Ah, man- the Vulcan sass is just wonderful! ((Main Sickbay, USS Eagle)) :: Solkar strode into Sickbay with a sense of purpose and what might be called enthusiasm. He looked around the area, taking note of the biobeds, the monitors, supplies, desks and his fellow medical staff. A blur of blue moved in his peripheral vision, and he found a small Andorian standing in front of him. His rank was Lieutenant Commander. Solkar knew this was Doctor Foster, his Chief Medical Officer and direct supervisor:: Foster: Hey, you must be the new kid. Solkar, right? ::Solkar didn’t bristle at being called a ‘kid’, a sobriquet meant for those younger than himself. He assumed that this was Doctor Foster’s attempt at humor or bonding. Not to be confused with the Andorian matrimonial bonding.:: Solkar: Yes, sir. Doctor Solkar, at your service. Foster: Doctor Shar’Wyn Foster, chief medical officer. : I prefer Wyn. Doctor works. Never ‘Doc.’ I do respond to ‘hey you’ but you’ll get a lecture afterwards about it. Solkar: Wyn. ::He furrowed his brows, as if trying to identify a taste that he had not encountered before. :: Wyn. Yes, sir. I shall endeavor to follow your preference. ::The Doctor had a smirk on his face, and it pleased Solkar that he had correctly identified humor as being his superior officer’s predominant mode of informal communication. He decided to try his hand at it.:: Solkar: Yes, sir. Wyn. ::He caught himself.:: Should I ever lapse and call you “hey you”, I shall present myself forthwith so that you may proceed with the lecture at your convenience. I shall also make sure that a comfortable seat is available, as it will probably take some time. ::He allowed the right corner of his mouth to move up just a millimeter or so, hoping that the Andorian would recognize the attempt.:: Foster: Response Solkar: You are very kind, sir. Foster: So, Doctor Solkar, tell me, what’s your medical area of expertise? Solkar: At the Vulcan Medical Institute, and then at Starfleet Medical Academy, my major was surgery, on both the major and minor species. Occasionally, I read some on Xenobiology to stay up on new discoveries. Foster: Really? ::The Doctor showed interest, Solkar saw his antennae tip to one side. As they were both surgeons, Solkar assumed that would also be part of upcoming discussions:: That’s interesting. Is this your first posting? Solkar: Yes, sir. This is my first Starfleet posting. After graduating from the Institute, I was stationed at a hospital that specialized in treating veterans of the various wars and battles in our recent past. It was very gratifying to assist them. I believe my interest in Starfleet could be traced back to that assignment. I passed all of Starfleet’s requisite tests and this is where I find myself today. Foster: Response Ensign Solkar Medical Officer USS Eagle E239510S10
  23. ((Aitas’ Home - Shi’Kahr District - Starbase 118)) ((OOC - Takes place during shore leave just prior to current mission.)) ::Sakon had been absorbed in his reading on a particular Bajoran predator, nearly extinct in these times, when he heard the doorbell ring. It seemed that Aurelio and Antero Flynn were back from their excursion just a few minutes early. Better that way. Antero had more than enough to make up for already. Sakon opened the door before the bell rang again, and looked down to his grandson with a warm smile.:: Sakon: He looks like he enjoyed the excursion. ::Antero smiled up at the Vulcan and gave Aurelio a gentle graze of the forehead, the child strapped comfortably to his chest in the finest baby carrier he could find. Only the finest Risian material for his son, the older shopkeep had told him it had a silk like quality that was both flexible and durable. Perfect for a warm day at the beach.:: Flynn: I hope so. He really seemed at peace. ::He began to unstrap Aurelio.:: We had a nice time sitting on the beach and letting the waves wash over us, feeling the vitality of the water. Sakon: Do come in, it will be easier for Aurelio if you stay a little while. ::He took his grandson from Antero, gently running a hand across Aurelio’s chin. The Risian smiled, pleased at the somewhat unexpected invitation. Antero always felt like he had formed a bond of sorts with Sakon considering what they had been through together when they met, but as one might expect, it was hard to tell if the sentiment was shared. It turned out Vulcans were hard to read..:: Flynn: Oh, thanks. I would like that. Sakon: I will admit that I’m curious to hear about how you met Aitas. There’s so much of her life I’ve missed out on. ::He adopted a sympathetic smile and set down his bag full of equal parts beach and baby supplies before plopping himself into a chair..:: Flynn: Ah yes, Ensign Aitas. ::He smirked:: She really threw herself at me you know. ::Sakon carefully raised one eyebrow at that.:: Sakon: While my information is somewhat out of date, such behavior does not sound like my daughter. Flynn: ::He laughed softly.:: Your intuition is accurate. Aitas isn’t so easily impressed. ::He sat back, gazing up at the ceiling lazily as he thought back with nostalgia.:: We met upon her assignment to the Starbase, but the spark came during a mission when she was jolted from her seat during a nasty firefight, landing on yours truly. Sakon: That must have been some firefight indeed, unless Starfleet’s standards have degraded much from before. Flynn: ::Nodding:: Her straps failed and she was tossed around on an already busted up rib cage. When the warp core blew and the inertial dampeners failed I had no choice but to..well...take matters into my own hands. Sakon: At which point she became aware of your interest, I presume. Flynn: It wasn’t long after that. ::His head bobbed agreement.:: I found myself compelled to be at her side as she recovered, and our relationship blossomed quickly from there. The mutual interest was made clear early on. Sakon: Ah, so she does take after her mother. Jissela was never shy about asking for what she wanted. ::He smiled slightly, shaking his head.:: Or about disagreeing with her parents. Flynn: She definitely has a knack for getting to the point. Efficiency even in communication. ::He perked up a bit and smiled at Sakon with a touch of mischief in his eyes.:: How about some young Aitas stories? Flynn: Hey little guy. ::He picked him up and gave him a wide smile.:: You want your dad? ::Sakon smiled, the expression brief and fleeting.:: Sakon: Don’t forget that you’ve much to teach him as well. He needs people to talk to him as much as though who understand his feelings, and I’m hardly an expert on Risa. ::Antero found himself somewhat intrigued at the mans openness in regards to teaching Aurelio about Risian culture. He supposed it was all those Vulcan academy teachers he had never meshed well with. The young pilot had a few Risian ways that were NOT well received by his logic and sophistication based superiors. The receptive nature of Sakon was certainly appreciated.:: Flynn: What do you think Aurelio, should I teach you some things about being a Risian? ::He took on a brief look of contemplation toward his son before a thought struck him like a lightning bolt. He looked to the Vulcan with only a hint of mischief in his eyes:: Ooohhh, I could teach him fire dancing! ::That made Sakon lean forward, raising an eyebrow as he looked between Antero and Aurelio.:: Sakon: I will presume that such statements are a form of Risian humor, rather than a threat. ::Okay, so perhaps the Risian was starting off a little strong.:: Flynn: ::Laughing softly.:: Not to worry, he is much too young for fire dancing. ::He looked to Aurelio and placed a finger in his tiny hand.:: We won’t start that until you’re at least five or six years old. Sakon: That sounds like something you should discuss with Aitas. Among...well, I think she had a list. She mentioned surfing lessons? Flynn: Of course. ::Smirking:: Surfing lessons will be another delayed adventure. Better to start with general water acclimation and then swimming. ::He gently tickled Aurelio’s belly with his fingers.:: We can get you some lil’ swimmy trunks, huh? Now just need to decide where to take you. ::That earned another brief smile.:: Sakon: I’m sure you’ll manage to figure it out. I’ve already put together a few recommendations for logic classes. Flynn: Logic classes, of course. ::He looked up with a humored smile that faded as soon as he met a completely serious expression and realized the man wasn’t joking. Right. Vulcan. He supposed an open mind went both ways.:: Where does one go for those sorts of lessons? Sakon: There’s a few schools in this district that would suffice. But, ::He paused, glancing about the room.:: I believe Aitas should be home soon. Perhaps you could stay for dinner? It’d give the both of you more time to discuss matters. Flynn: I would like that, thank you. ::A warm genuine smile:: You know Sakon, if you’re not careful I’m going to start thinking you like having me around. ::That earned noncommittal shrug from Sakon.:: Sakon: Aurelio enjoys your presence. I would not deprive him of that. ::He paused, turning toward the door.:: Ah, it seems that Aitas has returned. We can continue this discussion later. ~Fin~ ---------------------------------------------- Antero Flynn Civilian Pilot Starbase 118 Ops C239205AF0 & Sakon Xenobiologist ~Written by~ Lt. Commander Aitas Chief Intelligence Officer Second Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239307A10
  24. This is a general appreciation for Ensign Corliss Fortune, who has recently joined the Gorkon in the middle of what can only be described as a nightmare (quite literally) and has really taken to it like a duck to water. I look forward to reading your posts; they're engaging and descriptive, with a lot of characterization. Keep it up! --- ((Ready Room, USS Gorkon)) Reynolds: ::Low,:: Nkai, we're going to need to get you back to sickbay. ::Corliss watched them uncertainly, feeling a small chill and shivering a bit.:: Nkai: But , uh… ::He winced.:: We should think about getting our hands on tricorders first. If we know where they are, we can move around the ship safely. Fortune: I agree. If we end up face to face with them all of a sudden, it could end very badly. I don't think we're fit to fight off more than one or two of them, if that. Reynolds: There's a supply locker in the corridor by my quarters. ::Quinn glanced between Nkai and Fortune. Corliss smiled reassuringly, or she hoped it came off that way, and not nervously.:: Ensign, would you check if we're clear to head out, and then lead the way? ::She nodded her head toward the panel that would take them out into the corridor.:: Fortune: Yes, Captain, not a problem. ::Corliss pressed her ear to the panel first, slowly taking the handle and tugging the panel open. She kept her eye to the slit in the panel as it slowly opened wider. No one she could see, so she peeked out more, her head sliding free of the tube as she looked around. She gave them both a thumbs up behind her, no one was there but it didn't mean they didn't have ears around. Corliss shuffled her way through the narrow opening silently, bracing one leg up and vaulting over it, her feet making a creaking noise in her boots as she landed and opening the panel all the way. She nodded.:: Fortune: ::whispering:: Looks clear, Sir. Reynolds: Response Fortune: Yes, sir! ::Corliss made sure the panel was not going to slam on them, looking over her shoulder a few times just in case as she helped the captain out first, then holding her arm elbow out in a crooked angle for Nkai.:: Fortune: Here, I've got good leverage, just hold on if you need to, okay? Nkai: Thanks. ::Corliss held in a grunt as she helped him out, swaying with him for a moment before righting herself, her arm tight to keep him up. She smiled back as he smiled at her, although he still looked tired and worn.:: Fortune: Not a problem! ::She watched as the Captain looked around. One had his mouth half open, as if in mid talk when he fell 'asleep', and she frowned. Their thoughts were completely muffled, or nonexistent, which measured up to being asleep. Jumbled thoughts were fun yet horrible to hear as they made no sense, and some just didn't think, just dreamed. She shook her head. The ones that were meaningful were hers, Nkai's and the Captain's, which she dutifully kept low on listening so as not to seem intrusive. Nothing was too loud so they weren't close...yet.:: Reynolds: All right, ::she spoke quietly:: let's get ourselves equipped and move on as soon as we can. There's a turbolift just at the end of the corridor, we can use that to get to sickbay once we're ready. Fortune: Okay, no problem. ::Corliss opened the locker easily, nudging aside a few things as she got out what they needed. She clipped a phaser on as well, clutching a tricorder as she started it up, eyes on the map before she froze a bit, hearing the sudden voices. Her eyes found the Captain as she sucked in a small breath.:: Gravelled Voice: It's up here. We're to grab her kids and bring them up to the bridge. oO Kids? Oh..oh no... Oo Rasping Voice: Lladre wants a bargaining chip, huh? Gravelled Voice: Something like that. Don't think his— ::there was a momentary pause, as if the owner of the voice was self-correcting,:: —*her* current plan is working out. ::Corliss shivered a bit. That was so cold to hear, that someone would use CHILDREN in a plan. She licked her lips nervously, weighing her weight onto one side in case they decided to sprint for it. She nodded at the Captain, looking over at Nkai nervously before ducking into the alcove, grazing over the thoughts of the two ahead of them. There was no alarm or alertness, so they hadn't heard them..yet.:: Reynolds: ::Low,:: Nkai, get down. Pretend you're asleep. ::Corliss tried to give a reassuring smile at Nkai, resting into the alcove while keeping an eye on where the voices where coming from.:: Fortune: ::Low:: Sir? Reynolds: ::Low,:: My quarters are there, ::she gestured to a set of doors behind them,:: so they'll be coming this way. Make sure your phaser's on stun and take your shot when you're ready. They're not expecting us. ::Rage was still boiling in her belly, incandescent at the thought of anyone so much as daring to touch her children. Violence was usually something she abhorred, but there was a small piece of her that was looking forward to dropping these particularly people to the deck.:: Fortune: ::Low:: Yes sir. ::She double checked her phaser, sliding the tricorder onto the floor slowly, careful to only make the softest of noises. They couldn't afford to mess this up. She curled up onto her side, as if relaxing, her phaser pointed towards the hallway, her eyes flicking back to the Captain before focusing again. She was ready and waiting for whoever-or whatever-appeared in front of them.:: Ensign Corliss Counselor USS Gorkon G239510CF0
  25. @Daniel Cain ((Tactical Holodeck 1, Deck 3, USS Apollo-A)) ::For the past 2 weeks Cain had not spent a minute idle. After the Twitchy Lieutenant JG had put him in charge of the AP Section of Security, he'd read up on everything he could. After 2 weeks he still wasn't done with it all but reckoned he had most of the priorities looked over. He'd started with the Borg and Voyagers encounter with them. When it came down to it Admiral Janeway was a genius when it came to killing these guys. What interested him most was the Elite Force that had been put together to combat threats like these. He read up on those missions in detail, wondering if the same could be done here on this ship. They were going to be out here longer than Voyager was anyway so why not? That idea was a long way off anyway, he still had so much to take in.:: ::Next on his list was the Hirogen. Brutal, efficient killing machines. Again, all information he could find came from Voyagers interactions. How had their society evolved since the last interaction with Voyager? Had they settled somewhere or did they still hunt? Cain believed the latter and even theorised they'd come up with new ways to kill. He surmised it would be interesting to meet one in a fight.:: ::The list seemed endless. Species 8472, Kazon, Krenim, Hierarchy, Malon. There were so many and others that were unknown. He read up on different tactics used by each and how they fought. When it got down and dirty, that information may save his life one day.:: Cain: K'MAARRA, LEFT FLANK! SECOND SQUAD COVER! ::The Caitian leapt up from her firing position from behind a rock and began moving to a rocky outcropping on her left about 50m away. As she ran crouched over, fire rained in from behind her to the enemy position to cover her. She moved with a speed befitting of Caitians, which is why he'd told her to move. Her black fur shook from running. She hit the rocks with her shoulder as she got there and started returning fire. The Hirogen, seeing one of their prey separated from the main body, charged the rock to surround her from both sides. This is what Cain was hoping for.:: Cain: FIRST SQUAD, NOW! ::Cain had placed First Squad up high, on the top of a high ridge that overlooked the rock K'Maarra was behind. As the Hirogen came around, both squads hit in the cross fire. Phaser Rifle beams and Pulse Phaser fire shot in, dropping body after body. Within minutes, the whole enemy force had been killed, bodies surrounding the panting Caitian.:: Cain: Squads, pull it in. ::As the 10 members of his security force started to move towards him, Cain couldn't help but think something was still off about the programming. He come up with these exercises himself after reading the after action reports from Voyager but he didn't think in reality a Hirogen hunting force would just run into an obvious trap. He made a note to check in with someone to see if they could improve on the A.I. of the enemy combatants. However he wasn't going to reveal that to his teams.:: Cain: Good job everyone, although some did get in close enough to K'Maarra to give her a stand up fight. How was it? K'Maarra::Grinning but still breathing heavily.:: Walk in the park sir Cain: Good. Don't let it go to your head though... ::He looked around.::…. and that goes for all of you too. These are basic simulations of the type of enemies we might face out here. I'm sure the real thing will be more of a challenge but its all good practise. ::They all looked half serious but in a good way. Each of them knew it would be harder in reality and looked like they welcomed the challenge. Cain had come to respect the crew he'd been working with and had managed to get past he feeling they were all wrong in some way to actually enjoy their company.:: Cain: Dismissed. Go get cleaned up and keep studying your files. I don't think we are ever going to finish them but keep going at it. Computer, end program. ::They all wandered towards the exit as the environment disappeared to reveal bulk heads and emitters. Some had even made it out the door.:: Computer: Red Alert. All hands to battle stations. ::Cain saw everything darken and a red hue illuminated the corridors out side the tactical Holodeck. The people already out the door jogged back in. He addressed everyone.:: Cain: Ok you know the drill. Lets get armed and ready. This may be the first time this has happened out here but it certainly won be the last. ::As Cain was jogging out with his teams his Comm Badge chirped.:: Fairhug: =/\= Fairhug to Lieutenant Cain and Ensigns Malko and Maro, please hand off any work you are doing to another member of staff and make your way to the Captain's Ready Room. =/\= Cain: =/\= Yes Commander. =/\= ::Cain stopped and K'Maarra stopped with him. He started jogging in the other direction, toward the turbolift. He shouted over his shoulder.:: Cain: Sort them out Ensign. ::She nodded and resumed her course at a faster rate. Cain ran into the turbolift, breathing lightly.:: Cain: Bridge. ::As an after thought, Cain remembered he was holding his rifle. Shrugging he strapped it to his back with the sling he had with it.:: oO Never know, may come in useful Oo ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Apollo-A)) ::Cain walked onto the Bridge and crossed the vast space to the Captains ready room. Everyone was busy assessing what was going on. Cain nodded to the Commander as he caught his eye and gave him a questioning look. The Commander answered indirectly.:: Fairhug: Ensign D'fini, have a look at the archives. Is there any reason the Hierarchy would have for attacking the Talaxians like this? oO Hierarchy? Really? Not their MO Oo ::He looked over at D'fini and smiled. He always did when he saw her. He hadn't had time to speak to her properly after their initial meeting. He assumed she was busy like himself that he hadn't even thought about it. Still, something about her put him at ease. Cain chimed the door as D'fini answered but didn't take it in. The door immediately opened and Cain stepped into the room. He found the Admiral beyond. The door closed behind him but a second later opened again. Cain groaned inwardly. The annoying Ensign. The Admiral made a gesture towards the sofa and the other two sat down. Cain remained standing. The Rifle on his back would make for an awkward seating position.:: Renos: Something about this stinks and unfortunately, we’re going in blind. So tell me, what do you know about the Hierarchy? Cain: Only what I've read in Voyagers files Sir Malko: In the spirit of honesty, I have only the basic combat training and a hostile rescue situation with Atlantis under my belt - which I don't know if I've fully processed, yet. What did you have in mind for me, Captain? ::Cain kept his face neutral but was groaning again inside. He found himself doing that a lot lately with people in blue collars.:: oO That's it, make your CO doubt you from the off Oo Renos: Mr Malko, I have no doubt about your abilities or your training. I appreciate that it's a difficult mission you’ve gone through. Having only limited data right now, it’s hard to say how our resources will be utilised. Best case scenario, we drive the Hierarchy away before too much damage is done. Worst case scenario we may have to send search and rescue parties to evacuate New Talax. What I do know, is that this is a traumatic event for the Talaxians. There will be people in direct need of your expertise, so tell me now if you feel you may not be able to handle any task that may be required of you. Malko: Response Renos: Very well. For now, let’s focus on the Hierarchy. What else do we know about them? ::Cain spoke first.:: Cain: Nothing beyond Voyagers files. They Micromanage to an extent that if they need to use the head they need to see if its worth their time. A full scale planetary attack is not their style unless there is a massive gain from such an expensive and resource consuming activity. If there is, im surprised no one picked up on their spying before hand as they must have been at it weeks to plan it in such miniscule detail. Maro/Malko: Response ::Renos nodded, thinking the response's through apparently.:: Renos: Well it begs the question - was this a stealth assault gone wrong? Were they uncovered prematurely by the Talaxians? Did they underestimate their target? Or what about an evolution of their tactics? Cain: I would go against an evolution in tactics. A society micromanaged from the top has people that will not want to give that up. If this is a genuine attack, this is still going to have been weighed and measured by these top guys and the Talaxians may be in a lot more trouble than we realise. Renos: Then perhaps it was desperation. Does anyone have any theories about why they might be attacking or what they may be after? Malko/Maro: Response Cain: Or maybe they are moving out this way because something worse is on the other side of their territory.
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