Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'appreciations'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Welcome to our forums!
    • Board Rules and News
  • Applications and Training
    • Prospective Members
    • Academy Training
    • Graduation Hall
  • Hall of Honor
    • Appreciations
    • Awards Ceremonies
  • UFOP: SB118 Community Discussion
    • General Discussion
    • Community News
    • Graphics requests and Image Resources
    • Wiki Help and Discussion
    • Advanced Training and Writing Improvement
    • Task Forces
    • Guilds
  • Duty Posts
    • Operations Divison
    • Sciences Division
    • Special Divisions
  • Federation News Service
    • FNS Headlines
  • Star Trek Discussion
    • General Trek discussion
    • Poll of the Week
    • Gaming
  • StarBase 118 Ships & Installations
    • USS Astraeus, NCC-70652
    • USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
    • USS Columbia, NCC-85279
    • USS Constitution, NCC-9012-B
    • USS Eagle, NCC-74659
    • USS Gorkon, NCC-82293
    • USS Veritas, NCC-95035
    • Duronis II Embassy
    • StarBase 118 Operations
    • Inactive Ships & Bases

Calendars

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Location


Interests


Current Post


Wiki user URL


Wiki character URL

Found 258 results

  1. ((CMO Office, Sickbay, Deck 7, USS Gorkon)) Genkos sat at his desk, head in his hands. One finger was gently plucking at a hair on his chin - he had shaved hurriedly this morning, wanting to avoid any kind of facial furriness. Clearly he had missed a spot. It was reminiscent of ‘Kos, a man he definitely wasn’t, and from whom he needed a clean break. That meant no facial hair, no drinking alcohol at all, and plenty of uttaberry tea to wash the foul taste of Spoonie, no Cardassian, blood from his mouth. Finally getting purchase between forefinger and thumbnail, he tugged at the offending follicle, and felt a sweet release when it broke free. He examined it closely; short and black, with a slight curl already, despite it being relatively young. He placed it on his palm and softly blew, watching it disappear, never to be seen again. He snorted a silent laugh at the absurdity of it; as if blowing away a single hair could get rid of all he’d done, all he’d seen, all he’d committed as ‘Kos Sim, Maquis combat medic. He could still hear the wet splat of his makeshift spear entering that Cardassian’s torso, feel the soldier’s bones cracking under his fists, smell the heady aroma of the blood. Genkos closed his eyes to meditate; he tried forcing the memories away, herding them much like a sheepdog herds lambs into a pen, trying to seal them behind a giant brick wall where they could never again hurt anyone. But it was no use; much like trying to get Tasha’s cat Sparks to do anything, it was impossible. A stray thought always broke free of his mental grasp, and escaped deeper into the recesses of his mind. Last time they’d been away to the land of the Skarbek, he’d come back with Erin’s real memories as well as his own, but this was somehow worse. True, he hadn’t discovered some dark secret about his father, but he had discovered something incredibly horrifying about himself. He was just as capable of murder as Tillul. Perhaps even culpable - who was to say which parts of the Q’s machinations were real and which were purely phantoms? Perhaps that Cardassian really did exist and Genkos really did murder him. He’d been told that Johns had died in the Q-verse, but had come back though, so maybe not? But the Q was there to torture them, so who really knew what it was capable of? Again, he closed his eyes to meditate, attempting to clear his mind of all thoughts. It was a technique that Baina had taught him an age ago, back when they were trying to control and shape his mental abilities after the last Skarbek sojourn. It wasn’t working; flashes of splattering blood and foul red rage kept barging their way into his brain, disrupting the whole process. Instead he opened his eyes, and turned to the work he had open on his desk. He was attempting to write up a report for the Admiral about the incident with the Q, examining the physiological effects of the whatever-it-was. He’d spent six and a half hours this morning, visually examining every crew member who reported travelling over to the Skarbek-verse. He’d traipsed over the ship with Loxley and T’Hal, scanning them with tricorders and giving them the once over. Many reported having wounds, some serious, some trivial, that disappeared on their own on their arrival back to the Gorkon. Nobody showed any signs of these wounds except in the forms of memories. He manually entered all of the data they had collected into the ship’s computers and compiled it. It made for very tedious reading, but he summed it all up in a short paragraph and sent it to Quinn. It wasn’t much, and it wasn’t informative. “As far as our bodies are concerned, nothing happened and no time passed” was effectively the conclusion, but there was an addendum - if nothing happened, why were they all suffering? It was true that nobody came off well in the Q’s experiment; emotionally they were all distraught by what they had been manipulated to do, and what the Q had said about them. Her comments about his abilities were the most cutting. Ayiana had tried to tell him they weren’t true, that it was the situation but Genkos knew differently. That satisfaction that he felt on killing those Cardassians was real. He was a monster, and unfit to be a doctor. This report to the Admiral would be his last. Finishing up the report, he sent it to the Admiral and to Jo and began writing up his resignation. He would sleep on it first, before he handed it in, he decided. ((Genkos Adea’s Quarters, Deck 8, USS Gorkon - the next morning))) Genkos was fully dressed and sat on the edge of his bed. Toto was curled up on the bed beside him, his eyes staring up at his master. Genkos’ eyes, however, were focused on the PADD beside him, which contained all he needed to end his Starfleet career. A lead weight sat in his stomach, and he could feel the cool metal inside of him, turning his every vein to ice. His mother had visited that morning, to break her fast with him, but he hadn’t heard a word she’d said. He hadn’t even reacted when Rumi arrived and the two of them spent the meal exchanging bites of scrambled ktarian eggs and pulpless orange juice. Although Laxe could tell was something wrong, she hadn’t pried. She knew her son, and trusted him to make the right choice. His finger hovered over the PADD. Adea: To send, or not to send, that is the question, dear Toto. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous Q, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them… Toto just yapped. He didn’t get Shakespeare. Genkos smiled sadly, and tried to remember all the good he had done as a doctor in Starfleet; he’d saved some of the crew aboard the Njörðr from a slow and painful death at the feet of Rushton’s, he’d performed emergency surgery on Caedan and countless others, as well as on Dhisuia. Although, said a little inner voice remarkably like the Q’s, you were the one who got her beaten half to death in the first place. Genkos shook his head violently, causing Toto to leap up in alarm and let out a single bark. Would he let his mistakes define who he was, or would he use them to make a better man? The latter! He threw the PADD onto the table, a familiar rage bubbling inside him; just days ago he was content to be a Starfleet doctor, remarkably higher in rank than he had expected; Chief Medical Officer and Second Officer aboard a literal flagship. He wasn’t about to let a Q get in his head and ruin his life. Never. He would do what good he could aboard the Gorkon, ‘Kos Sim be damned. -------------------------- Lieutenant Commander Genkos Adea MD Chief Medical Officer & Second Officer USS Gorkon G239502GS0
  2. I was just amazed with how @Sheila Bailey described her character's emotions in such a way that it was completely genuine. Amazing work Aly! ((Starfleet Academy, San Francisco, Earth)) Bailey: ::Mouth dry:: Umm.. one of my wheels is stuck. Do you think you could help me out? Galven: ::kneels down:: Of course. What do you need me to do? Bailey: I’m scared Glaven. I’ve not been this scared since the rainy seasons back on Elaysia. Sheila gave a low whimper. The rainy season back home was no fun, it made everyone hot, flushed, dry mouthed and dizzy. She was feeling a bit of that now and only wished that being back on the academy campus hadn’t made her so paranoid. Must have all those discouraging memories that were coming back. Now Sheila was thinking about her time back home and the discomfort she had felt during the rainy months. Some felt the effects more but others could function just fine in the increased humidity. They did have medications available to reduce the ‘sickness’ that came with it but such things weren’t available off world. The federation medical servius hasn't approved it’s use off Elaysia. For Sheila she never took the available medication. Instead spent hours in a cold shower with lots of cold drinks. Suddenly looking for her water bottle it wasn’t there making her mouth go even more dry and numb. He felt for the woman. Since he was kneeling, he was now eye level with Sheila and wanted to help her curb her anxieties. Galven: Sheila. Look at me. Nothing is going to come after you. I’m right here. Guess what? Sheila didn’t say anything but look at German with sad looking eyes. Her head felt heavy and her eyes like they were about to close. She suspected she had forgotten how hot it could get on Earth. Back during her last mission she had experienced similar things but they had been cleared up quickly the moment she had something cold to drink. Galven: I’m scared too, but you know what’s keeping me going? Bailey: Yes? Sheila wasn’t confused only had a small lack of being able to think. Galven: You are. You’re helping me and let me help you ::grunts and unjams her wheel:: Now that wasn’t so bad now was it? ::grins wide:: Sheila tested both wheels of her chair being satisfied that both were moving smoothly. It however didn’t get rid of her scared feeling. She felt it in her head, mouth and her shaking hands. What if those people were still around? With the way they had looked at her it creeped her out more than she thought it would. No one had ever looked at her like that before. The look had been so sharp and glaring. Bailey: I’m still scared… ::Sheila’s sentence trailed off as she gave the Denobulan a small strained smile.:: Galven: How about this... Would you like to take my PADD and then you can be our navigator? The destination marker is located west of here in that direction. What do you say, Lieutenant? Bailey: It would give me something to do. Reaching to take the PADD her hands were so shaky that she wasn’t even sure she could push herself at the same time. Sighing she took the PADD placing it on her lap before folding her hands close to her pelvis. Bailey: ::Voice still wavering:: I hate to ask this but my hands are so shaky, would you mind pushing me in my chair? Galven: Response Bailey: It would make me feel safer if you would. I honestly don’t know why I’m scared. Those three men, the way they looked at me, its creeped me out. A wave of dizziness washed through Sheila as Galven took hold of the back of her chair in order to guide her to the new meeting spot. Sheila looked at the PADD as they moved, giving Galven directions. It didn’t take long for them to get to the monument. Sal settled a soft smile on his face as he strolled up to greet them, giving time for Prudence and Rustyy to catch up. Taybrim: A lovely day on the Academy green, isn’t it? Hael/Blackwell: ? He nodded, offering a wave towards German and Sheila Taybrim: Yes, there are our new crewmates. ::He smiled, an easy, casual smile – the sort of genuine expression coming from a person who truly liked other people.:: Good afternoon Commander Galven and Lieutenant Bailey! Hael/Blackwell: ? Bailey: Hi. Galven/Taybrim/Hael/Backwell: ? At this moment Sheila had started tuning out the conversation. She knew she had to pay attention as the conversation was about introductions and the mission. For Sheila however the more she tried the more she felt the heat and nausea creep up now that the adrenaline was disappearing. Just like when it was raining hard back home the chatter pulled her in and out. She wasn’t going to pass out but her eyes were so droopy, her mouth so dry. Sheila’s head hurt bad, was hard to keep up so it flopped so her chin was resting on her chest. A second latter however she fell out of her chair. What a way to make an introduction to her new Captain. Galven/Taybrim/Hael/Backwell: ? The shock of landing on the floor sent a shooting pain through her body. Her eyes went wide and the conversation quieted as most of the officers around her got down to her level. Bailey: ::weakly:: Water….. Galven/Taybrim/Hael/Backwell: ? Lieutenant JG Sheila Bailey Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239512BG0 "If you want to harness your power, you need to learn to control your fear." - Sara Lance; Legends Of Tomorrow
  3. ((OOC - a couple things before we get started: (1) This is in no way connected to our current mission, plot, or story. For the new folks, the [BELOW] tag is something we've been trying out to give players the chance to write off-duty/non-mission-related posts in order to flesh out their character, build descriptions of the ship, etc. (2) This JP is one that Justin and I have been working on for about 2 months now as a special Halloween treat for you all. We hope you enjoy it! (3) It uses the old format, but as we haven't formally adopted the new one until Friday, I pray your indulgence. Now, please enjoy PART ONE!!)) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((USS Eagle, Deck 3 - outside room 332, Quentin Collins’ room [stardate 239610.31 - Quentin's birthday])) ::Kayla paced in front of Quentin’s door in what she felt was a very impractical dress. She couldn’t figure out why she was so nervous. She’d been preparing this surprise for her friend for weeks now, and was SURE everything was perfect. She knew the details were just right - that had to be priority one. Quentin would know if anything was out of place. Of course he would be too considerate to say if anything was wrong, but she knew, given how much of a classic horror buff he was, that if anything was off … well, she’d done a ridiculous amount of research in preparing this surprise, so everything was as good as it could possibly be.:: ::She came to a stop, still facing down the corridor toward her own quarters. Charlie had Katya over tonight for a sleep-over, so by now they’d probably be giggling about … something. It wasn’t too late for Kayla back out. She could just contact Quen and say she was tired. Or that she wanted to keep an eye on the girls. Or … something. oO Coward. Oo Turning, she faced the door. With a shaking hand, she pressed the intercom button. The answer came almost immediately.:: Collins: Come in! ::Entering the room, Kayla saw Collins dressed in a 3-piece suit from late 19th Century western Europe. The stark black contrasted nicely with the starched, high-collared shirt he wore under his vest.:: ::Quentin Collins was all about an occasion to dress, but he usually liked to know the reason that way he could keep an eye on the social horizon as it were. The whole thing reminded him of one of Mother’s themed costumed affairs, but there was no way Kay could know about those horrors. As she entered, he was fussing with his sleeve cuffs.:: Collins: Hey, are you sure about these costumes? I mean, you look fine, but I feel like I’m being strangled by a very weak person right now. Drex: ::chuckling:: Yes, they’re a must. I don’t know what YOU’RE complaining about. You’re not wearing a bodice. Collins: ::He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it into a tight smile.:: Touche. Fair enough. So what’s this all about? ::A mischievous smile pulled at the corners of Kayla’s painted lips. For some reason it made Quentin the fun kind of nervous.:: Drex: You’ll see. I’m not ruining your birthday surprise by telling you what it is before you’ve even opened it! ::The look on his face was priceless. She almost laughed out loud, but was enjoying the feeling of having the upper hand, so she fought the urge.:: Drex: What? Did you think I didn’t know? What kind of department head do you take me for, Mister Collins? ::To say his birthday was a sore subject with him would have been the understatement of the century and it would take twice as long to get into it fully with her. But now he was free and in open waters, as it were. What was to stop him from finally taking it back. He pulled down his suddenly very comfortable topcoat. And snapped up to look at his friend.:: Collins: Ok, Chief. Lead the way. ((Deck 6 - Holodeck 1)) ::The pair had drawn some raised eyebrows on their trek down to the holodeck, but no one had actually asked about their odd choices of off-duty attire. Now they stood in the familiar setting of yellow grid on black.:: Drex: Ready? Collins: You know I am. Kay, what IS this? Drex: ::ignoring her friend’s question:: Computer, load program “Drexula” and hold visuals at time index 0.01. ::The change was nearly instantaneous. The grid vanished from the walls, floor, and ceiling, changing to a scene completely different. That much typical in the holodeck. Kayla’s special touches to this program however, was a strange hum. It was everywhere yet nowhere but in their ears.:: ::It felt like a light crackling for a second between Quentin’s ears. He worked his jaw a second and felt instant relief. It was like diving a bit too quickly, but the steady hum still buzzed through his mind pleasantly.:: Collins: What’s that hum? Drex: It’s binaural tones. Back in the early 21st Century, there was something of a craze with them. The science behind them is essentially that they can alter the listener's brainwaves. I wanted this particular simulation to be more … immersive than others. Don’t worry too much though, you shouldn’t even notice the sounds after about two or three minutes. ::Quentin just stared, now starting to get the less fun kind of nervous. But the Chief seemed to have everything well in hand. Kayla was pleased that he seemed to appreciate the extra effort this took. Realistically, the setting and plot were simple enough. Syncing the binaural stimulus was the real tricky part.:: ::Now that the binaural shock had passed, it was time to begin. They looked around at their surroundings. They were in a small village or hamlet nestled in a rather austere but lovely range of sharp mountains. Kayla knew them to be the Carpathians, but now was not the time to play the tour guide. A man whose face was so weathered it masked his age with great alacrity walked briskly up to them. His billowing pant legs, tucked into the tops of his tall boots, made a swishing sound with each step. As he drew closer, he stretched out a leathery hand in stiff but genial greeting.:: Popescu: Welcome! You must be the visitors I was told of. I am Popescu Alexandru. Drex: ::whispering to Collins:: Surname first. You should say hi first. Patriarchy, and all that. ::Quentin shuffled awkwardly up to the man, still trying to drink in all the details of their new setting. It was painfully familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it yet. He would get there eventually, but first he had to get through this interaction first.:: Collins: Oh, aye. The name is Collins from up London way and this is my...secretary Miss Drex. Assigned by the firm, you know how it is. But she does good work! Well, her knees are going but STILL! ::He winked over in Kayla’s direction, relishing the sudden pointed scowl she wore. She may have put all this amazing time and effort into this whole charade, but that wasn’t going to stop him having a BIT of fun with her.:: Popescu: Good, good! Yes, I run the inn right up the road, I received word three days ago there would be two visitors. Tell me, what brings you to our quiet village? ::Kayla stepped up to deliver her line, all but shoving Quentin out of the way to do so.:: Drex: We have been invited by the local count has invited us to the castle for the weekend. ::Alexandru’s face turned ash gray so fast, Kayla thought for a second it could have been a glitch in the program. When he crossed himself though, she knew everything was still working properly.:: ::Quentin [...]ed an eyebrow at the sudden display of ancient superstition. Excitement started to rise in his throat. He had a sneaking suspicion as to where they were now. He felt stupid he didn’t get it sooner.:: Propescu: M-may I ask … forgive me, but … why would you go to the castle? Drex: It’s old, we’re curious, and vampires are just a superstition? What more reason do we need? ::Propescu Alexandru crossed himself again at the word “vampire,” and muttered something under his breath the program didn’t bother interpreting. Kay shot him a look again, telegraphing his cue. He beamed and stepped back onto “center stage” through the packed mud of the old way street. Clearing his throat to speak, he tried to do his best impression of his dad. All business.:: Collins: We have been invited by the Count as potential investors in a looming property deal, good sir. We haven’t the time to faff about with ancient superstitions. Please, sir, my associate and I are weary, if you won’t cart us to the Castle, surely you can provide us rooms for the night. We have coin to pay. ::He shrugged a bit toward Kayla, assuming if she took the time to detail all this, surely she gave them some kind of walking around money.:: Propescu: I regret that I have no rooms for to offer you on this evening. Drex: ::noticing his English grew worse with his agitation:: I thought … didn’t you just say you’d been told before that guests would be coming, and that you had made preparations? Propescu: ::looking mildly ascanse at being called out by a woman:: That was a mistake of my own. It has just returned to my mind that those rooms were taken by two other visitors - doubtless the ones about which I was alerted. My deepest apologies. ::Kayla looked at Quentin with a not entirely affected look of annoyance, but shrugged. She’d built in several layers of adaptive programming in this programming. The characters would respond not only to direct stimuli, but to stimuli generated by interactions resulting from the responses of less visible interactions. Right now, it seemed that this innkeeper, with all his words of welcome, was longer interested in playing host - however temporary - to those that had been summoned by the count.:: Drex: Well then, is there a carriage or cart we can hire to take us to the castle early? Propescu: That may be difficult to arrange, but I will talk to some associates of mine to see what can be done for you. Please take in the sights of our village while you wait. ::Quentin huffed, leaning a bit more into the character he was playing with in the early moments of their holo-adventure. The Chief looked like she was having fun too, but he couldn’t help but notice a ripple of annoyance through her face. Was the program not giving up narrative like it should be? That innkeeper certainly turned about weirdly after she mentioned The Count. But that was all part of the fun for Quentin. He knew for sure (mostly maybe) where they were now. Now the real fun of testing the boundaries of the narrative could start.:: Collins: Good DAY, sir. ::He turned away from the now trembling man and finally allowed himself to absorb the rest of the details of their surroundings:: ::The scenery was indeed extremely picturesque. The thatched-roof buildings that lined the streets bore brightly-colored shingle signs advertising a variety of services. A butcher, cobbler, hooper, blacksmith, and several others were among those that lined the main, cobblestone road. Off this way, there were smaller buildings, doubtless the homes of the tradesmen and women that ran these businesses. Though modest, the hamlet appeared to be comfortably prosperous. Nestled between two large mountains, Kayla supposed they were sheltered from the worst of inclement weather conditions. The flora of the immediate region boasted delicate but hardy greenery, mostly short and scrubby. Looking further, around the cluster of buildings, Kayla noted that there were no old growth trees near the town, even though the lower rises of the surrounding mountains were carpeted by trees so ancient they bore heavy mantles of lichen and thick mosses. It was almost as though the people of this township were beating back the very landscape, and were content insofar that this waged war against nature was successful. It gave Kayla a momentary chill, but having no reason or inclination to dwell on such speculation, she brushed it aside as a thought bright on by the strange start to their adventure.:: Drex: Well, it looks like we have a little time before we leave here. What are you in the mood for? Shopping? Sightseeing? ::He turned an instant about face toward his friend with a huge smile on his face. He held out his hands to her.:: Collins: I just have one question. And I really need you to be honest with me. Drex: Always. What’s your question? Collins: Is this Dracula? Did you make me a whole Dracula thing? ::Kayla looked at Quentin somewhat coyly.:: Drex: I’m not saying it’s not, but at the same time … not exactly? It’s based on the book, but I’ve set this some time before Jonathan Harker’s visit. In other words, we’re us - visiting the count per his invitation. ::suddenly nervous that she’d spoiled the present:: Does that sound ok? ::Quentin instinctively clasped her hands and started to, for lack of a better term, freak the eff out, bouncing on the balls of his feet still with his friend’s hands comfortably clasped in his own. His whole history with gifts was horribly spotty, but this? This was…:: Collins: This is everything, Kayla truly. Thank you thank you thank you. Also I’m sorry if I got mud on your dress. Drex: ::laughing:: No, the dress is fine. I’m so glad you like the program, but it’s only just started! Wait till you see … wait, no. You’ll see. ::He unlatched her hands and started to whirl around the village. The detailing of the whole thing was almost intoxicating. Once Quentin found his bearings he started to try and take in the finer details. He spied a few of the more homely structures occupied, faint fires burning behind the curtains. But as he started to look at them, and the peeking occupants found therein, they snapped the curtains back shut as if trying to ward them away. Quentin thought it was a nice touch.:: Collins: I’m guessing it isn’t just Propescu that’s scared… ::Almost as if on cue, a wicked crack of lightning split the darkness of the sky, casting a pallid shadow over the village momentarily. Quentin’s skin goose-pimpled instantly and another grin split his lips.:: ((Short timeskip)) ::The jangle of tack and the clopping of horses’ hooves announced to Kayla and Quentin that their ride had arrived. Turning, Kayla caught her first glimpse of the driver. He wore a billowing rough (but immaculately white) linen shirt, laced up the front instead of buttons for closures. On his legs he wore deerskin trousers tucked into his tall boots, and atop his head sat a very wide-brimmed hat. All-in-all, she assessed him to be an experienced and capable coachman.:: ::When the cart stopped only about a dozen feet from where the pair of scientists stood, the pair of horses motionless - eyeing the strangers, the coachman leapt nimbly from his seat, somehow missing the several mud puddles in the road. He had covered the distance in a trice, greeting them and offering his assistance.:: Coachman: Welcome. My old friend Propescu tell me you are in need of transport to the castle. We must go quickly or not at all. I will not journey after nightfall. Drex: Why’s that? Coachman: There are wolves in the area … and worse. ::A beat passed while he considered the “worse,” but he did not elaborate. Instead, he shook himself and asked after any luggage they had and needed his help with. As neither Kayla nor Quentin had any, they were helped aboard the carriage, and the coachman whipped the horses into a brisk trot. In what felt like seconds, the tiny town was little more than a barely-distinguishable smudge in the otherwise unbroken landscape - impossible to spot unless you knew where to look.:: Drex: ::to the coachman:: How far is it to the castle? Coachman: Approximately 4 hours’ at a gentle pace for the horses. Today we go a bit faster. I do not wish to be travelling late, though tonight I think it may be safer than other nights. Drex: Why’s that? ::It took the driver a full minute to respond to this. Kayla wasn’t sure if he was trying to formulate a response, overcoming the language barrier, or hiding something. When he finally spoke, it did nothing to assuage these fears.:: Coachman: The dangers will be preoccupied. ::Quentin almost blanched at the comment. At first he was completely delighted by the off putting old-world detailing of the simulation. The mysticism, the ritual of it. It was some of the same things that drew him to his hometown’s lore. But then the odder instances started to bug him. And in the sort of anxiety inducing way, not into the “solve this puzzle” sort of way. In the time it took them to hitch up to this coach and travel a ways, Quentin Collins decided he was going to start taking this seriously. Not that he wasn’t before mind you, since this was a dear and thoughtful gift from an even dearer and even more thoughtful friend. But even she seemed like something was off. And when the two of them worked a problem, the cosmos itself would reveal its secrets. He shifted across to Kayla’s seat, finally able to see the Coachman a bit. Raising his voice above the thundering hooves of the horses, he started prodding.:: Collins: What could possibly preoccupy danger? Coachman: I’m afraid I do not understand. Collins: You said they would be preoccupied, what could occupy dangers? Something even more dangerous perhaps? ::a Sudden icy burst of wind shot through the carriage windows, catching Quentin right through the arms, where his topcoat sleeve met his vest. It chilled him to the bone, so much so he automatically tightened his leather gloves at the wrist. An ancient physical tic from back in Maine. Gazing out of the window at the rushing, seemingly endless woods whizzing past them along the path. He blinked against the biting wind. The dark seemed to...blink back. Dozens of blazing red eyes bared themselves through the woods. He blinked again and they remained. He felt his throat start to dry.:: Collins: Kay...did you program this? Drex: Sort of? ::She wasn’t trying to be cryptic. It was the truth. She’d only programmed the parameters and constraints of the characters and environment of the simulation. After that, she let the AI drive the particulars. Not wanting to betray her own unease to Quentin, she shrugged in what she hoped was a nonchalant way.:: Drex: I’m sure it’ll be fine. The safety protocols are in place. ::Still, the binaural tones (now completely forgotten consciously and no longer recognized by either of them) continued entwining their way into the minds of both Kayla and Quentin. The chill blast through the carriage window was accompanied by a shift in tone. The shift in tone was accompanied by a sensation deep in the most primitive corners of Kayla’s mind. There was a predator nearby, and her very survival depended on her staying alert.:: ((timeskip - 2 hours later)) ::The carriage came to a fairly abrupt halt in front of the massive, iron-banded, oaken-timber double doors as though the horses were loathe to stop moving. Even at a halt, they stamped their hooves and champed their bits, anxious to be moving away. The coachman leapt from his perch almost before the carriage had stopped moving, and was now holding the door open. It was less a gesture of civility than it was an unspoken plea for a quick exit. The two obliged, though something in them said it was the opposite direction they ought to be moving - back toward the town.:: Coachman: ::driving away as soon as he was back in the seat:: Fare well. I will say a prayer for you both. ::Before they could answer, the coach had rattled away at a gallop, and was now out of the reach of their voices.:: Drex: Well that was ominous. ::Quentin gave a snorting guffaw at Kayla’s stating of the obvious. He pulled his topcoat tighter around them as more wind howled through the trees and cobblestones of door stop they now stood upon. The stones looked impossibly old, matching the immaculately shone wood of the doors, which somehow looked older still. Quentin’s mind flashed quickly to The Old House, tucked away in the rising vines and brambles of the Collins Estate. That house scared him then and this one scared him now. Gooseflesh pimpled on the back of his neck. As if someone...or something was watching them.:: Collins: Oh REALLY? Whatever gave you that idea? Now what? Drex: ::shrugging:: Shall we knock? ::It was of course, rhetorical. Kayla steeled her resolve fighting down the irrational urge to run after the carriage, and knocked three times loudly on the front door. They waited for an answer for a full minute before knocking again. Still no answer. Quentin tried then, pounding on the door as the fear of what it would mean to be locked out in the open at night settled into Kayla’s heart, chilling her to the bone.:: ::As the sun sank below the crest of the western mountain ridge, the pair heard a heavy scraping sound from within - as though a great bolt were being drawn. Following that was the groaning creak of the massive hinges were brought into service. The ground around them was suddenly flooded with quavering yellow light from a candelabra held in the left hand of the tall man who had opened the door. The light was such a welcome sight to Kayla that she rushed forward toward it as though she were a moth.:: ???: Good evening. I apologize for the delay. My … staff is otherwise detained. I am your host. Please do enter my home. ::Quentin carefully followed Kayla and their new host into the cavernous hall. It looked to be the height of opulence, if the whole hall wasn’t covered in thick, milky cobwebs. Quentin almost had to step around them as to not be tangled in them. Their host seemed to float through them with ease though, still holding aloft the ornate golden candelabra. As the light bathed them all, he got a closer look at the man’s clothing. Which was a perfectly put together old style tuxedo, adorned with a lavish, possibly silken cape clasped with a heavy jeweled clasp. But there was something about his eyes. Though his demeanor seemed warm and inviting, his eyes reflected...none of that. Instead they looked empty, vacuous...hungry almost. Quentin tried to shake away the feeling, clearing his throat and finally speaking.:: Collins: T-Thank you for your hospitality… ???: It is my pleasure, I assure you. You have no doubt ascertained that I am the lord of this house. I am Dracula. ::not hesitating:: Please, my friends, leave any baggage you may have here, and it will be attended to. You must be hungry after your journey? ::In response to this suggestion, Kayla’s stomach made a sound somewhere between a cranky weasel and an annoyed stock investor. She looked briefly to Collins, then to their host.:: Drex: I am actually. Dracula: Then let us not waste another moment. You will I pray, forgive me for not dining with you, but I have supped already, having business to attend to this evening. ::The elegant man led them to a long room off the main foyer (if in fact it could be called that - the proportions put some cathedrals to shame), where a banquet table lay waiting for them. Two places were lavishly set with covered dishes. These, their host lifted by his own hand, revealing a sumptuous feast of roasted meats, root vegetables, and a steaming soup that looked deeper and richer than anything Kayla had ever eaten. Her stomach gave another excited “gruggle” at the sight of it all.:: Dracula: ::beckoning with a long-fingered hand for them to take the prepared seats:: Please come and eat to your hearts’ content. I will return when you have finished and show you to your rooms. ::And with that, the Count swept from the room, leaving Kayla and Quentin to the meal before them. She was famished, but Kayla hesitated, looking at her friend. Her conscious mind knew she was in the holodeck - that none of this was real, but the primitive parts of her brain were screaming at her. Some yet unforeseen danger or threat lurked within these walls. It couldn’t be the food though, right?:: Drex: What do you think? Shall we eat? ::Quentin gave a hearty exhale of breath and picked up a yeasty and somehow still warm roll from the sumptuous spread.:: Collins: I suppose we have to, right? ::Even though his mind told him that the only thing he was holding was a lovingly created patch of photons, the warmth and smell wafting off of it told another, more vivid story. It was almost intoxicating. He was about to give up the ghost and take a bite when he saw something else even more intoxicating. In an entirely different way. In the darkness of a room housed in the balcony above he saw three sets of gleaming, dreamy eyes. One a deep blue. The other a warm hazel. The last a glittering emerald. He started to open his mouth to speak, but he was...moving somehow. Floating almost, just above the dusty stonework of the flooring. As he got closer (though through no real will of his own), more and more smells replaced the musty odor of the main hall. Lilac, jazmine, and rosemary. He didn’t even notice when he crossed the threshold into the darkened room. He started to turn, seeing Kayla still standing a level below. He opened his mouth to speak but the door slammed shut before he could. Six strong hands then grabbed him roughly, pulling him into the void.:: ::Kayla panicked. Quentin had just been … abducted? Captured? At any rate, she didn’t like to think what those three had ultimately in mind for her friend. She scanned the table in a fevered attempt to find something that could be used as a weapon. ::Grabbing a long, thin-bladed carving knife, she sprang from the table and sprinted in the direction her friend had been dragged.:: Drex: QUENTIN! ::Her voice broke as she called out over and over. There was no sound for what seemed to her an eternity, but which was in reality, merely five seconds. At the far end of the dimly-lit hallway, Kayla heard the soft click of an old door latch catching. Without thinking, she turned and ran, gathering up her skirts as she went so she wouldn’t trip. ::When she reached the door, she grabbed at the handle. It was either stuck or locked. She banged on the heavy door with the butt of the knife, screaming for the door to be opened. She stopped abruptly though, when is swung smoothly on its hinge. ::What was even more alarming was the room she now saw. It was completely empty. She took one tentative step into the dark and drafty room. The gauzy curtains swayed gently in the draft from the partially opened window. This was the only movement in the room. Other than the dark, undulating fabric, the room seemed to resent her mobility. ::Thoughts of her friends peril tried to push their way into her mind, but Kayla was powerless to look away from the curtains … the Count. Had he been standing by the window the whole time? She didn’t remember seeing him when she first opened the door to the room.:: Dracula: I trust you … dined well? Drex: ::dreamily:: Quite well. Thank you. ::The count moved smoothly - so smoothly in fact, it could have been called a glide - toward the young blonde woman.:: Dracula: That is good. It would not do to have you … malnourished. Drex: ::Her head swimming:: You’re too kind. ::A yell from somewhere else in the castle snapped Kayla back to herself as effectively as a bucket of ice water. Before her still stood the striking form of her host, but now she was aware of the immediacy of the danger. She struck out with the knife still in her hand, but hit nothing but air. Smoke? Where the Count had been an instant before was now an already-dissipating cloud of black smoke. Kayla didn’t need to think twice. She turned on her heel and ran toward the sound of Collins’ voice.:: ::Quentin wasn’t sure how much time had passed. An hour? A day? A week? There was only the women and the sickly sweet taste of their lips upon his. Though he was dragged into the darkness, soon the antechamber was bathed in an amber-gris glow. A glow that had eliminated from the lit braziers that lined the stone walls. The smell of fresh earth also cut through the intoxicating scents of the women. But it didn’t jibe the visuals of the chamber, which suggested that they were at least a few stories up. At least that’s what the gleaming moonbeams and pockmarked starry sky provided in evidence. As soon as he started to think about it, however, more lips were on his again, tossing his mind back down the dark well of passion. One that he assumed had been paved over long ago. The women seemed to speak with one voice, vibrating through his mind like a psychic drawl.:: The Brides: Do you desire, Quentin Collins? ::He was momentarily stunned. He hadn’t spoken to them. Hell, he barely had a chance to speak. But his voice was parched with the earthy smell. Lips chapped with...repeated contact.:: Collins: I...w-what’s happening? ::He was turned again, peering directly into the eyes of the amber haired woman, who seemed to be their...leader? Or at least the center of the triumvirate.:: The Brides: Do you ache, Quentin Collins? ::Sudden cold bit through his now lessened layers. Somehow his topcoat and cravat had been shed and now his sleeves hung open, as well as his vest. He tried to button it back but it appeared that the buttons had been torn away. How? And Why?:: Collins: I can’t….why can’t I feel my hands? ::He looked down, his fingertips were starting to turn blue and as sort of streaky liquid dripped from one...drip drip dropping...onto the stone floor. Which was at least twelve feet above him. He was free-floating, hands still exploring his body lewdly and in a way that made him increasingly uncomfortable.:: The Brides: We can make you feel, Quentin Collins. Feel everything and nothing. Far more than the seer you pine for. Collins: What are you- ::He finally blinked hard and saw the liquid for what it actually was. Blood. HIS blood. Dripping from various punctures from around his arm...and neck...and chest. He looked up again and finally saw the women for what they really were. Monsters, with fangs bared, swimming amid gauzey, dusty nightclothes. Someone was screaming and Quentin thought it might have been him, but he couldn’t be sure. His head swam with the bloodloss and his sudden, hard drop to the stones below. The now hissing women whirled in mid-air about to bare down on him. Had it not been for the sudden entrance of the equally harried Kayla Drex, they would have surely swept him up again. She turned a confused eye to the floating women and back to him.:: Drex: WHAT THE F- Collins: I DON’T KNOW! ::He quickly snatched one of the braziers off the wall and started to wield it drunkenly at the still advancing women.:: Collins: I t-think I’ve had enough fun for one night, haven’t you? Drex: ::holding the carving knife out toward the three “women”:: Absolutely. Let’s get the heck out of here. ::They backed out of the room. It didn’t appear as though the women had followed - at least not as far as Kayla could see. There was no one chasing them through the halls of Castle Dracula, but each and every door they passed (and there were many in the ancient house) blew open as if some unseen pursuer was in an adjoining hall, and repeatedly wrenched door after door open, hoping to be just one step ahead.:: ::Kayla and Quentin at last, in a flop sweat and both panting hard, gained the open air of the main foyer. This place, with its grand sweeping staircase had seemed so grand and rich. Now it felt cold, abandoned, dangerous - a trap now seen. Carefully but swift as hares, the duo raced down the stairs. Kayla felt certain more than once she was going to tread on her damnable period-accurate skirts and break her neck falling down the hewn stone staircase. Thankfully, she and Quentin reached the floor level, and flew to the foreboding oak doors.:: Drex: ::panting:: Help me open the door. It’s too heavy for just one of us to open. ::Collins positioned himself in a way that allowed Kayla to grab hold of the wrought iron handle while he pulled against the frame. He gave a quick three-count, and they pulled. For an instant that felt like a lifetime, the door did not budge. Kayla’s heart sank, but then soared when the oaken barrier yielded to their efforts. They widened the opening just large enough for them to slip through, and ran with all their might.:: ::She never could say afterwards what compelled her to look back as they ran, but what she saw would haunt her dreams for some time to come. The Count, robed in a black travelling cloak came after them. In her haste, she couldn’t be certain, but at the moment she would have sworn he was … FLYING. His bat-like shape moved smoothly and swiftly toward them, narrowing the distance between him and the two humans.:: ::Kayla’s foot was suddenly soaked, and she felt her ankle roll as the ridiculously impractical shoes she wore slipped on the river rock. She cried out in pain, but the primary thought in her mind was that her foot was wet.:: Drex: Quen! We’re in a stream! Collins: ::pulling up short:: What? Yeah, I guess so. Let’s go! Drex: I can’t run, Quen, my ankle. We have to get to the other side of the stream. Collins: Why the stream? ::Then the penny dropped. In his terror, he had forgotten everything he’d known about vampire lore. They had to stop and count small items thrown in their path. They had no reflections. THEY COULDN’T CROSS RUNNING WATER!:: Collins: Kay, you’re a genius! Drex: Stow that, sailor; help me get across! ::He jerked back to his senses and draped one of Kayla’s arms over his shoulders. He helped (half-carried) her to the far side of the stream, where they collapsed, feeling safe for the first time in what felt like years. On the far side of the water, they saw the shape of Dracula darting upstream and down, looking for a way to cross … but he was trapped. They truly were safe - at least for a while.:: Collins: You bloody genius, Kay. Drex: … Oh for crying out LOUD! Collins: ::confused:: What? What’d I say? Drex: I’m no genius! I’m a freaking MORON! Collins: What are you talking about? Drex: I just remembered something else. ::Collins just looked at her, waiting for the revelation.:: Drex: Computer, end program. ::The countryside vanished, to be replaced by the yellow grid on sterile black.:: Drex: We were in the holodeck the whole time. ::blushing:: Maybe I overdid it a bit with the binaural waves. I was completely sure it was all real. Collins: … me too Drex: I won’t tell anybody if you don’t? Collins: Deal. Drex: Happy birthday, Quen. Now can you help me get to sickbay? I think I sprained my ankle in these ridiculous boots. END ((OOC - Thanks for reading! We really hope you enjoyed it. Happy Halloween, everyone!)) Lt Kayla Drex CSO, USS Eagle E239510KD0 ~ and ~ LT jg. QUENTIN COLLINS III SCIENCE OFFICER U.S.S. EAGLE NCC-74659 E239512QC0
  4. ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Astraeus)) Some of the crew had left already going on different assignments. Others were waiting to be transported. German wasn't due to leave for another few hours as he stepped into the bridge of the galaxy class starship one last time, placing his hand along the edge of the brightly painted wooden half oval panel. He walked down the ramp brushing the soft wood and for a moment he didn't want to let go. Finally after a few moments, he took his hand away and then headed over to his station. Delri’ise: You alright, sir? Galven: Just saying goodbye. ::turns to glance around:: She was a fine ship. Delri’ise: Indeed she was. There’ll never be another like her, she was one of a kind. The events unfolding around him was definitely going to be a memorable one. German had never served on a ship that was due to be decommissioned. He sat down and then downloaded the last bit of information of data on his work PADD that laid beside the console. Galven. My next assignment is going to be Starbase 118 Operations. I've been there a few times training cadets, but it'll be a whole new experience. Where are you going? Delri’ise: ::recalling her orders.:: I believe I’m on the Thor over Duronis II. It’s a long way from here, over in the Beta Quadrant. Galven: ::nods:: That's a fine ship with a great crew. I doubt this'll be the last time we see each other. Melody hadn’t said anything to that which made German glance over her way. It appeared that she was about to cry. He stood up from his seat and approached her extending his hand to give her an encouraging pat on the shoulder. Galven: It was a great experience being here and it was definitely worthwhile. Starfleet has our best interests at heart. Whatever is next, just remember who you are. Delri’ise: It ain’t gonna be easy. The Thor is a fine ship… but she’s no Astraeus. It’s been a fun ride, commander. Galven: ::nods and turns his head to look out the viewscreen:: It’s always going to be one hell of a ride, lieutenant. ::turns his attention back to Melody:: Wherever you are. Delri’ise: You better stay in touch, don’t hide away in that space mushroom. He chuckled and then turned with a determined expression. Galven: Don’t worry about that, Melody. I’m a “leap into the action” kind of senior officer. ::wry grin:: The Kerelian hybrid let out a slight chuckle which German was hoping for. It was a somber event, but he wanted to make it a happy memory. This had been his first decommission, but heard far too many stories of officers resigning from Starfleet. Delri’ise: I think the one thing I’ll miss most… is bein’ up here on the bridge. I’m gonna miss my little tactical console ::She gave her console an adoring rub.:: A lot of that was true for German as well as he glanced over at his own science console. He already studied the Starbase and the layout of the thing was massive. There was an entire massive city just hanging out in the dome with lots of transportation hubs. He was looking forward to getting lost in there. There were a few other things that he wanted to tell Melody as he turned himself back around facing her. Galven: ::clears his throat and furrows his brow:: One last thing before we separate, lieutenant? Delri’ise: Of course, sir ::She nodded.:: I think we all need a few words of wisdom out there. Galven: As Admiral Kathryn Janeway once said, “I trust fear. Fear only exists for one purpose… to be conquered.” Go and be fearful, Melody Delri’ise and show Admiral Turner what I’ve seen in you. ::extends his hand for her to shake:: A future commanding officer. Melody gave a crooked smile which German returned with a grin, but then some tears and heavy emotion came from her again which he could feel for the woman. Lael was the same way and she was taking the news the heaviest when she sent out a message to everyone that she was resigning as first officer to get more involved at the academy on Earth. Which was just as admirable as her XO assignment. He was taken aback when Melody shook his hand, but then gave him an enormous hug which threw him momentarily, but he then wrapped his arms around her, giving a soft encouraging pat on her back. After a few seconds, they let go with German’s gaze still on hers. Delri’ise: Thank you… Commander, for everything. As we say down in Brooklyn, go, kick some a#% out there. Galven: ::laughs and arches an eyebrow:: You the same, Lieutenant. Delri’ise: I’ll see you out there, Spaceman, may our paths cross once more. I’m sure Cap’n Taybrim will appreciate your hard work. Galven: There’s plenty of opportunity for it. Just remember to hold onto these special moments and live for them. She turned and nodded, heading out of the bridge. German glanced around one last time and then sat down at his console, pulling out his PADD. He started a new entry, the last entry on the Astraeus. //Chief Science Officer’s Log, Stardate 239611.25 It was of great duty, service and honor serving aboard the USS Astraeus. Whoever listens to this when the new crew arrives and ventures out to the Eagle Nebula. I wish you all the good fortune. There’s great history on this ship. Continue on her legacy. ---- Lt. Commander German Galven Chief Science Officer USS Astraeus V239507GG0
  5. ((Sienelis’ Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon)) The mugs slipped from Valesha's hands, her fingers suddenly slack, one shattering as it caught the corner of a table. The warm, spiced infusion of aesollh and the rich, bitter roast of coffee burst into the air as the drinks splattered across the carpet, a few drops burning against the skin of her bare feet, a razor shard of ceramic drawing emerald blood from pale flesh. She didn't notice. As Valesha was exactly where she had been before the Q had taken them, so too was Chris. Sprawled in her bed, he'd been looking at her with that cheeky grin and mischievous sparkle in his hazel eyes, laughing at... she couldn't remember. She couldn't remember. But there was no smile now. No light in those eyes. Her ballerino, always in motion, was perfectly still. It was a strange sensation. As though she had floated clear of her body, the Romulan watched herself as she walked across the room. Watched as she crawled onto the bed and knelt beside him, reached out with a trembling hand and laid her palm against the bruised, ashen skin of his cheek. He was so cold. With a sharp inhale she drew back in, no longer an observer of herself, but there and present in the moment. Valesha's chest blossomed in sharp, biting pain, slicing behind her sternum as surely as if someone had taken a scalpel to her. She doubled over, eyes burning hot with unchecked tears, a wordless sound of anguish pulled from a seizing throat. Time slipped past, neither caring nor cared about, all the while the Romulan knowing she should call someone and completely unable to do so. They'd take him away, and she wasn't ready. She wasn't ready. But all tears eventually run dry. Laid next to him, slim fingers brushed the short crop of his hair, touched the scar on his scalp whose origin she'd never discovered, over the delicate skin of his eyelids, along cheek and nose and mouth, across the scratch of the beard that had tickled when they kissed. Her hand came to rest on his chest, over his heart, met with final, still silence. An ache rolled through her like distant thunder, deep and resonant. It was time. Sienelis: ::Softly,:: Ehhaisam ehsiu, e'lev. A tender kiss pressed to his forehead, and Valesha let her head fall back to the pillow. She closed her eyes, breathing out a shuddering sigh. It was time, but just a few moments. Just a few moments more. -- Lieutenant Valesha Sienelis Science Officer USS Gorkon simmed by Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  6. This is one of the best pieces I think I have ever read. It shows so much diversity and skill in writing! Well written @Esa_Darkkdust ((OOC: Hi all. This one is a bit weird, but it was inspired by a packed train journey I was taking to London at dusk through the foggy South downs, while listening to Sense and Innocence, by Lynn Vartan. I've included timestamps for the track, if you want to listen and have my words paint meaning to the music! It's mostly supposed to be a dreamlike reaction to Esa's short trip into subspace, but also encompasses a lot of other feelings she has experienced recently. Also teasers near the end for some future plans I’ve thought of! Sort of like a false premonition!)) ((Unknown, Unknown)) ((Shore Leave Day 1, immediately before JP with Maddi)) ((00:00)) The eerie blackness looked familiar, yet not. It was cold, and damp... Her feet felt like they were submerged, and yet when she took a step, the sound of her boots on solid concrete reverberated around the room. In every direction was this thick fog, seemingly impenetrable. ((00:43)) In the distance, Esa could see a small pin[...] of light. She moved toward it, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't reach it. It had just appeared, out of nowhere. ((01:28)) Kiax: Hello?! She called out, to no response. Behind her she could hear strange voices, their tones sounded familiar, but their words were indistinguishable. In every direction she looked, there was this bleak nothingness, except for the light. ((01:58)) She instinctively reached out to grab it, and as she did so, it increased in intensity, and suddenly every fibre of Esa's being felt like it was being pulled by a rocket sled. A deep rumble pulsed through her body, before the feeling of inertia slowly came to a halt. The light's intensity continued to increase and before she knew it, she was standing in a dingy swamp back on Earth looking at a run-down shack of some kind. ((02:24)) The voices spoke once more, catching Esa off guard, forcing her to look around in a panic as she desperately tried to find the source. There, on a log, sat a toad, croaking at her menacingly. The moment she tried to pick it up, it hopped off and made for the shack. Esa gave chase, sensing it was the key to getting some answers about this place. The toad hopped deftly through the swamp, but Esa was only a few places behind. Though her feet felt like lead, and splashed heavily through the putrid sludge-like water, she kept up, until the toad disappeared through a hole in the shack's wall. Esa came to a halt on the veranda, and tried to peer through the window. No luck. ((03:03)) Deciding enough was enough, she pushed open the door and stepped in. A loud crack burst out from underfoot, as the floorboard snapped beneath her, causing her to stumble, before she recovered. Disembodied voice: You killed us… Panicked, Esa looked around frantically and moved through the seemingly endless rooms of the house for the source of the voice. She flung open doors, flipped tables, scattered furniture left right and centre in her frenzied search for the voice. ((03:30)) The final room she opened revealed something truly horrific. There, in the centre of the room, lay a pile of rotting corpses dressed in Starfleet Uniforms. Several looked familiar, but Esa couldn't remember their names. A Romulan woman, several Human males, an Orion, a Worene… She screamed. As if on command, the scream caused the bodies to move, as they rose to their feet and advanced toward Esa. Bodies: You killed us… Kiax: No, no, I didn't. It wasn't me! Sobbing, Esa tried to run, but found that the room she had entered was now a cavernous space, with no obvious exit. She tried to get away, but the bodies overpowered her and forced her to the ground. They proceeded to tear at her skin, reducing her to a pile of flesh, like them. She forced her arms up to protect her face, and then… ((03:58)) Nothing… Once more, Esa felt alone and weightless, as if there was nothing else in the universe with her. No stars, no planets, just her… and a ship. It was there, in the distance. Big enough to make out its shape, but too far to reach. Her breath seemed loud in her ears, and she could feel her heart beating against her chest. The silence was amplifying everything, until the voice returned. Unable to move, Esa simply responded. Voice: You don't belong here… Kiax: Where is here? Voice: You need to leave. Kiax: I don't remember… Multiple Voices: You were never one of us… Kiax: Who are you? Voices: LEAVE! A familiar face appeared in front of Esa's, again bearing a striking resemblance to someone she knew, but with solid black eyes. She felt a hand on her sternum, pushing her back, as the nothingness swallowed her up and she fell further and further away from the ship. ((05:24)) Hot. How could nothingness be hot? Bright… Space was dark… Confused, Esa opened her eyes into a glaring blue sky. She blinked a few times as her pupils constricted to the sudden assault of photons. She was lying on her back in the middle of a desert, baking in the midday sun. She sat up and took stock of her surroundings. In all directions, except one which sported a distant stone structure, golden sand stretched out as far as the eye could see. oO I've never been to a desert? Oo On the stone structure, stood a figure in white robes. Perhaps they could help? She looked at the structure more carefully, noting that it consisted of five totem-like pillars, with a dais in the centre. The dais was sporting some kind of protrusion... oO Won't hurt to ask… Maybe the dais holds the key... Oo She got up and trudged through the soft sand. With every step, her feet sank into the dunes. She could feel the heat through the soles of her boots Some even managed to lap up over the rim into her boot, burning her foot as it slid down to the base of the shoe. Eventually, after a peculiarly long walk for the distance, she made it to the figure, who stood with her back to Esa. ((06:39)) Stranger: Hello, Esa. The strange figure spoke with disdain and spite dripping from her words, Esa simply listened. Stranger: You’re so smart, Esa. Do you know why the Chon called their project “Avalon”? Kiax: It’s the island where Excalibur was forged, and Arthur taken to recover from his wounds after battle. Not the first connection to Arthurian myth I’ve come across in their notes. Stranger: ::flatly:: “Myth”, she calls it. A limited word, for a limited perspective. You were always such the scientist - you’re probably right at home with all these subspace contraptions, aren’t you? Kiax: As much as anyone, I suppose. Stranger: The Chon activated a power in the artefact that literal minds can’t handle, and it destroyed them, so don’t push the wrong buttons. oO Artefact? Oo Kiax: You’d better not either. Stranger: But I know which ones are the right ones. Esa grabbed the stranger’s shoulder to force them to face her, but was surprised to see the face of the one person she could remember. Her sister, Erin. Kiax: You’ve learned to read Chon since the last time I saw you… Erin glared at her, venomously, before seeming to vanish into thin air. Kiax: Erin? ((07:20)) With her sister now gone, Esa leant against one of the pillars. As she did so, it seemed to explode outward with green energy, revealing a spinning core of the same energy. Deciding to exercise her curiosity, she moved to the protrusion, which she could now see was a sword of some description. She lightly touched the end, causing the sword to slip further into the dais and rotate like a key. As it did so, the green energy from before began to channel toward the centre, revealing a circular portal to rise up from the ground. Shimmering and glowing, but remaining translucent, voices seemed to emanate from it. Voice 1: No! Get back! ::beat:: What… What is it? Voice 2: There’s something in the light! Voice 1: Stay here! A figure appeared in the portal. The second person Esa recognised. Maddi. Figure of Maddi: What? Who are you? Kiax: Maddi? It Esa, your wife! The figure seemed to gesture toward the other voice, signalling it’s owner to stay back. Figure: What? What about my wife? As if realising some terrible truth, Esa’s eyes grew wide. Though she couldn’t remember why, the next words to leave her mouth were a set of very strict instructions. Kiax: ::Screaming:: DON’T. TOUCH. THE SWORD. Figure: ::Pleadingly:: She meant no harm! Behind her, the ghostly figure of Erin had returned, and a sour look crossed her face. Erin: Take. Out. The sword. Esa: What!? No! The figure of Maddi looked perplexed, as if trying to decide which of the two instructions she should adhere to. Esa: Maddi. Maddi listen to me… Erin: It’ll explode unless you pull out the sword! Figure: Oh God, no! The figure of Maddi obviously made up her mind, and appeared to make a motion of pulling out a sword from something. Perhaps a copy of the same dais that Esa was standing in front of. Esa: NO! Esa turned and ran for cover as the portal exploded, just as Erin had predicted. Then, darkness. ((08:55)) The grey, overcast sky loomed forebodingly over the graveyard as it emptied its contents to the ground. Rainfall wasn’t uncommon in Scotland, and yet, it seemed to be poetic that it should be raining today. Esa stood alone, wearing the black dress she reserved only for the most sombre of occasions. She cried, remembering everything that they had been through. She was the only person who had ever loved, trusted, and cared for her so much, throughout everything that had happened since graduating the academy. Kneeling down, she laid the flowers next to the headstone, which bore the name “Maddi Hyden”. It had been a year since the accident with the dais, where her life had tragically come to an end. Little did they know that the events of that day would end up rippling out across the region, spelling doom to all those that had served on the good ship “Atlantis”. It felt unfair that she was the only person to make it out alive, that the guardians of the artefact had chosen her to make the crossing. Through her tears, she mumbled to the grave; Kiax: Hey there. So… I miss you. So much. You were always there for me in a world that made me feel so alone. Now you and the others are gone, I don’t know what to do. Starfleet forced me out, citing that the trauma was too great, and that I was too emotionally compromised to carry on serving. It should have been you that survived. You would have stayed strong. Fought on and saved the others. The galaxy seems silent. So silent now the war has stopped. I have survived all, though deep down knew I shouldn’t have. Now you’re not here and I shall go home alone. They tell me I have to try to live life as before and hide my grief for you. My dearest friend, who should be with me now. Not lying cold in the ground, taken too soon, in your grave... Alone... Lieutenant Esa Kiax Comm/Ops Officer USS Atlantis – NCC 74682 Community History Team Member A239511ED0
  7. Trophy Hunter ((Trezire, Ceata, Northern Exclusion Zone)) In the glades of the north, far beyond the Acasa Region, snow fell out of colorful, cloudy skies. Next to an icy stream that led through a snow-clad forest, a Dokarran Elder named Yidian stood looking out towards a tall mountain of stone and ice. Through the gentle snow-fall, a red hot glow emerged in the distance, announcing the approach of a dragon. Yidian stood with arms spread out wide, waiting. A hurricane of wind swept over the icy stream, throwing snow into the sky and knocking Yidian onto her back. A smile spread over her face. A tremendous thud knocked snow off tree branches and this turned into the whooshing sound of the snow cover falling down to the valley floor like a tide washing over a beach. A series of thudding, ice crunching sounds approached. The ground shook. Standing up, Yidian looked out at a dragon with beautiful feathered wings, which had come to drink at the stream. She carefully approached the ancient beast, crunching through the snow, until it turned to look at her. Yidian knelt down and bowed her head. Reaching out with her mind, she touched The Lady, a giant Vizinyan Tree thousands of kilometers to the south. A pleasant murmuring was there, content, but still slumbering, immature and innocent. The dragon huffed out a puff of frozen air and lowered its head. Yidian climbed up onto the creature’s neck and found a secure place near the head of the dragon. A flurry of feathered wings threw ice and snow into the air. With a leap, the dragon flew into the colorful skies. Yidian watched the world down below grow smaller and smaller. The dragon flew higher and higher into the clouds, until after a time, they broke through the mist to emerge into the brightness that lived beyond the view of her kind. Yidian closed her eyes in ecstasy as warm sunshine tingled over her pale white skin. She spread out her arms and looked up at the white star that illuminated the tops of the multi-colored clouds below. A tiny dot appeared high up in the atmosphere. It grew larger and larger until it had formed into the silhouette of a starship. Yidian’s soul filled with wonder at the notion of traveling amongst the stars. It would be like living in glory and ecstasy inside the darkness of the void, far beyond her world and The Lady. It would bring the Veiling too. A vast separation from the communal minds of the Dokarrans. With the Veiling came freedom. The freedom to gather new experiences which might prove beneficial to The Lady and to the rest of her people. The silhouette grew larger. The beautiful feathered dragon called out to the winds and blew a huff of fire. The little starship answered the dragon with a beam of blue-white light. When the light touched the dragon, it screamed in pain. Yidian could feel the dragon’s heart fail as it was burned up by the light. Down, down, down through the multi-colored clouds fell the dragon. It smote the side of a frozen mountain, covered with snowy trees. The dragon slid through the forest, turning the side of the majestic mountain into a desolation of broken rocks and trees. Yidian emerged from beneath the gigantic corpse. Who had done such a thing? The hum and roar of the little starship flew overhead. Yidian did not look up but heard it land on the frozen ground among the trees. Some time after, she could hear the approach of a man, a human, crunching through the snow. Yidian had knelt down next to the dead dragon, placed a hand on its neck and let her sadness spill onto the feathered beast. The man approached, stopped and smiled. Among the vibrational sound complexes that came from his mouth, one word stood out in her mind: Trophy. Yidian watched as the man went up to the dead dragon while a hovering device recorded images and sounds of the disharmony which he’d brought down around the frozen forest. Rather than experiencing anger, Yidian considered what he had done. It was remarkable how a single action could cause such a tearing wound in a world full of harmony. Of course, animals had always killed each other, mostly for sustenance but humans had also hunted their own kind, like many of the “enlightened” beings that lived out among the stars. Cold curiosity turned into hunger, a need for greater understanding. Might there be value in the exploration of disharmonious concepts? Yidian had always sought to gather experiences that might prove useful. There was one experience which had never been fully explored by the Dokkarans: Evil. The man who slew the dragon ignored her. Perhaps he regarded her as any other plant, as if she were a bush or tree to be discounted. After some time, he departed in his little starship, flying high up above the multi-colored clouds. Yidian watched the silhouette shrink down to a tiny thing, which punched through the clouds on a journey back to the stars. Yidian chose to use vibrational sound complexes similar to what the human had used. For the first time in over two hundred cycles, she spoke. Yidian: I think I shall go to earth. ~*~ Yidian Light Bringer Starbase 118 Ops O239609AD0
  8. ((OOC - Special shout out to @Edward Spears, MD for such creativity regarding when Dr. Spears woke up!)) ((Mess Hall, Starfleet Academy, The Other Human Planet)) Yito: We keep investigating then. Something is trying to tell us something either some form of being or Ed subconscious. Blair: Yeah, but unfortunately the universal translator doesn’t speak mural. Laxyn: No but our minds might. They do show us something that we know in our real lives. I did wonder why they didn't leave us with all our memories intact but I assume that they just don't know how our minds work and wanted us to experience this shared experience as a base of communication. And now they seem to be trying to figure out how our memories can help us. If they are not familiar with our brains and minds, it would be difficult. Spears: I agree. Whether this is one of our minds, or all of them, the common root is that these beings seem to be using our collective experiences to send us messages. But how confusing would our memories be if these entities don't experience the universe the way we do... Yito: Has anyone else had flashbacks/forwards? I know Ed had one earlier of a painful memory .:: She looked to Ed to explain. :: Laxyn: I had a few. ::She admitted meekly:: Just now I had a painful one I don't quite understand.. earlier when I was alone with Alex I had one that seemed to want to tell me something. My theory is that it was about who they are - something we haven't met yet... and that their balance is disrupted. Maybe... these probes are the reason for that. Spears: Yeah. I've seen a few things that must happen after this point in time. The memories I experienced felt completely real, and they were emotionally painful... Yito: What if whatever is trying to communicate with us is in pain but doesn’t know how to describe it to us. Blair: What if you’re right? Laxyn: It would make sense. If they don't know our minds, they might also not know our language. So they dig through our memories for something that ... feels like that they want to say, no matter the context of that feeling. Yito: Pain can come for so many different reasons but feel very similar if not the same. Spears: I agree with all of you. If they experience reality differently from us then they might not know how to differentiate between different kinds of trauma. Blair: The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. A Starbase, as starship, and a probe. Tie those images with the memories of pain. I really think Yito’s right. Laxyn: I agree. Now if we only knew how to utilize it. Spears: If only we knew what was happening outside of this... Construct... Blair: I’m just theorizing here so bear with me. But what if the image of the bridge is true and we are the crew of that starship, the Constitution. ::pause:: Maybe something we’ve done has inadvertently done harm to whoever these beings are? Laxyn: Do you think that could be the reason why it is _us_ that is here? Yito: Would make sense. We do seem to be the senior officers. Spears: The Galaxy-class is an exploration vessel. I bet the Constitution has launched hundreds of probes in her time... Blair: The big issue would be figuring out what damage was done, and how we can fix it. Especially from in here. Laxyn: ::a deep breath:: That's the big question. Yito: They keep showing us pictures, memories maybe they will lead us there. Spears: They seem to change the nature of this reality, or at least the mural, when we make the correct kinds of connections. Laxyn: What do you want to tell us? What can we do? The image changed again. It was still the bridge, only now there were different people occupying the stations and consoles. Saveron seemed to be seated centrally. He seemed older, more mature. Laxyn: Is... is that Saveron? ::She pointed to the center chair.:: He looks ...strange with short hair. Yito: He seems older, with 3 pips. There are also others I’ve seen here. Spears: And some newer faces. Blair: If our theory is correct, I would assume they are the rest of the crew. Laxyn: If this is what is happening now... then Saveron has command instead of me. The screen... that looks like a starchart. Can either of you identify where this is? Yito: No, but the computer may have it on file. Spears: Doesn't look familiar but... That portion of the chart identifies the Klingon border. Blair: ::Alex shook his head:: Sorry it doesn’t particularly look familiar to me, but I’ve never really studied starcharts. Laxyn: Do... do you think they are going into Klingon space? ::Her face lost most of its colour:: Yito: That would be against the treaty :: Was that still in effect? :: Spears: I thought we were doing alright with the Klingons? ::Or was that information out of date...:: Blair: That’s what I’ve learned in classes, but that information may be out of date. Pretty much everything else here is… Laxyn: I hope not. But you may be right. What IF this is where these beings are? Yito: But if the probes cause them pain what will a large ship do? Spears: Nothing good, I'm guessing. In medicine the idea is to avoid doing more damage while working to solve the illness or injury that already exists. If the Constitution barges in there, not only might it hurt these beings significantly, maybe even irreparably, but it could also cause diplomatic repercussions with the Klingons... But Saveron is a reasonable person, right? He wouldn't order the ship into Klingon space... Right? Laxyn: Well... Blair: I’m sure we can trust him, but maybe we need to find a way to help from here? Yito: I don’t know what we can do to stop them from here. Spears: I don't think there's much more we can do from here except assure these beings that we'll try to help? Laxyn: Just how? Yito: Can we somehow communicate we got their message? Maybe they’ll wake us up. So we can tell the others to stop. Spears: If they understand that we understand and that it is in our nature to help, they might simply let us go. I wonder... Yito: Unfortunately I don’t think we fully understand us. Our missing memories is an indication of that. Blair: And if we don’t fully understand ourselves, we couldn’t expect these beings to understand us. Spears: Hang on, I'm going to try something. Yito: What have you in mind? :: Intrigued. :: Laxyn: If you would tell us what... Ed closed his eyes and focused. Spears: ::Muttering:: Come on. Come on. Find a memory of me helping someone... And then it came in flashes. Ed could hear his characteristic laugh as he treated bruises, burns, cuts, broken bones, and more. Different faces. Different species. And not just Starfleet members. Then the more complicated things. Lystra's hand; a mystery he still hadn't solved, but one he hadn't given up on. Then a memory of the first patient he lost under his care; something he still lamented and strived to better himself because of. Finally there was a feeling of calm that came along with the memories slowing down. Ed felt a pain in his temples and scrunched his eyes. ((Sickbay, USS Constitution-B)) As he opened them, he was no longer standing in front of the mural. He was lying down on something relatively firm, a bright light overhead. The room smelled sterile. The scent was at once familiar and comforting. He could hear the gentle beeps and tones of a medical scanner. Then the more urgent tone of a tricorder. A head appeared in the beam of light looking concerned and relieved all in one. Malyz: No I haven't yet. He just woke up on his own. Ed tried to speak, found that his mouth was dry and a little lame, and then tried again. Spears: Oz... Am I back? He felt back, but it was also like he'd just woken up from, well, a coma... Ed looked over to the side and saw that Jalana, Alex, and Seja were all prone on biobeds of their own. OK. So maybe it wasn't just a coma dream... Malyz: You sure are, boss. ::Oz smiled.:: Spears: Like I'm in a fog bank. Also thirsty. Ed blinked and looked around. Things started to clear and click into place. Memories unlocked that had been hidden to him while he was on the other side.
  9. (( Part 1)) ((Outpost, Omicron Noctae IIIa)) With a dull thud from the internal mechanism, the doors parted. The thick layers of dust that swamped the room they were stood in stopped at that threshold, though powdered footprints faded across the next room as the unknown visitors tracked it through. Quinn swung her rifle back up, heart rate climbing in concert. Whoever it was, they had moved further into the building; minutes ago, an hour ago, it was impossible to tell. But the door beyond was unremarkable, not of the heavy security design that they had just dealt with. She looked toward Neathler, raising her eyebrows. Reynolds: On your lead. ch'Ranni: Darling, I'll follow you anywhere. The Andorian gave a small smile toward Neathler, and stood, falling in behind the human with a hint of swagger in his stride. The charming rogue, smuggling for self-interest. She wondered what he'd do when they got out; whether he'd return to that life or start something anew. It made Neathler shake her hand, and she pulled a dented hand phaser from the inside pocket of her clothing, passing it toward him. Neathler: Just don't point that thing on me, Smuggler. ch'Ranni: Nice. Through the doors they passed, and Quinn glanced over her shoulder as they closed behind her. Now sealed, the air was thicker in here, the atmosphere not being lost through breaches in the outpost's shell. Jona removed his rebreather and smiled, though neither Quinn nor Neathler had the same confidence in the quality of the air. Perhaps the brunette could also hear echoes of Marshall's warning that the Cardassians were as liable to use toxins and poisons as traps, as they were fire. ch'Ranni: Seems like there's power here. Life support's operational too. I guess somebody's home. ::He faced the next doors and turned to Neathler with questioning eyes..:: Maybe we should knock? Neathler: I lost my manners years ago. And maybe you should keep on that rebreather in case the spoons installed some airborne poison or stuff like that. The comment earned them a shrug, but nonetheless, he slipped the rebreather back on. Neathler slipped into position next to the new set of doors, and with the barrel of her rifle raised toward the ceiling, she nodded toward Jona. With a tap of his fingers and without protest or problem, they were granted ingress, and after a heartbeat's pause, the human woman levelled her rifle and stepped through. She swept the revealed corridor and finding nothing except a choice of which direction to proceed. Neathler: Any preference? ch'Ranni: Left. Always choose left. Quinn shrugged, with no obvious indication of which option was more interesting, safest or useful, it was little more than a coin toss. Contrary as ever, Neathler started to move right — until a tiny sound echoed down from the left. Existing on the edges of Quinn's hearing, it was a quiet, rhythmic tick that seemed to be coming from behind the door at the end of that corridor. With something of interest to examine, the decision was remade and the dark-haired woman made in that direction instead, taking up a position beside the door. Neathler: Ready? The Andorian answered with a nod, his antenna twitching, and Quinn swore she saw a tiny glimmer of amusement dance into Neathler's dark eyes. It was an odd comfort to see, and the hybrid nodded her readiness as well, adjusting her grip on her rifle. A light touch to the control panel, a whisper from the door and it opened. The regular beeping was much more distinct now, though peeking through Quinn couldn't see the source — and indeed she could see something distracting in its peculiarity. ch'Ranni: Huh. I guess I wasn't expecting that. Neathler shifted to see what was being stared at. They were looking into a small and cramped space, more of a storage closet than a room. But sat on the floor right in front of them, still and silent, were two Cardassians, unreactive to the door opening or the armed people pointing large weapons in their direction. They weren't even blinking, and Quinn found herself wondering if she was looking at projections, rather than people. Frowning, her hazel eyes flicked across to the side wall, where a console glowed in cool green and warm brown. Neathler, evidently, had seen it too. Neathler: Shoot them if they move. Shades can you get a ground plan or something, or data from that project? We've got a working console here. Reynolds: Yeah. ch'Ranni: Response Quinn eyed the Cardassians, wary of moving into the same room that had likely incapacitated them. She edged around the two men while Neathler prodded one of them with her rifle. The man swayed at the nudge, but otherwise didn't react. With a faint frown, she started working at the console, paging through screens of Cardassian text as she searched for answers, and it dawned on her that the sound they'd heard in the corridor had not been the idling workstation. Neathler: What do you think, drugged, frozen, paralysed? Reynolds: I'm guessing they set off one of their own traps. ::She paused, a dark thought crossing her mind.:: Though that means they were either trying not to kill whoever got in here, or something else has failed to go off. ch'Ranni: Response Working on the console, didn't see Neathler slip inside the room, her dark gaze panning across floor and wall and finally arriving on the barrels stowed in one corner. She knelt down, testing the weight of the lids, inspect their underneath, shining the light of her torch inside. Then— Neathler: Explosives! Get out! Quinn didn't need any more incentive than that. She bolted back for the door, only to find that now it wouldn't open — a trap now fully sprung, no doubt. Glancing around the small room, she tried to merge the path they'd travelled with what she'd seen from the outside and what her tricorder her showed as she scanned the interior. Pieces interlocked and she turned, pointing to a nondescript section of the wall. Taking a step toward it, she talked as she adjusted the settings on her phaser. Reynolds: The corners of that panel: one each, setting seven, two-second burst. Should blow it clean out. On three— TBC... -- Quinn "Shades" Reynolds Starfleet Defector The Skarbek T238401QR0 ------ (( Part 2 )) ((Outpost, Omicron Noctae IIIa)) There was a blast of heat and the roar of flames, and Quinn felt the concussion slam into her back, throwing her forward, clean off her feet. She arced through the air and hit the powdered, grey dirt — and then there was nothing. No pain, no raining debris, no cries from her comrades. Even the wheeze of her breath through her rebreather was gone, yet she was having no trouble breathing. Cautious and slow, she unclasped her hands from the back of her head, peering around as she eased herself back up on to her feet. Neathler and Jona were frozen mid-movement, the bloom of fire as still as though it was a painting. Dust had been thrown out ahead of the blast, sparkling and motionless in the air. Up in the sky, Quinn could see a shuttle silhouetted against the stars. It was a moment frozen in time — except she wasn't. As she looked around, a frown of confusion carving ever deeper into her forehead, Quinn spied a red trim around her cuffs, the belt and tunic of a Starfleet Admiral instead of her jacket. She was a Starfleet Admiral. That was why she couldn't hear her rebreather. She wasn't wearing one. And this was— ???: Hello. She whirled around. The voice came from a fetching woman, with pale skin, feminine curves and tumbling red hair. She wore the same uniform as Quinn, complete with the pips of a rear admiral, and as their eyes met, she gave an amused grin. Stood with her weight over one hip, arms crossed, she chuckled. ???: You must be wondering what's going on. Reynolds: The thought had crossed my mind. ???: Well, you see I'm in a bit of pickle. My little experiment isn't going so well and— Quinn's heart was thumping in her chest, despite her stony exterior. The last thing she remembered was giving the order to spool up the QSD in order to head back to Tyrellia. Xerix had been at the helm, the new operations chief ch'Ranni sat next to him at his station. Beside her, she and Jo had been discussing the quite frankly ridiculous topic of how to get first dibs on Nkai's bakes now that he was in his new post. Then as surely as a scene change in a holonovel, she'd been stood on Peshkova as the sun set, not a Starfleet Admiral but a Starfleet defector, watching Walter eulogise people who most certainly weren't dead. Not dead at all, just moved on to new assignments, alive and hopefully happy in their postings. Reynolds: Your what? Who are you? ???: My experiment. I'm a... what do you call it? Scientist. I'm doing science. Trying to figure out how you tick. Or perhaps it's why you tick. ::She offered a brilliant smile.:: Anyway, you can call me Q. Reynolds: ...Q. Q: Yes. I assume I need no further introduction. Quinn didn't answer, cold radiating across her shoulders and down her back. She'd never encountered a Q before, but there was someone on her crew who had. Was that why this one was here? Whatever the reason, they were in trouble — Starfleet had encountered Q who didn't acknowledge the value of mortal life. Virtually omnipotent and immortal, they simply didn't understand it. Or perhaps didn't care about it. Who paused to think before swatting a fly? Q: Well, come along. Reynolds: Wha— The Q snapped her fingers, and the moon vanished. In its place was stark, cold metal; a corridor lined with cells in the brutal architecture that the Cardassians favoured. The forcefield on the one she was facing was active, though in that frozen moment of time she couldn't hear the tell-tale hum of energy Her gaze, however, was entirely beyond it. All she could see was the tall, broad German sat on a bench, cradling his head in his hands. Her heart banged behind her ribs, even as her eyes told her he was unharmed. Untouched. So far. Q: You see, I let you all make your own choices in my maze, but some of them were... disappointing. What good are you on the moon when he's here? And that other you should be on the moon, don't you think? With the other blonde? ::She paused.:: Why do you have so many blondes? Do you collect them? Quinn turned to deliver the retort forming on her lips. It was lost as the air rushed out of her lungs, as surely as though she'd been punched in the stomach. The cell opposite was also occupied; Valesha, bearing subtle signs of Cardassian interrogation, pale to the point of translucence, raw-eyed as she stared vacantly across the corridor, her head on Johns' chest. Oh, Johns. He wore the not-so-subtle signs of Cardassian interrogation, bruises and cuts covering what skin she could see. But he was ashen, the tell-tale pallor of the dead, and ice flooded Quinn's veins. Cheeky, smiling Johns who laughed and loved and managed to make himself worth much more than the trouble he caused. How could he be dead? Why was he dead? The universe could be unfair, but this... this had intention. Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: What have you done? Q: Me? Nothing. ::She walked through the forcefield as though it wasn't there, crouching down beside the pair.:: The Cardassians, on the other hand... Well, I'm sure I'd find it simply awful if I cared about it. But I'm a dispassionate observer, ::she waved an elegant, disinterested hand,:: or whatever. Objectivity and all that. Ice became fire, grief turned to anger. She bit down on it, refusing to lose control, but there was a flare in her eyes and a flame in her voice as she answered. Reynolds: You put us here, you're responsible. The Cardassians didn't kill him, you did. Pouting, the Q sprung up to her feet, red hair bouncing around her shoulder. She answered with a petulant tone of voice, as though she was being told off by a parent. Except the Q didn't have parents. Perhaps that explained a lot. Perhaps it explained nothing. Q: I'm not killing anyone! It's not my fault if you're all a bunch of savages. Reynolds: You— The redhead stepped forward and placed a finger on her lips, and suddenly the Starfleet Admiral found she couldn't speak. It was as though her vocal cords had simply vanished — and given she was dealing with a Q, perhaps they had. Q: Shh. ::She smiled and patted Quinn on the head.:: There there. It's all for a worthy cause. Science, remember? I know you love science. Unable to speak, Quinn glared instead. She may as well have not bothered, for all the impact it made. The Q simply stepped back, snapped her fingers and they were aboard the Skarbek in that mad tangle of technology, sweat and elbow grease that MacFarlane called main engineering. Erin was there, a darkening bruise on her forehead and blood matting her blonde hair, up to her elbows in the EPS flow control to the cloak. Q: Here. This is where you should be. Makes more sense, don't you think? Then you can have all your interesting feelings knowing he's up there, ::she swept her hands up,:: and Other You can have all her interesting feelings knowing she's down there, ::she pointed down,:: and it just makes for better results. Reynolds: You can't just change the variables of an experiment half-way through. The words spilled out before she realised she had her voice back. A thought of a tactic, voiced without pause. If the Q considered herself a scientist, maybe she could be convinced to behave like a vaguely decent one. Arguments of morals and ethics were liable to fall on deaf ears, but perhaps if she thought she was being a bad scientist... Q: Can't I? Oh, that's a bother. What can I do? She didn't hold out much hope that the tactic would work, but Quinn had to try. There was no way to brute force a Q into doing what you wanted, words and trickery were the only option and even then it was a limited chance of success. And she was hardly a diplomat. Reynolds: If it's clear you're not going to get usable results, you should abort it. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and resources. Q: Oh, you are clever. :: She chuckled and booped — booped — Quinn on the nose.:: Full marks for the attempt. But we'd best get back to it. Do try to be interesting. She smiled, clicked her fingers, and— TBC... -- Quinn "Shades" Reynolds Starfleet Defector The Skarbek T238401QR0 ----- (( Part 3 )) (( OOC: For clarification — as far as everyone's concerned IC, Erin's always been with the planet away team, and Quinn never left the Skarbek. )) ((Outpost, Omicron Noctae IIIa)) Neathler: Ready? The Andorian answered with a nod, his antenna twitching, and Erin swore she saw a tiny glimmer of amusement dance into Neathler's dark eyes. It was an odd comfort to see, and the hybrid nodded her readiness as well, adjusting her grip on her rifle. A light touch to the control panel, a whisper from the door and it opened. The regular beeping was much more distinct now, though peeking through Erin couldn't see the source — and indeed she could see something distracting in its peculiarity. ch'Ranni: Huh. I guess I wasn't expecting that. Neathler shifted to see what was being stared at. They were looking into a small and cramped space, more of a storage closet than a room. But sat on the floor right in front of them, still and silent, were two Cardassians, nonreactive to the door opening or the armed people pointing large weapons in their direction. They weren't even blinking, and Erin found herself wondering if she was looking at projections, rather than people. Frowning, her hazel eyes flicked across to the side wall, where a console glowed in cool green and warm brown. Neathler, evidently, had seen it too. Neathler: Shoot them if they move. Vines can you get a ground plan or something, or data from that project? We've got a working console here. E. Reynolds: Yeah. ch'Ranni: Response Erin eyed the Cardassians, wary of moving into the same room that had likely incapacitated them. She edged around the two men while Neathler prodded one of them with her rifle. The man swayed at the nudge, but otherwise didn't react. With a faint frown, she started working at the console, paging through screens of Cardassian text as she searched for answers, and it dawned on her that the sound they'd heard in the corridor had not been the idling workstation. Neathler: What do you think, drugged, frozen, paralysed? E. Reynolds: I'm guessing they set off one of their own traps. ::She paused, a dark thought crossing her mind.:: Though that means they were either trying not to kill whoever got in here, or something else has failed to go off. ch'Ranni: Response Working on the console, didn't see Neathler slip inside the room, her dark gaze panning across floor and wall and finally arriving on the barrels stowed in one corner. She knelt down, testing the weight of the lids, inspect their underneath, shining the light of her torch inside. Then— Neathler: Explosives! Get out! Erin didn't need any more incentive than that. She bolted back for the door, only to find that now it wouldn't open — a trap now fully sprung, no doubt. Glancing around the small room, she tried to merge the path they'd travelled with what she'd seen from the outside and what her tricorder her showed as she scanned the interior. Pieces interlocked and she turned, pointing to a nondescript section of the wall. Taking a step toward it, she talked as she adjusted the settings on her phaser. E. Reynolds: The corners of that panel: one each, setting seven, two-second burst. Should blow it clean out. On three, two, one, fire— Their phasers drilled into three of the corners of the building, the differential in pressure between interior and exterior doing the rest of the work for them. The panel screeched and buckled, and while it wasn't quite enough to rip it completely asunder, there was room for them to escape through. Neathler/ch'Ranni: Response Then she was running, sprinting out of the building and into the vast, barren expanse of the moon, her breath rasping loud in her ears as it was processed by the rebreather. There was a blast of heat and the roar of flames, and Erin felt the concussion slam into her back, throwing her forward and clean from her feet. Arcing through the air, she hit the powdered, grey dirt with enough force to drive all the air from her lungs, and she felt a lightning strike of pain as ribs snapped where she landed on her rifle. It pulled a strangled cry of pain from her lungs and she rolled onto her back, tears burning in her eyes. Through the mist they created, she could see a shuttle silhouetted against the sky, recognising the familiar shape of the Inayat-Khan. Thank heavens for small mercies, though her sigh of relief was cut off by another guttural moan of pain. E. Reynolds: Is... Is everyone alive? Neathler/ch'Ranni: Response E. Reynolds: Yeah, I— Ribs. Broken. Ouch. ::She grimaced and breathed out a groan.:: Much ouch. Neathler/ch'Ranni: Response -- Erin "Vines" Reynolds Botanist & Sometime Engineer The Skarbek T238401QR0
  10. (Nice insight into the both of your characters, and an enjoyable read throughout! And I'm just so relieved that the coffee situation was worked out diplomatically.) 😀 (Deck 15, USS Juneau. Unassigned Science Lab)) Sitting on top of a now-empty transport crate, Geoffrey Teller was wiping his hands and waiting anxiously for the results of his efforts. On the counter nearby, gleaming but irregular pieces of equipment were variously whirring, grinding and beeping away merrily, unaware of their vital importance to the whole project. The work itself had become something of an obsession for Teller in his time aboard the Veritas, and now he had the rare opportunity to share it with another crew. Beyond that, his Captain was counting on him. She’d need what these machines could do in the trying days and weeks ahead. The pressure was enormous and the results far from certain so when the doors to the lab unexpectedly opened, Geoffrey Teller jumped to his feet with a start. Sienelis: What—? The Romulan stopped dead a few paces into the room, the empty space she was expecting to find anything but. Instead, there was a human with a shock of red hair, no taller than the Admiral who'd sent her to the Juneau, and an expression that seemed to be a confused mix of alarm and guilt. And next to him... Sienelis: Explain... ::she waved a slim hand toward the counter and all it supported,:: ...this. He looked around a bit sheepishly. Judging by the woman's blue collar, there was every chance he’d inadvertently taken over a space she was responsible for, but the work he was pursuing was going to be vital to the project. Teller: Happy to — firstly though, introductions — Lieutenant Commander Geoff Teller, from the Veritas. I’ll be serving as the Juneau's Chief Engineer. Teller offered a friendly handshake to the still frowning woman. She looked down at the extended limb and as an expression of vague dismay crept onto her features, physically waved the offending hand away. Sienelis: Lieutenant Valesha Sienelis. Chief Science Officer — and Romulans don't shake hands. ::She arched an elegant brow in his direction, a mote of amusement beginning to glitter in her green eyes.:: Or were you intending to proposition me? Teller withdrew the offered appendage with a grimace. oO Talk about not getting off on the right foot. Maybe I should’ve opened with a joke? A Tellurite, a Gorn and a Human walk into a bar...Oo Teller: Yep, sorry, so this all started back aboard the ‘Tas… ::He was about to continue as one of the odd machines chirped happily, its job complete:: ...actually, it’ll be easier to just show you. Don’t suppose you enjoy a cup of proper coffee? And I’m not talking about that burnt brown water the replicators spit out. Sienelis: Occasionally. Teller: Well then…::Teller walked across to one of the machines and gingerly disconnected a small sample canister filled with newly ground beans.:: Why don’t you crack that open and let me know if you think I’m on the right track. She cast a suspicious glance in his direction, joining him at the counter. Even on the bare plating of the science lab, her footfalls were quiet, and she moved with a feline grace that had completely snared a certain Russian. Taking the canister from him, she lifted it to her nose and took a cautious sniff, as though half-expecting to fill her lungs with poison. Sienelis: It smells like... coffee? Teller: Not just any coffee — this is newly grown, freshly roasted and recently ground full bean coffee, straight from a hydroponic bed to your mug! No replicated junk for this crew once I’m done getting setup. Sienelis: You know there's a point where appreciation turns into obsession, right? Valesha handed the canister back, her eyes pointedly landing on the array of roasting, grinding and brewing equipment in the lab. If not for the smell of fresh grounds, it could almost look like some kind of chemistry experiment. If one squinted. In the dark. Teller smirked, and for a second there was a brief echo of that grin on the Romulan's face. Teller: Oh yeah, I waved at that point as I passed it a while ago. Like the man said, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Sienelis: I've a feeling that's going to explain a lot over the next twelve weeks. ::She thumbed toward his coffee-making set-up.:: Speaking of explanations, still waiting for that one. Teller: Skipper aboard the Veritas took a liking to it and the little shop I put together has become something of a fixture aboard ship. I fully appreciate the conveniences of modern living but there are some things…: :Teller took a deep sniff of the aromatic grounds:: ...that’re just better the old fashioned way, don’t you find? The question caught her by surprise and softened some of the sharp edges in her haughty expression. He didn't know it, but she came from a family of artisan craftsmen that had by-and-large eschewed replicators, preferring the traditional methods of making... well, just about everything. Sienelis: Actually, yeah. I do. Teller: Tell you what, you can have the first cup. After that, you still think this is a waste of time, I’ll get it moved to another compartment — fair? She gave him a long, thoughtful look, a calculation going on behind her eyes. The Romulan glanced from engineer to obsession and then back again, and then with a sly smile tugging at one corner of her mouth, she raised a hand and gestured toward him with two fingers. Sienelis: Let me make you a counter-offer. Keep Petty Officer Johns supplied and I'll not just let you keep the lab, I'll tell you where the coffee plants are. Geoff’s eyes went wide, and her grin widened a little. A negotiation made and an accord reached, even if it had yet to be spoken aloud. She suspected he would have been amenable to the suggestion anyway — he seemed like the friendly, generous type — but a little leverage didn't hurt. Teller: I thought some overeager Ensign ripped them out of the hydroponic beds, how’d you end up with them?! Sienelis: The wisdom of the enlisted. One of my crewmen thought it might be a good idea to put off disposing of them until we actually know who they belonged to. Teller: You’ve got yourself a deal, Lieutenant. You can consider Mr. Johns fully caffeinated from here on out. ::He let out a breath.:: That’s a huge relief. I didn’t bring enough seedlings to start over again and I doubt Captain Oddas would give me a few hours to pop over to Earth and pick up some fresh ones. Sienelis: Well. ::She lifted her shoulders in a light shrug.:: Clearly they were someone's hard work. Seemed wrong to get rid of them instead of just... moving them. Teller: Glad to know there’s at least one officer with a bit of sense aboard this boat. She'd heard a few humans say that common sense was anything but common, and Valesha supposed there was some truth to that. Honestly, she'd been guilty of lacking it herself on a few occasions — a desperate rescue attempt across a ruined shuttlebay came to mind, instead of using the transporters right there in the shuttle she'd been sheltering in. But he didn't need to know. Sienelis: ::Dryly,:: I'll make sure this lab is formally assigned to stop any repeat performances. Commander Teller's "Arabica Project". You can take the empty space next door for your plants, if you need it. Teller: That’d be perfect. And maybe lock the door, just in case. A soft huff of a laugh was her answer as he crossed to the infuser. He loaded the freshly ground beans, enjoying the heady aroma as the machine sputtered to life, the scientist looking on. Teller: Be a few minutes but one of us is having that first cup. If you don’t have anywhere important to be, pull up a crate. Teller slid one of the other empty packing crates across to the woman and sat back down on his own. After a moment's consideration, she joined him and stretched out her long legs in front of her, crossed at the ankles. He seemed happy enough to carry the conversation, and she was content to let him. Teller: Sorry to say, I don’t know many folks from the Gorkon. I’ve heard she’s a fine ship. ::He winked:: Not quite so fine as the Veritas, mind you. The comment was met with a roll of emerald eyes, though if she was inclined first toward a sarcastic retort, it was bitten back. Instead, the Romulan shrugged, glancing over the stark room they were sat in. Sienelis: They all have their charms. I liked the Invicta, though I'm pretty sure my forebears were screaming at me across the void for daring to serve on a ship with a Vulcan warp drive. Teller: Glad you suffered the wrath of your ancestors to the benefit of the fleet. Veritas is the first ship I’ve been posted to, and I love the old gal. Tough and clever in equal measures - ::Teller winked:: bit like those honorable ancestors of yours. She gave him a sidelong glance, the cogs of her mind turning behind her green eyes. There were certain things, certain current events she tried to keep abreast of, and recent reports from his home ship had caught her eye. Valesha dropped her gaze for a moment, taking a breath to summon a little courage, and then looked back toward him. Sienelis: Didn't I hear that the Veritas met with some of my people recently? Geoff thought back to the community of refugees they had nominally aided during their last mission on Ketar V. The Romulans he had met were destitute, but they all possessed a quiet dignity and poise, as if their living conditions were but a temporary inconvenience, their loss of their homeworld merely a minor setback to their grander ambitions. Teller: We did — fine people living in a hard place. We helped a bit around the edges, but the fact is there’s trouble brewing on that planet. The Romulan's gaze was fixed and intent, a flash of guilt and curiosity in her eyes. Sienelis: How do you mean? Teller: It’s a shame. Romulans we met were good folks but that world is grinding them down. The sad thing is, it’s happening to just about everyone who lives there — it’s just happening a little slower for everyone else. Sienelis: I don't imagine the Shoals is often the easiest place to settle. Teller: So how about you? How’d you make your way into the uniform? Sienelis: Oh, ::it was as much a sigh as a word, and she slid her hand into the dark hair on the back of her head, rubbing at her scalp.:: I was a refugee, too. But our caravan ended up on Vulcan. Teller tried to imagine how difficult it would be to lose a home and then to be forced to accept charity from a mortal enemy. He suddenly wondered if the refugees on Ketar V, largely ignored by the population as a whole, were somehow better off. Teller: Can’t imagine that was an easy transition. Vulcans can be about the most irritatingly gracious people I’ve ever met. The description drew a laugh out of Valesha, a grin catching at the corners of her mouth. Her stay on Vulcan had simultaneously proved and disproved a vast swathe of the beliefs she'd been instilled with as a youth. Plunged in the deep waters of the Federation, she'd found that she'd enjoyed swimming in them, afforded freedom and choices that were revelatory to the young Romulan. Sienelis: That's a diplomatic way of putting it. Teller: ::Smiling mischievously:: I’m bucking for a promotion to Ambassador - need to work on my polite phrasing if I’m going to get invited to all those fancy banquets. ::Teller examined some of the fresh burns on the back of his hands:: Doubt a fella ever got plasma burns at one of those things. Sienelis: There's a first time for everything. As he chuckled, the infuser finished its cycle with a gentle ding and began pouring a steaming mug of rich, black coffee. The robust aroma quickly filled the mostly empty room, tickling Teller’s nose. With a sigh, he rose and crossed to the improvised counter, withdrawing the finished mug and loading another. At least one of these needed to make its way to Captain Rahman or he suspected the Juneau wouldn’t move a centimeter. Still though, some testing was in order. Teller: ::He brought the piping mug to his lips.:: Finally, something drinkable aboard this hulk. You sure I can’t make one for you? Seems like the least I can do. Sienelis: Seems rude to say no at this point. Teller smiled wide as he reloaded the machine for its next cycle, merrily humming an off key tune to himself. Teller: Be just a few minutes but it’ll be worth your time, and that’s a Good Job Guarantee. She watched him busy himself, thoughts ticking over in her mind. She'd asked about the refugees that the Veritas had encountered with a purpose in mind, and eventually, she reached into a pocket and pulled out a small PADD. Her thumb flicked over the controls, and once he returned with her coffee, she extended the small device toward him. On the screen there was a picture; a younger Valesha, perhaps in her late teens, with a young man of a similar age and an older woman who bore a resemblance to both. Sienelis: I don't suppose you saw him while you were there? He took the offered PADD and looked at the image. It wasn’t hard to make out the young Lieutenant — her features hadn’t changed much over the years, and her scowl was still a perfect likeness. The young man next to her though... something tickled at his memories. Teller: You know, this fella does look awful familiar. He racked his brain, trying to connect his vague memory to a face and a name. She looked on with all pretence of casual interest gone; mouth dry, mind blank, her hummingbird pulse thrumming in her veins as the tiny flicker of hope she'd carried for nearly ten years exploded into a bonfire. Eventually, he snapped his fingers and she flinched, sucking in a sharp breath. Teller: Oh I remember… quiet kid, didn’t say much, but he worked like an ox. Helped a bunch of us out when we were rebuilding a refugee structure that had burned down. Pretty sure he lived there...or he did before it burned down. Probably worked the Docks like most of the other Romulans. Name was...Tavle? Treble? Her next word was barely more than a whisper, a dream so fragile she wasn't sure she dared speak it aloud. Sienelis: ...Taeval? Teller: Taeval — yep, that’s him — looks a little rougher around the edges, but I’m pretty certain. Why? You two fall out of touch? There was no answer for a while, the Romulan's gaze unfocused as she tried to process the news, retreating along the path of a decade-long journey of grief. The hiss of steam and the bubble of water filled the space between them, the bitter aroma of roasted coffee suffusing the air. So many thoughts had crowded into Valesha's mind at once she could barely pick one out for the white noise they created, and she stumbled over her words as she tried. Sienelis: I— ::She reached over, taking the PADD back to stare at the small image. A memory, given life once again.:: I thought he died. We got separated in the evacuation and— Ten years. I thought he was dead. Teller: Really? Damn. Well, the good news is the Veritas has plenty of contacts with the Romulans and we’ve even know a couple Colonial Marshalls who don’t completely hate us. If the interference in the Shoals is behaving, we could probably even get him on subspace for you. Take a little time to put it all together, but I’m confident we could get it done. Sienelis: I— I have to go. The coffee was left on the crate, the Romulan on her feet and stalking toward the door without any further explanation or apology. But a few steps in, she paused and stood still for a moment, then turned and returned to Teller, stooping to press a kiss to his cheek. Words were wholly inadequate for the sentiment she wanted to express, but alas, words were all she had. Sienelis: Thank you. Geoff was dumbfounded and felt a warmth rushing to his cheeks. Teller: Uhhh...you’re welcome? He watched as the young woman turned and all but sprinted out of the room in a somewhat confused haze. After a moment, he noticed the untouched cup of coffee resting on the crate and took a hesitant sniff before shrugging. Teller: I guess some people really do appreciate a good cup of coffee. fin
  11. ((Officer’s Quarters, Deck 4 - USS Juneau)) @GhantXerix approached his assigned quarters at a slow and methodical pace. With one hand, he was balancing a tray of food, and with the other he was dragging a suitcase which bore the scars of mistreatment at the hands of a brute. At his approach, the doors should have opened. But the Juneau was quickly proving that should means little on a brand new vessel. He used his knee to hit the door chime, and before the doors could part he let out a groan of disappointment upon recognizing the mind behind the door. Xerix: ::dryly:: Good evening, Commander. @Geoffrey Teller smirked as he turned away from the door controls and went back to the lone chair in the mostly featureless room. One wall was dominated by a pair of bunks, a design not much changed in decades and meant for the most spartan of quarters. The other wall featured a fold out chair and desk console for getting a bit of work done, but anyone attempting to dismount the beds would either need to be a qualified gymnast or on very intimate terms with the person sitting down. Teller: Evening there Lieutenant. Xerix: I realize this is a skeleton crew, but man the odds were not in my favor for bunkies Teller: Same here….I’ve been busy in the Engineering bay and didn’t get myself to the quartermaster till almost all the bunk assignments were taken up. Have to say, surprised you’re sleeping alone. Who’d you piss off this time? Teller didn’t have to be an empath to see that he’d struck a nerve. Ghant said nothing to that, sitting down on the floor with his tray of food, appetite suddenly missing. Teller: So how is the Celestial, by the by? Be happy to give it another tuneup in my free time. Xerix: ::Suddenly thrilled with an idea, he ate as he spoke :: Oh it’s fine. I’ve installed a new lock on the hatch and the sound emitter is smashed up beautifully Teller: Oh the speakers? For the shanties? ::Teller chuckled to himself:: Forgot about that one. Guess that means the other thing...well, I’m sure you’ll find it soon enough. Ghant gestured with his fork like it was a weapon, pointing a bite of food at the enemy. Xerix: So help me, Teller. If you’ve messed with my ship again... Teller held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. Teller: Look, the fact of the matter is we’ve got to work together or this closet :Teller extended his arms and was able to touch both walls easily:: will feel even more cramped. So I say truce - we got off on the wrong foot, lets try to put it behind us, at least until this project is wrapped up and we’re both a few lighyears away from one another. Xerix: ..Fine. Truce it is….How’s the Veritas gang? Teller: Good by and large - been a busy few months. How about your new crew? Gorkon’s certainly a pretty ship. Xerix: It’s a great ship...I’ve had a bit of a hard time adjusting to be honest. Geoff gasped in feigned shock. Teller: You? ::He smirked:: But you make friends so easily? Xerix: ::He looked pointedly at the engineer:: I thought a truce meant we stop taking shots at one another. Teller: Sorry sorry, force of habit - last one I swear. Seriously, you always struck me as a competent enough officer - what’s tripping you out? Captain over there have a weird pet or something? Xerix: She has a few. But it’s me, honestly. At the academy and even on the Veritas, I felt like the big boat in the harbor. On the Gorkon, they make certain I know my place. It’s caused me to behave in ways I’m not proud of. Ghant pushed the tray of food away from him, suddenly uninterested in eating. Teller: Well, that’s one good thing at least. Xerix: What is? Teller: You’re thinking about whatever it was you did. Fair few people I know don’t think you’re capable of that. Might be a sign of maturity if you’re not careful. Xerix: Four forbid it. Do you think this ship is going to hold up long enough for it to matter? Teller: Pfft ::Teller rapped the wall with his fist:: I think I can keep the nacelles attached if you don’t bounce us off a planet. Xerix: I doubt I’ll have the opportunity. Tiria Hamasaki seems firmly attached to that helm console. :: He stood and stretched:: I think I’m going to call it a night. Which bed is mine? Teller: Why don’t you take the top, I’ve got a little work left to do before I stretch out. I’ll try to keep the noise to a minimum. Xerix: You sure? I could give you a boost if you need? Teller snorted and rolled his eyes. Teller: If you’re bored up on the bridge I could use someone down in Engineering to help me reach the top shelves. Xerix: I’ll check my schedule. Gnight, dude. Teller: Nighto. Ghant made his way into the top bunk and pulled the privacy partition closed. Teller smiled and went back to his PADDwork, absentmindedly humming a few bars of Roll The Old Chariot Along. Within a few moments, he was tapping his foot on the deck as well. Xerix: As much as you know I love a good musical performance, might be we call an intermission until another time? Teller: Huh? ::Teller looked up with a smile:: Oh sure buddy, sure. Have a pleasant rest. Within a few minutes, the tight quarters were filled with two sounds. The tapping of a jaunty beat on a PADD, and the grinding of Ghant Xerix’s teeth. ((The next morning- zero four thirty)) Ghant woke early, early enough to hear Geoff still snoring underneath him. He rose quietly and dressed, then gathered his belongings, and Teller’s. He schlepped them all down to the unfinished cabin at the end of the corridor, where he had left one space suit the night before . He brought the suit back to the cabin where he was pleased to see his bunk mate still firmly unconscious. Leaving the suit in easy access, he placed a Betazoid chameleon rose next to it. Then he walked smugly towards the mess hall. Coffee and donuts were needed on this morning. =============================== Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Teller Chief Engineer USS Juneau - NX-99801 Captain Oddas A., Commanding V239509GT0 & Lieutenant JG Ghant Xerix Helm officer USS Juneau V239505GX0
  12. ((Starbase 118 - little Risa - Cabo Breeze.)) Dante watched the pleasant faces around him spin, or maybe that was the room? Hael: Nev’r have I ev’r …. Had a crush on’a teacher... Termine: Ouuh! I have! ::Dante took a big swig of his beer:: Dante's mind was awash with thoughts of one of his first music teachers. The Betazed woman was like a godess of warmth to him at a young age and in hindsight Dante realized she was probably aware of his affection. Dante tried to blush harder, but the alcohol had already done that for him. Hael: I had this one teach - she was younger - thought she was the our first gal I’d ev’r done seen Rustyy took a swig of his drink, and Max grinned at the thought of what a messy evening this was going to turn into. Termine: Thuh Shhtory? As Max answered, Rustyy laughed. Maxwell: True story. Hael: Come’on keep on’a goin’ ::he wanted to know more… and hopefully not reveal as much.:: Termine: Weeeell.. If you inshist…. Maxwell: Never have I ever blown off an Academy class tae go drinking. Termine: Unforshunately, deshpite my curent shtate, I wash never really that fun in the acAdeMyy. But that's what I've goth Friendhs for! Dante laughed and clapped his arms around his compatriots at the table. Hael: Alrigh’y! ::he slammed his hand down.:: Nev’r have I farted round’a group’s strangers! Maxwell: What about loud enough tae drown out the Comandant's speech at your graduation? Dante laughed bawdily, though he wasn't sure if it was a joke or a recollection. Either way, Dante just felt like laughing. This alcohol thing sure was an interesting experience! Termine: I've fhaarted a few times in groups buuut. *burp* mostly it wash to geve me an excush to leave! heheheHehe~ Max chuckled as he went next. Maxwell: Never have I ever been curious enough tae try a pets food. Dante took a big gulp Termine: N'aw look. You think AAAALLL you want, but I'll shay that Targ food looks a LOT like Guacamole. Max was starting to feel really devilish now, and he motioned for the bartender to give them shots instead of their previous drinks. He pointed at a particular bottle. Hael: Nev’r have I ev’r - gone streakin’ in public. Maxwell: It was pretty cold when I did it. ::He laughed at the memory of his drunken and shivering team mates piling into the pub at the top of the street. And the reactions from the people in there.:: Termine: Onshe again, I wasn't that fun! But I wonder that the regulationsh about pubblibic nubditidy are arounb here are! That comment got a rise out of the listening audience. Hael: ::he looked at his latest empty glass.:: We gonna be hur’in’ tomorrow. ::he ungracefully snort laughed.:: I got one! - an’ i’m’a purdy sure I ain’ nev’r done it either. ::uncertainly said.:: Nev’r have I ev’r ::dramatic pause.:: kissed a fella Safe again. Max put his shot back on the bar as he waited for the responses of the others. Dante poured himself a big shot of whatever liquid he had been offered and shot it back in his head. His thoughts were momentarily drawn to the black, bitter stinging sensation in his mouth, but they soon faded to be replaced with the memory of B'larin, one of his first crushes at the academy. It had been a hot romance when they first started seeing each other but cooled quickly as they both realized the heat they felt for each other was more about the newness of the academy life and sexual liberty ( especially in Dante's case who had just escaped a pretty strict home life) Still, you can never completely quell the flames one once had in youth. Termine: O'course I have! ! To Love! ::Dante clutched his heart:: Wha-'ere form it comes in! This proclamation brought with it another great cheer from the crowd, and with it went Dante, over the back of his own bar stool, crashing in amongst the crowd. ___________________________________________ ((OOC: There's definitely still more to be explored here but I'll leave it to Maxwell and Hael to decide if we want to continue the scene. I think with the ceremony it might be time to move ahead!) Lt. JG Dante Termine Diplomatic Corps, Starbase 118 A239503DT0
  13. [Insert ‘Pink Panther’ theme here] ((Apartment Block, Deck 801, Habitat Zone, Starbase 118)) The three Officers had mostly avoided contact with each other since arriving back at the base, apart from Lt. Cmdr. Hael’s party - which it would have been odd for them to not attend, or to be seen to be avoiding each other all evening. Now though, after finding out the location of Londonderry’s apartment, Gogi had called Malko and Dante and arranged to meet with them outside the block. It was, of course, an unassuming apartment block, one of the many apartment blocks that had been constructed to house Starbase 118’s many, many residents, in the uniform style that they had all been built in. A smooth white building, with nondescript, square windows on each of its several floors. Gogi’s access code had gotten them into the building and up to the 7th floor in the elevator, but as they stepped out onto the landing, their eyes were immediately drawn to the Starfleet Security Officer standing to attention outside apartment number 66. The stocky Bardeezan FO did not recognize the young, light-brown-haired, fresh-faced, Terran-looking man guarding Londonderry’s apartment and nor did he know of any order that had come from Captain Taybrim that the apartment should be guarded. Okay, he didn’t know absolutely everything that the Fleet Captain did, but he guessed he would have heard of something like this. Dante and Malko exchanged a meaningful glance of worry before Gogi frowned deeply as he cracked his knuckles and began to stride up to the guard. Malko and Dante followed, all three of them dressed in their duty uniforms. Fairhug: ::approaching the young man:: Good day to you…::making a show of looking at his pips::...Ensign…? The Ensign’s eyes widened as he took note of three senior officers suddenly standing in front of him. One dressed in a Medical uniform, one a Diplomat and this third, relatively short Officer with the long ginger hair was dressed in a Command uniform with Lt. Cmdr. Pips. Matterface: ::stuttering slightly:: M..Matterface, Sir. Ensign Matterface. Fairhug: Good day, Ensign Matterface. My colleagues and I require access to this apartment. Malko: Thank you for standing watch, who knows what ne'er-do-wells could have been coming around to stick their nose in. Termine: We’ll make sure to inform your superior of your exemplary conduct. :: Dante flipped through a PADD. In reality it just had economic data of the sector, but he knew that seeming like you knew more that you did was often an effective bargaining tool :: Matterface: I...I’m sorry, Sirs, the access has been limited to priority Alpha One. The lines on Gogi’s weather-beaten brow grew even deeper, if that was at all possible, like the grooves of long-dried river beds in a dessert. Fairhug: By whom? Matterface: I...I can’t say, Sir. Malko shared a knowing look with the others - Alpha One? That seems like overkill for an engineer’s quarters. Something wasn’t sitting right with the counsellor. Dante stepped forward, if there was one thing he DID know, it was starfleet code and regulation. Termine: I admire your diligence Ensign, but Priority Alpha One security protocol can only be exercised in starfleet internal security matters. Although it will barr most non-briefed personnel... Without missing a beat Malko stepped in. Malko: Surely that doesn’t apply to the investigating officers... The young Ensign’s eyes were darting between the Officers as beads of sweat began to form on his forehead. He was rattled. Matterface: I’m s...sorry, Sirs. I’ve been given orders. Gogi stepped closer to the man, reaching up to put a calming hand on his shoulder. Dante looked down at his Padd again, presenting a face of irritation. If Malko was going to play the good cop, Dante was going to play bad. Fairhug: Okay, Ensign. It’s okay. The young man tried to calm his breathing. Fairhug: How long have you been on Starbase 118, Mister Matterface? Matterface: This is my third week, Sir. Fairhug: ::nodding knowingly:: Alright. Listen. I am Lieutenant Commander Fairhug, former Chief of Security of the Embassy of Duronis II, former Commanding Officer of the Iron Jaegers and current First Officer of this Starbase. Gogi was never one to pull rank or blow his own trumpet, usually, but occasionally, the situation called for it - and this was one of those situations. Malko held the elevator so no one could enter the floor as Gogi launched into his monologue. Fairhug: Now, I understand that you have been given orders and that you want to be seen to be obeying those orders. That’s a good thing. But let me ask you this; as First Officer of this very Starbase, do you think I would report you for allowing me to do my job? The Ensign’s expression changed to one of confusion, his eyebrows almost knitting together. Matterface: N...No, Sir…? Fairhug: Of course I wouldn’t! Gogi let out a hearty laugh, turning to Dante and Malko, to indicate for them to follow suit. Then he turned back to Ensign Matterface, his expression much more serious again, one of almost parental concern. Fairhug: But...might I report you for obstructing me from doing my job? Malko: It would be your obligation, I’d say. Your hands would be tied. :: to the Ensign :: He’s even reported me before. Termine: :: Dante tapped on his pad a few times before leaning into Gogi’s ear but speaking just loud enough for all to hear:: Need I remind you sir about your upcoming appointment? The ambassador would be insulted if we were late. Once again, Matterface’s eyes began to dart between the Officers. The boy looked like his mind had imploded with the difficulty of making this decision. Fairhug: Okay, let me make this easy for you, Ensign. Stand aside and let me and my colleagues here do what we have to do and nothing more will come of this...little incident. Gogi’s hand had been rested on Matterface’s shoulder this whole time, now he patted the man’s uniform, brushing some dust off of it. Fairhug: How does that sound? The young Officer, who had been standing at attention this entire time, let out a sigh and relaxed his posture. Matterface: Yes, Sir. I understand. Fairhug: ::patting the Ensign’s shoulder again:: You’re doing the right thing, Ensign. He turned to Malko and Dante and indicated with his head. Matterface stepped aside and they made their way into the apartment. Gogi poked his head round the doorframe one last time as he entered. Fairhug: Mister Matterface, inform us immediately if anybody else approaches. Matterface: ::snapping to attention again:: Aye, aye, Commander. ((PO3 Rickard Londonderry’s Apartment, Deck 801, Starbase 118)) Termine: Nicely handled, but how could security be here already, and with such a high clearance level! I’m starting to think we’re not the only ones on the same trail. Gogi huffed through his nose. The Starfleet cover-up was already in full motion. Fairhug: Probably just some Admiral at Command making sure Londonderry’s myth is preserved. Malko: Myth of being loyal? Termine: We can look into who might have placed that order later, Malko and I can give face-of-the-matter back there a debriefing if it comes to it, but let's stay focused and search this room while we can. We might not have much time. Fairhug: Agreed. The three officers started to pace around the room. The quarters were small and sparse with only minimal personalization. This wasn’t uncommon amongst junior officers but something about it felt… off. Gogi looked around, immediately dismayed by the lack of potential evidence, but then, if someone had gotten there first, it was hardly surprising that the apartment had been “sterilised”. Malko: No garbage, no laundry, no spoiled food. After a good long while of searching Malko checked amongst every fold in the closet and Gogi opened every drawer Dante stood staring up at the ceiling. Malko: There’s almost no evidence that Londonderry even lived here anymore. It’s all been passed over. The Bardeezan looked up, unsure of what Dante was so transfixed by. Fairhug: Something caught your eye, Dante? Termine: ...Wha? Oh... No it’s just that… Do you see those bolts holding that ventilation cover on? Malko: With enough force you can open those with a letter opener if you really need to… Just saying… Fairhug: Okay... Termine: They’re wrong. Fairhug: Wrong? Malko: ::quietly:: Not that I’ve had to... Termine: I mean, they’re wrong. It’s only something a refurb crew would notice but those bolts up there… They should be self-sealing stem bolts but they’re not. They’re regular bolts that seem to have been made up to look sealed. Malko: Prophets - you’re right. They’re smaller. Fairhug: What do you think that means? Termine: well, it either means that there were supply issues during this room’s construction or… Somebody has used a blast torch to cut through the original bolts and put their own in so that they could open that cover without any trouble. Malko: Actually that sounds much easier than bending your good letter opener. Gogi stroked his beard in thought as he looked around. The only furniture in the room was bolted down and of course, none of it was near the ventilation cover. Fairhug: Okay, ::he looked at Dante, who stood a foot taller than him:: Dante, you’re the tallest, Malko… He made a gesture with his arm for the Counsellor to follow his lead as he crouched down to get on all fours. Malko: Careful now, Termine. Dante wobbled as he slowly rose into the air, supported on the backs of Malko and Gogi - the human pyramid swayed and lurched. Slowly, Dante brought his hand up to the vent covering having to stretch considerably to reach and began to pry at the bolts holding the panel on. Much to his surprise the panel, bolts and all, came crashing down on him just as he came crashing down on his friends. Rolling away from the heap onto his back, Gogi almost wanted to laugh. Maybe he would have under different circumstances. They must have looked quite the sight. Fairhug: ::standing up, brushing off his uniform:: Well, I hope that was worth it. Malko: And I hope nobody heard the raucous. Termine: Not elegant - but it worked and… what do we have here! Clipped into the back of the vent cover was a small silver tube, less than the length of a PADD stylus, with a blinking red light on it’s end and a single indent on it’s length. Fairhug: Some kind of tracking device...or… Malko: ...beacon. The Counsellor had taken the words out of his mouth. If it was a transponder, evidently whoever had been here before them had not been aware of its presence, as surely they would have removed it. Fairhug: There’s one way to find out, can we activate it? Malko: It looks to me like it’s already been activated... TBC As simmed by Lieutenant Commander Gogigobo Fairhug First Officer Starbase 118 Ops. E239411GF0 And LTJG Malko Counsellor Starbase 118 Ops A239508M10 And Lt. JG Dante Termine Diplomatic Corps, Starbase 118 A239503DT0
  14. Bravo very well written! ((g-loc, above Paldor II)) * The snowflake tumbled, fluttering a zigzag path down through the air, twirling its halted way toward a quiet destiny among the white banks of snow. With careful planning, she positioned herself just below it, adjusting her legs with each pirouette of the flake, her tongue outstretched and ready. Mother: Jo! The Feast is starting! Come inside! She spun around, almost losing her balance. Her stomach growled. The orange lights coming through the windows of her uncle's farmhouse looked impossibly cozy among the trees and white snows. She offered a short koan of gratitude to the Prophets for her life and family, then began to hurry back, at once tripping and falling face-first in the deep snow, then immediately breaking into laughter. * Brother: Something funny, Jojo? Jo looked up from the tangle of circuits and recycled cables before her and toward the entrance of the dim cellar, cutting her laughter short. She had the feeling all eyes were now on her, she was the youngest Bajoran there. Otti: Relax, Prao. We're just joking. Kiliak: Yeah, we're just joking. Prao: ::scoffing:: Just go home, Jojo. You're always poking around in places you shouldn't be. She knew that he thought he was protecting her, but he was being a jerk and she couldn't stand him right now. He was embarrassing her in front of the rest of the resistance cell. She was old enough to make her own decisions. They needed to stand up. And for that matter, who else but her was going to protect him? Kiliak: Why don't you say that to the Gul instead? Otti: May the Prophets spare us from sibling rivalries. That's enough, both of you two. We can use all hands here, and it's already been agreed the girl can join us. Now, Jo. Are you ready for this? ::that damned, rogueish smile:: Is the bomb finished? * She saw the glowing point of a photon torpedo leave the Atlantis, floating like a falling star toward the deuterium tank. From her perspective, the explosion was completely silent, and she shielded her eyes against the beautiful, quavering firework bloom that buoyantly lifted up the falling station. * A blue flare went up from the other side of the spaceport. Otti: That's our signal, it should distract the Cardassians. Time for us to move. The fuel refinery is just there, on the near side. Do you see it? Kiliak wiped the condensation from her breathing mask, then pushed away a drooping fern. She looked through her scope. She tracked the Cardassians guarding the parapet above the refinery, and again she cursed the irony that They didn't require masks to breathe on the surface of Kassäla, a moon colony which the Bajorans had made all of the effort to settle. It wasn't fair. Many things were not fair. A seven-limbed Krinnilak hung from a branch above her with three arms and a silly grin, its beady eyes framed by tufts of orange hair, watching the three of them with great curiousity, small eyes framed by orange tufts of hair. Prao: Let's move. Stay low. * Otti dipped the nose forward, ducking below another passing asteroid, then smoothly eased back on the flightstick. As the ship rolled, the distant sun broke through a hole in the nebula clouds, illuminating the [...]pit in a shock of violet. Kiliak placed a hand on his shoulder, her other held a steaming mug of Deka. Kiliak: It's so beautiful out here. Otti reached up with his free hand, then placed it over her's. * The hand on the gavel came slamming down. The room sat. Magister: For crimes against the Gul of Kassäla, for the charge of arson, for the heinous murder of innocent Cardassians and the unexpected death of Bajorans including a member of the accused's own family, this court intends to deliver a sentence of indefinite imprisonment. ::Gavel:: This trial begins now. Kiliak Jo, on what grounds do you plead guilty? * Kiliak's hands, opening the doors of a golden case. Inside, the Orb of the Prophets shines. It is too bright to believe. For a moment, she is terrified. It draws her in. * Two humanoid creatures, one much larger than the other, stand upon the wooded ridgetop and look up to the sky. The visitors, who normally keep to their own affairs in the distant city, are up to something most unusual. They can smell it on the wind, the early migration of the herds, the ground grumbles in her the language of her own reluctance. Above, strange bodies are burning the heavens. The small one coos and points at the sight of a falling star, the tall one watches silently as one of their silver chariots dives through the ringed clouds to catch the lost piece of the sky like the mighty bird of prey fishes in the great sea. * A man in Black, his face long and grim and turning away, his hand holding a suitcase, he passes before a window, only glancing at the planet below. * Prao: Wait. Change of plans. ::Holding one finger to his ear.:: They were in the tunnels, less than two hundred meters from the fuel refinery now, ducked down behind an electrical transformer before moving to the next door. Otti: I don't like the sound of that. Prao: We've just gotten a tip that a transport is arriving at the spacepad here within the hour. The Gul is on that transport. New target. Kiliak: That's... that's different! I didn't agree to blowing up a transport when I built this for us! Otti: I agree with the girl. It's bad luck to change a plan in the middle of carrying it out. And we don't know who else is on that transport. Prao: Listen. We don't get a shot like this every day. We're talking about Gul Multak. We have to try. For justice, for every Bajoran on Kassäla. An infrastructure run on the refinery, it's nothing in comparison. C'mon. You know I'm right. Otti: ...Damn it. He is right. Kiliak: How far is the spacepad? * The white corridor has countless doors. She is running. She stops suddenly, turns to open one of the doors. A green-eyed Vulcan turns from his mirror and screams. * The eyes of Dr. Magnesium are watching her * Doctors around the table are frantically attempting to save a Bajoran woman's life. She looks just like her. * Fire. The burning heat. They pushed through the smoke and the flames. Something had gone horribly wrong. The explosive. It happened too soon. Low under the smoke, Kiliak spotted a bit of clothing under the rubble and chaos. She choked on her breath under the mask. Kiliak: No... She turned the corner and made out a pantleg. Then a whole leg. It was him. But among the mess, he was too far to reach. Kiliak: ::through tears:: No. No. How did this happen? Voice: ::flashlights in the smoke:: Keep searching! They're in here somewhere! Prao: ...Jojo... Kiliak: Prao! :a hand outstretched:: I'm so sorry. This is my fault. Otti: ::a hand on her shoulder:: Jo! We have to go! Now! Kiliak: I can't just leave him! No! I won't leave my brother here! ::Sobbing:: Otti: Stop it! There is nothing we can do! They will find us! We have to go! ::pulling her hand:: Kiliak: ::only a scream:: NO!! Voice: There! I hear them! Spread out, advance on the terrorists! ::blaster fire through the smoke:: Otti: Prophets damn you! We are not staying here just to die. Take my hand. * The Prophets are waiting for me. They will greet me on the golden shore of an endless sea. We will alight as winged birds and soar over the forests of green. * A heaviness and a lightening. A quickening. The infinite black stretching longer in every direction. The evaporation of time. The thinning of comprehension. A celestial spirit rising away, leaving hollow. And... but wait... something else... * Lieutenant, can you hear me? Kiliak: Wha? I... the Prophets... Her body, heavy. Hot. No, chilled with sweat. Ice cold. Hot again in the exosuit. Something cool on her forehead. Breathing in, an effort. Now, an exhale and... rest...
  15. So, below is actually two related sims. I really appreciated the humour and creativity in this scene. Something I definitely did not expect to read but thoroughly enjoyed. I hope y'all do too. Edited to add a third sim, another in the ongoing, hilarious take of nurse vs snappy toy dog Edited to add a fourth instalment that contains a pretty nifty twist. Didn't see that coming but it was pretty good!
  16. ((Some ooc backstory, the Columbia is being decommissioned. I have included @Jona ch'Ranni's ooc note regarding that. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, tragic, personal story with the crew. I think the whole fleet deserves a chance to see it.))I ((OOC Note: This series of sims was something I was holding on to for our next shore leave. I'm altering it a bit setting-wise to have played out during our last shore leave because I wanted to share it with you all before Columbia is decommissioned. Hope you enjoy.)) ((Observation Deck, Freighter Bion J. Arnold)) ch'Ranni: Look there's Talar! That means the bluish one over there is Gamma Trianguli and the orange one is Kappa Persei. ::Jona pointed to each star point in succession as Vexa looked on. She was not as enthusiastic as the former helmsman but she tried desperately to feign interest in what was unmistakably an obsession with her counterpart.:: zh'Lev: Wonderful. And how much longer will it be? ch'Ranni: We should dock at Starbase 47 within two hours. After that we will board the USS Abilene who is traveling at high warp to Pollux. And from there three more days to Andoria aboard the IKS Chang'Kza. zh'Lev: Ok. I think I can manage that. ch'Ranni: ::peeling his eyes from the starscape:: What's wrong, Vexa? zh'Lev: Nothing. ::beat:: I'm bored. ch'Ranni: Well, just wait til you see the Betreka Nebula! ((Timeskip: Nine days later)) ((Transporter Room, IKS Chang'Kza)) ::The two Andorians stood atop the transporter pads awaiting their final departure approval. The Klingon male at the console leered at them as if he'd drunk some bad prune juice. A high-pitched beep signaled on his board and the operator barked at the passengers.:: Veng'tuk: Your departure has been approved! I will transport you to the surface now! :: He tapped a key combination on his controls but nothing happened. The Klingon quickly lost his temper and slammed his hand on the side of the station.:: ch'Ranni: Did you remember to engage the primary energizing coil? Veng'tuk: Do not tell me how to do my job! zh'Lev: Hey! Don't yell at him! :: A low growl began in Veng'tuk's throat as his voice grew quieter.:: Veng'tuk: Control your woman, pet'Q. ch'Ranni: Vexa, step back on the pad. zh'Lev: But he ... ch'Ranni: It's alright. Step back on the pad, please. ::The two Andorians returned to their positions as the Klingon operated the console once again. Jona was quite satisfied to see the Klingon engage the primary energizing coil and then felt the slight pull as they dematerialized in a swirl of reddish-gold.:: ((Spaceport, New Sheras, Andoria)) ::The two Andorians rematerialized in the bustling Arrival Sector of the New Sheras Spaceport. People milled about them on their way to their own individual destinations.:: ch'Ranni: Come on. This way. ::Jona grabbed Vexa's hand and lead her to the left. They advanced to a large waiting lobby. Above the expansive room, a glass ceiling kept the frigid temperatures and snowy wind at bay, yet still seemed to let the starkness of Andoria's surface shine through.:: ::Weaving their way through the crowded terminal, Jona spotted his destination. A tea cart that always seemed to be set up in the same spot every time he visited stood in an offset corner of the building. Jona ordered each of them some srjula tea and gratefully accepted the steaming cups of bright yellow liquid from a wizened Andorian woman.:: zh'Lev: How long must we wait? ch'Ranni: Not long I think. ::Jona proved correct as he heard his name shouted by someone from far behind them. He turned and broke into a wide grin as he spotted his shreva waving wildly from across the spacious room.:: ch'Ranni: There she is. ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Spaceport, New Sheras, Andoria)) zh'Lev: How long must we wait? ch'Ranni: Not long I think. ::Jona proved correct as he heard his name shouted by someone from far behind them. He turned and broke into a wide grin as he spotted his shreva waving wildly from across the spacious room.:: ch'Ranni: There she is. :: The middle-aged Andorian woman jogged toward them and threw her arms around Jona's neck, hugging him close. Vexa stayed a few steps back letting mother and son have a private moment in the crowded terminal.:: Nota: I've missed you, Jona. ch'Ranni: ::tears welling up in his eyes:: Me too. ::The older woman took a step back and touched her forehead to Jona's until her eye caught sight of the petite girl standing a few feet away.:: Nota: Who's this? ch'Ranni: My shreva, this is Vexa zh'Lev. Vexa, please meet Nota sh'Ranni. Vexa is a scientist assigned to a research base in the region that my ship is assigned to explore. ::beat:: She's my girlfriend. ::Nota raised her eyebrows for a second and then her face softened. She held her arms out to Vexa and embraced her lightly.:: Nota: Welcome. We're so glad you could come. Please, let's gather your things. Mir is preparing a meal back at the house. We shouldn't keep her waiting. ((Ranni Clan, New Sheras, Andoria)) ((Time Index: An hour later)) ::The winding tunnels leading to Jona's boyhood home were as familiar as they were worn. These particular passages were hundreds of years old. Where they occasionally broke through the ice and rock to the surface, forcefields kept the inclement weather away. Jumping thalaas frogs licked up ice mites along the walls of the spacious corridor, unconcerned as people came and went.:: Nota: So tell me about your work, Vexa. Jona said you are a scientist? zh'Lev: Oh my, yes. My specialty is in energy fields. At Dehner Base we are studying the long and short-term effects of the Galactic Barrier on living tissue. We have some very promising results we have discovered recently. What with the Barrier contracting over the last few years, we may have a whole new region that could potentially be opened for habitation. Nota: That's very interesting. Sh'letha sren granta lullsla. ((Andorian Graalen for "You are quite talented.")) zh'Lev: Thank you, Nota. And Jona tells me you are a linguist in the Andorian Guard? Nota: Yes. Aboard the Marvassi. Vorka, Jona's charan, also serves aboard as the helmsman. That's probably where Jona got his love of piloting. ch'Ranni: And you are the one I got my love of languages from. vImuSHa' SoS ((Klingon for "Love you, mom")) :: As they continued conversing, Jona noted the recent construction that had taken place around the clan settlement. Impressively reinforced structures stretched upward a hundred meters to the ice cave ceiling above. Small patches of vegetation with artificial overhead lighting provided micro park-like areas that broke up the more austere surroundings.:: ch'Ranni: When did all of this happen? Nota: Oh, there have been lots of changes in the past two years. We received a grant to protect the clan holdings from icequakes and the resources have gone a long way to modernizing the Ranni clan. ch'Ranni: That's great! ::pause:: How does Spel feel about it? ::The mention of ch'Ranni's thaven, one of Nota's co-husbands, made Nota's face darken ever so slightly and the smile on her face faded away slowly.:: Nota: You know your father. He's set in his ways. ::Jona shook his head at his father's stubborness. He was a history professor but he himself was stuck in the past, just like the clay artifacts he proudly displayed in his office.:: ch'Ranni: Yes, that's Spel. I assume he's at the Military College. Nota: You know he is. He'll be home late tonight. ch'Ranni: oO He couldn't come home early to see us. Figures. Oo ::The trio turned left down the worn path and Jona's boyhood home came into view. Jona took a breath and let it out slowly. He turned to Vexa and grabbed her hand.:: ch'Ranni: Home. ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Ranni Clan, New Sheras, Andoria)) ((Three days after arriving on Andoria)) ::Jona padded barefoot into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He stretched his lanky frame to work out the kinks of sleeping on an unfamiliar bed and smiled at Vexa who was sitting at the table with a steaming cup of srjula tea. He poured himself a cup and sat next to her.:: ch'Ranni: Morning. Been up long? zh'Lev: About an hour. ::smiling impishly:: Mir had some wonderfully embarrassing stories to tell about you. ch'Ranni: ::in mock horror:: Surely not! zh'Lev: Your first day of school. ch'Ranni: She loves telling that one. Gods, that was the worst day. zh'Lev: And the time you fell from the ice sculpture in the clan square? How did you manage to end up naked? ch'Ranni: That was not my fault. It was ... unavoidable. zh'Lev: ::patting his cheek:: I'm sure it was, Jona. Now, what's on the schedule for today? ch'Ranni: Lunch with Nota and Vorka. And then I thought I might show you one of my favorite museums in the city. zh'Lev: Sounds nice. I can't wait. ((Timeskip: Two hours later)) Vorka: So there we were, facing the business end of a Nausicaan warship. I banked the ship hard to port and cut behind a slew of asteroids. We used a modified tractor beam to scoop up one of the large ones. ::The aging Andorian used his fork, in-between bites of food, to illustrate the path of the ship:: Then we slung it around in a wide arc, accelerating it as it went. Smashed those pirates right in the engineering deck. COM-pletely destroyed their ability to manuever. Let me tell you something, Little Miss, they were a lot nicer when Nota re-established the comm-link with them. zh'Lev: ::patiently:: I can imagine. Vorka: And then there was the time we had a Tholian cruiser try to tear through our supply convoy... ch'Ranni: Dad? Dad ... hold on a minute. I think Vexa has heard enough of your stories for right now. There will be time later to talk more. Vorka: Hmmph. zh'Lev: ::grinning:: Vorka, tonight I promise. I want to hear about those Tholians. Vorka: Fine, fine. ::He stopped to look at his son before taking another bite from his plate.:: So, Jona, still in Starfleet? ch'Ranni: Yes. A full lieutenant now. I'm serving as the Assistant Chief of Operations aboard the USS Columbia. Vorka: Lieutenant? Took me three years to make that rank. And Operations you say? Well, its close to piloting at least. ch'Ranni: I served as the Helmsman for nearly a year before taking on this assignment. ::beat:: Starfleet's been good to me. I've learned a lot. Vorka: ::grunting:: Well, you were always one to make your own choices. ::turning to Vexa:: Wouldn't listen to a word we said. ch'Ranni: I'm happy with my choices. ::looking sideways to Vexa:: All of them. Vorka: Well, I suppose ... if you hadn't run off to Starfleet you wouldn't have brought this pretty young thing home for a visit. Here, have some more tuber root. zh'Lev: Thank you. Your family has been so hospitable these last few days. I can't believe we have to head back to the Sagittarius Reach tomorrow. It feels like we just got here. ::Jona smiled sadly and looked at his two parents sitting across the table from them.:: ch'Ranni: Listen you two. I know that you may not have always agreed with my pursuing a Starfleet career. But please remember, I'll always love you and nothing will change that. Maybe some day you'll understand my reasons. Nota: ::nudging Vorka in the ribs:: Go on, tell him! ::Vorka gave his wife a dirty look and then stood up from the old belayla wood table. He stepped over to a cabinet and fiddled with the metal latch until it popped open. He retrieved a single PADD and handed it to his waiting son.:: Vorka: Here. You should read it on your trip back to the Columbia. ch'Ranni: What is it? Vorka: The ramblings of an old man. Communiques that I recorded over the last four years but didn't send to you. I was too caught up in what Spel and Mir wanted for you. I couldn't defy them. But now ... I don't care. ::Jona moved his thumb to the activation switch.:: Vorka: I said read it on your way home! Not before. ::Jona's eyes met his father's gaze and for the barest second he could see the pain and regret that filled the man's soul. The younger man gave a short nod of mutual understanding and set the electronic device on the table top.:: Vorka: Well, then. ::beat:: Where are you two off to this cold afternoon? ((TBC)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0 ((Guest Quarters 5-B7, Freighter Bion J. Arnold)) ((Time Index: Two days into return trip to Dehner Base)) ::Jona sat on the edge of the cot with his thumb hovering over the power button on the PADD. For some reason he felt nervous activating the device. He knew that Vorka wanted him to view its contents but he didn't understand why his father wanted him to wait until they left Andoria.:: ::His finger fell the last few centimeters and the bright screen activated. An image of his white-haired father's face shone on the screen. He looked upset.:: Vorka: Stardate 239111.04. Jona, you've been gone a month now to the Academy and I think it's time I set a few things straight. I don't oppose you joining Starfleet. I think you will make a difference out there among the stars. You are destined for great things. ch'Ranni: oO Then why did you ghost me with all the rest? Oo ::The recording continued despite Jona's musings.:: Vorka: Of course, I would have preferred for you to join me and Nota in the Andorian guard. The things I could have taught you with you by my side at the helm of the Marvassi ... ::shaking his head:: Well, anyway, I know this is what you wanted and I'm proud of you. ::The screen went black and Jona could see his teary-eyed face in the reflection of the transparent aluminum screen. He cycled back to the index and tapped on the next entry.:: Vorka: Stardate 239112.08. Jona, I hope things are going well for you in your studies. I've been opening up to Nota and I think she feels similar to how I do. We both care about you very much. I wish I had been able to say these things in person. Stay safe out there. ::The young Andorian tapped through the list of message. Stardate 239201.02, 239201.30, 239202.15. The list went on and on. Vorka had crafted messages every few weeks to his son and saved them all here. He swiped up on the PADDs screen and activated the final message in the list which was just less than a year old.:: Vorka: Stardate 239510.17. Jona, my boy. Today you have graduated from Starfleet Academy. You have no idea how it broke my heart to not attend your graduation ceremony. You are truly gifted and I'm sure you'll be assigned to the flagship. Steer her right, Jona. You always did have a steady hand. ::beat:: Spel and Mir both continue to refuse my pleadings for them to reconcile with you. Although, Mir is slowly coming around. I know they both miss you terribly. Perhaps one day. ch'Ranni: ::nodding:: oO One day. Oo Vorka: Jona, there's something else. ::pause:: I've been diagnosed with advanced S'sraanian Syndrome. The doctors say they can't do anything. I've lived a long, full life. I'm happy with my choices. ::beat:: All except one. I should have never rejected you, my boy. You deserved better. ch'Ranni: oO Dad? Oo Vorka: The doctors say I have a year at best. I hope to see you again before then, son. Safe travels. ((Timeskip: An hour later)) ::Jona sat despondent on the cold, metal floor. He had tried to hail his father unsuccessfully and he knew the truth. Vorka was gone. Vexa had returned to their shared room and sat slowly patting his mop of unruly hair in between the sobs that wracked his athletic body.:: zh'Lev: He was a good man, Jona. You do your best to turn out like him. ((END)) -- Lt. Jona ch'Ranni Assistant Chief of Operations USS Columbia (NCC-85279) C239510JC0
  17. ((Student Dorms, Starfleet Academy Campus - Starbase 118.)) It was early morning. Very early morning and Mareta really didn't want to get up. She had no classes today, and in theory her schedule was devoid of absolutely any activities – both social and study – save one. One that she couldn't have dreamed of in her studies last year. She lay there for a few moments, and then her alarm went off. A long sigh escaped as she hit the snooze button. It was on old 20th Century-style alarm clock that had been a gift from her cousin Arturo. A bit of an in-joke between the two of them when she had been getting ready to start her first year of study. Mareta was easily the least morning-orientated person in the galaxy and she sighed again as she rolled over and away from the alarm clock. Liva was still asleep, and Mareta snuggled in behind her as she tried to make the most of the ten minutes snooze time she'd given herself. Liva was her dorm-mate, best friend and “secret” partner. The two girls found the student are-they-aren't-they gossip quite amusing, and they ignored it as the free drinks and attention from some of the boys on campus was rather flattering. They had almost everything in common, even down to having relatives on the station. For Mareta, it was Arturo, and for Liva, it was Beatrice, her human half-sister. What felt like barely a heartbeat later, that infernal alarm clock was making its teeth-grinding Bzzt Bzzt Bzzt noise again and Mareta reluctantly rolled over to switch it off. This time, Liva woke up as well, and she sat up. Shuffling backwards, Liva leaned against the headboard and rubbed at her eyes. Liva: What time is it, Bee? Liva's voice carried a strong accent of her home in Kendra Province on Bajor, and Mareta's own voice gave statement to her own birthplace in Italy. It made for a strange yet gentle contrast of tones when they spoke together, although it didn't help whenever the two girls tried to practice the others native language. As a result, there had been many laughter and wine-filled nights in their room as the pair each butchered the pronunciations of a new language. Mareta: Seven thirty. A massive, cheerful smile spread across Mareta's face as she clambered out of bed and disappeared into the small refresher. Liva picked up her PADD from her bedside table and began to scroll aimlessly through the student news pages as she heard the shower start up. You never knew when you'd stumble across an unadvertised – but very useful – seminar by one of the Academy Professors, or even one of the stations senior officers. When she heard the shower cut out, and the sound of damp feet moving about, she put down the PADD and flopped forwards on the bed, chin resting on her hands, feet up and crossed. Liva: So what's got you so smiley this morning? Clad in a wrapped towel, Mareta reappeared, scrubbing away at her teeth and Liva waggled her feet slightly. Mareta: Nrp evry d'capn! Liva: What? Mareta: Mrtern d'capn tdy! Liva began to laugh, and waved Mareta back towards the refresher. A few minutes later she reappeared and sat down beside Liva, who sat up and crossed her legs. Mareta bumped her playfully with her shoulder, her broad smile appearing once more along with an excited sparkle to her eyes. Mareta: It's not every day you get to meet the Captain! Liva: Really!? Your placement was granted? ::She shuffled a touch closer and put her arms around Mareta.:: That's wonderful! Mareta: It's only one full duty shift every other week. Liva: But still, it's a full shift with the captain! Think about all the things you'll get to learn directly from an officer who's really done it all! Mareta smiled, giving Liva a hug in return before standing and heading for the far wall. She replicated a fresh uniform and pulled it on before moving to her bedside table and picking up the four elongated pips that marked her out as a final year Cadet. Liva hopped up and took her hand, before putting the pips on for her. A long hug later, and Mareta was off out of the door and on her way up to deck seven of the command tower, and specifically the office of Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim. As the door closed, Liva sat down on the bed again. What was she going to do with herself today? Her PADD pinged at an incoming message and she reached over for it. Thumbing it to life she raised a curious eyebrow at the screen. Message Received. Text Only. Sender; USS Narendra. Lt-Commander Gogigobo Fairhug. ~*~ Cadet 1st Class Mareta Bianchi. & Cadet 1st Class Liva Jardel. Starfleet Command School. Starbase 118 Academy Campus. Simmed by; Lt-Commander Arturo Maxwell. Chief Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  18. Absolutely love the feigning the character does! Great job @Kiliak Jo ((en route to Deep Space 26, low orbit over Paldor II)) Absentmindedly ignoring the pratter of the jarheads and sacrificial security drones crowding the small shuttle space, Perkins set his finely-tuned wonder of a mind to the task at hand. How was he going to singlehandedly rescue this station and the planet below from imminent disaster? The uncooperative nature of the Atlantis company of misfits only made clear his burden as the lone champion called to serve in this dark hour. He stared out the window and mused, clasping his hands together wisely, bringing the tips of his index fingers together just beneath his nose to indicate his status of deep contemplation. Just as he was gathering together the last details of a perfect plan, he was snapped from this reverie at the mention of weapons fire. Serala: Remember, check your fire this is a high collateral engagement zone. If it's not shooting at you, don't shoot at it. Not without confirmation. Perkins: Yes, please double-check your "trigger happiness." I have many friends here. They soon disembarked the shuttle and boarded the station. At the sight of the familiar Chon architecture, Perkins felt overwhelmed with relief to finally be back home, at last, he had escaped from the clutches of these Atlantean nincompoops. Though it was true that they desperately needed his help, he would not go back if they dragged him kicking and screaming. Solana: Contact, four o'clock. Looks like a dozen all scrambling to get those support craft off the deck. I don't see any Valcarians. oO These idiots can't even keep proper time! It's still morning by the standard Federation clock. Simply unbelievable. Oo Kiax: I wouldn’t be surprised if they were controlling more critical areas of the station. Operations, Engineering, Fusion Cores, Auxiliary Fire Control, Central Damage Control… With direct access to the computer core I can probably get us a significant foothold. Perkins: That can be arranged. I can direct you through some of the more basic processes, get you a username and a password, before we ultimately get to the more complex stuff at which point I will naturally take- Calasio: =/\= Welcome to the newly acquired Imperial Relief Station Alpha-One. =/\= oO Excuse me? Oo Kiax: =/\= You mean the Federation Starbase Deep Space Twenty-Six? =/\= oO Hmpfh. Indeed. Oo Calasio: =/\= I wish to speak to the one in charge of your team. =/\= Perkins: =/\= Yes of course, I am-- =/\= Serala: =/\= This is Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. I am in command of this team. =/\= oO Rude! Fine. I'll let her believe she's in charge if its so important to her. Oo Calasio: =/\= This is Commander Yanek Calasio of the Imperial Navy. I am sure you are aware of the situation we all find ourselves in. I wish to make an arrangement. =/\= Serala: =/\= Well, Commander. I’m actually not fully aware of the situation. I know this station is plummeting to the planet below it and unless we can find a way to stop it, everyone onboard, not to mention millions on the planet, will be killed. But I have no idea what has been happening here for the last several months. Without a debriefing, I am afraid I am at a disadvantage in any sort of bargaining or decisions to make agreements. Of course, we did bring a substantial combat force and I would image that some of the Starfleet personnel that didn’t make it off are still here somewhere. I could always fight my way to them, join forces, then retake the station from you. =/\= Calasio: =/\= Now, Commander...you are in no real position to do anything but listen to me. You have just arrived. I have been here for weeks. Do you really think we have not created a battlefield prepared to our advantage? I assure you this is not a fight you want to wage. The station is already falling apart. On top of that, we've rigged bulkheads with explosives, set snares throughout the access tubes, prepared tricks and traps level by level. I've read up on your ship, the Atlantis. I know your Captain Brell is a man of peace. Of discourse. He would listen. I suggest you do the same... =/\= Perkins: =/\= Ha! Brell isn't even- =/\= Serala: =/\= Captain Brell is not here. I am. And I do things my way. I will answer to Captain Brell later, if needs be. If he wanted a peaceful resolution, he should have come himself instead of sending his Chief Security and Tactical Officer. =/\= oO Ahh ha, I see. The Romulan wants to keep my presence here covert, her secret Ace in the Hole. The Ringer. The Showstopper. Got it. All right, okay, I'll play along with your little gambit, Miss Siracha. Oo Serala: =/\= Still, there is something to be said for a peaceful solution. Fighting our way through could be costly. You haven’t held your position as long as you have by being unprepared. So, what is your proposal. =/\= Calasio: =/\= It’s quite simple, really. This station is plummeting to its doom. We have seized control of this station at quite at high cost and have no intention of losing it now. I propose to allow you and your ship to assist with evacuating all non-Valcarian personnel from the station. You can use this landing bay for those purposes. We will also coordinate with Atlantis to find a way to stop the station from hitting the planet below, possibly even relocate away from the planet a distance. Once everyone is cleared out and the station is safe, we will take full control of the station and the space around it. Assuming the station doesn’t get destroyed before then, I estimate you should be able to get everyone off in about 36 hours time. Anyone remaining onboard after that forfeits their life and will become subjects of the Empire. =/\= Perkins mind began to wander. oO Say, where did that infernal marine with the attitude problem get off to? Oo Serala: =/\= A very well thought out request, Commander. I have a request of my own first. I need to speak to the Starfleet Officer in charge here on the station. I need to get a sitrep before I can make any decisions which might affect them. I am sure you can understand that? =/\= Calasio: =/\= Your request is understandable, Commander. However, we have no direct communications established with the Starfleet personnel. In fact, station communications are down, which is why I have had to rig this form of communication for us. Still, I will try to get a message through and have them come down to you. =/\= Siracha spoke quietly into her commset, then pointed now to another marine, the big one who had yelled at the problematic one earlier. Perkins didn't understand why she was pointing. Was his fly unzipped or something? He held up his hands to indicate the ineffectiveness of her communication. She pointed again, more pointedly, as the others gathered behind the marine. Perkins narrowed his eyes. Did she want him to keep an eye on this goon to make sure he didn't shoot any bystanders? Yes, that must be it. Good call. Perkins tailed the big monkey, ready to disarm him in a flash if the day's duties came to that. Serala: =/\= Commander Perkins. You know this station better than anyone here. I want you on lead. Get us to Operations. We’re taking that back one way or another. That might give us a better position to bargain from. =/\= Perkins: =/\= Ah, I see. Of course, of course. I will lead the way. ::pushing himself to the fore of the others:: Company, aa-t-tention! Follow me! And-a march one two hut one two, that's it, lively now! =/\= (( Short timeskip )) oO Wait. No, it's the other way. Oo Hardly his fault. He was only rarely down in these sections. He turned around and doubled back, offering the others his charming smile as they continued to follow his lead. This sublevel was really more of a Lieutenant Junior kind of working environment. And all these corridors look the same anyways. Soon they reached a corner, and Perkins was sure that this time it would lead them into Operations. Birmor: Halt. Who goes there? Serala: Lieutenant Commander Serala, Federation Starship Atlantis. Birmor: Sorry friend. This area is off limits to non Valcarians. Serala: We’re here with permission of Commander Calasio. Birmor: Really? Serala: We have some things to discuss and the form of communication we were using was insufficient. Since we’re here under a truce, perhaps you would be kind enough to escort us to him so we can speak in person? Birmor: Sorry Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. Standing orders are to only allow Valcarians past this point. ::She made an obvious effort to look at the group of Starfleet Officers.:: And you don’t much look like Valcarians. Serala: And would he be less pleased if his favorite :: quickly checking her rank :: corporal failed to let us past and it resulted in a full-scale invasion from our ship? Just because of a misunderstanding? Wouldn’t it be better to take us to him and let him decide what to do with us? Birmor: Excuse me a moment. ::he momentarily vanished:: Perkins: Do you want me to talk to him? I'm great with people. Serala: Birmor: Well Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis, it seems you have been granted passage. oO Hmpfh! Could at least get her name right. I'll let it slide though, in the name of diplomacy. Oo Perkins: Took you long enough. Let's head out, troops. McKnight: Let's move. Serala / Toh’jak: Response Birmor: It was my absolute pleasure. Commander Calasio is down in the Engineering Section on Level 46. As this used to be your station, I’m sure you know the way. Perkins: Er, yes of course. That's, uhm, fastest way is those stairs back there, or...? Serala / Toh’jak: Response Out of nowhere, bolts of blaster fire. One blast struck Perkins right in his good shoulder. He went down, collapsing into a crumpled pile immediately, a tactic to shield himself from possible continued fire as his eyes wetted with sudden tears. McKnight: AMBUSH! oO Is this it? Am I going to die? Here? Just in my moment of liberation? Who will help all these people if I must perish now? Oo Birmor: STAND DOWN! CEASE FIRE. CEASE FIRE. Perkins: It's a trick! I'm hit! They shot me! Ambush! Betrayal! Shoot back, you worthless imbeciles! McKnight: Cease fire! Cease fire! Secure the area! Serala / Toh’jak: Response Clutching his wound, likely a mortal wound, Perkins heard a disembodied voice nearby. His vision was blurry. Was it... his father? The voice of God? McKnight: You alright, Commander? Perkins: I'm so sorry. ::coughing:: I don't know if I'll make it. You must go on... without me... ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Perkins Engineer at Large Deep Space 26 A239509KJ0 ---------------------------------------------- courtesy of ---------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Kiliak Jo Asst. Chief Engineer USS Atlantis A239509KJ0 -----------------------------------------------
  19. ((Starbase 118 - Crew Quarters - Malko’s Room)) As if led by his nose like a bloodhound, the commander went straight for the replicator service panel. No doubt he smelled the slightly sweet odour. Malko began to panic, clasping his hands together in an attempt to compose the anxiety flitting across his skin. Hael: You ain’ has no issues with the replicator either has ya? Malko: Issues? None. Hael: You-uh ::he pointed at the signs of tinkering on the wall.:: doin’ yer own maintenance? The Denobulan was sweating through his grin. Hael was onto him. How did he know? Malko had lost his cool less than an hour ago and not a soul had been witness. And he was about to lose it again. Malko: Oh. Oh, that? I had to reboot the thing once or twice, and I didn't have a screwdriver. I'm a counsellor, not an engineer! ::he chuckled nervously:: Hael: Ya’know Therr be folks stationed ‘ere to do jus’ this kind’a thing. Tha’n ways you ain’ gotta do it. ::he chuckled as he began to take scans.:: Malko: Is, that against the law? Hael: No’ real’y. Folk always try’na fix their own stuff. Jus’ mentionin’ tha’ therr be folks ‘ere to do jus’ this thing, so you ain’ inconveincin’ anyone, none. Malko: ::gulp:: Commander, I... I have a confession to make… Hael: ::he leaned to one side.:: Real’y ani’ no thing. If’n sumthin’ broke we can fix’r no problem. Malko: I'm the one you're looking for. Hael: I’m’a sor’y Doc… You wanna run tha’ past me one more time - only.. ::he put his hands up.:: a bit slower, eh? oO Is he coercing a confession out of me? Oo Malko: I made a mistake and I was too ashamed to tell anyone, I'm sure you know - why else would you be here? Hael took a few seconds to retrace the words Malko had spilled forth. Hael: Well’s.. Uh… We can ge’ through tha’ .. ::he mumbled.:: mos’ likely. Malko: Yeah? What sort of trouble am I facing? Hael: ? Malko sat in his office chair, facing the Commander who was kneeled in front of the panel. This was a different counselling that what usually occurred in Malko's office. Malko: Well, you see... I was trying to research recipes - to make a dessert I could bring to the crew that would wow everyone. I did a preliminary search for some award-winning cakes, and was having the replicator make me some samples. He covered his forehead in embarrassment. Malko: And when I asked for Chocolate Infinity Cake, the replicator must have misunderstood -because it began making 'infinite chocolate cake'. I attempted to verbally cancel the process, but it was locked in some sort of request loop - leeching energy from the floor. The pot-lights dimmed in my office menacingly. At first I tried catching the fountain of cake in whatever empty vessels I had around the office, but they quickly filled. By that time the cake had begun spreading across the floor. I rolled my pant legs and waded through the molten flow, armed with a decorative letter opener. By the time I got the access panel open, well, the cake was threatening breaching the room. I wasn't sure what I was looking at in there, but I steeled myself and flipped a bunch of breakers until I saw the cook light die out - and finally the cascade of cake ceased. Shovel by shovel, I packed the viscous maroon sludge into the refuse chute - and attempted to scrub any traces out of my office and skin with diluted cleaners I stole from the sanitation closet. Ultimately, I was able to dispose of the cake batter, but I could not disguise the incident or my shame. Please - have mercy. Hael: ? Malko: Pardon? Hael: ? Malko: Sir? I - I don't understand. Hael: ? Malko: Then how? Hael: ? TBC
  20. ((OCC: This is the start of a mystery. The first 8 posts will set it up. After that, anyone who wants to join in can do so. This is Part 1 of 8 Flashback Scenes)) Alone ((Epsilon Argyros, Scylanthia, Alastriona’s Office – 239606.10 – Four Months Ago)) ::And she finally stopped playing their song when she realized that she was dancing alone. – Anonymous:: ::Like a dying firestorm, the red star Epsilon Argyros began to set below the horizon, bathing the room with fading passion. Alastriona looked up at her long bare legs, which were perched up on top of the glass table of her office, high above her homeworld, Scylanthia. It was summer outside, and she had chosen a pair of jean shorts, a red t-shirt and sandals to wear. Her pale skin warmed up nicely, even though the large glass windows were tinted.:: ::The building hovered over two thousand feet in the air above the city Cleeia. Outside, hundreds of multicolored balloon-like people – Scylanthian’s – drifted about. She could see the beaches far below, near her house. The ocean, tinted with a rainbow of colors cast down from the exotic atmosphere of the planet, turned cherry red as the sun fell into the sea. A scattering of stars came out: Theta Tauri, Gamma Tauri and Delta Tauri were first, followed by Epsilon Tauri and Aldebaran.:: ::Alatriona leaned back in her chair, stretched out her arms, and yawned.:: ::The computer was undeterred by her behavior.:: Computer: The mass segregation of the star cluster is consistent with the observed distribution of stellar types – DeTroyes: Ordinateur, arrêt. :: Another yawn filled her face. ::I’ve studied long enough today, ::she grumbled.:: ::The computer’s refusal was simple.:: Computer: Negative. ::The machine continued to drone on.:: Stellar evaporation occurs in the cluster halo as matter. . . ::Irritated, she dropped into English.:: DeTroyes: Computer, halt! ::In a condescending tone, the computer argued,:: Computer: The study schedule, programmed by YOU, continues for another two hours. DeTroyes: What’s with the attitude? Ten hours is enough for today! ::she complained:: If I can’t pass the science exams when I get to earth, maybe I’ll quit Starfleet altogether! :: She was grumbling, but knew the computer was right, or rather, she was right to have programmed the computer to try to force her to continue on. She was a hundred and twenty years out of date. It had been nearly a year since she’d asked for a leave of absence from Starfleet, so that she could study the current scientific theories. It was so embarrassing to ask people such simple things as how to use a modern tricorder.:: Computer: Starfleet re-certification exams begin in 56 Earth days. Since you’re scheduled to leave on the transport La Fayette in thirty six hours, and it takes 53 days at warp 8 to reach Sol, it is advisable to . . . DeTroyes: I know! ::Exasperated, she reached over to shut the thing off, but she hit the wrong button and it triggered a very old message buried inside the computer. Whispers came out of time, bringing back old memories. It was the voice of her sister, Genevieve.:: Genevieve: Alastriona, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear this message – Starfleet tells us that you’re science station at the edge of the milky way was destroyed, but I had a dream about you. . . . and I know that you’re still alive. . . . ::There was a pause where Alastriona thought she heard her sister crying. Then Genevieve continued,:: Genevieve: I have some terrible news to tell you. Everyone in our family is dead. Both of our parents, our cousins – everyone – are gone. They say that a curse killed them. I’m leaving Scylanthia and moving to a planet called Bijou Bleu, which is in the Gliese 777A star system. Hopefully, I’ll be okay there. I wanted you to know so that you’ll be careful if . . . I mean, *when* you get back. I hope this message really does reach you. I love you. ::Her sister’s words hit her like a thunderbolt. Alastriona felt a cold tingling sensation dribbling over her body. Her parents, Telfour and Chantel were both dead. All the rest of her family were gone too. She knew that they were dead of course, since they lived a hundred years ago, but to hear the news that they had died prematurely, that they had never had a full life, was too terrible to bear. The shock of it filled her with silence.:: ::Occasionally, she had entertained the thought of trying to contact the descendants of her family, but never did so, feeling uncomfortable at the idea of getting to know her great-great-great-grandchildren. But they had never been born. Or had they?:: DeTroyes: Computer, locate the DeTroyes family on Scylanthia. Computer: There is no one with that surname on Scylanthia. ::Alastriona put her feet on the floor and whirled to face the computer monitor, as if it was another person, listening to her shock and grief. She shook her head. :: DeTroyes: Let’s make it simple. Computer, take my Starfleet file and extrapolate all data for my relations and descendants. Locate any of my living relatives in the Federation. Computer: Working. . . :: Alastriona leaned back in her chair, and looked down on the coastline near the city of Cleeia. She had walked those beaches with her sister, so long ago. . . :: Computer: There are no matches to be found anywhere within the worlds of the Federation. :: It felt like someone had punched her hard in the stomach. Alastriona felt dizziness whirling around and around. Getting up, she grabbed the computer and threw it at the window. :: DeTroyes: NO! ::The monitor bounced off the glass, which had been reinforced against the storms of Scylanthia, to keep out the sometimes poisonous gasses that drifted down from the more dangerous bio-zones above.:: DeTroyes: What happened to them? :: But the computer was silent. It lay in ruin on the floor of her office. :: ::Genevieve’s message had been like a death knell. Was it some kind of disease or was it really some kind of curse, laid onto their family by some angry mystic? Alastriona walked over to a white couch and dropped onto it.:: DeTroyes: Superstition and nonsense. ::If it was some kind of familial plague, was she infected? Could she become infected? How long did she have? Shaking her head, Alastriona didn’t really care if she died. She began to cry. All that her family was, all that her family could have been today, all that they might have been, were gone.:: ::Truly, Alastriona was alone.:: ~*~ Ensign Alastriona De Troyes Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239609AD0 ((Disclaimer: All wicked, evil, dastardly comments by Alastriona are purely IC.))
  21. ((Secondary Sickbay – USS Narendra)) Malko: First thing's first, we need to find out how much Fairhug knows - and what the situation is on the bridge. For all we know they could be locked in combat with them now. Termine: Malko, Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ((Deck 2, Jefferies tube – USS Narendra)) Termine: Oh quit your whining, neither of us are equipped for a battle and we seem to have good luck in small tubes. Malko: I hope you know where you're going, the last time I followed you into a Jeffries I landed in hazardous material disposal. Prophets - I sound like B character in a fantasy movie. Also, do we need to crawl? Termine: That's true, it does make me feel a bit like a hamster… But it's our best shot at seeing if Fairhug is on the bridge and keeping safe — Ah! Here it is, the ladder to deck one. come on, keep it up doc, Malko: Why don't you let me peek first, you're still wearing a diplomat uniform - they'd take you hostage on sight. Termine: That's not a bad idea - But hold up one second I think we're nearing the bridge! They were thankfully only a few feet from the bottom of the ladder when the explosion pitched the ship sideways and the two slid off the slick aluminum alloy and into the catwalk below. Geysers of steam puffed intermittently as pressurized energy sources were damaged and diverted. Termine: Holy hell!! they're shooting at us. We need to get out of here! Malko: Stay down - and look for an access panel. Almost galloping on all fours, the counsellor scrambled behind Dante as he combed the well of the tube for some blades of light peeking in from the exterior. Dante swivelled and plunged his boots into the screws of a panel - it's bent form gave way and the officer slid out the hatch. Termine: *cough cough* Err…. Lietuenant JG Dante Termine reporting for duty. sir. Malko could hear Dante speaking to someone, but couldn't make out who it was. Fairhug: ? Termine: Well, just trying to play catch up sir - it looks as if you've got everything sorted out here. Sliding face first out of the hatch onto the bridge carpet, Malko did his best to hold his medical gown shut with one hand and salute with the other. If he only had a third to keep a grasp on his composure... Malko: Ha ha! Yes, sir - we came to make sure you're OK. And now that we see all is fine... Termine: Ah! Sorry, Malko is here too. Not exactly the entrance I wanted to make but, I guess the team's all back together again huh? Fairhug: ? Malko: Yes, it had dawned us we had been infiltrated, too. We had some theories about isolating the breach and getting to the bottom of how this all happened. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko: With some cross-referencing of ship registry timelines pre and post intervention on the cult attack of Gorn, as we as some more detailed information about the status of the Narendra's Sickbay and its patients at the time of the... incident... we believe we can move to a better understanding of todays' events. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko nodded at Dante, maybe their shore leave wasn't going to be a break from work after all... Malko: Understandable, we are eager to help anytime. Termine/Fairhug: ? Malko: Thank you, sir. We will leave you be... Termine, we can use my office - I need a change of clothes, anyway. Malko half bowed and gestured to the turbolift, backing out of the controlled chaos that was the bridge. Even in the midst of a crisis, the bridge crew volleyed tasks like a professional sports team - beginning to rebuild Malko's sense of safety he hadn't felt since the crash. ((OOC: wrapping up for shore leave, but we can continue this subject later!) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ LTJG Malko Counsellor Starbase 118 Ops A239508M10
  22. ((Deck 14 – Secondary Sickbay– USS Narendra)) ::How odd it felt for Ariwyn Vananth, to go from holding a person at arm’s length because she felt the green color of his uniform meant he would be a mindless soldier to speaking at length about trust and violence. She didn’t usually misjudge people – but she also focused her considerable telepathic and empathic intentions on those she negotiated with. This incident made her realize how often she overlooked those who stood beside her, worked behind the scenes or played a side role in each diplomatic affair. Even those she might have dismissed as insignificant she found had a vibrance, depth and intelligence she would not have initially assumed. And somehow she and Daniel Cain had come to an understanding – formed a mutual respect. Each was vulnerable, each was complex and each was strong in different ways. Ariwyn had learned something, and despite the pain she felt she had a calm sense about her, satisfied with her own thoughts.:: Glebben: Oh my, look at you both! Let’s get you inside and patched up! We have open beds for wounded. Come, come! Vananth: Looks like we have an open invitation. Cain: I didn't even know a Ferengi was on board. ::The Ferengi nurse bustled around, generally treating everyone like she was their grandmother and they all needed band-aids, milk and cookies. That was not especially unusual for female Ferengi, especially ones old enough to remember the cultural status quo before Grand Nagus Rom started social reforms.:: Vananth: Well,. I hadn’t expected a Cardassian onboard either. You seem to have a very cosmopolitan crew. ::pause:: She seems nice enough… ::Ariwyn was trying to keep an open mind.:: Cain: There's a Klingon over there. ::That there was. And yet no one was shooting at him. Ariwyn took in a deep breath and closed her eyes.:: Vananth: I do not sense any murder in his mind or heart. There is anger but not hostility. ::Maybe it was one of the diplomatic crew? Or maybe they had Klingon allies? She didn’t know.:: Cain: I'm going to see what's going on. Are you gonna be ok? Vananth: I’ll be OK. Seems like a nice place, they have beds and meds. Cain: I'll be back soon. ::Ariwyn nodded and leaned back, letting the nurse tend her wounds, lost in her own thoughts. How long was she lost? She honestly had no clue, but she must have fallen asleep because when she opened her eyes it was dim and quiet in the sickbay. She sat up gingerly, finding her shoulder was bandaged and there were regeneration patches stuck to the still healing flesh. It burned, but the searing pain from before was gone. Slowly her eyes focused, and her telepathy reached out. There was someone else in the vicinity. For a moment she was startled.:: Taybrim: ~Careful, the new doctor will come and scold you if you get out of bed…~ ::The thoughts were warm and calming, steady and resolute. She found that surprising for a male.:: Vananth: ~Will you scold me, too?~ Taybrim: ~No.~ ::He moved gingerly inside and sat nearby. He looked tired and she could see regeneration patches on the backs of his hands and the skin by his neck, likely to repair areas kissed by frostbite.:: Taybrim: ~I heard you wanted to see me?~ ::She chuckled a bit in a dry, sarcastic tone:: Vananth: ~I’ve been trying to reach you for a week, Captain. You’re a hard man to reach.~ Taybrim: ~Next time I’ll try not to crash-land before a diplomatic conference.~ ::The two Betazoids locked gazes. Sal had some humor in his eyes as if he was gently teasing her while Ariwyn manged to look admonishing despite the fuzz in her mind from the painkillers.:: Vananth: ~I had wanted to talk with you about the conference, but there is now something far more pressing.~ Taybrim: ~And what is that?~ ::She paused, drawing in a long, slow breath before she reached out a hand towards him.:: Vananth: ~I should not have done it, but as I watched an innocent man fall, blood spilling on the floor, watched others in the line of fire and felt my own shoulder tear open I entered the kind of the cult leader – Klempeth his name was.~ ::Her cheeks burned hot with embarrassment.:: Taybrim: ~Honestly you know I cannot judge you. Your role as a daughter of the sixth house is far higher than my role as a Starfleet Captain when matters of telepathy are concerned.~ ::he paused and gently took her hand.:: ~But for what it is worth, I understand what you did.~ Vananth: ~Then will you allow me to share with you what I learned?~ Taybrim: ~What did you learn?~ ::Another deep breath as she steadied herself.:: Vananth: ~I took everything from him. Every thought, every plan, every detail I could grab… I know every infiltrator.~ ::Sal’s gaze hardened. What Ariwyn had done wasn’t considered ethical by Betazoid standards of telepathy. He understood exactly why someone in duress would reach out and crush a mind like Ariwyn had done – her telepathy was far more powerful that Sal’s. Actually it was far more powerful than most of his species, most would not have been able to do so much damage or sift so much from Klempeth’s mind. And now she tempted him with forbidden knowledge. Part of Sal Taybrim wanted to turn her down, to take the moral high ground and reject the ill-gotten information. And yet in doing so he would condemn her after he had already admitted understanding. Part of him would do anything and everything to ensure the safety of his ship, and she was offering him a very tempting key to unlock a passage towards that safety. And he was curious. Dangerously curious.:: Taybrim: ~And now what?~ Vananth: ~I offer to share it with you~ ::And there it was, the devil’s bargain. Sal was not the sort of person to waver on a decision. He picked a course and moved forward.:: Taybrim: ~I accept.~ ::She nodded, understanding the risks, while drawing him closer.:: Vananth: ~prepare your mind for the flood.~ ::Sal Taybrim very rarely dropped his telepathic defenses. He kept his damaged telepathy in check, and even among others of his own species he rarely used telepathy and certainly never lowered his mental shields. But desperate times called for desperate measures. If there was one thing that he would risk the sanctity of his own mind for, it would be a chance to protect his crew. As his mental guards dropped, images flooded in. The thoughts and mind of Klempeth in his last moments poured into his consciousness. Only Ariwyn’s control pulled the floor back to a manageable flow. Sal drew a breath in through his teeth as his mind struggled with the onrush of information and when it was done, both of them were gasping for breath.:: Taybrim: ::after a long pause:: ~I do not envy you, touching this mind firsthand.~ Vananth: ~The sheer hatred and murderous intentions were hard to pierce through. I tried to filter it for you.~ Taybrim: ~for that I thank you.~ ::The sat in silence for several long moments before she releashed his hand.:: Vananth: ~You are tired. You should sleep.~ Taybrim: ~I have too much to process.~ Vananth: ~You should try.~ ::He offered her a faint, hollow smile.:: Taybrim: ~So should you.~ Vananth: ~Then together we will try. Goodnight Captain Sal.~ Taybrim: ~Goodnight Ambassador.~ ~*~ tbc ~*~ Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer StarBase 118 Ops ~and~ MSNPC Ambassador Ariwyn Vananth Head of Klingon Affairs, Trinity Sector First Daughter of the Sixth House of Betazed "Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must" ~Julian Beck E239010ST0
  23. ((Peshkova Colony, Demilitarised Zone)) ::The upbeat tunes of a whistled song joined the nature sounds, as Graham walked next to the antigrav unit, his eyes on the road, making sure there weren’t any obstacles for the unit to pass. It would be a huge shame if the cart would tumble and all the food stored on it would fall on the dirt road.:: ::In his own personal opinion, he was a bit late, courtesy to his Andorian misses who had insisted to add a few more particular dishes on the cart. But he was lucky, the ship was still there, the silhouette of the Condor Class ship clearly visible. It wasn’t the first time he lay eyes on the ship and as long as the ship was space worthy it wouldn’t be the last.:: ::He kicked a little stone, before he pushed a button on the unit, picking up the pace a bit. He started whistling another merrily song as he approached the open spot in front of the ship, clearing his throat as he looked at the people sitting nearby the remainder of what had been a large campfire last night.:: ::Seeing the flames in the distance the night before had been his and his misses cue to get up early this morning and started preparing breakfast for these folks. They were fighting for a cause he supported and he figured it was the least he could do.:: Graham: Breakfast is served ladies and gentlemen. ::He called out to those at the campfire, already sipping something that was being kept warm at a smaller campfire, looking at their faces and as expected, he recognized a couple of them but there was also at least one new recruit. Not that he bothered to learn their names. Graham knew full well the next time the ship would land, part of the crew would already have been replaced by other faces, other species.:: Graham: We’ve got fresh baked bread, rolls and whatnot. ::Nodding towards the baskets on the side of the cart.:: Take your pick. ::He lifted the different lids from the different food warmers, revealing all different kind of dishes. Baked sausages, bacon and eggs, made from fresh collected goose eggs that very same morning, for those who had to wash away a hangover. A few more lighter and veggie based dishes for the non-carnivores. Yogurt and fresh cheese for those who had a rather sensitive stomach after all the drinking they had done the night before. There was something for everyone.:: ::A loud siren suddenly sounded as he pushed a button on the cart, once he was done with his preparations, a call to those inside the ship, to come and get some non-replicated food in to them, before they went on their way again. Who knew when would be their next well cooked meal.:: ::He took a few steps back and sat down on a big boulder, nodding here and there towards those coming from inside the ship, as he recognized a few faces from people traversing his fields as they went up to the Memorial Rock each time they visited the Colony. They left his crops and fields alone and he respected them for that, while in return he made sure no one was doing any harm upon the shrines setup on Memorial Rock in their absence.:: ::Graham leaned back, he felt like he owed these people something. It was only thanks to them, he knew what had happened with his son. Contrary to many others who had children out there fighting for the cause, he knew what had become of him, while other parents would never find out their offspring were still alive or not. And ever since that day he and his misses had promised each other to serve breakfast to the crew each time they visited. As if he was paying off a debt, he knew he didn't have.:: Farmer Graham Food/Breakfast Provider Sympathiser to the Cause Simmed by: Lieutenant Samira Neathler Assistant Chief of Security USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  24. Just have to say, I think I speak for all of us Atlanteans when I say he's never been more deserving of a punch in the face. Or being beamed into space. Great job as always @Kiliak Jo ((ooc: I offered to write for the incomparable Mr. Perkins some months ago, so I figure I'm up. Uh, obviously I love you all, but I'm writing as Mr. Perkins below, so... rest assured it's all in good fun... I recommend you go easy on the tags ahead though, I'm not trying to upstage your mission with 'local knowledge' if you get my drift)) ((Guest Quarters, USS Atlantis)) Out the window of his cramped, temporary quarters, Lt. Commander Perkins stared at the broken shape of the place he called home and watched the flurry of frantic traffic buzzing away from it. He sipped his water, then shook his head and rubbed at his shoulder, rotating the cuff -- at times it still ached from the heroic shot he had suffered in the line of duty on that fateful day months ago. That nurse they employed on board, the insufferably bubbly Avy or whatever, kept saying she could find nothing wrong with it now, but what did that prove besides a distinct inability to do her job? Serala: =/\= Serala to Lieutenant Commander Perkins. Report to Main Shuttlebay on the double. And bring standard equipment for an away mission, including a Type II Phaser. We launch in 30 minutes. =/\= Perkins: =/\= I am at your service and so pleased to be invited. And I'm even to be allowed a phaser. Capital. =/\= It only further proved his case of how fundamentally lazy, how abundantly incompetent the Atlantis crew was that they could be expected to layabout for half an hour before embarking on such a crucial mission as saving his home station. He endeavored therefore to arrive in half the allotted time just to make a point, and of course, he succeeded. Perkins: First assigned to live under Romulan space and now here I am serving under a Romulan. Never thought I'd see the day, but life is full of surprises, isn't it? Serala: Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t like you and I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you - and trust me I would like to find out how far that is - but you did serve on this station and so your knowledge of it is going to be important to me. You’re coming with us, but I will be keeping a very close eye on you. Be careful, Commander. I am just looking for a reason to throw you in the brig. I still think you have been involved with almost everything that has happened to us since even before the bot attack. Perkins maintained the inscrutable yet undeniably attractive expression he preferred to wear. He had already been confined to quarters twice since arriving aboard, once on some trumped-up charges from a jealous officer and later due to the impossibly-thin skin of an Atlantis crewmember after all he had tried to do was offer some helpful and constructive criticism. Such frequent and flagrant displays of Atlantean stupidity reminded him of a conversation he had once shared with a colleague, that perhaps incompetence was the most perfect cover-up for acts against the Federation. Perkins: My oh my. Serious charges. I'm sure that such a professional and... charming Starfleet officer such as yourself would not offer these creative conspiracy theories without a substantial body of -::ahem:: proof? Serala: No, I can’t prove anything. And that is why you are still walking free and wearing that uniform. And as long as you are, you will conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to a Starfleet officer. And for now, that means helping us on this mission. Perkins: Despite your personal attacks, I will of course be the better man and offer you my full and invaluable support, ::he counted her pips:: ...Lieutenant Commander? oO Really? Starfleet isn't the organization it used to be. Oo Serala: Very good. How many times had he and his team helpfully gone the extra light-year to patch up this sorry excuse of a ship after the merry band aboard saw fit to go gallivanting off into another speck of trouble? This was his thanks. He rubbed the nose of his bridge to stave off another of the headaches he'd been suffering since unceremoniously being forced aboard. He couldn't decide whether the problem here was either a shallow-minded ingratitude or an utter lack of discipline, probably both. Honestly, he wouldn't be all too surprised if these "rescue operations" ended with his station being blown to smithereens. More space trash to float about the Expanse. At that moment, the rest of the assault team entered the bay and he could hear the heavy thumping footprints of some neanderthal stomping over from the shuttle area. Logan: What is he doing here ? Perkins turned and looked over the somewhat-smaller-than-expected marine-clad buffoon, scanning him up and down as he puffed out his chest like a gorilla and pointed. He couldn't recall if they had ever met before. He also couldn't particularly care. Perkins: A little thing called "my duty." Perhaps you've heard of the concept, Mr...? Logan: QUIET! You lost the right to speak a long time ago ! oO And you seem to have rather lost the ability. Oo Serala: As you were, Captain Logan! He’s coming with us. Logan: I'd trust a first year cadet more than him any day. Perkins: That's little cause to behave like one. Logan: I SAID QUIET !!! Serala: ENARRAIN LOGAN, FAEHOR IUT’FEHILL TEMOHRIE AIHR’RRHAAREVHA!! (CAPTAIN ...STAND DOWN AND THAT IS AN ORDER!!) The grumpy Romulan and the Marine with the loose screw stared each other down for a moment. Perkins checked the time. Was this how the new Captain Torham intended to run a ship? Brell was not ideal, but this... Perkins could not understand why Starfleet Command had not elected to select his own commission from the pool of applicants to serve as the new Atlantis Captain and whip these fools into shape at last. But looking around, he considered now whether he had been in fact blessed by being passed over. oO Honestly, they can hardly board a shuttle without a fight breaking out. Oo Serala: He is coming with us, Captain and that is final. I trust this will not be a problem for you? Logan:: Turning his gaze back to the Engineer:: No Ma'am. I won’t let the cause of our problem prevent me from helping to fix it. Kiax: Apologies for my tardiness. I had to show our new crewmate here the way to the shuttlebay… ::She said, jokingly.:: Whatever he did or did not do isn’t our problem right now. Let’s just get underway and sort the blame later. We’ve got a planet to save… The Marine Captain pushed his way through the pair of hot tempers and turned on the unhinged soldier, who didn't seem inclined to back down. McKnight: Captain Logan, stand down. You're speaking to a superior officer. Perkins: And so at last, welcome Miss Kix. Do you have no need to voice a problem against my presence here as well? ::Perkins remembered Shadydust from her role cross-examining him as Killiak's Advocate, and he had read in the crew sheets about the transfer of the Kix symbiont into this young, supposedly "brilliant" Trill. But if Durrmont was any indication, "brilliant" had an entirely different meaning aboard this ship.:: Kiax: No Sir, I’m just eager to get underway. The longer we spend arguing about what got us here, the less time we have to get myself, and SOUL here, to the station’s computer core and figure out a way to get it back to where it belongs. Logan: Response Captain McKnight turned back to Serala. McKnight: Commander, we have a mission to get started on. Best not to keep my men antsy Serala: You’re correct, Captain. I just needed to make sure everyone here understands were all on the same team. If anyone...anyone! … feels that they can’t work within those guidelines they should leave now. Anyone? No? Good. The two Marines had a little talk, probably about what exactly the process of a court martial would look like after assaulting a superior. The paranoid Romulan gave them a few minutes to finish, then decided they had waited long enough. Serala: ALRIGHT! LOAD UP! DEPARTURE IN TWO MINUTES. YHFEV! (MOVE IT!) Perkins: Finally. After you, gentlemen. Chop chop. Hero-work to do. ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Perkins Engineer at Large Deep Space 26 A239509KJ0 ---------------------------------------------- courtesy of ---------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Kiliak Jo Asst. Chief Engineer USS Atlantis A239509KJ0 -----------------------------------------------
  25. Sensational sim and world building @Tahlin Alse. //Begin Message: Recipient: Lieutenant Commander Chambui Lkhagvasuren, USS Shinano I did not have the best introduction to Ketar V. As I'm sure you've now read about or seen on the news the local liaison officer was murdered and by one of his own officers. That's a major scandal in of itself but alas it didn't end or even start there. Commander Armin Illanos was not what you'd call a model officer, the list of his crimes is so long that one might wonder if his murder in the end was justifiable but I have neither the time nor the inclination to recount his misdeeds here. After that though, it hardly got better. Lieutenant Teller decided to try and remedy the situation of the Romulan refugees in one of their slums, their tenement having caught fire before my arrival during a CCMS raid that nearly devolved into a riot. Chambui I thought Meridian was bad but seeing children, children! in the shadows of burned out buildings with so much... dust in the air it reminded me of what I've been forced to see before. They're trapped, hopelessly so. Yes, after a few days we were able to do a little urban renewal, which is more than I could say happened on Meridian but it feels altogether different here. What happens on Meridian is a tragedy, what's going on, on Ketar V seems... criminal. We take care of refugees in the Federation. My parents, the Bajorans on Maravel, so many others, they didn't have it easy and of course they faced discrimination but I don't think I'd ever see a group of people just... abandoned to the elements, content to let whatever illness they see in what these people represent fester until it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I don't... I don't know. I'm amazed that's all I have to say at the end of it but there it is. It's enough to make you question a lot though. I've seen what happens when the might of the Federation's humanitarian largess comes to bear on a problem, how much concerted effort can achieve on such a massive scale and yet here, in one little corner on one little planet, they are content in their apathy, sufficed to surrender their responsibility to their fellow man. Unfortunately I've come to learn how many resources such charity requires, even on a small scale. Lieutenant Teller cleaned out the cargo bays, what was left of them, with his scheme, which of course in my sentimental state I allowed. Yes, let's call it sentiment, let's say that was my motivation. Of course we're light years away from the nearest Starbase or supply depot so guess who had the task of securing, individually, all of the quantities of supplies we needed? That's right? This guy, yours truly. Please don't think I'm complaining though, well I am but not in the way you think. It was daunting sure and as it turns out organizing accurate shipping and receiving times in the Shoals is almost impossible but I kind of liked it as my first challenge onboard. I know you're going to say that's hindsight, nostalgia always has been a fatal flaw of mine, but I actually came to enjoy it, crossing off items on the list and hey I have staff to help me carry and unload it. I also got to meet some really interesting people, do a bit of networking that I'm sure will be useful in future. One of these encounters I'm sure you'll appreciate. Do you remember that trip to New Zealand we took for spring-break my sophmore year to practice our Maori? Well as it turns out like Esperance most of the Humans on Ketar V come from Oceania. In Ketar V's western hemisphere Maori and other Polynesian languages are dominant, alongside English of course, just like New Zealand but it was nice to understand both halves of a bilingual society. Still, my cultural literacy didn't help me much in this case... (( Te Ranga, Te Ranga Authority, Selwyna Region, Ketar V )) Tahlin looked out the window over the Te Ranga cityscape, like most of Ketar V it was dominated by megalithic pre-fab colonial structures but here visaged in a striking alabaster white, which against the deep blue of the ocean and the vibrant greens of the rolling hills of the shoreline of the Bay made it a paradise compared to the dry desert steppe of Centennial City, or anywhere else Tahlin could think of for that matter. Such a striking landscape was worthy of the place so many of these men and women's ancestors had left centuries ago and having seen the motherland for himself, Tahlin could see why so many of the colonists from New Zealand opted for the lush, continental atmosphere of western Ketar V, in contrast to the vastness of the east which knew only the suffocating humidity of the tropics or the dry wisps of the desert plains. It reminded him of where he had been born on Maravel. Aixa was more truly Continental, Te Ranga was pleasantly Maritime all year round but all things considered it was a convincing facsimile. Turei: Prince Tahlin Aiolande Alse, blood of Vytogoreds and Iseldt, of the blood of Vertomacher and Bondochar, Panna of Phraatia and Grandee of all the Isles, bearer of the Seventh Coat of Arms and the Bordered Blue Banner and now a Starfleet Officer, tell me where does "Ensign" fit in to your menagerie of titles? Tahlin's face was marble. All life had slowly peeled away from it as he was addressed by names and titles he had never once used altogether. Most of those styles weren't even in his Starfleet record, you would need an almanac of El-Aurian royalty and high nobility for them and somehow Tahlin didn't think they were being printed, much less updated anymore. Lifelessly and mechanically his head turned towards the dusky skinned man in a sharp suit to match his selfsame tongue. Instinctively he smiled, as he had trained himself to do, though he was nowhere near at ease. Alse: Military honors and rank usually come first but etiquette and protocol vary of course. At the other end of the room was Ransom Turei, perhaps the second wealthiest man on Ketar V, though he was sure to attain the prime position before the year was out. He was the owner of the Torutaimana Group, a conglomerate of banks, trading groups, light and heavy industries and even a notable entertainment concern. But despite the... impressive introduction he had lavished on Tahlin, this was not a social call. Located in one of those many holding companies, divisions and myriad subsidiaries was the Chokonu corporation, which manufactured bio-neural gel-packs. Civilian Grade though they were, they were rated for Starfleet use and Tahlin needed them, only there had been... complications in securing his request for the parts. Turei: :: Pressing his lips into a bemused smile.:: Quite... He looked Tahlin up and down for a moment, sizing up his counterpart like he would in any business negotiation or so Tahlin assumed, he had the unnerving feeling that Mr. Turei knew a great deal more about him than was typically possible, or appropriate. Alse: I thank you for taking the time to see me Mr. Turei, though I admit I was surprise that... :: Tahlin walked closer to the man as he rounded his desk before he put a silencing hand up.:: Turei: You've been busy Ensign Alse, and it's not everyday we get a request from Starfleet to supply them. You're bound to make a similar request at some point in the future and with the recent unpleasantness involving your people :: He made a tsking noise.:: I thought we should meet in person. :: He took a seat but did not gesture for Tahlin to take one.:: Alse: Well, I'm flattered by such personal interest in our supply matters. Turei leaned back in his chair and tented his hands as he lifted his feet to rest on the top of his desk. Turei: Don't be. :: He said curtly but with a smile.:: Tahlin stood there for a moment, a smile turning on his own face, unable to come up with a response to the man's attitude. Alse: I don't mean to presume or offend... Turei: Let me be straight with you. :: He cut off Tahlin once again, this time without his dismissive hand raising.:: I don't like Starfleet. I think you're a bunch of overactive priers despite you're policy of 'non-interference'. That was hardly an uncommon attitude, especially here in the Shoals, one Tahlin had braced himself for, he just hadn't expected to come up against it being displayed so brazenly in the civilized, sanitized halls of a corporate office. Turei: You play at being explorers, peacekeepers, humanitarians. the military and yet you fail at being all of them, and the rest of us have to make up for your mistakes and the gaps in your... interests. Tahlin merely pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows, trying to seem intrigued or at the very least bemused at the man's pontificating he would no doubt need to suffer through. Turei: It's why we don't take military contracts, though of course you're just asking for a single shipment of supplies. Bio-neural gel packs, something you can't replicate and yet are essential to the operations of your starship's systems, part of me wonders what happens when a starship runs out but the Federation has a reputation for technical prowess, it's probably nothing but a minor inconvenience to you. Still I'm at a loss as to why I should break my principles and supply you with these gel packs when one stop at one of your Starbases could clear everything up. Tahlin moved to speak but Turei cut him off again. He seemed intent on this being a monologue, not a conversation. Turei: Right, right we're isolated out here and I'm guessing you don't have time to drudge back and forth across our little region of space, especially when the supplies you need happen to be here already. Solution seems obvious doesn't it? Only instead of just fulfilling your request and sending you on to whatever gaseous anomaly or kittens-stuck-in-trees your Command deems more pressing you're dragged half-way across the planet to meet with me. :: He pulled his hands apart and tilted his head back.:: Now that you're here though I'm still forced to ask the question, why should I help you? Tahlin knew better than to try and formulate a response and Turei smirked. Turei: Austerity, such a refreshing emotion here on Ketar V. :: Leaning back in his chair, making a show of searching his mind.:: Aguda Township, Aixa Autonomous Banner that's on Maravel right? You know how to kow-tow? The pause was longer than before but Tahlin still wasn't going to take the bait and try to answer. Turei: Seems a little medieval if you ask me. // Oh he likes the sound of his own voice, Mr. Turei, though I don't suppose you get to where he is without the slightest bit of megalomania. It was interesting, growing up on Cardassia, living among a people who love to talk and being from a race of listeners. You tend to learn a lot, you learn that there's no such thing as idle conversation. Not that my encounter with Mr. Turei was a conversation but as much as he seemed to know about me he seemed to forget that El-Aurians are a race of listeners and whatever he was trying to subject me to by his sermon was nothing I wasn't equipped to deal with. While I entered the meeting at a supreme disadvantage, just by hearing him talk I was able to level the field, learn more about him than what he was so freely offering to me. Turei: Well you've been a good enough sport and It's getting late so why don't you and I make a deal yeah? I'll give you your bio-neural gel packs, call it generosity or whatever you like, for me it's just a tax credit. Tahlin merely nodded and smiled in appreciation. Turei: Practice, practice, can't imagine what discipline silence takes. :: He smiled and pulled his feet down from his desk.:: You're gel packs should be awaiting transport to your ship Ensign Alse, why don't you go see to it. Tahlin bowed from the neck in both agreement and deference to Mr. Turei's largess, briskly turning on his heel to walk to the end of the room and be done with this encounter. Turei: Oh Ensign! Tahlin stopped but did not turn around. Turei: Make sure you've ordered enough yeah? They might not be in stock next time you ask. Tahlin merely exhaled and walked through the office doors, letting his footfalls clamor against the floor as he made his way towards the lift. He would be happy to not see anything or anyone in this building ever again, but that left the question of where he was going to get supplies the next time. // On Ketar V the thing that seems to drive people, strange as it may sound seems to be their complacency, their apathy, their need to have things exactly as they are or as they were. It's not nostalgia for the past exactly it's like nostalgia for the present, only no one seems to see it exactly how it is. The planet has fallen behind the other colonies, social problems abound and yet everyone seems placated. On Meridian there was a reason for this: prosperity elsewise. On Ketar V there is none of that and yet there is an impetus for things to remain exactly how they were or are and everything that doesn't figure into that image of the way things are is ignored. It's a curious place, and not one I'm keen to see again for a good long while. END Ensign Tahlin Alse Operations Officer USS Veritas Writer ID: C239305TA0
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.