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  1. ((Starbase 118 - CR Center 3)) (( A few days after returning to base)) ::T’kar was a reasonable man. It was part of what had led to him being given the role he had - Crisis Response required one to be cool headed and efficient in the direst of circumstances as well as able to handle people who were panicked, injured, or otherwise compromised. He was not a councillor, however, and he reflected somewhat glumly on this fact as he looked at the boy in front of him. The Orion incident was some weeks ago now. The kidnapped crew had been returned safely, the ship impounded and searched top to bottom, and any contraband confiscated. That’d included the slaves found aboard. For the most part the slaves had been cooperative. Most were simply scared and relieved to be saved. Others were quiet and unsure of themselves, as if waiting for the Orions to return for them the moment they grasped at hope. This one, however, as different. They’d had to strap him to the exam table. He’d attacked the officers who found him on board and even when he was quiet, his yellow eyes watched them all, waiting. One of T’Kar’s colleagues had described the boy like an abused dog, attacking out of fear. The boy was watching him silently as T’Kar tapped his commbadge. His reasonable, cool approach seemed useless. The boy barely understood basic, much less logic. T’Kar: =/\= Ensign Kasun? I would like to speak to you in CR Center 3, if your schedule allows. =/\= Kasun: =/\= I can be there in a few minutes. =/\= T’Kar: =/\= Understood. I will see you shortly. =/\= ((Time Jump)) :: Ishani hurried to Center 3. If T’Kar was calling her it was most likely about the now former Orion slaves they had rescued a few months ago with their crewmates. She had assigned T’Kar to head up their recovery. Quinn and Vaeden were both great with traumatized people, but given how deep the the wounds ran in in this case she felt it was best to have someone with more specialized knowledge coordinating things. :: Kasun: :: Arriving promptly at her destination she nodded towards T’Kar. :: Ensign T’Kar, you wished to speak to me? T’Kar: Yes, sir. I’m afraid one of the slaves recovered from the Orions is proving...difficult. ::The Vulcan looked perturbed for a moment. Frustration was a universal emotion, despite the teachings he followed.:: My techniques are not effective. Kasun: :: Ishani raised an eyebrow in surprise. :: Really? ::pause:: Where is he? T’Kar: He’s over here. ::The Vulcan led her to the Center’s medbay. The boy that lay strapped to the table was a sight - small and covered in fur, he looked somewhat like a more humanoid Caitian. His claws were long and sharp but disproportionate to his small hands, the claws on his feet the same. A cat’s tail thrashed angrily as he tugged at the restraints. When he saw them enter he turned his head, revealing big yellow cat eyes and large fanged teeth. His fur was black and brown, and a large Orion brand had been burned onto his face. He made a sound, a sort of sharp hiss, but stopped struggling and watched them cautiously.:: T’Kar: They found him under a bed in the personnel quarters. He’s.. ::It was odd to see a Vulcan trail off, but T’Kar did as he considered his description.:: Difficult. We’ve been unable to convince him we don’t mean to harm him. We tried putting him with his fellows, but the result was much the same. :: Ishani frowned as she analyzed the boy’s behavior. Wary, untrusting, hyper alert, and more than a bit animalistic. Whether it was because of or merely enhanced by his catish features she wasn’t certain, but he did bring to mind her trip to an animal shelter many years ago to adopt a pair of cats. The facilities had been more than adequate, the employees clearly cared deeply for their charges, but some of the animals had clearly seen hell. Wary and untrusting, just like the boy in front of her now. :: Kasun: I see. T’Kar: I admit I am unsure how to proceed. Kasun: Does he have a name? T’Kar: He answers to Sebok. Kasun: :: She glanced up at T’Kar and then back at the boy. :: Sebok. :: Sebok watched her like a hawk as she approached, bearing his teeth when she got to the bedside. Up close he was quite small, his short form wiry and lean. Muscle was stretched over his bones with little to no flesh between. His age was hard to determine. He had both the features of an adult and a child, and his cat like features didn’t match the obvious guess of Caitian.:: Kasun: Hello, Sebok. I’m Ishani. ::He didn’t respond, but kept his eyes locked on her.:: Kasun: How are you feeling? Sebok: ::He laughed dryly and spoke in Orion, his tone clipped and a bit raspy.:: Let me up from this table and we’ll find out, n’wah. ::He didn’t seem to expect she could understand him.:: Kasun: :: She frowned down at the boy. Ishani didn’t know what that last word meant but she could tell just by his tone alone that it was both very rude and probably a threat. :: I don’t think so. ::Sebok’s tail thrashed in frustration again. Now that there were two officers looking down at him, his gaze shot back and forth, unsure which of them he should be keeping his eye on. He chose Ishani.:: Sebok: Unstrap my hand and I’ll claw his eyes out. Kasun: oO Okay that one was definitely a threat. Oo :: Eyes narrowed, Ishani reached out and thumped him lightly on the top of the head with the side of her hand. :: We don’t say those things here. :: Ordinarily Ishani wouldn't stoop to violence with a patient unasked, though some of her previous clients had required it both emotionally and culturally in order to move on. But this kid was clearly used to the language of violence, it showed on his body and in his reactions, and words were not going to be enough. The boy looked almost comically surprised at that, the wind completely knocked out of his sails. T’Kar looked at Ishani in shock, but when Sebok sucked his breath in and got it back, he looked at her with a renewed sort of interest. Caution flickered on his face.:: T’Kar: Sir, what was - Kasun: Listen kid, the only way to get out of those restraints is to behave. ::Sebok took that moment to twap Ishani across the face with his tail. It wasn’t the least bit painful, but it was the only limb that could reach her.:: Kasun: :: She sneezed and grabbed his tail. :: You are not helping your case kid. Sebok: ::He laughed and coughed at the same time, looking at the ceiling.:: So the Federation women aren’t so different after all. ::His gaze settled on her again, calmer now. He sized her up.:: What exactly is it you want, you n’wah? Kasun: :: She watch him carefully for a moment before answering. :: We want to help you. To give you a better life than being a slave. Sebok: I bet! I know you Federation, always thinking you know best. Think your little hug circle’s beyond things like slavery and murder, do you? That what you have to offer? A better life? ::He spat and hit T’Kar on the leg.:: Sebok: Where y’gonna put me? You gonna get me a job? Train me to fly a garbage scow for latium shavings and then pat your backs about what good work you do? ::He sneered.:: You lot haven’t experienced a bad day in your lives. Kasun: :: Ishani closed her eyes and flashed back to being captured by Khante, to the floating frozen corpses of the Avalon’s crew, to the scorch mark where Dovak had been not a moment before whole and healthy. She opened them and stared straight into Sebok’s eyes. :: You’re wrong about that. Sebok: Really? ::He leaned forward as much as he could.:: You ever killed someone, missus? Ever killed someone ‘cause it was you or him? Ever licked the blood off of you ‘cause it was all you were going to eat that day? ::He slumped back to the table.:: Sebok: You don’t know where or what I’ve been. You don’t know shi- Kasun: Do you want to go back to being a slave? :: Her tone was cold and sharp. Sebok wanted a reaction and she would give him one, though it probably wasn’t the one he wanted. :: Do you want to go back to having no food, to being beaten, to kill others for your own survival? Because despite your tough guy act, I doubt you do. ::He watched her in silence. T’Kar looked between the two.:: T’Kar: Ensign, perhaps we should sed- Sebok: Shut up, you point-eared git. ::T’Kar didn’t speak Orion, but the boy’s tone made whatever he’d said clear enough.:: You, woman. Is she dead? Kasun: Who? Sebok: Khante! Is she dead? Kasun: Yes. Sebok: ::He slumped suddenly, not bothering to hide relief - and trepidation. He didn’t seem to know what to make of this news.:: I hope she suffered. I hope she bled. Kasun: :: dryly :: Oh that she did. oO Commander Falcon certainly made sure of that. Oo Ensign Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0 & PNPC Sebok Simmed by Lieutenant JG Taelon Science Officer Starbase 118 OPs O239303T10
  2. (( Main Shuttlebay 2 )) ::Mirra made her way back to the away team, noticing that Ishani seemed to be holding her own with some evasive maneuvers as a medic was trying diligently to get her to lay down for transport.:: Ezo: ::gently:: Ishani..? You're going to have to let us clear you for duty... Kasun: :: She stopped and turned to face Mirra which allowed the medic to grab her wrists. :: I’m fine. :: Ishani’s words were said carefully and without slurring for once, but her eyes were dilated and she was still struggling to keep her balance. :: Ezo: And I absolutely believe you...but you've still got to let us check you out... Kasun: No you don’t. :: She huffed and tried to pull her arm out of the other medic’s grip, which nearly sent her toppling sideways. This time at least, she caught herself using the poor medic as a railing. :: ::Cradling her face in her palm for a moment, Mirra would never cease to be amazed at the absolute stubbornness of Starfleet officers. Glancing around, she realized that Ishani had a distinct height advantage over her, and if she attempted to escort her to Sickbay, they'd topple over. If the gurney was out...and Tyler had already left..there was only one last option.:: Ezo: ::tapping her commbadge:: =/\= Ezo to Lt. Kro Kro: =/\= Lt. Kro here. Ezo: =/\= I need you in Shuttlebay 2 to assist getting more officers to Sickbay. Kro: =/\= You can count on us, Doctor. We will see you shortly. Ezo:=/\= Great. See you soon, Ezo out. =/\= Kasun: Crow? ::She blinked blearily at Mirra. Her thoughts were so fuzzy. :: Why are you calling a bird? Ezo: ::shaking her head:: Not a bird, a Marine. A very big Marine... Kasun: Oh. Ezo: ::smirking:: Yeah, "Oh". Go ahead and tell him that you're just fine.... (( Time Jump)) ::Ishani had since stopped fighting against Mirra and was now focusing all her energy on staying upright. It had been a rather unsuccessful endeavor, several times Mirra had needed to grab her arm to steady her. The wonderful drugs one of the medics had actually managed to get into her had finally kicked in, rendering her once horrendous, dizzying headache a mere footnote in this whole affair. She was no longer as confused as she had been earlier, but her thinking was still somewhat disorganized and her normal filter of professionalism was completely and utterly gone. :: Kasun: :: She stared openly at the very massive marine headed towards them. :: That’s a lot of beefcake. ::Mirra nearly drew blood with how hard her teeth clamped down on her cheek to keep the laughter in check. Yes, Lt. Kro was a rather large, muscly Marine, but she was a professional. She would.not.giggle...in public at least.:: Kro: Reporting as requested, Doctor. Ezo:Ensign Kasun has declined to be wheeled to Sickbay via gurney, but her concussion renders her ability to walk a bit...wobbly. Would you mind escorting her for observation please? ::Kro looked at her and tried to look warm and comforting. Ishani merely smiled widely in return. :: Kro: It would be my pleasure. We will have you to Sickbay in no time Ensign. How well can you stand? Kasun: :: Still smiling widely. :: Stand? Ezo: ::grumbling:: And therein lies our problem Liuetenant... Kro: Oh I see....::With a slight grimace of worry:: I think you had better let me handle the walking.... Kasun: Uh huh. :: She nodded eagerly. :: I bet you walk well. ::Mirra didn't bother to check the grin that broke across her face as she locked her eyes with the overly qualified Lt. Kro being roped into carrying duty. She shrugged her shoulders ad raised an eyebrow as if to say, "Head injuries, am I right?" and watched with no small amount of amusement as the large Marine scooped up Ishani as if she was a small child. She waved them off as they made their way to the exit.:: ::Without hesitation, the Tandaran ducked under Ishani’s arm and scooped her up without effort. He gave a nod to the Doctor and promptly made for the exit.:: Kasun: :: Ishani was enjoying herself immensely despite her disorientation. It had been ages since she had last been carried around like this by someone this good looking, and she was going to take full advantage of the opportunity. .:: Dun worry about hurrying. Dr. Ezo’s being fussy. Kro: ::A warm smile:: Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast. Kasun: Yeah. :: She nodded, not really understanding him. :: You’re big. :: She patted his chest. :: And hard. :: Pause :: Your candle must be huge. Kro: ::Looking perplexed.:: I'm...not sure I follow your meaning. Kasun: You’re big. :: She tried to gesture but only managed to smack Kro in the upper chest. :: You must be big like all over. ::Before he could reply, the Captain's voice echoed ominously through the corridor.:: Taybrim: =/\= Captain to all crew; evacuate decks ten through nineteen. I want all crew under the protection of the primary hull. Repeat, evacuate the shuttlebay, docking controls and secondary engineering areas.=/\= Kro: On second thought, I think running fast might be the wiser choice. Hold on! ::Holding her closer, the Tandaran sprinted for all he was worth. :: Kasun: Yeah. :: She sighed and leaned into his chest. :: Blowing up is bad. Who would take my cats? :: She slid her arms around his neck. For better stability of course. :: Kro: Nothing you will have to worry about. ::The Ensign's arms wrapping more tightly around him, he spared her a glance of concern as the pair rounded a corner. Not that he minded...:: Kro: Are you holding on alright Ensign? Kasun: ::She idly waved off his concern and slid her arm back around his neck. :: Yep I’m fine. :: She snuggled closer. :: Just fine. ::She nuzzled her face into his chest. :: Mmmmm. Kro: Worry not, your hardship is nearly at an end. :: Ishani looked up from Kro’s very nice chest (he looked very fetching in green) and spotted the entrance Albion’s sick bay looming with several medics hovering around the door looking at them. Mirra had no doubt commed ahead to warn her underlings of their incoming arrival. She pouted at the medics then sighed in disappointment.:: Kasun: :: Muttering. :: Fun ruiners. :: She batted her eyelashes and lowered her voice. :: Do you think they’ll let you tuck me in? ::Kro admitted a laugh as he located an empty bio bed and marched toward it, setting Kasun gently down. He caught a few glances from those passing, apparently laughter was somewhat out of place today.:: Kro: ::Grinning:: As you wish. Ensign Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0
  3. ((Bridge - USS Albion)) ::Power flickered back to the computer console with an electronic groan. Like the battered crew of the Albion, the computer systems were equally unwilling to respond. Fortunately this was a low power profile program; flashing up as a simple text message on the screen. Sal took a step back, standing side by side with Antero and Theo. The three of them together; ready to do the thing a Starfleet captain hopes to never have to do. He glanced at both of them, gave a dry swallow and spoke up.:: Taybrim: Computer, this is Captain Sal Taybrim, requesting security access ::The computer beeped a simple acknowledgement:: Taybrim: Computer… ::He paused feeling the breath in his throat choke a little as he uttered the legendary code. It had changed for newer ships, but the Albion was from a bygone era and her final order retained the classic sequence:: Destruct sequence one. Code one, one A. ::The words flashed up on the screen in simple text. Sal looked towards Theo meaningfully. He could feel the emotions welling up from the engineer as he was set to do the thing that was most anathema to an engineer: destroy the ship that he fought so hard to protect.:: :: Putting aside the conflicting feelings swirling around in his mind, Theo spoke in an even tone. :: Whittaker: Computer this is Lieutenant Commander Theo Whittaker, Executive Office. Destruct sequence two. Code one, one A, two B. ::Again the computer flashed the code up as simple stark text.:: ::Eyes on him, Antero swallowed hard and offered the two men a solemn nod. He placed a hand on a nearby console, a small goodbye. The Albion had been good to them, and to say that he had not grown attached to the old girl would be a lie..:: Flynn: ::His voice hollow:: Computer., This is Lieutenant Antero Flynn, Chief Helm Officer. Destruct sequence three. Code one B, two B, three... ::The computer acknowledged immediately as three little words popped up on the display. Destruct Sequence Engaged.:: Computer: ::The voice was faint, and yet it cut through the darkness with a terrible pitch:: Destruct sequence completed and engaged. Awaiting final code for one minute countdown. ::Sal closed his eyes momentarily and spoke with a deep heavy-hearted confidence:: Taybrim: Code zero… zero… zero… destruct… ::One last breath. There was no going back from here:: ...zero. Computer: Destruct sequence is activated. Whittaker: Well…. there we go. :: looking around the darkened bridge…. What was left of it. :: Goodbye, ship. ::Sal moved towards the command chair and put his hand on the back. There was enough time for a few moments of sentiment, before the transporter beam would whisk them away. He looked up for a few long seconds. If he had to destroy a ship, at least she fell saving thousands of lives, preventing war and saving a quadrant. And at least she was sent off by two of the finest officers Sal ever had the pleasure of serving with.:: Taybrim: I will miss the old girl. ::He offered as the computer started a quiet countdown.:: Flynn: ::His voice calm, solemn.:: She was true to the end, wasn’t she? Taybrim: She was. ::He offered a silent nod of agreement. HIs next words were quiet, hoarse:: Good bye, old girl. Whittaker: :: quietly, looking at Flynn and Taybrim :: I’ll see you on the other side. ((Observation port - S’Tarahk)) ::The transporter took them just as the last goodbye was uttered. There were placed by one of the observation ports, looking out as the seconds ticked down and the Albion was consumed in a controlled explosion, turning from charred steel to brilliantly burning gold.:: Taybrim: I’ll recommend to Starfleet that they honor her name. Maybe someday the Albion-A will fly back to StarBase 118. ::He mused, watching her crumble to ashes in the backdrop of the flaming nebula.:: Flynn: The Albion-A ::He smiled softly at the thought.:: As soon as they’re ready to trust us with another one. Whittaker :: wryly :: If they ever trust us. :: he looked to Taybrim, uncertainty clouding his eyes :: What now? ::A curious question - what ship would Starfleet send them, if any? StarBase 118 still had the Aegis, and there were plenty of ships in the sector that could serve if needed. Would they commission another ship to fill the gap?:: Taybrim: ::With a darkened humor:: With our luck we’ll get a freighter… Whittaker: :: Or a garbage scow. Taybrim: I’ll remember that. ::His buoyant humor faltered and he paused for a moment, saying nothing. He lay a hand on his officer’s shoulders - a silent show of support as the massive Klingon cruiser moved off into the black.:: ::Who knew was the future would bring?:: ~*~ A JP by: Lieutenant Antero Flynn Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 Ops C239205AF0 And Lieutenant Commander Theo Whittaker Executive Officer Starbase 118 Operations C239203TW0 And Captain Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer StarBase 118 Ops E239010ST0
  4. ((USS Albion - Deck 18 - Main Shuttlebay 2)) ::Tyler and Mirra had found a moment of respite from what had been a day from hell. They both knew it was fleeting, as the battle was far from over. It always surprised him how just a few minutes with her could undo hours of stress and hardship and "reset" his mental state. Today, more than most, it was a very necessary thing.:: Kelly: I need to get back in the fight...::He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.:: But I promise, as soon as this is over, I'll find you. ::He paused.:: I love you, Mirra. ::He had gone with the more subtle peck on the cheek, not wanting to embarrass her as she went about her chiefly duties, but Mirra had other plans. She pulled him close and brought him into a longer, more passionate kiss. Like always, it sent waves of contentment and positivity radiating throughout his body.:: Ezo: ::releasing him:: I love you too. And you better come find me. Or I'll hunt you down. ::smirking:: Apparently I am quite scary...::grinning:: ::He leaned in conspiratorially, with a smirk.:: Kelly: Oh, yeah? ::He raised an eyebrow.:: I'll take my chances, I don't mind a little necessary roughness. ::She fixed him a with a [...] scowl and shooed him away playfully.:: Ezo: Yeah, yeah. Point taken. Don't you have a bad guy to hunt or something? ::At first her words brought a smile to his face, but gradually his expression hardened. The brief glimmer of happiness and hope had been a welcome respite from the reality of their situation, but they were still in dire straits.:: Kelly: Yeah, I d- ::His comm badge chirped, cutting him off mid-sentence.:: Taelon: =/\= Commander Kelly? =/\= ::He shrugged his shoulders and pointed at his badge in the universal "Sorry, but I've got to take this call" gesture and moved away.:: Kelly: =/\= Go for Kelly.=/\= ::The voice on the other end of the line sounded excited, maybe a little worried.:: Taelon: =/\= This is Ens - Lieutenant Taelon. I understand you’ve just come back but we need your help in the deck 15 weapons control room as soon as possible - can you make it there? =/\= ::He nodded as he spoke, despite the fact that Taleon couldn't see it. He began moving towards the Deck 15 at a jog.:: Kelly: =/\= I'm on my way. ::Beat:: What's going on?=/\= Taelon: =/\= The plan is to rig several torpedoes with a combination of their antimatter load and tri-cobalt and then detonate them at a careful point in the nebula, which should ignite it. But it seems the control teams are over taxed. Can you supervise? I’ve sent the needed schematics to the team on deck 15. ::He paused.:: We don’t have much time, b-but if you’ve any ideas for improvement on the layout, it’d be appreciated… =/\= ::Tyler's eyes went a bit wide at Taleon's explanation. He had gained extensive experience with conventional explosives throughout his career, he had even managed to become certified in Explosive Ordinace Disposal (E.O.D.), but this sounded anything but conventional. What he was describing would be some kind of anti-matter/nuclear fission hybrid explosion, Tyler could only guess at the magnitude but he knew it would be devastating.:: Kelly: =/\= I.. uh.. ::He stammered a little, flustered by the idea of what they were attempting.:: I'll see what I can do.:: ::He began running faster, wanting to get involved as soon as possible.:: Taelon: =/\= Thank you, Commander. The Captain wants this done as fast as possible...if possible…we’re really no longer than 5 minutes til deployment. =/\= ::Tyler's jaw would've dropped it wasn't huffing and puffing a bit as he ran to the control room at full speed. It was clear that Captain Taybrim wanted the Sienov gone, no matter the cost.:: Kelly:=/\= Understood. Kelly out.=/\= ((USS ALBION - DECK 15 - Torpedo Control Room)) ::Tyler had arrived at the control room, just before they closed the final panels on each of the modified torpedoes. Everyone was in a rush, weapons officers shouted status updates back and forth as the technicians tried frantically to calibrate the final settings on the monstrous weapons. He basically only had time to view Taleon's schematics and confirm that the Torpedoes matched what he was looking at. As he was staring down at one of the monstrously destructive devices, he felt a slight chill run down his spine. He wanted Arrhimen dead. Irrefutably, irrevocably, irrecoverably dead. And these torpedoes looked like they would do the job. The trouble was, even if the wounded Albion turned to limp away at best possible speed after launching, there was an uncomfortably high probability they'd take catastrophic damage as well. Images of the Avalon's frozen corpses came to his mind, of Tatash's destroyed fighter, of the destroyed colonies where Klingon civilians, families, children... had all lived. Arrhimen had killed all of them and would go on to kill countless more. He cleared his throat, fortifying his resolve for what might be the final time. He turned to the lead technician.:: Kelly: All clear, Crewman. ::He pointed to the torpedoes.:: Button them up and get them armed and loaded in the tubes. ::The technicians seemed a bit dazed. They began to slowly carefully lift the torpedo onto the rack. They knew what they were doing would have incredibly destructive results and Tyler could see that they were worried. He decided to offer a few choice words of encouragement.:: Kelly: QUICKLY! ::He smacked one of the torpedoes hard on it's casing resulting in a loud clang.:: As long as you built them right, and you better have, they won't go off accidentally! The Captain ordered us to be ready in five minutes and that was 4.5 minutes ago! ::He helped them heft the last torpedo onto the firing rack.:: See, that wasn't that hard. Taybrim: =/\= Kelly are you reading us? We need a good clean shot into the nebula to ignite it. This is all on you and Diego now...=/\=Beyett: =/\= ? ::A solemn look the weapons crewman nearby.:: Kelly: =/\= Understood. ::He pointed to the weapons officer, and motioned for him to get out of his chair, before planting himself in it.:: We're locked and loaded down here, awaiting your command. ::Tyler quickly tapped out the command that opened a full time two-way comm-link with the bridge.Taybrim: ::He felt the need to give one last reminder. His voice was calm, commanding, like a rock one could lean on.:: =/\=Captain to crew. In less than a minute we will ignite the nebula. There is no way we'll outrun the shockwave. We're in the best position to endure it - but I want you all to secure yourselves for impact. Decks 10-19 have thirty seconds to complete evacuation. Make your preparations.=/\= ::A momentary silence fell over the weapons room. They all knew they were on Deck 15, right in the middle of the decks to be evacuated, but they also knew they had a critical job to do. Tyler, understood exactly why those specific decks were being evacuated. They were going to reduce the shields coverage area to just the saucer. With a smaller coverage area, they could substantially increase the power of the shields. That, of course, meant the rest of the ship, including the deathly silent Torpedo control room on Deck 15 would be completely unshielded. It didn't matter. Arrhimen had to be stopped. The non-standard nature of the cobbled together torpedoes meant that someone had to be here to oversee the launch. Tyler kept his eyes on the display in front of him, ready to work his side of the torpedo launch at any second.:: Kelly: You heard the Captain! Get out of here, now! ::Several of the crewman and weapons officers immediately bolted, wasting no time in saving their own skins. The officer who was supposed to be on duty at the moment, an Andorian Lieutenant whose station Tyler was sitting in now, hesitated a moment. Tyler's eyes drifted up to a small holo-frame sitting on top of the console, showing an image of a female Andorian cradling a tiny antennaed baby with a warm smile on her face. The Lieutenant's voice broke the silence.:: Chiron: I'm... on duty..Sir. Protocol says that I cannot leave without relief.... ::Tyler snatched up the picture frame, and handed it back to Chiron. He glanced back momentarily at the Andorian. A look of surprise played across his face.:: Kelly: You're relieved. Go! ::He grumbled, not loud enough for the man to hear as he made his escape.:: Name your next kid after me or something... ::With Chiron gone, he was completely alone. The seconds stretched into hours as Tyler waited for the order to come through from the bridge. As he sat in the deafening silence of the torpedo room, his thoughts turned to his life. All that he had accomplished and all that he had failed. He thought of his mother, of his friends, and most of all about Mirra. He hoped with all of his heart that she was safely in sickbay, and not still in the shuttlebay with Avalon survivors. Suddenly, without warning, Taybrim's voice came over the open comm line.:: Taybrim: Beyett, Kelly: Fire! ::Tyler felt all of his muscles tense as he waited for Beyett to send the launch command.::Beyett:? ::Quickly, his fingers flew over the control panel. Firing, triggering the reloading procedure, firing again.:: Kelly: Confirmed. Firing. ::The machinery behind him thumped. One Away. ::Another thump.:: Two away. ::A final thump:: Three away. ::He watched on the viewscreen as the torpedoes streaked towards the nebula, trailing burning plasma as they went. He had the unshakable feeling that he was living the end of his story, that the massive flash he was about to see would be the closing image before they rolled the credits on his short and interesting life. From somewhere deep within the nebula, the torpedoes ignited one by one. Together the emitted a massive blinding flash that Tyler knew would have instantly blinded him if it wasn't filtered through the monitor he was viewing. As if on cue, the monitor winked out, apparently overloaded by the massive amount of ultraviolet energy that bombarded it.:: Kelly: oO Well, this is it, and I'm not even in uniform. Oo ::He looked down at the EVA suit he had never changed out of after the Avalon expedition. Instantly, he realized what that meant, and he bolted for the nearest replicator. All he needed was a helmet and... He recalled the pattern for his EVA helmet, and had just retrieved it when the Albion began to shake violently. The lights dimmed, then winked out. Red lights tried to come on, but flickered unsteadily as a sad alarm Klaxxon mewled like a dying cat. He managed to get his helmet on his head and locked in place just in time to be unceremoniously thrown across the room. He crashed into one of the walls of the small room, back first, before being thrown the opposite direction and then finally crumpling to the floor like a discarded ragdoll. The emergency lights flickered and then even they were out. Tyler's shoulder felt odd, and judging by the strange way his arm was hanging, it had been dislocated. Lying on the floor, Tyler groaned audibly to himself as he felt a variety of new and exciting pains across his battered body.:: Kelly: Urrrgh....god damn...Risian fly-boy...can't hold her steady for... uggh.... nothing... ::But as beat up as he felt, he wasn't dead. The explosion had come and gone and it seemed as though the Albion was still mostly intact. A wave of relief washed across him, after being so certain that he a was going to die, he couldn't believe that he'd survived. He began to laugh a little, crazily, for no good reason, each chuckle causing his battered (broken?) ribs to hurt. Then he heard something that stopped his laughter in it's tracks.:: COMPUTER: WARP CORE BREACH IMMINENT! ::KLAXXON:: WARP CORE BREACH IMMINENT! ::The sound was coming from somwhere far away, probably from a section of the deck that still had power. Struggling, Tyler got to his feet and began to do his best approximation of a run. He limped as fast as he could, knowing full well that he couldn't outrun a warp core breach. Still, he passed a dead turbolift and entered the maintenance ladder shaft. He climbed as fast as he could up towards the shielded section with his one good arm, but it was too late. He heard the "THUNK" of the warp core being ejected followed by the horrible metal rending sound of a massive section of the Albion's aft being torn away. Tyler hooked an arm through the ladder and turned to see the bulkhead behind him begin to tear away.:: Kelly: Oh shi- ::A tool box hit him in the back, knocking the wind out of him and cutting him off mid-word. He heard the sound of the Albion's oxygen being sucked past him as the tear in the hull got bigger. His grip on the ladder loosened as all manner of debris flew past him, battering him even further on it's way out into the vacuum beyond. He felt his fingers slipping off the ladder as he leaned quickly out of the way of an oncoming console that had been ripped free from the deck beyond. He risked a quick glance at the tear that had become a massive gaping hole in the secondary hull of the Albion. Then he felt his grip fail and shot out into space like a cork out of a wine bottle.:: TBC ======//////======>LtCmdr. Tyler KellySecurity OfficerSb118 OpsO238811CD0
  5. ((Dagorin VI - Underground Bunker)) :: Lazlo watched on the security monitors while Gaixor and Urian climbed out of the bunker and into the surrounding woods. He envied them in a way. Inaction didn't sit well with him, and he wished he could be out there with them, skulking through the trees and stalking their prey. He had eagerly left his office for a chance to get back out in the field, but instead found himself stuck in this backwoods bunker with no stealth suit large enough to fit him and the outside climate too cold for comfort even if he did. He frowned and grumbled to himself, much to the consternation of the nearby staff. Fear began to roll off of them in waves so strong he could nearly taste it, and he realized if he didn't get out of this place soon the underlings that ran it would face the brunt of his frustration. Suddenly his eyes snapped toward a nearby replicator. With a sly grin he approached the device and punched in an order for a warm coat in the largest size available. A few moments and a flash of light later he happily removed a dark green parka. His smile quickly faded, however, when he unfolded it and held it up to his body, finding that it was barely long enough cover his stomach. He tried to put it on but could not get it completely around his broad shoulders. He angrily spun on the nearest technician. :: Lazlo: THIS is the largest size of clothing this thing can make? :: The visible shaken technician stammered his reply. :: Technician: Y-y-yes, sir! Lazlo: Then MAKE IT create something BIGGER! Technician: S-s-sorry, sir! We don't h-h-have the ability to alter the replicator's p-p-programming from here. Lazlo: ::nodding:: I see. :: With a loud growl Lazlo held up the coat with a clawed hand on either side of the collar and tore it in half. The technician looked as if he couldn't decide whether to run or faint. :: Lazlo: Well, that won't help me. :: He managed to calm himself down and realized he needed to take drastic action if he wanted to avoid the paperwork he'd have to fill out for killing everyone in the bunker. He sat at one of the communication consoles and activated the sequence that would bounce his transmission all across the quadrant to prevent it from being traced. Soon he was face-to-face with his secretary. :: Brenda: Orion Syndicate secret lair, how can I...oh, it's you, Mr. Lazlo. :: Lazlo stared at the screen, stunned. :: Lazlo: Secret...Brenda, do you always answer calls like that? ::He squeezed his eyes shut and sighed heavily, waving his hand dismissively.:: Nevermind that. I need you to send me some warm clothing. This blasted place is so cold I'll fall asleep if I go outside. Brenda: ::blinking repeatedly:: Can't you replicate something there? Lazlo: ::angrily:: THEY DON'T ::deep calming breath:: they don't have my size. Brenda ::obviously holding back giggles:: I see, sir. I'll send you something from your closet. Lazlo: Thank you. And make sure the delivery is discrete, Starfleet has people snooping around the base. Brenda: Quiet as a mouse, sir. Anything else, sir? :: Lazlo thought for a moment. :: Lazlo: How is Riley doing? :: Brenda cast a quick glance over her shoulder to the office door. :: Brenda: Riley? He's, uh.... ((Inferna Prime, non-descript administration building)) :: Riley stretched out comfortably on the desktop of the dimly lit overseer's office, his bulbous eyes gazing over the shallow dish of merlot at his companion. The female slug-like creature lifted her feeding orifice from the dark red liquid with a slurp, then flattened her head to the desktop as if embarrassed. Riley's eyestalks sagged a bit and the female perked up, reassured. Pressing his advantage, Riley raised his left eyestalk to its full height while letting the other droop low. The female's stalks shot upward, then she pulled them close to the top of her head and curled up, turning her face away. :: Barry White: Never thought I'd find someone who'd blow my mind, yeah, like youuuuuuuuuu do.... :: Cautiously, the female turned back toward Riley, who waved his stalks slightly from side to side. The female turned away again, but this time not as far. She rotated her eyeballs to watch Riley, curious to see what he'd do next. :: Barry White: And never thought I'd see the day that it could be so truuuuuuuuuuuuue, yeah.... :: Riley confidently swayed his stalks to the left, then dropped them halfway to his head. The female turned to face him again. A splash of pink played across the sides of her gray head and she thrust her eyestalks forward, then slowly drew them back. Riley's eyestalks bobbed vigorously up and down and he inched his body forward, starting the long trip around the dish. :: ((Dagorin VI - Underground Bunker)) Lazlo: ::raising an eye ridge:: Yes? Brenda: ::smiling:: He's doing fine. Lazlo: Well, I'm glad to hear someone is. I'll be waiting for the clothes. :: Lazlo ended the call and turned his attention back to the external cameras in time to see Urian and Gaixor vanish into thin air. The lack of loud pops and viscera made him believe the suits were working as advertised, at least so far. All he could do now was sit and wait. :: MSNPC Lazlo Orion Syndicate Overseer Lieutenant Jerome Milsap Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B C239208JM01
  6. ((USS Albion - Trauma Room 1)) ::Having received the call that haunts the dreams of everyone in teal, Mirra sprinted as soon as the lift doors opened enough for her frame to slip through. She arrived through in Sickbay just moments after the mobile gurney. Stopping outside of the surgical ward, she hastily stripped her lab-coat and briskly walked through the bio-filters, finally to step into the room, arms outstretched. Within moments, she was scrubbed up and mask in place. Time to go. She listened intently while various members of the trauma unit called out numbers and codes. Having read the preliminary report, one would expect to be prepared for the scene in front of her. Blood was everywhere, fresh blood, pouring from a mangled, mass of muscle, bone and scale where his arm had once been. His uniform was being cut away at the same time that frantic actions were being taken to stem the bleed. Mirra fought hard against her emotional instinct that would bring her to her knees. It wasn't time for that, and she would be damned before she'd allow that be the final outcome. Steeling herself, she locked eyes with the Trauma team lead.:: Ezo: ::sharply:: Status report. Trauma Medic: We've got a massive bleed, as you can see. He's flatlined on us twice, we've had to intubate. Shrapnel is fused to his clothes causing removal to be halted. If we're not careful, we're going to strip his scales along with his uniform. Ezo: Understood. Be as careful as you can, but remember, we don't need him pretty, we need him breathing. ::Flatlined. Twice. She refused to dwell on that update any further. It had no room in her headspace, clouding things up and getting in the way of her work. Grasping the readied medical device, Mirra began to scan the arterial perforation caused by the violent loss of limb. She had barely begun the arduous task of repairing the perforation when the alarms blared.:: Nurse: He's going into shock! Ezo: ::glancing up to the readout:: Give me twenty units of blood, find an intact vein and get it flowing. ::Still engrossed in her task of stemming the massive blood flow, Mirra was keeping equal attention to his BPH readings. If they weren't careful, they shock of the tremendous loss of blood was going to take it's toll. She had to stop the bleeding. Nurse: Twenty units pumping, BPH is dropping, reflecting bradycardia. He's loosing more than we can pump in Doc. Ezo: ::gritting her teeth:: Keep it pumping, watch that cardiac monitor, and someone get me subdermal scalpel, now! ::The room was a flurry of hands, and moving bodies. The beeping kept getting slower, erratic, the bleeding wasn't stemming. It seemed his body was pumping out directly what they were desperately pumping in. Her eyes zeroed in on a secondary bleed, hidden by the first. Then another...and yet again, another. The force of which removed his arm had exposed a lot of what should be covered. Layers of scales and muscle were just...gone. Blood poured from deeper inside the ragged wound that was her current advisory.:: Ezo: Give me fifteen more units! Nurse: We're...out ::Her eyes shot up in bewilderment. Out? They can't be out. How could they be out??:: Ezo: HOW are we out? ::She let out a barrage of very unladylike curses before getting a handle on the catastrophic complication.:: Ezo: Get to the replicator, have it working double time. Get me fifty units. Until then, give him twenty CCs of saline. Get something into him before we los- ::The alarm blared. It was happening. He was going into arrest. Calling out the order, everyone backed off instantly as the cardiostimulator descended. They all stood back. Waiting for the flatline to be replaced by steady, even beeps. She'd take uneven, barely noticeable beeps over that blaring constant note. One application. No change. Second application. No frakking change. To her left, she saw a medic glancing at the chronometer above the bed.:: Ezo: DO NOT. We aren't done here. You understand me?? ::The medic jolted in place. It wasn't necessarily a wrong call, but right now? it was the worst call of his career. Mirra lost track of the applications, the angry constant blare of the machine being the only sound. She wasn't giving up. She refused. It may have been just minutes, it felt like hours, but...it happened. One bleep. Silence, then the second. They gave no time to rejoice as they all sprung back into action. Tools in hand, shrapnel being removed, sutures being applied, three more orders of blood, a half a dozen close calls, and a never ceasing team fighting hard against the odds. And somehow...the scales seemed to be tipping in the favor of the scaled Marine. Piles of twisted metal pulled from his body littered the trays beside them, discarded tubing and empty bags that once held the newly replicated blood fell to the floor to be quickly replaced by a full one. Having finally managed to stop the major bleed, Mirra was working to cauterize the minor irrupted vessels in an attempt to get his vitals regulated. Her focus was grabbed by a sudden blare of an alarm.:: Ezo: He's going tachy, talk to me people.. Medic: He's coming around Doc, orders? ::This was great news...just poorly timed. As hard has they fought to bring him back, he was making his arrival too early, and if not careful, they were setting themselves up to lose him all over again. oO Last thing we need his for him to be ripping out tubes and sutures. Or going for a throat with his good hand...Forgive me for this...Oo:: Ezo: Knock him out. ::Order given, in a flash the medic returned with a hypo prepped and ready. It was administered swiftly, and his vitals began to stabilize within moments. While she finalized the last of the repairs to the ruptured blood vessels, and moving on to repairing the little remaining musculature and outer tissue, she reflected briefly on the conversation she would have to have when he awoke. And he was going to be waking up. Gorn and Klingon alike may find honor in a warriors death, but Mirra viewed death more as a professional rival. One, who in this instance, she was damn determined to beat. Finally, they reached stabilization. Final sutures applied, bandages wrapped, IV fluids changed, and vitals confirmed. They were out of critical and coasting along stable. He was moved out of the Trauma room to ICU, to be monitored closely in case the tides would change...But for now? He made it. Even better, when Mirra finally removed the surgical glove and took hold of his hand, she felt him. He was in there. With a brittle smile, gave his hand a firm squeeze.:: Ezo: ::quietly:: There you are... ------------------------------------ Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  7. ((Corridor, Deck 8, USS Darwin-A)) ::Iniko and Iy set off down the corridor, wandering aimlessly. Iniko couldn’t remember the last time jhe had just walked around without a destination in mind. It was not exactly peaceful. Jhe was still agitated and the bright lights and occasional people passing by were irritating and left jhea feeling exposed. Jhe tried to steer jheas mind away from the uncomfortable thoughts.:: Mpeba: We never really got a chance to talk back on Zakdorn, with all the . . . ::jhe shuddered and let that sentence trail off.:: I mean, we worked together, but I don’t know much about you personally. What sort of things do you like to do? Iy: ::switching to a more serious tone:: I don't do a lot for fun, unfortunately. Before I arrived on the Darwin, life was a bit hard. Being a refugee on the run from your own people is a full-time endeavor. ::ne paused, then lightened up:: But, there's lots of fun things to do now! I'm particularly fond of phaser drills. Reading Starfleet regulations? Not as much! How about you? Mpeba: ::jhe let out a huff of laughter:: I guess I’m still finding that out. I liked to run, but that’s . . . well, it’s a long story, but that isn’t happening at the moment. Some reading, fiddling with mechanical things. Those are pretty low key, though. There’s nothing to spend my energy on at the moment. Probably part of why I exploded back there . . . Iy: That's a shame. It's important for everyone to have an outlet. We could always go and shoot targets in the range... ::Iniko wasn’t a big fan of that idea. While jhe could use a phaser for engineering tasks without trouble, shooting targets was just a step closer to shooting living beings, close enough that jhe would break out in cold sweats and jheas hands would shake. It wasn't something jhe could do to relax anymore.:: Mpeba: I guess so. I don't think that would be a very calming exercise for me though. Iy: ::laughing:: I didn't think so, but it didn't hurt to ask. But it's not so bad here, on the Darwin. I mean, we have a nice ship, a good crew, ::non-committally:: a decent captain. ::Iniko wasn’t sure what to make of that statement. Jhe had assumed that the two J’naii would get along, but Iy didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about their captain. Perhaps the situation was more complicated than jhe had thought. Jhe didn’t want to alienate a new friend, but jhe felt jhe had to defend their absent captain. At the same time, jhe tried to keep jheas words measured, not wanting to begin another fight so soon.:: Mpeba: Ne is more than decent. I couldn't imagine a better captain. ::The look jhe gave Iy would not brook disagreement, but ne did not seem inclined to argue. In fact, ne started talking about how Renos and some other person jhe hadn't met had rescued nem from bounty hunters and given nem refuge in the Darwin, leading to nir request for asylum. Iniko couldn't understand how ne could be lukewarm about Renos after such an introduction. But then, on second thought, maybe jhe could understand. Jhe remembered vividly the few months after escaping Til'ahn and taking refuge in the Federation, how even when jhe was theoretically safe jhe still saw a potential Romulan operative in everyone jhe met, coming to take revenge. For Iy, having been hunted down by nir own people, trust must be even more difficult to find. Jhe tried to reassure nem that Captain Renos was trustworthy by recounting a few stories of jheas own about nem. Jhe quickly realized, though, that jhe really didn't have many stories to tell. Jhe hadn't been aboard very long, and while jhe trusted nem wholeheartedly and would gladly defend nem at any cost . . . jhe didn't really have the history with nem to back that up. Jhe pushed the doubt away for the moment, to contemplate later in private.:: ::Iy was beginning to look a little contemplative nemself. Jhe was just about to suggest that maybe they should part ways for the moment when ne stopped outside the arboretum. Iniko hadn't been paying any attention to where they were as they walked, having been so caught up in jheas own thoughts.:: Iy: I apologize for talking so much about Renos. Certainly, though you can see how for someone like me, seeing how ne got to the position ne is in is inspiring. But, enough of that. I'm going to pop in here for a little while, and actually make the rounds I was tasked to do. What are your plans now? ::Iniko hadn't actually given that a thought, but the answer was right in front of jhea.:: Mpeba: The arboretum is actually probably the most calming place on the ship. I should stay here a while and think some things over. Iy: Very well. It was great talking with you. I hope we get more opportunities to do so again in the near future! And no more fights with uppity scientists! ::Ne affixed jhea with a genuine grin, and Iniko couldn't help but smile back. Jhe was grateful that ne had come along before jhe had done something jhe would really regret, and ne had been easy to talk with. There was potential there for a good friendship.:: Mpeba: I'll do my best. Good luck on your rounds! ((Arboretum, Deck 8, USS Darwin-A)) ::Iniko followed nem into the arboretum, but found a secluded corner and sat on the ground, leaning against the trunk of a small tree. Jhe had no intention of mediating or attempting fielding practice today. Jheas mind was overflowing with thoughts and feelings that needed to be sorted through and examined, but jheas main purpose here was simply to become calmer. Jhe leaned jheas head back and watched the leaves of the tree rustle in the light artificial wind. It wasn’t quite like home, just reminiscent of it enough to create a sense of peace. There were no voices here, no people bustling about and possibly giving jhea disappointed looks. It was the ideal place to relax.:: ::And still . . . something niggled at jheas conscience, that had been bugging jhea since that conversation. Why had jhe felt such immediate loyalty to Renos? Jhe had read nir Starfleet bio of course, before joining, but it had been pretty standard for a Starfleet captain. And yet jhe had immediately felt curiosity and even hero worship, which had solidified into a sense of loyalty and an odd attachment upon meeting nem. Jhe knew the explanation for it, of course, it just felt a little shallow.:: ::Jhe had always looked for a mentor growing up. So much was expected of a young lom, especially after making first contact, when jheas mother had retreated into one of the most conservative sects of Laudean religion, trying to shield her children from alien influences. With that shift, the pressures on Iniko to act as an ideal lomale increased, but Chioma had not had the personal experiences to be able to mentor jhea. She had tried, once, to find a better mentor for jhea.:: ((Flashback, 11 Years Ago)) ::Iniko's mother had that worried look on her face again. She was talking with a friend, and as usual they had been discussing the aliens and their bad influences, how they were destroying Laudean culture and values. Iniko always felt nervous when they talked like that. Jhe wasn't sure what sort of things the aliens had planned for them, but jheas mother always made it sound like they were lawless pillagers, out to take every resource of their world and steal all the lomales to breed their own race of fielders. Jheas mother usually seemed most worried about Iniko’s future during those discussions. She was off the comm now, and came over to talk to Iniko.:: C. Mpeba: Iniko, come with me. I have someone you need to meet. ::Iniko nodded and followed along, trying to be properly demure. Chioma sat jhea down on the seat next to her and started another call. It took a few moments to be picked up, but when the picture appeared it was of a serene and elaborate garden, full of carefully pruned trees, delicate flowers and exquisite sculptures. The person sitting in the middle of all of this was a handsome lomale a few years older than Iniko's parents. Jheas hair was piled in an sophisticated knot on jheas head, and jhe wore finely embroidered robes of a shimmery and slightly translucent fabric that showed glimpses of jheas form in the afternoon sunlight. Iniko was entranced. This was what jheas mother kept pushing for, and jhe had never been able to grasp. This person was poise and elegance and sensuality personified. Iniko didn't believe jhe could ever achieve such a thing, wasn't entirely sure jhe even wanted to. But it was certainly a beautiful sight.:: Chalor: Hello, how can I -- why, Chioma, isn't it? What a pleasant surprise! C. Mpeba: Sawat, it's so good to see you again! Chalor: It is always a good day to see you, my dear. How have you been? It's been far too long. ::The older lomale’s drawl was hypnotizing, but jheas words made Iniko blush. Jhe was finally starting to grasp who this person was, and the images that conjured up were not something jhe wanted to contemplate.:: C. Mpeba: It has been too long. So much has happened recently. But that isn't what I called you about. I wanted you to meet our child, Iniko. ::The lomale on the screen flinched, momentarily losing jheas composure. A moment later jhe had it back, but the smile jhe offered Iniko was weak and brief.:: Chalor: Hello, child. Would you mind running in the other room for a moment? I need to speak privately with your mother. ::Iniko wasn't sure what to make of that reaction, but given jheas mother's crumpled frown, it hadn't been what she had been hoping for. Iniko felt guilty, wondering if jhe had done something wrong, or if it was the lomale on the call who had disappointed her. Chioma turned to Iniko, though, and gave jhea a small nod in the direction of the open doorway. Iniko stood and left the room as quietly as jhe could, but stopped as soon as jhe turned into the hall. Jhe leaned against the doorframe, just out of sight.:: Chalor: Chioma, what were you thinking? I thought we made this clear in our agreement! C. Mpeba: But Iniko is your only lomale child! I checked the coven records! I thought jhe would mean something to you, especially now that jhe is approaching the age of apprenticeship! Chalor: ::sternly:: I don't know how to make this any more clear. You and Akinade I would be happy to see again, anytime. You two have always been wonderful fun. But the . . . results of those encounters? I want nothing to do with them, regardless of their age. That was made clear from the very beginning. They are yours, not mine, not in any sense. This child is not my responsibility, and I am entitled to no part of jheas life, nor do I want any. C. Mpeba: But, surely if you just spoke to jhea for a moment. Chalor: Do not press this, Chioma. It is a thoroughly inappropriate request. I will not be a part of this conversation. Goodbye. ::Iniko felt jheas throat close up. Jhe stifled jheas anger as best jhe could, but a little squeal of indignation escaped. What jhe was saying was perfectly reasonable, of course. Iniko was well versed in the basic tenets of lomale duties, even if jhe struggled with the more complicated aspects, and this was about as basic as they got. Lomales had no rights or responsibilities regarding their offspring, except in extreme circumstances. Chioma opting to pursue this in opposition to the decrees of the Fielding League she respected so much spoke volumes about her worry for Iniko's future. But it had been for nought, and now they were both humiliated.:: ((End Flashback)) ::That rejection had stung. Later there had been other lomale teachers, trying to coax jhea down the right path, but those relationships had always ended in disaster, as one after the other finally despaired of teaching Iniko the arts of seduction.:: ::Years later, when jhe had finally arrived in the Federation and there were no more behavioral expectations laid upon jhea, jhe had thought things would be easier. They were, actually, much easier. But nonbinary gendered species were few and far between even in the diverse halls of Starfleet Academy. There wasn't even a standard set of pronouns for other-gendered persons in Federation Standard. Jhe had ended up borrowing the lomale pronouns from the Laudean language, even though they sounded odd when speaking a different language. At least they identified jhea correctly. But that had been just one example of the many small hurdles jhe had had to overcome as a lomale in Federation Space, and later in Starfleet. When jhe had seen Renos would be jheas captain, there had been a hope that maybe here, finally, was someone who would understand, who might be able to help jhea navigate the complexities of a binary society. They hadn't discussed it yet, and Iniko had later learned that the Captain's relationship with gender was even more complicated than jheas own. Still, the idea remained, that somehow jhe had finally found someone jhe could emulate. Jhe didn't know if it was a good reason. Jhe didn't even know if it was a valid reason. In fact it was a rather frustratingly vague reason, but jhe remained stubbornly attached to the idea.:: ::Jhe sighed and thunked jheas head back against the tree trunk a couple times, frustrated with jheas own thought process. Jhe was more agitated than ever. Silence was clearly not the calming influence jhe had been hoping for. Jhe got up and brushed jheaself off. Maybe there were still some people in Natural Selections.:: Lieutenant JG Mpeba - Engineering Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A Image Collective D239205IM0
  8. ((USS Darwin Deck 8 Ensign Cooks quarter)) ::With no one in the room but Graeme he instantly stripped out of his uniform. Looking in the mirror his arms and legs were covered in scratches. Making a mental note to have Dr Tarna check him over as well as the rest of the away team. Graeme's PADD bleeps. Checking out the message he opens it.:: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To: Crew Manifest, Uss Darwin From: Lt. J.G. Lyldra The marital group of Lyldra, Hars Vlin, and Brell, are happy to announce the birth of twins! We wish to invite you to the Naming Ceremony which is to occur in Natural Selections aboard the USS Darwin at DS6 in three days time. This is an important event for us and for our newborns and hope you will be able to attend. The Naming Ceremony is our twins introduction to the world and is a celebration of family and new life. The event lasts all day though the naming itself will not occur until 18:00, There will be food, music and dancing, baby gifts are welcome but not required. We hope you will have the time to stop in and say hello, enjoy some Bolian cuisine and entertainment. -Lyldra ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ::Placing down his PADD. This will be his first experience at seeing a naming ceremony. Stepping into the shower. Cook: Computer..Activate sonic shower. ::The computer chimes and the shower starts. The pleasure of a shower was sorely needed. Stepping from the shower and placing some comfortable bottoms climbing into his bunk. oO I wander what names they will pick? Graeme is a good name! Oo Chuckling to himself as his head hits the pillow oO I need to get them a gift. Oo smiling away one last thought pops into Graeme's head. oO I wonder how Lyna is? Oo:: ((Graeme's dream)) ::The jungle of Brut III was hot. Sweat poured down Graeme's brow and back. Looking around himself Graeme was standing alone in a clearing. But it wasn't a natural clearing, smoke and debris was strewn all over the place. With his Tricorder in one hand and a phaser in the other Graeme looked at his Tricorder something was moving. Fast. It seemed to be all around him. Lifting his phaser it was set to KILL. But Graeme never set the phaser. Why was it set to kill? A loud shriek surrounded him. Standing physically shaking with his phaser arm outstretched, he couldn't shake the nerves.:: ::A burst of blackness shot out from around him and engulfed him. What was it? The shrieking got louder! It was like Graeme was trapped in the eye of a tornado. But the eye was slowly getting faster and engulfing him. With a scream Graeme drops his phaser and Tricorder. They hit the floor with a thud. Dropping to his knees with his head in his hands in agonising pain. Then it stopped. The pain was gone. The swirling shrieking darkness had gone. Where was he? What was he doing there?:: ::Graeme slowly Lifted his head out of his hands and in front of him stood a Klingon. The hulking brute male stood there not moving. Not saying a word. The Klingon lifted his Bat'leth and with a blood curdling roar charged at Graeme.:: Cook: ::Screaming:: NOO! ::In a panic Graeme reached for the phaser. Still on his knees the Klingon swung at Graeme's head. His eyes shut tight and with a scream Graeme fired at the Klingon. Opening his eyes the Klingon was vaporised into a cloud of ash. Slowly getting onto on knee and then standing up. The sun hid behind the canopy. It was getting dark again but not from the setting sun.:: ::It started again. The swirling, shrieking darkness consumed Graeme faster this time in almost an instant! As quick as the darkness came it was gone. Back on his knees with his head in his hands but this time there was no pain.:: ::Slowly looking up Lyna Namid was on her knees slumped forward she had a huge thick shackle around her neck. Her wrists had smaller shackles which they were all attached by a thick heavy chain. Her flesh around them clearly indicated the shackles were on too tight. The cuts and blood was obvious that Lyna had tried to get out of them. The shackles looked too heavy for her. Lyna lifted her head her fair beautiful flesh was gone, her face was black and blue and covered in blood. Her lips were moving but no words were coming out.:: Cook: Lyna....... ::Lyna looked away from Graeme.:: ::Standing up picking up his phaser and Tricorder. Slowly moving to wards her. He stopped. A large black swirling object appeared next to Lyna, her eyes closed. The black object started to take a shape. It was a humanoid. It was Turrisi.:: ::Standing over Lyna. Turrisi's mouth was moving but Graeme had no idea what he was saying.:: Cook: I know what you are!....... A Sicarian! ::Standing what looked like Turrisi was laughing. He lifted a hand and put it in his mouth. He pulled hard and revealed a tooth. Still laughing he kicked Lyna hard and with an agonising silent yelp, fell to the floor. Lyna tried to pick herself up but Turrisi placed a foot on her shoulder and pushed her back down. Raising his phaser at Turrisi.:: Cook: Step away from her ::Tears streamed from his eyes.:: ::Anger coursed through his body. Graeme. Started to scream but no sound came out. Turrisi was laughing hard still pinning Lyna down. It looked like he pushed a button. In the clearing they were surrounded. Long transmitters were dotted around the clearing. They seemed to kick in with Turrisi still laughing. Graeme standing up felt like he was being pushed to the ground. His muscles burned with the strain. His phaser arm struggling to stay raised with a huge scream Graeme fired a shot and it hit a transmitter. The pressure that was forcing Graeme down ceased. Shaking with the after effects. Graeme stepped forward. Turrisi steps off of Lyna and walks towards Graeme. Looking at Lyna the black swirling storm swooped around Lyna. It engulfed her and she was gone. Walking towards Graeme, Turrisi still laughing stops and stretches out his arms lifting his head laughing. It looked as of he was away to embrace something. The black swirl came from nowhere and engulfed him. Still laughing he quickly looks at Graeme and throws something at Graeme. Diving into a front slide, getting covered in mud his arm was outstretched to catch what ever was thrown.:: ::Standing up Graeme looks in his had it was the Sicarian's tooth. Confused a panic comes over Graeme's face. The black swirl appeared from nowhere and engulfed Graeme.:: ((End dream.)) ::Waking up covered in sweat. Looking around him he was in his bunk. It was a nightmare. Sitting up, wiping his brow. Graeme finds his feet and stands up. Moving to the mirror he notices something he has a rash next to some of the cuts. Was it a toxin in his system? From an exotic plant? Throwing on some clothes graeme rushes to sickbay.:: TBC Ensign Cook - Medical Officer - USS Darwin NCC-99312-A =/\= D239206GC0
  9. ((Starbase 118 – Personal quarters)) :: Slowly Ceilidh peeled her forehead away from the window port allowing the fog of her breath to dissipate fully before moving over to the small coffee table and picking up the pair of gloves that had become an extension of herself and something she now went everywhere with. Going about her daily life had been challenging at first, but after much work with Counselor Meona, Ceilidh had begun to learn to control what she was willing to pick up empathically and what she could tune out. Gloves also provided a barrier, helping to muffle out what she felt, which was something she was coming to appreciate. Heading out of her quarters and towards the turbo lift, she kept thinking that in 24 hours she would be back on board the USS Columbia with her family. o0 Family....0o The thought brought back a vivid stream of memories to her forethought and she was instantly hungry for pie, specifically, something that resembled apple pie. Her father would always gather all the children to pick the fruit just at the peak of ripeness to be used in a variety of ways, but all the kids knew that their fathers’ pies were what they wanted most, and he knew that as well, choosing to leave the making of the pies to the very end once batches of jams and jelly had been made, or slews of the fruit had been chopped and frozen for future use during the cold months. (Flashback – Many years ago) ((Kateria – Tannis – Home of the Riverviews)) Riverview: Mumma, is he here yet? ::The small brown haired girl asked as she skipped into the family kitchen, her curls swinging in all directions around her face. Her soft brown shoes made a dull scuff sound on the stone floor, kicking tiny pebbles in all directions out from under her feet. The days’ sun was beginning to set, and its streams of brilliant oranges, yellows, reds, and purples peered in through all the windows along the south and west walls, highlighting the freckles on the bridge of her nose and the slight few on her cheeks. Making her way across the large room, she dragged the wooden foot stool over to the sink with the goal of getting herself a glass of cold water like a big girl. The woman sitting at the table put down what she had been reading and shook her head with a smile on her face. Even though the woman had been reading her latest find “A History of Klingon Opera “, she had kept glancing at the young girl as she moved across the room, trying to move a stool that had been carved from an old tree and probably weighed just as much as she did. A man standing close to one of two working kitchen island laughed out loud and put his knife down, making sure to wipe his hands on the nearby towel to remove the excess flour he had stuck in between his fingers. :: Trayton: Not yet my little one, you must be patient. Today is your brothers’ big day at school! ::He wiped his hands on his apron and walked around to where the little girl was stretching as hard as she could to reach one of the drinking glasses from the cupboard. Picking her up in one swift motion, he held her up high enough for her to not only reach a glass for herself, but one for him as well. With glasses in hand, her papa turned on the tap and together they watched the flow of water from the tap into the sink and saw the designs it created in the sink on the few remaining bubbles from the previously washed dishes. As she leaned over the sink, she splashed some of the cool water at him before she filled up their cups. Sitting her down on the counter, together they both enjoyed the refreshing feel of something nice and cold, compared to the late summer heat that was all about them.:: Brielle: It is getting late though Trayton. I was expecting him to done by now and sitting here in the kitchen talking about his experiences today. Trayton: You must also be patient Brielle. ::He smiled with a gentleness that made the small strands of hair now becoming more visible in his hair to look as if they were shining. Helping his youngest down from the counter, Trayton returned to the work he was doing beforehand, preparing the evening pies for when the entire family would be gathered around the table to see how one of the oldest had done that day. :: Trayton: Landon knew this would be a long day for him, and he had hoped to be home for evening meal, but perhaps things needed more time. It all depends on who is with him my love, you know how some examiners need more time than others. :: Brielle couldn’t argue with her husband on that point, having herself proceeded over many examinations, sometimes well beyond the time that had been set aside for the exam to take place within. Still, she had been sure that it shouldn’t have gone on this long. One hour perhaps, two maybe, but three full hours beyond the normal 2 hour allotted time? Ceilidh watched the banter between her parents as they talked about her oldest brother and his school exams. One day, she thought to herself, it will be her taking her exams like a big girl, so that she too could do important adult things. Of course, that was a long way away, and right now all she wanted to do was play hide and seek with Landon before it got too dark outside.:: Ceilidh: Well, I wish he was home now! ::Supper had already been pushed back an hour, and she was starting to feel hungry. Placing her glass on the counter, Ceilidh jumped down from the counter top and dragged the stool over to the window, where she would be able to sit and stare out the window to watch her brother as he walked home. Sitting there, she was able to let her imagination run free and thought of what the birds were singing about, or what poetry the frogs were talking about tonight. It was during one of the conversations with a frog she saw on the other side of the widow, did she see the familiar face of her brother as he walked towards the front door. Moving off her stool as quickly as possible, she ran to the front door and pulled it open as hard as she could and waited to jump up into her brothers’ arms, as she had done so many times before. Instead, he didn’t even seem to notice her, and instead walked with heavy angry footsteps inside and straight into the kitchen. Hoping that her brother had just been lost in his thoughts, Ceilidh reached out and grabbed onto his hand. The moment she grabbed hold of his hand and tried to wrap her fingers around his, thoughts that were angry and hurtful and dark washed over her hand and felt like they were crashing over her arm and into her. With a scream she let go, as if to those around her, she had been hurt, and ran straight to her mother, where she buried her face into her mothers’ shoulder. Brielle, for her part had been in the kitchen, discussing with Trayton the nuances of early Klingon Opera, and who were its original composers, many being those not of high ranking officers, but those who were dying and their final words spoken aloud and captured by someone unknown. It made her question if the accuracy of the stories were even accurate, or was the point that, stories had at least partially remembered, and hence the warriors lived on, if not in battle, but in death? When her daughter screamed, Brielle had stopped the conversation and peered out of the kitchen to see what was going on, only to have her younger child run straight into arms and cry big sobs on her shoulder. Looking up, she noticed the expression her oldest had on his face. Something had happened, but he hadn’t said anything, so what had caused Ceilidh to scream as she had? :: Brielle: What happened? Landon: I don’t want to talk about it. Brielle: Well you better, as you’ve scared your sister to the point she’s in tears ::Looking over, Landon saw Ceilidh crying into their mothers’ shoulder. He reached for, and when his fingers barely touched the top of her head, once again Ceilidh let out a scream of pain, so loud that Landon took a step back in shock. Brielle looked down at her daughter and up to her son and back again, trying to comprehend what had just happened. She had an inkling of what had happened, and glanced over to where Trayton had stopped working on his pies and had a look of concern on his face. They both were wondering the same thing, but didn’t dare speak it out loud, not now with Landon in the room. Gathering Ceilidh up her arms, Brielle took Ceilidh upstairs to her room, leaving her son and husband to discuss what had happened that day. :: (End flashback) ((Starbase 118 – Turbolift 21)) Looking at the gloves as they cover her hands, Ceilidh shook her head and exhaled deeply. It had been many years ago since that earliest memory of the power of touch had taken place, and each day had been a struggle of how to deal with the emotional impact of dealing with such strong feelings. It had taken her mother well over an hour to calm Ceilidh down to the point that her tears stopped. Instead of supper that night, Ceilidh cried herself to sleep with her mother holding her in her arms until at last her head tilted slightly and there were no more tears. Who would have thought that years later, that first real memory of what it meant to be different would still hold such influence over her daily habits. It had been the first of many memories that herself and Dr. Meona had worked through in order to help Ceilidh move on with her life and learn to coexist happily within herself. As the turbo lift opened, a multitude of smells slammed into her nose, letting her know that she was in the right place. Stepping out, she followed the familiar path to where she was supposed to have been now 7 minutes ago. Seeing the face of Dr. Meona, Ceilidh smiled and waved leaving her memory in the past where it belonged and adjusted her gloves as she was still a bit away and was happy to see that their normal location was still available. :: Ensign Ceilidh Riverview Counselor/Diplomatic Officer USS Columbia C239209CR0
  10. (Shuttlebay Exit- USS Atlantis) ::Mitchell sat near the aft edge of the Atlantis’s shuttle bay exit. The only thing between him and the cold vacuum of space was the mag-con field that kept the atmosphere inside when the doors were open. He had the area to himself since the ship only had a skeleton crew aboard, just an in-port watch was aboard and anyone who hadn’t gone on leave.:: oO And I’m probably the only one who made that choice. Oo ::He volunteered to take the in-port watch since he didn’t feel much like celebrating or ruining anyone’s else good time. Plus he could do the whole brooding thing on the ship without affecting much since the in-port watch was mostly caretaker items, such as checking in crew reporting to the ship, or going on leave. And could be done from a console at the airlock just as well as on the bridge.:: oO Plus that white jacket just isn’t me. Oo ::But he had been down here for a couple of hours now, staring out into space, letting his thoughts play out. Long enough to go from standing to sitting with his back and head against the wall. The past two years had seen some significant changes in his life, especially the past few months. Leaving the Discovery for the Shipyard, then her being declared missing and that desperate search. The return of the ship, then the mission on the Odyssey. Then Tyr’s retirement and the decommissioning of the Discovery. and then the reassignment to the Atlantis and the new sector.:: oO Maybe I should stayed gone….not have come back... Maybe I should have be lost with the Discovery went she went missing… Maybe I should just hang it up….Oo ::He shifted position slightly, and got to his feet to stretch his back.:: oO I feel like hitting something, but can’t exactly punch a forcefield. Enough momentum and my fist would go right through this field. Its designed to hold atmosphere in here, but still allow shuttles through, so I could pass through it with enough momentum. It’d probably take a running start, but I could…Oo ::But the concept of simply stepping out into raw space after all his encounters with it just didn’t seem right. It almost seemed like it would be betraying the memories of all those in head, the lost and the departed. :: oO I’ve nearly died at least twice from the effects of being exposed to raw space as part of the consequences of wrecking two fighters and several shuttles. Guess I’ve gotten sloppy or slow over the years. Oo ::As his thoughts turned to all the years he spent flying fighters, there was one memory he still had to face. The memory really. He reached into his pocket and removed a box. Naturally, he thumbed it open to look at the contents.:: oO These were supposed to be the things that held us together. But in the end, they were never used. Oo ::A pair of rings sat inside the box, the first custom fitted for the ring finger on Perin Anders’ left hand, the other for his. They were actually part of a set of three, machined out of pieces from a wrecked fighter. But the third, the engagement ring, was gone now. The last time he’d seen it, it had been on Perin’s hand where he had put it before he left her on the surface of Ba’ku.:: oO I always intended to go back for her…to pick up where we left off when her memories returned. Or to start anew if they didn’t. But that option’s gone now. She’s gone…Oo ::He’d come down here to make peace with himself, but he hadn’t really solved much. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be much good to the ship and crew. Just he hadn’t been for the last three months he’d worked on the Delta Bravo project. Only the loss of the Discovery had drug him out of the funk. Then all the other events happened and he’d ended up right back in this funk.:: oO Guess there’s really only thing left to do…Plus, I know she’d approve of us drifting through the galaxy together. Oo ::He flipped the box closed, brought his arm back and whipped forward in a pitching motion. This is what made a mag-con field different from a standard force field. It would let items in motion with momentum pass through. The box left his hand and passed through the field and out into raw space.:: oO Just like my name sake did in that movie. Space is just my ocean. Oo ::He took a deep breathe and let him mentally struggling subside as he watched the box drift away. A few minutes, the small black box would be lost to sight, and simply be one more piece of cosmic debris drifting through space.:: oO Good bye Perin. Oo ::He closed his eyes to let the moment pass. Then it was done. That was all he could do. Now to return to his duty and get on with his life.:: tbc Commander Rode Mitchell USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  11. ​((Chief Science Officer’s Office, USS Gemini)) :: Rest. Normally that would bring a sense of relief to Alexander. That wasn’t the case this time around. All he had in his head was a sense of dread looming over him, lieutenant Driscoll, and the captain. Scratch that! It hung over the entire ship like a dark storm cloud ready to unleash its massive store of energy via thunderbolts and very heavy rain. If they only had more time they might have been able to formulate a cure, some simple way of saving Vanessa’s life and the Rathosian people. They would return triumphant heroes and be bestowed with medals. :: Alas, reality was a lot more fickle than that. The truth was the mission was an abject failure and through no fault of anyone directly involved they had not stood a chance since the start. Failure had always been inevitable and lieutenant Driscoll was going to pay the ultimate price for it. The only small glimmer of hope, a tiny ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and cloudy night was that the lieutenant’s death might, just might, lead to a potential vaccine. The one caveat was that neither Rathos nor the Gemini had the capability to mass produce such a product. :: :: During this whole thought process since the line to the captain had closed, Alexander had been unable to cease his crying. Over the months since the Gemini had left the fleet yard above his Lunar home he had become quite attached to the yellow shirt that had transferred to his department. He had been impressed with the way she adapted so quickly to her new role and just how much of an asset she had become to the department. Her analytical mind reminded him a lot of his wife Marissa and her dedication to duty had been second to none. Even more so when one considered just how much emotional pain she had suffered following the loss of a loved one. He liked to think that she had become a friend over their short time together, someone he could rely on and confide in when on the long jaunts away from his family home. :: :: He would miss her warm glowing smile, her almost angelic presence and her ability to always see the bright side of a dark, dangerous situation. He really would miss her. It was almost as if her death was ripping out a part of his soul. Something he once thought only the death of his wife, son or parents would be able to do. :: :: Alexander finally stopped ‘leaking water from his eyes’ as his former colleague on Star Base One Eighteen, Pandora, would have put it. He took several large breaths and rubbed his red, fiery eyes before turning his chair and moving to the replicator. Ordering himself and tall jug of water and a glass to decant it too he found himself pausing to consider the ramifications of the option he had placed on the table in front of his CO. His history in Starfleet wasn’t exactly the shining example you would expect from a department head. He was the kind of person to stick it to the man if he felt the situation warranted it. :: :: Hell, all those years ago on the USS Tiger he had walked away from Starfleet after Intelligence had run him and his crew mates through the ringer in a holodeck simulation to ascertain their loyalties to Starfleet, a simulation that had led him to believe that his family were in very real peril. Then, when he returned owing to the Klingon crisis he found himself in a situation on a God forsaken rock somewhere up past the Cardassian border where he illegally initiated a fire fight without orders knowing that if he had not the entirety of the away team, including himself, could have been killed. That decision had led him to where he was today. His CO at the time rather than punishing him gave him command of one of the most advanced science departments in the fleet. He hadn’t looked back since. :: :: There had been many times where he had reason to question his ability to lead. Taking command of the USS Mercury whilst the senior staff went off on a black ops mission to rescue his good friend Eyas Wulfantine’s mother was one example, whilst taking up station on the bridge during the Gemini’s last mission during an intense standoff was another that remained most prominent in his mind. Both times he had felt completely inadequate and had almost collapsed under the pressure. :: :: This however, this was different. Now he really was inadequate, powerless, and there was no person or being in the universe that would be able to calm or encourage him. He was a department head and he was directly responsible for those underneath him. Vanessa was going to die on his watch and there wasn’t a [...]ed thing he could do for her save the suggestion he had just made to his CO. A suggestion he had mulled over in his mind had the ethical and moral argument and decided that in this case the ethics and morals were wrong. By rights, Liam could have had Alexander thrown in the brig. The fact that he hadn’t done this suggested the Commander was seriously considering the option. :: :: Before retiring for the day, Alexander felt it prudent that he leave an encrypted personal log for the records detailing his decisions and his reasoning. If Liam did decide to place his option on the table it could either be used to support his actions or to [...] him to a Starfleet prison. As it stood at the moment, Alexander simply didn’t give a [...]. He would happily face prison time with a clear conscience if Vanessa were to decide to take that route were the option available. :: Richards: Computer, begin recording. :: The computer chirped its acknowledgement of the chief’s command. He cleared his throat, poured himself a glass of water, took a few sips and focused his mind. :: Richards: Chief Science officer’s log, Star Date 239109.19. Our mission to Rathos has been nothing short of an abject failure. Not only have we been unable to find a cure for the deadly pathogen that has brought the Rathosians to the point of extinction, one of my own, Vanessa Driscoll has become infected and now faces a fate I would not wish upon the vilest scum this galaxy has to offer. I fear I have failed as a department head, can’t shake the feeling that I could have done more, explained the risks to her or convinced her not to go. Regardless, the fact remains that Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Driscoll will not be returning from this mission. So far, this information is limited to me, the away team, the captain, the bridge crew present during the message from the surface and Ensign Easterwood. I fear that were the information to be revealed to the rest of the crew, morale would drop to irreparable levels. :: Alexander took a long sip from his glass of water and once again cleared his throat. He thought very carefully about what he was going to say next. :: Richards: Lieutenant Victor Frankenstein has put forward a proposal for a possible Vaccine against the Pathogen which Vanessa has rather graciously consented to being a test bed for. The only problem with this is that the proposed vaccination involves infecting would be recipients with the Malo Lupo virus, a virus that in itself produces a large amount of rather nasty side effects. Unfortunately despite our best efforts we have no other viable solution. :: Another long sip and a deep breath followed. What Alexander said next would cause most in Starfleet to lash out in anger and could very well determine his suitability as a command candidate in the future. :: Richards: In the hours since learning of Vanessa’s accident I have found myself fighting an internal moral and ethical battle. Her ultimate fate as it stands at the moment is incredibly grizzly and painful. I found myself reminded of situations in Earth’s past where people who knew they were going to die sought out methods to die on their own terms in peace and with dignity. Most called such actions suicide. Weighing up the consequences of putting the option of assisted suicide on the table for Vanessa, I came to the conclusion that despite Starfleet’s, hell the Federations moral and ethics codes and laws the right thing to do in this situation was provide Vanessa the option of making her own choice. :: Yet another sip. This time a rather large pause followed. He knew that he was about to place both he and Commander Frost at the very real risk of being court martialed. In the end though, that didn’t matter to him. All he could think about was Vanessa and her life. That overrode everything in his mind. :: Richards: To that end I suggested to Commander Frost that we give Vanessa the option of taking her own life via an overdose of medication, ‘assisted suicide’ as he so graciously put it. I put out on the table as well that I would never consider asking Doctors Frankenstein and Easterwood to have any part of it. Unlike Liam and I they are bound by the Hippocratic Oath. Not only that but both would likely find the idea abhorrent. The fact that I currently find myself at my desk rather than in the brig suggests that the Commander is giving the issue some serious thought. I can only wonder on just how hard a decision this must be for him when all things are taken into consideration and can only profusely apologize for placing him in the situation in the first place. Should this be the last log i make as a Starfleet Officer, let it be known for the Record that my only regret is that I could not save Vanessa Driscoll. I have a clear conscience despite your moral and ethical code. I made the right choice and I can live with it. :: He tapped his fingers on his chair. :: Richards: Computer. End and encrypt log, authorization Richards Charlie Two Niner Niner. :: The Computer chirped its response and closed the recording. Alexander finished the glass of water in front of him and prepared to pour himself another one when the door chimed at him. :: Richards: Enter. :: Normally Alexander would have found the sight of a counselor in front of him imposing. For the first time in his life however, he welcomed the intrusion. He had a lot on his mind and could really use the company. Perhaps the Ensign would be able to help clear his mind. :: Richards: Ensign Riel. Please take a seat. Would you like me to fetch you anything from the replicator? Tag/TBC... Lieutenant Commander Alexander Richards Chief Science officer USS Gemini​
  12. ((Captain's Ready Room - USS Gemini)) :: Liam took a sip of espresso from the small cup in front of him, wincing at the sudden bitterness that filled his palate. It wasn't that he disliked the taste, but rather that he was so used to drinking coffee, sweet and with cream, that he had forgotten how raw the taste of the style was. It was a strange dichotomy that he would enjoy one style one way, and another entirely differently, despite being such similar things. It was also interesting to note that thinking about it was an incredible waste of time.:: Richards: =/\= What I am about to say completely flies in the face of the ethics and morals we’ve had rammed down our throats since joining the Academy, but I would like you to hear me out. =/\= Frost: =/\= I'm not sure I like where this is going... =/\= :: He could tell that there was something that was weighing heavily on Alexander's mind. His voice was dry, flat, and devoid of the usual optimism that he had come to expect from his Chief Science Officer. It was a striking juxtaposition, and it made his skin crawl. If there was something that was affecting him this much, then it was something extremely difficult for him to talk about. And yet it must have been important if he was going to push through it like this in order to make himself heard.:: Richards: =/\= From our own research into the pathogen, and the records of the Rathosians we know that the death from this blasted thing is, although rather swift, an incredibly painful affair. Throw in the Malo Lupo and it’s a living hell with symptoms. When Driscoll reaches a point where the illness is causing her pain, I would like to have the option of a lethal dose of medication available on the table should Driscoll wish to use it when the time comes. =/\= :: Liam regretting the sip of espresso that he had taken while Alex was speaking. What little had made it to his throat immediately stopped its journey to his stomach, causing him to audibly choke, as though he was being quite literally forced to swallow the words that he was being told. He could not believe that he was hearing the words that were coming over the comm. He wanted to believe it was some sort of malfunction, that he was not actually hearing the suggestion of assisted suicide. He wondered if maybe overwork had forced the Commander into thinking something mad. He even hoped that maybe, just maybe, Alexander was just drunk.:: Frost: =/\= Alex, I want you to think very carefully about what you say next. You are suggesting that we not only turn a blind eye to at least half a dozen Starfleet medical regulations and allow an officer to take her own life, but to actually enable it. =/\= Richards: =/\= I am more than aware of that Liam. However unlike the doctors, neither you nor I are bound by the Hippocratic Oath. We could sit here for days, hell even weeks debating the moral and ethical ramifications of Euthanasia. As hard as it is for me to swallow though, we need to have all cards on the table and surely Vanessa at least has the right to choose between seeing out the illness to its end or taking the swift way out when it all becomes too much. She surely has the right to choose to die with dignity on her own terms. She must have earned that right? =/\= :: Liam was not a philosopher. He had actively avoided taking philosophy classes throughout his education. It was not for an inability to philosophize. But the problem was is that philosophical discussions tended to leave him feeling like he wanted to punch someone. This usually had something to with the fact that his philosophical discussions tended to come after a fair amount of drink, in a phase of inebriation that Sidney had taken to referring to as "Professor Liam." For now, he had not nearly had enough to drink to get to that stage, and drinking that much while on duty was something that was frowned upon.:: Frost: =/\= I don't know. But what i do know is that we don't have the right to make that decision for her. And I also know that we have a sacred duty to make sure she doesn't have to make that decision. Not to mention the fact that Doctor Easterwood will absolutely loose her mind over the suggestion. Even Doctor Frankenstein knows that that has to be against I don't know how many regulations. =/\= Richards: =/\= That is the other side of the coin. Hell, I fully expect both of them to be vehemently against the idea and I would not blame if they were. It goes against everything they’ve been taught, all their training. They’ve trained to save lives, not take them and I would never advocate either ordering or asking them to have anything to do with the procedure. =/\= Frost: =/\= You know, the bad thing about this is that what you're suggesting is a court-martial act. What's worse is that you're actually suggesting this to your commanding officer as a viable solution. And I think the worst of all is the fact that there's a part of me that's convinced you're not wrong. =/\= Richards: =/\= As commanding officer sir, the final say is yours on whether to even present the idea to the Lieutenant. The amount of wrestling I am doing at the moment in my mind Liam. I really can’t imagine yours being any better. All of us are going to need counseling by the end of this, each and every one of us. =/\= :: He looked to the floor betraying his tough external exterior with a solitary tear streaming from his eye. He raised his heavily bandaged hands to wipe it away. :: :: Liam couldn't figure out what he found more disturbing. The fact that one of his officers was openly advocating a plan that could get them all court martialed, or the fact that it made a frightening amount of sense. Everything they had encountered about the pathogen told them that if they couldn't find a cure, then Vanessa's fate would be intolerably cruel. It was the kind of end that would be considered cruel to inflict on even the worst murderers. And yet the letter of regulation said he was bound to leave her to it. The knot in his stomach was once again replaced with a sense of dread induced nausea.:: Richards: =/\= Some of us more than others. =/\= :: He was no stranger to spending time in counselors offices. It was something that he had done a few times. And unfortunately it tended to happen after something like this. That was a ridiculous statement when he thought about it. He had never faced something like this before. Fortunately the counselors he had seen had been Frost: =/\= Just... let me think about this. In the mean time, get some sleep. =/\= Richards: =/\= Understood, Richards out. =/\= :: As the line closed, Richards once again put his face into his bandaged hands and wept. The anger was out of his system for now. All he had left were sadness and a deep sense of regret. In another life, a parallel world, it would be he, not Vanessa facing death head on. He highly doubted he would have as much courage as she was showing. :: :: Liam collapsed into the chair behind his desk, left with nothing but a sense of exhaustion, and thinly veiled dread. He couldn't imagine the kind of choice that he was going to have to make. The letter of the law was very clear on what he was to do. But to do so was to condemn someone to one of the worst fates he could imagine. He pulled one of the drawers of his desk open, pulling out a small glass and a bottle of rye. He poured himself a small measure before knocking the contents back, gritting himself against the burn in his throat.:: Frost: Computer, begin recording. :: The computer chirped it's acknowledgement as he too a deep breath.:: Frost: Captain's log. It has become all but certain that Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Driscoll will not be returning from this mission. She had become infected with the pathogen that we came here to try and cure, to help a people that a few days ago, none of us had ever heard of. She is doing remarkable well considering the fate hanging over her head, a quality that I cannot help but admire in a morbid kind of way. But the fact of the matter is that it is almost certain that she will die as a result of this pathogen. From the data that we've gathered, her end will be the kind that I could scarcely wish on the worst scum of the galaxy. I cannot in any kind of good conscience do nothing while she suffers. But the only alternative is to throw every ethical rule I've ever been taught out the window. I find myself between two choices that I can't imagine having to make. I'm [...]ed if I do, and [...]ed if I don't has never been more true than it is now. :: He sank back again, allowing the magnitude of the decision before him to envelop him. A single tear traced it's way down the side of his face as he contemplated the choices he was faced with.:: Frost: Computer, end recording and encrypt priority alpha. Authorization Frost, Sierra Echo Nine. :: The computer acknowledged the command as he poured himself another measure of rye, this time taking a long look into the contents of the glass. He had no idea how he was going to decide what to do, keenly aware that if he did not decide soon, it the decision would be made for him.:: TBC Commander Liam Frost Commanding Officer USS Gemini & Lieutenant Commander Alexander Richards Chief Science officer USS Gemini
  13. (( The Otherplace )) :: Where did people go when they die? :: :: Philosophers from every species had asked this question for years. For Tan, it had always been this place. :: :: It had no real name. The Graveyard of Dreams. The Otherplace. It had whatever label was most appropriate to it at the time. :: :: A simple cottage, in a dark wood, surrounded by grass and trees. :: :: Hell. :: Alleran: Why are you doing this? :: He was seated in a warm, comfortable rocking chair, nestled up by the fire. It crackled and popped as Trill honeywood burned away, bathing the entire building in a warm, aromatic fragrance. :: :: Marlee -- aged and wrinkled, as that was how she saw herself now she was dead -- sat in her chair, avoiding his gaze. She folded her hands in her lap. :: Marlee: It's not me. It's you. You did it to yourself. :: She turned to him and snarled, her face a feral visage. :: Marlee: You were the one who hurt me! :: Taken aback, Alleran could do nothing but gape. :: Alleran: I didn't do anything to you! :: She snorted derisively, dismissively. Her anger faded. :: Marlee: Of course you would see it that way. :: Alleran leaned forward in his chair, resting his chin in his hands. :: Alleran: Tell me, then. Explain it to me. What did I do wrong? :: Words didn't come. Tan slapped his hand on the chair's armrest. :: Alleran: You need to tell me! :: Finally, her answer came out in a croak. :: Marlee: You're a broken mirror. Shards of soul all over the ground. It's better to leave you alone than hurt myself trying to fix you. :: She looked away, unable to face him. :: Marlee: I'm sorry. I'm just better off without you. I tried my best. I tried to make it work. But... the thing is, you can't be fixed. You're not a good host. :: Alleran slumped back. :: Alleran: So what? Marlee: Pardon? Alleran: So what if I'm a bad host? That I never went to the academy and I only got joined based on a random chance? Does it matter? Isn't the whole purpose of symbiosis to explore new things? You'll have a lifetime of perfect Academy graduates, chronic overachievers all of them, lining up to be a part of your life. Why not take one loser every now and then? Marlee: Because that life is pain. :: Simply stated but enigmatic. :: Marlee: You're a dreamer, Alleran. You have hopes. Ambitions. Goals. Desires. Wants. But you lack the conviction to make them happen. You don't push hard enough. You want but you don't work. You're not prepared to accept delayed gratification and earn what you want. You're talented in your own way, but lazy. And that laziness -- that lack of achievement -- hurts me. I can't just spend your lifetime being some flyboy on a rusty, outdated ship out on the edge of nowhere, getting bumped from crew to crew, constantly repeating the same mistakes over and over. I can't do it anymore. :: Alleran took offense at that. :: Alleran: The Garuda is not rusty. :: She glared at him with sour disapproval. :: Marlee: That's exactly what I mean. You didn't listen to a word I said. Alleran: I listened. ::he folded his hands behind his head:: I just didn't agree. Marlee: Well... it doesn't matter anyway. :: She relaxed into her couch and pointed out the window. Through the glass, fuzzy and indistinct, Alleran could see the world outside. The turbolift. The blood. :: :: It was a false representation. Not the world through his eyes. He could see himself slumped in the corner, a dead thing, waiting for medical technology to bring him back to life, start his heart again, fill his lungs with air. :: :: He'd open his eyes again. Speak to the others, for a time, crack a few jokes and say goodbye. He'd hang on as Alleran for a bit. :: :: But not forever. :: :: It was going to be painful. All of that. But he'd get over it. :: :: The new host would help. A fresh voice to help out. :: Alleran: So, it's you and me and whoever we get next, right? :: Marlee rolled her old shoulders and, with careful deliberation, added another log to the fire. It swelled, sparks flying out, and then settled as the bark was consumed and the heat began to burrow deeper into the wood. :: Marlee: You and me... and whoever we get next. :: They watched the false world outside, together, everything silent except for the faint crackling of the fire. :: TBC... ----- Lt. Commander Alleran TanChief of NavigationUSS Garuda
  14. (( Corridors, USS Apollo-A )) :: Sun had just gotten done saying goodbye to her brother, she was going to miss him, but finding out that he held himself back to take care of the family made her feel bad. He didn't need to put his life on hold for them, their parents were adults and she was grown herself. She had been taking care of herself for a while. She moved to her Quarters and checked up her uniform, before heading towards Jalana's quarters. Her friend needed her, and she wanted to be there for her. :: :: Once she got to the quarters, she pressed the chime and waited for Jalana to answer. :: (( Jalana Laxyn's Quarters, Deck 4, USS Apollo-A )) :: After Nyals had left Jalana had been basically sitting on her couch like a statue, with the only difference that she was breathing. Barely. She was not sure why Nyals had woken her up. She guessed that it was mostly because he had wanted to talk with her about the situation before the mission came in the way of it and added to everything. Jalana sighed slightly. Now she sat here with this mess.. :: :: First her fiancé had left for Earth to see his dying mother, then he had come back but not much time, even though he had never told her what he was doing exactly. ‘Got to take care of something’ had been usually his answer when she asked. Then when they had left the Aegis they had agreed to meet in their new quarters and there she had waited for days without a sign of him; had worried that something had happened. And it had just not the way she had thought. Sundassa had been the one to tell her, that he had been taken in custody by Starfleet, stripped of his commission and put in front of a court. Why? Because he was accused to have killed his father and some of his people and attacked the doctor who had taken care of his mother. As if lashing out at Sun and her brother had not been enough, Nyals had also told her that he loved her and then left, with new orders to leave for another ship. :: :: If she had thought that being taken hostage during land-shore and almost dying from poison during a mission and drugging herself so she could sleep and work was messed up, the way she felt right now was completely undefinable. Lost might be something, or overwhelmed. Shaking her head she brushed her hands through the fiery red locks and sighed once more. She had no idea for how long she had been sitting here, thinking about what her life had become recently, when the door chime went off. :: Laxyn: ::mumbling:: Please not another person adding to the pile. ::A bit louder:: Come in! :: There seem to be all sorts of news that her friend shouldn't have to deal with, but was, and on top of that, Nyals decided he just HAD to wake her, like it was his responsibility. Sun was still a little miffed that he did so without her permission, and part of her was glad that wasn't going to be able to cause trouble anymore. But that wasn't like her, it was just the frustration, and she knew it. :: :: She hesitantly spoke as she peaked in, unsure what condition she'd find her friend in. :: Faranster: It's just me...are you alright? :: Jalana jumped from the couch when she saw her best friend in the door and crossed the room with quick steps, not hesitating for a second and wrapped her arms around the Antosian tightly. :: Laxyn: Sun! I am so glad to see you! I am so sorry… are you hurt? :: She made a step back and looked her friend over, to check herself. :: :: After her friend released her from the bear-tight hug, Jalana had started examining her, Sun felt an awkward being examined like a patient. But since she knew that her friend was concerned about her, she stood there and let her. :: Faranster: I'm fine, a bruised tailbone maybe, but that was from tripping... And a bruised ego. Laxyn: :: Jalana felt guilty and it was clearly written in her face. :: I am so sorry, Sun. I did not intend to hurt you. :: When she had come to Jalana's quarters, she hadn't expected the reaction her friend gave, thinking she knew her friend well enough to know what to expect. But she supposed there were different levels of knowing someone. :: Faranster: I didn't expect the reaction... And I didn't like having to sedate you. Laxyn: ::mumbling quietly to herself.:: I did not either. ::Looking up:: I .. understand why you had to. Faranster: Has the Rexlin worn completely off? Laxyn: I think so Nyals gave me something to neutralize it, when he wanted to wake me up. I had some headaches but he game me something against that as well. ::Looking at Sun, she pulled her brows together, last time she had seen her she had worn a red collar. Not any more.. :: Are you wearing teal? :: Sun nodded, but there was something nagging her about Jalana's behavior when she broke the news. She never pegged her friend for a violent person, and yet she was harming herself and attacked her. Pulling her friend over to the sofa, she didn't want to have this conversation while her friend was standing. :: Faranster: I've been assigned back to medical... But I can tell you all about that in a bit... It's a bit complicated. :: She paused. :: I want to ask, you don't have a history of violent outbursts like that? :: Jalana followed her friend and sat down next to her on the couch. Looking at the Antosian who had started on the ship as a Medical Officer, and had then for a short time been Jalana’s right hand as Assistant Chief Medical Officer. Way too soon she had been taken away to fulfill her role as First Officer. She knew how much her friend had struggled to find her place in that position. To hear that she was back in Medical now did of course confuse Jalana, but she was also glad to work with her again in that manner. :: :: Then the Trill’s mind drifted to the question Sun had stated and her eyes widened with a vehement shake of her head. :: Laxyn: No, never. Not even when I had those dreaded fights with my father about my future. Faranster: So... Everyone thinks you had a lot of paperwork after that mission, that you are catching up on. I didn't want rumors to spread. Shel and Jaxx wouldn't say anything, and I am pretty sure Nyals wouldn't. So, if there's no history of outbursts, I want to know if there's something else going on with you that might provoke that kind of outburst? :: After the brief conversation with the intelligence officer, the mention of Jalana having a hard time, unless Nyals told someone, no one should know about it. Sun was playing it off as extreme paperwork, to give the CMO some time. And, since Nyals snuck into Jalana's quarters to wake her up, she figured he must be love struck, and wouldn't want anything to tarnish her reputation. :: Laxyn: I don’t know where it came from. .oO It cannot be. It must not be. Oo. Faranster: Are you sure there is nothing that is bothering you? I feel like I have been so busy lately I haven't spent much time with you, and hope you would tell me if something was wrong. :: Jalana took her eyes off Sun. She would never know how her friend knew when she tried to hide something, even if she did not show anything in her expression. It was like Sun read her mind, but of course she could not. Andrus’ Betazoid abilities were not contagious. Not even to his girlfriend. :: Laxyn: I’m sure. .oO Look at you. Lying to your best friend. And you really think that you have no problem? You would have never done that before. Oo. :: Sighing, Sun looked at her friend, she hoped the woman would come to her if there was a problem, so she had to believe that her friend thought there was none. Even so she wanted to get to the bottom of the behavior, her friend clearly wasn't herself, and she had been willing to write it off as shock, until she realized others had noticed. :: Faranster: Are you getting enough sleep? I hope this last mission hasn't taken it's toll on your sleep schedule. :: Sun didn't like the fact that those aliens had basically held her people hostage, even if it wasn't authorized by their leader. Once the computers were clear of the virus, she went about uploading a sketch she made of the aliens and Rapture, to the computer, and compiling the write ups of the officers that were involved or witnessed the aliens and what happened on either ship to ensure some sort of data survived. It wasn't much though. She wondered if the mission took it's toll on those that were on the alien ship, and she had not noticed it. :: Laxyn: ::She took a deep breath and nodded slightly. :: I do get sleep, most of the nights enough, I still feel tired, but that is expected with the stress recently. .oO And you do not let yourself dream, of course you are tired, your mind does not get the needed processing. Oo. :: She knew what she did wrong, she knew what caused it. But she could not just stop and obviously knowing that it was wrong, she hesitated to tell her friend about it. Would she understand or would she start to watch her like a hawk? Or even worse request her leave from her work? Jalana could lose her license. She could lose everything she had worked for and that thought terrified her so much, that she did not dare to say what she had done. :: Faranster: Okay... Well, if anything is ever bothering you, I'm here. Now that I'll be in sickbay, I'll be better able to help you. :: She paused, looking at her friend, knowing the mention of sickbay would bring them back to why she was in the Teal uniform. :: So... I stepped down from being First Officer, and the official line is that it was for personal reasons, which is what the rumor mill will be grinding. Laxyn: ::Looking at Sun her eyes dropped to the pipped collar and then back up with a warm gentle smile. :: So we are working together again. I like that. But what personal reasons? Did something happen? .oO Did she and Andrus have a fight or something else that made it impossible to work together so close? Oo. Faranster: Well, that's a bit complicated, there's good and bad news. My brother got his own command, and he left with the others. Laxyn: Oh. I did not know he was going for a command. :: The chain under her uniform, felt so much more present, even though it was still hidden. She knew it wasn't the only reason her brother left, but it was the reason he felt free to leave, as he no longer needed to protect Sun. There seemed to be a transfer of protection that went from Shel to Jaxx, that she didn't quite understand, maybe it was just a guy thing. :: Faranster: He said he can't wait to spread his wings, that he knowing I am in good hands, makes him feel free to do so. Laxyn: :nodding:: I’m sure your brother will make a great Captain. You can be proud of him. Faranster: I know, and I am, he'll do well. Laxyn: So was that the good or the bad news? :: The CMO understood that it could be both, since getting a command was something quite good for those who wanted to go down that line. But that he had left so soon after joining them was surely a bad thing for Sun. :: Faranster: For me, bad. But, I can't tell him not to go. :: Sun wondered what kind of sister she would be if she told her brother not to do what he wanted to, just so he could be around. She didn't need him there to protect her, but she wanted him around. She was getting to do what she wanted to do, it was selfish to deny him the same ability. :: Laxyn: ::Nodding:: And what are the good news then? :: She looked at Jalana, for Sun it was good news, but her friend just got news that meant her fiance may never return, so she was conflicted on when to tell her. Then there was the consideration that it might always sting, knowing that others are pushing forward with plans she can't, and if that was the case, it would probably hurt Jalana more to find out that she was one of the last to find out about it. Then she had to consider Jaxx, when she woke, she removed the ring from her finger and put it on the chain and hid it under her jacket, she wasn't ashamed or anything, she loved Jaxx very much, was just trying to be sensitive to her friend's feelings. :: :: Sun reached up, hesitantly under her collar and fished the chain out from underneath the jacket. As the ring slid against the fabric of her jacket towards the opening, she spoke, it would come from her now, or the rumor mill. :: Faranster: After a discussion about what direction our lives were going in, Andy proposed. :: For a moment the Trill looked at the Antosian in front of her like she had not heard the words. She had, but they took a moment to sink into her mind. It took a plunge into her stomach and for a brief moment her heart hurt more dominantly again. She had not forgotten the pain but she had been a bit distracted from it. Jalana remembered the moment she had told Sun about her engagement. It had been on Sick Bay. She had been so happy. And now, what was left of it? :: :: But then her brain kicked in. This was not about her and what happened to her, this was about Sun and Andrus, her friends. She had to push her own misery back for now. It took a moment until a smile stole its way onto her lips, not a full blown one but nevertheless a smile. :: Laxyn: That is more than good news, Sun. That is fantastic news. Faranster: Are you sure? I mean with what happened with you... :: Sun hesitated on that, she didn't want to push, but she had so many emotions that she had been going through over the last few days. There was a great deal of happiness for her relationship with Jaxx, sympathy for Jalana, then there was the sadness and loneliness for her brother. :: Laxyn: Let’s not talk about me, this is your moment. Do you already have plans? Faranster: We haven't gotten much of a chance to talk about it yet, so much has happened. But we started talking about where our futures would lead, and he talked about my career in command, but a career alone doesn't make someone happy, and I had a perfectly nice career before. Laxyn: So this is why you went back to Sick Bay. You did not want to be transferred to another ship as CO when your time would come. :: She nodded, she couldn't see herself away from Jaxx, she knew that, and she was pretty sure that Jalana had felt the same about Viktor, which was part of why she took it so hard when the news was delivered. But the sudden recovery of the medical officer also threw her off, like she was trying to compensate for something. The brave face didn't match what she saw earlier. But she wasn't going to rock the boat for her friend. :: Faranster: Pretty much, I love him, and it would be easier for him to keep me in the medical department, than have to field requests from Starfleet Command about my progression towards Command. Laxyn: ::nodding:: Understandable. Who would want to be away from their loved ones. Faranster: I would have told you this before I had to tell you the stuff this morning, the order seems all wrong... :: Jalana met the gaze of her friend, wondering if there would have been a ‘right order’ for this kind of thing. She thought that in every constellation the pain would have not have been easier. So it did not really matter. She shook her head slightly, placing her rather cool hand on Sun’s. :: Laxyn: Don’t worry about the order. If I can help with anything… Faranster: I don't want to push anything on you, I can appreciate everything you are going through. I want you to be part of it, but I want to give you the time you need before thrusting you into any role. Laxyn: ::Nodding slightly:: I won’t lie, it will take a bit for me to …::her voice cracked slightly, so she cleared her throat. :: ... process all of this that happened. But.. I want to be part of your happiness, you are my best friend, Sun. Faranster: I know. :: She smiled at Jalana. :: Laxyn: I have a file with lots of different dresses that I had compiled for myself… ::She tried to say it in a ‘by the way’ manner, not wanting to feel this stabbing pain every time she thought about this.:: … I could give you access to it if you want. If you want something that is not dress uniform that is. :: Sun thought about it, knowing what she would wear would be good, but that would depend on what customs they were going to observe, and where it would be located. Every aspect of their relationship was an adventure, their wedding, wouldn't be any different for her, it would be fun and exciting, and something she could share with her extended family on the Apollo. She didn't object to having an adventure of any magnitude in a dress, or even following any special Betazoid customs there might be. :: Faranster: Thank you Jalana, only if you don't mind, they were your choices after all. :: She leaned forward and hugged Jalana, it was something that she felt needed to be done, she wanted to hug her when she gave the news of Viktor, and ended up having to sedate the woman instead, now they were talking about planning their own wedding. :: :: Jalana was surprised about the gesture but accepted it thankfully, by wrapping her arms around Sun and squeezing her slightly for just a brief moment. :: Laxyn: I don’t mind, maybe they give you some inspiration for yourself. Unless it does not fit to your customs. Are you going for Antosian? Faranster: I somehow doubt Starfleet will allow us to observe the wedding customs of my people to the fullest... As it would be quite inconvenient to have a ship out of commission for ninety-three to two hundred and seventeen hours, and I think Andy would oppose to having to party for that long. :: She laughed. :: :: Now she remembered, that Sun had told her about the custom to celebrate an Antosian wedding for up to a week. She could not imagine that any Captain would like seeing their ship out of order for that long. She joined the laugh, but it sounded of a little. :: Laxyn: I think so too. Either way I am sure it will be a wonderful wedding. Faranster: We can talk about any of this later though, we have plenty of time as we are in sickbay together, to talk about this or anything you want to. But, you should clean up and get ready, as I believe you were cleared for observed duty. :: Sun knew Nyals said he would clear her for duty, but she wanted to make sure there was a plan in effect for watching over her friend. :: Laxyn: ::Nodding slightly:: Yes, he mentioned that he would clear me before he had to go. ::Then she realized that her friend had said earlier, that her brother had left with the others.:: Wait a second, what did you mean with ‘the others’? Who else left? :: She thought back to the goodbyes she had to say to various people, half of their senior staff traded off and a number of other crew. :: Faranster: Let's see. :: She looked upwards and started counting on her hands. :: Williams, McCleran, Big Blue, Danara, Nyals, and Baker from our senior staff. Lieutenant Cranford, Danara's husband, and a slew of enlisted. Laxyn: ::widening her eyes:: That many? :: It was quite a change for them to have to deal with. But it was the nature of life in Starfleet, the faces you served with changed, sometimes you were lucky to stay with the same group all your life, but she wondered if that was really good. :: Faranster: I haven't gotten to know the exact number, but yeah, pretty much half of the people we see on a daily basis, or at least used to. Laxyn: I see. That means we’ll have to get to know a bunch of new people. Faranster: :: Nodding. :: But, least you don't have to go through it alone, I'll be there. :: She smiled, and then remembered the request Nyals made, and frowned. :: Oh, that reminds me, Romeo told me to tell you goodbye. :: When she saw Jalana's confused expression she clarified. :: Nyals, that is. Laxyn: ::Taking a deep breath:: Ah, yes, I thought so. The way he had left and the transfer orders did not make me think he’d come back to say it to me himself. :: Sun was still pretty miffed at the counselor for waking her friend up, but she didn't know how her friend responded to it, so she had to ask to find out. Best case was the man's intrusion on her friend's sleep didn't impact her, worse case is that he'd have to contend with her when she saw him next. :: Faranster: I hope he didn't make things harder on you. Laxyn: ::getting up from her seat she sighed:: He said he loved me. I don’t really know what to think of that, he barely knows me. Faranster: Well, just tell me, I'll call Shel up and see if he can get him scrubbing the reclamation chamber, like Pierce and Raiden did after Izar. Laxyn: ::She nodded.:: Well, right now we will have to get ready for our job. So I’ll be getting into uniform. See you in Sick Bay? :: She certain did not feel the way she spoke right now. Her head felt overwhelmed by all the thoughts and feelings, her heart physically hurt and she wanted to hide in a corner and cry, or demolish that corner - maybe a mix of both. But that would not help her, she needed distraction and her work had been a steady companion in that endeavour so far. :: Faranster: Absolutely. I'll be right there for you. :: She smiled and hugged her friend again before standing up and heading for the door. :: I'll make sure Dial has the place cleaned up for you. :: With that, Sun exited the quarters, on her way to sickbay. :: :: Jalana took a moment to look after Sun. After the doors closed she was left alone with the empty quarters and her heartache. She stared into nothing, she did not even see what was around her, but knowing that these quarters would only be hers and hers alone. She realized her vision blur and quickly swallowed, forcing the tears back. It was time to get back to work, no matter how much she wanted to hide in a cave. With that thought she headed into the bedroom and changed into her uniform, before binding her fiery locks back and with another look into the mirror, not recognizing the eyes of the woman looking at her, she left for work. Everything else had to wait. :: Commander Sundassa "Bright Hair" Faranster Medical Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669 and PNPC Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn Chief Medical Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669
  15. ((Carnivale Wonderland - Deck 42, DS26)) ::For a man who was born to a species that thrived on an inhospitable ice ball, Shar’Wyn Foster hated to admit that he was not particularly fond of snowstorms. Adapted to them? Sure. Able to weather them? Certainly. Fond of them? Not a chance.:: RENNYN: Ahh! Where are you? Wyn! ::He ripped one last piece of curtains in half, throwing one over his own shoulder, and using the other to block the blizzarding onslaught. He caught sight of the doctor's shape, and moved to wrap the material around him. The Andorian was shaking.:: Okay, if you're shivering, then we're all in trouble! FOSTER: I’m fine. ::He lied evenly and reached a hand out and pulled the Trill towards cover:: This way! Over here! ::He huddled under cover with Rennyn, thanking the gods of the galaxy that the snow was so blinding that neither of them could see much of anything. All the better to hide the fact that he was standing stock sill, eyes screwed shut and teeth clench, shaking more out of fear than cold. Because, of course, he was Wyn Foster. The well put together man this crew knew as a dashing genius doctor who had the answers they needed in times of trouble. Certainly not Wyn Foster the outcast blue orphan kid who had an irrational fear of windstorms. That would not do. Would not do at all. Still, the howling of the wind as it ran through the narrow carnival stands, the vicious slapping of the tent against the supports, the sting of ice crystals as they froze the nosehairs of anybody breathing, it was enough to dredge up hints of memory deep within his brain.:: ~*~((15 years ago, Boston, Massachusetts, Earth)) The wind picked up as the night fell. By sundown the tree tops were swaying dangerously, and the fallen leaves kept slapping against the windows with a quiet rapid-fire tapping. Wyn had been jumpy all night, just enough to keep Professor Foster wary of the adolescent Andorian, and wondering what was wrong. “Those windows could withstand a photon torpedo. They’ll survive a few sticks.” Cade Foster murmured in what he hoped was a reassuring tone. Wyn sighed, looking slowly back at his father. “You sure?” “Positive.” The older human offered a light smile. Slowly he was rewarded with an echo of that expression on his son’s face. At the tender age of twelve, Shar’Wyn knew full well that a little wind should not scare him. But, in his defense, this was the first wind storm he could remember. They simply didn’t have wind storms on starships. Still, it struck him as odd. He had grown up on a starship: survived turbulence, attacks, even explosions and he had weathered it with style. And yet wind? It unnerved him to the core. And what he didn’t admit to his father was that the fear had nothing to do with something getting broken or falling over. No. The worst part about it was the sound. That horrible, low, mournful howling that chilled him to the bone. It was almost like a voice that stirred up strange memories, things that he didn’t recognize. And no matter how many assurances his father offered, it didn’t take away the feeling that he was being haunted by something he could not quite put his finger on. He did not sleep that night. He lay down and closed his eyes, pretending to sleep. But in truth he was terrified of what he might find if he slept. What sort of horrible dreams would come from the voices on the wind? So he trudged through the next day, half awake and half alive; and admitting to no one why he felt so terribly bad. Because nobody should be afraid of a little wind. It was stupid, and childish…:~*~ ::Minutes felt like hours, just waiting for the storm to clean enough to move and act. Rennyn was simply enduring, while Wyn buried his antennae into the top of his snowy hair, wishing he could blot out the howls of the wind and the feeling that it was calling to him, trying to tell him secrets that were unspeakable. Crying, screaming, yelling. Wind never had a positive voice to it. Only darkness and pain. And yet finally it cleared, and the whitewash of snow lifted:: RENNYN: Thanks. Where'd we put those Binars? ::He looked around for them.:: Under that snow drift? Or did they run out? FOSTER: I never saw them run out… ::looking frantically around:: But I don’t see them in here, either. RENNYN: They were the last ones in here. I don't want to leave anyone behind. ::He caught sight of the Vulcans helping the Binars away from the tent and pointed.:: There they go! Let's get out of here! FOSTER: Double time! She’s coming down! ::Adrenaline kicked in and both of them started to run. The combination of exertion, panic and bitter cold make their breath burn as it was sucked into their lungs, turning to an unpleasant stinging sensation deep in the chest. As they cleared the tent it rumbled and collapsed behind them, leaving both the doctor and the pilot gasping for breath:: RENNYN: Holographic snow. Press one button and we'd be back to pleasant weather. What is going on with this program?? FOSTER: I’m no engineer, but if I had to give a technical guess, I would say that it is … messed up. Bad. RENNYN: Let's find Blueheart and the others. ::Something large and furry ran past them in the dark and the lightly blowing snow. It was the source of the smoke smell. Up close, it smelled more like singed hair.:: Was that--? Nahhh... FOSTER: Good plan. ::pause:: and… don’t ask such questions, Ren. Trust me, we don’t want to know the answers. RENNYN: I will be happy to get out of this makeshift holodeck just as soon as someone opens the door. ::Ren wrapped his piece of curtain around himself a little tighter.:: Look, I see everyone over there. FOSTER: Me, too. ::looking:: Well, they look all right, let’s get over there. ::And halfway in between starting and getting there the snow stopped. It went from blizzard to clear in less time than it takes a hungry dog to beg for food. Which was strange enough… but then the whole landscape started to reform. The ground went from a flat field to rough terrain. Dark trees clawed their way up from the desolate blackened soil and scratched the sky until it bled deep orange fire. Boulders rocked the land, jutting up at odd angles and sending officers flying. Wyn shifted his stance, his antennae flickering like a cat’s tail as it tries to balance on a ledge while he reached out to steady the person nearest to him. FOSTER: I feel the earth move under my feet… Lieutenant JG Shar’Wyn FosterMedical OfficerUSS Atlantis
  16. ((Isolation Unit – Sickbay)) ::Folds left Skyfire with the new data from Cuthbert's biobed and went to the nearest open workstation. As rapidly as he could, he called up the computer's database of toxins. Then he narrowed it by those known for use in murders or assassinations. Then -- in the midst of narrowing for known or suspected use by Romulan or associated agents, he remembered that it would be far faster to simply allow the computer to sort by similarity to the toxin he had just discovered in Cuthbert's bloodstream. He was far, far too tired. And now, with Cuthbert deteriorating nearby, was the worst possible moment for his weariness to begin showing symptoms.:: FOLDS: There we go! ::The computer beeped at the end of its search. Folds scanned the data, disappointed. No match. Only ... this toxin, unrelated but similar. It would have to be good enough to help, perhaps even guide, their search. At least its origins were, in these circumstances, heartening: the Federation didn't know of it from a direct Romulan connection, but it was suspected. It would have to be enough.:: ::Folds returned to Skyfire's workstation, where the blonde medic was, as always, so hard at work on the task at hand that he hardly seemed to notice the other officer's approach.:: FOLDS: ::handing him a PADD:: Not a match, but something similar. No early signs of cold or shivers reported, but similar circulatory symptoms and difficulty in blood clotting and wound healing. But ... if it *is* this similar, time is of the essence. From this point -- ::he lowered his voice; not that Cuthbert could have heard him from across the room in his state:: -- from this point, we'd typically have less than an hour. SKYFIRE: Less than an hour? How long have you and Alden been back from the surface? FOLDS: ::squeezing his eyes shut and reopening them:: I don’t remember. Who knows how long we’ve really got; we just need to be ready. SKYFIRE: That doesn't bode well. I have a theory about how this poison works, due to its similar composition. There are some wintergreen teabags in my kit. Open them up, add water, and rub it over the wound site, as it'll stop the bleeding. It will buy him a few minutes, at most. FOLDS: ::momentarily confused, but then forcing himself to focus:: Wintergreen tea? Sure. On it. :: Chythar shook his head, still disbelieving in himself that he'd made a mistake. This wasn't the time for mistakes. He had to do something. And do it fast. He got up from his console and took out an old-school 20th century adrenal, somehow guessing he'd have to mix in some wintergreen with the adrenaline. OO Wintergreen isn't my first option, but it will stop the poison for at least a few minutes. That will be all I need. Oo he thought to himself as he opened up the adrenal and began his chemistry experiment. He didn't have time for a full-blown solution, just enough time to make something and pray it worked. He didn't want to lose a crewmate if he could help it. This would not happen. Not on his watch. :: ::As Skyfire set to work trying to synthesize -- jerry-rig, might have been more like it -- an antidote to the toxin now coursing through Cuthbert's body, slowly creeping toward his heart, Folds set about gathering the tea from Skyfire’s medkit. Who knew keeping tea in a medkit could be so useful. Tea, water, scalpel—he was working quickly and couldn’t help but wish his left hand, into which he was throwing each item he plucked off the shelf, were ten times larger, so he could balance everything easily while running back to the workstation.:: SKYFIRE: I'm nearly there. ::The time passed too quickly as Folds, now empty-handed--sat adjacent to Skyfire and followed his instructions. Folds had mixed the contents of the teabags with a bit of water before peeling off the bandages and began to rub the paste over the wound site. The blood clotted, and the antidote began to work its magic. Not fast enough, however.:: :: Within moments, the alarms began to blare from Cuthbert's biobed. Gesturing for Skyfire to stay where he was and keep working, Folds jumped up and began doing everything he could to keep his friend alive.. :: FOLDS: [...], [...], [...] -- not now, not yet! ::The alarms were roaring their death howl because everything was off the charts -- but not, as expected, because they were crashing. Alden, realizing that he wasn’t cured as he thought, was lying back down, trying desperately to control his breathing, though his body and lungs seemed to refuse to obey him. He felt his heart rate increase, pumping the over watery blood throughout his body at such a pace that new blood seemed to barely be reaching his heart in time to be pumped away.:: ::He felt light-headed from lack of blood flow to his brain, and the high heart rate, as if from some form of Olympic race that refused to ever end, continued to climb, marked by the blips that were now blurring together on the monitor. Sweat began to roll off him in buckets, beginning to soak through the bandages at the wound site as effectively as the blood was staining them.:: ::Alden tried to breathe deeply and calmly, but his heart rate demanded more and more oxygen to match the rapid pace of the blood that sprinted through his system, forcing him to speed up, until he was nearly hyperventilating in order to compensate. It was clear to the two doctors—or any observer, really—that this terrible loop would soon beat Alden’s body apart, regardless of if it ever slowed down. No body could handle the beating Alden’s was currently taking.:: FOLDS: ::shouting to Skyfire across the room:: What do you have? :: Skyfire held up the jury-rigged adrenaline syringe in his hand, jumping up from the console and over to where Cuthbert was clinging to dear life and Folds was trying to do everything he could to stop it. :: SKYFIRE: Just finished it! FOLDS: It'll have to be good enough! I don't think Cuthbert can wait much longer. SKYFIRE: I agree. :: and with that, he raised his hand high before plunging the chemical compound into Alden's heart just before the line went completely flat on the heart monitor. :: You can do it, buddy. Just keep breathing. :: He wasn't sure why, but he began to feel some sort of connection forming between him and the man whose life he may've saved. He was definitely scatterbrained; the answer to the Romulan connundrum was sitting on his console, the antidote to the poison was a guess that was based on theory and should theoretically work. He didn't know what he had to do as he waited for the monitors to normalize. It took several minutes for them to do so. Chythar was holding his breath, muscles tensed. He didn't move until he saw the monitors stablize, at which point he finally released the breath he'd been holding for the past several minutes. His body didn't relax at all, sweat coating his own forehead from nervousness and pressure. :: ::Alden’s body continued to heave in an attempt to get oxygen to the heart. But the warning blips on the heart rate monitor had begun to slow down to a more reasonable pace, and slowly, slowly, Alden opened his eyes. He was tired. Very, very tired. But not the same weak, sick tired that had induced his short rest before. This was a purified, “I-almost-just-died,” strength-recovering sort of tired.:: CUTHBERT: ::drowsily:: Thanks. :: At this point, Chythar began to relax just a little before smiling at both Folds and their patient. With that, he looked up at Folds :: SKYFIRE: I need to get back to work on the Romulan thing. Will you keep an eye on him and redress that wound? FOLDS: Sure thing. ::his heart still pounding and eyes still nervously wide:: Good work. ::The doctors’ words registered in Alden’s mind, but a response refused to form. And before the doctors had finished absorbing all that had happened, Alden was asleep again.:: ::Time had seemed to stop for Folds in that instant between Skyfire injecting the adrenal compound into Cuthbert’s heart and when the solution took effect. The room had seemed to freeze and—forever, it felt—nothing happened. His own mind was still returning, slowly, to normal. His weariness, combined now with his own adrenaline rush, was making him slightly woozy now that the crisis seemed averted.:: :: As Anscom replied, Chythar realized he just made another friend or two. He needed the friends. He needed to go drinking with them once this was all over. He needed to take a break. But there was no time for that. Alden was safe, so he didn't need to hasten his efforts and he could take just a few moments to breathe. Only a few. Once calm, he once more set about his task of picking up the Romulan's antiserum and continued fabricating his answer. :: ------------------------------- TAG/TBC Joint Post by: Ensign Alden Cuthbert Security Officer USS Excalibur-A Ensign Anscom Folds Medical Officer USS Excalibur-A Ensign Chythar Skyfire Medical Officer USS Excalibur-A
  17. (( Parkers’ Quarters, Marine Barracks )) :: After the night of dealing with Doctor Adan, they were fortunate to get back just before the twin suns rose that morning. It was too early to go to bed..they still had some work to do, and their quarters was the best place to do it at the moment. Others were enjoying their shore leave, but they were knee deep in finding out more about this secret organization the doomed doctor referred to. After a leisurely breakfast, which did more to make them both feel more tired, they decided to call it a day...or was it night...and get a little sleep...they had had precious little of it since the bluegill invasion and Tallis Rhuls’ funeral, and sleep quickly came to them...:: (( Later that afternoon, Marine CO’s office )) :: Now refreshed from their nap, Hannibal and Kamela went down to the Marine CO’s office to try to find a little more information. Once he opened the door to his office, Kamela was the first to comment on what was missing...:: Allison: Ty....where is your furniture? :: Which was a good question. The last time he was in his office, it was fully furnished, with a new desk and chairs...now...they were all missing...:: Parker: They were here when I left...I wonder what the hell happened to them? Allison: Was anybody supposed to be in here? Parker: No... : This was truly a predicament he was not expecting, and a mystery he would soon see the bottom of. Tapping his commbadge, he contacted the Quartermaster...:: Parker: =/\= Major Parker to Quartermaster.=/\= Franks: =/\= Lieutenant Franks here, Major. What can I do for you?=/\= Parker: =/\= My new chairs and desk are missing..=/\= Franks:=/\= Let me check on that Major...=/\= :: Over the open line, Hannibal could hear the Quartermaster entering a query on the computer, and he quickly came back with an answer...:: Franks:=/\= Major...did you finish filling out the requisition form for your furniture? =/\= :: Hannibal had to think for a minute...Starfleet was like any military, in that the paperwork had to be in proper form and submitted, something Hannibal had been a little bit busy to keep up with it all, and the departed Lt. Martinez may have overlooked it. Such things were usually not a problem, but now, it seemed to be a huge one...:: Parker: =/\= Lieutenant...my desk and chairs are missing from my office..and I’m sure the proper trail can be dealt with...but right now...I’M STANDING IN MY OFFICE WITH NO FURNITURE!!!!!=/\= Franks: =/\= Major, without the proper paperwork, the desk and chairs were appropriated by someone who had filled out the proper forms....=/\= :: Hannibal had had enough of this...:: Parker: =/\= Where is my furniture?=/\= Franks: =/\= Major...=/\= Parker: =/\= WHERE?????!!!!!!=/\= :: Even with Kamela trying in vain to calm him down Hannibal was not happy...and the Quartermaster was getting an earful...:: Franks: =/\= Your furniture was appropriated by.....Commander Nugra..=/\= :: Hannibal was on the verge of going to the Quartermasters’ office and tearing him to shreds, but it was that walking briefcase he was really mad at...but the hapless Lieutenant was currently in his sights...:: Parker:=/\= Lieutenant...you have exactly TEN minutes to get me a new desk and chairs, the same ones which were here. If they are not here by then, your life will become...very uncomfortable. NOW MOVE!!!!=/\= Franks: =/\= Aye, Sir, we’ll get it right over. Don’t worry about the paperwork. Franks out.=/\= :: After the channel closed, Hannibal began to curse in Klingon, but before he got really inventive, Kamela tried to calm his nerves....:: Allison: It’s just a minor issue, Ty... Parker: Oh no it’s not. Godzilla is testing me.... Allison: God...you mean Commander Nugra? Parker: Oh yes...that dishonorable, cold blooded... Allison: Allright Hannibal...let’s just go back to our quarters and wait...we are on shore leave, you know..and it will give you a chance to calm down... :: Hannibal followed Kamela back out, where they walked to their quarters. Upon entering, he sat at the terminal, having already though about the revenge he would extract on the Gorn. Accessing the life support controls, he ordered the temperature in Nugras’ quarters lowered to 10 degrees Celsius, then encrypted a code which could not be altered in any way, and erased it the computer. For the next week at the Embassy, the Gorn was going to be quite sluggish in the morning.Kamela saw what he was doing, but she didn’t stop him...what was going on between Hannibal and the Gorn was personal, and she knew it was going to get worse...: Allison: Are you sure you want to do this? Parker:: with a wicked smile:: Revenge is a dish served cold...and his quarters will be very, very cold.... Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker2nd Officer/Marine Commander/Chief Of Strategic OperationsUSS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy
  18. ((Sickbay)) ::So this Red-Collar with four pips came tumbling out of the Isolation Unit, looking like he was ready to be free of that hazard garb when he noticed the short blond feller and they took to gabbing.:: ::Now, Nady Briskow never minded much people gabbing in his Sickbay; you never knew what you’d overhear, what kinda tips you’d get just by payin’ attention to what others would blab in earshot of just about anyone. But today was another thing altogether. Closing off more and more of Sickbay as more and more beamed up from the surface; first the new doc and his muscle, who’d stumbled into more trouble than they should have; and then the Rommies decided to go to the mattresses against a squad of docs, fer cryin’ aloud!:: ::Setting aside what Nurse Briskow would like to do to the green-bloods—back on Iotia, back in Oxmyx Chicago, where Nady had grown up prowling the streets of the Near North Side, they’d teach ‘em to mess with Doc MacLaren right quick. Teach ‘em why you don’t mix business and personal.:: ::But the Feds didn’t like that—and, truth be told, Briskow had been a failure as a small-time mobster. He poked his nose in where it didn’t belong far too often. Got too curious for his own good. What his Pa’d told him when he went off to nursing school, then announced he was joining Starfleet. “Joinin’ up wit’ dem Feds? Whattaya think ya’are, where ya think ya come from? McCoyville over dere?” Nady never told his father the name of the Doc he’d been working under. It’d sound too—what’d the Book call it again?—too Scottish for him.:: ::And he liked to help people. Sometimes you had to pull the admission outta him like a rusty nail, but he did. Deep down inside there somewhere. Or else he wouldn’t be here, right?:: ::But this gabbing, the Red Collar and the Mysterious Blond Stranger, this was just too far: ‘Cause soon enough it wasn’t just some chit-chat but something more serious. Briskow was just standing there, minding his own business in the doorway from one of the labs into Main Sickbay, listening in on one of the strangest conversations he’d heard in while—both of the men looked real enough to him, after all; why’d they keep doubting it?—when the Red Collar shoved the Mysterious Blond Stranger against a biobed, erected a containment field and called for security.:: ::And then, with the place looking a mess—he up and leaves! Just like that! Not another thought about it. Just like an officer. Especially a Red Collar. Come in, say nuttin much of interest, start a fight, and leave the nurses—leave good ol’ Nady Briskow—to clean up after them.:: ::He stepped back into Main Sickbay. Might as well make sure it looked presentable when the muscle arrived to show this traitor to the Rommies (he glared over at the Mysterious Blond Stranger behind the containment field) the what’s what. ::Can’t let anyone think we’re falling down on the job here in Sickbay, just because all hell’s breaking loose everywhere the officers go. Nope. No sirreee...:: TBC PNPC Crewman Nady Briskow Nurse USS Excalibur-A
  19. ((Luxury Suite, Menthar Anchorage)) ::Sorel watched as B’horn and MacNickols pulled the minibar replicator in the rear of the apartment apart. The main one in the lounge might have been easier, but the last thing she wanted was Tol walking in and finding Anil hooked up to the thing’s computer system.:: ::She’d managed to keep him out of the Ferengi’s sight so far, and wanted it to stay that way. The nanotech implants in Anil Tain’s brain were illegal in multiple jurisdictions, and thus exceptionally rare anywhere near space controlled by most of the major powers. She didn’t like to think what sort of opportunities Tol might see in him.:: ::Devan MacNickols wasn’t the engineer that Tala had been, but he could hack a computer. That summed him up really, a jack of all trades and master of none, he was useful in all kinds of situations. He was an adrenaline junkie with a mediocre criminal history that kept him out of Federation space, an adventure seeker only looking for his next hit. He would live fast and die young, and in the meantime she gave him the opportunity to do the dangerous work and used his skills in return. So far it kept him coming back.:: ::Quite what his relationship with Tala had been she’d never delved too deeply into. Like most of them the Andorian zhen had rejected her own culture as not satisfying her needs. Refusing to be a brood mare and carry infant after infant for designated mates she didn’t care for, she’d sought out a life of her own and brought her engineering talents to Sorel’s crew. And now she was dead. Story of existence really. She’d be missed, but there wasn’t a [...] thing that Sorel could do about it.:: ::Whilst their Romulan leader supervised, B’horn worked with the kind of indefatigable persistence that one could only find in someone with Klingon endurance. He’d been with her since her days in the Romulan Empire, owed her his honour and his life. Beyond that he wasn’t certain why he stayed with her; most Klingons would have sought for some way to discharge that debt. He seemed content to ride out whatever journey she chose, acting as her security. He’d been her companion for the longest time, and apart from his unwavering loyalty she understood him the least.:: ::Well, almost unwavering; there had been that one incident. B’horn had never understood her tolerance of Anil Tain, let alone her attraction to him. The Klingon had only seen the Trill’s physical weakness, considered him a burden on the crew. She’d challenged him over it before he could do something to rid them of that perceived burden, and the fight had been very messy. Romulan strength against Klingon endurance; bruises, broken bones and green and purple blood all over the place. Eventually B’horn had backed down, but it had been a close thing. Sorel doubted she could ever beat him in a straight fight, but then she wasn’t inclined towards straight fights. She used every weapon in her arsenal.:: ::And lover or not, Anil Tain was one of them. Right now his ability to get inside a computer system might well be their only chance at freedom.:: ::Behind her firm facade she was acutely aware that they were only in this situation because she had brought them there. Mack had demanded to know what the frell was in the Corridor that made it worth coming all this way when they'd first set out. She had promised them riches in unplundered crash sites and alien artifacts, scavenging the best pickings of this no man’s land. And that had been one reason. But it hadn’t been the only one.:: ::Anil had told her that back on Trill, when his disease had first become apparent, that he’d had genetic testing done, the full extent of his mutation mapped and sequenced, but that nothing could be done. That had seemed ridiculous to her in this modern age, but he’d tried to explain that the extent of the damage was more than the usual inheritable mutation; something called a ‘frameshift mutation’. She hadn’t understood it, but apparently the affected segment of DNA was huge, resulting in multiple aberrant proteins that slowly built up in his body, crippling him. Only the blood/brain barrier preserved his mind. Doctors on his home world, and in the Federation at large, had told him that the damage was too extensive, their couldn’t repair it That had been the end of many of his dreams. He was dropped from the Symbiosis selection process, and where before he’d been driven and a high intellectual achiever, life suddenly lost all lustre for him. They’d told him he’d be lucky to live another five years, but so far he’d proven them wrong. He was stubborn like that, and surprisingly determined behind his quiet demeanor.:: ::Disgusted with what he perceived as his society’s having failed him, Anil Liorn had left to seek his own answers, and his own way of living with himself. There were those beyond Federation jurisdiction who conducted unsanctioned genetic engineering. But the ones he’d found couldn’t help him. He’d found others who could in different ways, and learned to trade his failing body for one of circuits and sensors, at least temporarily. Technology that not all could accomodate he had adapted to like he'd been born to it.:: ::That was Anil of course; then there was Tain. That symbiont’s previous host had been exiled for the crime of reassociation, refusing to leave behind a past romance. She’d been on some planet seeking ways to prolong her life when Anil had come seeking a cure. Neither had found what they sought but they had reached an agreement. The Symbiosis Council would no doubt he horrified, but clearly neither Anil nor Tain cared one whit.:: ::She did however; and that was her folly. She had told no one, but that was the reason she had brought them out here. Risked their lives, lost their ship, gotten her crew captured and all for her own private foolishness. And there was no guarantee that she was right, or even if she was that she would ever find whom she sought, or if she did that he would even help her.:: ::Regardless she had to try. The Federation was too law bound to help Anil, others too lacking in technology or charging the impossible. But she knew of a man who surely could. If he could engineer whole species as weapons he surely could re-engineer a few kilobases of faulty DNA. He might not choose to of course, he might not even remember her, incidental offspring of a causal liason. But none of that mattered. Rumour had it that The Infernal, that most infamous name amongst her own people, was out here somewhere.:: ::Sorel had come to find her father.:: MacNickols: I think that’s it. God knows if it’s going to be any use to metal-head, or whether he’s going to have access to anything other than the [...]tail catalogue, but we're in. Sorel: Good work. I’ll wake him. Tain: No need. ::Like a wraith he appeared in the doorway before making his way over on his crutches. He was wearing his circlet again, having taken it off earlier as though it’s lack of signal offended him. She offered him her arm and helped lower him into the chair they’d pushed up against the wall.:: Tain: Plug me in. ::Tala’s jury-rigged system was invaluable, and Mack made the connection. For a moment Tain squeezed her hand weakly and smiled blindly in Sorel’s direction, and then his eyes drifted closed. The smile stayed on his lips as he got his fix. She supposed that everyone was addicted to something.:: ::For Anil it was that computer connection; for Mack it was adrenalin. For B’horn she was never really certain, although violence seemed to do it. For Tala it had been the chance to tinker with different technology.:: :: And for herself? It had been freedom. The endless possibilities that a ship represented. Yet that was all lost, and as she watched Anil seem to sleep, mind at work in the Anchorage’s computers, it occurred to her that you could have more than one addiction.:: END Sorel Romulan Captain Previously of Fortune’s Daughter (Simmed by Dr. Saveron, USS Mercury)
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