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Ens Thoran & Lt Pond - Drowned Rat


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((On a Royal Navy Ship, Somewhere on the Atlantic))

 

::The black and yellow walls of the holodeck disappeared, replaced with large wooden sailing ship, in the same design as a 19th century English naval ship. It had a deck comprised of great wooden planks, with three huge masts protruding from it. Each of the masts was furnished with great off white sails. Above were clear blue skies and below dark blue water. The ship was apparently sailing upon the high seas, gently rolling with the waves::

 

:: The two starfleet officers now stood at the stern of the ship, with a sweeping view of the ship in front of them, men busying themselves with work. Stood just in front of them, was a grimy looking human male, with ill fitting, ragged clothes and a cloth over his head, currently steering the ship via a giant wheel::

 

Thoran: Lieutenant Pond, welcome to Her Majesty’s Ship Destiny. She is an old Earth sailing ship, from the 19th Century. :: He tapped the wooden rail nearby.:: She is a thing of beauty.

 

Thoran: ::He turned to face Isabel:: I’d imagine this is not quite what you expected?

 

Pond: ::smiling awkwardly:: Indeed. I usually prefer something better protected against… ::feeling chilly:: the wind, for example. I feel like I’m a little… wrongly dressed?

 

Thoran: Quite. Perhaps, you may wish to change into something more suitable?

 

Pond: That sounds like a good idea. Those clouds over there do not look very friendly.

::As someone mainly concerned with space, the interpretation of clouds and winds was of course far beyond Isabel’s grasp of understanding. However, she had lived on a planet, and whenever dark clouds like these appeared over the sea, it had been time to search for a sturdy shelter.::

 

Pond: What has the program to offer?

 

Thoran: Well let me see. :: He thought for a minute about the different options he could present to Isabel, which thankfully were not a lot.:: I think you would be best suited with an outfit similar to mine, as i’m not quite sure you’re ready for the lower decks. ::He smiled at the thought of the young trill trying to run the guns amongst the beast like men of the crew:: Computer, create outfit 19th century Royal Navy officer’s attire.

 

::The integrated replicator circuits of the holodeck produced an uniform quite similar to the one Ensign Thoran was already wearing. However, it was evident from afar that his was of a major quality. The signs of wear alone made it blend into the scenery, very different to the brand new suit in Isabel’s hands.::

 

Pond: I think I’ll go downstairs to change.

 

Thoran: Very well Isabel, I shall see you shortly. :: As Isabel disappeared, Thoran closed his eyes, feeling the wind upon his face and took a few deep breaths, taking in the smell of gunpowder, wood, grease mixed with the salty scent of the ocean.::

 

::Without further ado, the Trill slid down the wooden stairs as she would have done on a Starship. Unfortunately, she wasn’t very much experienced with wood and caught pinpoint an enormous splinter. It was of course not a big problem for a physician, but it still hurt a bit.::

 

::On the lower deck, or however it was called in sailor terms, the air was sticky and one had to search for a bit of unused oxygen. No wonder everyone who was able to spent the day on the deck. Like that, she easily found a hidden corner where she could change. She hid her jogging clothes inside a hammock, hoping they would be left behind once they would terminate the program.::

 

::Now adequately dressed, she had a look around on this deck. It was a very cluttered sight and she questioned the ability of anyone finding anything in this mess. The only neat thing around were accurately lined up cannons. They all had enough space around to manipulate them and ammunition and powder was ready at hand. This clearly seemed to be a warship.::

 

::Continuing further towards the bow, Isabel had to climb over barrels of supplies, hammocks hanging criss and cross and seabags full of stinking clothes. She was indeed relieved when she reached the exit at the other end of the deck. The Trill took the ladder back to the top. With only her head sticking out of the bulkhead and after her eyes had once again adjusted to the light, she looked at the boots of another very heavy sailor.::

 

Sailor 1: Aye Matey what do we have ‘ere?

 

::Rather ruggedy, he grabbed her at the collar and pulled her out in one go. Isabel was too astonished about the strength of the character to do anything about it.::

Sailor 1: Mates, look at that, a gal in officer’s attire.

 

::Within seconds, Isabel was surrounded by a flock of more or less angry looking sailors. She tried to strike an impressive, authority-inducing pose, but it had no effect at all.::

 

Sailor 2: A cutty indeed. What do we do, lads?

 

Sailor 3: That’s not good… Not good at all. Everyone knows. A shrew on board ain’t no good.

 

::The sailors drew the circle closer and Isabel learned very quickly how walking the planks must feel like. Actually, she was surprised that no-one handed a wooden board to the mob leader, just to make the feeling a tad more real.::

 

Pond: Uhm, Thoran, a little help here?

 

::She couldn’t see the Ensign from her standpoint. Her 5 foot 2 was barely chest high for most of these bears in front of her. Quite agile, she jumped on top of the rail and barely got a hold of a piece of rope, preventing her continuing leap into the ocean. From what she had seen, Thoran’s dress surely made him something quite high ranking on this vessel, he could bring some sense into these men. She hoped.::

 

:: Thoran had been discussing the ship's supplies with the Purser when he noticed a small gathering at the far end of the ship. He called to the ship’s Master, a heavy set man, with a big thick beard who went by the name Hal.::

 

Thoran: Hal, sort that ramble out, we have not got time for this nonsense. :: At that moment a figure broke from the gathering, and via a rope leapt into the ocean. Cries of man overboard resounded around the ship. He could not be certain, but that figure who had gone into the sea, looked a lot like Isabel.::

 

::”Leaping” Was not exactly how Isabel would have described it. Maybe she would have considered it in more tropical waters, like the ones of her hometown, but this ocean looked dark and scary and very cold.::

 

::And unfortunately quite wavy. A specially devious one just had hit the ship from eleven o’clock, sending a gentle but rather unexpected ramble through the ship’s body, making her lose her footing and plunge backwards towards the ocean.::

 

::She couldn’t exactly see when the surface was arriving, but it had to come at any moment. The top of the ship grew smaller and smaller, while more and more faces appeared at the edge. Isabel was definitely sure most of them looked amused.::

 

::Then the Trill hit the water and it was as cold and uninviting as she had expected it to be. Her extensive clothing instantly dragged her down, but luckily, she had teared down the rope she initially hung onto. Two swimming strokes were enough to once again reach it and she was able to pull herself back to the top. For most of the time, anyway.::

 

:: Thoran headed to the source of the commotion, where some of the crew were now grabbing poles and holding them over the side for the seaman to grab hold of. As he reached the side, he saw the figure of a very angry Isabel bopping up and down in the water::

 

Thoran: We’ll have you out in a moment. :: He turned to the Master:: Find out what has happened here, I want a full report, including any charges::

 

Master Hal:: Aye cap’n. Right you ‘orrible lot, get back t’it or i’ll ‘ave you’ll up on charge. :: He turned to one of the figures stood in the centre of the group:: You there, get yerself below deck NOW, I wanna ‘ave a word wiv ya.

 

::Isabel then was quickly brought back on board. Everything was cold and she felt quite miserable and considerably angry. The Trill wished she had not changed clothes, the water-soaked uniform must weigh a couple of tons.::

 

Thoran: :: He passed Isabel a woolen blanket:: Glad to have you back with us. Come, let’s get you dried off and some new clothes. :: He gestured towards his cabin at the far end of the ship:: After you.

 

:: The crew made way for them, giving them a salute as they passed. As they approached the door to the cabin, the marine sentry stood to attention and opened the door. Once inside Thoran gestured to a screen on the right hand side of the room :: You may get changed behind there. :: He turned to a young boy stood in the corner of the room.:: Yeoman, please arrange for some tea.::

 

Pond: ::grumbling:: Maybe with something extra in it, that would be fine...

 

:: The boy returned carrying a tray with a teapot and two cups, placing it down on a large oak deck in the centre of the room and proceeded to pour two cups. Thoran sat down in one of the chairs adjacent to the table, picking up one of the cups and taking a sip. Isabel emerged from behind the screen, slightly drier than when he had seen her last.::

 

Thoran: Please, take a seat and have some tea. :: He gestured to the seat opposite his::  And perhaps, you could tell me what happened?

 

Pond: ::calmly upset:: Well, your men were not exactly pleased to see me on board. I wanted to jump unto the fence-thing around the deck to make myself heard, but you see, it didn’t turn out quite as I’ve thought it would.

 

Pond: oO I should have picked up gymnastics instead of dancing. Some somersaults on the beam and nothing could have brought me off that reiling. Oo

 

Thoran: :: Trying to stifle a laugh:: I am sorry about that. The men do tend to get a little :: he paused for a moment, trying to think of the best way to phrase this:: excited when they see a female, especially one in a uniform.

 

Pond: ::seriously not serious:: I feel like… You know, what do sailors do? Keelhaul someone?

 

Thoran: Well I will admit you do slightly resemble someone who has been keelhauled, although you are a lot less ragged than they would be. :: A small smile spread across his face:: it doesn’t seem like we’re getting off to a good start here. If I may ask, what do you prefer I call you?

 

Pond: ::sighing:: I guess we’re past Lieutenant Pond by now. You can call me Isabel when off duty.

 

Thoran: Well it is a pleasure to meet you Isabel. Care to indulge in a spot of pirate hunting?

 

::Pirate hunting sounded much more violent than the peaceful run through the forest. However, Isabel rarely

 

Pond: I don’t know, I might have seen enough naval daily business. Do you think you can make these characters not throwing me over board a second time or do we have to temporarily change the program before that?

 

:: Thoran leant forward and took another sip of tea. It had been one of things he had missed since leaving his homeworld, real home-brewed tea. It was not often his father was without a cup.::

 

Thoran: Whilst I cannot guarantee they will not throw you overboard, they can be a lively lot after all, you have my assure the matter has been dealt with.

 

:: Thoran stood up, walking over to a sizeable desk at the rear of the cabin, covered with yellowed parchments. He picked the top one, unfurled and read it, before placing it back down::

 

Thoran: Now, there have been rumours of pirates attacking merchant ships just north of our current position. Our orders are to find and apprehend them. It should make a good prize for the crew. :: He turned  to face Isabel:: Tell me, do you know anything about sailing or warfare?

 

::Isabel had almost interrupted him with a remark about better going south, as there it is supposedly warmer as in the north. But then she realised that this wasn’t a shuttle and they couldn’t possibly sail far enough within the remaining half hour or so to have thie making a difference.::

 

Pond: ::shrugging:: I know in which direction the ship’s supposed to go. ::pointing hesitantly::

 

Thoran: :: He smiled to himself. She at least knew something, more than most fresh faces on board did.:: That is correct. I will warn you, although this is a holo program, it can get quite um messy. Especially when it comes to the fight.::

 

:: The pair were interrupted by a knock on the door. Thoran called them in. It was young boy, no older than fifteen, with ill fitting clothes and holding a cap in his hand::

 

Boy: Beg ya pardon Cap’n, ships bin sighted windward offa starboard.

 

Pond: oO Uhoh, Captain, already… Quite ambitious, this young man… Oo

 

:: He thanked and dismissed the boy. He turned to face Isabel with a large grin on his face::

 

Thoran: Well, it seems we may not have to wait long. Care to join me on the deck?

 

::The doctors hopes that they would calmly cruise through the water on an unsuccessful search were therefore eliminated. Honestly, that had been to be expected, after all it is a programm designed to entertain and not to bore someone into a coma. As this was all that it was, a program, Isabel decided that if she’s here already, she could also let some of her anger about her own incompetence out on these virtual bad guys.::

Pond: Sure, let’s kick some pirate’s butt…

 

Thoran: Excellent! I like your spirit. After you Miss Isabel.

 

:: The pair left the cabin and headed up to the main deck. The crew was already assembled and waiting for the Captain’s orders. The Trill met some rather strange looks from the crew, she prefered to not know what had happened up here while she was drying off under deck. However, her gaze was soon directed to the horizon, hoping to spot the enemy ship. Isabel was not entirely sure if she was looking at the right spot, even though she knew where starboard was. Still being unsuccessful in her attempts, she looked back to Thoran, expecting some sort of rousing battle speech.::

 

:: Thoran took the telescope the sailing master handed him and looked in the direction the man was pointing. It seemed they had found their prey and Thoran was looking forward to playing this out with Isabel.::

 

Thoran: :: He passed the telescope to Isabel:: Just over there, on the horizon. She’s smaller than us, so she will be faster but we have the wind gauge. :: Isabel nodded knowingly, without knowing what that means. He turned to face the crew who had been assembled on the deck.:: Right men, the time is upon us. They have raided several of the King’s ships and we cannot let this continue. As I look upon you, I know you will each do your duty and you are as eager as I to get into the action. If we can take the ship undamaged, she will make a mighty prize.. Now, every man to his station and be quick about it.

_______________________________

Ensign Jarred Thoran

Security And Tactical Officer

Andaris Task Force, USS Blackwell NCC-58999

A239405JT0

 

And

 

Lt Isabel Pond

Medical Officer

USS Atlantis

D239212IP0

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