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  1. What makes this sim great is how the description of time highlights Alieth's feelings of vulnerability in this emergency situation; it's brought into painful focus with the Olympian effort needed to complete the routine and mundane act of tapping the comm badge. Really neat writing. ((Transporter Room One, Deck One, USS Thor)) Time, occasionally, gave the appearance of dilating and contracting simultaneously, without any particularly significant gravitational alteration, or any obvious anomaly. This fact, of course, had more to do with a sense of urgency and the action of hormones and neurotransmitters on the sympathetic nervous system than with what humans called general relativity, naturally, nonetheless it was a remarkable circumstance. That was one of those moments. As soon as they all fell onto the pads in a haphazard pile, the Commander rose to his feet and leaped towards the transporter controls. Alieth, in the other hand, stood up slowly, very slowly, like moving through a dense, sticky substance instead of thin air. Her eyes remained fixed on the engineer's hands, which seemed to blur over the control panel. Something rolled beside her and halted just next to her leg, and only that was what pulled her eyes off to see Peri's pale face, greyer than usual, her eyes tightly closed. The doctor was just about to kneel beside her to check her status when a voice broke the silence. Greaves: =/\= Captain Greaves to Commander Teller. Sir, I've got a nice warm seat here on the bridge with your name on it. =/\= Peri opened her eyes and Alieth’s gaze darted again to the First Officer. Teller: =/\= Standby Bridge, forgot somebody. Retargeting transporters now. =/\= That was the moment when time seemed to stretch even further. Possibly only a few seconds passed. Even less. Just a breath, long enough time before Mr. Greaves snapped out of his shock and asked the next question. Yet it seemed like minutes. Hours. Decades. Enough time for a seemingly abandoned Zet to plummet to the ground. A quick but painful death. Greaves: =/\= What do you mean we forgot one? =/\= Of course, at this point time sped up, regaining all the momentum it had lost. Teller: Clear the pad, now! They all moved quickly, as gracefully or gracelessly as they could, as the centre of the room began to pulse, to whirr, golden streaks of particles cascading from the emitters in the ceiling. And time, once more, stretched like a rubber band, dilated anew. Alieth turned to the other lieutenant. Before she spoke, she could see every detail of her face, her attentive expression, despite the weariness obscuring her eyes. The tear marks wing had left in the corner of her eyelids. The ridged nose slightly puckered, a tiny freckle over the left cheekbone that she had always noticed but had never had time to observe in detail. It took Alieth a lot of energy to break the spell of that rubbery time and raise her hand to her chest. Squeeze the combadge. It clicked lightly first, before the familiar chirp indicating that the connection had been established rang. Her throat seemed to take centuries to respond to her brain's commands. All that lifetime took just a few tenths of a second. Alieth: Alieth to Main Sickbay, send three stretchers and a trauma team to transporter room one. Salo: =/\= Roger, on route=/\= As soon as the combadge beeped a second time, she turned to her colleague. Alieth: Dr. Quen, what is your physical self-evaluation? Quen: Response Teller: =/\= Volumetric lock established, standby bridge, energizing... =/\= Alieth looked forward again. Without being aware of it, she leaned slightly forward, as the light grew brighter and brighter. And it began to solidify in the centre of the room. The lights flickered faintly. The room filled with the distinct aroma of the Zet metropolis. A long-limbed, spider-like figure curled into herself materialized in the centre of it all, barely an inch away from the reception pad. A breeze that wasn't really there hit them in the face and ruffled the curls that framed the Vulcan's visage. She was there. Nenni was safe. There was a plaintive buzzing sound and the whole complex system seemed to shut down at once. Teller: Doctors, if you're alright, please check on Ensign Katsim and Nenni. I need to...get to the..bri.. The sound caught her off guard. Her first impulse was to rush to help, but she held back for a second. The commander's crooked nose was... REALLY askew. And swollen. And splattered with so much red and purple that it would be worthy of many an artist's abstract expressionism phase. But despite its striking appearance, it did not necessarily look life-threatening. Moreover, Teller had survived a runabout falling on his head and was stubbornly back on his feet just hours later. She was sure she could survive for a few seconds while they sorted out the situation. Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= We have her, we are all here. There will be a report on bridge in two minutes, but, effective immediately, Commander Teller is relieved of duty per medical advice. (Beat, concealing relief.) You are still in command, Captain Greaves. =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= As she was speaking, both of her teammates had lost no time and leaned over the crumpled Zet, appraising her condition.With that front covered, the Vulcan approached the collapsed first officer and crouched beside him. Katsim: Are you okay? Nozku/Quen: Response No sooner had the tiny CMO accomplished her movement when an arm rose up from behind the transporter control station, followed by a plaintive cough. Teller: =/\= Bridge...Transport..Successful. Red...Alert.... =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= Indeed, mister Greaves =/\= At that moment, the room doors hissed open, the Orion nurse and the rest of the trauma team carrying the triage equipment as well as several floating stretchers. Soon, the entire team was examined, Nenni and Teller carefully positioned on stretchers, cortical monitors attached to their foreheads or temples. Alieth: (After pressing a hypospray on the side of the young hybrid's neck) Ensign Katsim, I would like you to report on the bridge to explain what has happened to Captain Greaves. (Turning to Deena) Dr. Quen, you are welcome to accompany her to provide your eyewitness account as well, but I will need you in sickbay soon for a reconstructive surgery. Katsim/Quen (optional Nozku/Teller): Response Alieth nodded silently before turning back to Malak. Alieth: Nurse, make sure that they reach the sickbay in good condition and, most importantly, that none of them attempt any foolishly bold attempts to make their way to the bridge. Adventure is over for the day for them. Salo: (Smiling broadly and winking ostentatiously) Of course, ma'am, even if I have to strap them to the stretcher. Perhaps there was some protest. Or an incoherent babble. But Alieth ignored them and escorted both stretchers out of the room, her attention focused on the welfare of both patients. She could only look out for them at that moment, the conclusion of the mission in the hands of Captain Kells and the staff on the bridge. But she trusted them, she had shared so much with that crew and had learned that she could rely on them. Delegating was a skill, one that every officer had to learn at some point, even if some did it sooner than others. As she entered hastily in the turbolift and the door hissed shut behind her, the Vulcan realized something: Time had resumed its usual pace and rhythm. [[Tag! & End of the Scene for Alieth]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
    4 points
  2. ((A Grove of Seven Trees, Memorial Forest, Thama Homeworld)) A warm breeze flitted through the graceful, slender branches of the l'far trees, filling the grove with a gentle rustling that Ashal Koas found pleasant and soothing. Her spade dug into the rich black dark soil easily as it had for the last two hours, shifting the dirt aside and forming a small mound nearby. With each load of soil moved she got closer to her goal but her pace was unhurried and regular. Even here, in the company of those she held most dear, she didn't risk letting her mask slip. Not now. Not when she was so close. Another scoop of dirt set aside, and she was a step closer to finishing her journey. The wind gusted, the l'far trees swaying, the light playing off their crystalline leaves. She could hear them speaking to her. They encouraged her when she had lost faith and purpose. They gently reminded her of her sworn promise. If she closed her eyes, she could hear their voices again. She was so near to them, now. Closer than she had been since the accident. Her expression remained neutral, but the next thrust of the shovel bit into the soil more deeply. She had planted these trees seven years earlier when she was just sixteen years old. She'd cared for them and nurtured them across the years, as they had cared for her, serving as her sounding board and confidants when she grew dejected or uncertain. The living cenotaph to her family, here in a hidden corner of the Great Memorial Forest, was the keeper of her secrets. It would not need to be for much longer. The wind shifted again and she could hear the voices of the other children, her brothers and sisters. They laughed and sang, which always made Ashal smile during the darkest times. Ashal looked towards the smallest tree in the grove, named in honor of her younger brother Ascal. He was always the first to joke, the first to tease his sister when she got into one of her intense moods. Branches shook and leaves whispered, a music knowable only to her. Koas: Don't be difficult, Ascal! You're always such a troublemaker, getting your branches tangled. Dotra and Jimberline never cause as much of a fuss. The other two smaller trees offered no immediate response. Ashal continued digging without pause, carrying on with her conversation. Koas: We've spoken about this before and you know why I have to go. This is everything we've hoped for. I've been assigned to the negiogation team as a junior diplomat. No one questioned it. Ambassador Niran chose me personally. The smallest tree in the grove fell silent. Ashal dug for a while longer, then stepped up and out of the void she had created, satisfied. They were ready for the saplings. Her people had few traditions that could be considered spiritual, but this ancient practice had grown with the Thama, much like the memorial trees themselves. New life born out of loss. It was the great cycle of all living systems and the Thama, more than anything else, respected the sanctity of life. She moved the first sapling into position, gently placing it where she should've been, among her brothers and sisters, reciting the old words for the eight time. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer, let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud, then pressed the soil down with bare hands. Her meticulously precise facade didn't waiver, but a tear escaped from her eye and fell upon the soil. The second sapling was moved into position, low and away from the family of trees. Ashal tried to repeat the litany without emotion creeping in, only the subtlest notes of cold rage tinging her words. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer...::Ashal looked back towards her family and felt their eyes upon her. This was her final gift.:: Let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud with venom enough to wilt the nearby grass. It was the first time a Nascaik had ever been honored with a tree in the Great Forest, but Ashal believed strongly in the tradition. New life born out of loss. Something to blossom while something else withered. She pressed the soil into place and turned to face her family one final time. Their voices had grown still but she could feel their warm embrace. She longed to be with them, and looked lovingly at the sapling. Koas: You're home now, little Ashal. Grow strong and tall for me, here with your family. I have to go now but it will be fine. This is the cycle. The breeze picked up once again, rustling and whispering in the branches around them. As she changed out of her soiled work clothes and into something more befitting a junior diplomat, Ashal heard the voices of her parents and her siblings. She heard them calling out to her, demanding justice. They didn't wish to burden her so, but she was all that remained. It had to be her. By the time she stepped out of the Memorial Forest for the very last time, Ashal Koas had renewed her resolve. She would see her plan through to the very end, as she had promised all those years ago. She felt a calm elation as she returned to her offices, just one junior bureaucrat among many returning from midday break. She imagined the grove and smiled. Something wonderful would blossom there. While something else withered. [End] ==================================== Ashal Koas Junior Assistant to the Ambassador Thama Scientific Sovereignty V239509GT0
    3 points
  3. This sim is a roller coaster of adrenaline with a perfect pace, increasing the urgence of the scene slow and steady till the cliffhanger-y end. @Geoffrey Teller Delivers again? Oh yeah he does ((Damaged Yacht, the Skies above the Zet Homeworld)) Katsim: Are...are you sure this is going to work? The craft rocked, another near miss marring the deckplate near Nenni's skull. Geoff felt that made a more convincing argument than anything he could say, stepping back from the console and working his way towards everyone else. Alieth: ::Trying to impose her voice over the wind:: It will work, Peri. ::She glanced back at the sleek, swiftly moving vehicle that was closing the distance between them::: And in any case, we will run out of alternatives pretty soon. Nozku: Now or never! We're going to be out of there sight for only a dozen seconds or so once we round the next skyscraper! They were gaining altitude rapidly before arcing back on a parabolic course that would see the craft hurtling towards one of the enormous Anroc statues that dotted the landscape. It was a small, pithy gesture, but Geoff had promised to wipe the smug sneer off Anroc's face, and he made good on his promises. Teller: We jump at the same time, we can't risk getting separated in that soup down there. Geoff could see the dense smog layer hanging over the city and clustered in close, on hand steading himself against the ships edge. With a hop, he'd be over and into the open air. He looked ahead, their 'camouflage' nearly in place. It would be a matter of seconds now. Then it would be in the hands of Teller's oldest nemesis. Physics. Quen: Response Katsim: Sure there's something else we can do? Quen: Response Geoff shook his head and put an arm on Peri's shoulder, trying to reassure the visibly frightened young woman. This mission had been unexpectedly grueling for his team and Peri had seemed hardest hit by the horrible conditions and general hopelessness. He'd find time to talk to her when this was all over, but for the moment, they had to act. The yacht shuddered from another glancing hit astern. Teller: If it makes you feel any better about it Ensign, I'm ordering you to abandon this ship. ::Geoff leaned in, lowering his voice as much as he could:: I trust this crew. That how I know it'll be ok. Geoff winked, as if he let Peri in on a secret, before setting himself firmly against the rail, hand outstretched. Alieth: While I always encourage a vigorous debate about the virtues and the innumerable deficiencies of Geoff's plans, we need to jump. NOW. Something about Alieth's voice cut through the breeze and caught Teller's ear unexpectedly. He hadn't noticed earlier, but the spritely Vulcan was almost vibrating with anticipation, eagerly looking over the side of the craft and pantomiming her dismount, subtly shifting her weight from one leg to the other. Where Peri, Quen and Nenni were all looking over the gunwale with a mixture of apprehension and dread, Alieth was visibly excited. Geoff laughed, the tension of the moment broken for him, and looked to Quen. Teller: Doc, the CMO is showing an unhealthy excitement about all this, don't you think? Quen: Response Their moment came, the tops of towers aligning to give them a few seconds of obscurity from the eyes of their pursuers. The incoming fire mercifully ceased and Geoff could feel himself going light, the craft at the very top of its arc before plummeting back downwards and away from them. If they had plotted the course right, they were at nearly 2000m now. It would take them nearly a minute to fall all the way to the ground, but Geoff hoped that would give them time to spare. Nozku: We're out of time for this! Katsim: Sir, I officially go on record that I don't like this plan. Geoff nodded and in reply, stepped to the rail, the first to jump. It had been his plan, after all. The instant updraft made Teller's eyes water before he managed to roll over, watching the rest of his team leave the yacht in a tight string behind him. Even Nenni floated freely and for a moment, everything was oddly peaceful. There was no sense of relative motion, no sensation of velocity because everything he could see was moving at the same speed. Then an Zet interceptor streaked towards the yacht, peppering it with weapons fire, still trying to force it down. Geoff smiled at that a bit, their distraction working. Clumsily he rolled, trying to flair out as he'd been trained to do long ago in an Academy drill. At the time, he had struggled to see the point of it. Now he regretted not paying closer attention. From somewhere to his left, nearly lost in the roar of the wind, a Zet voice called out. Nenni had composed herself almost immediately and seemed in confient control as she gently glided towards Geoff. Nokzu: (Shouting) Together! We need to get closer! Geoff swam, flapped, kicked and dolphined his way through the air, making a graceless spectacle and very little progress. Seconds passed but he got a hand around Nenni's forearm, just as he felt another hand grasping at the back of his uniform. Slightly above him, Doctor Quen had caught up with their small constellation. With his free hand, Geoff swatted at his combadge. The roar of the wind was so loud he couldn't tell if it was working but that didn't stop him. He figured they had forty five seconds now. Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor, Teller to Thor, Emergency Transport, Team Plus One, Expedite, Expedite =/\= Quen: Response Worryingly, nothing happened. They continued to sail through the increasingly polluted Zet air, low enough now to see light shining through windows. Geoff ground his teeth, repeatedly slapping at his comm badge, still unsure if he was even getting through. Nozku: (Shouting) Alright, you Federation aliens! Nows the part where you save us all! The hurtled down, each crewman calling for emergency transport and receiving no reply. Below them, the ground had become visible below the cloud layer. It was reaching up towards them quite uncomfortably. Katsim: =/\=Katsim to Thor….Get me out of here!=/\= With successful contact made, Ensign Katsim was the first to shimmer out of existence. Her sudden disappearance shattered their tenuous formation and Geoff found himself tumbling away from Nenni, his hold lost, as Alieth shouted in alarm. Alieth: GEOFF!!!!...NOZKU….!!! Geoff's eyes widened, the implications clear to him. When they had been in physical contact, the ship would have no problem tracking Nenni along with the rest of the away team. But falling on her own without a comm badge to lock on to, the ship wouldn't see her. He slapped at his combadge frantically. Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor Abor.... It was too late, and Geoff felt the tingle of the annular confinement beam snatching him away. The last thing he saw was Nenni's terrified look of betrayal. Time froze. In the three seconds it would take Teller to cycle through the pattern buffer, he had a lot to think about. The first was that Nenni, still alive and falling to her death, would have about 20 seconds left before coming to an abrupt halt. Geoff didn't know how yet, but he had that much time to find a solution and implement it or he'd feel the shame of that woman's gaze in his soul for the rest of his life. The second thing he considered was how the modern transporter worked, and it's numerous safeguards and redundancies. For example, inertial compensation as part of the dematerialization process meant they wouldn't slam into the transporter pad at terminal velocity, only falling a small distance since they hadn't exactly been on level ground to begin with. Unfortunately, nothing in the transporters safety system could compensate for the orientation of someone spinning out of control. That meant Geoff rematerialized an arms length above the transporter pad with his boots facing towards the ceiling. ((Transporter Room One, Deck One, USS Thor)) The beam released its hold and Teller fell face first into the transporter pad with a bone breaking crunch. Dark red spots filling his vision, Geoff struggled to his feet and towards the transporter console. A visibly startled Chief Larell was already calling for medical assistance, but Geoff held up a hand and slid behind the console, riding the adrenaline for all it was worth. In his mind, Geoff was still falling with Nenni, still struggling to reach out to her, to grab on. Now, he was doing it with the ships targeting sensors. Greaves: =/\= Captain Greaves to Commander Teller. Sir, I've got a nice warm seat here on the bridge with your name on it. =/\= The voice sounded far away, his hearing ringing badly from the wind or the earlier explosion. Teller: =/\= Standby Bridge, forgot somebody. Retargeting transporters now. =/\= The room fell away and the whole of the universe was reduced to the transporter controls. Greaves: =/\= What do you mean we forgot one? =/\= Geoff's fingers were moving fast, disabling some of the very transporter safety systems he'd just been thinking about. He'd never be able to pick Nenni out of that soup, not without something to target first. So he wouldn't try. On one display, he had the computer plotting the descent vectors of the away team it had taken from the transporter logs. On the other, he was increasing the radius of the annular confinement beam well beyond the safety limits. Fifteen seconds. Teller: Clear the pad, now! Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response So he'd beam up a huge volume of atmosphere, air included, and would hopefully capture Nenni in the process. The trajectory plot computed and safety systems began flashing urgent red. He was pulling power from all over the ship and channeling it, only one chance left for him to make good on his word. His vision was beginning to blur. Something tasted bitter. Ten seconds. Teller: =/\= Volumetric lock established, standby bridge, energizing... =/\= With deft fingers Teller's hands slid up the triple sequence initiators, the transporter humming to life. The system strained and Teller made a myriad of small adjustments, narrowly averting overload and calamity. Finally, a solitary form materialized in the very center of the transporter pad, curled in and clutching into herself. There was a blast of residual air with the scent of the city that dispersed and filled the room, but the ships filters had it gone in moments. He managed to set her down with surprising grace before leaning heavily against the console, his frantic rush having peaked. Blood dripped unnoticed onto his uniform jacket and console. The transporter, similarly spent, went offline with a sad electronic whine. Geoff knew it would need extensive repairs. Teller: Doctors, if you're alright, please check on Ensign Katsim and Nenni. I need to...get to the..bri.. Geoff felt his legs buckling but caught himself before hitting the deck entirely. It was suddenly a struggle to remain conscious at all, adrenaline rush entirely spent. He wanted nothing more than to lay down and get just a few moments of rest, and his eyelids were getting convincingly heavy. Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Nozku/Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response Geoff coughed into his hand, leaving dark streaks on his palm. Teller: =/\= Bridge...Transport..Successful. Red...Alert.... =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Nozku/Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response Tags/TBC =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
    1 point
  4. I had my eyes closed while reading this sim
    1 point
  5. This made me spit my tea out - such a big, diplomatic build up and immense reverence ... and fishing. 😛
    1 point
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