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  1. “Grandmother, why does Grandfather hate me?” Meidra’s eyes were focused on the sea of stars revealed on the small ship’s viewscreen. The man had tried hitting her with his staff for not knowing some obscure historical fact in front of his business associates. She was seven years old, why should she care who won the Great Battle of Vogan? T’Ria frowned as she turned to the child. “He does not hate you, my child. He hates himself.” Meidra highly doubted that. If Samek loved anyone, logic insisted that it was himself. She continued watching the stars, wondering why she wasn’t good enough for him. Grandmother had told Meidra’s mother that she was taking her on a trip for a few days to further the girl’s interest in biology, there was a little cabin not too far away on a planet just far enough away, and she intended on visiting it with her granddaughter. Lenore had known better than to argue, and had sent them off with a wave and a guilty expression. Meidra believed it signified relief, but would not speak the thought aloud. Meidra landed the shuttle in the hour before dusk, taking care to not touch down near where she knew firebirds would have their nests. She’d been gone for far too long, the memories too raw to bear. But she had promised herself she’d put her past behind her now that she had a brighter future. If the counselor were to listen to her grandfather, journeys to the past were illogical. What was done, was done, and dwelling on history prevented one from moving forward. Of course, if one was a ruthless shipping magnate with poor impulse control, that philosophy made sense. They landed at sunset, the purple sky streaked with dark blue clouds. A storm was coming, and Meidra loved storms. She thought that if a big enough storm could just come to Vulcan, it might blow the bitterness from Grandfather’s heart. She frowned, it was just this type of fanciful nonsense that Samek despised from her most of all. They made their way through the thick forest, and Meidra smiled when she saw her castle in the trees that Grandmother’s friend Arid had made for her two years ago. It was good to be back where she felt safe. She could be a pirate, or a princess or a real Vulcan. She said as much to her grandmother, not seeing the look of sadness in T’Ria’s eyes. Days passed, and they made friends with the multi colored fish that lived in the nearby creek who seemed to sing each morning as they greeted the day. She was allowed to give them special treats that she had helped T’Ria make, with extra nutrients to help them keep their vibrant color and health. Meidra felt very important and special because her grandmother trusted her with taking care of all of the animals near the cottage. One night, Meidra and T’Ria sat round a small fire, roasting the sweet confections of gelled sugar her grandmother had sampled on Terra decades ago. They were sticky and had no discernable nutritional value. Grandfather would have hated them. So Meidra loved them. Plus they tasted like happiness. Slowly making her way through the small forest on Telstrus III, the counselor noted every sign of her past that still survived the years since she had last been here. The hand painted sign, Meidra’s Castle, pointed the way to a treehouse built from Goklim wood, only found on this small world. A discarded pirate’s flag from Rimla where the oceans still cradled wooden ships through fierce storms. She could almost hear her grandmother calling for her to come inside for end meal, and moments later she saw her summer refuge. The cottage was small, crafted from dusty grey and white stone, with a bubbly creek nearby filled with multicolored fish that let you hand feed them once trust was established. She wondered if they would remember her. Sighing, she remembered her last day here, on vacation with T’Ria, hiding from some perceived sin committed in her grandfather’s eyes. He’d flown into a rage, swearing he’d throw her out of his home until T’Ria had smuggled them both to this cottage to wait out the storm of his wrath. They’d spent the day picking flowers, telling secrets, and promising to come back each year to have a week together. Now, the house was kept up by Grandmother’s friend Arid, who never seemed to age. He greeted her with warmth, then left her to her memories. “Meidra, I do not bring you here to run away from your problems.” T’Ria seemed very serious, and so Meidra listened even more carefully, eyes wide. “You cannot run from them, none of us can. But what you can do is find a spot where you feel safe, and work through the pain to find your strength. There is no shame in taking a step back and letting others pass. The path will still be there when you are ready.” “But what if the path takes me somewhere scary, Ko’mekh-il?” T’Ria allowed herself the small smile she had for her favored grandchild. Pushing the dark red hair from Meidra’s eyes, she put her forehead against Meidra’s and whispered. “Then you make a new path, my child.” The winds were picking up, soon a storm would surround the small home. She closed her eyes, letting the breeze greet her. She smiled, feeling the arms of her grandmother as if she were there. So many lessons learned here, and so many more to share with someone, when the time was right. Grandmother would have welcomed the one Meidra would bring here, feeding them sugary treats and teaching them about the singing fish. “Meidra, come inside, you will blow away if you don’t shelter from the winds.” “Just a few more minutes, Ko’mekh-il, I’m pretending I’m a firebird and can just fly away.” She paused. “Grandfather would like that, I think.” The old Vulcan woman came outside and scooped the child up into her strong, loving arms. “You are a treasure, my lara, and you are worth more than all of his gold.” Lara, Meidra thought. A pretty blue bird that soared amongst the heavens. She looked up at the sky. Someday, she would soar through the stars, she just knew it. Sitting near a campfire, watching the flames, Meidra put a marshmallow on a stick, just as T’Ria had shown her so long ago. As the fire kissed the sweetness, she realized it was yet another metaphor to be savored, The flames come close, but if you stay vigilant, they can’t engulf you. “I found someone, Grandmother. He’s kind and you would have loved him as I do.” Meidra felt the peace of this place shelter her as it had throughout her childhood. Many times over the years, she'd come here to remake her path, and it had always led her to better things, and a stronger sense of who she was meant to be. It had been a long road, getting from there to here. She slowly ate her treat, then sat back, and listened as the sounds of the forest welcomed her home.
    3 points
  2. Scotty was getting ready for what was a big day. He was being re-assigned as Captain to the USS Artemis, a newly retrofitted Sovereign-class vessel. He was to meet his new crew today at Starbase 20 as he was walking towards the XO's room on the base. He arrived outside the XO's cabin. He did a gentle knock on the door. "John! You ready to go to the briefing?" said Scotty. John replied, "Yes! One second." The door opened, and John appeared. They both walked to the briefing room, where they met the commanding officer of Starbase 20. They were going to go over some briefing items before they were allowed on the ship. "Welcome, All!" said the CO. Scotty and John both took their seats. After a few minutes of introductions, the discussion went into operations. The first thing that was brought up in the debate on how the ship design was changed to reflect the issues of the previous Sovereign-class vessels. These changes were mainly intended to overcome the problems that were present during the visit to Telstrus 3. Scotty remembers this well as he was the XO at the time on the USS Galway. Scotty was asked by the CO of Starbase 20 to provide a brief response to what happened on Telstrus 3. Scotty started his flashback into why he hated that mission so much. The crew of the USS Galway was on a routine patrol mission when they received a distress signal coming from Telstrus 3. The Captain musted an away team from the Galway that would beam down to assist. The away party consisted of me, an engineer officer, a science officer, and one security officer. I oversaw the away team. After gathering our gear, we beamed down to the surface. The first thing that we noticed was a heavy dust storm on the planet's surface. This severely impeded our vision and made our tricorter useless due to the dust in the air. The team started walking towards the colony. The first thing that we noticed was the colony looked like it had been abandoned for a long time. "Phasers on the alert team!" said Scotty. He was nervous that they might be walking into a trap as they walked into the colony. Scotty decided to radio the Galway bridge give them an update. "Bridge, Scotty here do you Copy," said Scotty. "Loud and clear, Scotty, what do you have?" replied the bridge. "The colony seems abandoned; looks like no one has been here for years," said Scotty. "Copy Scotty, look around, but preceded with… "replied the Galway bridge. "Bridge, message was choppy, say again," said Scotty. Suddenly, a bunch of people started firing their phasers at us. "Take cover! Fire back!" said Scotty. The teams started to shoot the intruders. They managed to subdue all the intruders. One of the security officers took a phaser shot but was expected to survive. "Bridge! What the hell, we were shot at!" replied Scotty. "Beam us back up!" said Scotty. "Beaming up now!" replied the transporter team. As we resurfaced on the vessel, we noticed that the ship was on a red alert. I asked what was going on. "What's happening!" said Scotty. "Were under attack! They were hiding in the clouds of Telstrus 3." Replied the transport officer. Scotty ran immediately to the bridge. He walked into the bridge and noticed there was a bulkhead breach on the bridge. Luckily the forcefield had engaged in containing the breach. It seemed the Captain got injured from the debris field. "Scotty! I am transferring the conn to you." Replied the Captain. "Copy! Commander, I will get us out of here," replied Scotty. Scotty asked the helm to warp us out. But the damage to the ship was so severe that it knocked out the warp drive. "How've shields?" asked Scotty. "10%, sir. Failure eminent," replied the tactical officer. "Copy! Fire all we have got into that ship; I want it destroyed," replied Scotty. After a few moments of tense fighting, the team was able to destroy the enemy vessel. "Vessel destroyed!" replied the tactical officer. "Good! Damage report please," replied Scotty. "Major hull damage. Breaches on Decks 1,6,7 and 10. We have no warp drive/impulse engines now as well. Engineering is working on getting the warp drive back online. 15 casualties." Replied the tactical officer. Scotty felt his heart sink, they were lured into a trap, and it almost got the ship destroyed. After a few hours passed, engineering was able to get the warp drive online. The only downside is we could only go max Warp 3 due to the damage done to the warp core. "Starbase 20, this is Scotty, acting captain of the USS Galway. We have sustained major damage from a rouge vessel in orbit near Telstrus 3. We are limping our way back to base. Request immediate medical and engineering teams on hand." Stated Scotty. "Copy! Glad you guys were able to make it out!" replied Starbase 20. Scotty was relieved that they made it back, but the Sovereign-class starships needed serious upgrades, he stated.
    2 points
  3. The water was calm, its gentle waves lapping softly against the shore. Even the sky overhead contributed to the calm of the place. A secluded little lake tucked away in the mountains. Tall trees stood like sentinels around the water, reaching nearly to the shore. Aspen and pine alike reached up and painted the horizon in hues of greens beneath a blue sky. The dark wood of a small log cabin peaked out from the treeline before a thin wooden dock, a single figure sitting alone at the end. Wes Greaves relaxed in a cheap folding chair, fishing line in the water, and a cool drink in hand. It was a warm day at his little hideaway, and he let out a deep breath. A breath he felt like he'd been holding for months. He'd needed this break from real life. A break from the doctors, from the counselors, and from Starfleet. They thought he was crazy; he knew it. No one believed him, but it didn't matter. Wes heard it before he felt it. His breath caught in his throat as a deep chill ran the entire length of his spine. The sort of chill that comes from deep fear and unspeakable terror. The sound was rushing through the trees behind him. The subtle rustling of leaves in a thick forest. A warm wind blew past the man and ruffled his short hair. The Marine turned his thoughts inward, just like the counselors had taught him. He'd always loved the wind; after all, he'd grown up sailing where the wind was his lifeblood. He tried to focus on that, but failed. After Telstrus III, that love had turned into something else. Something dark and foreboding. That mission had started like any other—a mystery that needed solving, a starship and crew nearby eager to solve it. Wes had even led the away team himself. Six young men and women, including himself. Just the sensation of the breeze took him right back to that terrible day... The surface was cool and rocky, with wide-open plains to the north and quickly steepening mountains to the south. They'd materialized at the base of a rocky cliff and immediately had set about their scans. He took stock of his small team, each a fine young officer. In no time at all they were spread out in a search pattern looking for the strange life sign that was the source of the mystery. A smile crossed his face at the team's proficiency, and Wes did his best to help their science officer with his scans. An hour into the mission was when he’d first begun to realize something was amiss. The ship wasn’t answering any check in calls. Their communicators still worked, but the guardian angel in orbit wasn't responding. Nothing on the tricorder that could determine why. That was about the time Wes heard it for the first time. A light breeze, nothing out of the ordinary except for the fact it was the first indication of wind he'd experienced since they'd beamed in. Ever so faintly, hidden in the sound of the breeze, Wes could make out a whisper. It was a scratchy voice, dry and worn with age, but he couldn't make out the words. The Marine rallied his team and began searching in the direction the wind to no avail. No one else had even heard the voice, but with each new breeze came another whisper, just barely audible. They searched for another hour, and the wind grew stronger by the minute. No one would say anything, but Wes could tell they all heard it. The wind would roll in, someone would look surprised, searching for the source of a sound, but when he would ask about it, the officer would simply wave him off and say it was nothing. The day dragged on, each new search pattern resulting in more questions with no answers in sight. By the time the sun was beginning to set Wes was getting concerned. Surly, the ship would send a relief team or a shuttle to extract them. He’d only planned on being down there for a few hours. As the horizon darkened Wes finally made the decision to seek shelter near the rock face. In minutes the team found a small alcove that allowed a respite from the still-growing wind. He could still hear the hint of the whisper in that breeze, but now the man was sure he wasn't the only one. The eagerness of the small team had been replaced with something darker. They all looked at each other with narrow eyes and suspicious glances. As the evening faded away into blackness they turned in for the night. One by one, each person found a comfortable position and curled up to sleep. For what seemed like hours Wes laid awake, trying to fight for rest while inaudible whispers in the wind kept his mind spinning. He was nearly asleep when the wind changed direction and whipped into the alcove. "They're killers…" This whisper was stronger. The dry raspy voice spoke as if directly into his ear. Wes snapped up and looked around in the dark, his hand reflexively reaching for a phaser. No one was there. Not even his team. He was alone with the wind. "Hello? Who's there?" the Marine called out. "You won't survive the night… They'll find you…" With a flourish Wes was on his feet, phaser in one hand, tricorder in the other. For a moment, the wind died down, and the voice relented, but Wes couldn't detect anything with the device. He took a hesitant step out of the alcove and scanned in an arc for the rest of his team. "You can't run from them…" A shiver ran down the Marine's back as the wind and the whisper seemed to whip around him. There was no explanation for it all. His tricorder detected no life signs, not even his own team. The Marine tried his communicator again, but there was no response. The darkness of the planet seemed to consume him. Wes could see no more than ten feet in front of himself, and the wind dominated his senses. With as much gusto as he could muster, he called out and challenged the wind. "I'm Captain Wes Greaves of the United Federation of Planets; identify yourself!" The wind, already blasting and strong, seemed to snap at his clothes in response. A whirlwind of dust spun around him, and with it a raspy cackle. "Find them first. Before they find you…" He snapped his tricorder shut in frustration and the spinning, cackling wind blew around him again. Without hesitation, Wes pushed forward, directly into the gust. It was like walking through water. Every motion took extra effort. Every move was resisted by the howling wind. He wasn't sure how long he marched through the dark, but when he finally stopped he wished that he hadn’t. Wes found the first two bodies together. Their security and science officers lay on the ground no more than a few feet apart. The distinct dark color beneath their bodies was a muddy, gore-soaked, mess. The sight of a blood-stained rock and the crushed skull of one turned Wes's stomach. Deep bite marks in the other's neck spoke to clear causes of death. For a time, Wes tried to talk himself out of the obvious, but he came to no other conclusion. They'd killed each other. The bloody rock still lay at the feet of their security officer, and the blood soaked mouth of the science officer was testament to their final actions. "They found each other at the same time…" whispered the wind. "Who are you!" the Marine cried out in anger, and the swirling wind laughed at him in response. "Find them first. Before they find you…" Again he trudged along, searching for the rest. One by one, he came across each of his team members. Their doctor, stabbed to death. Another science officer strangled, the bruises on her neck evident, even in the dark. Each time the wind had laughed in its dry, evil, whisper of a voice. Each time it had told him to find the others first. Each time he'd marched deeper into the night. Until the last one. Wes's tricorder beeped with a lifesign ahead, and even as his spirits lifted, the wind laughed at him again. "They found you first..." Before he could react, a giant rock whistled past his head, narrowly missing him. The Marine spun to find their chief of security standing near a boulder, reaching for another rock to throw. The look in the woman's eyes was crazed, and she cackled with delight as another rock was hurled, this one hitting Wes in the left arm with a sickly crack as his forearm broke. A burst of adrenaline carried him through the pain and the man dove for cover, drawing a phaser in response. "Dianna, what the hell are you doing?" he shouted. "I’ll get you first! Just like the rest of them!” came the woman’s chilling reply. The wind snapped and swirled and laughed as another rock narrowly missed Wes’s head. “Stop! It’s me, Wes!” he screamed across the now roaring gale. His words were stolen by the wind and the man watched in horror as the chief of security drew a long slender piece of metal and charged him. A bright beam of light crossed the distance between the two in a split second, illuminating the ground in a bath of orange hues. When darkness once again engulfed them, it was quiet. The gale stopped, and the plains were deadly silent. Rushing to the fallen woman, Wes scanned her. Not believing the tricorder he reached trembling hands to the woman’s neck. Her pulse was gone. It didn’t make sense. None of it did. His phaser was on stun, he triple checked the setting. “Is this what you wanted?” he shouted up to the sky. “Show yourself, whatever you are!” Despite his pleas, there was no response. No wind. Not even a gentle breeze to answer. Just the cool hum and the faint blue shimmer of a transporter beam taking hold and whisking the Marine off to saftey. The XO told him he’d only been on the surface for an hour. They said that there was no evidence of strong winds on the surface, let alone a gale. The ship’s captain was adamant that they’d beamed him back as soon as they had realized that communications weren't working. For months, he’d undergone tests. The doctors couldn’t find a thing wrong with his head. The counselors did the best to reconcile his memories and feelings. It was all chaulked up to stress induced hallucinations. No one believed his story. No one believed that the wind spoke to them. That it told them to kill. The only thing they all could agree on was that Wes Greaves was the only survivor of Telstrus III. The gentle warm breeze ruffled his hair again and Wes stood from the chair on the dock. The faint sound of whistling wind through the trees terrified him. Not bothering to reel in his line, the man left the fishing pole and retreated into the cabin. Away from the wind. Away from its insidious whisper.
    2 points
  4. Cheldon ch'Doro sat quietly reading at his desk. The standard issue office chair was sized for a regular sized Andorian, and buckled under his 350 pounds of bulky musculature. It barely came past the middle of his back when his 7'5" frame sat upright. He was busy studying a tome on Vulcan meditation, handily ported to a PADD for the convenience of the modern reader. He had become something of a spirtual seeker in the last several months. He had never been a spiritual person before Theta 122, when the Brotherhood of Thet had saved his life. He had spent much of his life in animalistic survival mode. Competing with others for scraps in the orphanage, on the streets, or in the fighting pits. The scars that decorated his blue body like a tapestry laid bare tales of violence for all to see. On the opposite side of the scale, a fortunate encounter had put him into excess and luxury body guarding a local crime lord. That too vanished, and the ensuing gang war, and prison sentence had brought him back to a more primal survival mode. His path to salvation had begun during a prison riot, which afforded him a chance at escape. A month later the cult had found him in the desert (no place for an Andorian, and much too reminiscent of his time on Telstrus 3) near the wreckage of his stolen cargo shuttle. They had saved his life. And he had thought, for a time, saved his soul. Their ascetic lifestyle actively embraced the destitution that marked his formative years, but traded the struggle against others for a real family. It likewise revealed to him how foolish and wasteful the hedonistic lifestyle he later had embraced was, and the futility of the revenge plot that had followed. The Brotherhood was gone now, it's gods proven false, but it had made an indelible mark on his soul. He would forever more be a seeker of truth. The behemoth Andorian had read more books in the last months than the rest of his life combined, each one about some spiritual tradition. He had studied dozens of them by this point. Cheldon had bought passage on this Andorian freighter to his ancestral home planet from Star Base 812. The Captain didn't seem too curious when he was handed the Latinum. ch'Doro had earned it over several months of bouncing bar. The job had been a natural fit for a man of build, skill set, and now much calmer personality. Some fortuitous gambling had added to his nest egg, and he would be comfortable for the foreseeable future, especially with the monk like lifestyle he had continued to embrace. His belly rumbled, and he ignored it, favoring his contemplation of this particular passage. When it protested more vehemently, he acquiesced, and slowly pulled his massive form into an upright standing position. Ducking low, he stepped through the door into the corridors. The mess hall was not that far away. From his own quarters he turned right and walked about 15 meters, before taking a right down a t-intersection. On the left, another 40 meters were the doors that opened into the mess hall. It seemed more crowded than usual, and after replicating a very simple plate of Andorian tubers and bread, he was forced to set at an already occupied table. Not only did his unusual size make him stand out, but the fact that he was a passenger. Everyone else at this table were wearing their navy blue work jumpsuits, while he was in black leather boots, blue jeans, and a white tank top. Worse yet, the Andorians at this particular table might even be an established quadruple, as there were two masculine, and two feminine ones, and they each acted very familiar with the rest. Cheldon spoke up "I hate to interrupt, but mind if I take a few of the empty seats?" There really was no other place to sit for someone his size. The four looked between themselves, and finally, one of the feminine ones spoke, the taller of the two. "I think we can make room." The masculine ones scooted closer together and let the stranger in. The shorter male, with his round face, decided that he wanted to befriend the mysterious giant stranger. "We've all heard about the tall passenger. But this is the first time any of us have ever seen you." Cheldon looked over, and down, craining his head. "You've probably heard that I only come out of my quarters to eat, and that I always sit alone, then," the giant retorted. The other male, several inches taller, with a pointier chin, chimed in "Our husband didn't mean to be rude, he's just a friendly, and curious type." Cheldon shaked his head "Yeah. Sorry. I didn't mean to be rude, either. I'm Cheldon." The taller male replied again "My name is Vart, he's Raf, she is Dagy, and she is Sinena. It's nice to meet you, Cheldon. So you are going home?" The big blue monstrosity shrugged "I guess you could call it that. I've never been to Andoria." Simena, the shorter of the women spoke "You grew up on a colony?" Cheldon simply shrugged heavily "Who I was before us dead. I don't like to talk about him, sorry." It was true, the Brotherhood, false as it turned out to be, had fundamentally changed him. Seeing as he wasn't contributing much to the conversation, his new acquaintances went back to conversing amongst themselves. This was fine by Cheldon, and it gave him time to return to his meal. He paced himself, eating his humble plate in a manner that was befitting of an ascetic. He let them talk, hut his thoughts returned inward, until one particular phrase caught his ear. Telstrus 3. He looked up, suddenly, as if he been violently roused from a deep slumber. "Telstrus 3?" He asked, in a startled tone. His visit there had been unbearable. Dagy, responded "Yeah. A family friend of my parents is moving there." Cheldon frowned deeply, his huge face full of disapproval. It had been 14 years ago. In the middle of the violent gang war that had ultimately landed him in prison. The cousin of the man who had tried to kill his employer ran a drug ring there. The targeted assassination at his remote outpost went smoothly, and they began their trek back to the shuttle. They had stashed their landing shuttle in the desert, a desert, and a cave that he would be reminded of later, when he joined The Brotherhood. They were a mere mile out, and Cheldon, with his artic loving physiology, was already miserable. Sweat flooded his body, and ran down his face, stinging his eyes like an angry hornet. A breeze kicked up from over some far off dunes, and it seemed to bring respite, but it did not in fact bring respite. The wind continued growing in intensity, and they had walked directly into a sandstorm. Fine particles of eroded rocks flew against every exposed millimeter of skin, sand blasting each of them. To make all of this worse, it was blowing in from the direction of their destination, trying to push them backwards. The sand was so thick that they could no longer see, and Cheldon chided himself for not packing sunglasses. He heard a voice shouting, it was Ving, a former Romulan soldier that had joined his former employer half a decade before he had. "Role call!" "Here," Cheldon called out when he heard his name. They pushed on, taking role on the fives. Each of them being constantly set upon by blasts of sand trying to strip their skin. Cheldon couldn't see, but as it grew even louder, and the atmospheric pressure changed noticeably, he was sure that a dirt devil was passing near them. This had to be the most miserable experience he had had since he almost died in the fire, and began thinking about the Hell the Nuns had preached at him in the orphanage. He almost didn't hear the role call. When the wind did die down, the cave was no where in sight, and it took them hours of back tracking to locate it. Fortunately, no one seemed to have found them to make them answer for the killing. Cheldon looked askance at the woman named Dagy. "It's no place for an Andorian." She quirked a brow at the stranger. "Is that so?" He nodded "It's enough to make an Andorian hate a cool breeze in the desert."
    2 points
  5. Poignant & well written - great job!
    2 points
  6. Standing on the cliffs East of Kinsale, Aine looked out over the Celtic Sea. This was the first time visiting since leaving Starfleet just two months earlier. She loved visiting this place as a child, but after all she'd been through, those memories seemed as though they belonged to someone else. The sea was rough and near black from the thick grey clouds that hovered low. Her black hair, now with a few streaks of grey, was much longer now and whipped about by the heavy winds. She used to love standing in this very spot, smiling when looking out into that same wind. It was hard to imagine that feeling now. The wind once felt like adventure. Like those tall ships she'd read about as a child. Wind was what was out there in the distance, calling to you. But now it felt like the darkness. Confusion. Fear. It felt cold. Not the cold you feel on your skin, but the cold that cuts deep to your core. From her first assignment on, danger seemed to be a common theme in Aine's career. Many times she'd been in situations that seemed hopeless. Often outnumbered and pinned down, they narrowly escaped, time and again. They were nothing if not resourceful. She'd seen fellow crewmen injured and killed, but that wasn’t what finally did it. She closed her eyes as the wind seemed to howl louder in her ears. On this last mission, the small team had been called upon to rescue another lost team. It wasn't the first time, rescues seemed routine anymore. But when they arrived, things were not as they seemed. It was not a rescue as much as a recovery. The team they had been sent to rescue had been killed in ambush. And the same awaited them. By the time “contact” had been called, two of their six team members were down and the rest were scrambling for cover. Seconds later, two more were dead and Ranlard, the fresh ensign, lay injured. Aine opened her eyes and looked out to the sea again, it had grown darker. She thought about Starfleet. How when she was a new Ensign, the idea of adventure, discovery, and exploration was everything. With war looming, things changed. Starfleet changed. She could feel the weight of that change in her chest now. She closed her eyes again, taking in the cold air. Aine had been fortunate. She was able to retrieve Ranlard and they made their way into the trees. They found a small hide. They were surrounded. They could hear the sounds all around them. An unknown and unseen enemy in the night who wanted nothing more than to kill them all. Footsteps on leaves and crackling sticks. Whispers in a language they couldn't understand. Before the sounds of around could disappear in the distance, they disappeared with the wind. A storm was brewing. The night seemed to last forever and there was no way of knowing now if the threat was gone. Aine and Ranlard hunkered down and tried to keep each other warm. Every time he tried to speak, she hushed him. Neither dared use their communicators for risk of being heard. The best they could hope for was that Starfleet would send help. Time wore on and soon the storm was passing, the wind died down. But it seemed as though her teammate’s fate was tied to the wind. By the time the calm came for the storm, he had died, right there in her arms. It wasn’t until morning that help came. Time was moving fast now. On the shuttle going back, Aine couldn’t look anyone in the eye. She felt as though someone had been careless with their lives. Her eyes opened, her hair whipped across her face as she once more looked out to the ever darkening sea. The solace she was seeking wasn't here, in this place. She turned to go back down the path. She couldn’t let herself wait for the winds to die down.
    2 points
  7. This makes me want to stay indoors for the rest of my life. Great job!
    1 point
  8. It was a routine arrest mission - Tiria's squad, sometimes nicknamed the Flying Squad for how often it traveled across the sector, was sent to Telstrus 3 to arrest a rogue scientist. Dr. Alfred VanBuren, a weapons scientist, had been trading weapons with the Cardassians, which was fine, if he had a license and was trading export-approved weapons. He was not, and some of the weapons were illegal even to own in the Federation for *Starfleet*. The black haired woman looked at the planet, and was frowning. Telstrus 3, an older Federation world, had a standard climate control system, and she looked at the Constable handling the sensor readout. "Constable Lain, that weather looks.. unusual. Can you check the functioning of the climate control system and if it'd be safe to fly through it?" She requested, the precise Federation Standard accent still unusual in her ears, no matter how long she had practiced to arrive at it. "Yes, Detective-Inspector." The petite Andorian worked the panel, then frowned. "Ma'am, there's an odd interference. There-" A flash in the screen distracted the five man squad, and a beam from somewhere in the southeastern archipelago struck a satellite, then another, then another. The pilot of the shuttle, a Benzite, cursed, and rapidly moved away from orbit, but Tiria only had eyes for a rapidly forming mega hurricane, dominating the southern continent and spreading, with a gigantic eye. Another, Kazri, an Andorian sergeant sitting at the comm panel, cleared his throat, with a bit of a shaky voice. "We're detecting a message from the archipelago. It's our scientist, and this is apparently a test of a new weapon he's developing - one that can devastate worlds. If we don't guarantee him safe passage to neutral space, he says he placed a virus in another world that would do the same. Distress signals are spreading across the planet." Tiria took a deep breath, as she was the commanding officer on scene, and needed to prune a few options. "Send a signal to the USS Illinois, with a status report and include the message. Can we destroy the climate control system?" While that wasn't technically normal operations for Federation Security, she was trained - especially after the Siege of Resilion IV - to take more aggressive actions. Lain shook her head. "The interference would scatter our phasers - we'd need the power of a starship. Also, we can't destroy enough before the hurricane would reach the size of a continent. Whatever he's done.. we'll need a science ship to figure out." Tiria suspected that was the only reasonable explanation, but she could see with the magnification the sensors were providing them, the *350 km/h* winds tearing apart even reinforced structures. And sensors were suggesting that it was still increasing. Lain frowned. "But.. it looks like this requires a constant signal, and if we can cut it off.." The Andorian paled Tiria took a deep breath. "He'd likely trigger the second system, and without knowing where it is, we can't act." The words were ashes in her mouth. "Priority One distress signal, get Starfleet on scene now, and alert Federation Security." She looked at the strengthening hurricane destroying towns and houses across the continent and had to fight to keep her voice steady. "If anything comes up where we can stop this madness, tell me." The shuttle fell into deathly silence, as all of them silently witnessed the destruction.
    1 point
  9. Mercifully alone after hours in sickbay, Geoffrey John Teller stood in his quarters and wept openly for the first time in his adult memory. Wracking sobs shook his torso as he supported himself with one hand against the bulkhead, peering through tears at the indifferent stars beyond the viewport. He’d maintained his composure through all the debriefings and the mandatory counseling sessions but now, in the safety of solitude, Geoff let the feelings he’d been tamping down pour out unfiltered. Tears ran down his face and onto his uniform unchecked as the events replayed in his mind once again. It started, as it always started...with the children. Their smiling, delighted faces. Their giggles and laughter. Their pure, innocent wonder. Their screams of terror. Geoff tried to shake the memory away but it would not be restrained anymore and he collapsed to his couch, hunched over with head in hands. A renewed series of sobs made his entire body shudder. It was several minutes before he could compose himself, and even then he was far from settled. His mourning had given way to a fierce anger every bit as unrestrained as his grief. With a hoarse bark he called out to the computer, his mind growing dark with increasingly violent thoughts. “Give me all the atmospheric surveys conducted on Telstrus 3 prior to beam down, along with the names of every officer and crewman responsible for their research. Someone is going to pay for this if it’s the last thing I do.” The computer's polite request to have him restate his query led to a shattered display and four broken bones in Teller’s right hand, although he didn’t know that. At the moment, the pain was strangely satisfying and helped focus his incoherent rage down to a fine, precise edge. He dug into the research for almost two hours as his hand throbbed and discolored, subsisting on a diet of cold coffee and even colder rage, but he came away with his answer. “Lieutenant Kowalski, report to my quarters, now!” The comm successfully conveyed the acid in his words because moments later his door chime rang. “Get in here and stand at attention, Mister.” Geoff’s tone was harsh, his quarters a mess and his own appearance far from uniform standard, but none of that mattered to him at the moment. The sole thing on Geoff’s mind was justice but at this point he’d happily settle for a violent measure of revenge. “Lieutenant Koawlski reporting as ordered. Sir, may I speak freely?” The tension in Koawlski’s voice was thick enough to land a shuttle on, but Geoff wasn’t in a mood to be compassionate. “No you damn well may not, Lieutenant. And I thought I told you to stand at attention!” Kowalski’s already rigid posture became ramrod straight, their unblinking eyes fixed on a far off point on the bulkhead. Geoff finally turned his attention away from the console and stood, closing the distance to Koawlski until they were nose to nose. Geoff’s eyes were frantic, red and bulging. A passing medical officer could have checked his blood pressure from the hallway. “Lieutenant, I am going to ask you a series of questions and you are going to respond Yes Sir, Commander Sir or No Sir, Commander Sir. Is that absolutely clear?” Geoff’s tone made it clear what answer he expected. “Yes Sir, Commander Sir.” To Koawlski’s credit, they weathered this volcano of rage without flinching. “Good. Were you the planetary meteorological officer on duty when we arrived at Telstrus 3?” Geoff knew the answer but he needed to hear the man say it to his face. To admit it was him and not some incomprehensible computer error. “Yes Sir, Commander Sir.” Again, it was the answer Geoff had expected, and it did nothing to quell his anger. “Were you responsible for preparing the atmospheric survey the Captain used to judge the coordinates of our beam down?” “Yes Sir, Commander Sir.” “When the Captain asked you to prepare that survey, were his instructions in any way unclear or subject to misinterpretation?” “No Sir, Commander Sir!” “Do you consider yourself competent at your duties, Lieutenant?” “Yes Sir, Commander Sir!” “In that case, Lieutenant, perhaps you’d like to explain why the Thor’s first children's kite flying contest was such a massive disaster?!” “Sir, I...the wind...it was supposed to be gentle...favorable...nothing in our models suggested hurricane force wind gusts!” “Perhaps you’d like to explain that to seventy-three primary school children who just saw two months of their hard work turned into high altitude confetti while they suffered scrapes and boo-boos the likes of which I’ve never seen!” “Sir, I can’t...I...I’ll resign...or...or you can file charges...you can’t possibly….” “Oh yes I damn well can, Lieutenant. As of now, you are assigned to serve as a class mascot until such time as I feel you’ve learned an important lesson.” Kowalski’s voice went up several octaves in shock. “But Sir!.....” “But nothing, Mister. Now get into that Flotter costume and get down to Deck 12. Those kids are getting blankies and juice boxes and they expect a visit from their new pal real soon....” Kowalski sputtered in incoherent shock but retreated in defeat, leaving Geoff alone again in his quarters. He’d always loved the wind but after today...he’d never be able to think of it without remembering Telstrus 3.
    1 point
  10. THE ALPHA ISLES, ALPHA QUADRANT – After the recent discovery of Iconian “Gate” technology on Isles planet Theta 122, the region has become a new hotbed for independent treasure hunters and archaeological expeditions. While the planet’s Atlas Base has yet to address the sudden influx of “wildcat operations” — unsanctioned or unaffiliated outfits that operate with their own capital and infrastructure — sources from other Isles installations have expressed concern regarding the new arrivals. Discovered just weeks ago by Federation patrol ship USS Arrow, the ship’s crew neutralised the Iconian “Gates”, thought to be thousands of years old. Next, the same crew made them ready for transport to nearby Starbase 821, where the device will undergo further study and then shipped either back to the Sol system or to one of many awaiting museums currently in negotiations for the rare intact pieces. But while Starfleet Command has taken extra precautions to ensure their travel, Administrator for Forward Refit Station-1 (more colloquially known to the area as RAFT-ONE) Myssa T’Vaz warns it won’t be what leaves the area that should be the cause for concern. It’s what its discovery will bring in. “Look, I am all for the forwarding of archaeological understanding,” said the steely Admin, currently serving her first term. “But we’ve already seen at least two groups of cowboy “adventurers” blunder into the system seeking their fortunes and glories. They only found blood and unfortunately, it was their own.” Backing up the administrator’s claims are scattered reports of a student collective attempting to set up a dig site on a small moon, yet a local Chalnoth hunting party battered the group and news of a small “territory dispute”, recently fought in the interior of RAFT-ONE. Two “teams” of sex treasure hunters had picked up the same rumour about another “hot spot” in sector space and apparently came to blows between who had the stronger claim. “This is just the start of it,” warns T’Vaz. “Every day more and more tinpanners cross the stars and think they are gonna find the next “hot site”. It ain’t gonna end well for anybody, I guarantee it.” Atlas Base administration declined multiple offers for comment throughout the process of this reporting but offered a terse statement that they were working tightly with the patrol ship Arrow’s staffing and Starfleet Command to stay abreast of developments and provide support and resources as allowed. More on this situation as it develops. The post Rumours of Iconian Artifacts spark archaeological “Gold Rush” in the Alpha Isles appeared first on Federation News Service. View the full article
    1 point
  11. "I always loved the wind… ...until that mission on Telstrus 3." They were visiting Betazed this shore leave, an unexpected treat for sure. Her father was pleased to hear about her surprise visit, and while she knew her mother would be busy back on Earth, there was still a twinge of regret there, along with her brother out on his own mission amongst the stars. As such, she dressed in her favorite pink summer dress, her blonde hair flowing free today, under a beige wicker hat with a bow on it. The walk to the greenhouse was never long, just enough to get the mind wandering about, but not enough to tire her out. At least not now that she was older and no longer smaller than her kneecap whose steps equaled to that of three adult ones. A knock at the door before she pushed it open. "Dad?" "Corliss!" She heard a distant crashing and couldn't help but let out a small sigh of a laugh, shutting the glass door behind her. Plants upon plants upon plants surrounded her, creating their own version of a rainforest, one might say. One ivy crept along the top of the roof, and a tall tree bearing fruit that glowed blue caught her eye as her father appeared. "You've grown!" "You say that every time!" He had his arms open and she couldn't help to walk into the hug being gifted, both of them squeezing as hard as possible, feeling her ribs creak and she had to smack his back, laughing. "Let go, hah!" "Fine, fine!" He did, albeit one hand remained on her shoulder, a happy goofy grin remaining on his face that was echoed back on hers. "My, it has been a long time, hasn't it? Oh, where's that boy you wanted me to meet?" And there it was. It made her face heat up and she sighed, shaking her head, arms crossed. "Dad, I'm not a little girl anymore. He's not a boy. He's a Starfleet officer as well, you know. Medical." "What a field to go into! Mind you, I can't say anything," he laughed, his hands now on his hips, looking as always over the top, his glasses shining in the light like one of those cartoony villains. "I remember taking that course of study for half a semester! Never could wrap my mind into the whozits and whatsits, so good show on him!" She couldn't help rolling her eyes, snickering. That was just her dad, being his usual self really. She'd been told they were so alike it was scary but she didn't see it. She had no green thumb and he was all green thumbs...so, yeah, she didn't see it. "Anyway, we thought we'd go into town and eat, it's kind of our thing," she grinned. "There's a place I promised to take him that has that sweet tea that's a bright green, remember? The uttaberry chai." "Yes yes, your mother adores it, although I think she likes it more for the decorations, I think," he nodded. "Well, let me finish up here and we'll get our wheels rolling!" With a tap to her shoulder, he was off back to wherever the crashing had come from. She shook her head with a laugh, leaning against the doorframe for a moment with a sigh. It was colder than she remembered, or maybe, she was used to the ship being warmer. In fact, she regretted not lugging along a thin jacket. The mountains made everything feel just that much...heavier? Plus the snow in the winter, the sadness when the plants would inevitably die, the refreshing spring or fall weather... The sun was beaming down now, warming her up through the glass of the greenhouse. Honestly, it was such a beautiful day. Perhaps she could convince both of them to go out and walk around the central plaza, the hedges always made such a wonderful maze... "And I am ready, dear daughter!" He skidded back into view with a grin, this time wearing a checkered shirt and slacks, plus his mirrored glasses of course. She shook her head, smiling. "Way to make an impression, Dad." "Why of course! Who did you think you got your sense of fashion from?" ...she was not going to answer that. Instead, she opened the door with a sweeping arm. "After you, dear father." "Why thank you, dear daughter," he playfully bowed, she bowing back, both of them cracking up in laughter. Two steps out the door, the wind picked up. "And you see, I thought I could make-Corliss?" The wind whistled around the greenhouse, her hair picking up along with it like fingers sliding through the strands, her hat tilting as she froze in place. "Corliss?" The wind whistled angrily, more a shriek of anger than a simple whistle, the rain pelting on them from the clouds above. "To the cave!" came a voice, she knew the voice, she did, but she couldn't place them amongst the terror of the storm. "We'll be safe there, go, go!" "I..." She could feel her breath pick up, catch in her throat like someone reaching out and squeezing it tightly, her heart hammering behind the bones that kept it safe. She fell in the mud, one hand sinking lower than what she felt was safe, shouting out in pain from the jerk of her wrist. Lightning cracked across the sky, the wind gearing up into the shrieking crescendo that only toddlers could ever seem to reach, and just as she pushed herself up, her eyesight swinging up, a large tree branch was sent flying her way. "COR-" "-liss?" A touch to her shoulder had her jerking, blinking furiously as she stared at her dad, who frowned back at her. "Are you alright? You've got your net up," he tapped at his temple. "...just....habit," she mumbled, staring up at the blue, empty sky. "Lots of people onboard value their privacy." It took a moment, but he pulled his hand away, nodding quickly, a simple smile on his face. "Right! Right, yes, that whole...keeping to oneself thing." "..." she shook her head quickly, pretending to brush a stray hair away from her cheek and clearing her throat before smiling. "Well, we're late, I suspect, we should go." He sighed, doing that full-body sag as animatedly as he did every action that continuously surprised her. "You and your mother are so very alike, do you know that?" "What!" she squeaked out, for a moment brought out of those dark, painful memories. "We are not!" "You are indeed!" He laughed, turning around to start down the path once more, and her jogging after him huffing and puffing. "Neither of you are very good about talking about yourselves." Oh. Well. He had her there. She winced, looking away, the hat tilting as if to hide her face from him. "There's not much to talk about. Just the usual...death-defying missions and all," she laughed uneasily, letting it trail off as the soft wind died down, leaving her arms covered in bumps of skin. "I'm not so sure why everyone is so okay with that," he said, lightly. "I've never enjoyed my children close to death, after all." "It's just how Starfleet is, Dad. Traveling...seeing things...doing things..." dying a few times, being yanked into an alternate reality where everyone she knew and loved was de- "How exhausting," he sighed, a hand touching his temples as he shook his head, grimacing again and making her laugh. "And to think, you've not told me about a single mission so far! Here I am, left to float about the days, alone as ever," he sighed louder, his arms dangling like a dramatic teenager, and her face hurt from smiling so hard. "Aw, Dad, don't be like that," she bumped his shoulder playfully, smiling. "I tell you things. Boss, on the other hand..." "Your brother is so secretive, shhh!" He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, a finger to his lips with a giant grin. "Wouldn't want the neighbor boy to hear his dastardly plans and reveal them to the cats!" She burst out into a laugh, swatting at him and they both started to laugh harder, their eyes clouding over from their joy as she leaned on him again, wheezing with laughter. "That's horrible and you know it! It's protocol!" "It's mildly ridiculous!" he grumbled, his hand making motions in the air before he let it dropped, letting them walk in the easy silence for a moment. "But that's what it was, right?" "...huh?" "A mission," he said. "Something happened last time, yes? Your face turned white, and normally you do that around blood." How could he know her so well? He did raise her, after all, so maybe that was part of it. She let out a very long sigh, the kind that leaves one exhausted but weightless, as if the suitcases of stress were let down and they could lie on the ground for a little while. "...yeah. A mission." He nodded, but didn't continue. They walked some more, turning the corner of the trail onto the concrete of the road. She cleared her throat, the small hubbub of the town echoing around them. "Remember when I was little, and I liked storms?" "Yes!" he laughed. "You were such an interesting child! You'd open your window at night and your room would be soaked but you loved the chaos of the night!" he laughed harder, patting her back almost a little too heavily. "Your brother told you one day you'd be taken away by the wind, and you believed him for a little while." "Mmhmm." There had always been something about storms that entranced her, the way the rain poured, the way the wind howled and squealed, arching around the mountains and bringing blasts of cold with it. "I always loved the wind... ...until that mission on Telstrus 3." The tree limb smashing into her, the wind giving it enough gust to force her back, her feet scrambling at the ground for purchase. All she could do was hold onto the tree branch as it continued to fly, the wind giving it assistance, her heart nearly smashing its way out of her chest from fear and adrenaline mixing together- "I guess the mountain wind just...it made me think of it," she shifted her hat back a little, smoothing out her bangs fussily. "But I'll be fine. Like always." "Hmm," he had his hand on his chin in thought. "You should-" "Dad," she interrupted with a flat glance, "if you say 'talk to your mother', I will tell them not to let you have cake." "So cruel!" he groaned, shaking his head with a sigh. "No, not your mother. You should talk to the counselor." "I am the counselor," she laughed. "Remember? I called you all and told you? It's been what, three years? You can't-" "That's not what I mean," he set his hand on her shoulder again, that soft half-smile where he was trying very hard not to insult her or hurt her feelings, while at the same time telling her something that she probably didn't want to hear, "that Carys woman, she's onboard too? And Vatta?" "Vaala, Dad." "Ah, her! The enthusiastic learning protégé!" He sighed, still smiling. "They're not just there to exist around you, dear. They're there to help as well, even if Vaala is only just stepping into the profession." He...also had a point, although she didn't want to accept it. Perhaps he was right, she and her mother were quite similar in that. Corliss didn't bring up anything, and her mother acted like everything was okay with herself. Or, she'd never told Corliss if she'd ever had counseling herself. Rather, it was always a storm of mystery about her, an outsider with only the most distant of relations. She rubbed her neck, smiling. "Yeah, Dad. I'll do that." "Alright then, now let's go see this boy that's so taken your eye!" She let out a very low sigh, an amused smile on her face. He just could not help calling Loxley a 'boy', could he? Then again, Dad was at least three times their own age, so it wasn't too weird for him to see them all as children. The wind picked up again, a few crinkly leaves skittering down the road, a few small children laughing as they ran by them. Her hair ruffled with it, slipping over her shoulders, the bumps of skin ghosting about her shoulders fast as wildfire. She clenched her hands, swallowed, and started walking again, content to once again ignore the behemoth waiting in the wings.
    1 point
  12. When a random idea on Discord becomes an adventure... ((Starbase 118 - IKS Yan – Unlisted Shuttebay 14)) Yael: ::trying to lighten the moment:: Give me a few minutes before you send in the Marines. He took his non-standard phaser, slipped it into his decorated vest, and headed into the vent in search of whatever it was. It was a bit more snug than even a Jeffreys Tube, but he was trim enough that he could manage, and it was wide enough to possibly turn around… maybe. The smell was terrible on the bridge, but was concentrated in the vent. Ashley tried not to think about it too much and just breathed through his nose… he didn’t want the *taste* of whatever it was in his mouth. Crawling, he could barely fit in the vent… there was more space side to side than there was up to down, so he made his way somewhat slowly. It was darker now, and getting darker… he tried not to breathe too deeply, but it was hard not to be a bit claustrophobic in this sort of place… reaching into his pocket on his vest, he produced a small multi-tool and activated the small flashlight. He held it in his mouth as he moved. The smell was worsening, and he shuddered as he turned a slight left corner in the vent. It was *RANCID*... and smelled of death, or disease. His instinct was to stay away, but he needed to clear it. Finally he came upon… something. Another slight left turn in the vent, and there it was. The rotting husk of a targ. He nearly vomited at the sight of it, but kept the contents of his stomach *inside* his stomach, by some matter of willpower. It was probably one of the most *gross* things he’d ever seen. Live targ were gross enough, furry, and dirty animals, with hardly a friendly feature. This one was a starved husk that had partially melted into the grating in the “floor” of the vent. Yael: ::his nose wrinkling in disgust:: Ugh… Pulling the phase pistol from his vest, he checked his settings, made sure it was on a high yield, took aim with both hands while braced on his elbows, and fired a single long shot at the mass. It lit up with the power of the pistol, and over the course of two seconds completely disintegrated. All that was left was the stain on the grate beneath where it had laid down to die. Sighing lightly, Ashley lowered the phaser and his gaze, glad to be rid of one small problem in the line of problems… And then yelped in shock when something grabbed his ankle. Instantly his body jerked in response as he kicked at whatever had hold of him, and his head smacked into the vent above. Grunting, looking quickly down past his body in the vent, he swung the phaser to aim down the length of his legs ready to shoot whatever it was, and found… with his heart in his throat… Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He breathed hard for a solid moment, eyes darting in the low light from the multi-tool that had fallen to the grated floor of the vent, searching for movement or hostile shapes and finding none. Nothing. There was nothing. He had to get out of here. The smell was obviously melting his brain. Tucking the phaser back in his vest, he reached a hand up to rub the back of his head while cringing at the throbbing pain. Yael: Oww… freaking Klingon ship, trying to murder me… Carefully… gauging just how capable he was of doing it first… he turned round in the vent. It took a bit more stretch than he was comfortable with, but he was able to do it. Then he made his way back down the vent. He’d made two slight lefts to get here, so he needed two slight rights to return. Though, in the darkness, he *knew* where he was, his stress level was rising. He didn’t want to end up a desiccated body stuck in an endless array of vents like that poor targ had. The light began to reflect down the shaft as he got closer to his entry point, and then he saw the point of light that would lead him back to the command center of the vessel. As soon as he broke through the vents open hatch he took a deep breath, the air on the bridge far less repulsive than that trapped in the vents. Pushing his upper body free first, then pulling his legs free behind him, he stood and brushed himself off. Yael: ::in a muted tone:: Well, *that* was exciting… ::to the others:: Some poor targ decided to get lost in the vent. Probably a foodstuff left behind when the vessel was taken out of active service. McLaren: ? Yael: Incinerated what was left of it. Hopefully the air begins to clear. ::giving their team leader a smile:: It’ll improve morale, if nothing else. Blackwell/Parvana/Zel: ? ~*~ Ash Rogue Merchant & Opportunist Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
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