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Delinda Sharee

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About Delinda Sharee

  • Birthday 03/30/1979

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    StarBase 118 Operations
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    First Officer

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  1. (( Intelligence Liaison Office, Starbase 118 )) ::The welcoming feast was over at long last and the boisterous Klingons that had been in attendance were now preparing for their operatic performance later on in the night. Quinn had taken the opportunity to retreat to her office for a short while, at least. She needed the time to reorganise her thoughts after the whirlwind of upsets, surprise ceremonies and unexpected awards. ::The first thing she set eyes on as she stepped inside was the small greenhouse perched on a podium toward the back of the office. Unable to bring herself to get rid of it, she couldn't face it in her quarters either and so had compromised by finding it in a place in her workspace. A small sandstorm kicked up as she watched, churning red dust around the inside of the glass. ::She sighed.:: REYNOLDS: Computer... Open a channel to the USS Independence. Priority one, Lieutenant Commander Cody eyes only. COMPUTER: Working. ::Unbuttoning the collar of her dress whites, she took a seat in front of the console and waited. The report had come across her desk earlier that day and she had intended to leave this call until tomorrow at the earliest. But after the problems at the banquet, she wanted to make sure the message got to him before she spent evening playing spy games on a black operation. Quinn wasn't really one to assign much value to hunches and gut feelings, but... ::...Better to be safe than sorry. That was her story and she intended to stick to it. ::Eventually there was a small chime from the console and the Federation logo was replaced with an all too familiar face. All the speculation in the world hadn't quite hit this moment on the head and she forced an awkward smile. How should she even address him? Commander? David? Why did even the little things have to be so complicated?:: (( Bridge, USS Independence-A )) ::Dave was finalizing his own summaries as he caught up with the current crew compliment in the chair. Although he knew this couldn't last forever, there was a sense at least for the moment, Captain Mar was keeping him somewhere within the command capacity. He still felt somewhat disjointed, as if he were merely a voyeur of a new crew he had barely gotten the chance to know, and not entirely certain of his fate. ::A twinge of a upturned mouth corner, he wondered what Ehlanii might say. While outwardly he stood confident, inwardly his emotions whispered unconscious thoughts he would not entertain in the spot moments of sleep. ::Speaking of which, that reminded Dave he had given Jophry his old medical records from his Skiptrace days, and what he hoped were the answers to the incurable insomnia that had plagued him after leaving. Would the Skiptrace's old transporter logs have Dave's vitals, and preserved well enough for either Dr. Calhan, or Dr. Remo, to work with? The grin did surface this time. How strange to seek something simple as sleep. He hoped those old logs were enough. He hoped there was still a place for him here. ::The HCO on duty interrupted his thoughts, turning in his chair.:: HCO OFFICER: Commander, you have a priority one com channel from Starbase 118 Operations. Your eyes only. ::David blinked in his direction, raising one brow.:: CODY: Excuse me? HCO: That's what I have. It's an encrypted channel. ::He had a very good idea. David stood and nodded to Mr. Barnes, heading for the turbolift.:: CODY: Take con, Mr. Barnes. I will receive this in my office. ::Or, at least the office that was his quarters.:: ((mini time-warp: Cody's Quarters)) ::Dave pulled the chair up to his desk before bringing the channel up, studied the Federation logo, then input his access encryption code to have the logo replaced with the officer he never thought he would see again, staring at him through the screen as his thoughts froze. He took in the woman with an uncollared shirt, zeroed in on two solid pips and one open one as his crooked smile betrayed his enjoyment seeing her again.:: REYNOLDS: Commander. CODY: ::Nodding.:: Commander. REYNOLDS: I, uh... I have some news about your fa- About the JTSC-03. ::The enjoyment fell as Dave reassumed his professionalism. This wasn't a personal call.:: CODY: Have we located the ship? REYNOLDS: No, no sign of the shuttle itself. But we have the analysis back on that triquetra you found. ::The object out of the sand Dave had taken with him. He pulled out the triquetra from his knapsack and set it down in front of the screen, the unusual piece of tech his Daedalus crew suspected was galactic in origin.:: CODY: Alright... Report. ::Quinn looked at him oddly, then took a breath and began to speak.:: REYNOLDS: Well, it has an unusual molecular structure, almost crystal-like. It's possible that it could be used as a kind of energy storage - a capacitor, essentially. But for remarkably high quantities, given its size. It looks simple, but it's an incredibly advanced technology... I've never seen anything like it. ::Dave listened, although he wasn't sure if he liked the direction the findings were heading. He scratched his chin, suddenly reminded of his last real time off here at this station, and where both he and Quinn were.:: CODY: ::With a slight smile:: Off topic, you're... looking good, really great... Did the package I sent arrive alright? ::A startled blush crept up her neck and she glanced behind her, before turning back to the screen and nodding.:: REYNOLDS: I, ah... Yes. Not so much as a scratch on it. CODY: ...good. I hoped you'd hold onto it. ::He tried putting his professional face back on, but he suspected it was halfway between that and the uplift coming from getting to chat with someone, seeing her again, did funny things with his heart that he thought was pumping a little too loudly in his chest.:: CODY: What else do we have? ::She blinked and stared blanky for a moment, caught out by the sudden reversion of the topic.:: REYNOLDS: Uh... The elements present in the triqeutra aren't unusual, but the isotopes are. They're not native to the Milky Way. ::That was not what he wanted to hear, but suspected, and Dave visibly sagged. Dangerous thoughts returned, remembering as he crouched down in the sand back on that planet. Quiet a moment, he and everyone else who had been keeping track knew this was the first fact.:: CODY: [...]… REYNOLDS: How are you? ::She looked a little surprised at the question herself, as though the words had escaped her lips before she had fully thought them through.:: ::Dave glanced at Quinn, although several hundreds (or thousands) of light years away, the question was a welcome comfort, and offered a crooked smile.:: CODY: I've had better days. REYNOLDS: And how are you really? ::He chuckled. Guess they had spent enough time together to pick up on the subtle ebbs of their respective personalities. Rubbing his eyes, Dave lingered at his old work bench a moment, where he had crafted the greenhouse for her what seemed like an eon ago.:: CODY: I'm not commanding right now, been gone on what you and I would classify as a field operation, recalled back, and I'm not entirely sure where I fit in anymore. At times it feels like home, other times… guess I'm feeling a little useless at the moment. ::She nodded slowly.:: REYNOLDS: You're a good officer, you don't need to worry... You'll find your place again. CODY: I'm just getting some stuff out. It'll work itself out eventually, but still… ::He let the thought settle a moment. There were a mix of myriad thoughts and emotions behind that, but perhaps it was best to leave them alone. The best he could hope for was one day the opportunity would come again. The few facts behind the triqeutra were disturbing enough, only cementing the knowledge the first leg down a long journey was commencing to a larger issue. Oo Would it be my command, or someone else's? oO :: CODY: ::Quelling his thoughts, smiling at Quinn.:: How about you? How are you doing? REYNOLDS: I'm fine. ::Dave gave her a long look, although still smiling.:: CODY: You're blushing. Shall we try asking again? ::She looked at him, rubbing a crimson cheek as a small, but genuinue smile appeared on her face for the first time in the conversation. It faded quickly and she shrugged as she started speaking.:: REYNOLDS: I, ah... ::She pursed her lips for a few seconds, then continued.:: I can't sleep. Nightmares. About... You know. And a few new things. Though I think its getting better. Intel's very different, but it seems to be working and some old friends of mine have been posted to the Starbase since I got here. ::It was a delicate subject. She gave him the full details once, although he didn't press inward for the emotions driving behind the events. He wasn't even sure if she wanted to talk about that. He suddenly realized there were several things he didn't know if she wanted to talk about, nodding.:: CODY: Friends are good. They help us through the difficult times, sometimes without realizing it… ::Quinn smiled faintly and nodded, her gaze unfocusing and drifting down and off the to side - a clear indication that her thoughts had wandered elsewhere.:: CODY: :: after a moment :: …do you want to talk about it? ::She looked up again, chewing her lower lip.:: REYNOLDS: I don't know if I can. ::Dave closed his eyes a moment as the emotions he thought were safely locked in his heart tore a moment, remembering standing alone in these very quarters after Quinn departed for Starbase 118.:: CODY: You mean… REYNOLDS: I mean with you. ::She paused after a wince, then continued quietly.:: I needed you, David. The one time I really needed you, and you weren't there. ::Pain tore through him. The memories came as they had played out this morning. Quinn, laying in Sickbay after the explosion. The imposter masquerading around until they found out the truth, and remembering inwardly screaming his inability to leave to check on her once they got her back. A lightning kiss inside the JTSC-03 as it was parked inside the Independence hanger bay, leaving the bedside on DS17 for the emergency meeting Admiral Anassasi called, the one night together here.:: ::David never hated his quarters more at the moment, himself. All things that might have broken out, he kept his eyes closed a moment longer before staring at her, finally nodding sadly.:: CODY: I know what I did. REYNOLDS: I'm not try- ::She sighed and shook her head.:: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up. ::Too many conflicting emotions tore through him. He wanted to leave, catch a fast ship back to the station and try, try to make up his mistakes. David blinked a few tears and took a breath.:: CODY: No, you had every right to say it. Like I said at the very beginning, I was never very good at that sort of thing. REYNOLDS: ::Low.:: Well, that makes two of us. CODY: It doesn't mean we can't still work together. I.. ::swallowing:: I want you to be happy. And have the bonds of a strong crew, a family, that isn't going to be called away at a moment's notice, or not be there at your side when you need them the most. ::Quinn looked down, uncomfortable and awkward, no words with which to reply.:: CODY: ::He felt tears threatening.:: I'll always be around, if you ever need to get a hold of me. Intelligence related or otherwise. For what it's worth, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you really needed me. I should have been there. I wish I was. ::She looked up, then nodded slightly and slowly.:: REYNOLDS: It's okay. ::She paused.:: We'll be okay. You will, won't you? ::He felt horrible, and it killed him what came out. Was it wrong to want the woman you loved happy?:: CODY: I will… you? ::She took a few moments to answer, watching him through the screen.:: REYNOLDS: Yeah. I'll get there. ::He nodded, all of sudden tired. He hoped one day she would forgive him.:: CODY: Let me know if you guys make any breakthroughs on the device… see you again? ::Once again, Quinn took a short while to answer, drawing in a breath before nodding.:: REYNOLDS: I'll keep you updated. I'd like to see the shuttle back where it belongs. ::She reached forward to end the call, then hesitated, taking a last look.:: Take care of yourself, David. ::After the screen winked out, a silent scream plagued him as the tears finally tore.:: CODY: Computer… lights. ::The room went dark. Alone, he curled and heaved, feeling everything accumulate that he kept locked inside his heart. It was always the same, no matter what happened to the ones you loved. It never stopped you from still loving them. Dave bridged his nose, wiping tears and shuddered, saying to himself what wouldn't be fair to say to Quinn, and let her have the freedom to live, and love, for what life brought.:: CODY: Love you… always will. ::He pulled the bluefire diamond necklace from a hidden compartment within a drawer, a sad smile touching his lips, remembering her smell, holding her the few nights they had, and the surprising intimacy of a simple cuddle. If those memories were all he had left… he would live with that.:: ::A moment later…:: CODY: ::Screaming:: [...]IT! -- Lieutenant Commander Quinn Reynolds Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops & Lieutenant Commander David Cody USS Independence-A
  2. Everything looks correct to me as well.
  3. ( OOC - I'm sure you'll all assume anyway, but none of the PCs mentioned here are anything but dream-forms, and their dialogue should not be taken as indicative of their true player's motives. ) ( Dreams ) A small transporter room, a smirking man behind the console, she knows Sam Koveski, but younger, with shorter hair, a smile that hasn't seen what he's seen now. She knows she's younger, too, feels her collar, one solid pip, one hollow. Ventu: Bring her aboard. Koveski: Who? Ventu: My mother. Koveski: Your mother-? But he taps the controls anyway, even as she looks over, asking, why, why not, why not my mother? Humming on the pad, and she looks around again. Not her mother, he's right, but a captain, dark hair, dark eyes, intense eyes, and she has to look away, look away so she doesn't see herself reflected though if they're so dark, how can they reflect her? She's afraid. Roberts: Aresee Ventu, what have you done? Ventu: You were never here, Abby. Roberts: What have you done? She looks around to Sam, but he's not smirking, gone, replaced by a different captain, one who belongs on the ship, Phoenix, hands at her temples, squeezing, squeezing. Phoenix: It's time for me to leave, Counselor. She steps back, should be onto Abby's foot but isn't, Abby's gone, too, like Sam. She feels her collar again, another pip, back at lieutenant commander. Ventu: But you've only just- Phoenix: It's time for me to leave, so it's time for you to leave. Phoenix's fingers on the keys, and Lily's gone in a flash that lasts a moment. On her back, legs spread, sweaty and wailing even though there isn't the pain, Ellie Hathaway above her knees, and she squeezes Quinn's hand harder, only it isn't Quinn. Large, dark, and she trusts him but what's he doing here, now, he should be here, shouldn't be seeing me here like this, not now, why won't he leave- Rocar: You're a disappointment. She tries to pull away from him, he won't let go and Hathaway won't let her move. Rocar: We can't keep you here. You're a disappointment, a liability. Your son- Ventu: My son? Rocar smiles and lightens, shrinks, retracts and shifts into Sidney Riley, who has newborn Rhys in her arms. Her son, her son in her old captain's arms, who cares if she was one a doctor, let me have my son, give me my son- Riley: Do you want him? Reach for him. She does, she tries, but Riley pulls him away, away from her reaches, smiling all the while. Riley: You're a disappointment. She takes a step that changes everything. The Tiger's ready room, dark and still smoky, Rhys is crying, Sidney bobbles him up and down, comforts him but not his mother, pats him on the back with one hand and tosses a PADD across her desk. Lily takes it, knows what it says without reading, knows the etching's done for her already. Ventu: All dead. Riley: Life can rarely be called fair, Lily. Ventu: But you- I- we could've done something- Riley: No. ::beat:: You didn't do anything. You're a disappointment. Ventu: Let me have my son. Anassasi (os): Excuse me. She turns from Riley, from her son in her arms, there's Anassasi, arms crossed, angry, judgmental, brows spiky and pointed. Anassasi: You should never have survived. She points past Lily, past Sidney and Lily's son, out the window. The Triumphant, a bare speck but Lily knows what it is, dodging around a giant battleship. Mirrored in the window, a bridge she can't see, Nick in the central chair, Quinn and Tal Tel-ar and Will Hart and then a handful of flame out the window, the scene in it extinguished, Anassasi and Riley fade away, and then Rhys, holding Rhys. Rhys: My ship- Ventu: My son- Rhys: You're the reason I left, the reason it was decommissioned. You called him Rhys, after me? What right did you have? He has no business as my namesake. You have no business as one of my officers. She reaches for her son, her quiet son, but Rhys pulls him away. Rhys: You're a disappointment. He turns from her, with her son. She steps after him, following, but the world inverts again and she's on her back, on the floor. Rhys above her, Prox goggling behind. Rhys: Leave her. She isn't strong enough. And behind them, Anassasi. Anassasi: You should have died there. Should have. Should have. And behind them, Riley. Riley: Life isn't fair. Never fair. I never wanted you. And behind them, Phoenix. Phoenix: It was my time to go. It's your time to go. And behind them, a blaze of light, out of the light, more light, a dark-haired woman she's seen once, Alana Devar. Devar: Welcome to Devar Manor. More details, and Lily sees the other counselors she met, Vetri, Maria, Lee, Jaxx, and the ones she knew, knows, Sharee, Salen, Phoenix. Scott, MacGowan, Delinda approaches, offers a glass of champagne but Lily doesn't know if she wants it or not and Delinda lets it fall, shatter on the courtyard floor. Sharee: Ops doesn't need you. Salen: Tiger doesn't need you. Screams ahead, and she pushes past Par and Delinda. A large alien, snakelike, nonhumanoid, has Vetri and Maria in a corner. Vetri looks over with large eyes, asking, pleading, condemning. She wants to help, I want to help, but why can't you move, why can't you do it yourself, why can't I move and why can't we get away? Vetri: How could you let this happen? Lily tries to run, to stop the snake but nothing happens, she watches as it slithers closer and then it stands, it has Vulcan ears, a marine uniform. Reed: Is this what you wanted? And she spreads her arms wide and they're on the starbase, watching through a window as a thousand Klingon warships engage the Starfleet below her. Explosions, fire, and she has her hand at her sternum. Ventu: It was one night- Reed: Your mistake. Your failure. The governor never had a chance. Approaching from behind, Rocar, looming and shadowing over Brunsig, a sneer, Rocar's eyes downturned, but Brunsig's look reserved only for her, only the lowest. Brunsig: A joke, that's you. First officer then, and you haven't made it any farther. Who's the CO now, you fool? Rocar: I expected much more. You are a disappointment, not the Ventu I heard of. You will leave my base, immediately. I want you to leave, immediately. Ventu: But I- My husband- Rocar: Immediately. Hayden (os): Find your own way home. The others darken and he approaches, her son's in one of his arms, with the other, he pushes her hand away, reaches beneath her collar, pulls away the necklace he gave her on their marriage day. She reaches for it, for his hand, grabs at it because it isn't his to take back, he gave it to her and I'll keep it, a gift and no right of yours to take it back, what gives you the right now- Hayden: My son. My son. I wasted my time with you. She can't see him, can't watch them together, turns away and becomes her house, her teenage room, her mother on the edge of her bed. Matilda: Lily, Lily, come to me. She holds her mother close, leans into as much lap as she can but finds it small, much too small and rapidly shrinking as she grows and tries to hug her mother tighter but suddenly her mother's dust and wind and she's kneeling in it, kneeling over Quinn. An alien planet, a place she recognizes as Quinn breathes for the last time and the lights behind her eyes fade, fade. Ventu: No! She pumps against Quinn's chest as the dust shuffles and rises around her, forms in the dust, Anassasi and Riley again. Anassasi: You've let her die. Riley: I would have saved her. Anassasi: You were acting first officer. Riley: Their lives were your responsibility. Anassasi: Her life was your responsibility. Riley: You let her die. Anassasi: You let her die. Both: You've disappointed us. But she can't hear them, can't pay them a moment when Quinn's below her and she's bending over, balling her hands into one large fist that she beats again and again, live, [...] it, this isn't supposed to happen, you didn't die then and you showed me other things and you can't die now, not now, not when you haven't showed me- Reynolds: This? A shuttle [...]pit, Quinn alone in the chair, different than a Starfleet shuttle, jeans for Quinn and a miniature greenhouse in her arms, inside the greenhouse, Rhys, wailing, muted and silent. Reynolds: You thought you could save me. Ventu: ::firm:: I won't let you go. Reynolds: You'd choose me? Her entire body sends itself into the throw, the greenhouse sails out the shuttle's window, vanishes into the black with Rhys, Lily leaps up and covers the steps from her seat to the window but it's solid for her, no way to follow and Quinn laughs, falls away and suddenly Lily's on the floor, screaming, shot through and again by a pain she doesn't feel but remembers well enough, withdrawals. Away from the Borderlands, and Alexa appears just out of her vision, staring down with her arms crossed, nostrils flared, and she walks away as the shuttle darkens, a starship over them, and a voice over the communication system. Roberts: This is Commander Roberts of the Starship Galaxy. Unidentified vessel you are ordered to- Lily? A rapid shift. Daydan Taboo, in the Ten-Forward of the Constitution, calling her forward to sing, warmth in his eyes, in his voice, bowing away for her while still clapping- Taboo: Lily. Rhys Bejain, propped on his chair, painting his wall while he walks over his shoulder. His voice, tired, old. Rhys: Lily. Sidney Riley, an assembly hall on Deep Space Seventeen, the crew assembled to watch torpedo coffins two dozen strong, Sidney turns to her and her hand on Lily's shoulder, a sad voice, sad but blaming, your fault, your fault, my fault. Riley: Lily. Nick Parks, in bed next to her, young with shorter hair, touching her temple, running her hair back, love against his tongue. Parks: Lily. She fixes to him, holding strong, refusing to let go and feels him under her, never mind that it's a dream and she can't feel, she feels him and she won't let it change, won't let herself fall farther, even if it has to end, let it end so there isn't any more and she can end it with him. Lieutenant Commander Lily Ventu Envoy Starbase 118
  4. ((Kyros' Quarters)) ::Having been shown how to use the computer -- just talking to it and telling it what he wanted, which seemed stupidly easy once he knew how it worked -- Kyros found himself a little better at navigating the halls. They'd worked out where his quarters were, and it was to them that he went, to get out of his traveling clothes and into something more formal for the occasion. He decided to stick with chain mail rather than plate, but took his dress suit of it; polished, bright, and relatively silent while he moved; his traveling chain had a tendency to jingle that wasn't optimal for ceremonies. Opera probably counted.:: ::He added a surcoat with the emblem of his order on it -- this time in black, set upon a dark blue background which suited him well, his own coat of arms at each shoulder. No helm; no sword, although he wore the twin jeweled daggers gifted him on his fifteenth birthday, polished to a proper shine. Not that they were likely to be drawn, but an unarmed knight was improper. He had a carrying permit for his weapons -- somehow the King had procured that for him, and he carried it in his wallet, strapped to his side.:: ::Some time remained; he used it to make a pass at organizing his quarters. The room was bigger than he knew what to do with; he had never had so much space. The dummies with his armor on them, he set in one room; there was a wall there that seemed perfect for his weapons, but he had nothing to mount them with. His clothes went in his bedroom; there was the main area for eating and cooking, and that left him with two rooms and absolutely nothing to do with them. He could work that out later; it was time for the opera.:: ((Opera hall (?))) ::His ticket got him in, and his costume earned him strange looks wherever he went. By the third time he was asked if he was part of the opera, he was already wishing he hadn't come. He was by no means unaccustomed to large crowds, but he was unused to having no part in the proceedings. There, he was a symbol, a respected icon of nobility; here, he was merely an oddity... lost and alone, and with no task to hide behind... perhaps that was why he had obsessed so earlier? A grasping for something to do, someone to be, some role to fall into -- it would make sense, but he hoped not as he had no desire to repeat that particular performance.:: ::An expectant voice with just a touch of worry in it interrupted his thoughts.:: Girl: Well? ::He turned, and gaped.:: Gideon: You... ::She laughed and twirled. She was wearing a forest green dress with wide black trim, the dress reaching fully to her feet. It was bound at the waist lightly with a sash, with a neckline that revealed nothing but hinted at much. Her eyes sparkled mischievously:: Girl: The latest in Mydjyan fashion -- you're Mydjyan, yes? Gideon: Aye, I... ::He paused.:: How didst thou know that? ::She had a satisfied smirk.:: You made the news, Mister Knight. Sir Kyros Gideon, newly arrived on the station from Mydjya, of the Order of the Rose and Thorn. ::She touched the emblem on his chest:: Gideon: Then thou dost have the advantage of me. Girl: Erin. ::She curtseyed, roughly; Kyros bowed back in return.:: Gideon: Well met, then, m'lady Erin. ::He offered his arm:: Shall we? Erin: Let's shall. ::She took his arm, and they went to find their seats:: Sir Kyros Gideon Knight Protector
  5. (( Science Lab Theta-47-D, Starbase 118 )) RAMIREZ: I'll hold you up to that. And talking about Klingon escapade ::he grabbed the box with his award and walked towards the exit:: we'd better go and get ready. If we want to be plausible as eager fans, we'll have to get there early. I'll pick you up at your place in precisely 47 minutes. REYNOLDS: Pick me... ::She blinked and shook her head.:: Come again? RAMIREZ: What? You don't actually expect us to meet there, right? If we're going to the Opera together, I wouldn't be much of a gentleman if I didn't escort you there myself! ::he walked off, smiling:: And people say I have no manners... ::Quinn sighed softly, looked heavenward, then wrestled her commbadge out of her pocket and tapped it.:: REYNOLDS: =/\= Reynolds to Tsao. =/\= TSAO: =/\= Yes, Commander? =/\= ::It threw her for a moment, being called that, then she continued.:: REYNOLDS: =/\= Could you replicate me a dress uniform and meet me in my quarters? I need to get ready for the opera. =/\= TSAO: =/\= Of course, sir. I'll be there shortly. =/\= ::Tucking the badge back into her pocket, Quinn turned and left the science lab, making sure the door was locked behind her.:: (( Quinn's Personal Quarters )) ::A few minutes later and Quinn strode inside her quarters, to find Tsao already waiting. Quinn shot a harried smile at her assistant, pulling her hair loose from the s[...]py ponytail in order to redo it in a style more professional for the evening.:: TSAO: Good evening, sir. I have a message from Lieutenant Ramirez? Apparently there has been some kind of incident in his quarters and he may be running late. He'll meet you at the opera. REYNOLDS: Alright, thanks. Have you got my- ::The Chief Petty Officer, seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly brandished a deep red taffeta gown. Strapless, the bodice was decorated with tiny crimson flowers that trailed down the right side of the dress, until reaching the hem of the skirt. It was quite lovely, but definitely not what she had asked for.:: REYNOLDS: What's that? TSAO: It's your outfit, sir. REYNOLDS: My..? I said dress *uniform*, not dress! TSAO: Oh. My apologies. ::She said, looking stonily unapologetic.:: However, the replicator in your quarters is broken and there is not enough time to return to the Liaison Office to use the one there. Maintenance has been notified. REYNOLDS: ::She looked toward the replicator.:: How do you- TSAO: I tried to replicate you a tea. REYNOLDS: ::She looked at the dress.:: And you just happened- TSAO: Yes. ::Quinn sighed, wondering out of the two of them, who was *really* in charge. Resigning herself to being the subordinate in this situation, she held out her hands for the dress. Tsao responded by hanging it up and gesturing to a nearby chair.:: TSAO: Hair. REYNOLDS: Pardon me? ::Tsao pointed to the chair again and Quinn found herself herded into it, moments before the other woman was pulling a brush through it. Quinn squirmed in response, until she felt a light rap on her shoulder.:: TSAO: If you remain still, I can do this more quickly. ::Good grief, it was like being five all over again. Only her father was considerably less frightening than the Chief Petty Officer currently sweeping her hair back. Quinn resigned herself to reigning in her instinct to squirm, if only to get the whole thing over and done with as quickly as possible...:: -- Lieutenant Commander Quinn Reynolds Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops
  6. For The Children This story was one of the standouts of the bunch. Your characters were well established from the very start of the story. I cared deeply for Carte and Amy and when they ended up on opposite sides of the conflict it tore at my heart to see their pain. But Carte’s motivations just were not clear enough. His sincerity was clear, but like Amy I could not understand why he was doing what he was doing. Without understanding Carte’s motivation I could not understand his sacrifice. Otherwise this was a sound, gripping, and emotional story. If you keep writing on this level, I promise you I will keep reading. The Dread Pirate Jackford I love the Princess Bride, so the theme of your story put a big smile on my face. But your hero/anti-hero did not make me want to pull for him. To me he came across as being just as manipulative as Sheval, she just out maneuvered him in the end. I need a reason to care about the main characters, even if it is just a small one. You did get me to hate Sheval by the end of the story though, truly a good job at making a character utterly despicable. I enjoyed your sense of humor, and I look forward to more stories that can make me smile. Fugitives I could see where you were going with this one. It has the feel of a morality play with a bit of the unexpected. The style choice was a bold move and suits the up tempo actions of the story. Unfortunately that tempo is broken by confusion. In particular this happened most often with the drunk. The Captain and the Ensign seemed to lose their individual personalities as the piece developed, ending with them both seeming to be the same character. These are both problems that can be easily solved by proofreading and rewriting your work as needed. When proofreading your piece be sure to watch out for unintended changes in your characters. I enjoyed the original concept of the piece, and look forward to what you will come up with in the next challenge.
  7. Just finished reading the last of the entries (got a little to busy to read them all for a while). An impressive number this time around, especially considering the shorter timespan on the round. I enjoyed reading everyone's stories. It is interesting to see everyone's take on the the topic. The writing challenge always proves to me what a truly talented group of writers we have here.
  8. ((Starbase 118 - Command Hub)) ::Had Kalpana heard Pedro's insubordinate comments at this juncture in her life, she probably would have leapt upon the opportunity provided by such an irritant and killed him. Given her exobrace and his weakened condition, she probably would have been successful, too. ::All told, it is probably for the best (if far less satisfying) that she remained in her little niche off somewhere behind the Environmental consoles, salted tears rolling freely down her cheeks. Part of her mind was aware of how horribly she was throwing her body out of whack. She was not terran, despite her resemblance to them, and she could not afford the same indulgences that one of that same pervasive species. ::Continual sobbing would deprive her body of valuable dissolved salts and minerals, which could not be easily replaced from water vapor in the air. Evaporation would leave the soluble residue on her cheeks, which would be reabsorbed and, bizarrely enough, actually cause a dangerous *increase* in her body fluids' salinity. ::Her heavy breathing was torture on her lungs, forcing the thick, soupy air (which was, itself, deplorably deficient in the very elements that her body demanded) through her throat in chest-rattling gasps. The air was too dry, too dead, and too thick to ever feel natural to her body. She shuddered all the harder as the universe hammered home the realization that she was woefully out of place.:: Ramirez: Yes, a phaser rifle... Don't worry, I'm used to tinkering weapons, that's my specialty... aside general knowledge and entertainment, of course... ::Far more of her mind, however, was latching frantically onto anything that it could use as a distraction - from both body and invaded mind. If her lungs and tears were both wrought upon foreign seas and under distant suns, then so too were her ears. The words spoken casually across the Hub were as clear as if spoken inches from her head.:: Geeva: oO Foolish. Too risky. Rifles are serious power sources, especially if he adjusts one to produce titanium atoms. It will be drained immediately, and if not, I doubt as to its effectiveness. You might as well spray carbon on a terran's cut and expect it to function as a dermal regenerator. Pedro is devious, yes, but nobody would ever accuse him of brilliance. Or Walter, for that matterrrrnnnnngggga aaahhhhh- !! Oo ::Her mental cry shattered the memories of Walter's past tactical efforts that were even now trying to assert themselves within her forebrain. She did not WANT to remember! She did NOT! She would rip the very thoughts from her skull!:: Geeva: Nnnngg! Ssssh! ::Her grunt of effort brought a hiss of pain as only her exobrace's safeguards stopped her long fingers from digging into her own face. With an explosion of breath more animalistic than angry, she flung her arms down, cursing the very machinery that allowed her to walk upon these decks in her natural muscles' tattered condition. ::Her mind came into brief sync with the world around her, catching on a snippet of gossip between two operations technicians a dozen feet away.:: Geeva: oO By the ever-cursed Ninth! Just pay the gi'nok man out of the station's budget! We can draw a quarter-billion credits without Starfleet batting an eye. Ancestors! This isn't a starship, it's the v'ta frelling Fleet Command! Lily, stop be-... Oo ::Flashes of Lily's smile, of laughter and happy times, pounded into Kalpana's skull and she groaned with the effort of trying and failing to fight them off. She shoved at the memories - hard - and they twisted in her mind. ::Her body was awash with fire - jagged shards of pain piercing her flesh. It was reminiscent of what she'd felt when she awoke in that dark corridor, but distinctly different. She could feel herself slipped away as Lily spoke her name.:: Memory-Ventu: ...stay with me. ::She felt herself slipping, slipping, blackness would be sweet relief, but then she felt a wash of sterile cleanliness sweep through her body as the Hub's walls flashed white. Reconstituting themselves into the walls of a hospital, a second figure joined the figure that had to be Lily Ventu. This one was smaller. Too small to be a child, until something niggled at her mind - terran children were smaller than iridians. She still couldn't pin down the identity, though. The vision in her memories was crystal clear and sharper than her native eyes had ever been. It was like dreaming of having the eyes of a hawk..:: Geeva: -I usually keep the doors locked. ::Kalpana couldn't differentiate between her real body and that in her memories, so she had no way of knowing that she was speaking out loud. Or that Rocar was speaking to her.:: Rocar: Everything okay, Commander Geeva? Geeva: I'm dying, aren't I? Rocar: Commander! Memory-Ventu: Yes. ::A beat. Kalpana through up her mental hands, tears running in a torrent down her physical cheeks. A water shortage was noted, molecules were pulled from other portions of her body, and notice was passed up the chain of nerve cells. Words thundered against her psyche like the pulse of a giant butterfly's wings as she wrestled with something no less ephemeral than thought itself. ::Time skipped strangely and she found herself staring out an enormous window at a Sabre-class vessel being built in drydock. A voice... *her* voice spoke from her lips, but there was no mirror. She couldn't see the face that spoke those words. She still knew not whose life she was raping!:: Geeva: I don't want to talk about it. ::If the ktarian fleet captain was taken aback by her answer, his operations officer never knew it.:: Rocar: Nothing, you just seemed a little distracted, is all. Memory-Ventu: No. I didn't think you would. ::beat:: But you're showing me- ::Showing her. Showing *both* of them, and unlike Lily, Kalpana had the force of will (and the advantage of home field) to force the issue. She shoved again at the memories, buffering her efforts with cultural indoctrination and traditional values. Morals waged against engrams and won but a minor victory... ::They were in a shuttle, now, Lily seated beside her and an odd little terrarium sitting on the console in front of her body. She was speaking...: : Geeva: If I don't... If this is it for me, I want you to pass on some messages. Memory-Ventu: This isn't it. Absolutely not. Rocar: Response? Geeva: Don't make me beg. We both know that I'm- ::The iridian shoved again... or tried to. She was weakening from the effort of stretching psychic muscles that she had never before been aware existed. She strained, she tried, and she failed to move the scene by more than a few seconds.:: Geeva: David. ::a moment's pause,:: ...Cody. Tell him that. That I love him. Rocar: Response? Memory-Ventu: ::firm:: I won't let you go. Memory-Ventu: -you have to let me go. I have to get back. I have to get you out! Geeva: I don't know how! I don't even know how you get in here in the first place, let alone how to get you out again! ::Everything started to fall apart after that. There were explosions and scene that Kalpana barely understood. Multiple views overlapped, with multiple bridges from crises all throughout her stolen memories, and some that were clearly the products of pure imagination. The fight was brutal. Weapons were gone, shields a tattered mess, the hull was leaking air like a sieve, and she was steering the entire bloody wreck right into the face of the enemy. ::All for a friend. It was something that Kalpana could get behind. A symbol that energized her mind and she pushed, forcing her mind along half-hidden currents in the memories, riding engramatic tides like an avenging valkyrie.:: Geeva: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE, LILY! RUN!! ::The words shot from her like a cannon blast, and her mind surged free of the sea of the past like a breeching submarine. Her vision went white as she pierced the veil between subjective and objective reality, only to fade back in as she came crashing down to rest atop her sea. All would be right... one should sail upon their past, not dive deep within it. ::Her sobbing came easier now, interspersed with giddy laughter. She was... happy? No, too tame. She was *jubilant*.: : Geeva: oO I did it! I did it! I saved her! Oo ::She was still laughing through her tears when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she followed it to a face. She couldn't contain this joy by herself. It was too much.:: Geeva: I did it! Any: Response? --- Lieutenant Commander Geeva Kalpana Chief Operations Officer Starbase 118 Operations
  9. Dawn Breaking the Night The bridge of the USS Virginia was a mess. Many of the consoles had exploded, throwing the officers manning them about the bridge. The moans of the wounded made up an eerie white noise of pain. But the view screen showed the real carnage of the day, the Jem Hadar warship that had ambushed the convoy the Virginia was tasked to protect was little more then a debris field. There were no cheers of excitement as the crew won out the day. Instead there was only silent relief as the USS Virginia and the majority of her crew survived another day on the front lines of the Dominion War. You would not think this would mark one of the brightest days of my life, but that was certainly how it turned out. I was stationed at helm when the Jem Hadar warship had attacked. By this point of the war we had all seen this same scene play out before, there was nothing special about what was happening. The Captain gave her orders, and we set our shoulder to the grind stone, praying that once more Captain Delahanney would guide us through. For me the attack grew personal when the Ops console across the bridge from me exploded. Lieutenant Junior Grade William Marstoney was hit by a large section of the console, breaking his neck, and killing him instantly. Billy and I had graduated from the Academy in the same class. We never moved in the same circles at the Academy, but we knew of each other. That changed when we were both stationed on the Virginia. We became fast friends as we struggled through our early days as Ensigns. Our camaraderie grew with each new challenge we had to face. Billy was not the first officer I had seen die in service to the Federation, nor was he the last. But he was the first friend I had ever lost. When he fell, I was consumed by a zeal to see that Jem Hadar warship destroyed. I did everything in my power to give Lieutenant Commander Tavor, our tactical officer, the perfect shot. We took a pounding, but finally the torpedoes were away and the brief battle was over. Soon the medical team and the engineers were on the bridge, doing their jobs to keep the ship running without interruption. While they worked we found our convey, and continued on our way. The supplies for the war must get through. These were the cold realities of war. I knew them well as the medic’s removed Billy’s body from the bridge, because I was entering a course correction at the time. It was three more hours before my shift ended. I went down to the Harrisonburg lounge when I went off duty. That was were they posted the casualty reports, one for the ship, and one for the fleet. As I read the long lists of names I could feel the dark cloud of sorrow filling my heart. It had been a bad day. Nine names, I knew nine of the officer lost that day, two from the Virginia, counting Billy, and seven more from around the fleet. The assault on Harlonia IV looked to have been a massacre. After checking the lists I left the Harrisonburg lounge. I did not get anything to eat or drink there, no one did anymore. Instead I headed off for my quarters. When I entered my quarters I saw the light blinking at my desk, telling me I had a message waiting. I ignored it, heading for the shower instead. I stood in the shower stall letting the sonic waves cleanse the grime of the day from my skin. I could only distantly remember the luxury of a real shower, with hot water. I tried to remember how long it had been, but that only reminded me of my last leave. That was a memory that was far to pleasant to think about just then, so I pushed it from my mind. I did my best to stop thinking, and just waited for the shower to finish. I did not get around to checking the message waiting for me at the console until I had gotten into some clean, non regulation clothes, and eaten a plate of lasagna. I turned the computer on and watched the Star Fleet insignia as the message loaded. I was surprised to see Regina’s face appear, with a newborn in her arms, swaddled in a pink blanket. “Hi honey.” She began, “I have a little surprise for you. I was thinking of naming her Kelly, after your grandmother…….I know this is a bit unexpected, but I didn’t want you to be distracted out there. I know you Hal. You would have been so worried about me during the pregnancy you wouldn’t have been able to look after yourself the way I needed you to…….I hope I did the right thing…….She has your eyes, and your easy laugh. Two days old and she already loves to laugh…….I miss you Hal, I really wish you could have been here for this. You come home safe to us now, daddy. We love you. Be safe.” The Star Fleet insignia filled the screen again. I watched that message over and over for the next hour. I had a daughter. Just like that the horrors of the day eased their grip on my soul. I was a father now, and nothing was going to stop me from getting home to my little girl.
  10. I think that would be a fitting honor for Tanang. I only had the opportunity to sim with him briefly, but I am glad for having had the chance to write with him.
  11. "Klingon Herder" was written by Ensign Tanang.
  12. ((SB 118, Event Horizon)) Wysteria: Is there a nurse here? I've got an injured chef who needs sending to! ::The call came from out of nowhere. Lisa almost bit her lip in surprise. It had settled down and been very quiet for 15 or so minutes. She'd gotten herself into a routine mending, injecting, wrapping... then the yell from behind her.:: Story: Be right there! ::Kennedy noticed that there remained still a few of the starfleet personnel, mostly those who seemed to be in medical, as well as others who had come out for the event. As for her own staff, they were managing under the circumstances. :: Wysteria: ::Talking to herself:: Where on earth is that nurse. I could have sworn someone said they were coming. Story: ::smiling at the young woman in front of her:: Your baby will be fine. His heart rate jumped when yours did, that's all. It happens in the 3rd trimester. Wysteria: Is there a nurse or doctor here? ::It wasn't that Kennedy was trying to be rude...then again, she could act Arbazan, which would give her an excuse to be rude. She was just worried for Ian. He was her only chef at the moment, and by the way things were going, the restaurant was going to have to close for the evening if he wasn't able to work.:: Wysteria: o0Need to find a chef that can replace Ian on his days off or when he's injured.0o Nurse?? Story: On my way!! ::Lisa grabbed what was left of the supplies she had and ran toward a flickering candle light. Her supplies were dwindling. Without communications she couldn't call sickbay for re-enforcements or supplies. She did have the aide that had volunteered. Maybe Lisa could send her to get more supplies. Maybe get a doctor in attendance, too.:: ::It didn't take long for the nurse to locate Kennedy. Candles were slowly being lit in the back section here, and it took a bit longer to navigate through the room. Once the nurse had arrived, Kennedy wasted no time talking, just turned around and assumed that the nurse was following her. :: ((Event Horizon - Kitchen)) Ian: ::Looking at Kennedy:: Yes, I'll agree...finally. You need to find someone who can take over on days like this. Kennedy: ::Smirking:: Told you so! Ian: Yes, but I expect to be there during the interview process. Kennedy: Agreed. Now hold out your hand. You look paler than usual. Ian: ::Looking at the nurse:: Promise to be gentle? ::Clutching his hand:: this here is my tool of the trade! Story: Let me see.... I'm not going to hurt you... I just need to look at it. Tool of the trade? Of course, you're the chef. Ian: Here! ::Ian held out his hand and turned his head away. He had to laugh at himself and how the side of his own blood and injury freaked him out, and yet he had no qualms about butchering an animal if need be.:: Story: The knife is embedded in the bone. Lower your head. Ian: My head? o0 Odd request 0o Story: The blood flow is traveling to your feet. We need to get your head lower than your heart to start the circular process happening again. ::pressing down on the top of Ian's head:: Low! Ian: Gee, I have to the urge to kiss my [...] good bye! I feel like I'm a kid again auntie Em is trying to teach me to do a somersault. Story: ::a geyser of blood shot out around the base of the knife:: Oh NO! I mean, no, don't do that. My brain is going numb. Hand above the heart, slow the bleeding. You had trouble learning to somersault? oO If I were a doctor, I wouldn't have so much stress. Oo Ian: Getting into the position was never the problem, it was completing the task that needed some serious work. Story: ::pulling a chair over and sitting down then giving Ian a heavy dose of Asinolyathin: : Well, you don't need to know how to do a somersault anymore. We hope. ::nodding at his hand:: How did you do this? Ian: Normal meal prep, was trying to get an extra veggie tray out to table 7 when the lights went out, my knife slipped of the cutting block and right into my hand. ::While Ian talked, Lisa imagined the had under an x-ray. The tip of the blade might have broken off in the center carpel. If he was lucky, the knife was embedded in the carpel ligaments. Not really so lucky, at that. Time to heal was anywhere from three days to three weeks. Depending on the extent of the damage. Lisa wasn't a diagnostician. There wasn't a doctor available so she determined to do the best that she could.:: Story: I'm going to remove the knife. How's your pain level? Ian: What's my scale? Story: On a grade of 1 being not bad and 10 being unbearable. Ian: Well, when it's not being moved or looked at or thought about, 9. But when something is happening or it's being looked at, about 12. ::Looking sheepishly:: Can we say I'm a bit of a wimp? ::Kennedy realizing what was about to happen quickly moved over to the small bar fridge hidden on the underside of Ian's work station and grabbed a bottle of Klingon Ale, a pretty old year. It had been one that she had given him to use with various dishes. Under the circumstances though, she was going to let him drink it to null the pain. With his free hand, Ian grasped the bottle and took a very long deep drink of the crimson ale. He then looked at the nurse, ready for whatever pain she was about to do to him.:: ::Lisa gripped Ian's hand with her left, fingers curling under to hold him steady. Placing her thumb at the base of the knife in a great show to focus his attention there, she grasped the hilt of the knife and pulled instantly and hard on an angle. The knife came free with a click of metal on bone.:: Ian: MOTHER OF FRACKING PEARL!!!!! Story: I'm going to give you an antibiotic and a hypospray of Asinolyathin to carry with you. Use it as needed for the pain. As soon as we get back to normal, report to sickbay. That's an order. Ian: o0I'll take your antibiotic and wash it down with this alcohol! 0o Yes nurse. Thank you. Kennedy: It's a good thing we're closed for the night. Once the place clears out, I'll give you a spare hand cleaning up the place. Ian: I hope you were being nice and not making fun of my injury. Kennedy: Lil old me? Ian: ::Looking at the nurse:: Go figure, for once I can't hear her thoughts! ::Lisa used the dermal regenerator to close the cut with a thin layer of derma. It would heal properly after being seen by the doctor and getting a complete treatment. Everything Lisa had done so far was a stop-gap to keep people from panicking and thereby injuring themselves worse. Looking at Ian then Wysteria, Nurse Story stood, gave some unnecessary advice along the lines of "Stay off your feet and take it easy.":: ::The two had started up their banter once again before Lisa got to the door.:: Kennedy Wysteria Owner/Operator Event Horizon & PO3 Lisa Story Registered Nurse SB118 OPS & Ian Moon Operator/Chef Event Horizon
  13. Superb. This was one of the most moving sims I have ever had the pleasure to read.
  14. (( Executive Officer's Office, USS Tiger )) :: The door to her office split apart, and Lily took in the carnage that lay within. She knew what had happened, in the essentials - she knew that the bridge group had fled from the Reapers down to her office, where they'd held it before storming back onto the bridge. The ship hadn't been taken and the Reapers were gone, and while she didn't blame Sidney or her group for the shambles of her office, she did nudge her overturned aloe with her foot and feel a flash of annoyance. The holo-cube had been turned on its side, and so the walls of the office were their normal, boring gray-pink again. Her PADDs were as scattered as ever, but the most annoying thing were her pictures: The only one left standing showed an eighteen-year- old Lily and Ensign Abby Roberts, huddled over a library table during Lily's freshman year. She took two steps into the room before she felt a crunch. She lifted her foot for two smiling faces - her own, and Nick Parks's, just before she'd been assigned to the Triumphant. They were on a Risan beach, she saronged and he shirtless, with orange-yellow sand spreading out to the waves behind them. A perfect, happy day. She grimaced, picked up the frame, and set it on the desk. Things changed. Ships fell apart, and relationships, friendships, childhoods. She made sure the glass didn't cut her when she stepped back again. :: (( The Black Tower, Starbase 118 )) ::After finishing up with her medical, Quinn took the opportunity to locate and visit her office in the Black Tower. For once, it wasn't to bury her head in work, rather she wanted the chance for a long overdue catch-up with an old friend. Taking a seat in the comfortable black chair, she looked at the black screen on the desk for a few long moments before taking a deep breath and speaking.:: REYNOLDS: Computer, open a comm channel to Lieutenant Commander Lily Ventu, USS Tiger. COMPUTER: Working... ::Tapping her fingers lightly on the console as she waited for the channel to be established and answered, Quinn leaned back in her chair. It had definitely been a hell of a year, so far. All she could do was hope that things were going to improve with her new posting.:: (( Executive Officer's Office, USS Tiger )) :: The broken glass had been recycled, and several more broken pictures had joined Lily and Nick on the desk. Lily held another shattered frame now, and looked down at herself, smiling not up at her future self but at the others in the picture: Hayden Reynolds, who was alone smiling for the camera, and his cousin, Quinn, who was looking serious and away. The incoming signal alarm rang off on her monitor, and she considered ignoring it: The crisis was past, the crew was relaxing, and trouble could wait. Still, she decided to ask: :: VENTU: Computer, where's that coming from? COMPUTER: Working. :: While the computer figured it out, she dropped the broken frame on the pile, and then it beeped again. :: COMPUTER: Signal triangulated to Sector 118. VENTU: The Trinity Sector? COMPUTER: Affirmative. VENTU: ::frowning:: Who the hell...? :: She walked around the desk, sat down, and tapped the monitor on. Her curiosity had outweighed her annoyance. :: VENTU: Screen on. COMPUTER: Signal parsing. ::beat:: Connection established. :: The Starfleet logo snapped off, and a face swam into focus. Lily blinked, rubbed her eyes, and then still didn't really believe it. :: VENTU: Quinn? REYNOLDS: Hey Lily. How are you doing? :: Annoyance vanished: She was alive, and there was nothing to complain about. She spoke quickly, curiously. :: VENTU: Great, but where are you? Sector 118? Why are you there? How are you? REYNOLDS: I'm fin- ::She smiled wearily and shook her head.:: I've been better. But I think things are on the mend. VENTU: Well, good. That's good. REYNOLDS: So how's the Tiger? :: To answer, Lily spun the monitor around, giving Quinn a 360 of her office and its chaos. :: VENTU: It's been better ... the ship, I mean. The crew's great ... well, what's left of them. REYNOLDS: Oh. Wow. That's... I'm sorry to hear that. VENTU: But where *are* you? The Independence hasn't been reassigned, has it? REYNOLDS: No, just me. I've been transferred to Starbase One-One-Eight. VENTU: Oh. ::beat:: With Captain Rocar? He's still there, isn't he? REYNOLDS: Yeah, he's still around. All of him. ::Absently.: : Are all Ktarians that huge? VENTU: ::shaking her head:: I've only ever met him, so I couldn't tell you. ::beat:: Are you their new engineer? ::Quinn blinked then, and shook her head, looking sheepish.:: REYNOLDS: No... I'm, uh... I've been assigned to the Black Tower. Starfleet Intelligence. VENTU: ::wide eyes:: Wow. How'd THAT happen? REYNOLDS: I can't really talk about it. ::She shifted awkwardly.:: How's Hayden? :: Lily smile-frowned, and turned her head to the side for a moment. She wasn't really surprised that intelligence positions were hard to talk about, but she was curious why Quinn would've gotten such, unless there was something she didn't know. Her friend was brilliant, but SI? Didn't that imply some sort of ... moral turbidity? And then they came to Hayden. She hadn't been avoiding thinking of him by any means, but there was a large difference between cycling it in her mind and voicing those cycles. :: VENTU: Right. Hayden. ::beat:: He had an accident during our last mission. ::Quinn's expression immediately turned to one of concern and she shot forward in her chair.:: REYNOLDS: What happened? VENTU: He was attacked by one of the Reapers, and spent a couple of weeks in a coma. REYNOLDS: Coma? Is he alright? VENTU: ::too loudly:: He's fine, he's fine. I mean, physically.. .. ::Leaning back again, the Intelligence officer looked suddenly relieved.:: REYNOLDS: Don't scare me like that. VENTU: But he's been promoted- REYNOLDS: ::She beamed a smile:: That's great! VENTU: -and reassigned. REYNOLDS: ::The smile fell off her face.:: Oh. VENTU: Yeah. That's about it. "Oh." REYNOLDS: Where's he being sent to? VENTU: The Antares, a medical ship. ::twisted smile:: It's a command position. What he's been waiting for since he returned. ::Quinn visibly flinched, then shook it off as quickly as it had appeared.:: REYNOLDS: But... What about you? I mean... The two of you? VENTU: Yes. Well, that's the question, isn't it? ::beat:: There's a phrase, usually only used by people in security positions. "Holding action." REYNOLDS: I don't think it's supposed to describe couplehood. VENTU: I know. But it still fits. ::another beat:: He - we, sorry, we - never had a date. It was always after this mission or that mission, after we made some new rank, in two or three or six months. It's all come and gone, now. And where are we? ::Quinn managed a wan smile and shook her head.:: REYNOLDS: You've gone nowhere, yet everything's different? VENTU: Exactly. We, neither of us, are who we were on the Independence last year. REYNOLDS: ::Quietly.:: Tell me about it. VENTU: ::shrugging: : People change. It isn't an end, and I'm not ... you know, angry. Just disappointed. Not in him, either, just in general. ::staring into the distance:: You have all these perfect ideas of how life is going to be, and then life itself comes along and plays hell with all of it. REYNOLDS: I'm sorry it's not working out the way you hoped. VENTU: ::back to the screen:: But enough about this nonsense. Tell me about how you're doing! REYNOLDS: ::She frowned.:: I'm not sure what to say... VENTU: I know you can't tell me how you got into it, but can you ... I don't know. What *can* you tell me? REYNOLDS: I guess... Ask and and find out. VENTU: ::small smile:: Well, what about *your* love life, Miss Reynolds? Cody isn't coming with you, is he? REYNOLDS: David- ::She glanced down with wince.:: David chose to prioritise his career. VENTU: Oh. I see. Uhm.... All right. How's life been these past few months? What's the Independence been like? REYNOLDS: I actually wouldn't know. :: Lily's left eyebrow went up unbidden, and her right eye narrowed considerably. :: VENTU: You ... wouldn't? REYNOLDS: Lily - I haven't been on the Independence since the accident on TE-IV. VENTU: ::almost laughing:: What? REYNOLDS: The explosion, it was a cover for the Breen to take me and replace me with... Well. Suffice to say, no one could tell the difference. And I hear she gave you and Hayden an interesting trip down my memory lane. VENTU: That ... wasn't you? :: But even as she struggled to assimilate what Quinn was telling her, her mind was already connecting the pieces: A Deltan, especially a Deltan hybrid, should have had no way to mind-meld with a full human, as Quinn ( oO The fake Quinn! Oo) had done. Odd behaviour, strange powers, and now logical connections. ... :: VENTU: So, then the memories I saw- ::Absently, Quinn rubbed her right temple.:: REYNOLDS: Oh, they were all real. She had pretty much on-demand access to my memories, thanks to a modified version of one of their cortical implants. VENTU: ::quiet:: What happened with the Breen? REYNOLDS: They, um.... They wanted... ::Fumbling for the words, she sighed and shook her head.:: They weren't gentle with me. It... ::She grimaced and rolled her shoulder awkwardly.:: You know what, it's a little raw. I'd rather not talk about it. ::She paused for a moment, a wry smile creeping on to her face.:: It's driving the counsellors nuts. :: Lily leaned forward in her chair, until her nose was at most three or four inches from the screen. :: VENTU: Then I won't ask you about it. I want you to remember me as your friend, not your therapist. REYNOLDS: ::Vaguely amused.:: You're on a different ship, Lily. You're not dead. VENTU: ::frowning:: "Remember"'s the wrong word. That's not what I meant. I want you to *think* of me as your friend. If you want it dropped, it's dropped. ::Looking visibly relieved, Quinn nodded and sank a little further into her chair.:: REYNOLDS: Thank you. VENTU: But maybe you should think about kickboxing with some holographic Breen- REYNOLDS: Lily! VENTU: All right, all right, it's dropped! ::The Intel Officer's mock scathing glare was followed by a soft chuckle and a small grin.:: REYNOLDS: Old habits die hard, counsellor? ::She glanced at something out-of-view, then looked back to her friend.:: It's nearly time for me to head off. I have a... thing I have to attend and I need to get ready. VENTU: Yeah, I can see that you're getting close. ::beat:: Listen, Quinn, I want to make this more of a regular thing. I know you'll be busy, and so will I, but I.... :: She trailed off. "Don't want to lose you" was poking out of her mouth, but she couldn't say it, exactly - she'd already lost Quinn several times, to the ether and to her own fears. What else was there to say? :: VENTU: Just ... keep in touch, all right? REYNOLDS: I will. And you make sure that ship of yours stays intact. Or, you know. Strategically break it where you can put into the Starbase for repairs. VENTU: ::Wavery smile:: If she breaks up, I'll know who to take her to. ::stronger:: Unless being an intel woman goes to your head. :: Lily ended it with that and a smile. No goodbyes, because it wasn't, really, just a pause. Intermission, maybe. But not an end. :: ::In her office, Quinn reached a hand forward and tapped the communication channel closed. With a heavy sigh, she hauled herself up and out of the chair. She wasn't the first Starfleet Officer to lament the way Starfleet had a tendency to wrench friends (and sometimes more) apart, and she wouldn't be the last... But that piece of knowledge didn't make it the slightest bit easier.:: -- Lieutenant Commander Lily Ventu Executive Officer USS Tiger & Lieutenant Quinn Reynolds Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops
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