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Everything posted by Blueheart

  1. Some amazingly hilarious quotes from Ensign Dara! Dara: I can't predict who Q will send from my past. Worst case I can think of is that we'll run into my mum and all get grounded. Rahman: I hope there's enough room in that classroom. oO Did she just unintentionally made a 'yo mama is so fat'-joke? Oo Dara: We're her to fight exes and bullies and play real life stratego on the moon. Blueheart: Yeah, we’re off to see the cheerleaders. Dara: ::mumbeling while rolling his eyes:: Give me a Q. What does that spell? Q! oO Join starfleet, they said. It'll be fun, they said. No one said I'll relive high school experiences. Oo
  2. ((Yamaguchi-Bridge)) ::In all the confusion, Mary closed her eyes to stop the world around her. She smiled when the first thing that came to her mind was Adam Haase.:: ((Flashback - SD 239207.15)) ((USS Atlantis - Hallway en route to Shuttlebay)) ::Adam walked through the hallways where he’d spent the last six months of his life. It was his home, his shelter, his resting place. It was his sanctuary from the outside world - a place where nothing could really happen to him. It felt as if he was being torn from a friend, one who had protected him, and now in its time of need Adam was abandoning it. Continuing to the shuttlebay, Adam brushed his hands across the walls that he might never see again. Incidentally, he bumped into a walking Lt.JG. Fenelli. For those unaware, this might seem like nothing special - but for the last five months Mary had been paralyzed and unable to move without the use of a hoverchair.:: HAASE: ::Adam looked up from his PADD:: Well hello, Lieutenant! ::Mary bumped into Adam, someone in which she hadn’t seen in forever. She remembered the first time they had met, and she smiled. She wiggled both of her legs to show Adam that she was up and walking again. Many memories of the Atlantis filled Mary’s head and a tear or two slipped from her eye.:: FENELLI: ::Mary nodded.:: Lieutenant. ::Hearing the word Lieutenant spoken to her sounded very strange. Mary liked it though, she felt as if she was finally unafraid. Maybe she had just needed a rank change to chase away her fear.:: HAASE: ::Adam slipped a PADD into his back pocket:: It’s been quite some time! I see that you’re finally up and about. ::Adam smiled.:: Do you know which shuttle you’ve been assigned to yet? FENELLI: Feels good to be able to walk. I haven’t gotten my space legs back completely yet.::Mary looked at Adam and looked back down. She felt a strange feeling when he was next to her. Mary blushed realizing what that feeling was. She looked back up at Adam.:: As for the shuttle, I was assigned to the…::Mary quickly took a glance at her PADD.:: The Hawthorne. How about you? HAASE: ::Adam grinned:: Wow! What a coincidence. So am I! ::Adam picked up a small bag of luggage on the floor next to him, and placed the strap over his shoulder.:: Well, since we seem to be heading in the same direction, may I? ::Adam extended his arm:: FENELLI: Quite a gentlemen.::Mary moved her two bags of luggage to her other shoulder and placed her hand over Adam’s arm. oO If only he knew. Oo Mary had had a crush on Adam since she has first met him, it was like love-at-first-sight. Mary knew Adam couldn’t possibly feel the same way about her.:: ::Adam gently gripped her arm, and they began to make their way to the shuttlebay. Adam gazed over to Mary. He always had affection for her - but because of her condition it hadn’t really progressed any further. Now, they were both transferring out. Their ships had yet to be determined. Adam silently prayed that he would be placed with her. Continuing to their destination, Adam noticed an officer searching the floor for some odd reason. Adam stopped to see if he could assist in any way.:: HAASE: Um, excuse me. What exactly are you looking for? MOLINARY: ::stuttering in flustration:: M..my….Jeffrey. HAASE: Your….Jeffrey? MOLINARY: ::He began to head down the hallway, eyes glued to the floor:: Yes….my Jeffrey. My best friend. HAASE: This Jeffrey….was he an officer? MOLINARY: ::The man stopped and shot an annoyed glare in Adam’s direction.:: Of course not, stupid. He’s my pet mouse. HAASE: ::somewhat offended:: Alrighty. Can we help you find it? MOLINARY: No! You might step on him. ::Adam rolled his eyes.:: oO We might step on him whether we’re looking for it or not Oo HAASE: Okay. But if you need any help, just give me a call. ::The young man continued to work without giving any sign of recognition. Adam again extended his arm to Mary.:: HAASE: Shall we? ::Mary looked over her shoulder at the young man looking for his “best friend”. oO How strange, a pet as your best friend.Oo Mary looked to Adam and once again lightly placed her hand on his arm. A worried look filled her face. She was afraid she wouldn’t be on the same ship as him. He was one of the only reasons Mary got by when she first came aboard the Atlantis, how could she face moving to another ship that was without him?:: FENELLI: And away we go! ::Mary giggled and continued down the corridor with Adam. Mary wanted to ask him a question, she had wanted to ask him since the day they met. She finally decided now would be a good time to ask, but she couldn’t seem to get the words out. Instead, she stared at Adam with a blank expression on her face.:: ::Adam felt like skipping with joy and singing “Over the river and through the woods from Atlantis we will go!” but that would be totally uncalled for - and besides, It might be hard for Mary to keep up with all of her luggage. Instead, they slowly made their way to the shuttlebay, and boarded the Hawthorne.:: ((USS Atlantis - Shuttlebay - USS Hawthorne)) HAASE: Well, this will be our home for the next 13 hours until we dock at Starbase 118. Have any special requests before I throw my stuff on the floor? ::Adam snickered in amusement:: FENELLI: ::Mary shrugged her shoulders.:: Can you help me get my bags off? ::Mary pointed to her two luggage bags that hung over her arm. She smiled at Adam.:: Sorry, I don’t pack light. HAASE: ::under his breath:: Do any women? ::Adam grabbed the bags from Mary’s arms as well as his own and placed them into the storage locker. Turning around, he stood in awe as the man who was searching the floor had entered their craft:: HAASE: Your mouse isn’t in here, sir. MOLINARY: I know. ::He began to sob:: I was ordered to head to my shuttlecraft. HAASE: ::Surprised:: This is your shuttlecraft? MOLINARY: Yup. Hawthorne. HAASE: ::Adam looked to Mary and rolled his eyes. Sighing, he opened the storage locker:: Go ahead and place your stuff in here. ::The man complied, and Adam sat in the pilot’s seat:: FENELLI: ::Mary too rolled her eyes and sighed. oO Please keep all hands arms feet and legs inside the shuttlecraft. And you back there? Sit down, no crawling on the ground, and no talking.Oo Mary walked over to the tactical station and sat down next to Adam.:: If I fall asleep, don’t wake me up. HAASE: Oh, I won’t. ::Whispering to Mary:: But if he crawls under your seat, he might. ::Adam laughed under his breath:: FENELLI: Oh no..::Mary looked at the young man behind her and squinted at him.:: If he crawls under my seat, so help me I’ll…::Mary paused and stood up, still squinting at the young officer. She walked to the back of the shuttle and engaged the replicator.:: FENELLI: Computer, two german chocolate cakes. ::In an instant, the computer beeped and formed two perfectly crafted cakes. Mary licked her lips in delight. oO Come to Mama...Oo Mary picked up the cakes and walked back to her console, placing one in Adam’s lap.:: It’s not illegal to eat and drive…::Mary smiled at him and sat down.:: HAASE: ::Adam grunted with the weight of the cake.:: Perhaps not. ::He smiled.:: Do you think mouse man…::Adam stopped himself::...the Lieutenant back there would like one? FENELLI: ::Mary looked at the man that was just minutes ago on the floor searching for his best friend.:: Ugh…::Mary sighed. She was happy sitting next to Adam, but it was like he didn’t want to sit next to her. Mary frowned.:: He doesn’t look hungry. HAASE: Okay. ::Adam began to work on the console.:: Computer, estimated time to departure? COMPUTER: =/\= Approximately 10 minutes. =/\= HAASE: Well, we’ve got some time to spare. ::He looked down to his cake, ready to enjoy.:: But...I can’t eat this cake. I have no utensil. ::He looked to his fingers:: Well, they worked in primary school. ::Mary looked at Adam. She already had dug her fingers into her cake and had cherries smeared on her face. oO I probably look like I’m back in Primary school.Oo Mary hid her hands behind her back and tried to cover up her face. She had cake stuffed in her mouth, but still she attempted to speak.:: FENELLI: ::Muffled voice.:: I can replicate you one if you’d like. ::Mary swallowed hard trying to push the cake down her throat.:: HAASE: That would probably be best. ::Adam did his best to refrain from laughing. Grabbing the newly replicated fork, he sliced into chocolatey heaven. Within a few minutes, it was time for launch, and Adam placed the cake back into the replicator, unhappy that he had been unable to scarf it down in the time he had. He input the code for launch, and as soon as they were cleared, they left the Atlantis.:: Goodbye, old friend. May we meet again. MOLINARY: ::Attempting to do a southern accent:: See yeh, ya old bucket o’ bolts. Space ain’t big enough for the two uh us. ::He cackled with laughter:: ::Adam and Mary glared blankly at him, and he stopped:: MOLINARY: You two are no fun. FENELLI: ::Mary looked out the window of the shuttle, and tears began to fill her eyes and stream down her cheeks. Mary waved at Atlantis as they left.:: Good bye, Atlantis. ::Mary tried to hold back more tears that threatened to spill over onto her soft cheeks. Mary took a napkin to her tear stained face and dabbed her eyes with it. She could only hope that she would see the Atlantis once again.:: ((End Flashback)) A Joint Post Brought To You By: Lt.JG. Adam Haase Engineering Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 Writer #A239112TJ0 & Lt.JG Mary Fenelli HCO Officer USS Invicta Writer #A239201MF0 & Lt.JG. Javier Molinary (PNPC) Com/Ops Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 as simmed by: Lt.JG. Adam Haase
  3. ((DS26 - Deck 11 Arboretum)) ::Varaan walked in to the arboretum, resplendent in his dress whites. Even without the enhanced hearing provided by his E.A.R.S, he could tell from the sound of music and conversation that the promotions ceremony was just on the other side of a row of large ferns. Varaan made no move to circumnavigate the foliage and "join the party" just yet. It wasn't that he was apprehensive. Vulcans didn't get apprehensive. But he was cautious. Despite knowing Marcus already, and seemingly making some headway with Blueheart, and a fairly uneventful dinner with Anora and Conti, Varaan was sure he was still being considered an "outsider" with the crew. Crewmembers change assignments all the time without much notice, but this time...the senior staff did not trust him - Helling for certain, and Townson most probably.:: ::In addition to that, Varaan had not had an opportunity to meet hardly any of the other officers. Haase he had met, and that had not gone very well either. But Haase was on temporary leave. Doctors, counselor...some had been at the briefing after Outpost Bravo, but there had not been time for a "meet and greet" then. And Varaan had heard that they had a diplomatic officer now assigned to them. Probably a good idea if Atlantis was to stay for any length of time in the Par'tha Expanse. The political situation everywhere in the Expanse seemed to be constantly shifting, and incredibly unstable.:: ::Varaan and Admiral Krieger had both been removed from Project Colossus by Admiral Garcetti, and Varaan had been debriefed, but he still had his network of contacts and informants throughout the Expanse. One had contacted him not an hour ago with a piece of interesting information. The upcoming sitting of the Freeworlds Council was to be held in the Holonna system within the week...that was public. But Varaan's informant had heard that the Valcarians had been invited. That had tremendous potential to "go sideways", as Varaan's former CO would have put it.:: ::Varaan had finally decided to join his new crewmates and had taken only a step when he heard the voice. He stopped dead.:: T'LANI: Varaan? ::Varaan was not one to be surprised normally, yet this was at least the third time in the last week. Of all the voices he would have expected to call his name, here, in an arboretum on an alien station, on the other side of the Jenatris Cloud, hundreds of light years from his home planet of Vulcan...the last voice he would have expected to hear was that of his wife.:: ::He hesitated only a moment before turning slowly to face the Vulcan woman behind him. She was standing in the access hatch about 3 meters away, the bright light from the corridor behind her casting a soft white glow into the darker section of the arboretum Varaan was standing in. Her long, dark hair fell gently across the shoulders of the pure white dress she was wearing. Varaan simply stared. What had it been? Six years. He hadn't been home and seen his wife in six years. This was his only "regret" about being in Starfleet. He hadn't seen his wife in six years. Varaan's body seemed to move toward her of its own accord. He stopped directly in front of her. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.:: VARAAN: My wife. ::He raised his hand in a traditional Vulcan salute. She stepped toward him so that their bodies were only inches from one another. Her hand on the same side came up to mirror his.:: T'LANI: My husband. ::Together they moved their hands until the fingertips touched. The touch lingered. They were staring into each other's eyes, neither wanting to look anywhere else. Their voices were almost breathy.:: VARAAN: It is not disagreeable to see you. T'LANI: I, too, am content to be in your presence. VARAAN: May I ask why you are here? T'LANI: The Science Academy has sent a team to study the nebulae here. VARAAN: Logical. May I inquire...were you assigned, or did you volunteer? T'LANI: It is a great opportunity. I could not...would not decline the offer...for many reasons. ::They stared into each other's eyes for another couple of seconds, the universe existing around them, but of no importance to them. Varaan seemed to shake the moment first.:: VARAAN: Is she here as well? T'LANI: Of course. I could not leave her behind on Vulcan. VARAAN: What of her studies? T'LANI: She is already enrolled in the school here. Ms. Stone has assured me that a curriculum can be in place for her in the next couple of days. ::Silence.:: T'LANI: She would like to see you. She...misses you. VARAAN: And I her. I have been reassigned to the Atlantis, again. Intelligence Liaison and Officer of the Deck. There is a ceremony that is to begin momentarily. T'LANI: I understand. Perhaps after? VARAAN: Yes. I will find you. ::After another second of lingering looks, Varaan's wife elegantly turned to go. He watched her body move, wondering if there was something else he could say to extend their time together. She was walking slowly, probably wondering the same thing. Then the access door closed, ending the moment. Varaan looked at the door a moment longer, straightened his back to attention and took a deep breath, then turned and marched to his waiting crewmates.:: OOC: Let the ceremony begin! --------------------------- Cmdr. Varaan Acting Chief Engineer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  4. ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Atlantis)) :: Sliding open the top drawer of the desk, he drew from its chamber, a yellow-paged journal bound in red vellum, the skin soft and supple after years of handling with love and tenderness. Tonight however, love would be left out of the equation. He had the rest of the room bathed in darkness before lighting a single ivory-white candle, standing apathetically in a brass candle-stand. Shadows danced across the room. Shadows fell upon his face. His eyes glowed like nebulae. A fragile thin wisp of smoke snaked through the still air like a somnolent serpent, wandering aimlessly and unwary of its destination. Also from the same drawer, he obtained a striped pheasant quill and a delicate inkpot, into which he dipped the vicious point. Turning the crisp pages to where only blank ones stared back at him, he began to stain it with the blackest of inks, with the most sorrowful of words.. Where are your hands In this sea of black I only see the shadows Holding us back I reach out for you I miss you But nothing remains Hands that once stilled my heart Lost in the dark All the memories All the sweetness Gone in a heartbeat What love is left Slips further down the abyss Down where no hands can reach I fill the ocean with tears Tears of pain Tears of regret Tears we thought we would never shed Who will hold my hand Through the dark of night For not even your ghost Graces my sight Only tears in my hands I can offer Fate For no more love Lingers in my world No more light Shines in my gloom Dead is the flame That once lit our hearts Only the cold, cold hands Of a savage universe Smothering Choking What once was ours. Where the tip still lingered on the page, a dark, grotesque shape was growing. It was both the shape and color of his own weeping heart. His heart wept black where his eyes could not bleed scarlet. He placed the journal, the inkpot and the quill back into their secret hiding place. He stared into the golden flame of the dying candle, trembling for what was to come. Then he reached out with his thumb and index finger and killed what light was left in his world. :: TBC ============================= Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  5. ((Valdivia's quarters, USS Darwin-A)) :: Months had already passed since he had returned to Starfleet, and he had yet to call Blueheart. With all he had helped with his return, he felt bad for having vanished once he became an ensign. But he had been on two ships in less than two months, moving mid-mission. He had barely had any time. :: Valdivia: Computer, open a subspace comm link with Captain Raj Blueheart, USS Atlantis. :: The two of them had served together for several years, before Valdivia had left Starfleet and Blueheart had been promoted and given a command. The two of them still shared a deep friendship and talked through subspace from time to time. His friend had been a key point in Valdivia's return, both in convincing him to come back and in helping with the paperwork. :: ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Atlantis)) :: It had been a tough mission. Blood had been shed. Friendships shattered. Even love, lost. As he leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh, he couldn’t help but reminisce about simpler, more elegant times. Those times had been on the USS Discovery-C. And those times had almost always included John Valdivia and Eric Lundrigan. No matter how dark things got, his two best friends were always there to shine a light that would guide him back to safety. But those days are gone forever. Now there was only the dark. As he bent his elbows to rest his palms on the vintage wooden desk, and laid the side of his head on his hands, just staring blankly across the vast landscape of the surface of the desk, his computer alerted him to an incoming subspace audio and visual link. He reached out to tap the screen, with his head still resting on his hands, but as soon as the face of the caller appeared on the screen, he instantly sat bolt upright, a bright smile spreading rapidly across his face. :: :: Both their smiles broadened as the screens changed from the cold starfleet logo to their friend's face. :: Valdivia: Raj! Good to see you. Blueheart: John!! What a wonderful surprise! Would you believe me if I told you I was just thinking about you and ---- :: His eyes fell on the single pip on his friend’s collar. :: What’s that?? Tell me that’s a breadcrumb! :: Valdivia touched his rank insignia. :: Valdivia: Yep, I am an Ensign again. And on the Darwin, after some movement. This ship is fascinating! There is a containment sphere that could fit a whole ship. And so many labs... Blueheart: :: holding up his hand :: Wait, wait, wait just a sec. You were a Lieutenant Commander when you left Starfleet. Surely they can give you some leeway and reinstate you as a full lieutenant or something? :: Who was he kidding? This was Starfleet. Or, as some would prefer to call it, Bureaucracy Central. He paused several moments before adding.:: Um, does it bother you that you’re starting all over again as Ensign? :: The scientist took a few seconds to answer. He actually expected to get this question far more often than he had. :: Valdivia: Not at all. Regulus III Academy policy prevented someone in the military from leading a project, so I had to do it. :: he looked at his friend. :: Oh, don't get me wrong. I am totally in favor of that rule, even if it did cost me a few pips. Blueheart: :: smiling cheekily and rolling his eyes :: Yeah right. Valdivia: Besides, this keeps me away from chairs too close to the center. :: chuckling. :: And you know I like that. Blueheart: :: chuckling too :: I do. oO Sounds like something Mitchell would say too. Oo Valdivia: What about you? How is captaincy treating you? :: A fleeting dark shadow swept across his face. He had tried to look away then return his gaze back to the screen immediately but he was sure his friend had caught the slight movement of his eyes, if not the dark shadow itself. He attempted to flash a smile, failing miserably. :: Blueheart: oO Oh, John! Where do I begin my tale? Oo Um.. it’s.. okay. :: He blushed furiously. :: :: Even not sharing a room, Valdivia could see the atmosphere had suddenly darkened. :: Valdivia: Yeah, right. That didn’t sound too okay. Paperwork piling up on your desk? Blueheart: :: weak smile :: Let’s just say there are good days and then there are bad days. Valdivia: I’m getting it I called on one of the bad days? :: He sighed deeply, this time looking away from the screen altogether. Only after a full minute did he return his gaze to John. By that time he had decided to tell John. Surely his best friend deserved to know not only the joyful moments of his life, but the sorrowful as well? :: Blueheart: John.. :: pause :: Emerson is dead. Valdivia: Wha…? :: long pause :: How…? Blueheart: :: fighting back tears by clenching his jaw :: Killed in action. It happened on our last mission. :: Valdivia felt guilty for his previous jokes. It was hardly his fault, but he felt terrible anyway. :: Valdivia: I am really sorry, Raj. He was a great man. I wish I could be there with you now... Blueheart: Thank you, John. Your words have always comforted me in my darkest hours. :: For the first time in the last months, he wished he had not rejoined starfleet. Leading a civilian project on Regulus III he had had the authority to leave for a few days and go with his friend on these hard moments. But not anymore, a new mission was about to start. :: Valdivia: What happened? Blueheart: The case is still being investigated. I don’t have any additional information at the moment. All I know is that I buried the love of my life and that he’s gone forever. :: John’s face was beginning to get blurry through the wall of tears. :: Valdivia: I… I am sorry, Raj. I don’t know what to say. If there is anything... Blueheart: That is why it is so difficult to answer your question. Sure, being Captain is cool and I take great pride in wearing this uniform and carrying out my solemn duties, but then there’s this. The loss of friends and loved ones. Is it worth it, this loss? That is the question I grapple with every day now. Valdivia: It is, Raj. And you know it. Your rank gives you greater responsibilities. But I am sure it also gives you more people to lean on during times of need. You must have friends on the Atlantis, and I am sure they want to help you. Blueheart: I do, John, I do. I have the best crew in the fleet! And yet, being Captain is the loneliest job in the world. And you’re constantly a Captain, even when off-duty. You can’t do something crazy, you can’t be soft, you can’t grieve. Valdivia: I used to know a counselor that would have told our captain back then that showing your feelings to your crew would make them respect you further, not make them think you are weak. :: His mind flew back to those golden days John was referring to. Where was that counselor John spoke of? What he would do to meet him right now! :: Blueheart: :: sad smile :: Those were different times, John. So much has changed since then. oO If only you and Eric didn’t leave.. Would things have stayed the same? Would I be happier? Oo :: John was at a loss. He desperately wanted to help him. But he had no idea how. The two of them looked at each other, in a silence broken by Blueheart on the verge of weeping and Valdivia trying not to join into the torrent of potential tears. :: Valdivia: I just had an idea. I know what you need. Blueheart: :: He blinked rapidly to suck in pesky tears always trying to escape his eyes. :: Don’t say shore leave. It only reminds me how lonely and useless I am when not on duty. :: Valdivia started writing something on a PADD, and after a few seconds hit the send button. :: Valdivia: Go to the holodeck. Run the command I just send you. It will ask for captain’s authorization. Blueheart: :: He arched an eyebrow out of curiosity. :: Will this get me in trouble with Fleet Admiral Wolf? :: He smirked faintly. :: :: Valdivia smiled. The moment was still sad, but he knew for a fact his friend would like it. And it would help a big deal. :: Valdivia: Just do it. Trust me. Blueheart: oO Always, my friend. Always. Oo TBC =============================== Ensign John Valdivia Science Officer USS Darwin-A NCC-99312 & Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  6. ((USS Atlantis - Cargo Bay 1)) ::The transporter beam shimmer died away slowly. HE looked around. Familiar, but not recent. There were a small group of other civilians clustered around him...scientists, doctors, laborers, technicians. They were all chittering, anxious, worried, wondering what was going to happen next. The artificial lighting in here was similar to what HE was used to from the installation below. HE could blend in with the crowd. That was a good thing. But protocol being what it was, a security detail arrived in the cargo bay within seconds. They were trying to quiet the crowd, make them at ease. It was working but very slowly.:: ::There were going to be problems, and very soon. HE could see no way out of this. If HE tried anything overt, like starting an altercation or trying to flee...Flee. Where would he go? HE was stuck on a starship. Internal sensors would find HIM anywhere HE tried to hide. HIS biggest problem was, HE wouldn't be able to just sit back and "blend in with the crowd." HE would only have a minute or two, and then Starfleet protocol would either have the crowd ushered off to sickbay for routine medical exams, or they would be quarantined in here until Medical could have a chance to examine them all. That was going to be the problem.:: ::If events of a dozen years ago hadn't happened, then a med exam wouldn't be a problem. But "negative radiation," as Dr. Greene had termed it, had destroyed HIS hearing during a mission on another ship...Another ship, another place, another time. But an immediate effect, here and now. To compensate for HIS lost hearing, artificial bio-neural implants had been surgically added to HIS skull. Normally, not a problem. But these things were unique, and would make HIM stand out during any medical exam. They were on file. They would give away HIS identity...an identity HE had not used in many years.:: ::HE only had one logical choice. HE needed to be separated from the others in the crowd, and explain to someone in charge what was going on. But how to be extricated without causing attention? Wait. If HE caused a disturbance, perhaps Security would remove HIM to the brig, away from the innocents (and, HE was sure, not-so-innocents) in the motley group surrounding HIM presently. There was a guard nearby. If the guard were to be harassed? Attempting to relieve the guard of his sidearm would surely get HIM removed. But more than likely, also shot in the process. Perhaps just being belligerent towards the guard. HE slowly manoeuvred HIS way through the group until HE was at the front.:: SECURITY: Please, just step back, sir. ::HE pushed HIS way closer, actual physical contact being made. The guard took a step back, giving HIM the benefit of the doubt, but the guard's attitude and demeanor visibly changed to one of alert preparedness.:: SECURITY: Sir, I asked you to step back. ::HE pushed HIS way forward again feigning aggressiveness, and didn't resist when the guard spun HIM around and shoved HIM up against a bulkhead. The guard removed his phaser from the uniform holster and pointed it at HIS back.:: SECURITY: Sir, you're going to have to come with me. ::HE noticed the rest of the group now had a quiet aggressiveness and the remaining guards were more wary. HIS absence from the group should now not be too out of place. Hopefully HE could speak with whomever was in charge and be back, undercover, within the group soon. HE allowed the guard to guide HIM by muzzle-point through the corridors toward the brig. HE knew the way, of course. After all, HE had been here before.:: ((Brig - Later)) ::HE was within the holding cell, the buzzing of the forcefield barely audible, but present to the trained ear. HE had a practiced ear, too. HE could probably ascertain the correct resonant frequency, should anyone care to ask HIM. HE was seated on the cot in the cell. HE had requested to speak to the commanding officer as soon as HE had been safely put in here. At first the guards refused HIM, saying that HE could speak with Lieutenant Helling, their chief, instead. But Helling was presently occupied, and the captain was not. And curious to find out why someone from the doomed installation wanted to speak with him. Perhaps the captain thought HE would impart some knowledge about what had happened down on the planet. Whatever the reason, Captain Blueheart was on his way.:: ::The doors to the security area opened and in strode a man in a red-trimmed uniform, four shiny golden pips on his collar. He walked towards the cell and stopped, studying Him for a moment.:: VARAAN: Captain, you need to release me back to the group without any questions. BLUEHEART: ::raising his eyebrows:: Excuse me? VARAAN: I need to be sent into the group just as I am. BLUEHEART: And what happens if I don’t do as you say? VARAAN: My life, and possibly the well-being of your ship and crew, could be at stake. BLUEHEART: Why should I believe someone on the other side of this force field? ::He paused, taking a small step closer.:: Who are you, really? VARAAN: Captain, we really do not have time for this “back and forth.” Release me, please. BLUEHEART: Your boldness intrigues me. But I’m afraid you’re not exactly in a position to negotiate. If you want me to do as you say, you’ll have to come clean and tell me everything. VARAAN: I am not at liberty to say. ::Varaan could see that this was going to be as difficult as he thought it would be. Understandably. No one holding the rank of Starfleet captain should follow the unsubstantiated instructions of a complete stranger. Blueheart would be a fool if he did. Varaan would have to give the man “something.”:: VARAAN: All I can tell you is that you are interfering with a Starfleet Intelligence operation. I need you to release me to the group, as is. ::Not entirely true. There was no interference, per se. Granted, the Op would go much easier if Blueheart agreed. But Varaan could tell this wasn’t going to go his way.:: BLUEHEART: ::soft chuckle:: Oh come now, you’ve got to do much better than that. VARAAN: Are the Breen still out there, captain? ::Varaan waited to see what the captain’s response would be.:: ::Raj was astonished. His frown gave his surprise away. Perhaps this man was a Starfleet Intel operative like he said he was. His heart began to quicken its pace just slightly. Could it be that the Breen were in fact not looking for Elsa, but rather.. :: BLUEHEART: ::staring intently into the stranger’s eyes:: How do you know about the Breen? You were transported aboard like the rest of the scientists. How do you know about them? Are they.. ::He left his sentence unfinished.:: VARAAN: ::stepping closer to the force field.:: It is possible that they are, at least in part, here looking for me. Your ship would be safer if you returned us to the installation. ::So it was true. His heart was almost racing now.:::: BLUEHEART: ::He too, stepped closer to the force field.:: That’s impossible, I’m afraid. Outpost Bravo no longer exists. It was destroyed by violent seismic activity. ::Varaan froze at the revelation the captain had just laid on him. Return to the installation was, indeed, out of the question. Therefore, either Varaan would have to stay on board the Atlantis, or be handed over to the Breen. The latter was far more than counter-productive. Varaan really did not have any choice.:: VARAAN: That is unfortunate. However, it does only leave me with one alternative. I shall have to remain here until the rest of the installation personnel have left the ship. A cover story must be thought of, in case any of them ask about me. BLUEHEART: And why is that, stranger? And why should I lie for you? VARAAN: Captain, I am Vulcan. That much should be obvious. And although Vulcans can lie, it is very often beneath us to do so. What I am telling you is the truth. I am a deep-cover operative for Starfleet Intelligence. Currently, my cover is S’telin, an engineer working at the installation. The personnel have been under surveillance for some time, and alerting them to that fact could jeopardize years of work. Do you understand, captain? ::He let a full minute of silence pass between them before speaking.:: BLUEHEART: In case any of them ask, I’ll say you died. ::He said it very bluntly and without emotion or expression.:: Will that suffice? VARAAN: I would prefer not to “die,” so that I could continue the Op later, should I run across any of them again. BLUEHEART: Okay, not dead then. Just under arrest. Of course, you do realize that there’s no such thing as a free lunch? VARAAN: I do not require sustenance at this time. ::Unless, this was one of those annoying Human euphemisms.:: What do you mean, captain? BLUEHEART: I’ll play along but only if you tell me everything. ::short, barely perceptible pause:: EVERYTHING. VARAAN: I am not authorized... BLUEHEART: Like you said, we have no time for this cat and mouse game. Either you prove to me that you are who you say you are, or I hand you over to your ::making air quotes:: friends. No, wait. Maybe I’ll hand you over to the Breen. I’m fairly certain that’ll guarantee their leaving us alone. ::Not waiting for a response from the Vulcan, Raj turned to leave, hoping his years of serving as a counselor aboard the USS Discovery will prove his assumption right about the man. As he took his first step away from the cell, he spoke over his shoulder, with his head only partially turned towards the man.:: BLUEHEART: I give you one hour to reach a decision before I make one you’re not going to like. Good day, mister. ::His steps were slow. Intentionally slow.:: VARAAN: Captain, you know I cannot divulge anything about my operation to you. However… ::Varaan waited until the captain stopped walking away. Blueheart, however, did not turn around. Varaan continued.:: VARAAN: If you contact Admiral Krieger at Deep Space 26, inform him you have me in your custody, and give him the password “Aurelius,” he will confirm what he can to you, so you will know as much as you are permitted. I will, of course, wait here. ::Without saying a word, Raj resumed his steps until he was out of the security office.:: TBC…. ---------------------------------------------------------- A joint post by: Ensign Varaan Secret Operative USS Atlantis NCC-74682 & Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  7. This is beyond amazing! Very impressive work, commander! Very impressive indeed!!
  8. ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Atlantis)) ::When he looked up through tear-stained eyes, he saw the red coat draped over one arm of a wooden chair in the corner behind his desk. Blinking back rogue tears, he stared at it for the longest time, his mind spiraling back to a time almost long forgotten.. :: ((Flashback – stardate 239109.21)) ((Dungeon, Castle of Horrors – DS26)) ::By the time the four of them stepped off the last step of the slimy and cold stone spiral staircase that led them below into the bowels of the castle, Raj felt different. A shiver ran down his spine and he hugged himself – at that instant noticing that he had on a thick warm coat. Instinctively, without even pausing to ponder where the coat came from, he reached behind his neck and drew a hood over his frozen face. As he passed a mirror on the wall, just as the others before him had done, he gazed into it and saw, in the reflection, a vulnerable and hesitant man who had a scarlet coat on him, the hood drawn over his head. The coat was long and heavy; its edges skirting the rough wet stones on the floor. Strange. That was the sense that floated into his mind. The face that stared back at him, it was familiar yet unfamiliar. It was himself yet not quite so. His eyes, his mouth, his skin.. they were all the same, but in the reflection, his irises portrayed a hue of fear, his bloodless lips delicately parted with overwhelming uncertainty, his pale skin a white flag of naiveté. A message, an instruction, a warning draped itself over his suggestible mind.:: WALTAS: Trust your heart, Raj. Not orders, not regulations, not others’ opinions and definitely not an enemy you know in your heart is an enemy. Trust in yourself and your family. You’ll never go wrong. ::Raj looked at the others before him, cautiously inspecting the grimy and rank dungeon. They had morphed into fantastical characters. Characters who were awfully familiar to him, at the tip of his memory’s tongue yet just out of reach. He wondered who he himself was. All he saw in the splintered mirror was a reluctant leader plagued with a resurgence of self-doubt. Another shiver ran down his spine and pulled the hood lower over his face. A dark shadow concealed the upper half of his face so only the bridge of his nose, his mouth and his chin were seen. His eyes lurked in the dark. His cheeks appeared contoured and geometric and hollowed out in the spellbinding interplay of moonlight and shadow. He turned away from the reflection, more ashamed than revolted.:: ((End flashback)) ::He knew. He finally knew! The red riding-hood. The reluctant hero led astray. But she outwitted the big bad wolf in the end, didn’t she? If they had all been transformed into characters borne of the deep dark recesses of their psyche, then this was who he was, who he IS. He began to see that everything, catastrophic or sublime, happened for a reason. Nothing was truly random in this universe. And quite suddenly, Life didn’t seem so terrible after all.:: TBC ================================ Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  9. (OOC: These posts follow the death of Captain Blueheart's long-time partner, Lt Emerson Ravenscroft, KIA. 'The Letter' is the note that Blueheart places into Emerson's breast pocket when he visits the morgue. 'The Postcard' is an alternate tale, that somewhere in the myriad alternate timelines, Raj and Emerson are together and, forever.) THE LETTER :: .. .. withdrawing a small, folded piece of paper from the breast pocket of his uniform jacket, he stared at it for several seconds, rubbing his thumb across the surface in circles, before gingerly inserting it into a pocket on Emerson’s uniform. Just over his still heart.. .. :: My dearest Emerson, How I wish I could hold your hand one more time. Place it upon my heart to still the raging storms within, to hold together the shattered pieces of our immaculate kingdom. How I wish I could glance upon the brilliant sun that is your smile, one more time, one last time. How I wish I could hold you, tight, and never let you go. Alas, I did let you go. I stumbled and fell and let go of your hand, and the jealous shadows of fate swept you away from me. Now I am lost, lost without you and soulless without you and lifeless without you. There is now but a hole in my heart where you once ruled. Where are you, Emerson? Are you amongst the stars eternal? Are you in the colors of my dreams? Are you the wind that kisses me on the cheek? Where are you, Emerson? I wish to be beside you wherever you may be. I am nothing without you here. Why did you leave me behind? Why did I let go of your hand? How am I to face daybreak without your strength and spirit flowing through my veins? How am I to survive this never-ending night? How odd to write these words down on this piece of paper. Words I could not say when you were standing in front of me. Words I had neglected to honor you by. Words taken for granted, never spoken, never heard. How will you hear them now? How will you treasure them within your heart? How can I turn back the clock and say I love you one more time, one last time? We are surrounded by miracles and science and timelines that defy the very nature of the universe, and yet I cannot see you again. I cannot rewind the clock. I cannot love you again. How cruel the fates of our stars, how twisted the humor of the gods that you should depart this life before me, defying the divine prophecy. Oh, how cruel the fates of our stars! I shall always miss you, Emerson, like the tides miss the moon. I shall always love you, but you belong to the long night now, as do I. For there shall be no more sun in my life, no more north star to guide me back home, no more heart to love again. But there is some solace knowing you are the heaven that watches over me. You are amongst the gods now. You are eternal. You are my immortal beloved. Rest now my brother, my friend, my lover. Embrace the long night, and, if the gods will it, I shall glance upon your face once more when my own time dawns. I shall crawl into your arms once more. I shall kiss your tender lips once more and taste an undying love bigger than the universe. And then we can dance across the vaults of heaven for all eternity! I love you always and forever, Emerson, with all my heart and soul. Raj THE POSTCARD ((In another time and place.. )) ((Il Diavolo Blu)) :: .. .. It was an exquisite snapshot in time. It was but a photograph of a single frozen moment in time, a photograph out of time, and there on the wall of this timeless consciousness of the multiverse, it hung, framed, yet with characters fluid and in perpetual motion.. .. :: EMERSON: May I have this dance? RAJ: ::accepting the man’s hand:: Of course, Sir. The night is young and the night is ours! ::They swayed to the rhythm of the lazy jazz number hanging like a fog of smothering heat after a summer rainstorm, mingling with the heavy blue smoke snaking out of gentlemen’s pipes. The shadows of the other dancers and patrons morphed into a single gray veil that dimmed the lights and comforted aching and lost souls. Raj laid his head upon Emerson’s chest, dancing to a different beat. A rhythm of his own, inspired by the heartsongs of the man he loved more than life itself.:: EMERSON: The night belongs to both no one and to everyone. RAJ: ::chuckling:: The night is also all too brief, so no more words, please, just dance with me. EMERSON: Indeed, ::drawing Raj closer to him:: let there be no more words between us until dawn. RAJ: ::squeezing his arms around Emerson’s waist:: Oh I wish dawn never comes! EMERSON: It will not. ::He smiled cheekily, his emerald green eyes twinkling under the chandeliers.:: RAJ: ::smirking:: Even the gods cannot stop that from happening! EMERSON: Ah, but we are bigger than the gods! RAJ: You are drunk, Emerson Ravenscroft! EMERSON: Perhaps, ::He shrugged.:: but if you close your eyes, you will not see dawn. RAJ: I should have known you would be toying with words. EMERSON: We shall make tonight last forever! Now close your eyes, Raj, and dance with me till the end of time! ::They both closed their eyes yet still saw all the colors and all the magic around them. They danced to the music flowing through the hall. They danced to the rhythm of each other’s heartbeat. They danced with the shadows and light. They danced all night. For the night was young and the night was theirs.:: END ================================ Raj & Emerson simmed by Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  10. ((Holodeck 2, USS Atlantis)) LIANI: One dance then- and you’re free to go. :: Liani fervently hoped that the Captain would just laugh this off and the two would part amicably- instead his eyes seemed to take a feral glint as he replied. :: BLUEHEART: Okay, but only on one condition. :: Liani stilled her antenna- they were all but one hair away from drooping- and now was not a drooping time. She forced them by sheer will into a stance of upbeat cheerfulness, rabid upbeat cheerfulness. :: oO How bad could his one condition be. Oo LIANI: And that would be…? BLUEHEART: Kill the penguin when we’re done. LIANI: As you wish. ::Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. She took a moment to mentally prepare herself for dancing and not panicking as the captain hand over his ginger tribble to a crewman:: BLUEHEART: ::gesturing to the dance floor:: After you. LIANI: As you wish. ::They reached the dance floor and Raj hesitated a moment before leading the lady into the dance.:: BLUEHEART: Sorry, been a while. LIANI: For both of us. :: She hadn’t had to dance since the Andorian Academy- and those dances had all been traditional Andorian pieces. Thankfully this was a simple two step and Blueheart was a capable dancer- an incredibly tense, rigid dancer- but this made reading his movements easier at least. BLUEHEART: You are? LIANI: Ensign Liani h'Rhendria lyr'Theel'zhiin BLUEHEART: ::arching an eyebrow:: Well, I believe this is the first time an ensign is reporting to me in a dance. LIANI: One of your new doctors. BLUEHEART: I wasn’t aware of any placement. I was.. preoccupied. :: The music was pleasant at least- it made an interesting counterpoint to their dance. It might have looked like normal dancing from the outside- a stiff, formal sort of two step- neither partner really wanting to be there but both too polite to just be done with it. :: LIANI: I probably should have followed standard protocol. oO My mouth should have followed standard protocol! Oo :: She offered the captain a polite smile:: BLUEHEART: Doesn’t matter. Welcome aboard, Ensign. oO That vein on the side of your neck is saying otherwise. Oo ::She kept her mouth shut though, and that was progress. :: LIANI: Thank you. :: Polite head bob, one step two- turn. :: BLUEHEART: So you’re a doctor, eh? Interesting. LIANI: That’s what the shiny papers say. BLUEHEART: You know, we doctors are supposed to be able to fix everything. What a joke. Not everything can be fixed, doctor. ::His voice turned into a low growl again.:: Remember that. :: Liani kept with the dance while keeping her mouth from exploding. Clearly this man had issues, deep issues that just sat under that porcelain skin of his- like a cancer. Well, Liani knew she couldn’t fix that- but darn it all- Doctors could fix anything! Maybe not on the first try, or the fiftieth, or hundredth- but eventually- given enough patients you could solve a problem. :: oO That would have made a good pun, wasted. Oo :: She had messed up in demanding a dance from her Captain, well her mouth had- and she would be prepared to accept the consequences of that- but she wouldn’t abide bad advice. :: LIANI: Captain- when we’re done here- you should go to your quarters, eat some chocolate, listen to some blues, and cry into your tribble- consider those doctors orders. :: She shifted her body weight and was able to take the lead, turning until they could see the abomination of a penguin bartender. :: Computer- generate a type 2 phaser in my left hand-. ::she straightened out her left arm, fingers wrapped around both her hands and the captains and fired the phaser at the penguin- it exploded in a flash of holiday confetti..:: oO Well played Engineers, well played. Oo ::Pushing the pistol into the Captains left hand, she broke away from him. :: Bring your tribble to sickbay tomorrow after you're done, so we Doctors can make sure it’s fixed. BLUEHEART: You didn't!! LIANI: You’re the one holding a smoking gun sir. :: She offered the Captain a slight bow and made towards the exit with dignified Andorian haste, exiting the holodeck before she emptied her stomach's contents in front of everyone. :: LIANI: Never puke on your Captain’s shoes. :: She took only a few moments to collect herself before heading towards her quarters and her menagerie. :: ((Deck 3: Liani’s Quarters)) :: Liani entered her room and was greeted by Charlie’s chittering call, she searched the cases until she found the crickets and started her prep by making sure all her lovelies were fed and happy- Charlie being the first on call. :: LIANI: I messed up Charlie. CHARLIE: Chk chk cht chhk’crk? :: Liani slid the feeding case into Charlies cage so that he could help himself. :: LIANI: I know it’s only the first day on a new ship- but you just don’t commandeer the Captain of a vessel and expect to live it down. CHARLIE: Chk :: munch, munch :: Ch- LIANI: Not with your mouth full, you know it’s rude. CHARLIE: :: Charlie looked at Liani with adoring eyes and swallowed slowly- so slowly one could have felt the sarcasm four decks away. :: Chk. LIANI: Truth. :: Nodding his head in furry approval he continued to nom on his crickets. :: LIANI: We have a lab to work in by the way- the whole thing is ours apparently. I’ll set up everyone down there, and your extra room so you have someplace to sit and look adorable when we have visitors. CHARLIE: Chk- chk? LIANI: No, you have to have one- they won’t let you have free run of the ship- besides someone might think you’re food and try to eat you. CHARLIE: CHRRRRKK!! LIANI: It’s what you risk on a multi-cultural diversified species ship- something will always think you’re lunch. CHARLIE: Chk. ::Charlie nodded his head in resignation and nommed thoughtfully on a cricket. :: Chrk, chk? LIANI: Oh, I suspect not much will happen- Dr. Foster might chew me out, the captain might chew me out ,the person who designed that [...]ed holodeck program might chew me out or might not- as they’re clearly insane and work outside the rules of what most consider normality. CHARLIE: Chk cht. LIANI: Says the one talking to an Altarian Lemur, eh? CHARLIE: Chk. LIANI: Well, I’ll get everyone fed and then we can get about to moving them. CHARLIE :Cht. :: Liani took some time to make sure everyone got fed and unstressed before starting the long haul of moving them from her quarters to the lab. :: TBC/TAG @~'~~~ Ensign Liani h'Rhendria lyr'Theel'zhiin Medical Officer USS Atlantis
  11. When I posted the Flashback Week Challenge on the Atlantis OOC list, it prompted many flashback sims from the crew, so I think LtCmdr Akeelah's suggestion of holding a themed, monthly writing prompt on the ships, may be worth considering As for the Writing Challenge coming to an end, what I remember most fondly about it is when two Atlanteans won the challenge twice in a row! That was a proud moment for me to have such gifted writers sharing their talents with the rest of us in the group! My heartfelt gratitude to Captain Manno and his team who have tirelessly led this campaign all through the years. All your sacrifice and contributions will always be remembered and cherished!
  12. Congratulations, everyone! Well done!
  13. ((Science Lab 3, USS Atlantis - 2391)) ::Barbara Tarch didn't know where she fit in. Was she chasing after her baby daughter, or abandoning her in Sickbay? Was she trying to find a solution to the time rift, or standing idly by? Was she moving forward in time, or trying to move back? Was she coming? Was she going? And where had she been...?:: TARCH: Look, I just want to get this thing solved. So we can all go back to wherever we're supposed to be, and get on with our lives. SOVAK: You believe the Pike will escape from the rift into its own original time? TARCH: I believe I'm not supposed to be on Atlantis in the year 2391. Whatever else happens, happens. Though for my daughter's sake, I'm hoping that-- ::Barbara didn't fight what happened next. The polaric energy that surrounded her was comfortable, familiar to her. She didn't remember her experiences through the rift, the months she'd carried and delivered her daughter, the time she'd spent unstuck in the time stream. But she knew this feeling, this warm, energized fluidity. She gave in to it, by instinct, and let it carry her where it would. She knew, by some forgotten experience, that fighting against it only made it worse.:: ::Maybe Atlantis could help her, help her crew, help Diana. But there was no holding on to them now, not unless the rift wanted her to.:: ::She was going. She went. She was gone.:: ((Somewhere, Some Time)) ::Barbara floated in the treacherous purple ether of the Norlian Nebula, out of phase with reality, unconcerned with breathing, as she had been many times before. The rift took care of her, the rift never failed her, though the rift confounded her, controlled her, contorted and distorted her.:: ::Since the first time it took her, two months pregnant with Diana and eager to return from this mission, to disembark the Pike for a desk job until her daughter was born, she had come to both hate and love the rift. She knew it now, as she hadn't while aboard Atlantis. She remembered where she had been. What the rift had put her through. What it had taken.:: ::Barbara was in a room now, if that made any sense. It didn't matter where it was. Not the Pike, not Atlantis. Perhaps it was a room in her mind, while her body floated through the Norlian nonsense. It was empty, and it was yellow, and it was where her daughter had been born.:: ::Now she was in space, and a figure like her mother appeared behind her, floating silently, smiling self-confidently, wearing a mini skirt and white boots, her hair in an elaborate updo, her eyelids heavy with makeup. She was translucent, she was almost not there. She was a surely a ghost. Barbara didn't see her. She never had, though sometimes through the decades she had sensed a movement from the corner of her eye, or caught a sense of her mother's perfume that sent an unreachable thrill through her nostrils. The rift liked to play its little tricks.:: ::Barbara was on the Pike, in a corridor outside the science bay, just where she'd stood in 2299 when Frank Delavigne's experiments had gone horribly wrong. She was blasted with energy she couldn't understand, and sent flying across the hall. She expected to hit the wall, but she kept going. She was sure she and her unborn daughter were going to float out and suffocate in space, but she'd landed in a strange room instead.:: ::She was in the room again now. The yellow one, with one little lace-curtained window that looked out on a field of purple space, where Romulans circled in the distance. She tried to remember how she got there. She tried to remember where she'd been. Talking to a Vulcan. Talking to a Trill? Rennyn was his name, but how did she know him? She'd only just been on the Pike? She looked out the window, trying to get her bearings. She couldn't get her bearings.:: ::Barbara was in the nebula again, and from the corner of her eye, she caught a movement. She could have sworn she saw a white boot float past, which a high heel, just like her mother used to wear.:: ::The Pike exploded around her, blasted with polaric radiation in exponential amounts. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air and expected to hit the wall, again and again, until she was too disoriented to go on. It made no sense. It made no sense. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall.:: ::She existed for months in some pocket of space where Frank Delavigne delivered her baby. While he held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held her little girl, Barbara was taken away.:: ::At last, Barbara was in the nebula, floating in the purple mists. She woke from a dream, where the muggy air of Florida made her tri-colored jumpsuit stick to her legs. She remembered it all now, everything she'd experienced, over and over again, in this time rift. But there as a continuity to it. It had been hell. No wonder her mind wouldn't let her remember. She'd lost her daughter again and again. The accident on Pike happened again and again. She'd watched the Romulans again and again. But she'd only been to Atlantis once. She'd only lived the events there once. There was something to that. There was something there.:: ::There was something behind her.:: ::Barbara turned to catch what was in the corner of her eye. In all the times she'd floated here, she'd never caught up to the rift's nasty tricks. Now she did. Stunned, she watched the ghost in a mini skirt and white boots, in an orange and purple dress with an updo and heavy makeup on her sparkling eyes. The ghost floated silently, smiling with motherly pride.:: ::Barbara floated towards it, stunned. This was more surprising than anything else that had happened.:: TARCH: ...Mother? ::Her mother's ghost said nothing, but, smiling, floated farther away, out of Barbara's reach.:: TARCH: Mother. I have a daughter now. I named her Diana, after you. ::Her mother's ghost smiled more deeply. It nodded, knowingly. It floated farther away.:: TARCH: Mother, don't go. I want to go with you. I don't want to be part of all this anymore. ::Her mother's ghost shook its head. It's eyes spoke of love, but told Barbara 'No.':: TARCH: I have to stay, don't I? I have to help the Atlantis. I have to help the Pike. ::Her mother's ghost nodded, proudly.:: TARCH: I have to save Diana. ::The truth was, that after all the time she'd spent going back and forth in the rift, she understood it, a little. She could help. She could help from within the rift. But if she did that, she was never going to make it out herself.:: TARCH: I have to save Diana, no matter what it takes. The way you saved me. ::Her mother's ghost floated towards her, came very close, gazed into Barbara's eyes with all the love in the universe. Then, in a cloud of purple vapor, she vanished into the ether.:: ::Barbara knew what to do. She could help close the rift from within. She could help save the Pike. She could help Atlantis save itself, and she could even help save the Romulans. She could save Diana, after everything.:: ::She wished her mother's ghost could have touched her, could have held her in its vaporous arms. For she herself had never held her baby daughter Diana, and now she knew she never would.:: MSPNPC Lt. Barbara Tarch USS Christopher Pike simmed by Lt. Rendal Rennyn HCO & Flight Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  14. ((Temporal Rift)) ::Lieutenant Commander Franklin Delavigne – Frank to his friends – sat in the fathomless waste of the rift in time, petting the head of an infant no more than a few days old.:: DELAVIGNE: There, there, Elizabeth. Don’t cry. I will find you some food if we can ever get out of here. ::Her name wasn’t Elizabeth. It was Debra or Diana or something. But that didn’t matter. He mother had been here, sometimes she was full of spite and hormones, sometimes she was lying down, covered in the mess of birth, cooing and nursing the child. Sometimes the baby was born, sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes he was alone here, sometimes he wasn’t. Things did not flow in a straight line within the rift. That’s why Frank liked it so much. It was as if his past had never happened. As if it was fluid, changeable. He longed for the life he was denied. It was something that had never come out over the course of his duty. He was always so put together, so parental. He was everyone’s favorite grandfather that they didn’t have, which only struck them as odd when they realized that he had no family. Had no family left, to be precise. He thought in a naive way that he had gotten over it. That he could put the past behind him. That was, of course, before the accident tore through the science lab and he had been left at the mercy of temporal flux and polaric radiation. It was now nearly a century that he had been living in limbo, forward and backwards, moving through the ages like a drunken wanderer desperate to forget the past and yet inextricably tied to it. He realized all too soon that the accident has been a direct result of his own hubris. Sure, Starfleet had commanded his team to do research into polaric energy, but he was the one who threw caution to the wind, believing they could control any reaction within their labs. However being at the epicenter did give him freedom, for the scientists who were not immediately evaporated in the explosion found they had a mobility through the time rifts that the others did not. Most of the crew were caught endlessly replaying the same scene over and over again, from a few seconds to a few hours. He had started out trying to communicate with the crew, get the ones who were experiencing a longer loop to make changes and try to correct things in the vain effort to throw the Christopher Pike out of the anomaly. At one point he thought he had it – he was sure it would work, bringing the ship out only a week or two after the incident. And then the Romulans came. Frank bared his teeth to the darkness, swallowing bile at the thought of the species. The Romulans, the [...]s. They who had taken everything from Frank and continued to take, and take and take. In his arms little Diana coughed and gave a weak gasp. She needed nourishment, which the void of the rift would not provide. Frank shivered. How many times had the girl died in his arms, only to have time reversed and to find her anew? How many times would she die again? ~*~ ((Flashback – New Dakota Colony, 112 years prior)) ::Warmth flooded his body as his wife pressed against him:: ANGELA DELAVIGNE: Must you go? Can’t you just tell Starfleet that you’re taking early retirement? FRANK DELAVIGNE: ::he chuckled:: I wish. This will be my last mission, I promise. But I feel the border defense is important. You know, I’m keeping colonists just like you safe! ANGELA: ::She smiled softly:: Technically you’re keeping us safe, too. FRANK: ::He waved her concern aside:: The Romulans would have to come pretty far past the borders to harass New Dakota. Besides, with Elizabeth walking now, you won’t have time to worry. You’ll be chasing her all day and night! ANGELA: ::letting out a soft sigh she turned towards the child sleeping on the sofa:: She’s getting so big. I’m glad you got to see her first steps. FRANK: I am, too. ::He walked over to the little girl, petting her hair back and kissing her head:: Tell her Daddy will be home before she knows it. ANGELA: Will you? ::She watched Frank, questioningly. All too often Starfleet had a habit of making short mission stretch out for years:: FRANK: Captain Hassalet knows I intend to be home for Christmas. I’ll be here, even if I have to steal a shuttlecraft! ANGELA: ::chuckling softly, she rose to her feet, drawing Frank up with her:: You promise? FRANK: ::He nodded, gazing back at her:: I promise. ::With a mischievous smile:: But I want something from you… ANGELA: ::Raising a brow, curious:: What’s that? FRANK: I want a tree. ::He smiled:: All dressed up in pretty lights and tinsel! ANGELA: ::In mock protest:: Frank! There’s no evergreen trees on this whole planet! FRANK: You’re a clever lady, I’m sure you can think of something! ANGELA: ::with a sigh, she leaned into him, wrapping her arms around his waist:: All right, I’ll make sure you get a tree. FRANK: ::Kissing her gently:: I’ll see you in four months. ANGELA: ::Kissing him back:: Come home safe, Frank. FRANK: I will. ::A pause:: I love you. ANGELA: ::Whispered, through unshed tears:: I love you, too. ~*~ ((Temporal Anomaly – Present time)) ::The rattling breath in the infant’s throat was getting worse and Frank shivered. Part of him wondered if it was better to keep her here, or if he should have left her with her mother. DELAVIGNE: Come on, Elizabeth. Hold on. Maybe we can get on that shiny Romulan ship and steal some food for you. The other part of him, the one that was damaged by radiation and pain, coveted her. Wanted her to replace the family he had lost. When his mind started failing, he had gone to sickbay and found one of the orderlies was caught in a loop, tending a young baby boy. The kid had a respiratory ailment, nothing major for this day and age, but enough that his parents brought him by sickbay. That’s what started the yearning inside Frank, the longing for something he had lost. And while the orderlies could not break out of their time loop, he could move through it. It was a simple thing to simply lift the child from their hands and take it with him. And yet on a failing starship, caring for a child was hard. Frank was constantly moving to find a working replicator, and enough supplies for both himself and a helpless child. It focused him and yet consumed him. Maybe it was his fault the time loop wasn;t broken and not the Romulans. No. It had to be the Romulans. Romulans were the root of all evil. Somewhere along the way Frank had lost the boy. Maybe it was in engineering? Maybe it was on the bridge? He really couldn’t remember. He had searched the ship, but by that point his mind was failing into an endless cycle of torment, time loops and pain. He never found the baby boy again, and for days (or was it months? years?) he wandered alone. ~*~ ((Flashback – New Dakota Colony, 111 years prior)) ::The shimmering haze of the transporter faded as a cold wind blew through the desolate streets of the burned out colony. The reports had not done this justice. It wasn’t a strategic strike, it was a massacre. Commander Jolani cast a wary glance towards Lieutenant Delavigne. She knew all too well that this was the settlement his family had been in, and with comm lines down the chances for survivors didn’t look good. Their boots crunched through sand that had been melted into glass by orbital fire. Smoke still rose for a few building on the horizon, though it appeared any fires in the local vicinity had long since burned themselves out. The Romulans had called it retribution for the unintentional destruction of a cargo freighter by a trigger happy gamma shift on patrol in the neutral zone. Jolani called it murder. Delavigne was shaking as they moved their way through the empty streets. There was no sign of survivors rushing out to meet them. Unless they found some way to get underground and hadn’t yet found the courage to come up for air, it was looking like all the medics could do was start tagging bodies. They crossed a high street and without warning Frank Delavigne broke into a full sprint. Security Officer Connel reached out for him, but Jolani put a hand up.:: JOLANI: Let him go… ::She understood all too well the need for closure. The need for answers, even if those answers were not good ones. As her team circled around looking for survivors, she followed Delavigne into the gaping burned out hole of a colonial habitat. Inside was the same chalky black burn pattern the rest of the colony displayed. No one saw it coming. Maybe the settlements on the far side of the planet would have survivors, but it was clear this city had been caught in the middle of broad daylight by seven decloaking warbirds. A scream ripped out of Frank’s throat, raw and bitter as he collapsed next to the ashed remains of what appeared to be one of the leafy fern trees. Spatters of gold and silver were melted to the ash, piled around the charred remains of two corpses. The man crumpled like a marionette with all the strings cut, screaming into his hands until he coughed up blood and the screams lapsed into tears. She could make out one word: ‘no.’ JOLANI: Frank… ::She started as soft as possible:: DELAVIGNE: There is no justice for this! There is no sense! My baby! My wife! ::The Commander’s brows knit and she lay a hand on his shoulder and he started to sob incoherently:: ~*~ ((Temporal Anomaly – Present time)) ::Baby Diana gasped again, her face turning blue. Frank felt his heart leap into his throat:: DELAVIGNE: No, Elizabeth, hang on. ::He looked up, feeling a surge of fear tear through him as the strange shiny ship came back into view. He didn’t want to go there. He was afraid. Terribly afraid. But as the baby in his arms gasped, he felt tears sting his eyes. How many times did she have to die?:: Dear God, please hang on… ::Frank Delavigne took a deep breath and stepped through the rift, onto the USS Atlantis…:: ~*~ OOC – any ideas on where he should land? Tbc! ~*~ MSNPC Lt. Commander Frank Delavigne Science specialist USS Christopher Pike as simmed by Lt Shar'Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Atlantis
  15. ((Ensign T'Brei's Quarters-Atlantis)) T'BREI: :: Finished her meal and worked some more on the research progress, and schematics of the workings for the upgraded prosthetic s with the Inter-Species Medial Group R & D section. She, braided her hair and wrapped it around her head, pinning it into place, the rest of her hair she pulled into a ponytail and then rolled it under and pinned it into a loose chignon. Donning a fresh uniform, she picked up her work and made her way out of her quarters for sickbay. ((Sickbay Atlantis)) It was late, and most of the crew were asleep. She wanted to check her research unencumbered by the EMH or a lot of activity, patients were sleeping and the nurse was at her duty station and the Sickbay was on night lights running. She slipped into her area and sat down to look over the samples of Trans- molecularity dna re sequenced prosthetic implants. :: oOo Now to run another set of trials tomorrow, and gather more data.oOo T'BREI: ::Went to her research trials and put the finished ones back into the vault drawer, she pulled out fresh samples and programmed them with a slightly different coding and put them in the incubation system. She logged them as non-lethal experiment but do not open. And then made her way back through the wards. She noticed a sting in her head slight but definitely the tale tale signs of a headache. She went to the nearest bio bed and pulled out an analgesic giving herself a low dose. She, made a notation in her own medical chart and then checked all the notes. :: Nurse informed her that Sickbay was quiet and no patients. T'BREI: Very good Nurse, I shall return to my quarters and remain their for a couple of hours, unless there arises an emergency and I am needed. NURSE: Very good Doctor T'Brei, take care of that headache. T'BREI: I shall, I am going to lie down for a while in a dark room. ::She departed sickbay and returned to her quarters, and this time she set her work aside and went to her bed, slipping off her boots, she slide out of her uniform and pulled on a pale pink gown, and a matching robe. She pulled back the coverlet and lay down with an iced pack on her head. Soon, she drifted off to sleep. The scene unfolded as it did most nights after she had worked on research for the amputees; the undisclosed planet name dark knee deep in mud and blood, wadding through body parts and hearing the cries of the wounded calling out for help for those to weak to cry out the dying. She walks on wards to get the blood and platelet paks to the CHIEF of the make shift MASH. Soval handed her another case, it was a amputee both arms and legs, the N'toklan barely alive and she was to stabilize him and get him out on the next Medi-vac-Shuttle. The N'toklan looked up at her and whispered.:: Let meeee die..... Iii do not want to live like this..... his lips fell completely open his vital signs dropped, the CMO heard the alarm and took over. He brought the N'toklan back and the shuttle arrived and he was lifted away to the Comfort. :: ((Comfort- covert ops blackout mission)) T'BREI: ::Struggled in her sleep, the pain in her head more violent now, as she walked back down the corridors of the Comfort, and saw the N'toklan again. The Top Notch Medical team and scientists were working to stimulate his genes using a highly classified and rare procedure to regrow his limbs. His screams echoed through the ward, he called out to his Gods and cursed the doctors who had kept him alive, his eyes settled on T'Brei. His newly regenerated arm and hand reached out and grasped her hand.:: You understand, you know why I wanted to go on and be with my soul. T'Brei moved closer to him and said. How can we bring you and your soul together again? He pointed to a necklace around his neck, it had the sign of a priest on it. There were no N'toklan priests onboard so T'Brie found a Vulcan Priest. She and the Priest worked with the man for hours, until he and his soul were reunited.:: T'BREI: :: Woke with a gasp, her head truly pounding now. She went to the bath room and washed her face off, and took out another coldpak and placed it on her head. Lying back down she mediated, letting her heart rate lower and lower so low that even sensors could not detect it. She knew that there on that dark and deep mission, she had been given a mission to do what ever was possible to assist and help survivors put the puzzle of their lives back together again...:: Ensign T'BreiMedical OfficerUSS AtlantisNCC 74682
  16. (Shuttlebay Exit- USS Atlantis) ::Mitchell sat near the aft edge of the Atlantis’s shuttle bay exit. The only thing between him and the cold vacuum of space was the mag-con field that kept the atmosphere inside when the doors were open. He had the area to himself since the ship only had a skeleton crew aboard, just an in-port watch was aboard and anyone who hadn’t gone on leave.:: oO And I’m probably the only one who made that choice. Oo ::He volunteered to take the in-port watch since he didn’t feel much like celebrating or ruining anyone’s else good time. Plus he could do the whole brooding thing on the ship without affecting much since the in-port watch was mostly caretaker items, such as checking in crew reporting to the ship, or going on leave. And could be done from a console at the airlock just as well as on the bridge.:: oO Plus that white jacket just isn’t me. Oo ::But he had been down here for a couple of hours now, staring out into space, letting his thoughts play out. Long enough to go from standing to sitting with his back and head against the wall. The past two years had seen some significant changes in his life, especially the past few months. Leaving the Discovery for the Shipyard, then her being declared missing and that desperate search. The return of the ship, then the mission on the Odyssey. Then Tyr’s retirement and the decommissioning of the Discovery. and then the reassignment to the Atlantis and the new sector.:: oO Maybe I should stayed gone….not have come back... Maybe I should have be lost with the Discovery went she went missing… Maybe I should just hang it up….Oo ::He shifted position slightly, and got to his feet to stretch his back.:: oO I feel like hitting something, but can’t exactly punch a forcefield. Enough momentum and my fist would go right through this field. Its designed to hold atmosphere in here, but still allow shuttles through, so I could pass through it with enough momentum. It’d probably take a running start, but I could…Oo ::But the concept of simply stepping out into raw space after all his encounters with it just didn’t seem right. It almost seemed like it would be betraying the memories of all those in head, the lost and the departed. :: oO I’ve nearly died at least twice from the effects of being exposed to raw space as part of the consequences of wrecking two fighters and several shuttles. Guess I’ve gotten sloppy or slow over the years. Oo ::As his thoughts turned to all the years he spent flying fighters, there was one memory he still had to face. The memory really. He reached into his pocket and removed a box. Naturally, he thumbed it open to look at the contents.:: oO These were supposed to be the things that held us together. But in the end, they were never used. Oo ::A pair of rings sat inside the box, the first custom fitted for the ring finger on Perin Anders’ left hand, the other for his. They were actually part of a set of three, machined out of pieces from a wrecked fighter. But the third, the engagement ring, was gone now. The last time he’d seen it, it had been on Perin’s hand where he had put it before he left her on the surface of Ba’ku.:: oO I always intended to go back for her…to pick up where we left off when her memories returned. Or to start anew if they didn’t. But that option’s gone now. She’s gone…Oo ::He’d come down here to make peace with himself, but he hadn’t really solved much. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be much good to the ship and crew. Just he hadn’t been for the last three months he’d worked on the Delta Bravo project. Only the loss of the Discovery had drug him out of the funk. Then all the other events happened and he’d ended up right back in this funk.:: oO Guess there’s really only thing left to do…Plus, I know she’d approve of us drifting through the galaxy together. Oo ::He flipped the box closed, brought his arm back and whipped forward in a pitching motion. This is what made a mag-con field different from a standard force field. It would let items in motion with momentum pass through. The box left his hand and passed through the field and out into raw space.:: oO Just like my name sake did in that movie. Space is just my ocean. Oo ::He took a deep breathe and let him mentally struggling subside as he watched the box drift away. A few minutes, the small black box would be lost to sight, and simply be one more piece of cosmic debris drifting through space.:: oO Good bye Perin. Oo ::He closed his eyes to let the moment pass. Then it was done. That was all he could do. Now to return to his duty and get on with his life.:: tbc Commander Rode Mitchell USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  17. ((Backsim)) ((Starlight Ballroom, DS26)) ::Raj accompanied Tyr closely as he made his rounds meeting and greeting members of the crew of the Atlantis, proudly showing him off like a kid at bring-your-dad-to-school day. Once everyone had been introduced to and pleasantries exchanged cordially, Raj took the Colonel aside to speak softly.:: BLUEHEART: Can I get you something to eat? ::He looked around to summon a passing waiter.:: There’s plenty of food to go around. You must be tired after your long trip. Or do you prefer to rest and shower first? I can find you a place---- WALTAS::Chuckling:: You’re fussing over me like a mother hen, Raj. This is YOUR evening and YOUR crew. I’m perfectly fine. I’m no conquering hero returning from the front. Just an old friend happy to see his shipmate take the reigns. BLUEHEART: :: You’re my guest of honor. Of course I’ll treat you like royalty! ::He chuckled.:: WALTAS: Well, there are a few things I’d like to discuss privately, once the celebration has calmed down a bit. BLUEHEART: ::nodding:: That will work too. ::smiling:: Transporters? WALTAS::Mock offense:: Why, Captain! You know that’s against regulations. Don’t tell me my attitude toward the regs has rubbed off on you.. BLUEHEART: ::laughing:: I’m totally exercising my new privileges here! ::The two officers dematerialized into a storm of particles only to reappear again in the Captain’s Ready Room on board the USS Atlantis.:: ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Atlantis)) ::They re-materialized in the Ready Room of the USS Atlantis. Tyr recognized the design, having been on an Intrepid class ship before. He nodded at the decorations and accomodations, all what he would expect from Raj and his tastes. He sat down in front of the large desk. BLUEHEART: ::moving to the replicator:: Can I get you something to drink? WALTAS: Ice water, please. ::He returned with the drinks and placed the Colonel’s drink in front of him then realized where the man was sitting. He had been so used to approaching Tyr behind a giant desk, not seeing him in front of one.:: BLUEHEART: I’m not sure I’m comfortable with you sitting there and me over here. WALTAS::Flatly:: Get comfortable with it. I’m not here to steal your chair. Just to make sure you sit down. BLUEHEART: Yes, it will take some getting used to, I guess. ::reluctantly sitting behind the desk:: I still can’t believe it. It’s surreal! I mean, I honestly didn’t think the EC was going to pass my promotion. WALTAS: I may have my disagreements with the way certain things are done, but one thing that is undeniable and unassailable is pure, raw talent and heart. You’re replete with both, my friend. You know you deserve it, ::jokingly:: now shut up and accept it. Just never let those four pips prevent you from sticking your neck out for those who you care about. BLUEHEART: ::softly chuckling:: Yeah, I’ll remember that. No more second-guessing myself. I’ll always remember every word you say. You taught me well, Tyr. I wouldn’t be Captain today if it weren’t for you. You believed in me even during those times I myself didn’t. WALTAS::Sipping his ice water before continuing:: You always had faith in yourself, Raj. You just buried it from time to time under emotions and doubt. It was always there. I just helped you let it out. BLUEHEART: So.. ::putting down his cup of jasmine tea and leaning slightly forward in his seat:: how are you, Tyr? WALTAS: Well, I can’t complain. I thought I was done and was going stir-crazy on Ba’ku when Fleet Captain Turner sent for me. Offered me command of the Marine regiment on Duronis and a chance to make a difference again. I couldn’t turn it down. BLUEHEART: And Daisha? Tye and Sanuye? WALTAS: Daisha…took her courts martial hard. Very hard. Starfleet was her life and she was being forced out. At that point the words of a retired Captain didn’t mean much in the ears of the Federation Council, and stealing a Sovereign-class starship did. She took the brunt of what should have been my punishment. BLUEHEART: ::downcast eyes:: I’m so sorry to hear that. ::He clenched his fists underneath the desk, angry at the very organization he was duty-bound to serve.:: WALTAS: Tye is his father’s son. I’ve already gotten three disciplinary reports as well as one pleading request from one of his professors to, ::he made quote signs with his fingers:: have him cut that [...]ed lion’s mane of a head of hair”. I nicely replied that if he so much as touched a lock he’d have ME to deal with. He’s a good kid, wears his heart on his sleeve, unfailingly loyal to his friends and fiercely protects them. ::Winking:: Reminds me of you. BLUEHEART: ::surprised:: Me? I think you just described yourself! ::taking a sip of his fragrant tea, slightly hesitant to coax any further response:: And Sanuye? WALTAS::Shadow passing over his features:: Sanuye…is still very angry. We don’t talk. I don’t know how he’s doing unless I hear it from Daisha or Tye. He’s very bitter and blames me for Eden leaving. ::Sighing, he sipped his water and looked over Raj’s shoulder out the ready room window:: Maybe he’s right. BLUEHEART: No, Tyr. We’ve discussed this. None of it was your fault. Some people just need a longer time to accept the hard truth that it was Cmdr Redstone who walked out on you, not the other way around. Give him some time. And if it’s still not enough, give some more. ::He smiled reassuringly.:: WALTAS: Speaking of relationships, how are you and Emerson? BLUEHEART: ::gritting his teeth:: He can be so infuriating sometimes! Stubborn as a mule and ever ready to explode like a firecracker! ::He rolled his eyes in exasperation.:: WALTAS: Tell him that if he doesn’t shape up I’m going to knock him on his [...] like I did in my ready room. BLUEHEART: I remember that day like it was yesterday! ::chuckling:: Maybe I should pull some strings and get him to work under your command for six months or so. That’ll teach him to rein in that temper! ::Slowly his smile faded, and he creased his forehead a little.:: You know.. I have to say this or it’ll continue to eat me up inside.. ::pause, sighing:: The reason I wasn’t at the airlock the day you left the Discovery was because I was.. well.. I was never any good at goodbyes. I was also angry over a lot of things and I didn’t want you to see me that way before you left for Ba’ku. I wanted you to take with you only the good memories that we shared, not those of the last few days of the Discovery when there was a lot of anger and confusion and frustration. I’m sorry for that. I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to you then.. I wasn’t ready, Tyr. WALTAS: I wasn’t ready either. Not like that. It was like taking someone off life support who had a good chance to live. I feel like it was ripped away from me, and I’m sure you felt the same way. It wasn’t how I wanted to end my career, that’s for sure. But I guess that wasn’t the end, after all. BLUEHEART: I’m glad it wasn’t. I honestly thought it WAS the end, not just for you, but for everyone. WALTAS: Well, I’m a firm believer in second chances. Things didn’t go as planned when I landed on Duronis though. The previous commander of the Marines was reluctant to surrender command to a “penguin”, as he called me. A fleet officer that moves to a Marine rank. We ah…settled our differences in true Discovery fashion. ::Tyr grinned, knowing that Raj would understand what that meant. He had taken on Hannibal Parker, one of the most feared Marines in the entire Federation and a man twice his size, and both men nearly killed each other.:: BLUEHEART: ::laughing heartily:: I’ve lost count of how many ribs you’ve already broken, Tyr! I don’t dare ask how the other guy fared. ::He grinned, surprised that he found himself missing the infamous fights among the crew of the Discovery. His skills as Counselor and then First Officer was truly put to the test attending to the crew.:: WALTAS: Let’s put it this way-by the end of the fight Captain Turner shot us both with phasers and we ended up in the med ward for 24 hours. But there was an abiding respect gained through the conflict. After we paid our dues and rebuilt the office we destroyed we got to know each other. He’s a good man. Ironically he just made First Officer so now he’s a “shellback”-a Marine that takes a Fleet rank. We’re sort of the yin and yang of the Embassy. BLUEHEART: Penguin and shellback. The Marines sure have interesting terminologies. But yeah, I agree with you that there is respect to be gleaned through conflict. Sometimes we even discover ourselves through our adversaries. ::slight pause:: Remember Amman? The Ice Queen? WALTAS: ::Smiling fondly:: She’s rather hard to forget. BLUEHEART: I couldn’t stand to be near her when we were on board the Discovery. There was a severe clash of personalities as I’m sure you’re aware of. But looking back, I can’t help but admire her. Her unwavering beliefs, her firm grasp of principles, her simple yet effective definition of right and wrong – I can’t bring myself to say now that she was wrong. The valuable lesson I learned from Hsina Amman is to always believe in yourself, no matter if what you’re ordered to do goes against your principles. That will save us from immense emotional conflict. Something that I’m only now beginning to understand and appreciate, having to command a ship and crew of my own. ::pause:: Gods, listen to me! I’m getting old! WALTAS::Leaning back in the chair, almost (but stopping himself out of respect) putting his feet up on the desk like the old days:: Oh, give it time, Captain. Wait until you pin a fourth pip on a man’s collar who walked onto your bridge as an Ensign. THAT will make you feel old. BLUEHEART: By the way, speaking of yin and yang, that is a good relationship to have. In fact, balance is key to any form of relationship. Kind of like the partnership we had on the Discovery. We sure made a solid team, didn’t we? WALTAS::Smiling sadly:: The best. I said it and I meant it. We were the best [...]ed ship in Starfleet. Whether Starfleet knew it or not. But now the Atlantis has a shot at that mantle. BLUEHEART: ::smiling and blushing:: I’m following your style of command – not the throwing regulations out the airlock bit – but how you treat the crew as family. WALTAS: Looks like you had a few shakeups as well… Where’s Mitchell? BLUEHEART: ::smirking:: Mitchell and dress-white functions? I don’t think so. Knowing him.. probably at some bar lamenting his past, or in a shuttle practicing tactical maneuvers. I’ve sent word to him that you’re on board the station though. Don’t worry, he’ll show up when you least expect it. That’s his style. ::He half winked.:: WALTAS: True enough. I’m surprised he isn’t sporting a fourth pip by now. BLUEHEART: I’ve given up trying to get him to take up a Command role, never mind his Captaincy exam. He’s more than qualified and would make a great first officer, but I respect his decision. Besides, he’s a free spirit. You can’t pin him down with bureaucracy and protocol. But you already know this. WALTAS: He’d rather be doing warp 9 with his hair on fire, I’ll warrant. What about the rest of your crew? Looks like a good group of people. BLUEHEART: The rest of the crew is great. Lieutenant Rennyn, the Trill helmsman that you met a while ago? Both Mitchell and myself could swear he’s Eric Lundrigan reincarnated! And our Andorian medical officer, Dr Foster? He’s like.. like.. well, there’s really no one to compare with on the Discovery now, is there, seeing how we never could retain a Medical Officer for long! It’s like a Discovery curse! ::He laughed heartily again.:: WALTAS: And with our unerring ability to get injured we needed them. The EMH got plenty of action. BLUEHEART: ::laughing again:: Gosh Tyr! We could talk about the Discovery all night long and still not run out of tales! WALTAS: Yes, we could my friend, but a crew needs its Captain, even during shore leave. You should go be with your family. BLUEHEART: ::checking the chrono and sighing softly:: You’re right. It’s almost time for the after-party. I’ll be needed. I just hope there are no bar brawls. ::He grinned knowingly.:: WALTAS: Eh, if there are, just make sure they end with the right side winning. Remember that time we cleaned out that Academy bar full of Enterprise crew members? BLUEHEART: How can I forget!! ::Raj was right, they COULD go on forever. There was a lifetime of memories and stories that could keep both men there for a long, long time. But it was time for Raj to be with his family, and the Ba’ku was growing steadily more sad with the memories that had been drummed up. Before his intuitive friend sensed that sadness, he would take his leave.:: WALTAS::Standing:: I should go, Raj. You need to be with your crew. Go get drunk or something. BLUEHEART: ::standing up with the Colonel:: Sure you won’t join us for the after-party? We might need you just in case Emerson starts another brawl. WALTAS::Grinning:: I think you can handle it. Besides, you’re the keeper of this ship, not me. BLUEHEART: I understand. ::nodding:: So.. ::His face grew sad again over the impending farewell.:: Any last words of advice for a newbie Captain? WALTAS::Smiling, looking into his friends eyes:: Trust your heart, Raj. Not orders, not regulations, not others’ opinions and definitely not an enemy you know in your heart is an enemy. Trust in yourself and your family. You’ll never go wrong. ::Pausing, chuckling:: But you may end up in the stockade. BLUEHEART: ::grinning:: Thank you, Tyr. I will always cherish those words in my heart. You taught me all I needed to know about being a Captain and you taught me well. More than any Captain’s handbook ever could. ::He walked around the desk to stand in front of the Ba’ku, his eyes moist again.:: I’ll walk you to the docking bay? WALTAS::Shaking his head:: I can find my way. If you don’t join your crew soon there WILL be a brawl. BLUEHEART: Oh, it’s no trouble at all, it’s on the way to---- ::But the Colonel interrupted him and insisted.:: WALTAS::Lowering his voice to a commanding baritone:: Snap to, Captain! BLUEHEART: Yes, Sir! ::He smirked playfully. Then he extended his hand and shook Tyr’s hand firmly before clasping it in both of his.:: Thank you for tonight, Tyr. ::He touched the fourth pip on his collar.:: I am so very happy and honored to see you again! WALTAS::gripping the hand tightly:: The pleasure was mine, Raj. ::He paused:: And watch your aft quarter. ::He paused, and turned to leave:: Captain. BLUEHEART: I will. And perhaps one of these days I may just pay you a surprise visit on Duronis! WALTAS::Turning to his old friend:: You’re always welcome. ::Raj embraced Tyr tightly, blinking back tears. This time though, they were not bitter tears of a sorrowful farewell, but rather, tears of sweet memories and everlasting friendship.:: WALTAS: Releasing his friend and wiping away a stray tear himself:: Oh, there’s one more thing.. ::Tapping his communicator:: Computer, energize. ::Raj’s old desk de-materialized, to be found in his quarters, and a large desk made of pure, crimson-colored wood appeared in its place. The surface was polished to a brilliant sheen, shining from the starlight in the window. The desk had been modernized to accommodate a Captain’s needs, complete with a pop-up LCARS display, comm terminal, and a weapons storage locker within easy reach. It had been his desk all those years on Discovery, traveled with him on so many missions and was the meeting place of so many private discussions when he took the Captain’s chair. It was only fitting for him to have it.:: WALTAS: I thought you might like it. They were going to scrap it. BLUEHEART: ::He gasped.:: It’s your old desk! I can’t---- ::shaking his head vehemently:: I can’t! I won’t! WALTAS: I insist. A Marine doesn’t need something like this. And the wood will last longer than any material Starfleet can dream up. Besides, I like to think a little part of me lives on with you. Oh, and check the drawer. You can hang it on the wall for decoration, but I suspect it’ll be better suited at your side. ::Without waiting for a reply, he tapped his comm badge again:: =/\= Computer, one to transport to Runabout 4. =/\= ::Raising his hand as the beam took him:: Goodbye, Captain. ::When the drawer was opened, the starlight in the dim ready room fell upon a long, slightly curved blade that rested within. The pommel was wrapped in black leather, lovingly crafted by the Ba’ku himself during his exile on Ba’ku. The blade was almost a meter long and held a gentle curve, and was razor-sharp. It shone in the darkness, ready to serve its new master as the blade it was copied from had served Tyr for decades.:: FIN ==================================== A joint post by: Colonel Tyr Waltas Marine CO Duronis II Embassy / USS Thunder & Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  18. (( Place: not here not there )) (( Time: just now and never )) :: Darkness was everywhere but he could hear treble noises just ahead. The feeling of solitude was present. Dizziness too. But that sound was more powerful. It was attracting him. So… he stood up and started to crawl toward it. But he couldn´t see himself, just feel his movements. There was an energy of joy coming from that sound. People were clapping their hands, whooping. It had become more and more intense at each step he made. The fun, the joy were contaminating him. He was feeling different. He was feeling capable of everything. The sound subsided and a terrific beat remained still. He was now walking completely upright and at each step he regained consciousness of who he was. Then someone with a beautiful and powerful voice began to speak. :: VOICE: Ladies and gentleman. :: Long pause.:: Welcome… Welcome to a dream! :: He could hear people getting crazy. Yelling. He could feel the fun and the excitement everywhere, and that feeling was making him more and more strong. It was like if he was returning to life. It was as he was resurrecting. He was returning to some place he cared most. Where he was extremely happy. :: VOICE: Where we experience a culmination of a long road. That one individual… who dare to dream… who dare to be different… that individual who gave us his art… art we feel… art we can´t get enough of… :: As he approached the end of tunnel he could see that there were a lot of people in colorful seats close by. They were all stand up dancing with the music. :: VOICE: This dream is now… the moment is here… where you are no longer a visitor… but simply a part of this dream… :: long pause while the music level is increased. :: Soooo…. :: At the center there was a person, dressed in yellow uniform with blue shorts. He was tall, bald, a little skinned but strong. He was dressing some sports uniform with a number 12 on it. Green colors. He was with his arms crossed in front of his chest and his right foot resting over some spherical thing, made of white and black patterns. He was looking toward the tunnel exit. Waiting for someone. Waiting for him. :: VOICE: Dear dreamers… I gave you the legend… FALCAO :: All that beat and music was for him. The light increased and he could see he was inside some beautiful and technological gymnasium. The music was wonderful and he couldn´t resist to it. He started to dance showing his Brazilian swing… following with the beat and vibration. The crowd got even more crazy and happy… that was his show… he was the Falcon. :: FALCAO: oO I remember now. I am Falcao. But who is that guy over there? Oo :: As he approached from the court center he could see better the person dressing in yellow. He was wearing his uniform, the canary uniform. He was wearing his t-shirt and his name on it. When the tall person raised his head he got scared. It was… It was Tarsii!!! The beat changed and the Angosian started to sing... the lyrics appeared around the gymnasium and the crowd repeated his words. :: ASMARA: :: Smiling and pointing both hands toward Falcon :: I got a vision. :: The music filled the air and the Angosian showed the same swing. :: Can´t be touched. Can´t be stopped. Can´t be moved. Can´t be rock. :: He was connected to the sound which was spread around the entire gymnasium. Everything he spoke was transmitted loud and clear. His voice was increased with special effects on it. He sounded as Rap singers from old times on Earth. It was everything a great and well planned show. :: ASMARA: Can´t be shook. We hot. When will you learn? :: The Angosian moved his left foot over the black and white ball and touched it just at the exact point to promote a gentle rolling toward his right foot. Without rest the left foot on the ground he kicked the ball with his opposite foot and raised him up. It had started... the freestyle battle to decide who would be the truly Falcon. :: FALCON: oO Oh! Impressive. But this is my domain. Oo :: The music ignited everybody who was clapping in its rhythm. The bald man had impressive skills but he would be match for Falcon. :: ASMARA: I will say again. Can´t be touched. Can´t stopped. Can´t be moved. Can´t be shook. We hot. When will you learn? :: With that saying, after some kick-ups, he throw the ball toward his opponent. :: :: Now the other man could be clearly seen. He was much smaller than the Angosian, with short black hair and white skin. He was still wearing the yellow uniform but the letters FALCAO were glittering, as well as the man. He was enveloped in some kind of golden aura. :: FALCAO: oO I will show you the real Falcao. Oo Came to get crunk. Came to bring life. Came to get it started. Came to get it right. :: He received the ball on his chest and moved his spine the exact amount to amortize it completely. It was like it had hit a pillow. Then he turned his body back so quickly that the ball was transferred to his nape. He moved his head and threw it to the air. All the spotlights followed the ball in the air and forgot the Falcon for a couple of seconds. When the ball returned to the ground Falcon was sat down and he received it with his shin. The crowd got crazy again and the music increased the rhythm. The Falcon domain of the ball was fabulous. Even laid on the floor the ball seemed to be attached to him. It was like he was the gravity center of the ball and it always searched for him. He passed the ball several time from one shin to another moving his legs over it so quickly that was almost impossible for the people to believe on those movements. He balanced the ball at his head and slowly stood up without losing it. After that he look to the Angosian and let the ball slipped slowly on his back until he hit it with his right foot from back, throwing it toward his opponent. The crowd started to cry out his name. FALCAO. FALCAO. FALCAO. The Angosian smiled back. He raised his both arms, and as soon as he did that, the whole court changed and several other players appeared. It was the first time that the lights were completely turned on and it was possible to see the whole gymnasium filled of people. :: ASMARA: I mean what I speak. I do as I say. I hustle, I grind. Don't get in my way. Cause I ain't gonna budge. :: The music returned and the challenged changed to a new level. Now a complete futsal squad against Falcon. But he was not alone. Other legends were with him. Players from several eras were there. But the Angosian had the ball and he was thirsty to meet Falcon on the court. :: TBC ((OOC: This are just happening in Tarsii’s dreams, since the opening event of the Tournament didn´t happen. These are the musics I based this sim on: I am Hardwell Intro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GleSC5g6rd0 Can´t be touched https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R9u2CX0qEs )) ----------- Lieutenant JG Tarsii Asmara Science Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  19. ((Tamaiti Scott’s Quarters, USS Atlantis)) ((Ren's dream)) ::Navin was floating in space, dressed like he used to, like a Trill would, not like the Borg had done him up ten years ago. He was carrying a purple trident that glowed with terrific mystical power. He smiled broadly.:: ::Ren scoffed.:: REN: You said no more dream visits. What the hell? ::A song played around them. Sound in space. It was a familar voice, but an alien song. Something from another world.:: EMERSON: Your heart is not open so I must go The spell has been broken, I loved you so Freedom comes when you learn to let go Creation comes when you learn to say no.. ::Ren looked down and realized he was tattooed head to toe. Tattoos of Borg implants on every inch of his body. It was disgusting.:: ::Navin pointed the trident at him imperiously. He didn't say a word.:: EMERSON: There's nothing left to try There's no place left to hide REN: Why are you haunting me? NAVIN: Haunting you? ::Navin floated closer, letting the trident go. He took Ren in his arms, tenderly.:: I haven't haunted you, Ren. Don't you see it yet? I'm not here. I've been gone for years. Only you're here, only you. Alone. EMERSON: There's no greater power Than the power of good-bye.. NAVIN: You've been haunting yourself all along. EMERSON: There's nothing left to lose There's no more heart to bruise ::Ren struggled to get away. This wasn't the Borgified Navin he'd been dreaming of for years, the enemy of sleep, the stuff of nightmares. This was worse. This was Navin as he should always have been remembered, a vibrant, kind-hearted Trill, who never would have hurt Ren. Who never would have haunted him. In some ways, it had been easier to blame the fear all these years, for holding him back. It kept him from facing the loss, the despair. How good it could have been between them, if Navin had lived.:: NAVIN: You know what we have to do here, don't you, Ren? You know why I'm here in your dreams one last time. ::They weren't in space anymore. They were by the stream at the back of Uncle Wavern's fallow field, that last golden summer, when the war was over, and their lives stretched forward together into eternity, all things possible. Navin was leaving tonight, one last short tour with the Trill Defense Force. It was only a month. Nothing was going to happen. Then he would come back, and be Ren's forever.:: ::They held each other, standing there by the stream, the sun setting gloriously over Arnmere. Their kiss lit the world, chasing all fears from the burgeoning night. Only a month, then eternity. Ren could wait that long.:: ::He waited ten years.:: REN: I don't want to see this! Our lives were beginning. You shouldn't have gone! NAVIN: I couldn't have done anything else. You've punished yourself for nothing, all these years. For one little word. ::Ren had told Navin that night that he didn't want to say goodbye. It was bad luck. It was a jinx. No goodbyes.:: NAVIN: You never said goodbye. EMERSON: There's no greater power Than the power of good-bye.. ::They were in space again. The voice faded away in the dark, black night, it's song of pain finished. Navin held Ren close again. The tattoos were gone. No sign of the Borg anywhere. Their kiss lit the galaxy, and chased away every bad dream.:: NAVIN: Say it to me, Ren. I know you want to. REN: Don't go. Please, don't go. NAVIN: Not that, Ren. I'm going. You'll have to let me. ::The trident reappeared. Navin gripped it tightly, and it began to pull him away from Ren, into the vast eternal night. With his free hand, Navin caressed Ren's cheek in one last moment of togetherness. He floated backwards and away, mouthing a word Ren couldn't hear in the cold of space, until he said the same word himself. With every ounce of courage he could find, after ten long years of regret and self-doubt, Ren said what he'd always wished he could.:: REN: Goodbye, Navin. Goodbye. ::Before he floated out of sight, an electric streak of purple blurred by eyes filled with tears, Navin's whisper reached Ren's ears.:: NAVIN: Goodbye. Goodbye, my love. Goodbye. ::Ren woke on Tama's couch, maybe much later.:: ::The room was darkened. Ren, still half sitting, had curled against Emerson, his head resting awkwardly on the Terran's side. It was a little inappropriate, yes, and he thought of moving. He stayed. In that brief moment of consciousness, he knew he was safe, and relaxed for the first time in years, finally at peace with the past. He let himself sleep again, slipping easily into a deeply restful slumber he hadn't known in a long time. It was the sleep of one who no longer fears the coming of dreams.:: LtJg Rendal Rennyn Helm Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  20. (Corridors - USS Atlantis) ::Mitchell yawned as he made the trip up to the bridge from the Runabout dock on Deck 9. He’d been sitting in that runabout for such a long period he’d decided to walk from the dock at the aft end of the deck forward all the way to the forward pair of turbo lifts. It wasn’t the extreme hike it would have been back on the Lady since the Atlantis was a smaller Intrepid, but it was a good walk to loosen up all his stiff muscles. It had been a long time since he had put himself through the gut wrenching effects of combat flying.:: oO And this was only a runabout, not Valkyrie or even a Peregine. It had a better SIF then both fighters. Oo ::As he walked, he let his mind wander back to some of the fights he’d been in. The first that came to mind was the fighting with the Romulans over the base.:: (Flashback in Mitchell’s Mind) ::Every fighter the base had was now streaking toward the decloaked Warbirds. Nine Rogue class interceptors lead the way, with the six Valkryies lead by Mitchell right behind. Eight Peregines were on one side, with twelve who had not gone out with the Discovery, on the other side. The four surviving Maul gunships brought up the rear, tucked in tight behind, between,and slightly under the others.:: ::But this time there was no chance for a surprise like at Daris II. All of the Romulan ships were on impulse, and this time, there had the oppurtunity to use the best form of anti-starfighter defense in the galaxy. Another fighter. And the new Romulan Warbirds carried the newest "fighter" in the Romulan's aresnal, the Scorpion class, as Starfleet Intel had taged it. And as Mitchell and his fellows had expected, they were out in force today.:: ::Now since only Jean Luc Picard of the Enterprise E was the only Starfleet officer who had flown a Scorpion, there was exactly much known about how the new craft would handle. But according to Intel data, the Scorpion was a ground attack craft, essentially a modified shuttlepod design, with limited capabilities as a fighter. They were the exact opposite of the craft under Mitchell's command, which according to Starfleet guideline were all special designed and built fighter craft. So it was going to be a contest between a small number of true fighter/interceptors versus a large number of "wannabe" fighters. And those wannabes were forming up for a break through strike of their own.:: ::The range scrolled down fast and his targeting cursor went red with the familiar growl. It was time.:: MITCHELL: =/\= All craft. Break Now! =/\= ::Immeadiately the Rogue interceptors went to max power and opened fire with pulse phaser cannons, then pulled up hard, clearing the others line of fire, just as Mitchell and the others each clamped down on their own triggers. Each of the Valkyries spat out a pair of mini-quantum torpedoes and the Peregines mini-photons, but the Mauls each fired two external full sized photons. As soon as the torps were inflight, both squadrons of Peregines broke wide, while Mitchell slammed his stick over hard, putting his bird into a crash dive, the others Valkryies following. The old fashioned spitting flower trick.:: ::Each squadrons finished its manuevers to keep clear of return fire and rolled back in. But despite the barrage, not enough Scorpions were taken out for Mitchell's taste. But the Rogue's again lead the way back in, spitting pulse phaser fire, nailing several more of the Romulans. Then as the Scorpions used their limited ammount of manueverability to break after the Rogues, it was Mitchell and the Ghostriders turn. The Valkyries came in using their own pulse phaser cannons, catching the Romulans from the oblique. Two exploded under the volley as the others tried to break free. But the Valkyries superior manueverability let them stay right with the Scorpions, pumping phaser fire into'em. The remaining four quickly disappeared in blazes.:: ::Mitchell finished off his bogey and racked his bird around to pick up another target. Around him, the other fighters weaved, turned, climbed and dived, juked and jived, doing what ever they could to keep their more manueverable birds behind the Romulans and out of the weapon arcs of the Warbirds. He rolled out of his turn and dropped in behind another Scorpion from above. He glanced at the sensors to see that several Warbirds were making a run on the doors to Spacedock. That meant they were trying to break in and invade.:: MITCHELL: ::switching to the wing com channel:: =/\= Ghost One to Marauders. Get those troop carriers. We gotta stop'em. Aces, help'em out. =/\= ::The gunships had been the only fighters not involved in serious dogfighting, which made sense since they were their to kill the Warbirds. They were making runs, but their were only four of them so they could only do so much. The eight Peregines of the Black Aces would help, but all of the fighters would really be needed. But first they had to finish off these Scorpions, especially this one that Mitchell was chasing now. MITCHELL: Can't get his guy. Go for a torp lock! NOVA: Locking on. MITCHELL: Come baby, lock it up. Lock up...... ::then suddenly the cursor went red with a lock.:: Fire it! ::He squeezed the trigger and mashed the launch key at the same time. One of the two launchers built into the underside of the fighter, spat a single mini-quantum. The torpedo raced out, tracking the fighter it was following through its manuevers. It caught up with the fighter as it tried to slid out of the torpedo's path, and detonated with a flash.:: (Corridor - USS Atlantis) ::He shook his head to clear it before he walked into a wall. He reached one of the turbo lifts, tapped the key, and waited for a car to arrive. That mission had gotten rather painful for him. He reached down to rub his knee.:: (Flashback) ::Lt Mitchell was grogily drifting in and out of consciousness as the escape pod containing he and his WSO drifted through space. At least the periods of unconsciousness kept down the oxygen use. And it was starting to really get cold in the pod, or at least he thought. It hadn't been that long since they had ejected or so he thought. Someone should have come to get them by now, but he couldn't be sure how long it had been.:: ::He wasn't sure of Nova's condition behind him, but she didn't answer when he yelled. And yelling through the mask was all he could for now. The pod had lost all power at some point so he couldnt be sure how much air they had left other than what was around them and in their pressure suit emergency bottles. Thus he couldnt afford to risk removing his own mask, in case the pod had a leak in it somewhere. He would have unstrapped and tried to turn around, but his leg had smashed into the console and some point and his left knee wouldn't change positions now. He would probably loose his leg if they hit a planet and had to eject out of the pod. But at least at some point, either he or the pod's automatic systems had stopped the tumbling caused by the rocket motor that had gotten it clear of the dying Valkyrie. That was a plus at least. All he needed now was to be space sick as well.:: ::Suddenly he felt light playing across the darkness his eyes were used to. He opened his eyes to see another Valkyrie floating there, right outside the pod. Someone had come after all.:: oO Yes. They found us! About time. Took'em long enough. Uh no. With no power there's not a way to let them know we're alive.... Wait I got a way. Let's see what they think of this. Hope no one gets offended.Oo ::He lifted his arm and put his gloved hand right against the canopy. Making a fist, knuckles against the canopy, he rotated it so his palm was down, then he extended a selected finger.:: (Corridors - USS Atlantis) ::The hiss of the lift doors opening drug him from his thoughts and he stepped into the empty car.:: MITCHELL: Bridge ::As the car rose, he thought about the aftermath of that mission.:: (Flashback) ::Lt Mitchell hurt all over. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around, trying to see what he could see without moving his head. From what he could see and smell, he was in a starship's sickbay, and a nearly brand new one at that. That meant he was on the USS Fearless, since she had been on a test cruise right out of the yards when she had been diverted to join the rescue fleet heading for the base. He tried to lean forward and ease himself up into a sitting position, but when he tried to use his left arm, it felt like fire was burning through his side.:: LEE: ::hopping up from the chair he was sitting in and coming over to help.:: Whoa. Easy there Mitchell. Your busted up pretty good. ::With Lee's assistance, Mitchell got into a position sitting up right.:: MITCHELL: Ugh! What did I do to myself this time? LEE: Well, you want the short version or the whole list? MITCHELL: ::grunting:: The short version, please. LEE: Well, the main three are that you dislocated your left shoulder, bruised several ribs, as well as your right knee. MITCHELL: Ouch. No wonder I hurt all over. Ever heard of pain killers around here? LEE: They shot you full when the shuttle picked you up. You just came off them. MITCHELL: How long since you picked me up? Last thing I remember was giving a Valkyrie the finger. And where's my WSO, Nova? LEE: Yeah...nice signal. Been a long time since you last shot that at me. Its been about two hours since we picked you up. But Nova, well...Nova's still in surgery. MITCHELL: Surgery? For what? LEE: A lot. Multiple internal injuries. Well, here's what I can determine from the little I got from the medics in the shuttle, and knowing the Valkyrie's [...]pit. Nova managed to trigger the command ejection sequence to punch you two out. But as the pod seperated from your fighter, that took you out of the effects of the internal compensator. So as the pod started tumbling and tried to stablize itself, the only thing holding you both in place, were you harness straps. MITCHELL: Skip the excess details. So we got thrown around. That would account for how I feel and my injuries. But what about Nova? LEE: Apparently her harness either didn't lock properly or failed altogether. She was thrown around her portion of the [...]pit like a rag doll. So in addition to the physical external injuries like yours, she recieved significant internal damage, including damage to her spinal column. That's why the doc's are in there still, working on her now. MITCHELL: How's it look? Will she pull through? LEE: I think so. But her returning to flight status is nil. Maybe in a while, but for sure it won't be any time soon. MITCHELL: I know. She's a good WSO, be tough to replace her. ::Mitchell sat there slightly for several minutes, and Lee let him, before continuing the conversation.:: MITCHELL: Did you report finding me to Cmdr Waltas? LEE: Yes I did. He told me that if you pranged up another fighter, he'd bust you back to petty officer. MITCHELL: Funny. There any other messages for me? LEE: One. There's to be a staff meeting of the base's senior officers coming up. I guess that means you since your their flight ops chief. MITCHELL: Yeah it does technically. But how much of a department/flight wing do I have left? We took every fighter that would fly out with the Discovery before we fled. And of those, how many came through the fight in combat ready shape? LEE: Well, when the Fearless is done here, we're headed back to the fleet yards to finish fitting out. So I don't see the need for fighters for that. So...if need be, I'll transfer all of my working fighters over to your wing to replace your losses. MITCHELL: What about pilots? More fighters can be built a lot quicker than good pilots trained. I'l probably need some more pilots too. LEE: That would require me to discuss things with my Captain. But I'll say that if you would have it, I'll take leave, and come fly on your wing. MITCHELL: Thanks. I appreciate the offer. Now get me some crutches or something, cause I have a meeting to get to. (Turbolift - USS Atlantis) ::That had nearly been one of the various ends to his flying days but been the end of Nova’s. He got off with relatively minor injuries beside the knee, but Nova, the docs thought they could save her. But the spine damage had been too great. She’d been one of the hundreds of casualties lost in that battle. :: oO And I haven’t flown combat with a WSO since either. Oo ::He felt water on his face, and reached up to touch it and found his eyes were emitting tears. Some would call it crying. But he’d stick to calling it a by product of being awake and at the helm for so long. He wiped his eyes as the car stopped and the doors opened. He set himself and stepped out onto the bridge.:: tbc Commander Rode Mitchell Chief Tactical Officer USS Atlantis
  21. ((Dreamland)) ::Ren was standing in a field of tall grass in a land of green plants under a sky of pure blue with high white clouds and a faint, warm breeze. He was dressed a very well-made 21st century Terran suit, stone and gray glenplaid wool, with a crisp white shirt and a navy tie that hung loose around his neck. He knew he was dreaming, because his boyfriend Navin, who had been dead for 10 years, was walking toward him, every part of him fully transformed into a Borg drone. At least the weather was nice. While the antitoxin worked through his body in Sickbay, Ren had some issues to work through here.:: NAVIN: Well whaddya know. Rendal Rennyn, looking good. I like a man in a suit. ::Navin looked like a Borg, mechanical implants and mottled skin and one of those little skull caps and the red light shining from a piece next to his remaining eye. But he sounded like himself, not like a Borg.:: Resistance is futile. ::He made phaser guns with his fingers and pretended to shoot them at Ren.:: Pew! Pew! Pew! REN: What are you doing here? ::He could have moved, but was afraid. What if he woke up? Then again, what if he didn't? Weren't you supposed to be with your loved ones in an elysian field when you died? Yes, so that was it. He was dead.:: Where's my grandma? NAVIN: Uh.... I don't know? It's your dream. REN: My.. My dream! I'm not dead? NAVIN: What, did you trade brains with a gummy bear? Foster cured you. All this is, is you passing out while your body clears the toxin. REN: How do you know that? NAVIN: Because you're dreaming, and I'm in your head. REN: I'm dreaming you. NAVIN: Nnnnn.... is that what I said? Okay, sure. ::He winked his one Trill eye.:: Whatever you think. ::Ren didn't want to imagine any alternatives to what "in your head" could mean. He didn't want to look at Navin as a Borg. Then again, he could barely look away. Memories only slip as far away as the knowledge of how to ride a bicycle. But with people you've lost, the details are a bike you can't get on again. A photograph or a hologram can't do justice to the real thing. And dream or not, this was the real Navin. That eye, so brown it was almost black. It's corners, it's lashes. The quirk of his cheek, the fine muscle movements. Ren could have called up each detail if he thought hard enough about it, but to see them in action again, even ravaged by the Borg, was something better, something beyond memory. There was a reality here that he feared to question too deeply, lest he broke the spell and lost it forever.:: REN: I see you everywhere. But it's never as real as this. NAVIN: Your memories of me were fading. And now I'm in focus. REN: How....? NAVIN: Nah. Wrong question. Look, Ren. We're going to talk about Sovak. ::Ren stepped closer, though he'd meant to step away. He didn't know what to do or say.:: NAVIN: I know you like him. And I know you're holding back because you were so hurt when I died that you can't risk losing him the same way. Am I right? REN: ...Yes. It's dangerous out here. What if I let Sovak in? What if we're together? Then what? What if he dies? His parents died in the line of duty. So did you. I... I don't know if I can take it. NAVIN: Yeah, okay. You've put together a good routine of whining and excuses. ::With his mechanical hand, he played with one end of Ren's loose tie. His servos whirred.:: The truth is, you're not afraid Sovak will die. You're afraid that you won't be able to love him enough, the way you didn't love me enough when I was alive. When I was right in front of your face. You're afraid of feeling even more guilt than you already feel about me. REN: I was in love with you. I screwed it up with you, and then you were gone, and we didn't get another chance. Yes, I have spent years feeling low about it. But that's because I loved you. NAVIN: And you barely did anything about it. And then I was dead. You didn't know what to do about that, and you still don't know what to do about it. You go from one day to the next, going about your life, trying not to feel anything that has to do with love. And they call me a zombie. Friends - fine. Laughter - great. Jokes and jokes from good times Ren. But there's that guilt inside you, and you can't root it out. And now it's keeping you from Sovak, who could be really good for you. ::He played with Ren's hair, just above the ear, like he used to, except now, the metal fingers were cold, and they made Ren cringe.:: It can change, Ren. You can change, you can get past that feeling of guilt. I am here to tell you what to do about it. ::Ren couldn't believe it. As the toxin and the cure battled for control of his body, his poor beleagured brain was dreaming up an image of his dead boyfriend to tell him to put the moves on Sovak. This stupid toxin... He sighed in exasperation and shouted up to the sky.:: REN: Really, brain? This is the best you could do? An image of Navin to advise me on my love life? NAVIN: There you go putting words in my mouth again. ::Suddenly, Navin of Borg was pressed against Ren, his whirring mechanical parts crushing the fine material of the Terran suit. The Borg Trill's mechanical hand gripped Ren's waist tightly. The hand of dark, mottled flesh clasped Ren's face, pulling it uncomfortably close. Ren smelled death and machinery. This was not the embrace of his memories or his dreams.:: NAVIN: You want to stop dithering back and forth? I will tell you how. Give up, Ren. You will never forget me. You will never move on. You will never get past that dead feeling inside. Give up on moving forward, and be happy in the knowledge that you don't have to fight those feelings any more. Just accept that you will be miserable about me every day for the rest of your life, and forget about ever loving again. REN: This is either a nightmare, or the galaxy's worst reverse psychology. NAVIN: I'm haunting you, you idiot. What did you expect me to say? "Live and be free?" REN: Please don't make me remember you this way. I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to do any of what you're saying. Why won't you let me move on? NAVIN: Because we are one, Ren. Your biological and emotional distinctiveness was added to our own. ::Navin pulled Ren ever closer, tore the loose tie from around his neck, ripped open the crisp white shirt, and, despite Ren's struggling, inserted two nanotubes there. Navin whispered a sweet nothing in Ren's ear.:: NAVIN: Resistance is futile. ((USS Atlantis - Sickbay)) ::Ren awoke in Sickbay with a scream, and his hands scrambled to feel the warm, sweating flesh of his chest and neck, confirming no entry wound. He breathed deep, ragged breaths, trying to calm down. It had been nothing more than a dream.:: ::Someone had covered Ren with the blanket. His discarded uniform, drenched in sweat as it was, had been taken away, replaced with a fresh blue medical coverall folded neatly for him at the end of the bed. He was halfway in to it, trying to figure out how he was supposed to get the arm on over the IV, when the rest of Sickbay came in to focus, and he began to realize that the scream he'd woken to was not his own.:: TBC LtJg Rendal Rennyn Helm Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  22. ((Sickbay - USS Atlantis))::Sickbay was chaos. With new patients arriving at a regular pace, and none being discharged, as well as an ever dwindling medical staff who were healthy enough to work, it was a busy wash of noise, motion and borderline panic.One more scientist entering the fray didn’t cause anyone to bat an eye. In fact, most just moved out of Tarsii’s way until Vedra finally looked up and saw the man approaching.::ASMARA: :: He swept sickbay’s interior trying to find the target. He recognized several important officers around, including the Captain, who were receiving great care. With luck he would find his demise without his intervention. :: oO The blue inside EV suit. Target acquired. OoVEDRA: I’ll let you know when it’s complete. ::He nodded, then turned when he caught something out of the corner of his eye. Turning, he recognized the officer just entering the place.:: Well, look who just walked into Sickbay with eyes all glazed like a zombie’s. FOSTER: Zombie? ::He snapped his head up:: Naw, he’s got too much flesh on his bones to be a zombie. ::His eyes narrowed, a bit clinically and a bit suspiciously:: Not quite sure what that’s all about. VEDRA: Hmm. He doesn’t look like himself but his appearance doesn’t correlate with the symptoms of the other patients.:: Tarsii was aware that sickbay would be crowded but he didn't expect to find the Andorian doctor wearing a EV suit. That would complicate things a little since he would be discovered the moment he attempted to kill the physician. He needed to remain stealthy until the last and deadly blow against Atlantis. He demanded an alternative plot to delay the medical efforts to disable the toxin. :: FOSTER: Wasn’t he the one who was so claustrophobic before? That might be it… ::He trailed off, contemplating the usual fear-reaction responses:: VEDRA: Well maybe we could just ask him. He seems to be headed this way. oO Looks kind of creepy.. Oo:: The remote controlled Angosian stood up motionless while devising a plan. The doctor was being helped by a green tall man who wear the science collar. They both were near a replication equipment which was processing some calculations and building some bio-chemical structure. He could see an animal from Uzoka 4 near by too. The most logical conclusion was they are trying to synthesize the antitoxin based on data the red hair biped extracted from the device before they had the chance to block it. So, the course of action was clear now, he must sabotage the equipment. :: FOSTER: Yeah, I called him here. I need his expertise on scrubbing the infected blood supply with the transporter. In hindsight I probably should not have called a claustrophobe into this chaos, but I’ll apologize later. ::he rose and headed over towards Tarsii:: I’ll talk to him, keep an eye on the dragons. ::nearing the scientist:: So, Captain tells me you know your way around transporter physics.SOMEONE: ~Another power outage is about to happen. Be prepared to act.~ ASMARA: ~Acknowledge.~:: It was pretty evident now that Tarsii was being fed with information from someone aboard the ship. Besides that, it was pretty evident that he got physical help too. And this unknown person will cause a power outage which would inflict more damage to the already weakened Atlantis. ::ASMARA: :: Expressionless and googly eyes. :: oO You must hamper his job. Oo Hi Doc. As I said before I have little experience on transport engineering. But I am very proud of my knowledge of physics.FOSTER: ::Eyes narrowing slightly:: oO He does not look well… Oo Well, a little will have to do. We have a major scrub duty if we want any hope of bringing these crew back from the brink. ::he gave a slight gesture around at the biobeds::ASMARA: oO I don't want any of them to walk out this place. Oo What do you mean by scrub?FOSTER: Scrub, as in forcibly separate the toxin from the blood cells using the transporter.ASMARA: oO How do this people come here with so primitive minds? Oo :: He moved aside preparing for action. :: This must prove difficult to achieve, especially with so little energy available. ::FOSTER: Yes… ::He paused for a second, watching Asmara with a growing note of suspicion. Something was off about the man, and Wyn Foster tended to trust his gut reactions. They had saved him plenty of times in growing up on a starship, as well as the back alley scraps of his teenage years.:: We’re running out of clean hemoglobin, and the power to replicate it. Therefore we need donations and the donated blood is infected. However now that the toxin is identified, the transporters can be programmed to scrub the toxin from the blood supply. ::He left off, not noting that it also might work with infected people as well. The risks were greater, and far more complicated. Besides, the man didn’t seem with it enough that Foster trusted him with the full scope of the information.::SOMEONE: ~ Prepare to act in 20 seconds. ~ASMARA: ~Acknowledge~ :: He tried to keep the doctor distracted. :: If you could provide me some samples for initial tests. :: He pauses to mental calculate his next moves. :: But I would like to work on science lab. I don't feel comfortable here on sickbay. In fact I just came here for a medical evaluation requested by Lt. Skykar. She---::There was little warning. Just a preemptive flicker and then as quickly as one would flip a switch all light died away, leaving a perfect silent blackness.::FOSTER: This is not supposed to happen…::And just like that the panic switch was hit. Sickbay went from a tense yet orderly chaos to a complete cacophony of hysteria. People started moving, screaming, running.::FOSTER: ::His voice was piercing. Raised among humans, he never had the traditional, soft, lisping tone that so many of his people had. And when need be, the little Andorian could project forcefully:: Everybody stop! Do not panic! Stay in your places, we will get the backups running.:: Immersed in an almost complete darkness, the angosian found quickly his way to the replicator. Guided by his memory and his ears he avoided all the obstacles. Near the replicator he crawled to avoid the green biped and tapped his device on it. A small but focused pulse of energy was released, frying the equipment and the nearby circuitry. Then he rolled back avoiding the science officer, who had already moved, and some orderlies. He quickly returned to his position and moved a little to the right to avoid suspicious. After that the emergency light came to live showing the complete chaos on the sickbay. ::ASMARA: What was that?FOSTER: Unknown power failure ::He was gritting his teeth, dashing to a panel to call up the information while keeping half an eye on his staff. He was worried - very worried - that if the lights had failed, so had the power to the systems keeping those in medical comas still alive. The answers he was getting back were not good. He was already running towards one of the biobeds before Tarsii could speak again.::ASMARA: Is the ship under attack?FOSTER: No clue. ::he gritted his teeth, staring at a medical tricorder and uttering a low curse under his breath. Whatever this was it had shorted the backup power. and vitals were falling.::ASMARA: Could you give me the samples? :: He pauses while receiving more information::FOSTER: Look, a bit busy here… ::Frustration was creeping into his voice, as he scanned another patient. Captain Blueheart was stable - thank the deities - but Crewman Kand was dangerously close to cardiac arrest.:: Nurse, administer 10ccs of Oxyhavaline and get me a cardiac stimulator. ::he paused long enough to afford the Angosian a glance:: Blood samples are on the table over there, Nurse Ocano can help you sort them out.ASMARA: Yes, I know Ms. Ocano.FOSTER: Good. I’ll check in with you as soon as I have this situation stabilized. ::Under his hands Kand started to shudder again, his breathing coming in pitiful little huffs. No matter how fast Wyn’s spindly fingers worked it didn’t seem fast enough. The power interruption had sent the young crewman into a downward spiral, and the internal bleeding came back with a vengeance. Through the hazy [...]tail of drugs the man was on, he fluttered his eyes and gasped for help::ASMARA: Good luck Foster. oO You will need a lot. Oo :: He gave a wry smile and headed to meet Ocano. ::FOSTER: Thanks… ::His gaze lift just in time to see Tarsii’s expression and Foster’s own formed into a very dark frown. Something was distinctly wrong with that man, and yet he didn’t have enough time or energy right now to put his finger on what. He turned back to his patient, feeling the sinking feeling of a ship sinking beneath his ministrations as Kand’s eyes rolled back into his head. he reached one hand up, leaving four bloody finger streaks across the faceplate of Foster’s Ev suit, even as he struggled to keep the man alive. With one final gasp, Kand’s heart beat it’s last and one more casualty was added to the ever growing list.:::: The device which had shown on Tarsii’s hand had just disappeared. There was no trace of it at his palm anymore. Wherever that technology come from, it was something very advanced. Ocano was finishing some reports and checking the medicine stock when Tarsii arrived to talked with her. ::ASMARA: You seem tired lady. :: He tried to express some compassion. ::OCANO: Hey you there science boy. :: She shown a weak smile. ::ASMARA: Foster asked you to give some blood samples.OCANO: He had told me that. :: He gave her the dishes previously separated. ::ASMARA: Thank you crewman.OCANO: Hey! Are you not forgetting something?ASMARA: :: He got scared. He feared to have been discovered. :: I think not, ma’am.OCANO: You told me that would like a second chance. Did you forget?ASMARA: oO Oh! The romance thing. You must acknowledge to avoid raise suspicious. Oo :: Trying to look ashmade. :: I´m a lucky man to have you to remember me. Can I accompany you to your quarters?OCANO: By all means science boy.:: As another nurse arrived to relieve Ocano and both headed away from the sickbay which was a complete mess. Ocano was not aware of the danger she was running into and Tarsii will not allow anyone to be between him and his mission. Not even the beautiful Ocano. Tarsii would have to find a way to disable Ocano without raising any suspicions. ::TBC--------A JP by:Ensign Tarcii AsmaraScience OfficerUSS AtlantisNCC-74682AndEnsign Shar’Wyn FosterMedical OfficerUSS Atlantis
  23. ((Main Science Lab, USS Atlantis)) ::Sovak huddled over a workstation in a dark corner of the Science Lab. Talens' departure from the Lab had been his opportunity to exit the area as well, but he believed his time was more logically spent here. The contributions of every person on Atlantis were required as their crewmates began to sicken or worse. Sovak would do what he could to help.:: ::He was reviewing data on the transporter biofiltration units. It was possible something had been missed. He was a computer programmer by training, and it was logical to use his skills to this end. He'd designed a quick algorithm to search historical records for relevant information while he examined the current findings. He tried to make the search go faster. Time was of the essence. Ren was somewhere, dying horribly.:: ::Tears welled in the Vulcan's eyes. He forced them down. Illogical.:: ::Perhaps, he thought, the search parameters could be narrowed with updated details on the pathogen and the related toxin. He pulled up the data from Sickbay, the latest information from their ongoing study. The toxin was insidious, unlike anything the records initially indicated. He keyed in the individual details of its known structure, rewriting the program to search for them individually. The toxin wasn't binding to Sovak's copper-based blood, but it was in Ren's red-blooded Trill composition, attacking his body, making him pale and weak as Sovak had seen on the viewscreen from the Observation Lounge. It was killing him, killing him. Quickly and brutally ending Ren's life.:: ::Illogical. Sovak fought back the tears, the gloom, the anger, perhaps. It was impossible to gauge just how many feelings were competing for position within him just at the moment. He was unaccustomed to several of them. Illogical. He must focus on the work. That was his best bet, the work. That was the logical use of his time.:: ::His knowledge of biological science was subpar, but he was confident that his ability to acquire information would make a difference. He would not get sick like the Terrans, Angosians, and more. He would carry the disease, but it would not kill him. He wondered if there was something to that difference. A way to trick the toxin into thinking it was somewhere else. Somewhere in the transporter matter stream? Illogical thought. Illogical.:: ::He would pour out every drop of his warm, green blood if it would heal Ren, if it would save the man he loved from death.:: ::Tears came, sobs, wracking, wrenching. There was logic to it. Considering the rate of the toxin's progession in Lt. Cummings, it was logical to assume that Ren could die quickly. Sovak tried to change the logic, to refactor the variables as he did with the computer. He couldn't do it. The logic, the logic. He'd never cried this way. Vulcans didn't teach their young how to behave in a panic attack. Illogical to teach a skill they should never require. He needed it now. He breathed rough breaths. Illogical emotions. No fighting them now. No logic could change it. Ren Rennyn might already be dead.:: Ensign Sovak Operations USS Atlantis NCC-74682 Simmed by LtJg. Rendal Rennyn
  24. ((Shuttlebay 1, USS Atlantis)) ::Back from the excursion with Dickens and Mitchell and some unexpected EJS ships, Ren landed his Type 9 shuttle quietly on the deck. That sound of metal resting on metal always surprised him with its softness. Sensors were still active, and Ren could see that the EJS ships weren't showing themselves to Atlantis. He wondered what they were doing out there. Maybe they were as scared of the three Starfleet officers as the officers were afraid of them. "Afraid" wasn't the right word. "Hesistant to engage" was more accurate.:: ::He went carefully through the post-flight checkout. Mitchell was in Bay 2, hurrying on his way to inform the captain of their encounter. The Trill took his time. He had other business to see to, something the captain hadn't quite asked of him, but had somehow suggested: He needed to check on Rover.:: ::Ren finished the sequence of procedures slowly, deliberately. It reminded him of a time when he'd been in too much of a hurry for his own good...:: ((Flashback - Arnmere, Trill - 20 years ago)) ::At thirteen years old, Ren Rennyn was the youngest pilot in the quiet town of Arnmere, deep in the farmlands of Trill. He'd already been flying three years, since the first time Miss Tanos from the next farm down the road took him up in her beat-up old shuttle and let him take the helm for a quick minute, as long as his parents weren't there to protest. He'd been hooked. He didn't know yet how far away from home he would fly one day, but he knew for now that he'd take any chance to get in some practice. That year, one of those chances presented itself from an unexpected source.:: ::Out of nine Rennyn kids, Rendal was the middle child. He was closest with his brother Fess and sister Vye, each one year apart from him in age. The littlest three Rennyns were still the littlest, and always would be. Thara, his older sister, was sixteen, and way too cool to even notice him any more. Then there were the oldest two boys, Norvil and Dirin. Dirin was nice enough to the younger siblings, but Norvil, the oldest of all of them, was, and always had been, distant.:: ::Ren idolized his oldest brother. His quiet reserve, his inner strength, his solid work effort, and the easy way he had of always following the rules. Ren wanted to follow the rules when he grew up. It was all he could do to keep himself from getting hollered at for five minutes at a time. Seemed he was always doing something wrong. Norvil never did anything bad. At nineteen, he was setting an example of good behavior and obedience that none of his siblings would ever live up to. Ren wanted to be just like him. Ren wanted to punch him in the face.:: ::It was the first light of the first day of the first break from school in months. The sun was rising on a glorious early summer morning with a sky as blue and as clear as you please. All the other thirteen-year-olds in Arnmere and the surrounding area were sleeping deeply at this hour, recovering from their tortuous studies by slumbering through to the hot daylight of noon. Ren had other plans. He was taking Miss Tanos' old shuttle for a joyride.:: ::She'd promised to let him go out alone if he made the grades at school, and his parents had agreed to the plan. He made those grades. Now, the day had come. All alone, coursing through the air, coasting up towards orbit, maybe picking up some friends and impressing them with dangerous maneuvers, if he thought he could get away with it.:: ::He did his preflight checks as carefully as he could. He was going to forget to be careful later, and take risks, and probably get into trouble. For the moment, he was trying his best to take it slow and do what was right. He was a good kid at heart, just exuberant and given to take risks. He was quiet at times, but he was social by nature. In a big family, you had to be. In a small community, you had to be.:: ::The hatch closed on the shuttle, sealing Ren in. Alone in a shuttle for the first time. He folded his tall, growing form into the pilot's chair. He worked the controls with his awkwardly large teenage hands, warming up the drive, making final checks. Norvil and Dirin might look down on him as still just a kid, while they were both starting in on college and impressing everyone with their plans for the future. But neither of them had done anything like this. Ren almost couldn't wait for the moment when he'd see them that night and tell them everything he'd accomplished on his own, without anyone's help.:: ::He tapped the sluggish old controls. It would be surprising if this rust bucket could even break orbit. Miss Tanos and his parents had forbidden that anyway. With the push of one more button, he was on his way. His finger stretched toward it. He started to say out loud: "Engage.":: ::There was a tap on the window. Ren jumped, drawing his hand back from the controls. He looked up at the screen to his left. He had dreamed of seeing stars and the blackness of space out of that window. He'd have rather seen livestock out that window than what was there. Norvil, his perfect older brother, the idol whose shadow he lived in, was knocking on the window from outside, and he was trying to say something to Ren, something that couldn't be heard, but looked a lot like "Let me in!":: ((Shuttlebay 1, USS Atlantis)) ::Ren worked down his post-flight checklist, while he thought about a day he'd spent flying with his oldest brother, Norvil, many years ago.:: ((Flashback - Arnmere, Trill - 20 years ago)) ::At the age of thirteen, Ren Rennyn had barely begun to explore the depth and breadth of his wild-eyed temper. He'd been angry, he'd been frustrated, he'd been heated up and hopping mad. But the time when his effortlessly perfect, immaculately calm, everyone's-favorite-son older brother Norvil showed up to ruin Ren's first solo shuttle flight was the first time that the quick-tempered, much-overlooked middle Rennyn child ever blew a whole entire gasket.:: NORVIL: Take me with you. ::Ren had mechanically, obediently opened the hatch to let his brother in to the battered old shuttle. This was supposed to be his big day, his first solo flight. He was a little to shocked to say anything about it for the moment, finding himself not solo at all.:: REN: Why? NORVIL: Because. I'm your cool older brother. ::Norvil helped himself to a seat, the co-pilot's chair next to his kid brother. It seemed like years since the 19-year-old Norvil gave any sign of interest in spending time with Rendal. Ren could hardly believe there wasn't another motive at work here.:: REN: You can't go with me. NORVIL: Sure I can! I want to spend time with my kid brother! ::That was it for Ren. It wasn't the "kid" part that set him over the edge. It was the lie.:: REN: You Can't Go With Me! Miss Tanos said I could go! Mom and Dad said I could go! You can't go! You're nothing but a low-down, no-account, over-bearing, evil-minded, life-ruining... b-... b-... life ruiner!! Get outta my shuttle! ::Norvil was laughing hysterically so that tears formed in the corners of his eyes. Tantrums held no weight with an older brother. Not even with a good reason behind them.:: NORVIL: You should see your face! It's so red! REN: It is not! Why won't you leave?! ::Ren was sticking to his seat. If he got up and got any closer to his big brother, he didn't know what he'd do. The blood hadn't just risen to his face. It was rising from his heart, steaming out his ears, flowing to his hands, which he couldn't stop balling up in fists. If he hit Norvil, if he made those perfect, good-boy green eyes turn black and blue, it would be as though he'd attacked the whole family. The perfect older brother, everyone's favorite son, damaged by Ren, the screw-up, the bad kid, the one it would be easy to write off as a lost cause while they fawned over their poor, injured favorite. Ren imagined what it would be like to be kicked out of the house, out of the family. He kept his hands to himself.:: NORVIL: It's not your shuttle. You can't say who gets to go. REN: GET OUT!! ::Ren was finally out of his seat. He wasn't about to take being told who he could and couldn't kick out. The shuttle might be borrowed, but he'd earned his time in it. Norvil was working on earning that black eye. Ren didn't strike, but his awkward, lanky teenage body language tried to threaten. Norvil laughed harder.:: NORVIL: You couldn't hurt me if you tried. Why don't you sit down and fly us out of here? REN: What do you want? NORVIL: I want to go with you on your flight, Ren. Come on, why not? REN: Because it's MY flight. I'm going on my own for the first time. I'm going to fly around over town so everyone can see me. I'm going to fly clear to Ledaro and see the city from above. I'm going to kick my feet up and cruise through the clouds till the day grows long. You. Can't. Go. ::Norvil sat forward and spread his hands wide in surrender.:: NORVIL: Okay, okay. Fine. I guess you're right, I shouldn't ruin your day in the clouds. You'll never go wrong with a nice sky full of clouds. It's just too bad you can't think bigger than that. ::He stood and went to the hatch. Just before he pressed the control to open it, Ren let his curiosity get the better of him.:: REN: I'll bite. How could I think bigger? ::Norvil walked back and took his seat again.:: NORVIL: By breaking the atmosphere. By going to the Orbital Platform. ::Ren couldn't believe what he was hearing.:: REN: You've never done one wrong thing in your life. You know I'm not allowed to fly into space. Miss Tanos has friends on the Orbital Platform. They'd report us back to her in a second. I can't believe you'd ever suggest that. How do you think we'd ever get away with it? ::Norvil leaned across and grabbed his kid brother by the neck, a gesture that simultaneously threatened and offered protection, like only an older brother could do.:: NORVIL: Because, kid brother - I have a friend on the Orbital Platform, too. And you and I are going there. We're going to break atmosphere. We're going to dock with the station. And no one is ever going to hear about it... ((Shuttlebay 1, USS Atlantis)) ::As he finished the post-landing checklist on his shuttle, Ren's memory skipped forward through the details of that long-ago launch with his oldest brother, Norvil. He was sure he had been nervous, afraid to falter in front of his perfect brother. But everything went fine. Even at 13, Ren was a capable pilot. And, sanctioned by the family's favorite son, he broke the atmosphere and flew right up into space that day.:: ::And everything went smoothly, for a while. As it turned out, Norvil didn't just have a friend on the Orbital Platform. He had a girlfriend...:: ((Flashback - Orbital Platform, Trill - 20 years ago)) ::Up in space, everything was backwards. At home on the farm outside of Arnmere, Ren was always getting in trouble, always doing something wrong. And Norvil, the oldest of the nine Rennyn siblings, always did everything right. But at 19, home from college for the summer, Norvil had finally done something wrong. He'd insisted on breaking the rules and taking their borrowed shuttle out of the atmosphere, into space. And now Ren, who never cared about breaking the rules, was sick to his stomach with worry and guilt.:: REN: We should go back. We'll get in trouble. We should go back. NORVIL: Relax. Zoann has our back on this. REN: She's your girlfriend? ::He wrinkled his nose. They'd exited their shuttle and were walking down a hallway full of people. Trills mostly, but more aliens than they ever saw in Arnmere. The Orbital Platform was a hub of activity for travelers to and from the planet. In season, they could see it from Arnmere, on a clear night. Ren had always dreamed of going there. He'd never dreamed he would fly there himself, aged 13.:: NORVIL: We met at school. Her dad works up here. She pulled some strings to let us dock. And there she is... ::The beautiful Trill girl at the end of the corridor, waving to them and beaming brightly, would one day be Ren's sister-in-law. But that first time he saw her, he thought he'd never seen a more citified, spaceified, non-country Trill woman in his life. He was sure Mom and Dad would never approve if Norvil brought her home. Ren loved her instantly.:: ::The two brothers continued to walk towards her. Ren felt important, being the first in the family to meet Norvil's girlfriend. Not that they could tell anyone about any of this. The trip to space would have to be their secret.:: ::Suddenly, Norvil was grabbing him, turning him back the way they'd come.:: NORVIL: Back. Back to the shuttle! ::Ren looked over his shoulder to see Zoann waving them away, her face an odd mixture of amusement and terror. Two security agents were following them. Norvil and Ren broke into a run.:: ::It seemed the crowd got thicker the moment they needed to get through it. They fought their way back to the docking ring. Ren was in the shuttle and starting the launch sequence like a flash. But Norvil was standing in the open door.:: REN: Get in here! I told you we'd be in trouble! NORVIL: We lost them. And she's coming! ::Ren turned to see Zoann show up at the hatch. It seemed impossible that she was there before the guards. That she was raised on this station was obvious.:: ::Norvil and Zoann's dopey smiles were a perfect match. When they kissed, Ren could only roll his eyes and turn back in his chair, slapping the console in frustration. They were definitely in trouble.:: ::The lovers managed to part themselves, as the guards were coming down the hall. Norvil somehow brought himself to close the hatch, and Zoann pressed the manual release, allowing them to separate the shuttle from the station. Ren figured that without her, they never would have escaped. So, for now, he still liked her a lot.:: REN: She seemed nice. NORVIL: Shut up. Fly! ::Only teenagers would think they could dock and undock a registered ship without being caught. Back home on the surface, a world of trouble awaited them. Ren was grounded in every sense, barred from flying for endless, unbearable months. But knowing he'd been in space, and being able to tell everyone about it after all, was definitely worth it. Norvil's reputation as the perfect son was stained for life. That kiss from Zoann, so he claimed, was worth it.:: ::It was good to know that Norvil was a little less perfect than they all thought. And maybe that meant Ren had some hope of not being a total screw up. One thing, though, was certain. At 13, Ren was very sure he was never going to let love make him do anything that crazy, as long as he lived.:: ((End Flashback - Shuttlebay 1, USS Atlantis)) ::Ren chuckled, remembering how simple love had seemed then. How avoidable, if you wanted. That hadn't lasted long.:: :: He wondered what Norvil and Zoann were doing today. Despite their different backgrounds, they'd found a way to get together. Their kids were evidence of that. Ren was homesick thinking of his family.:: ::The post-flight checks were done. He downloaded his sensor data to Atlantis in case it helped Mitchell tell the captain what they'd encountered out there. Ren walked out of his shuttle and found Commander Dickens exiting his. Ren made his way out of the shuttlebay, eager to find Rover and make sure he wasn't causing any more trouble on Atlantis. With the Cloud Dancer, it was Ren's turn to be the big brother, and to be the responsible one.:: LtJg. Rendal Rennyn Helm Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
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