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Blake last won the day on August 26 2023

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  • Birthday January 30

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  1. The Central Structure of Confederation is an otherwise empty building crafted by the elite class on the back of disappointed countrymen. Glorious sweeping curves define its marble pillars – though modest in its height, its pale and anti-utilitarian beauty does not fit with its neighbouring industrial-esq buildings. The people walking the streets thin and despondent, not wonderous and utopian as the structure might suggest. Spotlights illuminate the tall windows; previews of empty halls that theoretically could be filled with bustling administrative, governmental, and diplomatic personnel. Through the lofty doors leading into the building is a red carpet – the proverbial welcome mat for any and all guests. Despite its grandeur, the CSC is not a permanent fixture here in Phargon. The CSC is transported between nations and territories associated with those interested in a Brekkian Confederation (of sorts). It was built with “spectacle” in mind, and despite the fractious nature of the relationship between the nations that developed it, the irony of its construction utilising materials from all 32 of those nations was lost on many Brekkian people. Its beauty, and its contradictory existence, make it a captivating sight for tourists. These days, the transportable tourist trap is all the CSC is for. Brekkian nations squabble over who gets to have it next, to stimulate their struggling economies. Never mind that half of these nations encourage socialist agendas, or have sanctions against one another for various ‘crimes’ committed against their locales. Tourists from star systems across the quadrant brave enough to risk the questionable streets of Brekka (or, in the case of the United Federation of Planets, the ire of homeworld security) come and bring business and trade. Brekka is well known for its fruit. It’s better known for its felicium. Jhalen Novu has visited many strange places in his century of travel across time and space. None were as fractured as his mother’s birthworld. With his assistant behind him – the lanky blonde’s face defiant, as per usual – Novu uses his cane to nudge open the door to the CSC’s primary conference room. Novu is an older man with greying hair, obscured by a white hat. He is shorter than his blonde assistant. Though undoubtedly Brekkian in his air of independence, the ridge of his nose is less pronounced, softer than that of his Brekkian brethren. His clothes are loose on him – it seems he’s lost weight recently, though the gaunt of his cheeks might indicate this to be due to his ill health. On his way into Phargon, he easily passed through neighbourhoods as just another hungry member of the city. “Good evening,” Novu comments as he falls into a seat at the table – an impolite act causing additional pause. The assistant stands stoically behind him. Ahead, light reflects off his guest’s glitter dress. Precious General of Phargon, Venuas Histrope, has dressed to impress. Her black hair is impeccably straight, tied back and whipping across the base of her spine, with impressive jewels hanging from her ears. If only this was the]party she was clearly dressed for. “Mister Novu,” she greets in a kind of southern kind of drawl, “how kind it is for you to finally arrive.” “Traffic.” “I’m sure.” Venuas runs her fingers across the backs of several chairs as she approaches, ignoring the idea of sitting across from her adversary at a table. Her eyes briefly catch Novu’s assistant – who bristles slightly – before finally pressing her knees together and coming to a graceful seat next to Novu. “When I received your invitation, I initially considered it a bomb.” “You think so low of me?” “The man who held the confederate-aligned nations hostage until he got his piece of paper signed?” Bright teeth accented her turquoise-coloured lips. “Is assassination truly that low?” Novu’s fingers interlocked. “I recall there being no casualties.” “That I know of.” “That exist. I keep my word. To the best of my ability, at least. If only you could say the same.” In 2396, Jhalen Novu’s unwieldy gang of do-gooders infiltrated trade and unification talks being held in Seritona, involving those 32 Brekkian territories. Many believed the event would be futile – Brekka? Unify? Get real – until Novu waltzed in with just five committed assistants. Novu was able to hold 52 people representing those governing bodies in one room until they could all come to a unanimous unification agreement. Novu told them that failure to operate under these standards would result in penalties. The Central Structure for Confederation was built. 12 of the 32 governments have not operated to the standards set. 11 of them recently had changes of leadership. Venuas Histrope is the General of Phargon – the final piece of Novu’s four-year-long puzzle. She had not personally been at that event; most leaders hadn’t, sending representatives in their place. But her envoy had signed on to unify Phargon with 31 other locales. For Novu, that meant something. For Venuas, it meant… very little. In fact, just twelve months later, she declared those nations “enemies”. Her citizens could not leave Phargon. Her demands for visible displays of loyalty to her ruling cult of personality – all efforts to maintain her eccentric lifestyle, of course – cemented her as the caricature of many dictators that have come before her. She is the centre of her people’s existence, always at the forefront of their minds and perceptions – her image, her words, her ideologies and history, were everywhere. How does one dethrone a dictator? Novu hadn’t a clue. “Is this the part you plead for my cooperation? Where you demand I conform to your… union?” Venuas leans back in her chair. “Of course not, General,” Novu says. “You are caring for a whole nation. 1.7 million souls. It must be difficult, to be responsible for their welfare. I applaud your dedication. It is certainly not something I could accomplish.” “I appreciate your words. But their motive lacks conviction, and that offends me.” “Your existence offends me, so I guess that makes us even.” Venuas is taken aback, his terse words almost cutting her, but she seems not nearly as offended as she’d implied. If anything, his comment had intrigued her. She reaches for a pitcher of water on the conference table, pouring them both full glasses. “Well then. If you’re not here to make demands, to what do I owe the pleasure of the wolf in my grandmother’s clothing?” “I thought it prudent to inform you of the holes in your boat.” “Oh? And here I thought I plugged them.” “These old things tend to corrode under the slightest pressure. One tap of a gold coin, crack! Or, in your case, I suppose it’s one peel of a vegetable.” He pauses. “You are struggling to feed your people, aren’t you?” “It is public knowledge Phargon is currently in drought. My boat is sitting on the bed of a dry lake – I’m not currently worried about water leaking in, Mister Novu.” “What of the rodents, then?” “I’ve traps.” “And if you accidentally trap your own cat?” “You’ve too many questions and metaphors. Speak plainly, Novu.” “My apologies, General. I was enjoying this word game of ours.” He glances behind him to his assistant, who nods once and exits the room. Venuas raises a curious eyebrow. Novu reaches for his glass, taking a small sip. “As I’m sure you know, I’m not in charge of the confederating nations.” “You should be. You’d do wonders.” “We can’t all be like you, General. In fact, those governments have come to an agreement last night. They’re re-branding… to the ‘Brekkian Assembly’.” “I hadn’t heard.” Venuas takes another drink. “How tacky.” “If I read the documents right, they’re aiming for a central government focused on promoting economic growth and prosperity across their regions of our world. Should also make diplomacy off-world a breeze in comparison to how it’s been lately.” “You’re still dancing around with those words, Mister Novu.” “My apologies. I’m stalling, of course. My assistant, Whylen, she’s returning with the accords they all agreed upon. I believe you’d understand better if you read them yourself.” On cue, Whylen returns through the doors holding a data tablet. She places it on the table. Venuas puts her glass down and scrolls through the first few pages with a long, painted fingernail. “I suppose you’re telling me all this personally for some kind of threat?” “A threat would imply I want you to do something for me,” Novu smiles. “No, General. I offered to be the Assembly’s messenger. I told them that I wanted to see your face when you realise you’ve condemned yourself to the fury of 1.7 million hungry mouths to feed, while the heads of your military defect to Seritona.” Venuas, to her credit, merely blinked. Novu continues. “I may not be here for that specific moment, of course, but I’m sure I’ll get to see it one day. I’ve lived a long life, after all.” “Yes, indeed you have. Given your… Vulcan heritage, you may yet live longer still.” And now it was Novu’s turn to pause. Brown eyes bore into Venuas’ perfectly neutral face. Whylen next to him stiffens. Venuas… knows? The woman looks up at him, earrings rocking back and forth, brilliant silver glinting the reflection of the CSC’s light across the room. “You are Vulcan, aren’t you? Betazoid, too, so I’ve heard. Which would explain your fantastic wordplay, I must say. It’s not often we get many Betazoids here, but when we do…” The only notable Betazoid on Brekka Novu knew about was his grandmother. Lylita Vataix has been dead for about a decade by this point in time, and since then, only envoys or doctors from the planet have made their way here. Nevertheless, Vataix had been a daughter of the Eleventh House of Betazed (had being the operative term). Brekkians might not have understood what exactly that entailed, but the title was positively enthralling. Had Lylita met a Histrope before? Surely not. He would have learned about it by now. And even if she had, Ayeden is so physically unlike his maternal grandmother that it should’ve been impossible to tell there was a relation between them. Never mind the fact he was now in his early 100s, making a connection impossible. Venuas is merely making a broad statement about Betazoids overall, not insinuating the possible relation between Jhalen Novu and Lylita Vataix. That was absurd. But in his moment of internal panic, Venuas has noticed that she hit a nerve. “I wonder what the Assembly would do, if they found out they were coerced into this agreement by an alien?” Whylen behind him is seething. “You rat bastard-” “Enough.” Novu straightens. “This… matters not. As I said. I’m not the one making these decisions. I merely got the ball moving. If they learn where my relatives were born, they may decide what to do with that information themselves. For now, you are the focus. You stood apart from the Assembly, so the Assembly has chosen to leave you behind.” He stands. Venuas turns back to the data tablet to continue reading. Novu thumps the end of his cane into the floor. It digs a small circle into the carpet. “I’m told the CSC will return to Seritona next week. Several nations are being merged into singular territories – a bureaucratic nightmare, I’m sure you can imagine, and they’ll need all the office space they can get. After that, sanctions will progress against Phargon. Trade, food, weapons, power, water. I’m even told someone intends to jam your interstellar communications array.” He cleared his throat. “But most importantly… You asked for aid in your famine crisis? I’m here to tell you that it’s not coming.” “And you believe you will sleep at night, having condemned thousands to starve?” Venuas asks. “Children, elders, mothers and fathers? All because they choose not to conform to your newly established empire?” He motions to Venuas in a vague gesture. “I was under the assumption you were this country’s General. It’s a difficult job, being responsible for their welfare, keeping your military happy and fed, your vaults of treasurous food full. As I said, it’s not something I could accomplish, especially in this environment. And now I suppose, not something you can do, either.” “And what will you do when they start dying?” He sighs, glancing at Whylen. “I lost my father to insurgents in Kekorna. My mother decided enough was enough, and we fled. But my family’s blood was split on this soil of this world. I am not a government leader, General. I am not a worker for any nation, or a spy for any agency. I embody our planet’s overarching theme: self. I encourage this Assembly for the purely selfish motive, in that I wish not to die or lose any more loved ones on the ground on which I walk. If that means I must further isolate your population and wait people like you out, then so be it. Whatever it takes.” He turns, bracing his weight on his case as he wanders in the direction of the door. “Oh, and General?” Venuas looks back only through the corner of her eye. “When your people begin climbing over your walls, your neighbours will welcome them with open arms. And when your family joins them in escape, I hope only that they extend them the same mercy you extended me today.” He nods his head once. “Have a good evening, General.”
  2. Hello yes Australia is boiling I would like a one-way ticket to Andoria thank you
  3. "I've made a life out of readin' people's faces, knowin' what the cards were by the way they held their eyes. So if you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're out of aces. For a taste of your whiskey, I'll give you some advice."
  4. A place to put your favourite Amity quotations.
  5. B'Elanna Torres was the first consistently angry, frustrated, realistic depiction of a woman I relate to. In fact, I think she's the only woman like that in the media I've been exposed to. She's not just brushed off as being annoying. She's not a minor character. She's outspoken, she's talented, she doesn't take nonsense from anyone, and people work with her. She's one of the few women in Star Trek that does not get along with everyone. Also, Torres isn't just written off as "that [...]" by the crew. Obviously there are episodes where that's the case, but she doesn't go through a major personality change when people take issue with her. She's apologetic only for when she crosses a line, not apologetic for her entire character (which does happen frequently in media). Not to mention, she's a bold and outspoken woman who became Chief Engineer. Over the nice guy. And she was Chief Engineer whilst pregnant. Lieutenant Torres is my hero. Characters like Torres are important. Science is great, but getting down and dirty into engines, electronics, or anything involving grease is considered a masculine profession -- Torres defies that, and is still the only female Chief Engineer on screen so far. Hell, even most of the women mentioned in the OP are medical/science based. While Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine are great and important characters in their own right, they're considered softer spoken next to Torres; bold, yes, but not necessarily as brash or aggressive. It frustrates me that Torres is frequently under-appreciated. Yeah, Janeway "got the crew home", but remember, it was Torres that made great strides in keeping the ship together (and even attempting ridiculous feats to get them home sooner) in order to do that.
  6. Alright everybody, crack out your magnifying glasses and ILI pages. Time for the annual game of "Name the new Star Trek shows' alien races".
  7. Going back through my sims to update my wiki page and stumbled across this one:
  8. And that, ladies and gents, is how I got Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my head for the rest of the night.
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