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Velana last won the day on November 28 2012

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About Velana

  • Birthday 03/15/1980

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    All things Trek, specifically Enterprise and Next Gen, reading, writing, costuming

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  1. ((Zakdorn Hospital – Late Night Hours)) ::There was a room waiting for her at some hotel but Aribelle did not even consider staying there. Aribelle instead spent the night at the hospital, sleeping on the uncomfortable stiff couch in the waiting area and catching very little sleep as patients and their families poured in. The damage to the city would take some time to assess and clean up. The natives were surely feeling the effects of such destruction. They were trying to bring back order and sought answers that no one could really give.:: ::She wanted to be close, though, to her crewmates. Her patients. Pavlova, Velana and the baby boy. At least they had gotten there safely and were getting the treatment and rest they needed.:: ::She would be close if they needed her and she checked on them often.:: ::At some point in the middle of the night, Aribelle had wandered into the restroom and, after locking the door, she found herself standing in front of the sink with one hand on the edge of the basin and the other over her mouth. Stealing a glance at her reflection in the mirror hanging in front of her, Ari studied her face, recalling the events that had happened that day.:: ::The lack of sleep. The conspiracies. The destruction. The injuries. The death.:: ::The tears then came.:: ::She wasn’t a crier, really, but she was emotionally spent and seeing so much devastation only set her off the edge. And for what, exactly? She let out a few soft sobs. Aribelle couldn’t wrap her head around the motives of people. She could not fathom what was so important that people had to pay with their lives, with blood. It all seemed so senseless. It was, in that moment, that she wished she had her comfy PJs and a bottle of merlot. At least she had the strength to wait and become unraveled in the restroom. Alone and in private.:: ::How pathetic was that? Officers weren't supposed to cry. Things like this happened ALL the time. Unfortunately.:: ::Managing to finally hold back the tears from trickling any further down her face, Ari wiped the backs of her hands across her eyes, and then dragged the heel of her hand along her cheeks before attempting to adjust her appearance. Her hair was a mess and there was still dried green blood on her arms. She turned on the faucet and let the warm water wash over her skin.:: ::When she looked back into that mirror, she found a tired, scared and teenaged-looking version of herself looking back at her. She didn’t even recognize herself.:: ::When she stepped back out, her eyes were still puffy and pink but she would blame that on her being tired.:: ::No one would ever have to know the truth.:: TBC Lieutenant Aribelle “Ari” Tagren Doctor, Medical Officer USS Vigilant
  2. ((Lt Richards’ Quarters; Starbase118 Ops)) :: The more Alexander dwelled on things the more he realized he had been very slow to make friends on the Starbase. Sure he had colleagues who he could consider acquaintances but no one he could really call friend. Disappointing as this was to him, he had no one to blame but himself for this turn of events and resolved to rectify the situation over the coming months. After all a strongly bound crew made for a strong team. And a strong team made over coming the stresses of Starfleet life that much easier. :: :: The young man’s mind changed to thoughts of friends he had had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of during his time in the fleet. First and foremost in his mind was Eyas Wulfantine, the loveable, tall, Pythron male whom he had once broken the nose of. The last he had seen of the affectionate lug was following the classified mission to Pythro by the crew of the Mercury. Had Alexander been so wrapped in his own world that he hadn’t spoken to the big guy in nearly a year now? :: Richards: oO Impossible! Oo :: He thought to himself, trying to set his mind at ease over not having spoken to the man who had risked his life for him once, and taken the proverbial bullet when a ‘simple’ rescue mission became all fouled up after Alexander fired upon a group of klingons without orders to do so. :: Richards: oO No more excuses Alexander. it’s about time you caught up with Eyas. The man has been through far more than you could ever imagine. Oo :: With his wife currently working her shift in the expansive science department on the Starbase and John at preschool Alex reasoned he had plenty of time to make the call from the family apartment. Rolling himself away from his desk and into the living room, he moved towards the domicile’s communication device and made the request to operations to be put through to Pythro. :: ((Wulfantine Family Home; Pythro V)) ::Eyas lay motionless on his bed. The tubes and wires that punctured his skin, and fed into his open mouth made it all but impossible to move even if he was able. The pain was not as bad now as it had been when he’d first arrived home. The massive wound in his flank caused by the disruptor being fired at almost point blank range had more or less healed, thanks almost entirely due to the Borg nanites that filled his bloodstream, but such resurrection came at a cost. A [...]tail of drugs was needed to sustain his vital organs. Thankfully, since the counter coup on Pythro V, that Eyas and the crew of the Mercury had been a part of the year before, he was able to receive the best medical attention his homeworld could offer. Had he’d been injured during the previous administration, All Eyas could have expected was a bullet through the head.:: ::In the corner of the room, Eyas’ mother sat patiently, reading a book. She had barely left his side since his broken body was flown back to Pythro. She looked over at him and smiled. Eyas could do little except wince back.:: Solara Wulfantine: Do you want anything dear? ::Eyas swallowed, painfully, to clear his mouth of the buildup of phlegm caused by the tubes.:: Eyas Wulfantine: A little.. water.. mother. ::Solara attended to her son’s needs. As she did so, the vid-screen in the corner of the room, normally used for showing Eyas a variety of classic Pythron cinema to keep him from dying of boredom, pinged with an incoming call. Solara gently disconnected the mouth tube, as the Doctor had shown how to do properly, and then gently tipped the cup onto Eyas’ lips, a few drops at a time, to allow him to drink. Only once she’d done that did she go over to the console and answer the call. A face appeared she didn’t recognise, but Eyas’ eyes flashed with recognition.:: Richards: My apologies for not calling ahead. My name is Lieutenant Alexander Richards of Starfleet. I’m trying to get in touch with an old friend, Eyas Wulfantine. I was told that you were the point of contact. ::Solara looked over her shoulder to her son, and saw his face lift a little.:: Solara Wulfantine: Yes, Eyas is with me. I am his mother, Solara Wulfantine. As you may know, my son was badly injured on his last mission. Richards: I am very sorry to hear that. How has he been coping? ::Solara gave Eyas another quick glance. He was being so brave, but the prognosis was not good. She daren’t tell him though.:: Solara Wulfantine: He is being wonderful. As strong as his father during the wars, but he has to stay here and rest for now. :: This concerned Alexander. Eyas despite being the lovable lug of the group, was always full of courage and honor. He was the first man into battle and the last man off the field. Alexander had always admired the way Eyas dealt with his former medical condition that caused him to revert into a monstrous lizard during times of extreme stress or when exposed to various environmental conditions. To hear he was incapacitated was upsetting. :: Richards: Before I speak to your son, what can you tell me about the situation on Pythro now? Have things changed for the better or are the problems still ongoing? ::Solara sighed and looked down at the ground. The situation had been turbulent to say the least. Her own imprisonment under the terror of Inquisitor General LeNoir had been bad enough, and it was only thanks to the efforts of Eyas and his friends that she was free.:: Solara Wulfantine: It is common knowledge I believe that the Inquisitor fell from favour here on Pythro and President J’Eyga called the bulk of the army back from Byzatium. Things are more peaceful now, and my family is no longer under censure. However, the Inquisitor never truly left the scene and is now Viceroy in the Occupied Territories. The war goes on. So much needless suffering on both sides. :: Alexander could understand the woman’s fear and hesitation to speak about such things. From the parts of the mission he had been able to read about and previous conversations with Eyas, Solara had been through a lot over the past several years and there was still a threat that things could get worse before they got better. Finally, Eyas was ready to take the call. Alexander decided he would thank the man’s mother for her time before conversing with his old friend. :: Richards: Thank you for your time Mrs Wulfantine. :: Nothing could prepare Alexander for the sight he was about to witness. It certainly put his own disability into perspective and showed just how much the young Pythron had sacrificed for his world and his mother. It took all of his inner strength not to cry at what he was seeing. He opened his mouth to speak, the shaking and low volume of his voice betraying his current feelings. :: Richards: Eyas my old friend. I knew you had been injured but nobody ever told me how bad it really was. :: Alexander took a long pause trying to regain his composure. :: The sacrifices you have made for your mother and your people. :: Another pause as he began to choke up with tears, finally letting go. :: It should serve as an inspiration to all of us who know you. ::Eyas’ once full and healthy features were now very emaciated. His long lustrous hair, was lank and matted, or at least the bits that hadn’t already fallen out. His injury may only have been to his torso, but the recovery process from what would have killed a man not swimming with nanite blood was not much better than death itself. Eyas’ hoarse croaked voice almost gurgled out of his throat.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Alex… my friend. ::Eyas tried to raise his head, but had neither the strength, nor the freedom of movement to do much.:: Richards: :: Wiping the stream of tears from his eyes with his left sleeve. :: I’m sorry my old friend. I am truly sorry. :: He took a deep breath and cleared his eyes again. :: You never deserved any of this. You were only doing the right thing. I would argue until the cows come home, as we humans say, with anyone who said this was a result of your own selfish pride or arrogance. :: Pausing again, this time to think very carefully of his next words. :: You did what had to be done, what any man or woman in your situation would have done. We :: Another choke. : That is to say your friends only travelled with you because we believed in the whole of your cause. You know as I said then that but for my disability I would have been right there with you. :: Alexander took a much longer pause this time as he welled up again and began to wail. :: Richards: If only I hadn’t had that accident, maybe I could have prevented what happened whilst you were serving on the vigilant. Maybe I could have saved you from this fate. :: Again the young man paused fighting back tears trying to calm himself. :: I feel terrible for having ever felt sorry for my current situation old friend. Hell, I still feel sorry for doubting myself when I look at what you and others have achieved. :: He stopped himself :: But telling you this isn’t going to brighten your mood and all things considered is rather selfish of me. :: Richards finally managed to regain control of his emotions enough to stop crying. Though he was still visibly distressed. :: ::Eyas saw his friend’s sadness. Eyas didn’t want nor deserve anyone’s sorrow. He had pushed Major Handley-Page out of the way of the phaser blast by choice. He was just doing his duty.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Don’t… cry…. Alex. ::Solara wiped a cold damp cloth over her son’s forehead. It was really the only thing she could do for him right now.:: Richards: It’s hard old friend. Call it a human weakness if you will but we tend to find it very difficult to see our friends in difficult, heart breaking situations. However I can rest easy knowing that despite your condition, you have your mother to look after you and it is quite obvious her love for you is as deep as yours for her. ::Eyas managed a slight smile, his cracked lips bending as best they might.:: Eyas Wulfantine: ::coughing:: You.. all… right? Richards: I can’t complain about my situation old friend. Especially not in front of you. Currently serving as the assistant chief science officer of Starbase 118. Of course I’m defacto department head at the moment as the base still hasn’t had a new chief assigned. Has anybody else been in contact with you from the fleet? I would hate to think I was the only person to have contacted you since your current situation arose. ::Eyas blinked, slowly. There had been a few calls, but not as many as he’d hoped. It was a big galaxy, and people were busy, he guessed.:: Eyas Wulfantine: No… but good to….. see. you, old … friend. ::Eyas had to pause as another coughing fit struck him. Solara moved over to mop up the phlegm.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Ops? Depart..ment head? Good. Maybe.. you visit... me? Richards: As far as I have come as a person old friend, I still yearn for the glory days of old. The tales we could tell of adventures we had in the short time we served with each other. I will have to come and see you at some point this year. I know the entire region of space around Pythro is still unstable but, some things are worth taking risks for. Though I doubt Starfleet would be too impressed if my presence on Pythro caused any unnecessary trouble. :: Alex shuffled in his chair to prevent his lower back from going numb. He still found it difficult to look at his old friend but the more he talked, the easier it was becoming to come to terms with the gravity of his situation. :: ::Eyas noticed, even in his slightly blurred vision, that Alex was looking slightly fidgety. Eyas remembered Alex had been injured during the battle of Deep Space Ten. The two men had lost contact to a more or less greater degree since their respective transfers, but Eyas was concerned for his friend. Was he still in a wheelchair, almost a year later?.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Alex… your legs? You… not better? :: The question Alex had hoped his old friend wouldn’t ask finally came up. It would have been one thing to tell a proud Eyas Wulfantine at the peak of health that he was still disabled, but in his current condition. Alexander knew the Pythron male would find it upsetting. :: Richards: oO Of all the questions. it had to be that one. Oo :: Alexander took a long pause as he composed himself to answer the question. He wasn’t quite sure how to voice his current situation without causing Eyas unnecessary stress and anguish. :: Richards: Despite a good prognosis after the initial incident on Deep Space 10 my old friend, relatively little has changed. I am due for another meeting regarding my current condition with Starbase 118’s resident CMO, Lieutenant Commander Solok but in all honesty I don’t hold out much hope. :: Another long pause. This time to dwell on the reality of the situation. It wasn’t as if Starfleet medical had been dragging their heels over the situation. Medical scientists on Earth, Starbase 118 and other notable institutions had been researching his ailment. :: Richards: But whatever happens I know my family and colleagues will always be supportive of me. ::Eyas was saddened. It looked like the two of them had more in common than just a uniform and a shared adventure.:: Eyas Wulfantine: I am.. sorry.. for you, Alex. ::He coughed again, a little blood being brought up.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Any hope… for cure? :: A very difficult question to answer. Alexander had to keep hoping for a cure but the longer he was waiting, the smaller the chances became. :: Richards: I have to keep hoping my old friend. The best Starfleet has to offer is working on my case. If there is a cure, they will find it. How about you Eyas. Is there ever a chance of you recovering? :: Alex was almost 99% sure he knew the answer already but had to ask. Eyas’ eyes narrowed at the word *chance*. In truth, he had been told relatively little from his Doctors.:: Eyas Wulfantine: I don’t… know. I just take… it.. hour by hour. :: And there was the confirmation of his worst fears. Alexander couldn’t shake the feeling that the universe had done his friend a great injustice but at the same time he knew Eyas wouldn’t have it any other way. His actions had saved a fellow officer from what would almost certainly have been a fatal disruptor blast. Brave and courageous as always. Before Alexander could ask another question Solara once again appeared in front of the main view screen. :: Solara Wulfantine: I am sorry Mr Richards, but Eyas must rest. It was great of you to call. :: As much as Alexander wished to spend more time speaking with his friend he understood Solara’s position. He was grateful for the time she had been able to give him. :: Richards: I understand Mrs Wulfantine. Thankyou for allowing me this time with your son. Solara Wulfantine: It is no problem. Please do call again. ::Eyas blinked and smiled.:: Eyas Wulfantine: Good bye… Alex. :: And with that, the line of communication was closed. Alex shed another tear, resolving that next time he wouldn’t leave it so long between communications. He also put it into his mind that he would get to Pythro before the year was out to pay his friend a visit. Of course he was well aware that might be easier said than done given the current political climate there. :: ::Solara mopped Eyas’ brow once again, hoping the effort of talking hadn’t hurt him too much. Reluctantly, she replaced the tube into his mouth and throat, and kissed him on his forehead.:: ::: Finally, after having spent several minutes in front of the blank monitor Alexander began to roll himself away towards the kitchen. Before the elementals had attacked the station, Marissa had managed to source some amazing coffee beans from one of the stations many arboretums. He didn’t bother to ask exactly what there genus was. He probably wouldn’t have cared about it anyways. All he knew was that they made a far better coffee than anything the replicator was able to produce. :: :: The surfaces in the Richards apartment were specially adapted so that Alexander (and by extension, his son, John) could use them. He took his freshly brewed drink and placed it in a cup holder on his lap before turning to face the door and gently rolling himself towards his study. January meant crew evaluations were due and he had a rather large department to oversee. Of course this meant putting in extra hours beyond his normal shift pattern but, it didn’t bother him. He would rather be working than spending his free time alone and bored. :: :: As he picked up the next PADD his mind wandered back to his old friend Eyas and his current state. Seeing him like that had reminded Alex just how short and precious life was and just how important friendships are. As he browsed Ensign Ireya Ilwary’s file with a smile he resolved to contact both Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman and Lieutenant Commander Velana to catch up with them. It really had been too long since his accident and subsequent departure from the USS Mercury since he last talked with either of them. :: To Be Continued… JP: By Lt. Alexander Richards Asst. Chief Science Officer: SB118 Ops & LtCmdr Eyas Wulfantine (PNPC) Former Chief Tactical Officer; USS Mercury http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Wulfantine,_Eyas Simmed by: LtCmdr Leo Handley-Page Tactical/Security Chief: USS Garuda SB118 Podcast Team Facilitator
  3. Have y'all seen the trailer!?!?!?!?! (Warning: Will need Quicktime.) http://www.deadline.com/2012/12/star-trek-into-darkness-hot-trailer/
  4. Everyone's been in love at one time or another. The only exception to this is Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
  5. Thank you so much!! Congrats to you, too! And thanks to Commander Kells and the whole Challenge team!
  6. At what point did life begin? Entire books had been written on that question. Debates had raged back and forth for centuries. It was the unsolvable mystery of creation. Everyone had a theory; no one had definitive proof. Did life begin when one cell combined with another cell to create new cells? Was it when that cluster of cells took on features...arms, legs, eyes, a nose? Perhaps it was the first time the fetus moved or when it had developed enough to survive on its own. Or did it all come down to the moment of blood, sweat and tears when a child emerged into the world, purple and wrinkled, still attached to its mother, but wonderfully, amazingly alive? Velana looked down at the tiny scrap of human being in her hands. "It's a girl," she announced, and the woman who had been in labor for eighteen hours at the Fleet hospital instantly dissolved into exhausted sobs of sheer relief. Training and simulations had taught Velana to rub the baby's body to induce breathing, but all of those holographic infants had started crying right away. This little girl did not. "My baby?" Pain didn't stop the new mother from trying to sit up. "I want to see her!" A nurse rushed to Velana's side. The tiny, perfect baby was so still in her hands. Velana stared at the child's bluish skin, fighting back panic. She wasn't breathing. Velana couldn't make her breathe. "Cadet?" The nurse looked back and forth between her and the baby. "What do you want to do?" To Velana, the words sounded as if they were being spoken underwater. "Cadet!!" From behind her, she heard the new mother's wobbly voice ask, "Doctor?" Snapping into action, Velana set the infant down on the neo-natal bio-bed. She swept the child's mouth open with her finger, clearing away mucus and blood. It wasn't enough, though. The child's mother was approaching hysterics. "What's wrong with my baby? I want to see my baby!!" With all the mental discipline she posessed, Velana tuned out everything but the child in front of her. The answer was right there, in the readings from the bio-bed scans. Meconium aspiration. At some point the baby had inhaled some of its own waste product from the amniotic fluid. "I need suction." The nurse slapped a tube into Velana's hand, which she then gently eased into the baby's mouth and down its throat. The procedure took only seconds, but each second until the infant's chest started rising and falling felt like an hour. Even once the waste was cleared away, the baby didn't immediately cry, but she whimpered and wheezed and that was so much better than silence. With the little girl's skin slowly turning pink, Velana carried her back to her mother. "Congratulations," she said as she carefully handed the little girl over. "Oh..." Clasping her baby against her breast, fresh tears spilled down the woman's cheeks. "Thank you. Thank you so much, Doctor." When did life begin? Conception, development, birth? Or was it the moment when a medical student became a doctor? Lt. Commander Velana Chief Medical Officer USS Mercury
  7. (( Bridge, USS Drake )) ::Many of the Drake's crew were down in the holodeck attending Lt. Shryker's wedding, leaving the bridge looking rather sparse. Sparse enough, in fact, that Didrik craned his neck to quickly survey the area. He wondered whether he was the ranking officer at the moment, and thus in temporary command of the Drake. He couldn't be certain, however, because of what Starfleet pilots called the Miranda-class "blind spot," an area of the bridge nearly impossible to see from the Conn without actually getting up out of the seat. Satisfied that he was, at the very least, 'acting second officer,' he returned his attention to the viewscreen, where a live feed from the holodeck was broadcasting the wedding in its entirety.:: ::Commander Rogers walked Jade down the aisle, to an arch of flowers positioned at a precipice over a wooded valley. It was at that point that Didrik admittedly began paying less attention to the ceremony, and more attention to the officiant: Aron Kells. It was the first time he'd seen Aron since they'd parted ways on Alpha Centauri. He was surprised to have gotten the brief message from Aron that morning, inviting him to meet on the holodeck after the ceremony was over, but pleasantly so. He was looking forward to getting the chance to reconnect, even if it was with a holographic transmission of the Drake's former science chief in lieu of the real thing.:: ::The brief ceremony drew to a close, and soon after, members of the Drake's crew who'd attended slowly repopulated the bridge. Didrik relinquished the helm to another officer and entered the turbolift, deliberately keeping a steady pace.:: (( Holodeck One, USS Mercury )) :: All the guests had left, the bride and groom had retired, the captains and officers from the other ships had walked through those double doors, back to their lives. Aron was left alone on the Mercury’s, and he simply stood for a moment, surveying the detritus of the wedding and the reception. He was glad that he wouldn’t have to clean up. :: Kells: Computer, end program. :: There was the grid, back again. He waited a moment, as he had said he was going to, as presumably Didrik was doing -- waiting for the emergence of Will from the holodeck, so he could transform it. The program was set to start immediately when Didrik called up its corresponding program on the Drake, though in the long moments when the yellow grid ruled the day, Aron felt each breath and each heartbeat as though it were the longest he had ever experienced. And then there was another. And then there was another. And then, finally, the holodeck transformed. :: (( Outside Holodeck, USS Drake )) ::Didrik waited until he was certain the holodeck was empty, then activated the control panel on the outside bulkhead. The link between the Drake and the Mercury was still active, and the transmission was still stable, something he wasn't certain the old girl's circuitry could maintain. He accepted the transmission, and the doors opened.:: (( Holodeck link-up, USS Mercury/USS Drake )) ::Didrik entered, and saw Aron standing amongst the yellow-and-black grid in the split second before the surroundings came to life. The setting was nothing special; a nondescript café with windows overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, no doubt based upon any of the hundreds of such establishments in the vicinity of Starfleet Headquarters. Didrik smiled at Aron, pleased that the holodeck recreated him faithfully. He closed the distance between them.:: :: Aron had the presence of mind to swipe some of the real flowers before he’d come to the wedding, and though he’d played them off as being as holographic as the rest, he was left with the dozen khesuris in his hand. The flowers were vaguely lily-like, though they sparkled with a natural luminescence unlike any flower from Earth. Aron offered them to Didrik, and watched as holo-hand took true-stems. :: Kells: Happy birthday. ::Didrik took the holographic flowers, which were unlike anything he’d ever seen. His smile widened, the glow from the flowers reflecting in his face.:: Stennes: Thank you for remembering. ((beat)) We were mid-mission on the actual day, so I hadn’t really stopped to think much about it until things quieted down a bit. Twenty-nine... ::Didrik paused, not certain how he was going to finish that sentence.:: Stennes: Not so much an ominous birthday, but it puts me in reflective mood nonetheless. Kells: And what have you been reflecting upon? :: Aron didn’t wait for an answer; instead, he waggled his finger at the space on his face that matched Didrik’s glasses. :: Kells: These are new. How has it been? Stennes: I’ve been okay, recovering well. ::adjusting the thick black frames of his eyeglasses:: Still not used to corrective lenses, but I’m hoping I won’t have them much longer; there’s a specialist on Starbase 118 who is interested in researching my particular... condition. Kells: Ah, say no more. I understand: A subject is a subject is a subject. Stennes: Speaking of Starbase 118, I understand you’re not there anymore. What happened? Kells: A promotion. You’re looking at the valorous commanding officer of the deep-space explorer Mercury. ::Didrik nodded, his assumptions confirmed. When Aron first contacted Didrik, inviting him to this holo-reunion, the message originated from the USS Mercury, with a Starfleet Command signature that indicated he was either the ship’s CO or XO. That, coupled with watching him officiate at Jade’s wedding, connected enough of the dots that the news wasn’t a complete surprise to Didrik. He gestured to a table near the window of the unpopulated café. As they sat down, a holographic fog crept eastward toward the bay.:: Stennes: Is there more to that story? How’d it come about... Captain? Kells: It just sort of (beat) happened. I’d only been on the starbase a few weeks when I received the new order. And then, bam, straight into my first mission. I thought, you know, it’d be perfect, that sort of ship and me, but no, not that first time. Stennes: What happened? Kells: The Borg. ::Borg. Even the name was terrifying. Anyone living on Earth in the 60s and 70s knew enough of the Borg to know that only by sheer chance and perhaps a bit of good timing did their planet narrowly avoid assimilation, not once, but three times.:: Stennes: It’s the first I’ve heard of a Starfleet ship crossing paths with the Borg in a while. I can imagine it’s not what you expected out of your first command. Kells: Well, we got out of it alive, and that’s a plus in my view. (beat) Since then, things have been a little more, hm, normal. We just finished exploring an old space station. (beat) But, hey, I’m talking too much. What about you? Stennes: Nothing as substantial as all that, I’m sure. Still flying the Drake, still working my way through the Klingon military analysis that Lt. Commander Danzia gave me last Christmas. :: Aron watched him field the shadow of a smile, and at once he was frustrated. Sure, their lives were interesting, but they were talking about the monoliths, not the minutiae they’d once shared. What were they skirting around? :: Kells: Let’s go back to the reflection. Tell me what you’re thinking. ::Didrik hesitated, not because he felt uncomfortable articulating what he was thinking, but because choosing the right words was a greater challenge than he’d expected.:: Stennes: I’ve thought a lot about my job. When Dr. Mike told me that he couldn’t repair the damage to my vision, I was afraid I was going to lose my job. It’s not exactly a tactical advantage to have a pilot who can’t see without a piece of millennium-old technology. Kells: But it’s definitely better than having no pilot at all. :: This time it was his turn for an awkward smile, which Didrik -- no pun intended -- barely seemed to see. Aron lost the levity. :: Kells: It was a scary thing. Stennes: That fear made me realize something. (beat) I actually like my job, and I want to keep it. Kells: You should! You’re [...] good at it-- Stennes: Considering how I felt about my job when I first came here, it’s like night and day. I had this (beat) vision of who I thought I was supposed to be when I finally graduated from the Academy, and being a pilot on the Drake wasn’t at all what I imagined. ::Didrik couldn’t help but be ashamed of the contempt he had for his job when he first reported for duty aboard the Drake. It was only last year, but remembering himself at that time was like looking back at oneself as an adolescent. This past year had matured him, and provided him with invaluable perspective into who he was.:: Stennes: You remember the map I kept when I was a teenager? Tracking the progress of the Dominion War? Kells: Yes. I do. :: But he had to think, and if not hard then at least for a moment, as the faces of the new men and women he knew -- of Arden Cain, Alexander Matthews, Velana -- fought him for a recollection from a different time, a different place. He saw the memory, at last. :: Stennes: I think the decisions I made–enrolling in the Academy, choosing Tactical as a focus, the topic of my honors thesis–were all based on what I thought I knew about myself back then. And for ten years, I never tried to grow, or challenge myself, or understand what I was really supposed to be. (beat) But I’m doing all of that now, and I don’t think it was a mistake anymore, that I was put on the bridge of a starship. :: Aron shrugged. :: Kells: There are no mistakes. You were put in a situation you weren’t prepared for and you responded. You responded well, which is perhaps what no one expected; but then again, maybe they did expect that, and maybe that’s why you were there, yeah? (beat) There are no mistakes. Stennes: And then there are the weddings. Three couples, all getting married back-to-back; I can’t help but think about my own relationships. And you. Kells: (too quickly) I think about you, too, out in the black. Seeing the marriages … I mean, marrying two of my staff, that’s something -- two friends, I never thought. Well. (more slowly) I think a lot about that day. You know, the last day. ::Didrik thought about it too. On the surface, it seemed perfect; the Centaurian sunset, the way their fingers interlocked into each other. Except that it wasn’t “the last day” for no reason. It was “the last day” there existed any potential for them to get closer. It was “the last day” they served together. It was “the last day” they’d spoken to each other, until now.:: Stennes: I think about it too. Retrospect provides some perspective, but it was still... Kells: Wonderful, and terrible. Because I didn’t want to go, and I wanted to go, and I never wanted to go. So what did I do? I went. And now I’m a CO. ::Didrik looked across the table at Aron, still in dress uniform from the wedding. His brown eyes met Aron’s green ones.:: Stennes: It suits you. Kells: (quietly) There are no mistakes. :: He looked away, afraid to meet Didrik’s eye. ...Was that right? Afraid? But he thought he was -- knew he was. And so he looked away. :: Stennes: So tell me more about your new command. A ship like the Mercury would bring out the scientist in just about anyone. It would appear the two of you are well-matched. Kells: That’s what I thought, especially since it was last captained by two men without science backgrounds. Why me, and why now? But it’s like the perfect ship for me: A flying laboratory. (beat) Perfect. Stennes: How does your departure from Starbase 118 leave the Jaborrhik planet? What kind of a role will you have in that now? Kells: I’m still in charge, even though I won’t get back as often as I’d thought -- but there’s this holoconferencing, which I’m still getting used to. Actually, speaking of that.... :: Aron didn’t like what he was about to do, but he did it anyway. :: Kells: Computer, load the [...] things. :: And while it should have balked at this request, the computer beeped: It knew exactly what Aron wanted. The awards appeared a moment later: The Daystrom Award in Biosciences (2389) on his left, and the J. Bruce Award (Bioengineering) on his right. He picked them up and held them out to Didrik as though they were rotten fish. :: Kells: I have the real things in my office, of course. Ostentatious -- enough gold that a Ferengi would bemoan the lack of latinum -- and of course I was devastated to receive them. All for bringing an experiment back to life. ::Didrik studied the awards, conceding that they were somewhat gaudy, and not at all something he’d expect Aron to have displayed prominently for all to see. They weren’t the real articles, just holographic re-creations of them, but Aron’s body language gave the impression that even the simulacra carried infectious disease.:: Stennes: They certainly are... ornate. Kells: You like ‘em? They’re yours if you want ‘em. Why not hang ‘em in your quarters? Stennes: ::laughing:: Are you serious? ::beat:: I’ve been promoted y’know. I’ve got my own quarters now, so I’m no longer actively looking for ways to annoy Ensign Mouthbreather. However, I It’d be nice to have something that reminds me of you. Are you sure you want to part with them? They don’t just give these things away. Kells: I think I am, too. (beat) But, listen. I’m coming back towards 118 in the next few weeks. We’re taking a Cardassian dignitary and her staff in on a humanitarian mission. Maybe, if the Drake swings by, we can manage a little actual time together. Stennes: ::grins:: I might be able to make that happen. I do fly the thing, after all. ::glancing down at the awards:: Plus, now I’ve got some belongings to pick up at the Assay Office. ::beat:: I’d love to get some real time with you, and not just a force field that looks like you. Kells: Me, too. (sudden laughter) It’s ridiculous. I can talk about anything -- anything -- but I can’t talk about this. Stennes: ::feeling the tone of the conversation change somewhat:: Talk about what? Kells: Us, of course. Is there anything more frightening and more wonderful? I’ve seen everything, Didrik, and I don’t think there is. Stennes: I’m hoping we’ll both get to experience more wonderful as time goes by. Because I believe there’s more to come. :: Aron opened his mouth, let out a breath that was meant to be a word, and closed it again. He gave himself a moment, then tried again. :: Kells: I want to believe that, too. I mean, I suppose I do. But I wish, I do wish that I knew. The same way when we first met. Not for the power, just for the feeling that we, you and I, could make everything right again. :: But he caught himself before he went on: That, Aron, is power. He shrugged. :: Kells: There is more to come. I do believe that. Stennes: It’s not impossible; the Drake has a lot of officers who’ve served together previously. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll end up assigned to the same ship again. I’d be okay with that. Kells: And I believe (beat) we will. ::The tranquility of the empty holographic café was disturbed by flickering lights and the sound of malfunctioning circuitry. Didrik turned to see a corner of the wall vanish in a field of energy, replaced momentarily by the yellow-on-black grid, then reappearing.:: Stennes: That’s probably me. I’m surprised the Drake’s holodeck lasted the entire wedding ceremony, let alone our whole conversation. I’d better go soon, unless I want Lieutenant Pandora to come after me for breaking the ship. :: Aron laughed -- guffawed, really -- that half-choking sound that recognizes the previous life. Not that the Drake was really a previous life -- he’d been there only six months ago -- but, well, things had changed. Obviously. :: Kells: You’re right. You should go. (beat) But I don’t want you do. Stennes: I don’t either. I miss you. And I don’t want months to go by before I see you. I’ll start bringing up 118 to people; plant the seed, as it were. Hopefully soon, we can make some concrete plans. Kells: Definitely. And, hey, if you need any help convincing anyone, just remember that you’ve got a CO on your side. ::Didrik stood up, suddenly sad, and already feeling lonely again.:: Stennes: I don’t know how one says goodbye in a holo-conference. Do we wave, can we touch each other? Kells: The tech’s not-- I mean, if we do.... :: He held out his hand, and Didrik took it. But there was nothing there, no reassurance that each felt the other that he’d left behind. Didrik’s hand was the same cold holoflesh, devoid of intention or emotion, that Aron had felt one hundred times before. :: Kells: It won’t be you. It’s just the hologram. ::Didrik let go:: Stennes: It’s not how I want to remember it. Kells: It’s incentive! No, it is: To meet again, to see each other again soon. Really. Stennes: We will. Kells: Until then.... Stennes: Goodbye. ::Didrik exited back onto the deck of the Drake, still able to see holo-Aron standing inside the holo-setting. He waited for the doors to close before he ended the program:: Lieutenant JG Didrik Stennes Helm Officer USS Drake Commander Aron Kells Commanding Officer USS Mercury
  8. Completely got my months mixed up and missed the deadline!! *Kicking self*
  9. Reached one of Velana's goals: Chief Medical Officer!

  10. I wish! I haven't been to a Star Trek con since 2002
  11. Maybe there's a better way to word that clause. Any suggestions?
  12. Yeah, I've already started to rewrite them. The stuff about the marriage contract...I'm not feeling it either. Plus I don't think there's any canon basis for it.
  13. Any suggestions for additions/deletions/changes?
  14. I do think it was written based on male-female relationships and if it were to be updated, same-sex and multiple partnerships would need to be taken into account. It could be that a marriage manual is outdated and doesn't apply at all, but it's interesting to note that at one time, fans though there needed to be one enough to draw it up, print it and sell it at conventions.
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