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Ryoma Hoshino

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  1. ((Backstage, King Levin III Grand Opera House, Va'ku)) ::Baale dipped a slender finger into a small ceramic pot containing a reddish paste. The paste was made from the crushed shells of a type of ocean arachnid. She brought her finger up and smudged a little paste on the prominences of her cheeks, rubbing it until it blended beautifully into her blue skin. She stared at her reflection in the mirror, turning her head from side to side, guiding a wayward lock of hair into its rightful place. Her long glossy black hair was fashioned into a towering sculpture, rivulets of which cascaded down onto her bare shoulders. She hooked large golden hoops to her ears, one for each lobe, and inserted her graceful arms through a string of gilded bracelets and bangles, some of which glittered and shimmered with embedded gemstones the color of the rainbow. Pleased with what she saw in the mirror, she got off her stool and made one gentle turn on her dainty forefeet, her supple neck craning to catch her reflection as she did so. Her gown billowed out around her, suspended in the water. A creation of immaculate beauty, the coral-hued gossamer gown was a sight to behold. It covered her legs under a bell, tapering as it wound tightly around her waspish waist before flaring upwards to drape loosely over her small breasts. She smiled. She touched the heavy gemstones-laden shell-and-coral choker around her neck. Then her smile vanished. The gorgeous dress, the breathtaking jewelry, the awe-inspiring make-up and hairdo they were all not hers. They belonged to the state. To the men who ran the state. She was merely a character chosen to adorn these accessories for the night's performance. She lifted the hem of the gown and swam out of her dressing room, making her way to the main stage through surprisingly lonely aisles and walkways, murmuring the words to the aria she was about to deliver. She was calm and composed, having done this many, many times before. She was gifted with an exceptional voice, a melodious, hypnotic, soul-stirring voice. The men paid good money to come to see her perform every fortnight. That was her purpose, she reminded herself, to please the men in any way she possibly can. She could begin to hear their rushed and coarse voices even now, as she neared the stage. Lascivious voices, teasing and taunting and impatient. A figure swam hurriedly up to her from a side aisle.:: SIMOUX: ::loud whisper:: Baale! BAALE: ::startled:: Simoux! ::looking around anxiously:: What are you doing here? You are supposed to be at the mill. It's your shift! SIMOUX: Oh Baale! ::She clasped the woman's shoulders in her partially webbed hands.:: I come bearing sorrowful news. BAALE: What is it? ::Her heart rate quickening.:: What news? ::She wasn't entirely certain if she wanted to receive it to begin with.:: SIMOUX: The elder women from the center have been summoned to your father's house. Three of them. Tonight. ::Her heart sank to unfathomable depths. For a moment she honestly thought she had died. She felt nothing. Nothing the warm ocean water caressing her skin. Not the beautiful soft dress hugging her body. Not the enticing lights and music beckoning her to the stage. Three female elders summoned to her father's house. When that happens it only means one thing and one thing only. She was to be married off. And by the next reversal of the nebula's magnetic poles.:: SIMOUX: I am so sorry, Baale. ::Baale's lips quivered when she tried to force a smile. Her shaking hands gently held her friend's and coaxed them off her shoulders. She squeezed Simoux's hands in hers. A tear threatened to spill from her eye.:: BAALE: Lom.. .. ::Her voice choked.:: SIMOUX: I can't get word in. The launch site is too heavily guarded. ::She started shedding tears. If not for herself, for her friend. It was the very least she could do at the moment.:: I will try again when this cycle ends. BAALE: No! It's too dangerous! Don't do it, Simoux. I can't bear to lose you. ::She turned her face away to hide a falling tear.:: SIMOUX: ::turning her friend's face back to her:: Don't cry, Baale. You're going to ruin your make-up. ::She carefully wiped away the stray tear and perfected the rouge once more.:: BAALE: Do you know.. ::voice choking again:: who he is? SIMOUX: ::shaking her head:: No. But I heard it's someone important. Someone very high up in the state. ::Her voice trailed off and she bowed her head.:: ::A gong sounded above them.:: BAALE: I must go now. They are calling me. Thank you, Simoux. ::She kissed her friend on both cheeks.:: Now go! Before you get caught. SIMOUX: Oh Baale.. ::Then she swam away, vanishing down a darkened aisle.:: ::Baale inhaled deeply, expanding her chest and collecting her whit and thought. She blinked back another rebel tear threatening to fall. She hoisted the hem of her gown once again and swam upwards. Upwards through a square cutout that led directly onto the wooden stage. She was blinded by the bright lights, just the way she liked it, so that she needn't peer into the lubricious eyes and salivating mouths of the hoards of males spilling over themselves in lust and desperation, spilling out of the ornate viewing boxes and gaudily gilded seats, competing to catch a glimpse of the exquisite soprano. She waited until the rowdy crowd quieted down before opening her lips to begin singing. This part of the aria was a solo with no musical accompaniment. Her voice was both hypnotic and haunting. She sang the tale of two star-crossed lovers, whose fates conspired against them to keep them forever apart. In the end, only Death could bring them together. This tale she sang with all her heart. An irremediably broken heart.:: TBC ============================= Baale Adaali Va'ku Breeding Center as simmed by LtCmdr Raj Blueheart XO USS DISCOVERY-C
  2. ((Blueheart's Quarters, USS Discovery-C)) ::He emptied the fifth glass of whiskey, relishing the bittersweet afterburn at the back of his throat and the stinging vapors snaking up his nostrils, drawing tears from his eyes. His head expanded and contracted with each gulp of the honey-colored liquid. He stood surprisingly steady, staring silently out the view screen, the vivid magenta nebula large and close and painting the bedroom a matte violet. It was akin to watching a sunrise on Earth, the deep purple hues fading into lighter bluer tones, as the starship drew closer to the stellar gas cloud. Only it didn't feel like the dawn of a new day. It felt like the end of time. The crystal pendants, refulgent and dangling from his neck, were obscenely quiet, as if taunting him, teasing him. They had not been so reticent a little while ago, spilling secrets beyond one's imagination. Secrets not necessarily welcomed. He fondled and rolled them between his fingers.:: RAVENSCROFT: Computer, begin personal log. Ravenscroft, Emerson D'Arcy. ::He sat at the edge of the bed, elbows resting on his knees, hands cradling the whiskey glass at a breathtakingly sloping angle, the contents of which came dangerously close to spilling. He never took his eyes off the glorious nebula. He offered it a smug smile. Perhaps, if he was still conscious at the end of the personal log, he would even offer it a toast.:: ((Personal Log of Lt Emerson D'Arcy Ravenscroft – Stardate 239004.04)) Today, I have seen my future self. The Preserver crystals hold within them a technology beyond my comprehension. An unknown intrinsic mechanism allowed for temporal displacement and hence, time travel. We, or our counterparts – I do not know who is whom for this is all still so confusing – had apparently fought the Breen, chased them to their homeworld, crashed on their planet. Thawed back to life from cryostasis, the survivors banded together to travel back in time to prevent the tragic fate that befell the Discovery from ever happening. The plan worked. I know all this from the messages we recorded in the crystal. I know this because I exist in the here and now. And while I applaud their noble endeavor, I find myself asking, am I grateful they sacrificed themselves for us? Yes, I am. Am I happy to be alive knowing what they did for us? This, I am not certain and cannot answer this question now. It is indeed a strange and peculiar place to be knowing time was reversed to keep us alive. I cannot even begin to ponder who and what in some place and time had to disappear from existence when the timeline was corrupted. Once more I cannot say for certain if I will ever be able to live with myself knowing this answer. What is tearing me apart is not that Raj is a corpse or that I am a mad disfigured cripple in the future timeline. Or that I was one of the lucky accursed few to catch a glimpse of the future. What torments me is that I hold, in my hands, what could possibly be the most powerful weapon mankind has ever seen. Someday someone somewhere is going to figure this all out and destroy all of humanity. All life in all universes. I have, in my hands, this very moment, the end of Time itself. So what should I do? What shouldn't I do? The messages are inconsequential. The recipients shall have their messages, including Raj. They will know what transpired 189 years from now. But none will have the crystals. A repeat incident cannot be allowed to take place. The price is too high. And someone somewhere is even right now paying this hefty price. ((End of personal log)) ::The nebula took on a few streaks of green at this distance. The plasma cloud seemed to grow tendrils that began reaching out to embrace the approaching starship. He looked at the crystals at the end of their long tethers, tickling the bare skin of his chest with every breath he took. He finished whatever remained in the glass in one large gulp, then moved to the nearby counter to tilt the contents of a decanter into the emptied glass. How many glasses had he imbibed? He downed the drink in another large gulp, enjoying the singe to his throat and head. He casually slipped the pendants over his head and gave them one final vacuous look, chuckling as he did so. No, none shall have them at all.:: TBC ================================= Lt Emerson Ravenscroft Xenolinguist USS DISCOVERY-C as simmed by LtCmdr Raj Blueheart XO USS DISCOVERY-C
  3. Today on Topless Robot: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/03/william_shatner_versus_the_gorn_rematch.php So awesome. Intrigued by the game too, I wonder if this means the Gorn will make an appearance in Into Darkness?
  4. == Stardate 239004.01 == "Yeah, Mum, I've got it. Don't worry!" Why was it that every time they finally got around to a subspace call, Ryoma was always left with the feeling of being nagged at? His mother's lips seemed to work themselves into a blur and her words phased out into a dull ringing noise deep with Ryoma's ears. He imagined switching off the display and cutting the conversation short, but he knew that option was restricted to the confines of his mind's eye. "Do you want to speak to your father?" That was all it took to bring him crashing back into reality. "Dad... ?" Ryoma asked hesitantly, "I... sure." He swallowed a small bundle of nerves and tensed himself for a dressing down. The screen changed and the cold steely face of Tadanobu Hoshino, a man losing the war with his years, filled the small poster-sized screen. "Hello son." He didn't seem particularly affected by seeing Ryoma's face on-screen for the first time in several months. Ryoma smiled; a mask for a whole ecosystem of feelings reigning inside him. "Hi Dad, how are you doing?" As the conversation continued, one couldn't really call it a progression, the unspoken tension stood as an impenetrable wall between them. This was the man who apparently disagreed with everything Ryoma had become. To his father, Ryoma was a pawn of militarists, taken in by Starfleet's propaganda - to any man living on the Cardassian border in the past 50 years, it was difficult to see Starfleet as anything but the sharpest end of the Federation's stick. While they frequently protected Ryoma's homeworld of Lyshan VI, they were also the enforcers of Federation policy to resettle the neighbouring worlds ceded to the Cardassians in the inter-war period, and their very presence in the system made Lyshan VI the target of both Cardassian and Dominion invasions... ... but to those who grew up in the Dominion War, Starfleet was heroism incarnate. Against great odds, they fought for peace in the Alpha Quadrant. It was a belief that Ryoma Hoshino had bought into, but one his father could never contemplate. A lifetime of hardship and disappointment had left him numb to his son's perspective. Ryoma had no doubt that the old man was just biting back his displeasure at seeing his son in uniform, and couldn't shake the feeling that bile would win over cordiality. He looked over at the ship's chronometer, eager to be anywhere else but taking this call. "Dad, I've got to go. I have to attend a staff meeting." He didn't see any change in the older man's demeanour, the rather unexpected end to their conversation instead seemed to euthanise what was an already tiresome attempt to keep up the pretense of familial ties. "Son, stay safe..." Ryoma didn't skip a beat: "I will, Dad. Bye now!" With a flick of a switch the conversation was over, leaving Ryoma staring at his reflection in the darkened panel as a sigh pushed past his lips. Why had his father even bothered attempting a conversation? == Stardate 240004.01 == Eyes devoid of recognition. That was the hardest thing to reconcile. Nothing was harder than returning from a walk around his childhood home's beautiful wooded gardens and seeing that shrivelled-up old man in his chair staring at him in silent panic, attempting to call upon one of a multitude of forever lost memories. Ryoma placed a hand on his son's back. "Ryo, we've got to leave soon, so why don't you go with Baa-chan and get yourself some biscuits." He smiled for the sake of his son, protecting him from the incredible heartache he felt clenching at his chest. Ever the good little boy, the littlest Hoshino went off to the kitchen with grandmother in search of homemade gingernut biscuits. That left the two of them alone. Tadanobu's deteriorating condition had left him little more than a ghost haunting the Hoshino household with an unknowable grief. A shell of a man who was still staring blankly at Ryoma. "Hi Dad..." Ryoma said softly as he sat in the armchair opposite his father. He noticed the lip hanging loosely from the old man's face, wobbling with the waves of tremors that beset Tadanobu's body. "How are you doing?" He smiled in a unthinking attempt to comfort his father. The returned smile was warm but brief, the old man's attention fluttering back towards the window. He hadn't spoken for nearly a year now, and his memories had begun fading long before that. Doctors said it was the effect of a degenerative neural condition particularly common among the survivors of the Federation-Cardassian border conflicts that marred Tadanobu's early years on Lyshan VI. The disorder had hollowed out the very essence of this once proud man. Ryoma looked over to the kitchen, meeting the gaze of his mother briefly before she returned to keeping her 9-year old grandson busy in the only way that grandmothers know how: excessive attention. Then Ryoma's gaze fell heavily to the floor, lingered and then flicked back to Tadanobu. "Dad... I... I am sorry I didn't take the time to get to know you better." He bit his bottom lip, stretching it out to keep it from quivering. Tadanobu turned in an apparent attempt to see where the voice had come from, his face reacting to Ryoma's obvious distress. "I thought for so long that disapproval of my job meant disapproval of me... I thought you hated what I'd become." He pulled a PADD from his jacket pocket and held it up. "I read your diaries, Dad... do you remember what you wrote?" Ryoma knew that he didn't, but he felt compelled to ask. "I never knew how you really felt, Dad..." The old man's face was streaked with a tear, no doubt a basic empathetic response to the sorrow of a what must have seemed to be a stranger. Regardless, that tear sent a dagger through Ryoma's heart. The younger man fell from the armchair and onto his knees, his hands forming a triangle front of him before his forehead moved to meet them. "Please forgive me!" Seconds passed by, and Ryoma kept his eyes to the floor, tear drops flowing over the backs of his hands, when the lightest of touches brushed Ryoma's hair. The sensation grew firmer as fingers planted themselves on Ryoma's head, followed by the soft warmth of a palm. "What's wrong, Dad?" He raised his head, his eyes rising to meet those of the old man, only to find him looking away, both hands in his lap. He continued searching for the voice, his hand reaching for the one that rested on his head. His eyes met his son's and he pulled the child into an embrace. "Ryo, I will always be proud of you, son." Moments passed before Ryoma felt an unbearable pressure to make sure he wasn't freaking his son out. He took a deep breath and allowed Ryo to squirm free. "Come on, it's time. Say goodbye to Baa-chan and Jii-chan." Ryo's brief distraction allowed Ryoma to get to his feet and hide all evidence of his lapse of composure. He moved over to his father and kissed him on the head. "I'll see you soon, Dad." He then moved over to his mother, hugging her with the full weight of the burden he had been carrying. "Sorry, Mum, but I'll be back soon, I promise." Ryoma then looked down at his son: "Ready?" The young Hoshino nodded his head firmly. "Okay then, computer, end transmission." The living room faded away to reveal the metal struts of the holodeck. Ryoma turned to see his the sofa where his father was sitting disappear into nothing and sighed deeply. His thoughts turned to his parents back on Lyshan VI, of his and his son's projections just fading away, and he wondered whether, perhaps, his father had felt anything as they did so. There wasn't a communications tool in the galaxy that could break through the blocks in Tadanobu's mind... but being able to be with his family across the seemingly infinite ranges of space at least gave him chance to confront those hardest of regrets: the ones you can never hope to fix. ====================== Ensign Ryoma Hoshino Intelligence OfficerUSS Discovery-C
  5. ((Blueheart's Quarters, USS Discovery-C)) ::And so, Lt Cogud began his tale.. .. :: COGUD: It all started... well I guess when I was born. ::Cogud went on to tell the Commander the many aspects of his childhood, including his family's experience with Orions, and how he had been taught to hate them.:: COGUD: I can't change my upbringing. BLUEHEART: ::nodding somberly:: No. No, you can't. ::He furrowed his brow and the helmsman picked up on this cue.:: COGUD: Yes of course, you want to know why Mr Vedra called me a racist... I mentioned the Sol System Rally, I may have... given in to my upbringing. Seeing the Lieutenant reminded me of my upbringing and when I couple that with the upbringing of many of my academy colleagues I feel cheated, so I blamed the first Orion I saw and thought I stood a chance against, then I fired my best shot... ::Raj nodded. His countenance took on a grave appearance. He hated bigots. No, he DESPISED them. Why a dark-skinned individual is considered filthy was beyond his understanding. Why someone born of a lower caste is untouchable was beyond his comprehension. Why a pansexual tri-gendered alien race is one big prostitution ring was beyond his grasp. Whatever his own personal take on the subject, he wasn't about to let that leak into his professionalism. What he did understand about bigotry was that it's forged in the flames of insecurity and low self-worth, later festering into a paranoid delusion. Bigotry is a disease. As a physician, he was compelled to treat the disease.:: BLUEHEART: I see. oO Cogud probably hurled a volley of racial epithets at Vedra. And Vedra is already clinically depressed to begin with. So many things could go wrong from here. Oo ::He stood up, fetched another bottle of wine (this time a three-year-old Bordeaux) and filled the gentlemen's glasses before his own.:: BLUEHEART: Jorus, am I correct to presume you feel some remorse following your action? COGUD: ::Nodding slowly.:: Of course. BLUEHEART: Good. It's a start. ::to Vedra:: Raine, I understand your hurt. But this is something that cannot be rectified overnight. ::Vedra clenched his jaw and fists but said nothing.:: BLUEHEART: Raine.. Jorus is going to need time.. VEDRA: He can have all eternity. I will never forgive a sick [...] like him! BLUEHEART: ::firmly but gently:: I'm not asking you to forgive him. And neither is he. I'm asking you to understand where this hate is coming from. Can you do that, Raine? Can you do that for me? VEDRA: Why? ::He hissed.:: Why would I do that for you? Why SHOULD I?! The moment he gets a chance he's going to attack me or send some goon to attack me.. Or some other poor Orion. I can't understand that. I can NEVER understand that. Can't he think for himself? Why follow blindly what his family believes in? BLUEHEART: It's not easy UN-learning something, Raine. VEDRA: No! I'm happy with the way things are right now. We stay away from each other. Everyone's happy. BLUEHEART: Well, I'm not happy. ::He leaned back in his seat.:: Are YOU happy, Jorus? COGUD: No. BLUEHEART: And you're not happy too, Raine. No one is happy. All this hate back and forth is only going to escalate, and not only between the both of you. It will spread like wildfire, trust me. Then we'll have anarchy and another mutiny and heck, maybe even a public lynching! As First Officer, I can't let that happen. ::He stared solemnly into each of their eyes as he lowered his voice.:: As a friend, I can't let you guys destroy each other, as well as your own lives and career. Don't throw it all away. Not for this.. Not for this. COGUD: How do you propose to do that? BLUEHEART: ::standing up and pulling up his pants:: We hold hands and dance. COGUD: What! Sir... BLUEHEART: And that's an order, lieutenant! TBC ================================ Lt Jorus Cogud Chief Helmsman USS DISCOVERY-C & Lt JG Raine Vedra Chief of Astrometrics USS DISCOVERY-C & LtCmdr Raj Blueheart First Officer USS DISCOVERY-C
  6. This is a really nice little piece I found on /r/StarTrek - Leonard Nimoy replies to a mixed race teenage girl who asks Spock about her difficulties fitting in: http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/spocks-advice-to-a-teenage-girl-will-make-you-cry Worth a read.
  7. I believe it was meant to reflect Starfleet utopian and egalitarian side. It was certainly a conscious effort on the part of Roddenberry and his staff.
  8. Makes sense to me. Starfleet is by all means a military and its ships are all militarily capable and relatively self-sufficient. They need sufficient numbers to be able to respond across the entire Federation. It also benefits from selecting the best of applicants to the academy rather than having general conscription or social expectations to join. Great find, I hope to read through after work
  9. I really hope they do. I picked up the 47-disc DS9 DVD set just before xmas and its really showing its age. Would love a Bluray overhaul.
  10. I really want a copy, but I'm not entirely sure if I can play on my Japanese PS3 if I buy it. I'm really waiting for the complete set (way down the line, I guess).
  11. Here's a new picture from the movie: http://screencrush.com/star-trek-into-darkness-pic/ The caption says that Cumberbatch is playing
  12. I just came across this site (through /r/StarTrek) and boy am I disappointed that I didn't know before Xmas, awesome stuff: http://www.lcars-studio.com/ For an example of what you get, look at the thread where I found it: http://www.reddit.com/tb/15dxrp Jealous!
  13. I don't suppose anyone else is reading this new-ish webcomic - LARP Trek. When the holodeck goes offline, the TNG crew are left with no choice to but RPG under La Forge's guiding GM hand. http://larptrek.com I thought some of you might appreciate it
  14. Just as the Countdown comic was in part driven by Abrams and there is some suggestion that it is considered canon at Memory-Alpha, the Ongoing series is also being driven by the introduction to Into Darkness and is, according to Robert Orci at least, considered canon: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/07/straight-from-roberto-orci-current-trek-comics-are-canon (even has a panel of Spock taking out Gary Mitchell). PS: Just saw your comment on this (the second) page, and yeah, I'm also a little sceptical of the canon vs. non-canon debate, and I wouldn't rule out Gary Mitchell being on the big screen. Either way, I'm looking forward to it - interest from the movies can surely only help the drive for a new show.
  15. I should probably add that the main reason I doubt Cumberbatch will play Gary Mitchell is that the story was already played out in the Star Trek Ongoing Comics (http://www.startrekcomics.info/idwstongoing.html) - worth reading if you have the chance.
  16. So, you can see the first teaser now on Youtube, by the way. Cumberbatch's character talks about returning - I'm putting my money on Khan. EDIT: The Japanese trailer has what looks to be an awfully familiar scene (spoiler if so) at the end. Plus I just noticed that it is clear that Cumberbatch's black uniform certainly has that much-reported black Starfleet insignia.
  17. Hence the endless criticism DS9 received as a rip-off of Babylon 5. Whatever the relationship between the two, the end result was some of the best Trek ever (IMO) - no doubt due to the Ronald D Moore effect. The real issue here, as BSG rebooted, is that we now have a whole generation growing up whose only knowledge of Star Trek comes from a single movie, itself a reboot. TNG, by contrast, grew out of the TOS movies. It is both a chance for a fresh start and to bring new blood and energy to the franchise. I hope they can do it...
  18. Hi all, my name's James, I'm a Brit (from Shropshire) living in Kawasaki, Japan. I am an industrial health-related analyst (currently asbestos-related). I wanted to get into Trek simming again and, like Baz above, I have been rewatching DS9 and the remastered TOS (which is way better than I remembered). Googled "Star trek pbem sim" et voila. Currently undergoing training, and I'm grateful to have found such a great community of simmers. Bonus picture: One of my two babies - Chocolat
  19. DS9 really shook up the Trek format for me (particularly during the Dominion War arc), as did the latter season of Enterprise - the lessons from which I feel JJ Abrams is trying to correct for) - so for me, a new Trek would have to reassess the formula. Going backwards would only work in the Abrams-timeline, perhaps trying to bring the planned but cancelled Star Trek 2 series into being, but it wouldn't be possible to bring the same actors from the movie into the series, so any continuity is immediately dashed. That leaves only going forward, which would allow for the better tech (as suggested above) in the same way that the jump from TOS to TNG did. I'd also like to see a storyline that dealt with the destruction of Romulus - perhaps bringing two universes into conflict (via a rift in the space-time continuum-type deus ex machina). Whatever came about, it would also like a non-human captain. Perhaps a race we are very familiar with, like the Vulcans, Trill or Betazed. I really hope they bring about another series, but with much tighter writing than Enterprise had to start with, and many more multi-episode story arcs.
  20. I'm coming back into the simming world after an incredibly long time away - I don't think I've written in a Trek game since high school, so ten year ago. I love the look and detail to SB118 - everything about it is incredibly professional and exactly how I wanted a game to look all those years ago (right down to using a wiki *swoon*). I pretty much decided right there and then that if I was going to come back to this kind of thing, I wanted to try with you guys. The friendly-looking community in the forums really helped too.
  21. Endless darkness punctuated by the flash of a ship entering warp. It was still a fresh sight for a young cadet who had only left the system of his colony, Lyshan VI - bordering Cardassian space on the edge of the Federation, when he was admitted into the Academy.There was always a planet or a star to see, even the streaks of starlight during warp, but this view was as barren as the dustbowls that punctuated his homeworld. Yet for nearly an hour he had been sat seeming lost in the view, although it probably had more to with other thoughts on his mind. Ryoma's fingers rested in his hair, tweaking clumps as he ran through his worries. "How will I make friends? What if they think I'm not good enough? What if they hate me?" He hadn't felt as nervous as this since his first day at the Academy. Ryoma was comfortable with change, he told himself, but the knot in his stomach told a different story. He glanced down at the PADD in his lap, he had read the same paragraph several times over by now, each time losing track of his progress as he lifted his eyes to the depths of space. "Your father and I met the parents of that lovely little Betazed girl you liked in school, Ritania. Did you know that she was training to be a diplomat?" "It's no wonder I can't finish reading this thing, Mum..." He muttered as he looked back into space. Somewhere out there, almost uncountable lightyears away, his mother had sat down to write a message for her son but could only fill it mundanity. Ryoma didn't really miss them. He had spent his childhood with his head pointed skywards, even through the disruption and panic caused by the Dominion War. In fact, the only time he looked down was to read more about the distant worlds, peoples and cultures that he hoped to experience. Starfleet was a logical progression towards his childhood ambitions... but now he was in deep space, the doubts were creeping in. He had fought them before and he would fight them again - he had a dream and wavering confidence could never take that away from him. Tomorrow was a new day, a step in his life, and the universe was his to behold.... ... but first he would have to finish his mother's god-awfully dreary letter.
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