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Everything posted by Nerreht

  1. Well, the whole JP is 10 pages long, hence why I had to split it up in three parts when it was posted on our group...
  2. Yes, I totally agree, they did an amazing job on that JP
  3. I just wanted to point out that I submitted only the second part of that 3-part JP because it was just too long to post it all on the forums. I would like to submit the whole thing since it's a very dear post for me, but I don't know if I post the three parts if they could be considered only as one big submission?
  4. Sharee: What do you want to tell me? Ramirez: Huh... So it's like that... You really want me to talk about whatever I want? You know I can go on about a lot of subjects for a long time... Sharee: It's a good thing I have such extensive training to listen for a long time then isn't it? :: The Ram laughed out loud. Stubborn indeed :: Ramirez: Convincing too, I'll admit. Alrighty then... Grab a seat, it might take a while... :: He sat back down on his chair, picking up the guitar on the way and keeping it in his hands, Delinda taking one of the other chairs and bringing it closer. :: Ramirez: You want to know how it works in that big noggin' of mine? Sharee: Where do you want to start? Ramirez: I figure it's a good start. Understand the man, you might figure out the person... :: He pointed outside through the barn's main gates :: Look out there and tell me what you see... Sharee: ::looks outside, and then back at Pedro:: What? Ramirez: Humor me. Sharee: I see a beautifully maintained farm house, a well, horse coral, scrub lands, and pastures. It is all rather pretty really. Ramirez: For me, what you see out there is life, plain and simple. Of course, you're telling yourself that it's a normal response since I was raised here. What I mean is that it's the perfect idea of what life should be. Everything is simple in a place like this. Do your job, get things done, benefit from the fruits of your labor. No laziness, nobody superior to anybody else, everybody pulling their weight and doing their part. We take care of the beasts, they help us with our work. Everybody working for the greater good, you know? Sharee: The greater good, what does that mean to you? Ramirez: Oh, I'm no religious man. It's just the way I was raised. Didn't matter much how we did things as long as the work was done with the expected results. Lots of freedom as long as we did what we had to do. My father used to say "When you're working, you're on my time. And I hate to lose my time." I've seen him deal with a few hired hands that were a tad too lazy to his liking, and trust me, they either worked their butts off from then on or they never came back. Those who worked harder never regretted it because they learned the value of hard work and the satisfaction of a job well done. Sharee: It sounds like you had a rather structured up bringing, and appreciate it. But I have to be honest, anyone who can write in your psych report seems to agree you have a discipline problem. Why do you think that is? :: He gently stroke his guitar as he spoke :: Ramirez: Never had a problem with discipline myself, despite the looks of things. I'm actually quite disciplined if you consider everything I was able to learn in my lifetime so far. Working on the ranch since I was a kid, school, dancing, music... all that stuff always required discipline. I actually never had a problem with authority until I got in Starfleet. All those people thinking they're better than everybody else because they got some pip on their collar telling everybody else they're "superior"... My dad, great authority figure that never asked anybody more than he asked of himself. He never gave up on anybody, though. He kept pushing people so they'd push through their own limits, to make them realize that they could be more than they believed they could be. Never went overboard, always there to help people in need. And trust me, no rank insignia can compare to that kind of authority figure. Sharee: Your father actually sounds like a model for a senior officer. Ramirez: Yeah, that's why I don't care about rank. People assume too much based on things like that. I prefer to judge people on their actions. And even though people might say they got promoted because they were good at their jobs, doesn't make them respectable. Life ain't always about performance. People tend to forget that they aren't just workers, they are people too. It's easy to be what people expect you to be. Much harder just to be yourself. When I look at someone, I don't want my opinions to be shallow as to be based on what people are looking like or what they're wearing. I want to see the people behind the uniforms, know what I mean? Sharee: I think so, but why don't you tell me. Ramirez: People want to look all perfect all the time, and it's frustrating... Sharee: Frustrating? Ramirez: When people want to look perfect, they expect you to be perfect based on their standards. The main subject here being me, because someone expects things to go a certain way, the fact that I do things differently makes me look incompetent based on their standards. Like I'm under-qualified because I say "Yeah" rather than "Yes sir". :: He stopped strumming the guitar and looked at Delinda straight in the eye :: You want to know how many people's lives I saved during the couple of years I've been in Starfleet? Wanna know how many successful missions I've ran? All of them. How many investigations I've solved? How many science experiments I've ran? :: He started strumming again :: None of that matters in the end because I don't do things the way they expect me to. All that positive put aside because I'm not the typical wannabe model officer. ::Delinda thought a moment on what Pedro had been saying. His opinions towards structure and the merit of promotions were widely held, both inside and outside of Star Fleet. But Pedro's personality, and impressively strict personal moral code was not allowing him to let go of his frustrations. Delinda was careful with her wording and tone for her next question. She did not want it to sound condescending, as that was certainly not her intention.:: Sharee: So why would you join, much less stay in an organization that has such a strict structure? :: Again, Ramirez laughed :: Ramirez: THE question everybody's askin'... I'm still here because that's the right thing to do. Sharee: Why is Star Fleet the right thing to do for you? Ramirez: Yeah. See, I talked about my father a lot, but at this point I'll give you some insight about my mom. She's a saint to have been able to put up with my father and I all those years, that's for sure. My mom knew long ago that I was special. Not the "Every mom thinks her kids are special". No. :: He stopped playing for a moment, tapping on his temple with his index, then started playing again :: She knew I had something special in my head... That I was a fast learner... She made sure I could use that to its full extent... But she also taught me to use all of it for the right reasons, the right causes... Oh, I'm no angel, I've used everything I know for my personal benefit more times than I can remember, but she'd always been there to put me back on the right track, to make me realize that there was better uses for my gifts, whichever they were... As much as I love this place, there isn't much I could do... That greater good, for me, it was bigger than this ranch... Starfleet was just an easy way into that bigger greater good... Sharee: But there are many ways to work for the greater good. Why Star Fleet? Ramirez: Oh, I could help doing jobs here and there like I did in the past year... Wasn't enough... Starfleet's got so many contacts with lots of problems, keeps me much more busy... Not to mention that it allows me access to more resources... :: Again, he stopped playing, but this time he looked down to the ground, grinning :: Not quite the image I project, eh? Right now I sound like that good guy with the good intentions and everything, but outside this holodeck I'm just the crazy science guy who doesn't play by the rules... :: he laughed :: "Hell is paved with good intentions" they say... But I'm far from hell if you ask me... I'm having a blast out here. Not a day goes by without a challenge and I thrive on that. Life continuing my father's work of making me push back my own limits all the time. And the harder things get, the more I'm motivated to get through them. Whether it's a physical challenge, an intellectual puzzle, I'm always in for it. Not like people who have technology do all the work for them... Sharee: Technology is a tool, is it not? Ramirez: As you can see around here, there wasn't much technology to do the job. We had to do things by ourselves. Had to get creative too to make our lifes easier. Why do you think I get around so easily when things start to break down? Because technology always breaks at some point, and you need to learn how to live without it to be able to live with it until it breaks. Of course, I'm not stupid either, I won't put technology aside if it can help me do what I have to do, but I usually go for my brains and my brawns first to try and solve a problem. Not to mention that I'm dependent on technology to some extent... Sharee: Yes, your file said something about implants? :: He started strumming the guitar a bit louder this time around :: Ramirez: Ocular and hearing implants... I've gotten used to it and I'm at peace with having to rely on them to be in contact with the outside world. Even found some advantages in having them too. But it also makes one realize how much we can take things for granted in life. Sight and hearing... Losing both at the same time, trust me, you wouldn't like it... Imagine not being able to see everything you're able to see on a daily basis, how much you'd miss it... Can you actually imagine a guy like me unable to hear anything? That pains the heart and the soul, believe me... Imagine yourself completely in the dark all the time and not even a sound can let you know if your friends are around, where you are, what's happening, no familiar sounds to let you know everything is going to be fine... Sharee: That sounds like a nightmare. Ramirez: That happened to me... Was kidnapped by some group who switched me with a shapeshifter for a while on the station... All they came up to do with me is destroy my eyes and s[...] my hearing so I couldn't identify them... And there were the beatings... Only time I knew someone was in the room with me was when I was feeling the first hit of the day... Well... whatever the time frame was, when you don't have any idea of how much time passes, you can't tell... Got my body literally broken to pieces, pretty much all my bones were shattered to some extent... People say the worst pain a person could feel is giving birth... I never gave birth, but I'm pretty sure they can guess again... And they didn't bother giving me any painkillers either, that would've been beside their point... It's hard for anybody to understand, but try to picture what it would be like to have your whole existence downsized to feeling pain and no other perception of the outside world... The only thing you're able to feel being pain... I don't know why they let me live, even less why they left me for dead... But I can assure you, after that episode, I appreciate life a whole lot more and I care even less about trivial things like what people expect me to be or want me to be... The name's Pedro Alonzo Sanchez "The Ram" Ramirez, and that's who I am whether people like it or not...
  5. I think self-submitted sims are not a problem. It's quite alright for someone to be proud enough of what they write to want people to read it. And as it as been pointed out, not every sim is as proactive as others in terms of OOC contributions, either on the forums, on the wiki and even award nominations. So if there are some good sims that are left on the side lines because nobody on that sim gets involved enough to submit them, why should the writers be ignored? Only problem I would see is if someone submits several of his own sims. If someone submits one of theirs, they should only have the right to pick a single one per submission period. That way should be fair enough for everybody. As for advertising, I think people just aren't reminded enough. Myself, I keep forgetting about the Top Sims contest because nobody talks about it. Might be a good idea to advertise a bit more often on the OOC groups to remind people about it. And perhaps we could encourage each group to select a few of their own posts, vote amongst themselves for the best one of their group and then have someone submit it to the contests? That way we might have some representation for every sim in the fleet.
  6. :: A woman, Terran in her mid-nineties, is standing up in front of a podium, dressed in Starfleet whites, arboring the rank of Commodore. Grey-white hair, shoulder length, about 5’7". Blue eyes. She looked at the crowd for a moment before speaking into the microphone. :: Woman : During one hundred and forty seven years, things are bound to change, everybody will agree on that. The tallest mountains can crumble, the rivers dry up, stars burn out. Even the most hard-headed people among us will one day change, evolve, become something different. :: She smiled :: Difference is something that takes an important meaning today, as you all can figure out why. :: She glanced around, taking a short pause :: Woman : Today, we celebrate the life of a man who always was different from the others. Never did things the way we expected him to do, even through his last day in this universe. He always did his best with what he had, even when people didn’t believe in him. His courage and his tenacity made sure he got through anything life could throw his way, and many of you here today even owe him your lives. He never hesitated to risk everything to do what had to be done, no matter the consequences. He was very criticized for that, but people got around to appreciate that aspect of him. :: Again, another pause :: Woman : He has been many things in his life, but a Starfleet officer was the thing he was the most proud of, even though he never actually admitted it himself. Although many people never expected him to last, or even to belong in Starfleet in the first place, he faced adversity with all the courage we can credit him for, looked Life right in the face and stood his ground. Yes, he had to do his part in the process to try and blend in a little more, but deep down he never changed his ways. :: She looked in the crowd at specific people. An even older woman, her mother. A man in his advanced eighties. A few more people all ranging from their sixties and below :: Woman : A ranch hand. A scientist. An artist. A loyal friend. A dedicated husband and father. A proud grandfather. A Starfleet Officer. A man whose legacy isn’t about leaving behind huge accomplishments or material things. Family, friends and those who got to know him even a little have inherited his profound sense of humanity. This man that was far from perfect who accepted his flaws has shown all of us that you can do anything if you believe in yourself and if you stand by what and who you are. He taught us that no matter how we look like and no matter what we do, we are all imperfect. And by being imperfect, all of us are equal. Of course, he wouldn’t exactly say it like that... :: Laughter in the audience :: Woman : Why don’t we let him say it himself, then? Ladies and gentlemen, my father, Pedro Alonzo Sanchez Ramirez. :: A big round of applause as the lights turned off in the room. A big screen up front lit up and an old man appeared. Wrinkled by his 140+ years of existence, but his look as sharp as people remembered it, a huge smile on his face :: Ramirez : Thank you. Thank you! Please, no pictures! :: Laughter, then complete silence :: Ramirez : Well... Apparently, you were able to get rid of me that easily after all... Took longer than most people wished it would, but you won! :: He chuckled :: What can I say that I haven’t already said over and over again in my life already, now that I’m dead? Does « The Ram » have anything left to surprise people or did he become predictable? I suppose it wouldn’t be appropriate to say that I’m butt-naked in that casket, would it? :: Again, laughter :: Ramirez : Don’t bother checking, I’m not. I know my wife wouldn’t let me do something that foolish, even though it would’ve been funny as hell... :: He chuckles again :: It’s a bit weird to talk as if I’m already gone since at the moment of this recording, I’m not... But then again, am I really dead? I’m no religious man, everybody knows that, but who knows? Maybe I’ve been wrong all my life about that and I’ll end up in Heaven with a lot of explaining to do... But at least I know I can go with a free conscience that I’ll still be around through my family and friends. :: He paused :: Ramirez : You know, life’s got a twisted sense of humor when you think about it. The guy who wanted to be a galactic superstar spent his life working in labs and got more awards for his artistic works than for his scientific accomplishments. The guy who people could barely tolerate in a 10-mile radius ended up with so many friends. The man who never thought he’d ever love anyone found a wife and had some kids. And after all those years of listening to me brag about my skills, push your buttons all the time and irritating the hell out of you, there you all are still listening to me talking about myself. Now THAT is funny, don’t you think? :: He laughed out loud. Not as loud as he used to, but still good enough for an old man :: Ramirez : And to those who I might not have said it already, I appreciate it. I know I haven’t always been an easy person to be around, but you’re still there and I thank you for it. Life’s short but some times take too long to pass, but you were all worth passing through them. You might not know this, but you’ve all made my life worth something and cannot thank each and every one of you enough for that. Having a purpose has always been very important to me and you all are the best purpose a person could have to live his life to the fullest. :: For one of the rare times that people could remember, he actually wiped a tear from his eye :: Ramirez : I want you all to do one thing for me... Whenever things get tough on you, ask yourselves « What would The Ram do? », then stand your ground, put a big grin on you face and kick some butts! :: He laughed out loud again before his face turned into a serene and sincere smile :: Ramirez : It’s been a great ride, people. As I used to say back in the days : « This is The Ram, signing out! » :: Then, the shot got wider and the people could see him holding a guitar. A very old guitar at that. Everybody knew that guitar. He started strumming it gently, playing « Worried Life Blues » by B.B. King & Eric Clapton :: Ramirez : Oh Lordy Lord, Oh Lordy Lord, hurts me so bad for us to part. But someday, Baby, I ain’t gonna worry my life anymore...
  7. How 'bout the reviews for Jan-Feb? We didn't get those yet...
  8. Well, I'm sorry to say I might have to skip this one... RL has decided to drive me nuts with school projects, homework and other things... I *MIGHT* be able to send something in, but I wouldn't bet on it... Sorry folks
  9. See, that's the part I don't get... How can there be a winner BEFORE the reviews are done?
  10. I was wondering when we were going to receive last challenge's feedback? I'm quite curious to see what went wrong with my last entry, of which I was quite proud of to be honest...
  11. Better late than never? I got it at the same time as the others did, which was last awards ceremony. Or maybe I'm missing something?
  12. Good, I'm not too late! I had hoped not to miss this deadline, it would've been awkward not to send in anything for the challenge after getting the Data Artistic Award lol
  13. All I can see is the void of space... So dark, so empty, yet so full of lights... Everything so still, yet everything moves... Or is it me moving? Yes, it’s me... I’m drifting away in space... I don’t even know if I’m going anywhere, but I know I’m spinning... As I continue to turn on myself, I begin to see one of the lights that is much closer to me than the others... And then, I see a much smaller sphere going around the light... Then another one... Then another... And another... And another... Many more join in the picture, describing circles around the light... Looking closer, each sphere is spinning on itself, a bit like me... It’s a wonder they don’t get dizzy turning like they are, much faster than I ever could... As if it wasn’t enough, other smaller spheres are turning around the bigger spheres, and rotating on themselves too... Just like a ball of spheres... I know what those spheres are... planets... moons... and that light... a star... Everything so round... spinning... I can’t help but to join them in their cosmic dance... And just as I’m beginning to catch up with their pace, I get pushed back... Way back... I spin faster than before and I’m moving away... And the further I go, the more stars and planets I see... All of them spinning like the ones I danced with... All with the same pattern... ‘round and ‘round... When I’m far enough, I can see groups of stars moving in the same direction... very slowly... so slow that we can’t even tell they’re moving... but I see them move... Pushed away further, I see it... the swirls of stars, spinning arms of billions of lights... Everything turning on a central point... the galaxy... that’s what it’s called... That’s when I’m being pulled back... getting much closer... but I’m not going back where I started... No... Faster and faster, I’m heading straight for one of the stars... There’s nothing I can do... The light gets brighter... I can feel the light... its warmth... I can feel the pain... - Got him! Why do I feel pain, all of a sudden? I didn’t feel pain before... Not that pain... The light is so strong in my eyes... - He’s still unstable! What are those voices I hear? I didn’t hear any voices before... In fact, I didn’t hear anything before... The void of space was so silent... - How’s his heart rate? The light is beginning to fade away... I begin to see shapes... Some familiar shapes... The void of space is gone... but I’m still spinning... - He lost a lot of blood! No... I’m not spinning... The room is spinning... But not for real... It just looks as if it’s spinning... I feel dizzy... - Activate the EMH, we need more people here! I can see other forms... these ones are moving... they’re all around me, like the lights in space were... They’re going fast... ‘round and ‘round... - Oh my goodness, is he counscious? Some of the shapes stop moving and get closer to me... They’re blocking the bright light that was in my eyes... The shadow they’re casting on my face doesn’t allow me to see them clearly... Then, one of them waves a little light in front of my eyes... Very small light... but very intense... I have to close my eyes to avoid it... But as soon as I close my eyes, I’m back in the void of space... ***** - How is he doing, Doctor? The one refered to as “Doctor” turned towards the man who was lying on the bed. - Honestly, I don’t have a clue... I think we were able to stabilize him, but time will tell... The other person looked in the same direction, then back at the Doctor. - Can you at least explain what happened to him? - All we know is that he was hit by one of those smoke bombs they use on the planet... Without a proper sample, we can’t know for sure what it was... But one thing I can tell you, Captain, is that whatever they used in it wasn’t that harmful to their species, but definitely is for humans. The Captain looked at the man lying down once again. - Your reports says he lost a lot of blood. Care to explain that? The Doctor walked up to a small screen and pushed a button. - Basically, the chemicals in the smoke bomb entered his system and attacked his organism at a cellular level. Those infected cells were immediately attacked by his immune system, but everything that came into contact with the chemicals was recognized as a threat to his body. So his own defenses were attacking themselves. This thing is making his cells rebel against his own body, and he can’t keep up with the progress, so more of his organism is getting infected without being able to defend itself by its natural means. All of that fighting, if I can say so, is creating a lot of damage to his organs and it causes internal bleeding, some of the blood coming out every way it can find... Not a pretty sight, and it must be even worst to live through... He came back to counsciousness for a short moment, not long after we brought him back from cardiac arrest... If he’s feeling anything that’s happening to him, it’s a wonder he’s not screaming from the pain... - Isn’t there anything you can do? - Not without a sample of those smoke bombs. - Find a way, Doctor... The situation has escalated on the planet to the point where the government is about to get overthrowned. It’s not safe for any outsider to get down there, so there’s no way we can get our hands on one. - Honestly, we could be going in circles for a while and we wouldn’t get anything done even if we tried as hard as we can... - Get creative and keep me posted. The Captain walked out of the room and walked in a series of corridors for a while, took a turbolift and finally walked all the way to his office, where he stood in front of the window. He looked at the void of space, all the stars far away, little lights in the darkness... He only had to turn his head a small bit to see the planet the ship was orbiting... It was slowly turning on itself, as the ship was spinning around her... Soon, the Captain would be able to see the system’s star, its bright light beginning to show itself behind the planet... If he was lucky, he’d be able to catch a glimpse of some of the other planets in the system in between the planet they were orbiting and the star... But for the moment, all he could see were the swirls in the clouds of the planet’s atmosphere... The planet where war was raging... Where people were fighting to make things change... Always using violence to make things change... The sad part was that they never realize that when you always do the same thing, you’re always repeating history... Going back to square one... Same story all over again... Running in circles for eternity... ‘round and ‘round...
  14. I'll be submitting something for this one, but probably near the deadline.
  15. Congrats to the both of you. For some reason, I feel left out, but hey, that's the price to pay when there are only two "prizes" for three contestants lol
  16. Mine is short, but at this point I wrote it fast since I wanted to give Harden a little competition so she didn't win it by default
  17. The utopias developed for a long time about spatial conquest were far from reality. In its constant quest for power and domination, the human race had made itself a nasty reputation at a galactic level ever since their first warp flight. And things didn't get better with time. Wars followed one another, conflicts taking huge proportions including many species in territorial disputes. Simply put, every single problem the Earth had known yet were transposed to a galactic scale. Many would say that all of this had brought the humans closer together, but knowing that Mankind had more enemies than ever was far from rejoycing. Like the black sheep of the galaxy, Terrans found ways to continue the fight, associating themselves with many belligerant species to reach their goals. The power-driven Man had not evolved for millenias, except perhaps on a technological level which simply gave him more destructive power. The Corporation was created out of those dark alliances and human decadence reached new heights, just like the ambition to control everything and rule as masters of the galaxy. The Corporation fleet had impressive firepower and it took over many territories despite the efforts of those who stood up to them. The human race that had been described for so long as peaceful, refered to as being sophisticated in every story and that were mentioned as living in harmony with other alien species was far from those ideal characteristics. Human nature being as it is, nobody asked any questions and just followed the example of the strongest one, following like sheep in what had seemed to be a global brainwashing that occured over time. Humans were now created genetically to become entities with specific functions, cloning that had been banned for so long now being used at large to compensate for the casualties of war. Earth was heavily industrialized, an atmospheric shield had to be placed around the human homeworld to counteract the catastrophic degradation of the ozone layer. Nobody was poor in exchange of devoting their life to The Corporation. Those who didn't want to serve were exiled or simply killed, the second option becoming automatic since the exiled had started to join other species to fight back. Thos who accepted to serve The Corporation were living like royalty, mankind's materialistic nature being exploited to its maximum to seduce people to serve. That way, nobody ever reconsidered The Corporation's policies and actions, too busy to roll in riches like pigs in a mud pond. All of that simply gave the humans a bigger will to fight if only to protect their possessions, even more so that Corporation propaganda was telling them that other species wanted to take away their riches. Mankind and its allies, The Corporation, had become the galaxy's most feared and hated entity. Many worlds had been conquered or had surrendered and on every one of them, military patrols were looking for any sign of opposition. Of course, any resistance was eliminated right away; that was the Corporation's policy.
  18. Question here, is it normal that I still don't have my Runner-up banner for the last challenge? I see that DCody got his winner banner, so I'm wondering why I don't have mine yet...
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