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Hutch last won the day on March 27

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About Hutch

  • Birthday July 18

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  1. ((Hidden City, Darime IV)) There was a faint whirring sound as the light drew closer, a distinctly mechanical sound. As it got even closer Solomon was forced to close his eyes, it was simply to bright. Then the sound ceased, and a moment later the light vanished. Cautiously Solomon lowered his hands and opened his eyes. It was a sphere, roughly the size of his head, and glowing with a much softer light now. It was hovering a few meters in front of them, perfectly still and featureless, yet Solomon had the distinct feeling it was watching him somehow. Gilbert: ::Very quietly:: What’s it doing? Isaacs: ::Low,:: Nothing. It scanned you and then... stopped. Ico: Don't move Sol, it will eventually move away. He didn’t, and neither did the sphere, it simply floated, buzzing quietly and glowing faintly. Isaacs: Maybe we should try to communicate with it. We could use Ico’s tricorder to transmit the standard greetings? Ressan: ::Whispering,:: Good idea. Ico: ::nodding:: I-I, I can try. ::She looked up from the tricorder and looked at Sol's face and tried to pull together a reassuring smile.:: Maybe if I can find a band where it broadcasts more stable patterns then.... As she spoke, the buzz changed pitch, rising into a low growl. It was a rather irritating noise, one which found its way into the ear and shook everything loose. Solomon raised a hand to his ear, trying to work the sound out of his head. As she did so, a section of the sphere irised open. There was a flash, then it irised closed again and vanished. An intense feeling of cold radiated out of Solomon’s chest. Looking down he saw a curl of blue smoke rising from a hole in his chest, carrying with it the smell of melted fabric and charred flesh...his flesh. He heard a distant scream as he fell to his knees. Before he could topple over backward he felt hands grabbing him, easing him down as he struggled to breathe. He could taste blood on his tongue...his blood Isaacs: Hey, hey, you’re okay. We’ve got you. Gilbert: D...don’t...don’t lie to me...I’m n...not okay...there...is a hole...in my...chest. He coughed, blood leaking from his mouth, talking was hard when you were missing half your chest. With a long groan he craned his head around to find the other cadets. Ena was on her knees, openly weeping, Jack was standing, trying to act stoic and strong, but there were tears in his eyes too. Ressan: We feed the plants, the plants feeds us. Death's kiss is merely a change of state. Nothing taken, nothing lost. We shall see you soon, Cadet Solomon. Ico: Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon Solomon... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek... Their voices were faint, as though they were speaking to him from miles away. He smiled and extended a shaky hand toward them. They were praying for him. That was sweet. Nobody had ever been that sweet to him before. Gilbert: Don’t weep...Jack...keep them out of danger...Ena...keep them safe...Ryan...get them out of here...d...don’t weep...I...I think...I will sleep...see you on th...th...the oth...oth...other...ssssside… With a final rattling breath his outstretched hand fell to the ground and his eyes glazed over. And that was the end of Solomon Gilbert. END ----- Cadet Solomon Gilbert 4th Year Cadet Starfleet Academy Simmed by Lieutenant Piravao sh’Qynallahr Security Officer USS Gorkon G239311TM0
  2. That is just a bit epic! Thank you to anyone who had a hand in creating this.
  3. Loxley is breaking the theme by putting emphasis on the “casual” of “smart casual”
  4. Congratulations @Wes Greaves And huge thanks to everyone who wrote, judged, and read all the entries!
  5. Telstrus 3 had been home. It had also been hell, a prison, a betrayal. What it was now, Zill Tomox wondered, was an unknown. Her azure skin glowed as the sun sank lower in the sky, bathing the vast grass plains of Telstrus in golden light. Zill followed the old path, the steps familiar even after all this time, as it wound up the hill. Zill had been just twenty years old when she’d left Bolus in order to become a colonist. The thought of expanding the borders of the Federation, building a new world from the ground up, sowing the first seeds of something that would one day, far in the future long after she was gone, be a planet of billions taking its place in the UFoP – it was exciting. And they’d done so much. The planet had been home for ten years. The work had been hard but fulfilling. And when war had broken out between the Federation and Cardassion Union they’d not been important enough to be worried about it. But when the war ended the peace that followed destroyed everything. Zill reached the hilltop and sat on the bare rock, finding her old comfortable spot and gazing out at the view. The plains stretched for as far as she could see in every direction. She knew it went on for hundreds of miles, an unchanging sea of grass, gently undulating in the ever-present breeze. Waves forming, flowing, breaking. That constantly moving air was a feature of Telstrus 3, more so than on any other planet she’d visited. It was so prevalent, blowing across the vast open plains, it factored into every aspect of daily life here. The colonists had used it to help with their terraforming work and harnessed it for both power and play. But it had always seemed to have a mind of its own – usually playful, often stubborn, sometimes malevolent. She gave a little shiver and pulled her jacket a little tighter at that though. The wind. The traitor. “Why did you do it, Zill?” The voice came from behind her and she gave a sad smile, speaking without turning. “Aaron. I knew you’d be here. Nothing ever happened in this place without your knowledge. And I did it because I had to, you know that.” “Yes, but I want to hear you say it.” Zill sighed and nodded. Behind her there was the scrape of metal and the sound of a spark. A moment later and the familiar floral scent of Aaron’s cigarette drifted past her on the breeze. She could imagine the wind tousling his untidy blond hair and she smiled. “You see out there?” Zill pointed at some brightly-coloured specks in the distance. “Sail carts. Remember racing them?” “I remember you nearly killing us both.” His deep voice carried a sense of mirth. “Me?!” Zill laughed. “That was your fault and you know it. You’re the one who turned in front of me, there was no way I could avoid you!” “It wasn’t my fault, Zill, there was a sudden gust. You know what’s it’s like out there, how quickly the wind can change.” Zill nodded silently. Ah yes, the wind. Always the wind. She watched the sail carts for a while, watching them tacking across the plains for all the worlds like sailboats on a sea. And those winds! Sometimes they would play along, filling you with joy, almost taking your breath away with the intense speed, racing across the open, grassy oceans until all she could do was laugh at the sheer exhilaration. And other times the wind was sullen, needing to be coaxed to help, but that was better than the times it turned on you suddenly, that sudden burst of adrenaline as you had to fight it. Still, racing those sail carts had been part of Zill’s life here and she’d loved it as much as she’d loved Aaron. Sometimes the wind that filled their sails had left her as breathless as he had done on many a night. “I missed the wind, you know.” She was speaking to herself now. “It was one of the things that brought me back here, why I joined the Marquis. When the Cardassians came and took our colony, our homes, it was the wind that I missed the most. It has always made this place feel so free, yet they took it from us and the Federation let them.” Aaron remained silent as she continued. “So when you came to me and said we could fight to take it back, you knew I would never say no. I just didn’t realise how long it would take.” “The Marquis needed us to do other things first, Zill. There were a lot more places more important than Telstrus, more strategic targets, and they needed to use everyone they had.” “I know, I know.” The Bolian sighed. “And I expected it to take time, but three years? That was a long wait…” Again, silence fell over the hilltop as the wind rippled the grass around them. The sail carts were out of sight now, vanishing in the direction of the buildings of the new colony. “Three years was long enough to make this planet a home for the Cardassians that came after us. Time enough for them to make families here.” Zill paused. “I wonder if they raced the wind like we did?” “Doubtful.” Aaron’s voice was darker now, angry. “And this was our home, not theirs. Everything they built was on top of our foundations.” “That didn’t mean they should die!” “They weren’t supposed to die, Zill! Nobody was. They were just supposed to… leave.” There was a deep sigh. It could have been regret, or it could have just been a gust over the exposed stones. “It was an accident, you know that as well as I do. The fire was only supposed to destroy their crops and with the Marquis disrupting supplies, they would have been forced to leave the planet. And then we could just come home.” “I know what the plan was, Aaron. I know what was supposed to happen. But we didn’t account for the wind, did we? Ten years living here we should have known.” She gestured to the air around them. “It has always been capricious, and it turned on us that night. It betrayed us.” She didn’t have to explain further, they both knew what had happened then. The Marquis team, all former Telstrus colonists, had landed in the middle of the night with a mission to raze the fields and burn the food stores in order to force the Cardassian interlopers out. They’d planted incendiary explosives and set them off, the flames spreading across the fields and everything was going as planned. But then the wind changed. It was if the planet had decided to get involved - a sudden strong wave front came up from the south, completely unexpected, and had fanned the flames straight into the colony. The high winds created a firestorm that had lit up the place like daylight in hell. Zill, Aaron and the others had watched helplessly from this very hill as the place burned. They watched some Cardassians try to fight the fire, others try to flee from it. They watched them all die as their cries fluttered across the landscape. Zill had refused to move after that. Aaron had tried to convince her, of course, pleading for over an hour until the sky started to glow with the dawn light and it was too dangerous for them to remain. They could have stunned her or overpowered her but Aaron had seen the look in her eyes and knew. And so he had led the others back to the shuttle and Zill had stayed here, watching the smoke drift over the plains in the morning sun. The Cardassian military patrol found her a day later when they arrived. She was arrested immediately and imprisoned in one of the burnt-out buildings, having to endure the scent of the smoke and feel the wind blow through the ruined walls, as if it was mocking her. She told the Cardassians everything, then. They didn’t even have to threaten her, she volunteered it all, everything she knew about the Marquis and about their mission. Anything that could prevent something like this from happening again. She betrayed her friends just as the wind of Telstrus 3 had betrayed them. “I’m not proud of it Aaron. I wasn’t praised, or treated as a hero, if that’s what you thought. They still found me responsible for the deaths and they kept me imprisoned here. In fact they added a cell just for me when they rebuilt the place so I could serve my time here, on this planet, looking out on these plains and remembering everything I saw that night.” She gave a bitter laugh. “There was no glass on the window, only bars, so the wind was always there, always present. Always reminding me.” Zill ran a blue hand over her bare scalp before continuing. “And I served my sentence the same as everyone else in this prison that was once home.” There was another sound from behind her then, one she knew well. Aaron’s phaser was a battered old Federation type-2, the sort of Starfleet surplus that always made its way to colonists, and it made a distinctive sound as he drew it from his holster. “You know what has to happen now, Zill. And for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.” Zill nodded sadly and closed her eyes. But of course he didn’t shoot her. He couldn’t. Aaron Duncan had died when Cardassian soldiers had raided the hideout of his Marquis cell, acting on information Zill had given them. She’d heard that they were taken by surprise, nobody even had a chance to draw a weapon let alone use it. So they’d surrendered. And then the Cardassians had executed Aaron as an example, a disruptor to the back while he was on his knees. She often wondered if he’d known how they’d been discovered – likely he had, not much escaped his attention. The sun was down past the horizon now and it was getting darker. The wind blowing across the hilltop had taken on a distinct chill. Zill sighed as she reached into her coat pocket and wrapped her hand around the cold metal object within, pulling it out and holding it up in the last light of dusk. It was an old phaser, Aaron’s phaser. Getting hold of it had not been easy, in fact it had taken her all the time since she’d been released from prison just to track it down. But she knew what had to happen now. Darkness fell on the colony of Telstrus 3. Darkness that was briefly lit by the flare of an energy weapon. And then there was nothing but the wind.
  6. ((Chief of Operations Office, Deck 13, USS Gorkon)) Tap tap tippity-tap Jona sat hunched over his desk idly tapping his thumb on its shiny raven surface. A quick glance let him know that ten more minutes had passed since he'd last looked and he gave a low sigh. The shift was beginning to drag and he stole a brief glance out his office window to the starbase's lengthy form outside. He'd promised himself that he'd make time to visit DS224 again before the ship was called away on its next assignment. His gaze returned to the PADD and he scrolled down with the singular swipe upward of a pointer finger. Tap tap tippity-tap Apparently the counselor and doctor had come across quite the haul on the starbase. The good doctor had submitted a special request for the beaming of some extra large items to the ship. The Andorian Ops Chief didn't see any issues with that as long as it wasn't hazardous to the Gorkon. ch'Ranni: Wait, wha-? A castle? The manifest listed a castle! No way. Absolutely not. His finger stood ready to trigger the reject button but he hesitated. He'd have to double check that. Surely, there was some mistake. A quick inspection of the request details listed the item with a large, but not unmanageable, weight. He deduced it must be a miniature version of the real thing. As he checked the approval button and forward the order to the Cargo Bay techs, he wondered if it was a gift for the little red fire-breather Loxley had introduced to him. ch'Ranni: Smug? Smoogle? He shook his head once and decided it didn't really matter but made a mental note to find out for sure. The creature had definitely given him the evil eye but Jona tried to not hold it against the diminutive dragon. The creature deserved a nice little kingdom to command. Maybe he could even replicate a few tritanium figurines for the castle - get in the lizard's good graces. Tap tap tippity-tap Becoming annoyed at the sound of his own drumming thumb on the desktop, Jona shifted in his seat and moved the electronic tablet to his other hand as he moved on to the next item. The two crates of stem bolts had arrived from Starbase 118. The seismic stabilizers for Delta Doradus III, the spare ablative armor plates, everything seemed to be in order. Inventory check complete. The Azetbur was back from its refurbishing visit to the base and right where it should be - nestled up against the saucer section. He nodded approvingly at the technician's report. They had even managed to fix the annoying squeak in the [...]pit door, not to mention removal of every last vestige of the garish green paint on her hull. ch'Ranni: Excellent. Ready for her next adventure. Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona let out another breath and rose from his chair. He arched his back and stretched as if he were a Caitian sunning himself in the beam of sunlight entering the nearest window. Maybe another cup of raktajino wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. ch'Ranni: Raktajino, hot, with cream and double sugar. The food slot coalesced particles of inert matter into the requested beverage and he took a testing sip. The warm liquid hit his bloodstream and made his eyes open just a touch wider, banishing the tiredness from his brain. He walked slowly to his bookshelf by the window and pulled out his most recent acquisition. Emily Dickinson. A few minutes looking it over wouldn't hurt. In fact, it might clear his brain even further. It would also give him a little small talk to bring up with Meru the next time they saw each other. The [...] leather cover, a dark blue, weathered thing, fell open of its own accord and he began reading the words on the cream colored paper ch'Ranni: Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all The prose was haunting, chilling even. And that was saying something for an Andorian like Jona. He returned the book to its spot on the shelf with the few other books stacked there. Taking another sip of his steamy drink, the department chief returned to his chair and swiveled it from side to side distractedly as if the ship were being rocked by an invisible salvo of phaser fire. The author was clearly trying to evoke a comparison of hope to a free-flying bird. He mused between sips of dark drink that having hope could be uplifting and freeing to the mind. Just the promise of good was enough to keep one reaching forward, battling the wind and gravity that threatened to beat it down. Still, the poem had an edge of sadness that juxtaposed its earnestness. Sadness. Tap tap tippity-tap He grabbed up the copy of Helmsman Today and flipped it open to the spread on the center page. Interesting. An advertisement for the Centauris' Cup. That was the biannual race Jo had mentioned a few weeks ago. Would the admiral really be open to entering the Gorkon in the event? She could certainly give any other ship out there a run for their latinum. He threw the magazine down on the reflective, inky desk and paused to look at his reflection in its perfect sheen. What was he doing? Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona's left hand moved slowly to the drawer on the desk. It hovered for a second as if it was deciding whether it was safe to proceed. Then, ever so slowly, his long thin fingers found the activation keys which unlocked the compartment. He pulled the wood and glass rectangle from the drawer and rested it in his lap. The smiling face of the young woman - with cornflower blue skin and face framed by snow white hair cascading to her shoulders - gazed back up at him. Her expressive antenna poked through her hair and emoted the joy that the snapshot in time had captured. Jona ran a finger across the glass to remove a bit of dust that had landed there. His lips thinned to a slight frown and a tightness formed in his shoulder blades. Why had the gods broken them apart? What did he do to deserve that cruel weight? Where were the fluttering wings of hope to be found in that stark reality? A single drop of rain landed on the picture's glass protector and Jona determined there must be something incredibly wrong with the environmental systems to allow for such condensation. He wiped the remaining tear from the corner of his eyes and placed the framed picture back in its drawer. ch'Ranni: ::whispering:: Miss you, Vexa. ::closing his eyes and even more softly after a long pause:: Maybe one day. -- Lt. Commander Jona ch'Ranni Chief of Operations USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) C239510JC0
  7. The Eugenics Wars I’d be very interested to know more about, but I’m not sure it would make for a good show. Perhaps a bit too murdery. But some Khan origins would be pretty epic. The Romulan Wars get my vote - it’s a period that feels overlooked in the shows and with the Romulan love of intrigue it wouldn’t have to be purely about shooting each other in the face, I think there would be scope for some very interesting stuff.
  8. Yeah, Loxley’s Vulcan persona is slipping a tad
  9. I think "Live long and prosper" is right up there with "May the Force be with you" when it comes to iconic sayings.
  10. Welcome to the mad house! There's plenty of us Brits around the place, and the community here is pretty amazing and very supportive. Although maybe don't trust me.... I'm a Slytherin apparently (it was a surprise to me, but you cant argue with Pottermore)
  11. Bashir and O'Brien 100% The way their friendship develops is a joy to watch. Nog and Jake are close runners up in my mind, for the same reasons.
  12. ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Gorkon)) Index finger hovering over the chime outside Quinn’s ready room, Serren Tan felt suddenly nervous, an awkward tight feeling in his pouch. He had wanted to find the time to talk to Quinn on their trip, and... well, within a few hours they were fighting for their lives. It was only now, in the days after, that it really sank in how close to disaster they all had come. If Quinn had just been slightly more injured. If Cayne hadn’t been there. If the Triumphant had not shown up exactly when it did... Would have, could have, should have. Questions for the counsellors, questions for the days and weeks between ends of long warp flights. Questions for shore leave... which would slowly get unpacked like the luggage sitting in his quarters, unopened. Slowly it would leak out, like coffee from a cracked mug, but for now, his desire to see his long-time friend overrode every other concern. He pressed his finger to the chime. Reynolds: Come in. Tan slipped through the door as it opened, stepping inside. He had a formal posture, but his face belied a casual, friendly smile. Standing beside her desk, Quinn glanced up from the PADD she was reading. She looked nothing like the Admiral she was; hair in a messy bun, shirt half-tucked into jeans, battered sneakers instead of polished boots. There was no sign of a uniform anywhere in the room, though she had pinned her communicator to her belt. Tan: Good morning, Admiral. Since I don’t think we actually formally got around to it... Ensign Serren Tan, reporting for duty. Reynolds: Aren't you supposed to be on shore leave? ::She raised her eyebrows, with a small, wry smile and placed the PADD down on the table.:: I know I am. It showed, but in a good way. She perched on the edge of her desk and gestured to the chair in front of it. He relaxed and sat, resting his arms on the armrest, taking just a moment to take in a deep breath, hold it, and let it out. Tan: Well, I kinda have a lot of unpacking to do, but don’t worry. I have plans. ::he paused:: It’s good to be back on the Gorkon. Or... as I’d prefer to call it, home. Reynolds: Already? He couldn’t help but flash a broad, lopsided smile and it echoed back to him on her lips — albeit much smaller and more reserved. She never was one for big shows of expression. Tan: It’s... well. I know this might sound like a whole bunch of Trill nonsense, but I feel connected to this place. I don’t know why, but I just do. On a related note, I am digging this new host. Everyone I meet is so much shorter than they used to be, and everything is lighter. Corridors are more cramped, which is a downside, and everything is more fragile, but... yeah. It’s good to finally be joined properly. It feels good. The hybrid nodded, quiet for a moment while questions tumbled through her head. Was it disorientating to wake up one day with that perspective? It had been normal for Serren's entire life, then with a surgical procedure and an implanted symbiont it wasn't normal anymore. She wondered how that aligned with how some Trill found their coordination increased after joining. Perhaps it was like those memories of the Skarbek, often there, haunting the edges of memory. Knowing that Walter was devoted to Starfleet, yet seeing the ghost of a Maquis cell leader when she looked at him. Glancing toward Sevo and hearing the whine of a phaser cannon, wondering when she would be subject to the woman's violent, unbridled temper. Knowing Genkos as a dedicated healer, yet feeling a twist in her gut at the memories of what he was capable of, in another life. Reynolds: I'm glad it's settling well for you. We had an emergency symbiont transplant a little while back and... while the Commission had already approved him as a host, he had difficulty adjusting. That comment caused a pair of raised eyebrows. He hadn’t heard of that at all. Tan: That’s not unheard of. Sometimes hosts just don’t sit well with the hosts. Best analogy I can think of is... it’s kinda like a blind-ish date. Sometimes you hit it off, sometimes you really, really don’t. I’m sorry to hear that. How’re they doing now? Reynolds: I'm not sure. He went home to Trill on an extended leave of absence and tried to return to active duty a little while ago. But I think he needed some more time. Quinn had kept an eye on Ferier after he left the Gorkon, as much as she could without intruding on his privacy. She felt a sense of responsibility toward him, and she had never been entirely comfortable with what had happened. He wanted to be a host, he'd even gone through the process and been approved by the Commission... but the situation had been so desperate, so last minute, it had left a bad taste in her mouth. One that had only got worse once the initial rush had worn off, and the Trill began to struggle. Ferier had been reassigned to the Juneau after his return to active duty, but the next time she'd checked in to see how he was doing, he was marked as on a leave of absence, and that talon of guilt had carved through her innards once again. Tan just nodded. Things were always going to be difficult on that front. Having one of your brains ripped out and shoved into someone else was going to cause... problems. No matter how much training you had. More time would help. Tan: Regardless, it’s good to be back. I... ::he sheepishly adjusted his collar:: It’s good to see you again, Quinn. I just wanted to, uhh, say... He inhaled, held it, then let it out. She didn't interrupt, giving him the chance to compose himself and find the words he needed. Tan: I’m sorry the asteroid didn’t go well. I know I didn’t handle things perfectly, but I’m going to improve. Obviously I still have a lot to learn. It’s just... you know. Dylan was in danger, and... I probably should have done a better job. Quinn dwelt in a brief silence again, picking her response carefully. So many thoughts had gone through her mind in the aftermath, turning a troublesome question over in her mind. Would Eddy have made a run for it, if he hadn't received that beating? It was easy to imagine a scenario where the young man had been more frightened of the Starfleet officers than Lladre — after all, they had beaten him to a pulp, while she had promised to get him off the planet. Reynolds: Yes. ::She nodded, rarely one to beat around the bush.:: But it was a difficult situation, and for all you've done this before... you haven't done this before. We're all on a learning curve, even the ones who wore the uniform in a past life. Tan: Ain’t that the truth. There’s a reason why joined Trills who have served before don’t get to keep their ranks. Relearning everything takes time, and a massive adjustment like being rejoined will really mess with your ability to make judgement calls. ::he considered a moment:: I’ve always thought it was a bit unfair, really. We get to discharge whatever debts we don’t like when we’re rejoined. Sometimes a debt should be kept. Reynolds: I don't know. You share some memories and traits, but you're different people. It would be like passing a debt to a child, I suppose. There's a reason we eliminated that practice centuries ago. He couldn’t help but smirk. Tan: Hey, that’s the rules of Trill. Guess who makes the rules of Trill? Disproportionately joined Trills. Turns out they slip-a-rooney’d in one there that said, hey, if they get rejoined, all sins are forgiven. How convenient for us, huh? She raised her eyebrows, not daring to comment. Quinn worked hard to keep an open mind, remind herself that practices that seemed strange to her were not inherently wrong, just different. Still, there were things about the nature of joining and the Symbiont Commission that made her uneasy. He chuckled, but the laughter faded after a moment. Tan: I mean... speaking of debt. I’m, uh... sorry about Safine. I barely remember anything about her, just brief flashes, but I know this isn’t the first time I’ve failed you. I’m aware of it, and I’m aware that I can discharge that debt if I want to... but I don’t want to. Reynolds: Safine didn't fail anyone, Serren. ::She frowned.:: If anything, she was the one who was failed. He had fully anticipated something like this, but still, guilt was a funny thing. It was like a weed that could take root in the most inhospitable soil. Tan: Not by you, of course. You’ve always had my back. Watched out for me. As Alleran, as Safine, and now again. I feel like you give me so much, and I give you so little. That’s not fair. I want to give something back. Reynolds: I wouldn't say that. ::She paused, clasping her hands together in her lap and dropping her gaze toward them with a faint frown.:: It meant a lot to me, to have Alleran as a friend. He was there at a very lonely time. The words hit him pretty hard. Words from another life. Serren leaned back in the chair. Tan: He... was also lonely. In a different way, I think, but it ate at him a bit. He lost a lot when the Avandar was decommissioned. It was good to have you there. And he appreciated every second of your company. I don’t think he ever really told you that. But he did. You were a quiet source of strength for him, right up until the very end. Quinn pressed her lips together, controlling her expression as an ache spread its wings from underneath her breastbone, unfurling to the tips of her fingers. She'd thought about Alleran often in the intervening years, another friend lost to the march of time and disaster, missed dearly. Knowing she'd been a comfort in his last days and hours was an answer to a question normally unanswerable. Clearing her throat, she nodded. Reynolds: I'm glad I could be there for him. Serren felt as though some great weight had been discharged from him. A few words taken from the grave into the world of the living once more, and delivered where they needed to go. A spotty courier from the afterlife. His message delivered, he suddenly felt a surge of crushing nervousness. Serren fidgeted, managing to keep them still after a moment’s restlessness. He almost didn’t ask it, but the words escaped anyway. Tan: Uh. Actually, I had... one more thing to ask. You were with him at the end, right? After... ::he patted his pouch:: And I don’t have that memory, so it feels strange to ask, but... It was hard to ask the question without asking it. She raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to complete the sentence. Tan: I know it’s private, between you two, but I just have to ask: did he say anything weird to you? ::he grimaced slightly:: Anything I should know? Reynolds: Yes, it was private. Her voice was mild, absent accusation or rebuke, but it was firm. Whatever had passed between the two, when it had just been Quinn and Alleran, she would not share it. Of course it was. And he knew, clearly, it was wrong to ask. It was embarrassing that he had. But whatever part of him was Alleran had to at least try to find out. Tan: Of course. I... yeah. It was an uncomfortable, unusual feeling for him — not because of anything the good Admiral had done or not done, but to have a piece of Alleran’s history missing was not something that was common. He was content with it, curious but content. After everything that had happened, Al’ had earned a few minutes of privacy. Tan: Anyway. I just wanted to say... it is good to be back, and I’m looking forward to doing what I can to serve the ship. And, uhh, it is wonderful to see you again. Finding a bittersweet smile, she looked back up at him. He was easier for her to like than Tan's previous host. Maybe that was just who Serren was, or maybe the complete joining meant there was more of Alleran in him than there had been in Safine. Quinn didn't know, and she wasn't sure she wanted to go delving into the complicated mess of history and emotion that understanding demanded. Reynolds: And I'm pleased you meet you again. Tan awkwardly slid out of the chair, that sheepish smile still on his face, and then he waggled his fingers. Likewise, Quinn slipped off the edge of the desk, her hand unconsciously wandering to the PADD she'd put down a short while ago. Tan: Enjoy shore leave. Reynolds: I do my best. ::She smiled, a little wider than before.:: And if you need anything... Well, you know how to find me. fin -- Ensign Serren Tan Security & Tactical Officer USS Gorkon O238704AT0 & Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
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