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Genkos Adea

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Genkos Adea last won the day on September 12

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About Genkos Adea

  • Birthday June 24

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    Canterbury, Kent, UK
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    he/him
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    Star Trek, comic books, film and TV, and Theatre!

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  1. It's been absolutely amazing to have @Jo Marshall on board for this mission, and she has knocked it out of the park with such a fabulously memorable character who pulled the rugs from under our feet. This is a superb ending for a superb character, and I'm very sad to see him (and Em) go. ((Transporter Room, Deck 3, USS Resolution)) There’s a quiet at the end of a life that no one really expects. It’s hardly ever spoken about; just the snuff of a candle, the light winking out in the darkness, or the star once in the blackwater space ceases to twinkle. A beeping warning began from the device, running the length of it like a signal light wrapping around the outside. The countdown had started. There was no way to stop it once it began. He knew this; he knew this intrinsically. It was what he hadn’t counted on, what he hadn’t prepared for, and in the end, what he feared happening the most. Liam swallowed as he slumped against the device and tapped a series of commands into the control panel. His eyes didn’t look up from the Genesis unit as he spoke. Rackham: I'll buy you as much time as I can. You need to go now. Evacuate the ship. ::He looked at Genkos with a nod, if a breathless one.:: Save your crew, Captain. Time to be a hero. Adea didn’t hesitate to issue the order, the gossamer sheen of tears in his eyes. It could’ve been the light in the transporter rooms, or the life ebbing out of Liam’s eye. Adea: You heard the man. Silveira: Yes Captain, let’s go, Commander. The beautiful redhead spared a regretful look his way, and it smacked Liam in the chest like a breaking wave over the barriers. If only he wasn’t about to get his ticket stamped and be scattered into the ether. Maybe in another life. Maybe there wasn’t another life. Either way, he was about to find out what was at the end of the adventure. Captain Genkos Adea, in all his heroic finery, turned back to Liam, to Wyke, and gave him a nod and a smile. Adea: Thank you for your service, Commander. Wyke: Best of luck, sir. As the crew vacated the small transporter room, Liam steadied the breath in his chest, his hands tremored as they reached for the controls of the Genesis Device. All the work he had poured into the years of planning and consideration, of ensuring plans were adhered to. How many had sacrificed themselves for this device? How many more would die that day in the ensuing eruption? His fingers danced along the panel, starting diagnostic routines and variable checks, rerouting the complex system of algorithms ensuring the timely detonation, and delaying the various scans it tried to perform on the location destined for change. Sweat trickled down the side of his face as his blood ran cold, as his limbs ached in a fresh painful way; the tips of his fingers like ice. Extremities losing their touch, slipping on the instruments, the edges of his vision darkening. The stimulant wearing off in waves. Adea: =/\= This is Captain Adea to all personnel. Drop what you’re doing and head to the nearest escape pod. This is not a drill. We are evacuating the ship. =/\= A breath exhaled from his lungs in a long stream, and Liam thought back to being a child again, running through the meadows of his homeworld, grinning with handfuls of figs, swimming in the rivers, the beautiful crystalline sunsets spilling over the water, and the dark skies creeping above, filled with stars and hopes and dreams. Thunderbolts and lightning christening the heavens. Rains leaving their petrichor-scent for days, lingering in the long grasses. Sleepy words breathed into the curve of his ear in a tangle of exhausted limbs and ruffled sheets by his first love. Stories of his Starfleet father, dying a hero onboard the USS Kyushu at Wolf 359, told by his father as he tried to fall asleep with gentle kisses to his hairline as he read through the stories his dad used to. Leaving it all behind for a career among the stars, following in those valiant footsteps left long ago. He slumped against the device, the last vestiges of the world fading in slower breaths, the countdown rapidly decreasing. The Resolution would be evacuated soon. Escape pods detaching from the primary hull and jettisoning into the distance carried on the thrust of the engines. As he slid down to the floor, he noticed the small, blinking lights beneath the casing, and a frown pulled at the middle of his eyebrows. A remote detonation module. Suddenly, it all made a little more sense. Liam let his head rest against the device as he exhaled a breath, a small sliver of a smile encapsulating his lips as his eyes closed, listening to the beep of the countdown as the timer ran out. Light poured out like a torrent, like a hundred ampullae drenching from a dying star, bearing the rich and nectarous smell... a little like jasmine. There’s a quiet at the end of a life that no one really expects, even as it roars. [ End Scene for Wyke/Rackham ] -- Commander Liam Wyke, aka. Ben Rackham Chief Scientist, Rinascita Station As simmed by Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  2. See this is why we love @Yalu; a throwaway line from me, and he gets some truly beautiful mileage out of it. Thank you for being such an amazing collaborative writer. (( Sickbay, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Dwich’s training prepared him well for most things. Despite having worked in such diverse settings as large city hospitals, starbase infirmaries, and on the frontiers of Federation space, his EMT duties remained remarkably consistent no matter where in the galaxy he executed them: assess a patient’s condition, keep them breathing, stop them from bleeding, and generally keep them from coming apart until a real doctor can get a look at them. Then, fill out the PADDwork and it’s back out onto the floor to await the next emergency. When Resolution went to red alert and he felt the first rumbles and shakes of an incipient space battle, Dwich kept his head down and remembered his training. Anytime the ship came under attack, casualties were to be expected. Resolution’s sickbay, though small, was well equipped to handle them, even severe ones, provided they came through the doors one or two at a time. As the attack grew in intensity, and he had to brace himself against the biobed to avoid being thrown over it, the young Bajoran worried that they’d quickly become overwhelmed. And they were. Within minutes, the biobeds were occupied, and the room was filling quickly with everything from broken wrists to plasma burns, and worse. With Dr. Adea in command, Dr. Morgan on the station, and every one of Resolution’s 249 other qualified medical practitioners–Nicholotti, MacKenzie, and Yalu, among them–off the ship, there was little Dwich could do but press into service anyone who walked through the doors capable of holding a tricorder and waving the doohickey back and forth at the same time. Adea: =/\= This is Captain Adea to all personnel. Drop what you’re doing and head to the nearest escape pod. This is not a drill. We are evacuating the ship. =/\= Speaking of doohickey. The doctor who coined the term, referring to the portable scanning device nestled inside of a medical tricorder, had just shifted the priority from “triage and stabilize” to “get everyone the kosst out.” With Sickbay occupying a privileged position along the ship’s outer hull, the escape pods were relatively easy to access, and the procedure was clear. Dwich quickly conducted a headcount of everyone who would need assistance moving. Fortunately, there weren’t that many. Yet. Adea: =/\= Adea to Hamsan; can you stop off at my quarters as you evacuate sickbay and pick up Toto? Thanks. =/\= Hamsan: =/\= Will do, Sir. =/\= oO If there’s time. Oo Dwich pushed up his sleeves and waved his arms to get everyone’s attention. Hamsan: =/\= All right, everyone. You heard the captain. Everyone who can lift, bend, stoop, and carry: Congratulations, you’re our new field medics. ::points across Sickbay:: Anti-grav stretchers are over there, work in groups of two. If you can walk, proceed out into the corridor in an orderly fashion and head directly for the evacuation point. ::beat:: If you can’t, sit tight. We’ll get you. Thankfully, the assembled officers and crew didn’t need to be told twice. The ones who could lift lifted, the ones who could carry carried, and everyone else remained reasonably calm. As Dwich started to feel the stress of the situation rising in his chest, he closed his eyes and prayed to The Prophets for peace and clear headedness. His recent experience at the hands of the time-bending Q had done more than fuse together two versions of himself from alternate dimensions. EMT Hamsan and Vedek Hamsan actually complimented each other quite well, the former inspiring the latter to action, and the latter inspiring the former to contemplation. When The Prophets had “fixed” him, he was afraid of becoming so muddled that he lost himself. The opposite had come true. (( Timeskip – A few minutes later )) Dwich was tired and his muscles were sore from making multiple trips between sickbay and the evacuation point, but there was no time to waste. The alarms continued to sound, so the danger–whatever it was–was still present. With the last person safely out of sickbay, and some escape pods still yet to be launched, Dwich ran the short distance to Dr. Adea’s quarters to make a special errand. Hamsan: Computer, open this door. Medical override Hamsan-kappa-eight-one-seven. Not exactly an authorized use of his medical override clearance, but he had been given specific orders from his boss and captain to collect the dog. Dwich stepped through the doors and scanned the room quickly, but didn’t see Toto. Hamsan: Toto! Toto! Here boy! No such luck. Poor little guy was probably scared out of his paws. Without considering the propriety of his actions, Dwich ran from the living area into Dr. Adea’s bedroom, dropped to the carpet and looked under the bed, then behind the furniture, and in the closets. Finally, he found him, huddled under a collection of blankets, pillows, and dressing gowns. Hamsan: Come here, boy. We’re going on a little trip. It took some coaxing, but not much. Clearly the dog possessed enough intelligence to know that Dwich was there to rescue him. He was bigger, and heavier, than Dwich realized, but the EMT’s arms, legs, and back were warmed up from having helped so many people out of sickbay. Once back in the corridor, Dwich looked forlornly at the turbolift. There wasn’t time to go down to deck four and retrieve anything from the quarters he shared with Meidra. Maybe everything would be fine? Maybe they would fix whatever was wrong with the ship and everyone could come back home? Maybe. Maybe not. Hamsan: oO There will be another lilac. Oo Turning away from the turbolift, Hamsan ran with the dog in his arms to the evacuation point. Stepped through the small opening, and waited for the remaining seats to fill. It didn’t take long, and before anyone could process what was happening, the pod launched with a g-force that momentarily disoriented both Dwich and Toto. Only after they were far enough away did he see through the small viewport how bad things truly were. TBC PNPC Crewman 2nd Class Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0
  3. Doohickey is in the handbook. Don't check that though, take my word
  4. We all know @Etan Iljor is a genius, but here he demonstrates his excellent and natural ability to flesh out a character even without others. It was almost a shame to reset the timeline (almost!) (( IKS qor’Du )) LehleQ, Son of Hugorgh watched as everything he had worked for; everything that he had built for himself vanished into ether. A lifetime of overcoming prejudice and adversity; of being told that his birthright meant that he was inferior to the HemQuch; of proving them wrong… vanished in an instant. In the span of time that it took R’Mira to slice open his throat with her dagger. Whatever trickery of Fek’lhr had trapped the qorDu in a temporal loop had resurrected him from that ignominious fate- but there had been a shift. He knew from looking at the cold glances of his formerly loyal crew that he was no longer the master of the vessel. The seething fury of those present gripped the back of his neck, making his hairs stand on end. His honour, no more. If they managed to escape the loop he knew that R’Mira would send him to greth’or. Permanently. LehleQ had been banished from the bridge, dragged off by two warriors that he had never bothered to learn the names of. It was humiliating. A lesser Klingon would have collapsed under the shame or might have chosen that moment to perform the jaJ-to’Vor ritual- but a Klingon with nothing left to lose…. LehleQ knew that was the most dangerous Klingon of all. He had waited until the guards had dragged down the length of the primary corridor that separated the bulbous head of the vessel to the more avian drive section. Then with practised ease, he kicked out with a powerful thrust, striking the guard to his left just underneath his knee. He felt the man’s grip weaken enough so that he could free his arm and without hesitation, he swung it around until it connected with the other guard’s neck. The force of the impact was hard enough to make a thick, wet cracking sound and he was dead by the time his body crumpled to the floor. Deftly reaching down, he plucked the dead man’s disruptor from his belt, spun about and fired at the first man, blowing a hole in his chest; killing him instantly. LehleQ knew the qorDu well, having been her rightful master for several years.It was not far to the transporter room and he made it there with no further resistance. The command deck crew, no doubt occupied with their dishonourable alliance with the Federation, had not heeded the firing of the disruptor. They didn’t notice as he fired again, killing the transporter operator with one well placed shot to the head. Kicking the body away from the console, he ran a covert scan of the Federation starship looking for an auxiliary vehicle. It was a calculated risk- the small vessel was several magnitudes more advanced and had demonstrated time and again that it could best the qorDu. He was counting on the fact that they were in as much disarray as the qorDu was and distracted by further plans to escape from this accursed loop. There were two small shuttlecrafts entombed with what appeared to be a shuttlebay- and one other that was slung underneath the primary section of the ship. He chose that and locked in the coordinates,hoping that his luck would not run out. He left the qorDu in a haze of red energy, rematerialising in the darkened [...]pit of the Federation craft. All he had to do now was bide his time and wait… -- LehleQ, Son og Hugorgh Fugitive As simmed by: Lieutenant JG Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239203TW0
  5. @Kali Nicholotti I absolutely adore what the time loop is doing to our characters, and I love this little slice of Kali's mind
  6. This is arguably my greatest achievement in my life so far.
  7. OOC - for those of us who've followed the Tale of Two @Meidra Sirins, this was a delight. And even if you haven't there's a lot here to enjoy; @Yalu also deserving of praise! (( Ship’s Library, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Gertrude Kettleworth, MLS, had very little shushing to do, as Meidra and Dwich sat at a small corner reading table, saying nothing. They had agreed to meet and discuss their relationship, and each of them came with something they wanted to get off their chest. Now, everything was out in the open, and they remained together, hands intertwined in the center of the table, waiting for the other to say something. Finally, it was Dwich who broke the silence. Hamsan: Thank you for telling me this. The words felt empty coming out of Dwich’s mouth. “Thank you?” Meidra had shared with him a terrible secret, something he could never have guessed in a million years, and his heart broke for her. “Thank you” seemed so insufficient. An insignificant, polite formality. And yet, it was all he could think of to say. For her part, she seemed to accept it in the spirit in which it was intended, which made him feel so much better. Sirin: Thank you for being understanding about it. I felt like I was lying to you about myself, and that is not something that I wanted to continue doing. Dwich nodded. Indeed, the “two Meidras” had perplexed him over the course of their growing relationship. Now, it all made sense. Hamsan: I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you. How lonely you must have felt carrying this secret. Sirin: I’ve spent most of my life feeling lonely, I suppose it’s been hard for me to realize that I’m not alone anymore. ::beat:: I haven’t been very fair to you, and for that I apologize. Dwich wasn’t looking for an apology, nor did he feel that Meidra had anything to apologise for. Relationships were difficult under even the most favourable of circumstances. Meidra was dealing with a very painful truth from her past, while Dwich was struggling to define his future. As Liri Ketel, one of Bajor’s lesser-known and least artful prophesiers so ineloquently wrote: “When you have one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you’re [...]in’ on today.” Hamsan: I guess it’s all just part of the path the Prophets have laid out for us. Meidra sipped the iced tea, feeling a bit foolish. She’d never been a particularly religious person, as Vulcans focused on the here and now instead of a future that logically, they could not see. And El Aurians, well. They only seemed to believe in themselves to the detriment of other relationships. To love someone who had such a strong sense of their place in the world was quite precious. Sirin: I think that I learn more about who I can be, every day that we are together. Hamsan: I understand. You were betrayed by the group of people in the universe you should be able to trust the most. No one, not a Vulcan, not an El-Aurian, not a Bajoran, would so easily trust after being treated that way. Sirin: Learning how to let people in hasn’t been easy. But it has been worth it in many ways. There will always be times where I am not as...open...as I wish to be with you, but it will never be because I doubt how you feel. Dwich exhaled in a not-quite-laugh, not-quite-sigh. His mixed emotions were on full display. Hamsan: ::grins:: My turn now? Sirin: ::nods:: Of course. When Dwich told Meidra that his lifelong vocation was just as strong as it always had been, he too felt as though he’d been leading a double life, the “two Dwiches,” to complement the “two Meidras.” It felt good to get it off of his chest, but it was a potential complication to a long-term relationship. People become ranjens and prylars and vedeks because they want to serve the Prophets, to put them before any and all worldly concerns. Such a commitment wasn’t ideal for making a relationship work. Hamsan: I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner. The truth is, I can’t help feeling that my pagh is still meant to walk this path. That someday, I will join the clergy like I always wanted. ::beat:: I didn’t expect to fall in love with you, though. Sirin: I didn’t expect to fall in love with anyone. But I would never hold you back from what you feel you need to do with your life. Hamsan: You’re an important part of my life now. I can’t imagine it without you. ::beat:: But that doesn’t replace or diminish what I still believe is my life’s calling. I hope you understand. Sirin: ::pauses:: How do you see your life after StarFleet? How would you even begin to know how to transition into such a life? ::pauses:: How would I? Hamsan: My four-year tour of duty is up next year. I could always sign on again, but… His voice trailed off. Starfleet had given him so much, and it seemed less than grateful to cash out after everything the organization had invested in him as a medical technician. Hamsan: I have made some inquiries. There are monasteries and temples all over the Federation now. It’s not like I would have to hide away in some forest in the middle of nowhere on Bajor. Sirin: ::squeezes his hands:: You know that I only joined because I had no one I could trust except my cousin, and she trusted StarFleet. Slowly, this crew has become my family ::smirks:: even Genkos. But even though I am grateful for their acceptance, and their companionship, I can’t imagine my life without you either. She took a deep breath and stared at him, focusing on his emotions. As an empath, she had always felt things so strongly that she’d forced herself to block emotions from everyone around her. This time, this once, she’d indulge and feel everything from someone else’s perspective. The rush of love and strength surrounded her like a blanket and she smiled brightly. Sirin: As long as you can feel as you do now about our joined path, I’ll walk it with you. However, if you ever feel that you need to walk alone, I - won’t be happy, but I will try to be happy for you. Because I do love you. Hamsan: I love you too. And still I want to share more of my life with you. The counselor considered this. What was the next step? Biting her lower lip, she acknowledged that they needed to have a conversation with someone a bit higher up then they were. Sirin: We’ll need to speak to Commander MacKenzie. TBC PNPC C2 Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 and Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0
  8. I considered the Maquis, but apart from the name and the fact they were a resistance movement, they don't seem very French. They're hardly seeped in French culture like some of the other options. I mean, neither does Picard but at least he's specifically stated to come from France. It would be interesting to know how the Maquis got their name IC though. And I thought to have two resistance groups (La Coeur de Lion, being the other, which did contain some Maquis) might have been too reductive.
  9. What with today being Bastille Day, we here at the Poll of the Month have decided to examine the history of France in regards to Star Trek. Where should we begin? Well the most obvious place would be with Jean-Luc Picard, the most English Frenchman to have ever have existed. He's up there in the list of most popular Star Trek characters of all time, is the only one to have his own spin off show (so far, come on Star Trek: My People Have a Saying), and is one of the highest ranking leads. But, without leaning into stereotypes, how much "Frenchness" does Jean-Luc really display? Sure, in both The Next Generation and his own eponymous show, we see plenty of the family chateau and vineyard, but the majority of the literature he engages with tends to be skewed to the English speaking world. Why doesn't he try to teach Data about Moliere in the holodeck rather than Shakespeare, par exemple? Obviously, the out of character reason for this is that you don't cast famed classical actor Patrick Stewart and not get him to whip out his Prospero... So, what other examples are there that flit to mind? For me, the most obvious examples come from Voyager (and I don't just mean Tom PARIS). The first, Chez Sandrine, is the holodeck bar that features fairly heavily in the show, it's almost their Ten-Forward, if you will. The Doctor teaches Seven how to dance there (although she does break that poor man's arm) and the crew are trapped in there when the ship goes all curly-whirly (Twisted), to name but a few. Complete with pool hustlers and slightly dodgy accents, is this a fun representation of France? The other obvious Voyager example is La Coeur de Lion and the Resistance movement from the (frankly brilliant) episodes "The Killing Game, Part One and Two". Complete with Janeway in a white tuxedo and Mademoiselle de Neuf (plus, who isn't a fan of French peasant Neelix, the best Neelix), this cell helps to take down the Nazi Hirogen (subtlety is not necessarily Voyager's strong suit) but this does a really good job of displaying the gallic grit and valour that the Resistance movement showed during the Second World War. As a final aside, the Federation President's office is shown to be in Paris (well, unless they moved the Eiffel Tower) in Deep Space Nine's Homefront. That's fun. So, what's your favourite display of French culture in Trek? Is it one of these, or perhaps another? Let us know in the comments!
  10. It's always a pleasure to see talented writers scribing together, and this is an absolute pleasure. Well done @Etan Iljor and @Yalu; this is so much fun. I cannot wait to see where it goes! (( Shuttlecraft Rennell, Outermost Boundary of the Celendi Nebula, The Borderlands )) Awash with a hazy golden glow, the Celendi Nebula was situated at the eastern most edge of The Borderlands. An unfathomably large stellar gas cloud that had held its secrets for as long as the Federation had attempted to cross it, it was best known as a navigational hazard and a place best avoided by all but the most foolhardy explorers. Though not impossible to traverse, its composition made it extremely difficult. As he looked at the readout on his console, Etan Iljor could see why: synchrotron radiation, neutrino emissions, magnetascopic interference and large quantities of protomatter. He turned to the shuttle’s pilot- his roommate and Resolution’s helm officer, Lieutenant Yogan Yalu. Etan: Remind me why we’re here? ::he asked, his voice flecked heavily with sardonic humour.:: The corner of Yogan’s mouth turned slightly upward and he let out a brief chuckle. Their current situation reminded him of the latest chapter of The Belonging Season, his psychodrama du jour, in which the protagonists had just embarked on a locked-room style adventure of self-discovery and -expression. This simple survey mission, however, would likely pale in comparison to the pages of The Belonging Season. Taking his eyes off his console for a moment, he looked to his right, to the copilot’s seat, where his roommate and friend Etan Iljor sat, an inscrutable expression on his face. Iljor’s sense of humour never failed to bring a smile to Yogan’s. Yalu: I could read the mission briefing again. ::beat, in a theatrical narrator voice:: In a section of nebula, so weird, only two junior officers could possibly survey it. ::beat, normal voice:: With Resolution being repaired, I think we just might have been the only pilot-scientist combo hanging around the station. It had been a two day voyage from Deep Space 224 to their present location- just long enough to remind the young science officer why he did not care for the small auxiliary vessels used by their mothership. Two years earlier, he had been one of eight cadets sent out on a training expedition in such a vessel. What had started as an exciting opportunity for exploration and discovery had quickly lost it’s sheen when it had become apparent that eight cadets were not supposed to fit in such a cramped space. Two weeks and many, many frayed nerves later- Iljor had returned to the Academy campus on Betazoid with a healthy resentment for what many called ‘the Class 2 coffin’. Etan: And we couldn’t have taken the Waverider instead? Yogan nodded his shared disappointment. Waverider was far more comfortable for a two-person survey mission than this type-9 shuttlecraft–at least they would each have had their own bunk–but it was designed primarily for atmospheric rather than interstellar flight. Plus, it happened to be docked on the underbelly of Resolution’s saucer section, which meant... Yalu: It had a bit of a rough landing on that planet. It figured, given the Resolution’s last assignment had resulted in a crash landing that had damaged almost every system and compartment aboard. Of course the Waverider was being repaired. Some people, like Iljor, did not have any luck at all. Etan: Figures. ::he said, rolling his eyes for dramatic effect, before turning back to the readouts on his console.:: All that magnetascopic interference and ionising radiation is going to make our job a lot harder. Even at a considerable distance from the nebula’s outermost boundary, sensors were already struggling to identify anything inside. A confusing and contradictory stream of data filled his screen, reducing the sensor’s effectiveness by nearly 70 per cent. It occurred to Iljor at that particular moment, that there were some nebulas Starfleet were best avoiding. With all of its potential hazards to navigation and impediments to commerce, exploration, and general development in the region, it made sense to Yogan that properly charting some of the more dangerous fringes of the Celendi Nebula was a relatively high priority. It never ceased to amaze him that with all of their technology, still so much of their galaxy remained unexplored. Yalu: You’re right. The interference in this sector is 500% higher than the baseline for the rest of the nebula. Who knows, Iljor, there might even be undiscovered planets in here. ::beat, grins:: Have you completed first contact training? Etan: At the academy. ::he replied, bobbing his head:: It’s a required course for all students on the Anthropology & Archaeology track. ::best:: I must have spent a hundred hours in the simulator preparing for my exam. Maybe more. ::he turned from his console to glance at the pilot.:: What about you? Yalu: ::chuckles:: Nope. ::beat:: Well, yes and no. One of my previous hosts, Auzell, was a Starfleet officer, and she served on a couple of First Contact teams. I remember that simulator, too. Yogan, on the other hand… well, I suppose I can rely on my MED 111 course at the Academy. ::beat, off Iljor’s look:: Bedside Manner. I got an “A.” Iljor chuckled as he turned back to his console. He often forgot that the Joined Trill had entered Starfleet with the intention of practising medicine. Instead he forged himself a path as a consummate helmsman. He ran a scan of the region before them, not expecting a clear reading. The Celendi Nebula was not likely to reveal its secrets to the two men. Etan: I’m picking up a slight drag from our impulse engines. ::he cross referenced with the external sensor feed.:: The nebula density is increasing. As they neared the nebula, the density of its contents increased, blocking out the stars and casting a more muted, flaxen quality to the space ahead of the small shuttlecraft. Less awe-inspiring and more like an unpleasant soup one might order without realizing what it was made of. Yalu: I’ll take us in slowly, monitor our position, and keep an eye out for any navigational hazards while we execute the survey pattern. ::beat:: Once we’re off and running, it’s your show. Iljor smirked in reply. Etan: I hope your not expecting a gripping psychodrama, Yogan. ::he replied with no small amusement. He had seen the man’s reading material in their shared quarters.:: This will be a more sedate show. oO One that might put us to sleep. Oo ::he added mentally, preparing himself for a long assignment with little reward.:: The friendship Yogan had formed with Iljor since the two were assigned to share quarters on Resolution could best be described as easy. He enjoyed the Bajoran scientist’s company, and while they had few interests in common, they possessed a similar attitude that made cohabiting in a living space relatively unremarkable. Iljor was a contemplative sort, much more like Yogan Verso was before being Joined to Yalu. Even with all of the past lifetimes enriching and transforming his personality, Yogan was still introspective at heart, which made the two officers well-matched as roommates. Yalu: All right, starting in grid One-Alpha. ::looks over to Iljor, grins:: Survey away, my friend. Technically, as the superior officer, Yogan was in command of the survey mission, but when Iljor had first arrived on Resolution, the two men made the decision to leave their rank at the door of their shared quarters. Here, they were on duty, but their confinement to the shuttlecraft made the experience seem much more like they were hanging out at home rather than at work. Yogan was content to sit back and let the scientist do what he did best. Etan: ::he breathed in and reconfigured the console in front of him.:: Beginning scans of grid One-Alpha. Full sensor sweep. Yalu: Holding position. There is a stream of radioactive protomatter moving slowly toward us, but we’ll have moved to the next grid by the time it gets here. ::beat, sighs:: Exciting enough for you? He leaned over to get a better look at the data on Yogan’s console, his cautious nature taking hold. The information displayed was just as the Trill had said. Rendered as data on a screen, it did not look particularly threatening but if it intersected with the shuttlecraft’s position, there would not be much left of either man for Doctor Adea to identify. Etan: ::he looked at Yogan.:: I’m gripped already. ::returning his attention to his own sensor scans, he began to analyse the data that the sensors were relaying.:: I’m detecting a 0.002% increase in neutrino emissions. ::he rolled his eyes for dramatic effect.:: However will we sleep tonight? Yalu: ::chuckles, wryly:: With this firestorm of activity? I’ll be up for days. Yogan looked out the forward viewport at the slowly swirling, golden-green nebula. He was grateful to have a couple of days of uneventful, routine work to do before Resolution was ready to welcome them back aboard. There were still some twinges in his lower back and soreness in his arms from the physical work of building the home for the Romulan refugees, and sitting in the pilot’s seat of the shuttlecraft for an extended period had left him feeling a bit stiff. He’d heard about a place on Deep Space 224 where he could get a massage to work out the knots in his shoulders and neck, but after receiving a somewhat lukewarm review of the place from Meidra, he never pursued it. Etan: How did you find Oreen V? The topographical and environmental reports I read made for some pretty unpleasant reading. Iljor had not seen Yogan since he had returned from the nascent Romulan colony, even though they shared quarters. With his sleep cycle all but non-existent, Iljor had taken to working in the various science laboratories on the Resolution or wandering the gargantuan Deep Space 224. His conversations with Genkos and Aine had given him some solace that he was not as alone as he felt- but still, sleep eluded him. One such report he had come across during his nighttime endeavours made Oreen V seem like a difficult place for anybody to set up a colony, let alone a group of disaffected Romulans with limited resources. In a way, their efforts made him think of the refugee camps-turned-semi permanent settlements that had cropped up all along the Bajoran border with the Federation during the Occupation. Conditions on a plethora of worlds had been difficult to say the least, if not downright hostile to Bajoran life. But those displaced in the Diaspora were a hardy group- and they had made the best of a terrible situation. He knew that his paternal grandmother, Sobra, had spent some time in one such ‘settlement’ but she didn’t much like to talk about those years. He had tried occasionally over the years to glean some information- but it had not been until after her passing- at her memorial service- that he had learned she had worked as an healthcare assistant in the Federation administered medical centre. Yalu: The reports were accurate about the planet. The environment is hospitable, but definitely not conducive to sustainable, long-term settlement. ::beat:: I got the feeling it was given to the Romulans to settle because no one else wanted it. ::beat:: But they’ve done a remarkable job of building a community there. It’s inspiring, considering what they’ve been through in the last decade. Etan: They’ll bounce back. ::he said with certainty.:: The Romulan people are amongst the most resilient species in the quadrant. Part of my anthropological studies at the academy were centered on the Romulans. We don’t know a lot about them, believe it or, but what we do know is that they thrive in adversity. We may not always see eye-to-eye, if ever, with them- but we can respect their ability to come back swinging. Yogan held deep respect for Iljor, whose words sounded like they belonged to someone far older than his 22 years. Coming into the world on the heels of the Occupation and the devastation of the war, it would have been perfectly reasonable for someone of Iljor’s generation to become disillusioned and bitter. Instead, he seemed to maintain an inextinguishable curiosity about the universe, coupled with a healthy admiration of the accomplishments of his people. Yalu: You’re right. If Bajor can come out of the Occupation, with all of the devastation the Cardassians wrought over six decades, there’s hope for the Romulans. Etan: There’s that too. The smile that curled the corners of his mouth was tinged with pride. The Cardassians had plundered Bajor for sixty years. Plundered it for minerals, art, literature, arable land, oil and gas- amongst other things. By the time the Resistance finally succeeded in driving them off Bajor, the planet had been strip mined to within an inch of its life, most of its arable land had become poisonous, it held little natural resources and its people- once united in common cause- were on the verge of warring with one another. Iljor had been born several years after the end of the Occupation, but as a small child he had still seen the scars that it had left. He was undeniably proud of the work his people had undertaken to transform their homeworld back into a centre of diplomacy, commerce, academia and art. Etan: oO And there are still scars, even now. Oo ::he thought to himself, reminded of the accusations that Akhbett Jirall had levied across his beloved parents. He didn’t want to think about them for the time being- though it was becoming increasingly difficult not to. He forced himself to look back at the readings on the screen in front of him.:: Stellar winds in this grid are increasing. Not by much, but we still should be careful. Yogan’s attention was diverted briefly to the navigational console, and he noticed the same thing that Iljor did. His hands moved across the glossy surface and keyed in sequence of commands. Yalu: Engaging manoeuvring thrusters at one-quarter. That should keep us from getting buffeted about too much. ::beat:: Haven’t seen much of you since we left the Briar Patch. ::beat:: Or, come to think of it, since we got back from Trill. Opposite duty shifts, I guess? Iljor nodded, but looked at his console in an effort to not look at Yogan. He suddenly felt the cloud that had been hanging over him returning. Had his roommate noticed just like Aine and Genkos? Yogan had noticed that Iljor had seemed preoccupied of late, even more contemplative than usual. At first, he had chalked it up to the transformative experience they’d shared on Trill, Yogan’s zhian’tara, but Iljor’s muted disposition had continued beyond that. Etan: Uh, yeah. I guess. ::he could hear himself, he sounded non-committal:: It seemed as though Iljor wasn’t particularly eager to talk about it, and although Yogan was concerned for his roommate and friend, he didn’t intend to push the issue. After all, the two officers shared a living space and were friendly, but Yogan knew that Iljor had closer friends aboard the ship with whom he could share his troubles. Even so, whatever was on Iljor’s mind seemed to occupy him at all hours. Yalu: I’ve heard you pacing in your room at night. Etan: Hm? ::he looked up and glanced over at Yogan before looking back at his readings.:: I’m fine. ::Was it his imagination or did his own voice sound higher?:: Yogan looked down at his controls, manufacturing a break in the conversation. Perhaps there could have been a subtler way of backpedaling from the conversation than awkwardly about-facing back to work, but it was effective. Yalu: Grid One-Alpha is complete. Setting course for Grid Two-Alpha, thrusters only, 500 kph. Glad of the opportunity for the break in the conversation and feeling guilty about the fact he had lied to his roommate, he focused on the work ahead of them. Etan: Understood. Reconfiguring sensors now. Yalu: ETA at Grid Two-Alpha, 90 seconds. The craft rolled slowly toward its new destination, the only sound inside the shuttlecraft being the low hum of the engines. Yalu: I hope that whatever is bothering you, you have support to work through it. Iljor looked at Yogan from the corner of his eye. He wasn’t pushing the issue and for that he was immeasurably grateful. Etan: I do. He had yet to speak to Meidra although he had made an appointment. Knowing that Aine and Genkos were prepared to be there for him, even without knowing the specifics of the situation had made him feel a touch better. In his own way, Yogan was showing his support and Iljor was grateful. Yalu: I’m glad. ::beat:: Holding position at Grid Two-Alpha. Ready when you are. Etan: Sensors reconfigured. Beginning scans. Yogan looked through the viewport at another unremarkable swath of nebula, when something in the distance caught his attention. Yalu: ::pointing:: What is that? At first Iljor could not see what Yogan was pointing to. Given the Celendi Nebula’s reputation to could have been almost anything. Then his eyes caught it. Against the backdrop of the dusty golden gas clouds that marked the edge of the nebula, something was drifting slowly in space. The way in which tumbling gently over itself suggested to the science officer that it had been ejected some time ago from the nebula- perhaps a day or two- via the stellar currents that were found within. Iljor’s hands danced quickly over his reconfigured console, directing every available sensor at the small object. Etan: Scanning the object now. Yalu: It’s moving slowly, less than 20 kph. ::beat:: Getting a clearer picture of it on sensors. The sensor scans resolved themselves on the screen in front of Iljor. He raised an eyebrow and let out a small gasp of surprise. Etan: It’s a Federation Type-7 shuttlecraft! Yalu: ::squinting:: What’s it doing out here? The rounded hull of the shuttlecraft tumbled through space, emerging through the nebular haze and becoming easier to make out. Yogan’s question was purely rhetorical, as the small vessel was clearly adrift, its journey at the mercy of the currents whipping and whirling through the nebula. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good. Etan: I’m running it’s registry through the Starfleet database now. ::he said, his hands at work once again.:: According to the this, this shuttle belongs to the starship Ibn Battuta. ::he turned to Yogan again.:: Does that sound familiar to you? Yalu: ::copies Iljor’s data onto his own console:: Doesn’t ring a bell. ::beat:: It says here that Ibn Battuta patrolled a section of the Klingon border near the Celendi Nebula in the late 2360s. Etan: So it’s been out here for thirty years? I’m going to run a search on the Ibn Battuta and see what I can find. Yalu: The hull is intact. I’m going to move us in closer and tractor it out. ::beat:: Our survey can allow a brief detour to investigate. Yogan piloted their shuttle deeper into the nebula, which was more difficult than he anticipated due to the unusually dense matter surrounding them. A few minutes later, they were parked back in their original position near Grid Two-Alpha, with a derelict shuttlecraft staring back at them a few dozen metres off their bow. Etan: Should we go over? The idea caused a strange mixture of intrigue and apprehension within the science officer. Abandoned and adrift shuttlecraft certainly held secrets, but whether anybody should uncover them was debatable. Yalu: Good question. ::beat:: Is it safe to beam over? Iljor ran a quick scan before replying. Etan: Sensors are showing that the shuttle is operating on a reduced power mode. There’s a breathable atmosphere over there, but we can remote trigger it’s power systems to bring it up to full operating capabilities. Yalu: ::shrugs:: Might give us a sharper clue into this region of the nebula. After all, this craft has been lost for 30 years. Iljor’s console bleeped at him. His search on the USS Ibn Battuta had brought up some interesting information and he scanned through the documents that the computer had selected for his attention. Etan: The Ibn Battuta reported a missing shuttlecraft on Stardate 48401.32 that had been sent on a survey mission. The ship itself tried for a week to find it but two officers were reported missing in action, presumed dead. ::the realisation that meant for the two men hit him like a stellar wind.:: Oh Prophets, you don’t think…? His eyes fell across the old shuttle full of trepidation, imagining the state that it’s occupation would be in after three decades. Sensors had not registered any life signs, after all… Yogan bit his lip at this particularly grim development. The historical parallel wasn’t lost on him, either. Two officers, sent off in a shuttlecraft to survey the Celendi Nebula. What was that old cliché he heard during his school days? Something about learning from history or being doomed to repeat it? Yalu: We’d better prepare ourselves, mentally, for what we might find over there. Reluctantly, Iljor got to his feet and equipped himself for their impromptu away mission: a tricorder and a phaser. He was relieved that the Rennell did not carry Visual Recording Devices as standard. There were some things best left undocumented, if what he thought was waiting for them came to pass. Etan: I’m ready. ::he said, the reluctance he felt seeping into the tone of his voice.:: Yogan locked down their small shuttlecraft, the 24th-century equivalent of dropping anchor or yanking the emergency brake. Confident that Rennell would be waiting for them when they were ready to return, he stood and grabbed the same bits of kit as Iljor. After keying in a site-to-site transport and setting the time delay, he rose from his seat and joined his fellow officer at the back of the cabin. Yalu: Let’s go. Holding his tricorder in one hand and his phaser in t’other, Yogan breathed deeply in half-anticipation/half-dread as the transporter beam enveloped the two men, sending them into the unknown. (( Derelict shuttlecraft )) The first thing Yogan noticed upon beaming in was the smell. Stale air made the small space feel even stuffier than usual, and the cold temperature immediately made him feel clammy. There was clearly no threat lurking behind seats or under consoles, so Yogan holstered his phaser and switched the tricorder to his dominant hand. Yalu: No signs of electrical damage. Nothing to indicate a catastrophic systems failure. ::beat:: With a quick power transfer, this craft would be flight ready. Iljor took a second to reorientate himself and get used to the staler air of the derelict vessel. He unclipped his tricorder, opened it and began scanning just as Yogan had done moments earlier. He felt an odd sense of unsettlement, as though things were not supposed to be the way they were. There wasn’t much space to wander around, which made the initial search of the craft relatively brief in duration. After turning 360 degrees multiple times, Yogan realised that the unpleasantness he had prepared himself for. Etan: Where are the corpses of the missing officers? ::he said, bewildered and looking to Yogan for guidance.:: Yalu: I don’t know. ::beat:: I’m half expecting one of them to drop out of the ceiling. ::adjusts tricorder settings:: I’m scanning for residual humanoid tissues now. If they’re here, or were, we’ll find out. Yogan slowly scanned the interior of the spacecraft, sweeping the tricorder across each surface. The readout didn’t change at all, and Yogan furrowed his brow in confusion. Yalu: I’m not picking anything up. No signs of decomposition, either. Those two missing officers weren’t in here. Or at the very least, they didn’t die in here. This is anticlimactic. ::beat:: I mean, I wasn’t hoping to find dead bodies in here, but… ::voice trails off:: At least we can recover the logs and tow the ship back to starbase. Etan: Good idea. ::he nodded in approval.:: I’ll get started on the logs. Yalu: ::returning the nod:: Aye. I’ll get the navigational computer online and establish a link with Rennell. If I can pilot her remotely, it’ll be a lot easier. Iljor took the copilots chair, which was a lot less comfortable than the one he had been occupying in the Rannell. He reached forward and tapped the old style console. A sharp negative beep met his touch and he blinked in surprise. Etan: That’s odd. This console won’t respond. ::he ran his tricorder across the console.:: The power systems don’t seem to be unaffected by whatever happened to the shuttle. But I can’t access the navigational logs. Yalu: Hmm. ::stands behind Iljor at the copilot’s seat:: Mind if I take a look? Realising that Yogan was more qualified than he was, especially when it came to shuttle operations he vacated the seat promptly and waved towards it. Etan: Be my guest. With a slight smile, Yogan took the seat. After a cursory inspection of the console, he didn’t get much further than Iljor did, but his tricorder diagnostic spat out a string of text that made Yogan raise an eyebrow. Iljor was right; it wasn’t a power problem. It was something far more mysterious. Yalu: We can’t access the navigational logs because they’ve been encrypted. Access restricted on Stardate 48401.32. ::beat:: That was the same date that Ibn Battuta reported this shuttlecraft missing. Why would someone have done that? The science officer considered the question before responding. Etan: Some kind of classified mission? ::he shrugged uncertainly:: But that still doesn’t explain where the occupants went? ::he ran another sweep with his tricorder, this focusing on biological material.:: I’m not even picking up any kind of biological trace matter. It’s like the shuttle was launched with nobody in it. Yogan’s brow was getting plenty of practice being furrowed. If he wasn’t careful, this seemingly simple-on-the-surface survey mission might develop a permanent crease in his forehead. The Trill intentionally relaxed his expression as he considered what to do next. Yalu: Ibn Battuta reported this craft missing with two officers aboard. Let’s try to figure out who they are. ::beat:: I have an idea. ::taps combadge:: Computer, do you have a record of the crew roster of the USS Ibn Battuta on Stardate 48401.32? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: And a record of the same roster for, say, two weeks after that date? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: Compare the two and report any changes. Computer: Working. ::beat:: Two differences between specified rosters identified. Yalu: Who are they? Computer: First Officer Lieutenant Commander Anxo Oliveria and Shuttle Pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade Parker Costanzo. Despite being mindful of the expression he wore on his face, Yogan couldn’t help raise an eyebrow at this bit of news. People go missing on missions from time to time, but for a senior officer to vanish without a trace added yet another wrinkle to this mystery. He thought about Addison MacKenzie, Resolution’s second-in-command, and had a hard time believing the crew would accept her just disappearing into thin air. Etan: The First Officer went missing?! ::he said, surprised.:: I guess that explains why Ibn Battuta spent a week looking for this shuttle. ::beat:: But according to our scans, they were never aboard. And a First Officer going missing in action would be pretty big news, right? So why have we never heard about Commander Oliveria? Things did not add up and coming so soon after their sojourn to the Briar Patch, Iljor was in no mood for more unanswered questions. Yogan looked back down at his tricorder’s display, as if to confirm that the data was correct. Both he and Iljor had run the same scans, and got the same results. With encrypted navigational logs, they couldn’t tell where the craft had been, but the condition of the [...]pit was clear: it had been launched with no one aboard. Yalu: We’ve got limited resources to get the answers we want out here. But I’m just as curious as you are, Iljor. We’ve got to find out what happened to Oliveria and Costanzo. Etan: ::he nodded his agreement.:: Maybe we should take this shuttle back to the Resolution? We’ll be better equipped to investigate there. Yogan nodded. The scientist was right. Perhaps Resolution, with her greater computing capacity, access to Starfleet records, and insolent-yet-efficient staff librarian, would be a more suitable base for launching an inquiry of this type. Yalu: Who’d have thought when we flew out here for a survey mission that we’d have uncovered something like this? ::settles back into the pilot seat:: Should be no problem piloting the craft remotely from Rennel, but it’s a two-day trip back to DS224. Iljor, I want to find out everything we can before we deliver this shuttle back over to Starfleet. Something feels wrong about this, and I don’t know about you, but I want to figure it out. Etan: I agree. ::beat:: We’ve already got too many mysteries left over from the Skarn Homeworld. I’m a scientist- and the idea of something going unsolved make my skin crawl. Their brief visit to the derelict craft had been a roller coaster. Yogan beamed over expecting to find the final resting place of two officers, left to the misfortune and abyss of deep space. Instead, they found an inexplicable situation and two officers whose disappearances remained a mystery. Yogan was pleased that his roommate and friend was as eager as he was to investigate. If nothing else, it might give them something to work on together after work, and be a welcome distraction to whatever had been troubling Iljor recently. Yalu: All right. The crafts’ navigation systems are linked. Let’s beam back and see if we can crack the encryption on those logs. TBC! Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 Lieutenant JG Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239203TW0
  11. These guys have worked incredibly hard on an extremely brilliant story about @Etan Iljor's folks and this JP with @Meidra Sirin is just the tip of the iceberg. But this is an awesome opener. Enjoy. ((Counselor Sirin's Office, Deck 2, USS Resolution)) The corridor- if you could call it that- that connected Meidra's office to the wider sickbay was short, almost to the point of being stubby. There was just enough room for a single person to wait for their appointment. There was a chair, but Iljor had chosen not to use it, feeling restless and anxious all at once. He paced it's nigh-non existent length back and forth, back and forth and felt the knot that had taken up residence in his stomach over the past few weeks tighten more than it had done up to that point. The only redoubt he had found from it was in his work on the Skarn Homeworld- the events there had forced a shift in his priorities- but in the days since their return to Deep Space 224, he had not been able to find a suitable distraction. Something in the back of his brain tickled, trying to push itself to the front. Each time he reached Meidra's door, it told him to push the button to alert the counselor to his presence. Each time he stopped himself from doing that, knot ever tightening. It wasn't rational and it certainly wasn't healthy, he knew that. In fact, he suspected his reluctance to talk to Meidra would be enough to fill half a dozen sessions with her. Meidra was in the middle of brewing some tea when she got the odd feeling that someone was outside her door. She frowned, not hearing anyone call to her, and she didn’t have any appointments lined up for the afternoon. Once she sensed it was Iljor, she waited for him to announce himself, but after a few minutes, he hadn’t tried. Staring at the door, she crossed her arms, almost willing him to enter. She’d wait until he was ready to talk, but curiosity was building. He had spent the last several months in denial. Deep in it, in fact. His decision to remain silent was born of a desire to keep the status quo as it was. He had come close to disclosing it to Genkos, but the fact was that unleashing what he had been told to anybody else would force him to confront the truth that Akhbett Jirall had provided him with. His parents had been party to a massacre. He could not stave off the reckoning any longer. It was time to rip off the band-aid, just as Genkos had suggested weeks earlier. He knew that he could not go through it alone. The CMO had told him that the crew would be there to pick up the pieces, but he needed their support to go through with it. He could think of no one more qualified- no one he trusted more- than Meidra. He reached the entrance to her office once more. Only this time, the doors opened and there stood the auburn-haired Vulcan/El-Aurian psychologist, peering at him with an expression somewhere between confusion and annoyance. Sirin: Iljor? Is there a reason you are haunting my waiting area? I can feel the waves of turmoil coming from you from inside my office. Come in, please. She moved off to one side to allow her friend and colleague entrance. Since his arrival on the Resolution, their friendship had grown into a cherished one, and the counselor was a bit overwhelmed by the strong conflicting emotions she felt coming from the usually cheerful science officer. It wasn’t like him to be so stressed, and a real concern started to grow within her. Sirin: I was just brewing some Spice tea for myself, but if that is not to your liking, you may use the replicator to procure a beverage. ::sits on her sofa, pouring a cup of tea for herself:: Tell me what is on your mind. Spice tea sounded like the tonic that Iljor needed. He made his way into her comfortable office, made himself a cup and took a seat on the same sofa that he had sat on the very first time that he had met her. It was still as soft as he had remembered. She waited patiently for him to sit down, and explain what had him so upset. She knew not to push too hard, Iljor always sorted through his thoughts in a quite logical way before speaking, and she knew this time would be no different. He saw no reason not to cut straight to the heart of the matter. Etan: Back when we were on Trill for Yogan's zhian'tara ::he began, slowly and deliberately as he organised his jumble of chaotic thoughts.:: I was approached by a Cardassian who claimed to have information on what amounts to a false flag operation on Bajor, one that my parents were drawn in to. ::he went to reach for the optolythic data rod that Akhbett had given him before her swift exit from the café. He didn't realise until he blinked that he was already holding it.:: The data rod had been gathering dust in his bedside table ever since they had returned from Trill. He had tried to forget about it as best as he could. He had ignored it for the most part, but after his conversation with Genkos and upon returning from the science symposium, he had finally decided to review its contents. What he had read had sickened him to his very core. Of all the things that he could have told her, this had not even registered as a possibility. Meidra took a sip of her tea, attempting to clear her thoughts, before putting the cup down to focus on her friend. Her voice softened, and she knew she had to tread carefully with this conversation. He was like a pi’sa-kai to her, a little brother, and she did not wish to cause him unneeded distress. Sirin: I see. And what exactly did this person tell you? Etan: She claimed that the old Central Command fed false intelligence to my parent's resistance cell that an Obsidian Order operation was about to take place. Their cell swiftly bombed the warehouse where they were sheltering and then 'picked off' the survivors one by one until none were left. Just repeating Jirall's claims made him want to be sick all over Meidra's office. He could feel the roiling of his agitated stomach, the knot there replaced temporarily by an ocean of anxiety. He took a sip of the spice tea with closed eyes, hoping it would calm him somewhat. Given that his hands were now beginning to tremble, it didn't seem to work. Meidra reached out and squeezed his hands in encouragement, her touch light. Sitting back again, she watched the emotions cross his face as he struggled to continue. She had never seen him so agitated. Her feelings for him as an older sister warred with her duties as counselor for a moment, and all she wanted to do was envelope him in a huge hug and let him cry it out. However, at this moment, they were counselor and patient. She took a moment to settle her own thoughts before continuing. Sirin: Take a breath, Iljor. Tell me more when you are ready. He drew strength from her gentle squeeze and he composed himself before elaborating. Etan: They weren't Obsidian Order operatives. ::he said in a small voice that took on a surprisingly guilty tone.:: They were religious believers. Civilians. Sirin: Refugees. Iljor nodded. Etan: Of a sort. ::beat:: They were members of an ancient Cardassian religion, known as the Oralian Way. After the establishment of the Central Command and the military dictatorship, religion was banned outright and members of The Way were hunted and persecuted publicly, for entertainment as much as a warning to others. The woman I spoke to said that the believers were being sheltered by the Vedek Assembly- which does tally with their actions during the Occupation. The Vedek Assembly had, in the decades since the end of the Occupation and the fall of Central Command, admitted to running an underground railroad of Oralian believers through Bajor, sheltering them until they get them off world and out of the murderous hands of Central Command and the Obsidian Order. It was their own act of rebellion against the oppressive Centeal Command. Iljor had thought them courageous and selfless, putting aside prejudice and hate to help those in dire need of rescuing. Sirin: And this woman said your parents were somehow involved. ::beat:: What else did she tell you? Etan: That was pretty much it. That there was a false flag operation, my parents' resistance cell was involved and religious refugees were massacred. ::he remembered a final detail.:: The Vedek Assembly covered it all up. ::he let out a sigh.:: I haven't corroborated any of the details. ::he held up the optometric rod again.:: I'm scared to. Sirin: What exactly do you fear, Iljor? Etan: That I don’t know my own parents- the people who raised me. This changes absolutely everything. I don’t know if I want to know the real them. Sirin: Perhaps not knowing is more harmful at this point. She poured them another cup of tea, watching his expression carefully. This was a huge revelation for him to deal with, and while determining the veracity of these claims was important, his emotional health was her first priority. Both as counselor, and as friend. Iljor considered Meidra’s view for a moment, his eyes darting back and forth as though he was reading something. His foot tapped on the carpet in agitation. Jirall’s evidence had more than just repercussions for him and his parents- the entire bedrock of Bajoran spirituality- the Vedek Assembly- could be shaken to its core. Etan: Something like this could rock the very foundations of Bajor. The Vedek Assembly engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the deaths of innocent Cardassian civilians. I know it was the Occupation and to almost everyone the only good Cardassian was a dead Cardassian. ::beat:: but I never believed that and I never will. He didn't remember getting to his feet and he didn't remember when he had risen his voice. Etan: For years I convinced myself that my parents were just messengers or they hid resistance members in their cellar away from the prying eyes of Dukat's patrols. ::beat:: I want to believe they’re innocent of what they stand accused of. They have to be. But in his heart, he knew the facts. Data on optolythic data rods was infallible and as best as he knew, nobody had ever successfully forged an entry. If Jirall had gotten the information then it was accurate. His entire world had been turned upside down. His parents were strangers, the leaders of his faith were party to a massacre and cover-up, everything he knew was a lie. She could see him spiraling into self doubt about what he had always felt was the truth about his family. He was agitated and she could feel his anxiety as if it were her own. Empathy was a fine talent to have until one felt as if one’s lunch was trying to escape. She took a deep breath and spoke a bit louder than usual to the young science officer. Sirin: Iljor. Look at me. Do you want to know what that rod contains? Are you prepared to deal with the consequences, no matter what they are? ::beat:: Have you considered speaking with your parents? There was something in Meidra's voice- a commanding tone- that snapped back to reality and out of his heightened emotional state. He blinked twice and looked at the counselor. The truth was that no- he was not prepared to deal with the information he had been given. That had been why he had buried it under a pile of clothes in his drawers and tried to pretend it did not exist. Yet, he knew he could not ignore it forever. He had known ever since Jirall had sat opposite him in the café on Trill that he would have to confront his parents with the information. He might not be prepared… but he would have to change that. He let out a long, sad sigh. Etan: No. No I'm not. ::he shook his head.:: But this is too important to bury my head in the sand and forget about. ::he paused for a second and flopped back on to the comfortable sofa, resigned to his duty.:: I don’t think that I could. He reached a decision. Etan: I have to speak to them. Sirin: I think that is the most logical course of action. It was not a conversation he wanted to have over subspace. He didn't want to have it at all- but he knew it had to be done. No, he needed to speak to them face to face. There was no way that they would leave the farm- not when the katterpod harvest was coming up. That only left one option. He needed to go home. Etan: I don't think I can do this alone. ::he said finally.:: I'm not strong enough. Meidra highly doubted that. Iljor had a strength that he might not recognize, but it was in everything he did, both as an officer and as a person. She would do what she could to reinforce that confidence until he truly believed it himself. But until then, she would do all she could for him when he needed her. Sirin: What do you need to make this easier for you? Etan: ::he looked at Meidra imploringly.:: Would you come with me? You're my best friend on Resolution and this is one of those times when you need a friend to support you. Meidra was quite touched. She felt the same way for the young Bajoran, and their weekly lunches had grown into a strong bond of friendship. She wondered how she had gotten so fortunate to serve with such incredibly talented and compassionate beings. Taking his hand once more in hers, she smiled warmly at her pi’sa-kai. Sirin: You never have to ask me for my support, Iljor. I wouldn’t want you to do this on your own. Speaking as a counselor, I would not advise you to go on your own anyway. Speaking as your best friend and big sister, I wouldn’t even let you consider it. He practically sagged with relief into the back of the sofa. Etan: Thank you. ::he said after several long moments that seemed never-ending.:: Sirin: We’re family now, pi’sa-kai. Your struggles are my own. We will get through this together, little brother. -- End Of Scene -- Lieutenant (J.G.) Etan Iljor Science Officer U.S.S. Resolution C239203TW0 & Lieutenant Meidra Sirin Ship’s Counselor U.S.S. Resolution R239707MS0 “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to life.”
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