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Kirsty L. Carpenter

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Kirsty L. Carpenter last won the day on May 13 2021

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About Kirsty L. Carpenter

  • Birthday 12/30/1988

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    Comics, retro TV, criticism, Trek (obviously), TTRPG (mainly Call of Cthulhu), and writing!

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  1. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep up with the rest of yall! But really this mission got great stuff out of everybody, I’m so, so happy you enjoyed this.
  2. CONGRATULATIONS! It was a really strong class. Your journey is just beginning!
  3. Thank you so much, Science Cat Friend! This transfer has been a real treat for me. I’m glad y’all are enjoying it as much as I have!
  4. Im crazy late to this but I’m totally down! I reviewed the first of the Star Trek: Coda series for my job last year plus I’m always reading something or other.
  5. I ran out of REACTIONS catching up on these. Oh, boy am I gonna miss you maniacs.
  6. ((Exterior. Salem, Massachusetts. Salem State University. Just Outside Rockett Arena.)) ((2387 - The Before.)) Quentin Collins III blithely stared at the graduation chord and board in his hand as he awkwardly loped out of what was supposed to be the “beginning of the rest of his life”. It was funny, before THIS very moment he had been achingly worried about getting everything right. Making sure his props were in their proper places and the final movements of his life as a student were completed. He had filed out of his classes almost a full day earlier than he was supposed to, post his finals and last term papers. His cap and gown had been purchased and shipped precisely a full week before everyone else’s in his building. Drawing more wary eyes and hushed whispers than usual, but he had been fully well used to that long beforehand. Like…second term, second year stuff that was. This however? Was something altogether different. While he had honestly loved student life, as well the arduously engaging work of his studies, the last year of his career in college had become a sprint, not a marathon. Every grade, every assignment had become life and death. Every rehearsal with the theater guild and requirement of every other subsequent department, from the lowest of English to the most esoteric of Anthropology specialization, now a dire demand on his time. This…mutated, to be frank, further once the talk of graduation happened. That just kicked it into an entirely separate gear as the feelings shifted from mere expectations to something not unlike providence. All these feelings and thoughts and a whole lot more squalled and bared on Quentin’s mind and body… Right up...until this very second. Where the time and energy and demands on him had finally stopped. Leaving him preciously, blissfully…unattached. Unmoored from responsibility and remands of professors and the proffered, haughty attitudes of his fellow students. He glanced up. Seeing the sun of the gorgeously chilly day crest over this section of the campus and was struck dumb by its mundane beauty. How the light caught the grass amid the sidewalks just so, giving it the impression of sheets made of swaying beads of green rainwater. Intersected by rich paths of smooth cream colored stone, crisscrossing now in eye-grabbing patterns that should have seemed obvious to him far before now. This was the place that he had lived for nearly five years now and he hated himself for not realizing how amazing it was. These gorgeous real-life sets were suffused further with bright, laughing life as more and more of his fellow graduates and their families started to stream from the interior of Rockett. Quentin all but floated down the stairs, drinking in the sunny convection of the people and parents around him. Smiles, hugs, and shouts of elation surrounded him like a grand heavenly chorus. He smiled quietly to himself. He couldn’t help it. Despite having more than a few run-ins with the student body and feeling their harsh and oftentimes unfounded cutting looks across him and the occasional “good-natured” prank for…well, months, he still was happy for them. Just as he was happy for himself to a point. They had all worked hard and deserved the light of affection and recognition. “Even if Andrew Hardy once nailed all my shoes to the Common Room cork board that one time…”, he thought, suddenly souring his lightness. He shook the thought and POLISCI man-child from his hair, loosening his tended, but still too-long reddish mane of hair. He also unzipped the front of his dark blue graduation robe, drawing the cool, welcome air across his soft cotton oxford and judiciously steamed khakis. He forced himself back into the moment. Keenly reminding himself that these would be his last days on campus. He would have to savor them. Just as he would have to savor his last few days on Earth… His mouth twisted into a reflexive frown. That was still a conversation to come. He crossed further into the quad, trying to pull words from the miasma of feelings that started to overtake him. He had put it off for too long. Dad had even said so, even if he didn’t know the specifics. And knowing Mother she would find some way to put him on the spot about- “Quentin! Quentin, over here!” He turned and silently cursed his own foresight. Just a few yards away stood his family. Mother, in her Sunday Funeral Best (but that was a usual sight around SSU), extricating herself from yet another fawning over session from the rest of her department and the Dean of Sciences. Dad, David, and Sara, as per usual, traveling in her wake. Sara’s face matched Quentin’s for the most part, grinning and soaking up the sights and sounds of the campus around her. David, as ever, looked bored and antsy to move on. Both had just turned fifteen, but looked much older flanking their Father, all clad in their version of formal-casual. Quentin started to slip off his robe, but was quickly disabused of that notion by his Mother, who started handing over her ancient, but well-kept film camera to Dad as she “tidied” him for pictures. Quentin started something akin to disassociating. Smiling vacantly through what seemed like 800 pictures, some unexpectedly punctuated by harsh, searing flashes of a nearly 200 year old light source. But the pictures with Dad and Sara and David seemed to have a different energy to them. One that even the usual stolid and aloof Mother even clocked. They were playful and candid and finally drew Quentin back up and out of the brain fog that still dominated his forebrain. But Mother’s voice started to pierce through the din. Recapping for the benefit of no one but herself the information they already knew from the graduation ceremony (along with Quentin’s basically mandatory check-ins with Mother ON campus in her office). Top 15% of his class, a double Degree with Honours in Anthropology and Parapsychology, and near perfect attendance (barring that few days in which he caught “the flu” after a particularly rowdy short tour of The Scottish Play with the theater guild). It felt as if he was being talked AT and not ABOUT. Dad and Sara seemed to clock his discomfort, suggesting an early lunch and maybe then further a tour of the campus. Then Mother had done it. As Quentin started them toward their chosen parking spot, led now by David in a sharpish gait, Mother started in on his ‘future”. How the “world” was now open to him, beyond graduate studies and his doctorate, of course. “Professor Halsey was so impressed with you, Quentin, he would love to have you stay for your post-grad work. But also, we must keep in mind the benefits of graduate work at another school, of course. With your marks, Quentin dear, you could have your pick! Brown, Oxford, gods, even Miskatonic! I know Armitage is an old goat, but he runs a marvelous department. And thankfully, Arkham isn’t that far from home! You could study during the week and visit us during the weekends. I know the children would love to have you around more, they miss their big brother and-” “Mom, I’m not going.” The words fell from his mouth like rapidly cooling molten lead. Even the colloquialism, “mom”, he rarely ever referred to her like that. Much less to her face. Or, in this case, the back of her ink black power suit. David stopped short of the car, turning with wide, saucer like eyes. Sara, who had been walking next to Quentin, almost tripped over her own shoes, looking up at him now with a mixture of horror and horrified curiosity. Dad, as usual, kept somewhat distant from the scene. Observing from the side with an unreadable, but warm expression on his face (one that looked painfully similar to Sara’s; no mistaking who’s child she was in this moment). Unfortunately, Quentin felt himself spinning up and nothing any of them could do could help him. The molten lead of his words and thoughts started to temper and sharpen to something else. Something cutting and cold and unyielding. That was the only way you could talk to Professor Bouchard-Collins and if she really wanted to do this now, then he would do it to the fullest extent. No matter the audience of peers and students that continued to mill about the campus. “Also, Arkham is nearly SIX HOURS from Collinsport. What, am I just supposed to drop everything and come, I don’t know, rearrange the library every weekend and wonder what country you are in while I’m there? Get real, Mom.” Quentin ejected before he could vet it. Mother had turned now completely, her own eyes widening like harvest moons against the tastefully applied makeup of her face. “But…our plan. You were to-,” she started, but Quentin was there. Too quick, too sharpish maybe, but what started as a river of thought now exploded into a font of action. Words and thoughts and feelings spilling from him like he had been split across his middle seam, guts spilling steaming onto the pavement. “No, YOUR plan, Mother. Not mine. But then again, actually talking to me would allow you to know what and we all know you’ve always taken the hands-off approach.” “Hey, now, son, let’s not…,” his Dad started, but was stopped by both Quentin and Angelique’s briskly bladed hand. This was not their first (nor would it be their final) argument, but this was one that was long, long overdo. And now that it had sprouted, it seemed like nothing short of scorched earth would bring it fully to bloom. “Well, I apologize for wanting my first-born son to follow in my footsteps. I just thought-.” “That’s the trouble, Mom! You THOUGHT! You didn’t KNOW! And GOD FORBID you take the time to actually ask me what I WANTED!” Mother’s eyes honed to slits. The rest of the family continued to stay outside of it and quiet, oh, so quiet. In David’s case, it was likely the most quiet he had ever been in his whole life. Mother took another breath. “I won’t apologize for providing for my family.” “It’s more than that, Mom. And you are smarter than that. That’s a softball guilt trip, even for you.” “Well, then, I won’t apologize for having a career and wishing you to have the same. Long stretches of our family were academics and if that’s not good enough for you-” “GOD just STOP it. You KNOW that’s not it either! I love studying! I love studying so much, I’m still basically a freaking virgin. AFTER COLLEGE!” A short yelp of laughter escaped from his Dad, but was quickly clamped away from the world by his weathered hand and the flashing eyes of Professor Bouchard-Collins. She turned back toward him and in that moment, Quentin had never seen his Mother look this old. More than that, this deflated. He hated the sight of it, but at the same time, tried to stand as straight as he could. As he reminded himself, this was something that had been brewing for years. This unfounded expectation of him to “follow tradition” and join academia alongside her. At one point, when he was young, the idea HAD appealed to him. Low-impact work. Plenty of reading. Potentially teaching one day (the only real aspect that had always appealed to him). But as he became older and spent more and more time away from home, he realized that the choice was never his. Even when it might have looked that way. Mother had always set this up and had designs as to what the next phase was. But those next phases never matched Quentin’s and now, the time had come to try and reconcile those two parts into something new. Even, perhaps, at the cost of their relationship. He owed it to himself for the alternative seemed damning to him. To live and work a life that wasn’t his. Just another follower of a rubric he had no say in writing. Losing the precious little sense of self that he had already gained over the last years. “Don’t be vulgar, Quentin.”, retorted his mother in the tone that had felled many an undergrad and would-be magus who thought they knew something about something. Much like his siblings, he was well acquainted with that sort of tone, but now, instead of the chilly fear and dread it would usually bring him. Replaced was a sort of defiance. Slowly kindled, surely, but there all the same. Something new for the last day of school Quentin quickly appraised so he stood into it as if he was walking into a warm surf. Daggers of Mother’s voice threatened to pierce this newfound tenancy, but Quentin still held firm. Even though he knew he probably looked like a poorly made scarecrow facing off against the best Norma Desmond impersonator this side of the Potomac. “I suppose you have an idea of what you would rather do? Since apparently my suggestions aren’t good enough for you.” “Stop it, Mom. Seriously. You are just cutting to cut now.” “You certainly had no problem taking my money and whiling it away here for years.” “Angelique.” came his father’s voice finally. A tender bolt from the peanut gallery that seemed to sting Mother in the way he intended. She winched at Quentin Jr.’s unusually stern tone and reoriented her ire back toward Quentin the Third. “Well, do you? What do you want to do with your life?” Quentin Collins made the herculean effort not to go for the lowest possible fruit available to him at that second (“Dad would only really get it anyway,” he thought ruefully.) and held his ground. “You know what I want to do.” “Indeed I do, cully,” she sneered. “I want to know if you have the steel to say it.” “Starfleet.” It didn’t even take him a second. “Oh, Hecate, not this ag-.” “Star. Fleet.” “Quentin, it is OUT OF THE QUESTION. I won’t have any son of my doing the bidding of those colonialist, clod-hopping cowboys! I would rather you live on the street than in space, mark me, cully, and mark me well.” “Oh, sure, Mom, start banging that old tired drum. It didn’t make sense then, and it sure as snot doesn’t make any damn sense now.” She wasn’t there and then suddenly she was, the finger of a harridan pointed up and under his nose. At that moment, she didn’t just look exhausted. She looked…terrified. Her eyes, once radiant pools of concentrated intelligence, were now wild and unfocused. Her free hand, jutting up, stock straight like some sort of ghoulishly sartorial weather vane. Quentin allowed himself a quick look at what she was indicating and it seemed…it seemed to be the very sky itself. “You don’t UNDERSTAND! You CAN’T! If you had seen the things I’ve seen, son…what’s out there…?! Waiting…watching…” Both hands suddenly bunched his shirt, pulling him closer. Suddenly nothing around them or above them remained. There was only the boy and his mother and the crushing realization that the person who birthed you was precisely just that. A person. Capable and containing the same fears and anxieties and foibles as you do. “Let the star-kind sleep, Quentin. You’ll find nothing amongst them.” “I’m not afraid.” “Not yet anyway, cully. Not yet.” Seeming as if she had made some grand point, she swept away from them all. Opening and slamming the back car door in what could be read as one motion. Quentin turned a rueful, angrily tearful eye back to the rest of his family, now hunched in their own little warren to the side of the pathway now. As if pushed physically aside simply by the force of Professor Angelique Bouchard-Collins’ will. Quentin started to stammer an apology and was met simply with a massive, all-encompassing hug from his Father. Despite himself he hugged the larger-than-life man that he loved with every bit of him back. Taking then in turn a patented “Sibling Hug” from Sara and David on either side of him once Quentin Jr. had released him. Quentin didn’t say anything, because he knew he didn’t have to. If there were any people he could depend on and trust to know what he needed, it would forever be this section of his family. Perhaps one day, he could count his mother amongst that number. But for now, he settled for a tense, but pleasurable lunch at one of his favorite local restaurants (an unnamed Continental restaurant/greasy spoon that seemed to be owned and operated by one of the largest men Quentin had ever met; hysterically named “Bibbo”), catching Sara and David up on the particularly goofy things that had happened to him in the last few months, and relishing the look of chaste disappointment he got from ordering alcohol in front of his parents for the first “official” time. At one point, when the sun had dipped low enough to reveal the starfield beyond their light, Quentin Jamison Collins III gazed longingly up toward them. How could anyone be afraid of something so beautiful? An infinite orrery of worlds and peoples, across vast incalculable oceans of stars. All just waiting to be seen. “I’m coming, universe.” he spoke into the night. “One way or another…”
  7. Y’all laugh but I actually HAVE PITCHED a western themed mission.
  8. I’m almost certain “Seek Help” is on Quentin’s family crest.
  9. There have been a ton of great sims coming out of the opening dedication of our new crew lounge. But this one by @Randal Shayne here recently really, really got me. Our Cap is a tough cookie, for sure, but every time we get these looks into his warm and gooey center, it's just the absolute best. ((Deck 6, Starboard Bow, USS Arrow)) Dewitt: Thank you, Commander, for seeing this through. And for allowing me to be part of it. ::raising his glass: To many nights we will spend here, remembering all the good and the bad times and figuring out what the next kitchen appliance will be that we make better. Shayne lifted his spare hand and balled into a fist as more applause fill the air. Not just building something, the captain realized. Continuing the build something. Making something better. A legacy. That’s what they were creating. A legacy. Leave it to the scientist to look at the present, and an engineer to look at the future. Serinus: And now, we will hear a man who will speak to us in three roles, as our final design contributor, someone who helped us acquire quite a few resources from the Excalibur and Deep Space 224, and as our current First Officer. Please give it up for the Triil, the beard, the Legend. Commander Karrod Niac! The captain smiled to himself. Who better to look at the past than someone with lifetimes of experience? It was momentarily remarkable, he realized, to look at what they were doing from an exterior perspective. Depending on how this evening ended, and what happened with it, and what came after, the symbiote within his crotchety XO might remember this night for longer than any of them. Making history, even in a small way, was humbling. To watch it being created before your eyes was… compelling. Niac: Thank you, Mr. Serinus. And my sincere thanks to both Mr. Dewitt and Mr. Collins for speaking so passionately and openly about how they feel about this crew. It's a testament to the depths of the bonds that form between us that we can come together with such zeal for a moment like this. Now, I've learned a secret about giving speeches years ago that always served me well and I'll share it with all of you tonight. Shayne couldn’t believe he was doing it, but as he brought his hand to his mouth to cup it, he yelled out. Shayne: Be careful, commander- that’s a mighty powerful secret you’re sharing! As Niac’s face became warmer than even the captain had ever seen, Shayne couldn’t resist the smile that crept up his unprepared cheeks as well. Niac: The secret to a good speech...is brevity. ::As the polite laughter faded Karrod raised his glass with a flourish:: Raise a glass...to Starfleet...to one another...and to the Arrow! The bar filled again with the huzzahs of a ship well crewed, and Karrod exited the stage respectfully. Now it was time for the captain. Shayne looked around momentarily before remembering with a bowel-cleansing jolt that said honor belonged to him. Shayne: oO And I haven’t even been drinking. Oo Serinus: And now, the man who’s seen all of us through our jaunts across the Alpha Isles. To many of you he needs no introduction, let’s hear it for the CO of the good ship Arrow, Captain Shayne! ::Once again, Artinus lead the applause:: Shayne grimiced once more and made his way to the stage. For once, it felt less like a formal engagement, and rather more like a comedy club. He wasn’t sure if that was better or much worse. It was also at this time that he realized he’d not prepared remarks. Normally he was studious when it came to preparing, but writing words generally eluded him. Well, it hadn’t been a problem before… except that one time, or that other time, or… Shayne: Someone once said that the captain of a starship has your problems, my problems, his problems and the problems of 430 others. Yeah, that might be the case, but where I see problems, I also realize the unique position I’m in. You see, I get to observe each of you; your strengths, your courage, your conviction, your resolve, your ingenuity. I get to watch the tapestry that is this crew, in all its beautific and occasionally insane grace. For that, I am grateful. He accepted a small goblet of wine from one of the waitstaff who had observed the potential for awkwardness, and he lifted it. Shayne: To each of you, and to us all. Niac: Three cheers for the Captain! Hip Hip! Shayne downed the wine and held his hand over his chest as the final hips and hoorahs were offered. The vigor surprised him momentarily; he’d forgotten just what kind of volume was possible when nearly eighty people were shoved into a small closet. He dismounted the stage swiftly and tried to return to MacKenna’s side, but the chief of security had different plans. Serinus: ::turning to Shayne:: Please remain here, sir. ::turning to the crowd:: I’d like to call the rest of our speakers back up please. But please join me in one last round of applause for our Captain. Shayne glowered at the Magna Roman, but allowed it. MacKenna’s encouraging eyes kept him from saying anything uncouth. But as he stood there, taking it in once more, he realized that someday, if he was very fortunate, he would look back on this, and smile. Tags/END Captain Randal Shayne Commanding Officer USS Arrow NCC 69829 G239202RS0
  10. Let it never be said we don’t know how to party in the Alpha Isles.
  11. One of the awesome things about our format here is how it allows us to explore an evolving dynamic between our PCs and NPCs. And one of my absolute favorite dynamics has always been the burgeoning relationship between @Randal Shayne and @Kali Nicholotti's Ash MacKenna. This piece here is just one example of a whole slew of truly striking and sweet developments that I've been rapturously following between the missions. Please enjoy! /////////////// ((Off the Grid, Raft-One)) Shayne: I don’t know- shall we? He was actually asking. This was somewhere he was most definitely not in control, and his thin thread of self-trust rested entirely upon her slim shoulders. They continued forward, the sounds growing louder. The light was closer now, though not much more distinct. Shayne still had to squint in the low light still, but more as a result of what he saw as opposed to what he couldn’t. The primary source of the light was above the scene; a chandelier with lit and melting candles. Burnished bronze that looked both dispensed with and intricately added to the area, bent and warped reflections. Rich wood furniture- tables and chairs and short stair cases to an upper level- were accompanied by a bar. The scent of foods, both familiar and not, lingered in the air, and the place was reasonably filled with people- Federation species and others mingling, talking, drinking, playing kal-toh and poker and kotra. Wait… kotra… that was a Cardassian game! And sure enough, one of the players, now looking at Shayne and Ash curiously, was very distinctly Cardassian. What was this place? As for Ash, she simply moved in and about as if she’d been there many times before. Of course she hadn’t been but once or twice, but there were more than one of these so-called refuges around the galaxy. She had simply been a little surprised to have found one there, at Raft-one. Though perhaps she should have been, given the history of their administrator. Offering an unfocused nod in the direction of the questions left unspoken, Ash led Shayne to an out of the way table. MacKenna: Don’t mind them. After all, it was in the very nature of a spy to be wary and questioning, even in places where protections allowed for most of their guard to be down. Shayne: You know these people? He followed MacKenna’s lead as best he could, but couldn’t keep the look of surprise off his features. MacKenna: Not as much. I know what they are, not necessarily who. The table, made of hard, solid, and real wood, polished to a shine that helped to reflect the low lighting in a private sort of way, was almost welcoming as they took their seats. Looking up, she let her eyes settle in his for the first time since they’d entered. Now she could relax as much as being out among people would allow her to. Shayne: I’m… I don’t understand. This place can’t be on the primary directory. I would have noticed it. A rather dapper looking fellow appeared, dressed to the hilt with a small towel across one arm and provided them each with an actual menu. With a slight bow, he rattled off a few of the specials and then retreated. On the thick paper, embossed with shimmering black and gold inks, were listings of exquisite entrees that might have even made Quentin blush. From one of the rarest fish on Risa, prepared traditionally and served on a bed of oskoid, to aged beef from the one cow slaughtered that year from the first herd transported to Mars, what could be acquired there, was not like anything that could be acquired elsewhere. MacKenna: It’s a haven. We don’t really talk about it, we just enjoy the momentary ability to breathe. She paused a moment, looking over the menu. MacKenna: Anything look interesting to you? Shayne answered honestly, but his eyes were darting around the room. Shayne: Yes. Everything. The redhead couldn't help but grin across the table at the man she loved. Setting the menu down, she stood back up and reached over for his hand to lead him out from the table. In any other setting, at any other time, she wouldn’t dream of this, but in such a haven, where the shadows allowed some obscurity, there was a sense of empowerment. MacKenna: Dance with me. Not far, on the outskirts of the room, shadows teased of dark places that made all within the room feel at home. Ash found such an edge that happened to be also a part of the not-empty, but not packed dance floor and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Shayne nearly blanched. Shayne: Here?! With them?! He kept his voice to a low hiss. He wouldn’t say no to even this immediately- Ash deserved better- but his dismay was absolute. This wasn’t like her. Everywhere, and nowhere, the sounds of live music - just the type you’d expect in such an establishment - drifted around them like a lazy river. The curious looks of others had long since faded, and the shadows kept them from any sort of spotlight. Leaning her head against his shoulder, Ash knew that regardless of what else came, this was the night they needed. He wanted to panic. If not panic, then startle, or detach from the moment in a display of misplaced tactical acumen. But the head on his shoulder, the hair that laid on his tux, belonged to the woman he had learned to love the long way around. He felt her heart against his; it always beat a little quicker than his own, and yet here… here it was slow. Calm. Soft. She was safe here. Not as a fact. As a truth. She was safe here. And if that was the case, so was he. His questions ran rampant, his need for answers was unabated, but in this enclave between worlds, in this twilight zone of what might be, he decided to simply hold her tight, and dance, long into the night. The answers would wait. He had a dance to attend. END – Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Intelligence Officer USS Arrow R238605KN0 and Captain Randal Shayne Commanding Officer USS Arrow NCC 69829 G239202RS0
  12. THANK YALL SO MUCH. I've really had a blast getting inside the head of this new mission co-star.
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