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  1. OOC: I jumped the gun (okay, fine, I miscounted the number of parts they said the jp contained before I posted it) when I posted the other sections, but honestly, perhaps this was as it should be. While this may be the finale, it deserves its own entry. From laughter to tears, this part of the JP moved me both ways. Well done @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] ((Twenty Minutes Later)) In the holodeck’s version of the Temple at Mount Selaya, the trio stood. Saveron didn’t need the atmospheric location, but perhaps the others did. There was a lot to be said for how ambiance could affect an individual’s thoughts. Reaching out, he placed his long fingers on one side of Commander Teller’s face, slowly shifting his fingertips until he found the strongest synaptic nodes. Satisfied, he repeated the movements on Alieth’s face, until he could feel both of their minds hovering just within reach. Next, she placed her hand on Teller's temple, the fingertips where his synaptic centres were strongest. The other side of his face was occupied by Saveron's slender fingers. Alieth's other hand rested on the vibrating crystal placed on the electronic device. An asymmetrical circle. An origin, a bridge, a guide and a destination. And a soul to be coerced to go around the circuit. Alieth took a deep breath and looked at the two men beside her. Then, she closed her eyes briefly. She lowered her mental barriers and opened herself to mental contact. The other Vulcan's mind resonated in hers as a clarion call. Saveron shone bright and strong. Clear as the first light of morning. Like the birth of a star. Alieth: ~~ Osu ~~ Saveron: ~~ Orensu ~~ He would not normally condescend to call Alieth his student, but in this alone he was the only one with any experience. Their walls came down, hers first, then his, and their minds touched, as intimately as if they were lovers. It seemed as though he saw Alieth clearly for the first time, without the barriers of the physical world. She was a flame; burning bright and slightly angry. Anger could be a powerful driver. Saveron: ~~Ready?~~ She nodded minimally. It was more an intention than a movement in itself. Her dark eyes turned to Teller's green ones. Her fingers flexed lightly at his temper. In the holographic reconstruction of the temple, far away, out of the shady recesses under the columns, there rang a chime. And the shriek of a kestrel. Alieth: Ready Geoff? Teller: ~~I CAN HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS IN MY EYES~~ Alieth: ~~Just the answer I was waiting for~~ She pushed lightly, and the tenuous walls to enter his mind cracked open wide, to that cacophony of an orchestra tuning up before a great fanfare that was the human mind. A confusion of brass and wind and string noises and for some strange reason, a duck. The mind wove strange stories in this dreamscape. Saveron was there to guide Sern’s katra and keep the situation from becoming confused. It was easy to forget one’s goal when memory crowded so close. Alieth: ~~No trips down memory lane this time, we just look for Sern, okay?~~ Teller: ~~That’s fine by me, I still feel like I have sand in my boots from the last time~~ One corner of her mouth, both inside and outside the meld, curled into a tiny smirk. Saveron: ~~Bring to mind, if you can Commander, the sensation you experience when you ‘hear’ Sern’s thoughts.~~ Geoff concentrated, turning his mind's eye to the place where he and Sern would meet. It had always been just out of focus when Geoff had gone there but now the details were clear and sharp, the meld helping to enhance his recall. He could see the sand on the arena floor, stained with dark green blood. This is where Sern had hidden himself away, residing forever in the last moments of his mortal life. As if beginning a journey, Geoff felt himself drawn from one memory to next, and every time they felt a step closer. There was a spark. Something long extinguished coming to life one last time, a flame burning the dregs of its remaining energy in one last bright, ephemeral blaze. The moment that they found Sern he became apparent to Saveron, the only one who did not yet know him. Around them for a moment a combat arena resolved, dust in the air and blood on the sand. What a place to linger; it was as though he didn’t know where else to go. This was why he was here. Silently, Saveron’s mental avatar, clad in a deep desert suit and robes as he tended to appear in the dreamscape, reached out a hand and beckoned Sern to follow him. Outside the meld, Teller’s contraption sprang into life, beginning to detect and analyze a living Vulcan neural pattern entwined with a human’s. Components whirred and hummed, dissecting subquantum data states and rapidly forming a transcription matrix. A few components sparked and shook under the strain. Over and over it spun, burning out whatever existence it had left on an never-ending trail until a summon from Saveron showed it the way, and a gentle nudge led it to the bridge. And Sern crossed him. It was only then that she could feel him. The warm familiarity. The long summers in the shade of the trees of his clan house. Hundreds of anodyne study afternoons, with hardly any words, just each other's company as they each focused on their subjects. The first hovercar race. Her first accident. HIS first crash. An escape to Vulcana Regar with a bet, three Orions, a Nausicaan and four broken ribs. Sern's, of course, not hers. Then, the day he confirmed her the news of his engagement. Her own wedding, not so long after it. And that last goodbye of her fingers on his. These were scenes that were familiar to both, he could see, and re-lived far more times than they had actually been lived. A comfortable place, a clinging to what had been. Gently, Saveron nudged at the pair, politely pushing Sern towards the path he must walk. He couldn’t stay here, not again, not without losing himself. But the pair deserved a certain amount of respect. Saveron knew what it was to hide the pain of a love lost. Before what followed, before the bitter end, and the thievery and the escape and the hidden years, she let him go. And just as quickly as he had moved through her mind, he left it. The last trail, the last faint echo of the familiar psyche swirled over the fingers that touched the crystal. There was a moment of stillness. Alieth pulled her fingers away from the crystal and only three were left behind. Three minds and three bodies, connected as closely as they could be, but not intermingled as Sern had been with them, each their own being, in their own flesh. Beep She opened her eyes and looked at them, her heart trembling for a loss she had foreseen but not overcome, for what she had regained only to be lost again. Beep, Beep There were no words, but there was a sense of warning, a sense of urgency transmitted quickly through shared neural pathways. Beep, Beep, Beep Somewhere between consciousness and whatever the mind meld was, Geoff could perceive a sound on the very edge of his hearing. A bad sound. A sound that meant they had to run. The machine started whirring. Fingers were quickly removed from the other's temples. The whirring grew to an agonised whine, the sound of a dying beast. The sparks became a living fire, the radiation sizzled on their skin, leaving livid greenish-black marks behind. As one person, the remnants of their shared consciousness still fraying between their minds, they all ran.. No sooner had the door closed than the ensuing explosion shook the corridor and lobby, filled them with smoke and, more than likely, left a cracked hatch connecting the holodeck to the adjoining decks. Geoff sagged against the corridor wall as the alert klaxons rang, the throbbing behind his eyes competing with some plasma fire burns on his hands. He’d made one desperate half-blind grab towards the workbench as they’d escaped and he’d paid for it with blisters and reddened skin. Alieth: Are you...? Geoff rubbed his throbbing head and looked within, but found himself properly alone for the first time in months. He certainly felt like himself, for whatever that was worth. Teller: ….ungh...no more...mind melds…. Saveron: That would be advisable. He’d felt, in that moment before the beeping that Teller had forewarned them about, Geoffrey’s mind settled into it’s full and whole space, no longer having to make room for another, even a mild lodger like Sern. He would recover. Her gaze darted around Alieth: Is he…? Geoff extended his burnt hand and gingerly opened his cracked fingers. It may have been a little scorched but he’d managed to get his hand around the ark, and it appeared intact. His palm had been seared with the impressions of several Vulcan characters, but that seemed to be the limit of his injuries. He reverently passed it to Alieth with his remaining strength. Instead of responding, he took his hand and, in her palm, placed the crystal. Faint, subtle, Sern's essence reacted to the touch of her fingertips. Alieth took the container that held her best friend and cuddled him against her chest, then she rested her back against the wall and let herself slide down to the floor plates. Saveron looked away, politely pretending not to notice Alieth’s emotional indulgence. He had felt the strength of her attachment to Sern, in that place behind her emotional shields. She had carried him for years, and they all knew that this would be goodbye. The heavy footfalls of the approaching damage control team could be heard up the corridor, but Geoff found he had little strength and happily accepted their assistance when it was offered. To their questioning glances he simply shrugged. He’d explain this some other time. He was alive. They all were. And they were fine. [[END]] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  2. I really loved reading Kendrick's sim here. It got a few comments in our Discord channel, and I had to agree with them. His internal monologue is great and really gets you to feel for him. And that touch of humor at the end right before he passes out is great. Well done, Ensign Kendrick. ((DaiMon Kaybay’s Mining Camp – North Tunnel)) While the young Bajoran doctor Rel examined the creature’s bite in John’s neck, T’Lea checked her tricorder readings once more. John’s eyes drifted upwards to what appeared to be some kind of graffiti. He pointed his palm beacon up at the wall, hoping to get a better look. Rel: Well I don’t think this is life threatening. You might feel some irritation though, I’ll give you something for that, hold still. John was too focused on the graffiti to even notice doctor Rel injecting him with an antidote. Rel: That’s better. The symbols appeared to be Vulcan, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to read them. Luckily for them, there was a half Vulcan in their presence. Kendrick: Commander, my guess is those are Vulcan. Correct? As he made circular movements with his palm beacon to draw the Commander’s attention upwards to the wall. The commander’s headlamp took aim at the symbols John was indicating. T’Lea: Indeed. It is Golic. Golic? The name was unfamiliar to John. Rel: Interesting. I don’t suppose this is a coincidence. John watched as the Romulo-Vulcan frowned at the glyphs on the ceiling of the tunnel. As her headlamp shined on further down the tunnel, they discovered more of these symbols. T’Lea: It looks like a math formula of some kind. An engineering concept perhaps? There’s more that way… As the Commander started walking further down the tunnel, meanwhile making recordings of the ceiling with her tricorder, John followed her lead. Rel: It seems to be less stable now, like whoever was writing it was doing so faster. Kendrick: A mysterious message written in the Vulcan language, deep inside a tunnel on a planet dozens of lightyears from Federation space. It just doesn’t make sense. T’Lea: I have no idea what it means. It is definitely a formula for something, but it is beyond my expertise. Let me send it to Dekas and the Captain. John stopped as he watched Commander T’Lea fiddle with her tricorder, attempting to transmit the data to the Captain and Ensign Dekas. Her tricorder however didn’t seem to respond to her command entries. She rolled her eyes at the blinking device in her hand. John could’ve sworn he heard her uttering a swear. Not very Vulcan-like he thought, but then again, the Lieutenant-Commander was also half Romulan. T’Lea: I can’t get a signal through, can either of you? Rel: Nothing. John took off the tricorder from his belt and flipped it open. Little lights started blinking, indicating all systems seemed to be working properly – except the antenna. John looked up as he put the tricorder back on his belt. He shook his head. Kendrick: No, Sir. T’Lea: It must be interference from the cave. The Commander glanced over John’s shoulders, back in the direction they came from, as if calculating their next move. Without anyone really noticing, John shook his head. Earlier that day the Captain had ordered Ensign Dekas to join the Lieutenant-Commander to explore the surrounding areas of the Jem’Hadar colony. But it was John's reaction to Second Osasad’Mon’s hostile attitude that forced Major Han to change those plans. If only he had kept his calm, Ensign Dekas would be here in the tunnel instead of him, perhaps solving this Vulcan puzzle as if it were child’s play. Suddenly he felt Commander T’Lea looking at him. He quickly shook off the regret that was taking hold of him again. T’Lea: Are you feeling well enough to continue? He placed his hand on the back of his neck as he turned his head from left to right. Kendrick: My neck feels a bit stiff. Almost like I was in a shuttle crash and I’m suffering from a whiplash. T’Lea: Are you sure you are not feeling any ill effects from the bug bite? He glanced at doctor Rel, and with an almost boyish smile he tried to convince her he was feeling well enough to continue the mission. Kendrick: I’m still feeling like myself doc. The alien creature doesn’t appear to have taken over any of my cognitive functions. oO Although that would be a perfect excuse to explain my stupid behavior today. Maybe I should… On second thought, I better don’t. Oo The Romulo-Vulcan officer looked at doctor Rel for confirmation. It was only now that John noticed her beautiful blue eyes. He quickly diverted his eyes back to the doctor, awaiting her evaluation. T’Lea: Is he? Rel: As long as you are feeling okay, Ensign, I’m not worried. But let me know at once if that changes. The Commander took a moment to consider their options. Having come to a conclusion, she looked at both John and doctor Rel. T’Lea: :: firmly :: Let’s finish what we started. This is obviously leading somewhere. Rel: Yes, ma’am. Kendrick: :: nodding :: Agreed. If the Ferengi find out we discovered this tunnel, they might decide to send in more men to secure the area, making it more difficult for us to move in and out of this tunnel network without being detected. The group continued into the cave, following the writing on the ceiling. After about ten minutes, the darkness around them seemed to recede. They turned a corner and suddenly saw a blindingly bright light in the distance. It looked like a lamp or flashlight. Before John or anyone else could say anything, the light went out again. From behind him, he heard doctor Rel flip open her tricorder as she started taking scans. Rel: I’ve got a life-sign. Humanoid. T’Lea: Response The doctor tuned her tricorder for more specificity but shook her head. Rel: I can’t tell what species. Kendrick: Whoever is out there didn’t come through the same tunnel as we did. If they did, we wouldn’t have had to push our way through these cobwebs. As he spoke, he felt a scratchiness in the back of his throat. Perhaps the moist and cold of the tunnel was starting to get to him. John listened to the tricorder readings as they tapered off. Doctor Rel did her best to get them back but apparently wasn’t successful. Rel: It’s gone. No sign of life now. At this range I should be getting full data, but I think the cave is still causing interference, maybe the tritanium is causing it? Based on this, I would say the life sign is moving away from us. John heard the doctor’s words, but it was almost as if they were spoken from afar, as if they were an echo of sorts. He felt beads of sweat forming on his forehead. Was the temperature rising in the tunnel or was the anxiety getting to him? T’Lea: Response John wiped the sweat of his forehead and nodded. Although he wasn’t feeling all too well, he was determined not to let it affect his job and the mission. He took out his tricorder and tried to take some scans of the tunnel ahead as Commander T’Lea started to pick up the pace. Kendrick: Careful Commander. We don’t want to move too fast down here. These tunnels might have been equipped with defense mechanisms against intruders. Rel: Like booby traps? We can’t be too far behind, I can’t see them being able to set up traps for us… Suddenly John felt an excruciating pain coming from the bite wound on the back of his neck. Rel: Ensign, stop! As the pain got unbearable John couldn’t walk any further and dropped down to his knees. His hand reached for the back of his neck where he felt the bite wound swelling up. Kendrick: Doc :: sounding miserable:: Doc. He barely managed to get the words out of his mouth. His tongue felt stiff. Kendrick: What’s happening to me? The bite mark on his neck was growing, changing color. It was almost as if something living was growing inside of him. His face turned blue as he reached for his throat, barely able to breathe. This was it, he realized. He was about to die. Tears started to run down his face. Tears caused by pain as well as by the fear of dying. He would never see his family again, he realized. He would never be able to make amends with his father. And then it felt like he was cut open by a knife as the bulge on the back of his neck burst open. Hundreds of almost microscopic tick-like creatures fell out of the wound, moving crisscross over his uniform. With a sudden retch, he started vomiting all over his uniform before landing on his hands. As the little alien creatures darted away in the dark, John crawled towards the tunnel wall. He turned around to rest with his back against the wall and felt the swelling in his throat starting to go down a bit. Perhaps he was going to survive the ordeal after all, he thought. He looked down at his vomit-stained uniform. Kendrick: :: chuckles :: Looks like I made quite the mess. He looked up at both the doctor and Commander T'Lea. Kendrick: Please don't tell the Captain. And then he passed out. T’Lea: Response Rel: Response
  3. OOC: There's a play by play of the most humourous parts over on the Thor quotations thread. However, once you've read the gems out of context, I thought it was only fair to allow people to read them in context. @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller have done a superb job of invoking humour and solemnity. Excellent arc with excellent writing. IC: ((Temple of Gol, Mount Selaya, ShirKahr Region, Vulcan)) Their slippers sounded ever so softly on the stone floors, polished smooth by millennia of footsteps, as the two Vulcans walked in a stately, measured manner, side by side, through the Hall of Ancient Thought. Stone faces, far larger than life, were carved to represent the katras that they housed; High Priests and Priestesses of the order of Kolinahru since long before Surak had walked their world, and the name of the order implied something very different. How might those slumbering thoughts view their modern world now? No one asked them. Some ways of the past were best left behind. If only everyone could see that. T’Rel: You stated that you had a request of the Temple? Her voice was even, smooth, completely devoid of emotion. She had purged it from her mind. Once, in a different life, there had been emotion there, even love, for him, and he had held the same for her. But they had parted many years ago now. And both of them had changed. Saveron: Affirmative. I would ask that a Senior Priestess accompany me to the USS Thor to retrieve a katra from a non-Vulcan crewmember. She paused, turned to look at him for a moment, before continuing her sedate walk. T’Rel: Why not bring the crewmember here, to the temple? ::She asked.:: It was the most logical and simple solution. Saveron: Because of the clan Matriarch, T’Sai T’Mihn, whose logic appears to be impaired on the subject of her grandson. ::He said quietly. It was no light accusation.:: She has suppressed her grief, and I know the damage that failing to process such can cause. He glanced across at her. Oh, to have known fourteen years ago what he knew now what he had only learned by undertaking Counsellor training through the multi-species entity that was Starfleet. If he’d understood her grief then, that she’d hidden so well, they might never have parted. But then he would never have left Vulcan. Now she was kolinahru, incapable of grief. She was content, and he must therefore be so also. But there were times when it was challenging. T’Rel: You anticipate that T’Sai T’Mihn would obstruct the process? He nodded curtly. Saveron: If Commander Teller were to set foot on Vulcan, I anticipate that she may instigate a legal claim of ma maat katra. And when I spoke with her, she expressed no regard for his wellbeing. Humans, he had learned, had a pre-Federation legal concept called Habeus Corpus, whereby one might challenge an individual’s imprisonment and obtain their freedom by proving that their incarceration was invalid. There were some parallels with the ancient Vulcan right of a Clan to demand the katra of one of their members from the individual currently holding it. T’Rel: So you would seek to circumvent our legal system by having the Fal-tor-pan performed off-world. ::She observed.:: The Commander’s thin lips pressed together into a thinner line. Saveron: The claim of ma maat katra predates Federation and does not take into account a non-Vulcan bearer of the katra. It assumes the ability of the bearer to relinquish the katra they carry. ::Which a non-telepath couldn’t do without assistance.:: In Commander Teller’s case, it would force him to undergo the Fal-tor-pan against his will. That itself contravenes Federation law. Which made the situation very complex. T’Rel: There are those who hold that traditional Vulcan law stands above Federation law on our homeworld. Saveron: T’Sai T’Mihn is one of them. But then for what purpose did we federate? I say to you as I said to her; the needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. There is no logic in destroying this man’s mind for the katra of one already deceased. His people hadn’t always thought that way, and some still didn’t. Vulcan had a long and tumultuous history and the complex culture that went with it. In the days before Surak wars had been fought and people tortured and killed over just such matters, as their literature still detailed. But he was a true adherent of logic, if not the best disciple of mental discipline. He returned the look that his erstwhile bond-mate gave him. She knew his view on traditions that lacked logic in his eyes, but he was less certain of hers. Especially now that she was steeped in Vulcan tradition. T’Rel steepled her fingers and kept walking, but she changed their direction, heading for a small antechamber T’Rel: Regrettably, your understanding of the legal implications is not complete. If T’Sai T’Mihn has already made a legal claim for ownership of the katra, then no registered telepathic practitioner may intervene until that claim is resolved. Saveron considered her words as they passed through the doorway and T’Rel headed for a niche that proved to contain a discrete but very modern computer terminal. The Temple was not as unchanging as many thought. Saveron: That process could occupy cycles, years. Humans have not proven durable to containing a Vulcan katra for so long. T’Rel nodded slowly, dark gaze following a rapid scroll of Vulcan script on the screen, before turning back to him. T’Rel: The legal claim has already been made. Its trajectory is longer if it must be made through Federation channels, and seizure of the individual less likely. But whilst it is unresolved, my colleagues and I cannot assist. Saveron: Then Commander Teller’s welfare is in jeopardy, whether he comes to Vulcan or not. A touch from T’Rel closed the console down again, and it blended in with the more antique decor. T’Rel: Unless one goes to him who is not bound by such law. It applies only to those of us who have trained through the traditional pathways. Again that piercing, dark look. He knew what she referred to. Saveron: They are the only pathways to guaranteed proficiency. ::He objected.:: The situation on the Constitution was made urgent due to synaptic degradation, and we were days from Vulcan even with slipstream. I had no alternative. She knew, because he’d called her; logically, serenely desperate for a way to save two Ensigns who’d placed themselves in a most untenable situation. T’Rel: But you succeeded, where most would not dare to try. Did that make him revolutionary, or foolish? His old research supervisor Professor Ramsey Bakewell had once remarked ‘they said it couldn’t be done, but the damn fool didn’t know it and went ahead and did it anyway’. Far too apt. Saveron: Not entirely. The Human retained a significant influence on his personality, likely permanent, from the Vulcan participant. ::He admitted.:: He… had welcomed her influence, I believe that he envied her confidence. She shrugged eloquently. T’Rel: Then the fault is not yours. He considered her words. Saveron: Having one untrained perform the rite when the ship is in orbit around Vulcan, home to the majority of our telepathic practitioners, appears to lack logic. T’Rel: Yet, as you have observed, you have no alternative. [[Transporter Room 2, Deck 4, USS Thor, On orbit over Vulcan]] There were few occasions when Alieth was strictly punctual. But there were even fewer occasions when the petite Vulcan was early for an appointment. This was one of those infrequent occasions, since the event merited it. After weeks of research, work, plead and rummaging through what seemed like half of Vulcan and a quarter of the Fleet, finally the time that she had been waiting for had arrived. Also, the time she had dreaded. The time to remove Sern from his temporary residence aboard Geoff's brain. Given how long the two had been together and the confusing mix they were in, it was a delicate situation per se. But she, too, had perhaps made it a little more complicated. A few days ago, when her mentor had left for Gol, he had left her one of the crystals that could be used in the ritual. And she had given it to Teller. She bit the inside of her lip slightly and straightened her posture even more, enough to clasp her wrists tighter behind her back. It had seemed like a good idea. The crystals were intended for use with Vulcan minds and given the important part a human was going to play in all this, it made sense that a human (more so! A brilliant engineer trained at Starfleet Academy) could come up with some kind of enhancement, some kind of catalyst to facilitate the ritual. Then, when it was just too late, she had realized that she had given it to Geoffrey John "Good Job Guarantee" Teller. The whole thing could end in disaster. However, she had no time to further torture herself with this, as, at that moment, a form began to materialize in the centre of the transporter. Alieth: Osu Saveron Saveron acknowledged his protégée with a slight bow before he stepped down from the transporter and glancing around, but the only other person in the room was the engineer behind the control panel. Saveron: Alieth. I trust that Commander Teller will be joining us? She offered a small nod. Alieth: I have sent him a message to join us on the holodeck 3. It was a fitting location, as they would be able to recreate the conditions and location that would be best suited to ease the process. Alieth: I expect he has read it and is already there. Saveron: Then he is prepared for the ritual and understands what is involved? Alieth:... Perhaps... She would have preferred to provide a more accurate answer but, given who was involved, it was better than a lie. He gave her a long look from grey eyes, noting her hesitation. But the facts were the same; what would be, would be. Saveron: Then lead on. Without further ado, they both left the room and walked down the many corridors of the Thor in search of uncertainty. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] Geoff was uncharacteristically nervous as he headed down towards the holosuite, his grav-sled of equipment humming along merrily while taking up most of the hallway. He’d spent the last several days cooped up in one of the ships engineering labs, emerging only for parts and the occasional “nearly fatal” dose of coffee from the new shop. He’d been working himself ragged ever since Alieth had passed him the rare Vulcan crystal that was somehow part of the upcoming procedure to disentangle Sern from his mind. Likewise, he’d spent days pouring over the tiny bit of information he could find about katras and katrics arcs and the general handling and operation there of, but there simply wasn’t much to work with. For all their intellect and deep adherence to scientific rigor, the Vulcans were still steeped in a kind of mysticism surrounding many aspects of their telepathic gifts. Empirical information was almost nonexistent and most of what he had found was guesswork and worryingly incomplete translations from ancient texts. There was simply no other way to say it. They were winging it. Hard. Geoff smirked in spite of everything, having too often been the source of unconventional ideas and improvised problem solving to shy in the face of it now. That folks were taking that approach to his brain was equal parts unsettling and reassuring. Geoff resumed whistling a tune Alex had sung brilliantly on the holodeck a few days earlier while he considered what little his research had turned up. Everything he had found said what had happened to him shouldn’t have been possible, or that it should’ve killed him within days. The one fairly well documented account he had found was in the fleet archives, surrounding a ships human surgeon who had unexpectedly become a receptacle for the ships Vulcan XO. Over the course of a few weeks the surgeon's personality was slowly overwhelmed as his body broke down, the strain of carrying two people in one brain acting like a deadly poison. In the end, it had been a near thing, and it had required the direct participation of the most revered high priest on Vulcan. Geoff’s resources were somewhat less...robust. He had a troublemaking Doctor, a Commander he’d never met and a medium sized shuttles worth of hastily assembled parts. Geoff wasn’t sure how prepared that actually made him for whatever ordeal lay ahead but was satisfied he was going into harms way as well armed as possible. He was fairly certain he’d been in worse situations than this one but at the moment no graver set of circumstances sprang to mind. As the double doors slid aside and Geoff pushed his sled of rattling equipment to one side, he waved merrily to the two stone faced Vulcan’s staring back at him. He didn’t think he was egregiously late but the deep scowls, identical on both officers faces, said otherwise. Geoff looked down at himself and considered a different possibility. Teller: What, are these the wrong robes? They were in the replicator database. The long flapping Vulcan robes, with a number of glyphs down the front explaining the lineage of Teller’s ‘clan’ and how great logic must be, or so Geoff imagined. The petite doctor used a few precious seconds to stare her executive officer up and down, and then, she frowned even more deeply. Not for the first time in the course of all that trouble, Alieth wondered if it was really worth all the effort to try to save Commander Teller. While certainly Sern would be lost in the process, maybe the galaxy would be better and more organized without him. Pausing for a moment, she glanced sideways at the other Vulcan, more than curious about his reaction. Saveron had never met Teller previously, and he couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow slightly at the man’s attire, and the mound of equipment he’d brought with him. Saveron: Commander Geoffrey Teller, I presume. ::He greeted him.:: I am Commander Saveron, as I do not doubt you can intuit. He’d been told by Alieth that Teller’s mind had seemed remarkably stable for a Human carrying a Vulcan katra. Taking in the man’s attire and accompanying collection of… stuff, Saveron was forced to ponder either Alieth’s perception of him, or his nature before acquiring Sern as a mental companion. Alieth: Commander, I presume you are aware that you are wearing a priestess's regalia. While not unprecedented, it is... rather unorthodox. The words were calm and measured, but the glint in her eyes belied these facts. Teller: Priestess...robes? Phew….now I’m really glad I didn’t wear the hat. Before she could be drawn into a long, convoluted and (admittedly) instructive lecture, the other Vulcan wrapped up the matter tersely. Saveron: Your choice of attire is irrelevant. ::Said the man wearing his standard Starfleet uniform.:: What is the purpose of this equipment? The Fal-tor-pan was traditionally performed using telepathic abilities only. Whilst he would advocate the use of the Thor’s Sickbay, the purpose of this accumulation of engineering parts he could not begin to fathom. Alieth: Given that the commander's telepathic abilities are nil, I considered that some external assistance might be in order. Of course, she refrained from pointing out her own lapse in not taking into account his tendency to get overzealous with mechanical gadgets. Reminding himself that he was dealing with a Human - visits to Vulcan always tended to shift him back towards an earlier, less alien-centric frame of mind - Saveron decided to reserve judgement for now. Teller: Well I can tell you about this thing, or you can tell me what the plan is. Actually, while we’re doing that can you help me unpack this stuff? Geoff nodded to the grav sled. There were a half dozen equipment cases, spools of ODN conduit, several tool boxes and at least one small supply of self sealing stem bolts. Saveron: The 'plan' is to perform the Fal-tor-pan. ::He said, opting for the first option.:: This is the ritual whereby the katra of a deceased individual is removed from the mind of the one carrying it, and placed in a suitable vessel. This can be the mind of another, in rare instances a new body, or a katric ark. The intention is to return Sern’s katra to Alieth who will then take him to his ancestral katric ark, or if necessary utilise a small, temporary ark to house him for his return to Vulcan. As he said the last he glanced at Alieth, silently requesting the crystal ark that he’d entrusted to her. It was a small one, only intended to house a single katra temporarily, for transport home. Saveron normally kept it with him in case of disaster. The woman, who up to that point had been discharging part of the bizarre stack of objects off the sled, halted mid-motion, with what seemed like three kilometres of cable struggling to snake out of her arms. Alieth: Commander Teller has been working with the crystal which is why an educated guess is that it must be here ::pointing with her chin towards the sled:: … Somewhere. Had ever one managed to compose an expression of apology and sheepishness by not moving a single muscle on his face, then Alieth achieved that feat at that moment, as she gazed up at her mentor. On the other side of the sledge, the only human in attendance appeared utterly oblivious to the exchange. Teller: Computer, give me a standard engineers workbench, height 70 cm, with a type nine EPS power feed and a standard ODN interface. Tie the whole thing into the ships power grid and data networks. The holodeck shimmered as Geoff began grabbing equipment cases and shifting them to the floor. The visiting Commander watched, perhaps a little bemused, as Teller began to assemble the… contraption. Was this a nervous displacement activity? Saveron: Commander Teller, the Fal-tor-pan is an ancient rite which does not require additional equipment. What is the purpose of… this? He asked again, gesturing to the pile and beginning to doubt Alieth’s assessment of the man’s mental state. Perhaps she couldn’t see the desert for the sandstorm. Alieth: Osu may be a bit non-standard, but I am sure the idea fits, considering Sern's reluctance to leave Geoffrey John. The older Vulcan turned to look at his mentee. Saveron: Is Sern’s reluctance to leave Commander Teller, or to return to yourself? ::He asked, pointedly.:: Alieth: Both. ::The faintest hint of an expression crossed her face briefly before she specified:: Yet mostly the latter. At the same time, Geoff huffed as he shifted another heavy crate off the sled and onto the workbench. He went to grab another but realized he owed their guest an introduction and an explanation. Teller: Commander Saveron... I’m sorry to come off a bit frantic. I’ve probably had enough coffee in the last two days to keep this ship moving for a week. Geoff Teller. ::Geoff offered his hand:: I really appreciate your assistance in this, and I’d be happy to explain what I’ve cooked up here. Normally Saveron didn’t shake hands except with very special friends, being an active touch telepath. But since he was about to be delving into the man’s mind, he decided that the gesture might help to instill a little confidence, so briefly clasped the other man’s hand. It also gave him a momentary impression of the frenetic activity going on in the other man’s head. Saveron: I would appreciate your explanation. ::He said evenly.:: Teller: Ok, so the crystalline structure of these katric arcs is, frankly, pretty amazing. The refractive lattice allows for the creation of a self-sustaining energy matrix...the katra...and it functions great as a durable long term storage medium. But they’re not perfect. The Katra itself has to be in pretty good shape to begin with to be stable in there, and we know that’s not the case with Sern. So think of this as an...upgrade. Saveron listened with a mixture of interest and mild horror. The traditional Vulcan in him held to the sacred ideal of mental discipline and telepathic primacy, whilst the doctor and scientist in him knew that for something to be real and true in this universe it must be detectable and understandable. All else was religious dogma. He did not hold with religious dogma, but that did not mean that this dissection of his people’s most sacred practices did not make him uncomfortable. It would be something to meditate on later. Geoff took the last of the components off the sled and pushed it to the far corner with a foot. Laying spools of cable out for easy access, he cross connected a subspace field emitter he’d pulled from one of their class five probes to a tunnelling quantum resonator he hoped the science lab wouldn’t miss for a few days. The devices began humming and beeping as he slotted in power connections and began self-diagnostics, still connecting more components to a growing pile. The young Vulcan woman nodded as the human in the room work. Likewise, she stepped away from the device that seemed to grow in size and complexity in the middle of the holodeck, just to avoid disturbing or tampering with whatever it was that was being connected. Alieth: ::Slowly:: So this is a kind of ICU for a katra? A system to keep it stabilized and prevent the degradation of one that is in a compromised state? It was certainly a revolutionary solution. Saveron: Fascinating. Teller: I decided to look at the problem like I would with a computer core - Sern’s a subroutine I want to save, but there’s a lot of data corruption, right? This…::Geoff nodded over::...is a katric data recovery system. As you guide Sern into the ark, it’ll be scanning through my brain, finding all the little bits of him that have gotten tangled up and making sure they get transcribed over to the ark. If it works right, he’ll be back to his old self and better than ever. Saveron didn’t think anyone had looked at the problem in quite this way. Mind you, usually there wasn’t this problem in the first place. One of the components sparked and started smoldering. Geoff swatted at it with the hem of his robe. Teller: That’s fine, just...warming up. Speaking of, there is just a...tiny bit of radiation. Not enough to get worried about, but we should probably get some hyronalin shots later...today. The young woman's eyebrows furrowed slightly and, for a moment, she paused in her efforts to untangle a pile of wire from a shiny thing she could not define as anything other than a "thing" from another.... "thing" that had begun to hum faintly. At least it wasn't on fire. If it wasn't supposed to be. Alieth: would not be preferable to do it… before? Saveron: Logical, certainly. Humans; what would they think of next? Teller: Well the thing is I already turned it on….and the half life of some of these isotopes is pretty short. ::Geoff nodded towards a humming cylinder on the floor:: Just try not to stand too close to that glowing part over there. She didn't feel reassured at all, but she couldn't oppose it either. Alieth: I will accept that, then we radiate ourselves and then...? Teller: Anyway, the ark itself slots into that cradle on the workbench. This’ll all run automatically, but if you hear anything start beep/beep/beep’ing three times we should probably get out of the room. ::Geoff coughed awkwardly:: Quickly. Certainly, all that process made sense in a wacky way. In a way that was bordering on lunacy, yet Alieth had learned, over the course of the last year, that unconventional solutions were sometimes not just the only possible option, but the most logical one, no matter how much she vehemently protested against them. On the other hand, Saveron resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, and reminded himself that Commander Teller was understandably extremely nervous, and possibly being pushed by the katra they were trying to retrieve. Saveron: Commander Teller, I appreciate that you are understandably nervous about the procedure, and trusting your mind to an ancient Vulcan rite which, not being a telepath, you cannot fully understand. By the same token, I am sure you would appreciate that I am reluctant to trust my mind to an untested piece of equipment. He gestured to the pile of… stuff. Which was humming, in a slightly worrying way. It was the kind of hum that indicated pent-up energy, just before something exploded. Saveron: However, I appreciate your interest and active participation in this endeavour. The petite doctor glanced first at the tall, pale-eyed Vulcan and then at the not-so-tall ginger human. Somehow a kind of tacit and respectful agreement seemed to have been established between them. Alieth: ::Nodding to herself.::So we have ::she did some quick mental calculations::: ...twelve percent higher success rate. She tilted her head to a side, her expression still mostly controlled, but there was a slight relax in the muscles of her face, a not-at-all-expression somehow more casual. Alieth: It is an improvement... Geoff shrugged and crossed his robe covered arms. Teller: Look, I know how serious this is. This doesn’t work, the odds of me waking up are pretty low, and even if I do…::Geoff shuddered:: I might not be the same person. It’s not something I’ve enjoyed dwelling on. If there’s anything I can do to help, you can bet your ear points I’ll do it. Then, the older Vulcan sighed, ever so slightly. Saveron: Computer, chair. He sat down, bringing himself closer to Geoffrey and Alieth’s heights. Saveron: I understand that much of the recent discussions have been around Sern and his katra, and how to retrieve it. I do not doubt that the importance placed on that by his Clan has had an impact. But, Commander Teller, I want you to understand that that is not why I am here. He spoke, aware that what he was about to say may not go over so well with his mentee. The chair had been created by the holodeck and should’ve been perfectly comfortable, but somehow it was already digging into his back. Teller: You’ve got my undivided attention, Commander. And seeing as how you’ll be wandering around in my brain, I think you can call me Geoff. Saveron: I am here for you. Sern is dead, and as you have observed, his katra partially degraded, likely long before he came into your care. If I can retrieve him then I will, but my focus is the preservation of your mind and mental faculties, and if I have to discard Sern’s katra to preserve your mind, then I will do so. Alieth clenched her jaw but said no word. It was something that she understood could be required, and yet she didn't relish the prospect. For his behalf, Geoff looked to Saveron in surprise and considered raising a protest, but it died on his lips. Teller: I regret to admit I see the logic in your position, Commander. ::Geoff sighed:: It’s what Sern wanted too, and I can’t ignore his wishes in all of this. He never wanted to take me down with him. Still, I want to give the guy a fighting chance. Is there anything else I can do? The woman swallowed her breath and finally found her voice to speak again. Alieth: I would prefer that both could be preserved intact. ::She lowered her head to stare at her hands before continuing:: But in case that is not possible... Geoffrey John's life has priority. Those words stung like salt on an open wound. The need behind them, even more so. Saveron: The only other reassurance that I can offer is this; the Fal-tor-pan is rarely needed on Vulcan, and one High Priestess in a generation might only perform it once in her lifetime. ::When it was utilised for Captain Spock, it had not been used in living memory.:: I have already performed it once, successfully, so am in the unique position of having prior experience. ::Because he hung around with aliens too much.:: What you can do, is trust me. Geoff considered the impassive features of a man he hadn’t met before today, then looked to Alieth, who had brought them all together. Four minds, 3 bodies and an odd collection of technology, drawn from different worlds and vastly different cultures. It was slapdash and desperate and crazy. It was also reassuring, somehow. Teller: I can do that, Commander Saveron. Doc, you got any last minute advice? She took a deep breath and stared at Teller for a while, a moment that thickened rather quickly. When she finally answered, her reply was remarkably specific. Alieth: Give up coffee. Or at least reduce it to less than 250 millilitres a day. Teller: Oh come on, Doc, you can’t be serious. How will that help? A little spark flashed in her eyes. It was a very brief thing, hardly a second, a little more herself there, just as was before all this had happened, before the danger and Sern's silence. Alieth: It will improve your digestion. You may recover part of the parietal cells.::She tilted a head to the side, the glint again in her gaze:: You may even get the amount of sleep stipulated for your age and species. Saveron: She does appear to have your wellbeing in mind… this time. ::He said dryly.:: OK, two on one - and two Vulcan at that - probably wasn’t fair. Geoff smirked and turned his attention to Commander Saveron. Teller: You happen to need a medical officer over there on the Conny? ::Geoff scowled in Alieth’s general troublemaking direction::I think I’ve got one available. Alieth: ::raising an eyebrow:: Really, Geoff... Saveron: In fact our CMO recently went on leave, so we do have a vacancy. She quickly spun around to look at her mentor, the surprise and shock, while not reflected in her features, plain in her attitude. Geoff’s barked out a laugh. For all their claims otherwise, Vulcan’s could have a great sense of humor. Teller: Fine, but I’m putting a pin in this conversation till after we’re done. Alright Doc, Commander. Let's get started. [TBC] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  4. OOC: Sweet, funny, and well done. IC: ((Vulcan, Kyr, Alem-kov restaurant)) It was an elegant place, the sound of Vulcan lyres filled the atmosphere. The space was softly illuminated with skylights and some candles, giving the place a warm aspect, a place for meditation. Even the diners at the different tables were following this order and seclusion, the forks could hardly be heard impacting with the ceramic of the plates and the conversations formed a very low murmur, almost monastic. Sirok was the first to arrive, he had chosen the venue as per Wes' request, a fancy and elegant place for his new position. He had to use his family name to get a table, and it was one of the few times in his life that he had done so. The Vulcan had dressed appropriately for such a place and wore a light colored tunic with fine, elaborate embroidery. When the next diner arrived, he was greeted by the maître and, without hardly speaking, accompanied to the table right in the middle of one of the skylights. He walked noiselessly, and moved smoothly, never breaking the atmosphere. Sirok: Welcome. :: Sirok said without raising his voice, accompanying the atmosphere of the place. :: Sirok had out done himself Wes thought. The restaurant was certainly a nice place. He’d initially thought of wearing his dress uniform, but now that he was here, the Marine was very happy he hadn’t. You couldn’t escape the warmth of the planet, and the tight fitting uniform would have been stifling. Even the button up shirt, tie, and slacks he wore didn’t provide much help against the heat. Greaves: (Quietly) Sirok, this place is exceptional. I didn’t realize Vulcans appreciated a fine dining experience. I thought you were all grim stoics. (winking) Sirok: We appreciate art in a multitude of forms. Even more so if it can be achieved with a healthy diet. The sound of Vulcan music filled the atmosphere. Greaves: I’d expect nothing less from you… (pause) And I’d expect nothing less than fashionable lateness from our other compatriot. Where the heck is Alieth? Sirok: Her attention to schedules has never been great. And perhaps she wants to honor your culture by making us wait. The Marine laughed and shook his head in mock offense. Greaves: I resent your implication that my people are always late. I mean… we are waiting on a Vulcan right now? He continued to laugh and shake his head as the moment passed and they both watched the patrons of the restaurant. Sirok: Is this your first visit to Vulcan? Greaves: This shore leave is, yeah. Alieth showed us how to sand board a little bit ago, but that’s it. I’ve got to say, it’s everything I was expecting, but still surprising. Before he could answer, the door opened again and, this time, ushered in the petite CMO (and, as of recently, CSO) of the USS Thor. Like her fellow countryman, she was dressed in the traditional clothing of the planet, although the cut was slightly different. More angular, with bolder patterns, mostly in shades of ochre and red. The fabric was sturdier and heavier, made to withstand long wear and still remain comfortable. Although it didn't clash with the luxurious surroundings of the restaurant, it had a slightly disharmonious undertone in it, a slightly peasant, shabby, low-brow feel about it. Alieth: Gentlemen Greaves: Good to see you Alieth. Sirok: Doctor. :: He said it with a small nod of his head. :: She nodded faintly and almost in unison the three of them sat down at the table. A second later in front of them were placed glasses of water, as well as a small tray with a desert flower on it, a token of peace. Alieth: Remember almost a year ago, when we sat down for lunch at the Til'han Embassy? It was almost a day like this, with the sea in the background. ::She pointed to the only human at the table:: You ordered nachos. Sirok: If you want to order some, they may only be able to make replicated ones. Greaves: I recall a certain someone trying exceptionally hard to eat said nachos with chopsticks. Trying and failing pretty miserably if I remember right. A smile almost (almost) curved faintly at one corner of the Vulcan woman's mouth, but it would not, not there, not in that place. Nevertheless, the smile reached her eyes and ignited them with a lively glint. Alieth: :softly: A lot has changed since then... but I appreciate that the three of us are still together. Greaves: Agreed. I don’t know about you two, but I never would have expected us to be where we are now together. Sirok: It was certainly quite improbable. Greaves: The three of us at this table represent every major department on one of starfleet’s finest vessels. That is quite the feat. I’m not usually one for praise, but, to hell with it, we’ve earned it. He lifted his glass of water in a small toast and tipped it slightly toward his friends in salute. The Vulcan woman offered a short nod. They certainly were a motley crew: the nobleman, hidden from public attention for most of his life. The maverick outcast from a small rural town. And, of course, the human who was, well, very humanly human. None of them would have bet on them as a group on their first day, but there they were and, somewhat, time and their differences had shaped a strong bond of friendship between them, rooted in trust in each other and a mixture of teasing and respect. Sirok: At certain moments it has been exhausting, no doubt. But very instructive. Alieth raised her glass as well, so that the glass and the contents caught the dim light of the room, refracting it into a thousand tiny sparks of colour. Alieth: For the lessons of the past, the goals for the future and the road that links one to the other. And for travelling that journey by your side, gentlemen. The memories of the last year came back to Wes one by one. Rescuing Doctor MacKenzie, the lost colony, the slipstream incident, New Bajor, Zet. Each mission had carried with it new experiences. New highs, and new lows. The thing that had failed to change however were the two here with him. In each crisis Wes could be certain these two would be there along for the ride, and pulling more than their own weight. Greaves: It’s been too long since we’ve been able to just sit back and reflect on what we’ve achieved… well it’s been too long for me at least. Sirok: I tend to focus more on what I have yet to learn and do. She took a small sip of her glass. Alieth: Certainly work and personal circumstances have kept us all busy. ::Glancing at the Marine.:: Wesley, I would welcome it if you would stop trying to die, you can drop by the sick bay for a cup of coffee or tea, for instance, there is no need to come in with an open wound every time. Greaves: Excuse me, doctor. I go through great pains to ensure I am only gravely injured when gallantry demands it. The doctor raised an eyebrow, a comment on how she regarded Greaves' statement, as she set the glass down on the table. Alieth: You better be. Despite the words a smile danced in her eyes. One that remained, more subdued out of respect for their shared tradition as she turned to the other occupant of the table. Sirok: And maybe now that we are officially and undoubtedly senior officers, we can prevent half a ship from ending up destroyed at the end of each mission. Alieth: This would be the most appropriate scenario, but given the unexplored areas in which the ship normally operates, I have reasonable doubts about it. Back to the topic at hand, even you have changed osu, from a simple country boy to a reunification champion. Sirok: Perhaps it is too bold to assume that a wedding is the only needed to make me a champion of reunification. It only indicates that at some point I will have to leave Starfleet to make further efforts towards that end. Although I will learn more to achieve that end every day.. It wasn't something Sirok had planned until few days ago, but it was something he thought would be good for a lot of people. Even if it meant giving up part of what he had worked for over the last few years. It was no longer an end in itself but another stage of learning. Greaves: I don’t know about you two, but I knew that Sirok would be the first to settle down. (Smiling) I’ve never met anyone with his charm… (breaking into a snicker) Alieth: I actually thought it might be you, Wesley, given the rumours around the ship. The nonchalant delivery of the statement caught Wes by surprise. Rumors… he was pretty sure that he’d put that issue to bed, but if the CMO had heard mutterings, then he had obviously failed. Still, he tried to play it off. Greaves: Oh? What juicy gossip is going around? Who am I supposedly settling down with? She took another sip of her water, which coincided with the arrival of the food. Like everything else at that meeting, it had been meticulously prepared and what appeared in front of each of them was something within the parameters of their favoured foods. As it should be. Alieth: Oh no, I neither pay special attention to these rumours nor do I expressly seek them out, but nurses speak. ::She made a tiny gesture of exasperation, barely a few minute movements around her slanted brows.:: A lot. And I acquire personal information about my patients despite my best efforts not to do so. Greaves: My, my, doctor, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you’re downright excited about all the juicy info you must get. Sirok: I think I have heard the same rumors. Engineering is everywhere and they hear a lot of things. Apparently they also like to share them. Obviously this kind of information has to be taken with care. But from your reaction it seems that some of them are not entirely inaccurate. Greaves: Well, I can’t verify the accuracy of any rumors when I haven’t heard them myself. What’re people whispering about me? Ensign Cui from Ops is pretty cute and I’m pretty sure she winked at me last week on Deck 8, but I can assure everyone we are not paramours. The Vulcan woman took a tiny bite of food before speaking, peering down at the human at the table. Alieth: I have heard something about this, but it is said in the sickbay that you are more comfortable with grey than with blue… Sirok: I have heard something about strenuous copulatory sessions that even hurt those involved. Although it was my understanding that this happened more with Klingons than Cardassians, so it is an indication that one should be wary of rumors. The burning sensation of water nearly shooting out of his nose was quite unpleasant as Wes did his best to stifle his surprised laugh. Greaves: See Alieth, Sirok has it right. Don’t put too much stock into every little whisper you hear. For the next few minutes, the small group focused on their meal and conversation was kept at a pause, given the local custom of not talking (or talking sparingly) while consuming nourishment. When that first course was cleared from the table, it was the chief engineer who took the lead in the chat. Sirok: Have you already thought about what you want your future in Starfleet to be? Your own ship, a research center, the academy? Alieth pondered the question for a second. At the time, when she had joined the academy, her only goal was to help, as a physician. Now, with more perspective, she was aware that there was a wider array of positions from which she could help, not only in situations where someone was injured, but in the day-to-day life of the ship's officers. She suppressed a grimace. Besides, given that she now had no Clan to return to and how difficult this situation would be for her family, the time had come to focus on her future and stop looking to the past. Her path took her further away from her home planet than she had ever anticipated when she left that very planet six years ago. Alieth: Given recent events, I have been considering pursuing the command track, first to aspire to a position as an executive officer. If I prove myself capable of it, perhaps commanding a scientific exploration vessel in the future. Wes frowned. It was a tough topic. He’d had the goal of finishing the Academy for so long that once he had finally made it to a ship as an officer, he’d never really set any new goals. There hadn’t been time for it. Now the thought struck him. What next? Greaves: I think I’m getting a little long in the tooth to some day take over a Marine battalion. You can only hike, run, and jump for so long before the old knees just won’t have it anymore, ya know? Alieth: I have scans of your knees, I am well aware. Greaves: A while back I’m not sure I could ever have taken off the green. Now that the skipper has put me in charge of security and tactical, well, my horizons have broadened a little. Still, that’s a ways off and I’m enjoying where we are now. Here. Together. On one of the finest ships in Starfleet. (Raising his glass) To the Thor! She rummaged in her brain until she found the toast she had heard repeated a thousand times in the Great Hall. Alieth: Sköl! The engineer raised his glass without saying a word. Trying not to disturb the atmosphere of seclusion of the place. Greaves: What about you Sirok? You gonna follow in your grandpa’s footsteps? Should I be looking forward to serving with Captain Sirok someday? Sirok: The life of my people is long, I can not say for sure in the long term. :: Although he knew that possibly his would not be as long. :: But for the time being I will continue to learn as chief engineer, I believe that from here I can learn what I need to help later in the unification. But I know that for a while, I will have to stay away from Starfleet. There was no sorrow in his voice, no joy. The same monochord tone. Perhaps someone who knew him very well could discern determination. Alieth: Interesting Greaves: Well, who knows where we’ll all be in another year. Things change, plans diverge, but I hope we’ll all still be around together. The Vulcan took a brief sip from her glass of water, masking a minute smile. Through the window, the sky darkened over Vulcan, a moonless night ablaze with stars. One of them, brighter than the rest, was the USS Thor, the place that had forged them, as officers and as friends. The place that mismatched group of friends had learned to call home. [[END]] OOC: Alem-kov → Halite, a colorless or white mineral found in dried lakebeds in arid climates mined or gathered for use as table salt; rock salt osu → sir, used as a form of polite address for a man As simmed by: ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  5. The closing of this scene is a new emotional roller coaster to which we have become accustomed, @Wes Greaves and @Alora DeVeau as Katsim Peri. Using their characters to make a mini mission of their own they have written more than 40k words (I have no facts but no doubts about this number) with a delicious and exciting arc that has made the characters and the relationship between them grow a lot. Good job guys! Here for the next arc of this Now, kiss Capt Wes Greaves - Cruelty of Vulcans ((Hours after the Odin’s rescue, Main Sickbay, Deck 10, USS Thor)) Nothingness slowly resolved into something. A sense of feeling. A sense of awareness. The feel of a shifting air on his cheek. A dull aching pain deep within his body, dulled by medication. His ears became aware of a faint beeping sound not far off. Then he heard soft footsteps approach, and then recede. His head swam, trying to process it all. How long had he been asleep. Where was he? Slowly, Wes Greave's eyes fluttered open. The stark contrast between the lights overhead and the darkness of unconsciousness made him squint his eyes. Ever so gently he turned his head to the side. Alieth sat a few feet away. Dark red surgical scrubs were soaked in sweat… and other dark splotches spoke to the work she'd recently finished. His throat was dry, and as he attempted to speak his voice was weak and raspy. Greaves: Alieth… where… where am I? Alieth: In the sickbay my friend, you held out for seven hours before Quen could take care of you. He turned his head back to the front. Laying flat on his back in the bed, his view consisted of only the ceiling and the lights overhead. Each passing minute made the light seem less harsh as his eyes adjusted. Greaves: (Weakly smiling) Well, seems like I made it doc. I'm sure I'll be up and about any moment now, yeah? Alieth rubbed her eyes, and looked at her friend. Pale and with dark circles around his eyes. Bruises that they hadn't bothered to remove, not for the moment, on practically half of the exposed skin of his body. Alieth: Before that, I want you to understand how you had been doing. You had plasma burns over 36% of your body, a broken arm in three places and seven broken ribs. I had to reconstruct four vertebrae and despite EXTENSIVE use of the osteoregenerator, you have a good handful of medical supplies inside your body to keep everything in place for a few weeks. I would kick you to the gator deck right now if I did not already know that you were going to ruin my work there, but at this moment I do not even want to look at you. He turned his head back to look at his friend. Rattling off his injuries gave Wes a new appreciation for how bad it had been. He was lucky to be alive. Or rather, he was alive due to the exceptional skill of the medical staff. Luck really only played a small part. When he finally met Alieth's eyes she gave him THE STARE. One that, however, wasn't as caustic as it used to be since there was a noticeable concern in her dark eyes, one she couldn't suppress in spite of her self-control. It had taken a year, but Wes finally could see past her façade more often than not. She was angry, but she was worried about him. The thought sent a chill through his heart and a shudder down his spine. Greaves: So… I take it I won't be up and about any time soon. Alieth: Unfortunately, that concussion you had was a bad one, and I want to keep you under observation. Nauseous? Greaves: No, not right now. Alieth: Well, if it changes, let me know. Now, follow the light. His mind was still foggy, and Wes hoped it was due to the drugs in his system and not some lasting injury. Through the fog however broke a single powerful thought. Something that had driven him on that icy rock. A single word that had given him the strength and focus to stay alive until the Thor could save them. Peri. Greaves: Wait, Doc, before we start… She extracted a small torch from the trolley where the tea was cooling and moved it from right to left, up and down in front of his eyes. Despite his protests, she did not speak until she was satisfied with the test. Alieth: Okay, now you can inquire Dread filled his chest, preparing to ask the question. He almost didn't want the answer. The unknown was more comforting that the possible. Still, he needed to know. Greaves: What about Peri? Alieth: She died, Wes. The dread popped like a balloon and the man physically recoiled in the bed. Immediately tears sprang to his eyes but he fought them back as best he could, blinking several times. A battle of sorrow and anger began roiling within his mind and threatened to overwhelm him. Greaves: No, Alieth, she can't… she can't be.. He couldn't bring himself to say it. He tried so hard. Driven so hard. He'd stretched himself past where he ever thought he could have. Fighting through some of the worst pain and exhaustion of his life to keep Peri alive. To save them both. To save her. Her final words echoed in his mind as a tear escaped the corner of his eye and slid silently down his cheek. Alieth: She was dead for seventeen minutes and forty-three seconds before we were able to restore her heart rate. A faint groaning sound rang out from the next biobed. Alieth allowed herself a smile, tiny and bright, before she hid it behind her tea cup and took a short sip. Alieth: Mister Greaves, welcome Miss Katsim to the world of the living. And be grateful to the Prophets and her Cardassian heritage. For a moment he had nothing to say. The weight of the reveal was so shocking, so utterly foreign to the rage and sorrow fighting in his mind, he simply had no reaction. Wes didn't know what or how to feel. Finally, a shocked laugh broke his silence. A laugh that sounded out of place, but felt so right. A laugh that contained within it shock, joy, and life. From his bed he couldn't see Peri, even when he craned his neck to try. Still, he called out to his friend. Greaves: Peri? Katsim: Response Greaves: It's… It's good to hear your voice. Katsim: Response Alieth: Response Greaves: Are we going to have any lasting injuries? Alieth: Response Katsim: Response Greaves: I understand. (smiling wider) No more shuttle rides for a little while then. Alieth/Katsim: Response Greaves: Now that you mention it, I really could use a nap. You'll never believe this doc, but I feel like I got hit by a freight train. [[End Scene for Greaves]] ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  6. @Alieth and @Alex Brodie are such great writers, and here we get to see a Vulcan who finds herself in need of counseling. A rare insight into the Vulcan mind, and Brodie's masterful handling of the situation. [[Hammer’s Bowling Alley, Deck Five, USS Thor]] It was a quiet night, Alex stepped up to the doors and typed in the key-code. Darren had been good enough to loan him the access codes and the facility for the night. He stepped through the doors and activated the lights. They thrummed into life and he moved behind the small hospitality area and switched on the replicator. Brodie: Coffee, milk, no sugar. The cup materialised in the small alcove and he removed it, taking a long gulp. He wandered towards the lanes and took a ball from the rack. He stepped back, lined up his body and sent the ball flying down the lacquered surface. It crashed straight through the middle of the pack and left the seven and ten pins standing. An impossible split. He moved to pick a second ball but turned as the door hissed open behind him - his appointment had arrived. He’d suggested the venue for a couple of reasons. They were familiar with the medical deck, it was a work environment, difficult to relax. This was out of the way, especially at this time of night. It also had couches. Brodie: Ah, Doctor, please come in. The young Vulcan woman lingered for a moment in the doorway, surveying the unfamiliar place. She was aware of the existence of the site, of course, as she had had to treat more than one sprained ankle or finger produced there and. As a result, she had read about this peculiar Earth pastime. Like so many of the other leisure activities humans enjoyed, it was just a basic geometry application. As it lacked the additional challenge of an adversary's aleatory influence over the activity (as did, for example, other forms of entertainment such as billiards), she had immediately shelved it as a toddler's activity. So, after that brief inspection, she beelined to where the counsellor was standing. Alieth: You have chosen a rather... interesting place for this particular appointment, Doctor Brodie.... Brodie: A little unconventional perhaps, but we won’t be disturbed. Should people see us in conference on deck ten they might think it’s a conversation they can interrupt. Can I get you a refreshment? Alieth: Vulcan Tea, Saros of Chi-Ree Blend, number 10004 The beverage quickly appeared in the replicator's niche, housed in an antique earthenware cup, glazed in an uneven graphite grey. The moment it appeared, the subtle, bittersweet aroma of his father's latest project filled her nostrils, bringing back memories of their farewell. In spite of herself, her heart shrank slightly in the lower part of her ribcage. Nevertheless she took the cup, cradled it in her hands for a moment and took a small sip. Precisely the flavour she remembered. Predictably, Saros was exceptionally meticulous when it came to translating his creations into replicator code. And he had supplied her with the work of the last six years, which she had, of course, diligently integrated into the Thor's computer memory. Alieth: As we discussed, I have set up this meeting in accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C which dictates that all personnel are required to undergo at least one psychological check-up annually during their service aboard a starship on an active mission. Alex took a seat on the couch opposite the Vulcan physician and leaned back. Brodie: Perfectly correct. That said, we could have done this at any time - rather than eat into shore leave on your home world. Alieth: Indeed, the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision. Brodie: I see...this would be your first time back on Vulcan since the academy? Brodie wasn’t sure when Alieth had last been on her homeworld but certainly not since she had come aboard the Thor. In that time she had been promoted to rank of lieutenant and the position of chief medical officer. That didn’t include the contents of the missions she’d been part of - including the contact with Kalib and the entities in quantum space. Whoever had left Vulcan to join Starfleet it was fair to say that, no matter how stoic they were, these things changed you. She nodded slightly, as she let the tea warm her hands. Alieth: This is the first time I have made a visit to the homeworld since over six years ago, indeed. Brodie: And how has that made you feel, being back home? The response was immediate and direct. Alieth: The suggestion that a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious :: raising an slanted eyebrow:: and most decidedly human. It was a human suggestion...he took a moment to rephrase. Brodie: Perhaps not an emotional response but a lot can change in that time. It would be understandable if you’d needed a little time to readjust. She took some time to answer this re-elaboration of the query. Just long enough that the tea lost some of its temperature and as she took a sip, the flavour of the mixture would have changed marginally, as the herbal blend shifted the more intense flavours in favour of more subtle ones. Alieth: Saros of Chi-ree used to say that nothing changes too much on Vulcan. While there is truth in those words, I have nevertheless found that it does not quite fit reality. She made a brief pause and tooe another tiny ship of her tea:: Such a dichotomy between invariability and change has been an interesting thing to witness. Brodie: There was a philosopher in ancient Greece, Hera[...]us, who proffered that "The only thing that is constant is change”. I’ve always rather agreed with that. I can’t say I am familiar with Saros, is he widely known on Vulcan? Alieth: Saros is indeed not a widely recognised philosopher, but he is certainly a wise man. And a master of tea making. Brodie: It sounds like you’ve studied his teachings in person. Alieth: Indeed, he is my father after all. There it was. “In accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C”, ”the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision” and “a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious”. He did wonder if perhaps the doctor did protest too much? Vulcan’s were, in some ways, quite emotional about emotion. Perhaps it was an unfamiliarity...perhaps even a fear of slipping back into a more aggressive primal society. He’d seen examples of pre-Surak at the museum - was every Vulcan doing their part to avoid a return? Still, the only Vulcan that mattered right now was the one sitting one the couch opposite - focusing on her tea. Brodie: I...get the feeling we’re in the general area of why you wanted to see me. She suppressed a tiny sigh, her diversion from the first question had been just too short-lived. Alieth: Roughly. He knew he was unlikely to have an emotional breakthrough...and he wasn’t sure what the outcome might be. He decided to try a more practical...more logical and direct...a more Vulcan approach. He leaned forwards slightly. Brodie: Do you know what the role of counsellor is, Alieth? She didn't have to rack her brain too much to find the textbook definition she considered most relevant. Alieth: Check and verify the stability of the crew to ensure that they are able to continue with the activities to which they are dedicated on board the vessel and to prevent conflicts or unresolved situations from escalating in a way that could be deemed hazardous to the personnel concerned. Brodie: All true. Ultimately, however, the job is to help people resolve things. Sometimes that is spiritual aid, sometimes psychological care...other times...more practical solutions. So...tell me...what is it that you are struggling to resolve? Alieth: Due to certain decisions in my past and by heritage, I am widely regarded as a maverick among my clan and my own bloodline. Nevertheless, due to a series of recent events, the assistance of the clan and a number of other acquaintances on Vulcan is not only necessary, but also vital, not for me, but to people I have in high regard. She tilted her head slightly, and rolled the steaming mug between her hands. A stray thought told her she should have replicated coffee instead of tea, but she dismissed it as soon as it appeared. Alieth: However, all prospects suggest that I will face a number of conflicting situations that may hinder the process, which is... not desirable. Alex regarded the Vulcan...he’d never really considered her a ‘maverick.’ Perhaps slightly more outgoing by Vulcan standards but stoicism was a spectrum. What did occur to him, however, was that she may also consider herself to be a maverick...which was a very different style. Once more, he opted for the direct approach. He became aware that he was rubbing his shoulder slightly...his own scars of reckless behaviour in the eyes of some. Brodie: Do you consider yourself a ‘maverick’? The young Vulcan blinked a couple of times in a conspicuous fashion as she sipped her tea. Immediately after, she placed her cup on the table and made a particularly controlled answer. Alieth: I deem the answer is obvious, Counselor. I am She tilted her head and folded her hands in her lap. Alieth: Is it relevant, Commander? Brodie: It’s not my place to judge...although I do seem to recall you were awarded a Silver Star for gallantry - some could argue that is a form of maverick behavior? Alex watched her reaction closely. The Vulcan's brows furrowed and she tilted her head slightly to a side. She remembered why she had been bestowed that award, it had been during what had come to be called "The Hammerfall Event". She had been involved in rescuing Kalib, which had allowed her to discover the creatures that were threatening the ship. However, she hadn't acted impulsively, but had been driven by her inclination to help others. That was, after all, why she had chosen to pursue a career in medicine. Of course, she kept much of that reflection to herself. Alieth: I disagree, sir. I was only fulfilling my duty. The corners of Alieth's lips tightened slightly as she answered. If she had come out of the whole event alive (or sane) it was only because Geoffrey John had broken her meld with Kalib, ignoring the one and only warning she had given him: that he should not inoculate her with Leroxin, a chemical that affected those who carried an extra katra. The results had led to the situation she was currently handling between the starship and the surface, while she awaited the arrival of her mentor. The memory of this and the more than likely prospect that both the Commander and Sern would get lost if she failed to take appropriate action made her eyes darken in concern. On her lap, her fingers twitched briefly as Brodie kept talking. Brodie: You also helped save a young boy and the crew of this ship through your actions. But…::He placed his cup down::...to circle back to your earlier comment. You’re facing a situation that you feel is vital to people you hold in high regard? She nodded slightly and then picked up her own cup to take a small sip in order to gather her thoughts. The tea had turned lukewarm and sour. Alieth: I have let a misguided situation linger on for too long, and now the lives of an officer and the existence of my most cherished friend are in jeopardy. That didn’t sound like Alieth...the woman he knew was decisive, logical, focused. This woman was emotional - and he wondered if that scared her more than anything? Brodie: It sounds like you already have a course of action in mind? She swirled the bitter liquid in her cup, but did not drink it, as the shallow tension reappeared on the sides of her mouth and on her brow. Alieth: On the other hand, the actions I need to take :: She reworded the statement to fit more closely to reality :: The actions I already have taken may put my personal status on Vulcan in a precarious situation, which could render me as an outcast in my birthplace and could affect my parents and siblings negatively. That sounded more like her...thinking of others, not herself. The twitches in her face, the fear - perhaps even a little anger. They were all accentuated by the light from the bowling lanes and the warm spot-lights above them. Sometimes less clinical was more effective. Brodie: And this situation is... Alieth: The situation concerns the katra of the Sern of S'th'gee Clan... and with the First Officer of this vessel. And there it was, Teller had said as much himself when he had been aboard the John Paul Jones: “there’s just too much in here”. Brodie didn’t know much about Vulcan spirituality but he had touched on them during his studies at the academy. Katra’s were the essence of the Vulcan mind and, perhaps more than that, were - to all intents and purposes - the soul of a Vulcan. That’s what Alieth was also facing, as far as he could see, a struggle with her very essence as a Vulcan. He’d kept a respectable distance from both Alieth and Geoff regarding the matter...so far...but now both needed some professional...problem solving. Brodie: The precarious nature of this situation…regarding your family...is that related to the fact the transfer occurred….or, to use your words, the steps you have already taken in, I assume, trying to rectify the situation? This time, she took more time to answer. Time she spent drinking the bitter, tepid tea from her cup to the dregs. Alieth: It concerns the original situation that led to this whole affair, in my time before Starfleet, as well as my refusal to comply with certain conditions that have been imposed upon me in order to resolve this problem in accordance with the requirements of the Clan. Brodie: And what have they entailed? She looked him straight in the eye, her face carefully stern and devoid of emotion. Alieth: Split the Commander's mind in such a devastating way that the chance that he would either be killed or rendered mentally impaired is above 72.6%. Alex’s eyes widened. That was not a comforting number in any way, shape, or form. The extreme risk only had one silver lining - if they could formulate an alternate plan it was unlikely to have any more detrimental effect. It was not a happy thought. Brodie: Yeah...no. We’re not doing that. Have you brought these numbers to Geoff’s attention? Alieth: Of course not. Brodie: Good. It’s probably best to keep it that way. She said nothing on the matter and just spun the empty cup in her hands idly. Brodie: I wonder - if it’s an avenue we could explore with some others with expertise in this area? Trill has a lot of experience with consciousness transfer. Betazed may also be worth looking into. I’m not making any promises but it would allow us to explore options without highlighting anything to those on Vulcan Alieth: It is an alternative. Nevertheless, while to the telepathically null individuals telepathy may seem like a unified phenomenon, it has evolved in very different ways in different species and differs greatly from one species to another. ::She looked at the counsellor with a tilted head.:: And even among different Vulcanoids. Brodie: Although given what you’ve just told me, and the non-typical method of the transfer, I think it’s worth keeping an open mind. That said, with regards to the Katra I would imagine that there would be little expertise outside of Vulcan. Finally, she put the cup on the table and stood up. Alieth: This is, as I expected, a Vulcan issue, which must be resolved in a Vulcan way, sir. ‘Must’ was a strong word. He wasn’t sure if it was a sense of duty, a sense of guilt or a sense of pride that prompted the response - but it was definitely a sign of the stress the situation was placing on the ships chief medical officer. Brodie: I’ll look to see if there’s any research onto this, or similar, outside the typical archives…::raising a hand against protest::...just in case. Obviously if it’s unavoidable you should act to protect Geoff but, otherwise, I’d ask that you don’t take any steps without letting me know first. Brodie had a duty to protect the mental well-being of the crew and any process with a one-in-four chance of mentally impairing the first officer would entail a considerable amount of paperwork before it could be sanctioned...and that approval would need to come from him with Alieth having a clear conflict of interest in this. Brodie: I think we’ve covered a lot of ground today, perhaps we should break and recovenene at a later date. Alieth: Thank you for your time. And the tea. The counsellor pushed himself out of his chair. Brodie: You’re very welcome, Alieth. We’ll talk more soon - and, as always, my door is open whenever you might need me. The young doctor made her way towards the door but, before she left, something on the lanes caught her attention. Two separate pins at far and opposite ends of it. Seven and ten. The Vulcan did a quick calculation and nodded to herself. Grabbing one of the heavier balls resting next to the lane, she stepped to the left and with a measured and precise movement, threw the ball. It swung towards the seven pin with a swift roll and hit the inside of it, apparently barely brushing it. The target knocked and hit the side wall, bounced back to the lane and struck the second pin, knocking it down. Alieth nodded one more time and, without a word, left the bowling alley. Alex watched her go and looked back down the lane. The full array of pins now reset after the impossible split was removed - that chances of which were less than one percent. It could be done with the right curvature but that was always more by luck than judgement. You needed, as Alieth had done, to use not only the ball and the pin but also the side or rear wall to ricochet off. You needed more than just the two players in the game to make the split work. Brodie: ::To himself:: See….nothing is impossible with a little help. [[END]] ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  7. Now this is how you write an angry doctor! I love the bluntness and harsh vibes you put into this @Alieth. @Addison MacKenzie should be proud.
  8. Ensign Jehe aka @Brutus is a real delight to read. In the short time she has been writing her character she has left us with little gems like this one, in which she juggles several scenes outside the bridge to coordinate her own, with the input of all her writting partners and is able to combine tension, humour, snark and a fine, direct prose that lets us getting to know Saja really well. Plus, why deny it, it's a blast to read this intelligence officer trying to park a whale in a thimbleful of water. Good work Bru! __________________________________________________ ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Thor)) Jehe: Sorry Ma'am, that's about as refined as I can make it. Rouiancet: That's fine. (beat, thinking) Ensign Glass, you said that we couldn't transport through the planetoid's radiation belt. But if the Odin ran into trouble, another shuttle might as well, especially if we don't know what caused the crash. (another beat) What if we took the Thor down? Glass:...Thats true Ma'am...although they would have hit it unexpectedly, while we would have the benefit of knowing what the problem is likely to be....that said though, I'd be happier taking the Thor down rather than a little shuttle! Saja looked at the mess on the viewscreen, then back over at Glass, and for a moment contemplated tartly asking the Ensign if he'd like to take over helm then, if he was happier taking a ship designed to be in the depths of space into an atmosphere. Jehe: We're not designed for atmospheric operations - not that there is much of an atmosphere down there. ::A frown graced her lips.:: Please tell me we're not going to need to set down on the planet? I have never landed a ship this big...Does it even have landing gear? Lia gave a brief shake of her head, far quicker than Saja could look up that specific stat about the ship's configuration. Up until this point, it was not something the young Intelligence specialist had needed to know. Rouiancet: We wouldn't have to land, but what if we went down below 50 kilometers from the surface? Would we be able to do that? Would the transporters be able to cut through the radiation at that distance? Glass: If the transporters still can't beam them up at 50 clicks from the surface, then we'll have a shorter distance to travel in the shuttle....so either way it's a good idea! Jehe: Hard to argue with that logic. She wondered if his enthusiasm was all from nerves, just like her somewhat snarky demeanor. In truth, both of them cared about the occupants of the shuttle. That much had to be clear to the other officers dotting the bridge. With that in mind, the Bajoran redoubled her efforts to calculate the best approach vector, leveraging the ship's computer heavily and trying to remind herself that she had, in fact, flown vessels in the past, even if they weren't quite this large. Rouiancet: Let's give it a try. (beat, deep breath) Bring us down. Jehe: Aye ma'am, beginning descent vector. Kell gripped the sides of his console as the Thor began descending to the planetoid surface - Saja could damn near feel the tension coming off of the man, but she couldn't look back at him, nor the Lt. Commander. Her entire focus was on the controls ahead, eyes flicked up occasionally to visually verify the readings Jehe: Brace for atmospheric breach. A light flashed on the panel in front of her, but a quick sweep of her fingers dismissed it. There was hardly any resistance to speak of on the class D world. The transition was thus much smoother than Saja felt she'd had any right to expect. Not that she was going to complain. Rouiancet: The moment we're in range, I want them beamed out. Glass: Atmospheric shields holding at 86% Ma'am....the computer will kick in transport as soon as it acquires lock! Jehe: We're through what passes for the upper atmosphere.::As she spoke, the ship gave a small shudder, which did nothing at all for her nerves.:: Now it's just dealing with the gravity well. Steady....steady... A whine began to fill the bridge, and Saja realized it was the sound of wind ripping over the ship's hull. In space, nothing of the sort would happen, but even in the thin atmosphere of this tiny rock in space, it was enough to be audibly eerie. Glass: Transporter lock established.....beam up in progress Ma'am! Jehe: oOHey, if you're listening, Prophets, now would be a really good time for a favor...Oo Rouiancet: =/\= Bridge to Transporter Room 1. Do you have them? =/\= Quen / M. Salo / Richards: =/\= Responses =/\= Greaves / Katsim: =/\= Responses, if any =/\= Kell slumped in his seat, letting out a sigh. Glass: Thank the lord...I thought we'd lost them there for a second! Jehe: We're not out if this yet She hated to have to remind him of that, but even as she spoke the Thor rocked slightly. Rouiancet/Glass: response Jehe: Now that we're closer, any chance we can pull the Odin up with us? She didn't care about the ship, not really. She wanted to keep her mind off the injuries that Wes and Peri might have had. Rouiancet/Glass: Response ========== Ens. Jehe Saja Intelligence Officer USS Thor T239712JS0
  9. Before reading, I'll give some background. Rossk Shes Ar-Dev is a Hypermale (third sex) of the Nascaik. A highly militant society. Hypermales are dying breed and no more are being born and this is also causing population loss planetwide. After much disagreement and a terrorist attack on them by a lone Thama, the Nascaik and the Thama have now agreed to help one another rather peacefully. Foss is Ar-Dev's son, who has voiced his free will of not wanting to become a Hypermale through genetic modification. It seemed as though the boys voice was the voice of change and reason. The voice that changed the future for others like him. The voice that softened his fathers heart. Justin has again written brilliantly. In this piece he has his trademark humor but then throws in a heavy tragedy that is now unknown to the rest of the characters. The writing and idea is beautifully painful...and the first thing I read after waking this morning. (( Bridge, Deck 1, USS Resolution )) Ar-Dev: I have been granted wide discretionary powers to conclude an agreement with the Thama. I am confident that if we were to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution, Unified Command would ratify it. Such a solution might also go a long way toward saving Shes’ career, and quite possibly his life. Vey-Dex: If there are no arguments, I will begin the process of writing the agreement? Sirin: With the Representative Delegates input, of course. Vey-Dex: Of course. MacKenzie: Counselor Sirin, please work with the delegates to craft an appropriate agreement. Adea: =/\= Adea to MacKenzie. Check your PADD =/\= The commander studied her handheld device for a long moment, then looked back up to each of them in turn, her gaze finally landing on the Thama. MacKenzie: =/\= I’ll send her down. =/\= ::to Niran:: Delegate, it appears our teams may have found a solution that will bring the rest of our systems back online, but they believe your assistance may speed up the process. Niran: I would be pleased to serve. MacKenzie: Ensign Sherlock, please escort Delegate Niran to Sickbay. ::to the group as a whole:: Once Niran has finished in Sickbay and you’ve all had a chance to work on the treaty, we’ll meet back here in several hours to ratify it. Sherlock: Yes, ma'am. ::gesturing to the turbolift:: Delegate Niran, if you will. Niran: Of course. As soon as the interesting security officer had departed the room with the Thama, Shes felt the gravity return to something approximating normal, and he no longer had to brace Himself against railings and consoles to keep from floating away. The counselor who had been assigned to assist in drafting the agreement approached, but there was unfinished business left to complete first. Ar-Dev: Counselor, if you would allow us a moment to speak in private. Shes didn’t wait for an acknowledgment from the officer, striding instead through the nearest pair of doors and waiting for Malyk to follow. The space was strange, and Shes couldn’t immediately determine its purpose. He peered through one of two small cubicles to find an alien-looking bowl-shaped contraption mounted low onto the bulkhead. It must have been outfitted with a proximity sensor, because as soon as Shes moved in front it, it made a most peculiar flushing sound. Toilet: Have a Starflee-terrific day! Ar-Dev: ::wearily:: I cannot wait to go home. Shes moved to the far corner of the small room and spoke in barely audible voice. Ar-Dev: Before you begin working on this agreement, Malyk, I need you to do a few things for me. First, have someone from our vessel come get Foss immediately and secure him in quarters until this mission has concluded. Next, contact the headmaster of the Youth Academy on the homeworld and tell him that I am withdrawing Foss from classes there, effective immediately. If he asks for a reason, tell him it is a Father’s prerogative. He will not be pleased, but that will end the conversation. Malyk was expertly taking notes, and Shes was confident his directives would be followed to the letter. He paused to let her finish, but not long enough for her to ask questions. Ar-Dev: Finally, I need you to contact Re-Education Encampment 29 and inform them that they need to make a bunk available for Foss immediately. ::beat:: I know the intendant of Encampment 29. Ask to speak to Avssk Grev Fol-Gan, and tell Him that it is a personal request from Me. We will arrange to have Foss delivered there once we have returned to our vessel. No matter how promising this agreement with the Thama, the first of its kind in Nascaik living memory, might be in solving the Hypermale problem, the benefits would likely come too late for Foss. He would begin maturing soon, and by then, it would be too late for him to be transformed. Better to send him away for re-education now, than allow the boy to cause more problems later. Fol-Gan would ensure that Foss’ stay at Encampment 29 would be handled discreetly, sparing Shes the public and professional embarrassment, and that his re-education would be conducted properly. With dedication and some good fortune, Foss might be able to return to society before he was 30. Shes and Malyk stepped back out onto the bridge and parted ways, with Malyk ushering Foss with her into the turbolift. Shes glanced over at one of the bridge consoles, which was coloured differently to all of its neighbours. Shaking His head, he disregarded the console and the illegible alien script displayed on it: HI SCORE 1. FOSS 1 780 659 2. YALU 6 250 [End Scene for Ar-Dev] [End Future for Foss] MSPNPC Rossk Shes Ar-Dev Military Commander, Nascaik Planetary Expeditionary & Defense Forces Diplomatic Representative, Nascaik Defense Coalition special appearance by Wilhelmina Christelle Khazi Deck 1 Toilet USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others, those who have lost the right to speak. — Mahmoud Darwish
  10. I spent the entire reading of this JP laughing. Brilliantly written @Geoffrey Teller @Alex Brodie. Great action, great dialog, and great one liners.
  11. OOC: @Alieth and @Geoffrey Teller both have a way with words. Alieth has a particular skill for infusing the ability to connect to a person that is supposed to have tight rein on her emotion - and yet she's so emotive. I just adore this pair. IC: ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, deck 10, USS Thor)) Teller: We're in trouble, aren't we? ::Geoff tapped his temple:: Both of us. Their gazes met, and he folded his arms across his chest. The young Vulcan kept her features carefully in check as she regarded him, but eventually she let out a soft sigh and provided him with as much of a response as she could. Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. He took a moment to speak again, as if lost in his own thoughts. She could not blame him, he was, in the end, human, and until a moment ago that alien, shambolic brain of his had housed not only his own being, but two others...and...whatever it was they had found in there. Either a disruption, a commingling, a melding, a folding, or simply the strong memory of someone who had left a mark on Teller's innermost being as much as his skin. Geoff finally blinked and seemed to focus on reality once more. The Vulcan doctor could only tilt her head to the side. Teller: I'm not sure how many sets of memories I have in my head at this point, but all of them tell me to trust you Alieth. ::Geoff forced a grin, if for himself if nothing else:: We'll sort this out, together. Sern's kinda like family to me at this point, and I'd hate...well, you two have been through enough. So, now what? ::Geoff held his hands up defensively:: If you say another mind meld I'm getting a phaser. And a helmet. The prospect made a smile dance in her eyes, even more so now that she had a vague idea of how this endeavour might end. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Geoff snorted, which prompted her to allow a tiny curl of one of the sides of her lips, barely a hint of a expression, just an early draft of one. Geoff looked back to Alieth's desk, at the small package and had been lying there, forgotten all that time. Teller: That reminds me....you should really open that. She furrowed her nose faintly in feigned frustration, barely concealing the curiosity she felt as mild vexation. Alieth: You know that there is no jubilee, no human or Vulcan festive observance that would mandate a... :: waving a hand gently to flag the package:: ...a gift. That smug smile of someone overly confident about himself (and in the sheer GENIUS of all and every one of his disastrous ideas) appeared again on his face, this time, at least, without the extra of his former crooked nose. Teller: Well, you can call it whatever you want, I mostly consider this a warning for others. Alieth: Be careful what you are up to Geoffrey John, or else…. She didn't finish the sentence and, instead, took the present and deftly unwrapped it with a couple of concise movements. When she pulled the paper aside, it revealed a piece of duranium that she instantly recognized, largely thanks to the traces of yellow on one of its jagged edges and the lingering smell of bog which not even months and a thorough scrubbing had managed to wipe away. She ran one of her thumbs over the polished surface, over the sixteen words in two languages that the piece encased. Despite all her effort, a faint green blush tinged the tips of her ears and even dared to reach her cheeks, a sign of how the human's emotionality still lingered in her. Chief Medical Officer Alieth Professional Troublemaker USS Thor She took her eyes off the plate and shot him a stare that she had long nursed to terrify patients and health professionals alike away from HER sickbay. Of course the Thor's First Officer was not affected in the slightest. Teller: I figure you can leave that on the desk, at least give your patients a heads up. She clutched the piece of metal tightly in her hands Alieth: this is fallacious, outrageous and utterly inane... And dishonest. Her voice was blunt and dry, yet a glint in her eyes and a slight relaxation around her mouth hinted the truth. As did the fact that he never let go of the plaque. Teller: If that was a thank you, you're welcome. ::Geoff rose, finally confident he could make it to the turbolift without hitting the ground:: I think I'm going to head back to my quarters and sleep for a week. You need anything else from me? Alieth looked at him for a moment and at last tilted her head, to inquire about something that had disconcerted her at the very end of the meld. Alieth: What is a ‘ Silas’ ? Teller: I'm not sure what worries me more...that you know to ask that question, or that you're not even sure about the answer. I'll try to explain...Silas...another time. Alieth: ::With a light tone:: All right, keep your secrets Geoff. ::softening her expression a bit:: And rest well. Geoff smiled weakly and beat a hasty retreat out of sickbay. She followed him out with her gaze and, as the door closed behind him, she indulged herself in a tiny smile, prior to clearing a place of honour on her overcrowded desk to display the cautionary plaque. As he surveyed it and her eyes trailed the complicated spirals of her name in her native tongue, that secret smile melted from her face and morphed into a gesture of concern, as the realization of the danger in which the author of the nameplate and the katra of her most cherished friend found themselves, dawned upon her. She scowled and made her way to the replicator in the office in order to grab a soothing cup of tea before she made any decisions about what to do next. For some reason, the contents of the cup she replicated were not what she expected.... but rather black, steaming hot, bitter coffee. [[END?]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  12. I've been resisting putting this SIM here for a few days now because I think it's too self-indulgent as this scene revolves around my character and one crazyof my own crazy ideas. However, today, when I have re-read it to write a reply, I couldn't help but appreciate how WELL written it is, the perfect mix between letting some space so that others can add to the scene and an absolutely delicious description and development of the scenario as well as the great prose, full of humour and subtleties to which @Geoffrey Tellerhas accustomed us to. So I have no choice but to put it here, because it is well worth reading. A call out, again, to @Roshanara Rahmanand @Quen Deenabecause without them it wouldn't have been possible, and my absolute and sincere thanks to them too. I hope I can live up to your standards one day. _______________________________________________________________________________________ ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) Alieth: I’m fine. ::She frowned deeply and reworded the statement:: I am fine. Geoff managed to sit up largely because Cheesecake had a firm grip on the front of his uniform. With limited dignity and no small amount of slobber on his torso, Geoff found himself propped up against the wall of Alieth's office. The pain in his skull was diminishing, but in its place was a strange ringing. Somehow, he recognized it as the sound of Vulcan bells, although he'd never heard them before. They rang across a blistering, sandswept ceremonial battleground. He saw two fighters, wielding the lirpa with desperate, deadly intent. Geoff realized he was watching a fight he'd seen before, but that time it had been from Serns eyes. As the fatal blow was struck, Geoff felt a wave of anguish like nothing he'd ever experienced before. He felt Alieth's pain like it was his own. The memory faded but the emotions stayed sharp and clear. Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: That is rather more complicated, I… Alieth had managed to keep her seat and most of her dignity, so when she struggled to rise and stand without toppling over Geoff's concern for her was renewed. She steadied herself eventually then came to his aide, displacing Cheesecake to one side with a few friendly pats and then hauling Geoff to his feet. Geoff could've been imagining it, but somehow Alieth seemed...different to him. Her body language had changed, and along with it her tone. He couldn't be sure what this would mean, but he doubted it was good. Alieth: Sern needs help, expert guidance. Assistance that I can only find in Vulcan. Geoff found his strength and balance returning, but he still felt profoundly drained from the experience. He kept having phantom sensations, like the certainty he had sand in his boots or that his non-existent beard was itchy. Other sensations, like the thrill of driving a nearly out of control ground vehicle and joyfully fleeing trouble with a sister, were not his own. The taste of chocolate on his tongue and in his nose, far richer and more potent than anything a human had ever experienced. Voices that sounded like shouting Klingons. It was a distracting collision of memories and experiences, something his brain was apparently having trouble sorting through. Teller: We're in trouble, aren't we? ::Geoff tapped his temple:: Both of us. Geoff met Alieth's gaze and crossed his arms. Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. Geoff looked to Alieth, and saw many things all at once. Like looking at light split through a crystal, Geoff saw many shades of Alieth. The officer he'd come to know and respect. The woman Sern had loved. Even Alieth's perspective mingled in, her self-doubt and struggles with her family, her grief, her love of this ship and its crew. Geoff had to blink it away and focus hard to keep from getting distracted. Distantly, he wondered how joined Trill kept it all sorted out. Teller: I'm not sure how many sets of memories I have in my head at this point, but all of them tell me to trust you Alieth. ::Geoff forced a grin, if for himself if nothing else:: We'll sort this out, together. Sern's kinda like family to me at this point, and I'd hate...well, you two have been through enough. So, now what? ::Geoff held his hands up defensively:: If you say another mind meld I'm getting a phaser. And a helmet. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Geoff snorted, glad to see Alieth loosening up fractionally. oO...troublemaker...Oo Geoff looked back to Alieth's desk, almost forgetting the small package he'd dropped off when he arrived. Teller: That reminds me....you should really open that. Alieth: Response Teller: Well, you can call it whatever you want, I mostly consider this a warning for others. Alieth: Response Alieth took the heavy parcel in hand and unwrapped it deftly, exposing the contents Geoff had put together in one of the ships machine shops. Made from a piece of duranium salvaged from the front engine cowling of his demolished SAG, Teller had worked the metal until it was smooth and flat, with only slightly jagged edges as a reminder of its origin. On the front, etched into the metal in both Federation Standard and Vulcan were eight words: Chief Medical Officer Alieth Professional Troublemaker USS Thor Teller: I figure you can leave that on the desk, at least give your patients a heads up. Alieth: Response Teller: If that was a thank you, you're welcome. ::Geoff rose, finally confident he could make it to the turbolift without hitting the ground:: I think I'm going to head back to my quarters and sleep for a week. You need anything else from me? Alieth: Response Teller: I'm not sure what worries me more...that you know to ask that question, or that you're not even sure about the answer. I'll try to explain...Silas...another time. Alieth: Response Geoff smiled weakly and beat a hasty retreat out of sickbay. As confusing as the meld had been, he felt a strange vitality returning to him. For a few moments, he had again been himself as a younger man. He remembered the passion and drive that had gotten him to the Thor, and more importantly the people who had been part of his journey. As much as he wanted to sleep on his return to his quarters, Geoff instead sat in front of the computer console and opened a new message. // TO: RAHMAN, R., USSVERITAS, CO FROM: TELLER, G.J., USSTHOR, XO Skipper, Thought you should know you saved my life, again, today. Appreciate it. Separately, you guys ever get the starboard plasma manifold alignment issues under control? You know how the core gets. I owe you one, Geoffrey John Teller // Geoff smiled and sent the message off, then collapsed into bed with his boots still on. [Tags/End for Teller!] ((OOC: Special thanks to Fleet Captain Rahman of the Veritas for taking the time to join us for this arc! I think this turned into something really special.)) =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  13. I want to thank @Alieth, along with @Roshanara Rahman & @Quen Deena, for making this entire arc absolutely incredible to explore. I've said this on Discord, but I'll reiterate it here because I think it's important - generally speaking I find it difficult to explore my own character, or to make them the 'center' of a narrative arc. I'm always concerned it's self-indulgent or exclusionary so I rarely go to these stories, excepting with the help of the writers I've most come to respect and trust. I'm glad I did, because what @Alieth did in this last sim is an incredible reflection on my own character, and my 'history' with our fleet. Thank you, Troublemaker. ========================================================================= Falling from the ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Veritas)) Reality collapsed at Alieth's feet, in a cascade of memory fragments into darkness. Glimpses for the past rained down around her, disjointed and senseless as she tumbled hastily into the abyss. The red light in the teetering corridors of the USS Artemis. A well-endowed front end of a version of Captain Rahman riding a Veritas through the space, with spots ALL the way down. Teller: Alieth! For some reason, a violent impact to the chest followed by a more than audible “FALLHHHASLLPPPPPPPP!”. Someone speaking in a strangely flowery manner. For some reason the words "Silas" and "Saga" echoed over and over in the void. Neither made sense to the Vulcan. The texture of the Uss Diligent's captain's chair, firm under her fingers, though she had never been there. The woodlands of Til'ahn, the gurgling sound of his chest after a runabout fell on his head. Mackenzie, working on a mechanical arm for a reluctant G'var. A robotic leg for a Betazoid officer, Adea. While Alieth knew the former CMO, she didn't know either of the other two, but she recognised their faces. Somehow. A little girl, playing with a yellow-robed muppet, who looked suspiciously like a certain red-haired fellow. For some reason, she knew there was a degree of mischief involved. Teller: Alieth! We have to go! Now! A white wake that, for some mysterious reason, left a trail of bamboo and coconuts behind it hurried towards her amidst memories of a crazy party with someone called Ukinix and a snooty-looking black-eyed woman in the chase of a bellhop. Somehow, there, when everything was crumbling around her, smelt like coffee. Amidst the maelstrom of memories and shadowy images, she intuited a familiar form. Alieth stretched out her hands in search of the faint figure she could not fully see. Alieth: We cannot Sern is still... Teller: It won't matter if we don't get out of here. You have to break the meld! A firm hand grasped her wrist. She clung onto him as they both spun on the trajectory that had resulted from their collision. Alieth: Alright! Alieth closed her eyes and concentrated on her hands. Not on those, clinging to the skinny pale wrist, but on another, far, far away, resting on the profile of a face just over the qui'lari. She felt the electric tingle under her fingertips, the vibrant connection between her minds. With one last effort of her will, Alieth flexed her fingers... ... And pushed. And when she opened her eyes, she was still in her office chair, as a very large dog performed the duty her kind had been performing for millennia and was saving a human's life. Licking him. ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) The light in the office was too white, too bright after her plunge into darkness. Alieth closed her eyes and breathed in, the emotions of the meld still lingering in her mind. Some were not her own. Most of them were just hers. And she didn't want to deal with them, not there, not at that moment. She just could not. She breathed out deeply and inhaled once more. When she exhaled again, it was herself all over again, what had happened pushed away and tucked away in a place deep in her mind, shelved for... for later. Yet there was... a certain tension in her face, a certain frown in her slanted eyebrows, a subtle dull gleam in her dark eyes. Teller: Doc...Alieth...are you... Alieth: I’m fine. ::She frowned deeply and reworded the statement:: I am fine. Fine was a non-descript and imprecise term, and yet she could find nothing better to convey the truth. Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: That is rather more complicated, I… She tilted her head to one side and, quickly, she regretted it, the throbbing pain piercing through her temples. She leaned back for a moment, eyes closed, before she stood back on her feet. For a moment she held herself upright, as if she questioned her own stability, just before she moved the scant two steps that separated her from the officer sprawled on the floor and the solicitous canid. She patted the animal's head a couple of times and pushed the dog aside from him before she offered a hand to the human. With one efficient motion, she assisted him back to his feet. That brief contact ceased quickly, however, with Alieth pulling her hands away just as soon as he regained his verticality. She folded her hands behind her back, hiding them in the sleeves of her lab coat. Alieth: Sern needs help, expert guidance. Assistance that I can only find in Vulcan. Teller: ? Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. Teller: ? She allowed herself for a moment to relax her firm grip on her features, and one corner of her mouth curved up slightly, barely a shadow of what she had been in his mind. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Teller: ? [[Tag! & TBC]] OOC: qui'lari -> the Vulcan name for a focal point in the bioelectric field in foramen magnums of a humanoid ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  14. @Alieth has introduced this lovely character arc involving her deceased lover (don't even try to deny it, Alieth) who was killed and his katra placed in @Geoffrey Teller in order to preserve it. Here, we see that Vulcans are not devoid of emotion, and though the display isn't as overt as perhaps one might see in a human, I can't help but connect emotionally to Sern and Alieth. ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Veritas)) Sern: I do not choose the places. They never last long. Days - sometimes hours. It was fortunate I came across this one. The bridge jolted around them. On the screen, the nose of the Veritas pitched towards the planet, its rings and moons taking up more and more of the screen. Alieth: Then choose a location, hold on to it. This bouncing from one memory to another is putting Geoff in danger. Her voice came softly, stating the glaringly obvious. He’d figured that out weeks ago - back on the holodeck. When he first began to withdraw. His reply was quick and curt. Sern: I am aware that Geoffrey John is in danger, and I am telling you that my actions are not the cause. She straightened up and blinked several times.There was another long pause, as he considered putting his hypothesis forward. Sern: I … I believe it may be my presence. It made sense. Carrying the katra of another, the essence and full memories of another Vulcan required a toll. A Vulcan could adapt - given enough time and mental discipline. A Human could not. The Human brain was simply not constructed to bear the weight of the katra. And they both knew it. She held out her hand. A smile etched softly across her face. It was a gesture that comforted and alarmed him in equal measure. Alieth: Then come back to me. Just as it used to be. You and me. Sern looked from her hand to the surprisingly eager expression on her face and back again. Could it be done? Could he return? Such transfers had happened - but in a matter of days, not weeks. And certainly not months… The damage he was wreaking on his Human host was obvious, more than obvious. Was it the same for a Vulcan? Were they just better at hiding it? Yet, more importantly - what would be the consequences of returning now? Sern: No. ::he paused, the word coming through a little too harshly:: I cannot - we cannot. She took a step back. The starship shook around them. Panels fell from the ceiling, a cascade of sparks burst from the viewscreen before a rift split it in half, extinguishing the view of space. With a pop and a flash, everything forward of the helm snapped out of existence, the blur closing in. A crack spread out between the two Vulcans, narrow, but tearing them apart. Alieth: I do not understand. Why? Why not? The rift deepened, spreading across the bridge to the point where the illusion ended, and curving around to split the ceiling above. Sern: This place is unraveling - come with me! Jump! She tried to reach for him, arms outstretched in front of her. The crevice broadened suddenly under her feet and she was forced to stop at the edge of the abyss, her goal forgotten in a vain attempt to keep her balance on the edge. He took a half-step closer, held back by a familiarity with the calamity the Edge could hold. At the other end lay another memory - some good, some bad. With an unraveling as violent as this: almost certainly bad. Alieth: Sern!?!?!?! His hand snapped out in one final effort to catch hers. Sern: He must be pulling you back - I shouldn’t - I knew this couldn’t last… JUMP!! Despite his words, despite her efforts, she fell. The blur around the edges deepened - the line between existence and darkness rapidly disintegrating until- Nothing. ((The Brew Continuum, Deck 4, USS Veritas)) ((Not Blowing Up)) The silence was deafening after the sound-and-fury departure of the last world. Slowly, the space filled with a soft backdrop of white noise: the clatter of cups, the occasional hiss of steam from the equipment, the blended chatter of voices. No conversation could clearly be distinguished. After all, neither the Vulcan nor the Human knew what had been said. The room itself began to take shape - a close, tight arrangement of tables and beings. Some, Sern knew from his last trip here, belonged. Others, not so much. Good. He’d stumbled onto a haven. Slowly, a table began to take shape in front of him. Sern found himself sitting before he could fully recall the place, a mug appearing in his hand. From the depths of the vessel rose a distinct aroma, borne on the tendrils of steam that snaked their way up to his nostrils. The Vulcan hated to admit it. He was beginning to grow fond of that vile, brown liquid… [End Scene?] __________ Sern of Vulcan Katra Reluctant Coffee Drinker E239602QD0
  15. I really enjoyed the sarcasm and banter in this JP between @Anton Richards, @Kellan Glass, and @Wes Greaves. A fun read, y'all! IC: ((Main Corridor, Deck 6, USS Thor)) Wes Greaves strolled down the corridor, a towel tossed over his shoulder and his face red from exertion. Small beads of sweat rolled past his eyes and with a single motion he wiped them away with the towel. It’d been a good run. Despite the ship looking generally the same, Wes had wanted to get away from the beaten path of Deck 9 and run somewhere else. Running circles on Deck 6 looked generally the same, but felt a little different. More importantly, it reminded the crew that there were Marines aboard. To Wes, it contributed to the friendly rivalry between the Marines and their sister departments. A way to say We’re here, and we’re getting ready for the next crisis. Are you? Another bead of sweat and another flick of the towel put an end to it. Wes could feel his heart rate starting to return to normal as he made his way to a turbolift. He didn’t recognize many of the faces he saw in the corridors on this deck, which made the face nearby jump out at him. A dozen meters to Wes’s front and walking in the opposite direction, he spotted someone that he thought he recognized from somewhere. The man was familiar, but Wes was having trouble placing the name. After a second, it finally came to him. Ensign Richards. One of the new joins that checked in when Wes was in command of the Thor. Security if he remembered correctly. As the two closed the distance on each other, Wes plastered his signature smile on his face. Greaves: Ensign Richards. I see you’re starting to get settled in. Anton, who was deeply engrossed in his padd, jumped a bit at Greaves’s greeting. Richards: I… Yes Sir! It’s been quite the experience. Talk about getting dropped right into the action! Although I feel that as soon as I got on the ship I was already leaving. I’m looking forward to returning to duty. Greaves: Good to hear. I’d like to say checking into a new ship isn’t always like that, but I had a similar experience a while back. Richards: Oh really? Well I’d love to hear about it sometime Sir. Greaves: I just finished up with a workout, but I’m starving. Care to join me for breakfast? I could tell you all about it. It took almost every muscle in Anton’s body to stop the smirk of accomplished that attempted to protrude from Anton’s skull upon getting invited to breakfast with the Chief Security Officer. Some things really did just fall into Anton’s lap. Having just ate Anton makes the only obvious judgment call. Richards: Absolutely Sir! I’m starving. After you. ::gestures forward:: Kel was wandering, wandering and thinking were two things that he tried to make time for. Vulcans had their meditating, but Kel prefered to move and think. With Kel’s Tactical role onboard being one where you had to think quickly and work on your wits, he had to make sure that he allowed time for contemplating and taking his time with decisions in almost every other aspect of his life. A ship as huge as the Thor was a great place to wander, its arching corridors seemingly stretching on for miles as they ran their course around the ship. Kel was contemplating what the ship’s doctor had dropped on him and his mind was racing. As he reached a junction, he let his feet do the deciding as he pondered on exactly what could have warranted a memory reconstruction. On autopilot Kel turned the corner and ran straight into two officers coming the other way. Glass: Ouufff...Sorry::Looking at the two officers:: Sir’s….::Then noticing that the two were the most familiar members of the crew he had met so far:: Ahh Anton! ::Nodding at Ensign Richards, then straightening up a little more:: Captain! Wes laughed softly and shook his head back and forth a bit seeing the Ensign. Memories of his first meeting with Fleet Captain Kells flooded his mind, although that encounter had been slightly less sweaty…. Or had it? Looking the Ensign over, there was now plainly a wet spot on the man’s chest where Wes’s sweat had rubbed off on the man’s uniform. With a final shake of his head, and a smiler still on his face, the Marine tossed the towel from over his shoulder into Glass’s hands. Greaves: Ensign Glass. Good to see you again. Might want to wipe yourself off. Sorry, I just finished up a run. Anton looks at the startled Ensign Glass and smiles. Richards: ::pretending to tap his COM badge:: Security we have an intruder alert. Some type of walking zombie Ensign. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kell wiped the stubborn stain, that really wasn’t going to go anywhere until his top was washed….gave up and tossed the towel back at Richards. Glass: Well I guess Zombies like eating brains...so your safe Anton! ::Flashing him a smile:: Greaves: Jokes aside, we’re on our way to breakfast if you’d like to join us. I figured we could grab something outa the replicators at the lounge. I’ll probably get fewer dirty looks being in workout gear there. Glass: Yeah sounds good, I was on my way there anyhow! Richards: ::Nods:: With a nod Wes led on toward the nearest turbolift. Greaves: You’ll both enjoy the Valhalla Lounge. Its got a great view out the forward windows, little stage off in the corner for small events, and good ambiance. Half the time they keep the lights dim so you can just relax, although at this time of day its probably fully lit. Richards: Ah yes. I’ve heard of the Valhalla Lounge before I believe. Glass: Does the ship have entertainment nights? With a whoosh, the doors to the lift slid open to reveal an empty turbolift and Wes continued in. Greaves: (Lifting his head) Deck 5. (Turning to the others) Honestly, I can’t remember any. The former Chief of Security did a little rock show in the lounge once. ((Turbolift, Below Deck 6, USS Thor)) Richards: ::Chuckles:: So you're saying that you have a show coming up soon then? Glass: My father was obsessed with the Beatles, he even went as far as collecting vinyl records of the band. He swore they sounded better than the recordings on the ship, but it all sounded scratchy and terrible to me. As the Marine opened his mouth to reply, the faint hum of the lift changed in tone ever so slightly, and suddenly the floor dropped out from under him. For several seconds the trio experienced near weightlessness as the safeties failed and the turbolift fell. Finally, the emergency brakes engaged and with the sound of grinding metal, the lift slammed to a stop, throwing Wes hard to the ground. Kell’s stomach, although thankfully not full, lurched and he felt nausea building up but the pain of hitting the carpeted floor of the turbolift distracted him from actually vomiting! Anton fell backwards into a corner of the turbolift. He managed to stand up quickly. But shortly afterwards bent over placing his hands over his knees and rubbing them. Richards: Yup. I’m sure I will be feeling this one for a bit. Anton stands up straight and then began looking around the turbolift, seeing if there was some type of furthering safety threat. Glass: What the hell was that!::Pushing himself back up to standing:: Kell looked at the control panel, devoid of lights, the glassy surface just reflected his own image back at him. Glass: Great...trapped in a lift with Anton, it isn’t bad enough I have to share quarters with him… Kell looked around at the two other officers Anton shrugged Glass’s comment off with a quick grin, He was used to them bickering back and forth from the Academy. Wes brushed himself off and retrieved the towel from the ground where it had been thrown. His knee was bleeding ever so slightly from being thrown to the ground forcefully, and he was sure there would be a sizable bruise on his left thigh as well. Otherwise the worst seemed to be over. Glass: Are you two ok? Greaves: I’m alright, seemed the lift is dead though. Richards, you good? Richards: Besides a jolt to my knees. I think I’m good. Glass: It should be a quick fix::Tapping his communicator:: Glass to transporter room, we are stuck in turbolift 2a and need transporting out please? There was a static sound, but no voice replied to the call. The Marine frowned and retrieved his own comm badge from the gym shorts he wore. The device beeped a warning when he tapped it. Greaves: Looks like whatever happened to the lift also disconnected it from the internal communications grid. Either of you a whiz with electrical wiring? Richards: Not particularly Sir. Anton looks towards the panel on the side of the wall, and then to Glass. Richards: Do you think we should take a look Sir? Expert or not. There isn’t much sense being trapped here. He glances quickly at Glass. Kell, sensed a change in his demeanor, all of a sudden the perfectly adequate internal space of the lift started to look just a little bit smaller, more confined and even though he knew it was just him imagination, he felt the need to breath a deeper gulp of air, almost as if the air was no longer enough in the turbolift. Glass: Whatever we do, I think I’d prefer it to be on this side of today rather than tomorrow::Kell tried to flash a confident smile, but his apprehension was evident to all:: Greaves: Agreed. (Motioning to the blank interface) Let’s pop that panel off and see if we can’t get us talking to the outside world again. I’m sure we can figure it out. Richards: ::nodding and standing behind Glass overlooking the procedure as if he had a clue what was going on:: Kell moved to the panel and grasped the top edge before yanking it rather too firmly off the wall. Looking inside at the myriad of circuits and bio gel packs, he turned and gave the look most non engineers give when looking at the inner workings of a ship! Glass: Where the bloody hell do you start? Wes frowned. It was a fair question. Greaves: Worst case scenario, we crack the emergency hatch on the ceiling and climb up to the next deck above us. He paused for a second and looked over the faces of the two officers. In all honesty, he kind of hoped for that route. Sounded like fun. Greaves: Any luck with the panel? Kell tried to remember anything he had been taught in the academy that might help, but the more he looked at the hopeless mess of components the more he felt a tightening of panic rising in him. Richards: Do you think maybe that red flashing thing, connects over to this other red flashing thing? ::giving an unconfident and weak smile:: Glass: It’s hopeless...I haven’t the foggiest what half of this does...we move the wrong thing and we could plummet to our ends. Greaves: Well, climbing we go then. Ensign Richards, I’ll give you a boost. See if you can’t get that hatch open up there. Wes knelt down and offered a hand and his raised knee as a foot hold. His other knee, still bleeding slightly, dug into the carpet and the Marine gritted his teeth in a momentary wince of pain. Anton stepped up on Wes’s knee and reached up towards the shaft at the top of the turbolift. He could feel how insecure the turbolift felt. Richards: ::Continuing to attempt to reach the top of the lift:: You know? We really gotta start making it a habit to bring an engineer along for our adventures. Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! It took nearly all of his effort to prevent Richards from falling and crushing him. As the lift steadied from the short fall, and metal whined in agony, Wes held Richards’ legs tightly to keep him from losing his balance. Greaves: Alright, time’s up. Let's get out of this death trap. Up you go Ensign Richards. Bracing himself against the wall for balance and leverage, Wes stood in a one legged squat, creating a rising platform Richards stood on. With a grimace of effort on his face and a final huff, the man was through the small hatch above. It was a small effort to repeat the process for Glass. Finally Wes was alone in the lift, the two others offering their hands through the hatch above him. He could feel the blood trickling down his leg from the cut in his knee and as he took in the next challenge he winced slightly from a cramping muscle. Greaves: oO Would’ve gone easier for my workout had I know I’d be doing this afterwards… Oo Taking a breath and crouching to ready himself, Wes prepared for the jump. Leaping up and catching the Ensigns outstretched hands, he was pulled roughly onto the roof of the lift and into the turbolift shaft. Glass: We’ve got you sir! Richards: Up you come now, Sir! Greaves: (Rolling onto the roof of the turbolift and panting a little) Nothing to it (grin). Wes looked around at the walls for a second, his eyes adjusting to the relative darkness. The lift shaft had only sparsely spaced dim lights. After a second he recognized the metal rungs of the ladder embedded in the wall and the Marine pointed in their direction. Greaves: This lift ain’t gonna wait on us forever. Start climbing. It's just a few meters up to the next deck. Richards, Glass, you two first, but hurry. I don’t feel like riding this thing down to engineering while you two take your time on the ladder. Kell looked up at the seemingly never ending tunnel and ladder as it snaked its way to wherever these things went. Glass: That’s a long way up! Kell hoisted himself up, the exertion of pushing himself up to the first rung sending whining noises from the turbolift compartment. Eager not to be the solo survivor, he hurried his pace and called down. Anton was quick behind Glass as he also didn’t feel like seeing exactly how long the lift would hold for. Glass: Come on quick, I don’t know how long the emergency brakes will hold! Richards: I’m hurrying! It’s my damn knee Anton was moving slower now and beginning to grimace as the shock of the fall had worn off, and he was starting to feel the bruise on his knee begin to swell. Greaves: Nope, no time. I don’t want to hear it. Get on that ladder. Anton nodded once again and gritted his teeth through the climb. Kell began climbing upwards, eager to see the bright lights of any deck over the tight confines of the turbolift innards! Glass: I see a door! Richards: That’s good news! How much farther? Anton wasn’t sure if was going to make the climb, just as he sensed that Glass was about to answer him, Anton lost his footing, causing his left foot to slip backwards on the ladder brushing very close to hitting Greaves in the forehead. Anton twirled around to the edge of the ladder, briefly looking down the turbolift and seeing the fall. Looking up at Glass’s call, Wes saw Richard’s foot slip just in time to let himself drop down a rung and narrowly dodge what would have been a swift kick to the face. With a scowl on his face, the man watched Richards twirl to the side of the ladder, but the concerned look on the security officer’s face halted what was about to be a harsh response. Greaves: (Growling voice) Richards, for the love of god, get back on that ladder and quit looking down. We’re almost there. Anton steadied himself and began climbing, faster than before. The sight of the drop “inspired” him. Glass: Come on Spiderman! Wes smiled at the comment. Kell looked back at the door, with the absence of an actual turbolift the door stood firmly closed. Glass: Without the turbolift here, it's not going to open easily! Greaves: I have confidence you can figure it out! Emergency release should be on the right side. Richards: Yeah Glass! Any day now! It was part sarcasm and part anger due to the frustrating pain he was experiencing as Anton held his one knee up off the ladder to avoid putting pressure on it. He was hoping this wasn’t going to result in a trip to sick bay. Kell reached over and grasped the red handle to the side of the door and began turning it anticlockwise….slowly the door inched it way open. Glass: Its opening now, hold on. With a hiss, the turbolift doors to deck 13 slid open revealing the carpeted corridor beyond. One by one the three climbed up and scrambled to the safety of a solid floor. Bringing up the rear, Wes took the offered hands of the Ensigns to pull him the last bit of the way, and at last they were clear of the danger. Another hiss and the doors slid shut once more. Wes took stock of the three. They’d all accumulated a bit of grease and dirt on their uniforms from the climb, and Wes’s workout clothes were still plenty soiled from earlier in the day. Doing his best to brush himself off, Wes stood and gave a stern look to a passing crewman which looked bewildered at their sudden appearance. Greaves: Congratulations Ensigns, you’ve just survived turbolift seven. Anton rubbing his aching knee, brushes himself off and stands up straight. Still out of breath Anton looks down the shaft and then up at Greaves. Richards: Perhaps I will have a t-shirt made. Kell felt a sudden wave of panic, the room started to spin every so slightly, causing him to grab hold of the wall and steady himself, closing his eyes he counted to ten. He’d never personally experienced a panic attack, but knew the symptoms well enough from his mothers teaching. Glass: Ok….is….is everyone in one piece? Greaves: (Gesturing to his bleeding knee) All things considered, I think I’ll have to raincheck on that breakfast. Engineering and Ops need to know about this lift, and I need to get cleaned up. Anton nods at Greaves Richards: Yeah. I believe I have lost my appetite. Glass: Yeah, I’m going to walk back to my room and have a bit of a lay down! Greaves paused and looked the two over once more. They hid it well, but there was something in Glass’s look that worried him. A slight hesitation. A lingering look at the doors. Greaves: Are you both going to be alright? Anton extends his arms outright from either side of him, eyeing them back and forth to make sure that he had not in fact plummeted to his death in the turbolift. Richards: ::Nodding:: I think I’ll be fine. Just another day at StarFleet I presume. Kell shot the pair a luke warm smile. Glass: Yeah...I’ll….I’ll be ok, just gotta leave off taking one of these again for a while!...see you back in our room later buddy…::then looking back at Captain Greaves:: Thanks for the cool head sir! Kell tapped Anton on the shoulder, smiled and walked off. The Marine nodded at the comment but didn’t speak. Instead he watched as the pair walked off deeper into the deck, likely in search of another turbolift. After a moment they were lost to sight in the busy corridor and Wes turned in the other direction. The two Ensigns both were quick on their feet, at least in the simple adventure they’d all shared. With any luck, Wes would be inheriting two promising officers. END ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1 & Ensign Kellan Glass Tactical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding T239802KG1 =========================
  16. I can't really describe what an honour it was to have @Geoffrey Teller agree to take part in this insane scene, but to have him do it with such an amazing quality of writing is a gift in itself. This sim, heading to the wrap up of the mind meld scene is a real treasure where he demonstrates his amazing knack to weave drama, humour and action together, even more so to leave us with the message that creativity can take you everywhere and that is just top notch. Thank you so much for jumping into this madness and a well deserved call out to @Quen Deena and @Roshanara Rahman for having jumped in and delivered up and better than I could have ever dared to imagine. _________________________________________________________________________________ ((Purplewhitehaven Beach, Limbo, within Geoff Teller's mind)) Geoff knew what he was 'seeing' was somewhere between a ghost and a memory, but that didn't matter. She felt deeply real to him even as her appearance rippled and changed. For a moment, Geoff caught a glimpse of something behind the mask. Something sad. Something hiding. It was gone a moment later and the Skipper returned to the form he had always known. Rahman: But *this* is the woman you still remember. The woman returned a playful smirk as she reached down and lifted her right pant leg slightly, revealing some Trill-like spots that ran down the side of her leg. Rahman: She told you that was inaccurate. Geoff felt himself blushing in slight embarrassment. Teller: You know how it is, Skipper. You get an idea in your head it can be tough to dislodge it. ::Geoff turned back, wagging a finger accusingly:: Wait a minute, what the hell am I embarrassed about. You're just in my head, you're not the real Rahman. This Roshanara shrugged before looking down at her chest. Rahman: Well, I suppose it could be worse. Geoff paled deeply, forced to recall the entire embarrassing situation with his ill chosen tattoo. He gasped, the full force of the memory hitting him all at once, unfiltered and in too perfect clarity. It was as if all the emotions of the original experience were back with him at once, magnified and distorted. Rahman: Now... I'm hungry! Let's get something to eat. ((Campfire, Purplewhitehaven Beach - Day)) The "New Risa resort" that Teller had helped construct with the other Veritas survivors in the real world no longer existed in this iteration of Limbo. So instead, Teller and Roshanara had set up a small campfire near the escape pod. Rahman: ::to narrator:: A campfire in the day? No, that won't do... ((Campfire, Purplewhitehaven Beach - Night)) Geoff's head whipped around, trying to process the sudden changes as the terrain shifted and reformed. The memorial stone was again in the distance and he was back at the escape pod, standing before a large stone encircled fire pit he could not remember ever building in the real world. The brutal tropical sun above made the fire pointless but in another moment, night had fallen and along with it the temperature. The woman in his mind was looking to the sky, and Geoff's eyes followed. With the sun gone, the brightest star in the sky had become the Veritas herself, suspended in time like a fly in amber. It had infuriated Teller ever single day he was trapped on this moon to be within sight of the ship but completely cut off. Roshanara cut a piece of fish they'd caught earlier in the day that had been cooking over the fire before handing it over to Teller. Rahman: You look like you could have a bite. Geoff looked down, accepting the stick with a deep scowl. Among the things which had competed for his most hated experience on Limbo had been the food. Fish. Fish stew. Baked. They were lucky to have had it and lived on it, and almost exclusively it, for months. Geoff no longer ate fish. Ever. Teller: I think I'll pass if it's all the same to you. Rahman: I promise it'll be even better than you remember. She sat up a little straighter, clearly proud. Rahman: I added some berry juice I found earlier. Geoff shook his head at the sudden warmth and eagerness to please. It made the Skipper seem vulnerable in a way Geoff had never consciously imagined. She'd never once acted this way in person, he was certain of that. Whatever it was, it compelled him to take a few hesitant bites. His eyes widened in surprise. Teller: That's actually..not..bad. Thank you...I guess. Geoff slumped down on the sand, suddenly tired of standing. He chewed through another mouthful of fictitious fish before leaning back against the escape pod in exhaustion. He was warm from the fire and considered closing his eyes for a moment, the lapping of the nearby waves calming him more than it ever had on the actual planet. Captain Rahman's voice sounded far away, but it kept Geoff anchored. Rahman: What we need to figure out, Mister Teller, is how you're going to get us back up there! Geoff shook his head, confused again. Teller: I...we did already. This was almost two years ago. We got off that world, all of us. ::Geoff thought again of the memorial stone:: Most of us. Rahman: Well how did you do it last time? Teller: What, you're going to make me explain it to you like I did last time? That took all night, and I don't have Wil here to draw the diagrams. Geoff tried to stand but his exhaustion was growing deeper the longer he sat around the fire. Some part of him knew the truth, that the meld had gone wrong. If he didn't find Alieth, or more likely if Alieth didn't find him, they'd both end up trapped within their own minds, slowly going mad as their bodies failed. Rahman: Then let's think outside the proverbial box. I don't care how red that shirt gets, you'll always be a Starfleet engineer. Something in the Captain's voice connected with the earliest moments in his Starfleet career. Stepping off the shuttle that had delivered him from Starbase 118. His orders, partially garbled by the subspace interference of the Shoals, had led him to believe he'd be a helmsman. He'd met the Captain minutes later, already deeply embroiled in a crisis. She had immediately overawed Geoff in those first moments, and he'd spent the rest of his career trying to live up to that titanic memory. Geoff struggled up unsteadily but managed to come to his feet. He felt calmer and more focused. Teller: You know, I had a whole plan for mass producing hydrazine on this planet...::Geoff imagined the little cave workshop he had built, far from camp for safety reasons. He'd never had the time to get much beyond the experimental phase before he'd figured out a different path home for the crew.::...and I was planning to launch a rocket. Unmanned, of course. Thought we might be able to get a transporter relay into orbit... The beach shimmered again but what now stood there had never existed in reality. Beginning at the treeline, a launch ramp made of lashed together logs pointed towards the sky. It had been planed down to create a smooth slide, and the surface had been coated by something that looked like petroleum oil. At the head of the ramp, a small vessel of equally improvised construction sat with bamboo door wedged open, a single seat inside. Geoff thought about it and his thinking became more clear. He was trapped within his own mind, and his creativity had always been his greatest strength. Here, it could be unbounded by the laws of physics or material science. Here, Geoff could make any ridiculous contraption he'd ever dreamed of. Right now, he was dreaming of a bamboo rocketship that would take him to the Veritas so he could rescue his friend and get the hell out of this place. The rocket motor of the bamboo ship sputtered to life, a small stream of smoke and fire from the rear. Geoff took a step towards it. Rahman: Response Teller: Skipper, you're right. You're always right. The minute I start forgetting what I'm doing, you remind me I'm here to build things. Mad, wonderful, fantastic things. ::Geoff took the wicker seat in the center of the improbable craft. The controls were all coconut halves and bamboo levers. Geoff tugged at a few confidentally, certain now this would work.:: You want to come with me? ::Geoff nodded, and suddenly a second seat appeared in the small craft.:: Rahman: Response Teller: Well, it's up to you, but in about ten seconds I'm pressing the big red coconut so either get in and hang on or get out and wish me luck, because I swore I wasn't going to die on this beach once and I'll be damned if it beats me now. And that's a God Damn Good Job Guarantee, Skipper. Rahman: Response Geoff smiled and winked, pulling the door closed and settling back in the chair. Teller: Thanks, Roshanara. For everything. Geoff fixed his eyes on the falling Veritas out his seaglass viewport and smacked the launch control. As his imaginary ship rocketed down the launchway, bits and pieces collapsed off the sides and top while the ground behind it vanished into nothingness. The beach and the island and the whole of the world vanished away as Geoff took flight, all the elements of the fantasy falling away around him as he grew closer towards his goal. His eyes stayed fixed on the point of light that had been the Veritas, but Geoff realized now it was something more. He leaned forward, calling a name out into the dark. Teller: Alieth! He flew like an arrow towards that point of light within his mind. It was the only thing left in a space that had gone pitch black. This was his last chance. He called out again. They'd escape this place together, or not at all. He felt himself growing closer to something familiar and shouted again. Teller: Alieth! We have to go! Now! Alieth: Response Teller: It won't matter if we don't get out of here. You have to break the meld! Alieth: Response Geoff felt himself tumbling again, spinning out of control as Alieth's voice became large in his mind. Then, a light. And a very large dog. ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) Geoff pitched backwards in his chair but could not catch himself in time and ended up sprawled on the floor of Alieth's office, a monumentally bad headache throbbing behind his eyes. Before he could move or speak a single word, Cheesecake was hovering over him, the dogs huge face upside down to Geoff's perspective. Cheesecake then very helpful provided resuscitation services by licking the entirety of Geoff's face and at least one of his eyeballs. Teller groaned and tried to stand without success. Teller: Doc...Alieth...are you... Alieth: Response Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: Response [Tags/TBC!] =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  17. (( Mandatory @Alieth @Meidra Sirin terrorist tags! )) ------ "you know, probably could be AWESOME let the story roll and the details being not exactly accurate or greatly exaggerated, due this is how legends born XD" - Alieth, unwisely. (( Outside the Vulcan Science Academy, Deck 231, Deep Space 224 )) He had a whole space station to explore, and Serren wasn't about to waste the opportunity. The food areas were given a cursory look—everything smelled delicious and no doubt he would have the chance to confirm his suspicions at a later date—and eventually, he found himself down on Deck 231. Home of the famous Vulcan Science Academy. The Vulcan Science Academy was a highly prestigious, quadrant renowned institution and Serren found his curiosity piqued. There might be a bit to learn... or at least, maybe brush up on the latest scientific developments. Read something interesting. The possibilities were endless. As he approached the main entrance, though, something caught his attention: a small metal sign hung to one side of the door, small but insistent, consisting of a metal plate embossed with neat Vulcan script. A pair of holographic images hovering below it. Inscribed were simple words in the written form of Vulcan. DO NOT PERMIT ENTRY TO THESE VULCANS: REPORT ALL INFRACTIONS Serren scratched his chin thoughtfully, studying the two faces. He did not recognise either of the women. The sign had either been there for a while, with great care had been taken to ensure that the power supply for the holographic emitter was maintained and the metal plaque appeared to be brushed every day... or it was new. Since it was impossible to tell, whoever was in charge of maintenance of this particular piece of station hardware evidently took their job seriously. Tan: ::To himself,:: No idea what that's about. Shrugging helplessly, he walked up to the door, expecting it to open automatically. It did not, the computer emitting a mournful chime. A voice echoed from the plaque, stern and male, flat and Vulcanoid judging by the accent. Voice: Unrecognised entry attempt. State your business. Vulcans were not well known for their hospitality, but this was something else. The voice was almost trying to tell him to go away. There were many entirely legitimate reasons why the academy might not want visitors at any given point, but he had seen no evidence of any kind of dangerous research, maintenance or the like. Curiosity overtook him and he wandered over to the plaque. Tan: Uh, hi. Hello there. My name is Lieutenant Serren Tan. I'm with Starfleet Security on the Gorkon. I was just wanting to visit the famous Vulcan Science Academy. The voice audibly bristled, sucking in air on the other end of the line. Voice: A junior officer. Are you a Vulcan? Serren squinted, eyebrows raising. He reached up and felt his ears. Definitely rounded. Tan: Not to my knowledge. The voice paused, considering. Serren wondered if he was being watched through some remote camera. Voice: Then entry is possible. Your profile will need to be verified. That surely wouldn't be a problem. His eyes lingered on the holographic image of the two Vulcans. Tan: Sooo... had some problems with, um. I wanna say... "unwanted visitors"...? A long, pregnant pause came down the line. Voice: Yes. Tan: Anything I can do to help? Voice: Certainly. Assist us in keeping the two identified individuals away from this facility. He had no idea who the two were, but if they were being asked not to enter, there was probably a good reason. A good reason he was determined to find out. Tan: I mean sure, if I see them. But... why? Voice: They are terrorists. Now that he had difficulty believing. Tan: Terrorists? They're wearing Starfleet uniforms. Voice: Apparently that does not, a distinction, make. Suppose not. Serren felt vaguely silly talking to a plaque. Tan: So they blew up the place? What did they do? Voice: ::The voice took a breath, his composure immaculate and perfectly Vulcan.:: There were noise complaints. Significant disorder. Several experiments had to be restarted or abandoned outright. Suffice it to say, the cats were not pleased— Tan: Wait, cats? Voice: Yes. They were disturbed. Fed out of schedule. Tan: You have cats in there? Voice: We have many scientific experiments here. Serren squinted. Tan: I'm not an expert on cats, but surely that's... not really a huge problem. Is that a huge problem? Another long, uncomfortable silence. Serren glanced over his shoulder, unable to shake the profound feeling that he was being watched. Possibly from the plaque itself, possibly from somewhere else, but regardless he felt eyes upon him, watching him, evaluating him. A vague sense of absurdity hung in the air, as though the whole thing was a giant prank and Jona was going to jump out of a cake any second and shout, "Surprise!". Voice: Upon consideration, your access to this facility has been denied. Please vacate the area. The abrupt change of tone and intention startled him. His jaw fell open. Tan: Wait, huh? Voice: Please vacate the area. You are disturbing our scientific experiments. Serren stared in confusion at the voice, then just shrugged helplessly and straightened up. Tan: Okay, well... good luck with the cats I guess. Voice: And to you as well. The voice crackled slightly and the connection ended. What a weird moment. Serren scratched his head as he wandered away, trying to process what kind of nightmarish sequence of events could have possibly caused a blow-up of this magnitude. It was tempting to investigate, but... no. The truth was probably confusing, and he only had a day more left on the station before shore leave ended. Some mysteries were better off undisturbed. fin -- Lieutenant (j.g.) Serren Tan Security/Tactical USS Gorkon O238704AT0
  18. When a random idea on Discord becomes an adventure... ((Starbase 118 - IKS Yan – Unlisted Shuttebay 14)) Yael: ::trying to lighten the moment:: Give me a few minutes before you send in the Marines. He took his non-standard phaser, slipped it into his decorated vest, and headed into the vent in search of whatever it was. It was a bit more snug than even a Jeffreys Tube, but he was trim enough that he could manage, and it was wide enough to possibly turn around… maybe. The smell was terrible on the bridge, but was concentrated in the vent. Ashley tried not to think about it too much and just breathed through his nose… he didn’t want the *taste* of whatever it was in his mouth. Crawling, he could barely fit in the vent… there was more space side to side than there was up to down, so he made his way somewhat slowly. It was darker now, and getting darker… he tried not to breathe too deeply, but it was hard not to be a bit claustrophobic in this sort of place… reaching into his pocket on his vest, he produced a small multi-tool and activated the small flashlight. He held it in his mouth as he moved. The smell was worsening, and he shuddered as he turned a slight left corner in the vent. It was *RANCID*... and smelled of death, or disease. His instinct was to stay away, but he needed to clear it. Finally he came upon… something. Another slight left turn in the vent, and there it was. The rotting husk of a targ. He nearly vomited at the sight of it, but kept the contents of his stomach *inside* his stomach, by some matter of willpower. It was probably one of the most *gross* things he’d ever seen. Live targ were gross enough, furry, and dirty animals, with hardly a friendly feature. This one was a starved husk that had partially melted into the grating in the “floor” of the vent. Yael: ::his nose wrinkling in disgust:: Ugh… Pulling the phase pistol from his vest, he checked his settings, made sure it was on a high yield, took aim with both hands while braced on his elbows, and fired a single long shot at the mass. It lit up with the power of the pistol, and over the course of two seconds completely disintegrated. All that was left was the stain on the grate beneath where it had laid down to die. Sighing lightly, Ashley lowered the phaser and his gaze, glad to be rid of one small problem in the line of problems… And then yelped in shock when something grabbed his ankle. Instantly his body jerked in response as he kicked at whatever had hold of him, and his head smacked into the vent above. Grunting, looking quickly down past his body in the vent, he swung the phaser to aim down the length of his legs ready to shoot whatever it was, and found… with his heart in his throat… Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He breathed hard for a solid moment, eyes darting in the low light from the multi-tool that had fallen to the grated floor of the vent, searching for movement or hostile shapes and finding none. Nothing. There was nothing. He had to get out of here. The smell was obviously melting his brain. Tucking the phaser back in his vest, he reached a hand up to rub the back of his head while cringing at the throbbing pain. Yael: Oww… freaking Klingon ship, trying to murder me… Carefully… gauging just how capable he was of doing it first… he turned round in the vent. It took a bit more stretch than he was comfortable with, but he was able to do it. Then he made his way back down the vent. He’d made two slight lefts to get here, so he needed two slight rights to return. Though, in the darkness, he *knew* where he was, his stress level was rising. He didn’t want to end up a desiccated body stuck in an endless array of vents like that poor targ had. The light began to reflect down the shaft as he got closer to his entry point, and then he saw the point of light that would lead him back to the command center of the vessel. As soon as he broke through the vents open hatch he took a deep breath, the air on the bridge far less repulsive than that trapped in the vents. Pushing his upper body free first, then pulling his legs free behind him, he stood and brushed himself off. Yael: ::in a muted tone:: Well, *that* was exciting… ::to the others:: Some poor targ decided to get lost in the vent. Probably a foodstuff left behind when the vessel was taken out of active service. McLaren: ? Yael: Incinerated what was left of it. Hopefully the air begins to clear. ::giving their team leader a smile:: It’ll improve morale, if nothing else. Blackwell/Parvana/Zel: ? ~*~ Ash Rogue Merchant & Opportunist Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  19. I'm really excited to read more of this plot arc @Alieth and @Sirok are writing. I'm already in love with Rekika. She's just how I imagined her to be! ((Vulcan - Kyr Province - Sobok family House)) T'Lil had prepared the wedding from multiple functions. On the one hand a show of unification between Vulcans and Romulans. On the other hand an attempt to continue the family saga if all went well. And as an introduction to the Vulcan society for Sirok himself. The Vulcan matriarch, if in private she had disparaged Sirok's Starfleet career, opted to picked out every positive trait in public, everything of what her son could learn and do for Vulcan and Kyr as a Starfleet officer. And she highlighted his rapid rise through the ranks despite his relatively young age. The event itself had perfectly fulfilled all the precepts of a very traditional Vulcan wedding, implementing old elements of Romulan weddings, which had quite a few things in common with Vulcan’s. In itself the act was meant to exemplify unification. While for some the Vulcans and Romulans present it was just the most fitting way to carry it, for others it was just too soon for something like that, or even something that should never have happened. Some inhabitants of Vulcan, old and new, thought that Romulan presence was only temporary, until they could once again claim a planet as their own. For Sirok the situation had resulted to be a test. In the days before the ceremony, he had tried to memorize the names and faces of each of the attendees. And that was just a quite long list. Although T'Lil had conveniently overlooked to invite any of the Thor's crew, not even the captain. Her excuse, of course, was only logical: those uniforms made some of the bride's family skittish. And she had had just enough to do with dealing with her son's feelings to add other’s to the mix. The young engineer was not used to such social events. He most time tried to avoid them, even though he understood the usefulness of such rituals. He endeavored to behave like a Starfleet officer in a diplomatic situation and follow the instructions that his parents have give him. As soon as he saw an opportunity Sirok decided to retreat and took refuge in the secondary house. A building erected by his great-grandfather for S'Vec and T'Lil to live in, while he still occupied the main house, while Sobok remained on the USS Elcano and his wife preferred to live near the Academy of Sciences. It has remained uninhabited since Sirok's great-grandfather passed away, as Sopeg lived with his wife in the capital. Even there, at that distance, he could still hear the faint chimes of vulcan lutes, as much as the barely audible murmur of multiple conversations. So, he entered the house and without even close the door, he looked for a dark place, a hidden spot where he could shut his eyes and tried to control his breathing. He repeated in his head principles of logic, endeavouring to free his mind and take hold of his feelings. If he weren’t wearing for the ceremonial robes, he would attempt to practice suus mahna. When he had barely managed to regain some degree of mental equilibrium, his efforts were interrupted by the sound of light footsteps behind him. Rekika: So this is where you have chosen to escape… The words were left hanging in the air, sharp, with no trace of sympathy in them. She followed shortly after, abandoning the shadows she had inhabited. She strode across the narrow chamber to his position, her gait confident and steadfast, the tap of her heels ricocheting firmly against the polished floor, as if she were part on a martial march. Only when she was just a few centimetres away from the young Vulcan did she halt, her gaze at almost the same level as his. She held his gaze as the minutes thickened, cold and tense amid the desert heat. At some point, the Romulan woman determined that she had had enough and examined him from top to bottom, scrutinizing him in unabashed detail. Rekika: Since my family moved here I have had ample time to learn your language, son of S'vec. So tell me, Sirok, are you so outside of hope as your name implies? Sirok stood staring at her for a brief moment, the situation was strange. Legally he was linked to that woman and it was a logical link for many reasons. But given the speed of the whole new situation the young man, who followed strong routines to help his memory, was not quite used to it. Sirok: I thought they told you about my condition. A smile crept across her features, whether there was mirth or disdain in her was somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Rekika: They did, but humour me with your version of the facts. Sirok: We should go somewhere else, now it is also your home, and you should be familiar with it. She gave a slight shrug and the smile etched in her face became somewhat more skewed, albeit no less ambiguous. A motion of her chin suggested that he should lead the way. Without waiting for a more elaborated answer, he turned on the light and escorted her into the living room. As every chamber in the Sobok’s property, it was tidy and spotless. Nevertheless, the design was somewhat old-fashioned, yet every little detail was strictly functional and every piece was made of the finest materials. Sirok: Sometimes I came here to meditate and study when my brother's Sehlat did not allow me to enter the main house. Have a seat. Rekika: Lovely, even the little kitten despised my groom. She sat down just before kept talking, at ease and leisurely, as if she owned the room. In some ways she did, or would do so in the future. Sirok: the reason why he did not accept me is related in part to my condition. :: he said as he sat down. :: Rekika: Is that the answer to my question? Sirok: As you should know now, I was born with brain damage. It mainly affects my telepathic abilities, which are practically non-existent. Also, my memory is worse than it should be. Although unlike telepathy I have applied techniques developed by some of the best Vulcan masters to alleviate its effects, making it practically unnoticeable for the time being. Sirok said it with his usual dreary tone. Only someone who knew him very well would know that he was showing some nervousness. Rekika: … for the time being :: She echoed, her tone much more nuanced, if as contradictory as her expression.:: And what about the future? Will I find myself married to a chunk of worthless meat soon? She tipped her head fractionally and indulged herself in a momentary display of compunction. Something she studiously made an effort to prove that she did not feel. At all. Rekika: No offence to your brother's condition. Sirok: I am a follower of Surak. I am not offended by such comments. But as you said, yes, I have a higher probability of having neural afflictions of different nature. Rekika: When. The word was delivered both as a query and a demand. Sirok: I cannot know. It should not happen for quite a few years, I am still young, so maybe plenty. Or perhaps it will never happen. Only if everyone has some chance of that kind of disease, mine is higher. This probability will increase with age. The Vulcan was direct, no secrets, no half-measures. Rekika: So you are like a ticking bomb scheduled to explode. We just don't know when or if you'll do it. Sirok: This is quite accurate. She chuckled openly, a clear, musical laugh from one who had never had to suppress it in her life. She laughed not at him, though, nor at the response to her remarks, but merely because of the brutal sincerity and endless candour of her groom. It was, somehow, refreshing. Rekika: I can live with it, or with the lie underneath it. Sirok: I recommend that you accept it for what it is. It is simply the truth. He did not know what Rekika thought about Surak's teachings, but Sirok thought that following them was the best thing to do, more so for his situation. Rekika: Perhaps, but my version is more fun. The smile widened dangerously on her lips. Sirok: But it is a long-term danger. The lack of telepathic ability disrupts certain biological functions of my species. For example in the ceremony, when we have joined together and our fingers touched, a certain bond should have been created. I only felt your skin and you felt mine. He maintained his monotone. But he had used all his concentration to suppress the fear he felt in that situation. One of the moments he dreaded most in his life. Rekika: That's what happened for you? She left the question lingering in the air, as if her experience had been different, but her face retained the same derisive expression that had accompanied her for much of the conversation. Still, her mind buzzed with ideas: she had trained herself to engage a vulcan, to have a spy inside her own mind. She had woven lies within her lies, hidden behind shadows of half-truths. But her new husband? He was something else. Something quite different. Oh, and convenient. She allowed herself to lean forward, amidst a ruffle of the fabric of her betrothal gown. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. She leaned back and raised an elegant hand in front of her. Rekika: My family and the people associated with it will continue to have the rights to occupy a portion of your family lands to formalize a Romulan settlement. You will be provided with assistance in carrying out this endeavour without interference. Alongside this, my family's trading enterprise will be sustained, by helping to smooth out any friction that may arise with the Vulcan government. She fell back for a moment and watched him carefully before resuming her speech. Rekika: The other details are less important, but that is the heart of the matter. Your role, naturally, will be as caretaker of it if your family decides to break the agreement. Sirok:My family has always supported Unification, even before the Hobus disaster. So as long as there are no criminal acts we will continue to do our best to keep Unification moving forward. Another musical laugh echoed through the stark Vulcan chamber. Rekika:::In a playful tone:: No promises, my dear The Vulcan raised an eyebrow slightly. Sirok: I expect that it is a joke that I do not understand. The smile stretched across the Romulan's face once more. Rekika: Don't worry my dear, you'll figure it out... over time. Whether she meant the joke or the allegation of the illegality of her family's deeds was left unsaid. Sirok remained silent for a moment. Sirok: I understand then that there is no problem for me to return to the Thor to do my job. Rekika: And meanwhile I'll wait here, as a faithful bride longing for her gallant officer, while i help in the family business. Sirok: Everything has been so sudden that I have not been able to know what is your business. She then made a faint smacking sound with her lips and leaned back in feigned annoyance. Rekika: There's nothing to drink here? So much chatter makes me thirsty The young engineer got up in the direction of the kitchen. Sirok: It has been years since I have been in this house, but there was a good selection of juices. At the wedding alcoholic beverages were served in courtesy to our guests, but it is not something we consume. He spent a moment searching without success. So he fired up the replicator and replicated a pair of vulcan mocha. The replicator had not been checked for some time and did not work as the young man would have liked, he would check it when he had time. When he brought the cup towards her she took it in turn and managed to ensure that their fingers touched. Her hands remained there for a time and, as she did so, she glanced up at his face in search of a reaction, or lack thereof. What she saw on Sirok's countenance brought a mirthful gleam to her eye. Sirok: I expect you like it. Thereupon, she settled back against the back of the couch and drank the cup almost dry in a single gulp. Next, she slipped her right hand onto the armrest, the nearly drained cup held loosely between her fingers. Rekika: Excellent and adequate. As expected. Sirok nodded. Despite Rekika's positive response, he would check the replicator. The young man returned to his seat with his own cup in his hands. Sirok: You were going to tell me what you do for a living. Rekika: Oh well, we're mere traders. My people need commodities that can't be obtained on the planet, and we provide. Sirok: I know that the population increase is being a problem for a reasonable use of Vulcan's resources. She looked into his eyes and held his gaze for a moment. Rekika: :slowly: I think that given our shared situation it’s better to start calling it Ni'Var. The Vulcan took a long sip of the mocha. He hadn't realized his mouth was dry until he had felt the liquid. Sirok: A designation to exemplify the unification. It is appropriate. Rekika: You'll learn soon enough that I don't speak in vain, sweetheart. Sirok: as it should be. Without further ado she laid the cup indifferently on the arm of the couch and rose to her feet, with an almost feline elegance. In a vaguely coquettish manner, she arranged the slight misalignments in her attire before she resumed speaking. Rekika: Well, enough of the chitchat, we should get back to the party. She held out a hand waiting for him to take it, as was expected of a married couple. Sirok stood up, leaving the cup on a nearby table. Placing his hands with her in the traditional way, feeling her skin again. Rekika: ::Casually::. By the way, will you please be sure to inform your captain that I'll be joining you on that Starfleet vessel of yours? The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, not expecting such a proposition. Sirok: I think I can reason with Captain Kells. But I do not think my mother will allow both of us to be off planet given my brother's situation. Rekika: Don't worry about that, I'll make T'Lil see the logic in my decision to join you. A musical laugh followed them as they crossed the lintel of the secondary house and flickered in the air for a moment before the Romulan whispered her follow-up remark. Rekika: And in case I fail... my father will persuade her… She was certain that he would see as much merit as she herself did in her returning to cross the stars aboard a starship. Even more so in one so different from the Birds of Prey in which she had served a decade ago… ========================= As simmed by Rekika of Romulus Former Romulan Star Navy Lieutenant Romulan Colony of Ni’Var E239702A10 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  20. Both @Lephi and @Toryn Raga have done such a beautiful job at developing this culture from an idea on paper into a living, breathing complexity of life. Yet another fine example of the deepening of who these people are by @Lephi. Keep up the amazing work! ---- ((ooc: Warning, this sim deals with some difficult subjects of oppression and colonialism. Read at your own preference.)) ((Mosh’ka Alet Camp, Eladar IV (Fari), Deep underground)) Qalipu’fari had walked the visiting aliens out of the main cavern. The caves all around him filled with screams of despair, most of which came from his own people. He offered little in the way of goodbyes to the released prisoners beyond a simple ruffling of his feathers. The man had tried to speak, but found his voice choked in a sob and only a light gasp escaped. He turned and headed back to the main cavern, beginning what felt like a slow march to his death. Tears welled in his eyes as he contemplated the life that had brought him here. He had never known freedom, not really. From a young age he was expected to answer to the Feladoni, or face the consequences. It hadn’t always been easy, and his political success within the Awane settlement had an unintended impact on her family who faced increased isolation from the Mekra’fari who judged his borderline fe’jit behaviour. Stepped on from one side, shunned and cast out from the other for his increasing volatility, Qalipu had no real choice in the matter when word had come from deep within the caves with talks of rebellion. The sounds of weapons firing jarred him back to the present moment, and the ever growing threat of danger. As he neared the gathered avians again, he heard Katnar’fari making an impassioned plea. Katnar’fari: Steady. These fe’jit (honorless) mean to take from Fari’s heart. Slain those born of her womb. We are Mekra’fari (Children of Mother), and we will not let them harm this sacred place. This is our day. Or honored death. As Qalipu made his way through the gathered Mekra’fari, he made eye contact for a brief moment with Katnar’fari. He picked up his rifle and thought back to the pledge he had made to her when he had first come to the caves. Fari is strong. We are strong. Fari is resilient. We are resilient. Together the children save the Mother. Ketlamite'teket (She Has Faith) The words reverberated in his head, the only sound he could hear. Everyone was watching the tunnel, waiting for whatever evil was headed their way. He positioned himself behind a stalagmite and aimed the barrel of his own weapon at the opening as well. Having seen the damage that the intruder’s weapons could do, he wasn’t sure the rock he stood behind would do much to save him. Sudden beams of light cut through the darkness of the cave and his throat tensed up. First one figure appeared and his finger hovered over the trigger. This was it. All these years of planning, plotting, and dreaming, and the fight to save Fari wasn’t even against the people who deserved it the most. He shook off the creeping self doubt and steadied his aim. Through the scope she could see two men standing in the entry and had just a brief moment to process it before the cavern filled with the sound of weapons fire once more. A horrible stench filled the air, unlike anything Qalipu had ever smelled before and the colour drained from his face as he realised he was smelling his friends and colleagues being struck by the invader’s disrupter beams. His stomach turned and he doubled over, sliding into a sitting position against the stalagmite. Sounds of war filled his ears. He could hear his people bravely laying their lives on the line, and he was stuck here frozen from fear. All the planning in the world could not have prepared him for the harsh realities of the real thing. His cheeks glistened and he poked his shaking head out from behind the rock to survey the battlefield. He was in a state of pure shock seeing all of the bodies strewn over the cave floor, and the air was thick with a smoke he had no desire to find the origin of. It had all happened so fast. A loud bang echoed through the cave and before he had a chance to think about it, he found himself thrown up against the cave wall. A rocky outcrop pierced his wiing and he cried out, looking around to assess the damage. Qalipu’fari: Katnar! Are you okay? Katnar’fari: I’ll be fine. We cannot stop...there are more. ::She winced, feeling her fur a bit singed:: He did his best to free his wing from the wall and braced his legs as he fell the last foot or so to the floor. He was alert now, the pain had enraged him, allowing him to overcome his fear. He wasted little time, and after tucking his damaged wing in behind him, began fighting the nearest Caraadian. Katnar’fari: The Song Shards!! ::She yelled to alert her kin to the danger and rushed to the sacred cave:: The elder Mekra’fari’s words made his heart sink. The song shards were one of the things the Mekra’fari considered most sacred. It was bad enough that she had shown the peaceful outsiders, and now this invading scum was going to defile the sacred cave. As he rushed to the cave, he was outraged to see several of them attempting to rip sound shards from the walls. He fired several shots into the crowd to get their attention and noticed two of the beings drop to the floor, stunned. He had only hit one of them, and turned to find the source of the second shot just in time to see Katnar’fari struck and isolated. Before he could make his way over to his troubled friend, two more Caraadians flanked him with their guns pointed right at him. He threw himself at the invader to his right first, swinging the butt of the barrel of the gun in an upwards motion causing him to stumble backwards. In the lull while the man regained his footing, Qalipu quickly pointed his rifle at the other man and pulled the trigger. He didn’t have a chance to refocus on the other man before an intense noise pierced the air. The armed invaders dropped to their knees and blood began leaking from their ears. Strange, he thought to himself, the song was quite beautiful today. He closed his eyes, and let the sound wash over him. In that moment, there was peace. Images of Kinikwejit’fari and others that had fallen not just today but everyday under the oppressive Feladoni regime floated in front of her eyes. The bodies of the last remaining Caraadians hit the dirt around her and the thump that each one made brought a name of the fallen to his lips. Qalipu’fari: ::Thud:: Kinikwejit’fari. ::Thud:: Aplekemu'fari ::Thud:: Sasqatu'fari. There was a brief pause before he continued. He opened his eyes and looked to the ceiling, bringing his elbows together and extending his hand upwards in a V as he spoke. Qalipu’fari: Iga'lul, nigmaq. (I release you, my family) ((Small timeskip)) He opened his eyes and wiped his tear-stained face. Looking around he noticed Katnar slumped over on the ground and ran over to help. As he got closer, he noticed that the more peaceful aliens had returned at some point. He had been too distracted to notice before, but found himself thankful they had decided to come back. Qalipu’fari: ::Resigned:: Please. I know I’ve no right to ask it, but she needs your help! Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response He stood and watched as the visitors tended to his friend,, quietly praying as they worked. He breathed a big sigh of relief when she came too again. Katnar’fari: Fari…::She gasped:: What happened? Qalipu’fari: I could ask you the same thing. Those Car-aad-eens have been dispatched for now. I have a feeling more will come now though. Katnar’fari: Response Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I know you have a non-interference rule, but you never did answer our question. What if somebody from the world ::emphasizes word:: asks for your assistance. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I fear for Fari now. Our lives will never be the same, and now we have more hostiles to worry about. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: Again, on behalf of my people. Wela'lin, na ta'n teliula'lin. (Thank you, I do well by you) Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response ‐--------------------------------------- Awane'jit Qalipu'fari Awane'jit Tribal Leader Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed by, -- ============================= Lieutenant JG Lephi Assistant Chief Engineering Officer Community History Team Member Chat Team Member Wiki Team Member USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 A239706L10 =============================
  21. I just love the glimpse we get at the emotional rollercoaster Noa goes through as she works through what she's seeing and hearing. Such a beautifully complex character. Amazing, @Noa T'Nessa Levinson. Keep up the amazing writing. ---- ((Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV)) Katnar’fari: This is why we have taken you. This is what my people have lived with for centuries since the Feladoni realized that if they do not openly attack us, we won’t resist. Because they know they cannot beat us in battle. They never have. Noa nodded once again. She believed she could understand the dynamics, at least from the Mekra’fari’s perspective. Yet, one piece of the puzzle still eluded her. Qalipu’fari: Doesn't stop them from trying though ::beat:: This will. Now they will have to listen. Snow: I still don't get it… Levinson: I see. Yet I am still puzzled as to how... taking us would be of help. Rosek: ::pauses and turns to Katnar’fari and Qalipu’fari:: If I’m correct, you believe that we are here to aid the Feladoni? That we are a threat and the means by which the Feladoni can completely overpower you? Qalipu’fari: The Feladoni will not want to risk angering your people. They know they cannot beat us, but nobody on Fari knows your capabilities. They'll take you seriously. Katnar’fari: You arrive on our world shortly after we reach into the stars and have already spoken to the Feladoni in charge of the test flight. You clearly have technology and understanding beyond our own and I know the Feladoni would not willingly include us in talks with such visitors. We have to be sure we can protect our people, even if they won’t raise a hand to protect themselves. Levinson: I see. ::Beat:: I suppose there is a logic in that. Snow: A few moments ago your people were complying with the Feladoni and wouldn’t resist. The Feladoni haven’t proceeded any differently, but you gave your people an order to fight back. Not that I disagree, it’s your world, but what changed? It certainly was a valid question. What did the Mekra’fari consider the border between peaceful cooperation and resistance? Looking at the two Mekra’fari, Noa waited patiently for the response. Qalipu’fari: ::curtly:: Your arrival, of course. Katnar’fari: The Mekra’fari you saw fighting back were those who’ve chosen to risk being marked with dishonor in order to bring about change to our people. We are willing to become pariahs, ‘jit, in order to give our children, my children and others, a chance for a life where we are not viewed as lesser. Or as pets. Snow: And you didn’t fight back sooner because? Noa turned to face Snow after she asked that question. Was she… inciting them? Questioning who they were? Qalipu’fari: Mesgei' (I am sorry), Ma'am, we do things differently here. Katnar’fari: Because some of us have had enough. I want my children to be able to live alongside Feladoni without being marginalized, only able to do the work that the Feladoni tell them they can do because they aren’t seen as smart enough, capable enough. Even though the willing take the metals we create to build their cities and use our scientists and engineers to build their Spacefold ship and the satellites in orbit to provide global communication. Snow: Apparently we have different definitions of violence and self-defense. oO That is for sure. Oo Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Rosek seemed to attempt to shift the conversation to a less charged subject. Perhaps it was not that bad of an idea. Qalipu’fari: ::under her breath:: That much is clear. ::turning to Rosek:: I think you'll find that you don't have much of a say in the matter this time. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? Levinson: Usually, when a civilization achieves faster than light travel, we perform first contact. Introduce ourselves. In this situation, however, that did not exactly go well. At all. Snow: Response While this was not Noa’s first close brush with the Prime Directive, it was certainly the most direct one she has had. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: It prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. The Prime Directive has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Indeed. Its very existence was not only beneficial for security purposes, but also for research - by studying pre-warp civilizations without interference, one learned about their own past. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari: Or demands it? Noa opted to remain silent on that one. Looking over to Commander Rosek, she hoped she had a better answer than herself. Snow/Rosek: Responses ((Mini Time Jump)) Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Immediately looking at the monitors, she saw a small group enter the main area. They were neither Feladoni nor Mekra’fari, that was for sure. They were not of their own either. Levinson: Who are these? Snow: Response Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? Caraadians. This region was close to their space, was it not? As for what they were doing here… there were multiple options. Considering her limited understanding of them, she did not assume they were exactly interested in first contact. Qalipu’fari: ::sounding the word out:: Car-aad-eens? Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Levinson: They are not. Snow: Response Qalipu’fari: More of your coalition? Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? The weapons discharge that was heard echoed through the caves. Looking at the monitors again, she saw that Caraadians… simply disintegrating them. They definitely were not there for a first contact, that was for sure. Considering the system’s and planet’s properties, and the blatant disregard to local life, there was really only one explanation Noa could deem logical. Feeling a bit of feeling building up, she knew she had to take a moment to calm herself down again. What did she feel? Was it anger? Fear? Disgust? A combination of them? Whatever feelings she was experiencing, they just yearned to slip outside of her shell, escape her cover. That wasn’t something she was going to allow. Taking a long, deep breath of the cave air, she closed her eyes and focused her mind on remaining neutral, and saving those feelings for later. It was still not the time for emotions. Now was the time for logic. Logic and neutrality. Opening her eyes, she looked directly at the two bat-people. Her brow was slightly more furrowed than it was before. Levinson: They are not of our coalition. I believe the most likely reason for their presence is your world, not you. Snow / Rosek: Responses Qalipu’fari: What do they want with Fari and her people? Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. oO Without even a proper burial. Oo Levinson: My belief is that they are here for mining. Dilithium, the crystals you have shown us, is an important component for faster than light travel. oO Belief?! How is that even logical?! Focus, Noa! FOCUS! Oo Noa slightly shook her head sideways as she took another deep breath. It simply wasn’t helping. She needed to focus, and yelling at herself to focus was certainly not going to do that. Snow / Rosek: Responses Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Noa looked at the bat-like woman directly in the eyes. She could see her desperation. Her acknowledgement of defeat. Facing death. All they went through - from forced relocation to kidnapping literal aliens - so they could have a chance for true, moral freedom. And just like that, it was just going to be blown away in mere moments by a group of supposed “miners” who saw the planet, the system, as nothing but a collection of molecules. Telling this story… would not be simple. As it stood, they didn’t really stand a chance. She had hoped for a better resolution, but with what she knew at the time, there wasn’t one. They stood no chance without phasers. Levinson: ::Without sound:: I will. Snow / Rosek: Responses Qalipu’fari: We can get you safely to the edge of our cave, if you need. Shaking her head slightly, Noa tried to shove her feelings to the side slightly. Levinson: I believe that would be adequate. ::Beat:: We still require our technology, however. It wasn’t exactly an easy request to make, but they couldn’t just go blind without their tricorders… Not with the danger of being shot to dust. Not to speak about their combadges... Snow / Rosek / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: We have caused you much harm, this is the least we can do. Levinson: ::Nodding:: I understand. Snow / Rosek / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: As Katnar'fari has said, please. Tell our story. Noa bowed slightly in the Mekra’fari’s direction. She couldn’t exactly bring herself to say a goodbye of some kind without breaking her cover down too much, so she opted to remain silent. Snow / Rosek: Responses With their technology back, the team was on its way back to the surface. Noa kept scanning for Caraadians consistently as they went, feeling a lot more comfortable with a scanning instrument and a torch to light the way. Levinson: The metals around us interfere with my scans. I cannot get a clear reading of lifesigns. Snow / Rosek: Responses Levinson: I do not believe it will take us long to reach the surface. Rosek: Response Levinson: ::Turning around:: Commander? Snow / Rosek: Responses Levinson: ::Still considering what Commander Rosek said:: I... see, Commander. Very well. Snow / Rosek: Responses -- Lieutenant JG Noa T'Nessa Levinson Science Officer USS Chin'toka E239701NL0
  22. There has been some truly amazing writing for our current mission, but this was so beautifully written. It really hit me in the feels. 😢 ---- ((ooc: Warning, this sim deals with some difficult subjects of oppression and colonialism. Read at your own preference.)) ((Mosh’ka Alet Camp, Eladar IV (Fari), Deep underground)) She noted how their leader remained silent, likely just letting them slake their own curiosity rather than asking her own questions. The reserved nature of this woman further confirmed her belief that she must be some sort of Chief among her people. Katnar’fari: This is quite...interesting but we know the Feladoni. They take from Fari without care most of the time. They do not respect her for what she provides all of us. Qalipu’fari: Responses Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: I can appreciate the care you show for Fari. My mother’s people quite nearly destroyed our home through thoughtless actions. However, that changed centuries ago. We are much more enlightened and strive to take care of what we have been blessed with. Katnar’fari: The way you speak, you are of two different peoples? Born of two worlds and two different species? She asked and looked to Qalipu’fari and the others. Such a thing would be the ultimate vision of equality. Where peoples could truly join together completely in every way. Such a thing must be a wonderful thing to live with. She hoped that one day her own kin could know such prosperity. Qalipu’fari: Response Rosek: ::smiles and nods:: I am both Human and Al-Leyan. My mother is from Earth and my father is from a world called Leya-I. They met through her service in an organization called Starfleet. Snow: As am I. It’s quite common amongst our quadrant of the universe. Qalipu’fari: Response Rosek: ::shakes her head:: Not at all. Our interest in your world is scientific in nature. But we wouldn’t dream of taking or harming your natural resources without your explicit consent. Katnar’fari: Of this we only have your word, but that for now is all we can judge you on. Your future actions will show your true intent in time. Qalipu’fari: Responses Levinson: ::Inclining her head:: Quite logical. Katnar’fari: I must ask, Lieutenant Commander Rosek. Your eyes. They are quite remarkable. They did not look like this outside, but here, they glow. Can you see better in the dark? Rosek: It’s one of the perks, yes. The glow is especially prominent when the light makes contact, such as with fire or a handheld light source. The Mekra’fari woman smiled warmly and gestured for the group of prisoners to follow her a few steps. To the large cavern she had been meditating in before, with the hundreds if not thousands of crystals all gleaming in the light. Reflecting the lighting from the larger chamber where her people gathered in a dazzling array of colors. They called them star crystals for the way they twinkled like the stars in the sky when exposed to light. Others might call them by another name. Dilithium. Kantar’fari: I think you will appreciate this then. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: Wow.. ::she looked at it in awe:: Rosek: ::whispers:: This is incredible. Levinson: Those are dilithium crystals… The wonder and surprise from the trio, as well as the recognition suggested that what they were seeing was known to them and also of some value potentially. She made note of this observation. Katnar’fari: Dilithium? We do not know this word. What.. She was interrupted by the sudden subharmonic vocalization that rang out in the chamber. A cry of alarm from one of her people. All the Makra’fari in the room suddenly looked to the younger one standing by a computer with rows of monitors. Youth: Chief! They’ve begun the relocation early! Her heart sank when she heard the announcement and she rushed over to the male who had given her the alert. The larger monitor that was affixed to several stalactites descending from the ceiling. As it turned on Katnar shifted her view to the screen and the older Mekra’fari scowled. As she watched the slightly static filled image shifted as if being held by someone moving. In it, dozens and dozens of Feladoni security personnel dragged Mekra’fari from their homes. Men, women and children. Some not even being permitted enough time to gather their things before being forced out of their caves and surface dwellings and into many, multiple wheeled vehicles for transport to the new ‘reservation’ that their oppressors had deemed a better place for them to live. None of the Mekra’fari seen did anything to resist. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: They’re not even resisting. Rosek: ::murmurs:: Oppression can have unseen psychological impacts, Lieutenant. Katnar’fari: They will not resist. ::She said in a somber tone:: My people view any violent act not done out of self defense to be abhorrent. It’s why we here are shunned. Qalipu’fari: Responses Rosek: ::nods:: A difficult choice. The elder chief gave a curt nod. Katnar’fari: ::She picked up the mic for the radio transmitter:: Now, strike at them when they enter the caves. No more. We can’t let them dictate where we can and can’t live any longer. Do not kill them if you can help it. The Mekra’fari set the mic down and watched as the image showed dozens of Mekra’fari suddenly emerging from shadows of caverns, taking down the security like ghosts. Or openly firing their disruptors at them. One even shrieked at a pair of soldiers when his weapon was damaged beyond use and disabled the pair from the sonic waves unleashed on them, though Katnar knew it would mean intense pain for that young warrior. It was a brutally fierce few dozen minutes, but when it was all over, all of the Feladoni were dispatched, with only a scant few casualties. Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: This is why we have taken you. This is what my people have lived with for centuries since the Feladoni realized that if they do not openly attack us, we won’t resist. Because they know they cannot beat us in battle. They never have. Qalipu’fari: Responses Snow: I still don't get it… Levinson: I see. Yet I am still puzzled as to how... taking us would be of help. Rosek: ::pauses and turns to Katnar’fari and Qalipu’fari:: If I’m correct, you believe that we are here to aid the Feladoni? That we are a threat and the means by which the Feladoni can completely overpower you? Qalipu’fari: response Katnar’fari: You arrive on our world shortly after we reach into the stars and have already spoken to the Feladoni in charge of the test flight. You clearly have technology and understanding beyond our own and I know the Feladoni would not willingly include us in talks with such visitors. We have to be sure we can protect our people, even if they won’t raise a hand to protect themselves. Levinson: I see. ::Beat:: I suppose there is a logic in that. Snow: A few moments ago your people were complying with the Feladoni and wouldn’t resist. The Feladoni haven’t proceeded any differently, but you gave your people an order to fight back. Not that I disagree, it’s your world, but what changed? Qalipu’fari: response The chieftain gave the woman a warm, motherly child for a moment. She could tell there was innocence there behind the comment and the eyes staring at her. It reminded her of her own children. She wanted to give them a world where they could keep that innocence. Katnar’fari: The Mekra’fari you saw fighting back were those who’ve chosen to risk being marked with dishonor in order to bring about change to our people. We are willing to become pariahs, ‘jit, in order to give our children, my children and others, a chance for a life where we are not viewed as lesser. Or as pets. Snow: And you didn’t fight back sooner because? She heard the tone and looked to the woman with a determined gaze. Katnar’fari: Because some of us have had enough. I want my children to be able to live alongside Feladoni without being marginalized, only able to do the work that the Feladoni tell them they can do because they aren’t seen as smart enough, capable enough. Even though the willing take the metals we create to build their cities and use our scientists and engineers to build their Spacefold ship and the satellites in orbit to provide global communication. Qalipu’fari / Levinson: Responses Snow: Apparently we have different definitions of violence and self-defense. The frills along her neck rippled slightly causing the fur to bristle slightly at the intonation of the young woman’s comment. She wondered how this one could understand if she lived in a world where all were considered equal, she likely had never been viewed as anything ‘lesser.’ Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson: Responses Rosek: ::inclines her head:: It prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. The Prime Directive has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses ((Mini Time Jump)) Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Katnar was keenly aware of it as were all of the Mekra’fari within as they were especially sensitive to changes in noise, sound and sonic vibrations. She tensed immediately and looked to the monitors, to her shock she saw unfamiliar faces. Clearly not Feladoni, perhaps more of these aliens. They must have used their advanced technology to find them and were trying to free them. Snow/Levinson: Responses Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? The question from the alien leader was surprising and she looked to the glowing eyes of the female officer. Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses The revelation that they had a species of highly advanced peoples with a civilization of their own closeby Fari was as shocking and unnerving as seeing these aliens for the first time had been. She couldn’t have comprehended before just how large the universe was but she was beginning to see that they were just a small, small speck in a grander scheme. Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? Dozens of sub-harmonic vocalizations resounded through the chamber as word from one of their scouts reached them. Shortly after the unmistakable sound of a weapon discharge not their own echoed through the caves. One the monitors, she caught glimpse of one of their guards trying to make contact in warning for these Caraadians to halt and watched her being gunned down by several of them in a hail of energy discharges. Several gasps echoed through the cavern as they all watched the Mekra’fari not just die, but was completely reduced to ash. Katnar had never witnessed such a weapon in use and she instantly felt a wave of panic and fear well up in her gut, causing her fur to bristle while she cried out in anguish. Their body was gone, destroyed, which meant their spirit could not be properly freed from the body. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses The sound of weapons fire echoed through the caves as her people fought back. Their sonic disruptors at least seemed effective against these aliens. But their weapons utterly destroyed those they struck and there were so many of them. She only had two dozen Mekra’fari with her in the camp. Holding her rifle weakly in her hands she looked to the glowing eyed woman. Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Qalipu’fari / Snow / Levinson / Rosek: Responses ======================== Lofali’jit Katnar’fari Formal Tribal Leader Leader of the Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed humbly by Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Second Officer/SOR Team Leader/Acting FO USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 PodCast Team Member Training Team Member Chin'toka Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga
  23. A lovely little bit of family life from our Ensign! This was fun to read. ----- ((Tahna's Quarters, Deck 5, USS Gorkon)) Meru set a small white and gold prayer candle on the table beside her bed, something of a finishing touch. She hadn't had even time to unpack before her first mission and her first order of business post-ribbon ceremony was to fix that. She looked around her quarters -- still pretty empty, but she would have plenty of time to fill them. She finally felt settled in. She was about to change out of her newly decorated uniform into something more casual when the PADD on her bed chimed. Changing would have to wait. She plopped down on the bed in front of the PADD before answering the incoming transmission. Meru: Hanyu, ah’no peldar aka rokaya! Rej: Hanyu, ja'ral! Meru's mother and father waved at her from the screen. She smiled back, slipping easily back into her native Bajoran though it felt like forever since she'd had a chance to speak it. Her father, Rej, had the same easygoing lopsided smile she knew and loved; her mother, Yavarel, was never half as stern as she looked. Yavarel: How goes your first assignment, Ensign Tahna? Meru: ::Smiling:: I'm still in one piece. Yavarel: And decorated. Care to share? Meru laughed awkwardly. This was why she had hoped to change before their call. Meru: I had a run-in with some Orion criminals. Scared them away with fireworks. You know, the usual. Her mother did not look satisfied with that answer but to Meru's relief she pressed no further. Knowing her parents she guessed that her mother could identify the red and black Prisoner of War ribbon, though her father certainly could not. She had no doubt her mother would question her about it later in a private message when she could do so without worrying it would hit too close to home for her father. Yavarel: All in a day's work. ::She paused before changing the subject.:: Your father was complaining that you don't send enough pictures. Rej: I wasn't complaining, but I would love to paint the Beta quadrant if you see anything striking. Meru: ::Smiling:: Only if you send me one of your paintings, fa. Rej: Of course, Mer. As many as will fit in your quarters. Yavarel: Have you had a chance to get settled? Meru looked over her quarters. Her uniforms hung neatly in the closet. A small painting her father made of the budding kava fields on her uncle's farm hung over her desk; below it sat a family portrait taken the day before Meru left for the Academy. Her father's hair was still auburn in the picture, now she saw it had grayed considerably since she'd left. Her mother looked the same as ever -- like she hadn't aged a day since Bajor joined the Federation. Meru: I just finished unpacking actually, and I can definitely fit more of your paintings. Her father smiled in delight. Rej: I'll get right on that. Yavarel: I'm sure you have plenty to do. We won't keep you- Rej: But we love hearing from you, Mer. Meru: It's good to see you both. ::She smiled:: I love you. Rej: We love you too. Yavarel simply nodded and the call ended with a beep. Meru set the PADD down and fell back on her bed. Her mother was right, she did have plenty to do, but she felt exhausted from all the day's socializing. She stood up to change into something more comfortable, setting her PADD on the desk as she passed it. So much to do, but nothing said she couldn't start with a nap. ((End.)) ((OOC: Bajoran translations from here: http://www.cyberspaces.net/Star_Trek/BajorDictionary.html)) -- Ensign Tahna Meru Science Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) G239801TM4
  24. ((Chief of Operations Office, Deck 13, USS Gorkon)) Tap tap tippity-tap Jona sat hunched over his desk idly tapping his thumb on its shiny raven surface. A quick glance let him know that ten more minutes had passed since he'd last looked and he gave a low sigh. The shift was beginning to drag and he stole a brief glance out his office window to the starbase's lengthy form outside. He'd promised himself that he'd make time to visit DS224 again before the ship was called away on its next assignment. His gaze returned to the PADD and he scrolled down with the singular swipe upward of a pointer finger. Tap tap tippity-tap Apparently the counselor and doctor had come across quite the haul on the starbase. The good doctor had submitted a special request for the beaming of some extra large items to the ship. The Andorian Ops Chief didn't see any issues with that as long as it wasn't hazardous to the Gorkon. ch'Ranni: Wait, wha-? A castle? The manifest listed a castle! No way. Absolutely not. His finger stood ready to trigger the reject button but he hesitated. He'd have to double check that. Surely, there was some mistake. A quick inspection of the request details listed the item with a large, but not unmanageable, weight. He deduced it must be a miniature version of the real thing. As he checked the approval button and forward the order to the Cargo Bay techs, he wondered if it was a gift for the little red fire-breather Loxley had introduced to him. ch'Ranni: Smug? Smoogle? He shook his head once and decided it didn't really matter but made a mental note to find out for sure. The creature had definitely given him the evil eye but Jona tried to not hold it against the diminutive dragon. The creature deserved a nice little kingdom to command. Maybe he could even replicate a few tritanium figurines for the castle - get in the lizard's good graces. Tap tap tippity-tap Becoming annoyed at the sound of his own drumming thumb on the desktop, Jona shifted in his seat and moved the electronic tablet to his other hand as he moved on to the next item. The two crates of stem bolts had arrived from Starbase 118. The seismic stabilizers for Delta Doradus III, the spare ablative armor plates, everything seemed to be in order. Inventory check complete. The Azetbur was back from its refurbishing visit to the base and right where it should be - nestled up against the saucer section. He nodded approvingly at the technician's report. They had even managed to fix the annoying squeak in the [...]pit door, not to mention removal of every last vestige of the garish green paint on her hull. ch'Ranni: Excellent. Ready for her next adventure. Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona let out another breath and rose from his chair. He arched his back and stretched as if he were a Caitian sunning himself in the beam of sunlight entering the nearest window. Maybe another cup of raktajino wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. ch'Ranni: Raktajino, hot, with cream and double sugar. The food slot coalesced particles of inert matter into the requested beverage and he took a testing sip. The warm liquid hit his bloodstream and made his eyes open just a touch wider, banishing the tiredness from his brain. He walked slowly to his bookshelf by the window and pulled out his most recent acquisition. Emily Dickinson. A few minutes looking it over wouldn't hurt. In fact, it might clear his brain even further. It would also give him a little small talk to bring up with Meru the next time they saw each other. The [...] leather cover, a dark blue, weathered thing, fell open of its own accord and he began reading the words on the cream colored paper ch'Ranni: Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all The prose was haunting, chilling even. And that was saying something for an Andorian like Jona. He returned the book to its spot on the shelf with the few other books stacked there. Taking another sip of his steamy drink, the department chief returned to his chair and swiveled it from side to side distractedly as if the ship were being rocked by an invisible salvo of phaser fire. The author was clearly trying to evoke a comparison of hope to a free-flying bird. He mused between sips of dark drink that having hope could be uplifting and freeing to the mind. Just the promise of good was enough to keep one reaching forward, battling the wind and gravity that threatened to beat it down. Still, the poem had an edge of sadness that juxtaposed its earnestness. Sadness. Tap tap tippity-tap He grabbed up the copy of Helmsman Today and flipped it open to the spread on the center page. Interesting. An advertisement for the Centauris' Cup. That was the biannual race Jo had mentioned a few weeks ago. Would the admiral really be open to entering the Gorkon in the event? She could certainly give any other ship out there a run for their latinum. He threw the magazine down on the reflective, inky desk and paused to look at his reflection in its perfect sheen. What was he doing? Tap tap tippity-tappity tap Jona's left hand moved slowly to the drawer on the desk. It hovered for a second as if it was deciding whether it was safe to proceed. Then, ever so slowly, his long thin fingers found the activation keys which unlocked the compartment. He pulled the wood and glass rectangle from the drawer and rested it in his lap. The smiling face of the young woman - with cornflower blue skin and face framed by snow white hair cascading to her shoulders - gazed back up at him. Her expressive antenna poked through her hair and emoted the joy that the snapshot in time had captured. Jona ran a finger across the glass to remove a bit of dust that had landed there. His lips thinned to a slight frown and a tightness formed in his shoulder blades. Why had the gods broken them apart? What did he do to deserve that cruel weight? Where were the fluttering wings of hope to be found in that stark reality? A single drop of rain landed on the picture's glass protector and Jona determined there must be something incredibly wrong with the environmental systems to allow for such condensation. He wiped the remaining tear from the corner of his eyes and placed the framed picture back in its drawer. ch'Ranni: ::whispering:: Miss you, Vexa. ::closing his eyes and even more softly after a long pause:: Maybe one day. -- Lt. Commander Jona ch'Ranni Chief of Operations USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) C239510JC0
  25. I honestly loved how this flowed. It's like you can feel the emotion without any emotion. Great job @Saveron and @Alieth! --- (OOC: Timeline wise this would have taken place before the Constitution left Starbase 104 for the Shahar Nebula.) ((Saveron’s Quarters, USS Constitution / CMO’s Office, Main Sickbay, deck 10, USS Thor)) Saveron wasn’t expecting a call when his console chimed. He glanced at the originator for a moment, the USS Thor, before he pushed the accept button. The only crewmembers on the Thor with whom he was acquainted, that he was aware of, where Fleet Captain Kells and Doctor del Vedova. The Federation logo disappeared, replaced by the face of a Vulcan who was unknown to him. Automatically, he raised a long-fingered hand in the ta’al gesture. Saveron: Sochya heh dif. Whom am I addressing? Alieth: Dif-tor heh smusma :: The petite Vulcan replied, as she raised her hand in a perfect imitation of her countryman:: I am Doctor Alieth, Chief Medical Officer of the USS Thor. I hereby contact you, Osu Saveron, in order to consult you on a couple of issues. One is medical in nature regarding one of my patients. The other is of... personal matter. The woman shifted slightly in her seat, straightening her posture, and folded her hands over the desk, as a restraining mechanism. There was the faintest rise of one eyebrow as Saveron registered the Vulcan formality, and the nature of the request. Reading the unspoken in Alieth’s words, this was Vulcan business, not Starfleet. He suppressed curiosity. Saveron: I have no objection to consulting with another Vulcan. ::Quite the opposite.:: How may I assist? The multi-species environment of Starfleet could be a minefield for those of their kind. Alieth: The patient is a 28-year-old Vulcan male. He has a congenital malformation in his brain that makes him telepathically null, as well as a couple of associated problems. Telepathically null. Not only unable to establish a telepathic connection, but unable to receive one. Unusual in their species and not without implications. Saveron: Interesting. What investigations have been performed on the individual? The young doctor tapped briefly before she continued speaking. The familiar sound of a sent file rang out on Thor's sickbay, to echoed back a galaxy away, with the familiar ring of a received file. Alieth: These are the tests and scans that we have carried out so far, but the patient's history has been either manipulated or the information obscured, so I cannot provide the evolution of the patient in the past, only over the last few months. The Constitution’s First Officer ran a practiced eye over the results. It had been some years since he’d been a practicing medical officer, but this was his home ground as it were, and his psychology experience was very recent. Still, the comment that the patient’s history had been manipulated was extremely suspicious. Saveron: If we do not have the patient’s history, then we must work with what we do have. ::He acknowledged.:: The condition is unusual, but not entirely unheard of. However, in other cases of which I am aware such is the cause of a traumatic injury. And Alieth had already said that the malformation was congenital. Alieth: Indeed, we have seen some parallels with cases of trauma or telepathic assaults, but so far this has defied any other case of which I have record. This meant, essentially, that they dealt with a fascinating mystery. Saveron: You mentioned associated problems? ::He recalled.:: This manifests in other ways than telepathically? Alieth: Indeed. The patient has medium-term memory retention deficiencies. The patient has developed methods to overcome this deficit, but I am concerned that the difficulties with his memory will worsen over time and lead him to make a mistake that could endanger the crew, as his position is critical within the ship. Saveron: Presumably he was able to pass all mental acuity testing during his time at Starfleet Academy. Have you observed any degradation in his memory retention since his posting to the Thor? Alieth: I have been monitoring it since stardate 239711.27 and there have been no significant changes since then. Saveron: Then one would suggest, in the interest of doing no harm, that no action be taken with the patient at this time, beyond monitoring their situation. ::He said mildly.:: Alieth tilted her head fractionally, as she pondered over the ramifications of what had been suggested to do. Upon a brief moment of silence, she resumed her perfectly poised stance and performed a small bow. Alieth: I will proceed along those guidelines. Saveron: It would not, however, be inappropriate to undertake further research, and to consider the future implications of the patient’s condition. I assume from his age that he is sub-adult. Meaning that he had not reached sexual maturity. That tended to occur from the late twenties to late thirties in full blood Vulcans, with there being far more variation in hybrids. Alieth: ::with a slow nod:: He is, indeed, an immature sub-adult. Saveron: Then you may wish to consider the potential implications of this individual reaching maturity. Telepathy played an important part in Vulcan relationships. What many non-Vulcans didn’t realise was that Pon Farr was not satisfied by physical interaction alone. That was why holograms were useless in alleviating the drive. What happened to a non-telepathic Vulcan, when that drive hit? Often it depended on the individual and the reason for their lack of telepathy. It was something that most Vulcans were loath to talk about, but Saveron was old enough and ugly enough to have lost any illogical embarrassment about the subject. He’d dealt with it often enough. Alieth held her tongue in silence for for a moment before she replied. Alieth: ::deadpan:: So far, the most likely outcomes are that the patient will die or kill someone. Both were physicians, and Vulcans, so there was little reason to beat around the bush. Sirok, with his condition, was not capable of establishing a telepathic connection with a partner, Vulcan or otherwise, so if no contingency measures were prepared for when that time came, there were only these two options possible. Biology left little options for their kind. Alieth: Both of these scenarios are undesirable in a deep space mission. Understatement. And a difficult situation. Saveron: Indeed. ::He said gravely.:: It may be possible to resolve the situation by utilising a violent holodeck scenario with the safeties disengaged. ::Threat to the individual’s life would take priority, resolving the Pon Farr urge.:: Otherwise it would be advisable for the individual to establish an advanced care directive; to be acted upon before he endangers others. Which was not a simple or agreeable prospect. Alieth: I will take it into account, grateful for your insight, Osu. The older Vulcan nodded gravely. Saveron: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. The young Vulcan woman leaned against the edge of the desk and amended her posture. Alieth: As for the other matter… She failed to carry on with the statement, so, she stretched out her slender fingers in front of her and eventually clasped them together to avoid fidgeting with something on the desk, a behaviour that would surely have been frowned upon by any fellow Vulcan. He noticed the movements, generally indicative of nervousness or discomfort. He wouldn’t say so of course, accusing another Vulcan of an emotional display was the height of rudeness, but it didn’t go unobserved. He waited patiently. Alieth: Osu, You have been a senior officer in Starfleet for a while and, as I could easily read in your profile, successfully. Nevertheless, I fail to understand how effective leadership can be achieved when most of the hierarchy is subdued by irrational emotions. That was an interesting way of putting it. What did that say about Alieth’s view of aliens? And what effect might that have had on her interactions with them? There were reasons that their kind were the only ones who had single-species ships in Starfleet. Vulcans could be the epitome of Does Not Play Well With Others. But they could also be very effective crewmembers; it was agreeable to the older Vulcan that Alieth had recognised the issue, and asked him for counsel. He decided to try to get a fuller picture. Saveron: Have you experienced cooperative challenges with individuals of other species? Alieth: I think curt and snotty were the most repeated adjectives so far. None of which suggest anything significantly positive. That would be a ‘yes’. And it was easy, oh so easy, to see the bizarre and sometimes completely irrational behaviour of other species and dismiss them as entirely unprofessional and not worth one’s time. It was also extremely common amongst Vulcans. But unless one wanted to get relegated to a Vulcans-only crew, a shift in viewpoint needed to be found. Saveron had been extremely fortunate in that he was a natural xenophile, fascinated by difference and by aliens in particular. Had he been otherwise his career might have been very different. Could he help Alieth to see them a little differently? Saveron: You are a medical officer. One assumes that you do treat non-Vulcan crew. The petite Vulcan nodded curtly, the previous discomfort aptly quelled by a return to a subject she found familiar. Alieth: Most of my patients are, indeed, non-vulcanoids. Saveron: So you do hold a preference for their wellbeing. Alieth: It is my duty to look after their physical well-being, as well as to encourage them to make decisions that favour preventive health care and awareness. :: The young woman's nose wrinkled up slightly before she was able to suppress that faint expression of frustration:: A commitment that often collides squarely with their unreasonable habits. Saveron: I cannot argue with your observation. ::He observed dryly. He’d said as much himself before.:: It is also your duty to act in a manner which best facilitates crew functionality. She tilted her head, with a mixture of curiosity and restrained exasperation. Alieth: It is, of course, included in the responsibilities of the position. Saveron: Then you will acknowledge that having an adversarial relationship with your crewmates is contrary to your duty to the crew. In order to function at optimum efficiency, the crew must operate cohesively. Which was all well and good but even Saveron could admit that sometimes non-Vulcans left him scratching his head. Alieth: Adversarial is arguably not the most suitable term, although a few remarks about the most efficient way of accomplishing the work could be misinterpreted as such from a purely non-rational perspective. Of course Alieth was not excusing herself or on the defensive. Although, maybe, she crossed her arms across her chest in a way that could be interpreted that way. The erstwhile counsellor considered his words carefully. Saveron: My choice of adjective was perhaps not ideal. ::He acknowledged.:: Yet being less than logical at times is the nature of other species, even as logic is ours. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. ::He pointed out, being devoted to the IDIC principle himself.:: There is an ideal which perhaps may serve you; One should have the serenity to accept the things one cannot change, the courage to change the things one cannot accept, and the wisdom to know the difference. Or to hide the bodies of the people one had to kill today because they [...]ed one off. But that was the apocryphal version. Alieth: Wise words, which deserve to be meditated upon and cherished. Nevertheless, I do not recall reading them in Surak's teachings... is it in the work of his disciples? Saveron: Not Surak in fact, nor his disciples. It is a Human expression of aspiration. They can be logical, on occasion. The young woman blinked repeatedly, an obvious indication of her shock. By the time she was able to regain control over herself, she leaned forward a bit in a small bow. Once her dark eyes fell in the other Vulcan once more, there was a small glint in them. Alieth: You have provided me with a considerable food for thought, osu, and this conversation has been more enlightening than I had anticipated. Saveron: That is agreeable. It is my preference that I assist you in appreciating the… interesting side of working with other species. Once one got past the sometimes puzzling behaviour, aliens really were intriguing. His friends had given him fascinating insights and broadened his viewpoint over the years. With a little consideration, Alieth might be able to experience the same. Alieth: I would like you to consider making these conversations a regular occurrence, as I might benefit from your mentorship.::She tilted her head slightly:: If you consider me worthy of it, or I can compensate you for your help somehow The request was unexpected, but not unwelcome. Saveron: I would have no objection. This has been an interesting conversation, and I appreciate the opportunity to act as a mentor, if you would view such as beneficial. No compensation is required; it is a privilege to assist. She offered a deferential bow in front of the screen. Alieth: So it is settled. There is no need to occupy any more of your time now, but I will contact you in a further two weeks' time. Saveron: Then I shall anticipate our next conversation. Live long and Prosper, Doctor Alieth. Alieth: Peace and long life, Savensu Without further ado, both screens flickered off, closing the link that had connected two starships millions of kilometres apart. And two beings billions of kilometres away from their shared homeworld. [[END]] OOC: Sochya heh dif→ live long and prosper Osu → sir Savensu → teacher, professor, one who teaches Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
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