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  1. Jehe is a pleasure to read and how @Brutus is able to weave his character (with her opinions and ideas) into the plot by taking everything his fellow writers have established is a real delight, and an example of good simming manners. Great job! (( Troop Compartment, Valkyrie 1 )) Up until this point, Jehe Saja had been relatively unaware of the existence of the Valkyrie wing aboard the Thor. Having researched the origins of the ship's name, having the Valkyrie's aboard seemed almost poetic. This appreciation for the religious origins of the did not extend to an appreciation for the somewhat cramped confines of the interior of the small craft. All in all, she decided that she rather prefered a runabout to one of these things, and lamented that they had not been sent out aboard the Ra. She liked the I, having a soft spot for the craft she had delivered to the Thor herself from Deep Space Nine when she'd first come aboard. For now though, that was neither her nor there. Rouiancet: I'm sure you're all wondering what this is about. Jehe: oO Well yes... OOC Saja leaned in, tapping a PADD against her knee as she listened, and tried not to fidget with the second pip on her collar. Quickly, the Commander ran through a mission briefing. Essentially, the Valkyries were supposed to do a brief census of the solar system -- and it was the Valkyries, as opposed to any of the other craft that the Thor carried, just in case they ran into anything that required some extra defenses. A point in favor of the strike craft over runabout, Saja was forced to concede. Rouiancet: So far as we know, there are no warp-capable species in this solar system. But the sheer size of the system -- dozens of planets and planetoids and moons -- means we may be missing something. Henderson: Makes sense ma'am. This is sorta where we shine, giving the Thor a little extra autonomous reach. Singh: Wasn't that your nickname in flight school, Ringo? ::Ishani smirked apologetically:: Sorry Commander. Jehe: I'm fairly certain I don't want to know the context behind that. ::The delivery was deadpan, but sparks of mirth danced in her eyes.:: Rouiancet: I was hoping that you three would have some ideas. (to Jehe) I know we're far out, but is there any information about this system? Even a long-range survey that might give us somewhere to start? Jehe: This place is way out in the back of beyond, as it were. The Jessok system hadn't even been surveyed on long range sensors when the ship we're looking for crash landed. That said, I do have some details we can use for a starting point. ::She wiggled her PADD.:: It's not much to go on but I can have it loaded into Valkyrie's main computer. The Commander nodded but gave nothing away, even as Saja tried to get a read on her reaction. Without comment to her, the other woman turned toward the marines. Rouiancet: You two will have a much better idea of how to search a system of this size than I do. If we have to go back to the very beginning, how should we start? Singh: Won't be a problem Commander. The squadron can go to maximum dispersal to extend our overall sensor coverage - it will take a bit for everyone to get into position but we should be able to conduct a quick and discreet survey of the system. If anything decides to be unfriendly, the formation collapses inwards towards the attacker from all sides. Low risk profile in this situation, Commander. Henderson: Really Snowball? I figured you'd just want to do barrel rolls around the system. Singh: Please ignore Lt. Henderson, Commander. When he was four someone told him he was clever and he never let it go. Henderson: In all seriousness ma'am, I agree. The Valkyrie is a good fighter. Top of the line sensors for small craft. We'll be able to cover a lot of space pretty quickly that way, and if something weird comes up, we can always return to a rally point. Ishani allowed a small grin and nodded. Getting a word in edgewise between these two was going to be a challenge, but Saja didn't mind much. Sometimes it was simply the wisest course available to keep your mouth shut and observe. Singh: We can get you a very detailed survey of the system and as many of the celestial bodies as you need. If you can give us specifics to focus on we'll make them a priority. If not, I'll head back upstairs and relay orders to the rest of the flight. Rouiancet: Unless Lieutenant Jehe has anything more specific, then I'd suggest we start with subspace tech and matter/antimatter reactions. That should be a good start if we're looking for anyone who might be warp-capable. Jehe: Given the sheer number of celestial bodies in this system it's going to be about as easy as baiting a Tyrfox in its own den. On the one hand I'd suggest starting with anything in the habitable zone, but on the other hand, given the right conditions any of the larger bodies could be converted into some sort of outpost so...::She shrugged her shoulders and leaned back. No Intelligence officer liked to be without answers to give.:: I'll upload what I have, and we can run a filter against it I suppose. Where can I sync up? Henderson: There's not much in the way of auxiliary consoles for these ships. They're designed for just a crew of two plus a few troops if needed. . . (pausing in thought) I'm sure we can pipe in all of the sensor controls to that mission planning console though. Singh: If not, I'm happy to make Ringo available to you as a runner. (with a wicked smile) In fact, anything you need, just consider Lt. Henderson here your man. Rouiancet: I appreciate it, if you can spare him. Lt. Jehe leaned over and passed the PADD off to Henderson, after having encrypted all the other files. Jehe: Make sure I get that back. Henderson: Consider it done. (Turning toward the ladder) Come on Snowball, lets get this baby moving! Singh: That's a solid copy, Ringo. Commander. Lieutenant. Enjoy the flight...(with a glance around)...as much as you can. Saja watched them head off, shaking her head a bit, before she felt the mission leader's eyes settling in on her. There was a weight in Rouiancet's gaze that was almost physical, as the Bajoran swept her hair back from in front of her face and leaned forward, elbows resting on her knees. Rouiancet: What do you think? For my part, I can't help but wonder how a starship could have crashed all the way out here. Jehe: Given just how far away from the battle fronts of the 2250's this ship is? ::She blew out a puff of air, shoulders slumping a bit.:: None of the likely answers are good. Rouiancet: Response Jehe: Well there's any number of interstellar phenomena that could have done this. ::She started ticking off options on her fingers.:: Graviton Ellipses. Soliton Waves. Wormholes. It'd be a stretch, but they could have stumbled into a transwarp corridor for all we know. Can't rule out abduction by a higher form of intelligent species either. I have plenty of records of such things happening all across Federation history. Rouiancet: Response Jehe: That's fair, ma'am. I don't really expect this to be the work of the so-called Preservers. Though if we find an Obelisk in the system somewhere I reserve the right to freak out. Ma'am. Rouiancet: Response. (Tags & TBC) ========== Lt. (jg) Jehe Saja Intelligence Officer USS Thor T239712JS0
  2. Okay, wow. @Meidra Sirin and @Yalu have knocked it out the park with this beautiful romance JP. This is how you do it folks. ((Holodeck One, USS Resolution)) The sea of stars above Meidra’s head were of Vulcan in early autumn, from the last night she’d spent with her father. They’d been up on the roof of the estate, talking about life and her upcoming kahs-wan. He’d been a gentle presence, logically talking through her fears and insecurities. He’d been the last man to ever truly love her. Her brother was close to her, yes, but none could replace what her father had meant to her. She lay on the simulated roof, hands behind her head, staring up at the flickering stars and T’Kuht, Vulcan’s sister planet. The man sitting next to her wasn’t real, but still, was her father. Sahriv: Ko-fu, you have not used this program in five point seven years. What troubles you? The counselor took a few minutes to gather her thoughts. She remembered the crunch of bone, the pain that she could feel through her emotional connection to Dwich. Then she remembered standing there helplessly as others tended to his injury. He must think her an idiot, or at the least, not caring about him at all. She stared up at the sky, not wanting to answer, but knowing she must. Sirin: I have committed a grave error. I have wounded a …. fellow crew member during a training exercise. I broke his arm. Sahriv: I see. Did you intend this harm? Sirin: ::sitting up to look at him:: Of course not, I was demonstrating a fighting technique and lost focus in my actions. It should never have happened. Sahriv: Perhaps. Did you make amends with this - crew member? One black brow rose at his question, and Meidra wished again that he could be real, and not the product of her skills with a holodeck program. She really needed one of his hugs, as illogical as that would seem. He had always understood that Meidra was not as in control of her emotions as his other children, but had never once made her feel less for it. Meidra picked at an invisible piece of lint on her uniform, biting her lip. The guilt was rising again, and she didn’t know how to get through this. Usually, Genkos would be the one she’d turn to, since he was her counselor, but she didn’t think that he was in any frame of mind to be compassionate. She wondered if there would be some sort of stern lecture once he had time to think about what she’d done. She looked at her father and shrugged as if it didn’t break her heart to tell him more. The first thing Dwich wanted to do after being discharged from sickbay was talk to Meidra. After what happened in the gymnasium, they’d still not spoken to each other. Dwich felt that the hours that had elapsed had turned a molehill into a mountain, and he wanted to fix it right away. The Prophets, through those to whom They chose to reveal Themselves, had taught Dwich not to let something so trivial come between himself and someone he cared about. He hoped she wasn’t beating herself up about it, but when the computer told him she was in Holodeck 1, he feared she was punishing herself in some kind of simulated Vulcan penance ritual. As the double doors slid open, Dwich was relieved to see that Meidra wasn’t chanting or self-flagellating. Rather, she was lying on a rooftop somewhere, speaking to a Vulcan whom Dwich didn’t recognize. He started to announce his presence, but she was in the middle of talking about him, and he stood near the control arch, waiting for the right time to interject. Sirin: He went to Sickbay and then I had to fill out a report for my CMO telling him how I’d broken one of the crew. ::glances at him with a wry grin:: Part of me thinks Genkos could be a fierce warrior if he let go of his perfect manners. ::she leaned back on her elbows, staring up at the sky:: The question is, what do I do now? Sahriv: Perhaps you stop hiding from this friend of yours and try to explain that you meant no harm. ::he looked at her critically:: You have feelings for this - Sirin: Dwich Her father shrugged, most likely realizing it was not a traditional Vulcan name. Sahriv: Dwich. You do not deny it. Meidra blushed a faint green and her father grinned. Since this was just a simulation, she’d programmed him to be able to smile openly. Usually that would give her comfort, but today it just made her miss him more. She wished that she could be saying these words to him and getting answers that she could not program into a hologram. Sirin: I believe that my feelings for him are quite intense. ::looks at him:: I may even ::a cough startled her and she looked over to see Dwich standing there, staring at her. The hologram of her father and the rooftop disappeared and she was left standing in the garden of the estate. Dwich took a few steps forward into the simulation, registering a momentary disorientation as the rooftop beneath his feet transformed into a garden. He continued to approach, hands in pockets, not wanting to make a big deal out of anything, but at the same time awed by her beauty and wanting nothing more than to embrace her. She took a hesitant step towards him, glancing at his arm. It appeared to be fully functional, but the memory of that crunch stayed with her. Had he come to express his desire to stop seeing her? She would not blame him, but it would not be easy to hear. She stood stiffly, trying to hide her apprehension. Sirin: How do you feel? Hamsan: Fine. ::looks down at his arm:: Good as new. How do you feel? How did she feel? Stupid, reckless, ridiculous. She settled on the emotion that seemed to overpower the others. Sirin: Guilty. Hamsan: I know. When everything happened, all I wanted was to talk to you, to tell you everything’s okay and not to be upset. But then everything got so panicky and the doctor was called and-- It’s like everyone conspired to keep us apart from each other. She could read his emotions even if she couldn’t read his thoughts. He wasn’t angry with her. In fact, he was quite happy to be with her. The realization of this struck her, and she wanted to… no, first, she needed to know that he understood that she hadn’t meant to stand there and watch him in pain. Sirin: Maybe that was a wise decision. I hurt you, then did nothing to help you. Hamsan: It was an accident. They happen. To be honest, ever since the class, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that moment when we were standing in front of everyone, and how much I wanted to kiss you. She stared at him for a long moment, replaying his words in her mind. She had realized that it had been an accident and yet had blamed herself with the harsh words of a grandfather that had never seen how much she truly wanted a family. She looked into his eyes and she knew the truth. Dwich was her family. And all she had to do was tell him. Sirin: Wanted? ::the beginnings of a smile crossed her face:: As in past tense? She moved slowly toward him, watching his eyes dilate. Hearing his breath quicken. As a scientist, she was quite intrigued by all of the biological signs that he wanted this moment with her to become more. As a female, she just knew that she wanted more. She wanted him. Hamsan: ::returning Meidra’s smile:: Past. Present. ::beat:: Future. Sirin: That sounds like a wonderful idea. Neither of them seemed to move, but as the seconds passed, they were suddenly close enough to touch. All she had to do was reach out and make the first move. A sense of calm elation came over her, conflicting emotions of excitement and peace, all because of this one man. Meidra’s gaze drifted to his lips, their breath mingling as time finally caught up with the moment, and she moved that last tiny inch to close the space between them. Whatever she thought she would feel was nothing in comparison to his arms coming around her, pulling her into his embrace. Her hands quickly found their way onto his shoulders as she leaned into him. A momentary gasp of surprise, then the warm rush of affection flooding her senses to the point where she knew that if he was not holding her up, she would not be able to stand. Breaking away to catch her breath, she looked up into his eyes, the only sound that of their heartbeats racing in time with each other. She laughed lightly, leaning in to kiss him again, her heart full. After a few moments, she looked up at him, letting him see everything she felt for him. Knowing that being in his arms was exactly where she was meant to be. Sirin: I’m guessing this means I’m forgiven. Dwich leant in closer, wrapping his repaired left arm around Meidra and placing his hand on the small of her back. Hamsan: As far as I’m concerned, it never happened. ::beat:: In fact, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Meidra laughed again, a freeing sound that made her believe that things between them would only get better now that she had stepped away from her fears of not being good enough for him. Sirin: I’ve wanted to tell you how I felt about you for some time. Hamsan: So have I. I love you, Meidra. And just like that, the last traces of self doubt evaporated into nothing, and she found herself saying words she never thought she’d have a reason to say to anyone. Sirin: I love you too. Lt JG Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0 & PNPC Crewman 2nd Class Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 D238804DS0
  3. This appreciation post, as seen in the topic, is for Justin ( @Yalu). It's also for his co-writers. @Genkos Adea, @Meidra Sirin, @Etan Iljor, and @Addison MacKenzie. The writing by all of them was perfect. The emotional journey for this reader was, at times, difficult. There is so much that is touched on in this series, I almost can't talk about it, you just have to read it. I genuinely don't know what to say except thank you to the 5 of you for giving the rest of us something so amazing! So, everyone, take some time to sit back and read about the Zhian'Tara of Yogan Yalu. ZhiantR&Ra https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/X1pYHDrREKc/m/e50Ud1ULCwAJ Memories Raw and Ragged https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/7NvlJZclE9g/m/KEo5YKELAQAJ The More Things Change https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/HuZang1aXUc/m/vKyKFttpAQAJ A Privilege Worth the Cost https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/oSJpOFw2rK4/m/Mk9ose6hAQAJ Contrasts and Parallels https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/d32MdfSHhlk/m/jeqFqwLwAAAJ Watch It Grow, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/4DxCvu54h94/m/bAYiQvGmAQAJ Watch It Grow, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/Er0B6lrrFnk/m/4xQHyienAQAJ Thicker Than Water https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/W6R6tB2wf3s/m/-2ZV7zuIAgAJ Remember Her https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/gjj1vAvYR7M/m/KQ-nz0KIAgAJ The Prices We Pay, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/TlPlSBq0yoE/m/WyOOEnRBAQAJ The Prices We Pay, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/6mNE6YXbmG4/m/yH-HqpxBAQAJ Where the Action Is, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/WfQohVBH3js/m/fJdSBpeUAQAJ Where the Action Is, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/wHQKU4xwB_k/m/GwfeYauUAQAJ Our Life's Narrative, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/WeMrJHWp0WM/m/2DMDyn_OAQAJ Our Life's Narrative, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/uyAdShsPVec/m/6JDHb73OAQAJ What Was Always Within https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/1eYQHigAWy0 Diverse, Conflicting Clarity https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/4zWjblQ26_U
  4. An eloquently written intimate scene between two characters that just survived a near death experience and discovered a little something more along the way. Well done @Wes Greaves & @Alora DeVeau! ============================================ ((Main Sickbay, Deck 9, USS Thor)) It was never completely quiet on a ship. Everything was still, all the people around had left, and she was alone in the darkness. Surgery had been successful, and after a brief stay in ICU, Peri had been moved to a regular biobed for monitoring. In all honesty, she would have preferred her own quarters. Despite the presence of a roommate, the surroundings were more familiar, more comfortable. Those sounds, the ones that crept through the stillness of the night, were more appealing to her there. The deep, steady hum of the ship held an even lower pitch in her quarters, and thrummed a well known lullaby to her every night. The soft breathing of Saja had, over the course of the week they’d been together, already harmonised readily. There, in that bio bed, the almost imperceptible crackle of the privacy field and slightly higher pitched hum were a harsh antithesis to what she was used to. Fatigue had settled in, even though she’d spent at least a day in the clutches of the slumber that had claimed her down on the icy would-be tomb of a planet. There, she had no qualms about meeting her fate, if only the man with her could be spared. Her fervent prayer had been lifted up, the last vestiges of her strength poured into it, her desperate plea to the Prophets. They had answered. That answer had been coupled with her own salvation, a request she had not made specifically, though she had no desire to die. It had just been more important to her that he live. And they had graciously granted his life, and hers. When she had awoken, the soft beeps of the computer, the gentle and somehow not quite monotone voice of Alieth greeting her, she had barely been able to remain conscious to listen to her explain what had occurred and what had to be done to her on the operating table. It hadn’t mattered. Wes was alive. She was alive. Only moments later, she had slipped back into the realm of unconsciousness, her body desperate for rest. For all the technology they had, healing wasn’t instant. Regenerators seemed to do so instantly, healing and closing up minor wounds with ease, but there would always be soreness associated with it. They didn’t actually heal, simply promoted healing by increasing the body’s own natural cellular regeneration. It was still the body working, and the consequences of it could still be felt. So, she slept, her body losing sense of its circadian rhythm and simply listening to its own internal needs. At some point, however, sleep became a ghost, a spirit that wandered, haunting her for a time, only to leave and keep her guessing as to when it might return. In the middle of the night, she found herself wide awake, alone, still exhausted, but unable to crawl back into that healing trance. **** Four days in sickbay. That was the price to pay for the shuttle crash. Who knows how much physical therapy would follow. Who knew how much therapy would follow. Each time Wes closed his eyes he could see the ice peak filling with the screen of the shuttle, powerless to stop it’s collision course. All he could do for now was to lay there in the bed, stare at the ceiling, and contemplate their disaster. He replayed the events over and over in his head. What he’d missed. How the shuttle’s warning systems could have failed. Should he have caught it earlier? Could he have? Was a lapse in judgment the cause of his near death? Of Peri’s? And what had happened to them on the planet together? They both saw the end in sight. He’d never given up the fight for survival but for a time, just before the transporter beam took them away, he didn’t think he’d make it. When he thought Peri was gone, all had seemed lost. The thought scared him. In that moment, he’d been broken in a way that he hadn’t experienced since young adulthood. He was still working through that event, and now his mind was filled with new terrible thoughts. For a time he lay there, disaster replaying over and over in his mind. Finally he couldn’t take it any longer. It was late, and the medical staff weren’t paying particularly close attention. He needed to talk to someone. Someone who could understand. He needed to talk to Peri. Cautiously Wes crept from the bed, unhooking a monitor from his arm. His bare feet pressed against the cool metal of the floor and he was thankful the loose fitting medical clothes did not include shoes. He could move much more quietly without the resounding footfalls on deck plating. Carefully the Marine moved around his bed, ducking when nurses looked his way, until he reached Peri’s bed in an adjacent ward. No one was immediately nearby so Wes chanced a whisper. Greaves: Peri, are you awake? She heard him before she saw him, the gentle tap of feet against the floor, the rustle of fabric. Turning her head, the shadowy form was familiar enough that even if she couldn’t see him properly, she knew exactly who it was. A smile attempted to appear, and appear it did, small, but sincere. Katsim: Wes. Her voice was soft, partially from fatigue, partially from the knowledge that though Sickbay was less populous at night, there were still doctors and nurses about. Peri suspected he had set out on his journey without permission, and while she was one to generally follow the rules, the relief at seeing him, to put a visual to the reassurance from the medical personnel that he was just fine, was far too potent for her to protest. Greaves: (Approaching her bedside and smiling) Man, you look awful. Katsim: So do you. He stifled a small laugh, and the pressure on his ribs flared in pain. He’d been hurt worse during the crash than he initially had thought, and the doctors had assured him that healing would take some time. Greaves: (A little more serious) I can’t say how good it is to see you awake Peri. How’re you holding up? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. What should she say? Go into the gory details of her injuries? The consequences that would linger? How she was exhausted though she’d done nothing but lie there? Staring at him for a moment, she decided not to delve into specific aspects, and really, that wasn’t the question he had asked. Even so, she shied away from giving too much information. Katsim: I’ll survive. That was it. And maybe, for now, that was enough. He nodded, just glad that she was still alive. The moment that she’d passed out on the shuttle Wes had thought she was dead. It was foolish. No one dies like that in real life. A dramatic closing of the eyes was how it worked in the holo-flicks. Still, it had felt like she’d slipped away from him in that moment, and Wes had realized something when he thought she was gone. Slowly he reached out and clutched the woman’s hand in his own. Her skin felt cool and soft. Greaves: I’m sorry Peri. He was apologising, though she couldn’t fathom why. That brow furrowed, the ridges standing out more with the expression and she turned her head a little, as if trying to see him better. Katsim: For what? Greaves: I messed up. I should have spotted the issue with the warp coils before we even left. Katsim: Oh. So he blamed himself. That hurt her more than any of her physical injuries, the idea that he was dealing with guilt in regards to their accident. Peri shook her head slightly, and the hand that he held tightened its hold, hoping somehow to reassure him with more than just words. Even though she knew they would likely fall upon deaf ears, she spoke them anyway. Katsim: It wasn’t your fault. Greaves: (Frustration creeping in his voice) Of course it was. I was the pilot. That shuttle was my responsibility. Katsim: It was an accident. And you weren’t the only one who looked at that shuttle. Likely it was an issue before, one that had somehow slipped under the radar. They had just been the lucky ones to be in it when it had become a bigger problem. He took her hand again, gave it a gentle squeeze and forced a smile in acknowledgement. She believed her own words, but Wes knew better than to fall into that trap. He’d made a mistake somewhere, and it nearly had cost them their lives. That was simply something else he’d have to learn to deal with. Greaves: It doesn’t matter. What happened, happened. I’m still sorry, and you’re just gonna have to accept that (smile softening into something more genuine). Peri didn’t respond right away, but her hand tightened in response to his. Her eyes regarded him, a silence settling between them, words, waiting to be spoken, yet not uttered. Those words ran over and over again in her mind, thoughts returning to those moments where they had clung together, to the words that she’d managed just before she’d passed out from everything. Yet, in that moment, what she wanted to say remained captive and instead she spoke words that had nothing to do with what roiled around inside her. Katsim: You need to let it go. It wasn’t your fault. The man looked into Peri’s eyes for a moment before responding. Greaves: I’m just glad you’re alright. Maybe we stick to the holodeck for our outings? He wasn’t going to let it go. Peri hoped he wouldn’t sit on it and let it fester, wouldn’t let the guilt linger. She sighed softly, then managed a half smile. Katsim: That might be best. Greaves: Good… speaking of which. You feeling up for a springball match tomorrow? (Winking) For a second, Peri couldn’t only stare at him. Springball? Tomorrow? After all that? Peri wasn’t even going to be released for another day or two! Then it dawned on her. A joke. He was always joking, and she was always falling for it. Once more, she relaxed, and the smile that appeared was brighter than the previous. Katsim: I feel like you’d have an unfair advantage. Greaves: Hey! I have to get in the wins where I can! Katsim: Maybe give me a week or two. If not more. Peri had been told the extent of her injuries, and despite the technology that was vastly superior to what they’d had even fifty years ago, her body was going to take time to get over everything that had happened. Greaves: Deal. But only one week. I don’t stand for slackers, and there’s no way I’m gonna let you live down laying around for two whole weeks. Besides, I might not be able to whip you if you get that much rest. Katsim: We could race again if you prefer. Greaves: (Raising hands defensively and taking a step back) Oh no, I’m not falling for that again missy. Let’s make it a light jog and we can relax at the water’s edge after. (Voice softening) I liked that last time. Peri couldn’t help herself. The smile grew a little wider at his insistent joking. He was intent on making her feel better, and she had to admit, his demeanor was uplifting. For a moment, she almost laughed, but her body’s aching reminded her that might not be the best course of action. Still, there was weight that lifted from her shoulders. His presence, his smile, the tease of his voice, they all seem to lighten her mood, lift her spirits. Around his hand, her fingers curled, his warmth soothing and she sighed softly, settling further down into her bed. She didn’t want him to let go, didn’t want him to leave. For a moment, her pain wasn’t quite so acute, could be pushed aside and ignored because all she had to do was concentrate on him and it seemed to simply fade away. Katsim: I liked that too. And there was more that she could show him. While not the real place, it was a replica, a replica of where she had run and visited on Bajor. It had been a sanctuary, a place to rest and get away from what lay behind. To forget the world and simply be. There, she could enjoy the beauty of nature, be at peace with all creation. Only one person had shared that with her. She was gone, but Peri knew that she could share that with him. Suddenly, she wanted to share that with him, to take him there, but they were in no position to do so. Not yet. Katsim: I...like running with you. Greaves: I… She’d caught him off guard and suddenly there was a bump in the road, a hiccup in the peace that had for a brief time had settled between them. An awkwardness developed, and though he still held on to her hand, she could sense his uncertainty. His hesitancy. Had she said too much? Revealed too much? Was it not returned? Peri chided herself. Why would it be? Just because they had lived through a frozen hell didn’t mean anything had changed. His invitation had been given to a friend, nothing more. Peri’s dark eyes settled upon him and silence invaded, a distance seemed to stretch out between them, one that could not be seen but could certainly be felt. Leveling her gaze at him, she pined for that fleeting moment of closeness they’d had just seconds before and she struggled to bring them back there. How would he handle it? What would he do? Katsim: I especially like beating you. Greaves: Oh man, look who’s got the jokester now. The levity had helped, and though Peri’s smile returned, her heart twisted a little in disappointment. She had expected too much. Of course she had. Katsim: You’re rubbing off I guess. Greaves: What can I say? We’ve been spending a lot of time together lately. It was bound to happen. (Jokingly) Good thing I invited you to Earth, right? Now we get to spend some real quality time together in sickbay. Katsim: I’m glad you did. Her eyes shifted to the opening that would allow someone to walk in if they so desired, the privacy afforded her easily intruded upon. That was as it was in sickbay, though those who trespassed were simply medical officers doing their duty. Her eyes returned to him and studied the man a little more closely. Wes followed the woman’s gaze as he heard the sound of voices approaching. For a moment, he thought that his escapade had been discovered, but the voices passed without pause. Katsim: What did the doctors say? Greaves: (Nonchalantly) Oh, you heard Alieth. Nothing else new really. I’m gonna be here another day or two for observation, and then light duty with regular treatments for the next couple of weeks. You? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. Alieth had listed out all the injuries, the procedures, the subsequent consequences and she knew Wes had been there to hear it. Not that she had minded that so much, but that she still hadn’t really taken the time to process it all. Katsim: At least a couple of days beyond that. He winced at the thought. It made sense, Peri had died after all. Still, Wes couldn’t help but feel responsible for what would likely be a very unpleasant stay in sickbay. It darkened his mood again and brought the man’s thoughts back to the crash. Greaves: Look, I know you don’t want to hear it anymore, but I’m so sorry this all happened. It’s just, when I thought you died down there… when I thought you were gone… (trailing off) He paused, not sure of what to say. The Marine had been concussed and probably suffering from blood loss and shock at the time. Still, he remembered the moment clear as day. When Peri’s eyes had closed and her body went limp, when he kissed her goodbye, something inside him broke. Greaves: ... I’m just glad you’re okay. Really glad. Katsim: I’m grateful that you are all right. Her prayer, it had been spoken with all of the will, all of the strength that she’d had left, and she would have said the same, even if she knew the outcome had been different. But it hadn’t been. They had been rescued, they were there, and the conversation waned into stillness. Their eyes met again, and a small smile formed on Wes’s lips. In that moment something unspoken passed between the two. He wasn’t exactly sure what it was, or what it meant, but Wes felt the connection. He felt the warmth in that look, the calmness it brought on, and the comfort. Still, they lingered, his hand still furled around hers, their warmth joining together. The silence that fell between them was gentle, filled with unuttered phrases, unspoken words, murmurings kept close to their chests and inside their hearts, perhaps desire present, but afraid to manifest itself. She held his gaze, her dark brown against his lighter blue, shadows of hope whispering behind the coloured windows, but nothing was voice. That silence reigned, but it was pleasant, each one basking in their presence, hesitant to break it, but finally practicality won out in the mind of the marine who hovered at her bedside, her hand still gently clasped in his. Greaves: I really should get back to my bed, before they catch me up and about. Peri almost said no. She almost requested that he stay, that he linger a little longer, maybe even remain until she was safely tucked away into slumber, the last thing seen was his smiling face. But once more, the words shied away from actual speech and she merely nodded. It was Wes who had to break the hold, his hand releasing her own and she let it fall back to her side, the chill of the room stark in comparison to his warmth and she couldn’t help but shiver a little. He cast her one last smile and she returned it with a small one of her own. Though he was not present when Peri finally did return to the realm of slumber, she had, at least, that to ponder upon, the vision of his face and the gentleness of that departing expression carrying her into sleep. ********** ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander Chief of Security & Tactical USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 ========================= & Ensign Katsim Peri Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0
  5. As a supervisor in a Customer Call Center, this sim really had me rolling, especially the last part of the flashback scene, so I hope you all get as much enjoyment out of it as I did. OOC: Flashback sequence & graphic were provided by Ensign Serren Tan (Gorkon) O238704AT0. This part (Lazarus XI: Epilogue) was never published as part of the original 10-part Lazarus Saga, which deals with the final arc of Alleran Tan. (( Brew Continuum, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka )) Chythar nodded slightly, pleased to hear the raktajino is worth the hype. Given the years of perfection that went into the recipe on Chris’s part, he felt that the secret was one worth preserving. He needed no such reminder, given his experience with being the Gorkon’s temporary morale officer during their time in the alternate universe. As painful and stale as his jokes were, he vowed never to serve biscuits like that ever again and stick to his job as a barista, since comedy didn’t suit him. Freki’s feline ears perk up at the mention of him from the Captain and he turned his head to the conversation, his paw tapping on Peter’s hand in a friendly way, so he knows that Freki is not ignoring him. Cadfael’s gaze was largely distracted by the comet, though he did turn and give a smile toward Freki once the counselor’s gaze once again returned to him. Azorius: Oh, but of course Captain :: He said nervously, sitting up just a little too straight. :: High morale is very important, I prescribe lots of enjoyment and social time for a healthy crew, also try the Raktajino, it’s to die for! Alentonis: Sorry, this is too fascinating for words. Um...I’ll have a full report on your desk tomorrow, lieutenant. Levinson: Response The captain reached up to tap his badge and make a call, talking with one of the crewmen. A moment later, the rest of the senior staff was summoned. That made sense, and the doc glanced at his watch before he reached up to touch his badge. Lael should just be getting ready to clock out about now, he thought. Skyfire: =/\= Dr. Skyfire to Commander Rosek. =/\= Rosek: =/\= Response =/\= Skyfire: =/\= Captain’s summoning the senior staff to the BC. If you’d be a dear and pick up Maddy before making your way up, I’ll be sure to have drinks ready when you arrive. =/\= Rosek: =/\= Response =/\= Once finished with his call, Esa made her way over to Chythar. Kiax: Looks like our work has been well received, wouldn’t you say? Skyfire: I would say it has indeed. Thanks for your assistance. Esa waved a dismissive hand past her face. Kiax: Oh, it was no bother. Besides, I’m happy to have helped. Got any plans for your first Expanse-Inspired recipe yet? Chythar glanced out the window toward the comet and considered. He hadn’t thought of one quite yet, but he figured he’d inquire of the scientists when they had a minute about who saw the comet first. Skyfire: Maybe something to do with that comet, perhaps. Once I figure out which of the blue collars discovered it first. Kiax: Ah, well I’m sure you’ll come up with something. I hear you’re quite good at these things… Speaking of which, I was sent a packet of Rose Capaya seeds from a relative of one of my previous hosts’ children. I was wondering if you’d fancy attempting to craft something with them? The barista quirked a brow in reply. “Interesting” was, perhaps a gross understatement and he didn’t recall having heard of that particular plant before. Skyfire: Interesting. I am certainly interested. :: Leaning forward. :: Tell me more. Kiax: It’s a fruit that grows on Trillus Prime. A bit like a raspberry, grows on a similar kind of vine, but bigger and far sweeter. They tend to grow to be about the size of a fist. I’ve never tried one, but I’m assured that they’re quite appealing. Ah, the Trill homeworld. He sighed heavily as he recalled his last visit to Trill and the letter he’d gotten in reply once he’d finished his dealings with a certain alternate version of Marlee Whale, prior host of the Tan symbiont. (( Flashback -- Skyfire’s Temporary Quarters, Starbase 118 Ops )) Chythar sat staring at the screen with a mug of coffee in his hand as he read over the letter for the fourteenth time, reading what it said. Dear Doctor Skyfire, My name is Chrel Bo, Second Minister of the Trillian Department of the Interior. I write to you today to express my sincere apologies regarding your recent experience on the Trill homeworld. The kidnapping of Starfleet officers is a matter we take extremely seriously, and rest assured we are exercising our due diligence in investigating this matter to the best of our abilities. We have no record of a “Jerra Syn” in the Symbiosis Committee records and are forced to concede this is likely an alias. Authorities in The Ring have been open and cooperative regarding evidence gathering, but the rooms in which you and Miss Whale were held appear to have been sterilized and we do not hold out much hope of any actionable evidence being recovered. Accordingly, while this case will be left open, it is with palpable regret that we are forced to conclude that the likelihood of reaching an acceptable conclusion is low. Please accept my sincere apologies for this incident, and accept the apologies of the Trill people for your experience. The computer chirped and then an automated message was spat out. Thank you for visiting the Trill homeworld! Please rate your experience on our planet using our travel guide program, Trilladvisor. Your recommendation out of five is: __3.6___ (Disclaimer: suggestion automatically generated based on previous recommendations) A complimentary T-shirt has been dispatched to your registered address. The doctor arched a brow as he read the 3.6 over and over again, then knocked back the remainder of his coffee and closed the screen. With a sigh, he made his way to the bed to begin packing his bags in preparation for his return to the Veritas. (( End Flashback )) Skyfire: I regret I never had the opportunity to do any sightseeing of the botanical gardens on Trillius Prime last time I was there. Kiax: My first host had quite the green thumb - won awards for his orchid collections. I can’t say I share his aptitude for it, but the one who sent me the seeds thought that I might enjoy indulging in botany as a pastime. So far, I’ve only managed to grow one or two orchids in the flower beds down in the Hydroponics Bay. Skyfire: Interesting. I’ll have to take another look. Kiax: ::With a wink:: Yeah, the white ones in the bed next to the tree. They’re mine, though I don’t tend to publicise it. Skyfire: And why not? I’d be happy to teach you what I know, and you can exercise those memories a bit? Kiax: Response Skyfire: In all seriousness, Esa? I would be delighted to work on new plant cultivations with someone of your host’s expertise for the BC here. Kiax: Response Skyfire: I noticed you were asking Cadfael about the other BCs. I can’t attest to the one on the Juneau, but I took good care of it on the Veritas after Teller left. The Astraeus was all my doing, though it admittedly was less complicated than the one here. The hologram, which you may’ve seen briefly on your way in, was the most complex piece of the puzzle. I’ll put it back once the majesty of the comet wears off. :: Momentary pause to glance over at the dogs. :: Devlin's the little beagle. Odin is Mei's rottweiler. Kiax: Response Off in the corner, Devlin was nuzzling Odin once again and giving his muzzle tender little beagle kisses in between a tug-of-war on one of the ropes. While it did look to Chythar that Devlin might’ve been winning, he guessed that the rottweiler was more just laying there for effect and to let the little beagle think he was winning. === Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer / Barista USS Chin’toka NCC-97187 O239002CS0
  6. I usually do a roundup of Skarbek good stuff at the end, and post it up here. While that's in progress for our most recent Skarbek adventure (Skarbek III: What Do Boys Dream), the narrative description in this sim really hit home with a golden emotional moment for me. Well done, @Jona ch'Ranni! Keep it up, man!
  7. A superlative log and letter home which really pulls at the heart strings and also makes you feel pretty good! Nothing to do with my name drop, promise. ((Yogan & Iljor's Quarters, USS Resolution)) Sat at the small workstation he shared with the currently absent Yogan, Iljor read the letter that he had finished writing for the third time, making sure that nothing was left out or spelled incorrectly. Dearest parents, First of all, let me say how sorry I am that I haven't written to you since I last saw you during the graduation ceremonies on Starbase 118. It's not that I haven't wanted to write- I just haven't had the time. Humans have a saying that probably sums everything up neatly- I've "hit the ground running". Actually, it might not sum it up nearly (I don't think anything can)- but you get the picture. I'm not entirely sure what I can and cannot say just yet, especially since I'm only a small cog in the greater machine that is the Resolution. But keep an eye on the FNS feeds for news of a peace treaty between two races in The Borderlands. I wasn't directly involved in the mediation (mother, please don't tell everyone in Talmulna that I was. It's embarrassing!)- but I was aboard ship and I was kept very busy. Right now we're heading back to Deep Space 224- a kind of central focus for Starfleet and the Federation's presence here- for resupply, repairs and maybe taking on new personnel. Yes, you read that right- repairs. Please don't be too alarmed, everything is under control and I am okay. I promise. I can already hear the worry in your voices- so please believe me when I say I'm in fine health and I haven't been admitted to sickbay for anything! While I can't tell you about our mission (for the moment, maybe) I guess I can tell you about the people I'm serving with. To start off with I haven't actually met Captain Nicholetti yet. She's been off the ship for the past mission dealing with something to do with a previous mission at Starfleet Medical. I'm pretty low down on the "need to know" ladder so I don't have the full details- but I'm looking forward to getting to serve with her in the future. Our first officer is Commander MacKenzie. I've spoken with her a few times and she seems the sort of officer who was born to lead. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side any time soon. What surprises me the most, though, is how she seemed eager to hear my opinions during this past mission. I know Resolution is a small ship but I still didn't expect to have any input of important decisions- but Commander MacKenzie seemed intent on getting my thoughts. I wouldn't say I have her ear yet- and I'm certainly not going to be checking her pagh any time soon, but I was honored by her interest in me. The CMO- Doctor Adea- is also our second officer. To be honest with you both- I really like him. He's very warm, approachable and friendly an he has a very funny sense of humour. He was my onboarding liaison and made me feel very welcome. Also insisted on me calling him by his given name, which threw me. From what I can tell, he seems very popular aboard the ship- it's certainly easy to see why. There's a charm about him. He was the leader of my away team and just like Commander MacKenzie, he made it a point to take onboard my findings and my thoughts. I've probably spent most of my time so far with Counselor Sirin. Don't worry, I'm not homesick or depressed or anything like that. We've worked together quite a bit and that's translated to a few lunches and conversations. She's interested in history- so of course I've enjoyed our chats a lot! There's quite a bit of gossip about her going on aboard ship, something to do with a prior shore leave and there definitely seemed to be…. something…. with her and Commander MacKenzie. A kind of uneasiness. I don't know. I've never been good at that kind of thing. Anyway, I'll keep out of it. But I'd say she's easily become my best friend aboard the Resolution. I'm rooming with a Trill- Lieutenant Yalu. He's joined, trained as a doctor but is the ship's pilot and is a mountain of a man. As broad as he is tall. That said- he's very kind and dare I say… sweet? He's invited me to travel with him and a few others to Trill in the next few days. It's part of a ritual a Trill host has to undergo. The zhian'tara. Its fascinating. I'll be embodying a previous host for a while so that Yogan can talk to…. oh you know what, I'm going to get on one of my tangents if I carry on. Look it up! But don't worry… nothing can go wrong. It's all very controlled and carried out by Trill guardians. I'm still getting to know everyone else. Lieutenant Sherlock is the one who looks after us all and seems to be fiercely devoted to the ship. We've shared a drink in the mess hall and I think we're spending some time together with Counselor Sirin on DS224 before I leave for Trill. I'm looking forward to that. I don't think I've seen Ensign Yellir sit still. Actually I don't think she knows how to. She's a fellow science officer and it's been nice to 'geek out' with her. She also has the most vibrant purple hair I've ever seen. Seriously. It's amazing! I've worked briefly with two engineers- Commander Amari and Ensign Nox. I can't really say much about them since I haven't had the chance to get to know them yet. Maybe in my next letter. I don't know when I'll be able to come home. The Borderlands is quite a distance from Bajor and its rarely quiet. There's always something going on, or a new system to chart, or a new spatial phenomenon to probe. But the first chance I'll get to come home, I'll take it. I miss you both and I miss the farm. Speaking of which… how was last month's katterpod harvest? Did it top last years? Is Grola still trying to sell you that plychyk dung fertiliser? Don't give in, father…. it'll ruin the soil not matter what she says otherwise. Trust me, I'm a scientist. A qualified one now. Wow…. feels weird writing that! Next time you see Areja say hello for me. She still makes the best pot of tea. Anyway, I hate to cut this short but I have to go. There's a self defense class that I promised I'd show my face at. And I've got a report to write on some long range sensor telemetry that I've been asked to analyse. It's nothing- just some elevated background radiation that no one will care about- but I want to get it done sooner rather than later. I love you both. May the Prophets light your way, Your ever loving son, Iljor. Satisfied that he had covered everything he had wanted to, he pressed a finger to his lips and kissed it, then transferred it to the screen. With a wistful and slightly melancholic smile, he hit the send button. -- Ensign Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239302TW0
  8. (This is a really compelling sim that blends personal demons with the cruelty of the storyline bad guy. Beautifully written!) ((The Waiting Room)) Tatash followed behind the group as they entered the small waiting area offset from the court room. He could tell instantly that it was soundproof as the door fell behind them, isolating them instantly from the hubbub of the arena outside to the point where a pin dropping would have echoed around the room. He turned his attention towards the other person in the room, the same striking handsome faced that had looked up at them from the PADD, the same one that was a harbinger of the cult they were seeking to destroy. He flashed them a smile, but it wasn’t a friendly one, it was the smile of a hungry cat toying with it’s prey before consuming them. Predatory, cruel. Kelemkor: Ah, Vro’che. You have done such a good job in guarding these… Starfleet … guests. There was a tone behind that message, the emphasis placed on guests was levied with something that implied they were anything but. Vroche: ? Tatash kept himself quiet, he was still appearing meek, humble. It was not his place to talk. DeVeau: ? Kelemkor stood up and swept towards the trio of Starfleet officers. Kelemkor: Ah, Commodore Taybrim and entourage. ::He smiled in a lovely but cold way.:: Allow me to introduce myself. I am Kelemkor, your aide for this trial. Taybrim: ::Calmly, diplomatically:: I was not aware we merited an aide. Vroche: ? Tatash: We are not the ones on trial, we do not require an aide. This is extremely unusual. DeVeau: ? Tatash hated this… sleaze, this fake-speak that permeated the group. It was clear now that there intentions of this man were not friendly, but he was laying the verbal equivalent of a flower wreath on a shallow grave he’d started to dig for them all. Kelemkor: Come now, Commodore. Surely Attorney Li’otha has explained to you that the likely outcome of this trial is the execution of your officers. Taybrim: That is a possibility we hope to avoid. ::Sal stated firmly.:: Vroche: ? Tatash: The political fallout for such a terrible, wasteful punishment would be immense. Is Qo’nos really going to risk hefty sanctions and a souring of relations with the Federation over an internal matter? DeVeau: ? He moved towards them again, and Tatash felt something creeping in the back of his mind. A strange sensation like someone was peering through a window at him, a shadow creeping in his thoughts like some sort of muffled spectre. Kelemkor: There are ways you could save them, if you are careful. Those dark eyes connected with his, they lingered for a moment. Taybrim: I am already careful. ::he said with a low conviction.:: Vroche: ? DeVeau: ? Tatash: Could you please step back… The figure didn’t, and Tatash found his thoughts wandering. He didn’t know how to counter the invasion, he’d never experienced something so deeply violating before as he felt his memories dragged up to the surface. ((Flashback – The Battle of the Albion)) ::Diago was thankfully quick on his trigger, the Albion letting out orange bursts of energy towards the attacking ships that did their best to adapt to the sudden new parameter being thrown at them, several exploding into blossoms of yellow before subduing into frozen shards of gas and metal. One by one their number went down, a few elated cheers coming over the comms as the electronic smokescreen surrounding the fighters started to dissapate along with their numbers. Even Tatash couldn't help but feel himself slightly untense, until that split second of relief bore a heavy price. His Valkyrie spun violently as something tore hard against the port side, what had once been a pristeen wing now a twisted peice of metal. He'd been rammed, the drones apparently programmed to take every last risk when it came to ensuring victory against their designated enemy:: Computer: Warning, Port engines destroyed. Compensating. ::Slowly the ship came about, steading herself out as she limped towards the Albions perimeter, but the moment had been enough for one of the drones to deliver a firm volley against her damaged hull. Tatash flailed in his chair, thrown against the side of his cockpit as alarms wailed on each console:: Computer: Catastrophic damage. Eject. Eject. ::His training took over, clawed hands grasping for the lever under his seat that would throw the entire cockpit out as a makeshift lifeboat, one tug. Nothing, two tugs. Still nothing:: Computer: Ejection failure. ::His heart was pounding, the blue glow of the Albions shuttlebay painfully close as he fired up the emergency thrusters, throwing him forwards towards it as he tapped on the comms system hoping to the pale goddess it still worked:: Tatash: =/\= Tatash to Albion. Mayday, Mayday. ::Nothing, whatever response had come through was distorted static blasting through his earpeice. His cockpit was cracking, a thin spiderweb slowly erupting over what was once an impossibly strong material:: Tatash: =/\= Mayday... Computer: Warning, landing gear failure. All systems failing. ::All he could do now was hope as he continued to push towards the docking bay at speed, his scaled knuckles amost white as he did his best to assert what limited control he had on the ruined vehicle. The Albions damaged hull rushed past him as he saw the massive catching net erupting from the shuttlebay floor, he could even make out technicians running for cover as time seemed to slow down as the adrenaline pushing through him hit his peak. The nose hit the net with tremendous force, the entire fuselage crumpling down as he was thrown forward, what was a moment of reality pushed into a murky darkness:: ((The Waiting Room)) Tatash snarled, a guttural, violent sound erupting from him as he found himself transfixed on Kelemkor. Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ? Kelemkor: ? Tatash: Get out of my damned he… ((Flashback – Tilanna V - 3,500 feet above ground level)) ::Lights shimmered around him as suddenly his body was forced to spread outwards, Raisillius floating along behind him in freefall. His HUD finally sprang to life, altimeters and artificial horizons along with a target zone flashed up by Falcon's careful navigation.:: Computer: 3,000 Feet. Caution: Exceeding recommended speed. Tatash: =/\= Pushing through the pollution layer now, watch out for civilian traffic. ::The greenish haze under them approached rapidly, breaking apart into a murky soup of unknown gasses as vehicles passed them by on each side. Some swerved desperately to avoid the two black figures falling, others skimmed by so close that Tatash could make out the faces of their pilots, all mouth agape for that brief split second:: Computer: 1,500 Feet. Danger: Extreme risk to life. Terminal velocity achieved. Deploy parachute. ::He override the suit with a tap on his wrist as the target zone became larger, clearer. As they dropped closer and closer the outlines of the sprawling factory became clearer, each building becoming more then just a mass of grey and brown:: Tatash: =/\= We pull at a 200 feet. You heard right. We open fire from 200 feet above, bring the damned roof down to cushion our fall. Computer: 500 feet. ::He watched the meter ticking from the corner of his eye, four hundred.... three hundred... every part of him was thumping with adrenaline, every nerve firing off as he pulled the cord. He could feel himself being yanked upwards, threatening to rip the suit right off him as it struggled to cope with the extreme stress placed under it, especially as the micro-boosters attached to the sides also fired. It took all his willpower to bring his carbine up, the Communicators of his stricken team finally appearing, clustered together in what looked like the dead end of a corridor. Raisillius had already started hosing down the roof and Tatash joined that heavenly choir, leaving the thin steel punctured and shattered before finally his thick boots finished off the rest of it. The both tumbled in with a tremendous crack, something twinging in his shins as they impacted the corridor with more force then he'd have liked, but the adrenaline took care of that momentary pain as he continued to fire down the corridor. Figures slumped and fell, toppling down in complete surprise as the two heaven sent warriors pushed back up against them. A few shots landed nearby, one clipping him in his armored pauldron, tearing it off with a sizzle causing his helmet to go dead for a moment as it automatically rerouted control around. The perpetrator meeting a viscous and swift hand from Raisillius's precise bursts of fire.:: Tatash: ::Yelling over the din:: Grenade out! ::He tossed one of those little ovoids down the corridor towards the attacking force, pressing himself back against the wall before the large bang made his ears ring, the shockwave moving down the corridor enough to make him wobble slightly. A second explosion occurred as the Captain took a chance to throw his own. Tatash didn't need to venture down the corridor to see the results of their effort, the remains of what had a moment ago been aggressive forces now strewn across the floor made gloomy by a pall of smoke. It was grisly, but there was no sympathy. War was never a pleasant thing to look at.:: ((The Waiting Room)) The invasion stopped, something was dripping. A steady drop-drop-drop onto the floor. Pain, searing pain. Something was in his grip. Something heavy. Rage, incalculable rage was pushing through his veins like fire numbing even the ripping sensation in his flank. Every battle he'd fought in, every person he'd lost, killed, maimed pushing his actions like the fury of a thousand ghosts. He heard shouting, muffled, like hearing things through water. A dull cacophony that wasn't making sense, it was just.. noise. Noise around him, hands trying to grab at him, pulling him, he would not move. He could -not- move. He was war, he was fury. Taybrim: ? He heard that, that familiar voice like a lighthouse beckoning him back to his senses like suddenly being thrown in front of a moving train. His conscious snapped back to reality, but still lost in a mire of confusion. Kelemkor was hovering a foot above the ground, a gasping sound coming from him as a scaled hand was wrapped around his neck, but still he had that smile on his face. Whose hand was that? Tatash blinked, finally releasing those fingers as Kelemkor dropped back down rubbing his neck with that same face, but now mixed with amusement, like someone had just won an astounding and surprising victory. Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ? Kelemkor: ? Tatash didn’t respond, the mystery of the dripping sound suddenly starting to snap together in his head as he looked at the D’k tahg in Vroche’s hand, it was red. Wet. It was like his nerves were moving in slow motion, the hand that had dropped Kelemkor pressing against his flank where his uniform was tore and that same warm wetness was running down the inside of it. Tatash: Sal, I… I’m sorry, I don’t… I don't understand. Confusion was met with logic. He’d tried to kill Kelemkor, the guard, understandably had tried to stop him. A firearm would have drawn attention, a knife was quiet. But why? Why had he tried to kill him? Confusion, endless confusion. He felt the medkit tossed at him by Kelemkor who seemed endlessly amused, thumbing over the catch relying now on pure training drill, fingertips searching for something to staunch the wound. Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ? Kelemkor: ? --- Major Tatash Marine Intelligence (Charlie Company) Starbase 118 Ops C239108T10
  9. So you wanted "Top Gun meets Klingons"? Well, thanks to the talented @Antero Flynn, you've got it! (Cue 80's slow guitar riff...) (( Outside the Main Administration Building, Klingon Colony VoqmoH'tuq )) Antero stood with his arms crossed as he watched toward where he expected an arrival from their greeting party. He wore a pair of shades called aviators that he had heard were quite common with ancient Earth pilots. The Risian was pretty sure he looked super cool, but he knew asking would ruin it. Either way, he was grateful for the shading against the bright day. Kelrod: They could have anticipated our arrival. Think they're looking at us to check what they're dealing with? Parker: I was told for us to meet them here. They will come, and they will be on time. Flynn: You seem pretty confident. Turned out Parker knew what he was talking about as before he answered they were met by two Klingons. He didn’t get a good read on the male, as his eyes lingered a little too long over the top of his shades to the woman at his side. K’Jul: Welcome to VoqmoH’tug I am Commander K’jul, son of Mo’tuk and this is Commander Ch’otonn Bagorgh Parker: I am Lieutenant Commander Hannibal Tiberious Parker, son of Ryland. Lafizatar: I am Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhanyt Lafizatar. Vanlith: I am Lieutenant Charlena Vanlith, adopted sister of G’var. Kelrod: Commander Kelrod Flynn: ::With a bob of the head.:: Lieutenant Commander Antero Flynn, at your service. He didn’t bother with declaring the name of any of his family, that wasn’t his culture. Not that he had any they would recognize anyway. Besides, he wasn’t particularly proud to represent his father. The reverse was certainly true. Bagorgh: And I am Commander Ch'otonn Bagorgh. ::Staring at Parker:: Proud daughter of ::slight sneer:: Qo'noS. K’Jul: yIvoq'a'! yo' qIj buSmeH mIw woQlu'jaj! (OOC Translation: Be silent! Show respect to our guests and allies!) Kelrod: We're here for a purpose, we don't want anything to disrupt our orders. Bagorgh: The Klingon Empire has become as useless as a blunt Bat’leth. That is why we seek assistance from Federation’s Starfleet. ::Sarcastically:: Two blunt Bat’leth’s are better than one, yes? K’Jul: Perhaps.:: looking directly at Bagorgh:: but a blunt Bat’leth can be sharpened, or broken:: smiling wickedly:: and you have already been broken… Bagorgh: ::To K’Jul:: veQ jay’! (OOC: Translation – “garbage” expressed in strong terms) K’Jul: QaDchoHpa' tlhoS Wa'DIch. ( OOC: Translation: Crap always floats to the surface of the latrine.) The Risian only found himself smirking at the Klingon exchange. He had been around them before and didn’t find the behavior terribly unusual or disarming. In fact he found himself a little enamored with Bagorgh and her...spirit. Bagorgh: ::Gesturing:: Come. We have much to discuss about the logistics of the prisoner transport. Striding down the corridor with the others, he soon found himself in direct eye contact with Bagorgh. Bagorgh: ::To Flynn, slight seductive smile:: Your smooth forehead is made slightly more attractive by your Ja'risia, Lieutenant Commander. Flynn: oO The shades DO work for me! Oo He took off his sunglasses and cooly slid them into his collar before responding. Flynn: ::A sly smile.:: If you like my forehead, wait until you see…Erm ::He was suddenly very aware of the eyes of his team.:: My work ethic... Parker: Commander…we all have attributes which make us unique…like your forehead ridges, for example. Kelrod: Or a good left hand to deal with adversities. Flynn: ::Pointing to Kelrod.:: This guy is on to something. K’Jul: A shared victory is a noble victory. It is that philosophy which allowed us to defeat the Dominion. Something some Klingons fail to understand… The fierce and...exotic woman ignored the comment as they were led into a large room with various Klingon decor. He wasn’t sure entirely what each symbol represented, but recognized the crests of a couple of ruling houses he had encountered during his time on Starbase 118. In the middle of the table, a bowl of wriggling, jiggling, jiving and grooving pile of Gagh. The Risian frowned as Parker happily grabbed a handful and shoved it back. Antero was not so eager as he hesitantly picked up a single fellow and gave it a little nibble. Parker: Commanders…certainly you do not serve this excellent Gagh without bloodwine…and I’m afraid there is not enough Gagh for everyone… That prompted a look from the pilot that said “Seriously, dude?!” Lafizatar: ::diffidentally:: Not an issue, the chirality of Gagh prevents Mathenites from consuming it. Or bloodwine. Or.. a number of things, regretfully. Flynn: ::Scowling.:: oO Lucky...Oo Vanlith: ::Taking a handful herself:: it would be a shame if those of us who could consume this did not have the opportunity. Kelrod: I might join you, but if this is the first, it's been some time since I've had a heart of Targ. Flynn: oO Suck ups...Oo Antero could respect the effort of his crewmates, but he couldn’t help but wonder if Klingons served this food just because they knew that Starfleet would lap up anything put in front of them in the name of diplomacy. He watched their hosts faces with squinted eyes at any sign of giggling as he chewed his gummy worm. Bagorgh: It is not a problem. We have plenty to go around. The mech ghlq supplies the best Gagh outside of Qo'noS itself. ::To Zhanyt:: It is unfortunate that you cannot sample the best food and drink in the entire galaxy. Parker/K'Jul: response Antero leaned back and watched the conversation continue, nibbling distastefully as he wondered if there was any chance of a Klingon brawl. Maybe someone would get mad and flip the table, he brightened at the thought of all that Gagh going to waste. Lafizatar: It is not up to me to dictate the hand dealt to me, but merely how I play it. It would be disrespectful for me to request special treatment when I am the only species in the room who would require it. So I did not. Kelrod: All great powers that have different species have to learn each ones limitations. For example, I'm quite fond of Chech'tluth, while others can't stand it. Flynn: Ooh! That I recognize! ::He shook his head.:: I don’t care for it… Being a drink flinger on Risa came with knowledge of beverages from far and wide, from delicious to potentially deadly. Chech’tluth was not one that Antero would put in either category, but it did make him wonder what a dinner party hosted by Kelrod would be like. Bagorgh: That is true. If it were not for a former warrior under my command named Broral, I would never have realised the delight of the Earth food “burrito”. But, while K’Jul would have you believe he enjoys shared victory, I wonder if he is suvwI' enough to eat a mouth full of spicy jalapenos. (OOC: suvwI' = Warrior) Parker/K'Jul: response Kelrod: Might I be so bold as to ask about what you have in mind for the convoy? After all, you have more experience in this part of the Shoals. K'Jul: Response Kelrod: What kind of ships are we talking about? And how many? K'Jul: Response Bagorgh: And my ship, the IKS T'Kuvma. It is a K't'inga class and almost a relic of T’Kuvma’s time. But, we have refurbished it as best we can. Our resources are limited, the area of space you call “The Shoals” is not the highest priority for the Klingon Empire. Antero perked up at that. The Bird of Prey had always been a model that fascinated the helmsman. So sleek and maneuverable, their style so striking and sublime. He had always wanted to fly one. Vanlith/Parker/Lafizatar: Response Bagorgh: Qlbmey’, the area you call “The Shadows”, has seen high activity from pirates and criminals, and they can strike at any moment. They are opportunistic, and will not hesitate to attack. Even at our fearsome warships. But, your Captain Rahman and your Veritas has a reputation, they will think twice. I do guarantee though that if battle should occur, ::slight smirk:: K’Jul’s ship will be the first to expire. K’Jul: Response Bagorgh: ::To K’Jul:: bIHnuch jay’! (OOC: Coward in strong terms) Antero Flynn was a social creature. Many times he had been told of the folly of many nights spent partying with various species in various locales, but he had learned a lot about the social intricacies of many races in that time. As for those in the mighty Klingon empire, it was his experience that they valued a bit of ribbing and good natured banter far more than careful etiquette. This encounter was reinforcing that. Flynn: I’m certain I could do quite a bit to help with maneuvering controls and guidance layouts. ::He sat himself on an unclaimed corner of the table and rested an elbow on his knee as he chewed up a final bite of gagh like a piece of gum.:: But of course the real question is, do your Klingon pilots have what it takes to fly at the same level as a Risian? Bagorgh/K’Jul: Response Parker/Kelrod/Lafizatar/Vanlith: Response Flynn: Well. ::A quick wink to Bagorgh.:: Just want to make sure my prowess isn’t too much to keep up with. Bagorgh/K’Jul: Response Parker/Kelrod/Lafizatar/Vanlith: Response At that the Risian smiled, feeling fully aware that he was probably biting off way more than he could chew. Still - He liked the cut of her jib almost as much as the cut of her outfit... Lt. Cmdr. Antero Flynn Helm Officer USS Veritas C239205AF0
  10. 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
  11. OOC: Beautiful. And heartbreaking. ((Vulcan Forge, Xial, Vulcan)) The wind was blowing in the desert, still cool in the early morning. It brought the fragrance of morning dew, of desert succulents and fresh spring. High above, a bright silver kestrel hailed the rising sun and, far, far away, among the hills, another bird answered its call. Alieth sat on the rock and for a few minutes just admired the bird's evolutions in the air, as the desert sands swirled at her feet. Finally, she sighed and placed the ark she had been cradling in her arms on her left. Her fingers moved over the surface to the appropriate spots and, to her mind's eye and only to her, a figure became visible on the other side of the rock. Alieth: It has been a long time, my friend. Sern perched himself on the rock, crossing one leg over the other and lacing his fingers over the top knee. Sern: Has it? I seem to recall speaking with you just the other day… The features around Alieth's eyes relaxed slightly before she spoke again. Alieth: That was weeks ago, my dear friend. Sern: Then it has been a long time, indeed. Is this-? She gave a little nod. Alieth: Where we used to meet, when you were obsessed with hover car racing. She stretched out an arm towards a watercourse a little further down, half hidden from view by a dense mass of thorny, shrubby vegetation. Alieth: You used to hide your vehicle there, so the matriarch would not send it to the junkyard. I still hide mine there. The ghost of an all-too-human smirk brightened his eyes. Sern: Ah. An apt choice. Alieth: Indeed. I have fond memories of this place. Slowly, he scanned the horizon, eyes eventually settling on a cluster of rocks off in the distance. Sern: And some not so fond... She let out a small sigh. Alieth: Effectively that happened here as well… There was no need to point out "that" event. It was in his mind as well as hers. Like so many others. Like so many memories. Thereafter, a comfortable silence settled between the Vulcans, each lost in their own recollections- some clearer than others. Either seconds or hours passed before Alieth spoke: Alieth: Are you sure you want to do this? Sern: If my choice is between this and ::he opened his hand in the direction of the device, in a manner not unlike a certain human:: that - I would say the choice is obvious. A genuine smile danced in her dark Alieth: I have no objection, everything Geoffrey John gets his hands on ends up looking like a mayhem ball affixed with way too much duct tape. Two beings of any other species would likely have laughed. It would not be a laugh of mirth, but one of two old friends diffusing the growing tension of anticipated conversation. A conversation both parties were perfectly content to leave unspoken, until they were forced to form the words by both time and circumstance... In the end, it was he who spoke, his countenance more sober than it had been so far, if that was even possible. Sern: It is time. You have brought me further than I could have hoped. But it is time. She looked at him and, for a brief second, bit the inside of her lip. She had to have one last try. Alieth: I just want to persuade you to remain here. We still have so much to experience, so much to learn, so much to live... perhaps we could... Sern shook his head. Sern: No - not 'we'... you. For a moment, he wasn't entirely sure he would win the staring contest. Alieth: :with a sight: You are right, of course… Silence settled between them once more, thickening as the minutes passed, and only the wind filled it faintly, along with the cries of the birds of the sands. At last, Alieth turned to his friend's shade, took a deep breath and spoke again. Softly, barely over the whisper of the wind. Alieth: I loved you, you know... In some way I still do. No amount of emotional discipline could hide the look of surprise that shifted across his features. A greenish flush crept into his cheeks. Sern: I - uh…. I - I loved you, too. She nodded silently, opened her mouth to say a word but ultimately chose not to. At another time, in another life, perhaps the blush would have crept up her cheeks too, but not then. Sern: Yeh- ::he cleared his throat, trying to force the flush away:: uh, yes, well… Alieth: I know. ::Sigh:: Perfect timing. She looked down at the crystal encapsulated in a mechanical device that was humming on the rock beside her. She ran her fingers over it. Not a word, he would know what was in her mind. Alieth: And speaking of time, the moment has come Sern: Now or never. She nodded faintly and took the device in her hands. Sern crossed over to a scrubby-looking bush and tried to grasp a branch. His hand passed right through it. He moved back to where Alieth stood, the ark device cradled in her hands. Sern: Could you-? Alieth: I have already did so. In her hands, the device had ceased its humming. The crystal still twinkled dimly, the energy that animated it slowly fading, with an increasingly slow pulse. There was another bit of a pause before the fade started. Much like the image of the Veritas, the edges went first, limbs and core gradually shifting away to reveal the unbroken landscape behind him. Shifting into nothingness. Once the will of her friend, of the person who had most marked her early and many of her later years, had been fulfilled, Alieth remained there for a long time. Until the sun rose at its zenith and the shadowless noon of the desert forced her to seek shelter. When she did so, there was red dust staining the hem of her robe and wetness in her eyes. But there was also peace in her spirit, a peace she had not felt for a long time. Goodbye, my dear friend, and farewell… [End] ================================= Alieth daughter of Saros Mourning USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director & Sern of Vulcan Deceased E239602QD0 =================================
  12. 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 =================================
  13. 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 =================================
  14. 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 =================================
  15. 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 =========================
  16. @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
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. I spent the entire reading of this JP laughing. Brilliantly written @Geoffrey Teller @Alex Brodie. Great action, great dialog, and great one liners.
  21. 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 =================================
  22. ((OOC: This was originally posted broken up as 3 parts. )) Part 1 ((Lightside Station – Maintenance Dock C-83)) Marot was a hard working engineer, but an even harder working opportunist. Some might say that he had Ferengi blood running through his veins, but in fact he was Betazoid through-and through. He was pretty good with his hands, but he was even better with his mind. Telepathic skimming was the bread and butter of his gambling prowess. Cheating the gaming tables was his biggest money maker, but it also came in handy on the docks, until the day he touched the wrong mind. A Cardassian mind wearing a Bajoran face. How could he forget ship service number PR-7849-CD-9001. It had been a routine patch and repair job, but once Marot had started working on the ship he found that the seemingly innocent exterior of the freighter was hiding the foundation of a Cardassian Scout Ship. Such a vessel was to be immediately reported to command, but opportunity knocked, and he answered. He struck a once in a lifetime deal with the faux Bajoran Captain, and now he was about to keep his end of the bargain. The charming Betazoid engineer busied himself with the routine maintenance of a VIP transport shuttle that was designed for long distance runs. It was a luxury ship, a people-hopper, made to accommodate first-class patrons on their journey to the next space or land port. The small ship only held a handful of people, which made for ample personal space, and added comfort, among them a robust replicator. Finishing up the engine check outside, Marot sealed the hatch and wiped his dirty hands on a clean rag. When he looked across the empty deck he saw a striking raven-haired woman headed straight for him. He smiled a greeting. His first thought was that she was beautiful. His second thought was, “what a shame.” T’Lea: Mister Marot? Dressed in black cargo pants, and a black clingy sleeveless shirt, the Vulcan-hybrid set her steely-blue sights on the only person working the dock. In the future she would look back on this very moment and kick herself for not questioning it. Marot: Yes. Lieutenant Commander T’Lea? The woman nodded and he offered a friendly hand. Marot: A pleasure to meet you. I must say, I was expecting something more… uniformed. It wasn’t just a comment about her attire, but her projected demeanor as well. It was contrary to the ears. And what lovely ears they were. T’Lea: Off duty. She took his hand and noticed that his touch had a strange sensation, almost erogenous. In that second she had to recall if she had taken her anti-Pon Farr pill that morning. Indeed she had, but the touch was still slightly disturbing. She quickly retracted her hand. Marot: Sorry about that. ::he wiped at his hand:: Fluids from the engine I was tuning up. He could tell that she didn’t suspect a thing. Marot: You had a question for me? About a service repair? Come on inside, I just need to run a system check. We can talk about it. (( Meanwhile, Lightside Station – Corridor 1876-109B, Commercial Section)) Karise had worn a pair of royal blue slacks and a durable, yet attractive, royal blue blouse. Completing the ensemble was a pair of black ankle boots with straps and silver buckles. The outfit was serviceable - after all, T’Lea hadn’t said what this mysterious holodeck adventure was - yet becoming. She told herself she wasn’t wearing the outfit to catch the RomuVulc woman’s eye. After all, it was part of her style and Karise had always been a bit vain. Her makeup had been carefully applied and her hair was pulled back and pinned in the back with a silver clasp shaped like little flowers. She was on her way to meet T’Lea at the station’s holodecks when she spotted the woman heading into the maintenance sections. More than a bit curious, she altered her course to find out what the woman was up to. If only she had remembered that old Terran saying about cats and curiosity… ((Back to: Kinsale Luxury Shuttle Transport)) The shuttle was amazing. The lap of luxury for those looking for the very best space flight. T’Lea glanced around, hardly noticing, and more focused on getting information out of Marot, than the classy surroundings. T’Lea: Yes. You provided maintenance for a ship I’m interested in locating. I sent you the service request number? Marot nodded and made his way to the shuttle’s cockpit, where he parked himself in the pilot’s seat and began performing pre-flight operations. Marot: Ah, right, right. I had to look it up and refresh my memory. We get a lot of ships passing through here, you know. Hard to keep track of them all. T’Lea: I understand. ::beat:: Is there anything you can tell me about the ship? Where it was heading? Who was the Captain? Anything unusual you may recall? Marot: Well, there was nothing special about the repairs, but the ship itself was not… um. Well, let’s just say looks can be deceiving. T’Lea: ::frown:: How so? Marot: Just a second. I need to get clearance. Once he sensed the woman had moved directly behind his seat, he paused the conversation and placed the call to operations. Within moments he was granted departure for a test flight. The next little pause was construed by T’Lea as a tactic to elicit a reward for his information. T’Lea: Two slips of latinum. She reached around him and slapped the slivers of money on the console. Marot wagged his head in a negative fashion, and then shifted to reach something under the console as if he needed to make a calibration to the hardware. Marot: No. I’m gonna need more than that. See, I’m a bit of a gambling man. It’s a guilty pleasure, ::smiling back at her:: or a bad habit. He chuckled. T’Lea rolled her eyes. She hated playing games. More latinum found its way to the console in front of Marot as she reached around him to make another deposit. At first, T’Lea thought that some part of the chair was poking her in the ribs, but when she looked down she saw a small civilian phaser jammed against her heart. Marot: Gonna need you, to be exact. T’Lea’s eyes darkened as she lifted them to meet his. Her answer was a simple threat to match his. T’Lea: No. Marot: I’m not asking. Now sit down. He skimmed her mind, but it was too late to reflex a response to her thought. Before he knew it she was on him with an elbow against his jugular, a wicked knee in his crotch, and the other hand repeatedly slamming his gripped phaser into the edge of the console. The action accidentally discharged a heavy stun blast into the command panel, causing a spray of sparks that quickly extinguished. T’Lea: Who the frell are you? The gorgeous woman was screaming at him, but all he could hear was the, “gush, gush, gush,” of blood that usually flowed to his head being starved. Was it strange that he found her even more attractive now that she was threatening to kill him? The faux Bajoran Captain had said that T’Lea was highly volatile. At the time he thought nothing of it. He figured it was a standard statement for him to be careful. Little did he realize that the lovely creature was a hybrid from hell. T’Lea: Answer me you piece of- Gush, gush, gush went the stressed circulation in his ears. He had to do something fast before he passed out. So he screamed. But not with his voice, with his mind. A loud, intense, high pitched shriek that pierced the ear drums of his victim, and probably more. Part 2 ((Lightside station – Corridor 538-46D, Maintenance Section)) Karise had lost sight of T’Lea. She knew the woman had come this way, but where she had gone, Karise couldn’t know. And then she was nearly knocked senseless by a telepathic shout. ((Kensale Shuttle)) T’Lea folded inwardly and away from the man she had captive in his seat. She reached for her head in searing pain, and then felt a boot plant itself in her chest and kick her away. Normally such an impact would have hurt, but it was nothing measured up to the agony lighting up her neural pathways. When the torture finally subsided, the Romu-vulc glanced up through stinging eyes and saw Marot shaking out his wrist and rubbing his neck. His phaser was now in the other hand, and aimed at her. Marot: ~~Sit the frak down. Now.~~ And make it easy for him? T’Lea: No. He didn’t need to skim her mind this time. He already knew the end result of her statement, and so he shot her. Down T’Lea crumbled to the deck landing unceremoniously on the floor. Marot: Damn it. This would have been so much easier if you had just sat down. He stuffed the phaser in the back of his belt, and reached down for T’Lea’s unconscious body. With great effort and a rather humorous struggle he managed to get her upright and start to move her toward a soft luxury recliner. He was almost there when an unexpected guest appeared in the shuttle door way. Karise had been able to determine the direction the mental shout had come from, so once she recovered her bearings, she scrambled in that direction. Whatever or whoever had done that had been desperate and could be injured. She found herself outside the door of a rather impressive looking shuttle. She stepped to the door to see if she could see who had shouted and saw a rather strange sight. T’Lea was being held by a man who Karise couldn’t recognize and it appeared she was unconscious. Indobri oO Was it T’Lea that had shouted? But it didn’t sound like her. Oo Karise didn’t like what she was seeing and decided she needed to do something. Clearly T’Lea was injured and was going to need some medical attention anyway. Indobri: Um...Excuse me… Marot froze with T’Lea in a rather curious embrace. How was he going to explain this? Marot: Oh. Oh, thank the gods. ::over his shoulder at the console:: There was a short. She said she wasn’t feeling well, and then passed out. Help me get her in the chair. Indobri oO Well, maybe it was her then. I should look her over, at the very least. Oo Indobri: Let me take a look at her. Karise stepped all the way inside and reached for T’Lea’s limp form. Marot: Who are you? What are you doing here? Grateful for the assistance from the cute woman, Marot literally handed T’Lea’s body over to her, which put all the difficulty on Indobri and allowed him enough time to make a decision about what to do with her. Indobri: I’m a doctor. Her doctor, in fact. Marot: Huh. Well that’s lucky. But not for you. He pulled the phaser on her. Marot: Take both comm badges off and throw them out the door. Karise froze at the sight of the phaser, doing her best not to panic. Clearly she had accidentally stumbled into something untoward. She had a quick flashback to the shared delusion and wondered just how much of T’Lea’s alter ego was really consistent with her true personality. Not that this was her fault. Karise was going to have to think fast if she was going to stay alive. She carefully laid T’Lea down, so as to not injure her any further than she already was. Indobri: Okay, easy. I am sure we can work things out here. Marot set the phaser to kill, and gave the weapon a firm point at Indobri. Marot: I need her alive. Not you. Get rid of the communicators and you live. Simple choice. Indobri: Alright. She slowly reached down and took T’Lea’s comm badge, then removed her own. Standing slowly, she moved around him, careful to keep him and the phaser in view. Indobri: :: as she spoke, she used her voice to cover the sound of her activating one of the comm badges :: What do you want with T’Lea? He strengthened his aim. Marot: Ask me again. Indobri: Alright, I will get rid of them. But we’re both Starfleet officers. You don’t really think you’re going to get far after kidnapping two of their officers, do you? Karise tossed the comm badges out, hopeful that whoever had been listening had heard enough to know they needed assistance. Marot: Now why did you go and do that? His mind brushed her motivations, which was surprisingly easy considering a Rodulan’s telepathic abilities. Did she want him to know, or was she truly that weak? No matter, while yanking the woman away from the door, he struck her across the face with the phaser, allowing him time to seal the hatch. Indobri: Ahhh. Take it easy. Marot: Now sit down and strap yourselves in. That phaser had really hurt and she wondered if he hadn’t knocked a few teeth loose. Karise moved back over to T’Lea and carefully lifted her and strapped her into a seat before moving to the one next to her and strapping herself in. Indobri: There. No more need for your demonstrations of strength. Marot: Thank you for your cooperation. He pulled the trigger unleashing a heavy stun. Karise barely had time to register the beam of red light before she lost all consciousness. Marot: Should have done that in the first place. With a shrug he checked the seat belts, and then headed to the cockpit. The two would be out long enough to meet the faux Bajoran Captain and complete the deal. Part 3 ((Lightside station – Kensale Shuttle – Dock C-83)) Hurried urgency drove the Betazoid into his seat, and since launch had already been approved for the test flight, he completed the task without delay. In a matter of short seconds the Kinsale luxury transport was up and away from the station with haste. For a short moment Marot sighed in relief and shook out his bruised wrist. The hybrid from hell had nearly broken it. He rubbed at his neck, and then shifted uncomfortably in his seat, recalling the unpleasant pressure applied to both areas during the struggle. Content that he had avoided any further obstacles, thanks to the Rodulan, Marot relaxed and set the flight plan to warp out. All was well, until the alarms on his helm controls started wailing. A vicious swear word spat across his lips and he frantically tried to work around the problem that had been triggered when warp attempted to initiate. Major relay systems must have shorted out when the phaser discharged into the console. It looked like a good portion of the helm and propulsion system was fried. That b*tch of a hybrid was a pain in the ass even when stunned, he thought. Computer: Warning unsafe atmospheric entry in twenty seconds. Marot: Atmosph— He ripped his eyes from the damaged flight controls and saw a sight that made his facial features drop in horror. The planet near Lightside station was fast approaching on a deadly course. Marot: Computer correct flight path to two-one-nine-three. The computer chirped at the request, and Marot hoped. Computer: Unable to comply. Marot: Frak! He jumped out of his seat and took the co-pilot's chair thinking that maybe the singed components hadn’t traveled that far. Desperate to find a solution before they burned up in the planet’s atmosphere, Marot tried the other flight console. The response there was hardly any better. Marot: C’mon you piece of dren… Computer: Warning unsafe atmospheric entry in fifteen seconds. Marot: I know! I know! Shut up! In a last ditch effort he split the working parts of each station between the co-pilot and pilot’s consoles. A sputtering impulse engine responded to the course correction. Computer: Warning unsafe atmospheric entry in nine seconds. Marot: No, no, no… With the shuttle beginning to quake, he stretched over to the co-pilot’s console and clamored to make the correction again. His wrist burned from the previous abuse, and his heart pounded in terror as the shuttle descended on a kamikaze dive toward the planet’s ozone layer. Computer: Trajectory accepted. Warning unsafe atmospheric entry in three, two- Marot: ::spoken super-fast:: Computer send out a distress signal on back channel Beta-three. Secure it. He didn’t want Starfleet picking it up, and he knew his contact was close. He thought he heard the computer’s chirpy little reply, but couldn’t be certain as he fell into the chair closest to him. The G-forces pulled him into the seat as the shuttle made fiery contact with the atmosphere. He had been able to coax the flight path a little, but the craft was going to take a beating. Lucky for him and his unconscious passengers on board, the planet’s ozone layer had been depleted enough to not be quite as deadly as it could have been in times past. Still, it was no joy ride and the shields were taking the brunt of the punishment. Suddenly, the white hot flames parted and the abysmal landscape of the planet came into view. Computer: Shields holding at thirty-seven percent. Impact in twenty-four seconds. Course correction advised. Marot: No kidding! He strained against the forces pushing him back and managed to get to his feet. Dividing his efforts between the two consoles, he was able to pull the nose of the vessel up at a more friendly angle to the rapidly approaching ground. Marot: Reverse thrusters. Initiate. C’mon. Initiate! Computer: Impact in twelve seconds. The nightmare roller coaster ride just didn’t seem to end for Marot. He had escaped the frying pan, and now he was about to land right in the fryer. One more system reroute and he tried again as the view grew into a ruined planet, ravaged by the careless toxic neglect of its past occupants. Computer: Reverse thrusters engaged. It was a small triumph as the shuttle slowed shortly before impact. The vessel skipped like a stone across rough waters. The shields shimmered as the ground made contact. Huge plumes of ashen-dirt erupted as the craft rolled out of control and landed upside down in a camouflage of ancient city remains and a peculiar contaminant of overgrowth. Quiet settled across the abandoned land once more. And an eerie stillness gripped the battered transport vessel. Lieutenant Commander T’Lea Trouble-maker Extraordinaire! Historian/Archaeology Specialist USS Juneau Author ID I238301T10 & Lt Commander Karise Indobri, MD Chief Medical Officer USS Juneau NX-99801 A239412S10
  23. 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
  24. 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 =========================
  25. 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 =================================
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