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  1. ((Starbase 118; Deck 507 - CSO Office)) Familiar Voice: Well now, here we are again. Still think I should be the one sitting there though. ::It was said with a laugh, even if what was said sounded a little biting - the friendly tone was enough to disarm Richard. Blinking dumbly up from the sea of paperwork that he was attempting to get through during his shore leave -holding up in his office for hours on end had seemed like a brilliant idea the previous morning- Richard found himself looking at a ghost.:: Grant: Sir. Matthews: Grant! ::Okay, a figurative ghost of sorts. Hollie Grant had been the bane of Richard's carer when he had taken his posting on the Vigilant. While not his aid, Richard had worked directly alongside the first CSO during the Vigilant's launch. When said CSO had been relieved of duty almost immediately after they had gotten the ship into orbit - Relieved of duty wasn't the right term exactly- Richard had done his darndest to hold down the fort until Solor, the replacement CSO could take over. Somehow, during that time he had impressed the higher ups and made it into their good graces. Again, not actually officially becoming the chief's aid, because that position was already filled, but unofficially he'd had the job, and with that unofficial status had come a rather surprising promotion to CSO a short time later.:: ::The real Chief Science officer's aid hadn't taken kindly to being shoehorned - and Richard had had to deal with the very efficient and capable officer's ire as he was offered promotions- effectively stepped over her on the way up the career ladder.:: Grant: Lieutenant Matthews, ::She grinned.:: ::Of course, a few close calls and after a few years of working so close together, a truce had been called and a shaky friendship had formed. When the two had gone their separate ways, they had promised to keep in touch. Richard heading off for Earth and Hollie to her next big adventure in space - where she said she would have to babysit another chief science officer more than likely. They had exchange a transmission here and there, standard how do you do's, anything exciting explode today's? Last time they'd spoke Richard had been bragging about his new posting that he hadn't inherited this time from a dead colleague. Grant had said nothing about having time off or visiting 118 on business.:: Matthews: It's good to see you, don't get me wrong, but why are you here? Grant: I'm reporting for duty, ::She handed him a data padd he hadn't noticed her holding.:: looks like we'll be working together again, do you already have an aid? Matthews: I honestly don't know, just getting settled in, probably haven't met them yet if there is. ::He shrugged.:: The base is a little bigger than ops. Grant: ::Laughing:: Good. Matthews: ::Thumbing through the padd.:: So you're transferring to 118? Grant: I've been here for a couple of weeks, overseeing the transfer of equipment and files. Matthews: that makes 19. Grant: ::Frowning.:: 19 what? Matthews: Vigilant crewmembers that serve here now, T'Lia and Miz are on their way in, Octavi has been heading up the anthropological department for the past six months. Apparently, Stin married his girlfriend and is living onboard as a civilian - they had their first kid and he's doing the stay home dad thing. ::Hollie nodded in that way that said 'yes, I already know exactly what you are telling me.' Even if she hadn't known - it was the little things that used to annoy him about her. Okay, still did, not two minutes into a conversation and he was already running ideas of where to stick her next.:: ::Good thing they were friends now! Or he'd order her to go help Vell do something.:: Matthews: Well since you've been onboard a while, I guess that means I don't have to show you around- ::He would have said something along the lines of 'so show yourself out then,' or 'which means you can leave now, so go on, go.' But the tell tale crackle of his comm badge coming to life silenced him.:: Mboma: =/\=Sir, we have the results back on the satellite.=/\= Grant: What satellite? Matthews: ::Motioning for Hollie to be quite.:: =/\= That's great Mboma, I'm on the way.:: ::He got up, throwing Hollie's padd on the table with all the other ones. He'd get to it later - assuming there was anything there that needed his signature to. But more than likely who ever had ordered and oversaw the transfer before Richard got the job, had dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. If not he would have been hearing about this a whole lot sooner.:: ::It did beg to question what an officer who any CSO would kill to have serving with them was doing on a starbase, where she was not playing second in command to the science department?:: Matthews: Walk with me. ::like the Vigilant mock two and the Darwin -which thoughts of still made Richard go week in the knees- Starbase 118 boasted to a quite a few decks for the science department. Right now they were on deck 506 -506 and 507 being the main science offices where all the paper work and such was done. In total there were at least 54 levels for his department and Richard loved getting to visit everyone of them. It was why he had been making visits to each level when a minion reported something, as opposed to them just sending him a report to read.:: Grant: So? ::She asked following him down the hallway to the left.:: Matthews: A satellite of unknown origin was brought back from an away mission. It has relevance to the incident a few days ago, when the new command staff took over. Grant: The freak ion storm and the attack. Matthews: One in the same, we've been analyzing it since we got back - er after that whole incident with the riots and such. Grant: What have you found? Matthews: That's what we're about to find out. ((Starbase 118; Deck 548 - Holodeck)) ::Having holodecks for the very purpose of work was a novelty. One that Richard didn't think he would be getting over any time soon. No more kicking people out and having to deal with complaints that their free time had been infringed on, or worse, demanding more time which then made other people want more time. Not that Richard had to deal with scheduling, but he did have to deal with the duty officers who made them, and those guys could be so uptight.:: Matthews: ::Strolling into the room:: What's the word? ::The order of the day was garage meets messy science lab. A facsimile of the satellite that they had brought back, stood in the middle of the room. Just a little off to the side was a bank of computers and monitors, with a lone science officer waiting for them at the station. Mboma: Sir, a lot actually, ::He gestured to the holographic image of the satellite.:: The hardware wasn't too badly damaged. We were able to recover quite a lot from the satellite's onboard computer. It's just kind of usless. Grant: Useless how? Mboma: Well, we had thought that we could deduce the satellite's origins by looking at the programming. That didn't work - different computer languages went into programming the satellite's computer systems. Grant: Meaning? Matthews: That whoever did this didn't want to make it easy on us to find them. But I didn't think we'd track down the culprits that easily. My money was on the hardware. Mboma: And you were right. ::He tapped out a command at the station, and the holographic image exploded into a 3D blue print display.:: We've got the trigger for the storm, a neutrino inverter. Grant: Romulan Tech. Mboma: Yes, and no, ::He smiled, and pointed to one of the monitors.:: See that's a neurtrino inverter, a real one, and that, ::he pointed to a second monitor.:: that is the one we found on the sat. You wouldn't notice by just looking, but the one on the satellite is a fake Romulan neutrino inverter. Grant: It's a fake. Mboma: It's real. Matthews: Explain. Mboma: It's a real inverter, made obvious by the storm we all saw, but it's not Romulan. During the scans we noticed the parts didn't match up. Some are significantly older and more worn than others are. When we looked closer we realized that most of the parts? Federation tech. Matthews: Great, are we scanning the parts to see if they match up with any reported stolen? Mboma: Already on it, nothings shown up yet, but we're only halfway through. Matthews: And everything here could have been procured legally for all we know. ::Worrying his bottom lip.:: Send everything you've got so far to intel, we're turning this over to them. Grant: What? Matthews: The real fake Romulan device could either be a fake to throw suspicion on the Romulans. Or it could be real, but faked to divert our suspicions from the Romulans. Either way this falls under intels territory. They'll have an easier time of figuring this out. Grant: That makes no sense. Matthews: I know, most cloak and dagger stuff makes no sense to me either; it's why I hate spy movies. And why I'm washing my hands of this while I have the chance. Grant: Just like that? Matthews: Yes, of course I'll offer whatever aid the boys in intel might need, but this will fall under the chief intel officer's jurisdiction. Thankfully, I won't have to play CSI . . . again. ::Richard shuddered.:: Mboma: Don't worry sir, I'll handle this, aren't you scheduled for shore leave? Matthews: ::Laughing.:: Yeah, just haven't gotten to that yet. Grant: What? Richard Matthews not jumping at the chance to slack off? Matthews: Quiet you. Alright Mboma, you got this, if you need anything I'm just a comm away, okay? Mboma: Go already, I don't need to deal with you when you're tired and cranky later. Matthews: Hey! I'm always a treat to deal with. ::Richard pretended not to notice the looks that Mboma and Grant shot each other. Treacherous underlings.:: Grant: Come on, if you're on shore leave then it's perfectly fine to catch up over dinner, wings? My treat. Matthews: ::Richard nodded, his momma had taught him not to say no to free food, it was rude.:: And you can tell me why you're hear. Grant: All in due time, shoptalk later, and hey is Kellan around? We have so much to catch up on. Matthews: ::Following along after Grant.:: Yeah, yeah we do. TBC: Lt. Richard Matthews MD Chief Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops
  2. ((Tiam's Quarters)) ::Her quarters were illuminated only by the faint dark purple glow of her artificial window. The image of a swirling nebula glittered above the bed of the young Betazoid woman. The countless pillows that adorned her bed were tossed unceremoniously around the room. Her plush comforter had become tangled, wrapped around her legs. Though the room was cool, a thin sheen of sweat had covered her pale skin. Instead of the deep and uninterrupted breaths of a peaceful sleeper, hers were shallow and intermittent.:: ((Dreamscape)) ::Sabina stood in the middle of an elaborate hallway. The marble under her feet was beautifully placed in shimmering spirals of white and silver. The walls too were ornate and covered with tapestries and oil paintings depicting the great history and mythology of her home planet. Paintings of members of Betazed’s ruling houses long gone since the works were commissioned hung alongside gorgeous landscape pieces of some of the most vivid natural wonders of her world. She would learn the names of those people and places by heart one day. She would study them under her mother’s guidance, committing the information to memory as if it were one of the most important things a person could know.:: ::But not today. Today was the last day of her very first visit to the capitol. Being only nine or ten, her father had taken her and was showing her all the places he worked. He was sure to remind her that she too could grow up to live in the capitol, working to make their home the best place it could be. She had prattled on with question after question; wanting to know every detail about the people and places they encountered. Her father had been so good natured, answering all he could. But something had been different that morning. Something about him…:: ::And now, in this fevered memory, she knew what it was. As the realization hit Sabina’s subconscious, The world around her began to rumble. Fear swelled in the young girl’s belly and she ran. Her small footsteps echoed in the hall and she willed her body to move faster. The booming crashes from outside were growing louder, Sabina whipped her head from one side to the other, trying to spot her father in the maze of offices and official chambers.:: ::Breathing heavily now, she called out for him. There were screams outside the building. Tears welled in her dark eyes, obscuring her vision. Finally, her small body collided with the lower half of another, much taller, person. She looked up, desperately hoping for help. Before she could see clearly who it was, the man had already picked her up and was running with her clutched tightly against his chest. It was an embrace she would know anywhere and for the briefest of moments relief washed over her. Her father had found her. He was with her now and she would be safe. Whatever was going on, he would protect her through it.:: ::As he ran out of the building, heading swiftly for it’s annex, Sabina had no choice but to look at what had triggered the chaos. She could see buildings that had stood just yesterday turned to smoking rubble. She saw too that they weren’t the only ones running. So many people filled the walkways that had been lovely yesterday in a panic. Some carried injured, some simply gave in, collapsing there on the pavement in heavy heaps of desperation.:: ::As they reached their destination, a man stood waiting for them. Sabina recognized him as her father’s assistant.:: Bre’eth: Micah! ::He called out to Sabina’s father.:: ::Micah handed Sabina over to him, prompting tearful protests from the child.:: Micah Tiam: Take her! You know the way? ::He referred to the emergency evacuation route all government employees were trained to follow.:: Bre’eth: We’ll wait for you at the checkpoint, just outside the city. Micah Tiam: No. ::She had never heard her father sound so commanding.:: You get her transport back to Ritva as soon as possible. I’ll return when I can. ::There was a moment between the two men that Sabina was not privy to, but whatever reservations Janji Bre’eth might have had were firmly put to bed. The men shared a nod and both began to move. Bre’eth was taking her to safety, taking her home. But Sabina had to watch as her father ran back, straight into the face of danger.:: ::That was when the ground opened in front of her father, stopping him dead in his tracks. Up out of the ground came a creature. A large, serpentine beast covered in a rancid goo faced her father. A mask made of mismatched features adorned the snake’s head, like a Picasso come to life. The creature reared up with a roar-:: ((Present)) ::With a stinging intake of air, Sabina shot up in bed. Her chest heaved as she tried actively to remind herself that she was fine. She was on the Starbase. It was just a dream. That was all.:: ::Slowly, she climbed out of bed, replacing the discarded pillows as she made her way into the living space. Clearly, what she had gone through during their encounter with the telepathic entity and Y-Rocck was still reverberating through her. It gave her chills to know her mind could be read through and manipulated so easily. All her life she had trained to make sure that wasn’t the case. She was young, but she had put in the hours and she was a skilled telepath by any measure. Still, it hadn’t mattered at all to these beings. And know her own memories were her nightmares; her fears and vulnerabilities throttled to the forefront of her mind.:: ::Retrieving a cup of tea from the replicator, Sabina sat on her couch. She pulled one of the throw pillows over and hugged it against her chest with a sigh. Checking the chronometer, she lamented at the early hour. She wanted to call someone. Not out of need, of course. She was fine. She was fine with all of it. What was in the past couldn’t harm her, and nor could her dreams so, there was no real reason to be upset. But still, she wanted to reach out to someone. Maybe just to have them listen, to be witness to her authentically.:: ::But, Misha was traveling and Sabina didn’t think she had quite forged friendships here on the Starbase that would withstand early morning “Hey, how are you? I just had a totally weird dream!” calls. So, she would approach the situation differently. Perhaps she would have to make good on her promise to set an appointment with counseling quicker than she had expected.:: ::For now though, tea. Tea, breakfast, and a little R and R.:: Lt.Jg. Sabina Tiam Tactical Officer SB:118 Ops
  3. ((Executive Officer's Office - StarBase 118 ops)) ::It was early in the morning. So early that Sal hadn't even gotten his Rigellian orange cider cool enough to start drinking, he was just sitting and enjoying the heady, peppery citrus smell it had. Early enough that he felt he was alone, that the rest of the station was sleeping and everything was still. So when there was a ring for entry he jumped to attention with a startled expression. He had no appointments, and quite frankly he expected most of the people who wanted to talk to him were still sleeping or nursing hangovers.:: Taybrim: ::Brows knitting in confusion:: Come in? ::The Bajoran man who entered was young, and still bore a nervous energy to his gentle demeanor. Long yellow robes embroidered carefully with traditional swirls and symbols in a light green color swished around his feet and his brown eyes gazed back at the executive officer with a look of awe and conviction. An elaborate and obviously antique Bajoran earring graced his ear, and his hair was swept back in the austere style of the Janalan order of the Bajoran religion. Durial: Lieutenant Commander Taybrim, Sir? ::He dipped his head politely:: I am Prylar Durial Manas. I... I hope I am not interrupting. Taybrim: ::Sal's gaze turned from confusion to curiosity. He waved a hand to a nearby chair.:: Please, Prylar Durial, have a seat. ::he waited, warming his hands on his cider before setting it aside and querying gently:: What brings you here? Durial: I came to ask a favor, Commander. ::He took in a short breath:: I do not mean to seem untoward... ::trailing off:: Taybrim: While things may not always be granted, they may freely be asked. Please, speak your mind. Durial: ::he steadied himself, leaning forward as his voice took on a deeply passionate tone:: Commander, many have suffered in the past days. Some have died. I was approached by two Bajoran families who lost loved ones in the riots, asking for services for the fallen. I agreed, but over the night the Prophets spoke to me. There were more than two who fell, and many who were injured. Perhaps others would appreciate the comfort of having somewhere to grieve and have a memorial to the fallen? Taybrim: ::he nodded slowly, considering it:: What do you propose? Durial: I am unsure how many other faiths are represented on this station, but I know I am the only monk of my order this far out. That said, I do not wish to proselytize, but offer comfort. My order is committed to the well being of others, and I believe it is important to offer a place of peace. ::He paused, chewing his lip as if he realized he was rambling:: There is an empty shop in the Promenade in section 24A. I was hoping it could serve as a temporary memorial and place of remembrance. ::Sal took in the man's innocent, hopeful gaze. He seemed to have both great faith and the charming virtue of youth. The counselor in Sal saw great value in offering solace to those who were mourning, though he wanted a bit more information from the monk. He could tell the man's heart was in the right place - but whether he had a plan in place was a much different question:: Taybrim: Prylar Durial, can you tell me how you would set up your sanctuary? Durial: ::He blinked, looking as if his mind was working faster than his mouth could handle:: It is not elaborate, and not much is needed. A traditional Bajoran sanctuary includes candles to represent the lights of hope, as well as a gong that calls out the passage of the spirit to the prophets. Beyond that there would need to be tables and space for memorials, and chairs for those attending to sit in. The rest must come from the families. At least to remember the fallen. But I am willing to set the space up, and willing to take it down when needed. ::Nodding slowly, he mulled it over. It wasn't surprising that the monk would think in terms of austerity and charity. The whole project seemed to be quite feasible, and while there were always questions of who might be offended by the religious presentation considering the circumstances he believed the simple act of hospitality would far outweigh the possible political throwback. Besides - Durial had asked and acted where others had not. That initiative counted for something:: Taybrim: I believe that sounds quite reasonable. ::beat:: Have you contacted the families of the other victims? Durial: ::The monk nodded:: I have gotten into contact with eight of them who wish to set up a memorial for their loved ones as well as the two Bajoran families who are willing to help tend the sanctuary. There are still some families that I do not have contact information for, but I intend to let all know that they are welcome. Taybrim: ::he picked up a PADD and made a note for the quartermaster, before giving his official sign off on the space:: I believe an offer of peace and hospitality, given freely and with compassion is an integral part of the healing process. Prylar Durial, you have my permission to use that space, and I have sent your authorization to the quartermaster. You will need to meet with her and discuss basic set up. Durial: ::excitement and relief bled through his young features:: Thank you, Commander! I promise good works will be done! Taybrim: ::he nodded:: I trust so. Best wishes on your endeavors, and thank you for offering such a service. ::Sal leaned back as Durial rushed out to start making preparations. He found himself smiling, considering how thankful he was that in the wake of the disaster the station was seeming to pull together to rebuild and renew itself. While he would have preferred that there was never any riots nor vicious demon-aliens, there was a thick thread of hope underneath the pain that seemed to shine through. He made a note to check on the young Bajoran monk later in the day, and see how the sanctuary was recieved. ~*~ tbc ~*~ Lt. Commander Sal Taybrim Executive Officer StarBase 118 Ops and NPC Prylar Durial Manas Janalan Order of the Prophets Starbase 118 Ops
  4. ((Deck 3 - USS Atlantis)) ::Ren Rennyn arrived outside his quarters to find a nervous Vulcan waiting for him.:: SOVAK: Ren. I... Hello. ::The look on Sovak's face said he was eager to talk. His body language said he was anxious to run away.:: RENNYN: Yeah, I Hello, too. ::Ren didn't know how to feel. He'd known Sovak since their first day at the Academy. They'd been roommates through thick and thin in some of the most stressful, intense, significant years of their lives, training to be officers and explorers of the galaxy. Sovak had been through a lot in his quest to become a better Vulcan, to reach the control of emotion that was like second nature to so many of his people back home. Ren had never thought to explore any feelings beyond friendship. He didn't know how to think about it now.:: ::The Trill did his best to always stay cool, to be laid-back and take things as they come. Not to get upset or bent out of shape. Sometimes, that could backfire.:: ::He opened the door and motioned to Sovak to follow him inside. They both stood and looked at the mess of flowers Sovak had put there, the romantic gesture of his temporary, mind-altered, space-cloud-affected insanity. Neither man knew what to say.:: ::Rover floated in behind them.:: RENNYN: Don't mind him, Sovak. Just my shadow. ::Ren walked further into the room. He found himself automatically following the track of crushed flowers he'd made earlier, not to destroy any more. It wasn't easy. He picked up a paloue blossom, native to Trill. They'd grown in wide, fragrant patches all around his home.:: ::For the first time since taking Ren's form, Rover billowed and swirled and became a cloud again, reducing in size and floating away to rest in a corner near the ceiling.:: RENNYN: Good boy. ::The Trill wished he could do the same about now.:: ::Sovak stepped forward and cleared his throat. He looked more awkward than ever before. He looked more confident than ever before.:: SOVAK: Ren. You got my flowers? ::Rennyn couldn't hate the attempt at humor. It was just the kind of thing he would say. He waited for more. Sovak swallowed hard and began.:: SOVAK: I am sorry I did not tell you sooner how I feel. It must be obvious now. On the advice of a friend, I am here to tell you directly, because I do not want to risk being unclear. Ren, if my struggles to control my emotions, to rise above them and live as other Vulcans do, have seemed to go poorly for me, it is because there are some feelings I do not think I wish to live without. The way I feel when I am with you, for example, is a feeling I cherish. It is my fervent hope that you could feel that way too. So. I am here. ::Ren was silent. He was very aware of the angry contortions on his own face, but he wasn't sure what he was angry about. Sovak for saying all this? Himself for not already knowing? Rover for being so danged colorful and innocent? He was so tired he could barely think. He picked an unreasonable place to start.:: RENNYN: And who exactly where you discussing me with? SOVAK: Lt. Ravenscroft. As a man partnered with a fellow Starfleet officer, his advice seemed appropriate to our situation. RENNYN: OUR situation? ::Ren was pacing back and forth now. He couldn't get his head clear. He couldn't think.:: SOVAK: I found I needed to discuss us with an external source. RENNYN: Us. US. US? You're working from a lot of assumptions here. ::Sovak blinked serenely.:: SOVAK: You must remain calm. ::Here it came. The backfire. The tantrum, welling up from deep within. Ren felt so angry, he could barely get a word out of his mouth.:: RENNYN: You d-- That f-- nnf-Guh--! SOVAK: Ren, please sit down. I am concerned for your blood pressure. RENNYN: My bl-- Fluh-- SOVAK: Are you hyperventilating? Shall I replicate a paper bag? RENNYN: AAAAUURGH!!! ::Ren exploded in one of his loudest tantrums yet. His face was a brighter red than his uniform, and smoke may have billowed from his ears. Sovak and his infuriatingly sideways logic!:: RENNYN: You wrong way, backwards-brained Vulcan! Just because some dang fool cut rate counselor lite with nothing but a psych degree by marriage and more mouth than sense told you to chuck all with basic dang thinking and rush on over here with your hot-blooded heart on your half-baked, feelings-ridden, passion-obsessed, illogical, headlong hobgoblin sleeve doesn't give you the right to lurk outside my quarters and come in here so infuriatingly calm and logical and talk sense to me like I'm the one pulling addle-brain, loon-crazy stunts like this! ::He threw the paloue blossom down for emphasis.:: SOVAK: You are being unreasonable. RENNYN: You bet I'm being reasonable! Oh, that's not what you said. Well dang it, Sovak, I'm right about this! SOVAK: There's no need to yell. ::The flashing white lights in the corner let Ren know he was upsetting Rover. He breathed and forced himself to calm down.:: RENNYN: You're right. I'm sorry. You don't deserve to be hollered at. You know my temper. I'm sorry. SOVAK: I find your tantrums charming. ::Ren immediately went back to yelling.:: RENNYN: You find my tantrums charming! What the - what? Guhhh--! Since when? That's what I want to know! Since when? ::He sat down, trying to find some calm. Sovak hadn't done anything wrong, but this was all so much to think about, Ren could hardly figure his way through it. He realized how many flowers he'd sat on and jumped back up again. They were all over him. He spun in a circle, brushing them off. Varieties of pollen stuck to his uniform. Rover swirled in a new pattern that might have been laughter or sympathy. When Ren stopped spinning and swatting at himself, he found Sovak looking miserable.:: SOVAK: Have I ruined our friendship? ::Ren stood very still a moment. He hadn't been fair. At the least he had to appreciate Sovak's honesty, and how difficult it must have been to come by it. He stepped forward and reached out, holding Sovak's shoulders in an uncertain grip. It was a first contact. It was at arm's length.:: RENNYN: This is a lot to think about. To reconsider. I need a little time. I don't want to put you through that, but it's how I feel. I'm exhausted from this mission, I'm tired. I've got heartburn from all that fried food. I've got this guy, this swirling space joker, over my shoulder every minute. I'm kind of loving him, but come on. He followed me into the shower. I've got -- ::He wanted to complain about the flowers all over everything, but they were beautiful. They were in the way, they were excessive, but they were beautiful. And he'd crushed enough of them for one day.:: RENNYN: Let me get my head down and sleep. Is that okay? ::Sovak backed away, breaking the touch. Squaring off to face the Trill outright, directly, he nodded. His apparently calm Vulcan demeanor had remained intact through most of the exchange. Ren knew this Vulcan well, or thought he did. That calmness meant he was particularly broken up inside.:: SOVAK: I am patient. ::A silence ensued that was very like Sovak, but very unlike Ren. Rover read the room and stayed dark. At last, having had enough of trying to read the Trill's face, the Vulcan moved again.:: SOVAK: I've provided you with access to my room. RENNYN: What the--? SOVAK: I mean nothing by it. I thought you could sleep. While you do, I'll clean up here. RENNYN: That... is very thoughtful of you. SOVAK: Rover can stay with me, so that you may be alone. RENNYN: Alright... SOVAK: And your room will be in order when you return. ::It was a good plan. It was considerate. Ren feared he was being unkind, letting Sovak say all that about his feelings, then yelling at him and running away. Then again, he'd been ambushed by this. He needed the space.:: ::To prove his intentions, Sovak began gathering some nearby flowers.:: RENNYN: Be good, Rover. ROVER: Good night. ::Ren was feeling alright now. Not so bad. The thought of laying a kiss on that sweet, goofy Vulcan wasn't entirely disagreeable. Afraid of that thought, he instead moved to the door, standing close enough to open it, exposing them to the corridor outside.:: ::He turned back to the Vulcan.:: RENNYN: You know what? Leave me a few of those flowers, okay? Some larkspur, alcenthas. The paloues are nice... ::He started to turn, scratched his head, turned again, and left before he said anything more. The door closed. On opposite sides, both men breathed deeply and tried not to panic.:: Ensign Rendal Rennyn Helm Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 & Ensign Sovak Ops simmed by Ren Rennyn
  5. ((Gymnasium, USS Atlantis)) ::Ravenscroft stormed in as soon as the doors slid open, snatching a pair of red boxing gloves from the wall and shoving his hands into them roughly as he made a beeline towards his favorite section of the gym. He stopped abruptly. That sound. No. Someone was abusing his punching bag!:: ::As he drew cautiously nearer, his face all red from anger and frustration and embarrassment, he stopped short once again. The Vulcan who had punched his nose was now punching the life out of the cylindrical jet-black bag.:: RAVENSCROFT: ::expression somewhere between shock and amusement:: oO O-kay.. .. Oo ::The flame-haired linguist flashed a smile as he approached and stopped a meter away from the ensign, before shooting out a hand to stop the swinging bag.:: RAVENSCROFT: Keep your elbows bent and close to your sides. Hit the bag at chest level and more to the sides of the bag. ::Continuing his angry pummeling of the bag, the Vulcan didn't look up at Ravenscroft's appearance in front of him. Instead, he adjusted his elbows and focused his hits as directed.:: RAVENSCROFT: The point of contact should be your knuckles, not the mid-shaft of the bones of your fingers. Not unless you want to fracture them. ::Sovak stopped short of throwing another hit. He stepped back, freeing his hands of the gloves with his teeth.:: SOVAK: I did not know that. Vulcan youths are instructed in combat tactics, but are not taught how to throw a punch. ::His gloves were coming off.:: SOVAK: Perhaps that is why my hand throbbed with pain so long after I hit you. Sir, again I apologize. RAVENSCROFT: ::shrugging:: It'll heal. I'm good. ::The Vulcan had become accustomed to apologizing for his own bizarre behaviors, but never got used to accepting forgiveness. He nodded slightly, obviously embarrassed.:: SOVAK: I note that your face has already returned to its previous form. Dr. DyAmone performed her duties well. ::The Vulcan ensign looked as though he was going to say something more, but didn't. An awkward moment passed before Ravenscroft continued.:: RAVENSCROFT: So.. this is like the second time you surprised me today, ensign Sovak. SOVAK: Indeed. This day has been full of surprises. RAVENSCROFT: *Full* of surprises? ::coaxing:: Do explain. SOVAK: I mean only... I mean that Atlantis has experienced several unexpected turns in its current mission. ::Their eyes met directly, and the Vulcan's looked a little watery, like some emotion was trying to run out of them. It was clear he wasn't telling the truth like a Vulcan should. Then again, many of his actions weren't those of a good Vulcan. His speech patterns and the tone of his voice were measured and controlled like those of his people, but his face expressed something different. Sovak turned away, working at his boxing gloves, tightening them onto his hands again.:: ::Emerson noticed the glistening of the Vulcan's eyes just before he turned away. Too late. The pale-skinned giant's curiosity had been sufficiently stoked. There was no turning back now.:: SOVAK: I see you have gloves of your own. If I am in the way of your workout, I will step aside. RAVENSCROFT: ::smashing his gloved fists together:: No reason why we can't both enjoy a workout. Besides, I need to blow off some steam too. How about a friendly sparring session? ::Sovak considered extracting himself from the situation. As odd as he was for a Vulcan, he was not antisocial. However, the way Ravenscroft continued to beat his fists together, combined with the angry gleam in his eye, was intimidating. The Vulcan weighed that against the fact that Ravenscroft was his superior, and that, in a way, he "owed him one." There was no logic in running away now.:: SOVAK: I will join you. RAVENSCROFT: Sweet. ::gesturing with a turn of his head, fiery hair flying:: Let's go over there. ::They headed to a corner of the gym where there was a square blue rubberized mat on the floor. Emerson jumped up and down to warm up while patiently waiting for the ensign to open up to him. He received a question instead.:: SOVAK: You said you are here to blow off steam. Is there a reason? ::The Vulcan hoped the Terran's answer would not be "because you hit me in the face today.":: RAVENSCROFT: Something the doctor said. I didn't like it. oO Because she's right. Oo SOVAK: It can be difficult to listen to what we do not want to hear. ::He stretched, preparing for the bout. He may not have known how to throw a punch, but years of Parrises Squares had made him an athlete, and he did not shy away from competition. It was the only outlet for his anger.:: Are you very upset? RAVENSCROFT: ::stretching his arms one at a time above his head:: Let's just say that I'm a little frustrated. I miss someone so badly it hurts so this ::pounding his fists together again:: is for the physical pain that I hope will replace the emotional one. So how about you? Why all the sudden unbridled emotions? SOVAK: ::stopping, and looking embarrassed again.:: How can you tell? RAVENSCROFT: ::grinning wryly:: I've been living with a counselor for close to two years now, so I can spot repressed emotion just waiting to erupt, anytime. Shall we begin? SOVAK: Of course. ::Sovak was confused, thrown off. Ravenscroft had a way of making the Vulcan put his guard down and up again with alarming frequency. He faced the flame-haired Terran squarely.:: ::The linguist bounced on the balls of his feet but maintained his distance from the ensign. He wanted the Vulcan to make the first few moves, to gauge the speed of his strikes, his weak spots. All the while wondering if he would ever open up to him as to what was roiling and eating him up inside.:: SOVAK: My attempts to disguise my emotions do not always work. Many people see a Vulcan before them, and assume I have no feelings. ::The Vulcan tried a few jabs, but the lieutenant easily avoided them.:: You already know better about me, following our earlier incident. I must admit, it is a relief to talk about it with someone who knows I have little control over my emotions. ::The Vulcan threw a wilder punch, and received a glancing blow to the forearm in exchange.:: SOVAK: I assume your problem involves Commander Blueheart. In your personal relationship, if not in your professional one, you have some amount of equal say, do you not? You say you miss him... RAVENSCROFT: ::avoiding a punch to the face:: But I can't do much about it. ::remembering the doctor's words:: I don't want to come between him and his ship. I'd never want that, never in a million years. ::sighing:: Maybe with time we'll learn to manage our schedules well and enjoy each other's company again. But in the meantime, while we both rediscover our comfort zones, ::He threw a couple of punches at his opponent.:: this will have to do. SOVAK: ::almost smiling.:: This is indeed emotionally therapeutic. RAVENSCROFT: Have you ever been in a relationship, Sovak? ::For a moment, Sovak had forgotten his troubles. The question stunned him out of that, and he couldn’t help stopping where he was, arms dropped to his sides. Ravenscroft's jab landed squarely, horribly, with a sickening crunch, under the Vulcan's defenseless left eye.:: SOVAK: Ow! RAVENSCROFT: What the hell?! ::He recoiled back in shock.:: Why did you do that for?! ::The Vulcan hadn't gone down, but he was KO'd, done for the day.:: SOVAK: ::blinking rapidly and trying not to touch his face.:: I did owe you one. RAVENSCROFT: Okay, as suspicious as it looks, that was NOT vengeance! I assure you. ::guiding him to a sitting position along the wall:: Here, sit. How do you feel? ::They sat down together against the wall, Sovak wincing as his own curious hand reached for the bruising area, stopped by the glove that still held it.:: SOVAK: I would characterize it as being "puffy." RAVENSCROFT: Puffy is okay. Woozy not so okay. ::Sovak collapsed backwards against the wall and sighed, forgetting the pain. Ravenscroft had shocked him with his words and his fist. And he deserved an answer.:: SOVAK: In response to your question, I must admit I have never been in a relationship. Vulcans do not date. Some will experiment once they arrive at the Academy or move to another planet among people of other cultures. It is not unknown for Vulcans to marry or couple with outsiders. I suppose I have experimented in my own way. RAVENSCROFT: I’m glad you’re open to new experiences. Life is all about experiences. I must admit I don’t know many Vulcans who will even entertain the notion. SOVAK: Many entertain it, but would never admit as much. I know what it means to want to be with someone, to spend your time with them and to be close, but to have circumstances constantly pulling you apart. Unlike you, I have no say in the matter. I cannot voice my feelings. RAVENSCROFT: ::perplexed:: Why not? SOVAK: Because I am Vulcan. ::It seemed obvious to him. He lived and breathed every day of his life in a strange place between following the ways of his people and following the beat of his own heart. The tears rose in Sovak's dark eyes again, threatening to run over his cheeks. He choked them back angrily.:: RAVENSCROFT: oO Whoa. And there’s no couch when you really need one! Oo Um.. ::Emerson hesitated a moment before draping an arm over the man’s shoulders, drawing him close, not really caring if he would be disgusted with sweat and blood and grime.:: RAVENSCROFT: ::gently:: He won’t know unless you tell him, dear.. .. But there’s something else. Not telling someone something that you know may not go well with them doesn’t exactly correspond with the level of anxiety and emotional agitation you’re displaying. ::slight pause:: What happened Sovak? SOVAK: I made a mistake. That is, I lost control of myself. Not in the way that caused me to injure you earlier because I could not control my temper. I mean that during the telepathic episode the cloud creatures caused, I committed certain actions that I did not remember until later. I was not myself, not under my own control, like all the other affected telepaths. But what I did was a result of my own feelings and hidden wishes. Now.. I don't know what to do. RAVENSCROFT: oO Oh dear! Did you.. take advantage of him while he slept? You could’ve easily overpowered him and.. Oo ::shaking off the idea and putting on a placid face:: It’s okay. Tell me what you did and maybe I can tell you exactly what to do. SOVAK: I entered his quarters, and effected what might be considered a "romantic gesture." RAVENSCROFT: oO Oh no! Just as I feared! Sexual harassment is such a serious, unpardonable offense! And his career is just starting! Oh Sovak! What have you done?! Oo Um, ::innocently:: romantic gesture? ::The Vulcan looked nervously at the linguist.:: SOVAK: I covered the room in flowers. I can't remember exactly how many. The memory returned when I returned to my quarters and found several blossoms in the replicator. It's a little fuzzy, as though viewed through the clouds themselves, but as I recall, it was... a considerable amount of flowers. What might logically be called overkill. RAVENSCROFT: ::He inhaled deeply to camouflage a great sigh of relief.:: oO Glad you didn’t erect an altar of worship in his name. Oo Who is this object of your affection and how did you gain access into his room? SOVAK: His name is Ensign Rennyn. We were roommates at the Academy, and were posted to Atlantis together. I am certain he does not return my feelings. I do not know how to proceed. RAVENSCROFT: Ah. Ensign Rennyn. He’s your roommate here on the Atlantis also, isn’t he? SOVAK: No. As a low-ranking Ops officer, I am tasked to assist in quarters configuration and assignment. I… abused that position, it seems, to enter Ren’s room. ::He hoped Ravenscroft would let that one slide. It did happen under the effects of the cloud creatures, after all.:: RAVENSCROFT: ::pausing several seconds:: Well, if he didn’t know what you felt for him before, he sure knows now. It’s not hard to trace who placed all those flowers in the room. So at least one part of the problem has been resolved - he learned of your feelings for him. Now, you could use the clouds’ influence on you as an excuse for your behavior, but for me that’s just denying the facts and making things even more complicated. I’d just come clean from this point onwards. ::pausing again:: Why do you say you’re certain he doesn’t reciprocate your feelings? SOVAK: Because I know him well. He knows me as well as anyone, knows about the emotions I experience. He has even helped me deal with my problems. However, he still sees me as a Vulcan. As one who seeks to be ruled by logic. And there is no logic to our romantic pairing. None at all. RAVENSCROFT: You won’t know for sure unless you talk to him about it. I’m not saying you should walk up to him right now and ask him how he feels for you. Remember, he just learned that his friend is in love with him. He’s going to need some time to process this. But what I am saying is to start a conversation with him. Tell him why you placed all those flowers in his room. He may have come to the conclusion himself, but you need to tell him yourself, in person. He needs to hear it from you. You need to hear it from yourself too, almost as much as he needs to hear it. SOVAK: I must confess, it is encouraging to have discussed this with someone other than myself. Your advice makes sense. But what if it's the wrong move? What if he can't accept what I say? RAVENSCROFT: I don’t know. Neither of us can know for sure how he’d react. But you would have taken the first step in resolving this issue once and for all. A crucial first step. We’ll handle the rest that comes along. ::Sovak tapped his gloves together gently and gave his makeshift counselor a look that was part question, part thanks.:: RAVENSCROFT: Yes. I did say WE. Unless of course you prefer to walk this path alone.. SOVAK: Your encouragement has already helped me to feel better. Turning away from you now would be illogical. RAVENSCROFT: Glad to hear. ::He smiled broadly, reassuringly.:: Okay, I think we’ve had enough injuries for one day. Let’s get you cleaned up. ::He stood up and offered a hand to the seated Vulcan, whose face was swelling rapidly.:: SOVAK: You have helped me immensely. RAVENSCROFT: ::untying the cords around Sovak’s gloves and yanking them off:: No worries. Actually.. you’ve helped me too. You gave me an idea.. ::His voice trailed off, morphing into a broader smile.:: SOVAK: Before you try it, please wait to hear from me. It may be that a man does not wish to have every centimeter of his room covered in cut flowers. But I will ask Ren directly and let you know. ::The pair put their gloves back on the wall, and went off to take another jab at working on their relationships, as best they could.:: FIN ================================= Ensign Sovak Ops USS Atlantis NCC-74682 as simmed by Ensign Rendal Rennyn & Lt JG Emerson Ravenscroft Xenolinguist USS Atlantis NCC-74682 as simmed by Commander Raj Blueheart
  6. ((Road of the Mind)) ::Being stuck in the mind was never funny, but being stuck in somebody else’s mind was even less.:: ::Sayre was aware they are in Ireya’s mind, he could make some minor changes in the environment, but everything here was far too playful and in pink-purple shades, that it was obviously girls playground. He was pretty overwhelmed with a smell of thousands of flowers. Most of them were pretty familiar, but the size was wrong. They were all oversized. Oversized so much he thought they fell into a giants land.:: ::So fully aware that they are in her mind, Sayre was afraid if he will not follow her he may get lost in her mind and never be able to leave this maddening place he was following her like a lost puppy. His life was not a bed of roses and he was afraid of returning, but all the counseling he has been through after the torture in the hands of Orion Slavers taught him that there is no escape that would be worth of losing a life.:: IMSARY: I don’t want to die, Ireya. Please, let me go. ILWARY: But I’m not holding you. IMSARY: You know you are, please don’t do that. I want my life back. ILWARY: Let me play just a little more, please. ::And that is how it was always ending. She didn’t want to listen. In this imaginary world she was normal, healthy woman who could run and jump and climb trees and swim freely and even fly of her own will.:: ::Ireya run to the flower jumped up and rocked it to swing. She was happy and Sayre sat leaning on the tree with his back to her crying. He was not happy. It is true that here he could forget his fears and pain, but slowly he was also forgetting people he knew and it was obvious this was leading them to madness. They were losing themselves.:: ::Tears dried on his face and Ireya was tired, so the night fell on the realm of her mind and she approached him and sat by his side. As it always was, he hugged her and made her warm to can rest. He was afraid to rest in the darkness. It was frightening.:: ::That last for days, maybe months or even years. It was impossible to measure time in this place. Ireya was still playing like a child who never had a chance to play before... what she actually was... and Sayre, he was crying more and more.:: ::Their verbal fights were more often and he was losing faith that they will ever end it.:: IMSARY: Tell me about your mother, Ireya! ILWARY: What about my mother? IMSARY: What color is her hair, her eyes? What is her favorite color? ILWARY: It doesn’t matter, Not here, let’s play... ::Sayre was trying to recall the color of his mother’s hair. He knew it. Somewhere in his mind there was the fact that it was brown, but was it dark, light? Did it have some grays in it, some red locks... he couldn’t remember and he knew same is with Ireya. He was trying to shake her with his questions, but she was too happy to listen.:: ::He was wrong, though. She was afraid of his questions and was afraid more and more. But every time she was trying to think of her parents, first picture in her mind was of ugly male Orion face. And a pain! She knew the pain, she knew the sorrow, but this pain was more than anything she ever felt before and it was too much for a gentle Betazoid.:: ILWARY: How did you endure that? IMSARY: I was thinking of my mom and all the loss she experienced during the war. I knew I can’t abandon her and had to make it through. ILWARY: You never thought Starfleet may forget you? IMSARY: Never! ILWARY: You think they care for us now? IMSARY: Yes. ILWARY: But I don’t want to be who I am. I want to be perfect... ::She jumped and flew away from him and Sayre cried again. After some time she returned laughing, all wet from running, her sweat was smelling... it was actually not smelling so bad. But Sayre was angry, he was mad.:: oOAquonazine 10cc stat!Oo ::The thought created a bucket of water with ice cubes inside and he laughed with fire in his eyes and threw the water on Ireya. She screamed and screamed, but the bucket was again full of ice-cold water and Sayre threw it on her all over again.:: ILWARY: You can’t do that, this is my mind. IMSARY: Really? ::He threw another bucket of ice water on her and she screamed again.:: ::Ireya wanted it to stop, but then again she didn’t want it...:: ((ICU Unit ~ USS Atlantis)) ::Ireya Ilwary was screaming her lungs out and Sayre Imsary by her side was laughing like madman on drugs. Nurses were trying to keep them from tearing each other’s hand when they both opened their eyes and looking at the hands let go of each other. Nurses removed neural inhibitors that held them together, separating their minds.:: ILWARY: I’m... co..cold. ::What seem like eternity for them, was 30 hours. They were awake, but tired and soon they were both sleeping again, but this time healthy and restful dreams.:: To be continued... Ensign Ireya Ilwary Science Officer USS ATLANTIS NCC-74682 and Ensign Sayre Imsary Engineering Officer USS ATLANTIS NCC-74682 as SIMmed by LtJG Wanda DyAmone
  7. ( Jeffries Tube Alpha 35 - USS Ursa Major - 7 years prior to current events ) oO Ah, c'mon! This is the third time this week. Oo :: Sparks flew around Eileen's knees as she scooted backwards rapidly to avoid an arcing connection. They'd been working on Ursa Major's sensor suite for too long now, in her estimation. It'd become almost expected for there to be new glitches and cross-connections with the varied work teams trying their best to speed the upgrade under the circumstances they were in. Smoke began to issue forth from the hub she'd been working on and with little thought she pushed herself back further, unsure of what was causing the new addition to the current problem. She then thought better of remaining in the access crawlspace and turned to open the Jeffries tube hatch. :: McCleran: Dammit! :: light coughs punctuated her sputtering diatribe :: Freaking stupid...:: more coughing :: ...broken-down...:: coughing ::...sparking circuit stupidity... :: light coughs with a deep inhale of clearer air :: ::Swatting away the remnants of the smoke that trailed from the crawlway, she slid down the wall to land on her rear, head leaned back to rest on the bulkhead behind her. This was going to take forever. Every connection she'd made in the last week had shorted and she couldn't figure out the reason why. The best she could surmise was that the power grid simply wasn't designed for this many taps from the same system, but the CEO wasn't having it. It needed to get done, and it was going to be done. She closed her eyes and like she had the first time she suggested it, she closed her eyes and nodded.:: oO Thy will be done...Oo :: It was probably her frustration that was driving her at this point. She new better than to assume she knew better than her superiors who'd served aboard the ship far longer than she'd been a green Ensign. It didn't make it easier to take, however. :: Little boy: Are you okay? ::The voice of a little boy brought her head back down to see a boy standing in the corridor, looking at her like she'd crawled out of the Jefferies tube with a second head. He looked to be all of 8, maybe 10 if he was a slow grower, with an olive complection and chubby cheeks. What would have been a thick mop of unruly black hair if it were allowed to grow out crested his head with big amber eyes below, taking in the scene before him. A chewy fruit snack she didn't recognize was held close to his chest, as if unsure if the strange lady from the smokey cave would try to steal it from him.:: McCleran: :Said chuckling: Well....I eh...I'm fine. oO Wait...what the hell is a kid doing on deck 19?Oo Say...what's got an explorer like you down here? Little boy: ::The boy shifted his weight, as if he was suddenly thinking that he might be in trouble:: Um...Dad said to wait here. ::Standing, while brushing herself off and giving her hair a shake to get it back into a semblance of order, she closed the hatch for the accessway and turned back to the boy, kneeling before him to put herself more on his level.:: McCleran: Your Dad works down here? Little boy: Mhmm. ::he said through a mouthfull of the colorful confection. It was a pull taffy of some sort, like one she remembered from back home but way more colorful. It was like someone made candy out of melted crayons.:: McCleran: ::Waited a beat, and realizing that she'd gotten an answer to that question chastized herself internally. What else was a kid going to say to such a dry question? :: So, what's he do down here? Little boy: Umm...he's a trac'or beam teknishun. McCleran: ::Eileen almost squealed as she smiled.:: oO Oh my god, he's so adorable you could just sop him up with a biscuit! Yay for kids talking with their mouths full! Oo Well, let's go see if we can't find him. Hmm? Little boy: ::The boy shook his head.:: Nuh-uh. He said. McCleran: Oh, well, honey...see my uniform? ::She waited a beat for him to nod, which he did, thankfully:: I work all over the ship. And I'm sure that he'd like to know you're okay and what all you saw since he posted you here...huh? ::The boy seemed to think it over, and then responded with a smiling...:: Emil: Mhmm. :: Before he took another bite of his treat.:: McCleran: My name's Eileen. What's yours? Little boy: Whatchur rank? McCleran: I'm an Ensign. oO :: They weren't that far from the tractor beam generation section, round the next corner and forward on this deck, so she stood and nodded in the direction of the corner, to be rewarded by a happy smile and the sound of the little boy following her against the constant *thrum* of the ship's engines one finds on a starship. They began to walk the short distance to the next four-way. :: McCleran: Soo...I bet your Dad is really good at his job. Little boy: Mom says he's the best teknishun on the ship. He won't say that, tho. McCleran: Oh, I bet your Mom's right. Dad's don't like to brag. Mine never did, either. Little boy: Does your Dad work here too? McCleran: ::stifling a gag at the idea of working with her Father:: Uh, n..no. He's retired. He does things back at Earth to keep himself busy. :: Arriving at the four-way, Eileen stepped around the corner and began to walk down the corridor. :: Little boy: Does he still love you? ::The question caught Eileen completely off balance and stopped her dead as a rock. It was surreal enough that it didn't even trigger her usual eyebrow affectation. Squinting slightly, she turned around, and saw that the little boy had stopped in the middle of the four-way a meter or so back, still holding his fruit treat to his chest.:: McCleran: I'm....I'm sorry...what did you say? Little boy: ::Kicking the carpet a little, he sighed and looked at the floor.:: I asked if your Dad still loves you. McCleran: W...well of course he does, hon. Why would you ask that? Little boy: ::Looking up from the carpet to meet her gaze:: B'cause you lie. :: Now her eyebrow shot up nearly to bump into her hairline. :: McCleran: What? Son, why would you say that? ::Her emotions began to churn between confusion and feeling hurt that a child would blindly say such a thing.:: Little boy: 'Cause you do. You lie and hurt people. McCleran: ::Taking a step towards the obscene little boy.:: No, son, I don't. I'm an officer in Starfleet and we take that sort of thing... Little boy: NO YOU DON'T! You lie and you let people get hurt and you lie about doing it and you don't get to call me son. You're not my Mother! :: Looking around, down each corridor at the four-way, Eileen saw nobody else in sight, regardless of how unnerved she was by the odd little boy before her. :: McCleran: Now see here... :: The little boy dropped his treat and began to skip in an arch that circled around her like a petulant child disobeying a babysitter they hated. A sing-song quality came to his voice and he sang as he skipped:: Little boy: Iiiii know a sec-ret and Iiiii don't have to telllll youuuu. I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuuu! I know a sec-ret and I don't have to tell youuuuu! McCleran: Now stop that! Your daddy's not gonna... :: As if she were operating a camera on a boom, her personal point-of-view suddenly jerked away to rest now in a turning, spinning circle that followed the little boy in his skipping pattern around another her standing at it's middle.:: Little boy: You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! You're gonna get in trou-ble! McCleran: Wha.....::beginning to feel instantly dizzy, she spun once in concert with the little boy before collapsing to her knees, her arms holding her weight as she shook her head and closed her eyes tight against what felt like chaos threatening to overwhelm her eyes.:: What is this? Little boy: You don't know? You don't know! You don't know! You don't know! You don't know! :: The cadence of the boy's teasing chant seemed to follow the now banging of his steps upon the carpet as he pranced around her unceasingly. She could feel her pulse begin to race, keeping time with the one-boy parade that surrounded her like a never-ending truant from her childhood.:: McCleran: No, what is this? What is this? I don't under...understand! What is happen...::a wave of nausea washed over her and she caught herself just in time to keep from losing her lunch all over the floor. Fighting it back down, she opened her eyes and saw something completely unbelievable in the silence that had then befallen her. :: :: Surrounding her was a totally different place. The carpet on the floor was gone, replaced by what looked like a form of acoustical dampening and insulating material, white and with a high-gloss sheen. The walls surrounding her were made of similar material but also had what appeared to be thick pipes bracketed to them, running the length of what seemed to be a meters wide chamber with a wide door almost the width of the chamber on either end. It was then that she noticed that the boy was gone. The air around her, cool and silent as that in a tomb.:: McCleran: Son? Where are...what is this place? I don't under...GAH! ::Her hands flew to the sides of her head as an earsplitting, utterly piercing warble shot through her head like a lighting bolt. It felt like her head was going to explode, then switched to feeling like infinite pressure was threatening to crush it out of existence. Back and forth, like a psychotic saw bouncing between each sensation, until her compromised and unready mind loosed a shriek from her lungs as if a banshee wailing for the death of family. Her scream felt like it outlasted her breath, and she spun around with hands gripped tightly into fists of hair and tension near her temples.:: ::Then, there was no more sound, outside the steady *thrum* of the engines on board the Ursa Major, it's carpet back beneath her knees and nobody else in sight down the four corridors that met where she sat akimbo. Slowly, she released her fists and in looking she saw that her nails had drawn tiny amounts of blood in her palms. Terrified, she struggled to stand, her eyes wide and hands stretched out to her sides as if to catch her if stumbled. She turned, once....to face one passage of the four-way....then another....and another. Turning back one she wavered on her feet a moment before finding her feet again slowly. She was shaking, as if she'd been dunked in ice water and left before an air conditioner. As if the heat was being drained from her.:: McCleran: Where am I? ::no answer:: Who are you? ::again no answer, tears began streaming from her reddened eyes:: Why are you doing this to me?!? :: A voice from behind her, male and soothing said...:: Because... ::She spun to face the opposite direction. There, some 15 feet away from her, stood a man in Starfleet uniform, short-clipped chestnut hair and lightly tanned skin of average height for the human she took him for, his eyes cast down. Raising his head, she could tell he was crying. :: The Man: ...because you deserve it. :: From behind the man, she heard a large, hollow bellow of a distant explosion. The corridor, seeming now to stretch on into infinity started to become brighter in the distance, an orange tinge reflecting off of the distant bulkheads of the impossibly long hallway. As Eileen's eyes widened, she knew what was coming down the corridor. Fire...roiling and bubbling as if in zero-gee filled the far end of the corridor like an avalanche of Hell itself. The man before her turned, and began to walk towards the conflagration approaching with mounting speed. She screamed out, trying to warn the man back and away, but he continued for a few more steps before starting into a run. Sprinting at the destruction, he gave a strong leap and flew into the center of the flames, as if it were water in a pool.: ::Eileen's instincts took over and she threw herself in the opposite direction. It was in mid-turn that she was stopped short by a form before her, one that dragged a scream from the fleeing engineer.:: :: There, before the woman, stood a small form, smoking and charred, carbonized and seeping in the worst imaginable state one could find a child. From it's cracked and broken lips, an impossibly loud voice issued forth. Eileen felt the heat of the firestorm at her back and it's roar filled her ears. The sensation of her skin beginning to dry out, her uniform melting, the scent of her hair burning all overtaking what were assuredly her last few moments before the pressure wave hit her. Then, silence, a heartbeat before...:: Little boy: You should have died, too. ( Deep Space 5 - Temporary Quarters ) ::Screaming at the top of her lungs, the pain of doing so shocked Eileen McCleran awake into a sitting position. Her hair was soaked. The room veiled in shadow that sufficed to swallow the Ensign as she sat, wide eyed, shaking and gulping air in great breaths. She pushed herself backwards along the bed till she met the wall and jerked the covers up to meet her, covering herself, not yet feeling the strain she'd just put on her left shoulder and arm. She brought her knees to her chest, hugging them to her tightly as her own walls caved and she bawled. It was that inconsolable, deeply heaving sobbing that one most often finds at a funeral. Her eyes clamped shut, not caring about anything accept that right then, she had to cry. To wail. To mourn...something that she didn't understand in the slightest. :: -- ENS Eileen McCleran Engineering Officer USS Apollo
  8. ((USS Vigilant, Deck 1: Captain's Ready Room)) ::The first traces of caffeine had hit Diego's system and he was sat behind the desk in his ready room, ready to call his parents. He had tried on the previous day, near the end of his shift and shortly after his meeting with Ensign Falcon, but for a second time he had not been able to get through. It was starting to become more than a small worry. The first time they had missed him, he had thought of several feasible reasons that might explain why they hadn't picked up. When it had happened again, he had become a lot more concerned. This time, he was already mentally compiling a list of people who he could ask to check up on his family for him if he was unable to get through this time.:: ::Navigating the familiar communication menus, he attempted to establish contact and waited while the call was connected. The UFOP logo on his screen had never felt quite so much like a barrier as it currently did. He caught himself drumming his fingers on the table and clasped his hands together for a moment to hide the signs of emotional leakage. If they did pick up the call, the last thing he wanted was for them to see him looking anxious.:: ::He was getting close to the point where he was ready to terminate the call when the screen blinked into the familiar surroundings of his own living room back in Santander. To his surprise and delight, it wasn't either of his parents who had answered the call, but his sister.:: Diego: Adana! ::It was impossible not to break out into a grin. For many years she had avoided using the comm altogether due to the severe aphasia that had resulted from a serious brain injury during a game of Squares when she was young. The last Diego had heard, she had been getting more confident in holding conversations since she had started using positronic inducers, devices that he'd had a big part in designing. He could see them attached to either side of her forehead, which he still thought was a shame, although her dark hair partially obscured them both. Neither one of his parents were even in shot at this point; evidently she was now feeling like she could talk without having anyone else around if she started to find things difficult. He imagined that it probably helped that it was him that she was talking to, of course, but it was still a great sign.:: ::She returned his smile. It lit up her whole face.:: Adana: Hey Diego! Diego: Hey! How's my favourite sister doing? ::She laughed and shook her head.:: Adana: I'm doing alright thankyou. How's my favourite starfleet captain doing? ::His smile shifted into a lop-sided, playful smirk.:: Diego: I dunno. You want me to give Captain Vetri on the Avandar a call and ask? ::She folded her arms.:: Adana: No, idiota. I don't even know enough Starfleet captains to have a clue who that is! Diego: Oh? So how many do you know? ::She held up a hand, counting on her fingers, and stopped at three.:: Adana: Three. Two you worked with and you. One of your bosses wasn't a captain. ::He nodded, impressed that she had remembered.:: Diego: That's right. Commander Tel-ar. You've been keeping track! I guess it must be for that book that you're writing about me. ::By contrast, she looked distinctly unimpressed, but Diego could tell she was messing with him.:: Adana: No! You're gonna have to write your own book. I remember you saying you worked with the Romulans too? And the Klingons? That big fight? Diego: Close enough. We fought against some Klingons while we were trying to find out what was happening on a Romulan planet. Hey, you really are keeping tabs, aren't you? Adana: When your super brother goes away into space, you have to do that. Someone has to keep an eye on him and keep him out of trouble. ::He suddenly felt a huge pang of homesickness. If he'd been off shift while he was working on Earth then he would probably have taken her out into the garden for a while and read to her. It looked like the weather there was nice.:: Diego: I'd find a way to get into trouble even if you were keeping an eye on me! ::She rolled her eyes at him and shook her head. Despite the five year age gap she had always seemed to like to think of herself as being protective of him. In reality, Diego knew that was more of a response to the fact that she had depended on him for so long. In some ways, he had been able to be more supportive for her than either of their parents during the early years after her injury. While they had been responsible for making a constant stream of decisions about her wellbeing, he had been able to be a true friend to her, as well as lending a hand wherever he could with more practical things.:: Adana: You would! ::He laughed at her reproachful tone.:: Diego: Anyway, I'm all good and even better for hearing the way you're talking! Check you out! You've made heaps of progress since I was last home! ::She blushed and looked away from the monitor for a moment as she digested the compliment.:: Adana: I've been trying really hard. These things have helped. ::She pointed to her forehead.:: Even if you did give them the worst kind of name for someone like me to try to say. ::He hadn't actually thought of that and he flashed her a sheepish look. The devices, which used a similar design to delta-wave inducers but incorporated similar positronic technology to the kind that had been used by Dr. Julian Bashir during peace negotiations between Bajor and Cardassia was designed not only to aid aphasic patients, but to provide relief to those with other forms of minor brain damage. Initially, he had hoped that he might be able to tackle her paraplegia as well, but had quickly found that he'd hit a dead end.:: Diego: Yeah, my bad on that one. "These things" is a great name for them, though. I know what you mean. ::She stuck her tongue out at him. That was one sentiment she didn't need to express in words.:: Diego: So how's stuff at home? What's new? ::She looked uncomfortable for a moment and his cheerful expression dropped, quickly replaced with a mask of concern.:: Diego: Everything OK? ::She looked back up at the screen. It took her a moment to speak. He worried that he might be tiring her out. She had done well to keep up a conversation without anyone else to jump in and give her a break every now and again and he didn't want to push it.:: Adana: I miss you. But I'm really proud. ::He felt a lump rise in his throat as he saw her start to well up. He tried not to sound choked up himself as he answered her.:: Diego: You'll set me off if you're not careful. Really. That's exactly how I feel about you. I'm gonna see if I can come home next leave, OK? Then I can come and see you. ::She shook her head emphatically, which dislodged the tears that had been threatening to fall from her eyes. She quickly wiped them dry with the back of one of her hands before taking a deep breath and smiling a bittersweet smile. Diego had to clench his stomach to prevent an emotional outburst of his own.:: Adana: No. We said you have to stay in space. Be a captain, do a good job. Maybe we'll come see you. I've never been in space. ::He nodded, brows knitting together as he got his emotions under control.:: Diego: That would be great. We could meet on Deep Space 6 some time and you could have a tour of the Vigilant. ::That certainly put a smile back on her face. Diego coughed a few times as the poignant moment finally passed and they returned to their previous upbeat tone of conversation.:: Adana: I'd love that. ::Still a little worried about tiring her out, Diego figured that it would be a good idea to wind things up sooner rather than later. He had enjoyed seeing her fend for herself in conversation and was looking forward to the next time they could speak.:: Diego: It'd be great! Anyway, I'm gonna let you go boss Mama and Papa around some, OK? I'm gonna be thinking about you lots! Adana: Me too! ::He badly wanted to give her a hug, but given the distance between them there was really only one option. Leaning forward in his seat, he wrapped his arms around his personal console for a few seconds before shifting back to his original position. Judging by the contented look on her face, she appreciated the gesture.:: Diego: Love you, Adana. You're in charge til I get home, alright? ::Her smile widened and she rolled her eyes again.:: Adana: Love you too, Diego. Talk soon. ::She waved for the entire time it took her to reach forward and end the call. Thoroughly proud of her for how hard she'd obviously been working and how well she was doing, Diego sat for a moment to take everything in before turning his attention back to the daily schedule.:: TBC Captain Diego HerreraCommanding OfficerUSS VigilantNCC-75515
  9. ((Starbase 118, Ops Office)) :: Her rather short communication with her intended target had produced at least the beginnings of the desired results, and after having tracked him down Pandora walked through the door with her padd in hand.:: Raiden: oO Come in then!! Oo How can I help you :: He looked at her neck. :: Lt? Pandora: I was under the impression that you would be of use. Was I mistaken? Raiden: Depending what you what and why you need it? :: He looked at her from behind the desk. :: :: Ah yes, the inevitable request for an explanation as to why she was there and why the Drake needed an almost complete re-stock of parts and supplies - *without* revealing information that was classified higher than even the inhabitants of SB118's Black Tower would be cleared to know.:: :: Though quite how that restriction was supposed to be enforced when the local media were crawling all over those of the crew who had tried to leave the ship, she was less certain.:: Pandora: Short version, I require the contents of this list as soon as practically possible. :: Holding out the padd, she waited for him to take the hint - and the item in question.:: Raiden: Ok. :: Marcus took the padd from the female. He still had no clue who she was though he had been waiting for the chief engineer of the Drake. :: oO (Marcus) Could this be her? Oo :: Marcus looked over the padd. As he got to the bottom his mouth was almost wide open. He put the padd down on the desk. :: Raiden: Ok. You might want to take a seat. :: Pointing to the chair :: :: Pandora looked at the chair, then back at the man behind the desk. She understood that he was likely being polite, but since she was here on business she had no need that she could see to waste time and energy on doing the same. Instead, she simply folded her hands behind her back and stood still.:: Raiden: oO Guess not!! Oo Ok I think I can get you the stuff. What sort of time scale you needing it? Pandora: Immediate. Sooner might be better, but Temporal Investigations are eager enough to investigate as it is. :: Which was nothing he couldn't get off of the news feeds around here...:: :: Marcus was drawn from sorting out what she needed by the words Temporal Investigations. :: Raiden: Temporal Investigation? As in time traveling? :: Thinking the situation over, she decided a quiet sigh would be somewhat appropriate to the situation and manufactured one.:: Pandora: Indeed. Involuntary, if that will make any difference to the investigation - which I hope it will. Training a new captain would not be how I would prefer to spend my time. Raiden: Ok then. Just a word of warning then we have had an increase in reporters around here so be careful who and where you say stuff. Pandora: I believe I may have walked over one or two on the way here, but your warning is noted. :: And it would be a good trick indeed if he could tell whether she was joking about the "walked over" part. She wasn't, particularly, but since when did that make a difference to what people perceived about her behaviour?:: Raiden: I just noticed you asked for full ammo restock. What type you want, quantum or or photon? Pandora: Photon. Until I have had the opportunity to work with our tactical officer to ensure that the launchers will not explode when used, I would prefer to keep the potential damage to the Drake to a minimum. :: Of course, her ideal fix for the Drake's assorted... quirks... was a complete keel-up rebuild of the vessel, but that was unlikely to be available as an option, given that this was not a full space-dock facility. In fact...:: Pandora: Filling this request will not compromise your own stocks? Raiden: No I can get some ship here with in 2 days to restock us. If we need them between now and then, we have 3 starships here for repairs. :: He smiled at her. :: Ok that's the last, you should have everything transfered to the ship shortly. Oh the medical supplies - I will have to check with sick bay but it does seem we have plenty of stores. Pandora: ::nodding:: Understood. Thank you. :: Turning to head for the door, she paused as one of her more deeply embedded bits of coding made itself known. Turning back, she studied the male behind the desk for the moment, then decided he was as good a person to ask as any.:: Pandora: Since we may be here for a short while, do you have any recommendations as to where I might find people. Raiden: oO People?? Oo What type of people? :: She *had* thought her question was clear enough, but apparently not.:: Pandora: People. Going about their usual business in a way that can be observed without attracting undue attention. :: Marcus was very puzzled by the request. What did she mean? He looked at her silently as he thought. He had met a few non-living things before, which had been the most likely candidates in his experience that would have that sort of interest, but she looked very alive and quite hot, he thought. :: Raiden: I would suggest the Open-Air Gastropub in the commercial sector of the station. Pandora: Thank you. I have learned it is usually wise to consult a native guide in such matters - though that does not *always* work. :: She considered mentioning Rogers' beach trip that she had accompanied him on, the one that had "accidentally" turned out to be to to a naturist resort, but embarrassing her Captain like that was a waste of time unless he was present to squirm there and then.:: Raiden: Your welcome. :: He was still confused about her and was going to keep his eye on her while she was here. :: I better let you go. Should you like to come to my shop again feel free. Pandora: I will. :: The way she said that left no doubt at all that she was taking him *exactly* at his word. With a final curt nod, she headed for the door, intending to make sure everything was proceeding as it ought before indulging those core subroutines that she was *still* trying to figure out the point of.:: :: And if the dock crews performed to the standard she had come to expect, she knew exactly who's office she was going to be coming to, and exactly how little Raiden was going to want that to happen...:: -------------------- Lt Pandora Chief Engineer USS Drake http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Pandora & Lieutenant Marcus Raiden Operations Officer Starbase 118 Ops http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Raiden,_Marcus
  10. ((USS Vigilant, Deck 2: Greir Reinard’s Quarters)) :: Greir paced and prowled around his quarters like an agitated, caged animal. He clenched and unclenched his fists as he replayed the conversation in his mind. Gjord had started on the attack immediately. Greir had known he would and had tried for an embarrassingly short time to remain patient. He hadn’t wanted to let Gjord get to him so quickly. :: :: He thought perhaps the shock of the news was the thing that had tipped it. He had been worried and reeling from the news. The way it had been used to attack him when all he wanted to do was find out about his brother had instantly vaporised his patience.:: ::Short and explosive as it had been Greir knew the setback was going to cost him. Greir noted that Gjord’s temper certainly hadn’t improved with age. As angry as he was at Gjord he was more so at himself. He didn’t need Gjord to point the finger at him and knew much of what he said was true.:: Reinard: oO ::Gjord’s voice:: I’ll keep supporting the family. I’ll keep a roof over your mother’s head. I’ll keep slaving away day in and day out to put food on the table and keep money in the coffers. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you just contribute to the family by sitting in a nice warm room that you don’t have to pay for and putting blame on other people, like you always have. Oo ::He could have made the effort to stay in touch if he’d wanted to, like he was suddenly doing now. Bondi had been a wakeup call that he’d let things slip for too long. Was he doing this for their sake or his? Was this just a way for him to ease his conscious for having dropped them all as quick as he could get settled in the fleet?:: ::He was angrier and more frustrated than he could ever remember being. He thought of himself as the lowest of the low. Shouldn’t he have handed in his resignation long ago? Maybe he should do that now… but wait. Shouldn’t his family have developed a larger support network by now? Did they really have no friends or acquaintances, no one who could help ease the burden during the tough times? Well…. After Bondi he wouldn’t be surprised if they were all dead. Rori was.:: ::He missed Rori so much. It still burned that by neglecting his family and responsibilities for so long he’d missed so many opportunities to talk to him and let him know how important he was. He could never express to Rori now what he’d felt for the man. He was going to have to live with a great many regrets.:: ::As for Loffe - he was working hard most days, perhaps every day and pulling double shifts so the family could keep a roof over their heads and eat. They were working hard and struggling while he sat in a warm, comfortable room. He enjoyed very fine meals and could eat as much as he wanted, he could have anything. His own family were probably getting by on stock they couldn’t sell and staples.:: ::His heart was pounding hard and fast and his breathing was heavy. He looked demented and all this furious pacing and circling was making him a little dizzy. He could feel a headache forming as he fretted and took the comments to heart.:: ::A feeling of nausea crept over him as he stared into the trophy cabinet he seemed to prize so much. While Loffe and Gjord were out on rough seas, risking it all to put food on the table he messed about and played games… for what? Silly trophies. What did they really represent and what was he supposed to be achieving? Hollow victories. They were worth nothing. Holodeck safeties meant he was never at risk. He didn’t have a reason to fear for his life if he went overboard at sea. :: ::He glared into the cabinet and slammed his fist against the glass making it crack. He slammed his fist into it again and again, cracking it in several places. When he was done with that he slammed his forehead against it though he failed to do any damage to it.:: ::By now he was feeling really ashamed of himself and the trophies had become a symbol of everything he’d done wrong and of how messed up his priorities were. :: Reinard: Only a fool prizes junk! ::He flung open the doors to the cabinet and started emptying it, stuffing the trophies in the replicator and using it to recycle the items. His most recent prize, the owl was last to go and he hung onto it momentarily not wanting to let it go. It had symbolised a friendship he longed to see grow and a very good time. It had become the squawking, surprise attack bird once more, clawing at his conscience and exposing all his fears. He tossed it in and completed the deed before dropping to the floor and curling up in despair. :: Lt Cmdr Reinard First Officer USS Vigilant
  11. (( USS Vigilant - Observation Lounge )) Oo Vigliant. oO ::Dr Kydy pondered the term, the name, the definition of the ship she served on. She was very proud of her shipmates. The entire ordeal had been... confusing. She had expected her tour of duty on the Vigilant to be signifigant periods of routine work, interrupted by occasional moments of great intensity with history-making discoveries. Her maiden voyage had turned out to be anything but routine, and if she understood the Captain correctly, they had actually preserved history in this cruise.:: Oo Vigilant. oO ::Kydy absent mindedly rubbed her right breast, it was still sore from earlier, as she pondered the ship. Some things were still a bit unclear for her, but one thing was clear, thanks to the... Vigilance this crew, especially those injured who continued to fight on in what seemed like a losing battle, a losing battle that threatened to crush the morale and spirits of the crew along with the ship. Thanks to them, the ship and her crew was present to live to fight another day. The Temporal Awards this crew had received were more than earned.:: Oo Medical Science Ribbon oO ::Kydy smiled, and applauded and made a note to inquire with Varis and Mathews later, and then just like that, the crew was returning to its routine, the last of the briefings was over, and everyone was leaving the lounge.:: Oo Time to go. oO ::Kydy started to her feet but stopped. Her seat was such that gave her a viewing out the windows of the Observation Lounge. It was kind of a surreal view. The windows gave her a view of the galaxy that was round about them, and in the center, thanks to the reflective nature of windows, she saw her own image, in a pale transparent reflection.:: Oo So what color will they be now. oO ::The reflection did not give her an accurate mirror image of colors. She dropped her head and stared at the table for a moment.:: Oo Oh. oO ::The polished observation lounge table gave her the view she was looking for.:: Oo So, they are a kind of dull grey. oO ::Kydy sighed. The biological mystery of her argelian eyes and their constant change in color was a mystery. Their were many theories for her eye color change. Some said it was hormonal. She did not like that theory even if it was true, it just sounded... too... uncomfortable, uncomfortable to have your hormonal fluctuations on display for the world to see. Some theories tied it to respiration and heart rhythms where the oxygen and nutrients in her blood, as the variable shifted slightly, so would her eye color. Blood-driven eye color was about as unsettling as an Terran-tale of Vampires. There were other theories. Her favorite tied her eye color to her strong empathic sense. Her eyes reflected the feelings she felt, hers and others. Right now she felt...:: Oo Sad. oO ::The loss of life was something she knew she was going to have to expect, she was a doctor afterall, but she didn't expect to feel like this. Kydy let her head rest face-down on the table, which, considering her very short stature, was surprisingly uncomfortable as it mashed her sore breasts against the table as well. It was then, when she thought she heard someone speak to her.:: Oo Quick, think of something, save your reputation, you are a doctor and an officer, you are the Assistant Chief Medical Officer right? oO Kydy: I think I am coming off the performance high from the Rigel Ba V drug. Nothing serious, just out of sorts. ::Kydy forced a weak smile and lifted her head.:: Ensign Kydy Medical Officer USS Vigilant
  12. ((Celes II, Ruin of Abandoned Machinery Storage Warehouse)) ::Consciousness came slowly, and with some reluctance. She swam in and out of it without being sure she was doing so. The sensation of the biobed, the odd tingling in her extremities, snatches of speech--these were all she caught of the waking world before drifting under again. Small wonder, perhaps, that she felt no urgency to surface.:: ::Eventually, though, her mind moored itself more firmly to the docks of consciousness. She took in the sensations, and after a few blurry moments of reaching for the memory trail to connect them to, she placed herself.:: oO Biobed. Yeah. I was injured... oh wow, by the Thousand Gods, I was injured a *lot*, wasn't I? ...I was really in the zone in there. How the cruk did I get to that state? ...He still beat me, though. I was as good as I've ever imagined being, and he still beat me. Oo ::She ran through the bout in her mind, several times, going over it analytically. She hadn't exactly been doing a lot of thinking at the time; now, she caught up on that.:: oO Sakkath, you clever, clever [...]. Barely had to fight, didn't you? Just hid until the right moment, then sprang your trap. Bet it was you who led Hard Hat Guy my way... still. Well played. Oo ::Opening her eyes was a bit painful, but she took her time at it, and eventually she was squinting steadily up at the dim overhead lighting. She risked a glance about, and was pleased to find her head did not throb or fall off. She gingerly tested out moving her various extremities, and found that both hands were immobilised by her sides, and both legs as well. She couldn't feel her legs, so she figured some sort of nerve block going on there, but her hands felt fine.:: ::She lifted her head a bit to get a better look. She was in a smallish alcove, made with the same prefab room dividers that had delineated her 'bedroom' before. Low tables lined the walls, many of them full of medical equipment. To one side there was a single chair.:: ::In that chair sat Sakkath.:: ::Katy blinked several times, as though reassuring herself that she wasn't seeing things. The Vulcan continued to not be an artifact of her recently-conscious brain, however. As she stared, a decidedly moronic look on her face, he stood and gracefully walked to her bedside.:: Sakkath: Hello, Katherine. Your vital signs are good. Some of your bone injuries have yet to heal fully, but according to the doctors they will heal perfectly. ::Katy's mind was full of several ideas, each competing to befuddle her the most. Would it be the fact he'd been sitting by her bed? That he'd addressed her by name? Or that he appeared to be concerned with her health?:: Orman: ...buh? oO Well, that was smooth. Oo Sakkath: I am here to congratulate you. ::All the previous competitors surrendered to the strength of the new challenger.:: Orman: ...Guh? oO Oh, yeah. Nice save, there, Katy. Oo ::The Vulcan glanced over at a readout for several seconds, then looked back.:: Sakkath: Your speech seems impeded, yet your neurological readings appear normal. Are you experiencing psychosomatic distress? ::She blinked some more, attempting to herd her thoughts into some semblance of verbiage.:: ::He appeared to reach a decision.:: Sakkath: I will summon a doctor. ::He turned to walk out.:: Orman: Gah... uh. No! ::He stopped where he was, turned his head back to regard her.:: Orman: I, umm, can speak. I... I just wasn't sure how to respond. ::He turned back towards her. He appeared to consider the idea for a moment, then nodded.:: Sakkath: Understandable. You have been unconscious for some hours, and my behaviour is no doubt puzzling given your point of view. ::She thought that over for a moment.:: Orman: Yeah. ::It seemed a safe response.:: Sakkath: Very well, I will elucidate. You have-- ::She held up her hand--or, tried to before remembering she couldn't move them.:: Orman: Stop. Umm. I think this may be easier if I ask questions. How long have you been sitting there? Sakkath: Discounting breaks for biological necessities, approximately nine and a quarter hours. ::She blinked, again. Twice.:: oO Somehow the dispassionate voice just makes it all the more surreal. OO ::But in the interest of keeping a handle on the conversation, she pushed past that and continued her questions.:: Orman: OK. You've been waiting here for me to wake up. Why? Sakkath: I was curious. And I wished to congratulate you. ::he paused for a moment:: And there was very little else to do. ::She narrowed her eyes:: Orman: Did... did you just make a joke, Sakkath? ::He raised an eyebrow:: Orman: ...Alright, never mind. What's this about congratulations? Sakkath: ::tilting his head to one side:: Congratulations are appropriate for a victory, are they not? ::Katy spoke slowly; this conversation was already going too fast for her liking, so slowing any part of it down was a comfort.:: Orman: Umm. Now you *have* to be making a joke. I know I've been knocked on the head a bit, but I'm pretty sure I remember *you* winning, back there. I present your general lack of bruising juxtaposed with my being unable to move my legs as my first piece of evidence. ::He nodded. His motions, she noticed, always seemed very bold, even dramatic. She assumed it was because he was so still most of the time; very few unnecessary movements.:: Sakkath: I won the game. ::She felt like there was a trace of contempt in his voice on that last word, but she was probably imagining it.:: Sakkath: However, I made a mistake. I wrongly thought that the best attitude would be to focus on winning. As such, I won with tactics, but I won no fights. You, on the other hand, won all of your fights. You surrendered because you recognised that your situation made further action pointless. And you also made the greatest impression. I am told that holograms of your fighting are already selling for very large sums. Orman: ::wryly:: The leotard they put us in might have something to do with that. ::He continued as though she had not spoken.:: Sakkath: As such, it seemed only reasonable to abdicate my position in favour of you. Orman: ....guh? ::That eyebrow again.:: Sakkath: I refused the honour. It belonged to you, so now it is yours. I believe the organisers are enthusiastic about this. Since no one has ever done it before, it will add to both of our reputations. I chose poorly, and fought no one. I gained nothing. ::pausing:: except... Orman: ...umm. Except? Sakkath: I saw you take a leap in ability far in excess of what I thought to be possible. ::Then the Vulcan did something that threw Katy more than the rest of the conversation combined. He smiled.:: Sakkath: I look forward to learning how you did that. ::quick as a flash, the smile was gone as though it had never been:: Now I must go prepare for my flight. Goodbye, Katherine. ::He walked off without waiting for a response, leaving her lying there completely confounded.:: Orman: ::quietly:: Bye... I... if I figure it out myself, I'll let you know... ::She resolved to go back to sleep for a bit. The waking world was just too much to handle, right now.:: TBC Lieutenant Commander Katy Orman Chief of Security Starbase 118 On Leave And Very Overwhelmed
  13. ((Ready Room, USS Discovery)) ::His arm still hurt from being mauled, even though Dr. Morning-Song had assured him it was fully healed. There were wounds that ran deeper, and to distract himself on the way back to DS-285, the Ba’ku Captain had ensconced himself in his ready-room, burying himself in reports and catching up on the new crew that had arrived during the mission. The ending was, to say the least, unexpected-to find Zero as an ally and Starfleet personnel as the enemy. He tapped away on the console, filling out the forms he could have easily left to Blueheart. Instead he’d left his XO on the bridge, babysitting the Sovereign as she arrived at the starbase. Outside the door Captain McCall stood with a padd, he had actually been outside for a few minutes but was yet to press the chime. He read and reread what was on the padd, eventually before eventually pressing the door chime.:: WALTAS::Head barely rising:: Enter. ::The doors hissed open and Tyr continued to type.:: MCCALL: I see that even as we arrive back at the station you are still trying to keep up with the paperwork. WALTAS::Continuing to type:: Hey Steve. Glad to hear you’re alright. I assume you’ve read the reports. MCCALL: I have and there is something that sticks out. WALTAS::Switching to another PADD:: What is it? MCCALL: The person, the people behind this have not been found and we are not going to find them from here. What they did is unacceptable. Too many people have died who need to get justice for what has happened and I think that I am the person to do it. ::The hands stopped typing. Raising his deep blue eyes to meet those of his friend, mentor and former CO, the Ba’ku pulled his graying hair back and blinked.:: WALTAS: Say again? MCCALL: ::handing over a padd.:: This is my formal request for transfer to Starfleet Intelligence Sol system so that I have a better chance to hunt down those that are responsible for this ::A storm of emotions struck him, all at the same time. He’d been with McCall since he was an Ensign. He’d learned everything there was to know about being a Commanding Officer from him. Now…the words that came from him were almost inconceivable.:: WALTAS::Putting down the PADD:: Steve…you can’t be serious. MCCALL: I am afraid that I am. WALTAS::Waving dismissively:: We’ll track the perpetrators down. And Starfleet Security already has half the sector on lockdown. We’ll find them. There’s no need for you to get directly involved. ::He paused, gazing at his long-time friend with a measured look:: There’s something else driving this. MCCALL: We have some of them but not those really behind this. More importantly, I have a wife and a son that I have not seen in ages. I think I am missing some of the better years. WALTAS::Sighing:: Well, that at least makes more sense. Although I pity those behind the bio-weapon with you on their trail. ::Rising from his chair, he stood at the window, gazing out at the stars. His voice was quiet when he spoke again:: WALTAS: We’ve served together since the very beginning. MCCALL: All things change Tyr. WALTAS::Turning:: Discovery won’t be the same without you, Steve. MCCALL: True, you will just have one less person to order about ::Nodding, he stepped toward his friend.:: WALTAS: I can’t change your mind? MCCALL: Not this time I am afraid ::The storm subsided, just for a moment. The Ba’ku extended his hand.:: WALTAS: Fair weather, Captain. MCCALL: Same to you and the crew ::When McCall grasped his hand Tyr pulled him into an embrace, knowing the businesslike Captain would never do so himself. He clapped his friend on the back and then let go.:: WALTAS::Blinking away tears:: I’ll let the crew know. MCCALL: No fanfare if you please. WALTAS::Innocently:: Of course not. No ceremonies. You can go quietly on your way. MCCALL: Thank you Skipper. ::Smiling, Tyr watched his friend leave, then sat back down, immediately sending a message to the crew to assemble on the docking area in 15 minutes in dress uniforms.:: WALTAS::Quietly:: And pigs will have warp capability.. ((15 minutes later, Docking Ring, DS-285)) ::The dress whites were a little more snug than they used to be, and definitely more snug than when he was an Ensign. He stood at the end of a long line of officers, resplendent in their dress whites and all standing at parade rest. Tyr kept his eyes fixed on the door that linked Discovery with the station. When they opened and McCall appeared with his things, Tyr snapped to strict attention and spoke in a loud voice.:: WALTAS: Honors, HUP! Officer departing. Attention! ::The entire hallway filled with the crew of the USS Discovery, and, Tyr knew, the ghosts of the past as well, stood in quiet attention and respect as McCall made his way toward him.:: ::Tyr smiled as McCall reached him.:: MCCALL: You just could not help yourself could you? WALTAS: This? Oh, we just all happened to be in our dress whites as we left the ship. New procedure. You know Starfleet. There’s one every day. ::Growing serious:: I couldn’t let you leave without giving you the respect you deserve, Steve. This ship is losing one of its best. MCCALL: Sure you will get by without me. WALTAS::Snapping to attention:: Yes sir. :: Steve McCall turned to the assembled officers, some like Rode Mitchell he had known for years and years, others sure as Meng Tian who he had really only just got to know. Others had arrived during the current mission and he had never really even me them.:: MCCALL: I have always been a man of a few words and this is not going to be an exception. I have served with some of you for a long time, others of you for practically no time at all. In one form or another I have served on a ship called Discovery for a long time. During all of this time officers come and go, one person does not make a crew, you will get on fine without one person whoever they are. Whether you realize it or not you as a crew are a family. When times are tough you will need to be there for each other. I suppose in many ways this last mission is a good example of that. Goodbye and good luck crew of the USS Discovery. :: McCall turned away from the crew, gave Tyr a quick nod and headed through the docking hatch to go to Earth and his wife and son.:: Captain Tyr Waltas Commanding Officer USS Discovery -and Captain Steve McCall Director of Intel Starfleet Command
  14. Voting closes Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at 23:59 PM. This round of voting only qualifies one sim to move on to the next round of judging. REMEMBER: This is NOT a popularity contest. Vote based on MERIT, not the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found “stuffing the ballots” or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY. Yes, that means the whole crew!
  15. ((Operation block, Infirmary, a few minutes later, USS Discovery-C)) ::Fenna Fax laid down on the operation table, her long blond hair spilled on the thin white pillow. Her body was muscular, just the right side of athletic, without being masculine. Though her face was calm now,Telice could perceive the tension in her body as she laid her hands on the future host's abdomen, proding gently. :: SHAGAN: ::softly :: It's all going to be fine. You're making the right decision. FAX: When there is only one course of action for your people then that is the course of action one takes. A symbiont to us is more than an individual. It is a collection of memories and lives. More precious than the will of the individual. Do you understand? SHAGAN: I understand. ::She didn't. God knew what she would have done.:: VARAS: Everything is ready Doctor. ::looking at Fax::You are in good hands. ::Telice took the hypospray prepared by the nurse and checked to contents. Satisfied with the solution's color, she set it against Fax's neck, not pressing the tappet yet.:: SHAGAN: As nurse Varas has explained to you, I will inject you with a sedative and begin with the procedure once you are unconscious. If the implentation is successful, you should wake up soon after the symbiont has attached to your body. FAX: IF! ::pause::You think something can go wrong now. Is that what you do, hook somebody then after they are strapped down you then tell them IF! SHAGAN: ::a pause:: If anything goes wrong, I'll be there to take the symbiont out, I promise. FAX: No you won't. The symbiont is more important. I did have time to find out that your Ensign Cogud is a Trill. I know he is not a candidate because he is infected with the plague. You will keep the symbiotic alive at all cost until Cogud can be treated and then see if agrees to be a host. I did not come all this way for nothing. SHAGAN: ::losing patience:: Alright, let's do this. ::Telice injected the sedative into the Marine's bloodstream. Fax's eyes fluttered, instinctively fighting the effects. Telice put a hand on her forehead, stroking the hair out of her face. It was unprofessional, but she couldn't help the feeling of protectiveness welling inside of her. This was her patient, and it didn't matter that Fax was older than her and more experienced, and that her consent had been forced. She was still vulnerable under her hands, just like the symbiont. It was her responsibility, and as per each time she had found herself in this situation, she was humbled by their trust.:: VARAS oO When she wakes up she will not be the same person ever again. People come out of surgery missing limbs, losing memories. She will be changed forever with the memories of previous hosts going back centuries. That is a life changer! Brave girl.Oo This should be successful right? SHAGAN: No reason it shouldn't. Especially since she is a prepared host. But what do I know, I've never done this. ::Fax was completely under now. Telice pushed the thin sheet covering her body down to the Marine's knees. In a flash, she saw Herlon's body lying down cold, looking up at her with blood injected eyes. She blinked, and the image was gone, Fax's serene face resting on the pillow. Taking a deep breath, Telice snapped her gloves on and gestured at Varas.:: SHAGAN: Exoscalpel. VARAS: ::slapping the instrument skillfully into Shagans hand::Exoscalpel ::This time, managing the patient's blood flow was of the essence, and a lot trickier.:: SHAGAN: Take that protoplaser. ::she told nurse Varas.:: Now, when I cut through with the exoscalpel, I want you to laser the blood vessels closed as I go. It won't be too hard to reconnect them when we close the wound. VARAS: Fortunatley for you and the Gunny I specialized in ER and trauma surgery. won't be a problem. SHAGAN: Excellent. ::Tricorder in hand, Telice prodded the area of Fax's abdomen once more. The device emitted a satisfying bip to indicate the presence of the cavity all trained Trills possessed, and Telice marked the area with a swift hand.:: SHAGAN: Going in. ::she started cutting, keeping an eye on Varas' progress with the protoplaser.:: Steady, steady. ::Some blood trickled down the Marine's hip, silently absorbed by the biosterilizers.:: ::Telice had studied implantation procedure on her last year at the Academy, and she was certainly glad for it now. The opening didn't need to be as large as it had taken to get the symbiont out of Helron's body, but then symbionts weren't supposed to be pulled out of a live bodies anyway.:: SHAGAN: Cutting through muscle now. Watch out for the pancreas. ::Pushing carefully.:: Good. VARAS: Ready for the Helron symbiotic? SHAGAN: Yes, bring the vat please. ::The nurse rolled the vat to the edge of the table. The steri-field hummed in the background.:: Grabb the cellular microsutures. I'm not sure how smooth this is going to be so I want you to start suturing as soon as the symbiont had pushed past the pancreas. VARAS: Got it. I can recess the pancreas also to give you two hands. ::Telice plunged her hand in the vat and took hold of the symbiont carefully. It didn't try to swim away, simply stopped moving as if it knew what was happening. And it probably did. Telice brought it up and out of the nutrient-rich water to slide it at the gap she had opened in Fax's body, round head first.:: ::As soon as it touched the Marine's organs, the symbiont took on a life of its own, wriggling to get to the comfortable safety of the Trill's abdomen, between the liver and the pancreas. Telice smoothed out the way with the tip of the protoplaser, and pushed it back up slowly as nurse Varas started suturing the organs and muscles back together.:: ::If any other situation, it would have been disgusting. But here it was- :: SHAGAN: Beautiful. VARAS: Just like birth. I have taken life out of a body, never put one back in. Amazing. ::Soon the symbiont was out of sight. Telice alterned between the protoplaser and the dermal regenerator as they got closer to the surface of the wound. The nurse was doing a excellent job, and Telice made a note to congratulate her later for a job well done. If they finished successfully, of course.:: ::Eventually, there was only the skin to regenerate in order to avoid scarring. Nurse Varas pushed the vat out of the way while Telice made liberal use of the dermal regeneration devices. Color was returning to the newly regenerated flesh, blood flowing under the skin. Telice smoothed her hand on the site of the operation, palm flat.:: ::It was done.:: SHAGAN: Now, we wait. VARAS: I will stay with her. The other patients are all stable for now. ::Except Cdr. Mitchell who was entering the final hours of the plague:: SHAGAN: ::yawning:: I think I'll wait here too. I don't want to miss the moment she wakes up. ::smiling:: I'd ask someone to bring us a snack, but that wouldn't be very sterile, would it. ::Fatigue settled in her bones like lead. They had been at it for more than four hours now, between the extraction of the symbiont and the implantation. Telice yawned again, opening her mouth wide.:: SHAGAN: ::laughing softly:: Sorry! You should go and get some rest. No need for us both to stand there looking at that pretty face. VARAS: ::pulling up a seat::I will stay. My boyfriend, Meng, is busy right now. Busier than we are I expect. SHAGAN: Your choice. ::But Telice was glad the nurse preferred to stay.:: Have someone clean the devices, would you? ::While Varas went to fetch another nurse, Telice grabbed a stool and dragged it near the operation table. She folded her arms and leaned on the side of the table, resting her chin for a second. She closed her eyes, fighting the urge to sleep.:: TBC Ensign T. Shagan Medical Officer USS Discovery-C Ensign Ziyal Varas (PNPC) Nurse USS Discovery-C Gunnery Sgt Fenna Fax Platoon Sergeant SB-284 as simmed by: Lt. JG Meng Ishkan Tian Director of Intelligence USS Discovery-
  16. ((Abandoned Space Station)) ::Isaac continued his dash across the landing bay, moving faster than he ever had before in an attempt to reach a defensible position.:: Bale: =/\= Commander, incoming!! =/\= Cain: =/\= I will have men ready to cover you Ensign. How many spiders are out there? =/\= Bale: =/\= Too [...]ed many! =/\= Cain: =/\= Copy that Ensign. Keep the channel open. =/\= Bale: =/\= ::through heavy but controlled breathing:: Aye, sir. =/\= ::As he closed the distance to the control room where his allies waited, Bale started to see crates and other equipment stacked up in defensive barricades. Major Fanel had kept his men busy, it seemed. Heightened as his senses were by the torrent of adrenaline rushing through his veins, Isaac easily spotted a tripwire that had been set between two of those barricades. Whether through his telepathic senses or some visible sign barely registered in his consciousness, Isaac's instincts kicked in and he knew the enemy was right behind him. Without slowing his run, Isaac went down slightly lower with his weight shifted onto his right leg and kicked off the deck, shifting his weight back to the left as he did. Time seemed to slow down as he fell into a deep state of concentration. Isaac poured his telepathic strength into his sword as he rose, as he had learned to do from his Tassa'Akai masters. He kicked off a barricade with his left foot several feet off the floor, shifting his weight again to the right and sending himself into a vertical spin through the air. As his body rotated, Isaac lashed out with his Khrysar'Akai and cut the two spiders behind him completely in half, sending their slimy entrails spraying out to the side. Isaac continued his spin and landed several feet past the tripwire, perfectly balanced and still at a dead run. To anyone watching it would have appeared like a deadly ballet, but Isaac didn't have time to reflect on his performance just yet. Sensing another enemy closing on him, Bale was about to perform another acrobatic feat when suddenly a phaser burst streaked out towards him. He jerked his head to the side as the shot passed by close enough to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Whoever took that shot was either insane, or very good with a phaser. oO Fanel. Oo Isaac decided he wouldn't mention his annoyance at having to dodge phaser fire, considering the satisfying crunch of a bug popping he'd just heard right behind his shoulder.:: ::Despite having been in battle several times before, a couple of which were quite recent, as Arden stood behind the barricade he felt a different set of emotions within him. He found himself anxious more than scared as he usually had in the past. Keeping his focus on Ensign Bale, Arden watched as the man grew ever closer by the second. Once Bale had closed within a couple of dozen meters from the barricade he excuted some kind of zero-G move, Arden could only conclude that Bale thought he had no other choice and that was good enough for him. As Bale landed, Arden barely saw a pair of spiders fall dead behind him. The next thing Arden realised was a single phaser blast shooting over Bale's shoulder. Looking first to his right then to the left Arden saw Major Fanel holding the offending weapon. The shot itself was absolutely breathtaking to Arden who was clutching at the borrowed marine hand phaser waiting, not entirely trusting his limited marksmanship abilities. Sucking up the courage and focusing it seemed that the Major's first shot was the signal the marines were waiting for to commence the covering fire for Ensign Bale. Taking his time, Arden too, took aim firing at any living spiders he could get at.:: ::Isaac leaned forward and pushed himself to run even faster as covering fire began to streak past him. He was almost through the door when he felt something slam into him from behind with enough force to lift his boots off the deck and send him sailing the rest of the way into the control room. He crashed down hard to the deck and slid across the floor inside. Forcing himself to his knees and trying to stand, Isaac could feel the many legs of the creature wrapped around him. The strength of these things was incredible! Able to gain his footing, but unable to shake the beast free, Isaac turned his back toward the nearest wall and tried to slam the spider into it. The tangled pair crashed into the wall twice, then Isaac threw his head back and growled in pain as he felt something knife into his lower back.:: Bale: Shoot it!! ::Rushing from the barricade, Arden went to help Bale who seemed to be struggling. As he got closer inside the control room he realised that was because a spider had latched on to him.:: Cain: Stop moving and I will. ::With Major Fanel busy commanding his marines at the barricade, Arden was on his own to deal with this issue. Steadying his aim he fired the phaser hitting the spider directly in the abdomen followed by an unusual screech for a bug. Crudely holstering the phaser he quickly but carefully heaved the dead body of the spider free of Bale. Once the spider was free of Bale, Arden could clearly see a golf ball sized hole in the back of the Ensign's body armour which was somehow in the process of sealing itself. Adding the suits repair function to the list of unanswered questions, Arden began helping Bale to a sitting position.:: ::Isaac fell to his knees and then toppled over to one side. He lay on the deck trying to control the jerking spasms shooting through his body. The wound in his back felt like fire, and the waves of nausea threatened to steal his consciousness. Then, to his ultimate horror, Isaac felt something moving inside him just underneath the skin at his side. His eyes went wide and he snapped his gaze toward Cain.:: Bale: By the gods, there's something inside me! ::Arden was sickened just by the thought that any sort of alien organism had somehow slipped inside of Bale's space suit, let alone his body, but Arden knew full well that it could happen. Star Fleet Academy made sure of that. Almost within seconds a larger moving bulge in the back of Bale's suite could be seen and it did appear to be moving, so for the first time on this mission Arden was at odds at how to handle the situation. Obviously the organism, whatever it was, had to be removed. The real question was how though.:: Cain: ::Trying to speak calmly:: Judging by that bulge, you're right Ensign. ::Isaac reached down to his boot and pulled out one of his combat knives. He extended it toward Cain with a violently twitching arm.:: Bale: ::through gritted teeth:: GET... IT... OUT! ::Taking the combat knife from Bale, Arden immediately ran through the options in the most calm and rational way he could. The first step to solving the problem was obviously to remove Bale's suit, so that meant he would need life support in the control room or somewhere else. He didn't really have to glance around the barely functioning control room to know that it wasn't an option. His next thoughts were of the Mercury, it had both experienced doctors and plenty of air to spare but that seemed like an equally unacceptable choice. He couldn't allow these spiders to get onto the Mercury but something had to be done now, so activating his comm system he called the Ensign pilot still aboard the Type-11 Shuttlecraft to complete a site to site transport.:: ::When Arden and Bale emerged from the matter stream, he found that while the shuttle hatch was closed the shuttle craft still had no atmosphere. Leaving Bale's side he slapped the controls to re-establish the atmosphere. While Arden waited for the ability to remove his own helmet he stumbled around in the back of the shuttle in order to find the emergency medical kit. Resting the kit on a chair besides Bale, he hastily removed his helmet and gloves feeling relieved, and thought of removing more of the cumbersome EVA gear, but thought better of it. Instead he removed the helmet and upper body portions of Bale's suit. Although that task in itself was more difficult then he hoped it to be, he was mindful not to cause damage to the obviously expensive piece of equipment. Next he ran a tricorder over Bale as his basic first aid course dictated.:: Cain: There is something growing in you Ensign. I'm going to cut it out. ::Isaac grunted and growled, shooting a look at Cain that would cause any sane man to take a step back under different circumstances. Pain shot through him as he felt whatever was inside him moving along his ribcage. Both men knew what had to be done.:: Bale: Less talk, more cutting! ::rolling onto his stomach so Cain could get at the creature crawling across his back:: Cain: Oh I know. Me talking is more for my benefit then yours at this point. I only have mild pain suppressors so this will hurt. Bale: ::grunting again in pain:: Time's wastin', doc. ::As Cain moved over him, Isaac pulled out a second combat knife. The tension in the shuttle was thick enough to slice up and serve for breakfast, but Bale felt both Cain and Gerrard relax slightly when he put the handle of that knife into his own mouth and bit down hard.:: Cain: Ensign Gerrard is it, please hold Bale very still while I attempt to remove whatever is in him. Gerrard: I'm not sure, Sir. Shouldn't we wait for a doctor? Cain: I would love to, but it ain't going to happen in time so... ::As Arden pinched the man's flesh together looking for the best spot to make an incision he pressed a hypospray to Bale giving him the mild pain reliever. Running one more tricorder scan just to make sure he wasn't in immediate danger of puncturing anything important, such as the spine or a lung, he used the knife cutting into the Ensign's skin as if he were dealing with a steak at dinner time. Only this time, blood began to seep out of the incision. Wishing he could do more for the man and hoping just as hard that Gerrard could restrain Bale adequately, he cut further along and deeper until he had a five centimeter hole. Ignoring Bale's pain responses, he pinched the still growing bulge together once more, which rewarded Arden with a purplish egg sac poking out of the wound. Knowing that it was too late to panic or for second guesses, Arden reached in and forcibly pulled the sac out of Bale. As he did so, it twisted in his hand but he maintained a firm grip just long enough to extract it from Bale's body and throw it to the rear of the shuttle. Putting the knife aside he picked up the tricorder which only confirmed that he didn't cause any further damage. From that point it was simply a matter of a couple slow runs over with the dermal regenerator. While not perfect, it was certainly better then having Bale bleed to death.:: ::Isaac didn't bother pointing out the futility when he felt the hypospray press against his neck. With his naturally high metabolic rate, and the amount of adrenaline rushing through him right now, his body was going to burn through the pain killers faster than they could take effect. He didn't care. He just wanted this thing out of him. Then came the pain. As Commander Cain grabbed a handful of skin around the lump on Bale's back and started cutting, the creature inside him activated a natural defense mechanism that neither of them had expected. Most likely sensing it's own peril, it must have released some form of neurotoxin into its host. Every muscle in Isaac's body strained to the point of seizing. He stiffened at first, and then began to thrash as muscle groups worked against each other. Isaac hadn't felt pain like this since his time under the 'care' of Cardassian scientists during the Dominion War. All coherent thought fled from his mind. The knife handle fell from his mouth, and to Ensign Gerrard's credit the man had the good sense to fling it aside before Bale's head could be skewered on it in his thrashing. Eyes clamped shut and unable to exercise even the slightest control over his own vocal cords, Isaac threw his head back with his face locked in a long, wordless scream.:: ::With the egg sac removed, Arden noticed that the spasms Bale was experiencing quickly faded which allowed him to get Bale into a sitting position. Breathing a sigh of relief Arden refrained from collapsing right there and then. All things considered he wasn't too concerned with appearances at that moment, but still thought it best to try and stay composed.:: ::Isaac floated somewhere on the edge of consciousness. The pain in his back was receding, but nerve endings throughout his body still felt like he was swimming in acid. He wasn't thrashing anymore, that much he could tell. Was Cain successful, or was his body failing? He had no idea if the lack of pain in his back meant the Commander was able to get that thing out, or if it was simply being masked by the toxins. Unable to think clearly, unable to speak, and unable to care, Isaac simply relaxed and let the darkness take him.:: Gerrard: Did you have to throw that thing across the shuttle Sir? Cain: Probably not.. ::Suddenly speechless:: :: For the first time since the hasty beam-in Arden felt cautiously aware of his surroundings. He trusted both the shuttle and his two companions but he found the position of the shuttle eerie. Even the tiniest sounds coming from the hull put him on edge as he remembered that the docking bay was where the spiders had emerged from during the attack on Bale. The shuttle seemed secure enough for the time being. Taking a moments reprieve to sit on a chair opposite from Bale, just to collect his thoughts even though there was really no time for such luxuries. Taking a few deep breaths Arden suddenly paused as he moved to get to his feet. His ears were greeted by the sounds of cracking and a skittering noise filled the interior of the shuttlecraft. Judging by Ensign Gerrard's panicked reaction Arden knew he hadn't imagined it but he also saw the Ensign fell backwards as he moved toward the pilot's chair in sheer terror. Turning around abruptly he saw the purple egg sac had spilt open with a yellowish trail leading straight toward him. Tracking the slime to its source Arden barely had time to draw his phaser as a baby spider, similar to those outside the shuttle, was in mid leap toward Arden's chest. It was simply too late to move out of its path as it landed on his chest in a posture that seemed like one of attack but seconds after the creature landed on him it just fell dead. After seeing what the adult form of the spider had done to Bale, it took Arden a moment to recover from his shock and another to even start figuring out what had happened. This time he didn't even attempt to hide his reaction from Gerrard while Bale still seemed to be sleeping. The baby spider itself had fallen onto the fall at which point it seemed to shriveled up. Although he could begin to explain the reaction he was silently praying to whatever deities existed for the good fortune.:: Gerrard: Sir what happened to it? Cain: I am not even going to pretend to be a biologist but if I had to guess I would say that it couldn't handle our atmosphere. Gerrard: What do you mean our atmosphere? There isn't anything exotic or dangerous in it to most species. Cain: The adult spiders outside are exhibiting the ability to survive in vacuum space. If that's there native environment perhaps oxygen is as lethal to them, as a lack of it, is to us. Gerrard: But your not sure Sir. Cain: No but it is a good place to start. Stay here with Bale while I return to the away team. I will have a proper medical team here as soon as possible. Simmed by Ensign Isaac Bale Starfleet Intelligence USS Mercury NCC-99812 and Lt. Commander Arden Cain First Officer USS Mercury NCC-99812
  17. (( Eagle's Roost, USS Discovery-C )) :: Valdivia entered the Roost somewhat nervous. Although he was sure she wouldn't blame him at all, he still felt he owed her an apology. He took a deep breath and approached Sister Cruella. :: VALDIVIA: Sister, may I speak with... CRUELLA: ::interrupting him:: I was just thinking of you! What a charming synchronicity. Perhaps fate has brought you to me? ::The Chief Science Officer began forming a syllable as though to interject, but she continued.:: But these surroundings seem dull - People eating everywhere. Would you be so gracious as to accompany me? I was thinking of the Astrometrics Laboratory. ::The Reman woman carefully articulated the destination in her musical voice.:: :: Valdivia was a little surprised at first. For being cut midsentence, but specially for her proposal. After all, he was there when the darkening of the Roost had been planned, because she wasn't comfortable in direct light. :: :: There was something about her, something that was different. Perhaps enthusiasm significantly altered her features? No, that wasn't it -- not the most noticeable alteration. Color. Her alabaster white face had the faintest blush of pink from within. :: VALDIVIA: Are you sure? The rest of the ship is not as dark as this place. CRUELLA: I am feeling ..hale. Besides my ..vigorous health, I believe you suggested a protective set of lenses - "sunglasses". :: Valdivia smiled and nodded, glad she remembered about his idea, and they left the room. :: (( en route, Astrometrics Lab )) :: The Reman woman moved with only a trace of hesitation through the corridors. Although her garb was as funereal as ever, Valdivia noticed that it was slimmer, less shapeless than the layered shroud she constantly wore behind the bar. Perhaps it was her casual attire? :: :: They walked and Valdivia slowly started to fall behind, doubts filling his mind. :: :: Cruella paused, and turned to regard her escort. The wizened face looked kindly up at he man. If it were not for her Reman features, she could have passed for a typical grandmother. But the bat ears which poked from beneath her shawl and sunglasses suggested her unusual nature. :: CRUELLA: ::She walked to close the distance between them.:: Does something burden you? What is it? ::She carefully concealed her ears once more.:: VALDIVIA: I... I heard about what happened. Are you ok? CRUELLA: Oh, my dear child! ::She grasped his hand, her own grip unpleasantly like icy steel cables.:: I knew you were different than most scientists, but to be compassionate as well as possessed of a ..conscience -- Truly a remarkable, young man. ::She released him.:: You must forgive my familiarity, please. ::She trilled her apology.:: I forget sometimes how cold I must seem. VALDIVIA: I am sorry I got you involved in this. :: The man's rueful expression told his heart as plainly as any telepath could have read. Rather than subject him to further chilling contact, the old woman compromised, approached as near as she dared. Lowering her glasses, their dark eyes met, bridged the remaining distance. :: CRUELLA: ::Her voice sounded of a music box, the clear tones as though this tune had been repeated before and always the same.:: I am flattered that you so concern yourself with my well-being. I do wish that everyone were as considerate. I shall be fine. ::Her voice regained its more fluid meter.:: In ..honesty I find myself still thrilled that you thought of me. ::She smiled with ghastly fangs.:: Never regret your decision. I don't. VALDIVIA: ::smiling. :: Somehow, I knew you wouldn't. But still... I'm sorry. It is not your duty, but yet when we needed you... :: The Reman vampire felt a greater shadow over the Chief Science Officer. He did not disbelieve her words. No, the feeling was of sorrow, a regret older than his relationship with the bartender. Appreciating the burden of sorrow acutely, she took on a solemn, more maternal posture. :: CRUELLA: This goes beyond the two of us. Tell me, what troubles you? You have my ear. :: Valdivia reflected on the question for several seconds before answering. He had not thought about that for a long time. :: VALDIVIA: On my first mission... we were boarded. Two enemies that used energy weapons entered the science lab. I thought I could overload their weapons, and did so, creating an energy field in the lab with the same frequency. One of their weapons exploded, killing the attacker. But the other one saw the effect, and hurled the weapon at a crewman. It exploded near him. CRUELLA: Do you recollect this crew-man's name? VALDIVIA: I do remember. Lieutenant Raharu. He lost his eyes, and had them replaced by artificial ones. He... returned to Earth after that. CRUELLA: And you were left with guilt. Raharu blamed you for his eyes, and he departed. VALDIVIA: Blame me? He even called me a hero, saying we could all be dead if those Saurians wouldn't have been stopped. It made it even more difficult. CRUELLA: Not an uncommon paradox - to fabricate guilt even after absolution. We often assume more responsibility than is our part. And Raharu leaving the ship, you felt survivor's guilt, striking the man as a casualty even though he lived and walked. But you walked on as well, ever on. Maturing as an officer of peace. VALDIVIA: It took me some time, but in the end I saw he was somehow right. But each time I have to make a decision in a rush, or imply someone else, without testing or discussion, this moment still pops to mind. :: Cruella was initially taken by the sinful irony of killing someone by turning their weapon against them. As she thought of Valdivia's crisis of escaping unscathed and forgiven, her thoughts began wandering. :: CRUELLA: You acted with the best of intentions. It is still ..tragic, that some had to suffer and die. oO Violence, always fragmenting into further violent acts. Oo VALDIVIA: I'm really glad nothing serious happened to you, sister. CRUELLA: You know, every time I can be of use, I feel a bit less empty. ::a mournful bell tolling:: My eyes have seen lives burn bright, and crackling turn to ash. These withered old bones have done much. Good, at times, but I have acted in ..haste, at times. :: Less used to telepathic reading, now Cruella understood a bit more of the exchange that was conversation. Instead of offering thoughts in exchange, talking required painting a picture with words. There were times the Reman hesitated to reflect upon, felt ill about voicing aloud. :: VALDIVIA: Are you thinking about something in particular? CRUELLA: It was so long ago, and we were just getting along.. ::The musical notes faded, her words trailing off.:: :: They entered the lift for last leg of their jaunt to the lab. Unsure of the meaning of her last choice of words, Valdivia looked long at the little woman. Sister Cruella appeared to be reliving her past regardless of his prompting. Whistling whispers came from her, and when she would stop for a while her hand moved up to her face. :: VALDIVIA: Do you... want to talk about it? CRUELLA: ::sharply:: Oh! ::in a rising overture:: I feel I ought to confide in you, at the least we will be on equal terms. Equality of an unpleasant sort. My dear, innocent boy, I.. I do not know what you may think of me after I have told my tale. ::In the darker Turbolift, she removed her shades. Her eyes, haunted eyes, looked into him once more. There was fear there, real fear.:: VALDIVIA: You don't have to. But I'm willing to listen. CRUELLA: I was a girl, really only a girl. Lost in my ..the last foolish tatters of romantic hope, they still clung to my budding womanhood. How terrible for.. it was terrible that these last remnants of ignorant ideals ::She looked away as she said it.:: wrapped themselves over my eyes. ::aside, almost to herself:: My judgement was usually so sound. I was most prudent of my friends. ::she continued:: I was a young fool. VALDIVIA: It's hard to imagine you... :: too late, he noticed the implied meaning. :: err... being a fool, I mean. :: What he really meant, however, wasn't lost to her. She smiled again, but there was a beauty unmarred by fangs this time. Her teeth were orderly, more Terran. Rather than fangs curving toward eerie translucence like a deep sea fish, her smile was of pleasant, white teeth. :: CRUELLA: Oh, it is not so difficult to imagine. Just open your mind to the possibility. :: Before his eyes, she transformed. She was no longer a withered woman wearing a concealing pile of black and several life times' worth of wrinkles. :: :: A young Reman woman, really still a girl growing into her adult features stood tall where Sister Cruella had been. Most shocking of her transformation was that she was taller than Valdivia, imposing even. Her curves had the pert edges and firmness which came from being atop athletic muscle. She wore a coarse shift in fading maroon, with some threadbare patches finally beyond mending. Her clothes were actually a bit too small for her which made her seem a bit younger. The shawl (with large ears pointing up under it) did little to hide the woman's gaunt face, regarding Valdivia with open friendliness. Her soulful eyes had another character entirely - where he was used to seeing a sad understanding and acceptance there was none. Her eyes were filled with wild passion as only youth could possess. :: CRUELLA: Youth or madness. ::apologetic:: Forgive my intrusion. Nature is difficult to renounce in part, more so than refusing it wholly. VALDIVIA: This is... oO Impossible? A trick? Telepathy? Actual transformation? Oo ... impressive. :: The more robust, considerably younger Reman woman continued. Though faint, there was color in her animated face and hands. The melody of Cruella's voice seemed much more at home coming from her young self. :: CRUELLA: A young healer, well skilled in the techniques and meager resources Reman women developed since we resolved to live. Living in the dark pit, the mines of Remus. VALDIVIA: I can't even begin to imagine. Was it hard? CRUELLA: For the young it was, mostly. An idea remained, one of justice. That the Romulans would pay their due to us, and that we would be free to the stars. ::sulky:: Free as we had been when our people first came to settle Romulus and Remus. :: With relived passion of youth, tempered by the sober wisdom of hindsight, she told her tale. Unlike most Remans, she had been able to leave their abyssal world. Unfortunately, she had become taken with the powerful warrior Cenarius. Her love stuck her to the evil man's side, and by him she wandered far astray. The horrors, some completely pointless, Cenarius' loyal band perpetrated. The filthy lust and borderline abandon of the vampire bachanals caused Cruella to color a little, withdrawing from recounting the base details now as she had reserved herself from the morally degraded acts she witnessed in her past. She had succumbed to being a vampire with the rest of the Orcus Sect, but unlike the riotous blood suckers she somehow, against all she knew, believed she could bring them back around to more noble goals. By the time Sister Cruella had finished, they were lingering outside of the Astrometrics Lab. :: :: There was undoubtedly more to her tale, but more than enough had been recounted. Valdivia, however, mesmerized by her tale, and specially by her telling it, was in shock for a couple of seconds when she stopped. :: VALDIVIA: oO Why...? Oh! Oo Oh! Welcome to Astrometrics. simmed by Lt.Cmdr John Valdivia Chief Science Officer USS Discovery-C and Sister Cruella (PNPC) Bartender The Eagle's Roost as simmed by Lt.Cmdr. Inarr "Steve" Rogg d'Squamos Chief Engineering Officer USS Discovery-C
  18. ((Bridge, USS Apollo)) Ra: Lieutenant, do you believe that there is a destiny coefficient on the probability of outcomes? ::The question was quite random, but it caused her to pause and think about it. Was there a such thing as fate? As destiny? Certainly things had come together in her world to culminate at this particular point and time. Why could the same not be true for others?:: Adyr: You mean like, fate? ::He elaborated on the thought as if he’d been thinking about it, mulling it over in his head for some time.:: Ra: What I mean is do you believe that destiny, at times, is the driver of where we are supposed to be? As if some force, some say the universe, is somehow affecting us. Or is it all just coincidence and random chance? ::Alaryc had an interesting view on fate and history, and as his words came to mind, she smiled.:: Adyr: Someone once told me that half of everything is luck, but the other have is the unending need for the universe to balance itself. Perhaps we are part of that balancing process. ::It didn’t seem so easy for the man to agree. He seemed to voice a kind of internal conflict; a conflict that reminded her of days that had long passed.:: Ra: I grapple with the problem of lacking proof. I have never believed in predestination of any kind. I have always believed that we controlled our own futures. I once wrote a paper concluding that even if you traveled into the future to see the future outcome, there was no guarantee of achieving that outcome because of your knowledge of those future events. But throughout this mission, my beliefs have been tested. Your presence on this ship and coming up with the correct solution. The insights from Gondor. I wonder sometimes if someone is writing the script for us. So now if I am wrong, no matter what we do, we end up where we are supposed to be. ::Cayden contemplated that notion for a moment. It seemed like a fairly black and white conflict; either they were set on one path as a puppet that simply played a part in an already predestined play, or they were simply children of chaos who went and did as they wished without any real direction. Neither set seemed to fit her own beliefs on the subject though. Perhaps there was more than just the black and white.:: Adyr: Personally, I think it all falls into more of a grey area. ::Again she smiled and turned in the chair slightly to look at the Efrosian man.:: Ra: So, how does this blend work? ::Now it was her turn to elaborate.:: Adyr: Perhaps the script is not yet written because there are still possibilities. Paths if you will. We can choose the path, which ultimately will take us places and through experiences, and while we think this is where we need to be and when we need to be here, perhaps it is just the universe bending those paths towards balance. Ra: So you suggest that we all have our own final destination, but that the paths to reach that destination are ultimately up to ourselves. The universe does not concern itself with the finer details, but merely overall vision. Interesting... Adyr: Maybe there are multiple places and times where we should be. Where we can do the most good. ::Now she shrugged. Thinking about her own situation, she realized that here and now was where she wanted to be with her whole heart, but was that destiny, or was that simply the successful culmination of good choices she had made along the way? In times where coincidence and serendipity seemed to reside, it seemed far more like fate than it did of her own work.:: Ra: Yet it seems that certain events appear to be so well thought out that we end up where we are supposed to be, without option. Adyr: You’re right; strange coincidences seem to point towards some kind of predestined point in the future, but maybe we’re looking at it wrong. Maybe it’s just that our past dictates the paths we choose to take, and perhaps that is what puts us where we need to be. Ra: Historical analysis is often the best way to predict the future, however there are exceptions. Case in point, the Dominion War. Starfleet strategists predicted that it was more likely that the Federation was going to lose the war than win it. However, two unexpected events occurred. It was not expected that the Romulans would join the alliance nor the Cardassians to turn on the Founders...or that I would lose my older brother in that very conflict. ::It was an interesting way to turn it around on herself. She could feel Alaryc’s scientific mind tugging at her consciousness as she spoke. Still seeming no closer to the truth, she simply found herself content to mull over the options and thoughts of her now fellow officer. Strange was the road that had brought her back to this, the center chair, but regardless of if it was her or the universe, she knew that she wouldn’t have traded it for anything.:: TAG/TBC --- Lieutenant Cayden Adyr Mission Specialist/Command Advisor USS Apollo
  19. (( USS Discovery-C, The Eagle's Roost)) :: The Raskorian entered the bar, the delicious one. He was dressed well in attire which matched his fine feathers. The bird-like gait seemed to indicate confidence, although this well could have been anthropomorphizing the avian a bit. :: :: For a while longer, Cruella gazed hungrily at Doctor Aven. The lights in the bar were now several lumens brighter than she liked. Against this modest brilliance she was now armed with sunglasses. These were, unfortunately, enabling her new habit. It was a bad one - tasting people with her eyes. From the shadowy screen behind the bar with her eyes guarded by dark lenses Cruella watched the patrons more avidly than would have made them comfortable. She wanted his blood most of all. :: oO Doctor Aven Morning-song the Raskorian. oO :: Fortunately few thought of her new accessory as anything more than another symptom of her photosensitivity. :: :: Cruella was hoping that the Discovery's smallest doctor would come sit at the bar. Maybe he would want to "check up" on her recovery? :: :: Instead Aven went directly towards the coolest cat in the joint. The Raskorian bobbed up to Nickels as though he were the most approachable soul in the moodily-lit mess hall [...] lounge. :: oO [...]y thing. Oo :: She was at first furious at the slight. After forceful moments of reflection, Cruella realized she was not doing Aven justice. She had entirely neglected her hostess duties. There was more to keeping such a social job than waiting to be approached. As the amiable avian attempted a conversation with the morose mobster mook from Security, Cruella subtly began to approach the pair. :: :: She was wearing fancy clothes of her own. Although attached to her customary habit, she had felt the need for something new, some changes. No longer in bulky, shapeless shrouds with a hood and cowl, she wore a conservative dress extending to the floor. It was cut a bit closer than her Sister's habit, although not remotely indecent. It had long sleeves which she had tucked into the cuffs of dark gloves. A vivid red guimpe of crushed velvet further protected her neck and shoulders, while her head was concealed (apart from her face and the suggestion of impressive ears) by a layered velvet scarf of impenetrable darkness. The sunglasses made her look a bit like an aged movie star whom had escaped the silver screen to serve drinks. :: Nickels: response Aven: ::resisting the urge to run a medical scan to determine the level of Nickels intoxication.:: The color scheme is all mine however the design is from a file sent to me by an anonymous friend. Nickels: response Aven: What are you drinking Mr Nickels? Nickels: response Aven: Whiskey? A distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash if I remember correctly. ::shuddering:: Well each to his own I suppose. I prefer the nectar of flowers myself. :: Cruella was near enough now to observe the fledgling conversation. She could pick up on the words. However, the contrast between the light and entreating mood of Aven and the dark demeanor of Nickels was dizzying - had she been reading them intently it might have been staggering. As it was, she still picked up on a seething, old wound Nickels was attempting unsucessfully to sterilize with ethanol. :: :: She politely inserted herself between them, concerned that the handsome Iotian Security officer might say something more brash. :: CRUELLA: Would I be presumptuous in bringing you some fresh nectar now, good doctor? ::The Reman woman smiled, her teeth in two regular rows. She then spoke to whomever might overhear in the vicinity, her voice a triumphant clarion.:: You know, I declare Doctor Aven saved my life, I believe. ::once more addressing the two:: Not that I expect a repeat performance of the Medical Arts will be necessary. oO Move on, move off from it. Fight the hunger. Oo NICKELS: (response) CRUELLA: ::businesslike tempo:: Very well then, sir. A double for the Ensign with a pair of friends to make sure he reaches home in good company. oO Dean Martin would could do little better. Oo ::She turned to face the Raskorian, between the two of them she was feeling an intriguing kind of heat. Her blood quickened just slightly, and licked her full lips involuntarily.:: And any particular nectar for the dapper Doctor? ::She forcibly comported herself, but the Raskorian body radiated more heat than the common Terran -- though perhaps she was merely indulging in a hematophage's fantasy.:: AVEN: (response) :: Cruella nodded in reponse, made to procure the orders, but was interrupted by a faintly slurred speech from the indigo-eyed Iotian. :: NICKELS: (response) :: She had, in fact, noticed. But some vague intuition, a feeling Nickels might have been sending desparately to any whom could read, this caused her a tricky thought. She fully intended to provoke the usually charming, if a bit oily, man. Some part of Nickels fought against *something* for his rank and all it meant to him. :: :: Uncharacteristically forward, Cruella sat on Nickels' lap - the sprawl which he had going defied physics to explain how he remained in seat, but left an open field for any temptresses. The way the Reman vampire cradled his young neck with one hand as her other turned his dress collar just so to catch the candle light was borderline menacing. :: oO Odd. I feel as though I should be on a harpsicord- No. A piano. Reclining on a piano, talking- no, not talking. Singing. Oo :: Even in a non-vampire, her elaborate show of inspection would have been considered predatory in anyone as old as she was. She looked at the new half-pip decorating Nickels' neck. Her guilty eyes, hidden from most behind shades, darted up to meet his infra-blue eyes and their rye-induced shine. His shiny pips reflected in her black lenses, the lenses reflected back complete with miniscule pips in Nickels' eyes. :: CRUELLA: ::playful, dusky tone:: Lookee here, the man has returned from disgrace. :: His warmth was intoxicating; she delicately lowered her hand from Nickels' neck to the fabric stretched between his shoulders. :: NICKELS: (response, if any) CRUELLA: Though I am just a working girl, I'd say the rank suits you, Lieutenant Nickels. ::She stood up, straightening her clothes with one hand, still hooked to Nickels' collar with the other.:: But junior grade under-rates you. ::She turned from Nickels, dragging the man slightly as she addressed the innocent bystander, Doctor Aven.:: ::in challenge:: Whaddaya say, Doc? What's the word on this ..specimen? Is he fit to serve or should we throw him back? AVEN: (response) oO Yes, I should stop tormenting the two of them. Oo CRUELLA: ::much more in her usual music style:: Coming right up, gentelmen. Don't stop the part on account of my absence. ::winkinging at the two of them:: If you're still here I'll top you off on my next round. AVEN/NICKELS: (response) :: With that she resumed her usual manner. :: :: No stranger to influencing the minds of others, Cruella sensed she had made a favorable impression on the silently brooding Nickels. She was less sure of Aven's take on her little display. Perhaps he would be jealous in some obscure manner? Perhaps he would worry after her state of health and well-being? Or maybe he would simply be disgusted. :: oO Digusted I know backwards and forwards. Oh, if only... I should so like to dive right into the thick of them and read away. Maybe add a few thoughts. Just a couple, innocent ones. Oo :: In a short while she brought them beverages. Content to to stir the pot once in a while, remaining a mild-mannered barkeep the rest of her shift. :: Sister Cruella (PNPC) Bartender The Eagle's Roost as simmed by Lt.Cmdr. Inarr "Steve" Rogg d'Squamos Chief Engineering Officer USS Discovery-C
  20. Note: This was written before this officer was promoted. ((Tiger-A Deck 4-Junoir officer crew quarters ) ) :: The ensign looked at the PADD in her hand, it held the schematics of the new Prometheus vessel she was to serve on. According to the data it was the most advanced vessel Starfleet had, and certainly the most advanced she had ever seen. First order of business was to find her quarters, stow what items she had before checking in to the commanding officers. :: oO There it is. Oo :: Touching the door panel she walked into a single occupancy room, that to her seemed large for one person. Her own quarters on Shield were this size and they housed her husband, child and herself. illumination activated once a living being entered the room. No need to fumble for the controls when tired. Convenient. Logical. A glance around showed a bed, deck consol, dresser and a closet for clothing, the refresher was in another room. A glance in there to familiarize herself, T’Mynn noticed another even smaller room in the ‘fresher, curious she put her head in to suddenly jerk back in gasping in surprise. Reached a hand to her head finding it and her body was all wet. oO Water out of the walls? Oo :: Starfleet Academy did mention these things, but experiencing them was another course in and of itself. Looking down, contemplating changing, she saw the droplets being quickly absorbed by her skin. Vulcan epidermis was made to be a bit more osmotic than a human’s. If needed, a V’tosh could ‘drink’ in mists that occasionally rose off the small oceans of Ti’Valk’ian absorbing water that way. The last time the woman had seen that world seemed to be many lifetimes ago. She decided to let the water absorb and put her toiletries in the fresher in the meantime. Medium sized blown glass bottles made by her uncle holding scented oils made from plants grown in her mother’s gardens were placed on the sink. She replicated a bowl of very fine sand, that too found it’s place. :: :: A quick uniform change while the computer updated her data, then chirped to indicaite an open subspace com channel was active. :: oO Punctual as usual Oo :: T’Mynn though with a smile as the faces of her parents appeared on screen. :: Farin: Hello, little one. T’Mynn: Hello Father. How are you and Mother and brothers doing? Farin: We are all doing well. ::A head poked itself into frame, T’Mynn’s brother Sorin, eyebrow went up.:: Sorin: Why are you wet? Did someone throw you into another body of water again? You should try to avoid that. T’Mynn:: head up a finger in an effort to explain when another head poked into frame, this time Sarek.:: Sarek: Maybe it’s a Starfleet thing. Ensign tossing. Although Lil’sister is small, so maybe it’s dwarf tossing. :: He grins. :: T’Mynn: Nope, No dwarf tossing. Just an encounter with the shower. They have water coming out of the walls on this ship. :: All three men’s eyes widen a little at that. :: Sarek: Water from the walls? :: Incredulously.:: Try the sonic shower next time, less messy. :grins: Did you find a nice mate yet. You can't play doubles Mahdhzong with only seven. Hurry up. :grins: T’Mynn: I..uh.. well..:: raising an eyebrow:: I wasn’t looking, I needed to study not go looking for males. ::Looking mildly uncomfortable even though the man was gently teasing hoping for a smile.:: ::Sorin shoves him out of frame. Only to be shoved out of frame by Farin. The brothers conversation though quiet wasn’t missed by keen V’Tosh hearing. In the background she caught Sorin saying “What’s the matter with you, that’s a touchy subject. :: Sounds of a hand gently swatting someone.:: "Give her time.” :: Farin: Hiist out,both of you. Go work on the Disciplines, you both can chat with her later. :Shaking head.:: Boys. :: T’Mynn tried to keep the grin of her face. She could hear the duo shouting back comments and joking with each other. The two brothers could be at times incurable but she loved them nonetheless. They added a lot of life to the family. Many days of laughter especially during the long trip through the vast wastes of space. They truly cared for her, they wanted her to be whole again by finding someone to complete her.:: oO It’s not that easy my dear brothers. A soul mate isn’t found on trees. Oo Farin ::Looking apologetic:: Sorin tends to speak before thinking. T’Mynn: I understand his sentiment, and I greatly appreciate his concern..What’s new? Farin: Ah. There will be a new addition to the family. ::T’Mynn raised a questioning eyebrow:: T’Ami, is with child. ::Farin was calm but his eyes showed how joyful he was. :: T’Mynn: That’s wonderful? When? Farin: Anytime now, she’s anxious for them to see the world. T’Mynn: Them? Twins? Again? :: Twinning was rare among their species, but occasionally some families tended to have more of them than others. Pregnancy was hard on a V’tosh because of their anatomy the baby was carried low which proved to be a bit uncomfortable. Twins made it a bit more uncomfortable. T’Mynn knew that if T’Ami was with twins, she would’ve been bedridden for three quarters of the term.:: :: Farin nodded, the scenery seemed to be moving around as if he were carrying the computer through the house. She saw familiar things, mother’s plants all over the home. . :: Farin: ::Whispering. :: She is sleeping, but I figured you wanted to see her. :;He had angled the screen to capture her, t’Ogien’s primary was shining through the large open windows, a breeze ruffling the woman’s hair. Her father quietly sat down on the edge of the bed next to T’Ami, gently stroking her forehead with his fingers. T’Ami smiled in her sleep at his touch, shifted to a better position her belly swollen the lives she carried. :: T‘Mynn: I can see why she’s wants her tenets out. I would too.. Please give her, the babies and those troublesome brothers my love. Farin: :: Speaking quietly still.::I will. T’Mynn: I’d like to talk all night but I have to meet my commanding officers. Starfleet has more protocal, than I can imagine, sometimes how much is even logical. :: She missed them all, she missed her mate and her child. Her bond with them no longer existing because both passed beyond the veil that separates this life from the next. :: Farin: ::nodding:: it’s necessary unfortunately, politicians need jobs. Things haven’t changed much. T’Mynn: Terrans have a saying.”The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Farin: There is wisdom there. Get going Little one, we love you and stay safe. T’Mynn: :: Putting a hand on the screen.: So do I. :: The connection closed, but not before a file packet showed up from her family. She put it in the desk drawer to view later after all the meet and greeting was finished. A tap or two on the environmental controls set the ambient temperature to forty degrees Celsius, gravity to 1.4 standard Gs and air density to fit that of her birth world. She finished unpacking her back pack that held a PADD, holo-cam, a small case that held paint brushes, ink well, a roll of fabric like paper, and an isolinear chip. These were carefully arranged on the desktop. A quick communicae’ to the transporter chief, the contents of the chip arrived, the rest of her items. Pots of plant-life shimmered into existence. Ti’Valk’ain plant-life that she and T’Ami had grown, and later she’d taken care of them during her tenure at the Academy. Holos of family sat at the desk, plants on the desk, floor, and shelving. A lyre stood next to the desk as well. The bed would have to stay until she could move it. It was going to feel odd sleeping on it; she was used to a floor pallet and generally preferred it. :: :: Standing in the middle of the room, it would be home for a while. A Terran saying drifting through her memory "Home is where you hang your hat." and "Home is where your heart is." :: oO My heart will always be with Ti'Valk'Ain until I find someone to share it with, this place is where I'll 'hang my hat." Oo :: A small form wound itself around her ankles.:: T’Mynn: Sneaky creature following me, how did you escape notice? Hmm :: Scratching an ear on the purring feline. She secured food and water for the feline and headed out the door to start her duties on Tiger. :: Ensign T’Mihn Ah’mygahn Science Officer USS-Tiger 52199-A
  21. ((USS Apollo - Sickbay)) ::Pierce saw the look of distaste briefly cross Barne's face as she shipped him off to Emma. It wasn't unusual from crew to prefer a human doctor over a holographic one, no matter what skin it wore. That said something about the human condition, that a race who frequented holodecks as a means of near-perfect escape were not comfortable with that same pre-programmed concept touching their outsides and insides. It was a small relief that Emma understood the feelings that most humans had towards their digital counterparts.:: ::The EMH caught a glance from the doctor that she had taken to understanding was a means of non-verbally requesting someone's presence. She had seen the same look pass between couples numerous times, although those seemed to be looks more of anger than of a medical nature.:: Barnes: Thanks Bones. Nothing like a walking computer to play with your mind. ::Emma gestured for Barnes to sit down.:: Emma: Despite your concerns, I am perfectly suited to the task at hand. Barnes: Oh very funny. So what are you doing, EMMA? ::The comment hadn't seemed particularly funny. The idea crossed through Emma's central processing unit that this could be a side effect of the encounter that Hugh Barnes had undergone just hours before, but it was an idea that fizzled out just as quickly.:: Emma: We will be examining you to find if you share any of the same neuro-degenerative symptoms as Johnson and the Nelson crew members. Barnes: Been listening in again have we?. The only problem I've had is a short recurring dream, nightmare, vision or whatever about the last time I saw my wife alive. Emma: I suppose what I was doing could be called eavesdropping, though my hearing was finely tuned within this program to aid in medical procedures. Barnes: If you say so EMMA. Is this going to take long? Emma: Not particularly. ::The neural scan began moments after Barnes' head hit the bed. He was very tense, but as the moments passed he calmed down and the sine wave emerged. There were high levels of activity in the brain stem – not enough to imply that the patient was having waking dreams or hallucinations, just that his lower brain function was up and he might be more prone to wild imaginings.:: Barnes: All clear EMMA? Am I fit or just slightly mad? EMMA: Whatever happened on the ship seems to have stimulated some of the memory storage in your brain. Should you experience vivid flashes during waking hours or have serious trouble sleeping, please let someone in Sickbay know. However, you appear to be free from all the other ailments plaguing the Nelson's crew. ::Ramos's swelling seemed to be going down. Pierce eyed the counselor with trepidation. Too many of the staff were operating below what was considered safe, but she realized the drive to work was strong in the whole crew, especially now with a pseudo-crisis on their hands.:: Pierce: How does that feel now? Ramos: Hmm? Oh, right. It's... better. Pierce: I'm sorry about before. The impact was deeper than I thought. Ramos: It's alright. No harm was done Pierce: ::smiling:: I should hope. ::Satisfied that everyone in Sickbay was either in slow recovery or at least not getting any worse, Sidney took a minute to take a deep breath and pause. The room was quieter than it had been in a while.:: Barnes: Bones. ::Pierce turned to look at the security chief.:: Barnes: About the problem we were discussing about the Borg, if you want to continue, how about over dinner? Pierce: ::startled:: Dinner? Of... of course. I'll try to clear some time as soon as it's possible. Barnes: Anytime that suits you. Just let me know. ::With that, Barnes turned and went to check in with Neebo, leaving Pierce leaning against the bed. Suffice it to say, this would be her first interpersonal interaction with a stranger in a long time, outside of medical facilities and active duty. There was lots of potential for terror. For example, the tone of the evening had been left blank. Would this be a chummy dinner with wry jokes in the mess, or would this be a philosophical discussion over a fine wine? Too much of the nature of human interaction was overwhelming to Sidney even after her years in Starfleet. Too many years among Betazed mindgames.:: ::Doctor Pierce hadn't moved or said anything for a few moments. Her lack of movement was particularly noticeable within the confines of a still Sickbay. Emma strode over and gave her a soft touch on the shoulder. The other woman jumped.:: Pierce: ::small gasp:: I'm ... I'm so sorry. Emma: Are you alright, Sidney? Pierce: Yeah, I was just... ::making a circle with her hand mid-air:: miles away, you know? Emma: ::looking concerned:: Miles away. The distancing of one's mind from one's body. Pierce: Your programming has some baffling detail. Emma: For this version of the Emergency Medical Holographic program, the coding engineers felt it was best for me to have a sub-routine dedicated to the vernacular of various races so that nothing would be misunderstood or taken out of context. ::Pierce chuckled a little bit.:: Pierce: What did your scans of Barnes pick up? Emma: That he is fairly healthy, that his hallucinations were brought on by the same issues as everyone else, but that he will manage. I believe it is time we started working on a treatment. ::They both moved to sit down in Pierce's office. There were nearly ten different bio-scans to examine, plus a partial readout of the creature's energy signature and scraps of the Nelson's medical record. Emma began plotting symptoms and comparable diseases while Sidney placed healthy brain and bio-scans side-by-side for comparison.:: Pierce: ::murmuring:: We need to silence the primal functions to get rid of hallucinations, we need to stifle the paranoia, and we need to get that rogue energy signature out of their systems. Emma: Bio-feedback loop. Pierce: Would amplify the issues, assuming the nervous system will continue to act like a short-circuiting power relay. Anti-psychotics. Emma: Medication will not solve the problem, only temporarily allow respite from the symptoms. ::Pierce got up out of her chair. She had been fidgeting as she thought anyway; the pacing was merely an extension of that. She crossed the room ten, twenty, thirty times before finally sighing and sitting back down. There was something. Something that could combine all of this. She frowned.:: Pierce: If all the problems are neuro-chemical in nature, why not just... have the body fight it off? Emma: Unlikely - this is not a virus or bacterial infection. The bodies of our patients do not have the anti-bodies to fight off an infection of this nature. Pierce: It's not an infection, more like... a hormone imbalance. I've been coming at this all wrong. It's not a neuro-toxin, like something that has been added to the body's existing chemicals. ::She stood up, walking out to into the room.:: It's a sine wave, or a pulse that disperses the ability of a subject to think and act rationally. What if we just... fought back? Reached into our mind and re-balanced our own leaning towers? Emma: Elaborate. ::Sidney's mind was firing rapidly. She struggled to get all of her thoughts in one place. This is how every breakthrough in an essay had been, every game won, every right word in the right ear; like firecrackers going off just behind her eyes.:: Pierce: What if we put the body to sleep, keeping them and everyone else safe from physical harm. We then move everyone into a REM state and let their brain sort out what is wrong with them. Emma: Using the processor to assess the damage and repair it. Interesting. There would be great risk of harm. They could awake as a different person. Pierce: I don't know. Do you think the human body would knowingly harm parts of itself in sleep? Most of the time spent dreaming is an attempt by the higher functions of the brain to get everything right. If we're in a pleasant dream we might try to stay there, otherwise everything is about waking up and setting things straight. We put them to sleep, we let their minds go. We get everyone back. ::They looked around the room at the cluster of injured bodies. Pierce let out a slow stream of air.:: Pierce: ::quietly:: Any volunteers? Lt JG Pierce Chief Medical Officer USS Apollo also simming for PNPC EMH Mark III "Emma" USS Apollo
  22. ((Holodeck One-Deck Four-USS Mercury)) ::Alexander walked into the holodeck as the doors opened for the virtual connection to the Drake had been completed. He is very excited to see Jade again. It has been a few weeks since he has seen her. He walked over to the computer to program his home in the Ohio Valley. He tapped the controls, then the room of black and yellow changed to the summer landscape of green grass, leaf filled trees, and the lush green mountains. He looked down to the valley below where the family home sits, surrounded by trees and the winding path from the house to the main road. He stood next to his cafe racer style motorcycle in his jacket, tee-shirt, blue jeans, and boots. Holding his helmet in his hand, and the other on the bike he waited for Jade.:: ((Holodeck - Drake)) Shryker: There he is! ::Jade approached him from the holodeck entrance, wearing similar clothes to Alex. Boots, jeans, and leather jacket. It was wonderful to see him again. She had missed him since their last, wonderful encounter. Her heart beat faster as she approached him. She smiled.:: Matthews: ::Looking at her as she walked towards him, his heart jumped at the sight of her. She was beautiful in any attire, he longed to hold her in his arms again.:: Hi Jade, boy have I missed you. Shryker: Hey Alex, missed ya. Matthews: Been very busy and working a lot, how about you? Shryker: Arr, me too. ::She moved forward and hugged him, lifting her head up for a kiss.:: Matthews: ::He smiled as he moved down to kiss her soft lips, he felt her heart beat faster as he kissed her passionately. He felt her body next to his, softly, tenderly, he touched her face as he felt the excitement from her.:: Now that was worth the wait. Shryker: Mm, thanx. ::she rested her head on his shoulder, and then looked at the bike.:: Where you going to take me? Matthews: ::Smiling.:: For a ride into my heart. There is a small cabin that I’m building, the last time I was home. Not finished yet, but it will be our private place where we can relax and have some space. ::Touching her face gently.:: A place just for us. Would you like to see it ? ::Holding her next to him gently, but letting her know that he is caring and aware of her injury.:: Shryker: ::She giggled:: Do you see me resisting? ::Smiling as he helped her onto the bike, looking into her eyes at the excitement. It has been some time since he has been able ride in this simulation. He felt her arms around him as she held on tight.He felt so comfortable with her next to him. He put on his helmet, he checked to make sure Jade was ready before he started the engine.:: Shryker: ::They mounted the bike, denim on leather saddle. Jade held her arms around Alex so tight.:: Matthews: ::Looking back to the lady of his heart.:: Ready? Shryker: let’s go__ ::Alexander started the engine, he looked down the road towards the the forest. He shifted the gears and cruised along the road. He moved his hand to touch Jade’s as they rode along under the morning sun, he could feel her breathing as it became rapidly from the excitement of the ride. He could feel her squeeze herself upon him, he felt the contentment from her and the happiness flowing from her body into his, a feeling of joy came over him as they entered the forest. He kicked up the speed on the bike, as he thought about how much Jade would like the cabin in the lower valley behind the house. He looked over to his right as they passed the family home, built by his great grandfather as a retreat for the family, but it ended up being the year round home of Jefferson and Frances Matthews, his parents. The house built of logs from the surrounding trees, more of a mansion after the construction was completed. He took his away from hers to turn towards house of his youth.:: Shryker: Is that it? ::she marvelled.:: Matthews: ::He slowed down the bike too let her see the house.:: This is where my Mother and Father live. Shryker: Really? Your folks? Matthews: Yup, but I will show you this another time. I want you to see our place first. ::They continued on around the house towards the back of it to the entrance of the lower valley, down the winding road under the morning mist.:: ((Starbase 118-Holodeck Three)) ::Frances and Jefferson Matthews hurried into the room, and tapped the console, the grid changed to the small valley behind the main house. They had completed the smaller cabin that Alexander was building during his time home from duty. Frances walked inside to places the pictures of his lost command and the unit flag of Force Recon Alpha Two, on the mantel above the fireplace. Jefferson in the meantime was checking to oven in the kitchen the plumbing leading up to the bathroom on the upper level near the bedroom. Frances walked over to him hearing the computer complete the connection to the Mercury.:: Frances: Jeff hurry up, he might be here. ::Folding her arms in front of her.:: Jefferson: ::Turning off the flashlight.:: Just finished, did you send them to him ? ::Walking over to her, kissing her on the cheek.:: Frances: ::Smiling.:: Yes, it reached the ship a few weeks ago. I got the confirmation the other day. I hope everything is alright, in his letters he seemed really unhappy,distant, but meeting Jade has seemed to make a difference, his messages and letters are much better. Jefferson: I know, he will be fine, you know how he is when he is focused on things. I think he was really working too much ::Hearing the motorcycle coming down the road.:: It’s them. ::Jade and Alexander approach the cabin, but he notices that the cabin is finished, with an extra level added to it. His eyes opened wide as he stopped the bike, dismounted, and helped Jade off. He looked at the windows of stained glass, and flower boxes under them. He could feel the excitement from Jade as she walked towards their special place.:: Matthews: This is it, but... ::He took off his helmet.:: Shryker: – I can’t wait. ::The bike came to the smaller, romantic cabin Alex had been telling her about. They stopped. Jade got off. Alex followed.:: It’s beautiful. ::Taking off her helmet, her long brown hair flowing free in the warm breeze.:: Matthews: Yes it is. ::he looked in amazement at the improvements on his original design. The door made from cedar, and the stained glass square window, it has two doorknobs. On for the upper half and one for the lower.:: How do you like it ? Shryker: – Love it! Can we see inside? Matthews: Of course we can. ::Holding out his arm to her.:: I have a little surprise for you, because now I’m just as surprised. Shryker: – Swell! ::Alexander and Jade walked to the door, he placed his helmet on the porch bench by the door, he placed her’s there also. He opened the door and let her go in first.:: Shryker: Wow! It’s fab. :: There was a couch, table and chairs. Stone fireplace too. She glanced about – a kitchen off to the side, with a stove. Double doors leading out to a backyard with a garden. Trees all around. She loved it. Jade suddenly silenced when she saw two people in the room. A woman, about the same height as Jade, and fair skinned. And a man, as tall as Alexander with tanned skin like him. Shryker: – urr, hi there. ::They walked into the cabin’s main room, there was Frances and Jefferson standing near the couch, he held her hand as he walked by her side. to the left of them was the fireplace made of stone and the chimney rising through the ceiling. Ahead of them was the kitchen with the stove to the side, refrigerator, replicator, cupboards and dual sinks. They looked over to the right, there was a spiral staircase made of cedar. The smell of the wood was soothing after being on a ship for months at a time. It lead up to the bedroom and full bathroom. Frances and Jefferson greeted her with open arms.:: Matthews: Hello Mom, Dad. ::Motioning to Jade as he put his arm around her waist.:: This is Jade Shryker. Jade my mother and father. Frances: ::Smiling.:: Jade,hello my dear girl. I’m Frances Matthews. :: motioning to the man beside her.:: This is my husband Jefferson. ::Looking to Alexander.:: My son, how I have missed you. ::Taking him into her arms.:: You look good, I missed my boy. ::Walking over to give Jade a hug.:: I am so glad to meet you at last, Alexander has been writing about you for weeks. Jefferson: ::Holding out his hand to Jade.:: It is a pleasure to meet you Jade. ::Looking at Alexander and nodding with a wink.:: It’s good to see you son. Shryker: Its great to me y’all. ::Smiling but nervous.:: Matthews: ::Blushing.:: As you know Jade is on the Drake.::Looking around at the cabin, then looking back to Frances and Jefferson.:: Mom, Dad when did the cabin get finished ? Frances: Right after the snow melted, your father and I wanted you to have your place to yourself when you came home. Then we got the message of... ::Taking Jade by the arm.:: So how did you meet Alexander ? ::Walking over the the couch and sitting down next to Jade.:: Shryker: A friend who I served with – Askade, she knew Alex and kinda got us together. Frances: So you met him through a friend. Well I’m very glad, so tell me about your family ? ::Jade went a bit quiet, then continued.:: Shryker: I don’t see them much now. My little bro is away on a far starbase, and my Dad left when I was young. ::break:: My Mom’s dead. Frances: ::Touching her hand.:: I’m very sorry dear. ::Looking into her eyes.:: Anytime you need to talk, you call me. I would really like that. Jefferson: We heard that you transferred from the Avandar.:: Looking at Frances and then Alexander.He walked over to him and placed his hand on his shoulder.:: I’m sorry about Red, son. Matthews: We were just friends dad, that’s all. I wish that I could have been there. ::Looking into his eyes.:: Jade is more than that, she is very special. ::Reaching into his inside jacket pocket.:: It’s time dad. ::Jade was open mouthed as Jefferson just nodded and smiled as he and Alexander walked over to the couch where Frances and Jade were sitting.Alexander bent down on one knee in front of her. he looked deeply into her green eyes, as he took out the box.:: Matthews: Jade, I don’t know how to say this, but I’m going to say it. ::He opened the box to reveal a sterling silver necklace with a matching ring.:: I Love you Jade. ::Taking out the ring, and placing it on her finger. He takes the necklace with the family crest on it, the same design is on the ring.:: I’m asking you to be my best friend, my love, my mate.::He places the necklace around his neck, then taking her hand into his:: Shryker: Oh Alex___ I___ Tbc! Lt.Cmdr. Alexander Matthews and Lt Jade Shryker Mercury / Drake -- Lt.Cmdr. Alexander J. Matthews Chief Of Operations USS Mercury NCC-99812
  23. ((Duronis II)) ::Isaac set the shuttle down in the Lokesh City Spaceport, and after securing the ship he stepped out. He blinked his eyes at the brightness from the twin suns and raised his hand to shade them. He missed the sunglasses mandated by Fleet Captain Turner, and in an effort to be inconspicuous he decided not to try and find a pair from a local shop. He wasn't dressed in a Starfleet uniform, but found he was able to blend in fairly well with the exception of the lack of the colored band along his hairline. He walked away from the spaceport, turning west toward the Federation Embassy as soon as he could. Following a pathway toward the beach, Isaac decided to use one of the rear entrances to keep from creating too much of a commotion. He quietly passed through the security checkpoint, receiving a day pass as his own security clearance had expired upon leaving the Embassy. Standing on one of the many paths, he paused for a moment, taking in the scent of the flora before he continued. Ignoring the occasional crewmember or Embassy staff out and about in the gardens, Isaac slipped along unseen until he reached the Engineering and Maintenance Facility. The trip through the facility to his destination was short and he arrived and paused at the door before calling. The blurt of the computer while in the lift had told him what he already surmised... his codes had been changed as soon as he had been reassigned. Taking on an old fashioned approach, Isaac balled up a fist and knocked on the door... hoping to arouse the attention of a specific officer. He waited for what felt like an hour before the door slipped open. He answered the questioning look on his friend's face with as much of a smile as he could muster. :: ((Utilities Complex, Level 4, Mc Ghee Personal Quarters)) :: Jaxon had spent the last few hours rereading the information they had collected on the security incident. So far the he had managed to piece the movements of Mike, Joel and the two technicians together and found nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the fact that Valentino was a Marine and entered the EUC in the middle of the night. To remain fair and unbiased, he had given the evaluation of Joel’s movements to another officer and had also sent him on his way to meet with the Captain as requested. He was expecting the results soon. All the more so was he surprised when his heard a hammering on the front door of his quarters. The short, heavy set man set down his Padd, conscientiously secured the computer screen displaying his own results and got up to answer it. The person at the door was not the person the Chief was expecting and the he needed a moment to process all the details. :: Green: Hi, Jaxon. Mc Ghee: :: puzzled :: Isaac? :: looks up and down :: What the hell happened to you? Green: It's a long story, Mate. ::Trying to maintain the smile, even though the pain was starting to show through:: Mind if I come in? Mc Ghee: Of course, come in, come in. :: The engineer stood back to allow his friend to enter his quarters. While the taller and heavier built man passed the small kitchen area, Jaxon watched his gait and took in the little details. He had already seen that Isaac was uncharacteristically out of uniform and his current clothing wasn’t in the best condition; Jaxon was unsure how long his friend had been in them. Almost absently he reached to the door keypad and tapped in a private code that didn’t even appear on the station computer, sealing the door. He crossed the room to the large and open living room where two armchairs stood before the holographic fireplace. Jaxon didn’t have a couch in his living room as it would encourage groups of visitors. :: :: Isaac let out a long breath, finding it increasingly difficult to hold back the grimace struggling to become apparent. The act of breathing alone caused pain akin to a white hot poker stabbing into his left side. He leaned against the back of one of the armchairs to steady himself. :: Mc Ghee: Feel free to take a seat, Isaac… :: watching him sit down :: this isn’t a call for old times’ sake is it? Green: ::Gently laughing, which caused him to flinch against the searing pain in his side:: What makes you say that? Mc Ghee: Well, your clothes have seen better days and you turning up without an announcement are good indicators, but the way you’re clutching your side and how carefully you took a seat tell me a lot more. Bruised ribs? Green: Broken, I think. :: Jaxon whistled quietly at his friend’s answer and fought the urge to ask why he hadn’t had himself treated yet back; Isaac would have done so if he had had the time. Instead he had sought him out here at the Embassy which wasn't exactly close to the Mercury and that all had to have a reason. There had also been talk the last time Isaac had disappeared and while Jaxon had curtailed his curiosity in interest of their friendship, he knew Isaac had the qualifications for certain work. So far everything discretely pointed out that that calling a medic wasn’t a current option, through all the same Jaxon felt that Isaac should have something for the pain. :: Mc Ghee: Which remedy do y’prefer; standard issue field medkit, or an 18 year old bottle? Green: How 'bout we start with the bottle, then we can go from there. Mc Ghee: :: nodding gravely :: A good choice. Green: I think this is the first time I've seen your flat. Nice place you've got here. ::Isaac was obviously trying to make small talk while his friend made his way across the room.:: :: The Chief crossed the room to the bar table on the far side and two glasses, the ice bucket and water jug. He brought everything to the side table set up between the two armchairs, quietly placing the medkit to one side; it might be needed after the internal anesthetic had begun to work. :: :: Isaac watched the Welshman drop cubes of ice into two highball glasses and he felt himself begin to salivate. He realized it had been a long time since he had eaten anything other than the slop like gruel served to him during his stay with his captors and his stomach growled quietly while he waited.:: Green: Synth? Mc Ghee: :: pouring :: No, no. The real McCoy. None of that replicated rubbish. Green: Fit for a king, mate. Mc Ghee: :: taking a seat :: So. What the hell happened to you? :: Isaac took the glass and drew a sip of the amber colored liquid. He felt the burn of the scotch on the back of his throat; it tasted so good he took another drink before he set the glass down on the side table. He immediately felt the sedative effects of the alcohol and a slight calmness came over him. He knew then he was safe. :: Green: Nothing I guess I didn't bring on myself... in a round about way. ::Isaac paused and took another sip of his drink:: You've been around Marines enough to know how lugheaded we can be. Well, the Marine Major on the Merc has a brother who controls a faction of not-so-nice people who are hell bent on taking control of the Major's family's birthright on this planet. ::Isaac took another drink, draining the glass. He set the glass on the table next to him before he continued.:: Green: So, anyway, I went with the Major on an expedition to find out what this brother was so interested in on a planet near the family's home world and the brother attacked the planet and the ship we were on. During the attack, I was sucked into space through a breach in the hull. I figured I was a goner, but seconds later I was beamed aboard the brother's ship. ::Isaac paused for a second, thinking about the past three weeks.:: I think I would have rather stayed in space. Mc Ghee: Uh-huh. :: taking a sip :: :: Jaxon knew he was no coucellor, but he had rough idea of how humans ticked and listened quietly to Isaac account on what had happened to him. A few questions occurred to the engineer, but he didn’t bother to interrupt not wanting to halt his friend, instead he swirled his glass and continued listening to Isaac’s account. :: Green: It might have saved my life, but their motivation wasn't kindness. In fact, I'm not sure what their motivation was. For the last three weeks I was locked in a room not even large enough for me to lay down in and subjected to regular beatings. The most interesting part was they didn't even ask me a question... ever. Mc Ghee: And how’d d’you get away? Green: Luck, really. I think they got complacent and it gave me a chance to make a break. I made my way to the shuttle bay and stole the crate that brought me here. The shuttle next to the one I stole made a great bomb, and it did exactly what I wanted it to do. Anyway, they weren't able to follow me and I had no idea where I was or where the Mercury was, so once I got my bearings I came to the only place I could think of... here. Mc Ghee: Who’d have thought; Til’ahn as a port of call. ::Isaac looked longingly at the bottle of Scotch on the bar, then thought about the rumbling in his stomach. A wave of nausea swept over him, brought on by the pain in his ribcage.:: Green: Maybe we should try that medkit out. Mc Ghee: Of course, :: sets down his glass. :: just a sec. :: Jaxon stood up, took the med kit from the side table and dropped to one knee beside Isaac’s chair. Opening the case he begun to extract the various devices, the essential depth scanner, the regeneration probes and the emergency hypos; they were all set up to have quick access. He knew Isaac trusted him, but the man was also a Marine so sometimes the best remedy was being faster than the patient. Of course routine helped and it didn’t take long for Isaac to notice. :: Green: Where'd you learn how to do that? You throw that thing around like you should be wearing a blue shirt. Mc Ghee: :: quietly, reserved :: I wasn’t always an Engineer, Isaac. :: Jaxon paused, remembering the quirk of fate that almost had him wearing a blue uniform in lieu of a golden one. The events that subsequently unfolded finally led to a engineer’s uniform, but there were things you didn’t forget and amongst them was emergency triage to your own child. It wasn’t anything he spoke about often, but Isaac was different, had saved his life on more than one occasion and also knew the value of discretion. From day one the Marine had refused to accept Jaxon’s self-imposed social detachment and for some reason the Welshman had accepted that. It was strange how two stubborn and possibly negative characters traits could lead to friendship. :: Mc Ghee: :: taking the scanner :: I don’t whether it was luck or otherwise, but the reason for not becoming a doctor faded away and so I became an Engineer. :: Isaac had always had great respect for Jaxon. From the day he met the Welshman on their final academy cruise, the abilities of the man always amazed him. :: :: Jaxon passed the device over Isaac’s side and read the information. It had been years since he had needed the med kit, but, thanks to his eidetic memory, it all came back to him swiftly and seeing the results, the short man took up a hypo and loaded the cartridge, placed it one side and selected the dermal regenerator and the deep tissue regenerator. :: Green: Well, I think you missed your calling, Mate. Mc Ghee: :: absently while working :: I doubt it Issac; I don’t usually have the patience. A plasma conduit doesn’t argue back. Green: Well, you could'a fooled me... ouch! :: Jaxon knowledge of medicine wasn’t nearly as vast a self-respecting doctor, but after the scare all those years ago he had spent hours reading anything on emergency medicine and first aid. Today he knew it was an escape mechanism of a young and inexperienced father, a way of forgetting what was currently on his mind, but the upside was that he now knew a lot about a variety of injuries, including the background information that many forgot. Isaac’s discomfort was due to the fact that he was breathing and disturbing the broken bones that were trying to heal. Jaxon had a high pain tolerance, but he also knew that broken ribs were no small matter; the smallest movement could cause pain so intense that paralyzes most immediately. :: Green: You, uh..::Gently moving to a position where he could remove his shirt.:: ...need me to take this off? Mc Ghee: No, you can keep it on; this is a combat med kit. Clothing doesn’t bother the tricorder or regenerator. Green: ::Letting out a short sigh:: Good, I'm not sure I could get it off if I had to. ::Isaac closed his eyes and let his friend administer his ministrations. The regenerator delivered heat to the local area, and the feeling was slightly relieving.:: Jaxon: :: quietly, working :: This’ll tingle a bit. :: Jaxon worked on the large hematoma surrounding the actually broken ribs. He knew this wasn’t the correct approach, but also was aware that it was more patient friendly as the sensitive upper layers also caused discomfort which caused more pain during treatment. During his scanning he found something not immediately apparent and nodded to himself. It was respectable that Isaac had made it this far without passing out. It also meant more complications as one of his friends ribs had been shattered on the curve pinnacle and natures design proved detrimental. In this case it meant that Isaac’s chest was pulling on the broken bone designed to create a cavity to allow breathing and preventing it from returning to its original position. :: ::As the machine did it's duty, Isaac felt the described tingle under the skin. It almost tickled, bringing a pained smile to the large man's face.:: Mc Ghee: Okay Issac, you have four broken ribs and the last one has … jutted itself under the break lineage; it’s probably causing the majority of the pain. Green: Whatever it is, it sucks. In the grand scheme of things, what does all that mean? Mc Ghee: :: thinking :: It means the rib broke twice in almost one place and as gravity naturally places an amount of pressure on your chest, it is stopping your rib from drawing back to its original position. I need to pull it back and set it with the regenerator. Green: And just how do you plan on doing that? :: Isaac was no doctor, but he knew the procedure the engineer had described wouldn't be comfortable, to say the least.:: Mc Ghee: Shall I apply a local anesthetic? Green: I have enough dope in my system already. Just do what you have to do. I promise to try and not slug ya. :: Jaxon knew the Marines were proud men and women; friendship either way and even here in the privacy of his quarters, Isaac was no exception. It was just like no one in his department using Jaxon’s private tool kit, some kind of unwritten code of conduct which boundaries overarched practically everything. :: Mc Ghee: :: grins at his friends response :: … Okay Issac, you have to exhale. Green: I tell ya what, pass me that bottle. I think I need another hit off that before you start your torture. ::Trying to smile:: :: Jaxon grinned and passed the bottle to his friend and watched him pour another measure. While he downed the amber fluid, Jaxon waited until he was ready. Once so, Jaxon probed for the single rib as gently as possible and spoke up again. :: :: Isaac took a long pull from the bottle, hoping to himself that the liquid courage would take hold before Jaxon started twisting and pulling on his fractured body.:: Mc Ghee: Okay on the count of one. Green: Alright... Mc Ghee: Ready? Three … :: pulls:: Green: SON OF A...! Mc Ghee: Sorry, buddy … :: scanning :: but its free and I can set it now. Green: ::Fighting the wave of nausea:: There's more? Mc Ghee: Just a few more moments… :: Jaxon spoke absently while reading the scanners data, trying to move the injured bone and work the regenerator at the same time. True to his word the bone was soon in the right position, but the Chief was certain that the 3 or seconds had felt likes ages to Isaac. :: ::Isaac waited for more crunching and grinding, but the regenerator began to knit the bones and he started to feel the relief. It was slow, but the little bit of relief after so many days of fighting the excruciating agony was like bliss. Soon he was able to take a deep breath, which was something he hadn't been able to do since Dante's boot was laid against his side. That felt like forever ago now.:: Green: Jaxon, you're a life saver, mate. Mc Ghee: :: mumbling :: Hardly… but thanks all the same. :: Jaxon spent a few more minutes setting the last of his ribs, by which time the ex-Marine was breathing a little easier. Then he took up the hypo and reset the dosage to a much lower setting and gave him a shot. Mc Ghee was pretty certain that Isaac wanted to remain clear so the meds were just enough to provide a bit more relief while he gently strapped the regenerator over the damaged area; it would finish what he had begun. :: Mc Ghee: That’ll do for now. ::With the release from the pain, Isaac's mind began to gain clarity, and even through the alcohol he remembered that he was still missing in action.:: Green: I guess we should see the Skipper, as soon as you're done there. I imagine I have a bit of explaining to do, and a ship to get back to. Mc Ghee: :: getting up :: Do you want to use the Embassy network? Green: All my codes are changed. The only reason I was able to get into the Embassy grounds is because the Marine guard recognized me. I tried to gain access and the computer denied me. Mc Ghee: Ah, yes. The code rotation. :: putting away the medikit items :: Green: I'll have to send a priority message to Commander Kells to let him know I'm here. :: The regenerator was doing a fine job of repairing the damage done by the Fanelian's. For a moment, Isaac allowed his mind to wander toward a bit of revenge; which he knew would come in good time. :: Mc Ghee: You can use my desk :: pointing :: I’ll set up a link for you. While you contact Kells, I’ll bring Captain Turner up to speed. :: Break :: Computer; priority message to XO of the USS Mercury. :: To Isaac :: Isaac I’ll be outside talking to the Captain. :: Jaxon left the man alone and stepped out into the corridor so Isaac had some privacy while he spoke to his commanding officer. :: TBC! JP By Lt. Commander Isaac Green Chief of Security USS Mercury NCC 99812 -- We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. ~ George Orwell And Lt Cmdr. Jaxon Mc Ghee Chief Engineering Officer USS Thunder NCC 70605 Embassy Duronis II
  24. ((Aqua Shuttle / Main Shuttle Bay; USS Mercury)) ::Rick worried at his bottom lip as the shuttle came in towards the mother ship. He knew, he sensed, Gypsy was in peril.:: Matthews: ::Tapping the comm system.:: =/\=Matthews to Mercury, requesting for final approach.=/\= Wulfantine:=/\= Greetings Alex, welcome home. Permission granted.=/\= Matthews: =/\=Understood, final approach for the main shuttle bay. See you on the bridge my friend. I will bring Rashnan directly to the Captain.=/\= Wulfantine: =/\=See you in a jiffy my friend.=/\= Rawden: Sir, may I report to Eyas when we arrive? Matthews: ::Looking over to Rick.:: Of course, you go right ahead when we land I can take care of the shuttle. Rawden: Aye Sir. ::Rick guided the shuttle in to the bay without a problem, landing the ship with gentle bump on the deck. Matthews looked back to the rest of the team Lara and Marcus.:: Matthews: ::Standing up and walking to the rear of the shuttle.:: Rick, thank you. I know that you are anxious to see what Eyas wants. Get going. Rawden: Thank you Sir. ::Rick nodded and scooted down the corridor to the nearest turbolift.:: Wulfantine: =/\= Rick, it’s Eyas. Details have been sent to your pad. =/\= ::Rick looked down. The message icon was flashing. He grasped the device and quickly read the content. He gulped.:: Rawden: =/\= Thank you… Sir.=/\= Lift – Sickbay. ::The turbolift sped towards the sickbay deck bridge. Rick emerged and rushed into the sickbay.:: ((Sickbay; USS Mercury)) ::He saw people bustling about, a medic attending to minor issues, but no sign of his beloved.:: Rawden: Gypsy?! Hawker: ::hoarsely:: Rick? ::Rick spun around, hearing her voice. His mouth dropped open. Lying on a biobed, was his sweetheart, her long hair matted and her skin….. was blue!:: Rawden: GYPSY!!!! ::He ran over to her, his face full of fear and confusion.:: Rawden: What? What’s happened? Eyas merely told me you’d had a minor injury. Hawker: Rick, I’m not injured. I’m.. changing. Rawden: Babe.. I can… how did it? What? Hawker: Transporter malfunction… we beamed back with an alien. They’re aquatic. We got… ::She raised a blue webbed hand up and brushed back her long hair, to reveal a set of gills on her neck. They flexed as they breathed the air. Rick was silent for a moment.:: Rawden: But..? ::Rick held her hand.:: Hawker: Rick? Rawden: Can anything be done? Where’s the Doc? ::Gypsy’s heart was hurting. She felt she could detect Rick’s changing image of her.:: Hawker: Doc’s in lab. But there’s more… Rawden: Oh Gypsy? You’re gonna be alright aren’t you? ::Gypsy smiled softly.:: Hawker: I hope ‘we’ are. ::Rick’s mind was confused and he assumed the ‘we’ referred to him and Gypsy. He was relieved that Gypsy was not hurt, but she was changing. Things were crazy. Just then, he heard a noise coming from the lab.:: Velana: She's a beautiful ship and everyone I've met has been more than welcoming. I look forward to meeting more of the crew, though. Del Vedova: Well, I guess, I mean, it's only a matter of time-- Rawden: Doc! Doc! Gypsy… what’s happening to her? Del Vedova: There was a sort of (beat) transporter accident. Her vitals are fine and we're looking for a cause right now. To Be Continued… LtJG. Rick Rawden & Crewman Gypsy Hawker (PNPCs) Engineer & Medic: USS Mercury Simmed by: Lt.Cmdr Eyas Wulfantine Chief Tactical Officer: USS Mercury
  25. ((SB118, Sickbay)) Walker: No! You don't understand! ::MacLaren managed to grab him before he fell to the floor. She managed to push him toward the biobed. Wrapping one of his arms around her neck, she struggled to deal with the nearly dead weight of a strong man, she kept repeating the same words:: MacLaren: Commander, can ye hear me? Commander, you are not alone. You are not alone with it. Don't look at it; rest your mind. ::She administered the same sedative that had worked well on Dubeau.:: MacLaren: Sleep now, Commander. :: He understood the order. There seemed to be something he remembered about not wanting to do it, but couldn't attach any significance. His voice came out clear but untainted by emotion. :: Walker: As you wish doctor. :: He moved to the biobed and immediately fell asleep. :: ((Holodeck)) :: As the scene ended, the yellow and black of the holodeck appeared around him, and the man lying on the floor disappeared. For a moment, the dark haired human stared at the yellow and black, counting the squares formed. Sometime later, he stopped as abruptly as he'd started. And with the same lack of connection as he'd had to the man in the holo. Turning, he walked out of the holodeck. It had been awhile since he stepped on the Ronin. The thrum of the engine, the sense of home. His hands, sputtered briefly. As if a flame that was trying to burn back from the embers, but quickly faded. Without a further glance at his surroundings, he continued walking. :: ((Quarters)) ::Moments or hours later, he realized he was in his quarters. He was moving, and therefore had to pack. Picking up a photo, he looked down to see the crew of the Ronin. His face shifted to a smile as flames like St. Elmo's fire began running up and down his arms. He remembered the Counselor on the Ronin whose empathic abilities had likened his emotions to flames. There was something... something he had to.... the flames flickered and died, and woodenly he placed the picture into a box. Methodically he began packing the items he found into boxes. Initially he paused, the flame flickering around him with nearly every item. And each time his face shifted to that of a man desperately fighting against the odds. But...as each item was placed, the flames flickered less frequently, his face remained a stoic mask. Each box was slowly filled, taped and moved to a corner of the room. The pace was economical, neither too urgent nor too relaxed. Finally, each item was stored, the rome was emptied. He moved one last large box near the rest before stepping into it. He filled the box with packing, before closing the flaps and sealing it from the inside. He closed his eyes and exhaled softly before speaking :: Walker: I'm done. ((SB118 Sickbay)) :: The First officer lay on the bio bed, his body almost immobile. His words came out in a whisper...:: Walker: I'm done. :: The alarm split the air, as the bio bed noted the sudden drop in vitals as the man quietly passed :: Lt. Cmdr Ben Walker FO SB118/USS Victory
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