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  1. ((Blueheart’s Quarter’s, USS Atlantis)) ::Despite not having had a good night’s sleep, Emerson swung his legs over the side of the bed, stood up, and stretched to the ceiling with a satisfied sigh. Then he plopped himself back onto the soft, downy bed, a faint smile spreading across his face, as he picked up a PADD from the bedside table and typed a message for Raj: Hey, Hope you’ll be back in time for dinner. I’m cooking. See you soon, baby. XOXO Em He hit the Send button and then flinging the PADD aside, he dropped backwards onto the bed, arms spread out, heaving another sigh of satisfaction. Seconds later he leaped out of bed, scratched his bare bum, and headed to the replicator to get himself a strong cup of coffee. It was going to be a busy day, he told himself, but a meaningful one too.:: ((Three hours later)) ::Having replicated all the raw ingredients that he would need, including basic cooking utensils, using his very own personal collection of culinary subroutines that counted among some of his most cherished and valuable possessions, it was now time to commence cooking for a boyfriend. He decided to make Escalivada as starters. He placed whole eggplants, sweet red peppers, red tomatoes, sweet onions, beetroots and sweet potatoes on a grill. The trick was to make small, elongated incisions in the vegetables to prevent them from bursting when grilled. Once well cooked, he removed them from the grill and peeled and sliced them into strips, before dousing them with olive oil and a dash of sea salt, roasted mustard seeds roasted minced garlic. To accompany the escalivada, Emerson prepared Escudella. For the rich stew, he brought pasta, cabbage, white beans, chickpeas, turnips, onions and carrots to a slow simmer, and substituted the traditional “feet and bones” with botiffara sausages instead. The escudella would go well when eaten with mollete, he told himself and promptly replicated some of the bread. For the main course, he decided to make a special seafood paella, arroz negro. Replicated squids rarely contained ink, so he replicated the cephalopods and the black ink separately. First he cooked the cut up squids, cuttlefish, shrimp, mussels and fillets of cod in the cephalopod ink in a frying pan before throwing in some bay leaves. In a paella pre-heated beside the pan, he stir-fried some chopped onions and then added the round grain rice and stirred it constantly until it browned, after which he added some parsley, pepper and salt to taste, a half-glass of chardonnay and one liter of fish broth. After about ten minutes, he added the cooked seafood and the remaining broth and allowed it to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes until the rice was done. Next, he prepared the fat-trimmed pork skin strips for the traditional pork rind-style chicharrónes. After having boiled the skin and cooled them down, he rubbed some ground cayenne pepper onto the strips before deep-frying them in oil until they puffed up and started to float to the surface. The chicharrónes would go very well with almogrote, a delicious cheese sauce made with goat cheese, paprika, red chilli pepper, olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. After thinking for a few minutes, Emerson opted to prepare Tarta de Santiago for dessert. After baking the ground-almond pie within the replicator itself (which he modified after learning the trick from one of Discovery’s former engineers), he dusted a generous coating of powdered sugar over a cut-out of St James’ sword. He later removed the piece of cut-out and admired the design it left behind on the pie. He replicated some vanilla ice-cream to go with the pie. He wiped the sweat off his brow and checked the time. Almost six hours had passed. From the store room, he removed a Gran Reserva bottle of Rioja and two wine glasses and brought them out to the dining table which had been draped with a blood red tablecloth with the various dishes laid out on top. Remembering to authorize the computer to turn off the fire alert, Emerson lit two ivory candles and placed them on either side of the central floral arrangement of red roses interrupted by sprigs of lavender. He stepped back to admire the presentation and sighed for the third time that day.:: RAVENSCROFT: Computer, play romantic harp instrumental playlist, Emerson 2T. And dim the lights down two degrees. ::As the computer chirped and complied, the flame-haired linguist almost skipped into the shower to dress for the occasion, humming a cheery tune as the sonic shower came on.:: TBC ==================================== Lt Emerson Ravenscroft Xenolinguist USS Atlantis NCC-74682 as simmed by Commander Raj Blueheart
  2. ((The Runabout Bar, Deep Space 6)) ::He had nothing in his hands except some mismatched cards, but without hesitating for even so much as a second, Cade Whitman pushed all of his chips towards the center of the table and leaned back in his chair like a man who had already won the pot.:: Cade: ::smugly:: All in, gentlemen. ::There was a ripple of surprise around the table, but Cade was only looking at the Ferengi sitting across from him. The expression on his grotesque face, so confident a moment earlier, had morphed into one of worried panic. He looked back down at his cards, then at the chips between them, then up at Cade.:: ::Years of playing Texas Hold 'Em had taught Cade that now was the perfect moment to grin. His legendary smile, which had gotten him out of as much trouble as it had gotten him into, was enough to make the Ferengi throw down his cards.:: Rek: I fold, Human. ::The uproar that Cade caused when he revealed his hand was just as much of a reward for him as collecting the large pot of money. Poker was never about luck. For Cade, it was all about subterfuge. A good thing, considering how little luck he'd had lately.:: ::There had only been that one bit of good fortune a few months back.:: ::After ensuring that his winnings were transferred to his credit line, Cade briefly considered a celebratory trip to one of the bar's holosuites, but ultimately decided against it. He had never had to resort to holographic sex, a fact in which he took great pride, and he refused to sink that low just because he couldn't get one particular woman out of his head.:: ::Not even the gorgeous half-Orion barmaid who had served him all night long had managed to drive that one woman out of his thoughts. Taking the waitress up on her unspoken offer would have been so easy, but Cade had just shaken his head and stopped ordering drinks. He had spent years settling for replicated meat product, but having tasted corn-fed beef once again, he didn't know if he'd ever be able to go back.:: ::Not that women were cattle. Far from it. Cade didn't figure there was a man in Starfleet with a greater appreciation of women than him, but he had known enough of them biblically to know the difference between someone who would be fun for one night and someone who would keep him interested.:: ::So far, he'd only met one of the latter.:: ::DS6 was light years away from rural Texas, both literally and figuratively. Cade strolled the promenade, hands in the pockets of his dark parks, taking in the sights, sounds and smells. Everyone back home, at least those who had never been off-planet, always asked him to describe everything, but how did you explain the overwhelming odor of a Klingon or the painful sweetness of a jumja stick to someone who had never experienced them? It was as difficult as describing a Texas summer to an Andorian.:: ::Cade had only been on the station for a few days, but he was already eager for his next assignment to begin. The USS Vigilant might have been a step down from the Washington, but it wasn't as if he'd been reassigned to a relay station. And he couldn't say that a fresh start wasn't exactly what he needed. Even with a permanent black mark on his records, he could build a new reputation on the Vigilant, a reputation that would take him all the way to his ultimate goal.:: ::He really should have expected to find the Ferengi Rek waiting for him outside his temporary quarters, but the problem with fake confidence was that in tricking others, it often tricked him, too. What was the first lesson he'd learned at the Academy? "A Ferengi and his profit are not easily parted.":: ::And this Ferengi had friends.:: Rek: ::snarling:: You tricked me, Human. ::Cade folded his arms as casually as possible.:: Cade: I can't deny that any more than you can deny that you let yourself be tricked. ::Rek and his posse bristled at this. Frankly, Cade was surprised his logic hadn't merely sailed over their bald heads.:: Rek: I demand a rematch!! Cade: ::shaking his head:: So sorry, gentlemen, but the game is over. If you'll excuse me... ::Of course they wouldn't. That he had expected, so when the first punch was thrown, he was prepared. One Ferengi opponent would have made for a boring win. Four, however, was a real fight.:: ::There were several moments, usually when a fist connected with his flesh, that Cade considered tapping his comm badge and calling for security, but he had never been one to wuss out of a conflict, physical or otherwise. Rek needed to learn that Starfleet officers weren't pushover peacekeepers and apparently it had fallen to Cade to school him.:: ::Rek's friends eventually fled when it became clear that they had messed with the wrong Human, but Rek was dumber and it was his profit in question. He held out until Cade had him up against the wall by the collar of his shirt.:: ::Nearly breathless, but pumped full of adrenaline, Cade pressed his other arm against the little alien's throat.:: Cade: You lost. ::He increased the pressure enough to make Rek gasp for air.:: Walk away. ::It was only when Rek nodded that he let go. The Ferengi scrambled to get away, leaving Cade battered, but triumphant in the corridor.:: ::In his room, Cade cataloged his injuries. Nothing serious he figured, although his ribs ached as if one of them was fractured. His knuckles were bloody and he was pretty sure one of his toes had been broken when Rek's friend had tried to kick his feet out from underneath him. They would heal on their own in time. No sense in bothering a medic.:: ::Besides, there was only one doctor he wanted to see...and that desire had nothing to do with her medical skills.:: ::Easing himself onto his bed with a bucket of ice for his hand, Cade cursed under his breath. There had to be a way to get Velana out of his head. He just hadn't figured it out yet.:: ::Until then, he would just have to enjoy his memories.:: Lt. Cade Whitman Ops Officer USS Vigilant as played by Lt. Commander Velana Medical Officer USS Vigilant
  3. ((USS Avandar, Quarantine Quarters A)) :: She hadn’t moved in hours.:: :: As if locked in a coffin, T’Lea laid motionless on her cot with her hands folded across her stomach, and her eyes closed. A breath was taken every two or three minutes, which made her look dead between the rise and fall of her chest.:: :: Meditation was the only thing that quelled the burning rash plaguing her skin. Dark green discoloration had spread up her neck and the side of her face. The doctor had given her a cream to soothe the irritation, but all she could say about that was that it smelled weird – like plastic and mold. For all she knew, that’s exactly what it was.:: :: Rune had left the holo-deck in search of T'Lea as soon she reported to the Captain what she and Sylkar had found on the holo-vid. It of course hadn't been hard to locate the Commander but Rune was a little surprised at the condition she found her in. Was this why she was in quarantine? She silently watched for a few minutes before hitting the comm-button. :: Jolara: Commander... ::no answer... Raising her voice:: Commander T'Lea. :: The Romu-vulc in her deep, almost trance-like state of meditation knew there was another presence nearby even before the comm. squawked with a voice. It was the Counselor. Not somebody she wanted to see, and not somebody that T’Lea wanted to see like this, a splotchy green mess.:: :: Had she not been so embedded in Vulcan-mode she would have impolitely told the woman to go frak herself, but instead, the hybrid remained immobile on her hard cot, eyes closed.:: T’Lea: Counselor. What may I do for you? :: Getting an answer to that question would tell her a lot. Had Vetri sent her? Was this business? Personal? Or more punishment?:: :: T’Lea’s voice was smooth and calm. It was kind of creepy the way she just laid there looking all blotchy and dead, except for the talking part.:: Jolara: ::no hesitation:: Actually, I wanted to see how you were doing and if there was anything I could do for you. :: Normally her response would have been, “Yeah, you can get me the hell out of here,” but the inner calm she’d reached was dominating the other T’Lea, the emotional half.:: T'Lea: There is nothing to be done. :: Literally. Nothing. At all. To be. Done.:: :: Her response wasn't exactly what Rune had expected but she didn't move. :: Jolara: I must admit, you have looked better. T'Lea: Indeed. :: Rune was quiet. She had never seen T'Lea act like this before so it took her a moment to decide how to proceed. :: Jolara: Is it from being infected? T’Lea: No. The chemicals that were used in the decontamination processes caused a skin irritation. :: Rune tilted her head slightly. A skin irritation? :: Jolara: It looks to be more than that. Does it hurt? T’Lea: It is painful. :: By now Rune should have realized that T’Lea was riding the Vulcan truth-train. Everything the Counselor asked got a straight forward answer. The question was, would she take advantage of that, and would T’Lea let her.:: Jolara: oOShe is definitely not herself.Oo Has medical treated it or given you anything for the pain? T’Lea: They did. A cream. ::flat:: Its odor is odd. :: That was all she could say about that – as the medicinal properties had yet to take effect.:: Jolara: Has it helped? T’Lea: Not presently. No. :: It would take a day or two for the cream to saturate the skin enough to correct the cause of the rash.:: :: Without warning, T’Lea sat up on her cot, in an almost a robotic fashion. She planted her feet firmly in front of her, and rested her hands on the edge of the cot. With a ramrod straight posture, she lifted her line of sight toward the portal in the door and saw Rune’s blonde head occupying the window.:: :: Rune didn't show any reaction to T'Lea's movements, though she was very concerned about her odd behavior... At least to her, it was odd behavior. Since T'Lea was half Vulcan, it would make sense she was capable of acting like one. Was that it and Rune just hadn't seen it to this extent before? :: T’Lea: Did the Captain send you? Jolara: ::no hesitation:: No. She doesn't even know I'm here. :: Of course not. What would be the point of solitary confinement if the Captain sent a visitor. Oh right, sending the Counselor was probably part of the punishment, since she knew how much the hybrid hated head-shrinks. Only, the Captain hadn’t sent Rune, so that meant… Hmm… exactly what did it mean?:: T’Lea: I do not… oOunderstandOo… Then why are you here? :: If the Captain didn’t send her to torture her, then why was Rune there? They weren’t exactly friends.:: Jolara: ::faint smile:: I was concerned and wanted to check on you myself. :: Not sure what to make of that, T’Lea rose from her cot and approached the window in the door to further study Rune’s sincerity. Once she was satisfied with her evaluation, the Vulcan hybrid lifted an eyebrow of consent.:: T’Lea: You have questions. Ask them. Jolara: I'm curious. Why did you disobey a direct order not to beam to the surface? :: It was something an Al-Leyan would never do... well almost never. After all, it was what Rune had done when she refused to return to her homeworld. Except the difference there was, Rune's disobedience was to save herself. She was certain that had not been T'Lea's motivation. :: T'Lea: I have multiple reasons. Why does it matter? What is done, is done? Jolara: As I said, I'm curious. I would like to understand why. T’Lea: Very well. I did not believe the Captain had the emotional fortitude to order me into harm’s way, even though it was required. I disobeyed her orders because I was the only one that could, and I was the only one that could do what needed to be done on the surface. Jolara: What makes you think you are the only one who could salvage the gateway? T’Lea: That was not my original intention. I went there to destroy it. :: Again, that wasn't at all what Rune had expected to hear. :: Jolara: You wanted to destroy it? T’Lea: You witnessed the consequences that Iconian technology can bring if it is reactivated. Whole worlds die, and I will do whatever it takes to secure our future so that my children do not have to face whatever destructive force 12 Deities unleash. :: By the end of her statement she’d lost a little bit of her Vulcan cool, and showed a hint of fear for her family’s well-being.:: Jolara: Yet you did not destroy it. T’Lea: How could I destroy the one thing that may hold the answer to what happened to the away team? You were on the bridge when I suggested we fire upon the storm. I went down there because I had to see for myself what I had done. Della needed to know that it wasn’t her fault. She needed answers and I needed to make sure that nothing like this ever happened again. Jolara: We all know the risks of being out here. It was not either of your's fault. You made the best decision you could, given the information we had. :: Rune contemplated what she was about to say next. :: Jolara: Would this have anything to do with Eden? :: It was a reach, but considering Cmdr Tan's reaction to their initially finding the crashed shuttle, Rune had to wonder. :: :: The Romu-vulc gently shoved off the door she’d been leaning against and paced the floor a few steps. Did it have anything to do with Eden? What a stupid question. They were two completely unrelated things. The answer was no, of course.:: T’Lea: I spent ten years as Della’s First Officer on Eden. Ten years of watching her bear the burden of thousands of dead crewmen. Jolara: Captain Vetri seems to have put that behind her. Is that not the case? :: Of course, Rune knew she hadn't. :: T’Lea: She would have you think that. I would have you think that as well. I know I have stated that everything that happened on Eden was inconsequential to our reality, and technically it is true, but in here ::she pointed at her heart:: it is not. We lived the story of other people’s lives, of their deaths, betrayals and tragedy. Was it somebody else’s story? Yes. But it was still *us*. We lived it like it was the truth, and that is illogical and incorrect. It should not effect us in this reality. :: Well, this wasn’t how T’Lea had expected the conversation to go, but here she was facing Eden once again, and with Rune looking on.:: Jolara: Perhaps it wasn't physically real, but mentally and emotionally everything you all experienced was very real. Very real and traumatic. From what little I have seen, none of you have dealt with it. :: The AI-Leyan was more observant than she’d let on during her time here. Or perhaps, those that experienced Eden were not as good at hiding their problems as they thought.:: :: The Romu-vulc walked over to a wall and stared at the blank surface as she spoke her next words. It was easier to talk to the wall than face Rune.:: T’Lea: Ten years I was Della’s caregiver. She went through ten years of being blind, did you know that? It killed me to watch her struggle with it. I did everything I could to make sure she was safe, but it wasn’t good enough. People mutinied. We all died in the end. :: She turned to face Rune, not caring what came out of her mouth for once.:: T’Lea: It was my job to carry out Vetri’s orders, and to make certain that others followed her orders. I was her First-[...]-Officer for ten years, and when it was over, when we all woke up from the nightmare… Dickens was promoted to Commander, and everything I sacrificed for the Captain and the crew was swept aside like it didn’t matter. Hell, I even managed to convince myself that it didn’t matter. ::knitting her brow:: But it did. And it’s bullsh*t. And I’m angry about it. Jolara: Why did you step aside and not say anything? T’Lea: What I want and what Starfleet wants for me are two different things. Jolara: What do you mean? T’Lea: I am not command material, Counselor. I cannot be trusted with power. I have a history of killing people, and I am certain Starfleet frowns on that type of behavior. Jolara: ::continuing with her rapid fire questions:: I don't believe I found any mention of you killing anyone while under your command. :: There was a list of dead people under her command… just not while she was in Starfleet. Except one. One woman. One scientist. Her protégé. But it was easy for that kill to slip through the cracks, probably due to the way Vetri worded the report to Starfleet.:: T’Lea: Did you know I had one real mission as First Officer after the Eden incident? Lt. Blackwood died under my command, on my away team. I get people killed, Counselor. It’s what I’m good at. I either put them in the ground, or I dig them up to study them. But if I am not even allowed to be an archaeologist, to do my job… then why am I here? Am I anything to this crew other than the Captain’s bond-mate and general nuisance? Do I have a purpose here? Do I have a goal? :: It was a question she had been avoiding for a while. What was she doing with her career? Was this it? Did she want to be stuck a Lieutenant Commander forever? Could she live with that? Should she be doing more in the field of archaeology? Would joining a civilian operation serve her better?:: :: Rune showed absolutely no outer reaction. She couldn't help thinking how ironic this conversation was going. Yet, T'Lea was finally opening up to her... something she had been trying to get the Romu-Vulc to do since they first met. :: Jolara: Have you spoken to the Captain about any of this? T’Lea: I can’t talk to Della about this. She would take it the wrong way. She would harbor guilt and think that she’s stifling my career, which isn’t true at all. Jolara: Why are you here? T’Lea: I’m here for Della. I’m here because my love and commitment to her outweighs anything I want for myself-- ::she suddenly paused, and then scowled deeply:: Oh, frell… :: By now she had walked herself back to her cot where she rubbed her hands over her face in frustration and dropped down onto the bed.:: Jolara: So in a way you do feel she has stifled your career? T’Lea: No, it’s not that. It may be possible that some of the motivation behind disobeying her orders was to sabotage my career. To end it. Incredibly stupid, right? :: Rune shook her head. :: Jolara: How long have you been searching for Iconian... artifacts? :: What an odd question, thought T’Lea. She raised an eyebrow that said as much, but took a moment to calculate her history.:: T'Lea: I was raised by my Uncle. Zadok was an archaeologist whose primary study was on the Iconians. We traveled extensively in pursuit of their knowledge. It is something that I have been around all my life. Jolara: Making you an expert on the subject, correct? T'Lea: I am one of the few who have the most hands-on experience with the technology. :: Where exactly was the Counselor going with this, she wondered.:: :: The only way to find out was to follow Rune’s lead and see where it went.:: Jolara: How did it make you feel when Lt. Anora was chosen for the away team instead of you? :: She looked away at the far wall. She knew the answer to that question immediately, but hesitated to reveal it. Inside her head there was a mini-war taking place. A war between Vulcan indifference and Romulan pride, but eventually the latter won out.:: T'Lea: ::flatly:: Insignificant. :: That was a polite way of putting it. A few, more colorful phrases were running around in her head.:: Jolara: Much the same way you felt while First Officer on Eden. And once again, all you have worked so hard for was simply brushed aside as if it didn't matter. :: T’Lea didn’t say anything. She simply looked down at the floor in front of her feet. It was difficult to respond while being exposed to… well, *herself*. At that moment it was like Rune could see straight through her tough exterior, and had uncover the suppressed emotions that even T’Lea could not bear to shed light on.:: :: It would take a few minutes for the Vulcan hybrid to recover from this “awakening”. Luckily the Counselor continued.:: :: The entire time, Rune never took her eyes off the Romu-Vulc. :: Jolara: But it does matter. This time you couldn't just step aside. This time maybe you could take away the guilt both you and Della were feeling by helping to bring back four lives you thought you were responsible for taking. :: T’Lea suddenly really wished for Rune to shut up because it was increasingly difficult to listen to her helpful nature, a.k.a. the truth.:: T'Lea: Your words are logical, but do nothing to correct the situation that I have created. :: Stonewalled by a Vulcan. By now Rune should be used to this side of T’Lea.:: :: Rune leaned forward and smiled. :: Jolara: They are alive, T'Lea. According to the holo-vid *you* retrieved, they fell through what we believe is a gateway just before the moon was hit. :: The Romu-vulc slowly lifted her head as each word was absorbed by a brain cell, until finally the woman was standing on her feet, and right in front of the only window in the room.:: T'Lea: Do you have their location? :: She had hope.:: Jolara: We aren't exactly sure yet. :: [...]. There had to be a way to be "exactly sure", but there was nothing T’Lea could do to help by being stuck in here. She rolled her shoulder away from the door, and disappeared out of Jolara’s view.:: T'Lea: Thank you, Rune, for this. :: For stopping by, for listening to T’Lea rant, for helping her figure out her own emotions, for sharing information about the holo-vid.:: T'Lea: Your company is appreciated. :: Even though T'Lea couldn't see her, Rune smiled. :: Jolara: You are welcome and I don't think I ever thanked you. ::Before T'Lea could ask:: For saving my life when we ended up on the Rubari ship and again when we landed in the ocean. ::grinning:: Even if you did want to kill me. ::beat:: Anyhow, get some rest. I'll let you know when we find them. :: With that, Rune walked away without giving T'Lea a chance to say anything else.:: --- Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea H&A Specialist USS Avandar and Lt jg Rune Jolara Counselor USS Avandar
  4. ((Valley of Knives; Dorfmenland; Byzatium)) ::Arima, Belan and Varney dusted themselves off as the tall woman, who had rescued them from the Crazy and its tentacled master, pulled back her hood and glowered at the assembled trio.:: Cierva Calderan: I live in this Valley, and I know how foolish it is to wander here alone at night. I assume you’re resistance. ::Belan returned the woman’s steely gaze. He was determined to stand his ground. She may have saved them all, but that was no guarantee of friendship. For all he knew, she just wanted the prey for herself. However, he had to admit for an older woman, she was quite attractive.:: ::The trio didn’t answer.:: Cierva Calderan: Fine, have it your way. But if as I think, you were part of the convoy beyond the valley, then your trip has been wasted. ::Arima was the first to break cover. Like it or not, the woman’s actions had shown that she wanted the three of them to remain alive, at least for now. In this war, that was the best one could hope for.:: Arima Ossian: What do you mean? ::Cierva pulled her hood back up and folder her arms. She was intrigued by these kids, and the girl reminded her of her daughter, in her voice as much as her looks. Cierva hadn’t seen Nia for years, and wasn’t altogether sure the girl still breathed.:: Cierva Calderan: I am sorry to break this to you, but the resistance fighters there have all been killed. ::Belan growled at her. She must be a government agent.:: Belan Horobin: What proof? For all we know you are one of them. ::Cierva grinned at the feisty boy. She had expected this retort.:: Cierva Calderan: True, but then if so I would have let those two *things* devour you, or worse. ::Before the youngsters could discuss the matter, there was a new sound in the dark forest. Cierva didn’t look alarmed, but she was stirred into action.:: Cierva Calderan: Come, we must get moving. Follow me. ::Varney and Arima, having little choice but to trust her, began to follow. Belan stayed put. Arima turned to look at her battle brother, rubbing the cut on her cheek she had received from the monster’s barbed tentacle.:: Arima Ossian: Come one Belan, we must go…. Belan Horobin: No.. Arima Ossian: ::pouting:: Move silly! There are more of them coming.. can’t you hear? ::Belan crossed his arms. He did not take orders from women. Varney piped up next.:: Varney Groth: Don’t be a jackanapes Belan. ::Cierva didn’t slow down her long stride. They could come with her if they so wanted. She’d saved them once, she had no intention of doing so a second time if they chose to ignore her advice.:: ::Belan looked down at the ground, kicking over the soil. He then looked at the steaming mess of the dead Crazy.:: Belan Horobin: oO Stupid war Oo ::He looked up to see Cierva, Arima and Varney nearly out of sight in the dark woodland path. Burying his pride he started to trot after them. Into the night they went.:: ::After some time, Cierva slowed her pace and the three fighters clustered around her.:: Varney Groth: What happened to the rest of our patrol? Cierva Calderan: Government ambush. All slaughtered. The noise attracted the Omunic, who was feasting on the remains… as you witnessed. ::Arima and the others looked at each other. Was the Crazy one of their former comrades. It was hard to tell.:: Arima Ossian: Are you resistance? ::Cierva looked across at the young woman, barely out of her teens. Cierva’s eyes were hidden in shadow under her hood, and only the vague dappled blue moonlight gave them any illumination.:: Cierva Calderan: I am not part of any grouping. I merely look after myself and help where I can. ::She paused thoughtfully.:: Cierva Calderan: But if I am honest with you, I have no love for either the Omunics or the Pythron’s puppet regime in Gvenved City. However, I don’t trust General Telent. ::Arima and Varney didn’t say anything, but Belan was more vociferous.:: Belan Horobin: General Telent is a hero. He stood up to the Pythrons and the Omunics, and kept our hopes alive when all seemed lost. He is a great Dorfman. ::Cierva almost chuckled in her exhaling breath.:: Cierva Calderan: Oh, he is a *great* man, but beware those who aspire to greatness. I look for goodness instead. ::Belan snorted.:: Belan Horobin: He’s the best chance for Byzatium. I will follow him to the bitter end. ::Arima put her hand on Belan’s shoulder. She wanted to calm him, they had to keep quiet and keep moving.:: Arima Ossian: Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. ::Cierva didn’t turn to look at the gesture between the two youngsters, but she spoke quietly.:: Cierva Calderan: Hope is always good. Varney Groth: As is food. ((Time Jump – Banks of the River Jeryxias; Dorfmenland; Byzatium)) ::Cierva led the trio to edge of a tumbling stream. Arima looked at the water. It was about ten feet wide and looked, in the moonlight, shallow enough to wade across. She wondered if they were going to get wet.:: Belan Horobin: What now? ::sulking:: Swim for it? Arima Ossian: What’s your problem Belan? She saved us. Why are you so ungrateful? ::Cierva was unmoved by the boy’s surliness. He would learn in time. She knelt by the water’s edge and fumbled under a rock.:: Varney Groth: ::whispering:: What’s she doing? Arima Ossian: I don’t know.. Belan Horobin: A trap? ::Cierva finished releasing the *mechanism*. To the youngsters surprise a rock on the far bank slid to one side, and a row of stepping stones rose from the water. The woman stood and smiled.:: Cierva Calderan: After you, my lambs. Belan: Lambs?!?!? ::Arima moved ahead. Her face was sore where it had been cut, and she wanted to be out of the cold night. After the terrors of earlier, indoors was her idea of paradise.:: Arima: Oh get over yourself, Belan. ::Snapping:: ::Varney followed Arima across the stepping stones, looking across at the mysterious Cierva as he went.:: Varney: Is there anything to eat in there? ::Cierva rolled her grey eyes at the pudgy boy.:: Cierva Calderan: Don’t worry, you will be taken care of. ::Varney grinned, and bounded into the cave, eagerly expecting dinner. With the loss of the patrol’s supplies AND his prized drempa rat, his stomach had thought his throat had been cut. The trauma of the Crazy and Tentacle had only added to his hunger.:: Cierva: Coming? ::gesturing to the stubborn Belan.:: Belan: Do I have a choice? ::Cierva looked over his shoulder then back to his fixed gaze.:: Cierva: Of course you do. You can come inside with your friends and the person who saved your life, or you can stay out here in the cold dark forest and fight that Omunic that’s a hundred yards behind you, single-handedly.:: ::Belan spun around, and indeed the undergrowth near where the stream disappeared into the deep woods was shaking and he could make out terrible shadows in the moonlight.:: Belan: Ok, I am coming… ::They both went into the cave, the door sliding shut behind them.:: To Be Continued… Arima Ossian, Belan Horobin & Varney Groth (PNPCs) Free Dorfmen Resistance Fighters; Byzatium http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Mutos_War Simmed by: Major Leo Handley-Page Strategic Operations Officer: USS Vigilant
  5. ((Communications Room, Deck 10, USS Tiger-A)) ::Standing outside the small communication control room, Alex paused and tapped his combadge. He did not have a chance to speak with Ensign Dirsye after the briefing so Alex decided to do so before starting his task.:: Blair: =/\= LtCmdr Blair to Ensign Dirsye. =/\= Dirsye: =/\=Tya here, how can I be of assistance Sir?=/\= Blair: =/\= I was hoping to catch you before you left the conference room. I know you volunteered to work on the Mauls, and I wanted to thank you. =/\= Dirsye: =/\=You’re welcome, you know it’s a bit of a self perseverance thing. I’m going out in that and I’d like to check and prepare it to be sure everything’s in perfect order.=/\= Blair: =/\= Your work there frees me up to fully focus on the COMM system and for that I am grateful. While I am completely confident in your skills and knowledge I expect be notified before any of the Mauls leave the ship. =/\= Dirsye: =/\=Of course=/\= ::Alex picked up on the tone of Dirsye’s voice and decided to press on. Alex trusted his staff to keep him appraised of all developments, but after the day he was having, Alex was not about to leave anything to chance and that included making sure he personally inspected the auxiliary craft before they left the ship.:: Blair: =/\= It’s not that I have a lack of faith in your work, I would just feel better about sending our people out there if a second set of eyes reviews the work. There are too many lives counting on those Mauls to survive their mission. =/\= Dirsye: =/\=Sir, do we have a problem?=/\= Blair: =/\=There is no problem Ensign. I would have the same expectations if it were Ensign Furvan or Turner doing the task.=/\= Dirsye: =/\=Maybe you should send Furvan or Turner to oversee my work!=/\= Blair: =/\=You are all capable and competent engineers in whom I trust. How would sending one of them help things?=/\= Dirsye: =/\=I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you. I always reported my work. Is it because I didn’t tell you that when the thing with shields didn’t work I used standard forcefields? I’m sorry, but that was standard procedure and since you were busy and I thought I don’t have to report every change in plan, especially if instead of something new and different I chose standard procedure.=/\= ::Hearing Dirsye’s tone and the fact that she began to repeat herself, it hit Alex. He had offended her and inadvertently questioned her ability as an engineer. Once the realization was made, Alex began to feel remorse.:: oOYou idiot! In your desire to protect everyone, you called one of your own people into question. You practically told her that you had no faith in her! How would have felt if Commander Atimen did that to you? Get your act together MARINE!Oo ::As he composed himself to respond, Alex paused and before he could speak, the ensign started again.:: Dirsye: =/\=I’m in a sickbay, waiting for ensign McColsen to end her medical and join me and Lieutenant T’Mihn in working on Maul. Since they have nothing much to do before the team leaves and send them some information and T’Mihn proved very capable I asked her to help me.=/\= Blair: =/\=That’s a sound idea Ensign. =/\= ::Again, Alex took a moment to compose what he was about to say when the Ensign started before he could speak.:: Dirsye: =/\=Yes Sir, just one more thing. Should I report when we arrive there, when we start scanning, when start removing plates from shuttles and where am I planning to put any of those before we start work or you want to come and check just when we finish? That may be wrong decision. I may choose to enhance wrong places on the Maul and endanger whole mission. What if I forget to report to you?=/\= ::If he wasn’t sure before, Alex was completely sure now that he had upset Dirsye. Without planning his words this time, Alex began to speak in the most sincere tone he could come up with.:: Blair: =/\=Ensign, I owe you an apology and an explanation. I am sorry that I called your engineering prowess into question. It was never my intention to do so, but I did it and I am truly sorry. There is something deep within me that says it’s my job to protect everyone around me. I know it’s irrational but I can’t help it. That deep seeded compulsion combined with the stress of us being on the ocean floor in a severely crippled starship is what caused me to contact you. =/\= ::Alex paused for a moment before he continued.:: Blair: =/\=With that being said, I have complete faith in you and your ability to do your job. The very short time you have been here, you have been a tremendous asset and I am grateful for your efforts. ::Alex paused before continuing:: I would like to give you a few words of caution though. Despite the fact that I offended you, the way that you have been speaking to me the past few minutes is borderline insolent and you should be careful. Many superior officers are not as tolerant or forgiving as I am. Maybe your reaction was the result of the action over the past twenty four hours and you’re just tired. =/\= Dirsye: =/\=No, I don't need to rest. I need some trust from people around me. Trust I never had at home what was the reason I run away from them and joined Starfleet. If you think I’m not capable of finishing my job then just remove me from the project and assign it to somebody you can trust. =/\= Blair: =/\=Once again, I am truly sorry for questing you Tya. In a short time you have proven yourself and more than earned the respect of everyone aboard this ship. From this point forward, I will make every effort show that I have complete trust in you. ::break:: I think it might be best if we forget this conversation ever happened and we start over again.=/\= ::There was a long silence which made Alex a little uncomfortable.:: oO Ok, let’s try again. Oo Blair: =/\=I know I can trust you to complete the Maul overhaul in short order Ensign Dirsye.=/\= Dirsye: =/\=Yes Sir. I’ll be on my way soon.=/\= Blair: =/\=Thank you Ensign, let me know if I can be of any help.=/\= Dirsye: =/\=I need just a moment and will go and check on McColsen and T’Mihn.=/\= Blair: =/\= Ok Ensign, Blair out. =/\= ::Once the channel closed, Alex took in a deep breath.:: oOA LtCmdr for less than an hour and you already crushed a member of your team. Way to lead your department! Maybe next time you can offend the first officer or the Captain? Oo ::When he was done mentally chastising himself, Alex decided to move on. Hopefully his apology was a good enough start and he could prove his trust in Dirsye soon, but first he had a communications system to repair.:: ---------------------------------------------------Lieutenant Commander Alex BlairChief EngineerUSS Tiger-A
  6. ((Hospital Complex)) MacLaren: Lt. Letant, we will begin setting up testing clinics on the outskirts of town. Eh noticed that most of the patients have been from nearer bye. We need to ken if those further out have avoided the plague or are simply unable to come here. Letant: You want to go out? But, that is so dangerous. Banks: Yeah... Well... ::He paused, not sure what to say.:: We'll have to be careful. MacLaren:: stifling a smile:: Weel, Eh think Dr. Banks has summarized it verra weel. Let's get started. ::MacLaren had decided everyone needed a break. So she'd decided to head out toward the outskirts of the settlement, where the farming land was less disturbed. He stepped off the transport along with everyone else.:: ((Settlement Outskirts - Agurtha)) ::For a while he listened quietly while a few civilians approached them. One seemed mentally ill, delusional even. They'd finally found some people, maybe somebody who'd developed an immunity. After watching for a while he decided to look over toward an open field. The place looked like a good area where corpses might have been deposited, maybe burned.:: ::He stepped into the slowly growing weeds. They looked a bit like rye or twitchgrass. The plants swished up against his feet, rhythmically brushing against him to the tune of his quiet breathing. Off in the distance he saw the outline of a house. Closer stood the hulk of a machine. A seeder maybe. When he finally did reach the machine he ran a finger along one of its roll cages, traced his hand across the the traction on the wheel beneath. He'd seen transplanters like this before:: ((Flashback - Earth, 27 Years Ago)) Farmer: C'mon boy! Come here! ::He ran toward the man, buckets in hand.:: Farmer: We don't have all day! ::The man was climbing up into the giant seeder. He needed the water to provide for irrigation for the small seedlings.:: ((Present)) ::The machine stood silently and David eyed it one last time, looking up inside the pilot's seat. Dale. His old boss in the summers during high school. He'd died of a stroke years later, weeks before David had joined up. Wanted David to come see him at the hospital, but he was too [...]ed keen on getting out to Fort Brock. He still remembered his dad shaking his hand as he left. He couldn't hug him any more. After all, David might die out there. So he needed to wash David out of himself before he had a chance to die.:: ::Presently David walked toward some trees on the edge of the field. The ground beneath him was softer here, and the weeds grew thicker, slowly cleaning out any sign that this land had been farm land. The war had cleaned David and his father of each other soon enough. It wasn't that either of them died. David never wanted to talk about those seventeen years. The war hadn't even been that long. But his whole career with the marines in the medical core was tainted by it -- peppered through with the brief pin[...] moments when he'd watched people die, accepted that most of the time you couldn't help. And when he did help and they lived, they just ended up screwed up afterward anyway, walking out of the service like corpses back into a society that didn't know what to do with them.:: ::And then one day Dad just stopped trying to call. By then his mom had died. That hadn't helped either.:: ::He leaned against a tree and folded his arms as he looked out toward the field again, eyeing the house that by now was a lot closer. Christ, he should have been here helping people rebuild their houses after the goddam plague. Not right back in the middle of trying to fix people. The people here were too messed up to be helped anyway.:: David Banks Medical USS Excalibur as simmed by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman Chief Engineer USS Excalibur
  7. ((Embassy Grounds)) ::It was with an aloof, disdainful face that Tallis removed the members of the embassy’s marine corps that were guarding the power plant from existence. Evidently they had assumed that, because he’d spent time limited to an insectoid form, he didn’t understand the value of cover, or what setting 16 on a phaser could do to humanoid life-forms. Not so, and their underestimating him had cost them their lives. He stepped over the trio of corpses, phaser held ready his route to the engine room needed to be indirect; if the defence forces realised where he was going then they would easily be able to cut him off. This was a good body, built for running, and it would be a shame to waste it.:: ::He had entered the power plant with one purpose in mind. The guards had been easy to neutralise as they had underestimated him, but he knew he was still being tailed. The odds of getting to where he was going with three officers on his tail seemed to be slim at best; a little misdirection was going to be called for. He kicked off the cover of a maintenance conduit in the wall, then hit the opening mechanism on the door on the far side of the room before heading down the opposite corridor, intending to find the quickest route to his objective by using the computer systems to guide him.:: ::It was an unpleasant night; dank, wet and grim. Twenty four hours ago, Lucas had never even heard of bluegills. Now, he was facing more of them than he could count and, worse, it was the Federation ambassador that they were in the process of hunting down. The idea that a man who was responsible for the development of Federation/Laudean relations was currently loose and hell bent on murdering as many people as he could sent a shiver down his spine. Fortunately, he had been a soldier for long enough and seen enough conflict that he would have no qualms in doing his job and putting Ambassador Tallis down the moment he got a clean shot.:: ::Greir stepped over the fallen marine guards that Tallis had dispatched. His phaser was held up and ready as he carefully entered the power plant, looking all about for signs of trouble. There was no telling if Tallis was ducked behind cover waiting to ambush them. With tricorder in the other hand he scanned the area for lifesigns and found it clear.:: Reinard: Any ideas about his purpose here? ::The most obvious answer was that he would go for the generator and take it out but Greir wondered what else the bluegill might be interested in getting up to here. It might give them some clues about where to head.:: ::Lucas kept his eyes open and focused on their surroundings rather than the commander as he answered. The last thing they needed was for another member of the party to wind up falling victim to one of the parasites. The lobby looked clear, other than the awkwardly positioned bodies of the marines who had been standing guard.:: Borr: My first guess is that he’s going to blow the generator, Sir. Second is that he’s going to sabotage the power grid to deactivate the security perimeter. If I was him, I’d go for option one. It’s quicker and still powers everything down. Reinard: That seems the most likely thing to me as well. ::Nia nodded in agreement to the Laudean Commander.:: Calderan: You’re right Sir. The bluegills are a very cunning enemy, and will want to make maximum effect for minimum effort. ::Lucas’s knowledge of the embassy grounds came largely from having studied site maps in the Starfleet databanks. However, it didn’t take a genius to know what would happen if the power generator was fried.:: Borr: Commander, I’m sure I don’t need to point out that if this generator is destroyed, we lose main power. Everything goes down. The security perimeter, everything in the CIC, the computers in the medical centre... if we can get auxiliary power up then we can restore it, but who knows how many parasites and hosts will swarm into the grounds during that time? Calderan: That’s something I hope we don’t have to find out. ::Nia had already had her close calls with these creatures so far, and was only saved by LtCmdr Eerie at the last minute. She didn’t savour having any more. What needed to be done had to be done.:: ::It went without saying that the Bluegill couldn’t be allowed to complete its nefarious goal. It could cause significant damage and turn the tide of the war. If the Embassy fell to the Bluegills then as far as he could see, it was game over. It would leave only the ships in orbit to defend the planet and the kind of action they might be forced to take to stop the parasites didn’t bear thinking about. It sent shivers down his spine. Greir nodded to the maintenance conduit whose panel had been removed.:: Reinard: There’s a chance he went that way. Lucas I want you to check it out. ::If the ambassador had chosen the maintenance conduit then it would be very easy for him to spring a trap inside it. Lucas was already wrapping his mind around the possible eventualities as he answered.:: Borr: Aye, Sir. Reinard: Calderan you go that way. ::Pointing down one corridor:: I’ll go this way. ::Thumbing the other one.:: Maintain open comm channel and immediately report any sightings or other significant information. ::Nia wasn’t looking forward to wandering off on her own, but she needed to do her duty.:: Calderan: Aye Sir. ::Lucas prepared to enter the conduit, weapon first. Crawling along on his elbows and knees would be the best way to make sure he could keep his phaser ready to be aimed quickly if he did fall foul of a trap.:: Borr: Yes, Sir. Good hunting. Reinard: Computer, seal access points to the fusion generator room. Computer: Acknowledged. Security bulkheads deployed. ::Further into the complex and looking up his route on a computer console, Tallis heard the activation of a hydraulic mechanism in the distance. Cursing under his breath, he realised that Starfleet had anticipated what he was trying to do and were putting countermeasures in place. He sped off, hoping to get to the generator in time, but tripped over the cover of an access panel that had been taken down from an EPS conduit and leant against the wall; as he picked himself up he could see the blast doors finally close and lock into position, just a few yards away. Frustrated, he kicked the panel and sent it flying down the corridor; evidently someone had forgotten to replace it and it had just cost him precious time. Heading down the perpendicular corridor to the blast door, he knew he was going to have to find another way in; he was about to find out just how effective a Starfleet phaser could be.:: ::Greir took off down his chosen route. If Tallis was going for the reactor then they might not have much time. He was scanning with his tricorder and focusing his mind for fielding; trying to use any advantage he could to track him down.:: ::Nia Calderan made her way along the corridors as she continued her way through the Embassy’s lesser explored areas. She could see the bulkheads, and other industrial equipment all related to the power supply of the Embassy. There were a number of consoles of non-Starfleet design but with LCARS computer interfaces that she was tempted to use to see if she could locate this man Tallis, but thought better of it. If he and his bluegill symbiant were as clever as she feared, then these consoles were probably booby trapped. She sighed and continued hunting in the old fashioned way.:: ::Lucas’s progress through the maintenance conduits was slow. It was beginning to strike him that if anyone else had been inside, he would have been able to hear every point of contact with the metallic grate on which he was now crawling. He wasn’t sure whether or not these bluegills had any form of military training, but he very much doubted it. How could they? As he came to a junction, he paused, taking advantage of the slightly raised sealing to seat himself and check his tricorder with one hand, the other keeping his rifle ready to fire.:: ::Greir came upon a wall mounted console and on further inspection found it had been accessed recently . It confirmed Tallis’s target and showed his intended route. Greir immediately picked up the pace and bolted down the corridor, following the route as quickly as possible.:: Reinard: =/\= I can confirm he is headed for the generator. There’s one access point, meet me there. =/\= ::Commander Reinard had called before Lucas’s scan was complete; snapping his tricorder shut, he aborted it. Their target had been sighted and now he knew where he was going. The scan had at least given away the direction he needed to go in to make it to the nearest access panel and he started off in that direction with all due haste.:: Borr: =/\= On my way, Commander. =/\= ::Nia heard here Commander’s discovery and abandoned her search. She knew she was going to have run if she was going to get to Reinard’s location in time.:: Calderan: =/\= Calderan here Sir. Aye, I’m on my way. =/\= ::Whatever the blast doors were made out of was no easy material to cut through. There seemed to be some kind of coating on it that was partially absorbing Tallis’s attempts to cut through with his phaser. He growled with frustration at the lack of progress; he was going to have to cut a section out of the blast door if he was going to get through. His instructions had been specific. Once he’d set it to overload, he didn’t even need to get out of the generator room before it went up. All he had to do was stop it from being cancelled.:: ::He tilted his head at the suspicion of a noise, echoing down the corridor behind him. Taking his finger off the trigger, he focused on trying to figure out what it was.:: ::Footsteps. They were close!:: ::Whoever it was was approaching at a run and near to Tallis’s position. He had to react now, or he would lose the initiative. Whirling around, he aimed his phaser rifle as quickly as he could and hit the trigger. A beam of lethal golden energy burst from its tip, headed for one of the officers who had been hunting him, who had just come into view...:: ::Greir’s nerves were on edge as he approached the security bulkhead. If it had closed before Tallis had gotten through to the generator room as he’d hoped then he was about to come face to face with the bluegill. His heart leapt into his mouth as he sighted Tallis who was turning his weapon on him. It was a race to see who could fire first. Greir squeezed the trigger but because he’d been running his aim was off. His shot impacted the bulkhead to the side of where Tallis stood.:: ::The shot from Tallis missed too. Or did it? Greir barely had time to realise what the Bluegill had hit and raise his arm defensively when he was thrown backwards by a powerful force. He was immediately knocked unconscious and hit the ground so hard that his head and body were smashed and bounced off the cold, hard surface.:: ::One of the many perks of being inside a humanoid host was that you could smile when you were satisfied with your handiwork. The brutal explosion that had ripped from the conduit to smite Tallis’s attacker had pinned him against the emergency bulkhead in front of him but, other than what felt like a bruise or two, he was unharmed. His smile widened as he imagined the sight of the broken and burned corpse around the corner and he turned back to finish what he had started. The queen had given him a job to do and he intended to do it.:: ::Nia was fit, and running didn’t normally pose a problem for her, but the tension of the situation was making her breathing more laboured than normal. She was almost at the location.:: Calderan: What was that? ::The echo of an explosion rumbled down the corridor.: Calderan: Oh no.. ::Nia rounded the corner and came across a prone figure lying on the ground. Nia was shocked. The man.. was very badly burned, especially his face. For a moment she didn’t know who they were. Was it even the Ambassador they’d come to stop. Then the realisation gripped the Dorfwoman that this was Commander Reinard. The uniform and comm badge, or what was left of them, was clearly Star Fleet.:: Calderan: Commander!! ::Nia was no medic, but had basic medical training as a Marine Officer. She scanned the Commander, and breathed a sigh of relief. He was still breathing. He was alive. Then Nia pondered whether that was a blessing or not, looking at the crushed form in front of her. She tapped her comm badge.:: Calderan: =/\=This Lt Calderan calling for immediate medical evacuation.=/\= Zehn: =/\= Ready to go, Lieutenant. Who is it? =/\= ::Nia’s words caught in her throat. She couldn’t bring herself to fill in the identity. She looked at the Commander’s melted comm badge. It was useless now. She pulled off her own and placed it gently on Reinard’s chest.:: Calderan: =/\= One to beam out…they’re.. burned badly. Please use my comm badge location.=/\= Zehn: =/\= CIC to Medical. Casualty being transported in, patient has severe burns Energising now=/\= ::Nia waited for the transporter to do its stuff, but then she heard a noise behind her. Her nerves all felt like bursting.:: ::Lucas skidded to a halt behind Lieutenant Calderan just in time to see the last part of the transporter cycle. There weren’t too many things that could mean and he had a horrible feeling that the commander had just been taken out.:: Borr: Are we on our own? ::Nia shook her head gently.:: Calderan: I don’t know where the Ambassador is... ::He sighed and readied his weapon. Commander Reinard had really put himself out trying to help Lucas settle in. He really hoped that wasn’t going to be the last he would see of him.:: Borr: OK, so I guess we need to make sure we get our man and get back in one piece, Sir. Calderan: Aye Mr Borr. ::In front of them, a plasma fire roared, leaping from a ruptured EPS conduit. It was the only sound that the Laudean soldier could hear other than the Lieutenant’s voice. Reaching for his tricorder, he began a life-form scan. The Ambassador had to be close by; they were close to the generator room, which they had identified as his target.:: ::The tricorder showed that he was just around the corner. Snapping the sensor device closed, Lucas replaced it in his belt, then wordlessly pointed around the corner. There was a chance that the noise of the fire might provide them with enough of a distraction to have the element of surprise. There was also a chance that Tallis was lying in wait, ready to shoot the first thing that moved.:: Calderan: If we can’t see him, I think we should at least try and stun him. A grenade might work. What d’ya think? Borr: Worth a try. It could give us an edge. ::Lucas nodded and quietly lifted his phaser, edging towards the junction. Nia followed close behind. She didn’t want to take any chances, not with bluegills after what happened earlier.:: Borr: Ready when you are, Sir. ::He stooped low, ready to roll across the opening after the grenade had fired and lay down cover fire for his senior officer. Nia darted past him, and drew her stun grenade. She lobbed it into the area she thought that the Ambassador might be hiding.:: Calderan: Get ready. Now! ::With anger in her voice, Nia hurled the stun grenade into the darkness.:: ::Between the noise of the plasma fire and the continuous thrum of his phaser beam, Tallis almost didn’t hear the dull thud of the stun grenade as it bounced down the corridor. It emitted a high pitched whine as it powered up, leaving him with only enough time to duck and cover, turning the back of his neck away from the blast and covering his face with his arm. The force of the stun grenade was unpleasant; he could feel the pain that it caused his body, but knew that it wouldn’t be enough to put him down. He snarled as he reached for his phaser.:: ::Lucas rolled into position on the far side of the corridor. He waited until he heard the stun grenade go off before pointing the nose of his rifle around the corner, looking for a shot…:: ::Nia peered into the gloom. There was movement. Definite movement. She aimed her phaser at the shadowy figure. Whatever the man had been in the past - noble, wise and a leader of men, he was gone now. That body was just a vehicle now.:: Calderan: ::whispering:: I’m sorry… ::Nia squeezed the trigger, on maximum kill. The beam flew through the darkness, illuminating the corridor and leaving Tallis with no time to react. It struck him square in the head, his body crumpling and landing in a lifeless heap against the cold tritanium bulkhead.:: ::Lucas narrowed his eyes; Tallis Rhul had been such a prominent figure in the news over the last few months and had been a face that everyone has associated with Duronis II’s Starfleet contingent for a long time. Now, it would be difficult to recognise him as much at all; his benign face had been replaced by twisted, burnt flesh. He fought hard not to retch and looked away as quickly as he could.:: Borr: I can’t believe that was the Federation Ambassador… ::Nia moved towards the gruesome scene, phaser still raised. She ran a scan over the body. Neither the bluegill, nor the noble Tallis Rhul still lived. She tapped called in to the CIC.:: Calderan: =/\= This is Lt Calderan to the CIC.=/\=Zehn: =/\= Go ahead, Lieutenant =/\= ::She cleared her throat.:: Calderan: =/\= I have to report that.... Ambassador Tallis is.. dead.=/\= TAG/TBC A JP by PNPC Recruit Lucas Borr Tactical/Security Trainee USS Vigilant NCC-75515 SIMmed by: Fleet Captain Diego Herrera & Commander Greir Reinard First Officer USS Vigilant & Lt. Scania ‘Nia’ Calderan (PNPC) Marine: USS Vigilant http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Scania,_Calderan Simmed by: Major Leo Handley-Page: SOO: USS Vigilant
  8. (Bridge - USS Solstice) ::Despite using all the ship's various sensors, the search felt like it was going no where. The only data they had to go on was the planet, and the readings that one of the science team thought was similar to the Bajoran wormhole. The most promising news was that they hadn't found any of the usual debris left by the destruction of a starship the size of the Discovery C. Even a warp core breach left surviving pieces of debris, bits of the various alloys used to construct a starship's hull and warp core.. Complete destruction was a remote possibility. oO Which means there's a better than average chance something else happened to her and she really is missing again. Or so I have to keep believing. Oo ::He was currently using the ship's tactical sensors for searching since he had the most familiarity with them. His background was in the tactical department, having served at the tactical console on all four of the Discovery's. His career had started as a fighter pilot, then gone to security, then the helm, then to tactical, and then it started looping like a Gordian knot. Between the Discovery's A, B, and C, he had served as chief tactical officer, fighter squadron commander, First Officer/XO, and even Pre-Commissioning Officer, before always returning to the tactical department. During his off duty hours, he had dabbled in ship design, submitting various design ideas and concepts to the office of Shipbuilding. Most of his submissions had gone no where, but it had lead to the stint working for a BuShips as the Pre-Commissioning Officer for what had become the Sovereign class USS Discovery C. That experience combined with a series of personal issues had lead to him leave the Discovery and take the job at Utopia Plantia.:: oO As much as I love what I've been doing on the new ships and "Delta," I actually miss life aboard the Lady. The scream and bass thumping of the Red Alert klaxon, the high pitched whine of the phasers unleashing their fury as raw power, the "chump-whump" of the torpedo launchers spitting their eggs containing deadly yokes of antimatter. Oo ::Combat had become a way of life aboard the Discovery it seemed. The Lady and her predecessors seemed to be either dragged into or just somehow ended up in more combat in their careers, then a dozen other starships might have combined for. Only the Enterprise and her predecessors could give her a real run for her money in regards to who had been in more shooting matches.:: oO Its almost like a drug. Once its in your system, you almost look forward to it, want it, even need it. Oo ::So now plodding along at impulse, searching for a needle in a haystack was like torture to him, since he had lived on that high for so long. Plus, search work had just never been his favorite to do. But his scheduled shift was almost complete, yet he probably would work at least half of another shift. Unless Captain Avedon made him stick to the schedule. In the ten days Mitchell had been aboard, Avedon had seemed like a stickler for such. As if one thing upset the schedule, it would then cause everything to go wrong. :: oO Just a different type that's all. Guess he reminds me too much of the drag their feet types back at UP, who won't put forth any concept or idea without checking nine or ten times, via various means. Oo ::He was trying to focus his attention back to the sensors when a voice called for his attention instead.:: AVEDON: Commander, a moment of your time please. MITCHELL: ::looking up and turning to face the center chair.:: Yes sir? AVEDON: Any results during the last round of sweeps? oO You would ask that. But you know the answer. One of us would have called out if we had found anything. Oo MITCHELL: Negative sir. We have not found anything out of what could be considered ordinary for this system. Other than the unknown emissions we found before. AVEDON: I find it hard to believe there is nothing out there. MITCHELL: I agree sir. We should have found at least something by now. Its almost like the system has been "cleaned." AVEDON: How would one clean a star system Commander? MITCHELL: I don't know sir. But you know as well as I do, if the Discovery had been destroyed, we would have found at least some wreckage, some sort of debris. AVEDON: Correct. MITCHELL: So I think it's unnatural that we can't find anything. We should have found at least some random neutrinos and naturally occurring emissions the science team tells me. But we haven't. So I'm thinking someone or something cleaned up the system to erase any trace of the Discovery's disappearance. AVEDON: Very well. Continue the search. ::He paused and noted something on the PADD in his lap before continuing. :: You may also take another shift Commander, as long as you remain efficient. MITCHELL: Yes sir. Thank you. oO Like I'm going to leave unless you make me take a break. Its my friends lost out there, not yours. Oo tbc Commander Rode Mitchell Mission Specialist Aboard the USS Solstice
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