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  1. OOC: Sweet, funny, and well done. IC: ((Vulcan, Kyr, Alem-kov restaurant)) It was an elegant place, the sound of Vulcan lyres filled the atmosphere. The space was softly illuminated with skylights and some candles, giving the place a warm aspect, a place for meditation. Even the diners at the different tables were following this order and seclusion, the forks could hardly be heard impacting with the ceramic of the plates and the conversations formed a very low murmur, almost monastic. Sirok was the first to arrive, he had chosen the venue as per Wes' request, a fancy and elegant place for his new position. He had to use his family name to get a table, and it was one of the few times in his life that he had done so. The Vulcan had dressed appropriately for such a place and wore a light colored tunic with fine, elaborate embroidery. When the next diner arrived, he was greeted by the maître and, without hardly speaking, accompanied to the table right in the middle of one of the skylights. He walked noiselessly, and moved smoothly, never breaking the atmosphere. Sirok: Welcome. :: Sirok said without raising his voice, accompanying the atmosphere of the place. :: Sirok had out done himself Wes thought. The restaurant was certainly a nice place. He’d initially thought of wearing his dress uniform, but now that he was here, the Marine was very happy he hadn’t. You couldn’t escape the warmth of the planet, and the tight fitting uniform would have been stifling. Even the button up shirt, tie, and slacks he wore didn’t provide much help against the heat. Greaves: (Quietly) Sirok, this place is exceptional. I didn’t realize Vulcans appreciated a fine dining experience. I thought you were all grim stoics. (winking) Sirok: We appreciate art in a multitude of forms. Even more so if it can be achieved with a healthy diet. The sound of Vulcan music filled the atmosphere. Greaves: I’d expect nothing less from you… (pause) And I’d expect nothing less than fashionable lateness from our other compatriot. Where the heck is Alieth? Sirok: Her attention to schedules has never been great. And perhaps she wants to honor your culture by making us wait. The Marine laughed and shook his head in mock offense. Greaves: I resent your implication that my people are always late. I mean… we are waiting on a Vulcan right now? He continued to laugh and shake his head as the moment passed and they both watched the patrons of the restaurant. Sirok: Is this your first visit to Vulcan? Greaves: This shore leave is, yeah. Alieth showed us how to sand board a little bit ago, but that’s it. I’ve got to say, it’s everything I was expecting, but still surprising. Before he could answer, the door opened again and, this time, ushered in the petite CMO (and, as of recently, CSO) of the USS Thor. Like her fellow countryman, she was dressed in the traditional clothing of the planet, although the cut was slightly different. More angular, with bolder patterns, mostly in shades of ochre and red. The fabric was sturdier and heavier, made to withstand long wear and still remain comfortable. Although it didn't clash with the luxurious surroundings of the restaurant, it had a slightly disharmonious undertone in it, a slightly peasant, shabby, low-brow feel about it. Alieth: Gentlemen Greaves: Good to see you Alieth. Sirok: Doctor. :: He said it with a small nod of his head. :: She nodded faintly and almost in unison the three of them sat down at the table. A second later in front of them were placed glasses of water, as well as a small tray with a desert flower on it, a token of peace. Alieth: Remember almost a year ago, when we sat down for lunch at the Til'han Embassy? It was almost a day like this, with the sea in the background. ::She pointed to the only human at the table:: You ordered nachos. Sirok: If you want to order some, they may only be able to make replicated ones. Greaves: I recall a certain someone trying exceptionally hard to eat said nachos with chopsticks. Trying and failing pretty miserably if I remember right. A smile almost (almost) curved faintly at one corner of the Vulcan woman's mouth, but it would not, not there, not in that place. Nevertheless, the smile reached her eyes and ignited them with a lively glint. Alieth: :softly: A lot has changed since then... but I appreciate that the three of us are still together. Greaves: Agreed. I don’t know about you two, but I never would have expected us to be where we are now together. Sirok: It was certainly quite improbable. Greaves: The three of us at this table represent every major department on one of starfleet’s finest vessels. That is quite the feat. I’m not usually one for praise, but, to hell with it, we’ve earned it. He lifted his glass of water in a small toast and tipped it slightly toward his friends in salute. The Vulcan woman offered a short nod. They certainly were a motley crew: the nobleman, hidden from public attention for most of his life. The maverick outcast from a small rural town. And, of course, the human who was, well, very humanly human. None of them would have bet on them as a group on their first day, but there they were and, somewhat, time and their differences had shaped a strong bond of friendship between them, rooted in trust in each other and a mixture of teasing and respect. Sirok: At certain moments it has been exhausting, no doubt. But very instructive. Alieth raised her glass as well, so that the glass and the contents caught the dim light of the room, refracting it into a thousand tiny sparks of colour. Alieth: For the lessons of the past, the goals for the future and the road that links one to the other. And for travelling that journey by your side, gentlemen. The memories of the last year came back to Wes one by one. Rescuing Doctor MacKenzie, the lost colony, the slipstream incident, New Bajor, Zet. Each mission had carried with it new experiences. New highs, and new lows. The thing that had failed to change however were the two here with him. In each crisis Wes could be certain these two would be there along for the ride, and pulling more than their own weight. Greaves: It’s been too long since we’ve been able to just sit back and reflect on what we’ve achieved… well it’s been too long for me at least. Sirok: I tend to focus more on what I have yet to learn and do. She took a small sip of her glass. Alieth: Certainly work and personal circumstances have kept us all busy. ::Glancing at the Marine.:: Wesley, I would welcome it if you would stop trying to die, you can drop by the sick bay for a cup of coffee or tea, for instance, there is no need to come in with an open wound every time. Greaves: Excuse me, doctor. I go through great pains to ensure I am only gravely injured when gallantry demands it. The doctor raised an eyebrow, a comment on how she regarded Greaves' statement, as she set the glass down on the table. Alieth: You better be. Despite the words a smile danced in her eyes. One that remained, more subdued out of respect for their shared tradition as she turned to the other occupant of the table. Sirok: And maybe now that we are officially and undoubtedly senior officers, we can prevent half a ship from ending up destroyed at the end of each mission. Alieth: This would be the most appropriate scenario, but given the unexplored areas in which the ship normally operates, I have reasonable doubts about it. Back to the topic at hand, even you have changed osu, from a simple country boy to a reunification champion. Sirok: Perhaps it is too bold to assume that a wedding is the only needed to make me a champion of reunification. It only indicates that at some point I will have to leave Starfleet to make further efforts towards that end. Although I will learn more to achieve that end every day.. It wasn't something Sirok had planned until few days ago, but it was something he thought would be good for a lot of people. Even if it meant giving up part of what he had worked for over the last few years. It was no longer an end in itself but another stage of learning. Greaves: I don’t know about you two, but I knew that Sirok would be the first to settle down. (Smiling) I’ve never met anyone with his charm… (breaking into a snicker) Alieth: I actually thought it might be you, Wesley, given the rumours around the ship. The nonchalant delivery of the statement caught Wes by surprise. Rumors… he was pretty sure that he’d put that issue to bed, but if the CMO had heard mutterings, then he had obviously failed. Still, he tried to play it off. Greaves: Oh? What juicy gossip is going around? Who am I supposedly settling down with? She took another sip of her water, which coincided with the arrival of the food. Like everything else at that meeting, it had been meticulously prepared and what appeared in front of each of them was something within the parameters of their favoured foods. As it should be. Alieth: Oh no, I neither pay special attention to these rumours nor do I expressly seek them out, but nurses speak. ::She made a tiny gesture of exasperation, barely a few minute movements around her slanted brows.:: A lot. And I acquire personal information about my patients despite my best efforts not to do so. Greaves: My, my, doctor, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you’re downright excited about all the juicy info you must get. Sirok: I think I have heard the same rumors. Engineering is everywhere and they hear a lot of things. Apparently they also like to share them. Obviously this kind of information has to be taken with care. But from your reaction it seems that some of them are not entirely inaccurate. Greaves: Well, I can’t verify the accuracy of any rumors when I haven’t heard them myself. What’re people whispering about me? Ensign Cui from Ops is pretty cute and I’m pretty sure she winked at me last week on Deck 8, but I can assure everyone we are not paramours. The Vulcan woman took a tiny bite of food before speaking, peering down at the human at the table. Alieth: I have heard something about this, but it is said in the sickbay that you are more comfortable with grey than with blue… Sirok: I have heard something about strenuous copulatory sessions that even hurt those involved. Although it was my understanding that this happened more with Klingons than Cardassians, so it is an indication that one should be wary of rumors. The burning sensation of water nearly shooting out of his nose was quite unpleasant as Wes did his best to stifle his surprised laugh. Greaves: See Alieth, Sirok has it right. Don’t put too much stock into every little whisper you hear. For the next few minutes, the small group focused on their meal and conversation was kept at a pause, given the local custom of not talking (or talking sparingly) while consuming nourishment. When that first course was cleared from the table, it was the chief engineer who took the lead in the chat. Sirok: Have you already thought about what you want your future in Starfleet to be? Your own ship, a research center, the academy? Alieth pondered the question for a second. At the time, when she had joined the academy, her only goal was to help, as a physician. Now, with more perspective, she was aware that there was a wider array of positions from which she could help, not only in situations where someone was injured, but in the day-to-day life of the ship's officers. She suppressed a grimace. Besides, given that she now had no Clan to return to and how difficult this situation would be for her family, the time had come to focus on her future and stop looking to the past. Her path took her further away from her home planet than she had ever anticipated when she left that very planet six years ago. Alieth: Given recent events, I have been considering pursuing the command track, first to aspire to a position as an executive officer. If I prove myself capable of it, perhaps commanding a scientific exploration vessel in the future. Wes frowned. It was a tough topic. He’d had the goal of finishing the Academy for so long that once he had finally made it to a ship as an officer, he’d never really set any new goals. There hadn’t been time for it. Now the thought struck him. What next? Greaves: I think I’m getting a little long in the tooth to some day take over a Marine battalion. You can only hike, run, and jump for so long before the old knees just won’t have it anymore, ya know? Alieth: I have scans of your knees, I am well aware. Greaves: A while back I’m not sure I could ever have taken off the green. Now that the skipper has put me in charge of security and tactical, well, my horizons have broadened a little. Still, that’s a ways off and I’m enjoying where we are now. Here. Together. On one of the finest ships in Starfleet. (Raising his glass) To the Thor! She rummaged in her brain until she found the toast she had heard repeated a thousand times in the Great Hall. Alieth: Sköl! The engineer raised his glass without saying a word. Trying not to disturb the atmosphere of seclusion of the place. Greaves: What about you Sirok? You gonna follow in your grandpa’s footsteps? Should I be looking forward to serving with Captain Sirok someday? Sirok: The life of my people is long, I can not say for sure in the long term. :: Although he knew that possibly his would not be as long. :: But for the time being I will continue to learn as chief engineer, I believe that from here I can learn what I need to help later in the unification. But I know that for a while, I will have to stay away from Starfleet. There was no sorrow in his voice, no joy. The same monochord tone. Perhaps someone who knew him very well could discern determination. Alieth: Interesting Greaves: Well, who knows where we’ll all be in another year. Things change, plans diverge, but I hope we’ll all still be around together. The Vulcan took a brief sip from her glass of water, masking a minute smile. Through the window, the sky darkened over Vulcan, a moonless night ablaze with stars. One of them, brighter than the rest, was the USS Thor, the place that had forged them, as officers and as friends. The place that mismatched group of friends had learned to call home. [[END]] OOC: Alem-kov → Halite, a colorless or white mineral found in dried lakebeds in arid climates mined or gathered for use as table salt; rock salt osu → sir, used as a form of polite address for a man As simmed by: ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  2. The closing of this scene is a new emotional roller coaster to which we have become accustomed, @Wes Greaves and @Alora DeVeau as Katsim Peri. Using their characters to make a mini mission of their own they have written more than 40k words (I have no facts but no doubts about this number) with a delicious and exciting arc that has made the characters and the relationship between them grow a lot. Good job guys! Here for the next arc of this Now, kiss Capt Wes Greaves - Cruelty of Vulcans ((Hours after the Odin’s rescue, Main Sickbay, Deck 10, USS Thor)) Nothingness slowly resolved into something. A sense of feeling. A sense of awareness. The feel of a shifting air on his cheek. A dull aching pain deep within his body, dulled by medication. His ears became aware of a faint beeping sound not far off. Then he heard soft footsteps approach, and then recede. His head swam, trying to process it all. How long had he been asleep. Where was he? Slowly, Wes Greave's eyes fluttered open. The stark contrast between the lights overhead and the darkness of unconsciousness made him squint his eyes. Ever so gently he turned his head to the side. Alieth sat a few feet away. Dark red surgical scrubs were soaked in sweat… and other dark splotches spoke to the work she'd recently finished. His throat was dry, and as he attempted to speak his voice was weak and raspy. Greaves: Alieth… where… where am I? Alieth: In the sickbay my friend, you held out for seven hours before Quen could take care of you. He turned his head back to the front. Laying flat on his back in the bed, his view consisted of only the ceiling and the lights overhead. Each passing minute made the light seem less harsh as his eyes adjusted. Greaves: (Weakly smiling) Well, seems like I made it doc. I'm sure I'll be up and about any moment now, yeah? Alieth rubbed her eyes, and looked at her friend. Pale and with dark circles around his eyes. Bruises that they hadn't bothered to remove, not for the moment, on practically half of the exposed skin of his body. Alieth: Before that, I want you to understand how you had been doing. You had plasma burns over 36% of your body, a broken arm in three places and seven broken ribs. I had to reconstruct four vertebrae and despite EXTENSIVE use of the osteoregenerator, you have a good handful of medical supplies inside your body to keep everything in place for a few weeks. I would kick you to the gator deck right now if I did not already know that you were going to ruin my work there, but at this moment I do not even want to look at you. He turned his head back to look at his friend. Rattling off his injuries gave Wes a new appreciation for how bad it had been. He was lucky to be alive. Or rather, he was alive due to the exceptional skill of the medical staff. Luck really only played a small part. When he finally met Alieth's eyes she gave him THE STARE. One that, however, wasn't as caustic as it used to be since there was a noticeable concern in her dark eyes, one she couldn't suppress in spite of her self-control. It had taken a year, but Wes finally could see past her façade more often than not. She was angry, but she was worried about him. The thought sent a chill through his heart and a shudder down his spine. Greaves: So… I take it I won't be up and about any time soon. Alieth: Unfortunately, that concussion you had was a bad one, and I want to keep you under observation. Nauseous? Greaves: No, not right now. Alieth: Well, if it changes, let me know. Now, follow the light. His mind was still foggy, and Wes hoped it was due to the drugs in his system and not some lasting injury. Through the fog however broke a single powerful thought. Something that had driven him on that icy rock. A single word that had given him the strength and focus to stay alive until the Thor could save them. Peri. Greaves: Wait, Doc, before we start… She extracted a small torch from the trolley where the tea was cooling and moved it from right to left, up and down in front of his eyes. Despite his protests, she did not speak until she was satisfied with the test. Alieth: Okay, now you can inquire Dread filled his chest, preparing to ask the question. He almost didn't want the answer. The unknown was more comforting that the possible. Still, he needed to know. Greaves: What about Peri? Alieth: She died, Wes. The dread popped like a balloon and the man physically recoiled in the bed. Immediately tears sprang to his eyes but he fought them back as best he could, blinking several times. A battle of sorrow and anger began roiling within his mind and threatened to overwhelm him. Greaves: No, Alieth, she can't… she can't be.. He couldn't bring himself to say it. He tried so hard. Driven so hard. He'd stretched himself past where he ever thought he could have. Fighting through some of the worst pain and exhaustion of his life to keep Peri alive. To save them both. To save her. Her final words echoed in his mind as a tear escaped the corner of his eye and slid silently down his cheek. Alieth: She was dead for seventeen minutes and forty-three seconds before we were able to restore her heart rate. A faint groaning sound rang out from the next biobed. Alieth allowed herself a smile, tiny and bright, before she hid it behind her tea cup and took a short sip. Alieth: Mister Greaves, welcome Miss Katsim to the world of the living. And be grateful to the Prophets and her Cardassian heritage. For a moment he had nothing to say. The weight of the reveal was so shocking, so utterly foreign to the rage and sorrow fighting in his mind, he simply had no reaction. Wes didn't know what or how to feel. Finally, a shocked laugh broke his silence. A laugh that sounded out of place, but felt so right. A laugh that contained within it shock, joy, and life. From his bed he couldn't see Peri, even when he craned his neck to try. Still, he called out to his friend. Greaves: Peri? Katsim: Response Greaves: It's… It's good to hear your voice. Katsim: Response Alieth: Response Greaves: Are we going to have any lasting injuries? Alieth: Response Katsim: Response Greaves: I understand. (smiling wider) No more shuttle rides for a little while then. Alieth/Katsim: Response Greaves: Now that you mention it, I really could use a nap. You'll never believe this doc, but I feel like I got hit by a freight train. [[End Scene for Greaves]] ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  3. @Alieth and @Alex Brodie are such great writers, and here we get to see a Vulcan who finds herself in need of counseling. A rare insight into the Vulcan mind, and Brodie's masterful handling of the situation. [[Hammer’s Bowling Alley, Deck Five, USS Thor]] It was a quiet night, Alex stepped up to the doors and typed in the key-code. Darren had been good enough to loan him the access codes and the facility for the night. He stepped through the doors and activated the lights. They thrummed into life and he moved behind the small hospitality area and switched on the replicator. Brodie: Coffee, milk, no sugar. The cup materialised in the small alcove and he removed it, taking a long gulp. He wandered towards the lanes and took a ball from the rack. He stepped back, lined up his body and sent the ball flying down the lacquered surface. It crashed straight through the middle of the pack and left the seven and ten pins standing. An impossible split. He moved to pick a second ball but turned as the door hissed open behind him - his appointment had arrived. He’d suggested the venue for a couple of reasons. They were familiar with the medical deck, it was a work environment, difficult to relax. This was out of the way, especially at this time of night. It also had couches. Brodie: Ah, Doctor, please come in. The young Vulcan woman lingered for a moment in the doorway, surveying the unfamiliar place. She was aware of the existence of the site, of course, as she had had to treat more than one sprained ankle or finger produced there and. As a result, she had read about this peculiar Earth pastime. Like so many of the other leisure activities humans enjoyed, it was just a basic geometry application. As it lacked the additional challenge of an adversary's aleatory influence over the activity (as did, for example, other forms of entertainment such as billiards), she had immediately shelved it as a toddler's activity. So, after that brief inspection, she beelined to where the counsellor was standing. Alieth: You have chosen a rather... interesting place for this particular appointment, Doctor Brodie.... Brodie: A little unconventional perhaps, but we won’t be disturbed. Should people see us in conference on deck ten they might think it’s a conversation they can interrupt. Can I get you a refreshment? Alieth: Vulcan Tea, Saros of Chi-Ree Blend, number 10004 The beverage quickly appeared in the replicator's niche, housed in an antique earthenware cup, glazed in an uneven graphite grey. The moment it appeared, the subtle, bittersweet aroma of his father's latest project filled her nostrils, bringing back memories of their farewell. In spite of herself, her heart shrank slightly in the lower part of her ribcage. Nevertheless she took the cup, cradled it in her hands for a moment and took a small sip. Precisely the flavour she remembered. Predictably, Saros was exceptionally meticulous when it came to translating his creations into replicator code. And he had supplied her with the work of the last six years, which she had, of course, diligently integrated into the Thor's computer memory. Alieth: As we discussed, I have set up this meeting in accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C which dictates that all personnel are required to undergo at least one psychological check-up annually during their service aboard a starship on an active mission. Alex took a seat on the couch opposite the Vulcan physician and leaned back. Brodie: Perfectly correct. That said, we could have done this at any time - rather than eat into shore leave on your home world. Alieth: Indeed, the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision. Brodie: I see...this would be your first time back on Vulcan since the academy? Brodie wasn’t sure when Alieth had last been on her homeworld but certainly not since she had come aboard the Thor. In that time she had been promoted to rank of lieutenant and the position of chief medical officer. That didn’t include the contents of the missions she’d been part of - including the contact with Kalib and the entities in quantum space. Whoever had left Vulcan to join Starfleet it was fair to say that, no matter how stoic they were, these things changed you. She nodded slightly, as she let the tea warm her hands. Alieth: This is the first time I have made a visit to the homeworld since over six years ago, indeed. Brodie: And how has that made you feel, being back home? The response was immediate and direct. Alieth: The suggestion that a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious :: raising an slanted eyebrow:: and most decidedly human. It was a human suggestion...he took a moment to rephrase. Brodie: Perhaps not an emotional response but a lot can change in that time. It would be understandable if you’d needed a little time to readjust. She took some time to answer this re-elaboration of the query. Just long enough that the tea lost some of its temperature and as she took a sip, the flavour of the mixture would have changed marginally, as the herbal blend shifted the more intense flavours in favour of more subtle ones. Alieth: Saros of Chi-ree used to say that nothing changes too much on Vulcan. While there is truth in those words, I have nevertheless found that it does not quite fit reality. She made a brief pause and tooe another tiny ship of her tea:: Such a dichotomy between invariability and change has been an interesting thing to witness. Brodie: There was a philosopher in ancient Greece, Hera[...]us, who proffered that "The only thing that is constant is change”. I’ve always rather agreed with that. I can’t say I am familiar with Saros, is he widely known on Vulcan? Alieth: Saros is indeed not a widely recognised philosopher, but he is certainly a wise man. And a master of tea making. Brodie: It sounds like you’ve studied his teachings in person. Alieth: Indeed, he is my father after all. There it was. “In accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C”, ”the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision” and “a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious”. He did wonder if perhaps the doctor did protest too much? Vulcan’s were, in some ways, quite emotional about emotion. Perhaps it was an unfamiliarity...perhaps even a fear of slipping back into a more aggressive primal society. He’d seen examples of pre-Surak at the museum - was every Vulcan doing their part to avoid a return? Still, the only Vulcan that mattered right now was the one sitting one the couch opposite - focusing on her tea. Brodie: I...get the feeling we’re in the general area of why you wanted to see me. She suppressed a tiny sigh, her diversion from the first question had been just too short-lived. Alieth: Roughly. He knew he was unlikely to have an emotional breakthrough...and he wasn’t sure what the outcome might be. He decided to try a more practical...more logical and direct...a more Vulcan approach. He leaned forwards slightly. Brodie: Do you know what the role of counsellor is, Alieth? She didn't have to rack her brain too much to find the textbook definition she considered most relevant. Alieth: Check and verify the stability of the crew to ensure that they are able to continue with the activities to which they are dedicated on board the vessel and to prevent conflicts or unresolved situations from escalating in a way that could be deemed hazardous to the personnel concerned. Brodie: All true. Ultimately, however, the job is to help people resolve things. Sometimes that is spiritual aid, sometimes psychological care...other times...more practical solutions. So...tell me...what is it that you are struggling to resolve? Alieth: Due to certain decisions in my past and by heritage, I am widely regarded as a maverick among my clan and my own bloodline. Nevertheless, due to a series of recent events, the assistance of the clan and a number of other acquaintances on Vulcan is not only necessary, but also vital, not for me, but to people I have in high regard. She tilted her head slightly, and rolled the steaming mug between her hands. A stray thought told her she should have replicated coffee instead of tea, but she dismissed it as soon as it appeared. Alieth: However, all prospects suggest that I will face a number of conflicting situations that may hinder the process, which is... not desirable. Alex regarded the Vulcan...he’d never really considered her a ‘maverick.’ Perhaps slightly more outgoing by Vulcan standards but stoicism was a spectrum. What did occur to him, however, was that she may also consider herself to be a maverick...which was a very different style. Once more, he opted for the direct approach. He became aware that he was rubbing his shoulder slightly...his own scars of reckless behaviour in the eyes of some. Brodie: Do you consider yourself a ‘maverick’? The young Vulcan blinked a couple of times in a conspicuous fashion as she sipped her tea. Immediately after, she placed her cup on the table and made a particularly controlled answer. Alieth: I deem the answer is obvious, Counselor. I am She tilted her head and folded her hands in her lap. Alieth: Is it relevant, Commander? Brodie: It’s not my place to judge...although I do seem to recall you were awarded a Silver Star for gallantry - some could argue that is a form of maverick behavior? Alex watched her reaction closely. The Vulcan's brows furrowed and she tilted her head slightly to a side. She remembered why she had been bestowed that award, it had been during what had come to be called "The Hammerfall Event". She had been involved in rescuing Kalib, which had allowed her to discover the creatures that were threatening the ship. However, she hadn't acted impulsively, but had been driven by her inclination to help others. That was, after all, why she had chosen to pursue a career in medicine. Of course, she kept much of that reflection to herself. Alieth: I disagree, sir. I was only fulfilling my duty. The corners of Alieth's lips tightened slightly as she answered. If she had come out of the whole event alive (or sane) it was only because Geoffrey John had broken her meld with Kalib, ignoring the one and only warning she had given him: that he should not inoculate her with Leroxin, a chemical that affected those who carried an extra katra. The results had led to the situation she was currently handling between the starship and the surface, while she awaited the arrival of her mentor. The memory of this and the more than likely prospect that both the Commander and Sern would get lost if she failed to take appropriate action made her eyes darken in concern. On her lap, her fingers twitched briefly as Brodie kept talking. Brodie: You also helped save a young boy and the crew of this ship through your actions. But…::He placed his cup down::...to circle back to your earlier comment. You’re facing a situation that you feel is vital to people you hold in high regard? She nodded slightly and then picked up her own cup to take a small sip in order to gather her thoughts. The tea had turned lukewarm and sour. Alieth: I have let a misguided situation linger on for too long, and now the lives of an officer and the existence of my most cherished friend are in jeopardy. That didn’t sound like Alieth...the woman he knew was decisive, logical, focused. This woman was emotional - and he wondered if that scared her more than anything? Brodie: It sounds like you already have a course of action in mind? She swirled the bitter liquid in her cup, but did not drink it, as the shallow tension reappeared on the sides of her mouth and on her brow. Alieth: On the other hand, the actions I need to take :: She reworded the statement to fit more closely to reality :: The actions I already have taken may put my personal status on Vulcan in a precarious situation, which could render me as an outcast in my birthplace and could affect my parents and siblings negatively. That sounded more like her...thinking of others, not herself. The twitches in her face, the fear - perhaps even a little anger. They were all accentuated by the light from the bowling lanes and the warm spot-lights above them. Sometimes less clinical was more effective. Brodie: And this situation is... Alieth: The situation concerns the katra of the Sern of S'th'gee Clan... and with the First Officer of this vessel. And there it was, Teller had said as much himself when he had been aboard the John Paul Jones: “there’s just too much in here”. Brodie didn’t know much about Vulcan spirituality but he had touched on them during his studies at the academy. Katra’s were the essence of the Vulcan mind and, perhaps more than that, were - to all intents and purposes - the soul of a Vulcan. That’s what Alieth was also facing, as far as he could see, a struggle with her very essence as a Vulcan. He’d kept a respectable distance from both Alieth and Geoff regarding the matter...so far...but now both needed some professional...problem solving. Brodie: The precarious nature of this situation…regarding your family...is that related to the fact the transfer occurred….or, to use your words, the steps you have already taken in, I assume, trying to rectify the situation? This time, she took more time to answer. Time she spent drinking the bitter, tepid tea from her cup to the dregs. Alieth: It concerns the original situation that led to this whole affair, in my time before Starfleet, as well as my refusal to comply with certain conditions that have been imposed upon me in order to resolve this problem in accordance with the requirements of the Clan. Brodie: And what have they entailed? She looked him straight in the eye, her face carefully stern and devoid of emotion. Alieth: Split the Commander's mind in such a devastating way that the chance that he would either be killed or rendered mentally impaired is above 72.6%. Alex’s eyes widened. That was not a comforting number in any way, shape, or form. The extreme risk only had one silver lining - if they could formulate an alternate plan it was unlikely to have any more detrimental effect. It was not a happy thought. Brodie: Yeah...no. We’re not doing that. Have you brought these numbers to Geoff’s attention? Alieth: Of course not. Brodie: Good. It’s probably best to keep it that way. She said nothing on the matter and just spun the empty cup in her hands idly. Brodie: I wonder - if it’s an avenue we could explore with some others with expertise in this area? Trill has a lot of experience with consciousness transfer. Betazed may also be worth looking into. I’m not making any promises but it would allow us to explore options without highlighting anything to those on Vulcan Alieth: It is an alternative. Nevertheless, while to the telepathically null individuals telepathy may seem like a unified phenomenon, it has evolved in very different ways in different species and differs greatly from one species to another. ::She looked at the counsellor with a tilted head.:: And even among different Vulcanoids. Brodie: Although given what you’ve just told me, and the non-typical method of the transfer, I think it’s worth keeping an open mind. That said, with regards to the Katra I would imagine that there would be little expertise outside of Vulcan. Finally, she put the cup on the table and stood up. Alieth: This is, as I expected, a Vulcan issue, which must be resolved in a Vulcan way, sir. ‘Must’ was a strong word. He wasn’t sure if it was a sense of duty, a sense of guilt or a sense of pride that prompted the response - but it was definitely a sign of the stress the situation was placing on the ships chief medical officer. Brodie: I’ll look to see if there’s any research onto this, or similar, outside the typical archives…::raising a hand against protest::...just in case. Obviously if it’s unavoidable you should act to protect Geoff but, otherwise, I’d ask that you don’t take any steps without letting me know first. Brodie had a duty to protect the mental well-being of the crew and any process with a one-in-four chance of mentally impairing the first officer would entail a considerable amount of paperwork before it could be sanctioned...and that approval would need to come from him with Alieth having a clear conflict of interest in this. Brodie: I think we’ve covered a lot of ground today, perhaps we should break and recovenene at a later date. Alieth: Thank you for your time. And the tea. The counsellor pushed himself out of his chair. Brodie: You’re very welcome, Alieth. We’ll talk more soon - and, as always, my door is open whenever you might need me. The young doctor made her way towards the door but, before she left, something on the lanes caught her attention. Two separate pins at far and opposite ends of it. Seven and ten. The Vulcan did a quick calculation and nodded to herself. Grabbing one of the heavier balls resting next to the lane, she stepped to the left and with a measured and precise movement, threw the ball. It swung towards the seven pin with a swift roll and hit the inside of it, apparently barely brushing it. The target knocked and hit the side wall, bounced back to the lane and struck the second pin, knocking it down. Alieth nodded one more time and, without a word, left the bowling alley. Alex watched her go and looked back down the lane. The full array of pins now reset after the impossible split was removed - that chances of which were less than one percent. It could be done with the right curvature but that was always more by luck than judgement. You needed, as Alieth had done, to use not only the ball and the pin but also the side or rear wall to ricochet off. You needed more than just the two players in the game to make the split work. Brodie: ::To himself:: See….nothing is impossible with a little help. [[END]] ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  4. Ensign Jehe aka @Brutus is a real delight to read. In the short time she has been writing her character she has left us with little gems like this one, in which she juggles several scenes outside the bridge to coordinate her own, with the input of all her writting partners and is able to combine tension, humour, snark and a fine, direct prose that lets us getting to know Saja really well. Plus, why deny it, it's a blast to read this intelligence officer trying to park a whale in a thimbleful of water. Good work Bru! __________________________________________________ ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Thor)) Jehe: Sorry Ma'am, that's about as refined as I can make it. Rouiancet: That's fine. (beat, thinking) Ensign Glass, you said that we couldn't transport through the planetoid's radiation belt. But if the Odin ran into trouble, another shuttle might as well, especially if we don't know what caused the crash. (another beat) What if we took the Thor down? Glass:...Thats true Ma'am...although they would have hit it unexpectedly, while we would have the benefit of knowing what the problem is likely to be....that said though, I'd be happier taking the Thor down rather than a little shuttle! Saja looked at the mess on the viewscreen, then back over at Glass, and for a moment contemplated tartly asking the Ensign if he'd like to take over helm then, if he was happier taking a ship designed to be in the depths of space into an atmosphere. Jehe: We're not designed for atmospheric operations - not that there is much of an atmosphere down there. ::A frown graced her lips.:: Please tell me we're not going to need to set down on the planet? I have never landed a ship this big...Does it even have landing gear? Lia gave a brief shake of her head, far quicker than Saja could look up that specific stat about the ship's configuration. Up until this point, it was not something the young Intelligence specialist had needed to know. Rouiancet: We wouldn't have to land, but what if we went down below 50 kilometers from the surface? Would we be able to do that? Would the transporters be able to cut through the radiation at that distance? Glass: If the transporters still can't beam them up at 50 clicks from the surface, then we'll have a shorter distance to travel in the shuttle....so either way it's a good idea! Jehe: Hard to argue with that logic. She wondered if his enthusiasm was all from nerves, just like her somewhat snarky demeanor. In truth, both of them cared about the occupants of the shuttle. That much had to be clear to the other officers dotting the bridge. With that in mind, the Bajoran redoubled her efforts to calculate the best approach vector, leveraging the ship's computer heavily and trying to remind herself that she had, in fact, flown vessels in the past, even if they weren't quite this large. Rouiancet: Let's give it a try. (beat, deep breath) Bring us down. Jehe: Aye ma'am, beginning descent vector. Kell gripped the sides of his console as the Thor began descending to the planetoid surface - Saja could damn near feel the tension coming off of the man, but she couldn't look back at him, nor the Lt. Commander. Her entire focus was on the controls ahead, eyes flicked up occasionally to visually verify the readings Jehe: Brace for atmospheric breach. A light flashed on the panel in front of her, but a quick sweep of her fingers dismissed it. There was hardly any resistance to speak of on the class D world. The transition was thus much smoother than Saja felt she'd had any right to expect. Not that she was going to complain. Rouiancet: The moment we're in range, I want them beamed out. Glass: Atmospheric shields holding at 86% Ma'am....the computer will kick in transport as soon as it acquires lock! Jehe: We're through what passes for the upper atmosphere.::As she spoke, the ship gave a small shudder, which did nothing at all for her nerves.:: Now it's just dealing with the gravity well. Steady....steady... A whine began to fill the bridge, and Saja realized it was the sound of wind ripping over the ship's hull. In space, nothing of the sort would happen, but even in the thin atmosphere of this tiny rock in space, it was enough to be audibly eerie. Glass: Transporter lock established.....beam up in progress Ma'am! Jehe: oOHey, if you're listening, Prophets, now would be a really good time for a favor...Oo Rouiancet: =/\= Bridge to Transporter Room 1. Do you have them? =/\= Quen / M. Salo / Richards: =/\= Responses =/\= Greaves / Katsim: =/\= Responses, if any =/\= Kell slumped in his seat, letting out a sigh. Glass: Thank the lord...I thought we'd lost them there for a second! Jehe: We're not out if this yet She hated to have to remind him of that, but even as she spoke the Thor rocked slightly. Rouiancet/Glass: response Jehe: Now that we're closer, any chance we can pull the Odin up with us? She didn't care about the ship, not really. She wanted to keep her mind off the injuries that Wes and Peri might have had. Rouiancet/Glass: Response ========== Ens. Jehe Saja Intelligence Officer USS Thor T239712JS0
  5. OOC: @Alieth and @Geoffrey Teller both have a way with words. Alieth has a particular skill for infusing the ability to connect to a person that is supposed to have tight rein on her emotion - and yet she's so emotive. I just adore this pair. IC: ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, deck 10, USS Thor)) Teller: We're in trouble, aren't we? ::Geoff tapped his temple:: Both of us. Their gazes met, and he folded his arms across his chest. The young Vulcan kept her features carefully in check as she regarded him, but eventually she let out a soft sigh and provided him with as much of a response as she could. Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. He took a moment to speak again, as if lost in his own thoughts. She could not blame him, he was, in the end, human, and until a moment ago that alien, shambolic brain of his had housed not only his own being, but two others...and...whatever it was they had found in there. Either a disruption, a commingling, a melding, a folding, or simply the strong memory of someone who had left a mark on Teller's innermost being as much as his skin. Geoff finally blinked and seemed to focus on reality once more. The Vulcan doctor could only tilt her head to the side. Teller: I'm not sure how many sets of memories I have in my head at this point, but all of them tell me to trust you Alieth. ::Geoff forced a grin, if for himself if nothing else:: We'll sort this out, together. Sern's kinda like family to me at this point, and I'd hate...well, you two have been through enough. So, now what? ::Geoff held his hands up defensively:: If you say another mind meld I'm getting a phaser. And a helmet. The prospect made a smile dance in her eyes, even more so now that she had a vague idea of how this endeavour might end. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Geoff snorted, which prompted her to allow a tiny curl of one of the sides of her lips, barely a hint of a expression, just an early draft of one. Geoff looked back to Alieth's desk, at the small package and had been lying there, forgotten all that time. Teller: That reminds me....you should really open that. She furrowed her nose faintly in feigned frustration, barely concealing the curiosity she felt as mild vexation. Alieth: You know that there is no jubilee, no human or Vulcan festive observance that would mandate a... :: waving a hand gently to flag the package:: ...a gift. That smug smile of someone overly confident about himself (and in the sheer GENIUS of all and every one of his disastrous ideas) appeared again on his face, this time, at least, without the extra of his former crooked nose. Teller: Well, you can call it whatever you want, I mostly consider this a warning for others. Alieth: Be careful what you are up to Geoffrey John, or else…. She didn't finish the sentence and, instead, took the present and deftly unwrapped it with a couple of concise movements. When she pulled the paper aside, it revealed a piece of duranium that she instantly recognized, largely thanks to the traces of yellow on one of its jagged edges and the lingering smell of bog which not even months and a thorough scrubbing had managed to wipe away. She ran one of her thumbs over the polished surface, over the sixteen words in two languages that the piece encased. Despite all her effort, a faint green blush tinged the tips of her ears and even dared to reach her cheeks, a sign of how the human's emotionality still lingered in her. Chief Medical Officer Alieth Professional Troublemaker USS Thor She took her eyes off the plate and shot him a stare that she had long nursed to terrify patients and health professionals alike away from HER sickbay. Of course the Thor's First Officer was not affected in the slightest. Teller: I figure you can leave that on the desk, at least give your patients a heads up. She clutched the piece of metal tightly in her hands Alieth: this is fallacious, outrageous and utterly inane... And dishonest. Her voice was blunt and dry, yet a glint in her eyes and a slight relaxation around her mouth hinted the truth. As did the fact that he never let go of the plaque. Teller: If that was a thank you, you're welcome. ::Geoff rose, finally confident he could make it to the turbolift without hitting the ground:: I think I'm going to head back to my quarters and sleep for a week. You need anything else from me? Alieth looked at him for a moment and at last tilted her head, to inquire about something that had disconcerted her at the very end of the meld. Alieth: What is a ‘ Silas’ ? Teller: I'm not sure what worries me more...that you know to ask that question, or that you're not even sure about the answer. I'll try to explain...Silas...another time. Alieth: ::With a light tone:: All right, keep your secrets Geoff. ::softening her expression a bit:: And rest well. Geoff smiled weakly and beat a hasty retreat out of sickbay. She followed him out with her gaze and, as the door closed behind him, she indulged herself in a tiny smile, prior to clearing a place of honour on her overcrowded desk to display the cautionary plaque. As he surveyed it and her eyes trailed the complicated spirals of her name in her native tongue, that secret smile melted from her face and morphed into a gesture of concern, as the realization of the danger in which the author of the nameplate and the katra of her most cherished friend found themselves, dawned upon her. She scowled and made her way to the replicator in the office in order to grab a soothing cup of tea before she made any decisions about what to do next. For some reason, the contents of the cup she replicated were not what she expected.... but rather black, steaming hot, bitter coffee. [[END?]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  6. I've been resisting putting this SIM here for a few days now because I think it's too self-indulgent as this scene revolves around my character and one crazyof my own crazy ideas. However, today, when I have re-read it to write a reply, I couldn't help but appreciate how WELL written it is, the perfect mix between letting some space so that others can add to the scene and an absolutely delicious description and development of the scenario as well as the great prose, full of humour and subtleties to which @Geoffrey Tellerhas accustomed us to. So I have no choice but to put it here, because it is well worth reading. A call out, again, to @Roshanara Rahmanand @Quen Deenabecause without them it wouldn't have been possible, and my absolute and sincere thanks to them too. I hope I can live up to your standards one day. _______________________________________________________________________________________ ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) Alieth: I’m fine. ::She frowned deeply and reworded the statement:: I am fine. Geoff managed to sit up largely because Cheesecake had a firm grip on the front of his uniform. With limited dignity and no small amount of slobber on his torso, Geoff found himself propped up against the wall of Alieth's office. The pain in his skull was diminishing, but in its place was a strange ringing. Somehow, he recognized it as the sound of Vulcan bells, although he'd never heard them before. They rang across a blistering, sandswept ceremonial battleground. He saw two fighters, wielding the lirpa with desperate, deadly intent. Geoff realized he was watching a fight he'd seen before, but that time it had been from Serns eyes. As the fatal blow was struck, Geoff felt a wave of anguish like nothing he'd ever experienced before. He felt Alieth's pain like it was his own. The memory faded but the emotions stayed sharp and clear. Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: That is rather more complicated, I… Alieth had managed to keep her seat and most of her dignity, so when she struggled to rise and stand without toppling over Geoff's concern for her was renewed. She steadied herself eventually then came to his aide, displacing Cheesecake to one side with a few friendly pats and then hauling Geoff to his feet. Geoff could've been imagining it, but somehow Alieth seemed...different to him. Her body language had changed, and along with it her tone. He couldn't be sure what this would mean, but he doubted it was good. Alieth: Sern needs help, expert guidance. Assistance that I can only find in Vulcan. Geoff found his strength and balance returning, but he still felt profoundly drained from the experience. He kept having phantom sensations, like the certainty he had sand in his boots or that his non-existent beard was itchy. Other sensations, like the thrill of driving a nearly out of control ground vehicle and joyfully fleeing trouble with a sister, were not his own. The taste of chocolate on his tongue and in his nose, far richer and more potent than anything a human had ever experienced. Voices that sounded like shouting Klingons. It was a distracting collision of memories and experiences, something his brain was apparently having trouble sorting through. Teller: We're in trouble, aren't we? ::Geoff tapped his temple:: Both of us. Geoff met Alieth's gaze and crossed his arms. Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. Geoff looked to Alieth, and saw many things all at once. Like looking at light split through a crystal, Geoff saw many shades of Alieth. The officer he'd come to know and respect. The woman Sern had loved. Even Alieth's perspective mingled in, her self-doubt and struggles with her family, her grief, her love of this ship and its crew. Geoff had to blink it away and focus hard to keep from getting distracted. Distantly, he wondered how joined Trill kept it all sorted out. Teller: I'm not sure how many sets of memories I have in my head at this point, but all of them tell me to trust you Alieth. ::Geoff forced a grin, if for himself if nothing else:: We'll sort this out, together. Sern's kinda like family to me at this point, and I'd hate...well, you two have been through enough. So, now what? ::Geoff held his hands up defensively:: If you say another mind meld I'm getting a phaser. And a helmet. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Geoff snorted, glad to see Alieth loosening up fractionally. oO...troublemaker...Oo Geoff looked back to Alieth's desk, almost forgetting the small package he'd dropped off when he arrived. Teller: That reminds me....you should really open that. Alieth: Response Teller: Well, you can call it whatever you want, I mostly consider this a warning for others. Alieth: Response Alieth took the heavy parcel in hand and unwrapped it deftly, exposing the contents Geoff had put together in one of the ships machine shops. Made from a piece of duranium salvaged from the front engine cowling of his demolished SAG, Teller had worked the metal until it was smooth and flat, with only slightly jagged edges as a reminder of its origin. On the front, etched into the metal in both Federation Standard and Vulcan were eight words: Chief Medical Officer Alieth Professional Troublemaker USS Thor Teller: I figure you can leave that on the desk, at least give your patients a heads up. Alieth: Response Teller: If that was a thank you, you're welcome. ::Geoff rose, finally confident he could make it to the turbolift without hitting the ground:: I think I'm going to head back to my quarters and sleep for a week. You need anything else from me? Alieth: Response Teller: I'm not sure what worries me more...that you know to ask that question, or that you're not even sure about the answer. I'll try to explain...Silas...another time. Alieth: Response Geoff smiled weakly and beat a hasty retreat out of sickbay. As confusing as the meld had been, he felt a strange vitality returning to him. For a few moments, he had again been himself as a younger man. He remembered the passion and drive that had gotten him to the Thor, and more importantly the people who had been part of his journey. As much as he wanted to sleep on his return to his quarters, Geoff instead sat in front of the computer console and opened a new message. // TO: RAHMAN, R., USSVERITAS, CO FROM: TELLER, G.J., USSTHOR, XO Skipper, Thought you should know you saved my life, again, today. Appreciate it. Separately, you guys ever get the starboard plasma manifold alignment issues under control? You know how the core gets. I owe you one, Geoffrey John Teller // Geoff smiled and sent the message off, then collapsed into bed with his boots still on. [Tags/End for Teller!] ((OOC: Special thanks to Fleet Captain Rahman of the Veritas for taking the time to join us for this arc! I think this turned into something really special.)) =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  7. I really enjoyed the sarcasm and banter in this JP between @Anton Richards, @Kellan Glass, and @Wes Greaves. A fun read, y'all! IC: ((Main Corridor, Deck 6, USS Thor)) Wes Greaves strolled down the corridor, a towel tossed over his shoulder and his face red from exertion. Small beads of sweat rolled past his eyes and with a single motion he wiped them away with the towel. It’d been a good run. Despite the ship looking generally the same, Wes had wanted to get away from the beaten path of Deck 9 and run somewhere else. Running circles on Deck 6 looked generally the same, but felt a little different. More importantly, it reminded the crew that there were Marines aboard. To Wes, it contributed to the friendly rivalry between the Marines and their sister departments. A way to say We’re here, and we’re getting ready for the next crisis. Are you? Another bead of sweat and another flick of the towel put an end to it. Wes could feel his heart rate starting to return to normal as he made his way to a turbolift. He didn’t recognize many of the faces he saw in the corridors on this deck, which made the face nearby jump out at him. A dozen meters to Wes’s front and walking in the opposite direction, he spotted someone that he thought he recognized from somewhere. The man was familiar, but Wes was having trouble placing the name. After a second, it finally came to him. Ensign Richards. One of the new joins that checked in when Wes was in command of the Thor. Security if he remembered correctly. As the two closed the distance on each other, Wes plastered his signature smile on his face. Greaves: Ensign Richards. I see you’re starting to get settled in. Anton, who was deeply engrossed in his padd, jumped a bit at Greaves’s greeting. Richards: I… Yes Sir! It’s been quite the experience. Talk about getting dropped right into the action! Although I feel that as soon as I got on the ship I was already leaving. I’m looking forward to returning to duty. Greaves: Good to hear. I’d like to say checking into a new ship isn’t always like that, but I had a similar experience a while back. Richards: Oh really? Well I’d love to hear about it sometime Sir. Greaves: I just finished up with a workout, but I’m starving. Care to join me for breakfast? I could tell you all about it. It took almost every muscle in Anton’s body to stop the smirk of accomplished that attempted to protrude from Anton’s skull upon getting invited to breakfast with the Chief Security Officer. Some things really did just fall into Anton’s lap. Having just ate Anton makes the only obvious judgment call. Richards: Absolutely Sir! I’m starving. After you. ::gestures forward:: Kel was wandering, wandering and thinking were two things that he tried to make time for. Vulcans had their meditating, but Kel prefered to move and think. With Kel’s Tactical role onboard being one where you had to think quickly and work on your wits, he had to make sure that he allowed time for contemplating and taking his time with decisions in almost every other aspect of his life. A ship as huge as the Thor was a great place to wander, its arching corridors seemingly stretching on for miles as they ran their course around the ship. Kel was contemplating what the ship’s doctor had dropped on him and his mind was racing. As he reached a junction, he let his feet do the deciding as he pondered on exactly what could have warranted a memory reconstruction. On autopilot Kel turned the corner and ran straight into two officers coming the other way. Glass: Ouufff...Sorry::Looking at the two officers:: Sir’s….::Then noticing that the two were the most familiar members of the crew he had met so far:: Ahh Anton! ::Nodding at Ensign Richards, then straightening up a little more:: Captain! Wes laughed softly and shook his head back and forth a bit seeing the Ensign. Memories of his first meeting with Fleet Captain Kells flooded his mind, although that encounter had been slightly less sweaty…. Or had it? Looking the Ensign over, there was now plainly a wet spot on the man’s chest where Wes’s sweat had rubbed off on the man’s uniform. With a final shake of his head, and a smiler still on his face, the Marine tossed the towel from over his shoulder into Glass’s hands. Greaves: Ensign Glass. Good to see you again. Might want to wipe yourself off. Sorry, I just finished up a run. Anton looks at the startled Ensign Glass and smiles. Richards: ::pretending to tap his COM badge:: Security we have an intruder alert. Some type of walking zombie Ensign. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kell wiped the stubborn stain, that really wasn’t going to go anywhere until his top was washed….gave up and tossed the towel back at Richards. Glass: Well I guess Zombies like eating brains...so your safe Anton! ::Flashing him a smile:: Greaves: Jokes aside, we’re on our way to breakfast if you’d like to join us. I figured we could grab something outa the replicators at the lounge. I’ll probably get fewer dirty looks being in workout gear there. Glass: Yeah sounds good, I was on my way there anyhow! Richards: ::Nods:: With a nod Wes led on toward the nearest turbolift. Greaves: You’ll both enjoy the Valhalla Lounge. Its got a great view out the forward windows, little stage off in the corner for small events, and good ambiance. Half the time they keep the lights dim so you can just relax, although at this time of day its probably fully lit. Richards: Ah yes. I’ve heard of the Valhalla Lounge before I believe. Glass: Does the ship have entertainment nights? With a whoosh, the doors to the lift slid open to reveal an empty turbolift and Wes continued in. Greaves: (Lifting his head) Deck 5. (Turning to the others) Honestly, I can’t remember any. The former Chief of Security did a little rock show in the lounge once. ((Turbolift, Below Deck 6, USS Thor)) Richards: ::Chuckles:: So you're saying that you have a show coming up soon then? Glass: My father was obsessed with the Beatles, he even went as far as collecting vinyl records of the band. He swore they sounded better than the recordings on the ship, but it all sounded scratchy and terrible to me. As the Marine opened his mouth to reply, the faint hum of the lift changed in tone ever so slightly, and suddenly the floor dropped out from under him. For several seconds the trio experienced near weightlessness as the safeties failed and the turbolift fell. Finally, the emergency brakes engaged and with the sound of grinding metal, the lift slammed to a stop, throwing Wes hard to the ground. Kell’s stomach, although thankfully not full, lurched and he felt nausea building up but the pain of hitting the carpeted floor of the turbolift distracted him from actually vomiting! Anton fell backwards into a corner of the turbolift. He managed to stand up quickly. But shortly afterwards bent over placing his hands over his knees and rubbing them. Richards: Yup. I’m sure I will be feeling this one for a bit. Anton stands up straight and then began looking around the turbolift, seeing if there was some type of furthering safety threat. Glass: What the hell was that!::Pushing himself back up to standing:: Kell looked at the control panel, devoid of lights, the glassy surface just reflected his own image back at him. Glass: Great...trapped in a lift with Anton, it isn’t bad enough I have to share quarters with him… Kell looked around at the two other officers Anton shrugged Glass’s comment off with a quick grin, He was used to them bickering back and forth from the Academy. Wes brushed himself off and retrieved the towel from the ground where it had been thrown. His knee was bleeding ever so slightly from being thrown to the ground forcefully, and he was sure there would be a sizable bruise on his left thigh as well. Otherwise the worst seemed to be over. Glass: Are you two ok? Greaves: I’m alright, seemed the lift is dead though. Richards, you good? Richards: Besides a jolt to my knees. I think I’m good. Glass: It should be a quick fix::Tapping his communicator:: Glass to transporter room, we are stuck in turbolift 2a and need transporting out please? There was a static sound, but no voice replied to the call. The Marine frowned and retrieved his own comm badge from the gym shorts he wore. The device beeped a warning when he tapped it. Greaves: Looks like whatever happened to the lift also disconnected it from the internal communications grid. Either of you a whiz with electrical wiring? Richards: Not particularly Sir. Anton looks towards the panel on the side of the wall, and then to Glass. Richards: Do you think we should take a look Sir? Expert or not. There isn’t much sense being trapped here. He glances quickly at Glass. Kell, sensed a change in his demeanor, all of a sudden the perfectly adequate internal space of the lift started to look just a little bit smaller, more confined and even though he knew it was just him imagination, he felt the need to breath a deeper gulp of air, almost as if the air was no longer enough in the turbolift. Glass: Whatever we do, I think I’d prefer it to be on this side of today rather than tomorrow::Kell tried to flash a confident smile, but his apprehension was evident to all:: Greaves: Agreed. (Motioning to the blank interface) Let’s pop that panel off and see if we can’t get us talking to the outside world again. I’m sure we can figure it out. Richards: ::nodding and standing behind Glass overlooking the procedure as if he had a clue what was going on:: Kell moved to the panel and grasped the top edge before yanking it rather too firmly off the wall. Looking inside at the myriad of circuits and bio gel packs, he turned and gave the look most non engineers give when looking at the inner workings of a ship! Glass: Where the bloody hell do you start? Wes frowned. It was a fair question. Greaves: Worst case scenario, we crack the emergency hatch on the ceiling and climb up to the next deck above us. He paused for a second and looked over the faces of the two officers. In all honesty, he kind of hoped for that route. Sounded like fun. Greaves: Any luck with the panel? Kell tried to remember anything he had been taught in the academy that might help, but the more he looked at the hopeless mess of components the more he felt a tightening of panic rising in him. Richards: Do you think maybe that red flashing thing, connects over to this other red flashing thing? ::giving an unconfident and weak smile:: Glass: It’s hopeless...I haven’t the foggiest what half of this does...we move the wrong thing and we could plummet to our ends. Greaves: Well, climbing we go then. Ensign Richards, I’ll give you a boost. See if you can’t get that hatch open up there. Wes knelt down and offered a hand and his raised knee as a foot hold. His other knee, still bleeding slightly, dug into the carpet and the Marine gritted his teeth in a momentary wince of pain. Anton stepped up on Wes’s knee and reached up towards the shaft at the top of the turbolift. He could feel how insecure the turbolift felt. Richards: ::Continuing to attempt to reach the top of the lift:: You know? We really gotta start making it a habit to bring an engineer along for our adventures. Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! It took nearly all of his effort to prevent Richards from falling and crushing him. As the lift steadied from the short fall, and metal whined in agony, Wes held Richards’ legs tightly to keep him from losing his balance. Greaves: Alright, time’s up. Let's get out of this death trap. Up you go Ensign Richards. Bracing himself against the wall for balance and leverage, Wes stood in a one legged squat, creating a rising platform Richards stood on. With a grimace of effort on his face and a final huff, the man was through the small hatch above. It was a small effort to repeat the process for Glass. Finally Wes was alone in the lift, the two others offering their hands through the hatch above him. He could feel the blood trickling down his leg from the cut in his knee and as he took in the next challenge he winced slightly from a cramping muscle. Greaves: oO Would’ve gone easier for my workout had I know I’d be doing this afterwards… Oo Taking a breath and crouching to ready himself, Wes prepared for the jump. Leaping up and catching the Ensigns outstretched hands, he was pulled roughly onto the roof of the lift and into the turbolift shaft. Glass: We’ve got you sir! Richards: Up you come now, Sir! Greaves: (Rolling onto the roof of the turbolift and panting a little) Nothing to it (grin). Wes looked around at the walls for a second, his eyes adjusting to the relative darkness. The lift shaft had only sparsely spaced dim lights. After a second he recognized the metal rungs of the ladder embedded in the wall and the Marine pointed in their direction. Greaves: This lift ain’t gonna wait on us forever. Start climbing. It's just a few meters up to the next deck. Richards, Glass, you two first, but hurry. I don’t feel like riding this thing down to engineering while you two take your time on the ladder. Kell looked up at the seemingly never ending tunnel and ladder as it snaked its way to wherever these things went. Glass: That’s a long way up! Kell hoisted himself up, the exertion of pushing himself up to the first rung sending whining noises from the turbolift compartment. Eager not to be the solo survivor, he hurried his pace and called down. Anton was quick behind Glass as he also didn’t feel like seeing exactly how long the lift would hold for. Glass: Come on quick, I don’t know how long the emergency brakes will hold! Richards: I’m hurrying! It’s my damn knee Anton was moving slower now and beginning to grimace as the shock of the fall had worn off, and he was starting to feel the bruise on his knee begin to swell. Greaves: Nope, no time. I don’t want to hear it. Get on that ladder. Anton nodded once again and gritted his teeth through the climb. Kell began climbing upwards, eager to see the bright lights of any deck over the tight confines of the turbolift innards! Glass: I see a door! Richards: That’s good news! How much farther? Anton wasn’t sure if was going to make the climb, just as he sensed that Glass was about to answer him, Anton lost his footing, causing his left foot to slip backwards on the ladder brushing very close to hitting Greaves in the forehead. Anton twirled around to the edge of the ladder, briefly looking down the turbolift and seeing the fall. Looking up at Glass’s call, Wes saw Richard’s foot slip just in time to let himself drop down a rung and narrowly dodge what would have been a swift kick to the face. With a scowl on his face, the man watched Richards twirl to the side of the ladder, but the concerned look on the security officer’s face halted what was about to be a harsh response. Greaves: (Growling voice) Richards, for the love of god, get back on that ladder and quit looking down. We’re almost there. Anton steadied himself and began climbing, faster than before. The sight of the drop “inspired” him. Glass: Come on Spiderman! Wes smiled at the comment. Kell looked back at the door, with the absence of an actual turbolift the door stood firmly closed. Glass: Without the turbolift here, it's not going to open easily! Greaves: I have confidence you can figure it out! Emergency release should be on the right side. Richards: Yeah Glass! Any day now! It was part sarcasm and part anger due to the frustrating pain he was experiencing as Anton held his one knee up off the ladder to avoid putting pressure on it. He was hoping this wasn’t going to result in a trip to sick bay. Kell reached over and grasped the red handle to the side of the door and began turning it anticlockwise….slowly the door inched it way open. Glass: Its opening now, hold on. With a hiss, the turbolift doors to deck 13 slid open revealing the carpeted corridor beyond. One by one the three climbed up and scrambled to the safety of a solid floor. Bringing up the rear, Wes took the offered hands of the Ensigns to pull him the last bit of the way, and at last they were clear of the danger. Another hiss and the doors slid shut once more. Wes took stock of the three. They’d all accumulated a bit of grease and dirt on their uniforms from the climb, and Wes’s workout clothes were still plenty soiled from earlier in the day. Doing his best to brush himself off, Wes stood and gave a stern look to a passing crewman which looked bewildered at their sudden appearance. Greaves: Congratulations Ensigns, you’ve just survived turbolift seven. Anton rubbing his aching knee, brushes himself off and stands up straight. Still out of breath Anton looks down the shaft and then up at Greaves. Richards: Perhaps I will have a t-shirt made. Kell felt a sudden wave of panic, the room started to spin every so slightly, causing him to grab hold of the wall and steady himself, closing his eyes he counted to ten. He’d never personally experienced a panic attack, but knew the symptoms well enough from his mothers teaching. Glass: Ok….is….is everyone in one piece? Greaves: (Gesturing to his bleeding knee) All things considered, I think I’ll have to raincheck on that breakfast. Engineering and Ops need to know about this lift, and I need to get cleaned up. Anton nods at Greaves Richards: Yeah. I believe I have lost my appetite. Glass: Yeah, I’m going to walk back to my room and have a bit of a lay down! Greaves paused and looked the two over once more. They hid it well, but there was something in Glass’s look that worried him. A slight hesitation. A lingering look at the doors. Greaves: Are you both going to be alright? Anton extends his arms outright from either side of him, eyeing them back and forth to make sure that he had not in fact plummeted to his death in the turbolift. Richards: ::Nodding:: I think I’ll be fine. Just another day at StarFleet I presume. Kell shot the pair a luke warm smile. Glass: Yeah...I’ll….I’ll be ok, just gotta leave off taking one of these again for a while!...see you back in our room later buddy…::then looking back at Captain Greaves:: Thanks for the cool head sir! Kell tapped Anton on the shoulder, smiled and walked off. The Marine nodded at the comment but didn’t speak. Instead he watched as the pair walked off deeper into the deck, likely in search of another turbolift. After a moment they were lost to sight in the busy corridor and Wes turned in the other direction. The two Ensigns both were quick on their feet, at least in the simple adventure they’d all shared. With any luck, Wes would be inheriting two promising officers. END ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1 & Ensign Kellan Glass Tactical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding T239802KG1 =========================
  8. I want to thank @Alieth, along with @Roshanara Rahman & @Quen Deena, for making this entire arc absolutely incredible to explore. I've said this on Discord, but I'll reiterate it here because I think it's important - generally speaking I find it difficult to explore my own character, or to make them the 'center' of a narrative arc. I'm always concerned it's self-indulgent or exclusionary so I rarely go to these stories, excepting with the help of the writers I've most come to respect and trust. I'm glad I did, because what @Alieth did in this last sim is an incredible reflection on my own character, and my 'history' with our fleet. Thank you, Troublemaker. ========================================================================= Falling from the ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Veritas)) Reality collapsed at Alieth's feet, in a cascade of memory fragments into darkness. Glimpses for the past rained down around her, disjointed and senseless as she tumbled hastily into the abyss. The red light in the teetering corridors of the USS Artemis. A well-endowed front end of a version of Captain Rahman riding a Veritas through the space, with spots ALL the way down. Teller: Alieth! For some reason, a violent impact to the chest followed by a more than audible “FALLHHHASLLPPPPPPPP!”. Someone speaking in a strangely flowery manner. For some reason the words "Silas" and "Saga" echoed over and over in the void. Neither made sense to the Vulcan. The texture of the Uss Diligent's captain's chair, firm under her fingers, though she had never been there. The woodlands of Til'ahn, the gurgling sound of his chest after a runabout fell on his head. Mackenzie, working on a mechanical arm for a reluctant G'var. A robotic leg for a Betazoid officer, Adea. While Alieth knew the former CMO, she didn't know either of the other two, but she recognised their faces. Somehow. A little girl, playing with a yellow-robed muppet, who looked suspiciously like a certain red-haired fellow. For some reason, she knew there was a degree of mischief involved. Teller: Alieth! We have to go! Now! A white wake that, for some mysterious reason, left a trail of bamboo and coconuts behind it hurried towards her amidst memories of a crazy party with someone called Ukinix and a snooty-looking black-eyed woman in the chase of a bellhop. Somehow, there, when everything was crumbling around her, smelt like coffee. Amidst the maelstrom of memories and shadowy images, she intuited a familiar form. Alieth stretched out her hands in search of the faint figure she could not fully see. Alieth: We cannot Sern is still... Teller: It won't matter if we don't get out of here. You have to break the meld! A firm hand grasped her wrist. She clung onto him as they both spun on the trajectory that had resulted from their collision. Alieth: Alright! Alieth closed her eyes and concentrated on her hands. Not on those, clinging to the skinny pale wrist, but on another, far, far away, resting on the profile of a face just over the qui'lari. She felt the electric tingle under her fingertips, the vibrant connection between her minds. With one last effort of her will, Alieth flexed her fingers... ... And pushed. And when she opened her eyes, she was still in her office chair, as a very large dog performed the duty her kind had been performing for millennia and was saving a human's life. Licking him. ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) The light in the office was too white, too bright after her plunge into darkness. Alieth closed her eyes and breathed in, the emotions of the meld still lingering in her mind. Some were not her own. Most of them were just hers. And she didn't want to deal with them, not there, not at that moment. She just could not. She breathed out deeply and inhaled once more. When she exhaled again, it was herself all over again, what had happened pushed away and tucked away in a place deep in her mind, shelved for... for later. Yet there was... a certain tension in her face, a certain frown in her slanted eyebrows, a subtle dull gleam in her dark eyes. Teller: Doc...Alieth...are you... Alieth: I’m fine. ::She frowned deeply and reworded the statement:: I am fine. Fine was a non-descript and imprecise term, and yet she could find nothing better to convey the truth. Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: That is rather more complicated, I… She tilted her head to one side and, quickly, she regretted it, the throbbing pain piercing through her temples. She leaned back for a moment, eyes closed, before she stood back on her feet. For a moment she held herself upright, as if she questioned her own stability, just before she moved the scant two steps that separated her from the officer sprawled on the floor and the solicitous canid. She patted the animal's head a couple of times and pushed the dog aside from him before she offered a hand to the human. With one efficient motion, she assisted him back to his feet. That brief contact ceased quickly, however, with Alieth pulling her hands away just as soon as he regained his verticality. She folded her hands behind her back, hiding them in the sleeves of her lab coat. Alieth: Sern needs help, expert guidance. Assistance that I can only find in Vulcan. Teller: ? Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. Teller: ? She allowed herself for a moment to relax her firm grip on her features, and one corner of her mouth curved up slightly, barely a shadow of what she had been in his mind. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Teller: ? [[Tag! & TBC]] OOC: qui'lari -> the Vulcan name for a focal point in the bioelectric field in foramen magnums of a humanoid ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  9. @Alieth has introduced this lovely character arc involving her deceased lover (don't even try to deny it, Alieth) who was killed and his katra placed in @Geoffrey Teller in order to preserve it. Here, we see that Vulcans are not devoid of emotion, and though the display isn't as overt as perhaps one might see in a human, I can't help but connect emotionally to Sern and Alieth. ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Veritas)) Sern: I do not choose the places. They never last long. Days - sometimes hours. It was fortunate I came across this one. The bridge jolted around them. On the screen, the nose of the Veritas pitched towards the planet, its rings and moons taking up more and more of the screen. Alieth: Then choose a location, hold on to it. This bouncing from one memory to another is putting Geoff in danger. Her voice came softly, stating the glaringly obvious. He’d figured that out weeks ago - back on the holodeck. When he first began to withdraw. His reply was quick and curt. Sern: I am aware that Geoffrey John is in danger, and I am telling you that my actions are not the cause. She straightened up and blinked several times.There was another long pause, as he considered putting his hypothesis forward. Sern: I … I believe it may be my presence. It made sense. Carrying the katra of another, the essence and full memories of another Vulcan required a toll. A Vulcan could adapt - given enough time and mental discipline. A Human could not. The Human brain was simply not constructed to bear the weight of the katra. And they both knew it. She held out her hand. A smile etched softly across her face. It was a gesture that comforted and alarmed him in equal measure. Alieth: Then come back to me. Just as it used to be. You and me. Sern looked from her hand to the surprisingly eager expression on her face and back again. Could it be done? Could he return? Such transfers had happened - but in a matter of days, not weeks. And certainly not months… The damage he was wreaking on his Human host was obvious, more than obvious. Was it the same for a Vulcan? Were they just better at hiding it? Yet, more importantly - what would be the consequences of returning now? Sern: No. ::he paused, the word coming through a little too harshly:: I cannot - we cannot. She took a step back. The starship shook around them. Panels fell from the ceiling, a cascade of sparks burst from the viewscreen before a rift split it in half, extinguishing the view of space. With a pop and a flash, everything forward of the helm snapped out of existence, the blur closing in. A crack spread out between the two Vulcans, narrow, but tearing them apart. Alieth: I do not understand. Why? Why not? The rift deepened, spreading across the bridge to the point where the illusion ended, and curving around to split the ceiling above. Sern: This place is unraveling - come with me! Jump! She tried to reach for him, arms outstretched in front of her. The crevice broadened suddenly under her feet and she was forced to stop at the edge of the abyss, her goal forgotten in a vain attempt to keep her balance on the edge. He took a half-step closer, held back by a familiarity with the calamity the Edge could hold. At the other end lay another memory - some good, some bad. With an unraveling as violent as this: almost certainly bad. Alieth: Sern!?!?!?! His hand snapped out in one final effort to catch hers. Sern: He must be pulling you back - I shouldn’t - I knew this couldn’t last… JUMP!! Despite his words, despite her efforts, she fell. The blur around the edges deepened - the line between existence and darkness rapidly disintegrating until- Nothing. ((The Brew Continuum, Deck 4, USS Veritas)) ((Not Blowing Up)) The silence was deafening after the sound-and-fury departure of the last world. Slowly, the space filled with a soft backdrop of white noise: the clatter of cups, the occasional hiss of steam from the equipment, the blended chatter of voices. No conversation could clearly be distinguished. After all, neither the Vulcan nor the Human knew what had been said. The room itself began to take shape - a close, tight arrangement of tables and beings. Some, Sern knew from his last trip here, belonged. Others, not so much. Good. He’d stumbled onto a haven. Slowly, a table began to take shape in front of him. Sern found himself sitting before he could fully recall the place, a mug appearing in his hand. From the depths of the vessel rose a distinct aroma, borne on the tendrils of steam that snaked their way up to his nostrils. The Vulcan hated to admit it. He was beginning to grow fond of that vile, brown liquid… [End Scene?] __________ Sern of Vulcan Katra Reluctant Coffee Drinker E239602QD0
  10. I can't really describe what an honour it was to have @Geoffrey Teller agree to take part in this insane scene, but to have him do it with such an amazing quality of writing is a gift in itself. This sim, heading to the wrap up of the mind meld scene is a real treasure where he demonstrates his amazing knack to weave drama, humour and action together, even more so to leave us with the message that creativity can take you everywhere and that is just top notch. Thank you so much for jumping into this madness and a well deserved call out to @Quen Deena and @Roshanara Rahman for having jumped in and delivered up and better than I could have ever dared to imagine. _________________________________________________________________________________ ((Purplewhitehaven Beach, Limbo, within Geoff Teller's mind)) Geoff knew what he was 'seeing' was somewhere between a ghost and a memory, but that didn't matter. She felt deeply real to him even as her appearance rippled and changed. For a moment, Geoff caught a glimpse of something behind the mask. Something sad. Something hiding. It was gone a moment later and the Skipper returned to the form he had always known. Rahman: But *this* is the woman you still remember. The woman returned a playful smirk as she reached down and lifted her right pant leg slightly, revealing some Trill-like spots that ran down the side of her leg. Rahman: She told you that was inaccurate. Geoff felt himself blushing in slight embarrassment. Teller: You know how it is, Skipper. You get an idea in your head it can be tough to dislodge it. ::Geoff turned back, wagging a finger accusingly:: Wait a minute, what the hell am I embarrassed about. You're just in my head, you're not the real Rahman. This Roshanara shrugged before looking down at her chest. Rahman: Well, I suppose it could be worse. Geoff paled deeply, forced to recall the entire embarrassing situation with his ill chosen tattoo. He gasped, the full force of the memory hitting him all at once, unfiltered and in too perfect clarity. It was as if all the emotions of the original experience were back with him at once, magnified and distorted. Rahman: Now... I'm hungry! Let's get something to eat. ((Campfire, Purplewhitehaven Beach - Day)) The "New Risa resort" that Teller had helped construct with the other Veritas survivors in the real world no longer existed in this iteration of Limbo. So instead, Teller and Roshanara had set up a small campfire near the escape pod. Rahman: ::to narrator:: A campfire in the day? No, that won't do... ((Campfire, Purplewhitehaven Beach - Night)) Geoff's head whipped around, trying to process the sudden changes as the terrain shifted and reformed. The memorial stone was again in the distance and he was back at the escape pod, standing before a large stone encircled fire pit he could not remember ever building in the real world. The brutal tropical sun above made the fire pointless but in another moment, night had fallen and along with it the temperature. The woman in his mind was looking to the sky, and Geoff's eyes followed. With the sun gone, the brightest star in the sky had become the Veritas herself, suspended in time like a fly in amber. It had infuriated Teller ever single day he was trapped on this moon to be within sight of the ship but completely cut off. Roshanara cut a piece of fish they'd caught earlier in the day that had been cooking over the fire before handing it over to Teller. Rahman: You look like you could have a bite. Geoff looked down, accepting the stick with a deep scowl. Among the things which had competed for his most hated experience on Limbo had been the food. Fish. Fish stew. Baked. They were lucky to have had it and lived on it, and almost exclusively it, for months. Geoff no longer ate fish. Ever. Teller: I think I'll pass if it's all the same to you. Rahman: I promise it'll be even better than you remember. She sat up a little straighter, clearly proud. Rahman: I added some berry juice I found earlier. Geoff shook his head at the sudden warmth and eagerness to please. It made the Skipper seem vulnerable in a way Geoff had never consciously imagined. She'd never once acted this way in person, he was certain of that. Whatever it was, it compelled him to take a few hesitant bites. His eyes widened in surprise. Teller: That's actually..not..bad. Thank you...I guess. Geoff slumped down on the sand, suddenly tired of standing. He chewed through another mouthful of fictitious fish before leaning back against the escape pod in exhaustion. He was warm from the fire and considered closing his eyes for a moment, the lapping of the nearby waves calming him more than it ever had on the actual planet. Captain Rahman's voice sounded far away, but it kept Geoff anchored. Rahman: What we need to figure out, Mister Teller, is how you're going to get us back up there! Geoff shook his head, confused again. Teller: I...we did already. This was almost two years ago. We got off that world, all of us. ::Geoff thought again of the memorial stone:: Most of us. Rahman: Well how did you do it last time? Teller: What, you're going to make me explain it to you like I did last time? That took all night, and I don't have Wil here to draw the diagrams. Geoff tried to stand but his exhaustion was growing deeper the longer he sat around the fire. Some part of him knew the truth, that the meld had gone wrong. If he didn't find Alieth, or more likely if Alieth didn't find him, they'd both end up trapped within their own minds, slowly going mad as their bodies failed. Rahman: Then let's think outside the proverbial box. I don't care how red that shirt gets, you'll always be a Starfleet engineer. Something in the Captain's voice connected with the earliest moments in his Starfleet career. Stepping off the shuttle that had delivered him from Starbase 118. His orders, partially garbled by the subspace interference of the Shoals, had led him to believe he'd be a helmsman. He'd met the Captain minutes later, already deeply embroiled in a crisis. She had immediately overawed Geoff in those first moments, and he'd spent the rest of his career trying to live up to that titanic memory. Geoff struggled up unsteadily but managed to come to his feet. He felt calmer and more focused. Teller: You know, I had a whole plan for mass producing hydrazine on this planet...::Geoff imagined the little cave workshop he had built, far from camp for safety reasons. He'd never had the time to get much beyond the experimental phase before he'd figured out a different path home for the crew.::...and I was planning to launch a rocket. Unmanned, of course. Thought we might be able to get a transporter relay into orbit... The beach shimmered again but what now stood there had never existed in reality. Beginning at the treeline, a launch ramp made of lashed together logs pointed towards the sky. It had been planed down to create a smooth slide, and the surface had been coated by something that looked like petroleum oil. At the head of the ramp, a small vessel of equally improvised construction sat with bamboo door wedged open, a single seat inside. Geoff thought about it and his thinking became more clear. He was trapped within his own mind, and his creativity had always been his greatest strength. Here, it could be unbounded by the laws of physics or material science. Here, Geoff could make any ridiculous contraption he'd ever dreamed of. Right now, he was dreaming of a bamboo rocketship that would take him to the Veritas so he could rescue his friend and get the hell out of this place. The rocket motor of the bamboo ship sputtered to life, a small stream of smoke and fire from the rear. Geoff took a step towards it. Rahman: Response Teller: Skipper, you're right. You're always right. The minute I start forgetting what I'm doing, you remind me I'm here to build things. Mad, wonderful, fantastic things. ::Geoff took the wicker seat in the center of the improbable craft. The controls were all coconut halves and bamboo levers. Geoff tugged at a few confidentally, certain now this would work.:: You want to come with me? ::Geoff nodded, and suddenly a second seat appeared in the small craft.:: Rahman: Response Teller: Well, it's up to you, but in about ten seconds I'm pressing the big red coconut so either get in and hang on or get out and wish me luck, because I swore I wasn't going to die on this beach once and I'll be damned if it beats me now. And that's a God Damn Good Job Guarantee, Skipper. Rahman: Response Geoff smiled and winked, pulling the door closed and settling back in the chair. Teller: Thanks, Roshanara. For everything. Geoff fixed his eyes on the falling Veritas out his seaglass viewport and smacked the launch control. As his imaginary ship rocketed down the launchway, bits and pieces collapsed off the sides and top while the ground behind it vanished into nothingness. The beach and the island and the whole of the world vanished away as Geoff took flight, all the elements of the fantasy falling away around him as he grew closer towards his goal. His eyes stayed fixed on the point of light that had been the Veritas, but Geoff realized now it was something more. He leaned forward, calling a name out into the dark. Teller: Alieth! He flew like an arrow towards that point of light within his mind. It was the only thing left in a space that had gone pitch black. This was his last chance. He called out again. They'd escape this place together, or not at all. He felt himself growing closer to something familiar and shouted again. Teller: Alieth! We have to go! Now! Alieth: Response Teller: It won't matter if we don't get out of here. You have to break the meld! Alieth: Response Geoff felt himself tumbling again, spinning out of control as Alieth's voice became large in his mind. Then, a light. And a very large dog. ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, USS Thor)) Geoff pitched backwards in his chair but could not catch himself in time and ended up sprawled on the floor of Alieth's office, a monumentally bad headache throbbing behind his eyes. Before he could move or speak a single word, Cheesecake was hovering over him, the dogs huge face upside down to Geoff's perspective. Cheesecake then very helpful provided resuscitation services by licking the entirety of Geoff's face and at least one of his eyeballs. Teller groaned and tried to stand without success. Teller: Doc...Alieth...are you... Alieth: Response Teller: But...what about Sern? What the hell was all that? Alieth: Response [Tags/TBC!] =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  11. I'm really excited to read more of this plot arc @Alieth and @Sirok are writing. I'm already in love with Rekika. She's just how I imagined her to be! ((Vulcan - Kyr Province - Sobok family House)) T'Lil had prepared the wedding from multiple functions. On the one hand a show of unification between Vulcans and Romulans. On the other hand an attempt to continue the family saga if all went well. And as an introduction to the Vulcan society for Sirok himself. The Vulcan matriarch, if in private she had disparaged Sirok's Starfleet career, opted to picked out every positive trait in public, everything of what her son could learn and do for Vulcan and Kyr as a Starfleet officer. And she highlighted his rapid rise through the ranks despite his relatively young age. The event itself had perfectly fulfilled all the precepts of a very traditional Vulcan wedding, implementing old elements of Romulan weddings, which had quite a few things in common with Vulcan’s. In itself the act was meant to exemplify unification. While for some the Vulcans and Romulans present it was just the most fitting way to carry it, for others it was just too soon for something like that, or even something that should never have happened. Some inhabitants of Vulcan, old and new, thought that Romulan presence was only temporary, until they could once again claim a planet as their own. For Sirok the situation had resulted to be a test. In the days before the ceremony, he had tried to memorize the names and faces of each of the attendees. And that was just a quite long list. Although T'Lil had conveniently overlooked to invite any of the Thor's crew, not even the captain. Her excuse, of course, was only logical: those uniforms made some of the bride's family skittish. And she had had just enough to do with dealing with her son's feelings to add other’s to the mix. The young engineer was not used to such social events. He most time tried to avoid them, even though he understood the usefulness of such rituals. He endeavored to behave like a Starfleet officer in a diplomatic situation and follow the instructions that his parents have give him. As soon as he saw an opportunity Sirok decided to retreat and took refuge in the secondary house. A building erected by his great-grandfather for S'Vec and T'Lil to live in, while he still occupied the main house, while Sobok remained on the USS Elcano and his wife preferred to live near the Academy of Sciences. It has remained uninhabited since Sirok's great-grandfather passed away, as Sopeg lived with his wife in the capital. Even there, at that distance, he could still hear the faint chimes of vulcan lutes, as much as the barely audible murmur of multiple conversations. So, he entered the house and without even close the door, he looked for a dark place, a hidden spot where he could shut his eyes and tried to control his breathing. He repeated in his head principles of logic, endeavouring to free his mind and take hold of his feelings. If he weren’t wearing for the ceremonial robes, he would attempt to practice suus mahna. When he had barely managed to regain some degree of mental equilibrium, his efforts were interrupted by the sound of light footsteps behind him. Rekika: So this is where you have chosen to escape… The words were left hanging in the air, sharp, with no trace of sympathy in them. She followed shortly after, abandoning the shadows she had inhabited. She strode across the narrow chamber to his position, her gait confident and steadfast, the tap of her heels ricocheting firmly against the polished floor, as if she were part on a martial march. Only when she was just a few centimetres away from the young Vulcan did she halt, her gaze at almost the same level as his. She held his gaze as the minutes thickened, cold and tense amid the desert heat. At some point, the Romulan woman determined that she had had enough and examined him from top to bottom, scrutinizing him in unabashed detail. Rekika: Since my family moved here I have had ample time to learn your language, son of S'vec. So tell me, Sirok, are you so outside of hope as your name implies? Sirok stood staring at her for a brief moment, the situation was strange. Legally he was linked to that woman and it was a logical link for many reasons. But given the speed of the whole new situation the young man, who followed strong routines to help his memory, was not quite used to it. Sirok: I thought they told you about my condition. A smile crept across her features, whether there was mirth or disdain in her was somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Rekika: They did, but humour me with your version of the facts. Sirok: We should go somewhere else, now it is also your home, and you should be familiar with it. She gave a slight shrug and the smile etched in her face became somewhat more skewed, albeit no less ambiguous. A motion of her chin suggested that he should lead the way. Without waiting for a more elaborated answer, he turned on the light and escorted her into the living room. As every chamber in the Sobok’s property, it was tidy and spotless. Nevertheless, the design was somewhat old-fashioned, yet every little detail was strictly functional and every piece was made of the finest materials. Sirok: Sometimes I came here to meditate and study when my brother's Sehlat did not allow me to enter the main house. Have a seat. Rekika: Lovely, even the little kitten despised my groom. She sat down just before kept talking, at ease and leisurely, as if she owned the room. In some ways she did, or would do so in the future. Sirok: the reason why he did not accept me is related in part to my condition. :: he said as he sat down. :: Rekika: Is that the answer to my question? Sirok: As you should know now, I was born with brain damage. It mainly affects my telepathic abilities, which are practically non-existent. Also, my memory is worse than it should be. Although unlike telepathy I have applied techniques developed by some of the best Vulcan masters to alleviate its effects, making it practically unnoticeable for the time being. Sirok said it with his usual dreary tone. Only someone who knew him very well would know that he was showing some nervousness. Rekika: … for the time being :: She echoed, her tone much more nuanced, if as contradictory as her expression.:: And what about the future? Will I find myself married to a chunk of worthless meat soon? She tipped her head fractionally and indulged herself in a momentary display of compunction. Something she studiously made an effort to prove that she did not feel. At all. Rekika: No offence to your brother's condition. Sirok: I am a follower of Surak. I am not offended by such comments. But as you said, yes, I have a higher probability of having neural afflictions of different nature. Rekika: When. The word was delivered both as a query and a demand. Sirok: I cannot know. It should not happen for quite a few years, I am still young, so maybe plenty. Or perhaps it will never happen. Only if everyone has some chance of that kind of disease, mine is higher. This probability will increase with age. The Vulcan was direct, no secrets, no half-measures. Rekika: So you are like a ticking bomb scheduled to explode. We just don't know when or if you'll do it. Sirok: This is quite accurate. She chuckled openly, a clear, musical laugh from one who had never had to suppress it in her life. She laughed not at him, though, nor at the response to her remarks, but merely because of the brutal sincerity and endless candour of her groom. It was, somehow, refreshing. Rekika: I can live with it, or with the lie underneath it. Sirok: I recommend that you accept it for what it is. It is simply the truth. He did not know what Rekika thought about Surak's teachings, but Sirok thought that following them was the best thing to do, more so for his situation. Rekika: Perhaps, but my version is more fun. The smile widened dangerously on her lips. Sirok: But it is a long-term danger. The lack of telepathic ability disrupts certain biological functions of my species. For example in the ceremony, when we have joined together and our fingers touched, a certain bond should have been created. I only felt your skin and you felt mine. He maintained his monotone. But he had used all his concentration to suppress the fear he felt in that situation. One of the moments he dreaded most in his life. Rekika: That's what happened for you? She left the question lingering in the air, as if her experience had been different, but her face retained the same derisive expression that had accompanied her for much of the conversation. Still, her mind buzzed with ideas: she had trained herself to engage a vulcan, to have a spy inside her own mind. She had woven lies within her lies, hidden behind shadows of half-truths. But her new husband? He was something else. Something quite different. Oh, and convenient. She allowed herself to lean forward, amidst a ruffle of the fabric of her betrothal gown. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. She leaned back and raised an elegant hand in front of her. Rekika: My family and the people associated with it will continue to have the rights to occupy a portion of your family lands to formalize a Romulan settlement. You will be provided with assistance in carrying out this endeavour without interference. Alongside this, my family's trading enterprise will be sustained, by helping to smooth out any friction that may arise with the Vulcan government. She fell back for a moment and watched him carefully before resuming her speech. Rekika: The other details are less important, but that is the heart of the matter. Your role, naturally, will be as caretaker of it if your family decides to break the agreement. Sirok:My family has always supported Unification, even before the Hobus disaster. So as long as there are no criminal acts we will continue to do our best to keep Unification moving forward. Another musical laugh echoed through the stark Vulcan chamber. Rekika:::In a playful tone:: No promises, my dear The Vulcan raised an eyebrow slightly. Sirok: I expect that it is a joke that I do not understand. The smile stretched across the Romulan's face once more. Rekika: Don't worry my dear, you'll figure it out... over time. Whether she meant the joke or the allegation of the illegality of her family's deeds was left unsaid. Sirok remained silent for a moment. Sirok: I understand then that there is no problem for me to return to the Thor to do my job. Rekika: And meanwhile I'll wait here, as a faithful bride longing for her gallant officer, while i help in the family business. Sirok: Everything has been so sudden that I have not been able to know what is your business. She then made a faint smacking sound with her lips and leaned back in feigned annoyance. Rekika: There's nothing to drink here? So much chatter makes me thirsty The young engineer got up in the direction of the kitchen. Sirok: It has been years since I have been in this house, but there was a good selection of juices. At the wedding alcoholic beverages were served in courtesy to our guests, but it is not something we consume. He spent a moment searching without success. So he fired up the replicator and replicated a pair of vulcan mocha. The replicator had not been checked for some time and did not work as the young man would have liked, he would check it when he had time. When he brought the cup towards her she took it in turn and managed to ensure that their fingers touched. Her hands remained there for a time and, as she did so, she glanced up at his face in search of a reaction, or lack thereof. What she saw on Sirok's countenance brought a mirthful gleam to her eye. Sirok: I expect you like it. Thereupon, she settled back against the back of the couch and drank the cup almost dry in a single gulp. Next, she slipped her right hand onto the armrest, the nearly drained cup held loosely between her fingers. Rekika: Excellent and adequate. As expected. Sirok nodded. Despite Rekika's positive response, he would check the replicator. The young man returned to his seat with his own cup in his hands. Sirok: You were going to tell me what you do for a living. Rekika: Oh well, we're mere traders. My people need commodities that can't be obtained on the planet, and we provide. Sirok: I know that the population increase is being a problem for a reasonable use of Vulcan's resources. She looked into his eyes and held his gaze for a moment. Rekika: :slowly: I think that given our shared situation it’s better to start calling it Ni'Var. The Vulcan took a long sip of the mocha. He hadn't realized his mouth was dry until he had felt the liquid. Sirok: A designation to exemplify the unification. It is appropriate. Rekika: You'll learn soon enough that I don't speak in vain, sweetheart. Sirok: as it should be. Without further ado she laid the cup indifferently on the arm of the couch and rose to her feet, with an almost feline elegance. In a vaguely coquettish manner, she arranged the slight misalignments in her attire before she resumed speaking. Rekika: Well, enough of the chitchat, we should get back to the party. She held out a hand waiting for him to take it, as was expected of a married couple. Sirok stood up, leaving the cup on a nearby table. Placing his hands with her in the traditional way, feeling her skin again. Rekika: ::Casually::. By the way, will you please be sure to inform your captain that I'll be joining you on that Starfleet vessel of yours? The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, not expecting such a proposition. Sirok: I think I can reason with Captain Kells. But I do not think my mother will allow both of us to be off planet given my brother's situation. Rekika: Don't worry about that, I'll make T'Lil see the logic in my decision to join you. A musical laugh followed them as they crossed the lintel of the secondary house and flickered in the air for a moment before the Romulan whispered her follow-up remark. Rekika: And in case I fail... my father will persuade her… She was certain that he would see as much merit as she herself did in her returning to cross the stars aboard a starship. Even more so in one so different from the Birds of Prey in which she had served a decade ago… ========================= As simmed by Rekika of Romulus Former Romulan Star Navy Lieutenant Romulan Colony of Ni’Var E239702A10 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  12. I really enjoyed this collaboration between @Sirok and @Geoffrey Teller. I especially enjoyed seeing more of Sirok, one of our resident and most emotional Vulcan. ((Vulcan - Kir province - Sobok family mainhouse)) Sobok and Sirok materialized in front of a . It was of straight lines and its glass exteriors, orderly, designed for a simple use of the interior space. A classic Vulcan construction of the 23rd century. It was built on a small promontory surrounded by several trees with reddish leaves that gave warmth to both the exterior and interior of the house. Sobok knew the coordinates well and was able to give them accurately enough to save him having to climb the small hill that led up to the house. He had also arranged for his and Sirok's luggage to wait for them in their respective rooms, not wanting to leave the young man to carry both . Feeling the increased Vulcan gravity indicated to the chief engineer that the transporter cycle had ended and Sirok looked around for a moment. It was the first time he had been back since being admitted to Starfleet Academy and he looked for any changes the house might have undergone. As he expected there were none. The trees were so carefully trimmed that they seemed frozen in time.There was no noticeable stain or scuff on the glass surface of the house. The grass around the house grew to the desired height, never beyond. The distant sound of the drones that controlled the plantations indicated like a calendar what time of the year it was and what was the state of the crops. He had left his uniform and rank on the ship and like his grandfather wore a simple light colored robe. That robe was one of the few belongings he had taken with him when he left and was part of the few belongings he brought back. They approached the front door and it opened, revealing the figure of a slender Vulcan woman. Her bearing was elegant, regal. She kept her hands behind her back and looked inquisitively at the two newcomers. Sobok: Good morning, T'Lil. Sobok stopped, leaning on his cane and staring at T'Lil. Sirok stood behind him. Sirok: Mother. :: It was his brief greeting. :: T’Lil considered the sight before her the way some would review a shipping manifest. Her son, home for the first time in many years, was here in the company of his grandfather. She noticed the tiny imperfections age had left upon her sons features, along with his disagreeably emotional greeting. She noticed everything, but made no comment beyond a simple reply. T’Lil: Son. Sirok: What is the status of Sopeg? T’Lil: Unchanged. His biological functions are being sustained efficiently. His injuries have been evaluated by the Vulcan Medial Institutes Dean of Neurosurgery. What can be done has been done. Your arrival here is another matter entirely. T’Lil arched an eyebrow, her gaze landing on her son with the weight of Mount Seleya, a sliver of genuine concern flashing through her mind. Her son had been among emotional species for far too long. Sobok: I know there is a lot to catch up on. But my physical condition is not adequate to do it at the entrance, standing up... Can we enter? A long moment passed before T’Lil replied. Even the wind was still and silent. T’Lil: You may enter. Sobok: Where is S’Vec? Where is my son? T’Lil: S’Vec is where he is expected to be, running the organization this family has maintained for generations. Her emphasis on the word generations was subtle but the jab was sharp. Sobok’s irresponsibility had disrupted the work of centuries and led to her son's needless dalliance with Starfleet. As T'Lil spoke Sobok slowly walked to a wide couch, where he slowly sat down. And he did not respond until he had made that slow heavy movement. Sirok kept an eye on his grandfather in case he needed help, since he had arrived at the Thor he had clearly noticed how he was finding it more difficult to walk. Sobok: And he has done a great job. Despite making risky bets. :: Sobok glanced at Sirok for a moment before turning his gaze back to T'Lil, remarking on the situation they were now in. :: Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly, not quite understanding what bet Sobok was referring to. The young engineer had long since removed himself from any discussion of family and its activities. He had focused all his efforts on his Starfleet career. T’Lil: His time is in exceedingly short supply, as is mine. I will inform him of your presence…::she took a long look at Sirok, and then at Sobok:: You may wait. Sobok kept his gaze on T'Lil. And remained silent for a moment, letting the sound of some bird and the distant drones fill the room. Sobok: Well, we will wait, when you reach a certain age it becomes an habit. But at other ages time is exceedingly short, so let's take advantage of it. For example I can tell you that your second son achieved the rank of Lieutenant and Chief Engineer of one of the most modern ships in the Fleet in a single year of service. A much faster promotion than I had at the time. Sirok fell thinking that he would not be given importance he saw no point in informing his parents of his progress in Starfleet, or even what ship he was serving on. But Sobok did not make that comment gratuitously, the defective son now held a position of importance in a respected organization.He was not just the son of S'Vec anymore. Sirok: It has been a matter of circumstances, although rebuilding a ship almost from scratch has been an experience from which I have been able to learn significantly. Sirok did not try to be modest, it was what he thought of his rapid rise as he believed he still had a lot to learn. If T’Lil was proud, or impressed, or even the smallest bit respectful of her son's achievements, none of it showed on her face. If anything registered, it was a slight deepening of her scowl at the thought of her son risking himself needlessly, and in a pursuit as foolish as Starfleet. T’Lil: I am gratified to learn the son of S’Vec is now a skilled mechanic. It is certain to reflect highly on our esteemed family. Her tone implied the opposite. Sirok: Is the Romulan refugee colony progressing properly? His entire family had always been strong supporters of the Unification between Romulus and Vulcan. When Hobus went supernova and Romulus was destroyed, they offered several of their lands to create settlements for refugees. Not just to take in temporary refugees, but to make them permanent residents on Vulcan. Sirok held his family's efforts in that direction in high respect and believed that this was the future for his planet and his people. A minute sigh escaped T’Lil’s lips. T’Lil: It is progressing. I believe it is premature to determine if it is doing so properly. Reintegration after millennia of distrust is a complex endeavor. One in which you could assist, son. Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly. As Sobok kept his eyes on T'Lil he foresaw what he was going to say. Sirok: I have participated in some first contacts, but my diplomatic skills are not very good, at least with beings who are driven by their emotions. :: To logical beings, the young engineer performed as expected even by his family. :: T’Lil: I have made what arrangements seemed logical to me so that our family can achieve its goals, efficiently. I do not see why either of you would object. Sirok: I will try to help if possible, mother. Sobok looked at his grandson. As a good follower of Surak he felt no pride in his relative, but his grandson though naive, seemed praiseworthy to him. Sobok: I have never meddled in your handling of these matters. But if you saw it necessary I would consider interfering. T’Lil: Sopeg’s injury leaves our family in a challenging position, one to which we must adapt. So we shall. Your wedding is scheduled two days hence. ::T’Lil glanced at the Starfleet uniform in dissatisfaction.:: You will dress in something more befitting our people. Sirok watched his mother for a moment. Sirok: the Starfleet uniform is perfectly suitable for such a ceremony, as it is in a multitude of other options. Although that is a trivial detail. So far you have not sought out a wife for me, and the difference in doing so now as opposed to when it was due is that I have a duty to perform. Sobok said nothing, on the one hand his grandson was right. But biologically speaking he needed a mate. Due to Vulcan physiology his life would be in danger when the time came if he didn't have someone to share it with. T’Lil: Your logic is flawed, son. I have sought out a wife for you and all the arrangements have been made. There is only the ceremony remaining, and that requires your presence. Sirok: May I know with whom you intend to marry me? T’Lil: Her name is Rekika, and she has completed all the necessary arrangements to my satisfaction. Sobok raised an eyebrow slightly, it was not the response he expected. Sirok in appearance remained unchanged. Though his family, who knew him well knew that he struggled to keep his feelings contained and in control, with relative success. So it was Sobok who kept asking questions, trying to make the young man maintain as much dignity as possible. Sobok: Do they know Sirok's condition? It is a very difficult situation for the chosen one. :: Part of the reason why such an agreement had not really been sought until now. :: T’Lil: In this instance, his deficiency will not be a detriment to the union. Your intended is one of our long separated Romulan cousins and her expectations are already quite low. Sobok: Be that as it may, the agreement should not affect Sirok's Starfleet career. T’Lil’s expression hardened and a room normally exposed to desert breezes became suddenly colder. T’Lil: I do not recall seeking your council or input on the matter, Sobok. T’Lil glanced back to her son, the lowly starfleet engineer. A small part of a small system, one of questionable value and enormous personal risk. T’Lil could see the logic in the pursuit for others, but not for her family, and certainly not her son. Sobok: It is one thing to adapt to the situation and another to ruin his career, which is being successful. Besides, you are already used to having an absent family member. Another one is not going to change the situation. :: Sobok had known T'Lil for many years and at all times avoided reacting to any comment. Although it was well known that the old Vulcan was more protective of Sirok than any other member of his family. :: T’Lil: Sirok has an obligation to fulfill for this family, and the needs of the many should always outweigh the needs of the one. He will come to appreciate this in time. Sirok kept quiet. Until that moment, observing the not-so-veiled dialectical conflict between his elders. Sirok: I will do as I am asked, if she accepts me. :: He barely managed not to say "and my condition". :: But as Sobok has expressed, I will maintain my Starfleet career for the time being. Consider it my training for the position you want me to take if Sopeg does not recover. T’Lil’s lips, which had never been especially emotive, pressed into a line so thin they seemed to disappear entirely. She disapproved and would work to make the arrangement ultimately untenable, but for the present her goal had been achieved. Her son would wed, and their bond with the emerging Romulan families would grow stronger, and their own family would grow in influence and respect. T’Lil stood and prepared to leave. T’Lil: It is gratifying to discover you have not entirely lost your discipline, son. Your responsibilities to the family are paramount. So long as those are dispensed properly, you other conduct is your business and ::T’Lil glared daggers at Sobok:: no one else's. I will take my leave of you now. T’Lil offered her hand in the ta’al, but turned and exited before either man had even gotten out of their chair. Sobok watched as T'Lil left and then looked at his grandson. Sobok: Are you sure of your decision? Sirok: I am the emotional one of this family. It is normal for me to make an illogical decision. Yet I cannot find a better one. Sobok: Neither do I, for the moment. The old Vulcan looked out the window. The landscape he saw was different from the one he remembered from his childhood. Now it was a sumptuous place, even the trees looked strong and lush. The irrigation system and the care of the land were being used with meticulous precision. When he was a child the crops, although sufficient, seemed rickety compared to what he saw now. The house they had was being expanded and renovated from the ruin his grandfather had. A person who practically lived in hiding because he belonged to the Syrranite movement. That house was demolished by his son to build the current one. It was much more modern and served as a control center for all his operations. Sobok stood up with great effort, leaning heavily on the cane. Sobok: Sirok, help me get to my room. It has been a long trip, I need to rest. Then I will let you free, I am sure you have a lot to do. He doubted that the family chosen by his son and daughter-in-law had the disaffection for politics that Sirok had. Sirok: Yes grandfather. :: he said showing her his arm for support. :: At a very slow pace and with short steps they both headed for the room they had prepared for the old vulcan on the first floor. =============================== T’Lil of Vulcan Matron of House Sobok V239509GT0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  13. A bit of context because this sim deserves it. This series of sims are based on the premise that "Teller has a Vulcan katra (Sern) in his head and it's not where it should be". Obviously, that leads to problems, so the inevitable "let's see if we can find that katra and get it out of his head" is compulsory. What does that give us? A mind-melt, a guided tour through little vignettes of the character's career and previous life, intermingled and confused and at the same time delightful and amusing. My perception may be a little biased in this matter, but I think it's a great representation of something we've seen in several star trek series, and it's always a fascinating story. thanks for this @Geoffrey Teller I can't wait to see where we go next. ((Chief Engineers Office, USS Veritas, 2396)) Teller: What do you mean, my fault? Why is it always my fault? Alieth: Usually a meld can be guided into the core of someone else's mind. It often takes the form of a library, or a household and one only has to look for the correct book or unlock the required door to find out what is sought. Geoff considered the idea and looked around with fresh eyes, somehow no longer surprised. The Veritas had been a home for him, and one that had nurtured him in ways he was still discovering. He'd made lifelong friends and celebrated their successes. He'd seen the officer he wanted to be in the people around him. Alieth: But since you are a calamity incarnate, your brain is not wired as a small house but as a whole engineering deck full of Jefferies tubes in which everything is interconnected.:: She let out a small sigh:: This is going to take a while. Geoff laughed, a little bit too delighted at the prospect. Teller: Are you kidding, this is great! I haven't gotten to crawl around in the jefferies tubes for months, and I could take you through the ones on this ship blindfolded. I should've let you go wandering around in my brain earl...::Geoff stopped midsentence, his hand going to his temples. The stabbing pain behind his eyes was getting worse.:: ...alright maybe we'll skip the grand tour this time. Alieth crossed to his old desk, lifting a Brew Continuum mug and inspecting the coffee ring left behind on his desk. Otherwise, his desk was unusually clean, not covered in the routine assortment of PADDs and reports that typically accumulated on the real one. Alieth: Are you aware that the fact that even the core of your mind has some sort of caffeine shrine speaks very poorly of your restraint with these brews? We are going to have to deal with that when we get out of here. Geoff snorted, but the look Alieth gave him was grave. As his wonder at their surroundings passed, a feeling of wrongness had begun seeping in around the edges of his perception. The lack of crew had been jarring, but there was a strange unnatural stillness to everything. Teller: When we get out of here, after we find Sern, right? Which we're going to do....how, exactly? Alieth: I do not know, even though you belong to a telepathically null species, you are like a kind of telepathic sponge, and I have little control over all this. Geoff held up his hands defensively, fairly certain he'd been insulted. Again. Alieth: The plan is to go out there, open a door and see where it leads, and hopefully we will find some indication of where Sern's katra might be, maybe something misplaced, or not as you remember. But I have no way of where to start on…. ::waving her hands around::: ...this, so you are the one who should lead us. Teller: I just want to be sure I've got this straight. We are going to wander around in the hope we accidentally trip over Sern? Is that about the size of it? She gave a very, very slow nod. Alieth: Trial and error is an apt description. Geoff shrugged and turned to face the office doors that would lead out to Main Engineering. The Warp core would be on his right, the main workstation table to his left, and the Engineering lab off to the side behind reenforced doors. He knew every jefferies tube access point on both floors, and exactly how to get anywhere on the ship from here. Teller: Well, fine, so how do we get started? Alieth: You just need to get out of the office. Geoff stepped forward, the doorway parting silently. His foot stepped down but the deck was gone. ((First Landing Park, Tuckerberg, Archer IV, 2376)) His foot found soil and grass, and the sky opened above them to just the right shade of blue. Flowers he hadn't smelled in years tickled his nose, and it was a struggle to keep his eyes from watering. The wind came down from mountains, as it always had, cool and pleasant on the warm spring day. A day that had passed almost twenty years earlier. Alieth: Does this place look familiar? Geoff fought to keep the lump out of his throat. He could feel his memories of the day, his emotions. The love and simple delight of childhood. It was nearly overwhelming. Teller: Yes...this is First Landing Park. It was near our house...we came here all the time. Alieth: Makes sense. ::Her gaze fell into the small group:: So they are...? Teller: Mom and Dad, and my older sister Sarah. We'd go to an old tree, down near the south end of the park. There's an urban legend that it was the first tree Porthos ever peed on, it's supposed to be good luck. My parents thought that made it a good spot to picnic. ::Geoff could feel tears at the corners of his eyes, and his voice grew quiet:: They were right. Geoff stepped forward, lost in the moment, longing to join his family in the distance. He would've been gone forever if a strong hand hadn't closed around his wrist and stopped him cold, breaking the dangerous trance Teller had fallen into. Her voice helped to pull him back and ground him. The pain behind his eyes had become an almost blinding pressure. Alieth: We will not find Sern here, Geoff, so we should leave. :: She then made a pause and glanced at the plain expression on his face.:: But I can help you to come back later, when we get all this sorted out... Geoff shook his head. This moment was best left to the past, a halcyon day that would stay forever green in his rememberings. Teller: Lets get out of here. Alieth nodded and they stepped forward in unison, the hiss of a starship door closing behind them. Immediately, the hairs on the back of Ensign Geoffrey Teller's neck stood on end. oO No. Oo ((U.S.S. Artemis, 2395)) The endless corridors yawned before him once again, and Geoffrey Teller was standing inside a dreaded memory. He'd been newly assigned to the Veritas, on his first mission as Acting Chief Engineer, and it was as close to death as he'd ever come. Computer: =/\= All Hands, Prepare for Slipstream in t-minus Six Minutes. Warning. Slipstream corridor instability detected. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Automatic Safety Interlocks Non-Responsive. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Slipstream jump in t-minus five minutes and fifty seconds. Warning.... =/\= The lighting and the drone of the computer voice were all exactly as they had been, and Teller felt a dangerous panic creeping into his thoughts. Alieth: What...? Is this the Veritas again? Teller: No..no...we're...we're aboard the Artemis...we have to...::the pain behind his eyes magnified tenfold, collapsing him to his knees.:: We have to get to the shuttlebay...the ship is going to explode... Geoff felt a new pain, a sudden horrible jarring in his chest. The first time, he'd broken a rib trying to escape this ship, and it had punctured his lung. Before Taz Shandres strapped him into the only flyable thing left aboard, he'd begun coughing up blood. As he was now. Geoff looked at the crimson splatter in his palm and began pulling himself forward, desperate to escape. Teller: We have to get to the shuttlebay Taz! Come on! It's our only hope! Alieth: Response Geoff was jogging down the hall, picking up momentum even as his head felt like bursting. He was lost in the memory, his mind solely focused on flight. He had to get out. Computer: =/\= All Hands, Prepare for Slipstream in t-minus Six Minutes. Warning. Slipstream corridor instability detected. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Automatic Safety Interlocks Non-Responsive. Warning. Do not engage Slipstream drive. Warning. Slipstream jump in t-minus five minutes. Warning.... =/\= Teller: You can't give me an order, now come on...::Geoff lurched to his feet, moving as quickly as he could.::...we have to... Alieth: Response A strong hand was on his shoulder, keeping him from moving forward, impeding his escape. Teller: Dammit Taz! Don't have time for... Alieth: Response Geoff felt himself falling, tumbling away from the deckplates and hallways of the Artemis. He landed somewhere worse. ((New Risa Resort and Spa, Limbo, ~2395)) Lt. Jg. Geoffrey Teller looked around in horror at the sunbaked survivors encampment that had come to be jokingly called the New Risa Resort and Spa. An agency from the far future had tried to remove the Veritas from the timeline, and had arranged for the crew to be marooned here, on this tropical moon where time moved more quickly than the outside universe. The crew experienced months of relative time while only moments passed in the outside universe. It had been a special hell for a Chief Engineer, where little technology worked and he was focused on digging ditches and building an irrigation system. They had been some of the most difficult months in his life, and they had passed in an eyeblink. But his uniform was tattered, and his face felt itchy with the thin scraggly beard he'd accumulated. Geoff lost his temper and began yelling at the air. Teller: Sern! If you want a slideshow of all my personal traumas, subscribe to Taz Shandres's channel on Fednet like everyone else. Enough of this! Come out you irritating son of a b... Alieth: Response Geoff tried to focus but found it impossible. Teller: I can't...it's...I can barely think. It's not...it's not going away. Alieth: Response [[Tag! & TBC]] =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  14. Exploring the relationships that define a character are some of the most difficult sims to do well but Lieutenant @Alieth & Ensign Saja Jehe make this heartfelt and poignant moment between two characters come alive. From the characterizations to the small details in their signatures, this little window on the private lives of those lovably logical Vulcans is a real delight. =============================================================== [[Flat complex 26, first floor, Chi-ree, Xial, Vulcan]] Alieth stared at the door for a while, so long that she could have melted it simply with the sheer power of her anger. Or so she would have liked. She clenched her fists at her sides, clenched her jaw and made up her mind. Three determined steps allowed her to cross the tiny room until she reached the window. She deftly opened it without a single sound, with the efficiency of habit, and let the night air into the room. It brought the scent of rain and the small flowers that festooned the small garden at the entrance to the building. The tiny vulcan bent down and took off her shoes and, with great care, swung one leg over the window sill. She groped her bare foot along the roof tiles, until she found the broken one and dodged it, leaning her weight on the one next to it. Only then did she pushed herself up with a little hop and leapt out of the window. With her arms spread out at her sides, she strode quietly along the small roof until she reached the corner of the building. The bulk of the building blocked out the light of the city behind her and allowed a view of the night sky over the desert, studded with stars. She sat there, letting her legs dangle over the edge of the roof. If she chose to, she could reach the ground and leave that place. It was barely a jump of four or five metres. Besides, she'd done it so many times, she knew she could do it without any real trouble. In fact, it was more than likely that the boots she kept hidden nearby were still in place. She could call for transport to the Thor and the next day... Saros: I see some things never change, ko-fu. The voice was - unsurprisingly - calm, and came from around the corner of the building, an older Vulcan male stepping out along the same roof that wrapped around their flat. He stood with utter disregard for the height, and semi-precarious nature of their vantage point, and as unsurprising as his calm, in his hands he cradled a cup of warm tea. Alieth: Sa-mekh…. Saros: I sense you are troubled, ko-fu. There are many pressures on you, even here, even now. Especially now, no? He did not smile, of course. And yet, something in the tone, calm and measured, was designed to set her at ease. The effectiveness of that, however, was debatable. Alieth: Mother's fixation on pointing out the wrongdoings she perceives in my former actions do not help. Saros: I would say simply that this is unfortunate. ::With care, he settled down next to her, allowing his own feet to hang off the edge.:: And your journey to meet with our pid-kom? The young woman averted her eyes from the sky and glanced to the left, where the hills met the desert, there where the old manor houses stood, around the original oasis on which the city had been founded. Alieth: Tomorrow… Saros: So soon. She nodded lightly. Alieth: It is better to deal with this as soon as possible, Sern's katra is very weak at this moment but nonetheless it is having an impact on his vessel. If I cannot get some help for them soon... Saros: Then there is risk to both Sern’s katra, and the man within whom the spirit dwells. Measured speed in this case is only logical. Alieth: Indeed. She looked away and turned to look at her father, his serene face more aged than the last time she had been home. The silence hung in the air for a while, full of unspoken things. Alieth: How has all this been for you? Since the wedding, since... since Sern died. For a long moment, the older Vulcan did not speak. His lips pursed slightly, as if he was carefully considering his words. Saros: It has not been without difficulties, though life is rarely so kind as to be completely calm, no matter how much we may...wish it. ::There was not a smile, but a crinkling around the eyes that gave the impression there in.:: We as a people are fond of saying ‘it is agreeable to see you again’. But in honesty, it is a relief to see you again. It is regrettable that the circumstances are as dire as they are. The frown that had been on Alieth's face visibly relaxed and her stern countenance somehow became more peaceful. Alieth: Your absence from my life has been regrettable. The young woman leaned to the side, and laid her head on her father's shoulder. Alieth: Even if you still refuse to share your tea... Saros: I am old, child, not senile. ::He sipped the tea, slowly, arching an eyebrow as he did.:: They stayed there for a while, as the night grew darker and the stars brighter and somewhere in the mountains a Sehlat roared in defiance. Behind them, inside the house, their own pet Sehlat growled gravely, evidently insulted. Alieth: I will endeavour to settle matters with Mother, if I can manage to get all this fixed. But I need the pid-kom's authorization to approach a suitable Healer, if I can get her consent. Saros: Settling matters will be...what is the humans are fond of saying? A...two way street. You are not the only one that must make the effort. Regardless... Pausing to sip from his tea, Alieth’s father took a moment to let those words settle in before pressing forward to the other, somewhat more time sensitive matter before the pair. Saros: Would it not simply be more efficient to ask pid-kom to perform the fal-tor-plak? She is not without some small talent in the matters herself. There was the slightest twitch at the corners of Saros’ mouth, as his ever present penchant for understatement once again shown forth. Alieth: I suspect that if pid-kom were the one to pull his katra out of the Commander's brain, he would be permanently impaired. Humans are so fragile.... One greying eyebrow rose slightly on the old man's forehead. Saros: I begin to see wisdom beyond your years, ko-fu. ::He sipped the tea, savoring the flavor as he turned his gaze to the garden below.:: but your Commander has managed thus far. He is perhaps sturdier than one might expect. Alieth:I have asked Meimei to assist me, as she has experience in dealing with Clan leaders as well as her training as a counsellor can be beneficial in her capacity as an advisor. Saros: An interesting choice, ko-fu.I am sure that she will only be an asset. How has she fared of late? I sense that you may know more of her well being than myself.::His mastery of understatement persisted.:: The question made her reach a hand to her shoulder and rub gently at the body decoration she had acquired thanks to her krei's friends. Alieth: She has been behaving herself pretty well since the brig and the tattoos. Saros: ...One would think that I have seen enough years in this world to not be surprised by such words. I understand them, individually, and yet, taken on as a whole, I sit here, surprised. I am not so old that my hearing has failed me, yet comprehension is ....::He reached up, grasping with one hand at the empty air.:: Just out of reach. She was careful to suppress the greenish tone that gradually crept up to her ears. For the most part. Alieth: Sa-mekh, you really do not want to hear about my participation in that whole incident... Saros: A first. You perhaps show more wisdom than I. And yet, as your Father, I have an obligation to tread where weaker men may fear. A brig? Tattoos? Enlighten me, ko-fu. Alieth: It all began with a heated debate about the merits and innumerable flaws of a Klingon scientist's research project. Perhaps there was a certain degree of intoxication in the whole affair, as living with humans leads to the exposure of substances, harmless for them, that produce some unexpected effects on Vulcan physiology. Saros: I dread to ask which sucrose laden confection you came into contact with. I take it that given the nature of such events, completely unexpected, of course, things deteriorated? Alieth: At one point there might have been a few punches involved. However, as you can expect, I merely fought in self-defence. Saros: But of course. Only in defense of yourself and others. ::A pause.:: I take it you won? A mischievous sparkle glinted in the young doctor's eyes. Alieth: Sa-mekh, let me question your senility if you are unaware of the answer to that query... In the distance, a lone cry split the night once more, adding an ominous tone to the conversation, though Saros paid it no real head. Saros: I suppose that is irrelevant. It does no harm to ask pid-kom to arrange access to a more specialized mind Healer to oversee the transfer of the katra. I do not foresee any great difficulty on that subject. She winced a bit. Alieth: Provided that she will not contemplate prosecution for the theft of her grandson's katra. Or that she refuses to let the Memorial Halls of the Clan be tarnished with traces of a human soul, or that even though everything unfolds under the most favourable conditions, it will be too late and some or neither of them could be saved. She had many more reasons why everything could go horribly wrong, but something made her fall silent. Straightened up again, the brief moment of familiarity over, she looked at her father's face. Saros: I did not say there would be no difficulties at all. ::He allowed a finger to unfurl from the earthenware mug, wagging ever so slightly.:: Much as come to pass since you last walked among these sands and warm winds, my child. The young woman suppressed a snort, which didn't make any sound but made her nostrils twitch a bit. Alieth: You always used to tell me that hardly anything changes on Vulcan. Saros: This is true. And things have changed. In the grand scope of the History of Vulcan since the coming of Surak...both can be true at once. A fascinating mental exercise. Again, that not quite smile graced his face, and his shoulders gave a shrug that would, to a non vulcan, be nigh on imperceptible. Alieth: In this, you are correct. As you often do. Saros: It is gratifying to hear you say that, ko-fu. Though I am far from…infallible. Something I might not have been aware of in my youth. Alieth: Are you suggesting that I should exercise moderation, sa-mekh? A mischievous sparkle flashed in the young woman's eyes, but she hid it swiftly, her gaze again on the distant horizon. Alieth: Or are you just about to regale me with a tale of your youth, old man? You know I have always cherished those. Alieth was well aware that Saros could not exactly be labelled an old man. Though he had surpassed a hundred years of age during Alieth's childhood, he could hardly be considered middle-aged by the standards of their kind. Nevertheless, she would honour the new silver in his hair. Saros: Perhaps I spoke too soon about the wisdom you have gained, my child. ::The eyebrow twitched up ever so slightly.:: The escapades of my own irascible youth might give you some insight, however. Very well. At that the older - if hardly elder - Vulcan squared his shoulders, pulling in upon himself the look of someone searching through memories. Saros: Let us ruminate upon the merits of friendship and loyalty then, in the face of clan doctrion... The night grew darker, and the stars lighter, until the first rays of dawn forced them back to the reality of the coming day's events. [[THE END]] OOC: sa-mekh → father ko-fu → daughter pid-kom → Matriarch, Female that leads a Clan fal-tor-plak → ritual transfer of a katra from one keeper to another, or a katric ark krei → cousin- female, a female relative descended from siblings of parents or earlier line of descent ================================= Saros of Chi-Ree Chi-Ree Regional Tea Master Father T239712JS0 ================================= & ================================= Alieth daughter of Saros Chief Medical Officer Wild Child E239702A10 =================================
  15. There are times when reality and fiction intermingle a little bit and our characters allow us to articulate and cope with things we otherwise wouldn't be able to. Today I saw a little piece of @Alora DeVeau's soul here and, as I expected, it is deliciously beautiful, like her prose, despite the sorrowfulness that permeates these words. Here for you my friend ((USS Thor - Alieth’s and Peri’s Quarters)) Everything was fine. The computer sounded the alarm and again and again until the dark eyes of the one occupant finally opened and Peri pushed herself up to rub at her eyes. A moment later, her soft command hushed the continual noise and silence descended. With the absence of her roommate, there was no one to worry about waking, but Peri made little sound as she shifted from under the covers and swung her feet over the side of her bed. Only the soft hush of fabric, the gentle hum of the sonic shower, the tinkling flow of the water as she brushed her teeth followed her as she moved about her quarters and proceeded to prepare for the day. Making her way back to her bed, Peri dropped to her knees and began to pull out something stored beneath. Another chirp from the computer made her stop and she straightened as she turned her gaze to check the time. Then she did a double take. It was almost time for her shift to start! How had she lost track of time? Had it slipped so quickly by that she’d simply mistaken the amount she had for opportunity? Whatever the reason, it did not matter, for she could not spare a moment to do what she most wanted lest she be derelict in her duty. Jumping to her feet, Peri almost rammed into her doors she was so quick to rush from her quarters and run down the hall. With the lift doors firmly shut, she had no choice but to stop and wait, her teeth worrying her lip, hands playing at one another, until they finally parted and she darted inside. When she arrived on the proper deck, Peri made a beeline for her lab where she found others already at work. Cheeks aflame, she quickly made her way to the console. No one remarked about her tardiness. No one hardly looked at her to admonish her. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she set about looking through the latest data that had been gathered by the sensors. It was all right. Everything was fine. Looking to the console, she switched to a different pane. There, in between the lines of information, marked by an alternating array of curves and straight lines, Peri caught her reflection. Black hair had been pulled back into a standard bun, one of her usual ways of wearing it while working. In her haste, a few strands had wriggled free and played over her cheeks, but she ignored them. Her face was muted and blurred by the screen, her visage more like a shadow than a reflection. Glancing down, she input another series of parameters. When she lifted her gaze, another reflective figure stood to the side just behind her. The red curly hair was kept at bay with a hairband, the sweet heart-shaped face displayed with a smile. In the dusk of the monitor, the eyes were shadows, the warmth of their hazel left only to the imagination. With a gasp, Peri whirled around, only to find herself alone. It had been a shadow, a bare whisper of a memory come to the mind’s eye upon that day of all days, when the eyes yearned to see and the heart ached to remember. Taking a deep breath, Peri turned and peered at the screen, but all that was left was her own face marred by the contents that poured over it. Only her thoughts, only her imagination, projecting something that wasn’t there. That presence that she missed so dearly, that face that had greeted her with a smile almost every day since their first meeting, it was just a memory, a wish that would never be granted. But it was okay. It would be okay. The chirp of the computer seemed so cheerful in comparison to the thoughts that pervaded the young scientist’s attention. Attempts were made to focus, and eventually waves of reflection and contemplation were swept into a corner, not to be disposed of, but simply placed upon a shelf for further introspection, but later, when the demands of her duty could be set aside, properly attended to and well done. She kept them at bay, those unwanted recollections that seemed so intent to haunt her. They thrust out into the forefront at her meal time, for her mind had been left to wander, no longer distracted by the intrinsic luminosity of stars or extragalactic distance of galaxies beyond their own. Peri’s own turmoil reared its head, unwilling to be silenced in the stillness of her brief respite, and it’s unpleasant attendance spurred her to rush through an otherwise pleasant fare, left half eaten in the wake of the unrest the objectionable visitor had stirred. Her own internal galaxy had been invaded, a recurring reminder printed upon every data stamped with the date, every mention made of time. Time had come to a stop for some, but for others, it continued, and those left behind could only reflect upon the ravages of the past. And yet, as much as time could plunder, it could also heal. The sting was still present, perhaps more so on that particular day, but the retrospection was, perhaps, a little easier than before, not quite so overwhelming, not so consuming. To be sure it remained, ever present, little things bringing to mind, more obvious than on other days, but the deep breaths cooled the flames of unrest and sorrow. They still existed, still habited the heart, but the power they held over it had lessened. The ability to move through the veil they threw over the might thinned, and life could seem almost normal. Normality continued through the rest of the afternoon. Her attention thus occupied by the calculations of the mass of stars, the distance and chemical makeup of nebulous matter, the gravitational force of a nearby black hole, all these tasks took up room, leaving little chance for those memories to distract from the course of her obligations. Time continued as it always did, passing by until she was left with a reminder and her shift had come to an end. Usually, Peri would linger, too intrigued by the prospects and information that the Thor’s powerful sensors collected and displayed, but she had a task to perform. One she would have completed had she not lost track earlier that morning. She would not allow herself to renege in the ritual, and so allowing herself only a few moments extra to make up for what she’d lost in the morning, Peri excused herself and returned to her room. Upon arrival, her roommate had still not returned, a fortuitous opportunity that would allow her time, time alone to focus upon what she had to do. What she wished to do. Returning to the small space beneath her bed, she tugged from it a box a couple of feet wide, and of a similar length, it’s depth about half that. From within, she pulled out a small candelabra with five positions, each allowing a single candle - those residing inside the container as well - but only one was chosen. The holder was arched, the middle setting the highest, and it was upon this one that particular candle was placed. Breathing in, then out several times, Peri clasped the lighter and brought a spark to life, then used it to light the wick. The fire took to its new residence quite gleefully, dancing despite the lack of a breeze. A candle lit, a flame dancing in place of the one that had been snuffed out, the warmth of its glow filled the dimness of her room, cutting through the shadows and adding a cheerful disposition. With a small smile, Peri bowed her head, her words moving, her voice soft as she uttered familiar words. Katsim: Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon Ayna... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek… She had spoken those words upon the death of her closest friend, and then again a year later. Now, two years had past, yet she expressed them once more, though time had put more distance between the past and present. Though the pain had dulled, or perhaps she had become better at wearing it, she had promised she would say them, again and again, every year, on that very day. A reminder of what had happened. A reminder of what she had. A reminder of what she’d lost. Settled upon her knees, Peri stared into that flickering light, so gleeful on its perch. Alive, much like the soul that was lit for had been. Since their meeting, Ayna had taken it upon herself to be a shelter for her, a child of two worlds, trapped between them, uncertain of where she should place her feet. For Ayna, it hadn’t mattered, and her place had been at her side, friends, close as sisters. With Ayna, things had gotten better. She had made them better. And now? And now she was gone. Two years gone. Another shaky breath followed and her eyes shut, cutting out the light that tried so desperately to shine in that darkness. In her mind's eye, she could see it, see the flame in its gentle brilliance, a reflection of the brilliance of the life Ayna had led and so willingly shared with her friend. Yet, in the hollows of that distance, in the darkness that followed, her presence was still there, a part of the universe, dancing with the Prophets among the stars. Peri could almost hear her laughter, her gleeful countenance forming in the foremost parts of her thoughts. And though the ache painfully clenched about her heart, and tears trickled down her cheeks, she knew it would be all right. Everything was fine. Everything would be fine. Because Ayna had always known it would be. So she had believed. So Peri believed. It would be fine. She would be fine. ~~*~~ In memory of Kirsti Andrea Anderson, June 02, 1964-March 3, 2019 -- Ensign Katsim Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0
  16. OOC: I just love Cheesecake. The dog...and the dessert. But I especially love how this sim ended. [[ U.S.S Thor, Deck 6, Senior Enlisted Mess Hall. ]] The biped held the delicious thing in front of her for a moment but then, to Cheesecake's despair, he pushed it away. Even worse, he said the forbidden word. "No." Not only that but he repeated it several times. This was, no doubt, a definitive verdict that condemned her to an eternity of not being able to taste whatever it was that the biped didn't want her to have, which was, to begin with, tragic, and to follow, unfair. As every dog, Cheesecake was aware that rules were more like guidelines and so, they could be pushed a little in the right direction, namely, in the direction that would get her what she wanted, if she was a really good girl, and she pulled her ears back, put her snout down, and gave him THE LOOK. Of course, Cheesecake had had to up the level THE LOOK since her handler was a pointy-eared biped and she had learned the hard way that pointy-eared bipeds required a LOT MORE coaxing. But she had certainly picked up the lesson very well, so the other biped who used to live with her handler always, ALWAYS fell under the spell of THE LOOK. Of course, she proved victorious in the staring contest. Kerr: Access favorite replicator options for Crewman First Class Watanabe. Wantanabe: Boorf Boorf! Computer: Crewman First Class Watanabe's list of food preferences, Cheesecake contains 1348 items, listed chronologically as: Canine kibble number 33, socks, Vulcan meditation candle oil type e49b, miscellaneous bone remnants, cheese (non descripted), tofu, batbird soup Hasoor VII variety, medium quality paper, standard mid-sized padd, electronic components for medical tricorder parts 458 to 567, kibble number 45, cat kibble number 2, standard mattress stuffing.... Kerr: Computer, proceed with top recommendation. Computer =/\= Unable to comply. Replicators offline. =/\= The biped shook his head and Cheesecake tilted it. She took her job as a therapy dog to heart and she knew exactly when someone was down, so she was more than willing to help. Kerr: Alright. Let me get this filter swapped out, and then we’ll get some lunch. Then her new best friend left the thing away from her, with all the gestures that indicated that he really wasn't going to pass it along because he wanted it just for him, and utter display that indicated that he didn't like to share. Cheesecake pouted ruefully. She loved to share, sharing was caring. Especially if other people shared with her. Kerr: We’re going to leave that there. (Slowly backing away.) Jussssst theeeereeee. That’s where it’s staying. It’s not going to be touched. Agreed? Wantanabe: soft whining Then, the biped climbed on one of those things that bipeds used to reach places and... disappeared. More or less. But he kept talking anyway, so Cheesecake remained there, wagging her tail cheerfully every time the biped uttered a word. Kerr: (Head deep in the filter unit of replicator two) Just got to align the cartridge. There was a loud snap and click, and a tail wagged for a few seconds. Kerr: (Leaning further into the filter unit) Then twist and lock to connect the sensors. Got to use the hexkey to secure it and ... Wantanabe: (In earnest) Woof Woof A hand came out from a box with something that looked suspiciously like a stick and, for an moment, Cheesecake stood on all four paws, awestruck (and flattered) by the sudden session of FETCH. Kerr: Gross! No fetch. Disappointed whimper, rear on floor. The scene played out over and over again for a few minutes until, finally, Cheesecake stretched out on the floor, rested her head between her forepaws and... she snoozed, the purpose of her mission forgotten, except for the fact that the biped somehow needed her support. Only later, when the speakers in all the corridors blew an annoying honk and the lights changed in two different degrees of colours that, of course, a dog could not fully differentiate, Cheesecake woke up. It was then, and only then, that the big mastiff remembered a number of things: That she had made a new friend, that really needed to have someone listen to him, so she was going to have to visit him more often. That this noise meant work and that therefore she should head to a sickbay. That she should remember to not get in the way. For real. And that she had to help. So, without dawdling for too long, Cheesecake barked a farewell and, just as she had entered, she left the mess hall. Her surprise was complete when she found one of her favourite two-legged friends in her workplace, sprawled out on one of those things that moved bipeds around. And as one would do with good friends, she booped his hand to tell him that she was there and that, despite everything, he was not alone. [[END]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  17. What makes this sim great is how the description of time highlights Alieth's feelings of vulnerability in this emergency situation; it's brought into painful focus with the Olympian effort needed to complete the routine and mundane act of tapping the comm badge. Really neat writing. ((Transporter Room One, Deck One, USS Thor)) Time, occasionally, gave the appearance of dilating and contracting simultaneously, without any particularly significant gravitational alteration, or any obvious anomaly. This fact, of course, had more to do with a sense of urgency and the action of hormones and neurotransmitters on the sympathetic nervous system than with what humans called general relativity, naturally, nonetheless it was a remarkable circumstance. That was one of those moments. As soon as they all fell onto the pads in a haphazard pile, the Commander rose to his feet and leaped towards the transporter controls. Alieth, in the other hand, stood up slowly, very slowly, like moving through a dense, sticky substance instead of thin air. Her eyes remained fixed on the engineer's hands, which seemed to blur over the control panel. Something rolled beside her and halted just next to her leg, and only that was what pulled her eyes off to see Peri's pale face, greyer than usual, her eyes tightly closed. The doctor was just about to kneel beside her to check her status when a voice broke the silence. Greaves: =/\= Captain Greaves to Commander Teller. Sir, I've got a nice warm seat here on the bridge with your name on it. =/\= Peri opened her eyes and Alieth’s gaze darted again to the First Officer. Teller: =/\= Standby Bridge, forgot somebody. Retargeting transporters now. =/\= That was the moment when time seemed to stretch even further. Possibly only a few seconds passed. Even less. Just a breath, long enough time before Mr. Greaves snapped out of his shock and asked the next question. Yet it seemed like minutes. Hours. Decades. Enough time for a seemingly abandoned Zet to plummet to the ground. A quick but painful death. Greaves: =/\= What do you mean we forgot one? =/\= Of course, at this point time sped up, regaining all the momentum it had lost. Teller: Clear the pad, now! They all moved quickly, as gracefully or gracelessly as they could, as the centre of the room began to pulse, to whirr, golden streaks of particles cascading from the emitters in the ceiling. And time, once more, stretched like a rubber band, dilated anew. Alieth turned to the other lieutenant. Before she spoke, she could see every detail of her face, her attentive expression, despite the weariness obscuring her eyes. The tear marks wing had left in the corner of her eyelids. The ridged nose slightly puckered, a tiny freckle over the left cheekbone that she had always noticed but had never had time to observe in detail. It took Alieth a lot of energy to break the spell of that rubbery time and raise her hand to her chest. Squeeze the combadge. It clicked lightly first, before the familiar chirp indicating that the connection had been established rang. Her throat seemed to take centuries to respond to her brain's commands. All that lifetime took just a few tenths of a second. Alieth: Alieth to Main Sickbay, send three stretchers and a trauma team to transporter room one. Salo: =/\= Roger, on route=/\= As soon as the combadge beeped a second time, she turned to her colleague. Alieth: Dr. Quen, what is your physical self-evaluation? Quen: Response Teller: =/\= Volumetric lock established, standby bridge, energizing... =/\= Alieth looked forward again. Without being aware of it, she leaned slightly forward, as the light grew brighter and brighter. And it began to solidify in the centre of the room. The lights flickered faintly. The room filled with the distinct aroma of the Zet metropolis. A long-limbed, spider-like figure curled into herself materialized in the centre of it all, barely an inch away from the reception pad. A breeze that wasn't really there hit them in the face and ruffled the curls that framed the Vulcan's visage. She was there. Nenni was safe. There was a plaintive buzzing sound and the whole complex system seemed to shut down at once. Teller: Doctors, if you're alright, please check on Ensign Katsim and Nenni. I need to...get to the..bri.. The sound caught her off guard. Her first impulse was to rush to help, but she held back for a second. The commander's crooked nose was... REALLY askew. And swollen. And splattered with so much red and purple that it would be worthy of many an artist's abstract expressionism phase. But despite its striking appearance, it did not necessarily look life-threatening. Moreover, Teller had survived a runabout falling on his head and was stubbornly back on his feet just hours later. She was sure she could survive for a few seconds while they sorted out the situation. Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= We have her, we are all here. There will be a report on bridge in two minutes, but, effective immediately, Commander Teller is relieved of duty per medical advice. (Beat, concealing relief.) You are still in command, Captain Greaves. =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= As she was speaking, both of her teammates had lost no time and leaned over the crumpled Zet, appraising her condition.With that front covered, the Vulcan approached the collapsed first officer and crouched beside him. Katsim: Are you okay? Nozku/Quen: Response No sooner had the tiny CMO accomplished her movement when an arm rose up from behind the transporter control station, followed by a plaintive cough. Teller: =/\= Bridge...Transport..Successful. Red...Alert.... =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Alieth: =/\= Indeed, mister Greaves =/\= At that moment, the room doors hissed open, the Orion nurse and the rest of the trauma team carrying the triage equipment as well as several floating stretchers. Soon, the entire team was examined, Nenni and Teller carefully positioned on stretchers, cortical monitors attached to their foreheads or temples. Alieth: (After pressing a hypospray on the side of the young hybrid's neck) Ensign Katsim, I would like you to report on the bridge to explain what has happened to Captain Greaves. (Turning to Deena) Dr. Quen, you are welcome to accompany her to provide your eyewitness account as well, but I will need you in sickbay soon for a reconstructive surgery. Katsim/Quen (optional Nozku/Teller): Response Alieth nodded silently before turning back to Malak. Alieth: Nurse, make sure that they reach the sickbay in good condition and, most importantly, that none of them attempt any foolishly bold attempts to make their way to the bridge. Adventure is over for the day for them. Salo: (Smiling broadly and winking ostentatiously) Of course, ma'am, even if I have to strap them to the stretcher. Perhaps there was some protest. Or an incoherent babble. But Alieth ignored them and escorted both stretchers out of the room, her attention focused on the welfare of both patients. She could only look out for them at that moment, the conclusion of the mission in the hands of Captain Kells and the staff on the bridge. But she trusted them, she had shared so much with that crew and had learned that she could rely on them. Delegating was a skill, one that every officer had to learn at some point, even if some did it sooner than others. As she entered hastily in the turbolift and the door hissed shut behind her, the Vulcan realized something: Time had resumed its usual pace and rhythm. [[Tag! & End of the Scene for Alieth]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  18. This sim is a roller coaster of adrenaline with a perfect pace, increasing the urgence of the scene slow and steady till the cliffhanger-y end. @Geoffrey Teller Delivers again? Oh yeah he does ((Damaged Yacht, the Skies above the Zet Homeworld)) Katsim: Are...are you sure this is going to work? The craft rocked, another near miss marring the deckplate near Nenni's skull. Geoff felt that made a more convincing argument than anything he could say, stepping back from the console and working his way towards everyone else. Alieth: ::Trying to impose her voice over the wind:: It will work, Peri. ::She glanced back at the sleek, swiftly moving vehicle that was closing the distance between them::: And in any case, we will run out of alternatives pretty soon. Nozku: Now or never! We're going to be out of there sight for only a dozen seconds or so once we round the next skyscraper! They were gaining altitude rapidly before arcing back on a parabolic course that would see the craft hurtling towards one of the enormous Anroc statues that dotted the landscape. It was a small, pithy gesture, but Geoff had promised to wipe the smug sneer off Anroc's face, and he made good on his promises. Teller: We jump at the same time, we can't risk getting separated in that soup down there. Geoff could see the dense smog layer hanging over the city and clustered in close, on hand steading himself against the ships edge. With a hop, he'd be over and into the open air. He looked ahead, their 'camouflage' nearly in place. It would be a matter of seconds now. Then it would be in the hands of Teller's oldest nemesis. Physics. Quen: Response Katsim: Sure there's something else we can do? Quen: Response Geoff shook his head and put an arm on Peri's shoulder, trying to reassure the visibly frightened young woman. This mission had been unexpectedly grueling for his team and Peri had seemed hardest hit by the horrible conditions and general hopelessness. He'd find time to talk to her when this was all over, but for the moment, they had to act. The yacht shuddered from another glancing hit astern. Teller: If it makes you feel any better about it Ensign, I'm ordering you to abandon this ship. ::Geoff leaned in, lowering his voice as much as he could:: I trust this crew. That how I know it'll be ok. Geoff winked, as if he let Peri in on a secret, before setting himself firmly against the rail, hand outstretched. Alieth: While I always encourage a vigorous debate about the virtues and the innumerable deficiencies of Geoff's plans, we need to jump. NOW. Something about Alieth's voice cut through the breeze and caught Teller's ear unexpectedly. He hadn't noticed earlier, but the spritely Vulcan was almost vibrating with anticipation, eagerly looking over the side of the craft and pantomiming her dismount, subtly shifting her weight from one leg to the other. Where Peri, Quen and Nenni were all looking over the gunwale with a mixture of apprehension and dread, Alieth was visibly excited. Geoff laughed, the tension of the moment broken for him, and looked to Quen. Teller: Doc, the CMO is showing an unhealthy excitement about all this, don't you think? Quen: Response Their moment came, the tops of towers aligning to give them a few seconds of obscurity from the eyes of their pursuers. The incoming fire mercifully ceased and Geoff could feel himself going light, the craft at the very top of its arc before plummeting back downwards and away from them. If they had plotted the course right, they were at nearly 2000m now. It would take them nearly a minute to fall all the way to the ground, but Geoff hoped that would give them time to spare. Nozku: We're out of time for this! Katsim: Sir, I officially go on record that I don't like this plan. Geoff nodded and in reply, stepped to the rail, the first to jump. It had been his plan, after all. The instant updraft made Teller's eyes water before he managed to roll over, watching the rest of his team leave the yacht in a tight string behind him. Even Nenni floated freely and for a moment, everything was oddly peaceful. There was no sense of relative motion, no sensation of velocity because everything he could see was moving at the same speed. Then an Zet interceptor streaked towards the yacht, peppering it with weapons fire, still trying to force it down. Geoff smiled at that a bit, their distraction working. Clumsily he rolled, trying to flair out as he'd been trained to do long ago in an Academy drill. At the time, he had struggled to see the point of it. Now he regretted not paying closer attention. From somewhere to his left, nearly lost in the roar of the wind, a Zet voice called out. Nenni had composed herself almost immediately and seemed in confient control as she gently glided towards Geoff. Nokzu: (Shouting) Together! We need to get closer! Geoff swam, flapped, kicked and dolphined his way through the air, making a graceless spectacle and very little progress. Seconds passed but he got a hand around Nenni's forearm, just as he felt another hand grasping at the back of his uniform. Slightly above him, Doctor Quen had caught up with their small constellation. With his free hand, Geoff swatted at his combadge. The roar of the wind was so loud he couldn't tell if it was working but that didn't stop him. He figured they had forty five seconds now. Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor, Teller to Thor, Emergency Transport, Team Plus One, Expedite, Expedite =/\= Quen: Response Worryingly, nothing happened. They continued to sail through the increasingly polluted Zet air, low enough now to see light shining through windows. Geoff ground his teeth, repeatedly slapping at his comm badge, still unsure if he was even getting through. Nozku: (Shouting) Alright, you Federation aliens! Nows the part where you save us all! The hurtled down, each crewman calling for emergency transport and receiving no reply. Below them, the ground had become visible below the cloud layer. It was reaching up towards them quite uncomfortably. Katsim: =/\=Katsim to Thor….Get me out of here!=/\= With successful contact made, Ensign Katsim was the first to shimmer out of existence. Her sudden disappearance shattered their tenuous formation and Geoff found himself tumbling away from Nenni, his hold lost, as Alieth shouted in alarm. Alieth: GEOFF!!!!...NOZKU….!!! Geoff's eyes widened, the implications clear to him. When they had been in physical contact, the ship would have no problem tracking Nenni along with the rest of the away team. But falling on her own without a comm badge to lock on to, the ship wouldn't see her. He slapped at his combadge frantically. Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor Abor.... It was too late, and Geoff felt the tingle of the annular confinement beam snatching him away. The last thing he saw was Nenni's terrified look of betrayal. Time froze. In the three seconds it would take Teller to cycle through the pattern buffer, he had a lot to think about. The first was that Nenni, still alive and falling to her death, would have about 20 seconds left before coming to an abrupt halt. Geoff didn't know how yet, but he had that much time to find a solution and implement it or he'd feel the shame of that woman's gaze in his soul for the rest of his life. The second thing he considered was how the modern transporter worked, and it's numerous safeguards and redundancies. For example, inertial compensation as part of the dematerialization process meant they wouldn't slam into the transporter pad at terminal velocity, only falling a small distance since they hadn't exactly been on level ground to begin with. Unfortunately, nothing in the transporters safety system could compensate for the orientation of someone spinning out of control. That meant Geoff rematerialized an arms length above the transporter pad with his boots facing towards the ceiling. ((Transporter Room One, Deck One, USS Thor)) The beam released its hold and Teller fell face first into the transporter pad with a bone breaking crunch. Dark red spots filling his vision, Geoff struggled to his feet and towards the transporter console. A visibly startled Chief Larell was already calling for medical assistance, but Geoff held up a hand and slid behind the console, riding the adrenaline for all it was worth. In his mind, Geoff was still falling with Nenni, still struggling to reach out to her, to grab on. Now, he was doing it with the ships targeting sensors. Greaves: =/\= Captain Greaves to Commander Teller. Sir, I've got a nice warm seat here on the bridge with your name on it. =/\= The voice sounded far away, his hearing ringing badly from the wind or the earlier explosion. Teller: =/\= Standby Bridge, forgot somebody. Retargeting transporters now. =/\= The room fell away and the whole of the universe was reduced to the transporter controls. Greaves: =/\= What do you mean we forgot one? =/\= Geoff's fingers were moving fast, disabling some of the very transporter safety systems he'd just been thinking about. He'd never be able to pick Nenni out of that soup, not without something to target first. So he wouldn't try. On one display, he had the computer plotting the descent vectors of the away team it had taken from the transporter logs. On the other, he was increasing the radius of the annular confinement beam well beyond the safety limits. Fifteen seconds. Teller: Clear the pad, now! Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response So he'd beam up a huge volume of atmosphere, air included, and would hopefully capture Nenni in the process. The trajectory plot computed and safety systems began flashing urgent red. He was pulling power from all over the ship and channeling it, only one chance left for him to make good on his word. His vision was beginning to blur. Something tasted bitter. Ten seconds. Teller: =/\= Volumetric lock established, standby bridge, energizing... =/\= With deft fingers Teller's hands slid up the triple sequence initiators, the transporter humming to life. The system strained and Teller made a myriad of small adjustments, narrowly averting overload and calamity. Finally, a solitary form materialized in the very center of the transporter pad, curled in and clutching into herself. There was a blast of residual air with the scent of the city that dispersed and filled the room, but the ships filters had it gone in moments. He managed to set her down with surprising grace before leaning heavily against the console, his frantic rush having peaked. Blood dripped unnoticed onto his uniform jacket and console. The transporter, similarly spent, went offline with a sad electronic whine. Geoff knew it would need extensive repairs. Teller: Doctors, if you're alright, please check on Ensign Katsim and Nenni. I need to...get to the..bri.. Geoff felt his legs buckling but caught himself before hitting the deck entirely. It was suddenly a struggle to remain conscious at all, adrenaline rush entirely spent. He wanted nothing more than to lay down and get just a few moments of rest, and his eyelids were getting convincingly heavy. Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Nozku/Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response Geoff coughed into his hand, leaving dark streaks on his palm. Teller: =/\= Bridge...Transport..Successful. Red...Alert.... =/\= Greaves: =/\= Response =/\= Nozku/Quen/Alieth/Katsim: Response Tags/TBC =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  19. As much as Teller is guiding one of the scenes of this mission to a adrenaline filled and high paced scene, @Tony, aka Kells Here shows us the other side of the Coín with a cold, restrained and Intelligent scene with a slow by highly dramatic pace, a challege of linda with our main antagonist. GORGEOUS (( Anroc's Private Villa, Level 801, Saldanian Corpate Hegemony HQ )) Kells: (deadpan) You mentioned something special. What would be special, Aron thought, was a straight answer, and a quick exit. But he listened to what Anroc had to say. Anroc, however, didn't have anything to say in the moment. Instead, he led Aron to another room, through a door Aron would have sworn wasn't, and into a long, narrow room, framed with frozen Zet and capped at the far end with what Aron could only describe as a throne. Anroc: Welcome to my gallery, Aron. These (gesture to the frozen Zet) as my private advisors. They'll be participating in our discussion, but I'm sure you won't find them a bother. They don't say much. Was it some sort of stasis? As off-balance as he was, and though he felt that he was walking ever more deeply into a trap, Aron couldn't help the itch he felt for his tricorder. It must have been some kind of stasis, but he'd never seen stasis accomplished like this, without any sign of how the suspended animation was accomplished. He was so focused in that moment that he jumped in the next, as Anroc gestured in a way that controlled some stasis mechanism and many of the Zet came to life, mid-scream. It lasted only for a moment, and the Zet froze again, but their screams echoed. Anroc: But they mean so much to me. You see, each of these husks formerly belonged to competitors of mine. Kells: These (beat) husks. As with Anroc's earlier references to eternity and immortality and the like, Aron saw that there was something more there, something to do with this biotech the Zet possessed. But what did he mean, husks of his competitors? Anroc: One of the lesser known uses of the technology that allows for my immortality. But that's a triviality. You're here because you want Eternity, and I'm the one who can deliver it to you. Kells: (coolly) That remains a bold claim. And this (gesture around) display notwithstanding, I haven't seen much that gives me faith in the greatness of Zet biotechnology. Anroc: Very well, it will be good to relay the history without the propaganda we feed the masses. I was there at the beginning and I'm among the last of the First Eternals. You may recognize this chair (gesture to the throne) You saw one aboard my ship. With it, and a small bioware implant here (a finger on the back of his neck) The mind, the unique being, is never duplicated, they can only exist in one husk at a time. That is the miracle of the active particle refractor matrix. The puzzle came together, and Aron saw clearly for the first time. Kells: You possess -- you have possessed -- multiple bodies. You, and these Eternals, the ones who have chased Eternity, migrate your consciousness between bodies. It wasn't absolutely unheard of. He'd read reports of such things happening, though it was generally the sorts of ghost-story-esque outliers that invoked events like possession by energy beings or inexplicable encounters with godlike entities. To find a prewarp civilization capable of such a thing -- if Aron hadn't been repulsed by Anroc's excesses, he would've been impressed. He was, however, still very curious, and wished again that he had a tricorder. Anroc: Quite simply, Eternity was an accident. Scientists were trying to come up with a way of exploring our star system or, perhaps, beyond the Edge, by setting up a series of relay stations and data networks, plus the necessary bioprinters to create biologically viable husks. Kells: (with a slight smile) You lodged your consciousness in your network routers. (beat) And then an accident led to (beat, looking around) this? How? How did you get from there to here? (another beat, then with narrowed eyes) And why have you hoarded it? Anroc: Quite simply, it was too expensive. Our society could not support the cost of immortality. When the civilian authorities abandoned the project, a group of private corporations stepped in and carried on the research. Except now, the clones wouldn't be going to distant moons or beyond the Edge. We were reborn then...no longer shackled by mortality, the Presidents of the original twelve corporations became the First Eternals. Kells: (quietly) Your plutocrats became gods. Anroc: Can you imagine it, Aron? To stand at the yoke of your whole species, guiding them with a benevolent hand over the centuries. All that has happened has been by my hand, my will. That is the strength of Eternity. With another gesture, Anroc forced the Zet -- still silent, but no longer frozen -- to bow and scrape. They made no sound whatsoever. The control, Aron noted, was absolute. He felt nauseous. Kells: This is disgusting. Anroc: Response Instead of acting or sounding angry, however, Aron retreated into the cool tone he'd used earlier. His voice was now downright frigid, though as he couldn't read Anroc's face, he doubted Anroc could read his intonation. But never mind: he felt what he felt. Kells: You're a repugnant slaver who has confused longevity with worth. You're a sad accident, and I hope and I suspect that your species and your culture hold you in contempt. No, I don't want this heinous technology, and I'll work to make sure that you answer for the violence and inequality you've visited on your people. Which was all very much what Aron felt, and he also felt better for saying. But, as soon as he had, he was reminded of his position -- not just as a Starfleet captain, but in space and time. Specifically, in Anroc's hidden gallery, surrounded by Zet husks that he controlled. Anroc: Response Kells: You've confused power and authority. I threatened you before with matter/antimatter weapons, but, no, I think you deserve something far worse: the destruction of your markets and the judgment of your people. Anroc: Response Tags! and TBC! --- Fleet Captain Aron Kells Commanding Officer USS Thor V238208LV0 he/him/his (character & player)
  20. Our normally reserved Ensign Peri Katsim may not say much, but she certainly expresses herself through some inner dialogue that's very well used in the scene. It's a dynamic moment but we still get an insight into what the character really thinks! Thanks for taking the leap! Great job @Alora DeVeau ======================================= ((Yacht Outside 99th Floor Domicile Administrative Center, SalCorp Cohousing Unit 34556)) Alieth: Peri, what were you thinking, you almost… What was she thinking? Shock registered over the young woman’s face. What else should she have done? How could the doctor ask such a thing? Peri didn’t have time for a reply, for Teller was too busy hurling insults at her friend. Teller: You crazy green blooded hob... Nozku: No time! I've got control, we need to go. Now! It was only because the others grabbed on to something that Peri did the same, though perhaps a second behind them. Because it was enough of a delay, she managed to go tumbling to the floor of the vessel as it suddenly lurched away from the gangplank and into the air, and barely managed to get a grip on the side of the vehicle as the Zet suddenly manoeuvred into to a downward angle, plunging straight for the ground that lay far, far beneath them. If the wind had been noisy and annoying before, it had become downright abusive as they sliced through the air in their kamikaze dip. Clinging to the ship as best she could, Peri’s eyes shut tightly, then opened, only to see a vague sense of a reflection in the blurred maze of windows that sped by them. Quen: Up ahead, ten- ::There was the briefest of pauses before she finished::-Against the building! Peri didn’t want to look, but there was something about resisting a call to do just that. Moving her gaze upward, she caught sight of yet another craft, one far more slick and lean. It was was the sort of craft designed for speed - and theirs? Theirs was not. Another lurch off to the side almost sent Peri reeling, but she managed to keep a tenuous hold, if barely. Alieth: Geoff, make this thing speed up a bit more because we are being followed closely. Teller: Aye aye ma'am, but it looks like Nenni already has us way the safety zones. If I'm reading this right we've...::Geoff squinted at the display then shook his head:: ....voided the warranty. Nozku: This thing isn't a racer, its made for lazy trips around the lake! How far away are they Not far. Not far at all. Lazy trips around the lake, well this wasn’t one of those. That would have been a much nicer way to spend their day, but alas, that was not what the Prophets had in store for them. A sudden tremor almost shook Peri’s grip and once more she tightened her hold. Alieth: Close, VERY CLOSE. Suddenly, they changed direction. Peri’s stomach, which had decided to climb up into her throat with the dive, suddenly found it self thrust into the bottom of her feet as Nokzu managed to completely, totally, utterly change direction. The Bajcardy attempted to keep the contents of said stomach inside where they belonged rather than subjecting her fellow crew members to more misery than they already were. Nokzu: Hang on tight! Weren’t they already doing that? Peri was desperately trying to do so and finding herself on the cusp of losing her hold only to re-establish it just before another swerve or jerk managed to wrench it off. As she pressed against one side of the boat, a flash of colour sped by on the other side, then another appeared above her briefly. Once more, they changed, down was first, then up, suddenly they were going down again, as if on some crazy, jerky, railless roller coaster ride. Peri, for one, wanted to get off. Teller:...level...off...have to...contact ship... Katsim: How? The soft voice was no match for the wind that cut off the sound before it could reach the others. There was another sudden shift, tossing the passengers again off to the side. Peri’s face banged against the railing to which she clung, sending a stream of lights before her eyes for a brief moment. Alieth: Alive, but I have a few tips for our driver Nozku: If you'd rather the next shot take out our thrusters, I can smooth out the ride for you! That would be wonderful, but a rather difficult request considering they were currently in the middle of a chase scene. Keeping her tight hold upon the ship, Peri attempted to twist in order to get a better look at those chasing them, the up and down making her stomach flip and flop way too much for comfort. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Teller’s attempt to get the combadge to work. Even over the whistling of the wind, she caught the faintest sound of a chirp. Wait...did that mean it was working? Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor, Teller to Thor, Priority One Emergency! =/\= The communicator made a sound that sounded very much like a child sticking out a tongue and blowing a raspberry. Hope which had sprung up within the young scientist dimmed. Tellers expression was thoughtful. Suddenly, it was more than just thoughtful. Peri wasn’t sure she wanted to know what was going through his mind. Quen: Are there seatbelts on this thiiiiiing?! That would be far too easy, wouldn’t it? So much for convenience. As Nozku swung the yacht to the other side, Peri found herself thrown once more against the edge, her back taking the abuse this time as she was shoved against a pile of lashing and the hook upon which it was wound and, after barely hanging on to its own tentative place, suddenly came on wound and began whipping about with each jarring movement. Gritting her teeth, she could physically feel the strain of the vessel beneath them. Nokzu: We need a way to lose our friends back there, and we need to do it fast! There was a smile on Teller’s face. Why was there a smile on Teller’s face? Peri didn’t know the man very well. Having arrived on the ship only a few months prior, the two had interacted a handful of times. In general, he seemed like a sweet, pleasant fellow. However, she had certainly heard quite a few stories involving him. Him and destruction. Explosions. Chaos. Peri didn’t like the smile on Teller’s face. Teller: Like you said Nenni, we're not going to outrun them in this thing. That's why we're going to jump. Oh Prophts, preserve them! Teller: We set this thing on autopilot and jump when we're behind one of those buildings - they'll never see us. Transporter can get us on the way down. No problem. Immediately, enthusiastically, unequivocally, Peri shook her head. No! No way! Nuh uh! No how! Alieth: Response Quen: That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! In that, she and Quen were in agreement. Silently, Peri wondered if maybe Teller needed a psychological evaluation. Nokzu: Are you crazy!? We'd never survive something like that! Something bright flashed behind them, sending the little airship shivering. Peri shivered with it. Teller: Sorry Nenni, but you're going to have to trust us on this one. It's this, or end up back in Anroc's hands. Frankly, I'd rather take my chances. If anybody feels differently, say so now. Trust us? When did this become an us? This was allllll Teller. Sighing, Peri peered over at the first officer. She supposed it probably wouldn’t do not to trust him. But she really didn’t feel like she wanted to plunge to her death. Quen/Alieth/Nozku: Response Teller: Ok fine, if we all die you get to say you told me so. Nenni, can you jam the controls, make sure the yacht keeps going after we jump? Nozku: Response Teller: Well, I don't think we should leave without expressing our gratitude to President Anroc. ::Geoff's smile turned a bit wicked:: See that big statue over there? Dark eyes followed where Teller pointed and upon the statue he indicated. What did the statue have to do with...wait. Oh no. He was just going to make this worse, wasn’t he? Nozku: Response Teller winked at them, as if they were all in on this little conspiracy. It was only made worse when Nozku returned the wink with a multiplicitous one of her own. Teller: When we jump, try to stay close together. Start calling for transport as soon as you're clear of the dampening effect. Quen/Alieth/Nozku: Response Katsim: Are...are you sure this is going to work? Peri tried desperately to be heard above the continuous muted roar of the wind. Another slice of light zipped past them, barely missing them. Shivering, Peri craned her neck back up. Those ships were closing in. Alieth/Nozku/Quen/Teller: Response Katsim: Sure there’s something else we can do? Alieth/Nozku/Quen/Teller: Response No. Peri didn’t have any other ideas. The other ships were getting closer, and their particular vehicle was getting closer to the statue. They didn’t have much time. Alieth/Nozku/Quen/Teller: Response Katsim: Sir, I officially go on record that I don’t like this plan. But what was she going to do? There wasn’t any time to think before the Zet, Teller, and Quen suddenly launched themselves off the ship. Alieth was climbing over the edge and Peri was attempting to do so as well. By the time Peri managed to get one leg over the side, all the others were gone. The ship was headed on a collision course with the statue and her crew members were sailing through the air. Glancing up, she saw the ships making a beeline straight for that little yacht that had so valiantly carried them as best it could away from harm. Tremulously, she managed to get the other leg over the edge and, taking a deep breath, Peri closed her eyes, then jumped. Alieth/Nozku/Quen/Teller: Response It was a strange sensation, the wind pressing against her as she pushed downward. On one hand, it was almost as if it were trying to lift her up rather than let her fall, but gravity was a stronger force and it would not be denied. As much as that wind tried, it was no match for the greater power that exerted its strength. Slowly, Peri squinted her eyes open and almost wished she hadn’t. Below, a quilted puzzle stretched out, and she was so high she couldn’t even make out the bodies of individual Zets beneath. Was she far enough away yet? Would the communicator work now? Allowing her eyes to close once more, Peri managed to force her arm to tap the combadge. There was chirp, but it was followed by a resounding ‘blat’ of failure Not far enough. Slowly, she forced her eyes open. The ground was closer and inching more so every second. Silently, she counted to thirty, trying not to let the welling of panic overwhelming her. Another tap. Another failure. Tears stung her eyes, though it was difficult to say if it was from fear or the rush of wind beating at them. Peri closed her eyes, counted to thirty again and tapped. Nothing. She set into a pattern, count, tap, count, tap. Closer and closer the ground rose up to meet her. Finally, a chirp, a secondary one. Success! Katsim: =/\=Katsim to Thor….Get me out of here!=/\= Alieth/Nozku/Quen/Teller: Response Thor: ? -- Ensign Katsim Peri Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0
  21. @Alieth just has this amazing writing sense where she can take a completely benign scene and really make it a joy to read. Outstanding tee-up from @Ben Garcia for this scene as well. I'm loving this so far, and can't wait to see if Cheesecake is going to get the nasty replicator filter or not!
  22. There are no gigantic explosions, no great heroic deeds, no mighty efforts. This is a simple but well written sim that gives insight into the character and help sets up the situation that character is about step into. I appreciate @Alex Brodie's ability to make me care and connect with his character. ((Brodie’s Quarters, Deck Five, USS Thor)) Brodie tossed his scribe onto the desk and leaned back. Two hours he’d been poring over legal texts and treaties and directives and it was giving him a headache. He knew the battle…and it was a battle…against Anroc wasn’t going to be easy and he needed to make sure that everything fell into place in the right way. As he’d said to Kells, there couldn’t be any missteps with their people down there. Firstly, there was Starfleet General Order One and its many, many, sub-orders. He’d dearly love to tear the entire subjugation culture of the Zet down, but it was their societal norm – it would amount to destabilising an established government. Their mere presence had already violated it in part - the Zet were not warp capable. That said it could be argued that, while not a warp capable culture, they had travelled beyond their own world using technology at their disposal. Providing technology was also frowned upon…as well as taking actions which supported one faction of society over another…he closed his eyes and saw the impact of the young Zet’s head on the wall…he clenched and unclenched his fists. The Federation Charter also made caste systems illegal and, while that did not technically extend to the Zet, it would add an additional layer of complexity to matters when negotiating the release of technology. The whole notion was really a non-starter…although Anroc didn’t need to know that. He’d also looked over the documentation that had been provided ahead of the ‘negotiations’, he used the word advisedly, and he honestly hadn’t seen much in his years that had terrified him more. Eternal life through some form of cloning process. He wondered if this was related technology to how the Vorta were created…extended…by the Dominion? They were in the Gamma Quadrant after all. Had this been one of Anroc’s acquisitions? He’d need to speak to Ivy about that but getting in-touch wouldn’t be possible out here. But Eternal life? Who wanted that? Truly wanted it? He’d seen on Solace how it had led to a never-ending cycle – the prospect of living forever had meant the Nol-Ennis and the Ennis had never moved on from their civil war until Sulan had joined them. Why live forever if you don’t grow? Then there was the issue of the haves and the have not – would everyone benefit? Or would you get a caste system like the Zet appeared to have. Free to those who could afford it and very expensive to those who couldn’t? And finally, there would be those who would abuse it…because someone always did. Taking a peaceful ideal of, for example, eradicating disease and twisting it into a weapon of war or a tool of dominance. He found he was pacing…he needed change anyway. He opened one of the storage closets and pulled out his dress uniform – running his hand along the edge of the fabric. Anroc needed to see they were taking him seriously. They needed him to be comfortable, and feel like he was in control, but they also needed to project an illusion of authority so he would be prepared to treat them as more than mere ephemerals. This would help set them apart. He also hoped that, in their full regalia, Aron Kells might find some sense of his own identity as a Fleet Captain again. To play the part one had to look the part. But then again…it might come across as a being braggish? Anroc would probably laugh at their pitiful attempt at bravado…and maybe Aron Kells would be reminded of darker times past? As he pushed the jacket back into the locker his hand brushed against the sword that was hanging in its sheath. He still needed to arrange that fencing lesson with Teller – perhaps once this was over – he had some ideas. He took the blade from its hook and slid it free – the silver edge of the rapier glinting in the light. He moved through a few positions around his quarters – stepping one way then the other – like the upcoming confrontation with Anroc the footwork would be key to success. He sheathed the weapon and hung it back up. Words, not weapons, were going to win the day here. He hoped. ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  23. @Wes Greaves has a delightful style and wonderful prose in which he is able to slip in little personal details, leaving room for the scene to unfold around him, while at the same time he is able to mix touches of humour with a beautifully described serious scene. And, for the record, after this mission Greaves-fly-in-the-wall is canon. ____________________________________ Capt Wes Greaves - Old Words, New Meanings ((Transporter Room 1, Deck 1, USS Thor)) Wes had expected to find the skipper on the bridge. As soon as the away team was back aboard he had high tailed it to the turbolift to debrief the man only to find the Captain's Chair manned by a Lieutenant JG and the ready room empty. With a frown and a query of the computer he discovered the Fleet Captain's true location. With Ensign Jehe in tow, they made their way to the transporter room to try and catch the man before he beamed down to the surface. Fleet Captain Kells and Counselor Brodie were climbing the steps to the transporter pad as the double doors hissed open. Wes could see a strained, concentrated look on the skippers face as the pair turned to greet him and Saja. Kells: Captain, Ensign? Greaves: Fleet Captain, I didn't expect you to be heading down so quickly. And… so absent any security element. I strongly suggest you consider taking Ensign Jehe with you, sir. The Marine frowned. He hoped he wasn't being too direct, but beating around the bush would just waste the skipper's time. Their relationship had been purely professional, and they really only brushed against each other every so often. It was hard to get a read on the man living and working like that. In the moment, he vowed to try and get to know the man a little better next shore leave. Wes caught a frown cross Aron's face and worried a little at its origins. Brodie / Jehe: Responses Kells: Very well. Glad to have you with me, Ensign. He tried to avoid any outward sign of relief, and instead folded his hands back behind him in a respectful and professional stance. In his mind's eye, Wes was the epitome of the professional Marine. Were he a fly on the wall, he'd be able to see himself looking suspiciously like his Vulcan friends he so often joked at. Brodie / Jehe: Responses Greaves: Perfect. Kells: Any last pieces of advice, Captain? Greaves: Just one thing. Don't underestimate Anroc. He's dangerous sir. I can feel it. Brodie / Jehe: Responses Kells: Try your best to bring Commander Teller and his team back to the ship, and recall Commander Garcia as well. If anything should happen to us, get the Thor away and return to the Alpha Quadrant. A frown crossed the Marine's face again, and Wes made an effort to replace it with one of his more reassuring smiles. The implications of the command were something he didn't want to consider. For a moment he didn't. Greaves: Understood, but I'm sure it won't come to that. Brodie / Jehe: Responses Kells: Very well. Energize. As the trio faded away the room became oddly quiet, just Wes and the transporter chief. A realization came over him. He and Sirok now had command of one of Starfleet's most advanced vessels. More specifically, he had been left in charge, and the Fleet Captain just gave him orders to run away if things went sideways. A memory flashed through his mind from the academy's command school. At the time he had found it strange, and even borderline inappropriate. Now, Wes understood the weight behind that lesson. He could almost hear his professor's voice… ((Flashback: 2394, Starfleet Academy, Command School, Classroom 2244B)) Professor: This classroom holds nearly 100 cadets, eager to lead within Starfleet. The man paced slowly back and forth in front of the class; the lecture notes projected on the monitors forgotten for the moment. Cadet Greaves idly wondered where this was going. It hadn't been in the pre-class readings. Professor: Of you, nearly all will likely sit on the bridge of a starship. At least half of you will, at some point, find yourself the ranking officer on the bridge. Maybe a third of you will be the ranking officer on an entire Starship at some point. The bearded professor paused his pacing and looked across the classroom. He had an eerie way of seeming to look every single cadet in the eye, all at once. Professor: All of you. Each and every one, will serve some self-sacrificing Captain who will, at some point, give an order to abandon them in the name of the greater good. Sometimes it’s the right call. Sometimes its not. No matter, they are the Captain, and they gave a lawful order. You have to follow it. The man swept his gaze back across the class again, this time more slowly. The entire class seemed to lean in to hear what he had to say next. Professor: There is more than one way to interpret an order. Just be sure as hell you're right about how you interpret it. [End Scene for Greaves]
  24. Antagonist you love to hate. Setting the bar high here @Geoffrey Teller! (just.... THAT signature) ________________________ ((Anroc's private villa, level 801, Saldanian Corporate Hegemony Headquarters)) Sher’ok Borac had somehow survived the last few hours without being summarily liquidated by staying as invisible as possible. Anything at all that could've brought the wrath of Anroc down on him had been handed off or deferred until a slightly less lethal time could be found. Sher'ok had been lucky so far, but his luck had come to an end with this new alien horror. They expected President Pitorian Tolo’Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc, First Eternal, Most Exalted Administrator to do the unthinkable. They had the gaul to ask Anroc to contact them. It was a violation of every corporate protocol and Hostile Takeovers, with an emphasis on the Hostile, had been fought over smaller insults between Eternals. Sher'ok had run the words around in his mind a multitude of times, trying to find a way to deliver the message that wouldn't immediately cause Anroc to have him thrown off the side of the building, or worse. The staff had all heard rumors of something called the Silent Gallery, a space whose location and purpose was known only to Anroc himself. Sher'ok tried to push the rumors out of his mind as he stepped into Anroc's majestic presence his stomachs rumbling in distress. Borac: Wonderous President Pitorian Tolo’Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc, First Eternal, Beloved & Benevolent, Ever.... Pitorian Anroc had been diverting himself, watching some of the Starfleet things scrabbling around his holdings like clumsy interns. It was already clear to Anroc who the real superior beings were in this situation, and the answer was the same to him as it had been yesterday, and the day before, and a thousand days before that. He was Superior. He was Eternal. He'd take the aliens for all they had and when he was done, he'd use what he'd gained to take more. Soon, all that was would know his magnificence. His pleasant megalomaniacal musings were interrupted by one of the interminable swarm of Ephemerals in his personal staff. With a dour scowl, Anroc lazily extended a single digit. Sniffing the air with an exaggerated gesture, Anroc settled his gaze on the half-bowing Borac. Anroc: Why have you brought such a foul odor into my presence? Borac: My...President. The aliens...yes they...they wish to do as you have commanded, of course, and will put you in direct contact with their leader. We have a biographical file based on exit interviews performed on the returning crew of the Endless Golden Penetrator. There is a full psychological analysis included and I'm sure you'll be pleased to... Anroc's scowl deepened dangerously. Anroc: Do not presume to guess what will and will not please me. So? Where is he? Where is this Kells? Borac gulped uncomfortably, stomachs threatening to rebel on the spot. Borac: Mr. President, sir, the aliens...they have asked you to contact them. To arrange the meeting. ::Borac could feel himself sweating:: We tried to explain to them that this simply wasn't done, and that they were flying in the face of all civilized business, but they.. For the second time today, Borac heard the wretched sound of an Eternals laughter. Chancing to glance up, Borac caught a flash of murderous glee in Anroc's eyes before hastily turning his face back to the floor. Anroc: These aliens have finally realized how badly they have misjudged me and they're trying to appear strong. ::Anroc's laughter was cold and sharp, like a winter chill that penetrated the bone and lingered long after:: Pathetic. I shall show them the strength of Eternity. Anroc summoned an attendant with a strong beverage which he slowly consumed over the next few minutes, wordlessly studying the report on Fleet Captain Aron Kells. Borac didn't dare move or twitch. He was as frozen as the ephemerals who were assigned to 'biological ornamentation' duties around the villa, holding curtains and wearing next to nothing. By the time Anroc was done skimming the file, his smile had grown horrifyingly predatory. Anroc: Yes, it amuses me to speak with someone these people consider a leader. Contact them. I will grace them with my presence...now. Borac tapped a few controls into a device on his wrist and the connection was made. The familiar SalComm Logo pulsed briefly and then he was face to face with his prey. Anroc wasted no time. Anroc: Have you finally decided to meet with me yourself, Aron, or do you have a few more underlings to waste my time with? To the aliens credit, his shock was momentary and quickly disguised. Anroc focused ever so slightly more, sensing at least some mettel in this being. Kells: I would be happy to, Shipmaster. My officers did come with my full support and authority, however. Anroc rolled his eyes expansively and took a long sip of yet another narcotic tonic. Anroc: For a moment I thought you were serious about meeting. I see it's clear you don't even comprehend to whom you are speaking. ::Anroc stood, resplendid and magnificent:: I am Pitorian Tolo’Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc. President of the Saldanian Corporate Hegemony. My role as Shipmaster was only a small and trifling affair compared to the enormity of my domain. Had you not dragged the Penetrator back here in shame I doubt I ever would have thought of it again. Kells: Well, as you say. Anroc: Yes, good, get used to that. I will tell you what is, and you will agree. That is the backbone of our corporate structure, and it has held firm for centuries. Brodie: Responses Anroc: Oh, you do more underlings. Perhaps this one has your authority as well? Brodie/Kells: Response Anroc: I have offered your people Eternity and you would waste my time with formalities? You will meet with me, of that I am certain. Brodie/Kells: Response Anroc: I see you can be sensible when properly motivated and focused. I will be looking forward to our negotiations. I'm certain they'll be fruitful. Brodie/Kells: Response Pitorian Anroc's smile pressed into a lethal line. Anroc: Before we begin, I'd like to clarify something. ::Anroc beckoned for an attendant at random. The exquisitely beautiful Zet who kneeled in front of him a moment later couldn't have been more than a few years into her internship, and she trembled under his gaze. Anroc felt a pleasant warmth:: Run at that wall as fast as you can. Without hesitation, the young girl took off at a full sprint towards the nearest wall, gaining more speed with each long stride until she struck the wall with a sickening crack of bone and muscle. Leaving a long dark stain on the otherwise perfect wall the body slid to the floor, twitching only once before going still. Anroc: That is how I define authority. Pitorian basked in their horror for a long moment before cutting the connection, searching for his drink. The exquisite young girls body had vanished and the wall was already being cleaned by the time he found it. [Tags/End Act 2 for Anroc!] ========== Pitorian Tolo’Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc Owner & Guildmaster Extraordinary, First Eternal, President for Life of the Saldanian Corporate Hegemony, Beloved & Benevolent, Everlasting & Magnificent, Supreme Conqueror of the Void, Venerated By Children, Arbiter of Contractual Justice, First Contacted Among Corporations, Supreme Managerial Authority V239509GT0
  25. I'm obsessed with how weird and amazing this development is. The orbiting statuary! @Ben Garcia --- (( USS Ra, Cruising Orbit, Zet Homeworld. )) Even at a distance it had been an imposing figure. 93 meters. It oscillated on a vertical axis, running from the statues’ crown to the hem of its gown. The metal had been sculpted into ripples so fluid that Ben could almost hear the breeze rustling across the stars. Until he remembered space was a vacuum. Scans showed an internal power source maintained the statue’s position and axis rotation, although Ben wasn’t able to understand the mechanisms of the technology making it possible. The Ra glided to a stop at the statue’s base. The detail of the sculpture was elaborate and fine. Open jawed, Ben leant across the helm console in disbelief at the intricacy of the sculpted gown: its weft warped and bowed in proportion to the furrow of the fabric’s crease. It was beautiful. It was wasted. How could such craft be appreciated like this - in the dead orbit of space? Lovar/Rouiancet: Response? Ben gave a slight whistle with a nod of the head. Garcia: Odd title for a sculpture. Lovar/Rouiancet: Response? With a trickle of thrust, Ben edged the Ra forwards, weaving through the orbiting statuary, towards the Zet Homeworld. Garcia: Any sites of technological interest we should priortise for the recon fly over? Lovar/Rouiancet: Response? Garcia: Ideally we want a site near something touristy:- that’ll be our excuse for being in the area. Lovar/Rouiancet: Response? Tag/TBC! _____________________________ Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia Second Officer/HCO USS Thor NCC-82607 Author ID number: G239102MR0 SB118 News Team
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