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  1. ((Sisko's - New Orleans)) ::Turns out that the crew was brought to Sisko’s for an award ceremony. After the “Kris Kringle” of which Renae had to participate (she honestly had no clue what it was for due to having a lack of education in the Terran manner)) in. Unfortunately, her’s could be considered a “tough one”. She applauded for everyone as everyone else did, congratulated Oliver for his promotion. Happy for the new Counsellor, extremely impressed with Aron, laughed as she watched Pandora’s lack of an emotional reaction, applauded the new Doctor of which she had almost no clue existed (she obviously needed to pull her head out of the clouds and look at the crew roster). But when her name was announced, she Kare'en: Would Ensign Renae Sullivan please come forward? oO Oh, this can’t be good. Oo ::She did as asked, pretty much ready to take whatever punishment her brother had “accidently” thrown on her.:: Sullivan: Yes, sir? Kare'en: Ensign, it is not easy to serve in Starfleet while being a part of a family. But you find a way to keep both your commitment to duty and your relationships with family intact. Because of your devotion to both, it is my pleasure to grant you the B-Plot Award. ::Her eyes widened.:: oO Hang on, is he giving me an *award* for the trouble my father and brother have been causing? Oo Rogers: : Smiling not the least due to the fact that he had some appreciation of just how much of a handful Renae’s family commitments could be Will presented the award. This award was Azrue and Vert with a rather appropriate Or letter B in the middle. :: Congratulations Ensign. Sullivan: Thank you, Captain, Commander. ::She sat down afterwards, still doing the same clapping and cheering for everyone else. In the end, she slipped out, hoping that no one noticed. She requested a beam up back to the Drake, and returned to her quarters.:: ((Sullivan’s Quarters – USS Drake)) ::Naturally, as her father invited himself to move in and sleep on her couch, she was greeted by him reading a PADD. She threw her bag on the couch and slumped onto it herself.:: Sullivan: It’s official. I’m going to stuck watching my friends move up in the Universe while I get to sit back, work for Whale, and stay as an Ensign. Jonathan:::He put his PADD down on the table.:: What happened? ::He sighed.:: Sullivan: Nothing. That’s the point. Because I took a leave to try and work out why you suddenly reappeared, I lost the chance to become a JG. Now all my friends pretty much outrank me. Sky, Oliver, Aron. I’m doomed. Jonathan: You know, your mother didn’t exactly make it past Ensign either . . . oh wait. She *did* become a Junior Grade . . . Sullivan: And she’s probably the Captain of a Borg ship in the Delta Quadrant by now. ::She snapped.:: *See*! I can’t even outdo my own *mother*! Jonathan: Hey. Your mother took a lot of time to get there. So did Broxley. It happens. And besides, how long have your friends been in service? Sullivan: Aron less then me, but now that he’s back from the future, he’s had a lot more experience. Oliver was on the Eagle, so definitely longer than me, and Sky . . . Hell, Sky was kept back in the Academy! And she’s already a *Lieutenant*! Jonathan: Could be worse. She could be a Captain by now. ::He grinned.:: ::Renae rolled her eyes.:: Sullivan: Nice to see that your sense of humour hasn’t “died” with you. ::And then the door chimed.:: Oh what hell is this? Enter! ::Typically, Rowan came bursting through the door, a smile as if he just got a date with Taylor again.:: Rowan: I just got a date! ::Renae rolled her eyes. Now she had *another* department she was lacking in, and you couldn’t actually say that she was surprised. Rowan always seemed to do things first . . . apart from join StarFleet.:: Jonathan: *Really*? With who? Rowan: This fascinating woman named Candice. Sullivan: Funny. Do people call her Candy for short? Rowan: Yeah, how’d you know? Sullivan: Oh, ::She giggled.:: Just a hunch. ::Jonathan rolled his eyes at his daughter.:: Jonathan: Don’t worry about Reed, here, she’s just a little upset that she didn’t get promoted today. Rowan: Oh for gods sakes. She’s *always* upset because she didn’t get promoted. ::Renae glared at him, causing him to change the subject.:: But that is not the reason I’m here. We’re going to a club tonight, and I’d like to not have the same incident I had with . . . Lee. ::Renae groaned. Skyleena Blake pretty much lost her virginity to Rowan, who was, by the way, seven years younger and crushed her the morning after. Renae did offer to kick his [...] and cut off a few toes, but Sky disapproved of this, and ended up seeking guidance from her *other* friend of which she was currently sleeping with. Alixis Ozera, originally trained as a Diplomat and was a runner for their small – but fantastic – Hunter team. The same guy she more or less deliberately slung up in a tree because Renae thought he was guilty of treason to their team. Once upon a time, that memory used to bring a smile to her face as the diplomat stayed up there for a day and night until the professors finally realized he wasn’t in any classes that day.:: Jonathan: While I don’t want to know about “Lee”, I think you should take your sister. Sullivan: *No*. I am *not* going with my brother to a club just to make sure he doesn’t suddenly have sex with his new girlfriend. Rowan: Okay, *one*, I am *past* that little exploit. *Two*, Candice merely asked if I could bring a chaperone as her father is off-planet and her mother is currently at Medical school. ::Renae laughed.:: Sullivan: You finally found someone who’s your age, huh? Jonathan: Wait a second, are you saying that all your girlfriends have been either younger or older than you? Sullivan: Are you kidding? His second girlfriend was *seven years* older than him. ::Jonathan paused for a few seconds.:: Jonathan: Renae Ulivia Sullivan, you are to go with your brother to make sure nothing happens. *Afterwards*, you can go out, have as many drinks as you want, and for that matter, *kiss* as many people as you want. Just don’t come back with some random stranger, and for gods sakes, be protected. ::He looked at Rowan.:: *You*, young man, are to be back by twenty-two hundred. Sullivan & Rowan: *WHAT?* Rowan: You’re giving me a *time limit*!? Sullivan: What do you *mean*, kiss as many people as I want and be protected!? Jonathan: *Quiet*! ::Rowan sat down in the chair across from the couch while the father of the two half-siblings stood up.:: Jonathan: Now. I’m aware your mothers and I haven’t been around. We’re all meant to be dead – in Vera’s case, missing, and it’s a big jump from having no parents at all to having a father who wants the best for you and doesn’t want you going around and getting yourselves hurt, and I don’t mean the physical type. ::He looked at Renae.:: Reen, I know you’ve been the mother figure to your brother for some time. I know that you’re sick of it, but it’s habit to look after your brother, no matter how much you deny it. I can see it in your eyes. But because you’ve been stuck with your brother, you haven’t been having fun with other people, haven’t been getting out and making more friends. Sullivan: That’s not true. Jonathan: Okay, when was the last time you went to a party? Sullivan: Little less than an hour ago! Jonathan: Come *on*. That wasn’t a party. That was a gathering thrown by your commanding officers to give people promotions and hand out awards. I mean hanging out and drinking with people that are actually your own age! ::If he wanted her to hang out with people her age, he’d have a lot of trouble. Aron was one of her main friends, and due to the new development of him being thrown back in time from the 2390’s, he’s aged somewhat. The Aron she used to know *was* her age. The Aron now was practically ten years older.:: Jonathan: See? Because of Rowan, you haven’t developed certain social skills. You’ve been ignoring your hormones, which I also astounding considering your mother couldn’t- Sullivan: Get to the point! ::She said, not wanting to hear *those* stories of her own mother.:: Jonathan: The point is, you need to get out more, and you need to stop being a mother to your brother. I can handle him from now on. Rowan: *Whoa!* Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! You’re letting her go and telling her to get back when she wants, but I’ve got a time limit? ::Renae groaned.:: Jonathan: You, young man, are only eighteen. The fact that you already have a daughter- Rowan: *Adopted* daughter. Jonathan: Makes no difference. She’s still a child that you’re looking after. ::He snapped.:: You are technically still a child yourself, and how you’ve gotten away with all your offences for this long is beyond me. From now on, until you are your sisters age, you have a time for sleep, a curfew to get back before you sleep. And because you’re not going to be on the Drake, Brox is coming to Earth to make sure that these things happen. Rowan: But there’s five *years* in between me and Renae! Jonathan: I don’t care. This troublemaking is going to stop right now. You’re sister is already regulating herself a schedule, this week is her holiday. Rowan: She’s in *Starfleet* for gods sakes! Jonathan: And so was her mother for a few years. And Broxley, too! Now, go to wherever you have clothing and put on a nice shirt and pants that don’t make you look like an idiot. ::He gestured to the jeans Rowan was wearing currently, which had deliberate rips at the knees. Rowan, with an annoyed look, stood up and left the room, but not before he called out to Renae.:: Rowan: You’ve got half an hour! He grumbled. ::Renae rolled her eyes and sighed.:: Sullivan: You *really* can’t chaperone your own son? Jonathan: If I chaperone him, you’ll stay here and sulk. ::He paused.:: What’s that in your hand? ::Renae looked down to see the award that was still in her hand. She laughed somewhat.:: Sullivan: This is an award . . . for having to deal with family while dealing with work. ::Jonathan moved behind the couch to have a look.:: Jonathan: And you were complaining that you didn’t get promoted, yet you got an award for your troubles? ::Renae rolled her eyes.:: Tbc . . . Ensign Renae Sullivan Security/Tactical USS Drake
  2. ((Avandar Crash Site - Night)) :: Wide awake, Umas sat with the hull of the Avandar supporting his back. His good leg was bent at the knee, the other was stretched out in the dirt with a cold compress on his ankle to bring the swelling down. In his hand he loving held his daughter’s charm bracelet, eyes glistening with the threat of tears. One end of the bracelet was looped around his middle finger, allowing the piece of jewelry and all of its tiny bobbles to hang at the center of his palm.:: :: The heart shaped charm was so that Veessah would know how much her mom and dad loved her. A snorkel because she loved to swim. A firefly-like insect, which she chased around the yard at night. A fluffy pig-like animal -- the first, but not the last injured pet she rescued in the wild. A pair of shoes because she loved to dance. And a musical instrument that she was just learning to play.:: ::Birthday songs. Laughter. Presents. Fireworks in the field. The shimmering sunset. Veessah spinning like a top in her yellow sun dress until she was too dizzy and fell into her father’s arms giggling.:: :: Koltar Umas couldn’t remember any of those things. All he could see was darkness and despair. His imagination took him to the resting place of his wife and daughter, buried and killed by the ship. The ship he had put them on. Captain Vetri’s ship…:: :: His thoughts twisted once again to jealousy and hate.:: :: Vetri had her family. They had all survived. The First Officer had his wife. She had survived. Why did his family have to die? Why did *he* get to live?:: :: The flow of incoming casualties had slowed to a trickle. Evanna had been working on the minor injuries the whole day without stopping for any kind of rest. She was growing ever increasingly worried about her friend Penny, who Alexander had mistakenly accused of being dead. She was going to come in here any time now and tell her it wasn't so. She'd been telling herself that for a while now and her lack of appearance was knawing at her. It wasn't until the lights inside triage flickered on that she realised how late it was getting. :: :: She could stand it no longer inside the triage tent and scooped up the medical equipment she'd been using. She's found that of the minor injuries she was treating there were 2 or 3 pieces of equipment that she was constantly needing. She took herself on a roaming trip around the camp looking for anyone with minor injuries... at least that was the excuse. She knew Matthews, Jen, Davies and S'Acul had made it, even old buster had been seen lumbering around. There was really only one face she wanted to see right now and it wasn't the face she found in front of her. :: :: Evanna sighed as she run the tricorder over him. oOWhat a surprise, more work for me.Oo With a disgruntled grumbled she plopped onto her knees and took a better reading of the man's ankle. :: Blackwood: Well, you got off light. Let me take care of this quickly for you sir. :: Without an acknowledging word, Umas closed his hand around the bracelet, as if hiding it from unworthy eyes.:: :: He sat, stone faced for a moment and watched the woman examine his ankle. If the cold compress had done its job it would be time to set the bone.:: Blackwood: Well you have an oblique fracture. :: He slanted his head recognizing the redhead.:: Umas: You lost someone. I remember, in the triage tent. Who was it? Blackwood: You must be mistaken sir, my friends are all accounted for. oOWell mostly, but Penny isn't dead. She must be trapped somewhere.Oo :: He nodded solemnly, and hung his head again.:: Umas: My mistake. I thought I overheard something… ::Evanna took out her BBF necklace. She'd recieved it not so long ago as a Christmas present. It was probably the most thoughtful thing anyone had given her in a long long time. oO I thought we were supposed to be best friends, why hasn't she come to tell me she's okay yet?Oo She felt a little angry.:: :: Hearing the tiny jingle of metal, Umas looked up as the woman revealed a necklace. The expression on her face told him that it was as important to her as his daughter’s bracelet was to him.:: Blackwood: ::Glaring and speaking forcefully.:: He was wrong, he must have seen someone else! I'm going to find her. I have to. Umas: ::nodding:: Then you should. :: She should go back in there and tear the place apart until she found what she was looking for.:: :: Blackwood set to work with the boneknitter, it's power seemed to be getting a little low now. It had been in near constant use the whole time she'd been out here. She hoped there would be some replacement power cells in one of those crates. :: :: The small hum of the boneknitter, and the strange beastly cries from the jungle animals -- even the eerie mist that had settled on the ground, didn’t register in Umas’s mind. All he could think about was his beheaded wife, and what the ship, and the Captain, and Tan, and *he* himself had done to his own family.:: :: Killed them. They’d killed them.:: :: Rancid thoughts churned and burned within like acid, eating away at his very soul. He had not cried. He would not cry. He would not shed a single tear -- not until he got off this stinking planet and could hold his son again. Though he doubted his son would forgive him anymore than Umas could forgive himself.:: Blackwood: I'm sorry Commander, you're done. I mean your ankle. I've mended it. It might be a bit tender for a few days, so go easy on it. :: She gently moved his foot around, testing the newly mended joint ever so carefully. :: Umas: ::wagging his head:: It’s fine. Blackwood: If you want to see if how feels to walk on now... :: More head wagging…:: Umas: No. :: He mostly withdrew inside himself at that point. He almost wished she hadn’t fixed his foot because now that one pain had receded, another came to the forefront.:: Blackwood: Well i'm done here. ::Thrusting the medical kit and tools at him:: Return these to the triage tent! :: In her typical bossy fashion, completely forgetting his rank and her place.:: :: She didn't give him time to protest as she broke into a run, making her way back into the ship. It was getting pretty cool and dark out and she couldn't bear waiting any longer. :: :: After she was gone, Umas opened his palm, and straightened out the charm bracelet, losing himself in a deep, empty pit of grief and anger.:: :: Somebody had to pay for these crimes, he would punish himself, but most of all the Captain.:: :: Once they were rescued, he would personally see to it that Vetri lost her pips and spent the rest of her life in a military prison.:: --end-- MPNPC Lt. Cmdr. Koltar Umas Mission Specialist USS Avandar simmed by T’Lea & Lt JG Blackwood ACSO USS Avandar
  3. ((Triage Tent)) ::. . . darkness still? It was difficult to tell... S’Acul had been seeing flashes of something while unconscious, perhaps dreams, perhaps memories. Needless to say, he didn’t remember much after the explosion.:: ::A pained groan rumbled in his chest, and he scrunched his eyes further closed - which cause a shot of severe pain to lace through his right cheek. Frowning, he opened his eyes... no, his eye. He had to blink away the fuzziness of unconsciousness, and he was very confused as to why his right eye refused to open.:: ::His gaze focused first on the light above his bed. Good, that was something, he could make that out. It rolled slowly downward from the ceiling to the normally beautiful face of Doctor Malcolm - dirty, tired, little smears and streaks of blood on her uniform and cheeks. She was still beautiful, yes... but whatever she had been through had definitely been the worse for wear on her.:: ::He struggled to focus his eye on her face, which was still somewhat blurry. After a few moments, his vision seemed to clear... but she looked so far away. He gingerly raised his paw to feel at the right side of his face - and jerked his paw back a moment later when he felt the scarring. Blinking his remaining eye, he tried to speak - but his throat hurt. He coughed once. Twice. Finally was able to speak, though it was with a terrible rasp.:: S’Acul: Wha... what happened? Malcolm: S’Acul, you’re a the triage center we’ve set up outside of the ship. You were injured in an accident. ::She laid her hand atop his paw and waited for him to respond:: S’Acul: An accident? ::He blinked, trying to remember what had happened prior to the explosion... the ship was angling toward the planet, there was no way for them to avoid crashing... he had been piloting the ship by hand, the ship made contact with the surface... and then he didn’t remember anything else. Frowning, he reached up to gingerly press at the right side of his face again.:: S’Acul: What’ssss wrrrong with me, Doctor? ::She put her hands on his arm and pulled it back down to his side:: Malcolm: Don’t touch it. You’re still healing. You’ve had trauma to your eye and ear. Your eye was too severely injured to be saved, I’m afraid. ::He blinked again, and it was only after she mentioned his ear that he noticed he had really only heard her from his left ear. It helped she was standing on that side... his whiskers drooped as his frown deepened. Water began to well underneath his good eye.:: S’Acul: Well... that explainssss why I can’t open it... thank you for... trying, Doctor. ::His gaze dropped to his paw in his lap, then shifted over to her hand on his arm.:: (Cue music - )S’Acul: Can I... sssee it? How bad is it? ::Jen looked around her for something reflective. There wasn’t much that could serve as a mirror and everything had a significant layer of dust and dirt on it - even in the sterile environment she’d tried to create. She found an osteotractor - its shiny metal surface would have to suffice for now. She slipped her arm under S’Acul and helped him sit up:: Malcolm: Don’t be shocked by what you see. Your wounds are still fresh. ::She held the osteotractor near his face. He narrowed his eye at the bandages that covered pretty much the entirety of the right side of his face, and his frown deepened further still. The dark marks staining the bandages were enough to tell him it wasn’t pretty. There were particularly dark splotches where his whiskers would be... and it was definitely tender on that section of his upper lip. He’d only ever felt that a few times before - when a whisker was missing. He raised his paw to take the tool from her hand, holding it in front of his face, glaring at it, trying to figure out... why...:: S’Acul: . . . wow. ::Jen’s stomach tightened as she watched him. She felt like snatching the osteotractor from his hand and throwing it across the tent.:: Malcolm: I truly am sorry, S’Acul. ::Especially since with the right tools and enough time she undoubtedly would’ve been able to save his eye:: ::The injured Caitian slowly lowered the reflective tool to his lap, staring at the same spot it had been. A tear rolled down through the fur beneath his eye as he began to lay back on the bed, seemingly calm and serene, paws folding together on top of his chest. He cleared his throat.:: S’Acul: About... how long will it be before I can take off the bandagesss? Malcolm: I’ll have to change them regularly. But they should come off after a few weeks. The most important thing we have to worry about is keeping infection down. S’Acul: ::nodding slowly:: Jussst let me know what we need to do. ::after a pause:: What happened after the crash? ::She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She hadn’t allowed herself to think about all that had happened lest it overwhelm her completely and had instead almost maniacally focused on her work. She wasn’t sure she could bring herself to tell him everything without dissolving into a pool of tears herself:: Malcolm: A lot has happened, S’Acul. But right now I want you to focus on getting well. You’ll find out about everything in due time. ::S’Acul considered arguing with her, because he had a desperate need to know what had happened... but despite everything that had happened, he found it very easy to do as she said. He nodded again and fell quiet, paws still folded on his chest, his eye focused on some point in the ceiling above him.:: ::She leaned down next to him and in an impulse of sympathy, gave him a hug, squeezing his shoulders gently. She spoke softly into his left ear, words that were as much for her own benefit as his:: Malcolm: It’s not the end of the world, S’Acul. And you will heal. Remember, you’re still alive, it could’ve been much worse. ::His ear flattened at first when she leaned down over him, but it raised again at her words. A weak smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, and his good eye closed slowly. He returned the hug, tightly, and for a few moments seemed to refuse to let go.:: S’Acul: I know, Doctor... I know. Thank you... for taking care of me. I can’t imagine what you’ve had to go through the passst... however long its been ssssince the crash. ::swallowing, finally letting her go, but his paws still resting on her arms:: It just... feelsss like it was worse. Malcolm: I know it does. ::she stood back up:: Just don’t let it overwhelm you. We need you around here as soon as you’re well. S’Acul: ::laughing softly, shaking his head:: A crummy sssspace-pilot who managed to crash the sssship, with almost no other ssssskills, a bad eye and a bad ear. Right. Malcolm: Trust me. We need you. S’Acul: ::smiling weakly:: Whatever you ssssay, Doc. Only for you. ::S’Acul knew that Jen was doing everything she could to keep his spirits up, and had done all she could to help heal him physically... but there was such a crushing weight on his soul. He had crashed the ship... true, he had kept it from impacting in such a way as to kill everyone aboard, but he had still crashed the ship, equipment error or no. He was useless as a pilot now, not only because of the crashed ship - without his eye and ear, his depth perception and sense of direction was ruined.:: ::He had a few other passable skills, certainly, but nothing that he could think of that would be of supreme value to the others. As a hunter, he was likely ruined. Anything requiring a sense of steady balance was out. He might be able to do some of the dirty work around their camp. But nothing that would make him feel... useful. A sense of supreme sadness fell over him - had fallen over him earlier, really, when he had woken up - and it was only then he realized that his purr was... broken. The Doctor might not have noticed that none of his r’s were rolling, but he had been listening to himself speak Standard for so long... it was obvious to him.:: ::Jen sighed deeply. She was no empath, but it didn’t take any extra sensory skills to detect the sadness that surrounded S’Acul or the entire crew for that matter. She let him lay on the table, and stroked the fur of his arm absently, trying to offer some comfort:: ::The Caitian helm officer truly appreciated Jen’s attempt to offer him some comfort, and offered her a weak smile - but there was no purr to accompany it.:: Ensign S’Acul Aveunalliv HCO USS Avandar & Lt. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar
  4. JP LT Jen Malcolm, (PNPC) Regg and (PNPC) Audie: Bless the Beasts and the Children ((Dott’s Family Quarters-USS Avandar-Crash site)) ::Regg awakened inside of the closet of his quarters. Before the crash of the Avandar he was not feeling well so the day care teacher took him to his quarters.Crying, he crawled out of the rubble, into the darkness, scared and alone. He wondered where his father was, his friend Ashley.:: oOI’m alone and scared. It’s dark. I don’t like the dark.Oo ::He wandered out into the corridor, looking for anybody that could help him, cowering into the corners of the destroyed ship. He crawled under the supports and bulkheads reaching one of the jefferies tubes. Seeing some light at the top, he climbed into it with fear, barely making it inside the tube.:: ::Wiping the tears away from eyes his called out for help, he continued to climb his way. It was hard for him to reach the rungs. He felt deep in his heart that his father would be waiting for him at the top. Finally reaching to the top of the tube he called out again.:: Regg: ::Crying as he screamed out.:: Help me!!!!!!! ::He climbed down to reach the deck screaming for help. When a bright light nearly blinded him and dropped to his knees crying in fear. He looked up to the tall dark shadow above him. He cried as the dark figure picked him up and carried him on their back up the ladder deck by deck until they reached deck three.:: Crewman Roberts: ::Talking to Regg.:: Where are your parents? Regg: ::Crying, screaming.:: I dunno.... I only have my father, my mother is dead. ::The pair continued up the ladder to the next deck, where they exited on to deck three.:: Crewman Roberts: ::Shouting.:: I HAVE A SMALL CHILD HERE!!!!!! ((Aft section of the Avandar)) ::Wispy clouds covered the early morning sky but the pinks and golds of dawn refused to be hidden and managed to offer light to the damaged landscape, even though they were muted by the veil of gray from the cloud cover. :: ::It was cooler now, cooler than the nighttime had been. The air was still warm by any standards, but the wind had picked up a bit and it was enough to send a chill down Jen Malcolm’s neck as she stood along the rows of dead bodies lining the aft section of the Avandar.:: ::She had found Ashley’s body almost immediately. Though when looking for something deeply sought after it was rarely found until the last place searched, it seemed the opposite held true when searching for something dreaded- it was usually the first thing discovered, as if some insidious polar force pulled the unfortunate victim directly there, hungry for the pain and suffering.:: ::Her hand hovered over the uniform jacket, unwilling to move it away. She had seen countless dead bodies in her life, from anonymous medical cadavers to dear friends, and looking at them had never bothered her. Just a part of life, dying was, and it was not something she’d ever feared. Until now. Try as she might she could not force herself to pull away the jacket and look at Ashley’s lifeless body. She knew, if she did, whenever she thought of the little girl, it would be that image scorched into her mind’s eye. And that she could not bear.:: ::There were other officers there as well, saying their goodbyes to friends. Not all of the bodies had been covered yet and there were quite a few that Jen recognized from their visits to Sickbay. Too many she recognized from their brief stays in the triage tent, where she’d been unable to help them. The soft sounds of muffled sobs and quiet tears filled the still morning air. Jen did not join them in their mourning - she had no tears left to shed. All she was left with was a sense of disbelief:: ::Ashley’s pink tennis shoes peeked out from beneath the jacket and Jen noticed a shoelace had come undone. She crouched down and reached for the laces, tying them in a little bow. Ashley had gotten the shoes as a Christmas present from her Aunt and Uncle. They’d come , all wrapped up, with them when they left the farm and had been hidden away in Jen’s closet until two mornings ago. Ashley had been so excited to show them off to her friends in daycare...:: ::And then the tears came. She wiped at them before they could hit her cheeks, brushing them away from her eyes before they could fall. She couldn’t let herself fall apart or there would be no coming back.:: ::She tried to ignore the sounds of crying from those around her. They were grating on her nerves and she could feel a scream building in her throat. She focused on the sounds of the work crews, the churning of the generators, the buzz and hum of power tools. But it didn’t work, they could not drown out the melancholy sounds of people saying their goodbyes, cursing their luck, searching for a lost father.:: ::Jen sniffled and looked up, searching for the source of the youthful cries. Wandering amongst the dead was a little boy, his bald, blue head not much taller than some of the bodies laid out. It was Ashley’s little friend Regg, wandering and alone.:: ::Regg looked to the morning sun covering his eyes crying looking for his father. He stumbled upon the dead bodies. How he got there he did not know, he looked up to see a familiar face, the face of Jen Malcolm. He ran towards her crying.:: ::Jen shifted to a kneeling position so she was eye level with the little boy. She put her arms around him and pulled him close to her. She hushed his frantic sobs, rocking a bit to try and calm him:: Malcolm: Regg? Are you hurt? Regg: ::Crying.::I can’t find my father..::sniffling.:: No, I’m not hurt. I’m scared. ::Holding on to her.:: Malcolm: I know you are. ::She stood, picking him up as she did so. His arms and legs instinctively wrapped around her with the motion and she shifted his weight onto her hip. She knew that his father had not come through the triage tent, which meant the school teacher was either one of the bodies laying around them or he was somewhere with the other survivors. Jen was not a betting woman, but if she were, her money would be on one of the covered bodies at their feet::: ::She rubbed Regg’s back. His heaving sobs had calmed a bit, but she had to do something to settle him down:: Malcolm: Hey Regg, want to hang out with me for a while? ::She wasn’t sure what she would do with him. He certainly couldn’t stay in the triage tent with her, it would be unsafe, but she wasn’t going to leave him here.:: Regg: ::Looking at her.:: Ok.:: Looking back over her shoulder sniffling and huffing.:: ::Audie walked from around the other side of the ship, wandering around. In his mind he is looking for Askade, but found Jen and Regg. He ran up to them whimpering at them both then sat down in front of them. He looked at Jen holding out his paw to her. Jen smiled, strangely relieved to see that the friendly dog had made it out alive. She tapped Regg’s arm:: Malcolm: Look Regg, one of your friends came to see you. ::Audie’s paw hung in the air, a gesture Jen had learned was the big dog’s normal form of greeting. The normally white fur was stained with blood. Jen crouched down so Regg could give Audie a pet, and on closer inspection she could see the dog had a torn pad:: Malcolm: ::holding the paw:: Bet that hurts, huh boy? ::she turned to Regg:: Why don’t we get Audie out of here, and you can help me fix him up. How’s that sound? ::It would only take about a inch and a half of wire to repair the padd and Jen was willing to spare it for the animal. It would be a good distraction for Regg:: Regg: ::Petting Audie on the head, and calming down.:: Ok. ::Trying to smile, but his lip started to quiver.:: ::She stood up, hoisting Regg back into her arms:: Malcolm: C’mon, let’s go. ::She patted her leg to get Audie’s attention and gave a short whistle to get him to follow. They walked back toward the camp, away from the rows of bodies. But, with each step, Jen’s heart pounded, beating faster and faster, as if it were trying to signal her that she was leaving unfinished business. She tried to ignore it, to push its ache away. But there was no fighting it. She could not resist one last look over her shoulder, at the little pink shoes and their matching white bows. -end- (PNPC’s) Regg/Audie D’ciq Simmed by Matthews and Lt. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar
  5. "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." -- Maya Angelou (( Collapsed Daycare, USS Avandar )) :: Dust swirled around him as Alleran wiggled further into the void which was the daycare room, the laser cutter between his teeth. He had taken the blonde girl back to the others... now his search continued. :: :: The dust was a product of the metal used to make the bulkheads, compressed it would powderize. This area had suffered more than most and it was almost completely rubble... Tan had to stop every now and then to move a hunk of metal before he could continue. Despite the overdose of painkillers his leg was too injured to move -- he had to drag it behind him, which lead to lines of scratches forming on the limb but he paid them no heed. :: Marlee: ~~ This region is unstable. ~~ :: Alleran had a snippy comment prepared, but there was nothing he could say to discount that little urge coming from within his symbiont. As if to underscore this particular point there was a low, ominous groan of stressed metal and Tan froze. :: :: But no collapse came. After a second, Tan continued to crawl forward. It was a moment before he reached his goal... the soundproofed daycare room. It seemed mostly intact, and so Tan could crouch in the area without having to crawl. Prying open the cover he reached for the emergency opening lever and, with a pained groan began pumping the handle rocking up and down. :: :: The moment a tiny crack appeared, the screaming of terrified infants filled his ears. Further away, he could hear T'tala's panicked cries, shouting something he couldn't make out over the din. :: :: Verification that there was someone else alive -- and several, possibly -- gave him another surge of adrenaline and he worked the lever until there was enough room to open the door, forcing the twin panels apart the rest of the way with his hands and squirming his way through the small opening. :: :: Bodies everywhere. Tan was immediately greeted by a grizley scene... a corpse, without a head, wearing a bright yellow sundress stained bright purple with her blood. He didn't recognize her species. In her crumpled arms was the equally crumpled body of a small child, aged seven or eight maybe, of the same species... who Alleran could see instantly was dead. :: Marlee: ~~ That's Umas's wife... and presumably his child, too. ~~ :: Alleran, the host, was too concussed to make anything of it but his symbiont seemed to have dim memories of the personnel roster with their smiling faces on it. :: :: Recovery of the body would have to wait, but he did scoop down and pluck a small doll modelled in the form of an alien insect out of the girl's limp arms, stuffing it into a pocket... and to help identification of the bodies, he removed a charm bracelet from the small child and clipped it onto his wrist. Then they could be sure. He would tell the story. :: :: The horrid task complete, Tan made his way over to where the crying was. :: :: Two infants he recognized; half-Terran, half-Vulcan children. Asiatic in features, aside from their upswept eyebrows and pointed ears. They were screaming blue murder, but he could see none of their green blood outside of their bodies, but a cursory examination revealed that they had severe bruising. Their little cribs, it seemed, had absorbed most of the impact with their part Vulcan physiology taking care the rest. :: :: He scooped the infants up in his arms and checked the rest. There were a half-dozen bodies in all, all dead as near as he could tell. :: :: With a low sigh Tan knew he could do nothing more. Squirming back through the open door, Tan got back into the crawlspace and began the agonizingly slow process of returning to the entrance to the void. :: T'tala: FIONA! NAKARRAN! :: As Alleran became close he once again heard T'tala calling out to her children. Another low, ominous groan was heard above him and he stopped again. This shudder took a lot longer to settle than the last. :: Tan: I've got both of them! They're alive! Doctor Davis, they have some bruises but we're... ::coughing:: ... coming! Davis: ? Gilaars: ? Burt: ? :: From beyond the tiny hole he heard T'tala break into entirely uncharacteristic crying-laughter, her face blocking most of the light. :: :: He had crawled as far as he could and needed a break. Stopping for just a moment, Tan rested the two screaming infants down on a stray piece of bulkhead, reaching up to adjust his bandage. :: :: With a crack-shudder the ceiling above partially gave way, showering debris down on top of him. Shielding the two children with his body he closed his eyes, instinctively, then forced them open when the Gilaars: ? Tan: I'm... ::coughing:: ... fine! I'm fine! :: Forgetting his fatigue, his injuries, the overdose of powerful medication flowing through his body, everything... Tan began a frantic crawl for the exit. :: Burt: ? T'tala: Hurry! HURRY! Davis: ? :: The exit was close. Close. Only four metres now, just over that fallen support beam... he saw a pair of arms -- whose, he was not sure -- outstretched to grab. The moment he got close he passed the male child into the waiting arms, panting and gasping for air. The arms disappeared, taking with them one of the children. Another, empty, pair appeared... he reached for the second infant, handing her over now. Then, with a shift, he began to crawl - :: :: - and then with a roar to rival the greatest of dragons, forty tonnes of metal poured down from the ceiling, cascading in as the void collapsed. The noise drowned out any noise the others might make; small hunks of debris hit his back, his head and then an intense, terrible wave of pain like a flame roaring at his heels leapt up his leg, and Tan shrieked in agony despite the large overdose of painkilling medication he'd taken. Crack-crack-crack went the bones of his shin as one of the heavy support struts landed on his dragged leg, like a man rolling his hand over a sheet of bubblewrap. :: :: Then the rumble ceased and Tan shouted and gasped. He felt people trying to pull him out, but his leg was pinned under the beam which was far too heavy for him to move. :: Tan: AHHRRRGGH! STOP! STOP! STOP! :: The Trill flopped down on the metal deck, gasping as his vision spun, dark dots appearing in-front of his vision. For a moment the pain was just too much and there was a momentary shift, as though the symbiont too was overwrought with pain and painkillers alike. :: (( Drug-And-Pain-Induced-Hallucination )) :: This place had a strange, dream-like quality to it. Alleran could not explain it... except that it felt very vivid, if surreal. For a moment he felt as though he was back on the USS Independence-A, but as his attention wandered he could see the wider corridors and more spacious layout of the Luna class. Tan was standing outside Holodeck I on the USS Avandar, with none of the destruction all around him. Before the great downfall. :: :: What happened to him on the Independence was not easily forgotten... the memory burning in the back of his mind like carpet burn; it stung the more he thought about it, constantly irritating him and staying in his mind with that low, persistent sting. :: :: He had to go back. He had to face his demons. :: :: Breathing a low sigh, Tan copied the program from his personal collection to the computers of the Avandar. He wondered, idly, if Captain Vetri had ever visited the field of Passion's Rest... his understanding was that she was from a different area of Trill, so it was no more presumptuous to assume that someone raised in Kupang in Indonesia had visited that little shop in Bangalore that was your childhood favourite. Possible, but unlikely. :: :: But this wasn't about Della, or about Trill, or even about her. This was a test for him. A live-fire exercise... he was returning to the site of one of his most fondest memories. The first real, proper date he'd taken her to. Where they'd first kissed. Where the rain had slicked their clothes together, and the two had shared a moment of passion that would stay with him forever... and through all his hosts, forever more. An immortal memory. :: :: Programming the simulation to begin about an hour beyond its regular start point, Tan made the final adjustments and then executed the holo-scene. Tapping the last button, all was ready. The Trill hobbled towards the entrance. :: :: With a dull hiss the doors opened and Alleran drank in the familiar sight. The stormclouds on the horizon, the natural purple sky, the dark blue earth. The fields of red, phosphorescent wheat-like plants bending and swaying in the growing breeze like worshippers before a great deity. :: :: And oh, the smell of the air... crisp and clean and pure, that brilliant damp smell right before it rains. It was Alleran's favourite smell as a child... rivalled, in adulthood, only the hint of orange juice. :: :: Hobbling inside the holodeck, the doors closed quietly behind him, and Tan wiggled his toes into the holographic dirt. It was loose and tinged with cobalt, as the soil in this part of Trill typically was... a natural, beautiful dark blue that pulled at Alleran's heartstrings. :: :: Home. :: :: Such was his excitement, his glee at returning to this place -- so full to the brim of joyous memories -- that his cane slipped away from his hands, unnoticed, and fell into the ground. Walking without its use, Tan stepped forward and moved along the clearing between two fields. :: :: The wind picked up and began to blow with more urgency now, and Alleran turned to face the looming thundercloud. Stretching his arms out wide, the Trill emitted a playful laugh -- a real, honest, joyous belly laugh like he hadn't since he didn't even remember when -- and the spots of rain began to pour down, tapping on his face, Tan just closed his eyes and let the whole scene wash over him like a great blackened and bruised blanket, mouth opened in a wide grin, letting the raindrops fall in and be swallowed. :: :: Home... :: :: It was like a dream. :: :: The thing about euphoria is that it can mask pain. Childbirth is a prime example; incredibly painful and dangerous activity, not to be undertaken trivially. But there is a sweet moment... when the child's first cry comes... when the pain, the blood loss, the sacrifice of the event seems to go away... and all that is left is the joy. :: :: But euphoria fades. :: :: Like a sudden burst of fire running up his left leg, Alleran felt the agonized cries of his damaged limb override the blissful peace of the moment, the soothing medicine of fond memories joyful times. The leg buckled, causing him to crash bodily to the ground with a howl of agony, curling into an instinctive ball, clutching his wounded limb. His fingers gripped the wounded, dead muscle in his calf so tightly his fingernails s[...]ed across the flesh, drawing thin lines of blood. :: :: It seemed as though the pain, the agonized burning, would go on forever. He reached for his combadge with a hand, but his fingers were shaking; it was knocked off his chest, clattering and rolling across the ground, well out of reach. :: :: Two metres was out of reach for him, for now. :: :: The rain masked the pained tears as the Trill slowly, slowly, massaged the fire in his calf down to a manageable, dull ache. His fingers -- steady enough to move, now -- reached into his pocket and seized the dexatrine hypospray he kept there. Trembling, he dialed it up to maximum strength -- three times his usual dose -- and pressed the device against his neck, depressing the trigger mechanism with a shaking finger. :: :: The first indication came with a relief of pain, which was an immediate benefit to him. Laying on the holographic blue earth, Alleran felt the rain splatter against his face, against his chest, and against his wounded leg... letting the cool water soothe away the remaining burn. :: :: Then came lightheadedness, and a dizzy, giddy feeling, as though he were about four beers down at a really classy pub and surrounded by friends and attractive, enthralled bikini-clad supermodels. Rolling completely onto his back now, the Trill blinked away the spots in front of his eyes, staring up at the crackling rainstorm above him and watching the rain fall towards his face in slow motion. A fork of lightning like the lumbering, clumsy hand of a drunk slowly sauntered down towards the ground nearby, cracking a dull, muted crack as it lazily smashed itself into the ground. :: :: Time seemed to flow slower than usual, and Tan was genuinely unsure of how long he laid there, his mind drifting in and out of awareness as the massive overdose of the moderate-strength painkiller flowed through his body. He felt detached from reality, and viewed his surroundings through a distinctly third-person perspective... looking down at himself, laying in the sodden earth, his clothes soaked to the bone. :: Marlee: ~~ You know you're going to die if you don't do something. ~~ :: He could hear her, but couldn't see her. Alleran's head flopped weakly to one side. There, like a shining gold beacon in the mud, was a glint of shining metal -- his combadge, polished by the rain, not too far away. :: :: Tan just closed his eyes, returning his head to level, his face aligned to the sky. :: Alleran: ~~ It's not so bad... there's no pain at all. I'm sure if I lay here long enough, it'll be a'right... ~~ Marlee: ~~ I've died once, you know... I know what I'm talking about. ~~ :: For once, her voice was quiet and non-judgemental. In fact, she sounded... sad. Which was enough to get some of Alleran's attention back. :: Alleran: ~~ Mmm...? ~~ Marlee: ~~ It starts with light delirium and it gets... "better". You get tired... sleepy. It's peaceful, really, and you just want to go to sleep, and then... well. A rush of someone else's memories, and you wake up in another body. ~~ :: Speaking out loud, now, Alleran kept his eyes closed. His voice sounded slurred to his own ears, and he clicked his tongue at the end of the sentence. :: Tan: Maybe that wouldn't be so bad. :: Rolling his head to the side again, Alleran looked at his own hand. A hand that now clutched his combadge. He had not consciously moved himself closer to the device, and he hadn't picked it up. Blinking in surprise, the Trill stared at it for a moment. :: :: Materializing at the edge of his blurred vision, Marlee gave an apologetic shrug. :: Marlee: ~~ Sorry, I have to drive for a bit. ~~ :: Against his will his thumb tapped the central symbol of the badge and it chirped. Words came from his mouth, and he heard himself say them, even knowing they came not from his host's head but from that strange creature dwelling in his pouch. "Lieutenant Tan to Doctor Malcolm," he heard his own voice say, "I'm sorry... we found her. She's in a bad way..." :: :: And then, like a marionette with its strings cut, Tan felt control returning to his own body. Through his blurred mind he could hear someone speaking... the doctor. Of course. He tried to keep his slurring down, but it felt like his tongue was numb. :: :: Slowly, the vision faded... :: (( Daycare, USS Avandar )) :: Screaming. Screaming from the infants. Screaming from people trying to offer him advice and suggestions. And then, as his mind became conscious of the pain it was experiencing once again, screaming from him. :: Malcolm: =/\= ? =/\= ((OOC: I imagine Tan's activated his combadge in his demented state. )) :: He was pinned face down in the rubble. Twisting his body in a panic he could see his leg -- crushed just below the knee and firmly pinned to the deck -- his blood pouring out onto the metal. The limb was securely lodged, the force of the impact having shattered his bones. :: :: Another ominous rumbling above him, and this time Tan knew the collapse would be complete. The Trill was presented with a simple choice; become free, or be crushed under the collapse of the upper decks of the starship as they fell down and splattered him like a bug. Hands were trying to reach out to him, but they were about a foot too short -- not that it mattered. The rope was security around his waist and there was no way he was going anywhere. :: :: The low rumble started up again and Tan knew what he had to do. Reaching for the laser cutter on his belt he switched it to a high intensity beam, gritted his teeth and, with a high-pitched whine, sliced off the shattered limb just below the knee. :: :: White pain exploded directly into his mind and he almost blacked out again, but sheer panic and terror kept him going. He crawled using only his arms, the stump of his leg dragging on the metal of the deck as he crawled the last few metres to the waiting arms, his hands falling into theirs. He felt himself being dragged and lifted, heard the roar as the last of the starship's upper decks fell into daycare, completely filling the void just as he was pulled out of it. :: :: Would the noise be heard from outside? Tan wondered, for a moment, if the survivors outside had heard or seen it... or not. And then there were voices. Voices from his combadge, voices of the people dragging him out and laying him out in the ruins of the starship... :: (( Flashback: Six Years Ago, Shuttle 3134 crash site )) :: Alleran Mapak didn't know what to do. The woman was dying. Her arm was severed, laying in a pool of blood. Her skin was a ghostly white. The medics worked on her, frantically, until finally the CMO gave up. :: CMO: That's it, she's too far gone. We're pulling the symbiont. :: The woman's head flopped weakly. She was still alive! :: Mapak: W-Wait- that woman's not d-dead yet! :: The CMO rolled his eyes. :: CMO: Doesn't matter, kid. She'll die from these wound- we can't get her to a medical facility in time. A pre-mortum extraction greatly decreases stress on the symbiont. That's what counts. :: He called over one of the three rescue party members, a human woman with dark black skin. :: CMO: Okay, I'm going to need twelve CC's of tetraphoramine- we'll trigger a chemical rejection and extract. Prep the status chamber. :: Alleran could barely watch- he'd only had a few words with this "Marlee" character, but already he liked her. She was kind and wise beyond even her considerable years. :: Nurse: Done. Okay, I'm going to extract it... careful, careful- give me a hand here. :: The two reached into the dying woman's pouch, extracting a short, stubby worm with a bleeding gash down its flank. :: CMO: [...]- there's a tear along the epidermis. It'll get infected... we can't move it like this. :: The Trill medical officer looked frustrated. :: CMO: How long until a transplant crew and new host can make it here? We need to transplant within four hours or the infection will be too severe. Nurse: At this distance... a couple of days, maybe more, assuming they left immediately. :: The Trill CMO growled angrily. He knew it wouldn't survive that long. He, himself, was joined- the one nurse was a human, the other had a medical condition which prevented joining. They'd discussed it at length several months previous. That only left... :: CMO: Hey, kid. You wanna live forever? :: Mapak's eyes went wide. They were offering him the symbiont? He glanced between the beautiful, slimy worm and its previous owner, who seemed to grow weaker and weaker. She held a look of... curiousity, as though trying to judge him. :: Mapak: I- I can't. Why don't y-you take it? CMO: I'm joined already, you idiot. And... yes, you can. You can. It's that or the symbiont dies. :: Mapak felt his panic well up in him. Take on the role of a host?! That wasn't possible! He was just a normal person- an everyday shuttle pilot, one of thousands all over this whole system. He wasn't any good academically, he wasn't smart or brave or wise or any of those things. Mapak: I'm not g-good enough- I'm not even a-an initiate! I can't! :: The CMO stepped up to him, thrusting the wounded symbiont at him once more. :: CMO: We can seal the wound, but it has to be implanted or neutral degradation will begin. If you REALLY can't stomach the idea, we'll look at a rapid extraction when we return. You'll probably survive. But you need to do this. :: The lives of the symbionts were paramount. Mapak knew that... everyone knew that. With a groan, he nodded his head. :: Mapak: O-Oh gods... :: He lay on his back, on the debris. The medical team went to work- the human nurse cut away his shirt while the Trill CMO worked some device over the symbiont. The bleeding stopped, thick scar tissue developing on the injury. He felt the humans hands- unnaturally warm, to the cool-handed Trill- lift the flap of skin over his pouch. He blushed furiously. A girl was touching him- a real girl! He couldn't believe it. :: :: The symbiont squirmed in the CMO's hands, apparently disliking the cool air. He placed it into the pouch, letting it squirm inside. For a moment, nothing happened. And then... :: (( Flashback ends... )) :: And then, as Tan stared at the blood-splattered charm bracelet still attached to his wrist, the world slowly went white. :: TBC... ----- Lt. Alleran Tan Operations USS Avandar
  6. ((Triage tent)) ::Jen looked up at the new arrivals. Blood. Amputated leg. Tan. Davies. No Ashley:: Malcolm: Davies? Where is she? ::He and Burt quickly carried Lt. Tan across the tent to the elevated cot Jen was using as her surgical table. They laid him down, none to gently, exhaustion from the lengthy, precarious walk finally taking hold:: ::Davies’ breaths came raggedly, his injured throat burning with each shallow. He looked over and down at Jen, whose fingers had clamped around his arm. His face must’ve told her what she feared, as he watched his own dread settle into her eyes. When she spoke her voice was hollow:: Malcolm: Tan said he found her. Where is she? ::He looked away, down at Lt. Tan, who’d risked his life crawling into the daycare. When had he spoken to Jen? Davies took a deep breath, preparing to tell the lie he’d been rehearsing in his head from the moment he’d given up on the little girl:: Davies: She’s with the other children. The teacher is with them. ::He had to lie to her. There was nothing she could do for Ashley now and too many people were depending on her for their lives. When the time was right, he’d break the news gently. Her fingers dug painfully into the flesh of his arm.:: Malcolm: That’s a lie. ::The venom in her voice sent a chill down his back and he felt a warm, sickening sweat burst from his pores. He turned and put shaking hands on her shoulders, stooping a bit to look her in the eye:: Davies: I couldn’t help her, Jen. ::Time seemed to pause as he waited for her reaction. The only thing reminding him that the seconds passed by were the cries from the injured around them, the sounds of medical equipment whirring while the power lasted, the noise of the generator outside the tent. Otherwise, it was as if someone had pushed pause and the woman before him had frozen:: ::And then it all melted. Her eyebrows gathered into an unhappy scowl and she stepped backwards, slapping his hands off of her:: Malcolm: Where is she!? Why didn’t you bring her here!? ::He’d never heard her scream before. Heads turned their way, startled by her outburst. He reached his hand out to her, trying to calm her and draw her back to the table and the severely injured man who desperately needed their help, but was met again with a violent slap:: Davies: Jen, Lt. Tan needs attention. ::She looked down at the table, at the wreck of the man lying beside her. She felt nothing. No sympathy for his injury. A leg? That was nothing.:: Malcolm: He can die for all I care, Davies. I want to know where my daughter is! ::Her eyes were wild and he wasn’t sure how to answer her. He couldn’t tell her that her precious little girl was lying alongside a row of corpses, wrapped in a uniform jacket, awaiting burial.:: Davies: She’s gone, Jen. ::Hands curled around the fabric at his neck and the next thing he knew he was being pulled down within inches of her face:: Malcolm: You tell me where she is right now. :: The ship’s bartender had been quietly standing off to the side for the entirety of the conversation, not really sure what to do or say. He wasn’t close with much of anyone on the crew, ‘cept maybe Whiskers, and he had really only met Malcolm in passing, much like the rest. But he felt for her... he did. Which was why he was so calm, cool and collected. His hands came to rest on her shoulders, his voice soothing as he whispered to her to try to relax.:: ::After a moment, when it looked like she wasn’t going to let go, he became a little more forceful - one hand moving to pry her fingers from Davies’ collar, the other wrapping further around her shoulders to pull her away from the other doctor. She seemed to respond a little better to that, at least until she shot the most venomous look he had ever seen in his life in his direction. His hands lifted from her shoulder and arm, and he spoke very softly.:: Burt: Doc. He did everything he could to save her, but... she was pretty much gone before we got there. She... she’s waiting for burial, right now. We cleaned her up, best we could, on the way out here. ::She ripped off the emergency medikit that had been strapped to her shoulder all day and it fell to the floor with a thud as she tore past them and out the tent:: ::She thrust a flap of material aside and instantly stepped back, throwing an arm over her eyes to shield them from the huge lights aimed at the tent. She stumbled forward, ignoring her temporary blindness. A marine caught her before she fell, and he asked her something, but she couldn’t understand what he could possibly want, what could possibly be more important than finding Ashley. Why hadn’t she gone to the daycare herself? Because she was a slave to her duty to help people – help everyone else but her own flesh and blood:: ::Only a few steps from the tent and she could barely see anything. The shadows of twilight melded the landscape into one bluish gray blur. Everything was foggy. The surrounding trees and rocks dissolved into hazy blobs, shrouded behind a layer of what she assumed was mist. She couldn’t make out the ship in the distance and wondered if this was some sort of atmospheric occurrence particular to this planet. Splatters of water landed on her chest and her eyes snapped heavenward, only to find a clear sky:: ::She flopped to the ground. She didn’t know where she was going and couldn’t see to get there, anyway. Footsteps came up beside her but she didn’t bother looking up. She knew who they belonged to:: Davies: Jen, Tan’s going to bleed to death. ::She pulled the elastic from her hair, letting it fall loose from its ponytail and ran her hands through it:: Malcolm: So? You and O’Hanlon deal with it. ::He shoved his hands under her armpits and hauled her to her feet. Outraged at the treatment, she grunted and struggled to get away from him but he dug his fingers into the fleshy parts of her arms. Jen: Get off me! Davies: It’s awful, Jen. It’s bloody awful. But you can’t afford to break down. People will die. ::He shook her, again and again until she stopped avoiding his glare and looked at him. Finally, her eyes, filled with tears, met his. Jen: Chris… ::He felt his resolve shatter and his own eyes well up.:: Davies: I’m so sorry. ::He had to swallow down the lump in his throat before he could continue:: ::She stopped fighting him and sank against his chest. He laid his hands against her back and felt her heaving breaths hit his neck:: Davies: We need your help, Jen. ::He held her, hoping she would calm down. Behind them the urgent cries of the injured mingled with the sounds of heavy construction, but above it all he could hear her sobs:: Davies: Jen? ::She pulled away from him suddenly and wiped her eyes:: Malcolm: We’ll need to cauterize the artery. ::He wiped her cheeks and pushed her hair back from her face. A sad smile touched his mouth and he took her hand in his:: Davies: Good girl. Come with me. ::He led her back to the tent and watched with quiet respect as she began working without hesitation:: TBC Dr. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar and (PNPC) Ensign Chris Davies Medical Officer USS Avandar and (PNPC) Burt Inernie Ten-Forward Bartender and Owner USS Avandar as played by Ensign S’Acul
  7. ((Cooridor outside daycare)) ::Davies helped Gilaars and T’tala sort through the equipment the security guard had returned with. As they organized the tools, two men joined them. Davies looked up, hoping these were the reinforcements he’d asked for. With relief, he instantly observed how small the Trill man was:: ::The Trill was injured, however. Davies frowned at the blood-soaked makeshift bandage that was tied around the other man’s head:: Tan: Ensign, Lieutenant, Lieutenant. What do we have? Davies: We’ve got a small access into the daycare. Gilaars: ::nodding: None of us can fit in that hole, unfortunately. ::eyes Tan's small size:: Hmm... Burt: I hate to point out the obvious, but it looks like the doorway collapsed. ::shooting a look to Tan:: Not many people are going to fit in that hole. T'tala: It is small but it appears structurally sound. Lieutenant Gilaars has prepared a small inventory of supplies. :: Alleran nodded again, reaching down for the rope and beginning to thread it around his waist. T'tala gave him a curious glance. :: T'tala: Your leg... you are moving with much more- Tan: Drugs. I am high as a kite right now. Believe me, I'm going to be paying for this later, but you need someone short. I'm short. Ergo, I did what I needed to get mobile. Burt: ::smirking:: Remember what I said before? Petite. But you probably feel like a giant right now. :: Alleran gave Burt a grin. :: Tan: No kidding, huh? ::Davies did not like the look of Tan’s injuries one bit. He really shouldn’t allow him to go - but time was running out. He could offer a painkiller from his medikit, but as Tan had already indicated he’d likely already had far too many:: Davies: Tan, you really shouldn’t be doing this... :: Tan gave the man a grin. :: Tan: If I go into cardiac arrest in there, just pull me out. I'm sure Doctor O'Hanlon can get me going again... if anyone can find where he is. Davies: Well, don’t count me out. I may not get as much practice but, ::he pointed to his blue uniform:: still a qualified medical officer. I haven’t heard from O’Hanlon. Do you know if he made it out? :: Tan shook his head, tying off the last of the knot. :: Tan: I have no idea. There's a lot of bodies on the decks below us... I hope he made it out okay. ::Davies just nodded. The situation was getting more and more grim with each passing second:: Burt: Well, we’ll just have to make sure you don’t have a heart attack, how about that? :: Giving a nod, Tan gave T'tala and Gilaars the other end of the rope, hooking the laser cutter into his belt. He gave the four of them, including Davies and Burt, a grin. :: Tan: Okay, so. Scream once for pull me out. Scream twice for pull me out REALLY QUICK. Gilaars: Understood. ::Tightens grip on rope:: ::Beside them, the older Terran who Davies recognized from Ten Forward started to laugh. It elicited a chuckle from Chris as well. It seemed wholly inappropriate to be laughing when a whole daycare was buried beneath a broken ship, but humor had an odd way of popping up no matter what the circumstances:: :: Tan held up his hands. :: Tan: ... sorry. I have a severe concussion. But I also have two brains, so it's not affecting me as much as it otherwise would. Still. I should probably see a doctor before sundown or, you know... die. Until then, drugs! Davies: Just get in and get out safely and we’ll take good care of you. Gilaars: Okay, let's get going! ::And then, like some rabbit, the man wiggled through the hole and was gone. Davies tried to peer through after him, watching the beam from Tan’s flashlight until it was obscured by debris. His palms began to sweat. Soon, the time for hoping would be over and all they’d be left with was either relief or despair.:: ::Then there was more movement, a quick beam of light from Tan’s flashlight followed by the last thing Davies had ever expected to see...the furry face of a dog:: Tan: Look after him -- uuh, her -- Burt! Burt: Hey there, buddy - you look like you’re okay. ::Davies watched the dog walk around. Amazingly it appeared uninjured, if not a little agitated, as if it wanted back in to the daycare. Davies assumed it was trained as a search-and-rescue animal the way it continued sniffing at the pile of rubble blocking the door:: Tan: Got one down here! ::Davies heart froze. He watched as a small body came toward the hole and he felt his insides liquefy as he recognized the unmoving, blond head. Ashley. He reached into the hole and grabbed her shoulders, laying one hand under her neck for support. He swallowed. She wasn’t breathing...:: ::The older man was at his side, helping him tug on a piece of Ashley’s shirt that had gotten caught on a piece of rough metal. The fabric yielded with a rip and Ashley slid into his arms. He lowered her to the floor, and shouted back at Tan while he tore into his medikit:: Davies: Anyone else in there? :: He just shook his head. :: Tan: The baby pens appear to be intact. They're soundproofed so I don't know what I'll find in there. Aside from there... there's really nothing left of the whole room. I doubt there's anyone alive who's not in one of those rooms. Gilaars: Just do the best you can, Lieutenant. That all we ask. ::sighs:: ::Davies ran the tricorder over Ashley. Her skull was fractured and she was severely hemorrhaging. There were just too many injuries. She was so small and there been too many heavy things beating against her body:: Burt: She’s not doing too good... I need to get her out to the doctor. I don’t think she has time for us to wait for someone to show up. ::Davies thrust the tricorder at Burt angrily:: Davies: I am a doctor! ::Not that it was going to do Ashley any good. He bent over her and covered her nose and mouth with his own. It’d been a long time since his basic medical classes and his courses on infant CPR but he remembered what he needed to do. He had to control himself from working too quickly, or too roughly. Her little lungs couldn’t handle a full, adult breath of his own, so he kept his shallow:: ::After three rounds of respiration he pressed his ear to her chest, trying to find a heartbeat. He looked up at Burt:: Davies: What’s that tricorder say? Burt: ? ::He pressed his hand to her chest and felt for the bottom of her ribcage. Half of it was crushed but he measured with the lengths of his fingers to find the location of her heart:: Davies: I have to try. ::He worked and worked. He wasn’t sure how much time had gone by, he only knew far too much had passed without any reaction from the little girl. It wasn’t until a pair of hands gripped his shoulder and pulled him away that he stopped. He leaned back on his knees, rubbing the blood from his hands onto this pant legs, catching his breath. Beneath him Ashley did not move, nor would she move, ever again. He reached out, his hand oddly calm and steady, and brushed back the mat of blond hair on Ashley’s forehead. There was no need for the symbolic gesture of closing her eyelids - they were already closed. He hoped they’d been closed before the room’s collapse and she’d been spared those horrors. Whatever she’d endured though, she was safe from it now. Her pain was over.:: TBC/Tags Ensign Chris Davies Medical Officer USS Avandar
  8. (( Mess Hall )) :: Aron entered slowly this time. Even though it was, days into the trip back, too late to assume the ordeal was a lucid dream, he walked as though it was - as if any movement, any heavy step or rough encounter with the edge of a table would wake him up. Not that he would mind the waking. But he felt the same purpose to this mission of his that he was used to feeling in dreams, and he was going to see it through. Aron sat down at the table Didrik still occupied. Of course, he had been thinking about what he would say since he’d caught that glimpse, but now that the time had come for the saying, his power to speak had left him. He couldn’t imagine it was much easier for Didrik, as he was confronted by an unknown man in a uniform that looked like a costume version of his own. :: :: From the corner of his eye, Didrik could see the man's approach, but paid him no mind until he pulled the chair from beneath the table and sat himself opposite. Didrik raised his head from the PADD he was reading and immediately felt uncomfortable. This man, whoever he was, had a look about him that caught Didrik off guard. Nothing about his expression, his body language, indicated he was a stranger about to introduce himself, as Commander Rogers had done a short while before, and a half-dozen other crew members had done since his arrival in the Mess Hall. This was something different, someone different altogether. Man has yet to build the computer that can calculate more quickly than a human who's beginning to feel awkward in public. In the half-second that followed Didrik's initial glimpse of the visitor across from him, his mind leafed through its own memory files to find a face he might have encountered in his 28 years that matched the one before him now. It came up empty. In the next half-second, the years of Starfleet protocol and training he'd received kicked in, and connected several dots. This man was obviously Starfleet, and though he appeared to be a science officer, the uniform was unlike any he'd ever encountered. It was, for lack of a better word, cooler. Didrik unconsciously sat up straighter once he noticed the insignia of a lieutenant commander, and felt compelled to break the silence before another second passed. :: Stennes: Can I help you, sir? :: Architect, how could he answer that? Aron took the high road of the unoccupied seat and said nothing until the table was safely between them. :: Kells: You are Didrik Stennes, aren’t you? :: An answer formed on Didrik's tongue, but he stopped before he spoke. Commander Rogers certainly wasn't kidding when he said the Drake provided plenty of opportunities for her small crew to interact, but the mysterious lieutenant commander's tone resonated as something different from small talk, something Didrik was helpless to place a label on. He felt like a child in a roomful of adults, all laughing at joke he doesn't understand. Didrik wanted in on the joke, but ego won out over curiosity, and he fired off a quick deadpan reply. :: Stennes: Don't tell me I've already got a reputation on this ship. I swear, you nearly shred one shuttlecraft into tritanium confetti, and almost kill five people in your first day on the job, and suddenly everyone thinks you're some kind of loose cannon. Kells: Do you know who I am, Ensign? :: Why off Earth had he decided to take that tack? He had no reason to start by intimidating Didrik, and certainly he didn’t want to include rank and order between them. Unless he did? He wanted to shake his head: Nothing he had ever experienced or trained for told him anything about this situation. :: Stennes: No, commander, I don't believe I've had the pleasure just yet; I've only been aboard a short time. You certainly seem to know me, though, and frankly, I'm curious as to how. I doubt copies of my senior honors thesis are floating around the quadrant like the latest bestselling holo-novel. Kells: I’m Aron Kells. Drake’s chief of science … or at least I will be in five years. :: Didrik wasn't sure what to make of Aron's introduction. Most people didn't dive right into career ambitions and future plans as an icebreaker. Everything he'd learned in Starfleet exopsych classes, however, taught him to be open and accepting of others' cultural quirks. It just went to show that sometimes, there were none stranger than human beings themselves. :: For his part, Didrik opted to tread more carefully from this point forward, and his words now carried the tone of someone talking to a senile relative: half-mollifying, half-patronizing. :: Stennes: Mm-hmm. Well, it's certainly nice to have goals. I myself hope to have some tactical and command experience in five years' time. :: Awkward pause. :: Well, if you'll excuse me, I have to be going. :: Didrik started to stand, but his departure was interrupted when Aron beat him to it. Aron put his hand on Didrik’s shoulder, with a not-unkind pressure that suggested it would behoove him to stick around. Aron only had his few inches on Didrik, but he knew - he remembered - that they were enough to make him uncomfortable. And Aron needed him to feel a slight discomfort. :: Kells: It’s not a goal. (beat) Shall I tell you about the love of the outdoors you grew into, thanks to that trip to the Galena Highlands on Tellar - or hiking the L-langon Mountains? Or when you were nine and you decided to write your own newspaper, and fixed it so that it would display on every computer in the house, including the replicator. All Hera wanted was breakfast, and she got instead an uninterrupted flow of household information. She still remembers. (beat) As do I. As I said, it’s not a goal. Stennes: ::Sitting back down:: Okay, I’m listening. :: Aron took no breaths, but said it all in a rush. :: Kells: I’m from the future. That will become common knowledge soon enough. Not far in the future, all right, but far enough that I know the next decade of the lives of the people on this ship. (beat) Including us. You and I. Stennes: You and I? :: A memory flashed past. He was 24, and had just arrived on Bajor after withdrawing from the Academy, two years of recent Bajoran language study under his belt. While riding the overland transport to Rakantha Province, he deactivated his universal translator amidst the chatter of the other passengers, and realized how little of the language he could truly comprehend. He caught the words, but he was incapable of stringing them together to create meaning. :: That was how Didrik felt right now, but he wouldn't have the good fortune to be ignorant for long. Already, he felt himself being pulled in by the gravity of Aron's words, and like an old Earth photograph that had been thrown into developing fluid, a clear image was forming. Stennes: You and I. You and I. You mean, we were… (( Long beat, almost too long. )) Why are you telling me this? I don't think this is something I'm supposed to hear. Kells: (beat) Do you have regrets? Stennes: What does that have to do with anything? Besides, if what you're saying is true, I'm sure you've had plenty of chances to hear them already. :: Didrik's normally patient façade was beginning to show the slightest of cracks. Completely unprepared to know what he now knew, he felt a childish urge to level the playing field by lashing out, or by closing off completely. The funny thing was, as much as Didrik didn't want to believe it, it looked as though Aron was reading his expression, and understood what was going through Didrik's mind. :: Kells: I have heard them, yes, but I want you to tell me anyway. Stennes: I don't know if I'm ready to discuss that with you. You may have had a decade to get to know me, but on Stardate Today, we’re strangers. :: When used like weapons, words can inflict more damage than phasers, and in his immature bewilderment, Didrik hoped his last sentence carried the sting he intended. Aron continued nonetheless. :: Kells: Well, here are my regrets: That because of my own curiosity, I killed seven people during the Drake’s mission to the Ring … and that I lost the man to whom I wanted to give my life to, because of my inability to express that desire. Wait. I’ve corrected the first - Dantin, Sullivan, Hya, they survived. But the second... The logical thing would be to get to know you again. See what happens. (beat) I am a weak man. I can’t look at you and compartmentalize. So call it another weakness, but I had to tell you. :: Didrik finished off the last milliliters of not-quite-ice-water left in his glass. :: Stennes: And what am I supposed to do with this information? What were you hoping would happen? You might be relieved to have gotten everything off your chest, but I've just had the rug pulled out from under me. :: Aron shoved the hair behind his ears - a nervous tic that he had only learned he had when Didrik had pointed out. Or would point out. If he hadn’t screwed about with that, too. :: Kells: As I had, in coming here. Coming back here - to your time. Stennes: I… really need to go now. Kells: Fine. That’s fine. I just want you to, all right, think about it. Okay? :: But how could Didrik possibly answer a question that wasn’t a question at all? Aron felt the desire to reach out for his hand, but restrained it: He’d shown enough already. :: ==================== TBC! Lieutenant Commander Aron Kells Chief Science Officer & Ensign Didrik Stennes Helm Officer USS Drake
  9. (( OOC: This will be a bit of a back post. Gotta get Ren to the station! I warn you I tend to get a bit wordy when fleshing out a new character. This won’t impact the story line much, if at all. )) ((USS Firefox)) :: Ren took the final swig of his coffee and turned his attention back to the PADD that he had brought with him to the Firefox’s forward lounge. He debated heading back to his temporary quarters and decided against it. Instead he got the bartenders attention with a slight wave of his hand:: Ren: Lilly, I’ll take another coffee when you have a minute please Lilly: You got it babe. :: Lilly came over, poured him a fresh cup of coffee and smiled at him:: You got it all figured out yet? :: Ren had gotten to know Lilly pretty well over the past week that he’d been on the Firefox. Since he was a civilian being transported to DS17, where the Firefox was heading for some refit work anyways, he had had plenty of free time on his hands. Lilly, a very spunky and attractive young woman had caught his attention on his first day and he decided it was far better to spend some time chatting with her than just holed up in his quarters. Her question revolved around a discussion on the tenuous relationship between three factions in the Ithassa Region and the sociological causes behind their tensions. Or at least that’s what Ren was talking about. He was pretty sure Lilly was just being polite and trying to seem interested in the theoretical banter that he was engaged in:: Ren:: Lilly, you never really figure these kinds of things out. The best you can hope for is to arrive at some semblance of a hypothesis that might assist in resolving the conflict. Lilly: Hmmm.. sounds like a overly educated guess to me Ren: ::nodding his head:: that’s probably as good of an explanation as any I suppose. :: One of the other patrons got Lilly’s attention and off she went to take care of their drink order. In another time and place Ren could see himself and Lilly becoming friends, perhaps even something more, but he was due to arrive at DS17 in less than 24 hours and life at that point would get quite interesting, and very busy, to say the least:: :: He took his coffee and walked to the other side of the lounge to a table that gave him a great view of the stars outside the window. As he stood on the precipice of a new chapter in his life he couldn’t help but look back over the past seven years. It was hard to believe that just seven years ago he was a green cadet entering Star Fleet Academy. He and his twin sister Rai had both been accepted and gone through the Academy together. Not surprisingly she was the much better student early on, whereas Ren tended to be more of the social butterfly. It wasn’t until his last two years in the Academy that Ren really buckled down and applied himself to his studies, no doubt because of the fascination he developed with a new course of study for him, Psychology. Little did he know then that this “fascination” would turn into a full fledged occupation, and some would say obsession, before it was all said and done:: :: After graduation Rai, like 99% of the newly commissioned officers, went off to her first duty station, the USS Trident. Ren on the other hand got an opportunity to further his education and enrolled in the Doctorate of Social Psychology program at Cambridge University. The three years had absolutely flown by, largely due to the utter enjoyment Ren received from the studies, clinical trials, and counseling sessions that he first assisted with and later conducted under the supervision of Dr. Allison Tempest, one of the foremost experts in the Social Psychology field:: :: After graduating with his doctorate degree Ren contacted Starfleet Command. When he was given permission to attend Cambridge it had been with the considerable condition that upon completing the program he would fulfill his enlistment commitment. By now the thought of spending five years “in service” did not appeal to him in anyway. He had nothing but respect for Starfleet, but he no longer had the desire to pursue a career in it. But, he had given his word and technically SFC had a written agreement with him, so he would just have to accept whatever orders he was given and make the best of it. Surely it would be in the counseling field, so at least that would be rewarding:: :: His thoughts were interrupted when Lilly came by the table to check on him :: Lilly: Can I get you anything Doc? Ren: No thanks Lilly. I’m doing alright. Lilly: ::glancing down at his cup:: You haven’t even touched that cup of coffee I see. Ren: :smiling: No, I guess not. I got a bit preoccupied with the past I suppose. Lilly: I understand. If you need anything just let me know. :: Ren took a gulp of coffee and watched as the lovely Lilly made her way back to the bar. Within moments his thoughts continued going over the events that led him to this point. Upon advising SFC that he had graduated and was ready for his first assignment he was called to visit SFC in person. That seemed a bit odd to him, but he did as he was ordered and arrived at SFC the next day. He was then escorted to see Vice Admiral Na’mer, who peppered him with several questions about exactly what a Social Psychologist did. He remember explaining it something like this:: Ren: Admiral, a Social Psychologist is a sub specialty of Sociology with an emphasis on social and cultural interactions of races, groups and individuals. In short I look at group or individual dynamics from a sociological perspective and attempt to identify barriers and obstacles that are in place and hopefully find ways to remedy those. Then by implementing psychological techniques I work with the key individuals in various settings in an effort to help them work through whatever issues have been identified. That’s a pretty simplistic answer, but that’s the general idea. :: Admiral Na’mer nodded approvingly and then proceeded to make Ren an offer he couldn’t refuse. SFC was prepared to release him from his enlistment commitment if he was willing to lend his growing expertise to them in the Ithassa Region. When Ren explained that he did not know very much about the Ithassa Region the Admiral nodding his head knowingly:: Na’Mer: That isn’t surprising Dr, not many people outside of Starfleet do. It’s a rather remote sector that we have just truly begun to explore. Here’s a real brief description. ::he handed Ren a PADD:: :: Ren read the overview: The Federation is not the only major power in the region. At least three previously known major powers are present in the region, in the form of the Gorn Hegemony, Tzenkethi Coalition and the Tholian Assembly. There have also been reports of the Breen, and the USS Ronin has encountered the Cardassian Empire. In addition to these major powers, there are several local powers as well. The Confederacy of Core Worlds, which include the Free Trade Union, as well as the One Kingdom are examples of these. In all, the area is a politically active region, and occasionally quite a controversial one.:: :: He was intrigued to say the least. He would be hard pressed to identify another sector of space that had this kind of diversity, potential controversy, and ample opportunity to practice his specialty. Within minutes he confirmed his interest. The Admiral drew up the appropriate orders designating him as a Civilian Consultant/Counselor and assigning him to the USS Tiger-A. In a discussion that took less than an hour Ren’s immediate future had been laid out, and he couldn’t have been happier:: :: During the past week he had immersed himself in everything he could get access to on the Ithassa Region. Although he was a civilian, due to the anticipated nature of his position he had been given adequate security clearance to access a plethora of information. The more he studied the more intrigued he became by the region itself, and the crew he would be serving with. He knew this was going to be an absolutely incredible experience.:: =/\= Bridge to Dr Kolar =/\= =/\= Go ahead Bridge =/\= =/\= Doctor, you have a incoming message from the USS Trident coming in that is classified as personal =/\= oO Ria! At last Oo :: He hadn’t been able to fill his twin sister in on the recent events yet and was looking forward to talking to her.:: =/\= Acknowledged. Please patch it to my quarters. I’ll be there in three minutes =/\= =/\= Understood Doctor =/\= :: He stood up, finished his coffee, smiled at Lilly and quickly made his way to his quarters:: (( OOC: more to come later but I figured you were probably tired of reading about Ren by now lol)) Dr Kolar Ren, PhD Civilian Consultant/Counselor USS Tiger-A
  10. ((Gray’s Quarters)) :: Gray finished shaving and looked at himself in the mirror. He was looking pale and slightly haggard. He hadn’t been too concerned at first but the passage of time had sharpened his fears and it was taking an increasing toll. :: :: If Davies didn’t come around soon he was sure he would go completely mad. He desperately needed to know if the man would remember the murder attempt. The questioning and suspicion originally aimed at him had died down and if he was lucky and Davies could remember nothing then perhaps a further attempt could be avoided. It would all depend on how much knowledge of that virus and murder attempt he retained. :: :: He dabbed his face dry, straightened his uniform and sighed as he made his way back to sickbay. He hoped that grouchy nurse wasn’t on duty. She made it perfectly clear his frequent drop ins should be halted and that “She would let him know about any changes.” As far as he was concerned he would just carry on popping in - just in case. :: (( Sickbay)) ::Looking down at his toes, Davies took a few deep breaths in preparation for standing up. He was finally feeling well enough to move around, and Jen had given him permission to wander around sickbay a bit to get some exercise. The hard part, however, was getting started.:: :: Gray walked into sickbay once more. He had become more familiar with these surroundings than his own quarters, which he didn’t spend much time in, from his many trips and visits. He looked around for someone to approach and sighed heavily... it was the grouchy nurse again. :: Gray: Good day, has there been any improvement? ::Donna McKay narrowed her eyes and huffed in annoyance. She knew, of course, to whom Gray referred...it seemed he’d been asking about him every day.:: McKay: Since the last time you asked? ::she glanced over at a wall chronometer then looked back at him with a frown:: Gray: Yes... ::Growing weary and adopting a slightly more aggressive posture.:: McKay: ::she sighed:: Well, you’re in luck ::She looked in the direction of Davies’ private room:: He has been cleared for visitors today. Wait here and I’ll see if he’s up to it. ::She sauntered off and disappeared into Davies’ room for a few minutes.:: Gray: Thank you. :: He paced around the room as he waited. :: ::Donna popped back out of the room and beckoned him over with a wave of her hand:: :: Gray entered the small room Davies had all to himself and found the man tentatively walking about. He shot the nurse a dirty look. He knew it would have been a mistake to allow her to “keep him posted.” Turning back to Davies he took in the man’s appearance trying to assess his condition. :: Gray: Hello mister Davies, good to see you up and about... how are you feeling? ::Davies rested his hand against the wall, leaning his weight against it. He managed a friendly smile and squinted a bit:: Davies: Mr. Gray. I’m doing better thanks. ::He looked to the nurse:: Trying to get out of here as quickly as I can. Gray: ::Smiling:: I’m sure it won’t be long now that you’re “up and about.” :: He stole a glance at the nurse, further hammering in his point.:: Perhaps since you’re mobile now the nurse will be kind enough to permit you a get out of jail free card. Perhaps we can go to the lounge or something. McKay: Absolutely not. ::Davies shot her a charming smile:: Davies: Oh come on, Donna. I know I’m not exactly dressed for the occasion... ::She shook her head at him and crossed her arms across her chest. She’d been taking care of him long enough to have learned his tricks - and while he was rather cute, this could get her into big trouble:: McKay: Malcolm will kill me. ::He shuffled over to her and put his arm around her shoulder:: Davies: Come on now. She’ll never find out. And what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. ::She sighed:: McKay: Be back in 20 minutes. ::Davies gave her a kiss on the top of her head and grinned at Gray:: Davies: C’mon let’s go before she changes her mind. Gray: You want to replicate and slip something else on before we escape? Could be a chill wind behind you... :: Turning to the grouch and giving her his most impressive and charming look. :: Gray: Clock doesn’t start until we get there right? You wouldn’t want me to have to give him a piggy back and you don’t want him to have to rush either... I’ll buzz you when we get there. :: Charming wink.:: McKay:: frowning again:: Don’t press your luck, Mr. Gray. ::she walked to a replicator, ordered up a robe for Davies and tossed it to him:: ((Lounge)) Gray: What would you like? Davies: ::easing into a chair:: Oh, nothing, I think. It’s just nice to be out of sickbay. Thanks for the jailbreak. Gray: You are very welcome. :: Gray groaned inwardly, by the looks of it he’d made a pretty good mess of the man but not nearly enough. He looked in much better shape than when he’d brought the injured man to sickbay with Jen. Much of the burnt skin had healed although some scarring remained. Even his eyebrows had started to come back and Gray hoped that would be all that was coming back.:: :: Sitting opposite and beginning his pre-made buttering-up campaign with the end goal of getting a handle on Davies memories. He figured that Davies wouldn’t want to talk about the accident or work right off. His colleagues would have already talked to him at length about things and right now he probably wanted to just feel normal. Gray could engage in small talk and be perfectly charming when he felt like it. :: Gray: So what do you like to do when you’re not studying diseases? ::Davies rubbed his eyebrows. It was becoming a habit - the row of spiky new hairs felt so strange:: Davies: Ah, well, when I’m home I like boating, but I while away my lonely hours here deciding which female crew member is the loveliest. Gray: ::Chuckling:: Are you kidding? Davies:: Oh, come on. You must’ve seen one or two ladies that caught you’re eye. :: Davies gave a raspy chuckle that dissolved into a cough.:: Davies: ::clearing his throat:: Sorry, throat’s still a little rough. Gray: Don’t worry about it. ::Smiling broadly:: Come on then who has caught your eye then? Davies: Oh goodness, there are so many. ::He smiled:: Gray: ::Smiling and nodding:: I try not to trouble myself over these matters.... ::Pause:: I’ve devoted my entire life to study and science. I have 2 masters degrees and have contributed to a great many ground-breaking projects in my area of expertise. We have a young crew. While I am hardly old I feel my youth has left me. I’ve long ago resigned to the fact that my choices lead me down a solitary path, so I don’t trouble myself... Davies: Oh, please. Anyway, I’m not talking marriage here or anything - I’m just talking a bit of fun. Gray: Very well, I’ll bite. I had the good fortune to be invited to a BBQ during shore leave and a good number of the crew were there. I did find myself attracted to Lt Tali and Lt Sylkar tends to catch my eye. ::Davies sighed. He barely remembered what he’d done over shore leave. He recalled going to his mother’s house but how he’d filled the time there was a bit of a blur. Since that train of thought was less than fruitful he let his mind’s eye drift to the image of Lt. Tali:: Davies: Yes, Tali is a fine choice. Unattached, too, I think. Nurse DeCosta is pretty easy on the eyes and I suspect Miss Blackwood keeps injuring herself just to see me. ::He gave an ironic grin:: Gray: ::Laughing:: Yeah obviously that’s the reason. It couldn’t be that she is a blundering, incompetent fool now could it? I like your reasoning better, we’ll stick with that. ::Davies laughed and had to clear his throat again:: Davies: Hey, maybe blundering incompetent fools are just my type. Gray: ::Laughing so hard he had to wipe away a tear from his eye.:: Whatever you say. Davies: I’m going to help you out with the ladies, Gray. Since I owe you one. I’m blurry on the details but Jen told me you are a big reason I’m sitting here. Gray: Blurry on the details? :: He leaned forward slightly, leaning on arms folded on top of the table. :: Davies: Well, more like totally blank. Jen keeps giving me little details to jog my memory, but I haven’t had any luck. Gray: ::Leaning back in the seat, quietly considering it.:: Hmm ::Davies was aware that Gray had aided in saving his life. Gray hoped he wouldn’t ask him about what happened.:: Davies: ::shrugging:: It’s not that uncommon. They call it post- traumatic memory loss. ::looking down at a reddened patch of skin on his hand:: I’m happy enough not remembering it, anyway. Gray: oOThat makes two happy campers then, but I’ll have to keep watch in case that memory returns.Oo Well, I guess I can’t blame you for that. Davies: But believe me, when you see the women I’m going to bring your way, you’re going to be very glad you saved my life. Gray: ::Skeptical:: Mhmm? We’ll see I guess. ::Pause:: Well, I suppose that’s about time to go back. ::Davies nodded and scooted to the edge of his chair. He held his arm out and gave Gray a winning smile:: Davies: Lend a hand, would you please? Gray: ::Grinning and going to give him a hand:: Ha! Like you need it. ::Winking:: You’re a first class chancer. I know your game. ::Chris grabbed the outstretched hand and and pulled himself up:: Davies: What’s my game? Gray: ::Nodding towards a table of ladies.:: You just want to look feeble in front of the ladies so they come visit you in sickbay and pamper you. ::Wide grin.:: ::Davies smiled and from the corner of his eye noted the motherly-type sympathetic looks he had earned by his performance - though it had been a necessary one:: Davies: Works, though, doesn’t it? Gray: I don’t know about that old chum. They will be too busy visiting chivalrous me instead. ::Small chuckle:: Davies: Well, may the best man win. ::He winked:: Gray: ::Puffing out his chest a little:: Indeed. ::Winking back.:: :: As Gray escorted Davies back to sickbay he reflected. He’d found out what he wanted to, and it was good news. The strange part was that he hadn’t expected he would enjoy Davies company so much. He pushed that aside, he was the best man, he wasn’t here to make friends, he was here to pursue his own research goals. It was an interesting idea, though... cultivating relationships. Getting to know people better would no doubt give him better access to unwitting guinea pigs for his experiments. :: (PNPC) Ensign Gray Science Officer USS Avandar Simmed by Blackwood and (PNPC) Ensign Christopher Davies Medical Officer USS Avandar Simmed by Malcolm
  11. ((Medical Bay, Private Room - Embassy)) Yael: Until tomorrow. ::nodding, but not leaving his seat even as they prepared their departures.:: ::T'Vei stood, but let the Captain leave first, standing next to the table. After the Captain left, she turned towards Yael and spoke quietly.:: T'Vei: I just wanted to speak to you in confidentiality for a moment. Yael: ::purple eyes shifting up to her:: Was there something else? :: This was said with an air of doom, though of course he wasn't harsh with T'Vei at all personally. :: T'Vei: I don't have any specific concerns. I simply wanted to advise you against speaking to anybody outside of a legal confidence about these matters, at least for now. I'm not entirely convinced that you're free from prosecution, and that means anybody, even a friend, could be compelled to testify on something that you say, perhaps offhandedly, and could harm you. Yael: Captain Turner. ::he glanced downward again:: I trust her, Ensign. T'Vei: I understand. It's not a matter of trust, but a system that can be used to hurt you. :: And with his imagination running hot on the ill possibilities, he could imagine that happening rather swiftly. :: Yael: That is true... ::he nodded lightly, looking back up at her.:: You're probably right. I'll be cautious who I speak to. T'Vei: ::nodding an understanding:: Finally, I want you to know you can contact me at anytime and I'll advise as best I can. Of course, choosing whether or not to help in the prosecution's case is a personal decision: the law forces you to do nothing, but your own ethical code may force you to act. ::she looked up as she said that:: If you'd like help with that, any confidence you have with Lieutenant Herrera *is* protected by law, as I'm sure you're aware. :: It took a moment to process that. Word certainly got around fast, didn't it. :: Yael: I understand. Thank you for reminding me. T'Vei: Of course, Lieutenant. If anyone else comes up, do not hesitate to contact me. ::T'Vei gave a curt nod and turned to leave Lieutenant Yael to his thoughts. She could sense the turmoil inside of him, but knew she was of little use in helping with that.:: :: His legal counsel, Ensign T'Vei, and Captain Turner having left him alone in the private medical room, Ashley began to consider his decision. He found himself sitting exactly where he had been sitting when they had been there, unable to move, his thoughts chaotic. It was some time before he stood, going to the door. The guard outside his door glanced his way, but he didn't meet that gaze as he cued the door... shutting the room off from the corridor, and hopefully any more visiters he might have. :: :: The night was a long one. He lay awake, staring at the ceiling. Staring at nothing. Thinking, Considering. In one moment, he would be certain he'd come to the right answer. In the next, he would be plagued with doubt. Within a third moment, his decision was firmly made, the opposite as the one he'd made two moments before, only to be plagued with further doubts. His confidence eaten away, he slept fitfully. :: :: By morning... early morning, when he found himself unable to sleep at all, the suns barely peeking over the horizon... he rose only to pace, his door shut to the world outside. His stomach turned more than once as he lost time, failing to make a choice. :: :: The suns slipped further upward. :: :: By seven in the morning he had been awake for hours already. He'd promised an answer in short time for Ensign T'Vei and Captain Turner, and he had nothing but a short fuse from a lack of sleep. :: :: Standing by the bio-bed, he wrestled with another decision altogether before tapping his comm. badge. :: Yael: =/\= Lt. Yael to Lt. Herrera. Lieutenant... I hope I didn't wake you. =/\= ::Diego was anything but a morning person. Rolling over under bundled sheets, he flailed out one arm to slap the comm-badge that had been placed on his bedside table for just such a call. He blinked his eyes half open, and instantly regretted it as the light from the twin suns dazzled his eyes before they could complete their journey to full functionality.:: Herrera: =/\= There's a small chance that you did, but it's fine. I needed to get up anyway. =/\= ::He heaved himself up into a seated position:: =/\= What can I do for you? =/\= :: The man was going to make him ask, wasn't he. :: Yael: =/\= I was thinking we might be able to... talk. =/\= :: Those few loaded words should have been indication enough something was wrong. :: ::The tone of Ashley's voice alone was enough to send Diego a little faster down the path to being fully awake. The day before, he'd had moments where it looked like he was trying to stop himself from being hostile, and now he was asking to talk to a counsellor?:: Herrera: =/\= Of course. Give me a few minutes. I'll be over as quickly as I can. =/\= ::Reaching for his uniform undershirt as he kicked his legs over the side of the bed, the spaniard hurried to get suited and booted to find out how he could help.:: ::Ashley waited, though rarely staying in one place for more than a few minutes. He found himself near the window, arms crossed over his ribs, stomach about to turn for the third time of the morning. He had no idea what to do. Every forward thinking, rational part of him screamed it would be worth every risk, but every defensive instinct in him clawed him back behind the decisive line he'd been straddling through the night. The tug of war had left him bitter and brittle. :: :: The sound of the door, even though he'd expected it, was a bit of a surprise. He turned toward it, eyes flashing... his mask was gone. The perpetual smile, gone. Conflict glazed his expression, before he turned away and looked back out the window. :: Yael: Lieutenant Herrera. ::correcting himself, but not looking at the man:: Diego. ::There were times in Diego's career where he didn't need to draw on his counselling expertise to judge what was happening in the mind of one of his patients. It was plain that something was eating at Ashley, and given the number of unpleasant things that could be, it was important to do whatever he could to try to put him at ease as quickly as possible.:: Herrera: Ashley. What's up? What's on your mind? Yael: I am... having difficulty coming to a decision. Something rather important. ::Diego took up his spot against the wall near the door again, hands in pockets.:: Herrera: Maybe I can help? What do you need to decide? Yael: The Captain and my legal counsel are expecting to hear from me soon, and I have nothing to tell them. ::Legal counsel? Of course. He should have figured that something would have been set into motion. Had that not been his own first reaction when he'd heard what had happened?:: Herrera: You're going to need to help me here, Ashley. What do they want to know? :: Finally turning away from the window and facing Diego, he almost regretted calling the man. Now he was forced to verbalize the issue that had kept him awake the entire night, and he still wasn't happy about being counseled in the first place. He was the Master of Internal Conflict. :: Yael: The Laudean who... attacked me. He's currently in a Laudean jail. The prosecuter working the case against him has sent word that he will likely be released... unless we release to him enough information to solidify the worst of the charges and lead to an actual trial. We are not required to release anything... but if we don't... Herrera: ...then he walks free. Yael: His release is not something I find... comforting. To say nothing of the damage he will continue to do to others if he is free. But... if we do release the information, it will be freely shared with the defense as well. Meaning we can look forward to a very... public... court battle. One which will likely require my direct testimony, as well as that of my doctor, and possibly other crew members as well. ::So in effect, Ashley Yael was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. He could either bare the details of what had happened to him for all of Duronis II to see, and relive what had happened to him in an extremely public environment, or take the chance to recover privately, in which case it seemed to be a guarantee that he'd be living in fear of a repeat attack for a long time to come. The hands came out of the pockets and he folded his arms.:: Herrera: I can see why you're having difficulty making up your mind. Legal systems can be good at dishing out punishments to those who deserve it, but they don't always consider what damage they do along the way. ::That didn't go any way towards helping him answer his question, and so he offered the best advice he could.:: Herrera: In the long term, it might be more difficult for you to come to terms with everything if this guy is free. I think that's how we need to think. I don't need to tell you that having to testify or even witness his trial is going to be difficult for you, but I do want you to know that, however you might feel at the moment, I'm here to make sure you're alright. I can support you through anything you need to do, any statements you need to give and the difficult times that you're facing, and I'm pretty sure I can insist on being present for any part of the proceedings that you're involved in on medical grounds. You wouldn't have to do this alone. ::Diego had no idea how much that would count for in Ashley's mind. He was a stranger, and despite having been called here to discuss this issue, it was still too early to tell how comfortable Ashley was going to be with having him around.:: Yael: That's... very kind of you. ::a bit unsure how to accept the support from a near total stranger:: I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask what you think might be the best course? Herrera: I can't make the decision for you, but my gut says that you're going to need some form of closure on this. The fact that you went through what you did was bad enough, without you having to live with it hanging over your head if the guy who did it goes free. He took something away from you. Maybe this is your chance to stand up to him? ::It wasn't as simple as settling a score, but invariably in such cases there was a layer of anger sitting somewhere in the complicated mess of resultant emotions. That could lead down all sorts of dark paths, but channelling it into pursuing a just sentence for his aggressor was a very positive and structured way of releasing it.:: :: Ashley thought on this a moment, Diego's last words resonating with him. He recalled those words in his own voice in a different time... before he had left his home on Denobula that final time. The easy dismissal from his father, and the silence, the utter lack of communication once Ashley was out of sight. Clearly out of mind. :: Yael: You've reminded me of a moment I had with my father, actually... :: Though in a completely different context, it had been a harsh time for him. His lack of regret, and being reminded of it now... was it enough to make the decision? :: Herrera: I have? ::He hadn't expected this to call up memories from Yael's past, but he was happy to see where this path took them.:: What happened? Yael: He was displeased with my lack of contribution to the family. We had words, and haven't spoken since... thats been ten years. But I haven't regretted taking that last moment to speak my peace, however unpleasant it was to do at the time. :: It was probably the most productive thought he'd had all night, recalling the moment he'd finally stood up to the man. It was literally with bag in hand and heading out the door from his childhood home. But he was speaking now out of distraction. If he had slept well and not been facing a huge decision, he would have never brought up his father. Never. Perhaps sleep deprivation was Diego's friend in this regard. :: Herrera: And he hasn't contacted you since? Can he really be that bent out of shape after all this time? ::He was feigning ignorance. This undoubtedly had something to do with Ashley's Theoron's disease, which would be passed down through generations. Ironically, Theoron's had to come from somewhere, and it wasn't entirely impossible that it was his father's fault that Ashley had that particular affliction.:: Yael: Denobulan families are massive compared to Terrans. I can't chance having children. Their children being a genetic dead end is not something any Denobulan parent desires. Herrera: Maybe not, but having grandchildren isn't the most important thing about family, not even for Denobulans. It's the bonds between family members that really matters. Without that, you're not a family. Yael: ::as if he knew that quite well:: That is true. Herrera: So what did you say to him? TBC... Lieutenant Diego Herrera Counsellor Federation Embassy Duronis II USS Thunder NCC-70605 & Lt Ashley Deneve Yael Head Counselor Embassy Duronis II USS Thunder NCC - 70605
  12. Guest

    Round 1 (Round 01) Blake & Sullivan "I just KNEW it!"

    ((Strategic Ops – Security Office (Mercury))) Computer: Incoming transmission from the USS Drake. ::Sky looked up from the PADD she was writing on – her report to her officers about the “merge” with the Marines; the same report that none of them would be happy to hear or read. She obviously saw nothing but the bulkhead in front of her. Considering the most recent fight she had with Major Fanel about which department was more capable than the other (both losing due to Parker’s ability to shut them up, but Sky swore to Fanel that it wasn’t over and that *he* was the one who started it. Blake: Computer, identify; from *who*? ::To be quite honest, she was terrified of any transmissions coming from the Drake. Mainly because a; one of the most known Security Chiefs in history is onboard the Drake and b; Renae Sullivan, who was her roommate and linguistic tutor in the Academy, had been frequently calling her these past few days. The reason why Sky never answered them was simple; she already outranked Renae, when Renae left the Academy first.:: Computer: Ensign Renae Sullivan. ::Today was no different from the rest when Renae called. But today, Sky was caught in the Security Office, which branched off from the Strategic Operations Office. Not to mention that it was likely someone would pick up on the fact that Sky had a lot of missed transmissions from the Drake – if worse came to worst, Renae would have the guts to speak to Parker, who would than criticise Sky for ignoring her friends. ::So, with a reluctant sigh, Sky moved her PADD away, and accepted the transmission.:: ((Sullivan’s Quarters – USS Drake)) ::Renae huffed, annoyed at what could possibly take so long for Sky to accept the transmission. She had declined several others from her for the past few days. But when the screen finally flicked on to show Sky in a sling, Renae raised an eyebrow and grinned somewhat.:: Sullivan: =/\= Life just never treats you well, now does it? =/\= ::Sky glared.:: Blake: =/\= Just because *you’re* unscratched from service. All of the previous ships I’ve served on have taken more than a hell of a beating. =/\= ::Renae smirked.:: Sullivan: =/\= I can imagine. They all had *you* on them. =/\= Blake: =/\= Oh, you’re *so* funny. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= But it’s true. =/\= Blake: =/\= You can drop it now. =/\= ::Renae laughed and sat down, examining the Sky on the screen. Aside from the sling, there was something different. And it wasn’t just her hair. She finally looked at her collar.:: ::It had been a while since Sky had been on the receiving end of Renae’s anger. It was usually the opposite – Sky hell-bent on trying to kill Renae because Renae achieved something that Sky wanted – although, there was those few times of which Renae almost killed her. This time was no different, except, the two different ships they were serving on were Noree knows Blake: oO Wait for it . . . Oo Sullivan: =/\= You son of a *b^^^^*! =/\= Blake: oO There you go. Oo =/\= I believe the correct phrase would be “You daughter of a Demon”. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= This is *nothing* to do with you gods-forsaken heritage. May Ulivia *[...]* you! =/\= ::It was also rare that Sky was on the receiving end of Renae’s curse to Ulivia. Although her mother was Borg, which made the curse worth it’s while, it was unlikely that Ulivia would find Sky on the Mercury, which was fairly close to Cardassian space and at the Menthar Corridor.:: Blake: =/\= Okay, time to calm down before you run out of curses. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= The worst part is that I *knew* it. I *just* *KNEW* it! *THIS* is why you refuse to talk to me! And why are *you*, *you* of all people, promoted to Lieutenant! *I* was the first to leave the Academy, not you. =/\= Blake: =/\= Reen, that’s not how these things work. I know you’re [...]ed off, but . . . . I honestly don’t know how to explain myself to you. =/\= ::Renae almost glared a hole into the viewer. She was a lot more than just “[...]ed Off”.:: Sullivan: =/\= How about you *try*. How did you *first* get promoted? =/\= Blake: =/\= *That* is a long story of which I don’t want to talk about. =/\= ::There was a short pause.:: Sullivan: =/\= You slept with your Captain, didn’t you? =/\= Blake: =/\= *What*? *Noree* no! My Captain at the time was an Andorian that was *married* and had three children! What *are* you? *Nuts*!? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= *Maybe*, but *I’m* not the one who’s facing my questions. =/\= ::Sky groaned, desperate for a change of topic. Her promotion from Ensign to Ell-Tee-Jay-Gee was a story she didn’t not was to tell right now, especially since it included losing someone that she . . . well . . . *loved*.:: Blake: =/\= Tell me about your day. =/\= ::She snapped, supposing that that was the best topic to cover right now.:: Sullivan: =/\= Annoying; accidently brought someone back from the future, killed some fungus that killed one of our nurses and almost our Chief Medical Officer. Yours? =/\= Blake: =/\= Difficult. Had an argument with the Chief of Marines. First Officer came in and pretty much knocked our heads together. Anything you want to talk about? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= Not particularly. You? =/\= Blake: =/\= Slept with Ozera, but it’s not much of a big deal. =/\= ::Renae almost spoke, until she remembered who Ozera was. He was the guy she slung up in a tree.:: Sullivan: =/\= The *Diplomatic* Officer? Who are you and what have you done with Skyleena Blake?! =/\= ::Sky winced at the sound of her full name.:: Blake: =/\= He was posted as a Diplomat, but than trained as a Marine. Came onboard the Ronin as a Marine-slash-Intelligence officer. He jumped ship for some mission that’s classified. He’s been reposed to the Mercury as an Intelligence officer. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= So he’s buffed up somewhat, right? =/\= Blake: =/\= Pretty much. ::She paused.:: Why have you been trying to call me? =/\= ::Oh Ulivia. Where to start?:: Sullivan: =/\= I found my dad. =/\= Blake: =/\= What? I think you just said “I found my dad that died in a shuttle accident”? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= No. He never died. He was the missing body. =/\= Blake: =/\= But *how*? No one could have survived that crash. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= He keeps saying that he knows what it’s like to be pulled out of your own time and put sometime else. He never explains. It’s just one of those things that he won’t talk about. =/\= Blake:::She sighed.:: =/\= Do you want me to look into it? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= You *can’t*. You’re not a department head and therefore you can’t access the information StarFleet has on it. =/\= oO Right. She still doesn’t know. Oo ::Sky bit her lip.:: Blake: =/\= That’s not entirely *true*. =/\= ::She waited for the next outburst.:: Sullivan: =/\= You are f^^^^^^ kidding me! First promotions till you’re a full Lieutenant and then you’re given a department!? =/\= Blake: =/\= If I told you it wasn’t my fault, would you believe me? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= *NO*! =/\= ::Sky sighed, thinking that she should just send a channel link to Tallis or Parker and let *them* explain why she was put as Chief of Security. But then again, she was already in the bad-books with Parker, and Tallis was probably busy trying to steal the Helm from Goi due to not being able to test it out last night. ((OOC: This was meant to be somewhat as a joke. If it’s not funny, please shrug it off – Deliera)) ::Sky still thought that it was punishment – she was unable to cause as many problems in a Head position than she was as an actual subordinate, and she kind of missed having her arguments with Tallis. Parker didn’t particularly matter, as she was still having regular yelling matches with him – the even better thing was that Tallis didn’t know and didn’t *have* to know. At the moment, she had too much to do, and was unable to yell at one of her colleagues just because they annoyed her. ::Actually; she was running out of colleagues; the lack of actually being *in* the Security department meant that you knew everyone in there as one of your officers instead as one of your friends – the only person that defied this rule was Hannah Martinez, who seemed to be doing rather well when it came to integrating herself into the senior staff, even though she wasn’t a senior officer (not to mention being enlisted).:: Blake: =/\= I suppose you’re going to have to live with it. =/\= ::Renae glared at the viewer again.:: Sullivan: =/\= May Ulivia [...] you. =/\= Blake: =/\= You’ve said that twice. And if the reason you called was just to make your mother [...] me, it’s kind of wasting my time. I’m busy trying to destroy Marines just like their head is trying to destroy my Security officers. So unless you have any helpful tips in winning the “who’s the better department” war, please, go right ahead and say it. But like I said; I’m busy. =/\= ::Renae thought for a few minutes.:: Sullivan: =/\= Target practise with whatever weapons your officers can work with well. =/\= Blake: =/\= I’ve already thought of that. Fanel would break us like tooth picks. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= Who the hell is Fanel? =/\= Blake:::She sighed.:: =/\= Major Jacen Fanel is the Chief Marine Officer onboard the Mercury. Fanel and I have been ordered to collaborate by our First Officer, but as you’ve heard, this is unlikely. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= So it’s turned into a Security verses Marine war? =/\= Blake: =/\= Yep. =/\= ::There was a short pause.:: Sullivan: =/\= What do I do to get transferred over to *your* ship? =/\= Blake: =/\= No thank you. I’ll personally get Tallis to deny your request to come to the Mercury. While Lieutenant Reed might want you in the Tactical department, I don’t want you or your brother anywhere *near* my department. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= Fine. =/\= ::She groaned.:: Blake: =/\= Good. Now, I *have* to go and device this plan to slaughter the Marines. Talk to you next month? =/\= Sullivan: =/\= Sounds good. =/\= Blake: =/\= Okay. Be good. =/\= Sullivan: =/\= You too. =/\= Tbc . . . . Ensign Renae Sullivan Security/Tactical USS Drake & Lieutenant Skyleena Blake Chief of Security USS Mercury NCC-99812
  13. ((Sickbay)) ::Eerie entered the sickbay and the door snapped shut, he looked around, there were a few crewmembers there, the Dr. Malcolm was not there, but Eerie had been requested to come down there for a follow up on the almost drowning, he looked around and decided to stand by the bulkhead:: oO I will try to get out of here a soon as possible Oo ::Eerie stood by the wall, watching the medical staff go about their work, sickbay was something that Eerie avoided as much as possible, but orders were orders, not that he had anything against the medical staff, however Brikar would only normally go to doctors during life or death situations:: ::Though it was hard to miss the Brikar officer, Jen had done just that. She was several feet past him when she halted and turned around:: Malcolm: Eerie. I’m sorry. Believe it or not, I didn’t see you there. Something wrong? Eerie: No, Doctor, you requested I come down for a check up at some point. Malcolm: ::pinching the bridge of her nose:: Oh, yes...I did ask you to come for a follow-up. ::She smiled and was too embarrassed to admit she’d totally forgotten about it:: Thank you for coming. ::The Doctor motioned for the Brikar to come over to biobed two, he walked with purpose, hoping to get this over as soon as possible.:: Eerie : Yes, Doctor ::Approaching the BioBed:: Malcolm: Been feeling ok? Eeire : Fine, Doctor, no problems. Malcolm: I remember we had some trouble with your body temperature...::she pulled up his medical file and reviewed the notes she’d made from the incident. She’d put a flag on it for a follow up-due to the unorthodox method she and Barnes had used to raise Eerie’s temperature, namely firing phasers at him:: Malcolm: No lingering pains or stiffness? Anything like that? Eerie : I did the hand to hand combat training with Lt. Matthews, everything was fine. ::The biobed agreed with him. He was in perfect health:: Eerie :: Changing the topic away from him:: I hope things are fine with the Captain and Davies: Malcolm: They both are recovering. Nice of you to ask. oO(Eerie) Perhaps this would be an good time to ask her, she did save you lifeOo Eerie : Doctor, could I ask you something in private? ::Eerie’s voice was a bit lower:: Malcolm: ::she nodded:: Of course. Let’s go in my office. ((Chief Medical Officer’s office)) ::Jen took a set behind her desk and gestured to the other chair:: Malcolm : Have a seat. Eerie: I prefer to stand doctor, this will only take a few minutes ::there was a slight change in his voice, but it was still correct and formal:: oO(Eerie) Come on Eerie, ask herOo ::pause:: Eerie : I was wondering about personal relationships with a Bolian female. ::A surprised smile broke across Jen’s face but she was quick to swallow it down. Not exactly what she’d been expecting to hear:: Malcolm: What was it you were wondering about? Eerie: Well, doctor, it would be inter-species relationships, and is there anything that well,..... I needed be be concerned with medically, for either of us? oO(Eerie) Restating that won’t probably get you an answer, rockheadOo Malcolm: Well, you wouldn’t want to get a blood transfusion from a Bolian, but I’m guessing that’s not what you’re asking me about. ::She allowed herself to smile this time. She couldn’t help but feel she was about to give a talk on the birds and the bees.:: Eerie: Doctor, I well, I know how to do it, …... ::Jen smiled up in sympathy at the Brikar:: Malcolm: Are you worried about being intimate? Eerie : Well, I …...we haven’t yetttt...doctor:: stuttering, just a little, he stood straight up as if at attention: ::She stood up and rounded her desk. She felt much too small while seated and looking up at the large officer. She sat atop the desk and propped her feet on the chair Eerie would’ve been occupying had he chosen to sit:: Malcolm: The only thing that might be problematic is Bolian saliva is rather acidic and can be irritating to other species. Being Brikar, you might not have that problem. Your skin is pretty tough. Eerie: I am willing to risk it doctor. Malcolm: Well, think of the fun you can have finding out. ::She gave him a wide smile:: Eerie: Doctor, I was wondering if it would be possible, I mean it is possible, cross species breeding is normally not permitted, but …..... ::Jen listened as he spoke, but her mind couldn’t help but wander to the Bolian she was guessing that he referred to. She figured it had to be Peiy, but she wasn’t going to embarrass him by asking:: Eerie : I am something of an outcast, normally we breed in species, but since I have no family name I am not beholden to that stipulation, Doctor. ::Jen took a deep breath, giving herself an extra few seconds to think about her answer. Her mind was busy going over the logistics of a Bolian and Brikar conceiving and a baby:: Malcolm: That’s a rather tough one, Eerie. To be honest, I’m not sure I have an accurate answer for you. ::She wrapped her arms around her knees and linked her fingers together:: You’ve got two of the more highly incompatible species - for breeding, as-it-were. Bolian blood is one of the least compatible with other humanoid species and Brikar physiology might make carrying a baby full-term difficult. It would take oodles of medications to pull it off and that’s not saying it would be successful. ::Eerie paused for a minute, looked away and back at the doctor:: Eerie : I do not ask this lightly doctor, I just wanted to know, I am pr..prepared to ...I mean, I am a warrior, but I would accept responsibilities of course. ::There was a tad of nervousness in his formal tone:: Malcolm: Responsibilities? Eerie : No one is going to get hurt, I mean doctor :: Eerie thought of the instructional videos in school:: ::Jen flexed her fingers and tapped them against her knees:: Malcolm: Not to be nosy Eerie, but how long have you been in this relationship? Is this something the two of you have discussed? Eerie: It has not been formally talked about, but we are progressing in the relationship, and I would like to, and I get the feeling that she would, but I of course, will not force anything doctor, I am a gentleman. ::Eerie tried to maintain a straight face and almost succeeded :: ::At that moment, Jen thought she had gotten ahead of herself with all of the baby-talk.:: Malcolm: Here’s my suggestion, Eerie. Just take things slow, and make sure you two take time to communicate with each other. That’s going to absolutely important. ::She smiled:: Moments like that...intimate moments...are not the time to be shy. :: Eerie pondered the comments for a minute,:: oOGood advice, good to get someone else’s thoughts on relationships, makes good senseOo Eerie : Thank you Doctor, and I appreciate your comments, and the person is Ensign Peiy, and it is now public knowledge. Malcolm: I thought it might be her. You picked a nice girl, Eerie. Eerie: Thank you doctor, I think so my self , I am quite fonddd... of her . Malcolm: And she picked a nice guy. I’m glad you came to me with your questions. Please feel free to come back with any others. ::Eerie nodded and left the office, leaving quickly,, but he walked with a bit of a lightened step even for the 600 pound Brikarn officer :: JP Lt. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar & Lt. Eerie Tactical Officer USS Avandar
  14. (( Temporal Affairs )) KELLS: And yet I wonder: why now? The only part of my career I really regret, the only place where my actions carried mortal consequences for others. Why would I have come back to now? :: Aron's archetypes weren't worth much. The temporal affairs office in Geneva had windows on every wall but its north, and the agent in charge of Aron's case was a casually-dressed Betazoid, Vyrix. :: VYRIX: It is a good question, Aron. Why now? KELLS: I can only assume that it was the doing of that machine from the Ring. VYRIX: Yes, that was our hypothesis as well. Would you like to know what we found? KELLS: Very much so. VYRIX: So would we. The Ring is long-gone; the so-called consciousness that inhabited evidently has no wish to communicate with us; and its original construction date - or perhaps its original inhabitation of the planet - evidently happened so far in the past that our sensors cannot penetrate back far enough. KELLS: They can't? It must have only been a few thousand years. VYRIX: Maybe, and maybe not. In any event, time is not a river; Aron; if you insist on metaphors, it would be easier to visualize a gross of spiders weaving enormous webs - and we are the flies. KELLS: But you can see into my future. You can see 2396. VYRIX: That's easier. Yes, we can, and we can see how it's likely to change. There are no certainties, but things certainly have changed. KELLS: Like what? VYRIX: You, for one. You are 43 then, not 35. And your career - well, I won't tell you what's likely there. KELLS: Well, it's simple. Just send me back. I guess I've done what I came to do. VYRIX: Impossible. KELLS: Look, I know you have rules, but- VYRIX: No, I mean it is literally impossible: You returned and ensured that Dantin-Vex, Hya Reddem, Anna Harkin, Somak, Paul Chester, Vasily King, and Renae Sullivan were not killed; you made certain that Dr. Fay Cricket did not create the compound that would retard the growth of the bioweapon the Drake's logs call "the Fungus." KELLS: And isn't that good? VYRIX: There really isn't a good or a bad, Aron, not in my line of work. You did what you did and now we have to adapt. But in any event, the degree to which you participated in the present means that your future has effectively been annihilated. If we tried to return you to your time, you would die. Or, worse, you would return to void. KELLS: ...What does that mean? VYRIX: You would die without being dead. That's the easiest way to think about it. Purgatory, forever. KELLS: Oh. (beat) Oh. VYRIX: We will need to brief the Drake's command staff regarding your unique position, but I see no reason that you can't continue working for Starfleet. KELLS: If I still want to, you mean. VYRIX: Why wouldn't you want to? I've read your depositions. You are a 'fleeter, through and through, by your own admission. KELLS: I've just lost eight years of my life. I view a wasted day as unforgivable. How can I even begin to think about eight years? VYRIX: That's one way to think about it. But you can imagine it this way, too: you have gained eight years of knowledge and experience in one mission, while your shipmates only gained a few days' worth. KELLS: I suppose. VYRIX: Do you want my advice? KELLS: I don't know. Do I? VYRIX: You do. Make use of this odd happenstance. We'll continue looking into the Ring and its machines; I understand the Drake ejected the one you brought aboard, so maybe it's still floating around somewhere. That's our job. As for you, don't act as though your life is over. Go and live, son. KELLS: Were you a motivational speaker or something? VYRIX: I'm a Betazoid. I know what people want to hear. :: And she smiled. It was supposed to be warm, but he found it ... disquieting. :: TBC! Lieutenant Commander Aron Kells Chief Science Officer USS Drake
  15. ((Noosphere - Thracia 2)) ::The noise of all these new minds can be unbearable, like a collection of lost souls on one of those pilgrimages down below. One of the space-fairing vessels leaves and I slowly run my fingers across its inhabitants. The skin rubs up against one last mind. It's a strange mind, somewhat lonely, somewhat connected. There's a cold distance and a child-like curiosity inside and.... maybe I would have made this place home in another life. But the mind slowly disappears. There's a last glimmer as the space around it folds and I whisper into the newly-formed void.:: ::Remember.:: ((Bridge - USS Victory)) ::They were at warp now and Kevin felt calm and glad. He ran a finger over his console and something came to mind... something strange. He'd found it in his grandfather's journal one day, when he'd been sixteen. Unlike the other entries it didn't have a date. At some point in the man's life he'd experienced what was written, but Kevin couldn't be sure when.:: ::He'd known a superior at work, someone whom, Kevin gathered from the text, he'd regarded as a mentor. Over the years he'd borrowed styles, everything from the way the man walked to the way he talked. He'd learned an outlook on life, a hard-nosed skepticism toward any new idea, mixed with a child-like faith propped up by what seemed to be the flimsiest spirituality. His grandfather had become aggressive himself, not because he was certain of anything he might have said as he displayed that aggression but rather because he was certain it was a way of getting results, of looking strong and sure of himself.:: ::He'd spent years trying to live up to the man's reputation, trying to be like him. But then one day the man had been discharged -- they'd called it fired in the parlance of the day. He'd been too brazen in commenting on the "strategic direction" given by the new leadership. At that time Kevin's grandfather had been shocked, uncertain what would happen to him. He'd copied so many of his mentor's idiosyncrasies, stolen so many of his thoughts and ideas, that he was certain he would be next to go. He'd spent hours each night, crying and shivering alone in the darkness. Someone who seemed like he could move mountains, like he could destroy someone or raise him up in an instant, had been so quickly disposed of.:: ::Every time Kevin read that journal entry it seemed as though it could fit anywhere in the old man's books. Every time he thought he found the place it might fit he'd find two more begging for attention. Maybe it had happened in 2019, during one of those particularly interesting periods in the man's life when he'd been trying to explore new ways of approaching the world. Or maybe it had been 2011. That didn't seem likely compared with 2004. When Kevin considered the wording it seemed more likely to have been sometime around 2023, but that was only when he ignored the idioms used in the second paragraph.:: ::The entry had been typed, not written. The paper it was set on was a thicker cardboard sort of material. It hadn't needed to be treated the way the rest of the pages of the journal had. Not at first anyway.:: ::Of course the old man had ended the page with the usual litany of promises that he would soon commit suicide, that his life was over, that there was no way out of the grave he'd dug for himself by acting the way his former mentor had acted. The other side of the page had been blank, save for the usual blemishes that came with time. Sometimes while growing up Kevin would read that page and then the medical report from the day his grandfather had died. Heart failure. Sarah, the man's former wife, had signed as his next of kin. On the faded paper her signature had looked like a congregation of so many other flecks aimlessly wandering.:: ::Kevin even now could almost imagine the man's corpse lying there alone -- maybe slumped over his desk having died while writing one of the thousands of pages that were now missing from the journal. The room would have been silent when he'd died, save maybe for the breeze at the windows. If he'd looked out the window he might have seen the empty roads, the cars now almost all gone save for the few motorists rich enough to afford fuel. The rest of the building would have been silent as well. It would have been around 2 in the morning and the old man's ears would have still been ringing from the beat of so much electronic music an hour before. By then the text would have repeated itself, following the same grooves over and over again, as the mind which composed it slowly spun about one axis of obsession or another. He would die soon. He had no future. He was free. He was alone. He had his stories and the characters in them. He had an endless universe. He possessed boundless emptiness.:: ::Kevin sighed. He imagined the night his grandfather's daughter had been conceived, when the old man had been younger. Maybe he'd been thinking of his mentor. Maybe he'd not even met him yet. Maybe he'd been ashamed, believing he shouldn't be doing what he was then doing. He wondered if Sara had been happy to have a man such as him. He wondered if she had yet begun to notice the cracks, the way his mind would dwell on one thing for days, weeks even. Maybe she had. Maybe she hadn't cared. Maybe she'd thought the man's wild intellectual tangents charming, been taken in by the illusion of wit or of genius.:: ::Sometimes the old man frustrated Kevin from across the centuries, hiding the most important parts and showing only the shrill emotion of a child not getting his way. It seemed more often than not that the man had just wanted to scream. He hadn't ever had anything to say. He hadn't ever been a cogent person, just a body, a mind, and a haphazard arrangement that implied the two should exist together for the duration of his time on Earth. And then they'd parted ways, his mind scattered about like so many flecks on thousands of disintegrating pages.:: ::Kevin was glad. He imagined his identity holding fast like a mountain, refusing to be moved as the people came into his life and receded like waves, some taking a little of him with them, others adding to him, but never enough to truly compromise who he was. He was happy he was certain because that identity always remained.:: ::He remembered Karynn Ehlanii, who'd taught him not to be afraid to feel, and T'tala, who'd done much the same, understanding him in ways few others seemed able. There was a pang of sadness when he thought of T'tala. David Cody had taught him to be made of sterner stuff, not to depend so much on his superiors for guidance. Ralik had shown him that it was possible to make something radically old like capitalism current and useful in a world such as this. And all the while he'd been there, mingling with the crowd and always being himself. Taking part in the action while remaining distinct. And when the people had left and others had taken their place the sadness had been short-lived. Sometimes he'd cried, even felt a little guilty. But then it had passed.:: ::A clank roused him from his reverie. Had he been thinking about this for long enough to reach home? The docking clamps were grasping the Victory and he moved to power down the engines.:: Nicholotti: Keep the engines running. Don't shut her down quite yet. Breeman: ::Quietly:: Sir? Nicholotti: We might need her. ::He nodded, pursing his lips. He decided it would be best to remain on full alert.:: Breeman: Aye sir. ::By now the shield emitters had been reset to their normal parameters and he ordered the work crews to begin calibration diagnostics on the auxiliary engine systems for now.:: Nicholotti: Turn your stations over to your relief and head to the Hub for debriefing. ::He looked back up. Then down again, setting the warp systems on standby and automatic maintenance.:: Breeman: Understood. ((Moments Later - Turbolift)) ::Kevin stood watching the hulk of the starbase whooshing past as the lift rose to the command tower. He remembered the day he'd gotten rid of his grandfather's diary. It had been when he was twenty-three. The pages by then were beginning to tear again. ((Flashback - Ancaster, Earth)) The first thing to go into the fire was the typed story of the mentor. It curled a little and then just sat a while in the hot coals before finally bursting into flames. Sometimes Kevin recognized a word or a paragraph. A hole was rapidly forming in the middle of the phrase that had led him to believe the entry had been written in 2007. 2010, meanwhile, oozed a gentle flame like a candle, while 2011 began at first as a couple of twinkling ashes which soon tore a hole into the first word of the sentence until, word for word, it was gone.:: ::Kevin didn't want to see any more of it. He grabbed the first book of the old journal and tossed it on top of the burning page. There was a shower of sparks as the old man and his idol disappeared beneath the weight of so much more writing, the flames licking and consuming all of it in time.:: ::He blinked. Someone was approaching. He recognized the form of his mother.:: Jan: Kevin! ::He looked at her as she approached.:: Breeman: Heh... Surprised? ::Still feeling a bit guarded after the argument he'd had with her a month before about the merits of the old man's journal, he allowed a smile to form slowly across his face.:: Jan: Kevin.. I'm proud of you. You need to be yourself. Everyone you meet in life is going to have something to offer you. ::By now she was sitting on one of the logs that surrounded the fire.:: Jan: And you'll have something to offer everyone else. But nobody is worth... ::She gestured at a corner of the cardboard still left intact and sticking out from under the burning books:: ....that kind of worship. ::Kevin nodded slowly.:: ::For a long time she looked at him as he methodically tossed each subsequent book into the fire. A month ago he would have seen this as akin to suicide or patricide. But now there was something resigned, then peaceful, in his revolt against the dead. He looked back up at her after tossing in the last book. She looked as though she was about to say something.:: ((Present)) ::Clank:: ::The lift stopped and Kevin stepped out into the hub.:: Anyone: Response? Breeman: Good morning. Anyone: Response? TAGS/TBC Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman Chief Engineer Starbase 118
  16. (OOC- This sim ties in a few years after this sim.) (http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/sb118-ops/message/20401) (Flashback) (Mirror Universe, Mirror St Vitus' Dance) m-Lightfoot: Confirmed. We only have forty percent maneuverability. ::trying to decipher her scanners.:: Captain, it would appear that the lower right quadrant of the rift is rotating..... ::The Mirror St Vitus Dance plowed through the outskirts of the wormhole alongside the Tiger. In seconds, the rift closed behind them leaving behind nothing but the debris of the Independence and the attacking ships. All in all, nothing no bigger than a tin can lid could be found.....:: (Regular Universe) (Year 1959) (Atchafalaya Swamp, Central Louisiana, Planet Earth) Carl: Its a weird feeling tonight, Jay. ::he added as the truck bounced down the dirt road:: Don't really know where we are going. Jay: Great. ::steadying himself as the truck bounced violently:: We left the road hours ago. Should have turned back before the sun went down. Carl: Don't remind me. See if you can get in contact with base? ::Jay reached forward for the radio mounted on the dashboard:: Jay: This is unit two calling base. ::sound of garbled chatter:: Unit two to base, do you copy? ::annoyed:: Great. We must be out of range. ::The two explorers from Odyssey Petroleum were lost. Darkness pressed in against the truck from all sides as they plowed deeper and deeper in the swamp. Their destination? A remote area hidden deep within the Atchafalaya, where only days earlier geologists had marked as a possible source of oil and natural gas.:: Carl: ::struggling to steer:: You know my old man told us that haints are bad to stir on a night like this. Jay: ::annoyed:: Shut up. ::Jay looked out the passenger window as the darkness of the swamp seemed to press in further against them. Casually, he reached for his pack of Chesterfields. The flame from his lighter erected a ghostly reflection of his face in the truck's side window.:: Jay: ::looking up suddenly:: WATCH IT! ::Carl slammed on the brakes as the truck ran out of dirt road and straight into a tributary of the Atchafalaya River.Tree branches slammed both sides of the vehicle hard before it came to a splashing halt.:: Jay: GREAT! JUST GREAT! Carl: Don't get your dandruff up. Maybe we can back out. ::As Carl put it in reverse, the sound of the truck tire spinning echoed loudly through the surrounding vegetation like a giant mechanical insect.:: Carl: ::turning around and sighing:: Okay. ::Opening the door carefully, the two men stepped down into knee deep water. Carl clung tightly to the side of the truck as he made his way back to the bank. The truck's headlights shown downward into the water like a giant leviathan searching for its prey. Jay reached for the radio as the water began to soak through his boots.:: Carl: ::as Jay picked up the mic:: Don't say anything about this, we won't live it down. Jay: This is mobile two, copy base. ::The garbled voice on the radio momentarily cleared.:: Radio: This is base. Go ahead two. Jay: You are not going to believe this, but we are lost on a back road just north of the river in section forty one. ::he added much to Carl's disgust:: Looks like we won't be joining you for poker and beer tonight. Radio: Copy that two. You are really deep within the basin. ::pausing:: The old man won't be sending another unit out until dawn. Jay: Uhh... copy that base. ::looking down at the tire mired in mud:: It would appear that we are going to be here for the night anyway. Our truck has run..... ::in disgust:: oh never mind. Radio: Copy that two. ::garbled:: We will send a truck out in your direction come morning. Jay: Roger that. ::straining to see in the darkness:: This road will be hell to retrace, even in daylight. See in the morning. Radio: Copy that two.... good luck. You will need it out there all alone. ::Jay mumbled obscenities to himself as the channel cleared. He looked up at Carl who was busy scanning the pitch black surrounding with his flashlight.:: Carl: Do you think anyone lives nearby? Maybe they can help us. ::looking down at the truck:: We are never going to live this down. Jay: Well, ::choosing his words carefully:: I wasn't the one who made the wrong turn. Nor was I the one who drove off the road. So it is more of the case of.... YOU are never going to live this down. ::taking another puff on his Chesterfield:: Besides, I doubt anyone lives this far... m-Lightfoot: Good evening. ::The monotone voice startled the two men. Turning swiftly, their flashlights struck the figure of the Indian woman who stood motionless on the bank just across the river.:: Jay: Good... good evening. ::trying to calm his nerves after quite a fright:: We are doing good. Yourself? Carl: ::to Jay:: Look at her, I told you there were haints around here. Jay: We seem to.... m-Lightfoot: You are on private property. ::emotionless:: You must leave. Jay: Our truck is stuck and we are lost. ::The woman just remained motionless at the comment.:: Jay: We weren't aware that we were trespassing. This area is so remote, we didn't know anyone lived here. ::Two others emerged from behind the woman as Jay spoke.:: m-Morningstar: What is your business here? Jay: Look we are from.... ::break:: We are land surveying. m-Lightfoot: Land surveying? Jay: ::sarcastically:: Perhaps we should speak to the owner first. ::A strange figure emerged from behind Lightfoot.:: m-Clack: You are speaking to the owner. ::looking down at the truck:: You will join my family for a fine dinner. ::inhaling on his cigar:: Jay: ::nervously:: Thank you, sir. Carl: ::whispering to Jay:: Does that mean he is going to feed us or eat us? Jay: Would you rather stay in the truck all night? Carl: No. ::reluctantly:: ::As the two men waded across toward Clack and his people, Lightfoot grabbed him by the arm.:: m-Lightfoot: Are you sure about this? They must never be allowed to leave. m-Clack: ::brushing off her hand as his eyes flashed red:: This may be just the break we are looking for. m-Lightfoot: Others will surely come. Our colony will be discovered. m-Clack: They must be aware of the deposits nearby ::exhaling smoke as his eyes burned red eye once again:: Deposits, they are willing to pay credits for. m-Lightfoot: We don't need them or their credits. We have seen what their world is like. Katherine told me...... m-Clack: No, ::looking at the two men as they arrived on the bank:: maybe it is time, they we be part of this world. (Time Warp) (Present Time) (Deep Space 17, Temporary Quarters of Petty Officer Shoodi Lightfoot) ::Cocheta woke suddenly with fleeting images that only seconds earlier, had been crystal clear in her mind. Sitting up in her bed, she took a deep breath as any recollection to the dream had faded. Looking out the port window, the USS Tiger was docked as it was preparing for its maiden voyage. Rising to her feet, she began to dress for what would prove to be a most unusual day.:: tbc PNPC PO 3rd Class Shoodi Cocheta Lightfoot Engineer USS Tiger-A and Mirror Shoodi Cocheta Lightfoot and Mirror Darius Clack as simmed by: LtCmdr. Darius Clack First officer USS Tiger-A
  17. Welcome to Top Sims 2011! All announcements for the entire 2011 contest will be posted in this thread. RULES You can submit ANY sim -- from your ship, or another ship. All sims are welcome, including staff (Captain, First Officer, etc.) sims. Please find a balance between "too much" and "too little" on the submission end of this contest. Don't submit every post from your crew. But please encourage everyone to submit at least one post to the contest whenever they can. Want your crewmates to win more? Nominate only the best sims, and encourage higher quality sims! HOW TO SUBMIT A SIM Click the "Start New Topic" button. The format of the topic title should be as follows: For example: ABOUT THE VOTING After each round, we'll vote on the best sim from the round, which deserves to go to the semi-finals. The best sims from the semi-finals goes to the final round. Please vote on sims, and encourage your crew to do the same. But remember: this is NOT a popularity contest. We welcome submissions of your crewmate's sims, but ALL sims should be rated based on their MERIT, and NOT the fact that someone is your crewmate. Any crews found "stuffing the ballots" or ratings, will be disqualified PERMANENTLY - yes, that means the whole crew! If there is a tie vote, those two sims will continue to the next round of voting for a run-off. CONTEST CALENDAR 2011: Round 1 Submissions: end Sunday 01-23 Voting: Mon 01-24 - Sun 02-06 2011: Round 2 Submissions: Mon 01-24 - Sun 02-06 Voting: Mon 02-07 - Sun 02-20 2011: Round 3 Submissions: Mon 02-07 - Sun 02-20 Voting: Mon 02-21 - Sun 03-06 2011: Round 4 Submissions: Mon 02-21 - Sun 03-06 Voting: Mon 03-07 - Sun 03-20 2011: Round 5 Submissions: Mon 03-07 - Sun 03-20 Voting: Mon 03-21 - Sun 04-03 2011: Round 6 Submissions: Mon 03-21 - Sun 04-03 Voting: Mon 04-04 - Sun 04-17 2011: Round 7 Submissions: Mon 04-04 - Sun 04-17 Voting: Mon 04-18 - Sun 04-24 2011: Round 8 Submissions: Mon 04-18 - Sun 04-24 Voting: Mon 04-25 - Sun 05-08 2011: Round 9 Submissions: Mon 04-25 - Sun 05-08 Voting: Mon 05-09 - Sun 05-22 2011: Round 10 Submissions: Mon 05-09 - Sun 05-22 Voting: Mon 05-23 - Sun 06-05 2011: Round 11 Submissions: Mon 05-23 - Sun 06-05 Voting: Mon 06-06 - Sun 06-19 2011: Round 12 Submissions: Mon 06-06 - Sun 06-19 Voting: Mon 06-20 - Sun 07-03 2011: Round 13 Submissions: Mon 06-20 - Sun 07-03 Voting: Mon 07-04 - Sun 07-17 2011: Round 14 Submissions: Mon 07-04 - Sun 07-17 Voting: Mon 07-18 - Sun 07-31 2011: Round 15 Submissions: Mon 07-18 - Sun 07-31 Voting: Mon 08-01 - Sun 08-14 2011: Round 16 Submissions: Mon 08-01 - Sun 08-14 Voting: Mon 08-15 - Sun 08-28 2011: Round 17 Submissions: Mon 08-15 - Sun 08-28 Voting: Mon 08-29 - Sun 09-11 2011: Round 18 Submissions: Mon 08-29 - Sun 09-11 Voting: Mon 09-12 - Sun 09-25 2011: Round 19 Submissions: Mon 09-12 - Sun 09-25 Voting: Mon 09-26 - Sun 10-09 2011: Round 20 Submissions: Mon 09-26 - Sun 10-09 Voting: Mon 10-10 - Sun 10-23 2011: Runoff Round 1 Voting: Mon 10-10 - Sun 10-30 In runoff round 1, ten sims will be randomly selected amongst the group of 18 eligible sims. Voters will choose one sim from the group to move on to the final round. 2011: Runoff Round 2 Voting: Mon 10-31 - Sun 11-20 In runoff round 2, the other ten sims will be voted on, with one sim moving on to the final round to compete against the winning sim from Runoff Round 1. 2011: Final Round Voting: Mon 11-21 - Sun 12-25 In the final round, the two sims chosen in the runoff round will be pitted against each other for title of "Top Sim, 2011"!
  18. OOC: Thanks to Zonhar for coming up with the pretty title "Awaken, from dreary night newly shaken, and squeeze the hand of faithful few." -Jason Kelly 2011 IC: ((ICU ward, Sickbay)) oO What is that wretched beeping? Oo :: It had been going on for what seemed like hours, refusing to allow him to remain sleeping, when that was all he wanted to do. He reached out in the darkness, aiming for his bedside table to smack his alarm off. His hand met with nothing but air and he was instead assaulted by a searing pain shooting through his chest. Lord, his right side was killing him:: ::Voices echoed around him. He caught odd words like ‘ventilator’ and ‘dexalin’ and ‘rexlin’ and wondered if he’d dozed off in one of his pathology classes again, but that wouldn’t explain the beeping:: ::He felt a warm hand on his forehead and it was soon joined by a soft voice, but it was fuzzy, he couldn’t understand what she was saying, not that it mattered much. He was being dragged back into sleep and found no reason to fight it:: ::There was that beeping again. And someone had apparently placed a fifty pound weight on his chest while he’d slept. He was too old for these pranks. He tired to sit up but found his lack of breath made it rather difficult. He tried for a deep inhale and was stopped by a sharp pain. Lord, his right side was killing him. All sorts of pokey things were pulling at his arm. He scratched at it, the movement causing him to jerk away in pain. Oh, what was the point? He let his head sink back into his pillow and he drifted back to sleep:: ::That voice was back again. She kept asking for someone – it was a familiar name.::: Voice: Davies, do you know where you are? ::He was sleeping soundly in his quarters. Or trying to sleep, rather. The real question was what she was doing there. He recognized the voice but couldn’t put a name to it. He knew though, she didn’t belong in his bedroom. But, since she was there, she could bring him some water. His throat was on fire:: Voice: Davies, do you remember what happened? :: What was she on about? He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the blurry blue figure in front of him. He tried to blink the image into focus but wasn’t having much luck, and though it was blurry, the room surrounding her was distinctly NOT his quarters. He squinted at her and tried to swallow against his dry throat:: ::There was that beeping sound again, only now it was faster. He attempted to sit up but a cough bubbled up in his throat and had him doubled over in pain. His side was killing him. Hands were on his shoulders, rubbing gently. Her name suddenly popped into his head:: oO Jen Oo Malcolm: Davies, it’s all right. You’re in Sickbay. ::No wonder it didn’t look like his room. He laid back against the pillows and watched as she moved away from him. Panic swelled in his chest and he reached out, catching her hand in his own:: Davies: Wait. Don’t leave me here. ::She gave his hand a squeeze:: Malcolm: I’m not going anywhere. ::The beeping slowed again and he closed his eyes. He tightened his hold on her fingers, just incase she forgot to stay:: TBC… Ensign Christopher Davies Medical officer/pathologist USS Avandar simmed by Lt. Jen Malcolm
  19. ((Observation Lounge)) :: It had been a stressful day, starting with the failed effort at prising samples out of the cat-person, the incident in the hazardous mats lab and subsequent investigation, the new mission briefing and finally the meeting with Dickens. Evanna thought the day could hardly be considered the most successful one. Her shift was about up and she decided to seek refuge in the peaceful observation lounge to plan the drills she was going to have to do with some of the scientists. She’d made her way quickly through the bridge and down to the lounge and was now sitting down with a number of PADDs and some camomile tea. :: ::The Caitian helm officer had only spent about fifteen minutes alone in his quarters before feeling antsy. He tried looking out the window, but his viewport was filled with the enormous dock. He was finding it difficult to focus on the Aurora’s old logs regarding the anomaly, and harder still to focus on assignments for the first day of official helm duty. But, considering he had spent so much time getting to know the ship, he knew the perfect place to go to have a delightfully relaxing view of the stars outside.:: ::After downloading the remainder of the logs to a PADD, as well as his so far empty schedule roster, he replicated one more cup of raktajino - he’d really had far too many today, but it was helping him to stay focused anyway - and headed down to the observation lounge only to find it was already occupied. His ears raised slightly as he smiled, crossing towards the pile of PADDs that were hiding the red-headed officer.:: ::Resting a paw on the back of the couch she was sitting on, near the far end from where she was sitting, he cleared his throat, his tail flicking slightly behind him.:: S’Acul: Hello, Evanna. Do you mind if I join you? :: Evanna looked up and smiled slightly. Apparently her instruments of doom hadn’t scared him off, either that or he was crazy desperate for some company. :: Evanna: ::Gesturing for him to sit down.:: Carry on. ::S’Acul returned her smile, moving around the arm of the couch and setting his raktajino on the table in front of him - but not daring to set his PADD down, lest it become the needle in the haystack that was her own work. He turned slightly towards her, crossing one leg underneath his knee and sitting sideways on the couch, the other foot resting comfortably on the floor. He set the PADD down on his knee and leaned one elbow on the back of the couch, resting his chin against the back of his paw.:: S’Acul: Lookssss like you have a lot of work, hmm? :: Blackwood looked at her scattered mountain of PADDs and sighed before leaning over to stack them all neatly into a tower. One slipped from her grip and clattered to the floor so she had to bend right over to fetch it back. After checking she hadn’t changed the document she was viewing or entered any incorrect data she added it to the top of the tower. :: Blackwood: I sure do mate, i’m runnin’ behind a little thanks to a few unexpected hurdles. They don’t mention the acrobatics skill you need to handle this when they throw it at you. What are you working on? ::He covered his mouth with his paw to hold back a chuckle when she dropped the PADD, furry brows raising in amusement. As she sat back up, he tilted his head to the side, looking at her almost sideways.:: S’Acul: Rrrreading up on the last logs of this anomaly, and working on the helm sssssschedule for tomorrow. I have ssseveral officers to juggle and each has a different set of rrrrequests for duty shifts, plussss I have to work mysssself in there at some point. ::smiling:: Don’t feel bad that I only have one PADD - I ssspent most of shore leave working on this ssstuff, since I didn’t rrrrreally need leave like the rest of you did. ::His tail flicked to the side to curl around the handle of the mug and lift it toward his face, and he took a long sip of raktajino. He turned the PADD on his knee and flicked the screen on, sighing a little and tapping a few keys.:: S’Acul: I am jusssst not quite used to being in charge of something yet. What are you worrrrking on? :: Blackwood stared at the cat-person in amazement. She hadn’t seen him use his tail like an extra arm before. It was fascinating and she had to restrain the urge to reach over and start analysing the muscle structure of the tail which had so much strength and control. Instead she picked up a PADD and allowed her wandering fingers to walk over that instead. Suddenly she realised she was staring and wound her eyeballs back into her skull, covering it up with a winning smile. oOGood save.Oo Or so she thought.:: Blackwood: Ehhm... ::Shrugging:: Just some training simulations for the department. I’ve taken care of the most pressing jobs so i’m not behind by any means. oOThe pile just never gets any smaller.Oo ::If it had been anyone else, they might not have noticed her staring - but S’Acul’s vision was better than most, and he caught her staring out of the corner of his eye. He grinned toothily, which could have been scary at first considering his fangs were showing - but the way his cheeks turned upward and his ears raised, it was very much a smile.:: S’Acul: That’s good, this would be a bad time to be behind. ::His tail lifted the mug to his lips one more time before handing it off to his free paw, the other one still propping his head up from the back of the couch. His eyes sparkled with amusement as his tail disappeared behind him, winding around the rear of the couch and poking up just behind Blackwood. He was sitting just close enough for this to work, considering the length of his tail. The little tuft tapped her shoulder before disappearing quickly behind the couch.:: :: Blackwood wasn’t the best conversationalist and it hadn’t been the best day. Feeling the conversation peter out she turned back to her work. Barely a minute later she felt something on her shoulder and looked round expecting to see some wise guy behind her. She raised a curious eyebrow, which looked odd against her otherwise miserable face and looked about for the unlucky fool who was asking for a fist to the face. She looked this way and that but there was no one there. She ran a free hand over the shoulder, brushing it off and turned her attention back to her PADD. :: ::Hiding his grinning face behind his raktajino, S’Acul lifted the PADD from his knee and pretended to work on it as his tail moved to tap against her other shoulder before disappearing once again behind the couch. He kept his eyes glued to the PADD, and with both of his paws full he hoped she wouldn’t put it together. He saw her glance at him, and he turned his head to offer an innocent smile.:: :: Blackwood had barely clapped her eyes back on her work when the other shoulder was tapped. Her head whirled round so fast it nearly went into spasm, still she saw no one. She face crunched up in disgust and she turned right round to see if someone was crouched behind the sofa but the place was definitely empty. It was just her and S’Acul and he was busy with his work. oOIt’s a new ship it cannae be haunted. Cut that thought out right there. Ye dinnae wannae be thinkin’ o no ghosts.Oo She shuddered at the creepy thought. Paranormal subjects were best left ignored in her opinion and the less said or thought about it the better. :: ::An evil little grin flitted across his face as he saw the look of confusion on her face, saw her look behind the couch, his tail retreating quickly out of view. He thought he had played with her enough, though, and his tail snaked around one last time. It tapped her on the shoulder one more time, retreating just enough to miss the grab she was likely to make, then moved and tickled underneath her chin.:: :: Blackwood was trying to get back to concentrating on work and had a thunderous look on her face when there it was again. She slapped the PADD down on her leg, the noise whapped loudly in the silent room and her other hand snatched at air. Then came the tickle under the chin and she knew what had happened. She cracked a big grin and burst out laughing. :: Blackwood: ::Shaking her head:: Nicely done! ::He flashed that same toothy grin and shrugged a little, a purr of amusement rumbling audibly as his tail tickled under her chin one last time before retreating to his side of the couch.:: S’Acul: Thank you - mosssst people forrrget about the tail when I don’t use it regularly. And you looked like you could use a little cheering up. Blackwood: ::Still giggling and grinning:: Heh, yeah I really did. Thank you! :: Blackwood looked at the fascinating new officer and found that she really liked him and enjoyed his company. It looked like he was going to be a lot of fun. She was surprised because she’d automatically assumed she wouldn’t get on with him but really delighted that she did. :: ::S’Acul smiled warmly, green eyes sparkling with amusement and delight that he had helped cheer her up. She had such a lovely smile, and he found he enjoyed seeing it. An awkward silence came over them as they looked at each other, and if he hadn’t had fur covering his face he would probably have been blushing. He stood after a moment, picking up his PADD and mug in both paws, and started to head for the exit - but not before pausing and turning to look at her again.:: S’Acul: If you ever need anyone to talk to, Evanna, or if you ever need anything. You let me know. ::He stepped through the double doors leading out to the corridor before she could respond, his tail waving goodbye to her as he disappeared from view. He blinked as he walked back towards his quarters, still quite unsure about what had just happened. It wasn’t until he had stepped back into his room that he noticed his PADD was still empty. He swore, then laughed and moved to sit at his desk, suddenly able to focus a little better.:: ***** Ensign S’Acul Aveunalliv HCO USS Avandar & Lt JG Blackwood ACSO USS Avandar
  20. (( Redstone-Waltas Quarters // USS Discovery )) :: She had finished her shift and, since the there appeared to be no immediate threat to the ship, left a member of her department on the Bridge with orders to contact her should that change, and headed back to their quarters. Worry etched into her features as she waited impatiently for the turbolift doors to open. Only a few days from the start of her sixth month of pregnancy, her rapidly expanding belly had begun to alter the way she moved, slowing her down a bit, making it harder to get out of a chair that was a bit too comfortable. Still, she moved as quickly as she could, entering their quarters to find Tyr sitting on the sofa in the living area. She made sure that Teagan wasn't home yet and then sat down beside him with a slight 'oofing' sound. :: REDSTONE: So .... ::He was quiet. Withdrawn. Even his posture on the couch showed that. Knees drawn up, elbows on them. Chin resting on forearms. Blank stare out the window at the inside of the Dyson sphere.:: WALTAS::Swallowing hard:: I thought I had them beaten, Eden. I didn't think they'd defeat me again. REDSTONE: :: Looking concerned :: Thought you had who beaten, Tyr? Are you alright? What happened? WALTAS::Voice cracking:: Old scars. Before you knew me. :: She reached up to stroke his hair back and slide closer to him, drawing his head to her shoulder as she continued to rhythmically stroke his hair, his forehead. In her embrace, he felt safe, comforted. He chided himself-a grown man being held and comforted like a child-but there was strength there. Strength he lacked. And love that had saved him.:: REDSTONE: Tell me ... please? I'd like to understand. WALTAS: I.I tried to describe it to the Counselor I don't think I can. God, Eden.if you could only.. REDSTONE: Then show me ... How about that? ::He sat up and she turned toward him slightly, one hand reaching up to touch the side of his face. So dearly loved. :: REDSTONE: If you're sure ... WALTAS::He hesitated, then spoke, his voice flat. Emotionless:: It's the only way. REDSTONE: :: nodding :: My mind to your mind ... WALTAS: My thoughts, to your thoughts. WALTAS/REDSTONE: Our minds are merging..our minds are one. WALTAS: They had my sword. ((Borg Cube, Dead Space, 30 years ago)) ::He was a young Lieutenant wearing the gold uniform of Security / Tactical. His hair was a dark brown, lacking the gray. His eyes were bright and intense, both with mischief and wonder. Then the scene panned back to reveal the horror of a Borg Cube-the chaotic circuitry surrounding them.:: Waltas::Turning, grinning.:: I'm going to get my sword back, of course. ::Tyr ignored Gabriel's protests and approached them as quietly as he could. The nearest drone looked to be female, or at least it used to be. His lip curled in derision. Before they could act, Tyr already had his prize. The katana was in his hand. He smiled as he remembered Nakagawa's words. "May you find peace, but if conflict comes, strike, and strike true." Tyr brought the blade down hard on the nearest drone and it dug into the shoulder. He removed it and drove the blade into the neck, then twisted. Sparks flew as the drone hit the ground. The third drone, blade-arm attached, stalked him. :: ::As expected, the drone attempted to use the new weapon and sliced at Tyr. Tyr blocked the blade with his own, spun and swung the katana as hard as he could against the blade of the drone. The weapons clashed together, but Tyr's katana was hand-made, folded over, and over, thousands of times, so that it was nearly unbreakable. The Borg's weapon failed and snapped in half. The drone looked, stunned, at the shattered weapon.:: Waltas: A cheap imitation, Borg. Just like you are. ::Tyr drove his blade deep into the Borg's chest, then ripped upward, effectively killing him.:: Gabriel: Lieutenant! Look out! ::Hearing Gabriel's warning, he turned just in time to see the third drone close in on him. Before he could act, the Borg struck him, hard, on the side of the head. As he fell the drone grabbed him, and two small tubes shot into his neck. Tyr gasped-he knew what was happening. He struck out with his blade frantically but could do little. The pain was growing...:: Waltas: Gabriel...sword... ::Gabriel smashed the heavy claymore into the back of the drone and killed it. Tyr dropped to the floor, pain shooting through his neck and spreading quickly. He was dizzy and his vision was blurring. He was slowly being assimilated. His stomach turned as his mind told him there were nanites crawling through his body-corrupting him, confiscating him in the name of the Borg. His worst fear had come to pass-he was becoming a Borg. He shook his head and screamed.:: Waltas: No...NO!!! (( Present )) :: He had always been a bit rash. That was Tyr even back then. First one to jump into the middle of it. She'd loved that about him from the first because that was her as well. She enveloped him within the strength and support of her love for him so that he knew he wasn't alone in his memories any longer. She had never insisted on a complete sharing between them and she saw now that that had been wrong. :: o 0 This has all been festering inside of him for so long. 0 o :: She kept her own reactions behind a tightly held shield, one she knew he didn't have the strength to penetrate, saving all of that for later. For now, it was important only that he remembered it all. Let the poison out. :: ((30 Years Ago, Borg Cube, Dead Space)) Gabriel: We should leave Lieutenant, now! ::Tyr gazed at the young Ensign. He was so full of life-just beginning the journey that Tyr had begun 230 years ago. While Gabriel was at the beginning of the road, Tyr knew he was at the end. His road ended in a cliff where he would fall from grace-fall from the loving touch of Nature's hand into a dark, dreary existence. His eyes told the Ensign all he needed to say.:: Gabriel: You will have to explain what I should do sir. ::He let out a sigh holding back the tears forming in his eyes. Tyr placed a thankful hand on Gabriel's shoulder, resisting the whisper that told him that the fifth vertebrae was nearby and he could easily snap it and kill the human. He shook his head, fighting the urge. He gazed at the Constitution on the viewport and tears filled his eyes. He'd never get to see his ship again-the first ship he ever set foot on as an Ensign. He would never walk her corridors again, or feel the camraderie of his shipmates.:: ((30 Years Ago, Borg Cube, Dead Space)) Borg Collective: You are drone 14732. You will assist in the assimilation of Federation units nearby. Comply. o O No.... O o Borg Collective: Drone 14732. You will comply. o O NO!! O o ::With his last ounce of strength, he withdrew the remote shuttle control from his uniform, now ripped from Borg implants piercing his skin. He reached for the program he'd written to retrieve them all. He looked down at his golden comm badge on his chest, grabbed it, and tossed it away. He watched it clatter to a stop near the center of the away team. Tyr took a deep breath as the Borg drew closer.:: Borg Collective: Drone 14732. Do not aid in the Federation escape. Comply immediately. ::Tyr looked at his friends. As they disappeared within a transporter beam, Tyr's world crumbled. He stood, extended his arm, now covered in implants, and accepted the lead drone's injection of nanites. He turned to look at the shuttle and the Constitution in the distance. As his mind filled with instructions, commands and information about how to best assist in regenerating the cube, a single tear slid down the face of Drone 14732.:: ((Present)) WALTAS: They had me..they used me..to kill them. :: She held him safe in her arms and within the meld, channeling love and support to him, as she listened and took in every bit of the horror he had experienced. In a way, they were both experiencing this now. :: REDSTONE: They had us ... we didn't have the strength to resist .. ((30 years ago, Borg Cube, Dead Space)) ::Drone 14732 positioned himself out of the line of sight of most of the combatants, and he watched his drones battle as he crawled into position. The two drones were cut down by the Brikar, but he was visibly tired and possibly wounded. Now was his chance. He leapt from the platform onto the back of the Brikar and grabbed his hair. Using all of his technology-driven strength, he drove him to the ground. The metallic, blade-like weapon emerged from his right arm and he thrust it down into the Brikar's shoulder, pinning him to the deck. The drone looked down at the fallen Brikar, a moment's hesitation stopped him. His Ba'ku side intruded once more, but was quickly cut off.:: BORG COLLECTIVE: Drone 14732: Proceed with assimilation of command personnel. ::The hesitation was gone. He moved to assimilate the Fleet Captain, but something, or rather, someone, stopped him.:: ((Present)) WALTAS: They brought me back to the Constitution. To save me. And in thanks I killed them. I broke out of Sickbay, and that's where I truly fell. :: Behind her own shield in that protected part of her brain, Eden already understood something that Tyr seemed to discount or overlook. He had fought the assimilation every step of the way. He had hesitated, fighting to regain control. But he was Ba'Ku and it was a fight that he had been unprepared to face. :: ((30 years ago, Sickbay, USS Constitution)) ::The blast from the phaser stunned him, but the beam continued, digging into his Borg armor and into his flesh. His entire body spasmed as the beam forced him to the ground. Intense pain radiated from the wound outward to his extremities. Every muscle clinched, every nerve ending screamed out in pain. Were he still Borg, he would be easily repaired, but he was once again Ba'ku-and a very weakened one. He collapsed onto the deck as a hypospray was placed against his neck. ((Present)) WALTAS: I died, Eden.I was truly gone. :: Of all the people in the universe, Eden was probably the most well equipped to deal with the memory of one's own death. She felt the pain along side him, felt him fall to the deckplate. Felt the spasms that made his muscles contract as the pain radiated outward. And now she too would carry the memory of his death. A burden she shouldered willingly. :: REDSTONE: We were gone ... ((30 years ago, Dead Space, USS Constitution)) =/\= I regret to inform you that.....Lieutenant Waltas has died, sir. =/\= ((Nowhere)) ::Something deep inside Tyr stirred. He recalled the cold, lifeless touch of technology. He remembered what it felt like, and knew that those same Borg implants were now active again, except this time they sought to heal instead of harm. In the abyss where he now floated, he began to feel again-to sense things around him. The implants sparked to life, forcing his lungs to draw breath, his heart to beat, his blood to flow. He could feel himself being pulled back from where he was now-that place that defied description. Slowly, agonizingly slowly, he was drawn from the ether. He was whole again. :: :: He took a breath, and felt the implants fade. He hovered on the brink of existence and oblivion. All of his hopes rested on that which he'd hated his entire life. The same implants that ripped and corrupted his body now fought against death itself. He lived within that moment-battling death-frozen in time. His strength ebbed. Had he given them enough time? He was answered by a deep breath drawn into his lungs. He could BREATHE again. His heart beat furiously, forcing blood through his body. The implants which had fought so hard for him finally failed-every one of them shut down, but it was enough. :: :: Tyr opened his eyes. His hand moved to grip the blanket over him and he slowly drew it away.:: ((Sickbay, USS Constitution)) ::The nurse spun in utter shock and confusion as the sound emanated from Waltas. She gasped in amazement as she saw the sheet drawn down from his face, and saw him gasping for breath.:: Best: DOCTOR! DOCTOR GABRIEL!! HURRY! ((Present)) ::The mind meld faded, leaving him weakened from reliving those moments, but strengthened by the fact that he had shared them. Finally, someone could see-truly see-what had happened. What they had done to him.:: WALTAS::Quietly:: Now you know. :: She opened herself to him through the bond they shared, let him see her reactions, her thoughts. Let him short through her feelings and understand that she both understood what had happened and that she loved him still. She let him see that she empathized with his pain, the horror of what he had been through. Nothing held back. Even the security officer part of her who was noodling around ideas for how to help him fight should he ever be threatened with that again. :: :: Mostly though, she flooded him with her love and support and care for him. Let him know that the memories were shared now, a burden they would carry together from this point forward, let him know that he was loved. Heart and soul. He opened his eyes fully, the blue reflecting the same intensity of that young Lieutenant who had seen the other side of death. His voice was now steady, his strength returning. He placed his hand gently on her growing abdomen.:: WALTAS::Determined, steady voice:: We're getting out of here. Captain Tyr Waltas Commanding Officer USS Discovery -and- Commander Eden Redstone Chief Tactical Officer USS Discovery
  21. ((Sickbay)) :: Jen Malcolm never imagined that on her first day aboard the new ship she’d already have a patient in her intensive care unit. She sat with him, with the dermal regenerator poised over his forehead working steadily at repairing the scarred skin beneath. It was a slow process.:: :: Gray walked back into sickbay, he looked and felt haggard and weary. He rubbed his tired eyes and forehead and folded his arms. He was relieved to be away from that disgusting Denobulan, his constant rambling sapped his energy and will to live. Hovering near Davies biobed he knew how grave the situation was for himself and wondered how much trouble this man was going to cause him in the future. He was looking at a potential disaster and intended to monitor the situation very closely. :: Gray: Hello Doctor, may I join you? ::Jen sat up and looked over to see who had entered. She was met with the beleaguered face of Ensign Gray:: Malcolm: Yes, Gray. :::She sat back and set the dermal regenerator aside for the moment:: Gray: ::Sighing heavily:: This really is a troubling situation we find ourselves in. Malcolm: Troubling? Yes. Though I’d say a little more than just ‘troubling’ for Mr. Davies. Gray: How is he doing? Malcolm: He’s still comatose, but I do get some responses from pain stimuli, so I expect him to continue improving. ::She looked at Gray in concern - the tired eyes were the first change she’d seen in his demeanour since the incident:: Are you ok? Gray: All things considered... yes. It’s Davies I’m interested in though, can you tell me of his injuries? :: Looking at Davies he could size up the visible injuries, but he was curious to know if there was anything else of note. :: Malcolm: The wound to his head caused some swelling and bleeding. I’m not sure how badly the lack of oxygen has affected him. ::She gave him a kind smile:: The injection you administered should have helped minimize that, I hope. He’s lucky you were there. ::She sighed and clasped her hands in her lap:: O’Hanlon and I were able to repair his lungs. And there’s some damage to the inner ear. Maybe some hearing loss. Gray: Swelling to the head is a serious deal, have you had a chance to run any scans yet? Malcolm: Yes. I can’t say I’m very happy with what I’m seeing on them. Gray: May I look? ::She looked from Gray to Davies to the Padd that held Davies’ chart. She could see Gray was concerned but didn’t want to share his confidential information:: Malcolm: I know you’re concerned, Gray, but it’s still a little early to learn much from the scans anyway. Gray: I understand what you’re saying. I know you and your colleagues have enough expertise between you but as someone with considerable knowledge of physiology and anatomy I wanted to offer my...assistance. I have been working on helping a particular race of people with research into the brain, it’s something I know a lot about. ::She nodded and beckoned him over, holding the PADD out so he could have a look at the images:: :: Gray looked at the brain scan, it was encouraging. He saw there was some damage to a few areas of the temporal lobe. That part of the brain dealt with several things including recognition, learning and memory. Encouraging indeed but he would have to wait and see. :: Gray: ::Grim smile:: It’s encouraging Jen. He likely won’t have to worry about losing speech, motor control or even his personality. The damage is localised and small, mainly to the medial temporal lobe near the sagittal plane. The area is involved with episodic and declarative memory. I think he will adapt just fine, but as you say we will need to wait and see. ::He’d repeated everything she already knew, but there was nothing wrong with hearing it again and having her diagnosis supported. She looked up from the Padd to him and nodded in agreement, wondering for a moment when she’d gotten on a first name basis with him. Malcolm: I’ll be happier when he’s up and about. Gray: ::Becoming cooler and more impassive again:: Indeed. ::She patted his shoulder:: Malcolm: You did everything you could to help him. Gray: Evidently it wasn’t enough. :: His idea of “help” was a lot different to hers however. He’d helped Mister Davies into an early grave but the stubborn man had climbed back out again before he could slam the coffin lid shut. :: ::She gave his shoulder another pat before taking her hand away and returning to Davies’ beside. She picked up the dermal regenerator, wanting to get back to work on his skin:: Gray: ::Turning to leave:: If you could keep me informed of his progress I’d be grateful and I’d like to stop by again later when he comes round, if he feels up to company of course. :: He didn’t really care a shred about Davies or how he felt about anything but he knew when it was time to do some buttering up. Luckily, it seemed Jen was buying it.:: Malcolm: Of course. :: Gray wandered out of sickbay considering the scan he had seen. He hadn’t offered much information on the subject. It was one of those things where you had to wait and see which aspects had been affected and how badly. The scan was just an indicator right now and he hoped it would work to his advantage. He headed towards the turbolift thinking about some food and rest. :: Lt. Jen Malcolm CMO USS Avandar and (PNPC)Ensign Dominic Gray Science Officer USS Avandar Simmed by Blackwood
  22. ::It was a skeleton crew shift that walked the corridors of the Avandar at the hour that the Man of No Limitation silently and inauspiciously made his way towards the secured computer core of the USS Avandar. Normally, there would be far more officers and workers about, but it had seemed that nothing so exciting could be expected to happen before the nicely new Luna Class made her maiden voyage, and perhaps security was not as up to par as quite it should be. After all, in the rather chaotic moments right toward the end of shore leave and the final sign off for departure...it was quite normal to not recognize new faces, or even old ones, or to really have much suspiscion as to their intentions. After all this was Utopia Planetia...just in Earth’s backyard. This was Federation Domain, certainly no threats lurked about at this late hour:: ::But what stalked the halls at this hour was indeed quite a threat. More so than any would ever expect from such a “lumpy” and unassuming individual as he. However he was much much more than his appearances gave away. At his core he was every bit the wolf in sheeps clothing that mothers had warned their children on earth about for generations. And yet to him, he was a man on a mission, an illuminating quest and indeed every act of sacrifical worship he made along the way was his first rites to a greater calling...that few new of but himself.:: ::But tonight’s work was not one of death or “liberation of the body through suffering,” but was instead one of atonement, and in a way, mercy. A mercy bent and extended, as was usually the case, to one whom he did not fully feel was deserving of it. Nonetheless it was his duty to bestow the service as it served both his boss, and his Higher Master, whom he would no sooner fail, than smite off his right arm because it itched.:: ::As The Man of No Limitation approached the computer core’s secured doors, he kept his head low and his hands fiddling with the data padd that he was pretending to be absentmindedly working on, as he “accidentally” bumped into the guardsman who was protecting the area.:: ::The security officer immediately gave out a sound that was half way between a halt there and a whine of pain as The Man of No Limitation had intentionally walked full into him as if he had not been looking where he had been going, but had giving him a taste of the locomotive power that was hidden deep underneath his plastic surgery altered physique.:: The Man Of No Limitation: Oh my word...sir..so sorry...I uhh didn’t see where I was going...I just got so into this new data module and well...I’m sorry....are you alright? ::The guard recovered quickly but with a little less wind in him due to a sore rub where an elbow had been thrown strategically and intentionally to make for a rather unpleasant stitch in his side and a rather out of breath feeling.:: Guard: Yeah you should...watch where...you're walking...[...] I think you just about killed me. Where do you ...think your going? You better have proper clearance....you can’t just walk in there..willy nilly.... ::The Man of No Limitation immediately “grew nervous” and tripped all over himself trying to explain in very technical terms, all the while waving his pad before the mans eyes which clearly stated the work order and routine maintenance check on the corp, and since he was an engineer he was not surprised that between the mans aching sides and ringing head, the most cursory glance at the credentials was more than enough for the guard to lower the field and beg him to just hurry and get out of his sight.:: ::Pleading amenities and his lowly existence, he quickly shuffled inside just as he caught the guard mumbling under his breath “little twerp...think he broke my rib. The Man of No Limitation smiled to himself as he knew in all actuality he probably had done just that, if not form a nice hair line crack which would addle the guard for quite some time until he wussed up and made his way to sick bay. By then hed be in so much pain he wouldn’t even recall his name, and would more than likely be given bed rest while he mended...meaning, he’d have a fresh guard in case he had to make a repeat visit to the computer core.:: ::But the Man Of No Limitation was going to ensure that he would not need to come back to the computer core again. For he was here to grant a grace and a mercy, to yet another undeserving of such, for a grievous error of judgement, but he was not about to let him continue on making mistakes. Ensign Gray had really bungled things, and drawn far to much attention to himself, and was so unaware at how badly he bungled things, that he simply thought it would all blow over.:: ::But as He worked swiftly calling up the data and video feeds of “Davies Accident,” and erasing the data and tapes so that they were now only as eternal as footprints in the sand, he knew that that incriminating evidence that could be used against him now could no longer be found. Any probes that would be made of course would turn up empty, but needless to say it would simply be attributed to a glitch or some unforeseen circumstances in the long run.:: ::Before he had deleted the files entirely however, he downloaded their full contents into an extra blank padd. This padd, later when Ensign Gray was no where near his room, he would use his skills to infiltrate the mans room and place the padd on his bed with a little message that summed up the totality of his life: “Grace has been given, repentance is required, Much is Expected, You are never Alone.” ::And that is exactly what he did, shortly before the USS Avandar headed off on its maiden voyage, totally unsuspecting that there was a devil in their midst.:: ----------------------------------------------------- (PNPC) The Man Of No Limitation as simmed by Ensign Zonhar Counselor USS Avandar
  23. JP: Lt Jg Zinna & Ens. Alexander Richards - Dealing with the nightmare part 1 [[DS17 promenade, 24 hours after the briefing]] :: Time with his family should have been a joyous occasion. However for the tall, blond ensign events of the previous mission continued to weigh heavily on his mind. He found himself getting distant from the important things in life. A fact that hadn't gone unnoticed. The worst thing for Alexander was that due to the nature of the previous mission he was unable to discuss anything that happened with his wife. The recurring nightmare after the link had been broken was horrific. He couldn't get those falsified images of London out of his head. He needed to talk to somebody, anybody. It was then that it dawned upon him. The Tiger had one of the best young chief counsellors in the fleet. Alex knew that he hadn't exactly been kind to her way back in the mission briefing but, he knew she was [...] good at her job. Even the captain recognized her abilities. His decision was made. He would speak to Counsellor Zinna, the El Aurian. This went against his inherent fear of telepaths but, if anyone could help him, she could. :: Richards: =^=Computer, locate Lt Jg Zinna. =^= Computer: =^=Lt Jg Zinna is located in her office on board the USS Tiger, docking...=^= Richards: =^=Thank you computer.=^= :: Richards liked the efficiency of the Star Fleet computer systems but, their penchant for specifics could be rather grating at times. He quickly gathered his thoughts and set about heading to the Tiger for the first time since it arrived. With at least some more free time before their next mission. Richards hadn't even thought of transferring his personal effects over to his new quarters. :: [[uSS Tiger A, Chief Counsellor Lt Jg Zinna's office, 5 minutes later]] :: Alexander came before the door to the counsellor’s office and stopped short of ringing the chime. He was almost having second thoughts about this but; his will to get over his problems outweighed his fears of counsellors and telepaths. He pressed the chime after a short pause. :: Zinna: Come in. :: Alexander straightened himself up and entered the office. :: :: All around the room Zinna had put many plants so the office had smelled exotic, but also an herb like smell to calm the mind. :: Richards: Good day sir. I'm sorry if I've caught you at a bad time, and come to you whilst we are on leave but I have some pressing matters which require your attention. First and foremost. I need a complete psychological re-evaluation following the last mission to assess whether I am fit for duty. Secondly, I am having some major problems that I believe only someone with your 'qualifications' can help with. :: He paused and realized he was being very abrupt again.:: I am so sorry counsellor. I seem to have checked my manners at the door. I haven't even asked if you are free at the moment and available for a session. Zinna: No no. I've cleared my schedule, because I knew this would be the time people would need me most. Richards: :: Taking a seat. :: Thank you counsellor. I would like to start before we begin with proceedings with an apology for the way I acted towards you during the last mission. My behaviour towards you in the staff briefing was unacceptable and, the way I brushed you off and ignored your sound advice during the hostage situation was at best foolhardy, at the very worst, could have resulted in the loss of that child's life. :: He looked down, ashamed of the person he had grown in to over his life. :: :: An apology made her feel immature. It occurred to Zinna that Ensign Richards being the adult here. :: Zinna: Apology accepted Alexander. Richards: Thank you counsellor. :: It relieved him immediately that his apology had been accepted. It was almost like a huge weight had been lifted off his chest. :: Zinna: And I apologize for my yelling during the briefing. Richards: Although I feel there was no need for you to apologize to me counsellor, I graciously accept your apology. :: He smiled.:: Zinna: Thank you...so let's begin with the re-evaluation. Alexander, how do *you* think the mission went? And remember, you don't have to hold back. If there's something on your chest, or even angry with someone, even me, I'd like to know it all. Just tell me how you think our last mission went. Richards: In all honesty sir, from what I can remember, the whole thing was a disaster. From the moment the ship was boarded by the Scarlet Brotherhood right through until the destruction of the Independence. It almost felt like a farce to me. Yet I still cannot help but think that my weak mind was over all a part of the problem and not the solution. To allow myself to become part of the problem was an absolute failure of my duties on my part. And it is something I feel I will always regret. Everyone else around me was so strong, and there I was, either injured, absent without leave or causing problems. I even failed in the basic task of working with you on the Bajoran culture and Language. In essence, I have no gripes with a crew who performed admirably during a desperate situation but, with my performance on the mission. In my heart and mind I feel that I failed in the basic sense to uphold the values of Star Fleet. :: Zinna nodded. :: Zinna: I see. And how do you think you can make up for those errors? Richards: ::He paused before answering, under any other circumstances he would be angry at the abruptness of such a question. But he understood why Zinna had to ask such a difficult question. :: I don't honestly know sir. I have a permanent demerit on my record for my actions in sickbay that almost cost the lives of two fellow officers. I submitted myself for court martial in a meeting with the captain soon after we got back to DS17, but it was rejected. The same goes for my resignation request. I have no idea how I can make up for my actions, even those carried out whilst I was being controlled. I feel that even if I do my best to uphold the values of Star Fleet and perform my duties to the best of my abilities that.. :: He paused, very nearly crying. :: That I will permanently be remembered for failing in my duties and ultimately being responsible for the loss of the ship. ::Zinna nodded and stood. She came around and patted the CCO on his back:: Zinna: Alexander... ::She had sensed he'd become angered by her last question.:: Zinna: Alexander, from what I've seen you're a wonderful officer. But if you don't mind me asking, where did you go when you left? Richards: In to the crawl spaces sans my comm-badge. I ran away from the problem, fearing I would be accused of dereliction of duty and of being a traitor. What I remember of my three days in there isn’t nice. Messing around with the ships systems, creating a back door through which the Brotherhood could do as they wished. Having far too much time to think about myself as a person, my actions, wanting to stop but not being able to. Unable or unwilling to fight the problems within my own mind. That feeling of being an abject failure of an officer. I also had time to think about my actions in sickbay. I still don't even know if it was I who suggested taking the hostage taker to a console or whatever was controlling me. I feel, lost! :: His heart sank. He almost didn't know who he was anymore. :: Zinna: Controlled? What do you mean? Richards: :: Understanding the reasoning behind the questioning. :: Not in control of my actions Counsellor. Trapped in my own mind as if I were a prisoner. Able to see everything I was doing, but unable to stop myself. :: He paused. :: The worst of it is, I felt compelled to tell someone, anyone about what I had done but, a presence within my mind prevented me from doing so. It was horrific. :: He paused again, very solemn and with a few more tears. :: It's hard to explain. Something external to me was in control of me, guiding me, repressing the real me. Now that thing is gone I am just left with guilt and sadness. I joined Star Fleet to serve and uphold the values of the Federation. I had dreams and aspirations. Now they are all gone. Or at least, I feel they are. :: A blank expression came across the ensign’s face. :: Zinna: Do you think someone was doing this telepathically? ::She felt the nerve to ask, remembering her psychic attack in Security. :: Richards: :: Pondering on the question for a second. :: It is a distinct possibility. I do not know enough about these things to know for sure. All I know is, that if it were, it only ads to my prejudice against telepaths. No offense meant by that counsellor. But I have an inherent distrust of beings with telepathic abilities. This includes Vulcans to a lesser extent. I even harbour some fear over those who use their abilities wisely, only reading minds when invited. :: He paused. He knew this might cause Zinna some discomfort. :: I mean no offense to you counsellor as I am assured by the captain’s faith in you. I do however still bare a certain, maybe even misplaced fear in you. The reason I came to you instead of one of the counsellors on the station is that. :: He swallowed hard. :: I need your services counsellor. I cannot be sure if it were a telepathic connection. But, your races ability to read minds, maybe.. :: He paused. :: I can't believe I'm asking this. Maybe you could find out whether it was or, whether I am certifiable. I need to know that it wasn't me performing those actions for my own peace of mind. :: He sunk in his chair. :: :: Zinna sat back in her seat and smelled the plants. :: Zinna: You want me to read your mind? Richards: Yes counsellor. It's the only way I'll ever know the truth. I've explained why I don't like telepaths, but even my hatred at the very idea of having another read my thoughts is suppressed by my desire to know the truth. My desire to have answers. :: Richards face was blank. :: I'm at my wits end counsellor! :: Zinna breathed deeply. The plants calmed her. She usually didn't have a problem reading people's minds, but with someone who didn't trust telepaths she felt a bit nervous. :: :: Richards felt ill at ease. It almost made him feel queasy. Like he was allowing himself to be violated. He wiped that thought from his mind. oO It's never a violation when you allow them in. Relax, just relax. You need to do this. You need to know the truth! Oo He calmed himself very quickly again, allowing his mind to almost sleep as he felt the counsellors presence. :: Zinna: I'm sensing something now... :: Richards face went blank, almost trance like. Those images, the corridor, the child, his fellow crew mates in sick bay, the EMH. Then darkness, a figure, London.. Burning.. Hid family! The nightmare! :; Richards: Arch! Zinna: Alexander? ::Zinna sat back down in her seat looking a little sick. :: :: Richards eyes opened. He was white as a sheet. Looking at the counsellor, she looked a little shaken. :: Richards: Are you ok counsellor? Zinna: I'm fine...it's what I saw... Richards: You saw it as well. That figure.. Is that a darker side of me. Am I really responsible. Did I really do that of my own volition? Zinna: No, you didn't. You were telepathically being controlled. Richards: Locked in my mind. That darkness. Counsellor, if I was being telepathically controlled, why can't I forgive myself. What was that creature, why did it show me those images. :: Richards collapsed, he was feeling drained emotionally and physically. :: :: Zinna quickly hurried from her chair and helped the CCO off the floor. :: Zinna: oO That figure...is the one I saw...in Security. Oo :: Zinna helped Richards into his chair and replicated some water for him. :: Zinna: Alexander, that figure...has tortured me once...telepathically. Richards: The one that we just saw in my mind. :: He paused, taking another gulp of water.:: Thank you for the water counsellor. So you mean I wasn't the only one given a nightmare by this figure. It was horrible! Are you ok counsellor? We can call an end and reschedule if you don't feel capable right now of continuing. As much as I want to know the truth and be done with these inner demons taunting me. I do not wish to risk the health of another officer to get those answers sir. :: He looked her. He still held his fear of telepaths, his under lying hatred but, Zinna was going a long way to lift those fears. He didn't think he could ever be friends with her. However, he did feel that maybe, just maybe he could come to trust the counsellor.:: :: Zinna shook her head. :: Zinna: No, no, I can handle the strain. But why do you think this happened? And why us? Richards: :: A little apprehensive of continuing having noted the way the counsellor expressed herself. :: If I knew the answer to those questions counsellor, I think I'd be sat where you are and you would be sat where I am. :: He took another drink. :: I could theorize on my side that perhaps whoever invaded our minds saw that I have had no training in resisting telepathic attacks. Even a level 1 empath/telepath could read me like a book. I almost think whoever or whatever it was chose me because I was an easy target. From what I can gather of your personality, there is no way that is the case with you. :: Richards finished the glass of water. :: What I can say is, knowing that you saw the same creature I did, perhaps after this session is over, I won’t be the only one needing to talk to someone. :: He looked the superior officer in the eye, almost with a hint of worry about the counsellor’s mental state. :: Zinna: oO Oh so I'm not allowed to ask questions? Oo ::Zinna rolled her eyes showing she didn't need to talk to anyone else. :: Zinna: This is your session not mines, Ensign. Has the nightmare happened more than once? :: Richards noted that Zinna, like all counsellors he had encountered focused on their patients and deflected any questions about themselves. Typical but understandable. He couldn't hold that against the counsellor, it was after all her job. :: Richards: It has counsellor. Only once whilst we were out on the Indy. I only remembered it as we flew away from the other universe. Ever since I've been having the same dream every night. It won’t go away. It is leaving me restless and driving a wedge between myself and my wife. I can't talk to her about it and it is driving her and me insane. I want it to stop. I need it to stop. It puts an unnatural fear in to me. I don't like the emotions it stirs up in me either. :: He stopped after realizing he was ranting like a lunatic. :: Zinna: Why don't you want to discuss it with your wife? :: A quick flash of anger crossed Alexander and then left. :: Richards: What I saw. The horror of it. How it keeps haunting me. I can't because it's so stupid knowing she is lying there next to me in bed with John in his crib in the other room. I can't because I don't want to upset her. She knows something is wrong and that is enough. It is enough that I have to deal with this nightmare let alone push it on to her. But she won’t let it drop, won’t let it just rest with me. I get up, get dressed and just walk around the station. I don't go to the bars, I just find myself staring blankly out the porthole in to space. The horror of what I was shown and how it haunts me is not hers to feel with me. I can't, I won’t let her live with that nightmare. :: Richards had tears streaming down his face. :: I'm sorry counsellor. The thoughts that are in there. They hurt so much. I've talked enough for one session. I'm done here for now and I've only scratched at the surface of what is going on. :: He slumped in the chair and for the first time in months, wept uncontrollably. :: Zinna: oO I failed to help him get better...but maybe it's good to cry. oO :: Zinna patted the CCO's back hoping she wasn't invading his space. :: Zinna: Alexander, we can end this if you're feeling uncomfortable. oO I know I am. Oo Richards: ::Still weeping.:: It's. ::break:: It's not a question of. ::break:: Of comfort.. :: He paused and wept more. :: It's the feeling. ::break:: The feeling of every. ::break:: everything slipping away. :: Another long pause with weeping ensued. :: My. ::break:: My marriage. My. :;Break:: My career. :: He paused and looked at the counsellor, only now realizing the physical actions she was taking to try to comfort the grown man. :: You. ::break:: You can't clear. ::break:: Clear me for active. ::break:: Active duty in this state. ::Another long pause with crying continued.:: I need. ::break: I need to get this sorted and soon but. ::break:: But it was naive. ::break:: Naive of me to think. ::break:: Think that it could be done in one. ::break:: One session. ::He paused and continued to weep.:: Maybe. ::break:: Maybe it is for. ::break:: For the best to end the. ::break:: The session now. ::Richards looked inconsolable and his face was a mess. Tears continued to stream down his face. It was as if everything had caught up with him at once and he was having a breakdown.:: Zinna: Alexander, It's okay. I'd like you to come back to me for another session if that's okay. If you don't think you’re fit for duty, than I would advise you to take an easy leave and relax. :: Richards took a moment to try to regain some composure. The weeping subsided leaving just the marks of tear trails on his face. He was at a low point in his life. All that had happened was now bearing heavy on his soul. Although the session had done nothing to slay his fears of telepaths, or his hatred, he had come to terms with the counsellor. He didn't know whether or not they would ever be friends but he certainly felt like he could be open with her. In this room he had shown more emotion than over the past 5 years and, in essence, to someone that was still a total stranger. Moreover, he felt he could trust her. He knew that Zinna was dedicated to her job. He also knew that the information shared in this room would be between the two of them, his classified medical file and the captain. :: Richards: I'm more than willing to schedule another session with you counsellor. We've only scratched the surface here today and it's drained me emotionally. I need to get to the bottom of this. I need to deal with it. :: He looked at her again. :: As it stands with me being emotionally frail at the moment I think I'll move in to my quarters on the Tiger. It will give Marissa a break from my night terrors and, I know my roommate isn't due to move in for several days. I mean I can always see my family by day until this is solved. Zinna: Thank you...Alexander, if you ever need a place to sleep without the worry of worrying someone else. You’re more than welcomed to sleep on the psyche couch while I'm in here doing reports. :: She knew this was a strange offer, but she only wanted to help, even if he didn't want to be her friend. :: :: Richards held back a shudder at the offer. In his mind he knew he could trust Zinna but his overriding sense of feeling about telepaths kicked in. :: Richards: Thanks for the offer counsellor but, no thank you. When would you like me to reschedule for? :: His composure was almost fully regained. All he needed to do was wash his face and he'd look good as new. At least externally he would anyway. :: Zinna: oO Good... Oo I'd like to either see you at the end of the week or the beginning of the next...don't forget I'm available for walk-ins. :: She stood as the CCO stood to leave. She then did the unexpected, and hugged him. :: Zinna: Alexander, I know you feel unpleasant around me and I didn't get that from reading your mind. Richards: :: Half reciprocating the hug. :: That's a long story for another time sir. Needless to say, it's me, not you that is the reason for those feelings. :: He continued to walk towards the door. :: ::Zinna nodded as the CCO exited her office. :: -END of part 1- A JP by: Lt Jg Zinna Ships Counsellor USS Tiger A & Ens. Alexander Richards CCO USS Tiger A
  24. ((Main Holodeck-USS Avandar)) ::Alexander walks into the holodeck to create the setting for the evaluation of Lt. Cmd. T’Lea. The last time that he had to be in the this situation he had to kidnap her with the transporter for her phaser evaluation. Alexander was a little bruised and battered after that encounter, but he survived. The question is will T’Lea ever forgive him for that act? Only time will tell.:: ::Alexander walked over to the computer thinking that this time he will set the scene in a different aspect. Taking off his comm badge, and rank Alexander is placing himself as an civilian instructor. Programing the computer in a setting of a beach on the island of Guam. The air from the ocean has the smell of salt. The early morning sun is just cresting over the horizon. The wind rips through the palm trees, and small patches of grass. Alexander stands and looks towards the entrance of the holodeck for T’Lea to enter.:: :: A matter of seconds away from ending her shift on the bridge, T’Lea had been looking forward to picking up T’Sara and slipping back into the role of “mom” when a vague message to meet Mr. Matthews in the holodeck popped up on her data padd. Assuming that the request had something to do with running a simulation of the incident in the science lab, she left the bridge behind, and all hope of finishing up a few reports in her office with T’Sara.:: :: Eyes firmly set on her data padd, the Romu-vulc crossed the threshold to the holodeck, sensing but not completely processing the atmospheric change surrounding her.:: T’Lea: Mr. Matthews, what do you have for me? :: As her boot sunk into the soft sand it finally registered in her brain that something was amiss in her original understanding of this meeting. She lifted an unamused, but curious eyebrow as a follow up to her question.:: Matthews: ::Looking directly in to the eyes of T’Lea.:: Well, ma’am I am currently running the investigation of the accident, but I think this duty should be taken care of as soon as possible. T’Lea: Then this is business, not pleasure. Very good. For a moment I thought that perhaps you were trying to seduce me with… ::gesturing around:: … sand. ::a small joke:: I am still curious, why are you not wearing pips and communicator? :: Curious, annoyed, it was hard to tell them apart in T’Lea’s spectrum of emotions at this point.:: Matthews: oO If I was going to seduce you, trust me it would be much more romantic, candles ,a nice dinner.Besides I sure as hell don’t have a death wish. Trust me I am in no way going to mess around with the Captain’s lady.Oo For what I have in mind ma’am it is best that I am not an officer, or for that matter a gentlemen. T’Lea: Forgive me, Lieutenant, but what “duty” did you call me here for? Matthews: Your hand to hand evaluation test ma’am. :: Letting the hand that was holding the data padd fall to her side, the hybrid looked at him with a slanted brow. Her expression was teetering between boredom and temptation. The thought of pummeling a security officer was a delicious one, but to be quite honest with herself, she simply wasn’t in the mood. Oddly, time with T’Sara sounded better than getting into more trouble with the law.:: :: Assaulting a security officer, even if it was for evaluation purposes, wasn’t on her list of things to do today.:: T’Lea: ::Vulcany:: I appreciate the offer, Mr. Matthews, and I understand the need to complete this evaluation, but it would better suit us both if we rescheduled this appointment for a later date. I have more important matters to attend to and do not wish to engage in such activities presently. :: She was being polite, which meant he was going to let her leave, right? She turned and headed for the exit, fully expecting said politeness to be reciprocated.:: Matthews: ::Walking over to the weapons rack, taking two swords. Throwing one to Lt. Cmd. T’Lea.:: I was nice and polite in that last evaluation. I am a private citizen right now. You defiled my honor and my respect for you. So do you have the frakin stones to face me in combat? Or are you the self serving cry baby that you let everyone think you are? :: Eye-brow arch.:: :: Self-serving? Most definitely. Add sadistic to that and he was spot on. Cry-baby, though? He had made his intent clear with that one. He was attempting to incite anger in T’Lea. Amusing. Slightly.:: :: With a slow self-controlled turn back to the man, T’Lea [...]ed her head down at the sword laying in the sand. By the Vulcany reaction she gave Mr. Matthews, he may as well have tossed her a loaf of bread.:: T’Lea: ::lifting the sword simply to hand it back to him:: I do not think it is wise for me to engage a security officer in any type of simulated combat. ::Alexander takes a defensive stance, but standing his ground. He holds the sword in a offensive posture. Watching T’Lea’s movements, standing ready for the attack to come.:: :: Certain to hold the weapon limply in her hand to show that she was not participating, the little tap of his blade against hers was a goading one – one designed to grant his wish, one that resembled an obsessed puppy demanding attention until he was mauled to death.:: Matthews: Your move, cry baby. oO I think, I have lost my mind, but she will be done.Oo ::Holding the sword in both hands over his head.:: By the way, your mama was a Klingon!!!!! :: Using the data padd in her hand, and not the sword, which dangled loosely at her side, she deflected and redirected his two handed attack away while stepping out of his path. The data padd, unfortunately was obliterated on impact, but the graceful maneuver looked effortless, and also opened up a direct strike to the man’s kidney, which she resisted punching.:: :: It would have been so easy to land a crippling blow to the officer, and it would have given her morbid pleasure to know he’d be urinating blood for a few hours, but T’Lea was really, truly, and honestly trying hard not to fall into what she believed was a trap specifically designed to land her in the brig again.:: :: Watching his kidney pass by unprotected, she lifted her eyes back to the security officer as he spun himself and his kidney around in preparation for an attack that just wasn’t there.:: T’Lea: I will be leaving now, Mr. Matthews. :: Best to walk away before she did something stupid like stab his wittle neck.:: Matthews: Chicken? :: And walk away she did, about six steps until his blade grazed the back of her hand. A frown deepened across her smooth brow as she looked down and saw a thin layer of green blood emerge from a shallow one inch cut..:: :: Tilting her head back up at Matthews, her grip tightened around the hilt of her sword, and she curiously blinked at him.:: T’Lea: Did you remove the safeties from this program? Matthews: Hell yes!!! :: She heard the sharp clang and felt the vibration travel up the blade of her sword and into her hand as he batted at her weapon – a weapon that was more resistant than it had been.:: T’Lea: ::stepping back:: Mr. Matthews, I do not wish to harm you, but if you persist- :: “I will be forced to defend myself because you have foolishly placed us in a dangerous situation,” is what she was going to say, but the onslaught of his pointy sword being thrust in her direction forced her to shut up rather quickly.:: :: Defense is how it had all started, and there wasn’t much anger behind T’Lea’s guard as she deflected the in-coming metal. Matthews had very good technique and it was easy to see that he had trained in some form of sword fighting before. His skill with the sword was a higher level than T’Lea’s, but she knew enough to hopefully force a window of opportunity that would put him at a severe disadvantage.:: ::Alexander counters her strike with a counter block of her sword, then kicks out her feet from under her with a fast leg sweep. Diving to the left and rolling back to his feet facing her again.:: Matthews: Your better than that, bring it on [...] you!!! :: Flat on her back is how she’d ended up after playing nice with the delicate Terran. Nice, and defensive was the only thing keeping him from getting injured. That was about to change.:: :: Slowly climbing to her feet and appearing as though she still wanted no part in this exercise, the nasty truth of her intentions suddenly revealed itself in a fist full of sand, which was flung directly into the security officer’s face.:: :: A dirty tactic, sure, but she didn’t care. “Dirty” won fights. Rules and boundaries were for losers. Besides, he was the one that turned off the safeties. A little sand in his eyes wasn’t going to kill him, she mused before rampaging against him with a series of slash cuts.:: :: All she wanted to do was get him out of her way so that she could leave, but eventually it turned into something a little more personal.:: ::With sand in his eyes,Alexander avoids the next blow, but takes an elbow to the ribs catching him off guard. Ignoring the pain he becomes cold to fend off the wrath of T’Lea’s anger. Blocking her strike to his face, but not her kick to his left leg. Falling down to the sand on his back he takes his sword with both hands to block the over head slash coming towards him.:: :: Reigning in the part of herself that wanted nothing more than to disembowel the security officer, she leaned over his fallen body, his blade trembling to resist against hers, and she hissed coldly in his face.:: T’Lea: Give up, havam. I won’t tell anyone you quit. Matthews: I love you too, you mean monster. ::Moving his head around the blades to kiss her on the cheek.:: oO I might have opened a big can of whoop [...].Oo ::Pushing back the sword from his face, knocking her off balance.:: :: It looked like Mr. Matthews had a few dirty tactics of his own. The kiss was enough to make T’Lea recoil and allow the security officer enough momentum to disengage her dominant position over him. Not only had he surprised the Romu-vulc but he’d finally and successfully [...]ed her off. And he was going to pay for it. Slowly.:: ::Alexander rolls to the right, getting on his feet. Moving in a circle watching each and every move T’Lea makes. He knows that she could end this with just a nerve pinch, but he does not want to make it that easy for her. Deep inside Alexander has respect for T’Lea, she is his superior, but right now she is the enemy and for her to pass he has to give her his best.:: Matthews: Let it all out now, Cmd. I don’t have all frakin night. oO That’s for sure. [...] she’s fast.Oo ::Slowly moving to his left in a circle. :: Stripping off her jacket, she held on to the collar with one hand, using the material as a distraction by flicking it in his face whenever the opportunity presented itself. Once he got wise to that irritation she spun the fabric around her arm as protection to block a rather rude thrust of his blade. With a bit of luck she would be able to grab and maneuver his blade away, forcing his body into an open stance, if she got the chance.:: :: After a moment more of lunge and dodge he seemed to hesitate, or perhaps he was adjusting his plan of attack.:: T’Lea: Second thoughts? Last requests? Plea bargains? ::Alexander looked to her feet, then deep into her eyes. He does not want to over estimate her at this point, she could pick him up and throw him across the room. He could see that she is ready to explode with an attack. He takes a deep breath, then attacks with a side slash to the left and to the right.:: Matthews: Well played Cmd. What else have you got? ::Watching her eyes for the slightest movement.:: :: What happened next was a violent whirlwind of limbs connecting to exposed body parts, and the sound of metal challenging metal. Blissfully brutal best described T’Lea’s mode, and mood. Little did Matthews know just how much T’Lea was restraining herself from actually overpowering him and killing him. Instead, she chose to wear him down the hard way.:: :: Beating him into unconsciousness wasn’t as fun as ending him with a climactic last breath and watching his eyes glaze-over into nothingness, but it would have to do.:: ::Alexander defended himself with all of the skill and training that he has ever been taught. After about thirty more minutes his body could take no more. His side hurting from a cracked rib, his face cut from T’Lea’s blade. He ended the program.:: Matthews: ::Holding his side with one hand and the sword in the other, he bowed to T’Lea. Putting back on his comm badge and his pips.:: Ma’am, you have passed you hand to hand and the bladed weapons test. It has been my pleasure to be with you this evening. ::Breathing heavily.:: Computer end program. Computer: Program complete, you may exit when ready. Have a good evening. Matthews: ::Looked to the computer terminal.:: FRAK YOU!!!!! Computer: Unable to comply ::Alexander walked out the holodeck to the turbolift taking to the deck where sickbay is located.:: :: Out of breath herself, T’Lea stood there in the grid of the holodeck looking around the empty room, feeling like she had been wined, dined, and brought back to his place for the grand finale, only to be left very *not* satisfied.:: :: [...] didn’t even pass out, she thought….:: :: Either he was tougher than he looked, or he chickened out at the very last second.:: T’Lea: Frak. ::glancing around:: Now what…? :: Back to her office? Back to work? How was she supposed to dispose of all that emotional baggage he’d dredged up from her graveyard?:: T’Lea: Computer, run program T’Lea – Heghba’. :: The tiny smile on T’Lea’s lips welcomed the holograms of nine Klingons as they appeared in full battle armor along with six snarling and snapping targs.:: :: Heghba’ meant ritual suicide, and this would be theirs.:: Lt. Cmd. T’Lea Chief Science Officer USS Avandar and -- Lt.jg Alexander J. Matthews Tactical/Security Officer USS Avandar ((OOC He is a little mood music to go along with this scene.)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsF45oe6d5o
  25. ((Sickbay)) :: Zonhar headed to sick bay after being summoned there by the good Dr. Malcolm, and truth be told he was glad for a little exercise (that didn’t involve Li’ainea) and to worry about someone else’s problems others than his own.:: oO Funny- Avoidance: That one characteristic we counselors chastise our patients on, and yet cling to most enthusiastically ourselves. Oo ::Arriving at sickbay, Zonhar promptly went in and spotted Dr. Malcolm and approached her.:: Zonhar: Good day Dr. How are you? How may I be of assistance? ::She nodded toward the biobed where Gray waited patiently:: Malcolm: I need you to speak with Ensign Gray. He witnessed a highly traumatic accident. Zonhar: Hmm I certainly will speak with him. Are there any particulars about the incident you can give me before hand? I like to at least have some working knowledge before really engaging a “witness;” usually makes for an easier time knowing what is appropriate to say and probe further on. Malcolm: Ensign Davies was exposed to a hazardous chemical. It was pretty gruesome. Ensign Gray was with him in the lab when it happened. ::She craned her next around Zonhar to look at Gray perched on the biobed cool as a cucumber, looking to check on Davies periodically. He looked deep in thought as though he was considering a complicated calculus problem. :: He’s acting very calm about the whole thing. I don’t know if he’s in shock, or denial or something, but it does not seem normal. Zonhar: ::Rubbing his chin protrusion and looking Malcolm in the eyes:: I am sure the event was rather traumatic for you as well Dr., I know Davies was one of your own. I will go speak with Gray and see what I can...learn from him on the matter and do an assessment. Afterwards if you are able to get away from your medical duties long enough, I’d like to speak with you as well and make sure how you are holding up. I know something as traumatic as that can really be a difficult thing to swallow, especially when it comes to friends and associates. ::She hesitated a moment before nodding. He was right, of course.:: Malcolm: I’m almost done. I’ll wait for you in my office. Zonhar: ::Patting the Dr. on the shoulder:: Ok Dr. Malcolm...everything will be just fine. I think Davies and all of us are lucky to have someone so professional and collected and able to keep us afloat. Hang in there and I’ll be with you in a minute. Malcolm: Ok. And it’s your call whether Gray goes back on duty. T’Lea took him off-duty until our departments cleared him. Zohnar: Fair enough, I will make an honest evaluation, as well as see what else additional I can learn. I’m sure everyone was thorough, but there always seems to be more than meets the eye in some of these situations. ::Turning then, Zonhar set his full sights on Gray, centering himself and pushing aside his bristling attitude that he was naturally predisposed to have to the man after their last...”encounter.” He would get to the bottom of this, and find out what exactly had been going on before Malcolm had arrived.:: ::Approaching Gray slowly and cooly, Zonhar attempted to maintain a very neutral facial expression. His full counseling brain was locked in now, his potential stresses and strains from his marriage pushed to the very back corners of his mind. Stepping in front of the man, Zonhar looked him up and down using only his eyes and let out a pleasant if not standardly professional smile. Holding out his hand he offered for the man to shake.:: Zonhar: Ensign Gray. What a rather tragic and peculiar set of circumstances to meet you under again. How are you holding up? Gray: :: Steely blue-grey eyes settled on Zonhar:: Ah Counsellor it’s been a while. I’m holding up just fine thank you. Tell me, did you enjoy shore leave? ::Zonhar noted instantly the deflection away from the central issue, but nonetheless was willing to engage in the little “game” that the man was very likely hoping to play at, at least for a little bit until he could ascertain Gray’s particular reasons for being so deathly calm after what he could only imagine would have been a very traumatic event to witness for most people. After all even the good Dr. Malcolm had been noticeably shaken by what she witnessed and had to do in caring for Davies. Granted she could very well be closer to the man than even Gray was (they were from different departments.) but still they were fellow crew members.:: Zonhar: ::Smiling thinly as if to an old combatant:: Why Yes Ensign Gray, it has been a while. My little sabbatical has proven very beneficial and enlightening to me. Not to mention it has proven to be a very...blessed event. My wife was able to join me and has actually been selected to be the representative ambassador from Deltan on board the Avandar. Which is of course, exhilarating. ::Pause:: But surely you don’t wish to speak to me about my personal life..shouldn’t the events of today be much more...disconcerting and pressing for you than the love life of one denobulan? Gray: I didn’t enquire after your love life specifically. I asked a general question relating to shore leave and your enjoyment of it. “Good” would have sufficed. Zonhar: ::smirking wrilly:: Of course it would have sufficed, but then again, so would have a direct answer to my original inquires about the event and how you are managing to be so calm and nonchalant when a man was pretty much burned alive by chemicals a few feet from you, wouldn’t you say? Gray: What can I tell you counselor, I have a calm disposition. Davies will survive, I am sure he will make a fine recovery. :: Gray wasn’t overly fond of this thought but the medical evidence was there. He was going to need to keep a close eye on Davies and see where this went. :: ::Zonhar nodded realizing that if they continued in their standard manner of address they would get nowhere, and merely make pure enemies out of each other, if that wasn’t already the case.:: Zonhar: ::sighing:: Very well then Gray. Please tell me in your own words what you were doing shortly before the accident, what happened as Davies came in the room and everything that followed? I’d like to get a better feel for what exactly went on and I’m sure you would be able to enlighten me better than most. Gray: ::Talking smooth and calm, though he was growing weary of repeating himself:: I was in the lab working with an explosive chemical. It’s found in nebulae and gaseous anomalies and makes a great power source. I have been researching ways to make it more stable because if it wasn’t so hazardous it could be more readily used as an abundant, cheap, and efficient power source. I had prepared well for it and it was running without a hitch. Davies came to the lab carrying a hazardous material which had been sent to the wrong lab. It needed to be stored safely immediately. Since my work area was secure with a level 8 force field I deemed it safe for him to bring it in. He placed it on the counter and was about to go back to his lab when the console overloaded causing the accident. I commd sickbay for help, purged my work area, lowered the force field and helped Mister Davies as soon as I could, administering anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the swelling and open his airways so he didn’t suffocate. Jen arrived quickly on the scene and as soon as the room was deemed free from contaminants the safety restrictions were lifted and we were able to beam to sickbay. ::Zonhar nodded to himself and noting the series of unfortunate events which had led to the accident, and yet, he couldn’t help but think of one very troubling fact in the whole scenario: The console shorting out on a bran new Luna Class. Certainly there were always some glitches and such in any new system, but to short out at precisely the same moment that Davies was carrying the biohazardous material was...needless to say very odd.:: Zonhar: Gray how about a little walk? Id like for you to come with me to my office. This place is not nearly as private as needs be to discuss things. The sooner we can talk and get things sorted, the sooner you can be back and off to your...various projects. agreed? :: Gray quickly weight up his options and stood up off the bed ending up a bit too close to Zonhar.:: Gray: ::Maintaining eye contact and a neutral expression:: Agreed. ::He walked alongside Zonhar:: ::Zonhar led the way back to his new counselor’s office but purposefully took a very round about way to get there. In fact he had quite a little plan at trying to make a stab at making a crack in Grays hardened shell. At this point he wasn’t sure if the man was suffering from shock, or if he was purposefully a rather tight “drum” about his inner emotional and mental states but Zonhar at least wasn’t near ready to give up on a patient...even if secretly the man made his skin crawl.:: ::Pausing as they came up to one of the Mess Halls, he suddenly stopped and whirred around on Gray, smiling a purposefully rather obnoxiously bright smile at the man.:: Zonhar: It occurs to me that I know exactly what this situation needs.... Gray: ::Smirking back:: Whats that? Zonhar: Pie! Lots and lots of pie! And Tea with creame and sugar! Just this way...the old mess hall needs a good breaking in anyways. ::Zonhar said enthusiastically heading into the messhall without giving Gray even a moment to object.:: Gray: ::Staring after him as though he was mad and speaking in a tone of disinterest:: Help yourself but I am not hungry. Thanks all the same. ::Spinning on his heels and walking backwards in a way that seemed very effortless for a man that under most circumstances sported a slight limp, Zonhar faced Gray as they approached the serving counter.:: Zonhar: What? Come on there’s always room for pie! You can’t tell me you don’t like pie Gray. There are so many types and flavors. Pumpkin, apple, coconut creame, chocolate creame, pecan just to name a few of your native varieties.:: Gray: ::Grinding his teeth slightly:: I like pie fine counselor, when I am in the mood to eat it. As it happens I am not hungry. ::Zonhar looking completely unabashed, as he approached what he affectionately had come to know as the “Pie wall” which was actually a wall full of slotted containers which held all manner of fresh desserts for the crew, the favorite of which seemingly to be all manner of delicious pies.:: Zonhar: Suit yourself then, but I hope you will not object if I partake of a few...delicacies while we chat. ::Zonhar promptly then selected at least a half dozen slices of pie, pileing them high on his tray and carrying them over to a small table in the corner near the window looking out at the vastness of space.:: Gray: I refer you to my original statement... help yourself. Although if you have nothing better to do than eat pies perhaps we can continue this at another time? ::Plucking up his fork and spinning it around in his hand as if trying to decide which pie he would select from first, didnt hesitate in his reply though his attention seemed to be fully on his pies. This of course was actually a ruse, as though he did quite fancy a few bits of pie, it was mainly more of a counseling tactic which he was adopting with Gray. A small game of chicken as it were...to see which one of the two would break first. Zonhar knew Gray had to be feeling some deeper emotions or thoughts not only about the accident but even about himself, and Zonhar could think of no better way to test the rather stoic and biting man’s resolve than to be...well...as he would put it...highly obnoxious.:: oOKill em with kindness. And Pie.Oo Zonhar: I assure you...Dom...that after counseling all the years that I have I am fully capable of listening to you and and discussing your feelings and emotions of the previous incident...while enjoying a few delicious bites of pie too. Chewing takes rather surprisingly little effort after all. Especially when its so good it practically slides on down on its own! :: Sitting at the table with him Gray’s jaw clenched ever so slightly and he steepled his fingers. The way the denobulan was waving his fork around and the description of his eating habits was starting to make his stomach churn slightly, it was disgusting. :: Gray: ::Clearing his throat:: I would prefer if you could address me properly, my name is not “Dom”. ::Nodding slightly Zonhar and continuing unabashed as he plucked a small plate holding a rather large piece of pumpkin pie with an equally large slathering of whipped cream on top and holding it in front of his hungry eyes and addressing Gray:: Zonhar: Very well Dominic...if that is more to your liking. You know...the thing I love about pie is...If done correctly it is such a marvelous thing. But In all truth...it takes a lot of hard work to put together a perfect pie. A lot of planning and scheming and cooking up to make everything come together so effortlessly and perfectly. Though of course, not every time we endeavor to make a pie does it come out so...nicely. Sometimes it is disastrous. Like Robert Burns said, “the best laid schemes of mice and men do often go awry.” I think so too it is with pies. :: Gray was starting to get incensed, his nostrils flared in annoyance. :: Gray: ::Slamming a fist down on the table:: It is the plans of lesser men that go awry. :: He paused, looking at Zonhar with disgust. He couldn’t quite believe what he’d said, but quickly recovered the steely calm. :: ::Zonhar looked up from his pie and met Gray’s eyes as an unsettling calm took place over the two men. Certainly Zonhar had struck a little nerve with his last statement, and there were greater implications as to what this possibly meant, however he did not have near sufficient evidence or information to truly speculate on any point. He decided instead that continuing, all beit a little more cautiously was in order.:: Zonhar: Am I to understand that some greater and higher plans of yours have gone awry today? Other than of course Davies misfortunes? Gray: It is frustrating that through the most bizarre misfortune my experiment has been ruined, my lab has been exploded and I am now subject to a bombardment of questions, the same questions from different people. Zonhar: That is very understandable...of course...I did at least offer you pie. ::Gray looked at Zonhar in bewilderment and disgust as the denobulan let his long horrid tongue out of his mouth and took a long lick at his pie, scooping off the whip cream in one go before snaking it back in his mouth again.:: Gray: ::Delivering a glare through narrowed eyes that could pierce armor and leaning forward menacingly:: This day has been a series of unfortunate events, now if I may leave you to your pie? I am sure I will have to write up a report to supplement my numerous interviews. ::Setting his plate down, Zonhar turned his direct attention on Gray for the first time since they arrived at the Mess Hall. He had been taking careful notes mentally and judging by the mans little outburst, he knew future sessions would prove to be rather interesting to say the least. However He knew pressing the man any further could prove an all too unfruitful move. As he saw it, there was nothing that would prevent the man from carrying out his duties as it were. This did not however put Zonhar at ease about the situation, so he decided to put a small stipulation along with it.:: Zonhar: Very well Gray...I can tell you must be very stressed from today’s events and your failed project. As I see it I see nothing that would ultimately prevent you from returning to active duty, however, I am going to ask that you meet with me during more weekly sessions at least for the time being so I can monitor your progress. A general precaution as it were. Gray: ::Folding his arms and looking unimpressed:: I suppose this is not an optional request? Zonhar: No not quite I’m afraid. Though hopefully in the future you will take me up on offers of pie. I hear next week its “Tamale day.” Gray: ::Shuddering at the thought:: I think I shall soon be put off pie for good. I will keep your appointments but I don’t know what you hope to achieve. Zonhar: And that is a counselor’s prerogative Gray. For me to know at this point in time. Don’t you worry about what I have planned, just get yourself there and I will try to make our sessions as pleasant as possible. :: Gray smiled but it was not a friendly gesture. He got up from the table and left the Mess Hall. He wanted to check on Davies progress, though not out of any real concern for the man and headed to sickbay. :: ::Zonhar sat there a moment, looking at the exit of the Mess hall a few moments after Gray had left, then let out a low sigh and proceeded to take various forkfulls of the different pies in front of him. Though the encounter had been more souring than pleasant, he wasn’t about to start crying over a little spilt milk.:: ::Suddenly Zonhar shot bolt upright, a troubling thought occurring to him as he smacked his lips.:: Zonhar: I forgot some milk. ::And with that he ambled over to get some milk to wash down the aftertaste of pie and troubling conversation.:: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Jen Malcolm Chief Medical Officer USS Avandar & (PNPC) Dominic Gray Science Officer USS Avandar as simmed by Lieutenant JG Evanna Blackwood ACSO USS Avandar & Ensign Zonhar Counselor USS Avandar
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