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  1. (( Quarters Rajel - The next forenoon )) :: Jalana hadn’t slept well, and Jerry’s visit had taken some of her, digging through past things. But she started to feel a bit better, now that she had eaten something and was able to sip her tea in peace. It was rather cozy on her couch, and the look out of the windows showed the breathtaking sight of Dagorin VI. A decision would have to be made, not by her, but by Awern and his people. Would they really want to stay here and risk the Syndicate trying to take up the operation again? When the door buzzer went off she looked up from her seat. :: Rajel: Come in. :: As the doors opened they showed the dark haired man and the white haired woman she had just been thinking about. Getting up to her feet she waved them inside. :: Please come on in, take a seat. I was just thinking of you. Sedean: ::he nodded and smiled:: You were?::Awern stepped inside and took a seat at the chair. oO She better have gotten some sleep! Oo:::: Lirane followed, and offered a friendly smile to Jalana. It was not hard to notice that the woman was tired, but she kept it to herself. After that day before it would be surprising if she wouldn’t be. :: Rajel: Yes. I was wondering about what your decision about the planet would be.Have you thought about it? ::She lowered herself to the couch again looking from one to the other.:: ::Awern inhaled and exhaled. The decision was tough, and he required a hell lot of thinking to reach his decision. He weighed factors with other factors, and considered everything, ensuring he did not leave out any details. He had consulted the Lady, and he hoped what decision he had made was the best for his people...and it would not involve any suspicious Syndicate.::Sedean: Definitely. The decisions was incredibly difficult.Rajel: I can imagine. So what did you think? :: Merina looked from Jalana to Awern, just as curious as the Trill. Awern had not told her anything yet, so she wanted to know as well. :: Sedean: I have reached a final decision. ::he fiddled with his fingers::Rajel: Ah! Very good. What have you decided?Lirane: Yes, what is your decision? Sedean: I have decided that we should…::he paused, unsure if he wanted to say his answer. He gave in, and blurted it out::..we should colonise Dagorin VI. :: Merina smiled widely. She was pleased to hear that, as she really had enjoyed the surface, even the caves weren’t too bad, but gone now. :: Rajel: ::Her brows raised:: Are you certain? Sedean: ::he grinned ear-to-ear in excitement:: Yes, the area will be suitable for us! From what we observed, we are not affected by the sap, which is good.Rajel: That is certainly good news. The sap might as well be your protection from other species then. What about the Syndicate? :: Merina looked to Awern, since they had talked about that the night before, she thought it would be okay to take that question. :: Lirane: We decided that if they return, the planet is big enough for both parties. It should be possible to live on the planet and use it to our advantage without being in the way of the Syndicate if they wish to return. Rajel: Fascinating. Do you think the Syndicate agrees? Sedean: I’m sure they don’t know we exist. ::he tilted his head:: Why do you ask?Rajel: ::smiling:: No, I’m just making sure you took everything into account. If you are really sure that this is what you want, we will make sure to get you safely to the surface and give you the supplies you need until you are settled in. Sedean: Wonderful! ::he looked at Merina:: Can you compile a list?Lirane: Of course, I’ll put it together. Rajel: Very well, please send the list to the OPS department and they will take care of everything. We are going to get everything together until noon, so we can begin bringing you down within the next hour, if that is alright with you. Sedean: I would very much like that. Thanks, Jalana.Rajel: Very well, then I better let everyone know. ::She smiled and raised from the couch.:: Lirane: Thank you Jalana. We appreciate what your crew had done for us.Sedean: I will get my people ready for transport as soon as possible.Rajel: I’ll come by to say good bye before you leave. :: Merina smiled and with a brief nod she and Awern left the Captain’s quarters, they have a lot to do in that hour. :: ((Transporter Room 5))((1 hour later))::Awern stepped into the room, as he saw some of the Dokkarans get beamed down as well as small cargo boxes for supplies. This was finally happening; their new home and community. He walked with Merina near the where some of the other Dokkaran were gathered. He turned to Merina excitedly.::Sedean: Excited?Lirane: Very. I can’t wait to get settled and find the treasures of this planet. Vilar and Sarey will fly the ships down to the surface, so they won’t stay back here. Sedean: Wonderful. I also got Kyana to prepare the first Vizinyian tree. I believe she beamed down with the first group.:: The doors opened, and just as Jalana had promised she entered the room. Though her expression was not the relaxed and chipper one they had met before. She looked worried even though she tried to hide it behind a smile, it was obvious that it was just a facade.:: Lirane: Is something wrong? Rajel: ::Taking a deep breath.:: Yes. ::Looking to Awern:: Do you remember when I talked to you about a tracking beacon in your ship? Sedean: ::thinking:: Yes, I do. What is it?Rajel: ::nodding:: As you know, my people investigated. It clearly used a signature used by quite a number of organisations, including the Orion Syndicate. It appears that they found a trace, a kind of fingerprint in the code, that helps to track who put it together. Sedean: And? ::he wanted to know, quite desperately:::: Merina silently listened to them both. She had not heard about this before, at least not as much as she remembered, so she just paid attention. :: Rajel: I have to inform you, that the person who wrote the code, is an individual of your group, named Vilar. Lirane: That is impossible.Sedean: ::his brows raised:: Our pilot?Rajel: Sadly there is no doubt. My people have checked and checked again. You can take a look at the data yourself. ::She handed him the PADD.:: We do not know if he has been in contact with the Syndicate members we found here, or those that poisoned your planet. We only know that he programmed the beacon. ::All this time, he hadn’t realised there was someone suspicious in the group, and it just happened to be the pilot. No wonder during the wait for the Constitution to arrive he did not report anything.::Sedean: What do we do?:: This was the question. She had thought about it from the moment she had read the Report to now, which had been the most part of the past hour. Truth was, this was an internal matter, since there was no proof to the depths of Vilar’s involvement in what had happened to the Constitution Crew on the planet. :: Rajel: Well you have the choice. You can either leave him with us and we will bring him before a tribunal, or you deal with it internally. Since you are not a member of the Federation, though aligned with us, the choice in your hands. Sedean: And he will be convicted.Rajel: Yes, there is a chance. What you say? Sedean: ::he thought, again. The decision was hard to make, as he was not sure which he would be more effective for Vilar.:: I believe it is better if we deal with Vilar. ::to Merina:: He won’t know what he’ll be in later.Lirane: ::Nodding:: I agree. It will be better to deal with it ourselves. ::to Jalana:: Thank you for letting us know. ::The Trill understood not only that they wanted to solve this among themselves, but also why. Vilar was one of them, they needed to know what he had done and why. And they had their own justice system as well. It made total sense. :: Rajel: Of course. Transporter Officer: There are only 3 cargo boxes remaining, and only Mr.Sedean and Ms. Lirane left.:: Jalana looked to the officer and turned her attention back to Awern and Merina. :: Rajel: Looks like it is time to bid our farewells. If you need anything please let Starfleet know. :: Merina nodded and couldn’t wait to get off that metal ship. While she had enjoyed being with the people she longed for natural material under her feet. :: Lirane: Would you please say good bye to Solaris for me? Once our communication system is up, I will contact her myself but did not have the time for it now. And I hope that Wyn will recover swiftly.:: The Trill nodded in acknowledgement. Being in the same team might have lead to new friendships, which made her smile. :: Rajel: I will let them know. ::Awern nodded and turned around to walk over to the transporter pad. Before he was off Starfleet and Federation property, he breathed in the metallic smell of the starship. He looked at Jalana.::Sedean: Jalana, I can’t thank you enough for assisting in our search for a new homeworld. And thank for helping cure us of our...chemicals. ::he smiled::Rajel: Naturally :: Smiling::Sedean: ::the officer behind the station began to energize:: Live long and propser, Jalana.:: While it was a vulcan farewell it made her smile nonetheless. Having learned a lot about Dokkarans in the last two days she remembered some of their customs as well.:: Rajel: And my the Lady protect and guide you and your people. Lirane: ::Surprised, she smiled:: And yours, Jalana. :: The farewell still echoed in Jalana’s mind as the blue sparkling lights engulfed the two and whisked them away from the Conny to the planet’s surface. Jalana stood there for another moment, hoping that they wouldn’t have too much trouble down there. Everything had been brought down, they would take care of the potential saboteur themselves and so far the Syndicate had not shown up again. She knew that one of the Syndicate members in the brig had not survived, the other two were now waiting to be handed over to the authorities, which would happen once they arrived at SB 118. She would have to find out how Rustyy and Wyn were doing, as they had been hit the hardest in their away missions. With that it was time to get right on that. She raised her hand to tap her badge.:: Rajel: =/\= Rajel to bridge. Get us home. =/\= -----MSNPCAwern SedeanDokkaran Group Leadersimmed byLt.JG Chelin Ch'GaborScience OfficerUSS Constitution-BC239212CC0Featured Bio Team Member&MSNPCMerina LiraneDokkaran Scientist& Captain Jalana RajelCommanding OfficerUSS Constitution BImage Team FacilitatorA238906JL0
  2. ((Embassy Grounds, Duronis II)) ::Ceilidh looked at the people there. The captain, Allison, Stelin, as well as the Laudean Prime Minister. There was tension in the air, and Ceilidh wasn't too sure what to make of it. Out in space, aboard a Space ship during battle was one thing, but on the ground, that was completely different, and to be quite honest, more terrifying. When Daysa greeted both herself and Allison, there was a sad joy to his voice, as if he was happy to see them, realizing that this was per chance the last time they'd greet each other alive. It was a sorrow that sprank up from deep within, but there was also a hint of determination in that voice, that if at all possible, they'd not allow such a thing to happen.:: Daysa: The Laudean Militia has been taught to face their battles head on, and I feel certain that they will do the same here at the front gate. Before the night is over, your beautiful fountain will flow with their blood. ::The statement still made Ceilidh blanch. Water had always captivated her, ever since she could remember. It's hues of blues and greens evoked fond memories. Yet the idea of the fountain spitting up red water, tinted from blood was not an image she wanted to think about, less see with her own eyes. It seemed that no matter how 'civilized' people got, there was still a barbaric nature hiding deep within, raging to get out at the first opportunity. :: Daysa: The thing that bothers me is them having vessels in space. Stelin: If we had another ship, we could coordinate with it in order to keep the ship in orbit busy while we fight the ground troops. ::Samal’s stomach turned. He was right. :: Frazier: I am sure that is why they are hitting us now. We can only assume they have been watching us a long time and know how we operate. Stelin: Is there any way to get a message to the Thunder? Frazier: And Star Base 118 is not able to send any ships to support either. Allison: They are operating dark, both the Thunder and the Bronwyn... Riverview: ::Looking at Frazier:: This could be the entire main reason as to why when I first arrived you stated that our ships are all out. This could have been their ploy the entire time, leave us unguarded in the hopes of taking over, without interference from Star Fleet. ::It was plausible that all the recent activity was to get us vulnerable, so that the Prime Minister could be attacked and Starfleet wouldn't be there to aid, and could then potentially be blamed for not helping in time. Thankfully though, both the Thunder and Bronwyn were just above the planet, operating in darkness, and now just needed to be contacted. Stelin, Allison, and Martinez devised a way to communicate with them so that the Laudean attack force would be unaware of what was taking place. Daysa: ::Fielding the oncoming Militia and the arrival of Dr. Peji and the students:: No, they are here. I have an idea that may stop a battle or at least buy us some time. ::Ceilidh watched as Daysa went forward to speak with the others. It saddened her to know that she was right, that it had been someone closest to Daysa who had decided to betray him. What must it feel like to know that someone who you've let into your life, perhaps even your heart betray your trust and wish harm on not only you, but your family as well?:: Daysa: ::Raising his hand to quiet everyone:: Please allow me time to be heard. I know that you've come to overthrow the Laudean Government under my direction, and drive the Federation from Til'ahn. ::When Daysa put things into familia terms, it began to become more personal forr all that were there. The facial expressions began to change, and not everyone was as eager now as they were when they first marched up. Whipping up anger among a group is easy and takes rather little effort. But calming such an approaching storm, that was an art form, built on years of learning patience and wisdom.:: Daysa: The Federation have not come to invade us. They've come to preserve our way of life. The people you fight for are the invaders in league with the Romulan Tal' Shair. Surely you remember how our lives were changed under their rule. Our children starved, our women violated, and our Lomales enslaved. Is this the life you want to return? Is it the life you choose for your children and your children's children? Abasi: That is not the life I want for my people Daysa: Then lay down your arms and recall the vessels. And let's go home, to a life we can enjoy unfettered. Abasi: =/\= All units. This is Submarshal Abasi. Stand down. Return to base. Repeat, return to base.=/\= :: The troops lowered their weapons and began to climb back into their transports:: Abasi: It is done, Prime Minister. If you wish to arrest me, I will be at my barracks... ::Now was the long road of healing that laid before all parties, and that included the Federation. There might not have been direct involvement in the reasons for the uprising this time, but they were mentioned as a source of resentment by some, and that needed to be resolved. :: Riverview: ::Looking at Frazier:: If I may sir, I would like to work with Prime Minister Daysa and Submarshal Abasi ::looking at both Daysa and Abasi:: to help understand what lead up to these events, and help on the road to recovery. I believe that the Federation needs to be involved in this process, as we were mentioned as a point of contention. Ensign Ceilidh Riverview Diplomatic Attaché Duronis II Embassy - USS Thunder-A ID number: C239209CR0
  3. ((Commander Cody’s Office, Deck 1, USS Athena)):: David established the security of his office before opening a comm channel through the JTSC encryption. Paranoia never really bothered him. He checked the sweep reports from his slimpadd, verifying the non-existence of listening devices, whether energy or bio-based, and entered Captain Rajel’s comm channel. He didn’t show Prendar all of his security features. That was a good way for David to get hacked. ::((Quarters Jalana Rajel, Deck 2, USS Constitution-B)):: The night in the dark quarters was rather quiet, which just played into Jalana’s hands. They had just returned from Dagorin VI, a taxing and exhausting mission. She had left Sick Bay after her treatment only about half an hour ago and the little break just to calm herself down was welcome before sleep. So she sat in the dark of her quarters, the only light illuminating from the screen in front of her. The Trill closed a report when her computer beeped, announcing an incoming message, without looking where it was coming from. :: :: On the other side was a young man and she couldn’t say she’d seen him before. She liked meeting new people, and she was curious what he wanted from her. So she leaned forward and offered him one of her signature smiles, spreading into her sparkling green eyes. :: Rajel: Good evening. :: David smiled. ::Cody: Captain Rajel. I’m Commander David Cody under Captain Faranfey’s command here on the USS Athena.:: One of Selene’s people? She knew that the crew had changed ships. The Athena was an Odyssey class, just like the Apollo-A, the ship she and her crew had been on before under Andrus Jaxx. :: Rajel: Please call me Jalana. ::A sudden thought shot through her head.:: I hope everything is alright with Selene? Cody: Actually, I was wondering if you might be willing to help me out. I have this… Thomas Prendar, who decided he wanted to come along on our ship’s next mission. After digging a little bit, I’ve found he’s made quite a bit of noise over several ships. ::with a crooked smile:: Enough for me to take a closer look at what he’s been up to over the last year or two.:: Raising both brows she squeezed her spots into her hairline. Prendar. She had met the man once, though her crew had met him another time before that. Akeelah had been acting CO back then and the report had been anything but a glowing recommendation for the man. The second time she only had gotten rid of him because Nugra had stormed into the ship and used his unique methods to make Prendar leave. Her mind wandered to Nugra and sadness washed over her, but she quickly moved it aside. This was not the time. :: :: So Prendar was on board Selene’s ship? She worried a little about that. Whenever Prendar showed up, that didn’t mean he was there to play nice. The usual chipper and bubbly Trill had trouble to not let her face fall through the ship into the vacuum of space. :: Rajel: Prendar. You have my deepest condolences for that visit. Cody: If I may, Captain, what can you tell me about Thomas Prendar and your experience with him?Rajel: Jalana. ::She smiled at him and leaned back in her seat, wondering where to start.:: Prendar was with my crew two times, but I personally met him only once. Though that was a rather impressionable visit. We had just returned from 1914. We had been pulled into a time rift and upon return learned that we’d been gone for two months. Prendar was the one greeting us. He confined me to my quarters and confiscated the ship. :: David raised a brow. ::Cody: He simply showed up right as you came out of the rift?Rajel: Yes, I don’t know if he waited for us or was just there at the right time as part of the searching party. ::Pause:: He believed that we tampered with the timeline, but in all actuality someone else had done that before us and we were the one fixing that mistake before we found a way to return. Prendar of course didn’t believe me. He investigated the mission and interrogated my crew in a manner that can only be described as him being obsessed with finding anything we did wrong. Not only pertaining the mission but anything at all.:: David knew that some officers could be a little overzealous in their investigations, and it hadn’t been long since he had talked with Dr. Foster. ::Cody: ::darkening:: Obsessed. How so?Rajel: From what I understand he was rather hostile, threatening my crew in a way that made it appear as if he followed the rules, but… you know when you just know that someone has malicious intentions. :: From one of the things that Foster had revealed, and having a bit better understanding of what might have shown up, David nodded. ::Cody: Dr. Foster and I chatted briefly. There was mention of another ship, either cloaked or hidden, within the rift. The reports are a little conflicting. I don’t know if Prendar knew about that or not, or what exactly that was.:: Jalana wasn’t surprised that he had talked to other members of the crew. He wanted to know about Prendar and the more voices he heard the more complete the image of Prendar would be. She did remember what David was talking about, though having seen the reports as she had sent them to Starfleet, she wondered why they were conflicting. :: Rajel: Why do you ask? Cody: The reason I ask is because I think it might be related to other events that Colonel Nugra had been involved with before… ::closing his eyes a moment:: Before his passing.Rajel: ::Swallowing she lowered her eyes, remembering her friend with a pang of sadness. Seeing David’s small gesture she had the feeling that they had been friends as well. :: I’m sorry for your loss.:: Although they weren’t as close as he had with Selene and Jalana, his death affected him, hard. ::Cody: He meant a great deal to me. ::taking a breath:: Nugra had a great deal of knowledge and experience about an ancient race, a symbol of which showed up the other day. I’m not sure how much you know about a couple of incidents, once at Duronis, and once on the Victory where Nugra had been.Rajel: What race… and symbol, if you don’t mind me asking? Cody: An ancient one that Nugra had come across before, Yeltan.:: She could swear she had heard that name before. Leaning back she stared at the surface of her desk and chewed on her bottom lip, as she tried to trace her steps. Where had she… oh. Her emerald eyes raised to look at David. She was not sure how much she could say, without getting either herself or Selene into trouble. She was pretty sure that these were things she shouldn’t even know about. :: Rajel: I don’t know about these incidents. ::At least that was the truth.:: Why would Prendar … ::She stopped herself. That question would lead into a deep rabbit hole. :: :: David studied her hesitation. He wasn’t entirely sure of the dynamic between her and Selene, but wasn’t sure how to approach it.Cody: Regarding that other ship, are you sure it was Romulan?:: She needed to turn around again. Fast. He had a question before she hadn’t answered. That was a good point to return to. :: Rajel: David, you were asking about that other ship before. I did mention it in my report to Starfleet, but I have the feeling that someone might have… changed parts. :: He masked a grim, somewhat bleak realization. If a report had been changed… oO Or sanitized… Oo Too many people knew how to scrub, himself included. But if there was a question regarding a potential altered report, he might be able to do something with that. ::Cody: What was the disturbance, if you don’t mind me asking?Rajel: We were in 1914 as mentioned and while our teams tried to fix the errors my bridge crew attempted to find ways to return home. While they scanned the anomaly for traces that could help, they found traces of another ship that had been there before us. They were Romulan. We do not know why they were there, they had been gone when we arrived. But we had the theory that they were behind the changes. We never figured out why they would do it, though. So we can’t be sure.:: A couple of things occurred to David. If it had been a Hunger ship, it would have made an attempt to breech. No, it wasn’t a Hunger ship. But… he did know that Sicarius intersected with the Romulans. That made a lot more sense, but increased his concern. ::Cody: Sicarius has shown up within Romulan space.:: The Trill’s face fell and her already light skin went pale as the moon. She stared at the screen, at the man who had just mentioned the one name that still after over 160 years send chills through her whole body, out- and inside. How could it be that after all this time they were still part of her life? And why did the Romulans work with them? If Sicarius didn't change their mission Romulans wouldn't have been the species she expected to hear in the same sentence. :::: She swallowed hard and her voice was slightly shaky, no matter how hard she tried to make it sound steady. :: Rajel: Are… you sure? :: At some point, David knew he would need to make a decision. A silent breath made him decide to take a risk. ::Cody: Yes. I don’t know if you’re aware of a certain Captain’s origins, but I’m also trying to locate a friend of theirs who came along.:: Still under shock of hearing of Sicarius activity, her eyes snapped up to David’s. He seemed to know about Selene and her past… or rather future. And who did he mean with friends. Selene had never mentioned friends. The unknown Romulan who had waited for her to bring a message to Selene maybe. Or was the ‘friend’ just a figure of speech? :: Rajel: What friend are you talking about? Cody: ::after a moment:: I have reason to believe that friend knows something about everything we’re facing.:: That did sound like the Romulan. Jalana leaned back thinking and taking a deep breath. :: Rajel: What does all of this have to do with Prendar? Or ::a short break:: Sicarius?:: And there was the real rub, the real question that set David down this path. He knew it was related, he was just missing one last piece. ::Cody: ::a long breath:: I can’t go into all of it, but the short version is I think what happened to you, what happened on the Victory, at Duronis, the Apollo-A are all connected, and somehow those two are tied into it somehow.:: This became worse and worse. :: Rajel: This is a bad idea. He should stay far away from them, no matter what I think of Prendar.:: But the man had gone to collect a captured, then escaped Sicarius prisoner. David shook his head. Something wasn’t right about that. ::Cody: ::after a long moment:: Do you know something?Rajel: I know too much if you ask me. ::She rubbed the bridge of her nose.:: You are speaking with the person who delivered Mida Shayzier to the Klingons. ::She remembered the ice cold aura of that man as if it had been yesterday.:: :: If there was something that could shock David, Jalana found it. He stumbled over his throat, unable to speak as took in her Trill markings. ::Cody: ::finding his voice:: Wait… you did, or?Rajel: My former host Apria. ::She shook her head:: I still don’t know why this has anything to do with … that friend of a certain Captain. You are not telling me that Sicarius has anything to do with the Hunger? .oO Damn, walked right into that, didn’t you? Now he knows that you know. Oo.:: Closing his eyes a moment, David made sure he hadn’t said anything about the Hunger as a certainty fell. Jalana knew. And if she knew about the Hunger, then it became likely she knew about Selene… about a great many things. He thought about the best way to proceed. ::Cody: ::softly:: Shayzier went on about a great evil about to descend on the galaxy and we needed to be ready for. ::studying Jalana:: I think we both know about Selene’s history, as well as Shiarrael. Sicarius started with Shayzier, Last year, we saw the resurgence of the Sicarius, starting with the Prometheus Station incident. Sicarius played around with weaponry that created temporal subspace rifts.Rajel: ::Closing her eyes briefly she inhaled deeply.:: Yes I’m aware about his… belief. It was all he talked about, and having to strengthen the galaxy by eliminating the weak. If they are really back and responsible for that, we all have a big problem. I am sure that everyone would prefer if what Selene and her friend know remains in their timeline and does not repeat itself here. :: A sudden realization slammed home that David should have realized just a short while ago while talking with Talia. ::Cody: ::shaking his head, angry mostly with himself:: There’s something you should know. There’s a shapeshifter associated with Sicarius who goes by Que. Que captured Talia Kaji at Duronis, impersonated her, was rooted out, then Que herself was captured later by Commander Brek and the Columbia crew later on in mid 2392. Prendar went out to Starbase 118 to collect Que, and somehow she managed to escape. I know because Brek and I got together barely an hour or two later after Prendar showed up. Jalana, this Yeltan symbol that came up, it’s on the planet in the Gamma Quadrant. And we know there is a shapeshifter involved with the Sicarius.Rajel: A shapeshifter? That means she could be anywhere… anyone. David, I don’t like the sound of that. Cody: ::recalling that Prendar spent the most time on both the Constitution and Victory:: Wait… would Prendar know about you, Selene and Shiarrael?Rajel: I don’t think so. Shiarrael made sure that there are no traces of her visit here. ::She had tried to find anything but the computer had believed that nobody but Jalana had been in her quarters at that time. :: And I contacted Selene over a secure line. She did not mention Prendar being on board at the time, so he wouldn’t even know that we talked. But if Selene’s background is in her file, he could find a way to get to it.:: It solidified a somewhat working theory. David nodded, pulling in all the information that came through from different sources. He suddenly realized that the Shiarreal that came with Selene was still out there, if understood that she somehow showed up at the Constitution.::Cody: Do you believe that he could have found out?Rajel: To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised about anything when it comes to him. But why do you think he could know about that? Do you think that might be the reason he’s on the Athena right now?Cody: There’s something I haven’t told you, I haven’t told anyone, yet. There’s two event chains I’ve developed. One involving all of the incidents regarding temporal events that have and may have to do with the Yeltans and the Hunger, and then an event chain that includes the actions of a person along with the re-emergence of the Sicarius in February of last year.:: The Trill leaned forward, watching the man intently. :: Rajel: Which events? Cody: Here’s the one thing you need to know. On February 4, 2392, Lt. Commander Thomas Prendar requisitioned a ship from Starfleet Intelligence and flew off somewhere. There are two factors involved in this, one circumstantial, and one factual.Rajel: :nodding:: It is not surprising that he grabs a ship and flies off. ::But he surely had a point to what he was saying.:: What are the factors? Cody: Circumstantial, fourteen days after Prendar flew off, the first strike from the Sicarius happened at Prometheus Station. Factual, for reasons I have yet to find out, Prendar didn’t attempt to re-capture Que after she escaped from custody from Captain Shaw. I’ve read the report, and everything Shaw’s team said backs what Prendar said… but still.:: That hit her like a hammer right in the guts. There must be an explanation for that. Something. Anything. .oO Calm down, Jalana and think. Oo. Rajel: Are you sure about that?:: David assured her with a short nod. ::Cody: Every Intelligence officer has a personnel file that logs their activity, regardless of the operation. ::Rajel: What if the name Thomas Prendar is a cover he uses to protect his real identity? With him being of the SFI he has the means to do that and bury his real identity. We wouldn’t have access to that kind of information and no way to find out. Cody: ::thinking:: There’s only a couple who would. Do know you something, or is it an idea?Rajel: ::nodding:: I am simply trying to come up with alternatives, to keep an open mind about his involvement and background.:: David nodded. Always keep an open mind. ::Cody: And possibilities.Rajel: That is who we are. The keeper of open minds and finders of possibilities, seekers of truth and all that. And secondly… ::She sighed:: … The thought of Prendar being from the future and knowing about all of this is terrifying. So I have to hope he isn’t.:: With a somewhat morbid curiosity, however terrible it was, David relaxed. ::Cody: No. He’s from the Prime here and now. I’ve read his file… what was he like? Shayzier… if you don’t mind me asking.:: The Trill looked through David for a long moment, remembering that man like it had been yesterday that she stood in front of his cell trying to find out why he had killed so many people. Chills ran through her every cell. :: Rajel: Calm, calculating… He was convinced that what he did, had to be done. That the weak had to cease.:: Flinching slightly, David thought of the last Ixvapian warlord, Hadrian. The strong preserved, the weak perished, as was ordained by the Journey. He knew that deformed logic, even if he didn’t agree. ::Cody: ::entranced:: What did he say?Rajel: He told me… Apria, that it would come. .oO You can't stop it. It will come and the weak will cease. Oo. And that we can’t stop it. He smiled at me when he said that, even more when he told me I would see, when he didn’t answer to who ‘it’ was. ::She took a deep shivering breath.:: He… ::Pause:: He was obsessed with his cause, no matter the cost. But I can see why so many followed him. Cody: What was it about him?Rajel: Because despite all he said and did, he wasn’t cold. He was charismatic and passionate about Sicarius’ cause. He believed in it and could make others believe in it as well. If you ask me, that’s the most dangerous kind of fanatic.:: Closing his eyes a moment, David took a moment to digest. Charismatic, passion and belief, some of the worst people within Earth’s history possessed those traits. Yes, he could see how Mida inspired others, especially if his followers were prone to look toward someone who could lead them in those times. ::Cody: So you caught him, turned him over to the Klingons, and then?Rajel: He died the next day. I was there to personally make sure of that. He looked at me the whole time. He wanted me to see it. ::She stayed with that memory for a brief moment. :: After all we talked about today, I wonder if he knew about the Hunger.:: David couldn’t discount the possibility, given everything that happened. He wondered if Mida was another universe jumper, and somehow fell into a fever to spark this universe. He tried to picture Mida Shayzier, filling in everything from this tall, dark haired, charismatic man, to someone of normal stature, maybe with the elements of a scholar in his features. Was he clean shaven, or did he have a beard? ::Cody: What did he look like?:: For a moment Jalana wasn’t sure why David wanted to know, but it dawned on her. He tried to imagine him, something she had done many times in many lives when facing an opponent or an enemy. And without any information, it was hard to do that. Mida didn’t have pictures on files, but she had seen him, spoken with him, so the question made perfect sense. :: Rajel: Shayzier was tall, his hair brown and about shoulder length. He liked to wear it combed back… I remember him running his hands through it to move it backwards before he was executed. His eyes ::pause:: brown but not dark, though I found them dead and soulless. The kind of eyes that show you he could lose it any moment if he would allow it to himself. ::A longer pause.:: But maybe it was because he was in that cell, that they looked that way to me. ::She pulled herself out of the memory looking at the man on the screen.:: I was focusing on containing my rage against him when we met, so my impression might have been tinted by that.::Nodding, the deep black skin of the Ixvapian warlord and his dark, glittering, proud glean ghosted out of memory. David met people like Shayzier.::Cody: Those who are firm in who they are and what they believe.Rajel: He looked like the kind of man you would trust with your life, when meeting him as part of your crew. If not for those eyes.Cody: ::struck by a thought:: Any sons or daughters?:: Jalana rubbed over her face with one hand. All this talk about Shayzier made her nervous. It had been so far in the past, somewhere in a dark corner in the darkest room of the void called memories of forgotten past. And then this article had brought it back up, now David asked all these questions. It made it difficult to focus on anything but these memories. They were as fresh as the day it all happened. :: Rajel: Yes two daughters. Hope and Futureia. Why do you ask?Cody: Just free thinking, more than anything. Sometimes the cause of a father is inherited by the sons and the daughters ::humans were just as bad about that alongside both the Klingons and the Romulans at times::Rajel: I see. ::pause:: Well his wife, Leia, and his daughters were not there when we got him. We were sure that he made sure of that to get them to safety. We were unable to find them, no matter where we looked. I assume he had some powerful friends with means to take care of that.::That clinched a few things David learned during the course of this year, making several notes.::Cody: Would you be willing to tell me about them?Rajel: The girls were teenagers, that means they grew up with his convictions, possibly were influenced by it. That means unless he kept family and Sicarius apart. Though with his strength of belief that is hard to imagine. But I can’t say if they followed it as well.::A sudden feeling traveled the course of David’s spine, based on what he had learned about the initiates.::Cody: Jalana, you are a lifesaver.:: The Trill smiled slightly, she hoped she didn’t look as tired as she felt. With a gesture that had gone over into her blood she fluently pushed her hair behind her ear and lowered her hand again. :: Rajel: I am glad, if I could help. I appreciate that you shared the information you have. If you don’t mind I would like to stay updated on this.:: David leveled her a warm, somewhat devious smile. ::Cody: Something is going to happen in the near future. Something very large, very splashy, and very public. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I think you’re going to like it.:: The smile and the sudden excitement was more than a little curious for Jalana. Coming from such a dark subject to this of course made her want to know what had happened in this man’s mind, what was the mysterious event going to happen soon. But she also knew asking would be futile. She would have to wait.:: Rajel: I can’t wait to see what it is, David. And good luck with Prendar. Cody: Thank you, Captain. For everything. I’ll keep you in the loop.:: She nodded, offering him another smile, before pressing the button to end the connection. She closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths. This had been an emotionally taxing conversation, with memories she would have preferred to stay away. The day had been long and straining, so what she really needed was sleep. Opening her eyes again, she wanted to see if she had much urgent paperwork to do tonight, when in the corner of her eye she saw something, that made her heart jump and her body followed, pushing back the chair into the shelf behind her. She twirled towards the shape she saw standing at the window. ::Rajel: Computer light. NOW! :: The light turned on immediately, hurting her eyes briefly so she closed them for that moment. As she opened them again, there was nothing, but her rapidly beating heart. She could have sworn she saw someone standing there in the window, dimly illuminated from behind by the passing stars. :: Rajel: Computer, has anyone but me been in my quarters within the last 24 hours? Computer: ::beep:: Negative. :: The Trill exhaled. The conversation with David must have put her more on edge as she had thought. In combination with the taxing day her mind could play tricks on her. Yes, that must be it. Simple trickery. But that didn’t mean she would sleep with her lights out tonight. Clearly not. :: JP byCommander David CodyMission SpecialistUSS Athena, NCC-97780P237106MB0hoodsdavid@gmail.comFNS Team | Training Team | Top Sims Judge& Captain Jalana RajelCommanding OfficerUSS Constitution, NCC-9012-BA238906JL0werner-jessica@gmx.deImage Team Facilitator | Top Sims Judge
  4. Written by @Luna Walker ((Somewhen else)) :: In the distant past, two races fought. The details, while significant to each of them, were as dust...much like their original systems. Each felt that the other would doom the Universe if they weren't stopped. Unfortunately, each were equally matched in technology and production. A deadlock that spanned centuries without visible end. And so it was for all of their long memories, until, finally, an answer was created. The Omega device, too large to be called a ship, a hull as intransigent as the beliefs that helped create it. The plan was for it to destroy every trace of their opponents. And initially, it seemed the end to the violence between them both. Until, their weapon, seemingly of it's own volition, turned upon them as well. Due to an unfortunately literal interpretation of the command, the race that had created the device was a mirror of the target.. and therefore a trace of it. The idea that their own creation would turn against them had never been considered, the scientists behind it destroyed in the initial attacks. Millennia passed. The markings of that ancient race burned away by radiation and kinetic impacts against the nigh invulnerable hull. The device itself constantly driven by the command given at it's inception. Destroy all trace... :: ((Khitomer system, Now [2267] )) :: Omega had completed the task of eliminating the three of the system's planets. If a measure of satisfaction could be held by a computer program, it would have felt a taste of that. Only to have that taste turn to ashes as it noted the presence of an active mobile target. When the starship had previously limped away and fallen off the sensor grid, it had determined the likely destruction at 85%, something that had been determined sufficient for it's goals. Calculations churned within the Omega device. After long moments, the algorithms shifted priorities of targets. The planetary bodies remaining in the current system would not significantly shift in the duration it would take to remove the more mobile target. The decision made, additional time was utilized to determine the optimum thrust and pathing required to destroy the target. The path that allowed for the rapid follow up destruction was selected and implemented. The optimum energy output was provided to the engines, driving the device on a precisely calculated path to the target's destruction. There was a calculation made, as always, that determined the known means of the Omega devices own destruction. There was no exhaust port that would allow an explosive charge to destroy it. Previous Wars in the Stars had attempted and failed there. Nor was there an interface that would allow someone to attempt to remotely reprogram it. Millions of Independent races had tried that their Day. No, quite simply, the risk was vanishingly small. It would destroy the current threat, then continue it's effort to fulfill it's programming. As it always had, as it always would. ~ Fin The program of the Omega Device as simmed by Lieutenant Commander Luna Walker Chief Engineer, USS Invicta I238010BW
  5. ((Black Hole Bar, night of the ceremony)) ::After finishing the holo novel from captain Blackbeard Alex headed over to the bar. Zogi was still busy preparing the place. A few voodoo masks were attached to his beer tap while his Dabo girl was changing the light settings over and over. In one of the corners a new Ferengi waiter that Alex hadn’t seen before was installing what appeared to be a smoke machine shaped like a huge orange pumpkin. :: oO Seems he is putting a lot of effort into this Halloween thing Oo ::Alex never cared much for Halloween. This parents told him a few tales when he was young but it wasn’t big event in the Black Forrest where he originally came from. The Hawaiians did celebrate the feast of horror but when Alex and his parents moved in there he was no longer a kid so he didn’t go house to house gathering as much candy as he could:: Zogi: You are a bit early Alex, the feast won’t start for another hour… Williams: I know… but I thought I be a little early. Play a little trick on my shipmates. ::Alex looked around, looking for the perfect place to hide himself:: Williams: You wouldn’t happen to have a huge bottle of rum would you. Just the bottle… Zogi: Rum? Sure I have rum, but it would be waste to throw the stuff out. ::Alex grimed:: Williams: Get me a two glasses of white rum, fill them only half and replicate me a bottle if you can. ::Zogi gave the man a puzzled look but did what was asked, Alex was a good costumer and as long as he paid for it he didn’t really care what would happen next. He filled two small glasses with the rum and set it in front of Alex. Then he headed over to one of the replicators and made a copy of the bottle. As he turned back to Alex he saw him moving to the edge of the bar and drink one of the glasses. Then he put his finger in the other glass and started to drip the rum over his face and costume. The last bit was saved and as Zogi turned the bottle over to Alex the commander lied his head on the bar and closed his eyes:: Williams: Now… do me a favor and put one of the plants in front of me. Make sure people can see me, but not too much and then once people arrive just ignore me. Zogi: Right… ::Zogi grabbed one of the large plants near one of the tables and put it in front of Alex and now he was getting the point. Alex looked like he was part of the Halloween décor:: Zogi: BROK! Get that smoke machine over here… make sure the commander is covered in a nice mist when the people come in. Brok: Sure thing boss! ((Timeskip)) ::People moved in one by one, Alex kept his right eye shut but with the special eye patch on his left eye he could see exactly what was going on. He noted a large devil, a huge fish, and an oddly moving Baxter that had grown a few extra legs overnight. Most of the seniors where close enough for Alex to eavesdrop and all he had to do was find the perfect moment to reveal himself:: Traenor: I must say, you both have inventive and charming costumes. I'm looking forward to the evening, and the chance to see everyone's creativity. Vondaryan: I don't wear costumes as a matter of habit, so it is interesting to see what everyone chose. Though I must say, I hope we don't have another first contact encounter while we are here. Falcon: First guess; confused. VERY confused. Solzano/Svalasdottir/Any: ? Petras: Sirs… Mr. Traenor. It is agreeable to see you again. An interesting choice. From your homeworld? Traenor/Solzano/Svalasdottir/Any: ? oO Showtime! Oo ::Alex slowly moved his hand to his left shoulder and activated the blue bird. It took the holo-emitter a second to active which gave Alex enough time to keep his fake sleeping position:: Ara: My captain needs a drink AAAAHH, My captain needs a drink! AAAHH :: Alex tried not to laugh when he saw that some people were shocked by the screaming parrot:: Pandorn: Well, wonder how you'd be fried...::opens his hand to show the holo-flame. Now the 'mannequin' burst forward, guns drawn and pointed at him.:: oO Hehe, good... keep focusing on the bird! Oo ::The moment to reveal himself was there. Alex quickly rose up, grabbed two pistols from his belt and pointed them at the first man who dared to speak up:: Williams: You dare to insult a my bird, yarrrrrr, Pandorn: Terrific. Another pirate soul. As if we don't have enough of them. Williams: We’ll hoist ye over the yardarm ye mermaid marrying rascal! Pandorn: I'm not the marrying kind. But I do have a few succubi consorts down in the netherworld. Perhaps you'd like to meet a few of them when your soul accompanies me. ::evil chuckle:: TBC =========================== With great pleasure written as: Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Williams Chief Tactical/Security Officer USS Za News Team member Writer ID:A239006AW0
  6. :: Reni looked up from her PADD as the computer signaled a notification and right after gave voice to what it was :: Za Computer: =/\= Link with the USS Athena established. Link up with selected waystations enacted. Requested Intelligence encryption used, delay is 0,06 seconds. =/\= :: She sat up from her bed and quite eagerly made the short distance to the desk in her quarters and turning on the screen and accepting the transmission. There was a slight delay before Lan’s dark-haired and black eyes, betraying his betazoid ancestry appeared on the screen. The transmission was slightly less in visual quality than a regular subspace transmission within the alpha quadrant. :: :: Onboard the USS Athena, Lan’s late evening meditation was broken by the sound of his quarter’s console announcing an incoming call. Getting up, he walked briskly to the screen and made it come alive with a touch of his fingers. Subspace call from the Alpha Quadrant, Intel encryption. Given that they hadn’t established a comms relay in the Gamma Quadrant yet, that call had to have been bounced by several friendlies in order to reach them; the caller was either very lucky, or very high in the food chain. He quickly hit the ‘accept’ command, glad that he had kept his tank top on. :: Svalasdottir: Well what do you know? It worked. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to you Commander. ::she smiled and pulled away a rogue blonde lock from her face. She realized it was the first real smile in quite a while:: Are you receiving me OK? You’re a little fuzzy over here. :: Reni Svalasdottir, of all people… Lan mirrored her smile. Incredibly lucky, then… or ‘Svala’ was making a very important business call. Last he saw her, the blonde Amazon had made a lighting-quick stay in his department before being reassigned to the USS Za as a diplomat... And she had given him his old title, which he didn’t feel like correcting right now. He would have opportunities to spoil the mood of this conversation later. :: Riel: Could be better, but good enough, Svala. And it’s just ‘Lan’ after hours, thank you. :: A small probe, in order to ascertain the purpose of the call. :: ::Reni smiled again:: Svalasdottir: Look, I know I am the one calling on you, but you have to tell me, how’s the Gamma Quadrant? :: Lan raised an amused eyebrow. Small talk, and she hadn’t taken his bait… That being said, while she couldn’t possibly be making an encrypted subspace call only for asking that, her curiosity seemed genuine. :: Riel: :: In a [...] blasé tone :: Well, I haven’t been dirtside so far, and a ship on red alert is still a ship on red alert, no matter which quadrant you’re in. I haven’t debriefed with the away team yet, but the locals look interesting. Svalasdottir: ::raising an eyebrow:: Red alert? What’s going on over there? :: Lan let out a chuckle, and tented his fingers in front of his face, a half-grin on his lips. :: Riel: Well, information on the Gamma Quadrant is a seller’s market, miss. How about you start by revealing me the real purpose of your call, before I consider telling you more? :: ::He had called her out. Well it wasn’t much more than fair, she had called him after all, why wouldn’t he wonder why?:: Svalasdottir: :: Adjusting herself in her seat:: Well, our first mission is over and… And I need someone to talk too. Look, before you say anything, I don’t know any of our counselor’s yet and I’m not comfortable talking about this with any of them…yet. Besides, I wanted to talk with someone with Intelligence clearance, experience and… and besides that I feel that I trust you. :: Lan’s smile softened, and he bowed slightly. :: Riel: Your trust honors and humbles me. I’ll be glad to help; I know all too well how it feels to have burdens you are not allowed to share with your counselor. oO Like the Hunger. Deities above, the Hunger. Oo ::Reni nodded at him with a tiny, wry smile at his bow and ceremonious words. She still didn’t know why she trusted him so much, it wasn’t like they had known each other well and long; sure they had served on two ships together, but Reni had been in and out of both very quickly. There was just something… something about him:: Svalasdottir: We had been asked for aid by a species that call themselves the Deep. Too make it short, they are plagued by a deadly illness and they asked both Starfleet and the Klingon Empire for aid. ::she shook her head and rolled her eyes:: Well, they got what they wanted; we both showed up on their doorstep and of course the Klingons started to throw their chest out. :: It was Lan’s turn to wince and shift uncomfortably on his chair. A non-aligned species, a deadly illness, politics and a warzone… After all this time, he still had flashbacks of his first mission, and its tragic ending. :: Riel: Let me guess: it ends with a fight. Svalasdottir: ::nodding in agreement:: Yes, to make it short; a fire fight broke out between the Klingons and the Deep, mainly because of a certain Deep commander who… I don’t know if she was just mad or really hated Klingons, but she started it all; and me, Captain Solzano and two other officers were aboard her ship when she fired on the Klingons. ::Reni paused and rubbed her left eye, when she continued her voice gave the impression that she was reliving the moments in her mind:: The Deep ship got damaged in a return volley from the Klingon disruptors, our engineer got badly wounded but the Deep commander, well she wouldn’t quit. I… I could see it in her eyes Commander… Lan, she was borderline. ::Reni paused again, she took a deep breath and then continued, clearly having gotten to the meat of the matter:: So, just before she was to fire their massive primary weapon at the Klingons… I stunned her. ::beat:: Shot her right then and there. ::There was a long period of silence. It wasn’t like she had told Lan that she had killed the commander, but he seemingly waited for her to continue:: :: Lan was listening intently, his eyes trained on Svalasdottir’s face. Her look was focused far away, but her distress was visible. He didn’t say a word, leaving her all the time she needed to let her feelings out. :: Svalasdottir: Lan, I don’t know how much you checked up on me after I left the Gemini, or before I joined the Athena. But I was on mission for SFI for two years. And… ::Reni broke off and stared at the face on her screen. A calm, serious face with those deep, dark eyes that seemed to stare into your psyche:: Svalasdottir: Lan. I managed to join the diplomatic corps -because- I wanted to distance myself from… from violence and shooting. ::beat:: I know I only stunned her, but still. It was almost the same feeling. :: Lan nodded gravely. :: Riel: Good. Svalasdottir: ::Reni blinked. Then she blinked again before she tried to respond to that unexpected rebute from Riel:: What!? :: Her surprise made him smile. :: Riel: I have checked up on you, as you say, from time to time. I don’t have the details, because I didn’t ask for it. If you want to tell me, I’ll listen, otherwise I won’t pry. But I believe I can easily guess what kind of job leaves classified sections in your record. :: All too easily, in fact. He had been through several situations involving very dirty Federation secrets, and all he had in his record was sections with a distinct lack of details. To warrant a full blank, the mission had to be rotten from the get-go. :: ::Reni couldn't help feel a tinge of flattery in her chest when Lan confirmed that he actually had checked up on her. She had never gotten the chance to cultivate real friendships. Never. When she was younger she had been studying all the time and that only got worse when she join the Acedemy, and right after that she had been whisked away. To hear that someone from her brief ‘visits’ on starships had actually wondered what happened to her meant a lot more than even she expected:: Svalasdottir: Lan, I… thank you. ::that was all she managed to convey tight now:: Riel: I won’t try to say anything to make you feel better about what you did. Because if you still feel bad when shooting at someone, be it at heavy stun, that’s good news. Cherish that feeling, Svala. It’s the sign you still have a soul. Svalasdottir: ::narrowing her eyes in mock scrutiny, hiding her true feelings expertly behind some humour:: Are you going to get all spiritual on me? :: Lan shook his head, smiling. The fact that he was the one to bring her that kind of comfort was so ironic he could have laughed until he cried. But he had the opportunity to do something that could be counted in his favor when the Judgement would come, and Deities knew he was begging for those these days. :: Riel: You had a chance to stop her, and you didn’t hesitate or let your feelings get in the way. You saved yourself, you saved her, you saved the ship and both crews. And yet you feel remorse about incapacitating her for her own good afterwards. In my book that makes you a good officer, and a damn good person. What is there to fix? :: Reni used both of her hands to catch her long, blonde hair and adjust it on her back. There was no need for it and she wasn’t really aware of that she was doing it :: :: The body language was not lost on the Betazoid, though. :: Svalasdottir: I guess… ::beat:: I guess I just feel that I should have come up with another solution? ::Before Reni’s eyes the scene played out again, and she could clearly see the look in the Deep commander's eyes. Would any words really have helped? Her vision returned to the present and she looked into Lan’s eyes instead and all that she could see was kindness:: Riel: :: With a skeptical frown :: You know what they say about hindsight, right? Listen, if you replay the scene in your head long enough that you find a better solution, go ahead and use it next time you need to make that kind of split-second decision. For the time being, a phaser shot is quick, clean, with little to no collateral damage and more or less fail-safe. Svalasdottir: Lan I… ::she paused but it didn’t get any better:: Thank you. ::she smiled at him, a genuine warm smile of appreciation and heartfelt gratitude. She didn’t think Lan would fully appreciate how much this meant to her, but perhaps some day, when they knew each other better she could tell him:: Riel: :: Waving a dismissive hand :: Don’t mention it. Pointing out the obvious is a hobby of mine. Svalasdottir: ::nodding slowly:: Oh and Lan. If you don’t get your rank back soon, be sure to tell the brass what I do to officers I don’t agree with. And I know just where to aim, they taught me that. ::she grinned a rather wolfish grin, giving her beautiful face a surprisingly haunting look:: Riel: oO Yup, definitely wetworks Oo Riel: :: With a contrite smile :: Heh, thanks but no thanks, violence against officers is kind of what got me here in the first place. Just keep shooting rogue alien captains and leave the rest to me. Svalasdottir: Will do. ::she took a few milliseconds to compose herself:: So, is that payment enough? What can you tell me about Gamma and the Athena? ::and she added with a marked emphasis that this budding friendship was a two way wormhole:: and how about You? :: Lan leaned back in his chair, eyes closed, and let out a sigh. It was a part of his job that he hated. :: Riel: About the Quadrant and the ongoing mission, not much, alas. Lots of classified activity going around. I won’t be able to give you specifics, but we have been infiltrated by terrorists who compromised our Intel and comm networks and caused severe structural damage to the ship. :: The bitterness in Lan’s tone was evident. His home had been attacked, his own department compromised, and he couldn’t help thinking that he could have done a better job preventing it. Svala’s face when he opened his eyes showed worry, but no judgement, and for that he was grateful. :: Svalasdottir: ::measuring her words:: That sounds… Actually that sounds pretty bad Lan. :.she had the feeling he could be blaming himself, she thought that she would, in his case. But she knew it would do him no good, most career officers always thought they could do better, do more especially in hindsight:: Riel: Pretty bad, yeah. The away team got battered. Last I heard, Bishop lost a foot. Svalasdottir: Lost a foot!? ::lowering her voice again:: Well, that’s easily enough replaced I suppose. :.suddenly that strain of gray, dry humour acted up again:: Hey, perhaps he should get one of those fancy canes, some think they add composure and dignity, you know? :: He couldn’t help but chuckle. :: Riel: Thanks for the wonderful image, Svala. A doctor Bishop even more sarcastic and showing less empathy than usual, limping through the corridors with a cane in hand… Deities, you could make a holoseries out of it. Svalasdottir: ::was the one chuckling this time:: Yeah, and doing what? Hunting down more and more weird diseases? Who’d watch that? ::she smirked at his handsome, bothered face and got back into a more supportive stride:: Hey look, there’s no use second guessing your protocols and internal security. Learn from this and move on. oO Jeez, it’s so easy to say, no wonder people keep telling me that. Oo Riel: :: He tried to retreat into humour and mock outrage :: Hey, *I* am the counselor, here! Svalasdottir: Yeah, well I grew up with TWO in my house. Besides, I’m only saying stuff I’m supposed to say. ::she leant back in the chair, a few seconds passed:: That’s not all the reasons right? You don’t strike me like a man that seconds guesses himself a lot, has this… something to do with your demotion? Riel: :: Defeated, he looked down, his shoulders slumped :: I… don’t know. Michael Tonston… showed me a great deal about myself and my abilities. :: He shuddered :: RaBeem. ::Reni didn’t say anything. She gave him a chance to talk, to talk about what he felt like he wanted and could.:: Riel: Part of it was on purpose. I goaded him. I wanted to give him a chance to attack, I set him up for a self-defense case in my favor. I didn’t intend to kill him, but… part of me didn’t say no. ::Lan couldn’t see Reni’s reaction as he was looking down as he talked, had he, his trained eyes would have seen it go ever so slightly paler and stiffen in the jaws. Her eyes went blank as she suddenly was hit by the intense memory a knife in her hand and the feeling of still warm blood running down her fingers. Before Lan could notice she had snapped back and using her training, abolished all signs of her own issues from her face. However, she could not really hide her sympathetic gaze, that she knew all too well what he was talking about:: Svalasdottir: Lan I... :: When he looked back at her, his black eyes expressed sadness, pleading… but also something more. :: Riel: A lot like you, Svala. I know what I can do, what I can *be*, and it scares me. And my greatest nightmare is that one day it wouldn’t scare me anymore. Svalasdottir: Good. You see a real smartass once told me something like: “if you still feel bad when shooting at someone, be it at heavy stun, that’s good news”. So I figure, as long as it’s your biggest nightmare, that’s a good thing? :: He let out a bitter, dry laugh. :: Riel: oO My “heavy stun” left a man braindead, but thanks for the sentiment. Oo We’re lucky to have each other, right? I don’t think it would be easy to find a support group where you could stand up and say, ‘Hi, my name is Lan Riel, and I’m a suspicious, cold-hearted, manipulative and potentially murderous [...]’. ::Reni nodded, leaning forward closer to the screen smiling:: Svalasdottir: Hey, how about that we become a really small support group? Just you and me. And until our next meeting, our assignment is to look to the future. OK? Our past is not much to be proud of, so maybe the best thing is to leave it back there? You’re a whole quadrant from it and I’m about to become five years ahead of it. Deal? :: Riel paused and raised an eyebrow. He was glad beyond words for the offer, but a single word had derailed his train of thoughts. :: Riel: Deal. But either you just meant ‘light years’, or Temporal Investigations would roast you alive for having said that.. Svaladottir: ::wincing in jest at the thought of such an investigation:: Sorry bad phrasing, I meant that the Za’s mission is supposed to last five years. :: Reni looked at her another part of her computer screen :: Svalasdottir: Look, I am bouncing this signal over relays whose owners would not take kindly to us talking about our sad lives all night long. ::she grinned and couldn’t help throwing in a small wink:: Lan, it’s been really good talking to you. Let’s not make it too long before we do it again alright? And if you just wanna sent me a letter, do it. :: A letter? Lan was familiar with the term, of course, but in context, it was either ironic, figurative or just plain weird. :: Riel: :: Grinning :: I’ll make sure I do the next time we happen upon a Dominion mailbox. Svalasdottir: ::grinning back:: Stay good Lan. ::Reni leant back in her chair as the screen went black. She closed her eyes and could see Lan’s dark ones in her mind:: :: The Betazoid officer shook his head as Svala killed the comm. He closed his eyes, counted slowly to ten, then pinched his arm. Nope, not dreaming. Between the very content of the call and Svala’s attitude towards him, he had been toying with the possibility. That had been… unexpected, to say the least. Still, it felt good. Better than that, even. Lan rose up from his seat as subroutines triggered by the Intel encryption protocol erased the communication logs, changed his mind, made an appointment with Jamison, and went back to his meditation. Only this time with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. :: === Lt. Junior Grade Reni Svalasdottir Chief Diplomatic Officer USS Za, NCC-65385 Writer ID: D239009RS0 and Lieutenant Junior Grade Lan Riel Intelligence Officer USS Athena G239107LR0
  7. ((Personal Quarters, USS Darwin-A))::Iniko paced restlessly back and forth across the limited free space in jheas quarters. That free space would hopefully shrink even further soon, if jhe could convince Captain Renos to allow jhea to bring Ukwu aboard. For the moment, though, that bit of floor was still empty, and jhe was working on wearing a hole through it.::::The last meeting with Sawat Chalor had gone amazingly well. Iniko still had trouble believing it had really happened. But now Iniko was expecting Sawat to call again at any moment, this time for their first real fielding lesson, and jheas nerves were back full force.::oO What if jhe changes jheas mind? I'll probably turn out to be absolutely useless and jhe will disown me again in disgust. What if I misunderstood and the whole thing was just a joke? Maybe jhe has come to jheas senses and jhe won't even call. Or the Fielding League found out and they'll prevent jhea from calling, and I've probably gotten jhea into so much trouble just by talking to them, and . . . Oo::Thankfully the message tone sounded from jheas console and interrupted the impending panic attack. Jhe spun around and accepted the call before jhe could talk jheaself out of it.::::Sawat appeared on the screen, looking as calm and composed as ever. Jhe was sitting on a cushion in an otherwise empty room, with a tiny animal curled up in jheas lap. The window behind jhea showed the night sky. Iniko couldn't even remember what time it would be in Rania, and jhe didn't actually have any idea where Sawat lived, so jhe had no idea what time it was there. Iniko hoped jhe wasn't keeping Sawat up too late.::Chalor: Iniko, it is good to see you again. I admit I was not entirely certain you would still be amenable to this arrangement.::Iniko twisted jheas mouth wryly. It seemed highly unlikely to jhea that Iniko would be the one to give up on this relationship, but it didn't seem polite to say so.::Mpeba: I’m not that easy to shake off.Chalor: No, I'm beginning to see that. I'm glad.::Sawat smiled hesitantly, but warmly. Then jhe turned serious again, and lifted the protesting creature out of jheas lap. Now Iniko could see it was a small meeka, a rodent that was native to the norca fields of Southern Tanal. Growing up in Rania, Iniko’s main exposure to them had been as lab animals, and jhe tensed up momentarily. It quickly became obvious that this meeka was a pet, though, not something to perform experiments on, and jhe relaxed. Sawat pet its head and the little creature stopped protesting and starting chittering contentedly.::Chalor: I'm not sure how much you already know, so I will most likely repeat some lessons you are already familiar with. There are many approaches to the discipline, however, so I will ask you to bear with me so that we do not leave any holes in your training.::Iniko nodded acceptance of these terms, and leaned forward curiously.::Chalor: Since there are many different types of energy fields, and everyone has different strengths, it is possible you may need to seek out different methods of training than the ones I will be most familiar with. Then again -::Sawat’s face twisted and jhe looked away. It was a moment before jhe could meet Iniko’s eyes again.::Chalor: Pardon me, I am not accustomed to this. It occurred to me that as my, well, offspring? ::jhe shuddered just a little as jhe said the word, but jhe looked more surprised than disgusted:: Yes, well, you might have a higher likelihood of sharing the same strengths I do.::Iniko sat back and wrapped jheas arms around jheaself, feeling the prickling sensation of tears in jheas eyes. Jhe tried to smile.::Mpeba: I think I'd like that.::Sawat coughed and sat up more stiffly, but an involuntary smile was tugging at the corner of jheas mouth.::Chalor: I suppose I would also find it somewhat gratifying. But let us move on. My specialty is with living creatures and plants. The energies within them are far more chaotic than those found in machinery or most other natural phenomenon. This can make them very difficult to understand, but it also makes them the most beautiful, in my own opinion. A fielder well practiced in biological energy fields can spot problems occurring at a cellular level, but even at the beginning you may be able to see illnesses or changes that are occurring at a macroscopic scale. Because of that, there are certain codes of ethics that you will need to study if you are going to pursue this course of study. For the moment, though, I would like to see what level you are at to begin with.::Iniko’s head was already starting to spin, and they hadn't even begun the lesson yet. Jheas previous teachers had largely focused on electrical fields, having despaired of teaching jhea anything more complicated than that. Jhe had never had much skill, and was really only pursuing it now so that jhe could control jheas own reactions to it. The idea that Sawat might start jhea off with one of the most complex applications of fielding seemed a bit ludicrous. Then again, it also sounded fascinating, and if there was a chance jhe might be able to grasp it, jhe would like to try.::Mpeba: Alright. How should we start?Chalor: I don't suppose you have an animal at hand, do you?::Sawat gestured towards the meeka. Iniko shook jheas head sadly.::Mpeba: Not at the moment, no.oO Soon, though, I hope. OoChalor: Ah, well, plant life is likely a better starting point anyway. I see you have a potted plant in the corner there. Would you bring that over, please?::Iniko stood and dragged over one of jheas plants. It was meant as a climbing tree for Ukwu, if jhe got to bring her aboard. For the moment, though, it served as a reminder of some of the more pleasant aspects of Til’ahn, for when jhe became homesick. Jhe took jheas seat again and looked at Sawat expectantly.::Chalor: That will be ideal. Since we are communicating electronically, you will not be able to sense the same things I can, so you will have to have your own tools for practicing. Now, you will need to focus your mind and apply your fielding sense to the plant. Then tell me what you can sense.::Nodding, Iniko closed jheas eyes and tried to settle into a more relaxed position. Jhe started chanting the first verse of one of jheas favorite meditative poems, an ancient story about the origins of the two moons of Til’ahn. Jhe was interrupted almost immediately as Sawat began coughing. Iniko opened jheas eyes, concerned, only to realize that Sawat was actually laughing at jhea.::Mpeba: Did I do something wrong already?::Sawat sputtered a few more times before jhe managed to respond.::Chalor: I’m sorry, that was unforgivably rude of me, but what exactly was that?Mpeba: A chant? To meditate? You told me to focus my mind.Chalor: I see. Well. I knew Chioma had been meeting with some strange people, but where exactly did she find someone to teach you that archaic rite? And in Rania of all places?::Iniko flushed, embarrassed for both jheaself and jheas mother. Jhe disagreed with jheas mother plenty, but it was different when someone else did it. On the other hand, if that really was a ridiculously outdated method, jhe was horrified that jhe hadn’t known better, and that jhe had given Sawat such an awful first impression. Jhe crossed jheas arms defensively.::Mpeba: What exactly is wrong with it?::Sawat seemed to realize that jhe had caused offense, and held jheas hands up placatingly.::Chalor: I didn’t mean to offend. It was just . . . a surprise. These sorts of focusing chants are now understood to be unnecessary by the majority of fielders, but certain more traditional sects prefer to retain them. If you find them useful, then by all means continue.::Iniko narrowed jheas eyes, but jhe relaxed a little.::Mpeba: If you were to teach someone how to focus, how would you do it?::Sawat rubbed jheas chin thoughtfully for a moment before responding.::Chalor: Try this. Close your eyes and take deep, steady breaths.::Iniko was tempted to roll jheas eyes at the obviousness of the suggestion, but jhe really didn’t want to offend Sawat when their relationship was still so fragile. Instead, jhe simply followed directions and closed jheas eyes. Jhe slowed down jheas breathing, and focused on the feeling of the air going in and out of jheas lungs.::Chalor: Now, stop thinking about your breathing, and instead focus on the rhythm of your pulse. Feel the blood flowing through your veins, and then see if you can feel your heart.::That seemed like nonsense. Iniko was pretty sure you couldn’t feel your own heart beating. But jhe did jheas best anyway, and bent all jheas attention to it. Jhe couldn’t feel it, just like jhe had expected, and yet there was something . . . Somehow jhe could sense it beating, but not through jheas nerves, as jhe had expected. Not like hearing or seeing it either. It was a different sense entirely. Jhe could feel the spark of electrical impulses driving the muscles to contract and relax, and the pressure of the kinetic energy as blood was forced between chambers. Jheas eyes flew open, and jhe stared at Sawat in shock.::Mpeba: That was- I’ve never- How?!Chalor: It worked, then? I was wondering. It’s a technique I’ve used before with students who don’t respond well to the usual methods of instruction. I wouldn’t normally present it as a first choice method. Most students find the other methods simpler. But, well, that was how I first mastered the skill, and I thought maybe you . . . and it seems to have worked. So that’s good, then.::Iniko felt like jheas grin was stretching all the way to jheas ears. Not from seeing how discomfited Sawat became whenever jhe confronted the idea of their familial ties, but because there was a tiny, proud smile flickering at the corners of jheas stern mouth. However uncomfortable this made Sawat, jhe also seemed to find it pleasing. To find Iniko pleasing. It made Iniko’s chest feel almost painfully full. Not to mention the fact that jhe had finally actually sensed the energy fields, not some barely-there flicker of them but actually tangibly felt them. Jhe had never managed so much with any of jheas other teachers, despite months of work.::Mpeba: I want to try again!Chalor: Please do. This time, once you are in the proper state of mind, I want you to turn your attention to the plant. See if you can sense it.::Iniko nodded and closed jheas eyes again. It took longer to focus this time. Jhe was too excited and jheas thoughts swirled fiercely. But jhe managed to get them under control eventually, and feel the beat of jheas heart again. It was a heady feeling, and jhe nearly lost it almost immediately because of jheas excitement, but jhe pushed through and managed to hold onto it. Once jhe was settled again, and felt jheas heartbeat return to its normal rhythm, jhe broadened jheas focus, trying to look for the plant without opening jheas eyes. It was a weird feeling, and it took jhea a minute to work out how to direct jheas new sense. It was less like groping blindly through a dark room, and more like walking through a fog of static. There were fields going every which way, in patterns jhe didn’t understand, intersecting and interfering with one another until everything was just noise. Finally jhe found something, though, and latched on to this new sensation.::::The plant was much less active than jheas heart. The gentle, steady pull of water, up through its roots and trunk towards the branches and leaves. The quiet crackle of photosynthesis. Jhe could sense photosynthesis? That was utterly bizarre. Jhe couldn’t sense it on a cellular level. It was more like a constantly changing foam that covered all the surface of the leaves. That was a terrible way to describe it, but jhe didn’t actually have anything to compare it to.::::Jhe tried to speak without losing jheas concentration, but the very action of opening jheas mouth caused the sensations to disintegrate.::Mpeba: I can . . . ack, it’s gone. ::jhe opened jheas eyes:: I could see it, though! Or feel it. Or something. It was amazing!::Sawat smiled and nodded.::Chalor: You will be able to maintain your concentration while doing other things when you have practiced more. Don’t be discouraged that it doesn’t happen right away. Now, tell me what you observed.::Iniko leaned forward and began to describe the experience. Jheas nervousness had been fully replaced with enthusiasm now. Jhe was finally succeeding at a skill jhe had always been told jhe could never do well, and developing a relationship with jheas estranged parent. Right now, jhe felt like jhe could do anything.::Lieutenant JG Mpeba - Engineering Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-AD239205IM0
  8. Polling closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Sunday, October 23rd. This is a run-off poll, where our general membership (that's you!) chooses which sim, from Set 3 of 2016 (Rounds 14-20), should proceed to the final round of the contest for a chance to be selected as the Top Sim of 2016! These sims below were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) from the sims submitted in Rounds 14-20 of the contest. TO START, please read these sims: Round 14: Ens Paul Scudder & Ens Savan, "Submitting to the Current of the Godavari" Round 15: Capt Jalana Rajel, "Familiarity" Round 16: Lt Mirra Ezo & Lt Antero Flynn, "Big Trouble in Little Risa" Round 17: P3 Damien Bagwell III & Lt Mirra Ezo, "Fighting fire with...foam?" Round 18: Lt John Valdivia, "Unexpected visit" Round 19: LtCmdr Kaitlyn Falcon & Yillara Khante, "Time to Play" Round 20: Capt Tyr Waltas, "Showdown" NEXT, using the poll above, vote for the sim you like the most. It should be the sim that's the best written, with strong characterization, and evocative or descriptive scene-setting. DON'T vote for a sim just because you serve on the same crew as the person who wrote it. Any crew that "stuffs the ballot" (by having everyone on the crew vote for the same sim to ensure that it wins this poll) will be eliminated from the contest and shamed by the rest of the community as terrible, terrible cheaters. That would be awful. Good luck to the nominees!
  9. ((Cabin #12 - Raskor I - Evening of Kinney's Resignation)) ::It had been one hell of a...Day? Week? Month? She was losing count. After the painfully awkward encounter with Tyler, Mirra's hasty patch job and near sprint of a retreat had been less than ideal. But, once in the Raskor Embassy Medbay, she had plenty to keep her distracted. Ishani had thankfully regained her sight, as expected, and the majority of those who had been in direct path of the flash bomb or phaser fire had been cleared. Dr. Phrik had yet to regain consciousness, and Mirra was lingering to keep an eye on him. While she waited, the news came from Sal, now aboard the Columbia, that with Ambassador Nicholotti's oO As in...Captain Nicholotti? I can't believe it...Oo, witness, Allen Kinney had resigned his commission, effective immediately. It was over. They finally had a win. And it only cost a near assassination. She had no clue the fate of the Angosian Augment, nor did she truly care. As long as it meant she was in the hands of those who knew how to deal with her, and far away from windows, and Mirra. With the hours ticking on, Dr. Phrik regained consciousness. But the vision in his left eye hadn't returned yet. Along with the resident physician, she had ordered a variety of tests. His vitals were steady...but she herself, wasn't. She was exhausted. Weary down to the marrow of her bones. Despite all her protests, she actually began to wobble a bit on her feet and was promptly kicked out of Medbay. Someone had come with a key and a map for her to find her way to the circle of cabins surrounding the Executive Beach house Commodore Kinney had installed several years ago. She shambled her way towards a small, beautiful cabin near the left corner of the outcropping. Raskor I was beautiful. The cabin was whimsically decorated in swirls of light blues and greens, matching the clear sky and gorgeous shore line. She assumed. She was far too tired to appreciate it. She stumbled over the threshold, stripping the ruined dress whites as she went, before collapsing on the over-sized bed at the end of the hallway. Before she passed out, she giggled to herself wondering just when exactly the other eight or so people who would make use of the excessive amount of pillows would show, but ended up crafting a rudimentary pillow cave around herself instead.:: ((((Brief Timeskip - A few Hours later)))) ::Mirra had woken with a start, she was deeply disoriented. Had she fallen asleep in a vat of marshmallow..? Oh, that was the pillows. Sitting up, she looked around at the darkend room. She had been so tired, she must have slept through to the next evening. No, it was just before dawn. What had woken her? She couldn't remember if she had been dreaming, but after attempting to reconstruct the pillow cave, it had clearly lost it's magic. Crawling out, she stumbled into the attached bathroom and caught her reflection in the mirror. It stopped her cold. Her neck was a patchwork of blueish purple from the healing bruises, the bags under here eyes nearly matched the shade. Taking the regenerative bandage off her wrist, the deep bruising extended from her hand to halfway up her forearm. Apparently she had swung harder than she thought. A smirk ghosted the corner of her mouth. oO I punched Allen Kinney. Hard. Oo Glancing back up at her reflection, she gave a satisfied little head nod. Much to her absolute delight, the cabin was equipped with a real, water shower. She had cranked the heat, and stayed in to the point where the complexion of her skin nearly matched the vibrant red of her hair. Finding a large, fluffy robe, Mirra had wondered out to the semi enclosed porch directly through a set of French doors off the bedroom. She settled into a large, almost complicated looking deck chair that had been fashioned to look as if it was made of driftwood and an overly large leaf. It enveloped her like a warm, comfortable cocoon. She was certain whatever the fabric of this chair was, it had to be bewitched. She had never been this comfortable in her life. She was going to stay here, in this chair, until she withered away. She sat, eyes transfixed on the ocean before her, with the twinkling stars above. She had transcended sleep altogether, and transitioned into some sort of dormant state. Completely oblivious to the passage of time, the fading of the stars and the first soft rays of the sun. There she sat, her hair long since dried by the soft, salty sea breeze. Unfazed by the morning opening up around her. She had become one with that deck chair. That was...until she heard footsteps approaching. Lethargically, she moved her head towards the new arrival.:: Ezo: ::tiredly:: Is someone dying or bleeding...? Tatash: Not yet, but the booze has just been opened so it's just a matter of time. ::Slowly, she turned her head back towards the sea.:: Ezo: Oh thank the Gods. I was worried it would require my moving. ::barely gesturing:: This chair and I have come to an understanding. We're one and the same, this chair and I. Tatash: But I made breakfast. ::he nudged his snout towards the dining area:: ::She let out a very disgruntled sound:: Ezo: ::slightly whimpering:: But...the chair, it's accepted me as one of it's own. If I leave now, that's...hours of diplomatic negotiations, wasted. It'll never trust me again. Can you live with that knowledge...? Tatash: Then I officially declare war on the Republic of Chair. Get up and come and have some bacon. Ezo: ::crestfallen:: Well...does it require pants...? ::looking pathetic:: I've become one with the bathrobe too... Tatash: Theo will shade you for eons if you mope about in a robe all day. ::Mirra let out a lamented wail. With exaggerated struggle, she finally freed herself from the confines of her throne of comfort. Her eyes narrowed into near slits:: Ezo: Stay here, and make amends with my chair while I change... -------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  10. (( OOC - This happens at the same time as Holly & Cody's JP )) (( The Command Complex, Deck 2, USS Athena )) :: Selene's day felt very long and tiring. It was exhausting trying to get people to understand why she was upset or disappointed in her. But she had a rewarding conversation with John Nugra at the end of the day. She wasn't sure if it was the conversation or the view off the cliff in the holodeck, but it calmed her a bit. :: :: She still had to check on Sundassa, who by what she was informed, was sleeping comfortably in her security officer's sleep chambers. Now she was heading back to her quarters, the chef usually had her dinner ready for her, so when she smelled the aroma wafting from the kitchen her mouth watered. :: :: When she rounded the corner, she expected to hear the normal hum as the chef worked. But what she heard instead was two voices. :: Cody: Now... the more you get to know your ingredients, you'll realize the various combinations are going to develop interesting and different flavors. That's not a bad thing. If anything, you want to see what those flavors develop and add to the meal at the end. Unique flavors are always encouraged when they develop, because they can add an unique spice to the meal you're preparing. But... don't let them get out of control, either. Holly: That makes sense. Now I kinda want cooking lessons. .oO I just want dinner. Oo. :: Her stomach growled as she realized she was not going to have access to dinner immediately, the two of them were talking. With how stern she had been with Holly earlier, she didn't have the energy to go in and ask what they were doing. Since she was being generous, and not bursting in, she hoped they would return the favor by putting together a plate for her. :: :: She sighed as she took the few steps to her quarters. From there, she changed into something more comfortable, got a small snack to tide her stomach and read a couple chapters of a book. :: :: When she thought enough time had passed, she stood up and exited her quarters. She was hoping that there would be food ready for her. When she got to the kitchen she heard their voices again. :: .oO What are they doing in there that takes this long? Oo. Cody: ::softly:: Where is your head at right now, Commander? And be honest. A lie you tell yourself is a lie you'll tell someone else. Holly: I would say cloud nine wondering if you’re making a pass at me Commander. .oO Well, that answers that... going to have to call Ops to have them sterilize the kitchen. Oo. :: Back to her quarters she went, making notes of what she needed to address, and what provisions she needed in her quarters when people decided to commandeer her kitchen while she too exhausted to be herself. :: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 Academy Commandant - Starbase 118 Academy Executive Council - Captain At Large Writer ID: A239001SF0
  11. (( Quarters Sherana )) ::Well shoot… He hadn't meant to draw attention and join in this conversation. That’s what he got for opening his mouth - he inserted his foot right away. His eyes looked between Sherana and her… parent of sorts. A hint of an idea sparked and lit his face ever so slightly.:: :: Sherana could just stop herself from rolling her eyes. Of course he had to say something, he couldn’t just stand there waiting until the call was over. Bloody doctors. :: Sherana: That is Nijil, one of the Constitution’s doctors. Nijil: ::a curt nod.:: I am your… ::pause.:: daughter’s ::he was sure he had picked up on that correctly.:: attending physician. Grawn: Attending Physician? ::He took a closer look at Sherana:: She doesn’t look like she needs one to me. :: Sherana didn’t believe what he was doing and opened her mouth, but didn’t even get a single word out. :: Nijil: ::he cut of Sherana’s protests.:: On the contrary - she was injured recently and was careless about it. ::Did he talk too much? No He had a knack for getting people in trouble and that trouble turned into them doing what he had asked for in the first place. So it worked for him just fine. Though his cold exterior might have made it seem malicious. But it wasn’t … Entirely.:: :: Hearing these words had an obvious effect on the Klingon on the screen. His shoulders seemed to grow even more as he sat up straight and stared down Sherana. His voice had become a growl, as he was obviously displeased. :: Grawn: Sherana! Sherana: I am well. It was not a big deal. .oO A Klingon does not complain about physical discomfort. Oo. :: Her father had taught her that. :: Nijil: ::heartlessly.:: Unless You call being found nearly dead “not a big deal” ::that was slightly exaggerating it.:: Grawn: VIt jatlh! * :: A mountain of a Klingon raising his voice in a growl made even Sherana wince. Oh she hated Nijil for putting his nose where it didn’t belong. He would pay for that. :: Sherana: During the last mission I was stabbed with a knife by a scared crewmember. I was treated and told to give it some rest. I worked, I carried things, I collapsed last night and Doctor Nijil treated me again. :: The Klingon stared at her and sighed shaking his head. :: Grawn: You have been careless, daughter. You can’t die with honor in a sickbed. You should listen to Doctor Nijil. Nijil: ::he rolled his eyes and mumbled.;: That is what I’ve been saying... :: Sherana turned her head and glared up to the Rekarian. She dug her fingernails into her palm, feeling the pain to keep herself from jumping at the guy’s throat. :: Sherana: ::Snarling under her breath:: I’ll show you how I’ll listen… Grawn: Doctor, I want the truth about the extent of her injuries. :: Sherana crossed her arms. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her father really wanted to know more about that and not from her… from the doctor who had stabbed her in the back like a bIHnuch. :: ::Oh yes, he could feel the irritated death glare attempting to bore holes into the side of his head. True, at the time of the secondary incident he had said something along the lines of “he wouldn’t tell”. But that was then and this was now. And now was a good time to share he thought.:: Nijil: She has a deep wound in her abdomen, which has been subjected to excessive movements. It caused precariously sealed injuries to become agitated and more heavily bruised. :: The warrior didn’t seem to be pleased. Well, he wasn’t. While he admired his daughter for living Klingon life so far from the Empire, he did not admire that she had been so careless, as being almost killed after a coward stabbed her, was not the death of a warrior. :: Grawn: I hope you have a good reason for this behaviour. Sherana: I had a job to do. I could hardly stop doing that. Nijil: ::he gave her a long sided look.:: I know she has a job to do, but those kinds of injuries need to be allowed to heal. With overextending herself,::he looked back to Grawn.:: Miss Sherana wound up bleeding internally, something that takes time to stop. ::He looked at Sherana:: Something not stopped in time means death. Grawn: You do not want to die outside of battle, daughter! I taught you better. :: She had crossed her arms tighter, almost as if trying to wrap them around herself. She did not like when her father had to remind her of things. It made her feel like she was a child again and she was too old for that. Too bad that Nijil made it impossible to see that, because he kept listing all the things she did wrong and not what she had done right. :: Sherana: And today I haven’t lifted anything, so you can stop riding on that now. ::Towards Nijil:: Nijil: So long as she actually listens, she shouldn’t have any more complications. ::he sighed.:: I am just making sure she is abiding by the instructions given. Grawn: And she will. Won’t you, daughter? Sherana: ::growling:: HIja', vavDaj! * Nijil: Oh. ::he said rather dully.:: Do you know where any Klingon Opera’s might be being performed? Or perhaps… metal Klingon music? :: The change of subject seemed to distract well from the former subject. The man on the screen swelled with pride and a smile showed on his face. :: Grawn: Why on Qo'noS of course! Sherana: A shame that the times of killings on stage have yielded to acting. That gave the Opera the extra fire. ::Nijil nodded in agreement. That is definitely something he would have gone to see. Even if he couldn’t understand anything. Like the language or plots…. At least there would be rare emotion from the viewers and the performers. That would give him all the information he would need to enjoy it. Though it could have been due to beingsuch a people watcher.:: Nijil: Indeed, a shame in 2197 they decided that wasn’t such an appreciated bit of work. Grawn: Oh you know our history, Doctor. ::He looked surprised but at the same time impressed.:: Only in very few locations you will see the old way of the Opera and you do not want to visit those places.::A belly laugh shook the man.:: Nijil: ::nodded. Yes anywhere illegal work was performed were nasty areas to avoid.:: I would believe you are quite right. Sherana: Why would you want to listen to it anyway? Grawn: Enjoy that he is cultured enough to enjoy an acquired taste, Sherana. You still do have the collection I gave you when you left, don’t you? ::Nijil chuckled internally. It wasn’t exactly his interests or likes. At least not yet. He had just been recently exposed to the work in a new light. However, the Klingon home world was a little too far away for him to get Alize and himself to and back before anyone realised they were short a field medic and the mortician. :: :: She stared at her father, knowing where this would end. But lying was out of the question, it was a coward’s way out. :: Sherana: I do. Grawn: Then share with the Doctor. It will do you good to share a common ground, as he is taking care of your physical well being. ::He perked up a little. Not from excitement or anything, but because there was the sudden feeling of a knife to his back that made him stand up a little taller. There wasn’t physically one there, but the daggers he felt from the steaming woman beside was enough. Nijil found it more amusing than anything.:: Nijil: Posh.. That’s not needed. ::he waved his hand.:: Sherana: I agree. .oO Now that’s a rarity. Oo. Grawn: It is. My daughter should show a bit more gratitude towards the man who saved her life. ::The look the Klingon gave her could have stabbed the wound right open again. Sherana couldn’t believe her father would say these things to reprimand her in front of others. But at the same time it shouldn’t surprise her because he had done that when she’d been a child as well. All parents had done it to teach children through humiliation. :: Nijil: I would not impose into her personal life ~as~ much. ::he snarked.:: I will tend to her medical needs regardless. ::he assured the burly man shoved into the tiny screen before him.:: Grawn: ::nodding:: I wouldn’t expect less from a doctor honoring is oath. Nijil: Though should you come across a live performance closer, I’d be interested in knowing the details. ::he eyed the woman.:: :: Sherana quietly looked at her father, despite her feeling Nijil’s eyes on her. She hoped he was almost done bonding with her father. Nobody here even knew him or had heard of him other than Solaris, because the Intel woman had helped her to find him. It really went against her preferences that Nijil, someone who rubbed her the wrong way, would meet him during the first conversation she had with him in years. :: Grawn: I will send word to Sherana if I hear something. A good opera should best listened to in person and intoxicated. ::He laughed that belly laugh again. Then he looked up as if listening to someone beyond the screen and nodded, before looking to Sherana again. :: I am needed on the bridge. Sherana: JIyaj. Qu' 'ej batlh, vav. Grawn. Qapla', puqbe' vIghaj. ::He turned his head to Nijil:: Qapla’ Doctor. Nijil: Good day. ::he said simply and bowed his head slightly.:: :: With that the screen went dark again and showed the Starfleet symbol. The Orion finally turned to Nijil and stared at him. :: Sherana: You just couldn’t resist to shame me in front of my father, could you? Nijil: ::pause…. Oh so sarcastically.:: Whatever~ do you mean? Sherana: ::She ignored the tone and what he said.:: For how long will I have to … take it slow? Nijil: ::he raised an eyebrow.:: As long as it takes. ::beat:: simply enough? Sherana: ::snarling:: The vagueness is incredibly… unhelpful. ::He had done quite a bit, some good some not so good. But all in all he had accomplished more by dropping by then he thought he would. He had such impeccable timing.:: Nijil: I will leave you now. ::he turned on a heel.:: Sherana: Finally. ::She was so annoyed by him that she had almost lost her manners. Even though some people didn’t think she had any. They were there, but hidden and edgy. :: Fight well. ::Nijil bobbed his head and headed back for the door. There was overstaying your welcome and there was committing acts of war. He was familiar with both, though liked to toy on the line, he knew it was time for him to leave.:: Nijil: One last thing - you have a check-up scheduled in four days… ::with that he stepped through the door without waiting to hear a lovely line of most profound wording.:: Sherana: ::Sarcastically, while the doors closed so only part of it passed the threshold.:: I can’t wait. ------- Translations: Puqbe - Daughter Vav, qalegh 'oH QaQ 'e' - Father, it is good to see you VIt jatlh - Speak the truth bIHnuch - Coward HIja', vavDaj - Yes, Father JIyaj. Qu' 'ej batlh, vav. - I understand. Duty and honor, father. Qapla', puqbe' vIghaj. - Success, my daughter. ____________________________ PNPC Lieutenant JG Nijil Field Medic Simmed By Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Constitution A239202RH0 & PNPC Sherana Botanist Simmed By Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  12. (( Le Château de Rose - New York District - Starbase 118)) ::Kro sat silently at the secluded candlelit table as he adjusted his infernally uncomfortable collar. He quite liked looking a bit more classy than his normal gruntwear allowed, but it was becoming clear that it came at a price. He quite enjoyed the finer things, but had rare opportunities to enjoy them in person over the course of his military career. His past assignment fighting in the trenches on a backwater planet did not allow him to spend many of his evenings in high class French bistros. He arrived no less than an hour early for their date, as his butterflies were unwilling to allow him respite at the idea that everything might not be perfect. The wine of course he had called ahead to order, as it was best served with several hours to decant. He had attempted to confirm the temperature it would be stored, but they had insisted it would be handled with the utmost expert care. He smiled softly as he watched an elderly couple slow dance on the small dance floor in the middle of the room, enjoying the enchanting french music that rolled smoothly into the dining area. Glancing back toward the entrance to the restaurant his heart skipped a little beat as the lovely Ishani seemed to glide into the room. Her dress was a simple black sheath dress with lace sleeves and matching low black heels. Temporarily mesmerized, he found his composure and moved to meet her, lifting her hand with a smile and giving it a little kiss.:: Kro: Miss Ishani, you look beautiful. Kasun: :: Ishani flushed slightly in pleasure at Kro’s kiss and his complements. How long had it been since she had experienced actual romance? Not since before she joined Starfleet at least. :: Thank you Mister Kro. You look quite handsome as well. ::Moving to their table, he pulled out her seat and let her get situated before returning to his own.:: Kro: It dawned on me after arriving that perhaps the setting is a bit too much. My apologies if the ambiance is not appropriate for a first date. ::He shifted uncomfortably at his own lack of eloquence.:: The truth is I don’t have much experience on the matter. Kasun: I think it’s quite lovely here. :: smiling :: You have good instincts, I never would have guessed. Kro: ::Smiling slightly:: I suppose when I’m charging down corridors with high powered energy rifles I don’t exactly give off the sophisticated gentleman vibe. Kasun: :: chuckling :: I doubt any person would be able to look like a gentleman or a lady under those circumstances. Kro: Unlikely. ::He continued, an amused expression across his features.:: Though I have seen some Vulcans come close. It can be unsettling how calm their expressions can remain even in when under fire. Kasun :: Ishani’s smile flickered slightly at the mention of Vulcan’s under fire. :: oO Poor Dovak. Oo ::He considered her with a worried expression as his comment seemed to briefly darken her features.:: Kro: Are...you alright? Kasun: :: She pushed the memory of his fiery death aside. :: Ah sorry, no I’m fine. :: She took a deep breath. :: One of the engineers on the trip to rescue the Avalon survivors was a vulcan and he didn’t make it back. ::He frowned, the last mission had been so full of death and despair. Definitely not a feeling he wanted to haunt his lovely date with..:: Kro: I’m so sorry, If I had known…::he let himself trail off.:: Kasun: :: She smiled softly. :: It’s alright, you didn’t know. :: They were saved from more awkwardness by the arrival of a youngish looking vulcan woman with what looked to be their menus in hand. Behind her stood a young human man holding a beautiful crystal wine decanter and two wine glasses. :: Fimi: Greetings, I am Fimi and I will be your waiter this evening. :: Fimi set down the menus in front of them as her fellow waiter set down the wine glasses and began pouring. :: Fimi: Byzallian Cirsion. An excellent choice Mr. Kro. ::He gave an appreciative nod and looked back to Ishani with a smile as Fimi moved away.:: Kro: I do hope you like wine. ::He lifted the glass and admired the deep dark shade of purple before bringing it down and taking in its aroma. This is one of my favorites, inspired by the classic Earth Bodegas Roda Vineyard:: Great structure and smoothness. Kasun: I do but I haven't had much time to indulge lately. :: She swirled the wine in her glass before taking a sip. :: Mmm. I agree, this is an excellent wine. Kro: Perhaps a toast is in order. ::He held his glass forward, stars in his eyes.:: What shall we honor tonight miss Ishani? Kasun: :: Smiling :: Hmm, there are so many good options. :: ‘To us’ was a bit to forward at this point and to health seemed cliche. :: To new beginnings perhaps? Kro: ::Grinning:: I like that. Kasun: :: Still smiling she held up her glass. :: Cheers then. Kro: ::Lifting his glass:: To new beginnings. :: Their wine glasses chimed as they brought them together. :: Kro: ::He took a sip and set his glass down.:: Hopefully one with less destruction, but just as much physical contact.. ::Just as he said it, he couldn’t believe he had. His thoughts of the mission had been swirl of darkness and gloom, but somehow the memory of carrying this beautiful woman to safety and fighting to survive together had shined through every time. Leaving him with a smile at nearly every recollection. He supposed the kissing helped too..:: Kasun: Agreed. :: She smiled and took another sip of wine, outwardly ignoring Kro’s freudian slip. Internally, on the other hand, she enjoyed a surge of giddy happiness; it was always nice to have verbal confirmation that the man you’re interested in considers you attractive. :: ::Now sure he was emitting a glow strong enough to guide ships at sea, he pulled at his tightening collar and picked up his menu just as the server re-appeared.:: Fimi: Would you like to place an order with the chef? ::Kro looked to Ishani for confirmation before shifting his gaze back to Fimi.:: Kro: Yes, I would like the Soupe au Pistou. Fimi: Of course. ::She looked to Ishani:: and the lady? Kasun: I’ll have the Soupe à l'Oignon. ::Their order placed, Kro undid his top button and looked to Ishani with a renewed confidence.:: Kro: ::Smiling:: I believe someone promised me dancing? Kasun: Indeed I did. :: Ishani stood up and grasped Kro’s outstretched hand as he led her out onto the dance floor. :: Kasun: It has admittedly been a while since I danced with a partner. I’m afraid I might be a little rusty. :: She was suddenly very glad she had worn low heels . The last thing she wanted was to stumble and ruin the evening by breaking her ankle. :: Kro: ::With kind eyes.:: No need to impress, just follow my lead. ::Finding an open space on the dance floor, Kro placed his hand politely on her hip and offered his open palm with a soft smile. With a matching smile Ishani took his hand and Kro began to lead her through a simple swing dance. :: Kasun: How long have you been dancing? Kro: I’ve always had a deep appreciation, though it took me awhile to get any good at it. Kasun: My father encouraged my interest in dancing when I was a child, though unlike singing my interest in it has waxed and waned over the years. :: Kro pulled Ishani close and spun them both out of the way of another couple’s path. :: Kro: Singing? That is something I would love to hear. It sounds like your father was very supportive. I like him already. Kasun: :: Chuckling, she danced closer to him. :: oO You may or may not like him once you’ve met him. Oo Music and dancing are a large part of the El Aurian subculture my father is part of. I’ve gotten the impression that it would be unusual to not be trained how to sing, dance or play an instrument. Kro: I had quite the opposite experience. Most of my interests I had to keep secret for fear of consequence not only from my peers but from my parents. Kasun: ::Softly :: Why did you need to do that? :: Sadly she probably already knew the answer. She had seen that conflict so many times with her patients; children stuck between two worlds and adults that had repressed their own desires to fit in with their families and cultures. :: Kro: It was a military family in a military town, those traditions were paramount. Anyone interested in useless things like art and dance were considered weak and…::He trailed off and shook his head at the harsh words he didn’t care to repeat.:: Kasun: Oh Kro. :: Her expression sad and empathetic. :: Kro: ::Forming a grin he dipped he dipped Ishani low before pulling her back up. :: The important thing is that I survived to find an elegant, graceful and sophisticated woman willing to dance with me. Kasun: Yes. :: She smiled kindly at Kro and adjusted her grip. :: Your experience is sadly not that unusual, especially if you ignore the military element. Kro: :: Kro swung her away so he only one of her hands. :: It is something I have grown accustomed to, good or bad. Kasun: :: She nodded as Kro whipped her back towards him. :: That issue is common with any society or culture that has rigid roles or cultural norms. Conformity is a big deal and is zealously enforced upon everyone, but especially those who don't fit in or actively rebel against conforming. Kro: It’s nice to be able to discuss it freely. You are very insightful. Kasun: Thank you. I got to see it a great deal in my private practice. Kro: Oh? You dealt a lot with cultural differences? Kasun: Oh yes. :: She was finally beginning to remember enough of the motions of the dance enough that she and Kro were more partners than teacher and student. :: I specialized in hybrid children and adults and it is a common issue with them, especially if their parents’ species have very different cultural expectations. Kro: That is something I have not put much thought into, but it sounds truly fascinating if you are ever willing to discuss your work. Kasun: :: Smiling :: Of course. ::As the music shifted, he led her into a fluid spin. With a little debonair smile, he laid his hand her hip and pulled her a little closer. He had often said that beauty was a reflection of the spirit, a resonance of the person within that was unique to every individual. The more he got to know Ishani, the more intoxicating her found her beauty. Her intelligent and insightful mind doing wonders to beguile him with captivating charm.:: Kro: I hope you do not find my words tawdry Miss Ishani, but I must confess that I find you quite enchanting. Kasun: :: Flushing :: I don’t find it tawdy at all. :: She slid her hand off his shoulder and around his neck. :: Just the opposite. :: Ishani leaned in and kissed him gently. As she pulled away she noticed Fimi heading towards their table with two plates of of soup. Kro followed her lips briefly and smiled at the affection, following her gaze to the food.:: Kasun: Looks like our food is here. Kro: Best served hot. To be continued? Kasun: I wouldn’t mind dancing afterward. Kro: ::Smiling:: Good. ::He took her hand and gave it a gentle kiss before leading her back to the table. The two spent the remainder of the evening completely absorbed in each others company, barely aware of the world outside their table. The conversation came easily, and the laughter was often close behind. As the perfect night drifted to a close, they exchanged a long and meaningful embrace outside Ishani’s quarters before parting ways, only to dream wistfully of their next encounter.:: Ensign Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0 & Lt Commander Antero Flynn Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 Ops / USS Columbia C239205AF0
  13. (( Hangar, Deck 32, Athena )) :: After checking in the rest of his gear, Amuro decided to pay a visit to the hanger area where the Marines’ heavier equipment were stored, their fighters and other armored vehicles that he would have liked to have during the last mission. :: :: Looking over the hanger, he took a chance to take in the air, recycled be it, and found himself at home as he walked around. He then noticed Cranford working on her fighter and decided to walk over, fixing his uniform a bit. It was slightly out of regs and he was purposefully not wearing it correctly. :: McKnight: Usually most pilots would leave the maintenance work to the grease monkeys. :: Kary heard the man from behind her, she glanced over her shoulder before continuing to fine tune her engine. The handling of the controls were slightly off, something only someone sensitive to these things would notice. :: Cranford: You sound surprised. McKnight: Nothing wrong with a hands on approach to your stuff.A good Marine takes care of their stuff. Cranford: Any respectable pilot treats their craft as an extension of themselves. If not, you end up with glitches that you don't need when out there. When you are out there, the enemy provides enough surprises without your fighter or shuttle working against you. McKnight: Could've used you in the last bout, but the skipper or whoever was on the bridge didn’t think we needed air support other than a shuttle. :: Rumors had spread through the ship, and she had come into the shuttle bay not too long after, and there were still "grease monkeys" pawing over the USS Heraclius. There was a good bit of cursing over the parts that needed to be replaced, whoever was behind the helm did damage. :: Cranford: The shuttle did come back with a few lumps of her own... who was flying the thing? McKnight: oO Lumps? More like burns Oo I was, on the way back. I’d like to think I’m a good pilot. Some...security guy who took control earlier wasn’t so much. Cranford: That's why you should always have a dedicated pilot, instead of some sort of hybrid position. You said you needed air support? What were they armed with? :: Kary didn't understand why when she went places people acted like she was deaf as well as klutzy, but in addition to her hearing the cruelest things people said about her, it allowed her to hear things going on through the grapevine. With what she heard of the mission from both the engineers on the shuttle, but those who knew people who went to the planet, it was majorly FUBAR'ed. :: McKnight: Unknown at first. Mostly small arms but a shuttle is only meant for transportation and basic defense. It’s not a support vehicle. I needed big guns from above where it can see everything and lay down the hurt when needed. The security guy crashed the shuttle and barely kept it flying, not for lack of trying. They left the guy piloting with another team doing explosive work so no one qualify was actually able to man the shuttle. Cranford: Sounds like you had things under control though. :: She paused a moment, and put down the tool she was working with. :: Mind handing me the hyper spanner? ::Amuro turned took a glance at the table and picked up the tool, passing it to Cranford.:: McKnight: Thankfully, the hostiles were only lightly armed. Didn’t stand a chance against shuttle phasers but then again, we had no dedicated pilot and no real air support. We had to make due, but that’s what Marines are given. We make due. We don’t have time to complain until after it’s passed. Cranford: Yeah, my baby here :: she patted her fighter :: would have put a hefty amount of fear in anyone attacking our people. :: The fighter packed enough heat to be able to assist with the take down of a Borg cube, but not enough to take on it, or another any other adequately armed vessel by itself. But it sure would make ground personnel pee their pants. :: McKnight: I read your file. Hopefully the next time when I requested air support, they send you. :: Kary stopped what she was doing, and turned completely to face the Lieutenant. :: Cranford: You read my file? Interesting. McKnight: I read up on everyone I’m in charge of even those who technically outrank me. :: While she probably could have looked her file over, she was sure there were things that those who were in charge had access to that she didn't. Details of performance ratings, all the specifics of any altercations she was involved in, or were directed at her. :: Cranford: Does my file also refer to me as "Captain Klutz" or are those just the idiots in the corridors? ::Amuro walked over to the fighter to get a closer look. Maybe he should have become a pilot. He’s always loved flying.:: McKnight: It's an official file. I think only code names are put in. If the grunts got a nickname for an officer, I won’t want to hear about it. Cranford: That's something at least, so what caught your eye? McKnight: You like flying...and I have an appreciation for anything that can take you faster than your two legs can carry. It's nice, being a fighter pilot...Just a small bit of metal and glass between you and the endless space as you fly faster than the speed of light. A fighter makes you more intimate to space than inside a big ship. The Athena might as well be a floating city. We can’t even tell we’re moving but a star fighter...it’s like having wings and there’s no limit in where you can go. :: Kary couldn't agree more, the man seemed interested in the flight of the fighters. When she was out in her Valkyrie, she felt one with it, like its movements were an extension of her own. It certainly felt freeing. :: Cranford: There is no feeling like it. Some think space is too vast and scary, but it's peaceful. Flying one of these things lets you just escape all the things holding you down, like nothing is holding you down. The speed, the maneuverability, the size. You can really explore. And with the specialized nano resin, she's hard to see coming. McKnight: To quote Admiral McCoy. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence...and that’s what appeals to me about space. The unknown… ::Amuro touched the fighter a bit, feeling the smooth hull on his hand almost like he was trying to read it.:: Cranford: You want to go out sometime? ::Amuro quickly turned around at looked at fighter pilot with a raised eyebrow..:: McKnight: You asking me out on a date, Captain? ::And now he was back to his default, a [...]y smile and all.:: :: Kary's eyes went wide with surprise at the man's assumption. It took her a moment to regain her composure, realizing she set herself up for that comment inadvertently. :: Cranford: Lieutenant, one of us outranks the other... not entirely sure who though... McKnight: I don't see the problem either way. :: She was now a bit flustered, unsure where she was going with the conversation. This was not like her, to be this unsure of herself next to her fighter. :: ::Amuro couldn’t help but continue grinning at her. He found the pilot's embarrassment adorable.:: Cranford: I didn't mean that... McKnight: I wouldn’t mind taking your bird out for a spin. ::Giving Cranford some air.:: Would get me a chance to know you better since you seemed to put your heart into it. Cranford: Flying is my saving grace, if you spend enough time around me you'll see why I enjoy flying so much. :: On her feet she was a mess, except in the presence of her fighter, or really anything that she could fly. But, in the sky, she was the definition of grace. :: McKnight: Wouldn’t mind meeting you for drinks later, either. :: The only person who understood her clumsy moments hadn't talked to her for over a year. He always disappeared for long periods of time, probably his way of showing he was uninterested anymore. She didn't even want to know what he was doing while he was not talking to her, not like she said they were exclusive. :: Cranford: Is that an invitation, Lieutenant? McKnight: You asked first…Captain...::He glanced at her almost casually after giving her fighter a nice pat before letting go.:: :: She was quiet for a moment while she processed the information, likely he would regret the invitation afterwards. Then there was the fact that she didn't know enough about the man to know if she would be the one regretting accepting the invitation later. :: Cranford: Where? McKnight: How about Gardens? Wine and dine? Cranford: I don't dance... :: Kary wanted to get that out there. It wasn't that she didn't dance, she just really needed to trust her partner, and he needed to wear steel-toed boots to avoid damage to their toes. :: ::Amuro then walked closer to her. Not too close to be uncomfortable, but enough to be in her space. He leaned in almost as if to bow and stared right into her eyes..:: McKnight: Neither do I…::He then retracted and walked away, all the while maintaining his grin..:: Carry on...Captain Cranford. 1st Lieutenant Amuro McKnight Marine Strategic Operations Officer USS Athena D239302AM0 & PNPC Captain "Pixie" Cranford Marine Pilot Simmed by: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 Academy Commandant - Starbase 118 Academy Executive Council - Captain At Large Writer ID: A239001SF0
  14. ((OOC - This happens around eighteen hundred Night One of Shore Leave. )) ((Command Dining Room, Deck 2 - USS Athena)) ::Sabrina placed the replicated food on the table as she hesitantly awaited Cody’s arrival. Her last one on one meeting with him didn’t go as well as she had hoped. Sabrina knew that first impressions meant a lot, and people rarely got a chance for a second impression but Sabrina hoped that this dinner with Cody would give her a chance to prove that she was more than just a screw up with delusions of Grandeur. Sabrina also wanted to ask his help in preparing her for Command, mostly because she knew she needed help and now that she had read his file he seemed like the right person to ask.:: ::The doors swooshed open as David’s nose twitched, responding to Sabrina’s earlier message. He was reviewing a number of things coming through on his slimpadd, including the data dump the tracker gave before Pavi and her crew warped out of the area. He had the woman’s file from the Bajorans now, and carefully reviewing it. He glanced at the Command dining room area, noting a door where he suspected might lurk kitchen facilities, before tucking his slimpadd under his arm and smiling as he spotted Sabrina.:: Holly: Hello Commander, thank you for joining me. Cody: Evening, Commander. I understand you’ve had a stressful day. Holly: Could have been worse. I can’t imagine your day was much better. ::Sabrina took her seat. Sabrina knew she had made a mess on the planet and the lecture only helped her realize that she wasn’t perfect and she wanted help getting that promotion.:: Cody: ::a slight nod:: It’s actually been a productive day. I was in the observation room attached to the interrogation room at the end of your run in with Prendar. Holly: Ah..that..well...I can’t say I didn’t deserve it. ::David recalled the comments from Thomas, guessing correctly the nature of the conversation. He turned his eye toward the food on the table and arched a skeptical brow.:: Cody: You survived. ::indicating the plates:: Did this come from the kitchen? Holly: :: Laughing :: I wish, I’m a dreadful cook. Its replicated. I hope it’s okay. ::David stared at her with widening, horrified eyes.:: Cody: I think you may have misinterpreted something. ::grabbing both of the plates, and marching them back to the replicator.:: Come with me, Commander. Holly: Umm...okay… ::Without taking no for an answer, David got rid of the plates and marched directly for what he hoped was the kitchen, explaining along the way.:: ::Sabrina followed him to the Kitchen, she was very confused as to why he seemed horrified at the thought of a replicated meal.:: Cody: In every quarters I’ve ever had, even if it’s not equipped with one, I cook my food, Miss Holly. I avoid replicated meals if I can, except during the lunch hour. When was the last time you’ve had a home cooked meal? Holly: Last shore leave when my boyfriend cooked… ((Kitchen, Deck 2, USS Athena)) ::Entering the kitchen, David proceeded to examine the contents on hand before selecting a Prime Rib, au ju, and several vegetables. He went to the stove top and turned on the heat, selecting a pan appropriate to sear both sides, then found the knives. He cut the rib into appropriate portions, set it aside, and used another knife to cut the vegetables.:: Cody: We can talk while I prep dinner. Holly: Yes sir. ::Sabrina’s voice was almost meek, she was very timid and kind of embarrassed, all she had wanted was a nice dinner and to prove that she wasn't a screw up and she seemed to be proving the opposite.:: ::Finishing with the cuts, David selected another pan, found the olive oil, and gave a small coat before tossing the vegetables into the pan. He quickly eviscerated a clove of garlic and studded the rib with it, along with a sprig of rosemary. He went to the oven and turned it on to the temperature he wanted.:: Cody: The key is your herbs. ::smiling:: Believe it or not, cooking is both therapeutic and relaxing. ::nodding to the counter:: Grab a knife and a couple of potatoes. Holly: Okay, I guess adapting is part of the job. ::Sabrina grabbed a knife and some potatoes.Sabrina sliced the potatoes but they were very uneven. She has no idea what she was doing, but the point was to learn so she was treating it like a class at the Academy.:: ::David glanced down and found what he was looking for, a couple of small empty cans. Grabbed them, he went to the sink, turned the water extremely hot, and dumped both of the small cans to sterilize as he checked on the room temperature of the meat. Not quite yet…:: ::Coming back to the sink, David grabbed a towel, removed the smoking hot cans, and took them back to the cutting board station.:: Cody: Let those cool off a moment, then you’ll want to stuff those potatoes into both cans. Add a little parsley, a dash of sour cream into the mash first. ::chuckling:: It’s an au gratin recipe I came across years ago. Holly: If you say so. So the reason I asked you to join me tonight... ::Turning around, David grabbed some butter and spooned a small scoop onto the vegetables simmering in the pan. A dash of salt, a dash of both black pepper, oregano and cayenne… David smelled the flavor beginning to develop and smiled.:: Cody: Go ahead, I’m used to cooking and talking. What’s on your mind? ::Sabrina thought about it, the words just weren’t rolling out of her mouth. She wasn't used to asking people for help, so asking a Commander for help was really hard for her.:: Holly: I’m not very good at this, but um...I wanted to ask you for your help. I know I’m not the best Command choice, but I’d like to be. ::Perfect… the vegetables were simmering nicely and glancing back, David saw Sabrina mashing the potatoes into those small aluminum cans and smiled. Checking the oven temperature, he made a slight adjustment before finding a jar of whole black peppers. Swiping it, he returned to the rib and began studding the meat with peppercorns back at the station. He glanced up into Sabrina’s eyes with a wink and smile.:: Cody: What do you think are the qualifiers are for being a Commanding Officer? ::glancing at the potatoes:: How are you doing stuffing those cans? Holly: Diplomatic skill, leading away missions that actually manage to complete the missions that don’t get most of the team killed, and proving to be a leader. However if this mission proved anything, its that I’m not as ready for Command as I hoped. ::Sabrina stuffed the potatoes into the cans. Prendar and Selene had given her a lot to think about and she still hadn’t fully processed everything.:: Cody: Command… is just like cooking. Holly: Oh? ::Checking on the vegetables, David made a couple of adjustments before taking the potatoes stuffed in two cans, dumped them onto a sheet, and stuck them in the oven, setting a timer.:: Cody: Think about it like this. You’re given (x) ingredients to accomplish a meal. So you get the vegetables set up and let them do their thing, keeping an eye on how they’re developing because you may have to make a few adjustments here and there. You do the same with the potatoes, as well as the meat. The trick is making minor tweaks here and there while they do what they do best, keeping everything steered to the end result, what you’re going to put on the plate. ::grinning:: That is what command is all about, Sabrina. The ability to manage what you’ve set forth, knowing you’re going to have to make adjustments along the way. If you trust your ingredients, and add the right amount of herbs and spice with a few tweaks here and there… you end up with an excellent meal at the end. Try and turn them into something they’re not meant to be… your meal is a disaster you end up having to toss into the incinerator, and start over. ::Cody’s analogy actually made sense to Sabrina, and oddly enough it made Sabrina want to replicate a cookbook and teach herself how to cook. Maybe she could get Kani to teach her to cook if nothing else.:: Holly: That makes sense, I’m following you so far. Cody: Now… let’s say the vegetables aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and somehow get stuck halfway. That tells me I have to go in, see what isn’t working, add some stuff to get it rekindled and back on track. ::winking:: You use what you have on hand and make the best of it, knowing you have to steer it here and there. The trick is recognizing when it needs to happen. Most of the time, your ingredients know what they’re doing. And if you pay attention and listen, you add or subtract as needed. Holly: Okay that last part sounded a bit silly when applied to cooking. ::David barked a laugh.:: Cody: Same applies to an orchestra, if you like music. You have all these different instruments. Your job is to make them shine, both individually and collaboratively. It’s all about learning when and when not to act before everything spins into a disaster. Holly: I guess that makes sense. Oh yea, after our last meeting I read your file. I felt a little embarrassed taking that meeting unprepared, and didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. ::Sabrina looked at Cody. She had managed to get a dinner with him but for some reason she couldn’t get five minutes alone with her own boyfriend and she wasn't too happy about that.:: ::Leveling her a long stare, David raised a hand.:: Cody: Let me finish your question and we'll get to that, okay? Holly: Alright. Cody: Now... the more you get to know your ingredients, you'll realize the various combinations are going to develop interesting and different flavors. That's not a bad thing. If anything, you want to see what those flavors develop and add to the meal at the end. Unique flavors are always encouraged when they develop, because they can add an unique spice to the meal you're preparing. But... don't let them get out of control, either. Holly: That makes sense. Now I kinda want cooking lessons. ::With everything simmering and baking to the end, David took the meat and set it on the heated pan, searing one side, then the other.:: Cody: And then we get to the grand finale... that final touch which makes the experience memorable. ::Taking the pan of seared meat, David removed it from the stove and shoved it into the oven for a few minutes, then pulled it out.:: Holly: Kind of like a promotion banquet as the final touch on a grueling mission in the middle of nowhere? Cody: Yep. ::Spinning around, David took a padded pot holder, removed the vegetables, and set them aside to rest. He pulled the oven open, removed the canned potatoes au gratin, setting both of them aside to cool. While letting them rest, he went and extracted two good plates, a pair of napkins, and silverware for two place settings.:: ::Plates on one of the side tables, David plated the vegetables first, then dumped the potatoes out of their tubes, two logs, then took a carving knife and went over to slice thin slices of medium rare prime rib, laying all of the ingredients on the plate for final presentation.:: Cody: You could replicate a meal, and sure, it might have the same taste... but if you go directly from point A to point Z, ::with a direct stare:: you miss the experience of the journey that gets us there. And, you don't learn how to multi-task. Many up and coming Command officers mistake multitasking for micro-managing. Your job is to multi-task, with however many dishes you've got in the works. Not micro-manage them. Holly: The journey...I guess I lost sight of that, there was my first mistake. ::Sabrina realized that she had stopped focusing on the journey somewhere after seeing Gwen die on the Atlantis. She was going to lose officers on the job, it came with the territory but she had to remember that she couldn't lose sight of the journey no matter the destination.:: Holly: Shall we take this delightful meal to the dining room? ::David's crooked smile formed as he grabbed the plates.:: Cody: Let's eat. If you wouldn't mind grabbing the napkins and silverware, I'd appreciate the help. Holly: No problem. ::As such, teamwork from beginning to end. David led Sabrina back into the dining area and set the plates down before considering.:: Cody: One sec. ::He disappeared back into the kitchen briefly, and re-emerged with two wine glasses and a bottle of 2373 Picard Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a corkscrew. He set one of the glasses at Holly's seat, the other at his place setting, popped the cork, sniffed, then poured her 1/3 of a glass as well as himself.:: Cody: ::feeling a sense of relaxation:: With the final embellishing touch. ::Sabrina tilted her head, if she didn’t know any better this felt a little more like a first date then a casual dinner the casual dinner with a coworker that it was supposed to be. Though Sabrina noted that that was mostly her fault for not realizing that he didn’t like replicated food in the first place.:: Holly: So Commander what are we toasting to? ::Coming around, David slid into the seat, unfolded the napkin to set it in his lap, and toasted the wine glass.:: Cody: A toast to your eventual success as a command officer. ::taking a small sip:: So... what else would you like to talk about? ::Sabrina toasted her glass and took a sip herself. She liked having someone she could talk to. She would have love to have this chat with Cassie or someone who was in the Temple but other than Cody and the Captain she was pretty sure Prendar was the only one with the right clearances to talk to about this kind of thing.:: Holly: Something on the planet actually...the Temple hologram called itself the Warden and said something that was kind of bizarre when I tried to ascertain its purpose. ::Sabrina thought back to the conversation in the Temple. She wanted to word it just right so she choose her next words carefully.:: Cody: ::with one raised brow:: Oh? Holly: The hologram said it was a caretaker maintaining a synchronized connection to its assigned waystation points within this galaxy and that it was not at liberty discuss anymore about its operations besides that. I’m fairly certain it’s relevant to the mission, I’m just not sure how. Do you think the Captain would know what the hologram was talking about? ::Sabrina looked at Cody for a reaction and a response. All of the people in the Temple had been just as confused as she was. The difference between them and her, they probably would think little of it and Sabrina wanted to know what relevance it held to their original mission.:: ::Well, if nothing else, that confirmed something David postulated to himself. Revealing nothing, he ate a bit and took another sip of wine as he considered this new influx of information. So... the Waystations were Yeltan in origin. While he was doing research, David didn't pay too much attention to the symbols already logged from the other two places. He meant to do that later, but he felt a tug of familiarity.:: Cody: Well, you've been read into why we went to Sigarus III. What do you think? Holly: I think it means that there could be Yeltan waystations in our galaxy that could hold Yeltan secrets, possibly even gates and if that’s accurate then we need to find and close them before the Hunger figure this out and use it against us. ::David eyed her a moment, assessing what Sabrina said.:: Cody: I have to admit I'm curious why you would ask me. I wasn't a part of the away team and didn't get a chance to look at the temple or converse with Bashir about the symbols. Holly: I’m asking you because frankly as far as Command level officers, even on a ship this big are kind of limited and I’ve read your file, its colorful to say the least. The people high enough on the chain of Command I think I am actually allowed to ask about this are you, the Captain, and Commander Prendar. I do intend to bring it up with them, but you were first on the list mostly because out of the three I think you’re the least mad at me right now. ::Sabrina wasn’t usually this nervous but she’d never been confronted with classified anything before. If the hologram deemed it classified she didn't want to be discussing it with the Ensigns who were in the Temple with her, she wanted it a bit higher up on the chain of command.:: ::David indicated the food as he continued to eat as he contemplated this.:: Cody: Tell you what. The room here isn’t secured for this kind of conversation, and I don’t have the tools on hand I would need to secure this place. If you’d like to discuss aspects of this mission, I would prefer to have that conversation in a place I can secure without ears listening in. Holly: Fair enough. Cody: How did the plate turn out? Holly: Really good, thank you. ::They continued eating until they finished. David stood and collected the dishes, indicating Sabrina to follow.:: ::Leading her back into the kitchen, David began cleaning up, washing the dishes, putting ingredients away, wiping the counters, sweeping up. As he would on any given night if he were cooking for himself.:: ::Sabrina followed Cody, the indication that they needed a more secure room the the Command dinning room was a shallow indication of just how classified the information she was requesting actually was.:: Holly: Any other Command tips for me? Cody: There’s one last thing I can teach you about command. Holly: I’m all ears. ::Whirling, David took her hand, spun her as if they were dancing a Waltz, before bringing her close, their mouths inches apart.:: Cody: ::whispering:: At any given moment, a curveball can happen. Before a blink, and this close. Prendar took you through one aspect. Now you’re in a complete opposite situation. Remember, a kiss can be just as deadly as a blade. ::Sabrina felt her heart racing, she really did feel like this was a date more now than it did as they sat down to dinner a few moments ago. Sabrina didn't know how to respond.:: ::He stepped back, breaking off all physical contact with a nod of respect.:: Holly: Um… ::Sabrina locked eyes with Cody as she stood against the counter. She had almost wanted to kiss him a second ago, and if he hadn’t pulled away she may have. That would have led to an awkward conversation with Jason later.:: Holly: So you said something about wanting a secure location, my office, yours or do you have another location in mind? ::David narrowed his blue gaze as a knowing smile flashed.:: Cody: ::softly:: Where is your head at right now, Commander? And be honest. A lie you tell yourself is a lie you'll tell someone else. Holly: I would say cloud nine wondering if you’re making a pass at me Commander. ::Sabrina couldn't believe she had just vocalized it, but there it was. He was the one being flirty after all. Sabrina just didn’t know how to feel about it.:: Cody: ::gentle:: And how did it make you feel? Holly: Awkward would be the word for it seeing that I’m already in a relationship and that you’re my acting mentor. ::Sabrina had to sort out the rest of her feelings, but she didn't want to do that right now. Maybe an actual counseling session with either Mellie or Kani would help..she could probably use one of those after this mission anyway.:: Cody: Sabrina… ::smiling:: Holly: Yes? Cody: The point of the exercise is you need to guard your heart. I’m not going to say there is or isn’t an attraction. First and foremost, I am your friend, and your mentor. I have never, in my entire run in Starfleet, ever abused my power, nor ever will. I play by a very strict code... but the truth is any romantic interests in my life usually become targets. ::smiling and crinkling his eyes:: I’m damaged goods. ::Sabrina met his eyes. There was chemistry, it was almost undeniable, but she had a boyfriend who she cared for deeply. He was safe, the kind of family man she had dreamed of her whole life. Sabrina didn't know why Cody had flirted as he did only to explain himself like that, but in a way she was glad he did.:: Holly: I...don't believe you’re damaged, maybe you just need the right girl. ::The right girl… David nearly laughed. He knew exactly what he was. A father, a bachelor, a man who was considered a legend by some, but no one really knew outside of a few people who shaped and forged him into what he became. He had yet to meet the woman who understood and accepted him for who he was.:: ::Sabrina would find her way. He treasured being her mentor, and admitted to himself, deep within himself, yes, the chemistry was there… but for all he knew, he might end up in an unmarked grave. A hornet’s nest of extremely powerful people with far reach were out there.:: Cody: I’ve seen several potential candidates lead by the heart. It only lasts so long. This is the final lesson you need to learn. The mind must lead the heart, not the other way around. If the wrong person gets inside your heart… ::Stepping back in, David gave Sabrina a hug, and a fast lightning kiss.:: Cody: ::whispering:: Go back to your boyfriend, and think about what just happened tonight. ::Sabrina saw the truth in his eyes, he honestly believed what he was saying to her. Sabrina smiled at him, the kiss still lingered on her lips. She would have to explain that to Jason, and tell him that she was kissed by a Commander...and that she wasn’t sure how she felt about it just yet.:: Holly: Yes sir…I...should go… ::Almost unwillingly Sabrina gave David one last smile before leaving the kitchen. She wanted to catch some shut eye now that the hard stuff was out of the way, though she would have to make an appointment with David so they could have that other chat.:: Cody: ::calling out:: One last thing. Do not, under any circumstance, take a bullet for me. Holly: I would put myself on the line for you or any other officer I serve with, for the good of Starfleet. It comes with the job, David. ::His words made even less sense, through it all she just wanted to go to her quarters and cuddle Princess Cupcake the one person she could love unconditionally.:: Cody: ::shaking his head:: I made my bed a long time ago. ::the soft, unrevealed smile came out, usually hidden from decades of sorrow, painful experiences:: Remember what I’ve taught you, and steel your heart. Your boyfriend is a lucky man. Don’t let go of him. Holly: :: Meekly :: Even you can be saved. Cody: ::an exhausted, sad smile:: I go to bed every night with that thought. Whether it’s true or not, that’s a different story. ::Sabrina didn’t even wait for him to stop her again, he had confused her enough for one night. Departing the kitchen, she left for her quarters. Her eyes had already started watering and she couldn’t help but feel conflicted that she had cheated on her boyfriend only to be told that the man who had just kissed her wanted nothing to do with her and wanted her to stay with her current boyfriend. She had no idea how Jason would react, if he reacted at all and even if their relationship did survive, would it ever be the same?:: ::After she left, David slumped against the counter and closed his eyes. He never hated himself more than just now. He remained there, quiet and disgusted with himself, hearing the hums of engines and the quiet space of the kitchen along with the dining area. A lightning flash within his memory from earlier today ghosted.:: Cody: Doesn’t make your job any easier. ::a moment:: If it matters, I think most understand you’re just doing your job. Prendar: ::chuckling:: Very few think that. I think I’ve been mostly described as a [...]. ::Right now, David felt like one. And he deserved it.:: JP by Lieutenant Commander Sabrina Holly Executive Officer USS Athena NCC-97780 E239101AJo & Commander David Cody Mission Specialist USS Athena, NCC-97780 P237106MB0
  15. Lt. Aria Oddas: Vulcan Calvary (( USS Bronwyn, Bridge )) oO You? Great, some sort of ship is out there stalking them. Oo :: It seemed the feeling of unease was justified. :: T’Mihn: Thank you for the sensor adjustments. =/\= Thunder, Egon Spangler found a class five floating canine phantasm. =/\= oO What the heck was all of that about? That can't be an actual sentence. Oo Turner: =/\=Do what? :: pause ::Say Again! =/\= Tiran: If it is the Tal Shiar, the speed is a rational choice. They are traveling at a lower warp speed to avoid detection. If we hadn’t made the sensor refinements, they’d be on top of us without us noticing at all. T’Mihn: Question is, what or whom is their target ,and were they aware of the other vessels demise. I'm guessing they are aware and they weren't theirs or they'd be here weapons shooting in revenge. :: The Commander looked towards the Romulans as if they were going to give some more information. :: Bridge: Response :: The Romulans looked uncomfortable and Aria understood it to a point. There were Bajoran separatists after all and it was never pleasant to talk about them with outsiders. Bajor, of course, had its own history with the Romulans from the Dominion war. It wasn't always pretty but it wasn't as hostile as it appeared to be from some people on the bridge. :: T'Mihn: If Til'ahn is their target, we give them a new one. Oddas: Commander, if I may, our previous plan with the Tachyon scan is still queued up and ready to go. If we were to focus that on the cloaked ships, not only should it knock their weapons offline it should blind their sensors. We maybe able to deploy sensor buoys and make it appear that there are several other craft in formation with us. Bridge: Response T'Mihn: An idea to increase our numbers. Oddas: That's the idea, if the plan succeeds we'd have several minutes before they can cut through the sensor confusion and we'd be able to maneuver and attack at will. Bridge: Response :: The bridge erupted in more alerts and sounds, most of them tactical from the sound of it, as if they needed more tactical news to deal with. For not the first time this mission Aria wondered if she should have become something other than an Engineer, something other than the one responsible for just putting the ship back together when everything went to heck. She leaned on her station and looked at the screen someone had changed to focus on the new source of the new alerts. She saw a ship that was vaguely familiar, the way something out of an ancient text or history text was familiar. She couldn't quite Oddas: What in the name of the prophets is that? :: she blushed a bit when she realized she was speaking speaking out loud. Most humans, and other members of the Federation for that matter, spoke well of being accepting of various religious beliefs, but she had found they preferred it when you kept it to yourself. :: Bridge: Response oO Since when do Vulcans maintain their own warships? Isn't their official government position one of pacifism? Oo Oddas: I'm guessing they are on our side? Three to five is a bit better odds than two to five, especially if that thing is armed the way I imagine .... :: There was a a logic in not sending out a craft like that if you weren't going to arm it to the teeth. Perverse logic, but logic. Oddas had met quite a few Vulcans in her academy classes, it was probably why she was so surprised by the Vulcans she kept running into at the Embassy. The Vulcans drawn to Engineering seemed to be drawn to the logic of machines and the way they fit together to form a working system. Vulcans seemed to view machinery as a puzzle that could be solved, much as Aria did. Of course, they seemed to differ a lot to when Aria would mash unrelated things together to get something brand new or unexpected, even her logical instructors were sometimes caught off guard during training exercises when they found themselves admitting her way would work, even if it wasn't what they had expected. She had liked her Vulcan peers and instructors, they often forced her to calm down and remember that she was in a position to do things right and the people around her were not there to make her like harder. Indeed they had often reminded her that the people around her wanted her to succeed. She knew this new Vulcan ship would be out there and it would be loaded for to help the Bronwyn accomplish its mission, that would be its logical, driven, purpose. :: Bridge: Response Oddas: If we can coordinate our plan with the Vulcan cruiser we potentially have the ability to knock out most of the warbirds, especially if they stay in the sensor shadows. We can help make sure the rescue team has as clean a getaway as possible. Bridge: Response TAG, TBC Lieutenant Oddas Aria Chief Engineering Officer Duronis II Embassy - USS Thunder-A - 70605-A ID number: E239305OA0
  16. ((USS Darwin, Deck 1, Captain’s Ready Room)) ::She didn’t know what to make of it, but she was indeed free, and could not deny it.::Reynolds: =/\= I am. =/\= ::She played it cool, thinking that was how ne wanted it to be handled. Deep inside, however, her heart longed for the expressiveness of kisses, and the tenderness of touch.::::If ne had expected her response to bring relief ne would remain disappointed. Ne felt more anxious, more tense and slightly nauseous. Ne was going to need to say some things ne really didn’t want to say. To open nir heart, be honest and make nemself vulnerable. Why? Because it mattered to nem greatly that ne try to fix this, that Poppy understand the truth. She was an absolute joy to be with and ne really craved her company but certainly didn’t deserve it. Even if they never spoke again outside a work capacity after this, ne wouldn’t feel satisfied until ne had tried to resolve this.::Renos: =/\= Good, thank you. Where do you want to meet? =/\=Reynolds: =/\= My quarters? I really could use help unpacking. I’m the worst procrastinator ever...=/\= ::It didn’t take long for the captain to arrive and as soon as ne had confirmed they were alone ne launched into nir explanation, mainly as a product of how anxious ne was about it. If ne didn’t set it out all right now then ne would overthink things and inevitably bungle that too.:: ::Renos, had not been much help unpacking. Instead, ne behaved in a way that suggested ne needed to get something off nes chest.::Renos: About the other night… uh morning. I meant what I said. I am sorry and you deserve better. I’m not good at dealing with my romantic feelings. Heck I’m not used to having them! It’s alien to me and I handle it very very poorly. I’ve only ever felt this way about one other person in my life and that went catastrophically too. Why? Because every time someone gets close I freak out and pull back. I can’t help myself. I’m afraid of letting people get close. Of being hurt. It’s not just that either - I’m wanted by the government and I can’t stand the thought of them using the ones I love to get to me. That’s why I can never be involved with anyone. ::Poppy hadn't known about nes wanted status, but it dimmed light on the fact that Renos lived an already complicated life, with a history, and disappointments all their own. She appreciated the explanation, and didn’t blame him for it, and at least now, whatever the resolution ne was admitting there were feelings to be had. There was in that idea, a sliver of hope.:: ::She smiled the grin of relief. At least, there was nothing freakish about her.:: Reynolds: Can I admit something silly and girlish? Renos: Of course you can. ::Offering a reassuring smile and opening nir body language intentionally:: Reynolds: Part of me wondered if it was because you found me unattractive...mannish in some way, and given….that I am…. Renos: Given you are what? ::Renos had a feeling ne knew what Poppy was about to say but didn’t want to assume too much, just in case she was wrong. Either way ne wanted her to say it, to put a name to that fear and express it. Then maybe it could be dispelled. She paused. She had...never in her life, uttered the next words conversationally to a friend before, to anyone other than a doctor. It was time to let it out.:: Reynolds: ...a hermaphrodite. I thought maybe you regretted touching me… ::She shrugged with a reluctance to admit personal shame, where none should have existed. For years she had accepted who and what she was. It wasn’t until very small minded men whom she had come to be romantically attracted to repelled to the idea of her, and cringed at her touch, did she wonder if she might not be a freak.:: Renos: Not at all, I’m pansexual and you are absolutely beautiful to the core.::What that meant was that gender wasn’t a limiting factor to nem. As a doctor ne had seen many reproductive systems and of course just because ne was aware of them did not mean ne found them equally appealing due to it. J’naii had evolved over time from a species with two genders to an androgynous species with one. If anything she found her own species least attractive but that was more due to social rather than physical reasons. Ne had found humans males as attractive as females, ne didn’t know why, nor did ne question or worry over it unduly. Perhaps ne was simply attracted to those who showed nem kindness since there had been so few of those individuals in nir life - at least ones ne would let get close. Whatever the reason, Poppy was one of the most attractive and enchanting individuals ne’d ever met.:: ::She smiled a grin as wonderful and luminous as the sun. Did he really like her? Physically? Then he, or at least the parts of nem that Poppy considered masculine, became complementary to her. And for the first time in her life, Poppy was glad to be desired for the physical aspects of her body, internal chemistry and all.:: ::She was really beginning to like Renos, and like a deep cool well with no visible end, she wondered where the breadth and depth of that feeling extended to.:: Reynolds: Really? Well… wow...I’ve never had anyone say that about me before...and not mean it as a joke… ::She blushed a bit at the physical attention, but allowed herself to bask in it.:: Reynolds: So what’s next for us then? Renos: Well, that’s your call. I have some free time, so if you don’t mind me tagging along, what do you want to do? ::Now there was an open ended question. When a prospective lover handed over the reigns in this way they were asking for trouble. Poppy smiled a devious and intense smile. Renos was going to get what he asked for this time!:: Reynolds: Well I was about to explore Iram of the Pillars. How about we make it an adventure for two!?Renos: That sounds good to me! Lead the way chief explorer. ::Playfully::::Renos smiled and the duo headed out the door. The captain hadn’t completely fulfilled nir objective of keeping Poppy at arms reach. Ne had made nir feelings of attraction very clear and could only hope Poppy understood why ne didn’t want to be involved in a romantic relationship. Ne craved Poppy’s company and when ne botched things up like ne did with Gordie then ne wouldn’t be able to enjoy it any more. As they headed towards the holodeck ne wondered how many liberties Poppy would have taken with this program. They were supposed to be going to a desert but anything could happen, maybe they would get sand and snow. It would be no stranger than nir last adventure with chief explorer.:: Fleet Captain Renos - Commanding Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member * Academy Commandant A238805EB0 And PNPC Poppy Reynolds Simmed by:- Lt. Cmdr. Nate Wilmer Mission Specialist USS Darwin-A E239107NW0
  17. ((Morty's Italian Eaterie - Ashalla Section, StarBase 118 Commercial Sector))(about thirty minutes ago)::It was the dawning calm just before the lunch rush at Morty's Italian Eaterie in the Ashalla District. It was also a beautiful day and the St. Mort family was expecting a fine turnout of customers ready to dine in the simulated sunshine.::Vivain St. Mort: Morty.... Morty... ::She called in a wavering tone while her hands were full of racks of freshly cut pasta:: Come here sweetie.Mortimer St. Mort: What is it sugarcakes? I'm trying to finish the pesto...Vivian: The wine cellar... it's... leaking...Mortimer: Leaking? ::The chopping stopped suddenly:: What do you mean leaking?::The broad shouldered, barrel chested form of Mortimer St. Mort appeared in the archway, his eyes full of careful curiosity at his wife's rather cryptic proclamation.::Vivian: ::She indicated the direction of the cellar floor with a thrust of her elbow:: Look for yourself!::Mortimer gasped. What he found exonerated his wife from being cryptic, but didn't bode well for his wine. A large spreading red stain leaked out from under the doorway. That probably mean something smashed or tipped over - but how? None of the staff were back there...::Mortimer: Who was back there?Vivian: Nobody I could see...::He picked up his big cast iron frying pan and stalked forward, grabbing the door and swinging it open in one mighty heave, baring the intruder to the light of the sun.::Duchess: ::Hiccup::Vivian: What IS that thing?::Mortimer narrowed his eyes. That was a very good question. It was a pig...dog...thing... It rather looked like a targ, but it was tiny and bright pink. And it had chewed open a cask of wine and from the red-stained snout it had been drinking heavily.::Mortimer: It DRANK MY WINE! ::He roared.::::Duchess perked her head up, saw the frypan and sensed danger. In another moment she made a mad dash directly through Mortimer St. Mort's legs and out into the street and towards freedom, leaving only a trail of wine soaked hoof prints behind...::~*~((Jumja Smiles Candy Shop - Ashalla District- StarBase 118 Commercial Center))(about twenty five minutes ago)::Little Sandy Waller loved the Jumja Smiles shop. It wasn't just because her best friend Geno Jinda's family owned the place. It was because it will filled with some of the most colorful, delicious and wonderful candies on the Starbase.She kicked her legs as she and Jinda sat on the picnic table outside the shop giggling about their latest holodeck adventure in the Forest of Imagination when an absolutely adorable little pink doggy wandered up::Sandy: Hello doggy! ::She waved a chubby hand at Duchess::Duchess: ::Gave an adorable little whine and sat down, looking up at the children with big, adorable, begging eyes.::Jinda: It's pink!::Sandy leaned down to pat the mane and Duchess reached forward. She was gentle, but determined to steal the girl's cotton candy::Sandy: Oh! ::She laughed a bit at the melting candy fluff on the targ's snout:: Do you like cotton candy, doggy?::Duchess grunted as if to say 'yes, she liked cotton candy very much.'::Sandy: So cute!::She held her stick downwards, letting Duchess greedily gulp at the fluffy confection.::Jinda: She really likes it! ::Hopping off the picnic table, trying to be oh-so-helpful:: I'll get more!Sandy: Hurry! It's almost gone!::Jinda rushed into the shop, nabbing a massive bag of multi-colored cotton candy from a store room shelf and running back.::Jinda: Here, here! This should keep her busy for a while!::If it kept their cute new pink friend occupied, Jinda would keep on bringing cotton candy until the shop ran out... or her parents noticed...::~*~((Alleyway - Ashalla District - StarBase 118 Ops))(about ten minutes ago)::Fun science fact! A targ's digestive system cannot process sucrose. The common Terran sugar is not present in Klingon habitats and therefore targs never encountered the substance in their natural diets. Sucrose passes directly through the digestive tract in a largely undigested state.::Kimmy: Look, Mommy, Unicorn poop!::Kimmy Kagiso looked up to her mother, waving her hand with delight at the large, fresh pile of rainbow colored dookie.Makena Kagiso stopped dead in her tracks, getting a whiff of the horrendous decomposing scent::Kagiso: Ugh! Kimmy, don't touch that! ::She waved her hand over her nose::Kimmy: But it's magical!Kagiso: Not the kind of magic you want to play with, Kimmy. ::She took a step forward to scoop the little girl up::Kimmy: But, unicorns, Mommy!Kagiso: Kimmy... ::She sighed:: Even the stuff that comes out the bottom end of unicorns isn't something we touch, OK?Kimmy: ::Big wide, innocent eyes:: But unicorns are real, right?Kagiso: Yes, Kimmy ::She sighed, giving in:: Yes they are...~*~((Golden Favor Pawn Shop - Ashalla District - StarBase 118))(five minutes ago)Lenk: Tog, get over here! Check this out!::The lanky young Ferengi nephew of Tog, the owner of the Golden Favor waved his favorite uncle over. Actually, Tog was the only family Lenk had left - his parents had been killed when he was just a child - they had been freighter owners killed on route to Bajor during the Dominion war. Lenk never knew them, but Tog had taught him all the rules of acquisition and how to hear profit in the breeze. And right now Lenk was listening to the silver bells of profit chiming in the wind.::Tog: ::He ambled over to where his nephew was gesticulating:: What? ::Looking down into the small green space behind the shop, he peered at a curiously snoring pink beasty:: Hey, that looks like a tasty dinner!Lenk: Uncle Tog! ::Lenk protested:: Don't you know what that is?Tog: ::Wondering if this was a trick question:: ...Bacon?::Which was quite possibly the best thing to come off of earth. It paired deliciously with beetle paste.::Lenk: ::Sighing:: No, uncle, it's a teacup targ. People pay a fortune for these things...Tog: ::He stopped and his massive ears perked up:: A fortune you say?Lenk: I do say. To the right buyers.Tog: ::Chuckling with good fortune:: Oh, my nephew, I have the right buyers. ::He looked back out into the yard.:: But you, son, you have to get the critter into a cage...::Of course Tog gave him the hard part, but Lenk had always risen to the challenge. He was smart for a Ferengi, and clever for a teenager. He was sure he could figure something out::Lenk: Ok, Uncle... watch this!~*~tbc...~*~Various NPCsCommercial SectorStarBase 118Simmed by: Sal Taybrim
  18. ((Bridge -- USS Za)) ::The Deep warship had made its move in firing upon the Klingon ship. Trellis had moved his own pieces on the board, positioning the Za between the Defender-21 and the Krorgh. The game was coming to a close, he considered. The Deep were in check and weakened. Now the Za waited for them to realize that.:: Vondaryan: Can we beam the Captain and her team back yet? Petras: We will need to remodulate our defensive shields to pull them through… Baxter: Transporter room has locks on all the away team. One of the life signs are showing weaker than the other indicating that someone has been injured. Williams: Its useless as long as the Deep shields are operating. My scans show they are still up. And even if they are not I hate to drop ours while taking fire… I think the captain is better of where he is right now. The Deep ship can take a beating too. ::Trellis didn't like the information that one of the signs was weaker than the rest. The away team was in danger and he should be over there leading it. He was frustrated there was not more he could do about it here.:: Vondaryan: Acknowledged. ::The turbolift doors opened, but Trellis was too focused on the viewscreen to notice who came in. It was only when spoken to that he noticed a Klingon officer now on the bridge.:: Socxo: Commander I was wondering where the Captain is? I got a plausible theory for the illness… Williams: I doubt they’ll listen right now ensign. As you can see we are in the middle of a battle. Vondaryan: The Captain is aboard that ship there, ensign. ::he nodded in the direction of the viewscreen showing the Defender. He looked to the science officer and tilted his head:: Does this mean you've discovered a cure? Petras: I have been monitoring the science-medical team. Awaiting confirmation from medical. Vondaryan: Well, that is good news. Continue working as quick as you can. There should be an available science console over there. ::he motioned toward one of the empty work-spaces along the wall:: ::Stationed as they were in between two ships it was inevitable that they would take a stray shot or two. Thankfully Falcon was managing to dodge the majority of them and, when she couldn't, the shields absorbed the rest. Still, he didn't expect this stalemate to last much longer.:: Williams: The incoming fire its takings its toll on our energy reserves commander! Falcon: I think they’re getting mad at us. Vondaryan: Make no aggressive moves. Keep us between them as long as you can, Falcon. Baxter, can you increase energy to the shields? Shut down any non-essential functions necessary. Falcon: If it’s just them, I can keep this up for a while. I make no promises if the Defender starts moving, too. ::Thankfully Baxter was able to increase power to the shields for a little longer, as the Za continued to get rocked by an occasional stray blast. They weren't suffering any damage yet. ::From the bottom of the viewscreen a smaller ship suddenly appeared, firing a different color phaser bolt that hit the Defender. Where had that come from?:: Williams: Commander, unless my sensors deceive me the small Deep ship just fired on the Warship. Baxter can you confirm sensors are working? ::Ah, that would explain it. Trellis had almost forgotten about Arbiter Ydem.:: Vondaryan: The Arbiter has fired upon the Defender? ::he tilted his head and smiled:: Excellent news. ::he'd never heard of a piece changing color in the middle of a game. It was an interesting development.:: Baxter: Yes, Ydem-18 has fired a low energy phaser beam at the other Deep ship. Petras: There is some significant damage to the Defender… Williams: It doesn’t make sense… why would they do that. That are no match for her, or the Klingon ship for that matter… ::Trellis was fairly confident he knew what was happening. When the communication came through from the Explorer he felt vindicated in his belief.:: Ydem-18: =/\= This is Arbiter Ydem-18 aboard the Explorer-46. We have fired upon our vessel Defender-21 because we want to show, as strongly as we can, that we disagree with their course of action. Though our actions may have been brash in dismissing support from Captain Bron and the Krorgh, we would never think of provoking him and his crew into battle. We stand now with the Krorgh and the Za against Defender-21. Defender-21, stand down. =/\= Williams: Well that is an uhm… Baxter: Interesting turn of events. Falcon: Good way to put it. Vondaryan: How are the Klingons holding up in this battle? Has the Defender moved its target? Do we need to move into position to defend the Arbiter's ship? ::Trellis could feel the adrenaline pumping through him. He was nervous. He could not understand why Ryael had continued this game for so long already. Surely she must give up now being outnumbered 3 to 1. Her king was surrounded on all sides and close to checkmate. It was an inevitable outcome, and her delays only drew out the game for no purpose.:: Williams: No sir, she is still targeting the Klingons. Lucky Ydem... one or two shots and she’d be space dust… ::Trellis shuddered at the thought. That would be a horrible end to the first contact mission.:: Williams: Commander, if I may. I suggest we move ourselves towards the scout ship. It’s in no position to defend itself and it seems the Klingons and Deep are unable to finish each other off at this rate… Vondaryan: Yes, make it so Falcon. Falcon: On the move. Baxter: The Deep ship is signalling surrender. ::His eyes widened at that. He had been hoping for this outcome. He let out a small sigh of relief. Ryael had knocked over her king.:: Pandorn: =/\=Pandorn to Za. The Defender-21 is standing down. Repeat... the Defender-21 is standing down. Prepare to beam the away team back and have a medical team standing by. We have an injury. =/\= Vondaryan: ::he stood up:: Get them out of there as soon as you can! Have a medical team prepare to meet them in the transporter room. Falcon: We’re still well within transporter range. I intend to maintain position. Petras: I have signaled the transporter room and sickbay, Commander. Baxter: The Deeps shields are still up. Falcon: I don’t like this. ::He gave a small growl of frustration. ::He sat back down as they were waiting for the Defender to actually power down to fully signal its surrender. Trellis looked around the bridge. Most everyone was looking slightly more relaxed now than they had mere moments before. Except for Williams at tactical.:: Williams: What is THAT?! ::Trellis looked to where the man pointed on the screen. It zoomed in to the top of the Defender where some sort of cannon structure started to appear.:: Williams: Is that our missing piece of the puzzle? Baxter: I thought they were surrendering. Vondaryan: I believed that, too. What can you tell me about that cannon? Baxter: That thing is drawing a lot of power. It seems to be a very powerful phaser, from the power output I’d guess it would fire a beam of 10 times our phasers. Petras: I do not believe our shields can handle a weapon with that kind of output for very long. ::The blood drained from his face as his heart rate zoomed back up. His hands broke out in a cold sweat. With a weapon that powerful they stood no chance of survival, even outnumbering the Defender 3 to 1.:: Ryael-3: =/\= This is Defender-21. Our cannon is now armed and ready to fire. We will defend ourselves and the Explorer from any hostiles -- even from the Explorer itself. =/\= Ydem-18: =/\= You would fire upon your own people? =/\= Ryael-3: =/\= You have already done so, diplomat. =/\= Williams: If that thing is really as powerful as Baxter just told us we can only withstand a few hits sir… And a few less for the Klingons. Baxter: I suspect it would need time to recharge between shots. Falcon: Depending on the speed of their shot, we can probably shift to take the hit to the port and starboard fringes of the shields. Might buy us some more time… ::Clearly Ryael had been moving toward this position all along. The supposed surrender was merely a ploy. This was like another piece being added to the board in the middle of a chess match. Trellis had no defense against it.:: Vondaryan: Open a channel. ::he paused as the communications opened.:: =/\= Defender-21. We have no wish to engage in a fight. Our actions must have proven that to you by now. All we've wanted to do is help. Surely we can talk about this without any further rash actions? =/\= ::he motioned to mute the channel so the chatter from the bridge wasn't transmitted:: Baxter: Maybe it’s a deterrent. They did seemed to want to surrender and hopefully talk things through. ::Trellis gripped the ends of his chair. If anyone looked at him they would see his hangs going white with effort. He certainly hoped Baxter was right. He so wanted her to be right.:: Vondaryan: How long will it take that thing to activate? Baxter: I’d estimate it will be operational in less than 10 minutes from the way the work is progressing. Falcon: Then maybe we close the distance? So close they can’t track us and get a shot off? Ryael-3: =/\= No. No more talk. This poor exercise in exploration and assistance from outside ends now. We are the Deep! We need no help from beyond our borders. We need-- =/\= ::Her voice was cut off mid-sentence. Something was happening over there. Trellis wished he knew what.:: Vondaryan: Status? Damage report? Falcon: Nothing on our end. Petras: All system optimal. Shields holding. Baxter: Confirmed. Williams: It sounded like a hand phaser being fired in the background… Maybe there is a mutiny? Maybe the captain took over? Porus: Firing on a Deep diplomat would be an usual diplomatic maneuver… Typical among my people but unheard off in the Federation. Williams: Shields of the Deep warship are dropping sir. We have a lock on our people. ::So, the Defender was finally lowering their shields. The king had been toppled after all. Unless there was some other last-minute piece added to the board.:: Vondaryan: Get that away team back, now! Falcon: Still within transporter range. Baxter: Shields are still up. ::Moments after he gave the order, the Captain's voice came through their system.:: Solzano: =/\= Solzano to Za. Four to beam over. Beam th'Enise directly to Sickbay and have a med team standing by. =/\= vav Felvh: =/\= Acknolwedged. Energizing. =/\= Williams: =/\= Williams to sickbay. Prepare to receive injured. =/\= Baxter: The Deep have lowered their shields. :: She watched the reports come in from the transporter room.:: We have all the away team back. ::Trellis let out a huge sigh and slumped into his chair. It was over. Everyone was back aboard the Za, and mostly safe. Now they just needed an actual cure and they could leave these xenophobic peoples to their own devices. Still, a part of him wanted to learn more about them.:: Vondaryan: Socxo, how's the cure coming along? Socxo: The cure is in progress and we found the reason behind their problem. It was caused by cadmium. Vondaryan: ::he smiled:: Well done. Very well done indeed. Beam the information over to the Explorer at your earliest convenience. Socxo: I will sir, the Commander is working now to send the relevant data over towards the Deep. Vondaryan: Well, the Captain did order me to send you over there, but I think I'll belay that order in this instance. ::he smirked:: Unless you'd prefer to give them the cure in person? Porus: I would be happy to accompany you… Socxo: ::Shaking his head:: I rather stay on the USS Za, I have other projects to attend to sir. ::Trellis let out a hearty laugh.:: Vondaryan: Yes, indeed. First round will be on me. ::he tilted his head:; I wonder if Zogi has any good wine's I haven't tried... tag/tbc -- Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  19. ((Commodore Kinney's Officer - Embassy of Raskor I)) ::The trio had been lead into the den of lies. Behind the desk, stood the disappointingly average looking Commodore Kinney. After a few strained, forced pleasantries, the reason for the visit had been revealed and the discomfort level was raising with each near blatant accusation Kinney spat out. The meeting hadn't started out well. What was originally bored annoyance, was quickly dipping into hostile territory. While Sal and Trel'lis kept their cool, firm tone, Mirra decided to try a bit of the suggested gestures. Not exactly sure the possible fallout. But...they weren't here for conversation alone...::Ezo: ::keeps her eyes level, taps her temple in nonchalance as suggested by Captain Taybrim, her tone clear, and even:: The disturbance being the stolen Romulan vessel piloted by a mad man..Trel'lis: ::nods:: A driven mad man. ::The gesture did not go unnoticed. It was almost amusing with the flash of his eyes, assuming she had crossed beyond the acceptable boundaries. Mirra decided to push a bit further, exchanging a "knowing glance" with the Captain. Although, the "knowing" just translated more to the "Whoa, do you see how bulgy that head vein is...?".::Taybrim: We still had a plan, one that was not followed. ::He countered, slowly realizing that Kinney was leading the conversation:: Whether L'Trena meant it or not, he drew the Sienov's wrath before backup was available.Kinney: Backup, yes... convenient thing those Klingon allies of yours showed up when they did... ::a vague tone of accusation in his voice::::A poorly timed complication for him, but what had resulted in their life line. It was clear the Commodore was less than pleased at the actions of their allies, but what could he truly say? Risk a diplomatic firestorm by condemning the actions of the Klingon's who ensured the prevent of a total loss of Starfleet life? Not even he would be that naive.::Ezo: ::smiles with saccharine sweetness:: We owe our allies a great deal. Had they not been on a patrol of their own nature, ::tilts her head slightly:: Well, who could say what would have happened...?Trel'lis: I don’t even want to consider the possibility of ‘what if’! A man of *your* caliber, would know patrols are conducted by ships of other peoples, especially after such a vicious attack, prompting the Avalon even being dispatched.::It seemed the Commodore didn't appreciate Trel'lis tone, Mirra however, loved it. She managed to keep her face neutral, although she added a slight head tilt in his direction. A supposed unconscious act when someone might overhear something...::Kinney: What exactly are you insinuating, Lieutenant?Trel’lis: What I am saying is, I would think a covert recon would have been ordered *first* before sending ships in overtly.Kinney: How do you know one wasn't done? We knew that the Sienov was commanded by Haz Arrhimen after all...::Keeping her focus straight on Kinney's face, she once again tapped her temple with a quick glance at Sal. It meant nothing of course, but she had to admit it was more entertaining for her than should be.::Taybrim: ::The Captain's voice was diplomatic and cajoling:: Perhaps, Lieutenant, you'll explain the reason for your misgivings.Trel’lis: I suppose my original security/tactical thinking kicks in, as that was my first career, prior to switching to the Diplomatic Corps.Kinney: You were sent out with the information you needed. In fact, you had more time and more advantage to prepare yourself than the Avalon did and yet she followed orders without question. ::His voice raised in pitch, getting to a point where it was barking and hot.::Taybrim: And the Avalon lost nearly five hundred crew...Ezo: ::eyes narrowing:: Four hundred and ninety two, to be exact. Kinney: Did you tell L'Trena about the Klingons? No, you didn't. You were an integral part of that fight, and you failed to share decisive information to a fellow Captain.Taybrim: We warned him to stop, told him to wait. The Klingons were uncloaked and it was plain to see they were on our side.Ezo: And yet he disregarded our warnings and continued, to their detriment...::her eyes narrowed further:: ::She let the passive expression fall away, she didn't need to be violating any mental boundaries to tell his was clearly deflecting. Trying to pin this disastrous on them, and one he shouldn't have had to because he truly expected them to not return. His distaste for them was abundantly clear. If anyone should have suffered massive casualties, in his mind, it should have been them. Let the Avalon return victorious, while he feigned sorrow at the loss of the trouble making Captain and his crew.:: Trel'lis: Or were *told* to disregard the warning??Kinney: ::Loud, angry:: Unacceptable!::His control was slipping, she had no idea what he honestly expected out of this meeting, but by his outburst, it certainly wasn't going his way. She wondered how this engagement would end, would he throw them out of his office? And turn around and say that they had been insubordinate and accusatory?::Taybrim: ::Calm. Dangerously calm.:: Commodore Kinney, we did everything we could to save the Avalon. Even after her warp drive exploded we mounted a rescue effort to bring back any survivors. Had the Avalon heeded our warning she might still be in one piece today.Ezo: As it stands...we were able to rescue twenty three. Twenty three souls, out of over five hundred... Trel'lis: THAT is what’s *unacceptable*, sir! ::Kinney stalked off, attempting to burn off a bit of the rage swirling within him. He had to know there was no spinning this to his favor. The data they presented supported their claims, and that didn't include the data that wasn't presented...yet.::Kinney: You see a threat in everything, Taybrim. You and your crew are conspiracy theorists of the worst kind. You could have followed L'Trena's lead, backed him up and the outcome would have been much different.Taybrim: Yes, we would have all been dead. ::The words slipped out, the bitter truth as Sal saw it. It wasn't diplomatic, but he stood there, unabashed at having said it.:: ::Mirra jolted in her seat. Something was wrong. No, something was very wrong. The anger in this room was near suffocating. So the cold, determined focus she felt slashed through like a frozen spike. Confidence, malice, a hint of gallows humor. Where was this coming from? Not within the room, that's for sure. She dropped her mental shielding, pushing out her abilities farther than the immediate screaming anger of the room. Easy target, job done then payload. The window, it was in direct line of the window. Her warning call came barreling out of her mouth in a near shout as her body automatically reacted. Launching out of her chair, her mind was surprisingly clear. Get to the Commodore, get him down. No other thoughts dared impede her on her mission. With the grace afforded only by the surge of adrenaline, Mirra's arms clasped around the man's middle, as the shared momentum focused through her shoulder brought them both tumbling down, landing hard on the ground. She felt a sharp pain above her brow, and tiny [...]s of along her as the world around them showered in tiny, glinting pieces. Something warm was sliding down and pooling in her ear. More blasts rung out, she wasn't sure where Sal and Trel'lis were, she felt them close, and prayed they got cover in time. Someone had just tried to kill Commodore Kinney. Getting to her knees, she turned to the face down Kinney, struggling to flip him over so she could examine the damage.:: Ezo: ::strained:: Commodore? Commodore can you hear me? ::coughing slightly:: Commod- ::She was instantly cut off as a large hand wrapped itself around her throat, and began squeezing with deadly purpose. Her eyes shot wide as she looked down at the hysterical expression of the man beneath her. His pupils dilated to the point that his eyes nearly matched her own. Fight or flight had taken over, and it seemed the Commodore was strongly in the "fight" category. She struggled to free herself, scratching wildly at his arm, to no effect. He thought she had attacked him, he was defending himself. Although he had been attacked, it did not come from her. She heard scrambling around her, felt arms at her back. Someone was trying to help release her from his death grip. Her vision was starting to get fuzzy on the sides. She needed air, and she needed it now. It may have been the result of a cut off of oxygen, or her mind trying desperately to stay conscious, but for whatever the reason...she suddenly heard Tyler's voice. His voice was in her mind, clear as if he were standing beside her. His firm, patient tone of voice he carried during thew few failed attempts to get her more comfortable with self defense. For a brief moment, the room faded away as was transported to the Holodeck on the Columbia, back when they had been assigned. Tyler, standing in front of her, working hard to keep an amused smirk off his face. His comment about her looking "adorable" when she attempted to look scary hadn't been appreciated. (((Flashback - Columbia Holodeck))) Kelly: We're going to try this...again. A patient has gone violent and you are alone, what do you do? Ezo: Uhh...make peace with the Gods and hope I am remembered fondly...? ::He cradled his face momentarily, while taking a deep breath through his nose. She got the distinct impression that was the wrong answer.:: Ezo: ::grinning sheepishly:: Right, sorry. ::getting back in stance:: I fight. Kelly: Yes. You fight. Now, Keep your wrist tight, push with your shoulder. It's all about follow through. Aim for the jaw, not his head. We're trying to tenderize his face, not your knuckles. Ezo: ::grimacing:: Gross.. Kelly: ::exasperated:: Just do it Mir! You or him. You're fighting for your life, not making friends. ((End flashback)) ::Acting on impulse, her fist clenched, wrist tight, she swung wide and hard, throwing everything she had into it. The punch landed right at the hinge of his jaw. The power behind it less than she would have liked, but she still felt the distinctive crack of bone in her hand as the jolt of pain slammed up her hand into her arm. Whether it was the hit, or the efforts of the others, the hand was gone. Falling onto all fours, she gasped in air greedily, coughing uncontrollably. Her vision evening out with each deep inhale. It could have been the remaining adrenaline, the bittersweet pang of memory, or the culmination of events, Mirra shot to her feet in a fit of pure rage. It might have been the blood dripping into her eyes, but never the less, Mirra saw red.:: Ezo: ::shouting:: Is that how you thank someone who just SAVED YOUR LIFE?!? Trel’lis: ::whispering:: Ingrate! Kinney: ::His hands flew to his face to protect it:: Wh-what are you talking about? Saved? But... Taybrim: She's a telepath, Kinney. She could sense the assailant before they shot. She saved your life. ::He reaffirmed in even, commanding tones.:: Ezo: ::gravely:: Yeah! You're welcome by the way! ::She fought the urge to kick the man hard in the shin, but at that particular moment, the adrenaline took the most inopportune time to leave her. Her legs began to shake, and she crumpled back into a chair behind her. Later, she would realize it had been the Commodore's own chair, but for now, she focused on the throbbing pain in her throat, her head, and pretty much every where else. She automatically applied pressure to her forehead using the mostly clean sleeve. Noticing the increasing discoloration oO And this is why I hate dresswhites....Oo:: --------------------------------------- Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  20. ((Holodeck - USS Darwin-A)) ::Some time during the leave, Ren Rennyn found time to get in a holodeck for a relaxing bit of nonsense.:: ::One day years ago, near the Starfleet Academy campus on Earth, on a whim, Ren picked up a copy of Winds of Change, a cheap romance holonovela in a delightfully over-the-top old Terran style. Something about the program’s stylistic excessiveness appealed to the Trill, who occasionally reveled in the melodramatic himself. There was no end to the campy, over-dramatized characters and situations Winds of Change had to offer.:: ::The glamorous woman currently shaking Ren by the lapels of his evening jacket was example number one.:: Janet: No, Bruce! No! Can't you see that I love you?! ::Ren Rennyn gently but silently pulled the edges of his tuxedo from Janet's clutches. Her sequined magenta evening gown with absurdly layered ruching rustled as she followed him onto the mansion's moonlit veranda, where Ren threw himself dramatically against the stone banister.:: Rennyn: Don't you see that we can never be together? I made a vow to Gina, Janet. For better or worse, I'm married... to your twin! ::Ren enjoyed the program with its sensationalized, stagy style. Set on 20th century Earth, it followed the histrionic lives of its exaggerated characters in a fictional town called Generic City. There were personal intrigues, corporate power plays, torrid love affairs and sometimes murders. His character Bruce had gone from fashion model to business executive to perfume designer to cop in just a few levels of the game. Generic City was rife with career opportunity.:: ::On the veranda, Janet reached him, her eyes shining tearfully, her bosom heaving with fury. Ruby nails gleamed in the moonlight as she slapped his face, hard. The crack stunned him, as he watched her face turn to cold fury.:: Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD! ::Janet stormed off, and Ren stood quietly, listening. The program continued to run, but nothing else happened. Canned nighttime sound effects surrounded him. The lush, nearly tropical foliage surrounding the veranda gave no fragrance, and didn't look quite real. He went back into the lavish mansion, blinking at the garish lighting that shone off gold and crystal fixtures. All was quiet.:: ::He’d hit the dead end again.:: ::Ren had been playing Winds of Change for a number of years, minus the breaks he took when his own life started to feel every bit as over-the-top as this recreational world. For a while, he was in and out of love with a mixed up Vulcan who sort of loved him too, but they never could get it together. There was Rover, the talking purple space cloud who wouldn't stop interrupting his every moment, until he too went away. Then there was Navin, or the memory of him, and the threat of his evil Borg doppelganger who might come back to haunt Ren some day, to throw his whole life right off the track. Or it might just be in his imagination. Yes, Ren was one brain surgery and a dastardly moustache away from from being a holonovela character himself.:: ::Between all that, and his Starfleet adventures, too, Ren didn’t always have the time or the energy left to spend figuring out the mystery at the heart of Winds of Change. Still, he'd spent countless hours playing this simulation again and again, but this was all the further he ever got. Janet slapped him, walked off into the night, and then… nothing.:: ::Alone on the veranda in the cool night air, Ren undid the tight bowtie and stretched in the luxurious yet constricting jacket. Bruce’s cousin Devin had designed it in Chapter 2 as part of the launch of his new fashion line, “Devin-aire.”:: ::The computer recognized this as Level 4: Janet's Threat. The index said that next should be Level 5: Debbie's Gold. He didn't know what the plot of Level 5 might be. He couldn't figure out who Debbie was. Nothing he did or said seemed to unlock it. Again and again, Janet slapped him, threatened Gina's life, and that was it.:: ::Ren had tried everything up to now. He'd let Janet leave and waited patiently for something else to happen. He’d run after her, only to find that she had disappeared. He'd run into the mansion and thrown himself dramatically on a divan and tried to cry big, fake tears, but no one ever showed up to notice. Nothing worked. It was if the game was stuck at that moment. He couldn't get to Level 5. And he couldn't stand it anymore.:: ::Ren refused to look through the programming code to find the next plot point subroutine. He was determined to find the thing he was supposed to do to unlock the next step, without looking at the code or getting any external help.:: ::He wandered through the mansion into the front hall, where a grand staircase ascended in glory. Janet had pushed her mother down those stairs in Level 1, he remembered fondly. That was where it all began.:: Rennyn: Computer, replay Chapter 4 from the beginning of the veranda scene. ::The mansion’s interior dissolved, to be quickly replaced by the veranda he’d just left. Janet materialized in front of him. There wasn’t much he hadn’t tried, but Ren had the afternoon free. Why not take a few more slaps to the face in the name of progress?:: Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD! ::As Ren’s stinging face caused him a twinge of regret for not shutting down the program and going home to a good book, Janet stormed off again. Ren called after her.:: Rennyn: Please don’t go! ::She went.:: Rennyn: Computer, restart again from the same spot.:: ::Slap!:: Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD! Rennyn: I AM Gina! ::She looked at him like he was crazy, and left.:: ::Slap!:: Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD! Rennyn: Computer! Why was the slap harder that time!? ::Slap!:: ::Slap!:: ::Slap!:: ::Furious at himself and furious at the programmer and furious at the whole game, Ren called with all his might.:: Rennyn: JANET! ::Something changed. For the first time, Janet stopped and turned around. She was perfectly framed in the doorway, the lighting hit her perfectly, and her tear-streaked face appeared softly in a gauzy haze.:: Rennyn: I was wrong to say no. I will run away with you, after all. ::Janet smirked condescendingly, her perfectly arched eyebrow rising in unison with the corner of her hot pink lips.:: Janet: You lost your chance, Bruce. The ship has sailed, and you missed the boat. ::Then she turned and made her normal exit, the one he’d seen dozens of times.:: ::Ren looked around. It wasn’t exactly progress. But it was a response. Had it changed anything? He waited for someone else to appear. He waited for something to happen. No, it was still the same dead end.:: ::Maybe the point of Winds of Change was to make you feel defeated. Maybe it was to see how many players would beat themselves up trying to move forward. Maybe there was a subroutine sending metrics back to the sadistic designers on just how many times he let himself be slapped in the face before he gave up.:: ::Ren wasn’t a quitter, but this was ridiculous. Slipping off his couture jacket and slinging it over his shoulder with one finger, he called for the arch and slunk away through the night. As he looked back one last time and call for the program to save and close, Ren didn’t quite see something sharp and metallic gleaming in the dark behind the topiaries that lined the mansion’s formal garden. A mysterious watcher in the night was about to threaten him.:: ::Instead, the stalker disappeared along with the rest of the program. Next time, on Winds of Change, Ren Rennyn was going to have a whole new challenge to face.:: LtCmdr Rendal Rennyn Ops Officer USS Darwin NCC-99312-A A239102RR0
  21. ((Personal Quarters, USS Darwin-A))::After their wild shuttle ride, Iniko was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to go back to jheas quarters and take a nap, or maybe head up to Sickbay to check on Lambert. Jhe couldn't relax, though, and the thought of seeing anyone else right now made jhea feel sick. Jhe finally had to admit to jheaself that what jhe was feeling was guilt. Whatever it was that had caused such an emotional reaction in the rest of the shuttle crew had only given Iniko a headache, but it had made focusing difficult, and they still didn't have any idea what had actually happened to them.::::Jhe was certain that jhe could have figured it out and been more useful if only jhe had spent some time developing jheas fielding abilities. Up until now it had seemed unimportant. There had never been much need for it on missions before, and while it could occasionally come in useful in jheas normal tasks as an engineer, it had always seemed like a minor added bonus. So jhe had just kept putting it off and putting it off, even when jhe had discovered jhe couldn't use the holodeck any longer due to interference headaches.::::This mission had changed all that, though. It was time to stop waffling and start practicing. Luckily jhe had been slowly going crazy during jheas extended leave back on Til’ahn, and during a fit of boredom had contacted the Fielding League and asked to be assigned a tutor. After securing a promise that Iniko would send them reports on interesting new effects or applications of the skill jhe might discover while in service with Starfleet, subject to Starfleet’s willingness to disclose the information, they'd been very accommodating. Jhe had walked away with the contact information for a new tutor, immediately been swept up in another of jheas mother's emergencies, and forgotten all about it. Now it was time to resurrect that plan.::::Upon reaching jheas room, jhe sat down at jheas personal console and initiated a call to Til’ahn. Jhe punched in the contact information the Fielding League had sent jhea, and sat back. The call took a while to connect, and Iniko began to hope that maybe the new tutor was too busy. Maybe jhe should put this off for a while after all. Jhe wasn’t entirely sure why jhe was so nervous. This wasn’t going to be like Dr Cook poking around in jheas brain. It was just like exercising a muscle, right? Surely jhe didn’t need to be so wary of the process. But that nervousness remained.::::Finally, the call connected. A face appeared on jheas monitor. A familiar face, not because jhe had seen it many times, but because jhe had relived that single experience so many times in jheas memory. Jhe almost flinched back, but just managed to keep jheas face calm. This must be a mistake.::Chalor: Hello? ::the lomale on screen raised jheas eyebrows as jhe took in Iniko’s uniform and surroundings.:: Can I help you?Mpeba: ::coldly:: I don’t believe so, no. I was given this number by mistake, I believe. Don’t worry, I won’t contact you again.::Sawat Chalor narrowed jheas eyes, peering closely at Iniko, and then huffed and pursed jheas lips.::Chalor: Ah. The younger Mpeba. You look just like your mother and father. I had forgotten that you were supposed to call.::Iniko sat back, a little stunned. Jhe had known about this? And hadn’t objected? The memories flashed through jheas mind again, still stunningly at odds with Sawat’s current behavior.::((Flashback, 12 Years Ago))::Iniko's mother had that worried look on her face again. She was talking with a friend, and as usual they had been discussing the aliens and their bad influences, how they were destroying Laudean culture and values. Iniko always felt nervous when they talked like that. Jhe wasn't sure what sort of things the aliens had planned for them, but jheas mother always made it sound like they were lawless pillagers, out to take every resource of their world and steal all the lomales to breed their own race of fielders. Jheas mother usually seemed most worried about Iniko’s future during those discussions. She was off the comm now, and came over to talk to Iniko.::C. Mpeba: Iniko, come with me. I have someone you need to meet.::Iniko nodded and followed along, trying to be properly demure. Chioma sat jhea down on the seat next to her and started another call. It took a few moments to be picked up, but when the picture appeared it was of a serene and elaborate garden, full of carefully pruned trees, delicate flowers and exquisite sculptures. The person sitting in the middle of all of this was a handsome lomale a few years older than Iniko's parents. Jheas hair was piled in an sophisticated knot on jheas head, and jhe wore finely embroidered robes of a shimmery and slightly translucent fabric that showed glimpses of jheas form in the afternoon sunlight. Iniko was entranced. This was what jheas mother kept pushing for, and jhe had never been able to grasp. This person was poise and elegance and sensuality personified. Iniko didn't believe jhe could ever achieve such a thing, wasn't entirely sure jhe even wanted to. But it was certainly a beautiful sight.::Chalor: Hello, how can I -- why, Chioma, isn't it? What a pleasant surprise!C. Mpeba: Sawat, it's so good to see you again!Chalor: It is always a good day to see you, my dear. How have you been? It's been far too long.::The older lomale’s drawl was hypnotizing, but jheas words made Iniko blush. Jhe was finally starting to grasp who this person was, and the images that conjured up were not something jhe wanted to contemplate.::C. Mpeba: It has been too long. So much has happened recently. But that isn't what I called you about. I wanted you to meet our child, Iniko.::The lomale on the screen flinched, momentarily losing jheas composure. A moment later jhe had it back, but the smile jhe offered Iniko was weak and brief.::Chalor: Hello, child. Would you mind running in the other room for a moment? I need to speak privately with your mother.::Iniko wasn't sure what to make of that reaction, but given jheas mother's crumpled frown, it hadn't been what she had been hoping for. Iniko felt guilty, wondering if jhe had done something wrong, or if it was the lomale on the call who had disappointed her. Chioma turned to Iniko, though, and gave jhea a small nod in the direction of the open doorway. Iniko stood and left the room as quietly as jhe could, but stopped as soon as jhe turned into the hall. Jhe leaned against the doorframe, just out of sight.::Chalor: Chioma, what were you thinking? I thought we made this clear in our agreement!C. Mpeba: But Iniko is your only lomale child! I checked the coven records! I thought jhe would mean something to you, especially now that jhe is approaching the age of apprenticeship!Chalor: ::sternly:: I don't know how to make this any more clear. You and Akinade I would be happy to see again, anytime. You two have always been wonderful fun. But the . . . results of those encounters? I want nothing to do with them, regardless of their age. That was made clear from the very beginning. They are yours, not mine, not in any sense. This child is not my responsibility, and I am entitled to no part of jheas life, nor do I want any.C. Mpeba: But, surely if you just spoke to jhea for a moment.Chalor: Do not press this, Chioma. It is a thoroughly inappropriate request. I will not be a part of this conversation. Goodbye.::Iniko felt jheas throat close up. Jhe stifled jheas anger as best jhe could, but a little squeal of indignation escaped. What jhe was saying was perfectly reasonable, of course. Iniko was well versed in the basic tenets of lomale duties, even if jhe struggled with the more complicated aspects, and this was about as basic as they got. Lomales had no rights or responsibilities regarding their offspring, except in extreme circumstances. Chioma opting to pursue this in opposition to the decrees of the Fielding League she respected so much spoke volumes about her worry for Iniko's future. But it had been for nought, and now they were both humiliated.::((End Flashback))::If Sawat had been so set against having anything to do with Iniko previously, why was jhe expecting Iniko's call now? Whatever the reason, Iniko wasn’t sure jhe wanted anything to do with Sawat now. Iniko set jheas jaw firmly and hid behind the most formal manner jhe could produce.::Mpeba: I apologize for the intrusion. I have no intention of intruding on your peace any further. Goodbye.::Jhe reached forward to end the call, but Sawat held up a finger to forestall jhea.::Chalor: Please. Wait a moment. There is no need for you to go so soon.Mpeba: I was under the impression you wanted nothing to do with me.::Sawat bowed jheas head, and just for a moment seemed frail. A moment later, though, jhe raised jheas head again and frowned seriously at Iniko.::Chalor: Listen well. I want nothing to do with any progeny of mine. You are not my child, and you will never be. But I have been asked by the Fielding League to instruct a student in the art of fielding, and this is a task I will undertake without qualms. We will relate to each other solely as master and apprentice. There will be no familiarity between us, and you will not forget your place. Do you understand?::Iniko felt the heat rising in jheas chest, and forced it down. Jhe would remain civil. Jhe would. Jhe counted to ten before answering, and was satisfied to hear jheas voice come out even.::Mpeba: I believe you are under a false impression. I am no child, and I have no intention of being spoken to as such. If you were anyone else I would give you the respect due a teacher, but since you have clearly expressed such a disinterest in me, I don't believe there is any possible way we could work together civilly. You will have to excuse me. I will seek another course.::Jhe leaned forward again to end the call, but this time Sawat threw up jheas hand more urgently. Iniko halted, more at the expression on jheas face than anything else. Jhe looked afraid, not an expression Iniko had ever imagined on jheas perfectly composed features.::Chalor: Please, listen.::Despite the request, Sawat bit down on jheas lip, bowed jheas head and remained silent for some time. Iniko glared at jhea for a moment, but finally leaned back away from the console in surrender, folding jheas arms sullenly.::Mpeba: Fine. What do you want from me?::Sawat didn't raise jheas head, but jheas hands began clenching and unclenching, a nervous tic if Iniko had ever seen one. Jhe had to admit, jhe’d had plenty of fantasies of seeing Sawat so discomfited when jhe was younger, but jhe had always imagined it being in response to some lecture Iniko had given jhea. Now Iniko was just confused. Sawat finally looked up, not quite meeting Iniko's eyes.::Chalor: You must understand, these are very strange times. This world is not the same one I was raised to.::Iniko desperately wanted to roll jheas eyes at the obviousness of that statement. Jhe was very proud that jhe managed to merely nod an invitation to continue.::Chalor: The Romulans, of course, were not to be emulated, but this Federation of yours is perhaps not so abhorrent as I had initially believed.Mpeba: Oh really?::Jhe couldn't entirely keep the note of sarcasm out of jheas tone. Jhe’d had this conversation far too many times with jheas mother, and it left a sour taste in jheas mouth. Sawat merely pursed jheas lips and continued, looking a little more calm now.::Chalor: I have had some informal interactions with members of some Federation species, while acting on behalf of the Fielding League, and, quite by accident, I assure you, have had occasion to, well, play. With their children. It was not precisely as distasteful an experience as I had expected.::It was Iniko's turn to raise jheas eyebrows. Jhe kept the rest of jheas face calm, but jhe could feel her heartbeat speed up significantly. Jhe willed it to settle down, unsuccessfully.::Mpeba: What exactly are you trying to say?::Sawat cleared jheas throat.::Chalor: Well, to put it succinctly . . . I requested this assignment.::Iniko's eyes went wide as saucers, and jheas voice went faint.::Mpeba: You what?::Sawat squirmed slightly in jheas chair. The movement was surprisingly childlike, but jheas eyes looked ancient, haunted by something Iniko was only beginning to guess at.::Chalor: It was not a popular request with the Fielding League. They didn't want me interacting with you, and for good reason. This is just not done.Mpeba: You asked to speak with me? To teach me?Chalor: It was just going to be professional. I told them it was purely professional. I told myself it was purely professional.::Sawat looked like jhe was talking to jheaself now, retreating. Iniko leaned forward, wishing jhe could reach through the screen and grab Sawat’s shoulders, drag jhea back from the panic jhe was working jheaself into. That being impossible, Iniko tried to project calm reassurance with jheas words.::Mpeba: It's okay, this is okay.::Sawat let out a slightly hysterical laugh.::Chalor: No, child, this is very, very far from “okay”. You've been corrupted by the Federation for far too long if you can simply be “okay” with this. On the contrary, this is very nearly heresy.::Iniko didn't know how to respond to that. Jhe was certain Sawat was going to change jheas mind and walk away again, but Iniko didn't have any words that could stop jhea. But Sawat sat up straight, setting jheas jaw in a gesture that Iniko surreally recognized from the mirror.::Chalor: Forgive me, this is not as easy as I had hoped. I will need to erase this message from my logs, in order to ensure no one can acquire unsavory information they can use against me. But I do not rescind my offer.Mpeba: And what precisely is that offer?Chalor: I will teach you to use your fielding skill, if you so desire, and if you can retain any modicum of respect for me after the spectacle I have made of my myself just now. Additionally, or alternatively, as you prefer, I would . . . not be entirely averse to the concept of attempting to develop some sort of more . . . familial rapport between us.::Sawat broke eye contact at last and stared down at jheas fidgeting hands intently. Iniko sat back in jheas chair, floored. Jhe had wanted this. Fantasized about it, when jhe wasn't fuming. But not the smallest part of jheaself had ever believed it could possibly happen. Now that it had, Iniko didn't know what jhe wanted. A part of jhea wanted to seize the chance at that impossible relationship jhe had dreamed of. But jhe had fought so hard to escape all the ridiculous conservative nonsense jhe had been raised with. Did jhe really want to deal with more of that? There was also a significant part of jhea that had spent so long being bitter and angry at Sawat and all jhe represented, and that part of Iniko wanted nothing more than to throw this back in Sawat's face and see jhea deal with rejection for a change. Iniko squashed that last feeling down mercilessly. Jhe was not going to allow jheaself to be ruled by bitterness. Jhe resolutely leaned forward again, before jhe could change jheas mind.::Mpeba: I accept. I'm willing to try if you are.::Sawat's shoulders sagged, jheas hands finally stilled, a gentle breath of a sigh escaped jheas lips. Jhe raised jheas head again, slowly, and met Iniko's eyes.::Chalor: Good. That is. That is very good to hear.::Iniko smiled grimly. Jhe was not at all certain this was going to work out. This might very well be one of the biggest mistake jhe had ever made. But jhe was absolutely certain that not trying would be an even bigger mistake.::Mpeba: Okay then. Where should we start?Lieutenant JG Mpeba - Engineering Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-AD239205IM0
  22. (( Sickbay, Deck 13, USS Athena )) :: Alex slipped away from consciousness again as the pain slowly overtook his being. His physical body, now drenched in sweat, lay utterly still on the biobed while his medical staff worked to help Commander Kaji and treat her wounds. The last thing he remembered was being told that he would lose his foot from the injury that he had endured on the planet. Ghastly images began to haunt his vision. :: :: Deep in a dream state, and unable to be woken, Alex sped ahead in his mind to several years later. The crew of the Athena looked weary and battle worn to him and the all too familiar sound of the red alert klaxon rang out yet again. They had encountered another Hunger ship. Alex reached for his phaser out of habit. He could barely remember a time when the medical staff did not have one strapped to their side all day long. :: :: Alex stood there waiting anxiously and waited for injured crew to be sent to Sickbay. But this time was different. They had always been able to repel the attacks before, but this time the sounds of mechanical constructs clattered on the ground and walls. They had come to attack Sickbay. Maybe they had finally learned how best to cripple the Athena. :: :: In horror, Alex watched small silvery mechanical spider-like constructs enter sickbay. He aimed his phaser and shot at the first one as it crossed the threshold. Unlike in previous encounters, the beam from the weapon was absorbed by the creature. This was a new development. Previously these creatures would just be destroyed and it was the overwhelming numbers that was the reason for alarm. But now they were evolving, adapting, and learning. :: :: Alex awoke with a deeper understanding of what the Hunger were and could do if unleashed. He knew why Selene frequently woke from nightmares after having lived through this. While the details might be off, the threat was still real. Alex wasn't certain if he would ever sleep again. :: ~ Lt Commander Alexander Bishop - C239112AB0 Chief Medical Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780
  23. ((Deck 3, USS El Corazón)) ::Thump.:: ::Thump!:: ::Thump!:: ::The corridors onboard Federation starships were composed of deuranium, tritanium, and a variety of other, nigh unbreakable substances. The combat-based nature of the Defiant class meant that even more reinforcement was present. Ablative armor lined the hull, and a consistent SIF enveloped the framework. Nothing short of a volley of photon torpedoes should have been able to jostle the deck.:: ::So it was easy to understand Medical Technician Hampton's confusion. He'd simply been walking along, carrying out the day- to-day duties expected of him, all the while idly daydreaming about a plethora of topics; the girlfriend he'd left behind in Tycho City, what he'd have for lunch, and his hope for admission into the Academy as a cadet someday. Being a noncom had it's advantages, but he hoped to stretch his horizons. Shake things up a bit.:: ::Thump!:: ::He hadn't meant it quite this literally.:: ::The deck seemed to shudder with each concussive blow, but as he searched for an explanation, he realized he had none. It occurred to him that they might be under attack- it certainly felt like someone was shooting the floor from under him- but than the red alert klaxon would be gouging holes in his eardrums. No one else was in the corridor with him, and he suddenly felt very, very alone.:: ::His eyes darted back and forth, taking stock of the situation. He should find a superior officer, and find out what was going on. At that thought, the deck rocked so hard that he nearly fell on his rear. He regained his balance with some difficulty, and suddenly came to a startling conclusion.:: ::The thumps...they were footsteps.:: ::He couldn't decide if that made him feel any better. At least the Tholians weren't invading. But what on Luna walked with such noise?! It couldn't be a crewman.:: ::Could it?:: ::The sound continued it's pattern, and steadily increased in volume and severity. The deck wasn't jiggling under him now, but still vibrated with abandon. He looked to his left, where the corridor banked sharply, obscuring much of it from view.:: ::And then a dinosaur appeared.:: ::It's body was at least ten feet high, with a head just under a quarter of that length. Immensely powerful-looking jaws jutted forward, overshadowing an enormous, muscular neck and body. Green like an iguana, the beast moved itself using legs that bulged with yet more muscle, supported by claw-tipped pads the size of anti-grav units. A tail- a tail!- swung behind it's vast form, providing an elegant counterbalance.:: ::None of this truly registered for the medical technician. A surge of fear bubbled to the surface, squashing out most semblance of intelligent thought. He wanted to run, but his legs stayed stubbornly still.:: ::The beast came closer to him, and Hampton watched it's inexorable approach, eyes as wide as saucers. It stopped before him. It studied him.:: ::It's jaws began to open. He clenched his body, waiting for the death blow...:: Ferentis: Good morning. ::Hampton simply stared at him. With a nod, the creature began to move away, along the corridor. Phillip waited until his heart rate had come down to a nice, easy 300 beats a minute before taking a more critical look at the giant lizard that had just offered him a greeting. Now that he looked, he saw a mustard-yellow collar around the dinosaur's neck- the same color as other engineering personnel. A commbadge was fastened his chest.:: ::As difficult as it was to believe, the cause of his acute fear was a member of Starfleet. He was family. And now that he looked closer, he realized that the newcomer stood just over a tall human. It wasn't so enormous after all. But if it was going to be serving on this ship, he'd have a lot to get used to. Hampton shook his head, and continued on his way. It's Starfleet, he reminded himself. Weird was part of the job.:: ((Deck 2, Main Engineering, USS El Corazon. )) ::Thordec Sende Ulthex Ferentis moseyed along, seeking the chief engineering officer, to whom he was ordered to report. There was no particular need to rush. And even if he did feel compelled to move quickly, he didn't yet trust himself to not break down a bulkhead by accident in his haste.:: Ferentis: oO Of all the ships to assign a seven-foot Theropod to. Oo ::He'd served on far more constricting vessels, of course, in his ample years before Starfleet. But he'd hoped to be one of the lucky few placed on the luxury liners of the fleet- a Galaxy-class, or maybe an Odyssey. Such was not his fate.:: Ferentis: oO Shame. Oo ::He wasn't one to worry about his situation, or the future. What came, came.:: ::At last he arrived in the main engine room. Even here, in the heart of the starship, there wasn't much room to move about in. He'd studied the personnel files, and recognized the chief engineer across the room. He made his way toward her.:: Ferentis: Commander Kalayar? ::His voice was calm, pleasant, and subtle- completely opposite to the sound most would suspect he'd make.:: Kalayar: Hm-! Y-yes? ::Ferentis smiled as subtly as he had spoken. He had long ago learned to enjoy the reactions of others to his appearance. But he always made sure not to smile fully. Doing so exposed more teeth than was socially acceptable, apparently. People tended to become less polite when they felt you were about to eat them. Of course, like so many other things, he'd given up the simple pleasure of hunting one's own meal to pursue a life in space.:: Ferentis: Ensign Throdec Sende Ulthex Ferentis, reporting for duty. ::He handed her a pad.:: ::Kalayar accepted it, and thumbed the authorization tab.:: Kalayar: ::Still a little stunned.:: Thank you, ensign. Carry on. ::Ferentis gave a polite, respectful nod, and exited the engine room. Most engineers preferred to examine the ship's engines and systems the moment they came aboard, but he preferred a far more...intimate session with the internal structure of the vessel. Of course, the room would be manned 24/7, but gamma shift would have a smaller crew operating in the room. Solitude was better for getting the pulse of a ship. It was beyond important that he learn his vessel properly.:: ::But until then, there was little to do. His...souvenirs were safely aboard. His first duty shift didn't begin until the next day. There wasn't much to do aboard a Defiant class starship besides work, eat and sleep, and he wasn't tired. Eating was generally a...messy business, but he could find something small and socially acceptable in the mess hall- perhaps meet some of his new crewmates...:: TBC... Ensign Thordec Sende Ulthex Ferentis Engineering Officer USS El Corazón NCC 74220 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][[][][][]][][][] as simmed by: Lieutenant Randal Shayne Helmsman USS Darwin NCC 99312-A G239202RS0
  24. ((Guest Quarters, USS Thunder-A, Deck 3)) Shi'lar: :: turning to Savan again:: Why would I need such a guard? You should not concern yourself with that duty. They will not kill me. ::Savan was fascinated by her confidence.:: Savan: How can you be sure? Shi'lar: ::confused again:: I'm not sure how I know that, other than they need me. My captors were told not to harm me. But when I refuse to tell them anything they carried things too far and I almost died until I was rescued. Savan: Would you have ever told them what they wanted to know? Shi'lar: Worla! Not until I'm sure . . . Minister Varaal must approve. Savan: Approve of what? :: Again she responded that she didn't know. Somehow the reasons behind his questions alluded her. :: ::At that time, Savan’s comm badge went off.:: :: Shi'lar occupied herself, standing in front of the Kol-Ut-Shan, but she listened to the conversation.:: Ryan: :: =/\= Counsellor Ryan to Lt. Savan. =/\= ::Savan recognized the name, though they had not yet met. It was the new Terran counselor who had tried to enter Shi’lar’s room at the medical building, according to the security reports. He raised his eyebrow.:: Savan: =/\= Counselor, this is Lt. Savan… =/\= Ryan: =/\= Doctor T'Leira and I are wondering if this would be a good time to attend to our guest? =/\= ::Counselors had their way of being insistent. Savan chose to be polite but formal.:: Savan: =/\= I will need to confirm this with Admiral Turner, but I believe so. =/\= Ryan: =/\= Alright then. Ryan out. =/\= ::Shi’lar seemed concerned.:: Shi’lar: ::staring at him quizzically :: Who was that? Savan: That was the ship’s counselor. I believe you may have met him. Do you remember? Shi’lar: ::pondering the question for a moment:: How many counselors does the ship have? I met one the day I met you, and later, I met another in sickbay, but Conners and his Marines threw him out of my room for bothering me. Savan: He and one of the ship’s doctors would like to see how you are doing medically. ::Savan was not certain how Shi’lar felt about this news.:: Shi’lar: Oh, then I will see them. The doctors have treated me very well, and this will give me an opportunity to thank at least one of them them. Savan: I will need to check with Admiral Turner to verify they may proceed. Shi’lar: Why? I have given my permission. Savan: I prefer to take a conservative approach. Shi'lar: I see. Okay, if you must. ::With Shi’lar’s approval, Savan hit his comm badge.:: Savan: =/\= Lt. Savan to Admiral Turner =/\= ::There was no response. Just a quiet static. Savan: =/\= Admiral Turner, this is Lt. Savan. Please respond. =/\= ::Savan became concerned. He saw that Shi’lar was observing him.:: ::Savan quickly went over to the quarter’s terminal.:: Savan: Computer, activate station terminal, clearance Savan-Delta-Five-Three-Tango. ::Instead of activating as usual, the display turned erratic. Shi’lar turned to him.:: Shi’lar: ::hinting her fear:: What's wrong? Savan: I am not certain. I ran a full set of security protocols beforehand. Savan: =/\= Lt. Savan to Security =/\= ::Once again, no response. Savan took out his tricorder. Shi'lar: ::her worry intensifying :: Is this usual? Savan: I am detecting an odd power signature in a nearby EPS power junction. Shi’lar: ::Unfamiliar with Starfleet terminology:: What does EPS mean? Savan: It appears that someone has left a gift for us… ::Savan ran over to an engineering panel. He was a security officer, not an engineer.:: Shi’lar: ::his swiftness alerted her to his concern about the gift. :: What are you doing? Savan: I am trying to determine if this is a system overload or something else. Unlike most Vulcans, science and engineering is not a favorite subject of mine... I am trying to divert power to another junction. ::Then he heard the door chime going off. Apparently, that system had not been disabled.:: :Shi’lar appeared concerned.:: Shi’lar: Should I answer it? Savan: It may be the counselor… or someone else. Shi’lar, please get behind me. ::As Savan drew his phaser, Shi'lar did as he told her. Placing her hands on his sides so he would know where she was.:: Savan: Is that you, Counselor? ::Savan was not certain if the door intercom was working.:: Savan: Counselor Ryan? ::Shi’lar’s face began to grow serious.:: ::Savan’s Vulcan hearing allowed him to detect a Terran voice on the other side, a supposition verified by his tricorder. He decided to try his luck and pound on the door. If anything Savan could pull the door apart... or blast it open, though that would be far less elegant..:: Ryan: Lieutenant, ::He leaned and shouted at the door.:: is everything okay? MSPNPC Shi'lar Simmed by Rear Admiral Toni Turner Commanding Officer Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A Author ID number: E238209TT0
  25. ((Main Sickbay - Starbase 118)) ::Mirra had reluctantly left Tyler's side, so she could order the necessary tests in order to get him discharged. It was strictly precaution, but had they not reached Tyler when they did, things could have ended very differently. Being blown through the wreckage into the deep cold of space, was more of a common occurrence in the lives of Starfleet officers than one would think. So, tests it was. Besides, the longer he was confined to bed, the more likely he would get the actual rest he desperately needed. She finalized the order in the computer, and sat back, staring aimlessly at the terminal in front of her. She was tired. No, she was exhausted. Both physically, and emotionally. Her empathic senses had been battered so thoroughly, she wasn't entirely sure there wouldn't be lasting damage. Her shoulders hunched involuntarily as unwelcome memories came bubbling to the surface. The mission...the suicidal mission, had been hell. Everyone felt it, the Sickbay of the now destroyed Albion had been filled with it, the dark, cold, fear. So thick it was as if it was being pumped through the air-vents. Looking down, she became distracted by the shaking of her left hand. When had that started...? She hadn't left Sickbay once since they returned. Tyler knew it, and had called her on it. He said she should go home. She had amazing staff and support doctors, he said that her staying was unnecessary. He was right, of course. She had what she thought of as a "dream team". Now even more complete with the addition of Dr. Phrik. Despite their...creative first encounter, Mirra was pleased he chose to accept Sal's offer. Like any good department head, she had done her research. He was a brilliant and talented surgeon, he had a finesse about him, that was noted heavily in remarks by his superiors. As was his...unique bedside manner. Which she had already noted, much to her amusement. He wasn't cruel per-say, just...direct. Very direct. Considering some of the more colorful patients that came through Sickbay...he'd fit in perfectly. So when she caught sight of Junior Lieutenant Taelon walking by with a trolley of mechanical arms, heading towards Tatash' room, she stopped herself from following. Taelon was a uniquely brilliant scientist. His enthusiasm, and raw talent, was second to none that she had ever encountered, which, was why she sought him out to be the one who would be in charge of prosthetics. And considering Dr. Phrik was already planning on following up with Tatash...his direct, and realism would be well matched to ensure whichever replacement was chosen, was the right one. The shaking of her left hand was consistent, making a fist would only relieve the tremors for a short time before they'd return. It had to be due to the lack of proper sleep...or the fact that she hadn't had a real meal in...well she couldn't remember when. Glancing at the confirmation on the terminal, she realized the tests she ordered would take awhile to be completed, and then the results to return. It was enough time for her to go to her quarters for a shower and a change of uniform. Walking back by his room, Mirra saw Tyler had fallen back asleep. Good. She wouldn't disturb him. Catching the eye of one of the nurses, she relayed that she would be going home for a bit, but she'd be back soon. The look of relief on the nurses face was confirmation enough for her. They had been worried, and she made them that way. A small pang of guilt rippled through her, she quickly banished it and gave a small smile and wave of parting before heading out.:: ((((Brief timeskip - Mirra's quarters - Starbase 118)))) ::Getting back to her quarters had been uneventful. It was a nice change of pace from the last few days. Finally stepping in, it struck her. The familiar smell of the incense and meditation candles, the haphazard array of medical journals she had left on the table, a small ceramic cup that had been painted for her by Tyva Dal still sat next to the journals. The contents long gone, but the barest of stains from the tea she had sipped while reading remained. The tremors in her left hand increased, her whole arm now succumbing to the minuscule movements. Over the course of this last mission...some part of her never expected to see her quarters ever again. The realization slid up her spine, leaving a chill and goosebumps along her flesh in it's wake. That was the bare truth of it. She expected to die out there. Her whole body began to shake, she hadn't died, not physically anyways. But..a small part of her somehow never returned from the Albion...until now. Her breath became quick, and labored. With wooden legs, she hobbled over to her meditation area. Her hands shook so badly, she was unable to light either candle or incense. The tears came, coursing down her face. Rivers of pent up emotion that burst through the haphazardly constructed barriers. A sob tore through her, bringing her to knees as the proverbial flood gates burst through. Memories of the Albion, the Avalon, the countless death certificates signed, the number of catastrophic injuries that some would never recover fully from. Tatash, coding on her table. Tyler, half frozen and gasping for precious oxygen. Theo's burned hands, Aitas broken ribs, Taelon's bloody and broken face, the swirling faces of crewman lost assaulted her senses. Eyes open or closed the images remained the same. Somehow she managed to reach her bathroom before the retching started. Clinging to the cool metal of the receptacle, she gasped through the retching as everything over the past several days came pouring out along with the small amount of tea, toast, and the thoughtfully crafted catalana swirls from Lt. Kro. After a small eternity, the retching and dry heaves subsided. Breathing heavily, she slid down to the floor. Her sodden cheek laid against the cool tile of the bathroom floor. The tremors had begun to fade, only small little quakes remained. She had fallen apart spectacularly, it had come on sudden and unexpected, but...it was over. Curling into herself, she lay on the cool floor, utterly spent physically, and emotionally. The release had been brutal, cathartic, and completely necessary. She wasn't sure when, or for how long, but she had fallen asleep, curled up on the floor of her bathroom while the world continued on around her. She only became aware of that fact when she was jolted awake suddenly by the familiar voice of Theo.:: Whittaker: =/\= Whittaker to Senior Staff. Report to.... =/\= :: he looked down at the docking information. :: =/\= ... Main Hangar Bay, Docking Port Sixteen Baker for immediate deployment. We are taking our new auxiliary vessel for a shakedown cruise. =/\ = ::Sitting up, she looked around, momentarily confused. Then the events of last night came seeping in. She nervously laughed at herself. Big, bad CMO curled up and crying on the bathroom floor. Shaking her head at the enormity of it all, she stood slowly, her aching muscles protesting their repose on the hard, unforgiving cold of the floor. She had slept there all night, and she was acutely aware of that fact with each new creak or pain from her joints. Sighing heavily, she caught sight of herself in the mirror. She looked...terrible. But beyond the swollen puffy eyes, tear stained cheeks, and crisscross impression on her forehead from the bathmat that had been her pillow, she looked alive. And that, was everything. Giving her reflection a small smile, she stripped off her crumpled uniform and stepped into the shower. She had a hanger bay to report to after all... --------------------------------------- Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
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