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  1. (( Ijo House, Hathon, Bajor )) ::The older Bajoran woman listened to Irina, showing interest, she knew much of the information but she often found people more at ease when they revealed information about themselves. Plus, it would tell her how safe Aria was, along with those new grandchildren of hers. :: Cada: And, you? Pavlova: At first I was safe. The captain and security officer on the ship that rescued me, they altered my record so it looked to all as though I was in stasis, with the damage to my eyes blamed on failing circuitry in the stasis pod, but Starfleet Intelligence and medical knew better, and soon they were watching me. They made three attempts, but I was lucky and managed to stay a step ahead. ::She listened to Irina describe the how she was worried coming for her, and Cada's mind wandered to the contacts she had around the quadrant. Depending on how things played out someone would be willing to take on another mission, pay off a favor. She broached the subject. :: Pavlova: Completely? No. But, some help? I have friends at the embassy who would protect me as I’m sure you are aware, but I need to know who it is, and have leverage to stop them. ::Cada knew self-reliant people, and understood the attitude. Some people attributed her and Teevin's life to self-reliance, wanting to take care of their own. :: Cada: You need a pointer, no strings attached. Pavlova: I’m tired of violence. I just want them to know that if something were to happen to me, that it would not end well for them, and that if something were to happen to those I care about…, well, I’ve taken head shots from over five kilometers in high gravity, if I knew who they were, they know what I would do. Cada: I can understand that completely Irina. ::And she could, she had seen the look enough, played the role enough, understood it could work. She hoped it worked. :: Pavlova: I'm supposed to be some kind of prodigal soldier, but now, all I want to do is grow old with my family, make breakfast every morning and hold my wife every night. ::Cada made a resolution to herself, silently, and finished her juice. :: Cada: ::half smirking:: Well, if this retired Bajoran housewife has anything to say about it, that's exactly what's going to happen. ::She stood and made her way back toward the house, she turned back toward her new daughter-in-law at the last moment. :: Cada: Let's get more juice ::pausing to add, gesturing towards the occupants of the house:: We'll make it OK, for all your sake. Ijo Cada Ordinary Housewife Lt. Commander Oddas Aria Executive Officer Duronis II Embassy / USS Thor, NCC-82607 ASDB Co-Facilitator - Training Team E239305OA0
  2. ((On a Royal Navy Ship, Somewhere on the Atlantic)) ::The black and yellow walls of the holodeck disappeared, replaced with large wooden sailing ship, in the same design as a 19th century English naval ship. It had a deck comprised of great wooden planks, with three huge masts protruding from it. Each of the masts was furnished with great off white sails. Above were clear blue skies and below dark blue water. The ship was apparently sailing upon the high seas, gently rolling with the waves:: :: The two starfleet officers now stood at the stern of the ship, with a sweeping view of the ship in front of them, men busying themselves with work. Stood just in front of them, was a grimy looking human male, with ill fitting, ragged clothes and a cloth over his head, currently steering the ship via a giant wheel:: Thoran: Lieutenant Pond, welcome to Her Majesty’s Ship Destiny. She is an old Earth sailing ship, from the 19th Century. :: He tapped the wooden rail nearby.:: She is a thing of beauty. Thoran: ::He turned to face Isabel:: I’d imagine this is not quite what you expected? Pond: ::smiling awkwardly:: Indeed. I usually prefer something better protected against… ::feeling chilly:: the wind, for example. I feel like I’m a little… wrongly dressed? Thoran: Quite. Perhaps, you may wish to change into something more suitable? Pond: That sounds like a good idea. Those clouds over there do not look very friendly. ::As someone mainly concerned with space, the interpretation of clouds and winds was of course far beyond Isabel’s grasp of understanding. However, she had lived on a planet, and whenever dark clouds like these appeared over the sea, it had been time to search for a sturdy shelter.:: Pond: What has the program to offer? Thoran: Well let me see. :: He thought for a minute about the different options he could present to Isabel, which thankfully were not a lot.:: I think you would be best suited with an outfit similar to mine, as i’m not quite sure you’re ready for the lower decks. ::He smiled at the thought of the young trill trying to run the guns amongst the beast like men of the crew:: Computer, create outfit 19th century Royal Navy officer’s attire. ::The integrated replicator circuits of the holodeck produced an uniform quite similar to the one Ensign Thoran was already wearing. However, it was evident from afar that his was of a major quality. The signs of wear alone made it blend into the scenery, very different to the brand new suit in Isabel’s hands.:: Pond: I think I’ll go downstairs to change. Thoran: Very well Isabel, I shall see you shortly. :: As Isabel disappeared, Thoran closed his eyes, feeling the wind upon his face and took a few deep breaths, taking in the smell of gunpowder, wood, grease mixed with the salty scent of the ocean.:: ::Without further ado, the Trill slid down the wooden stairs as she would have done on a Starship. Unfortunately, she wasn’t very much experienced with wood and caught pinpoint an enormous splinter. It was of course not a big problem for a physician, but it still hurt a bit.:: ::On the lower deck, or however it was called in sailor terms, the air was sticky and one had to search for a bit of unused oxygen. No wonder everyone who was able to spent the day on the deck. Like that, she easily found a hidden corner where she could change. She hid her jogging clothes inside a hammock, hoping they would be left behind once they would terminate the program.:: ::Now adequately dressed, she had a look around on this deck. It was a very cluttered sight and she questioned the ability of anyone finding anything in this mess. The only neat thing around were accurately lined up cannons. They all had enough space around to manipulate them and ammunition and powder was ready at hand. This clearly seemed to be a warship.:: ::Continuing further towards the bow, Isabel had to climb over barrels of supplies, hammocks hanging criss and cross and seabags full of stinking clothes. She was indeed relieved when she reached the exit at the other end of the deck. The Trill took the ladder back to the top. With only her head sticking out of the bulkhead and after her eyes had once again adjusted to the light, she looked at the boots of another very heavy sailor.:: Sailor 1: Aye Matey what do we have ‘ere? ::Rather ruggedy, he grabbed her at the collar and pulled her out in one go. Isabel was too astonished about the strength of the character to do anything about it.:: Sailor 1: Mates, look at that, a gal in officer’s attire. ::Within seconds, Isabel was surrounded by a flock of more or less angry looking sailors. She tried to strike an impressive, authority-inducing pose, but it had no effect at all.:: Sailor 2: A cutty indeed. What do we do, lads? Sailor 3: That’s not good… Not good at all. Everyone knows. A shrew on board ain’t no good. ::The sailors drew the circle closer and Isabel learned very quickly how walking the planks must feel like. Actually, she was surprised that no-one handed a wooden board to the mob leader, just to make the feeling a tad more real.:: Pond: Uhm, Thoran, a little help here? ::She couldn’t see the Ensign from her standpoint. Her 5 foot 2 was barely chest high for most of these bears in front of her. Quite agile, she jumped on top of the rail and barely got a hold of a piece of rope, preventing her continuing leap into the ocean. From what she had seen, Thoran’s dress surely made him something quite high ranking on this vessel, he could bring some sense into these men. She hoped.:: :: Thoran had been discussing the ship's supplies with the Purser when he noticed a small gathering at the far end of the ship. He called to the ship’s Master, a heavy set man, with a big thick beard who went by the name Hal.:: Thoran: Hal, sort that ramble out, we have not got time for this nonsense. :: At that moment a figure broke from the gathering, and via a rope leapt into the ocean. Cries of man overboard resounded around the ship. He could not be certain, but that figure who had gone into the sea, looked a lot like Isabel.:: ::”Leaping” Was not exactly how Isabel would have described it. Maybe she would have considered it in more tropical waters, like the ones of her hometown, but this ocean looked dark and scary and very cold.:: ::And unfortunately quite wavy. A specially devious one just had hit the ship from eleven o’clock, sending a gentle but rather unexpected ramble through the ship’s body, making her lose her footing and plunge backwards towards the ocean.:: ::She couldn’t exactly see when the surface was arriving, but it had to come at any moment. The top of the ship grew smaller and smaller, while more and more faces appeared at the edge. Isabel was definitely sure most of them looked amused.:: ::Then the Trill hit the water and it was as cold and uninviting as she had expected it to be. Her extensive clothing instantly dragged her down, but luckily, she had teared down the rope she initially hung onto. Two swimming strokes were enough to once again reach it and she was able to pull herself back to the top. For most of the time, anyway.:: :: Thoran headed to the source of the commotion, where some of the crew were now grabbing poles and holding them over the side for the seaman to grab hold of. As he reached the side, he saw the figure of a very angry Isabel bopping up and down in the water:: Thoran: We’ll have you out in a moment. :: He turned to the Master:: Find out what has happened here, I want a full report, including any charges:: Master Hal:: Aye cap’n. Right you ‘orrible lot, get back t’it or i’ll ‘ave you’ll up on charge. :: He turned to one of the figures stood in the centre of the group:: You there, get yerself below deck NOW, I wanna ‘ave a word wiv ya. ::Isabel then was quickly brought back on board. Everything was cold and she felt quite miserable and considerably angry. The Trill wished she had not changed clothes, the water-soaked uniform must weigh a couple of tons.:: Thoran: :: He passed Isabel a woolen blanket:: Glad to have you back with us. Come, let’s get you dried off and some new clothes. :: He gestured towards his cabin at the far end of the ship:: After you. :: The crew made way for them, giving them a salute as they passed. As they approached the door to the cabin, the marine sentry stood to attention and opened the door. Once inside Thoran gestured to a screen on the right hand side of the room :: You may get changed behind there. :: He turned to a young boy stood in the corner of the room.:: Yeoman, please arrange for some tea.:: Pond: ::grumbling:: Maybe with something extra in it, that would be fine... :: The boy returned carrying a tray with a teapot and two cups, placing it down on a large oak deck in the centre of the room and proceeded to pour two cups. Thoran sat down in one of the chairs adjacent to the table, picking up one of the cups and taking a sip. Isabel emerged from behind the screen, slightly drier than when he had seen her last.:: Thoran: Please, take a seat and have some tea. :: He gestured to the seat opposite his:: And perhaps, you could tell me what happened? Pond: ::calmly upset:: Well, your men were not exactly pleased to see me on board. I wanted to jump unto the fence-thing around the deck to make myself heard, but you see, it didn’t turn out quite as I’ve thought it would. Pond: oO I should have picked up gymnastics instead of dancing. Some somersaults on the beam and nothing could have brought me off that reiling. Oo Thoran: :: Trying to stifle a laugh:: I am sorry about that. The men do tend to get a little :: he paused for a moment, trying to think of the best way to phrase this:: excited when they see a female, especially one in a uniform. Pond: ::seriously not serious:: I feel like… You know, what do sailors do? Keelhaul someone? Thoran: Well I will admit you do slightly resemble someone who has been keelhauled, although you are a lot less ragged than they would be. :: A small smile spread across his face:: it doesn’t seem like we’re getting off to a good start here. If I may ask, what do you prefer I call you? Pond: ::sighing:: I guess we’re past Lieutenant Pond by now. You can call me Isabel when off duty. Thoran: Well it is a pleasure to meet you Isabel. Care to indulge in a spot of pirate hunting? ::Pirate hunting sounded much more violent than the peaceful run through the forest. However, Isabel rarely Pond: I don’t know, I might have seen enough naval daily business. Do you think you can make these characters not throwing me over board a second time or do we have to temporarily change the program before that? :: Thoran leant forward and took another sip of tea. It had been one of things he had missed since leaving his homeworld, real home-brewed tea. It was not often his father was without a cup.:: Thoran: Whilst I cannot guarantee they will not throw you overboard, they can be a lively lot after all, you have my assure the matter has been dealt with. :: Thoran stood up, walking over to a sizeable desk at the rear of the cabin, covered with yellowed parchments. He picked the top one, unfurled and read it, before placing it back down:: Thoran: Now, there have been rumours of pirates attacking merchant ships just north of our current position. Our orders are to find and apprehend them. It should make a good prize for the crew. :: He turned to face Isabel:: Tell me, do you know anything about sailing or warfare? ::Isabel had almost interrupted him with a remark about better going south, as there it is supposedly warmer as in the north. But then she realised that this wasn’t a shuttle and they couldn’t possibly sail far enough within the remaining half hour or so to have thie making a difference.:: Pond: ::shrugging:: I know in which direction the ship’s supposed to go. ::pointing hesitantly:: Thoran: :: He smiled to himself. She at least knew something, more than most fresh faces on board did.:: That is correct. I will warn you, although this is a holo program, it can get quite um messy. Especially when it comes to the fight.:: :: The pair were interrupted by a knock on the door. Thoran called them in. It was young boy, no older than fifteen, with ill fitting clothes and holding a cap in his hand:: Boy: Beg ya pardon Cap’n, ships bin sighted windward offa starboard. Pond: oO Uhoh, Captain, already… Quite ambitious, this young man… Oo :: He thanked and dismissed the boy. He turned to face Isabel with a large grin on his face:: Thoran: Well, it seems we may not have to wait long. Care to join me on the deck? ::The doctors hopes that they would calmly cruise through the water on an unsuccessful search were therefore eliminated. Honestly, that had been to be expected, after all it is a programm designed to entertain and not to bore someone into a coma. As this was all that it was, a program, Isabel decided that if she’s here already, she could also let some of her anger about her own incompetence out on these virtual bad guys.:: Pond: Sure, let’s kick some pirate’s butt… Thoran: Excellent! I like your spirit. After you Miss Isabel. :: The pair left the cabin and headed up to the main deck. The crew was already assembled and waiting for the Captain’s orders. The Trill met some rather strange looks from the crew, she prefered to not know what had happened up here while she was drying off under deck. However, her gaze was soon directed to the horizon, hoping to spot the enemy ship. Isabel was not entirely sure if she was looking at the right spot, even though she knew where starboard was. Still being unsuccessful in her attempts, she looked back to Thoran, expecting some sort of rousing battle speech.:: :: Thoran took the telescope the sailing master handed him and looked in the direction the man was pointing. It seemed they had found their prey and Thoran was looking forward to playing this out with Isabel.:: Thoran: :: He passed the telescope to Isabel:: Just over there, on the horizon. She’s smaller than us, so she will be faster but we have the wind gauge. :: Isabel nodded knowingly, without knowing what that means. He turned to face the crew who had been assembled on the deck.:: Right men, the time is upon us. They have raided several of the King’s ships and we cannot let this continue. As I look upon you, I know you will each do your duty and you are as eager as I to get into the action. If we can take the ship undamaged, she will make a mighty prize.. Now, every man to his station and be quick about it. _______________________________ Ensign Jarred Thoran Security And Tactical Officer Andaris Task Force, USS Blackwell NCC-58999 A239405JT0 And Lt Isabel Pond Medical Officer USS Atlantis D239212IP0
  3. (( A Guided Fall Within The Center )) :: There were 56 of them. 56 was ideal. Many would remain Shadowed and some would be Seen. Large ones would be Seen. The Wayward learned truths more quickly when the larger Keepers approached them. This had been learned, over many cycles. They moved through The Center, with silvery swiftness. The Song had changed, with new tones - the Keepers had come upon the Wayward who had dared to break the seals, and they had taken them into The Center, and guided them through a Fold to the hearth and the Ascension of Rest. The Wayward would want to see the Ascension of Rest; the one who guided them had seemed most interested to find it. This was a truly golden moment; the Wayward would only find their way to the True through Rest. Through Rest and the Folds. 56 Keepers moved onwards, and the Song moved with them. These Wayward were farther away from the golden notes. They walked beneath the Ward, in the light of the True, and brought with them fire and dust and gray thoughts, heavy as stones. They brought rage, red as the Shorewalker shells. The Eyes that watched them and the crystals that listened to their notes saw only distrust and heard only dissonance. There had been a flow of the song, and the Keepers, and the Shorewalkers, and the Highwatchers, and the Shining Sleepers arrived at a truth; these Wayward risked becoming too red, too gray. They must be brought to The Center. So the Shining Sleepers had fed subtle harmonies to the shell that lay above The Center, and let the ground buckle and welcome the Wayward and their ruined vessel to the Center - and for a few blessed moments, had ceased their endless gray tumble of red words. 56 Keepers moved on, some in Shadow, some Seen, and the Song moved with them. They moved into the Rounding where the Shining Sleepers had neatly weakened the shell to let the Wayward fall after the one in the carapace had set off her dissonant chemicals. The Wayward were gathered here, already rising. They were resilient. This was ideal; it was one reason the True found them so suitable for Rest. The Keepers had brought two with voices with them. Curiously, the Wayward seemed more comfortable with voices than the hisses of welcome. So voices they would have. One was sung to be the speaker, with another ready if the Wayward needed more voices, needed more endless words. It was not the Song. It was clumsy. But it made the Wayward think silvery thoughts, to have words given to them. So it would be. They moved from the Fold, into the Rounding, their mandibles wide and legs raised in the embrace of greeting. The Song called for soothing, for assertion of security, for a guiding away from the gray. The Song also called for the one with the carapace to be kept in harmony, and so she was enfolded with four of the largest Keepers, and they had the Thread ready to snare her if she became red. So the words came in the awkward heaps of "Standard" as the smaller Keeper addressed the Wayward. Even as one of them spoke. Sevo: Stay calm, *untranslatable: All Those Present*. They don’t seem to be *untranslatable: Those Without Singing* *untranslatable: Those Who Serve The Shining Sleepers On The Shell*. :: The Wayward were so very hard to understand sometimes. :: Keeper2826: Happy *campers* are so glad to *smell* you, *lost*! You will cease all *gray* and remove your *harms* and come to *Home*, to *hearth*. This is a *silver* function. Do not have *sauce*. Sevo: Th...they *untranslatable: Sing Truly*? *untranslatable: Gathering Of The Lost* Standard no less? :: The Keepers shifted in the dance to keep the Wayward in view. Some kept their lights in the rose hue of welcome. Some shifted to the blue of The Center, preparing to map the Folds. :: sh'Idrani: response Millis: Hi. :: One the shade of the Shining Sleepers in full blossom held his hands out, in a somewhat innocent attempt at the embrace of welcome. Just as their "Standard" was clumsy, so too was their organic design, but the gesture was appreciated. The voice-given Keeper raised his arms in greater welcome in return. :: MacFarlane: Sir? Are ye sure tha’ is a good idea. Some o’ them are quite big. :: The Song urged calm, motivated an embrace. There must be a harmony, a unity. There must above all be clarity. :: Keeper: Welcome! You are *lost* but now you are safe in *Home*. There is no *gray*, no *red*. Only *silver* functions and *lights* with the *lost*. Sevo: I don’t think they mean us any harm. Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response Sevo: Who are you? What is this place? Keeper2826: We are *campers*. We are of the *Home*. We are the ones who hold the *lights*. This is *Home*. Home of *others*, open to *lost*. Come. Your *lost* await. There is *hearth*. You may *lights* with those present. Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response :: Questions, questions. The Song wavered with the impatience of a crystal flower in shade seeking the light of the True. The Song flowed between them, and more Keepers emerged from the Shadow, surrounding the Wayward. They began to shift forward, gently herding, urging, guiding. The Wayward must be guided; this was the most utterly golden note of the Song the True had left for them here in The Center; the Wayward MUST be guided. Guided to where they needed to be. :: Keeper2826: Come. *Home* awaits just beyond the *Wrinkle*. Come. We will remove your *residue*. :: The Keepers moved, gentle but inevitable, to slowly and harmoniously try to guide the Wayward to the Fold - they would not know the Fold as more than a chill, more than a darkness that would seem as no more than the shadows and damp of a cave. But the Folds were how the True had built The Center here, under the shell, beneath the Ward and the light. From anywhere, to anywhere within The Center, there was a Fold. The Keepers sought to guide the Wayward to one that would take them to just outside the great dome of the Ascension of Rest. :: Sevo/Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response :: There may have been some curiosity. The Wayward always had curiosity. It was in their nature. Some of them seemed to have heavy thoughts about their smoldering wreckage, brought low by the Ward. The Ward disabled the Wayward's curious toys. That was in its nature. Keepers began to clamber over the primitive craft, and work at it with bright plasmic lights, to break it apart into useful components. :: Keeper2826: The *residue* must be removed. It is useful to *Home*, but not as it is. It must be *cleaned*. *Campers* are fine for making things *clean*. *Lost* must not be so *gray*. It is a *silver* function to keep things *clean*. There will be no *blue* damage. Sevo/Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response :: The Song flowed, and brought with it a closed fist, a warning of the need for sternness, to keep the Wayward moving. More of them enfolded closer, to try to guide them into the tunnels towards the Fold. :: Keeper2826: Do not have *sauce*. :: They could not be clearer than that. :: 56 Keepers (The ideal number) The Center as simmed by Ensign Connan MacMorna Helmsman USS Gorkon I238605NL0
  4. (( Ijo House, Hathon, Bajor )) ::The trip had made Aria more nervous than she had anticipated, which said a lot. She thought she had masked it well by answering the questions of the girls as best she could, of course she knew that meant she had told them much more than they wanted to know. She had seen that glazed over bored look in Katya's eyes telling Aria she had been talking too much. The stop on DS9 was brief, barely enough time to get to the next shuttle, Jazmine seemed disappointed she couldn't go into the bar. Aria was confused until she saw the girl looking at the Tongo table and whispered she knew a place in the city they could play together. Aria wasn't sure Irina heard. Finally they stood outside the Ijo house, a decidedly tall gray and blue building on the outskirts of the city. It was far enough on the outskirts it had a small yard inside a low wall, but close enough space was still at a premium and the building was much narrower and deeper than it was tall, 4 levels tall with a small vehicle landing pad hanging off the roof. Aria could not walk between it and the neighboring buildings. She had stood here countless times and she couldn't remember being as nervous as she felt this time. So much was different, even her clothing felt wrong, for some reason it felt as if she should have worn something that didn't make it obvious that her very body was different. She should have covered her arm up. :: ::Irina’s thoughts were entirely different. Despite four years having passed since her rescue from Kjenta II, Irina had actually been to very few worlds other than her own and Til’Ahn. This was also different because she knew how difficult it had to be for Aria. This was the home of her former fiance’s parents, her former fiancé who died literally in her arms; again a situation Irina knew far better than anyone should ever have to.:: ::Katya and Jazmine, for their parts, looked about equal parts tired, bored and curious, though neither of them complained at all, which made Irina happy.:: Oddas: I guess it's now or never. Pavlova: We are your guests, so after you. ::Irina had a point, so Aria lead the group toward the gate and opened it, and made it one step inside before the door to the house opened. Aria looked up in surprise to see Ijo Cada, Mother Cada appear. Cada was older than Aria remembered, but still had echos of Alea. Shorter than either Aria or Irina, hair that was officially more grey than red, some lines on her face that she wore with a mixture of pride and innocence. She smiled in a way that made Aria think of all mothers, except her own. :: Ijo: Aria! ::Before Aria knew what was happening the woman was across the walkway in a feat defying her age and had wrapped her arms around Aria's neck, standing on her tip toes to do so. Aria couldn't help to embrace her back, squeezing tightly. She felt tears on her face, she felt home. She felt someone tapping on her back, it was Cada. :: Ijo: Aria! ::laughing:: Aria, not so hard! ::Aria let the older woman go and smiled at her. :: Oddas: It is so good to see you Mother Cada. ::in that moment Aria felt a huge burden lift from her shoulders.:: Ijo: ::squeezing Aria on the shoulders:: It is so good to see you Aria, welcome home. ::turning her attention to the rest of the group:: And this is the other woman in my daughter's life, Ms. Irina Pavlova. Pavlova: I’ve heard a lot about you. ::Irina held out her hand as she replied. :: Ijo: ::looking at the woman's hand:: Nonsense! ::pulling Irina in for her own hug, equally as heartfelt, but not quite as rough.:: ::Irina was rather startled, but adapted quickly and returned the hug.:: Pavlova: It’s a pleasure to meet you. Ijo: And ::making her mouth form the word correctly:: Katya and Jazmine? Thank you so very much for coming with my Aria home. Katya: Hello ma’am. Jazmine: Thank you for having us. ::Cada took the girls by the hands, one in each, and led them towards the door. :: Ijo: Call me Ama Cada ::she looked over her shoulder at Aria and Irina:: you two bring the bags, I have treats for the girls. Oddas: oO Yep, I'm home, not in command of anything anymore. Oo Pavlova: And you were worried about bringing us. I’m guessing Ama is either Miss or Mother? Oddas: ::smiling and picking up a bag:: I guess the closest thing in standard is 'Grandmother', Grandmother Cada. ::Aria had a moment of panic, stopping as she was slinging a bag over her shoulder:: If, if it bothers you, or them, I'm sure she won't mind if they don't... Pavlova: Why would it bother me? I’m sure they love the attention. ::Irina picked up the heaviest of the bags:: Pavlova: Come on, lets get moved in. ::They made it inside a few minutes later and upstairs, to where Cada had set up a majestic spread of foods. Aria thought she was blushing when she saw the foods were mostly desserts and could smell a pot of coffee coming from somewhere. Her survey was wrong though, a small, very small portion of the dishes were savory, and a few she didn't recognize, they seemed almost Earth-like. She squinted her eyes and could have sworn she had one of the dishes at Irina's table. :: Oddas: Cada, this was not necessary. Pavlova: Is that? Piroshki? ::Irina looked closedly one of the pastries and couldn’t hide the smile on her face, while Katya’s and Jazmine’s attention went straight for the deserts.:: Ijo: ::beaming:: You were not going to come all this way and not let me cook for you. Pavlova: Cook away. Ijo: ::motioning for everyone to sit around the round table:: It is! I hope I got the recipe right! We make nothing like it on Bajor, but I wanted you to feel at home as much as Aria. Pavlova: For real Piroshki we’ll move in tomorrow. I’ve never had a good one anywhere outside of Russia. May I? Ijo: I insist, if its not right, you will make it with me before you leave. If we don't do something right we shouldn't do it. ::Irina bit on and immediately felt like she was Katya’s age, sitting at her Aunt Svetlana’s table in Sochi.:: Pavlova: Vkusno (delicious). Ijo: You like it? I made what I could, but had to replicate a few things. Oddas: ::biting a cookie and pouring coffee, trying to take in the scene around her:: Knowing her, she didn't replicate much. Pavlova: Your recipe is just fine. We can cook though, I’ll teach you my grandmother’s stroganoff, and you can teach me one of the dishes Aria grew up with. Ijo: It's a deal, anything for my Aria, ::she glanced at Aria who was trying to pretend she wasn't embarrassed by the attention:: and anything for a recipe. Is it something you do often? Pavlova: I’ve always liked to cook. (( Timeskip until much later in the night. )) ::Cada had explained Teevin, the man they had come to celebrate, had to stay at the University to finish paperwork and other things to not leave them in a lurch when his retirement became official. Cada was entertaining Irina with a story of Aria's teenage years. It was a very long, very elaborate, very embarrassing story of Aria being brought home by a Constable for trespassing. :: Oddas: ::laughing:: They had the part I needed! Ijo: ::laughing very hard and hitting the table:: So you snuck in at night to take it? Oddas: They would have said no if I had just walked in and asked for a power converter! Besides, it was just sitting there with the other junk! ::Irina was really enjoying herself. Excellent food, good drink, and despite any apprehension she had about Cada being uncomfortable with her or the amount that the woman had managed to find out about her, Irina found herself really liking her.:: Pavlova: But you got caught. Oddas: They heard the hounds chasing me! Another 10 meters and I would have made it to the fence too! ::They all began laughing simultaneously and Aria realized she hadn't thought about day in years. :: Pavlova: So how did you end up here? Oddas: Oh, I told the Constable this was my house, Cada was my mother. Pavlova: Why the need for deception? Oddas: Otherwise, they would have realized it was not my first ... part collection. ::Aria realized the two young girls were looking on, Katya in particular had wide eyes. Evidently Ijo noticed as well. :: Ijo: ::grinning, conivingly:: You don't know about Aria's criminal records? Oddas: Okay! Okay! I don't think Irina needs her girls to know I'm not the shining influence she thinks I am. Katya/Jazmine: Please!!!!! Pavlova: Its time for you two to go to bed. Oddas: ::trying to change the subject:: It is late. Pavlova: Come on, Aria and her evil ways will be still be here in the morning. Ijo: ::smiling in a way that said it wasn't over:: the guest room is made up for them, and I have plenty of Coffee and Drinks for us. Katya/Jazmine: Okay. ((A few minutes later)) ::Irina knew it was a very sensitive subject, but sitting here and enjoying the company Irina just felt compelled to share her feelings.:: Pavlova: I really appreciate your inviting all of us. I honestly can’t imagine everything that must have gone through your mind when learned about Aria and I. ::Irina put her hand gently on Aria’s thigh, who for her part poured herself a small glass of kali-fal and breathed in the aroma deeply before taking a sip. Aria felt content, if a little embarrassed as she interlocked her fingers in Irina's hand. :: Ijo: ::reaching for her spring wine:: Pavlova, I'm sorry, Irina, forgive an old woman's lapse, ::taking a drink and seeming to get lost in thought:: many years ago Alea started telling me stories of a girl she knew who was brilliant, and shy, and yes, beautiful. She went on and on about this girl, like I had never heard before, and Alea was not shy, not like Aria. ::winking at Aria:: I knew Aria was special because Alea, who never lacked for self-confidence, was completely at a loss around her. Oddas: ::looking away:: That doesn't mean anything, lots of people get infatuated, often with the wrong people. Ijo: ::nodding:: That's true, but then I met you, Aria, and I understood it. I mean, beautiful, ::shrugging:: so is Alea, and Irina here, but Alea was right about all of the rest of it too. I'm proud to call you my daughter. ::looking at Irina:: And I trust her judgement with people, she's not going to associate with people that don't deserve it. Oddas: I've never felt like I was good with people. Ijo: ::finishing her wine and standing:: Aria, you may not be good at talking to people, but you know faster than anyone if they are good. ::kissing Aria on the head:: Irina, what went through my head was my daughter, who I want to be happy and who happens to be a good judge of character was happy. ::she cupped Irina's shoulder and squeezed as she headed for the stairs:: I'm going to follow the kids' example, do not wait up for Teevin. Pleasant Evening. Oddas: ::wiping her eyes with her palm:: Pleasant Evening. Irina: Pleasant eventing, and again, thank you. ::Irina caught herself wiping a few tears as well.:: Oddas: ::pausing for a moment:: Thank you Irina. Irina: Thank me? For what? Oddas: Making me come home. Irina: You are so lucky to have a home to come back to, and such a loving one as this. I could get very comfortable here. Oddas: You've been home? St Petersburg? Irina: Yes, I’ve been back. There were a few, VERY distant descendants of my brother and cousins, but none of them had even heard my name or knew that I ever existed until I showed up with Katya. Oddas: Was it happy? Irina: We had tea and talked for an hour or so, but there really wasn’t anything in common. None of them had stayed in music, none had gone to Starfleet. They were just strangers who shared a small fraction of my parents’ DNA. The building I lived in, my old school, everything I knew except some of the ancient statues and the old opera house were gone. It wasn’t home anymore. Oddas: ::resting her head on Irina's shoulder:: You can always be home with me Irina. ::Irina found herself suddenly speechless, and was certain she was blushing as she realized that there was nothing she wanted more than “always”. She’d wanted it with Dimitri, or at least thought she did, and had wanted it with AJ, but even that somehow wasn’t the same. Right here, sitting on the couch in the home of Aria’s dead fiance’s mother, Irina knew, with certainty, exactly what she wanted.:: Pavlova: Always? Oddas: ::jerking her head up as she realized she had spoken without really thinking:: I mean, of course, if, I mean, ::sighing:: yes, always. ::Irina just leaned in close, not caring how brightly she might be blushing.:: Pavlova: Then I guess my answer is….., yes? Oddas: ::smiling:: That's a relief ::kissing Irina:: Lt. Commander Oddas Aria Executive Officer Duronis II Embassy / USS Thor, NCC-82607 ASDB Co-Facilitator - Training Team E239305OA0 and Major Irina Pavlova Chief of Security Duronis II Embassy / USS Thor Author ID O238908HA0
  5. ((Deck 13, FNS Suite, DS26)) ::Kendra sat in her office a the day after the murder investigation had been resolved. Reflexively she would stretch to rub a still aching shoulder muscle. Whatever it was that her mysterious "source" Farsarr had used on her hurt like nothing Kendra had ever felt before. And why shouldn't it, it wasn't like she had ever gotten shot before which just made her want to ensure that it never happened again. Though not an expert, Kendra knew that she was probably over due for an appointment with one of the local doctors just to make sure no lasting injuries had been done. For now though that would have to wait as Kendra sat in front of her computer monitor, Cosima, her mentor being on the other side of the comm channel. Last Kendra heard, Cosima Tau was on her way to Risa or somewhere of high society which made her curious just what the woman was doing inside comm range. Gotten shot, might have been a shock in more ways then one but it hadn't dulled those ever growing report instincts of her's. In this instance the timing of Cosima's call coinciding a mere hour after Kendra had sent her article revealing the murder to be reviewed and broadcasted region wide was far too incidental. She had no reason to be distrustful of her mentor. The timing was just intriguing and to say the least, Kendra was still a little on edge.:: Tau: =/\= Darling, your looking less like, well you then usual. What have I told you about dressing to impress?=/\= ::Yeah that was trademark Cosima Tau and like it or not that was what everyone got when dealing with her. And unbelievably, too many people liked her for it.:: Eberhart: =/\= I'm pretty sure, your exact words if I remember correctly was to look presentable but never better than you. ::Kendra paused, she hadn't said it maliciously but she was rather tense still. She would take a breath before continuing.:: Getting shot does kind of put a dampener on ones was mood and appearance.=/\= Tau: =/\=Yes and about that miss... What did you think you were doing?=/\= Eberhart: =/\=Simple, investigating a murder and in the process I got ambushed by some do gooder. =/\= Tau: =/\= I thought I trained you better than to think that that is the definition of a do gooder. =/\= ::Well that was certainly true but what else was Kendra meant to call a person that handed her the whole story on a silver platter. Of course Kendra did the right thing and hold off on publishing till the killer was caught and certainly until after the facts had been verified. Of course Kendra couldn't have known but surely for a story like this, a little risk was worth it. Even if that risk came with it the aches and pains of being shot.:: Eberhart: =/\=Fair point, but again to be fair, it isn't like you haven't been shot before. =/\= ::The woman gave a warm, uncharacteristically motherly expression.:: Tau: =/\=Yes I have been put in that position more often than I care for. And that is why I asked the SB118 FNS field office to put a hold on your story. =/\= ::Kendra knew that her story wouldn't be broadcasted immediately, as it was standard practice for new feild reporter's work to be screened. It was to make sure the story's sources had been properly verified, no grammatically devastator. But on the whole it was generally a formality. Kendra had never heard of a story being put on hold for this sort thing though. Honestly Kendra found the very notion to be outrageous and she was pretty sure Cosima knew it considering the way she spoke again. :: Tau: =/\= The story you wrote Kendra, was pretty decent. Some of your best work in fact but I don't think you realise something.=/\= Eberhart: =/\= No your definitely right, I don't know what I am missing because I was pretty happy when I pressed the send key on that story. =/\= Tau: =/\= Oh I know you were. You had this glow about you that I rarely saw on you unless you had uncovered something you thought was worthwhile. =/\= Eberhart: =/\= What does this have to do with anything Cosima, I was sent here to do a job, which is a job you helped line up for me no less. =/\= ::She said feeling emboldened by her sudden irritation for her mentor. Normally she had nothing but respect for the media diva, but Kendra wasn't going to let even her dictate the content she reported. In the moment Kendra didn't know which was a more troubling prospect, going against a star fleet admiral or going against Cosima Tau, either way though it was way too late to decide not to investigate the murder of the Ambassador and all that came with it. Her reasons for doing it were good then and were still good now.:: Tau: =/\= Its just that by publishing a story like this, can and probably will make you a target whether you want to admit it or not. I was young and idealistic once, I didn't always report galactic gossip. ::Pauses:: And there is more than one reason why I don't anymore. =/\= ::giving a sigh as she slowly smiled as she realised where Cosima was coming from. The woman meant well, just had a sometimes all too irritating way of going about it.:: Eberhart: =/\= Believe it or not I have already considered fragments of your argument. And you do make a good point BUT I still want my story published. Inter-galactic gossip isn't going to satisfy me as a journalist. =/\= Tau: =/\= Yes I thought you would feel that way. I will tell SB118 HQ to go ahead and broadcast the story then but at least hire yourself a body guard or something. ::Pauses smiling:: Or better yet, leave that too me. Later Dears. Have to run, many calls to make.=/\= ::Just like that the screen went blank before Kendra could get a word in edgewise. Undoubtedly whatever Cosima ran off to do was going to be a nightmare for her, even if Cosima meant well. As Kendra sat there in the office a little longer though she found herself honestly pleased though knowing that something worthwhile had come of the last few days even if the aches and pains still remained. :: Kendra Eberhart FNS Reporter, DS26 C238805AC0
  6. (( Clear Stream, Leutra IV, Leutra System )) Millis: %##$@##5. What in the moons of Endor was that! ::Loudly.:: :: These creatures could really scream. The purple one hadn't been kicked over by her attack. A different method would need to be used. But whether the Cliff Dweller was actually capable of thinking one up... Well, maybe now, but certainly not before. She'd already been alive before the new young-ones were put in the river. It hadn't felt like a sudden change to any of the Dwellers. Instead of putting the eggs on the side of the water, their instincts now told them to put them in, and let them be carried off by the stream to get their eyes in the caves. Out of all the creatures who had gotten their eyes at a later age, she'd been among the group who had adapted the best. At first, she'd gotten quite a bit thinner due to her brain having to adjust and her constantly missing the insects she hunted, but now she functioned almost normally. She even didn't mind the low humming whenever she spotted something unusual and the hard bits in her eyes suddenly started moving. :: :: Their offspring would hatch into the water as half-naked, blind animals, but return about one light-cycle later still only partly feathered, but now with eyesight and strengthened latching claws. They still smelled as 'child', and the only difference was that because it was unclear which were whose offspring, they were raised in random nests. None of the Dwellers had ever questioned or even consciously noticed that change. Even if they were more advanced, they probably still wouldn't have. :: MacFarlane: Who’s there? I’ll get ya! sh'Idrani: You're bleeding! Were you attacked? :: The other creatures were now also very loud. They all gathered around the one she'd wounded, then stayed there for a while, making movements she couldn't quite follow or understand. They didn't seem to want to leave, though. Maybe she would have to try again? :: :: After things had calmed down a little, and the purple one had some weird flap covering his wound, she crawled closer again, but with much more care this time. One of the red ones was also near the stream now. If one of them was hard to scare off, how would two be? No, her gut told her to lay in wait. Another opportunity would come. Maybe a distraction. :: :: But... Not one of the distractions that were common in the forest. A sound from very high-up suddenly sounded, and another not-living light was visible, almost like a smaller version of a flash. A strange thing she couldn't place or recognize flew down through the sky, and then a bang louder than anything she'd ever heard before made the trees shake. The Cliff Dweller let out a loud cry of warning, and flew up in a wild panic. What was that? It had happened in close proximity to the river. With the protectiveness over the eggs once again overriding her natural panic response, she hopped over the trees until she had enough momentum to take off. The odd living creatures were also running towards the place where the bang had sounded from. :: Millis: Look over there! ::It was really close and they could be there in just a few minutes.:: MacFarlane: response :: She came to a halt at the bottom of the hill, near the crater, and her panic response decided to finally work a bit more. She stood frozen, next to the red and blue creatures, and neither seemed to notice each other. The heat and light was disorienting to her, but then, finally, some organic form moved away from the rest of the heat. It... had the same red colour. The Cliff Dweller just stayed there, half hidden in the leaves, half near the spot where the intruders were standing, and looked up with big, wild eyes. :: -- The Cliff Dweller ??? Leutra IV Inhabitant -- Played by: -- Ensign Shrega sh'Idrani Security Officer USS Gorkon G239401SS0
  7. ((Beach)) Ryland: Now we build walls so bad people can't get in... T’Sara: Gigantics walls wiff electrific spikey wires, n’a moat wiff dragons protektin us. :: She was grinning big and wide as she started to hack out the big lizard protector in the sand. Of course it would look nothing like what she imagined, but it would be perfect in her eyes.:: Garth: Dats gonna looks good, T'Sara. T’Sara: I needs more sands. Be back! :: She grabbed her pail and dashed to the freshly wet sand. Once her bucket was full she hauled it rather effortlessly considering her size and the weight. It was clear she’d inherited *some* Vulcan strength.:: ::While the others worked on the fort, Garth paid attention to Naloor and Mirana's conversation.:: Naloor: Wonder what those boats are doing? :: Garth and T’Sara paused to glance out at what they were talking about. The boats were doing what boats did. Floated.:: Mirana: I'm sure they are just sticking close by to the marina just north of here up the coast. Perhaps they are fishing or just decided to enjoy this beautiful day on the water. Naloor: Well, they are certainly not fishing...do you see any nets? Mirana: I do not :: T’Sara’s blue eyes flashed at Naloor and she could see that the woman’s aura had a disturbed flare of color to it. The little girl’s lips pursed, not liking it one little bit. This was their fun time.:: Naloor: If they were just passing by, you would think they would be making a bit more way that what they are...they look suspicious. Maybe I had better contact the Marines to keep an eye on them... Mirana: Are you feeling okay, Naloor? ::She brought her hand down from her face as she turned to the nanny.:: It's really quite common for Laudeans to set sail and enjoy each other's company in the solitude of the ocean. I'm sure it's okay. :: T’Sara poked Mirana’s leg and dropped her bucket.:: T’Sara: You say you okay, but you don’t look okay. I been to fieldy class n’ your colors is fuzzy like you need a time-out. Mirana: I'm fine T'Sara, I think Naloor might just have had too much sun. T’Sara: Den maybe you should take a nap. I have to tinkle. Mirana: I'm sure she just needs a little water. ::She handed the canteen to Naloor with a compassionate smile.:: Here. What is tinkle? T’Sara: It not nice to tinkle in the ocean. Fisheys live dare. Would it be nice if I tinkled in your house? :: The little girl glanced at Garth with a frowny face so he would know she was getting upset about something. It wasn’t about a potty-break. She was trained enough now to see the colors of a liar, and she was about to get really annoying to the woman for it.:: Mirana: I see… Yes I suppose that would be very rude. T’Sara: I’s a lady. I tinkle on a proper potty. Mirana: There is a restroom just there, T'Sara. T’Sara: I wants to go home and tinkle there. Public potties is icky. Mirana: We really should all stay together… T’Sara: I WANTS TO GO HOME!! I WANTS TO GO HOME!! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME STAY!! I WANTS TO GO HOME NOW!! I HAS TO PEE!! I WANTS DAH MARINES TO TAKE ME POTTY!!! ::With T'Sara's brat mode engaged, Garth felt it was time for him to step in. :: Garth: She needs to go potty, ifen you wonts let hers go lone, I kin go wif her. Mirana: With everything going on today it would be best for us all to stay together, no one should be off on their own… Garth: SHE GOTTA PEE. AND IT NOT NICE FOR HER TO GOES IN FRONTS OF BOYS! BUT I KIN TURN MY BACKS TO HER AND SHOW HER SOME RESPECTS. ::Taking a hold of T'Sara's hand, speaking gently:: Comes on, T'Sara. I goes wif ya. Mirana: Well, ::Turning to Naloor with an uncomfortable smile.:: I suppose that is that. They really shouldn't be traveling alone. Garth: ::pulling T'Sara with him, he began to run from her.:: YA A MEAN OLE WOMAN, MIRANA! I'M GONNA TELL ON YOU! PNPC Garth Turner-West Simmed by Rear Admiral Toni Turner Commanding Officer Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A Author ID number: E238209TT0
  8. ((Primary Sickbay - Deck 18, USS Blackwell)) G’Renn: Alright crewman, what’s missing? Lee: That crate of fresh medical kits that was brought up some storage earlier today. ::While cleaning up after the mass treatment of plague victims back at Debin VII, Anath had arranged for a crate of supplies no longer needed to be moved down to one of the cargo bays.Unfortunately, another crate just like it of fresh medical kits had been set down next to it at some point in the meantime. Now, the cargo that had just been brought up to sickbay was gone again. It was only a minor irritant, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak.:: G’Renn: Computer, who moved the cargo container from Sickbay storage? ::Anath looked at the name that appeared and scowled. As irritated as she had been with all the occurrences of bad luck and inconveniences thus far, no person could really be said to be at fault for causing them. Now she had a name that she could point at as a definitive cause of her stress. The officer likely didn’t deserve any scorn of anger for just trying to be helpful, but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.:: G’Renn: Computer, locate Ensign Ferentis Computer: Ensign Ferentis is in Cargo Bay 5. G’Renn: Thank you. Don’t worry crewman, I’ll go get those supplies back. ::She stormed out of sickbay towards the nearest turbolift. She was going to get her stuff back.:: ((Timeskip- Arrival in the cargo bay)) ((Cargo Bay 5 - Deck 15, USS Blackwell)) ::The containers he was attempting to move were far too heavy for the average humanoid. Even so, the tractor loader sat unused in one corner of the bay. Ferentis wasn’t above showing off every once in awhile, but this time, utilizing his raw muscle was more therapeutic than entertaining. His normally focused mind broiled with doubts and concerns, a rarity for him. It had been weeks since he’d been banned from his home, and though there had been no news or contact from Dupwa’thuv besides the norm, he had to assume that everything was still relatively status quo. Still, he could see the storm clouds brewing. It was only a matter of time before the status quo was nothing but a memory- one lost in the chaos only a self-destructing people could provide.:: ::He still didn’t know what his family was planning. Pakhwa’thanh were polite to a fault, but there were also inquisitive, and would pursue a question relentlessly. Banishing a member of their own species was legal, but exceedingly rare. To learn that someone with such a noble lineage had been officially cast from his world permanently would raise eyebrows if the fact ever became known, and then the questions would begin. His family was quite high in status- high enough so that a few whispers in the right ears, combined with such an honored reputation and respectable status, would make the banishing possible. Still, there were so many unanswered questions. And though he’d been expecting something like this for years, now that it had happened, everything suddenly became agonizingly real.:: ::A most pleasant thought then occurred to him. Maybe it was possible that his family wasn’t planning anything. That stopped him dead. He placed the cargo container down and pondered, claws gently caressing his leathery face. Perhaps this wasn’t the first step in a brutal and pivotal political upset or coup. Maybe this was the equivalent of cleaning house. It had been accepted for decades that he was effectively banished from Dupwa’thuv, by his family, if no one else- perhaps this was just the official notification. His heart buoyed momentarily, before remembering why he’d left home in the first place. He’d like to believe that nothing was happening. But he’d spent too long in space, and worrying about his clan and species, to grasp at comforting falsehoods.:: G’Renn: Ensign Ferentis! ::He grunted as he lowered the crate, trying not to show his surprise. He was exceptionally polite, and so calm, it was (sometimes) easy to forget he was, in fact, a nine-foot dinosaur. Still, it didn’t mean that he was immune to such feelings, and the loud voice, picked up by his sensitive hearing, and combined with the acoustic attributes of the cargo bay, scared him half to death.:: ::His eyes turned toward the very, very angry Klingon woman marching toward him. Whatever it was she was furious about, he had to admire her. Most people stopped shouting at him when they saw the length of his teeth. This individual apparently had no such fear.:: G’Renn: I would like my crate of medical supplies back. You moved the wrong crate! ::So young. So full of fire! She couldn’t have been more than, what? Twenty-five? Twenty-six? A mere child, compared to his fifty-three years. He couldn’t help but find it amusing that she was telling him off.:: ::But what about this crate business? Was it possible? Yes. Unusual, though. He’d always been known to be neat, precise, and punctual. Such mistakes were incredibly rare. Maybe his emotional baggage was impacting his work more than he’d realized.:: ::However, any attempt at defense, explanation or apology seemed futile at this juncture. The Klingon ensign was far from done lambasting him. This was not a problem. He listened attentively, looking on with curiosity as she progressively dismantled his character.:: G’Renn: Perhaps if you had bothered to check with someone, we wouldn’t have to be having this conversation! But no, you just assumed you had the right crate and just went about on your merry way. So now instead of getting some rest after a fourteen hour work day, I get to sort out your mistake! ::Ah. And now they had reached the root of the problem. It wasn’t his minor error- it was the fact that she was expected to fix it. He could absolutely understand her rage, and did not begrudge her at all. Still, such a...violent breach of etiquette was both entertaining and fascinating. He’d never been privy to such displays back home- emotional outbursts, especially the hostile kind, were all but unheard of.:: G’Renn: Well, if you’re just going to stand there, I’ll just move the crate myself! ((Cargo Bay 5 - Deck 15, USS Blackwell)) ::Every person was different, and if he had thought that performing a certain action would have appeased her more than standing there and listening, he probably would have done it. Then again, he was fairly confident that this poor, overworked individual was reaching the zenith of her explosive decompression. He doubted he could say anything to calm her now.:: ::Anath didn’t remember what piece of equipment she had ordered to be sent back down to the cargo bay, the specifics lost in the busy flow of work in sickbay. However, experimentally testing the weight of the container proved one thing. Whatever was inside was heavy, even for Anath with her above-average Vulcan strength. She tried to brush it off as just a casual inspection of the crate before walking over towards one of the anti-grav units. She paused and looked back at Ferentis, part of her still very unhappy with the engineer. She couldn’t help it, and impulsively opened her mouth once more.:: G’Renn: Or, if you wanted, you could say something like “I’m so sorry for the mix-up. Here, let me help!” ::Of course, were he convinced that using his bountiful social grace would alleviate the situation (and the ensign’s apoplectic state), he would have happily apologized, offered to fix the mistake through any means necessary, and suggested that he pay for his mistake by taking on one of her duty shifts. Such was the Pahkwa’thanh tendency to over exaggerate. But in recent years, he’d begun to realize something he never thought would ever occur to him.:: ::”Polite” was not necessarily “kind”.:: ::Everyone needed to explode once in awhile- even him, though no one would ever see it and live to speak of it. Perhaps what this ensign needed was a punching bag. And he was simply overjoyed to take on that responsibility.:: ::She dropped the anti-grav and started pacing back and forth. She needed to put her anger in check before she said something she might regret. Well, that line had been crossed already, but now she could still walk away and apologize once she managed to get a handle on her anger once again. If only she could know when to leave well-enough alone. This engineer wasn’t even saying anything, yet she kept on fuming! One could only yell for so long about nothing:: G’Renn: Well, do you have anything to say! Anything? ::Ferentis stayed perfectly silent. A slow blink was his only response.:: G’Renn: ::With increased irritation at his silence:: You can talk, can’t you? Ferentis: oO Not with you carrying on like that. Oo ::It was merely an observation, one that held no malice or anger.:: G’Renn: You useless petaQ! ::Ooh! New curse words! Fun! Ferentis felt a bit like a hatchling let loose in a slaughterhouse. All these new experiences that he’d barely ever been treated to on Dupwa’thuv. It was absolutely delightful. Still he stayed perfectly motionless and mute.:: ::The most recent angry outburst to come out of her mouth stunned her, the realization of exactly what was coming out of her mouth hitting her with the same force as a punch to the jaw. Anath slipped into the reserve pool of untranslatable Klingon insults and curses in only two situations. First, if she was among rowdier Klingons like her cousins who considered those words a vital and important part of a person’s daily vocabulary and who wouldn’t react should she kindly request they leave her alone using more polite words. The second and far more common situation was when she’d truly and completely lost her cool and let her temper run away with her. It was a sign that all her usual manners and kind personality had been jettisoned out of the nearest airlock while her more direct and aggressive instincts took over. She turned and walked towards the door to give herself a moment to catch her breath:: G’Renn: I- I’ll be right back… ::Then, and only then, did Ferentis give a single, slow nod- permission, understanding, and friendly intent all wrapped into one simple motion.:: ::As she exited, Ferentis idly wondered if she would, in fact, return. Once someone had fully evacuated themselves of pent-up fury, oftentimes they would be too embarrassed to return, and/or apologize. No apology was necessary, but he again found himself curiously speculating on the (still nameless) ensign’s priorities.:: ::Sitting down on the floor, Anath focused on her breathing. Inhale, hold, exhale. It was a simple pattern, but one that didn’t normally require a great deal of thought. It had definitely felt good to clear all that pent-up range and aggravation on Ensign Ferentis, but it was also completely improper. First of all it was just plain rude! But there could be other consequences for that little outburst of her’s, as her counselor at Starfleet Academy could attest to. When she finally felt that she had gotten comfortable in her new home her temper ran away with her again. She needed to apologize, immediately!:: G’Renn: oO But what do I say… Oo ::It took her around five minutes to fully cool off and work out what her apology should be. At one point she stood up to walk back into the cargo bay without any particular conversation-starter in mind, but that strategy had not been particularly productive earlier. Instead, she paced back and forth, considering just what should be the first words out of her mouth when she went into the room to apologize. Finally, she had a basic apology in mind and stepped back inside the cargo bay.:: G’Renn: ::Meekly:: I’m sorry about that Ensign… it was, unbecoming of me to say those things. ::So she had returned. Impressive. Most Klingons he’d met held pride and honor as the most important things in their existence. To face such a wounding to either took courage, strength, and humility. All good things. And even if the ensign hadn’t displayed such a willingness to apologize, Ferentis was sure he would have taken a liking to her anyway.:: Ferentis: It is quite alright. ::He gave a far deeper nod of forgiveness. For some reason, he spoke almost as much with his head and neck as with his mouth.:: G’Renn: I realize we probably got off on the wrong foot, and was wondering if perhaps a round of drinks on me would help to get things back on track between us? ::She wouldn’t actually be drinking of course given her low tolerance for alcohol, but she had learned that the offer often worked as a very effective cure-all to social situations. As long as it might help patch up the bridge her more aggressive self had just tried to burn Anath was willing to extend the invitation. She might not walk away with physical injuries like her encounter with a giant lizard-man on her cadet cruise, but she certainly was suffering from a class four case of wounded pride.:: Ferentis: ::Smiling kindly, almost like a grandfather.:: I would be delighted. And, I am sorry about the mix-up. END Ensign Anath G'Renn Medical Officer, USS Blackwell - Andaris Task Force A239402AG0 AND Ensign Ferentis Engineer USS Blackwell NCC 58999 G239202RS0
  9. ((Brell’s Quarters, Deck 4, USS Blackwell)) ::He sat at the desk in the living area of his quarters. With shore leave about to begin he would be spending most of the Blackwell’s trip to it’s main port of call in his office going over transfers and other personnel matters. There was one thing he could take of now and he leaned back in the chair as he spoke aloud.:: Brell: Computer begin log entry. ::The acknowledgement beeps from the computer came immediately.:: First officer’s log stardate 239106.13, today was say goodbye to Debin VII and the Caraadian Navy Ship, Burracanthris. The Blackwell’s doctors have seen to the distribution and recovery of those who were infected. The last Caraadian patient was released to the Burracanthris, at 0430 this morning. No thefts, or complaints from the medical staff were reported in regards to the patients. I had been concerned at first taking so many aboard for several weeks but that was proven to be unfounded. The engineering feats made to keep the ship from falling to the ground, and possibly destroying the planetoid, have all been filed and sent to the SCE for their enjoyment. ::He paused hearing that Morin had stepped out of the sonic shower, and had started shaving his head. Living with his nephew the last few weeks had been interesting, and a nice distraction during his off hours. He had been there for support that Brell was in need of during this trying time of strife within his marriage. Clearing his throat he continued in order to wrap up his log entry before the youth emerged from the bathroom.:: Brell: We have set course back to Deep Space Twenty Six and should be arriving within the next five hours. I am looking forward to seeing my children and my spouses and enjoying some shore leave. ::It felt odd not including that he was unsure if he would be spending much time with his spouses. That was for his personal log and he had not been talking about much else in it. Lyldra had on average accepted his comm request twice each week he had been away. She had recorded a return message a few times as well, and there was Hars. He had only recorded a message once, and that had been with the twins so they had not talked about their feelings at all. It had been devastating. Brell had been Lyldra and Hars’ co-husband for six years and had never gone this long without speaking to them pretty much every other day.:: ::Morin walked out of bathroom towel wrapped around him. He reminded him so much of himself when he was in the academy. Immersed in a culture so different than his own, learning new things and defining himself, as well as having fun. He was also reminded he was once as slim and fit as the younger man, and smirked at the thought of meeting himself at about that age when he said he would never let the Bolian males predisposition for stockiness effect him.:: Morin: So have Aunt Lyldra and Uncle Hars said where to meet up yet? Brell: No, they would have gotten my message last night too. ::Morin sat on the couch nearest to the his uncle and face him. He felt like they should be sitting around in some sauna somewhere soaking in the steam as they chatted. He would have to bring up the idea for after their next workout session.:: Morin: ::Sighing:: And the one from the day before that and the day before that and so on. I bet they haven't even watched it and still have a few days of backlog. Brell: You could be right, but .. I’m used to talking to them more often. It was hard when Lyldra was away on the Darwin while Hars and I remained stationed on at the Embassy. This … this is worse. Morin: oO And you feel like you deserve it, which to an extent you do, no one could blame them for not wanting to see you for awhile. Oo ::He knew his uncle was well aware of that fact, and there was no need to say it aloud other than to hurt him. In the weeks since Morin had moved into Brell’s quarters he had been the shoulder to cry on and motivator to keep him from falling into a self loathing depression. Uncle Brell had been there for him as a child after his parents sudden deaths. So, he was quite happy to be helping him through a tough time now. He had used this, in helping to establish a rapport and bedside manner with the patients he had help oversee these past few weeks. He imagined what their families must be going through worrying about them … the strife was for different reasons of course, but the empathy was what was important.:: Morin: Lyldra did say she would bring the twins over to stay with you for a few days while Blackwell is there. ::Being away from his spouses also meant being away from his children. Renu, and Linalu would be aware of something off with their parents, of that Brell was sure. He was glad they not older even by a few years as Bolian families all shared in the psychological distress during times like this.:: Brell: I look forward to it. I … I have something to ask, when you see Lyldra and Hars, Ask them if can do anything. Morin: You know they need space and time to deal with feeling betrayed and angry, they understand you're not fully to blame but you took the full responsibility anyway. ::He had told him this all before during times Brell had been more down on himself than he needed to be. Brell had also said all of it before himself. Both knew this was a cycle of regret, and Brell wanting to throw himself at their mercy to do anything for forgiveness.:: Brell: I know that. ::Smirking.:: You can tell them I am sufficiently beating myself up over here. Morin: ::Laughing:: They know that from the twenty one messages they have gotten from you. ::Brell joined in the laughter. Which felt quite good, he very much missed laughing often.:: PNPC Cadet Morin, Medical Trainee, Uss Blackwell, NCC-58999 With and Simmed by, Commander Brell - First Officer Andaris Task Force, USS Blackwell NCC-58999 Academy Deputy Commandant E239109B10
  10. ((Alcatraz Net Café, Marina District, San Francisco - 239105.31 19:01 Hours)) ::Micced earpiece. Check. Five hour pre-paid public terminal. Check. Cola. Check.:: Choi: Turing, transmit “Best of Neo Alba Ra” kit to Alcatraz Net Café console 09 and initiate. Turing: Uploading. ::pause:: Good hacking, Aphelion. ::Ji-hu blushed, glancing around, but the Café was mostly empty. He took a deep breath, the fewer steps the better, the less there was to trace back to him or Cadet Bancroft.:: ::He started on social media.:: ::At parties, people loved posting pictures of themselves, which geolocated to real-time places. This made his job relatively simple. This was a big party and he quickly found a group of cadets posting pictures at the wedding reception, Moreau Manor, geolocated to the Buena Vista Heights, right where they had thought it would be. He pulled up the relative location on a civilian map application and quickly matched the house in the image with those seen from above in frighteningly high-quality imaging. A beautiful, ancient Terran manor left over from the 20th century, although clearly well maintained. The Moreau’s came from past generations of tech moguls, and while the acquisition of materials mattered to few Terrans in the modern era, the family’s past successes clearly meant they kept a not-so-modest household.:: Choi: /Aphelion to Shadow Leopard. D-do you read me?/ Bancroft: /Shadow Leopard. Go ahead, Aphelion./ Choi: /He’s there, and I have an address. 709 Buena Vista West, overlooking the west side of the park. I’ll start doing some research, check in when you’re nearby./ ::Ji-hu pulled up some of the imaging and began to scrutinize the pictures, ignoring the human faces and looking at layout and security. A few cameras, private company, subtle, but not enough to escape notice. The wedding reception was perfect cover. The house’s security systems would be turned off, and what was one more stranger wandering around looking for the bathroom? Ji-hu ran a search for private residential security in the Bay Area and began to pour over the equipment and services they offered before thought he had a match. Palladium Home Security Systems.:: ::Now the real fun began.:: (( Buena Vista Heights - Geolocated Circle )) ::Colleen was at a nearby bodega when Choi came on the comms with their target.:: ::Everything had started off so simple - a regular old assignment on a holodeck for one of her classes. The Cadet she’d been assigned to work with - a snooty Engineering Sophomore who seemed to hate her for reasons she couldn’t possibly fathom (besides turning down his incessant requests to go on a date with him) - had been a royal pain since they’d begun the assignment, and had only continued to be a problem once they were on the holodeck. As with all assignments, they were recording the run, each of them. The assignment went off smoothly enough, despite a single minor fumble on Colleen’s part, and they’d collected their recordings once it was over. However, when Colleen had went back in later to try and review the recording, she’d found out that the device she’d been using was completely blank. Her recording was gone. A few hours later, she’d found a message from her “lab partner” saying that he had the recording that showed how she’d screwed up the entire assignment - and the little [...] had been so arrogant as to even take a picture of the chip with the recording on it..:: ::Oh, that had gotten her blood boiling. Fraking little Sophomore, getting in the way of her work. So, she’d decided that revenge was in order. Time to get that recording back and wreak a little havoc on the [...] in the process. So, her first call had been to Choi Ji-hu, Engineering extraordinaire. Once he had agreed to help her - they’d become friends, so he hadn’t taken very long to agree - she’d laid out the situation to Grace. Grace, in the middle of her Intelligence major, had grinned when Colleen had explained the plan, and agreed on the spot.:: ::A little leg work later, and they’d determined that the Cadet’s sister was preparing to get married, and the wedding reception would be at their manor. Colleen had no worries that when it came time, Ji-hu would be able to find the exact location. Based on where the message had come from, they’d had a rough idea of where to go, so she and Grace had been on opposite sides of the geo-shot when Choi had found the manor itself.:: Bancroft: /Copy that. German, you got that?/ Freeman: /Got it. Moving in. Aphelion, let us know when you’ve got more intel please./ ::Colleen left the bodega at a light jog, enough that she wouldn’t break too much of a sweat, heading for the manor that Ji-hu had indicated.:: (( Alcatraz Net Café )) Choi: /Hello Mr. Ians, this is Carl from Palladium IT. I’m r-really sorry to bother you so late on a Friday night, but unfortunately there’s been a security breach and your account’s b-b-been targeted./ Ians: /[...]… again? I thought you guys fixed this with the new encryption scheme last year./ Choi: /Yeah… I know, sir... b-b-between you and me, the company really didn’t go with the best software. And they haven’t been shelling out for upgrades./ Ians: /::scoffing, grumbling:: ... bigwigs... / Choi: /If it’s any consolation, your account w-w-wasn’t the only one affected. We’re going to be putting in a long night here.../ Ians: /They better have a case of beer waiting for you boys on the other end. What do you need, kid?/ Choi: /I just need to confirm your identity and g-g-get some information from you to access your account and reset your password. We’ll s-start with your d-d-date of birth.../ ::”Exploit” sounded like such a dirty word. Ji-hu couldn’t feel too bad about it… a security company that was so easily duped by a teenager in a net café. He justified it to himself, as he had so often done, that he was simply breaking into the system to use it, rather than hurt anyone. In fact, he hoped to help Colleen. A sort of ends-justifying-the-means deal. With luck, Allan Ians of Palladium’s surveillance systems security, who was far too easy to find and get in touch with through the net, would figure out what had happened when his login didn’t work on Monday morning. If he had any brains at all he’d reset his password, not say a word and hopefully learn a lesson to not blindly trust “Carl from IT.”:: ::Front door, back door, two backyard, greenhouse, two perimeter and one indoor camera, in some sort of study or office. That’s what Ji-hu had access to inside Palladium’s surveillance, and he could see now that the party was in full swing. Perhaps a hundred people or more crammed into the backyard, milling about the outdoor bar, dancing before a DJ booth, spilling out from inside the house, the lower levels mostly, from what he could see in the security feeds.:: ::Now if he could only find a layout of the house... Ji-hu could get Colleen inside, but he’d be blind once she was in there. Sure, he could make some educated guesses from what he could see, but it wasn’t enough. If only he’d had more time to prepare…:: (( Buena Vista Heights - Moreau Manor )) Bancroft: /Shadow Leopard to Aphelion./ Choi: /Aphelion here./ Bancroft: /Alright, we’re almost on site./ Choi: /Good. Guests are entering through the house, b-but it looks like the caterers are using a narrow alley to the right of the m-m-main entrance./ Bancroft: /Perfect. German, you ready?/ Freeman: /Pfft. Born ready. Give me a shout when you’re ready./ ::Colleen clicked her mic twice at her girlfriend and jogged past the manor and towards the back alley. Once there, she spent a moment watching the caterers. There were only a couple outside.:: Bancroft: /Aphelion, can you take down the back camera for about…. Twenty seconds?/ Choi: /Affirmative. Looping s-s-security feed, let me know when you’re by./ ::One of the vans was open to her mouth of the alley, and inside she found a set of uniforms. Grabbing one that would easily fit her, she threw it on over her clothes, then dropped back out of the van and headed for the doors. Nodding at a couple of the staff, none of which gave her a second glance, she entered the door. Grace’s training - “Look like you belong. Nobody will question you.” She found herself inside a decent sized room, where catering staff entered and exited through a door across the room.:: Bancroft: /Aphelion, German, I’m in. German, distraction on my mark please.../ ::Grace sent a double click back across the channel. Colleen grabbed a tray from the prepped group, and swept through the double doors, and then through to the outside, looking the part of another boring staff member - except, you know, the earpiece in her ear and the mic sitting against her throat. Fortunately, the second was hidden by the catering uniform, and the first was small enough to be easily missed. For several minutes, Colleen milled about with the tray, until it was empty. She passed it off to another member of the staff once she was back into the house, begging off to find the restroom. She was directed to a restroom for guest staff - and beside it, a door that led to a stairwell going up. Looking all the part like she’d just opened the wrong door, she slipped into the bathroom.:: Bancroft: /Okay, so… there’s a staircase back here. Aphelion, any luck finding blueprints for this place?/ (( Alcatraz Net Café )) ::Ji-hu had no luck whatsoever. As he kept an eye on Colleen making her way through the party, standing out no more than any of the other servers, he’d been searching through the net fruitlessly. Comm links to the Moreaus all went through their companies, they had no public listings as far as he could see.:: Choi: /Um… Shadow Leopard, I’ve got a plan, but I n-need a contact to Mr. Marcus Moreau, or his partner. A b-b-business card, a scribbled n-note, anything!/ Bancroft: /Moment.../ Choi: /Once I h-have that I promise I can get you in and out of the s-s-second floor fast./ ::Ji-hu flicked through the security feeds. Marcus Jr., the Moreau’s son, was headed from the greenhouse into the house.:: Choi: /Damnit! T-target is inside./ (( Buena Vista Heights - Moreau Manor )) ::Colleen left the bathroom and returned to the service area. It took a couple minutes, but she finally found a small board that had contact information scribbled on it, hanging on a wall near a desk with a massive amount of paperwork on it. She took a quick picture of it with her PADD and sent it to Ji-hu before somebody got suspicious.:: ::Crap. With the target inside, Colleen had a much, much higher chance of getting spotted by somebody she knew. She made herself scarce just in time for the [...] to barge into the prep area and start yelling at the wait staff.:: Bancroft: /Try the address I just sent you. Hopefully it’ll work, but no guarantees. German, continue standby for the distraction. I’ll need it to get upstairs, especially with the local security./ ::Grace double clicked her mic once more.:: (( Alcatraz Net Café, Marina District, San Francisco - 239105.31 19:35 Hours )) ::Ji-hu flicked through the feeds nervously, glancing about. An administrator had popped onto the surveillance network, but there were multiple accounts logged on. He hoped one more didn’t look suspicious.:: ::Finally Colleen responded.:: Choi: /Standby./ ::Ji-hu had a comm link program on the computer standing by, routing his call through an anonymous number, as before. He waited anxiously as the line rang once, twice, three times, four.:: Moreau Sr.: /Moreau./ Choi: /Hello Mr. Moreau, this is… Carl... from the c-contractors./ Moreau Sr.: /Contractors? This really isn’t the best time./ Choi: /My apologies, Mr. Moreau, we’re just f-f-finallizing the plans for the upstairs bathroom r-renovations next week, but we n-n-need detailed blueprints to confirm everything with the… the plumbing specialist./ ::Moreau Sr. swore.:: Moreau Sr.: /Did Phillip order this?! I swear he has that bathroom done every other year./ ::Ji-hu stuttered a moment, thrown off by the man’s anger while simultaneously watching the Moreau patriarch on the security feed.:: Choi: /I… I… I understand, s-sir! My… g-g-girlfriend… Colleen, she’s had the kitchen redone three times in the past year?/ ::Ji-hu physically slapped his forehead, but the man seemed distracted enough by the party around him to not noticed the fallacious statement.:: Moreau Sr.: /Again, I really must be going.../ Choi: /We’ll just need the blueprints b-b-before we leave tonight, or w-we’ll have to postpone.../ Moreau Sr.: /Fine. Where?/ Choi: /Oh! … Uh… Turing Renos Inc. ... / ::He created the fake company’s fake message address as quickly as his fingers could fly across the keyboard, spelling out the address as he came up with it. The message came through seconds after the receiver had been authenticated. Ji-hu thanked Moreau Sr. and collapsed backwards in his seat as he deleted the account he had created for the sole purpose of scamming the blueprints off the man..:: Choi: /Alright… I’ve g-g-got it.../ (( Buena Vista Heights - Moreau Manor )) ::Colleen had to work very hard not to snap at Ji-hu across the comm for accidentally leaving his end open as he called the address she had provided. But, since she was just waiting for the moment, she listened to his end of the conversation. When he invoked her name -- over the kitchen?! -- she had to spend several moments doing breathing exercises. The middle of an op was not the time to be losing her head. Once the call was over, it seemed Ji-hu was talking to them. She chose not to make it clear that she’d heard his end of the conversation, and instead simply thanked him for the blueprints. A few moments for review, and she found that the staircase back here wasn’t actually listed on the blueprints. Well, that was annoying.:: ::She shrugged her shoulders and slipped into the stairwell anyway. Shedding her catering uniform and then her jeans and t-shirt, she checked her black clothes once over then headed upstairs. At the top, she found herself in a narrow passageway that twisted off into dim light. Shrugging, she walked slowly along one of the passages.:: Bancroft: /Shadow Leopard to Aphelion. Has the target gone back outside yet?/ Choi: /Affirmative. Target is in the b-backyard./ Bancroft: /Copy./ ::Colleen continued to creep along the passageway until she reached a door. She listened at it for a few moments. Hearing nothing, she very slowly pressed the door open. She found herself in a bedroom. The door closed silently behind her, and when she glanced back at it, she found that it was covered by a painting, completely hidden.:: Bancroft: oO Huh. Secret passageways. Oo ::She quickly consulted her PADD. If she was right, she was in…. a bedroom. But it definitely looked like a guest bedroom. She sighed silently - there was no way she would have gotten the correct one the first time - and padded to the door. She opened it, slowly and just a hair, and listened. In the distance, she could hear the sounds of the party, but nothing closer. She opened the door a little further and looked out. The hallway was dark, and her movement didn’t trigger any lights. Thank goodness for manual switches.:: Bancroft: /Okay, if I’m lucky, I won’t need the distraction until I’m exfilling. Aphelion, party status?/ Choi: /They’re making toasts… so just d-don’t make any noise or t-turn on any lights./ ::Colleen crept down the hallway to the left first. The only two rooms down there also turned out to be guest rooms, so she went the other way. The first room that way was a huge - almost cavernous master bedroom. None of the clutter that had been in the original pic the [...] had sent showed, so she moved on.:: ::Three more rooms, and nothing. Finally, she found the room. It was cluttered to no end, and it looked like the floor didn’t even exist with the crap on it. Glancing around, she made her way to the bedside table first. A check of the drawers revealed nothing, and nothing was on top of it either. The pair of shelving units in the room revealed nothing either, so Colleen finally made her way to the desk. The top of the desk was covered in PADDs and other junk -- until there it was. The data chip with the assignment on it, plugged into a PADD just as it had been two days before when the picture was sent.:: Bancroft: oO Right. See if we can avoid this being linked back to us... Oo ::Colleen grabbed the PADD, disconnected the data chip, grabbed a few other PADDs at random, and then scattered the rest of the PADDs over the desk, randomly, but as quietly as possible. Once that was done, she headed back for the bedroom door - when everything went sideways.:: ::The second Colleen stepped over the threshold to the doorway, an alarm started to blare. Colleen swore across the comm link.:: Bancroft: /German, distraction now please, a big one, now! Aphelion! What the hell just happened??/ Freeman: /Ten seconds./ Choi: /I… I don’t know! Standby!/ ::Colleen ran down the hallway to the bedroom she’d come out of earlier, as the hallway lights snapped on above her and feet pounded on stairs. She closed the door, locked it, and then ran to the painting. It didn’t budge. She wasted a few moments searching for a switch, until she found it -- right in the nose of the subject of the painting.:: Bancroft: oO Why?!? Oo ::But the painting swung open, admitting her, just as somebody ran into the door, hard, causing it to shake in its frame. Colleen dived into the tunnel behind the painting, and it closed itself silently behind her. Less than two seconds after it closed, she heard the door on the other side break down. Not wanting to count on her pursuers not knowing about the tunnels, so she moved as fast as she quietly could back to the staircase, then went down it. At the bottom, she pulled on her outer clothes, then the uniform, as rapidly as she could. No sounds of pursuit, so she waited at the bottom of the steps.:: ::Suddenly, there were shouts of alarm as a loud THUMP sounded from outside. After a quick three count, Colleen dove out the door of the stairwell, and ran for the back door. Her timing had been almost impeccable, as the other catering staff were running out that door as well.:: Bancroft: /Aphelion, status!/ (( Alcatraz Net Café )) ::The administrator, it had to be the administrator. Maybe Palladium’s systems were better than he had assumed. Ji-hu scrambled, trying to find something he could do, but he’d screwed up royally, letting the alarm get tripped like that.:: Choi: /I’ve g-g-g-got nothing! Standby!/ ::He flipped through the security feeds, looking for something, anything. Then he saw it. He double checked the name and contact information, configured the brute force attack, enacted the attack and then hit the comm line.:: Choi: /Both of you, comms off! Cover your ears!/ (( Buena Vista Heights - Moreau Manor )) ::In essence, all Ji-hu did was make a comm call to the DJ, but he simultaneously had a comm scrambler target the line and blast it with every audio file on the DJs connected console, which was in turn connected to the sound system in the backyard. The result, he had to imagine, was something like a Klingon opera meeting an Alba Ra concert meet a 20th century punk rock show at the absolute loudest volume the system could manage. Not deafening, but some people standing next to the speakers might lose a couple of decibels.:: ::Colleen yanked her earpiece from ear and shoved it into a pocket in her day clothes. She made it into the alley right as there was terror from the front of the house. With a very slight grin, she covered her ears like everybody else - it was loud, even in the alley - and ran like hell for the exit.:: ::A couple blocks away, Colleen lost the catering uniform, shoving it in a dumpster, and carefully reinserted her earpiece into her ear. It didn’t seem to be squealing, so she hoped she’d be okay.:: Bancroft: /Report./ Freeman: /Made it out just in time. I don’t think they saw my face when I dropped the fireworks, so hopefully we’re good there. Aphelion?/ Choi: /Taking care of things on my end./ Bancroft: /Alright, pack it in gang. Meet at the exfil point./ ::Colleen slowed to a walk after a few more blocks, once she was significantly far enough away that the sirens were a good distance. The walk was a nice, summer one, and she relaxed, allowing the adrenaline to bleed off. After a couple minutes, Grace appeared beside her.:: Freeman: Hey you. Bancroft: Hey you. ::Colleen and Grace intertwined their fingers as they walked, looking for all the world like a couple out for a Saturday stroll.:: ((Alcatraz Net Café )) Choi: Turing, play Alba Ra album, “Thrash.” ::A loud, whining almost-music began to emanate through the mostly empty café as Ji-hu whipped a hypospanner and ducked underneath the desk. He flipped the console’s tower around and had it open and dug inside for the old hard drive and other pieces he needed to replace. He had them out and replaced with pieces he’d replicated at a computer parts store earlier--he’d fry the old ones later. He finished and jumped back into his seat, booting up the console just as the owner of the café came around the corner.:: Owner: Hey! You can’t play music in here! Choi: ::flushing:: S-s-s-sorry, my PADD got stuck on… I’m so b-b-bad with computers… ::He turned the music off and stood, throwing his backpack over his shoulder.:: Choi: I think there’s something wr-wrong with that terminal, I tried to r-restart it, but it’s acting really weird. ::The woman sighed and sat down, finding the wiped blank terminal in perfect working order, except none of the programs that were supposed to be on there were.:: Owner: You can grab another one while I figure this out. ::But when she looked up, Ji-hu had already disappeared out the storefront, into the darkening San Francisco night.:: (( Tram Station, downtown San Francisco )) ::Colleen sat on a bench, relaxing, Grace beside her, apparently engrossed in the latest gossip column on her PADD.:: ::Ji-hu walked up to their rendezvous location, hood pulled up despite the warmth of the night, backpack slung over one shoulder, slouching, feeling suddenly conspicuous off the console. He gave a shy smile as he approached the couple.:: Choi: Hey Colleen… nice to m-meet you in person, Cadet Freeman. Freeman: ::Not looking up from her PADD:: Choi. Take your hood off, you look like you’re doing something wrong. Bancroft: Hey Ji-hu. Don’t mind her, she’s just annoyed that you called me your girlfriend. ::Ji-hu sat on the bench next to them, covering his face in his hands in horror, flushing a deep crimson.:: Bancroft: Don’t worry about it, just… use somebody else’s name next time we do this, yeah? You know, if we have to do it again. Freeman: You covered your tracks? Choi: Yeah, I’m g-g-gonna fry the contaminated components when I get b-back on campus. ::And then crush them into a million pieces and blow them off the Golden Gate into the Bay. He’d sworn he wouldn’t do this sort of thing once he was part of Starfleet... but he’d gotten so caught up in the moment, and he couldn’t have just let some awful Engineering cadet screw Colleen over. He’d grown fond of his unarmed combat tutor.:: Freeman: Good. Shall we get out of here then? It’s been a long day and I’d rather get back to campus before anybody realizes that a trio of smoke grenades are missing… again. ::Colleen grinned and stood up, gently pulling Grace to her feet, and then the three of them headed for the train together.:: Bancroft: That definitely could have gone worse. A Joint Post By: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0 AND (PNPC) Ensign Grace Freeman Intelligence and Weapons Specialist 451st Squadron, Starfleet Rangers (Simmed by) AND Ensign Colleen Bancroft Security and Tactical Officer USS Gorkon G239404CB0
  11. Polling closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Sunday, June 11. This is a run-off poll, where our general membership (that's you!) chooses which sim, from Set 2 of 2017 (Rounds 7-13), should proceed to the final round of the contest for a chance to be selected as the Top Sim of 2017! These sims below were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) from the sims submitted in Rounds 7-13 of the contest. TO START, please read these sims: Round 7: Jalana Rajel, "Buying Time" Round 8: Drs Richardson and Grey, "Of Mice and Men" Round 9: Arturo Maxwell, "Things to do now I'm home: Part One" Round 10: King Mwinuroja, "We Didn't Do It" Round 11: Kamela Allison-Parker and T'Lea, "The Gloves are OFF!" Round 12: Saveron, "Zen and the art of Tribble Hybridisation" Round 13: Choi Ji-hu, "Interruption" 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!
  12. ((Starfleet Command, San Francisco.)) ((Thirty-one Years Ago.)) ::The gentle ripple of applause died down as the new flagship of Starfleet slipped her moorings and eased out into space. The room where he stood was finely decorated as there was also a ball taking place tonight to celebrate the promotion of Commodore Hansen to Rear Admiral. Several officers still stood in groups staring up at the screen as the Enterprise-D majestically cruised away from the shipyards, whilst others took seats at tables, stood gossiping or went in search of new drinks and old friends. Two years aboard the USS Peter had earned him promotion to full Lieutenant, a couple of medals and a host of minor science awards. Now, he was the brand new Chief Science Officer aboard an old friend’s ship. And that old friend was an old friend of the now Rear-Admiral Hansen. He didn’t really like formal occasions, and hated wearing his dress uniform because it meant showing off ribbons. And that usually drew attention considering his age.:: Captain Bell: Bloody hell, Will, crack a smile will you? ::Lieutenant William T. Maxwell turned to face the old friend he’d been thinking about barely a heartbeat earlier. Captain Ronald Bell was a year older than William and had earned a rapid captaincy due to both his abilities and unfortunate losses amongst the senior crew of his previous ship. Having been only a Lieutenant himself, Ronnie had been the only bridge officer left alive during a battle with a pirate cruiser. He’d taken command of the ship despite being wounded and escaped, earning him a rather grand promotion to Captain, and command of the USS Reiver, an Ambassador-class vessel. He was also wearing the freshly awarded Purple Heart from that painful experience. Stood beside him was his first officer, Arturo Bianchi-Rossi. The Reiver’s former chief tactical officer had been promoted to Commander and appointed as Captain Bell’s right hand as he knew the Reiver better than any other crew member. William had been school friends with Ronald, and had gone through the Academy with Arturo, and so despite being a new command team together, it was a reunion of old friends and a happy occasion.:: William: Ach, leave off, Ronnie. You know I cannae stand all ::pause, a vague wave of his hand:: this stuff. ::That earned a bark of laugher from the Italian First Officer.:: Arturo: Why, Ronald, I believe young Max is scared of all the braid floating around the room. ::William mouthed a good-natured obscenity over his glass of scotch as Ronald looked up at the screen. The Captain smoothed his beard absently as he watched the Galaxy-class vessel getting further away.:: Captain Bell: Be us in the morning lads. Off, out and away. ::A glance at William.:: Sure a young boy like you can handle a five year stint out there? ::A smirk.:: William: Handle it better than you, ye overweight pencil pusher. ::A grin:: ::Ronald held a hand to his chest in mock distress. He raised his voice theatrically, gaining a mixture of looks from the nearest officers and their partners.:: Captain Bell: I get you a cushy posting, and you insult me! Insult me! My god who need enemies with friends like you! ::A couple of nearby officers gave William a look of disgust, and right on cue William, Ronald and Arturo burst out laughing like a gang of schoolboys caught in the girls changing rooms. At a wave of Ronald’s glass, the trio made for the bar. William painfully conscious of the clink of his medals and the senior officers staring at them and himself as he passed by.:: Captain Bell: Stop being so stiff lad. Be proud of those shinies, swagger like you own the place and they’ll soon stop staring. ::Easier said than done as far as William was concerned. He ordered himself another glass of scotch and stood with one arm resting on the bar, Arturo opposite and Ronnie in the middle. They chatted this way and that for a little while until Williams words died in his throat. Ronnie smirked over his glass as Arturo followed Williams gaze. Williams eyes had fallen upon quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was stood talking to a group of officers, laughing politely yet subtly looking for an escape. She was wearing a long red gown with a plunging neckline, and her dark brown hair spilled in countless gentle waves all the way to the small of her back. The rest of the room vanished into nothing as they locked gazes for a split second, William feeling his heart miss what felt like about twenty beats. He responded absently as he realised Arturo had spoken to him.:: William: Sorry…? Arturo: She is beautiful, yes? ::A smile at his friend.:: ::William simply gave a dumb nod, unable to take his eyes from her.:: Arturo: You should go and talk to her. ::That got his attention and he choked on his mouthful of scotch.:: William: Don’t be bloody daft, man. She’s, she’s, well look at her. ::Wiping his chin with a napkin:: And I’m, well… ::He pointed up and down himself as if to say ‘The state of me’.:: Arturo: Then I shall talk to her for you. William: Oi, don’t yo- ::But it was too late. Arturo was already gone, and William fidgeted nervously with his cufflinks as he saw Arturo talking to the woman that had captivated him. He turned to Ronnie, who was trying not to laugh and make himself invisible at the same time.:: William: Cannae believe you didnae stop him, Ronnie. Captain Bell: My god. ::Laughing:: Look at you, Will. Twenty-four, a department chief with two silver stars, a captain’s commendation and three purple hearts to your name, and you’re scared of talking to a girl at a party? ::William raised hand to point at his friend:: William: F- Arturo: Gentlemen. ::William turned, about to blast his friend for probably embarrassing him, and froze. The beautiful dark-haired woman was stood beside Arturo, arms linked together, and smiling right at him. The smile was friendly, amused, questioning and playful all at once and William bit his tongue in surprise at her being stood with them.:: William: Ah, bo- Arturo: Ronnie you already know. And this ::A pause as he gently patted her hand:: is Lieutenant Maxwell. William and I were at the Academy together. William: Good evening miss, a pleasure tae meet you. ::A quick glance to Arturo that said ‘I’ll kill you later’.:: I didnae catch your name? ::Arturo smiled again, his eyes sparkling with mischief as William looked at him.:: Arturo: How rude of me. William, I would like you to meet my sister, Abrielle….. --- Lieutenant William T. Maxwell. Chief Science Officer. USS Reiver. Simmed by; Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  13. (( Sundassa's Quarters, Deck 5, USS Doyle-A // Jalana's Quarters, Deck 2, USS Constitution-B)) :: Ever since she heard about Shel's predicament, Sun opted to stay on the Doyle to be there as support. Especially as their parents were currently on the Athena with Selene. It made it difficult to endure running into them in the corridors as they were either talking about Selene's wedding or Shelther's child. :: :: Shel had requested some time to himself, so she retired to her quarters and decided that she needed to talk to her friend. It was going to be a very long distance call, but it was one that she needed to make. Moving over to her desk and opening the comms program on the console, she requested an outside line to the USS Constitution, specifically to Captain Jalana Rajel. :: :: After waiting for what seemed like forever, the bright red hair of her best friend appeared on the screen, and she couldn't help but smile. :: Faranster: Jalana! It's really great to see you! :: Jalana had spent the whole day with Jerry and it had helped her to cover the anger and sadness from earlier with making new memories and laughter. He had that effect on her and so now as she took the call and saw the familiar lilac hair of her best friend, the smile had returned to the face of the Trill. Without hesitating she reached out and touched the screen. :: Rajel: Sun! It really is. I have missed you. Faranster: How are things on the Conny? Rajel: Good. We are on shore leave right now and recover from peace talks, that went a little haywire. Did I tell you already, that we were moved to the Marshlands? Faranster: I think it might have been in the works when I left, I don't remember. There's been so much going on some of it's been getting a bit jumbled. Tell me about it anyway. Rajel: ::leaning back:: At some point in time it was the most south area of the Federation. Of course that's changed, but we are right between the Klingons and the Tholians and believe me that buffer between them isn't a piece of cake either. :: The area of space that Sun’s friend was talking about was quite a bit further galactic south than her home sector. The star maps she’s seen had made that area appear vast, but that could be perspective, and it sounded as though the space between was contested. :: Faranster: Sounds like a move equivalent to the fiery pits of hell.:: Sun was partially glad she didn’t have to endure that, but she did miss her friends. :: Rajel: ::laughing:: Well, we have survived. Though Sarah, my former First Officer, is still in medical recovery. We all hope that she'll get better. How is it on the ::pause.:: Why are you calling from the Doyle? I thought you went to visit Selene? Faranster: Oh. Shel brought my parents to the Athena, and is still stationed in the area. He’s going through some things, and so while our parents are on the Athena helping Selene plan the wedding, I am on the Doyle helping him cope.:: Wait what? She stared at her best friend like she had just grown a second head. Why was that the first she heard about it? And what was that about Shel? :: Rajel: Wait, wait, wait. What? You can’t mention these just by the way. That is big.Faranster: Which do you want to hear about first then?:: Sun laughed a little, realizing this was the first time she had talked to Jalana in a couple months and a lot had happened since the last time. That was part of the reason she had contacted her, but in her excitement, she blurted things out as if her friend was in the know. ::Rajel: Duh, the wedding of course! Please tell me it’s that Doctor who was able to hold himself against her. Faranster: Doctor Bishop, the Chief of Medical? Rajel: Yes that one. I met him briefly. So it is him? Faranster: Yep, they’ve been engaged for a bit. :: Sun knew it had been possibly a year since the engagement. The fact that Jalana didn’t know, actually confused her a little. That meant that Selene hadn’t talked about it, which might have been due to the fact that they hadn’t set a date and then got caught up with a bad mission or two and then the move to the Gamma Quadrant. :: Rajel: That is awesome news. When, where, what? And why haven’t I heard about that before? Faranster: They got engaged in April last year, at a ball held on 285. But there was a couple incidents that caused Selene to back out of it until the proposal wouldn’t be marred by bad memories… her words not mine. :: First Jalana wanted to know why Selene kept this from her for over a year, but then something else caught her attention, that actually might explain the first question in her mind. :: Rajel: Incidents? Faranster: Someone got drugged, and the suspect was killed. She had to clean up the mess after. I didn’t get too many details. But then she made up for it with her counter-proposal, or whatever she wants to call it. Reclaiming the moment in front of my parents. When Selene and Alex didn’t schedule a date, our parents came to… encourage end result of an engagement. Rajel: ::That still meant it had been a while without a word. But then Selene was pretty much used to Jalana being dead in Selene’s original timeline, maybe she had just forgotten. :: Sounds like a big family outing. Faranster: That’s kinda where Shel’s trouble came in. Something about the trip got to him, and he ended up drinking a special serum that Selene was planning on testing. And he drank way too much, blacking out that night. Rajel: There are way too many questions about that statement. But just blacking out does not cause trouble. What did he do in that time? Faranster: Our families are going to get really complicated. Somehow Kaitlyn Bishop, Alex’s younger sister, ended up pregnant by Shel. :: She paused for a moment. :: Okay, I know how that works, we’re both doctors, it’s not hard to put two and two together, BUT it’s not supposed to be possible. Rajel: ::Jaw, meet floor.:: Wow that is a heck of a black out. ::She thought about that and remembered quite vividly that because of the Antosian blood chemistry it was pretty much impossible to cross breed.:: Is that one of the effects of the serum Selene wanted to test? :: Sun remembered vaguely a conversation between Jalana and her a few years ago, back when Jalana was Chief Medical Officer and Sun was just a new medical officer. They discussed her species and the issues with blood chemistry. :: (( Flashback 239001.20 - Sickbay, USS Apollo )) Laxyn: Did your doctors ever try to see if the protective features of your blood can be used to help other species? Faranster: :: She smiled at Jalana. :: I read that they had tried, but that the results weren't favorable. Something about our blood thinking the foreign blood was a hostile infection, they said the results were quite brutal, but they didn't provide us with the opportunity to try that experiment. They are talking about trying to find a way to minimize the response of our blood, to make it less aggressive, but critics say that would weaken our race. However, some scientists think they developed something that would make the white blood cells more docile, the results of which are temporary which is why it wasn't the research isn't fully stonewalled. Laxyn: ::Jalana leaned against the work table and listened intently, nodding slightly to herself.:: It is understandable that some scientists think that. If you make the blood less aggressive the chance to be infected is higher, since the aggressive blood helps fight viruses and bacterias. But it would also be able that when they are able to control the aggressive factor that it could help against illnesses that we have not yet found a cure for. Wouldn't the gain be reason to risk it? Faranster: The thought is that if there is a chemical or medicine that can weaken our immune systems, that an enemy can use it to wipe out our people. The thought is pretty scary. But part of the reasoning people are pushing for this research is because since the introduction of the Federation into our world, Antosians have fallen in love with other species. However, every time a female Antosian tries to have a child with another species, the body rejects it and destroys the embryo, leaving the mother devastated. :: She frowned, and sighed. :: Some of the men seem to have easier times, but the only reports of successful pregnancy come from the baby being born alive, most with deformities presumably caused by the sperm being overly aggressive when trying to penetrate the egg, damaging it. Laxyn: ::raising her brows:: That is not a good sign. And I am sure that the interspecies couples also would like to be able to have their own children, not just to adopt. ::thinking for a moment, she wondered which possibilities there were, the researcher in her got more and more curious.:: Do Antosian doctors have any idea on how to solve the problem and make conception and the successful birth possible? Faranster: The solution our scientists are trying to work on, to make both sides happy, is a medicine that has to be taken daily to prevent our body from being overtly hostile. If successful, they would have a the Antosian taking the medicine for 3 months prior to conception, and the entirety of their pregnancy. :: She smiled brightly. :: It is hoped that babies born successfully to those with this treatment, have blood that is just as aggressive as ours, but registers both the dna of the Antosian, and the other parent's species as non-threatening, and these children could possibly be the backbone for future cures and vaccinations research. Laxyn: Oh that sounds fantastic. A great step into the right direction. And I have no doubt, that potential parents do not mind the year of taking the drug if that means that they can have children on their own. And that also means that Antosians will develop new features with hybrids. For example Betazoid Antosians would have the chance to become empaths, or other species could give their genes into the pool as well. It can be very beneficial. (( END Flashback )) Faranster: The blacking out was actually the effects of the alcohol... you know how you aren't supposed to mix alcohol with certain medications? He did, unknowingly... But, you remembered our conversation? Years ago when I was telling you that our people were working on a solution to our ability to cross reproduce? I think she brought back something... Rajel: We worked together long enough for me to have checked on Antosian biology to remember that. ::Smirking:: Does Kaitlyn have any problems in that pregnancy or are things going well? And what does she think of it? Faranster: Not yet, Selene is keeping a close eye on her, and giving her some of the juice every day to keep the Antosian genetics from causing trouble. It's taking some monitoring, and it's not exactly the way she was hoping this to go. Rajel: If Shel got into trouble I have to assume she isn’t happy about that. Let alone the whole thing happening and he doesn't remember a thing and it being family... Oh so many problems. Faranster: More than that, Selene is concerned about her role in these trials. She was hoping to be a volunteer to Dr Tamodin's trials. But now she is going to have to give him her data regarding Kaitlyn, or keep it to herself. Rajel: ::pulling her brows together.:: Why would she keep it for herself? Faranster: It's just the timeline jump mostly. And then there's other complications... Alex asked Kaitlyn to be his best man, and her due date will be after the wedding. Imagine that... an extremely pregnant best man. :: Sun laughed a little, at least fittings weren't as big an issue, they would just have to find something to compliment the woman that fits in with the theme. :: Oh... that reminds me. You remember me asking right? Rajel: ::The change of subject made her grin.:: Why of course I remember. It’s not every day that I’m asked to be the maid of honor. Speaking of which, who is Selene’s? Faranster: I don't think there's anyone here she would want more than you. We are mostly the same, except she's a lot more... intense about things. Anyway, I'm sure she would want you here, if you would want to be, that is. Rajel: Really? Are you sure? Faranster: Of course. Would you? Rajel: Oh I would love to. I am a little bit far away though, but… Faranster: I'm sure we could find a way. Holo-projection maybe? They have holo emitters through the ship, maybe we could jerry rig a conference that allows you to move around the same way the EMH does... Rajel: ::grinning:: You’re reading my mind. That shouldn’t be a problem, I’ve tested that a few times and it worked splendidly. When exactly is it? Faranster: August, 6th. :: Sun knew the date that Selene, Alex and their parents agreed upon. It was coming up soon, and her parents were on overdrive trying to make sure that it would work. They had asked Selene to use her contacts with the Dryary people to find a planet that had a nice location for the wedding, especially since Selene had wanted a wedding near water before. That would make the holoproject harder, but she was sure she could work with engineering to figure something out. :: Rajel: I’ll make sure that it works out. ::Leaning slightly forward she lowered her voice as if someone else could be listening in.:: You think you can keep it a secret? I’d love to surprise her. Faranster: Oh, that would make it so much more interesting. That shouldn't be too hard. Rajel: Fantastic. ::She grinned and clapped her hands excitedly:: Faranster: I can get you all the information necessary, the dresses she chooses, and when the ceremony will be. Rajel: Wonderful, thank you. I can’t wait to see you all again. Faranster: It'll be fun, that's for sure. Haven't been to a good party with all the people I care about in too long a time. Rajel: ::tilting her head:: The only thing we did not talk about is how YOU are. Faranster: Me? Rajel: ::grinning:: Well Selene might be somewhat you, you are not her. So how are you? What has happened in your life? :: Her eyes scrunched a little as she thought about what Jalana said. Had they not spoken about her? As she thought about the conversation more, she wondered why she felt more like a background character in her own life. More interested in the going ons of others than those of her own. :: Faranster: Not much... not sure if that's fortunate or not. Before I left I had been seeing Alexander Williams, but then he was also transferred, and I've heard he's involved with someone on his new ship. Rajel: ::She nodded, she remembered them seeing each other and had wondered how that had worked out with his transfer to the Za.:: So the long distance thing was a bust? Faranster: I didn't expect the long distance thing to work out actually, I suppose us both going in different directions was our way of ending things amicably without any hard feelings before we could explore things any further. It's probably for the best, after the engagement, I am not sure I want to be in a relationship with another officer. :: Sun twisted her lips a little after she said the last words. She was starting to get used to being alone, not looking for something that would only end up hurting her afterwards. If it happened, it would have to blind-side her now, because it wasn't her focus. :: :: The engagement. Jalana remembered as if it had been yesterday how happy Sun had been with Jaxx, how excited she’d been when she told Jal about their engagement. And suddenly it was over, he had left to search for his children. Jalana was not sure any more what had happened to them, but from one to the other day Jaxx had left the Apollo and Sun. It had crushed her friend.:: Rajel: I can’t blame you. It’s can be difficult. ::pause:: Did you hear from him? Faranster: He hasn't contacted me... it's been over two years and not a word. What about you, you haven't heard from him have you? Rajel: Nothing, sorry. Faranster: I don't know why I am even hoping for any communication. :: Sun had loved Jaxx, and even though he chose his job over her, she still cared. But she was trying to move on. It was possible he was just giving her space and there was so much radio silence. Or maybe he was just more detached than she thought he was. :: Faranster: I don't think I'll get it directly from him, but if you get any word, would you make sure it's relayed? I still think about him. Rajel: If I do, you’ll be the first to know. Faranster: Thank you. :: Jalana tried to hide a yawn and rubbed over her face and offered Sun an apologetic smile. :: Faranster: You alright? Rajel: Sorry, I’m just a little tired. Faranster: Then you should get some sleep. I know how tiring the center chair can be. While it's tiring, it suits you. Rajel: ::smiling warmly:: Thank you. It won’t be long until we see each other again. I’m really looking forward to it. Faranster: Me too, and the look on Selene's face when you show up. It should be priceless! :: Sun smiled at her friend, excited for something in the future. Now she just needed to get on the planning committee of Selene's wedding, especially so she could make sure she made enough room for Jalana without making her planned appearance known. :: Faranster: You go, we'll talk later. Rajel: We will. Good night, Sun. :: Jalana blew a kiss to her best friend and closed the line with the press of a key. She was looking forward to see her and Selene again, it had been way too long. And with a mix of tiredness and excitement she peeled herself off the chair, stretched and dragged herself into the bedroom. After a great day like that, she’d sleep like a baby. :: ----- JP by PNPC Commander Sundassa Faranster as written by: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 A239001SF0 & Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  14. ((Science Lab 4, Deck 12 -- USS Za))Johnson: You sure? ::Doctor man said he was fine but he sure didn't look it.::Skyfire: Yeah. I just--::He hesitated a bit too long. So she changed topic. If he didn't want to talk, he didn't want to talk.:: Johnson: Okay, so how do we prevent an outbreak here, eh? DeVeau: Well, first thing, keep these things in containment. I would do double backups just in case. ::She nodded. Dangerous things needed containment. She didn't want to think about what might happen if these things got loose. The simulations they ran were quite enough.:: DeVeau: Next thing? I’d like to find a way to combat it, inoculate against it, something. We’ll need to study it further of course, but I want a way to deal with things should we run into this. If these people are now venturing out into space, they’re going to start interacting - after all, we’ve just met them. We’ll need to make sure this doesn’t become a problem.Johnson: As I said before, cher, humanoid physiology is way too varied to create a complete cure. But maybe we can do something else. ::she tapped a finger on the console:: So what do you have? DeVeau: I’ve only just started, so nothing yet, but with more brains added, I’m sure we’ll be able to figure something out between the two of us. Fortunately, these were caught by the transporter, so it’s not as if we have an issue on board at the moment. Skyfire: No...but we may have a problem when the away team returns.::Haylie narrowed her eyes. Trellis was on that away team. They would need a cure of some sort before then. She'd already lost too many family members to terrible accidents. And he was like family.::DeVeau: Why?Skyfire: They opted to take a shuttle down to the planet. Chances are that since we didn't get a chance to act with our guests while they were here, they couldn't provide us with any intel such as whether these things are a risk to our crew. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's given any concern to EVA suits either because we were still studying these things before we had a chance to recommend it.DeVeau: :: groaning:: Please tell me you’re joking.::She groaned. That didn't sound right.::Johnson: I thought they beamed over, cher. But that's still at least four people, no?Skyfire: Exactly.... The ones I know are on the away team include the captain, Vondaryan, Pandorn, and Blair. ::He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose.:: Computer, who of the Za's staff has ventured to the Pathfinder?::The computer chirped its list of names. Haylie recognized almost all of the names, even the crewmen assigned to the engineering teams, though not that head of engineering himself. There were far too many people who might have been exposed. She let out a low whistle.::Looking over at boss man doctor she was pretty sure he was still feeling a wee bit sick. She hoped he wouldn't be too laid up if it came to it.::DeVeau: Computer, patch me through to the captain. =/\= DeVeau to Captain Rhani. =/\= ::There were many times she was glad she wasn't a senior officer. Having to deliver bad news like this was one of those times. So she mostly stayed quiet during the conversation, trying to run tests and analyze data as it came in.::Rhani: =/\= Go ahead. =/\=DeVeau: =/\= Please tell me you haven’t made it to the Pathfinder yet... =/\=Rhani: =/\= Over an hour ago, Commander. =/\= ::Another low whistle as she listened. Had they been trying to figure out this cure for an hour already? Less than three days to get it all figured out.:: DeVeau: =/\=Captain, I need you to get out of there. The critter that was trapped in the buffers, it’s carrying a virus. I suspect that our new friends are immune to it, but if you exposed to it...let’s just say you won’t be around for much longer. =/\= Vondaryan: =/\= I'm sorry, Commander, but we just can't do that. =/\=Rhani: =/\= I doubt you’re exaggerating for effect, Commander, but how bad are we talking about? =/\= DeVeau: =/\= It’s VERY bad. =/\= ::It seemed boss lady wasn't afraid to be blunt either. She knew there was a reason she and the lady got along so well.::Skyfire: =/\= Eventually fatal if not reversed. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= I recommend returning to the Za immediately. =/\=::Now it was her to to be blunt. She knew how much Trellis needed information, so she gave it to him. No sugar coating needed.::Johnson: =/\= Every test we've run says death occurs within 72 hours, cher. =/\=Vondaryan: =/\= Then we've got almost 70 hours to continue our on mission. Thank you for the information. =/\=Rhani: =/\= Commander Vondaryan’s blissful confidence notwithstanding, some sort of countermeasure would be a remarkably good thing for you to have by the time we get back. =/\=::She knew her friend well enough to understand his optimism. He had a natural habit of seeing the best in people and things, despite everything he'd seen. She wasn't about to let him down now.::Skyfire: =/\= Working on it, Captain. =/\=Vondaryan: =/\= Well, call us when you have one then. =/\=Johnson: =/\= Indeed, cher. You'll be the first to know. =/\=::She was sure he could hear her smiling through the line. Like him she was wildly optimistic. Though many people liked to call it headstrong. She'd be damned if anything was going to stop her doing what she wanted to do. Consequences were for people who didn't know better.::Rhani; =/\= Good hunting, people. And thanks for the warning. =/\=DeVeau: =/\= But...=/\=::Uh oh, boss lady was not happy. She sputtered. Boss doctor pinched his nose. He wasn't happy either. Leave it to her to be the only one to see the faith the senior staff had in them.::DeVeau: I’m sorry, but I’m really irritated at them right now.Skyfire: One of my simulations showed a beam-in with the critter becoming part of the crew's cellular structure. It may have a different effect dependent on physiology.DeVeau: Well, yes, that’s a possibility, though usually that sort of thing happening is low on the list of possibilities.Skyfire: Not at all, only simulation results and theory based on them. What I'm saying is that either Rhani or Vondaryan's physiology may react differently than a human's. An additional seven hours, perhaps. If we beam them in, we may not be able to filter out the creatures, because by that time it will likely have mutated into their cellular structure.::That didn't sound good.::DeVeau: We need to get to work. We have less than 72 hours to figure out how to beat this thing.Johnson: Working on it already, cher. ::she noticed doctor boss man fidgeting.:: You have an idea already?Skyfire: One idea only. Take the recipe for the Skyfire Cure and tailor it to reverse the virus' effects on the bug. It's not my greatest plan. The original formula is stored in the LCARS computer.DeVeau: We can try it, but I’ll be honest, I don’t think it’s going to work.::She pulled up the formula on her console to begin reading. Though she'd read it already it never hurt to brush up on the information. Her initial take was that it would take almost too much work to refine the cure.:: Skyfire: Your theory, Alora?DeVeau: That virus is a totally different beast from this thing. Honestly, I think our time and energy would be better spent on tailoring whatever treatment we have to this particular virus.Johnson: I agree, cher. There's too many differences I see already between the Skyfire cure and these little creatures here.Skyfire: Right. It'll be a lot harder to create a serum from scratch, just so you're aware.Johnson: We at least have the creatures to work with, no? And maybe the outline of the Skyfire cure as a guide. But everything always comes from scratch. DeVeau: All right, let’s put our heads together…::She turned back to her console, bringing up all the data they'd amassed so far.:: Johnson: This is everything we have, cher. Where you want to start? DeVeau: What if we started by looking at the way it mutated?Skyfire: It's a thought. How do you figure?::A few commands later a long list of all the mutations between clones -- generations? -- was on the screen.::DeVeau: I mean, if we were able to figure that out, then find a way to slow it down or stop it, it would give us more time, and possibly open the doors to an actual cure.Johnson: It looks pretty random to me so far.::She created an analysis algorithm to help crunch the numbers when she noticed boss doctor stood up, an isolinear chip in his hand.:: Johnson: This is just a cursory glance, though, no. ::she looked up at him:: Where you headed, cher?Skyfire: Understood. I need some coffee if I'm going to be of any use...I've got the data. :: He holds up the chip. :: ...then heading to take it to sickbay to work. :: He glanced to Alora :: By your leave, of course.DeVeau: All right.Johnson: I could do with a cup of coffee myself. This is going to be a long night. ::Perhaps a few long nights.:: You want anything, cher?::As doctor boss man left she went to one of the replicators to get the drinks. She inhaled the coffee, savoring its aroma before taking that first, beautiful sip. There was one thing she liked about her Vissian friend. They enjoyed the smell of food and drink much more so than their human counterparts. But she could never get him to enjoy the bliss that was coffee, despite its rich and gorgeous smell.::DeVeau: A glass of chocolate milk, please. ::beat:: Never mind. Make that a chocolate milkshake. Extra chocolate.Johnson: Should we pull in the whole science crew on this, cher? As you said, fresh eyes don't hurt nothing. ::smiling widely:: Though I think between you, me and doctor man we can get this done in time.DeVeau: It would hurt, but...I hope so. Still, I don’t want to overlook anything, or miss the opportunity to find the answer faster. That might be worth calling in more people.::Her console beeped. The algorithm had completed its cycle. She looked at it quizzically. Just in time for doctor boss man to come back in with his own steaming mug of deliciousness and a set of medical tools.::Johnson: Oh, that's some good information, cher.DeVeau: What is it?Johnson: According to this, the mutations seem random at first glance. But the genes are actually mutating according to the golden ratio.Skyfire: So that means...?::She shook her head.::Johnson: All I know is that these little critters have every 1.618th gene mutating each generation. Though they have a lot of genes, that might help explain some of the redundancies.--Lt JG Haylie JohnsonXenobiology SpecialistSimmed by:Lieutenant Commander Trellis VondaryanFirst OfficerUSS ZaO239208TV0
  15. ((Deep Space 26, Level 13, Nova Room Bar)) ::As Ensign Laehlani Antorii sat at the far end of the star lit Nova Room barside and brought the intricate crystal tumbler to her delicate lips, she inwardly hoped that taking a deep sip of her Antosian Spiced Cocktail would somehow be enough to ease her troubled mind. Then again, being a trained Counselor also meant she could easily diagnose when someone, even herself, was self soothing - albeit innocently enough - with an alcoholic beverage. Needless to say once again her mind had a way of running off even the simplest of respites that could be had.:: ::The real truth was, though she was currently dressed to the nines, wearing one of her best form-fitting gowns that matched her blazing blue hair perfectly, sipping one of her favorite homeworld drinks, and quite literally drawing more than a few glances and open jawed stares from some of the other patrons, Laehlani herself was lost in a world entirely in her own mind.:: ::As she gazed out into the dim glow of the Nova Bar, she didn’t so much as see the various people and events happening around her, as much as she looked through them, almost as if these faces of strangers were a unique sliver of mirror glass that she could somehow divine the answer to both once and future things alike.:: ::Sitting here now she wondered why she had bothered to even do this to herself. To dress all up, to beautify herself and go out into the bustling bar and gambling establishment, when she neither wanted nor sought company, nor desired in any way to cast her “lots” for frivolous earnings.:: ::She suspected it had something to do with preservation of self, of that small innate way every being has of somehow stroking their own ego when they feel anything but confident in their life choices. Perhaps it was vanity, perhaps it was a small inconsequential temptation of fate, or else a small prominent snub of the thumb at it. Either way, the effect was the same. All she had were her thoughts, and this one corner of reflection in which she would allow her mind to unfurl itself upon, like a century plant falling from its highest bloom into a more humbling reality.:: ::So far the start of her hopeful career at Starfleet had, at least in her own estimation, not been going to plan. It had not been long since she’d graduated the academy. Had barely been able to even have an adequate chance to prove herself as both a competent and professional Counselor and Starfleet Officer. There was nothing wrong with her original posting upon the Blackwell, the crew that she had met had been quite lovely. In fact, if she was honest, perhaps that was the true source of her brooding tonight.:: Antorii: oO Come on Laehlani, you’re not actually in trouble for what happened. If anything, you ran far too prematurely. If only you had stuck around long enough and spoken to him instead of immediately jumping at this first chance to abandon ship under the guise of that Training Symposium, things might have been quite different. Oo ::It was true, she had run. But what choice had she had? She had been like kid Icarus, too overjoyed by the prospect of wings and the warmth of a brilliant new sun in her life to even remotely notice that the wax was already beginning to melt thin on her feathery hopes. She had simply crossed a line. A division in the ether where mere mortals were not allowed to just whimsically brave at their every choosing. And even if her fall had been entirely one of her own devising and by-in-large exclusively in her own reckoning, she alone knew the fearsome weight of striking stone when you had once made your home among the stars.:: ::Sighing to herself and lost too much in her own thoughts, she set her drink glass down perhaps a little too hard. Though it didn’t break, it did make a loud clack sound as it tumbled several of her ice cubes and a bit of the bluish alcohol over her hands and counter top.:: ::Swearing semi-quietly to herself in Antosian, she immediately began floundering around for a bar napkin, when suddenly one was presented to her from just over her right shoulder. Looking up as she took hold of the extended napkin, she met the eyes of a rather good looking human male.:: ::From first glances he was tall, perhaps a tad taller than even she was, which she found a rarity for most humans. He was solidly built, with closely cropped hair, ashen features, and adorned most prominently with a grin that was perhaps two parts understanding, and one part sensed opportunity.:: ::Taken aback by this stranger’s presence, and half embarrassed by her recent act of clumsiness that only mirrored the original act that had sent her scurrying off on the USS Darwin in the first place, she was unconventionally at a loss for words. The stranger seemed unfazed and simply gave her a moment to compose herself as she wiped her hands.:: Antorii: Thank You. ::She said, still unsure of the man’s intentions, or what there was even to be said at this point. So far self-preservation seemed to be dying a harsh, brutal death tonight.:: Rawlings: Don’t mention it. Happens to the best of us. ::The man glanced away calmly for a few moments, still somehow very much in the moment with her, but also giving her space. Laehlani had been around long enough to know that most men, regardless of species, often showed less tact than he seemed to exhibit so far. In fact, it seemed he displayed a sort of cool-headed manner about himself, not so much being afraid to speak, as he seemed to allow the ball to be entirely in her court. If all that there was to be of the exchange was all that had already come to pass, she sensed he’d be just as well off with it. And truly she knew she would be too.:: ::Perhaps it was the part of the Antosian Cocktail that hadn’t spilled or the emotional roller rink she had felt herself skating on ever since she had departed the Blackwell for a short time, but as she looked up at this stranger, Laehlani felt a sudden deep need to be held tonight.:: ::She didn’t know one single thing about this man, not even his name for that matter, but she quickly felt something slipping within her. Some cautionary lever that was being flicked down into a lower gear, some inward restless churning that made her speak before she had a chance to stop herself.:: Antorii: Listen, I don’t normally do this but… ::She began, only to have the man gently interrupt her, his full attention on her.:: Rawlings: Then don’t. Trust me, it's not what you really want. Antorii: Excuse me..? ::Completely shocked.:: Rawlings: Right now, in this moment, you think that’s what you want. But you don’t. Trust me, I should know. ---------------------------------------- Ensign Laehlani Antorii Counselor - USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force A239403LA0
  16. ((Science Department - Deck 506 - Starbase 118)) ((Morning after Bomba’s Arrival)) ::Taelon jogged back up the hall to his office, lip bitten. The days since the briefing hadn’t been good ones, and now that Bomba had arrived, things were...well, they hadn’t unraveled yet, but it felt like everyone was waiting for the pin to drop. Taelon tried to stay focused on his task - unraveling the virus that had all but disabled the station. After a sleepless night, he had the answer. Or so he hoped. He crossed to his desk, reaching for the PADD he needed. It was only when he went to pick it up and movement skittered that he saw the spider sitting on top of it. It was fist-sized, a neon blue and yellow, and very hairy. Taelon squeaked and flicked the PADD, sending the spider tumbling to the deck, where it scrambled away towards….more. There were two others on his desk, one halfway into his empty coffee cup and another inspecting what was left of a piece of chicken. He stared, backing away, and looked up - Seconds later he burst back into the hallway, fist hitting the wall communicator so hard the ‘thunk’ was picked up on the microphone.:: Taelon: PEPPER! ::It wasn’t an angry yell, not exactly. More of a shriek, really. He didn’t have to say anything else - the distant thrum of conversation from the atrium paused, and took on a slightly shriller quality. They all knew what that name being yelled like that meant. People would be checking under their desks and inside drawers for days. Taelon’s breath was slowing when the befreckled Ensign finally approached. He stared at her with slightly wild eyes.:: Taelon: Your, your queen thing is in my air vent. Along with - with - lots of other ones. Everywhere. O’Grady: They’re looking for a nesting place. ::she said brightly.:: Their habitat wasn’t large enough, so they must have thought the air ducts would be more suitable ::she covered her mouth and giggled.:: Silly things, finding such places more hospitable. ::giddily.:: But finally! ::she clapped her hands together.:: We’ve been waiting weeks for this! Taelon: That’s...wonderful, Pepper. ::He restrained a tired sigh.:: Unfortunately my office isn’t - isn’t the best place for a nursery of...of things. O’Grady: The spiders? Taelon: Spiders, right. I - I have a lot of things to do right now - ::He waved the PADD he’d grabbed, realizing as he raised it it has blue spider hair on it:: A-and I need my office more than they do. O’Grady: Do you need it right away? ::she pressed with a hopeful smile.:: Just another day at most - ::Taelon ran a hand over his face, not noticing the man bouncing down the hallway towards them.:: Taelon: I, they need to go, okay? B-back to the lab. And stay there. I’ve got to get this to the Captain - I’ll find someone to help you - ::It was then he saw Bomba over Pepper’s shoulder, and the face meant nothing. He was young and looked enthusiastic; Taelon made a snap judgement, rubbing the spider hair off the PADD.:: Taelon: Um, Ensign - ::He raised a hand to stop Bomba.:: Help O’Grady do...whatever it is she does, will you? I have to take this to the Captain. O’Grady: I’ll be right back - Bomba: Who am I helping and why? ::He didn't want to do... whatever little science ensigns did. probably something smelly. Science was smelly.:: And shouldn't that go to Captain Bomba? Taelon: No, Tayb- ::It was at that point eyes and brain caught up and exchanged notes. Taelon turned red and froze, staring at Bomba like he’d teleported in covered in glitter. Or spiders, as the case might be.:: O’Grady: ::she looked at Taelon.:: Sir, are you alright? Bomba: ::he cleared his throat and took on his 'commanding tone' which was a sharp, harsh tone.:: Ambassador Taybrim doesn't need to see any reports. I'll take that. Captain Storm Bomba, in case you missed it. ::Taelon’s reply was a sound rather like ‘guh’.:: TBC/TAG ______________________ Lieutenant Taelon Chief Science Officer Starbase 118 OPs O239303T10
  17. ((Main Sickbay - StarBase 118 Ops)) ::Mirra had been pacing her office. She'd just received a message from Theo that Captain Bomba had arrived...and was on his way to Sickbay. Her emotions were all over the place and she needed to get centered. She had to smile, and play nice doctor and show the Council's glorified mouthpiece that the rumors about her were entirely false. Well...most of them anyways. It was only a matter of time before her mouth got in the way. If only they could have had more notice, at least one day to absorb the news. She took a few deep breaths, reminding herself to be thankful that they had any warning at all. Her outburst had been mainly contained to the briefing room. There may have been a coffee mug on her desk that met it's end against the back paneling of her wall...but that was entirely coincidental. Sitting in her chair, she stared at the photo on her desk, a picture of Theo, Tatash, Flynn and Mirra, the former Columbia crew mates reunited once again on Ops. Flynn and Mirra were still wearing those ridiculous Hawaiian shirts in the photo. Smiling, she took the picture off her desk and held it in her hands. Almost every one she cared about most in the universe was aboard this station. In that, she was very lucky. Once Flynn returned, they'd have to recreate the photo, this time with Theo's Command pips on display. Her smile widened as she thought back on the briefing, after the news was delivered.:: (((Flashback - Briefing Room 2 - Starbase 118 Operations Tower ))) (( Time Index: Approximately 1130 Hours, Local Station Time )) ::So many changes in such a short span of time. Mirra had been biting hard on her cheek to stem the flow of tears, once she started, she had a strong suspicion she would be unable to stop. She fought hard against them, and won, although her eyes remained glassy. She was so incredibly proud of Theo, but could read it in his face he wasn't celebrating this promotion as he should be. Once she was able, she made a direct line to him and placed both of her hands on his shoulders, looking him directly in the eye.:: Ezo: ::quietly:: Don't. Not for a moment. ::smiling softly:: I know where your head is at, ::smirking:: without telepathy. You deserve this Commander Theo Whittaker. Don't let our current situation taint this. ::she squeezed his shoulders gently:: Now, I have to get to Sickbay as I have patients waiting, so I don't have time for you to try and argue with me. ::grinning:: That, and I'll start crying any moment now, so just take my word for it. Whittaker: Response? (If any) (((End Flashback))) Bomba: Hello? Hello! I'm look for Doctor Ezo! ::he smiled widely at a likely suspect.:: ::Mirra winced, involuntarily. Pulled back to the present and the previous positive mood she'd manage to salvage crumbled as the continued shouts of her her name meant she had a visitor. A rather unwelcome one. oO Time to play nice...I will not punch another member of command, I will not punch another member of command...Oo. Setting back down the picture on her desk, she walked out of her office into the main area.:: Ezo: ::tight smile:: And you have found her. ::dipping her head in greeting.:: Bomba: Ah, yes. Pleased to meet you. I'm Captain Storm Bomba, your new Commanding officer. ::he was so pleased with himself about that. He stepped forward, offering a hand.:: ::She managed to stifle a grimace just in time. How very human of him. Most members of command recognized that most telepaths and empaths tended to shy away from direct contact, unless they themselves offered. Strike one...::Ezo: ::evenly:: Captain Bomba. I trust your journey was well? ::Mirra had accepted his handshake, but was caught off guard as he pulled her forward, almost too forward. oO Didn't think I was supposed to be giving you a dental exam...Strike two...Oo debating if it would be rude to step back a bit, she just powered through. His only saving grace was that he'd at least let go of her hand.::Bomba: I just met with Commander Whittaker. Charming boy, really. He suggested I come straightaway and get my medical exam finished before I head up to the hub and get started with turning this station around!::Her eyes narrowed a fraction. He'd just sailed clear through "Strike three" and was rounding about strike five or six at this point. He'd referred to Theo as "boy", and didn't take a moment to consider how his comment about turning the station around could be taken. If, he had taken a moment to assess the situation, he would have no doubt realized his error. But he didn't. He just kept on going.:: Ezo: ::stiffening slightly:: Ah yes...the station has had a rather...jarring bit of change already. If I may, I suggest a bit of caution in that area. Bomba: Well, I mean, I'm sure everything will be fine in a day or so. Big changes are tough, but think positive! ::He smiled. The smile was genuine. He was utterly convinced that everyone would come around and love him in a few days.:: ::She didn't hit him. Score one for Mirra. She gave him a tight smile and turned quickly, gesturing for him to follow her. It took her a moment to school her features back to polite. He came across as excited, not necessarily arrogant. He wasn't mocking or taunting, he was just...slightly tone deaf. So wrapped up in what she was sure he considered a personal triumph, that he failed to take a moment and appreciate the tense situation he had walked into. She rubbed her temples in slight agitation. Reaching the first available exam room, she held her hand out for him to proceed in front of her.:: Ezo: I certainly don't want to keep you. We'll just get the exam finished....swiftly. Bomba: Yes, well, the medical exam. I have always kept my health check ups up to date. ::He flexed his muscles a little - and truth be told he did have an attractive physique. Though it was rendered less attractive when he tried to call attention to it.:: ::He was flexing for her. Proudly. It took all of her willpower not to slap her forehead and groan. Instead, she fixed him with a brittle "Good for you!" smile reserved for when a toddler ruined the brand new furniture with his masterpiece of fingerpaints.:: Ezo: Well...we can just check that right off the list. ::clearing her throat slightly, professional mode activated:: So, other than the...physical fitness, is there anything you feel I should know about? Allergies? Existing Medical conditions? oO Anything that will provide me a way to declare you unfit for duty...? Oo Bomba: Oh, no. I'm the perfect specimen of health. I'm sure my last medical scan can be uploaded from the Avalon to compare against ::Of course it wouldn't be that easy. He was young and fit, a practical poster boy. The Council had bestowed upon him a job that would make that shiny hair streaked with grey from stress, and he had absolutely no idea. A small part of her heart twinged with sorrow for the man. He clearly had no idea what he was in for.:: Ezo: That is good to know. ::updating some information in the PADD:: As I am sure you are aware, the station just passed through a very major Ion storm. There was a concern about the potential damages of residual radiation, my staff and I have been doing regular sweeps and so far there hasn't been any incidents. Were you provided with the Theta booster prior to your arrival? ::No one could ever accuse her of being bad at her job. She may not like the situation, but she was never going to willingly allow someone to be exposed to potential danger.:: Bomba: Oh, no... it wasn't mentioned. ::He gave her a bit of an upnod as if to say 'good catch.':: Ezo: ::nodding slightly:: Understandable. I'm going to give you the booster just to be extra cautious, ::stepping away for a moment, she returned with a loaded hypo, administering the vaccine in one swift motion.:: I need you to report to me immediately if you experience any sudden intense headaches or nausea. Oh, ::with a "silly me" expression:: And if you began bleeding from your gums, or discover any facial lesions, I want to be the first to know. We've had the intensive care unit refitted to support radiation poisoning. ::They had, three weeks ago. In preparation for the storm. And not a single person got so much as a headache during or after the storm. But, if her slightly embellished warning made that ridiculously buoyant attitude of his slip down a peg, than the little white lie had done it's job. This wasn't a pleasure cruise catapulting him into higher command. And he'd better realize that.:: Bomba: Bleeding from my gums? ::His blue eyes bulged just a little:: Well.. I do so hope you have already cleansed the area. But, I'll... keep watch, just in case. Ezo: ::smiling sweetly, with a slight shrug:: Perils of the job, but I am sure you have nothing to worry about. ::smirking slightly:: Welcome to Starbase 118, Captain. Bomba: Well, I thank you for the welcome and the kind care Miss Ezo. ::He leaned forward again to touch her and looked a bit dismayed when she scooted off.:: Well... I best be heading to the hub, lots to do today! ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  18. ((Unknown Location- Lokesh City)) :: Dualla was growing tired of the Starfleet captains' insolence. Killing him now would not be approved by Rena..however, the captain could suffer an accident which would cause his death, something he would rightly enjoy:: DUALLA: You know, Captain...it would make perfect sense for you to read the document my people have so meticulously prepared for you. Consider the alternative. WALTAS::Arching an eyebrow:: Being bored to death by your endless ranting? ::This caused the man to laugh.:: DUALLA: Your death means so little to you. However...::smiling:: there is the woman. Some of my men have never known the touch of an alien woman. ::smile growing even bigger, even more sinister:: Perhaps I will allow them to..become aquainted. :: Duallas' smile was more than just a threat...it was a promise. He would make it happen just outside the door, so her screams of protest could not help but be heard by the Starfleet captain....he would have no other choice other than to surrender to his wishes:: WALTAS: There's a third option. ::[...]ing his head, Dualla spoke, while his men snickered in concert:: DUALLA: And...just what that might be, Starfleet? WALTAS: Oh, you'll like it. It's called...senseless violence. :: Dualla looked into the eyes, and too late, he recognized what was about to happen. The Starfleet captain had somehow freed himself, and had moved quicker than anything he had seen, slashing the throat of the guard closest to him, then snapping the neck of the other one. Dualla was now enraged, going for the disruptor in his belt. The hell with what Rena wanted...he was going to kill this Starfleet dung. Enraged, he spoke:: Dualla: NOW YOU DIE!!!!! :: Dualla had drawn his weapon, and as he began to sight the captain, his left eye saw the glint of a piece of metal...then intense pain as the piece of cot leg caught him in his left eye, instantly blinding it. Dualla screamed at the intense pain, dropping his disruptor. The man quickly retrieved it, and Dualla heard the weapon go off. Looking back at the now free captain, who added further insult to injury by kneeing him in the crotch, the additional pain forcing him to the ground. Lying on his back, he felt the hard smack of the PADD on which the carefully dictated message for the captain to read was now slammed across his face:: WALTAS: Why don't you write about that..with your one good eye. :: Dualla opened his mouth to protest, but he felt something being jammed inside it, and down his throat, his muffled screams heard by no one. Even in pain, he thought his people would hear the commotion, then come running. When they didn't, he wondered where in hell they were. The Starfleet captain was gone, no doubt to free the woman. Standing up, blind in one eye, and shorn of a weapon, Dualla headed out into the hallway, bent on killing them both:: (( Meanwhile, down the hall )) :: Kerana Morti was a member of long standing with the TFM, and he enjoyed his role as a designated killer. In it, he had killed fellow Laudeans who supported that fool Daysa, and would happily kill more. He would enjoy taking his time killing the Starfleet captain...he wondered exactly how much pain he could take before he got bored and finally killed him. The woman...now, that was another matter. She was already terrified, so the first battle in his mind was already won, a feeling further reinforced when he heard her piteously screaming:: Keris: Help! Get me out of here! :: Kerana and the other two guards with him laughed. It will be fun to kill her, to hear her scream. Perhaps, he would kill her first, with knives:: Keris: Let me out… I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Just let me out. :: They laughed again...but perhaps, she did have something noteworthy to say before she died:: Kerana: Allright...come join us.... ::Kerana had no plans to interrogate her. He had heard what Dualla planned for her, but he was moving up the timetable:: Keris: Please I don’t want to do die. Please let me go. Please. :: A thought crossed Keranas' mind...perhaps it was a good idea to let her go...she was a non combatant, a wee woman...what harm could she do to them? Motioning to the guards, they removed her from her cell, and placed her in the office. Just in case, they all surrounded her and closed the door as the woman pleaded her case:: Kerana: You promised to talk.... Keris: What do you want to know? I’ll tell you. ::Kerana looked at his two compatriots. None seemed suddenly all that willing to further terrorize the woman. It was strange....he was compelled to free her, but he didn't know why:: Kerana: We're not sure you could tell us anything...after all, you are not Starfleet... ::The guards nodded:: Keris: Please, I beg you. Free me, I’ll tell you everything. :: The feeling was as strong as ever...the feeling to free this woman. He didn't know why. He looked at his men, and they seemed to be in agreement. He tried to field her, find some untruth in her statements, but he got nothing...no anything, which was unusual. The more he thought about freeing her, the more euphoric he felt, as though he were on some sort of narcotic, and his men were the same. Perhaps it was just as well. Motioning the guards to open the door, Kerana spoke:: Kerana: You have nothing to offer us. Go, and go quickly.... :: With a nod, the woman left, and closed the door behind her:: (( Meanwhile )) :: Dualla writhed in pain as he stood up. Where were his guards? What was happening? Stumbling out into the hallway, there was no one. He cursed the heaven above as he first ripped off a piece of his tunic to bandage his eye. Once that was done, he walked down the hall, to where the woman was kept...and found her cell empty:: :: Racing down the hallway to the office, Dualla ripped the door open, and to his horror he found the three men whose sole job was to keep the woman in her cell and prepare for the broadcast. Grabbing Kerana by the collar, he yelled:: Dualla: WHERE IS SHE!!!!???? :: Kerana answered:: Kerana: We let her go...what happened to your ey.. ::Dualla punched him in the face before he spoke again:: Dualla: DAMN YOU! THEY HAVE ESCAPED! :: Quickly fielding all three men, Dualla knew something had happened to them, but he knew the woman had something to do with it. Somehow, she had compromised three seasoned fighters without firing a shot. Surmising that it might have been something she carried ( they had searched her for weapons physically, but had not scanned her), he shook Kerala again:: Dualla: Get out of the building! All of you! NOW! :: Hustling them all outside into an empty street, Dualla spoke:: Dualla: The woman has done something to you. Alert the fighters the prisoners have escaped. Make sure the roadblocks have the information...and have this building aired out! :: Keranas' head was beginning to clear, and so were the guards. They remember everything that had happened, and were determined to make up for their mistake:: Kerana: It will be done, Dualla! Dualla: NOW GO! :: As his men scurried to fulfill his orders, Dualla opened his communicator, set to broadcast to all TFM units:: Dualla:=/\= Attention all units! The Starfleet captain and Federation prisoner have escaped! Kill them both on sight!=/\= :: With that done, Dualla, fueled with rage and pain, headed over to the TFM medical facility to have his eye properly looked at...then, he would join the search for the Starfleet escapees:: MSPNPC Dualla Mikari Resistance Leader TFM As simmed by: Lt. Commander Hannibal Tiberious Parker Marine CO USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy
  19. :: For someone who was trying to get Tad to loosen up, Jordan certainly seemed to be doing her best to keep him off balance. Everything from her surprisingly casual off-duty demeanor to the weird atmosphere of the restaurant she'd picked for their meeting - Tad refused to think of it as a date - was keeping Tad on edge. He decided to cut to the chase and try to make some sense out of the evening. ::Cooper: So why exactly did you invite me here?Jordan: ::shrugging:: I don't like to eat alone. And, also I guess I wanted to say again that I appreciate the help. You Constitution folks are all right in my book, no matter what anyone says.Cooper: ::defensively:: Wait, what who says? What have you heard about....:: Before he could finish his thought the waiter reappeared and laid a plate on the table before each of them. Tad was surprised at the speed with which their order was served. Then again, when the kitchen only offered whatever was handy instead of taking custom orders it probably cut down on preparation time. ::Waiter: Here you are, two meats. Can I get you anything else?Jordan: I think we're good for now. Waiter: All right, just call if you need anything. ::The waiter flashed a grin that would have appeared predatory under other circumstances and left the pair alone. While Jordan began carving away at her meal without hesitation, Tad simply stared at his plate. "Meat" was the only real way to describe it. There was a heap of it, and not only was it not all the same cut, it didn't appear to be all from the same animal. Still, it did smell appetizing enough. He cut a small piece from a larger hunk and chewed it tentatively. ::Jordan: ::smiling hopefully:: Not bad, huh? The only problem is if you find somethin' ya like, ya really can't request it again next time. :: Tad nodded as he chewed. It really wasn't bad. ::Jordan: Speakin' of food, I hear some of your crew got sick from that bad leaf. How are they doin'?Cooper: They've mostly recovered, thankfully. Unfortunately some of them had complications. Jordan: I'm sorry to hear that. ::She shook her head.:: Gonna have to keep a closer eye on that black market for a while.:: Tad nearly dropped his cutlery as he looked up in shock. ::Cooper: Keep an eye...you mean wipe it out, right?Jordan: ::snorting:: Wouldn't that be nice.Cooper: ::His knuckles started to whiten as his grip on his knife and fork subconsciously tightened.:: It would be your duty. How can you acknowledge criminal activity on your station and do nothing to stop it?:: Jordan put down her utensils and leaned forward to rest her elbows on the table. ::Jordan: Lemme explain somethin'. You work on a ship. Now granted, it's a big'un. You got, what, maybe a thousand people on board?Cooper: ::He forced down his rising ire.:: That's about right.Jordan: And nearly all those people are Starfleet officers, trained to respect authority and follow orders. And most of the rest are families of those officers who probably ain't inclined to start much trouble, either.:: Tad diverted his eyes downward as he started to suspect where she was going. ::Jordan: ::She raised her hands to encompass the room in a sweeping motion.:: Have you seen the size of this place? At any given time there are nearly a million beings on this station, and relatively few of 'em are Starfleet. A lot of 'em are just visiting. They don't live here so they don't much care what happens here. They can raise all the hell they want 'cause they'll be in another system the next day. And a lot of the folks who do live here couldn't give two squirts about Federation law. My team makes up less than a percent of the population of this station, and it's our job to make sure the rest don't get too outta hand. If somethin' big happens, if there's a major threat, then believe we deal with it. If a couple 'a Ferengi are bootleggin' Saurian brandy from the back of their shuttle, we know about it, but we let it slide. We pick our battles here, Tad. We do everything we can, but nothin' we can't. Sure it ain't a perfect situation, but that's how it works in the [...] end of nowhere. :: Along silence fell between the two. Jordan resumed her meal while Tad just picked at his own, his appetite suddenly diminished. After some introspection he spoke up. ::Cooper: I can see what you mean. I suppose I'm so used to having a structured surrounding I forget the whole galaxy isn't like that. Jordan: ::nodding:: I get that. I was the same way back when I was on a ship.Cooper: ::looking up at her and chuckling:: You were on a ship? Jordan: ::frowning:: Uh, yeah. What's so funny about that?Cooper: ::forcing his smile away:: Nothing, nothing. I'd like to hear about that, though.Jordan: ::smirking:: Well, that's gonna hafta wait for another day. Recon I've bared enough of my soul for one night.Cooper: Fair enough. I guess I'll just have to come back to the station again later.Jordan: I guess you will. :: The rest of the evening passed in relative silence as they finished their meal. When Tad returned to the ship and retired to his quarters for the night, he reflected on what Jordan had said. Hearing the situation described from her perspective gave him something more to chew on. ::
  20. (( Quarters T’Reshik )) :: Ever since Siance had found out who T’Reshik’s parent was, she had fought with herself to come to a conclusion for the question if she should tell her or not. Taurek hadn’t been any help, like at all, leaving it all in her hands. Who did he think she was? She was only a Cadet, at the beginning of her studies and he pushed that decision right into her lap, glued it to her pants so it couldn’t get away and told it to stay there. The young Trill had been so out of it, that she completely forgot her own plans for the time being, and instead had paced a hole into her carpet, to the dismay of her roommate, who had really liked that carpet. :: :: But after a lot of soul searching, especially in her own past, in which she had not ever met her father who left after knocking up her mom, she would have wanted to know and so decided to tell T’Reshik. The next day she spent with trying to plan in her head what she wanted to say and how and if she even wanted to say anything, or just give the Vulcan woman the information. And now still battling over that, she had found her way to T’Reshik’s quarters, thanks to the computer telling her that she was here at the moment. :: :: For at least five minutes she paced back and forth, trying to summon the courage to hit that buzzer, as if she herself was the long lost mother. Eventually she had to press it, because Vulcans were contact telepaths as much as she knew and so she wouldn’t know that someone waited out here to be let in. How nice would that be, though? In a moment of either madness or bravery -they were so close together it was scary- Siance finally pressed the buzzer and cursed at herself in her head the second she realized what she had done. :: :: There was a pause, then T’Reshik appeared at the door, wearing a simple robe, and looking mildly unimpressed, as usual.:: T’Reshik: Yes? Thyar: Uh… hi. I hope I’m not disturbing. T’Reshik: You are, but that is irrelevant. Why are you here? Thyar: ::Holding the PADD in her hands she slightly shuffled her feet.:: I got the information you requested. :: The Vulcan paused. Awkwardness wasn't usually a part of T’Reshik’s emotional vocabulary, for various reasons, but her eyes might have reflected it for a moment then. She took a breath.:: T’Reshik: Then I owe you an apology. I only requested that information in order to make you leave the room. As you might understand, I was… making irrational decisions at the time. ::She looked at the PADD. The truth was that Siance had caught her in the middle of a detailed search through the ship’s personnel files to finish the job that Choi had started, and part of her really wanted to hear what the Trill cadet had to say. But there was a difference, a huge difference, between wanting to find answers, and letting other people know that. She had no doubt that Siance would report straight back to her department after this. That meant either Taurek, who hadn't yet been eliminated (although she deemed him an unlikely candidate, for various reasons) or Saveron, who would inevitably try to get involved with helping her accept the truth of her origins, or whatever pseudo-scientific psychological crap counsellors were into these days. No… that was not a favourable outcome.:: T’Reshik: So… I am not interested. You can leave now. ::The Trill stared at the Vulcan and felt that fiery ball in her stomach. She had what? Siance couldn’t believe it and struggled to find words for a moment. Still standing in the hallway, she tried to calm herself by taking a deep breath, but feared she would fail tremendously.:: Thyar: May I come in? ::pressing through her teeth:: T’Reshik: Why? Thyar: ::It took another moment to not just blurt out what was going on in her mind and instead replied with a strained voice:: Because it would be beneficial to both of us if I don’t lose it in the hallway where everyone can listen to what I have to say and to whom. :: T’Reshik began to suspect that Siance might be a little angry. She decided to try and mitigate the situation. :: T’Reshik: Very well. :: She backed up in the chair, allowing Siance to enter. In stark contrast to Choi’s room, T’Reshik’s was clear and orderly and almost entirely devoid of personality. Only the subtle adaptations for accessibility and the active console in the corner even suggested the presence of a regular inhabitant.:: :: The young Trill stepped inside and waited for the door to close. She had inherited one thing that surely didn’t come from her mother’s side. When she was angry, her voice got quiet and calm. She surely could blow up into people’s faces, but when she got quiet, it was really bad. And right now, her voice did not fit her words. :: Thyar: Listen, I don’t know what you think gives you the right to waste my time with a fool’s errand, but where I come from we tell people to leave if we want them to leave. I don’t care if you really wanted to know who your parents are, but I got the information, so I will give you the bloody information. :: Well all but the last part, that sounded a bit more aggravated.:: ::T’Reshik held her gaze.:: T’Reshik: I was suffering from a severe neurochemical imbalance at the time. Do not expect that I was thinking clearly. Nevertheless, it is not my intention to waste your time further. ::She held out her hand.:: :: Siance looked down on the hand and kept holding the PADD, not ready yet to give it up. :: Thyar: Does that mean you apologize? T’Reshik: If it is that important to you, then yes, I apologise. Thyar: Good. ::She smiled. That was more like it. Though she was surprised, not having expected that T’Reshik would really apologize about anything. She handed over the PADD to the Vulcan.:: T’Reshik: I will read it if and when I have the inclination. Thyar: Okay. ::She hesitated.:: I’ll leave you be then. T’Reshik: Good. ::Pause:: Thank you. :: The young Trill turned to head out but then didn’t step forward. She nibbled her bottom lip before turning around once more.:: Thyar: Would you mind a question, Ensign? ::T’Reshik hesitated.:: T’Reshik: It depends on what the question is. Thyar: Well, I know that Vulcans do the whole Arie'mnu thing with your emotions but, how do you deal with not knowing who are parents are? T’Reshik: I am not certain I understand the question. Besides, I know who my parents are; they are the people who adopted me. It just so happens that I have an extra set. :: The Trill sighed and without asking sat down on the seat and rubbed the ridge of her nose. This was difficult for her and she tried to find words that conveyed what she meant.:: Thyar: Like, do you wonder why they left or gave you up? Why they never tried to contact you? If you weren’t good enough for them? ::T’Reshik scrutinized Thyar for a moment before answering.:: T’Reshik: I do not need to “wonder”. Logical deduction suggests only a limited set of possibilities. :: She didn't look down at the PADD - instead, she lay it aside, face down. She decided not to mention the anonymous message for now. :: T’Reshik: Are you inquiring out of personal interest, or is this an attempt to initiate a counselling session? Thyar: To be honest, it is not about you really. .oO Surprise duh Oo. My father left before I was even born and these are basically the questions I keep asking me ever since I heard it for the first time. :: T’Reshik considered this. She wondered briefly why Siance was sharing this information with her. Perhaps she was having difficulty with her own situation and wished to consult a more organized mind.:: T’Reshik: Did your mother never tell you? Thyar: She told me that he left and after a long time gave me his name. ::She hesitated, should she tell more? She knew where he was after all. But that wasn’t even part of the question right now. So why bother her with that. :: I just never got a chance to ask him all that or even meet him. T’Reshik: Interesting. When faced with a situation such as yours, my immediate response would be to gain control of my emotional reactions before proceeding to find out as much as possible. :: She paused, looking over at the PADD, still facedown. :: T’Reshik: That having been said, your biological origins are only relevant to a certain extent. Your father might have contributed genetic material, but, assuming you had a conventional upbringing, it was your mother who assumed the burden of caregiving; whose choices and behaviour shaped your identity. :: The Trill thought about that. It wasn’t wrong that it was relevant for medical history, but Siance also believed that some interests, or passions would pass on to the children even if they never met and she wondered which parts of her were ‘just like dad’. Her mom had done all she could and made so many sacrifices, but there was always that one part… :: Thyar: Maybe. It still feels like I am missing a part of me. T’Reshik: If your father left of his own accord… has it occurred to you that he might not be worth knowing? :: That was the problem. She had always thought that her father would be this handsome, friendly, kind, successful guy. Her mother had spoken of him in such a good way, other than him leaving before she was born, that she had made up that image in her mind. Combined with the hope that he had a really good explanation it was a recipe to be disappointed, but Siance didn’t see that. :: Thyar: ::She blinked and stared at the Vulcan for a moment, before she found her voice again.:: Of course not. He is my father after all. ::T’Reshik tilted her head.:: T’Reshik: Interesting. Vulcans rarely rely on such arbitrary considerations. Thyar: ::She nodded with a hint of a smile on her defeatedly frowning lips.:: Guess that I’m not a Vulcan then. T’Reshik: That much is apparent. Still, perhaps it might save you some… emotional distress if you were to follow our example. ::She glanced at the PADD again, face down and blank.:: Thyar: ::leaning forward she looked curiously at T’Reshik.:: IF you have the inclination to read the information, will you confront your biological parents? T’Reshik: That depends. Thyar: On what? T'Reshik: I have been operating on the assumption that they both have valid reasons for their lack of presence in my life. Should your information suggest otherwise, I will of course seek clarification. ::And it was interesting, too, what Thyar was saying and what she was omitting. She could conclude, for example, that at least one of them was still alive (and therefore the message was likely to be genuine), if the Cadet was suggesting confrontation as a possibility. Assuming she’d actually read the information herself.:: Thyar: That makes sense, I guess. Though I think that something that they might see as valid could be not seen as such by you. People think differently. T’Reshik: Interesting. Tell me, Cadet. If the truth of your lineage was likely to be unpleasant, even distressing… would you want to know? :: That was an interesting question. Siance was not sure what to think of it or what would could to be unpleasant. Like, if her mother hated the man? Or if they had split up in a bad way? Maybe she just didn’t have enough experience to know what the Vulcan could mean with that. :: Thyar: I guess so. I mean the how it happened or how it ended, does not change that he’s my father or in your case are your parents. T’Reshik: Only if you consider his contribution significant to begin with. :: Siance nodded slightly and let go of a long heavy breath before pushing herself from the seat back to her feet. :: Thyar: Well, if I can do anything else for you or if you want to talk just let me know. I’ll leave you to … whatever you were doing. :: T’Reshik didn't think that was likely, but she stopped short at saying so.: T’Reshik: Thank you, Cadet. Thyar: ::On her way to the door:: And thanks for listening, Ma’am. T’Reshik: That- :: She was about to say something along the lines of that not being necessary, as listening took little to no effort, but wondered if Siance might take that the wrong way. The Cadet had just divulged some personal information of her own, which might have held a significant emotional cost for her, and T’Reshik was never sure where the lines were between friendliness and professionalism when it came to this kind of situation. She erred on the side of caution.:: T’Reshik: You are welcome. Thyar: ::She offered a warm smile to the other woman.:: Have a nice day. :: With that she walked through the opening doors and made herself back to her shared quarters, her shift was over now and she needed time to think. She was so close, and still hadn’t found the courage to visit him. She needed to put a plan together to get finally on with this. :: :: T’Reshik, meanwhile, stared at the doors for a moment or two more before turning back to the PADD. She ran through the situation in her mind, laying out what she already knew.:: :: At least one (and probably both) of her primary caregivers was not her biological parent.:: :: One of her biological parents had recently been in touch with her, using an account that had been accessed from aboard this very ship.:: :: Her parents had kept the truth from her deliberately. :: :: Whatever was in that PADD was highly likely to be the truth. :: :: And yet she made no move to pick it up. She hadn't even wanted Siance to give it to her. Or had she? Perhaps some subconscious part of her had truly feared the possibility of dying without knowing her genetic origins, back there in that isolation room. Well, whatever part that had been, it was obviously a sucker for punishment. Whatever was on that PADD, T’Reshik strongly suspected it wouldn't be easy reading.:: :: It shouldn't even matter. Why did Siance want so badly to know who her father was? He hadn't known her, hadn't cared for her or brought her up, just as T’Reshik’s genetic parents had likely been nothing more than two strangers who happened to find themselves with a child that, in all likelihood, neither of them had wanted.:: ::Abruptly, she grabbed the PADD without looking at it, and dropped it in a desk drawer, which she then slid shut.:: :: Maybe she’d open it again one day. But first she had to convince herself that whatever Siance had written on there, it wasn't who she was. :: A JP by Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10 And Cadet 2nd grade Siance Thyar Counseling Trainee simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  21. (( Starbase 104 - Yirath Jorg Memorial Gym, Parrises Squares Court 3 )) oO Never make a bet with a Tellarite. Oo ::This was the decision Ji-hu came to when he was sweating through a tight, spandex suit, gasping for breath with a two-hundred pound Klingon security officer barreling down at him from the top of a red and black pyramid.:: ::It had all started earlier in the week when the ESPO crew was divvying repair and diagnostic tasks for the day. Ji-hu had made an off-handed comment about Berenez and Frag needing to complete fourteen repairs by the end of the week to keep up with their workload, which had been slow going. Frag had puffed out her chest indignantly.:: Frag: I bet you we can finish TWENTY, and if we do you have to come to my weekly cardio exercise in a yellow spandex suit. ::Tor had snickered, and Berenez’d given Ji-hu a challenging look. He’d waved his hand dismissively and uttered a single, ill-fated word: “Fine.”:: ::Berenez and Frag completed 22 tasks that week. That’s how Ji-hu had ended up outfitted, to his utter horror, in a tight, yellow spandex suit that left little to the imagination for Frag’s “weekly cardio exercise,” his first ever game of Parrises Squares.:: Frag: EYE ON THE BALL, JITTERS! ::Frag, outfitted in a matching, yellow spandex suit, was the team’s keeper at the far end of the court, in the defence zone, brandishing her mallet like a warrior. His fellow teammates were two other Constitution Tellarites, an older Tellarite woman from HCO he’d briefly served on the bridge with, and a younger Tellarite security officer. They were playing against a recreational Starbase 104 team… if one considered bloodlust and bone fractures recreational.:: ::Attempting to remember his dojo training days with Colleen back at the Academy, he tried to lower his centre of gravity and plant himself as the Klingon charged at him, but the hulking security officer easily knocked him out of the way, down into the pit on that side of the court. The Klingon received the ball from the top of the pyramid, where an opposing Bolian was grappling with their Tellarite HCO officer. The Klingon made a running leap up their goal ramp as Frag swung the large mallet to knock him off course, but he spun through the air, dodging her and slamming the ball through the hoop, earning the opposing team ten points.:: Klingon: ::arms raised:: tlhIngan maH! ::Ji-hu gasped for breath, having had it knocked out of him for the fourth time that day, not to mention the simple fact that he wasn’t the most physically fit person in the quadrant. Frag walked over to the side and grinned down at him.:: Frag: Almost had him there, Jitters! You’ll get him next time! ::When he found out exactly what her version of “cardio” was, Frag was disgusted that Ji-hu had never been in a Parrises Squares court. She would not accept his begging and pleas. She threatened to give Ix and Te permission to dismantle the entire ESPO, that she would ensure no one in the office would never listen to a word he said ever again until they rectified the oversight. When he saw the hungry look in the Bynars eyes, and Tor and Berenez’s sly glances he decided to play along as a substitute player.:: ::Their usual fourth player had, conveniently, been unavailable on game day, so Ji-hu was brought in from the first quarter on.:: ::They were well into the fourth and final quarter now, and Ji-hu had been knocked down the pyramid three times, thrown into the pit seven. He’d been body-checked, tackled, tripped, and beamed in the head with the ball twice for reasons he thought were entirely against the rules. But nothing was against the rules in Parrises Squares except for common decency. The entire court was padded, but that didn’t make the hits and falls any less painful, and he had the feeling he’d be one sentient bruise tomorrow.:: ::The buzzer rang and his two fellow offensive teammates scrambled up the pyramid as the opposing Bolian made the top and grabbed the ball. The Tellarite security officer took a running jumpkick off the top of the pyramid and caught him off guard, tumbling them both down the pyramid and sending the ball rolling down Ji-hu’s side. In a moment of stupidity, Ji-hu grabbed it just as the Klingon and an opposing human made for him. He tossed it to his fellow HCO officer and, miraculously, it connected. He was body checked off the side once again, but as he climbed up the side ramp there was a struggle at the top before his teammates broke through over the pyramid and into the opposing team’s side.:: ::Panting, feeling on the edge of collapse, he climbed the side of the pyramid and saw the HCO officer wrestling with the Bolian as the opposing human advanced on her. She managed to throw it to the Tellarite security officer on the opposite side of the court, but then the Klingon and the opposing Keeper gunned for her. She glanced around desperately, then saw slight, young, much-abused Ji-hu just at the top of pyramid, and the ball came sailing for him.:: ::He caught it, somehow, and half-fell, half-ran down the side of the pyramid straight for the opposing goal ramp.:: ::The opposing human Keeper had broke off from the Klingon-Tellarite grapple and made for Ji-hu as his feet hit the defensive zone. He saw a delighted spark in her eye as she spun her mallet expertly. He had already recognized her at the start of the game, but this was the first time he had come face-to-face with Ensign Jenny Jordan.:: Jordan: Oh no you don’t, darlin’. ::He tried to go around her as he neared the goal ramp, since she was a few paces away from him, his feet hit the springy, padded ramp and with every ounce of strength in his body he launched himself diagonally through the air, sailing towards the goal post, until…:: ::THWACK.:: ::The end game buzzer went off as the world started to come into focus again. Ji-hu felt a warm liquid dripping over his mouth, and he blinked a few times, though his left eye felt weird. Frag and his other teammates stood over Ji-hu from above, and they were grinning down at him.:: Frag: What’d I tell you, Jitters?! You did it! You scored! Choi: ::blinking:: I did?! Did we win? Frag: Not even close! They were fifty-five points ahead, but what an end! And look! ::she reached down and touched his nose with her hair paw, which came away bloody:: YOU POPPED YOUR SQUARE-Y CHERRY! ::His teammates helped him up and he started running diagnostics on his face. His nose was tender and bleeding, but Frag assured him it was just a simple bloody nose. His left eye was swelling up, and Frag gave him the thumbs up as the team grabbed some water and collapsed off the court.:: Frag: No going whining to Sickbay for anything less than a broken bone! You wear your Parrises shiners as a badge of honour! ::Ji-hu was just starting to get his breath back, a towel clutched to his bleeding nose, when he felt a clap on his back. He looked up to see Ensign Jordan smirking down at him as she passed, heading towards the showers.:: Jordan: ::calling back over her shoulder:: That’s for startin' a riot on our starbase! ::Ji-hu was half-tempted to file some sort of report against her, but Frag beat him to the punch by simply launching a dozen colourful Tellarite terms that the translator matrix didn’t pick up after Jordan, who laughed. Frag helped him up to clear the court for an oncoming competitive league.:: Frag: That was a great first game, Jitters! You didn’t get a concussion or nothin’! Next week we’ll have to work on your defensive plays! We’ll see you back here next week, right? ::The others looked to him and after a moment’s thought Ji-hu surprised them, but himself most of all.:: Choi: Yeah… I g-guess you will. END PNPC Ensign Frag, USS Constitution Engineering Officer as simmed by: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  22. ((Embassy on Duronis II, East Beaches, Cyndriel Villas)) ::The estate was a panicked chaos of activity. The news that the family's matriarch, Calodia Jorey, would be arriving in the next few days had the staff on edge. The new Cyndriel Villas had just finished being rebuilt after the Zalkonian bombardment of the Embassy grounds and was still in need of a post-build deep cleaning. While the majority of the staff was focused on the interior, Asher was far more concerned with the estates exterior. In particular, the many, currently barren, gardens.:: Asher: Is the landscaping team from the city on its way? ::There was clearly frustration in his voice as he shouted out the question to anyone who might have an answer. His question was answered with silence. The attack in the city and protest at the Embassy gates was making it difficult for outside contractors to get into the Embassy grounds. He spotted Alana rushing by.:: Asher: Alana, try and get them on the comm. If they can't get through the front see if they will come up along the beach. We can get them through the security check there. ::Alana nodded as she continued on to whatever task she was currently trying to accomplish. With everything going on it was a difficult time to receive visitors on Til'ahn. Asher's comm device chimed notifying that he was receiving a message from his charge.:: Jorey: =/\= Little One to Old Man. =/\= ::Asher knew that the unusual greeting was a signal that communications could be compromised and that the rest of the conversation would be coded. All Asher needed to know was if the conversation was of a business or personal nature. Asher: =/\= Business or Pleasure, Sir? =/\= Jorey: =/\= It's business this time. Please prepare my black suitcase and let the new tutor know I'll be heading toward Thalzed and be unavailable. =/\= ::Asher knew that 'black suitcase' was code for an intelligence covert mission. The new tutor implied someone that was in a position of authority - the new Chief of Intelligence Savan. Finally, Thalzed was the northernmost point on Betazed, so Brayden must be traveling north - like the north part of Lokesh City.:: Asher: =/\= I will take care of it. =/\= ::Asher waited for the link to close before putting the device back in his pocket as he made his way over to a console in Brayden's office. He sat down at the desk and logged into the console.:: Asher: Computer, open a secure, encrypted communications channel. ::The console chimed when ready.:: =/\= Asher to Lieutenant Commander Savan. =/\= Savan: =/\= Mr. Asher, this is a surprise. How may I assist you? =/\= Asher: =/\= Brayden has asked me to inform you that he is headed north, likely into North Lokesh City, on a covert mission. =/\= Savan: =/\= That is news to me. Anything else you can share? =/\= Asher: =/\= Unfortunately, I have no other details for you, Commander. Savan: =/\= I see. =/\= Asher: =/\= If I hear from him I'll be sure to contact you right away. =/\= ::Asher closed the channel and logged out of the console. He looked around the room and grimaced as he noticed that the control panel for the office's lights, temperature, and window shades was missing. His grimace turned into disdain as he noticed the crown holding had not been installed in the room. He pulled the comm device from out of his pocket.:: Asher: Asher to Dolna… where is the contractor and where in Yimone's great light are the room's finishings? PNPC Asher, Attendant to Brayden Jorey As simmed by Commander Brayden Jorey - Special Operations, Embassy of Duronis II / USS Thunder NCC-99312-A Featured Bio Contest Facilitator | Department of Veteran Affairs | Training Team Writer ID: T239002BJ0
  23. ((Science Lab 4, Deck 12 -- USS Za)) DeVeau: From what I have seen, the virus is actually taking over the critter itself, causes it to mutate, then devour some of its young. When passed into tissue samples, the samples began to mutate as well, but not like the creatures. That virus literally changed the structure of the samples, killing off the cells. Skyfire: Interesting in a scary sort of way... :: He'd meant it. It was scary in the same way that Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome was scary, but from what CD was able to observe, these weren't de-evolving. They were tribble-speed evolving into something more sophisticated and creepy. :: Johnson: What might happen to us? DeVeau: Well, I ran some tests using computer models...if this thing were to get into us...some nasty stuff would happen. Skyfire: Did you run any simulations on humanoids? Johnson: It wouldna matter what the simulations say. Biology is too different. DeVeau: I don’t even want to think of it, honestly. Fortunately, the biofilters caught this little sucker...still, I wanted to get a fresh set of eyes as well as a medical perspective on this. ::She paused, then added.:: We can never know exactly how things react, but computer models are there to give us a best guess. From the results...best guess is pretty horrific and, as I said, the tissue samples were devasted, so... Johnson: So what you want me to do, boss lady? Skyfire: Your test results were saved, yes? Mind if I take a look before running some of my own? Johnson: Good idea, cher. I'll look at them too, give you that fresh set of eyes, no. DeVeau: Of course, by all means! That’s why I asked y’all here, after all. :: As much as the idea of watching it disgusted him because of what he witnessed in the creature's behavior, he had to maintain that stoic air of calm and professionalism.He quickly cast his eyes over Alora's results and bit his lip to force back the wave of nauseating bile which rose to the back of his throat. He didn't get super-squeamish usually, but this did not look like it was going to be a usual circumstance. As he began to run his own simulations, he at least had the decency to keep it to the console in front of him rather than project it on the larger monitors. As Alora and Haylie continued to watch the gruesome little critters, CD kept his observations limited to the screen before him. While he was still running his own simulations, he was not liking the results. :: :: The list of symptoms and possible outcomes was rising. Mutations, displaced organs, rearranging of the cellular structure, violent hemorrhages, seizures, insomnia, hallucinations, phased out limbs, blindness, dehydration, muscle spasms, transporter narcosis...the list went on as he continued to run tests. No two results were the same, even across the different species on the away team. The possibility of cannibalism wasn't out of the question either, but that had yet to appear on any of the simulations he'd looked at. He noticed, however, they all appeared to have one thing in common: they were all fatal. He was running them in quick succession with time accelerated to get an idea how long he'd have to act. Finally, one of the simulations revealed cannibalism, and his grip on the console tightened to a white-knuckled one as he bit back yet another wave of nausea. :: Skyfire: Alright, folks. Ask your questions and I'll answer them as best as I can... Johnson: Everything I saw said all the mutations would be fatal, yeah? DeVeau : Yes. Any thoughts, Chy? Skyfire: I don't know. They've all been different, with one similarity. This is terminal. :: Alora let out a low whistle. CD didn't have to be standing close to read her expression: not the best news he could have delivered. :: Johnson: I couldn't really tell. Best guess on how long someone might survive if infected? DeVeau: Well, that could vary, but based on what I’ve seen...three days at most. In addition, how the mutations occurred differed with every sample. Skyfire: Each one looks gruesome no matter which way you look at it. Do you want me to go through the list? :: He bit his lower lip. He swallowed hard, dreading their reactions. He once again felt the wave of nausea hit him, and had to fight a bit harder to keep it down as he stared at the screen. On one of the other screens where the bugs were not in display, he pulled up the text of what he had observed so far. His simulations were still running on the screen in front of him. :: Johnson: No, cher, that's not necessary. At least for me. DeVeau: Might as well. I want to know if your findings and interpretation match mine. Skyfire: The longest simulation shows fatality at seventy two hours. All others have been significantly less. :: He cast a worried glance to his old friend, Alora. Of all the miracles he'd pulled off in his time, he was good...but not that good. He was known amongst the Gorkon crew as Lazarus, but as he told Dassa, even he had limitations. Chythar was not a god, just stubborn when his friends were dying at his hand. He couldn't let it happen to Lael, and if he could prevent it, he wouldn't lose anyone on the Za either. He didn't want to think about what would happen if Alex got infested by one of these. Would that jade CD beyond all hope? End his career because he'd seen too much death? Force him into retirement as a civilian on the farm? :: DeVeau: Then my data seems sound thus far. Johnson: Everything okay, cher? Skyfire: I'm fine... oO If I watch him die... Oo :: oO Hypocrite. Oo he told himself. Of all the phrases he hated using, all the ones he hated hearing when working with patients who really weren't fine at all, he had to go ahead and use this one. CD sighed heavily. What could he say? That he was too busy praying he would be able to save them from something like this? :: :: He shook his head to clear it, to force the negative talk out of his mind. It took him nearly three minutes to recover enough to the point where he could speak again. :: ::Johnson’s eyes narrowed.:: Johnson: You sure? Skyfire: Yeah. I just--- :: He hesitated for a moment as he replayed the staff meeting over in his mind. :: Johnson: Okay, so how do we prevent an outbreak here, eh? DeVeau: Well, first thing, keep these things in containment. I would do double backups just in case. :: He nodded to that, his mind racing as he recalled the details of the first contact mission. :: DeVeau: Next thing? I’d like to find a way to combat it, inoculate against it, something. We’ll need to study it further of course, but I want a way to deal with things should we run into this. If these people are now venturing out into space, they’re going to start interacting - after all, we’ve just met them. We’ll need to make sure this doesn’t become a problem. :: It was too late, but he held his tongue as he sorted through the information in his head. If he spoke before he had fully thought out his words, he would likely wind up either talking too fast or making himself otherwise incoherent because he'd be talking in Russian, Japanese, Gaelic, or one of his other forms of linguistic stress levels. :: Johnson: ? DeVeau: I’ve only just started, so nothing yet, but with more brains added, I’m sure we’ll be able to figure something out between the two of us. Fortunately, these were caught by the transporter, so it’s not as if we have an issue on board at the moment. Skyfire: No...but we may have a problem when the away team returns. DeVeau / Johnson: ? Skyfire: They opted to take a shuttle . Chances are that since we didn't get a chance to act with our guests while they were here, they couldn't provide us with any intel such as whether these things are a risk to our crew. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's given any concern to EVA suits either because we were still studying the se things before we had a chance to recommend it. DeVeau / Johnson: ? Skyfire: Exactly.... The ones I know are on the away team include the captain, Vondaryan, Pandorn, and Blair. :: He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose. :: Computer, who of the Za's staff has ventured to the Pathfinder? :: The computer recounted all the names of the away team, including a crewman or two that Chythar didn't recognize. He swallowed hard. Did they had time to warn the team before this became a problem? How would he react if Alex or Lael were claimed as victims? Would he be able to bring himself to honor a request to put them out of their misery, or force himself to leave the room because he couldn't watch? He tried desperately to center himself, another wave of nausea threatening to make an exit. He bit it back and winced this time, hoping nobody noticed. :: DeVeau / Johnson: ? === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire Medical Officer USS Za, NCC-65305 O239002CS0
  24. (OOC Content warning for allusion to distressing topics) (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 )) :: He kept count in his head of how long it had been since T'Reshik was born. It was entirely irrational, but he could not help thinking of his life as something that had been severed into two halves, 'before' and 'after'. And when the pon farr hit, it was almost eleven years to the day. :: :: He had known it might be difficult. Trauma often resurfaced at times of emotional upheaval, and this was the most emotional he'd been since he was a child. Still. Academic knowledge was one thing; experience was another entirely. He had woken up in a cold sweat in his cabin and gone straight to his console before he could think, marking the transmission as urgent. The call had been answered almost straight away:: Varek: Taurek. Are you well? (( Da-leb, Vulcan, 2350)) :: It was his father, too, who had answered that call twelve years ago, from a civilian comm station on the outskirts of Da-leb city. Taurek had been missing for almost twelve hours. Again, there had been no anger in his father's expression, only the hint of concern. :: Taurek: I am uninjured. Varek: We have been attempting to locate you. :: Pause :: Shivok is dead. He stopped his own heart. We... are told he had sustained defensive injuries. :: The knowledge hit him like a punch to the stomach, and moisture stung at his eyes. Suddenly it was difficult, far too difficult, to speak without his voice shaking. :: Taurek: I am so sorry- Varek: Nobody holds you to blame, my son. Your mother is attempting to locate you now. Can you meet her at the western temple? Do we need to arrange transport for you? :: Shivok had once told him that many Vulcan scholars did not conceive of love as an emotion in its own right. Infatuation, yes, desire, yes, but the state of experiencing a close attachment to another living being was not, in itself, something that required suppression. The drive to protect one's offspring was considered biological and, usually, immutable; it was only logical to protect those with whose lives were closely intertwined with your own.:: :: This interpretation was why the English "I love you" became "I cherish thee" in Vulcan, with all its nuances and omissions. To love as the emotional races did was to add a passive component to the experience, where love could be felt without being enacted, and any outward action was driven primarily by one's inner feelings.:: :: For their people, however, love was a state of being that existed in its expression, like a language with no written form. Or so it was claimed. Before it became too painful to think of those early lessons with his tutor, Taurek had occasionally entertained the idea that the "love is an action" explanation was nothing more than an excuse. :: :: Now, barely able to hold himself together as his father spoke to him from the tiny viewscreen, he suddenly recalled the day he had returned from the local clinic at the age of thirteen, after a difficult conversation in which he had not been able to divine his parents' reactions from their stony and impassive faces.:: ::Pausing at the doors to their home, he realised that an amendment had been made to the small panel which traditionally held the names of the inhabitants, a leftover from the old customs of their clan. Where once had read "T'Rel", in his own uncertain hand, was now replaced by "Taurek" in his mother's.:: (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 )) :: His father must have been asleep, he realized. In Eastern Da-leb time, it was somewhere in the interim between midnight and dawn. And yet here he was, as if nothing was strange about receiving a call from his son in the middle of the night. :: Taurek: My Time is at hand. Varek: ::pause:: Understood. Have you made arrangements? Do you need us there? Taurek: I have. And I do not. I simply... wished for contact. I apologise for the illogic of my decision. Varek: It is normal for your logic to fail you at this time. We are here if you need us, Taurek. :: And he began, finally, to understand why. :: PNPC Ensign Taurek Counselor simmed by Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
  25. (( USS Constitution - Corridor )) :: There is a cliché, in certain old Earth movies, of two automobile drivers pulling up beside each other at an interchange. They look over each other's vehicles. Perhaps one tilts his sunglasses down. Perhaps the other revs his engine in invitation.:: :: This is not entirely dissimilar to how Ensign T’Reshik and Akeelah D’Sena met for the first time. :: :: Turning a corner on her way back from physiotherapy, T'Reshik had not been expecting to find herself alongside someone at the same eye level, and certainly not someone piloting a similar craft. The need for motorized wheelchairs - or hoverchairs, as this woman had - was scarce, thanks to ever-advancing medical technology, and T'Reshik had deemed it statistically very unlikely that she would meet more than a few other users over the course of her lifetime. To have two on the same ship was a coincidence indeed.:: :: She looked D’Sena over, her keen physician’s eye searching for clues regarding the nature of her condition. Rodulan female (non-contact telepaths, she recalled), somewhere between 40 and 70 terran standard years, no abnormalities in facial musculature, posture and hovercraft controls suggest full use of arms, eliminating a small number of systemic conditions and any injury higher than C8… :: :: Akeelah had just brought her visit with the CMO behind her, it had been taxing and despite her needing the burn of alcohol in her throat she was grateful that it hadn’t been real because she preferred a clear mind. Too bad that her situation made that almost impossible. Her mind was full and she felt restless. But her usual treatment of meditation didn’t come to her easily these days. Her decision was now made, a step in the right direction. :: :: Waiting for the lift she stared at the doors. She did not see the other woman, but she eaily felt her presence. Even without actively reading minds, Rodulans were sensitive to surface thoughts, but that person had control over those or the ability of shielding them. Another Telepath. But nevertheless she couldn’t hide from Akeelah’s senses, and having been a Security Officer for all of her adult life - other than the few months of being the First Officer and Acting CO of the USS Apollo before Rajel had taken over as CO - she knew when she was watched. And while usually she didn’t care, ever since she was in the chair she couldn’t stand it. :: :: Akeelah didn’t look up, didn’t turn around, her voice just cut through the silence. :: D'Sena: What are you looking at? :: Oh, right, she probably shouldn't stare at strangers without talking to them. Social skills and all that. She knew from past experience that “Sorry I was staring, I was trying to diagnose what you have” didn't go down well, so she groped for the next best thing. :: T’Reshik: Interesting. I considered a hoverchair myself, but I opted for better power retention and more space for the on-board processor. Is there a significant terrain advantage? :: That got Akeelah’s attention and her head slowly turned around, surprisingly finding the other woman at her eye level. A Vulcan, at least she still had the ability to make out other Telepaths. She was glad that she was blank to them though, it had helped her job many times. But that was not what occupied her right now. She couldn’t believe it. Another person in a chair? Did Starfleet lose their marbles?:: D’Sena: That must be a really bad joke. :: T’Reshik blinked at her. :: T’Reshik: I do not understand. It was not my intention to be humorous. D’Sena: They send another officer in a wheelchair? :: T’Reshik looked down at her chair, then at D’Sena’s. Technically, she wanted to say, yours doesn’t have any wheels. But she thought that might be irrelevant. :: T’Reshik: I am not sure what you are alluding to. :: Akeelah ignored what she didn’t want to see, or rather feel: that the other woman really had no idea. It did not fit into the view of the scene, what she believed to be true. Anger boiled in her guts and who was better to push it on than the person right in front of her? :: D’Sena: Don’t pretend you don’t know. It’s obvious that it’s Starfleet’s bad attempt at sending me the message of life not ending now that I sit in this bloody chair. You can tell whoever sent you, that they can stick it right where- :: T’Reshik glanced at the woman’s pips.:: T’Reshik: Lieutenant Commander, am I to understand that you seriously believe I was sent here for your benefit? D’Sena: That is rather obvious. T’Reshik: In which case - notwithstanding the fact that I doubt Starfleet have the resources to assign officers based on such arbitrary considerations - I would seriously question the wisdom of sending a convicted criminal whose injuries were self-inflicted. :: Now that was interesting. Akeelah turned her hoverchair slightly to face the moment a little more. She was a Security Officer after all, and had been for several decades. Her fully black eyes squinted as she kept an eye on the other woman. :: D’Sena: What injury have you inflicted on yourself? T’Reshik: A traumatic brain injury, sustained in the course of illicit scientific experimentation. I was released from a criminal rehabilitation centre no fewer than six months ago. I may never recover from my condition. Not exactly an encouraging example. :: The Rodulan’s brow jumped upwards. She apparently had been wrong in her assumption of a sick joke played by Starfleet. A sigh left her as she exhaled. Great first impression. :: D’Sena: I agree. I owe you an apology for my wrong assumption. ::She paused, before adding.:: I am Commander Akeelah D’Sena. Security. T’Reshik: Ensign T’Reshik, Science. I am Vulcan; apologies are unnecessary. May I ask what caused your injury? D’Sena: An incident during an away mission. Not planned to be permanent. How did your condition occur? :: T’Reshik paused.:: T’Reshik: An uncontrolled neurochemical imbalance, typical to Vulcans of a certain age, which was exacerbated by the illicit experiments I mentioned earlier. It is not known whether I will recover, but the specialists deem it unlikely. D’Sena: That is … unique. ::The lift door opened and she pressed the nav stick to move herself into the lift, making sure to be as close to the back and side as possible so the other woman would fit in as well. :: I wouldn’t be able to tell if there is a terrain advantage. I have not been on anything but this ship since I got the chair. :: T’Reshik eyed D’Sena’s rig again as the two of them navigated themselves into the lift. :: T’Reshik: An interesting choice, then. D’Sena: I want to add that I have not chosen it myself. It was given to me by the attending doctor after my injury. But there have been made adjustment by an engineer to assist with a couple of things like getting in and out or hygiene. T’Reshik: ::Raising both eyebrows:: Clearly your attending doctor never needed one of these themselves. Those considerations were already included with this one. D’Sena: ::Looking over the chair T’Reshik sat in.:: Yours does not seem to be the standard model either. T’Reshik: It is not. ::She tapped a few buttons on the armrest and pulled up a flat screen, swivelling it to show D’Sena the basic schematic.:: There have been adjustments made to the onboard processor, obviously, and I had the chassis replaced with a lighter and more streamlined material. :: The moment the screen came out she already raised her brows in surprise. But the schematics she saw were rather impressive. It looked like that chair could be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. :: D’Sena: Fascinating. T’Reshik: As I understand it, the only advantages that a hoverchair holds are frictionless movement and ease of maintenance, which I believe are offset by the far shorter battery life and the lack of space for additional components. For example. Surya? Switch to auto-navigation mode. How long from here to Engineering? :: The chair beeped in acknowledgement. After a moment, it spoke in a harsh, mechanical tone.:: Surya: At your current default speed, it will take fourteen minutes and twenty six seconds to reach Engineering, with an error margin of three minutes. There is one turbolift on your route. I am ready to engage. T’Reshik: Surya, cancel. ::She quirked an eyebrow at D’Sena:: D’Sena: ::And her brow wandered upwards again.:: Fascinating. ::She realized she repeated herself.:: Surya is an unusual name for an on board computer. T’Reshik: I did not choose the name; it is, I believe, a reference to Earth mythology. But it has been incredibly useful. And of course there are more mundane functions; automated level matching, pre-set seat adjustments for transfer in and out... the only thing it lacks is a portable phaser turret. D’Sena: As a scientist you shouldn’t need one either. A regular hand phaser should do the job well enough. T’Reshik: A valid point, but I would prefer a degree of versatility. D’Sena: As they say, if you do every job, you will do none properly. Trust that our security team will do the protection. :: T’Reshik decided not to press the point, given that D’Sena was actually on said security team.:: D’Sena: Your chair is rather impressive as is. If my condition was more permanent I’d request a replacement, but I am starting rehabilitation in a few days, which will hopefully change that. T’Reshik: You anticipate recovery, then. May I ask the specific nature of the injury? D’Sena: My spine made hard contact with a tree. It’s a T6 injury, crushed a section of my thoracic vertebrae and severed nerves. A substance that found its way into my body during that away mission caused an infection after the reattachment surgery, and with that complications. :: She resisted the impulse to ask about the specific nature of the infection. Not everyone was so fascinated by diseases as she was.:: T’Reshik: How long ago was that? D’Sena: Half a year now. ::It sounded so long, it had felt even longer. Especially since she avoided contact with people for at least 80% of that time. :: How long has it been for you? T’Reshik: Five years, two months, eight days. D’Sena: ::Akeelah’s stomach sunk at the thought of being in the chair for that long.:: That must have been difficult. T’Reshik: It was challenging. But not insurmountable. ::She paused, glanced around. :: We are holding up the turbolift. Where did you intend to go? D’Sena: To my quarters. You? T’Reshik: Actually, I planned to visit the gym. I have just concluded a session of physiotherapy on the holodeck and wanted to embark on my prescribed exercises early. D’Sena: That sounds like a good idea. ::She wondered what kind of exercise she would get prescribed once she’d gone through with the surgery.:: T’Reshik: Join me, if you wish. I do not usually socialise, but we have common aims. ::Pause:: Besides, my parole officer instructed me to try and “make friends”. I need to at least appear to be complying. Engaging in communal activities seems like the most efficient way to do this. :: Now that sounded familiar and Akeelah couldn’t help but laugh slightly. The whole not having someone on board she’d call a friend, was apparently not only her, but others too. It was oddly comforting. :: D'Sena: It appears that we are - as humans say - in the same boat. It sounds like it would be beneficial to both of us to share the activity. ::She could do upper body training. She had neglected her training very much, if not to say completely ignored for way too long. It would be a start to get used to it again. :: :: T’Reshik was slightly confused by the laugh, but let it slide. Perhaps D’Sena was just happy. She hadn’t intended to say anything amusing, but Vulcans often said things that were “inadvertently hilarious”, according to her fellow inmates back at Bayeaux. :: T’Reshik: Excellent. It seems we have a common goal. D’Sena: Then lead the way. :: T’Reshik nodded. :: T’Reshik: Computer, Deck twelve. :: The turbolift doors slid shut. :: A JP by LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena Security Officer simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0 And Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
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