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  1. ((Bridge, USS Discovery)) Oddas: =/\= Ideally the Thunder would be assisting in this maneuver but the damage was more extensive than we thought. I just re-calibrated the tractor beams, but at this rate I'm going to need to do it again in about 20 minutes. =/\= Waltas::Checking the navigation chart:: =/\= 20 minutes should be all we need. =/\= Oddas: =/\= We should be in range of the Sand Bar by then, we'll have to drop out of Quantum Slip Stream then anyway. As soon as we do, I recommend we drop all of the tractor beams as soon we're out of the stream. =/\= Waltas: =/\= Since the Thunder only has thrusters that could be a problem. She won't be able to make it on her own without some help and we've got company closing in on us. ::He paused, thinking:: Lieutenant, once we drop out of the slipstream I want you to transfer every ounce of power to the impulse engines. Take it from everywhere but life support and the tractors. =/\= Oddas: =/\= Can do sir, but care to ... =/\= Waltas: =/\= I'm going to see how my starshp-tossing skills have fared. I've done it once before. ::looking at Mitchell and grinning:: It was fun. =/\= Oddas: =/\= Sir, I don't think the Discovery is going to be pilotable under those conditions, the sheering forces from the slipstream are going to try and tear the nacelles off the ship. =/\= Waltas: =/\= You let me worry about the helm. Just get me that power. Waltas out. =/\= ::Tyr could imagine right now Oddas was muttering about unrealistic demands made by Captains and he smiled, then sat back in the seat. His idea was just as insane as it was the first time he'd done it, when he launched a Miranda-class starship out of the hold of the USS Odyssey and used its inertia to force it to collide with the USS Constitution, ending a climactic battle between the two starships and bringing his former Captain to justice.:: Mitchell: Just don’t miss. The last time was a little close. Waltas: Let's hope we have the same positive result. I don't want you to go back and have to explain how your little evaluation cruise resulted in the destruction of the Discovery. Get me the Thunder. Mitchell: ::chuckling:: Well, Raj is technically on the hook since he signed the forms. I’ll just the be one having to fix it all. ::pressing the needed keys:: Comm’s up. ::The viewscreen snapped on and Tyr was eye-to-eye with Jorey.:: Waltas: =/\= Commander, our "friends" are approaching quickly and we're going to turn and confront them. We're going to attempt to slingshot the Thunder through the sandbar and get you home. When you're out of jamming range, I need you to contact Chang and the Bronwyn and have them get underway to rendezvous with us in case we need assistance. =/\= Jorey: =/\= Of course. But I don't have to tell you that if we have incoming, it's very likely that Director Chang already knows. As for being slingshot through the sandbar corridor… well at least I can say it's not the craziest thing the Thunder has had to endure today. =/\= Waltas: =/\= We're sitting ducks with you between our nacelles. one stray torpedo could destroy both ships. I don't think we have any other choice. =/\= Jorey: =/\= I differ to the expertise our engineers and scientists. =/\= Waltas: Stand by. I'd recommend reinforcing the dampers. This won't be a smooth ride. Waltas out. ::Time, as it was wont to do, passed all too quickly, and the time for the insane maneuver came. Tyr looked over at T'Lea.:: Waltas: Let's hope our luck with crazy maneuvers holds. Anders, take us out of warp, then I have the helm. ::Tapping the comm panel:: =/\= Bridge to engineering. We're dropping out of the slipstream. Transfer all power on my mark. =/\= Oddas: =/\= We're ready sir. =/\= ::Anders dropped the Discovery and Thunder out of the slipstream, with the ships emerging still in their configuration, but the tractor beams violently fluxuating.:: Mitchell: Tractor beams are about to blow! Waltas: Understood. =/\= Bridge to engineering-transfer power now! =/\= Oddas: =/\= Initiating =/\= ::The lights on the bridge dimmed as every kilojoule of power was dumped into the impulse engines, which flared a fiery red in response. The ship vibrated with as the engines "redlined".:: Waltas: Computer, activate manual steering column. ::With an obedient beep, a panel on the deck of the bridge slid open and a column emerged, with a flight-stick reminiscent of military jets of ancient earth emerged. Tyr gripped the flight stick and depressed the trigger, signalling full impulse. The Sovereign-class blazed forward at break-neck speed toward the sandbar.:: Waltas: Where's our friends, Mitchell? Mitchell: Closing way faster than I’d like. Waltas::Shaking his head:: We're out of time. =/\= Waltas to Thunder, brace for inertia. =/\= Mitchell, disengage tractors on my mark. T'Lea, try to compensate for the inertia as much as you can. T'Lea: Aye Mitchell: Finger’s on the button. ::Tyr pulled hard on the flight control, banking the massive starship hard to port and rolling her onto her side.:: Waltas: Release the tractors! ::On the viewscreen, the two starships separated, and the Thunder was catapaulted, inverted, deep into the sandbar while Discovery banked away and turned her bow to the threat. Both ships shuddered with the effort, but both survived, and the Thunder was well on her way through the Sandbar.:: Waltas::Mimicking T'Lea's voice:: Huh. What do you know? It worked. T'Lea: ::mumbling:: …smartass… Waltas::Chuckling, touching the comm panel:: =/\= Bridge to Engineering. Well done. The Thunder is on her way. Return power levels to normal. =/\= Oddas: =/\= Understood Sir. =/\= Waltas: Now let's see what our friends want. Red alert, Mitchell. Mitchell: Roger that. ::He hit his favorite button, the big red one sending full power to the shields and phasers, darkening the bridge and sliding torpedoes into the tubes.:: Wait…hang on, contact’s fadding out. Their gone. Odd….. Waltas::Frowning:: They cloaked. Romulans. Mitchell: Gee haven’t we been here before. But they’d be the only thing out this way beside us. Waltas: T'Lea scan for neutron radiation. Get me a fix on them if you can. T'Lea: Aye ((Space)) ::The Discovery stood, indominable, blocking the way to the crippled Thunder and the sandbar, and in proxy to the Embassy itself. Her shields snapped on and deadly weapons went to full power, waiting on the adversaries to reveal themselves.:: ================================== Captain Tyr Waltas Commanding Officer USS Discovery C237910TW0
  2. (( Deep Space 26, Central Hub Level 3, Starfleet Intelligence Sector Chief’s Office )) ::When fully illuminated, the office looked completely normal, like any other Starfleet installation anywhere else in the galaxy. At the moment, however, with the lights low and flickering, and the station’s natural green glow cast about, the place looked eerie, sinister, as if something were afoot around every corner. Like one might think an intelligence office should look, if all he had for reference were holosuite programs about espionage and interstellar intrigue.:: ::In this office, nothing could be further from the truth. On most days, it more closely resembled an office block at Starfleet Accounting than an intelligence outfit. The men and women who staffed this location were data analysts, not field operatives. They pored over information that came in from across the neighboring sectors, finding commonalities and drawing connections between things that were otherwise dissimilar. Or at least they had been doing so, before they all fell asleep.:: ::Tucked away in his office, Yogan Yalu had all but face-planted onto his trio of computer terminals, the data streaming down the screens in rows of letters and numbers. The 42-year-old Trill officer had a sorely disappointing fantasy life, seldom dreaming about much at all besides his work. For some reason, however, this sleep was different. It was deep and full of vivid imagery, with characters from his own and four previous lifetimes making random appearances, one immediately after the other.:: ::He saw Vorss, the third husband of his fourth host, chatting over a raktajino with Viyana, the mother of his first host. And his own new bride, Zenna, whom he married earlier this year and was now carrying their first child, was hunched over a dom-jot table, in the middle of a match with his second host’s childhood best friend.:: Yalu: What is going on? ::No one answered him. They continued about their business, mingling with each other like guests at a dinner party. As they faded from view, they were replaced with others, and Yogan knew them all. Nearly two hundred fifty years’ and five lifetimes’ worth of friends, acquaintances, lovers, relatives, and friends, cascaded before him in a way that filled him with dread.:: Yalu: Is this what happens when you’re about to die? ::From his extensive work alongside humans, Yogan had heard of a phenomenon in which one’s life “flashed” before one’s eyes when facing imminent death. He thought it to be rubbish, like most aspects of human culture, but couldn’t ignore the similarity of that phenomenon to what he was currently experiencing.:: Zenna: Would you like to play? ::Yogan’s wife casually beckoned him to join their game of dom-jot, but his confusion only paralyzed him further. He looked at Zenna, heavily pregnant, with suspicion.:: Yalu: You only found out you were pregnant two weeks ago. You’re not showing yet. ::Zenna immediately vanished, as did her anachronistic dom-jot partner. They were replaced by two other figures from Yalu’s past lifetimes, but their faces and names blurred in his memory, and he couldn’t remember which host they belonged to. Was it Idarro’s favorite aunt? Or Ethezia’s university professor? Oled’s best friend? Or Mavili’s obnoxious neighbor?:: ::His entire life had been devoted to understanding and processing data, but he was unable to make heads or tails of what was unfolding before him. Unaware that he was dreaming, he was confounded by how flagrantly the universe betrayed the rules of logic and physics.:: ::From the distance, four figures emerged and began walking toward him. Unlike the flurry of relatives and business associates that had been milling about, Yogan had no trouble recognizing this quartet. They were his symbiont’s previous hosts. The four people who, despite having lived in different times, he knew better than anyone else. The four people with whom he, someday, would exist alongside, within a new host. As they neared, he felt their collective presence, which triggered his own sense of inferiority. They were great, he was average. They were worthy of the gift of joining, he was not.:: ::They closed the distance and stood before him, side by side.:: Hosts: You still have much to learn. Lt Cmdr Yogan Yalu Starfleet Intelligence Data Cruncher Deep Space 26 as simmed by Lt Cmdr Didrik Stennes Lead Counselor USS Blackwell NCC-58999 Justin D238804DS0 FNS Contributor "There is but little need to spend time with foolish diversions for time flies away so swiftly by itself; and, when once gone, is never to be recalled."
  3. ((DS26, Level 4, Conference Room 1)) ::Ren snored loudly from his seat at the conference table, supremely unaware of the presence of his hard-working crewmates in the room. He was completely at ease, snuggled onto a captain he barely knew, his mouth hanging open carelessly, all the better to drool from.:: ((Ren’s Dream)) ::Arnmere was shining a little brighter than usual in this dream, this vision, this radiant, vivid experience.:: ::Ren strode across a field, headed home to the house he and Navin had built for themselves, far across the opposite side of Tro’Arn. It was a happy place, because it had cheerful rooms and bright, airy windows, but most of all because they were there together. No matter the day, Navin and Ren always came home to each other.:: ::As Ren came in the front door and kicked off his boots, a voice he loved called out from upstairs, and made his heart squirm pleasantly.:: Navin: Ren! How was work? Did you pick up dinner? ::Ren squirmed in a different way. He had not remembered to pick up dinner, and this was the week the replicator was out for repair.:: Rennyn: Uhhhh….. ::Ren’s conversational contribution faded out as Navin came into view, making his way down the stairs. The breath went out of Ren, and his lips curled up in a smile. It was like a conditioned response with him. The sight of his husband never failed to make Ren smile. Navin was impossibly handsome, and the smile he gave in return lit up the room. Dark-skinned, strong-jawed and kind-eyed, he’d captured Ren’s attention at first sight, and Ren hadn’t wanted to look away since. Even when he was in trouble.:: Navin: Dinner, sweetie? Don’t tell me we have to walk all the way back to the village. ::Ren’s smile disappeared, replaced with a falsely casual posture and a poorly masked look of stress as he tried to think his way out of this quickly.:: Rennyn: Well… We could walk part way there and use my mom’s replicator? ::Navin finished his descent and came to plant a kiss on his husband, despite the irritation Ren caused him. Navin stood an inch taller, the only man who could make the very tall Ren feel sort of safe and protected.:: Navin: Is that what you want to do? You want to make us have dinner with your mom? I mean, I like your mom a whole lot, but we live on this side of the field for a reason. So that’s what you want? You want to make us have dinner with your mom right now? ::Ren gulped. Was it a trick question?:: Rennyn: I don’t… ::He reached for the right word.:: ...know? Navin: I need a definite answer, Ren. ::It was a little teasing, but a little serious. Ren had this answer in the bag.:: Rennyn: I am definitely not sure. ::This was the life. This was the dream. Together, for the rest of their lives. Relying on each other, leaning on each other, being there through thick and thin. People weren’t meant to be alone. Ren wasn’t. He was so happy to have found Navin. There was no one better for him. Even their little spat was a comfort. It let Ren know they were in it together.:: Navin: You are always just all about any excuse to hang with your mom, aren’t you? ::Ren feigned shock.:: Rennyn: I never! Navin: Ohhh, yes you do. ::The scolding banter came with a hug, so Ren was okay with it. This was just the way things should be. Like they always were. Like they always would be. He leaned his head on Navin’s shoulder.:: Rennyn: I’m in trouble, aren’t I? Navin: You’re not in the doghouse yet, but we can say you’re not exactly allowed up on the furniture. ::Ren chuckled softly, and leaned in tighter. He would fix it. He would make the walk himself. He would fire up the old hovercraft if he needed to. Dinner was a very minor hurdle. They’d faced bigger, and there was no hurdle big or small they couldn’t handle together.:: ::Ren didn’t want to let go. He could search the universe over and never find a man like this again. This was how it always was with them. This was just how it always would be.:: ::At the same time, it wasn’t. It began to dawn on Ren, a creeping feeling at first, then real knowledge of another life he’d lived, one without Navin in it. A life where Ren was almost lost to grief. A life where he joined Starfleet, made wonderful friends, had crazy adventures, and never could explain to anyone just what it was that was missing from his life. The man standing before him right now. The love of his life. Ren pulled away, stepped back in shock, and his face fell in horror.:: Rennyn: You’re not real. ::That was the tragic answer. This perfect world only existed in a dream. Ren whipped around, searching for that pesky rascal Arnom. Ren’s symbiont guide to the afterlife was nowhere to be found, but the Trill man’s eyes landed on something else. A spot of that brightness, and another gate, different from the first, an ornate solid gold thing that belonged to a faraway fairytale palace. But it was just as final, just as insistent as the first. Ren knew he had to leave.:: ::Navin grabbed Ren’s arm, pulled him back, and held him, wrapping him in a hold Ren didn’t want to break.:: Navin: You don’t have to go. You could stay here. We could have our happy ending. ::Something in that closeness almost made Ren stay. It was a scary world out there without Navin. Ren often felt alone. In moments of triumph, he couldn’t share his success with the person he wanted to. In moments of sadness, he couldn’t lay his pain on the one who would understand it best. Most of all, it was hard to make friends and new relationships, and be known as only Ren, and not as half of Ren and Navin. That was the hardest part of loss. Ren was the only one who knew what the relationship had meant, who could see who he was as part of the pair. No one else would ever see him that way, and there was no way to explain it to them. You didn’t just lose the person you loved, you also lost a part of your own identity, and as each new adventure brought you new memories and introduced new people into your life, you only moved farther away from the person you once wanted to be. Ren was a very different man than he would have been with Navin in his life, and he was never sure if he could be his best self on his own.:: ::Ren wanted Navin back so he could be himself again, but a dream of Navin just wouldn’t cut it. Ren had made a decision in Arnmere, to let Navin go, despite the lingering questions about his supposed death at the hands of the Borg. It was time to move forward with finding out who Ren Rennyn could be on his own. Caught in the dream of an embrace, Ren forced himself to follow through on that decision. Even though it wasn’t easy to let go.:: Rennyn: I’m sorry. I wanted to say that for a long time, but I couldn’t, because you were gone. The last thing I said to you was that I was mad at you for leaving on your mission, and that wasn’t fair. And I know we would have made up and it would have been something we didn’t even remember happened. But then the Borg happened. And it became the last thing I ever said to you. And I’m so sorry I sent you off that way. ::He clung to Navin one last time, knowing it wasn’t the real Navin, but grateful that he got to look into those eyes and finally say what he’d always wanted to say. It would help him move on. Tenderly, Navin pulled tighter, planted a kiss on Ren’s cheek, then rested his forehead on Ren’s own.:: Navin: Whatever comes, I’ll always wish we could have faced it together. But I know you can face it on your own. ::The strangely linear dream at last had mercy, and Ren found himself standing at the gold gate, 100 meters from the house and Navin. Through tear-drenched eyes, he looked back on what might have been, as brightly lit clouds rolled in across Arnmere.:: ::Ren half expected Navin to turn into a Borg, and flip this dream into a nightmare. That didn’t happen. Navin waved from the door until the clouds drifted in across him, obscuring him from view. Their happy ending was lost in the mists of a dream, just exactly how it always felt in Ren’s heart.:: ::He was wearing boots again, and they felt like led. Ren forced his feet to obey. Through the gold gate he marched, and hoped he would awake from this nonsense soon.:: TBC LtCmdr Ren Rennyn First Officer USS Blackwell, Andaris Task Force A239102RR0
  4. ((Ruwon’s Quarters - Deck 14 - USS Za)) [Time Index - 3 Hours After ‘Mother’s’ Death] ::Ruwon got back to his quarters late at night - certainly far after his shift had ended. Given the circumstances of the firefights and the invasion, he didn’t doubt he’d be up again in just a few hours. But he had one rather pressing issue to deal with before he collapsed. He stood just inside the door and looked around his silent apartments. The lights had dimmed automatically as ‘night’ set in, and to most the place would have looked untouched. His cold cup of coffee still sat on the kitchen table. A book lay on the couch. The door to his bedroom was open, the sheets undisturbed since he’d folded them back into order that morning. Ruwon knew the place a bit better by now, though. The couch retained the creases along the arms it’d had this morning. The ottoman was still underneath the coffee table. The kitchenette cabinets were still open from when Ditala hadn’t been able to find her favorite cup. There was one tell, though: a slight smear of rubber on the glass top of the lounge’s side table. Ruwon walked up to it, balancing on one knee and reaching up to the ceiling above. He knocked three times on the ceiling panel, then drummed it with his fingers. A few moments later, it slid back. Looking down at him from the dark void above were the glittering eyes of Ditala. She took only a second to make sure it was him before she ducked out of sight and pulled the panel all the way back. :: Ditala: Dad! You took forever! Ruwon: ::He held his arms up to her as she swung her legs out:: Sorry, Arrie. Things were complicated this time around. Ditala: No kidding? I was in here for...for forever! Wait, hold on - ::She reached behind her in the hidey-hole and pulled out a disruptor.:: Take this first. ::Ruwon set the gun aside before helping the girl down. She braced herself on his shoulders so she could click the entrance back into place; it sealed against the other panels invisibly, hiding the fact Ruwon had carefully cut it loose over a month ago.:: Ditala: What happened? Ruwon: ::He put her down on the floor, standing up. She then took stock of him - the dirty uniform, his messed up hair, the circles under his eyes.:: Hijacking, Arrie. By worms. Ditala: ::Ditala wrinkled her nose.::...right. Sure. Ruwon: It’s a bit more complex than that. But they’re all dead now. ::He sagged onto the couch. It’d never felt so welcome.:: Ditala: ::She frowned.:: How many of ours did it take to accomplish that? Ruwon: ::He reached out and ruffled her hair.:: One dead. Ditala: Just one? Ruwon: It’s something of a miracle, given the circumstances. ::Ditala picked up her gun and set the safety before turning it off, her face a mix of uncertainty and impassiveness. :: Ruwon: Arrie - we’ve got a new rule. Ditala: ::She looked up.:: We do? Ruwon: Yes. ::He sat back up again.:: We need a password. Ditala: Why? Ruwon: ::He hesitated, running a hand over his face.:: Let’s just say there’s a chance when I come to get you, I might not be...me. ::His daughter eyed him thoughtfully, then nodded.:: Ditala: Okay. ::She thought for a moment.:: Pufferfish. Ruwon: Pufferfish. Ditala: We’ll change it monthly? Ruwon: ::Ruwon nodded, then smirked slightly.:: Why pufferfish? Ditala: ::She shrugged.:: We learned about them in class today. If you eat ‘em wrong, they’ll kill you. ::He laughed softly - tiredly. He wanted to sleep...well, take a shower and then sleep. Maybe he could sleep in the shower stall...he sat up and looked at his daughter with what might have been fatherly concern, had he had the face for it.:: Ruwon: Did you do your homework? Ditala: Dad! I was in that crawlspace for - for hours! Ruwon: ...and? Ditala: I didn’t have much else to do, so…. Ruwon: ::He ruffled her hair.:: That’s my girl. PNPC Ditala Child / Civilian USS Za && Ensign Ruwon Counselor USS Za O239303T10
  5. ((Mindscape)) ::Savan was almost overwhelmed by the sequence of images and sounds that he saw. Vicious specters of the past, telepathic imipressions, all of it had led to this moment. Tye now stood holding his brother. Tye: Let’s go home. T'Mihn: The first steps to healing have started. In order for Sanye to truly heal, your family needs to heal with him. :;Putting a hand on Sanuye's head.:: T'Mihn: Know you're greatly loved. ::In a few instants, the dark landscaped dissolved into the sterile world of sickbay on the USS Discovery. Savan blinked as he heard a voice begin speaking. He realized it was Waltas. T’Mihn must have ended the link.:: ((Sickbay, USS Discovery)) Waltas: What happened? T'Mihn: His biological mother placed a strong impression for him o harm his family. We showed Sanuye the root of the problem and set him on the path to heal. Savan : Tye found the courage within himself. ::Using the bed as support, T'Mihn made her way to Tye and gilded him to the bed next to Sanuye's and put him on it..:: Savan: ::to Tye:: This will help you recover from what you experienced. ::Savan triggered a state of gentle deep rest for Tye, who then fell asleep.:: Waltas: How could their mother plant something inside his mind? T'Mihn: She might have encountered him on his travels. I'd have to go in again to find out exactly...::pause:: I don't think I can right now. ::Savan did not understand the fury of the Vulcan mother. Only an illness or madness could produce such a state. But he offered what he could in the moment.:: Savan : Vulcans can leave telepathic impressions within the mind of another. It’s almost like a program running in the background. Waltas::Sighing:: So they'll be out for some time? ::Thinking:: Probably a good thing. I don't know what happened in there but it felt like I was there. I could feel but couldn't see. T'Mihn: In a sense you were because of the closeness of your family. Savan: The connections that tie us to others work in ways we do not always understand… especially those between parents and children. Waltas: Well, the doctor had kindly asked us to get out and my wife has been abducted by a grouchy Vulcan, and you tell me my sons are going to be sleeping the ride home so..I'm headed for the bridge. But first, I wanted to thank both of you. I'll never pretend to understand Vulcan mind melds but I know what you did for my sons is incredibly personal. I'm indebted to you both. I could have lost my whole family without your help. ::Savan almost laughed at the reference to “grouchy Vulcan,” as he had just notice T’Lea was absent.:: T'Mihn: It was for family. ::Letting go, she quickly grabbed the bio bed edge with a hand, before releasing her other hand.:: You're welcome. Now ..ahh.. get out.::wink:: Doc has this covered. ::Savan was almost taken aback by T’Mihn’s expressiveness. Not that he disapproved at all. He appreciated the warmth of it.:: Savan: I hardly understand melds myself. But to be honest, sir, it was an honor to be of assistance. In life, there are few things as important as family. We will attend to both Tye and Sanuye. ::As Waltas walked out, Savan saw T’Mihn slide down to the floor.:: T'Mihn: This usually only done with one person. ::trying to shake loose cobwebs:. I wasn't expecting his whole family. ::Looking up at Savan.:: Are you alright? Savan: Am I alright??? I think I am the one who should be asking that question. ::Savan smiled and lifted the small Vulcan up onto the biobed.:: T’Mihn: A bit scrabbled, and drained. Thanks you. ::He immediately began to apply neuropressure to help revive his fellow officer. Savan: ::after a few moments:: So how do you feel now? T’Mihn: ::Sitting up on her elbows:: Better, you? ::The conversation turned back to him.:: Savan: Well, I did not expect to be drawn into the meld but I still do not entirely stand what unfolded at the end. Regardless, it was… ::smiling:: fascinating.:: T’Mihn: ::Giving a grin:: We need to come up with more words to describe amazing things. Are you really alright? ::Savan paused for a moment, as something flashed through his consciousness.:: Savan: To be honest, since the end of the last mission, I have not felt entirely like myself. T’Mihn: I think that mission has disrupted us all. SO what do you feel like? Savan: It is like someone else in the background of my mind. It has not been negative, but it is… unusual. TAG/TBC Lt. Savan Tactical/Security Officer Embassy of Duronis II/USS Thunder-A Writer ID: E239303S10 http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Savan
  6. (( Captain's Office )) ((Time index: After the conversation with Sarah Mason)):: It was quite a relief to have a new FO. Of course she would have enjoyed to keep T'Mar in that position a bit longer, but at least she had not left the ship and Sarah would have her second chance. It had something to be able to give her that. Sadly no number of First Officers could lighten the worry pressing down on her shoulders at the moment. Having turned her seat to the window she stared outside, the planet housing Starbase 11 to the right side, but most of the screen was filled by darkness and stars. Somewhere out there - maybe not necessarily in that direction though - were Sinda, Wyn and T'Reshik. While the later had not told her that she would leave, it was not hard to find out that she wasn't on the ship or the station. So the conclusion was rather obvious to the Trill. Wyn had promised to call at the first sign of trouble. That didn't change that she worried though. What if they couldn't call? What if the trouble meant they didn't have access to communication? What if the message Sinda had received and followed was a trap? Cardassian space wasn't without dangers and perils. But then, even Federation space wasn't without them. And then Wyn. He wasn't healed yet, not at all. Yes he could walk about but that didn't mean he couldn't fall sick all of a sudden. And while she was sure that T'Reshik was capable, and convinced she could handle everything, Jalana knew that the reliance on the wheelchair could also bring her disadvantages. It could be taken away and then what? A loud beeping sound made her jump in her chair, enough to spill some of her Jestral Tea - that was supposed to calm her down but failed terribly with that simple (ha!) task - on her uniform skirt. Luckily it was only luke warm. That was how long she had sat here staring out of the window? She turned her chair towards her desk, the display screen slowly moving up from out of the desk into view. Her brows moved together, forming a wrinkle between them. The logo displayed was of Starfleet HQ. What did they want? With the press of a button the accepted the call. The man she saw was a Bajoran with almond shaped eyes and graying hair in an Admiral's uniform. His dark brown eyes looked right at her, a hint of a smile on his lips. :: Saray: Captain Rajel, Admiral Saray. I hope I am not disturbing. Rajel: Of course you are not, Sir. What can I do for you?:: These people with a rank higher than her own were the only ones to receive the special honor of her not using their first name in a familiarity she portraied with everyone else. She didn't like it, but she had gotten into trouble before doing that. Not again. Saray. For some reason that name rang a bell, but she was very sure it had not been an Admiral. :: Saray: I have new orders for you and the Constitution, that might end in a longer deployment to a new area.:: Uhoh. That was bad news. Well usually not, but right now she didn't really want to leave. Then it dawned her. Morgenstern had been right. How had he known of this move before her? Who in Headquarters blabbered about things that were not to be blabbered about? To a reporter nonetheless. :: Rajel: New area? ::How far? Where? What was it? Why us?:: Which area would that be, Admiral? Saray: Your new orders will bring you to Starbase 104 about 15 light years south west of the Lembatta Cluster. You will remain in the area after your upcoming mission, so I am giving you the heads up to your crew can familiarise themselves with the region. :: Lembatta Cluster... that region was not unheard of. About 20 years ago the USS Farragut had been destroyed close to it by Klingon Forces, while they were to evacuate Federation colonists on Ajilon Prime. That cluster was rather close to the borders. The cluster itself inhabited by species that were known very well, same as the region around it. Exploration, seeing new words, new species. That was why so many had joined Starfleet. :: Rajel: I understand. What is the new mission? Saray: You will receive the orders shortly. I suggest you to get on your way there right away. :: There it was. How to explain it? Oh yes. :: Rajel: I am afraid we can't leave right way, Sir. ::Before he could ask she continued.:: As you know Starfleet HQ has invited the families of the crew for a family reunion and they were promised more than just two days with their families. And now that we are to leave for a far away region who knows when they will see each other again. :: The Bajoran leaned back in his big chair and seemed to think about that. She wasn't sure if he was taking it as an explanation or if he knew that she was keeping something from him. The reason he gave her, wasn't a lie, just not the whole truth. :: Saray: We can't give them the full week we have first anticipated for the reunion. You will have another day to prepare the crew and give the farewells to the families, but then you will have to leave. :: A day. One day more. She hoped that would be enough. :: Rajel: How about two days, Sir? :: That had slipped out before she even noticed she thought it. :: That would at least be more than half of the time and this departure would be rather sudden.Saray: ::sigh:: You must have been a barterer in a former life, Captain Rajel. ::He paused and looked somewhere off screen.:: A compromise. You'll have the whole of tomorrow and the morning of the day after. I expect you to leave Starbase 11 at noon of the second day from now. Rajel: ::smiling:: I take that. Much appreciated, Admiral. :: It could still be a close call. It was a risk. But every minute could count towards them being back in time. And if not, well they would have to follow. But without a QSD, like the Conny would use, it would take a considerably longer time. :: Saray: Good, we are not on a Ferengi trading post here, Captain. ::Smirking:: Your new mission orders will arrive before your departure. Good luck out there, Captain. Rajel: Thank you, Sir. :: The screen turned black and she sacked back into her chair, exhaling a stream of air that felt like she had held it in forever. A hand ran through the fiery hair as she twirled back to the window. :: Rajel: ::mumbling:: You better make it back in time... and one piece. -----Captain Jalana RajelCommanding OfficerUSS Constitution BImage Team FacilitatorA238906JL0
  7. ((OOC Note: The song playing in the background is Tom Wait’s Rainbirds, if you’re curious you can hear it here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hrlK69wwWA . listening while reading might enhance the experience.)) ((Temporary Apartments, Starbase 118 Operations)) :: Liani walked through the front door of her apartment and let her pack slip onto the floor, a soft non committal thud. The door slides shut behind her- a clean sound of sliding metal. She baps at the control panel a few times until the lock engages and moves a few slow steps into the room. Her eyes slide over to the small table where Charlie had made a nest out of one of her better dresses- a half eaten cricket hangs out of his mouth as he cuddles against a stuffed tribble. A soft ball of white against pale blue and Andorian flowers. Liani let herself smile. :: oO At least someone’s day went to plan. Oo Liani : Computer- key playlist Tom Waits, Instrumentals, Rainbirds, repeat. :: Liani sighs as the piano notes keyed in and she slides off her uniform with the rest of the stress- and leaves it lying on the ground like someone else’s dead skin. She pads over to the replicator on bare feet- ::Liani: Water, hot… :: a pause:: with lemon. :: Hot water in hand, she moves over to the borrowed desk, the banged up Padd sits there blank as death. She taps on the screen and catches up on the news of the day- boring, dry details- until one bit catches her eye, an antenna bends- she reads the article. It’s a small blot on the news, but it’s a reminder to her of a broken promise. Or maybe, a promise that just hadn’t had a chance to be kept yet. Running one hand through her short hair she taps the computer screen and places the call- the monitor flashes, a busy signal- :: oO Leave a message? Oo :: Liani clears her throat and takes a sip of water while the computer records her, her voice, and tucks it all in a box for later on, for someone else, somewhere else. :: Liani: Hi, we haven’t talked in a long while, in fact you vanished pretty quick, yeh? Good reasons, sure. ::a small pause as Liani sips her water and looks at the screen. :: And I just saw the news and thought maybe I should congratulate you. Your own fleet, your own station. Damn impressive, yeh? :: Liani stand and stretches, long limbs reaching to the ceiling before settling back into her seat, another sip of the water. Lips puckering slightly at the taste of the lemon. :: Liani: Of course, I’m assuming you remember me as well as I remember you- do you remember me Renos? :: Pale eyes look into the scree, a hand grazes her jaw. :: I’m generally considered pretty striking- or maybe it’s just willful. :: a small smile:: I hope you remember me, you owe me for one slightly broken heart. :: a small sip of the water. :: Ah, the date you remember, with everything you’ve had to deal with it might have slipped your mind? :: She taps her head lightly. :: I remember though, and if I wait another year they’ll have made you an Admiral, or something even bigger, a governor maybe? :: A pause, a sip. :: The point is, it would be very hard to press an Admiral or a Governor to keep their promise of a date. :: Liani moves her face closer to the recording screen. ::Liani: Truth, it’s silly even now, but I would like to see you again Fleet Captain Renos, I would like to talk, maybe share a meal, a dance, get to know you. I hope you feel the same. You can reach me anytime, generally. I’m not always, as the news reports say, off murdering tribbles. :: Liani sits up. :: Liani: Anyway, best of luck! Liani out. :: A small salute:: Computer, send. :: As the screen flashed blank and the transmission went its merry way, Liani considered her empty glass while Charlie contemplates her from his nest.:: Charlie : Ch’rr? Liani: Why does that matter? Charlie : CHhrrr-k :: Liani’s face remained calm even as her cheeks turned a deeper blue. :: Liani: I'm sure Renos can handle seeing a bit of skin, we’re both doctors. - END- -- @~'~~~ Dr. Liani h'Rhendria lyr'Theel'zhiin, Lt. JG Medical Officer Starbase 118 Operation/ USS Columbia http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Liani
  8. Renos

    Round 7 Praxo, "Aftermath"

    ((Almost a month back, Talaxian Shuttlecraft, crashed on the sphere)) ::It might sound like one of Praxos usual exaggerations, but he actually had never lost a shuttle or any other craft due to an accident. Sure there were more close calls that one could count, and none of the Talaxian’s craft was decommissioned without dints and scratches, and it preyed on his ego that he not even knew what had happened.:: ::He reached out with his right hand to open the details on the most concerning alert on the touchscreen, when a horrible sting of burning pain filled his whole arm.:: Praxo: Ouch! ::The universal translator wasn’t able to translate the following curse:: I guess my arm is broken. Good thing we have a Doctor on board. ::Opening the message with his other hand:: But we have more pestering problems. The structural integrity field will hold this pile of junk together for another 20 minutes or so. You can never tell with that system. ::Praxo had to sit down as the pain became overwhelming:: Any suggestions? Shayne: I'd suggest getting out of this shuttle. Praxo: oO That sounds like a good idea Oo Manius: I need a doctor and I’m not the only one. Let’s beam out of here, there’s nothing more we can do. The Frenix can recover the shuttle once we’re gone. Shayne: I second the motion. :: Looking at his two students, or now ex-students, Praxo realised that he got away with the least serious injuries, notwithstanding the fact that he was not sitting on a chair while the crash had happened.:: Praxo: Go ahead, get us out of here. Manius: =/\= Lieutenant Manius to the Darwin. Three to beam up. Please advice the Frenix to receive Praxo and then beam him there. Beam myself and Shayne to the Darwin’s sickbay. I have potential back injuries to please ensure I am immobilised. =/\= Icavoc: =/\= Got that Todd Manius. Please stand by for transport. =/\= ::Praxo prepared himself to be beamed over. He later didn’t remember if he was beamed to the Darwin first and then to the Frenix or if they sent him directly to the Talaxian ship, but he ended up there, receiving the appropriate treatment for a broken arm.:: ((Present day, Government Office Building, Talax II)) ::Praxo was searching his way through what seemed like kilometers of corridors full of busy people, or people who pretended to be busy. He was invited for another hearing, presumably the last one, where the results on the investigation of the shuttle accident were supposed to be announced.:: ::While the incident had summoned a huge interest of the planetary media, as soon as every so called expert was interviewed and every theory was proposed and falsified again, it was obvious that there was nothing to gain from the story anymore. The press moved on to the next shocker and the still ongoing meetings could be hold in much smaller conference rooms.:: ::Some individuals tried to make this a major issue that would impact the relationship between the Federation and the Talaxians dramatically. But as most diplomats are more reasonable than lurid headlines and even the people themselves showed a surprising sense for the truth, those attempts weren’t particularly successful, and headlines like „Federation officers injured while inspecting Talaxian craft - Diplomatic relations endangered“ were exchanged with „Talaxian technology gets cut from the plans - Do they want us off THEIR outpost?“.:: ::Praxo was pleased to see that the committee stayed reasonable as well and quickly discovered that there in fact was no evidence for pilot errors, nor instruction failures on his part.:: ::When he finally entered the room, he found the same friendly atmosphere that prevailed since the cameras and the reporters were gone. It was a working-together, everybody was here to resolve the mystery and to make sure that something like this does not happen again, rather than blaming someone. Clearly, the spirit of the Federation had influenced this council already.:: ::Normally, Praxo found these meetings quite a nuisance, since nothing new was announced time and time again, but this one, he was looking forward to. It served as the perfect excuse for not attending the opening ceremony on the outpost, where he inevitably would have met Shayne and Manius again. He cared for them, since he felt he was partly responsible, and tried to keep track of their well being as good as possible, but he’d rather not confront himself with them.:: Chairwoman: ::Knocking on the table:: Good evening, Ladies and Gentleman. Thank you for attending this hearing, even though some of you might had to decline an invitation to another big event for this. ::As this meeting was not at all mandatory to attend, Praxo was quite sure that everybody who wants to go to the ceremony was at the ceremony, except the chairwoman herself, maybe.:: Chairwoman: So let us make this quick. I want to catch the speech of Madame Brixon. Mr Rix, head of R&D at TalaxTwo Space Industries for those of you who don’t know him, will present the report of the internal investigation of said incident. Rix: Thank you, Madam. ::A quite short man pushed back his seat and walked to the head of the conference table. Then he was setting up some slides on the view screen that should support his findings, but they were really badly made and nobody actually looked on them.:: Rix: After a thorough analysis of the data of the flight recorder as well as a examination of the crash site and the wreck, we came to the following conclusion: The shuttle crashed after a failure of four port side thrusters. They were completely destroyed when the shuttle entered the hole, but we believe they were technically functioning correct. Praxo: oO But they weren’t, or else we wouldn’t be here… Oo Rix: They didn’t fire because of a software bug that was introduced in the most recent update that included the CCI, aehm, the Custom Control Interface. It is based on the Federation LCARS and allows the pilot to arrange the controls of the main flight display according to his own preferences. The error occurs only when the exact layout is used, that unfortunately was used during the crush. Control inputs were not routed to the right hardware components, which inevitably led to a loss of control. We of course have already automatically disabled the feature on all craft with the current update and working on a solution for the problem. Chairwoman: Thank you, Mr Rix. ::Although no-one was blaming the man for what had happened, he returned to his seat like a beaten dog. Praxo wouldn’t be surprised if he had just presented the finding that would make him loose his job, or at least his position.:: Chairwoman: I think we owe TTSI for their honesty in this report. I am asking now our independent review board for their take on these findings. ::Another man stood up and took the place from Mr Rix.:: Man: Thank you, Madame, Mr Rix. We found no evidence that TalaxTwo Space Industries has tampered with their report. We also agree that the software was not released prematurely, although the release process was clearly expedited to finish it in time for the exact flight that led to disaster. ::A few other people got the chance to speak afterwards, but Praxo didn’t follow them. He was quite angry, since a software bug in a, in his opinion, rather useless system caused the accident that ended his tutoring program, and not only injured himself, but also two Federation officers who had absolutely nothing to do with all that. Not to say that one of them was someone Praxo had high respect for.:: ::Later, even Praxo himself was asked for some words to wrap everything up, but he for once thankfully declined an offer to speak in front of an eager audience. When everybody was leaving, he approached the chairwoman.:: Praxo: Madam, excuse me, Madam! Did you hear anything new about the condition of Mr Manius. Chairwoman: Ah, Mr Praxo. You know as good as I do that the Federation has policies that forbid sharing the status of patients. All I know is that Mr Manius is still in medical care. ::It was the same response as always. He went home to his apartment near the main space port of the planet as quickly as possible. His wife wasn’t there, as well as all of the children that were still living at home. So Praxo had time to think about everything that had happened since that faithful day.:: ::He knew from the first day on that it wasn’t his fault, and he also strongly doubted that it was the one of Mr Shayne who was at the helm at the time. It wasn’t his nature to feel guilty for something he wasn’t responsible for, but he still felt bad about it, mainly because his praises of the technology that later would fail them completely.:: ::The pilot exchange program was obviously cut and he picked his old work up, being a shuttle pilot for all sorts of delivery, which at this point were mainly building materials for the new outpost. He thought about moving there, but he was told it was not easy to get an apartment during the initial phase of the project. Also, the Numeri threat was still lurking out there, it was probably safer for him and his family to stay were they are.:: ::He thought it was very concerning that Mr Manius was still not well. Knowing about the medical capabilities of the Federation, he always thought they could fix pretty much everything, what could only mean that the injuries must be very serious. The Talaxian hat thought a lot about the Human, even though they didn’t know each other, practically, at all.:: ::This evening however, Praxo was not only thinking, he finally gave in to the urge he felt for a very long time now. He started his computer and began typing a message.:: ::Dear Mr Manius…:: ((End)) ________________ MSPNPC Praxo as simmed by LtJG Isabel Pond Medical Officer USS Darwin-A D239212IP0
  9. ((Beach-Duronis II)) :: The two men met on the beach before the twin suns announced dawn. Inside the Embassy, only the night watch was awake, guarding over its sleeping occupants. Each man was a study of flesh and bone, finely honed muscle and sinew. They were warriors, one human, one Andorian. As they approached each other in the dark, pre-dawn coolness, the Andorian could not see the human smile. He was looking forward to this meeting. He had learned much from Tel-ar when they served together, such as dealing with his rage to become a more disciplined, and more deadly fighter. Hannibal had further sharpened his skills over the years, and, like the Andorian on the beach, Hannibal loved a good fight. :: :: Tal enjoyed the cool breeze coming in off of the ocean. It ruffled his short white hair which was still damp from his swim and carried the scent of the salt water to his antenna. The cool wet sand felt nice under his bare feet and the occasional wave that washed over them had a gentle touch. It suited his mood, the stars fading from sight as the new day approached, just as the young human marine walked towards him. Tal had agreed to this meeting, even looked forward to it. It still had not stopped him from spending the last 3 hours alternating between swimming in the ocean and running along the beach. Even as he walked closer to him Tal could feel that expectation, the need to test himself awaken deep down inside him. :: :: Hannibal was shirtless and barefoot, wearing only a pair of SFMC olive green shorts, Tal wore only a swimsuit the color of midnight. The two men stopped a respectable distance from each other, the roar of the ocean in their ears. It was then Hannibal spoke to his chosen opponent. :: Parker: Good morning, Commander…. Tel-ar: :: Tal waited a few moments before he replied, a faint tinge of light was now barely visible on the horizon and it bleached the sky an interesting tint of red even as he finally replied. :: It is Major. Parker: What’s your pleasure? We’ve got all day if you have the time for it…. :: Hannibal was fresh and was more than willing to be wrestling and fighting with his former First Officer as long as he wanted. It would be a great test of will, strength, and endurance. :: :: The evident eagerness of the man caused a brief hint of a smile to drift across Tal’s face. To be so young, so eager to test one’s abilities. It reminded him of his own past, some of his own struggles even as he replied. :: Tel-ar: Why not just keep it simple and use any and all of the skills we have. After all I am sure that you have some that you want to trot out and test against me. :: Tel-ar was right...Hannibal had learned a few things since they were assigned together, and yes, he wanted to try them out. One thing Hannibal had also learned was to not be baited so easily as he had been in the past. :: Parker: Sounds good to me, Commander...shall we begin? :: Tal took a deep breath, enjoying the way the cool ocean air felt even as he settled himself into a defensive posture. His steel gray eyes watched closely as the marine did the same. :: :: Hannibal watched the Andorian take up the standard defense posture, one which would allow him to spring into any defensive move he chose. Hannibal shadowed him and for a moment, the two men held their positions, frozen in time, neither one ready to give the game away. Each man looked for an opening, a seconds' in attention, none were forthcoming. Hannibal’s breath was even and quiet, the two dancing in the sand, the only sound was that of the rushing waves. It was time for a little good-natured taunting. :: Parker: Well, Commander...are you waiting for an invitation? Tel-ar: Victory is often to the swift but not the reckless Major. I may be many things, reckless is not one of them. :: Even as he spoke Tal shifted his weight, angling his body so that he had more options in regards to both defensive and offensive possibilities even as he lowered his center of mass slightly. :: :: Hannibal was still watching him, not interested in making the first move...at least not yet. Hannibal moved with him, keeping himself squarely in front of him, keeping himself low and balanced. :: Parker: I'm sure Commander...you have heard the term of playing possum... Tel-ar: Some would say that was a clever illusion, others a weakness to be exploited. :: Tal moved suddenly, using his greater height and speed to close the distance suddenly even as he struck with a combination of punches aimed towards the head. He followed this up with a side kick to the man’s abdomen. All of it was designed to force the man to back up, even as Tal prepared for the real attack. :: :: Hannibal saw the rush coming too late, and he was pummelled, driving him backwards. He managed to block several hits directed at him, but Tel-ar landed a solid blow to his nose, and Hannibal could hear the cartilage crunch. The side kick was more of the same, a solid blow. Feeling the trickle of blood running down his nose, and tasting it in his mouth, Hannibal smiled. :: Parker:: nodding:: Game time..... :: This time, it was Hannibal who launched low, sweeping the Andorians' legs out from under him, then spinning in the sand, locking Tel-ar's legs in a murderous leg lock, a position which if Hannibal chose, could painfully dislocate Tel-ar's hip. :: :: Tal recognised the maneuver even as he controlled his fall, the sand cushioning his landing even as he wondered in the man would try for the follow up leg lock. When he did Tal allowed a slight smile to form on his face. Parker had improved. :: :: Releasing it, Hannibal spun away from him, then put some distance between the two...:: :: Even as the marine was releasing the hold and spinning away across the sand Tal was in motion, lifting his legs and rolling back onto his shoulders before he rolled back to flip up onto his feet. :: :: Part of him had wished that Parker had tried for the disabling follow up move, it would have given him a chance to display the futility of trying it against any Andorian, his musculature and the numerous cartilage plates concealed under his skin to protect all of his body’s weak points meant that it would have taken a Vulcan or someone from a species with the same kind of strength advantage to pull it off. :: Parker: You are quick, Commander.... Tel-ar: My unexpected speed has often been an advantage. :: Tal replied calmly, his breathing slow and relaxed. :: Parker: I am a little quicker than you remember.....I've been practicing.....you still kick like a mule.... Tel-ar: Practicing and learning Major are two never ending tasks. :: The Andorian was never quick to give out compliments. Acknowledgement was the best he could hope for, and from him, that was enough. The two men moved at the same instant, each catching each other at the same time with devastating right hands which both found their mark. Hannibal stayed close, pounding the Andorians' rib cage with left and right combinations, then grabbing the Andorian in a crushing bear hug before head butting him and pushing him off. :: :: Tal felt the blows to his rib cage but ignored them, the cartilage plates under his skin and his superb training and musculature allowed him to absorb the blows with no real damage. Tal merely wrapped his long arms around him and squeezed even as Parker did the same but Tal placed his feet and used his strength to lift him off the ground even as Parker slammed his head forward into Tal’s face. :: :: Instinct warned Tal just in time to raise his jaw so that he took the blow on his chin. Parker took advantage of this to slip his arms inside of Tal’s grip and push. This combined with his size, weight and strength forced Tal to release him, however as he pushed off Tal grabbed onto his wrists, lifted one foot up to plant it firmly onto his abdomen even as he threw his body backwards. :: :: As his shoulders hit the sand Tal brought the other leg up to join the first one, then as he continued the roll backwards he pushed out with both legs and released his grip on Parker’s wrists at the same time. :: :: The result was for the marine to fly through the air even as Tal continued the move backwards to land on his feet. As soon as he was upright and on his feet Tal spun, as he turned he could see that Parker had tried to flip in the air and land on his feet. :: :: The sudden ungainly contact with the sand threw up a small cloud, one that failed to hide his contact with the sand. :: :: Hannibal had felt the move, but the Andorian was lightning fast, and as Hannibal spun himself through the air, he caught himself, but not fully as he turned to face his friend. :: Tel-ar: You have spent too much time sparing with humans Major. :: Tal said as he waited patiently for him to recover from the landing. :: :: That much was true. Hannibal was too good and too strong for most of his opponents, and he was light years in skill above them. What he could have used was Tel-ar's drones to train with. :: Parker: Why do you say that? Tel-ar: You forgot that Andorians have cartilage plates woven into the outer layers of muscle over all of their vital organs and major joints. :: Even as he said that Tal could feel something dropping onto his chest and a quick glance down showed it was blood, his blood. :: :: Tel-ar had a very valid point. One must always consider how to attack an opponent where they were weak. Andorians changed the game considerably. Still, Hannibal was pleased that at least, they were both bloodied. :: Parker: Looks like you're leaking..... Tel-ar: You probably did more damage to your hands than to me. :: Tal replied even as he reached up and checked his chin, felt the gash and was able to confirm that was the source of the blood. :: :: Looking down at his fists, the knuckles were indeed raked raw, each streaked with blood. :: Parker: Relatively minor damage.... Tel-ar: Andorian’s, Vulcan’s, Caitians and a number of other species have a denser muscle mass than humans. :: Tal said as he returned to a defensive stance even as Parker walked closer. :: :: Hannibal closed to a discreet distance, just out of reach of the long-armed Andorian. :: Parker: Remember and attack an opponents' weaknesses, not his strengths... Tel-ar: Correct Major. :: Tal replied as he noticed that the distant sky was slowly turning purple and orange as one of the planets twin suns continued its slow climb into the sky. :: Also remember that if faced by an opponent with superior strength, use that strength against them. :: Hannibal watched the sky as well, knowing the Marines would be up soon and headed for PT. He had already told Captain Martinez that should they see he and Tel-ar on the beach, they were not to interfere, as Tel-ar was a "friendly". Neither did Hannibal want an audience, he was here to train, to learn, to sharpen his skills. To do so required a worthy opponent, the willingness to sacrifice pride, to endure pain...and to listen. :: Parker: Understood....which tactic would you consider best? Tel-ar: Aikido is one, the Vulcan art of Shun-wa is another. :: Hannibal was excellent at Aikido, and he knew only a little of Shun-wa. The choice was easy. Painful it would be, but that would be how one learned a new art. :: Parker: My Shun-wa is embarrassing. I take it yours is better... :: Very few would ever hear Hannibal say there was something he was not proficient in, but he remembered his purpose here as the twin suns slowly rose higher. :: Tel-ar: That would be correct Major. :: Tal replied simply. He was not bragging, he spent many hours in training, had spent even more time learning how to fight. He had mastered a wide range and number of different styles, was even rated as an instructor in most of them. :: :: The same could be said of his knowledge and understanding of primitive weapons. Most of this he had mastered long before he had first met Parker. Back before he had gotten married to Lt. Cmdr. Elina Rose Kincaide. :: :: At the sight of Parker nodding in understanding the memories of his disastrous marriage were banished from his thoughts before they could truly form, even as the more pleasant diversion of the day resumed. :: Parker: Let the lessons begin..... Tel-ar: As you wish. :: Tal moved forward ready, even eager….. :: ((Time Jump – Mid day)) :: Tal was covered in sweet smelling floral scented sweat, another unusual aspect of his Andorian heritage. His left eye was swollen, the cut on his chin was bigger, it now constantly dripped blood onto his chest which was streaked with it and matted with sand that had mixed with both the blood and the sweat. :: :: He was not sure but he though his cheek bone was cracked. He knew without looking that he was covered in bruises. He would be feeling this fight for the next few days at least and he was impressed. :: :: Major Parker had indeed improved. The fact that he was still standing was proof of that although neither of them had truly been trying to do the other any real or permanent damage. :: :: Hannibal was drenched in sweat as the twin suns were now high overhead. He had a cut on his forehead, his nose hurt, and every inch of his body was feeling the pummelling he had absorbed.. that was the nature of learning a martial art at nearly full speed. Hannibal had given out his share of punishment and the discomfort and pain he felt only helped him to focus, and he learned his lessons well. It was not pain, in a sense...it was euphoric, the kind of high long distance runners experienced. It was honest, brutal, and beautiful. :: :: Everybody who had ever served knew there were no secrets in the military, and Starfleet was no different. The crowd had started to gather right around reveille, and continued to grow throughout the morning. Only absently did Hannibal know the crowd was growing, but Hannah had done her job in keeping everyone off the beach and out of their way. :: :: It had obviously been, at least for Tal merely a great way to start the day and get reacquainted with someone from his past. Unfortunately they had drawn rather a large crowd, many of them members of Star Fleet but there were also a number of civilians and members of the local military and city police. :: :: This was not the only reason that he was prepared to call it quits for the day. Parker was standing but Tal felt it was more a show of will power than anything else. His breathing was laboured and if anything he was even more drenched in sweat. :: Tel-ar: I think we should call it a day Major. What do you think? :: Hannibal would have continued until he could no longer stand, until his body finally betrayed him. The adrenaline which fueled him earlier was now gone, replaced with grim resolve and pure guts. Tel-ar knew Hannibal would never quit, never surrender, it was his way, and there was no dishonor in retiring after over eight hours of intense, personal combat training. Nodding his head and smiling, Hannibal spoke. :: Parker: I am fine...but I know your transport will be leaving soon...and we have done quite a bit of excellent work today.... :: Tal walked forward towards him even as he spotted a few people push their way out of the crowd and rush forward. He recognized one of them as Parkers wife. As for the other 3 it was obvious that they were medics, however only two of them wore Starfleet uniforms. The 3rd seemed to be either off duty or a local willing to pitch in and help. :: Tel-ar: Your wife is fast approaching on your left. :: He said in a low tone so as to warn Parker without tipping the man’s wife off that he had done so. The last thing he wanted was to get the man into any trouble with his spouse. :: :: Hannibal looked up and saw the blond curly hair of his wife bobbing towards him, leading the pack of others who were coming to render aid, all of which he would refuse outright.:: Parker:: Quietly:: I see her. I'm surprised she stayed up there this long.... :: Tal closed the gap, since Parker seemed more intent on keeping the image up that he was perfectly fine. Tal was unsure if that was for his benefit, his wife’s or the marines that were standing close by and had been watching the last couple hours intently. :: :: Hannibal knew he had to stand tall before his Marines and his wife, no matter how much he hurt. The pain did feel good in a perverse way, a way only understood by men like Hannibal and Tel-ar. There were true warriors, proud even in distress, showing no pain towards either his opponent or those watching. His body knew a completely different, but wonderful story. :: Tel-ar: I enjoyed that rather more than I had expected Major. :: Tal said as he reached out to shake the man’s hand. Tal felt it was the least that he could do since he had given Tal the first real enjoyment of this entire trip. :: Parker:: Smiling as he shook the Andorians' hand.:: It was frakking wonderful, Commander.... :: Just then his wife arrived and threw her arms around him, hugging him briefly as he winced from the contact, then she let go and reached up to touch his face, turning it towards her so that she could look him in the eye. As she did Tal spoke to her. :: Tel-ar: You should be proud of your husband Mrs. Parker. :: Kamela looked at her battered, bleeding husband, and then looked at his face...he was happy. Thrilled, it seemed. Her husband was indeed a unique man, something she did not always appreciate. It was days like this she knew she the warrior she married was by no means domesticated in the least. Looking over at the Andorian, Kamela smiled. :: Allison: I am, Commander..... :: Just then the medics arrived and as expected they interrupted the conversation to fire off 100 and 1 questions at both men. For a short time they did not have the opportunity to speak to each other. Not until the medical staff were finished with their examinations and prognosis. :: Doctor: =/\= This is Dr. Darlene Jones. Beam myself, Major Parker, his wife and Cmdr. Tel-ar directly to sickbay. =/\= ((Short time jump)) :: Tal sat on a bio bed being looked after by a nurse while Major Parker lay on the bed beside him, his wife hovering over him and the doctor and a nurse looking after his various injuries. :: :: Hannibal lay on his bio bed under the rather stern looks of his wife, Kamela. Every time he tried to rise up to sit, her withering look forced him back down. Once the doctor ran down the laundry list of damage both men inflicted on each other, it was quite apparent to the medical staff that the two "friendly" combatants were either crazy or needed more help than they could give them. Once the nurse had finished with Tal, she left to give the three some privacy...but Hannibal knew the Medical Center would be swelled with curious onlookers outside in the waiting room. :: Tel-ar: Major Parker. Parker: Commander..... Tel-ar: Thank you for an enjoyable morning. Parker: That it was, Commander :: Tal reached up and gently touched his cheek. As he had thought the bone had been cracked, the medical staff had told him that even with the treatment they had administered that it would be a couple weeks before it was 100%. As he finished checking it himself Parker spoke again. :: Parker: When does your transport leave? Tel-ar: The Embassy maintenance staff have informed me that my shuttle will be ready for departure by 0930 tomorrow morning. :: That gave Hannibal an idea. :: Parker: Well, that's good. You know, we can practice some more, perhaps after sundown once they let us out of here... :: That was when Kamela laid down the law to both men. :: Allison: That's quite enough, you two! The only thing the two of you are going to do is rest and TALK! No more beating each other up for fun. :: smiling at least for now. :: Turning to Tal :: Commander, I'm not a bad cook, but it would be a pleasure to make you something for your long trip back. Something real and not replicated... :: Tal considered the offer. Under normal situations he avoided any social activities, regardless of the situation. :: Tel-ar: I would not want to impose. :: Tal replied calmly. :: Parker: She is a very good cook, Commander.... :: It seemed even her husband thought it would be a good idea for him to join them and for some reason he did not understand he was inclined to accept. Considering the punishment that her husband had taken at his hands it might be wise to ensure that there were no lingering resentments between the two of them as a result of it. :: Tel-ar: Very well. :: Tal replied as he looked back and forth between the two of them. :: I will accept. :: Hannibal, despite his wife’s protestations, sat up. There were times when a man needed to look another man in the eye. It was a matter of respect and honor to do so. It was not the most comfortable thing he had done all day, but it had to be done. Smiling at the Andorian on the bed next to him, Hannibal spoke. :: Parker: It would be an honor and a pleasure, to fight by your side, Commander... :: It was amazing that although they both served together on board the USS Challenger-A together, they had never fought together. The commander was at his administrative hearing after Hannibal rescued Maya Gemini but killed several Remans in the process. Hannibal was cleared, but he never gave Hannibal a clear answer about if the same had happened to him, what would he have done. Hannibal suspected it all along it would have been the same thing. :: :: Tal considered Parker’s simple but obviously heart felt statement. Given what he knew about him it was not unexpected or out of character. Still, even with that there were times when Tal took risks that bordered on the insane and seeing the two of them together he knew that he could never ask him to do the same. :: Tel-ar: The feeling is mutual Major. :: And in his own way it was. There were not that many people who Tal would want to guard his back in a truly desperate situation. Major Parker had proven himself to be one of them. :: :: Hannibal nodded. :: Parker: You ever need me, Commander, for whatever reason, I will be there.... Tel-ar: I will keep that in mind Major, however I believe that your wife, your family should be your first priority. Take it from someone who failed to remember that and lost it all. :: Even after all this time he had regrets, not that he would have done anything differently, he was who and what he was. Still he often wondered what it would be like to still have his ex-wife in his life. Then again all things considered it was probably best that she had taken the kids and removed them from danger. After all he seemed to attract it like a magnet. The sound of Parkers wife speaking banished these morbid thoughts. :: :: It was Kamela again who spoke. :: Allison: You two warhorses need to get some rest and Commander...our home is open to you whenever you wish... :: Hannibal laughed. :: Parker: You heard the lady, Commander. Our home is open whenever you wish to drop by... Tel-ar: I will keep that in mind Major, :: Tal turned and faced his wife as he finished speaking. :: Thank you for the offer. :: It was then Doctor Jones pulled back the curtain and scowled at both men. :: Jones: You two lie down and rest. Now. :: Shaking her head. :: Sparring for eight hours. Who the hell do you think you are? :: As they both reluctantly followed the doctors' instructions, Tel-ar spoke. :: Tel-ar: I believe we labour under the delusion that we are Starfleet officers Doctor, ones who understand that we need to be ready and trained for any possible danger. :: It was an apt response, to which Hannibal replied. :: Parker: We are indeed... ************************************ Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker Marine CO Acting Chief Of Security USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy C238703HP0 & Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Chief Tactical Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A darylpeacock@hotmail.com Daryl.Peacock@ontario.ca Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0
  10. (( Captain's Ready Room, Deck 8, Deep Space 285 )) :: Shel had routinely received status reports on the repairs for the Doyle, as well as the security upgrade on the ship. The latest incident, a murder that he had Selene and her crew try to investigate before things went horribly wrong on their ship, was as solved as it could be. At least for now. He might have an independent investigator go over the data and see if they come up with the same conclusion, but right now he still needed to work on cleaning up the corruption within his station. :: :: He had a pile of paperwork that kept getting forwarded to him by his First Officer, huge piles of it. Looking through it, some of it seemed like paperwork for the sake of paperwork. Why people needed to fill out these forms in a multitude of languages, was beyond him. Last count, there was seven languages included to sign off on. There were rumors that he was going to add Orion to the mix next, but Shel wasn't entirely sure how useful that would be. Especially when there were more Trill on the station than Orions, and Trill wasn't represented. Although arguing that point, was not something Shel wanted to do, or the man would add both and the forms would then be in nine languages. :: (( Outside First Officer's Ready Room, Deck 8, Deep Space 285 )) :: As these forms were getting ridiculous, and Shel suspected it was only to pile paperwork on people, he decided to take it up with his First Officer. He stood, stretched and walked across his ready room, before ending up in the outer office, where their assistant sat. :: Faranster: Ctari, Is James in his ready room? :: The older woman looked up from her console, where she was likely putting together Shel's schedule for the day, before she addressed him. :: Ctari: Yes sir, but Lieutenant Commander Hakashri is in there with him. She brought a meal for him. :: She got quieter and leaned towards the Captain as if to whisper something. :: They might be in an indecent position if you just walk in... I can find out if he is available, sir... :: While Shel thought that it was highly unlikely that the Vulcan would be doing anything non-work related, well... ever, it seemed even less likely that he would be doing it on the clock. Part of him wanted to burst in and prove their assistant wrong, but if she was in fact right, as she usually was, then he didn't want to even picture it, let alone see them in the act. Things already seemed strained between their friendship. :: Faranster: Why don't you do that for me, Ctari? :: Shel waited while she opened the commlink to the ready room, and the FO's voice came through. :: James: =/\= Captain and inform him that I will be putting a recommendation in for his Commendation to you. Of course, if you would care to inform him of this development at the same time that would certainly be more efficient… =/\= :: Since it didn't sound quite what he expected, and there was sort of a polite sense of anxiety in his voice, he leaned over the desk and hit the mute button. :: Faranster: Let's listen a moment... Maybe this little rendezvous of theirs is getting more serious. :: He said with a wink to the assistant. :: After all, there is paperwork that needs to be filled out. :: He held up his PADD. :: If there is. Hakashri: =/\= Oh, I couldn't Commander. You should have the right to tell the Captain. He'd appreciate the news more from you. =/\= James: =/\= For minor news like this? I’m sure he would not be that interested in hearing what is most likely a beacon failure from his First Officer? No, it would be far more efficient to hear it from his CEO after all he’ll likely want to identify the malfunctioning beacon and have it repaired post-haste. =/\= .oO Is that what they are calling it now? Oo. :: It was of his opinion that this conversation is something better to run by medical where they could actually do something about the problem. And why Shel would want to know about the problem from either of them didn't make sense to him at all. :: Hakashri: =/\= While I would agree with that, the chances of the beacon selectively malfunctioning for just the Sheffield and not the next twenty ships is so low that the chance that you’ll spontaneously become a tribble is about as likely. I’m also the acting assistant chief engineer right now, remember? =/\= :: While the thought of James turning into a tribble was humorous, it didn't distract from the fact that they just mentioned Selene's ship and he was now concerned what they meant. Did his sister's ship disappear? Was it not where it was supposed to be? His parents were still mad at him for losing Sundassa when the Constitution went back in time and disappeared for two months. :: James: =/\= Well… Either way you should accompany me? That way we can commend you and you can provide an Engineering input at the same time. =/\= Hakashri: =/\= I actually typed up a complete Engineering input on the PADD – as well as the current status of all ships docked we can sortie. Granted, it was for the status report of the station, but it does say what we can sort out. You really wouldn’t need my input. =/\= :: At this point, Shel pressed the disconnect button on the commline, and glanced at his assistant. :: Faranster: Push back my meetings. :: He paused for a moment. :: And Ctari, make sure that no one enters that room until I leave. Ctari: Yes sir. (( First Officer's Ready Room, Deck 8, Deep Space 285 )) :: Shel walked up to the door and it opened, letting him in the room. As he stepped in, he caught the end of what Ceciri was saying. :: Hakashri:... Look, we’ve been arguing for 4 minutes 22 seconds. Let’s just tell him together if you *really* don’t want to tell him directly. Faranster: I'll make it easy for you, here I am. What do you have to tell me? :: He crossed the room and stood towering over the woman, but even though he was shorter than the Vulcan, at this point he was sure his presence made the officer seem small. :: James: ? Hakashri: ? Faranster: So... you are more afraid of telling me that my sister and her crew are missing, than say... what Selene will do when she finds out that instead of taking action, you were arguing about who was going to tell me? James: ? Hakashri: ? Faranster: Get a scout ship out there to their last known coordinates, whatever is ready and fast. :: He watched the two for a moment. :: NOW! James: ? Hakashri: ? Tag & TBC PNPC Captain Shelther Faranster Simmed by Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A Deputy Commandant, Starbase 118 Academy Executive Council - Captain At Large nicolebrechtel@gmail.com faranster7@gmail.com Writer ID: A239001SF0
  11. Rustyy_Hael

    Round 7 PNPC Mark Two - Spooks

    ((Space - The Final ... oh you know.))::There was a static crackle and a burst of white light just before everything went dark.Very, very dark. It was light all light in the universe had turned off. Dark and silent. No power, no movement, no sound.Mark Two let his jaw loll open feeling a shiver run up his holographic spine. Where was he? He waited a few seconds, straining his ears to listen. Nothing. He expected Doctor Foster to be barking orders by now, or at the very least someone talking about what was going on. Maybe they were all waiting for someone else to speak?He waited... and waited. He drew in a breath that he didn't need, and finally screwed up the courage to speak::Mark Two: Hey... guys?::Silence.A rush of panic hit Mark square in the chest, radiating out to his fingers and toes. Were they hurt? Unconscious? Dead?::Mark Two: Doctor Foster? Doc Milsap? Mr. Nijil? ::he called out, voice wavering:: Are you guys OK?::Nothing.Mark stumbled forward, rushing blindly in the direction he last remembered them, hands out to prevent himself from crashing into anything in his way.But he hit nothing. He waved his hands, searching for the wall he knew was there, the doorframe, the dropped medical supplies.Nothing. He couldn't even feel the floor. How was he standing? He didn't know.::Mark Two: ::With a gasp:: I've gone insubstantial! ::Shouting:: Doctor Foster! Doctor Milsap! Doctor Nijil! Can you hear me?!::Nothing.Pause. A gasp in the darkness.::Mark Two: ::He perked his head up, blue eyes wide. A tiny glimmer of hope welled in his electronic heart:: Hello?! CAN YOU HEAR ME?::Silence.Silence...::Voice: ::Tiny:: help me.::The breath he didn't need caught n his throat - a reaction of memory rather than necessity.::Mark Two: Where are you? Are you OK?Voice: help me.::Mark whirled around, stumbling sideways, trying to get closer to the sound::Mark Two: How do I help you? Who are you?Voice: help me.::No matter which way he went, he couldn't get any closer to it, consistently a whisper on the wind.::Mark Two: Are you injured?Voice: help me.::Mark knit his brows together, thoroughly confused. It was like talking to a broken record. He grit his teeth and tried something different.::Mark Two: The other voice said 'they are coming.' Are they coming for you?Voice: ::There was a pause. no answer.::Mark Two: Are you scared of them?::Another pause, this one felt ominous as the air around him grew cold.::Voice: ::Still tiny:: I am them.::Mark closed his eyes and frozen in place, silently screaming in the impenetrable dark.::~*~tbc...~*~pNPC Mark TwoEmergency Medical Hologram Mark IIUSS Constitution-BSimmed by: Wyn Foster
  12. (( Big thanks to Jonathan for letting me have a part in this )) (( Quarters Rajel )) :: In times like this Jalana preferred to stay in the action, on the bridge or close to whatever department had the best lead. But right now they had old reports, that had not been updated for over a hundred years, mysterious DNA in some encrypted files and data of a nebula that sounded more dangerous than she liked. Before they'd arrive they would have a meeting, but until then she couldn't really do anything. There were too many variables and they still had half a day left until arrival. So Jalana went back to her quarters. :: :: Upon arrival she slipped out of her boots, grabbed a PADD from her desk, got a cup of Jestral Tea and dropped her butt on the couch. She put up her feet and activated the PADD, which automatically updated itself with her newest messages and reports. With a lazy sweep from bottom to top she began to scroll the headlines and furrowed her brows as she spotted a report marked as Top Secret. A quick tap of the thumb on the headline opened the message and she leaned back, cuddling into her couch and raised her cup to her lips to take a sip as green eyes scanned the text. :: =/\= REPORT =/\= [...] finalized, completed documentation of what has become known as the Prometheus Incident as investigated by the Starfleet Sciences & Technologies division. At the conclusion of Operation: Knife Point, S.S.T. has confirmed involvement of Sicarius [...] :: The tea that had just begun to warm the Trill's mouth suddenly found its way onto the display of the PADD, running over the surface down over her fingers. With a yelp she dropped the PADD and shook her hand to cool it down. Coughing she put the cup down on the table to quickly grab the PADD again without even waiting for the couching fit to be over. That was impossible! Again she read over the lines and there it was again. Sicarius. Her heart beat faster, rapidly like a drum. The report mentioned further information below and without reading anything really she looked for another mention of it and found it after a bit of searching. :: [...] Knife Point confirmed that Doctor Hans Coulter was the instigator. The lead project manager and also had been an agent of Sicarius, an organization once believed to have died out in the late 2200s. [...] :: That was it? Nothing else? She hurriedly began to read the whole report, not really interested in all the other details after these shocking news? A side note? That couldn't be all they had on them! It was impossible that they were back. She herself had seen to it. He was dead! (( Flashback, Trill Private Service, TSS Farel, 2230 )) :: There he was, all calm and quiet, as if he had all the time in the world instead of being executed in less than a day. She had not seen a single motion from him ever since he had been brought into the cell and sat down on the thin pallet that was his bed. A statue. That kind of statue that had killed millions of people in a purge only he and his followers believed in. Her ocean blue eyes remained on the unmoving body. She had come here to see the man who had killed so many. :: :: His last stop had been a colony Orgilum IV. Several ships had responded immediately to the distress calls and after he was found to be responsible, Apria had been the one to be put in charge, to make sure he'd arrive in the Klingon Empire for his sentence. She knew that they were helping the Federation with that, which she did not like at all, but this man needed to be punished. It was hard to not take that task upon herself, but she had orders. :: :: Apria stood just as still, arms crossed in front of her, as if the first to move would lose. The knee long black uniform jacket closed up after covering her throat, so neither the security officer at the door, nor the man inside the cell would see her throat tremble in the immense effort not to scream in fury. She couldn't understand how he could be so calm after ending so many lives. Finally she couldn't stand the quiet any more. :: Apria Rajel: Why? :: He slowly turned his head and looked at her with his dead dull eyes, pretending that he had not seen her standing there in the dimmed light of the brig's control room. Silence, but even without words he made her feel uneasy, like she'd be next on his list. He could be considered handsome, if not for these eyes staring at her like the grim reaper on a field trip. :: Mida Shayzier: Why what, Kezra? :: His voice, so soft and melodious sent shivers down Apria's spine. There was no surprise that he was able to interpret the 5 bands on her shoulder and fit them to the correct rank. She had taken Command just a few months ago so she was not a full Tezra yet. She pressed her lips onto each other. :: A. Rajel: You know what Shayzier. Why? M. Shayzier: It had to be done. :: She stepped forward, closer to the force field that would hold her back from doing the Klingon's job right here and now. :: A. Rajel: You just HAD to kill millions of people? :: He raised from the pallet and stepped forward looking down right into her eyes. Apria forced herself to not step back again, no matter how much her inner alarm screamed to get away from him. :: M. Shayzier: ::whispering:: They were weak, Kezra. :: Her ocean blue eyes squinted, as her fingernails dug into the fabric of her uniform covering her elbow. It would be so easy, just lowering the field and he would be hers. It took her everything to remain calm to the outside. :: A. Rajel: In less than a day you will join them. We will see who'll be weak then. :: Chills ran down her spine as he smiled, as if she had said the most beautiful compliment in the galaxy. :: M. Shayzier: You can't stop it. It will come and the weak will cease. A. Rajel: It? M. Shayzier: ::He smiled a little more:: You will see. Everyone will see. :: Apria wondered what he was talking about. Was he threatening them? Did he have something planned that would fall over the galaxy? Did he know about something that nobody else had heard about? Or did he have delusions and there was nothing but the voice in his head to kill? :: Security Officer: Kezra Rajel, Bridge reports that we are passing the border. :: As Shayzier pulled up the corner of his mouth she knew that it didn't mean anything good. Did he plan to kill the Klingons as well? Were they followed? She had to get back to the bridge right away. :: A. Rajel: Thank you. ::She spoke without taking her eyes off him, as if he could possibly reach through the energy field.:: No matter what you have planned you can forget about it, Shayzier. I will hand you to the Klingons and will make sure personally that you can't do any more harm. Enjoy your trip. It's the last you'll have. :: He still smiled as she turned without another word and left the brig, feeling his dead gaze in her back. :: (( /Flashback )) :: And she had done just that. The Klingon Officials had allowed her to be present and she hadn't looked away once when Mida Shayzier had been executed, she still could feel that gaze on her as if he had wanted to make sure that she saw it. She hadn't batted an eye, no matter how cruel it was and when they had been done and his body lifeless, she had approached to feel for a pulse and make sure that he really was dead, just then she had beamed back to the Farel and headed back towards Trill. :: :: With Shayzier's death Sicarius had been uprooted and destroyed. It was not possible that they were back. Too much time had passed. The few fanatics left must have spread in the whole Galaxy. Jalana remembered fighting a few on Trill in her Cop days as Arien, but those really had no idea what the whole organisation was about, they had been sheep, easily persuaded to stop. :: :: Jalana dropped the PADD on the table, not in the mood any more to continue reading the reports. To find the Unity and save anyone who could possibly still be alive needed to be on her mind, not a man who was dead for over 160 years. She'd have a meeting tomorrow and needed to be clear and awake. :: :: She grabbed her tea and headed towards the bed room. Going through that memory, so old that she had forgotten it until now, made her feel uneasy, feeling that tingling in her back as if someone was watching. She stopped at the bedroom door and turned slightly, looking around her quarters. :: Rajel: Computer, how many people are in my quarters? Computer: Only Captain Jalana Rajel is in these quarters. :: She exhaled, even though she had known that before. Shaking her head she turned off the light in the living area and stepped to her bed. She changed into her nightgown, not sure though, if she would really find any sleep tonight. :: ----- Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  13. ((Space, just outside the Darwin)) ::Praxo was flying Talaxian shuttles again, finally! After a month in the clean, advanced but somehow character-less Federation shuttles, he was very glad when he finally returned to Talax II and his own, custom built craft. However, today he was en route with a Dalex type Talaxian shuttle.:: ::He had left the Darwin after his assignment with mixed feelings. As much as he looked forward to piloting „real“ shuttles again, he most certainly missed the comfort of a Federation ship and the ever-changing routine of exploring the sphere. There of course weren’t many exciting incidents as they had on the very first trip and the further research on the blue space goo turned out unsatisfying, but it was an easy, comfortable life, and easy and comfortable was always good.:: ::When home, the first thing he did was taking his shuttle to his favorite low altitude race track and soon agreed that it probably had been a bit too much comfortableness during the last month. However, he indeed missed replicators and also, most surprisingly, also his fellow pilot Shayne. It was clear, as soon as there would be a possibility to move to the newly built outpost, he would take it.:: ::No question, when the Talaxian government contacted him again to participate in a completely new project with Starfleet, he not even bothered to play undecided to rise the rewards. He was supposed to teach Starfleet pilots the quirks of Talaxian shuttles, a task most certainly fitting for a pilot of his calibre.:: ::Soon after, he was on his way back to the Darwin. Unfortunately not in his own craft. As much as he would have loved to show it off, even he agreed that it was contra productive to learn the art of piloting Talaxian crafts on a one-of-a-kind ship. So he decided to bring the Dalex type instead, a master piece of Talaxian engineering that was as well not to be scoffed at. It was the highest performing ship out of serial production in the size of a shuttle. Of course warp capable, but not suited for long distance trips.:: ::When the already very familiar shape of the Darwin appeared on his view screen, Praxo hailed them.:: Praxo: =/\= USS Darwin, this is Talaxian Shuttle DX257, are you receiving me? =/\= Traenor: =/\= ::chuckling:: Loud and clear. Welcome back! =/\= Praxo: =/\= This is Talaxian delegate Praxo, request permission to dock. Traenor: =/\= Permission granted, Talaxian delegate Praxo. ::smirk:: =/\= Praxo: Thank you very much. ::Praxo had no idea if he really counted as a delegate, but whatever. He assumed that anyone in charge would know him anyway. It was almost too easy to pilot a shuttle into the Darwin’s shuttlebay, even if you would come off the required trajectory, there were tractor beams to quickly bull you back on track. He made sure that that would not be necessary, as the two pilots he would soon teach about flying were already waiting there for him, surely judging his entry performance.:: ((Shuttlebay, Deck eight, USS Darwin-A)) ::After a landing as on point as it gets, Praxo proudly exited the craft through the hatch at it’s rear. Waiting for him were two Starfleet officers, one of them he knew already.:: Praxo: Shayne! What a pleasant surprise! Shayne: Good to see you, Mr. Praxo. Nice of you to bring your ride here. Praxo: I’m glad you will be the first to lay hand on good Talaxian technology. And who we have here? I’m Praxo, first class flight instructor and record holder on not less than fourteen race tracks in this sector alone. ::He of course made this titles up as he talked, but they were somewhat truthfully. At the end, who cared that he made up most of these tracks himself for his personal use and that he never was outside of this sector?:: Manius: Lieutenant Manius, medical doctor and pilot. Praxo: I heard you are here to learn about the art of flying Talaxian shuttle, so should we start right away? Shayne: I don't see why not. I'm rearing to go. Manius: Then let’s proceed. Praxo: Good, I like your eagerness. I will consider that during your final exam. ::A bit less confident:: Will there be an exam? Shayne: Absolutely not! Praxo: Alright, no exam then. ::The Talaxian took his walking stick, one that he bought solely for an occasion like this one and certainly won’t need, and tucked it under his right arm while starting to walk a few steps back and forth. He thought he must look incredibly cool and super important.: Praxo: You’re standing in front of the finest piece of Talaixan engineering. The Dalex type is the newest creation of our skillful technicians. Warp 4, high performance impulse drive, redundant computer core, absolutely no automated flight control aids, what more could you possibly ask for? ::Dramatic pause:: Praxo: The Dalex type has a two seated [...]pit and in the back either a considerable amount of cargo space or two more or less comfortable passenger seats. It comes with a strong double-emitter defensive deflector system and two state of the art laser cannons. Do you have any questions so far? ::He was very proud of the delivery of his speech. oO I should definitely consider becoming an entertainer Oo :: Shayne: How does she handle? Praxo: I hear that some Federation pilots like to refer to their ships as women. That’s cute. But with the Dalex type, it is not only true, it is worse. This one is a diva. Forget your Federation craft flying skills and prepare for the „press a button, wait a few moments and see if it does what you want“-kind of flying. I’m kidding. The computer is sometimes a bit slow, but it will always EXACTLY do what your inputs are, it’s only doubtful that this will be what you want it to do. But enough of talking, let’s take a look inside, shall we? ::Praxo pointed with an inviting gestures to the still open hatch.:: Shayne: ::To Manius.:: Shall we? ________________ MSPNPC Praxo simmed by Ensign Isabel Pond Medical Officer USS Darwin-A D239212IP0
  14. ((Lt DeVeau’s Quarters, USS Garuda))::There was a problem with being officially off duty - it meant it was difficult to work out of the eyes of those who had told her to take some time off. While Alora wasn't generally the sort to leave things undone, she also wasn't a workaholic either. Usually she knew how to balance work and pleasure and still participated in activities that would keep her busy. Alora couldn't shake the guilt, especially in light of her recent findings. Upon discovering the Chief of Science working against orders, she'd been ordered, again, back to her quarters, or the holodeck, or somewhere, for rest and away from the work that waited for her. She had spent some time in the holodeck, banging against the piano in fits of frustration with pieces that sounded similar to Stravinky's 'Rite of Spring', though far more cannibalistic in nature. Eventually she'd managed to snap a string on the holographic piano, and while that could have been taken care of easily, she retreated back to her room. An attempt to contact friends had revealed that the two she leaned most heavily on, Raissa and Aron, were not available, so she flopped on the couch and attempted to read a book.::::Her eyes absorbed every word, every syllable, but her mind couldn't rest. Her sleep had been interrupted with countless nightmares, scenes of the vines that the Kindred had controlled wrapping themselves around their unsuspecting prey. Despite the more favourable outcome, the nightmares never ended happily. Every time, she watched as friends and colleagues were crushed and strangled one by one until she was the only one left, her body still captive, the voice of the Mother chuckling low in triumph. Sometimes, it wasn't the vines that were used but her bare hands, fingers pressing into the flesh. Sometimes, the vines expanded into an organism so vast that despite the lack of air in space, they burst from the ship to swallow it whole before continuing to fly through toward some other suspecting victim. The latter had more of a fantastical quality to it and was easier to handle, but the two former were far too realistic in the wake of what had really happened, and resulted in her waking only to huddle in her bed, sniffling.::::Even while awake, images popped into her mind, unbidden, and as she attempted to find some solace in the fantasy of a good book, her brain refused to allow her rest. Fortunately, the chime of the door tugged her out of any downward spiral and she rose even as she called the computer to allow the visitor entry.::::The doors slid back to reveal a tall, slender form, momentarily silhouetted against the brighter corridor. Stepping inside into the dimmer lighting allowed details to resolve; the familiar angular features, grey eyes and dark hair, the flowing Vulcan robes and, over his shoulder, a familiar bulky shape; his harp case.::::As he stepped inside the doors hissed shut behind him. One long-fingered hand rose in the ta'al, the traditional Vulcan salute.::Saveron: Sochya, Alora.::He spoke quietly. It had been nearly a Terran year since they had last been face to face, and although he and his friend kept in contact during his year teaching at the Starfleet Academy on Vulcan and the Vulcan Academy of Science, even he in his Vulcan logic would admit that such communication was lacking.::::He spoke quietly, for Aron had indicated that the past weeks had not been kind to Alora. That if ever there was a time when she needed a friend, it was now.::::At the sight of said visitor, Alora froze. The form that stood before her was one that she had wished, time and time again, would return - especially after her most recent ordeal. The face, stoic and poised had come to mind on many an occasion along with the desire to have hiscomforting presence in person rather than restricted to the screen as it had been since his departure. For a moment, she wondered if, perhaps, wishful thinking had thrust her mind into creating some sort of mirage, though she managed to croak out a soft,::DeVeau: Saveron?Saveron: Affirmative.::He had learned that some species did not always believe the evidence of their own senses, but then most did not have the level of control that his own people did. The tone of Alora's voice suggested more than the expected level of surprise however, there was he thought a note of disbelief.::DeVeau: You're...here.Saveron: That is correct.::And still she did not seem to quite believe him. A Terran might have offered her a hand to grasp in evidence, but no Vulcan made that gesture lightly, with all that it entailed.::Saveron: My shuttle docked this morning. ::He paused, searching for appropriate words for alien sensibilities.:: I trust that I am not interrupting you?::Never before had Alora had to exert so much control. Her first instinct was to run and throw her arms about the neck of the tall man, draw him into a crushing hug. She even went so far as to quickly close the distance between the two of them, but stopped just before him, hands twitching as she realised such contact was not Vulcan and would not be comfortable for him. Despite that, the evidence that she was quite happy to see him was soon evident in the way her mouth spread into a wide smile that, for the first time in days, reflected in her eyes.::::Her expression indicated that she did not find his arrival disagreeable.::DeVeau: You’re back…Saveron: That is the case. ::He agreed. She seemed to have some slight difficulty with the concept.::DeVeau: I didn’t know you were coming back...you didn’t tell me.::In fact, her last correspondence had gone unanswered where Saveron was usually prompt. She had thought that he’d simply been overly busy and would reply as soon as he possibly could. She had not expected to see him at her door.::Saveron: The notification of transfer required immediate action; I did not have time to write initially. ::He admitted.:: On further consideration I thought that you might find the ‘surprise’ agreeable; I understand that Terrans often do.::Unlike his own people who abhorred disorganisation and the unexpected.::Saveron: You… are not displeased?::He would never accuse a member of his own species of emotion, but Alora always seemed quite ready to own her own feelings.::DeVeau: On the contrary ::she admitted::, I’m extremely, extremely pleased. You have no idea how much I wished you were here...especially after…::She trailed off, her smile wiped clean from her face.::::The tall Vulcan cocked his head slightly to one side, grey eyes scanning her youthful features, now suddenly devoid of the previous, pleasant expression.::Saveron: I am here now. ::He said gently.:: Will you tell me what happened?::He knew nothing of recent events save what he had overheard from quiet conversations. Gesturing towards the couch in silent suggestion, he set his harp case gently onto the floor.::::As she opened her mouth, Alora inhaled simply to take a breath with which to speak. Unfortunately, what exited wasn’t a word but a sob. Once it had escaped, it was quickly followed by another. Then another. Suddenly, Alora wasn’t able to formulate a single word but rather covered her face with her hands, body trembling with every sob without even a step toward the couch. How many times had she done that the last few days? Far too many, and she had thought it was out of her system, but with the arrival of a dear friend, she suddenly found herself breaking down far too easily.:: ::An emotional response. Aron had not been incorrect in his summation of Alora’s state. It was disagreeable to witness, not for the emotionality which was a common feature amongst aliens, but for what it implied about his friend’s situation.::::There was a rustle of fabric as Saveron moved quietly past her, a few faint beeps from the replicator, and a moment later a warm mug was pushed into her hands, the scents of milk and chocolate rising in the steam. He remembered that she favoured the drink. There was the faintest, momentary touch on her arm::Saveron: Sit with me.::He spoke gently, moving over to perch on the couch with that familiar, slightly stiff position of one accustomed to sitting on the floor. The scent of the chocolate mingled with the smells of exotic yet familiar herbs and spices that rose from Saveron’s own mug; his usual Theris-masu. They were familiar smells, associated with conversations and music lessons past.:: ::The warmth in her hands cut through the chill that memories brought and downgraded her sobbing to sniffles with an occasional gulp. The mixture of herbs and candied warmth were soothing in their own right. As Saveron settled on the couch, Alora allowed herself a moment more to gather some composure before she joined him, though she didn’t take a sip of the drink he’d offered just yet.:: DeVeau: I’m sorry. ::And how many times had she said that over the last few days as well? Obviously, this was not exactly what Saveron had expected and certainly not how Alora might have imagined their reunion to go.:: Saveron: You have nothing for which to apologise. ::He paused.:: It is disagreeable to see you in distress. ::How else could he put it? The urge to reach out, to have conveyed without words the nature of the problem, as a Vulcan might, was instinctive, but Alora was no Vulcan, and such gestures were used only between those who were close, or in great necessity. He would not presume. Rather he waited patiently.:: DeVeau: It was… ::It was what? Both Raissa and Aron had asked, but words failed when she tried to describe what it was like. The best she could come up with was…:: DeVeau: Horrendous. ::The word brought that thin-lipped look to Saveron’s face, the closest he ever came to looking unhappy. Aron had hinted that something dreadful had happened, and particularly to Alora.:: Saveron: Will you tell me what happened? ::He asked quietly. DeVeau: I’ll try. ::It took several starts and stops, and after the second collapse into sobs, Alora had to put the mug down on the table lest she spill it. Once she wrestled and gained control again, she continued, but at least two more episodes occurred before she was finally able to finish the story. When it was over, she could no longer cry, partially because she’d already shed so many tears, and partially because of how much detail she’d gone into. For some reason, she was able to admit everything to Saveron, to give him even the smaller details that she’d left out with others. She felt safe with him.:: ::The only movement had been a quiet sip of tea as Alora spoke, she had the Vulcan’s undivided attention. He still wore that thin-lipped expression, and as she finished his gaze turned introspective for a moment, thinking carefully, before grey eyes met green.:: Saveron: I do not know what a culturally appropriate response would be. ::He admitted with the same candour.:: The describe such an experience in my own people’s terms seems… insufficient. ::’Disagreeable’, whilst useful for Vulcan responses to experiences, did not encompass the spectrum of reaction through which aliens endured; certainly it did not cover Alora’s reaction.:: Saveron: I appreciate your candour, ::he added at last,:: your trust in me. I would find it preferable if I could assist in some way. ::Yet he was no Counsellor. The extreme nature of Vulcan mental discipline closed that door to him.:: I appreciate that to experience such, to feel such actions as your own and have no volition to prevent such is traumatic. ::For only a fool would ever think that Alora herself would undertake such actions. He would find it preferable if Alora did not seem to attract such trauma. He recalled all too well the aftermath of her and Commander Rahman’s abduction by the Orionese brigand. He recalled too his own experience of such.:: ::Saveron had been the first person she trusted since leaving the Academy to accept her first posting. Distance hadn’t changed that, and if anything, his presence merely solidified that fact. As one hand rubbed at her eyes, she stared down at the mug of chocolate which, by that point, was probably just barely warm.:: DeVeau: I’m glad you’re back. ::She admitted before adding.:: I missed you. I’m glad you’re here and we can talk again. ::For although he couldn’t express himself in a Terran manner, she somehow felt so at ease with him. He just accepted her outburst, her feelings - he just accepted her and had from the beginning.:: Saveron: I also find it preferable that we may speak face to face once more. ::He replied evenly.:: ::It was agreeable to hear more positive tones from Alora, though he could not help but think of what she had been through, and how such things could leave very deep scars. That he understood far too well.:: Saveron: I… understand, perhaps more than most, that which you experienced. I myself have experienced something similar. DeVeau: You did? ::Alora hadn’t realised that. Had Saveron mentioned it and she’d forgotten? Normally she had a fairly good memory - maybe not as good as Saveron’s, but still.:: DeVeau: Do you mind if I ask what happened? Saveron: I would not have spoken of it if I objected. ::Indeed he had anticipated the question.:: The USS Thunder- the ship attached to the Duronis II Embassy - was nearly destroyed when a Pah Wraith resident in an ancient Bajoran possessed a member of the crew and took control of the ship. Another crewmember became possessed by a Prophet, and the two endeavoured to undertake the Reckonning aboard that ship. Several members of the Thunder’smarine contingent were killed by the Pah Wraith, and a member of the senior staff was mentally subjugated in order to attain the appropriate accesses. ::Of course, not every species had the ability to mentally subjugate another.:: ::Even though he spoke of it as if he were merely recounting the details of a report, Alora knew he was one of those crewmembers.:: DeVeau: And you were taken by the….? Saveron: I was possessed by the Pah Wraith. ::He said simply, knowing he did not need to describe the swath of destruction he had cut through the ship, and her crew.:: ::It had happened to him, almost the exact same thing. Different ship, different beings, but the results had been the same - their bodies and minds had been used to hurt and even kill others. Tears stung Alora’s eyes once more and colour drained from her face. Quickly, she looked away to take hold of herself and struggled to find something to say. She wound up asking a silly question, but at least it would get them off the topic.:: DeVeau: What made you decide to come back? ::He accepted the change of topic. It had been his intention to demonstrate a measure of survivability, not to bring forth again the pain that showed on Alora’s face.:: Saveron: It was not my decision to make, nor was my departure. I was transferred back by Starfleet. ::Just as he had been transferred out. Like all of them he moved at the whims of their superiors.:: ::Alora nodded slowly. Regardless, she was glad for the Vulcan’s return and hoped that Starfleet would leave him there permanently, even if it was a selfish desire. :: Saveron: It is agreeable to be aboard the Garudaagain. I shall be working with your department. ::That made Alora pause. Her department? Had something happened?:: DeVeau: Not as a doctor? I thought you preferred that posting... Saveron: Affirmative; I am here as a Xenobiology Specialist, to assist in the investigation of recently encountered species. The Garudahas sufficient medical personal, though I will of course be available to the medical department should additional staff be required. ::But that wasn’t why he’d been transferred back.:: ::Well that made sense, considering his specialty. Still, Alora thought he made a fine doctor, but if that’s what it took to get him on the Garuda, she wouldn’t argue. Her eyes drifted down to the item that he’d brought with him, finally noticing it in the aftermath of her breakdown.:: DeVeau: You brought your harp. Saveron: I considered that you might find it agreeable to continue our lessons. DeVeau: Would you be willing to play for me? ::One of the many things she had missed was their time spent learning together, especially with music.:: Saveron: Affirmative. ::Sometimes music had a soothing quality that words did not. It was a twin case, and Saveron snapped one side open with practiced ease, extracting an old harp, it’s intricate designs polished with use, made of rare woods from the T’ralorian Preserve, which his people had licence to harvest sustainably. With deft movements he tuned it before setting long fingers to the strings and drawing forth a gentle, soothing melody, pleasant tones and easy on the ears.:: ::Alora’s eyes closed and she sighed softly before curling up on the half of the couch she’d claimed for her own. Although it looked as if he’d brought the other, for the moment she was content to simply let him play and allow herself to get lost in the music. The tones of the Vulcan harp curled about her, reminding her of the not so distant past and the pleasant moments spent together. Notes that seemed filled with far too much emotion to truly be Vulcan danced lightly about her, calling her to forget her troubles for the moment. Each note wrapped it’s delicate tendrils about her, the music drew her into its embrace and rocked her gently upon its rolling waves. How long he’d played, she wasn’t sure, but when the peace finally ended and the wisps of the melody release her and faded, she shifted to settle her gaze back upon the Vulcan.:: DeVeau: I’ve missed this too. Saveron: Would you find it agreeable to resume our lessons? DeVeau: I would love to. I’ve been practising in the holodeck...but it’s not the same. ::Holograms could be programmed to act like real people, but they were still just computer generated images. They didn’t possess actual life, usually, and thus lacked a depth that she missed with real people. Even her holographic sensei couldn’t compared to the real one back in Japan - though she agreed it was better than nothing at all.:: Saveron: I would be honoured to continue teaching. ::Dark brows raised slightly as he offered the old and well-cared for instrument to Alora.:: ::Pushing herself upright, Alora accepted the instrument, her smile returning, though pale in comparison to its usual brilliance, and addressed it directly..:: DeVeau: I’ve missed you too. ::Removing the second harp from the case - this one a modern electronic instrument, all gleaming metal and indicator lights - Saveron regarded Alora for a moment. Sometimes Terrans had an odd way of expressing things.:: *************** Lt. Cmdr Saveron Xenobiology Specialist USS Garuda & Lt. Alora DeVeau Chief of Science USS Garuda
  15. ((Holodeck 4)) ((Standard Phaser Training Simulation)) ::Raissa frowned at the different types of phasers laid out on the counter in front of her along with the species neutral targets arrayed at varying distances. She was a counselor, not a security officer.:: Moonsong: Why are we here again? :: Evan stood nearby, arms clasped behind his back as he regarded Raissa. :: Delano: One of my responsibilities as the chief of security is to ensure all senior officers maintain proficiency with standard armaments. According to the log, you’re overdue. Moonsong: Running away screaming isn't an option? :: The security raised an eyebrow, a lopsided smile curling his lip. :: Delano: I’m afraid that wouldn't solve anything, Counselor. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the difficulty settings fairly low. ::She frowned fiercely at him, but there was no real weight behind it.:: Moonsong: Do you have a ‘shouldn't-be-allowed-to-touch-weapons’ setting? Delano: That’s what the holodeck safeties are for. :: Evan raised an eyebrow when he realized Raissa wasn't entirely joking. :: Delano: Isn’t basic weapons training required at the Academy? Moonsong: Well…. yeah…. technically…. Delano: So… you didn't do well? :: Evan was trying to be diplomatic. He knew most officers disliked these annual requirements. His approach had been to try to make it more like a game. Sure, target practice wasn’t exactly Velocity, but it could be fun with the right attitude. :: ::Raissa sighed and looked decidedly guilty:: Moonsong: I shot my instructor…. I mean… not on purpose, but he moved as I firing… I managed to beg my way through an admin waiver. I can’t seem to fire a phaser with my eyes open. :: Evan rubbed the back of his neck, looking just a bit uncomfortable. :: Delano: Well, there’s no sense getting worried about it now. If you end up needing some extra work, I’m sure we can figure something out. ::She sighed and crossed her arms.:: Moonsong: My brothers tried to teach me to shoot with antique projectile weapons. I’ve had the problem ever since I fractured my shoulder with a 12 gauge shotgun. :: The security chief gave Moonsong another raised eyebrow. He’d have to ask more about that story later. His stepfather had tried to teach him to use similar weapons a few years before he’d started at the Academy, but Evan had always preferred energy weapons. :: Delano: I don’t think you need to worry about kickback with most Starfleet weapons. Really, to shoot a type two all you need to do is point and click. Though I’ll need to make sure you know how to adjust settings and set your safety. Moonsong: ::sighs:: I assume you mean now… Delano: Well… we are here. ::break:: Look, why don’t you just show me what we’re looking at. We can call it a practice run. ::Raissa picked up one of the type two phasers and looked at it. She knew the basics of the device. She knew how to manage the settings. That part was easy enough. She even managed to not once point it in his direction. She wondered if he’d give her a waiver if she shot him….. accidentally.:: ::With another sigh she turned and faced the targets, holding the phaser with both hands she pointed. She aimed. Just before her finger compressed the trigger, her eyes squeezed shut and the beam missed the target.:: Delano: Hm. :: Evan rubbed his chin with a finger, thinking more about how to offer feedback without making the other officer any more embarrassed. He opted for humor, in the end. :: Delano: Well, at least you managed to make it downrange. Do you want to try it again with your eyes open? ::For a moment she leveled a look at him that promised harm.:: Moonsong: Evan, that’s my problem. ::Raissa tried again. She struggled as hard as she could to keep her eyes as wide open as possible until….. ZAP! Fortunately the floor was the only casualty.:: :: For his first few months on Garuda, he’d thought it strange that the phaser range attached to the ship’s armory went largely unused. Most of the crew opted to use the holodeck for such things, if only because the exercises were more entertaining. As he resisted the urge to duck, he suddenly had a new appreciation for holodeck safety protocols. :: Delano: Well, that was better. Raissa, it’s… almost like you’re afraid of it. Is this because of what happened to you with your brothers? Moonsong: ::she shrugged.:: I don’t know. I don’t like these types of weapons. Ancient or modern. My brothers love guns. They collect them. ::She sighed again and decided to tell him.:: Moonsong: I was twelve. The twins were fifteen. They didn’t tell me about kickback or blowback or whatever you call it. They made it look easy. They helped me hold it and aim it. I pulled the trigger and I swear I flew backward 10 yards, landing on my back with a broken shoulder. ::pause:: Of course at first they thought it was hilarious. Delano: Really? That’s… :: He really had no idea how to finish that sentence, but he tried anyway. :: Delano: … Awful. Moonsong: Siblings are like that. I developed a rapier wit in revenge. Delano: So… what, you have some kind of phobia to ranged weapons? How did you get through those courses at the Academy? Moonsong: I missed. I mean a missed a lot. But I was getting really good grades everywhere else. ::She sighed looking at the phaser in her hand.:: If the target is the size of a barn door, I can hit it. Law of averages they said. That or if I keep perfectly still and the target doesn’t move in the least, I can hit it. :: Evan nodded, though the truth of the matter was that he was a little bothered. His responsibility was to the safety of the ship and crew. That task seemed much more daunting if some of the crew weren’t as capable of defending themselves as he’d believed. He’d need to step up these evaluations, just to make sure he was aware of anyone else with similar issues. :: Delano: Well, I had a few classes like that, I suppose it isn’t that much of a stretch. Still, it’s my job to make sure you’re able to defend yourself in the event of some kind of emergency. ::break:: I don’t know, you’re the counselor. What would you tell a patient to do if she was having a similar problem? Moonsong: Practice, practice, practice until we can keep our eyes open. ::makes a slight face:: Unfortunately our current schedule doesn’t leave us a lot of wiggle room. Besides, unless the ship is boarded we doubt we’ll be allowed on any away missions. ::Pause.:: Now if it comes to throwing things… I’m very accurate. :: Evan noted the odd use of the plural pronoun, but assumed that Raissa was speaking of the two of them. :: Delano: I think we should make the time. Even say… twenty minutes every other day or so. Moonsong: ::sighs:: I suppose we don’t have a choice. We shall add it to our schedule. :: There it was again. :: Delano: Raissa, did you say ‘we’? What do you mean? ::Raissa cursed herself inwardly. On the bright side she didn’t slip up much in counseling sessions, but because she was with a friend she had relaxed. She looked up at the man she did consider a friend. But as chief of security, he did have a need to know.:: Moonsong: Bodhisattva could not remain. The construct was too damaged. A few hundred of the Community requested to remain to continue to observe our… Starfleet operations. ::another pause:: We.. I… agreed to be their host. :: Evan’s immediate instinct was to think about the potential security risks involved, but he held back from voicing it out loud. The question must have still been obvious in his expression. :: Moonsong: We know… we know… You will no doubt be hearing from the Captain and Dr. Skyfire about it… in exhaustive detail if we know CD. :: Evan nodded. :: Delano: It must be a fascinating experience for you. Mei’konda and I entered the Confluence during our first encounter with the Community. To be honest, it was… almost overwhelming. Are you sure you’ll be alright? ::Her smile faded a little.:: Moonsong: If it were a narcotic, I would be addicted. They have learned a great deal. It is like having an audience all the time. They are only observing so I’m fully in control… except for the occasional ‘we’ that slips out. Delano: Don’t worry, Raissa. I trust you enough to know your limits. But… if there’s something I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. Moonsong: ::The smile came back:: Trust me. I will. ::pause:: They remember you. :: He looked back to the phaser range and picked up a small type one phaser from the table. :: Delano: I don’t suppose one of those Community intelligences can help with your shooting? ::She went still. The rapid exchange of information. There was a flicker of light behind her irises, perhaps a trick of the light. Perhaps not.:: Moonsong: It it possible. They could act the moment the reflex kicks in. :: Evan held the smaller phaser out to the other lieutenant. :: Delano: Feel like giving it a try? ::There was a faint flicker of light.:: Moonsong: We have given permission to try. ::Raissa closed her eyes a moment and then took the smaller phaser Evan held out to her. She opened her eyes and pointed at the nearest target. As she pressed the trigger her eyes flicked, but they didn't close. It wasn't a perfect shot, but at least she hit the target.:: === Lieutenant Evan Delano Chief of Security/Tactical USS Garuda and Lt. Raissa Moonsong Counselor USS Garuda
  16. Ensign Ellen Cain, "The end of one journey is only the start of something else" ((Temple Complex, Ceti Gamma Seven)) Reia: ::Not bothering to hide edge of tiredness and irritation in her voice.:: Seriously, what are we doing here? Hartwell: Assisting Commander Herodion and Lieutenant Commander Becks in determining what happened to the people that once lived on this planet. :: Cadet Vance Hartwell, a human male, sounded equally annoyed Cadet Ellen Cain thought. Ellen suspected that Vance’s annoyance came from the fact that he actually enjoyed the work at hand, but was constantly being disturbed by Reia. Ellen on the other hand was enjoying the change of pace that this mission was bringing. So far nothing had exploded or attempted to murder Ellen which was another nice bonus. :: :: Ellen also appreciated the mission as it gave a glimpse at an aspect of Star Fleet that was easy to overlook as a cadet, which was discovery and exploration. While clearly boring to the security cadet, it wasn’t something that Reia Trev would see while polishing phasers in a starbase armory or watching security monitors. Even being close to becoming a fully fledged science officer, Ellen doubted that Vance Hartwell got to do anything more than the most basic of lab duties. That probably explained why he looked like he was about to murder Reia if she didn’t stop bugging him. Ellen for her part however had seen plenty of action and excitement while serving as Commander Melitta Herodion’s yeoman even if she didn’t advertise the fact much. That didn’t mean that she was less eager to prove herself, just that after recent events she was slightly more cautious in the way she did it.:: ::Caution, while a good lesson to have learned, didn’t seem all that necessary so far in this particular mission Ellen had discovered with a degree of relief. The three cadets had spent the better part of a week performing seemingly mundane tasks in the most trivial of locales. The planet that they were on was similarly uninteresting being a standard M-class planet. In fact the only thing of note on the planet was extensive ruins, long since picked clean of treasures, which indicated a warp capable species once lived there centuries beforehand.:: ::The temple complex that the cadets had been working in was in much the same condition as the rest of the ruins on the planet. Plundered by pirates or scavengers a long time ago, overgrown by local flora but remarkably intact. While the trio proceeded with holo-imaging every inch of the temples, translating and making notes on the various murals and wall carvings, in addition to quantum dating points of interest the three cadets were beginning to find it hard not to notice the absence of their two senior officers. Not to mention the sheer boredom of the work. Reia, the seemingly trigger happy Bajoran security cadet, in particular was most vocal about such things. :: ::While probably not among the oldest temples on the planet Ellen used the abundance of time that she had at hand to take in the beauty of the temples, which was to say nothing of the history that the temple murals and wall carvings depicted. Even after you separated historical facts from religious doctrine, there was much to learn. A set of temples might not speak to why an entire civilization vanished from the face of the planet but it did go to great lengths to show the type of people that once occupied those hallowed grounds.:: ::Returning her quantum dater to a pouch on her belt, right next to her phaser and tricorder, she reached down to pick up a water canteen as she walked toward Vance and Reia. The pair was at the temporary lab that they had been porting from temple to temple. The “Lab” consisted of a holographic projector connected to a pair of computers with a transmitter. The transmitter was there to ensure that they could stream everything to the Tarisa’s Jewel while they worked in the field. Vance was sitting at one of the computers translating text and making various notes. Reia on the other hand was downloading her holocam footage into the other computer, which then would map that footage onto a wire-frame model of the temple being projected by the holoprojector. Ultimately to call the setup a lab was even worse than saying that the Tarisa’s Jewel had a crew lounge. What couldn’t be argued with was the fact that the setup worked for the task at hand, no matter what you called it.:: Reia: ::Sighing:: What I wouldn’t give to see some sort of excitement! Cain: I have seen the type of excitement that you crave. Trust me when I say that you get over it real fast, then things start dying. ::Ellen replied speaking more openly about her experiences from her last mission than she had since the trio arrived on that planet. Up until then it didn't seem right, clearly though the trio had bonded in some fashion during their time together.:: Reia: Don’t you think…? ::Reia started till she saw the look on Ellen’s face.:: Well even sitting in that runabout on our way back to the starbase would be preferable to another day of this. Hartwell: There’s more to being in Star Fleet than simply shooting people and making things go boom. Anyway I like it here. Expand your horizons and you might enjoy it too. Cain: oO Vance clearly knows Reia too well. I kind of wish I had the chance to spend more time with these guys. Oo ::That was good advice Ellen thought but at the same time thought better of voicing her agreement. Normally those little personality quirks and clashing opinions wouldn’t be a problem amongst the three cadets. In this instance though, the three of them were severely on edge induced by sheer boredom. In fact it seemed to Ellen that the whole scenario had been engineered to see how long it would take to push the three cadets over the edge. Such pressure tests weren’t uncommon back at the Academy but rather rare during her cadet cruise. Ellen wondered as she downloaded her quantum dating data, that if the mission was some sort of pressure test what the reason for it was?:: ::As she waited for the data to download, Ellen unscrewed the cap off of her canteen than took a sip of the refreshing water. The three cadets had gotten into the habit of conserving the food and water that they carried with them. It was an additional measure to avoid having to take trips back to the Tarisa’s Jewel. Less time spent on the Jewel meant more time in the temples. And as a result the seemingly endless task would be completed sooner rather than later. Once done Ellen recapped the canteen resting it on the table before her.:: ::Whether it was the lighting or maybe the angle of her head, the recreation of the temple on the holoprojector caught Ellen’s eye. In particular her attention had been grabbed by what looked like the start of a narrow passageway except the wire frame of that section of the temple was incomplete. Ellen knew that without a shadow of a doubt that something was amiss. Simply because the first thing that they had been doing when entering a new temple was to create a complete wire frame model of said temple. It was this model that the trio’s holocam footage was transposed onto. All three of them had been through the process enough times to know better than to make mistakes. Or maybe Ellen was less inclined to believe it was a mistake because she too, on some level, wanted some sort of excitement after all the time she had spent in those long abandoned temples.:: ::Moving closer to the holoprojector Ellen studied the image more closely. The more closely she looked the more she thought that Reia was going to get her wish. As soon as she had run all the logical explanations for the error through her head and still coming up with nothing she alerted Vance and Reia. Vance was as thrilled with the discovery as Ellen was but even he had to concede that the trio could use a proper break. That break might as well be spent checking the discrepancy out. True to form, Reia was positively giddy with anticipation on the walk to the mysterious corridor. It was only after Vance confirmed that the corridor was real and led somewhere completely unexpected that Reia got her wits about her.:: ::Having already scouted the rest of the temple the cadets were surprised to find that the corridor leads below the temple. Since it was the only passageway of its kind, something seemed off about it all to Ellen. The concealed nature of the corridor entrance was also a red flag. Walking slightly behind Reia, with her phaser in one hand and a flashlight in the other Ellen had to admit if only to herself that she was eager to see what was at the end of the corridor. Behind Ellen, Vance was trying to contact Commander Herodion on his comm. Badge without any success. In front of her, Reia was expertly navigating the corridor also with her weapon drawn.:: Hartwell: I can’t reach the Commanders on the comms. I think that the comms are being jammed. ::Sounding even less excited than he had earlier about the whole idea.:: I also am detecting a large energy spike coming from nearby. Reia: ::Bluntly:: Caused by what? ::Ellen thought that Reia’s tone was remarkably similar to that of Commander Herodion’s at times. That wasn’t a bad thing as far as Ellen was concerned as the three were walking into the unknown. So having someone that could handle herself in a fight was a blessing. If anything Ellen was slightly curious if that tone of voice was something actually taught at the Academy or if Reia and Commander Herodion were two peas of the proverbial pod. Although she was making a few assumptions, Ellen replied with what she thought to be the most likely scenario fitting the circumstances.:: Cain: Was probably triggered by the motion sensors hidden in the walls. ::The end of the corridor gave way to a stairwell. Unlike the temple the stairwell, and the corridor for that matter, was very plain in design. Clearly utility was of more importance. That in itself reinforced the mystery that had been stumbled upon. While the stairwell was constructed out of the same sturdy sandstone-like material as the rest of the temple, the staircase was made out of much more modern looking materials. In fact the metal used looked much like that used aboard Star Fleet ships specifically in its Jefferies tubes. As both Vance and Reia saw the staircase they both turned to Ellen expectantly. Vance especially looked and sounded different, perhaps as if he was having fun in the moment. :: Cain: Why are you both looking at me like that? Hartwell: You’re the one with the field experience. Cain: Yeah when it comes to ancient space stations and remote controlled super soldiers on killing sprees. ::Ellen shot back making light of her most recent mission with Commander Herodion. Although she might have made the joke she also knew that she was still far from desensitized to what happened. So much so that she had to mentally remind herself to stay in the moment.:: Reia: ::Smiling:: Yes, exactly. ::Ellen quickly thought about what had just been said and did her best to hide the resulting grin. When she had been aboard Deep Space Ten, the decrepit space station had been famous for being “delicate”. Almost as famous as it was for being old. And that didn’t start to factor in her vacations on the Renegade Trader, her parent’s former barely working cargo vessel, or her time with Commander Herodion. All in all an ancient staircase was nothing in comparison.:: Cain: ::Saying cautiously.:: Well lets proceed, One at a time perhaps. ::Reia took the lead as if it were the most natural thing to do. Once she had reached the first landing Ellen followed suit with Vance waiting on Ellen. The trio continued on in this fashion till they reached the bottom of the stairwell, almost twenty meters down from the starting point. Not surprisingly the stairwell gave way to a another access corridor. This one though was much shorter maybe ten meters in length with several doors on either side at odd intervals. Vance however pointed them toward a larger more ornate set of doors set ajar at the end of the corridor. Checking her own tricorder Ellen had to agree. That seemed to be the direction of the earlier energy spike. Even by that point neither Vance nor Ellen were able to explain the energy spike despite the proximity. The sensor jamming still seemed to be in affect preventing them from scanning for lifeforms or anything else for that matter. As the three closed in on the set of doors Reia signaled Ellen and Vance for silence taking up position to burst through the door when the others were ready. At that point Ellen abandoned her tricorder, returning it to her belt, to replace it with her phaser. She felt unsettled. Signalling to Reia that she was ready. Reia pried the set of doors open just enough to squeeze through as quietly as possible .:: ::Ellen followed closely behind into the dimly lit room. All in all this new room was no bigger than a star ship bridge and was rectangular in shape. On the wall opposite the doors that they had just came through was some sort of reflective glass material, probably looking out onto something below or the other side of another room but obscured because of the currently low lighting. Around the edges of the room Ellen could barely make out equipment crates and a pair of doors leading elsewhere but what was of more interesting was the person sitting in the middle of the room. The person appeared humanoid and possibly female but it was hard to tell due to only seeing the back of the being. Reia still extremely serious spoke up loudly and clearly.:: Reia: Hello, we are Star Fleet Cadets on a peaceful archeological mission. Could you please stand and identify yourself? ::The being didn't speak, the being didn't even move at Reia's announcement and request.:: Reia: We mean you no harm. ::She persisted:: I must warn you, we are armed and will defend ourselves if necessary. ::Still hearing no response, Vance spoke quietly to Reia and Ellen as if to discuss the situation.:: Hartwell: Perhaps the being can't hear you. From the temple murals I do suspect that the beings that once lived here were without the sense of sound. Cain: Interesting but that isn't what's happening here. ::She said quickly and quietly, scanning the room again paying attention to the equipment crates.:: The original inhabitants are long gone you also said that earlier. Anyway those crates look to be of Laudean design, Commander Herodion's species. ::Reia didn't ask if Ellen was sure instead she barked at the being in a more commanding tone.:: Reia: Identify yourself now, stranger, or I will stun you. ::At those words the lights in the room flickered on, the lights were still pretty dull so no one was blinded by the sudden light. That said the room was illuminated extremely well for the poor quality lighting which enabled Ellen to see that she had been right about the crates. Seconds after she had come to that conclusion she heard a familiar voice laughing. The laughing was certainly new but it was unmistakeably the voice of Commander Melitta Herodion.:: Herodion: Trying to shoot your superior officer is rarely a good idea Cadet Reia and rest assured this is not the time to try your luck. ::Even though the Commander's words were very disarming, the woman raised to her feet and turned around with her hands partially raised. Once facing them she flicked the traditional dark brown Laudean desert robe she had been wearing to the floor revealing her normal Star Fleet uniform underneath.:: Herodion: ::More to herself than the three cadets in front of her.:: Next time I run this mission I will be sure to pick Ferangi crates. Clearly less obvious. Reia: ::Holstering her weapon, sounding astounded.:: This was all some sort of test. ::She said still trying to wrap her head around it.:: Herodion: Well yes, but at the same time we did want those temples holo recorded for off world study. Killing multiple birds with the one stone and all that. ::Pausing for a moment.:: Now let me congratulate you all, with the conclusion of this "test" you have successfully completed your cadet cruise's. From this point forward you are all promoted to the rank of Ensign. ::From her pants pocket she withdrew three small padds and handed one to each cadet before taking a step back to where she had been previously.:: Herodion: Those contain your transfer orders. First of many throughout your careers, I would imagine. Now, your transport to Starbase 118 will arrive in a couple hours. Feel free to go back to the Tarisa's Jewel until then. ::Having recovered from her shock from the first revelation but still reeling over the second, Vance helped guide Reia back toward the stairs to the surface. Ellen suspected that Vance was just as surprised but he seemed better at coping with surprises. In fact Vance was probably upset at not discovering the true nature of the room they were in. Ellen for her part felt unbelievably elated. She had been working so hard and overcome so much to reach this point but found that she had few words to say now that she had arrived. Maybe there wasn't anything to say, it didn't really matter to her. She felt compelled to run to that staircase so that she could get cleaned up ready for that transport to beam them up. Before Ellen could get far though, and after Vance and Reia had well and truly left the room Commander Herodion spoke again.:: Herodion: Cain, a moment please. Cain: ::Turning back to the Commander trying to calm herself down.:: Yes Commander. Herodion: I didn't think much of when you were assigned to be my yeoman. The fact is that you have become instrumental to me. So I wanted to personally thank you for your service to me thus far. You will be a credit to Fleet Operations on Starbase 118. Cain: Thank you Commander, that means more to me than I can say. ::Pausing to think.:: It certainly hasn't always been easy serving under you but I wouldn't have want anything else. Herodion: ::Smiling:: Oh I know which also proves that you are extraordinarily brave in addition to skilled. ::Walking over to one of the nearest crates revealing a small case. Popping the lid on the case open she gestured for Ellen to approach.:: Bravery however will only get you so far so this is my gift to you. A good phaser will get you through pretty much anything that your skills can't. ::Ellen approached seeing the, clearly and heavily, customized Type 2 personal phaser. She smiled as she picked it up from its case feeling the grip in her hand. It certainly had a bit more weight to it and the trigger looked more pressure sensitive. Ellen did hope that she wouldn't have to use it often in her new posting but had a feeling that the weapon would serve her well when she had cause to unholster it.:: Cain: ::Positively beam.:: Thank you Commander. ::Saying simply not sure what else to say.:: Herodion: You better hurry up and catch up to your friends Ensign. I will be up to see you off later on. I hope to have words with the Commander of the Cressida, the ship that will be taking you to 118. ::Turning Ellen made quick work of catching up to Vance and Reia. Even when she had caught up to the pair she still hadn't calmed down. She felt almost as giddy as Reia had been at the possibility of combat. For Ellen though she was overly excited to see what the future held in store for them. And more specifically what types of adventures the trio would have on Starbase 118.:: TBC Ensign Ellen Cain Fleet Operations Starbase 118 Simmed by: Ensign Clayas Vell Science Officer; Starbase118 Ops
  17. (( Captain's Quarters, Deck 2, USS Constitution )) :: While Shel was recovering from the light headedness and lack of oxygen, the woman who was his sister from the future entered his ready room. The thought was strange, having another sister, well the same one actually but from a different time. She had come in to check on him and to collect his work and get him to his quarters where he could get some rest after the day they had. :: :: Once they got to his quarters, she went about working on some food for them. He had thought her cooking skills were lacking, as he was more the chef in the family, but when she presented the meal to him, he happily ate with no main complaints. When they were done eating, they sat there and stared at each other in silence, not sure what to say to one another. Her coming back from a different future wasn't something he wanted to worry about at the moment. :: Faranster: Thank you for the meal, Selene. Faranfey: It's awkward hearing that name come out of your mouth now that you know. Faranster: It's the name you decided to take up. :: He stood and went to the drink cupboard, pulling out a bottle of oachi and a bottle of juice, before collecting two glasses and carefully mixing the two. Looking at Selene he made hers stronger than she normally liked them, suspecting that was also different about her. :: Faranfey: Out of necessity, I suppose. :: She took the glass and didn't utter a word to protest the potency of her drink. :: I needed something that was mine. Faranster: Makes sense, but now you have to live with it... That means answering to it, to everyone. :: The look in her eyes indicated that while she understood that's the way things were, but she didn't really like it. :: Faranfey: I know. But, even though my name is different, I am still your sister. :: She had to state that fact, it was a bit of reassurance for her, cementing the bond between them. Even if she had to accept her life wasn't what it once was, she would still try to make sure he accepted her as his sister. :: Faranster: That's true, but we still need to get to know one another. You have lived a life different than the Sun I know, for 23 years. It's going to take some time to get used to this. :: Shel leaned back on the sofa as he finished draining his drink. He was used to being the older one, and now here his sister was sitting before him, eighteen years his senior. Although she didn't look much older than him at all, as their genes slowed the appearance of their aging. :: Faranster: Were you planning on telling anyone else? :: When she indicated she didn't, with a gentle shake, he wondered. :: Why? Faranfey: Because it's not my life anymore, I don't want people to have to choose between us. :: She was partially afraid that if people had to choose, they would choose the Sun that belonged here. Sun wasn't as fun as she used to be, she didn't want to smile and be friendly all the time. Sun of this time would want the terrorists that held her brother hostage, in jail. She however wanted them in the morgue, and she wasn't sure how many people would understand this. :: Faranfey: Besides, there are too many questions that I can't answer. Faranster: You do realize, they don't have to choose between you. :: But something about the look in her eyes when he said that, made him wonder who she was worried about having to choose. :: Unless it's someone specifically you are worried about. :: She stood and looked at him, it wasn't a conversation she wanted to have. The man that she had married, died years ago, the Admiral Jaxx of this time belonged to the Sundassa of this time, and that was all there was to it. Other people knowing, would make it more likely that her younger self would know about her existence, and her pain. :: Faranfey: I think I am going to go, I'm a bit tired Shel. :: She paused, letting their eyes lock, by now he had to know he hit a touchy subject. :: I'm glad you are back safely. :: Shel pushed himself to his feet, glad that he was feeling better, so he didn't feel dizzy when he rose the few feet quickly. The look of pain on her face, reminded him of her old self and how she hurt when he told her about Marseen. But he could tell she was stronger now, because the pain had to be different than it had been then. Marseen wasn't the right one for her, and now she was suffering because there were two of her to claim the one that was. Was that what drove her back here? When they could have more time, he wanted to have that conversation. But for now, he crossed the distance and hugged his little, but older, sister. :: Faranster: If you won't tell anyone else, consider telling mom and dad, okay? They won't need to choose between the two of you, and they will love you just as much as they love the rest of us, you know that. :: Her arms wrapped around him, her head on his shoulder. It was the first hug she got since she arrived in this timeline. There was a familiar warmth to it, one that she couldn't argue didn't belong to her. He was her brother, just the way she remembered him, and he cared about her whether she was the thirty year old lilac haired woman, or the fifty three year old brunette before him. :: Faranfey: Thank you, Shel. I'll see you in the morning. :: Her mind turned to work for a moment. :: Oh... I forgot to mention, that little imp you have in charge of the Black Hole, keep an eye on him. :: She pulled back, kissed her brother on the cheek and broke the hug completely before heading for the door, leaving Shel to wonder what was going on with the Ferengi named Zogi. :: :: After she left, he looked up information on the Ferengi to find out the man had been thrown in the brig for computer tampering during code red emergency. He was going to be cooling his heels for two days, so Shel had time to go down there and deal with it, after he had a moment to think about how he was going to. For tonight, he was going to go to sleep. :: PNPC Lieutenant Selene Faranfey Medical Officer also Simmed by: Commander Shelther FaransterCommanding Officer USS Constitution-B, NCC-9012B
  18. ((Counseling Suite, Embassy)) :: There had been yet another emergency request for AJ’s presence at the counseling suite, though this time, it couldn't be Irina. AJ stepped into the waiting room to see T’Lea awaiting her. :: James: T’Lea...step into my office, we can talk there. :: Without a word the Vulcan hybrid rose from her seat and followed the Counselor inside.:: :: It was a short walk, one that T’Lea wasn’t looking forward to, but she managed to put one foot in front of the other, and repeatedly remind herself of why she was doing this.:: :: Step-by-step her answers were plain and clear. She was doing this for her family, and for herself. Because if there was any hope of returning to some kind of normalcy, it had to be done, and it had to start here.:: ((Counselor's Office, Embassy)) :: AJ sat at the desk and offered the chair in front of it to T’Lea. :: James: I’m only passingly familiar with what happened, so lets start with what you remember. :: The redhead went straight to the point. There would be no worming around the objective of this meeting. Not that T’Lea wanted to weasel out of it. In fact, this was possibly the first time in her life that she actually *wanted* to be sitting is this chair.:: T’Lea: ::sighing:: Right… all right… let’s see… :: While the Counselor had given her the perfect opening to get the ball rolling, T’Lea found herself fumbling with how, and where exactly to start talking about the touchy subject.:: :: Then it came, one difficult, painful word at a time.:: :: Her voice may have been evenly controlled, and the events may have been delivered in a logical narrative, but the hybrid’s eyes gave up her emotions.:: :: There was anger. A *lot* of anger, but there was also an unhealthy amount of guilt and fear.:: :: She spoke of the illegal cybernetic implants, how they were meant to correct a flaw in herself (her marksmanship skills, or lack thereof), how they were supposed to make her better, how they were going to keep her family safe, and finally how they were used against her.:: :: She talked about the malicious program that had been unleashed in her cybernetic system, and how it had turned her into an assassin sent to kill her own family, and anyone that got in her way -- how Dal Selta had turned her into the very thing she was trying to protect her family from.:: :: Then she described what the program made her do to Turner and Waltas, and how helpless she’d been to stop it.:: :: By the time she ended her “report”, it was clear there was much more left unspoken.:: :: Aurora just listened and nodded. :: James: How do you feel right now? :: AJ could easily venture a guess, but she wasn’t about to voice her opinion, so she let the woman answer for herself. :: T’Lea: Untrustworthy. :: That summed it up. The other feelings were probably obvious to the Counselor; it was classic text-book stuff, but how was she supposed to function if she couldn’t trust herself?:: James: What happened to you was...horrific, I think we can all agree to that. I also believe, that both the crew and your family know that it wasn’t really you and that you are not to blame. You are just as much a victim here as they are, maybe even more so. :: Victim. There was one word she never thought she’d be associated with, and it [...]ed her off.:: T’Lea: What now then? I’m having frakking nightmares about murdering my loved ones. I can’t touch my own wife without recoiling in fear. I can’t even look at Tyr, or Toni without having flashbacks. What’s the solution here? James: My suggestion is this. Meditate, reflect, forgive yourself, and move on. I will also insist you come see me once a week so I can help you through this alright? :: She gave the Counselor a frank Vulcan eyebrow of criticism.:: T’Lea: That’s it? James: We’ll start our sessions as soon I come back from the Victory, in the mean time, talk to Della. Spend time with her and your kids. Its amazing how the comfort of family can heal wounds, especially after an ordeal such as this. I know you’re scared and so do they, but you have to face the fear in order to deal with it. No one can do that for you. :: The swear word that came out of T’Lea’s mouth as she got to her feet was sharp and biting, but also accepting of the advice. A part of her knew this would be the answer all along, and it certainly wasn’t going to be easy.:: T’Lea: So how do I do this? I’ve moved out of the house and I’m staying in a hotel room until things get… better. What am I supposed to do, have dates with my wife? :: It was spoken with sarcasm and meant to ridicule the whole idea that the counselor was presenting to her.:: James: If that’s what you feel you need to do before you can trust yourself enough to be with Della then yes! :: Aurora’s voice was concise, to the point, and dead serious. Aurora’s intense green eyes were trained on the hybrid and she wasn’t about to back down no matter how angry T’Lea was with her suggestion. :: :: Of course, T’Lea’s sarcastic suggestion was exactly what was expected of her. She resigned a sigh and agreed with a nod that she would try.:: T’Lea: What about Toni and Tyr? I almost killed them. What if they don’t want to see me? What then? James: I saw the way you were treated at the party, they were concerned about you. For once in your life T’Lea, let them. Putting up the tough girl act may work some of the time, but when it comes down to it, you’ve got a family who loves you beyond the stars and a crew that thinks of you as family. Apologize to them individually or as a group, they’ve probably already realized that it wasn’t your fault and the apology is more to help you be able to forgive yourself. :: Everything she *didn’t* want to hear was what she was being told. She rubbed at her shoulder, the one Tyr had sliced open, paced a few steps away from the Counselor’s desk toward the window so that the room wouldn’t feel like it was closing in on her.:: T’Lea: Forgive myself. ::she scoffed:: Everything that has happened is because of me. Perhaps I don’t deserve to be forgiven. :: Harsh words, but honest. She turned back to the Counselor.:: T’Lea: They deserve an apology. I know. It’s just… how? I have no right to ask them to forgive me. I ruined their lives, how can I ask anything from them after that? James: Take it one day at a time. Start by meditating in your hotel room then have Della over for dinner. Talk to her. Tell her everything about how you feel, and why you feel the way you do. Have open and honest conversations with her. :: She turned back to the window and shut down her emotions a little to say her next words. They sounded very Vulcany and straightforward.:: T’Lea: Being close to her causes great anxiety. Perhaps I should approach Tyr first. :: He had, after all, tried to talk to her in the ballroom the other night. It was just an excuse, and she knew it. So did the Counselor apparently.:: James: Start. With. Della. She is your wife. After the first week of talking to just Della, then see if you think you can talk to Tyr and Toni, if you need to, ask Della to go with you. She is capable of moral support, and she would do it in a heartbeat if asked. :: The Romu-vulc imbued herself with silence, closed her eyes and concentrated on the heat of the sun that was being magnified through the glass of the window that she was standing in front of.:: :: Everything the Counselor said was logical, understandable, and difficult to hear, but they would be even more difficult to do. What could she say in return to all of that? Nothing, except protest, and that was *not* why she was here.:: :: So she kept her feeling on the matter, and her mouth shut.:: :: It was clear the woman in front of Aurora was irritated, confused, scared, and a myriad of other emotions. However, AJ did note how hard it must have been for T’Lea to walk into this office, at all without being dragged in. AJ pulled out a PADD and typed up a prescription form to aid the symptoms of T’Lea’s PTSD. :: James: It’s a process, T’Lea. I never said it would be easy, just that it had to be done. I have just sent sickbay a list of prescription meds that should help ease the symptoms. I am prescribing you an antidepressant, sleep meds, and a short term anti anxiety medication. And before you get it into your head that I am not qualified to be handing out prescription medication I will have you know that I hold a Ph.D in Psychology as well as an M.D. specifically so I can handle situations such as these. I’ve included a pamphlet with the indicated dosages, how often they should be taken, and when you should start weaning yourself off the anti-anxiety meds. You can pick them up in sickbay as soon as we’re done here. :: The hybrid turned from the window and glanced over at the desk where the redhead was typing away at a data padd.:: T’Lea: I’m not here to question your authority, Counselor. :: She said plainly, and moved toward the desk with her hands clasped behind her back. There wasn’t much more to be said from T’Lea – she had her orders, it was just a question of, would she follow them?:: :: AJ kept typing on her PADD continually looking between T’Lea and the PADD. She typed a message to Della. :: ====== Della, I’ve spoken to T’Lea. She’s not in the best shape as one can imagine, as I am Victory bound for the next mission, I have instructed T’Lea to get a hotel room and arrange dates with you so that she can come to terms with what’s happened, she is also on medication. See if she’s improved in the first week, then offer moral support when she talks to Tyr and Toni. At the moment the best thing you can do for her is just be there and talk to her. Remind her that she is loved and that you won’t hold what happened against her. I know this will be hard on all of you but its a step in the right direction. Lt.JG. Dr. Aurora James - Embassy Counselor ====== :: T’Lea was looking at the Counselor expectantly when she finished typing.:: James: I didn’t give any information that breeches patient confidentiality T’Lea, but I did tell Della the roll I want her to take in your recovery. Despite how messed up Della may be herself, she will do anything she can to make sure you recover, of that I’m sure. Now it’s your turn T’Lea. Can you promise me right here and now that you will try to do everything in your power to ensure you make it through this including taking all of your meds as directed and taking it one day at a time? :: She disliked pills of any kind, however, on a temporary basis she would adhere to the Counselor’s instructions. If not, then what was the point of coming here?:: :: T’Lea gave the redhead a firm, committed nod.:: James: I’m glad to hear it. T’Lea: I’ll pick up the prescriptions now. :: She headed for the door, and on the way out briefly admitted her gratitude in a softly spoken, “Thank you.”:: James: You’re welcome. :: AJ smiled, and waited for T'Lea to be fully gone before submitting an official notes in her file and heading off to find Irina again. :: -- JP By: Lt. JG. Aurora James, AKA: AJ Counselor Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A & Lieutenant Commander T’Lea Chief Science Officer Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A
  19. (Embassy - Hotel - Suite 018)) :: It was more than she needed. It was a luxury hotel room specifically designed to pamper VIP’s -- that was what Della had arranged for T’Lea to stay in. It was a nice gesture, but a simple room and a bed would have sufficed. This place, she glanced at the expensive window treatments – this place had more space than she knew what to do with.:: :: No matter. The whole point of being here was to keep her family safe, and that meant removing herself from their lives.:: :: She picked up the bag that had been delivered earlier, and walked it into the bedroom, which to her wide-eyes looked fit for a Queen. A massive bed awaited her, and it was decked out in rows of puffy pillows and a hand-embroidered floral duvet. The lighting fixtures were polished in a high luster latinum color, and the rugs overlaying the glossy tile floors were, no doubt, made by local weavers.:: :: All of the comfort that surrounded T’Lea didn’t even register on her scale of caring in that moment. There was nothing she could see beyond the dark thoughts that plagued her. And so, without realizing it, she turned a blind eye to it all and tossed the bag onto the bed as she headed for the shower.:: :: Inside the bathroom were more of the same high-class expectations that went unnoticed. T’Lea removed the assorted bathing accessories from the counter, completely missing the fact that Della had sent something special – a bottle of her favorite Vulcan milk bath.:: :: A very hot shower was set, and gain, nothing except the cancerous thoughts in T’Lea’s mind had her attention.:: :: Steam filled the room, and the moisture started to cling to everything, even T’Lea’s bare skin. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and her image beckoned her closer. She leaned in to examine herself – to see what lurked behind her eyes...:: :: There it was, the cybernetic implant lens in her right eye -- the one that did the targeting, the one that gave her the fine details of how best to kill. She concentrated, trying to see that the program was still running somewhere inside her, but all she saw was a blue iris staring back at her, until the mirror fogged up, taking her image away with it.:: :: It was true. The optical targeting system was offline. The vital organ mapping software was offline. The reflexive muscle weave in her arms and hands were offline. She couldn’t make the cybernetics operate even if she’d wanted to, and yet she still felt completely helpless, and out of control.:: :: Stepping out of her dress, she submitted herself to the high pulse of hot water in the shower, and tried to relax.:: :: It didn’t help.:: ((Later – 0400 hours)) :: T’Lea rolled over and felt a warm body next to her in bed. Arms pulled her close, a nose nuzzled her neck, and then lips breathed a sigh of contentment. The hybrid Vulcan reciprocated, until the haze of sleep rolled away from her mind, and logic set in.:: :: Her eyes popped open with force, and she groggily focused on the spotted skin that was snuggling against her.:: :: It was Della?:: :: It *was* Della.:: :: A flash-flood of questions swept her thoughts -- how did Della get in here, when did she get in here, what was she doing here?:: T’Lea: K’diwa? :: The response was a happy groan, and the Trill shifted onto her back, expecting T’Lea to join her, however, the move revealed a pool of blood that had soaked through the clean white sheets.:: :: The smile of love Della gave her was the total opposite of T’Lea’s terrified expression.:: :: Words were uttered from frantic lips as T’Lea jerked back the sheets and saw the gaping hole in the Trill’s abdomen, right where the symbiot should have been.:: :: Horror struck the hybrid and a chaotic scramble sent her falling off the bed and to the floor. The jolt smacked of something wet in her hand. She looked down and there, beneath her wife’s blood was the Vetri symbiot crushed and limp in her fist.:: :: The sound that wailed from T’Lea’s throat was that of a pathetic wounded animal caught in a hunter’s primitive mechanical trap. It was guttural and cruel.:: :: She dropped the dead symbiot, and crawled back on the floor until she felt herself bump into something behind her.:: :: When T’Lea looked back there stood Gina with half of her skull missing, and T’Sara with a crooked broken neck, smiling at her, as if all were merry and bright.:: :: That’s when the sound of her own scream woke her up.:: :: Panicked, and with her heart racing at speeds that would have sent a cardiac unit into an emergency response, T’Lea shakily looked around the room, gasping for breath, and grasping for understanding.:: :: No one was there. Not a soul. Just a darkened, quiet, still room with a slight breeze moving in from the open balcony doors.:: :: It had been a nightmare. A sadistic, horrific dream.:: :: A dream that was too close to being real. And that, indeed, was the scariest part of this whole ordeal.:: :: A hearty swear word exhaled from T’Lea’s dry, coarse throat. She reached for the glass of water on the nightstand, but her hand bumped into a holo-photo of her family that Della had packed for her. She hesitated at the water, and ended up taking the photo instead.:: :: It was a picture perfect representation of what T’Lea’s life had been just a few short months ago. The image had been taken on the beach at her wedding. It was a casual family photo with Gina, T’Sara, T’Lea and Della smiling. Happy. Together.:: :: It greatly pained T’Lea to see what she had lost, and it only amplified the feeling that she would never have that happiness again.:: :: Abruptly she shut the image down, ignored the teardrop escaping from her eye, and crawled out of bed. She snagged the glass of water from the nightstand on the way to the balcony, and inhaled the fresh air that was circulating in the room to refute the tightening in her chest.:: :: Outside were the Embassy grounds, and very little movement – just the nightshift of security personnel doing their job. Nothing more, since most sane people were asleep.:: :: There T’Lea stood, staring into the darkness of early morning, feeling as empty as the hushed scene outside. She sipped from her glass and gripped the metal railing in front of her until her knuckles turned pale green. There were a few scattered lights in the distance, she noted. One of those twinkling pearls of light may have been the Ambassador’s residence, her home, but she couldn’t be sure.:: :: She wondered what it would take to get back there, to get back to a place where she felt that her family was safe, and that she could trust herself to be around them?:: :: She wanted that badly, but was it even possible? Could she ever find her way home to them after what had happened?:: :: She let go of the rail, and stepped back to watch the sky.:: :: The sun was slow to rise, but she patiently waited, and at the first sign of daybreak she put in an urgent request to see Counselor James.:: TBC Lieutenant Commander T’Lea Chief Science Officer Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A
  20. ((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Atlantis)) ::When he looked up through tear-stained eyes, he saw the red coat draped over one arm of a wooden chair in the corner behind his desk. Blinking back rogue tears, he stared at it for the longest time, his mind spiraling back to a time almost long forgotten.. :: ((Flashback – stardate 239109.21)) ((Dungeon, Castle of Horrors – DS26)) ::By the time the four of them stepped off the last step of the slimy and cold stone spiral staircase that led them below into the bowels of the castle, Raj felt different. A shiver ran down his spine and he hugged himself – at that instant noticing that he had on a thick warm coat. Instinctively, without even pausing to ponder where the coat came from, he reached behind his neck and drew a hood over his frozen face. As he passed a mirror on the wall, just as the others before him had done, he gazed into it and saw, in the reflection, a vulnerable and hesitant man who had a scarlet coat on him, the hood drawn over his head. The coat was long and heavy; its edges skirting the rough wet stones on the floor. Strange. That was the sense that floated into his mind. The face that stared back at him, it was familiar yet unfamiliar. It was himself yet not quite so. His eyes, his mouth, his skin.. they were all the same, but in the reflection, his irises portrayed a hue of fear, his bloodless lips delicately parted with overwhelming uncertainty, his pale skin a white flag of naiveté. A message, an instruction, a warning draped itself over his suggestible mind.:: WALTAS: Trust your heart, Raj. Not orders, not regulations, not others’ opinions and definitely not an enemy you know in your heart is an enemy. Trust in yourself and your family. You’ll never go wrong. ::Raj looked at the others before him, cautiously inspecting the grimy and rank dungeon. They had morphed into fantastical characters. Characters who were awfully familiar to him, at the tip of his memory’s tongue yet just out of reach. He wondered who he himself was. All he saw in the splintered mirror was a reluctant leader plagued with a resurgence of self-doubt. Another shiver ran down his spine and pulled the hood lower over his face. A dark shadow concealed the upper half of his face so only the bridge of his nose, his mouth and his chin were seen. His eyes lurked in the dark. His cheeks appeared contoured and geometric and hollowed out in the spellbinding interplay of moonlight and shadow. He turned away from the reflection, more ashamed than revolted.:: ((End flashback)) ::He knew. He finally knew! The red riding-hood. The reluctant hero led astray. But she outwitted the big bad wolf in the end, didn’t she? If they had all been transformed into characters borne of the deep dark recesses of their psyche, then this was who he was, who he IS. He began to see that everything, catastrophic or sublime, happened for a reason. Nothing was truly random in this universe. And quite suddenly, Life didn’t seem so terrible after all.:: TBC ================================ Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  21. ((Just outside Black Hole Bar)) :: Cory and Alex arrived at the bar to find out it was closed:: Williams: Thats odd? Why would it be closed? Stoyer: I am not sure. But I think the First Officer might have something to do with it. Williams: Oh yeah, i remember now. At the time i was dealing with asteroids. I guess he’s in a lot of trouble? Stoyer: I would say so. Commander Siris was not happy the announcement came over the ship. Williams: Perhaps we can convince that Ferengi to hire the two of us as staff for tonight. Stoyer: Actually not a bad idea. The crew will need a break after the last mission. Williams: ::laughing:: Officers thinking Lieutenant. I like that. Lets see if he’ll cooperate. :: Alex and Cory made their way back to the turbolift and headed straight for the brig. Alex told the guard to wait outside and then looked at the Ferengi who seemed to be comfortable with his temporal home. ((brig, deck 33)) Williams: Mr Zogi? Zogi: Oh, let me guess. You want to make fun of the little Ferengi who’s trapped behind a forcefield? Stoyer: Actually we want to discuss a business plan with you. Zogi: Business you say! Lets hear it! Stoyer: Since you are in here and the Black Hole is closed. You are losing money. The crew will want to relax after the last mission. So here is our offer. Commander Williams and I will run your bar until you get out of here. We split the earnings 50/50 Zogi: A bold idea. I guess you humans need their drinks, and i could use the Latinum. But there is one problem. I wont settle for 50 percent… I wants 90! Its my bar, and the drinks you’ll be serving are all mine too. If i take 50 percent i’ll be losing money. :: Zogi had already done the math and was already happy with the 50 percent share since he’d still make a nice profit. Claiming more however would make this an even better deal.:: :: Cory watched the Ferengi think about the offer. He would haggle a bit, but the offer was too good to pass up. Williams: 75? And free drinks for us for next month? ::Zogi ignored the commanders reply and kept his eyes focused on the lieutenant:: o Stoyer: Mr. Zogi, that is the best offer you are going to get. Take it or leave it. :: knowing that the two men hadn't been in the bar that much the risk of them drinking through half his inventory were small. :: Zogi: I can't shake your hand, but you have a deal… ::Alex walked to the side and lowered the forcefield. Then he handed a padd over the zogi.:: Williams: We came prepared mr. Zogi. All we need is your thumbprint. :: Zogi had to give the humans credit for their plans and resourcefulness as he planted his thumb on the padd. Then he handed a small key over the commander:: Zogi: She is all yours! Williams: Well Cory.. Looks like we just got ourselves a bar. Know a good way to get many people into a bar? Stoyer: We need some good food to eat, plus the drinks. That should bring the crew to the bar. Williams: I’m sure we can replicate some. I have a ton of rations left. :: Cory and Alex left the brig and headed for the Black Hole. Stoyer: This will make everyone happy. We need this after the last mission. Williams: I know I do! ((Black Hole Bar 19:00 hours)) :: When Cory and Alex arrived they could see a small group standing in front of the bar. No doubt they wanted to get in but with the places locked that wasn't going to happen. The two officers made their way to the small crowd and unlocked the door:: Stoyer: Ladies and Gentlemen,if you will give us a few minutes Commander Williams and I will have the Black Hole open for business. Williams: oO Not as many people as I’d hoped for, perhaps a sport event can get some more people Oo Williams: All drinks will be served at the bar. No waitresses tonight folks! There will be a darts tournament in about an hour. Entrance fee is 10 slips of Latinum. Winner takes all minus a small 25 percent cut for the house. :: Cory watched as Alex opened the door and went in. The bar looked the same as it always did. Stoyer: Well, Alex I can man the bar. If you play darts, you can get the dart tournament started. Williams: I doubt the captain will approve one us us playing in our own tournament. And i hope we have so many people you can't the bar on your own ::Alex gave a wink to Cory and then made his way to the replicator and made 4 boards and a load of darts. He placed to boards on the wall at one of the walls and took some chalk to make lines on the floor. Some people started at the board and obviously hadn't a clue what the game was all about:: Stoyer: Good point. I will get the bar setup. :: Cory walked behind the bar and started setting up bottles for the night. While he was there, fixed himself a classic drink that his father loved. A margarita. :: Stoyer: This will be a great start of a fun night. Alex, you want something before we start? Williams: I’d like beer, but lets start with a cup of tea instead. We have to get this setup first. Stoyer: Your wish is my command. :: Cory seeing the wisdom of Alex’s request dumped the margarita out and fixed a cup of hot tea for Alex and a glass of iced tea for himself. oO Hmmm, sweet iced tea. Oo :: Glad to have finally found a real friend on the ship Alex was ready to get the show started.:: Williams: oO Lets see, who else would be willing to test their skills on a board Oo Williams: Hey Cory. We should spread the word! =/\= Williams to Commander Udas =/\= Stoyer: Sounds like a plan. I am about set up here. Udas: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= Sir, we’re hosting a Darts tournament at the black hole. Rumour has it you have a good throwing arm. Udas: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= We start at 20:00 hours. Counting on you my friend, and spread the word. The more players the bigger to prize! =/\= Udas: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= Williams to Major Edwards =/\= Edwards: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= Major, you are a man who knows his way with a weapon right? =/\= Edwards: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= Then Mr. Stoyer and I have the perfect thing for you and your marines. Edwards: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= You and your men and woman have 1 hour to get themselves to the black hole bar and sign up for the darts tournament! =/\= Edwards: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\=Great, I look forward to it! =/\= Stoyer: Alex, this sounds like the beginning of a great party. Williams: Anyone else we should invite? Stoyer: What abou the new cadets? Williams: Cory, not only are you one hell of a barman. You should be our ships counselor too. Thinking about our new people like you do! Stoyer: I remember checking onboard a ship for the first time as a Crewman First Class. Williams: Uhm… some of them signed up while i was on the battle bridge so i haven't met them all. Ezro: That might me something i can help with. :: Alex and Cory were surprised to see the Bajoran dabo girl coming out of the kitchen. :: Ezro: Give me 5 percent of the profit and i’ll run by their quarters right away and be their personal waiter all night! :: Alex turned to Cory and Alex could tell the man was as excited as Alex was:: Williams: ::offering his hand to the Bajoran.:: Welcome on board! Anyone: TAG! ======================================= With great pleasure written by: Lieutenant JG Cory Stoyer Helm Officer U.S.S. Constitution-B and Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Williams Chief Tactical Officer USS Constitution-B
  22. (( Personal Quarters, USS Garuda)) ::The plants were gone. ::This was, in the great scheme of things, probably something she should be grateful for. The clean-up of the overgrown flora would have been a mammoth job, and not one she would have had the inclination -- or in her present condition, the stamina -- for. Whichever team had swept through her quarters had left them pristine. ::Almost pristine. There were traces, here and there. A small shard of pottery from a pot here, a sliver of glass from a terrarium there. They might as well have been splinters of her heart, the homes of the botanical sign-posts of her life, the living memories that she had cared for and cultivated for years. ::The bougainvillea bonsai she had picked up on Earth to celebrate her graduation from the Academy. ::The peace lily from Asterospolis, acquired shortly after her promotion to Chief Engineer aboard the Triumphant. ::The Martian rose that David had given her at the beginning of their doomed romance on the Independence. ::The fern from Romulus -- priceless, now that the planet was destroyed -- that she had convinced a botanical importer on Starbase 118 to bring in for her. ::The moon flower that Walter had awkwardly presented her with, after the Eagle had visited Risa in time for the lunar festival of Lohlunat. ::The rare orchid she had come by on Vulcan, after her first mission in command of the Drake. ::There were more. And they were all them, gone. ::She was lost, unaware until now of how much her collection had anchored her. Without their colours and scents, it felt like a stranger's room, foreign and sterile. ::A step away from burying herself under the blankets of her bed to mope, panic seized her. With the grace of a beached whale, she dropped to her hands and knees, scrambling underneath for a case she had never yet opened. ::A light film of dust covered the rigid black leather, smeared and wiped clean in winding trails where vines had crept over its surface. A deep crack stretched across its width, almost cleaving the case in half. The clasps were stubborn, a combination of her shaking hands and lack of use, and the lid split cleanly into two as she pushed it open. ::But there it was. Perfectly intact, the warm, rich tones of varnished maple shone in the light. The viola was the work of a craftsman, as beautiful as the music it made. ::She knelt there, staring at it, the ghostly echoes of duets and quartets it had played ringing in her ears. She played her piano on her own these days, and as much as she missed making music with others, it felt like a betrayal to even consider doing so.:: REYNOLDS: ::Quietly,:: I miss you. ::She heaved a sigh, bringing the two halves of the lid down to seal the case again. She'd have to replicate a new one for now, but perhaps she could see if one of the merchants on Deep Space Ten could import a replacement, hand-crafted one. It was the least she could do. ::Heaving herself to her feet, she reverently placed the broken case on the bed, and dragged herself toward the shower, hoping to wash away some of her gloom -- and with a hand on her swollen stomach, that she was done with loss and loneliness, at least for the immediate future.::-- Captain Quinn Reynolds Director of IntelligenceUSS Garuda
  23. ((USS Atlantis, Deck 5, Outside Holodeck 2)) :: Pausing outside the holodeck Alana activated one of her favorite programs, it replicated her favorite beach from her childhood. On the north side of Kauai. :: :: As she stepped into the holodeck the familiar sights and sounds of Kauai appeared around her. She walked out on the jetty sticking out into the bay, she had spent considerable time on or around it with her friends while growing up. :: :: She paused at the end and stared out at the ocean listening to the rhythmic pounding of the surf. She had neglected to swing by her quarters and grab her board, for a moment she debated whether or not it was worth telling the computer to generate a holographic board for her. In the end she decided that she would rather run another program instead of running a holo board. The computer was good but could never quite seem to get the shape of her board quite right. :: LARSON: Computer end program and run program Larson 67-A. :: With that the beaches of Kauai faded from existence to be replaced by the triple canopy jungle of central Vietnam. The evolution of warfare in this period had always fascinated her, countless new ways of waging battle had been implemented improved upon and sometimes discarded. :: :: As the rest of the scenario shimmered into existence around her, her starfleet uniform was replaced by worn and muddy tigerstripe camouflage. The last time she had ran this program her LRRP (Long Range Reconassiance Patrol) team had been briefed on their patrol zone as well as possible extraction LZ's. Their mission was to observe enemy supply routes through the A'Shau valley and plant what at the time had been cutting edge sensors along trails. :: :: She entered the team house to gear up. As she was applying cam cream (a mixture of camouflage paint and insect repellent, usually spread over all exposed skin) the team leader entered and started going over the plan for insertion one last time. :: ZOSCHAK: Alright listen up. :: The half-Trill turned to face the hologram. :: ZOSCHAK: We will be scouting Dong Ap Bia. Insertion will be at last light drop via slicked huey, two aircraft are assigned to this mission one will be carrying us the other will be empty and... :: He trailed off as he looked over at Alana. His eyebrows arching quizzically. :: ZOSCHAK: You okay Larson? LARSON: Of course. Why? ZOSCHAK: Your forehead is covered in spots you might be coming down with something. LARSON: Spots? :: Had she forgotten to adjust the parameters of the program to hide her spots from the characters she could interact with? At least she seemed to have remembered to alter it so the holograms wouldn't question why she had long blond hair. :: LARSON: Computer alter my visual parameters to make me appear as a human male. LARSON: :: Looking in the mirror. :: What spots are you talking about Zo? ZOSCHAK: :: Taking another look. :: Must have been shadows or something. :: He didn't seem convinced. :: Anyways as I was saying one of the hueys will be acting as a red herring. Standard insertion procedures for our chopper apply don't get out till you here go go go! Otherwise you are going to have a long lonely walk back to the fire base . We are skids up in five gentlemen. :: A host of varying affirmations came from the squad as they checked over their weapons and ammo for the final time. :: :: The new man on the squad, John Tronick, wandered over to her. :: TRONICK: So what do you think the chances are we will see some action this time around? I've been with the team for two missions now and haven't seen any. LARSON: With any luck at all we won't see any this time around, the A'Shau is a haven for the enemy. If the get wind of us our chances of survival drop dramatically. TRONICK: Yeah I guess, I just want to feel like I am pulling my weight around here. LARSON: :: Smiling as she slung 100 round belt of M60 ammo over her shoulders. :: That your way of offering to hump the extra '60 belt around? TRONICK: Ha ha not a chance, I already have to pack that around. :: He gestured to the radio lying on his bunk. :: :: She nodded at him as she grabbed her rifle and slammed a fresh magazine into the receiver. Walking out to the helicopter she lined up with the rest of the team. One by one they performed the jump test where each would in turn jump to see if their gear was silent, if it wasn't they applied liberal amounts of green gaffers tape to silence it. :: :: As they flew out to the LZ there were no words said, you had to shout to be heard over the noise of the helicopter as it thundered over the rolling green hills of Vietnam. Her thoughts turned to the mission at hand, even with the holodeck safeties in place there were still many things that could still injure her and she was not to keen on that. :: :: The pilot of the chopper made three false insertions before they arrived at their destination, after they were on the ground he would do another two false insertions in an attempt to mislead the enemy from their actual position. :: :: Once inserted the entire six person team flattened themselves against the ground in a defensive position with everyone covering a 60 degree arc. As soon as night fell they would move to a position overlooking the LZ, for this patrol Alana would be walking point a little ahead of everyone else. No that they were in the enemy's backyard there would be no talking unless they needed to radio coordinates and even that would be done with a barely audible whisper, all other communication would be done by hand signals, or if all else failed a burst of fire never failed to alert the rest of the team to the presence of an enemy. :: :: They moved out silently under the cover of night. ten minutes after they had left the clearing Alana spotted something that didn't look like it belonged. She raised a clenched fist above her head freezing the team in their tracks. She slowly opened her fist and signaled Zo' to make his way to her. :: :: Once Zo had caught up with her she pointed in the direction of what she saw with the barrel of her rifle. :: LARSON: :: Mouthing the words. :: Looks like a trail watchers hide. :: Zoschak nodded his agreement and motioned for the team to get on line so the full firepower of the team could be brought to bear if necessary. They slowly crept up the hill alert for any movement. When they got close Alana continued to move forward while the rest of the team hung back to cover her, it was a strange feeling having so much firepower at ones back, it was simultaneously the feeling of security and having a target on your back especially at night when telling friend from foe was much more difficult. :: :: The half-Trill approached the hide cautiously, thankfully it appeared empty. Suddenly there was a loud crack over her head she instantly flattened herself to the ground adrenaline pouring into her system. :: LARSON: oO Come on guys what are you waiting for? Take him out! Oo :: After what seemed like an eternity two more cracks rang out from the opposite direction, likely it was Zoschak returning fire with the starlight scope on his M-16. Hopefully that would silence the enemy soldier. Another burst of fire from above her hit uncomfortably close to where she was lying prone quickly discounted that possibility. :: LARSON: oO That was too close! Oo :: She looked uphill as best she could with out exposing herself to more fire, unable to see anything but jungle she began inching her way back down to the team. If they could rejoin one another breaking contact would be much easier. Suddenly in between to trees at the top of the hill a silhouette appeared, reflexively she raised her rifle and squeezed off five rounds towards the shape. The top of the hill seemed to come alive with muzzle flashes with tracers flying all over the place. The trees behind her also erupted with gunfire as they returned fire. Scrambling down the hill in between bursts of fire she came up on John Tronick. :: LARSON: :: Now that the mission had been compromised there was little need to communicate with hand signals. She raised her voice to be heard over the din of battle. :: Get us support! We'll be wiped out otherwise! :: The man looked dazed and frightened. :: LARSON: You wanted some action, now you've got it. :: She paused momentarily to empty her magazine towards where a hail of tracers were coming from. :: Now get on that radio and bring in the gunships! TRONICK: :: Nodding his head vigorously. :: Right away. Part 2 ((USS Atlantis, Deck 5, Holodeck 2, A'Shau Valley Vietnam)) :: Gary Rodman the teams machine gunner was calling for ammo. :: RODMAN: I need another belt!! :: Alana un-slung the belt of 7.62 from around her shoulders and dropped it next to him as she dove for cover. In the background she could hear John calling for support over the radio, shouting to be heard over the battle. :: TRONICK: We need gunships, [...] it we need them now! LARSON: oO He should be just fine, if that is the last time he freezes up. Oo :: As the gunfire quieted down with both sides consolidating their positions, the LRRPs took stock of the situation. Zo had been wounded but it was only a flesh wound. Low on ammo they would not be able to hold out much longer without support. :: RADIO: Negative 2-6 the gunships are committed to an engagement farther down the valley. LARSON: oO Of course they are, command always tells us that they have gunships on standby if we run into trouble but then the go commit them elsewhere. Oo TRONICK: If you cant give me gunships give me arty, hell even just an ammo drop! RADIO: Standby 2-6. :: Zoschak made his way over to Alana. :: ZOSCHAK: Are you okay? LARSON: :: Shooting him a quizzical glance. :: Asks the man with bullet wound in his arm. ZOSCHAK: Well you did have spots earlier. LARSON: I'm fine, you are the one who got shot remember? ZOSCHAK: True enough, but it'll take more than a extra hole to stop me. :: She opened her mouth to respond but the radio interrupted her. :: RADIO: We have arty support available to you 2-6 just tell us where. :: As Tronick directed the artillery fire, the distinctive sound of hueys could be heard thundering up the valley towards them. :: ZOSCHAK: I thought command said all the gunships were tied up? LARSON: Maybe they have come to their senses and sent a few our way? ZOSCHAK: Now is not the time to be funny Larson. :: Just as quickly as the sound had started it died down again. :: RODMAN: They must be inserting an infantry platoon to sweep the villages east of here. ZOSCHAK: We should have been briefed on that if it were happening, I mean whats the point of having a buffer zone around our patrol so to avoid blue on blue, if they just drop infantry in where ever they please? LARSON: If command knew what it was doing we would have never let the enemy get a footho... :: She trailed off as she spotted a man sneaking up to their perimeter dropping the man with a short burst. :: LARSON: :: Frustrated. :: [...]! I'm down to my last mag. LARSON: oO Wow did we ever burn through the ammo. Oo RODMAN: Movement! Below! :: He cried out. :: :: Sure enough there were people moving towards them from below, half the team turned to engage them. :: ZOSCHAK: Hold your fire HOLD FIRE! :: A shot rang out from somewhere to Alana's right. :: ZOSCHAK: I said HOLD YOUR FIRE [...]IT! TRONICK: Sorry. :: The people moving below them became easier to see and identify, nearly two dozen LRRPs in various stages of readiness, with only one or two fully cammoed up, the rest were in their OD's or undershirts with web gear, and ammo belts thrown on over top. When they finally reached their position they dropped off extra ammo for their team. :: LARSON: :: Looking over at Gary Thanos the team leader of 2-8. :: What took you guys so long? THANOS: :: A smile split his face. :: Had to make sure you guys were making all this fuss for something more than a chimp flinging poo at you. LARSON: :: Rolling her eyes. :: Thanks THANOS: The pilot that inserted you heard your call for gunships and radioed the firebase asking for volunteers to help drag your butts out of the fire. By the time he made it to the fire base everyone who wasn't out in the field was waiting with a full load of ammo. The Major is gonna be [...]ed that we shirked our KP duties for something this unimportant. ZOSCHAK: I'm sure, anyway lets get on with this. THANOS: No you guys are going down the hill and getting on the chopper out of here. ZOSCHAK: No way.. LARSON: That's a bunch of targ dung Gary, this is our fight and we are finishing it. THANOS: Targ-dung? What are you on about? LARSON: oO Of course they don't get it. Oo What I meant was with all respect screw that, LRRPs finish what they start. :: As a grenade rolled down the hill towards their position everyone dove for cover. There as a sharp cry after it exploded. :: ZOSCHAK: That was where John was. :: Raising his voice. :: Tronick you okay? TRONICK: MY ARM!! :: His scream turned Alana's blood cold. :: ZOSCHAK: :: Getting up he pointed at Alana. :: Your with me, the rest of you cover us. :: The world around them turned into a rain of hot lead as the twenty six odd men cut loose with weapons on fully automatic. Zoschak and Alana ran over to Tronick's position where he lay moaning and clutching at his left arm that was bent at an unnatural angle. :: ZOSCHAK: Come on lets get him on the dust-off. :: She nodded her agreement and they picked him up careful to not move the arm more than they had to. Once they got him back behind the curtain of fire their team medic came over and took a look at him. :: DREGER: :: Aside to Zoschak and Alana. :: Its bad we need to get him out of here now. :: Zoschak nodded to Alana, and she went to let Thanos know. As she approached him he nodded his head. :: THANOS: Get him to safety its our fight now. LARSON: :: Nodding her head. :: Drinks are on us after this. THANOS: I wouldn't expect anything less. :: As the rest of the team carried Tronick down to the evac heli Alana brought up the rear just as she stepped into the clearing where the chopper was waiting she was knocked to the ground by a sudden blow to her right shoulder as she hit the ground her vision faded to black. :: :: When she came to she was on the huey with the rest of the team minus Tronick who had been evaced to the hospital. :: LARSON: What happened? ZOSCHAK: You caught a bullet in your shoulder. :: At least the holodeck safeties were working, her shoulder felt quite bruised but there was no blood. :: ZOSCHAK: Command managed to free up some air assets to send our way just after we got on the chopper, the B-52 should be plastering that hill top any moment now. The other teams are also in the process of extracting only minor injuries reported. LARSON: Good to know. :: She winced as she sat up, she would have to go to sickbay and see if they could do anything for her shoulder. :: :: For the remainder of the chopper ride back to the firebase she sat with her legs hanging out of the helicopter marveling as she always did at the contrast. It was so beautiful and peaceful looking from up here yet down on the ground a few miles away it was hell on earth. :: :: After the helicopter landed Zo tried getting her on another helicopter to take her to the hospital, the computer making them think that the bullet had actually gone through her shoulder. :: LARON: Zo I'm fine, give me a few minutes and it will be as though nothing happened. Computer save and end program. COMPUTER: Acknowledged :: The program blinked from existence replaced by a grid of holo emitters. The half-Trill left the holodeck headed for sickbay. :: Ensign Alana Larson Science Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  24. (( Holodeck 3 )) :: After the conversation with Rune earlier the day, Jalana had spent most of the day thinking about her past. That was when she was not trying to get control over her shaking hands or tried to not fall asleep. Her thoughts had wondered to her family, which she had not seen ever since leaving Trillus Prime. She missed them quite a lot, but was not sure when she would see them again. So many things had gone so wrong, and pride got in the way. :: :: After her shift had ended, she felt an almost unbearable urge to see her old home. It was so strong that she would have taken a runabout to get there, but instead she took the second best option and visited the Holodeck. Her green eyes wandered around in the ordinary and not-so-impressive small room. Pitch Black Walls were veined with narrow yellow gaps, just like any other holodeck she had visited before. :: Laxyn: Computer, load Program Mak'ala 4 :: The beep of compliance was accompanied by the rapid change of the yellow black grid to the capital City of Trillus Prime. Her father had of course insisted to live here, because in his job he needed to be able to get to the embassy fast and most of the meetings and banquets were held here as well. Jalana remembered the lively city, that in this program was eerily empty. But she did not mind. She just wanted to see it, the life she had known. :: :: With a quick command it started, just as quiet but responsive. She had never played in these streets, only walked or rode through them in their vehicle. She had been isolated and taught what she had to do from the head of her house, her father himself. He had been convinced that friends and public school would have been a distraction and that he would be all she needed to achieve success. Though in his eyes that meant to follow his footsteps into diplomacy. :: :: That was why this version of the program started right where it all begon. She looked up the gates of what had been her home. The mansion on a slight hill was surrounded by gardens that were a stunning picture of colour, going over into the edge of the forest surrounding the edge of Mak'ala, as her parents had always enjoyed the quietness of this part of the city. It was beautiful, and the scent floated through the street bedazzling even the grumpiest mind, to lure a smile onto their lips. She had seen it through the windows, when she'd watched the rare occasions on people walking by. :: :: It was an odd feeling to feel amazed at the beauty she had seen from the other side of the window more often than from this, but also scared at the sight of the mansion, despite the knowledge that nobody was in there. Everything that tied that knot in her guts when looking upon the stone, the arches and the iron gates, was lightyears away on the real Trillus Prime. :: :: Taking a deep breath the Trill opened the gate, which was not locked and headed up the pebble path to the main door, which also could be simply opened. If this would be the real thing a butler would have opened the door the moment she had hit the first step beneath the front door. Ilur, he had been there as long as she could remember, silent and obedient, but she had always known that he had covered her back more than once. :: :: The opulent front hall was just as she remembered. Of course, as she had programmed that part of the interior as an addition to the cityscape. She could almost smell the cologne of her father hanging in the air, though she knew that it was an illusion. The family portrait hung at the foyer wall, a small smile danced around her lips as she saw her little brother clinging to her sleeve. She remembered that he had been afraid of the photographer. 'He smells weird' he had said and had held her sleeve until after the man had left again. Even on that picture her father looked stern, while her mother smiled at the lense, just like the children. Jalana looked at herself, she'd been 16 and already then had been disobeying her father's wishes, even if he had not known that back then. :: :: Shaking her head she headed up the long and elegantly swung stairs to the second floor. This was the floor where her parent's room had been and her father's study. As if in a trance she took the steps long the long hallway, approaching the open door at the end of it. She already saw the edge of the big bed in it and as soon as she stood in the doorway, Jalana felt pain. Not physical pain, but in her heart, remembering the last time she had stood here... (( Flashback - Trillus Prime - Laxyn Estate 2379 )) :: It was a big day in house Laxyn, the eerie silence, where Jalana the eldest child would usually hurry around, not to be too late for her lessons, for dinner or anything else one could be possibly late for, was deafening. What her parents, the master and mistress of the house, did not know what she had been so busy with, that the time got away from her. Jalana had studied, for something she was not supposed to learn. :: :: The Trill's career had been decided when she had been old enough to be taught her first words. She had been taught her whole life the ways of Diplomacy, the rules, the history, the gestures and unspoken agreements between those carrying the responsibility of their people. She did not have the pleasure of being taught all the lovely things that kids raved around when coming home from school; gold stars and smiley stickers were strangers to her, just as those other kids were. For the last 18 years her companions where lists of politicians and rules of conduct, her reward was to hear that she had done well for once, her teacher the strictest man she could ever imagine: her father. :: :: Her fate was to be his successor, Ambassador in the Diplomatic Corps. She would meet the big names of politic, the leaders of yet unknown species, accompany those who made first contacts to ensure peaceful and fruitful conversations and contracts. To be a figurehead of her people, was not something Jalana had ever wanted to be, but her father already saw her statue in the hall of history, in his imagination. And she knew, that she would have to break his heart, to avoid breaking her own soul. :: :: This was indeed a big day, for Jalana Laxyn because of a different reason than it was for Vivan Laxyn, the head of the house. And the younger Trill was afraid to share her reason with him, but she had to. If she'd not she would burst at the banquet, in front of everyone assembled and she could not do that to her father, her teacher, the man who did all of this out of love.:: :: Jalana had gotten the good news an hour ago and now walked to his room, trying to muster up the courage, that she would need right now, before it was too late. Inside the door-frame though she hesitated, stopped in her tracks and watched him. A tall distinguished man, in his late forties, his light brown hair decorated with fine hairs of silver, that seemed to shine when the light just hit them right. Leaning against the door-frame, her head tilted slightly, watching him with a fond smile on her lips that reached her sparkling green eyes. He was a handsome man and while she saw him as the strict teacher every day, she had also seen as the loving husband, whenever he gazed at his wife, thinking that nobody could see him. :: :: He wore a calf long brown tunic, made from heavy fabrics, that had a little shine when moving, off-set with a decorative trim of ancient Trill symbols, over loose black pants and dress shoes. His special attire for tonight's banquet. He had been awarded a medal of peace, a great honour and a very important day for him. It brimmed over with status and influence, giving him almost something royal; if it was not for his arms being raised in a folded T, tearing and pulling at the closing mechanism of his collar. :: Vivan Laxyn: For how long do you want to watch me fight with this collar, before you offer your help? :: The young Trill pushed herself from the frame and crossed the room, coming to a halt in front of him. Gently, as if they could burst at the touch, she laid her hands on his and moved them away. The proud chin of the man remained in the air, exposing his throat to let her do her magic. Her slender fingers had no trouble, to join the hooks with the hoops, linking the sides of the collar. But she did it slow, trying to find the words. But he noticed something else faster, than she could get her words out. :: Vivan: You are not dressed yet, we will be late. :: The daughter swallowed, now there was her way in, if she ever saw one. But how could she do all that without hurting him? Maybe there was no way. :: Jalana Laxyn: I am not coming with you this time. :: She could feel him stiffen under her fingers and she almost closed her eyes to let the storm wash over, but kept them on the closing of his collar instead. Her heart beat faster, afraid of what would happen now. There was no way back. :: Vivan: What do you mean? Of course you will. You need the training. :: The training, that he had put all of his free time in, to teach her everything she would need to know, and that she had dreaded so much. What if there was nothing that would bind them together, without this training? This career? She took a deep breath and forced herself to keep her voice soft. :: Jalana: I need to talk with you about that. :: He shook his hand and deciding that she was done, took a step to the side, checking the collar in the mirror, before he reached out to the panel next to it, on which his sash hung neatly and ready to be worn. :: Vivan: Jalana, we really do not have time for that right now. Go and get dressed, we talk later. :: She could not wait, knowing that while she was afraid, she also almost burst, wanting her family to know the news. Her brother would possibly the only one who would be happy for her, but he was 9 and happy about everything. It bubbled under her surface, threatened to just burst out, to blurt from her lips without a filter, and exactly that treat was made true, when she did not speak up fast enough. Jalana: I'll be going to Medical school. :: The silence in the room was eardrum bursting loud. She could hear them, the gears in his mind, working, processing and immediately denying. Not with words, but his thoughts. Jalana saw the fine lines and wrinkles around his eyes deepen, his lips whiten as he pressed them together, the blue eyes, that had shown a tiny hint of warmth, turned cold. He had stood there, frozen for a long unbearable moment, before going on as if nothing had happened. :: Vivan: You won't. :: The bitterness in his voice send chills down the young woman's spine. She knew what it was, he did think that she really would not do it, if he told her so. But she could not deny herself her dream, her passion. Since she had been eight years old, Jalana had known that she wanted to be a doctor, help people, find solutions for illnesses that did not have one yet. Like her grandmother who had died from a sickness that had no survival rate. Her loss had left a hole in Jalana's life, a wish and desire, that had always been there, but had longed for something to bring it to the surface. :: Jalana: I will, father. I know you want me to follow your footsteps, but I want.. I need to become a doctor. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and I passed the tests and... :: The man suddenly swirled around, facing her with that stone like expression, his eyes had never been that piercing and cold as they were now. His daughter stood there, in front of him, trembling. He was not the kind of man to become loud. His rage was silent, dangerous like magma under the surface, just that his volcano never erupted. He was like the tiny piece of glass, that had accidentally fallen into food, noticed when it was too late and secretly doing its damage. :: Vivan: You went behind my back, without my permission and have the nerve to come to me after the harm is done? :: It was a whisper, and it still thundered in Jalana's ears. Yes, that was exactly what she had done, because she had known, that he would have never agreed. He would have locked her into her room and taken her communication rights, if he had known. She would not give up, not now, not after how far she had come. :: Jalana: You would have never allowed it. Vivan: And you know why. You were raised to become an Ambassador. :: That was the problem. She had been raised to become something she did not want. Something she wasn't and never would be. And she was angry about that, about everything she had never experienced. The joy to be a child, playing with other children, learning in a public school, bruising her knees when she'd fallen off a tree, getting the reassurance that she'd be doing better next time when she had not done well... and most of all, a father who would show her that he loved her, not only when she did the right step into a world that was not her own. She straightened her back, he would not take this from her, too. :: Jalana: And nobody ever asked me if I want that. I don't. I thought that once you see that I meet the qualifications and would be accepted, that you would see that diplomacy is not the only thing I can do. Vivan: ::He scoffed, shaking his head and returned his gaze back to the mirror.:: You will never get through with it. You know that you are not cut out to be a Doctor. :: His words felt like a slap into her face. The one person that she would have thought, could believe in her. Why couldn't he be happy for her, for finding something that she loved? For something she knew was her calling? :: Jalana: :: whispering :: I will... get through with it. I will become a doctor. :: Her father turned his head to the side, meeting her gaze. She almost stepped back, the look in his eyes took her breath away, cut off the way to her lungs. It was like a wall of disgust and disdain, but there was more, lurking in the background of his steel, she would not have the chance to melt again: pain, hurt and betrayal. He had given her everything, taught her everything, and she denied it after all these years. :: :: His voice was barely audible, but she could see the words not only on his lips but also in his eyes. :: Vivan: Leave, and don't come back. You will be gone when we return from the banquet. :: Her mouth fell open, trying to form words, but nothing came out, the words chocked before they were even born. Did he just kick her out? Completely? He could not mean that! Her throat was closed up, the only sound that came through the squeezed shut opening was a squeak, words did not find their way. But Vivan remained silent, staring at himself in the mirror, making sure that his sash sat right, brushing over the thick fabric of his tunic. :: :: She knew, he had said his last word. No matter for how long she would stand here. She had never seen him so angry, so hurt because of her. And it broke her heart, tore her soul into pieces, like nothing else had ever done. Because she knew that she could not make it better, because she had to follow her heart, her calling. She could not live his life. :: :: And still, as she left her father at the mirror, finding her dragging steps to to her room, she wished, as she had never wished before, that she could. :: ((/Flashback)) :: 'You know that you are not cut out to be a Doctor.' A tear ran down her pale cheek, as she remembered the last words, her father had ever spoken to her. Ever since, even if they had met in passing, he had been silent. She knew he had seen her, but never spoke. It also had been the last night, she had been in her home. The very same night, she had moved onto campus, and the only reason they had allowed her to move in that early, was because of who her father was. :: :: She had proven, that he had been wrong. She was a doctor, had been CMO for a long time, she had helped people and had worked hard. And still, there was a void, one that could only be filled by one person. And that person did not want to speak with her. She had tried, but as soon as he had seen who was on the other side of the connection, the line closed. Raising her hand she brushed away the salty remains of her sadness. :: Laxyn: Computer... ::Her voice was creaky, like old wood that accidentally was stepped upon.:: ... end program. :: Her gaze was upon the mirror he had stood in front of, when the whole scene faded out of existence. Maybe it was time to face it in person, on location. But right now she had to get her other problem under control. :: TBC ----- LtCmdr Jalana Laxyn Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Apollo-A simmed by LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena First Officer USS Apollo-A
  25. ((Vetka, Inner Isles)) :: Della had something of a stubborn streak. In part, it was inherited from her symbiote, as all of Vetri's hosts had been like that to some extent, but whatever the source, it was there. Unfortunately, no matter how stubborn the hold on a belief, it couldn't stand up to overwhelming evidence that the belief was wrong - evidence like the still form of the woman that Della really *had* just shot in the side of the head.:: :: The phaser in her hand dropped like a stone as she dived to the ground, wrapping her arms around T'Lea's motionless body with a choked cry. Any kind of rational thought was impossible as she fought to try and deny what she'd just done, and *why* she'd done it.:: Vetri: T'Lea! Please... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry! :: Something tickled at her ear, and it took a moment for her to realise what it was. The way she'd gathered the Romu-vulc into her arms put T'Lea's head right beside hers, and that faint tickle of breath was intimately familiar... Just under much more happy circumstances. What it told her, however, was enough to kick her disbelief at what had happened aside, replacing it with a whole other kind.:: :: With a fearful glance, she looked at the phaser she'd dropped, and sure enough it's controls showed her that somehow, amongst the lightning-fast chaos of the last couple of minutes, she'd managed to do something that was probably going to save her life.:: :: Once she was recovered, T'Lea was probably going to kick her [...] for it, though. Nobody appreciated a heavy stun blast to the head, after all.:: :: Even so, it was a very shaky hand that touched the hybrid's throat, seeking out the telltale flutter of a pulse under the skin... and an even more terrifying wait until it was found. Weak, thready... but there. A breath she didn't even realise she was holding burst out from Della's lips in a gasping sigh of relief - then she threw herself flat, cradling T'Lea as best she could as a massive, sky-shattering roar tore through the air.:: :: Her wild look around to find the source of the noise didn't take long to come up with results, and the sight of the multi-headed rafe towering out of the mist was... Actually, compared to what she'd just done to both herself and T'Lea, it wasn't that huge a deal.:: :: Huge, scary, and thoroughly [...]ed off, sure. Just not enough of a problem to outweigh what she was feeling right then.:: :: The queen rafe, because that was the only [...]ed thing it *could* be, roared again, and the response from the only conscious person on the ground was probably not what it might have expected.:: Vetri: ::tiredly:: Oh, shut the hell up. :: Amazingly enough, that got a response. And not even a messy one, as it took the form of one head drooping down a bit to stare at her with a mildly quizzical look in it's eyes.:: :: Anything more didn't have a chance to happen, as the very next thing to take place was a blast of energy spearing down from the heavens, smashing into the ground near the queen rafe, and levelling what had to have been a pretty hefty chunk of jungle.:: :: This did not, apparently, go down well with the rafe, and there was little Della could do but hunker down even more, covering T'Lea as best she could, whilst grabbing her comm.:: :: Somehow, she and T'Lea - and the other two, though she gave less of a [...] about them - managed to get through the rafe queen's explosion of rage without being crushed, but there was no way she would have been able to explain how. Soon enough, however, the situation changed yet again, with another thunderous roar slitting the air. Risking a glance upward to see what was going wrong now, but it took some furious blinking to clear the tears that were flowing for her to be able to make out what had caused it.:: :: When she saw the Thunder, hanging in mid-air like a duranium brick, she knew she should have felt some sort of relief. What she *actually* felt, though, was nothing more than an echo of the rafe queen's reaction - and as a result was utterly unsurprised when the creature let loose a blast of... something... that slammed into the ship.:: :: A part of her also pointed out that the fact she was going into a kind of shocked-out emotional numbness probably helped her lack of excitement as well, but she was too mentally numb to care.:: :: As she waited for the inevitable backlash - it was *Parker* in command up there, after all - to level the entire island, with them on it, Della made herself give a frak about someone but T'Lea enough to look over at Toni and Waltas, only to see that they were gone. At some point, she figured, the two of them must have been beamed up by the Thunder, and that was good. She'd managed to get them into far more trouble than any of them had bargained for, and it was only proper that they get the best care possible for what her idiocy had brought down on them.:: :: It was also right and good that she be left behind to face the consequences. She was the one that had started this fight, after all. Just like she'd been the one who'd talked T'Lea into staying in Starfleet, and putting herself at risk of precisely what had happened. And then, of course, there was the fact that she hadn't done something permanent to Selta the first time they'd met...:: :: The added fun of having been the one that very nearly blew her own wife's head across the landscape was just the icing on the cake.:: :: With a tired sigh, she closed her eyes, tucking T'Lea's head under her own as she held her, and waited for what she knew had to be coming for her. At least the girls were safe. With her gone, there was nothing left to threaten Gina and T'Sara, and they'd be able to have the happiness in life she knew now she'd never, ever, be able to give them.:: :: There was no need to care about what was happening around her, so she ignored the sounds from above, including the one that heralded the arrival of something else in the skies over the island. Just like she ignored the way a ticklish tingling wrapped itself around her and T'Lea, a totally harmless little quirk of the Gypsy Ranger's transporter that would have told her that Rossh had gotten her call.:: :: The change from blasted jungle to the inside of the Ranger just didn't seem to matter.:: TBC -------------------- Ambassador Della Vetri Diplomatic Officer Embassy of Duronis
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