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Found 9 results

  1. Let's kick off our new quotes thread with some inspiration: And insight: And of course, some out of context:
  2. Some amazing writing here from @Jansen Orrey showing the years of experience his PC has earned...
  3. I posted a sim where my PC Wil Ukinix has a grim outlook in a desperate situation, and used the song Time by Pink Floyd as inspiration, even including it IC (as part of Wil's well established eclectic collection of 20th/21st century Earth music). @Kivik brilliantly reflected the use of that piece of art in his own follow up sim for his PNPC character David Flint, an xB. This is a wonderful and unique demonstration of "yes, and"! ((Gravity Well, Type 10 Shuttle)) With the plan taking shape and time at a premium, Flint readied himself to once again exit the shuttle. He was certainly going to have to log these EVA hours properly on his record if they ever survived this hellhole. He grabbed his helmet and connected it to the neck ring of his suit, rotating it until the locking pins clicked into place. Dim lights sprung up around him, illuminating his face with an eerie pale blue glow. Flint: ::Sarcastically:: This day keeps getting better and better. Barberra(R2): It’s gonna get worse for all of us if you don’t *hurry up and get off*. ::looking at console:: Four minutes forty seconds until intercept. Ukinix: Right. Commander Ukinix began distributing the arsenal, with Flint receiving a phase rifle. He adjusted his grip on the weapon. It had been some time since he’d practiced at the range with something so large – but the principles remained the same. Point and shoot. Ukinix: Let’s get down there. Two parallel, competing priorities – welding the antenna to the hull, and disconnecting it from this shuttle so Annamae can get away. Understood? Reade: Aye, mate. We got this. Flint: Fine. Iko: ::placing on helmet:: Lets do this so we can get back home… Ukinix:: Agreed. ::To Annamae(R2):: Depressurise and open the door. Flint followed Ukinix’s glance once more to the reflection of Barberra – unsure if the Crewman was foolhardy or brave or some combination of the two. oO Probably foolhardy… Oo he told himself. Still, he did feel a pang of guilt that she would be piloting the craft and not him. It was a noble sacrifice, worthy of respect. oO Brave after all, then. Oo Ukinix: And good luck to you, Crewman Barberra. Barberra(R2): Thank you, sirs, it’s been an honour and will you just *leave*! Geez. Iko: ::putting her hands up:: We’re going, we’re going! Reade: Thank you Annamae 2. Flint: ::Opening the hatch:: Enough banter. ::Powering up the phase rifle:: Let’s go. ((USS Independence-B, Hull)) As the group descended onto the Hull of the Indy-B, David looked about cautiously. The last thing they needed was another rogue probe sailing by and ripping someone’s head off. His thoughts shifted, momentarily, to Ensign Richards. The man was lucky to be alive – though how much of him had survived was unclear to Flint. Despite his insistence on moving about he was pretty sure at least some of the Engineer had been rendered into jelly by that class six. His thoughts then twisted back to his own turn as an Ensign. A short-lived experience that had ended up with his assimilation… oO It’s a dangerous business this Starfleet thing. Oo Ukinix: =/\= We’re running out of time, how’s the antenna looking? =/\= He snapped back to the present, realizing that he should be participating in the effort to acquire the subspace antenna rather than day-dreaming about the Borg and amputations. Flint: =/\= There should be minimal damage, sir, despite everything. =/\= Reade: =/\= Still intact, proceeding to start the cutting. =/\= Flint nodded and looked expectantly towards their Commander. Iko: ::to Wil:: =/\= What’s the plan sir? =/\= Ukinix: ::Looking up at shuttle:: =/\= We’re gonna have to start severing the cables, and hope the antenna doesn’t float away. Crewman Barberra needs all the time she can get. =/\= Flint: =/\= True enough. We’ll have to work quickly but carefully. Let’s hope she can hold still while we do this.. ::to Iko:: ..and we’ll try not to cut a hole in her hull. =/\= Reade: =/\= Acknowledged. =/\= Iko: =/\= I vote we… do that. =/\= Flint smiled darkly to himself. Ukinix: ::Resuming welding:: =/\= I wish we had more time. =/\= Iko: ::shrug, jokingly:: =/\= Or we cut everything with a 20th century saw… =/\= Reade: ::turning around towards Bec:: =/\= Remind me after this, I got to show you that holo simulation of old 21st century earth tech. Iko: =/\= okay for real though, hand me a rifle. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= What? I thought you had it – ::looking down, flustered tone:: Oh Wil, you *idiot*! ::Exasperated sigh:: Sorry, Ensign, here- =/\= Flint cocked an eyebrow at the Commander’s flustered blunder. Not only had he forgotten to give their tactical officer the rifle – he had also reverted to calling he an Ensign again. It was clear that something was on his mind. oO Is it Barberra? Or something else? Oo He decided to look into Commander Ukinix’s file when – if – they made it out of the gravity well. Ukinix: =/\= OK, point that thing at the cables and sever them. ::To David:: You too, Lieutenant. =/\= Flint: =/\= My pleasure, Commander. =/\= Iko: =/\= Aye sir. =/\= Reade: =/\= In the process of welding right now as we speak. =/\= Flint took aim at one of the cables and began firing in short concentrated bursts, doing his best to avoid scorching the hull of the Type-10. Taking a momentary break, he glanced at Iko and noted her precise firing. He’d begun to wonder about her following her intense reactions earlier… now he supposed those were simply the result of overwhelming tachyon exposure. She seemed to be focused and capable now. Ukinix: =/\= @#$% here they come! Sever those cables! =/\= David turned to look in the direction Ukinix was indicating and noticed the incoming dots. Flint: =/\= Damn those things are fast. ::To Iko:: Alright, I’ll concentrate on the aft cables. You take the forward cables? =/\= Iko didn’t reply, but continued firing efficiently. David nodded and took aim once more. Reade: =/\= Oh no, there coming again. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= ::To Scotty:: Keep welding mate! Enough to keep the Antenna in place! =/\= The two phaser-wielding officers paused a moment as the Type-10 banked. David wished they could communicate with Barberra in the shuttle. He couldn’t imagine the agonizing wait that she had to endure as they cut away and welded below out of comms. As the shuttle settled, they resumed firing. Flint: =/\= ::To Reade and Ukinix:: We’re nearly there with the cables, gentlemen. Hopefully you’ve got that thing secured back there… =/\= Reade: =/\= Aye mate. =/\= Ukinix: ::Moving to new spot and beginning welding:: =/\= Quick, Scotty, quick! =/\= Reade: =/\= Almost done. =/\= The subspace antenna momentarily raised a little again, then lowered, as the almost untethered Type-10 spun in it’s X-axis, pointing away from the direction of the incoming probes in a seeming attempt to get ready for a getaway. Reade: =/\= Thats the best I can do. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= It’s gonna have to do! Just keep going! =/\= David didn’t look back to see what they were talking about and just continued firing. They were nearly through all the cables. Flint: =/\= Last one aft. Iko, how’s forward? =/\= Iko: =/\= ::more… klingon-y than normal:: Last one. =/\= Ukinix: =/\= C’mon! Break you stupid cable- =/\= Iko: =/\= ::slightly more normal, but still serious voice:: We did it. =/\= With the Commander’s spurning, the last cables gave way and the shuttle was freed. Immediately the shuttle started accelerating away from them and the probes. Flint looked overhead and watched with bated breath as the probes closed at a rate exceeding the shuttle’s acceleration. Flint: =/\= Come on, Barberra, give it some welly! =/\= One of the dots caught up to the Type-10 dot, and they touched. It wasn’t long before a small line of vented plasma formed a straight line behind the dot. A probe had hit Barberra(R2)’s shuttle, how bad was anyone’s guess given the distance it was from them now. oO Damn! Oo Ukinix: =/\= Nooooooo! Not another one! =/\= oO Hang on… Oo Surprisingly, the Type-10 dot seemed to regain speed and once again led nine smaller dots behind it away. A tenth dot, the probe that must have impacted the Type-10 shuttle, sped off at a completely different angle. Ikoa and Flint lowered their rifles as the dots continued fading into the distance, eventually merging into one single speck of distant light and then, at last, into indiscernibility. Flint: ::Turning back towards the group:: =/\= That could’ve gone worse. =/\= Iko: =/\= ::normal voice:: Wil? =/\= Reade: =/\= Hope she gets away.=/\= Ukinix: =/\= ::Glumly:: I hope she’s okay. ::Quietly quoting line from a song in his collection:: “Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death.” =/\= David nodded in recognition. Time was a classical song from his homeland, a twentieth century piece by the group Pink Floyd, whose melancholy reflections on existence oft reflected David’s own. After a brief pause, he turned to his compatriots and followed up with his own - slightly-adjusted - quote from the piece. Flint: =/\= Hanging on in quiet desperation is the human way. Let’s get back to it. =/\= Iko: =/\= Come on, we got work to do. =/\= Reade: =/\= Think positive mate. =/\= Looking back at the roughly-affixed antenna, Commander Ukinix sighed. David felt his exhaustion, his own body aching and begging for a rest. But their work was not quite finished yet. Ukinix: =/\= ::Sigh:: Alright. Let’s not make whatever Crewman Barberra’s fate is in vain. We have the secondary antenna, let’s begin interfacing it with our primary antenna that’s inside the hull. =/\= Reade: =/\= Shall we go back in? =/\= As they headed towards an airlock, David took one last look back into the black behind them. As he looked into the nothingness he felt a welling of dread. Another lyric from the song ran through his mind. oO You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today / And then one day you find ten years have got behind you… Oo Life was a such fickle and fleeting thing and time the ever-inflating currency with which it could be bought. Ten years had been taken from him by the Borg. He would be damned if this gravity well would take any more of it. END ACT 2 for FLINT == Lt. JG David Flint (he/him) Helm Officer, Amity Outpost Character Wiki Page V239806K11 -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Amity Outpost – StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to sb118-amity+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/sb118-amity/CAE6LJtE2ZwDNEaM1z5O7KiSyQn5dH%3DzifTjmevYcFCTXwjjFHw%40mail.gmail.com.
  4. Ensign @Nathan Richards not only did an awesome job with his first Mission post, conveying the chaos of the situation and continuing the story along, but I also found the use of Morse Code particularly original and enjoyable. A creative and momentum-filled start! Original post here: https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-amity/c/veK3eGUFuco/m/x-h9UuGbAwAJ
  5. Sparks, explosions, smoke, and anomalies. From reading this sim, you can feel the stress of the situation. A fantastic read @Hannibal Parker ! (( Bridge- USS Independence B )) Gamma shift. The dark of ships' night. It was a time for junior officers to take the big chair on what should be a fairly routine evolution. However, it was also the time for a Second Officer to brush up on his bridge quals, and John had no problem with the lack of sleep associated with taking the center seat of the Defiant Class starship during this period. Probing the depths of space in advance of the USS Kitty Hawk, the Indy B was closing in on a phenomena known as the Barossa Nebula, her powerful warp engines bringing them ever closer. Sure, the mission was routine, according to Wil, but routine was relative. On the viewscreen, the purplish hues of the nebula were drawing ever closer. At the helm, Jaygee Flint was piloting the Indy B with skill and it seemed a great deal of joy. It was like watching a virtuoso sing not for adolation, but because they loved it so much. John spoke... Carter: Mister Flint...ships' status... Flint: Everything appears optimal, Commander. ::Gesturing at the purple field ahead on the viewscreen:: With your permission, Sir. This was what being out here was all about. Exploration, expanding our knowledge and forging a path for those who would follow. With a hint of pride in his voice, John spoke... Carter: Take us in, Mister Flint... Orrey: Response Flint: Taking us in. The view on the screen changed as the ship gracefully swung to port, the purple from the nebula undulating with deep patches and lighter ones as the ship moved in. The view was mesmerizing, hypnotic, beautiful. John sat back in the center seat, internally whistling to himself. John spoke... Carter: Beautiful, isn't it? Orrey: response He was getting ready to speak again when the Indy seemingly dropped out from under them, then pitched up violently. Alarms began whooping on the bridge, and he could feel the heat from something exploding behind him... Carter:=/\= Red Alert! Captain Ukinix to the bridge!=/\= Orrey: response Carter: Mister Flint! What have you got? Flint: It’s that anomaly, Sir. It appears to be expanding. It’s… some sort of gravity well. That wasn't a good thing. A bad one could tear even this ship apart in minutes. The ship began to dip forward according to the viewscreen. If they began to tumble, it could be lights out for all of them. John spoke... Carter: Flint! Get her nose up! Orrey: response Flint: Attempting to compensate. Might get a bit rocky... That was an understatement. The engines roared with power as they fought against the forces trying to pull them in. Looking at the status on his PADD, things were getting worse, not better... Carter: Structural integrity is getting critical! Orrey: response Flint: If we continue trying to escape, Sir, the ship will be torn in half by these tidal forces. I have to power the engines down or we will lose the ship… Flint was right. The readouts were telling him the same thing. He had no time to ponder a decision, no room to consider alternatives. Right or wrong, John made his decision... Carter: Shut them down, Mister Flint. Use the thrusters to try to keep us level. Orrey: response With the warp engines shut down, the Indy bucked forward, with Flint fighting to keep her on an even keel, although an even keel was not the main thing for the moment as the anomaly pulled them in deeper, the viewscreen becoming grainy and full of static, Over the din of alarms, Flint spoke... Flint: Recommend we alert the crew to brace for... Flint was cut off by a series of explosions which rocked the Indy, setting off another group of alarms. In front of him, Flint was dealing with a small fire, and behind John he was feeling sparks run down his neck. To make matters worse, John was thrown against the overhead, and he heard the unmistakable sound of an emergency bulkhead closing...they were effectively trapped on the bridge, but so far the only good news was they still had life support, but the only question was...for how long? And what about the rest of the ship? Pushing himself off the overhead, John slammed into the command chair and grabbed a handhold...the only question was staying in it in zero gee. The bridge had gone dark, with most of the consoles now showing red through the smoke. They were still alive, but they were in serious trouble. A few long seconds later, auxiliary lighting came on, tinged in red, but at least he knew some systems were still online, despite physically the bridge being cut off from the rest of the ship. John spoke... Carter: Status report! Orrey: response Flint: I’m afraid… we’re trapped. Carter: In more ways than one. We're trapped on the bridge, trapped in this anomaly, not knowing what the ships' current status is, which we need to know yesterday. Orrey: response A grey viewscreen greeted his eye forward. They at least wanted to see where the hell they were. Maybe the Kitty Hawk saw them and was on her way. That maybe so, but John had to operate as though they were on their own and they had to save themselves. John spoke... Carter: David...can you get that screen on? Flint had managed to secure himself to the helm, and through the smoke, he managed to get the viewscreen operable...and what they all saw made John think he was seeing things, but he wasn't. On the viewscreen before him, there were literally hundreds of Independence B's...all identical, all lifeless, all helpless. Just as they were. Carter: I'm be damned... Orrey: response Flint: response Carter: Hail them... Orrey: response No answer. Not good. Perhaps they were more damaged than he figured. John spoke... Carter: Allright. I need a full damage report Mister Flint. I need to know how badly we're hurt, and...whether there are survivors other than here, since internal sensors seem to be off line for the moment. Orrey: response Carter: Damage Control 101. Save the ship. Save the plant. Save the crew. Damage control had been a mantra since the United States Navy days. Sure the systems were more complex, but the basics were still the same. Once he knew how bad they were hurt, the better he could respond... Orrey: response Flint: response TAG/TBC Lt. Commander John Marcus Carter First Officer/ Chief Counselor USS Independence B C238703HP0
  6. @Wil Ukinix Gave us one of the perfect Wil & Kehanni moments. I was pointing out a bit I loved, then another bit I loved, then realised the whole thing was great. ((XO’s Office, Level 1, Copernicus Center)) After several months, the practice of throwing countless PADDs into the replicator had become more than just a therapeutic activity. It had become more than just an ad-hoc sport. It was now an *art-form*. Ukinix: Aaaaaaaannnnddd….. ::exhale:: The PADD was in Wil’s right hand. With death defying speed, he wrapped his right arm around his back, and then with a deft touch “frisbeed” the PADD from his left side, with his right hand, towards the replicator. Ukinix: ::quickly:: Recycle! Streaks of glistening light filled the replicator’s bay. They were gleefully waiting to recycle whatever landed in it. This time, it was a spinning PADD, and it got it all. Right in the middle. Ukinix: ::Fist pump:: Yyyyes! Rather pleased with himself, Wil lifted his hands in the air to celebrate his accomplishment, just as the door chime rang. Ukinix: ::Cheerily:: Come in! The door slid open, and with it came a wall of anger that filled Wil’s empathic senses like *ten* spinning PADDs making their way into a replicator. Keehani: ::Flatly:: Come with me, I need your help. Wil turned around to look at his second cousin, her hair up in a pony tail. Her face was pale, her jaw was clenched, and her black eyes were piercing. His second cousin was furious for some reason. Wil observed her for a moment. The last thing he wanted was to get involved in Keehani berating something or someone, so he instead reached over to his desk and picked up the stack of PADDs that were waiting to be artfully recycled. Ukinix: Sorry Keehani, would love to, but I have a stack of PADDwork to do. See? Keehani: ::Flatly:: I need you to profusely curse at someone for me. Ukinix: ::Quickly putting PADDs back on desk with a smile, excited tone:: Righto, lead the way! ((Glommer & Beagle – A few minutes later)) When they entered the pub, Wil smacked his hands together in delight. Ukinix: Cursing *and* beers? Keehani, you’ve made my day. Keehani ignored her cousin’s sudden joy and exhaustive cheek, and instead looked around at the various tables that were packed with patrons. It was like she was using her psionic senses to track down her prey. Keehani: Where is he… Ukinix: Where’s who? You know, in the time it’s taken to get up here while you were fuming you could have spent that energy explaining to me what we’re doing here- Keehani: There. There he is, by the Four. Wil followed after Keehani when she suddenly started clip-clopping in her shoes over towards a table. Over Keehani’s shoulder he saw the back of a red-haired woman… Ukinix: Evelyn! G’day! McLaren: Response … and after a few more steps his view of the table was unobstructed. Ukinix: Arty! Hey, how are ya! Summerside: Response Keehani by that stage had stood at the end of the table, her arms crossed, staring at Arthur. Undeterred, Wil ignored his second cousin and kept smiling. Ukinix: ::To Arty:: Oh mate, ::quick click of fingers:: I promised you a bourbon. ::Turning to bartender:: Hey, can we get two bourbons over here? On my account? Bartender: Coming right up, Commander! When the first Officer turned back to look at the others, all he could see were a pair of black Betazoid eyes that ripped through to his soul like a subspace tear. Initially scared out of his pants, he eventually shrugged innocently. Ukinix: ::Innocent tone:: What. Wait. Is this who you wanted me to swear at? ::To Arty, playful tone:: Hey ya #@#%#@ @$@@, you @#$@# want a @#$@$ bourbon? ‘Cos I sure as #@$@ do. ::Chuckle:: Ahhh… ::blink of eyes, looking at Keehani:: Why are we swearing at Arty? Did he write a bad article? Because let’s be honest, ::slight chuckle:: the expo and the rally didn’t exactly go smoothly. Keehani turned back to give Arthur the same stare she had just given Wil. Keehani: It depends if you consider yourself the First Officer of a paramilitary force. Or if you’re OK with private conversations being recorded from a distance. Ukinix: ::Furrowed eyebrow:: “Paramilitary”? Summerside: Response Keehani pressed a single finger down on the datapad that Arthur was holding, until the datapad slowly fell flat on the table with a “thunk”. On it was the Briori Sun logo, with the headline “The Blinding Light of Friendship”. Keehani: ::Angry tone, pointing at Arthur:: It’s got *your* name on it, Arthur. Yours! ::Finger on chest:: And mine. ::Finger pointed towards door:: And Rivi’s. *And*, it’s smeared Jansen Orrey, a *fine* diplomat and former Starfleet Officer, and taken him completely out of context. Is *this* how you want cooperation with us, hmm? ::shaking head:: Do you *really* expect the Diplomatic Corp to give you access to Ambassador Niarivi Vataix in the future after ::pressing finger on datapad:: *this*? The FNS at least understand the meaning of the word “ethics”. By the Four, when Paris sees this article, they’ll be strapping a Quantum Slip Drive to the Eiffel tower to get here as fast as they can. And not to “erase history”, Arthur, because our member worlds have histories they’d rather forget but they don’t, they wear it. “Ugly colours,” huh? ::pressing finger into table:: Well that’s better than black, Arthur, because that’s the only colour you’ll be getting from us from now on! Do you understand that? You…selfish… half-witted… messy-thinking, tribble farmer! Wil, curse at him! Wil’s jaw had already dropped in shock. A second later he realised that the bartender was standing next to him, also frozen in shock, with one clear glass of brown liquid in each of his hands. Bartender: ::meekly:: Uhh…two bourbons? There was a momentary pause before Wil grabbed one of the glasses and tipped its contents down his throat. After a small cough, he grabbed the second glass and downed that one too. Ukinix: ::To bartender, strained tone:: Two more. Summerside/McLaren: Responses Keehani: ::To Arthur:: And to think I got you into the new year’s eve party. Ukinix: ::clears throat:: If you’ll excuse me, I’m needed literally anywhere else- Without taking her angry black eyes off of Arthur, Keehani reach her hand out and forcefully squeezed Wil’s forearm, to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere. Summerside/McLaren: Responses Tags/TBC!
  7. The emotions described in this sim are outstanding - not only from a feelings, but also a sensing perspective. Well done @Zhanyt Lafizatar and @Kivik . ((Lighthouse Restaurant – 3 hours and 30 minutes until midnight)) Ceciri had decided to attend the party, although she had already done her traditional end of year celebrations in one of the shared-religious spaces. When in Rome, and all that. She was dressed conservatively for her, but still in an interesting style for her. Her deep violet dress was actually cut to expose a good deal of her chest, but not a lot of it, as it was a diagonal cut from her right shoulder to her left upper chest, and was considered in style for some of the betazoids, and if it wasnt’ for the tail cut she had to do in the dress - carefully - and her cat like ears, she could have probably have bled into the small but growing crowd in some of the diplomatic and civil circles. .oO One day I’ll understand fashion. Oo. Ceciri snorted, finding that unlikely. She was too busy working on her doctorate - she found Planetary Terraforming fascinating -, being a Starfleet Offficer, and honestly, she liked her life. A life that was somewhat disrupted at the moment. Still.. .oO Standing and falling backwards never solved anything Oo. Ceciri nodded to herself, and was waiting for her “date” here. Across the room, leaning against the bar, stood Tri’lea. She wore her poise much like she wore her dress, with much practice but little comfort. The glass in her hand held a simple, yet perfect martini - a half ounce of dry vermouth and 2 ounces of gin balanced with the sweet intensity of a lemon twist. Strong, bitter, and just a little sweet. She smiled at the thought that it somewhat reflected herself and wondered what sort of [...]tail Ceciri k’Ariadust would be… oO Some sort of ritual wine.. Oo she mused. It felt as if she were compelled to drink, whether she liked to or not, as the result of some unfair tradition and the comparison seemed apt enough to amuse her. She watched her quarry from across the room and took a sip from the martini. Tri’lea’s plus one - her attaché, Rei - was already mingling with the crowd as she’d been instructed. Her role tonight would be to meet some of the station’s senior staff, learn names, make connections. Tri’lea only cared about one connection that evening. Already she found herself assessing what she saw before her. The picture she had been provided of Ariadust was clearly outdated. In fact, the woman before her in the violet dress was hardly recognisable to her - a disappointment. She was far less.. delicate.. than Tri’lea had been expecting. Perhaps Starfleet had toughened her up, though somehow the Betazoid noble doubted it. According to what little she knew of the woman, she had grown up working on merchant vessels following her mother’s exile. Tri’lea couldn’t imagine that life had been any easier. She slipped away from the bar and made her way across the crowded room, keeping her eyes locked on Ceciri. She felt a little silly, like some sort of shark honing in on her prey. It wouldn’t do to spring the news on the poor girl without making some sort of introduction first - but for whatever reason Tri’lea felt compelled not to show herself immediately, not to walk up. It just wasn’t her way. Instead, she walked elegantly behind the woman through the party, watching her movements, wondering at her imperceptible thoughts, until at last she could take it no longer. Polgonz: Ceciri k’Ariadust? Ceciri internally stiffened, but with some effort - some well learnt effort - kept it from more than a few micro movements, turning around to face the other woman - Betazoid, if she was any judge. Some interesting hints in bearing. Not enough for her to judge, but honestly, if she was asked now, she’d say that she was talking to a Betazed Noble. If anything, she had used the honorific in her name, the one that Ceciri had intentionally dropped years ago when she joined Starfleet. Ariadust: That would be me. I don’t.. recall meeting you, but have we met and I just forgot? Depressingly likely, given how many places Ceciri had been in her youth. When she had first laid eyes on Ariadust, Tri’lea had attributed her inability to sense the Cygnian’s thoughts and feelings to the liveliness of the party around them. As she had grown closer, she began to realize that the woman’s thoughts weren’t being drowned out - they were concealed. A fact that she found both intriguing and disconcerting. Nonetheless, she would have to rely on Ariadust’s body language to tell her how she felt; She seemed tense. Polgonz: My name is Tri’lea Doyoxo Polgonz… We won’t have met before - but I do know you in a way. That tiny alarm bell was joined by an entire chorus. Most people who knew indirectly of her would have done so through her family, and with a very dead mother.. Well, Ceciri rather hoped it was for her papers and work on New Galway. Besides, her date had already wandered off anyway. Ariadust: Oh? Polgonz: Yes. My mother and your Great Aunt were acquainted through business. Ceciri’s alarm bells were instantly upgraded to red alert sirens. But still, she smiled a bit. She didn’t, for a second, believe this wasn’t also aimed at her, but she sipped her martini with a thought and turned to fully face Tri’lea. Ariadust: Ah, I see. ::Ceciri knew a bit to know that her Great Aunt did very limited direct business, leaving that in the hands of her many daughters. Mental tick up on noble, that.:: Pleased to meet you then. You must be a Daughter of a House? Polgonz: ::Tri’leas smile wavered, for an instant:: Daughter Ascendant. My mother, Idrustix Doyoxo Polgonz, was a Daughter of the Twentieth House of Betazed. I’d not be surprised, nor insulted, to hear that you weren’t aware of us. There are many, even on Betazed, who know or care little about the House of Travelers. oO For now. Oo She sipped her martini again and looked across the room to the other end of the party. Ceciri did, actually. She had even worked for one very briefly when her aunt was the lead of a convoy to a Betazed colony world. Still, the Daughter Ascendant? Ariadust: I’ve worked with your House before. Colony world of Shining Compassion, I think. ::Ceciri was a bit too direct there, since that was just a Cygnian thing to name their colony worlds after phrases, and a Betazed thing to name them after .. actually, if someone ever explained it to her, she’d understand then.:: I’m not surprised you would be out here.. :: Ceciri smiles a bit at the nebula, before turning back to Tri’lea.:: It would be a good thing to expand out here where far fewer species are arguing in the Assembly about colonies, and.. Well, if the Federation wants to have an actual foothold.. Tri’lea smirked. An enigmatic smile. oO At least she is not aloof. Oo Used to communicating with other Betazoids, she actually found it quaint and relaxing to converse with someone who could not read her own mind. Given her upbringing, Tri’lea had no interest in lying to Ceciri - but she also knew that it could ease the news she was bringing to conceal the details until they had gotten to know one another a little more. Or at least she hoped so. There was no need for any unnecessary unpleasantness. Polgonz: You’re not wrong. I’m visiting for a few reasons, all to do with family priorities. We are called both to attend Betazed and people the stars. I also wanted to meet you. .oo We. Oo. Ceciri was very unsurprised at that. After all, if this was just yet another ‘please meet our noble daughter, oh unmarried prospect of the Ariadust clan’, it would be in the thousands. However.. Amity Outpost was months away. You don’t idly go that far without some motive, and she also noted that Tri’lea was being far too indirect. .oO Goddesses above and below, I hope this isn’t what I think it is. Oo. Ceciri had been warned that the telepathic suppressant she took wasn’t perfect - very strong emotion would begin to burn through it, and right now it was taking a bit of mental effort to keep from broadcasting or even emitting the anxiousness she was feeling. Also, she was beginning to wish she had worn a slightly less revealing dress, but she could name the last time she dressed up for anything. It was several years ago, in New Galway, when the ecosystem work was done. Ariadust: I am honored that you would think me interesting. :: she smiled a bit.:: Or at least worthy of note. I’m still working on earning renown of my own. Traditional Cygnians, and Ceciri counted herself as one of them, wished to be known for something. Ceciri had a bit of a black mark on her record - her mother being an attempted mass murdering terrorist didn’t help - but also, she remembed her other mother. And she wanted to be worthy of that legacy, of the ideas she was taught when she was a little girl. And if nothing else, it was a great diversion in her mind. That’s what the therapists said, anyway. Channel the pain and doubt into something useful. Polgonz: oO Daughter of an exiled noble family. Merchant pilot turned Starfleet Lieutenant. Oo Oh yes, you strike me as an interesting person. oO Or at least, I hope to the Four Deities that you are.. Oo Are you here with anyone? ::Looking about, casually:: Ariadust: Ah.. no. I did come here with someone, but it was so she could try and get in with one of the Andorian zhens in the growing civil sector. Personally, I wish she’d go for it if only so they’d both stop moping, from what I understand. ::Ceciri’s smile turns a bit wry:: Polgonz: I see. ::Telepathically, to Rei:: ~~You can stop distracting the Andorian, Rei.~~ ::Back to Ariadust:: I’m not familiar with Andorian courtship customs. Betazoid customs offer plenty of complication on their own. Spoken with a hint of laughter, but it was certainly true - oO And more relevant than she likely realizes… Oo Ceciri had to think about that a second - she only knew one personally, and the other from when she’d show up to watch sessions. Ariadust: ::shrugs:: Only the flower’s bloom reveals it’s fate. But as the Earthers say, it’s the beginning of a new year, and I imagine that’s audacious for all sorts of endeavors, and it’s rather.. ::Ceciri felt for a word:: .. intriguing how much culture Earth has pushed into the Federation. .oO And somewhat surprising if you were sheltered like I was from the larger Federation. Oo. Ceciri also rather hoped the other woman would get closer to the point. Polgonz: Indeed. Our traditions may complicate things at times, but I believe we still have an obligation to pay them respect. We can share the stars with our allies and still maintain our identities. I imagine you feel similarly about your own culture… Tri’lea sensed that it was time. Ariadust seemed to be getting restless with the surface-level conversation, and in truth, so was Tri’lea. Polgonz: While we’re on the subject of traditions and.. obligations.. there is another reason for my visiting. oO And for speaking with you. Oo I’m not sure there’s a sensitive way to share this, but perhaps you will appreciate it best reading the agreed-upon words written by your Great Aunt and my Mother. At that, Tri’lea reached into her handbag and removed the letter destined for Ceciri. It was written by hand on paper – her mother had insisted on that, she was sure – and officially sealed. Tri’lea, of course, had received her own copy of the very the same agreement, written by her late mother, now sealed in her private desk drawer. She had not laid eyes on it since she had first read it. It simply brought out too much frustration. Ceciri nodded, ears twitching as she smilingly accepted the letter. .oO Please let this not be what I think it is. Oo. Ariadust: Thank you. Ceciri looked at the letter - Salthian parchment, no less. Well known for more high class uses across the Beta Quadrant. She recognized the characteristic writing of her great aunt in the prescript, and took a deep sigh as her pale blue eyes scanned the document Under the glow of the Mother of the Fairies, and in Their Glory, And for the Glen of Our Honour Affixed, this date of 2398-6-12 in the Common Era, The Five Hundreath And Seventh Cycle of the Ascendant Fairies I, Talichia z’Ariadust, Dame of the Roaring Icefires, Councilwoman of Cygnet And I, Idrustix Doyoxo Polgonz, Daughter of the Twentieth House of Betazed Do Agree that our daughters Ceciri Salriaoni k’Ariadust, daughter of Fairioni Ariadust And Tri’lea Doyoxo Polgonz, Daughter Ascendant Are to be Wed In a period not exceeding One Cycle of the Ascendant Fairies, and before the common year 2401. Ceciri stared. And stared again. If she hadn’t known about the failing of the telepathic suppressant, she would have known now, as the rising anger-rage-despair was beginning to manifest as a very pungent ashy taste. And she rather suspected, given some of the looks she was drawing, that the other empaths in the room were beginning to detect it. However, all of that was superfluous. Even as her emotions began to erupt, she politely handed the letter back to the other woman, and put her hand on the reenforced railing they were near and inadvertently snapped it when she clenched her fist. Her anger-despair-bonedeep pain was still flowing, but then again, you’d hope so, given that her deep blue blood was beginning to pool around her clenched fist. You need that salrenaline to not notice blood, after all. Then, with a supreme effort, she clamped down on it, putting up what fragile mental shields she could to stop emitting it. No point in making other people uncomfortable at a party. Ariadust: ::Very weakly:: Well. That’s a letter. Tri’lea had expected Ariadust to be upset - angry even. She, herself, had felt indignant outrage when she had read her own copy of the letter. Arranged marriages were nothing unfamiliar to a Daughter of a Royal House of Betazed. Only that was just it. Tri’lea was not yet a Daughter of the Twentieth House, only a Daughter Ascendant - and her ascension came with conditions. Her mother was forcing this marriage and that was something she couldn’t excuse. Nonetheless, if she wanted to take her proper place, then this hoop required leaping through. She had not, however, expected such a reaction. The Cygnian woman looked different from her picture, but more than that - she was different. Her feelings had broken through whatever guard she had put in place, and Tri’lea found herself awash with Ariadust’s emotional outburst. She had steeled herself against anger, but was entirely caught off guard by her destruction of the railing. Wide-eyed, Tri’lea stared at the blood running from Ariadust’s hand - but her pragmatic Polgonz instincts wouldn’t let her gawk for long. Polgonz: ~~Rei, Lady k’Ariadust is injured. Fetch a medical officer, if you can – quietly.~~ She shot her attendant a sharp look, to reiterate the urgency of the matter. Polgonz: ::To Ariadust:: I understand your anger. This arrangement is.. well, let’s leave it at that for now. May I see your hand? Tri’lea was no field medic, but any proud member of the House of Travellers would count it as a grave character flaw to find themselves entirely helpless in any situation. Ariadust: ::distractedly:: Why do you need to see it? Ceciri was trying to get herself under control a bit, and she was still very upset over sections of that letter. Polgonz: You’re hurt. Ariadust: Oh. ::Ceciri looked at her hand, unclenching it to see slivers and deep cuts in it.:: So I am. ::Distantly, a part of her mind was yelling at her that she was going to feel all of this once the salrenaline wore off.:: Polgonz: This isn’t going to mend itself. I understand that our meeting has been under unusually straining circumstances - but please, let me help you. Ceciri nodded. She was fairly qualified for some field medicine courses, but was .. probably not in the right mind to administer it to herself at the moment. And as angry as she was at her great aunt, she wasn’t really angry at the other woman. If her luck was any guide, that’d come later. .oO I really should cultivate a more optimistic look at life. Oo. Ceciri thought to herself. She was beginning to get back under control, but - and most distressingly, as she tried to drink something to wash the taste of burning ash out of her mouth - her suppressant was thoroughly shot and she could taste the mixed emotions of the party, which felt like nine delicious dishes poured into a swamp, mixed thoroughly, and served. She also felt worry, which she had actually managed to describe once as a tangy-pepper feel with an afterfeel of a cold breeze dancing on her neck. It wasn’t even a good tangy-pepper feel, so she rather disliked it when people worried about her. Tri’lea could sense the shift in Ceciri’s distress. It was as if she were speaking with… well, with a child who had not yet learned to control her abilities. She seemed overwhelmed by her own emotions - and the thoughts and feelings of those around her at the party. Rei approached with a disquieted look on her face at the sight of Ariadust’s injured hand. Rei: ~~The Chief Medical Officer is in attendance, Daughter Ascendant.~~ Tri’lea: Hold the formalities please, Rei - and let’s speak aloud, for her sake. ::To Ariadust:: Will you come with us? We can get your hand tended to. Ceciri nodded, nodding her thanks at switching from telepathy to normal conversation. She wasn’t entirely looking forward to explaining this to Wong - sometimes she wondered at the energy of that man. Also, even she could hear him. He was exuberant in his emotions as he was in life, and she could feel the headache coming on. Would kinda wish that she would be treated as an adult, but then again.. Ceciri’s hand was bleeding pretty heavily. Tri’lea felt Ceciri’s hand in hers and, looking down at it, wondered at what an omen the bloodied mess might be. At the moment, the two of them were locked into a future neither of them had planned. One which would strain their loyalties to their family and tradition as well as to their own independence. She hoped that, in time, the situation could be mended - like Ariadust’s hand could be mended. But if that were happen, and they were to get along, much would need to change. Ariadust:Would make sense. I’d rather not wait for it to clot to stop bleeding. Tri’lea: Then let’s find the Chief Medical Officer and get you looked after, shall we? oO Four Deities watch over me. I hadn’t realized this hoop would be set on fire before I had to jump through it… Oo Ariadust: I can feel the headache already. ::dryly:: But let’s. I’ll have to file a report, anyway, as I’m pretty sure the prospector is going to take exception to me breaking her railing. Hopefully not to the point of banning me. I’d like to come back and see the countdown tonight... Lt. Ceciri Ariadust Helm Officer Amity Outpost C239112CA0 and Tri'lea Doyoxo Polgonz Daughter Ascendant, Twentieth House of Betazed V239806K11
  8. The current Thor/Amity joint mission has generated a lot of highlights for me but I wanted to take a moment to show my appreciation for @Ikaia Wong's humor and style. This JP was his idea, went in completely unexpected directions and ended up being a real pleasure to work on. I hope this encourages folks to reach out and try writing with new people as often as you can! =================================================== ((High Containment Science Lab 4, Deck 3, USS Thor)) Geoff Teller grumbled slightly as he made his way from his office to the lab spaces on Deck 3. The visiting crew of Amity had been given run of the ship and while that hadn’t been a problem, it had mostly lead to some vaguely lost officers wandering the halls. As First Officer, he’d been primarily responsible for herding these lost sheep so when he received an alert from the High Containment Science Labs, one of the few fully restricted areas aboard ship, he assumed it was simply another officer who had gotten turned while looking for the ships spa. What he wasn’t expecting was a frantic looking medical officer tending to a large and varied collection of plants, spread across several of the lab tables in specialized bio-monitoring pods. Geoff watched in bemused silence for a few moments as the young officer, a Lt. in blue with an oversized lab coat, ran the scanner from a medical tricorder over one of the bits of flora before reviewing the readings with narrowed eyes. When Geoff realized he’d likely be standing there for hours if he didn’t say something, he cleared his throat politely and spoke up with a smile. Teller: I don’t remember authorizing a new Arboretum on this deck, Lieutenant. Ikaia nearly jumped out of his skin from hearing that voice. His hand reached up and clutched his chest as he spun around. Wong: Ah! Commander! I didn’t see you there! ::Takes a moment to breathe:: I nearly had a heart attack…. Geoff chuckled and put his hands up in a placating gesture. Teller: As you were, this isn’t exactly a formal inspection. I don’t think we’ve met...Geoff Teller, ships XO. He stepped from the doorway and offered a hand in greeting. Ikaia allowed his hand to drop from his chest as he tried to relax. He reached out to shake the ginger haired officer’s hand. Wong: I’m Lieutenant Ikaia Wong. Physician Assistant and part of the Amity crew. Nice to meet you, Commander. Teller: Ah yes, Mr. Wong...I remember your name from the manifest. You’re Amity’s incoming Chief Medical Officer, right? ::Geoff nodded to the wide assortment of plants:: Botany a hobby or are these for medical use? Ikaia put his tricorder down on the nearest counter. He had been caring for many of these plants since he was an ensign. In fact, it was a collection of plants he had inherited from a previous doctor. In many ways, he felt like he had adopted them. Wong: Ah yes. That’s correct. I’m looking forward to my new posting. As for these… ::gesturing to his plants:: …. They’re something of a practical hobby, I suppose. I’ve been caring for them for a better part of a year and in their care, I’ve also been studying them as well. With the exception of the aloe, many have their origins in The Shoals. Teller: Ah I see...quite the impressive collection in that case. ::Geoff walked over and looked at a few closely, surprised to recognize a few varieties from Ketar V and Havleys Hope:: In fact, I might want to steal a few ideas from the designs...I’m always looking for a way to grow a better coffee bean. Ikaia offered a curious head tilt. Wong: Are you into botany as well? Or coffee? You almost make it sound like you’re sourcing something for The Brew Continuum. Teller: The Brew Continuum? ::Geoff’s expression was the picture of innocent ignorance:: Never heard of it. Ikaia raised an eyebrow at him for a moment. Then a smile crosses his face. What a cheeky Commander! Wong: I know that at one point, the Brew Continuum was created by you. I can say I recognize at least your name from that. I was a regular customer back on the Veritas. Geoff found himself smiling again, thinking back to the tiny converted storage space that had grown into so much more over the years. Teller: Guilty as charged. ::Teller nodded back towards one of the pods:: Don’t think I’ve ever seen that species before...the hell is it? And why is it doing...that. Ikaia picked up a watering can and went to water one of the plants. He stopped to glance back at Teller. Wong: Be careful around that one. That’s u. Tempturvium. It may be beautiful to look at. But it’s actually about to bloom very soon. It lets off a fine mist of oils that smell very much like a rotting corpse. A sonic shower absolutely will not remove the smell from your skin and well…. The less said about what it will do to your uniform, the better. I’ve had a few incidents with it. The Klingon PA could remember the first time he encountered the Tempturvium’s oils. He got a face full of it. This would have been a horrible experience for a human. But for a Klingon, it was like entering a level of hell. Especially in getting it directly in the face. He could still smell that rancid smell for a few days following the incident. Teller: Great, a stinkbomb plant. Well, at least it’s in the right place - we can eject this whole lab compartment directly out to space if we need to. Haven’t had to do it yet but there’s always a first time. Geoff shook his head and took an extra wide step around the cylinder. Teller: What is that? Ikaia moved over to the next plant. It looked like a collection of vines curled up in a pot. Wong: This one is v. Eatoanium. It’s a fast growing carnivorous vine. I suspect that in its native environment that it would have snagged small prey items such as small birds or rodents. However, this specimen has been known to go after well…. Me. I’ve found ways of placating it, though. Geoff leaned forward just enough to catch the vines ‘attention,’ which began wriggling within the containment chamber. Teller got the impression that ‘Eatoanium’s definition of small prey definitely included him. Teller: Interesting choice of pets, Mr. Wong. I find myself glad you’re taking them as far from me as logistically possible, though. Wong: You can see why I asked for high containment lab space for these plants. Many of them have specialized care needs and probably wouldn’t have been safe to be allowed into the Arboretum where anyone could have access. Previously, I kept them in my office as it was the safest place for them and typically, I was the only one who usually used that office. Geoff snorted, remembering the close quarters aboard the Veritas and imagining this flower show jammed in it. It definitely would’ve made a visit to Sickbay a lot more interesting. He dug a small padd out and verified that the lab was properly assigned to Lt. Wong for the duration of the journey and, satisfied all was in order, prepared to leave. Teller: Absolutely appropriate, Mr. Wong. I don’t think the Commodore would appreciate having his stroll through the Arboretum disrupted by the scent of corpses. Alright, I’ll leave you to it Lieutenant - as you were. Geoff turned to leave but only made it a step before he paused. The vinelike ‘Eatoanium’ was writhing violently within its containment vessel and the whole apparatus was beginning to thrash about on the lab table. Teller: Your salad looks upset, Mr. Wong. Ikaia paused to look over the Eatoanium. He froze. A look of horror briefly crossed his face. Wong: Where’s the PADD that went with this? This plant needs that PADD. Geoff’s eyebrows went up as he took another instinctive step backwards. Already, Ikaia could see the vines shift and move. He started backing up as soon as they started slithering out of the pot. Teller: Wasn’t anything on the table when I walked in here. What do you mean the plant needs the padd? It’s just a plant….right? Almost in response the whole writing mass of vines shifted as once, tipping the containment chamber off the table and onto the floor where it shattered open with a crash. Alarms began howling and alert strobes began blinking urgently and the labs heavy isolation doors slammed into lockdown with a muted thud. They were now locked in a very thick duranium box surrounded by numerous redundant containment fields. Wong: Usually, this is placated with recordings of Picard’s speeches or 80s power jams! Something about the rhythm usually calms it down! That’s why I had the PADD with this plant! ::Turns around to see the isolation doors slam shut:: Oh that’s just perfect! It’s a plant! Not some spore or highly dangerous contagion that will invert your rib cage or fill your sinuses with incompatible fluids! Geoff worried about how unusually specific those two descriptions were but felt it wise not to press the issue at the moment. He had other, more immediate concerns. Teller: Computer, erect a level ten containme…. Geoff ducked as the vines slapped a tray full of instruments his way. When he looked back, the mass of vines had vanished, scuttling behind one of the lab tables or possibly into the equipment racks. Bits of gear clattered to the ground as the creature shifted. Ikaia put his hands on his hips as he pushed some air out of his cheeks. This has turned into a much bigger mess than usual. He went looking for a PADD. Wong: Well THAT'S new. Normally, that plant isn't entirely mobile. Teller: =/\= Teller to Larell - Chief, we’re stuck in one of the science labs with an angry plant, tell me you can beam us out of here. =/\= Geoff suspected he already knew the answer, but he had to ask. Larell: =/\= Sorry sir, you know how strict the lockdown protocol is around the labs. You’d have to bring down the isolation fields for me to get a lock and if the computer detects those have failed, it’ll automatically eject the lab. Can’t do it, sir. =/\= Already the plant had decided enough was enough as it started chucking lab equipment at Ikaia. The Klingon PA squeaked as he saw a microscope come flying towards his face. He quickly dodged that one. Wong: For the love of Kāne! You get back here this instant! ::Dodges some empty petri dishes:: Teller: Stay on it, Chief, we need some kinda way out that doesn’t involve floating home. Larell: =/\= Yes sir, I’ll give you an update as soon as we have something. =/\= Geoff sighed to himself, wondering how his day had gotten this far away from him so quickly, before shooting a scowl in the direction of the nearby Mr. Wong. Teller: So we’re locked in...we try to break out, we get ejected into space. We try to beam out, we get ejected into space. Compartment’s independent life support is only good for about...oh..four or five hours. ::Geoff leaned back against one of the lab tables as casually as he could:: I’m open to suggestions, Mister. Ikaia picked up a tray to shield his face. More petri dishes rebounded off of it. Wong: Our issue is two fold here and it's not as simple as looking for a means to escape. We need to calm down my Eatoanium first. It's likely agitated from the alarms. There's a PADD on the far counter I've been recording my work on. If we load that with the correct sounds, we might be able to soothe it. Either that or--- ::a vine now lashes out at him causing him to yelp!:: GAH! Either that or we both end up on the menu after it's done with its temper tantrum! Ikaia vaguely motioned to where the PADD he mentioned was. He knew that if they didn’t calm down his plant before their escape, there was a chance it could be released into the ship at large and this was something he did NOT want escaping the lab. Wong: The second part of our plan, the escaping part, we're going to need your PADD for the security clearance alone. I've been having a number of issues surrounding my guest clearance. Most of which surround doors and replicators. I will NEVER eat wasabi-cilantro paste out of desperation again! Geoff ducked under something that looked suspiciously like a microscope hurtling through the air and crouched low, trying to keep a few heavy solid barriers between him and the aggravated parsley. Teller: I can’t lift the lockdown until we get that thing... ::A beaker flew and shattered against a far wall:: ..back in a tube and the computer is content there’s no hazard to the ship. Wong: Right. As to what we need the PADD for ----- ::Deflects a vine with his tray:: Ugh! Let’s just get my plant to settle down and take it from there? Geoff took a quick glance over the top of the lab table and still couldn’t find any evidence of an errant padd. With a sinking suspicion he ducked back behind the table and turned his attention out the observation windows at the rear of the lab and into the connecting compartment. There, on a small worktable just on the other side of the sealed door a Padd sat perched, completely out of reach. Teller: Well, the good news is I found your padd. Geoff pointed out the nearby window and shrugged in frustration. It may as well have been on Vulcan for all the help it would be out there. Wong: This is literally the third thing I've been trapped in in about six months! ::A beat:: The good news? Why does it sound like there’s BAD news? Ikaia felt something wrap around his right foot. He screamed as it yanked him over. He fell flat on his butt and felt himself being dragged across the floor. He smacked at some other vines coming for him with his tray. It looked like Klingon was on the main menu as an entré! Geoff dove around the table and grabbed the man's labcoat, yanking backwards as hard as he could. The plant had an alarmingly firm grip. Well, Ikaia had mostly been yanked away from his plant. The vines were still firmly wrapped around Ikaia’s boots while his bare feet were free to the elements in the lab. Ikaia grabbed the counter top and stumbled back to his feet. Teller: Hold on! What did you say was on that padd again? Music and speeches?! Wong: Yes! 80s power jams and Picard’s speeches. That’s the only thing that seems to calm it down! Teller: Well library computer access was cut when the lab went into isolation mode and my singing is limited to sea shanties....how’s your accent? Wong: My accent? Well, it’s Hawaiian…. Teller: No, your french accent! Start Picard’ing, that’s an order! Wong: Oh. Riiight. Uh… ahem…. :Glancing nervously at the vines coming for him:: “Starfleet was founded upon seeking out life. To boldly go---” GAH! Ikaia ducked as one of his boots was flung back at him. Teller: No no, it’s gotta be a little more British than that for some reason! Like this…::Geoff took a deep breath and tried to draw upon the gravitas, poise and baldness of one of Starfleet’s most legendary officers.. ”“We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back...this far...no farther....” The creature continued to thrash about but the vines slowed slightly, but his [...]-french accent would not have won him any awards. Ikaia tried to concentrate. What did a French-British accent sound like again? Wong: Okay okay. Let me try this - “While most of us recoil in fear, we must remember that this plant, the Eatoanium, is still worthy of our care. It has demonstrated at least on some level sentience. Are we not there to seek out new life?” He could see his plant starting to calm down a little more. It was still gripping on to that other boot. Teller: It’s working! ::Geoff cleared his throat and tried again for something approaching stately gentility::...”With the first link, the chain is forged….The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden….” Teller doubted he’d win Starbase 80’s famed talent contest but the creature was loosening its grip, and Geoff was able to haul Mr. Wong backwards towards relative safety, but not before another projectile headed their way. It flung the last boot. It rebounded off of Ikaia’s head. He yelped as it smacked him. He was getting really tired of being hit with things. Wong: Ow! GEEZ! Ugh….“That is one of the tenants that Starfleet was founded upon. We are Starfleet. It is our duty to ensure that this plant is well cared for as long as it is under our protection. It is not to be ejected into space like refuse.” Geoff put aside his personal feelings in this moment of deep crisis and called upon the powers of Earl Grey himself. Teller: “The first duty of every starfleet officer is to the truth! Whether it's scientific truth, or...uh”…::Geoff’s memory was failing him so he improvised.::....to space truth...or...ground..truth... The plant was starting to come down off the shelving. Ikaia crouched down low and started making his way closer. Wong: Ah… it’s working….. It’s calming down…. Ah “Part of seeking out new life is also the care and protection of that new life. That’s what we must do. This is not a compromise.” Geoff tried to lower his voice towards a register he hoped was soothing as he slowly lifted an unbroken containment canister. Teller: “So I lied...cheated….bribed men to cover the crimes of other men….”...wait, dammit, that’s not a Picard speech. ::Geoff took another small step towards the creature and nodded to Mr. Wong.:: “There’s coffee in that neb…” dammit that’s not right either. Ikaia calmly approached his plant. The vines were already starting to curl back up into its pot. He carefully picked it up in his hands. Wong: ::Whispering:: Are you ready to seal it up? We’ve got it back into dormancy. With the vines as docile as he’d seen them, Geoff crossed the final meter and scooped the vines into the canister and sealed it in one quick motion. It wasn’t until after he’d gotten it fully back on the lab table and behind a level five containment field that both men exhaled and slumped to the floor, Geoff’s back against one of the tumbled equipment racks. After a few deep breaths, Geoff laughed out loud at the absurdity of the last few minutes until his eyes were watering. When he could catch his breath again, he wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and tapped his com badge. Ikaia was more than thrilled to see his plant safely tucked behind glass. He rested his back against a counter as he seemingly sprawled across the floor. Ikaia snorted. The ludicrousness of it all! But at least everyone including the plant was safe. Wong: ::Sighs:: That’s a relief….. Maybe now we can lift the lockdown? Teller: =/\= Computer, lift isolation lockdown on containment lab 4, Authorization Teller Sigma Kilo Alpha Nebula Tango Sigma. =/\= Computer: =/\= Unable to comply, internal sensors detect a possible contagion which matches established viral profiles. =/\= Geoff gulped, his good humor forgotten. He looked around nearby and found several tricorders scattered in the debris on the floor. He flipped one to Wong and began scanning the area the vines had been writhing around. Ikaia blinked at what the computer had said. Sure, he often worked around the sick. But that wasn’t without decontamination afterwards. He took the tricorder in his hands and began looking. Teller: Were you storing anything else in here? Biomatter? Research samples? Especially pungent cheese? Wong: There shouldn’t be. I always decontam whenever I deal with the sick. There shouldn’t be anything here. Teller: Tricorder’s picking up nothing over here...air reads fine....no particulate matter...no radiation...certainly nothing that looks like a virus….you got anything? Ikaia was about to get up when his hands brushed against his thigh. It stung when he touched it. Bringing his hand up to his face, he could see a pink liquid coating his fingers. Blood. His blood. He glanced down at his thigh and sure enough, he could see where it had been sliced. Possibly from the glass when the Eatoanium escaped. Wong: I think some of the glass got me. My thigh’s been slashed by something. I’m going to need a dermal regenerator here to fix it. Geoff swung around in alarm at the shrieking tricorder. Teller: Stay still, try not to move. It could be on your uniform...we could still decontaminate it… Ikaia froze. He looked at Teller. Wong: Wait. On me? Geoff narrowed the scan field on his tricorder and took a few steps back towards Mr. Wong, following the increasingly rapid beeps from the scanner. When he was within a meter, he slowly panned the device down, starting with Mr. Wongs head. Teller: I’m no medical officer, Mr. Wong, but I’m picking up something tricorder thinks is a retrovirus…. Ikaia’s eyes went wide. It was as if Teller had said something that had triggered a memory for him…. ((Flashback - Russell River Mines - Approximately Six Months Earlier…..)) S’Ten: What do you know of Drell? That question came as a surprise to him. His hand slowly reached up to touch his hair. Since he started experiencing new cultures and other planets on his travels with Starfleet, that name has come up over and over again. Mostly in response to his blond hair. Some days, he was half tempted to dye it just to keep a lower profile if he knew he was dealing with other Klingons. Wong: House of Drell. I’ve heard of it. Mostly through it being shouted at me with plenty of finger pointing. But I really don’t know much about it. Except for that blond hair seems to be a house trait. Although, I’m not sure if I’m connected to that house or not. I absolutely know nothing. What do you know about this? S’Ten: I see. I can only tell you what I know from my briefings on Romulus. It was important to understand the workings of Great Houses, while they are an Empire there are always disputes between their houses, which is something that can be exploited during a conflict. Membership of a Great house has traditionally been by virtue of birth, or marriage. But the House of Drell was different. You are aware of the Klingon augment virus? Wong: Bits and pieces about it from what’s been mentioned in Starfleet databases. Victims impacted by it lost their head crests. S’Ten: The first Klingon that was born with blond hair was a result of this virus. Over time, Klingons with your hair color were born throughout the population, but only a handful. Word of them spread, and they became shunned like other augments. As a joke, Klingons said that blond Klingons were of “jul”¸ the Klingon word for “sun”. Klingons also found it amusing to claim that any Klingon born of jul were of the same family. One blonde Klingon was so incensed by being teased constantly that she formed a house named “Drell”, a play on the word jul. She declared that any blond Klingon was instantly a member of Drell, should they choose to be. Wong: Did all those impacted join this house? S’Ten: Many blond Klingons joined, proudly. Conversely, many sought genetic modification. And some… were sent from the Empire by their parents to live elsewhere. Ikaia frowned slightly. The gene pool expanded significantly and even if he got a hit in his search using DNA, it didn’t mean that it would be someone from this house. His investigation has just hit its first snag. ((High Containment Science Lab 4, Deck 3, USS Thor - Present day….)) Ikaia scanned himself and began cross referencing his DNA with the RNA of the Augment Virus on file. Sure enough, the virus had been embedded in his DNA. It was less than a 5% fragment of the original virus. But it was still there. He briefly reached up to touch his blond hair for a moment. Ikaia’s breath seemed to be caught inside his chest. Time almost felt like it had stopped for him. This was a major revelation. The reason for his hair colour, for who he was came down to a virus fragment. He looked at Teller wide eyed. He had been quiet in his realization for the longest time. At that moment, he finally broke his silence. Wong: Commander….. That virus you’re picking up isn’t on me. It’s a part of me. Geoff’s attention turned away from the baffled tricorder and towards the bewildered looking Mr. Wong. Teller: That’s...that’s somewhat alarming. I’m alarmed. I feel like you should be more alarmed. The lab is certainly alarmed. Wong: I have less than a 5% fragment of the Klingon Augment Virus embedded in my DNA. It’s what’s causing the blond hair and I suspect what triggered the lockdown when I got cut by the glass. It was never my plant. It was me the entire time. Geoff flipped the tricorder closed and scowled but focused on the immediate problem and located the compartment's medical kit, one of the few things that hadn’t been tossed around. Teller: Pretty basic but there’s a dermal regenerator in here along with some broad spectrum antivirals... Wong: I’m not contagious nor am I sick. It’s a virus fragment. But it’s certainly enough to trigger the lockdown of the labs. I’m sorry, Commander. Which meant that now the labs had to be keyed into his DNA just to avoid future lockdowns pending their survival from this lockdown. Teller: Well, it’s not really me you need to apologize to, it’s the sensors in here. Patch yourself up and try not to bleed on anything else. We’re going to need to decontaminate every surface you’ve touched or brushed against and…::Geoff shook his head, wondering how he’d explain this to the Commodore.::...lose the pants. Gonna have to vaporize those. oOExcuse me. Who’s the medical officer around here---- wait. Is he REALLY suggesting THAT?! That’s EXTREME.Oo Wong: You’re asking me to depants myself and BURN them?! Am I hearing this correctly? Teller: Look, I’m not the one who [...]ed off the computer, so I get to keep my pants…. A single drop of pinkish blood, accidentally smeared across the back of Mr. Wong’s tricorder dangled and fell before either man could react. Geoff could only watch in horror as it landed with a small splat on the right leg of his uniform pants. Ikaia gave something of a coy head tilt. Wong: Hmm yes. I seem to recall something to the effect of vaporizing one’s pants if they’re contaminated with my blood? Ikaia started to remove his pants. This was quite embarrassing. Almost as much as the tattoo on his backside. Teller: Welp...yep, ok, now we’re going to be two totally normal officers not wearing pants, cleaning a lab. ::Geoff sighed and began sifting through equipment on one of the nearby racks.:: Find yourself a subsonic sterilizer and get to work once that leg is patched up. Wong: Don’t worry, Commander. I very much understand sterilization procedures and medical care. Pretty sure that’s why I’m the Amity’s CMO. ::Sighs:: This is really embarrassing. We’re really going to have to key in my DNA into things to avoid generating false positives in the future. He finally removed his pants entirely and folded them up on the floor leaving him in his standard issue Starfleet boxers. He cleaned off his hands and grabbed the dermal regenerator to run across his wound. The whole incident had him stressed out, if he had to be honest with himself. It wasn’t just that he’d have to make the long walk to his quarters without any pants. It was what he had just learned here today. It was entirely possible with the virus fragment in his DNA that he was a member of the House of Drell. But given how Klingons handled matters like this, there was still a chance he may not be. Either way, this was a heavy result for him. It made him somewhat terrified of what the entire truth was going to be. Wong: Sorry about the mess….. It was the better part of an hour before the two men, fully stripped down to their starfleet standard issue skivies, emerged from a lab the computer now considered entirely free of pathogens. Both men made a dash for the nearby turbolift in an attempt to forestall questions or curious glances and they were entirely successful, except for Lt. Kowalski, who valiantly managed to restrain their laughter inside the turbolift car until Geoff stepped out, but broke before the doors could close again. [End] ======================================== Lieutenant Ikaia Wong PA-C Chief Medical Officer Amity Outpost V239711IW0 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
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