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  1. I don't need assigned quarters, she said. I'm going to look in the commercial district, she said. Be careful what you wish for. 😉 IC: ((Freedom Beach, Little Risa, StarBase 118)) The Commercial Sector of StarBase 118 reminded Aine of something she'd read about in ancient Earth history. The city on the North American continent named New York had once been referred to as The City That Never Sleeps. She'd never been there but imagined it was much like the cities she had been to. Sure there was always a vibrant nightlife, but for the most part the majority of a city just slept. The Commercial Sector wasn't like that at all. Some of her appointments to view apartments were even scheduled late into the night. Thankfully she didn't have anything else really going on and luckily this one was during the day. Her first appointment was set for a small highrise in Little Risa just off the beach. And by small it was still nearly as big as the resort she'd stayed in when she was on the actual Risa. As she approached the building, she was amazed how they'd gotten the environment to match so well. About the only thing that it might be missing was Risa's three moons. The lobby of the building was very typically Risian. Wide open with big leafed plants everywhere. A woman approached her dressed in what might be considered formal were it not for the very short skirt and very low collared shirt. And much like her short time on Risa, Aine felt overdressed in her typical leggings and flannel shirt. Keana: Hello! ::grabbing and hugging Aine:: You must be my 1500? Sherlock: Yes, ::reaching out to shake hands:: Lieut...um...Aine, I'm...Aine. Keana: It's lovely to meet you! The woman was overtly chipper and it caught Aine off guard. She had to remember that this was a civilian area of the station. Formality probably wasn't something they practiced much of, especially in Little Risa. Keana: Well, as you may have noticed, we have direct beach access. This building also has its own dining hall, complete with fully stocked bar. It has synthale if you prefer. Sherlock: Oh, no, I definitely prefer the real thing. Keana: Excellent! Keana's smile was huge. The kind of smile Aine was sure she practiced for every potential tenant. Keana: Within walking distance, there's many shops, bars, and specialty services ::giving Aine a wink::. You're never alone in Little Risa! Sherlock: Great. ::nodding her head slowly:: oOIs this for real?Oo Keana had led her to a lift which promptly took them up to the sixth floor. After a short walk down the hall and some small talk Aine was sure Keana practiced like her smile, they came to the apartment for rent. When the door swished open, there was a burst of cool air. Walking in, it seemed more like an extended stay resort room than anything else. Keana: You have your living space, kitchen with a replicator if you prefer not to cook, and a half bath. And over here, ::pushing Aine along with a hand in the small of her back:: Is your bedroom. And a wonderful master bath. This was one of the most important things to Aine, a water bath. It was something she always looked forward to when either the Resolution or the Excalibur came into dock. She always reserved a room on DeepSpace 224 just for that. Yeah a sonic shower got you clean, but there was nothing quite like laying back and soaking in steaming hot water to relax. The tub of this apartment looked like it could hold four people, not that she'd want to have three others with her in it. Keana: You also have two balconies overlooking the beach. ::leading Aine to the balcony of the master bedroom:: It's a wonderful view! The door slid open and the warm and slightly humid air rushed in as Aine stepped out to the railing. From here she could see Trinity City and Ashalla. And something else... Sherlock: ::pointing to a couple on the beach:: Um, what are they doing? Keana stepped up next to her to see what she was referencing. Keana: Oh! Jamaharon. Sherlock: Oh god! I...uh...need to go. Aine quickly turned and went back inside, and straight for the door. While the view and weather were great, she didn't feel comfortable with that happening right outside her door. It wasn't that she didn't understand, it just wasn't her thing to watch. Keana: ::yelling after Aine:: Well, let us know if you change your mind! tbc Lieutenant Aine Sherlock Tactical Officer StarBase 118 Ops R239712AS0
  2. There was one of these for the Victory and I seen other ships with a simular topic, so here is a new one for a new ship, who wants to be the first to put up a funny Quote from one of the crew??
  3. I saw this sim from @Ulasso and immediately knew I wanted to highlight it in the appreciations thread. Really stand up job of starting up an interesting NPC. Great job man, and thanks for jumping into the character so deeply! I want to see this becoming a recurring character going forward!
  4. Please post any funny lines or memorable quotations from sims from our crew!
  5. Did someone write something that you loved? That made you laugh out loud, or gasp? Please share it here, on this post.
  6. ((Corridor, New Dominion Battleship)) Their boarding mission was off to a rocky start, but nothing unexpected. Wes had anticipated resistance. They were trying to mitigate it some by quick aggressive action in multiple boarding parties. After all, dealing with three small incursions on a ship was harder than dealing with a single large one. To that end a squad of Marines was securing the ship's shuttle bay while another fire team was wreaking havoc elsewhere as a diversion. The Major's team was supposed to have beamed in near the prison cells, but precise placement left much to be desired. They'd arrived half a deck away and now they were threatened to be pinned down by the initial security response. The four Starfleet officers were clinging to what cover they could find in the mostly empty hall. Alcoves for doors, no more than several inches deep, had become a life line as several New Dominion personnel fired poloron weapons from down the corridor at least 50 meters away. To their credit, the small team was giving much more than they took. Phaser beams crossed haphazardly with the purple poloron blasts, and often times were finding their marks. The problem was the responding crew outnumbered the boarding team. Surprise was already lost and if they lost their aggressive offensive momentum they'd be cornered in no time. A thought their security officer obviously shared. Basilla: We need to move, continue towards the brig. We risk getting surrounded if we stay here. Kel: I have to concur, this is not an ideal situation. The woman was spot on in her assessment, and if the situations had been different Wes would have offered words of encouragement. This however wasn't training. They were in a real firefight, and disaster and death was inches away at every given moment. There was no time to plan. No time for unneeded words. Only action. The Marine Mk III-C phaser rifles were purpose designed for these types of fights. Unlike the standard Mk III, the designers had recognized that the men and women behind the rifle would likely be in situations in which a tricorder would be necessary but unwieldy. To that end they had integrated a purpose built tricorder to the rifle. It added to the heft of the weapon, and could only be read while looking down the sights, however it was perfect for situations like these. Like he had done a hundred times in training and on other operations, Wes keyed in the scanner, bringing up a small holographic display over and around his sights. Firing a rapid burst of three shots to get the security crew's heads down, he then brought up the ship's schematics to find what he was looking for. Greaves: There's another corridor that branches off to the left ten meters ahead. We need to press into their attack to reach it! Brodie: You get Kel ahead, I’ll follow and cover the rear. Basilla: I’ll provide covering fire. Isabelle leaned out, a flash of purple narrowly missing her and fizzing out in the wall beside her leaving a blackened scorch mark. She held up the phaser rifle and fired several shots in the direction of the Dominion crew, paused for a second and fired several more bursts. Basilla: Go. Brodie: ::To Basilia:: Follow as fast as you can. Wes never even heard Brodie's words of encouragement. Without even a glance, Wes obeyed Basilia's directive, his trust in the woman's judgement implicit. There wasn't time to second guess when the blasts of energy were being exchanged. You just had to accept that the other members of the team were doing their job in the moment. From his low crouch Wes exploded into motion, sprinting forward as Isabella's orange beams past down the hall to his left. Hugging the right bulkhead the Marine tried to keep her field of fire as open as possible. Her return fire was their life blood as the three of them moved forward to the entrance to the next corridor. Finally reaching the crossing point, a four way intersection of hallways, Wes shouted instructions for the others moving with him, not waiting to see if they were followed or not. Greaves: Brodie, clear right! Kel, clear left! The pirate crew had seen them moving through the open and suddenly had decided to brave Basilia's fire. Two of them, now just a couple dozen meters further down the corridor, popped out into firing positions and let loose a hasty stream of energy. He didn't have time to slow down as the Marine approached the branching corridors so he didn't. Instead, he slammed into the corner of the intersection at full speed, his shoulder making an uncomfortable crunch as his momentum carried him into the metal. The move may have saved his life however, as purple poloron blasts scorched the bulkhead where he would have been had he slowed to a stop. Dropping back into a crouch, Wes leaned out from his new place of cover and snapped off a rapid series of shots, trying to pin the pirates back into the cover they'd left. By the sounds of it, he wasn't the only one fighting for his life. Sounds of a struggle were clear to both of his sides and behind him as Kel and Brodie covered the other two corners in the four way intersection. Heavy breathing and the sound of a sickly crunch of metal on flesh came from one end while a rapid series of phaser blasts came from the other. Every fiber of his being demanded the Marine turn to help his comrades who we're obviously fighting their own battles, but the firefight to his front was more important. If his fire slackened it would give the pirates enough freedom to train their sights back down the corridor again, where Ensign Basilia was sprinting toward them, completely exposed. Wes just had to trust that they could handle themselves for the precious seconds it would take Basilia to join them. Fortunately, Kel's voice offered some early assurance that he could handle himself. Kel: All clear here. Greaves: Basilia, I'll cover for you. Move! Basilia: Response Brodie: ::Shouting:: I’ve got something to buy some time – Izy…when you see the smoke – run! A hint of relief washed over the Marine at the sound of Brodie's voice. Even as he confirmed the Lieutenant Commander was still in fighting shape, he leaned out into the hall once again, firing off a half dozen controlled blasts to pin down the pirates once again. More than that Wes could hear someone prepping something metal behind him, which he could only guess was some kind of smoke grenade given the Counselor's comment. Kel: What smoke? Greaves: No time. Longer we're here the worse it's gonna get. Just keep covering and bounding. From a dozen meters down the hall, just past a slight curve in the corridor, Wes saw movement. The ship's crew had gotten reinforcements and it looked like they were preparing to rush their position. Given time, it would be disasterous for Basilia, and if the timing was bad enough, it'd make Brodie an easy target as well. Wes's answer to the increasing resistance was one drilled into him since Marine Corps boot camp so many years ago. Aggressive offensive action. Standing quickly and stepping fully into the corridor, Wes layed down an intense series of phaser blasts, no more than a quarter second between shots. At this close of range, the only thing to distrub his aim was the steps he took and the action of squeezing the trigger, both actions of which he was deliberatly and excellently drilled in. The bright orange energy plowed into the walls and doorframes the pirates were using for cover and sent several scurrying deeper down the hall. It was enough for the Marine to cross the intersection to the far side and gain a better firing position. Brodie: Gas out! Kel: oOGas?Oo Basilia: Response Once set on the far side however, he realized that Lieutenant Kel had followed him on the hazardous move. Brodie on the other hand took the opportunity to toss something around the corner, cannoning it off the curvature of the wall, and then a long slow hiss began. Fortunately the heavy sounds of running footfalls signaled Basilia's approach, and then all at once the team was back together. Brodie: Run! The hallway in the direction of the ship's crew had filled with smoke at an alarming rate, completely obscuring his field of fire. The effect worked both ways however, and at least for the moment, they had plenty of concealment. With the team back together, Wes took a hard left down the hall. From the schematics he knew this would circle around behind where the pirates had been pushing them from. More importantly, they were less than a hundred meters from the brig. Taking off at a hard jog, the Marine led the way, rifle at the ready but swinging widly from side to side at the force of the run. Greaves: Fifty meters this way and we'll circle behind them. Hurry, before the smoke dies down! Basilia: Response Kel: What was that? Brodie: Anesthizine…mixed with an opaque smoke. They can’t see through it…and if they try and walk through it...they’ll not make it five steps. The small group ate up the distance quickly. His heavy gear slowed down their movement significantly, but Wes was glad to have it. Especially with him up front. If he took a shot from someone laying in wait it just might save his life. Greaves: Not a bad trick Commander. Basilia: Response Kel: So we're doing chemical weapons now? Brodie: I’m not really a fighter…so I like to make sure I have a few tricks to keep things even. That was a mild option….so it won’t hold them for long before they regroup. Their collective breathing was labored from the exertion, but Wes was confident in how they were faring so far. They'd survived two firefights already, and the team was obviously still in high spirits. There wouldn't be so much talking if things were truly dire. Now they just needed to get to the brig and get the Commodore out. They could do this. As the team continued to run along the slightly curving auxiliary corridor they passed several dozen doors leading into other compartments as well as a few branching hallways. Glancing between is rifle sights, the holographic tricroder scan, and the corridor in front of him, the XO did his best to manage the flood of information his body was taking in while maintaining the fastest reaction time he could. The curving corridor was about to link back up with the hall they had started in, and by his assessment of the blueprints, they would pop out just a few meters behind where the Commander's smoke grenade had gone off. At least two minutes had gone by while they ran, and he hoped the smoke had dissipated. As they approached the intersection that was thankfully confirmed. A dozen humanoid bodies lay motionless, scattered about the corridor, knocked unconscious from the gas or phaser hits. Movement however caught his eye and the Marine immediately threw himself against the bulkhead bringing his rifle to bear. The action quickly proved unnecessary however as his sights came across a humanoid man seizing on the ground. Kel: Stop. Wait. This man needs help. Greaves: (Shaking his head and glancing further down the hall) Negative. We need to keep moving before more security show up. Basilia/Brodie: Response Wes took his eyes off the corridor long enough to meet Kel's gaze. It was obvious the Doctor felt strongly about the issue, and the moment Wes feared had come to pass. The Doctor had failed to immediately and instantly obey one of his orders. The hesitation was enough. Arguing would take longer than just dealing with the wounded man. Wearing a severe look, the Marine motioned the doctor toward the injured on the ground. It was the wrong decision to wait here, but he'd just have to hope it didn't bite them in the ass. Kel bent over the man with his tricorder and then holstered his weapon. He took out his hypospray. Kel: Just give me a minute, this man could hurt himself further, I can give him a sedative and we can be on our way. OOC - I think there was a slight mixup/copy paste error in the the tags for me so I smoothed over the wrinkle here. Sorry for any discontinuity! Greaves: 60 seconds Doc. No more. (Looking to Basilia) Ensign, help me cover the hall. Counselor, cover our rear. Brodie/Basilia: Response Kel frowned but turned back to his work. The seizure was intesne and it looked like V'Len was having trouble getting the hypospray administered. Wes turned his eyes back down the most likely place for a threat to pop out, rifle at the ready. Kel: Just relax sir I'm only trying to help. The hypospray finally fell in position but just as Kel pressed the release the man's hand shot up into his chest. A croaking gasp exited his lungs. Kel: ::Gasp:: The sound of something wet smacking against flesh followed by Kel's strained gasp delivered another shot of adreline to Wes's brain. His eyes snapped back to the Doctor to find Kel struggling above the now motionless crewman. The Doctor appeared to be waivering, barely keeping himself in a crouch, let alone standing up. Slowly, V'Len pushed himself against the wall and reached up to his chest. Even in the dim alert lighting of the vessel the Marine recognized the dark stain of blood on Kel's hands and chest. And a gore soaked knife held in the motionless crewman's hand. Kel: oO Greaves is going to kill me. Oo ::softly:: Commander could you assist me. Brodie/Basilia: Response Time slowed as the team collapsed on V'Len, trying to determine the extent of his injuries. Wes however stayed exactly where he was, several feet away and watching down the corridor. The way V'Len moved. They way his words came in gasps and the blood poured down his uniform. The wound was immensely serious. Worse yet, he could hear the sound of running from behind them. More of the crew were responding. This time from the direction they had come from. Greaves: We need to move. Now. Brig is Thirty more meters down the hall. Lieutenant, can you move? Kel tried once again to push himself up but this time he only succeeded in leaning off the wall and slumping down on his back on the floor. That answered that. Finally tearing himself from an overwatch position the Marine stepped toward the fallen Trilldorian and grabbed both Isabella and Alex's arms. Greaves: We're out of time. When that security team finds us we have to be some place defensible. The brig is our best bet. We'll have to stabilize him after we move. Basilia/Brodie: Responses Greaves: (Directing the woman down the hall) Ensign, blocking position. Now. Buy me 30 seconds. (Directing the counselor the other direction) Alex, cover the direction toward the brig. We're moving soon. Brodie/Basilia: Response Greaves: I understand. Trust me. Brodie/Basilia: Response With steel in his eyes the Marine looked from one to the other, then released his hold on their arms, letting them free. Without waiting to supervise their movements Wes knelt down directly in front of Kel, his rifle hanging loosely by a sling about his shoulders and the muzzle faintly scraping the metal deck plating. For a few seconds, his gaze stared directly into the Doctor's eyes, not for a second drifting to the slightly pulsating knife wound near where the Trilldorian's heart should be. His face was close enough to V'Len's to feel the haggard breathing from the wounded doctor. Greaves: (Quiet, deathly serious, tone) Lieutenant, listen to me closely. You are going to take your right hand and apply pressure to your wound. You are going to stand the hell up right now and run down that corridor, and when we get to the brig you are going to point to the anti-coagulant in your medkit and we're going to get you out of here. And do you know what happens if you don't? Kel: Response The sound of running feet was getting closer and Wes hoped that they had a few more seconds before the corridor erupted in a firefight again. Moreso, he hoped Isabella was ready to give them hell. Greaves: If you don't that means one of is going to pick you the hell up and carry you. You and I both know that means we're going to have one less gun in the fight and it can aggravate that injury. So, I'm going to say it one more time. Brodie/Basilia: Response Greaves: (Shouting but not breaking eye contact with Kel) I need twenty more seconds! (Quietly back to Kel) Stand. Up. Kel: Response Brodie/Basilia: Response OOC - Don, if you get a chance, let us know OOC how badly you want to be hurt and if you want us to carry you or not! Tags/TBC ========================= Major Wes Greaves Executive Officer Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  7. Paraphrasing our first officer and since we didn't have a quotes thread, let's start one! From "Minefield, both metaphorical and literal" Allegedly Lia Rouiancet, in fact @Tony, aka Kells You've KILLED me with that, Skipper XD
  8. What a great way to start our new quotes thread That's meant to be a Fonzie noise in the title, FYI
  9. (( Starbase 256; One week prior to arrival on the Constitution )) Cohen: I'm shipping out in a few days. Seth hunched over the comms panel, his face lit only by the screen and a lamp set to its dimmest setting in a nearby corner. A duffel sat beside him at the foot of his bed, already packed. Only a few stray odds and ends were left to be packed before he was to leave the station and arrive at Starbase 104 for his new assignment aboard the USS Constitution. The face on the other end of the call simply nodded, pursing his lips in that way he often did when he was feigning happiness. Or pride. Or anything, really. It didn't matter. Seth didn't expect much, anyway. Cohen: I've been assigned to Engineering. His father did give a hint of an actual smile this time but seemed to catch himself and take a deep breath, returning quickly to his usual, stoic self. Why was it that he did that? Why couldn't he just let himself feel? Abraham: That's good, son. Seth paused, not sure what to say. Cohen: That's it? That's good? I've graduated, Dad. I'm a bona-fide Starfleet officer now, and the best you can muster is, 'that's good?' Abraham sighed and shook his head. Abraham: Well, it is. You've done well for yourself, it seems. Seth gave a sigh of his own and sat back in his chair. He brushed his hair back from his forehead, clasped his hands between his knees, and leaned forward again. Cohen: I was surprised to be assigned to Engineering, you know. Abraham: Why? Cohen: It was never my favorite discipline, to be honest. I honestly saw myself in security, or tactical maybe. But, Engineering? Abraham: Well, clearly they saw something in you, son. Seth nodded. He knew that was about as close to an "I'm proud of you" he was going to get from his father. In the background, Seth heard a dog bark and Abraham motioned "one moment" to the camera before standing and exiting the frame. oO I honestly don't even know why I try anymore. Ever since mom died... Oo Abraham came back into frame and settled into his chair. Cohen: Let me guess. You gotta go? Abraham: ::nodding:: Rebecca is here. She just got back from Risa with Susan. I have to help unload the transport. Becca's pretty worked up after being gone for two weeks. Cohen: You know, Dad, I've been gone for two years. You didn't even make it to the grad- Abraham: I know, son. Look, I was thinking... let me know when you get settled and get some shore leave and I will come visit? It'll be good to see you. Cohen: Sure... sure, that sounds good. Seth knew it wouldn't happen. What's more, he knew he didn't want it to. His relationship with his father had become more and more strained these last few years, though neither of them ever really spoke of it. They just kept going through the motions, for better or worse. Usually the latter. Most days Seth was okay. It took a conversation like this to send him plummeting back to that place he'd been three years before. Back to that terrible day that he'd just as soon forget. He wondered whatever had come of that memory technology he'd heard that the Daystrom Institute was working on. Or maybe it had just been a rumor. Anson: =/\= Anson to Cohen. You comin', buddy? =/\= oO Finally! Oo Cohen: =/\= Cohen, here. Yeah, I'm about to head your way. =/\= Abraham: Looks like you gotta go. Cohen: Yeah. A few of us are getting together for a last hurrah before we go our separate ways. Not sure where Anson is landing yet, though. I'm hoping he can get assigned to the Constitution, but we'll see. Abraham: I hope he does. A hand found its way to his shoulder. Seth guessed it was Rebecca's but she didn't lean in to say hello, so he couldn't be sure. As she walked away, Abraham turned back to the camera. Cohen: I'll talk to you later, Dad. Abraham: Bye, son. The screen abruptly changed to a simple blue screen with the Starfleet logo and the words: END TRANSMISSION. Seth breathed a sigh of relief that he'd made it through the conversation without an argument. At least there was that. Cohen: ::tapping his comm badge:: =/\= Cohen to Anson. I'll see you in five. Save me a seat at the bar. Ensign Seth Cohen Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239904SC3
  10. ((Ghemor Memorial Hospital, Andak, Cardassia Prime)) There were many aspects of Cardassia that had drawn Arys in, intrigued and fascinated her, and made her feel right at home. The larger cities were brimming with life, a fusion of Cardassian and Federation influence that kept the homesickness at bay, and yet sated her hunger for new experiences. The smaller villages were less cosmopolitan and more intimate, and much like the Cardassian community back on Starbase 118, offering artisan specialties and a glimpse into how old traditions could enrich new culture. Lukin’s home was located in the outskirts of Andak, and Arys never tired of admiring the the mountains that rose from the north and the west, and how the black rock glittered in the Cardassian sun. But then there were the harsh realities that came to light if one knew what to look for, and suddenly Cardassia was once more an alien planet, and so very different from the Federation. Arys had learned this the hard way when Geleth was in need of medical attention, and when the called emergency skimmer did not arrive because, as an orphan, her priority was not high enough. Arys had decided to cheat the system and used her own ID bracelet to indicate an emergency, and eventually Geleth had received the care she needed, but only as far as her priority allowed. Lukin, Arys knew, had a meeting with Ferri and would return home late. She had found her own solution for the problem, and she wasn’t quite sure into how much trouble she had gotten herself with it. Nurse: Here is her room. The Cardassian halted in front of a hospital room, and the door promptly opened. Arys stepped inside, and decided then and there that she had made the right choice. The walls were pale but not sterile, and the lighting was less harsh that that of the rooms low-priority patients were kept in. A large window offered different settings and currently allowed a view on the Cardassian sunset, and a holoemitter allowed for entertainment if it was wished for. An adjustable hospital bed stood in the middle of the room, and between comfortable looking sheets of the standard grey fabric, Geleth was sleeping. The girl has been sedated when Rishon had discovered a growth in the girls lung, and decided that a sample was needed. Arys walked over to Geleth, pulling a chair to the side of the girl’s bed, and taking her hand. She looked pale, more pale than usual, and while she had access to Geleth’s medical file and was thus informed about the treatment plan, she still worried. And she wasn’t just worried about Geleth. Arys had, strictly seen, broken the law when she had used her own emergency beacon to call for help. She could claim that she didn’t *know* any better, had assumed that Geleth’s was broken, and perhaps people would believe her. What was a lot more difficult to explain away however was how she had essentially bribed a stressed and overworked head of Paediatrics to grant her privileges. When Doctor Ganra had taken Geleth away, Arys had - true to her word - sought out the interns superior. He had turned out to be a middle-aged Cardassian who was head of an understaffed department and hadn’t slept in days, and had stopped just short of hugging Arys when she had offered her help in exchange for an increase in priority for Geleth. And now? Now she was, apparently, working in a Cardassian hospital, and needed to figure out a way to explain Lukin why that was the case. No matter. She sighed and reached for Geleth’s hand. To say that she loved the girl was perhaps a little early, but she was her brother’s daughter. That made her family. And Arys had failed her father and grandfather, and she wouldn’t fail Geleth. ***************** Lt. J.G. Trovek Arys Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  11. I figured instead of having a monthly thread, we could just keep a running thread of funny instances in our sims.
  12. By now all of you know I am a Lurys fan. I am however putting forward this, for very personal reasons. The topic touches my heart deeply and it was beautifully written by @Arys and @Alora DeVeau. Thank you both for this. I joined all the four parts so it is a long read, but certainly worth it.
  13. By now we all know how talented @Karrod Niac, but I couldn't let this one go unnoticed.
  14. I found this post from @Alex Brodie exceptionally poignant and a really great self-reflection between acts. Ben once again shows the massive depth of his writing in just a few short paragraphs.
  15. Posting the whole sim here instead of posting half of it in the quotes thread. Fantastic writing of a spiraling scientist, funny and elegantly written as always! Cheers @Bryce Tagren-Quinn! ----- ((Cordina Valley, Mindirra Mountain Range, Palanon)) The environment was just what everyone needed after such a trying mission. Mountains, a pristine valley and a lake to soothe battle wounds. Many warriors would immerse themselves in nature as a means to heal. In fact, there was sufficient medical evidence that showed that nature immersion decreased blood pressure, stress, and so on. Anyway… Out of the group, the two that Bryce knew best were Lieutenants Sirin and Tahna, though he didn’t exactly know them. He had hoped that this trip would not only help to help them all unwind, including himself, but also forge friendships that would help build community. That community would allow them to become resilient in the face of any future events. And, from what he had heard from the group regarding the Gorkon herself… yeah. Tahna though… they were in somewhat close proximity, setting dishes atop a tarp near the campfire. He wracked his brain on what to call her. Lieutenant? Was that too formal in this setting? They weren’t exactly friends quite yet (maybe on the cusp?), so he felt a little awkward in addressing her by her Bajoran given name. They did however face the possibility of death together on deck 8. Tahna: Tahna, or Meru, either is fine. ::Smiling.:: Anyone who survives ghosts and explosions with me can use my given name. He smiled and rotated around slightly at the sound of the Adonis-looking Trill man’s voice. The man with the arms that seemed bigger than his own thighs. Tan: ::Nodding in agreement:: Yeah. Just Serren is fine for everyone. Especially now! We're here to relax! Indeed they were. The jovial man was wise. Tagren-Quinn: Have you read or done any studies on the local wildlife and plant life here? I just saw a group of what looked like birds, at least by Earth standards, and it’s driving me bonkers because I don’t recall seeing anything about it in my pre-trip reading. I wonder if they were introduced? Honestly, he was going to ask Tahna how she was getting along since the mission but he didn’t want to come across too personal or prying. The fact that she was here and smiling was enough to let him know that she was likely getting along just fine. Still, the last mission had been quite the tribulation for the lot of them. And, Serren’s comment about relaxing was indeed true. They all needed a reprieve. Sirin: Exobiology was part of my double major, but I haven’t really read much about wildlife here. I’m interested in what types of fish we will find. ::turns to Stoyer:: Would you care to join me on my hunt for dinner? Green eyes focused on the other El-Aurian hybrid doctor and Bryce couldn’t help but pause a moment, smiling internally that there was some peace emitting from her. It was a vague impression but a good and promising one. Fishing would prove to be such a great activity. Though, a part of him reverted back to days of old. Were the fish protected? Were there any laws about catching and releasing? He reasoned that Starfleet would not have likely permitted them if that was the case, and would have educated them pre-trip of any warnings. This location hosted a lot of other visitors though. His thoughts then quickly pivoted, twisting into environmental clean-up. With increased traffic came increased issues in that realm. What about potential contaminants in the water that would lead to issues of bioaccumulation, traveling through trophic levels and… biomagnification? Was it safe to eat the fish? Were there versions of algal blooms, with toxins that may… Ugh. Maybe he would just test the fish discreetly with a tricorder before they dined on them. He needed to quiet his mind or else it would go warp speed into journal article land. Abstracts only, please. Stoyer: Sure, I will go with you to help caught some dinner. Let’s gather the gear. Sirin: :: to Tagren-Quinn:: I’ve read that there are large fish similar to Terran snakeheads. Apparently they mimic walking on land and can survive for two days out of water. A most interesting specimen, if one could find it amongst the shore’s debris. That sort of reminded him of some amphibious creatures he encountered on an outpost. Tagren-Quinn: Oh that does sound interesting. Please, take some snaps if you come across anything. I would be most interested in reviewing your findings. Tahna: I was more focused on the plants than the Aves, honestly. Did you know there’s a species of cyan fungus in the mountains that bloom once every sixty years? Bryce twisted around and raised his eyebrows at Tahna who handed him a refreshing cup of tea. He just smiled and silently nodded in thanks. Tagren-Quinn: That… oh wow, I would like to see that too! Bloom every sixty years?! The longevity alone… Stoyer: After you. Tan: Good luck! Hope they're biting! And, with that, the red-haired Sirin and the man in flannel, Stoyer, were off with their fishing gear. Bryce watched after them for a moment before turning towards Serren, who was cooking up a storm. He was impressed with how at ease he was with it especially given the primitive setting. The doctor’s mind continued to trail off though, enchanted by the prospects, of the treasure trove this place held. All the biotic and abiotic relationships, the mesic forest, and the untold geological history that helped to influence it all. He thought about the notebook in his pack and got sucked in it all before a soft voice brought him back to the present. Tahna: I would love to see it bloom, I guess we’ll just have to come back in forty years. It took him a moment before he realized that the Bajoran woman was sitting on the ground near the campfire with her arms wrapped around her legs. The scene was enough to pull him out of his trance and concern etched across his youthful features. In forty years he’d look about the same, most likely. But, this wasn’t about that. There was something lingering in the undercurrents of the woman’s words and he wondered… Tan: ::Whistling appreciatively,:: Forty years. Wow. It really takes that long? Tagren-Quinn: Yeah… sometimes longer for some species. Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to say and he regretted it as soon as it tumbled from his mouth. He really had a way with words sometimes. He glanced between the two. She then took a drink and twirled a blade of grass between her fingers before speaking once again. Tahna: How are you two doing? After…everything. There was a bit of silence which was broken by the other man’s voice. Tan: I uh... I miss Jona. ::He stirred the cooking lunchmeal slowly, then the rice too, making sure it didn't stick to the edges.:: "Palling around on Palanon" was our thing. We spent almost a whole shore leave seeing the sights and we barely got to see a quarter of everything... a quarter of a quarter. He would have loved to be here. Bryce nodded, sliding his hands into his pockets and focusing his attention to the ground, to a rock. He had met Jona, albeit briefly, and was saddened to hear of his departure as well. Tagren-Quinn: Yeah, I didn’t have a chance to get the Commander too well but, from my brief interaction with him, I found him to be a top-notch officer. He led our team on deck 8 with much composure and determination. As for himself, how he was doing? Work got him through. It always did. That something to focus on always got him through. Tagren-Quinn: What about you, Tahna? How… how are you? He sat down a few feet from her, ran a hand through his hair and offered a warm smile. Tahna: Response Tan: Heard your second part of the mission was a real, uh... doozy. ::Stirring quietly.:: By all accounts you both did great. Sure to wrack up an impressive haul at the next awards ceremony. That was really kind of him to say and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it. Tagren-Quinn: I… just doing my part. Always wish I could do more. Like almost leaving some people behind, one of which was in the throes of labor. If he was thrust back into the situation, would he have made the same call, the same recommendations? The answer - a resounding yes - wasn’t always going to be a popular one. Tahna: Response It was when Serren went to taste the concoction he was cooking did Bryce catch a whiff of familiar spices. It caught him off guard – but honestly, it shouldn’t have. Tan: Want to talk about it? No pressure if you'd rather just sit by the fire and talk about something else. By all accounts, the food smelled amazingly good. And… Too much. The logical part of his brain reasoned, though the primitive part kicked up a flight response. Tagren-Quinn: I’m… I think I might, uh, take a moment. He looked to his company apologetically and rose to his feet, brushing off the dirt and grass from his pant legs. Tahna/Tan: Response Tagren-Quinn: Yeah, I’m okay. I’m sorry. I think… I think I’m going to write down some observational notes before I forget them. I’ll be right back for lunch though. It... smells delicious. Tahna/Tan: Response With a weak smile and a faint wave, he was off trudging to his tent with his hair lifting some by the light breeze. His hands moved around hastily in his belongings until the notebook and pen emerged. When he had those in hand, he made a beeline to the trailhead to gain some distance. He would have to apologize to them again later, perhaps even offer an explanation. The spices were a reminder of a different time and, on any other day or moment, perhaps he would have been stronger about it. Focus. Plants. Medicine. There was a strange wooden sign attached to a wooden post at the trail’s entrance. Along its surface was scripting burned in that he didn’t understand but there was a touchscreen under it for a hiker to tap in their language preferences. Spiffy. And, whoa, a rather large shadow casting down from above. Circling, almost menacingly. Shielding his eyes, Bryce glanced up only to witness a deluge of… Tagren-Quinn: Shhhhiiii--- …expelled contents from a species of bird, falling from the sky. The young doctor stepped back with great speed and agility, narrowly missing the massive explosion and nearly laughing in shock and at the absurdity. It felt like a metaphor about the current state of things. His fingers pinched the bridge of his nose and just shook his head. -- Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, M.D. Medical Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) T238909AT0
  16. Oh god. This sim was so well written. How dare you two make me feel things with my own brain! It seems like every shore leave there's a JP from these two and so far they've been full of joy and happiness and this sim took a turn for the shockingly emotional. I loved it, and you two are so talented. ----- (( Elizabeth’s Quarters, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka )) {{Time Index: Five Days After Leaving PTE-2891, Enroute to Shemsh}} ((OOC: I know these don't count towards my numbers, but this JP will be heavily referenced in my next sim with Cheesecake, so I'm sending for context)) Elizabeth sat curled up on the couch with a cup of Jesteral Tea clasped in her hands. She had been trying to read her book but her mind had been elsewhere, making the task difficult. While there were still parts of her life missing, none if it seemed as pressing as the issue she was having at the moment. Since Solat has stimulated her memory recall, pulling up the image of the woman she was to marry, Elizabeth had been feeling both guilty and conflicted about things. She could feel that she loved Lephi very much; she still had these sudden feelings for Kas that came along while her memory was gone. They were nothing compared to what she felt for Lephi, but they were still there. Then there is the whole telling Lephi what happened and that made her gut churn even more. She sighed and took a sip of her tea as she wished the kiss had never happened. (( Lephi's Quarters, USS Gorkon )) The nights were always the hardest, and then the days came and they were harder still. Lephi sighed and rolled over in bed. She'd been working so much she hadn't even had time to stop and think. Though she was settling into life on the Gorkon, it still tore at her heart to have her other half so far away from her. With one more flop, the engineer crawled back out of bed. Her plans for an early night were thwarted by a restless brain. She made her way over to the replicator and retrieved some Jestral tea. It was far from her favourite, but drinking it helped her to feel closer to Elizabeth in these trying times. Lephi plopped herself down at her desk and picked up a nearby PADD, hoping to dull her mind with the intricacies of starship repair. (( Elizabeth’s Quarters, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka )) Elizabeth sighed and pushed up from the couch wondering if a shower would help her relax enough to fall asleep. If it came down to it, maybe a sedative would do the trick. As she made her way through the bedroom, her eyes caught sight of Lephi's picture on her nightstand and sighed. What was she doing? She already talked with Kas and now it was Lephi's turn. It was time to make the call. She turned around and walked back into the living area. Her gut churning with every step. It wasn't going to be an easy call, but she wanted it to come from her and not someone else. The thought of the woman walking away stung like hell. She sat down at her desk and collected herself for a moment before standing back up, walking over to the replicator. Snow: A cup of Jesteral Tea, please. As the mug appeared before her, she took a sip as she made her way back over to the desk. Snow: Computer, open a transmission with Lieutenant Lephi, USS Gorkon. She took a seat as the computer processed the request. As it did Elizabeth sat the mug of tea down regretting the choice to have something in her stomach at this moment. (( Lephi's Quarters, USS Gorkon )) Computer: Incoming transmission from Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow, USS Chin’toka. Lephi’s heart soared. She couldn't remember the last time that she had spoken to Elizabeth, much less seen her face. Her sour attitude immediately began to change, and a toothy smile formed on her face as she spoke. Lephi: Put it through, put it through! Elizabeth smiled as Lephi appeared on the screen. Her heart soared seeing the woman and for a moment she had forgotten why she called. Snow: Hello, beautiful ::smiling:: It was a great feeling, looking back at the beautiful doctor on the screen. There were no words that did her smile justice. For a brief second, Lephi forgot to speak. Moments later, she gathered her thoughts and tried again. Lephi: Hello, Imzadi! You've somehow gotten more beautiful since I last saw you! Elizabeth smiled and then her heart twinged. The reason she called flashed across her mind as she stared at the beauty on the screen unaware of the news that was still to come. She didn’t want to tell Lephi, to break her heart, but she couldn’t leave this between them. It wasn’t right and Lephi deserved to know. Elizabeth took a deep breath and then looked at the woman on the screen again with tear filled eyes. Snow: Imzadi, I want you to know that I love you very much and what I’m about to say pains me very deeply to have to tell you. I’m so sorry to have to even say this, that it even happened, but.. ::brief pause:: On the recent mission, the other members of the away team and myself lost our memories. During this scary and confusing time the person I was shared a kiss and developed feelings for someone. ::pause:: I’m so sorry, Lephi. She stopped talking to give the woman time to process what had been said, the guilt even stronger than before. At first Lephi was concerned that her compliment had been the reason for Elizabeth’s tears, but as the doctor began opening up, Lephi was filled with confusion and dread. Shared a kiss? Lost her memories? A great sadness came over her as she considered the implications. Was she breaking up with her? Tears welled in the engineer's eyes, and she was silent for several long minutes. When she finally spoke again, it was through choked sobs. Lephi: That sounds like a terrible thing to go through, are you doing okay? The question she really wanted to ask was if Elizabeth had called to break off their engagement, but though she was eager to ask; she didn't want an answer. Not yet. Elizabeth’s wellbeing was just as important, and a welcome distraction. Was she okay? No. No she wasn’t. She felt like she failed Lephi. She had accepted her heart with a promise not to break it and she went and did just that. Snow: No. You trusted me with your heart and I failed to protect it. The tears that had pooled in Lephi’s eyes broke free and trickled down her face. Elizabeth was always more concerned with everyone else around her than she was about herself. It was a blessing and a curse, and in this case, more of a curse. Lephi: Did you, as Elizabeth, mean to kiss him? You didn't fail anything my love, you went through something traumatic. It hurts, and we'll have to deal with that eventually, but my concern right now is you. Snow: No. If I'd known who I was and that I was engaged, I wouldn’t have. The reassurance brought some small comfort to the Ferengi. The fact that they were still talking, and she wasn't hanging off of this new person in front of her also helped ease her hurting heart. Lephi: Exactly! That's not who you are, Imzadi. Have your memories returned? Snow: The alien entity stimulated our memory paths to recover things quicker, but some things are still missing. It’s only been a few days. Concern etched on Lephi's face as she regarded the doctor carefully, as though suddenly a way to fix all of this would jump out at them. It pained her to think about Elizabeth alone and scared with no memories on an unknown planet. She cursed Starfleet for making her transfer, and she cursed herself for not making a more compelling case for the two of them to retire early on Betazed. Lephi: I'm sure it will all come in time. Are you taking some time off to deal with this all? Was the person you kissed a member of the crew? How has that been? She knew it was a lot of questions to ask Elizabeth at once, but despite her best efforts, concern overtook her and she couldn't stop her mouth from voicing them all. Elizabeth took a moment to process all the questions Lephi threw her way. She took a sip of her tea before responding. Snow: I’ve been on light duty for now trying to get back into the swing of things and yes. We talked about things. They know I’m engaged and want to work on things with you. Lephi breathed a sigh of relief, and it quieted her brain for at least a few moments. Whoever this mystery person was, they knew that Lephi existed. Although it troubled her that Elizabeth had dodged the question identifying the other person, she knew better than to push her fiancée too hard on that at the moment. Lephi: And how did they take that? She thought about the conversation with Kas yesterday. It seemed to go well, but even though he tried to hide it, she still got a feeling that it hadn’t gone as well as what the Commander showed. Snow: Seemingly pretty well. Lephi's mouth curved downwards into a frown, and her nose began to twitch. Her brain was working at warp speed. She wanted nothing more than to talk things out, soothe the pain they were both feeling but it felt very one sided to her. She was trying to stimulate the conversation, and it felt as though Elizabeth was applying a sedative from a hypospray to it, and shutting down conversation. Lephi: Who is it? What do you mean, seemingly pretty well? ::sadly:: You talked to them before you talked to me? The last question sounded more defensive than she had meant it to. She was hurt, and Elizabeth’s mannerisms were doing little to provide comfort to the engineer. Before she transferred, they were two of the closest people, and now apparently they went to relative strangers with issues before each other. Another sob caught in Lephi's throat, her now bloodshot eyes pleaded with Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s heart twinged. Had she gone about this the wrong way. She had never been in this position before. She was just trying to answer the questions she was asked and reassure the woman. She could navigate being a doctor with no memory of being one. She could probably have gone back full duty with no problem and navigated circles around Sickbay with limited memory, but she couldn’t navigate her own relationship correctly. Snow: I’ve only been back a few days. I wasn’t planning on talking to anyone about anything until I figured things out, but they showed up at my door. So we talked. The vague nature of Elizabeth's reply did nothing to nurture Lephi's tormented heart. If anything, it pained her more to see such conflict so plainly on the face of the woman she loved. She wondered what kind of a person would be so heartless as to know someone is in a happy relationship, and still pry at the cracks which had suddenly formed. Certainly it couldn't have been Commander Raga, or Serala. Those two had respect for them, and their relationship. This person clearly did not. She thought hard about it all. Lephi: Elizabeth… ::Averts gaze:: Who was it? Snow: Someone who was in the same position I was and new to the ship, so they had no idea of anything. The doctor’s coyness almost won Lephi over briefly, before the despair she felt resurfaced. It brought her minute joy that it wasn't any of the people she considered to be her friend. She wasn't sure she'd be able to get over that if it had been the case. Lephi: You're really not going to tell me? That's all I get, that it isn't one of our mutual friends? Snow: Yes. It shouldn’t matter who it is. It’s not going to change anything.
  17. @Sal Taybrim I am unsure if I am allowed to say that I enjoyed reading his suffering, but.... yeah. Kinda did. I really enjoyed this sim, and now everyone else can, too! ((Wyn Foster’s Quarters – StarBase 118)) (Time index – Several days earlier, during the mission) When he had gone to bed – early, this surgery made him in bed before his grandfather. If he even had a grandfather. Biological that was. His father had confirmed that all his parents and grandparents were dead and the only one who mattered was Charles anyways. So some theoretical grandfather. Old man. There. He was going to bed before old men. Dottering old men who played chess in parks and yelled at kids to get off their holographic lawns. When he had gone to bed he was trying to get a vague plan of what to do tomorrow. He had limited mobility. The vertigo wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be – judging from the last time the antennae was literally ripped out by the root and left hanging. This was a precise and professional corrective, so maybe that was to be expected. But standing up was a chore and brought with it an unwelcome wave of nausea. So he didn’t get out much. But he had enjoyed company. Actually he craved company. So his plan was to call Ashley and see how the counselor was healing. Maybe they could hang out again. It was draining because Ashley was scarred by whatever all happened and Wyn would always give from his very limited well of energy to support the other person. What he really wanted was a family member here. Someone who would just give him unconditional love until he fell asleep. He didn’t ask much – just to have someone close, someone to lean on, someone to touch him and let him know he wasn’t alone. Beyond that he slept a lot and ate sometimes and watched trash holovids. But anyone could give him at least half of what he wanted. He preferred to not converse to much, but to simply be. Maybe, if he felt truly and utterly safe he might actually talk about the mess of feelings he kept bottled up inside. But he didn’t feel safe with most people. His Dad. Mark. Saveron. That was it. Three stinking people, and one was a sentient hologram. He hadn’t even told Rue. Maybe he should. He desperately needed a family member on StarBase 118. Someone he considered family. Not just a friend. But when he woke up, he had a message. Ashley got an approved to travel to Vulcan. He took the first ship. He was already gone. Wyn didn’t know why, but it felt like a betrayal. That was stupid, he told himself. In their conversation he had confirmed that yes, he was off duty and available, but they had never actually made plans. He had only made silent plans in his stupid little head. Silent plans meant nothing. Silent plans were imaginary. And now look where that got you? Ashley was gone. Fixing himself. That was good. Wyn stayed behind. Alone. He stared at the walls of his quarters and felt like he was grasping at straws. Who else did he know on this entire huge StarBase that he trusted enough to call on a commline. Rustyy… on the Rahuba. Rue… on the Rahuba. Alora…on the Rahuba. And for a moment he cursed himself for being such an idiot. Maybe he should know more people. Maybe he shouldn’t have counted on Ashley being around. Maybe he shouldn’t stay inside. And yet his brain welled up and cursed back: Maybe you’re not worthy enough for anyone to care about… Maybe this was what he deserved. So many nights on the Constitution where he brushed off his crewmates games and activities to hide in his quarters fighting with the demons of the past. Too many days hiding in his office because he hadn’t slept enough. Foster: I’m trying OK?! I was frakking trying to fix things! He screamed it at the wall. The wall didn’t care. The vertigo hit hard and he collapsed on his knees. Alone. Again. Always alone. This was a long road he walked, and he felt that he walked it alone for so long. And the times that someone was with him were brief shining sunlight moments in a vast well of darkness. Wrapping his arms around his chest he did the one thing he only did when he was truly desperate. When all other ideas had been exhausted. When he felt he was doing the right thing but always getting the wrong responses. Foster: Computer… open a comm channel. Lt. Commander Cade Foster, USS Constitution. Computer: Lt. Commander Cade Foster is unavailable. Foster: Page him over the comms system! Computer: Lt Commander Cade Foster is not on the USS Constitution, StarBase 104 or within Starfleet comms range. He growled the next words in panic and despair. Foster: Where is he?! Computer: I am sorry, that is classified. Foster: Classified my ass! Computer: I do not recognize that command… He swore at the computer and collapsed on his bed, exhausted from the attempt. If he was in his right mind he might have gone to the hub. Contacted Commodore Taybrim. Emphasized he was looking for his Dad, asked for clearance. He wasn’t in his right mind. He curled up in a ball and sobbed for hours until exhaustion overtook him. ~*~ ~tbc~ ~*~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Head Surgeon StarBase 118 Ops
  18. ((Transporter Room 1, Deck 7, USS 'Oumuamua )) According to the Oumuamua's EMH, V'Len Kel did not have medical privileges in the Oumuamua's sickbay. The EMH had rather begrudgingly allowed him to make limited recommendations for their care. The EMH had not been particularly impressed with Kel's salt/silica treatment which V'Len thought any other medical officer would have been. Fortunately the EMH was all too happy to work with the Thor's medical staff who had mostly arrived from escape pods unscathed. They had been willing to feed Kel information and keep him apprised of everyone's progress. He had to admit the sickbay of the Oumuamua was very impressive. He hoped commander Hartman or Commodore V'Airu would permit him to utilized the facility, especially on some of the more difficult cases such as crewman Darby. V'Len had taken some down time which he knew was important. Now he found himself in a situation he had not expected. The Oumuamua was chasing down the warship which had abducted Commodore Kells in the hopes of getting Aron back. Ideally they would simply transport him off the ship to safety, but as a backup Greaves had put together a boarding party at V'Airu's behest and he had been specifically requested. Recent history had shown that V'Len and Greaves did not have a flawless relationship. In fact they tended to rub each other the wrong way. Now, as he watched Greaves get his marines psyched up for a rescue, Kel was working overtime to make sure he watched what he did and said. Greaves: Thanks for coming down so quickly everyone. I don't know how much time we have before go-time so we're gonna cover this quick. We're going after Commodore Kells. Personally. The Marines nodded or grunted their approval and determination to get the job done. Kel could not help but be impressed at their willingness to throw themselves into harm's way. Kel: ::nodding support:: oO I hope Corelli can get those transporters to work. Oo Brodie/Basilia: Response Greaves: Commodore V'Airu has us on an intercept course with the ship that took the skipper. The Oumuamua's got the advantage, but in a straight up fight the outcome is far from clear. Especially since we need to get our Commodore off that ship before it runs or blows up. Lieutenant Commander Hartmann is leading a team to find a way to transport through the Dominion shields. Ideally, we get that puzzle piece solved, find Kells on sensors, then beam him right here. Wes paused, looking across the three faces before him. Greaves: You can tell by what I'm wearing how confident I am that will work out. Indeed Greaves was kitted out in his finest marine fatigues with armor and weapons at the ready. Kel himself had chosen a uniform with pockets for extra supplies. He had a phaser on one hip with his ice knife on the other. He also carried his Medkit with all the supplies he hoped he would need to get through the ordeal. Kel: So if we can't bring the commodore to us we go to him? Brodie/Basilia: Response Greaves: That's where we come in. If for some reason we can't get Kells off with transporters we go in instead. We're going to board the Dominion ship, find the skipper, then beam off with transport tags. I know everyone gets basic combat training at the Academy, but this is no basic mission. Basilia and I are trained for this, (pause, glancing at Kel and Brodie) but you two aren't. I need to know right now if you can handle this. No judgment if you say no. I just can't be going in there with extra liabilities. The "labilities" remark had to be aimed at him. Kel knew Brodie was a veteran of numerous dangerous missions and he kept his eye in on the phaser range. Kel knew he need to choose his works carefully to assure Greaves he would be a useful member of the team. Kel: Not to worry major. Remember half of me was a security officer before my accident. My training will kick in when it's needed. (beat) Besides I'm primarily here to make sure to make sure we get out of whatever you lead us into. Well so much for carefully chosen words. Basilia/Brodie/Greaves: Response Kel: ::nervously:: I'm so sorry Major that came out all wrong. I was merely trying to say that my role is to provide medical support where it's needed. (beat) Especially for Aron when we find him. Basilia/Brodie/Greaves: Response Kel's antennae were once again twitching and he decided to beat a retreat over to the transporter pad. Kel: Why don't I just wait over here quietly? Basilia/Brodie/Greaves: Response Tags/TBC -- Lieutenant JG V’Len Kel Medical Officer USS Thor (NCC-82607) T239811VK2 He/Him (character and player)
  19. Revisiting traumatic sites is a big interest of mine, and it's lovely to see the crew going back and assigning a special place to where missions happened. Great work Sami! This was a fun read! ----- (( Security Office - Deck Eight - USS Gorkon )) She stared out of the window, not seeing the streaking stars that passed outside, as the Gorkon sped to its next location for some much needed repairs. The relief of retrieving the missing persons from the Rift, including the other away team, was short-lived once they beamed over to the Gorkon, where another disaster had occurred. One that was more deadly as it turned out after checking out the crew list. They had fatal casualties, including some of her own department, people who had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. She rolled her shoulders, trying to ease some of the tension she felt as she crossed the short distance to her desk, picking up the PADD she had left there and read the letters again she had composed to the families of those from her department who hadn’t survived the explosion or search and rescue afterwards. Her thoughts automatically went to the family of Ensign Raife, one of the images she had relived during the hallucinations. For a reason unknown to her, she still kept contact with the family. Was it guilt? Samira didn’t know. Maybe she just wanted to give the family some insight into what their daughter’s life would have been like if she had survived the disaster on the upside-down ship. Once the first chaos had subdued after returning to the Gorkon, she had helped with relocating crew members who didn’t like the upgraded accommodations with an open view on space to new quarters on safer decks. Together with engineering, she had done a preliminary examination of the exploded area, making sure the ship itself was secure enough to travel. Of course, she’d only get a full report once the experts had done their own inspection back at Iana Station. The PADD abandoned on her desk she left the office. She needed a drink before she went to her next destination and thus she ended up in her quarters. Ko was catching some sleep in one of the eucalyptus trees, as if nothing had happened. Normally, she’d let the critter sleep and leave him alone, but this time she petted him on his head after pouring herself some whiskey. Which resulted in a grunt from the animal, and she quickly pulled her hand away as he made a motion with his paw and sharp claws. She smirked at the beast and let him be, before she settled in to the couch, taking a sip from the golden liquid now and then. (( One hour later - Cargo Bay - USS Gorkon )) Samira stood in front of the famous cargo bay that tossed people around and learned those trapped inside how they could fly without any wings or other artificial means. The double doors in front of her were shut, like the area gave her an extra warning sign: beware when you step through. She ruffled her short black hair. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone for the double whiskey or had something to eat in between. Her mind was already playing tricks on her and she hadn’t even set foot in the room yet. She took a step forward, almost wishing the doors wouldn’t open, like they had refused to open last time. But there it was, the familiar whoosh as both doors slid open. Carefully, she took a step inside, dropping the bag she’d carried next to her. Here she was, and she wasn’t alone. People doing their job, continuing where they left off, or just performing their daily duty. Slowly, she walked around in the bay, until she received a few odd looks from folk, probably wondering why she was here in the first place. Only then she returned to the dropped bag and walked to the supply crate at the front of the bay, restocking the water bottles they had taken from the container while being trapped inside. For a brief moment, it reminded her of another cargo bay on another ship that didn’t exist. The first time she had met Soup and Headhunter on the Skarbek, as a new recruit of a Maquis cell, where she knew nobody. She smiled faintly. Things looked brighter for Valesha now that the couple had started their own family. She should pay them a visit and congratulate them one of the following days. There was still plenty of time for that later. First, it was time for another drink. --- Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler Chief Security/Tactical & Second Officer USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  20. Jacob, Greaves' player, is always an excellent writer, but I found his personal log in particular rather poignant. ((5 Hours After the Oumuamua's Arrival)) ((XO's Office, Deck 1, USS Thor)) First Officer's Log, supplemental I still haven't had time to talk it over with Commodore V'Airu, so no idea how the Oumuamua got here so fast, but their sudden appearance has saved countless lives. Possibly even the Thor herself. The Oumuamua has transferred most of her engineering staff to the Thor and their entire small craft complement has been collecting the survivors of our evacuation. There's still a few dozen unaccounted for, but we believe we'll find them before the day is done. That's the good news. The bad news is the cost to this all. I had thought the QSD incident was the worst I'd ever see… I wish that was so. Even if all of our missing crew come back alive our casualties still make me sick. 167 dead. Over 200 injured. Many of them critically. We've transferred the worst of them to the Oumuamua's facilities and work continues on restoring spaceworthiness to the Thor. She won't sail under her own power and warp is out of the question, but with a tow we might just get her back to Federation space and a drydock in one piece. It'd go faster if the Oumuamua had come out with her full crew complement, but since she's running a skeleton crew we're relying mostly on the recovered evacuees to get back to work immediately. As for the crew who remained behind during evacuation, I've ordered them to 12 hours of mandatory rest as well as medical follow ups aboard the Oumuamua. I personally led the charge on medical exams and it seems I got off light with just a sprained wrist and the cut to my head. As tired as I am though, the work on the Thor is going to be significant, and she needs someone familiar with the current situation to guide our initial efforts. I've decided to forgo my own order for at least today. I'll get a nap when I can, but until the critical repairs are a sure thing and until we account for the rest of the crew, I'm going to remain on the bridge directing the recovery efforts. Commodore V'Airu has assured me that her senior staff, or at least the ones with her, are working to track down the Dominion Battlercruiser which abducted Commodore Kells. The plan is to pursue once we can get the Thor stabilized, and it's a plan I fully support. I just fear that we're going to take too long getting off this ball of water and the skipper will be lost forever. I've been running the events through my head of how we got to this point trying to find where I went wrong. What I could have done differently… and I'm just coming up dry. I made the right call every step of the way. I'm sure of it… but we still lost so many people. (Silence) (Silence) (Silence) Major Jordans told me something once about leadership. It was right after we lost Newson--- After I lost Newson. He said that leadership was hard, but the hardest part was the inevitable day where you make the best decisions in a bad situation and lose good people. I thought he meant it as a reminder that bad things happen to good people and that's what we signed up for. What he really meant was that the harshest lesson of leadership is that you and your team can give their all and still lose. He was trying to teach me to understand that. To embrace it and move on. I think today I think I understand it better now. (Silence) End log. ((Several days later)) ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Oumuamua)) 15 hours. Wes hadn't slept that long in… ever possibly? Not since he was in his early 20s at the very least. And the sonic shower… oh man had that felt amazing. So good he'd almost fallen asleep standing up. And a fresh uniform even! Wes had thought he'd never feel the sensation of clean fabric again. With the Oumuamua's help and a tremendous effort from the surviving engineering teams, they'd gotten the Thor into orbit and operating at 1/4 impulse all on her own. It had taken another half day to reinforce the weakened hull for tow, which is when Wes had finally gotten to a clean and dark set of quarters aboard the Luna class ship for his first chance at true rest in days. Now with both ships ready, they were underway with the Vesta class in tow. Most of the crew had been transferred to the Oumuamua leaving only a skeleton crew aboard to the Thor to manage things, and now Wes had been summoned to see Commodore V'Airu along with the ship's XO, Lieutenant Commander Hartmann. Which was the reason Wes was currently standing on the bridge, leaning against the bulkhead near thte turbolift. He was waiting for Hartmann. The ship's current crew situation was complicated. With most of the crew being from the Thor but led by a mixture of Oumuamua and Thor senior staff, there was bound to be some strange feelings. Wes was an XO with a crew and no ship. Hartmann was an XO with a ship and no crew. The Marine wanted to head any sour feelings off at the pass. The hiss of turbolift doors announced the arrival of the other first officer and Wes pushed off the wall making himself visible to catch the man before he strode directly to the CO's office. Greaves: Hey, Hartmann, wait up. (Motioning to the side of the bridge) Got a sec to talk before we go inside? Hartmann: Response The Marine led the way to the corner of the bridge and waved away an ensign who was working on an auxiliary console there. For a few seconds Wes watched the crewman walk away until they were out of earshot then turned to face his counterpart. Greaves: (In a low voice) First off, I want to say thanks for everything you all have done the last few days. You saved lives, and you saved the Thor. Thank you. Hartmann: Response Greaves: So, I know this set-up we got going is weird. Your ship. My crew. Well, mixed crew, but mostly mine. And we're going after my skipper… under the command of yours… Hartmann: Response Greaves: I appreciate that. Really what I'm getting at is, I'm here to support you and Commodore V'Airu. Anything you need, let me know. This is your ship. I'm back-up… just don't sideline me. Hartmann: Response (OOC: Happy to continue this back and forth in a separate scene if you want Amanda) (( CO's Ready Room, Deck 1, USS 'Oumuamua )) With the XO relationship settled for now, the pair made their way to the Commodore's office and hit the chime before entering. V'Airu was as Wes remembered her. Professional. Organized. Possessing a piercing gaze and a demanding demeanor. The impression she gave off was cold, but Wes knew a bit better from his time with her in wargame exercises. The woman had a hidden streak of passion and a depth of experience few in Starfleet could match. With a flick of her gaze the Commodore directed him and Hartmann to sit which they quickly did before the woman began her briefing. V'Airu: Major, Commander. We will pursue the battlecruiser with all haste. Ask any questions you have before I assign your duties. Greaves: Good to hear ma'am. Have we been able to trail their warp signature or do we have a location in mind? Hartmann: Responses V'Airu: Unclear if the Alpha Quadrant was their destination, but Vomek reports that it appears to be en route to a Cenobian temple. (beat, to Greaves) Are you familiar with such a temple? Cenobian? The species was vaguely familiar from his pre-mission readings. Wes knew they were a Gamma Quadrant species with a home planet somewhere near old Dominion space. Past that, he wasn't overly knowledgeable about them. Greaves: No ma'am. I know of the Cenobians, but I'm not familiar with their religion. He looked to Hartmann to see if the other officer had a better understanding but Commodore V'Airu pressed on quickly. V'Airu: Very well. Then here are your assignments: Greaves, assemble a recovery team, to infiltrate the battlecruiser on intercept and beam aboard to recover the commodore. Based on Thor personnel files, I suggest a team of Basilia, Kel, and Brodie. The commodore may need immediate assistance, both medical and psychological. Greaves: Aye aye, ma'am. V'Airu: Hartmann, oversee the engineering team. We need a way through Dominion shields. (beat) You will also command shipboard defense, should we need it. Take Thor's chief of engineering, Corelli, and tactical officer Kessler, plus assistant chief of security Richards and medical officer Toz. Cover all your bases. Though she had issued the orders to Hartmann, her gaze also flicked to Greaves, to see if he had any insight to offer regarding his officers. Hartmann: Response Greaves: Agreed. V'Airu: (sharp nod) I will remain on the bridge. Cabrillo and Vomek will remain with me, plus Katsim and Ulasso from Thor. (beat) Questions? The woman cut her briefing sharply with a final question. The suddenness and the directness caught Wes off guard. It was a style wholly unlike Commodore Kells, and yet it was one he was familiar with from his previous time as the woman's acting first officer. It served as a reminder to the bad taste that experience had left him with. This time however there was a lot more riding on their success or failure. His reply was equally to the point. Greaves: None. Hartmann: Response V'Airu: Very well. Dismissed. The two were off and away in a moment, and Ossa followed them a few seconds later. (OOC - Happy to backsim anything in these two scenes, otherwise I'm gonna press on to the set up) ========================= Major Wes Greaves Executive Officer Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  21. We all form a special relationship with the ships we serve on and the occasion of losing one, even when 'planned,' can be very emotional for all involved. The former crew of the Reso decided to commemorate their lost vessel in this stirring and beautifully written group JP. Well done to everyone involved! ===================================================== (( OOC: A huge thank you to everyone who jumped into this scene! I loved reading what everyone added to our little private service. )) (( USS Resolution Memorial, Deck 227/228, Deep Space 224 )) With the lights at minimum illumination, the stars could easily be seen shining brightly through the viewports against the blackness of space. The only significant source of light in the room was the obelisk in the center, projecting a holographic image of the lost ship overhead. Yogan was the first to arrive, and when he stepped through the door into the darkened room, the projection of Resoltion backlit by the stars outside took him by surprise. He’d not seen Resolution during her final moments–the controlled descent into a planetoid with 14 souls still aboard–he had been aboard Rinascita Station at the time, fighting Suliban extremists, depleting oxygen, and his own symbiont. The holo-image of the small-but-heroic ship was how he preferred to remember her. The public dedication of the USS Resolution memorial was to take place shortly. They’d all been invited, but Yogan received permission for his crewmates to gather in private for a short while before the main ceremony. It would be an opportunity for them to see the memorial for the first time together, without the pressures of having to be “on” for the public and manage their reactions for an audience, however well-intentioned they might be. Yogan smiled as his cremates and friends entered and looked at the memorial. When it appeared that everyone who was going to come had arrived, Yogan stepped into the center of the room, just in front of the plaque at the base of the sculpture and broke the solem silence. Yalu: Thank you all for coming. The public ceremony will begin soon, but I thought we would all appreciate this time to ourselves. Before anything else, I just want you all to know that–– ::gestures to memorial:: this was made possible by the Commercial Sector Merchants’ Association. They spearheaded the effort to install a permanent memorial to our ship almost immediately after the news reached the station. Seeing this now, I just want to express gratitude to the shopkeepers and residens of Deep Space 224 for being a part of our extended ship family. Yogan hand brushed against the gold plaque, onto which the names of 13 Resolution crewmembers were etched. The fourteenth victim, Liam Wyke, was represented by a single five-pointed star, as he was not publicly identified in official reports until the necessary debriefings had concluded. Yogan briefly wondered if Admiral Regillensis would have appreciated an invitation to the public service, but that was impossible. He would likely not be a free man for a long time. Yalu: I don’t really have a program or an order of service, or anything like that. Just some time together, and say a few words. ::beat:: Captain, would you care to start? There was nothing quite like saying goodbye. Over the course of so many years and so many ships, homes, places she’d been, goodbye had started to become that ever consistent thorn in her side. Just when she was getting settled and stable, it would come along and knock her over. It would leave her scrambling for the next solid foundation, which she would often find just in time for another wave to sweep through. The Resolution was no different, and yet, it was as different as one could think because it was both a beginning and an end. The raven-haired command officer could still remember the day she set foot on the tiny Nova class ship for the first time, lockstep with Ensign’s Makal Kora and Eliaan Deron. Her fellow Academy graduates and friends had since left Starfleet, but that moment, over a decade ago, still seemed quite fresh in her renewed memory. Kali’s eyes fell on the memorial and considered all that it represented. The ship was gone, and with it, the lives of the few who could not escape the untimely demise. She would never walk the corridors where she had lived, and died, again. The echos of Jaxx, and Kora with his terrier Agrippa, of Guy Hunt, the Laudean child she’d nearly adopted, of her flute, and the budding love story she now found herself happily entrenched in would never be heard again save for in the deep recesses of the minds of those who were there. Those who would remember. As the room had filled, Kali found her way to the front of the small group, looking at each in turn. Her eyes settled on the darkness found in Genkos’ eyes and she found strength, even as though she thought he might feel it lacking. Try as she might, she was concerned that he would always feel as if part of the destruction was his fault, even if the board of inquiry, and she, thought otherwise. Nicholotti: There really are no words that can fully encompass the loss of the Resolution as well as this memorial, which will stand for as long as 224 does. It almost gives her a new life, despite the fact that she might not fly again. Kali took a momentary break before continuing. Nicholotti: The truth is, as long as we remember her, our service aboard her, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that everyone else got away…she’s never really gone. For a moment, her crystalline blues lost focus and her thoughts once more drifted to those early days. After the silence settled, she simply nodded to her first officer and took her seat. Addison nodded to her CO as she rose to take her place in front of the group. Her gaze fell upon the memorial - the beautiful granite, and the projection of a ship she never anticipated serving on brought a smile to her face. It was fitting, in her opinion, that the simple ship be memorialized in a monument equally simple - both were beautiful in their own ways. MacKenzie: ::gesturing to the memorial:: We cannot bring back those who were lost on the Resolution. Their deaths leave holes in our hearts that each of us will feel for the remainder of our days. Our service on that ship, and the shared experience of its destruction, has bonded us in ways that many crews will never know. She paused to look around at the familiar faces of her colleagues gathered. MacKenzie: But we are stronger for it. And now, we go forward carrying out the duty that our fallen comrades no longer can knowing that they died in service to Starfleet, honoring a mission and tradition that we all value and serve to protect. That is to be our greatest memorial to their legacy. She took a breath in through her nose as the faces of their colleagues flashed through her mind. After an exhale, she nodded to those who remained in front of her and returned to her seat. Vitor stood quietly as he waited for his turn. Although he was beginning to find some peace, being here wasn’t helping. The memories of his only mission on the Resolution weren’t pleasant ones. He even wondered if she should be there. But it was his turn. So he took the step forward. Silveira: I, regrettably, spent little time on the Resolution. Although I have been in the Fleet long enough to suffer losses, this was the first time the ship I served on was destroyed and so many of my comrades died. He paused, looking down, recalling them and his own memorial he did for them in Risa. Taking a breath he raised his head and spoke again. Silveira: I won’t need a memorial to remember them. But this is a deserved tribute to them all. He bowed to the memorial before returning to his previous position. Hallia took a deep breath, taking her own step forward, she folded her hands in front of her, feeling almost at a loss for words. This was far bigger than just simply one Starship, the Resolution was a place where Hallia felt like she was valued for her skills as an officer. She formed so many meaningful attachments and the Resolution had become a symbol of that. Stepping forward once again and then turning to face the officers gathered here today. Suddenly she was at a loss of words, and the old wounds she thought had long healed only seemed to open themselves up once again. Yellir: The Resolution was a small ship, yet like her crew, it was tougher than a diamond. I’m beyond thankful for the honour of sharing this journey with all of you. I wouldn’t trade all of our adventures, journeys to unfamiliar worlds and survey missions for the universe. To those we lost ::beat:: they’ll always be with us, and as Starfleet officers, we owe it to them to keep going just as they did. And… right now, I hope nothing more than to wish them safe travels on their own journeys, w- ::beat:: w-wherever they are… She felt her voice break towards the end of her speech. Once again, to steel her nerves, Hallia took a deep breath. Her lips quivered, yet her face didn’t change. Two tears slid down her cheeks as she looked the hologram in a moment of silence. As Iljor stepped forward, a strand of his shoulder length brown hair slipped from behind his right ear and gently rested against his face. Brushing it back, he turned to look at the assembled officers, all of whom he had come to consider family in one way or another. Then he gazed fondly at the holographic representation of the late starship Resolution and words came to him. Etan: Resolution was my first assignment out of the academy. A great bug deflector dish with a warp core attached. I didn’t know what to expect, to be totally honest. I’d expected a science station posting or somewhere in a laboratory. A starship was the furthest thing from my mind. But I am beyond grateful for the Resolution. She got us through some of the most difficult moments any of us could have expected. But most importantly- for me anyway- is that I found a family aboard her. And for that I will treasure my memories of the ship wherever I go. He looked at the hologram once more, bowed his head in a moment of respectful silence and then yielded the floor, wiping away a solitary tear. It was Genkos’ turn, and he took a deep breath, closing his eyes as he did so. This was tough - the Resolution was lost under his command, and it had been his final order evacuate the ship. His cane tapped loudly against the floor, sounding almost thunderous as he took a single step forward. Opening his eyes, he looked around at each of his fellow officers in turn and saw them staring back. Adea: The Resolution was our home, and the crew our family. I will forever be proud of what they achieved, and I am glad that whatever happens to us, even once we’re gone, this ::he waved to the memorial with his free arm:: will always remain. May the four ever watch over them. Then, looking down at his feet, he took another step back, his cane almost silent as he did so. After each of Yogan’s crewmates took the opportunity to speak, the room fell into solemn silence once again. He stepped forward, the sound of his boots against the deck echoing slightly in the large, mostly empty space, and he looked at the memorial once again. After losing the ship, watching the escape pods being recovered, writing the lists of survivors and lost, the investigation and subsequent testimony he’d given, and the distance of time since the disaster, he thought he’d made his peace and moved on. Not so. This was the thing he needed, the missing ingredient for closure. Yalu: Omed, my third host, once said, “Lifetimes of wisdom can make you arrogant. Lifetimes of heartache can make you timid.” It was caution, her warning against allowing events like the loss of our ship to make me jaded or paralyzed by indecision. When I looked at the image of the ship, and those fourteen names, I couldn’t help feeling those inevitable questions. “What could we have done differently?” “How could we have changed what happened?” The memory of standing in the shuttlebay of the USS Carpathia and clutching the PADD of names threatened to overwhelm him, but instead of suppressing it or fighting it, he allowed himself a moment for the wave to wash on by. Yalu: I will always remember this ship and the crew who served on her. But instead of dwelling here, I hope this memorial will allow me to look forward instead. To honor the ship and those we lost in the best way possible: by serving Starfleet and the Federation to the best of my ability, exploring space, and adding to my knowledge and understanding of the universe. I won’t always be perfect at it, but that’s what this moment, this memorial, means to me. Yogan could hear the sound of people assembling outside the doors, a low rumble of conversation that contrasted sharply with the almost chapel-like atmosphere inside the room. Yalu: The public ceremony is about to begin, and I’d like to invite everyone who wishes to to stay and dedicate the memorial. Before we let everyone else in, let’s have one last moment to remember the USS Resolution NCC-78145, and those fourteen people who gave their lives in her service: Iefyr Farrel, Chandra Amari, Verian Ohar, Gaavi Lak, Duncan Ruthers, Zenko-Taff, Ev’ell Gridung, Joss Ghunkep, Anaïs Burgess, T’Yor, Saar Spurloecke, Jane van Klaveren, Doria ch’Rino, and Liam Wyke. After the moment of silence, Yogan stepped over to the doors and allowed the residents and shopkeepers of Deep Space 224, the friends and associates who’d so kindly created permanent place of remembrance for them, to enter. [End scene] Commodore Kalianna Nicholotti – Commanding Officer – R238605KN0 Commander Addison MacKenzie – Executive Officer – V239601AM0 Commander Genkos Adea – Second Officer & Chief Medical Officer – G239502GS0 Lieutenant Commander Yogan Yalu – Strategic Operations Officer – D238804DS0 Lieutenant Etan Iljor – Chief Science Officer – C239203TW0 Lieutenant Hallia Yellir – Chief Engineer – G239409EK0 Lieutenant JG Vitor Silveira – Tactical Officer – O238907VS0 USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A
  22. @Quentin Collins III I mean I know we haven't written just yet, and not to be too forward or anything, but this first sim during the quick little visit makes me feel like I know Quentin personally as a friend. I am emotional about it. I love him, I love the writing style. So beautifully written. Just excellent. I am so excited Quentin is visiting because of things like this.
  23. Let's kick off our new quotes thread with some inspiration: And insight: And of course, some out of context:
  24. So all the ships have a thread - why not the Academy? I see some gems over there too! This from Adea made me chuckle:
  25. The next sim shows, that what happens to our characters, also has an impact on those at the homefront. Excellent piece of work @Tahna Meru and I love the insight on Bajoran culture and Meru's family history. ((OOC: The "present" sections are intended to take place concurrently with the mission that just concluded, specifically, they're meant to directly follow the publishing of this news report IC)) ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – 2389)) Tahna Meru tugged at the tassels of her uranak’ei1. It was a lovely golden shawl, crocheted in the traditional pattern by her Yania2 years ago. It matched the one her Yania made for her own daughter, though Meru’s bore her and her mothers’ names embroidered on the hem, while her cousin, Tara’s, bore the names of all the mothers in their family going back long before the Occupation. The Valis women had only lost the object during the Occupation, while Tahna Yavarel had lost her whole family history. Uranak’ei were meant to be passed from mother to daughter for generations, but Meru was the first in the Tahna family to wear it, and should not be the last if her mother’s plans bore fruit. The girl's opinion on the matter was yet uncertain. So far she seemed determined to oppose her mother’s plans, aiming for a future among the stars instead of remaining grounded, forgoing instruction on running a farm in favor of teaching herself exobotany. Bajor’s decision to join the Federation the year before hadn’t helped, but Yavarel hoped her daughter’s mind might change yet—after all, she was only fourteen. Tahna Y.: ::Whispering to her daughter:: You’re slouching. And fidgeting. Meru made a face, but straightened her shoulders and dropped the tassel at her mother’s request. Tahna M.: ::Her voice was soft and hesitant, unsure of herself despite hours of preparation.:: What if I forget the prayer? Tahna Y.: You won’t. She had no doubt that her daughter’s Ih’tanu would go well. Yavarel hadn’t experienced the ceremony herself when she came of age, but she ensured everything was in order for her daughter, and she knew the blessing she was to offer welcoming her daughter into a long line of Bajoran women, though their names had been lost. She’d made sure Meru knew the prayer, where to sit and stand, how to behave during her blessing, wouldn’t flinch when she received her d’ja pagh. She could not forget a name when reciting her matriline, as it began with Yavarel and paused with Tahna. Still, an element of discomfort remained, and that element’s name was Yavarel. It wasn’t that she felt unwelcome at the shrine. While she’d never been, her husband had been attending services there since they settled in Kendra Province, and they were presenting Meru together. Besides, it was antithetical to feel unwelcome at a shrine. She straightened out the uranak’ei, which had become crooked with all Meru’s anxious fidgeting, and tucked stray pieces of hair back into her daughter’s dark braid. It wasn’t even the fact that she had no faith in the Prophets. She did not require her daughter, now nearly an adult and yet still her baby, to take on her own agnosticism. The ceremony was as much cultural as it was religious, and whether the Prophets existed and cared about them or not, Yavarel would be damned if her child missed out on the slightest bit of Bajoran culture. She did not spend her youth fighting in the resistance just to kill their culture herself. Still, Yavarel doubted she would ever seek comfort in a shrine. She offered her daughter a rare, approving smile, ensuring not a single thread nor hair was out of place. Then, she and her husband took their seats on the crimson mats at the front of the shrine, heads held high and spirits proud as Meru approached the Prylar. ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – Present)) Vedek Kare looked up from the prayer candles she was lighting to the woman stalking down the aisle like a feral dakthara on the hunt. She recognized her, though she hadn’t seen her in…well, nearly a decade. Not since she was just a Prylar. Kare: Welcome. Yavarel huffed, stopping short of the Vedek. The two women stared at each other for a painfully long moment, as if neither was quite sure what to do next. Kare was there to provide spiritual support and advice, and she was patient, and had plenty of time. So, she sat cross-legged on the crimson mat, and waited. Tahna Y.: ::Tersely:: Vedek. Somehow, the word sounded about as reverent as a curse in Yavarel’s mouth. Kare did not take offense, Tahna Rej regularly attended services and she’d heard his wife’s thoughts on religion. The priestess simply offered Yavarel a smile and remained silent, waiting. Silence stretched between the two for several minutes, until finally, Yavarel shifted her weight from one foot to the other and, slowly, sat opposite the Vedek. The stiff corners of her mouth dropped slightly, a minor tremble in the corner of her eye, all signs of a facade about to crack. Kare: This is your second visit to this shrine, ever. oOProbably your second visit to any shrine, ever, so you must be deeply troubled.Oo Her observation was met with silence, and finally Yavarel looked away, her eyes wandering through the room till they focused on a more distant candle behind the Vedek’s shoulder, its wavering light slightly more steady than the dam stopping her flood of emotions. Tahna Y.: I do not believe. Kare: That is not a requirement. The candle flickered, and Yavarel broke down. ((Resistance Cell Hideout, Lonar Province, Bajor – 2368)) Tahna Y.: What’ve you heard? It had taken Tahna Yavarel three years to track down the location of her husband after he was caught on suspicion of terrorism and whisked away to some inhumane labor camp. Three years of running across Bajoran continents with her small cell, hiding from the enemy, eating whatever they could scavenge and sleeping as little as possible, as much for safety as to avoid the nightmares. After they located him it took another few months to find a contact who could feed her information from the camp. But at long last, three-odd years later, he was within reach. With her contact’s information, she would finally be able to mount a rescue, and she could finally be reunited with her husband. It didn’t hurt that she’d get to take out a bunch of Spoonheads along the way. Denai3, she’d admit, she would relish killing the cowards who ran that labor camp. Kevir, her contact, had just come back from the labor camp a kellipate away, and it was taking every ounce of self control she had to allow him catch his breath before begging for news of Rej. She offered the man water instead. He was panting, sticky with sweat and dust from the run back to her cell’s current hideout from the labor camp, his auburn hair the same shade as her missing husband’s damp and falling in his eyes. Kevir: I– He began to answer her question, but his parched throat made the words come out rough as sandpaper. He took a grateful sip of the water instead, the drink giving him a moment to steady himself, though it was inadequate preparation for the news he had to deliver. Kevir: Tahna, I’m sorry. Tahna Y.: What do you mean you’re sorry? She spat the words at him. Sorry wasn’t a word you used to prepare for killing Spoonheads, it was a word you used for dead Bajorans. There it was again, the same sick feeling in her stomach, the same cold fury she’d had when Rej was first taken. She had cried back then, hot, angry, desperate tears, but she would not cry today. She ran out of tears a long time ago. Kevir: Something happened, at the camp. I don’t know what. This morning, they woke up, thirty-four Bajorans were gone. Not escaped. Relocated, maybe. Or they were dead, but it seemed he was too diplomatic to suggest that. Tahna Y.: Rej. Her husband’s name wasn’t a question, rather a demand. She knew the answer before he gave it, just from Kevir’s long pause, and every muscle in her body clenched with a thousand restrained emotions as she braced for impact. Kevir: Gone. ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – Present)) Vedek Kare offered tissues, a cup of cela tea, a hand to hold, and patience as Yavarel gradually composed herself. By the time Yavarel took a deep, steadying breath, her eyes were still bloodshot and the tea nearly gone. Finally, she made eye contact with the Vedek and began speaking, her voice so steady that it hardly seemed possible she’d been weeping one moment earlier. That was a skill she’d learned in the Resistance, no doubt, when she had to deliver heartbreaking news in one breath and move on with the plan the next. Kare had watched far too many former freedom fighters shut down their emotions in moments of distress. Tahna Y.: Have you heard news of the USS Gorkon lately? She hoped that would be enough prompting, and she wouldn’t need to explain any further, but the Vedek simply shook her head. Yavarel dropped her gaze to the cup of tea in her hands, shifting her weight from side to side as she steeled her nerves and continued. Tahna Y.: My daughter’s ship. They’re investigating two missing ships in a subspace rift. I don’t know much else, there’s hardly any communication, but– ::She paused, long enough to finish her tea, as if a final sip would make the next words any easier to say. It didn’t, the tea as bitter in her mouth as the scarce news of her daughter was in her soul.:: Thirty-four crew were reported missing. Meru may be among them, I don’t know. There wasn’t a single tremor in her voice. She set the empty cup to the side, gaze shifting to one of the shrine’s flickering candles. The Vedek placed a hand on Yavarel’s in a comforting gesture. Kare: But you don’t know that she is missing. Yavarel nodded, jaw clenched, posture stiff and unchanged. Kare: Does the rest of your family know? Tahna Y.: Maybe Renas, I don’t know. He’s left for the Academy. The rest…they don’t read news of her missions until they’re over. They don’t want to worry needlessly. Her family’s commitment to not reading news of the Gorkon was admirable. Yavarel checked every day for news of her daughter. She’d spent years not knowing where her husband was or if he was safe. She didn’t want to go through that again with her daughter, not even for a short while. Plus, Meru was posted to a ship that had gone missing for nearly a year, so she thought that her fear that her only daughter might just disappear on it was not unfounded. Now, the fear that haunted her dreams, that clenched an icy fist around her heart every time she opened a report from the Gorkon, that terrible fear might have come true. Thirty-four souls missing from the Gorkon, and Meru could be one of them. Yavarel had no way of knowing until the ship returned, if it did at all. She wasn’t Starfleet, she couldn’t track Meru down across quadrants and rifts in space-time like she had tracked Rej across Bajor. She was helpless, and there was nothing she hated more. Tahna Y.: I didn’t know who else to talk to. Vedek Kare couldn’t track down missing Starfleet officers either. She was the head of a small shrine in Kendra Province, and while her connections extended far beyond that, they were insufficient for tracking down a lost soul in another quadrant. Meru was a smart woman, her pagh was strong. The priestess doubted that she would be lost so easily, or that she would give up on rescuing the thirty-four missing unless she had no other choice. But the Vedek knew these words would be of little comfort to the scientist’s mother. Kare: Do you know the Jia’kaja4? Yavarel nodded, her face still set in the same stoic expression she’d fallen back on earlier. Tahna Y.: Yes. But I do not believe, Vedek. Vedek Kare gently patted Yavarel’s hand and offered her a kind smile. Kare: That is not a requirement. fin 1 Bajoran: prayer shawl, traditionally worn by the daughter during her Ih’tanu ceremony. 2 Bajoran: aunt. 3 Bajoran: crude swear. 4 Traditional Bajoran prayer for protection. -- Tahna Yavarel Bajoran Milita (ret.) simmed by Lieutenant (j.g.) Tahna Meru Science Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) G239801TM4
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