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  1. Did you see something memorable aboard the Chin'toka that you want to recognize? Drop it in this thread! Whether it's a mishap or just Toryn being Toryn, this is the place for it.
  2. Prime example (IMO) of how to get a new player up to speed on a brand new mission! Good job @Elizabeth Snow! 😃 --- (( Sickbay Complex, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka )) Elizabeth had been pretty busy this morning. Between the new arrival onboarding exams and dealing with the medical supplies now that they were successfully onboard, Elizabeth had been muli-tasking with what supporting the colony from a medical standpoint would look like. She had hoped to collaborate with Counselor Azorius to get his view from a mental health standpoint, but he had been transferred. It was important that the two fronts were on the same page as in many ways, they mixed. Luckily a new Counselor had been assigned to the Chin’toka. Elizabeth would have to bring Ensign Hex up to speed on things, but hopefully they could work together. Snow: =/\= Doctor Snow to Counselor Hex =/\= Hex: =/\= Hex here. Good morning, Doctor. =/\= Snow: =/\= Morning, Counselor. I was hoping to get the chance to speak with you, if you had the time? =/\= Hex: =/\= Of course, Doctor - how does your office in ten minutes sound? =/\= Snow: =/\= That works for me, Counselor. I’ll see you then. Snow out. =/\= Elizabeth closed the comms and began gathering the data from the recent mission. Hoping not to overwhelm the poor Ensign. ((Time Skip)) (( CMO’s Office, Sickbay Complex, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka )) With Ishka and Wyla now tending to the restocking of the inventory, Elizabeth finished up the current on boarding exam she was working on and then proceeded to her office. Elizabeth updated the medical profiles as she waited on the Counselor. Happy that it was work related and not a mandatory session with her. As much as she respected those in the profession, she wasn’t fond of being the one receiving their services. She was finishing up with the last of the profiles when there was a chime at the door. Snow: Enter. The doors slid open and in walked their new Betazoid Counselor. Elizabeth greeted her with a smile and motioned for her to the chairs in front of the desk Hex: Doctor Snow. Elizabeth finished up with the profile she was working on and turned her attention to the new face. Snow: Before we get started. Can I get you something to drink? Hex: I was talking to a Marine on the way to the Chin’toka, and he asked me what I'd prefer to drink out of a choice of Bajoran wine and Tellarite beer. Elizabeth’s left eyebrow raised in response to the Counselor’s story. She wasn’t sure where this was going, but she decided to go along with it. Snow: Oh? And what was your response? Hex: Tellarite beer, of course. But I suppose now’s not the time for me to talk about wines and beers. Not least with the Chief Medical Officer - I won't shy away from a water though, Doctor, thank you. Elizabeth smiled as she walked over to the replicator to acquire their drinks. She thought for a moment that the Counselor was about to ask for a beer or something. Snow: No worries, Ensign. Though I’m not sure I can work with a beer person. :: sighs :: I suppose I’ll just have to make due. :: teasing :: An ice water and a hot cup of Jesteral Tea. She was aware of the Ensign’s Betazoid eyes watching her. Hex: Do you prefer Doctor Snow, or Lieutenant? Something else entirely? She grabbed their drinks and walked over to the Ensign. She handed the woman her glass before taking her seat behind her desk. She took a sip of her tea before responding. Snow: Doctor Snow is fine, Doctor, or Lieutenant. I’m not picky. You can call me Liz or Elizabeth when we’re not on duty. :: smiles :: Just don’t call me Lizzie. Do you have a preference? Hex: Response Snow: :: nods :: Alright. :: beat :: I’m going to do this the best I can so as not to overwhelm you with anything. So, please, speak up if there’s something you don’t understand and I will do my best to clarify it for you. Hex: Response Snow: Well I’m hoping we can work together to determine what supporting the colony will look like from a mental health and medical standpoint. It’s important that our two fronts are on the same page since our two fields mix in ways, but before we get into that I will have to bring you up to speed, so to speak, with details from our recent mission. Hex: Response Elizabeth nodded once the Counselor confirmed she was ready to begin. Snow: We recently went on a diplomatic mission to Oscion which is a neutral planet in Caraadian space that the Great Houses of that region use for political purposes. Our goal was to obtain a planet to set up a Federation colony on. By the mission we’re embarking on, negotiations were successful. In exchange those in the Expanse were free to use the resources the colony had to offer. Trading, shipyards, medical responses from the planet and nearby ships, mental health, science, and so on. She took a brief pause to sip her tea, studying the young Counselor to make sure Elizabeth hadn’t completely lost her along the way. She took another sip of tea, letting the information she laid out absorb into the Betazoid before she continued. Snow: The services Counselor Azurios laid before the Council were everything from simple counselling offices to psychology departments, psychiatric services, and neurological research as well as, the most up to date psychological trauma centres. Of course the facilities will expand over time, but that should sum it up for now. Hex: Response Elizabeth took another sip of her tea, as she watched the Ensign process the information. Snow: I hope I didn’t overwhelm you, but with him now gone and you coming to take his place, I felt it was necessary to draw you into things before we reached the colony, so you weren’t blindsided and so we could start working together for the greater good of the colony. Hex: Response ============ Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow Chief Medical Officer USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 D238803EH0
  3. So, my favorite bit outta this whole sim is the line about the Bolian. Well written, Jim. Very well done indeed. (( Bridge, Deck 1, USS Yanktonai, NCC-67205 )) Madison sat in her chair in the center of the bridge, and gripped the arms of her chair to force herself to not get up and pace. It was a nervous habit of hers and her crew was used to it, but this was the first time she and the Caitian Captain had interacted and she wanted to make a good impression. His service record was something to be envied, though her own was nothing to sneeze at. She had received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career, mostly for her work in the field of science. She was a Xenologist by trade, and thanks to her scientific contributions, she had played significant roles in helping discover the reasons behind an outbreak on three different worlds, had led several expeditions to study different new worlds and their inhabitants. Her track to command had been a bit slower than the distinguished officer facing from the viewscreen, but she had managed it. Mei’konda: =/\= ...The Yanktonai will be briinging up the rear, the Chin’toka will be in the heart of the fleet, and the Diligent will taake point along our journey. Diligent is the faastest ship in the fleet, with sensors as good as ours, so she will be able to respond quiickly to anything out of the ordinary. =/\= Delano: =/\= We’ll be ready over here, Captain. =/\= St. Claire: =/\= Understood. =/\= Transport Captains: =/\= Response =/\= oO Rear guard, not the most glamorous position, but someone has to do it, I suppose. And his logic is sound. Oo Several of the transport Captains piped in with questions that were easily and quickly answered, and Miranda had to once more remind herself that these were civilian ship captains, not Starfleet, and they were not very familiar with typical Starfleet protocol in these situations. Mei’konda: =/\= Any other questions? Claarifications we should make about the journey before we get under way? Speak your mind, anyone. =/\= Chin’toka Bridge: =/\= Responses =/\= Transport Captain NPCs: =/\= Responses =/\= St. Claire: =/\= What does our route look like, Captain Mei’konda? =/\= Mei’konda: Current telemetry from Deep Space 26 indicaates that our route is clear. As you all know, we deployed several comm and sensor relaays along our route to the rendezvous from our initiaal survey of the Shemsh system, in order to maake sure that any hazards were catalogued. At the moment, there is no indiication of any problems. She started to reply to the other Captain when a couple of his officers interjected their own questions and comments, so she patiently waited her turn. Peters: =/\= Understandable. Thank you, captain. =/\= McKnight: =/\= Tactical, ready, cap'n. =/\= Peters: =/\= And we will be travelling at warp 6, correct? =/\= Marseille: =/\= Yeah, that’s right. It’s our maximum cruising speed. No fancy Starfleet engines over here. =/\= Delano: =/\= :: In a playful tone :: Don’t worry Marseille, we can always give you a tow if it comes down to it. =/\= It had been a source of frustration for Madison. While nowhere near as fast as the refitted Akira-class starship, her Dakota-class starship could still reach speeds of up to warp 9.85 and sustain it for twelve hours, and Madison was secretly a speed freak. It wasn’t unusual for her to push the ship to warp 9 and hold it there for as long as she could before her Chief Engineer began to turn blue in his face - ok, that was unfair since he was a Bolian - but the expression still counted. Kiax: =/\= We’re capped to Warp Two as we go through the Jenatris Corridor anyway, Captain. After that I wouldn’t want to be going much faster than Six – even with our navigation aids pointing the way. =/\= She had heard of the treacherous navigation within the Expanse and she had studied it on her trip here. The expanse was filled with high volumes of space debris and dangerous gases and posed a hazard to space flight. It even had designated space lanes which were considered safe for travel, apparently at slower speeds if the pink-haired Trill was to be believed, and Madison saw no reason to doubt her. They worked there, after all. Serala: =/\= I would also recommend modifying your shields to the specification we have sent you. The Atlantis has some issues a couple years ago with the gases of the Cloud seeping through and causing some rather unusual effects amongst the crew. =/\= Chin’toka Bridge: Responses St. Claire: =/\= Noted about the shields. And I think we can manage warp six. It might be a strain on the engines, but I like to keep my Chief Engineer on his toes. =/\= She said it in such a deadpan tone and with such a straight face, she wondered how seriously anyone had taken her. Certainly the Starfleet officers, at the very least, should know she wasn’t serious. St. Claire: =/\= And what about a risk assessment? Are you expecting any kind of resistance, Captain Delano? :: she belatedly realized there were two Captain Delano’s, though the CO of the Diligent was actually a Commander. Still, his position afforded him the title. :: Captain, Mei’konda Delano. Forgive me, I forget there are two of you here. =/\= Delano / Transport Captain NPCs: =/\= Responses =/\= There was a brief pause as another officer entered the viewscreen image and spoke to the Caitian and then she noticed that they were receiving telemetry data detailing some areas of concern. She studied the data for several minutes as the others conversed, taking note of those places that had been marked. Finally, the newest arrival to the conversation spoke. Rosek: =/\= Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, the Chin’toka’s Mission Specialist at your service. =/\= St. Claire: =/\= Well met, Commander. =/\= Transport Captain NPCs: =/\= Responses =/\= Rosek: =/\= A pleasure to meet each of you. :: turns to Evan :: And a pleasure to see you again, Commander. Back in the big chair I see. =/\= Delano: =/\= Sharp eyes, as always, Commander Rosek. It’s a little ship. We had to compensate somewhere. =/\= Chin’toka Bridge: =/\= Response =/\= Transport Captain NPCs: =/\= Responses =/\= There was some more conversation and when it was all finished, Captain Mei’konda returned to the screen to give final instruction. Mei’konda: =/\= Very well then. If that’s all, then let’s get under way. Commander Delano, you’re leadiing the pack. Good luck to all of you. =/\= St. Claire: =/\= Thank you, Captain. I am looking forward to it. Yanktonai out. =/\= St. Claire: Helm, slow speed, fall to the aft position of the convoy and then increase speed to match the slowest ship. Keep us astern of the convoy by one thousand five hundred kilometers. If anything does happen, I want a little breathing room between us and the convoy. Helm: Aye, Captain. Reducing to one-half impulse and coming astern of the convoy. St. Claire: Tactical and Ops, keep your eyes peeled. Let’s make sure nothing slips up on us. A round of ‘ayes’ followed as she gave more instructions and her various officers carried out her orders. -- Captain Madison St. Claire Commanding Officer USS Yanktonai, NCC-67205 as simmed by Commander Serala First Officer Training Team Member Image Collective Member Chat Team Moderator/Facilitator Academy Statistician USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 A239412S10
  4. Okay, I had a good laugh at this one. The Lieutenant can't hear the Seiuri's telepathic communication with Raga, so his responses to it are just hilarious! ((Chief of Security’s Office, Security Complex, Deck 11, USS Chin’toka)) {{Day 27 of shoreleave}} Sam made a quick stop by his new quarters to check them out and had arrangements made to have his stuff brought to them. He then proceeded to deck eleven to meet his new Chief, again avoiding stares as he went. He inquired a little about who it was from Commander Kiax and was a little intimidated when he found out his new superior was an Al-Leyan. He managed to somehow get in a bar fight with one on Risa. He couldn’t remember much from that night, just that he woke up in a lot of pain the next day and his mother had to fill him in on what had happened. He was lucky he survived the encounter. Hopefully this wasn't that man. What an awkward encounter that would be. He took a deep breath, stepped to the door, rang the chime, and waited. Raga: Enter. He stepped through the door, passing another officer who was making their way out. He noticed vibrant sapphire eyes staring at him as he made his way into the room. He wasn’t sure if he should offer a friendly smile at the raven haired Al-Leyan, so he just offered him the PADD. Neam: Lieutenant Sameh Neam reporting for duty, Sir. :: coming to an attention stance :: Raga: Cool winds be with you, Lieutenant. And at ease. ::He nodded:: Sam took a relaxed stance as instructed, folding his hands together behind his back. He relaxed inside a little as the emotions coming from the Commander were neutral and relaxed, but he sensed another set of emotions. They weren’t coming from the Commander. It was a sense of calm and curiosity, but who were they coming from? He looked around the office as the Al-Leyan looked over the PADD. It was decorated with Al-Leyan decorations and what appeared to be climbing gear. As he looked farther, his eyes then met a pair of eyes from something that was staring intently at him. It was sitting on top of a metal perch, a bird of some sort, and he suddenly found himself intimidated more by it than the man that stood before him. He wanted to look away, but couldn’t pull himself to do so, until the Commander spoke again. Sylara: ~ Another mind voice animal. Afraid of Sylara. ~ Raga: ~ Afraid huh? ~ Well, it looks like everything’s in order, Lieutenant. He turned his attention back to the Commander and smiled. Neam: Great, Sir. Quite the pet you have. The Seiuri let out a soft hoot. Raga: No, you can’t eat him. Eat him? That was a joke right? Starfleet wouldn’t allow such a thing on board if it went around eating people. He wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. The owl’s head tilted slightly and she let out a slightly louder hoot. Raga: Because. ::He said dryly:: You ate the last one. The color drained from Sam’s face. The emotions from the Commander were that of relaxed demeanor and those from the bird seemed to fit that she was indeed hungry. Neam: Umm.. Sir? The Seiuri stretched her wings slightly then began bobbing her head up and down a little. Raga: Just don’t make any sudden movements and you’ll be fine. Sylara there used to hunt targs back on the homeworld. Among other things. Sam held as still as possible, even though his body told him to run. He nearly had a heart attack when the door behind him opened. McKnight: Am I interrupting something, boss? Raga: Response Sam still held still as the other officer spoke to the Commander and he remained silent. His heart was racing as he was still unsure if the bird was going to make a meal of him or not. Perhaps he should have stayed on the Churchill, but then again how did he know that coming to the Chin’toka would result in him being eaten by a large bird. McKnight: Sorry for that then, this will be quick. I have something I need your approval of. He politely walked past Neam and handed his friend the PADD. McKnight: Per your approval. Raga: Response Sam wondered how the man just walked in so calmly. Maybe the bird liked him? Maybe he could win the bird over? But how? Raga / McKnight: Reponses Sam let out a sigh of relief and chuckled. Neam: That was a good one, Sir. Your friend would certainly come in handy in scaring an enemy. That’s for sure. Raga / McKnight: Responses Neam: Lieutenant Sameh Neam. Nice to meet you, Lieutenant McKnight. Raga / McKnight: Responses ============ PNPC Lieutenant Sameh Neam Security / Tactical Officer As Simmed By Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow Chief Medical Officer USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 D238803EH0
  5. As a supervisor in a Customer Call Center, this sim really had me rolling, especially the last part of the flashback scene, so I hope you all get as much enjoyment out of it as I did. OOC: Flashback sequence & graphic were provided by Ensign Serren Tan (Gorkon) O238704AT0. This part (Lazarus XI: Epilogue) was never published as part of the original 10-part Lazarus Saga, which deals with the final arc of Alleran Tan. (( Brew Continuum, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka )) Chythar nodded slightly, pleased to hear the raktajino is worth the hype. Given the years of perfection that went into the recipe on Chris’s part, he felt that the secret was one worth preserving. He needed no such reminder, given his experience with being the Gorkon’s temporary morale officer during their time in the alternate universe. As painful and stale as his jokes were, he vowed never to serve biscuits like that ever again and stick to his job as a barista, since comedy didn’t suit him. Freki’s feline ears perk up at the mention of him from the Captain and he turned his head to the conversation, his paw tapping on Peter’s hand in a friendly way, so he knows that Freki is not ignoring him. Cadfael’s gaze was largely distracted by the comet, though he did turn and give a smile toward Freki once the counselor’s gaze once again returned to him. Azorius: Oh, but of course Captain :: He said nervously, sitting up just a little too straight. :: High morale is very important, I prescribe lots of enjoyment and social time for a healthy crew, also try the Raktajino, it’s to die for! Alentonis: Sorry, this is too fascinating for words. Um...I’ll have a full report on your desk tomorrow, lieutenant. Levinson: Response The captain reached up to tap his badge and make a call, talking with one of the crewmen. A moment later, the rest of the senior staff was summoned. That made sense, and the doc glanced at his watch before he reached up to touch his badge. Lael should just be getting ready to clock out about now, he thought. Skyfire: =/\= Dr. Skyfire to Commander Rosek. =/\= Rosek: =/\= Response =/\= Skyfire: =/\= Captain’s summoning the senior staff to the BC. If you’d be a dear and pick up Maddy before making your way up, I’ll be sure to have drinks ready when you arrive. =/\= Rosek: =/\= Response =/\= Once finished with his call, Esa made her way over to Chythar. Kiax: Looks like our work has been well received, wouldn’t you say? Skyfire: I would say it has indeed. Thanks for your assistance. Esa waved a dismissive hand past her face. Kiax: Oh, it was no bother. Besides, I’m happy to have helped. Got any plans for your first Expanse-Inspired recipe yet? Chythar glanced out the window toward the comet and considered. He hadn’t thought of one quite yet, but he figured he’d inquire of the scientists when they had a minute about who saw the comet first. Skyfire: Maybe something to do with that comet, perhaps. Once I figure out which of the blue collars discovered it first. Kiax: Ah, well I’m sure you’ll come up with something. I hear you’re quite good at these things… Speaking of which, I was sent a packet of Rose Capaya seeds from a relative of one of my previous hosts’ children. I was wondering if you’d fancy attempting to craft something with them? The barista quirked a brow in reply. “Interesting” was, perhaps a gross understatement and he didn’t recall having heard of that particular plant before. Skyfire: Interesting. I am certainly interested. :: Leaning forward. :: Tell me more. Kiax: It’s a fruit that grows on Trillus Prime. A bit like a raspberry, grows on a similar kind of vine, but bigger and far sweeter. They tend to grow to be about the size of a fist. I’ve never tried one, but I’m assured that they’re quite appealing. Ah, the Trill homeworld. He sighed heavily as he recalled his last visit to Trill and the letter he’d gotten in reply once he’d finished his dealings with a certain alternate version of Marlee Whale, prior host of the Tan symbiont. (( Flashback -- Skyfire’s Temporary Quarters, Starbase 118 Ops )) Chythar sat staring at the screen with a mug of coffee in his hand as he read over the letter for the fourteenth time, reading what it said. Dear Doctor Skyfire, My name is Chrel Bo, Second Minister of the Trillian Department of the Interior. I write to you today to express my sincere apologies regarding your recent experience on the Trill homeworld. The kidnapping of Starfleet officers is a matter we take extremely seriously, and rest assured we are exercising our due diligence in investigating this matter to the best of our abilities. We have no record of a “Jerra Syn” in the Symbiosis Committee records and are forced to concede this is likely an alias. Authorities in The Ring have been open and cooperative regarding evidence gathering, but the rooms in which you and Miss Whale were held appear to have been sterilized and we do not hold out much hope of any actionable evidence being recovered. Accordingly, while this case will be left open, it is with palpable regret that we are forced to conclude that the likelihood of reaching an acceptable conclusion is low. Please accept my sincere apologies for this incident, and accept the apologies of the Trill people for your experience. The computer chirped and then an automated message was spat out. Thank you for visiting the Trill homeworld! Please rate your experience on our planet using our travel guide program, Trilladvisor. Your recommendation out of five is: __3.6___ (Disclaimer: suggestion automatically generated based on previous recommendations) A complimentary T-shirt has been dispatched to your registered address. The doctor arched a brow as he read the 3.6 over and over again, then knocked back the remainder of his coffee and closed the screen. With a sigh, he made his way to the bed to begin packing his bags in preparation for his return to the Veritas. (( End Flashback )) Skyfire: I regret I never had the opportunity to do any sightseeing of the botanical gardens on Trillius Prime last time I was there. Kiax: My first host had quite the green thumb - won awards for his orchid collections. I can’t say I share his aptitude for it, but the one who sent me the seeds thought that I might enjoy indulging in botany as a pastime. So far, I’ve only managed to grow one or two orchids in the flower beds down in the Hydroponics Bay. Skyfire: Interesting. I’ll have to take another look. Kiax: ::With a wink:: Yeah, the white ones in the bed next to the tree. They’re mine, though I don’t tend to publicise it. Skyfire: And why not? I’d be happy to teach you what I know, and you can exercise those memories a bit? Kiax: Response Skyfire: In all seriousness, Esa? I would be delighted to work on new plant cultivations with someone of your host’s expertise for the BC here. Kiax: Response Skyfire: I noticed you were asking Cadfael about the other BCs. I can’t attest to the one on the Juneau, but I took good care of it on the Veritas after Teller left. The Astraeus was all my doing, though it admittedly was less complicated than the one here. The hologram, which you may’ve seen briefly on your way in, was the most complex piece of the puzzle. I’ll put it back once the majesty of the comet wears off. :: Momentary pause to glance over at the dogs. :: Devlin's the little beagle. Odin is Mei's rottweiler. Kiax: Response Off in the corner, Devlin was nuzzling Odin once again and giving his muzzle tender little beagle kisses in between a tug-of-war on one of the ropes. While it did look to Chythar that Devlin might’ve been winning, he guessed that the rottweiler was more just laying there for effect and to let the little beagle think he was winning. === Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer / Barista USS Chin’toka NCC-97187 O239002CS0
  6. Both @Lephi and @Toryn Raga have done such a beautiful job at developing this culture from an idea on paper into a living, breathing complexity of life. Yet another fine example of the deepening of who these people are by @Lephi. Keep up the amazing work! ---- ((ooc: Warning, this sim deals with some difficult subjects of oppression and colonialism. Read at your own preference.)) ((Mosh’ka Alet Camp, Eladar IV (Fari), Deep underground)) Qalipu’fari had walked the visiting aliens out of the main cavern. The caves all around him filled with screams of despair, most of which came from his own people. He offered little in the way of goodbyes to the released prisoners beyond a simple ruffling of his feathers. The man had tried to speak, but found his voice choked in a sob and only a light gasp escaped. He turned and headed back to the main cavern, beginning what felt like a slow march to his death. Tears welled in his eyes as he contemplated the life that had brought him here. He had never known freedom, not really. From a young age he was expected to answer to the Feladoni, or face the consequences. It hadn’t always been easy, and his political success within the Awane settlement had an unintended impact on her family who faced increased isolation from the Mekra’fari who judged his borderline fe’jit behaviour. Stepped on from one side, shunned and cast out from the other for his increasing volatility, Qalipu had no real choice in the matter when word had come from deep within the caves with talks of rebellion. The sounds of weapons firing jarred him back to the present moment, and the ever growing threat of danger. As he neared the gathered avians again, he heard Katnar’fari making an impassioned plea. Katnar’fari: Steady. These fe’jit (honorless) mean to take from Fari’s heart. Slain those born of her womb. We are Mekra’fari (Children of Mother), and we will not let them harm this sacred place. This is our day. Or honored death. As Qalipu made his way through the gathered Mekra’fari, he made eye contact for a brief moment with Katnar’fari. He picked up his rifle and thought back to the pledge he had made to her when he had first come to the caves. Fari is strong. We are strong. Fari is resilient. We are resilient. Together the children save the Mother. Ketlamite'teket (She Has Faith) The words reverberated in his head, the only sound he could hear. Everyone was watching the tunnel, waiting for whatever evil was headed their way. He positioned himself behind a stalagmite and aimed the barrel of his own weapon at the opening as well. Having seen the damage that the intruder’s weapons could do, he wasn’t sure the rock he stood behind would do much to save him. Sudden beams of light cut through the darkness of the cave and his throat tensed up. First one figure appeared and his finger hovered over the trigger. This was it. All these years of planning, plotting, and dreaming, and the fight to save Fari wasn’t even against the people who deserved it the most. He shook off the creeping self doubt and steadied his aim. Through the scope she could see two men standing in the entry and had just a brief moment to process it before the cavern filled with the sound of weapons fire once more. A horrible stench filled the air, unlike anything Qalipu had ever smelled before and the colour drained from his face as he realised he was smelling his friends and colleagues being struck by the invader’s disrupter beams. His stomach turned and he doubled over, sliding into a sitting position against the stalagmite. Sounds of war filled his ears. He could hear his people bravely laying their lives on the line, and he was stuck here frozen from fear. All the planning in the world could not have prepared him for the harsh realities of the real thing. His cheeks glistened and he poked his shaking head out from behind the rock to survey the battlefield. He was in a state of pure shock seeing all of the bodies strewn over the cave floor, and the air was thick with a smoke he had no desire to find the origin of. It had all happened so fast. A loud bang echoed through the cave and before he had a chance to think about it, he found himself thrown up against the cave wall. A rocky outcrop pierced his wiing and he cried out, looking around to assess the damage. Qalipu’fari: Katnar! Are you okay? Katnar’fari: I’ll be fine. We cannot stop...there are more. ::She winced, feeling her fur a bit singed:: He did his best to free his wing from the wall and braced his legs as he fell the last foot or so to the floor. He was alert now, the pain had enraged him, allowing him to overcome his fear. He wasted little time, and after tucking his damaged wing in behind him, began fighting the nearest Caraadian. Katnar’fari: The Song Shards!! ::She yelled to alert her kin to the danger and rushed to the sacred cave:: The elder Mekra’fari’s words made his heart sink. The song shards were one of the things the Mekra’fari considered most sacred. It was bad enough that she had shown the peaceful outsiders, and now this invading scum was going to defile the sacred cave. As he rushed to the cave, he was outraged to see several of them attempting to rip sound shards from the walls. He fired several shots into the crowd to get their attention and noticed two of the beings drop to the floor, stunned. He had only hit one of them, and turned to find the source of the second shot just in time to see Katnar’fari struck and isolated. Before he could make his way over to his troubled friend, two more Caraadians flanked him with their guns pointed right at him. He threw himself at the invader to his right first, swinging the butt of the barrel of the gun in an upwards motion causing him to stumble backwards. In the lull while the man regained his footing, Qalipu quickly pointed his rifle at the other man and pulled the trigger. He didn’t have a chance to refocus on the other man before an intense noise pierced the air. The armed invaders dropped to their knees and blood began leaking from their ears. Strange, he thought to himself, the song was quite beautiful today. He closed his eyes, and let the sound wash over him. In that moment, there was peace. Images of Kinikwejit’fari and others that had fallen not just today but everyday under the oppressive Feladoni regime floated in front of her eyes. The bodies of the last remaining Caraadians hit the dirt around her and the thump that each one made brought a name of the fallen to his lips. Qalipu’fari: ::Thud:: Kinikwejit’fari. ::Thud:: Aplekemu'fari ::Thud:: Sasqatu'fari. There was a brief pause before he continued. He opened his eyes and looked to the ceiling, bringing his elbows together and extending his hand upwards in a V as he spoke. Qalipu’fari: Iga'lul, nigmaq. (I release you, my family) ((Small timeskip)) He opened his eyes and wiped his tear-stained face. Looking around he noticed Katnar slumped over on the ground and ran over to help. As he got closer, he noticed that the more peaceful aliens had returned at some point. He had been too distracted to notice before, but found himself thankful they had decided to come back. Qalipu’fari: ::Resigned:: Please. I know I’ve no right to ask it, but she needs your help! Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response He stood and watched as the visitors tended to his friend,, quietly praying as they worked. He breathed a big sigh of relief when she came too again. Katnar’fari: Fari…::She gasped:: What happened? Qalipu’fari: I could ask you the same thing. Those Car-aad-eens have been dispatched for now. I have a feeling more will come now though. Katnar’fari: Response Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I know you have a non-interference rule, but you never did answer our question. What if somebody from the world ::emphasizes word:: asks for your assistance. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: I fear for Fari now. Our lives will never be the same, and now we have more hostiles to worry about. Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response Qalipu’fari: Again, on behalf of my people. Wela'lin, na ta'n teliula'lin. (Thank you, I do well by you) Snow/Levinson/Rosek/Katnar’fari/Any: response ‐--------------------------------------- Awane'jit Qalipu'fari Awane'jit Tribal Leader Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed by, -- ============================= Lieutenant JG Lephi Assistant Chief Engineering Officer Community History Team Member Chat Team Member Wiki Team Member USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 A239706L10 =============================
  7. So many wonderfully written sims have been written during our first contact mission to Eladar IV that I would love to be able to post them all. The amazing writers behind them took the time to really pour their heart and soul into them that they did indeed hit you in the feels. This one in particular sent chills down my spine. Thank you, @Lael Rosek for this one. Keep up the good work Chin’toka, you all are awesome 💙 OOC: This post may contain descriptions that could trigger unsettling feelings. Read with care. ((Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV)) Having heard more than enough, Lael decided to shift the conversation in a different direction. She would have a discussion with Snow later in a less public setting about tact. Rosek: I admire you, Katnar’fari, for your integrity under duress. I cannot imagine it has been easy to hold to your beliefs given the circumstances. However, I hope you understand that it goes against the primary law governing myself and my officers to interfere in the natural development of a society. Qalipu’fari: ::under her breath:: That much is clear. ::turning to Rosek:: I think you'll find that you don't have much of a say in the matter this time. Katnar’fari: I have had to sacrifice some of my beliefs to try and change things. I accept this. The dishonor I bring is my own. All of us here are among the dishonored now. But we will not sacrifice everything that we are if there’s a better way. I do not wish us to become like the Feladoni. ::She sighed softly:: Are you not interfering just by being here on our world? She’d had her share of difficulties over the years with the Prime Directive and how those around her had chosen to apply it. As a younger officer, it had always seemed like a convenient excuse to escape helping others. But now that she was in a tenuous position, she had a greater appreciation for the reasons Starfleet had put it into place. Early Earth starship captains had encountered enough issues to a great enough degree that it became necessary. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: Our Prime Directive prevents officers from abusing their position for personal gain. It has served us well over the centuries since its inception. Katnar’fari: And if someone in that society asks for help? Qalipu’fari: Or demands it? She knew that the beings were in no place to demand anything. They wouldn’t resort to violence to coerce them to help. There was a slight stutter to her breath as it exited her lips, betraying the emotion she was trying so hard to hold back. This was no easy situation they’d landed themselves in the middle of. Anyone else would have high-tailed it out long ago. Rosek: ::murmurs:: I wish we could. But the consequences for those who disobey the Prime Directive can be extensive. Her chest ached and she struggled to draw breath, torn between her duty and her conscience. Could she really leave these people to fend for themselves? An ironic grin twisted her lips. She had no choice. She refused to be responsible for anymore unnecessary deaths. Suddenly, the noise in the room beyond stopped. Lael was keenly aware of it as she hadn’t been able to entirely block it out. The lack of noise was even more deafening. On the monitors, she saw a small group enter the main area, causing the Feladoni and the bat-like beings to freeze. Her gaze narrowed. She couldn’t tell clearly, but she could have almost sworn they were-- Levinson: Who are these? Snow: Who is that? :: at the same time Noa asked her question :: Rosek: ::nods:: Caraadians. But what are they doing here? They hadn’t detected a Caraadian presence in the system when they’d entered it, but was it possible the metals had thrown off their sensors that much? Then she realized that the Chin’toka hadn’t attempted to make contact. Even with their comm badges in the hands of their captors, the devices would have made noise if the ship had tried to get in touch. The hairs on the back of her neck raised, suspecting that the Caraadians weren’t limited to ground troops. Qalipu’fari: ::sounding the word out:: Car-aad-eens? Katnar’fari: You say that as if these are not from your own people. Are they not from your crew here to rescue you? Levinson: They are not. Snow: Lieutenant Levinson is correct. They’re most certainly not. Qalipu’fari: More of your coalition? Katnar’fari: They are armed. If they are not here for you, then why have they come? That was a very good question. Her gaze flickered to the screen and her lips thinned. Watching the scene took her back to the holovids she’d been shown at the Academy. Though they hadn’t impacted her as severely as the torture vids, they’d still been enough to unsettle her. She’d seen enough combat in her years that many would expect her to be desensitized. A bat-like creature huddled in a corner protecting a young one caught her attention. No. Far from it. If anything, the more she saw of this kind of violence, the more she felt compelled to act. When it had been a matter between the two races native to this world, it had been different. The Caraadians were outsiders. An unstable element introduced into the natural atmosphere of this world. Surely she had some responsibility to prevent genocide from an outside source. Levinson: They are not of our coalition. I believe the most likely reason for their presence is your world, not you. Qalipu’fari: What do they want with Fari and her people? One by one, she watched the execution-style deaths of countless bat-like creatures. The anguished sound from Katnar had moisture gathering against her will, a pain worse than any she’d ever known constricting her lungs and throat. It hurt to breathe and it was nearly impossible to think. The neural suppressants and her mental shields were no match for the maelstrom of emotions swirling in the room, both from their captors and her colleagues. Was this what she’d become? Cold and heartless, bound by a duty that came at the price of her conscience? Katnar’fari: Fari save us!!...they...they destroyed her. Her body...there’s nothing left for us to free her spirit. They destroyed her spirit. She can’t join our ancestors. Qalipu’fari: Gesasijig gloqowejg wa'so'q wela'gw. (The stars shine bright in heaven at night). Now she will never see them. She clenched and unclenched a fist at her side in an effort to release the pent-up emotion. They had to leave, but she was frozen, her feet refusing to obey her mind. Levinson: My belief is that they are here for mining. Dilithium, the crystals you have shown us, is an important component for faster than light travel. Katnar’fari: Go, you’ve seen what the Feladoni don’t wish even their own kind to see. How they relocate us. You must survive to tell the truth..please. ::Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke, still in shock:: I know you said you cannot interfere, but please, if you die while under our care then it will bring even more destruction to our world. I would not wish to see Fari burn because your people might seek revenge or justice for your deaths. Levinson: ::Without sound:: I will. Snow: Our people would never take things that far. We value life as much as you all do and we try to avoid killing if at all possible. Empty words, no matter how true they might be. Qalipu’fari: We can get you safely to the edge of our cave, if you need. Lael simply nodded, not trusting herself to speak. They had to leave before she could change her mind. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to live with, but it would be easier than living with more blood on her hands. Levinson: I believe that would be adequate. ::Beat:: We still require our technology, however. Snow: Katnar’fari, please. You and your people have to fight back. You have the means to do so. There is no shame in it. You don't have to kill them. You're people know these caves better than anyone. This is your home. :: her voice pleaded with the Merka’fari woman :: Only you can change your fate. Katnar’fari: Response Qalipu’fari: We have caused you much harm, this is the least we can do. Levinson: ::Nodding:: I understand. Snow / Levinson / Katnar’fari: Responses Qalipu’fari: As Katnar'fari has said, please. Tell our story. What Qalipu was asking...Lael couldn’t imagine ever having the mental fortitude to speak of what she’d seen today to anyone. Even the mandatory counseling session that she knew would follow this mission was going to be excruciating. Perhaps one day when she had enough distance, it would be more than an after-action report. But not now. Not even soon. Snow: Good luck to you all. The tricorder and commbadge felt heavy in her hand as it was returned to her. Each step after felt like her boots were made of lead. Her bad leg stiffened up more than once and it took all she had to keep moving. She remained utterly silent as they walked, her mood somber as she tried to assuage her conscience. She’d done the right thing. It wasn’t their place to interfere with the natural development of a society. The regulation chased itself around in her mind. Her thoughts consumed so much of her attention that she was scarcely aware of what was going on around her. Levinson: The metals around us interfere with my scans. I cannot get a clear reading of lifesigns. Snow: Commander, is there really nothing we can do? I really can't just sit on the sidelines as the Caaradians tear this world apart, killing innocent people. It isn't right.. Rosek: ::stiffens:: It’s not our place. They were the only words she could muster and even as they left her lips, they sounded empty and meaningless. Her gaze flickered to the walls, noting drawings that she hadn’t seen there when they’d arrived. Likely, she’d been too lost in the possible danger to notice. Stories. She’d read about how some cultures depicted their history on whatever surfaces they could find. These, it would seem, were no different. Generations of bat-like creatures. Their triumphs, their failures. Memories of Abigail’s last moments seized her mind and her thoughts went instantly to Maddy, and then to the young child cowering near its dead elder. To the child being cradled in the arms of its parent. Levinson: I do not believe it will take us long to reach the surface. She stopped, making up her mind. Rosek: oO I might get court-martialed for this, but to hell with it. Oo Turning on her heel, she faced her team, her expression determined. For the first time since the violence had begun, she felt a weight lift from her chest as she made her decision. Rosek: I’m going back. Levinson: ::Turning around:: Commander? Snow: Wait.. what? Rosek: Those people in there are dying. I’m going to help them. Pausing, she regarded the two women in front of her. She couldn’t ask them to risk their careers. It was a decision they had to make for themselves. Rosek: I can’t ask you to turn your backs on your careers. ::jerks her head toward the exit:: If you want to walk away, I won’t blame you. Levinson: ::Still considering what Commander Rosek said:: I... see, Commander. Very well. Snow: I take it you have a plan? For a long moment, she was at a loss for words. It humbled her more than she could say that Levinson and Snow were willing to follow her into this. Their commitment moved her to near tears. Clearing her throat, she blinked back the moisture and refocused her attention on the situation at hand. Rosek: ::pauses:: Frankly? Not really. We have no weapons, so there’s a good chance that, unless the Chin’toka sends back-up, this will be a one-way trip. Snow: :: nods :: I'm with you. Levinson: Response She nodded. At least she had her hand to hand. She’d probably stand a decent chance. Her gaze flickered to Snow. Lephi would likely never forgive her if something happened to the woman. Snow was a decent fighter but was likely no match for energy weapons. It was going to take a hell of a miracle for them to get out of this alive. She sighed, closing her eyes and picturing her fiance and their daughter aboard the Chin’toka, unaware of what she was about to do. The moisture that she’d been fighting back finally spilled over at the thought of being separated from them, even if it was not forever. Not for the first time today, she clutched at the cross around her neck, covered by her uniform, and prayed for protection. God was calling and she was going to answer. Pressing her commbadge to open the line on the off chance that it gave the Chin’toka something to lock onto, she pocketed it and looked in the direction they’d come from. Snow: On your lead, Commander. Levinson: Response Rosek: ::exhales shakily and looks at each one of them in turn:: Ladies, in case this goes south, I--it has been the greatest pleasure serving with you. Without another word, she took off at a run back down the tunnel and into the fray. When they entered the chamber, she grabbed the first Caraadian she saw and disabled him in a matter of seconds. For long moments, others stared in surprise before rushing toward her. Rosek: oO Once more into the fray, dear friends. Oo Snow / Levinson: Responses She disarmed her opponents one by one, scarcely noticing the blows she took as she rendered them unconscious. If she survived this, she was going to be very sore. Any: Responses ((OOC: Didn’t want to leave too many tags here as I don’t know what the other away team and the Chin’toka plan to do.)) ---- Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D. Chief Engineer USS Chin'toka, NCC-97187 I238110RH0
  8. I just have to put this stellar piece by @Toryn Raga up here for everyone to appreciate. The man really knows how to tell a story and bring life to a first contact species. Top notch writing. I'm sure this will go down as 118's least violent kidnapping. (( Ladonnik Nature Preserve, Eladar IV (Fari) )) The scouts had been thorough. In some cases it was easy finding information, when one was considered little more than a pet. Those who considered themselves masters often weren’t cautious about what they said around those that were practically invisible. There, but forgotten because it suits the one in charge until they either made themselves known through irritation, or were actually needed for something. When she had received word that not only had a small vessel of unknown design entered the atmosphere and was last seen in an area where several notable Feladoni elite had residences, but that a handpicked group of Feladoni security had been tasked to escort some dignitaries, she had put the two together. These visitors were exploring the preserve, under escort, though none of her people understood how they had gotten there. No further reports of vessels entering their planet had come in. Which concerned her. Still, this presented an opportunity that they couldn’t pass us. And that Katnar felt she had to personally handle. She’d gathered Qalipu’fari and a dozen of their best and headed into the preserve. It had taken little time to find them. The Feladoni were known and easy to spot. But seeing aliens for the first time was a shock itself. Three looked similar in many ways. Fair of skin. Feminine. Two had pointed ears. And one was male, probably. And he was Blue! Katnar forced the shock down and made some subharmonic chirps of calming encouragement to the Mekra’fari with her. Using the tones and changes in sound far below at least what the Feladoni could hear to direct her people to spread out and stalk towards the group of what could be scientists. At least they were unarmed. This was a dance they were used to. Sneaking up on Feladoni. Taking them down silently. A quick strike to the back of the neck here. Or grabbing the mouth and nose and pulling them into a choke hold until they passed out. Violence not done in defense. It was unheard of among her kind. They should only touch, or take an item, or leave one behind to show they got close but didn’t harm. But now, they had to act. Do the unheard of to help their kind break the yoke of inequality. Snow: Anyone else hear that? Rosek: ::softly:: Yes. I have the feeling our Feladoni escort is no longer with us. Levinson: ::In a lower volume and relatively neutral tone:: I concur. Something has happened. th’Koro: Response The Feladoni security on the perimeter went down quietly, quickly. Katnar moved up closer, and stepped out of the brush, weapon in hand and leveled at the group. The rustling in the bushes was one of the Feladoni security not being incapacitated quickly enough. She would have to speak to her people later. Katnar’fari: Do not move, please. ::She held her sonic disruptor rifle pointed at the group:: She had no idea if these aliens could even understand her, but she hoped that, having seen their escorts with weapons, that they would recognize that her and the dozen Mekra’fari that made themselves known surrounding them, all similarly armed, would get the hint. Rosek: I am Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek of the Federation starship Chin’toka. I respectfully request that you state your intentions. th’Koro: Response Qalipu’fari: Response Katnar’fari: I do not know how you speak like we do, but it is good. It will make this easier. Snow: It’s a universal translator. It helps us communicate with and understand other species as we explore the galaxy. We mean you no harm. Qalipu’fari: Response th’Koro: Response Katnar’fari: We do not wish to harm you, but we will if you leave us no choice. You will come with us. Qalipu’fari: Response th’Koro: Response Katnar’fari: ::She raised the rifle in her hands:: Then we will render you unconscious and you will come with us anyway. The choice is yours, but make it now. ::She said directly to the one who seemed to be their chief (Rosek):: Rosek: ::turns to her team:: Looks like we’re taking a slight detour. Tricorders out and keep your eyes on the terrain. Wouldn’t want any sprained ankles for Doctor Snow to need to fix. Snow: Thank you. ::quietly:: Noa took a deep breath before even considering opening her mouth for a reply. Levinson: ::Nodding:: Understood, Commander. th’Koro: Response Rosek: Your lead, … ::pauses:: How can I refer to you? ::grins:: I don’t want to assume and, in my culture, “Hey, you” isn’t the most polite thing to say to someone. It was good that these aliens were cooperative. Already they were branches ahead of most Feladoni, who would have certainly fought back and lost. Qalipu’fari: Response Katnar’fari: Good. ::She said sternly:: You may call me Katnar’fari. And before we leave, you must relinquish all of your technology to us. ::She raised a hand quickly:: We do not wish to keep it or study it. Only to ensure we are safe. These are unknown to us. Rosek: ::inclines her head:: As you wish. Qalipu’fari: Response She nodded to the pointy eared alien and made several sub harmonic tones to instruct her people to take their devices away from them. And to flank the group, keeping an eye out for Feladoni as well as watching their captives. Katnar’fari: My people will make sure you do not cross anything dangerous. She offered up after several minutes of travelling to assuage any fears they might have of their surroundings. th’Koro: Response Qalipu’fari: Response Eventually, they came out of the woods and approached the mouth of a dimly lit cave. Snow: If it's not too much to ask. May I inquire what you want from us? With a nod, the other pointy eared one added their own question. It was odd, Mekra’fari ears were quite large, meant to pick up all manner of sounds. Theirs were much smaller, but she knew better than to assume that they could hear as poorly as the Feladoni. Levinson: And for how long do you intend on keeping us with you? Rosek / th’Koro / Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: You are an opportunity. One my people and I have been hoping for for a long time. As for how long we keep you with us. ::She looked to the one who asked with a soft, but unwavering gaze:: As long as is necessary. Levinson: I see. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Qalipu’fari: Responses Eventually their journey led them to a cave in the hillside that gradually descended downwards. Katnar’fari kept her eyes on the aliens the entire time, while their scouts guided them down, down, down. Over the next two hours they walked through one twisting tunnel after another, often seemingly backtracking and turning in just about every direction. Every Mekra’fari among them knew precisely where they were going. Their echolocation gave them the precise layout and memory of their well used tunnels. But the intentional trip through the caves was meant to disorient their prisoners in the hopes that should they escape, they would have a difficult time finding their way back. Or so she hoped. Katnar’fari: We are here. She announced as the group emerged within the larger cavern that they had been using as their headquarters. Having passed by their outer sentires who were well concealed in the tunnels, some hanging from the ceiling to remain out of sight. The chamber was filled with tables, computers and various crates full of food, necessary equipment and materials and even weapons. Many with the telltale markings of Feladoni security upon them. As they entered the previous sounds of conversations suddenly halted as the dozens upon dozens of freedom fighters she’d gathered got their first glimpse of beings not from their world. Hushed voices and many wide eyes were met with a droning sub harmonic chorus of tones that mingled with the curious voices taking in the sight of aliens. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Levinson / Qalipu’fari: Responses Katnar’fari: Take a look. Our world will never be the same from this day forward. See to it they are secured properly. They are our guests and our prisoners. No harm shall come to them, unless they bring it upon themselves by trying to escape or call for help. She stated clearly and so the group they’ve abducted could understand she meant every word. Unlike the Feladoni, her kind provided proper care for their captives. Snow / Rosek / th’Koro / Levinson / Qalipu’fari: Responses ======================== Lofali’jit Katnar’fari Formal Tribal Leader Leader of the Mekra’fari Equality Movement As simmed humbly by Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga Second Officer/SOR Team Leader/Acting FO USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 PodCast Team Member Training Team Member Chin'toka Staff Member Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Toryn_Raga
  9. Thank you, @Mei'konda ,for making us laugh. I throughly enjoyed the read as I know some others did as well. Also, I hope I did this right. Lol (( Inside Tych Manor, Elazar IV )) Kiax: With all due respect, Representative, that doesn’t really seem fair. Surely we should be dealing with a representative from both species governing bodies here? Yourself, and a Mekra’fari. Dagden was just opening his mouth to angrily rebuke Kiax when Serala stepped in. He closed his mouth, and did his best to settle down. This was an uncomfortable situation to be in. Once again, no one in his life would dare question him to this point, not even his own family. It made him angry. It also made him feel afraid, because if this Kiax got upset enough, would she pull some hidden weapon and simply kill him where he sat? He had no idea… but he didn’t doubt that they might have that kind of technology. As Serala spoke, he took the time to settle down. Serala: That’s enough, Commander. We are their guests here and have no right to dictate to them how they govern their world. No matter our own opinions on the matter. Kiax: Aye, Commander. Kiax might not respect him, but at least she quieted down when instructed to by her leader. Drawing in a deep breath, he exhaled it slowly, and glanced toward Azorius when the furred one hastened to speak so that he could further smooth the tensions. Azorius: We mean no disrespect, Representative. We are just accustomed to a different way of life. As you know, we value all species equally and share our ships, our resources, our lives with every member of our crew. Their race, gender and background are irrelevant. It is hard for some of us to understand your ways as it is for you to understand ours. Serala: We have had our share of conflicted opinions about others of different species in our own histories. But we have moved past that kind of attitude, and some take it a bit more personally that others. However, it’s not our place to dictate how your world behaves. All species equal? The notion of idealists, and of aliens who had just visited this planet and who, as far as he could tell, had thankfully not met the Mekra’fari. As much as he wanted to make use of these people and what they had to offer, it was getting difficult to suppress his irritation with them. Zadok: Response Serala: I am curious, however. Why do you view the Mekra’fari in such a negative light? What is it about them that you consider inferior? Our scans seemed to indicate an equal level of development between the two of your species. They really didn’t seem to have any idea. As advanced as they were, Dagden decided to try his best to explain. He slowed his speech and leaned toward Serala a touch, as though explaining a simple concept as best he could to a child. Tych: I don’t view them in a negative light, Commander, I only view them as they are. As they’ve proven themselves to be over centuries of coexistence. Surely you can understand that not all races are intellectually equal to each other. That must be the case, even where you come from. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response Serala: I am confused. If they are so inferior, how is it they managed to develop along the same technological lines that your own people did? I mean, we have detected a third species on this planet and they are clearly at a more primitive state of development. Perhaps you could explain this for us? So, they’d picked up the Elnazri beneath the surface of the oceans. Dagden once again felt his frustration growing. Tych: General, could you… take this question, please? Zadok: Response Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response Serala: Fascinating. So, how does it work then? What is the exact relationship between the Feladoni and the Mekra’fari? Dagden spread his hands out on the table. Tych: Do your people have pets, Lieutenant Commander Serala? Zadok: Response Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response Tych: Then it’s very simple. Think of them as… exceptionally intelligent pets. They are usually well behaved, and quite useful. We occasionally allow some of them to work in our businesses. Even the Spacefold complex has some Mekra’fari employees. We share technology with them, hence the… shared technological lines that you mentioned before. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response Dagden finally shook his head. He felt as though they were going in circles in this conversation, and that it was time he asserted his authority over his own home. And, to an extent, his planet. Tych: Well. In any case, this has been a highly productive meeting, but I feel that perhaps you have questions that I am simply unable to answer. Or… :: He paused, glancing at Kiax. :: that I am going to be judged harshly for answering. Perhaps, then, I should retract my previous statement, and give you my blessing to go and meet some Mekra’fari for yourself. No doubt, an interaction with them will confirm what I’ve told you. Zadok: Response Kiax / McKnight / Azorius: Response =============== Representative Dagden Tych Political Representative overseeing the GSEO (Grand Space Exploration Organization) As Simmed By Aaron / Captain Mei’konda Delano / Lieutenant JG Jamie MacNemar M239002M10
  10. Just sharing this fantastic furtherance of utter chaos. I had to pass on @Amuro McKnight's quick thinking for everyone to enjoy. The twists and turns in this are one of the many reasons I love collaborative writing here. (( Corridor, Tibro IV Headquarters )) As the group advanced to Lephi's position, Amuro can see the damage was extensive over here as well. He continued to scan as they walked. Mei’konda: What’ve you got, Lieutenant? With everyone scanning the room, they all see the strange readings. Raga: Can’t say I’ve ever seen the tricorder act up like this. Lephi: Captain, you have perfect timing ::rubs the back of her head:: There is a strange box underneath this bunk and it is emanating very strange signals. The Caitian captain let out a wry chuckle. Mei’konda: My apologies, Lieutenant. A maanufactured object of some type? Almost everyone was checking their tricorders now, corroborating the situation. Amuro crouched down to look under the bunk for the box and shined a line from his bracer. Strin: McKnight: Well strange is a pretty vague thing to say...but oddly accurate. What is it? Lephi: It definitely was manufactured, and although I haven't determined its purpose yet, I saw a cloaked figure escaping in the shadows as I approached so it seems safe to say it isn't a pleasant gift. When he heard cloaked person, Amuro immediate tried to change up his scanning. There's only a few ways to detect an invisible person. His dad taught him some from the War. If this cloak is similar to the Dominion, cloaking someone doesn't mean he's not a ghost, he still would interact with the environment around him, just invisible. So Amuro tried to emit things from his bracer so it would bounce off objects in the room. Thankfully, it didn't come back to him with an extra echo. Strin: McKnight: The invisible man is the last thing we need right now. Amuro got back up and made sure the room was cleared. If there indeed was a cloaked person in the room, he's gone now but do the locals have this sort of technology. Raga: A cloaked figure? ::He looked back to Strin and Dels’an:: It seems you might have more disloyal personnel than we thought. Or there’s a third party inciting things. Lephi: I didn't see much of him, regrettably. Well of course...he was invisible, thought Amuro with a grin on his face. Mei’konda: Untiil we can perform a more thorough analysis of this device or fiind the person who planted it, anything else is pure speculation. Catching the Captain’s intent he nodded and kept watch over the others, casting his gaze out to the corridor outside on occasion. Strin: McKnight: We should get a team down here and carefully - He was interrupted as the engineer was already jumping ahead to grab the box. Lephi: Captain, I've found the source of the confusion ::pause:: sort of… There was a brief pause and the engineer ducked back under the bunk. Lephi: The device seems to have been electrochemically coated with something that our sensors can't detect. Strin, could you provide some insight here? Strin: Response Mei’konda: Looks to me that we miight’ve discovered the source of the traansporter interference, as well. It’s emitting non-ionizing radiaation on a wavelength that could interfere with beaming. Lieutenant Snow, Mr. McKnight, could you please verify that this thing is saafe to handle? Amuro wanted to roll his eyes. They didn't know what this thing is and Lephi just picked it up brazenly without any thought of caution. He tried to scan the box directly but it wasn't working. Snow: We can try, Sir. ::standing up:: McKnight: Whatever this thing is made up, I can't penetrate it with my scanner. We need to open it. Captain Delano nodded. Mei’konda: Continue your initial analysis, then. I’ll be just outsiide. The Captain walked passed her and out into the hallway and tapped his combadge so Toryn stood in the middle of the room. Mei’konda: =/\= Mei’konda to Chin’toka. =/\= Snow joined Amuro and Lephi in examining the box. Amuro was trying to be cautious and rather they aren't so close to a box of unknown purpose. Then his bracer picked up something. Raga: Does anyone else hear that? McKnight: I hear it, Raga. Lephi, the box! He backed away from Lephi, who was still holding the box. Lephi/Strin/Mei’konda: Responses Snow: Perhaps you should put it down.. ::Concerned:: Raga: Everyone, back away from the box. Now! Lephi/Strin/Mei’konda: Responses Amuro was about to run away as Snow grabbed his arm. He managed to at least put himself in between her and whatever was coming before a shockwave blasted them all back. Because they were so close, both him and Snow were sent flying. Thankfully, they did not go far as Raga managed to grab them both as he regain his footing and grounded himself but it wasn't enough and they all fell over together in a pile and then began to slide back from the force. Toryn cried out briefly in pain before the wind was knocked out of him and slumped to the ground. By the door, gripping Amuro and Snow tightly, though his grip on Lephi had slipped when his arm dislocated. Raga: Ahh! ::His breathing hyperventilated as he sought to find his breath that had been stolen from him:: Amuro, using all his strength, managed to steady everyone together. Lephi/Strin/Mei’konda/Snow/Dels’an: Responses With the shockwave stopped, Amruo got up slowly as he managed looked to see his bracer's emergency beacon had activated when it detected the danger and that he was unconscious for a few seconds, hence why it turned on and alerted the Chin'toka. McKnight: Toryn...you broken? Raga: Forget..ah..my arm, is everyone okay? Amuro shook his head to clear the dizziness from the shockwave. He was only thinking about getting up and making sure the area is secured. Whatever this thing is, they need to get away from it or get rid of it. Lephi//Strin/Mei’konda/Snow/Dels’an: Responses Raga: Whatever you’re going to do...Ungh! ::He grunted and his breath shuddered a moment:: Do it fast..that box is humming now. Lephi/Strin/Mei’konda/Snow/Dels’an: Responses Amuro crawled towards the box and managed to get to it. The moment he did, he took his commbadge and slapped it onto the box. McKnight: =/\= Chin'toka, McKnight. Lock onto my commbadge and beam it somewhere far away from us. We've encountered a device. It might be another bomb. =/\= Chin'toka:
  11. Lephi did such an amazing job with Ozu's characterization. It's added some impressive depth to our current storyline and I just had to share. ((Conference Room, Planetary Defense Command Center Keibrom, Tibro)) Dehan was stressed. The Grand Admiral was convinced a Starfleet presence was necessary, but he had personally seen the unrest it had caused among the people the last time. It made him nervous as to how much the Starfleeters returning could escalate the already existing tension between the Grand Admiral’s supporters and the General’s supporters. His brow furrowed as he studied the reports coming in from regions across Tibro. So far only small incidents were breaking out and security and military forces had managed to keep them from escalating beyond a few loud words. It seemed that the Grand Admiral’s name still carried some weight even in the current political climate. Vet'od grumbled to himself as he made his way into the conference room. The orders had come down that they were to expect Starfleet personnel to arrive soon. Another weakness the Admiral had, he thought as he smirked to himself. No self-respecting Valcarian should so openly welcome interlopers, especially not ones who have proven as troublesome as these. As he entered the room, he laid eyes on Dehan, who he was to be working with throughout this endeavor. He made a conscious effort to bury any personal feelings he had at the moment, it wouldn't serve him any purpose to lose his calm and collected demeanor while there was work to be done. Ozu: Greetings, Dehan. Dehan turned at Vet’od’s arrival, sparing the man a brief smile before his attention returned to the electronic writing tablet in his hand. The man had always seemed pleasant enough and did his job with no complaints. It was all Dehan could ask in the present climate. Everyone was under some sort of stress, but admittedly his current position was much less stressful than his previous one in any number of ways. He’d been grateful that the Grand Admiral had accepted him as her aide. Strin: Good day, Vet’od. ::looks up from his electronic writing tablet:: I trust the preparations for the Starfleeters arrival are going well? The question bothered Vet'od more than it should have. Not because it reminded him of the impending arrival of those uniformed menaces, but because of the underlying message in it that called the quality of his work into question. He was a proud Valcarian, and took great pride in all of his work. The man standing in front of him reading reports from electronic writing tablets should know that better than most, given their work history together. Ozu: As good as they can be, I suppose. Hopefully the new security measures we're putting in place will help ease worries and tensions from both sides. ::slight pause:: Are those the latest reports? How does it look? The question was innocent enough, Vet'od didn't know a single Valcarian who didn't have some sort of vested interest in the rising conflict levels in the region. That they were likely hoping for two different outcomes was a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, and one that didn't bother him too much. If it had been anyone else, Dehan might have sworn he detected offense in the man’s expression. He mentally shook the thought from his mind and refocused his attention on what Vet’od had been saying. The security measures. Yes. They’d spent several late nights together with other key personnel developing the contingencies. He offered the man the electronic writing tablet to view for himself. Strin: Minor breakouts, but nothing our teams haven’t been able to handle so far. ::pauses:: But then the majority of the population has no idea that we’re expecting the Starfleeters. When they show up and word gets around, I expect things will get interesting. Interesting was a word that Vet'od could agree with. There was no way of knowing quite what to expect when word got out, but he knew it would be foolish to expect anything remotely peaceful to come of it. He had spent far too much time going over the different possible outcomes to be this naive. As he took the electronic writing tablet from his colleague and began perusing the contents, he couldn't help feeling a little disheartened at the words he was hearing. Of course, by all outward appearances, he was displeased. He wouldn't be in the position he was if he hadn't learned to control his expressions. That the Grand Admiral’s fleet was able to make such easy work of the General’s ships did not bode well for his future. He handed the electronic writing tablet back to the man. Ozu: Quite right, interesting indeed. I'd like to believe we've prepared for every possibility, but one never knows when it comes to the Starfleeters. They always seem full of surprises. A wry, unamused grin crossed Dehan’s lips and he nodded. That much he could agree. Before he’d deflected and cozied up to the Grand Admiral, he’d served in the unit sent to hunt down the Grand Admiral and the Starfleeters with her. They’d underestimated the cleverness of their enemy and had failed to achieve their mission objective. That day, he’d learned Starfleeters were adaptable, making them rather formidable for anyone who opposed them. Strin: ::huffs softly:: A kind way of putting it. I certainly wouldn’t want to cross their captain. oO Been there, no desire to go there again. Oo Vet'od took a minor step back, before considering the ramifications of such a move and covered it by reaching for a electronic writing tablet that was sitting on the conference room table. If he didn't know any better, he'd say that was a threat. No matter though, all Starfleeters were the same to him, merely troublesome interlopers to be snuffed out at the earliest convenience. He took two steps forward towards Dehan, to compensate for the ground he had conceded moments before. Ozu: The preparations are well underway on my side. I trust your team is ready as well? Given the tensions, I think we can all agree that it is important this goes well. Strin: ::nods:: Yes, absolutely. The last thing we need is to give either side ammunition or a motive to cast the first stone to spark a civil war. Our culture and ways wouldn’t survive such a major planetary division. Ozu: ::glances at Dehan curiously:: Interesting choice of words, my friend. There are some among us who might say the Valcarian Empire is already at war with itself. ::pause for effect:: Wouldn't you agree? Dehan’s brows furrowed. While there was already infighting, he didn’t believe it had quite reached the level of civil war. He’d seen war in his time with Tibro’s 1st Special Forces Batallion. What they were seeing was a walk in the park by comparison, but could quickly escalate if they weren’t careful. It was his job as the Grand Admiral’s aide to make sure that didn’t happen. Strin: Not quite. It could get far worse. He watched as Dehan reacted to the question that was posed. You can tell a lot from a man by the way he reacts to having his world view questioned, and Vet'od just learned that the man standing in front of him did not take General Asil and his forces seriously. He made a mental note about that, the information could prove quite useful in the near future. Osu: Are you really concerned over a few ships, even with the addition of the interlopers surely they're no match for the Grand Admiral’s powerful supporters? Dehan eyed the man for a moment. He’d never been a fool and something about Vet’od’s words was throwing him off. He wasn’t one to underestimate General Asil, especially having followed orders handed down the chain from the General himself. The man was ruthless at times and he wouldn’t put it past him to have his own set of plans. It was part of why the Starfleeters’ arrival had been kept such a secret. The Grand Admiral had been concerned about what the General would do if he found out. If Asil was able to gather the resources, he could pose a threat to the Grand Admiral in more ways than one. All they could do was hope the government structure would prevent him from rallying the support he needed to overthrow Del’san. Strin: I have never and will never make the mistake of underestimating General Asil. He very much believes in his cause and has very little to lose. That makes him even more dangerous. The look that Dehan was giving him as he eyed Vet'od was almost enough to send a chill down his spine, and he worried for a split second that he may have overstepped and tipped his hand. The words that followed however, quickly assured him that his fear was unfounded. Everyone in the Republic knew that General Asil was a man of strong conviction, and that was precisely why he was so dangerous. He had little to lose, and a reputation to maintain, a deadly combination Vet'od's eyes. Ozu: I am glad to hear that. I'd hate for there to be any trouble over the next few days, least of all trouble that could have been prevented by taking threats seriously. His words may have been vague, but the tone made it clear that he was talking both about Valcarian threats, as well as that of the interlopers. Strin: ::gaze drops and he grabs a nearby electronic writing tablet:: I really should get back to these reports. The Grand Admiral will want a condensed version should she decide to present to the captain of the Starfleet vessel. It won’t be long before they arrive in orbit and I need to also finish composing the documents containing an overview of the new protocols. Ozu: Ever the Grand Admiral’s workhorse. What would she do without you, my friend? I will leave you to it though. I have preparations to finish as well. ::short pause:: Plus, I should rather like to enjoy my last few moments of relative peace before those Starfleeters arrive and put a delicate balance at risk. Good day, Dehan. With a smile he made his way to the door and left the Aide to his work. For a moment, Dehan watched Vet’od leave. The man’s curious behavior certainly had him wondering, but he dismissed it. No. The man had worked just as hard on these protocols as he had. It didn’t make sense that the man would do all of that if he didn’t truly have Tibro’s best interests at heart. He entered notes into the tablet in his hand, his expression thoughtful as he composed the message to the captain of the Starfleet vessel. Hopefully, the man would be wise enough to read the document in its entirety. Everything that they were working for could depend on it. ---- MSNPC Dehan Strin Grand Admiral’s Aide Tibro I238110RH0 & MSNPC Vet'od Ozu Diplomatic Liaison Tibro A239706L10
  12. I have to give props to @Elizabeth Snow. Such a hard scene to write, but written so well. One of our up and comers. Best keep an eye on her. She's a keeper for sure. ----- OOC: This post contains content that might be emotionally distressing for the reader. Continue with caution. ((Morgue, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka)) {{Time Index: Day 27 of Shoreleave, Evening}} Elizabeth watched as the Captain's body was brought in. A white sheet covered him. She stared at the sheet as she approached the table. She knew what awaited her once she was to pull the sheet back. The pain of having to do an autopsy was almost unbearable. She wasn't sure if she had the strength to look at him as she cut him open and examined him. She glanced up as she heard the doors slide open. Iska had come to help her. It didn't make the task any easier. But she was glad for the extra set of eyes and expertise. Elizabeth hoped that together they would uncover the mystery of what happened. She took a deep breath through her mask, her body was shaking from all the emotions that were flowing through it. Her hands trembled as she reached out to pull down the sheet, stopping just shy of it as she hesitated. Ishka entered the room serious and business-like. To someone who didn’t know better, it would have looked like she didn’t care that she was about to cut into her late Captain’s body. Just the opposite. It disturbed her to the core of her being. But the only way she would get through this was by pretending he was just another dead body, like the dozens she’d autopsied in her career. She washed her hands in the nearby sonic sink, using a liberal amount of soap clean up to her elbows before donning a pair of latex gloves. She’d dressed in scrubs before entering to avoid bodily fluids and such getting on her uniform. She approached the sterilized table, her gaze flickering to Snow. Reaching for the sheet, she pulled it down, not looking at his face. Elizabeth did her best not to look at the face of the Captain as she helped pull the sheet down to his waistline. But it was inevitable. This would be the last time she would lay eyes on his face. A face that she would absolutely miss seeing around the ship. She looked at Ishka not exactly ready to begin the procedure, but it had to be done. Snow: Are you ready? Journs: oO Not remotely. Oo ::nods:: Ready. She reached over to the nearby console and entered the series of commands that would start the audio recording. Though the morgue had various cameras and audio devices, it seemed different using the console to record. Journs: Autopsy, Stardate 239710.08, Time Index 2232 hours. Leading doctor Elizabeth Snow with Doctor Ishkabela Journs assisting. Patient is a Human Caucasian male approximately 27 years of age. She turned to Elizabeth and motioned for her to begin her examination of the body. Snow: ::nods:: Proceeding with the autopsy of Captain Jarred Thoran. Starting with the outside of the body to try to determine the cause of death. Beginning at the head. She began examining Thoran's head, looking for any signs of trauma or needle/[...] marks. Elizabeth examined the inside of his mouth, eyes, behind his ears, neck, and looked through all of his hair. But came up empty. Snow: The examination of the subject's head turned up no evidence. Moving on to the torso. As Elizabeth continued her work, Ishka stepped up and leaned forward, studying the body for any kind of inconsistency. Her gaze flickered to the area of his abdomen where she’d performed emergency surgery scant weeks ago. She felt the anxiety creeping in, so she shook the thought away. In this room, he was just another body on the table. Thinking any other way could cloud her judgement. She knew Toryn and others had their own ideas on what had happened because it was their way of processing the unexplained. As a physician, she knew there were sometimes mysteries that would never be solved. Even after centuries of studying how the body worked, there were things that they just didn’t understand. Shaking the thoughts from her head, Ishka refocused on examining the exterior of the body for anything out of the ordinary. She proceeded to examine the torso area, again nothing. They moved onto his arms, his legs, his feet, they covered every inch of his body and still had no answers. There was no visible sign of foul play or trauma on his outer body. oO Maybe the answers lie within.. Oo Elizabeth prepped his chest area to be sliced open. She grabbed the exoscalpel and looked at Ishka to make sure she was ready to begin the procedure. A final scan revealed nothing new since Ishka had performed the surgery. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Elizabeth standing ready with the surgical implement and nodded. Journs: Doctor Journs. I agree with Doctor Snow’s assessment. No signs of anything on the exterior of the body that could indicate cause of death. ::looks at Snow:: Proceeding with interior examination. Elizabeth took a deep breath and proceeded to make the incision. Her hands were surprisingly steady. Once the incision was made, she set the instrument aside. Journs: Doctor Snow is making a y-incision in the chest to open the breastplate. Snow: Pulling back the layer of skin. After they pulled back the skin and pinned it, Elizabeth scanned the area for any anomalies that could have contributed or caused the mystery on their hands. After finding none, she began cutting the breastbone and opening the rib cage to gain access to his heart and lungs. Snow: Removing breastbone now. Elizabeth carefully handed the breastbone off to Ishka and they began the examination of the inner body, beginning with the heart. Ishka accepted the removed bone, placing it in the tin tray as Elizabeth continued her examination. While the other woman studied the interior, she scanned the breastbone for any unusual chips or markings that would indicate possible cause of death. The fact that it was whole made it less likely, but she had to be thorough. Her pride in her profession demanded nothing less. Besides which, she owed it to Serala and the rest of the crew to explore every avenue, no matter how minute or absurd. Not surprised when she found nothing of note, she returned her attention to Elizabeth as the woman continued the internal study. Even with the breastbone removed it was still a hit tight examining and scanning the internal areas of his body. Elizabeth focused her mind on the tasks at hand, keeping a clear head as she was determined to find answers. Snow: Could you hand me the clamps, please, Doctor Journs? She nodded and retrieved the clamps that would hold the chest cavity open for the woman to take a closer look. As each organ was removed, studied and then handed to her, she placed it on the digital scale and took note of it on her PADD. She also took note of Elizabeth’s observations and entered those in the notes section for each organ as well. After putting the clamps in place she began scanning the inside of the body. She removed each organ one at a time. Careful not to damage them in any way as she observed them for answers before she handed them off to Ishka. She would pause in between them giving Ishka time to assess them as well. Elizabeth was beginning to feel another sensation of defeat creep in as they had examined many organs already and were still left with no cause of death. But she shook it off. There were still many areas left to examine and they would certainly double check their work. Possibly even triple check or keep working until someone ordered them to quit. She knew that sometimes there weren't any answers. No visible sign for the cause of death. Some deaths would remain a mystery. But she didn't want that for their Captain. She wanted answers. For herself. For their friends. For his family if he had any. She wanted justice to be served for him if foul play was involved. The examination was more disturbing with each passing moment, neither of them any closer to understanding what had happened than they’d been in Sickbay. She hadn’t missed Serala’s distress. The woman had hidden it well—for someone who didn’t know her better. She hadn’t resisted when Toryn had hugged and fussed over her, something that had shaken Ishka to her core. It had only intensified the feelings of defeat and guilt when Elizabeth had announced time of death. With the examination and holophotographs of the organs complete, Ishka handed Elizabeth the exoscapel and the tin tray for the next part of the process—examination of the stomach contents. It was Ishka’s least favorite part of an autopsy and it often made her nauseous. She didn’t consider herself squeamish, but something about the bile and a person’s half digested meal set her stomach turning. Thankfully, that duty fell to Elizabeth. It was a good thing Elizabeth hadn't visited the snack bar before the emergency or those snacks surely would have found their way back up during the next procedure. One she wasn't looking forward to. The thought alone made her stomach churn as she took the exoscalpel and the tin tray. Her eyes caught sight of Ishka looking at her. Journs: ::gaze flickers to Snows and murmurs:: Better you than me. She grimaced as she realized how the statement must sound. Neither of them wanted to be doing this. But they were duty-bound to discharge even this most gruesome task to the best of their ability. Snow: Ha ha.. Elizabeth prepared herself for what was to come. Making sure her face shield hadn't slipped and that the rest of her was still completely covered. Even still, she would most definitely be showering after she left the morgue. She placed the stomach in the big tin tray and sucked in the last bit of fresh air. Snow: Beginning incision to examine the contents of the stomach. Once the incision was made, the contents slid their way out of the opening into the tray. Elizabeth looked away and held her breath as they did. Taking a moment to regain herself. She turned her attention back to the tray and began scanning and sorting through the pieces. The scans revealed nothing new as did her self examination. Anger coursed through her body. They had been at this for a few hours now and had nothing to show for it. The frustration in Snow’s features was clear and Ishka had to bite down her own. As much as it already was personal, they couldn’t allow that fact to influence them. They needed to remain objective. She paused, laying a comforting, bandaged hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder, but said nothing. Instead, she offered a soft smile that she hoped was reassuring. The curve of her lips felt unnatural, as though it shouldn’t be there, but she held it just the same. She’d been fighting to restrain her own anger and hurt at the situation after shattering the window of the CMO’s office. Her hand reminded her constantly of her lost control and the price she’d paid. Turning toward the tray, she grabbed one of the sample containers and offered it to Elizabeth. Elizabeth felt Ishka's hand on her shoulder in a comforting manner. She turned to look at the other Doctor to see a slight smile on the woman's face. Elizabeth hadn't realized she had let any emotions show. She returned the slight smile and checked her emotions. She took the offered sample containers. Using the Microtome, she cut samples of each organ and the stomach contents. Elizabeth then put the samples she had cut in their individual containers. Then she moved on to the bodily fluids and put them in their respected containers. Once she completed the sample collecting, she handed them back to Ishka for testing. Setting the container aside, Ishka mentally prepared for the next stage: examining the head and the brain. Her throat tightened and she struggled to keep her breathing even. This was the most invasive part of this procedure. The other organs were just that--organs. For the most part, they were the same in every humanoid with only minute differences. But the brain was something else altogether. It held everything that made their Captain him. She almost felt like they were desecrating something sacred by dissecting it like he was some common animal for their curiosity. There was also a finality to it. By removing it, they were closing the door on hope. The autopsy was so soon after his passing and she hadn’t had time to fully comprehend that he wasn’t coming back. It was making this the hardest such procedure of her career. Exhaling a shaky breath, she first studied the head for any external injuries or markings of note, comparing them briefly against his medical records. With them recording on the PADD, she reached for the exoscalpel that had been set to the side earlier and her gaze locked with Elizabeth’s. She was certain the other woman could see the maelstrom of emotions in her eyes as she slowly held the tool out for Elizabeth to take. Her gaze flickered to the Captain’s head before again meeting the other woman’s. After Elizabeth handed off the samples, she realized they were done with his torso. oO The head is the next part. Oo It gave her pause as the words ran through her mind. But she had come this far, there was no stopping now. She took a deep breath and pressed on. She put a block under his head to support it as they worked. Then she reached for the offered exoscalpel. Her eyes locked with Ishka’s and she could tell Ishka was fighting an emotional battle within herself. She squeezed Ishka's uninjured hand to comfort her. This was certainly tough for Elizabeth, but she could only imagine how much more difficult it was for the Doctor assisting her. Ishka had certainly known the Captain longer and was no doubt close to him. She wished she could have saved him to spare the ones who knew him best the heartache they were all experiencing. The least she could do now is give them answers as to what happened, but the way things were looking she may not even be able to give them that. After taking the exoscalpel, Elizabeth made a cut across the crown of his head, from one ear to the other. She then cut open his cranium and handed the piece to Dr. Journs. Elizabeth sat the exoscalpel aside and began the examination of his brain. Again nothing. The autopsy itself was a strange one. Something had caused the Captain's body to shut down, but they couldn't find out what. Elizabeth removed his brain to be weighed and examined further. Though she had become doubtful they would find anything. She shook them off, she couldn't afford to think like that. She couldn't let this mystery get to her. She needed to be patient. The answers would come and if they didn't. Then that would be something she would have to learn to accept. Ishka visibly shuddered as she carefully accepted the piece of bone and flesh. It took everything she had not to drop it. Her hands shook as she placed it delicately into the nearby tin tray. That had been more disturbing than she’d expected, the room spinning around her for a moment. She closed her eyes to push the sensation away, focusing on keeping her breathing even. Eventually, the dizziness faded and she did her best to avoid looking at his head, instead focusing on entering notes into the PADD connected to the console. She noticed the recording was still going, but that they’d stopped talking at some point. It was a testament to how difficult it had been on both of them to perform this particular autopsy. Ishka knew she herself had struggled with maintaining her focus and professionalism. She’d be more than glad when this was over, though she’d likely relive memories of this in her dreams. She grimaced at the thought. Journs: Anything? The question stung a bit. oO Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oo Snow: I'm afraid not. She didn't look at Ishka when she responded. Instead she was looking down at the table. Not at the body or anything particular. She was lost in thought for the moment. Asking herself again what happened? What did she miss? She was searching her mind for some clue, something she might have seen, but it didn't register at the time. Something just slightly out of the ordinary. Maybe someone had slipped him a new form of bio weapon that took months, maybe weeks or days to take effect. One that would leave no trace in the body. Maybe one that took minutes or seconds to act. But she couldn't think of anyone at the celebration that would want to harm the Captain. Which brought her back to the months. Could he have contracted something from Illara Prime? Perhaps during the conference? He had been injured. But she would need evidence of that.. No concrete proof of any kind. She had other theories as well. That’s all they were though. Theories. Ishka nodded. She’d expected as much. Of course, she’d hoped for something to offer the crew...something to give them closure. But it looked like they weren’t going to get more than the mystery they’d had prior to the autopsy. Journs: ::pauses:: Do you want me to go with you when you present your findings to Commander Serala? She half expected it to be a short conversation. As she didn't have anything to present to the Commander. Ishka had performed admirably and Elizabeth was pretty sure she could handle the next step without her. Snow: I think I can manage that part alone. I'm sure if the Commander needs you, she will call. She smiled and nodded, laying a hand on the woman’s shoulder in a gesture of both comfort and support. Journs: I know this was no easy task, especially given how new you are to the ship. You did very well under the circumstances. This crew is fortunate to have you aboard. Elizabeth smiled. The words meant a lot to her. Especially under the circumstances. She just wished she could have done more. Snow: Thank you, Ishka. That means a lot. You did admirably yourself and I'm glad I had you at my side through this. I know it wasn't easy for you and if you ever need a friend, know that you have one right here. Journs: ::smiles wanly:: I appreciate that. I think all I really need--all most of us really need right now--is time. Snow: ::nods:: I agree. ::beat:: I'll finish up here and meet with Commander Serala. I'm sure your other half is awaiting your arrival. Once upon a time, it would have given her pause for someone to be so aware of her personal relationships. Somehow that didn’t seem as important in light of the present circumstances. In fact, it gave her a pleasing amount of confidence in the fact that most aboard this ship were monogamous and knew Toryn was hers. Though there were those that wouldn’t be bothered by that fact, she could at least rest in knowing that the senior staff and most of the junior officers wouldn’t be making any passes at him. She smiled and nodded, exiting the room. As Ishka left the room, Elizabeth prepped the Captain for transport to his family so they could have a proper burial for him. She placed the organs in individual bags, so they wouldn't leak, and put them back inside. Once everything was back in the proper place she closed him up and washed the body of any bodily fluids. She pulled the sheet back over his body and paused when she got to his head. Snow: Safe travels, Sir, and I hope you're enjoying your view. With that she covered his head and put him in a drawer to store him until time for his departure back home. She cleaned up the autopsy area and then herself a bit before returning to sickbay. Happy to be back in her dress whites. She made her way into the CMO's office and updated his death certificate. Then she set out to find Commander Serala. ---- Lieutenant JG Elizabeth Snow Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Chin’toka NCC-97187 D238803EH0 & PNPC Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs, XnP/GS Medical Officer USS Chin'toka, NCC-97187 I238110RH0
  13. I had at first hesitated about putting this here as it might seem self-serving, but it was such an honor being able to write with FltAdml. Wolf that I wanted to share it with the entire fleet. Please enjoy... ((FltAdml. Wolf’s office)) {{ Time Index: Day 29 of Chin'toka shore leave }} Tristan Wolf stood with his back to the door, trying to center himself. The counselor had implored him to take more time to do that. Seemed like full-on hooey to him, but lately he had experienced heart palpitations and an occasional headache and he supposed it was either time to take a few deep breaths, or be the victim of some dire health consequences. He had really needed that vacation that he wasn't going to get. Now a Romulan diplomat was approaching the base in a shuttle, here to talk to him. He asked the stars to give him the patience to listen to a Romulan talk out of both sides of their mouth, the strength to withstand more than mere moments in their presence, and the wisdom to know whether he should transport himself — or the diplomat — into space once it was all over. He opened his eyes and looked around. Not a dream, he was still this man. Without another breath, he approached the desk and gathered everything that moved, dropping it into a drawer and locking it with his thumbprint. He locked down the computer terminal, in case he turned his back for a moment. He even turned off the replicator station — the Romulan would never accept token food or drink, and he didn’t want to give them an excuse to replicate something dangerous. Like murderous toddlers, they were – give them any opportunity and they'd use it. He glanced around and confirmed that, yes, that would probably be safe enough for the moment. Then he sat down at the desk, carefully, and folded his hands on the desk. The door chimed. Romulan Republic Ambassador R’Val waited for the door to open. Her blood was boiling, but it wouldn’t do to start a diplomatic incident right now. The Romulan Republic was still seeking amicable relations with the Federation and alienating the Federation’s main delegate for her people would not be the best way to do that. But she wanted answers. Once the doors opened, she entered to find the Admiral seated inside. She strode in, deliberately measuring her steps and steeling her countenance to avoid revealing her true emotions. She had no doubt she was failing, but she was making her best efforts. R’Val: Admiral Wolf. I would like an explanation about these allegations against my daughter. I find it hard to believe that a Starfleet Officer, regardless of who they may be, could be accused of something this outrageous. Wolf stood. So much for niceties. Romulans never just came for a visit. Wolf: Welcome, Ambassador. A pleasure, as always, to have a member of the Romulan Republican here. ::His tone was icy.:: I'm aware your daughter is serving aboard the Chin'toka, although I'm not entirely sure what accusations seem so outrageous. As the Admiral spoke, R’Val forced herself to remain calm. What she really wanted to do was draw her dathe’anovfsen and run it through him. R’Val: Come on, Admiral. My daughter is being accused of poisoning her commanding officer. Are you really going to stand there and tell me you have no idea what I am talking about? :: her voice began to rise as she spoke and her anger began to seep through :: I can’t believe you, of all people, would allow this anti-Romulan sentiment to stand! I thought Starfleet had changed in their views about my people. I see that I was wrong! A whisper ran through the back of his head questioning why, he, of all people, would care about anti-Romulan sentiment. She must have thought him a better man – someone who aspired to Picard's moral certitude, someone who had a special place in his heart for her people. That was her first mistake. He knew the lengths these people would go to set you back on your heels and put you into a defensive position. They'd move about the galaxy in invisible warships, speaking in riddles, eyeing you warily over an offered glass of wine before hissing in your face about your duplicity. But he knew all that before the Empire fell. The most important thing he had learned about them in recent years was that if a Romulan accused you of something, it was a good bet they, themselves, were guilty of just that thing. Wolf: We're all innocent until proven guilty, Ambassador, that's the Federation way. But since I have you here, I guess it's worth asking: Did she kill him? He hadn't even considered it up to this very moment. Reider had come in a few days ago with the notion of putting a green – no pun intended – First Officer into the commanding officer's seat. She was too inexperienced to command a ship in the Expanse, but more importantly he just wasn't ready to cross the bridge of giving a Romulan the command of a Starfleet vessel. Regardless, he hadn't assumed she'd killed Thoran. This was a whole new ball game. A Romulan ambassador in his office defending a half-Romulan Starfleet officer before charges were even filed? Before there was even a shred of evidence that she was implicated? His mind whirred as he raced through the possibilities. The Starfleet Intelligence officers on the base would have been phasering each other in the back to be the first one at his door with that kind of news, but he hadn't heard a peep from them since Reider had visited. Was she here to get out in front of it, before they caught on? A delicious gambit. But… too obvious? Romulans thought humans were fools, but it didn't seem like them to send her in here trying something this conspicuous. Unless they thought that doing nothing would seem even more obvious. Charge in, railing against a heretofore unconsidered accusation, and of course his first response would be to question the entire premise, leading him to then assume that there was no possible way she had done it. Switchbacks upon switchbacks – the Romulans were trained in it from birth. He had only been lying since he had learned to talk. Part 2 R’Val was about to blow a stack. Yes, that was a human phrase; one she had picked up during her forty-year long exile on Earth. But it was apropos. How could he even ask such a question? Had he never read her service file? Serala’s fierce loyalty had been directed toward the Federation and Starfleet and there was no more chance that she would kill her commanding officer than there was that she would join the Tal Shiar. However, there had been the evidence. Her contact had told her the evidence was clear and that Serala was about to face charges for murder, mutiny and possibly even conspiracy. The poison in question was unequivocally Romulan in nature. It wouldn’t take a genius to link Serala to R’Val and claim she was the source for the poison. Starfleet was about to throw the book at her and the evidence would sink her. R’Val suspected they just didn’t want a Romulan in the command chair and so had invented this miserable farce of a frameup to ensure Serala would never sit in one. It wasn’t the first time her daughter had faced such accusations. And the consequence would be ruined relations between the Federation and the Republic. After all, if they did try and link R’Val to this, it could be claimed that the Republic had taken a direct hand in the death of a very well respected Starfleet Captain. And Humans thought Romulans were duplicitous. She lowered her voice in a dangerous menace as she leaned forward over his desk to get her face closer to his own. R’Val: Admiral Wolf. If you knew the first thing about my daughter, you would realize just how ridiculous that question is. She is not a Klingon. :: She paused trying to collect herself before she stood back up and continued. :: Serala may have human genes, but I raised her and I know that she is Romulan at heart. She is dedicated to the concept of mnei’sahe. However, where that concept really applies to the Empire, Serala has found a way to make it work for the Federation. She would never consider such an act. Her honor would never allow her to do such a thing. Besides, I have seen her working with him. She admired that man almost more than she did her own father. Were she looking any closer, she might be able to see the gears turning in his head. Yes, what a ridiculous question that a woman described as a "Romulan at heart" would spend years positioning herself to be the next in line for command. What a ridiculous notion that she would hurry along her captain's demise… But that question nagged, wagging its finger inside his head like a mirror to the woman in front of him. It was all too convenient. Why kill him when just a few more years would see her – all things being equal – pushed into her own command? Clean and clear, in possession of a pip and command codes, nestled in velvet in a little mahogany box, just waiting to be passed along to her handlers – her mother? Surely that was more enticing? Killing Thoran might seem too obvious to be true, so let Starfleet assume that a Romulan would never be that brazen – when that's exactly what she was. But the Russian nesting doll of Romulan machinations were never that simple. No, of course no. It wasn't even about Serala, or Thoran. This was a diversion from something else, something bigger. He was being set up. Or she was. Or the Federation. He had been at dinner with a Romulan diplomat once, a long time ago just after the destruction of Romulus, who had leaned in and said quietly: "Misdirection is the key to survival. Never attack what your enemy defends. Never behave as your enemy expects and never reveal your true strength. If knowledge is power, then to be unknown is to be unconquerable." At the time, he wondered if he was about to be murdered. But now it seemed like the most perfect full-circle moment he had ever experienced. Wolf: Ambassador, whatever you've heard, I believe you've been misinformed. We have no indication that Serala's a suspect. While the investigation into the sudden passing is ongoing, we don't currently believe ::his own gambit, now:: that there was foul play. Truth be told, I think you're right – Serala wouldn't consider it. I'm sorry you came all this way, but I can assure you if anything changes, I will contact you personally. R’Val stood back. This was unexpected. Her contact had been quite clear that Starfleet had all the evidence they needed, had even presented it to her. How could this man not know about it, unless it wasn’t true? Or a conspiracy within the ranks of Starfleet? No, that was about as probable as Serala killing Captain Thoran. Something was going on here and she would get to the bottom of it. One thing was clear, however. Fleet Admiral Wolf had no idea what she was talking about. She could read it on his face. There was no deception there. R'Val: I see. Well, in that case, Admiral, I will take my leave. But if you learn of anything that would prove that my daughter is being considered for charges, I would appreciate knowing about it at once. Jolan’tru, Admiral. R’Val had seemed like a fool in front of this man. She couldn’t believe her source would so mislead her. There would be retribution for this, of that she would make sure. Without so much as a “by your leave,” she turned and headed out of his office. Wolf watched her leave his office, and then waited another 20 seconds for her, presumably, to leave the outer office. He unlocked the computer on his desk and touched the intercom button. Wolf: Get the head of StarBase 118 Intelligence in here immediately. And then get me the acting commanding officer of the Chin'toka, Lieutenant Commander Serala. ----- PNPC Ambassador R’Val Romulan Republic Ambassador Par’tha Expanse as simmed by: Lt. Commander Serala First Officer Training Team Member Image Collective Member Community History Team Member Chat Team Moderator/Co-Facilitator USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 A239412S10 & FltAdml. Tristan Wolf Chief Administrative Officer for Romulan Affairs StarBase 118 P237106TW0
  14. So, apparently there is someone now handing out very cold drinks in a very hot place ((StarBase 118, Executive Towers)) {{ Time Index: Day 27 of Chin'toka shore leave }} Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf was a surly fellow, even on the best of days. As the Chief Administrative Officer for Romulan Affairs, the last decade had not been peaceful or kind to him and that was starting to show. Not that taking his first post on StarBase 118, all those years ago, had felt like he was in for a quiet backwater – the Trinity-Serellan Sector was, after all, the meeting point of three great powers – but he had not expected to see the fall of the Romulan Empire and everything that happened since. He had not expected his hair to go this gray this fast. And today was another disappointment: He had intended to leave on vacation, but had not. He didn't really know where he was going – his assistant had booked him a transport to somewhere pleasant, he had been told – but he had been dealing with some nonsense going on across the border all day that had cancelled the plans. There was always some new thing going on with the Romulans – some new faction growing in power, some old Romulan Warbird that had been found abandoned and was now being used to blow up something valuable. If it were up to him he'd send the StarBase 118 fleet across the border and show the flag just to get a day of peace around here. It was up to him, he supposed, but it would be the end of him in Starfleet. And no matter how annoying this gig was, he did have the best seat in the house and that counted for something. He turned away from his desk to look out the window of the executive tower at the top of the starbase, then closed his eyes. The bulkhead stretching away below reminded him of another office, nearby, from which he had witnessed something terrible happening, and he didn't want to think of that. Instead, he saw a growing laundry list of tasks on the back of his eyelids, scrolling upwards with incessant and tiring insistence. The room was deadly silent. He preferred not to work with music, and this far above the hustle-and-bustle of the base, there just wasn't really any noise. His office was removed even from the corridor by the waiting room, where only two assistants sat, and he couldn't ever remember hearing them through the door, except that one time… Wolf: No rest, no break, no sanity. ::He muttered to himself.:: oO Onto the ne– Oo The doorbell chimed. Another garbage scow dropping off something for him to deal with, no doubt. He swiveled back to his desk. Wolf: Enter. The doors slid open, revealing the face of Admiral Luke Reider, Chief Administrative Officer of StarBase 118 and the Trinity-Serellan Sector. His old job. Wolf: oO This old [...]. Oo Except, Reider did not look old. He looked young, vital, ready for tennis or handball or whatever old sport was back in fad. The man had looked like that for decades, since his enigmatic encounter with the Erntemaschinen. They had experimented on the crew of his ship, held them captive for months, then sent them away. And none of them had ever shown signs of aging again. Wolf: oO Lucky [...]. Oo Reider's hair was still blond as the day Wolf met him. When was that? Almost 20 years ago, now that he thought about it. That made Reider 84 years old. As the other man made his way across the room, Wolf wondered how Reider was still junior to him in rank, and then it occurred to him that he probably would have been the person to put him up for a promotion. Wolf: This can't be good. His voice sounded tired, irritable. But Reider was used to it – the bearer of bad news many times before, he knew Wolf's bark was worse than his bite. Reider: oO Mostly just a pain in the [...] with a bad attitude who should probably retire… Oo You're never going to believe this... Reider took a seat without asking or being asked, and dropped a PADD on the Fleet Admiral's desk. Wolf took a deep breath – he hated theatrics – and picked up the glass slate. A report from the Chin'toka, a new ship in the StarBase 118 fleet. He squinted a bit at the PADD. His eyes were tired, like his mind and body, from looking at screens all day. Wolf: Dead? Luke nodded solemnly in response, perhaps a bit performative shaming. Wolf could be so callous at times. The Fleet Admiral dropped the PADD back on the table desk in disgust. Wolf: We just gave him a new ship! You'd think he'd at least have the courtesy of shoving off first. What the hell happened? Either Wolf hadn't read the short report on the PADD, or…? No, Luke thought, of course he hadn't bothered to read past the first line. Reider: He just dropped to the floor, no warning. No more information, yet. Wolf: Any intelligence reports that he was being targeted? Any chance he'd been in a bar fight with a Nausicaan lately? Reider: Intelligence reported-in a minute or so before I came up here. You know how it is. They always dig up some scuttlebutt – whispers and whatnot. It's the Par'tha Expanse so there's lots of political actors. But it'll be awhile before we have anything concrete. Wolf: Well they're no help, as usual. ::Reider pressed his lips together.:: What's your plan? Wolf's presence on StarBase 118 these days was more about convenient positioning for managing Romulan contacts, but had little to do with the fleet here. He could commandeer a vessel when he needed a flagship for a Romulan rendezvous, but most of the time he just pushed PADDs around, as far as Luke could tell. As the Chief Administrative Officer of StarBase 118 – and therefore, the admiral directly in charge of the fleet assigned to this base – Reider was actually the one to decide what to do next, although Starfleet HQ would have something to say about this. Reider would call them next with a proposal. Still, Reider and Wolf had worked… if not together then at least around each other for 20 years now, and Wolf was the senior-ranked officer on the base. When a captain, no matter how freshly minted, passes away and leaves a crew without a commanding officer, it was a good idea to get his temperature before doing anything too drastic. Reider's eyes remained impassive as he mused on the turn of phrase, "get his temperature." He had once read something in a medical history book that alleged people in the old days would check their temperature in the behind. No chance, he thought, that anyone in their right mind would stick a glass pipette full of mercury stuck up there – Reider knew better than most that history is full of myths – but certainly he would have liked to see the sour puss on Wolf's face in that situation. He should have stayed in the medical field. Reider: I've got a few ideas in mind, but nothing concrete yet. Anything coming to mind? Wolf steepled his fingers in front of his face, thinking for a moment, and then picked up the PADD that had carried the bad tidings. He read it again while the other man waited, watching silently. Wolf: Serala. Of course. Now I see why you brought this to me. Reider: Sir? Wolf: The half-Romulan. With a field commission, she’d be the first person with Romulan blood — that we know of — to command a Starfleet ship. The closest anyone’s gotten, really, and you want to promote her, I assume? Luke blinked, caught flat-footed. It was just like Wolf to assume that he, or anyone, had what he perceived as nefarious intent, if you could even call it that. The fact that Serala had a Romulan parent hadn’t even crossed his mind. And why would it? She had gone up the ranks like anyone else. Probably had a harder time of it, truth be told. Even if that had been Reider's plan, it certainly didn't seem that far out of bounds, considering. Reider: I suppose it’s one option, of many, but then again I really assumed we’d prefer someone a bit more seasoned. Wolf’s eyes narrowed just slightly. He seemed to have scrunched down in the plush chair a bit, sinking into himself as if weighted down by his own suspicions and annoyances. Luke had seen this before and now realized his folly – he should have checked the admiral’s schedule first. He should have schmoozed the assistant for information and aborted when it was clear that Wolf was in a mood. He hadn’t had to come up here, but he thought he would earn some points by checking in. He had the lowest expectations of Wolf, and the other man always failed to meet them. Wolf: Yes, someone more seasoned. Make sure of it. The tone was guttural, and the message was clear: Conversation over. Part 2 (( StarBase 118, Commercial Sector, San Francisco District )) {{ Time Index: Day 28 of Chin'toka shore leave }} Admiral Luke Reider, he of no crow’s feet, always thought it was a bit bizarre that this was called the “Commercial District.” There wasn’t really much “commerce.” Yes, people exchanged “Federation Credits” but they were meaningless. He had more credit than he could ever spend in 20 lifetimes, and so did the people selling him the dim sum or the burritos. Truth be told, even when buying something nice for his wife he wasn’t ever really sure if he was paying fair prices for anything. A thousand credits for tulips brought in stasis from Earth? Was that a good price or outrageous? The idea of the black market trade seemed even sillier. Perhaps it made sense if you weren’t a Federation citizen, and instead just passing through. But even then, it’s not like your patrons cared how many credits they dropped into your account. A million here, a million there. He had only looked at his “account” once, as an adult returning from deep space duty, to see how much had accrued in the many years he’d been gone. He hadn’t known what he was looking at because he hadn’t known how much was in the account before he left, and frankly it didn’t seem worth figuring it out. The shopkeeper stared kindly at him, waiting. He smiled back and lifted the tray of food. The computer already knew him from his com badge and voiceprint, and did all the work behind the scenes to pay the imaginary money. He gritted his teeth both in sympathy and in worry. The Chin’toka was without a captain, and just by chance he now had an available captain right here on the base; albeit, one who was currently packing his things and preparing to go home to his family for a good long vacation while his new ship received an unexpected refit and an expected crew rotation. After what seemed like a year of command that Mei’konda Delano probably saw as a bit disappointing, he was probably relishing the chance to leave Starfleet behind for a bit. Reider was acutely aware of all the fleet under his command — at least down to the upper-staff level. Knowing where they were and where they were going was his currency in trade. Move ships here and there and you could save or lose a planet to famine, a plague, or hostile invaders. But even more importantly was understanding the captains on each of those ships: Who would do a job capably and who would bungle it? You live long enough and eventually you start to understand some of those nuances. Starfleet liked to make them all think that by the time you reached captaincy you were a superhuman – species notwithstanding – ready for any task, up for any adventure. But most captains were not. Instead, they mostly relished the mundane, the routine, the easy. Some were space cowboys, admittedly, although they were a dying breed. Only the very few were sensible, diplomatic, wise, and smart. Reider still wasn’t exactly sure what mold Mei’konda fit into – though the Caitian was highly decorated, service records could only convey so much about how a person would perform under the pressure of command when all eyes are on them – but he had a sense that this meeting was about to help him understand quite well. Now it was time to make the ask. If not for his race, it might’ve been more difficult than usual to recognize Mei’konda Delano. He was dressed down in loose fitting, light colored linen clothing that his people often wore amongst other races rather than the partial nudity that was the norm on his homeworld. There was a time, earlier in his career, when he’d relished every moment he had to wear his uniform. One part of him still did, but he’d been looking forward to this return to Federation space for a while. He’d just wished it had happened under better circumstances, and when they were scheduled rather than six months early. Mei’konda, the Galaxy class starship’s crew of over twelve hundred, and the nearly forty year old vessel herself had been through a lot in the last year. A long-range exploration mission, made possible only through the use of the quantum slipstream drive installed during her last major refit, supervised by Mei’konda himself when he was still a Lieutenant Commander, had been productive to say the least. They’d encountered multiple new spacefaring civilizations, technology, and had made breakthroughs in research in development that would’ve been impossible in known space. It hadn’t all been smooth running, though. Evidence of the sneak attack by three warships that had left fourteen officers and crew dead and cut their mission six months short was still evident on her hull, where the ship’s armor was scorched and blasted in places where her shields had failed. She’d be here at Starbase 118 for a months-long repair and refit, and had been shifted to the fleet’s inactive roster to accommodate this. Her active duty crew was rotating off, most of them to shore leave before they’d be off to different assignments. Mei’konda had no doubt that the ship would be recommissioned eventually, off on a new mission. What he didn’t know was whether or not he’d be on that mission. One way or another, he had a feeling that the unexpected invitation from Admiral Luke Reider to eat with him here today would provide answers. For now, he was content to sit in a quiet corner of the Commercial District, using chopsticks to eat the occasional piece of fresh Sushi that he’d bought from one of the shops here. Mei’konda straightened up as the higher ranking officer approached, and gestured to the seat across from him. Reider sat down, and spoke. Reider: So what's the diagnosis for the Astraeus? Mei’konda: We took heavy daamage in the engagement that brought us home, but my crew is efficient and the ship is functional. She needs extensive repaairs, though. Reider: Seems like it’ll be a while. Mei’konda: Dockyards estimaate four months for a full refit, yes. I would recommend at least six months shaakedown time after it is complete to ensure everything is functioniing as it should. Reider nodded, looking absent-mindedly at something behind Mei’konda, then lifted the dumpling to his mouth with the chopsticks, having tapped it gently on the small bowl of soy vinegar on the plate. They ate in silence for a few moments as the sounds of this San Francisco facsimile added authenticity to their experience. They were seated on the sidewalk of a small side street where a number of the best Chinatown restaurants were. No vehicles came by, of course, it was all pedestrian. But still, it was a nice ambience, and the air always smelled of spice and eucalyptus, which was not a tree that grew in abundance in SF, but could be found all over the Bay Area and so — Luke guessed — it was a bit of subtle fudging on the part of the architects. Reider: You were headed home? Swallowing another mouthful of the Sushi he’d selected, the Caitian nodded back toward the young looking Admiral. Mei’konda: Yes. The plan was to meet my husband en route to Terra Nova, and spend a few weeks leave with my parents. The Admiral steeled himself. Now the duty. Reider: Well… I’m sorry to have to ask but I think we need your assistance for a while longer. Perhaps even until the Astraeus is prepared to fly again. Luke watched the captain for any hint of his emotional state at this. There really wasn’t a danger – he assumed Delano would do his duty. But he didn’t want a resentful captain taking command of a ship he didn’t want in a situation like this. He was putting him in an impossible situation by trying to intuit his emotions, he knew that. Mei’konda paused, the ghost of a frown crossing his face. He set his plate and his chopsticks down, and met the Admiral’s eyes. He didn’t want to have his leave canceled. What concerned him more was the reason why they might need him. Mei’konda: How can I help?
  15. OMG! I laughed so hard at this title it about made me cry. Chin'toka is having our awards ceremony and the awards are nearing the end. I will let the sim tell the rest of the story: ((Officer's Mess, Deck 11, USS Chin’toka)) ((Time Index: Day 27 of Shoreleave)) ((OOC: All thoughts and opinions strictly IC.)) Ilana was relieved that the party seemed to be winding down. Now that awards had been handed out, there couldn’t possibly be more official business. She could loiter for five minutes before making a discreet exit. She was about to make her way back over to the refreshment table when another voice spoke above the crowd. RAdm. Kove: Not so fast Commander Thoran. ::She looked over to Serala.:: Commander Serala, I believe there is one box remaining, may I have it please? RAdm. Kove: Commander Jarred Thoran, for sustaining an injury in the line of duty, you are hereby awarded the Purple Heart. I would like to remind you that Starfleet Command does not wish to get into the habit of awarding it’s commanding officers this decoration. Ganarvuss: oO Right. I should’ve remembered that injuries earn a ribbon of their own. Now I can go grab another one of those scrumptious scones. Oo Thoran: Thank you Admiral. Unless I am mistaken, that ties me with Commander Raga now. Raga: Well, looks like that just means I have to go earn some more. Serala: Sir, considering how many he has received, I am not sure that is something you want to brag about. Any: response RAdm. Kove: I believe Captain Whittaker, you have a few words you would like to say? The snack bar was beckoning and Ilana was starting to get exasperated. Did these things ever end? Whittaker: Good evening everybody and thank you Rear Admiral for the opportunity to present this most auspicious of commendations. ::he nodded demurely to the diminutive-yet-intimidating flag officer. Then he swept his gaze out at the faces of those assembled.:: For those of you who may not yet know, I served with Commander Thoran on two starships- the Blackwell and the Columbia. I feel immensely privileged to have done so. Your Commanding Officer is a man of principle and honour- devoted to the ideals of the United Federation of Planets, tenets that he upholds like nobody else I have encountered throughout the course of my career. ::he turned to Thoran with a proud, fraternal smile and placed one hand on the man's shoulder.:: You're about to embark on the next chapter of what I am certain is going to be a long and illustrious career and you have one of the finest crews in Starfleet today to support you. But gaining a new ship is not enough. ::he drew in a breath and he broke out into a grin.:: Something more is needed. ::he removed his hand from Jarred's pocket and fished out the rosewood box he had been carrying.:: Jarred Thoran it with immense pride that I hearby promote you to the rank of Captain, with all of the duties, rights and responsibilities therein. ::he pressed the box into Thoran's hands.:: Congratulation, Captain Thoran. Ilana blinked twice rapidly and shook her head as she processed Whittaker’s speech. Commander to Captain. Well, if Starfleet said so. Thoran seemed capable, if not the best judge of character. Ilana joined in the applause and began sidling toward the snack bar. Thoran: Response Journs: Congratulations, sir! Anyone: Response Raga: Let’s hear it for Captain Jarred Thoran! Hip Hip Hurray!! Journs: ::loudly:: Hear, hear! Ilana continued moving towards the refreshments, clapping the whole way. She had only been a noise maker when actively cheering on her teammates. All this fanfare without action grated on her. Recognition was fine, but pomp and circumstance were just… a waste of time. Anyone: Response. Raga: Speech! ::He took a few steps back and nudged the Human forward gently clearly not caring if he had to warp manifolds later:: Ganarvuss: oO Oh for the love of Mike! Oo She’d almost made it. Ten more feet and she’d be enjoying a scone. Maybe if she just took it real slow, no one would notice her moving. She glanced up at Thoran and stopped, ready to listen to whatever he had to say. Thoran: Response Any: response TAG/TBC -- Lieutenant J.G. Ilana Ganarvuss Acting Chief of Security USS Chin’toka A239504HM0 -----------------
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