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Found 9 results

  1. I figured instead of having a monthly thread, we could just keep a running thread of funny instances in our sims.
  2. Lovely character work in this one, bringing a fascinating point of view to events! bravo! (( MedBay, Ra'khoi )) Who knew blood loss was such an easy way to force someone into sleeping? Okay, so it wasn’t really sleep as it was loss of consciousness but regardless, Lystra wasn’t cognizant much. Talia had patched up her hand well, staunched the bleeding and she had done her damnedest to keep awake. Eyes fixed on the biobed with Jalana. To the frantic fight with Cade leading the charge and using all of his grumpy, get off my lawn but listen to what I have to say, old man energy to stubbornly keep Jalana alive while trying to put the symbiont back inside her. She blacked out again and only awoke when the ship abruptly lurched. She had nearly rolled off her own biobed. While she had no idea how she had gotten here, she had been on the floor by a bulkhead. That felt like an impact. Were they fighting? She needed to be on the bridge at Tactical! The Boslic attempted a meager roll off the bed to get moving but the room started spinning and gravity almost assisted her before she just ended face first into the pillow. She noticed that Ed was laying on the floor then. Odd. He must be tired. When her eyes opened again she heard a familiar voice over the internal comms. T'Aven: =/\= Bridge to Sick Bay. The Constitution is here, get ready to beam the whole lot over. You're first. =/\= She blinked and shook her head. The Constitution? How long had she been out? She looked over at Jalana, she was still in rough shape and it didn’t look like Cade was done with his surgery. Just what the hell did those Syndicate bastards do to her beyond cutting her up? Right…poison. If she ever met another Syndicate member, her fists would have a lot of communication to do. Hands. Right. She looked at where her right one had been as the blue shimmer of a transporter beam enveloped her body. For a brief moment, she could swear she saw the shimmer highlight the shape of her former limb. ((Main Sickbay – USS Constitution-B)) When the shimmer faded she felt herself on the floor and staring up at the bright lights of the Constitution’s Sickbay. A nurse or orderly came over and helped her up off the floor where they’d all been beamed in and she groaned slightly while climbing into the biobed. The pain wasn’t unbearable thanks to the painkillers floating in her system, but the throbbing in her wrist was getting annoying. She watched Jalana being lifted onto a bed. She better pull through. If she didn’t Lystra know what she would do. Probably resign. Stars, even if she pulled through and the Commodore made a complete recovery she would likely be feeling the trauma from what happened to her for the rest of her life and every Trill ever who would end up with Rajel. Foster: Suck it, Sweetheart, you’re getting a shower, a meal and some sleep. You can thank me later. The comment caught her attention and she raised a brow. Sounded like Cade was talking to Talia. Though, she couldn’t tell if it was Cade’s normal humor or if he had a thing for the much younger doctor. Either way, good on him. She liked Cade. She hoped he could find someone to fall in love with the way she had for Sarah. Though, with his disposition she’d probably have to be a Klingon, or like Sherana. Sarah. Stars, she missed her. But oh was she not looking forward to explaining why she had one fewer hand to hold her with. It then dawned on her that with the loss of her right hand the Boslic wouldn’t be able to greet the wonderful redhead in her usual manner. Scooping her up and spinning around. Lystra started sobbing a little in her bed. Mark Two: response The familiar voice caused her to look up but the Boslic was instantly confused. She could have sworn she had heard Mark Two. Cade’s grandkid. But the person standing in front of her looked nothing like the childlike hologram. Lystra: I..uh. Hello. Who’re you? Mark Two: response She blinked. Wait, this was Mark? Lystra: You don’t look anything like Mark. Mark Two: response Lystra slowly ruminated on that. So, not only did they have a pair of Bynars on board now but they had helped Mark to change his appearance. It made sense. He had been ‘born’ with someone else’s face. That was something she could at least imagine a little, having had to take on personas for SFI. Put on another person’s face. But that was by choice, or necessity. Mark’s hadn’t been either. She smiled at him, it was a weak, barely filled with emotion, smile. Lystra: You look great, Mark. Mark Two: response She looked down at her hand and shook her head. Lystra: Don’t be. I’m glad it’s gone. Mark Two: response Lystra: ::She looked at the hologram:: Because someone horrible branded a mark of ownership into that hand. That same horrible person is responsible for what happened to Jalana. Because they wanted to get me..their property back. I asked Akeelah to cut off my hand. ::She sobbed a moment then looked back at Mark:: It was something I had no say or choice in. Like your original appearance. I’m glad it’s gone. Mark Two/Anyone: response ================== Lieutenant JG Lystra Tactical Officer USS Constitution-B NCC-9012-B SB118 Podcast Team Writer ID: A239410TR0 https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Lystra
  3. You're gone, gone, gone away I watched you disappear All that's left is a ghost of you ~ Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks ((Memorial Hall, Holodeck 4, USS Constitution)) She had pushed it away, far away, past the reports and official talks, conversations with crew members but she knew she would have to come. The pictured displayed in this hall were of people, her people, her crew. She shouldn't let them wait for that long. They were important too, no matter if they were alive or dead. To honor them Jalana had dug out her dress uniform, they deserved at least that much. Though she had chosen a time when the memorial hall was not visited by many. In some cultures it was believed that their soul remained and watched over loved ones, in others the essence of people passed on into an afterlife, in again others it just ceased to exist. Jalana didn't know what she believed. As someone who carried the lifetime memories of six more people she carried the believes of them with her too. But she was aware it was not her own. She would have liked to think that a piece of them would remain with others, any maybe in a way they did. Remaining in memories and in the heart of those whose path they had crossed was like that in a way was it not? 'As long as we remember a person, they're not really gone. Their thoughts, their feelings, their memories, they become a part of us.' She had heard these words during her Academy time when holding a memorial for a cadet who had passed surprisingly. It was what she liked to believe. But she was aware it was not shared by everyone. and she respected that. The Trill had informed herself about different traditions for memorials like these, trying to honor each fallen crew member in a way they would honor their own. She had visited the memorial for Horm first and placed one of his prized possessions next to his picture. It was a small trophy, it was nothing special, nothing big. But one of the children had given it to him for helping him with mathematical issues and he had always treasured it. It did not feel appropriate for Jalana to howl to Sto'Vo'Kor for Q'Ren, as her family and closest friends. If anything the soul was in the afterlife already, feasting in the Hall of Warriors. Klingons did not care about the physical remains after the warrior spirit left. So Jalana has stood in silence, holding her gaze on the dark eyes of the woman on the picture. The picture of Syanir Kol looked peaceful and smiling, and she knew that someone would remember her and her memories when her symbiont found a new host. She was relieved that they had been able to determine that the symbiont was unharmed and found a QSD equipped ship to bring Kol to the homeworld. She visited every of the memorials mostly quiet contemplation, sometimes whispering conversation with Zilan, Kylie Willams, S'Ral, Dhelvad and Scrol Ar'el. And now she stood in front of the last one. Doctor Han Soo Mi looked at her with that infectious smile. She had been with her in her last moments and somehow that hit her more than the others, even though they were all equally important. The database had been informative about the customs Soo Mi's family would follow. So Jalana bowed her head and lowered herself to her knees. Placing her hands on the floor before her she bowed down before raising to her feet again. She repeated that two more times before she stood and bowed her head once more and then took one of the white flowers provided in a vase and placed it on the pile with the others already placed in front of the picture. Once she finished her round she stepped to the front of the room, looking from one to the other with a somber expression. Her green eyes meeting their picture's gazes once more. Rajel: You all served well, with honor, with passion and a high sense of duty. It was a pleasure and honor to serve with you. Your stories will be remembered. As of now your service ends and your time to rest has come. ::She swallowed, fighting with the tears welling up in her eyes before adding with a warm undertone.:: You are dismissed. ----- Commodore Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Co-Facilitator A238906JL0Con
  4. OOC: I was not ready for this. ((Far Rock Resort, Endaasi)) Salzaar had needed some time away, and Tenna had respected that. But there was a certain point where she went from respecting his need for space and becoming genuinely concerned for his wellbeing. That time had come, and she had attempted to contact him, unsuccessfully. So Tenna had gone sleuthing, a skill she was quite good at after years of working in trade and development. She knew her boss had gone down to Endaasi and hadn't returned to the ship. Starfleet vessels were meticulous about recording the comings and goings of all personnel, including civilians. She'd started where the crew had mostly beamed down, inquiring at the local hotels. They hadn't been helpful, but the directory had. There were stunning holo-images of different areas of the planet to visit. One such place was an archipelago that boasted private island retreats. Knowing Salzaar and his state of mind after the trial, she'd also want to go to a place far removed from other sentient minds. Betazoids needed to actively filter the thoughts of those around them, and she figured Salzaar might want to just stop doing that for a while to focus on his own feelings for a change. A few well-placed questions and vague promises later, and Tenna had found out what island he was on, and chartered a small boat to take her there. The islands proved to be slightly more fortress-like than she'd expected, as most customers simply used the transporter to access them. Tenna had to climb a narrow, slippery trail around the steep cliffs before finally reaching the summit, home to a small, rustic cabin. She could see the genuine surprise on his face when Salzaar opened the door. Tenna was one of the few people who gave off very little of her own thoughts for a telepath to detect. Deep down, she was overjoyed to see Salzaar's face. The normally enthusiastic man had been so low lately and even Tenna hadn't had much luck helping pull him up from that. Kyd: Hey you... Valys: Tenna, I... How did you find me? Kyd: ::[...]ing her head to the side:: Who do you think you're talking to? Valys: ::Thinly smiling:: Yes, I suppose that was a foolish question... A foolish question from a foolish old man... Salzaar stepped to the side and waved his hand, inviting his assistant into the small but charming cabin. A fire crackled in the stone fireplace casting playful light on the wooden and stone walls. The slate sea outside seemed calm, as though facilitating a thoughtful atmosphere for discussion. Salzaar walked into the small kitchen and tapped a command on the countertop. Two cups of tea materialized quickly. The cabin wasn't devoid of modern comforts, for all its rustic charm. He handed a cup to Tenna. Kyd: You doing alright? Salzaar sat heavily in a comfortable chair in front of the fire. Valys: Yes. ::Casting her a glance:: Oh don't look at me like that. I'm fine. I'm just contemplating living like this for the rest of my days. I think I could do it. Far from the thoughts of others. Far from the petty scheming of people in power. Kyd: For what it's worth, I see you as more of a wide open plains person than a cold sea person. ::She sipped her tea:: Seriously though, Salzaar... I'm not here to try and influence your decision one way or another. I'm just here to make sure you're alright. Valys: It takes a special kind of person not to immediately leap in with their own opinion. So thank you for that... Where do you see your career going, Tenna? Kyd: I hadn't really come equipped to talk about my own career either, you know... Valys: Still, seems like a fair question. Kyd: I like what I do right now. I get to make a difference behind the scenes. Valys: Have you ever thought about dropping 'assistant' from your title? Kyd: Thought, sure. Still not sold on it though... Valys: Maybe think on it a bit more... I'd feel better knowing you might be the one to succeed me. Before she could say anything else, an urgent beeping started to emit from the hidden comm system in the cabin, followed by an announcement. Comm: =/\=This is an automated alert. A strong tidal surge is projected to impact this area. All beings are required to evacuate immediately. Proceed to designated transport location and prepare for transport.=/\= The message repeated, but Salzaar and Tenna were already in action. Salzaar grabbed his few personal belongings and put them into his bag. Tenna helped by gathering things and handing them to him. Nothing like a sudden natural disaster to put a pause on a serious discussion. They rushed outside the cabin to the middle of the island. Salzaar looked out at the ocean. It looked as calm as it had last time he'd checked. There was no big wave heading their way. The system's star had even made an appearance from behind a cloud. Kyd: Look... Salzaar had never heard Tenna's voice approach anything close to fear before. This was a first. He looked in the direction she was staring. Moving toward them was a surge in the surface of the ocean. From here it looked like a bulge. There were several other islands like this one stretching in the direction of the wave. One by one, the wave hit those islands, engulfing them with a dramatic crash of white water. Then there was just the wave. Comm: =/\= Prepare for transpor- Wait. There are two life signs at your location. You booked alone, we weren't expecting-=/\= Valys: =/\=Not a good time with the wave approaching!=/\= Comm: =/\=You don't understand. The pattern buffer is already maxed out for evacuation!=/\= The sky darkened as the wave approached. Salzaar could see the surge clearly now. Like the other islands, theirs would be erased. Valys: =/\=Then get my companion out of here!=/\= Kyd: No! Not a chance! Comm: =/\=We can't. Sorry. We're locking onto your comm signal...=/\= Salzaar shoved his hand into his bag and grabbed his comm badge. Valys: Sorry Tenna... He slapped the badge onto her and pushed her away from him. Tenna Kyd vanished in a shimmering Endaasi transporter beam. Salzaar smiled as the wave exploded against the side of his small island paradise, engulfing it like the others in the archipelago. PNPC Salzaar Valys Federation Trade Representative UFP Trade and Economic Outreach Bureau & Tenna Kyd Assistant to the Representative UFP Trade and Economic Outreach Bureau Simmed by LCmd Edward Spears, MD Chief Medical Officer / Second Officer USS Constitution-B C239502ES0
  5. @Saveron and @Lazarus Davis have done a great job in portraying the communication between a Federation team and a very alien creature. I'm really enjoying watching this unfold! ((Tat’si Valley, Path of the Wild Walker, Endaasi)) Lystra had done her utmost to express initial goodwill and give the amphibious being a sense of their language. The very fact that it had picked up the water canteen and drunk the water showed that it had understood at least some of what she was trying to tell it. And proved that it was sentient. Behind them, Sarah Mason was working on her comm badge, trying to adjust the Universal Translator to be more receptive to the being’s language, whilst Jalana and Ravenna discussed it’s biology, which was like nothing they’d ever seen. Mentally tired no doubt, Lystra sat down on the baked ground nearby. Saveron took that as his cue to come forward and crouch, just out of the being’s reach, in a non-threatening manner. Saveron: We mean no harm, and will help if we can. Picking up a stick, the Vulcan began to draw shapes in the burned ground. First a small circle, heavily scribed but hollow, then a larger circle around it in a light trace; on that circle, a heavy dot. Next to that, he drew a similar shape, but instead of one inner circle there were four, two hollow and two filled by scratches. On the outer, lightly scribed circle, he placed two dots. Carter: ::unable to see what was being drawn:: Whatcha doodling there, Commander? Saveron: The two most common elements in the universe; hydrogen and helium. It was the conventional, greatly simplified representation of the atoms, as used in the Federation, showing the nature of the electron orbits. Looking up at the being, Saveron waited to see if there was any kind of response. Could they find some common ground, some recognition of each other, and some way to help it’s injuries? The creature looked at it, but gave no obvious sign of recognition. Perhaps it they gave it some time to consider the scratchings; who knew what kind of representations they used? Mason: ::excited:: You’re a genius.. Ishar: [Mmm? What have you scribbled in the muck? It’s pretty, in a way, but I doubt you are sharing art with me. :: Ishar looked back to briefly lock gaze with the grey-eyed mammal again :: No, not art. But if it were art, what would it represent? A star system? Maybe, but a system with four stars in it is next to it and that doesn’t make any sense. I’ve never even heard of that before, and these two are shown on the same orbit. What else orbits?] Carter: Is there a universal sign for hurt or injured? Rajel: Not that I know of. Even the caduceus is not universal or I'd try to draw that. Atoms are much more simple as a base. That was when the creature shifted and moved, looking at Saveron's drawing from another angle. The Vulcan shifted out of the way slightly, watching intently. And something happened. The being looked at Saveron and pointed at the drawing, making a sound. Vulcans used a range of language sounds that other species couldn’t, but he didn’t think he could reproduce that one. Ishar: [Wait, are those atoms? :: It locked eyes with the grey-eyed mammal again and pointed :: Hydrogen? Helium?] Rajel: Look. I think they may recognize it. Lystra: So do I. Wait..::She thought for a moment:: What was that you said about species not hearing certain sounds? ::She looked at Jalana:: Maybe….. Saveron: It may have just given us the word for hydrogen. Assuming it understood what he was trying to represent. Carter: Alright, so roughly how long until the universal translate is up and running? Mason: I’ve done all I can. It’s up to the creature and the programming to do the rest. I’ve input every trick I know. Rajel: Yeah without anything to go by for the translator who knows if it ever works. Just one word of recognition would be enough already to try more. The Boslic pointed to the hydrogen atom Saveron drew and started saying the word ‘hydrogen’ in her normal tone then almost singing the word in different octaves. As tenor and as baritone as she could manage before her voice strained. Then tried the same with the helium atom drawing. Lystra: ♪Helium♪ ♪Hydrogen♪ Saveron:: We need more words from it, for the Universal Translator to work on. Words with known meanings. So far they had one. Carter: And how much more daylight do we have left? And that was a very good question. They were wet, exposed, with minimal supplies - though perhaps not so minimal had they not had a Starfleeter’s tendency towards over preparedness. Rajel: We started at 10... Right now it's.. ::She raised her arm and pushed up a sleeve to check her watch:: 4:26. The sun went down around 9 pm the days before. So about 4 and a half hours. Lystra stopped trying to say the words in various tones and tember and looked to Saveron. Lystra: What…::She sounded parched and had to pull another bottle from her pack and took a long drink:: What do you think? Did it work? Saveron: If it is a question of hearing range then it may. ::The Vulcan said honestly.:: However if it is a questionn of ability, we will need means other than verbal to communicate. After all, the Endaasi couldn’t speak, though they could hear. If this ‘Wild Walker’ was native, who was to say it might also have different abilities and limitations? Though it hadn’t yet shown the Endaasi tendency for getting grabby when it wanted to say something. Carter: So we need to also start thinking shelter too for all of us. And I can’t speak for everyone, but my stuff is all waterlogged and wouldn’t do much to protect me from the elements. Maybe we could all pool our resources and take a mini inventory? Mason: Makes sense. I brought a pack, but I haven’t fully checked the damage yet. Rajel: I got some rations and water but nothing to sleep in. As they talked, the creature reached out and began to groove the soil with a claw. Jalana came to stand by the Vulcan’s side to watch. It drew a heavy, straight, horizontal line and placed a circle on it, like a bead. Above and parallel to that, it drew another unadorned line. Above that, and centered horizontally, he placed one dot with no line. The others regarded the patterns with interest. . ----- --O-- Next to that, it drew another heavy horizontal line with two beads. Above that, another horizontal line with two perpendicular dashes through it. Above that, two dots. Then it drew back, looking at Saveron expectantly. .. --|--|-- --O--O-- Rajel: What are they drawing? Lystra: I think it’s the same thing Saveron drew, but in whatever symbology this species uses maybe? There’s similar patterns in the drawings. If Ilix was here he could back me up on that. He’s the analyst. Saveron: I believe that Lystra is correct. ::He confirmed, regarding the drawings.:: Rajel: The way they pointed at your atoms... could those be their symbols for hydrogen and helium? Like protons, electrons, nucleus, shell... Lystra: Could be. Or they could merely be writing their name. Saveron: No, these are corresponding atomic representations. ::He said with that irritating Vulcan surety.:: They are more abstract than ours, but the meaning is the same. Dots for electrons, lines for neutrons, circles for protons; the relative locations likely indicate the charge state. Rajel: I wonder what the different elements of the drawing represent. It's quite different from our model. ::She crouched down and then pointed at the bottom line with the 'bead':: Could this be the circling electron? That would make it hydrogen. Saveron: That is likely the proton. If the representation is logical then the dots will be the electrons, as they have significantly less mass than a proton. Rajel: If it is, this there is helium, because it has two 'beads' on the line. But what is the rest? Saveron: The strokes are the neutrons. None for hydrogen, two for helium. These are, of course, only the most common isotopes. Other isotopes contain different numbers of neutrons. Mason: ::mumbling to herself:: Too bad my UT fixes aren’t working yet.. ::Louder for the others:: Do you think the creature has been staying nearby? Maybe there are some clues to its needs if we could find the shelter? Rajel: It would make sense if it stayed here, or close by. She only caught part of the conversation behind her and glanced back at Sarah. Lystra: I know you said you did what you could, can we adjust the frequency on our comm badges to transmit our voices at frequencies beyond our range of hearing? The UT should still pick up their response even if we can’t hear it, right? Saveron: Assuming that it uses verbal communication, and those sounds aren’t simply something it has learned to do to get a response from other organisms. If it lives predominantly underwater, it may not have a sense of hearing at all, much as animals in caves often lose their vision. The speed of sound in water was so much faster than that in air, that when under water any sound heard by an organism with two ears gave the impression of originating within that organism’s own skull. Carter/Mason: Response Rajel: ::looking to Sarah and Ravenna:: If you want to look for it, make sure to stay together and stay within earshot in case you need help. Lystra: I have a phaser in my pack if you need it. ::She pointed to her back:: We can use it to start a fire to dry off and keep warm. Or it might scare our new hiking partner. Saveron: It would be preferable not to do so, however we must consider the possibility of having to spend the night in the mountains. I do not know whether it will be perceived with the local interference, but you may wish to activate the emergency beacon. As they were pooling resources, Saveron unslung his satchel and handed it over to Jalana and Sarah. It didn’t contain much; his water canteen, a few ration bars, and the emergency beacon. Carter/Mason/Ishar: Response Jalana turned back to Saveron, Lystra, the creature and the drawing. Rajel: Would it be worth to try another atom to see if we find another pattern? Like Lithium or Carbon? To see what happens with two orbits? Lystra: What about those and..wait..what’s the atomic representation for dilithium? If they understand what hydrogen and helium are, maybe they know more advanced science as well? It might help us narrow down their knowledge base at least. It was said that great minds think alike. Jalana and Lystra were both thinking along the same lines as Saveron himself. Saveron: Affirmative. Lithium is the next in the atomic progression. He picked up the stick again, and began to scratch in the dirt, next to the being’s own drawing. Three tiny dots, a line with four slashes, a line with three circles. The most common isotope of Lithium. … --|--|--|--|-- --O--O--O-- The he looked expectantly back at the amphibious being. Carter/Mason/Ishar: Response Lystra: We could also try drawing harmonic waves? ::She looked at Saveron, then to Jalana:: Waves have patterns and those patterns are universal I believe. We may be able to get a basic language...like sign language, but with song? Tones? I think I remember reading some terran fiction where they tried using something similar. The Vulcan still wasn’t convinced that the creature could even hear. It had made noises yes, but perhaps it had learned over the years that such elicited a response from others. Saveron: Our new companion is badly injured. Whatever we do, it needs assistance. Could they even give it that here? And where was the water it so obviously needed? Carter/Mason/Ishar/Rajel: Response Lystra: Music is also mathematical in nature. Right? Would that help us communicate if it had such an understanding? Saveron: If it can hear, and if it’s culture has music. ::He said patiently.:: I recommend that we pursue the direction which has already received a response. Much as he would be fascinated to trade musical theory with it. If they could establish communication with this species, then perhaps that would be a conversation for the future. Carter/Mason/Ishar/Rajel: Response Lystra pulled another bottle from her pack, opened it and offered it to the creature. This time holding it in her hand so it could take it from her. An attempt at building trust. Showing she trusted it not to try and swipe at her or rip her arm off and offering the water she’d seen it drink so quickly. Saveron: Be wary of using all of our water. ::He said quietly.:: They were, after all, in a survival situation, and most of them would last only a few days without water. Whilst she did that, Saveron took up his stick again. Carter/Mason/Ishar/Rajel: Response Lystra: Here. I hope it helps you feel better. ::She looked at the creature:: Whilst Lystra was tending to the creature, Saveron drew a small circle next to the symbol for Lithium. Then in a new space below the line of atoms, he used that circle as a module to map out an array, pairs of squares arranged in a very specific lattice, with a regular relationship between the pairs. The structure of the crystalline form of dilithium. He looked up again at the creature. It’s turn. Saveron/Carter/Mason/Ishar/Rajel: Response TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10
  6. (( Courtroom 407, Starfleet Judiciary Facility, Andoria )) Skepus’ eyes narrowed as he gazed down his nose at the defendant on the stand. It was uncommon for a defendant to sit on the witness stand, but as Skepus had learned in the weeks prior, this particular defendant was easily led. His own counsel had even (unwittingly) expressed exasperation at their client’s bellicose and short-sighted desire to never appear weak. Aria sat back examining and reexamining their evidence, and it was a mountain full. Skepus: Admiral Fraser, just so we’re clear, you maintain that you did not order *anyone* to alter the logs of the Constitution? The round-faced man on the stand had become quite incensed and red at the line of questioning. Fraser: No, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Skepus: You don’t know about the altered logs of the Constitution? Fraser: I’m not familiar with that ship. I hear the captain is a nasty woman, though. Skepus raised an eyebrow and looked back over his shoulder at Aria. The two had somewhat improved their relationship by working on the same team for once, instead of against each other. He looked to her to see if her face gave any hint of how he might proceed. All it revealed was frustration. Aria’s hands were balled into fist under the table. She was thankful that she hadn’t chosen that moment to take a drink. She could feel her blood pressure rising and her heartbeat thumped in her ears. oOThat lying, conniving Oo Her stomach was doing flips at the waves of arrogance pouring off from Fraser. It didn’t take an empath to know he was right proud of himself. She was seeing red. Skepus turned back around toward the Admiral and exhaled. Skepus: Sir, your own logs show you personally signed the orders for the Constitution to investigate Xatrac City. Of course, your logs reflect different orders than were sent to the Constitution, but nonetheless– Fraser: I don’t recall that. I sign lots of orders. Skepus: Are you saying you do not read the orders you sign? Fraser: No, no, I read them but you know you read them and sign them and that’s it they’re gone. Aria cringed. That hole was getting mighty deep. His own incompetence might do him in. The man spoke without punctuation, as if he were unfamiliar with the concept. Skepus pursed his lips and clasped his hands behind his back. He turned to the bench. Skepus: Your Honor, I request a recess with my partner to discuss a matter of the case. The judge silently nodded. She had been reticent the entire case, merely watching. He returned to Aria, with only the hint of flames in his eyes. Fraser was infuriating! Maddox: Thank the Four for that. I cannot take another minute of his…. His arrogant self-congratulatory behavior. Be thankful you are a touch telepath and not an empath. Skepus chuckled. Skepus: Indeed. But what do we do about him? Maddox: I have an idea. Skepus nodded in approval. Maddox: He is so arrogant and thinks he can do no wrong, get him talking about his assistant. The one that tampered with the logs,. ::scaning the files:: Lt. Dolen. Eventually, at least likely, he’ll start on about how he could have done it better if he had just done it himself. A wry smile cracked Skepus’ face. Skepus: You’re devious. Maddox: I think I’ve been working too closely with you. You’ve rubbed off on me. Aria shook her head as Skepus staled back to the floor. At least this time they had a plan. Skepus had already returned to stalk back to the floor and resume questioning when he hung his head and shook it, smiling. She certainly had a way with words. Truth was that working together felt good. Felt damned good, and reminded him about what he saw in her in the first place. “Rekindled” might be too strong a word, but he felt that they were more than mere friends. She was someone he could trust. Skepus: Admiral, let’s set aside orders for the moment. What can you tell us about Lieutenant Dolen? Fraser: Good officer, works hard. Skepus: He was identified, tried, and convicted of tampering with official Starfleet orders and records. Fraser: :: defiant :: So? What’s that got to do with me? Skepus: Sir, he served with you for the past 12 years. Fraser: Ok. Skepus: You have no comment on his conduct? Fraser: No. Skepus: He implicated you, which is why you stand trial today. He says that you ordered him to make those changes. He produced evidence :: motioning to the display :: such as extemporaneous memos claiming you ordered him to “make it go away.” Fraser: What he does is his business. Typically, the prosecution is disincentivized from screaming in primal fury in the courtroom. So Skepus took a step back, took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Time to let Aria have a go with him. He walked over to her and leaned in, to speak in soft tones. Skepus: I cede him to you, Aria. Maddox: Gee thanks. Just what I never wanted ::she chuckled:: Skepus: Glad to be of service. :: He swung around the desk and sat next to her. :: His game had always been to get people talking, peek through their words to see the truth, provoke them into admitting something… Fraser’s tactic was so blunt and unbecoming that Skepus couldn’t get anywhere. Skepus had begun to understand his error: not everyone is decent at heart. Aria took one last moment to scan her files for anything useful before she stood. He was prepped and ready for any material they threw at him that was trial related. It was time to shake the ground beneath his feet. Time to get him unsteady. Aria stood gracefully and walked to the floor where Skepus had just been occupying. Maddox: I read somewhere that you are close to retirement, surely you have had an long and interesting career. Fraser: Young lady, you wouldn’t believe the things I’ve achieved. Maddox: I’m sure that’s true. Do you mind if we speak hypothetically for a moment? Surely, your experience might help shed light on a situation that is most unfortunate. The round-faced man’s features softened a bit. Fraser: You ask and I’ll have it solved before you’re done asking the question. Maddox: Well, then let’s give this a go. Say we have a Starfleet Admiral, who is close to retirement, and he sees a culture that has a rare thing, let’s say a gas. He knows immediately that it has an immense value, but it isn’t without risks. So he sends a ship to negotiate a possible trade deal, but it goes horribly wrong in ways he never could have known… what should he do? His career and name are in jeopardy if word gets around that he signed off on it. His demeanor shifted. Fraser: Well, I wouldn’t know anything about all that. You know, I heard the Constitution captain broke all sorts of rules. Maddox: We were talking hypothetically. Though, it’s interesting that you felt it was about you. Fraser: You can't prove that. Maddox: Prove what? That we were talking hypothetically and you made it about you? Actually, yes I can since there is a room full of witnesses. Anyway, you said you could solve it, so what would you do? Fraser: I– look, I think i’m just about done being on the stand. Maddox: What would you do if your name was on the orders? He recoiled in his seat. He wasn’t used to be addressed like that. Fraser: I don’t have to answer that. Maddox: What would you do if your name was on the orders? Fraser: :: angry :: I’d–I’d– Maddox: ::louder and sternly:: What. Would you do. If your name was on the orders? Fraser: :: shaking, beet red, and stamping his feet :: Change them! Change the orders! I’d change the damned orders, ok?! Skepus was wide eyed. She’d gotten to him far faster than he thought possible. Maddox: ::Calmly:: I’ll raise you and give you one better. What about having someone else change them? Fraser: What? Maddox: Why would an Admiral get his hands dirty, unless… Fraser: Unless what! Maddox: How do you go in and change ship logs Admiral? Fraser: I, well see. You need to address the computer to alter the, er, identity of the date, and… Maddox: You don’t actually know do you? Fraser: :: thinking he was making a point :: Exactly. Which is why I couldn’t have changed the orders! Maddox: But Lieutenant Dolen could. You worked with him for 12 years. You knew what he was capable of. You were his direct Commanding Officer. Your wish was his command. “Make it go away”. Did you order Dolen to do it for you? Fraser: Wish I could make you go away. :: Standing up :: I’m done. Maddox: Answer the question and I’m gone. Fraser: No. :: Be bent over and pushed open the half-door, and moved to return to his seat. :: Skepus watched closely, his hand covering his mouth as he propped his chin up. Maddox: Your Honor, I wasn’t finished with the Defendant. A bailiff looked to the judge for orders. The judge, turned to Aria and Skepu, looking inquisitively. Skepus motioned to Aria to come over to him. Aria saw Skepus and complied, waltzing over like it was just a casual day in the park rather than the court room… just to irritate Fraser. Skepus: Let him sit back down. I think we got everything we could hope for from him. Plus he looks like an absolute ass. Maddox: Do you think it's enough? Skepus: I’m not sure. :: His gut said yes, but he couldn’t trust it anymore after ‘Rajel’ :: But we still have Dolen and the medical reports of the Admiral’s psych workup. Maddox: I can keep grilling him. I can serve him Medium well or well done, whichever you prefer. Skepus: I’d rather him burnt to a crisp. :: Looking her in the eye and placing his hand on hers. :: I know you could. But let’s let him cook himself. Maddox: ::addressing the Judge:: Actually, Your Honor, the prosecution requests a recess. The judge’s eyes darted back and forth between the defendant and the prosecution. Before nodding to a bailiff. Bailiff: Judge Riva agrees to a recess of two days. The defense would be wise to remind the defendant of the rules and regulations of this courtroom. The judge nodded in approval of the Bailiff’s words. In a short while, they had collected their things and left the courtroom. ((Flashback, Trial Prep Federation v Fraser)) It looked like it was shaping up to be a working dinner. Aria had spent all day trying deperately to consolidate the notes that she and Skepus had kept during the Rajel trial. It was a mess. His notes were all along the lines of “Jalana violated this general order” “Her crew’s incompetence…”. Her notes were the only to contain any notion of what actually happened. And it didn’t really help them now. Maddox: Did you gather ANY evidence for the trial or did you just bully people and leak things to the press about me? Skepus: *Excuse me,* I had a job to do and I did it to the best of my ability. Lot of good that did me. Maddox: Yeah, it really paid off I see. Care to add anything or… I don’t know, help me maybe. I have been reading these PADDs all day and have precisely nothing new to add. He was slouched in his chair but straightened up when she jabbed at him. Skepus: I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m helping to organize the notes, aren’t I? Maddox: You are getting a second chance. Act like it. Skepus: Mm. And we’d better not mess this up. Maddox: Then help me read. My head is killing me. He dispondantly picked up a PADD and began scrolling through it, highlighting the important parts of the notes. All of the bravado, the swagger, the confidence… it was all gone. Aria clutched her head in pain, a fresh wave washed over her that felt like she was being stabbed and electrocuted. Maybe she worked too hard, slept too little, but it didn’t explain the pain getting worse. Skepus: :: Looking up and noticing her expression, concerned :: Are you alright? Do you need a doctor? Maddox: I did get it checked, actually. Dr. Spears didn’t find anything amiss; aside from my lifestyle. I am a diagnosed workaholic it seems. Skepus snorted in agreement as he turned his eyes back to the PADD. Skepus: Happens to the best of us. Maddox: Well, I don’t see any other betazoids running around clutching their heads in agony. I have named the headache though Skepus: :: not looking up :: What ignoble title have you given it? Maddox: Skepus. I think it might have earned a last name of Fraser though. Skepus: Yes, this case should be open-and-shut, but did you take a look at his most recent psych report? Maddox: ::sarcastically: No, I was too busy looking at yours. In all honestly, yes I did and it is deeply troubling. Skepus: He sounds like a treat. I suppose they were going to just let him ride to retirement. His service record shows he was a skilled captain in his time. Captained an Ambassador class. Decorated several times over. Maddox: Being a Captain doesn’t make you a saint… in this case it makes you a pompous slimeball. Skepus: Did you see the note about 2364? Maddox: Briefly saw it listed but zoned out. We need food… and sleep. I feel like I’m on a meltdown. Skepus: Just a moment ago you were admonishing me for not working enough. :: beat :: In 2364, he was taken captive by an apparent Romulan splinter group for about a month. From there on out, his psych reports show him unfit for command, and was “promoted” into an obscure desk job. Maddox: Wait, seriously? ::taking the PADD unceremoniously from Skepus’ hands:: That does explain one thing for sure. Skepus: Well, yes, how he got the job. Maddox: No, why he had it out for Jalana. Her sterling career and his desk bound one. Skepus: ::struck with sudden realization:: Motive, or at least more layers to the motive. Maddox: It’s a start surely ::Shaking her head slightly that she was about to admit this:: Good job! Skepus: Maybe we should leave it here for tonight. Get some rest. Maddox: Maybe that’s a good plan. We made some progress tonight. I’ll see you in your office around 0700? TBC Lt Commander Aria Maddox Starfleet Legal Defense Attorney Simmed by Lieutenant Ravenna Carter Medical Officer USS Constitution B C239607RC0 Lieutenant Commander Skepus Special Prosecutor Starfleet As simmed by Lieutenant Lazarus Davis Chief Science Officer USS Constitution-B C239510LD0 (he/him; player & character) “Tis true, ’tis pity, And pity ’tis, ’tis true—a foolish figure” - Polonius (Hamlet, 2.2.100-101)
  7. ((Hotel Room, Endaasi)) Cade Foster lounged back in a chair, idly waiting and watching the clock. It was one of those occasions where he was banking on his own gravitas to connect him with his recalcitrant son for a talk that was long overdue. Wyn did not want the tables turned and to have Cade Foster knocking on his door at two in the morning. Nobody wanted Cade to make a midnight house call, least of all his own kid. Besides, he loved the kid and the kid loved him. While they were always and forever close, the knowledge that something was hidden from him had driven a hazy wedge between them. Well, hidden might be a harsh way of putting it. Overlooked, perhaps. Unmentioned. Still, in this big crazy galaxy family was a bedrock and Cade would do anything for Wyn Foster. And yet Wyn was of that awkward adult age where he was thoroughly and totally independent and yet not old enough to come full circle and realize that one didn’t have to do everything alone. That was the curious thing about age, one grew up and then one had to keep growing. Building strengths, overcoming weaknesses and recognizing mental demons were all part of growing as an adult. Cade was old enough to have messed it all up, pulled himself together, learn lessons the hard way and start to grow into someone he could respect. And his highest goal was to get Wyn on the right path without nearly as much pain and anguish as Cade had gone through to get himself on the right track. Still, time was slowly slipping away and Cade kept a careful eye on the clock. He had his own, unspoken mental time limits of when he had enough and would get up off this comfortable chair and go on the prowl. He was almost, but not quite irritated. Just tense enough to stretch but not tense enough to get up when the door chime rang. The kid had perfect timing – whether that was from instinct, personal connection or a combination of the two he had hit the point of the maximum amount of procrastination without actually [...]ing off the person on the other side of the door. Cade hit the door controls first so it slid open without warning and then once he saw the short form with a familiar antennae silhouette did he smile and offer. Cade: Come on in. Wyn: Thanks? Cade stood watching as the awkward surface tension of the reunion was first broken by the simple act of stepping through the threshold of the doorway. Still, the unease – almost embarrassment was palpable. His eyes narrowed at the younger Andorian, his gait was very slightly stumbling. With a snap of his fingers Cade brought the light levels up and took a step forward, watching his son’s gaze rivet towards him. Hm, the pupil dilation reaction was much better than the gait suggested. Wyn was mostly sober. Cade watched him as he neared for a few more moments, forming a quiet hypothesis in his mind. A hypothesis that would have to wait, there were more important things to tend to. In one swift, steady gesture he crossed the room with those overly long, lanky legs and wrapped his kid up in a silent, unyielding hug. Wyn didn’t protest. He always made a show like he was going to protest and then never did. And every single time he pulled the smaller, younger man close, he could feel the tension held like a drawn bowstring slowly loosen and drain away, muscles untangling as the younger leaned into the gestured, soaking up every bit of connection and compassion possible. Wyn: ::After a long pause.:: I missed you, Dad. Cade: I missed you too, Kid. He smiled fondly as the two broke, lingering close, but now separate. Wyn kept his crystal blue eyes downwards as Cade waved him to take a seat while surreptitiously dialing down the heat and bringing up the air conditioning. Silence, one of the constant companions in their relationship settled in and got cozy between them. Cade was patient, hanging on to each beat of the conversation with good humor, a hint of a smile hanging on his features. Cade: Come on, sit down, the chairs won’t bite you. Wyn’s gaze rose furtively towards his father, cheeks tinging faintly navy as he looked forward, broke the gaze and looked back again. Inwardly he cursed himself. This was his Dad. His father, the person he loved more than anything in the world. Why couldn’t he just say things like a normal person? Wyn: Dad, I… ::His tongue faltered on the words as he second guessed himself.:: Another round of almost comfortable silence settled in. Cade drew in a long slow breath and let it out before he smiled very faintly. Cade: I won’t bite you, either. Wyn drew a breath in through his teeth, realizing that he could agonize over words all day and just end up looking like a fool. He had to spit it out, something he had been ruminating on for years. Wyn: Dad… I’m sorry. ::He fixed his eyes on Cade again, antennae curled down into the snowy tufts of his hair.:: Sometimes I go over conversations we had and I am so embarrassed. Cade perked a brow, vaguely surprised. He was expecting this to start off about conversations they didn’t have rather than ones they did have. Curiosity drained in. Cade: Conversations, eh? Which ones? Setting his jaw in a thin, hard line, Wyn took a step forward, his eyes trailing off to the side as if replaying something in his head. Wyn: Remember when you decided to stay on the Constitution the first time? And we argued and I said I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I needed my father to follow me into space and take care of me? Slowly Cade gave a nod. He did remember that, but clearly not as strongly or painfully as Wyn did. Cade has passed it off as part and parcel of being wounded and off duty. He had said plenty of stupid things to well meaning caretakers that he most certainly didn’t mean, and had automatically and generously passed the same on to Wyn. But clearly from the deeply troubled expression Shar’Wyn Foster had throught about this far more than Cade had. Perhaps that was because Wyn had said exactly the opposite of what he felt and wanted and had regretted it ever since. Cade: I do ::he said carefully, not trying to stop words that needed to be said from being said.:: Wyn: ::He took in a deep breath and ended up looking downward at the floor, murmuring the words with a low sobriety.:: I am so, so sorry, Dad. I want you to know that I was a stupid fool and that I not only need you, but I wish I could have stayed there with you. Cade: Wyn… ::His voice started to grow a touch hoarse as he moved forward in his seat.:: You know you always have my support whether I’m in the room or not. I am always a comm call away. Shar’Wyn Foster blinked a little, possibly expecting a bit more pushback than he got. Instead he was countered with an open invitation and now he felt like he was slightly floating in a pool of indecision. Wyn: I don’t like commline calls. Cade: I know. They’re not my favorite either. But it’s good to talk to you. And sometimes good is better than great. Wyn let his antennae sink downwards, and his eyes drift upwards, taking in a long slow breath. He couldn’t really argue that. Good was better than being alone and suffering alone even when there were others offering support. But when one was alone and suffering it was so hard to see the unlocked doors that only needed to be opened. He sighed and sank heavily into a chair close to Cade. Wyn: I should have told you sooner. Damn skippy he should have. Not on the unappreciated comment or any verbal altercations the two had in the past. No. From the shift in the young Andorian’s posture and tone he was clearly now focused on the thing. The big thing. The thing he had expressly stated they were going to talk about. Cade knew. He had friends in Starfleet medical. High ranking friends in Starfleet medical. Including one high ranking Denobulan friend who had no concept of proper filtering of conversational details who, as they had been discussing specific medical judicial cases asked if Cade was going to weigh in on the trial of a young half-Vulcan, half-Human ex-Starfleet officer named Janeway (an ironic name, all Starfleet things considered, but a common one on Earth) guilty of assaulting several fellow crewmembers while undergoing Pon Farr. Cade had shook his head, waving a hand and stating that unmoderated Pon Farr was a consistent issue with Vulcan hybrids that Starfleet medical and Starfleet Counselling needed better game plans for when his Denobulan companion had made an unmistakable fumble, and then changed subjects all too quickly. Seriously suspiciously quickly. So Cade jotted down the name and looked it up. What he found made him so mad that he briefly considered becoming a vigilante and then decided to just send some anonymous tips to people with enough pips to get some legitimately good things done. Then he made a fateful commline call which confirmed every fear he had, hopped a ship and ended up on the Constitution less than a week later. He knew the whole story, but not from Wyn’s lips. It was important to him. It still was. Cade: Tell me now. ::gentle.:: No admonishment. He could confirm ‘you should have’ but what was the point in guilt when he had the chance to get what he wanted – the conversation that they should have had years ago, and the chance to start the person he loved the most in the universe down a path of healing. Wyn Foster sighed, putting his hands by his temples to support his head. Cade watched as the right hand antennae tracked a hair slower than the left one, and frowned. Hypothesis again. Wyn: You know the details. ::He murmured, really not wanting to relive or rehash the moments.:: Cade: I do. ::He leaned forward again.:: But I’m not interested in the details academically. I’m interested in your experience. That’s what the reports leave out, the actual experience of the people involved. The little Andorian gave a sigh. He opened his mouth, perhaps hoping that words would just tumble out. None did. He had struggled so long with his own experience because none of it made sense to him. From his point of view a crime was committed and the victims and anyone who supported them was vilified and ostracized. That made no sense to him. He had spent a very long, lonely week in a haze of painkillers and confusion wondering if the world had gone mad or if he, himself was crazy. Wyn: I don’t remember much ::He said pulling his shoulders in towards his chest, physically shrinking away on the chair.:: Kortantol painkillers are a hell of a thing. Cade: Bull[...]. You remember plenty and it haunts you. He would call that one out. Wyn was not getting away and he was going to put up verbal brick walls to get the hard part started. He watched Wyn’s head jerk up, feeling an empathetic flash of pain. Oh yeah, that stung. He knew it stung. He had been there before and done it before. It sucked. It sucked and it had to be done. The Andorian set his mouth in a thin, hard line, not breaking Cade’s gaze, but not speaking either. It was a tenuous teeter-totter on a line of not wanting to show weakness, but an unwillingness to move forward. But like all unbalanced things it could not hold on forever. Wyn: ::He started with a sigh, almost a stutter.:: I see it play out some nights, when I close my eyes, when I least expect it. It sneaks up in my dreams and steals away my thoughts when I’m tired and alone. And the more I think about it the more I’m convinced that if put in the same situation I would make the same choices, no matter how stupid the results turned out to be. ::The words slowly grew faster, taking on a thin, tense, anguished tone.:: I did the right thing, Dad! I did what I thought was right, I tried to protect someone, I got my [...] kicked for it, and then everyone vilified me! Why was he shouting? He didn’t know. His Dad was the least guilty. But to his credit Cade Foster also looked the least bothered by it. Cade: Almost everyone. ::He offered as a quiet counterpoint.:: It is deeply unfair that those who supported truth and justice were removed from the ship before they had a chance to express that support. ::He offered evenly. Though he knew that at least two had gone to the Constitution- at the time the Apollo – as well.:: Wyn: It was unfair! ::he protested, waving a hand in front of his face as if he was trying to gather up words that were floating like leaves in front of him.:: How could people be OK with what happened? The CO left a crewmember behind, a crewmember in danger who was murdered while we were on a mission! The crew protected a man who attacked me at a party and sexually assaulted a senior officer! Not protected her… not protected me. Protected the guy who did it! I don’t understand, Dad! That doesn’t make any sense! None of it makes any sense! ::He stopped himself from yelling, taking in a short breath, suddenly feeling very raw, exposed and he had barely even started this conversation.:: Cade nodded gently, keeping his voice measured. Cade: It was unfair. ::he repeated, with a tone of validation.:: Wyn: If it was so clearly unfair why did only three people seem to actually see that are gave a crap about it? ::he shot back. In about ten minutes he would be extremely ashamed of yelling at his Dad, but in the heat of the moment the words were loud with venom.:: Again, Cade was unphased by this. He had done plenty of yelling in his days, yelling that was not directed at the listener. It was just a way to process emotions. That much they had in common. Heck, if Cade were being brutally honest he would have to admit that he most likely taught Wyn that. Cade: Do you really want an answer? ::he asked evenly, firmly, indicating that he had one.:: Wyn: Yes. ::He shot back a little too quickly and then reinforced it:: Yes. Wyn’s big blue eyes were searching, looking for something that he couldn’t grasp, even after all these years. That was one of the problems of being in the middle of something – one could not see the forest, only the trees. Cade: ::he took in a long deep breath.:: Ok, let me break it down. Your CO had a fight with his friend and lover, a fellow member of your crew and that guy marched off ship. And your CO told the crew ‘don’t go looking for him’ because he feeling wounded from the fight. Then you and your crewmates saw some evidence that the guy was well and truly in trouble, your crewmates said ‘Captain says don’t go looking for him’ and you say ‘screw that, this could be important, I’m telling him.’ Do I have it right so far? Wyn gave a silent nod and Cade leaned forward to continue on. Cade: Captain says ‘he’s done this before, don’t worry about him we’re leaving.’ ::he took in a breath and held up a hand:: Now in my humble opinion that should have been a full stop moment because no commanding officer should ever leave a member of the crew behind on a space station, no matter how many times they have run off before or what set them off. You beam their butt onboard and hold them in the brig if you have to and if you release them from Starfleet service you take them to a place like StarBase 118 where you can officially – and safely discharge them, not some half wild deep space station. But anyways, your ship heads out. You have a mission, bad stuff happens, you get back, surprise, surprise, the guy is dead. Now let me ask you – did you CO let the crew know that they were leaving without an officer? Wyn: Yes. ::he nodded feeling a bit numb,:: Cade: And you already confirmed that the crew knew that the CO’s wish was to no go looking for the guy. So now you are part of a crew that has confirmation that if you [...] off the CO, you get left behind. ::He said this with a dark punctuation.:: I get it, there were nuances, but that’s what it boils down to, right? You cross the CO, you get left out in the cold. A curious, and very cutting choice of words. Wyn’s head jerked upwards as if he had been stung. Ostracism, being left behind. That’s what cut to the quick. Cade knew this all too well. He had picked the half-frozen child up from the snow where the tribe had left him and his mother to die for being different. It didn’t matter if Wyn was a toddler barely old enough to walk. That memory had seared itself in his psyche as some half-formed, looming, nameless monster. Wyn: ::biting his bottom lip, he tried to stave away the shadows of memories.:: Are you saying I should have seen it coming? Cade: ::gently, with compassion.:: I’m saying I think you had at least some awareness that you were going against the status quo and that would have consequences. I’m also not saying that is a bad thing. ::he paused and when Wyn was silent he carried on.:: So your crew has a miserable shore leave, and all your CO wants to do is indulge in his own misery and deny he had a hand in the death of his lover. And then your crewmate goes into Pon Farr, which seriously screws up the wallowing in misery process. Sure, the senior staff isn’t involved in the altercation, but now there’s something they have to deal with, and they have to stop feeling sorry for themselves. But, Wyn, let me tell you – the combination of denial and feeling sorry for yourself is one of the most powerful narcotics you can imagine. So the senior staff wants this thing over with as soon as possible so they can go back to their comfortable misery. And almost everyone else is happy with staying complacent and keeping quiet because they all know if you cross the CO you get tossed out. Again Wyn gave the softest of nods of assent, just trying to let the words sink in and finally process. Cade: Counselor speaks up? Boom, gone. Medical staff speaks up? Boom, gone. Did you really think after those examples were made that others would speak up? ::he shook his head:: Wyn, authority can be terrifying to some people. They don’t understand the whole picture but they know who has the pips. And they say ‘yes Sir’ and trust that the person with the pips has crew’s best interests at heart. And, for the best COs that’s true. ::He would firmly argue Jalana was one of them.:: But not everyone can handle that pressure, And one mistake will snowball into a cascade of mistakes covered up by defensiveness and denial. And everyone knows the best way to cover up mistakes is to get rid of roadblocks. Wyn looked up, his expression pained, brows and antennae twining together. Wyn: Dad… I saved that man’s life once… ::He reached out as if trying to understand.:: I did everything I could to support him and he discarded me. Cade: ::Gently, he reached out and put a hand on Wyn’s shoulder.:: Wyn… it’s not personal. I know that may be unfathomable to you. But some people don’t process things like you do. You weren’t cut because you were Shar’Wyn Foster. You were cut because you were a roadblock. I don’t know if that helps at all, but again, stop beating yourself personally up for this. It wasn’t personal. Wyn: ::Softly.:: That doesn’t make it better. Cade: I know it doesn’t. ::He said soberly.:: Sometimes you can’t make things fair. If things were fair the girl would have been in counseling, the Vulcan in a mental hospital and you would have been supported for your decisions. Instead she committed suicide, he got thrown into a high security penitentiary and you got canned. ::He patted Wyn shoulder.:: But sometimes time tried to fix things. The people who caused this mess retired or stepped down. The Vulcan was eventually transferred to a proper mental health facility. You carried on and found yourself a Commanding officer or two that you can trust, if you let yourself. I can’t bring the girl back, but sometimes you have to move forward and build what you can with what you have in front of you. Wyn shot his father a short look that wondered if that was a subtle way of telling him to date Rue. Still, he was trying to let this sink in. Wyn: Moving forward isn’t easy. ::he admitted quietly.:: Cade: That’s because you see this thing as one huge looming monster. And you can never defeat a monster. What you need to do is break it down into specific problems – you can overcome problems. So, start to recognize each little think that causes you pain and anxiety and keep track of them. Record ‘em, write ‘em down, tell them to someone, whatever – get a record and then fix one small thing at a time. Wyn gave his father a very well-known hard, almost disbelieving look. The sort of teenaged pout that said ‘prove it.’ Cade: Wyn, do you think I un-screwed my life all at once? ::he said matter of factly.:: No Kid. It was a process that took years one little step at a time. Sure, the first step was the biggest – I had to get sober. But after that there was still a ton of work. I had to train myself to pick up all my socks and put them in the recycler so I didn’t always walk into a room that looked and smelled like a lonely old man lived there. I had to commit to having one breakfast a week with someone I actually cared about talking to rebuild relationships I had broken. I had to apologize to people, offer amends and stick with them. You only saw the back half of my work, and trust me the front half wasn’t pretty. ::He offered a soft smile.:: But it was worth it. Wyn let his head fall into his hands. Cade kept his hand reassuringly on the younger man’s back. Wyn: I don’t even know how to begin, Dad. Cade: Begin by defining what is important to you, Kid. You’re not nearly as far gone as I was and unlike me, you didn’t do most of the damage to yourself. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I’m saying you’ll mor readily get allies. All you have to do is ask. Wyn: More talking to people… ::he said with a sigh.:: Cade: ::With some humor.:: Are you in pain right now? Do you hate this? Sometimes Wyn still was the teenager who liked to complain just to complain. Maybe he got that from Cade, but maybe that was just him. Wyn: … no. ::He admitted sheepishly.:: I’m just tired and have too much to think about. Cade: You gonna sleep OK? ::He asked gently, well aware of how the shadows could creep in at night.:: Wyn: I don’t know. ::He took in a long slow breath and let his muscles relax.:: I think so? Cade shifted to wrap an arm around Wyn’s skinny shoulders Cade: I am always here for you, Kid. Always. No matter what, OK? Wyn: ::barely above a whisper:: I’m sorry, Dad. For a moment he pulled the kid in reassuringly close. Cade: Stop being sorry. I get what happened and I understand why you did what you did. You pulled away to protect yourself and try to somehow build callouses to operate in the outside world. I would have done the same. But now time has passed and those callouses have formed and you’re still not happy. So now it’s time to break down the monster, deal with the problems and build what makes you happy. And that is exactly what I’m here to help you with. Wyn Foster wasn’t very good at processing emotions. Sometimes he just had to shut up and try to let everything sink in. The open offer of support, the hazy view of a path forward, they all swirled around in his tired mind He opened his mouth, almost ready to protest. But something did actually sink in, it was starting to process, however slowly. Wyn: Thanks, Dad. ::He spoke in soft, deep tones choked with emotion.:: I love you. Cade would never admit it, but when no one could see him, he teared up. Cade: Love you too, Kid. ~*~ ~fin, for now~ ~*~ Lt Commander Cade Foster Mission Specialist USS Constitution-B ~and~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Interim Chief Medical officer StarBase 118 ops
  8. (( Endaasi - A tropical Beach )) It was done, over, finite. Siance felt exhausted after the last week of preparation for the exams and the practical had been draining as well. A first contact mission that had required her to rapidly get informed about a species nobody knew - that fake database was quite extensive - advice the Commanding Officer - in this case Commander Fenton - as well as pay attention during contact that he didn't make mistakes. Of course it did not go without a hitch and that was when it was at her to help find solutions with diplomacy, psychology and the laws and rules she had learned about. It was a different kind of exhaustion than when she absolved her physical training. It was more her brain that had been used a lot that now wanted some rest. And rest it would get. She had grabbed a bag, her bikini, some sunscreen and visited the first beach she had found on the e-guide. The water was of a bright turquoise with gentle waves, the taste of salt and soft bright sand that was just the right temperature. Sitting under a large parasol she simply soaked in the peace and quiet. After about half an hour of not moving at all, she now opened her eyes to look around the beach. With the broad variety of activities and locations on the planet the tourists were spread out nicely so the beach was not too full. The gaze of her dark eyes halted for a moment at a rather unusual sight. In a not too far off distance, a small group of Klingons sat together on loungers at the waterfront, their feet in the water as they seemed to relax. Something that she had not seen before. Ever. Siance chuckled to herself. Well why not. Even warriors needed some time off. If they were warriors. She realized she fell into the stereotype trap. Maybe they were scientist, bonsai tree growers or deep sea divers. Who knew from looking, right? Shaking her head again she closed her eyes until she had the feeling of not being alone. As she looked up again, her heart dropped at the sight of a familiar redheaded Trill. Rajel: Hey. Siance didn't know what to say and by the nervous look on Jalana's face she didn't feel much different. The older Trill wore a turqouise swimsuit with an orange hip scarf and a sun hat. And a bag in her hand. Thyar: Uh... Captain. Rajel: Mind if I join you? Siance was speechless and shook her head gesturing to the sands next to her own bathtowel she sat on. Jalana smiled and dug a bath towel out of her bag and placed it next to Siances before she sat down on it. Rajel: I know it's awkward but please call me Jalana. I'm not here as your Captain. Siance's heart beat rapidly and she swallowed before sitting up, realizing she was still laying down. She looked out to the ocean before them. Thyar: So you are here as Jalana. Rajel: ::smiling:: I am always Jalana. ::She took a deep breath and crossed her legs in front of her.:: I am here as the person who can tell you more about your father. That stunned Siance into silence. She turned her head to stare at Jalana without a single word. The older Trill turned her head returning the gaze with a warm green look. Rajel: If you still want to hear about him, that is. Siance: ::nodding, she blinked:: Why now? Rajel: Fair question. I had a lot of time to think, especially while I waited for the court martial. And I wanted to talk with you after that but with your exams Saveron confirmed that it may be wise to wait until that's over to not distract you. ::She had seen his message and was grateful that he had taken that time.:: How did it go? Siance: Good I think. I'll know more soon, but right now I'm glad it's over. Rajel: ::laughing:: Sounds familiar. I have no doubt that you did well. ::A pause:: I wanted to talk with your mother but I wasn't sure if she knew why you came here. So... I don't know how much I can tell you, but you have a right to know more about him than his name. So... ::She sat upright with a smile:: Ask me anything. Siance: How did he die? Rajel: Uff, starting with the big ones. It was an accident. A really stupid one. Stepped out of the shower and slipped. He landed badly. Head trauma, that's it. It was odd to talk about his death like that, it felt even stranger when it felt like it was her own because she remembered it like that. Hosts went through weird memories. Siance: That sucks. ::She sighed. She had hoped it had been something more meaningful, not a senseless accident.:: So... he didn't know about me? At all? ::She looked to Jalana who shook her head:: Then... you and mom weren't like in love? Rajel: Oh we were. It wasn't like that epic love out of books though. We weren't together for long. But I was.. sorry he was young and stupid. This ... may be difficult to hear... Siance: I want to hear it. ::She said that a little too fast, but she meant it.:: I imagined so many things over so many years, I really want the truth. Rajel: ::nodding:: Suril liked the attention of women and the thrill of something new. He never was unfaithful, but he was not the type to stay long. Your mother and Suril had a few weeks that were great but then he moved on. Siance: Oh. Was... it hard for mom? Rajel: She didn't seem like she took it hard back then. He saw her not too long after and she looked happy. But knowing what I know, it may have been one of these snapshots out of the norm. It's rarely easy for both equally. It had been a fling. Just that. Again her hopes had been crushed. But there was a light in that tunnel. Because even though he had many relationships, he remembered her mother, or Jalana wouldn't know. Right? So she was the result of a short fling. Siance: If he had known about me... Rajel: ::reaching out to place her hand on Siance's:: I really want to tell you that he would have stayed. But I don't know. As said he was a stupid young man. Siance: ::her stomach flummeted:: Oh. Rajel: ::She looked to Siance:: He did kind of settle down later on. He had a farm, a job he loved. He travelled a lot but he wanted to find that special someone so he got more careful about relationships. The older Suril would have loved to meet you and have a relationship with you had he known. That's all I know. To hear that pulled the last brick out of the wall she had tried hold up. She had just wanted to listen, come to a conclusion on her own later on. But her body didn't agree. It was like a [...] that broke and her vision blurred. Quickly she raised a hand to wipe off a threat of a tear, but the moment that coated her fingers and she wanted to apologize for it, the words came out with a pained croaking sob. A lifetime of loss and pain for not having her father by her side came crashing down on her at once. Answers to questions she had asked over and over with increasing urgency for as long as she remembered. She finally got them, and she knew she would get more, but right now she was overwhelmed with an immense sense of relief, once that closed down her throat, made her heart race and shook her soul. She inhaled loudly, a choky breath, shaking her whole body and couldn't stop sobbing loudly, no matter how hard she tried to stay quiet. Warmth suddenly wrapped her in the shape of the woman with the answers. Gentle arms embraced her, pulled her close and just silently held her. The brushing of a hand on her back, the warm breath brushing over her head. No words, silent comfort of the one person who understood, who knew. That made it worth and with a wail Siance threw her arms around her, pulled her body into a tight ball and let go of all the pain under the warming healing sun of Endaasi shedding its light on the dark corners of the young woman's mind. ----- Cadet 2nd grade Siance Thyar Counseling Trainee simmed by Commodore Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Co-Facilitator A238906JL0
  9. An absolutely devious and devastating finish to a long running side story about addiction and personal choice. Bravo! ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution)) T’Mar and Saveron sat across from each other, each with a cup of their preferred beverage, the picture of cool Vulcan composure. T’Mar: I see. ::pause to sip her tea:: You have spoken to Commander Foster. Saveron: Affirmative. ::There was no logic in denying it.:: He informed me of your extended use of Lexorin following a medical procedure which, I understand, resulted in unwanted effects related to your natural empathy and telepathy. He watched her expression, not really expecting it to change but wanting to be certain that he had the story straight. There was no benefit in proceeding on incorrect assumptions. T’Mar: Succinct. So he had understood correctly. Saveron: Would you wish to talk about the procedure? The details were probably of more use to medical in the context of resolving the situation, but sometimes simply talking through a traumatic situation could be beneficial. Being heard was a powerful medicine. The clatter of the teacup indicated that he had, as some cultures put it, ‘hit a nerve’, which she tried to cover by carefully setting the cup down. There was definite trauma there, that tiny slip confirmed it, and he wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Perhaps one day she would have the confidence in him to let him work to reduce it’s impact, but first he had to build that confidence, that trust. She closed her eyes for a moment and he remained silent, giving her that space in time. T’Mar: Not particularly. It was done against my will. I was given medication to prevent me from blocking out the feelings and then subjected to a bombardment of emotions. It was.. Unpleasant to say the least. Vulcans were the masters of understatements. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like, being subjected to the emotions of others, multiple others, against one’s will. But he would not ask her to relive that day now. Saveron: Will you describe for me the changes that you experienced following the procedure? T’Mar: I.. ::pause:: I had a strong feeling of violation, but I also experienced an inability to properly suppress my emotions as well as my empathy. Hardly surprising that T’Mar felt violated, and Saveron suspected it could well have led to a distrust of other health professionals, whether consciously or unconsciously, which would have reduced even further her desire to seek the follow up she should have had. The anger that welled on her behalf was heavily suppressed. Now was a time of logic, and through logic, hopefully, the gentle unwinding of the knot T’Mar had gotten herself into. Saveron: Disagreeable. ::He empathised.:: And for these symptoms you were prescribed Lexorin? T’Mar: Indeed. I was hesitant at first, however, it was necessary. The Counsellor set his empty cup aside and laced long fingers together. Saveron: Entirely understandable. ::There are times when such support was beneficial; but it was never meant to be permanent.:: And I anticipate that the medication has been supportive. The question is; how to do you wish to proceed from this point? Saveron wasn’t aware of that particular part of her conversation with Cade, but T’Mar was exactly right when she insisted to Foster that no treatment would be efficacious, no effort to resolve her addiction succeed, if she was not willing. Given that she had been an unwilling participant in the original procedure, consent and active participation was particularly important. T’Mar: I am quite content continuing on the way I have been. Saveron: By which, you mean continuing treatment with Lexorin? He paraphrased to be certain that he understood her. T’Mar: There seems to be this notion that I am doing something wrong, but this medication helps me, Commander. The defensive tone of her words was obvious. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t the right answer, and she’d heard accusation from him where he’d deliberately offered none. Oh, he could have, but he anticipated that Cade might have already taken that path, and was possibly not the first. He was deliberately walking a different one, since clearly the other had not been efficacious. Saveron: One presumes that others have championed this notion, based on the recommended treatment protocols. T’Mar: That’s a matter of opinion. The protocols were, technically, a matter of opinion, but a several very educated, expert opinions. Saveron: The general medical opinion is that long-term Lexorin use is to be avoided. He said it to see what she’d say to that, whether she’d acknowledge the current medical wisdom. T’Mar: I had hoped that you of all people could understand the complexity of my situation. And that was a no. Saveron: I am endeavouring to do so. ::He assured her evenly.:: I have never had another’s emotions forced on me, nor known what it is to be perceptive to the minds of others at range. ::Every telepathic contact he’d experienced had been individual, and consensual.:: I… cannot truly begin to comprehend such a violation, or the after effects. ::He admitted.:: Only that they would be intolerable. I understand that you would not wish to endure them. T’Mar: ? He inclined his head in acknowledgement. Saveron: I collated these documents for you, in anticipation of your preference, to provide you with relevant information. He offered over a PADD for her to take. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I have included several studies of the long-term effects of Lexorin, including a metanalysis of the available data. In addition there is an account from a patient who was under palliative care for a terminal illness, and also on Lexorin, which provides a more personal rendering, so that you know what to expect. He spoke in the same, even tones, entirely professional, even dispassionate, in the way of their kind. A sharp contrast to Commander Foster. The analyses detailed the relative effectiveness of the medication over time, the cumulative neurotoxicity and eventual progression of synaptic breakdown. Sopek had documented his mental condition in great detail, until he was no longer able to do so. Because that was the reality of what T’Mar was facing if she continued the way she had been, as she wished to. And since they were being logical, stoic Vulcans, he was simply providing her with information with which she could make informed decisions and plan for her future. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a long one. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I can provide a prescription of Lexorin for you; it will be dependent on quarterly neurological scans. ::And be set to cancel immediately, should a scan be missed.:: Once the scans show neurological degradation, you will be discharged from Starfleet on medical grounds. Not only for her own sake, but for that of her colleagues. T’Mar: ? Saveron: Depending on your current synaptic state and frequency of use, and based on those studies, I estimate that you will have between two and five Standard years of service, before that occurs. The synaptic degradation curve is exponential, so once it becomes detectable you will need to enter care. I have included a list of care facilities that specialise in telepaths’ medical needs. The one on Betazed is particularly highly regarded, but has a long waiting list, so I would recommend submitting your application now. Five years, maximum, and she wouldn’t be able to look after herself. T’Mar was absolutely right, it was her choice. But the important thing about the freedom to choose was that it came with the responsibility to accept the consequences. That was a lot of life to miss out on. T’Mar: ? TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10 ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution))
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