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  1. What a great way to start our new quotes thread That's meant to be a Fonzie noise in the title, FYI
  2. I feel like @herakijana needs a hug (and maybe mandatory therapy... several times a week....), but this was an excellent read! Well done ❤️
  3. A great one from @Arys. Love her explanation of why she wanted to be a counselor.
  4. This is a really nice ending to a conversation between @Etan Iljor and @Vitor S. Silveira, which was awesome to read ❤️
  5. (Genkos & Kalianna’s Quarters, USS Excalibur-A)) Genkos frowned; there was something off about his uniform - it was hanging a little looser than it normally did. He pulled at the top, trying to get it go taut - had he lost weight? There wasn’t that much of him to begin with, so to have lost enough weight to be noticeable was a little bit a cause for concern. He leaned into the mirror and pulled at his face - his cheekbones normally stood out a little bit stark, but they almost made his face look like a modernist painting. He shook his shaggy head, before attempting to run a comb through the knotty mess atop of his head, swearing a little as it caught on several knots and attempted to pull them, follicle and all, out of his scalp. He placed the comb down with a sigh and pushed his hair back with a hand where it sort of stayed, although the grey forelock flopped forward. Adea: Gods damn it. Then the console in his room rang. He frowned - he wasn’t expecting a call. Stepping out of the bathroom, he limped over to the desk. It was probably for Kalianna, he could forward it to her Ready Room. He sat down and turned the screen towards him. Blink. No. Blink. Blink. Adea: … Dad? Sure enough, on the screen there was the logo of the Betazoid penal colony that Tilull was currently imprisoned at. He pressed his palm into his forehead as he considered what to do - let it ring, or answer it. It was possible that it was actually the Warden was calling him; that she wanted to update him on his father’s rehabilitation. Maybe that was it… No… That would be too much to ask. Genkos pressed the key to answer the call, and settled back in his chair. The logo disappeared and was replaced by the image of his father. He looked older than Genkos remembered, and instead of the usual brightly coloured clothing that he wore (a trait Genkos had inherited), he was dressed in what looked like a drab, beige jumpsuit. T.Sim: Genkos? The warmth with which his father uttered his name took Genkos back - it had been remarkably easy to demonise the man when he didn’t have to see him. The images and footage he’d seen on newscasts had been worlds apart from the father that he knew - the petaQ that had murdered his first wife and crippled Genkos’ mind was the one he’d seen on his consoles in the past. The one he saw now was the father that had taught Genkos to swim, the one who had taken him camping every year in the woods, the one in whose veterinary surgery Genkos had spent most of his childhood. Swallowing that wave of emotion, his esophageal prominence bobbed, before he parted his lips to speak. Adea: Tillul. Tillul looked stung - but what else could he expect? T.Sim: Am I no longer your father? Genkos crossed his arms and forced himself to push out the feeling that longed to embrace the man on the other side of the galaxy. Adea: You stopped being my father the day you pushed Fumiko down those stairs. I just didn’t realise it yet. T.Sim: You weren’t even born then, Genkos. Adea: No, but the man I consider to be my father died that day. Tillul looked grave for a moment and then, when Genkos assumed he would scold him, nodded instead. T.Sim: The man I thought I was died that day too. Genkos scoffed. Adea: So did a woman you professed to love, and your child. What do you want, ::and then, dripping with contempt:: Dad? T.Sim: I… I wanted to apologise. Adea: Mum said you apologised to her over a year ago. Why wait that long to apologise to me, eh? Run out of subspace time? Genkos could feel his rage building, his fury at the betrayal that this man had wrought. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, but Toto looked up - clearly the anger the doctor was feeling was not contained to his own mind. The dangers of being a telepath. T.Sim: I know. But I didn’t have the words for what I wanted to say to you. I didn’t have the courage. I didn’t have the will. Genkos raised an eyebrow. Adea: But now you do? T.Sim: No, I don’t think I do. But my rehabilitation officer said that to progress, we had to speak. Adea: Oh, so you’re doing it because you have to. Bye, Tillul. Genkos reached over to end the call, but a frantic waving from his dad stayed his hand. T.Sim: I am sorry Genkos. I am sorry that I killed Fumiko, I am sorry I killed our child, I am sorry I invaded your mind and took away your powers. But most of all, I am sorry that by doing all of that, I destroyed your image of me. The loss of your love is the worst pain imaginable. I have spent every day since it all came out wishing that I could have one more moment in the woods with you, just sitting around a fire and sharing medical stories. Adea: That’s gone, Tillul. That’s never coming back. Your apology might make you feel better, but it doesn’t undo any of the things you did. Fumiko doesn’t miraculously come back to life, my sibling isn’t here, my telepathy doesn’t magically reappear and undo all that bullying, all that humiliation that I went through. Being a full blooded Betazoid with empathic powers was seen as a disability on Betazed; or at least it had been when he was a child. And he had suffered for it. Oh, how he had suffered. Children were cruel. Children who could beam their words into your mind, knowing you couldn’t block them, crueller. Adea: In fact, the fact that you sat there and cradled me, comforted me for my lack of telepathy knowing that it was your fault, that you could take away all that pain with a moment’s work, that’s unbearable. You were never the man I thought you were. That man never existed. That man I loved. The man I see right here? I don’t know who you are, but I know for a fact that I want nothing to do with you. T.Sim: Genkos - Adea: I hate you. And he ended the call before the hot stream of tears started to flood from his eyes… Tags/TBC ----------------------- Commander Genkos Adea MD Second Officer & Chief Medical Officer USS Excalibur-A G239502GS0
  6. This is absolutely stunning and beautifully written @Talos Dakora and Adri’s relationship really jumps off the page and you can tell how much he cares for her. Love this ❤️ (Chief's Office - Intel Suite - Deck 16 - USS Excalibur-A) It had been a few days since the Senior Staff's return from... wherever CloQ had sent them and Talos' sleep schedule had improved marginally. The random bouts of anxiety that the rogue Q would appear and reveal that this was all just one more layer in their game had become less frequent, but weren't gone entirely. He was sitting at his desk with his nose buried in a report when someone barged through his door unannounced. Halfway through an annoyed head-raise-to-scowl maneuver, he felt her presence and immediately replaced it with a warm smile. She stopped on the other side of his desk and he had the distinct impression that he was about to be roped into some mysterious errand for the second time in as many days. That said, the last time had turned out rather enjoyable and he hadn't ever found himself regretting a moment spent with Adriana Morgan. A.Morgan: Talos. Let's go. It was clear that he wasn't being asked to join her, rather he was being informed that he was now going with her to... wherever. He cracked a wry smile and quirked an eyebrow. Dakora: Am I allowed to ask where we're going? There was a sense of urgency to her thoughts, but for the most part, she seemed keen on keeping her intentions to herself. A.Morgan: You'll see. Come on. Even if he'd wanted to argue, and he didn't, the grin and the look she hit with would've brought him on board anyway. He set the padd he'd been using down and rose from his seat to follow her out the door. Dakora: I guess, I'll just follow you the- Just as the doors to the Intel Suite closed behind them, she took his hand and tapped her badge, cutting him off before he could finish his sentence. A.Morgan: =/\= Computer, initiate site to site transport, Morgan Alpha Nine Seven Tango.=/\= He laughed and shook his head, as he prepared to let himself be transported to wherever she had planned. After all of his paranoia and anxiety that CloQ would appear and maliciously take him away from everything that was familiar once again, he found it odd how unconcerned he was about letting her take him wherever she pleased. It made sense though, considering that wherever she was, was exactly where he wanted to be. Dakora: ::Smirking.:: See you on the other side... Still holding hands, he met her gaze just before they disappeared into shimmering light. ((Observation Deck, Deep Space 224)) When they reappeared it took him a moment to get his bearings. The surroundings were familiar; The walls were dominated by large windows and the black floor was polished to a reflective sheen. This was one DS224's observation lounges, but rather than facing the docking area, like the one where he'd met Adri, this one faced out towards the black void that was the ever-present backdrop of their lives. Clearly, some kind of event was happening as there was a larger crowd than the usual gaggle of people that congregated in these spaces and someone had set out a table of refreshments and hors-d'oeuvres. He turned to Adri curiously, wondering if she was ready to reveal why she'd brought him here yet. A.Morgan: It's about to start. Watch. Right on cue, a magnificent spatial phenomenon began to blink, flash and dance sending long beams of colored light pulsating away from its center. From their position, right in front of the big picture windows, it looked like the universe itself was putting on a show for them. He put an arm around the woman next to him and pulled her in tight by his side as they watched; only taking his eyes off the spectacle to commit the memory of her face, dressed in wonder and contentment, bathed in the light of the pulsar to his memory forever. Dakora: ::Quietly:: Holy strokes. This is... ::He let out an involuntary sigh of contentment.:: Amazing. A.Morgan: Response? He nodded towards the phenomenon- Pulsar? Quasar? He wasn't sure, what exactly this type of anomaly was called, but it was undeniably gorgeous. Dakora: How long is it going to last? A.Morgan: ? As their emotions intertwined and tried to imitate the dance of the cosmos in front of them, he wondered why he hadn't come to her sooner. As their relationship progressed, he was still occasionally finding old holdouts within him, little seemingly innocuous habits that were like tiny barriers to letting himself accept that he was in a relationship and he was happy. After the traumatic experience of being thrown through time, he'd sort of retreated into himself. He'd tried to internalize what they'd been through and work through it on his own. Realizing how much better he felt already after only a few minutes with Adri was a rather stark reminder that he wasn't alone in the universe anymore. He took advantage of their telepathy, so that they didn't disturb any of the other viewers. Dakora: ~I don't think I realized how much I needed this. ::Beat:: I needed you. The fallout from the stuff from CloQ has had me in a kind of bad place, lately.~ A.Morgan: ~? TAG/TBC ======//////======> LtJG Talos Dakora Acting Chief Intelligence Officer USS Excalibur-A O238811CD0
  7. When great writers get together the result can only be good. @Karrod Niac just did to @Etan Iljor that opening line from the show fame. So now he is paying, not just in sweat but with a great sim
  8. This is simply superb. @Vitor S. Silveira has written one of the most emotionally affecting posts I've seen since I've been here. Bravo! -- ((CloQ’s Realm)) They were taken. Again. And this time to the Lions Den itself. Confronting CloQ Vitor stood his ground opening his heart to the creature, explaining his thank you that appeared to have caught the powerful being by surprise. Silveira: It made me again realise how I need to improve. To better myself so I can help my Commodore, my comrades. ::Vitor's smile widden:: My family. So your failed entertainment was another growing process for me. Because… Vitor tilted his head and opened his arms, waving them around. Silveira: I mean, someone as powerful as yourself at least has to serve some purpose. If it wasn’t for that you were insignificant. That must have struck a nerve with CloQ. He began to tower over Vitor menacingly. It looked like a fantasy tale, where the powerful wizard rose against the insignificant mortal that took his stand against him. Jor shot Vitor a look of incredulity. Vitor wasn’t sure how CloQ was going to react, but he offered Jor a reassuring smile and a nod. CloQ: Insignificant? I? How fundamentally ridiculous. I will show you how insignificant you are, you little worm. You pustule, you snivelling little gnome. CloQ’s angry tirade almost brought Vitor a smile. If it wasn’t the concerns he now had about them. Tiberius: Sil, please stop. Calmly Vitor stood his ground. Speaking with a neutral tone he was serious. Most likely dead serious, as he looked up into the entity's eyes. Silveira: My apologies if you consider my words an insult. That was not my intention. But truly for someone with your sort of skills, even you have to admit serving to help a mere mortal is a bit desapointing. CloQ apparently ignored his words. CloQ: I have quite enough of you, Vitor Silveira. Yes, I know your name. I know EVERYTHING. I know everything about you and your life. More, in fact than you do. ::they pressed their watch, freezing time around them. The away team was conscious but they could not move:: I could take years off your life, my friend, leave you a babe, mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms, or I could advance you through time, skipping over every painful interaction that you will have and leave you a frail, old man. Or perhaps, Vitor, I could warp you to that delicious agony you have yet to experience - the moment when you are assimilated. But no, that would be a spoiler. No, instead, my friend. I will allow you to grow again, to “better yourself” all over again. Remember your encounter with the Iconian? Let’s send you back then. You’ll still remember everything that’s happened since, but that trauma will be as fresh as the day you stepped out of that coma. CloQ pressed down on something of his watch. Vitor was frozen in place. A feeling he knew all too well. But he kept his defiance as CloQ returned to human size again and took Vitor’s face in their hand. CloQ: Tell your nightmares CloQ says hello. And with that CloQ and his realm were gone. ((USS Excalibur-A, The Round Table - Present)) They were back. Vitor felt the cold back in his body, due to his short attire. He could hear the familiar voices around him. He knew where he was. He knew when he was. He knew with whom he was. But part of him wasn't here. He was back in time, space… And fear. In the background as a distant echo he could sense the motion of the Round Table and his comrades. But he couldn't move. Like before his body didn't followed his mind. He was trapped like when he woke up. He hit the ground. Like a fallen statue. But he hardly felt any pain. Only entrapment. Like a weight all over him. A immeasurable pressure pinning him down. Suffocating. Vitor was fully conscious. Totally aware of what was happening. But ignoring it for the turmoil of surprise, fear and panic. Back then, when he finally woke up, he sensed the Doctors and Nurses around him. Now even his senses were blurry and he didn’t knew who was around him. He wasn’t sure what they were doing to him He fought for control. For movement. Trying to move. Breath. Something. Every time he failed his anxiety raised. He lost track of time. He was close to give in to panic. But he kept going. He kept fighting. He kept still. Bloqued. Frozen. Trapped. He panicked. He screamed. He jumped. He fought. He cried. He gave it one last desperate jolt in the middle of the panic and terror now set in his mind. He jumped moving his hands, looking around. Crawling away from the others, from anyone as his mind and body still weren't yet in sink. Crying, shaking as if he was in a place below zero, he saw the shapes of his comrades. He raised his hand begging. Silveira: Help me… Any: ? TAG/TBC Lt. Vitor S. Silveira Tactical Officer USS Excalibur-A, NCC-41903-A O238907VS0
  9. Another great one from @Karrod Niac. Love some wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff. ((Shuttlebay, USS Oriskany)) Karrod had become completely overwhelmed in a way he'd never experienced before. Niac was in turmoil, personalities trying to assert or restrain one another and Horvu, who had already experienced these events once, nearly catatonic with shock. Every ounce of sympathy Karrod had ever felt for Horvu's premature death had been magnified tenfold by the frantic emotional maelstrom inside of him. He was irrational, in pain from what the lucid part of his brain diagnosed as a broken nose and frantic with a need to prevent something that had happened nearly thirty years ago. He made it a few steps towards the shuttlebays exit before strong hands closed around one of his arms. He whipped around like a trapped animal only to be confronted by the deadly serious expression of Addison MacKenzie. A slap he didn't see coming seared the side of his face with stinging pain. MacKenzie: Commander, you will focus right this instant. If you walk out there, no doubt you’re going to find your previous host and I’m sure try to prevent their death. You know I can’t let you do that, even if CloQ is behind all this. Karrod could barely think. It was like his consciousness was in a room full of screaming people and he had to shout to be heard over the din. He fought for psychological and emotional control. Niac: I can't just...it's going to happen again...and he'll be all alone at the end...scared and alone. I can remember every agonizing second of it...I'm having a hard time not reliving it... Karrod was still straining to run but he'd regained enough self-control to stop and begin reassembling himself. Not for the first time he wished he'd paid more attention to the Symbiosis Commission's instructions on mental discipline. Controlling the torrent of images and emotions from Niac was requiring the whole of his concentration and it was making him shake with effort. Dakora: You know she's right. ::Beat.:: I understand what you're going through, believe me. But there's no telling what happens if we start changing things like that. The ship rocked underfoot and Karrod nearly toppled over. Where conscious effort failed, years of Starfleet training and combat experience forced their way to the surface. He blinked and was finally able to focus on the here and now. Niac's wailing went down in volume and Karrod felt somewhat himself again. MacKenzie: What’s happening to the ship? I don’t know anything about the Oriskany… Karrod thought about it as much as he dared to. He'd read the after action report and the details in Horvu's file but probing those memories was a dangerous proposition. Niac: The Mighty O...uh...the Oriskany was part of a task force, patrolling the edges of the combat zone between the Klingons and the Cardassians. We didn't know it yet but the Cardassian's just signed a treaty with the Dominion and they're out there right now, destroying anything and everything they feel is in violation of their territory. Ship didn't stand a chance, over 90% of the task force was wiped out before the end of the day. Even as he delivered the bad news he could feel his own emotional control returning but Horvu was almost completely silent in his mind. It was alarming, like a piece of yourself suddenly hiding away from you. Dakora: Yeah, that's not the best news I've heard... To her credit, Addison took in this particular heap of cataclysmic news with little more than an exaggerated sigh. MacKenzie: So, what do we do? Try to get off the ship and risk getting captured by the Cardassians? I’ve pretty much met my tolerance for encounters with Dominion forces today… Dakora: More than one doomed historical battle per 24-hour period is really kind of overkill, I'd say. Karrod looked from one to the other and felt a small, bitter laugh escape his throat. Niac: Ha...yeah. Cloq is already getting lazy. Next thing you know he'll be doing a clipshow of his greatest hits. With a whoosh the cargo bay doors opened and a security team in a full combat kit poured in, forming a perimeter around them with phasers at the ready. They seemed simultaneously relieved that they hadn't been boarded by Dominion forces and confused by the yellow cab debris littering the flight deck and the oddly dressed people before them. Security Officer: Hands where I can see them. Dakora: Sure. No problem. ::He tried on a re-assuring smile.:: We're all friends here. Karrod felt the name on his lips before the thought entered his brain. This woman had welcomed Horvu aboard ship a few hours earlier. Niac: Lieutenant Jece? Jece Ciria? MacKenzie: Response The apparent team leader, a female Bajoran, took a step toward them. She eyed the strange trio and the vessel they'd arrived in before she spoke. Security Officer: I'd like to know what possessed you to illegally board this ship in the middle of a battle? Dakora: Um... well...You see.... Karrod took a slow step forward with his hands still raised. He didn't want to look like a threat but he also had what he hoped was something to contribute. Niac: Lieutenant Jece, I'm Commander Karrod...Morrahn. You probably don't remember but we met briefly the last time you took shoreleave on...::Karrod fumbled for the memory of thirty year old small talk::...Pacifica. My team and I were just landing our shuttle when all hell broke loose. You can contact my commanding officer Rear Admiral Shevchenko on the USS Tarsk if you need to confirm it. ::Karrod decided to play dumb. It wasn't difficult.:: What the hell is going on out there, Lieutenant? Why is the ship at alert? Dakora/MacKenzie: Response Jece: How can you not...we're under attack! The whole task force is falling back, we're getting hammered by the Cardassians and their new allies. We thought you were a boarding party! Karrod acted suitably shocked as the deck shuddered underfoot. Niac: We're just as confused as you are, Lieutenant, but from the sound of things there are other places we both need to be. Dakora/MacKenzie: Response The security officer looked at them with deep skepticism but the competing priorities of a ship in combat and no apparent threat before her forced her to make a snap decision. Karrod hoped it wouldn't be 'stun them all and sort it out later.' Instead, she holstered her phaser and gestured towards the door. Jece: Well, you're here now. If we're still alive in ten minutes we'll check your story out with the Admiral. For now join a damage control team, we could use the help. Niac: Understood Lieutenant, will do. I promise we'll do whatever we can to help. The ship rocked violently and they were all thrown to the deck as the inertial dampeners struggled to keep up. Karrod knew the ship was running out of time. Lt. Jece helped him to his feet and the group of them struggled into the hallway as the few still functioning red alert klaxons were replaced with deep blue. The harried voice of the ships first officer came over the comm. McKentok: Attention All Hands, Abandon ship, abandon ship. Drop what you're doing and get to an escape pod. This is not a drill. All hands, Abandon Ship Immed.... The commline went dead as everyone looked at each other in shock. Lt. Jece was the first to begin moving. Jece: This way! Nearest escape pods are one deck down, there's an access ladder this way. Move it people, move it! Dakora/MacKenzie: Response Karrod stumbled forward, half conscious and half trapped in a nightmare he couldn't wake up from. The ship was groaning, the sounds of tortured metal and weapon strikes combined with the stampede of evacuating personnel heading for dubious salvation. Karrod, Addison and Talos hit the bottom of the ladder and began jogging after the security team but Karrod slowed. He recognized this corridor and the nightmare became real. Just ahead, partially trapped under a fallen bulkhead and visibly mangled...was Horvu's body. He felt a strange sense of disassociation as he haltingly walked forward. Niac: They just...left him. Left him all alone. Dakora/MacKenzie: Response Niac: We have to get him to the escape pod...Horvu's...he's already dead...but Niac survives. I never knew...I never knew how he escaped the ship. I think...I think we have to help him....me.... Dakora/MacKenzie: Response Tag, and TBC! =============================== Commander Karrod Niac Chief of Operations USS Excalibur - NCC-41903-A Commodore Kali Nicholotti, Commanding V239509GT0
  10. (( HMS Excalibur, Caribbean Sea, Earth – Unknown time )) The feeling of being transported yet again across space and time was, unfortunately, becoming old-hat to Kirky. Even so, this time it felt different. Physically different. Kirky lacked the vocabulary to describe the feeling, but it was akin to being rescued in an emergency beam-out and re-materializing on the transporter pad in a different position. On Honorious, Kirky had been standing by the helm, gesturing as he pleaded his case to his crewmates about the lack of causality. Here–wherever here was–Kirky was standing, but found it difficult to move. His arms were restrained fast against his sides and his ankles were lashed together by some kind of clangy metal. Whatever he was standing on was moving underfoot, almost undulating up and down in a slow, rhythmic fashion. He felt a salty breeze against his face, but only part of it. His vision was obscured by a cloth blindfold, and another cloth was tied fast over his mouth. He slid his bare foot across the surface upon which he stood and picked up a splinter in his big toe. As he struggled against his restraints, the pieces all assembled to form a picture. A bummer of a picture. Bean: oO Dude, I’m walking a plank. Oo Although he could neither see nor speak, Kirky could hear everything happening around him. There was all kinds of hustle and bustle and the intermittent cannon fire, the noise of which made Kirky’s ears sting each time. Gott: Is this an ocean?! Where are the walls! What's that noise!? My ears hurt so much I can barely hear a thing! Gnaxac: OWWWWWW! K. Morgan: Where are we? A. Morgan: Isn't this that place that you humans call hell? Kirky wasn’t sure from which part of the boat his plank extended, but it was apparently not a very well traversed part. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott: What?! You'll have to speak up, I said my ears hurt! Gnaxac: MAKE IT S-S-STOP NOW PLEASE! K. Morgan: Does anyone know where we are? Thornton: Judging from our uniforms, I’d say this is an old Earth sailing vessel about five or six hundred years ago, give or take a few decades. Kirky was grateful for the context clues, although he wished that someone would come over and rescue him. The plank on which he stood wobbled with every wave, and keeping his balance was a challenge. He took a deep breath, focused on his core, and lamented that he went out for lacrosse instead of rhythmic gymnastics as a youth. A. Morgan: That tracks. What do we do about it? Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. K. Morgan: I’m from Earth, but I don’t know anything about this time period other than it’s… early. Kirky was unprepared for another volley of cannon fire. He instinctively flinched, which upset his careful balancing act. The splinter in his toe was really starting to hurt. Thornton: CEASE FIRE! ::she waved her hands above her head!:: CEASE FIRE! CEASE FIRE! Thankfully, whoever the crew of this ship were decided to listen to Commander Thornton. After everything quieted down, all he could hear were the sounds of waves breaking against their boat and the flapping of sails as they caught the wind. Thornton: I don’t think we’re supposed to be pirates, if that helps. ::she shrugged.:: These uniforms seem to be military. But that’s about as far as I know. A. Morgan: Playing pirates might have been more fun. ::Frowning.:: Alright. Let's see what we can do and find out about this latest plot twist. Kirky disagreed emphatically with Commander Morgan’s statement about fun and pirates. If a navy ship was forcing him to walk the plank, what would have a bunch of outlaws done? Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac: response K. Morgan: Great… I don’t suppose we can just call up CloQ and beg for mercy, can we?! A. Morgan: Actually... CloQ. CloQ. The jerkface Q that put everyone through all that Klingon stuff last year had struck again. There was nothing any of them could do. Encounters with Qs lasted as long as the Qs wanted them to last. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac: response Barrelman: Vessels ahoy! Kirky knew what that meant. More boats. More chance of someone spotting him. More chance of someone helping him back down off the plank before he tumbled over into the water. Thornton: Looks like we might have a friendly face or two joining us. A. Morgan: I'm not sure I believe it. Commander MacKenzie? Niac? Talos? K. Morgan: ::with a slight smirk:: Now we’re getting somewhere… Kirky hoped he could get somewhere, too. Somewhere else. A spray of ocean hit him in the face, moistening the cloths covering his eyes and mouth. He started moving his facial muscles to nudge the damp fabrics out of position. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac / K. Morgan: Response. Thornton: Do you think this is intentional? Do you think that CloQ means for us to encounter them here? A. Morgan: Oh, I'm certain it's intentional. From what I understand, those creatures, beings, whatever, love to play games with humanity. K. Morgan: Intentional or unintentional, I’m glad to see some members of the senior staff. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac: response (( Several Minutes Later )) Kirky dangled patiently off the poop as the crew of the sailing ship Excalibur hauled aboard some of the starship Excalibur’s missing officers. When they’d all been brought on deck and checked out from their own ordeal, Kirky–well, Kirky just stood there. Thornton: It’s good to see you. ::she said, full of gratitude.:: Does anyone know what is going on here? MacKenzie: It’s CloQ. Instead of killing us all at the same time over and over, his new trick seems to be making us relive… less than stellar moments in history. Kirky nodded enthusiastically as he chomped on the corner of his blindfold, which he’d just succeeded in dislodging from around his right ear. Less than stellar sounded about right. Dakora / Niac: response K. Morgan: Glad to know we’re not the only ones out here, at least. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac: response Thornton: We’ve been, uh, falling through time. So far we’ve been to the Romulan Supernova, almost swallowed by a Doomsday Machine and faced Cardassians in battle… and now here. Kirky lost the last half of what Thornton was saying because he was momentarily disturbed by a seagull who mistook his face for a snack. Without the use of his arms to shoo the bird away, he suffered the double indignity of being pecked and nipped at by a beak, only for the gull to change its mind and fly off. Bean: oO Dude, lame. Oo MacKenzie: It sounds like we’ve been going through our own versions of hell, then. How did this all start? Dakora / Niac: Response. A. Morgan: I saw the Q take the Captain and Commander Adea. We've been working on finding answers ever since. K. Morgan: Across several hundred years, it would seem. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. The seagull returned, perhaps intrigued by Kirky’s muffled vocalizations. He sputtered and shook his head to startle the bird into retreating, but the bird declined, choosing instead to perch atop Kirky’s head. Seagull: Squawk. Bean: oO Don’t rub it in, bro. Oo Gott / Gnaxac: response Thornton: One thing we did find is that the entire area appears to be saturated in chroniton particles. I’d also wager so are we. That might be what is facilitating our movements across time. MacKenzie: If that’s the case, that leads me to believe that CloQ can’t keep it together, thereby causing our respective scenarios to merge. Kirky hoped that whatever was troubling CloQ would get worse, and pronto. Hopefully whatever construct they were in would collapse altogether before the seagull completely nested in his perfect hair. He winced as he felt its beak peck at his scalp and nip at his scalp, presumably looking for a home. Bean: oO Gullermo, dude, be cool. Oo Dakora / Niac: Response. A. Morgan: How do we go somewhere else? Preferably somewhere with a computer. Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. Gott / Gnaxac: response MacKenzie: And impulse engines… (beat) I hypothesize that the increased chroniton particles has something to do with our realities merging. How can we exploit that to our advantage? The seagull flew away and Kirky breathed a sigh of relief, only to feel its flappity webbed feet splat down on his head once again a moment later. The movements half-hurt, half-tickled, and Kirky realized that Gullermo was weaving a twig into his hair. Dakora / Niac / Gott / Gnaxac / A. Morgan: response MacKenzie: But how do we do that with the resources currently at our disposal? Dakora / Niac / Gott / Gnaxac / A. Morgan: response Bean: ::chews gag:: Mmmmph. MacKenzie: CLOQ! ENOUGH! SHOW YOURSELF RIGHT NOW! Tag / TBC PNPC Ensign Kirkington Algernon-Greene “Kirky” Bean Shuttlecraft Pilot and Relief Helm Officer USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A D238804DS0
  11. This was just the morning read I needed to jump start my day. Thank you @Yalu
  12. This sim was out a few days ago, RL had caught me a bit so that is why I am only now posting it. I think you all know that I appreciate sims not just for their quality, or story. In this case I think @Sleepy Tiberius deserves an appreciation. Considering how new the Excalibur Nurse is to writing with us, I am enjoying the growth of both character and writer, and I think that is something that should be displayed in public. Great work Tib, I loved it.
  13. (( Dakora Family Home, Medara, Betazed – 2374 )) By the temporal machinations of what was apparently a member of the Q Continuum, Talos had come to find himself sitting in the basement of his family home with two of his Excal crewmates and his mother. Somewhere between their slog through the fouled drainage pipes and arriving at Leera Dakora's door, they'd managed to hit a tourist-focused souvenir shop. This was why he'd come to find himself in cargo shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt, instead of the 2370's era Starfleet uniform that would've drawn unwanted attention. T.Dakora: ::Swallowing.:: Holy strokes these are good. Thank you. The beachwear only added to the oddity of the situation when his mother had brought them a tray of shrimp-like oscoid and crab cakes. If it wasn't for the whole stuck-in-the-wrong-time-in-the-middle-of-a-warzone thing, the experience might've been a bit more pleasant. Niac: Thank you, ma'am. It's delicious. Have you heard any news in the last few hours? Seen anyone else on the streets? The last stand of the BSDF and the volunteers would be ending soon, if it hadn't already and the Dominion forces would start to pour into the city proper in the coming hours. He knew, because he remembered it. A few meters above them, the 8 year old version of him was peeking out the second story window waiting to see what happened. MacKenzie: I can’t imagine the resistance is fairing particularly well… Talos winced a little, risking a glance towards his mother. It was easy to be blasé about it from a historical context, but Leera's entire world was turning upside down. War had come to her doorstep and tomorrow wasn't guaranteed. Leera's expression hardened, almost imperceptibly, but Talos could feel the tangle of emotions within her. L.Dakora: We don't have a standing army. ::Her words grew an edge.:: We depend on Starfleet to protect us, which in hindsight, may have been a mistake. ::She sighed.:: But you're correct, the public nets were reporting Dominion Forces breaking through the defensive lines just before they went down. In Talos' memories, she had always seemed so formidable, always with a plan; the warm unrelenting shelter from all that raged against them in the outside world. Here and now, he wondered how the petite woman who had never, to his knowledge, raised her fist in anger had gone on to play a significant role in the coming insurgency. She seemed to become aware that he was studying her and he quickly tried to shift the attention away from it. T. Dakora: We appreciate your hospitality. ::He bowed his head a little.:: We were just discussing our next move. We don't want our presence to put you or your family at risk. It was an oddly self-serving statement, but he meant it. Niac: Thank you, ma'am. Is there any chance you have access to a watercraft? Yacht? Hydroplane? Hell, I'd take a canoe and a bent oar at this point. They didn't. Not that Talos knew, but he turned to his mother for a response anyway. L.Dakora: I'm afraid I don't, bu- ::She paused, seemingly remembering something.:: Actually, I have something that may help... Niac: We hate to impose on you further but there's a small chance some of our friends are...on the other side of the bay. If we can get to them we might be able to figure out a way...back to our ship. Hopefully. She crossed the room to a box of miscellaneous items that he was pretty sure was the last of his father's possessions that he'd yet to retrieve following their separation. She pulled out a small access chit on a lanyard and handed it to Talos. L.Dakora: My ex-husband used to pay for a membership to the yacht club for the "diplomatic connections". He never had a boat, but perhaps it will grant you access? Talos placed the lanyard around his neck, examining the the chit bearing the names "Vostro Dakora" and "Medara Yacht Club" emblazoned on it. T.Dakora Thank you. ::He smiled warmly.:: I'm sure this will help. MacKenzie: ::bowing slightly:: We are in your debt. Let’s go. As MacKenzie and Niac made their way up the stairs, Talos held back for just a moment. T.Dakora: Give me a sec, I'll be right behind you. There was every chance that he'd never see his mother again and even if she only knew him as a random Starfleet Officer, he wanted to say some kind of goodbye. Niac and MacKenzie made there way up the stairs and he turned to face Leera Dakora one last time. T.Dakora: Again, Thank you for opening your home to us. We truly had nowhere else to go. Her smile returned, the slightest hint of sadness tinting it, just a little. L.Dakora: It was the right thing to do. ::She stood a little straighter.:: Clearly the universe needs people who are willing to do the right thing, even if it's hard. Talos felt warmth spreading around his eyes as he struggled to maintain his composure while simultaneously doing what he could to mask his emotions. He caught the hint of motion out of the corner of his eye and turned to see himself, but smaller peeking down the stairs at him. T.Dakora(33yo): Holy Strokes! You got the drop on me, little man. The younger version of himself scrunched up his face in confusion and slowly stepped out from around the corner. T.Dakora(8yo): Holy... Strokes? What does that mean? He glanced at his mother, then to the curious kid before him. T.Dakora(33yo): Oh, I don't know, It's just something I heard from some soldier when I was... ::Beat.:: A kid... He tried not to think about the implications of that particular revelation, lest he cause his brain to unravel in some kind of hitherto unknown recursive predestination paradox. Talos glanced at Leera apologetically, wanting very much to embrace her one last time, but not seeing any avenue that wouldn't make things very weird. T.Dakora(8yo): Cool. I can't wait to tell Hanny! He then dashed back up the stairs, presumably to do just that. Not wanting to keep his crewmates waiting any longer, he faced his mother one final time. He was unsure what to say, he didn't have time to explain the situation and even if he did, the ramifications of doing so were unknown. Talos let his eyes linger on her face one last time, trying to store it in some part of his memory that would never fade, trying to keep a snapshot of the way her mind felt to stow away in his heart. There just wasn't time. When he spoke, the sadness found it's way into his voice, whether he wanted it to or not. T.Dakora(33yo): Take care, Leera. Her eyes found his and for the briefest of moments, he thought he saw a spark of recognition. L.Dakora: You take care as well, Yogan. One foot in front of the other, he forced himself to turn and make his way up the stairs, his vision blurring on the edges as the tears came. L.Dakora: ~Or may I still call you Little Bear?~ He nearly jumped as her words played across his mind and he spun to face her just as a white flash enveloped his field of view completely. TBC ((OOC: I'll be answering my open tags in another sim to follow shortly. 😁)) ======//////======> LtJG Talos Dakora Acting Chief Intelligence Officer USS Excalibur-A O238811CD0
  14. Everything I just said about Brian could also go for Ryan here - again, a tiny timescale to whip up a realistic MSNPC based on a real person and man did he deliver - thank you @Hallia Yellir ((Edo Castle, Japan, 1859)) In moments that felt like raging storms, there were small times like these where everything seemed to be seemingly dealt with. In spite of the weighing politics that were ever-present in Ii’s position, swarming outside the walls of this grand castle — the monument of his leadership and power. One of the few bastions of power left within the Shogunate. Marching through his castle, Ii took every step with a metallic ‘thunk’. The iron plating of his armour rattled with seemingly every step he took. Despite it being lightweight, there was an odd chafe around his neck he could never quite get over. But on this particular day, despite everything being taken care of, for the most part, there was one thing he needed to find. An old heirloom, that had been long forgotten in the underbelly of this grand castle. One he perhaps may have placed, and simply forgotten about long ago. Ii slid open the door, there was the unmistakable stench of stale air. With the little illumination from a dying paper lantern, the outline of figures graced his vision. At first, he wrote them off, simply as servants, but upon closer inspection, he wrapped his hand around the hilt of his weapon. With narrowed eyes, he shouted. Ii Naosuke: Intruders. Identify yourselves! Given the recent unrest and suspicion within the other of the Shogunate, Ii had perhaps a small shadow of a doubt that these intruders may wish harm upon him. But… they didn’t look like the people he would recognize. Most of them shared features of the Dutch and Americans he had dealings with. Silveira: How did we get here? What are you talking about? And where is my bra? Etan: What’s going on? ::he blurted out, looking at each of the other officers in turn.:: Tiberius: I think we need just need to stay calm and talk this out. His anger only seemed to boil with the lack of explanation. Nothing came of his simple order and that frustrated him. They were, after all, in Ii’s domain, and it was foolish of these… interlopers to enter the bowels of his castle, his home, without even asking for his hospitality. Nicholotti: Let's work the problem. What do we know, and what do we think we know? Ii Naosuke: Have you no honour?! You will face me when you speak. You all trespass on my domain. The group huddled and whispered in hushed tones as if contemplating their next move and Ii observed closely. Some of them seemed dressed… strangely, one was dressed much like the Europeans he had passingly spoken to and heard of, and another had… odd ridges on the bridge of his nose. The other two seemed normal for the most part. After a few moments he took a step downwards into the room, tugging on the hilt of his katana and half pulling the blade from its heavy sheath. Ii Naosuke: You cowardly foreigners conspire amongst yourselves, and you do no acknowledge and bow before he, who is in your presence? Silveira: My Lord, you have been provided with false information. I am not a baka gaijin. I am Vitor Silveira. Count of Marmelos and I assure you neither my servants ::he gestured to Jor and Tib.:: nor my wife ::he gestured to Kali:: have done anything dishonorable or wrong. Silveira: I do not wish to insult you, but those accusations stain my honor. And that is something both your people and mine take in the highest account. But out of respect for you I might consider it as a misguided act. There was a pause in Ii’s thought process. This foreigner spoke perfectly in such a way that had caught the Damoyo completely off guard. Ii Naosuke: You have entered my castle, my home without my acknowledgement. I wish to know what ‘misguided’ act caused you to do so. After all, it is difficult to miss where my domain starts and ends. Nicholotti / Tiberius: Response. Etan: My master speaks the truth, My Lord. ::beat:: We have no reason to seek a quarrel with you. ::he said with a low bow. He didn’t know why exactly he did so, but it seemed to feel right.:: We were set upon during our journey last night and brought to this… place. Silveira: Response. Ii Naosuke: How? Did you wander in, caught in some drunken stupor? Nicholotti / Tiberius: Response. Etan: If you will permit me, my lord, might I enquire as to where we are? We are most disorientated. ::he waved a hand towards the Commodore and Tiberius.:: Silveira: Response. Now the gears were really beginning to turn. These people seemed genuinely confused as to where they were, and that only seemed to rile up Ii even more. Either he was being made a fool of by some practical joke, or his guards were so incompetent, that four drunk foreigners managed to sneak into the very base of his castle without so much as turning a head. He returned his weapon into the sheath, but still kept a hand on the hilt. Ii Naosuke: You’re in Edo Castle. The beating heart of my domain. Nicholotti / Tiberius: Response. Etan: The people of… Marmelos- ::he looked to Sil with deference, hoping that he had gotten the name of the place he had said correct:: -have no desire to interfere with the cultural affairs of your people, My Lord. We simply wished to view your… domain. Silveira: Response. Ii Naosuke: And yet, do the people of Marmelos view status as nothing but a floor to walk on? Nicholotti / Tiberius: Response. Ii Naosuke: This… ‘Marmelos’ this is from Europe, correct? Etan / Nicholotti / Silveira / Tiberius: Response? Ii Naosuke: Then give me one reason why I shouldn’t simply cut you all down as we speak? Etan / Nicholotti / Silveira / Tiberius: Response? ______________________________ Ii Naosuke Daimyō of Hikone Tairō of the Tokugawa shogunate As Written by… Lieutenant Hallia Yellir Chief Engineer USS Excalibur-A G239409EK0
  15. @Karrod Niac is a freaking genius. I gave him maybe 30 minutes notice that he was playing an MSNPC this mission, and that they were a real person from history and oh, by the way, here's some tags and a long as heck wikipedia page for them... And he comes out with this beauty. I adore him so much. (( Palace of Versailles – 1715 )) Of late, Louis had tired greatly of the affairs of state. Those things which had so enchanted his mind and embroiled his spirits as a youth had turned sour as he had passed into his seventh decade under God. Endless decades of war to expand his Empire had bourn him successes for decades but much like his vigor, those successes had fled him of late and the latest war with the bedamned English, barely five years gone, had nearly robbed France of all that he had built across his long reign. Though he still had the comforts of his mistress Françoise, the Marquise de Maintenon and mother of his only child for which he still bore affection, he increasingly felt the world grow small and dim and tiresome. His enemies seemed to grow in strength as he diminished and there were none alive who would rule well in his sted. The damnable Protestants, worthless Spainards, and endlessly loathsome English held his ire nearly as well as his pitiful younger brother, Phillipe, whose designs on his divinely proclaimed throne had long been spoken of. Still, even with all the matters of the realm in turmoil, his court had convened for yet another ball. Though he had sworn them all to propriety many years past it seemed that his advisors had grown fat and comfortable, suckling upon him like leeches all these years. Were he a younger man he would've expelled the lot of them and wrapped his fist tight around the reigns of the nation as he had when his mentor Mazarin had died, but he was no longer as he had been. So his nobles fritted away wealth and spoke of him in glowing terms which rang false to his ear. And still, they danced. He'd nearly nodded off in his throne, too much wine and too little sleep for one of his failing vigor, when a commotion went up from the dance floor and drew his attention. Of course it was Phillipe, hated Phillipe, who was first to raise his voice. Phillipe, Duke of Orleans: Who are you all? The orchestra halted mid-note as a murmur of confusion and shock spread around the room. A small group of strangely dressed foreigners seemed to be the loci of the courts attention. Louis squinted through failing eyes to catch a better look at them but could hardly make them out. Yalu: Your Royal Highness, we are visitors. ::beat:: From the Czech lands. A great flood has ravaged our noble home and we have been cared for warmly by your loyal subject, the Bourgmestre of Poitiers. Yellir: We apologize for our sudden appearance, but we wished to meet you so very badly, Your Royal Highness. Adea: And thank you for your hospitality. Jolara: Response Phillipe, Duke of Orleans: ::turning to an elderly man on a throne:: Uncle, who are they? Louis cast the man a scornful sidelong glance before turning his attention to their unusual guests. Louis XIV, the Sun King: We, ::He always used the Regal We when speaking as King:: welcome those displaced of Bohemia...or are you of the Moravian Czechs? Jolara: Response Yellir: ::whispering:: Are we certain that was even the correct title? Yalu: ::whispers:: I don’t know, it just seemed like the right thing to say. ::beat:: I’m going to need someone to help me get up. The Czechs, possibly lowlanders of questionable stock, seemed to be whispering to themselves in his presence, which rankled his good humors. Louis XIV: Odd that this is the first We are hearing of your presence. Tell Us, of what sort of Nobles are you? Some cousin of the Habsburgs? Yalu: We make towels, Your Majesty. Soft, absorbent towels. Suitable for any occasion. Jolara: Response His eyes narrowed. Merchants of linens who claimed nobility? Had the Habsburgs fallen so low of late? Louis XIV: Surely the Czech lands are poor indeed if towels could astound them so. Yellir: Your Most Eminent Highness, they are so soft one could use them as pillows, and you would not even know the difference. Adea: No sire, and if you did, you could take this ::he pointed to his head:: from this ::he pointed to his chest, before looking over at the rest of the group and whispering:: What… too soon? Yalu / Jolara: Response Louis was quickly losing what small measure of patience he had for these imbeciles. Louis XIV: Your japery is quite buffoonish, and you have not yet introduced yourselves in Our presence. What are your names? Where is the Bourgmestre of Poitiers? Bring him forth immediately to account for the behavior of his guests. Hallia kept her voice low whispering to any who would lend their ear. Yellir: ::in a low voice:: I really don’t enjoy being surrounded as we are, where even are we? Adea: ::matching Hallia’s whisper:: I want to say… Earth? Yellir / Yalu / Jolara: Response Louis had officially lost his patience. He raised a craggy hand towards the Captian of the Guard and the man snapped to even stiffer attention. Louis XIV: Guards, take these people from my sight at.... Phillipe extended a bony finger and pointed at them, before letting out a loud guffaw. Phillipe: Uncle, these must be the delicious new comedians we have ordered. They are so so funny with their towels! He laughed, and raised his arms for the court to laugh with him, which they did as one. Genkos chuckled nervously. Adea: What the… Definitely Earth… Old old Earth. Yellir / Yalu / Jolara: Response Louis scowled in anger, confused and more than a bit befuddled. He felt he was being mocked but he did not understand how. Phillipe must have been behind it all somehow. Yet another attempt to make him look the fool. He lowered his hand and his guards stepped back to their waiting but tense positions. Louis XIV: Czech clowns, Phillipe? Are you so bereft of diversion that you would have it imported? Phillipe: Response Adea/Yellir/Yalu/Jolara: Response Louis felt exhaustion creeping back into him and he leaned back heavily upon the throne, the momentary distraction losing what little appeal it had. Louis XIV: Very well, Phillipe, very well, if you wish to waste the courts time on these antics, so be it. Go on with your performance, clowns. Phillipe: Response Adea/Yellir/Yalu/Jolara: Response Louis XIV: Well it seems you've amused my court although We are not so readily jocular. Nor should you be, Phillipe. Phillipe: Response Adea/Yellir/Yalu/Jolara: Response Tags/TBC ====================================== His most Resplendent and Anointed Majesty King Louis The Fourteenth Louis The Grand, Louis The Grand Monarch, Louis, The Sun King V239509GT0
  16. DORIS HUNT! (If you know, you know;). No but seriously, this was another fantastic piece written by our very own @Yalu -- (( The Round Table, Deck 13, USS Excalibur-A )) Yogan barely had enough time to return to his seat before the holoprotector activated, encasing Vitor in what appeared to be an ornately decorated piece of crockery. Silveira: Thank you. Centuries ago there was a set of tales, called Arabian Nights. Let us say I found them… Inspiring… Hearing Sil’s voice from behind his concealment made Yogan even more excited about the performance. Earlier, Vitor had been insistent that a reveal was integral to his act, and wouldn’t even divulge to the Master of Ceremonies the finer details of what he planned to do on stage. Yogan recalled little about Earth history to fix The Arabian Nights into any familiar frame of reference, but the music began before he’d pondered many deep thoughts, and Yogan was immediately distracted by the performance playing out before him. Silveira: If you want to be with me / Baby there’s a price to pay / I am a genie in a bottle / You gotta rub me the right way Sil not only gyrated and moved his arms around his hips to the rhythm of the unfamiliar song, but he also attempted a rather ambitious-looking cartwheel during the chorus. Silveira: If you want to be with me / I can make your wish come through / You got to make a big impression / I have to like what you do. Another attempted cartwheel followed, and while Sil had the strength and the desire of a world-class gymnast, he lacked a quality that the industry insiders called, “Lick it and stick it.” Yogan could practically hear Sil’s ankle snap during the botched landing, and the Human tactician’s body landed on the stage with an equally grotesque thud a moment later. Yogan scanned the audience for any of the dozens of trained medical officers who served on the ship. Perhaps MacKenzie would get to demonstrate her surgical abilities after all. The music continued, and Yogan got up from his seat to help Sil off the stage and move things along from the unfortunate injury. However, Sil, true to form, cast off his high heeled shoes and stood, then continued the song with a pronounced limp and a sweaty forehead. Silveira: If you want to be with me / I can make your wish come through / Just come and set me free baby / And I’ll be with you / I am a genie in a bottle baby / Come, come, come on and let me out. When the music ended and the holoprojector deactivated, Yogan led the round of applause, encouraging the audience to reward not only Sil’s talent, but also his perseverance. Sil admirably limped off the stage under his own power, but made a beeline for the nearest available seat. Silveira: I know this sounds silly, but is there a Doctor in the Table? Any: response As Yogan took the stage to introduce the next act, he thought he might try another one of his prepared jokes. Yalu: Come now, Admiral, if a job’s worth doing, I thought you were a professional. This time, instead of a rimsot, a plaintive, solitary trumped made a whomp-whomp sound. Yalu: oO C’mon, one of these has got to land. Oo Our next act, straight from the factories of Lakonna, it’s the Amazing Talos! Talos took the stage in a flashy outfit that reflected starry specks of light back out into the audience, and an array of differently colored neck-ties draped over both of his outstretched arms. Dakora::To the crowd.:: I'm going to start the show, I promise! I just kind of couldn't decide which tie to go with! ::He walked to the edge of the stage and pointed at someone in the first row.:: You! Which one should I wear!? Any: response Dakora: Excellent choice. With a flourish he whipped all of the various ties off of his arms and discarded them off to the side of the stage, then theatrically unbuttoned and opened his blazer to reveal that the exact tie the person had chosen was already dangling loosely around his neck, hidden by the outerwear all along. He cinched it up in one smooth movement and launched into the rest of his act. The audience applauded excitedly at the mind-bending surprise. Several increasingly unlikely things were seemingly transformed into white doves during his next trick followed by his pulling of a half-dozen things out of an upturned top hat including a comm-badge, concealment phaser, and a Horga'hn which looked strikingly familiar to the one MacKenzie had painted with Yogan on Risa. In a pièce de résistance, Talos finally reached his entire arm up to the shoulder into the top hat, and pulled out a white rabbit. A couple of sleight of hand card tricks followed, before Talos rolled out a rather large wooden trunk and prepared for his finale. Dakora: And now! What I'm sure you've all been waiting for... I'm going to make myself disappear! He opened the trunk and tipped it toward the crowd so they could see there were no visible tricks and knocked on the wooden walls of the crate to demonstrate it's authenticity. With a flourish, he climbed into the crate and closed the lid on himself. A curtain rose in front of the crate for no more than a second or so then fell back to the floor. The lid popped open and Adriana Morgan appeared, wearing her own version of Talos' magician's suit. Yogan lept to his feet in rapturous applause as Talos appeared from the side of the stage, now wearing only a pair of boxer shorts covered in cartoonish red hearts. Yogan was delighted; the act told a story all its own! Dakora: Thank you! Good-night! (( OOC: I’m trimming the end of Talos’ sim that takes place at the bar, but don’t let that stop you from picking up those tags. )) As Talos helpfully cleared the stage of his props, Yogan took a few deep breaths to calm his nerves. It was showtime, his big moment, his opportunity to show Keroga and all the others his acting chops. He disappeared into the character of Doris Hunt and stood at the center of the stage, his nunchucks swaying slowly back and forth from his belt. Yalu: ::somberly:: This piece is called Cloaked Lust II. Blackout. Yogan got into position at the back of the stage, holding a pose that could only be described as “Sensual Swan meets Wall Street Businessman.” Yalu: In the dream, I’m drowning, but I just don’t know it at first. Tell me, Colonel, do you ever hear water and imagine it’s going to be a lovely dream? Do ya? ::long beat:: Well?! He took several steps forward, as if challenging the audience to a fight. The spotlight followed every step of the way, and he placed a hand on his nunchucks to keep them from jangling their way out of their holster. Yalu: Everything, everyone sounds so differently when you’re cloaked, Colonel. One moment, it’s a wonderful night on the beach or a cruise in the moonlight, or a summer afternoon in a secret cove. But a moment after being fooled into expecting bonfires, or handsome captains, or treasures in the weedy shore, it becomes very clear that it’s all an illusion. Executing the blocking with Keroga’s precision, Yogan backed up and reached his hands to the floor. Not as nimble as his former host, Yogan wasn’t able to place his palms on the stage floor, but he got close enough. Yalu: I’m a rock, Colonel. He then moved into a flowing, side-by-side movement of the head and arms. Yalu: Now I’m a river, Colonel. Then he stood firmly in position, his arms outstretched. Yalu: Now I’m a tree. Do you see me, Colonel? Do you see the tree? Are you proud of the tree? Has the tree made you proud. ::weeps:: Oh, god. Colonel, please, please tell me you’re proud of the tree. Yogan reached to his belt and grabbed the nunchucks, then swung them flailingly about, using the wild and erratic movements to provide punctuation to the next several statements. Yalu: Don’t you see, Colonel? When you’re cloaked, you can be anything or anyone. You can hear things you’re not meant to hear, see things no one would want to show you. You can be everywhere and nowhere at once. It’s a liberating prison. ::growls and snarls:: I’m a pit bull now, Colonel! A frisky pitbull who chases after a frolicsome rabbit! Arf! Arf! Don’t you see what you’ve done to me, Colonel? I’ve been cloaked so long that I–– ::beat:: I–– ::beat:: Yogan dropped the nunchucks and rolled himself into a ball on the stagefloor. Yalu: I don’t even know who I am anymore! I’ve got the cloaked lust… Two! Blackout. A moment later, the lights came up slowly, and Yogan collected his nunchucks. Yalu: Thank you. Any: response Yogan left the stage and shrugged off the character of Secret Agent Doris Hunt. The performance was fun, but there was no doubt as to why this role had ruined Keroga's acting career. (( OOC: There’s still plenty of show! If you haven’t done a talent yet, it’s not too late! )) Tag / TBC Lieutenant Commander Yogan Yalu Strategic Operations Officer USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A Justin D238804DS0
  17. I have always been in awe of @Kali Nicholotti's writing style- there is something beautiful lyrical about it. Marissa really makes Kali come alive on our screens and this Simm is absolutely no exception. Watching Kali and Genkos' gentle romance unfold has been a delight to read. -- ((The Round Table, USS Excalibur - A)) She had all but released the crew to enjoy the rest of the night without structure or necessity, which was something they all needed. Only the universe knew what was coming down the pipeline, and as much as she hoped that they might get to do some tests or actual science, historical precedent spoke to the floods that often near overwhelmed them. That was what she would prepare for, however much she hoped for something else. As the room descended into the good kind of chaos that came with social gatherings, her crystalline eyes caught the dark shadows of the only eyes she wanted to see in that moment. As his hand touched her elbow gently and his presence washed over her, she smiled. Adea: Lovely ceremony, Kalianna. Kali dipped her head slightly and stepped just close enough for the dress to fade into his dark outfit. There was no way to tell where one of them began and the other ended in the dark obscurity of black fabrics against the backdrop of darkness and stars outside. Nicholotti: It was well deserved by all. Indeed, the strife that they had all suffered at the hands of the unknown was incredible. There were injuries and there were those who simply would not make it back. Thankfully they were not of her crew, but they were Starfleet nonetheless. How the admiral could live with himself knowing he'd left people behind was beyond her. The capacity to be self centered and full of greed like that was something she'd never be able to wrap her head around. She watched as he held up the box with his award in it. Adea: I wonder what the Admiral would say if he could see this… Kali shook her head ever so slightly. Nicholotti: His attention nor reaction is worth much anymore. I can't place much on a person who would not only leave men behind, but walk on with life continuing to leave people behind. The thought of what might have happened if they had not been rescued by the Excalibur when they had been was nightmarish. She was all but certain he had intended to bury them and leave them on that planet as well. A glimmer of a frown crossed her face as the barest moment of pain struck her at such a loss. But then she pushed it away. Adea: Response? Nicholotti: It is done. I don't think either of us need to reside there, nor in the what ifs, anymore. Her eyes locked with his and her meaning was clear. She meant this well beyond just the admiral and the events of the prior mission. The past was something that attached itself to you and pulled you down, unless you could figure out how to sit with it long enough for it to fade into the realm of things you could do nothing about. History was history, they had no sway on that, but they could control how they approached things moving forward. Adea: Response? Nicholotti: It doesn't have to be right now, and I know it's easier said than done, but for today... She reached out and stepped up to him as if to dance. Nicholotti: Dance with me? Adea: Response? It didn't matter where they were or who was watching, all that mattered was the two of them in that moment. The starlight shone in on them as the background music softly laid the soundtrack for their gentle movements. And as the universe around faded into the dull roar of social complexity, Kali put her head on his shoulder and allowed herself simply to be. TAG/TBC -- Commodore Kalianna Nicholotti Commanding Officer USS Excalibur - A R238605KN0
  18. By now we all know how talented @Karrod Niac, but I couldn't let this one go unnoticed.
  19. We all form a special relationship with the ships we serve on and the occasion of losing one, even when 'planned,' can be very emotional for all involved. The former crew of the Reso decided to commemorate their lost vessel in this stirring and beautifully written group JP. Well done to everyone involved! ===================================================== (( OOC: A huge thank you to everyone who jumped into this scene! I loved reading what everyone added to our little private service. )) (( USS Resolution Memorial, Deck 227/228, Deep Space 224 )) With the lights at minimum illumination, the stars could easily be seen shining brightly through the viewports against the blackness of space. The only significant source of light in the room was the obelisk in the center, projecting a holographic image of the lost ship overhead. Yogan was the first to arrive, and when he stepped through the door into the darkened room, the projection of Resoltion backlit by the stars outside took him by surprise. He’d not seen Resolution during her final moments–the controlled descent into a planetoid with 14 souls still aboard–he had been aboard Rinascita Station at the time, fighting Suliban extremists, depleting oxygen, and his own symbiont. The holo-image of the small-but-heroic ship was how he preferred to remember her. The public dedication of the USS Resolution memorial was to take place shortly. They’d all been invited, but Yogan received permission for his crewmates to gather in private for a short while before the main ceremony. It would be an opportunity for them to see the memorial for the first time together, without the pressures of having to be “on” for the public and manage their reactions for an audience, however well-intentioned they might be. Yogan smiled as his cremates and friends entered and looked at the memorial. When it appeared that everyone who was going to come had arrived, Yogan stepped into the center of the room, just in front of the plaque at the base of the sculpture and broke the solem silence. Yalu: Thank you all for coming. The public ceremony will begin soon, but I thought we would all appreciate this time to ourselves. Before anything else, I just want you all to know that–– ::gestures to memorial:: this was made possible by the Commercial Sector Merchants’ Association. They spearheaded the effort to install a permanent memorial to our ship almost immediately after the news reached the station. Seeing this now, I just want to express gratitude to the shopkeepers and residens of Deep Space 224 for being a part of our extended ship family. Yogan hand brushed against the gold plaque, onto which the names of 13 Resolution crewmembers were etched. The fourteenth victim, Liam Wyke, was represented by a single five-pointed star, as he was not publicly identified in official reports until the necessary debriefings had concluded. Yogan briefly wondered if Admiral Regillensis would have appreciated an invitation to the public service, but that was impossible. He would likely not be a free man for a long time. Yalu: I don’t really have a program or an order of service, or anything like that. Just some time together, and say a few words. ::beat:: Captain, would you care to start? There was nothing quite like saying goodbye. Over the course of so many years and so many ships, homes, places she’d been, goodbye had started to become that ever consistent thorn in her side. Just when she was getting settled and stable, it would come along and knock her over. It would leave her scrambling for the next solid foundation, which she would often find just in time for another wave to sweep through. The Resolution was no different, and yet, it was as different as one could think because it was both a beginning and an end. The raven-haired command officer could still remember the day she set foot on the tiny Nova class ship for the first time, lockstep with Ensign’s Makal Kora and Eliaan Deron. Her fellow Academy graduates and friends had since left Starfleet, but that moment, over a decade ago, still seemed quite fresh in her renewed memory. Kali’s eyes fell on the memorial and considered all that it represented. The ship was gone, and with it, the lives of the few who could not escape the untimely demise. She would never walk the corridors where she had lived, and died, again. The echos of Jaxx, and Kora with his terrier Agrippa, of Guy Hunt, the Laudean child she’d nearly adopted, of her flute, and the budding love story she now found herself happily entrenched in would never be heard again save for in the deep recesses of the minds of those who were there. Those who would remember. As the room had filled, Kali found her way to the front of the small group, looking at each in turn. Her eyes settled on the darkness found in Genkos’ eyes and she found strength, even as though she thought he might feel it lacking. Try as she might, she was concerned that he would always feel as if part of the destruction was his fault, even if the board of inquiry, and she, thought otherwise. Nicholotti: There really are no words that can fully encompass the loss of the Resolution as well as this memorial, which will stand for as long as 224 does. It almost gives her a new life, despite the fact that she might not fly again. Kali took a momentary break before continuing. Nicholotti: The truth is, as long as we remember her, our service aboard her, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that everyone else got away…she’s never really gone. For a moment, her crystalline blues lost focus and her thoughts once more drifted to those early days. After the silence settled, she simply nodded to her first officer and took her seat. Addison nodded to her CO as she rose to take her place in front of the group. Her gaze fell upon the memorial - the beautiful granite, and the projection of a ship she never anticipated serving on brought a smile to her face. It was fitting, in her opinion, that the simple ship be memorialized in a monument equally simple - both were beautiful in their own ways. MacKenzie: ::gesturing to the memorial:: We cannot bring back those who were lost on the Resolution. Their deaths leave holes in our hearts that each of us will feel for the remainder of our days. Our service on that ship, and the shared experience of its destruction, has bonded us in ways that many crews will never know. She paused to look around at the familiar faces of her colleagues gathered. MacKenzie: But we are stronger for it. And now, we go forward carrying out the duty that our fallen comrades no longer can knowing that they died in service to Starfleet, honoring a mission and tradition that we all value and serve to protect. That is to be our greatest memorial to their legacy. She took a breath in through her nose as the faces of their colleagues flashed through her mind. After an exhale, she nodded to those who remained in front of her and returned to her seat. Vitor stood quietly as he waited for his turn. Although he was beginning to find some peace, being here wasn’t helping. The memories of his only mission on the Resolution weren’t pleasant ones. He even wondered if she should be there. But it was his turn. So he took the step forward. Silveira: I, regrettably, spent little time on the Resolution. Although I have been in the Fleet long enough to suffer losses, this was the first time the ship I served on was destroyed and so many of my comrades died. He paused, looking down, recalling them and his own memorial he did for them in Risa. Taking a breath he raised his head and spoke again. Silveira: I won’t need a memorial to remember them. But this is a deserved tribute to them all. He bowed to the memorial before returning to his previous position. Hallia took a deep breath, taking her own step forward, she folded her hands in front of her, feeling almost at a loss for words. This was far bigger than just simply one Starship, the Resolution was a place where Hallia felt like she was valued for her skills as an officer. She formed so many meaningful attachments and the Resolution had become a symbol of that. Stepping forward once again and then turning to face the officers gathered here today. Suddenly she was at a loss of words, and the old wounds she thought had long healed only seemed to open themselves up once again. Yellir: The Resolution was a small ship, yet like her crew, it was tougher than a diamond. I’m beyond thankful for the honour of sharing this journey with all of you. I wouldn’t trade all of our adventures, journeys to unfamiliar worlds and survey missions for the universe. To those we lost ::beat:: they’ll always be with us, and as Starfleet officers, we owe it to them to keep going just as they did. And… right now, I hope nothing more than to wish them safe travels on their own journeys, w- ::beat:: w-wherever they are… She felt her voice break towards the end of her speech. Once again, to steel her nerves, Hallia took a deep breath. Her lips quivered, yet her face didn’t change. Two tears slid down her cheeks as she looked the hologram in a moment of silence. As Iljor stepped forward, a strand of his shoulder length brown hair slipped from behind his right ear and gently rested against his face. Brushing it back, he turned to look at the assembled officers, all of whom he had come to consider family in one way or another. Then he gazed fondly at the holographic representation of the late starship Resolution and words came to him. Etan: Resolution was my first assignment out of the academy. A great bug deflector dish with a warp core attached. I didn’t know what to expect, to be totally honest. I’d expected a science station posting or somewhere in a laboratory. A starship was the furthest thing from my mind. But I am beyond grateful for the Resolution. She got us through some of the most difficult moments any of us could have expected. But most importantly- for me anyway- is that I found a family aboard her. And for that I will treasure my memories of the ship wherever I go. He looked at the hologram once more, bowed his head in a moment of respectful silence and then yielded the floor, wiping away a solitary tear. It was Genkos’ turn, and he took a deep breath, closing his eyes as he did so. This was tough - the Resolution was lost under his command, and it had been his final order evacuate the ship. His cane tapped loudly against the floor, sounding almost thunderous as he took a single step forward. Opening his eyes, he looked around at each of his fellow officers in turn and saw them staring back. Adea: The Resolution was our home, and the crew our family. I will forever be proud of what they achieved, and I am glad that whatever happens to us, even once we’re gone, this ::he waved to the memorial with his free arm:: will always remain. May the four ever watch over them. Then, looking down at his feet, he took another step back, his cane almost silent as he did so. After each of Yogan’s crewmates took the opportunity to speak, the room fell into solemn silence once again. He stepped forward, the sound of his boots against the deck echoing slightly in the large, mostly empty space, and he looked at the memorial once again. After losing the ship, watching the escape pods being recovered, writing the lists of survivors and lost, the investigation and subsequent testimony he’d given, and the distance of time since the disaster, he thought he’d made his peace and moved on. Not so. This was the thing he needed, the missing ingredient for closure. Yalu: Omed, my third host, once said, “Lifetimes of wisdom can make you arrogant. Lifetimes of heartache can make you timid.” It was caution, her warning against allowing events like the loss of our ship to make me jaded or paralyzed by indecision. When I looked at the image of the ship, and those fourteen names, I couldn’t help feeling those inevitable questions. “What could we have done differently?” “How could we have changed what happened?” The memory of standing in the shuttlebay of the USS Carpathia and clutching the PADD of names threatened to overwhelm him, but instead of suppressing it or fighting it, he allowed himself a moment for the wave to wash on by. Yalu: I will always remember this ship and the crew who served on her. But instead of dwelling here, I hope this memorial will allow me to look forward instead. To honor the ship and those we lost in the best way possible: by serving Starfleet and the Federation to the best of my ability, exploring space, and adding to my knowledge and understanding of the universe. I won’t always be perfect at it, but that’s what this moment, this memorial, means to me. Yogan could hear the sound of people assembling outside the doors, a low rumble of conversation that contrasted sharply with the almost chapel-like atmosphere inside the room. Yalu: The public ceremony is about to begin, and I’d like to invite everyone who wishes to to stay and dedicate the memorial. Before we let everyone else in, let’s have one last moment to remember the USS Resolution NCC-78145, and those fourteen people who gave their lives in her service: Iefyr Farrel, Chandra Amari, Verian Ohar, Gaavi Lak, Duncan Ruthers, Zenko-Taff, Ev’ell Gridung, Joss Ghunkep, Anaïs Burgess, T’Yor, Saar Spurloecke, Jane van Klaveren, Doria ch’Rino, and Liam Wyke. After the moment of silence, Yogan stepped over to the doors and allowed the residents and shopkeepers of Deep Space 224, the friends and associates who’d so kindly created permanent place of remembrance for them, to enter. [End scene] Commodore Kalianna Nicholotti – Commanding Officer – R238605KN0 Commander Addison MacKenzie – Executive Officer – V239601AM0 Commander Genkos Adea – Second Officer & Chief Medical Officer – G239502GS0 Lieutenant Commander Yogan Yalu – Strategic Operations Officer – D238804DS0 Lieutenant Etan Iljor – Chief Science Officer – C239203TW0 Lieutenant Hallia Yellir – Chief Engineer – G239409EK0 Lieutenant JG Vitor Silveira – Tactical Officer – O238907VS0 USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A
  20. @Etan Iljoralways plumbs some fascinating depths when exploring emotions, and this one is no exception. (( Ship’s Library, U.S.S. Excalibur )) In the fourteen or so months since he had been assigned to the U.S.S. Resolution (and subsequently the Excalibur), Iljor had found himself utterly intimidated by Commander Addison MacKenzie. She was one of the most forthright people Iljor had ever met and carried herself with a sternness that reminded Iljor of several of his strict professors at Starfleet Academy. Meidra had often spoken about the XO’s dressing downs and had also been present for many disapproving looks and comments. In short, Iljor prayed frequently to The Prophets never to get on the wrong side of his imperious superior. So far, he had been doing well. As MacKenzie lowered herself into the chair opposite his own, Iljor hoped that she was not about to grill him on the subject of his reading matter. Fortunately, she seemed to ignore the fact that he had been reading what amounted to poorly written Klingon erotica (indeed, it was more comical and - in places - disturbing than erotic). MacKenzie: I think you had attempted to engage in a fairly important ethical conversation, but your timing was perhaps… poorly chosen. Drawing a breath, Iljor nodded his head embarrassed. She was, as usual, correct. Attempting to debate the ethical implications of their efforts to remove technology from the Demesian people in the middle of what had amounted to a jail break had not been one of his finest nor well chosen moments. He had not planned to do so but had found himself unable to stop himself. Etan: I see. ::he said, slowly.:: I guess bringing that up in the middle of breaking somebody out of an asylum wasn’t the best time. ::he admitted.:: How is Tina, if I may ask? ::he added a moment later. The fate of Tina Kuppasoop had been playing on his mind ever since the Excalibur had retrieved him, Karrod and Sil from the emergency shelter a dozen or so kilometers outside of Jupe. Since their second return to the ship aboard the Gawain, Iljor had left a polite request for updates from the ship’s medical staff- but nothing had come of it. The shake of MacKenzie’s head and the looks of concern that etched itself across her face told Iljor everything that he needed to know. MacKenzie: I don’t have an answer. She is… not well. She looks like Tina Kuppasoup, but she insists that she is someone called Mary Daniel. There is no evidence in her file of any kind of multiple-personality disorder, and even if there were, there’s no evidence of multiple personalities at this point… ::she paused briefly, long enough for her eyebrow to rise:: only one. Iljor nodded sadly. It was an awful situation with very little ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ to borrow from an expression from MacKenzie’s homeworld. From the sound of it, there was little that the medical department could do and that psychological services would need to intervene. Unfortunately that might prove difficult. Etan: Oh dear. ::he said, after a moment of reflection.:: It is just our luck that our counseling department is… lacking. Iljor pursed his lips slightly in annoyance. That Meidra Sirin would transfer to the Gorkon without warning in the middle of a shift was unfortunate. Although he was not about to stop his friend from doing what she felt was important for her career- that she had not even bothered to say goodbye had stung Iljor. He was supposed to be her best friend, after all. He knew he was probably reading far too much into the situation and tiredness was probably influencing his emotion- but it felt as though she had simply discarded their friendship in the name of advancing her career. Etan: oO I guess you just don’t know somebody like you think you do. Oo ::he mused, recognising the bitterness of the thought.:: MacKenzie: It is an… annoyance that our chief counselor chose this time to make such an abrupt departure. Timeliness and consideration were never the Vulcan’s strong suits, in my opinion. Iljor nodded in agreement. As much as he cared for Meidra, the XO was right. Her enmity for the Excalibur’s former head of mental health services had been known to most aboard. That MacKenzie could work with Meidra despite her dislike was something that Iljor could respect- but also led him down an unwanted path: did she like Iljor or did she hold him in resentment? The fact that he couldn’t tell was another reason why she intimidated him so. Etan: I’m not going to disagree with that. ::he said, quietly.:: MacKenzie: At any rate, no sense in worry about things we can’t change for the moment. I’m sure Commander Adea and the others are more than capable of figuring out just what’s going on with her. If I recall correctly, you started to ask me about the ethical implications of what we were doing on Demes II, but you never really got to finish your inquiry. Is that a conversation you’re interested in having? Iljor straightened in the chair, feeling his shoulders tense in anticipation. He bobbed his head slowly to indicate his willingness to pick up their conversation from the asylum. Etan: I’d… like that, yes. MacKenzie: Response. Iljor put his hands on the desk in front of him, intertwining his fingers as he did so. He took several moments to compose his thoughts and drew in a breath. Etan: My concern is that what we’re doing is papering over the cracks. ::beat:: The Demesians have grown used to using Starfleet technology and they’ve shown a… startling aptitude for reverse engineering it. I mean, I read your reports: they managed to create their own approximation of an industrial replicator. If we take away this technology, we risk affecting their culture just as much Regillensis did when he abandoned that listening post. MacKenzie: Response. Etan: I don’t think removing the technology is the answer. The cultural contamination and damage to Demesian society is done. Short of going back in time and making sure the Rampart never visits the planet- we cannot change what happened. I think we have a fundamental responsibility to help these people adjust to a new phase of their development. To do anything else felt like covering up Regilensis’ crimes- and Iljor was worried that was exactly what Starfleet Intelligence and Starfleet Command were trying to do. Both departments had a frightening number of skeletons in their respective closets but in recent years there had been a fundamental shift in their approach to their litanies of renegade officers. Instead of being open and honest with the citizens of the galaxy and working to better themselves, Starfleet had taken to coverups and deflection. MacKenzie: Response. Etan: I won’t disagree that the Demesians were not ready for Starfleet technology but they have it. I’m not suggesting nothing so grandiose as bringing them into the Federation, maybe something more akin to what Second Contact crews do. Help make them sense of what has happened and prepare them for whatever lies ahead. ::he sighed, unsure of whether he was making sense or not.:: Am I making sense? MacKenzie: -- Lieutenant Etan Iljor Chief Science Officer USS Excalibur NCC - 41903 - A C239023TW0
  21. We've had a right old journey in this mission, and apart from the excellent Mary Daniel, we've had an unsung hero written by @Karrod Niac who's final sim here is a beaut. I can even forgive the ENT reference. ((The Outskirts of Yanthi Village, A Simple Tent)) It had been days since the strangers had so abruptly departed her city but they had left behind ideas that were as indelible as the scars on her hands. She regarded them as the wind whipped around her tattered home, so far from the Emberhearth and all she had known only a short time and whole lifetimes ago. Her mottled hands had once been a mark of pride, of her faith, devotion and piety. Now they looked ugly, the relic of a foolish devotion that she could no longer fathom. The wind picked up and cut through the tent like a chill knife, finding her and her small fire, wrapping her in a bitter cold that threatened to steal the breath from her lungs. She had returned to the Emberhearth after the strangers had vanished but the place that had once so filled her with warmth and purpose seemed entirely devoid of both. She tried to explain what she had seen and been told to the Upper Cleric but he had called her addled and, when she would not recant, had the skraats of the Morality Patrol strip her of her few vestments and eject her from the village as either a heretic or a lunatic. Practically speaking there was little difference in their eyes. Ulst had once looked to them for kindness and guidance but in her hour of greatest need she'd found only cruelty and small minded fear. Rather than listen to her or inspect their own beliefs, they had cast her out into the cold, never to return. They assumed the frost would put an end to her 'ravings,' but Ulst Rekaa had survived the frost before and would not be a victim to it now. Not when she had such truth to guide her. She realized after the first horrible night that her ejection had been a blessing in disguise. Had she remained in the Emberhearth she would've come to doubt her own mind, setting aside that which she had seen and known to be true for the comfortable illusions of the Ember. She'd known so many to do so, even taught and guided so many in the means of doing so that she knew well it's seductive power. After a time it would've consumed her truth and she would have remained small, and unimportant, and quiet. Now she would be so much more. The flap of the tent opened and the first of her new disciples entered cautiously. Ty'sen, the largest man in the village and the strong right arm of the Morality Patrol himself, had been greatly troubled by their shared strange evening. Though he had awoken with barely an injury minutes after the strangers had departed, the memory of their might and fury lingered in him. A man who had never known defeat before, who had never known fear before, had tasted of both. He needed truth to make that bitterness palatable and had come to Ulst for it. Others came as well...some who had been there that night. Others who had seen the odd goings on in Yanthi in the weeks leading up to that night outside the barn. They knew not what had happened but were no longer satisfied, if they ever had been, with the Emberhearth's narrow philosophy. Within a span of minutes there were nearly a dozen in the small tent, huddled for warmth and sharing food, drink and blankets with one another in a charitable display. It was affirming to all she had done so far and spoke of all she would do in the days, months and years ahead. For she had been Blessed...and now she must share the great truth with as many as she could. The travelers settled and even the wind quieted as Ulst stood and looked to each face with a passionate glint in her eye. Ulst: Brothers...sisters. You risk much to come here, yet you do so gladly because you are brave. You are wise to doubt, clever to listen and noble to spread the Truth to others. Our congregation has grown so much already that we will soon need to find a new meeting place. But we'll discuss that at the end of our evening. First though, let us begin what we came here to do. To a one her flock stepped outside the tent and into the chill night air, turning their faces skyward. It was hours pre-dawn and her tent was situated on an outcropping on one of the tallest hills in the area. The view below was of nearly undifferentiated white but skyward, when the clouds shifted just right, there was the new Enormity. It took her breath every time she looked upon it now and she wondered how its magnificence could've gone so unnoticed before. Delicate motes of light against the unfathomable deepness of shaded blue and darkest black. Tears of joy froze to her cheeks as she looked upon it and she knew she was not alone in it. Ulst: Look upon the Enormity and let your hearts be glad, brothers and sisters, for what is our First Great Truth? Ulst spoke in unison with all assembled. All: We are not alone! Ulst: Though we struggle, though we suffer, there are those among the deepness who are friends to us. And that is the Second Great Truth! Again, they spoke as one. All: They have come unto us! Ulst: Yes my friends, yes! They have come unto us, hidden among us, to learn and do justice, but not to harm. For that is not their way. No, theirs is a way of service! Theirs is the path to righteousness! It was the Third and Fourth Great Truth. All: For They Are Just! They Are Righteous! Ulst: And we must prepare ourselves for their return, my friends. We know not when but we know that they are watching and waiting, their hand ever gentle, guiding us ever towards them. So live justly! Harm none! Move and act with deftness and in secret until the day comes when they return! And how shall we know them, friends? All: It Points the Way To the Stars! Ulst knelt and began drawing against a large stone nearby. Her mutilated fingers traced the lines from memory now, wet snow contrasting against the light stone in the torchlight. Though they had tried to hide it from her she had seen this symbol upon their strange devices and others had seen it upon magical machines brought to the village foundry. It was their mark, their symbol, and she would ensure all her people knew it so they'd be welcomed upon their return. She stood back and the congregation grew silent, following the flowing lines to the sharp point at it's zenith, pointing towards the stars above. She did not know it was called the Delta, or what Starfleet was, but she knew this symbol meant divinity and it would on her world forever more. [End for Ulst Rekaa!] ======================================== Ulst Rekaa First Prophet of the Enormity V239509GT0
  22. Wonderful work by @Yalu A nice closure to a great character... Or Is it?
  23. I love the denouement part of a mission when writers can get contemplative about the experiences their characters have just gone through. @Lt Aine Olive Sherlock has done a great job here of blending recent events with the character's backstory and putting a satisfying conclusion to Sherlock's undercover ordeal on a pre-warp planet. Nicely done, Jared! ((Room 04-0201 (Sherlock's Quarters), USS Excalibur-A)) It had been some hours since Aine was transported back to the Excalibur unexpectedly. Unless that concussion lasted longer than she thought, it definitely hadn't been three months. Which could only have meant one thing: the crew left on the Excalibur discovered the same thing they had down on Demes II. She'd given her debrief, but as happens, was told nothing in return. And she would know nothing until the official reports were filed. They'd found the Betazoid and learned he'd been there for many years. That the Admiral was responsible for that too. He was a pawn in some twisted game, they all were. There were many things that happened on Demes II that Aine was not proud of. From the word go, her faith in the Prime Directive felt violated. And some of her less proud moments did the same. She wondered if there would be repercussions for her, for the Commodore, for the rest of the teams on Demes II. It didn't matter. Whether they came or not, the questions would. And her answers wouldn't change one way or the other. She would stand by her choices. The blue tint of her skin and facial markings of the Demesians were long gone. The furs she wore, soaked by an unfortunate response from the Cleric, were turned in to be reclaimed by the ship's replicators. Save for one piece. The knife she'd replicated based on Dr. Boeschg's research. It wasn't an actual Demesian artifact, but it would serve as a reminder for the experience. A reminder of what Starfleet is, or should be, were it not for people like Admiral Regillensis. Maybe she'd even take Doctor Adea, Genkos, advice and put it on display in her office. It would be a good start. Back in her quarters, she'd gotten cleaned up. It was nice to finally have tea that didn't taste like the mats in the Security Departments training center. Last leave, she was able to work out a replicator recipe for her favorite tea. It had previously only existed on the Resolution. And since she never uploaded it to a starbase for the Federation database, it disappeared with the ship. The warmth and bitterness offset ever so slightly by the sweetness of the milk, felt like home. Much like the hum of the deckplates below her bare feet. She stood, cupping the mug of tea, wearing nothing but the thick robe that some would describe as pink but she liked to think of as "light salmon," staring out the transparent aluminum windows of her quarters. The starboard side of the ship offered no view of Demes II, just a slightly hazy from the reflective glow of the planet view of the night sky as the Demesians would see it come nightfall. The Demesians. She took a long slow sip of her tea, ignoring the slight burn. It was nothing compared to the "burn" on Demes II. The burn that will be the inevitable. The damage is done to Demes II. And she knew there'd be talks about pulling up all the Federation equipment. Whether left or taken, Demes II would be in chaos. She knew there would be those who weren't there talking about the Prime Directive. To her, there was only one answer: help them. Allow those who want to move forward, move forward. Allow those who want to keep the old ways, keep them. She thought about her own home, not her now home the Excalibur, but Ireland. Ballinaclashett was a small village. Farmers. And just down the way, fisherman. There wasn't a hover transport to be found. Nary a replicator in any house. Farming equipment was the one exception. Just four hours walk north, and you hit the city of Cork's shuttleport. Cork itself, a modernized city. Tall buildings of white aluminum and reflective golden glass rise among the ancient buildings below. Having both wasn't impossible. But she knew the Federation probably wouldn't see it that way. And they wouldn't listen to a lowly Lieutenant who was in Security. It was a part of the job they'd studied. Past cases. Cases that helped to establish the rules and regulations. Maybe Demes II would be that way one day, maybe not. She just hoped the ego that was what Starfleet could be, was put to the side, just once for the Demesians were mere victims. Looking out the windows, she focused on one star as she sipped her tea. She imagined it was Sol, though she couldn't be sure where it actually was. Her mind sped towards it, past the rings of Saturn, through the asteroid belt, onto Earth, ending on the still mostly green isle. Her shoulders suddenly slumped and she set the mug and what little was left of the contents down on the table in the living room. If someone asked, she'd say she was just tired. But it was so much more. There was anger, for the Admiral. Sadness for the Demesians. Disappointment in what she'd come to believe and been taught. And even through it all, hope. Hope that the right thing would be done. Sherlock: Computer... The familiar chime that was sometimes an annoyance was a welcome sound. Sherlock: Lights. End Lieutenant Aine Sherlock Chief of Security USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A R239712AS0
  24. I am always in awe of @Karrod Niac's character work, worldbuilding, and knack for picking up breadcrumbs from throughout a mission and tying them together. Here, we got all three. Cracking sim, Brian. ((Village Centre near The Barn, Yanthi Village)) Lower Cleric Ulst Rekaa had been greatly troubled of late and had not felt the warmth of the Ember as she had in days gone past. Ever since the thunderous calamity outside the Emberhearth some weeks earlier and the sudden invasion of the injured strangers, something had disquieted her to the point of intense distraction. She'd twice lost her place during the daily litany and the Upper Cleric had spoken of their surprise and disappointment with her waning attention to her duties but she could not purify her mind. To make matters worse rumors, the ever present currency of the city, were swirling around numerous strange events and odd sightings. Strangers moving through the nights, figures skulking by windows and on roof tops, odd questions being asked by even odder people. Ulst sat in the center of this maelstrom of rumor and gossip and with each new tidbit, her memory turned back to the foreign strangers. After yet another sleepless night and a desperate prostration before the Ember, she turned to the skraats of the Morality Patrol. She had gone to them and they had heard truth in her tale of potentially dangerous foreign strangers. Now, flanked by two of the stoutest patrollers and wearing an expression she reserved for those fallen from the Flame she found herself confronting those very same strangers, slithering their way towards a large barn. The patrollers hailed the strangers with pious authority that brought them to an immediate and fearful halt. Arcah: Rekaa, are these the ones you encountered? Ulst looked from one ashen face to the other most carefully, remembering well the strangeness of each. Though they looked like many in the city there was an unnatural quality to them which made her flinch away if she stared too long into their eyes. Rekaa: Yes, I swear it by the Ember. Arcah: And do you think they are the ones bringing change to our world? ::she pursed her lips:: Think… carefully… before you answer. Ulst hesitated, the weight of the moment apparent. She knew strangeness abounded in Yanthi and something was threatening the good people of the city and could not shake the sense that somehow, these odd folk were involved. But yet, she had nothing but that vague disquieted sense. Doubt manifested where she had been so confident earlier. Rekaa: ....I'm...I'm not certain they bring the change...but they are of a strangeness beyond any I've known. By the Ember, I swear there is something heretical about them. There was a terrible moment as the skraats considered her words and evaluated the strangers for themselves. Arcah: Well then… ::she turned to mass behind her:: Seize them! Gnaxac: Uh-oh… Nicholotti: Lieutenant! Jolara/Tiberius: response What happened next was a horror beyond any she'd ever imagined before and Ulst stood stunned as the entirety of the Patrol was struck low around her. The violence was so swift, so savage, and of a kind beyond any knowing. The woman who had claimed divinity, who herself had Embraced the Ember with Ulst's guidance, had used those same sanctified hands to assail men twice her size in moments. But that was far from the worst of it. The strangers called forth the very spirit of Fire to aid them in their dark designs. Crimson bolts lashed out, tumbling men to the ground as if they'd been poleaxed, strange burns on their clothes and skin already mottling. Ulst fell to her knees and wailed for salvation from the impossibly supernatural. Sherlock: Threats clear! Everyone alright? Gnaxac: ::with a shaky grin:: S-s-s-smashing. Jolara/Tiberius: Responses? Ulst rocked back and forth on her knees, in shock and terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. The wraiths she had angered hadn't seen fit to let her pass mercifully with the others and instead turned their hungry attention towards her. Their eyes shone with a horrible glint and Ulst could not believe she had ever been tricked into thinking these things were merely lost strangers. Nicholotti: Look, we are not what you're thinking. If you trust the Ember, have faith... With a combination of terror and furious instinct driving her Ulst swung her arm and slapped the woman full in the face as hard as her frail arm could. Rekaa: Daemons! Heretics! Murderers! Strike me dead but I will not hear your foul tongue speak of the Sanctified Ember when you have wrought such horrors this night! The woman, or whatever it was that wore the skin of a woman, recoiled from the blow and looked to the carnage they had wrought. When her face turned back it seemed...apologetic, as if the casual slaughter were a trivial affair barely worth notice. Ulst felt a deep coldness within her very soul. Nicholotti: They are just asleep. They will wake up soon with nothing more than a headache. Ulst hissed and spat. Rekaa: You lie! I saw you call upon elemental fire to strike them dead! Ty'sen ::Ulst nodded to the largest of the skraats just a few hands to her side:: was a champion brawler before he embraced the Ember! He was never once felled by an opponent and you did so in moments! Why!? Why have you brought this evil down upon us? Do we not suffer enough?! Ulst's terror was growing into something approaching hysteria. She tried to recite the litany of the Ember but the words would not come. Sherlock: It's true. We're not here to hurt anyone. In fact, Cleric, I think we all have the same goal. Gnaxac: ::curiously:: W-w-we do? ::then he cottoned on, and nodded enthusiastically:: We do! Jolara/Tiberius: Responses? The absurdity of their words combined with the sickening terror and Ulst heard herself laughing before she even realized she was doing it. It was a sick, hysterical chitter. Some lucid part of her mind wondered if she was going mad. Rekaa: What? How could you possibly confuse your foul designs with my duties. I serve the people...the same you so blithely assault for reasons beyond my ken. Sherlock: It's clear you know there are some on your planet that come from other worlds. We come from another world. The difference between us and them is we came here to stop them. We came here to help you. The words collided with her like a great wave and Ulst was left thunderstruck, uncertain of how to respond. She have never conceived that there was anything beyond the stone and soil beneath her feet. To learn, so abruptly, that all she knew was nothing came as something of a shock. She looked at the woman speaking, tried to mouth words, found none, and vomited. Several times. It was a few retching minutes before she pulled herself together but somehow the act had made her feel better. Looking at the state of the woman's clothing who had spoken to her, Ulst felt suddenly embarrassed and apologetic. Rekaa: Sorry...about your cloak...you may be daemons...but none deserve spew upon them. Ulst rocked back from her knees and sat on the cold stone, curling into as small a figure as she could. Her voice became small. Rekaa: Worlds? Daemon invaders here among us? Has the frost taken my senses and cursed me to madness? Gnaxac: H-h-hard to believe as that is with a bunch of unc-c-c-conscious people around you, I know. Nicholotti/Sherlock/Jolara/Tiberius: Response Rekaa: I can't...how...you're not of Demes? Not of our people? But you look...sound...I don't understand....::Ulst shook her head and sighed deeply.:: I don't understand anything anymore. Ember protect me, I am lost in the wilderness without flame. Gnaxac: W-w-what can we do to convince you? Nicholotti/Sherlock/Jolara/Tiberius: Response Ulst looked to each, trying to find the sure and certain signs of deception but found none. Whatever these things were they could've had her dead or worse a dozen times over already and, considering the foul smelling state of one's cloak, had reason enough. But yet they seemed concerned for her. Their words were strange but their voices were calm and full of patience. Rekaa: Your names. Your true names. Not these...figments you shroud yourselves with. I would know at least the names of those who had damned me so. Nicholotti/Sherlock/Jolara/Tiberius: Response Ulst nodded and tried to compose herself fractionally. Some of the litany was reforming in her mind and the heat in her breast was returning slowly. Rekaa: You claim to serve this world...that you wish to help...how? Is that what you brought you to this place? She pointed a shaky finger towards the barn. Nicholotti/Sherlock/Jolara/Tiberius: Response Rekaa: I am a servant of the Ember so long as I draw breath. If there is a taint of evil here I will see it gone...whatever shape it takes. I will follow and judge your divinity for myself. Nicholotti/Sherlock/Jolara/Tiberius: Response Tags/TBC! ======================================== Ulst Rekaa Lesser Cleric of the Yanthi Emberhearth V239509GT0
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