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  1. There was one of these for the Victory and I seen other ships with a simular topic, so here is a new one for a new ship, who wants to be the first to put up a funny Quote from one of the crew??
  2. Posting the whole sim here instead of posting half of it in the quotes thread. Fantastic writing of a spiraling scientist, funny and elegantly written as always! Cheers @Bryce Tagren-Quinn! ----- ((Cordina Valley, Mindirra Mountain Range, Palanon)) The environment was just what everyone needed after such a trying mission. Mountains, a pristine valley and a lake to soothe battle wounds. Many warriors would immerse themselves in nature as a means to heal. In fact, there was sufficient medical evidence that showed that nature immersion decreased blood pressure, stress, and so on. Anyway… Out of the group, the two that Bryce knew best were Lieutenants Sirin and Tahna, though he didn’t exactly know them. He had hoped that this trip would not only help to help them all unwind, including himself, but also forge friendships that would help build community. That community would allow them to become resilient in the face of any future events. And, from what he had heard from the group regarding the Gorkon herself… yeah. Tahna though… they were in somewhat close proximity, setting dishes atop a tarp near the campfire. He wracked his brain on what to call her. Lieutenant? Was that too formal in this setting? They weren’t exactly friends quite yet (maybe on the cusp?), so he felt a little awkward in addressing her by her Bajoran given name. They did however face the possibility of death together on deck 8. Tahna: Tahna, or Meru, either is fine. ::Smiling.:: Anyone who survives ghosts and explosions with me can use my given name. He smiled and rotated around slightly at the sound of the Adonis-looking Trill man’s voice. The man with the arms that seemed bigger than his own thighs. Tan: ::Nodding in agreement:: Yeah. Just Serren is fine for everyone. Especially now! We're here to relax! Indeed they were. The jovial man was wise. Tagren-Quinn: Have you read or done any studies on the local wildlife and plant life here? I just saw a group of what looked like birds, at least by Earth standards, and it’s driving me bonkers because I don’t recall seeing anything about it in my pre-trip reading. I wonder if they were introduced? Honestly, he was going to ask Tahna how she was getting along since the mission but he didn’t want to come across too personal or prying. The fact that she was here and smiling was enough to let him know that she was likely getting along just fine. Still, the last mission had been quite the tribulation for the lot of them. And, Serren’s comment about relaxing was indeed true. They all needed a reprieve. Sirin: Exobiology was part of my double major, but I haven’t really read much about wildlife here. I’m interested in what types of fish we will find. ::turns to Stoyer:: Would you care to join me on my hunt for dinner? Green eyes focused on the other El-Aurian hybrid doctor and Bryce couldn’t help but pause a moment, smiling internally that there was some peace emitting from her. It was a vague impression but a good and promising one. Fishing would prove to be such a great activity. Though, a part of him reverted back to days of old. Were the fish protected? Were there any laws about catching and releasing? He reasoned that Starfleet would not have likely permitted them if that was the case, and would have educated them pre-trip of any warnings. This location hosted a lot of other visitors though. His thoughts then quickly pivoted, twisting into environmental clean-up. With increased traffic came increased issues in that realm. What about potential contaminants in the water that would lead to issues of bioaccumulation, traveling through trophic levels and… biomagnification? Was it safe to eat the fish? Were there versions of algal blooms, with toxins that may… Ugh. Maybe he would just test the fish discreetly with a tricorder before they dined on them. He needed to quiet his mind or else it would go warp speed into journal article land. Abstracts only, please. Stoyer: Sure, I will go with you to help caught some dinner. Let’s gather the gear. Sirin: :: to Tagren-Quinn:: I’ve read that there are large fish similar to Terran snakeheads. Apparently they mimic walking on land and can survive for two days out of water. A most interesting specimen, if one could find it amongst the shore’s debris. That sort of reminded him of some amphibious creatures he encountered on an outpost. Tagren-Quinn: Oh that does sound interesting. Please, take some snaps if you come across anything. I would be most interested in reviewing your findings. Tahna: I was more focused on the plants than the Aves, honestly. Did you know there’s a species of cyan fungus in the mountains that bloom once every sixty years? Bryce twisted around and raised his eyebrows at Tahna who handed him a refreshing cup of tea. He just smiled and silently nodded in thanks. Tagren-Quinn: That… oh wow, I would like to see that too! Bloom every sixty years?! The longevity alone… Stoyer: After you. Tan: Good luck! Hope they're biting! And, with that, the red-haired Sirin and the man in flannel, Stoyer, were off with their fishing gear. Bryce watched after them for a moment before turning towards Serren, who was cooking up a storm. He was impressed with how at ease he was with it especially given the primitive setting. The doctor’s mind continued to trail off though, enchanted by the prospects, of the treasure trove this place held. All the biotic and abiotic relationships, the mesic forest, and the untold geological history that helped to influence it all. He thought about the notebook in his pack and got sucked in it all before a soft voice brought him back to the present. Tahna: I would love to see it bloom, I guess we’ll just have to come back in forty years. It took him a moment before he realized that the Bajoran woman was sitting on the ground near the campfire with her arms wrapped around her legs. The scene was enough to pull him out of his trance and concern etched across his youthful features. In forty years he’d look about the same, most likely. But, this wasn’t about that. There was something lingering in the undercurrents of the woman’s words and he wondered… Tan: ::Whistling appreciatively,:: Forty years. Wow. It really takes that long? Tagren-Quinn: Yeah… sometimes longer for some species. Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to say and he regretted it as soon as it tumbled from his mouth. He really had a way with words sometimes. He glanced between the two. She then took a drink and twirled a blade of grass between her fingers before speaking once again. Tahna: How are you two doing? After…everything. There was a bit of silence which was broken by the other man’s voice. Tan: I uh... I miss Jona. ::He stirred the cooking lunchmeal slowly, then the rice too, making sure it didn't stick to the edges.:: "Palling around on Palanon" was our thing. We spent almost a whole shore leave seeing the sights and we barely got to see a quarter of everything... a quarter of a quarter. He would have loved to be here. Bryce nodded, sliding his hands into his pockets and focusing his attention to the ground, to a rock. He had met Jona, albeit briefly, and was saddened to hear of his departure as well. Tagren-Quinn: Yeah, I didn’t have a chance to get the Commander too well but, from my brief interaction with him, I found him to be a top-notch officer. He led our team on deck 8 with much composure and determination. As for himself, how he was doing? Work got him through. It always did. That something to focus on always got him through. Tagren-Quinn: What about you, Tahna? How… how are you? He sat down a few feet from her, ran a hand through his hair and offered a warm smile. Tahna: Response Tan: Heard your second part of the mission was a real, uh... doozy. ::Stirring quietly.:: By all accounts you both did great. Sure to wrack up an impressive haul at the next awards ceremony. That was really kind of him to say and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it. Tagren-Quinn: I… just doing my part. Always wish I could do more. Like almost leaving some people behind, one of which was in the throes of labor. If he was thrust back into the situation, would he have made the same call, the same recommendations? The answer - a resounding yes - wasn’t always going to be a popular one. Tahna: Response It was when Serren went to taste the concoction he was cooking did Bryce catch a whiff of familiar spices. It caught him off guard – but honestly, it shouldn’t have. Tan: Want to talk about it? No pressure if you'd rather just sit by the fire and talk about something else. By all accounts, the food smelled amazingly good. And… Too much. The logical part of his brain reasoned, though the primitive part kicked up a flight response. Tagren-Quinn: I’m… I think I might, uh, take a moment. He looked to his company apologetically and rose to his feet, brushing off the dirt and grass from his pant legs. Tahna/Tan: Response Tagren-Quinn: Yeah, I’m okay. I’m sorry. I think… I think I’m going to write down some observational notes before I forget them. I’ll be right back for lunch though. It... smells delicious. Tahna/Tan: Response With a weak smile and a faint wave, he was off trudging to his tent with his hair lifting some by the light breeze. His hands moved around hastily in his belongings until the notebook and pen emerged. When he had those in hand, he made a beeline to the trailhead to gain some distance. He would have to apologize to them again later, perhaps even offer an explanation. The spices were a reminder of a different time and, on any other day or moment, perhaps he would have been stronger about it. Focus. Plants. Medicine. There was a strange wooden sign attached to a wooden post at the trail’s entrance. Along its surface was scripting burned in that he didn’t understand but there was a touchscreen under it for a hiker to tap in their language preferences. Spiffy. And, whoa, a rather large shadow casting down from above. Circling, almost menacingly. Shielding his eyes, Bryce glanced up only to witness a deluge of… Tagren-Quinn: Shhhhiiii--- …expelled contents from a species of bird, falling from the sky. The young doctor stepped back with great speed and agility, narrowly missing the massive explosion and nearly laughing in shock and at the absurdity. It felt like a metaphor about the current state of things. His fingers pinched the bridge of his nose and just shook his head. -- Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, M.D. Medical Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) T238909AT0
  3. Oh god. This sim was so well written. How dare you two make me feel things with my own brain! It seems like every shore leave there's a JP from these two and so far they've been full of joy and happiness and this sim took a turn for the shockingly emotional. I loved it, and you two are so talented. ----- (( Elizabeth’s Quarters, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka )) {{Time Index: Five Days After Leaving PTE-2891, Enroute to Shemsh}} ((OOC: I know these don't count towards my numbers, but this JP will be heavily referenced in my next sim with Cheesecake, so I'm sending for context)) Elizabeth sat curled up on the couch with a cup of Jesteral Tea clasped in her hands. She had been trying to read her book but her mind had been elsewhere, making the task difficult. While there were still parts of her life missing, none if it seemed as pressing as the issue she was having at the moment. Since Solat has stimulated her memory recall, pulling up the image of the woman she was to marry, Elizabeth had been feeling both guilty and conflicted about things. She could feel that she loved Lephi very much; she still had these sudden feelings for Kas that came along while her memory was gone. They were nothing compared to what she felt for Lephi, but they were still there. Then there is the whole telling Lephi what happened and that made her gut churn even more. She sighed and took a sip of her tea as she wished the kiss had never happened. (( Lephi's Quarters, USS Gorkon )) The nights were always the hardest, and then the days came and they were harder still. Lephi sighed and rolled over in bed. She'd been working so much she hadn't even had time to stop and think. Though she was settling into life on the Gorkon, it still tore at her heart to have her other half so far away from her. With one more flop, the engineer crawled back out of bed. Her plans for an early night were thwarted by a restless brain. She made her way over to the replicator and retrieved some Jestral tea. It was far from her favourite, but drinking it helped her to feel closer to Elizabeth in these trying times. Lephi plopped herself down at her desk and picked up a nearby PADD, hoping to dull her mind with the intricacies of starship repair. (( Elizabeth’s Quarters, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka )) Elizabeth sighed and pushed up from the couch wondering if a shower would help her relax enough to fall asleep. If it came down to it, maybe a sedative would do the trick. As she made her way through the bedroom, her eyes caught sight of Lephi's picture on her nightstand and sighed. What was she doing? She already talked with Kas and now it was Lephi's turn. It was time to make the call. She turned around and walked back into the living area. Her gut churning with every step. It wasn't going to be an easy call, but she wanted it to come from her and not someone else. The thought of the woman walking away stung like hell. She sat down at her desk and collected herself for a moment before standing back up, walking over to the replicator. Snow: A cup of Jesteral Tea, please. As the mug appeared before her, she took a sip as she made her way back over to the desk. Snow: Computer, open a transmission with Lieutenant Lephi, USS Gorkon. She took a seat as the computer processed the request. As it did Elizabeth sat the mug of tea down regretting the choice to have something in her stomach at this moment. (( Lephi's Quarters, USS Gorkon )) Computer: Incoming transmission from Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow, USS Chin’toka. Lephi’s heart soared. She couldn't remember the last time that she had spoken to Elizabeth, much less seen her face. Her sour attitude immediately began to change, and a toothy smile formed on her face as she spoke. Lephi: Put it through, put it through! Elizabeth smiled as Lephi appeared on the screen. Her heart soared seeing the woman and for a moment she had forgotten why she called. Snow: Hello, beautiful ::smiling:: It was a great feeling, looking back at the beautiful doctor on the screen. There were no words that did her smile justice. For a brief second, Lephi forgot to speak. Moments later, she gathered her thoughts and tried again. Lephi: Hello, Imzadi! You've somehow gotten more beautiful since I last saw you! Elizabeth smiled and then her heart twinged. The reason she called flashed across her mind as she stared at the beauty on the screen unaware of the news that was still to come. She didn’t want to tell Lephi, to break her heart, but she couldn’t leave this between them. It wasn’t right and Lephi deserved to know. Elizabeth took a deep breath and then looked at the woman on the screen again with tear filled eyes. Snow: Imzadi, I want you to know that I love you very much and what I’m about to say pains me very deeply to have to tell you. I’m so sorry to have to even say this, that it even happened, but.. ::brief pause:: On the recent mission, the other members of the away team and myself lost our memories. During this scary and confusing time the person I was shared a kiss and developed feelings for someone. ::pause:: I’m so sorry, Lephi. She stopped talking to give the woman time to process what had been said, the guilt even stronger than before. At first Lephi was concerned that her compliment had been the reason for Elizabeth’s tears, but as the doctor began opening up, Lephi was filled with confusion and dread. Shared a kiss? Lost her memories? A great sadness came over her as she considered the implications. Was she breaking up with her? Tears welled in the engineer's eyes, and she was silent for several long minutes. When she finally spoke again, it was through choked sobs. Lephi: That sounds like a terrible thing to go through, are you doing okay? The question she really wanted to ask was if Elizabeth had called to break off their engagement, but though she was eager to ask; she didn't want an answer. Not yet. Elizabeth’s wellbeing was just as important, and a welcome distraction. Was she okay? No. No she wasn’t. She felt like she failed Lephi. She had accepted her heart with a promise not to break it and she went and did just that. Snow: No. You trusted me with your heart and I failed to protect it. The tears that had pooled in Lephi’s eyes broke free and trickled down her face. Elizabeth was always more concerned with everyone else around her than she was about herself. It was a blessing and a curse, and in this case, more of a curse. Lephi: Did you, as Elizabeth, mean to kiss him? You didn't fail anything my love, you went through something traumatic. It hurts, and we'll have to deal with that eventually, but my concern right now is you. Snow: No. If I'd known who I was and that I was engaged, I wouldn’t have. The reassurance brought some small comfort to the Ferengi. The fact that they were still talking, and she wasn't hanging off of this new person in front of her also helped ease her hurting heart. Lephi: Exactly! That's not who you are, Imzadi. Have your memories returned? Snow: The alien entity stimulated our memory paths to recover things quicker, but some things are still missing. It’s only been a few days. Concern etched on Lephi's face as she regarded the doctor carefully, as though suddenly a way to fix all of this would jump out at them. It pained her to think about Elizabeth alone and scared with no memories on an unknown planet. She cursed Starfleet for making her transfer, and she cursed herself for not making a more compelling case for the two of them to retire early on Betazed. Lephi: I'm sure it will all come in time. Are you taking some time off to deal with this all? Was the person you kissed a member of the crew? How has that been? She knew it was a lot of questions to ask Elizabeth at once, but despite her best efforts, concern overtook her and she couldn't stop her mouth from voicing them all. Elizabeth took a moment to process all the questions Lephi threw her way. She took a sip of her tea before responding. Snow: I’ve been on light duty for now trying to get back into the swing of things and yes. We talked about things. They know I’m engaged and want to work on things with you. Lephi breathed a sigh of relief, and it quieted her brain for at least a few moments. Whoever this mystery person was, they knew that Lephi existed. Although it troubled her that Elizabeth had dodged the question identifying the other person, she knew better than to push her fiancée too hard on that at the moment. Lephi: And how did they take that? She thought about the conversation with Kas yesterday. It seemed to go well, but even though he tried to hide it, she still got a feeling that it hadn’t gone as well as what the Commander showed. Snow: Seemingly pretty well. Lephi's mouth curved downwards into a frown, and her nose began to twitch. Her brain was working at warp speed. She wanted nothing more than to talk things out, soothe the pain they were both feeling but it felt very one sided to her. She was trying to stimulate the conversation, and it felt as though Elizabeth was applying a sedative from a hypospray to it, and shutting down conversation. Lephi: Who is it? What do you mean, seemingly pretty well? ::sadly:: You talked to them before you talked to me? The last question sounded more defensive than she had meant it to. She was hurt, and Elizabeth’s mannerisms were doing little to provide comfort to the engineer. Before she transferred, they were two of the closest people, and now apparently they went to relative strangers with issues before each other. Another sob caught in Lephi's throat, her now bloodshot eyes pleaded with Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s heart twinged. Had she gone about this the wrong way. She had never been in this position before. She was just trying to answer the questions she was asked and reassure the woman. She could navigate being a doctor with no memory of being one. She could probably have gone back full duty with no problem and navigated circles around Sickbay with limited memory, but she couldn’t navigate her own relationship correctly. Snow: I’ve only been back a few days. I wasn’t planning on talking to anyone about anything until I figured things out, but they showed up at my door. So we talked. The vague nature of Elizabeth's reply did nothing to nurture Lephi's tormented heart. If anything, it pained her more to see such conflict so plainly on the face of the woman she loved. She wondered what kind of a person would be so heartless as to know someone is in a happy relationship, and still pry at the cracks which had suddenly formed. Certainly it couldn't have been Commander Raga, or Serala. Those two had respect for them, and their relationship. This person clearly did not. She thought hard about it all. Lephi: Elizabeth… ::Averts gaze:: Who was it? Snow: Someone who was in the same position I was and new to the ship, so they had no idea of anything. The doctor’s coyness almost won Lephi over briefly, before the despair she felt resurfaced. It brought her minute joy that it wasn't any of the people she considered to be her friend. She wasn't sure she'd be able to get over that if it had been the case. Lephi: You're really not going to tell me? That's all I get, that it isn't one of our mutual friends? Snow: Yes. It shouldn’t matter who it is. It’s not going to change anything.
  4. Revisiting traumatic sites is a big interest of mine, and it's lovely to see the crew going back and assigning a special place to where missions happened. Great work Sami! This was a fun read! ----- (( Security Office - Deck Eight - USS Gorkon )) She stared out of the window, not seeing the streaking stars that passed outside, as the Gorkon sped to its next location for some much needed repairs. The relief of retrieving the missing persons from the Rift, including the other away team, was short-lived once they beamed over to the Gorkon, where another disaster had occurred. One that was more deadly as it turned out after checking out the crew list. They had fatal casualties, including some of her own department, people who had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. She rolled her shoulders, trying to ease some of the tension she felt as she crossed the short distance to her desk, picking up the PADD she had left there and read the letters again she had composed to the families of those from her department who hadn’t survived the explosion or search and rescue afterwards. Her thoughts automatically went to the family of Ensign Raife, one of the images she had relived during the hallucinations. For a reason unknown to her, she still kept contact with the family. Was it guilt? Samira didn’t know. Maybe she just wanted to give the family some insight into what their daughter’s life would have been like if she had survived the disaster on the upside-down ship. Once the first chaos had subdued after returning to the Gorkon, she had helped with relocating crew members who didn’t like the upgraded accommodations with an open view on space to new quarters on safer decks. Together with engineering, she had done a preliminary examination of the exploded area, making sure the ship itself was secure enough to travel. Of course, she’d only get a full report once the experts had done their own inspection back at Iana Station. The PADD abandoned on her desk she left the office. She needed a drink before she went to her next destination and thus she ended up in her quarters. Ko was catching some sleep in one of the eucalyptus trees, as if nothing had happened. Normally, she’d let the critter sleep and leave him alone, but this time she petted him on his head after pouring herself some whiskey. Which resulted in a grunt from the animal, and she quickly pulled her hand away as he made a motion with his paw and sharp claws. She smirked at the beast and let him be, before she settled in to the couch, taking a sip from the golden liquid now and then. (( One hour later - Cargo Bay - USS Gorkon )) Samira stood in front of the famous cargo bay that tossed people around and learned those trapped inside how they could fly without any wings or other artificial means. The double doors in front of her were shut, like the area gave her an extra warning sign: beware when you step through. She ruffled her short black hair. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone for the double whiskey or had something to eat in between. Her mind was already playing tricks on her and she hadn’t even set foot in the room yet. She took a step forward, almost wishing the doors wouldn’t open, like they had refused to open last time. But there it was, the familiar whoosh as both doors slid open. Carefully, she took a step inside, dropping the bag she’d carried next to her. Here she was, and she wasn’t alone. People doing their job, continuing where they left off, or just performing their daily duty. Slowly, she walked around in the bay, until she received a few odd looks from folk, probably wondering why she was here in the first place. Only then she returned to the dropped bag and walked to the supply crate at the front of the bay, restocking the water bottles they had taken from the container while being trapped inside. For a brief moment, it reminded her of another cargo bay on another ship that didn’t exist. The first time she had met Soup and Headhunter on the Skarbek, as a new recruit of a Maquis cell, where she knew nobody. She smiled faintly. Things looked brighter for Valesha now that the couple had started their own family. She should pay them a visit and congratulate them one of the following days. There was still plenty of time for that later. First, it was time for another drink. --- Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler Chief Security/Tactical & Second Officer USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  5. The next sim shows, that what happens to our characters, also has an impact on those at the homefront. Excellent piece of work @Tahna Meru and I love the insight on Bajoran culture and Meru's family history. ((OOC: The "present" sections are intended to take place concurrently with the mission that just concluded, specifically, they're meant to directly follow the publishing of this news report IC)) ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – 2389)) Tahna Meru tugged at the tassels of her uranak’ei1. It was a lovely golden shawl, crocheted in the traditional pattern by her Yania2 years ago. It matched the one her Yania made for her own daughter, though Meru’s bore her and her mothers’ names embroidered on the hem, while her cousin, Tara’s, bore the names of all the mothers in their family going back long before the Occupation. The Valis women had only lost the object during the Occupation, while Tahna Yavarel had lost her whole family history. Uranak’ei were meant to be passed from mother to daughter for generations, but Meru was the first in the Tahna family to wear it, and should not be the last if her mother’s plans bore fruit. The girl's opinion on the matter was yet uncertain. So far she seemed determined to oppose her mother’s plans, aiming for a future among the stars instead of remaining grounded, forgoing instruction on running a farm in favor of teaching herself exobotany. Bajor’s decision to join the Federation the year before hadn’t helped, but Yavarel hoped her daughter’s mind might change yet—after all, she was only fourteen. Tahna Y.: ::Whispering to her daughter:: You’re slouching. And fidgeting. Meru made a face, but straightened her shoulders and dropped the tassel at her mother’s request. Tahna M.: ::Her voice was soft and hesitant, unsure of herself despite hours of preparation.:: What if I forget the prayer? Tahna Y.: You won’t. She had no doubt that her daughter’s Ih’tanu would go well. Yavarel hadn’t experienced the ceremony herself when she came of age, but she ensured everything was in order for her daughter, and she knew the blessing she was to offer welcoming her daughter into a long line of Bajoran women, though their names had been lost. She’d made sure Meru knew the prayer, where to sit and stand, how to behave during her blessing, wouldn’t flinch when she received her d’ja pagh. She could not forget a name when reciting her matriline, as it began with Yavarel and paused with Tahna. Still, an element of discomfort remained, and that element’s name was Yavarel. It wasn’t that she felt unwelcome at the shrine. While she’d never been, her husband had been attending services there since they settled in Kendra Province, and they were presenting Meru together. Besides, it was antithetical to feel unwelcome at a shrine. She straightened out the uranak’ei, which had become crooked with all Meru’s anxious fidgeting, and tucked stray pieces of hair back into her daughter’s dark braid. It wasn’t even the fact that she had no faith in the Prophets. She did not require her daughter, now nearly an adult and yet still her baby, to take on her own agnosticism. The ceremony was as much cultural as it was religious, and whether the Prophets existed and cared about them or not, Yavarel would be damned if her child missed out on the slightest bit of Bajoran culture. She did not spend her youth fighting in the resistance just to kill their culture herself. Still, Yavarel doubted she would ever seek comfort in a shrine. She offered her daughter a rare, approving smile, ensuring not a single thread nor hair was out of place. Then, she and her husband took their seats on the crimson mats at the front of the shrine, heads held high and spirits proud as Meru approached the Prylar. ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – Present)) Vedek Kare looked up from the prayer candles she was lighting to the woman stalking down the aisle like a feral dakthara on the hunt. She recognized her, though she hadn’t seen her in…well, nearly a decade. Not since she was just a Prylar. Kare: Welcome. Yavarel huffed, stopping short of the Vedek. The two women stared at each other for a painfully long moment, as if neither was quite sure what to do next. Kare was there to provide spiritual support and advice, and she was patient, and had plenty of time. So, she sat cross-legged on the crimson mat, and waited. Tahna Y.: ::Tersely:: Vedek. Somehow, the word sounded about as reverent as a curse in Yavarel’s mouth. Kare did not take offense, Tahna Rej regularly attended services and she’d heard his wife’s thoughts on religion. The priestess simply offered Yavarel a smile and remained silent, waiting. Silence stretched between the two for several minutes, until finally, Yavarel shifted her weight from one foot to the other and, slowly, sat opposite the Vedek. The stiff corners of her mouth dropped slightly, a minor tremble in the corner of her eye, all signs of a facade about to crack. Kare: This is your second visit to this shrine, ever. oOProbably your second visit to any shrine, ever, so you must be deeply troubled.Oo Her observation was met with silence, and finally Yavarel looked away, her eyes wandering through the room till they focused on a more distant candle behind the Vedek’s shoulder, its wavering light slightly more steady than the dam stopping her flood of emotions. Tahna Y.: I do not believe. Kare: That is not a requirement. The candle flickered, and Yavarel broke down. ((Resistance Cell Hideout, Lonar Province, Bajor – 2368)) Tahna Y.: What’ve you heard? It had taken Tahna Yavarel three years to track down the location of her husband after he was caught on suspicion of terrorism and whisked away to some inhumane labor camp. Three years of running across Bajoran continents with her small cell, hiding from the enemy, eating whatever they could scavenge and sleeping as little as possible, as much for safety as to avoid the nightmares. After they located him it took another few months to find a contact who could feed her information from the camp. But at long last, three-odd years later, he was within reach. With her contact’s information, she would finally be able to mount a rescue, and she could finally be reunited with her husband. It didn’t hurt that she’d get to take out a bunch of Spoonheads along the way. Denai3, she’d admit, she would relish killing the cowards who ran that labor camp. Kevir, her contact, had just come back from the labor camp a kellipate away, and it was taking every ounce of self control she had to allow him catch his breath before begging for news of Rej. She offered the man water instead. He was panting, sticky with sweat and dust from the run back to her cell’s current hideout from the labor camp, his auburn hair the same shade as her missing husband’s damp and falling in his eyes. Kevir: I– He began to answer her question, but his parched throat made the words come out rough as sandpaper. He took a grateful sip of the water instead, the drink giving him a moment to steady himself, though it was inadequate preparation for the news he had to deliver. Kevir: Tahna, I’m sorry. Tahna Y.: What do you mean you’re sorry? She spat the words at him. Sorry wasn’t a word you used to prepare for killing Spoonheads, it was a word you used for dead Bajorans. There it was again, the same sick feeling in her stomach, the same cold fury she’d had when Rej was first taken. She had cried back then, hot, angry, desperate tears, but she would not cry today. She ran out of tears a long time ago. Kevir: Something happened, at the camp. I don’t know what. This morning, they woke up, thirty-four Bajorans were gone. Not escaped. Relocated, maybe. Or they were dead, but it seemed he was too diplomatic to suggest that. Tahna Y.: Rej. Her husband’s name wasn’t a question, rather a demand. She knew the answer before he gave it, just from Kevir’s long pause, and every muscle in her body clenched with a thousand restrained emotions as she braced for impact. Kevir: Gone. ((Vazal Shrine, Kendra Province, Bajor – Present)) Vedek Kare offered tissues, a cup of cela tea, a hand to hold, and patience as Yavarel gradually composed herself. By the time Yavarel took a deep, steadying breath, her eyes were still bloodshot and the tea nearly gone. Finally, she made eye contact with the Vedek and began speaking, her voice so steady that it hardly seemed possible she’d been weeping one moment earlier. That was a skill she’d learned in the Resistance, no doubt, when she had to deliver heartbreaking news in one breath and move on with the plan the next. Kare had watched far too many former freedom fighters shut down their emotions in moments of distress. Tahna Y.: Have you heard news of the USS Gorkon lately? She hoped that would be enough prompting, and she wouldn’t need to explain any further, but the Vedek simply shook her head. Yavarel dropped her gaze to the cup of tea in her hands, shifting her weight from side to side as she steeled her nerves and continued. Tahna Y.: My daughter’s ship. They’re investigating two missing ships in a subspace rift. I don’t know much else, there’s hardly any communication, but– ::She paused, long enough to finish her tea, as if a final sip would make the next words any easier to say. It didn’t, the tea as bitter in her mouth as the scarce news of her daughter was in her soul.:: Thirty-four crew were reported missing. Meru may be among them, I don’t know. There wasn’t a single tremor in her voice. She set the empty cup to the side, gaze shifting to one of the shrine’s flickering candles. The Vedek placed a hand on Yavarel’s in a comforting gesture. Kare: But you don’t know that she is missing. Yavarel nodded, jaw clenched, posture stiff and unchanged. Kare: Does the rest of your family know? Tahna Y.: Maybe Renas, I don’t know. He’s left for the Academy. The rest…they don’t read news of her missions until they’re over. They don’t want to worry needlessly. Her family’s commitment to not reading news of the Gorkon was admirable. Yavarel checked every day for news of her daughter. She’d spent years not knowing where her husband was or if he was safe. She didn’t want to go through that again with her daughter, not even for a short while. Plus, Meru was posted to a ship that had gone missing for nearly a year, so she thought that her fear that her only daughter might just disappear on it was not unfounded. Now, the fear that haunted her dreams, that clenched an icy fist around her heart every time she opened a report from the Gorkon, that terrible fear might have come true. Thirty-four souls missing from the Gorkon, and Meru could be one of them. Yavarel had no way of knowing until the ship returned, if it did at all. She wasn’t Starfleet, she couldn’t track Meru down across quadrants and rifts in space-time like she had tracked Rej across Bajor. She was helpless, and there was nothing she hated more. Tahna Y.: I didn’t know who else to talk to. Vedek Kare couldn’t track down missing Starfleet officers either. She was the head of a small shrine in Kendra Province, and while her connections extended far beyond that, they were insufficient for tracking down a lost soul in another quadrant. Meru was a smart woman, her pagh was strong. The priestess doubted that she would be lost so easily, or that she would give up on rescuing the thirty-four missing unless she had no other choice. But the Vedek knew these words would be of little comfort to the scientist’s mother. Kare: Do you know the Jia’kaja4? Yavarel nodded, her face still set in the same stoic expression she’d fallen back on earlier. Tahna Y.: Yes. But I do not believe, Vedek. Vedek Kare gently patted Yavarel’s hand and offered her a kind smile. Kare: That is not a requirement. fin 1 Bajoran: prayer shawl, traditionally worn by the daughter during her Ih’tanu ceremony. 2 Bajoran: aunt. 3 Bajoran: crude swear. 4 Traditional Bajoran prayer for protection. -- Tahna Yavarel Bajoran Milita (ret.) simmed by Lieutenant (j.g.) Tahna Meru Science Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) G239801TM4
  6. And thus the counsellor and Brunsig saves us all. Well written, @Corliss ((Main Engineering, USS Triumphant)) Fortune: Sadly, they can affect me, so it’s a little worse than the holograms. ::she frowned, crossing her arms as she thought for a moment.:: They know which way to go, it’s the going that’s the problem. And we’re onto something, if by the big bad spooky thing coming our way a minute ago was any indication. If not a rope, what else do we have on the list? She shut her eyes a moment, and then, it felt like she lost a bit of time. In between one breath and the next, a hand was on her back, hand holding hers in a mimicry of a waltz. She cracked open her eyes, surprised to see Walter leaning over her, and she half expected him to spin her in the next step of the dance. He wasn’t like Loxley, whose hands were smooth to the touch, their fingers meshing together like puzzle pieces. Rather, Walter’s were bigger, rougher, and faintly, she was reminded of her father, taking her hand in his, showing her how to carefully plant a seed of a new generation of plants, an excited whisper as they smoothed the dirt over it, and a proud little sign in front of it proclaiming ‘Corliss’ First Plant!’ She squinted up at him curiously, a faint tremor of amusement tracing her features. Fortune: Sir? What are you doing? Because no matter the situation, she highly doubted he decided now was the time to cheat on his wife in front of her very loyal crewmembers. She did have enough sense about her to know that. Brunsig: ::Low,:: An anchor. Take what you need from me, Fortune. I’ll shore you up. Huh. That was…she wanted to decline him, to step away from the dance pose, but she paused. There was a limit to her abilities after all, and she was quickly reaching them. At risk of passing out, she would gladly accept his offer of help. So, she nodded, passing him a smile. Fortune: If you’re certain. Brace yourself. Because she could only imagine how this would drain him as well. He braced, his stance wide open as if prepared to take an onslaught, and her hand curled into a ball with his. Oh, to be Quinn coming back to find out her counselor had scratched up her husband with her nails. Hopefully he’d forgive her for that. She did feel bad, her normal net and wall were now tossed to the side in order to draw in the lost crew, and she could hardly imagine what he was feeling in response to it. A screech from the Rift, and she felt it bounce between herself and Walter, a reverb that was as painful as it had been alone. Nice. Just what they wanted. Well, actually, they did! Someone stumbled from the portal, looking terrified. Feeling terrified. Her edges felt raw as if they were torn to shreds, and she wished she could smooth them down like the curls of hair out of one’s face. For now, she let out a stuttering breath. Neathler: Help her. Wrenn: ::She looked at Neathler.:: We should have left it there. We should have left it there. Tan: I think she's in shock. She absolutely was, her emotions scattered and almost numb, but Serren took up the lead this time, him and Samira helping the next person through. Neathler: Can she join the others? Loxley: I think a mild sedative wouldn’t be a bad idea. :He paused.:: And if any medical crew come through, get them to prep sickbay and run observations. Assuming they’re in a fit state themselves. Tan: Good idea. Let's delegate the most able to help the most sick, and we'll make it happen. More were coming through, bundles of emotion that were either ragged and numb, or terrified like no other. Her fingertips were most likely making dents in Walter’s hand, but he never moved away, nor shook his hand from her. He was a redwood in the eye of a hurricane, a well of security. She’d have to make more than a gift basket to thank him for this. Brunsig: ::Low,:: Keep it up, Fortune. ::He squeezed her hand.:: You’re bringing them home. She squeezed back, breathing as steadily as she could. She felt nauseous, but it was ebbing for the moment. Fortune: We are. Your help is greatly appreciated, Captain. More than he could ever know, really. A cool well to steady her, although she worried over what it was doing to him as well. Neathler: ::She looked toward the equipment crate.:: Could those pattern enhancers help somehow? Although they’re mainly used to boost energy or particles, maybe they could be altered, divert it to the Rift? Loxley: Hmm, I wonder if we could use them to steady the hole we’ve made? Shore it up, so to speak? Then maybe we could make it bigger without any issues. Tan: If we can, that would help a lot. She just made a noise of agreement, not really sure what would be the best way. It didn’t matter, as all of a sudden she heard a thump, unaware of when her eyes had slid shut. Samira was thrown to the wall, Serren lunging forward to grab her only to miss- Her. Ears. Were. Ringing. Her hand tightened in the Captain’s, and she was sure her knees would have buckled without his hand keeping her up. No. No no no, they were so close, it wasn’t even fair- Loxley: Commander! Tan: Sami! Fortune: No! Then something was dragging her, dangling her like a fish over a cat, and she could feel the moment they all realized what was going to happen. Loxley: Careful! If it drops her, she’ll… It was as if it was waiting for those magic words. It dropped her. Loxley was the one to charge into the fire, both of them escaping into the inky darkness. She had many, many words she wanted to say, tumbling over and over in her head until they felt like they made no sense. But where she thought she would feel a deep sense of loss, she felt… It wasn’t hers. It wasn’t her determination. It was Walter’s. And it fed her own fire, stoking it into a burning bonfire as she drew in a sharp breath. Tan: Sir, requesting permission to enter the rift and effect a rescue of Commander Neathler and Lieutenant Loxley. Both of them sounded off at that. Brunsig/Fortune: No. Serren’s eyes flicked to hers, and for a moment, it wasn’t him. It was Cory, upset at his demotion, perhaps hoping she would agree that it was unfair. But just as in this moment, she agreed with the Captain. He needed to have less responsibility, in order to grow to his full strength. And Serren needed to trust them. Tan: We'll try rope. Technically, high tensile-strength micro-cables, but... fancy space rope. Let me grab one of the security staff we've recovered, or a volunteer if we don't have any. The team should be no more than three; no sense risking more and this isn't something we can throw manpower at. I'll need thirty seconds to replicate some supplies. Nothing complex, the nearest wall replicator will do just fine. Estimated time of completion, ten minutes. Brunsig: I said no, Tan. We’re not abandoning a functioning rescue plan for one we don’t know will work. ::His flint blue eyes darted toward the man.:: We’ll get them out, but this isn’t just about them, and I’m not throwing more good people into that place. Deep in the void, an answering pulse. Someone, another telepath?, had realized what she was doing. She pulsed back, louder and louder, a burning lighthouse instead of a candle now. Fortune: Absolutely not. We know they’re not…in danger. We know they’re just lost. We’ll get them back, Serren, but you’re our only defense right now. Keep an eye on the void, okay? And if…if they don’t come through soon enough…we’ll think of something. Something less people throwy, and something more…well, she still couldn’t think right. And then the rift was spitting out people like it was losing its lunch. Ayiana. A woman she had yet to realize the name of, but whose emotions felt familiar, perhaps the pulse in the void? Pira. Samira. Loxley. Her breath stuttered, but she kept up the noise, just in case. They had plenty time to celebrate once they were all out and about. And then bam. The Admiral herself. She stumbled out, her hands on her thighs, and the Captain’s emotions spiking as instantly as hers did, but he’d come to the same quick conclusion they had. They had them back, but who else was left. And then Quinn looked up, and her eyes darted to the Captain’s faster than anything. Brunsig: You’re a sight for sore eyes. Reynolds: The feeling’s mutual. …well, now she felt suitably awkward with Walter’s hand on her hip. Still, he was helping, and they could explain in a moment. Fortune: You’re all okay! Her eyes bounced around them, quickly taking stock, but she couldn’t help returning to Loxley, nervously checking him over as if the split second apart had dealt him damage he wasn’t voicing. Neathler/Loxley/Tan: Response sh’Qynallahr/Sirin: Response Well. Okay was relative. Alive was better. And then the void cracked and her hand jerked in Walter’s hand with a shudder and a shriek. The feedback from him to her, the ringing, had gotten so loud it was like a whip crack across her temples. And then it was gone, leaving her breathless from agony. …fun. There were so many people. One side of her reveled in their being, feeling the confusion and anger and fear, wanting to temper ragged edges and wrap herself into them. Despite the circumstances, she felt herself flourishing with them all here, safe, out of the void. And the thing was gone. The thing…was gone. That was celebration enough. Walter let her go, his concrete force fading away, and for a moment she wanted to scramble to keep a hold on him, if just to make sure all was still well. But she wasn’t a youngster just gaining her powers, stepping crookedly on a path already beaten by generations past. She let him, a small apology for squeezing his hand so harshly, dipping her head at him as Quinn headed his way. Her netting was broken to pieces. For now, she quickly tempered a wooden resistance, not needing a steel one for now. Able to tell others were around, but not pressing into them, able to just relax in the wave around her. She launched herself into the crowd, quickly trailing to where she had seen Loxley pop through the void, and before she could even stop herself, she threw her arms around his neck, burying her shaking body into his for a moment. Fortune: Y-You’re alive. Loxley: Response Fortune: I just, you know, need to cry it out. ::she sniffed, not looking at him.:: For about ten minutes. Maybe a week. Loxley: Response Quinn’s voice raised above the small murmurings, albeit they weren’t that loud to begin with. Reynolds: This has to be everyone. Can we get a head count? Okay, that meant moving. She could do that. She could…do that…she could…ugh. She barely raised her head up, a hand waving. Fortune: That’s everyone on our end, Admiral. Ew, was her face wet? Oh, she just wanted to get back on the Gorkon and hide away for a week. Neathler/Loxley/Tan: Response sh’Qynallahr/Sirin: Response Oh, a new Lieutenant to the roster? Her mind crankily shifted to Work Corliss, creaking against it, the energy it took practically all that she had left. She shot Meidra a quick smile. Fortune: Um. Welcome to the Gorkon? …we promise it won’t be like this all the time? Sirin/Loxley: Response Any: Response Lieutenant Corliss Fortune Highest Quality Counsellor Brain USS Gorkon G239510CF0
  7. @Jo Marshall gives us here a perfect sample of a sim with humour, action, excellent timing and some of the most mouthful bajoran sayings and proverbs I have ever read. Wonderful, fun and thrilling, you set the bar sky-high with this one, girl! ((Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) As the communication dropped, Rix was sure he heard heavy breathing through the connection, though it didn't sound like it was the calm, relaxed sort that came with being on the brink of losing life to a rampaging hull rupture. Kero: =/\= Good job we didn't pack up and leave when we had the chance. Have we got the ability to spin up the power again for another transport? =/\= The young doctor nodded in agreement. Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Rix waited for a second, then glanced towards the tricorder in Tahna's hands, and then again at the wall nearest to them. Solid as the bulkhead was, it was thicker than most others on board the ship and meant to confine issues should the physics lab have problems with the collider. However, it wasn't impenetrable. Kero: =/\= If they're on the other side of the wall, could we cut through to them? =/\= Tahna: =/\= Would it further compromise the structural integrity of this section? =/\= Structural integrity of the ship, of their section at the forefront of his mind, it also whirred with the possibility—or improbability—of getting their crew out of the burned down physics lab before they all exploded in a hazy spark shower. Neither was he keen on having to explain why the very pregnant Romulan assistant chief of science had been jettisoned out into space. However, that wasn't a call he could make either. Shoring up the walls required an engineering brain manifest within their Ferengi engineer. Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= If we cut through here, we still have to get them back to medbay or triage in the brig, preferably without crawling the whole way through Jefferies Tubes, since we’re not sure of their condition. =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Yes, that would be preferable. Depending on their injuries, which we are unable to fully detect at this time, physical movement could cause more harm. However, if we are comparing additional injuries that might require more medical attention over the possibility of death… =/\= The doctor trailed off at the thought but it wasn't as if it hadn't been a shared one. Kero: =/\= Physical injuries we can cure with Starfleet magic are something I'm willing to consider over death, at any given moment. ::The deepening frown on his brow, however, suggested otherwise.:: We need to get them out, one way or another. =/\= Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= Could we deploy a workbee to clear the blocked section of the corridor? Or, if that isn’t fast enough, what if we use the transporters to only cover small distances at a time, like beaming from one side of the blockage to the other? =/\= Rix shook his head. Getting a workbee down there fast enough to do anything about it at all would be near to impossible, given the amount of debris now floating around that section of the ship on the outside. There would be significant damage done, and detritus alone would make the journey treacherous for any one of the technicians, whether they were a hotshot pilot or not. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Transporters would be ideal for a variety of reasons – timing, injuries, speed- ::he ticked off his fingers, a little lost in thought::… but we’d need a clear shot. Would we be able to guarantee it? We have their life signs and compared them but the situation is fluid. =/\= Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= It was then that the dark-haired scientist turned to face their doctor, with all the gravity of expression a fellow Bajoran could muster. The doctor threw a quizzical look back her way as Tahna explained. Tahna: =/\= It is possible Lieutenant Sienelis is in labor. =/\= Blinking in the headlights, as was the human saying, the doctor looked around at Rix and Lephi for a split second before consulting his PADD. Likely the manifest of the crew and their known medical conditions, if Rix took a stab in the dark, and the doctor confirmed it a second later. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Yes… =/\= Kero: =/\= Which, as you can imagine, complicates the extraction process slightly. While she is in the midst of her extraction process. =/\= Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= The look on the Doctor's face suggested his thoughts were whirring past faster than a lightship in the high wind heading back for ratamba stew at the dockyard. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= What if-what if… Is there a possibility of transporting some of that debris out of here and then erecting the containment fields to support the wall integrity? We could probably get a more solid lock on that inanimate matter and it would remove the dilemma of ensuring we have a solid lock on their life signs from the equation. =/\= Rix felt his brow crease evermore, thinking through the suggestion with as much brainpower as he could muster, for the duranja lamps to flick on. Getting a fix on equipment would be significantly easier to do and could negate some of the issues they were having in obtaining a solid lock on the two individuals still encased therein. Kero: =/\= Beming it out into space, you mean. Kick out anything that resembles metal or components, and hope it doesn't mistake the Vulcan for a computer. =/\= Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= If we can clear it out, that debris and hold it together long enough to get them out… is it possible? Do we have enough power and time to do that? =/\= Hope, the rarely satisfied emotion, sprang forth on the doctor's features as if he'd managed to tap into the well of it and let it run free. Another of the Bajoran sayings floated through RIx's mind as he narrowed his dark eyes in thought — every curse becomes a prayer eventually. Kero: =/\= Power, yes. Time, we'll have to move quickly. ::Renewed hope imbued like a lightning rod. Rix glanced to Tahna and Lephi in turn,:: Tahna, can you refine the life sign scans with the Doctor as close as you can get it, and Lephi, let's get the power up as high as we can. As Tahna said, everybody survives today. =/\= Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Working from the same equipment as their engineer, Rix brought up the transporter controls as their Doctor flashed the deck layout on the display monitor. It would be close, it would be within a hair's breadth of being one with the universe, but if luck was on their side, they might actually pull it off. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Looking at this deck, we can map out what we need to carve and compare it to updated life signs scans from myself and Lieutenant Tahna to ensure our shot in the dark is as accurate as possible. =/\= Kero: =/\= Loading in the variable composition of equipment in the labs, filtering out for bio-active elements… =/\= Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Time was an interesting concept; one universally experienced and yet, slipped through the fingers so very easily. Every species had a name for it, had a way of measuring the way that it passed in quantity and had a way of determining if they had experienced too much time or too little. The trouble with time was everyone thought they had enough. Fingers flew over the control panel, mapping out the various pieces of the destroyed laboratory they could get a transporter lock on, and verify to be parts of the demolished laboratory instead of their charges. Power input increased to thirty-seven, reduced as the molecular imagining scanners verified it wasn't a person, then transported it outside of the vessel. How that would play out in the near future, only time would tell. Kero: =/\= We're chipping through it. Last of the large pieces heading out of the door in three, two, one… =/\= Lephi/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= The rumbling of the deck beneath their feet resumed. Though the strain on the support beams within the physics lab had been lifted, what had presumably shifted to keep the deck in place was now gone, leaving the deck vulnerable to falling into the deck below once more. Metal shearing against metal, the slow creep and crawl of the cracks in the support lending their noise to the symphonic harmony. Despite the dogged determination riding high on the Bajoran, Rix couldn't help the cold sweaty feeling crawling down his back that they would be too late to save them. Kero: =/\= Can we get the containment field in place? =/\= Lephi/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= Kero: =/\= Spinning up the transporter… Pattern buffer and backup initialized. ::He looked to the Doctor and the Scientist, the tag team of the life sign report.:: You're sure you've got them? =/\= Lephi/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= Confident in their work, he looked over to Lephi. Now was the time. Do it or die. Get them or not. Another choice wasn't in their stars. Another chance would see them draining the containment shields for the required power output. Kero: =/\= Frequency locked at one-six-two-point-nine Gigahertz. Beginning dematerialization cycle. =/\= Rix—heart pounding, sweat dripping, muscle clenching—held his breath. Lephi/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= -- Lieutenant Commander Kero Rix Deputy Chief Operations Officer USS Gorkon simmed by Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  8. @Lephi I love all of Lephi's internal thoughts going on. It's really brought home that division between officers and this has been so good to explore together. Keep it up. Definitely getting a beer over shore leave after this 😄 -- ((Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) Lephi stood gritting her teeth and staring down the newest arrival to their little team. Her mouth opened to speak a cutting retort, but she was cut off by a crackle and then noise so dense it took her a moment to realize there was a voice underneath it. Peek: =/\= Commander Kerȯ̶̗̀ and team. Do you read? =/\= Kero: =/\= We've got heavy interference, Crewman. Can you repeat? =/\= Peek: =/\= Wȩ̴͈͆ ha̵̙̦̽ve po̶̜̖͆wer rec̵̻̈́͋onnecṫ̸͚ed, sir. Not en̵̰͋tī̴̠̱rely but̸̗̑ͅ enough ̶̟͐to ĝ̸̥̝et powe̷̠̫͛ṙ̷͓̃ to your section of ̴̫͊̍the ̵̞̆d̷̘͒͊eck. I̷͎͆s ̶̦̯̅it safe tô̸̮ do so? =/\= Her EARS implants came in handy, artificially cleaning the noise and filtering the voice of the crewman through them; feeding her a slightly less garbled transmission. Kero: =/\= I'm not sure, Crewman. ::He looked over to their Ferengi officer with a quirked dark eyebrow through the faceplate.:: Can Engineering restore power to this section? At least I think that's what he's asking. =/\= Was it safe to do so? Was anything out here really safe? A pensive look settled on the chief engineer's face. The question felt ceremonial more than anything else. The officers gathered with her had demonstrated time and again that they had no real interest in her expertise. She reasoned she could probably tell them that restoring the power would lead to everyone's immediate and painful death, and the Commander would still do it. When she finally answered the question, she was polite but her words were pointed. Lephi: =/\= It should be safe, if that's what you mean. =/\= Peek: =/\= L̸i̶f̸e̴ ̷s̵u̶p̶p̸o̶r̷t̴ ̵i̴s̶ ̴o̶p̴e̷r̵a̷t̸i̷o̶n̸a̷l̷ ̵o̵n̵c̷e̴ ̷m̵o̸r̵e̵.̸ ̵Y̴o̷u̶ ̵s̷h̴o̴u̷l̸d̷ ̸b̸e̶ ̷a̷b̶l̴e̷ ̶t̷o̶ ̴s̸c̷a̸n̷ ̷u̶s̷i̴n̶g̷ ̴t̸h̴e̵ ̴t̷r̵i̸c̸o̶r̵d̴e̸r̷.̷ ̸ ::The interference started to clean up, bit by bit, only allowing the Crewman's pause to come through.:: O̷n̸e̸ ̸m̷o̷r̴e̷ ̸t̵h̵i̵n̶g̵,̵ ̴s̶i̵r̴.̸ ̸H̶o̷w̵ ̶d̴o̵ ̶y̴o̵u̵ ̸k̵n̵o̴w̴ ̵t̴h̷a̷t̴ ̷a̸l̴l̷ ̶y̵o̶u̴r̵ ̶m̵e̶m̸o̶r̷i̶e̸s̸ ̷a̷r̷e̴ ̸t̶r̵u̴e̴?̵ =/\= Kero: =/\= I errr… Does anyone want to take a stab at that? =/\= Tahna: =/\= You don’t. ::She paused before elaborating, realizing that while truthful, it wasn’t the most helpful answer.:: Memory is a reconstructive process, event recall is rarely pure and is influenced by what we’ve learned about the world. But generally, I don’t think there are many reasons for you to possess a false memory that seems real. =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Memories can be fallible, shaped by emotions and perceptions. If by false memory you mean a pure recall of a past event, then please know that perfect recall does not exist. Additionally, memories can be subject to external manipulation. The answer in a nutshell is essentially – Lieutenant Tahna is right, you don’t really know how “true” they are. =/\= Lephi remained silent, observing the others' answers to the question instead. An ancient Earth proverb floated through her thoughts. It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. The woman was an engineering genius, but she was never very good at things that weren't machines. Peek/Kero: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= If you’re concerned about your memory, might I suggest talking to a counselor? Corliss is a certified miracle worker, I believe. =/\= Peek/Kero: =/\= Response =/\= ((OOC: Also happy to expand upon this if we’d like to!)) Tahna: =/\= So with power restored, what new options do we have for retrieval? =/\= She considered the question carefully. Power restoration did open several new proverbial doors for them, and she breathed out some of the tension she'd been subconsciously holding onto. Lephi: =/\= Depending on the reliability of the power, we could keep transporters online long enough to get potential survivors out. =/\= Kero: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= With power restored, scanners would be more reliable... =/\= Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= We can get a more accurate reading on those life-signs, and any more that might be stranded on this deck. While we sort out the logistics of what equipment can be at our disposal, we can develop an extraction strategy in tandem. =/\= Just like that, the weight of the situation returned like a crocohippus resting on her chest. She wasn't opposed to saving the people, she just didn't see the point in wasting their time and resources at the risk of none of them getting out. Lephi: =/\= If the scanners are more reliable now, we'd better take whatever information they give us at face value. Resource allocation has been seriously overlooked in favour of emotions so far. =/\= Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Even if we weren’t looking at the void of space and worried about the timing of power failure or structural integrity failure, we are still looking at possible injuries. Every moment we use takes away vital time from them. The sooner we can get to them, well, the better overall chances for successful health outcomes. =/\= At the rate they were going, only Lephi's commitment to staying out of the brig was preventing their doctor from needing a doctor of his own. How could he stand there and say injuries suffered by crew that might be long since dead is more important than saving the crew they know to be living and breathing. Lephi: oO You're a Starfleet officer. Act like it. Oo ::breathes out slowly:: =/\= With all due respect, Doctor, how are you going to save them if you're dead? We can't ignore the situation. This isn't the Academy. =/\= Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= She ignored their comments at this point. They were ignoring her words of wisdom, dismissing it as a callous disregard for the sanctity of life; despite the fact she was trying to save lives. She cleared her throat and attempted to focus on the situation unfolding. Lephi: =/\= What do the scans say? Kero/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= Lephi: =/\= If I can get to an access panel that hasn't been compromised, I should be able to boost the strength of the transporter signal to compensate for the debris on the other side. =/\= Kero/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= She set off down the corridor, passing several terminals that had been destroyed in the chaos. oO Great, add them to the growing list of repairs. My poor boat Oo. A short way down the corridor in the opposite direction, she located what she was after and quickly accessed the necessary systems. Lephi: =/\= I found a terminal. I suggest we be quick about this. =/\= Kero/Tahna/Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Response =/\= ============================== Lieutenant Lephi Chief Engineering Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 Community History Team Member Chat Team Member Wiki Team Member A239706L10 ==============================
  9. Every one of Kara's sims has been amazing, offering wonderful insights into a new character and fantastic contributions to the scene. The writing in this sim though, I find particularly outstanding. Kudos, @Bryce Tagren-Quinn! ((Flashback - Calesian Lunar Colony, Several Years Ago)) It took six long months before the dust settled a bit on that ill-fated colony. The situation shifted from one of great catastrophe and emergency to one of warranting lesser attention. It had reached a phase where things were stabilizing, though Bryce questioned what that even meant or entailed since everything was still pretty much a wreck. Casualties were counted. Hundreds had perished. Injuries were being addressed. That number reached in the thousands. Patient care shifted from emergency triaging efforts to ones addressing long-term impacts of those injuries. Sure, Starfleet had the most state-of-the-art equipment and innovation, but life-long complications were still very much going to happen for those that were stricken. It was in this phase, that Starfleet Command took over the operation and sent more of their own in, relieving the medical efforts of civilians. Bryce had wanted to stay, having developed connections with several of his patients. They were his responsibility. He cared about their outcomes. He tried to stay but was pretty much forced out. On Bryce’s voyage home, his attention remained fixated on the lunar colony he left behind. He arrived there a bright-eyed, perhaps naïve young doctor and left feeling like he lost a piece of himself. It was a piece that he felt would forever fade into the universe, becoming one with dark matter, dark energy. One that would tell none of his secrets, of his burdens. Of his grief. He was quiet, reflective, and turned his attention to media outlets but was surprised to discover that news coverage of the lunar disaster was minimal at best. What was being communicated was that things were tapering down and, while not untrue, it did little to fully articulate the situation there. It almost felt callous. That feeling lingered and left something in him that he carried back. It festered. Bryce’s partner at the time, a cardiologist from a local private practice that had hospital privileges, immediately picked up on it. His name was Cer Voya, an unjoined Trill, with dark-hair and piercing cerulean-colored eyes that penetrated the soul. The tension between the pair boiled to a critical point one day, though the inevitable was months in the making. They were in their shared apartment when it happened. Voya: Bry, I’m only saying something because I care. Tagren-Quinn: Don’t you think I know that I am different? I see the images in my head when I sleep, when I’m awake. What do you want me to do about it? I can’t just magically turn it off. I’ve already sought out professional help. I’m a doctor, dammit. I know what this is. What he didn’t say was probably the most important part: and that was that he wished his partner gave him a little bit more grace with it all. Of course an event like that would leave a lasting impression, but he didn’t need to be goaded over it on a daily basis. It was like picking at scabs. If Cer wanted him to heal, if he had truly cared, then he would have granted him the space and the time to do it. Of course, Bryce was only slightly cognizant of Cer’s feelings and position in the matter. Cer felt frozen out, alone. But, at the time, the young El-Aurian was so absorbed in it all and couldn’t really concentrate on the reactions of others. He was not in a place to do it. The irony of feeling frozen out himself, from his efforts on that colony and from Starfleet, did not arrive in the forefront of his thoughts. Voya: I know you do. Trust me. But… But. BUT! And that was the nail that ended that relationship. By the end of the day, one packed their bags and never returned. Bryce floated between people after that, against the professional medical advice he was given. Still, the Betazoid nurse, Gexena… she was a good distraction for a time. Until he found his footing. Until he decided to make a change. Knowing that this was irrevocably a part of his experience and history, he wanted to spin it into something where he could do something. The decision to join Starfleet came about a year after his experiences. It seemed to manifest out of nowhere but, when the thought occurred to him, Bryce was angry at himself for taking so long to get there. It effectively dispelled those images that plagued him: the idea of helping more, giving his everything to give the best possible chance for better outcomes for others. All the while he would be in a better position to never be sent away again. His entrance interview dug at this piece of his background though. He shouldn’t have been surprised. The wizened Vulcan woman, dressed in command red, positioned at the end of the long table had clicked through a PADD and asked the question with no emotional undertones. Official: Do you believe that that particular incident will shape your perceptions of future events? He looked her square in the eye and his jaw clenched. Tagren-Quinn: How could it not? His voice was strong and, yes, a bit defensive. ((Present Day – Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) Experiences shaped who a person was and, much like evolution, that process continued on (and, in an individual’s case, through a lifetime). It was, at times, non-linear. Life events continually manipulated it. Coping mechanisms and choices could potentially be equated to adaptations and could result in overall resilience. So, in a situation like this? Where choices were impossible, it was important to think things through and not silence any voices. Bryce could understand Lephi’s pragmatic position. Essentially, by exhausting time in searching for the scientists that could very well be dead, could deplete what resources they had left. Even if they were able to extract those individuals alive, that end result could mean disaster for them all – even for the people they saved. Tahna’s position was also understandable – to not leave anyone behind. That was also seemingly a soldier’s mentality. Who could live life knowing they didn’t do everything possible to retrieve a fallen comrade? The hybrid did not envy the decision on the Bajoran Commander’s plate. He only knew the man for a short while, but his composure during such a difficult time was commendable. It was something that could either make or break a situation. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= The question becomes, where would we find a workbee? How many would we need? Is there one functional nearby? What about the anti-gav emitters? =/\= Lephi: =/\= We'd undoubtedly need at least two workbees. I'd imagine we could probably calibrate a single anti-grav emitter to handle the rest of what we need. =/\= Kero: =/\= Assuming we can lift the ceiling in the first place. =/\= Working the situation. That is what they needed to do, and they all were doing their very best considering the circumstances. The young doctor weighed all the variables in his mind, and the feasibility of aligning all the pieces that would make their plan work. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= I can call ahead to the triage unit the brig so they can dispatch some transporters and nurses in the event that we are able to recover our team members. If we pull them and they are alive, it’ll give us the time we need to move to the next point. =/\= Nothing could have prepared him for what happened next. The Ferengi woman spun on him quickly, lashing out venom with every. Single. Word. Lephi: =/\= We. Don't. Have. Access. To. Transporters. =/\= Bryce blinked in silence, thinking back about what he just said and then realized his error. Transporters – ah, yes, that was the trigger word. What he had meant was the security officers serving as transporters for patients, not the technology itself. It was a classic mistake that was made more pronounced by his history as a civilian doctor. Hospital jargon did not always translate into Starfleet’s world. If she was worried about the time as he was, then she realized that this squabbling would not bode well for them. Before he could offer clarification, it was the Bajoran Commander who spoke to try and smooth things over. Meru quietly turned her attention to the lab. Kero: =/\= Look, there are good points on all sides, but this is what we're here to do. Find our missing crew and save lives. Make the hard decisions and try the impossible no one else will. There is more technology in this ship than on most planets. There are capabilities here we have and options we haven't thought of yet. =/\= Lephi: =/\= I hear what you're saying, but if we waste resources on the transporter, we're shaving valuable minutes off of our longevity. =/\= Kero: =/\= Then we go the route of an alternative. Give me an alternative, Lieutenant. Explain to me what other technology we can employ, right now, to get them out of there. =/\= At this juncture, Bryce didn’t want to add fuel to the fire so he decided to not push things too much. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= If we have our security officers from the brig help with manpower, in helping here or moving patients from here, that might take away from the needs in our triage area. However, the hands would be helpful, especially when considering other areas we are needing to explore, too. The question becomes – how fast could they get here? =/\= And, what challenges might they face during their journey? It wouldn’t be anything that they hadn’t faced, but things were crumbling all around and it was getting more unstable by the minute. Lephi: =/\= I don't want to sound callous here, but it makes no rational or logistically sense to do it. =/\= Kero: =/\= Your objection is duly noted for the record, with witnesses. Now, if we're done arguing the point, can we come up with a solution instead of beating it to death? =/\= Bryce only offered a nod, not wanting to escalate things. Even if he was the doctor of the group, he was also the lowest ranking officer and didn’t want to come across as anything unintended, especially in a high-stakes situation such as this. Emotions were running high, but he was committed to offering his thoughts and ideas as needed. The Commander began to pace, deep in thought, as Meru knelt by the lab’s entrance. The silence between the group stretched on for what seemed to be an eternity. Until… Something came crackling through their suits, followed by a horrendous sound. Bryce’s gloved hands went to his helmet as he gritted his teeth. Tagren-Quinn: oO What-what the hell? Oo Peek: =/\= Commander Kerȯ̶̗̀ and team. Do you read? =/\= Kero: =/\= We've got heavy interference, Crewman. Can you repeat? =/\= Peek: =/\= Wȩ̴͈͆ ha̵̙̦̽ve po̶̜̖͆wer rec̵̻̈́͋onnecṫ̸͚ed, sir. Not en̵̰͋tī̴̠̱rely but̸̗̑ͅ enough ̶̟͐to ĝ̸̥̝et powe̷̠̫͛ṙ̷͓̃ to your section of ̴̫͊̍the ̵̞̆d̷̘͒͊eck. I̷͎͆s ̶̦̯̅it safe tô̸̮ do so? =/\= Wait, did he hear that correctly? Kero: =/\= I'm not sure, Crewman. ::He looked over to their Ferengi officer with a quirked dark eyebrow through the faceplate.:: Can Engineering restore power to this section? At least I think that's what he's asking. =/\= Bryce glanced over to the Ferengi woman, deferring to her expertise. Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Peek: =/\= L̸i̶f̸e̴ ̷s̵u̶p̶p̸o̶r̷t̴ ̵i̴s̶ ̴o̶p̴e̷r̵a̷t̸i̷o̶n̸a̷l̷ ̵o̵n̵c̷e̴ ̷m̵o̸r̵e̵.̸ ̵Y̴o̷u̶ ̵s̷h̴o̴u̷l̸d̷ ̸b̸e̶ ̷a̷b̶l̴e̷ ̶t̷o̶ ̴s̸c̷a̸n̷ ̷u̶s̷i̴n̶g̷ ̴t̸h̴e̵ ̴t̷r̵i̸c̸o̶r̵d̴e̸r̷.̷ ̸ ::The interference started to clean up, bit by bit, only allowing the Crewman's pause to come through.:: O̷n̸e̸ ̸m̷o̷r̴e̷ ̸t̵h̵i̵n̶g̵,̵ ̴s̶i̵r̴.̸ ̸H̶o̷w̵ ̶d̴o̵ ̶y̴o̵u̵ ̸k̵n̵o̴w̴ ̵t̴h̷a̷t̴ ̷a̸l̴l̷ ̶y̵o̶u̴r̵ ̶m̵e̶m̸o̶r̷i̶e̸s̸ ̷a̷r̷e̴ ̸t̶r̵u̴e̴?̵ =/\= Kero: =/\= I errr… Does anyone want to take a stab at that? =/\= Tahna: =/\= You don’t. ::She paused before elaborating, realizing that while truthful, it wasn’t the most helpful answer.:: Memory is a reconstructive process, event recall is rarely pure and is influenced by what we’ve learned about the world. But generally, I don’t think there are many reasons for you to possess a false memory that seems real. =/\= The scientist glanced over at him, her dark eyes seeking additional input. It was such a strange question to ask, though, and a loaded one. Those damned blips seemed to be the logical culprit. Thoughts turned to the scans he was doing in the background, but Bryce focused back on the question posed. When he replied, he wanted to remain aware and not go off on an unnecessary tangent. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Memories can be fallible, shaped by emotions and perceptions. If by false memory you mean a pure recall of a past event, then please know that perfect recall does not exist. Additionally, memories can be subject to external manipulation. The answer in a nutshell is essentially – Lieutenant Tahna is right, you don’t really know how “true” they are. =/\= Lephi/Peek/Kero: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= If you’re concerned about your memory, might I suggest talking to a counselor? Corliss is a certified miracle worker, I believe. =/\= Bryce nodded, as this was a topic within a counselor’s scope. Lephi/Peek/Kero: =/\= Response =/\= ((OOC: Also happy to expand upon this if we’d like to!)) Tahna: =/\= So with power restored, what new options do we have for retrieval? =/\= The prospects were exciting. Transporters would be thrilling, but Bryce didn’t want to be the one to say that word again. Again, he deferred to other’s expertise. Lephi/Kero: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= With power restored, scanners would be more reliable... =/\= It was more of a thought spoken aloud than a question. Lephi/Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= We can get a more accurate reading on those life-signs, and any more that might be stranded on this deck. While we sort out the logistics of what equipment can be at our disposal, we can develop an extraction strategy in tandem. =/\= Lephi/Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Even if we weren’t looking at the void of space and worried about the timing of power failure or structural integrity failure, we are still looking at possible injuries. Every moment we use takes away vital time from them. The sooner we can get to them, well, the better overall chances for successful health outcomes. =/\= Subdural hematomas. The weight of an entire deck section on one’s person. He hoped that the Commander was right – that the scientists had enough time to move into a pocket to avoid serious injury. Lephi/Kero/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= -- Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, M.D. Medical Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) T238909AT0
  10. I think we've broken Cory a little bit! Still, a good rendition of failure and defeat, good job mate! @Cory Stoyer ((Engineering, Deck 5, Sasu Gol)) Cory had a tight grip on Alieth’s slender wrist. She had a death grip on him. Her hand squeezing the bones of his wrist. He could feel them grinding under the pressure of her grip. But it wasn’t enough. What ever had her was pulling her away. Stoyer: Alieth, you are slipping! The desperation in his voice was clear and evident. His shoulder was starting to ache badly. Like it was being pulled out of its socket. Cory kept his eyes on Alieth, hopefully trying to reassure her. Alieth: No… Please! O. Marshall: Stoyer! Hold onto her! Cory felt the muscles in his shoulder pulling. Pain shot through it and down his arm. He tightened his grip. Whatever had her was very very strong. Stoyer: I…. I got her. Cory tried to sound confident, through gritted teeth. It felt like his arm was coming out of its socket. He concentrated on Alieth and holding on to her. There was a loud ripping sound as the sleeve to her jacket gave way. Alieth’s wrist slipped from his grasp as the darkness pulled her from him. Alieth tried to grab something on the icy deck to stop herself from being pulled into the darkness. Alieth: No-no-nonononono… Cory’s now deaden arm dropped to the frozen deck, still holding the torn sleeve of Alieth’s jacket and nothing else. He heard the others, but could only stare as Alieth slid out of view into the darkness. Desoa: I have you! Do not let me go! Stoyer: ::weakly:: No. Alieth: Help me! That was the last time he saw her. Cory laid on the deck, oblivious to the cold leech through the layers from the cold. He couldn’t move, all he could do was stare at the place Alieth vanished from view. O. Marshall: Alieth! Cory barely registered Commander Marshall Stoyer: ::Softly:: I lost her……. Cory laid there, not moving, as a flare burst into life and arced into the air toward the spot where Alieth was. The light showed nothing……Alieth was gone. He laid there, staring blankly…tears frozen on his face as fast as they formed. O. Marshall: She's gone! Where the hell did she go?! Cory’s voice was barely above a croaking whisper. Stoyer: She’s gone……I lost her. Just then, another flare lit up and flew through the air to bounce on the icy deck. Cory didn’t care. He still had not gotten up from the deck. Looking at the receding darkness, Cory wanted it to swallow him now. O. Marshall: Her tricorder! Get her tricorder! As Cory laid there, his guilt pulling him deeper into a severe depression. All he could see was the fear on Alieth’s face and the desperation in her voice as she told him to not let go. It was his fault… Cory closed his eyes and laid his head on the good arm and didn’t move. The frozen tears matted to his face. Bjarnadóttir: Make it scream! High frequency noise! Make the tricorder scream! Stoyer: ::quietly:: It doesn’t matter… O. Marshall/Desoa: Response Bjarnadóttir: Just do it! Cory heard that tone of voice too many times to count. Usually after she suggested something that he didn’t want to do and was being stubborn about it. Something in the tone got to him. Slowly, Cory pushed himself up on his good arm. The one that held Alieth was sore, and he felt like something tore in it. He finally got to his feet and looked around. Stoyer: Where did she drop it? O. Marshall/Desoa: Response Before anyone said anything, there was the sound of thin metal breaking. Then the sound of 2 folks colliding. Cory looked around to see Petra and Commander Desoa pulling themselves apart. Bjarnadóttir: That— There was something there. Cory wasn't too out of it to have missed it. He filed it away for later. Cory quickly looked away and saw the tricorder in question. Stumbling over to it. Grabbing it with fumbling fingers, he set a high pitch squeal to sound. The noise of deafening. But the darkness fell back. Either the noise or the fact that it had what it wanted. Setting the tricorder on an engineering bench, Cory leaned against it and folded his arms across his chest. He felt nothing inside. He failed and lost someone, a friend. Bjarnadóttir: That should give us a little breathing space, but not for long. We have to act fast. Can the tricorder pick up any trace of her? It took a moment for Petra's words to get into Cory's mind. Looking around again, he spotted the tricorder and grabbed it. Stoyer: Let me see…. O. Marshall/Desoa: Response His shoulder throbbing, Cory grabbed the tricorder and started it scanning. Alieth had a lot of science stuff on it but, Cory was abel to dig through them to get it to start scanning for a Vulcan lifeform. Nothing. The results showed nothing. Stoyer: I have nothing on her…. No Vulcan lifeforms in the area. O. Marshall/Desoa/Bjarnadóttir: Response Looking around, Cory saw the console for the umbilical. That still needed to be released. He looked over at Commander Marshall. He tossed Alieth's tricorder over to the other officer. Stoyer: see if you have better luck. I need to get the umbilical released. O. Marshall/Desoa/Bjarnadóttir: Response Without another word, Cory headed to the umbilical release console. Lieutenant Cory Stoyer Helm/Comms/Ops Officer USS Gorkon C239111CS0
  11. Creepiest artist ever? Indeed, creepiest artist ever @Samira Neathler Awesome job! (( Unknown Quarters - Sasu Gol )) Things had changed since he’d seen the small Empress flanked by her High Supreme Guards. With the tip of his tongue between his lips, he dotted another letter and took a step back. Grinning and doing another victory dance. Another piece of art had reached perfection. Which was all part of the deal. They let him finish a masterpiece while he ignored their murmurs, whisperers and hollow words. Only when his work was done, he listened to them. Sometimes he even did what they told him to do. Like now, to keep as many people onboard the ship as possible. He didn’t know their purpose, he had asked, but they never gave him an answer. Instead, they filled his head with horrifying images. Dreadful pieces of art, painted by others, he had seen at exhibitions all over the galaxy in the past. Artists he had praised against his will. Now these voices proved him right. They were bad pieces of art, nightmare fuel. That was why he didn’t bother to sleep anymore. It was their trick to make people disappear from the ship, to have them vanish into thin air. In the beginning, he had seen people going to their quarters preparing to spend the night there. Some of them he had never seen again. That was when the panic started. Although the crew didn’t show, being the stoic Vulcan and all. They expressed it in other ways, like more activity in the corridors, search parties going from one deck to the other, tracking down their missing comrades. All in vain. He had hardly seen anyone return. Slowly, that all disappeared, together with the crew of the ship. Which was outstanding for him. Every free quarter, became a work of art. Letters, symbols, numbers, they all had meaning. All stored in those grey cells of his. Nothing gruesome like the voices projected in his mind. He needed balance to stay sane. And now those voices ushered him towards the location he had seen the High Empress walk into. Which was fine, as long as he did not need to confront them. He followed the murmurs screaming in his head as they projected one bad piece of art next to the other against the wall. Until he reached a half-open door. More voices, accompanied by beeping instruments, came from inside. The Empress had company. Something was dragging something over the floor. He had to stop them. If they left the room, they’d make all his artwork disappear. All his struggles would be for nothing. His work of perfection, this ship, would make him famous in the Artistic Circle. His name would open doors all over the galaxy and universe. All he had to do was work quietly and fast. His hand reached for the manual actuator and quickly he moved it. The doors closed painfully slowly as he moved the lever. The commotion inside the room mixed with the growing voices in his head as the door, too slow in his creative mind, closed. Once it stopped moving, he took his hand-burner and sacrificed some if its energy to disable the actuator. He even added his signature with the perfect dot above it. Screaming, in harmony with the vocals in his mind, he ran through the corridor, searching for the next blank canvas that would have the honour to bare his work. --- Mister Aliman Vry Human Artist Currently Known as Vry Still Creating the Perfect Dots Simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler Chief Security/Tactical & Second Officer USS Gorkon G239508SN0
  12. Everyone's all mentally messed up this mission, so you know it's just your averae Gorkon mission in terms of acquiring and then dealing with severe trauma. totally ignoring it and hoping for the best. Although everyone's work has been amazing, reading Sevo's sims has been particularly interesting because of her ability to explore a unique form of Trill-trauma acquired over lifetimes. Great work, Commander! ----- (( ??? )) They had recovered their composure after the latest round of brain-poking by the mysterious aliens. Now, they were trying to figure out how to explore the void of nothingness, with no tools and no frames of reference. It was entirely possible the place had physical form, but was being hidden from them. Sevo: For all we know, the crew of the Triumphant and Sasu Gol could be right next to us, and they’re simply being hidden from us. sh’Qynallahr: So how do we turn on the lights? That was the question the trio had been wrestling with ever since they got here. There was definitely some sort of connection between the Rift and thought; whether the fact negative emotions like fear were prevalent wasn’t clear to Ayiana. It could be a result of the Rift itself, or active manipulation by the Taniwha. It didn’t help that the Taniwha were whispering at the edge of her thoughts; like an itch in her brain she couldn’t scratch; it was infuriating. Sevo: You guys feel it too? That sense of being watched from something just out of sight? The Taniwha might be curious what we’re doing. sh’Qynallahr: It’s like they’re trying to crawl down my antennae. Reynolds: It could just as easily be our own paranoia, after everything we’ve been through. ::She shook her head. There was no way to confirm either way, and indulging in the feeling seemed unwise.:: Has anyone found anything? sh’Qynallahr: I’ve found nothing here, no walls, it’s like this place goes on forever. Reynolds: Or like a holodeck. Boundaries, but tricks to stop us from seeing them. Sevo: That’s exactly what I was thinking. sh’Qynallahr: Have either of you ever tried meditation? Both Ayiana and Quinn looked at Pira quizzically; wondering where she was going with the question. Reynolds: Why? Sevo: For anger and anxiety; why? sh’Qynallahr: It’s as you said Admiral, it is unlikely we can manipulate the rift alone, but if we all work together, then maybe we can. If we all meditate and focus on the same thing, say a door, then perhaps we can manipulate the rift into giving us one. Reynolds: ::Wryly,:: Yes, that is exactly what I—. Quinn’s response was cut short by the distant sound of thunder. The darkness was pierced by a faint light, like a ghostly reproduction; it was blurry and shone in Ayiana’s not-eyes. The thunder got louder and closer, and the ephemeral light started coalescing into focus, like it was moving closer. A few more seconds, and the thunder resolved into explosions; the light resolved into a blurry scene creeping up on her. It was like the three of them were on a moving platform, steadily moving into the scene. A final rumble, and the scene materialized. Air-raid sirens blared between explosive blasts; the sky above was ablaze from the smoke of buildings razed to the ground; blue streaks of energy lanced from overhead ships into seemingly random places; once beautiful edifices of stone and concrete reduced to dust and rubble. Despite the damage, Ayiana could still make out the rough aesthetic of the architecture, and instantly knew what was happening. The ships were the familiar Jem’Hadar fighters, lancing down rays of death on the populace of Cardassia at the end of the war. She remembered Toran seeing vids of it broadcast by the Dominion to the quadrant, and further surveillance footage after the fact. While he hated the Cardassians for joining with the Dominion and plunging the quadrant into war, he did not want this ending for them. No one did. Reynolds: This... This is Cardassia, at the end of the Dominion War. ::She frowned.:: Why are we seeing this? Sevo: I-I… Ayiana covered her ears as the explosions and sirens continued to wail around them. No, not again. She couldn’t go through this again. sh’Qynallahr: Response Reynolds: What if this is a Blip? But from the other side? Not our fear, but someone else's? Sevo: M…maybe? This…this isn’t Toran’s. sh’Qynallahr: Response The surrounding bombardment continued as heavy-booted footsteps approached. Ayiana remembered that sound well; both from Toran’s time on the ground in the War, and the Gorkon’s own experience with the Dominion in the alternate universe. She was breathing heavily, or at least appeared to be breathing, but whether it was real or not didn’t matter. She could taste the ash on her tongue with every breath, and feel the heat of the fires. Reynolds: Stay low—::she hissed, quietly,::—get out of sight. Do not engage them. Sevo: N…no worry of that. sh’Qynallahr: Response The pair crawled low as they crept between debris, carefully avoiding the patrols of Jem’Hadar. They were mercilessly shooting anything that moved, be they soldiers or civilians. Their faces were emotionless, carrying out the duties thrust upon them by their Gods with unswerving loyalty. They soon stopped at what seemed to have once been a major plaza. Crumbled statues littered the ground, burning trees and bushes belched smoke into the air as an entire column of Jem’Hadar slowly marched down the debris-ridden concourse. The women managed to crouch down behind a fallen and broken formerly building-anchored viewscreen, one of many that dotted the public spaces of Cardassian cities spewing government broadcasts to the masses. It spewed sparks as its capacitors were broken, some of it’s internal circuitry shooting flames. Ayiana peered over the rim at the marching column of troops. Sevo: Guess we…we have to wait them out. :: She panted heavily. :: Reynolds / sh’Qynallahr: Response Now that they had a moment to rest, the carnage around them came back to Ayiana’s senses at warp speed. The sounds, sights, and smells of war ignited memories long dormant in her symbiont’s mind from a life previously lived, in a war long since over. The memories of war screamed in her mind; she covered her ears with her hands, vainly attempting to stifle the booming explosions of death and destruction. Sevo: W-who’s memory do you think this is? :: She asked in a vain effort to switch her focus. :: Reynolds / sh’Qynallahr: Response Whatever they were saying was lost to her as visions of war flooded her mind. Battles from places like Tyra and AR-558 were as fresh in her eyes as if she was experiencing them for the first time. Sweat clung tightly to her skin, collecting the dust of death around them. Tears streamed down her face as she remembered in vivid detail the vicious battles she, as Toran, fought against the Jem’Hadar. She remembered seeing his comrades gutted next to him by a Jem’Hadar bayoneted rifle. Another lost his limb to the swift swipe from a kar'takin. On more than one occasion, he was stabbed with one. Ayiana began rocking back and forth on her hips, her body slamming into the broken viewscreen with a low “*thud*” each time she came up. Sevo: N-NO! :: She shook her head. :: M…make it stop! I can’t live through this again! :: She cried. :: Reynolds / sh’Qynallahr: Response ---------------------------- Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo Mission Specialist U.S.S. Gorkon Image Collective Wiki Ops V239109AS0 ----------------------------
  13. A fun little peak into the traumatised mind of our Helmsman! And we thought Skarbek did a number on us... whoo boy, this rift, I tell ya what! A fun read, Cory, and well written! ((Engineering, Deck 5, Sasu Gol)) Cory was looking at the floor where Alieth threw some powder ice. Why was the laser there? Was it an alarm or something more deadly? Cory really didn’t want to find out. Stoyer: Don’t see where it leads to. Can we just step over it and continue or do y’all think there will be more of them? Alieth seemed to think about it for a moment. Cory wondered if it was a giant puzzle for her to figure out. Alieth: Let us take a minute to study this :: looking at the footprints :: And keep a close attention to where those footprints are heading. Cory nodded. O. Marshall : Response To his surprise, Aleith Alieth got on the floor near the tracks. The powder that jumped up when she got down made the laser shine even more. SHe searched with the tricorder and looking around. Stopping at one point, she seemed to have found what she was looking for. Alieth: I have found the emitter, a makeshift one. :: Pausing for a moment to look at her tricorder :: It uses scrapped parts from various Starfleet devices. Discarded phaser parts, for sure, some tricorder components and, perhaps, some engineer's tools, along with other more standard Federation technology pieces, difficult to identify. That was interesting. Someone with Starfleet training must have built it. Stoyer: So, someone with Starfleet training. They knew what they were doing. O. Marshall: Response Alieth nodded from the deck. Alieth: Indeed, I think there are at least a couple of footprints similar to the ones in the corridor. The smaller ones. Stoyer: Heading in here or heading out to the passageway? Did they go back to the Triumphant? Too many unknowns. O. Marshall: Response Cory looked around to get his bearings to the umbilical. He had to be ready to disconnect it and leave this horror boat. That was when the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Cory saw it, just perceptible in the shadow. It was moving slowly, keeping in the shadows. Cory held Alieth’s tricorder beep. Cory keeped his eyes on the shadows, not wanting to lose sight of it. The air seemed to be getting colder to Cory. Alieth: ::whispering:: we are not alone Voice: No you're not….. Stoyer: Who? The darkness enveloped him like a death shroud. Cory could see anything. His hearing was muffled. The darkness lifted. Cory looked around to see if he could see the others. He saw something in the distance. A figure on the ground. Cory moved toward it. When he got close enough, he saw a figure slumped against a bulkhead. A large red spot in the center of the chest slowly spreading. Cory stopped when he saw the red collar and even redder hair. His knees buckled underneath him and he slammed to the deck. Stoyer: Ayiana……. Voice: You were never going to be good enough for her….you realize that now don’t you. Look at you…. Stoyer: No.. Voice: She wanted someone as smart as she was…. Not someone like you…..How many tutors did it take to get you through the Academy? How many of those took pity on you? Stoyer: I…. Voice: Look at her……she died because you were not good enough for her…..either to save her or love her. Stoyer: No…. Cory’s heart broke at these works….the thought of his being the reason she died was too much for him.. Voice: Ahhhh…..there is my sacrifice…. Cory closed his eyes. He felt the cold machinery against his back. Tears filled his eyes and froze to his face as they ran down. Opening his eyes he saw that the darkness was still there. He immedanly didn’t see the others. His voice broke when he spoke. Stoyer: Commander Marshall? Alieth? O. Marshall / Alieth: Response Stoyer: Where are y’all? O. Marshall / Alieth: Response (OOC - Ayiana Sevo used with permission of her author.) Lieutenant Cory Stoyer Helm/Comms/Ops Officer USS Gorkon C239111CS0
  14. It's great to see an ensign start to find their feet with the character and the narrative and this, just, is what we see here beautifully with @Bryce Tagren-Quinn . Good work! keep it up! ((Corridor, Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) The part El-Aurian doctor would have been lying if he said that practically dragging makeshift gurneys down the corridor of a deck experiencing a hull breach was an ideal method in transporting critical patients. However, the unique circumstances necessitated the need to think quickly and utilize anything that they had a line of sight to in the moment. There was no room for second-guessing. The herculean effort was a physically taxing process for the entire rescue party, but he was thankful and appreciative for their efforts. The Andorian Commander. The Bajoran scientist. The Ferengi engineer. The Ferengi engineer. As they made the journey in silence to the rendezvous point, he couldn’t help but contemplate the series of events in the lab, of Lephi taking it upon herself to perform surgery on the security ensign. Judging by her statements, she seemingly justified the action as a life-saving measure and, had Bryce had the opportunity to reassess things after exhausting a more conservative approach, he would have advocated for the same thing if it meant saving the officer’s life. The fact that she took the task upon herself, with him in the room only a shout away (especially after asking for her to keep him abreast before stepping away to address other patients), made him question a variety of factors. Not knowing the woman, he wondered about her judgement. He wondered about the amount of stress she might have been under. Was irritability and rashness a natural state? With her line of work, he imagined that she would approach things with a sort of methodical stance. Perhaps it was the situation itself? It was enough to set anyone on edge, to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. He also wondered if the move was something born out of first impressions. Did she question his credibility, his competence? When he was called upon the deck initially, he was not dressed for a breach – but having been elbows deep in working with patients, he reflected backwards. The call was for an explosion, not a situation where there was compromised structural integrity. He hadn’t anticipated it but he should have known better. Live and learn. There was much more than what was happening in sickbay, in his world - and it was an awareness that he needed to develop… quickly. Because it could have costed him his life, and where would they have been? Lephi did give him that suit. Regardless of what might have prompted the action, it was done and they needed to focus on the matter at hand, and deal with the fallout later. His thoughts weren’t allowed to wander too much further, as the beautiful sight of security ensigns marching towards them greeted them. The doctor dropped the rope in relief and took a moment to breathe. ch'Ranni: =/\= Janders, get these people to the triage area. Doctor, please provide your report. =/\= He nodded, took a few more quick scans for good measure, and pulled out an encrypted PADD that contained all the scans and his hurried notes. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Please give this to the nurse. =/\= There were some other details that he provided quickly, knowing that they would do their best in transporting the injured and ensuring their safety in the event of full depletion of energy. Janders: Understood, doctor. We'll take care of them. With the hand-off complete, there was an awkward silence. As the group seemed to collect themselves, Tagren-Quinn readjusted his kit and glanced between them. ch'Ranni: Ready for the next section? Tahna: =/\= Ready. =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= Aye, ready. =/\= Another beat… or three. The hybrid raised an eyebrow. ch'Ranni: =/\= Coming, Lieutenant? =/\= Lephi: =/\= Yes sir, whatever you need. =/\= ch’Ranni: =/\= Response =/\= ((Deck 8, USS Gorkon)) The walk was a seemingly ominous one, which was made more pronounced by the silent tension that was amplified by the situation. He worried about those they found, of those that they didn’t. Of what obstacles they might face. But, it was not productive to become trapped by those fears. Despite everything, they needed to push on. Sections were broken with the now common view of space greeting them around bends. It was terrifyingly beautiful. The pace slowed as Lephi approached a containment field, indicating it with a certain amount of emphasis. Lephi: =/\= I won't cut off anymore arms, but we've got to be quick. See this? ::points to a containment field holding back the inky blackness of space as they walked by:: That tells me we don't have more than another hour, even without my scans. =/\= He was impressed that she could gauge that by eyesight alone. But, with scans unreliable and such a time crunch, their window was shrinking quickly. He wished they had a concrete estimate to work with. Tagren-Quinn: =/\= How much ground do we have yet to cover? =/\= ch’Ranni: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= Do you have a suggestion to make recovery quicker, Lieutenant? =/\= That was a great question. He listened to their responses with rapt attention. An engineer would know her ship, and the Chief of Operations would have a good sense of things. ch’Ranni/Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Tahna: =/\= We still have three scientists listed as present in the duty logs who are unaccounted for. There may be other security officers too, like Tzim-Shah, who were clearing the labs. =/\= Tagren-Quinn: oO Very true. Oo ch’Ranni/Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= They talked as they walked and, as they approached the next bend, they were met with a sight that left them knowing instantly that things were going to be even more complicated, even more impossible. Before them, stood a wall of broken pieces, of tangled pipes and wire. He just stood for a second, horror threatening to squeeze in. Tahna: =/\= Is this the part where we crawl through a Jeffries tube to save the day? =/\= Bryce glanced at Tahna before glancing over to ch’Ranni and Lephi. He could see they were working things out too and deferred to their expertise. ch’Ranni/Lephi: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= If we journey through this Jeffries Tube, how long will it take to get there on a normal day, a normal jaunt? =/\= ch’Ranni/Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= And, if we encounter these three, possibly more individuals, that we might have to transport out… might there be any other alternate routes, perhaps on the other side that might be open? =/\= His words tapered off, attempting to develop a strategy of escape while considering their rescue and time constraints. ch’Ranni/Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= Tagren-Quinn: =/\= If they are alert and mobile, that would be best case scenario. If their injuries are more substantial, transport via Jeffries Tubes may not be possible. Our time is shrinking by the second, so I guess we’ll see how things are on the other side… =/\= He didn’t want to monopolize any more time sorting it out loud. They had a job to do. ch’Ranni/Lephi/Tahna: =/\= Response =/\= -- Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, M.D. Medical Officer USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) T238909AT0
  15. @Alieth may have been able to suppress her shudder, but as a reader I openly embraced the chills this fantastic piece brought me. Very well done in a scene of very well done pieces. ((Sickbay, Deck 2, Sasu Gol)) The body of the dead doctor on the bloodied biobed, lights that flickered, a dance of sinister shadows. Even more ominous words, a dark account of what was, of how the madness had percolated through the starship as it entered the Rift, vague strokes of how to detect the perturbations, how to profile the advent of that which induced the madness. Something in the nurse's statement prompted Alieth to suspect that they had found a cure, the old-eyed young man's reply to her enquiry on the subject, as uncanny as their surroundings. And then, the shadow came, taking the light with it. Doors burst open, pouring night from the corridor, pitch blackness, all limbs and fangs and eyeballs and things scarcely identifiable beneath the tide of gloom, just sketches of the horrors it heralded. Motion, Starfleeters diving for cover and a young man alone, peering into the gloom. A hand surging forward, seeking to defend a man who looked on, undaunted at his fate. A voice, flat and toneless, that barely concealed the despair of the moment. Alieth: Diinr! Now! Two voices, emotion entwined with their vocal cords, a bequest of their species. Stoyer: He’s going to get hurt. The clarion call of a golden voice, anxiety and distress. Next, a gilded howl, with his feet firmly on the ground, festooned with fierceness. O. Marshall: Get down, you mad [...]! An eternal second, lengthened by the roaring of shadows and the hysterical beeping of Alieth's tricorder... and the petite Vulcan was on the move. A quick sprint to cover the short gap between her and the young man, a hand outstretched to his shoulder. The shadow striking. A sudden flight powered by some indescribable force, intangible and impossible, until the very solid duranium of the wall halted her flight. A crack, a thud. A new slam against the floor, pearls of green blood garnishing the ice-cold metal, right next to the stain they had been examining back to what seemed like a lifetime ago but had in fact occurred only minutes before. Stoyer: Alieth! A voice, familiar, distant, so remote amidst the blanketing obscurity and the cottony unreality that pervaded her brain. And then another voice. Brand new, distinct and terrible, reverberating echoes in and out of her head, words clearly pronounced to add gravitas to each and every syllable. Diinr: Don't you see, Lieutenant? Don't you see this is our fate?! He laughed and in the desperate, contused somberness of her mind, Alieth could only watch .... and shiver. Because there was nothing that could stop the madness that had ripped all logic and sense from what was happening in the Sasu Gol. And then, like a mantle, a shroud draped in nightmares and hopelessness, the shade wrapped itself around the nurse, an immense and terrible second skin that crept across his flesh and into his veins and deep in his eyes until the two were one, black on pale skin in stark contrast, a grin like a gaping wound in the middle of a face that wept darkness. A terrible creature, shadowy wings and Vulcan arms, as an otherworldly shriek shook the very structure of the sickbay. Diinr: It demands sacrifice. ::His voice boomed with the slip of shadow, amplified by the swirling madness around them.:: You will become the next. And, at that moment, at that very moment, Alieth knew that their mission was doomed to failure, that they could do nothing against it, too big for them, mere mortals. And then there was a light, bright crimson, shimmering, silhouetting a figure of an oversized Bear Marshall. A scarlet hero in the face of the dark. All around them, eyes and faces festered and leaned out of the shadows, before them all retreat with a deep hiss. That sibilance, then, a retreat, a flicker of lights, a split second of nothing. And then, all of a sudden, when eyelids once again fluttered wide open, it was gone, and everything was done. The lights had returned to their former selves, dim and diffuse, barely a fraction of what they should have been, flickering a thousand times in the ice crystals that covered everything, in the polished surfaces of dented metal, in the frozen blood, in the unfired weapons, in the silent tricorders and the mute combadges. Stillness. Diinr and the shadow had gone. A human man collapsed on one side of the room, a Vulcan woman crumpled on the other. Somehow the third man, still standing, frozen in the midst of time, swear words slurred in two languages through fluttering limbs and quivering lips. Alieth could not blame him, if she could have allowed herself to do so, she would have done the same. Finally, the prostrated man broke the silence. Stoyer: Diinr? O. Marshall: He's gone. He was gone, just like that. Just as he had appeared along with the dead doctor, still on the biobed. Alieth tried to shake her head, in the face of such an accumulation of senselessness. She regretted it instantly. When the Sasu Gol ceased to spin around her, the less endearing Marshall was at her side, tricorder in hand. O. Marshall: Alieth, you still with us? Logic once for yes, twice for no. Alieth: ::grumbling:: Ponfo mirann1 …::In more audible tone:: If that will convince you that my physical and psychological state is adequate .... logic. The words were spoken with the soft, emotionless cadence that was her trademark, but in a way it was implied that, were it not utterly unworthy of her, she would be strangling the man right now. Or tossing a Padd to the man's forehead. She started to disentangle herself from the debris and away from the Vulcan-shaped hole she had left in the wall. If nothing else, she had to give the human credit that he'd managed to make her forget the despair that had overwhelmed her. Turning it out of sheer exasperation, but that was an issue she could deal with at a later time. When she had managed to climb back to her feet and before she or the Bear Mountain Jo called brother could say a word, Stoyer spoke again, also standing upright once more, and as disoriented if not more so than Alieth had been. Or more. Stoyer: You guys ok? What was that? O. Marshall: That was one goddamn crazy Vulcan. Is that what happens when your lot loses their minds? The gaze of the petite science chief shifted to the empty space that Diir had left next to the biobed. This time, she was able to suppress the shiver that ran through her from head to toe. Alieth: To some extent. :: The woman's eyebrows drooped a notch more::: Of course, without the darkness… ::waving her hand towards where Diir had been::: ...or all that. Some death perhaps, but no need for a sacrifice. That... that made no sense. All eyes focused on where the nurse had been, as if they could somehow make sense of what had happened, or of the Vulcan's words...of the man himself...of that thing he was. O. Marshall: He said sacrifices. More than one. Alieth: Only the doctor is dead.... or has been sacrificed, if that is what Diir intended. Despite her words, the Vulcan's eyebrows furrowed a little more as the ramifications of her own words began to reach her foggy brain. Stoyer: Response O. Marshall: Human blood on the doorway. The Vulcan Doctor committing suicide. ::He pointed to the biobed.:: That. You tell me the logical path from there. The equations don't fit. Alieth: That is a lot of casualties, but perhaps not enough. :: Looking at the others:: We are probably the next objective... if there are no other crew members left on board who have managed to evade him so far. Somehow, at that moment, Alieth had the impression that the air was even colder than it had been since they had transported to the freighter, as illogical as that seemed. Stoyer: Response O. Marshall: Just… a thought. Maybe he lured whatever it is here. Maybe it became… part of him. Or it became part of him. I don't know. ::His heart had started to come down from the rafters, blood no longer singing in his ears.:: Whatever it is, I want out of this room and off this damn ship. Where does the umbilical connect? The thought that something, that darkness, that blackness was a living, distinct creature, using the madness of the nurse and the ship, all the deaths they were aware of or sensed was extremely disturbing and, at the same time, profoundly logical. Alieth did not like it one bit. Alieth: The logic of that thought is sound, as far-fetched as it may seem, whatever it is, it certainly does not want us here, nor does it want crew of the Sasu Gol... or the Triumphant's here. The petite Vulcan let out a tiny sigh, fingers pinching the bridge of her nose. Alieth: As for the umbilical... if I remember correctly it joined the two central decks of both ships, :: turning towards Stoyer:: near engineering, right? Stoyer: Response Alieth: While the possibility of fleeing the ship seems reasonable, given the impossibility of returning to the Gorkon via transporters, heading for the umbilical coupling seems reasonable. :: Before either of the others spoke, she held up a finger:: HOWEVER, we have not yet accomplished the mission we were tasked with: we neither know for certain what has happened nor have we found any survivors :: she paused, her eyes settling on the deceased doctor :: Not any we have been able to save. O. Marshall/ Stoyer: Response She was waiting for those answers, and while her instincts, even in spite of her still clouded mind, screamed that she should get out of there as soon as possible, the more rational part of her, more awake with each passing minute, still had grounds to remain there. Alieth: I remind you gentlemen that we came here not only on the way to the bridge, but because we detected evidence of a human passage relatively recently. Not to mention that the presence of the Triumphant shuttle on the shuttlebay suggests that there are still officers from that ship on board. O. Marshall/ Stoyer: Response Alieth: That is a good point. :: She was silent for a moment:: This is what we will do, we will make sure we undock the umbilical to make sure the Triumphant is clear, and we will make our way to the shuttlebay. If we find any survivors along the way... we will take them with us. It was a compromise solution, something that satisfied neither side, and yet it covered part of what each wanted... partially. O. Marshall/ Stoyer: Response With that, the small group left the sickbay, not by the door they had come through, but by the opposite one. As well as through the opposite door to the one through which that which had enveloped and, at the same time, was part of Diir had appeared. They might have no choice but to encounter it again later, but the Vulcan was certainly not about to run for it, at least not so soon. Despite that thought, the petite woman couldn't help but glance back before leaving the room to see if it was following them. Her eyes fell on no ghoulish grin, no shadowy figure, but her sensitive ears caught the echoes of maddened laughter just at the edge of her hearing before she trotted behind the two humans, who had moved swiftly forward using their long legs, down the aisle. OOC: 1Ponfo mirann → Vulcan, an expetive that cannot be translated; maybe a swear word ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Science Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  16. Probably one of the most unsettling SIMs I've rad in a time. Thanks @Jo Marshall I hate it ((Sickbay, Deck 2, Sasu Gol)) Every grind and thunk of the ship systems, or metal groaning under the growing cold, only made the Nurse try to suppress a shiver. Bear could only imagine the mental strength needed to hold off the emotional turmoil he'd found himself asunder. If Bear looked closer, he could see Diinr shaking. Diinr: We detected a rapid increase of tachyons and gravitons shortly before the first of several "blips" the ship encountered, then several afterwards. Several of our colleagues within Sickaby rapidly descended into a particular type of hysteria we failed to diagnose or treat in time before… He gestured to the room, to the splash of green dried blood on the biobed they'd found earlier, and glanced in the direction of the room with the spiralling brushstrokes. Diinr: In short, our crew turned mad within moments of being inside the Rift. Stoyer: We can find the others and get them help. Bear wasn't sure if it was the bare emergency lights flickering across Diinr's features, or if the Nurse had wavered a little then. Did he know something they didn't? Where had the crew of the Sasu Gol gone to? They'd heard the scrambling through the maintenance shafts, heard the doors thumping shut with their clanging metal frame. There had to be others still on board. However, something weighted in the man's statement seemed to catch hold of Alieth's attention, and frantic Vulcan fingers began tapping rapidly into her tricorder. Alieth: Wait, you said you were unable to treat them in time, so, you found a medical treatment? Diinr: A treatment, certainly. Blue eyes narrowed in his direction, the twitch at the corner of one a product of the cold. Stoyer: Diinr, do you know if there are any other survivors? No one could respond as the doors shattered open with a force capable of knocking through the bulkheads to make a spacious open plan starship design. The lights in the sickbay dimmed, allowing the darkness to sweep in from the corridor; a torrential tsunami of onyx, all limbs and fangs and eyeballs and things scarcely identifiable beneath the tide of blackness. Alieth: Take cover! Stoyer: What is that? Bear didn't need to be told twice. There was no staring down the barrel of that phaser rifle to be shot on the other end of it. He hit the deck behind the bloodied biobed, the shadows surging overhead like shadows didn't, stretching throughout the Sickbay. Alieth's scream ripped through him like a razor blade, and as he looked over to her, the flashes of light made her actions stop and start. She'd reached forward, trying to grab the Vulcan nurse, trying to drag him toward the cover. But Diinr didn't move. Alieth: Diinr! Now! Stoyer: He’s going to get hurt. O. Marshall: Get down, you mad [...]! The Vulcan simply stood there, watching the oncoming darkness as if it wasn't the most terrifying wave ever created. His eyebrows had lifted, surprise on his features there and recognisable, and the thought alone dropped through Bear like a boulder into a deep quarry. The tricorder in Alieth's hands beeped in a high-pitched tone and Bear shot his eyes to her as she advanced on the young Vulcan… only for the shadows to pick her up and send her flying across the room. She hit the opposite wall with a loud crack and slid down. Stoyer: Aleith! Diinr: Don't you see, Lieutenant? Don't you see this is our fate?! He laughed loudly as he stepped up onto the biobed and held his arms out, spread like wings, on either side of his body. The darkness curled around him, almost curiously, covering his Vulcanoid body like a shroud, a cloak of midnight black, of space, and everything children were afraid of when the lights went out. A roar resounded, reverberating from the duranium bulkheads; a deafening cry of a ship full of disembodied voices. On top of the bloodied biobed, the shrouded Vulcan grimaced, emotions running wild and rampant through the features that should be stoic and logical. Young as he was, Diinr's eye sockets had become thickened and hollow pockets of black, and up his olive skin, thick branches of black veins had grown. Where his green blood had flowed before, only black remained, and turned his flesh a hue of grey Bear had never seen before. Diinr: It demands sacrifice. ::His voice boomed with the slip of shadow, amplified by the swirling madness around them.:: You will become the next. Grabbing one of the flares from his holster, Bear sparked it up, and the end lit in bright red. All around them, eyes and faces festered and leaned out of the shadows, before retreating with a deep hiss. Diinr growled as he leapt down from the biobed, his feet landing in the deck with a heavy slam. …and then everything was still. Lights were back up. Shadows dissipated. Back to normal. Diinr was gone. Bear pried his eyes open, willing his heart to climb down from the top note it remained on, his breath thick and ragged beneath his beard. Sure enough, sweat rolled down his spine as swear words in Bajoran and Federation rolled off his tongue. No flare in his hand. He pushed himself up from the floor using the biobed as leverage, onto shaking feet. Somehow, Stoyer was on the other side of the room. Stoyer: Diinr? O. Marshall: He's gone. He rubbed his hand over his face, threading his fingers through his beard, and remembered their other Vulcan had taken the initial whiplash. Grabbing the discarded medical tricorder, Bear climbed over the debris to where the Vulcan had landed. O. Marshall: Alieth, you still with us? Logic once for yes, twice for no. Alieth: Response On the other side of the room, Stoyer slowly got to his feet. Nothing looked broken from where Bear stood, or dislodged, save for some Stoyer: You guys ok? What was that? O. Marshall: That was one goddamn crazy Vulcan. Is that what happens when your lot loses their minds? Alieth: Response He glanced back over to the green, bloodied biobed, and pieced the words together in his head. Every part of this felt wrong; being there, in the Sickbay room where it had all taken place only seconds before, made Bear's stomach roll. O. Marshall: He said sacrifices. More than one. Alieth / Stoyer: Response O. Marshall: Human blood on the doorway. The Vulcan Doctor committing suicide. ::He pointed to the biobed.:: That. You tell me the logical path from there. The equations don't fit. Alieth / Stoyer: Response O. Marshall: Just… a thought. Maybe he lured whatever it is here. Maybe it became… part of him. Or it became part of him. I don't know. ::His heart had started to come down from the rafters, blood no longer singing in his ears.:: Whatever it is, I want out of this room and off this damn ship. Where does the umbilical connect? Alieth / Stoyer: Response -- Lt. Commander Orson Marshall Intelligence Officer USS Gorkon G239304JM0
  17. Plotlines from years ago coming around full circle! Really awesome sim Sevo, I enjoyed reading this! (( Main Engineering, Deck 2, USS Triumphant )) (( OOC: Guest star simmed with permission, and a bit of help. )) Having returned to the Triumphant’s engineering room, Quinn and Ayiana tried various modifications to the warp core in an attempt to restore power to the ship without the drain of the Rift. Easier said than done, as neither had any idea of exactly how the drain was happening. Ayiana felt bad for Pira, who was essentially the third nacelle here, idling in the back while the engineer and scientist worked on the problem. Sevo: The charged tachyons and polarized gravitons keep bothering me; they don’t normally appear in nature like that. Something tells me the answer lies with them. Can we generate an interference pattern with the warp nacelles and gravity generators, respectively? Reynolds: Our time here seems to confirm the tachyons and gravitons are connected to the subspace superposition and not the power drain; we’ve not detected any surges since beaming over to the Triumphant, and we’ve not experienced any more Blips. The Admiral had a point; everything they experienced was different, but no less potent, to that aboard the Gorkon. Here, it was more like the creature was playing with them. Also, it did not come running until they started messing with the fusion reactors. Reynolds: I think the question they’re answering is how to get out of the Rift, rather than how to stop the power drain. Once we’ve got ourselves a stable power source, we can investigate that. The pair continued their work while Ayiana heard Pira shuffle around behind them. Ayiana was still nervous that the creature would return to disturb them; in fact, she almost wished for an interruption in the darkness. The only break of silence was the console chirping away at their fingertips, and the light of it and her tricorder breaking the darkness. Finally, the pair made progress in their experiment. All that was left was to try it. Sevo: Right, you’re the engineer here, sir. I’d say the honor, or risk, is yours. sh’Qynallahr: Stay alert. It is likely that even if this works, the creature may investigate regardless. Reynolds: Unfortunately. Even if we’ve hit the right approach, we first have to get the warp core online. If our experience with the fusion reactor is any guide, it’ll come here once it senses the power increase. Sevo: Agreed. sh’Qynallahr: I’m no expert, but all creatures have certain similarities. Drives for sustenance and the like. The altered frequency may make it seem like a different fruit, or a rotten one, I can’t say exactly how the creature will view it, but if it were me, seeing a new fruit, I would want to test it before eating or leaving it. Honestly, they had no way of knowing exactly how such an alien creature would respond to changes in the power frequency. It may not even sense it. All they could do was try it and see the creature’s response. Reynolds: All right. ::She exhaled a breath through her nose, stomach churning as the anxiety dug its claws in.:: Let’s spread out. sh’Qynallahr, you keep watch. Sevo, set your tricorder up to scan while we work. If we do get a visit, we might as well gather data about the creature while it's present. Ayiana nodded, modifying her tricorder’s scanners and placing it in a relatively hidden corner. Once ready, she returned to the console, but couldn’t help but feel a certain amount of trepidation. She knew what she was going to see wouldn’t be real, but it certainly *felt* real; like the creature knew exactly which buttons to push. sh’Qynallahr: We’re ready, hit it. Everyone watched the core as Quinn moved her hand to the console and stopped; hovering it above the activation button. It looked like she was even having thoughts about the whole thing. Reynolds: Here goes nothing. With a big breath, Quinn tapped the button, then a few more, until the familiar hum and beat of the warp core announced its wake. The dark room lit up in shades of blue and red as the core started it’s feeding of deuterium and anti-deuterium to the dilithium chamber. Sevo: So far, so good. How’s the power level? sh’Qynallahr: Response Reynolds: I’m seeing the power drain already. ::She nodded, fingers darting between controls like a hummingbird between flowers.:: Bringing the modifications online. Ayiana watched the readouts on the console as Quinn applied their modifications. Constant power consumption curves changed as the Admiral danced her fingers over the console; the rise and fall of peaks and valleys in the waveform looked like a mathematical concerto. Ayiana took a glance at the power levels and efficiency curve and noted a change. Sevo: Power drain has slowed by fifteen percent. Over in the corner, Ayiana’s tricorder beeped its warning she set up for the quantum particles. Thus, she didn’t need to look at it to know what was coming. It ended up being superfluous, as her own fight or flight instinct kicked in, the hairs on her neck stood on end, her spots tingled, and her blood ran cold. It was odd how the body could react to something so vague as well as a dedicated machine. sh’Qynallahr: Response Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: It’s here, isn’t it? In the distance, the familiar screech echoed through the corridor and into the room. Sevo: :: gulping nervously. :: Yes. sh’Qynallahr: Response Ayiana pulled out her phaser, aiming it towards the door. As the only thing that would go boom when shot was behind her, she felt it was safe to do so. She could hear Quinn continue to manipulate the controls, trying to find that sweet spot of power consumption vs drain. Moments later, the same spindly creature from Starbase 173 reappeared in the doorway. Ayiana gripped her phaser tight, her palm sweaty from nerves. She was prepared to fire if it attacked, but it didn’t. Instead, it just stood there staring at her with… well, she didn’t know. It didn’t have eyes. After a long staring contest, it reached up a limb and seemed to point to her right. Sevo: oO Yea, I’m not falling for that. Oo ???: Ayiana… How could ye’ ? Ayiana’s eyes widened as she heard the familiar voice and distinct accent of her friend. But that was impossible. Tasha was back on Iana Station. No, it must have been the thing messing with her again. MacFarlane: Ayiana! Look a’ me! Carefully, Ayiana twisted her head to see her: Tasha MacFarlane, with a torn uniform in the style of several years ago, one pip on her collar. But that wasn’t the bad part, it was the missing left hand. The skin around the stump was cauterized, though two scorched bones protruded slightly out of it. Sevo: T-Tasha?! MacFarlane: Yeh did this ta’ me! The not-Tasha lifted her arm to show the still smoldering stump of her arm. On the floor at her feet was a blackened, smoldering skeletal hand, the flesh having burned off. Sevo: You know I couldn’t do anything! It… it moved so fast! MacFarlane: Yeh could ‘ave tried somethin’! Sevo: Phasers didn’t work! MacFarlane: Yeh’re a scientist! Yeh coulda’ figured somethin’ out! Ayiana shook her head. No; she had been through the incident a dozen times in her head since then. Phasers had no effect on it, and it moved impossibly fast. The real Tasha even told Ayiana she didn’t blame her. Forcing those memories to the front of her mind, Ayiana girded herself. Sevo: No. :: she said forcefully. :: I couldn’t. Neither could Eerie or Yiggtissi. You know that. Or at least, the real you does. Apparently failing to shake Ayiana through words, the not-Tasha opened her mouth far wider than was humanly possible, emitting the same screech as the creature masquerading as the alien that ripped off said engineer’s arm. She also heard it from the doorway. Risking a glance, she saw the creature there. Sevo: There are two of them! Reynolds/sh’Qynallahr: Response Not-Tasha screeched, then ran at Ayiana like a human would; not like the stop-motion jumps of the 173 creature. Keeping in mind it wasn’t really her friend, Ayiana aimed her phaser at not-Tasha and pressed the trigger. The orange beam hit her… and that was it. She kept coming; the blast hadn’t even slowed her down. Sevo: Phasers aren’t working against them! Reynolds/sh’Qynallahr: Response Sevo: Any luck with the core, sir? :: She asked with not a little bit of desperation in her voice as Tasha was nearly in reach… :: Reynolds/sh’Qynallahr: Response
  18. This sim from @Alleran Tan was delightfully funny and sad and spooky. Those are a lot of emotions to fit into one sim; I loved reading it! (( Escape Pod - Gorkon’s Cargo Bay )) The Cargo Bay Crew™ were beginning to suspect they were not alone. Sami had asked him if Trill were telepathic. No more or less than Humans, but with a twist; the joining. It was similar to telepathy with the self. Kind of like... how shuttles and transporters both moved stuff from place to place, even if they did it in totally different ways. If you zoomed out far enough they were similar enough that one could draw comparisons between them. Regardless, no other great insight came to him. Serren exhaled, his breath forming a small, white cloud, and Samira moved towards the exit of the pod. Tan: Maybe we’re thinking about this the wrong way. Maybe there was something we picked up on our way in here... it didn’t come from the pod, it was here all along. And now it sees the pod, and it knows it. Understands it. It means something. ::He wasn’t sure where this idea was coming from.:: Fears it, maybe. Fears what’s on these logs. It seems to react worse whenever we do anything with them. Neathler: Do things with the logs? Have you read them yet? He hadn't, and it was odd that he hadn't. That should have been the first thing he did. Tahna: Why wouldn’t it want us to read the logs? That, he couldn't say. Sami stepped out of the pod, looking into the cargo bay. Then she called them out, and Serren was suddenly glad to be out of the cramped, freezing environment. (( Cargo Bay - USS Gorkon )) Neathler: Ok, it’s somewhat warmer here. Take a place and let’s go through the logs. I’ll see if any of the consoles are still working. A great idea. Tahna found a crate to sit on, and Serren leaned up against a bulkhead, giving his tricorder a playful shake, as though upending it to reveal its secrets, flashing a goofy smile as though it were the most amusing thing in the world. Stalling. He was stalling and he didn't even mean to. Totally subconscious. Focus. Determinedly, Serren forced his tricorder in front of him, loaded the log file, and brought it to the screen. Read. Just read. Tahna walked over toward him before his eyes could catch on the logs, and she commanded his full attention, giving what he hoped was a big, reassuring smile. The kind of one he hoped told her that, hey, everything was going to be okay, promising that next shore leave they would book some holodeck time, make Volcano-pop together and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh about all this silliness that was so very far behind them all. Have to drag Jona off for drinks! Yell and giggle and sing traditional sea shanties! All of them! A billion thoughts suddenly filled his brains, so much that it was hard to focus on anything. Volcano-pop! Safine! Sevo! Shore leave hijinks! Steak! Earth! Cory! Mikali! Mums! Dying! Watering the plants! Vacations! Alleran! Singing! Cake! Read. The. Logs. No. Neathler: Anything in those logs that stands out? Tahna: Nothing yet. A good answer, and one he echoed, with substantially less confidence. Tan: No... nothing. Yet. Samira nodded and returned to the doors, like she was going to flurry-kick them down herself. She was mildly terrifying, and it made sense that she could likely destroy them if she wanted to. And she seemed like she wanted to... And then the world winked out. The darkness returned, cold and harsh and sharp as glass; it almost seemed to [...] his skin, turning all his arm hairs up. And he heard a voice that he hadn't heard in his entire life. Not externally, anyway. Only a whisper in his subconscious. But now loud and clear, an audible noise. Alleran: Hey. What the [...]? (( Somewhere That Is Absolutely Not The Escape Pod In The Gorkon’s Cargo Bay )) Pushing himself off the bulkhead, Serren stared in amazement at the three people standing before him. There didn't seem to be any deck below his feet, no bulkheads, no source of light at all; their faces were cast in the strange omnipresent luminescence that seemingly touched nothing else. Marlee Xai, the first host of the Tan symbiont. Old and grey, the same age as she'd been when she died. Alleran Mapak, the second host of the Tan symbiont. Sickly and pale, wearing his Commander's pips and red collar. Wooden cane grasped in his right hand. Serren forgot how short he was. Safine Rael, the third host of the Tan symbiont. Standing there, hands on her hips, her abdomen covered in blood but otherwise... standing. Both legs were strong and healthy despite her obvious injury. All three of them stood in the darkness, as real as anything he'd ever seen, save for the strange light. Light that only touched the dead. Safine tossed her hair absently, unbothered by the shadows around them. She met his eyes, mild disapproval flashing across her features. Rael (Hallucination): "No thoughts head empty"? Is that what you really think of yourself? C'mon. Really? Xai (Hallucination): ::Clicking her tongue,:: To be honest, this one is pretty well adjusted. I think that's all you, Alleran. The kind of thing you'd say. Alleran looked away at nothing in particular. Mapak (Hallucination): Y-yeah, I guess it is. It's j-just ... how it is. My contribut-ution to the Tan symbiont. Occasional b-bouts of self doubt. Sorry, b-buddy. Serren stammered out a vague nothing, staring between the three of his past selves. Was he dead? Had the cargo bay decompressed suddenly, blowing them out into the space outside (hopefully it was space)? Was this... death, from the symbiont's perspective? Rael: Hey. ::She snapped her fingers in front of her face.:: Pay attention to what's happening around you. The light's about to— (( Cargo Bay, USS Gorkon )) —come back. As suddenly as they disappeared, the lights returned. As suddenly as they appeared, the three Ghosts of Trills Past vanished, their thoughts once again his own. Safine's bluster. Marlee's knowledge. Alleran's nervousness. Serren's... self. All one again. The others, clearly, hadn't seen or heard the ghosts. Maybe best to keep that little thing, whatever it was, to himself for now. Put it in the mission logs as "hallucination, comma, creepy". Neathler: You’re back… Pale and trying to piece things together, Sami's gaze met his. He looked down and away, not ready to accept that stern gaze just yet. A malfunction of the lights, followed by some kind of... joining hiccup? Or something else? Tahna: Is everyone okay? Absolutely, definitely not. Serren, for the very first time since he'd come aboard the Gorkon, wanted to go home. Not to his quarters, but back home to Trill. To The Ring. To making Volcano-pop the real way, with real heat pipes, with his folks and the icy winds outside and nothing going on every single day. Without the bother of being joined, without Starfleet and its demands, without... anything. Home. Being joined was a mistake. Starfleet was a mistake. It had killed Alleran, it had crippled Safine, and it was driving him mad. If he couldn't learn from two failures, there was nothing else to learn from a third. But no matter what his thoughts, no matter how cowardly they suddenly were, he couldn't forget his duty to Sami and Meru. There were three of them, trapped in a cargo bay, and he had to get through this. He was not "fine". Tan: ::Shakily,:: I'm fine. Meru stood and paced, tricorder in hand. She clearly wanted to get out of here too. Sami looked agitated too. Like she was going to get back to smashing down those doors. Go full, "Samira, smash!". Tahna: Maybe we’re going about this all wrong. Serren canted his head. Neathler: How so? Rattled, Serren just listened, his full attention on the Bajoran scientist whose brain would likely be their salvation. Muscles and phasers couldn't win this battle. Her big ole' noggin would save them. Tahna: If we’re assuming there’s even a possibility we’re dealing with some sort of sentient…thing, then maybe we just should try talking to it. We’ve considered the possibility that there’s something in here with us, but we’re still acting like there’s nothing there. Maybe us ignoring it is just making it angrier? Neathler: And how exactly do you want us to not ignore something, if we don’t even know where it is? It seemed, rather than silly, actually like a solid plan to him. If it could grab Neathler and Tahna and pull them around, it could probably sense vibrations in the air, aka sound. The question of if it would understand their speech, or if the UT would even be a useful asset in this situation, was definitely up in the air. But there was only one way to find out. Tan: ::Nodding to Tahna,:: Yeah. Let's do it. Neathler: Was there a common factor when those oddities showed up? He couldn't think of a causal link. Couldn't think of much of anything. Seeing his ghosts... it had reached into his pouch in a way that he found discombobulating. Couldn't focus. Why hadn't he read the logs yet? Tan: The temperature dropped. And we tried to... ::Quietly,:: read the logs. Tahna: Response Samira, all business, turned to him. He straightened his back, trying his best to appear more confident and sure of himself than he felt, which was little. He felt small and cold and young and alone. Neathler: You said something about it not wanting us to read the logs. Can we use that somehow? Yeah? Yeah. Tan: ::Thinking,:: Well... if I were some kind of freezing grabby-ghost, and I wanted to scare some fleshies into not reading something, I'd basically mess with them when they took action to read, and then ease off when they didn't. Probably. Tahna: Response Neathler: What about using a tricorder to project words or part of those logs on a wall or something? Maybe whatever it is, will react on that? They could taunt it. It was a bold plan, but it just might work. Tan: Could rig something up. Gimme a moment. Neathler/Tahna: Response Serren went to work. He accessed his tricorder, and with a firm, deliberate effort, closed down the log program and accessed the secondary functions. Almost immediately the distracting fog that had obstructed his efforts lifted. His fingers eagerly obeyed his commands, flying over the tiny device's surprisingly accessible keypad, bringing up the secondary features. Photonic emission, low grade. Like a basic projector from science class. Suddenly he was a skilled, experienced, talented Starfleet officer again, and rigging a standard tricorder as a projector was a simple task indeed. Yet somehow, reading simple text on it was not. Tan: Okay. Got something. Should be able to display our data line by line. Neathler/Tahna: Response The sinking feeling in his pouch came back, as though the spirit—or whatever it was—had plucked the thoughts right out of his brains and figured out what they were trying to do. Before he lost his nerve, Serren linked the lights to the dump of the raw logs, activated the projector, and shone the light at the nearby bulkhead. Tan: Sorry, lemme adjust the focus. He tapped a few more keys with fingers that shook slightly, and the image came into focus. The first few lines of the logs... black and distorted, corrupted but readable. He squinted and tried to read... Neathler/Tahna: Response -- Lieutenant (j.g.) Serren Tan Security/Tactical USS Gorkon O238704AT0
  19. While our characters are trying to stay sane and continue to save the ship and their fellow crewmates, we get to see the point of view of one of our PNPC’s and how fear and guilt can take over someone’s feelings. Amazing work, @Alieth ((Room 05-1005, Tahna’s Quarters, Deck 5, USS Gorkon)) Ena opened a new box and, with extreme care, began to place its contents neatly across the bed. After all, the yellow alert meant she had all the time in the world to do it, and since she didn't know how long it would last, she might as well extend those activities for as long as she could. The entry into that strange place in subspace had meant that she and Meru had to put aside the investigation of the older Bajoran of the strange nascent star that now represented the heart of their research. Not only that, but shortly thereafter, Tahna had been required to conduct some sort of investigation into some pod they'd rescued... while Ico was left behind to basically analyse data and produce spreadsheets. Not that it bothered her, far from it, she'd had more than her fair share of adventures on Darime IV, but when the yellow alert had triggered, all the ship's non-vital operations had been shut down... including the powerful computer usage Ena required to continue her analysis. Since her activity was non-essential, she had had to leave everything as it was and head back to her quarters, suddenly idle. Soon she had discovered that the replicators were off-line (no tea or craving snacks for you Ena!) and the computer in the room had its functions limited so... well.... she was unpacking. A small smile crept onto the shy Ena's expression. Confirmation that her cadet cruise would take place aboard the Gorkon had come just before the ship left the solar system, and Ico had had to rush to pack everything up and toss it into a runabout before the flagship of the Tyrellian sector left sector 001. She had barely had time to sort anything out, let alone say goodbye to her friends. Farewells that, in some cases, had been painful, but had left her with a promise, a visit, in the indeterminate future, with him, to Bajor. She looked forward to it and see again that smile. Be that as it may, the next surprise had come when the Quartermaster had confirmed that she would be sharing a room with her best friend. Whether by the hand of the Prophets or some benevolent officer or a good-natured Admiral, the two girls had soon found that a new bed had been pushed into the standard junior officer quarter, and efficiently placed on the wall opposite the one occupied by Meru's bed... and that had been all. Little ceremony and a little bit cramped quarters, but... there they were. Sharing a room once again. Of course, taking things out of their boxes hadn't been an option because they had so much to talk about, so many books to discuss, so many places Meru had to show her, so many labs to snoop through, so many silly fights over who had the best spot on the reading nook next to the teeny window of the room and so MUCH to talk about that putting things out of their boxes had ranked very low on Ena's list of priorities. Thus, the containers had simply piled up in a corner until that day, some open, just to pull out a rare book or a sequinned tunic that Ena had NEVER worn despite her mother's insistence that she wear it in case of a ball. The young Bajoran let out a giggle. Did she really not know her own daughter? She would roll herself into a ball under a table before actually participating in a ... ball. She shook her head as she pulled out a small package wrapped in blue paper. And then she remembered. She had just had time to go to that little café near the academy and bring back a selection of Meru's favourites. She had intended to give them to her as soon as she arrived but of course, life had got in the way. Pushing the gift aside as if it were the most valuable thing in the sector (because, evidently, it was, at least until they succeeded in getting Commander Caedan to retro-engineer the recipe), she rose to lay it on the small table next to Meru's bed. The cadet pushed aside the small white and gold prayer candle that occupied the centre of the cabinet and, then, the light faded. Darkness surrounded her, a particular kind of blackness, a void of any light, of any existence, oppressive and dense. One that reminded her of when Ena had woken up, dizzy and confused in that damned cave, not so long ago. Ico: He–hello?! Her voice was lost in that immense emptiness, no matter how hard the young cadet strained to hear something, anything. Perhaps, at the edge of her hearing, she heard an echo, or the sound of water, or a distant hum. Ico: ….no…. not again. Her nostrils filled with the smell of mould, of moss and alien plants, of those spores that floated, shiny and eerie in the cave but not there, not in that dark reflection of her reality. Her hands sweated and she felt a metallic, bitter taste in the back of her throat, one that she tried to swallow without success. The buzzing became faster, not as fast as it should be, but coming from everywhere, from all sides at once, surrounding her, encircling her and Ena knew that this time, this time she could not save herself. There was no one there, no officers, no friends, not even the strange voice that had sounded in the back of her brain and that had been silenced when they had extracted... it from her brain, if they had done that at all. Somehow, Ena knew that not even the Prophets would hear her there, not again, no more. The hum filled her ears, reaching out from everywhere in that endless night, and she set the box slipt down her finger as she put her hands to her ears and let herself fell to her knees onto a floor that not only she couldn't see, but which didn't even exist. Ico:... please… not again Her pitiful whisper was lost in the blackness full of whirring noises, in that space before the light, made up of the horror of absences. Voice: Again, yeah, one more time. Ena raised her head and there, in front of her, she saw Sol, his chest still scorched, the hole that had torn his young life from him blacker, darker than the inside of a black hole. She tried to speak, but the words failed to escape the lintel of her lips. Second voice: Once more, once again. Ena turned only to look at Jack. His face serene even though his purple eyes looked beyond her, lusterless, like the last time she had met them, before Ryan closed the Kelpien's eyelids forever. The young Bajoran's heart thundered a racing tattoo on her chest as she hid her green eyes behind her hands, her breathing quickened to ragged gasps. Ico: Nononono….no…. not again, Prophets, not again. Sol & Jack: Again. The buzzing rose in pitch, close, too close, as when she was trapped in the tunnel, with the drone at her heels, but this time there would be no helping hand to aid her, no leap to salvation, no loved one to pick her up in her fall. She could not move. She could not run. She could not escape the doom her deceased friends had designed for her. Because she had left them behind, left them to their fate, their bodies lying forever in the darkness of that cave on an alien world. No matter what she did to put that behind her, no matter what ceremonies she performed, she had left them behind... and now she had to pay the price. Then the light came back. And the crates and the room and Meru's white and gold candle and the box of kava cookies forgotten on the green carpet. But Ena did not see either of these, her eyes bleary with tears behind her hands, her frail body shaken by inconsolable sobs in which horror and guilt mingled. Cadet Ico Ena 4th Year Cadet USS Gorkon NCC-82293 E239702A10
  20. I was revisiting some of this week's sims to get a better overall picture of the mission as a whole and I came across this sim again. It's painful, the descriptions are so colourful and bring such tangible images to my mind's eye and, at the same time, it totally puts me in Halat's half-crazed skin that it's hard to read and, at the same time, impossible to not do so. Incredible work @Jo Marshall ((Sickbay, USS Gorkon)) Mort launched up onto his feet, his small hands grabbing the front of Taeval's coat as he tried, with a strength not in Denobulan bones, to pull him forward. Stubs of his fingers bled profusely, the skin protruding from beneath his undershirt like that of a banana forgotten at the bottom of the fruit bowl — withered and rotting in black and blue bruises. Halat: You CANNOT GO BACK THERE! DO NOT TAKE ME BACK THERE! His hands clung to his face, fingers trying and failing to dig into his cheeks, leaving only the bloodied trails behind. Out of the corner of his eye, black and gold colours lurched toward him before a hand threw out to stop them with a wall of pulsating shadow. Loxley: Wait! I don’t think he’s any risk to us. Fortune: No, not... right now, at any rate. Ensign, you have to know that suddenly grabbing us, that isn't the way to go about things. Hands of green caught Mort's wrists as his fingers pawed at his face, clinging to the vestiges of blood and skin underneath his remaining fingernails. Pointed ears. Green eyes. Shock of dark hair. Shadows beneath it all. So many shadows clawing at the surface. Clawing at the soul. Loxley: Ensign, listen! Nobody is taking you anywhere. You’re safe here, you can heal and rest. Let us help you. Fortune: ::She nodded, recalling her pointed grimace.:: A meal, a bed, and you'll feel right as a newly scrubbed ship. Taeval: There’s a runabout out looking for them, we’re not headed that way. We’re not taking you back. ::Not yet, anyway. But one step at a time.:: Will you come and sit on the biobed? You must be sore, and it’s more comfortable than the floor. Mort didn't answer, save for a sharp nod as the dark pools beneath the green eyes of the man with the pointed ears grew downwards, like streaks of tears flowing over cheekbones and chin. Guided to the biobed, the soul of the ghost on top of it wasn't there anymore. Loxley: I don’t know what the hell happened, but he’s in bad shape, in more ways than one. Let’s analyse the blood on the uniform and see if the combadge can tell us anything. And I really need to get a good look at his injuries. Fortune: Oh! ::His combadge appeared out of her pocket.:: Here. I don't think he'll want to see it right now. Loxley: I want to ask him about this ‘rift’, too, it might be useful for the away team. The lights flickered. Momentary at first, but then… …blackness. The pitch of it, the essence of it, the soul of pitch, the darkness runs to when the light retreats and the universe winks out of existence. The stars, the suns, the fade glimmering there in the aftermath of the nothing that was to come. In the snap of fingers, the universe would cease to proliferate and the souls of all those trapped still within the dying glow of whatever remained would be there forever. Revolving around nothing. For infinity. Taeval: Mort? Are you all right? He blinked open his eyes to the light of sickbay streaming in from the dome above; tendrils of it, like the long limbs of a forgotten creature long gone from the universe but destined to remain behind in the memories of all those who stayed. A hand appeared on his arm and Mort looked down at the thrumming green of blood and bone, sinew and flesh. Emerald and on fire. Fortune: What was that? Loxley: I don’t know… ::He swallowed.:: Get in touch with the bridge, see if it was just us or… Khunsh: ::Gruffly,:: Comms aren’t working. Loxley: Okay… in that case I’ll go up and tell them myself and find out what’s up with the comms while I’m at it. Mort drew his hand up toward Taeval once more, the thought in his mind that if he could just get the monster to take someone else, he could push the Romulan into the mouth of the beast, into one of the waiting tentacles. It would wrap around his form and take him up, up, up, into the ceiling and away from him… Away from him forever. Taeval: Perhaps we’d be better sending a runner through the Jefferies tubes? Or can we send a different kind of message to the bridge? We don’t deliver casualty reports over the comms. Fortune: I...yes? ::She gave a small shake over head, fingertips rubbing at one temple:: Whatever that was has really rattled my head. Loxley: Response Then the tentacle came down from the ceiling, like a huge limb from a god flailing in the centre of the room, looking for him. Looking for him. He knew it was looking for him, seeking out his flesh to consume, or his bones to crunch in the fiery beak, or take him back to the universe and crush him one thread at a time. Mort whimpered as he cowered, pulling himself into the biobed as if it would envelop him like a glove and hold him there, tied to the Sickbay floor. But it wasn't the tentacle that grabbed hold of him. A dark hand shot out of the darkness, the eyes of crystalline blue, and the enveloping pitch only a fraction of what was to come. Fingers wrapped around his throat easily; their length only matched by their sheer strength as they squeezed. I found you at last. You're coming with me. Taeval: Halat? ::A far away sound, a hand on his shoulder, the man frantic.:: Halat, can you hear me? And, just like that, in the snap of the fingers, Mort fell flat onto his back. -- Ensign Mort Shinzing Halat Operations Officer as simmed by Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  21. A lovely and interesting sim from Alieth! ----- ((Alieth’s Quarters, room 03-0602, deck 3, USS Gorkon)) Alieth had perched on the windowsill of her room, a pile of PADDs at her side and a hot cup of zhar-kur tei warming her hands. On the other side of the window, the star-strewn blackness of the Sol system seemed somehow less black and less hostile than when the vessel cruised in more distant regions of space. Maybe it was the familiar stars from the years she had spent in the Academy, maybe it was the constant traffic of large and small starships here and there, wisps of light on the black tapestry of space, but there was a familiar sensation in that corner of the universe. Like being at home. Although, on reflection, it was not. Home, now, was that starship, and the people who populated it. And a place, not so far away, bathed in the red light of Nevasa. A place from which the news on her PADD came. The petite Vulcan averted her gaze from the window and sipped at her cup, then, cradling it in her hands for a moment until the warmth and the stimulating alkaloids started to kick in. Only then did she picked up the PADD from the top of the stack and replayed its message. Her father's face took up most of the screen, his voice warm despite the detached quality of his words. There were fresh grey hairs on his temples and chin and, somehow, a more tired expression. As he droned on about the whereabouts of the family (Selar, her younger brother progressing satisfactorily in the learning centre as Metana was... well, being Metana, perfect in everything she endeavours, as usual...) Alieth's gaze wandered across the screen, searching for those glimpses of the life she had left behind: Selar running behind her father, laden with homework, while Mu-kur, she, too, with more white fur on her coat than Alieth remembered, nudged him with her muzzle. A little later, N'Keth crossed in the opposite direction, glanced at her husband and at the screen, somehow meeting Alieth's eyes for a second, before she walked away, shaking her head. The gesture made the tiny scientist's lips tighten, more hurt than she would ever admit, even to herself. Her father's speech changed a little later, as he elaborated on the latest tea blends he had been working on. As he did so, Alieth leaned back against the sill and set herself to enjoy listening him discuss the details and characteristics of each of the herbs he has been using, the curing times and temperatures of the water for longer than he had spoken of their family. That fact brought a small smile to the Vulcan's mouth. Some things never changed, and that was just perfect as it was. She took another sip of tea in honour of the Tea Master of Chi-ree as she watched the grizzled Vulcan inform her that he had attached the replicator patterns of the new blend to the message. Finally, Saros fell silent for a moment, tilted his head in much the same way that her daughter tended to do, and folded his hand on the table in front of him. Alieth's slanter brows furrowed, as they had done the first time she had heard the message. After eighty-six seconds of silence, his father informed her that the Pid-kom, T'Mihn of S'th'gee Clan, was still very much missing. The old woman's actions against Alieth had been amended, her decision to expel her from Chi-ree on pain of justice rescinded, but, even so, no one had yet taken the head of the clan and, as such, Alieth's situation remained as that of a Vulcan without a clan. The Matriarch's disappearance only complicated the situation and rendered it unwise for her to return to Vulcan for the time being. Her father assured her that Vulcan administration of law was still conducting an investigation into how the old woman had disappeared from the temple from which she had retired, and that clues seemed to indicate that someone had abducted her, the motives for doing so as yet unknown. Saros reminded her of the virtues of patience and the need to refrain from doing anything unreasonable while the whole process unravelled. As he discussed the details of the investigation, the light in the room shifted to an orange hue, signalling the sunset. The first song of a night bird chirped, and the desert wind stirred the sands of the dunes beyond sight. Alieth's heart shrank for a second, longing for a land she would not see for a while curling like a viper around her core. A heartache she did not need. Finally, her mother re-entered the scene, a silent shadow against the door frame. Saros just stared silently at the screen for a minute, before he cut off the recording. No farewell, no word of when he would message her again, or when it would be proper for her to message back. As usual. Soon, Alieth thought. Soon. When the time was right. With that thought in mind, Alieth took a last sip from her cup and let her eyes wander to the familiar stars of space, as if she could cross the distance that separated her from her homeworld. ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Science Officer randgridhaleth@gmail.com USS Gorkon NCC-82293 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  22. Thanks @Jo Marshall , I'm definitely not going to sleep again like...ever.... ((Sickbay, USS Gorkon)) It was in there. Mort covered his ears with his palms, pressing them into the sides of his head, and slid down the wall to his knees. Curling like a foetus, shivering, his eyes screwed shut. He couldn't see it, but it was there. Lingering in the corners, just out of sight. Breathing down his ears. Creep of the gravity shift in his equilibrium when it moved. Broken mirrors. Shards of glass. Words just out of reach. Whispers curling into his brain like smoke. Taeval: Elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and every Denobulan stress hormone there is. But no physical injuries. ::Two of them shook their heads in a blur.:: Whatever he’s been through, that blood isn’t hisssssssssssss…. It's mine. It's mine! Give it back to me! The Vulcanoid peered down at him as the voice slithered through his body. Loxley: No internal injuries detected at all. Still, I’d very much like to get him on a biobed for a neurological scan as soon as we can. ::He snarled, the words deep and guttural.:: Strap him down so he can't escape again. He cracked his eyes open wide to see the smile from the Betazoid woman, growing wider at the edges until her face split at the corners of her cheeks, the smile extending ever further, and further. Bright and white. Fangs developed from the incisors as she continued her beaming, reassuring, and terrifying grin. Fortune: I'm sorry. I was crowding you, wasn't I? I'm going to kill you. I didn't mean it. But we can't possibly leave you in such a state. ::She stopped smiling; her large eyes blinked in rapid succession.:: This cannot be easy, can it? Whatever you've gone through, in a new space… so much space to get lost in. Halat: Do'sani! Do'sani, yo-to aruda!1 It moved in the darkness, throbbed, and inched closer to him. Mort flattened himself against the wall, trembling as an icy shock of horror ran down his spine. Then it withdrew, like some unfathomable, querulous creature. Taeval/Saralai: Response Loxley: Taeval, send your scan results to biobed two, and I’ll get it prepped in case we manage to get him calmed down enough to drain his blood and cut off his limbs. A sample of that blood would be good, too. It belongs to someone, and there’s a lot of it. If it’s another officer, we should be able to match it to records. They know what you did, the voice whispered like a feather against the inside of his ear, as soft as a prayer, before it roared once more. Please don't leave us! Don't leave us behind! Take us with you! Taeval/Saralai: Response Loxley: I’m surprised he hasn’t ballooned yet, that’s the typical Denobulan response to being threatened. The Betazoid looked at him once more as Mort peered up at her, the yawning black soulless pits of her eyes gazing down upon him. Breath drew in through her, drawing his quivering soul forward, out of him, ready to gorge on his lifeless body should he die there like the Vulcans. Her eyes shifted and melded, like inkblots spreading over a wet surface. Fortune: Let's focus on one thing at a time. Your shirt is soaked with blood. I could lick it clean from you… I can't imagine that feels good. We'll get you a change of clothes, okay? He shook his head violently as the inkblots grew darker, growing from the eyes into the room, and the shaking heads of the others continued their manic speed, faster and faster, blurring their facial features until one stopped to speak. Halat: No! Stay away from me! Taeval/Loxley/Saralai: Response Fortune: It's okay, it'll be alright. We'll get to the bottom of it, I'm sure of it. ::Barely tilting her head a bit to look to the side of her at the twisting grimace of the blurring face.:: Saralai? Would you mind getting our friend a set of clean clothes? And a bottle of water? Drown him with it. The lights flickered on and off from the dome on the ceiling above them, the figure in black stood behind the distorted faces, sneering. Mort turned his gaze away from the bodies on the biobeds. The Vulcans stared up at the ceiling, devoid of humanity. Their green plasma odour lingered in the air. A person sobbed as he wandered from one end of the room to the other, his bloodied footsteps trailing behind him. Livid, slimy flesh disintegrating from bones. He grinned with horrible brutality through fanged teeth. Mort looked down at his shirt, at the blood covering across him, and felt the cloying, syrup of the shirt weighing him down, the blood pulling him through the space between spaces and into the darkness. His hands wrapped in his yellow and tried to rip it from his body, fingernails cracking under the strain. Halat: Get it off me! Get it off! Get it off! Taeval/Loxley/Saralai/Fortune: Response Mort jerked forward as loud staccato pounds blasted on the wall behind him, the strikes echoing throughout the escape pod and ringing in his ears. Hands reached out of the bulkhead toward him, features expressionless. The tremors deadened as the escape pod ejected. The pungent smell of death in his nostrils. Don't leave us here! You can't leave us here to die! The blurred faces hadn't killed him yet. He backed up toward the wall as he looked up, his hand reaching for his shoulder as he scratched with broken fingernails on the black undershirt, scalp crawling. Silvery glints sparked in his eyes as he caught sight of the badge on their chests. He had one of those. His hand delved into his pocket and he held it out with a shaking hand. Taeval/Loxley/Saralai/Fortune: Response Relieved of it, he wrapped his arms around his knees clenched tightly to his chest. Halat: Don't… fall asleep. Can't fall asleep. That's where they are. Don't fall asleep, mocked the whispering voice. Can't fall asleep. Don't fall asleep. We know where you are. Taeval/Loxley/Saralai/Fortune: Response 1 Denobulan: Cursing wildly. -- Ensign Mort Shinzing Halat Operations Officer as simmed by Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  23. Best watering-plants song EVER, awesome @Alleran Tan as usual! (( Serren's Quarters, USS Gorkon )) With his tour of the Sol system complete, and his gifts to Jona and Pira dropped off—complete with punny inscriptions, he hoped the pair of Andorians liked theirs—Serren was catching up on his reading. Technical manuals mostly. In this case, it was the written part of the subterranean rescue course he'd taken over shore leave. A bit too late to help with their last mission, but he'd be ready next time. And it had a surprising amount of reading. Despite rumours to the contrary, the Security department did read. A lot. There was a lot more to the job than simply muscle—Security was as much a technological job as it was a physical one, and while an officer might be called upon to crash-tackle a drunken Ferengi guest, they might also be called upon to secure the ship's computers, work their tactical systems, and catch the giant rat, singular, that lurked in the lower decks. All of that required reading. Especially the great big honking rat. But presumably, someone else had caught it by now. Presumably. Stretching his arms out, Serren rubbed his eyes. Okay. Enough reading for now. There was a weird chirp as he stood up, but he paid it no mind. Replicating a jug of fresh water he tended to the plants, all of them, making sure not to spill anything out of their pots. Even the most lackadaisical of all Captains wouldn't permit literal, actual dirt on the floor of one's quarters, so he was very careful to clean up after the watering. Dirt stayed in the pot, at all times, otherwise he'd be floating all the way back to Trill. As he watered, he indulged in a Ringer tradition and made up a silly song to go with it. Tan: I-eyyye... find so many people are liveable But you, my plants, are lovable I like the way you sprout. In drought. I like the way you grow. Lil' bro. You are just so sweet! A tasty treat to eat! I like the way you bloom, I love your pretty plumes. He moved from pots to his trays, sprinkling water over all the new garlic plantations. He'd used all his old ones in the Tanwich, now it was time to procure some more for next years' effort. And maybe one for Cheesecake too. He improvised as he sang, adding more choruses. He just said whatever came to his head, making note of the last word, and thinking of a subsequent rhyme. Meter didn't matter, tune didn't matter, the secret was to just make it bouncy and fun and it would all be good. That was the secret to improvising! Tan: You find so many people are logistic But you plants are (mostly) optimistic A bout of humming, followed by a little more water. Didn't spill a drop. Spin! Tan: I love the way you clean the air, Spreading your vines out everywhere. Out on a style trek. Enough zazz for a whole deck. You find so many people are a bore, But you are more fun than Lore, You're the perfect plants. So hear my watering... uh, rant! Watering rant? Okay, so, hmm. Not his best rhyme. Serren did his best to continue. Tan: Yooou find so many people are undefined But you, my plants, are mostly kind Lovable, optimistic and down to earth, You love the land and not the surf, Rich and sweet, all of you, Are the qualities of you... He just rhymed "You" with "You". What a lyrical genius. Tan: You find so many people are liveable But you plants are mostly lovable! He clicked his tongue and clapped twice. Tan: Tada! There we go. All done. Chore complete, Serren sat back down and went back to his reading. Stuff about how to attach pitons properly and better abseiling techniques. Interesting stuff. Reading, and pretending that someone else would round up the rat. -- Lieutenant (j.g.) Serren Tan Security/Tactical USS Gorkon O238704AT0
  24. The concern, dislike or rejection of parents for a character joining Starfleet is a common, but always re-experienceable, theme in our shared world. Here @Tahna Merudoes it in a beautiful, emotional but subtle way, telling us much of the motivation of all the characters on the scene and leaving the conflict as an open wound to be developed in the future. Wonderfully written, congratulations Meru!!! PT I PT II
  25. Another delightful piece from a super talented and skilled writer. I'm not crying, you're crying 😢 ((Corridors, Sasu Gol)) Luminous threads of light spiralled through the halls of the starship, shadows stamped upon them by footsteps drumming a frantic tattoo against the deck. Ragged breaths stirred still air, hearts thundered in chests, sweat beaded on brows. It couldn't be real. None of it could be real. Christalle eyes flew furiously down the passageways as they rushed by, each one expanding like a deep black cleft, shadows seeping over walls and floor. Something raced overhead; a lacerating mist of gloom that vanished into the bulkhead partition almost as soon as it appeared. Jal grunted as his shoulder collided with an unexpected barrier, allowing him a split second to look up and see the Lieutenant and the Ensign close behind. Desoa: Which way were the lifeboats? Bjarnadóttir: Keep— The Icelandic woman skidded to a halt as the ensign stumbled and sprawled on the ground in front of her. Grabbing the young Denobulan’s bicep, she dragged him back onto unsteady feet. He looked back at her, his blue eyes wild, and she felt twin stabs of frustration and sympathy. Fresh out of the Academy and already slammed headfirst into his limits, barely able to do more than run. Capturing his gaze, she tried to offer some reassurance by way of answering Desoa’s question. Bjarnadóttir: We’re close. Just down the corridor, by the mess hall. Desoa: You're doing well. Courage in everything. The man's massive hand squeezed the Ensign's shoulder, providing what consolation he could in the tight and dangerous circumstance they hadn't anticipated to be in, even while the Ensign quaked like a sapling in a gale. Those dark purple eyes snapped to Petra, concern carved like caverns in the corners of the usually jovial countenance, giving the same without the extra epigrams he doubted she'd believe. She nodded in return, no words required. The forcefield covering where the passage split in two ahead of them was a shredded wreck, barely functioning, power draining from it with each diminishing wave of remaining operating systems. Their combadges hissed determinedly; communications trying to break through an encroaching veil of webbed silence, useless in the face of… It was impossible to say, let alone think about, and Jal determinedly aligned his thoughts with getting to the lifeboats. If there were any of them left. If anyone had managed to get off the Sasu Gol. Up ahead, barely ten metres from their position, one of the crew lay prostrate on the deck. Until it wasn't. Until it moved, dragged by an unseen force, forward by the arms. Squelching noises of writhing and shuddering as what was once a Vulcan disappeared out of view. Desoa: Petra— Bjarnadóttir: I see it. ::She wished she didn’t. Squeezing her eyes tight for just a second, she opened them again and shook her head. The man was already beyond saving.:: We can wait, or we can go around. Either has its risks. Your call, sir. Desoa: We'll be spotted less if we split up. ::He pointed down one side of the flickering forcefield split passage, and then the other.:: You go that way. Ensign, go with. Get to the lifeboat as soon as you can. If I'm not there, jettison. Bjarnadóttir: You’d better be there. ::She wagged a finger in his direction.:: You still owe me a bottle of brennivín. Despite the circumstance, the Tyrellian smiled, recalling happier times on board the Triumphant, when they weren't fending for themselves aboard the Vulcan vessel. The crack of a breath came alongside hesitation; unsure of what to say. Thunk in his gut and hollow of his throat. With a heavy hand and an even heavier heart, he clasped his friend's gold shoulder. Dark eyes of mauve seeking ever-observant blue. Desoa: We'll see each other again. Your smouldering wine needs a suitable home. Bjarnadóttir: Good. Áfram með smjörið.¹ She patted his hand and then nudged his shoulder, urging him the direction he’d chosen. Wasting no further time, ignoring the weighted tug in the middle of her chest and the temptation to look back, she turned toward the terrified young ensign and shepherded him down the corridor. Kaleidoscopic markings on the Tyrellian's skin shone beneath the emergency lighting as he watched the Lieutenant move through the passageway. Jal clenched his fists, nerves he had left steeled against the thin veil of courage beginning to wear away. Footsteps hewn in trepidation, headed down the deserted corridor to the echoes of a gravelly breath humming the old melodies to him from the dark recesses. Long forgotten songs from the old Tyrellia. Devotional and worshipful, like a lyric prayer. Sonorous and vibrant. Tonal and celestial in essence. Speaking of ancient trails, the breath of home. The planet has become barren and the voice summoned him to a place of death. Jal went slowly along the deserted halls, ignoring the hungry need and growls emanating from the murky crevices. Xiva, Originator, and Redeemer. Flashes of movement on the edges of his vision, always out of step, out of reach, moving slower, then faster. Watching and waiting. Watching and hunting. Twitching just out of reach. A grim parody of his walk. Diaphanous warnings etched in suffering. Each step a new tenet of the old. Believe in oneself when all else fails. Liheni²… Liheni… Liheni… It would be so easy to give in. Slide down the wall. Rest. Wait for rescue. Screams of dread ripped through the corridors, bypassing his senses and pierced through his chest like a sonic spear. It drew him back to the world of the living with a clap of thunder and sparked movement in his limbs. He broke into a sprint, dashing through the vast cathedraline ship toward the lifeboats. Bjarnadóttir: Don’t— A metallic clang thundered through the hallways, and Jal rounded the corner to see Petra slamming her fists on the outside of the escape pod door, beating a futile demand against unyielding metal. The ensign stared back at her from the inside, dilated pupils turning his eyes black as pitch, blood smeared across the Denobulan curves of his face and across the gold shoulders of his uniform. Bjarnadóttir: Don’t you dare! ::She thumped the locked door once again.:: Let us in right now! The young Denobulan shook his head and stepped back out of view. Hisses whistled through the air, a deep rumble of ignition and the rattle of moving apparatus, and then with a boom which rattled the deck, the pod ejected. Through the small window, they watched the pod speed backwards, thrusters operating as they should from the localised power source contained within, burning through the limited fuel source in bright blue and purple flashes. Silence. Alone. In the dark. Metallic scraping behind, whispers licking like embers of a dying flame. Tyrellian turned to Icelander, unspoken intentions clear. They needed to hide. fin ¹ Icelandic: Move your butt / get on with it (literally: on with the butter). ² Tyrellian: Courage. -- Commander Jal Desoa First Officer USS Triumphant G239304JM0 & Lt. Petra Bjarnadóttir Chief of Security and Tactical USS Triumphant T238401QR0
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