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  1. The ending of this sim nearly made me cry it was so sweet, and heartwarming. <3. I 1000% loved writing this scene between Sheila and Dune. We are certainly going to miss you Sam. Can't wait til you come back. @Kaijin445 ((Sheila’s Quarters, Habitat Ring, Starbase 118)) Without a single shred of doubt, the good doctor and her loyal canine companion were by far the highlight of his otherwise dreary bordering demotivating day. He loved her personality, he loved her spirit and he loved the dynamic she shared with her dog. And he loved the dog too, of course; the canine penchant for loyalty and dependability transcended even planetary borders it seemed; Sheila was a lucky woman, no two ways about it. Dune: Of course. I’d love to have an Alistair of my own, but- ::chuckling:: I suppose that isn’t quite possible, is it. No dog can attend training or pen reports for me, yes? Bailey: A dog attending training? Penning a report? The idea of such a thing seems silly. Dune: Correct – but the idea of my own Alistair is still funny! How about a clone? Bailey: They aren’t a clone. But I agree it certainly would be nice if such a thing was possible. It would give me a break if it was. Dune: Indeed. Bailey: Anyway. I believe our tea has gone cold. Should we make some more or should I get out snacks instead? He would’ve loved to ask for both, in fact, and talk with her till the wee hours of the morning. Being with this Elaysian woman was a joy, plain and simple, and he would’ve been content to revel in her company as long as possible. That being said, though, he was tired and did very much want to go home and rest; as chief medical officer knowing that she’d have chided him for it, too. Without rest he would not be able to go about his day the next morning and that helped no one. Dune: I think I shall pass on both for the time being, doctor – thank you for the tea and the offer nonetheless. I have had an absolutely wonderful time with you and your dog. I really should be going for the night… Bailey: Well you’re more than welcome to stay for dinner but I don’t want to keep you if you have others to see and places to be. Though I’d certainly love to see you again sometime. If you’d like of course. Dune: ::chuckling:: I would be delighted to see you again. Simply let me know when and where. Until then! He didn’t want to go – but he couldn’t stay forever, of course. After one more quick wave to Sheila and her dog and returning the cup she’d been so kind to lend him, he made his way out. Somehow or other gravity reasserting itself made him feel heavier inside, too, as if the weight of the world had once more settled within him – a heart-breaking feeling, really. He couldn’t wait for the next time they’d meet. Maybe then he’d get to spend a little more time with her then. Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra 0239706DM0 OOC: This will likely be my last post for Dunamis for now! Thank you to everyone who’s made him so fun to play and introduce around, and I’m so glad that you all enjoy him as he is! This won’t be the last time you’ll see of him, however, he’ll be back when I’m back from leave, and I promise when he is he’ll seek out everyone he’s known since!
  2. @Kaijin445 I wanted to post this sim of yours here for a few reasons. 1. I just love how much of a gentleman Dune is towards Sheila/in general. He is really the perfect sort of man in my opinion. 2. I also love the descriptions you provided on Dune's background. It definitely helped me get a deeper understanding of the type of person Dune is. I can't wait to see where the scene goes from here. ❤️ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ((Sheila’s Quarters, Starbase 118)) Well, the good doctor did seem happy to be talking to him, at any rate, which he was pleased with. The reddening of her cheeks, the smile that seemed to never stop growing across her face and making it positively glow – all good signs, he took them as. Perhaps she didn’t often get visitors and he was a rare exception to that norm; in which case he was still glad to provide her the company she wanted. Dune: ::blushing lightly:: Well, I suppose. I did earn the top score of the cadet’s command and control course at Starfleet Academy – but book learning does not substitute for actual empirical experience, does it? Holodeck simulations are quite close but they still cannot compare to the unpredictability of real-life circumstance, can it. Then she seemed to stumble and fall, even in the lowish gravity that they were currently floating in – in response to which he surged forward, catching her in his arms and providing support. He must’ve felt like a tree, strong, tall and sturdy as most of his people tended to be. The perfect steadying pillar. Bailey: You could say that again. ::Sheila gave a low laugh, relating her current experience to Dune’s statement:: Dune: Does this happen often? Bailey: Oh, no. I don’t fall often but it’s not unusual. My left hip is weaker and it must have had a twinge suddenly. ::Here Sheila blushed not out of fondness but embarrassment for her fall as well as her rambling:: Dune: That’s alright. Does this affect you badly? Bailey: Well I’m not sure if you have experienced this but being a minority species comes with certain disadvantages within Federation space and Starfleet. That gave him pause. He too was of a minority species, in fact, a species that’d only just come into the Federation – and he felt the pressures all the same. He’d scared children his age for looking different and felt daily the pressure to represent the best of his people, to perform in the best arenas possible and show that there was plenty the Kelpien race had to offer. Dune: As a matter of fact… I have, somewhat. ::glancing towards the sofa:: Would you like me to help you back to your seat? I can handle our drinks if you’d like. Bailey: Oh, that would be great thanks. ::Though she sounded less enthusiastic than when she had replied to his opinion on the gravity situation:: Gripping her hand he floated over, gently easing her into a sitting position upon the presumably much more comfortable sofa, and off he went again towards the kitchen counter. He’d been scalded a few times in his life from careless hot water handling and poured many, many drinks; he could presumably handle himself around two cups of tea. He could sense the drop in enthusiasm in her voice, however. It was plain to see: the doctor valued her autonomy greatly and offering to take this simple task from her likely made her feel a little worse than she let on. Nonetheless she’d accepted, perhaps feeling that it’d be best that she not ruin their talk by spilling boiling hot liquid on herself, and so he would gladly offer his assistance, but he’d have to keep that in mind from now on. Dune: Growing up on a Federation vessel of humanoid children was not easy. I was a scrawny, hoof-footed bald boy with large yellow eyes at age six and you can imagine how my class of humanoid, hairy-headed peers felt about that. It is easier for young humanoids to accept other young humanoids, I feel, ignoring even the color of one’s skin, extra bodily features and so on. So I did not have very many friends and continued to do despite my parents’ best efforts. Bailey: ? Dune: I had some very persistent friends who took my hand and ran the journey in part with me. Indeed Qltlha and Julien had helped in spades; the former was adamant about dragging him from the cosy confines of his textbook and dorm room to attend the wild party that cadet Strauss three doors down sometimes held; not for the purpose of partying, but to get him to mix with people. It was a life skill, she’d said with utmost certainty, to be able to at the utter least be able to spend time in crowds and seem less like a shut-in, especially for someone with the ambitions that he held. Oh, it’d been nerve-wracking at first and he bemoaned silently each and every time, but slowly but surely he’d learned. Julien was a different story. The human took it upon himself to hone his crush’s person to person skill; behind many of their interactions (yes, including the badly veiled attempts to win his affections) was a lesson to be learned about the nuances of face to face relations. Again it had not been easy for the then much younger man that Dunamis had been then; making eye contact, reading body language, catching tone and so on was a supremely difficult affair for someone who’d been deprived of it for a great portion of his life. But he’d learned. Slowly but surely. He in fact continued to attribute his success in the Academy’s command modules to Julien’s efforts back then and this he did without a single sliver of shame. But that being said this conversation was not about himself. This conversation, this visit in its entirety, was about Sheila, and his purpose in seeing her was to offer her support, be it the starbase’s – or his own. He brought the steaming cups of tea over, placing them delicately on the table between them. Bailey: ? Dune: Would you be comfortable in sharing with me how you feel in that regard? Bailey: ? Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer as simmed by Ensign Drevas Matthel Security Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra O239706DM0
  3. OOC: Same scene as Sucky Situation, different perspective, and just as amusing! IC: ((Main Engineering – Pirate Ship Drowning Band)) Secretary Valeria had never been in a real life threatening emergency before. She had only been in things that seemed life threatening or were merely made-up emergencies. And in general she was cool under fire – but she had a black sense of humor and that was her main coping mechanism when things got extremely crazy. Like right now. Lurtz: Defend with what, dear? We have no weapons, and even if we did, if they are shrunk to scale they may as well be toys. She huffed a bit, but didn’t argue. Drevas: Perhaps the best option is to find somewhere we can hide in or to simply keep moving. I think we should all first try and slow down and get our bearings- Valeria: Slow down or calm down? Did she mean that as a dare? A dig? Maaaaybe. Lurtz: Don’t you -dare- tell me to calm down, this is the second time I have had an event going to absolute pot on that forsaken station. Who do you think you are, with your tongue in cheek mannerisms, to address me like some second rate hotel guest. A snap of my fingers and I can bring down entire economies.. I well… I… She stopped, and her face paled and Valeria’s smug expression of defiance turned to one of concerned panic and action as she dashed forward to ease the matriarch back to safe ground. Drevas: ::stepping forward:: Your Highness? Is everything alright? Valeria: She’s so pale… and so warm. Linn Valeria was not a doctor. She knew the very basics of first aid to keep a scene safe before doctors could arrive. Lurtz: I… I need to sit. I feel very lightheaded… my chest… Drevas helped move Empress Lurtz back to the wall where she slowly slid downwards. Drevas: Over here, Empress. ::gently taking her by the hand and leading her to the wall:: Here, sit and rest. Is there any other way we can help you? She tried to respond, but her eyes rolled back in her head. Linn pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and dabbed at the sweat on Lurtz’s brow. Valeria: She fainted. She just dead fainted. Oh no, not dead. Please don’t be dead. Linn wanted to take that back, just in case it actually happened. At least two sets of footsteps distracted her from her self-admonishment as she looked up, expectantly. Maybe the Major and the Ensign could help? Andrews: So what's our plan now? We can't just wait for whatever's next to find us. Drevas: No, we can’t. We need to keep moving. The Empress needs a moment to rest, though. ::glancing back at the room around then, arms folded:: Ishreth Dal was also not a doctor, but as a search and rescue specialist he was a trained first responder, and was well practiced in basic field and combat medicine. He moved immediately to Empress Lurtz side, checking her vitals and loosening her clothing in several key constriction areas. Now he wished he had a medkit. And they had no idea where Doctor Bailey or Doctor Foster were. But he could lessen airway and chest constriction, get her comfortable and keep her warm. Dal: Either I need a medkit, she needs a doctor or both. Where are we perched? He was so busy tending the injured he hadn’t take the time to inspect the new locale. Andrews: We're above their warp core, right? Can't we use that somehow? What if we got down there and did some sabotage? If we could take their warp capability offline, that would be a big help to anyone coming after us, wouldn't it? Drevas: It would be, yes. Maybe if we got enough people standing on shoulders we could reach and operate the console, what do you think? Dal: I think a person-chain would be very dangerous. We’d be better off forming some sort of rope. He hated to admit it, but he silently wondered how many centimeters of rope would Empress Lurtz’s voluminous skirts make? And how bad would things have to get that she would allow that without tanning his hide. Andrews: ::grimacing:: I freely admit I have no kind of experience with this sort of thing. Maybe somebody in our party ::he indicated the civilians:: has some know-how we could use? Drevas: Maybe. Perhaps there’s a- His antennae spun wildly, his head snapping to one side as he searched for the sudden low buzz that filled the air. Dal: Something’s coming… And then there was a shriek as a large hovering metallic device bumbled into view and sucked up one of the partygoers. It made a horrifying schlooorp sound as the person was just sucked into the nozzle and held in a large spherical chamber. Clearly still alive, pounding on the chamber walls and panicking. It turned and sucked up a second civilian as the rest screamed and ran back towards the tunnels. Emblazoned on its side in large gaudy capital letters and Ferengi script was the brand sticker advert: “SUX-U-LUX 5000, THE BEST AUTOMATED SWEEPER PAST ANTARES!” Andrews: Oh, come *on*. Ishreth Dal had fought many battles in his lifetime, but this was clearly the first time he had faced off against an oversized Roomba. Drevas: Complain later! Help me move the Empress – we need to go. Now. Back to the tunnels. It can’t fit in there, can it? Everyone else, back to the tunnel! Now! Ishreth pushed Valeria out ahead Dal: Valeria, get everyone inside. ::He showed Drevas and Andrews how to safely carry Lurtz:: Take her, I’ll bring up the rear. Andrews: ? Herding panicked civilians was no easy task. Two more were schlorped up before the group was pushed, practically jammed into the tunnel Drevas: Who’s still with us? Valeria: It’s your lucky day, I’m still here. We have a head count of fifteen now, down five. The Sux-U-Lux kept mindlessly schloping and sweeping, heedless of the screaming passengers it had inside its belly. Andrews: ? Dal: In one piece. ::A pause, pointing to the drone.:: Its’ on an automated loop, it will come back. Drevas: ::panting:: Now what? Everyone alright? Valeria: That completely depends on your definition of alright. Andrews: ? He poked his head out, tracking the drone and then gasping. Dal: We have help. ::he jabbed a finger forward towards Commander McLaren and Lieutenant Zel.:: Look over there. Andrews/Drevas: ? Dal: That’s the trick, they’ll never hear us above the racket of the sweeper. How do we get their attention? Andrews/Drevas: ? Dal: We can all work together to get the engines on this ship crippled and then hopefully get Empress Lurtz the medical attention she needs. Too bad their micro-surgeon was currently a mini-micro surgeon. Hopefully the ship had brought someone who was good at medicine on such a small scale. Andrews/Drevas: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Commander Ishreth Dal Marine Liaison Officer StarBase 118 Ops
  4. OOC: We're in the middle of a mission where some of the crew and some civilians have been shrunk to about 8cm in height (around 3 inches). Currently, one group is stuck in a shaft near the warp core and there's a vacuum coming after them (pirates kidnapped them and are trying to get them back after they escaped). Here's the situation from one point of view that I just really enjoyed. IC: ((Pirate Ship Drowning Band)) Matthel felt sick to his stomach. Yet another two of their team were gone, one in foolish bravery and one to rescue that one person. Not that he was one to give up easily, mind, but the thought of never seeing them again made him queasy. Thank the Prophets for the empress’ snooty voice, which cut through the momentary haze that clouded his mind: Lurtz: Where is the Andorian man? Drevas: He… went after Isaiah. Er, ensign Andrews, your Highness. Valeria: Oh no, your tasty blue snack of a Commander went back to save your very heroic Mr. Andrews who ran off to save the bravest Gorn of them all. Hopefully at least two of the three will return to us soon? Uh huh. She clearly wasn’t happy about that. Yay for the best answer he could provide – what was he expecting? Agreement? A sympathetic nod and lamentation as to how they might never see them again? Also not that he doubted the empress’ capacity for sympathy or empathy, but still. What was he expecting, eh? Stop it, he told himself. You’re not here to judge her on what she thinks about the situation. You have something bigger to take care of right now. Drevas: They are resourceful people. They’ll find a way. He raised an eyebrow at the fact that somehow or other, despite their circumstances, the archaeologist that’d followed them found it in herself to grin. Not the kind of grin meant to comfort, mind, but an expression of amusement. Yes, somehow or other she found this entire debacle and the impending sense of danger that constantly pressed down on them like a barbell really very amusing. Prophets, why, he asked himself. Why had it been him that was thrust into this situation? Valeria: Please, we’re eight centimeters tall, watching a disco warp drive. What isn’t funny about that? Lurtz: Your lack of professionalism is neither endearing nor wanted. Wow. Okay, then. He turned away for a brief moment, hiding a snicker of amusement. Drevas: With all due respect – I think we should plan our next move here. Valeria: probably finding a safe defensible space is priority number one. So we can regroup and have the actually combat trained people rescues any kidnapped other people? Lurtz: Defend with what, dear? We have no weapons, and even if we did, if they are shrunk to scale they may as well be toys. Drevas: Perhaps the best option is to find somewhere we can hide in or to simply keep moving. I think we should all first try and slow down and get our bearings- Valeria: ? Lurtz: Don’t you -dare- tell me to calm down, this is the second time I have had an event going to absolute pot on that forsaken station. Who do you think you are, with your tongue in cheek mannerisms, to address me like some second rate hotel guest. A snap of my fingers and I can bring down entire economies.. I well… I… Something changed in her demeanor then; a grimace of something which he could’ve sworn was pain. Oh, goodness. Was she having a heart attack? Or could it be another medical issue? Drevas: ::stepping forward:: Your Highness? Is everything alright? Valeria: ? Lurtz: I… I need to sit. I feel very lightheaded… my chest… Good thing they were on a ledge, raised off the floor, in an empty room save the warp core – and the wall itself wasn’t so far away. Drevas: Over here, Empress. ::gently taking her by the hand and leading her to the wall:: Here, sit and rest. Is there any other way we can help you? Valeria: ? Lurtz: ? Footsteps. Footsteps, sounding from inside the passage from which they’d emerged. Had the commander and Isaiah survived? He turned his head, praying to the Prophets for their safe return – but it seemed that they’d pulled the thought of the prayer from his head and answered it already. The two emerged from the tunnel, alive and seemingly quite well. Now that was a relief. He might’ve grinned, leapt a half foot into the air and embraced his friend had their situation not been quite so serious, along with thanking the Prophets of course. He settled for a wave back at Andrews while they convened – at least, for now. Andrews: So what's our plan now? We can't just wait for whatever's next to find us. Drevas: No, we can’t. We need to keep moving. The Empress needs a moment to rest, though. ::glancing back at the room around then, arms folded:: Dal: ? Andrews: We're above their warp core, right? Can't we use that somehow? What if we got down there and did some sabotage? If we could take their warp capability offline, that would be a big help to anyone coming after us, wouldn't it? Drevas: It would be, yes. Maybe if we got enough people standing on shoulders we could reach and operate the console, what do you think? Dal: ? Andrews: ::grimacing:: I freely admit I have no kind of experience with this sort of thing. Maybe somebody in our party ::he indicated the civilians:: has some know-how we could use? Drevas: Maybe. Perhaps there’s a- Dal: ? There was suddenly a shriek -- probably Empress Lurtz -- and the shouting of several voices that prompted the officers to turn quickly. The sight was horrifying. A giant (to them) floating drone that took up nearly the entire shaft with its chassis had (somehow) silently floated up and -- right as they watched -- was sucking up civilians one-by-one, like they were delectable candies. The panicked civilians were running in the direction of the officers, with the drone following behind, vacuuming them as they went, individuals vanishing into an extended tube shaft with a *ssssshhhhhhooooop!* every time another was taken. Prophets know how and why the pirates had somehow preempted their escape and procured this weird device solely for the purpose of recapturing and recontaining them, but they didn’t have time to dwell on that. Andrews: Oh, come *on*. Drevas: Complain later! Help me move the Empress – we need to go. Now. Back to the tunnels. It can’t fit in there, can it? Everyone else, back to the tunnel! Now! Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? Well, he hoped that it wasn’t, at least. With the assistance of his fellow security officer he lifted the Empress by the arms, apologizing profusely in the process, and began to walk-jog-kinda-sorta-run her back the way they’d came. Thank the civilians for being fast enough, too; they began to run, albeit several degrees more panicky-ly. Hold on, that wasn’t even a word… He would’ve prayed to the Prophets to once again shield them from danger and grant them safe passage through the blah blah blah make it out alive blah. Too bad the sucking noise began to grow louder and louder behind them, interspersed with the swiftly cut off screams and further sickening ‘shhhhooop!’ noises of those taken disrupted that. All he could do was keep moving and moving.. Drevas: Who’s still with us? Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? The more significant members of the party, it seemed. So far so good – but they weren’t safe, far from it. One of the civilians latched the opening shut as soon as they disappeared through, leaving the drone to hover outside with its sucking mechanism vibrating the floor and walls round them with a deafening ‘vwooooop’. Drevas: ::panting:: Now what? Everyone alright? Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? Ensign Drevas Matthel Security Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra O239706DM0
  5. @German Galven I wanted to post this sim here because it shows a great deal of willingness to improve and translate others descriptions and actions into those of your own, from your own character's point of view. Keep up the great work, always love reading sims from German. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Pirate Ship Drowning Band - Captain Farrow’s Quarters)) Bailey: Now about that plan. I was thinking we could use our own momentum to knock this container over and pop the lid off. Unless you actually wanted to stay. Galven: I think not staying would be ideal. A. Harper: Could not agree more, I don’t see any other option. Galven: Would it be better if I stood here and then I can lift one of you on my shoulders, then the other climbs up the two of us? A. Harper: That makes sense, hitting the top of the cage should have more of the effect we want. Galven: ::glancing upward to survey the situation:: The top of the box is still pretty high up there. ::sets his hands on both sides of himself:: I'm not sure if the three of us would still be able to make it up there. Bailey: Response A Harper: Galven I think you’re strongest, you think you can climb on us? Galven: ::scratches his ridged chin:: Perhaps, but there's still a lot of distance from where I'd be. A Harper: Shiela do you think can help hold his weight, we don’t want to cause you any injury. Bailey: Response German was so focused on the task at hand and listening to the others when all of a sudden the cage they were in rattled a bit. Falling over the force of the small quake, German expected the worst as he turned towards his attention over the direction of a faint sound. Galven: What was that? Did anyone else hear something? Bailey/A. Harper: Response Another sound came from outside the box. He didn't know what or who it might’ve belonged to, but it was very animalistic. Galven: Such a strange animal. Bailey/A. Harper: Response What happened next was so random that even German was caught by bewilderment and surprise since he was usually the most random person in the science department. Something launched itself at beneath the box, then darted back as the box only settled right side up once more. As all this was happening, German grabbed Sheila and put her over his shoulder awkwardly, then held out his other hand for Alex to take, and ran to the other side of the box to grab hold of anything sturdy. When the bottom was lifted among the commotion, the box tumbled onto its side. German wrapped both arms around Sheila and Alex, falling on his back so they wouldn't get hurt. Galven: Yo ho! A pirate’s life for us in these crazy waters! Bailey/A. Harper: Response Once the fiasco settled down, German let go of the others and tried to regain control, noticing movement again to the other side of the box. He was worried whatever was happening might do more harm to them. He saw a head push through a gap, causing the lid to finally fall off the box. Sachiko sat down and curled her tail around her, the tip slowly lifting then dropping, her eyes closed into thin slits, and purred. Galven: Well, looks like we don't have to climb out the top now. Are you guys okay? Bailey/A. Harper: Response Galven: ::to Sachiko:: Could you give us a warning next time you're about to do something like that again? Sachiko: Response Galven: You've got to be kitten me right meow. ::smirks:: Bailey/A. Harper: Response Galven: Let's get out of this box now. I'm not sure if we should ride Sachiko again or not. Who knows what she'll do. Bailey/A. Harper/Sachiko: Response ---- Ensign German Galven Science Officer StarBase Ops V239507GG0
  6. @Tatash, this was so beautiful I was crying. Or...laughing so hard I was crying...:-D ((Smeagle the Pirates Quarters -- Effie's Section)) Effie: I don't think he should get anything after what he did. It was a fair point at least. He wasn’t remorseful about it either, despite being in those pudgy and strangely sticky fingers. He was not trained to be a child carer, and all this situation was doing was intensifying his hatred of the snot nosed little runts. Blackwell: - yes. Does your ship have a replicator? Effie: Yeah, we do. But I'm not supposed to touch it. Tatash: But.. Hnggh.. ::he struggled in that grip:: all the most… fun things are naughty. Blackwell:::she sympathized:: Weelllllllll…. I can understand it...but if you like.., ::She said gently:: I can help you with the measurements, that way we know the clothes will fit perfectly. Yael: ::loudly again, playing along so Effie would hear him:: You know, I *could* use a new suit. This jacket’s gotten dirty. Traitors. The pair of them, absolute traitors. Bad children needed scolding, not coddling and placating. He thought back to when he was a child, his backside suddenly stinging with a phantom pain. Proper discipline. Effie: I don't know...my dad is really really strict about not going places on the ship without asking. Tatash: I’m sure… he won’t mind… Blackwell: I do actually do some sewing, and knitting, and art things...so...I should be able to help ::And she glanced to Yael and Tatash to play along:: Even balancing at this precarious angle, Tatash could fix Blackwell with a look that was the equivalent of a verbal sigh. Fine. If that’s what it would take. Yael: If you could get us access to the replicator, we could help you make a completely new collection. ::calling up to their captured crewmate in an insistently friendly tone:: And Tatash PROMISES he won’t burn the new ones! DON’T you, Tatash? All he could elicit was an annoyed grumble from somewhere in his throat. Tatash: Oh… absolutely…. Can’t wait. Effie: You'd better not do that ever again. Blackwell: I’m sure we can avoid that happening again. Yael: ::still loudly for Effie to hear:: He's a good guy! He's just *grumpy* because he's not had any lunch! Let's get him something to snack on, okay? The first thing he was going to do when he was back to normal size was tan this young girls hide. The second would be tanning Yaels to match. Tatash: Oh yes… so grumpy… If his teeth could grit anymore, they would shatter into tiny little Gorn shards. Grumpy was an understatement, utterly incredulous about how he was having to act to amuse a pirates satanic off spawn was more about right. Blackwell: And then we can talk about outfits..::she offered:: Effie: No. No. No. We can't go play with the replicator. I'll get in trouble and they'll take you all away from me. But don't worry, I know where we can get new clothes! But first… Tatash was carried away, still clutched in that mitt, faced with an angry little sausage waggling at him again clutching some sort of tape. Effie: You were *bad*, Mr. Lizard, so I have to make sure you behave this time. Oh no. He couldn’t do anything to resist as that tape started to wrap around him, even when full size that sort of tape was used for holding wires together and had a strength that held most old starships together. There wasn’t even any point in trying to struggle. Blackwell: Wait, Effie, what are you doing? ::She called:: Tatash: Not.. so tight… Effie Yael: ? By the time he was plopped back down in the lunchbox all he could do was wiggle a little like a sausage on a frying pan, his yellow eyes glowering with a firey rage. Effie: There! If you're feeling grumpy, Mr. Lizard, you can eat something. You're supposed to eat anyhow. Now! I have something that will help us so we can still play! Tatash couldn’t see what was coming next, but he could at least still hear the others. Blackwell: What do you have there Effie? Yael: ? Effie: My daddy brought this back for me! Let me show you how it works! A new toy? He grunted as he was lifted up again, wiggling his feet slightly in a vague attempt to resist. Blackwell: Effie, what does this do exactly? Tatash: What the hell is happening... Yael: ? Effie: It won't hurt at all! Just hold still, okay? He was lowered again into some machine, spindly arms spinning wildly around him with a mechanical hum as something was… wrapped around him, threads, tiny threads weaving and creating until he felt the gentle, soft fabric pressed against his neck. What was it, what was it that had happened. He tried to move his neck down and look, but the tape made it impossible. Blackwell: Effie! That’s wonderful. ::She was not talking about the Dress, staring at the device:: Tatash: What? What’s wonderful? What’s she done to me? Yael: ? Perhaps it was better that he was placed back into the lunchbox, considering the words that were on the tip of his tongue that were certainly not suitable for a young audience. Effie: It worked! It worked! Yay! ::She looked at the woman and the purple man.:: Who wants to go next? Blackwell: Well, Yael’s outfit is so dirty. Could you maybe try it on him and let me watch? Yael: ? Blackwell: Oh I just love how interesting that toy is. I didn’t have one like it when I was a child. Yael: ? While the others continued he did what he could, leaning his head down to nip at the corner of the tape near his neck, pulling at it with his teeth experimentally before gagging as he got a mouth full of foul tasting adhesive. Blackwell: I did have a dollhouse, but and dolls with clothes, but nothing like this. ::She smiled:: When did your father get this for you? Again he tugged at it, forcing himself to tear a little, then a little more. It was enough to loosen up his right shoulder, enough to start to shimmy it off just enough to work on getting that arm free. Yael/Effie: ? Blackwell: Well, Yael does look good in Purple. Finally, he managed to pull, yank, twist his right arm free leaving him able to work on the other. His scales, thankfully non porous, at least giving him a slight advantage in freeing himself up from that tape even if most of it still clung to him. He looked down over himself, pushing his arms through the holes, only now suddenly realising exactly what he was wearing. A dress. A pretty dress. Fine. That, he could deal with, but blue on green was a decidedly disgusting colour choice. That offended him far more. Tatash: Oh wow I bet it could make us… all kinds of accessories too! Maybe a matching handbag or heels for me, that would be swell! Please don’t make those items, he thought to himself. But if it can make that sort of thing, it could theoretically make far more with the right buttons pressed. Yael/Effie ? Blackwell: That is perfect Again he was grabbed and pulled out, making a point of keeping his arms by his side hopefully unnoticed. He stood as proudly as a veteran Gorn could, while wearing a stunning blue gown. Blackwell/Yael/Effie: ? Tatash: Yes, I know I’m pretty. Hey Effie, you know what would be fun? You should give him a makeover! Oh wow I bet you have all sorts of grown up makeup. He pointed a finger to Yael. A cruel, damning claw, condemning him to a face full of lipstick and terrible foundation. That’ll teach you to laugh at my dress. He looked at the other too as Effie wandered off to no doubt find the instruments of torture. Tatash: What’s the plan? Blackwell/Yael: ? Tatash nodded, lifting up the hem of his dress with both hands to take a few steps closer. He didn’t want to risk fraying the edge of course. He might fall over. Tatash: Alright. I’m not going to do anything to harm the girl, even if she’s absolutely awful. That means we need to distract her when we make our get away. What you thinking of using that dress-o-matic thing for? Blackwell/Yael: ? Tatash: Back when we were in the cargo bay, there was a pet, some sort of Lizard running around causing havoc with the guests. Bet if we could lure that here somehow, Effie would have to deal with it. Maybe its hers, maybe it’s someone elses but kids love small animals. Blackwell/Yael: ? --- Major Tatash Military Intelligence Starbase 118 Ops C239108T10
  7. OOC: You can usually count on @vitamink for a laugh. ((Pirate Ship - Drowning Band)) Andrews: I'm going to keep that thing busy! Somebody grab the bodyguard and then get everyone to a safe place! Drevas: Isaiah! What in- what are you-. Tatash: Andrews what the f… Lurtz: Is this normal Starfleet training? Isaiah would have normally quipped that lizard riding was only offered as an elective on odd years at the academy, but he was preoccupied with creeping up on what would easily be a thirty-foot long monstrosity if scaled to his normal size. Several alarm klaxons were sounding in his brain, warning him that he was courting real actual death. The only thing that kept him moving *towards* the reptile was the knowledge that the distraction might prevent more real actual death. If it worked. Dal: Come on, let’s get you up. Commander Dal helped the wretchedly retched-up bodyguard up, at the expense of getting lizard stomach contents all over his suit. They joined the group led by Tatash and the others and started moving off. The lizard, still recovering from the regurgitation, espied all the potential prey starting to hurry away and gave a displeased hiss. Isaiah took the opportunity to run up behind the lizard, grab hold of the black collar it wore, and clench his legs to the beast's neck The reaction from the lizard was nearly instantaneous, and it immediately began twisting and writhing, attempting to dislodge whatever was on its back. Isaiah held on tightly to the collar for dear life, hooking one arm through and pressing himself down and low, hoping that the lizard couldn't reach the back of its neck, and also that the collar was made extra heavy duty. Meanwhile, the larger group made their way towards what appeared to be a shelter of some kind. Tatash: This is as good a place as any. Ishreth’s antennae curled forward, as he sniffed. Dal: What is this? ::Gesturing to the shelter with his antennae:: And what is that? ::Pointing towards a big spongy, fragrant … thing that formed a carpet of sorts.:: Tatash: It’s a lunchbox, I’m pretty sure this is a ham sandwich. Drevas: ::poking the ground:: Yep. Feels spongy enough to be one to me. Dal: Charming. Commander Dal un-shouldered the guard into a safe location and then looked out to see how Andrews was doing. Dal: Ensign, how are you faring? ::he called in a louder voice than one expected from the soft spoken Andorian:: The lizard was trying a number of things to remove the unwanted rider from its neck. It had started by attempting to twist about and scratch at its collar area with a fore or hindclaw, but, fortunately for Isaiah, it didn't have the flexibility. Then it had attempted to twist about and bite behind itself. This was even less effective. However, it had the unfortunate side-effect of going around and around in circles like a giant scaled puppy chasing its tail. Isaiah clung tightly, but he was feeling rather sick. Andrews: Still alive, sir! ::He called as best as he could, while riding the lizard-go-round.:: Tatash: At least we got food covered then. Drevas: ::chuckling:: I suppose! The next move that the lizard decided to try was to roll onto its back in an attempt to squish whatever it was that was holding its collar. This was actually quite bad for Isaiah, as he did not want to find himself between that lizard's weight and the floor. As the reptile rolled over, he had to let go and jump to the side and then grab ahold again as the creature came back up. It was a real pity that there weren't a bunch of drunken cowboys cheering him on. He deserved drunken cowboys. Instead, he heard the voice of Commander Dal again. Dal: Can you get that lizard safely away? Isaiah had no idea how he was going to manage that, when priority #1 was still "don't die." Still, he wanted to sound hopeful. Andrews: I'll do my best, sir! Drevas pulled the civilians up into the ham sandwich haven. Meanwhile Ishreth wasn’t too sure about standing on food while being seen as food by a pet lizard. Drevas: Everyone still here? Valeria: I’ll do a headcount! Outside of the haven of the lunchbox, Isaiah was still attempting to keep his teeth from rattling out of his skull as he doggedly clung to the agitated lizard's back. The angry beast gave a hiss and a sudden buck, and Isaiah flew from its neck, head over heels, into a display of older Terran artifacts. Groaning, Isaiah forced himself up to his feet, pushing items off of himself, and attempting to back away from the angry lizard. He backed up and fell over something. It was long and cylindrical and had a black button on one side. What in the world was this..? Lurtz/Tatash: ? Drevas: Great. Uh. What now? I don’t think we can just go outside with that lizard there. Then the comm signal crackled to life with a raucous pirate voice. Smeagle: =/\= Hey, *miscreants.* We’ve got a buyer! The Vanity of Death will be here in 2 hours. So clean up this targ-sty, and take a shower for pities sake, will ya? =/\= Valeria: Buyer? Lurtz/Tatash: ? Dal: I have the sneaking suspicion we are on the sales floor. Isaiah now found himself sprawled backwards over the strange cylinder, looking up at the open maw of the lizard. Unless he did something fast, he was going to share the fate of the bodyguard -- only he didn't have the benefit of a bladed weapon to make himself less palatable. Quite by accident, he leaned up against the black button on the cylinder, and a glowing, red pinpoint of light spring into view on the far wall. It was some kind of low-powered laser! The lizard's head whipped around and it was suddenly focused on the glowing red dart. It darted away from Isaiah to chase the dot, only to come into contact with the wall, where it scrabbled at it ineffectually. Drevas: No. So why don’t we try and use this box as… well, what it is? If it’s a lunch box someone’s gonna pick it up sooner or later and we’ll just wait till that happens. It might be a while but it’s got to happen eventually. Right? Dal: They are going to come to check the merchandise – including us – we need to hide. Not just from a pet lizard but from sentient intelligent pirates. Lurtz/Tatash/Drevas: ? Isaiah had just picked up the cylinder and was directing the beam up the wall (with the lizard giving chase), when he heard Commander Dal again. Dal: Andrews, can we use that lizard to our advantage? Andrews: Sir, I might have a way to do that! Keeping the beam pointed away from the group, Isaiah hefted the laser-projecting cylinder and hurried towards the lunch box. Lurtz/Tatash/Drevas: ? Commander Dal looked to Tatash and Drevas next. Dal: We need a safe hiding place for a dozen tiny people. Somewhere defensible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have more … pets. Andrews: Commander! You've got see this! Grunting, Isaiah swept the cylinder about, causing the glowing red dot to dance across the wall, with the lizard desperately following, trying to catch it. Dal/Lurtz/Tatash/Drevas: ? Andrews: It's some kind of low-powered laser projector, but that lizard finds it absolutely enthralling! Dal/Lurtz/Tatash/Drevas: ? Andrews: What if we used it to keep the lizard busy while we evacuate? Oh! Or even better...we could use the lizard as a distraction for anything that comes after us! Isaiah "drew" a spiral pattern with the beam and grinned as the lizard spun about, attempting to catch the dot. Perhaps he'd hit his head a little hard when he'd been thrown from the lizard, but he clearly seemed to be enjoying himself. Dal/Lurtz/Tatash/Drevas: ? -- Ensign Isaiah Andrews Security Officer StarBase 118 Ops M239010MC0
  8. OOC: I just love the way Jamie infuses Wyn's personality in the posts she writes with him. ((Ballroom C-10, Starbase 118)) Wyn Foster might be a little paranoid. At one point an antagonistic friend by the name of Sinda Essen had called him out, saying that he was packing drugs to stave off his own personal demons and he had hotly tossed back to her that no, in fact he did not self-medicate because he had already seen what sort of horrible destruction that could wreak. And in a quip of sarcasm she had called him paranoid. He had returned that yes, damn right it was paranoia such hard, fast and scathingly raw tone that it had stunned her to silence. No matter where, something could happen, someone would get hurt. His preparation never hurt anyone. His paranoia… well, jury was out on that. But he stuck to his preparation. Foster: In my boot. ::He pulled a perfectly fitted wallet-fold custom medkit from his polished boot.:: I always have at least one medkit on my person at all times. Though speaking of self-medicating, this was the … third… time he had seen ill effects connected to alcohol consumption and Ashley Yael. Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Three times? That outlined the horrifying possibility of a habit. Blackwell:::She gave a soft smile:: It’s one of the many reasons why I love having Wyn around. Yael: ::more to Wyn, sheepishly:: Sorry to make you work at a party. Foster Hey, it’s what I live to do. He tried to make it sound lighthearted. Tried. He was fighting the bitter taste of bile in the back of his throat. His father had been an alcoholic. Was an alcoholic. Is an alcoholic, despite being sober for nearly thirty years. It was terrifying, dark, destructive and hard to break. A tiny voice was starting to plead in the back of Wyn’s head to ignore this. To wedge himself into a state of comfortable denial. A much louder voice was ringing warning bells. Wyn, remember the last few times you had warning bells? What happened? Terrible things happened. With every iteration he acted faster and with more vehemence. And every time he somehow failed harder, watching people die in body and spirit. Blackwell::With a quick wink to the Andorian, her gaze turned towards the crowd:: Quite the guest list ::with a sip of her water:: He offered a smile to Rue, trying to tamp down the rising wave of fear that rose in his chest. What if the warning bells were right? What if he messed it up again? What if he lost his new crush… and his longest, dearest friend? Did he have to be at this party? Could he run away and hide, railing at imagined fears by sobbing in a dark cold room? No? Curse those heavy, horrible pips. Yael: It doesn’t seem there’s any cultural specifics or theme to the party, which makes me think the items may be a collaboration of very different items. He offered a pinched smile and a nod. Foster I think ‘eclectic’ is the word you are looking for. ::he filled the hypospray and sidled over towards Ashley.:: Anything in particular you’re interested in spectating? And as soon as Rue started talking he used the change in attention to administer his special hangover cure – a patented blend of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and analgesics, guaranteed to make the day instantly brighter. And he was quick, too. Even Mr. ‘I hate being touched’ barely had enough time to react before it was over and done. Wyn indulged in a tiny smirk. He liked being good at his job, up to and including his ninja skills. Blackwell: Oh I am looking forward to the displays. I have all intentions to get a look as many things as I can while we diplomatically mingle. Foster Oh diplomatic mingling, that sounds great. He said in a tone that clearly said it sounded about as great as dumping a metric ton of tribbles into a Klingon mosh pit. Blackwell: Give good impressions, come off as personable, or at least interesting, and don’t make a scene - I think it should be manageable ::She grinned faintly:: I’ll even hold off on waxing poetic about any strange things I find. Yael: What if we prefer that you wax poetic? You might impress the scientists with your knowledge. Foster It is definitely preferable to diplomatic mingling. And he meant that. He would take nerding out on an obscure topic over meaningless mingling while trying to smile, bow and scrape in all the right ways any day. Leave the diplomacy to the diplomats and empaths who got a kick out of it. Blackwell::She shrugged faintly:: I heard a few rumors of what could be here. Treasures and curiosities from all over. ::She looked at the two and gave a brightened smile.:: What about you two? Anything you want to see? Yael: I’m hoping they have something from Iconia. Might be a long shot though. Foster: Dinner? He offered with dead honesty and a little shrug. Antiques were never his thing. When he was a kid he was on a starship and interested in every new thing they found out in space. And then in Pepperell, he had to admit he wasn’t very interested in stories about old stuff because it was always stories about old Human stuff. And he could never really get invested in it. He was, at one point curious about old Andorian stuff, but quickly found that he didn’t have enough cultural foundation in his genetic culture to understand most of it. Add in the fact that his father explained to him that he had hybrid biology just before he entered Starfleet Academy – as to ensure that his Academy entrance physical would not be his first time learning this – made him even less interested in his home cultures. He simply didn’t want to know in large part for fear of rejection. So, no… antiquities never really captured his imagination like they did for others. Yael: If they don’t have anything interesting, I’m sure we could sneak away to a relevant convention somewhere. They wouldn’t be as spectacular as all *this*... ::he glanced around them:: … but the Station is always hosting something new and interesting. Foster: Like Klingon mud wrestling. Was that a joke or an honest suggestion? Hard to tell with Wyn. Blackwell: ? Yael: We should keep our eyes on the arrival manifests as well. You never know when someone fascinating is going to show up. Foster: you expecting anyone? Paranoia welled up in him again. Should he be aware of something? Did he miss something? Blackwell: ? For a moment Ashley Yael’s eyes floated towards an overdressed Bolian dripping in ‘notice me!’ accents. Who seems exactly like the type of person Wyn would like to avoid, without knowing anything about him. Yael: Careful with that one. ::he nodded his head at the Bolian man, then looked at Rue:: Hard to forget him. Blackwell: ? Foster: Who is he? Yael: A journalist… if you can call him that. Jafarr Symote. He’s got a team of minions and a gossip show that airs all over the Station. And if he doesn’t have any juicy material, he’ll make it up and edit it in. That made the little doctor bristle, visible. He liked nothing about that. Nothing at all. Foster: So noted. I will summarily avoid him like the plague. Blackwell: ? Yael: I suppose he’s *relatively* harmless… just don’t let him corner you in a corridor. Yeah, cornering Wyn Foster in a corridor would probably end badly for the both of them. The little doctor didn’t take well to threats and had enough untreated PTSD from past trauma on Starfleet duty that he would likely take any attempt at cornering as an attempt at violence. And with a less than scrupulous reporter? That would be a nightmare. Blackwell: ? Galven: Usually things that are considered relatively harmless are pretty irrelevant, but I'm not going to keep anyone's "time." ::He raised both hands, moving his index and middle fingers in air quotes:: He jerked his head to one side and raised both antennae and snowy brows in unison. Foster: How the hell did you sneak up here? But at least German Galven was a known quantity. Not a skeevy reporter. Still, he got the drop on them and that bugged Wyn. He really needed to get his antennae checked. Yael/Blackwell: ? Galven: I actually cornered a few reporters a few weeks ago as a matter of fact. Foster: Cornered? ::he watched with muted shock.:: I hope you didn’t hit any. Actually he kinda hoped Galven did. Reporters deserved it. Yael/Blackwell: ? Galven: ::smirks:: Apparently they didn't want to hear about anything and everything. ::shrugs:: So have any of you been to a gala like this before? Yael/Blackwell: ? Foster: Nope. Medical conferences tend to be more dry and boring. Less merchants and pageantry. You just knew that if this convention was only scientists and archaeologists that this gala would be a lot more quickly and a lot less fancy. Yael/Blackwell/Galven: ? Foster: Really I’m just here to smile, not cause a scene and eat. And because I was told to be here. And that, in a nutshell, was how the little surgeon approached fancy dinners. But hey, he’d take fancy food. That was a nice perk. Yael/Blackwell/Galven: ? A chime rang and the lights shifted, indicating they should move to a table. Foster: Oh, looks like things are getting started. ::He pointed to the stage:: A six course dinner with entertainment? White the shindig. Yael/Blackwell/Galven: ? Foster: I expect it’s entertainment of the archaeological variety. He started strolling around the tables, reading the nameplates. Yael/Blackwell/Galven: ? Foster: Aww, that’s cute, they have little department color stripes to identify our names. Handy. Whoever planned this party had an attention to detail – and that he could appreciate. Yael/Blackwell/Galven: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Surgeon StarBase 118 Ops
  9. OOC: I can always count on a Wyn post for a laugh! IC: ((Ballroom C-10, Starbase 118)) Wyn had his hair actually truly styled. A rare occasion for sure, but his conversation with Sheila Bailey had prompted Wyn to visit that irritating neurosurgeon Jos to take a look at his damaged antennae and after a long discussion on future treatment options – none of which he was excited about, but all of which he should consider. It had, at least, offered some pain moderation that allowed him to, among other things, get his rather terribly shaggy hair cut. Now it was sleek, fluffy, brushed to one side and wisping gently around his antennae. Distinguished almost. He had a high-necked white shirt, an asymmetric fitted silver vest and charcoal slacks that emphasized his wiry runner’s physique. Clearly he had gotten the memo as ogled the ballroom looking lost. Blackwell: Wyn, over here. Ah, a beacon. Nice. He pivoted and went towards the call. Yael: ::trying to smile genuinely as the Andorian joined them:: Wyn, good to see you. You look amazing. ::then, to Rue:: Both of you do. Pause. Both antennae and eyes gravitated towards Yael. There was something … off … about him. If he was being cavalier he would guess hangover. Foster: Thanks. So, what’s up? Blackwell: We were about to get some water - care to join us? His gaze went towards Rue. Her eyes slid to Ashley. Then the water. Then Ashley. Subtle. Ok, absolutely hangover. Foster: Sure, water sounds great. He sounded a little too happy about water. Sliding beside Ashley he fell into step. Yael: ::to Wyn:: I wasn’t sure if you’d gotten an invite. Glad you could attend. Blackwell: Why don’t I go grab the drinks, and you two can find us a place to people watch for a moment so we can get a lay of the land? Drinks. Well technically water was a drink. A pretty [...] poor drink if you asked Wyn. Nobody had asked Wyn. It was also not lost on him that Ashley ‘don’t you touch me’ Yael had linked arms with Prudence ‘touchy feely’ Blackwell. What kind of voodoo black magic was that? Yael: Have you gotten sight of any of the artifacts? They’re being quite secretive so far. Terribly curious what sort of items they have to justify such finery. Foster: Artifacts? ::Clearly he had not especially been listening.:: They were all pretty covered up. Saved by the Rue, who stuffed a glad of water in his hand. He sipped his own to cover up his [...] pas, watching Yael, doing backflips of mental doctor-calculations. Absolutely a hangover. Yael: ::sighing lightly in somewhat transparent relief:: Thank you. ::beat:: You had your hands full there. Blackwell: No worries at all. Balancing drinks is just one of my many skills. Foster: And you do it with grace. ::he smiled towards her.:: Blackwell/Yael: ? Eyes drifting between Rue and Ashley he gestured towards the tables. Foster: Maybe we should sit down? Find our names or something. Blackwell/Yael: ? Foster: You know, sit down before you fall down. He regretted it after he said it, looking at Ashley with a doctorly skepticism Blackwell/Yael: ? His expression softened and he tried to recover with a compassionate offer. Foster: If you ask nicely I have a medkit and I can administer hangover medicine. Which would also require Ashley to admit the hangover. Carrot. Stick. Check. Blackwell/Yael: ? He pulled back, looking a bit chagrined. Foster: In my boot. ::He pulled a perfectly fitted wallet-fold custom medkit from his polished boot.:: I always have at least one medkit on my person at all times. And he meant it. He usually had three, each set with a priority order of specific medical items. Blackwell/Yael: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Surgeon StarBase 118 Ops
  10. I always loved this community. I find it therapeutically to have this place to hide away for a few minutes from RL, sometimes by writing, others by reading. And I have to thank this pair of talented writers. This isn't exactly an uplifting sim, but it was one I had to read all trough it, and allowed me a few minutes . Thank you Sal and Alora. I joined all the four parts, sorry to make it long, but this is the way it's meant to be read. IC: ((Virixis VI - Alora’s Cabin)) Alora’s fingers danced over the keys of the piano, the ivory and black rectangles bouncing up and down as her hands worked her way over them. The speed was far too slow for the piece, Chopin’s Etude in G-sharp minor, but there was no way Alora was anywhere near ready to play a tempo. Known among pianists as one of the most difficult pieces to play, she had set it before her as a challenge, a goal, something to take up time and effort and brainpower as well as a composition that would allow her to stretch her skills and become a better player. Playing in thirds wasn’t for the faint hearted, but that piece was an ambitious project for even the foremost pianists. Needless to say, it was even more exacting for someone whose every waking moment wasn’t set before a piano. Although she had been playing for two and a half decades, Alora found herself stumbling at handling those thirds, particularly with the delicate touch the semi-quavers required. Yet, she was not above attempting something difficult. Scaling a mountain like that particular étude, pushing through the complicated runs and delicate trills that raced up and down the keys, would only end in a deep sense of satisfaction one felt after overcoming such a task. So, despite the painstakingly sluggish pace she had to set just to get through the first two measures, she was determined to wade through it. Like anything else, it was most difficult when first approached, and only time and practise would help her push through. She’d gone through the two measures she’d planned to tackle seven times when the chirp of the door made her hands pause and she turned on the small bench to face the door of her cabin. When the system was told to allow the visitor to enter, the door opened and a familiar face passed through. DeVeau: Commodore. Formal. That wasn’t normally Alora’s style, but she bounced back and forth with him, uncertainty making her doubt, doubt making her traverse down a more cautious road. Taybrim: Commander ::He gave her a polite, gentle greeting with a traditional Betazoid gesture.:: DeVeau: To what do I owe the visit? Taybrim: I wanted to touch base with you and see how you were doing. Just like Sal. He was always looking out for others, always making sure they were taken care of. Dropping her gaze, her smile took on a little more humour which reflected in her eyes when she finally raised them again. DeVeau: Do you feel like I need to be checked on? Taybrim: I know the mission was harrowing, but I am more concerned about your overall well being. Maybe he was still thinking of the telepathic contact he had with her. Perhaps it was a general sense of worry for her condition. Both? She was a valuable member of the crew and he wanted to make sure she was well. Harrowing. It was an apt word, one she had used on many occasions herself. Now? That mission? It wasn’t harrowing. Not compared to other experiences. DeVeau: Trust me when I say I’ve been through worse. Much worse, physically, emotionally, telepathically. Alora wasn’t sure if there was going to be anything else thrown at her that compared. DeVeau: More importantly, how are you doing? Did anyone ever ask him that? Did anyone check after the Commodore? See to his well being? Alora hoped so. Taybrim: I am well enough. Though I always worry that there is still more to do. A gross understatement if there ever was one. But he had taken the time to start to process all that had happened. It was a journey, and he was moving forward. Still, there were things that lingered in his mind as issues that could come up in the future. And that always worried him. DeVeau: But it’s over. And we won. ::She paused for a moment, then added - :: You won. Taybrim: We all won ::he gently offered:: You, Max, Sheila, the whole crew. We all helped. You were more help than you could know. DeVeau: Not me. I got involved at the last minute. You’ve been dealing with this for how many years? Sal took in a long, slow breath and contemplated that question. A while. A long while. Taybrim: Nearly three for the cult itself. ::he considered:: Over five for dealing with the Syndicate. Ah. That was one area where they still had a war - but this, they’d won against the Cult, and that was a decisive victory. It didn’t end everything, but it did cut off a very real threat, and for the moment, Alora felt they could at least take some relief in that. DeVeau: There will always be more to do, unfortunately. The Syndicate is a much bigger fish to fry. Taybrim: I have to accept that some things will never truly go away, but we are able to protect what we love rather than destroy what we hate. DeVeau: That’s the difference between us and them. We don’t fight because we want to, we fight because we have to, and if we can find other ways to accomplish our goals, so much the better. He nodded gently, in complete agreement on this. Taybrim: I agree, this is true. I have hope that if we stay on this course we can protect what we value and help our allies to continue to strengthen themselves. Even in this harrowing mission we still met and worked with plenty of Klingons who understood the stakes and rose to protect what was valuable to them. Alora studied the man for a moment, her expression neutral, eyes unwilling to reveal with thoughts roamed through her mind. A moment later, she turned, fingers quickly finding the switch that turned off the digital piano that had been provided for her by the resort, then rose. She faced him once again, hands lacing together and resting in front of her. DeVeau: I have a feeling that’s not the only reason you came by. Taybrim: You are correct ::He smiled gently:: I know things have been somewhat odd between us from the feelings shared at the Gratitude festival to the telepathic contact. I wanted to see if I could understand your thoughts and feelings on the matter. There was that gentle tone of the counselor paired with the Betazoid honesty that just came right out and cut to the chase. Immediately, Alora stiffened at the mention of the Gratitude Festival. In some ways, she had a desire to simply forget about everything that had occurred, every thought or emotion that had been stirred by that concoction which had invaded her body and spurred them to life. On the other hand, Alora had found something she’d thought she’d lost, an ability she hadn’t expected to retain. Either way, she seemed to dwell in a strange mixed existence of uncertainty, guilt, and maybe even a hint of regret. Her footing had been compromised and she was afraid that if she attempted to make a step forward, she’d simply fall and there wouldn’t be a net to catch her. Her reticence spurred the Commodore to continue. Taybrim: I understand how awkward things were under the influence of the tainted Spring wine. Though I hope you know that I do not hold anything against any crew who was affected during the festival. I, myself, was also affected. She didn’t want to talk about it. Wasn’t sure how to talk about it. Even though she’d managed to speak to Ashley about it, Alora still couldn’t face the red haired man himself, and try as he might, the Counselor’s attempts to help her come to some sort of resolution had been fruitless. The demons had been fed and they continued to lurk in the shadows, using this as merely fodder for tormenting her. Turning, Alora crossed the room, her eyes breaking away from Sal, avoiding him, training themselves on a new goal, something to distract her. DeVeau: Do you want something to drink? He nodded gently, pulling back and giving her some time. Taybrim: Sure. Orange cider if you would? Alora, of course, was going to imbibe. After making the Commodore’s request, she ordered chocolate milk for herself, program 100, one of the top favourites. It was a go to when she felt like she needed a little something extra. She paused at his words, then reached out to take her glass, but she didn’t actually drink, and her back remained turned to him, her focus on the sweet drink that she’d requested but seemed only able to stare at. DeVeau: I’m not sure what to say. Taybrim: There is no ‘what’ to say. I have no expectations. Sometimes putting feelings you cannot explain into words is a journey and even if you never reach the destination the attempt is worthwhile. That orange cider sat there, patiently waiting to be taken to the one who had asked for it. Like the man behind her, it offered no condemnation. Yet, Alora still winced, though she wasn’t sure why exactly. Sal Taybrim was, if nothing else, a kind man, so why did what he say sting? Or was she just done with his attempt at broaching the subject? Taybrim: I accept that you may not be able to answer now, nor soon, nor even on any timeframe that you know. ::He stated openly.:: Maybe it was important that she was simply aware that he knew. That he was prompting her forward on that journey. Alora inhaled and let out a heavy sigh, then finally reached out to curl her fingers around the glass. It was cool to the touch, and she could smell the citrus as she turned and carried it to the commodore. Finally passing it along, she motioned to the seating area of the room. DeVeau: Feel free to sit down. It felt odd, standing there like that. Stiff. Formal. Alora didn’t like it, even though she was taking a more formal stance in other ways. Choosing an armchair for herself, Alora lowered herself down and allowed herself a sip. Thick, chocolatey, oh so good, it slid down her throat, and, perhaps, offered a bit of courage. DeVeau: Is that the only reason you came by? Sal settled himself comfortably once asked and leaned forward, shaking his head gently. Taybrim: No. There is never only one reason to come. There is a world of things we could talk about to understand one another better on so many levels. For a second time, Alora lifted the glass, savouring the sweetness of her drink, though her eyes flicked up to peer at Sal from over the rim. She dared to turn the topic around, back to something else, something where she felt like she had more secure footing. DeVeau: Perhaps you would be willing to fulfill the promise you made to me before we went to Qo’nos? He nodded very slowly, having already considered this and knowing it was a possibility that they would delve into it. Taybrim: Yes, I am willing. The cup lowered and she rested the bottom upon her palm, then turned it slowly around and around. Circles. It was going in circles. Sometimes that was how she felt. DeVeau: Perhaps now would be a good time? It was true, he had no other plans. Though he was still hesitant no matter how open and honest he was. It bled through his tone. Taybrim: I have no other plans, so if you wish. The shifting of the glass, the circling of it in her palm ceased, and she took one last sip from it before setting it down upon the coffee table, then straightened. Her hands laced together and she met his gaze. DeVeau: I do wish. Taybrim: You already know I am loathe to cause pain to someone I care about if I can somehow prevent it. Or an innocent, he was even hesitant to cause pain to a dire enemy and would only consider it as a last resort for the cruel, the corrupt and the criminal. But he was also aware that so many enemies were simply good people of another opinion - just like the Klingon high Council where, in the end, so many of them were actually on the same side, though it took much effort to convince them. And yet, in that, he also admitted that the telepathic communication Vananth had offered him was painful. She had been terribly injured at the time and just desperate to share the information. It was not her fault. But it had been a difficult pile of memories to sift through. DeVeau: I know. But I am loath to leave someone I… She paused. Dare she say it? Could she say it? What did it mean if she gave it a voice? Was there more to it than simply what the word itself meant? Alora finished it, but the pit of her stomach roiled with uncertainty. DeVeau: Someone I care about with such a burden to bear alone. Taybrim: The burden has shifted since we met Kelemkor. His voice was soft, murmured and yet piercing. That particular connection still rang heavy on his mind. There was a tilt of her head, a slight lifting of her chin. She didn’t have to ask what he meant - she knew. Alora had been witness to the battle, though she did not know the exact details, had only seen the physical manifestation of what raged between their minds. It didn’t matter. She would not be deterred. Alora rose and closed the distance between them and sat beside him upon the couch. Without a word, she held out her hands to him, her gaze unwavering as hers met his own. Taybrim: I… ::He hesitated, protective, careful. Stinging words still rang in his ears.:: I will share with you what Ariwyn Vanath showed me. He did not trust himself to share Kelemkor’s mind. Not yet. He hadn’t yet processed that fully. Then with the utmost care he started to open his mind to the experience of telepathically connecting with Ambassador Vananth. He was being careful, trying to limit what he sent to her rather than deluge everything all at once. Alora had been prepared, had a taste of what was to come, but even so, she could not stop the sharp intake of air as the sights and sounds assaulted her. Wavering a little, her hold upon him tightened, and her eyes closed, allowing her to shut off external visual stimuli in order to concentrate on what she was receiving. It helped some, allowing her to focus her energy on dealing with the hand she was being dealt - one that she had requested. Taybrim: I’m sorry… ::He whispered, trying to stave the flood to as slow of a trickle as possible, but even with his Herculean efforts at control, the flood continued.:: Despite his attempts, what he was sharing was unfathomably horrible. Torture, pain, hatred, malice. It wasn’t just that, the emotions that were so contrary to what was so ingrained in Starfleet, so opposite to the desire to help others and seek out their well being, but the way it was presented, the cacophony of images and noise, scenes scattered and out of order, a fantastic and horrifying array of another’s thoughts, ripped from one mind, shared from Ambassador to Captain, now from Commodore to First officer. Alora gritted her teeth, her eyes squeezed ever more tightly, her hold strengthening. Taybrim: ~Let me stop…~ It was a plea. With minds linked, he admitted her control locked with his was an open door, one he could not close without causing pain. He would not cause her pain, and he needed her implicit mental permission to stave off the flow without pain. DeVeau: ~No.~ ****** Determination underscored that single word. How much had he borne and for so long? He’d carried it with him, a man without anyone to commiserate, without anyone to understand, to share it. It was painful, but she had expected that pain, and she didn’t fight it. And yet, even as it flowed into her, the jumble of insanity, the back and forth and mix up of time, everything sort of slammed together in a maddening jumble of thoughts and feelings, Alora had an advantage - one that Sal had given her. She had a map. Originally, what had been shared left everything in a neat and tidy order. While unpleasant, it was nothing compared to the agony that she was receiving now, though even what she received now was pale in comparison to her own past. Still, it was painful, but she pushed through it, unwilling to give in. What he had originally presented her with from their first connection was enough that she could use it, a map to guide everything that was thrown at her, to place what she knew from before properly and use that as a key to find the other pieces of the puzzle. Taybrim: ~please…~ ::Now it was a plea for her to disconnect. A rising agony in his own mind at the pain he was sharing. Agony, shame, pain.:: It was almost like being on the holodeck, but there were multitudes of things flashing through at one time, half were the bits that had been given to her by Sal, playing their way through on one side, the other half the jumble, then between them, they sifted back and forth until it was becoming more cohesive, a single unit, a play that unwound itself in a semblance of order rather than the chaos that had suddenly been thrust at her. Without that guidance of what he’d given her, she would have been unable to sort through it as quickly as she was doing so. Even then, time would be needed, time that she didn’t want to spend right then and there. More inspection, more introspection, more retrospection, all combined to make true sense and give everything it’s proper consideration. And there was where one of the skills that had been taught her came into play, one useful, perhaps used to her detriment more than should be, but in that moment became an act that allowed her to breathe, allowed her the chance to set it aside for the moment so she could thoroughly examine it all in her own time. Gathering it all, what she had processed in those moments - had they been moments, or hours? Time made no mark there in her mind - she swept them away, tucked them behind a door, one where she could turn her back on it, if just for a little while, granting herself a brief respite so she could ponder how to move forward with the knowledge she had suddenly gained. That done, she inhaled, a deep almost gasping breath, and she clutched at him, suddenly realising that she no longer held him with one hand, but with both, her grip almost desperate, leaning into him, her breath quickening from the frantic mental race she had just run. Finally able to withdraw and close his mental shielding tightly around his mind, he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, holding her steady in a gentle, paternal grip. Taybrim: I am sorry. I am so, so sorry… His words were spoken, dripping with pain and guilt. DeVeau: I’m fine. I promise. Sal stayed perfectly still, steady and gentle. As much of a rock as he could be for her. It was the least he could do. Taybrim: Breathe, slowly. Focus on the here and now. DeVeau: Sal… He was so worried about her. Always worried about others. Never about himself. How much more did he hold inside? Was what he shared only the tip of the universe that rest upon his shoulders? She remained in his grip, enjoying the warmth of his hold. Taybrim: That is one of the keys. Here is real, now is real. Everything else is in the mind. DeVeau: You don’t… But his guilt spurred him on, so afraid of what he thought he had done to her. Taybrim: ::He nodded slowly.:: Yes, everything in the mind is equally real. Real, but slippery while here and now is solid. DeVeau: Sal. She didn’t break the hold he had on her. It was far too comforting, not because of what she had experienced, but because such touch had been so rare lately. Instead, she leaned further into it, one hand rising to rest tenderly upon his cheek and guide him so that she could look directly into his eyes . A smile spread across her face, small, but genuine. DeVeau: It’s okay. You didn’t hurt me. She hadn’t felt pain. Not her own pain. No, what she had felt had come from others. From him. She hadn’t meant to cause him pain. That was the last thing Alora wanted to do. He tensed, the knotted feeling of his muscles spreading from his neck, through the shoulders and down into his core. He hated seeing others in pain and loathed causing others pain. But at the moment the mental tempest placed in his mind by Kelemkor was so harsh that all he could sense was pain. His fathomless dark eyes locked with Alora, confusion bleeding through. How could she not sense the pain? Or did she feel it and withstand it? Or did she feel it, endure it, and then give a gentle reassurance that she was fine? Because that’s exactly what Sal would do. Taybrim: Are you sure? He wanted - perhaps needed to know she was OK. Because behind those superior mental shields he was hurting and didn’t have nearly enough time to process it. The last thing he needed was hurting another to weigh upon his conscience. DeVeau: But I’m sorry I hurt you. I didn’t mean to. I never want to… This time he was solid. The tension in his body did not release, but his voice was calm and steady. Taybrim: You did not hurt me. Ambassador Vananth did not hurt me. Do not blame yourself or anyone else for the scars Kelemkor caused. His voice faltered slightly at Kelemkor’s name. The mind that would haunt him for quite some time. Emerald met ebony, seeking, searching. Something was different, more had been left unspoken, the weight no less than before. Perhaps even heavier than before DeVeau: Oh Sal, what did he do to you? Taybrim: Same thing he tried with you ::he murmured:: Flaying the mind open to strip mine the pain. ::he took in a long, slow, breath.:: He didn’t win. The words were confident and honest. But the tone wavered. Kelemkor lost the war, but the battle was gruesome and bloody. Even victors need to recover. Alora took a deep breath then let it out slowly, her voice soft, a half whisper, but confident. DeVeau: You don't have to hold back. Not with me. You can let go with me. He stopped. Almost completely. His body was tight, breath paused, unblinking. This was a role reversal that he didn’t know if he was ready for. He was the Commanding Officer. It was his role to be the bulwark for his crew. But his role was changing. In the past he had easily endured. The poor leadership of Commodore Kinney was a welcome challenge, and even a Court Martial couldn’t flag Commander Taybrim’s focus and commitment. Losing Taelon in a temporal rift had only redoubled Captain Taybrim’s efforts to rescue and protect his friend. A deepening nerve damage condition had put Nijil after Fleet Captain Taybrim to enforce medical attention; something Sal accepted more quickly than Nijil expected - because he easily admitted it was foolish to not tend his health when there was important work to do. Each of his previous First Officers had the benefit of serving at a time when the stakes were lower and the focus was not so tightly on them. But as Sal carried out his do-gooding clean up campaign in the Trinity Sector, notoriety and focus had grown to an uncomfortable degree. Alora DeVeau had the unenviable role of being the first officer to a man in the most difficult of situations, where his ability to protect her was waning and his need for support was growing. He felt ashamed. Taybrim: I can’t. ::he said in a low, serious tone:: He couldn't? Alora didn’t understand, and the only thing she came out was a bare whisper of a word. DeVeau: Why? Taybrim: Alora, it is my job to teach you. To shelter and protect you so you can grow as a leader and succeed. This has been my promise to each of my first officers. ::he paused, his voice heavy with emotion:: It is unfair to burden you with my demons. Is that what he thought? That he had to stand alone? To shoulder everything? To carry the weight of the universe upon his shoulders? After Sal had tapped her as First Officer, Alora had suffered from doubts for the first time in her career. Navigating the strange new office, trying to find the balance between being a friend to her friends and one of their commanding officers had been difficult. And there were still things about that position she still wasn’t sure of. But that? For the first time since she took up that position, Alora was certain of at least one role, and it wasn’t necessarily just as first officer. It was as a person who cared for him. Sal was Commodore. He was the commanding officer of Starbase 118 Ops. He was their leader. Sal was also a regular man. And a friend. That was a word she could use. That was safe. That was something he could be. Something she could be. Whatever she felt, whatever strangeness affected her in her uncertainty with her emotions and where she stood, that was at the most basic and fundamental state of being what he was and what she would be to him - a friend. A tremor rumbled deep within, but she was far too focused, far too determined at that time to let it take any hold. In that moment, it wasn’t about her, it wasn’t about what she felt, what she was struggling with. It was about him. What he needed. DeVeau: Oh Sal...you’ve left out half of it. He pressed his lips together, knowing he had left out far more than half. But he was curious as to which half she was referring to. Taybrim: Which half? DeVeau: The other half of the equation. We protect each other. We help each other. Bear each other's burdens. Alora leaned forward, her brow touching his, eyes unwavering. DeVeau: It is unfair for you to bear it all, to walk this path alone. I want to walk with you. Let me walk with you. He paused and gazed back at her for one, long moment. As if he was reading her, without actually setting forward any telepathy. Taybrim: You ask to bear my burdens, but you keep your burdens to yourself. ::he said gently.:: I would share your load and offer mine, but I will not overburden you. That was why he had originally come. To check in with her. Through the tempest he had not lost sight of his original goal. His words startled her, and like he had done before, she froze. Alora stared at him, her heart reacting by beating in her chest, pounding against her ribs. She had wanted to help him, relieve his burden. He’d turned it around on her. DeVeau: You don’t... Taybrim: It is unfair for you to bear it all and walk your path alone. I want to walk with you. Let me walk with you. Oh yes, he had been listening. Her stomach roiled and her body tensed. Alora had shared very little with anyone beyond Ashley, and even he hadn’t known about, at least not in detail, about some of the things she had experienced. She’d been set upon a path. A choice had been placed before her. First and foremost, she wanted to help Sal. Her relationship with Aron had helped show her the difficulties a Captain struggled with, that he needed someone just like anyone else. She had always tried to be a friend. Always tried to offer her support to others. Now Sal was offering that support, just like Ashley. His approach was different, but there it was nonetheless. Except it was painful. Even with Ashley, she struggled to communicate, struggled to really talk to him. It had taken herculean effort from the counselor for her to even start. And Sal? He was there. Right there. Offering. Offering and using her very own words against her. Her throat constricted and she swallowed, her eyes glistening in the gentle light. Yet she didn’t pull away. Why didn’t she pull away? It had been so easy to do so before. DeVeau: I...I won’t be overburdened. Taybrim: Then you agree to share equally? ::He queried keenly, a diplomat’s gambit.:: Still she lingered, still she remained there, her eyes locked with his, but her emotions had shifted with the tide. DeVeau: My burdens are nothing compared to yours. Taybrim: Burdens are burdens. Comparing their weight is like comparing a targ to a Vulcan astrophysicist. They are so different and each keen in some areas and blunt in others that they cannot be compared. Alora’s breath quickened with the pace of her heart. Uncertainty warred within her and her mouth worked, as if trying to form words, but the words she attempted to conjure flitted away. He missed nothing, however, caught the silence and answered it. His expression was soft, welcoming, but his eyes were sharp. That perception of a Betazoid and a counselor. Taybrim: I understand, Trust is a two way street. I trust easily, backed by my empathy. But I ask for trust in return. Trust? Was it a matter of trust? Was that why she felt so hesitant? Was that why she struggled to talk about it? No. It wasn’t that. DeVeau: I do trust you. And she did. Sal was easy to trust. From the first day she had met him, she’d liked him, found it easy to trust him, both as a Commanding Officer and as a friend. Taybrim: Then what is the roadblock? Alora closed her eyes, shutting out his face, his gaze and trying to grab hold of some sort of control. She had been in control just moments before, but now her foot had slipped and she was struggling to hold it together. DeVeau: It’s not a lack of trust… Maybe that was true. Maybe it was a defense. Sal wasn’t about to call her out on one or the other. He was here to seek understanding. Taybrim: I believe you. But I also believe there is more to it. Her throat tightened further, her words caught in it, choking her voice until they were uttered so quietly that had he not been so close, they would have been lost. DeVeau: It’s just...so hard. He reached a hand out. Taybrim: If you can’t tell me, maybe you can show me? Alora’s eyes closed, clenching shut, wrestling with the idea. Did he know what he asked? Did he realise what he wanted? What he was asking her to do? The very same thing she was asking of him. The question was, could she? Could she be that open with him? Could she share everything? Did he want everything? What was it, exactly, that he wanted of her? Those eyes opened, the emerald darkening as she gazed at him. They remained locked in that strange embrace, touching, but there seemed a mile of space between them. Her eyes held his gaze and she whispered her following query. DeVeau: How much do you want? Taybrim: How much are you willing to show? Alora licked her lips, though her gaze remained unwavering, and the question came again, softer that time. DeVeau: How much...do you want? Taybrim: As much as you are able. ::He paused.:: All of it. ****** Could she do that? Could she give him all of it? Could she truly bare herself like that again? Could she take that risk? Tremors coursed through her, her fingers shook again and once more her eyes closed as she took a breath. Steady. One. A second . Two. A third step. Three. Letting it, she slowly whirled down the slide, and when her eyes opened once again, she was steadier. Her grasp on him tightened and she leaned forward. DeVeau: All right. There was a pause, a breath, a moment, before she gave the caveat. DeVeau: You first. His dark eyes twinkled just a little. Taybrim: I already went. Now you are delaying. Maybe that is not mistrust, but that is fear. He had gone, yes, but he had held back. Now she was holding back. Why was she holding back? Alora’s mouth thinned and her eyes lowered. Taybrim: Fear is difficult and hard to grasp. ::He watched her for a moment:: I do not think you fear me. But I could be wrong. That was an odd thing to say. Frowning, she looked back at him, shaking her head. Fear Sal? Never. Even from the beginning she held no fear in regards to him. Maybe she was strange that way, looking to her superior officers without the same sort of intimidation that others felt - but Sal was not the sort to instill fear, regardless. DeVeau: No. it’s not that at all. Taybrim: Then what do you fear? That was a good question. What did she fear? What she had feared had already come to pass. She lived it. And though they came less often, she still continued to live it, awakening to the sound of her own screaming, the scent of burning metal and the echoes of the memories of pain on the edges of her consciousness. What did she fear? Another deep breath was taken as she tried to figure out an answer. She wasn’t sure she had one. Maybe that was part of the problem. When she finally answered, her voice was soft, and it wasn’t a true answer, but rather an inquiry, a half whispered interrogation. DeVeau: How much do you want? Taybrim: To start? What do you want to show? DeVeau: Of...it. Me. How much do you want? She had already asked that. Why was she asking again? Why was she hesitating? Why was she stalling, turning the same question around and around and around and neve quite giving an answer. Sal took in a long, deep breath. Taybrim: I am never the type to force you to do anything you do not want. You know this, but knowing this has placed us on unequal ground. So I ask you, again, how much are you willing to give? This was the point where he had to openly give her the freedom to choose. How much was she willing to give? That was another good question. One she hesitated to answer, one she struggled with. She hadn’t given much of herself to many people. Even Raissa, who had seen and been through a lot more with her than anyone, hadn’t seen certain depths. Only one person had been given everything. What was she willing to give? Nothing? Something? Everything? She sat there, staring at him, wrestling with her thoughts, her emotions, two sides in conflict, warring with each other, always at odds, never fully vanishing, only going quiet in the face of necessity as life managed to push them into the corners so she could ignore them for a while. Taybrim: Then let me put it this way - I will give you in kind what you give me. Is that fair? That meant she got to set the pace, and the overall sharing. He would follow her lead. And again, how much was she willing to give? He was only asking for the same thing she was asking from him. How much did she want from him? Was it fair to ask that much? Could she give the same in return? DeVeau: Then...let me share with you. Taybrim: Alright ::He tipped his head forward in a gentle nod, holding out his hands to link.:: And there he was. His mind within hers, invited, willing, and welcome. Was he welcome? Yes. He was welcome. This was not an antagonistic presence, but a soothing one. His mind touch was gentle, tender. Perhaps even fearful, but he had nothing to fear. Not from her. But what did she have to fear? Why did she fear? He had asked her that question and she still couldn’t answer. She felt him, accepted him, and welcomed him. It was easy to connect to her, she knew, and she hoped that made it easier on him as well. The difficult part was sharing herself. What would she share? How little? How much? How many doors did she open? How wide did she open them? He was in her thoughts, in her realm. And so she took control, manifested the connection in a way that made sense to her, creating a visual, and there they were. The tangible world, it was still there, but in their mind's eye, there was nothing around them. Nothing but mist, neither pleasant or unpleasant, neither welcoming or foreboding. It was simply there. He stood, a mental image of himself exactly as he appeared in the real world, outside of the kingdom of her mind. She stood with him, facing him, the nothingness surrounding them both. Taybrim: ~Hello~ A simple opening. He mentally waved at her, like a childhood friend waiting to be led around, shown the sights. Her eyes drifted away, peering through the shadowy cloud, as if seeking, searching, trying to pinpoint something, but there was nothing there. What did she want to share? She knew what she wanted him to share. He was only asking for the same thing in return. Should she? Could she? In body and mind, she took another deep breath, another steeling exhale, and when she spoke, her thoughts filled his mind. DeVeau: ~I don’t know where to begin.~ It wasn’t exactly opening up, but with the statement came a foot in the door, an offer, silent permission that allowed him to prod as deeply as he wished, and a silent promise that she would answer without holding back. Taybrim: ~As simple as it sounds, most start at the beginning. You choose where it begins. The easiest memory? The favorite? The most present in your mind? The earliest? All are beginnings~ At the beginning? It made sense, she supposed, but did he want that? What would that accomplish? Yet she had said she would, hadn’t she? Had made a bargain. She would honour that as best she could. She began to walk then, the nothing fading into something, that of the brightness of a childhood, a good childhood, one filled with love and warmth and light. The darkness that penetrated there was nothing, merely moments in time where it seemed all was dark and dim but as through a child’s eyes, an innocence in the suffering that was not truly suffering, simply a rite of passage, though scarring had started, still lingered in fears that plagued her even now, they were overshadowed by the delight that marked the majority of her days. A caring family, one that though it had its own black sheep had nevertheless always loved him, and loved her, and she them in return. Though by no means perfect, even her recollection was idyllic compared to some whose pasts were checked with strife and want. Yet she had never wanted. She had never lacked. There was much that came at him, the passage of days and years coming at him in seconds. They were not what hindered her. She delighted in their recollection, save for a few moments here and there. For the most part, she could breathe freely in that past, rejoice in the gifts she had. Then there was Starfleet, an ever tempting goal that had started as a possibility, then grew into a passion. Her acceptance, her years as a cadet, they flew by, filled with eagerness and anticipation. Her first assignment under Captain Aron Kells, the meeting of Saveron, the ups and downs of missions successful and unsuccessful. The memories of trauma, of pain, of those who had caused that pain, they flashed by, the tide of emotions rising and falling in waves and in response to all the things that had occurred, moments of fear and sadness, moments of triumph and rejoicing. Tenderness, the love she felt for a man and his son, the sisterhood she had with others, some faces familiar, one very familiar among them - that of Chythar, others not, but in her memories, he got a chance to know them, to see them as she see saw them. And the darkness too. It had begun truly in Starfleet, on an early mission, but even that was nothing in comparison with what came after. And it was there she paused, the scene fading, the nothingness returning, and he could sense her hesitation. Her fear. Sal stayed, steady, an observer. He didn’t interfere, he just watched, trying to understand. Taybrim: ~ Is this a stop?~ ::he queried, feeling the entire scene dramatically slow down.:: DeVeau: ~ It’s hard. This part. ~ Not as hard as what had come after, but difficult to make her pause. . Taybrim: ~ Many things are difficult. That is unfortunate, I empathize. But I will offer support. This I can promise.~ It was hard to get through traumatic events - and Starfleet was full of traumatic events. And despite having a counselor on every ship, sometimes such things festered. DeVeau: I made a promise. I gave my word. And there was that fear, the lingering demon that swirled the fathoms below, stirred up, waiting for the moment to strike. In the physical realm, Alora took a deep breath, her mind voice soft. DeVeau: ~You will not like what you see. ~ Taybrim: ~ I do not have to like it ~ ::he thought in an oddly reassuring tone.:: ~I need to understand it. There are things in my own past I do not like. That does not mean they cannot be grappled with.~ She had warned him, her affirmation was given in the revealing of that memory, picking up where she had left off, moving forward, and a name that should have been a welcome one, something denoting a relation, a connection, one either born or forged in love and respect. Yet, the term as presented in that moment made her shudder - The Kindred. And suddenly he was there, experiencing it as she did, the sudden violation of her mind, the searing pain that ripped through her psyche constantly once it invaded. The cruelty of its intent. It used her as well as the flora upon the ship, items that should have been beautiful, twisted and morphed into something nefarious. They grew and grew, taking over the ship. It was Christmast time, a decidedly human holiday, but one that was supposed to be filled with joy and laughter. Instead, he saw a man clad as the jolly old elf snatched in the clutches of monstrous vines, hear the choking cry die upon his lips, the padding of the strange yet playful outfit writing and trembling until it finally deflated. He could feel the tingle in his fingertips and outwardly her own trembling as she re-lived it. He was only the first, most dispatched in the similar way, each one experienced by her, as if she had taken their lives from them, as if she had been the one to do it. Then another, a single young ensign, one who had been as excited as she had with his first assignment, who had endeared himself quickly due to his quick wit and pleasant nature, was caught up by her very own hands. The long, slender fingers curled around his throat, the pulse of his body, desperately trying to pump life into his veins, the gasping of his chest as he struggled to fill his lungs with air that was cut off by her own, relentless grip, the bulging of his eyes, the pounding of his heartbeat that began to slow, and slow, and slow til it fluttered, like a faint whisper against the skin, then faded away. The torturous pain continued to lace through her mind even as the surge of power struck her. Power over life and death, the power to take it away, to have such control over a person’s face, and the sheer awesomeness of that ability surged through her. And she recoiled, recoiled from it, recoiled from the phantoms that cackled in her mind, who lashed at her with a thousand hot irons as they held her firmly in her mental prison, punishing her for her unwillingness to cease her resistance, her struggle that was in vain, and slowly she began to despair. She could still feel the flesh as it folded beneath her grip. It went on. Others were hurt, Rahman captured, strung up like a piece of meat. Where the flora embraced her, it assaulted others, engulfing them in its malevolent embrace. DeVeau: I am the Kindred. We are the Kindred. And it would not be denied. It had encompassed her, swallowed her whole, and she wept within the tortuous cell of her mind they had trapped her in. Aron. They had Aron. And Captain Egan Manno. Egan Manno: A captain protects her family. And she did. She had destroyed them, had been what released them, the agonizing pain of their departure, the blinding anguish was followed by a brief respite of darkness. Yet she could still feel the pulse fluttering against her fingers. Taybrim: ~ A terrible assault ~ ::He murmured quietly, feeling the emotions sink into him. Telepathy was his secondary skill - empathy his primary. His telepathic projection remained calm, stoic, supportive and gentle. But his flesh and blood body rocked, processing the emotions she broadcast.:: She moved beyond that. To her family, to the experiences that came after. To Saveron, his teachings, the beginning of the foundations that started to strengthen her mind. Chythar, Raissa coming behind him. The joys, the sorrows, the heartbreak, the healing, the fortification it all flashed past him and her, a shared experience, one ending where the other began, one beginning where the other ended, together traversing down a road that had already been traveled, and now was traveled again. It got better. It went on, the changing of the guard, the changing of the ship, the new posting, her time in the Shoals, Rahman now Captain, Skyfire with her, Raissa, friends, family that had been with her thick andthen, the tapping for a new, classified mission. The meeting of Eudora and Kalin, the painful standoff, the willingness to teach her, the fortifying of the fortress of her mind, the eagerness of discoveries to be made - real discoveries, ones that could help others, ones that could change the course of medicine, the cynical quips, the teasing responses, the passing of time, time spent with one another, growing closer, their first kiss, their developing closeness, the way their minds touched, the tenderness he showed to no one else but her, his mental presence becoming a constant, the sudden proposal, the subsequent impromptu and informal ceremony, the intimacy shared, the joy that came of it, the continuation of their work, the possible break through and the excitement of the attempt to test it. She trembled, her grip vice like, nails digging into his flesh as the images spurred on, the time moving more quickly, desperate. She faltered, mentally stumbling, the images becoming almost blurred, faces and sounds and smells rushing together into madness. A brief flash of Captain Eudora, her face grim, eyes despairing before blast doors cut off the image. Kalin’s face, klaxon alarms, the acrid smell of some chemical agent, the sting of heat, the roughness of hands grabbing her in desperation, the shadows that consumed her as she was tossed into some large container, the last thing she saw was Kalin’s face before the door hammered shut, the roar of the metal as she pounded against it, the high pitch of her scream, then the sudden, agonizing, searing pain that, like a sword slicing through her, as if her entire body was being ripped apart, mind, body, and soul torn to shreds before she suddenly plunged into the sweet release of darkness. Taybrim: ~They sacrificed themselves? But you survived?~ A heart beat. Strong. Steady. Voices echoed, distant, and images came in a thin line as the light stung her eyes. Someone was speaking to her, calling her name, shadowed forms slowly focusing into familiar faces, the glare of Sickbay lights drowning everything. Then fear. Emptiness. Both gripped her, icy fingers clutching at her heart. All around her, bodies moved, people hurried about, the beep of the computer punctuated the syllables of their words, but she heard nothing, barely saw anything, because something was missing. That presence, the constant companion in the recess of her mind, was gone, a chasm in his place. Kalin was gone. Sal Taybrim was silent for seconds that seemed to stretch to eternity. He had never seen the other side of self-sacrifice. How raw and painful it was. The emptiness, the longing, the survivor’s guilt. An act of pure love, to let one live through sacrifice. And yet it led to unyielding pain. Taybrim: ~ I’m sorry, Alora. ~ He offered the thought as compassionately as he could. Soft and open. He reached his hands out to her. Her breathing came heavily, and he could almost see the roiling of her emotions as she struggled and fought against them, struggling to keep control. She wanted to flee,to fly away, to not face him, not face it, not face any of it, but for once, she dug in her heels. For once, she stayed. She had made a promise. She had fulfilled it. ****** It occurred to Sal, in a slowly evolving thought process, that his own self-sacrificing actions were quite triggering for someone who had lost so much. He started to feel foolish. Taybrim: ~ How long have you carried this burden? ~ How long? It seemed like forever. It clouded everything, overshadowed everything. Even when she was able to shove it aside and focus on life, it was, lingering in the shadows, a pacing dragon ready to strike and lash out without warning. Alora trembled and she took a few more steadying breaths. One. Two. Three. It was an established pattern, a silent mantra that sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t. In that moment, perhaps the soothing presence of the man across from her aiding in its effectiveness. Closing her eyes, she finally answered. DeVeau: ~ A little over a year. ~ Her eyes opened, but it wasn’t necessary. He was still there, she saw him, felt him. She didn’t need to use her eyes. DeVeau: ~How long have you held on to yours? Taybrim: ~ Some of it for days, some of it for decades~ She had to take another moment, had to focus on something else, something other than herself, something other than her own story, her own sorrow. Once again, her hands clutched at him, and she noted the softness of the sleeves, the soft rhythm of his breath, the brightness of his hair, the darkness of his eyes. Breathe, slowly. Focus on the here and now. He had spoken words that had been spoken before, to her, to remind her, to bring her back to the present. Now, they echoed again, that time in his voice. Another series of breaths followed. DeVeau: ~Maybe it’s time you shared it.~ He paused and reached out, hesitating for a moment. Taybrim: ~I mean this when I say this is strictly confidential. But you do need to know.~ Alora frowned. Everything was confidential. That was a given. She knew he would say nothing about anything she’d shared, she would offer the same respect. But something in the way he said it unsettled her . DeVeau: ~It will remain confidential.~ A touch, featherlight like fingertips against her mind. A memory so fresh it was still warm and weeping. An unauthorized trip, through back passages, avoiding all the reporters. Whyever would there be an issue going to one’s own home? Hauke told him to stay on the Narendra. But this was such a small break of orders. He just wanted to retrieve one or two personal effects. He paused at the door, hand over the lock. A momentary bad feeling. Double checking. Nothing. Home. Quarters. Sal had beautiful quarters. Non-standard. Organic curves, hardwood, full of plants. Bathed in a dim golden glow from a table lamp. Peaceful, serene, comforting. He paused in the entryway, body tensing. A return of the bad feeling. Checking again. Nothing. Movement. Eyes locked with his. Hot breath. The whisper of a blade far too close to his kidney for comfort. The form pulled backwards. Another blade. A hiss of air. A spray of blood. Dead eyes. The body of the assassin dropped to the carpet which had a steady stain of green growing across the cream. An accented voice: “You should not be here. No longer safe.” A spike in heart rate, a realization. Assassination. Far too close. Both in time and in how close he came to watching his own murder. There was a long, guilty pause. Taybrim: ~This was six days ago, now.~ For a moment, Alora sat frozen, her eyes wide, and the fear? It shifted, shifted from something that lingered deep within and became focused. It was fear for him. DeVeau: ~Who?~ Taybrim: ~I’m on the Tal Shiar’s hit list~ ::he admitted.:: A foreign feeling welled up in Sal’s chest. Anxiety, discomfort, the seeds of terror that something might be lingering in the shadows at every turn. Terror that bred paranoia. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like checking over his shoulders, he didn’t like the memory of blood spraying across his quarters or coming a hair’s breadth to death. He hadn’t shared as much as she had expected, but what he had was mortifying. She moved. Without thinking, without hesitation, she shifted, pulling herself out of his grasp so that she could encircle her arms around him, drawing him into her embrace, as if by the mere act of doing so could ward off any threat, any danger. DeVeau: ~You’re safe now.~ Hesitation. Pain. A spark of fear that flashed, burned and faded all at once. Taybrim: ~ I’m not. ~ DeVeau: ~You’re safe here.~ Taybrim: ~I am safe, here, in this moment. But when we return to StarBase 118 I am not. There will be another. And another. And another. I do not know what will stop them - if anything.~ He was right. As much as Alora loathed to admit it, he was right. He wasn’t going to be safe once they returned. The Tal Shiar had him in their sites, and they were a particularly deadly foe. Her grip on him tightened. DeVeau: ~Is there an investigation? Has anything been found?~ Would they be able to find anything? Intelligence hadn’t brought anything to her, but would they? Sal hadn’t said anything to her until now. Taybrim: ~Yes there is, it is ongoing, and no. They identified the assassin, and tied it to the Tal Shiar… I’m not sure what else there is to find.~ DeVeau: ~We’ll keep you safe.~ How? Alora had no idea. Absolutely none. All she knew was that she couldn’t allow anyone or anything to hurt him. Taybrim: ~I know you will try.~ He said it with a sorrowful acceptance. He was in no way trying to die. But he was aware that it was a growing possibility. She would try. Alora didn’t want to think about what would happen if she or anyone else failed. Her hold upon him tightened, then loosened suddenly and she withdrew. DeVeau: ~Why didn’t you tell me?~ Hurt seeped through the bond, past his shields. Taybrim: ~Do you think it is easy to rebound and immediately talk about such things?~ He honestly had to process what happened, first - and sleep. He had spent too many insomniac nights immediately succeeding the attempt. She was quiet for a moment, though she winced both inwardly and outwardly at the admonishment, and even more at the hurt that she felt come from him. Alora knew very well the answer to that question. DeVeau: ~No. I know it’s not.~ Taybrim: ~I will be honest with my staff moving forward and allow you to help me. That is the best I can do.~ She wanted to reach out, wanted to draw him close again, wanted to somehow make it all go away. But she couldn’t. Alora had no power. And she hated it. DeVeau: ~I wish I could fix this.~ Taybrim: ~I know. But it is both within our hands to be careful and far outside our reach to control.~ She knew that, but that didn’t stop her from wanting it, but that was far beyond Alora’s power. DeVeau: ~What can I do?~ He seemed quite plain in his initial thought process. Taybrim: ~Keep doing what you are doing. You are a tremendous help on StarBase 118.~ Quickly she shook her head. DeVeau: ~No. What can I do to help you?~ A pause and what seeped through the link was a deep, overwhelming exhaustion, laced with an undercurrent of loneliness. Taybrim: ~I’m not sure. I’m tired. But I have to keep going.~ She was familiar with that as well. She knew those emotions, those feelings. Alora was far too acquainted with them. She hesitated again, uncertain. Her own trials, her own troubles were pushed aside for the man in front of him. Slowly, she reached out again, her fingers lightly dancing over the back of his hand. DeVeau: ~You’re not alone.~ She’d heard the same thing, had been offered to her as well, but with the link between them, he could sense the depth of sincerity in each word as she uttered them. She wasn’t much, and maybe she was useless in dealing with the Tal Shiar, but if nothing else, she could offer that. Taybrim: ~ I know. ~ Slowly, he backed out from the telepathic bond. Not due to avoidance, or pain, but she could feel his concentration fray and mental exhaustion set in. What was once his baseline communication form was now an exhausting endeavor, and he was sitting far lower in the chair than before. Taybrim: I know ::He murmured.:: Did he know? She hoped so. Once more, Alora withdrew, her hand retreated and she clasped it to the other one. Taybrim: I’m tired. The words just fell from his mouth, simple, honest, plain. DeVeau: You should sleep. Could he rest? Would he really sleep? Alora wasn’t sure she was going to sleep herself that night. She slid her arms over each other, as if warding off a chill. Taybrim: I should. And so should you. ::He said with a weariness that indicated it would be difficult for both. DeVeau: I should. There was no question of whether or not she should. It was more whether or not she would. There was a new reason to fear, a new nightmare that would join the old. Her gaze lifted, meeting his and for a moment it seemed as if she would say more, but no words came. Instead, her eyes drifted away and toward the door, then back to him, and whatever she might have said before shifted into something completely different. DeVeau: Do you want me to walk you to your cabin? He paused and considered, and the words he chose were unexpected, even for him. Taybrim: Neither of us will be sleeping tonight, will we? Alora offered a half smile, but there was no real humour in it. DeVeau: No. Taybrim: It is not unusual when your mind is too full. Hers had been too full for some time. There were periods where it was better, where she was able to rest, able to sleep. But then… DeVeau: It’s...been that way for a while. Taybrim: Then let’s walk. Walk until the body has no choice but to sleep. Walk. If only it were that simple. Still, it was better than sitting there trying to distract herself, even with things she enjoyed. Better than running through the scenes over and over and over again, only to have them end the same way every time. Or now, with the new nightmare, into the possibility of what could happen in the future. That was just as frightening. A moment of silence stretched between them, but finally Alora nodded. DeVeau: Let’s walk. It wouldn’t solve anything, but at least she wouldn’t be leaving him alone. At least for a little while longer. Taybrim: Maybe if we walk until the sun rises, we’ll understand that there is yet hope. ::he murmured, getting to his feet.:: Sometimes it didn’t feel that way. Sometimes, when the darkness closed in and the shadows clutched at the throat, when the nightmares hammered night after night, when the fear threatened to utterly consume, it didn’t feel like it at all. Except she had to remember that was just a lie, a lie the mind told because it was too wrapped up in it all. She’d fallen into that trap. She didn’t want to fall into it again. Rising, she nodded, speaking the words she knew to be true, even if it was hard to remember that truth. DeVeau: There is always hope. He offered an arm out for her. A chance for something to hold. Something to lean on. Taybrim: The sun will always rise again. Her hand slowly slid through his arm, but she gave as much as she took, leaning and offering herself for him to do the same. The smile that fluttered over her lips was small, but a light shone within it. Deveau: Then let us watch it rise together. Taybrim: Lets. It wasn’t much, but it was a thin comfort. And sometimes thin comfort and the promise of hope was better than none. ****** Commodore Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer StarBase 118 Ops E239010ST0 & -- Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau First Officer Starbase 118 Ops al...@blar.net M239008AD0
  11. OOC: I got a chuckle out of this. Julien seems like a hoot. IC: ((Dunamis' Quarters, Habitat Ring, Starbase 118)) // To: Ensign Dunamis From: Ensign Julien Lockehart Dear Duney, Heard of your new assignment! Congratulations, by the way. I hear that 118 is a hot place to be right now. You’ve read the reports of their latest mission probably, of course you have, studious bloke, you. You’ve always been. Saving prisoners on Qo’nos while fighting off cultists! Wow. I only wish I had that kind of assignment. Here on the Victoria nothing much happens, we’re stuck on routine DMZ patrol. Oh, well. What can you do, am I right? Captain Kell is a nice guy though which is a bonus. We should meet and catch up sometime, eh? Just the two of us like old times, talking like old friends while you insisted on poring over our textbooks two months in advance for that class test. Just relax, okay? You don’t need to keep on working yourself raw. There’s more to life than your career and you deserve a little space to explore all aspects of it. Including the more fun ones. 😉 Ah ha, you know what I mean. Get back to me when you’ve made up your mind on it, okay? See you, handsome. Don’t keep me waiting with that response. Regards, Jules // Julien Lockehart. He hadn't seen that name in years. The name brought to mind a shortish, blond-haired bespectacled human male who'd been a schoolmate of his four years ago now, and with that recollection came a familiar tale - one that admittedly still embarrassed him to no end to tell. He still remembered how it'd gone down: ((Flashback - Time Index: 3 years ago)) ((Event Hall, Starfleet Academy - Earth campus)) Dune was not a party person. He never had been. Call it a remnant of a childhood growing up as the sole Kelpien child in a class of humanoid children. Too many people around at any one time made him nervous, in fact, a feeling he masked with apparent stoicism. Yet here he was, an hour into the prom, neatly dressed in a light pink dress shirt, tie, suit, pants and even shoes to match, spindly fingers clutching a glass of champagne. Being as slim as a twig sometimes has its perks and this particular time was one of them; he looked absolutely stunning. At the current moment his attention was oh so mercifully occupied by his Klingon best friend, though: Qltlha: Duney, please, for the love of Kahless, let those shoulders of yours relax for once in your life! You have earned the right to party the night away, more than any of us with that lofty degree of yours! Dune: ::sighing:: Qltlha, you know me and my work ethic. I do not normally fully relax. Not when there is more to be done for the morrow. I leave for starbase 23 in the afternoon and my packing is still unfinished. The shuttle leaves at 1300 hours- Qltlha: For the starbase and starship, the latter of which which will only be there next week! Dunamis! You are being ridiculous! I know you favor punctuality and preparedness but that extent of it is too much! ::sighing in exasperation:: You will harm yourself one day with that attitude, my friend, if you do not keep it under control. ::squints, looks over his shoulder and snickers:: Oh, Kahless' blade. There's Julien now! Julien? He'd been told by the human that he'd show with a surprise in store, of course - but not quite the sight that he got as soon as he turned his head. Oh, goodness gracious, that was surely the laciest garish red dress he'd ever seen. Somehow or other it flattered the human male's figure perfectly, along with the blush, lipstick, eyeliner and fake brows and the ridiculous black wig with utterly mismatched bangs - among other features, of course. When Julien had mentioned a surprise the first thing in the Kelpien's mind admittedly had not been to appear at the prom in full drag. Oh, he knew that the human had been head over heels for him ever since they'd met at orientation of course, but this was absolutely flooring each and every (failed) attempt at courtship so far. Strangely? Amidst the silliness of the whole situation Dune found himself thinking that the human actually looked attractive in that getup. Oblivious (or perhaps totally ignorant of) the looks and catcalls and kisses blown his way Julien sashayed his way towards the pair and struck a pose, fingers in a V and all. Lockehart: How do I look? Duuuuuney? ::batting his eyelashes at the Kelpien:: Dunamis: ::choking a little:: Julien. Goodness gracious. Why are you dressed like that? Qltlha: ::smirking:: It was my idea. He wished to make a last impression on you and hopefully earn your arm for the night! Come on, Duney, won't you be a good friend and indulge him? One night? Lockehart: I wore red just for you~ ::giggling:: It's your favorite color isn't it? You look spectacular, by the way. Is that blazer of yours custom made? It fits so snugly- ::places both hands on the arm of the suit:: Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Yes, he could handle flirtation well enough, but in this situation, where he couldn't quite decide what his mind thought of the whole thing his friends' words were becoming quite uncomfortable - and so he took the only other option he could think of. Dune: Um. ::gently brushing Lockehart's hand off:: Excuse me for a moment... And off he went through the crowd in the direction of the toilets, ignoring shouts of "don't keep me waitiiiiing~" behind him. You'd think that for a people so tall and skinny they'd be hard to lose - ha, not really. Blushy, uncomposed Dune was gone in the crowd in seconds even when not running. ((End flashback)) Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra 0239706DM0
  12. @Sheila Bailey writes beautifully and I just love the sweetness of this ending! ((Virixis VI - Beachside)) DeVeau: Unfortunately, we got called back to duty really suddenly and I was so intent on getting to my station as soon as possible, I forgot to take my squirrel costume on. Sheila’s gaze turned longing for a moment as she remembered her friend. It was this particular friend, a joined Trill, that had had a performer as one of her past hosts. She had still been able to carry on the skills of singing, ballet, and acting, though she most often danced. And this particular friend had often invited her to performances, in which she carried a starring role, in Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and Jewels, among many other ballets. Yet since their graduation the two friends had hardly spoken to each other. Thankfully the good memories lasted and were seemingly enough to fill the empty void. Yet Sheila was reminded of her sisters too. Her younger sister, Margaret Anne, had often written plays and stories when she was younger. Oftentimes she had been able to coerce their older sister Cathleen into playing some of the other roles; Sheila never did like to perform in those plays and stories yet she had been willing on more than one occasion to paint the sets. One time however, in the course of a play rehearsal, the scene had had both Margaret and Cathleen running in the yard and up a tree. Cathleen had tried climbing but slipped and tore her skirt and her knee. Since then Sheila was fairly sure her older sister had stuck to wearing pants. It seemed like the only situation in her personal experience that was in any way similar to the one which Alora was describing. Bailey: ::Holding back a laugh:: What a sight. I can imagine your commanding officer being angry at that, though I guess it depends on the seriousness of the event which called you back to duty. Clothing hardly limits one's ability to perform their job. Even if one was wearing a ball gown, improvisations could be made. And in the right attire swords could be slipped down the backs of dresses, or strapped to the thigh. If not, the dress’s skirt could be tied up around the waist of the wearer to allow for easier movement. With this in mind it certainly seemed that a squirrel costume was comfortable as well as easy to move in, likely made of a soft material used for pajamas. Definitely not the sort of thing to go get mad about. Disappointed maybe, and some might even laugh about it too. Sheila might have laughed if she had seen the incident in person. Now however she worked to hold in her laughter and simply listen, that was the polite response to make. DeVeau: Commander Ross wasn’t happy. Didn’t yell at me, but he didn’t need to. I literally was so focused on getting to my station I didn’t even think about my costume not being the proper attire. Sheila was intent on listening carefully to Alora’s story. Asking leading questions and showing her interest and respect. Though it did make her wonder. Perhaps Sheila and Alora could combine their talents and set up a performance sometime for the crew. A light hearted performance. Sheila knew that she herself could use a spot humor after the several tough missions that she had gone through. Perhaps too could she find her way back to the sarcastic, witty woman she had once been. For Alora it could be a change to redeem herself, in a way. To finish out the play and get back to her station in her proper attire. Bailey: That seems completely understandable. DeVeau: What about you? I know you sing and have a pretty voice! Bailey: Oh myself? I’ve not been in any performances, plays I mean. I have been told however that I would be great for singing at a wedding. DeVeau: I know. I remember you sang part of an Elaysian lullabye when I brought you that violet. Like I said, you have a lovely voice. You could easily perform. What about other types of performances? Bailey: And the dancing? Nothing like what my friend did. She was all into ballet. But Elaysia has a great many traditional dances. Jigs and the like. Perhaps I could get a holoprogram of them together for you sometime. I would demonstrate myself but I’m not in the condition for it yet. DeVeau: I would love to see you dance. Maybe on the holodeck? I’m sure we can program the gravity to make it lower so you could perform it properly. Oh why hadn’t Sheila thought of it in that way? At first she had thought she would only be able to get a holographic performance set up, one in which she wouldn’t be able to take part in. Yet Alora’s comment reminded her of her last holodeck experience with an old friend. Those machines certainly could be programmed to fit anyone’s personal needs. Bailey: Sure, just comm me sometime and I’ll get something set up. Oh and speaking of performances it would seem that one would need a headshot for auditions and the like. ::At this Sheila went shuffling through her stack of papers looking for one in particular. Once she found the one she was looking for she handed it over to the other woman:: Here. Alora took a minute, not glancing at the handed over drawing quite yet, a look of surprise forming on her face. Sheila gave Alora a small smile in return, her sense of curiosity growing. DeVeau: What’s this? Sheila handed over another pencil portrait; the original copy, a second copy having been left in her own quarters back on the station. This one however unlike the others was not of some fanciful woman. It showed simply a woman with long dark hair, a round slim face, and sharp collar bones. The composition was of Alora. Sheila had managed to find time to get around to composing it, sometime between last shore leave and then start of this one. Their last conversation together had sparked it and Sheila did well to keep her promises. Bailey: I finally got around to drawing it, after we last talked. I want you to have the original copy. Hope you like it. DeVeau: I do! It’s lovely! ::Alora took a moment to look at the drawing:: I’m amazed at your talent. Bailey: Thank you. It’s nice to be drawing again, to be making it my own. DeVeau: I’m going to have this framed. Do you think people will think I’m too self absorbed if I hang it on my wall? Bailey: I believe not. I have several drawings, like this one, of myself and my sisters hanging on the walls of my own quarters Sheila widened her smile. Alora certainly seemed to appreciate the talent she showed. Such appreciation lifted her spirits. DeVeau: I think I’m going to take this back to my cabin right now and package it up. I don’t want it to get damaged. Bailey: I’m glad you don’t. Best to keep it away from the waves. And if you frame it it’s less likely to smudge the graphite. ::Slight pause:: I’ve enjoyed your company. DeVeau: ::Smiling:: Thank you Sheila. I’ll see you later, but I’m glad to have this as a reminder of you. Sheila watched as Alora rose from her chair and turned to place a gentle hand upon her shoulder. After a slight pause the other woman moved off carefully taking the treasured drawing with her. Sheila watched her go, even considered waving as Alora disappeared out of sight, yet thought better of it. Once out of sight Sheila turned back to her art supplies, pulling out a fresh sheet of paper. Before long a graphite drawing was starting to form, one that was beginning to show two women standing side by side. By the time the drawing was finished it was clearly a composition showing Alora and Sheila, the water in the background, their arms around each other in a side hug, almost as if they were posing for the artist to be able to draw them. [End Scene] Lieutenant Sheila Bailey Chief Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239512BG0 "The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm." - Florence Nightingale
  13. One of our officers introduced a new character, and I really enjoyed getting to know him a little bit. I look forward to seeing what he does with Dune! IC: ((Verriar’s Tongo Palace, Starbase 118)) How out of place he must have looked: six feet and eight and a half inches of lank in uniform, clutching a tiny glass cup that seemed like a little fruit wrapped in branches in relation to his long, thin fingers. Large golden eyes stared intently down at the spinning tongo wheel about a foot in front of him, round which many gathered to hedge their bets. Dunamis was not a gambler. He never had been – except in chess where one would sometimes strategically gamble away their pieces in the hopes of victory. He didn’t like tongo. It was far too reliant on luck and chance and not enough on the skill of the player. But hey, maybe that was chess player him speaking, eh? Admittedly when the others had extended him invitation to meet at the commercial sector for a men’s night out he hadn’t expected to have to walk all the way down decks to this bar he found far too dark and far too… vicelike. He’d drank what he’d been recommended, of course, it was only polite – and been complimented by the many-armed hostess for it – which admittedly still didn’t sit well in his belly. No, really. And the aftertaste was far too chemical-like for his tastes. But hey, one sometimes made compromises for connections did they not? Dunamis: ::glancing upwards at Isaiah and rubbing his eyes:: Remind me how many rounds it has been, again? My vision has begun to swim. Andrews/Yael: ? Dunamis: Ah. I see. Not at all, actually. I think the wheel has spun so many times I’ve lost count. Andrews/Yael: ? Right then a waitress walked up to him. Waitress: What can I get you, tall, stoic and handsome? Dunamis: ::directed at the attending waitress:: One iced lemon tea, please? He watched her nod and walk off, following which golden eyes flickered over the little circle of drinks set before the group on the table. Most, if not all of them were alcoholic. The chemical-y scent stung at his sensitive nose. He’d never understood why the human idea of a ‘men’s night out’ was casual gambling, alcohol and/or bars or any other variant on the same. Was the idea of appearing at work hung over the following morning not enough to dissuade them? Not that he was going to complain, of course. Dunamis: How long have you both been patronizing this establishment? ::gratefully accepting the cup of tea he was given:: Andrews/Yael: ? Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra O239706DM0
  14. OOC: I was trying to figure out which quotes were my favourite and realised I just love this entire sim. Wyn is hilarious and cute. My favourite miniature Andorian doctor! IC: ((Virixis IV)) He was laying in a hammock. He liked hammocks. His dad had a hammock back in Pepperel, which he had expressly told Wyn to not ‘play around in’ and therefore it was exactly Wyn’s favorite thing to play around in. They were also tremendously comfy. He was sitting there, half drowsing, half awake, just enjoying the calm of the day and petting Triberius, because of course he could get a pet sitter for all of his tribbles, but this stupid little monster snuck into his bag. Besides, it was a strange little hybrid and he didn’t trust anyone else to tend it. So here the tribblecat was. He was purring contentedly in the sunlight, proof positive that he could be an angel at times as much as he could be a monster, like any good feline creature. Generally those times coincided with when he was asleep. He had pushed Wyn to a near sleep state, but Wyn’s ever empty stomach was keeping him awake. He should go get dinner, but he was comfortable here and Triberius was purring. It was a terrible conundrum… DeVeau: =/\=Wyn?=/\= He recognized the voice on the other end. Alora. And her tone was wavering, filled with pain. He shot up from his hammock as if jolted with electricity. Triberius protested loudly. Foster: =/\= Alora, what’s wrong? =/\= Immediate doctor mode engaged. He was on his feet and Triberius was being hauled back into to his very cushy habitat. Of course how could he have a habitat if he snuck into Wyn’s things? It might have been a planned sneaking. An allowed sneaking even. Not important right now if someone was in pain. His antennae curled forward listening for more clues. DeVeau: =/\=Can you come? Please?=/\= Foster: =/\= what’s wrong? =/\= Immediately searching for more information as he grabbed a medkit. Triberius made his dismay known by farting noxiously in Wyn’s direction before fluffing a new bed with a haughty huff. DeVeau: ::Swallowing.:: =/\=It’s...it’s classfied. Please...come?=/\= Oh no. Not that. That was the thing she contacted his Dad about. Crap. He started to gather his things, stuffed them in a bag and hustled. Foster: =/\= I’ll be right there. =/\= He located her from her commsignal and rushed out of his room, hair mussed, white button down and jeans – hardly decent doctor’s attire, but it would have to do. With any luck there would not be any blood, but whenever was he lucky? Out of the resort proper and into the pathways that led to the cabins. He was quick on his feet from too many nights of running to forget his nightmares. And running because he liked it. And running because it was good exercise. There were many reason to run. This was one of them. He wasn’t even out of breath when he came to the darkened, cabin. His antennae twitched. Popcorn. Popcorn? French fries? He almost was suspicious. Almost. He was trying oh so very hard to train himself to not be paranoid. He was not paranoid. He was a little paranoid. Still, he opened the door, medical bag slung across his shoulders and let his antennae do the sensing. Oh no, something was up. Foster: … Alora? He called out halfway between a fully innocent lamb that had totally and completely fallen for it and a paranoid grumpy twit who was starting to suspect something was up. The lights came on and he instinctively took a step back, shielding his eyes. But they were mercifully dim as they popped on but didn’t flare. Rue must have hinted at his light sensitivity. DeVeau: HAPPY BIRTHDAY WYN! Blackwell: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WYN! ::She said in time with Alora:: Yael: ? His jaw dropped and he just stopped, frozen for a moment as a deep shade of navy colored his cheeks. Was running away a viable option? No, idiot, it was not. This was a nice thing. An embarrassing nice thing. Was hiding a viable option? No, idiot, it was not. This was a nice thing. So maybe standing frozen was a viable option. Ok, that was a compromise, it would do until some words dribbled out. Foster: … thank you? ::No, don’t make it sound like a question, idiot.:: Thank you! ::That’s better. Next time don’t smile like your lips are being stretched, but you’re getting there.:: I didn’t expect… Now that was the honest truth. DeVeau: You don’t think we would forget, would you? Blackwell: He probably forgot himself ::And winked gently to the Andorian:: But Happy Birthday Wyn Yael: ? He was recovering now and he had adopted that roguish, somewhat jaded, kinda charming mask. It was a comfortable persona, it worked for him. Foster: Gotta admit, Rue, it’s easy to forget your own birthday when you Dad threw a dart at a calendar and said ‘yep that’s the day we’re celebrating’ because no one kept records on a primitive iceball… This was true. His eyes adjusted and he dared a step in. Rue waved her hands as if she was a game show hostess and revealed a table full of… Food. Ok, food. He was coming to terms with this. This was a nice surprise party for him, which had certainly surprised him, he was totally embarrassed but also very hungry and these were friends, so he couldn’t be mad (well, maybe just a little mad) and he had to remind himself to be happy and Shut up and eat, Wyn. Everything will be happier and less maddening if you eat. His stomach growled an agreement. Blackwell: We have sweets, fruit, healthy treats, not so healthy treats...and of course drinks. Just a quiet night, with friends. Foster: Ok, I like that. ::he said in a soft voice, almost like a child.:: Yael/DeVeau: ? Foster: Of course I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. Well, maybe not always, but most times. With an overactive metabolism, it wasn’t hard to devour three meals per day and still be seeking snacks. And he was past supper. Oh yes, he was hungry. Foster: ::Looking to Rue as he neared the snack table.:: You did this for me? Blackwell::She walked up and was the first to offer a friendly hand towards Wyn, putting an arm around his shoulder, and smiled reassuringly:: Yup - we did this...for you. He leaned into the touch and took in a long deep breath. Foster: Thank you. This time with 110 percent fewer weird smiles. Improvement! Yael/DeVeau: ? Blackwell: Well first….why don’t we have some drinks ::a quick waggle of brows:: and enjoy ourselves! Foster: I can get down with that. ::He nodded stuffing a slice of apple in his mouth.:: Yael/DeVeau/Blackwell: ? Foster: No, I ran here! Triberius was quite cross. ::He shook his head:: He was keeping me hostage in the hammock. Yael/DeVeau/Blackwell: ? Foster: Of course I brought him. I left the tribbles back home… But he comes everywhere. He’s special… like a rash, you know. I can’t get rid of him. Yael/DeVeau/Blackwell: ? More food was grabbed and munched while the others were talking. Foster: I mean as long as we don’t play pin the tail on the birthday kid, I’m pretty OK with whatever. Maybe one of those terrible movies Rue loves? Yael/DeVeau/Blackwell: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Surgeon StarBase 118 Ops
  15. OOC: This JP between @Prudence "Rue" Blackwell and @Ashley Yael gives us more of Jafarr and his craziness, not to mention some very realistic reactions on the part of those he's accosting. Just loving this! ((Starbase 118 Ops - Sickbay)) PRIORITY MESSAGE: MANDATORY LEAVE To: StarBase 118 Ops Senior Staff From: Commodore Sal Taybrim As we return to StarBase 118, I want to let you all know that we are celebrating a most successful mission. Thank you all for your tremendous work. We have not only strengthened our alliance with the Klingon Empire but done an incredible service to all our neighbors which will help ensure peaceful relations moving forward. This news has reached the Federation newslines. Starfleet Intel has confirmed that StarBase 118 will very soon be crawling with FNS reporters, all looking for a scoop. To this end Admiral Hauke and I both believe that the crew that worked so hard to bring this change about does not need the added stress of being hounded by often hostile new personalities. We will dock at StarBase 118 at 0100 base time and you will have four hours to gather everything you need for a two week vacation and report back to the Narendra. We will be quietly staying at an all-inclusive private resort reserved for situations just like this. I have messaged officers involved in this ongoing mission who stayed on StarBase 118 to join us on the Narendra when we dock. This vacation is meant to be relaxing in the utmost while Starfleet Diplomatic Corps takes the heat from the media buzz. If you have any questions, please let me know. ~Commodore Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer, StarBase 118 ~~~~~~~~ Rue had taken time to change into something far more comfortable - a pair of black slacks and a light sweater. Along the way back, she got a message regarding their orders for shore leave, and read them along the way. As she got into the room, she smiled faintly to Yael. Blackwell: Looks like we have our orders for rest and relaxation ::Noting that he was reading the same orders she’d just reviewed:: Yael: Well… that does sound *nice.* ::meaning the message as he finished reading the order that Sheila had mentioned:: We should get our things and high tail it to the Narendra. He slid his feet to the floor and then paused, glancing down at himself. His symptoms were slightly less obtrusive now, but he wasn’t going anywhere fast, especially barefoot and in sickbay patient PJ’s. Rue watched and chuckled faintly as he looked at his current clothing. Yael: I should definitely change first. Blackwell: Very likely. ::And she turned, giving him a bit of privacy. Meanwhile, she was considering what she needed to bring, making a mental list. She was looking forward to a vacation herself. A breather. Time to think through the last few weeks, and perhaps actually just consider a few side projects.:: He was still a bit unsteady, but moved to pull the privacy partition back so he could dress. He had a fresh uniform folded on the table next to him… politely provided in preparation for his departure. He pulled off the medical pajama top, noting he was almost completely free of bruising, save some lightly remaining discolorations where it must have been the worst… he *knew* he’d been thrown around quite badly… and he tried not to think too deeply about how much attention he’d required while unconscious. It was his *head* he was concerned about most as he pulled on his uniform and closed the collar, securing what dignity he had left. He was still a bit dizzy, colors seemed almost obnoxiously bright, and there was a dull, endless ache behind his eyes. He really could use that vacation. As he came back around, she turned and smiled a bit Yael: Got to get my sea legs back. ::beat:: I just need to grab my personal computer from my quarters. Did you need to stop by yours? Blackwell: No, I’m all right. I’ll just come along with you. Everything I need I’ll either buy, replicate, or have shipped.::She smiled and moved to the door to open it for them, a soft swoosh sound as she touched the panel, stepping out from sickbay with Ashley:: The walk was pleasant, if slow, as they walked. She kept her pace nice and easy, and off and on paused to tap at her PADD to have something sent to her quarters on the Nandrendra. She paused as she heard some sort of brujahjah ahead of them, lifting her eyes as she viewed the scene. The pair walked as a somewhat slow pace… the Denobulan hybrid was none too quick at the moment, though he was getting steadier on his feet as he moved a bit more… he had his computer and a couple small things in the smallest of travel satchels slung over his chest diagonally. They were making their way down the corridor when there was a bit of a commotion behind them past the intersection. Ashley turned, about to ask what the fuss was about, when a quartet of persons in a coordinated group appeared at the interchange. A Trill, a Human, a Bajoran, and a Bolian, all equipped with rather professional looking gear that included headphones and microphone headsets. Their eyes landed on Ashley and Rue, and he felt something of a pit growing in his stomach as the group *rushed* down the hallway toward them. He almost tried to move toward the wall slightly, because he thought they would rush *past* them. Nope. The quartet of slightly winded journalists stopped and hovered far too close to the pair, essentially trapping them on the wall of the corridor. The Bolian spoke first, and *fast,* clearly the ring leader to this dog and pony show. He weaseled next to Ashley, tucking in close… *too* close, making the Denobulan flinch at the proximity. The reporters reminded Rue intensely of a group of carrion eaters, swooping down on a desiccated corpse on the side of the road. She grabbed Ashley’s shoulders, steadying him and attempting to protect him, pushing herself between Jafarr and the Denobulan hybrid. Jafarr: ::looking into the camera carried by the Trill:: This is Jafarr Symote, and I’m with Lieutenants Blackwell and Yael of Starbase One-Eighteen! ::he turned and dark blue-black eyes zeroed in on Rue:: Ladies first, am I right? So, what part did you play in this whole Klingon cult business? Nasty stuff, the Cult of Molar. Blackwell: My role was transport, communications and intervention - we simply were doing what was needed for the good of the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the safety of all. ::It was practiced, succinct and exact:: Jafarr: ::hardly letting her finish:: Did you see any hand-to-hand combat? Get any kills? Bring home a bat’leth? Blackwell: Thank you, no more questions ::She tried to move past once more, unsuccessfully:: Jafarr: ::almost interrupting again:: That’s a new hair style, it’s very bold. It’s a Power Cut, if I do say so myself, and I *do* say so. New relationship, new look, amIright? She wanted to take a breath but she put on a well practiced smile on her face, aware of the cameras on her The Bolian gave Yael a strangely knowledgeable look and nudged the weirded out Denobulan in the ribcage with his elbow, making him flinch slightly yet again at the undesirable contact. The Bolian promptly forgot about Rue in a singular moment and his eyes zeroed in on Ashley, who likely looked like a trapped cat. It was remarkable that she kept the smile on her face, as when he elbowed Ashley, she had the distinct want to show him how good at hand to hand she really was. Jafarr: So, tell our viewers what a *counselor* and a *pacifist* is doing leading a secret Strike Team behind enemy lines? You’re kind of *small* to be leading Marines into combat, aren’t you? Ashley was too surprised at the bold and very knowledgeable question to respond properly in the short second the Bolian stopped talking. Jafarr: You were injured. Struck by Klingon pain sticks, OUCH, am I right? They didn’t stick you anywhere *sensitive* did they? ::beat:: Is it true you rode thirteen wild targ down the corridor of the Klingon High Council? As Rue attempted to carefully and gracefully separate Yael and the reporter, she caught the questions and wondered what form of chemical fumes he had inhaled before coming to entrap them. Yael: ::finally finding his shocked voice:: What? No! Jafarr: No, hmm? Shame, that. Missed opportunity you’ll regret. ::barely pausing between sentences:: Do you think it’s a good idea for Star Fleet to be sending unprepared non-combatants into combat operations? Yael: I’ve- Jafarr: ::interrupting again:: Especially someone with a history of psychological instability and substance abuse issues? How *do* you get such rave reviews from your crewmates when you can’t even control your *own* addictions? She narrowed her eyes at that. She couldn’t help it, she was getting impatient, angry and most of all, protective. If Ashley wasn’t shocked into silence he would have bristled at the incredibly hostile question. His embarrassment was written in his expression, but before he could speak the Bolian turned to Rue again at warp speed. He had seemed to note her shift in mood and intended to capitalize on her for the cameras. Jafarr: Lieutenant Blackwell, what’s the nature of your relationship with Lieutenant Yael? You’re gorgeous. ::turning to Yael shortly:: Isn’t she gorgeous? ::turning back to Rue again:: With his eyes and ridges, and your *WHISTLES* ::he motioned crudely to ALL of her::, your illegitimate, unmarried love babies will be *beautiful,* amIRIGHT? Blackwell: Yael - do not respond ::She said, her voice was impeccably calm despite the heat rising in her veins. She looked to Jafarr quietly:: Yael: ::flustered, trying to formulate something intelligent:: This is *incredibly* inappro- Jafarr: The ladies in the audience want to know, Lieutenant Yael, do the ridges go ALL the way down? The protest inside him was frozen, and Ashley stiffened visibly, flushing hard as he glanced at the camera. Good gods, this wasn’t *live*, was it?! Blackwell: :She stepped forward:: Mr….Symote was it? ::She gently pushed Yael behind her:: I understand you are all - very- eager for a story, and I know that you have a lot of questions ::And directly to the camera:: Which is reasonable as citizens do need to know what is being done to protect the galaxy, uphold the values of the Federation, and of course, keep people safe :And she smiled:: however, I happen to recall Mr. Symote that your specialty in reporting is more…..::She paused:: Jafarr: ::butting in again with a feisty smile:: You’re right! I get the meat! I tell people what they want to know. ::his smile turned slightly:: Seems you’re the *man* of the pair. So *protective*. How admirable! He was baiting her again, that smile ever on his face. Blackwell::She raised both brows to that:: Are you always so ….::she considered:: quaintly antiquated, Mr. Symote? ::She looked amused now, and looked brightly to the reporter:: Jafarr: Oh, I married my yoga instructor. Then divorced her three months later, HA! ::he didn’t seem torn up over the loss:: She wasn’t nearly as modern as you. Blackwell: Oh, I’m not modern. I’m practical, when I need to be ::She shook her head and looked to the reporter:: So if you are really curious into what is the meat of the situation, why don’t you ask about …::And then she was caught off guard:: Jafarr: So this isn’t the first individual you’ve dated with ::And he said with a mock low whisper:: Difficult emotional situation. How about your ex-fiance…. Blackwell::And then it was her turn to cut him off:: Please Mr. Symote - that’s very old news. ::She shook her head:: If that is the best you have… Jafarr::And then he gave a devious grin, and leaned into the woman, practically looming over her:: And what about the investigation into the Salters? Now it was her turn to be caught entirely off guard. Rue’s face stayed perfectly calm, but her eyes were brighter, as nerves and anger started to make her heart beat far too rapidly. Jafarr:: It’s all so -intriguing and interesting- ::The Reporter pressed, smelling blood now:: Scientists who developed cutting edge technology, known for their brilliance, innovative focus, tragically killed in a seemingly mindless accident. What would have prompted you to get curious about that? ::He pressed the microphone closer to her mouth, and she felt herself lean back against Ashley:: The Denobulan hybrid had cringed at every touch, but now felt something sterner growing inside him as Rue leaned back into him. They needed to *end* this encounter. His shock at the verbal assault had worn off, even if just slightly, and he boldly reached to grasp her wrist tightly… and with as hard a shove as he dared, he shoved his way past the Bolian and the team members with Rue at a brisk jog. Jafarr: Hey! Lieutenants! *Lieutenants!!* Ashley kept up the speedy pace until they hit a turbolift and the doors slid shut behind them, at which point he finally released Rue’s wrist and pressed himself against the turbolifts wall, looking somewhat panicked, and a bit shocked at his own behavior. Amethyst eyes looked downward at nothing for a moment, then flicked up at her. He also gripped his hand where he’d held her, holding his own hand as if it had offended him somehow. The feeling of crawling beneath his skin was starting, but it was a short contact… he could manage it. But the sudden activity had sent his head spinning a bit, and he wasn’t very steady for a moment. Rue was almost numb to sensation as she was pulled, trying to work out precisely where those questions had come from, how he could have known to ask, and mostly, what it meant. When she was tugged, it was easy - Yael went and so did she, lead like a cut right into the turbolift. As Yael released her, she moved against the wall and breathed hard, and slapped her hand against the panel to close the door. Yael: Sorry for grabbing you. That wasn’t an interview… it was an *assault.* Blackwell: ::her voice wavering a bit:: He was rather….rabid wasn’t he? ::She cleared her throat and straightened, and furrowed her brow:: ...Are you all right? He didn’t hurt you did he? Yael: ::laughing lightly, but it was forced:: Just my pride. You? Blackwell: No, it’s...nothing ::She shook her head and folded her arms:: We should get you looked at though - just to make sure ::Quickly focusing the conversation on him:: When we get on the ship, lets call Wyn. Yael: I’m okay. Really. He released his hand, grasping the fingers into a fist a couple times before forcing himself to let it hang normally, despite the creeping feeling sliding into his wrist. He *could* control it. He *would.* Blackwell:...Okay, I just want to make sure you are okay - that ….::her fist clenched:: that reporter ….I wish I could have slugged him. Yael: You know, the same thought crossed my mind. But that would have made *great* material for his viewers… I can see the headline now… “popular shock jock punched by pacifist.” Blackwell:An exhale:: No, that would not have helped anything - made things worse really. Yael: Ah… reorienting, and realizing they hadn’t given the turbolift a command:: Take us to the deck where the Narendra is docked. The computer calculated the command and the lights began to slide past as they were taken to the proper deck. The turbolift doors opened, and thankfully there were no journalists waiting to maul them in the corridor. Yael: ::moving into the corridor:: How did he even *know* all that… There were numerous things the Bolian had said that he shouldn’t have known about. Not just information about the mission to Qo’nos, but *private* information… *medical* information. Blackwell: I really don’t know either …..:::she frowned:: But I will find out. Yael: Maybe we should report the encounter to security. There’s no way he could legitimately have known all that… The Denobulan hybrid fell somewhat silent as they walked. He was *not* going to ask what the “Salters” investigation was about… Rue had had a palpable reaction to that statement. But he also felt a bit awkward, and embarrassed… he’d had several things exposed in rapid fire that he’d have preferred *hadn’t* been. Blackwell:::While he was awkward, she was angry...but she was focused on keeping that anger controlled, and held from the sensitive denobulan:: So...lets think through this. How could he have logically gotten information like that. Yael: That would require his source to have access to the information. Someone with a high security clearance. ::pausing, then more quietly:: Who would *do* that? Anyone in Starfleet should know better… unless he offered them a bribe they couldn’t refuse? Blackwell: Bribe….or something else ::She glanced to him:: Yael: Or he could have something on them, and in order to keep their own secrets on the down low, they feed him private information about others… not much better that way though. Blackwell: Then there’s a mole. ::She exhaled slowly, and put her hand up, pressing the heel of her hand against her temple to ease the ache:: Well, we are not going to fix it right now. We escape on shore leave, report the incident...and hope to relax somehow. Yael: True… ::not liking the lack of certainty:: What do we do now, then? Blackwell: Only thing I can think of...right now….::She then exhaled and quipped:: Besides you know, taking a ship and disappearing to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Yael: Right. ::smiling lightly:: We probably shouldn’t hunt him down and steal all his equipment. Blackwell::A slight smile:: I suppose not. The pair made their way the rest of the way to the Narendra, boarding with plenty of time for take-off. ~*~ Jafarr Symote Propaganda Artist & Journalist Written by Ashley Yael C238211TZ0 Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0 Lt. Prudence Blackwell Comms/Ops Starbase 118 G239308PB0
  16. OOC: @Ashley Yael introduced this phenomenal sensationalist journalist and it's just priceless. ((Starbase 118 – Marine Headquarters – Corridor 7A)) Jafarr: ::perpetually interrupting:: Have you ever fantasized about *eating* your crewmates, Major? You’ve got the *chompers* for it! Do we need to be worried? Kelemkor didn't knock that instinct loose while he was in there, did he? The Bolian was trying to get a reaction, and he got one for sure. Tatash: Erect a security forcefield around this deck section immediately. The cameras kept rolling as the field came up, securing the area around them, and the Trill with the camera spun it to get it on film. Jafarr: Ooooh, big man with a forcefield. ::taunting:: What’s the matter, Major? Too big and slow to chase us? Tatash: =/\= Tatash to Andrews, I need a security team to Corridor 7A urgently in Marine HQ. I have a group here I need taken to the brig for immediate investigation. Andrews: =/\= Affirmative, Major, team is enroute immediately. =/\= Jafarr: You can’t stop the free press, Major. Journalists have rights! Tatash kept the line open as he looked at Jafarr. Tatash: =/\= You are under arrest for suspected espionage and the distribution of classified information, you are also under arrest for trespassing in a secure military facility. Your camera equipment will be confiscated, immediately. Jafarr: You don’t want to do that. Tatash: Should have checked who run the joint before wandering into a Marine base. Jafarr: You don’t seem to realize that- Tatash leant in, letting out a low rumbling growl. Tatash: Please, I beg you, resist arrest. Nothing would make me happier. Now, the Security Officers, myself and the head of Intelligence are going to have a nice long chat about just how you came by all that information. The Gorn leaning over him and growling that out actually stopped the paparazzi from speaking for a short moment, which was a miraculous feat in and of itself. Jafarr: ::stuttering slightly, searching for the right trigger:: That would be an abuse of power!! And… aren’t you supposed to be on leave? Tatash grinned as the Bolian squirmed. Tatash: My friend, this -is- my idea of shore leave. The shimmering of blue lights filled the room, as figures began to materialize. Isaiah and two other security personnel, a man and a woman, arrived and quickly stepped forward to accost Jafarr and his team. Iz directed the other two towards the camera crew while he addressed the blue-skinned Bolian. Andrews: Jafarr Symote, you and your team are subsequently under arrest for trespassing a secure facility. In addition, you are subject to questioning and investigation for possible espionage. I am going to have to ask you to come with us. Jafarr: ::finding his voice now that security was there between him and the Gorn:: Those charges are ridiculous! They’ll never stick. ::turning to his team:: Don’t worry, they’re bluffing. ::back to the security detail:: Trumped up charges meant to scare the free press out of doing our job! Tatash: ? Andrews: We have to follow procedures Mr. Symote. There's a reason that these areas are restricted. If you're innocent of espionage as you claim, we'll find out soon enough. Meanwhile Wilgun and Royden were relieving the crew of equipment. Wilgus: Please hand over any and all recording equipment, including portable and hidden units. Royden waved a scanner at the Trill, and it emitted a chirp. Royden: Portable and concealed units as well. Jafarr: I’ll have you know, there is an automatic uplink for all our footage! Even if you destroy our equipment, it won’t matter! We’ll still get to the truth! ::stammering as his team handed the items over:: But you better not break anything! This is expensive gear! I’ll *sue* you if there’s so much as a scratch! ::turning back to his team:: My lawyer’s on speed-comm, don’t worry. Tatash: ? Andrews: Your objections are noted and recorded and will be part of the report. As of right now, though, you and your team will be detained immediately, end of story. ::He looked to Major Tatash:: Sorry about the trouble, Major. ::Tapping his comm:: =/\= Requesting transport to minimum security detainment facilities =/\= Tatash: ? Isaiah gave a nod and a thumbs up to Major Tatash as he, the other security officers, and the trespassers were engulfed in the transport beam. (( Starbase 118 Ops - Detainment Area )) Isaiah gave his most professional smile to Jafarr Symote through the bars of the cell that the Bolian and his team had been confined to. Andrews: Just so you are perfectly clear, you are being detained for trespassing in restricted areas. In addition, you will be subject to questioning for suspected espionage as a matter of precaution. Jafarr: ::clearly annoyed at being imprisoned:: I don’t have to answer your questions! My sources have the right to anonymity! Where is my equipment?! Iz had to keep from smirking. Served the guy right. It wasn't like Jafarr didn't know exactly what he'd been doing, harassing a Starfleet officer for gossip rag stuff. Andrews: All of your equipment is currently secured in our holding facility, and you will be able to obtain it upon your release, provided you are cleared of more serious charges. Jafarr: I have the right to comm my lawyer. Andrews: Yes, of course you will be permitted access to your legal team. And if you have an official complaint you'd like to lodge, we will of course provide you a channel for this. Jafarr: I’ll sue you for this! This is false imprisonment! The silencing of the press is the mark of a dictatorship! Andrews: Duly noted, Mr. Symote. In the meantime, please enjoy your stay in our facilities. Iz departed, leaving Jafarr and his crew to simmer with shared concern and frustration over their arrest. The reality was, Jafarr had been through this before several times, and was almost sure he’d be released soon. The only charge that had ever stuck to him before was trespassing, and that was such a minor offense it almost never meant a consequence. He’d be free again, and he’d find a new target! He needed more material for his show, after all. The Gorn getting aggressive was intimidating, but it would make great television! Jafarr: ::musing to himself:: Maybe I should have goaded him more. Out-of-control Gorn attack! Now *that* would have been a headline. ~*~ Jafarr Symote Propaganda Artist & Journalist Written by Ashley Yael C238211TZ0
  17. I thought this was a wonderfully written fight scene and I love the tidbits of Tatash we see in here. There is a warning below, however. Still, a great fight scene, even if it's quite violent. ((OOC: Putting a strong Content Warning: Violence on this. It is quite bloody. Also sorry for the confusion earlier I posted an unfinished article whoops)) ((The Waiting Room)) Crunch. That was the sensation Tatash felt as he was thrown back against the wall by the almost impossibly sized Klingon. Whatever it was that just snapped in his back would have to wait as he forced himself to stand back on his feet, looking at the lumbering giant across from him. He was monstrous even for the renowned strength of a Klingon in their prime, his muscles bulging under his leather jerkin so much that Tatash could identify just about every muscle group. Tatash: Impressive. Whatever this lumbering hulk was, he had Tatash locked with his full attention. Good, the brawl with Kelemkor at least would have two against one, even if one of them was now spinning a painstick around like the galaxy's most awful marching band leader. Athaw: You shall not pass. Tatash: Then I’ll go through you. A brief moment passed between them as they sized up the distance between them and just how hard the opening volley would need to be, the last moment of calm before the beast came charging towards him with a bloodcurdling warrior cry. Something stirred in the Gorn as he did, letting his own roaring shriek out before charging forward to meet his powerful aggressor. It was an even match, probably the first even match he’d ever really experienced. It was exhilarating, pain being pushed aside by sheer bloodlust as for once the Gorn allowed himself the luxury of indulging something that he had been keeping buried deep inside for years. The spirit of a warrior clashing with the beast that he was finally allowing after so long to push through to the surface. Athaw barely responded to the blows the Gorn was dishing out, those standard punches that were the product of years of fighting lesser opponents and they were doing nothing to stop the massive pile of flesh as the Gorn found himself pressed back against a wall and smacked hard in his rib cage. Something gave way leaving a sharpness in his chest adding the sensation that breathing was starting to get a little more difficult, more laboured with each half inflation of a damaged lung. But wounds were something that occurred when the adrenaline faded, when he was allowed and permitted to feel pain. They were something to be doted over in a sickbay or hospital bed, they were not for the here and now in life and death. He grappled back, that thin veneer that was civilised behaviour starting to crack as Tatash relearned through pain what he was at his base level. What lurked under the training like a vile shape under a churning sea, the well drilled protocols, the rules of engagement one by one were falling apart as it was made clear this was an encounter that could have one definite ending. -I- will win. Tatash thought, rage bubbling up inside him, stacking like precarious mental bricks on top of each other building a terrible wall of force. -I- am Gorn. He lunged himself forward and clenched his jaw around Athaw’s shoulder and bit down, the full force of those terrible predatory teeth bearing down and pushing through the fabric and into the flesh beyond. Warmth flooded his mouth, metallic, running out over his chin. Athaw: ? Another series of punches came at him, but he was lost to himself, each one registering as a dull thud no doubt battering him but shrouded behind the insanity of brutal gratuitous combat, only letting go of Athaw to let out another fearsome roar, a shrieking hissing sound from a wide open mouth with stained teeth dripping crimson. He circled around him, waiting for Athaw to make another dash towards him. Athaw: ? And dash he did, the sheer force of the boot shoving against his chest sent the Gorn reeling backwards against a row of cabinets, Klingon documents spilling out like confetti as he impacted them sending their carefully catalogued shelves flying out across the room. His uniform tore, revealing the scarred scales underneath as it caught on the corners that were digging hard into him. Tatash: You’ll… never… win Tatash lunged forward again, propelling himself forward with his hand open, fingers curled up as he swiped down with his claws fully exposed, those talons ready to take the Klingon’s sight as he aimed to rend those sockets clean. Athaw: ? That terrible warmth of an inflicted wound washed over the Gorns hand, Athaw’s hand coming up out of reflex to cover his face as the dark talons carried out their grisly task, the base instinct to protect vision was a powerful one in any lifeform with eyes, that rarely could be overcome. But still the Klingon stood, swinging his mighty fist blindly towards the Gorn and connecting hard with his snout, the sound of something hitting the ground as he managed to shatter a couple of the Gorns terrible teeth, the remains of them clattering onto the ground. Tatash: Why… won’t… you… stop Each of those words was delivered with another swing of his own tensed mechanical fist, the artificial limb whining, before suddenly stopping as Athaw gripped it in his hand. Tatash pushed, the Klingon pushed back causing the appendage to start whining under the duress. No matter how hard Tatash struggled against it, the fist would not budge, before finally with a dull cracking sound the servomotors failed and his limb decoupled itself with a spectacular spray of sparks, hanging limply by the Gorns side. Athaw: ? The sheer predatory feeling to finish the task bubbled up without any particular thought. It was a primal, surging need. A need to survive regardless of the cost. A need to survive and protect the data that was hidden in that smoking, ruined arm. Turning his long snout to the side Tatash heaved himself forward and wrapped his jaw firmly around the Klingon’s neck, sinking his teeth into that delicate, unprotected flesh, gripping firmly, before wrenching his head back with a sickening tearing sound. The confusion on Athaw’s stained face was obvious as Tatash discarded the contents of his mouth onto the ground, the gurgling strained sound coming from his opponent echoed as he staggered backwards blinded and dazed, before slipping on his own essence that was pooling on the floor under him in a rapidly growing circle, collapsing backwards. No more roars, no more triumphant cries or bold strikes. Clutching his throat desperately to stem the flow of blood the Klingon was down but at least alive. Whether he would remain that way would depend on how quickly the other battle in the room could be resolved, whether or not Kelemkor would see reason, or continue this reckless course. He turned his gaze towards the other group, fixing his grisly visage upon Kelemkor with his pain stick. He didn’t move towards them, just outstretched his arms with his clawed fingers spread and opened his mouth once towards the telepath, hissing loudly. He wanted Kelemkor to peer into his head, he yearned for it, he -wanted- him to experience every emotion running through him. The rage, the anger, the primordial satisfaction of his ancestors from downing such a powerful beast. The pride, the sheer and point blank savagery. Because then Kelemkor would know he would be next. Kelemkor/Taybrim/DeVeau: ? --- Major Tatash Marine Intelligence (Charlie Company) Starbase 118 Ops C239108T10
  18. This entire thing just made me laugh. ((IKS Yan – Unlisted Shuttebay 14)) A secret shuttlebay. A janky old B’Rel class warbird. Wearing his old, comfortable drifter clothing with his trusty Cardassian disruptor pistol in his boot. Could this mission get any better? Well yes, they could succeed, live, have a party filled with every type of egg dish imaginable and then all get to sit in hot tubs. Separate hot tubs, probably, at least for Zel’s latinum. The commline shrilled and he peeked his head out from underneath the helm console where he was hard at work with a laser welder, determined to get this thing performing to some degree of accuracy. It wasn’t quite ‘turn on a dime’ but at least it was no longer ‘turn on a half a planetoid.’ McLaren: =/\= McLaren to Zel. Get the ship ready to leave... you’ve got 5 minutes. =/\= Zel: =/\= I’ll have it ready for you in four. =/\= ::He stated with the utmost confidence:: =/\= What’s going on? =/\= McLaren: =/\= I’m on my way to the bridge now, I'll explain when I get there. =/\= Zel: =/\= Right on. =/\= Ok, time to finish up his work and get things heated up. The good thing was this was a simple system and it booted up far faster than a federation vessel of the same age. It also had far less finesse and relied mostly on the skill of the driver to prevent the thing from flying into a sun or crashing into a StarBase. Fortunately Zel liked to think of himself as a very good driver. Pulling himself out from under the helm console he saw his team gather at the cramped bridge area. Zel dusted himself off, looking every inch of a scrappy drifter. Looking every inch of who he was seven years ago. But a bit more well fed and a bit less broken down. Starfleet medical was a magical thing once he had stopped being utterly paranoid about doctors trying to kill him. McLaren: We're launching as soon as Tony and his team are aboard. Zel: Right on. Hey, on the bright side I got the computer banks working with Rue’s translation program, so Merry Birthoween, you can now read your consoles and panels in Federation Common! That was a legit holiday, right? Zel didn’t celebrate holidays. He just had a drink every time he didn’t die and that was celebration enough. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? McLaren: The Cult is pushing the tempo... and they have Max too. Zel: That doesn’t sound good. Master of understatement, Zel Rohan was. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? McLaren: I would have like another couple of hours, to be honest... but we dont have that luxury anymore. We'll have to finish everything else as we're in route. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana: ? Zel: I assuming we’re going to cloak as soon as we clear the Base’s shield array? That might have been the only thing that was fully working on the ship when it arrived. A bunch of things still weren’t working so hot. Not the least of which was the air circulation system, which made the dim, cramped bridge smell keenly of Klingon farts and fermented fish. Weapons targeting was still calibrating, though they should be able to finish that well before they reached Klingon space. And they had a shipment of emergency rations because the replicators were at best sketchy and at worst a surefire way to a week long stay in sickbay. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana/McLaren: ? Zel: And we should practice who we all are on this mission. I mean cover persona. Zel assumed he could still go as himself. But if Sol directed against it, he had a backup plan. Blackwell/Yael/Parvana/McLaren: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ pNPC Lieutenant JG Zel Rohan Helm officer StarBase 118 Ops
  19. ((Bajoran Temple Gardens - Starbase 118 Ops)) ((Day Two - Bajoran Gratitude Festival)) Ashley was feeling better since being treated for the love poisoning at the Gratitude Festivals first day. He’d slept well, a solid three hours that night, and felt *great* actually. Probably due to his long pseudo-hibernation nap the day before. He was definitely well rested. Things were still bustling on the second day of the festival, and it didn’t appear the energy would ebb off for a long while yet. Plenty of people were drinking, but no one was out of control or problematic, despite the flowing drinks. The memory of yesterdays event didn’t seem to diminish the celebration. That was one thing he really liked about Bajoran culture. It was resilient in the face of just about anything. The Denobulan hybrid smiled almost longingly at the celebrating drinkers. He *used* to drink. It was the only time he’d been able to let his guard down, and really be a *person* past all the self-imposed limitations and restrictions he used to live beneath. The recent poisoning had been much like being drunk, in a way… and had reminded him of how it felt. A little out of control. A little free. A bit *exciting.* Things were different now though. He was so much more a real person than the shadow he’d been. At least… he was trying his best. What he *wasn’t* trying to be anymore was perfect. He was more able to accept his faults, his failures, his very Human and Denobulan issues, while also not dwelling on them. Facing them was unpleasant, at times… but not facing them had nearly broken him. Drinking had eventually become a vehicle for his self destruction, so it had been cut out. He’d gone to rehab on Earth and hadn’t touched a drop in over two years… every time he walked into Verriar’s bar and walked out sober, it was a small victory for him. It was part of the reason he sought her establishment out. To be surrounded by it and not partake, it gave him a sense of strength he used to have to fake. Lately though, he no longer felt the confidence was fake. And that was more freeing than anything he could imbibe. Stepping up to one of the flaming braziers, he lifted his Renewal Scroll to the rim and let it fall into the cup. He’d had it in his jacket pocket the day before, and it had been forgotten after the excitement. Now it was a little crumpled, but still good. He intended to complete the Bajoran ritual. The flame turned a light blue for a moment as the parchment was incinerated in the small, steady flame. Turning from the brazier, he stepped away from it with the intention of enjoying the evening further… but stopped dead in his tracks. Not ten paces away stood an older Denobulan, dressed in traditionally conservative cut tan clothing, with piercing dark purple eyes. There was more girth and weight to his frame, with about five inches height on him as well. However, the strikingly similar features were clear. Yael: Father…?! Ashley didn’t manage to avoid sounding surprised. His stomach clenched… they were surrounded by celebrating people and noise and chatter, and it all drowned out to the sudden pounding of his heart in his own ears. His mind began to race with the “why” of it. It had been over TEN YEARS since they’d last spoke. Why was he here *now*?! Phax: Deneve. Ashley’s initial reaction dulled as he blanched out his expression and set cautious eyes on the older Denobulan. He tried to drown out any expression on his face that couldn’t be called neutral. Yael: I go by Ashley. Phax: Yes, I know. Your *Human* name. There was a silent pause that was pregnant with disapproval. Ashley didn’t move. Barely breathed. His father had turned against liking Humans since his wife… Ashley’s mother… had left him when their son was only seven years old. The older Denobulans disposition had never improved since… the memory of him praying for the school year on Denobula to end so he could travel back to Earth hit him with force and crystal clarity. Yael: What brings you to Starbase 118? Phax: There’s a medical conference on Rigel Four. I’ll be presenting to the neurologists present. This starbase is on the way, and the transport stopped for the Festival. ::pausing:: The computer told me where to find you. Ashley forced himself to smile pleasantly, but wasn’t sure he pulled it off. Yael: I see. You’re looking well. Phax: You’ve gained weight. It was said in a way that one could never decipher if it was a compliment or a critique. Ashley *had* gained a few pounds in the past years, after getting healthier. He was no longer painfully thin, and was typically happy about that. Now… he tried not to let his posture shrink. He kept his shoulders up and back, somehow. Yael: I’ve taken to exercising regularly. Phax: And you’ve taken to wearing *those*. Clear and dripping disapproval as his father motioned to the electro-stabilizing braces on his wrists and hands. He suddenly felt *sharply* self-conscious about them. He wished he had worn jacket from the day before… instead, he’d left it behind in his quarters and gone with the simple gunmetal grey turtleneck and black pants, with nice boots. He’d even pushed his sleeves up his forearms… he’d barely thought twice anymore about showing off the braces. He’d grown less shy of others seeing them after his friends had had roundly positive reactions to them. Now, he had to stop his instinct wanting to pull his sleeves back down… he didn’t want to seem reactionary… but he wasn’t wearing nearly enough armor for this sudden encounter. Yael: I find them to be quite useful. Phax: It would be less *embarrassing* for you if you had the bilateral brain surgery to suppress your symptoms. Yael: That surgery only has a 39% success rate, and can cause deficiencies that are worse than any of my current symptoms. Dark violet eyes set on him… they hardly changed at all, but Ashley internally cringed. He had to stop himself stepping back instinctively as he *felt* the threat in them. His father moved now, taking several steps closer until he was standing nearly at his side… and he had to swallow an irrational amount of fear as the man stepped closer. Phax looked past him and into the flaming brazier he’d just slid his Renewal Scroll into. Ashley didn’t move, setting his eyes in the distance, now looking past him into the crowd. There was a long pause as Phax surveyed the crowd silently, and Ashley stayed silent. Phax: How is your mother doing these days? Has she remarried? In his mind he scrambled for an honest answer that wouldn't betray his mothers privacy to the man she had cut out of her life. He called on the diplomacy he'd learned in years past to mediate an appropriately vague response that wouldn't inspire his fathers less charming side. Yael: She's quite happy, and has said she hopes you are as well. Phax: Mmm. ::he nodded as if this answer was relatively acceptable, then...:: Shouldn’t you be doing something more *important* with your time? Yael: My crew is enjoying leave at the moment. The Gratitude Festival is highly valued by our Bajoran crew. Phax: It looks like an excuse for a party. Whereas Ashley might have said the same phrase with joy or excitement, Deneve Phax said it with an air of disdain that was not subtle, and was obvious in its judgement. Phax: But I *suppose* you could finally find a lady friend at an event like this. Make some grandchildren for me. It would be about time. Yael: ::blandly:: I’ll get right on that. Phax: ::continuing regardless of his sons tone:: When I heard you’d gone active duty with Starfleet again I had *hoped* it was for something valuable. You’re still pretending to be a doctor, then? Yael: The field of psychology does not lose value just because you don't *respect* it. The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, and in a crisp tone he finally couldn't control. He instantly regretted saying it as his fathers dark eyes slid over and onto him. They stood mere feet apart, nearly shoulder to shoulder… not matched in height… and he felt himself being looked down on. He felt it in his BONES. Phax: Don’t get defensive with me. There was a warning in those words… and Ashley couldn’t help but swallow his fear. It was becoming exceedingly more difficult not to physically shrink. Instead he smiled again, forcibly, turning to look at his father directly. Yael: I wouldn’t dream of it. He had to look up to match his fathers gaze… and his skin crawled when the man smiled down at him, his crows feet folding slightly deeper as he did so. Ashley kept his own smile on his face by force of will. Phax: When you make the decision to have the surgery, don’t go to someone else. I have a *43%* success rate. His father reached up with one hand and tightly grasped Ashley’s shoulder, giving him a slight but firm shake. To anyone watching, it might have seemed like a friendly gesture. But inside his guts Ashley had a visceral reaction to the touch. His mind froze as his father squeezed his shoulder, and every muscle in his body stiffened. There was a silent disgust that ran through him, and his stomach threatened to roll over. Then… the hand was gone, and his father walked away without so much as a goodbye, disappearing into the crowd. The Denobulan hybrid stood there, frozen, his skin crawling with invisible spiders… it was stunning how sharp and prickling the sensation was this time. The forced smile melted from his features… and he stood there, unmoving, bidding the contents of his stomach to *stay* in his stomach. He suddenly took a deep breath, having unconsciously been holding it, then thought to look around him. There were some Bajorans nearby glancing at him… he was just *standing* there alone, which probably seemed curious. One looked like they might be about to come over, so he took to a suddenly quick pace toward the turbolift in the opposite direction his father had gone. If he was going to vomit, he didn't want it to happen in public. Ensign Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  20. Amanda (the writer behind Alora) has let me read this marvel today and, of course, I think it should be here. I think the positiveness, how well she knows the characters, the rhyme, everything, makes her a great and super considerate sim with her fellow writers. @Alora DeVeau you do better this site being here Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau - "Merry Christmas" (FAO: ALL) OOC: Since the mission started way before Christmas, I thought it would be nice to assume they celebrate Christmas afterward ICly. I was going to hold off on this for a few more days, but you know what? I think tonight is a great night to spread some cheer. Thank you for being here, my Ops family. Y'all are a gift, and I'm grateful to have each and every one of you. I'm grateful to be a part of this awesome online community. You are dearly loved. ❤️ IC: ((Starbase 118 Ops - All Over The Place)) Twas two nights before Christmas and throughout 118 Not a creature was stirring, it was quite late. The children were tucked in their beds for the night, The late shift was waiting for dawn’s early light. Yet among the shadows a form slipped unseen Dark hair tumbling down and eyes of bright green. A mischievous smile played upon her fair face As she swept through the halls of the sleeping Starbase. She came to the first set of doors in the hallway And left a wrapped package then laughed and sped away. From quarters, to quarters, to quarters she flew Leaving more packages shiny and new. Each one was unique and quietly brought, Each one wrapped with care, each one filled with thoughts Of sweetness and light, of the happy yule season, The desire to bring joy twas her only reason. Whiskey was given to the Vulcan marine, Made and aged on earth, its tone rich and clean. For the first officer with girlfriend so loving, Two tickets to listen to some klingons singing. For Ishani Kasun, twas something she wished, Candied chilis were now marked off of her list. And for the unborn child, sure to be sweet, A warm purple quilt within a package wrapped neat For Prudence the figure of a unicorn, Silky white body and silvery horn, A woman she hoped would be a good friend, Reminded her nothing ever would end. For Talas, she left at the door of his lair, A scroll for his wall, a Bajoran prayer. For Nalni two brightly coloured bouquets, Of some silken flora to brighten her days. Handmade cherry blossom comb and barrette Was left for the kind Sheila Bailey to get. For Taelon a real book filled with the glories Of Isaac Asimov's amazing stories. A blue yukata with blossoms of cherries Was left for his daughter, the lovely Cyri. A custom katana was made for the one, The counselor by the name of Ruwon. For Ditala, amber jewelry that shone Was given to her now, her very own. Canvas and paints were left very neatly For the Ariana who smiled so sweetly. A real record player Maxwell received A rather neat gift that she had achieved. A model of the USS Narendra she gave Williams in honour of new friendship to pave Drevas received Tolkien, carefully bound With stories of hobbits roaming around. And Andrews found in his box full of cheer Two bottles of wine from a very good year. Solaris, Casino Royale was gifted Signed by the author. As the lady drifted She moved place to place, and then door to door Alora had only a few presents more. Yet those could not be left by the front door, For those required a little bit more. Later in person, she knew she’d give out The presents for those she couldn’t leave out. For Tony and Ashley, friends loved so much, For Wyn and for Sal, well theirs was just such To be given in person, not in a box For now, Alora slunk away like a fox And into the night, she softly did call. Merry Christmas, my friends, to one and all. -- Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Chief Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops al...@blar.net M239008AD0
  21. @Alora DeVeau You cruel fantastic mistress have a way with emotion. This was a beautiful read. ❤️ ((Starbase 118 Ops - Hospital - Private Room)) There was no outward sign in his change of status, though the word had come two days prior. For a Cardassian, the uniform never changed. Officially, however, his status had. No longer was he simply a Dalin. It was Ambassador Lukin Zorkal now. With that change had come orders,and Lukin wasted no time in fulfilling them. There had been three Cardassians pulled from the wreckage of the USS Nimitz. All three had been brought to the hospital. The third name had been a shock. It wasthe last one he visited. Stepping into the room, the lights had been dimmed, much like the rooms where he had visited the other two of his ‘rescued’ people. There was enough to see so the nurses and doctors could do what they felt they needed to do, but it was not quite so harsh on the eyes, particularly Cardassian eyes. Upon the bed, a figure lay prone, wires connected in various places, the soft hush of noise from the machinery inset in the wall behind the bed. For a moment, Lukin hovered just inside the door, hands clenching and unclenching, his jaw joining in the tense choreography. Finally, he stepped forward, slowly. One foot. Then another. And another. The trek from door to bed seemed like an eon to traverse, but he came to the side and gazed down upon the figure. She had changed. Though he had expected that, to be face to face with such stark alterations set his gut aflame, and once more his jaw clenched, teeth grinding against one another. Her hair, once long and luxurious, a vanity that she had cared for with painstaking attention was gone. Her skin, once a normal, warm grey had dulled into a sickly hue. An eye had been removed along with her left arm and her right leg. She was half gone, gutted inside and out. Zorkal: Teje. From his lips, her name passed half whispered, a bare tremor hardly noticeable, an undercurrent to his tone. The one eye that remained snapped open. Distant and dim, it stared upward at the ceiling, then shifted slowly to focus upon the man that hovered over her. There was a blink. One. Two. Three. Her mouth parted, the voice that pushed through a shadow of its former self. The pleasant, melodic resonance had been replaced with a crackling pulse that stuttered haltingly from her lips. Teje: Lu - kin. He clasped her hand within his much larger one, and felt her fingers curl around his own, weak, yet with a sense of desperation in her touch. As her sight cleared, it shimmered even in the low luminescence. Her chest rose and fell, and she gasped in an attempt to say more, but he shushed her gently, freeing her from any responsibility to converse. . His free hand reached up, drawing along the ridge of her remaining eye, then traced a trail over the smooth head that had once been enshrouded with ebony tresses, now devoid of its veil. Zorkal: It is good to see you. There was no lie in his words, no attempt to be coy or diplomatic. The simple statement was blunt, sincere. What he regretted was not that he could see her, but that she was in such a state. On Cardassia, she would have never been allowed to linger in that way, a husk of a person, tortured by her continued existence. Her mouth worked open and closed, and finally flitted into a semblance of a smile. Nodding slightly, she managed to crackle out more words,every one punctuated with a painful breath. Teje: I’ve...missed...you. Zorkal: And I, you. More than the woman could fathom. He had long ago let her go, long ago given up on ever seeing her again. With the appearance of the Nimitz, he had one last opportunity. He had a chance to say farewell. Zorkal: You have a choice. But Lukin knew what she would choose. Very few, if any, Cardassians would ever make a different one. Relief flooded over the scarred and maimed face and her grip on him tightened with a sudden strength, welling up from a semblance of hope that she now had in her grasp. Zorkal: I will leave it with you. To make your decision. Teje: You...know...my….choice. Despite the energy that had coursed through her briefly at his revelation, every syllable wracked with effort, puffed with feverish agony. What suffering she endured was not simply physical in nature, and here he offered relief from it. Eternal respite. Zorkal: Then I leave you to that choice. He’d lost her so long ago, and yet he found his grip unwavering. Suddenly, he didn’t want to release her, didn’t want to leave, didn’t want to lose her once again now that she had been found. Except Teje was no longer Teje. She was a ghost, a wraith, and a shell of what she once was. Her soul was trapped in a mortal coil that had faded into an abomination, one that she could not and would not withstand. She would release her essence from the cage in which it was trapped, whether it was now or later only determined by what opportunities were presented for her. To force her to linger when she simply wanted to be free of her prison was cruel. Lukin would not allow her or any of his people to suffer any longer. He had to let her go. His hand slipped from hers, and her fingers furled around the tiny object that he had passed on. For one last moment he lingered, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss upon the gnarled forehead, his breath one last caress before he finally and completely pulled away. With one last, long look, one last whisper of a smile, one last fond gaze, Lukin turned. As he strode to the door, the panels parted, leaving the woman behind with one last token, one last thing he could do for her. Five minutes after his departure, the alarm in Teje’s room sounded, alerting the medical personnel of her dire condition. Yet, despite their efforts, no matter how hard they attempted to hold on to her, those attempts were fruitless. They had failed. But Teje was free. -- Dalin Lukin Zorkal Cardassian Ambassador Starbase 118 Ops alora@blar.net M239008AD0
  22. Who says you can't sim an unconscious character? ((Starbase 118 – Sickbay)) Things had gotten really intense, and with the alcohol on board, Tony could go either way. If there was anything a Marine didn’t do, it was back down from a fight. In fact, there were few things a Marine would rather do that participate in a close order knuckle drill. Throw a little of the liquid courage on top of the already adrenaline and testosterone induced thrill seeking ego, and it was likely to be on. All Nalni was doing was making it easy for Tony to enjoy the evening. Then the room spun, and the floor came very quickly to meet him. He barely felt the deck as he hit it, and then the peaceful wave came to him. The alcohol doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Nalni: A Delta-wave inducer, eh? One last chance, Tony. ::pulls his arm:: Like I said, cut the [...] out. Going to give up or what? What happened next was really strange. Instead of trying to figure out how to operate the tool, Tony’s breathing fell shallow and rhythmic, and he slept letting out a few snores for good measure. Nalni’s emotions were all over the place which included confusion, turmoil, and regret as she scattered off the man and scooted herself across the floor. McLaren: Nalni... give me the hypospray. Now. Nalni glanced up with a worried expression written on her features and nodded. She didn’t even notice the security officers come inside as McLaren took the hypo and set it down on one of the trays near the bio beds. Trusting the commander to handle Nalni, she stepped forward to quickly and quietly brief the officers on what had just occurred. They nodded, then they took up positions, each one covering an end of the biobed, ready to react should Nalni try anything else. The Barzan officer pushed herself off and looked from one side of the room to the other, then towards Solaris. McLaren: No... sit down on that biobed... and do not move. Or I will have security escort you to the brig. With a guard watching over the rather perplexed Barzan, Kherys turned her focus to Tony who snored lightly, prone on the floor. Grabbing a tricorder, she ran a quick scan over him. Nalni: I didn’t even activate the hypospray? ::sits down on the biobed:: You can even see for yourselves. ::scratches her head:: Meeks: ZZZzzzzzzz…. ZZZZzzzzzz The commander signaled for a couple of larger, stronger nurses to come and assist. The two crouched down and attempted to move the marine, then agreed to go get others to assist. Kherys allowed them to do their job and stepped back. McLaren: He going to be ok? Harper: Yes. He’s just asleep - nothing she did had anything to do with that. His limbic system output is off the charts, though. And this is definitely not Tony. He’s never been so….so forceful. Ever. He’s literally a giant teddy bear. Nalni: And I’m usually more constrained with my emotions. I don’t know what came over me. Meeks: ZZZZzzzzzzz… ZzzzzzzZZzzz. McLaren: Now... where were we before all that unpleasantness? Harper: As I was saying ::before they got interrupted and Kherys had only managed to tell the commander part of what she’d discovered.::, something is causing their hormones to spike. Honestly, it’s not even just their hormones, it’s their entire limbic system, and their automatic nervous system. Both play roles in controlling emotions, particularly romantic emotions...and fight and flight responses. Kherys turned back to the two consoles, Nalni’s and Tony’s information both still lit up on the screen. Pointing, she circled the areas as she spoke about them. Harper: These scans were taken at their last physicals. This and this…::She pointed to the left side of each screen.:: are parts of their brain that work with these two systems. Over here…:: She pointed first to Tony’s recent scan, then Nalni’s.:: Show that these parts are actually overactive. Right now, it’s like they’re...on fire! They can’t help but feel emotions, and what emotions they feel, well that’s determined by whatever’s affecting them and how their body is processing...this.... The Barzan sat up with her knees up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them. She shivered at the thought as Kherys described what was going on. Nalni: I would really like to stop feeling this way... Meeks: ZZZzzZzzz… ZZZZZzzzzz… McLaren: Right... if you need scans of unaffected people... you can start with me. Then, I can go sift through some assuredly boring surveillance files… Kherys nodded, glancing over to where the six nurses had finally managed to gently get the marine on a bio bed. She moved away from him and Nalni and over to a different one. Motioning for McLaren to sit, she proceeded to run scans over her. That done, she turned to look them over. Harper: Yes. See, yours...all normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. I have what I need, ma’am, if you want to go check the surveillance. Meeks: ZzZZzzzzz… ZZZZZzzzzz… McLaren: While I do that... maybe you and the Lieutenant... :: She cast an icy glare at Nalni, implying that it wasn't really a suggestion. :: can go gather samples of food or drink… Harper: Honestly, Commander, I would prefer to keep Lieutenant Nalni under confinement. I don’t trust her ability to remain level headed at this time. She’s affected too. Normally, well not so normally right now, but in the heat of the moment, Nalni would’ve argued with the cadet. After hearing what was described a few moments ago, she was too scared about what she might do if she were to go anywhere, but sickbay. Nalni: She’s right, Commander. I’m too afraid of what or who I might harm if I go anywhere else. ::worries her lip:: I don’t want anyone else to go through what Tony just endured... McLaren: ? Meeks: SNORT! …ZZZzzzzz…zzzZZZzzzz Harper: Pardon commander...I think we may have what we need right here. Without another word, Kherys turned and hurried after the most recent visitor. McLaren: ? Meeks: ::Mumbling:: Mhmnm… ZZZzzzzzzz. Nalni: Given that I’m more aware of my actions, yet can’t seem to stop them, why would he be more different than whatever I’m going through? She glanced over at wherever Kherys was going and then back to Solaris. The imposing security officers didn’t look too friendly and Nalni knew why. It was because of her own actions and her dangerous side that Nalni didn’t know she had. McLaren/Harper: ? Meeks: ZZzzzzzzzzz… Zzzzzzzzz… Nalni: It was, like, as if a not so fond memory of what happened to me a few years ago just suddenly let me loose. McLaren /Harper: ? Meeks: ZZZZzzzzzzzzz… Nalni: I thought I had dealt with it, but apparently my mind thought otherwise. It’s no excuse for my behavior though. For what it’s worth… ::glances down at her knees wrapped in her arms:: I’m sorry. McLaren/Harper: ? Meeks: ZZZZzzzzzz… ZZzzz… ::Rustling:: Huh? Tony sat up on the bed, looking around. A wave of intense pain struck him right between the eyes. It felt like someone had stuck a hot fire poker through his temple. Not only that, but his mouth tasted like… well… it didn’t taste good. Meeks: ::Rubbing his head, still slurring his speech:: What the hell happened? How’d I get up here? McLaren/Harper/Nalni: ? Meeks: Nah. The last thing I remember was getting socked in the head, then nada. McLaren/Harper/Nalni: ? Meeks: Can somebody hand me that trash can? McLaren/Harper/Nalni: ? Tags/TBC 1Lt. Anthony Meeks Company Commander 1/292nd TMR D Co. Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narendra R238801IG0
  23. This hit home. ((Denobula - The City of Loxt on the Uvax Continent - 22 years ago)) The hospital thrived with activity, doctors and nurses abounding, students tagging along with their mentors like so many Denobulan turtle-ducks. The teaching hospital was the largest and one of the most esteemed in the Southern Continent, and was thus never “slow.” Patients from across the quadrant came to this hospital not just for the quality of treatment they would receive, but to be a part of the constant array of clinical trials and new drug testing that occurred year round. On the 56th level of the hospital was the neurology clinic. The two large bay doors opened into the ward directly from the four crystal clear elevators, each in a clear tube with a spectacular view of the tropical environment preserved despite there being a bustling city. The greenery and nature was a Denobulan necessity… nature provided the foundation for most of their scientific advancements, and thus they respected it… lived with it, rather than cementing the lot of it. Instead, they built *upwards.* One could be pestered by the famous Denobulan lemur in the arrival lot, or even on the roof of the extremely tall building, as the exterior was also prime climbing, with effort taken by the architects to include natures needs in the designs. Patients inside the building could witness an array of small warm-blooded animals climbing past the windows or launching off the bird sills from inside their rooms. Meanwhile, all the creature comforts you could want were included inside. Denobula was so tropical, in fact, that for the very longest time there was no concept of frozen water in their scientific records. It didn’t exist naturally on Denobula, and the discovery of it only happened after refrigeration technology was created. Nestled between three lovely stars in the system, the night on Denobula lasted a scant 3 hours… save for a single day per year where the stars eclipsed and total darkness fell for the full period of a single rotation. The short night cycle might explain why Denobulans needed little more than 4 hours sleep per rotation, and supplemented it with a hibernation cycle. But on that 56th level of the tapered skyscraper, the interior was clean and white, the smell of sterilizing cleanser the only remarkable scent. Neurology patients were ushered to their appointments as they arrived by those four large elevators, into the private offices. One of those offices belonged to Doctor Deneve Phax, lead neurological specialist for the ward and a renowned surgeon who was sought out for the most complicated of cases. He was in the middle of a massive clinical trial and the next several weeks would be filled with data searching patient reactions, as well as monitoring progress of the double-blind groups… the active agent, the placebo, and the control group. The clear elevator to the far left opened and a small purple haired Denobulan-Human hybrid burst into the room and past the reception desk. Ashley: ::waving:: Hi Miss Mat’ea! Nurse Mat’ea: ::smiling at the familiar child:: Hello, Ashley. Did you get taller again? Ashley: I’m two whole centimeters taller since last time! Nurse Mat’ea: Are you sure it isn’t three? The small child pushed at the large door into the workplace, barely able to move it by himself. In reality he was small for his age, but the nurse would never say so out loud. She used one hand high above his head to help him open the door, while letting Ashley think he’d done it himself. Lagging behind the energetic seven year old was a blond Human woman, his mother. A surgeon and general practitioner in her own right, they were on the search for her husband. Nurse Mat’ea: ::smiling and nodding respectfully:: Doctor Yael. Good to see you. Lina smiled at the woman as she followed through the doorway into the workplace, following her son. He knew the way to the office space, so there was little reason to slow him down. She could hear his voice from the hallway before she arrived in the right office. Ashley: Dad! Guess how many lemurs I saw today! Doctor Deneve: I imagine it’s a lot to justify this much *noise*. The bland response didn’t diminish the child's excitement. Ashley: Seventeen lemurs! A single eyebrow rose, the harsh tone lightening up ever so slightly. Doctor Deneve: That *is* a lot of lemur. Doctor Yael: ::stepping inside the office:: Hello sweetie. Deneve nodded to his wife, having expected her to not be far behind their son. Doctor Yael: We’ve hardly seen you this week. Ashley missed you. Ashley: Daddy can I cut out a brain pleeeeeeaase? His father snorted with a well contained edge of humor, while his mother laughed lightly. Doctor Yael: He wants to be *just* like you, you know. Ashley: I’ve studied *lots!* I know what a thasalmus is now. Doctor Deneve: ::with a hint of a smile, then dryly:: Alas, none of my patients need their *thalamus* removed today. Ashley busied himself looking through the texts on a nearby shelf, but only the ones on the shelf he could reach of course. Doctor Deneve: Don’t make a mess. Lina frowned at her husband. She knew he wouldn’t be happy to be interrupted, but in truth it had been two weeks since the man had spent a spare moment at home. Denobulans were notoriously patient when it came to this sort of thing, this was true. But *she* was Human and her son half so, and they *missed* him. Deneve knew this full well, but it no longer seemed to register as something that was important… even though it had used to. In fact, she was starting to question the whole marriage. She was still trying to make it work for the sake of her son… the son the Denobulan man seemed less than interested in. She’d never imagined he would be such a *gruff* father, or so absent. Denobulans were so family oriented, after all. She’d heard the gossip in the rest of the family. Deneve’s second wife had had a frank conversation with Lina about the things he would tell her… the Denobulan woman was concerned, so shared out of that concern. She’d told Lina that he was increasingly annoyed at his Human wife’s lack of interest in having more children yet. But it was how he treated his *existing* son that stopped her doing so… she also knew what he’d said about Ashley. That their son was a genetic dead end. And she was having trouble reconciling her feelings for the man, more so every day... and if she were to have more children, there was a statistically relevant risk they would also have Theoron's Disorder. Could she have more children knowing the man wouldn't bond with them if they weren't perfect? She could feel the hypospray in her pocket. The one filled with the daily required medication her son had to take. It was handy to keep on person, in case of a worsening day or an accident that caused a surge in symptoms, but thankfully he was mostly symptom free… he’d been medicated since he was diagnosed in utero. The hypo-spray was a cruel but realistic representation of her sons limitations in life, but he was still too young to understand what it really meant… so she carried the weight for him, wanting him to have as much of an innocent childhood as she could supply for him. She never failed to smile at how many lemurs he counted through the windows. At how excited he was about *everything* he saw. At how proud he was when he learned what a “thasalmus” was. And it pained her every time he cried because he missed his father. Or told her he wanted to be just like daddy and help people's brains get better. Still, she tried to facilitate the strong familial connection, and pushed for them to spend time together. If Deneve could just take a moment and *see* his son, imagine for just a moment who he could grow to be, maybe it could still work... Because she could see the unfortunate failures where her innocent son could only see love and joy. And she was starting to wonder what Ashley would think of the frozen mountains of her home back on Earth, the glaciers and wildlife of Alaska. It was a place you either loved or hated… and it was a vast departure from the tropics of Denobula. Ashley pulled a large text off the shelf, having some trouble with the weight of the tomb before plopping down onto the floor and rifling through the book for interesting pictures. Doctor Yael: I know how *busy* you are, dear. But I hoped you could spare time for lunch with your son. Doctor Deneve: I can’t. Large amethyst eyes looked up from a book illustration of the Denobulan spinal cord. Ashley: Mommy, I’m really hungry. Doctor Yael: I know, sweetie. We’re getting lunch soon. ::pausing:: Please, Phax? The sauted lemur kidney at the cafe on the corner is to die for, and I know you haven’t had a non-replicated meal in weeks. The same lemurs climbing the walls of the hospital also happened to be a delicacy. Another reason to bolster a healthy population, as Denobulans were largely carnivorous in nature. Doctor Deneve: Hmm… ::he paused, finally tempted:: Fine. But just a quick lunch. The family stepped out of the office area and toward the crystal clear lift doors. The small purple tinted boy lifted a hand to take the hem of his fathers coat, his other hand clasped in his mothers fingers. He was ecstatic his father was coming. Ashley: Can I have lemur kidneys too? Doctor Yael: Oh? How many lemur kidneys do you think you can eat? Ashley: I can eat *five!* Doctor Yael: ::feigning shock:: Five?! That’s almost three whole lemurs worth of kidneys! Doctor Deneve: ::glancing down:: Isn’t that a rather *adult* meal for him? Doctor Yael: It’s a special treat. He’s been looking forward to seeing you. The small Denobulan-Human hybrid tugged on his fathers coat, huge amethyst eyes gazing up at the much taller Denobulan. Ashley: Daddy? How many lemur kidneys can *you* eat? Inwardly, Lina hoped Phax knew not to say any more than five, since her son would try and force them down until he matched any number his father said. Doctor Deneve: I think I might top out at four myself. Small favors, Ashley’s mother sighed in relief, smiling as they walked out into the heat. Nobody wanted a food-sickened seven year old barfing up hot lemur kidneys everywhere. ************************ Doctor Deneve Phax Neurosurgeon & Father & Doctor Lina Yael General Surgeon & Mother & Ashley Deneve Yael Adorable Munchkin C238211TZ0
  24. OOC: I really relished the opportunity to see more of Prudence Blackwell - and of course, Ashley. ((Starbase 118 Ops - Habitat Ring)) Ashley was making his way to the Consumer Sector for some socializing in his off time. He’d changed out of his uniform and into something sporty. Black leggings, trainers with a white slash on the sides, and a stylishly washed out gunmetal grey v-neck t-shirt with three-quarter sleeves. One didn’t need to dress to the hilt to visit Verriars Bar, after all, and it was getting somewhat late. He expected the Tongo Wheel would be spinning loud by now. Stepping onto the turbolift, he turned to face the doorway as it closed and clasped his hands behind him, as he was prone to do. Yael: Consumer District. Verriars. The electro-stabilizing gloves he wore were no longer hidden… he would normally wear full sleeves, self-consciously, but he was getting better about not worrying about it as he got used to wearing them. The turbolift stopped not far along to allow another rider on, and he momentarily set his amethyst eyes on the person who entered the lift. Rue was dressed for relaxation, frivolity, and entirely unprofessionally - but at the same point, she was still modest. She wore a long skirt made of a soft fabric, with pockets - a utility that Rue refused to go without, soft flat shoes and a long sleeved shirt. Blackwell::Rue had done some shopping herself. She didn’t attempt to accumulate material goods as a habit - but she did like meaningful things. Trinkets. And she liked to see what the different districts would bring as potential momentos from different cultures. Treasures and the like. She had found a few items - a new shawl for wearing when she was off duty, and a necklace, that she carried in a bag. She stepped into the lift and gave a genial grin:: Hello, there. Thanks for holding the lift” Yael: Good evening, Lieutenant. No problem. The Denobulan hybrid nodded politely and smiled that oh-so-cheerfull Denobulan smile at the Human who stepped onto the turbolift, and stepped slightly aside for her to board comfortably. He didn’t recognize her, but had the passing thought that the cropped haircut she sported was very flattering… and she was *shorter* than him! Almost nobody was, so he definitely noticed when they were. Blackwell: ::She smiled to the Denoulan with a bright smile herself. Rue ws intensely used to being shorter than just about everyone, and so she didn’t note the surprise he had. She did offer a warm hand to him:: I’m Prudence Blackwell, and you are? He didn’t reach out his hand, avoiding the contact, though his smile remained. He was about to politely explain he doesn't shake hands, give her his name, when the lift started to move again to take them each to their destination in the closest order, and there was a moment of quiet among the occupants as they waited. But it was only a moment… the lights flickered. Ashley glanced upward instinctively to look at the lights, but there was a sudden jerk. He was thrown to his left… or rather, the lift jerked to the right… throwing him right into the Human next to him, and into the wall. As they chatted, Rue was quietly aware of an nearly indistinct shift in the lift. She was sensitive to the rhythms and the workings of both space station and the ship. However, she had nary a chance to comment on something being strange when the lights blinked, and then all was a heave to the right, the left, and then she was on the floor of the lift with a Denublian in her lap. She gasped a bit, eyes wide as she looked to Ashley, her brow furrowed in stew of confusion, worry, concern, and some embarrassment, sprinkled with relief that she was able to break his fall. And then she heard a creak. And her mouth opened. Then the lift plummeted. It fell just long enough to put them into the air and allow them to free-fall before the safeties slammed into gear, stopping the lift from falling any further, at which point they unceremoniously crashed onto the floor. The Denobulan cursed beneath his breath as he caught his breath and found himself sprawled on the floor, rather ungracefully and atop the Lieutenant. His midsection draped across hers, his arm draped across her arm... and he jerked away as quickly as he realized they were in direct contact, but the anxiety that the lift wasn’t stable took precedence. He pushed up onto his palms and his amethyst eyes shot to the Human in the lift, hoping she wasn’t injured. He thought he was alright, but that had been quite the sudden ride. As Inertia floated them above the floor, Rue had the brief thought that it was not the drop that was frightening - it was that sudden stop at the end. And in this case, as physics combined in a hilarious fashion to bring the floor to them rather than they go to the floor. And there was a thud. Oh. Rue had promised herself no injuries on this shore leave, and it seemed that was a promise she was going to break - but at least it was not her ribs, which were instead, from what she could tell, bruised. She barely noticed Yael moving quickly away to avoid the awkwardness of draping himself over her, sitting up and rubbing her ribs. Yael: Are you okay? Blackwell: I am, are you? That’s not a normal function of the lift, I assure you of that. ::She frowned and stood up, wishing she had her PADD with her. Instead, she would have to make due with a bit of wits and intuition. She stood up, offering her hand to help him up as well, and looked towards the panel.::: Yael: Perhaps… we should notify someone. Blackwell::She rubbed her side and grinned:: Likely, but in the mean time let me see if I can figure out what is happening. Do you want to comm someone while I look? ::she moved over to the panel, taking her hands off her side::: Of course, the computer would already be alerting the proper persons of the malfunction. These things did happen on such a large station. It was as Rue touched the panel that she was suddenly aware her hands were shaking. She wasn’t normally so...easy to startle, but the adrenaline was up. Her body was simply responding to that. She shook her head, took a breath, and opened the panel. And then... The lights suddenly flicked off, and they were plunged now into the darkness. Thankfully an emergency light blinked to life a few moments after… but not before Ashley cringed, having expected another drop to happen. Blackwell:::Her heart was pounding in her cheat, a hard beat that was in her ears. She took a deep breath, pressing her hand on the wall of the lift and closing her eyes, her back towards Yael:: Seems like...we are okay. Yael: Thankfully… it seems to be holding steady, for the moment. Though he had a firm grip on the wall just in case… not that it would guarantee their safety, but he felt more stable as his eyes adjusted quickly to the low light. Blackwell: Yeah ::She exhaled and turned, looking to Ashley and gave a half grin:: What is your name? I’m afraid I didn’t catch it in the plummeting. Yael: Ensign Counselor Yael. ::pausing:: Ashley. Blackwell: It is nice to meet you, Ashley ::She offered a hand to shake. It was there she noticed the gloves, and momentarily hoped that she had not walked right into a gaffe:: Yael: It’s okay… ::he tried to smile through the nerves::... I don’t shake hands. Nothing personal, I promise. Blackwell:: I think I managed to bruise a rib or two..nothing worrisome. ::She then took a moment to consider the lift:: But this should not have happened, and we should have had a contact by now. Yael: Are you an engineer? ::noticing now her attention to the panel:: Perhaps we could notify them directly. Blackwell:::She considered for a moment. Turbolifts worked through the power of alternating electrical currents that allowed the lift itself to ascend and descend. It could break if power was out, if there was a breech in the lines, faults in the channels carrying the currents - there were numerous possibilities. And what was frustrating was that likely the fault was - external- rather than internal to the lift:: Which meant barring her doing something reckless, they were for the moment, stuck. Blackwell::She hit her comm badge and frowned for a moment as the chirp did not seem to connect. Another clue, and another frustration. Something was jamming the signal. It could very well be the disruption in the current. She exhaled and looked to Yael:: We may be here for a while… Yael: ::trying his comm badge, which chirped strangely:: I certainly hope this isn’t a *systemic* problem. We could be in here for a while if it’s not just the lift. Can you... try anything from the panel? Blackwell: Well - ::She turned and looked back to the panel for a moment. She did not have her PADD, but she did have her tricorder - she rarely left without that. She pulled it out of the pocket of her skirt and scanned the controls, just to see if there was any disruption with the lift itself. She swallowed as her suspicions were confirmed:: I think I know what is happening. Yael: And that is? ::curiously, framed by the red emergency light:: Blackwell: The lift seems fine - I think the problem is with the shaft itself. The question is - how extensive is the problem ::she gave a faint grimace:: The Denobulan gave her a concerned smile now, noting her less than enthusiastic expression and tone. Yael: … I’m afraid I’m less than technically apt… what do you mean? Blackwell: Meaning - we know that above us was a rather rough go….below could be as bad if the disruption is widespread. Yael: So… we stay put then. They’ll notice the malfunction soon enough. He was trying to console them both with the knowledge they couldn’t be lost or stuck somewhere for *too* long without it being noticed. Then he tried not to laugh, though he did chuckle lightly. Yael: I… don’t suppose you were in a *hurry* to get anywhere? Blackwell:::She rubbed her ribs for a moment and exhaled:: Weeellllll... Yael: Because if you were, *those* plans are canceled. A small joke in the face of their unexpected incarceration in the dead lift. Blackwell: Yeah….::She shook her head and put her hands up:: I guess for now...we get comfortable. ::She smiled, and leaned against the wall of the turbo lift::: Yael: Your ribs are okay? I kind of… well, *landed* on you. Quite rude of me. Blackwell: I wasn’t aware you could control inertia with propriety ::She softly chuckled:: But no, I’m all right. Just a bit banged up. Yael: I recently broke a couple ribs, it’s not something I wish on anyone. Blackwell:::she rubbed her hands together and nodded quietly:: I have had that too, and not eager to repeat it. But I am all right. What about you? ::She smiled back:: Where were you going before this...happened? Yael: I was heading to Verriar’s. The tongo wheel was calling to me. ::pausing:: It will still be there when we’re freed. There was that Denobulan patience at work. He leaned back against the wall now, less gripping it and more relaxing against it, confidence growing they wouldn’t fall again now that the safeties had caught them. Blackwell: That is true. I suppose if nothing else, we can call this an unplanned meet and greet. Yael: ::smiling:: If you wanted my attention, I offer walk-in hours. Blackwell::She chuckled and moved to sit down across from him, knees bent. She stretched out her arms and rested her elbows on her knees:: So - we haven’t met before, are you a new arrival? Yael: I’ve been here a couple weeks now. I was stationed here years ago though, so it already feels familiar to me. ::pausing:: And yourself? Ashley took to mimicking her posture, sliding his back down the wall and crossing his legs beneath him to sit, though he kept his back against the wall when he did. Blackwell: Been here for a bit but still..::She moved her head back and forth a bit:: Adjusting. I came here after a bit of a personal life change and so...been shifting gears from that. ::She grinned a bit:: So tell me what made you join StarFleet, Counselor. Yael: Oh, the same old story. Kid looks up at the stars and asks, “what’s out there?” I love being out here in deep space. ::pausing:: I like being one of the first to see what’s newly discovered. Blackwell:::She smiled softly to that, linking her fingers together:: I can’t say I felt any different. For me there was a family element..more or less to get out, adventure, experience things that you just can’t planetside. Yael: It also conveniently puts a few billion AU between me and my father. That one was more a joke, mostly, despite being true. But who couldn’t relate to having a somewhat oppressive parent one wanted to escape from? Blackwell:::She raised a brow to that and chuckled:: That’s also a common story. And while I get along with my mother and most of my family, it is nice to have some distance ::She smiled to that, if a bit vague, and picked at thread on her skirt::: Yael: You mentioned a personal life change? That it was giving you trouble? Blackwell:::There was a glance from her skirt and to his face, and back again, and chuckled faintly:: Ah, Counselor - eager to listen? Yael: Hey, it’s what counselors do. We listen. *If* you’d like to talk. Perhaps I could help you adjust. Blackwell: It’s not really that interesting… :her shoulders rose and then fell slowly:: Yael: Is there something holding you back? Something you miss where you came from? Blackwell: My father died ::She finally said succinctly::: Yael: Oh… ::pausing:: I’m sorry. Blackwell: No, it’s alright ::She smiled and exhaled slowly:: It has been a while since he died and while I miss him...it hurts differently now. Yael: What do you mean? Blackwell: I suppose it’s more …:she rubbed her hands together, and quietly popped the knuckles of her right hand:: It’s less of a sharp pang and more of a dull ache that comes and goes. I can forget about it during work, or when I’m busy. ::and a sort of wane smile:: And comes back when I start thinking about calling my family. Yael: ::his smile was softer:: I see. You sound like you were close to your father. Blackwell: We were very close. My father was in many ways my rock...not a hero persay...but he just always had an affable way of convincing me...that as strange as the universe is, it all fits together. Yael: It does seem to have a strange way of working itself out, doesn’t it? ::nodding:: She pushed her hair from her face and looked down for a moment. Her father had seen the universe as a discordant but glorious symphony - countless instruments and voices all adding into a sublime arrangement that resonated through every single person and being. Even though he never left planet side, and was largely taken with his near obsessive study of strange antiquities, there were also moments that he would widen his gaze to reflect on the fact that beyond the world, there were other worlds and lives happening. He found it endlessly fascinating to look at older works, prior to when First Contact occurred, and to wonder how humans kept their hopes alive even when they thought they were alone. And to him, the answer was simple - they knew instinctively they were not, and it was just a matter of the first meeting happening. He was strange like that. Strange and wonderful. And Rue missed that. Blackwell: He just tended to think that..no matter how complex the picture, how complex the work, even if it was madness or chaotic, there was always some unifying thread….so to speak. ::Then she laughed:: Then again, he also did think that ketchup could go on just about everything. Yael: ::laughing lightly:: Clearly a mad-man. ::pausing:: Ketchup is the *red* sauce, correct? Blackwell: Terran Condiment - comprised of tomatoes, salt, vinegar, a few other things - and not normally what one would suggest for deserts. ::she grimaced and laughed:: So ….how about you? Why a starbase? Yael: It’s the most intriguing collection of types of people. Which makes my job as a psychologist that much more interesting. It’s a whole different kind of world, far from home. She knew why she had chosen a starbase - her urge to be in strange unfamiliar places on a constant basis had waned after her father’s death. She felt herself strangely needing an anchor point for her life. The starbase for now, was that. Blackwell: Well, it - is- different. Certainly you're far from home, but you are also at the same point, we have sort of a static arrangement. Literally, we are a home base. Yael: For so many different sorts. ::he nodded in agreement:: The lights flickered slightly, but the lift held steady. It was as if the lift was reminding them of their precarious position. Ashley tapped his comm badge once more but got the same delayed chirp, a failure to connect. Incredibly odd to say the least. Rue exhaled in an empathetic sense of frustration. What - was- taking the engineers of the station so long to look into what was happening, and more importantly solve it. Yael was very pleasant to talk with, but somehow spending the rest of their careers in the turbo lift not what she had in mind. Yael: Though I imagine you wish you were elsewhere… I’m glad I’m not in here alone He was realizing how close that had been near to happening. It wasn’t as if being alone for a few minutes would kill him, but he was already feeling properly trapped in the small space. She turned to him and smiled gently, but her brow started to furrow in concern. Blackwell: Why is that? Yael: Denobulans don’t do very well in isolation. I suppose the station is great for those purposes as well, there’s never a lack of people to meet, things to do, events to attend. I never feel lonely here. Blackwell: Well, that’s true - I mean we are always surrounded by people unless we are in your quarters ::She considered that quietly, though privately considered that at times one could feel lonely even surrounded, but she turned her thoughts to the Denobian, listening as he spoke:: Yael: When I first arrived they tried to assign me to these sprawling quarters. Two extra rooms, separate kitchen. Far too much space for just a place to sleep. I talked them down to a studio economy suite with a view of one of the docking pylons. They can give the larger space to a family that needs it. Blackwell:::She chuckled:: Practical, but also sweet and thoughtful. ::a quick grin to that:: . My own quarters are ...comfortable. Living area is practical, but in my bedroom, I hung tapestries and lights to try and create...I guess a sense of privacy and safety. ::She smiled a bit to that:: Yael: ::as if asking for more, but smiling at the thought:: Tapestries? Blackwell: I like to feel a bit like I’m…::She shrugged a little bit for a moment and looked sheepish:: Like a kid’s fort I suppose ::She wasn’t sure if he would know the reference. Did Denobian’s make pillow forts?::: Yael: ::now he chuckled at the vision building in his mind:: A kid’s fort? Inside your bedroom? Weren’t kids forts made of wood and put up into trees? Perhaps he was thinking of the wrong Human custom. Blackwell: Oh well, Blankets and such over chairs, just a place to hide. Just a place to escape my parents or my brother as a kid ::She laughed:: I suppose it’s a bit silly. But Harmless. Yael: Ahhh, I see. ::he chuckled lightly now that he was getting the idea:: I suppose I could compare my bed. A ridiculous number of pillows and blankets… Denobulans can tend to *nest in*. It’s good to indulge in a little frivolous comfort, I think. Blackwell:: I think we always need time for a bit of frivolity and just being silly. It is what keeps us sane. ::She grinned:: I’ve even known a vulcan prone to a bit of frivolity. He would read salacious novels with me. Yael: A Vulcan reading salacious novels? Now *that* I’d pay latinum to see. Blackwell: There can be a lot to learn from pursuits that have quote un quote no purpose ::She grinned:: and even better, you learn it without realizing it and without feeling like it’s work. That was the truth. She could reflect on a few points where she had taken time out just to relax, just to do something that was utterly ridiculous, and ended up gaining something she hadn’t expected from the experience. Memories or a knowledge that just could not be planned for. Ashley was finding he quite enjoyed Lieutenant Blackwell’s company. In fact she seemed to be a bit of fresh air… stuck in the turbolift, they needed all the fresh air they could get. Yael: All we need is a campfire and some snacks. No weather, so we don’t need a tent. Blackwell: That would get their attention ::she exhaled:: the campfire at least ...when the sensors went off ::she chuckled and looked to Yael:: I do like camping though. I don’t get to go often. Yael: Perhaps you could join me sometime? At Verriars, if you’re into the bar scene or tongo, or on the holodeck? I have a feeling we’d have enormous fun. Blackwell: Why not ::a warm smile on her lips and she looked up:: Though for that to happen...we are going to need to get out of here. ::And then she stopped, as she heard a thump on the top of the lift:: ….Let’s hope that is good news? The Denobulan hybrid glanced up toward the roof at the sound, and a bit of relief ran through him. Yael: Sounds like there’s someone above us. Blackwell: They have specialized devices to come out on the lifts and do routine repairs ::she considered and exhaled, wishing there was a way to see on the top:: Yael: How do we know it’s a crew? ::he glanced at her with a grin:: Maybe it’s a turbolift monster. A “gremlin on the wing,” isn’t it? Blackwell: Well...If we listen closely ::She pressed her ear against the wall and closed her eyes, focusing, and then smiled:: ...Sounds like something is working. We - may- be in luck. Which is good because I was about to take matters into my own hands…::she grinned wide:: Yael: How so? I would think the most we could do from in here is *yell* very loudly into the nether. Blackwell: Climb to the top of the lift and see if I could get a repair done on my own ::she winked:: But you won’t have to see me do derring do just right now. Yael: You’d climb on top of a broken lift, from inside it? ::he chuckled lightly:: That’s a pretty bold thing to do. Blackwell: Oh I can be pretty...bold when I put my mind to it ::She laughed softly and shrugged:: I - try- to keep it limited to when it’s absolutely necessary but only when I’m at risk or there is no other option….hence why I’ve been really patient. Yael: Starfleet does attract bold personalities. And that would be better than being in here alone. Blackwell::She gave a mischievous smirk to that:: If It was just me in here, I would have likely climbed to the top of this thing to see what I could fix on my own. ...So in a way, good thing you were here too as you kept me out of trouble. Yael: ::with a bit of humor:: I do apologize for making you hold back. Your way sounds like a *lot* more fun. There was a sudden shift to the weight of the lift, and his hands shot out to brace against the wall and floor… but it didn’t drop or move violently. More, it was shifted, then began to move ever so slowly. She laughed to that and then binked as the lift began to move again, and she braced herself against the wall...and then as it moved, looked to Yael. Yael: I think we’ve been hoisted. Blackwell: I think so….about time. There was another sudden shift in the position of the lift as it slowly moved. Then a mechanical sound began to whine. There was a chirp… their comm badges both activated, and a voice soon came across the line. Engineer: =/\= Who have we got in there? =/\= Yael: ::responding with relief:: =/\= Lieutenant Blackwell and Ensign Yael. =/\= Engineer: =/\= Anyone need a doctor? =/\= Blackwell: =/\= No, thankfully not. =/\= Engineer: ::clearly glad there were no injuries, then, with humor:: =/\= When I said I wanted to go fishing this week, this *isn’t* what I planned. We’ll have you out in a few… bringing you down to the next level nice and easy. Stand clear of the door. =/\= Blackwell:::She looked to Yael and smirked:: Well glad they are getting to have a laugh.:::and then to the comm:: =/\= something go on with communications? We couldn’t reach anyone =/\= Ashley was already sitting near one of the sides, across from the Lieutenant, so he tucked his legs in a little closer, keeping amethyst eyes on the door as the mechanical sound intensified. Engineer: =/\= Yeah, comms went down for a few minutes. Computer malfunction during a routine system refurbishment. Bad timing with the lift. Sorry ‘bout that. =/\= Blackwell: =/\= Well, I’m just glad we are getting it resolved...though I hope you can find point of error to avoid this in the future =/\= She sounded cheerful though Yael could see her quietly working through what she might write on a report. Yael: =/\= How far did we drop? =/\= Engineer: =/\= About seventeen decks, before the safeties kicked in. Bet it was a fun ride. =/\= Yael: ::to Blackwell:: Something like that. Blackwell:::she smirked:: Oh absolutely. And after time, there was finally a nice hum where the lift moved to the appropriate floor, and both Ensign and Lieutenant were free of their temporary confinement, on to go about their ways:: Yael: ::as they parted:: It was nice plummeting to my doom with you. Blackwell: Let’s do it again sometime! ::and she waved cheerfully and was on her way:: ************************ Lt. Prudence Blackwell Comm/Ops Starbase 118 OPS G239308PB & Ensign Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  25. @Alora DeVeau @Nalni Love the character development and emotion of the piece. Lovely to see a more vulnerable side of German ❤️ ((Docking Station, Denobula)) German and Naylin were getting their personal items after the Denobulan scientist had spoken with the planet's ambassador to the Federation. Apparently he was expected because right when the shuttle landed, several security officers, a doctor, and the ambassador were waiting for them. It wasn't much of a surprise given his situation and that the information about him was considered a flight risk given his actions during the last mission. What was different about the security officers to those who he served with was that they weren't armed. They all were cautious, but German was welcomed with open arms and smiles. The last time he was on Denobula was when he was an infant, but from the stories over his species, he had learned that Denobulans were always a positive and helpful bunch of people. German figured that was the case because that had been him before his sister had been abducted by the Borg. And even then, he still remained optimistic. Once he and his son left the shuttle, they followed the other Denobulans towards a fairly low level security facility. He wanted to remember exactly how everything played out so he grabbed his personal PADD out of his duffel bag and before he could type out any notes, he noticed that he had a notification from his mother. Aza stayed behind on Ops so she would still work on his projects, but it looked like she was giving him updates on how the crew were doing. He read that they had just celebrated the crew's accomplishments at a Halloween themed awards ceremony. Galven: Would it be possible if I could make a call to StarBase 118, please? I just got some exciting news. Denobulan Ambassador: As long as we're all in the room with you, I don't see a problem with it. Naylin: What's going on? Galven: The crew just had their awards ceremony. Remember Alora? Naylin: ::nods:: Yeah, the nice lady who came to visit you before we left. Why? Galven: Well, she and another officer I've served with for a while had just been made department heads. ::grins:: I need to call them to wish them congratulations. Denobulan Ambassador: Only one call. We have a lot of work to do. We've made an itinerary for you, Dr. Galven. German nodded and turned away to decide if he wanted to make a video call or just a simple email. A video call would be better suited because he missed seeing their faces even though he had been gone for a few days now. As he pushed the command, he waited in anticipation and excitement while the call was being placed. Naylin walked over beside German and smirked, knowing how much enthusiasm was radiating off of his father. He didn't even have to channel his Betazoid hybridity to know that. DeVeau: =/\=Alora here.=/\= As soon as she saw the face, however, Alora’s own immediately brightened. DeVeau: =/\=German!=/\= Seeing Alora again after all that he had been though and not knowing what the crew were up to caused his own features to glow just as bright as Alora's. Galven: =/\= Hey. =/\= DeVeau: =/\=Hey! How are you? Oh man, I’ve missed you! It’s not the same without you here!=/\= Galven: =/\= I've missed you too, Alora. ::smiles softly:: Naylin and I just landed. =/\= Really? Had it taken that long to get to Denobula? Had German gone elsewhere first? Weeks had passed - what had he been doing? Well, Alora decided not to ask. If he wanted to tell her, he would. She’d just give him an open door to do so. DeVeau: =/\=Everything go all right getting there? =/\= Galven: =/\= The ride was pretty uneventful, but that's not why I wanted to call you. =/\= A single eyebrow arched upward and Alora laced her fingers together, then rested her chin upon her hands. DeVeau: =/\=Oh?=/\= Galven: =/\= I see that you got the vacant chief of science position. Congratulations, Alora. You certainly deserved it. ::dons his signature Denobulan wide smile:: =/\= DeVeau: =/\=Thanks German. =/\= Alora’s own smile was not quite so wide - it was tinted with some sadness. Oh yes, she’d gotten her dream position, but only because German was gone. If she could have made things turn out differently, she would have. DeVeau: =/\=I appreciate it.=/\= ::She paused a moment. =/\=You doing okay? I mean...really, are you doing okay?=/\= That was the ultimate question of the century. German already had a lot to think about on the ride to Denobula. That's what he liked about Alora however. She was always one to ask him how he was like a big sister would. Galven: =/\= I'm alive. ::chuckles:: Does that count? =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Partially. I mean, that’s definitely a /good/ thing. But are you more than alive? Are you well? =/\= Galven: =/\= I'm in safe hands and ::feels someone's hand on his arm, turning to see Naylin:: Someone else would like to say hello. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Oh? =/\= Naylin: =/\= Hi Miss Alora ::waves:: =/\= Alora’s smile grew again at the sight of the young man. DeVeau: =/\= Hey Naylin! How are you hon? Doing okay? Keeping an eye on your dad? =/\= Naylin: =/\= Oh don't you worry, Miss Alora. I'll keep an eye on him for sure. ::smirks:: =/\= German noticed that the officials in the room were looking back at him as if their patience was wearing thin. He nodded and gave them an open palm, spreading his fingers out asking for at least a few more minutes. After a moment, they reluctantly agreed. Galven: =/\= You two are too much. ::laughs:: So I don't have much time, but I have something else to tell you. =/\= DeVeau: What’s that? Galven: =/\= Well, before I left, Lieutenant Munger came up to me and said there's somewhat of an issue with my brain patterns. Specifically the pituitary gland. =/\= An issue with his brain patterns? His pituitary gland? That didn’t sound good at all, and despite the lighthearted way German was opening that part of the conversation with, she expected the news he was about to deliver wasn’t good. The other Denobulans in the room walked over towards him to hear what he was about to say. Andrea only told him about the situation and didn't put it in her report. Which meant that they'd be hearing it for the first time as well. Galven: Apparently in the short time that I had been assimilated in the shuttle at the end of the mission affected the way my body ages. The theory is that until it's corrected, every day will be a year if that makes sense? DeVeau: Unfortunately, it does. Alora had her own issues with aging. Hers was caused by a different thing, and her aging wasn’t so restricted when she had an attack. In one spell, she could lose years. In fact, in only a few months, she’d lost several years. If left untreated, she’d be dead within a few days. For German, his condition was only slightly less intense - but with him, he didn’t have any treatment at all. DeVeau: They can put you in cryostasis. That would prevent aging until they find a way to stabilize you. Why hadn’t they done so already? It seemed like it would be such an obvious way to prevent the aging. Galven: ::grimaces:: =/\= I'd rather not partake in such primitive practices. I'm on a top level scientific research planetoid institution now. We'll be exploring every possible avenue. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Such primitive practises? It could help preserve your life. =/\= German heard someone clear their throat behind him which made him realize that his call was past due. He needed to get started with his recovery. Galven: =/\= I know, but what may seem obvious to you doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best solution. Would you do a favor for me, please? =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Of course, if I can. =/\= Galven: =/\= Don't tell the crew about my condition. Give them my best and let them know I said congratulations and I miss them. =/\= Alora nodded. It wasn’t her place to tell, and if he didn’t want that information passed along, she certainly wouldn’t. That was private. When he was ready, he’d let them know. She had only let a select few know about her own DeVeau: =/\= I shan’t. Though...do you want me to tell the Captain? I know he’s worried about you. =/\= Galven: ::nods:: =/\= That's fine. He'd find out sooner or later. =/\= DeVeau: All right then. You have my word. Galven: =/\= Thanks Alora. ::smiles:: Listen, I have to go now, but I'll let you know of any progress. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Please do. Please stay in touch. There are a lot of people over here who care about you, you know. =/\= Alora let her voice go a little softer. DeVeau: =/\= Romyana seemed particularly upset. Make sure you call her, okay? =/\= Romyana? He hadn't talked or even seen her since during the beginning of the mission. German started to remember how he was starting to grow fond of her so it was quite possible that she might've had a connection with him. Galven: =/\= I'll make a note of it. Thank you. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= Take care German. Call when you can. =/\= Galven: =/\= Of course, Alora. And congratulations again. =/\= With that, the screen went dark. Alora sighed softly. She really hoped they would be able to help him on Denobula, both mentally and physically. She didn’t envy him his condition, and knew full well the feeling that kind of news brought. Hopefully, his had an easier solution than her own. ---- Lieutenant German Galven Science Officer StarBase 118 - USS Narendra V239507GG0 & Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Chief Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239008AD0
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