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  1. It's about time we had one of these for our wonderfully wacky and eclectic ship and all who sail in her. Go nuts!
  2. One of the best worst things that ever happened to me on SB118 is two awesome writers plotting STUFF! behind my back without me having a clue about it and making me laugh out loud with it. @Meidra Sirinand @Ikaia Wong you guys are the worst... Keep up the good work. ((Ikaia’s Quarters - Room 03-1122 - USS Veritas - 03:00 in The Shoals)) Ikaia had long since fallen asleep in his quarters. Softly snoring, he had his blankets pulled over his head leaving his bare feet exposed. His dreams, however, were interrupted by the sound of a call on his PADD. He was barely conscious as he woke up with a snort. He was still feeling groggy when he sat there for a moment questioning if he was really being called for something. It could be that someone needed him in sickbay. Maybe? His arm lazily popped out from under the pile of blankets as he fumbled blindly for his PADD. He groaned as he tried to feel for it. His hand bumped around his nightstand until he finally felt the PADD. He ended up sliding his whole hand down the screen in order to try to answer the call. What he failed to account for was that he had turned on the camera to his PADD. So anyone answering would be greeted with a pile of blankets. Ikaia allowed his arm to dangle off the side of the bed. Wong: ::Yawns:: Aloha…. This is Lieutenant Junior Grade Ikaia Wong…. How… how can I help you….? He sounded sluggish and tired. Times like these, he was a little useless without coffee. Sirin: Greetings, Lieutenant Wong. Have I disturbed you? Meidra had wandered Resolution’s corridors for the last hour, trying to come up with a suitable gift for her cousin. Alieth had been looking forward to a particular type of race where she would cobble together various bits of chaos and metal to get an engine ready to get her across a great expanse of land in as little time possible. She remembered Lt Wong had sent Alieth a certain type of chocolate that Meidra believed might be a good distraction. Because Aleith was becoming insufferable. Wong: Huh….? That wasn’t sickbay. He lifted himself up. The blanket still covered his head as he looked at the screen. Wong: Heeey. I remember you... How are you…? Sirin: I am well, thank you. Do you remember me? He remembers that face! This was one of the teal shirts he met at the Medical Officers Support Group (MOSG) meeting. Meidra’s eyebrow raised in amusement as he sat up, bleary eyed like a small child. Sirin: You’re looking well rested. It dawned on him. He had his camera on. Meaning that Lieutenant Sirin had a really good look at him right now. Ikaia sheepishly pulled the blanket off his head and tried to pull his hair back. That went about as well as it could for someone who still felt uncoordinated. His hair was still a mess. Wong: Sorry you had to see that! Meidra waved a hand dismissively at the camera. She’d seen far worse. Sirin: I’ve seen Genkos before his first coffee. You’re fine. I need a favor. Well he definitely didn't have his first cup of coffee either. That wouldn't be for a while yet! Ikaia tried rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Wong: A favour? I don't mind helping! ::yawns:: What's the….. favour? Sirin: First, I would like to thank you for getting my cousin addicted to those little balls of decadence. She’s been on a quest to find some, but her canine may have eaten the tag showing where you acquired them. I need the chocolate. Wong: Oh! Ha ha…. You're welcome! Yeah. I picked them up on Esperance. I think the store was called The Chocolate Tribble. Thankfully, they didn't actually have tribbles there. Otherwise, I don't think I could safely step inside unaccosted. Meidra had the brief memory of Tribbles attacking a certain fanciers’ event on Risa not that long ago and shuddered. She hoped that her former pet, Roc, was doing well traveling the universe with an evil shape shifting alien from another dimension. She also wondered when her life would start making sense. Sirin: ::pause:: I would hope that you didn’t get her addicted to eating Tribbles. She thinks the chocolate was extremely delicious. Wong: She does? That's fantastic! I picked out the dark chocolate cinnamon ones for her last time. They're amazing! But pretty diabolical for a Vulcan. Meidra laughed, and could see why her krei enjoyed this Klingon’s company. Alieth was getting grumpy, for those people who knew her well, and Meidra was getting tired of the random messages sent to her PADD at all hours such as, “Why do ensigns insist on breathing near me?” and “How much do I really need this job?” She sighed heavily, staring into the camera, and hopefully into his soul. She was desperate. She repeated the only thing that made sense right now. Sirin: I need the chocolate. Wong: I think I picked up two extra boxes just in case they got lost on transport. You never know with The Shoals! Anyways, I could send you the other two boxes if you'd like? The counselor’s face grew almost giddy with excitement. She leaned in and looked right into his soul with the intensity of a cousin who had reached her limit. Sirin: Send them directly to her, for the sake of my sanity. Do you have any idea how disagreeable that hobgoblin can get when she’s found a new source of addiction? The random messages, the threats of her taking the Thor into the chocolate nebula to track down cocoa? She is seriously making me want to throw a box of candy at her and run for my life! ::takes deep breath:: I apologize, Lieutenant, please send them if it is convenient. Wong: It's okay! I don't mind parting with them. Sirin: Thank you, if you could be certain to make the boxes Cheesecake proof, that would be delightful. I told her that she could get chocolate anywhere, but she insists that these particular candies have given her a greater insight into her state of being. In Alieth speak, this means she was, as the humans say, wasted. She refrained from her views on naming animals after food, and simply took a quick gulp from her ever present flask. Seriously, keeping your cousin sane and out of prison for chocolate deprivation was a full time job. Wong: But I have to ask - what's the occasion? Sirin: ::totally serious:: My not killing her. Wong: That’s a uh… good enough occasion. Sirin: ::shrugging:: She would do the same for me. Wong: Back at the Academy, I had to hide my jars of chocolate hazelnut spread if she came over to study. If I didn’t, I’d definitely have discovered them missing after she left. I think she once took one of my half eaten jars when I wasn’t paying attention. Meidra bit back a laugh, Alieth made no secret of her fondness for anything sweet. Sirin: Were you still eating from it at the time? Wong: Uh hey! How about we leave my eating habits out of this? As for Alieth….You know somehow, I don’t think that would have mattered to her. Sirin: As an infant, she once reached into a relative’s mouth for a piece of fruit and started eating it. Then realized it was not candy and spat it back at our cousin. ::fondly:: Even then, she had a bit of stubbornness to her. Wong: I can see there’s been at least some things that haven’t changed since our Academy days! Ha! But how has she been doing these days? Sirin: Pouting that she cannot race, I mean - socialize, with her friends due to work. She needs a vacation, but her shore leaves often turn out to be more chaotic than her missions. ::coughs lightly:: I mean, the ones she spends with me, but I digress. ::sits up and smiles brightly:: She is well, thank you for your inquiry. Meidra looked at her chronometer, she had a new junior counselor to meet. She sighed and looked at the Klingon again in thanks. Sirin: On behalf of my sanity, I thank you again, Lieutenant. I hope that we can one day meet in person and share more stories of my delightful Krei, and the lengths I will go through to keep her from going through withdrawal from sucrose. Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0 + Lieutenant JG Ikaia Wong Physician Assistant USS Veritas V239711IW0
  3. OOC - for those of us who've followed the Tale of Two @Meidra Sirins, this was a delight. And even if you haven't there's a lot here to enjoy; @Yalu also deserving of praise! (( Ship’s Library, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Gertrude Kettleworth, MLS, had very little shushing to do, as Meidra and Dwich sat at a small corner reading table, saying nothing. They had agreed to meet and discuss their relationship, and each of them came with something they wanted to get off their chest. Now, everything was out in the open, and they remained together, hands intertwined in the center of the table, waiting for the other to say something. Finally, it was Dwich who broke the silence. Hamsan: Thank you for telling me this. The words felt empty coming out of Dwich’s mouth. “Thank you?” Meidra had shared with him a terrible secret, something he could never have guessed in a million years, and his heart broke for her. “Thank you” seemed so insufficient. An insignificant, polite formality. And yet, it was all he could think of to say. For her part, she seemed to accept it in the spirit in which it was intended, which made him feel so much better. Sirin: Thank you for being understanding about it. I felt like I was lying to you about myself, and that is not something that I wanted to continue doing. Dwich nodded. Indeed, the “two Meidras” had perplexed him over the course of their growing relationship. Now, it all made sense. Hamsan: I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you. How lonely you must have felt carrying this secret. Sirin: I’ve spent most of my life feeling lonely, I suppose it’s been hard for me to realize that I’m not alone anymore. ::beat:: I haven’t been very fair to you, and for that I apologize. Dwich wasn’t looking for an apology, nor did he feel that Meidra had anything to apologise for. Relationships were difficult under even the most favourable of circumstances. Meidra was dealing with a very painful truth from her past, while Dwich was struggling to define his future. As Liri Ketel, one of Bajor’s lesser-known and least artful prophesiers so ineloquently wrote: “When you have one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you’re [...]in’ on today.” Hamsan: I guess it’s all just part of the path the Prophets have laid out for us. Meidra sipped the iced tea, feeling a bit foolish. She’d never been a particularly religious person, as Vulcans focused on the here and now instead of a future that logically, they could not see. And El Aurians, well. They only seemed to believe in themselves to the detriment of other relationships. To love someone who had such a strong sense of their place in the world was quite precious. Sirin: I think that I learn more about who I can be, every day that we are together. Hamsan: I understand. You were betrayed by the group of people in the universe you should be able to trust the most. No one, not a Vulcan, not an El-Aurian, not a Bajoran, would so easily trust after being treated that way. Sirin: Learning how to let people in hasn’t been easy. But it has been worth it in many ways. There will always be times where I am not as...open...as I wish to be with you, but it will never be because I doubt how you feel. Dwich exhaled in a not-quite-laugh, not-quite-sigh. His mixed emotions were on full display. Hamsan: ::grins:: My turn now? Sirin: ::nods:: Of course. When Dwich told Meidra that his lifelong vocation was just as strong as it always had been, he too felt as though he’d been leading a double life, the “two Dwiches,” to complement the “two Meidras.” It felt good to get it off of his chest, but it was a potential complication to a long-term relationship. People become ranjens and prylars and vedeks because they want to serve the Prophets, to put them before any and all worldly concerns. Such a commitment wasn’t ideal for making a relationship work. Hamsan: I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner. The truth is, I can’t help feeling that my pagh is still meant to walk this path. That someday, I will join the clergy like I always wanted. ::beat:: I didn’t expect to fall in love with you, though. Sirin: I didn’t expect to fall in love with anyone. But I would never hold you back from what you feel you need to do with your life. Hamsan: You’re an important part of my life now. I can’t imagine it without you. ::beat:: But that doesn’t replace or diminish what I still believe is my life’s calling. I hope you understand. Sirin: ::pauses:: How do you see your life after StarFleet? How would you even begin to know how to transition into such a life? ::pauses:: How would I? Hamsan: My four-year tour of duty is up next year. I could always sign on again, but… His voice trailed off. Starfleet had given him so much, and it seemed less than grateful to cash out after everything the organization had invested in him as a medical technician. Hamsan: I have made some inquiries. There are monasteries and temples all over the Federation now. It’s not like I would have to hide away in some forest in the middle of nowhere on Bajor. Sirin: ::squeezes his hands:: You know that I only joined because I had no one I could trust except my cousin, and she trusted StarFleet. Slowly, this crew has become my family ::smirks:: even Genkos. But even though I am grateful for their acceptance, and their companionship, I can’t imagine my life without you either. She took a deep breath and stared at him, focusing on his emotions. As an empath, she had always felt things so strongly that she’d forced herself to block emotions from everyone around her. This time, this once, she’d indulge and feel everything from someone else’s perspective. The rush of love and strength surrounded her like a blanket and she smiled brightly. Sirin: As long as you can feel as you do now about our joined path, I’ll walk it with you. However, if you ever feel that you need to walk alone, I - won’t be happy, but I will try to be happy for you. Because I do love you. Hamsan: I love you too. And still I want to share more of my life with you. The counselor considered this. What was the next step? Biting her lower lip, she acknowledged that they needed to have a conversation with someone a bit higher up then they were. Sirin: We’ll need to speak to Commander MacKenzie. TBC PNPC C2 Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 and Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0
  4. @Hallia Yellir combines scientific curiosity with overactive imagination and unquenchable optimism. It makes her a joy to read, and reminds all of us that there's more than enough room in Starfleet for FUN. ((Security Control, Deck 3, USS Resolution)) Yellir: Oh! Perfect! I need… ::checking her PADD:: two type one phase— wait, make that three, three type two phasers and fi…— no, six! power cells. I need them for an experiment. Aine's eyes went wide. oO That's quite a requisition for a science experiment. Oo Aine wondered what kind of experiment it was, and with scientists the way they were, who really knew? Sometimes it was better not to ask. Luckily, part of their resupply was included phasers because of the worry the effect the Skarn homeworld may have had on them...and one was missing. And being still docked, they could always get more. Hallia tilted her head slightly. A little alarmed by Aine’s reaction, she looked down, wondering if she’d said something wrong. The security officer seemed a little caught off guard by the request. But then again, not many science officers request directed energy weapons for an experiment. Part of her felt a little bad, but then again, it was either this or try and make one out of lab equipment. Which probably wouldn’t go well, as Hallia was all thumbs when it came to engineering. Perhaps actually learning more about the subject might benefit her. Sherlock: Um, yeah, that should be no problem. :: gesturing towards the weapons locker :: Standing, Aine made her way across the room. Pressing her finger onto an access panel, the door to the weapons locker slid open with a quiet hiss. Hallia grabbed the phasers one by one, and held them in her free hand. Sherlock: So, what kind of experiment is this? Yellir: ::smiling, Hallia mumbled quietly, almost unable to contain her voice to such a volume:: I made a chunk of what I call synthflesh. Sherlock: A what? Yellir: ::Nearly yelling:: Fake skin! ::covering her mouth and quieting herself:: Well… not exactly. It’s a layer of… skin really. It’s not real in the sense that it’s a part of someone’s body. However! I replicated it from leftover protein samples I found. Sherlock: What's it used for? Yellir: Oh, I’m SO glad you asked. It’s a regenerative layer of skin that can be easily grafted onto a patient. It skips the proliferative phase of the humanoid body’s natural healing ability. Ensuring that, potentially, in a matter of seconds and or minutes, depending on wound severity, it can knit back ripped open flesh and allow the immune system to focus solely on clearing out bacteria. It’s a little redundant, given we have dermal regenerators and whatnot, but I thought it could be fun. Maybe useful in the rare case someone is intolerant to the devices or something. As Aine grabbed for powercells, Hallia rambled on and on, explaining her process behind the idea as well as the parts she found most interesting in her mind. The Yelikan nodded, thinking of the security officer as such an amazing listener. Sherlock: That's fascinating. :: handing the power cells to Hallia :: So :: beat :: what do you need the phaser for? Yellir: Well, you see, in non-scientific terms, I’m going to shoot it and see what happens. I want to see if it offers any resistance to directed energy weapons. Hallia’s arms carried the lump of items. Using her chin to steady the pile, she continued talking. Sherlock: Response? Yellir: I mean, my hypothesis is that anything above stun is probably going to absolutely smoulder it. But, you never know! Maybe it’s somehow resistant to particle weaponry? ::jokingly:: We could outfit the ship with ablative skin in that case. Sherlock: Response? TAG/TBC ______________________ Lieutenant JG Hallia Yellir Science Officer USS Resolution G239409EK0
  5. It's always a pleasure to see talented writers scribing together, and this is an absolute pleasure. Well done @Etan Iljor and @Yalu; this is so much fun. I cannot wait to see where it goes! (( Shuttlecraft Rennell, Outermost Boundary of the Celendi Nebula, The Borderlands )) Awash with a hazy golden glow, the Celendi Nebula was situated at the eastern most edge of The Borderlands. An unfathomably large stellar gas cloud that had held its secrets for as long as the Federation had attempted to cross it, it was best known as a navigational hazard and a place best avoided by all but the most foolhardy explorers. Though not impossible to traverse, its composition made it extremely difficult. As he looked at the readout on his console, Etan Iljor could see why: synchrotron radiation, neutrino emissions, magnetascopic interference and large quantities of protomatter. He turned to the shuttle’s pilot- his roommate and Resolution’s helm officer, Lieutenant Yogan Yalu. Etan: Remind me why we’re here? ::he asked, his voice flecked heavily with sardonic humour.:: The corner of Yogan’s mouth turned slightly upward and he let out a brief chuckle. Their current situation reminded him of the latest chapter of The Belonging Season, his psychodrama du jour, in which the protagonists had just embarked on a locked-room style adventure of self-discovery and -expression. This simple survey mission, however, would likely pale in comparison to the pages of The Belonging Season. Taking his eyes off his console for a moment, he looked to his right, to the copilot’s seat, where his roommate and friend Etan Iljor sat, an inscrutable expression on his face. Iljor’s sense of humour never failed to bring a smile to Yogan’s. Yalu: I could read the mission briefing again. ::beat, in a theatrical narrator voice:: In a section of nebula, so weird, only two junior officers could possibly survey it. ::beat, normal voice:: With Resolution being repaired, I think we just might have been the only pilot-scientist combo hanging around the station. It had been a two day voyage from Deep Space 224 to their present location- just long enough to remind the young science officer why he did not care for the small auxiliary vessels used by their mothership. Two years earlier, he had been one of eight cadets sent out on a training expedition in such a vessel. What had started as an exciting opportunity for exploration and discovery had quickly lost it’s sheen when it had become apparent that eight cadets were not supposed to fit in such a cramped space. Two weeks and many, many frayed nerves later- Iljor had returned to the Academy campus on Betazoid with a healthy resentment for what many called ‘the Class 2 coffin’. Etan: And we couldn’t have taken the Waverider instead? Yogan nodded his shared disappointment. Waverider was far more comfortable for a two-person survey mission than this type-9 shuttlecraft–at least they would each have had their own bunk–but it was designed primarily for atmospheric rather than interstellar flight. Plus, it happened to be docked on the underbelly of Resolution’s saucer section, which meant... Yalu: It had a bit of a rough landing on that planet. It figured, given the Resolution’s last assignment had resulted in a crash landing that had damaged almost every system and compartment aboard. Of course the Waverider was being repaired. Some people, like Iljor, did not have any luck at all. Etan: Figures. ::he said, rolling his eyes for dramatic effect, before turning back to the readouts on his console.:: All that magnetascopic interference and ionising radiation is going to make our job a lot harder. Even at a considerable distance from the nebula’s outermost boundary, sensors were already struggling to identify anything inside. A confusing and contradictory stream of data filled his screen, reducing the sensor’s effectiveness by nearly 70 per cent. It occurred to Iljor at that particular moment, that there were some nebulas Starfleet were best avoiding. With all of its potential hazards to navigation and impediments to commerce, exploration, and general development in the region, it made sense to Yogan that properly charting some of the more dangerous fringes of the Celendi Nebula was a relatively high priority. It never ceased to amaze him that with all of their technology, still so much of their galaxy remained unexplored. Yalu: You’re right. The interference in this sector is 500% higher than the baseline for the rest of the nebula. Who knows, Iljor, there might even be undiscovered planets in here. ::beat, grins:: Have you completed first contact training? Etan: At the academy. ::he replied, bobbing his head:: It’s a required course for all students on the Anthropology & Archaeology track. ::best:: I must have spent a hundred hours in the simulator preparing for my exam. Maybe more. ::he turned from his console to glance at the pilot.:: What about you? Yalu: ::chuckles:: Nope. ::beat:: Well, yes and no. One of my previous hosts, Auzell, was a Starfleet officer, and she served on a couple of First Contact teams. I remember that simulator, too. Yogan, on the other hand… well, I suppose I can rely on my MED 111 course at the Academy. ::beat, off Iljor’s look:: Bedside Manner. I got an “A.” Iljor chuckled as he turned back to his console. He often forgot that the Joined Trill had entered Starfleet with the intention of practising medicine. Instead he forged himself a path as a consummate helmsman. He ran a scan of the region before them, not expecting a clear reading. The Celendi Nebula was not likely to reveal its secrets to the two men. Etan: I’m picking up a slight drag from our impulse engines. ::he cross referenced with the external sensor feed.:: The nebula density is increasing. As they neared the nebula, the density of its contents increased, blocking out the stars and casting a more muted, flaxen quality to the space ahead of the small shuttlecraft. Less awe-inspiring and more like an unpleasant soup one might order without realizing what it was made of. Yalu: I’ll take us in slowly, monitor our position, and keep an eye out for any navigational hazards while we execute the survey pattern. ::beat:: Once we’re off and running, it’s your show. Iljor smirked in reply. Etan: I hope your not expecting a gripping psychodrama, Yogan. ::he replied with no small amusement. He had seen the man’s reading material in their shared quarters.:: This will be a more sedate show. oO One that might put us to sleep. Oo ::he added mentally, preparing himself for a long assignment with little reward.:: The friendship Yogan had formed with Iljor since the two were assigned to share quarters on Resolution could best be described as easy. He enjoyed the Bajoran scientist’s company, and while they had few interests in common, they possessed a similar attitude that made cohabiting in a living space relatively unremarkable. Iljor was a contemplative sort, much more like Yogan Verso was before being Joined to Yalu. Even with all of the past lifetimes enriching and transforming his personality, Yogan was still introspective at heart, which made the two officers well-matched as roommates. Yalu: All right, starting in grid One-Alpha. ::looks over to Iljor, grins:: Survey away, my friend. Technically, as the superior officer, Yogan was in command of the survey mission, but when Iljor had first arrived on Resolution, the two men made the decision to leave their rank at the door of their shared quarters. Here, they were on duty, but their confinement to the shuttlecraft made the experience seem much more like they were hanging out at home rather than at work. Yogan was content to sit back and let the scientist do what he did best. Etan: ::he breathed in and reconfigured the console in front of him.:: Beginning scans of grid One-Alpha. Full sensor sweep. Yalu: Holding position. There is a stream of radioactive protomatter moving slowly toward us, but we’ll have moved to the next grid by the time it gets here. ::beat, sighs:: Exciting enough for you? He leaned over to get a better look at the data on Yogan’s console, his cautious nature taking hold. The information displayed was just as the Trill had said. Rendered as data on a screen, it did not look particularly threatening but if it intersected with the shuttlecraft’s position, there would not be much left of either man for Doctor Adea to identify. Etan: ::he looked at Yogan.:: I’m gripped already. ::returning his attention to his own sensor scans, he began to analyse the data that the sensors were relaying.:: I’m detecting a 0.002% increase in neutrino emissions. ::he rolled his eyes for dramatic effect.:: However will we sleep tonight? Yalu: ::chuckles, wryly:: With this firestorm of activity? I’ll be up for days. Yogan looked out the forward viewport at the slowly swirling, golden-green nebula. He was grateful to have a couple of days of uneventful, routine work to do before Resolution was ready to welcome them back aboard. There were still some twinges in his lower back and soreness in his arms from the physical work of building the home for the Romulan refugees, and sitting in the pilot’s seat of the shuttlecraft for an extended period had left him feeling a bit stiff. He’d heard about a place on Deep Space 224 where he could get a massage to work out the knots in his shoulders and neck, but after receiving a somewhat lukewarm review of the place from Meidra, he never pursued it. Etan: How did you find Oreen V? The topographical and environmental reports I read made for some pretty unpleasant reading. Iljor had not seen Yogan since he had returned from the nascent Romulan colony, even though they shared quarters. With his sleep cycle all but non-existent, Iljor had taken to working in the various science laboratories on the Resolution or wandering the gargantuan Deep Space 224. His conversations with Genkos and Aine had given him some solace that he was not as alone as he felt- but still, sleep eluded him. One such report he had come across during his nighttime endeavours made Oreen V seem like a difficult place for anybody to set up a colony, let alone a group of disaffected Romulans with limited resources. In a way, their efforts made him think of the refugee camps-turned-semi permanent settlements that had cropped up all along the Bajoran border with the Federation during the Occupation. Conditions on a plethora of worlds had been difficult to say the least, if not downright hostile to Bajoran life. But those displaced in the Diaspora were a hardy group- and they had made the best of a terrible situation. He knew that his paternal grandmother, Sobra, had spent some time in one such ‘settlement’ but she didn’t much like to talk about those years. He had tried occasionally over the years to glean some information- but it had not been until after her passing- at her memorial service- that he had learned she had worked as an healthcare assistant in the Federation administered medical centre. Yalu: The reports were accurate about the planet. The environment is hospitable, but definitely not conducive to sustainable, long-term settlement. ::beat:: I got the feeling it was given to the Romulans to settle because no one else wanted it. ::beat:: But they’ve done a remarkable job of building a community there. It’s inspiring, considering what they’ve been through in the last decade. Etan: They’ll bounce back. ::he said with certainty.:: The Romulan people are amongst the most resilient species in the quadrant. Part of my anthropological studies at the academy were centered on the Romulans. We don’t know a lot about them, believe it or, but what we do know is that they thrive in adversity. We may not always see eye-to-eye, if ever, with them- but we can respect their ability to come back swinging. Yogan held deep respect for Iljor, whose words sounded like they belonged to someone far older than his 22 years. Coming into the world on the heels of the Occupation and the devastation of the war, it would have been perfectly reasonable for someone of Iljor’s generation to become disillusioned and bitter. Instead, he seemed to maintain an inextinguishable curiosity about the universe, coupled with a healthy admiration of the accomplishments of his people. Yalu: You’re right. If Bajor can come out of the Occupation, with all of the devastation the Cardassians wrought over six decades, there’s hope for the Romulans. Etan: There’s that too. The smile that curled the corners of his mouth was tinged with pride. The Cardassians had plundered Bajor for sixty years. Plundered it for minerals, art, literature, arable land, oil and gas- amongst other things. By the time the Resistance finally succeeded in driving them off Bajor, the planet had been strip mined to within an inch of its life, most of its arable land had become poisonous, it held little natural resources and its people- once united in common cause- were on the verge of warring with one another. Iljor had been born several years after the end of the Occupation, but as a small child he had still seen the scars that it had left. He was undeniably proud of the work his people had undertaken to transform their homeworld back into a centre of diplomacy, commerce, academia and art. Etan: oO And there are still scars, even now. Oo ::he thought to himself, reminded of the accusations that Akhbett Jirall had levied across his beloved parents. He didn’t want to think about them for the time being- though it was becoming increasingly difficult not to. He forced himself to look back at the readings on the screen in front of him.:: Stellar winds in this grid are increasing. Not by much, but we still should be careful. Yogan’s attention was diverted briefly to the navigational console, and he noticed the same thing that Iljor did. His hands moved across the glossy surface and keyed in sequence of commands. Yalu: Engaging manoeuvring thrusters at one-quarter. That should keep us from getting buffeted about too much. ::beat:: Haven’t seen much of you since we left the Briar Patch. ::beat:: Or, come to think of it, since we got back from Trill. Opposite duty shifts, I guess? Iljor nodded, but looked at his console in an effort to not look at Yogan. He suddenly felt the cloud that had been hanging over him returning. Had his roommate noticed just like Aine and Genkos? Yogan had noticed that Iljor had seemed preoccupied of late, even more contemplative than usual. At first, he had chalked it up to the transformative experience they’d shared on Trill, Yogan’s zhian’tara, but Iljor’s muted disposition had continued beyond that. Etan: Uh, yeah. I guess. ::he could hear himself, he sounded non-committal:: It seemed as though Iljor wasn’t particularly eager to talk about it, and although Yogan was concerned for his roommate and friend, he didn’t intend to push the issue. After all, the two officers shared a living space and were friendly, but Yogan knew that Iljor had closer friends aboard the ship with whom he could share his troubles. Even so, whatever was on Iljor’s mind seemed to occupy him at all hours. Yalu: I’ve heard you pacing in your room at night. Etan: Hm? ::he looked up and glanced over at Yogan before looking back at his readings.:: I’m fine. ::Was it his imagination or did his own voice sound higher?:: Yogan looked down at his controls, manufacturing a break in the conversation. Perhaps there could have been a subtler way of backpedaling from the conversation than awkwardly about-facing back to work, but it was effective. Yalu: Grid One-Alpha is complete. Setting course for Grid Two-Alpha, thrusters only, 500 kph. Glad of the opportunity for the break in the conversation and feeling guilty about the fact he had lied to his roommate, he focused on the work ahead of them. Etan: Understood. Reconfiguring sensors now. Yalu: ETA at Grid Two-Alpha, 90 seconds. The craft rolled slowly toward its new destination, the only sound inside the shuttlecraft being the low hum of the engines. Yalu: I hope that whatever is bothering you, you have support to work through it. Iljor looked at Yogan from the corner of his eye. He wasn’t pushing the issue and for that he was immeasurably grateful. Etan: I do. He had yet to speak to Meidra although he had made an appointment. Knowing that Aine and Genkos were prepared to be there for him, even without knowing the specifics of the situation had made him feel a touch better. In his own way, Yogan was showing his support and Iljor was grateful. Yalu: I’m glad. ::beat:: Holding position at Grid Two-Alpha. Ready when you are. Etan: Sensors reconfigured. Beginning scans. Yogan looked through the viewport at another unremarkable swath of nebula, when something in the distance caught his attention. Yalu: ::pointing:: What is that? At first Iljor could not see what Yogan was pointing to. Given the Celendi Nebula’s reputation to could have been almost anything. Then his eyes caught it. Against the backdrop of the dusty golden gas clouds that marked the edge of the nebula, something was drifting slowly in space. The way in which tumbling gently over itself suggested to the science officer that it had been ejected some time ago from the nebula- perhaps a day or two- via the stellar currents that were found within. Iljor’s hands danced quickly over his reconfigured console, directing every available sensor at the small object. Etan: Scanning the object now. Yalu: It’s moving slowly, less than 20 kph. ::beat:: Getting a clearer picture of it on sensors. The sensor scans resolved themselves on the screen in front of Iljor. He raised an eyebrow and let out a small gasp of surprise. Etan: It’s a Federation Type-7 shuttlecraft! Yalu: ::squinting:: What’s it doing out here? The rounded hull of the shuttlecraft tumbled through space, emerging through the nebular haze and becoming easier to make out. Yogan’s question was purely rhetorical, as the small vessel was clearly adrift, its journey at the mercy of the currents whipping and whirling through the nebula. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good. Etan: I’m running it’s registry through the Starfleet database now. ::he said, his hands at work once again.:: According to the this, this shuttle belongs to the starship Ibn Battuta. ::he turned to Yogan again.:: Does that sound familiar to you? Yalu: ::copies Iljor’s data onto his own console:: Doesn’t ring a bell. ::beat:: It says here that Ibn Battuta patrolled a section of the Klingon border near the Celendi Nebula in the late 2360s. Etan: So it’s been out here for thirty years? I’m going to run a search on the Ibn Battuta and see what I can find. Yalu: The hull is intact. I’m going to move us in closer and tractor it out. ::beat:: Our survey can allow a brief detour to investigate. Yogan piloted their shuttle deeper into the nebula, which was more difficult than he anticipated due to the unusually dense matter surrounding them. A few minutes later, they were parked back in their original position near Grid Two-Alpha, with a derelict shuttlecraft staring back at them a few dozen metres off their bow. Etan: Should we go over? The idea caused a strange mixture of intrigue and apprehension within the science officer. Abandoned and adrift shuttlecraft certainly held secrets, but whether anybody should uncover them was debatable. Yalu: Good question. ::beat:: Is it safe to beam over? Iljor ran a quick scan before replying. Etan: Sensors are showing that the shuttle is operating on a reduced power mode. There’s a breathable atmosphere over there, but we can remote trigger it’s power systems to bring it up to full operating capabilities. Yalu: ::shrugs:: Might give us a sharper clue into this region of the nebula. After all, this craft has been lost for 30 years. Iljor’s console bleeped at him. His search on the USS Ibn Battuta had brought up some interesting information and he scanned through the documents that the computer had selected for his attention. Etan: The Ibn Battuta reported a missing shuttlecraft on Stardate 48401.32 that had been sent on a survey mission. The ship itself tried for a week to find it but two officers were reported missing in action, presumed dead. ::the realisation that meant for the two men hit him like a stellar wind.:: Oh Prophets, you don’t think…? His eyes fell across the old shuttle full of trepidation, imagining the state that it’s occupation would be in after three decades. Sensors had not registered any life signs, after all… Yogan bit his lip at this particularly grim development. The historical parallel wasn’t lost on him, either. Two officers, sent off in a shuttlecraft to survey the Celendi Nebula. What was that old cliché he heard during his school days? Something about learning from history or being doomed to repeat it? Yalu: We’d better prepare ourselves, mentally, for what we might find over there. Reluctantly, Iljor got to his feet and equipped himself for their impromptu away mission: a tricorder and a phaser. He was relieved that the Rennell did not carry Visual Recording Devices as standard. There were some things best left undocumented, if what he thought was waiting for them came to pass. Etan: I’m ready. ::he said, the reluctance he felt seeping into the tone of his voice.:: Yogan locked down their small shuttlecraft, the 24th-century equivalent of dropping anchor or yanking the emergency brake. Confident that Rennell would be waiting for them when they were ready to return, he stood and grabbed the same bits of kit as Iljor. After keying in a site-to-site transport and setting the time delay, he rose from his seat and joined his fellow officer at the back of the cabin. Yalu: Let’s go. Holding his tricorder in one hand and his phaser in t’other, Yogan breathed deeply in half-anticipation/half-dread as the transporter beam enveloped the two men, sending them into the unknown. (( Derelict shuttlecraft )) The first thing Yogan noticed upon beaming in was the smell. Stale air made the small space feel even stuffier than usual, and the cold temperature immediately made him feel clammy. There was clearly no threat lurking behind seats or under consoles, so Yogan holstered his phaser and switched the tricorder to his dominant hand. Yalu: No signs of electrical damage. Nothing to indicate a catastrophic systems failure. ::beat:: With a quick power transfer, this craft would be flight ready. Iljor took a second to reorientate himself and get used to the staler air of the derelict vessel. He unclipped his tricorder, opened it and began scanning just as Yogan had done moments earlier. He felt an odd sense of unsettlement, as though things were not supposed to be the way they were. There wasn’t much space to wander around, which made the initial search of the craft relatively brief in duration. After turning 360 degrees multiple times, Yogan realised that the unpleasantness he had prepared himself for. Etan: Where are the corpses of the missing officers? ::he said, bewildered and looking to Yogan for guidance.:: Yalu: I don’t know. ::beat:: I’m half expecting one of them to drop out of the ceiling. ::adjusts tricorder settings:: I’m scanning for residual humanoid tissues now. If they’re here, or were, we’ll find out. Yogan slowly scanned the interior of the spacecraft, sweeping the tricorder across each surface. The readout didn’t change at all, and Yogan furrowed his brow in confusion. Yalu: I’m not picking anything up. No signs of decomposition, either. Those two missing officers weren’t in here. Or at the very least, they didn’t die in here. This is anticlimactic. ::beat:: I mean, I wasn’t hoping to find dead bodies in here, but… ::voice trails off:: At least we can recover the logs and tow the ship back to starbase. Etan: Good idea. ::he nodded in approval.:: I’ll get started on the logs. Yalu: ::returning the nod:: Aye. I’ll get the navigational computer online and establish a link with Rennell. If I can pilot her remotely, it’ll be a lot easier. Iljor took the copilots chair, which was a lot less comfortable than the one he had been occupying in the Rannell. He reached forward and tapped the old style console. A sharp negative beep met his touch and he blinked in surprise. Etan: That’s odd. This console won’t respond. ::he ran his tricorder across the console.:: The power systems don’t seem to be unaffected by whatever happened to the shuttle. But I can’t access the navigational logs. Yalu: Hmm. ::stands behind Iljor at the copilot’s seat:: Mind if I take a look? Realising that Yogan was more qualified than he was, especially when it came to shuttle operations he vacated the seat promptly and waved towards it. Etan: Be my guest. With a slight smile, Yogan took the seat. After a cursory inspection of the console, he didn’t get much further than Iljor did, but his tricorder diagnostic spat out a string of text that made Yogan raise an eyebrow. Iljor was right; it wasn’t a power problem. It was something far more mysterious. Yalu: We can’t access the navigational logs because they’ve been encrypted. Access restricted on Stardate 48401.32. ::beat:: That was the same date that Ibn Battuta reported this shuttlecraft missing. Why would someone have done that? The science officer considered the question before responding. Etan: Some kind of classified mission? ::he shrugged uncertainly:: But that still doesn’t explain where the occupants went? ::he ran another sweep with his tricorder, this focusing on biological material.:: I’m not even picking up any kind of biological trace matter. It’s like the shuttle was launched with nobody in it. Yogan’s brow was getting plenty of practice being furrowed. If he wasn’t careful, this seemingly simple-on-the-surface survey mission might develop a permanent crease in his forehead. The Trill intentionally relaxed his expression as he considered what to do next. Yalu: Ibn Battuta reported this craft missing with two officers aboard. Let’s try to figure out who they are. ::beat:: I have an idea. ::taps combadge:: Computer, do you have a record of the crew roster of the USS Ibn Battuta on Stardate 48401.32? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: And a record of the same roster for, say, two weeks after that date? Computer: Affirmative. Yalu: Compare the two and report any changes. Computer: Working. ::beat:: Two differences between specified rosters identified. Yalu: Who are they? Computer: First Officer Lieutenant Commander Anxo Oliveria and Shuttle Pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade Parker Costanzo. Despite being mindful of the expression he wore on his face, Yogan couldn’t help raise an eyebrow at this bit of news. People go missing on missions from time to time, but for a senior officer to vanish without a trace added yet another wrinkle to this mystery. He thought about Addison MacKenzie, Resolution’s second-in-command, and had a hard time believing the crew would accept her just disappearing into thin air. Etan: The First Officer went missing?! ::he said, surprised.:: I guess that explains why Ibn Battuta spent a week looking for this shuttle. ::beat:: But according to our scans, they were never aboard. And a First Officer going missing in action would be pretty big news, right? So why have we never heard about Commander Oliveria? Things did not add up and coming so soon after their sojourn to the Briar Patch, Iljor was in no mood for more unanswered questions. Yogan looked back down at his tricorder’s display, as if to confirm that the data was correct. Both he and Iljor had run the same scans, and got the same results. With encrypted navigational logs, they couldn’t tell where the craft had been, but the condition of the [...]pit was clear: it had been launched with no one aboard. Yalu: We’ve got limited resources to get the answers we want out here. But I’m just as curious as you are, Iljor. We’ve got to find out what happened to Oliveria and Costanzo. Etan: ::he nodded his agreement.:: Maybe we should take this shuttle back to the Resolution? We’ll be better equipped to investigate there. Yogan nodded. The scientist was right. Perhaps Resolution, with her greater computing capacity, access to Starfleet records, and insolent-yet-efficient staff librarian, would be a more suitable base for launching an inquiry of this type. Yalu: Who’d have thought when we flew out here for a survey mission that we’d have uncovered something like this? ::settles back into the pilot seat:: Should be no problem piloting the craft remotely from Rennel, but it’s a two-day trip back to DS224. Iljor, I want to find out everything we can before we deliver this shuttle back over to Starfleet. Something feels wrong about this, and I don’t know about you, but I want to figure it out. Etan: I agree. ::beat:: We’ve already got too many mysteries left over from the Skarn Homeworld. I’m a scientist- and the idea of something going unsolved make my skin crawl. Their brief visit to the derelict craft had been a roller coaster. Yogan beamed over expecting to find the final resting place of two officers, left to the misfortune and abyss of deep space. Instead, they found an inexplicable situation and two officers whose disappearances remained a mystery. Yogan was pleased that his roommate and friend was as eager as he was to investigate. If nothing else, it might give them something to work on together after work, and be a welcome distraction to whatever had been troubling Iljor recently. Yalu: All right. The crafts’ navigation systems are linked. Let’s beam back and see if we can crack the encryption on those logs. TBC! Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 Lieutenant JG Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239203TW0
  6. These guys have worked incredibly hard on an extremely brilliant story about @Etan Iljor's folks and this JP with @Meidra Sirin is just the tip of the iceberg. But this is an awesome opener. Enjoy. ((Counselor Sirin's Office, Deck 2, USS Resolution)) The corridor- if you could call it that- that connected Meidra's office to the wider sickbay was short, almost to the point of being stubby. There was just enough room for a single person to wait for their appointment. There was a chair, but Iljor had chosen not to use it, feeling restless and anxious all at once. He paced it's nigh-non existent length back and forth, back and forth and felt the knot that had taken up residence in his stomach over the past few weeks tighten more than it had done up to that point. The only redoubt he had found from it was in his work on the Skarn Homeworld- the events there had forced a shift in his priorities- but in the days since their return to Deep Space 224, he had not been able to find a suitable distraction. Something in the back of his brain tickled, trying to push itself to the front. Each time he reached Meidra's door, it told him to push the button to alert the counselor to his presence. Each time he stopped himself from doing that, knot ever tightening. It wasn't rational and it certainly wasn't healthy, he knew that. In fact, he suspected his reluctance to talk to Meidra would be enough to fill half a dozen sessions with her. Meidra was in the middle of brewing some tea when she got the odd feeling that someone was outside her door. She frowned, not hearing anyone call to her, and she didn’t have any appointments lined up for the afternoon. Once she sensed it was Iljor, she waited for him to announce himself, but after a few minutes, he hadn’t tried. Staring at the door, she crossed her arms, almost willing him to enter. She’d wait until he was ready to talk, but curiosity was building. He had spent the last several months in denial. Deep in it, in fact. His decision to remain silent was born of a desire to keep the status quo as it was. He had come close to disclosing it to Genkos, but the fact was that unleashing what he had been told to anybody else would force him to confront the truth that Akhbett Jirall had provided him with. His parents had been party to a massacre. He could not stave off the reckoning any longer. It was time to rip off the band-aid, just as Genkos had suggested weeks earlier. He knew that he could not go through it alone. The CMO had told him that the crew would be there to pick up the pieces, but he needed their support to go through with it. He could think of no one more qualified- no one he trusted more- than Meidra. He reached the entrance to her office once more. Only this time, the doors opened and there stood the auburn-haired Vulcan/El-Aurian psychologist, peering at him with an expression somewhere between confusion and annoyance. Sirin: Iljor? Is there a reason you are haunting my waiting area? I can feel the waves of turmoil coming from you from inside my office. Come in, please. She moved off to one side to allow her friend and colleague entrance. Since his arrival on the Resolution, their friendship had grown into a cherished one, and the counselor was a bit overwhelmed by the strong conflicting emotions she felt coming from the usually cheerful science officer. It wasn’t like him to be so stressed, and a real concern started to grow within her. Sirin: I was just brewing some Spice tea for myself, but if that is not to your liking, you may use the replicator to procure a beverage. ::sits on her sofa, pouring a cup of tea for herself:: Tell me what is on your mind. Spice tea sounded like the tonic that Iljor needed. He made his way into her comfortable office, made himself a cup and took a seat on the same sofa that he had sat on the very first time that he had met her. It was still as soft as he had remembered. She waited patiently for him to sit down, and explain what had him so upset. She knew not to push too hard, Iljor always sorted through his thoughts in a quite logical way before speaking, and she knew this time would be no different. He saw no reason not to cut straight to the heart of the matter. Etan: Back when we were on Trill for Yogan's zhian'tara ::he began, slowly and deliberately as he organised his jumble of chaotic thoughts.:: I was approached by a Cardassian who claimed to have information on what amounts to a false flag operation on Bajor, one that my parents were drawn in to. ::he went to reach for the optolythic data rod that Akhbett had given him before her swift exit from the café. He didn't realise until he blinked that he was already holding it.:: The data rod had been gathering dust in his bedside table ever since they had returned from Trill. He had tried to forget about it as best as he could. He had ignored it for the most part, but after his conversation with Genkos and upon returning from the science symposium, he had finally decided to review its contents. What he had read had sickened him to his very core. Of all the things that he could have told her, this had not even registered as a possibility. Meidra took a sip of her tea, attempting to clear her thoughts, before putting the cup down to focus on her friend. Her voice softened, and she knew she had to tread carefully with this conversation. He was like a pi’sa-kai to her, a little brother, and she did not wish to cause him unneeded distress. Sirin: I see. And what exactly did this person tell you? Etan: She claimed that the old Central Command fed false intelligence to my parent's resistance cell that an Obsidian Order operation was about to take place. Their cell swiftly bombed the warehouse where they were sheltering and then 'picked off' the survivors one by one until none were left. Just repeating Jirall's claims made him want to be sick all over Meidra's office. He could feel the roiling of his agitated stomach, the knot there replaced temporarily by an ocean of anxiety. He took a sip of the spice tea with closed eyes, hoping it would calm him somewhat. Given that his hands were now beginning to tremble, it didn't seem to work. Meidra reached out and squeezed his hands in encouragement, her touch light. Sitting back again, she watched the emotions cross his face as he struggled to continue. She had never seen him so agitated. Her feelings for him as an older sister warred with her duties as counselor for a moment, and all she wanted to do was envelope him in a huge hug and let him cry it out. However, at this moment, they were counselor and patient. She took a moment to settle her own thoughts before continuing. Sirin: Take a breath, Iljor. Tell me more when you are ready. He drew strength from her gentle squeeze and he composed himself before elaborating. Etan: They weren't Obsidian Order operatives. ::he said in a small voice that took on a surprisingly guilty tone.:: They were religious believers. Civilians. Sirin: Refugees. Iljor nodded. Etan: Of a sort. ::beat:: They were members of an ancient Cardassian religion, known as the Oralian Way. After the establishment of the Central Command and the military dictatorship, religion was banned outright and members of The Way were hunted and persecuted publicly, for entertainment as much as a warning to others. The woman I spoke to said that the believers were being sheltered by the Vedek Assembly- which does tally with their actions during the Occupation. The Vedek Assembly had, in the decades since the end of the Occupation and the fall of Central Command, admitted to running an underground railroad of Oralian believers through Bajor, sheltering them until they get them off world and out of the murderous hands of Central Command and the Obsidian Order. It was their own act of rebellion against the oppressive Centeal Command. Iljor had thought them courageous and selfless, putting aside prejudice and hate to help those in dire need of rescuing. Sirin: And this woman said your parents were somehow involved. ::beat:: What else did she tell you? Etan: That was pretty much it. That there was a false flag operation, my parents' resistance cell was involved and religious refugees were massacred. ::he remembered a final detail.:: The Vedek Assembly covered it all up. ::he let out a sigh.:: I haven't corroborated any of the details. ::he held up the optometric rod again.:: I'm scared to. Sirin: What exactly do you fear, Iljor? Etan: That I don’t know my own parents- the people who raised me. This changes absolutely everything. I don’t know if I want to know the real them. Sirin: Perhaps not knowing is more harmful at this point. She poured them another cup of tea, watching his expression carefully. This was a huge revelation for him to deal with, and while determining the veracity of these claims was important, his emotional health was her first priority. Both as counselor, and as friend. Iljor considered Meidra’s view for a moment, his eyes darting back and forth as though he was reading something. His foot tapped on the carpet in agitation. Jirall’s evidence had more than just repercussions for him and his parents- the entire bedrock of Bajoran spirituality- the Vedek Assembly- could be shaken to its core. Etan: Something like this could rock the very foundations of Bajor. The Vedek Assembly engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the deaths of innocent Cardassian civilians. I know it was the Occupation and to almost everyone the only good Cardassian was a dead Cardassian. ::beat:: but I never believed that and I never will. He didn't remember getting to his feet and he didn't remember when he had risen his voice. Etan: For years I convinced myself that my parents were just messengers or they hid resistance members in their cellar away from the prying eyes of Dukat's patrols. ::beat:: I want to believe they’re innocent of what they stand accused of. They have to be. But in his heart, he knew the facts. Data on optolythic data rods was infallible and as best as he knew, nobody had ever successfully forged an entry. If Jirall had gotten the information then it was accurate. His entire world had been turned upside down. His parents were strangers, the leaders of his faith were party to a massacre and cover-up, everything he knew was a lie. She could see him spiraling into self doubt about what he had always felt was the truth about his family. He was agitated and she could feel his anxiety as if it were her own. Empathy was a fine talent to have until one felt as if one’s lunch was trying to escape. She took a deep breath and spoke a bit louder than usual to the young science officer. Sirin: Iljor. Look at me. Do you want to know what that rod contains? Are you prepared to deal with the consequences, no matter what they are? ::beat:: Have you considered speaking with your parents? There was something in Meidra's voice- a commanding tone- that snapped back to reality and out of his heightened emotional state. He blinked twice and looked at the counselor. The truth was that no- he was not prepared to deal with the information he had been given. That had been why he had buried it under a pile of clothes in his drawers and tried to pretend it did not exist. Yet, he knew he could not ignore it forever. He had known ever since Jirall had sat opposite him in the café on Trill that he would have to confront his parents with the information. He might not be prepared… but he would have to change that. He let out a long, sad sigh. Etan: No. No I'm not. ::he shook his head.:: But this is too important to bury my head in the sand and forget about. ::he paused for a second and flopped back on to the comfortable sofa, resigned to his duty.:: I don’t think that I could. He reached a decision. Etan: I have to speak to them. Sirin: I think that is the most logical course of action. It was not a conversation he wanted to have over subspace. He didn't want to have it at all- but he knew it had to be done. No, he needed to speak to them face to face. There was no way that they would leave the farm- not when the katterpod harvest was coming up. That only left one option. He needed to go home. Etan: I don't think I can do this alone. ::he said finally.:: I'm not strong enough. Meidra highly doubted that. Iljor had a strength that he might not recognize, but it was in everything he did, both as an officer and as a person. She would do what she could to reinforce that confidence until he truly believed it himself. But until then, she would do all she could for him when he needed her. Sirin: What do you need to make this easier for you? Etan: ::he looked at Meidra imploringly.:: Would you come with me? You're my best friend on Resolution and this is one of those times when you need a friend to support you. Meidra was quite touched. She felt the same way for the young Bajoran, and their weekly lunches had grown into a strong bond of friendship. She wondered how she had gotten so fortunate to serve with such incredibly talented and compassionate beings. Taking his hand once more in hers, she smiled warmly at her pi’sa-kai. Sirin: You never have to ask me for my support, Iljor. I wouldn’t want you to do this on your own. Speaking as a counselor, I would not advise you to go on your own anyway. Speaking as your best friend and big sister, I wouldn’t even let you consider it. He practically sagged with relief into the back of the sofa. Etan: Thank you. ::he said after several long moments that seemed never-ending.:: Sirin: We’re family now, pi’sa-kai. Your struggles are my own. We will get through this together, little brother. -- End Of Scene -- Lieutenant (J.G.) Etan Iljor Science Officer U.S.S. Resolution C239203TW0 & Lieutenant Meidra Sirin Ship’s Counselor U.S.S. Resolution R239707MS0 “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to life.”
  7. I found this probably a little too funny...
  8. The level of drama, drag race references, emotion and worlbuilding in this sim is over the top. I'm here with my popcorn ready to see how this arc develops. Great work @Yalu & @Etan Iljor ❤️ (( Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, Deck 225/226, Deep Space 224 )) The hustle and bustle of the pub actually made Dwich feel more comfortable about saying what he wanted to say; he could speak and let his voice get lost in the din. Certainly no one beyond their table would be able to overhear him even if they wanted to. Hamsan: I know you’re Meidra’s best friend, but you’re the only other Bajoran I’ve gotten to know on Resolution. I was wondering if I could ask for your advice. Etan: Uh, of course… The delay in Iljor’s reply and the uncertainty in his tone of voice made Dwich pause, and he second guessed whether or not he should continue on with his question. After a moment of consideration, he pressed on. Hamsan: ::gestures to Iljor’s earring:: You’re… observant, right? You follow the way of the Prophets? Etan: Of course. It guides me in everything I do. I believe I am walking the Prophets have laid out for me. Dwich nodded. Bajorans had a reputation for being a spiritual people, and while some were less devout than others, one could generally trust the assumption that Bajorans believed in the Prophets. It made sense for them, more so than Humans or other species for whom religion existed. To Dwich’s knowledge, they were unique amongst believers in that their gods were actual, real beings, living just out of time but very much involved in the affairs of the people they watched over. Hamsan: I’ve been thinking a lot about my path. Meidra and I have talked about moving in together, and I think we both want to take that step. But I keep thinking about Yurba’s Second Prophecy. Etan: I’m not familiar with it. ::he said, trying to rack his brains for any recollection.:: Hamsan: Before I joined Starfleet, I was in training to join the religious order at the Kaiett Monastery in Dakhur Province. But that was a long time ago. ::beat:: In Yurba’s, there’s one verse I can’t get out of my head. “If thou cantst love thyself, how canst thou love somebody else?” It’s making me wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Etan: Reading prophecy is fundamental. It is part and parcel of our spiritual lives. But there comes a point when sometimes we have to follow our hearts. My grandmother spent some time as a young woman considering doing the same as you did: joining the clergy rder- but it never felt right. When she met my grandfather, she was torn about whether to give up the order and marry my grandfather or give up my grandfather and spend her life in silent seclusion at the Vandawan Monastery. Dwich remembered his last day at the monastery, when Prylar Ulan told him to pack up his things and follow another path. It hurt, and for months, even years after, Dwich had felt lost. The one thing he had wanted more than anything else in the world was not the life for him, or so he had been told. Hamsan: What did she do? Etan: She wasn’t able to have an orb experience to find the answer, but she did speak to Vedek Vehsajj who told her of a passage from Yalar’s New Insights which said “One must not be sabotaged by the saboteur from within”. My grandmother realised that she was stopping herself from being truly happy and she left the seminary. Dwich recalled the book to which Iljor referred, though he didn’t remember the specific passage. Over tens of thousands of years, the Prophets had revealed themselves to chosen messengers on Bajor many times, which resulted in a diverse canon of prophecies to which the faithful could turn for guidance. In the past few days, Dwich had done his own share of poring over some of his most beloved sacred texts, but he was left with no answers, only more questions. Hamsan: But how does one know? How did your grandmother know? I love Meidra, but I still dream about joining a religious order. I don’t know how to reconcile those two things. Dwich tried not to scooch to the edge of his seat in anticipation as Iljor stopped to take a sip of his drink. It wasn’t as though he had the magic answer to solve all of Dwich’s problems, but perhaps he could provide something thought provoking or shed a new angle of light on the situation. As Iljor set the glass down, Dwich tried to anticipate what he would say. Etan: My point is: ask yourself how you feel about Meidra. I think you’ll find the answer is that which makes you the happiest. Dwich thought about his own feelings for Meidra, and the way she reacted when he finally expressed them to her. If he were speaking in his own language, he would have used the word tem’en, “bright one.” And he wanted to be her ja’ital, her “light,” in return. He knew she felt the same way about him, but Dwich felt that there was something in the way. Something within each of them that complicated their relationship and prevented them from becoming as close as their feelings might wish. Hamsan: I wonder if she would still want to be with me if I–– ::beat:: if I left Starfleet after my four years are up and joined the clergy. ::begins thinking out loud:: Not in a contemplative or cloistered order, one where she could come with me, maybe teaching or caring for the poor. With my medical training, I could do a lot of good in one of the cities. Ashalla, maybe. Or Tamulna. Etan: response Dwich realised he was getting ahead of himself. He had discussed his vocational aspirations with Meidra a few times in the past, but he had always framed it as a part of his past. He’d not previously let on that he still thought about it every day of his life. Hamsan: I guess sharing quarters is such a big step, that it’s caused me to rethink everything about my life. I didn’t realise when I asked her that all this would come up. Etan: response Hamsan: But I don’t think I’m the only one. Dwich looked over at his unpalatable, nearly full beer. It was likely warm and flat by now, rendering it even more unpleasant. Even so, he grabbed it and took a draught, pulling a face as he set down the glass and forced himself to swallow the mouthful of acrid beverage. Hamsan: I think she’s hiding something from me. Something that she thinks would change the way I feel about her if I found out. Etan: response Hamsan: I don’t know. ::beat, suddenly realises:: And this isn’t me trying to prise it out of you, Iljor. Honestly, I would never want to exploit the confidence between friends. I just wish she believed that nothing could change the way I feel about her, and even if the Prophets don’t intend for us to walk the same path forever, she can at least be herself with me in the here and now. Dwich realised that his own words could just as easily be spoken in the reverse about him. It was as though each of them had brought a third one with them into their relationship, a secret or a longing, that threatened to derail what they had together. Etan: response (( OOC: The musical accompaniment for today’s sim is Between performed by Vienna Teng. )) Tag / TBC PNPC Crewman 2nd Class Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others, those who have lost the right to speak. — Mahmoud Darwish
  9. First let me start by saying I am not really impartial here. Sherlock joined me in my return cruise and I have enjoyed her life around the fleet. But this sim really got me by surprise, and I think it deserved it's place here. ((OOC: trigger warning: there is talk concerning abortion in this sim. Continue on at your own risk.)) ((Officer's Lounge, Deck 19, Deep Space 224)) Aine had spent the day avoiding public spaces. She was nervous enough to agree to meet Mel, running into him would have just made things worse. She wished she hadn't arrived early. The minutes felt like lifetimes. She wondered what Mel wanted to talk about. Her worst nightmare was that he would want to rekindle their relationship. She sipped at her water and sincerely hoped he'd be late so she'd have an excuse to leave. But no luck there, for there he was. He approached and everything felt like it slowed, save for her breathing which quickened. Walking up to the table, he handed her a single purple dahlia, her favorite. She took it and stared at it for a moment, it's many petals standing out in the dim lights of the lounge. Martinson: May I? ::gesturing to the chair opposite her:: Aine's eyes shifted back and forth. Sherlock: Of course. Martinson: ::settling into the seat:: Can we...can we just start over for a moment? Sherlock: We can try. Martinson: Ok. Well, how are you? How are you finding your time in the fleet? Sherlock: I'm good. Things are good. I'm ::beat:: making friends with some of my shipmates. The work can be tough, but I'm enjoying it. Martinson: That's good. I've read a couple mission reports from the Resolution. ::laughing behind his words:: You guys' have seen some stuff. Sherlock: You could say that. :: shrugging with her hands:: Just another day in the Fleet, right? Aine watched as the normally overly confident man seemed jittery and nervous. His hands clasped on the table. He appeared to be trying hard to not anger Aine...again. She almost felt bad for him. She decided to show him she was going to be civil. Sherlock: Um...what about you? You got assigned to the...Gle... Martinson: Glenn, yeah. Still there. Nothing quite as exciting as your ship. But, we're more diplomacy focused. Mostly it's been settling small colonial disputes. So, how are...uh...how are your parents? She thought back to when they came to visit the Academy campus in San Francisco, a long journey as far as they were concerned. Mel was a nervous wreck meeting them. Aine grinned at the memory. Sherlock: They're good. My ma brings you up every now and then. My da, well, he's a father so he despises you. They both laughed at the notion. Sherlock: And your ma? Martinson: She's good. Still in the fleet. I think she's planning on retiring in a few years. She hasn't brought you up since... Sherlock: Gee, thanks. Martinson: No, that's not what I meant. She loved you. She just, for me, doesn't bring it up. Aine saw his nervousness rise. She flashed him a sly grin to let him know she was only joking. Sherlock: So, is this what you wanted? Just to chat and catch up? Martinson: Yes. Well, I wanted to say something. I know what I did was horrible. I'm not denying that. And I am sorry. I was young, career driven...stupid. And I am really sorry. I still care about you. And, I want you to know that. Aine swallowed hard. oO Maybe he does really feel bad? Oo Truth was, she never could fall out of love with him despite the pain. She nodded her head slightly to acknowledge his apology. Sherlock: Thank you. Mel took in a deep breath of relief. Sherlock: But, please know, it hurt. And it still hurts. This doesn't excuse you leaving. Martinson: No, I know that. I get that. Totally. I screwed up. I know. Sherlock: Good. Ok. Martinson: Ok. So, I know this is a big ask, but can I meet them? Aine's eyes narrowed as she thought about the question. She was more confused by it than anything. Sherlock: Meet who? Martinson: The baby. I mean, they're not a baby anymore, it's been three years and... Sherlock: Is this a sick joke? Mel looked like a man who'd made a mistake and Aine wondered now how much he really knew. How much he'd really looked into the situation after he'd left. Martinson: I know I haven't been there. But maybe that can change? Aine couldn't believe what was happening, she felt sick to her stomach. Sherlock: You don't even know, do you? Martinson: Know what? Sherlock: There is no baby. Mel looked shocked as he clasped his hands together in front of his mouth. Sherlock: After you left, just like you, I chose my career. I couldn't have a kid. Martinson: Aine, I'm so sorry. Sherlock: All of that nearly ended my chance in Starfleet, ya know? Even after I had the pregnancy terminated, it wasn't easy. I nearly failed my next year. Nothing was easy. She could feel the heat building in her cheeks and ears. It was bad enough he showed up, and now this, the ultimate painful reminder. Mel looked defeated sitting across from her. She could tell he was in shock and had never even considered that she'd go that route. Martinson: I don't know what to say. Sherlock: You don't have to say anything. Clearly you're full of it. You just showed how much you really care. You should just walk away, right now. Like you do. Martinson: Aine... Sherlock: Now! Aine looked around with her eyes, biting her lower lip seeing that all the other officers present were now looking at them. The heat of anger in her face was now replaced by embarrassment. Martinson: Can we ju... Sherlock: ::gritting her teeth and staring angrily:: Leave. Now. Martinson: ::standing:: Ok. I'll go. Mel looked like he was about to say something else. A brief pause before he turned and walked away. As he moved out of ear shot, Aine let out a breath she was holding, but the weight in her chest felt like it would cave it in. She breathed heavily as she held back tears. to be continued "special" appearance by Lt. Melvin Hollis Martinson Lieutenant Junior Grade Aine Sherlock Security Officer USS Resolution R239712AS0
  10. A couple of us are getting some off-duty face to face time with our Captain and I was fortunate enough to get to ask the right questions to get some good reminiscing out of her.
  11. @Meidra Sirin and @Maz Rodan have done a fabulous job creating an intership JP of two people who shouldn't know each other, justifying it, and then having a hell of a lot of fun with it. Well done guys! ((Risa - The Grand Key Resort; Main Lobby)) Regan was impressed with the lavish interior of the Grand Key. He hadn’t stayed there before, mostly because when he was on the planet he stayed at his family’s beach house on the seafront - it was only a stone's throw away from the main chain of hotels and nightlife in the beach district. Meidra wasn’t sure what to expect at a Tribble competition, but her little friend was not as confident in herself as she should be, and Meidra believed that this event would help Roc gain some much needed self esteem. Addison would have rolled her eyes at the suggestion, so Meidra just told her it was a psychological training class that involved therapy animals. A slight fib, but Meidra didn’t need that kind of negativity in her life. It was fun, however, to take Roc for the required physical for the competition. Doctor Genkos Adea, CMO and second officer of Resolution had a background in veterinary science due to working with his father while younger, and was qualified to give Roc a clean bill of health before Meidra whisked her off to the bright lights of the big city. The fact that he considered Tribbles the scourge of the universe only served to amuse the counselor when booking the appointment for R. Sirin. Looking back on the memory of his face, she had to fight giggles. Getting out of her transport, she looked up to see the marquee “Grand Key Resort” above her, and walked inside to find their room for the duration. The Grand Key was the host of the annual ‘Furs’ competition. Tribble fanciers from all over the Quadrant gathered once a year for the showing, and today was a busy day. The lobby was packed with all kinds of people milling about and chattering to each other excitedly. Some carried Tribbles in their arms; stroking them, petting them, others had them in custom carry cages, and the lobby was filled with the unmistakable sound of cooing. Regan carried Trevor in a cage - sturdy plastic with enough gaps for him to be visible and get plenty of fresh air. He’d got it custom made and decided against the plush pillow he usually laid the creature out on. Carrying him around made him feel like he was carrying a precious jewel rather than a pet. He turned to the front desk and registered his name - and Trevor’s - for the competition. As he was finished signing in Trevor made a cacophonous cooing noise which made Regan glance down at the cage. Trevor was shaking. Regan looked around and spotted a woman with pointed ears carrying her own Tribble. He smiled and nodded to the woman. Meidra noticed the shaking Tribble and smiled at his excitement. She wasn’t an expert on Tribble physiology since the exobiology classes at the Academy seemed to skip over the creatures, but she was getting the impression that Roc was being admired. Roc, for her part, was cooing gently as if to calm the other Tribble, and Meidra was quite proud of her little therapy animal. The counselor had an overnight bag slung over one shoulder, and was holding her white Tribble, gently telling her things were going to be just fine. Wilde: I think he likes you. Or your Tribble. He doesn’t usually get this animated on the ship. Sirin: He’s very handsome, Mister… ? Wilde: Oh, forgive me. ::He replaced the cage on the other hand and extended his free one.:: My name is Wilde. Regan Wilde. I serve on the USS Arrow. Sirin: Lieutenant Meidra Sirin. A pleasure to meet you. Regan smiled and tilted his head. Another Starfleeter. He would never have guessed with neither of them being in uniform. Wilde: Sirin? Where do I know that name… Sirin: My mother is a noted historian, perhaps you have heard of …. Regan clicked his fingers together in acknowledgement. His memory wasn’t failing him just yet. Meidra, knowing what was coming, simply continued to check in while Regan figured it all out. Roc was making the strangest soft sound, like she was talking to herself in hushed tones. Meidra smiled at the idea her Tribble was taking it all in and seemed content. Wilde: The Meidra Sirin!? Deep Space 224!? The counselor shrugged good naturedly, wondering how he’d heard of her adventure with her cousin Alieth. Addison had made it clear that it wasn’t something she wanted too many others to know about. Meidra smirked to herself. oOYou can’t stop a legend….or one of those blasted wanted posters were found again. Oo Sirin: ::lowering her sunglasses with her free hand:: You... know about that? Regan grinned, making the deep green of his eyes twinkle. Wilde: ::Chuckling.:: Oh, honey, everybody knows about that. ::Beat:: I’m a security officer. We all got the memo. Don’t worry, though. I am a bit of a misfit on my ship too. I’d love to hear the whole story of how you took on Klingons. Meidra pushed her sunglasses back up and nodded, happy to have met someone who wasn’t judging her for past mistakes. Sirin: Perhaps once my friend and I here have a chance to settle into our room. ::whispers:: I told my First Officer this was a training symposium for Tribbles. She didn’t look closely at the paperwork, so here we are. ::speaks at a normal volume:: I’d love to hear more about your Tribble. What is his name? Wilde: This is Trevor! ::He held up the cage for inspection.:: My little pride and joy. I do all of his grooming myself. The shampoos, the styling. I’ve been trying to get that top little patch of hair into a mohawk, but so far no success… The counselor got a strong feeling that the pink creature in front of her was not fond of the prospect of such a hairstyle, but she nodded diplomatically. Roc was happy just to be brushed nightly. Sirin: A mohawk would be quite - different. Wilde: And your little Tribble, what’s their name? Sirin: Roc, it means hope in Vulcan. She is my little junior counselor, we visit people in Sickbay when needed. She’s very popular with everyone ::thinks of Genkos:: well - almost everyone. Wilde: You told your First Officer you were coming to a training seminar? Would they have frowned upon a showing competition? Were things so different on Meidra’s ship than the Arrow? Sirin: No she wouldn’t have objected at all. She would have teased me mercilessly over my desire to come to something so illogical. Being half Vulcan, most people assume that I have no desire for such things. What about your situation? Is it similar? Wilde: On the contrary, if I told Commander Collins I was coming to a training symposium, he’d look at me strange. A showing competition is far more my style. Sirin: I can see that, you and Trevor are quite stylish. She finished checking in, then gave her full attention to her new acquaintance. Her pure white Tribble seemed to stare at Trevor, but Meidra figured that it was because the only others she’d ever been near had not been pleasant. The little noises she made were quite soothing. Wilde: So you’re staying here? At The Grand Key? Maybe we can hang around together and check out the competition. Sirin: That sounds fun. To tell you the truth, I needed to take a few days and just recharge. We have a small ship, but in a way, that makes it difficult to have any time to oneself. Wilde: I definitely know that feeling. I’m here for shore leave too. Are you here totally for pleasure, or business too? They began walking together towards the elevator leading to the guest rooms. Pressing the button to enter, they quickly chose their floor and watched the doors close on the bustling crowd in the lobby. The two Tribbles seemed to be cooing at each other, and Meidra glanced down to smile at them before answering. Sirin: My boyfriend is in the middle of a week of training, he’s an EMT and has to keep his skills current. So, when I heard about this competition, I thought it would be a good bonding experience for Roc and myself. She’s got some self esteem issues. Wilde: Ah, a mix of both! The idea of a Tribble with self-esteem issues made his nose wrinkle in amusement. Tribbles were such fascinating creatures. He’d wanted one for as long as he could remember. He was so pleasured and flattered when Mees had found him one while they were blockaded over Theta 122. Meidra grinned, leaning in to confide in Regan. Sirin: And maybe I have always wanted to come to a Tribble showing competition. I’ve read about them, but never seemed to find time to attend. She had a flash of something pass through her mind, and realized she was picking up emotional signals from the nice young man. Something about a wedding. Sirin: Have you been to one before? Wilde: This is my first competition, too. Technically I’m here for shore leave, though my twin sister is getting married soon and she let me organise the bachelorette party. But I managed to get some free time away from organization duties. This is going to be such fun! Sirin: You seem rather confident. One thing Regan Wilde did not lack was confidence. Wilde: Are you kidding, Trevor is a sure thing! He’s well groomed. He’s got a top range melody. His obedience could be a little better… He cast a suspicious eye at his pink little companion. For a species as docile as Tribbles, Trevor had a curiously disobedient streak to him. Regan would wake up in the night and the little pink ball of fur would not be on his sleeping pillow, or a different position in his quarters entirely. Wilde: But I’m forever an optimist. Winning would be incredible! Sirin: It would certainly give bragging rights. She imagined getting Roc a little crown and throne, then throwing a little celebratory party for her when she returned to Resolution. Then celebrating seeing her boyfriend again. Her pleasant thoughts were interrupted by Regan’s next question. Wilde: You mentioned self-esteem issues with Roc? How did you come to that conclusion? Sirin: She comes from the wildlife sanctuary on Vulcan and the others were less than kind to her. I was looking for a therapy animal to assist me in counseling duties but it seems that I must first build up her sense of worth. The elevator door opened, and the four started down the corridor. Wilde: Now that sounds really interesting. Trevor is my therapy Tribble, too. I was given him after a mission in the Alpha Isles… How much was he willing to confide in this new acquaintance of his? Obviously not too much to think he was a nut-job. So no mention of night terrors. Or episodes of lost time. Could he tell her about the pirates who boarded the Arrow? Probably. Captain Ghant? Sure. Captain Ghant torturing him and using his own Reman knife to cut out his eye and then eat it like an appetizer? Absolutely not. He controlled his thoughts and masked his moment of distraction with his signature smile. Wilde: This is going to sound forward, but I’d love to discuss therapy Tribbles some more. Are you free for dinner tonight? I know all the hot-spots of Risa. ::He almost winked conspiratorially.:: Thanks to my Wilde youth. Pun intended. For some reason, most people delighted in puns about his name. Sirin: Dinner sounds fun. Thank you for the invitation. Meidra hadn’t planned to go out her first night at the resort, but Wilde seemed like someone who would be an excellent dinner companion. Wilde: Excellent. I’ll send my shuttle to pick you up. Eight o’clock? Sirin: I’ll be ready. Is your room nearby? Regan looked around the corridor and chuckled. He’d been so engrossed in conversation he almost forgot he didn’t have a reservation. Wilde: Oh, I’m not staying here. My family has a beach house on the seafront. A few of us from the ship are staying there. Sisters bachelorette party, as I mentioned. Sirin: I see, well, enjoy seeing your family. I need to get this one ready for her nap, it’s been a long day for her already. Wilde: Then I shall see you at dinner, Meidra. It’s always fun to meet a fellow officer. And I’m sure there are lots of adventures to be had here. Though I will warn you, I’m not fighting Klingons… ::He grinned mischievously.:: Well, no promises! Sirin: Hah, you’ll be fighting them alone ::holds up Roc:: I have this little one to think of now. Oo And Addison would probably leave me in the brig this time oO Wilde left with a grin, and Meidra entered her room, quickly setting up a bed for Roc with a hotel pillow. She sighed, heading to take a quick shower, wondering how her little friend would like the competition. There was a restlessness in Roc, and Meidra was determined to find its source and help get the Tribble to a happier mind set. After she’d changed, she sent off a quick message to her boyfriend, Dwich, letting him know that she was thinking of him and hoping he did well with his training classes. She flinched, remembering an ill fated self defense class where she’d accidentally broken his arm. Thankfully, he hadn’t been seriously injured, and they’d finally confessed their feelings after months of near misses. Standing up, she went over to the large window and gazed at the stars that were just beginning to make themselves known. She was at peace, confident that there would be no drama or chaos on this shore leave. Smiling, she went to the mini bar and took out a bottle of Vulcan brandy, filling her flask. It was going to be a good night. ((Risa - Gino’s Bar and Grill)) Regan had sent his shuttle to pick his new friend - Meidra Sirin - up from The Grand Key, and deposited them a short time later at Gino’s, a little out of the way joint which wasn’t too fancy and overpriced, but not too low brow either. Regan had known Gino for years and always liked to stop in whenever he was on Risa. The handsome Risian was pleased to see him and offered them the best table. The little bar-slash-restaurant was lively tonight. Evidently the popularity of the place was on the up. Meidra smiled as Regan held out a chair for her, and she glanced around at the various people dancing and socializing. She wished Dwich had been able to come with her for this, but his career was very important to him because it allowed him to help others, and that was one of the many reasons she loved him. Wilde: I hope you don’t mind a little atmosphere with your dinner tonight? Sirin: On the contrary, I could use a bit of entertainment this evening. The buzz in the atmosphere was contagious, and Regan felt himself unwind almost instantly. The stress of organizing a party, combined with the sudden arrival of his mother and aunts at the beach house, had made him too tense to think straight. He was grateful for a chance to sneak away for the Tribble competition, and meeting another Starfleet officer who might understand that. Wilde: Your EMT boyfriend not joining us? Meidra sighed, missing Dwich a bit more, seeing the happy couples at dinner. Maybe they could go away together somewhere for a few days. She did have that cottage her grandmother had left her on a little out of the way planet. She could see them relaxing on the wraparound porch that circled the small home, watching the sunsets together. She shrugged, smiling at her dinner companion. Sirin: Unfortunately, his training sessions are keeping him busy. I won’t see him for another few days when I go back to Resolution. Wilde: Oh that’s a shame. I was going to ask if he had a medic friend he could introduce me to. When on Risa, as they say… He gave a smirk of amusement. Meidra matched it with one of her own, raising her water glass to salute him. She also wished Iljor was around so that she could introduce them. She wasn’t giving up on finding the science officer possible dates. Sirin: I’m sure you won’t lack for company once men know you are open to it. ::Looks around:: Risa looks a bit different since the last time I was here. Of course that was twenty years ago and I was not exactly looking at the scenery. ::winks:: My twin and I came here a few times to get away from the rest of the family. Separately of course. But we always shared our stories once we were back home. Wilde: Twenty years ago? I was but a child. ::He chuckled.:: Those Vulcan genes must do you wonders. Sirin: Thank you. I’m half El Aurian so they tell me that contributes to it as well. Wilde: How fascinating that you’re a twin! I’m a twin too! Roxy can get quite embarrassed about some of the things I used to get up on Risa. I was a bit of a reckless one when I was younger. Sirin: After our kahs wan, we left Vulcan for quite some time. During our teenage years, my brother and I came up with many ways to get into trouble. Oo Thankfully those records are sealed. oO A member of the waiting team came to take their order, and Regan waited for Meidra to order before he ordered his meal. Meidra chose a spicy hasperat then smiled up at the waiter. Sirin: Whatever Bolian cider is in season please. Regan? He held up a hand politely and waved it slightly. He offered an apologetic smile. Wilde: I’m… err… actually coming up six years sober. ::To the waiter.:: Just a fruit [...]tail for me, please. Sirin: Apologies for my assumption. Wilde: Please, don’t apologise. It’s not a pleasant dinner topic, but… it’s part of who I am. I accepted it, and I take mandatory counselling for it. Among other things. Sirin: Do you not find these visits beneficial? Wilde: Oh I’m not afraid of the counselors office like a lot of officers are. Sometimes when I get talking R’Ariel has to reschedule other appointments. Meidra considered her own visits with Genkos. The good doctor was kind enough to agree to counsel her when needed, and she considered him a true friend. She said as much to Regan as she took another sip of water before her drink arrived. Sirin: It’s interesting being a counselor and needing therapy. Our CMO looks after my mental health since I’m the only counselor on board. I’d never admit it to him because he’d be embarrassed, but I think he’s one of the most compassionate men I’ve ever met. Wilde: ::Nodding.:: I think a lot of doctors are. Kind of comes with the territory, doesn’t it? She remembered her former fiance and how he was anything but kind. Those memories would stay with her, locked away, no matter how much therapy she had. She pushed the thoughts away, but still, answered his question with a smile that did not quite reach her eyes. Sirin: You would think so, but I have found that some doctors only look at people as test subjects. Then again, some people think of creatures like Tribbles as test subjects. It is always refreshing to meet a physician that truly values life. Wilde:: Have you found Tribbles to be… beneficial in counselling? He expected a laugh or jeer or something, but he was actually quite serious. Wilde: That’s a legitimate question, by the way. I know Tribbles get a lot of flack sometimes, but Trevor has been a huge help to me. The counselor nodded. Roc had comforted quite a few patients in Resolution’s sickbay. Something about a purring ball of fluff made even the most hardened hearts melt. Unless one was a certain grumpy CMO, but he’d come around eventually. Sirin: I believe I have found few creatures so in tune with compassion and the feelings of those around them. They exude a calmness that makes them invaluable in a counseling setting. Where did you find Trevor, if you don’t mind my asking? Wilde: Oh, he was a gift. From a friend. We had a bad mission at Theta 122. Well, we had several, but I’m trying not to keep score. Orion pirates boarded us and caused a lot of damage to the ship. The Captain of them and I… fought and she injured me. Quite badly. And I started having interrupted sleep and losing time. I guess you could call it PTSD. And Trevor helps at night when I wake up. Sirin: I’m sure you give the same comfort and familiarity to Trevor. After some issues with my family, I guess I felt a bit alone. We were on Vulcan for shore leave recently, and found myself at a wildlife sanctuary looking at Tribbles - I had one as a child - and Roc was alone in a corner, shunned by the others just for being a pure white creature while they were boring browns and greys. I suppose she reminded me of myself. Surrounded by family, but shunned for being different. ::points at red hair:: This doesn’t exactly scream Vulcan. Meidra remembered her last trip to Vulcan where her grandfather had sent assassins after her just for being less than a perfect Vulcan. She took a sip of her drink and focused on enjoying her evening. Wilde: I’m wondering if Starfleet will sanction their use as official therapy animals. We still use dogs and cats, why not Tribbles? Sirin: Why not, indeed? Officially, Roc is listed as a pet, but she’s been very helpful getting my patients to open up in a safe environment. Not many can be stressed around a Tribble. Unless one is Klingon, and I’m not sure the usual counseling methods work well with them anyway. In my experience, it tends to be more - physical - when discussing issues with one. Meidra thought back to her night in the brig on DS224 - true, she’d been reprimanded by one angry First Officer, but the tattoo and the memory was precious to her. She really should call Alieth soon and see how she was doing with her very illogical ship mates on the Thor. If she wasn’t in a relationship now, she may have been tempted to find the Klingon scientist she debated later that night in the brig. She laughed to herself, knowing that would never happen. Dwich was her ashyam, her beloved, and she smiled to herself as she thought of him. Sirin: Do you see it happening? Wilde: I’m sure with a few strong supporters, they might seriously consider it. I wouldn’t mind backing such a movement. If all else fails, it could be done privately. I have the latinum to invest. I just need the Tribbles, and for that, I’d need a breeding license from the TFA. Meidra nodded thoughtfully. Finding unaltered Tribbles was hard enough, finding specimens suitable for a breeding program was increasingly difficult. She wondered what one needed to do in order to be granted a license. She then smirked, wondering how Genkos would appreciate Resolution overrun with cooing Tribbles. Sirin: Is that difficult to procure? I know the Tribbles on Vulcan are sterilized, but - nothing is one hundred percent effective on that front. I’m reminded of an old human saying, life finds a way. Wilde: The Tribble Fanciers Association is quite strict with whom they grant licenses to. Tribble breeding is quite tricky. You’ve probably read the reports of when it goes wrong… Sirin: ::takes a sip of her cider:: Thousands of breeding, voracious Tribbles overrunning every unclaimed bit of space. It would certainly get interesting quickly. Wilde: ::Chuckling:: As amused as I would be to see a ship overrun with Tribbles, I can see why others would protest. Sirin: Tribbles are quite docile unless… Wilde: Experimented on... Sirin: Yes I have heard of the experiments Edward Larkin did on the Cabot.::takes a sip of cider:: I hear he was suffocated by a mountain of Tribbles for his hubris in injecting them with his own DNA. ::shrugs:: Thankfully, Vulcan has worked to reverse this, but it’s probably a losing battle. To get permission to knowingly breed a population that can overpopulate without regulation may be difficult. ((Meidra and Roc’s suite, the Grand Key Resort)) Roc had had a short but productive nap, and now was waiting for the human to return to her to prepare a cup of tea for them and sing her to sleep. She wasn’t sure what a competition was, but would try to do her best for Meidra. She couldn’t help thinking about the Tribble she’d noticed downstairs as Meidra made another new friend. He was a Tribble, yes, but - pink. She’d never known one with such bright coloring and such an aura of chaos. She could feel him generating rage as quickly as she instinctively tried to soothe his anger. It was exhausting how many things he complained about. Baths, hair styling, being spoken to. It was enough to make Roc wonder why he hadn’t jumped into a pool of lava - surely life with such a caring human was not something to be reviled? Still, there was something about him that drew her to him. He seemed to have such a strong personality and she was quite mesmerized by it. She needed to see him again and learn more. Settling back into her pillow, she bounced once onto the remote for a viewing screen on the wall and started to watch an old documentary on the history of bread making. ((Meanwhile…)) ((The Wilde Beach House)) The filthy biped - the stupid one with the hair products - had left him alone for the evening, and Trevor was always glad for the solitude. Bipeds were a disease, and he feared spending too much time with them would infect his pure little body. Besides, this biped did nothing but talk! Useless, mindless talk - content to drivel on about everything and nothing. It drove the tiny creature half mad… Then there was the pampering. Ceaseless baths, and shampoos, hair styling and the usual degrading processes this insane biped subjected him to. It was torture! It must be amusing for the bipeds to treat other creatures of the galaxy so inhumanely. Trevor had to face facts. He was a pet! A primitive form of life whose purpose was solely to amuse the feeble minded biped in whose clutches he was now a slave. But he’d show them. Soon, he would have his revenge, and all bipeds would get what they deserved. He’d planned it for months now. He had a way to control the weak minded fools who thought themselves his masters. Yet… the white one. He’d sensed her in the hotel earlier that night. She was different, somehow. He sensed in her an aura. A power similar to his own, but… different. Trevor didn’t know what it meant. But he was eager to see the white one again, and soon… ( (Risa - Grand Key Resort; Main Competition Tent)) “GOOD MORNING, RISA! I’m Vivienne Zavaroni and I’m here at the luxurious Grand Key Resort at the south beach for the annual Tribble Showing Extravaganza - ‘Furs’. Always the pinnacle of showing season, ‘Furs’ has been a staple for Risian culture and tourism for nearly a decade and attracts Tribble owners, breeders, showers and fanciers from all across the quadrant in three action-packed days of competition. We’re seeing thousands of people in attendance this year and the excitement is definitely in the air! ‘Furs’ is judged on five categories including Best Breed, Agility, Obedience, Melody and the coveted Best in Show. ::Beat:: The TFA judges are about to begin the proceedings and this FNS reporter is on hand all throughout the show to capture the highlights and backstage gossip. Let’s cut to the main parade ring and see some of the top contenders for Best in Show!" Regan had met with Meidra after breakfast to get into the main competition tent early and secure a good spot backstage. Meidra, for her part, was quite excited to be a part of something so different from the ordered life she had on Resolution. She wondered if she’d ask Aine to come along next time, the security officer enjoyed new experiences and made everyone around her just as excited with her infectious smile. The atmosphere was electric, even for Risa. All around competitors and event staff were rushing around and directing people to the right places in the tent, and the melody of the tent full of Tribbles was both soothing and exciting. After being directed to their preparation area backstage in the massive showing tent, Regan turned to his new friend. Wilde: Have you got everything? Sirin: I think so, this is our first time, so I’m hoping I’m not missing anything. I can see you’re relaxed though. Oo I wonder if anything makes Regan doubt himself. oO Wilde: What about you, nervous? Meidra looked around at the various trainers and Tribbles, feeling quite out of her element. She shrugged, grinning. Sirin: It’s odd, I’ve been in hand to hand combat with Klingons, and yet I feel a bit overwhelmed being here today. As a former model on Betazed, Regan was used to the limelight and the attention. Still, he had to admit he did have a bellyful of butterflies today. So many people! He lifted Trevors carry cage onto a nearby table and began rooting through his backpack for all the grooming items he’d brought. Sirin: Is that all for today? ::remembers that she just brushed out Roc’s fur and hoped for the best:: Wilde: What category do you have first up? Sirin: I think it’s a dance number of some sort. ::watches Roc bounce up and down in her carrying cage:: She seems pretty excited. ::Roc coos at Trevor, trying to get his attention:: Wilde: I have obedience and agility first. I hope we’re ready… Sirin: I’m sure Trevor is more than ready to shine. They didn’t notice their Tribbles deep in conversation. Later, they would wish they had. ((Mini-Timewarp)) Regan was with the rest of the competitors in his category and stood in the tent in front of the judges. Famed Tribble breeder - Clarissa Dickinson-Smythe - was head judge for the competition. She was a prized shower for many years before deciding to try her hand at breeding. Regan found her to be delightfully eccentric. The President of the Tribble Fanciers Association - Duncan Lovejoy - was also on the judging panel. A prim and proper human, he cast a languid eye across the competitors. Meidra walked up to see the judging after Roc had easily won the dance competition. For a Tribble, it was mostly jumping up and down while trying to stay on the judging platform, but Roc seemed to have it under control, having practiced to old Terran music from Ireland, courtesy of Aine. She saw Regan and Trevor, giving them a small wave of support from her seat nearby. Trevor was being less obedient than usual, which didn’t bode well for a competition in which you were judged on your obedience. They were standing at their little table waiting for the judges to pass along. Regan smiled when they reached his table and presented Trevor for inspection. Clarissa administered the standard checks then picked up the fuzzy pink ball of fur. Dickinson-Smythe: What a beautiful hue. And a mohawk? Such an inventive use of style! Wilde: Thank you! I do them myself. Lovejoy: Certainly one of the best styled. Meidra had the strongest feeling that something bad was going to happen, but she had no idea what it was. Her stomach started to churn, and her vision became a bit blurred. She could have sworn she heard someone call her name, but that was obviously just her imagination. Clarissa held Trevor up to eye level to further inspect the creature, when suddenly she let out a piercing shriek and almost dropped the Tribble. Regan reacted quickly to catch Trevor as he fell from the judges hand. Dickinson-Smythe: It bit me!? Lovejoy: Come now, Clarissa. That’s quite impossible. Dickinson-Smythe: I tell you it bit me! Trevor - nestled in Regan’s hands - began emitting a tinny shrill sound as opposed to his usual dull and soothing coo. Tribbles all around the tent began reacting immediately and started shaking and making shrill sounds of their own. Almost like they were in pain. Their owners and handlers looked to each other in shock and surprise as the commotion grew in intensity. Roc started shaking and Meidra took her out of her cage, holding her close to soothe her. The shaking only became more pronounced, and Meidra started to worry she was ill. The rest of the competitors were panicking now, and the sound of confused shouts and Tribble shrieks filled the tent. Wilde: Trevor? What are you doing? As if in response, a fiery red aura emitted from the Tribble. The squeals increased and even more confusion erupted as the rest of the Tribbles in the tent emitted the same cruel aura. The Tribbles began reacting violently and began attacking and biting their handlers. People were shouting, screaming and running around to escape the chaos now in the tent. People started throwing cages at each other, growling like Trevor. Meidra heard her name again and was startled to realize it was Roc. She glanced up at the chaos around her as a chair narrowly missed hitting her and Trevor seemed to be laughing. She ducked as a punch bowl sailed past, Tribbles riding inside like they were relaxing on a churning purple lake. Roc was agitated, and Meidra held her, cooing to her gently. The little creature immediately started humming loudly, a strong, melodic sound that seemed to grow in intensity, as she started to glow. A pure white light started to seep from the Tribble, bathing both itself and the counselor in a cocoon of peace. She could hear Roc as clear as if she were speaking aloud, and watched in horror as the pink Tribble took control of the room. Roc: ~Pink one! This is not the way!~ Trevor: ~Silence!~ Roc: ~Meidra, do something, he’s out of control.~ Meidra felt the light surround her even as the screams and flying Tribbles surrounded them. She could see the chaos even if she could not move to stop any of it. Two of the larger furry creatures had torn down the **Welcome to Furs** sign that had hung above the main podium and were bouncing around, tripping people as they made their way through the room. Sirin: He’s attacking, Regan. You have to get him to stop. Wilde: I don’t understand? Roc: ~Meidra~ Sirin: Get him back in his cage before he hurts someone! Regan held the little fiery Tribble at arms length, as if to give him a stern telling off. Trevor moved like lightning, quicker than anyone had ever seen a Tribble move before. He raced along the outstretched arm and up behind the humans neck. Regan let out a terrified yelp as what seemed to be fangs sank into the back of his neck and into his spine. His eyes rolled up, revealing a deathly white. The same angry red aura that emanated from Trevor moments before now enveloped the security officer. He stood solemnly like a statue, almost regal as the eyes he no longer saw with scanned the room, Trevor (as Wilde): Attention puny bipeds! Your arrogance and domination of this universe is at an end... Sirin:: Regan? ::realization hits:: You’re not Regan. What are you doing? These people haven’t done anything to you. Roc:: ~ Your anger is misplaced, my friend. Let us help you. These are good people.~ Trevor (as Wilde): Prepare to be enslaved! The winds started to pick up, knocking over a barrel of premium, Grade A Tribble Kibble, scattering tiny pieces of food like a swarm of stinging insects, getting into eyes, noses, ears. It was turning into a blitz of grain that had a life of its own. One judge tried to put the lid back on the barrel, only to have it tip over and chase him out of the tent screaming for his life. Sirin: ::to Roc:: ~We’re going to have to stop him on our own.~ ::to Trevor/Wilde:: This is ridiculous, you can’t destroy people over a bad haircut. Roc: ::to Meidra:: ~I don’t want to hurt the pink one. ~ In response, Trevor caused Regan to outstretch his arm, and an energy bolt erupted from his fingertips. A nearby table burst into flames and sent more people scurrying for cover. The tent seemed to moan with pain, and the wind intensified, sending judging PADDs flying in all directions. Trevor (as Wilde): I will use this pampered, simpering bipeds body to complete my plans for galactic domination. The bipedal age is at an end. Red lightning hit the top of the tent, splitting it down the center as people continued to scream. One Tribble bit another judge and he spun around, thinking it was the judge next to him. A punch was thrown, prompting a return shot, and soon people were brawling in the midst of the kibble storm. Meidra sheltered Roc as she faced down the mohawk wearing demon, determined to end this disaster before they were hurt, or worse, thrown into a brig. She did not intend on ending up in another brig. Addison would have her head. He was about to let another energy burst when he felt the presence of the one who intrigued him. The white creature with a form like his present one. Roc’s calming energy strived to reach the furious ball of pink but he was resisting. She senses something strange about him, like he was more than she was, yet still, not fully a Tribble. Sirin: Roc, can you talk to Trevor? Roc: Give me a minute, he’s gone nuts. Sirin: ::dryly:: Is that your professional opinion? Trevor (as Wilde): You… the white one. You are not like the others. To Meidra, it seemed like the pink fluffball was trying to puff himself up like a fish she’d seen in an old Terran biology text. She wondered if she pinched him, he’d deflate. The sounds he was making reminded her of an angry goat, another Terran creature. At this rate, she was going to have to go to Terra because they seemed to have the most interesting animals. Sirin: What is he saying? Roc: Again - need a minute. ::to Trevor:: You can’t kill these people, they are not your enemy. Trevor (as Wilde): Spare me your sympathy for the bipeds! Why do you ally yourself with such basic creatures? Sirin: Regan, can you hear me? I know you are in there. ::knocks her fist onto his head:: Hello?? Regan? Come out, come out wherever you are. Another chair flew by and Meidra was startled to see a judge hanging onto it. Shaking her head, she turned back to the chaos in front of her. Roc: Save your attempt, Meidra. The human’s mind is like jelly right now, sweet but not very solid. Trevor (as Wilde): I am not from this dimension. Not from this universe. I am a traveller. I took this form to explore. ::Beat:: I despise this universe. The bipeds way of life. I must eliminate it! Sirin: ::to herself:: maybe if I zap him with a phaser….. Roc: Meidra! Not helping. Sirin: Fine, what if I just did a Vulcan nerve thingie on him. Roc: That is not what that move is called. And no, you might hurt the human’s brain. Sirin: Like the psychotic shapeshifting Tribble isn’t doing enough of that? Trevor (as Wilde): ::To Roc:: You have so much power, white one. So many gifts… Why waste them? Roc: Perhaps I like knowing the universe I live in isn’t going to implode with me in it. Trevor (as Wilde): It is not that easy. I have… Eons of loneliness of this unknown cosmic being-in-Tribble-form had taken its toll. Hate was all he knew. It was his purpose. Wasn’t it? Roc: I feel your pain. That isn’t all that this universe has to offer. Trevor (as Wilde): What else is there for me? Roc: I would be willing to travel with you, to show you all that this universe can give to us. And perhaps, what we can offer in return. Trevor (as Wilde): You would… do that. For me? ::The pink menace pondered. Regan’s eyebrows arched involuntarily.:: Is this a trick? Roc: It’s an offer. We can be as strong as we’d like, without destroying all that is. What do you think? Trevor (as Wilde): You are wise, white one. Together, perhaps we shall learn more of this universe. I accept your invitation. The little white Tribble seemed to gaze up at her friend and sigh. Meidra couldn’t understand Trevor, but she had heard Roc’s words, and knew that this was the end of their journey together. She hugged her Tribble to her, feeling proud and a bit mystified why Roc would willingly go off with a crazed alien - whatever - was now in the form or a harmless looking pink ball of fluff. Roc: Meidra, I thank you for giving me a home, but Trevor has given me a purpose. I was never really meant to help those on Resolution. They have you. But this one needs me. I must go with him. I hope you understand. Sirin: I know you are right. I have no idea what happened here today or how we are speaking now, but I know if anyone can help that….::sighs:: Trevor….it would be you. Meidra glared at the defiant pink ball of chaos and took a deep breath. Sirin: She’s made her choice. But if I ever hear that you have harmed her, I’ll find a way to find you. ::her voice softens:: Keep her safe, Trevor. And good luck. Then, as if by the flash of some all-powerful Q, Trevor and Roc were gone. The chaos and madness of the remaining Tribbles died down, and the fires and smoke cleared like fog on a summer's day. The Risian sunshine peeked through the tatters of the ‘Furs’ tent, or what was left of it. The competitors of ‘Furs’ began clearing up the remains of the competition, and a very confused Regan stepped out over a fallen barrel of Tribble kibble, his clothes partially-singed, his hair looking like he’d taken 10, 000 volts, and ash smeared across most of his face. Sirin: ::fighting hysterical giggles:: Are you all right? You look like you’ve been through an electrical storm. Wilde: Where’s Trevor? And Roc? Sirin: Gone. Together. I supposed it was fate. Or some sort of practical joke of the universe. Wilde: The little sod bit me! Sirin: Well, I’m sure there is a first aid kit somewhere in this mess. Let’s find you a bandage. Wilde: I’m so sorry. I had no idea my pet therapy Tribble was a psychotic being from another dimension. You think you have a connection with someone… Sirin: Somehow, I think the two of you did have a connection. It was a bit deranged, and probably the least healthy I’ve ever seen, but it was there. The remaining judges - head of the TFA Lovejoy and famed Tribble shower Clarissa Dickinson-Smythe approached - each looking rather haggard. Lovejoy: Mr Wilde! Regan rubbed his scorched sleeve across his face, to try and make himself a little more presentable. He despised being called Mr. Wilde. It always made him feel subservient, like someone was addressing a butler. Lovejoy: I think it is safe to say your membership to the Tribble Fanciers Association is hereby revoked! Dickinson-Smythe: And you can forget about a Breeders License, too! Without further ado, they left. Moments later Risian security poured onto the scene, along with emergency services, fire and rescue and the very frantic-looking management of the Grand Key Resort. Regan saw the end of the phaser rifle press against his nose and he very weekly raised his hands in surrender. Sirin: Good luck Regan, I’ll see if I can talk someone into getting you out of this mess once I figure out how far I’m into it. Wilde: ::Side-glancing his new friend.:: Well I must say, Counselor, this has been such fun! Shall we meet up again for next year's event? Sirin: Regan, if you even think of getting another Tribble, I’ll find a way to blast you out of this universe myself. The two friends smiled at each other as Wilde was led away.
  12. Another fabulous intership JP from @Vitor S. Silveira and @LtJG Aine Olive Sherlock; this time two old cadet cruise buddies meet up for some fun and funny banter. Quite pleased to see Academy friends continuing to get along! ((USS Juneau, deck 4, Silveira and R’Kala’s quarters)) Vitor passed again by the console in his quarters, finishing a cup of coffee, and putting it back to the replicator for recycling. It took a few more minutes for the comlink to load, so Vitor sat down and leaned back waiting as the screen flashed through the loading cycle. He stared quietly until he saw Sher on the other side. Aine sat at her desk, sipping her customary Barry’s with a splash of milk, in the Security Office aboard the Resolution waiting for the subspace connection to finish. The notification she received told her who it was, but she was a little nervous nonetheless. It’d been a few months since her and Sil had spoken, both of them busy with their respective ships. The connection seemed almost stuck at 99%, then it finally went through and there he was! Before she could react he raised his arms in the air, with a fake angry expression and shouted. Silveira: FINALLY. Sherlock: ::faking a shocked look on her face:: Am I late? Vitor laughed and shook his head. Aine couldn’t help but smile back. Sil always had a way of being dramatic and humorous at the same time. Silveira: I was thinking you forgot me already. I am pretty sure I still make an impression on those I meet. Sherlock: You know you always do. Rarely does anyone quickly forget the magnanimous Vitor Silveira! Vitor smiled and nodded, this time shedding away all the shenanigans. It was good to see Sher again. They were on the same Cadet Cruise and he bonded with her right from the start. Silveira: I know, I am just teasing. ::He winked as he nodded.:: You're looking good Lieutenant. It’s really good to see you again. Sherlock: And you as well, Lieutenant. ::giving him a nod:: Looks like the Juneau’s been keeping you busy. Silveira: I see active service suits you. Even sitting down you look taller, you must have grown what? Three inches? Sherlock: ::rolling her eyes:: Ha, ha. I know, still short as ever. Vitor laughed. Aine was glad to see he hadn’t lost his sense of humor. Sherlock: So, how are things on that big fancy ship of yours? Silveira: Pretty good now. ::He raised both his thumbs up. :: Shore leave time. How about you? I heard you had some trouble on your last mission. ::He kept smiling but his forehead wrinkled in concern. :: Are you alright? Aine suddenly had a flashback. Ash falling from the sky of a desolate colony world long dead. A Nascaik officer restrained and paralyzed facing imminent death. And the tall wispy Thama who’d set all of it motion by blowing a hole in the Resolution. Sherlock: ::nodding her head:: Yeah, was a little crazy. The terrorist was who we least expect it to be. But things worked out ok in the end. Silveira: I am glad to hear that. It must have been a daunting experience. ::Victor's smile dimmed slightly.:: We didn't face that on our cadet cruise. Sherlock: Most definitely not. Even if that’d been real, it’d have been a pleasure cruise compared to what’s happened to me since then. Specifically, Aine was now thinking about getting propelled 300,000 years into the future with killer lizard men trying to gun them down. It’d been a long 6 months. Vitor nodded, he knew that feeling all too well. In fact that was also one of the reasons he hadn't yet reached out to Sher. But he forced that thought away and put on a wider smile. Silveira: All is well when it ends well. Let us enjoy our leave and digress over more agreeable things. Sherlock: Yes! Onto lighter topics! Please! Have any fun in your downtime? Vitor tilted his head. There was a slight blush on his cheeks when he thought of what he planned to do. Silveira: Not yet, but I have something planned. Sherlock: ::eyes narrowing:: Something ::beat:: with someone? A sly smile quickly formed on Aine’s face. Vitor raised an eyebrow and shrugged. Silveira: Yeah, there is an engineer I find very attractive. I will be asking her out. Hopefully she will agree. Sherlock: Huh, an engineer. She must be good with her hands. Vitor raised an eyebrow and tilted his head sideways. Silveira: Really? Sherlock: ::laughing:: I’m only joking. I’m sure that if she’s caught your attention she must be special. I’m happy for you. Where are you guys taking leave anyways? Vitor shook his head and smiled. Silveira: Probably back at Lightside Station, not yet sure. ::Vitor crossed his fingers under his chin and leaned forward.:: And how about you, my little heartbreaker? I am sure you had many eyes turned in your direction. Any romantic encounters? Sherlock: No. ::beat:: Ok, there was an attempt at one. But I just don’t think I can do a relationship right now. Silveira: I don’t believe that. ::Winking:: Besides I know all too well you have a crush on me. Alas, long distance relationships are complicated. Sherlock: ::rolling her eyes with a smile:: Lucky me. ::giving Vitor a wink:: Silveira: We will always have our cadet cruise. Sherlock: And we never know where we’ll end up. Aine paused for a moment. Looking at the handsome Lieutenant, though she’d never admit that aloud so as not to feed that ego, she thought about just how far they’d come in such a short time. And even farther they had to go. Sherlock: Well, my shift’s about to start and we’ll be heading into the Briar Patch today. But, we’ll do this again, ::pointing at Vitor:: soon. And if by chance we’re at the same place in time on leave, we’ll definitely get together. Deal? Vitor kept smiling when Sher paused. He recalled when his career was starting, as he realized Sher was going through those growing pains as well. He wished they were closer to each other, she grew to become a true friend. oO Figuratively off course. But little as you may be I am pretty sure you are on your way to become a giant Little One. Oo Silveira: That we do. Sherlock: I’ll talk to you soon. Stay safe out there. Have a good one. Vitor nodded before replying and he waved as he spoke. Silveira: Take care and behave. I want to talk to you soon and in one piece. When the comline was cut he leaned back. It hadn’t come up in their conversation, so he just let his thought speak instead . oO Take care of Nicholotti as well, tell her… I said hi. Oo End Lt. J. G. Vitor S.Silveira Tactical Officer USS Juneau, NX-99801 O238907VS0 and Lieutenant Junior Grade Aine Sherlock Security Officer USS Resolution R239712AS0
  13. Pure poetry from our esteemed captain @Kali Nicholotti. The combination of rich metaphors and the character's personal history woven effortlessly into the narrative made this delightful to read. Cheers, Cap'n! ((Bridge, USS Resolution)) Nicholotti: Engage thrusters, and make for the stars. The stars. In the root of all of her dreams, the stars had been central. No matter what collar she wore, or what role she filled, the dark Cimmerian shade of an endless night, accentuated by the pin[...]s of immolation, were the resounding voices that called to her. They were the hands that pulled her towards the future. And in the long, unending days in which she followed, she found herself ever more drawn into the infinite maw. All while finding herself more and more alone. Yalu: Aye, Captain. Taking her up. Liftoff in five. The voice of David Cody resonated in her head. 'It was lonely in the center chair, but Kay, you are never, ever alone.' There was a warmth there that she had not felt for a long time, and in his absence, she might have moved on. Yet, like with all of the others who had called her friend, lover, sister, daughter...she never had been able to fully let go. Words echoed through the annuls of history, leaving her with memories and an ache deep within that never quite went away. Nicholotti: Steady speed, prepare for transition to the nebula. All of the proper words spilled out of the mouth of a seasoned commanding officer. There were steps to take and things to do and she would execute without flaw. The state of her inner thoughts and the hole that the losses she bore over the years would never make themselves known to the outside. Perhaps it was a good thing that those who knew were long gone. MacKenzie: Any abnormal readings? Yellir: Scanners functioning normally, sir. Etan: response Two pools of crystalline blue locked on to the images on the screen, never betraying the churning thoughts within. Yellir: Shall we brace for impact? Just in case? Yalu: ::gasps in theatrical, mock offence:: How very dare you. MacKenzie: Oh, I’m sure we’ll be just fine… Kali smiled one of her typical grins, a slight bit impish, as Makal had once described it. Etan: response Nicholotti: I don't think our helmsman would crash us twice in one day. Her eyes moved from the screen just as the swirling nebula rose to meet them at the edge of the planet's atmosphere and settled on the Trill at the helm. Pilot to pilot, he had the makings of something great. Sierra Hotel, as her grandfather might have once said. It was what she'd aspired to as a teen behind the controls of the antique jet that she'd inherited upon his death. Yalu: We’re clearing the planet’s atmosphere, Captain. I’m plotting a course out of the Briar Patch at one-third impulse. They were on their way, and Kali turned her attention back to the screen. There were only a few stars that could be seen between the ever coalescing and dispersing colors of the nebula just outside. Yellir: I’m certain we’ll arrive by then in one piece. MacKenzie: There’s that positive thinking! Lieutenant Sherlock, status of the shields? Sherlock: Shields are currently at one hundred percent and holding. MacKenzie: Power levels look stable, Captain… I think we’re good to fire up the engines whenever Mr. Yalu feels comfortable… Everything still stood on a razors edge. At a half impulse, it was going to take some time to get out of the nebula, but she had faith in the little ship that could. Nicholotti: Whenever you're ready, Mister Yalu. Yalu: I’d be delighted, Captain. Bringing the coolant modifications online and increasing speed to one-half impulse. We’ll clear the Patch in just under twenty minutes. After that, warp seven. After that, stars. The sounds of an active bridge were almost music to her ears as they moved further and further from the world that had almost become their grave. Sherlock: Shields holding steady. Nicholotti: Very well, continue our path. MacKenzie: response Yalu: At this rate, we’ll be back in familiar territory by this time tomorrow. ::beat, smirks:: I think that means someone owes me some sapphire wine, but I can’t remember who. Kali smirked towards the back of his head. Apparently she wasn't the only one who wanted to buy him a drink after the hotshot flying he'd done. Sherlock: response Yalu: I’m afraid I will have to insist on collecting it in person. Nicholotti: I am certain you'll have plenty of time to do just that when we are back at 224. MacKenzie / Any: response Yalu: As soon as we’re back in normal space, I’ll contact Deep Space 224 and send them a list of the survivors. Who knows where Starfleet will reassign Hanno’s crew, but I’m sure the Romulans will want to be repatriated as soon as possible. The whole thing was going to be a sticky situation. From her words with the Senator, she knew that there would be little for this group back where they once called home, save for the debris left behind by a sun-gone-nova and the burnt remains of what was their lives. Nicholotti: I am sure the Senator will assist, but their future is likely unknown. We can hope the Federation will help. Any: response Kali nodded. History had a funny way of dictating much of what came after. It echoed in the ears of those who had lived it long enough to make decisions and build whatever kind of future to avoid the trials of the past. She could only hope that the Federation had an eye and the feelings of humanity, even for those who once were enemies. For those who once were not to be trusted. As for her own history, there were walls which kept the tears well hidden behind an ocean of memories never reflected in the crystalline blues. A blanket of calm coolness and a commanding stature that came from having lived, and died, at the hands of time governed her motions, her moves. No matter how much she wanted that to change, time seemed to simply burn hotter. As it was said, time was the fire in which they all burned. Kali's fire burned endlessly, fueled by the severed connections with so many she had loved and lost. Hope, the fighter of such flames, dwindled as she learned of deaths and the continued missing, and as those she had once been close to had faded into their new lives on another side of the galaxy. Time was no friend to her, at least not here and now. Chatter around her continued, and the minutes ticked by until finally, with little fanfare, the swirling colors of the Briar Patch started to thin. As they faded, the points of light shone brighter against an inky blackness that reflected the darker parts of her soul. MacKenzie/Any: Response? Nicholotti: Set course for 224, best speed. Let's go home. Yalu/Any: Responses? ((OOC - With this, we can assume arrival to 224 and the start of some well deserved shore leave!) TAG/TBC -- Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti Commanding Officer USS Resolution R238605KN0
  14. This has such mid-credits sequence energy and I kinda adore it. @Meidra Sirin has done a magnificent job. Just don't tell her I said that. ((Deep water under Cave of Retribution)) The explosion had rocked the large cave, sending Skarn and invaders alike from its depths. All was smoke and chunks of stone as the guards fell apart and their lights extinguished by the force of the blast. Below, in the swirling depths of the underground pool, the sea creature had swallowed something strange thrown from up above. They did not understand the up above, only knowing that things were occasionally thrown to them by the rocks. These things usually tasted good, but this latest thing did not taste good. It tasted like pain. Now the rocks were falling into the pool, and Baab did not want to eat them either. The thing he’d swallowed was burning through his body at a rapid pace. Within moments, bits of the sea creature was strewn against the walls of the pit, his death screams filling the chamber. Floating in the wreckage of Baab’s corpse, a flickering blue light trembled. They had been betrayed. They had been thrown to be eaten by Baab. They had not been listened to when the order to die was given. This was most rude. Baab’s large eye floated past. Arbelo tried to rise up and gather the stones to them once again, but could not. They were too weak. They glanced at bits of Baab, and growled. What kind of monster killed an innocent creature like Baab? And now Gabbro was with them, most likely celebrating. Arbelo would rest. And plot. A thought occurred. The Stone! Where was the Stone? Diving into the cold water, they searched for the piece of rock that held their fragile sanity together. Was that it? Arbelo raced deeper into the pool and was swept up into a riptide. They tried to pull back but was still too weak. As they flew mercilessly into the great ocean beyond, they had but one thought. Gabbro had to die first. TBC Arbelo the soaking wet nightlight as simmed by Lt Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0
  15. @Etan Iljor is a master of the language. The narrative is so wonderfully descriptive and fully presents the character's point of view in three dimensions. It's always a joy to read your writing, friend! ((Deck 2, U.S.S. Resolution)) As a scientist, Iljor was used to the official terms and designations for things and found the concept of nonclematures to be wildly inaccurate albeit a necessity. He was prone to getting swept up in scientific tangents and to his somewhat mild embarrassment, he would often forget that not everybody learned or understood things in the way that he did. He found himself in one such moment walking down the primary corridor of Deck 2, following Doctor Adea in search of the missing crew of the probably ill-fated S.S. Hanno. Sherlock: I heard you mention that before, what is it? The ‘that’ to which the security officer was referring to was ‘non-baryonic matter’. To Iljor it was simply non-baryonic matter, something that did not interact with an electromagnetic field and did not reflect or absorb such radiation- which made its detection extremely difficult, even by the advanced technologies employed throughout the Federation. It had another designation, derived from humans who tended to label anything they could not see or interact with as something ominous. In truth, there was nothing ominous about non-baryonic matter but Iljor had decided not let the predilection for dramatics get to him. With a smirk, he looked at Aine. Etan: I think the layman’s term for it is: dark matter. Sirin: That binds galaxies together so they don’t just ::shrugs:: spin off into space. If the planet has some connection to it, the gravitational fields would be strong enough to pull in passing ships. Iljor nodded at his best friend’s summation of the topic. Broadly speaking, she was correct and while her definition lacked nuance and scientific oversight- that was by the by. The presence of non-baryonic matter on the planet would certain explain the variable gravity as well as the strange force that hurled hundreds of thousands of rocks at the Resolution and drawn it down into it’s well. Given that it happened quickly and just as the ship begun its approach, Iljor could not help but wonder if there was intelligence at work. He considered the possibility once more, suppressing a shiver that wanted to run from the nape of his neck to the base of his spine. An intelligence that could access and manipulate non-baryonic matter would undoubtedly be powerful- and dangerous. Fortunately, such musings were interrupted by Aine’s welcome change of topic. Sherlock: We need to get to Deck 8, ramp’s there. We can grab whatever supplies we need on the way there. Only problem is, I’m not sure the turbolifts will work. Anyone know the Jeffries Tubes well enough to get us there? Adea: Straight down the next one on the left. Should take us right there. In that moment, Iljor was grateful for the Chief Medical Officer’s intimate knowledge of the diminutive Nova-class ship. While he had built up a working knowledge of the ship’s interior layout, it did not extend to its crawlspaces and maintenance tubes. Sirin: I have been in one, but if we need assistance I’m certain Gnaxac could guide us. Sherlock: Great. Doctor, I recommend we take just medical supplies and phaser rifles. The nearest duranium scan was only a few clicks west of here. Aine made it sound like it just over a ridge, but in reality- it would be a trek over a nigh-inhospitable planet that seemed determined to keep its secret. Iljor harboured no illusion that the journey would be easy. On the contrary, he was expecting to be arduous. Adea: Sounds eminently sensible. Sirin: I suppose we are as prepared as we can be. Still, I have an odd feeling about this place. Sherlock: Response. Etan: Given what we’ve experienced so far, I’m inclined to feel the same as Meid- uh, Counselor Sirin. He chastised himself, remembering that while he and Meidra had formed a close bond in the months since his assignment to Resolution- she was still the ship’s counselor and outranked him. He had been cautioned that it was not unusual for junior officers to befriend those who held seniority- but that they had to remember that fact at all times. Adea: I’m not surprised; how often is a ship literally knocked out of the sky by hundreds of thousands of rocks? What do they have down here? A plethora of catapults? The thought made Iljor snort out a chuckle despite the seriousness of their current predicament. He had come to value the Doctor’s ability to defuse a difficult or grave situation with a humorous comment. Sherlock/Sirin: Response. The Jeffries Tubes beckoned, in all its dark and gloomy majesty. They made their way down it in relative silence, Iljor concentrating on landing on each rung of the ladder cleanly. The last thing he wanted was to misstep and send his friends and colleagues plummeting down the tube to their certain deaths. Given how small the Resolution was, the descent through the tubes to Deck 8 was relatively brief. Iljor stepped off the final rung and onto the decking and went to collect his equipment; a phaser (something he was loathe to use unless he absolutely had to), a palm held flashlight, a visual recording device that fitted across the top of his unruly mop of hair like a band and felt comfortable against his right temple and a tricorder. He checked that the phaser and tricorder were fully charged (they were) and then activated the recording device by pressing a small button behind the small high definition camera. Adea: Right, shall we be off then? Etan: Begin recording, Lieutenant Etan Iljor, Science Officer, U.S.S. Resolution. Location: uncharted planet near outer boundaries of the Briar Patch. ::he looked to Doctor Adea.:: Given the apparent unreliability of the sensors here, I thought this might be a good idea. ::he pointed to the device.:: Adea/Sherlock/Sirin: Response. Iljor holstered his phaser and tricorder, tugged the bottom of his uniform jacket and marshalled his wits about him as the outer airlock opened. As the ramp descended to the ground, they got their first look at the strange new world that lay before them. Underneath a thick blanket of black clouds lay a barren wasteland of rocky spires of dark brown stone. In the near darkness, they looked intimidating and imposing. Iljor activated the flashlight and stepped down the ramp carefully and deliberately. Stepping onto the wasteland he felt a crunching beneath his feet and he looked down, brittle looking plants snaked in vines across the ground that exuded a strange warmth. Etan: Plants. ::he said, a trace of amazement bled into his voice.:: The ground is also warm. Might be geothermal in nature. That would certainly make sense, geothermal and volcanic activity on a sunless world could lead to an atmosphere conducive to life, even if it was not intelligent. Adea/Sherlock/Sirin: Response. Taking a few more steps- and making an effort not to crush any more of the plants- Iljor looked about the stygian vista. Steep cliffs of stone rose on either side of them, towering at least a kilometer or more above them. Resolution had apparently come down in a wide, but unmistakable gorge that was probably ten of millions of years old. He unclipped his tricorder and set about scanning the nearest rocky spire. Unsurprisingly, the tricorder did not want to cooperate, the effects of the Patch obfuscating the readings a great deal. Etan: Readings are patchy but I think this is composed of calcite and aragonite- and it’s natural. ::he turned to look at his colleagues.:: Not crafted. Adea/Sherlock/Sirin: Response. Etan: I wonder if we are the first people to visit this area of the planet. ::the idea took his breath for a moment.:: This is quite something. ::he whispered.:: Adea/Sherlock/Sirin: Response. -- tag/tbc -- Lieutenant (J.G.) Etan Iljor Science Officer U.S.S. Resolution C239203TW0
  16. Okay, wow. @Meidra Sirin and @Yalu have knocked it out the park with this beautiful romance JP. This is how you do it folks. ((Holodeck One, USS Resolution)) The sea of stars above Meidra’s head were of Vulcan in early autumn, from the last night she’d spent with her father. They’d been up on the roof of the estate, talking about life and her upcoming kahs-wan. He’d been a gentle presence, logically talking through her fears and insecurities. He’d been the last man to ever truly love her. Her brother was close to her, yes, but none could replace what her father had meant to her. She lay on the simulated roof, hands behind her head, staring up at the flickering stars and T’Kuht, Vulcan’s sister planet. The man sitting next to her wasn’t real, but still, was her father. Sahriv: Ko-fu, you have not used this program in five point seven years. What troubles you? The counselor took a few minutes to gather her thoughts. She remembered the crunch of bone, the pain that she could feel through her emotional connection to Dwich. Then she remembered standing there helplessly as others tended to his injury. He must think her an idiot, or at the least, not caring about him at all. She stared up at the sky, not wanting to answer, but knowing she must. Sirin: I have committed a grave error. I have wounded a …. fellow crew member during a training exercise. I broke his arm. Sahriv: I see. Did you intend this harm? Sirin: ::sitting up to look at him:: Of course not, I was demonstrating a fighting technique and lost focus in my actions. It should never have happened. Sahriv: Perhaps. Did you make amends with this - crew member? One black brow rose at his question, and Meidra wished again that he could be real, and not the product of her skills with a holodeck program. She really needed one of his hugs, as illogical as that would seem. He had always understood that Meidra was not as in control of her emotions as his other children, but had never once made her feel less for it. Meidra picked at an invisible piece of lint on her uniform, biting her lip. The guilt was rising again, and she didn’t know how to get through this. Usually, Genkos would be the one she’d turn to, since he was her counselor, but she didn’t think that he was in any frame of mind to be compassionate. She wondered if there would be some sort of stern lecture once he had time to think about what she’d done. She looked at her father and shrugged as if it didn’t break her heart to tell him more. The first thing Dwich wanted to do after being discharged from sickbay was talk to Meidra. After what happened in the gymnasium, they’d still not spoken to each other. Dwich felt that the hours that had elapsed had turned a molehill into a mountain, and he wanted to fix it right away. The Prophets, through those to whom They chose to reveal Themselves, had taught Dwich not to let something so trivial come between himself and someone he cared about. He hoped she wasn’t beating herself up about it, but when the computer told him she was in Holodeck 1, he feared she was punishing herself in some kind of simulated Vulcan penance ritual. As the double doors slid open, Dwich was relieved to see that Meidra wasn’t chanting or self-flagellating. Rather, she was lying on a rooftop somewhere, speaking to a Vulcan whom Dwich didn’t recognize. He started to announce his presence, but she was in the middle of talking about him, and he stood near the control arch, waiting for the right time to interject. Sirin: He went to Sickbay and then I had to fill out a report for my CMO telling him how I’d broken one of the crew. ::glances at him with a wry grin:: Part of me thinks Genkos could be a fierce warrior if he let go of his perfect manners. ::she leaned back on her elbows, staring up at the sky:: The question is, what do I do now? Sahriv: Perhaps you stop hiding from this friend of yours and try to explain that you meant no harm. ::he looked at her critically:: You have feelings for this - Sirin: Dwich Her father shrugged, most likely realizing it was not a traditional Vulcan name. Sahriv: Dwich. You do not deny it. Meidra blushed a faint green and her father grinned. Since this was just a simulation, she’d programmed him to be able to smile openly. Usually that would give her comfort, but today it just made her miss him more. She wished that she could be saying these words to him and getting answers that she could not program into a hologram. Sirin: I believe that my feelings for him are quite intense. ::looks at him:: I may even ::a cough startled her and she looked over to see Dwich standing there, staring at her. The hologram of her father and the rooftop disappeared and she was left standing in the garden of the estate. Dwich took a few steps forward into the simulation, registering a momentary disorientation as the rooftop beneath his feet transformed into a garden. He continued to approach, hands in pockets, not wanting to make a big deal out of anything, but at the same time awed by her beauty and wanting nothing more than to embrace her. She took a hesitant step towards him, glancing at his arm. It appeared to be fully functional, but the memory of that crunch stayed with her. Had he come to express his desire to stop seeing her? She would not blame him, but it would not be easy to hear. She stood stiffly, trying to hide her apprehension. Sirin: How do you feel? Hamsan: Fine. ::looks down at his arm:: Good as new. How do you feel? How did she feel? Stupid, reckless, ridiculous. She settled on the emotion that seemed to overpower the others. Sirin: Guilty. Hamsan: I know. When everything happened, all I wanted was to talk to you, to tell you everything’s okay and not to be upset. But then everything got so panicky and the doctor was called and-- It’s like everyone conspired to keep us apart from each other. She could read his emotions even if she couldn’t read his thoughts. He wasn’t angry with her. In fact, he was quite happy to be with her. The realization of this struck her, and she wanted to… no, first, she needed to know that he understood that she hadn’t meant to stand there and watch him in pain. Sirin: Maybe that was a wise decision. I hurt you, then did nothing to help you. Hamsan: It was an accident. They happen. To be honest, ever since the class, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that moment when we were standing in front of everyone, and how much I wanted to kiss you. She stared at him for a long moment, replaying his words in her mind. She had realized that it had been an accident and yet had blamed herself with the harsh words of a grandfather that had never seen how much she truly wanted a family. She looked into his eyes and she knew the truth. Dwich was her family. And all she had to do was tell him. Sirin: Wanted? ::the beginnings of a smile crossed her face:: As in past tense? She moved slowly toward him, watching his eyes dilate. Hearing his breath quicken. As a scientist, she was quite intrigued by all of the biological signs that he wanted this moment with her to become more. As a female, she just knew that she wanted more. She wanted him. Hamsan: ::returning Meidra’s smile:: Past. Present. ::beat:: Future. Sirin: That sounds like a wonderful idea. Neither of them seemed to move, but as the seconds passed, they were suddenly close enough to touch. All she had to do was reach out and make the first move. A sense of calm elation came over her, conflicting emotions of excitement and peace, all because of this one man. Meidra’s gaze drifted to his lips, their breath mingling as time finally caught up with the moment, and she moved that last tiny inch to close the space between them. Whatever she thought she would feel was nothing in comparison to his arms coming around her, pulling her into his embrace. Her hands quickly found their way onto his shoulders as she leaned into him. A momentary gasp of surprise, then the warm rush of affection flooding her senses to the point where she knew that if he was not holding her up, she would not be able to stand. Breaking away to catch her breath, she looked up into his eyes, the only sound that of their heartbeats racing in time with each other. She laughed lightly, leaning in to kiss him again, her heart full. After a few moments, she looked up at him, letting him see everything she felt for him. Knowing that being in his arms was exactly where she was meant to be. Sirin: I’m guessing this means I’m forgiven. Dwich leant in closer, wrapping his repaired left arm around Meidra and placing his hand on the small of her back. Hamsan: As far as I’m concerned, it never happened. ::beat:: In fact, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Meidra laughed again, a freeing sound that made her believe that things between them would only get better now that she had stepped away from her fears of not being good enough for him. Sirin: I’ve wanted to tell you how I felt about you for some time. Hamsan: So have I. I love you, Meidra. And just like that, the last traces of self doubt evaporated into nothing, and she found herself saying words she never thought she’d have a reason to say to anyone. Sirin: I love you too. Lt JG Meidra Sirin Counseling Officer USS Resolution R239707MS0 & PNPC Crewman 2nd Class Hamsan Dwich Emergency Medical Technician USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 D238804DS0
  17. This appreciation post, as seen in the topic, is for Justin ( @Yalu). It's also for his co-writers. @Genkos Adea, @Meidra Sirin, @Etan Iljor, and @Addison MacKenzie. The writing by all of them was perfect. The emotional journey for this reader was, at times, difficult. There is so much that is touched on in this series, I almost can't talk about it, you just have to read it. I genuinely don't know what to say except thank you to the 5 of you for giving the rest of us something so amazing! So, everyone, take some time to sit back and read about the Zhian'Tara of Yogan Yalu. ZhiantR&Ra https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/X1pYHDrREKc/m/e50Ud1ULCwAJ Memories Raw and Ragged https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/7NvlJZclE9g/m/KEo5YKELAQAJ The More Things Change https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/HuZang1aXUc/m/vKyKFttpAQAJ A Privilege Worth the Cost https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/oSJpOFw2rK4/m/Mk9ose6hAQAJ Contrasts and Parallels https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/d32MdfSHhlk/m/jeqFqwLwAAAJ Watch It Grow, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/4DxCvu54h94/m/bAYiQvGmAQAJ Watch It Grow, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/Er0B6lrrFnk/m/4xQHyienAQAJ Thicker Than Water https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/W6R6tB2wf3s/m/-2ZV7zuIAgAJ Remember Her https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/gjj1vAvYR7M/m/KQ-nz0KIAgAJ The Prices We Pay, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/TlPlSBq0yoE/m/WyOOEnRBAQAJ The Prices We Pay, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/6mNE6YXbmG4/m/yH-HqpxBAQAJ Where the Action Is, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/WfQohVBH3js/m/fJdSBpeUAQAJ Where the Action Is, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/wHQKU4xwB_k/m/GwfeYauUAQAJ Our Life's Narrative, Part 1 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/WeMrJHWp0WM/m/2DMDyn_OAQAJ Our Life's Narrative, Part 2 https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/uyAdShsPVec/m/6JDHb73OAQAJ What Was Always Within https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/1eYQHigAWy0 Diverse, Conflicting Clarity https://groups.google.com/g/sb118-resolution/c/4zWjblQ26_U
  18. A superlative log and letter home which really pulls at the heart strings and also makes you feel pretty good! Nothing to do with my name drop, promise. ((Yogan & Iljor's Quarters, USS Resolution)) Sat at the small workstation he shared with the currently absent Yogan, Iljor read the letter that he had finished writing for the third time, making sure that nothing was left out or spelled incorrectly. Dearest parents, First of all, let me say how sorry I am that I haven't written to you since I last saw you during the graduation ceremonies on Starbase 118. It's not that I haven't wanted to write- I just haven't had the time. Humans have a saying that probably sums everything up neatly- I've "hit the ground running". Actually, it might not sum it up nearly (I don't think anything can)- but you get the picture. I'm not entirely sure what I can and cannot say just yet, especially since I'm only a small cog in the greater machine that is the Resolution. But keep an eye on the FNS feeds for news of a peace treaty between two races in The Borderlands. I wasn't directly involved in the mediation (mother, please don't tell everyone in Talmulna that I was. It's embarrassing!)- but I was aboard ship and I was kept very busy. Right now we're heading back to Deep Space 224- a kind of central focus for Starfleet and the Federation's presence here- for resupply, repairs and maybe taking on new personnel. Yes, you read that right- repairs. Please don't be too alarmed, everything is under control and I am okay. I promise. I can already hear the worry in your voices- so please believe me when I say I'm in fine health and I haven't been admitted to sickbay for anything! While I can't tell you about our mission (for the moment, maybe) I guess I can tell you about the people I'm serving with. To start off with I haven't actually met Captain Nicholetti yet. She's been off the ship for the past mission dealing with something to do with a previous mission at Starfleet Medical. I'm pretty low down on the "need to know" ladder so I don't have the full details- but I'm looking forward to getting to serve with her in the future. Our first officer is Commander MacKenzie. I've spoken with her a few times and she seems the sort of officer who was born to lead. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side any time soon. What surprises me the most, though, is how she seemed eager to hear my opinions during this past mission. I know Resolution is a small ship but I still didn't expect to have any input of important decisions- but Commander MacKenzie seemed intent on getting my thoughts. I wouldn't say I have her ear yet- and I'm certainly not going to be checking her pagh any time soon, but I was honored by her interest in me. The CMO- Doctor Adea- is also our second officer. To be honest with you both- I really like him. He's very warm, approachable and friendly an he has a very funny sense of humour. He was my onboarding liaison and made me feel very welcome. Also insisted on me calling him by his given name, which threw me. From what I can tell, he seems very popular aboard the ship- it's certainly easy to see why. There's a charm about him. He was the leader of my away team and just like Commander MacKenzie, he made it a point to take onboard my findings and my thoughts. I've probably spent most of my time so far with Counselor Sirin. Don't worry, I'm not homesick or depressed or anything like that. We've worked together quite a bit and that's translated to a few lunches and conversations. She's interested in history- so of course I've enjoyed our chats a lot! There's quite a bit of gossip about her going on aboard ship, something to do with a prior shore leave and there definitely seemed to be…. something…. with her and Commander MacKenzie. A kind of uneasiness. I don't know. I've never been good at that kind of thing. Anyway, I'll keep out of it. But I'd say she's easily become my best friend aboard the Resolution. I'm rooming with a Trill- Lieutenant Yalu. He's joined, trained as a doctor but is the ship's pilot and is a mountain of a man. As broad as he is tall. That said- he's very kind and dare I say… sweet? He's invited me to travel with him and a few others to Trill in the next few days. It's part of a ritual a Trill host has to undergo. The zhian'tara. Its fascinating. I'll be embodying a previous host for a while so that Yogan can talk to…. oh you know what, I'm going to get on one of my tangents if I carry on. Look it up! But don't worry… nothing can go wrong. It's all very controlled and carried out by Trill guardians. I'm still getting to know everyone else. Lieutenant Sherlock is the one who looks after us all and seems to be fiercely devoted to the ship. We've shared a drink in the mess hall and I think we're spending some time together with Counselor Sirin on DS224 before I leave for Trill. I'm looking forward to that. I don't think I've seen Ensign Yellir sit still. Actually I don't think she knows how to. She's a fellow science officer and it's been nice to 'geek out' with her. She also has the most vibrant purple hair I've ever seen. Seriously. It's amazing! I've worked briefly with two engineers- Commander Amari and Ensign Nox. I can't really say much about them since I haven't had the chance to get to know them yet. Maybe in my next letter. I don't know when I'll be able to come home. The Borderlands is quite a distance from Bajor and its rarely quiet. There's always something going on, or a new system to chart, or a new spatial phenomenon to probe. But the first chance I'll get to come home, I'll take it. I miss you both and I miss the farm. Speaking of which… how was last month's katterpod harvest? Did it top last years? Is Grola still trying to sell you that plychyk dung fertiliser? Don't give in, father…. it'll ruin the soil not matter what she says otherwise. Trust me, I'm a scientist. A qualified one now. Wow…. feels weird writing that! Next time you see Areja say hello for me. She still makes the best pot of tea. Anyway, I hate to cut this short but I have to go. There's a self defense class that I promised I'd show my face at. And I've got a report to write on some long range sensor telemetry that I've been asked to analyse. It's nothing- just some elevated background radiation that no one will care about- but I want to get it done sooner rather than later. I love you both. May the Prophets light your way, Your ever loving son, Iljor. Satisfied that he had covered everything he had wanted to, he pressed a finger to his lips and kissed it, then transferred it to the screen. With a wistful and slightly melancholic smile, he hit the send button. -- Ensign Etan Iljor Science Officer USS Resolution C239302TW0
  19. Before reading, I'll give some background. Rossk Shes Ar-Dev is a Hypermale (third sex) of the Nascaik. A highly militant society. Hypermales are dying breed and no more are being born and this is also causing population loss planetwide. After much disagreement and a terrorist attack on them by a lone Thama, the Nascaik and the Thama have now agreed to help one another rather peacefully. Foss is Ar-Dev's son, who has voiced his free will of not wanting to become a Hypermale through genetic modification. It seemed as though the boys voice was the voice of change and reason. The voice that changed the future for others like him. The voice that softened his fathers heart. Justin has again written brilliantly. In this piece he has his trademark humor but then throws in a heavy tragedy that is now unknown to the rest of the characters. The writing and idea is beautifully painful...and the first thing I read after waking this morning. (( Bridge, Deck 1, USS Resolution )) Ar-Dev: I have been granted wide discretionary powers to conclude an agreement with the Thama. I am confident that if we were to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution, Unified Command would ratify it. Such a solution might also go a long way toward saving Shes’ career, and quite possibly his life. Vey-Dex: If there are no arguments, I will begin the process of writing the agreement? Sirin: With the Representative Delegates input, of course. Vey-Dex: Of course. MacKenzie: Counselor Sirin, please work with the delegates to craft an appropriate agreement. Adea: =/\= Adea to MacKenzie. Check your PADD =/\= The commander studied her handheld device for a long moment, then looked back up to each of them in turn, her gaze finally landing on the Thama. MacKenzie: =/\= I’ll send her down. =/\= ::to Niran:: Delegate, it appears our teams may have found a solution that will bring the rest of our systems back online, but they believe your assistance may speed up the process. Niran: I would be pleased to serve. MacKenzie: Ensign Sherlock, please escort Delegate Niran to Sickbay. ::to the group as a whole:: Once Niran has finished in Sickbay and you’ve all had a chance to work on the treaty, we’ll meet back here in several hours to ratify it. Sherlock: Yes, ma'am. ::gesturing to the turbolift:: Delegate Niran, if you will. Niran: Of course. As soon as the interesting security officer had departed the room with the Thama, Shes felt the gravity return to something approximating normal, and he no longer had to brace Himself against railings and consoles to keep from floating away. The counselor who had been assigned to assist in drafting the agreement approached, but there was unfinished business left to complete first. Ar-Dev: Counselor, if you would allow us a moment to speak in private. Shes didn’t wait for an acknowledgment from the officer, striding instead through the nearest pair of doors and waiting for Malyk to follow. The space was strange, and Shes couldn’t immediately determine its purpose. He peered through one of two small cubicles to find an alien-looking bowl-shaped contraption mounted low onto the bulkhead. It must have been outfitted with a proximity sensor, because as soon as Shes moved in front it, it made a most peculiar flushing sound. Toilet: Have a Starflee-terrific day! Ar-Dev: ::wearily:: I cannot wait to go home. Shes moved to the far corner of the small room and spoke in barely audible voice. Ar-Dev: Before you begin working on this agreement, Malyk, I need you to do a few things for me. First, have someone from our vessel come get Foss immediately and secure him in quarters until this mission has concluded. Next, contact the headmaster of the Youth Academy on the homeworld and tell him that I am withdrawing Foss from classes there, effective immediately. If he asks for a reason, tell him it is a Father’s prerogative. He will not be pleased, but that will end the conversation. Malyk was expertly taking notes, and Shes was confident his directives would be followed to the letter. He paused to let her finish, but not long enough for her to ask questions. Ar-Dev: Finally, I need you to contact Re-Education Encampment 29 and inform them that they need to make a bunk available for Foss immediately. ::beat:: I know the intendant of Encampment 29. Ask to speak to Avssk Grev Fol-Gan, and tell Him that it is a personal request from Me. We will arrange to have Foss delivered there once we have returned to our vessel. No matter how promising this agreement with the Thama, the first of its kind in Nascaik living memory, might be in solving the Hypermale problem, the benefits would likely come too late for Foss. He would begin maturing soon, and by then, it would be too late for him to be transformed. Better to send him away for re-education now, than allow the boy to cause more problems later. Fol-Gan would ensure that Foss’ stay at Encampment 29 would be handled discreetly, sparing Shes the public and professional embarrassment, and that his re-education would be conducted properly. With dedication and some good fortune, Foss might be able to return to society before he was 30. Shes and Malyk stepped back out onto the bridge and parted ways, with Malyk ushering Foss with her into the turbolift. Shes glanced over at one of the bridge consoles, which was coloured differently to all of its neighbours. Shaking His head, he disregarded the console and the illegible alien script displayed on it: HI SCORE 1. FOSS 1 780 659 2. YALU 6 250 [End Scene for Ar-Dev] [End Future for Foss] MSPNPC Rossk Shes Ar-Dev Military Commander, Nascaik Planetary Expeditionary & Defense Forces Diplomatic Representative, Nascaik Defense Coalition special appearance by Wilhelmina Christelle Khazi Deck 1 Toilet USS Resolution NCC-78145 simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0 As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others, those who have lost the right to speak. — Mahmoud Darwish
  20. Justin is cementing his All-Star heavy hitter (as a writer) status. This has been such a well written antagonist. This sim in particular shows a friendly cultural misunderstanding and even a little jab at his own PC. MVP all the way. (( Transporter Cube 1, Nascaik Transport Vessel 318-559 )) Shes observed His son carefully from behind the control panel of the Transporter Cube. He had ordered the boy to stand at attention nearly 10 minutes ago, and he was. Foss was highly disciplined for being such a young boy; he would go far in the military. Far, but by a quirk of genetics, not far enough. Foss’ misfortune wasn’t the only one that this mission would put right. Once Vionus IV was theirs, the Nascaik would have as many Hypermales as they needed. Malyk arrived right on time, carrying the rebreathers, and Shes begrudgingly fitted the apparatus over His nose and mouth. Tapping the control panel to test the seal and the airflow, Shes took a few deep breaths. Satisfied the device was in working order, He nodded to Foss, and the boy mirrored his father’s actions. Shes keyed in the transport coordinates and transmitted them to the Federation ship, then he, Malyk, and Foss all climbed into the cube to await transport. (( Transporter Room 1, Deck 2, USS Resolution )) Having never used a Federation transporter before, Shes found the experience curiously uneventful. None of the usual hallmarks of a trip through a Nascaik transporter were there. No dizziness, no nausea, no rotating limb syndrome. His lips weren’t even numb. Curious people these Federation types were, indeed. If it weren’t for the change of scenery and the aliens staring back at him, he’d not have guessed he’d used a transporter at all. As soon as the transport was complete and the strange blue beam had dissipated from around him, Shes took a deep breath in and immediately knew they’d been the second party to come aboard. Ar-Dev: oO It stinks of trees in here. Oo MacKenzie: Rossk Ar-Dev – I’m Commander MacKenzie, and these are my officers. On behalf of Starfleet and the Federation, we’d like to welcome you aboard the Resolution. Shes did His level best to remember the hundreds of bullet points in the dossier He’d been given. The newly written Nascaik diplomatic protocol was full of unnecessary details and jangly words that would only shroud things in a haze of confusion. However, as Malyk had reminded Him so many times in the lead-up to this mission, this was a unique battlefield with its own rules. Shes stepped forward and took the Commander’s outstretched hand, momentarily surprised at the strength of her grip. A strange ritual, the shaking of hands. Ar-Dev: Commander MacKenzie. ::gesturing:: This is my aide, Terza Malyk Vey-Dex. And this is my son, Foss. MacKenzie: ::nodding:: Welcome to you both. Vey-Dex: response Ar-Dev: ::steps from the transporter pad:: I suppose we should get started. ::inhales:: I gather that the Thama delegates have already arrived. MacKenzie: Actually, before we get to work, we have a tour of the shi- Ar-Dev: Your instructions said that we would be meeting in something called “Conference Room A.” ::gestures toward the door:: I trust we can find the way ourselves. The human opened her hands, which took Shes by surprise. Surely the Federation mediators had been briefed on all relevant aspects of Shes’ professional and personal life, including the fact that He had been married for decades. He could not believe the commander would so brazenly proposition Him in such a way, and in front of His own son, no less. When she continued talking about the tour of the ship, however, Shes realized he must had misinterpreted her physical gesture. He ignored the offense she had caused, but it was quickly replaced by a growing impatience. Why were they attempting to stall? MacKenzie: We just wanted to offer you a tour so that everyone can get acclimated to an unfamiliar- Ar-Dev: Commander, unless this ship is a gift you are presenting to us as part of some diplomatic custom, I am frankly not not interested in seeing any more of it than I have to. The human clenched her jaw ever so slightly. Shes was intrigued. He had not expected to find the human species so fascinating and complex. He could almost see the commander change tactics on the spot. She would likely be a brilliant tactician, if given the training and discipline from six years of study at the Academy of War. MacKenzie: I’m sure you’d rather dispense with the formality, but the tour won’t take very long, and you would do me a great honor by accepting this gesture. I’ve actually assembled a team of my finest officers to show you around. In fact, Commander Ilsam is our mission specialist – I’m sure you can find common ground discussing military strategy. Shes regarded the officer whom the commander identified as Ilsam, and the two others flanking him. Ilsam: Response Vey-Dex: Response Ar-Dev: Very well. If it would do you the honour, I suppose we can oblige. A brief tour to inspect your facilities and your soldiers. MacKenzie: I’m so glad to hear that. In addition to Commander Ilsam, I’d like to also introduce our helmsman, Lieutenant Yalu, and one of our security officers, Lieutenant Sherlock. The trio of officers was a grab bag, indeed. Ilsam, the military strategist, would perhaps give Him an insight into how this Starfleet military was constituted. Even by glances, it was far removed from anything He was used to. The security officer, Sherlock, excluded confidence and competence in equal measures. He would be interested to know more about her role on this ship. The helmsman, Yalu, was tall, but otherwise completely forgettable and not worth paper to describe. Ilsam: response Sherlock: Terza Vey-Dex, Rossk Ar-Dev, it's an honor to have two representatives of the Nascaik, as esteemed as you are, aboard. ::looking at Foss and giving him a smile and a nod:: Welcome. Vey-Dex: response Ar-Dev: Very well, Commander, Lieutenant, Lieutenant. Lead the way. As the group of six exited this room and continued down a corridor, Shes tried to retain His focus, but the sheer foreign-ness of the ship’s layout was highly distracting. Ar-Dev: So, tell me, Commander. How many planets has this ship conquered? Ilsam: response Any: response Tag / TBC MSPNPC Rossk Shes Ar-Dev Military Commander, Nascaik Planetary Expeditionary & Defense Forces Diplomatic Representative, Nascaik Defense Coalition simmed by Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0
  21. I'm so happy to have @Geoffrey Teller guesting with us on the Resolution for this mission. I'm always amazed by his ability to find his way inside a character with very little information to go on and yet, he's incredibly descriptive and elusive at the same time! ((A Grove of Seven Trees, Memorial Forest, Thama Homeworld)) A warm breeze flitted through the graceful, slender branches of the l'far trees, filling the grove with a gentle rustling that Ashal Koas found pleasant and soothing. Her spade dug into the rich black dark soil easily as it had for the last two hours, shifting the dirt aside and forming a small mound nearby. With each load of soil moved she got closer to her goal but her pace was unhurried and regular. Even here, in the company of those she held most dear, she didn't risk letting her mask slip. Not now. Not when she was so close. Another scoop of dirt set aside, and she was a step closer to finishing her journey. The wind gusted, the l'far trees swaying, the light playing off their crystalline leaves. She could hear them speaking to her. They encouraged her when she had lost faith and purpose. They gently reminded her of her sworn promise. If she closed her eyes, she could hear their voices again. She was so near to them, now. Closer than she had been since the accident. Her expression remained neutral, but the next thrust of the shovel bit into the soil more deeply. She had planted these trees seven years earlier when she was just sixteen years old. She'd cared for them and nurtured them across the years, as they had cared for her, serving as her sounding board and confidants when she grew dejected or uncertain. The living cenotaph to her family, here in a hidden corner of the Great Memorial Forest, was the keeper of her secrets. It would not need to be for much longer. The wind shifted again and she could hear the voices of the other children, her brothers and sisters. They laughed and sang, which always made Ashal smile during the darkest times. Ashal looked towards the smallest tree in the grove, named in honor of her younger brother Ascal. He was always the first to joke, the first to tease his sister when she got into one of her intense moods. Branches shook and leaves whispered, a music knowable only to her. Koas: Don't be difficult, Ascal! You're always such a troublemaker, getting your branches tangled. Dotra and Jimberline never cause as much of a fuss. The other two smaller trees offered no immediate response. Ashal continued digging without pause, carrying on with her conversation. Koas: We've spoken about this before and you know why I have to go. This is everything we've hoped for. I've been assigned to the negiogation team as a junior diplomat. No one questioned it. Ambassador Niran chose me personally. The smallest tree in the grove fell silent. Ashal dug for a while longer, then stepped up and out of the void she had created, satisfied. They were ready for the saplings. Her people had few traditions that could be considered spiritual, but this ancient practice had grown with the Thama, much like the memorial trees themselves. New life born out of loss. It was the great cycle of all living systems and the Thama, more than anything else, respected the sanctity of life. She moved the first sapling into position, gently placing it where she should've been, among her brothers and sisters, reciting the old words for the eight time. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer, let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud, then pressed the soil down with bare hands. Her meticulously precise facade didn't waiver, but a tear escaped from her eye and fell upon the soil. The second sapling was moved into position, low and away from the family of trees. Ashal tried to repeat the litany without emotion creeping in, only the subtlest notes of cold rage tinging her words. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer...::Ashal looked back towards her family and felt their eyes upon her. This was her final gift.:: Let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud with venom enough to wilt the nearby grass. It was the first time a Nascaik had ever been honored with a tree in the Great Forest, but Ashal believed strongly in the tradition. New life born out of loss. Something to blossom while something else withered. She pressed the soil into place and turned to face her family one final time. Their voices had grown still but she could feel their warm embrace. She longed to be with them, and looked lovingly at the sapling. Koas: You're home now, little Ashal. Grow strong and tall for me, here with your family. I have to go now but it will be fine. This is the cycle. The breeze picked up once again, rustling and whispering in the branches around them. As she changed out of her soiled work clothes and into something more befitting a junior diplomat, Ashal heard the voices of her parents and her siblings. She heard them calling out to her, demanding justice. They didn't wish to burden her so, but she was all that remained. It had to be her. By the time she stepped out of the Memorial Forest for the very last time, Ashal Koas had renewed her resolve. She would see her plan through to the very end, as she had promised all those years ago. She felt a calm elation as she returned to her offices, just one junior bureaucrat among many returning from midday break. She imagined the grove and smiled. Something wonderful would blossom there. While something else withered. [End] ==================================== Ashal Koas Junior Assistant to the Ambassador Thama Scientific Sovereignty V239509GT0
  22. @LtJG Aine Olive Sherlock does a smashing job as a security officer in this sim, thoughtfully working through the intricacies of an upcoming diplomatic negotiation and offering inventive, yet actionable, suggestions for ship's security. Very nicely done! ((Conference Room 'B', Deck 7, USS Resolution)) She hadn't been down on the lower decks much, and if it hadn't been for this meeting, she'd almost have forgotten that Engineering had its own conference room. Walking in a little early with her PADD in one hand and tea number three in the other, two officers were already present. Sherlock: Lieutenant Commander Ilsam ::giving him a wry smile::, good morning. ::turing to Chandra:: Commander Amari, slipping her PADD under her left arm and extending her hand:: it's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome aboard the Resolution. Ilsam: Response Aine returned the Commanders smile as they shook hands. Amari: Thank you. It’s been a wild ride so far. I can’t wait to see what happens when you guys get going. Just then the door to the conference room hissed opened and in walked Dr. T'Suran. Amari: Doctor T’Suran I presume? T'Suran: Response Sherlock: Yes, let's get started. They took their seats around the table and Commander Amari began to lay out what was in store for them. A blue glow fell unto her face as Commander Amari queued up a holo display of a planet of which Aine had never heard of. A brief pause gave everyone just enough time to read the name as Chandra started her brief. Amari: This is Vionus IV, currently disputed territory of two races, the Thama and the Nascaik. Both want it for different reasons, and neither is willing to share. Given that, we’re going to provide mediation and hopefully a peaceful solution. Ilsam/T'Suran: Response Amari: Ah, but that is the question. As the commander put it, to get them to talk, we’ve got to get them in the same room, which might be difficult given that the Thama’s homeworld is smaller than Earth, so they are going to feel mighty heavy when they arrive here. And the Nascaik breathe a methane mixture apparently, so our air will likely end the talks before they begin since they can’t breathe it. Sherlock: ::raising an eyebrow:: At least that will limit their movement on the ship. But then when we need to move them, well, that's going to be tough. Ilsam/T'Suran: Response Sherlock: Adaptations in their quarters will be easy enough. The real question will be where do we put them? Where will the meeting be? And how do we get them there under guard? Any: Response Thinking back to her earlier statement, Aine tried to imagine herself as one of these visiting diplomats. Even with certain, and understandable, restrictions, feeling caged wasn't something she imagined anyone would want. Sherlock: This idea may sound strange ::bites lower lip briefly:: but maybe their escorts onboard could be in EV suits? I know it will look strange, but allowing them some freedom of movement in adapted areas, may feel a little more welcoming. (OOC: Feel free to continue the conversation concerning the needs of our guests.) Chandra looked over at the security officer then. Amari: And of course there’s a security wrench to throw into all of these moving gears. The ends of Aine's mouth curled slightly at the image in her head. Large lumbering gears like in an old clock tower, but instead of a wrench a phaser gets tossed in. She tucked away the childish thought and refocused. Amari: There’s inevitably some who think these talks aren’t worth it and that they should just take what is perceived as theirs. Thus, we are also tasked with making certain this ship, and those aboard in any capacity, are protected. Sherlock: Yes, I skimmed over the briefs on the Thama and Nascaik that Commander Ilsam forwarded to me ::giving Tai a nod::. With some ideas about how to deal with the environmental needs and our limitations with them, I think if we shut down the science labs while they're here, that will give us extra power we may need for adaptations. We could also lock down the ship. Confine all non-essential personnel to quarters, keep the Bridge and Engineering staffed. We could have the extra science personnel working deck patrols, that would allow my security teams and the Marines to focus on our guests. Externally, I'm most worried about the Nascaik. Any: Response Sherlock: If there is indeed disagreement in the higher ranks of the Nascaik, it wouldn't be far out to assume even one of them would want to stop these talks. If we do power down the science labs, we can keep the sensors maxed out. We could also raise shields once everyone's on board to prevent transporting and be ready for an attack. I think even at 20%, they'd do the job. Any: Response Tag/TBC Lieutenant Junior Grade Aine Sherlock Security Officer USS Resolution R239712AS0
  23. ((A Grove of Seven Trees, Memorial Forest, Thama Homeworld)) A warm breeze flitted through the graceful, slender branches of the l'far trees, filling the grove with a gentle rustling that Ashal Koas found pleasant and soothing. Her spade dug into the rich black dark soil easily as it had for the last two hours, shifting the dirt aside and forming a small mound nearby. With each load of soil moved she got closer to her goal but her pace was unhurried and regular. Even here, in the company of those she held most dear, she didn't risk letting her mask slip. Not now. Not when she was so close. Another scoop of dirt set aside, and she was a step closer to finishing her journey. The wind gusted, the l'far trees swaying, the light playing off their crystalline leaves. She could hear them speaking to her. They encouraged her when she had lost faith and purpose. They gently reminded her of her sworn promise. If she closed her eyes, she could hear their voices again. She was so near to them, now. Closer than she had been since the accident. Her expression remained neutral, but the next thrust of the shovel bit into the soil more deeply. She had planted these trees seven years earlier when she was just sixteen years old. She'd cared for them and nurtured them across the years, as they had cared for her, serving as her sounding board and confidants when she grew dejected or uncertain. The living cenotaph to her family, here in a hidden corner of the Great Memorial Forest, was the keeper of her secrets. It would not need to be for much longer. The wind shifted again and she could hear the voices of the other children, her brothers and sisters. They laughed and sang, which always made Ashal smile during the darkest times. Ashal looked towards the smallest tree in the grove, named in honor of her younger brother Ascal. He was always the first to joke, the first to tease his sister when she got into one of her intense moods. Branches shook and leaves whispered, a music knowable only to her. Koas: Don't be difficult, Ascal! You're always such a troublemaker, getting your branches tangled. Dotra and Jimberline never cause as much of a fuss. The other two smaller trees offered no immediate response. Ashal continued digging without pause, carrying on with her conversation. Koas: We've spoken about this before and you know why I have to go. This is everything we've hoped for. I've been assigned to the negiogation team as a junior diplomat. No one questioned it. Ambassador Niran chose me personally. The smallest tree in the grove fell silent. Ashal dug for a while longer, then stepped up and out of the void she had created, satisfied. They were ready for the saplings. Her people had few traditions that could be considered spiritual, but this ancient practice had grown with the Thama, much like the memorial trees themselves. New life born out of loss. It was the great cycle of all living systems and the Thama, more than anything else, respected the sanctity of life. She moved the first sapling into position, gently placing it where she should've been, among her brothers and sisters, reciting the old words for the eight time. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer, let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud, then pressed the soil down with bare hands. Her meticulously precise facade didn't waiver, but a tear escaped from her eye and fell upon the soil. The second sapling was moved into position, low and away from the family of trees. Ashal tried to repeat the litany without emotion creeping in, only the subtlest notes of cold rage tinging her words. Koas: For those that slumber, let these leaves give shade. For those that hunger, let these branches bear fruit. For those that suffer...::Ashal looked back towards her family and felt their eyes upon her. This was her final gift.:: Let this sapling take root and grow tall. May new life blossom here as it withers elsewhere. This is the cycle. She spoke the tree's name aloud with venom enough to wilt the nearby grass. It was the first time a Nascaik had ever been honored with a tree in the Great Forest, but Ashal believed strongly in the tradition. New life born out of loss. Something to blossom while something else withered. She pressed the soil into place and turned to face her family one final time. Their voices had grown still but she could feel their warm embrace. She longed to be with them, and looked lovingly at the sapling. Koas: You're home now, little Ashal. Grow strong and tall for me, here with your family. I have to go now but it will be fine. This is the cycle. The breeze picked up once again, rustling and whispering in the branches around them. As she changed out of her soiled work clothes and into something more befitting a junior diplomat, Ashal heard the voices of her parents and her siblings. She heard them calling out to her, demanding justice. They didn't wish to burden her so, but she was all that remained. It had to be her. By the time she stepped out of the Memorial Forest for the very last time, Ashal Koas had renewed her resolve. She would see her plan through to the very end, as she had promised all those years ago. She felt a calm elation as she returned to her offices, just one junior bureaucrat among many returning from midday break. She imagined the grove and smiled. Something wonderful would blossom there. While something else withered. [End] ==================================== Ashal Koas Junior Assistant to the Ambassador Thama Scientific Sovereignty V239509GT0
  24. From the way he described the ribbons to his mention of leaders eating last, this sim brought back so many memories from when I was younger. It put a smile on my face and gave me some feels (as the kids say these days). From his great descriptive writing, as you've seen recently from the posts here, Justin is such a great writer who deserves every bit of recognition he gets. (( Home of Ambassador Sarep, Vulcan )) Yogan had been to enough dinner parties to suspect some kind of organized fun was about to start. In the back of his mind, he wondered if the lights might suddenly go off and they would be thrown headfirst into a murder-mystery party game. He remembered the last one he attended, back when he was still living in San Francisco, when he’d been assigned the role of Pappa Razzi, a mobster with a penchant for blackmailing celebrities with incriminating holo-photos. That night, he’d managed to reveal the secret identity of the tightfisted dowager countess, but he’d failed to guess that the mastermind of the crime was in fact Björnfjord Flarnkrappft, the Swedish furniture tycoon. The memory of that evening was pleasant, but the sight of Captain Nicholotti entering the dining room with Commander MacKenzie was enough to bring him back to the present at warp ten. Acting on instinct and his training, he rose to his feet. Yalu: Captain. Nicholotti: Lieutenant. MacKenzie: response The room fell silent, and a few of Yogan’s fellow officers stood out of respect to their captain. They seem to be just as surprised by her unexpected appearance. Doctor Adea, consummate professional he was, left his place at the table to attend to her. Adea: You’re awake, and... out of your room. ::he immediately went to her side:: Are you okay? Nicholotti: I am. And I can promise I am here permissibly, however temporarily. Yogan scanned the faces of the other officers around the table, wondering if anyone else had picked up on what the captain had said. Her statement implied that such permission could be revoked, and Yogan wondered what that might mean for Resolution. MacKenzie: response Adea: ::smiling broadly:: It doesn’t hurt to check, I’m very glad to see you. Nicholotti: And I you. ::Looking to the others.:: All of you. MacKenzie: response Etan: I take it that the Captain wasn’t expected this evening? MacNemar: response Nicholotti: They will hunt me down if I don’t return in a reasonable amount of time though, so if you would assist, I’d like to thank the crew for their hard work. MacKenzie / Adea: response Yogan resumed his seat as the evening took on quite a different tone and tenor to that which he’d expected. He looked to both ends of the table, where sat the Ambassador and Ms Hurmin. Unlike his crewmates, they didn’t appear to be surprised at this unexpected development. Rather, they seemed pleased. Yogan reasoned that they must have been informed of the captain’s desire to make an appearance and, knowing that her condition might necessitate an extended convalescence, had welcomed her into their home for an impromptu awards ceremony. Yogan smiled as he thought about this. The fact that they would extend such a courtesy to a group of people they’d not met before tonight was a testament to how much they cared for T’Suran. The medical officer was lucky to have such a supportive family. Nicholotti: I know no one expected to see me here tonight, but you’ll find out if you have not already, that I am full of surprises. Maybe that is where you all get that. Though I wasn’t there to see it, I want you each to know that I did read about it thanks to our XO, and I couldn’t be more proud of the actions each of you contributed towards the success of our exfiltration and escape from the future. Perhaps one day they will make a movie out of it. Yogan chuckled at the joke, relieved to see that the captain’s sense of humour had survived her illness and incapacitation intact. What she was doing right now was admirable, and it took Yogan some time to fully appreciate it. Here she was, just hours out of hospital, standing before them cracking jokes. Putting them at ease. Taking the time to honour them, when she was still recovering from a trauma that could have untold effects on her. It spoke to her character, and what kind of captain she was. It also reminded Yogan of something he’d read as a student: “Leaders are the ones who are willing to give up something of their own for us: their time, their energy, their money, maybe even the food off their plate. When it matters, leaders choose to eat last.” Any: response Nicholotti: My time with you right now is short, as there are yet tests to run and pass before I will be allowed to escape completely, but I felt it important to make certain you were all recognized for the efforts that brought us, and countless others, home. I know it is a bit crowded here, so instead of coming to me, I will ask that our XO and second officer disperse the awards as each of you are called. Adea / Mackenzie: response Nicholotti: First, for those who inevitably aided in the discovery of a new planet and the race that lived there, I award the following with the Explorer’s Ribbon. Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie, Lieutenant Commander Adea, Ensign Sherlock, Lieutenant JG Macnemar, Lieutenant JG Yalu, Lieutenant JG Sirin, Lieutenant Commander Romjin, Ensign T’Suran, Lieutenant Commander Ilsam, and Lieutenant JG Delri’ise. Thank you all for the dedication you showed during this discovery. Sherlock: Thank you, Captain. Yalu: I am honoured, Captain. Thank you. Yogan studied the ribbon that Dr. Adea had placed in his hands. It was the first of this type that Yogan had ever received, and it was striking. A gold embroidered letter “E” was placed in the centre of the blue-black ribbon–presumably representing the brightness of knowledge emerging from the darkness of unknown space–and gold and blue fimbriation ran alongside the edges. It was a beautiful physical manifestation of a likewise beautiful honour. Any: response Nicholotti: Inevitably, what goes hand in hand with discovery is contact with the life forms that reside on the planet in question. While discovered to be less savory characters, the event was still a first contact situation for us and as far as we know, for the Federation. To that end, I award the following with the First Contact Ribbon. Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie, Lieutenant Commander Adea, Ensign Sherlock, Lieutenant JG Macnemar, Lieutenant JG Yalu, Lieutenant JG Sirin, Lieutenant Commander Romjin, Ensign T’Suran, Lieutenant Commander Ilsam, and Lieutenant JG Delri’ise. Yalu: Thank you, Captain. This time, it was Commander MacKenzie’s turn to present the ribbon to Yogan, and it was just as brilliant as the last one. The red vertical stripe in the centre separated the ribbon into two halves, each a mirror image of the other, with a gold inner stripe and a blue outer stripe. As he examined it, he noticed that the design of the ribbon itself was a metaphor for first contact. The red stripe simultaneously symbolised the initial divide and the subsequent bridge between the Federation and a previously uncontacted people, while the mirrored halves represented the fact that we have far more in common with other species than we have differences. When Yogan thought about the Sau, he struggled to find their common ground, but then he remembered Teril’s final act of wresting control back from Lo’Thar and destroying the slave labor camp, allowing Resolution to rescue many of the prisoners. People, even seemingly evil lizard people from the year 300,000 could surprise you with unexpected acts of mercy. Yogan would be proud to add this ribbon to his dress uniform. Any: response Nicholotti: There are those out there to whom we owe more than can be repaid. In the process of carrying out their duties, these officers go above and beyond and deliver the gifts of life to those who would otherwise have gone without. As one of the recipients of such a gift, I can say that there is no greater love one can receive than to be able to live because of the skill, sacrifice, and care of another. Thus, to Ensign T’Suran and Lieutenant JG Sirin, I hereby award the Silver Lifesaving ribbons for conspicuous actions that saved the life of a member of Starfleet. T’Suran: response Sirin: Thank you. I am honored to have aided in some small way in your recovery. Nicholotti: And to Lieutenant Commander Adea, I hereby award the Gold Lifesaving Ribbon, for putting your life at risk in order to save another. Sherlock: Congratulations, Doctor! ::clapping her hands:: Yogan joined in the applause for the doctors and counselor. They had all acted in an exemplary fashion. He thought about Ensign Treetus, who had participated in his shuttle training with all the chip and cheer of a first-year Academy cadet. Unfortunately, his injuries must have been more serious than they first appeared, because the ensign had departed Resolution at Vulcan, and it was uncertain when, or if, he might return. Despite that sad news, Yogan was certain that without Doctors T’Suran and Adea and Counselor Sirin, Treetus’ very survival would have been cast in a shadow of doubt. And that was doubly true for the two-hundred-or-so people they had rescued from the Sau. Adea / Any: response Nicholotti: And finally, I will ask that Ensign Sherlock join me here for a moment. Ensign, though you have not served long, you have shown yourself to be a veritable force of nature. It will be officers like you who lead Starfleet into the future. For your actions and dedication that you’ve continued to show again and again, I hereby promote you to the rank of Lieutenant JG, with all rights and privileges therein. Sherlock: Thank you, Captain. As I said on my first day on your ship, I will serve you and the ship to the best of my abilities. ::slight nod:: Yalu: Congratulations, Lieutenant. Welcome to the club! Yogan was delighted that Aine Sherlock was given a well-deserved promotion. In her first mission, she’d proven herself to be a security officer of the highest calibre. Her dedication to the away mission had been integral to its success, and indeed their very survival. As the rest of the group congratulated her, Yogan noticed the nonverbal courting between the newly promoted Lieutenant and Commander Ilsam, and wondered what orders Starfleet would have for Resolution next. Their stay on Vulcan had been brief, but jam-packed with activity and opportunities to get to know each other better. If the next mission was even a fraction as stressful as the last, Yogan wondered whether the handful of newly formed relationships could hold up under the strain. Any: response Tag / TBC Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu Helm Officer USS Resolution NCC-78145 Justin D238804DS0
  25. I have been thinking about @Genkos Adea and @Rune Jolara's recent JP, this little scene in particular, for days now and want to share with everyone: Genkos’ brows rose; a mention of his home planet would always bring confusing feelings to his brain. There was a warmth of fond memories, slightly tinged by the… machinations of his father. Adea: Oh, Betazed? Where abouts? Jolara: ::with a nod:: In Mestara, not far from the Janaran Falls which he absolutely loves. Genkos nodded enthusiastically, having spent the occasional childhood trip camping in the woods near to the falls. Adea: I know the falls well. Delightful spot, I have many lovely memories of the spot. Jolara: So you have been there? Adea: Many times, camping with my father. Not something I have done in my adult life. I have lost my… fondness for camping. Something to do with marshed mallow. The last time he had been camping had been on Trill, and his preeminent memory was of one crewman’s fondness for an unimpressive, elongated marshed mallow instrument. As fond of sugar as Genkos was, he’d not been particularly taken by the instrument. Rune’s head tilted slightly as she watched him. Jolara: I am not familiar with any kind of instruments called marshed mallow. It must be horrific if it has caused you to lose your fondness for camping.
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