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  1. ((Starfleet Command, San Francisco.)) ((Thirty-one Years Ago.)) ::The gentle ripple of applause died down as the new flagship of Starfleet slipped her moorings and eased out into space. The room where he stood was finely decorated as there was also a ball taking place tonight to celebrate the promotion of Commodore Hansen to Rear Admiral. Several officers still stood in groups staring up at the screen as the Enterprise-D majestically cruised away from the shipyards, whilst others took seats at tables, stood gossiping or went in search of new drinks and old friends. Two years aboard the USS Peter had earned him promotion to full Lieutenant, a couple of medals and a host of minor science awards. Now, he was the brand new Chief Science Officer aboard an old friend’s ship. And that old friend was an old friend of the now Rear-Admiral Hansen. He didn’t really like formal occasions, and hated wearing his dress uniform because it meant showing off ribbons. And that usually drew attention considering his age.:: Captain Bell: Bloody hell, Will, crack a smile will you? ::Lieutenant William T. Maxwell turned to face the old friend he’d been thinking about barely a heartbeat earlier. Captain Ronald Bell was a year older than William and had earned a rapid captaincy due to both his abilities and unfortunate losses amongst the senior crew of his previous ship. Having been only a Lieutenant himself, Ronnie had been the only bridge officer left alive during a battle with a pirate cruiser. He’d taken command of the ship despite being wounded and escaped, earning him a rather grand promotion to Captain, and command of the USS Reiver, an Ambassador-class vessel. He was also wearing the freshly awarded Purple Heart from that painful experience. Stood beside him was his first officer, Arturo Bianchi-Rossi. The Reiver’s former chief tactical officer had been promoted to Commander and appointed as Captain Bell’s right hand as he knew the Reiver better than any other crew member. William had been school friends with Ronald, and had gone through the Academy with Arturo, and so despite being a new command team together, it was a reunion of old friends and a happy occasion.:: William: Ach, leave off, Ronnie. You know I cannae stand all ::pause, a vague wave of his hand:: this stuff. ::That earned a bark of laugher from the Italian First Officer.:: Arturo: Why, Ronald, I believe young Max is scared of all the braid floating around the room. ::William mouthed a good-natured obscenity over his glass of scotch as Ronald looked up at the screen. The Captain smoothed his beard absently as he watched the Galaxy-class vessel getting further away.:: Captain Bell: Be us in the morning lads. Off, out and away. ::A glance at William.:: Sure a young boy like you can handle a five year stint out there? ::A smirk.:: William: Handle it better than you, ye overweight pencil pusher. ::A grin:: ::Ronald held a hand to his chest in mock distress. He raised his voice theatrically, gaining a mixture of looks from the nearest officers and their partners.:: Captain Bell: I get you a cushy posting, and you insult me! Insult me! My god who need enemies with friends like you! ::A couple of nearby officers gave William a look of disgust, and right on cue William, Ronald and Arturo burst out laughing like a gang of schoolboys caught in the girls changing rooms. At a wave of Ronald’s glass, the trio made for the bar. William painfully conscious of the clink of his medals and the senior officers staring at them and himself as he passed by.:: Captain Bell: Stop being so stiff lad. Be proud of those shinies, swagger like you own the place and they’ll soon stop staring. ::Easier said than done as far as William was concerned. He ordered himself another glass of scotch and stood with one arm resting on the bar, Arturo opposite and Ronnie in the middle. They chatted this way and that for a little while until Williams words died in his throat. Ronnie smirked over his glass as Arturo followed Williams gaze. Williams eyes had fallen upon quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was stood talking to a group of officers, laughing politely yet subtly looking for an escape. She was wearing a long red gown with a plunging neckline, and her dark brown hair spilled in countless gentle waves all the way to the small of her back. The rest of the room vanished into nothing as they locked gazes for a split second, William feeling his heart miss what felt like about twenty beats. He responded absently as he realised Arturo had spoken to him.:: William: Sorry…? Arturo: She is beautiful, yes? ::A smile at his friend.:: ::William simply gave a dumb nod, unable to take his eyes from her.:: Arturo: You should go and talk to her. ::That got his attention and he choked on his mouthful of scotch.:: William: Don’t be bloody daft, man. She’s, she’s, well look at her. ::Wiping his chin with a napkin:: And I’m, well… ::He pointed up and down himself as if to say ‘The state of me’.:: Arturo: Then I shall talk to her for you. William: Oi, don’t yo- ::But it was too late. Arturo was already gone, and William fidgeted nervously with his cufflinks as he saw Arturo talking to the woman that had captivated him. He turned to Ronnie, who was trying not to laugh and make himself invisible at the same time.:: William: Cannae believe you didnae stop him, Ronnie. Captain Bell: My god. ::Laughing:: Look at you, Will. Twenty-four, a department chief with two silver stars, a captain’s commendation and three purple hearts to your name, and you’re scared of talking to a girl at a party? ::William raised hand to point at his friend:: William: F- Arturo: Gentlemen. ::William turned, about to blast his friend for probably embarrassing him, and froze. The beautiful dark-haired woman was stood beside Arturo, arms linked together, and smiling right at him. The smile was friendly, amused, questioning and playful all at once and William bit his tongue in surprise at her being stood with them.:: William: Ah, bo- Arturo: Ronnie you already know. And this ::A pause as he gently patted her hand:: is Lieutenant Maxwell. William and I were at the Academy together. William: Good evening miss, a pleasure tae meet you. ::A quick glance to Arturo that said ‘I’ll kill you later’.:: I didnae catch your name? ::Arturo smiled again, his eyes sparkling with mischief as William looked at him.:: Arturo: How rude of me. William, I would like you to meet my sister, Abrielle….. --- Lieutenant William T. Maxwell. Chief Science Officer. USS Reiver. Simmed by; Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  2. (( Sundassa's Quarters, Deck 5, USS Doyle-A // Jalana's Quarters, Deck 2, USS Constitution-B)) :: Ever since she heard about Shel's predicament, Sun opted to stay on the Doyle to be there as support. Especially as their parents were currently on the Athena with Selene. It made it difficult to endure running into them in the corridors as they were either talking about Selene's wedding or Shelther's child. :: :: Shel had requested some time to himself, so she retired to her quarters and decided that she needed to talk to her friend. It was going to be a very long distance call, but it was one that she needed to make. Moving over to her desk and opening the comms program on the console, she requested an outside line to the USS Constitution, specifically to Captain Jalana Rajel. :: :: After waiting for what seemed like forever, the bright red hair of her best friend appeared on the screen, and she couldn't help but smile. :: Faranster: Jalana! It's really great to see you! :: Jalana had spent the whole day with Jerry and it had helped her to cover the anger and sadness from earlier with making new memories and laughter. He had that effect on her and so now as she took the call and saw the familiar lilac hair of her best friend, the smile had returned to the face of the Trill. Without hesitating she reached out and touched the screen. :: Rajel: Sun! It really is. I have missed you. Faranster: How are things on the Conny? Rajel: Good. We are on shore leave right now and recover from peace talks, that went a little haywire. Did I tell you already, that we were moved to the Marshlands? Faranster: I think it might have been in the works when I left, I don't remember. There's been so much going on some of it's been getting a bit jumbled. Tell me about it anyway. Rajel: ::leaning back:: At some point in time it was the most south area of the Federation. Of course that's changed, but we are right between the Klingons and the Tholians and believe me that buffer between them isn't a piece of cake either. :: The area of space that Sun’s friend was talking about was quite a bit further galactic south than her home sector. The star maps she’s seen had made that area appear vast, but that could be perspective, and it sounded as though the space between was contested. :: Faranster: Sounds like a move equivalent to the fiery pits of hell.:: Sun was partially glad she didn’t have to endure that, but she did miss her friends. :: Rajel: ::laughing:: Well, we have survived. Though Sarah, my former First Officer, is still in medical recovery. We all hope that she'll get better. How is it on the ::pause.:: Why are you calling from the Doyle? I thought you went to visit Selene? Faranster: Oh. Shel brought my parents to the Athena, and is still stationed in the area. He’s going through some things, and so while our parents are on the Athena helping Selene plan the wedding, I am on the Doyle helping him cope.:: Wait what? She stared at her best friend like she had just grown a second head. Why was that the first she heard about it? And what was that about Shel? :: Rajel: Wait, wait, wait. What? You can’t mention these just by the way. That is big.Faranster: Which do you want to hear about first then?:: Sun laughed a little, realizing this was the first time she had talked to Jalana in a couple months and a lot had happened since the last time. That was part of the reason she had contacted her, but in her excitement, she blurted things out as if her friend was in the know. ::Rajel: Duh, the wedding of course! Please tell me it’s that Doctor who was able to hold himself against her. Faranster: Doctor Bishop, the Chief of Medical? Rajel: Yes that one. I met him briefly. So it is him? Faranster: Yep, they’ve been engaged for a bit. :: Sun knew it had been possibly a year since the engagement. The fact that Jalana didn’t know, actually confused her a little. That meant that Selene hadn’t talked about it, which might have been due to the fact that they hadn’t set a date and then got caught up with a bad mission or two and then the move to the Gamma Quadrant. :: Rajel: That is awesome news. When, where, what? And why haven’t I heard about that before? Faranster: They got engaged in April last year, at a ball held on 285. But there was a couple incidents that caused Selene to back out of it until the proposal wouldn’t be marred by bad memories… her words not mine. :: First Jalana wanted to know why Selene kept this from her for over a year, but then something else caught her attention, that actually might explain the first question in her mind. :: Rajel: Incidents? Faranster: Someone got drugged, and the suspect was killed. She had to clean up the mess after. I didn’t get too many details. But then she made up for it with her counter-proposal, or whatever she wants to call it. Reclaiming the moment in front of my parents. When Selene and Alex didn’t schedule a date, our parents came to… encourage end result of an engagement. Rajel: ::That still meant it had been a while without a word. But then Selene was pretty much used to Jalana being dead in Selene’s original timeline, maybe she had just forgotten. :: Sounds like a big family outing. Faranster: That’s kinda where Shel’s trouble came in. Something about the trip got to him, and he ended up drinking a special serum that Selene was planning on testing. And he drank way too much, blacking out that night. Rajel: There are way too many questions about that statement. But just blacking out does not cause trouble. What did he do in that time? Faranster: Our families are going to get really complicated. Somehow Kaitlyn Bishop, Alex’s younger sister, ended up pregnant by Shel. :: She paused for a moment. :: Okay, I know how that works, we’re both doctors, it’s not hard to put two and two together, BUT it’s not supposed to be possible. Rajel: ::Jaw, meet floor.:: Wow that is a heck of a black out. ::She thought about that and remembered quite vividly that because of the Antosian blood chemistry it was pretty much impossible to cross breed.:: Is that one of the effects of the serum Selene wanted to test? :: Sun remembered vaguely a conversation between Jalana and her a few years ago, back when Jalana was Chief Medical Officer and Sun was just a new medical officer. They discussed her species and the issues with blood chemistry. :: (( Flashback 239001.20 - Sickbay, USS Apollo )) Laxyn: Did your doctors ever try to see if the protective features of your blood can be used to help other species? Faranster: :: She smiled at Jalana. :: I read that they had tried, but that the results weren't favorable. Something about our blood thinking the foreign blood was a hostile infection, they said the results were quite brutal, but they didn't provide us with the opportunity to try that experiment. They are talking about trying to find a way to minimize the response of our blood, to make it less aggressive, but critics say that would weaken our race. However, some scientists think they developed something that would make the white blood cells more docile, the results of which are temporary which is why it wasn't the research isn't fully stonewalled. Laxyn: ::Jalana leaned against the work table and listened intently, nodding slightly to herself.:: It is understandable that some scientists think that. If you make the blood less aggressive the chance to be infected is higher, since the aggressive blood helps fight viruses and bacterias. But it would also be able that when they are able to control the aggressive factor that it could help against illnesses that we have not yet found a cure for. Wouldn't the gain be reason to risk it? Faranster: The thought is that if there is a chemical or medicine that can weaken our immune systems, that an enemy can use it to wipe out our people. The thought is pretty scary. But part of the reasoning people are pushing for this research is because since the introduction of the Federation into our world, Antosians have fallen in love with other species. However, every time a female Antosian tries to have a child with another species, the body rejects it and destroys the embryo, leaving the mother devastated. :: She frowned, and sighed. :: Some of the men seem to have easier times, but the only reports of successful pregnancy come from the baby being born alive, most with deformities presumably caused by the sperm being overly aggressive when trying to penetrate the egg, damaging it. Laxyn: ::raising her brows:: That is not a good sign. And I am sure that the interspecies couples also would like to be able to have their own children, not just to adopt. ::thinking for a moment, she wondered which possibilities there were, the researcher in her got more and more curious.:: Do Antosian doctors have any idea on how to solve the problem and make conception and the successful birth possible? Faranster: The solution our scientists are trying to work on, to make both sides happy, is a medicine that has to be taken daily to prevent our body from being overtly hostile. If successful, they would have a the Antosian taking the medicine for 3 months prior to conception, and the entirety of their pregnancy. :: She smiled brightly. :: It is hoped that babies born successfully to those with this treatment, have blood that is just as aggressive as ours, but registers both the dna of the Antosian, and the other parent's species as non-threatening, and these children could possibly be the backbone for future cures and vaccinations research. Laxyn: Oh that sounds fantastic. A great step into the right direction. And I have no doubt, that potential parents do not mind the year of taking the drug if that means that they can have children on their own. And that also means that Antosians will develop new features with hybrids. For example Betazoid Antosians would have the chance to become empaths, or other species could give their genes into the pool as well. It can be very beneficial. (( END Flashback )) Faranster: The blacking out was actually the effects of the alcohol... you know how you aren't supposed to mix alcohol with certain medications? He did, unknowingly... But, you remembered our conversation? Years ago when I was telling you that our people were working on a solution to our ability to cross reproduce? I think she brought back something... Rajel: We worked together long enough for me to have checked on Antosian biology to remember that. ::Smirking:: Does Kaitlyn have any problems in that pregnancy or are things going well? And what does she think of it? Faranster: Not yet, Selene is keeping a close eye on her, and giving her some of the juice every day to keep the Antosian genetics from causing trouble. It's taking some monitoring, and it's not exactly the way she was hoping this to go. Rajel: If Shel got into trouble I have to assume she isn’t happy about that. Let alone the whole thing happening and he doesn't remember a thing and it being family... Oh so many problems. Faranster: More than that, Selene is concerned about her role in these trials. She was hoping to be a volunteer to Dr Tamodin's trials. But now she is going to have to give him her data regarding Kaitlyn, or keep it to herself. Rajel: ::pulling her brows together.:: Why would she keep it for herself? Faranster: It's just the timeline jump mostly. And then there's other complications... Alex asked Kaitlyn to be his best man, and her due date will be after the wedding. Imagine that... an extremely pregnant best man. :: Sun laughed a little, at least fittings weren't as big an issue, they would just have to find something to compliment the woman that fits in with the theme. :: Oh... that reminds me. You remember me asking right? Rajel: ::The change of subject made her grin.:: Why of course I remember. It’s not every day that I’m asked to be the maid of honor. Speaking of which, who is Selene’s? Faranster: I don't think there's anyone here she would want more than you. We are mostly the same, except she's a lot more... intense about things. Anyway, I'm sure she would want you here, if you would want to be, that is. Rajel: Really? Are you sure? Faranster: Of course. Would you? Rajel: Oh I would love to. I am a little bit far away though, but… Faranster: I'm sure we could find a way. Holo-projection maybe? They have holo emitters through the ship, maybe we could jerry rig a conference that allows you to move around the same way the EMH does... Rajel: ::grinning:: You’re reading my mind. That shouldn’t be a problem, I’ve tested that a few times and it worked splendidly. When exactly is it? Faranster: August, 6th. :: Sun knew the date that Selene, Alex and their parents agreed upon. It was coming up soon, and her parents were on overdrive trying to make sure that it would work. They had asked Selene to use her contacts with the Dryary people to find a planet that had a nice location for the wedding, especially since Selene had wanted a wedding near water before. That would make the holoproject harder, but she was sure she could work with engineering to figure something out. :: Rajel: I’ll make sure that it works out. ::Leaning slightly forward she lowered her voice as if someone else could be listening in.:: You think you can keep it a secret? I’d love to surprise her. Faranster: Oh, that would make it so much more interesting. That shouldn't be too hard. Rajel: Fantastic. ::She grinned and clapped her hands excitedly:: Faranster: I can get you all the information necessary, the dresses she chooses, and when the ceremony will be. Rajel: Wonderful, thank you. I can’t wait to see you all again. Faranster: It'll be fun, that's for sure. Haven't been to a good party with all the people I care about in too long a time. Rajel: ::tilting her head:: The only thing we did not talk about is how YOU are. Faranster: Me? Rajel: ::grinning:: Well Selene might be somewhat you, you are not her. So how are you? What has happened in your life? :: Her eyes scrunched a little as she thought about what Jalana said. Had they not spoken about her? As she thought about the conversation more, she wondered why she felt more like a background character in her own life. More interested in the going ons of others than those of her own. :: Faranster: Not much... not sure if that's fortunate or not. Before I left I had been seeing Alexander Williams, but then he was also transferred, and I've heard he's involved with someone on his new ship. Rajel: ::She nodded, she remembered them seeing each other and had wondered how that had worked out with his transfer to the Za.:: So the long distance thing was a bust? Faranster: I didn't expect the long distance thing to work out actually, I suppose us both going in different directions was our way of ending things amicably without any hard feelings before we could explore things any further. It's probably for the best, after the engagement, I am not sure I want to be in a relationship with another officer. :: Sun twisted her lips a little after she said the last words. She was starting to get used to being alone, not looking for something that would only end up hurting her afterwards. If it happened, it would have to blind-side her now, because it wasn't her focus. :: :: The engagement. Jalana remembered as if it had been yesterday how happy Sun had been with Jaxx, how excited she’d been when she told Jal about their engagement. And suddenly it was over, he had left to search for his children. Jalana was not sure any more what had happened to them, but from one to the other day Jaxx had left the Apollo and Sun. It had crushed her friend.:: Rajel: I can’t blame you. It’s can be difficult. ::pause:: Did you hear from him? Faranster: He hasn't contacted me... it's been over two years and not a word. What about you, you haven't heard from him have you? Rajel: Nothing, sorry. Faranster: I don't know why I am even hoping for any communication. :: Sun had loved Jaxx, and even though he chose his job over her, she still cared. But she was trying to move on. It was possible he was just giving her space and there was so much radio silence. Or maybe he was just more detached than she thought he was. :: Faranster: I don't think I'll get it directly from him, but if you get any word, would you make sure it's relayed? I still think about him. Rajel: If I do, you’ll be the first to know. Faranster: Thank you. :: Jalana tried to hide a yawn and rubbed over her face and offered Sun an apologetic smile. :: Faranster: You alright? Rajel: Sorry, I’m just a little tired. Faranster: Then you should get some sleep. I know how tiring the center chair can be. While it's tiring, it suits you. Rajel: ::smiling warmly:: Thank you. It won’t be long until we see each other again. I’m really looking forward to it. Faranster: Me too, and the look on Selene's face when you show up. It should be priceless! :: Sun smiled at her friend, excited for something in the future. Now she just needed to get on the planning committee of Selene's wedding, especially so she could make sure she made enough room for Jalana without making her planned appearance known. :: Faranster: You go, we'll talk later. Rajel: We will. Good night, Sun. :: Jalana blew a kiss to her best friend and closed the line with the press of a key. She was looking forward to see her and Selene again, it had been way too long. And with a mix of tiredness and excitement she peeled herself off the chair, stretched and dragged herself into the bedroom. After a great day like that, she’d sleep like a baby. :: ----- JP by PNPC Commander Sundassa Faranster as written by: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 A239001SF0 & Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  3. ((Science Lab 4, Deck 12 -- USS Za))Johnson: You sure? ::Doctor man said he was fine but he sure didn't look it.::Skyfire: Yeah. I just--::He hesitated a bit too long. So she changed topic. If he didn't want to talk, he didn't want to talk.:: Johnson: Okay, so how do we prevent an outbreak here, eh? DeVeau: Well, first thing, keep these things in containment. I would do double backups just in case. ::She nodded. Dangerous things needed containment. She didn't want to think about what might happen if these things got loose. The simulations they ran were quite enough.:: DeVeau: Next thing? I’d like to find a way to combat it, inoculate against it, something. We’ll need to study it further of course, but I want a way to deal with things should we run into this. If these people are now venturing out into space, they’re going to start interacting - after all, we’ve just met them. We’ll need to make sure this doesn’t become a problem.Johnson: As I said before, cher, humanoid physiology is way too varied to create a complete cure. But maybe we can do something else. ::she tapped a finger on the console:: So what do you have? DeVeau: I’ve only just started, so nothing yet, but with more brains added, I’m sure we’ll be able to figure something out between the two of us. Fortunately, these were caught by the transporter, so it’s not as if we have an issue on board at the moment. Skyfire: No...but we may have a problem when the away team returns.::Haylie narrowed her eyes. Trellis was on that away team. They would need a cure of some sort before then. She'd already lost too many family members to terrible accidents. And he was like family.::DeVeau: Why?Skyfire: They opted to take a shuttle down to the planet. Chances are that since we didn't get a chance to act with our guests while they were here, they couldn't provide us with any intel such as whether these things are a risk to our crew. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's given any concern to EVA suits either because we were still studying these things before we had a chance to recommend it.DeVeau: :: groaning:: Please tell me you’re joking.::She groaned. That didn't sound right.::Johnson: I thought they beamed over, cher. But that's still at least four people, no?Skyfire: Exactly.... The ones I know are on the away team include the captain, Vondaryan, Pandorn, and Blair. ::He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose.:: Computer, who of the Za's staff has ventured to the Pathfinder?::The computer chirped its list of names. Haylie recognized almost all of the names, even the crewmen assigned to the engineering teams, though not that head of engineering himself. There were far too many people who might have been exposed. She let out a low whistle.::Looking over at boss man doctor she was pretty sure he was still feeling a wee bit sick. She hoped he wouldn't be too laid up if it came to it.::DeVeau: Computer, patch me through to the captain. =/\= DeVeau to Captain Rhani. =/\= ::There were many times she was glad she wasn't a senior officer. Having to deliver bad news like this was one of those times. So she mostly stayed quiet during the conversation, trying to run tests and analyze data as it came in.::Rhani: =/\= Go ahead. =/\=DeVeau: =/\= Please tell me you haven’t made it to the Pathfinder yet... =/\=Rhani: =/\= Over an hour ago, Commander. =/\= ::Another low whistle as she listened. Had they been trying to figure out this cure for an hour already? Less than three days to get it all figured out.:: DeVeau: =/\=Captain, I need you to get out of there. The critter that was trapped in the buffers, it’s carrying a virus. I suspect that our new friends are immune to it, but if you exposed to it...let’s just say you won’t be around for much longer. =/\= Vondaryan: =/\= I'm sorry, Commander, but we just can't do that. =/\=Rhani: =/\= I doubt you’re exaggerating for effect, Commander, but how bad are we talking about? =/\= DeVeau: =/\= It’s VERY bad. =/\= ::It seemed boss lady wasn't afraid to be blunt either. She knew there was a reason she and the lady got along so well.::Skyfire: =/\= Eventually fatal if not reversed. =/\= DeVeau: =/\= I recommend returning to the Za immediately. =/\=::Now it was her to to be blunt. She knew how much Trellis needed information, so she gave it to him. No sugar coating needed.::Johnson: =/\= Every test we've run says death occurs within 72 hours, cher. =/\=Vondaryan: =/\= Then we've got almost 70 hours to continue our on mission. Thank you for the information. =/\=Rhani: =/\= Commander Vondaryan’s blissful confidence notwithstanding, some sort of countermeasure would be a remarkably good thing for you to have by the time we get back. =/\=::She knew her friend well enough to understand his optimism. He had a natural habit of seeing the best in people and things, despite everything he'd seen. She wasn't about to let him down now.::Skyfire: =/\= Working on it, Captain. =/\=Vondaryan: =/\= Well, call us when you have one then. =/\=Johnson: =/\= Indeed, cher. You'll be the first to know. =/\=::She was sure he could hear her smiling through the line. Like him she was wildly optimistic. Though many people liked to call it headstrong. She'd be damned if anything was going to stop her doing what she wanted to do. Consequences were for people who didn't know better.::Rhani; =/\= Good hunting, people. And thanks for the warning. =/\=DeVeau: =/\= But...=/\=::Uh oh, boss lady was not happy. She sputtered. Boss doctor pinched his nose. He wasn't happy either. Leave it to her to be the only one to see the faith the senior staff had in them.::DeVeau: I’m sorry, but I’m really irritated at them right now.Skyfire: One of my simulations showed a beam-in with the critter becoming part of the crew's cellular structure. It may have a different effect dependent on physiology.DeVeau: Well, yes, that’s a possibility, though usually that sort of thing happening is low on the list of possibilities.Skyfire: Not at all, only simulation results and theory based on them. What I'm saying is that either Rhani or Vondaryan's physiology may react differently than a human's. An additional seven hours, perhaps. If we beam them in, we may not be able to filter out the creatures, because by that time it will likely have mutated into their cellular structure.::That didn't sound good.::DeVeau: We need to get to work. We have less than 72 hours to figure out how to beat this thing.Johnson: Working on it already, cher. ::she noticed doctor boss man fidgeting.:: You have an idea already?Skyfire: One idea only. Take the recipe for the Skyfire Cure and tailor it to reverse the virus' effects on the bug. It's not my greatest plan. The original formula is stored in the LCARS computer.DeVeau: We can try it, but I’ll be honest, I don’t think it’s going to work.::She pulled up the formula on her console to begin reading. Though she'd read it already it never hurt to brush up on the information. Her initial take was that it would take almost too much work to refine the cure.:: Skyfire: Your theory, Alora?DeVeau: That virus is a totally different beast from this thing. Honestly, I think our time and energy would be better spent on tailoring whatever treatment we have to this particular virus.Johnson: I agree, cher. There's too many differences I see already between the Skyfire cure and these little creatures here.Skyfire: Right. It'll be a lot harder to create a serum from scratch, just so you're aware.Johnson: We at least have the creatures to work with, no? And maybe the outline of the Skyfire cure as a guide. But everything always comes from scratch. DeVeau: All right, let’s put our heads together…::She turned back to her console, bringing up all the data they'd amassed so far.:: Johnson: This is everything we have, cher. Where you want to start? DeVeau: What if we started by looking at the way it mutated?Skyfire: It's a thought. How do you figure?::A few commands later a long list of all the mutations between clones -- generations? -- was on the screen.::DeVeau: I mean, if we were able to figure that out, then find a way to slow it down or stop it, it would give us more time, and possibly open the doors to an actual cure.Johnson: It looks pretty random to me so far.::She created an analysis algorithm to help crunch the numbers when she noticed boss doctor stood up, an isolinear chip in his hand.:: Johnson: This is just a cursory glance, though, no. ::she looked up at him:: Where you headed, cher?Skyfire: Understood. I need some coffee if I'm going to be of any use...I've got the data. :: He holds up the chip. :: ...then heading to take it to sickbay to work. :: He glanced to Alora :: By your leave, of course.DeVeau: All right.Johnson: I could do with a cup of coffee myself. This is going to be a long night. ::Perhaps a few long nights.:: You want anything, cher?::As doctor boss man left she went to one of the replicators to get the drinks. She inhaled the coffee, savoring its aroma before taking that first, beautiful sip. There was one thing she liked about her Vissian friend. They enjoyed the smell of food and drink much more so than their human counterparts. But she could never get him to enjoy the bliss that was coffee, despite its rich and gorgeous smell.::DeVeau: A glass of chocolate milk, please. ::beat:: Never mind. Make that a chocolate milkshake. Extra chocolate.Johnson: Should we pull in the whole science crew on this, cher? As you said, fresh eyes don't hurt nothing. ::smiling widely:: Though I think between you, me and doctor man we can get this done in time.DeVeau: It would hurt, but...I hope so. Still, I don’t want to overlook anything, or miss the opportunity to find the answer faster. That might be worth calling in more people.::Her console beeped. The algorithm had completed its cycle. She looked at it quizzically. Just in time for doctor boss man to come back in with his own steaming mug of deliciousness and a set of medical tools.::Johnson: Oh, that's some good information, cher.DeVeau: What is it?Johnson: According to this, the mutations seem random at first glance. But the genes are actually mutating according to the golden ratio.Skyfire: So that means...?::She shook her head.::Johnson: All I know is that these little critters have every 1.618th gene mutating each generation. Though they have a lot of genes, that might help explain some of the redundancies.--Lt JG Haylie JohnsonXenobiology SpecialistSimmed by:Lieutenant Commander Trellis VondaryanFirst OfficerUSS ZaO239208TV0
  4. ((Deep Space 26, Level 13, Nova Room Bar)) ::As Ensign Laehlani Antorii sat at the far end of the star lit Nova Room barside and brought the intricate crystal tumbler to her delicate lips, she inwardly hoped that taking a deep sip of her Antosian Spiced Cocktail would somehow be enough to ease her troubled mind. Then again, being a trained Counselor also meant she could easily diagnose when someone, even herself, was self soothing - albeit innocently enough - with an alcoholic beverage. Needless to say once again her mind had a way of running off even the simplest of respites that could be had.:: ::The real truth was, though she was currently dressed to the nines, wearing one of her best form-fitting gowns that matched her blazing blue hair perfectly, sipping one of her favorite homeworld drinks, and quite literally drawing more than a few glances and open jawed stares from some of the other patrons, Laehlani herself was lost in a world entirely in her own mind.:: ::As she gazed out into the dim glow of the Nova Bar, she didn’t so much as see the various people and events happening around her, as much as she looked through them, almost as if these faces of strangers were a unique sliver of mirror glass that she could somehow divine the answer to both once and future things alike.:: ::Sitting here now she wondered why she had bothered to even do this to herself. To dress all up, to beautify herself and go out into the bustling bar and gambling establishment, when she neither wanted nor sought company, nor desired in any way to cast her “lots” for frivolous earnings.:: ::She suspected it had something to do with preservation of self, of that small innate way every being has of somehow stroking their own ego when they feel anything but confident in their life choices. Perhaps it was vanity, perhaps it was a small inconsequential temptation of fate, or else a small prominent snub of the thumb at it. Either way, the effect was the same. All she had were her thoughts, and this one corner of reflection in which she would allow her mind to unfurl itself upon, like a century plant falling from its highest bloom into a more humbling reality.:: ::So far the start of her hopeful career at Starfleet had, at least in her own estimation, not been going to plan. It had not been long since she’d graduated the academy. Had barely been able to even have an adequate chance to prove herself as both a competent and professional Counselor and Starfleet Officer. There was nothing wrong with her original posting upon the Blackwell, the crew that she had met had been quite lovely. In fact, if she was honest, perhaps that was the true source of her brooding tonight.:: Antorii: oO Come on Laehlani, you’re not actually in trouble for what happened. If anything, you ran far too prematurely. If only you had stuck around long enough and spoken to him instead of immediately jumping at this first chance to abandon ship under the guise of that Training Symposium, things might have been quite different. Oo ::It was true, she had run. But what choice had she had? She had been like kid Icarus, too overjoyed by the prospect of wings and the warmth of a brilliant new sun in her life to even remotely notice that the wax was already beginning to melt thin on her feathery hopes. She had simply crossed a line. A division in the ether where mere mortals were not allowed to just whimsically brave at their every choosing. And even if her fall had been entirely one of her own devising and by-in-large exclusively in her own reckoning, she alone knew the fearsome weight of striking stone when you had once made your home among the stars.:: ::Sighing to herself and lost too much in her own thoughts, she set her drink glass down perhaps a little too hard. Though it didn’t break, it did make a loud clack sound as it tumbled several of her ice cubes and a bit of the bluish alcohol over her hands and counter top.:: ::Swearing semi-quietly to herself in Antosian, she immediately began floundering around for a bar napkin, when suddenly one was presented to her from just over her right shoulder. Looking up as she took hold of the extended napkin, she met the eyes of a rather good looking human male.:: ::From first glances he was tall, perhaps a tad taller than even she was, which she found a rarity for most humans. He was solidly built, with closely cropped hair, ashen features, and adorned most prominently with a grin that was perhaps two parts understanding, and one part sensed opportunity.:: ::Taken aback by this stranger’s presence, and half embarrassed by her recent act of clumsiness that only mirrored the original act that had sent her scurrying off on the USS Darwin in the first place, she was unconventionally at a loss for words. The stranger seemed unfazed and simply gave her a moment to compose herself as she wiped her hands.:: Antorii: Thank You. ::She said, still unsure of the man’s intentions, or what there was even to be said at this point. So far self-preservation seemed to be dying a harsh, brutal death tonight.:: Rawlings: Don’t mention it. Happens to the best of us. ::The man glanced away calmly for a few moments, still somehow very much in the moment with her, but also giving her space. Laehlani had been around long enough to know that most men, regardless of species, often showed less tact than he seemed to exhibit so far. In fact, it seemed he displayed a sort of cool-headed manner about himself, not so much being afraid to speak, as he seemed to allow the ball to be entirely in her court. If all that there was to be of the exchange was all that had already come to pass, she sensed he’d be just as well off with it. And truly she knew she would be too.:: ::Perhaps it was the part of the Antosian Cocktail that hadn’t spilled or the emotional roller rink she had felt herself skating on ever since she had departed the Blackwell for a short time, but as she looked up at this stranger, Laehlani felt a sudden deep need to be held tonight.:: ::She didn’t know one single thing about this man, not even his name for that matter, but she quickly felt something slipping within her. Some cautionary lever that was being flicked down into a lower gear, some inward restless churning that made her speak before she had a chance to stop herself.:: Antorii: Listen, I don’t normally do this but… ::She began, only to have the man gently interrupt her, his full attention on her.:: Rawlings: Then don’t. Trust me, it's not what you really want. Antorii: Excuse me..? ::Completely shocked.:: Rawlings: Right now, in this moment, you think that’s what you want. But you don’t. Trust me, I should know. ---------------------------------------- Ensign Laehlani Antorii Counselor - USS Blackwell Andaris Task Force A239403LA0
  5. ((Science Department - Deck 506 - Starbase 118)) ((Morning after Bomba’s Arrival)) ::Taelon jogged back up the hall to his office, lip bitten. The days since the briefing hadn’t been good ones, and now that Bomba had arrived, things were...well, they hadn’t unraveled yet, but it felt like everyone was waiting for the pin to drop. Taelon tried to stay focused on his task - unraveling the virus that had all but disabled the station. After a sleepless night, he had the answer. Or so he hoped. He crossed to his desk, reaching for the PADD he needed. It was only when he went to pick it up and movement skittered that he saw the spider sitting on top of it. It was fist-sized, a neon blue and yellow, and very hairy. Taelon squeaked and flicked the PADD, sending the spider tumbling to the deck, where it scrambled away towards….more. There were two others on his desk, one halfway into his empty coffee cup and another inspecting what was left of a piece of chicken. He stared, backing away, and looked up - Seconds later he burst back into the hallway, fist hitting the wall communicator so hard the ‘thunk’ was picked up on the microphone.:: Taelon: PEPPER! ::It wasn’t an angry yell, not exactly. More of a shriek, really. He didn’t have to say anything else - the distant thrum of conversation from the atrium paused, and took on a slightly shriller quality. They all knew what that name being yelled like that meant. People would be checking under their desks and inside drawers for days. Taelon’s breath was slowing when the befreckled Ensign finally approached. He stared at her with slightly wild eyes.:: Taelon: Your, your queen thing is in my air vent. Along with - with - lots of other ones. Everywhere. O’Grady: They’re looking for a nesting place. ::she said brightly.:: Their habitat wasn’t large enough, so they must have thought the air ducts would be more suitable ::she covered her mouth and giggled.:: Silly things, finding such places more hospitable. ::giddily.:: But finally! ::she clapped her hands together.:: We’ve been waiting weeks for this! Taelon: That’s...wonderful, Pepper. ::He restrained a tired sigh.:: Unfortunately my office isn’t - isn’t the best place for a nursery of...of things. O’Grady: The spiders? Taelon: Spiders, right. I - I have a lot of things to do right now - ::He waved the PADD he’d grabbed, realizing as he raised it it has blue spider hair on it:: A-and I need my office more than they do. O’Grady: Do you need it right away? ::she pressed with a hopeful smile.:: Just another day at most - ::Taelon ran a hand over his face, not noticing the man bouncing down the hallway towards them.:: Taelon: I, they need to go, okay? B-back to the lab. And stay there. I’ve got to get this to the Captain - I’ll find someone to help you - ::It was then he saw Bomba over Pepper’s shoulder, and the face meant nothing. He was young and looked enthusiastic; Taelon made a snap judgement, rubbing the spider hair off the PADD.:: Taelon: Um, Ensign - ::He raised a hand to stop Bomba.:: Help O’Grady do...whatever it is she does, will you? I have to take this to the Captain. O’Grady: I’ll be right back - Bomba: Who am I helping and why? ::He didn't want to do... whatever little science ensigns did. probably something smelly. Science was smelly.:: And shouldn't that go to Captain Bomba? Taelon: No, Tayb- ::It was at that point eyes and brain caught up and exchanged notes. Taelon turned red and froze, staring at Bomba like he’d teleported in covered in glitter. Or spiders, as the case might be.:: O’Grady: ::she looked at Taelon.:: Sir, are you alright? Bomba: ::he cleared his throat and took on his 'commanding tone' which was a sharp, harsh tone.:: Ambassador Taybrim doesn't need to see any reports. I'll take that. Captain Storm Bomba, in case you missed it. ::Taelon’s reply was a sound rather like ‘guh’.:: TBC/TAG ______________________ Lieutenant Taelon Chief Science Officer Starbase 118 OPs O239303T10
  6. ((Main Sickbay - StarBase 118 Ops)) ::Mirra had been pacing her office. She'd just received a message from Theo that Captain Bomba had arrived...and was on his way to Sickbay. Her emotions were all over the place and she needed to get centered. She had to smile, and play nice doctor and show the Council's glorified mouthpiece that the rumors about her were entirely false. Well...most of them anyways. It was only a matter of time before her mouth got in the way. If only they could have had more notice, at least one day to absorb the news. She took a few deep breaths, reminding herself to be thankful that they had any warning at all. Her outburst had been mainly contained to the briefing room. There may have been a coffee mug on her desk that met it's end against the back paneling of her wall...but that was entirely coincidental. Sitting in her chair, she stared at the photo on her desk, a picture of Theo, Tatash, Flynn and Mirra, the former Columbia crew mates reunited once again on Ops. Flynn and Mirra were still wearing those ridiculous Hawaiian shirts in the photo. Smiling, she took the picture off her desk and held it in her hands. Almost every one she cared about most in the universe was aboard this station. In that, she was very lucky. Once Flynn returned, they'd have to recreate the photo, this time with Theo's Command pips on display. Her smile widened as she thought back on the briefing, after the news was delivered.:: (((Flashback - Briefing Room 2 - Starbase 118 Operations Tower ))) (( Time Index: Approximately 1130 Hours, Local Station Time )) ::So many changes in such a short span of time. Mirra had been biting hard on her cheek to stem the flow of tears, once she started, she had a strong suspicion she would be unable to stop. She fought hard against them, and won, although her eyes remained glassy. She was so incredibly proud of Theo, but could read it in his face he wasn't celebrating this promotion as he should be. Once she was able, she made a direct line to him and placed both of her hands on his shoulders, looking him directly in the eye.:: Ezo: ::quietly:: Don't. Not for a moment. ::smiling softly:: I know where your head is at, ::smirking:: without telepathy. You deserve this Commander Theo Whittaker. Don't let our current situation taint this. ::she squeezed his shoulders gently:: Now, I have to get to Sickbay as I have patients waiting, so I don't have time for you to try and argue with me. ::grinning:: That, and I'll start crying any moment now, so just take my word for it. Whittaker: Response? (If any) (((End Flashback))) Bomba: Hello? Hello! I'm look for Doctor Ezo! ::he smiled widely at a likely suspect.:: ::Mirra winced, involuntarily. Pulled back to the present and the previous positive mood she'd manage to salvage crumbled as the continued shouts of her her name meant she had a visitor. A rather unwelcome one. oO Time to play nice...I will not punch another member of command, I will not punch another member of command...Oo. Setting back down the picture on her desk, she walked out of her office into the main area.:: Ezo: ::tight smile:: And you have found her. ::dipping her head in greeting.:: Bomba: Ah, yes. Pleased to meet you. I'm Captain Storm Bomba, your new Commanding officer. ::he was so pleased with himself about that. He stepped forward, offering a hand.:: ::She managed to stifle a grimace just in time. How very human of him. Most members of command recognized that most telepaths and empaths tended to shy away from direct contact, unless they themselves offered. Strike one...::Ezo: ::evenly:: Captain Bomba. I trust your journey was well? ::Mirra had accepted his handshake, but was caught off guard as he pulled her forward, almost too forward. oO Didn't think I was supposed to be giving you a dental exam...Strike two...Oo debating if it would be rude to step back a bit, she just powered through. His only saving grace was that he'd at least let go of her hand.::Bomba: I just met with Commander Whittaker. Charming boy, really. He suggested I come straightaway and get my medical exam finished before I head up to the hub and get started with turning this station around!::Her eyes narrowed a fraction. He'd just sailed clear through "Strike three" and was rounding about strike five or six at this point. He'd referred to Theo as "boy", and didn't take a moment to consider how his comment about turning the station around could be taken. If, he had taken a moment to assess the situation, he would have no doubt realized his error. But he didn't. He just kept on going.:: Ezo: ::stiffening slightly:: Ah yes...the station has had a rather...jarring bit of change already. If I may, I suggest a bit of caution in that area. Bomba: Well, I mean, I'm sure everything will be fine in a day or so. Big changes are tough, but think positive! ::He smiled. The smile was genuine. He was utterly convinced that everyone would come around and love him in a few days.:: ::She didn't hit him. Score one for Mirra. She gave him a tight smile and turned quickly, gesturing for him to follow her. It took her a moment to school her features back to polite. He came across as excited, not necessarily arrogant. He wasn't mocking or taunting, he was just...slightly tone deaf. So wrapped up in what she was sure he considered a personal triumph, that he failed to take a moment and appreciate the tense situation he had walked into. She rubbed her temples in slight agitation. Reaching the first available exam room, she held her hand out for him to proceed in front of her.:: Ezo: I certainly don't want to keep you. We'll just get the exam finished....swiftly. Bomba: Yes, well, the medical exam. I have always kept my health check ups up to date. ::He flexed his muscles a little - and truth be told he did have an attractive physique. Though it was rendered less attractive when he tried to call attention to it.:: ::He was flexing for her. Proudly. It took all of her willpower not to slap her forehead and groan. Instead, she fixed him with a brittle "Good for you!" smile reserved for when a toddler ruined the brand new furniture with his masterpiece of fingerpaints.:: Ezo: Well...we can just check that right off the list. ::clearing her throat slightly, professional mode activated:: So, other than the...physical fitness, is there anything you feel I should know about? Allergies? Existing Medical conditions? oO Anything that will provide me a way to declare you unfit for duty...? Oo Bomba: Oh, no. I'm the perfect specimen of health. I'm sure my last medical scan can be uploaded from the Avalon to compare against ::Of course it wouldn't be that easy. He was young and fit, a practical poster boy. The Council had bestowed upon him a job that would make that shiny hair streaked with grey from stress, and he had absolutely no idea. A small part of her heart twinged with sorrow for the man. He clearly had no idea what he was in for.:: Ezo: That is good to know. ::updating some information in the PADD:: As I am sure you are aware, the station just passed through a very major Ion storm. There was a concern about the potential damages of residual radiation, my staff and I have been doing regular sweeps and so far there hasn't been any incidents. Were you provided with the Theta booster prior to your arrival? ::No one could ever accuse her of being bad at her job. She may not like the situation, but she was never going to willingly allow someone to be exposed to potential danger.:: Bomba: Oh, no... it wasn't mentioned. ::He gave her a bit of an upnod as if to say 'good catch.':: Ezo: ::nodding slightly:: Understandable. I'm going to give you the booster just to be extra cautious, ::stepping away for a moment, she returned with a loaded hypo, administering the vaccine in one swift motion.:: I need you to report to me immediately if you experience any sudden intense headaches or nausea. Oh, ::with a "silly me" expression:: And if you began bleeding from your gums, or discover any facial lesions, I want to be the first to know. We've had the intensive care unit refitted to support radiation poisoning. ::They had, three weeks ago. In preparation for the storm. And not a single person got so much as a headache during or after the storm. But, if her slightly embellished warning made that ridiculously buoyant attitude of his slip down a peg, than the little white lie had done it's job. This wasn't a pleasure cruise catapulting him into higher command. And he'd better realize that.:: Bomba: Bleeding from my gums? ::His blue eyes bulged just a little:: Well.. I do so hope you have already cleansed the area. But, I'll... keep watch, just in case. Ezo: ::smiling sweetly, with a slight shrug:: Perils of the job, but I am sure you have nothing to worry about. ::smirking slightly:: Welcome to Starbase 118, Captain. Bomba: Well, I thank you for the welcome and the kind care Miss Ezo. ::He leaned forward again to touch her and looked a bit dismayed when she scooted off.:: Well... I best be heading to the hub, lots to do today! ---------------------------------------------- Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  7. ((Unknown Location- Lokesh City)) :: Dualla was growing tired of the Starfleet captains' insolence. Killing him now would not be approved by Rena..however, the captain could suffer an accident which would cause his death, something he would rightly enjoy:: DUALLA: You know, Captain...it would make perfect sense for you to read the document my people have so meticulously prepared for you. Consider the alternative. WALTAS::Arching an eyebrow:: Being bored to death by your endless ranting? ::This caused the man to laugh.:: DUALLA: Your death means so little to you. However...::smiling:: there is the woman. Some of my men have never known the touch of an alien woman. ::smile growing even bigger, even more sinister:: Perhaps I will allow them to..become aquainted. :: Duallas' smile was more than just a threat...it was a promise. He would make it happen just outside the door, so her screams of protest could not help but be heard by the Starfleet captain....he would have no other choice other than to surrender to his wishes:: WALTAS: There's a third option. ::[...]ing his head, Dualla spoke, while his men snickered in concert:: DUALLA: And...just what that might be, Starfleet? WALTAS: Oh, you'll like it. It's called...senseless violence. :: Dualla looked into the eyes, and too late, he recognized what was about to happen. The Starfleet captain had somehow freed himself, and had moved quicker than anything he had seen, slashing the throat of the guard closest to him, then snapping the neck of the other one. Dualla was now enraged, going for the disruptor in his belt. The hell with what Rena wanted...he was going to kill this Starfleet dung. Enraged, he spoke:: Dualla: NOW YOU DIE!!!!! :: Dualla had drawn his weapon, and as he began to sight the captain, his left eye saw the glint of a piece of metal...then intense pain as the piece of cot leg caught him in his left eye, instantly blinding it. Dualla screamed at the intense pain, dropping his disruptor. The man quickly retrieved it, and Dualla heard the weapon go off. Looking back at the now free captain, who added further insult to injury by kneeing him in the crotch, the additional pain forcing him to the ground. Lying on his back, he felt the hard smack of the PADD on which the carefully dictated message for the captain to read was now slammed across his face:: WALTAS: Why don't you write about that..with your one good eye. :: Dualla opened his mouth to protest, but he felt something being jammed inside it, and down his throat, his muffled screams heard by no one. Even in pain, he thought his people would hear the commotion, then come running. When they didn't, he wondered where in hell they were. The Starfleet captain was gone, no doubt to free the woman. Standing up, blind in one eye, and shorn of a weapon, Dualla headed out into the hallway, bent on killing them both:: (( Meanwhile, down the hall )) :: Kerana Morti was a member of long standing with the TFM, and he enjoyed his role as a designated killer. In it, he had killed fellow Laudeans who supported that fool Daysa, and would happily kill more. He would enjoy taking his time killing the Starfleet captain...he wondered exactly how much pain he could take before he got bored and finally killed him. The woman...now, that was another matter. She was already terrified, so the first battle in his mind was already won, a feeling further reinforced when he heard her piteously screaming:: Keris: Help! Get me out of here! :: Kerana and the other two guards with him laughed. It will be fun to kill her, to hear her scream. Perhaps, he would kill her first, with knives:: Keris: Let me out… I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Just let me out. :: They laughed again...but perhaps, she did have something noteworthy to say before she died:: Kerana: Allright...come join us.... ::Kerana had no plans to interrogate her. He had heard what Dualla planned for her, but he was moving up the timetable:: Keris: Please I don’t want to do die. Please let me go. Please. :: A thought crossed Keranas' mind...perhaps it was a good idea to let her go...she was a non combatant, a wee woman...what harm could she do to them? Motioning to the guards, they removed her from her cell, and placed her in the office. Just in case, they all surrounded her and closed the door as the woman pleaded her case:: Kerana: You promised to talk.... Keris: What do you want to know? I’ll tell you. ::Kerana looked at his two compatriots. None seemed suddenly all that willing to further terrorize the woman. It was strange....he was compelled to free her, but he didn't know why:: Kerana: We're not sure you could tell us anything...after all, you are not Starfleet... ::The guards nodded:: Keris: Please, I beg you. Free me, I’ll tell you everything. :: The feeling was as strong as ever...the feeling to free this woman. He didn't know why. He looked at his men, and they seemed to be in agreement. He tried to field her, find some untruth in her statements, but he got nothing...no anything, which was unusual. The more he thought about freeing her, the more euphoric he felt, as though he were on some sort of narcotic, and his men were the same. Perhaps it was just as well. Motioning the guards to open the door, Kerana spoke:: Kerana: You have nothing to offer us. Go, and go quickly.... :: With a nod, the woman left, and closed the door behind her:: (( Meanwhile )) :: Dualla writhed in pain as he stood up. Where were his guards? What was happening? Stumbling out into the hallway, there was no one. He cursed the heaven above as he first ripped off a piece of his tunic to bandage his eye. Once that was done, he walked down the hall, to where the woman was kept...and found her cell empty:: :: Racing down the hallway to the office, Dualla ripped the door open, and to his horror he found the three men whose sole job was to keep the woman in her cell and prepare for the broadcast. Grabbing Kerana by the collar, he yelled:: Dualla: WHERE IS SHE!!!!???? :: Kerana answered:: Kerana: We let her go...what happened to your ey.. ::Dualla punched him in the face before he spoke again:: Dualla: DAMN YOU! THEY HAVE ESCAPED! :: Quickly fielding all three men, Dualla knew something had happened to them, but he knew the woman had something to do with it. Somehow, she had compromised three seasoned fighters without firing a shot. Surmising that it might have been something she carried ( they had searched her for weapons physically, but had not scanned her), he shook Kerala again:: Dualla: Get out of the building! All of you! NOW! :: Hustling them all outside into an empty street, Dualla spoke:: Dualla: The woman has done something to you. Alert the fighters the prisoners have escaped. Make sure the roadblocks have the information...and have this building aired out! :: Keranas' head was beginning to clear, and so were the guards. They remember everything that had happened, and were determined to make up for their mistake:: Kerana: It will be done, Dualla! Dualla: NOW GO! :: As his men scurried to fulfill his orders, Dualla opened his communicator, set to broadcast to all TFM units:: Dualla:=/\= Attention all units! The Starfleet captain and Federation prisoner have escaped! Kill them both on sight!=/\= :: With that done, Dualla, fueled with rage and pain, headed over to the TFM medical facility to have his eye properly looked at...then, he would join the search for the Starfleet escapees:: MSPNPC Dualla Mikari Resistance Leader TFM As simmed by: Lt. Commander Hannibal Tiberious Parker Marine CO USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy
  8. :: For someone who was trying to get Tad to loosen up, Jordan certainly seemed to be doing her best to keep him off balance. Everything from her surprisingly casual off-duty demeanor to the weird atmosphere of the restaurant she'd picked for their meeting - Tad refused to think of it as a date - was keeping Tad on edge. He decided to cut to the chase and try to make some sense out of the evening. ::Cooper: So why exactly did you invite me here?Jordan: ::shrugging:: I don't like to eat alone. And, also I guess I wanted to say again that I appreciate the help. You Constitution folks are all right in my book, no matter what anyone says.Cooper: ::defensively:: Wait, what who says? What have you heard about....:: Before he could finish his thought the waiter reappeared and laid a plate on the table before each of them. Tad was surprised at the speed with which their order was served. Then again, when the kitchen only offered whatever was handy instead of taking custom orders it probably cut down on preparation time. ::Waiter: Here you are, two meats. Can I get you anything else?Jordan: I think we're good for now. Waiter: All right, just call if you need anything. ::The waiter flashed a grin that would have appeared predatory under other circumstances and left the pair alone. While Jordan began carving away at her meal without hesitation, Tad simply stared at his plate. "Meat" was the only real way to describe it. There was a heap of it, and not only was it not all the same cut, it didn't appear to be all from the same animal. Still, it did smell appetizing enough. He cut a small piece from a larger hunk and chewed it tentatively. ::Jordan: ::smiling hopefully:: Not bad, huh? The only problem is if you find somethin' ya like, ya really can't request it again next time. :: Tad nodded as he chewed. It really wasn't bad. ::Jordan: Speakin' of food, I hear some of your crew got sick from that bad leaf. How are they doin'?Cooper: They've mostly recovered, thankfully. Unfortunately some of them had complications. Jordan: I'm sorry to hear that. ::She shook her head.:: Gonna have to keep a closer eye on that black market for a while.:: Tad nearly dropped his cutlery as he looked up in shock. ::Cooper: Keep an eye...you mean wipe it out, right?Jordan: ::snorting:: Wouldn't that be nice.Cooper: ::His knuckles started to whiten as his grip on his knife and fork subconsciously tightened.:: It would be your duty. How can you acknowledge criminal activity on your station and do nothing to stop it?:: Jordan put down her utensils and leaned forward to rest her elbows on the table. ::Jordan: Lemme explain somethin'. You work on a ship. Now granted, it's a big'un. You got, what, maybe a thousand people on board?Cooper: ::He forced down his rising ire.:: That's about right.Jordan: And nearly all those people are Starfleet officers, trained to respect authority and follow orders. And most of the rest are families of those officers who probably ain't inclined to start much trouble, either.:: Tad diverted his eyes downward as he started to suspect where she was going. ::Jordan: ::She raised her hands to encompass the room in a sweeping motion.:: Have you seen the size of this place? At any given time there are nearly a million beings on this station, and relatively few of 'em are Starfleet. A lot of 'em are just visiting. They don't live here so they don't much care what happens here. They can raise all the hell they want 'cause they'll be in another system the next day. And a lot of the folks who do live here couldn't give two squirts about Federation law. My team makes up less than a percent of the population of this station, and it's our job to make sure the rest don't get too outta hand. If somethin' big happens, if there's a major threat, then believe we deal with it. If a couple 'a Ferengi are bootleggin' Saurian brandy from the back of their shuttle, we know about it, but we let it slide. We pick our battles here, Tad. We do everything we can, but nothin' we can't. Sure it ain't a perfect situation, but that's how it works in the [...] end of nowhere. :: Along silence fell between the two. Jordan resumed her meal while Tad just picked at his own, his appetite suddenly diminished. After some introspection he spoke up. ::Cooper: I can see what you mean. I suppose I'm so used to having a structured surrounding I forget the whole galaxy isn't like that. Jordan: ::nodding:: I get that. I was the same way back when I was on a ship.Cooper: ::looking up at her and chuckling:: You were on a ship? Jordan: ::frowning:: Uh, yeah. What's so funny about that?Cooper: ::forcing his smile away:: Nothing, nothing. I'd like to hear about that, though.Jordan: ::smirking:: Well, that's gonna hafta wait for another day. Recon I've bared enough of my soul for one night.Cooper: Fair enough. I guess I'll just have to come back to the station again later.Jordan: I guess you will. :: The rest of the evening passed in relative silence as they finished their meal. When Tad returned to the ship and retired to his quarters for the night, he reflected on what Jordan had said. Hearing the situation described from her perspective gave him something more to chew on. ::
  9. (( Quarters T’Reshik )) :: Ever since Siance had found out who T’Reshik’s parent was, she had fought with herself to come to a conclusion for the question if she should tell her or not. Taurek hadn’t been any help, like at all, leaving it all in her hands. Who did he think she was? She was only a Cadet, at the beginning of her studies and he pushed that decision right into her lap, glued it to her pants so it couldn’t get away and told it to stay there. The young Trill had been so out of it, that she completely forgot her own plans for the time being, and instead had paced a hole into her carpet, to the dismay of her roommate, who had really liked that carpet. :: :: But after a lot of soul searching, especially in her own past, in which she had not ever met her father who left after knocking up her mom, she would have wanted to know and so decided to tell T’Reshik. The next day she spent with trying to plan in her head what she wanted to say and how and if she even wanted to say anything, or just give the Vulcan woman the information. And now still battling over that, she had found her way to T’Reshik’s quarters, thanks to the computer telling her that she was here at the moment. :: :: For at least five minutes she paced back and forth, trying to summon the courage to hit that buzzer, as if she herself was the long lost mother. Eventually she had to press it, because Vulcans were contact telepaths as much as she knew and so she wouldn’t know that someone waited out here to be let in. How nice would that be, though? In a moment of either madness or bravery -they were so close together it was scary- Siance finally pressed the buzzer and cursed at herself in her head the second she realized what she had done. :: :: There was a pause, then T’Reshik appeared at the door, wearing a simple robe, and looking mildly unimpressed, as usual.:: T’Reshik: Yes? Thyar: Uh… hi. I hope I’m not disturbing. T’Reshik: You are, but that is irrelevant. Why are you here? Thyar: ::Holding the PADD in her hands she slightly shuffled her feet.:: I got the information you requested. :: The Vulcan paused. Awkwardness wasn't usually a part of T’Reshik’s emotional vocabulary, for various reasons, but her eyes might have reflected it for a moment then. She took a breath.:: T’Reshik: Then I owe you an apology. I only requested that information in order to make you leave the room. As you might understand, I was… making irrational decisions at the time. ::She looked at the PADD. The truth was that Siance had caught her in the middle of a detailed search through the ship’s personnel files to finish the job that Choi had started, and part of her really wanted to hear what the Trill cadet had to say. But there was a difference, a huge difference, between wanting to find answers, and letting other people know that. She had no doubt that Siance would report straight back to her department after this. That meant either Taurek, who hadn't yet been eliminated (although she deemed him an unlikely candidate, for various reasons) or Saveron, who would inevitably try to get involved with helping her accept the truth of her origins, or whatever pseudo-scientific psychological crap counsellors were into these days. No… that was not a favourable outcome.:: T’Reshik: So… I am not interested. You can leave now. ::The Trill stared at the Vulcan and felt that fiery ball in her stomach. She had what? Siance couldn’t believe it and struggled to find words for a moment. Still standing in the hallway, she tried to calm herself by taking a deep breath, but feared she would fail tremendously.:: Thyar: May I come in? ::pressing through her teeth:: T’Reshik: Why? Thyar: ::It took another moment to not just blurt out what was going on in her mind and instead replied with a strained voice:: Because it would be beneficial to both of us if I don’t lose it in the hallway where everyone can listen to what I have to say and to whom. :: T’Reshik began to suspect that Siance might be a little angry. She decided to try and mitigate the situation. :: T’Reshik: Very well. :: She backed up in the chair, allowing Siance to enter. In stark contrast to Choi’s room, T’Reshik’s was clear and orderly and almost entirely devoid of personality. Only the subtle adaptations for accessibility and the active console in the corner even suggested the presence of a regular inhabitant.:: :: The young Trill stepped inside and waited for the door to close. She had inherited one thing that surely didn’t come from her mother’s side. When she was angry, her voice got quiet and calm. She surely could blow up into people’s faces, but when she got quiet, it was really bad. And right now, her voice did not fit her words. :: Thyar: Listen, I don’t know what you think gives you the right to waste my time with a fool’s errand, but where I come from we tell people to leave if we want them to leave. I don’t care if you really wanted to know who your parents are, but I got the information, so I will give you the bloody information. :: Well all but the last part, that sounded a bit more aggravated.:: ::T’Reshik held her gaze.:: T’Reshik: I was suffering from a severe neurochemical imbalance at the time. Do not expect that I was thinking clearly. Nevertheless, it is not my intention to waste your time further. ::She held out her hand.:: :: Siance looked down on the hand and kept holding the PADD, not ready yet to give it up. :: Thyar: Does that mean you apologize? T’Reshik: If it is that important to you, then yes, I apologise. Thyar: Good. ::She smiled. That was more like it. Though she was surprised, not having expected that T’Reshik would really apologize about anything. She handed over the PADD to the Vulcan.:: T’Reshik: I will read it if and when I have the inclination. Thyar: Okay. ::She hesitated.:: I’ll leave you be then. T’Reshik: Good. ::Pause:: Thank you. :: The young Trill turned to head out but then didn’t step forward. She nibbled her bottom lip before turning around once more.:: Thyar: Would you mind a question, Ensign? ::T’Reshik hesitated.:: T’Reshik: It depends on what the question is. Thyar: Well, I know that Vulcans do the whole Arie'mnu thing with your emotions but, how do you deal with not knowing who are parents are? T’Reshik: I am not certain I understand the question. Besides, I know who my parents are; they are the people who adopted me. It just so happens that I have an extra set. :: The Trill sighed and without asking sat down on the seat and rubbed the ridge of her nose. This was difficult for her and she tried to find words that conveyed what she meant.:: Thyar: Like, do you wonder why they left or gave you up? Why they never tried to contact you? If you weren’t good enough for them? ::T’Reshik scrutinized Thyar for a moment before answering.:: T’Reshik: I do not need to “wonder”. Logical deduction suggests only a limited set of possibilities. :: She didn't look down at the PADD - instead, she lay it aside, face down. She decided not to mention the anonymous message for now. :: T’Reshik: Are you inquiring out of personal interest, or is this an attempt to initiate a counselling session? Thyar: To be honest, it is not about you really. .oO Surprise duh Oo. My father left before I was even born and these are basically the questions I keep asking me ever since I heard it for the first time. :: T’Reshik considered this. She wondered briefly why Siance was sharing this information with her. Perhaps she was having difficulty with her own situation and wished to consult a more organized mind.:: T’Reshik: Did your mother never tell you? Thyar: She told me that he left and after a long time gave me his name. ::She hesitated, should she tell more? She knew where he was after all. But that wasn’t even part of the question right now. So why bother her with that. :: I just never got a chance to ask him all that or even meet him. T’Reshik: Interesting. When faced with a situation such as yours, my immediate response would be to gain control of my emotional reactions before proceeding to find out as much as possible. :: She paused, looking over at the PADD, still facedown. :: T’Reshik: That having been said, your biological origins are only relevant to a certain extent. Your father might have contributed genetic material, but, assuming you had a conventional upbringing, it was your mother who assumed the burden of caregiving; whose choices and behaviour shaped your identity. :: The Trill thought about that. It wasn’t wrong that it was relevant for medical history, but Siance also believed that some interests, or passions would pass on to the children even if they never met and she wondered which parts of her were ‘just like dad’. Her mom had done all she could and made so many sacrifices, but there was always that one part… :: Thyar: Maybe. It still feels like I am missing a part of me. T’Reshik: If your father left of his own accord… has it occurred to you that he might not be worth knowing? :: That was the problem. She had always thought that her father would be this handsome, friendly, kind, successful guy. Her mother had spoken of him in such a good way, other than him leaving before she was born, that she had made up that image in her mind. Combined with the hope that he had a really good explanation it was a recipe to be disappointed, but Siance didn’t see that. :: Thyar: ::She blinked and stared at the Vulcan for a moment, before she found her voice again.:: Of course not. He is my father after all. ::T’Reshik tilted her head.:: T’Reshik: Interesting. Vulcans rarely rely on such arbitrary considerations. Thyar: ::She nodded with a hint of a smile on her defeatedly frowning lips.:: Guess that I’m not a Vulcan then. T’Reshik: That much is apparent. Still, perhaps it might save you some… emotional distress if you were to follow our example. ::She glanced at the PADD again, face down and blank.:: Thyar: ::leaning forward she looked curiously at T’Reshik.:: IF you have the inclination to read the information, will you confront your biological parents? T’Reshik: That depends. Thyar: On what? T'Reshik: I have been operating on the assumption that they both have valid reasons for their lack of presence in my life. Should your information suggest otherwise, I will of course seek clarification. ::And it was interesting, too, what Thyar was saying and what she was omitting. She could conclude, for example, that at least one of them was still alive (and therefore the message was likely to be genuine), if the Cadet was suggesting confrontation as a possibility. Assuming she’d actually read the information herself.:: Thyar: That makes sense, I guess. Though I think that something that they might see as valid could be not seen as such by you. People think differently. T’Reshik: Interesting. Tell me, Cadet. If the truth of your lineage was likely to be unpleasant, even distressing… would you want to know? :: That was an interesting question. Siance was not sure what to think of it or what would could to be unpleasant. Like, if her mother hated the man? Or if they had split up in a bad way? Maybe she just didn’t have enough experience to know what the Vulcan could mean with that. :: Thyar: I guess so. I mean the how it happened or how it ended, does not change that he’s my father or in your case are your parents. T’Reshik: Only if you consider his contribution significant to begin with. :: Siance nodded slightly and let go of a long heavy breath before pushing herself from the seat back to her feet. :: Thyar: Well, if I can do anything else for you or if you want to talk just let me know. I’ll leave you to … whatever you were doing. :: T’Reshik didn't think that was likely, but she stopped short at saying so.: T’Reshik: Thank you, Cadet. Thyar: ::On her way to the door:: And thanks for listening, Ma’am. T’Reshik: That- :: She was about to say something along the lines of that not being necessary, as listening took little to no effort, but wondered if Siance might take that the wrong way. The Cadet had just divulged some personal information of her own, which might have held a significant emotional cost for her, and T’Reshik was never sure where the lines were between friendliness and professionalism when it came to this kind of situation. She erred on the side of caution.:: T’Reshik: You are welcome. Thyar: ::She offered a warm smile to the other woman.:: Have a nice day. :: With that she walked through the opening doors and made herself back to her shared quarters, her shift was over now and she needed time to think. She was so close, and still hadn’t found the courage to visit him. She needed to put a plan together to get finally on with this. :: :: T’Reshik, meanwhile, stared at the doors for a moment or two more before turning back to the PADD. She ran through the situation in her mind, laying out what she already knew.:: :: At least one (and probably both) of her primary caregivers was not her biological parent.:: :: One of her biological parents had recently been in touch with her, using an account that had been accessed from aboard this very ship.:: :: Her parents had kept the truth from her deliberately. :: :: Whatever was in that PADD was highly likely to be the truth. :: :: And yet she made no move to pick it up. She hadn't even wanted Siance to give it to her. Or had she? Perhaps some subconscious part of her had truly feared the possibility of dying without knowing her genetic origins, back there in that isolation room. Well, whatever part that had been, it was obviously a sucker for punishment. Whatever was on that PADD, T’Reshik strongly suspected it wouldn't be easy reading.:: :: It shouldn't even matter. Why did Siance want so badly to know who her father was? He hadn't known her, hadn't cared for her or brought her up, just as T’Reshik’s genetic parents had likely been nothing more than two strangers who happened to find themselves with a child that, in all likelihood, neither of them had wanted.:: ::Abruptly, she grabbed the PADD without looking at it, and dropped it in a desk drawer, which she then slid shut.:: :: Maybe she’d open it again one day. But first she had to convince herself that whatever Siance had written on there, it wasn't who she was. :: A JP by Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10 And Cadet 2nd grade Siance Thyar Counseling Trainee simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  10. (( Starbase 104 - Yirath Jorg Memorial Gym, Parrises Squares Court 3 )) oO Never make a bet with a Tellarite. Oo ::This was the decision Ji-hu came to when he was sweating through a tight, spandex suit, gasping for breath with a two-hundred pound Klingon security officer barreling down at him from the top of a red and black pyramid.:: ::It had all started earlier in the week when the ESPO crew was divvying repair and diagnostic tasks for the day. Ji-hu had made an off-handed comment about Berenez and Frag needing to complete fourteen repairs by the end of the week to keep up with their workload, which had been slow going. Frag had puffed out her chest indignantly.:: Frag: I bet you we can finish TWENTY, and if we do you have to come to my weekly cardio exercise in a yellow spandex suit. ::Tor had snickered, and Berenez’d given Ji-hu a challenging look. He’d waved his hand dismissively and uttered a single, ill-fated word: “Fine.”:: ::Berenez and Frag completed 22 tasks that week. That’s how Ji-hu had ended up outfitted, to his utter horror, in a tight, yellow spandex suit that left little to the imagination for Frag’s “weekly cardio exercise,” his first ever game of Parrises Squares.:: Frag: EYE ON THE BALL, JITTERS! ::Frag, outfitted in a matching, yellow spandex suit, was the team’s keeper at the far end of the court, in the defence zone, brandishing her mallet like a warrior. His fellow teammates were two other Constitution Tellarites, an older Tellarite woman from HCO he’d briefly served on the bridge with, and a younger Tellarite security officer. They were playing against a recreational Starbase 104 team… if one considered bloodlust and bone fractures recreational.:: ::Attempting to remember his dojo training days with Colleen back at the Academy, he tried to lower his centre of gravity and plant himself as the Klingon charged at him, but the hulking security officer easily knocked him out of the way, down into the pit on that side of the court. The Klingon received the ball from the top of the pyramid, where an opposing Bolian was grappling with their Tellarite HCO officer. The Klingon made a running leap up their goal ramp as Frag swung the large mallet to knock him off course, but he spun through the air, dodging her and slamming the ball through the hoop, earning the opposing team ten points.:: Klingon: ::arms raised:: tlhIngan maH! ::Ji-hu gasped for breath, having had it knocked out of him for the fourth time that day, not to mention the simple fact that he wasn’t the most physically fit person in the quadrant. Frag walked over to the side and grinned down at him.:: Frag: Almost had him there, Jitters! You’ll get him next time! ::When he found out exactly what her version of “cardio” was, Frag was disgusted that Ji-hu had never been in a Parrises Squares court. She would not accept his begging and pleas. She threatened to give Ix and Te permission to dismantle the entire ESPO, that she would ensure no one in the office would never listen to a word he said ever again until they rectified the oversight. When he saw the hungry look in the Bynars eyes, and Tor and Berenez’s sly glances he decided to play along as a substitute player.:: ::Their usual fourth player had, conveniently, been unavailable on game day, so Ji-hu was brought in from the first quarter on.:: ::They were well into the fourth and final quarter now, and Ji-hu had been knocked down the pyramid three times, thrown into the pit seven. He’d been body-checked, tackled, tripped, and beamed in the head with the ball twice for reasons he thought were entirely against the rules. But nothing was against the rules in Parrises Squares except for common decency. The entire court was padded, but that didn’t make the hits and falls any less painful, and he had the feeling he’d be one sentient bruise tomorrow.:: ::The buzzer rang and his two fellow offensive teammates scrambled up the pyramid as the opposing Bolian made the top and grabbed the ball. The Tellarite security officer took a running jumpkick off the top of the pyramid and caught him off guard, tumbling them both down the pyramid and sending the ball rolling down Ji-hu’s side. In a moment of stupidity, Ji-hu grabbed it just as the Klingon and an opposing human made for him. He tossed it to his fellow HCO officer and, miraculously, it connected. He was body checked off the side once again, but as he climbed up the side ramp there was a struggle at the top before his teammates broke through over the pyramid and into the opposing team’s side.:: ::Panting, feeling on the edge of collapse, he climbed the side of the pyramid and saw the HCO officer wrestling with the Bolian as the opposing human advanced on her. She managed to throw it to the Tellarite security officer on the opposite side of the court, but then the Klingon and the opposing Keeper gunned for her. She glanced around desperately, then saw slight, young, much-abused Ji-hu just at the top of pyramid, and the ball came sailing for him.:: ::He caught it, somehow, and half-fell, half-ran down the side of the pyramid straight for the opposing goal ramp.:: ::The opposing human Keeper had broke off from the Klingon-Tellarite grapple and made for Ji-hu as his feet hit the defensive zone. He saw a delighted spark in her eye as she spun her mallet expertly. He had already recognized her at the start of the game, but this was the first time he had come face-to-face with Ensign Jenny Jordan.:: Jordan: Oh no you don’t, darlin’. ::He tried to go around her as he neared the goal ramp, since she was a few paces away from him, his feet hit the springy, padded ramp and with every ounce of strength in his body he launched himself diagonally through the air, sailing towards the goal post, until…:: ::THWACK.:: ::The end game buzzer went off as the world started to come into focus again. Ji-hu felt a warm liquid dripping over his mouth, and he blinked a few times, though his left eye felt weird. Frag and his other teammates stood over Ji-hu from above, and they were grinning down at him.:: Frag: What’d I tell you, Jitters?! You did it! You scored! Choi: ::blinking:: I did?! Did we win? Frag: Not even close! They were fifty-five points ahead, but what an end! And look! ::she reached down and touched his nose with her hair paw, which came away bloody:: YOU POPPED YOUR SQUARE-Y CHERRY! ::His teammates helped him up and he started running diagnostics on his face. His nose was tender and bleeding, but Frag assured him it was just a simple bloody nose. His left eye was swelling up, and Frag gave him the thumbs up as the team grabbed some water and collapsed off the court.:: Frag: No going whining to Sickbay for anything less than a broken bone! You wear your Parrises shiners as a badge of honour! ::Ji-hu was just starting to get his breath back, a towel clutched to his bleeding nose, when he felt a clap on his back. He looked up to see Ensign Jordan smirking down at him as she passed, heading towards the showers.:: Jordan: ::calling back over her shoulder:: That’s for startin' a riot on our starbase! ::Ji-hu was half-tempted to file some sort of report against her, but Frag beat him to the punch by simply launching a dozen colourful Tellarite terms that the translator matrix didn’t pick up after Jordan, who laughed. Frag helped him up to clear the court for an oncoming competitive league.:: Frag: That was a great first game, Jitters! You didn’t get a concussion or nothin’! Next week we’ll have to work on your defensive plays! We’ll see you back here next week, right? ::The others looked to him and after a moment’s thought Ji-hu surprised them, but himself most of all.:: Choi: Yeah… I g-guess you will. END PNPC Ensign Frag, USS Constitution Engineering Officer as simmed by: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  11. ((Embassy on Duronis II, East Beaches, Cyndriel Villas)) ::The estate was a panicked chaos of activity. The news that the family's matriarch, Calodia Jorey, would be arriving in the next few days had the staff on edge. The new Cyndriel Villas had just finished being rebuilt after the Zalkonian bombardment of the Embassy grounds and was still in need of a post-build deep cleaning. While the majority of the staff was focused on the interior, Asher was far more concerned with the estates exterior. In particular, the many, currently barren, gardens.:: Asher: Is the landscaping team from the city on its way? ::There was clearly frustration in his voice as he shouted out the question to anyone who might have an answer. His question was answered with silence. The attack in the city and protest at the Embassy gates was making it difficult for outside contractors to get into the Embassy grounds. He spotted Alana rushing by.:: Asher: Alana, try and get them on the comm. If they can't get through the front see if they will come up along the beach. We can get them through the security check there. ::Alana nodded as she continued on to whatever task she was currently trying to accomplish. With everything going on it was a difficult time to receive visitors on Til'ahn. Asher's comm device chimed notifying that he was receiving a message from his charge.:: Jorey: =/\= Little One to Old Man. =/\= ::Asher knew that the unusual greeting was a signal that communications could be compromised and that the rest of the conversation would be coded. All Asher needed to know was if the conversation was of a business or personal nature. Asher: =/\= Business or Pleasure, Sir? =/\= Jorey: =/\= It's business this time. Please prepare my black suitcase and let the new tutor know I'll be heading toward Thalzed and be unavailable. =/\= ::Asher knew that 'black suitcase' was code for an intelligence covert mission. The new tutor implied someone that was in a position of authority - the new Chief of Intelligence Savan. Finally, Thalzed was the northernmost point on Betazed, so Brayden must be traveling north - like the north part of Lokesh City.:: Asher: =/\= I will take care of it. =/\= ::Asher waited for the link to close before putting the device back in his pocket as he made his way over to a console in Brayden's office. He sat down at the desk and logged into the console.:: Asher: Computer, open a secure, encrypted communications channel. ::The console chimed when ready.:: =/\= Asher to Lieutenant Commander Savan. =/\= Savan: =/\= Mr. Asher, this is a surprise. How may I assist you? =/\= Asher: =/\= Brayden has asked me to inform you that he is headed north, likely into North Lokesh City, on a covert mission. =/\= Savan: =/\= That is news to me. Anything else you can share? =/\= Asher: =/\= Unfortunately, I have no other details for you, Commander. Savan: =/\= I see. =/\= Asher: =/\= If I hear from him I'll be sure to contact you right away. =/\= ::Asher closed the channel and logged out of the console. He looked around the room and grimaced as he noticed that the control panel for the office's lights, temperature, and window shades was missing. His grimace turned into disdain as he noticed the crown holding had not been installed in the room. He pulled the comm device from out of his pocket.:: Asher: Asher to Dolna… where is the contractor and where in Yimone's great light are the room's finishings? PNPC Asher, Attendant to Brayden Jorey As simmed by Commander Brayden Jorey - Special Operations, Embassy of Duronis II / USS Thunder NCC-99312-A Featured Bio Contest Facilitator | Department of Veteran Affairs | Training Team Writer ID: T239002BJ0
  12. ((Science Lab 4, Deck 12 -- USS Za)) DeVeau: From what I have seen, the virus is actually taking over the critter itself, causes it to mutate, then devour some of its young. When passed into tissue samples, the samples began to mutate as well, but not like the creatures. That virus literally changed the structure of the samples, killing off the cells. Skyfire: Interesting in a scary sort of way... :: He'd meant it. It was scary in the same way that Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome was scary, but from what CD was able to observe, these weren't de-evolving. They were tribble-speed evolving into something more sophisticated and creepy. :: Johnson: What might happen to us? DeVeau: Well, I ran some tests using computer models...if this thing were to get into us...some nasty stuff would happen. Skyfire: Did you run any simulations on humanoids? Johnson: It wouldna matter what the simulations say. Biology is too different. DeVeau: I don’t even want to think of it, honestly. Fortunately, the biofilters caught this little sucker...still, I wanted to get a fresh set of eyes as well as a medical perspective on this. ::She paused, then added.:: We can never know exactly how things react, but computer models are there to give us a best guess. From the results...best guess is pretty horrific and, as I said, the tissue samples were devasted, so... Johnson: So what you want me to do, boss lady? Skyfire: Your test results were saved, yes? Mind if I take a look before running some of my own? Johnson: Good idea, cher. I'll look at them too, give you that fresh set of eyes, no. DeVeau: Of course, by all means! That’s why I asked y’all here, after all. :: As much as the idea of watching it disgusted him because of what he witnessed in the creature's behavior, he had to maintain that stoic air of calm and professionalism.He quickly cast his eyes over Alora's results and bit his lip to force back the wave of nauseating bile which rose to the back of his throat. He didn't get super-squeamish usually, but this did not look like it was going to be a usual circumstance. As he began to run his own simulations, he at least had the decency to keep it to the console in front of him rather than project it on the larger monitors. As Alora and Haylie continued to watch the gruesome little critters, CD kept his observations limited to the screen before him. While he was still running his own simulations, he was not liking the results. :: :: The list of symptoms and possible outcomes was rising. Mutations, displaced organs, rearranging of the cellular structure, violent hemorrhages, seizures, insomnia, hallucinations, phased out limbs, blindness, dehydration, muscle spasms, transporter narcosis...the list went on as he continued to run tests. No two results were the same, even across the different species on the away team. The possibility of cannibalism wasn't out of the question either, but that had yet to appear on any of the simulations he'd looked at. He noticed, however, they all appeared to have one thing in common: they were all fatal. He was running them in quick succession with time accelerated to get an idea how long he'd have to act. Finally, one of the simulations revealed cannibalism, and his grip on the console tightened to a white-knuckled one as he bit back yet another wave of nausea. :: Skyfire: Alright, folks. Ask your questions and I'll answer them as best as I can... Johnson: Everything I saw said all the mutations would be fatal, yeah? DeVeau : Yes. Any thoughts, Chy? Skyfire: I don't know. They've all been different, with one similarity. This is terminal. :: Alora let out a low whistle. CD didn't have to be standing close to read her expression: not the best news he could have delivered. :: Johnson: I couldn't really tell. Best guess on how long someone might survive if infected? DeVeau: Well, that could vary, but based on what I’ve seen...three days at most. In addition, how the mutations occurred differed with every sample. Skyfire: Each one looks gruesome no matter which way you look at it. Do you want me to go through the list? :: He bit his lower lip. He swallowed hard, dreading their reactions. He once again felt the wave of nausea hit him, and had to fight a bit harder to keep it down as he stared at the screen. On one of the other screens where the bugs were not in display, he pulled up the text of what he had observed so far. His simulations were still running on the screen in front of him. :: Johnson: No, cher, that's not necessary. At least for me. DeVeau: Might as well. I want to know if your findings and interpretation match mine. Skyfire: The longest simulation shows fatality at seventy two hours. All others have been significantly less. :: He cast a worried glance to his old friend, Alora. Of all the miracles he'd pulled off in his time, he was good...but not that good. He was known amongst the Gorkon crew as Lazarus, but as he told Dassa, even he had limitations. Chythar was not a god, just stubborn when his friends were dying at his hand. He couldn't let it happen to Lael, and if he could prevent it, he wouldn't lose anyone on the Za either. He didn't want to think about what would happen if Alex got infested by one of these. Would that jade CD beyond all hope? End his career because he'd seen too much death? Force him into retirement as a civilian on the farm? :: DeVeau: Then my data seems sound thus far. Johnson: Everything okay, cher? Skyfire: I'm fine... oO If I watch him die... Oo :: oO Hypocrite. Oo he told himself. Of all the phrases he hated using, all the ones he hated hearing when working with patients who really weren't fine at all, he had to go ahead and use this one. CD sighed heavily. What could he say? That he was too busy praying he would be able to save them from something like this? :: :: He shook his head to clear it, to force the negative talk out of his mind. It took him nearly three minutes to recover enough to the point where he could speak again. :: ::Johnson’s eyes narrowed.:: Johnson: You sure? Skyfire: Yeah. I just--- :: He hesitated for a moment as he replayed the staff meeting over in his mind. :: Johnson: Okay, so how do we prevent an outbreak here, eh? DeVeau: Well, first thing, keep these things in containment. I would do double backups just in case. :: He nodded to that, his mind racing as he recalled the details of the first contact mission. :: DeVeau: Next thing? I’d like to find a way to combat it, inoculate against it, something. We’ll need to study it further of course, but I want a way to deal with things should we run into this. If these people are now venturing out into space, they’re going to start interacting - after all, we’ve just met them. We’ll need to make sure this doesn’t become a problem. :: It was too late, but he held his tongue as he sorted through the information in his head. If he spoke before he had fully thought out his words, he would likely wind up either talking too fast or making himself otherwise incoherent because he'd be talking in Russian, Japanese, Gaelic, or one of his other forms of linguistic stress levels. :: Johnson: ? DeVeau: I’ve only just started, so nothing yet, but with more brains added, I’m sure we’ll be able to figure something out between the two of us. Fortunately, these were caught by the transporter, so it’s not as if we have an issue on board at the moment. Skyfire: No...but we may have a problem when the away team returns. DeVeau / Johnson: ? Skyfire: They opted to take a shuttle . Chances are that since we didn't get a chance to act with our guests while they were here, they couldn't provide us with any intel such as whether these things are a risk to our crew. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's given any concern to EVA suits either because we were still studying the se things before we had a chance to recommend it. DeVeau / Johnson: ? Skyfire: Exactly.... The ones I know are on the away team include the captain, Vondaryan, Pandorn, and Blair. :: He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose. :: Computer, who of the Za's staff has ventured to the Pathfinder? :: The computer recounted all the names of the away team, including a crewman or two that Chythar didn't recognize. He swallowed hard. Did they had time to warn the team before this became a problem? How would he react if Alex or Lael were claimed as victims? Would he be able to bring himself to honor a request to put them out of their misery, or force himself to leave the room because he couldn't watch? He tried desperately to center himself, another wave of nausea threatening to make an exit. He bit it back and winced this time, hoping nobody noticed. :: DeVeau / Johnson: ? === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire Medical Officer USS Za, NCC-65305 O239002CS0
  13. (OOC Content warning for allusion to distressing topics) (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 )) :: He kept count in his head of how long it had been since T'Reshik was born. It was entirely irrational, but he could not help thinking of his life as something that had been severed into two halves, 'before' and 'after'. And when the pon farr hit, it was almost eleven years to the day. :: :: He had known it might be difficult. Trauma often resurfaced at times of emotional upheaval, and this was the most emotional he'd been since he was a child. Still. Academic knowledge was one thing; experience was another entirely. He had woken up in a cold sweat in his cabin and gone straight to his console before he could think, marking the transmission as urgent. The call had been answered almost straight away:: Varek: Taurek. Are you well? (( Da-leb, Vulcan, 2350)) :: It was his father, too, who had answered that call twelve years ago, from a civilian comm station on the outskirts of Da-leb city. Taurek had been missing for almost twelve hours. Again, there had been no anger in his father's expression, only the hint of concern. :: Taurek: I am uninjured. Varek: We have been attempting to locate you. :: Pause :: Shivok is dead. He stopped his own heart. We... are told he had sustained defensive injuries. :: The knowledge hit him like a punch to the stomach, and moisture stung at his eyes. Suddenly it was difficult, far too difficult, to speak without his voice shaking. :: Taurek: I am so sorry- Varek: Nobody holds you to blame, my son. Your mother is attempting to locate you now. Can you meet her at the western temple? Do we need to arrange transport for you? :: Shivok had once told him that many Vulcan scholars did not conceive of love as an emotion in its own right. Infatuation, yes, desire, yes, but the state of experiencing a close attachment to another living being was not, in itself, something that required suppression. The drive to protect one's offspring was considered biological and, usually, immutable; it was only logical to protect those with whose lives were closely intertwined with your own.:: :: This interpretation was why the English "I love you" became "I cherish thee" in Vulcan, with all its nuances and omissions. To love as the emotional races did was to add a passive component to the experience, where love could be felt without being enacted, and any outward action was driven primarily by one's inner feelings.:: :: For their people, however, love was a state of being that existed in its expression, like a language with no written form. Or so it was claimed. Before it became too painful to think of those early lessons with his tutor, Taurek had occasionally entertained the idea that the "love is an action" explanation was nothing more than an excuse. :: :: Now, barely able to hold himself together as his father spoke to him from the tiny viewscreen, he suddenly recalled the day he had returned from the local clinic at the age of thirteen, after a difficult conversation in which he had not been able to divine his parents' reactions from their stony and impassive faces.:: ::Pausing at the doors to their home, he realised that an amendment had been made to the small panel which traditionally held the names of the inhabitants, a leftover from the old customs of their clan. Where once had read "T'Rel", in his own uncertain hand, was now replaced by "Taurek" in his mother's.:: (( USS Avalgariad, 2362 )) :: His father must have been asleep, he realized. In Eastern Da-leb time, it was somewhere in the interim between midnight and dawn. And yet here he was, as if nothing was strange about receiving a call from his son in the middle of the night. :: Taurek: My Time is at hand. Varek: ::pause:: Understood. Have you made arrangements? Do you need us there? Taurek: I have. And I do not. I simply... wished for contact. I apologise for the illogic of my decision. Varek: It is normal for your logic to fail you at this time. We are here if you need us, Taurek. :: And he began, finally, to understand why. :: PNPC Ensign Taurek Counselor simmed by Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
  14. (( USS Constitution - Corridor )) :: There is a cliché, in certain old Earth movies, of two automobile drivers pulling up beside each other at an interchange. They look over each other's vehicles. Perhaps one tilts his sunglasses down. Perhaps the other revs his engine in invitation.:: :: This is not entirely dissimilar to how Ensign T’Reshik and Akeelah D’Sena met for the first time. :: :: Turning a corner on her way back from physiotherapy, T'Reshik had not been expecting to find herself alongside someone at the same eye level, and certainly not someone piloting a similar craft. The need for motorized wheelchairs - or hoverchairs, as this woman had - was scarce, thanks to ever-advancing medical technology, and T'Reshik had deemed it statistically very unlikely that she would meet more than a few other users over the course of her lifetime. To have two on the same ship was a coincidence indeed.:: :: She looked D’Sena over, her keen physician’s eye searching for clues regarding the nature of her condition. Rodulan female (non-contact telepaths, she recalled), somewhere between 40 and 70 terran standard years, no abnormalities in facial musculature, posture and hovercraft controls suggest full use of arms, eliminating a small number of systemic conditions and any injury higher than C8… :: :: Akeelah had just brought her visit with the CMO behind her, it had been taxing and despite her needing the burn of alcohol in her throat she was grateful that it hadn’t been real because she preferred a clear mind. Too bad that her situation made that almost impossible. Her mind was full and she felt restless. But her usual treatment of meditation didn’t come to her easily these days. Her decision was now made, a step in the right direction. :: :: Waiting for the lift she stared at the doors. She did not see the other woman, but she eaily felt her presence. Even without actively reading minds, Rodulans were sensitive to surface thoughts, but that person had control over those or the ability of shielding them. Another Telepath. But nevertheless she couldn’t hide from Akeelah’s senses, and having been a Security Officer for all of her adult life - other than the few months of being the First Officer and Acting CO of the USS Apollo before Rajel had taken over as CO - she knew when she was watched. And while usually she didn’t care, ever since she was in the chair she couldn’t stand it. :: :: Akeelah didn’t look up, didn’t turn around, her voice just cut through the silence. :: D'Sena: What are you looking at? :: Oh, right, she probably shouldn't stare at strangers without talking to them. Social skills and all that. She knew from past experience that “Sorry I was staring, I was trying to diagnose what you have” didn't go down well, so she groped for the next best thing. :: T’Reshik: Interesting. I considered a hoverchair myself, but I opted for better power retention and more space for the on-board processor. Is there a significant terrain advantage? :: That got Akeelah’s attention and her head slowly turned around, surprisingly finding the other woman at her eye level. A Vulcan, at least she still had the ability to make out other Telepaths. She was glad that she was blank to them though, it had helped her job many times. But that was not what occupied her right now. She couldn’t believe it. Another person in a chair? Did Starfleet lose their marbles?:: D’Sena: That must be a really bad joke. :: T’Reshik blinked at her. :: T’Reshik: I do not understand. It was not my intention to be humorous. D’Sena: They send another officer in a wheelchair? :: T’Reshik looked down at her chair, then at D’Sena’s. Technically, she wanted to say, yours doesn’t have any wheels. But she thought that might be irrelevant. :: T’Reshik: I am not sure what you are alluding to. :: Akeelah ignored what she didn’t want to see, or rather feel: that the other woman really had no idea. It did not fit into the view of the scene, what she believed to be true. Anger boiled in her guts and who was better to push it on than the person right in front of her? :: D’Sena: Don’t pretend you don’t know. It’s obvious that it’s Starfleet’s bad attempt at sending me the message of life not ending now that I sit in this bloody chair. You can tell whoever sent you, that they can stick it right where- :: T’Reshik glanced at the woman’s pips.:: T’Reshik: Lieutenant Commander, am I to understand that you seriously believe I was sent here for your benefit? D’Sena: That is rather obvious. T’Reshik: In which case - notwithstanding the fact that I doubt Starfleet have the resources to assign officers based on such arbitrary considerations - I would seriously question the wisdom of sending a convicted criminal whose injuries were self-inflicted. :: Now that was interesting. Akeelah turned her hoverchair slightly to face the moment a little more. She was a Security Officer after all, and had been for several decades. Her fully black eyes squinted as she kept an eye on the other woman. :: D’Sena: What injury have you inflicted on yourself? T’Reshik: A traumatic brain injury, sustained in the course of illicit scientific experimentation. I was released from a criminal rehabilitation centre no fewer than six months ago. I may never recover from my condition. Not exactly an encouraging example. :: The Rodulan’s brow jumped upwards. She apparently had been wrong in her assumption of a sick joke played by Starfleet. A sigh left her as she exhaled. Great first impression. :: D’Sena: I agree. I owe you an apology for my wrong assumption. ::She paused, before adding.:: I am Commander Akeelah D’Sena. Security. T’Reshik: Ensign T’Reshik, Science. I am Vulcan; apologies are unnecessary. May I ask what caused your injury? D’Sena: An incident during an away mission. Not planned to be permanent. How did your condition occur? :: T’Reshik paused.:: T’Reshik: An uncontrolled neurochemical imbalance, typical to Vulcans of a certain age, which was exacerbated by the illicit experiments I mentioned earlier. It is not known whether I will recover, but the specialists deem it unlikely. D’Sena: That is … unique. ::The lift door opened and she pressed the nav stick to move herself into the lift, making sure to be as close to the back and side as possible so the other woman would fit in as well. :: I wouldn’t be able to tell if there is a terrain advantage. I have not been on anything but this ship since I got the chair. :: T’Reshik eyed D’Sena’s rig again as the two of them navigated themselves into the lift. :: T’Reshik: An interesting choice, then. D’Sena: I want to add that I have not chosen it myself. It was given to me by the attending doctor after my injury. But there have been made adjustment by an engineer to assist with a couple of things like getting in and out or hygiene. T’Reshik: ::Raising both eyebrows:: Clearly your attending doctor never needed one of these themselves. Those considerations were already included with this one. D’Sena: ::Looking over the chair T’Reshik sat in.:: Yours does not seem to be the standard model either. T’Reshik: It is not. ::She tapped a few buttons on the armrest and pulled up a flat screen, swivelling it to show D’Sena the basic schematic.:: There have been adjustments made to the onboard processor, obviously, and I had the chassis replaced with a lighter and more streamlined material. :: The moment the screen came out she already raised her brows in surprise. But the schematics she saw were rather impressive. It looked like that chair could be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. :: D’Sena: Fascinating. T’Reshik: As I understand it, the only advantages that a hoverchair holds are frictionless movement and ease of maintenance, which I believe are offset by the far shorter battery life and the lack of space for additional components. For example. Surya? Switch to auto-navigation mode. How long from here to Engineering? :: The chair beeped in acknowledgement. After a moment, it spoke in a harsh, mechanical tone.:: Surya: At your current default speed, it will take fourteen minutes and twenty six seconds to reach Engineering, with an error margin of three minutes. There is one turbolift on your route. I am ready to engage. T’Reshik: Surya, cancel. ::She quirked an eyebrow at D’Sena:: D’Sena: ::And her brow wandered upwards again.:: Fascinating. ::She realized she repeated herself.:: Surya is an unusual name for an on board computer. T’Reshik: I did not choose the name; it is, I believe, a reference to Earth mythology. But it has been incredibly useful. And of course there are more mundane functions; automated level matching, pre-set seat adjustments for transfer in and out... the only thing it lacks is a portable phaser turret. D’Sena: As a scientist you shouldn’t need one either. A regular hand phaser should do the job well enough. T’Reshik: A valid point, but I would prefer a degree of versatility. D’Sena: As they say, if you do every job, you will do none properly. Trust that our security team will do the protection. :: T’Reshik decided not to press the point, given that D’Sena was actually on said security team.:: D’Sena: Your chair is rather impressive as is. If my condition was more permanent I’d request a replacement, but I am starting rehabilitation in a few days, which will hopefully change that. T’Reshik: You anticipate recovery, then. May I ask the specific nature of the injury? D’Sena: My spine made hard contact with a tree. It’s a T6 injury, crushed a section of my thoracic vertebrae and severed nerves. A substance that found its way into my body during that away mission caused an infection after the reattachment surgery, and with that complications. :: She resisted the impulse to ask about the specific nature of the infection. Not everyone was so fascinated by diseases as she was.:: T’Reshik: How long ago was that? D’Sena: Half a year now. ::It sounded so long, it had felt even longer. Especially since she avoided contact with people for at least 80% of that time. :: How long has it been for you? T’Reshik: Five years, two months, eight days. D’Sena: ::Akeelah’s stomach sunk at the thought of being in the chair for that long.:: That must have been difficult. T’Reshik: It was challenging. But not insurmountable. ::She paused, glanced around. :: We are holding up the turbolift. Where did you intend to go? D’Sena: To my quarters. You? T’Reshik: Actually, I planned to visit the gym. I have just concluded a session of physiotherapy on the holodeck and wanted to embark on my prescribed exercises early. D’Sena: That sounds like a good idea. ::She wondered what kind of exercise she would get prescribed once she’d gone through with the surgery.:: T’Reshik: Join me, if you wish. I do not usually socialise, but we have common aims. ::Pause:: Besides, my parole officer instructed me to try and “make friends”. I need to at least appear to be complying. Engaging in communal activities seems like the most efficient way to do this. :: Now that sounded familiar and Akeelah couldn’t help but laugh slightly. The whole not having someone on board she’d call a friend, was apparently not only her, but others too. It was oddly comforting. :: D'Sena: It appears that we are - as humans say - in the same boat. It sounds like it would be beneficial to both of us to share the activity. ::She could do upper body training. She had neglected her training very much, if not to say completely ignored for way too long. It would be a start to get used to it again. :: :: T’Reshik was slightly confused by the laugh, but let it slide. Perhaps D’Sena was just happy. She hadn’t intended to say anything amusing, but Vulcans often said things that were “inadvertently hilarious”, according to her fellow inmates back at Bayeaux. :: T’Reshik: Excellent. It seems we have a common goal. D’Sena: Then lead the way. :: T’Reshik nodded. :: T’Reshik: Computer, Deck twelve. :: The turbolift doors slid shut. :: A JP by LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena Security Officer simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0 And Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
  15. OOC: Set during the intruder alert and search for Lynn Mayr. ((Brig, USS Gorkon)) ::Quinn's heart was thumping in her chest when she arrived at the maroon doors that served as the entrance to the brig, and not just because of the speed at which she had hurried there. ::She paused, taking a breath and steeling herself to step inside -- then almost jumped out of her skin when the doors parted of their own accord. Brunsig stomped out, his brow knotted and lips thin, and very nearly collided with her. She squeaked in soft surprise, darting backward, and he scowled at her.:: Brunsig (Alt): What the hell are you doing out here? Reynolds (Alt): I thought you might need-- ::She shook her head and changed tack halfway through her sentence.:: What happened? Brunsig (Alt): What do you think happened, Cupcake? Cillian was stupid, Lynn escaped, and now he's been thrown in the brig while she's hunted down. ::Her heart sank. It wasn't a surprise. It had been quite obvious that was the likely course of events, but still, it was disheartening to hear it confirmed. She'd never been close to Cillian, and similar to Walter, he was often a hard man to like -- but he was one of their family, and she hated to see him in trouble.:: Reynolds (Alt): Are-- are they going to leave him there? Brunsig (Alt): I don't know. I don't know that I can argue that they shouldn't. We're not exactly proving ourselves to be the most trustworthy of individuals. Erik blew up our ship, and now Cillian sheltered a spy. ::For years, they'd all had plenty to be afraid of. The Dominion, pirates, the many dangers that space itself presented. But she'd never felt afraid of the people around her. She'd trusted them, all of them, with absolute certainty. They were all in it together. ::Now… now she wasn't sure. Hidden agendas and deep secrets were bubbling to the surface as though a fire had been lit underneath them all, and that certainty was turning to dust. It seemed the more she tried to cling onto it, the quicker it was crumbling through her fingers.:: Reynolds (Alt): I guess now would be a bad time to confess that I'm actually the Queen of the Changelings, huh? ::He shot her a scathing look, and she proffered a lop-sided, apologetic smile. It had been a bad joke with very bad timing, after all.:: Reynolds (Alt): Sorry. ::There was the mildest flicker in the lights, and she frowned on reflex, looking up as though she would find the answer in the pale glow of the ceiling panels. When she dropped her gaze again, Walter was staring at her, his sharp blue gaze intense.:: Brunsig (Alt): Tell me that has absolutely nothing to do with the Dominion spy running loose on this ship. ::Her expression must have been worth a thousand words, because his head slumped and he ran his hand through his greying blond hair, looking suddenly weary.:: Brunsig (Alt): I'm too old for this. ::She was sure wouldn't take kindly to comfort, he never did. But it was hard to see a friend in need, especially when they so rarely let it show -- vulnerable was not a word *anyone* associated with Walter Brunsig. She reached over, brushing the back of her fingers against the back of his hand. The smallest of gestures, and one that wouldn't violate the uncompromising sense of personal space they both possessed. :: Reynolds (Alt): We'll figure a way through it. We always do. ::He gave her a long look, and to her surprise there wasn't a scowl or sneer, but a simple nod of acknowledgement.:: Brunsig (Alt): Thanks, Cupcake. ::Passing crew were giving them odd glances, and why not? They were lingering outside the brig like a bad smell, and they were both interlopers from the Triumphant -- all while the search for an intruder was conducted. It did swing toward the suspicious end of the scale. ::She took a step away, and beckoned for him to follow.:: Reynolds (Alt): Come on. Let's find somewhere to wait it out. I'm sure they'll be on the comms as soon as they've found her. Brunsig (Alt): Let's hope they *do* find her. ::She shot him a small grin as he fell into step alongside her, and even gave her the rare courtesy of slowing his pace so that she wasn't trotting alongside him like a show pony.:: Reynolds (Alt): Have you seen that security chief? She's quite literally between a rock and a hard place. They'll find her. ::He rolled his eyes, but she thought maybe, just maybe, that there was the tiniest of smiles tugging at the corner of his mouth.:: Brunsig (Alt): We really need to talk about your sense of humour. Reynolds (Alt): You'd miss it if it was gone. ::They easily fell into the banter that was a feature of their odd friendship, the verbal prods and pokes a welcome distraction from the situation they now found themselves in. It was a familiar way to pass the time, and pass it they did, until reality came calling once again.:: -- Lieutenant Quinn Reynolds (Alt) Passenger USS Gorkon & Captain Walter Brunsig (Alt) Passenger USS Gorkon simmed by Captain Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  16. ((Saloon, Reverie Rock)) ::Kaji and Nugra had talked along the way, and she thought they had an idea what was going on. They were sure it was some sort of dream because they could remember waking for brief moments. Kaji had no idea where to start looking for Ben, but she was sure if they got to the bottom of this dream, they'd be able to make sure he was safe. She kept glancing at the Gorn walking alongside her, his stride covering two of hers so she had to jog to keep up. He was furious. She could feel it radiating off him without her empathic skills. He didn't mention the confession she'd made or the one she was sure he regretted making. He turned to look at her as they reached the saloon doors.:: Nugra: Be careful, Commander. I...I do not want anything to happen to you. Kaji: You too. ::she hated his formality but appreciated that he cared enough to warn her.:: ::They walked in. Lucky was sitting at the bar, and Captain Faranfey, MacRae and Shiarrael were gathered around him. Kaji squealed and ran over to hug Shiarrael. She hadn't seen her in the dream, and had wondered where her friend had gotten to.:: Lucky: Welcome to the council. ::He raised his bottle in salute.:: Nugra: I have no interest in your council. What have you done to us? Shiarrael: ::grousing:: Oh, please let's not go over all this again. ::Kaji lifted her head from where she'd rested it on Shiarrael's shoulder. She held onto the other woman for moral support more than from a physical need.:: Kaji: We figured out that it's a dream. Lucky, are you in charge of this? ::She had vague memories of him being a friend. She wondered why he'd latched onto her, or if she'd latched onto him. But she cared about him in a strange way.:: Lucky: ::softly:: Yeah, Missy, I'm running this circus. Though your captain, I think, has other plans. The short story is I'm being killed by parasites and I made a telepathic sedation field, which you all got caught in. I tried to make it a beautiful place for you. ::Looking at Kaji:: Didn't I give you what you hadn't dared to dream? ::Kaji glared at the man and clung to her friend. Did he know her feelings? If he was telepathic, he probably did. Was he responsible for giving her that moment of hope and then snatching it away? Or was it her own selfish desires that led to the pain in her chest?:: Nugra: So...Now what? Faranfey: I sacrifice myself for the crew. Lucky needs the parasites off him. We just need to figure out how to utilize it. Nugra: No, you will not, Ma'am. ::Kaji looked back and forth between them as they stared each other down. What the hell was going through their minds? Why did anyone have to sacrifice themselves?:: Faranfey: It's my responsibility to protect the crew, and I think I'll be able to hold them long enough to be effective... MacRae: Erm...not quite! My plan, Captain, is to try and bridge the world between the corporeal and the non-corporal. Lure the creatures somewhere they will be vulnerable. Nugra: What is the point of that? Kaji: Will that even work? ::She was up for anything that saved the Captain and the Gorn. She wasn't ready to lose any friends today.:: MacRae: Questions later please we don't have much time. Lucky will slowly release his grip on his captives - letting the crew go one at a time. As the parasite's world shrinks they will focus more and more on the Captain to feed on...because she'll be the only dish on the menu. Once the last of our people are out and Lucky has dropped his sedation field I'll transport the Captain and store her whole pattern in the computer core...linking it to the holodeck. Kaji: So the captain will be in the buffer? MacRae: Essentially, yes - the Captain will be the program and the parasites will be part of that program. Nugra: This is extremely unsafe. MacRae: I don't see what other choice we have given the circumstances. It's been done before, short-term storage of transporter patterns in their entirety and with some system alterations the Doyle should cope with that - for one person. Please, Colonel, if your experience of non-corporeal memory parasites more extensive than mine then let me know because I am open to suggestions. Nugra: There is an easier way. I have four life times worth of memories and that is enough to cause the parasite to face me. From what it sounds like, Lucky only needs to be able to get away and the parasites will be unable to lock on to him. There is a good chance that they won't be able to latch on to me and die in the process. They are just energy and they won't survive long without something to feed on. Faranfey: Nugra, do you think you can hold out? I know you have a lot of strength, but you are just as valuable as me. Nugra: Of course. ::He was lying. She knew it. She shook Shiarrael's shoulder and gave her a pleading look. Surely the Romulan could think them a way out of this!:: MacRae: Captain, I need to know who will be going into the system so I can plan accordingly. I appreciate the noble gestures on all sides but if we don't act soon then these things, if Lucky is correct, have the potential to unmake history on a galactic scale. Without that past there won't be much of a future for any of us for very long. ::The saloon door opened and an unfamiliar Klingon and the large Andorian she'd met briefly came in. Apparently a lot of people were remembering themselves. The room certainly had enough aliens in it. Including herself.:: Tavanah: Well, this is something interesting to walk into. Faranfey: If you think I can protect our people in a more effective way, that gets us all out of here, I am willing to hear it. Nugra: We'll have to go with my plan. ::Pointing to the form walking up.:: The parasite is already here. ::The parasite’s avatar, Scorpion walked into the saloon with a face of sheer triumph. Kaji shivered in fear and held onto Shiarrael's arm. What plan exactly? She hadn't heard any good plans so far. She felt like the situation was running away from her and felt powerless to do anything.:: Scorpion: After all these eons, I have finally found you. Hiding as a simple drunk. How ingenious. Lucky: We all knew this day was coming. ::Nugra looked between them and Kaji followed his gaze. She pleaded with Lucky with her eyes. Surely he could do something.:: Nugra: If I take him out, we can go home, yes? Lucky: Yes. ::Kaji saw Nugra move forward and she started across the room after him, terrified of the figure in the doorway, but more afraid of what Nugra might be planning.:: Scorpion: And what do you think you're doing? Nugra: Removing you. ::Nugra looked back at the captain and then he looked at Kaji. Tears flooded her eyes at the kindness in his eyes.:: Kaji: Nugra... Nugra: ::smiling:: Go find Ben. I'll be fine. ::He was lying again.:: Nugra: Alright you [...]. Time for you to die. Kaji: No! Please, somebody do something! ::She looked around the room:: Scorpion: I can't die you fool. ::She followed as Nugra charged the bandit, caught him, carried him through the door and onto the ground in front of the saloon. Scorpion swung and connected to the lizard's face. Kaji ran after him as the Gorn flew across the street. She'd never felt so helpless, even in captivity.:: Scorpion: There is no way you can defeat me. Nugra: I don't need to defeat you. I just need to distract you. ::Talia caught up and grabbed onto Nugra's arm, but she didn't think he even noticed she was there. She could feel the concentration in his tensed muscles. She looked between him and Scorpion. What was he doing?:: Scorpion: Fine! If you're going to waste your life, then so be it. Your memories are going to be mine! ::As she held on to the Gorn, she could see two worlds. One one level she could see Reverie Rock, the dust blowing on the street. But on top of it, she could see a nightmare. Scorpion became a horrifying monster, and Nugra through her arms as if she weren't even there. The two clashed together and Kaji screamed as she watched Scorpion sink his teeth into her friend. Kaji felt her world shatter as the monster exploded.:: ::Time seemed to slow as she watched Nugra fall to his knees and look up. She saw the Pale Goddess he'd told her so much about come to him, surrounded by fallen friends, some she recognized, and some she didn't. Talia watched him take the Goddess's hand and suddenly she really understood that he was gone. This was no dream.:: ((USS Doyle, Science Lab)) ::Kaji opened her eyes. For a moment she just lay there, pain and heaviness filling every cell. She noticed with a strange part of her brain that someone had cleaned up the glass. Her hands were bandaged, too.:: ::Slowly, she dragged herself to her feet. She leaned heavily on the wall.:: Kaji: Computer, locate Ben Kaji and Colonel Nugra. Computer: Ben Kaji is in Corridor 298, Senior Officer's Quarters. Colonel Nugra is in the Marine CO's office. ((OOC: I know earlier sims put him on the bridge, but I'm going to go with MacRae's latest and have him in his office so things don't get confusing.)) ::Kaji nodded silently in response. Ben was closer. She needed to see that he was alright. Then she'd go find Nugra, though she already knew what she would find.:: ::She stumbled down the corridors. Everything seemed surreal as if this was the dream. This couldn't really be happening. She spotted Ben from down the hall and her legs started to work right. Talia ran to her son, picking him up and clinging to him. The tears came easily now. She looked at the two women he was with. One was his nanny, Mrs. Fluffy, and the other was their Reverend...er, counselor.:: Kaji: Can you two take care of him? There's something I have to do. Tonston: Sure. ::Mrs. Fluffy nodded, and Kaji turned and ran for the turbolift, tears blurring everything. It only took her a few minutes to make her way to the Marine section. There were already several people gathered in the CO's office. She could see past them, though, to the still figure still sitting in his chair, looking like he'd gone to sleep. She leaned against the wall and then slid to the floor, out of the way of the emergency workers. Sobs wracked her frame. It was over.:: --------------------- LtCmdr Talia Kaji First Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A E239008TK0 ---------------------
  17. ((Nicu Icavoc’s Quarters, Deck 7 - USS Darwin-A)) ::Maybe it was because Nicu Icavoc was already in an uncharacteristically bad mood that he decided to put the doctor on the spot. Maybe he wanted to understand what sort of knowledge the medical team were working with and how much support he could realistically expect from him. He watched Graeme closely looking for any signs of nervousness as he answered his question.:: Icavoc: Tell me Doctor, what exactly do you know about Dokkaran medicine? Cook: I know enough to know that most our drugs have no effect on your kind that's why we have a small amount of special analgesic in a hypo spray as I already said nothing is effective. I know your bones are called bone-wood and is a lot stronger than my bones. I could go on about your flesh being leaves that give the effect of flesh, I think the best medicine for the Dokkaran is ummm ::Pausing:: Ceata's soil... I hope I said it right? I also have learned that you are very similar to plants except you don't require sunlight but operate on a modified version of the Calvin Cycle or the Calvin-Benson cycle, where carbon dioxide is captured in a cycle of reactions, if I'm correct there are three stages, stage 1, the enzyme Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase or RuBisCO for short incorporates carbon dioxide into an organic molecule, 3-Phosphoglyceric acid or 3-PGA. ::Taking a large breath and smiling at Nicu:: Then in stage 2, the organic molecule is reduced using electrons supplied by Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphat or again NADPH for short. Lastly I n stage 3, Ribulose Biphosphate or RuBP, the molecule that starts the cycle, is regenerated so that the cycle can then continue. ::As a scientist and one who put a lot of value in knowledge Nicu Icavoc was impressed. Graeme had indulge his question and provided a smattering of facts the illustrated the range and depth of his knowledge. It did much to restore his confidence and reassure him of the quality care he could expect. In his long years with Starfleet few had ever been allowed to study Dokkaran physiology because of The Council of Elders had determined it in the species best interests not to allow those who didn’t sufficiently understand themselves to study his race in detail. Though Ceata was aligned with the Federation, the species was young and they were not fully fledged members. Years of diplomatic interactions had strengthened the Dokkaran understanding other the greater galactic universe and in turn they learned of his kind. There was a certain harmony about it that he appreciated.:: Icavoc: Very good. You may proceed. ::In a more friendly manner:: ::Nicu watched as the doctor unwrapped the bandages and inspected his wound. Even a few weeks on he was struggling with the reality of it. Sometimes he would wake up and forget his hand was no longer there. He would reach out to pick something up only to see not a hand but a useless stump. Much of the leafy flesh on his arm was discolored brown. His attention was drawn to the doctor as he spontaneously laughed. Nicu Icavoc could see no obvious reason for it and wondered what he was thinking about.:: Icavoc: ::With curiosity:: What’s amusing? Cook: I'm just going over things in my head and I laughed because I secretly complimented Isabel Pond on her work. I want to run some tests on your arm as in the amputated one I want to find and extract cells and run tests on them to help in aid you growing and replacing your arm. But I won't lie it's not going to be easy I will need to discuss this with Miss Pond and if she agrees I will speak to the capt… Or Maxwell Traenor... What do you think? Icavoc: I think we should take things one step at a time but I appreciate the support. I haven’t seen any new growth yet, however I am afraid the best case scenario for regrowing the limb naturally will take years. ::Their species was extremely long lived and were strong of body and mind. When they were injured they more often than not could repair the damage but it took a significant time. His soil was as close to Ceata as could be but it was still not home soil. The lights in his room simulated natural light as closely as they could and though he had them burning quite brightly for the time being to support his recovery, they could never quite be as good as natural light. His recovered was hampered by his circumstances right from the start.:: Cook: I have one more thing I would like to ask you... I feel a visit from Mr Scudder to help you I read that he was by your side more or less through the whole ordeal I shall request that he pays a visit? ::Paul Scudder was a newcomer to the Darwin but already he had been of great support to him. He had found he could confide in the counselor, he had helped him deal with overwhelming emotions that had gripped him and nearly prevented him from accepting life saving surgery. He felt a follow up discussion with the man might be incredibly beneficial in helping him come to terms with his new reality and move on with his life in a productive manner.:: Icavoc: Please. I would like that. ::Doctor Cook examined his stump and changed the dressing. They discussed the situation a little further with Nicu Icavoc’s manner being more calm and relaxed now that his confidence was restored. The Scot genuinely seemed to think there was potential to come up with a long term solution but what he would need to talk about was his immediate future. Were it not for the fact Graeme Cook was needed elsewhere very soon they could probably have got into it more.:: Cook: Well Nicu Icavoc my work is done here for now with your decisions I will strive to make them work. It was finally good to meet you. My door is always open even if it's for a chat and a drink! Icavoc: Thank you Graeme Cook. It is a pleasure to meet you. Take care. PNPC LtCmdr Icavoc - Acting Chief of Security and Tactical Fleet Captain Renos - Commanding Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member * Academy Commandant A238805EB0
  18. (( Doctor's Office, Reverie Rock )) :: Bam Bam had left and Alex sat in his office trying to see what he could and could not control. He also went over the details he could remember of the last 3 days. Time didn't move quite right and his realization that he was in a dream intrigued him. He had tried to wake up, but for some reason, he couldn't. :: Faranfey: Alex, darling. :: She said as she entered the office, putting the rifle carefully on the table. :: :: Alex turned to see Selene, her clothing changed and the signs of pregnancy gone. His heart sank, but he kept the appearance of everything being alright with his emotions. He smiled at her. He needed to keep up the ruse. It was only a matter of time before they all figured it out. It was getting dangerous. :: Bishop: Hello sweetie, I trust all is well. Faranfey: We're in a dream world, this is all fantasy. You are my Chief Medical Officer on a Federation starship. Bishop: Of course I am. :: As Selene drew close to him, Alex also wrapped his arms around her and returned her kiss. :: Faranfey: You are also my fiance, having proposed to me at a big celebration. Please say you remember that? Bishop: It's all coming back to me. :: Alex lied. :: Faranfey: I need to remind the rest of the crew of who they are, so we can work on a way to get home and plan our wedding... that way we can remember all the fun details. Bishop: oO These were the fun details. Oo You go and be yourself. Just don't leave me in here when it's time to finally leave. :: Alex waited for Selene to leave before he cried. He knew that it wasn't possible for him to get her pregnant, but he would spend eternity here if it meant having that life with her. But he knew he could never let anyone know. :: ~ Dr Alexander Bishop Town Doctor Reverie Rock As written by: Lt Commander Alexander Bishop - C239112AB0 Chief Medical Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-90221-A
  19. (( Saloon - Reverie Rock )) :: The parasite’s avatar, Scorpion walked into the saloon with a face of sheer triumph. Nugra knew the thing realized he found the source of the dreamworld and the moment of truth had arrived. Scorpion: After all these eons, I have finally found you. Hiding as a simple drunk. How ingenious. Lucky: We all knew this day was coming. :: Nugra glared from the dirty drunk to the bandit who stood in the doorway of the saloon. The energy in the room had intensified and an imaginary heat could be felt basking on his face. It was clear now that Scorpion was the embodiment of the parasite while this entity that the parasites were attacking had Lucky as the host whose immune system was fighting them. :: Nugra: If I take him out, we can go home, yes? Lucky: Yes. :: Was it instinct? Was it irritation? Was it even heroic and selfless? All Nugra knew was that Lucky had told him that Scorpion was the man standing in the way of Talia and her son. There was only one thing he could do. Nugra turned and began to walk determined towards Scorpion. The man raised an eyebrow in surprise. :: Scorpion: And what do you think you're doing? Nugra: Removing you. :: Nugra looked at his captain. The woman he had known for so many years as Sundassa Faranster, who had become the haunted Selene Faranfey. They had been through a lot together and the understanding that what had to be done would protect her and the crew she loved so much. There was also Kaji who stared at him with her large, beautiful eyes. :: Nugra: ::smiling:: Go find Ben. I'll be fine. :: It was a lie. He knew that and Talia would know that. It didn't matter as her life was now more important than anything. :: Nugra: Alright you [...]. Time for you to die. :: Scorpion laughed as Nugra picked up his pace striding across the floor. :: Scorpion: I can't die you fool. :: From a walk to a charge, Nugra caught Scorpion by surprise in the chest and carried him through the door and on to the ground in front of saloon. Scorpion swung and connected to the lizard's face. To the Gorn's surprise, it took him off the man and across the street. Scorpion hopped up with irritated sigh and brushed himself off. :: Scorpion: There is no way you can defeat me. :: He was right. The parasite was an energy creature that was feeding off of another. The only reason the lizard could even see him was because they were trapped in the REM world created by the Dream Master. They were feeding off his memories. :: oO Memories. Oo :: That was it. The parasites were focusing their energy on consuming the Dream Master and it was what was keeping the entity from shaking off and getting away. Nugra knew what he had to do. :: Nugra: I don't need to defeat you. I just need to distract you. :: Focusing the will of his entire species on the thought of Scorpion, he summoned the memories of those who inhabited him. He thought deep of the alternate Nugra whose memories were imprinted on him when the USS Thunder broke through a singularity, he focused on the nightmares of Krr'Sakk the Admiral of Skulls, a horrible split personality he developed while trapped in the singularity. He touched the memories of the being that lived inside of him since 2381. The Gorn took it all and mentally threw it at Scorpion. :: :: At first, the Gorn did not know if anything was happening, but then he saw the shock and stumble of the parasite's avatar. The memories had hit hard. :: oO Come on. Take a nibble! O Scorpion: Fine! If you're going to waste your life, then so be it. Your memories are going to be mine! :: The world around Nugra changed as Scorpion changed into a nightmarish creature of phantom shadows and teeth. The Gorn felt the terror of the entity as it lunged at him and he felt the cold, icy, fangs sink into his mind. It was done. Now it was time to allow the rest of his body to do its job. What Scorpion did not know was that when Nugra first joined the Gorn Space Navy in 2369, he had been attacked by a mind sucking probe and the doctor figure a way to freeze his engrams in place. Scorpion realized this as Nugra felt the being impact on unmovable memories. Nugra felt the creature shatter into a million pieces while his own thoughts and consciousness broke along with it. It was like two pieces of crystal being collided together. :: :: Falling to his knees and looking up towards the sky, the Gorn saw a figure beckoning him forward. He recognized her from the writings of his religion, the Pale Goddess that defended the gates of oblivion from being opened. Nugra knew that death had finally found him and that she saw him worthy to join the ranks of those who fought by her side. Peace filling his mind, he saw his friends of old Korvek, Merida, Tallis Rhul, and even his young brother Morg waiting for him along the alabaster roads. For a second, he thought about the beautiful woman he left behind, but he was happy she was now safe. He had achieved what he wanted. To keep her safe and now he was home. :: :: For the first time in 364 years, Nugra was at peace. :: ~The End~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Colonel Nugra Marine Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-B Podcast Team Facilitator Deputy Commandant Captain's Council Magistrate Provisional Fleet JAG Officer V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ & MSNPC Lucky Dream Master Reverie Rock as simmed by --------------------- LtCmdr Talia Kaji First Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A E239008TK0 ---------------------
  20. ((Invicta – T’Lea’s Quarters)) :: T’Lea was sitting on her couch in silence, not really meditating, but thinking about her conversation with Ms. Moonsong when the door chimes rang.:: :: A moment more passed as if she hadn’t heard the announcement, and then she rose to her feet.:: T’Lea: Enter. :: Her voice was calm, and so was her response when Rune walked in.:: Jolara: ::jaw set:: We need to talk. :: It didn’t take eyes to see that Jolara was in a hostile mindset, one that T’Lea didn’t want to deal with.:: T’Lea: Now is not a good time. Jolara: Then I will talk and you will listen. :: With a sigh, T’Lea moved over to the replicator with unwavering patience.:: T’Lea: Very well. ::to the replicator:: Vulcan spice tea. Hot. :: When she turned back with the cup in her hands she took a sip and lifted an eyebrow for the woman to do as she said – talk.:: :: Rune watched T’Lea for a second. If there was any doubt before, there was none now. She almost let out a sigh of her own. She hadn’t really come to fight but she would have to do whatever it took to make the irritating Romu-Vulc normal again.:: Jolara: ::releasing a quiet chortle and shaking her head:: I liked you better when you were not so bland. ::waving her hand:: This…. Vulcany act does not really suit you. But I get it. It is how you choose to deal with things. :: The truth was, after talking with Moonsong, she was feeling depressed, and right now she didn’t give a flying frell about anything.:: T’Lea: ::a sip of tea:: I have had my fill of counseling for one day, if that is why you are here. Jolara: No. Actually that is not why I came. But it would make things easier if you were yourself again. :: T’Lea gave a dull little shrug. It was stunning how people wanted her to change, how everybody wanted her to be something different, and when she finally did it, they wanted her to change again. Of course, this metamorphosis hadn’t been for them, but the reactions were still ridiculous.:: T’Lea: Why would it be easier? Or perhaps the more accurate question would be *who* would it be easier for? :: Rune ignored her comment and moved to plop down on the sofa. She looked around, taking note of the sparse decor. It was a reflection of what she knew T’Lea was feeling. For that she was truly sorry but she wasn’t about to show any sympathy. After all, that would only alienate the woman even more and right now that was the last thing she needed to do.:: Jolara: Because something is happening inside ::tapping her head:: here and you are the only one I can trust. :: The Romu-vulc sipped her tea and then gave a small shake of her head.:: T’Lea: There are better people to confide in. Have you sought counsel? Jolara: ::shaking her head:: I do not need counseling… not for this. T’Lea: Then elaborate because you are failing to convey your thoughts in a comprehensive manner. :: That sounded very much like a Vulcan insult, and it probably would have been if T’Lea had cared enough to manufacture it into one. But honestly she had no idea what Rune was talking about.:: Jolara: ::sighing and leaning forward with her arms on her knees:: I am talking about… ::her brow creased:: If Kieran had not left maybe she could have helped but she is not he… ::Stopped abruptly and looked up at the Romu-Vulc, though she didn’t have to look at her though to know the thought that ran through her mind. She pointed a finger at T’Lea.:: That is not what I am talking about. And I never wanted you to change or be anything different but that does not matter right now. ::She shook her head and touched the back of her neck as her thoughts instantly shifted.:: I think I am beginning to figure out what my mentor really did to me. But actually, none of that is why I am really here. I was not going to tell anyone and maybe I should even tell you but of all the people in the universe, you are the one person who has a right to know. ::waving her hand:: Yeah, I know I am still not conveying my thoughts in a comprehensive manner. ::She sucked in a breath. She was rambling and she knew it. But it was the way her thoughts were coming.:: I have secured the portable repository. No one else will ever be hurt by them. :: It was almost too much information for T’Lea to process. For a moment she stood there staring blankly at the Al-Leyan as her mind raced to sort through landslide of words she’d been caught in. And then… and then it started to sink in.:: :: T’Lea set the delicate little tea cup on the table top and gave Rune a faintly curious look.:: T’Lea: Does the Captain know? Jolara: ::shaking her head:: No. No one does. T’Lea: You have chosen to disclose this information to me and not him because…? Jolara: I do not really know… maybe because you are the only one I *know* I can really trust. :: Just because they enjoyed annoying each other didn’t mean they didn’t trust each other. T’Lea took the declaration at face value.:: T’Lea: And what do you plan to do with the lesser repository? Jolara: Keep it hidden… destroy it? :: T’Lea closed her eyes, and tilted her face toward the ceiling to inhale a clean breath of soothing calm.:: T’Lea: ...why do you people continue to test me…? :: She said exhaling a long sigh. First it was Ms. Moonsong battering her defenses, and now this… this temptation of revenge staring her down.:: :: The look she gave Rune hinted of her thoughts. She wondered what Rune was capable of on her own. She wondered about her loyalty to Starfleet Intel. She wondered if the woman would crack under pressure. She wondered what she *herself* would do next.:: T’Lea: You realize they will be looking for it. You know they will come for it – they will come for *you*, and when they do what will you tell them? :: Rune knew all of that and she knew T’Lea doubted her. It was no secret the Romu-Vulc thought Rune was weak. It was something that had once bothered Rune, but now… well the woman simply did not know what Rune was really capable of. She hadn’t even known until Kya unlocked the memories Laro had tried to erase.:: :: Her jaw clenched and then she shrugged.:: Jolara: They can come for me but they will not get it. No good can come from it and the danger of it falling into the wrong hands is simply too great. T’Lea: You would sacrifice your career and possibly your freedom for this? :: She looked at Rune with unwavering eyes. She looked for weakness. She looked for hesitation.:: Jolara: There was a reason the Council of 12 sought to destroy the Iconians and their technology. I understand that now. :: T’Lea gave a firm nod. Rune was different now. Something had changed in her. But so had T’Lea. Vengeance, bloodlust, rage… it was still there inside of her, but she had control. Besides, there was a bigger picture, a bigger target she wanted. Dal Selta. Her archenemy, and really all of SFI’s nemesis.:: :: Now she was thinking as she should have been all along. Her purpose renewed.:: T’Lea: The Twelve Deities of Destruction may, or may not still exist. They may be long dead, or they may be lying in wait for another resurgence of Iconian technology. The Cardassian Bureau of Intel is SFI’s biggest competition right now. If either side facilitates a revival of Ico-tech there could be grave repercussions throughout the galaxy. Now you see why I’ve “mismanaged” details and discoveries. But Nygel is different. The information is out there. :: Rune could almost feel the change in T’Lea, which was good. She nodded thoughtfully.:: Jolara: I know. T’Lea: The Cardassians will come for it. They will stop at nothing to acquire it. What we uncovered on Nygel has the potential to be devastating. Imagine infiltrating the upper echelon of Starfleet Command by simply overwriting an Admiral’s consciousness. ::pause:: I believe the Captain has underestimated the destructive nature of such technology. And I, like you, do not know who to trust. SFI has its own agenda, but I think… I hope I have placed my trust well with you. :: She took a step literally and figuratively toward Rune. They’d been through a lot together, and it seemed they had a mutual respect for confidentiality. Maybe this was a big mistake. Maybe Rune was playing her like a fiddle. One way or another she’d find out.:: Jolara: All I have is my word that you have… whatever that is worth to you. ::She bit her lip. That hadn’t come out the way she intended.:: What do you think we should do about it? T’Lea: My initial instinct is to destroy the repository. Both of them. However… Jolara: Destroying it will not stop the Cardassians or anyone else from looking for it. T’Lea: No. At least we can influence where they look though. What good is a trap without the bait. Since I cannot control the information flow on Nygel, let us use it to identify friend and foe. If it lures out the Cardassian threat then we will have succeeded. :: All that was said in the terrifyingly, calculative calm of a manipulative Romulan. Dal Selta would come. She was sure of it.:: :: Rune smiled but it quickly faded as she stood. She thought for a moment, rubbing the back of her neck as the pins and needles started again.:: Jolara: We should start with the Captain. Somehow we have to convince him just how dangerous the technology really is and that we can not allow anyone else to get their hands on it. Perhaps even convince him to allow me to keep it secured. T’Lea: That would be the best scenario. :: She paused and considered what Rune had said previously.:: T’Lea: You have your doubts about Captain Washington? Jolara: ::shrugging:: If we can not trust him, we should not even be here. There is a gathering this evening. We can speak to him when it’s over. T’Lea: If we cannot trust him, we should be *exactly* here. After the gathering then. -end- Lieutenant Commander T’Lea History & Archaeology Specialist USS Invicta Author ID I238301T10 & Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara Intelligence Officer - USS Invicta Writer ID: A238909RJ0
  21. (( Toran Sevo’s Quarters - U.S.S. Gorkon )) :: What a wild day. It started as a nice, refreshing time out with some of the Gorkon’s crew on the Helase. He had intended to let his alternate/future self, Ayiana, “out on the town.” They spent several hours on the Helase, with Toran steering her into the casino and some much-needed life experience. He left her to her friends and crewmates, and wandered off on his own. It didn’t last, however, as the face that had haunted Toran the past month had suddenly popped up on every screen in the ship. Erik Jansen. The man responsible for the destruction of the Triumphant. The man who attacked Quinn. The man who declared their lives were not worth living; “it was better to side with the Dominion.” Which he did. Now he was here, hunting down his former crewmates. Before he knew it, Toran was back on the Gorkon, in his posh quarters, barreling away from the Helase as fast as they could. :: T. Sevo (Alt): oO Its not fair. Just. Not. Fair. Oo :: Toran took another swig of the vile brown liquid from the bottle, feeling it burn his throat on the way down. He hadn’t drunk much over the years. Alcohol was hard to come by post-War. Now, with functioning replicators and a fully-stocked bar, he had taken to having a few drinks from time-to-time. At first, it was just the experience; to feel his inhibitions melt, the chemicals fog his brain and his troubles. So he started drinking some more. And a little more. Sure, he could have the syntheholic crap, but it didn’t have the same “kick.” It didn’t befuddle one’s mind; which was something Toran sorely needed. :: T. Sevo (Alt): oO How the hell did I get here? Oo :: He had met the young Ayiana after the Battle. At first, Toran was simply glad to see another Trill besides Kael Seren. She was more shocked than he was to discover him alive. It turned out she was the next host of the Sevo symbiont in her universe. A universe where he had died. That wasn’t much of a shock. Being a career soldier, Toran was trained and fully prepared to die in combat if necessary. :: :: What he hadn’t expected, however, was to die not at once, but little-by-little, over the years after their successful war with the Dominion. Ayiana explained that Toran lost himself to depression, drinking, and despair. “Posttraumatic stress disorder” was the clinical term; he thought of it as Hell itself. The psychological trauma slowly caused his isoboramine levels to drop to catastrophic levels. Ayiana told him he was near-suicide and probably would have gone through with it if Sevo hadn’t been removed. :: :: In some cruel way, Toran considered his survival in this universe to be a blessing in disguise. Constantly being on the run, the occasional fight, and generally helping out on the ships he lived on had seemingly kept him distracted from thinking too much of his life and the war. The war they had lost. It was better than Ayiana’s paradise world. There, Toran had returned to an untouched Trill. The Powers-That-Be thought he, along with the millions of other veterans and survivors, could simply return to their lives. A little wiser, more experienced, some trauma, but mostly unscarred; despite the history of PTSD on countless worlds demonstrating otherwise. :: T. Sevo (Alt): oO We all pay our dues in the end, it seems. Oo :: It seemed his other life had caught up with him. With all his free time roaming the massive and immaculate Gorkon with nothing to do, his mind had finally had time to process everything that happened over the past fifteen years. It came in dreams at first, vivid, terrifying dreams. Or memories? They turned into nightmares. Then, Toran could barely sleep at all. That was one reason he took Ayiana to the Helase; to get *his* mind off things as much as her’s. :: T. Sevo (Alt): oO Yet again, Erik, you are ruining my life. Oo :: Suddenly, the klaxons blared in his alcoholically-sensitive ears. Red alert lighting (true red lights!) flashed on his computer’s screen, and emitted from other light sources in his quarters. :: Computer: Intruder Alert. Intruder Alert. :: The computer’s high-pitched female-esque voice screamed in his ears like a Siren. Toran dropped the bottle. It didn’t have to go far, as he was already sitting - well, leaning - on the floor in front of his couch. Sitting up, he covered his ears with his hands. The sound was too much! Memories of Jem’Hadar and Cardassians running through the halls came shattering to the front of his mind. He didn’t want to fight them anymore. No; he wanted to hide. :: T. Sevo (Alt): C-computer! Seal the door! Turn off the lights! :: The room darkened, only to be lit by panel glows and the red alert lights. As he heard the snap of a forcefield cover his quarter’s doors, themselves strengthening their magnetic seal, Toran fumbled for his d'k tahg on the coffee table in front (and above) him. He leaned back against the couch, still sitting on the floor, clutching his d'k tahg tightly, as if protecting a baby. He simply sat there quietly, shivering and sweating in the dark, hoping to the Gods whatever was going on outside those doors wouldn’t come for him next. :: ----------------------------First Lieutenant Toran SevoRefugee---------------------------- simmed by ----------------------------Lt. Commander Ayiana SevoChief Science OfficerU.S.S. GorkonV239109AS0---------------------------
  22. "To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart." ~ Phyllis Theroux (( Trill - Laxyn Residence )) :: While being in space it was easy to forget about time. Boardtime did not replace the sight of dawn and sunsets, the biological clock used to find its rhythm. On a starship that clock took a while to adjust and slowly began to use shifts instead. The problem with that was, that once the body was used to that, it was difficult to pull out again. So it could happen easily that once one sat foot on their home planet after a long time gone, the body did not agree with day and night cycles any more. :: :: This was what happened to Jalana. After years away from Trill, she had arrived in her own felt midday which had been actually early night on Trill. So she had eaten late and talked for a little while with her mother who needed someone to keep her company. Afterwards she had retreated into her father's study. As soon as she entered it felt like she was sixteen again. Nothing had changed in the dark overpowering room, filled with dark wooden bookshelves, packed with knowledge of several lifetimes. Her father had never been joined so he had convinced himself he had to learn as much as possible to have a shot against the combined knowledge of a host. The same dark wood went through the whole furnishing, combined with black leather on the seating arrangements and dark green leather on top of the overloaded desk of a hard worker. :: :: It had taken a while in the big threatening chair behind the desk until Jalana had stopped thinking about that it was her father's and she had no room in here, while she went through his medical file. It had been a gut-wrenching experience. It was a miracle that his doctors had not force checked him into a hospital or a spa. The red headed Trill had gone through everything and filled half an old-fashioned notebook with notes and thoughts when she finally closed it and turned her head to the blinds in front of the window, rays of light shining through them. :: :: She rubbed over her face and along her neck to the back of it to massage it slightly. It reminded her of the time when she'd been a practising Medic. Long nights, little sleep, forgetting to eat and stubborn patients. What a time that had been. She missed it sometimes. :: :: She now leaned back and brushed her hand through her hair. What a long night it had been. Sometimes when everything became to quiet she had gone into the master bedroom to check on her father, but he had slept well through the night. She had just been so focused on her work, that the constant beeping of the vitals had become background noise which at some point she had not heard any more. It happened easily, but it hadn't made her less nervous to not hear the mechanical heart beat indications any more. :: :: She herself should get some sleep, but she was not sure if she could actually find the rest she needed for that. Maybe she should check how the supply run on the Constitution was going, but then thought T'Mar would possibly think Jalana didn't believe her to be able to do that simple task. So she scratched that thought. Her mind wandered to Jerry. They had a really nice time together when she had been called away and just now she realized, how she regretted that. Biting her bottom lip she looked to her father's computer and reached out to establish a connection with Jerry's personal terminal. :: :: She was not really surprised to be notified that nobody picked up. He most likely was working or enjoying himself in a holodeck. So she decided to just send a message, not realizing that the dark shadows around her eyes and a slightly paler complexion than she already head would make her look exhausted. With the press of a button, she started the recording. :: Rajel: Hi Jerry. ::A tired smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.:: I finally have a few moments to think of anything other than my father and I want to apologize to drop you like this. ::She raised her hand slightly as if to interrupt him, even though they did not talk in real time.:: I know you understand and you would want me to focus on this. But I have enjoyed spending time with you and hope we can continue that once I'm back. My father is at home and he has slept ever since I arrived. I went through his file and want to slap the doctors for not making him retire, but then I realize that he would never follow a doctor's order anyway. :: Once more Jalana's hand ran through her hair, getting stuck halfway in a nest of knots and she sighed, pulling her hand back and tried to hide that strand behind her ear. :: Rajel: And of course I called you looking like a mess. Well, guess you owe me a messy look of yours now. I hope the supply run doesn't cause any problems and make sure T'Mar is taking breaks she has a habit of getting lost in work and believe she doesn't need rest. ::Raising a hand to her mouth she hid a yawn and wondered if the same went for her.:: Sorry about that. It's been a long night. The sun is coming up now and I have not slept, because my body is on Conny time. I should catch up on that a little, before my father wakes up. I have yet to speak with him, so ... ::She had not told him about the tension between her and her father, and not the moment to do that now. :: ... that'll be something. I'll talk to you soon I hope. :: She tiredly smiled into the camera one more time and pressed the key to end recording. She quickly put in the destination of her message and sent it off. She felt too exhausted to go to her bedroom, so she leaned back in the big chair and closed her eyes. Just a few minutes. Or a few more... :: -----Captain Jalana RajelCommanding OfficerUSS Constitution BImage Team FacilitatorA238906JL0
  23. ((Flynn’s Beach House - Little Risa)) ::Mirra Ezo laid on the ground, with her hair spread out in a fan around her head like a fiery halo. The last few days had been difficult, to say the least, and her empathic senses felt battered and bruised. With her eyes closed, she focused on her breathing in an attempt to recharge. While normally she would wander through the lush green of Central Park in the New York district, she currently found herself lounging on a beach towel, her bare toes digging into the warm sand as the artificial tide ebbed and flowed just below her.. She had come to track down a specific Risian...who for the last few days had made an art of avoiding her. Mirra had respected his need for space...to a point. Now it was just clear avoidance. It was time for action. She knew Flynn had just moved into a beach house in little Risa, and with a little bit of investigation, and a small amount of flirtation with the quartermaster, she found out his new address. So, while waiting for him to come home, she found herself enjoying the local scenery:: ::The jubilance of finally living on a beach again mixed with the busy excitement of planning a party was just enough to keep Antero’s mind off of recent events. He had to admit that after a couple days of avoiding his friends (whom he knew would try to give him a ‘healthy’ talk about accepting reality), he was missing their company more than a little, and ready to cut loose. Seeing that telltale red hair on a nearby beach towel, a small smile creased onto the corner of his mouth and he walked toward his friend, still carrying the large crate of Rum he had been carrying to the mini bar on the deck. He set it down behind her head and used it as a seat, peering straight down at her with a smile.:: Flynn: You know this is a nude beach, right? Ezo: ::eyes opening with a glare:: Not anymore, I took down your sign. ::flicking him in the knee:: YOU have been avoiding me. Flynn: ::Adopting a look of mock confusion.:: Who me? That doesn’t sound right. Anyway, better get back to work, nice seeing you! ::Jumping up, Mirra stood before him, forcibly pushing down on his shoulders, causing him to flop back down on his makeshift seat.:: Ezo: Uh-uh beach boy, you aren’t getting away from me that easily. ::face softening in concern:: I’ve been really worried. You’ve stood me and Theo up twice now. Time to spill. Flynn: I am sorry about that…::Smiling weakly:: I guess I’m not getting away so easy this time. ::Confident he would avoid a renewed attempt at escape, Mirra scooted next to him on the crate, laying her head on his shoulder. With a gentle shove, she looked up at him with a small smile.:: Ezo: It’s ok...you’re forgiven. ::sighing softly:: What’s going on with you? Flynn: ::Pointing his thumb back toward the mini bar.:: Do you want a drink? We should get you a drink. How long have you been lying in the heat? Ezo: ::snapping:: FLYNN! ::Antero had been doing his best to shove aside his feelings since he had heard the news. The accumulation of events made the best solution copious amounts of dangerously potent mixed drinks. It didn’t take long to realize that was no way to come to terms with anything. He knew he had close friends he could lean on, and figured it might be time to let someone in.:: Flynn: ::Sighing heavily:: You know... ::She did, in fact know. As she suspected, the reported disappearance of the Gorkon had brought up some rather unpleasant memories for her friend. Closing her eyes, nodded against his shoulder. Words weren’t necessary, he knew she understood.:: Flynn: I guess I just needed a couple days...oO and a couple drinks Oo. It’s not even just thinking about my brother, but those people we found down in the dungeon. ::He paused in a moment of reflection.:: I can still see them when I close my eyes. They state they were in…::he shook his head.:: Ezo: ::shuddering slightly:: I can only imagine. Well, I can vividly imagine, as I treated them in Sickbay directly after. ::pausing:: But your actions saved them Flynn. What you, Ensign Taelon and Commander Falcon discovered saved the lives of several men and women who otherwise...well..they have a much brighter future now thanks to you. Flynn: ::Somberly:: We shouldn’t have had to. ::He admitted a small smile and looked to her.:: But thanks, it does feel good to have been able to help. Most of the credit goes to Falcon and Taelon though. They are both really something. Ezo: ::smiling:: Oh I don’t doubt that, but I am sure they would say something similar about you. ::After a few moments of enjoying the peaceful scenery, both friends close, but one distant in his own thoughts, Mirra cleared her throat softly, in an attempt to help him find his way back home.:: Ezo: ::speaking softly:: When I was little, my mother once told me and my brother that when we’re born, we only have a piece of our souls. And while we only had a piece, we had a small collection of other pieces. And throughout our lives, the people we meet, well sometimes they might have a piece of us, and we might have a piece of them. It's what draws us together, and by knowing them, we become whole. ::smiling weakly, her voice getting thick:: And...when we lose them, we...lose a bit of ourselves as well. That loss...well it isn't something you ever truly get over. You...just learn to live with it as best you can…. ::Touched, Antero let his gaze drift slowly to his friend. He could see in her eyes and by the strain in her voice that this was advice she had received at a time when she must have truly needed it. Feeling a tear edging to the corner of his eye, he wiped it away quickly.:: Flynn: That’s really beautiful…::He looked out at gently rolling water.:: I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. ::Slowly sitting up, Mirra unclasped the locket she was very rarely without, gently opening the well-worn latch, she held out the opened locket to him, smiling sadly. Inside was a picture of two little girls, locked in an embrace while laughing. One with red hair, the other a dark brown.:: Ezo: Her name was Melora. She was my best friend, ::taking a breath:: she died when I was ten. I know she’s gone, but I hold her close to my heart every day. I know it’s not the same as your brother...but… ::With that the Risian slowly began to realize how selfish he had been the past few days. Absorbed with his own pain, and being blind to what his friends, and his fellow crew might be going through after their mutual trials. It had always been his nature to comfort, and to be a source of support whenever it was needed. It was time to get back to that.:: Flynn: ::Interrupting:: No, of course it is. ::He took her hand and gave her a weak smile.:: Thank you for telling me about her, I know it must have been hard. I...I’m sorry I have been so self absorbed... ::Mirra stood, clasping her necklace, and absently re-centering it around her neck. She moved to the back of him and wrapped her arms around him, hugging close, with her head resuming its position on his shoulder.:: Ezo: You haven’t been. You needed some time, and you took it...just...maybe a little too long. ::sighing:: Don’t keep him buried and locked away Flynn. That’s the only way he’s ever truly gone. ::Antero nodded solemnly, looping patterns into the sand with his finger for several long seconds before responding.:: Flynn: Yeah, I guess it’s something I have to work on… ::Nodding, Mirra leaned up and kissed the top of his head. It was then that the “chair” caught her eye.:: Ezo: Uuh...Flynn? What exactly are you sitting on…? Flynn: Hmm? ::Glancing absent mindedly down.:: Oh, it's just a crate of rum for the party. Ezo: ::eyes widening:: A crate of rum?? I thought this was a “casual party”...? Flynn: What? ::Absently.:: This is the last one, the other three are already set out. Ezo: ::sputtering:: Three?? You have three additional crates?? Flynn: ::With a shrug:: Of rum.. ::Watching her attempt to absorb the information, he was struck with the realization that he had not told Mirra the good news.:: Flynn: ::Brightening:: I didn’t tell you the good news! Gadget girl is here for a visit! ::Still stuck in the momentary shock of the sheer amount of pre-prepared alcohol, it took a few beats for Flynn’s words to cut through the haze.:: Ezo: ::brightening:: Your sister Zaina is here?? Flynn: Yeah! Can you believe it? She wanted to surprise me. ::Gesturing toward the house:: She is asleep inside right now. She practically begged to work the bar for the party, but is she around when it's time to stock it? Ezo: ::laughing softly:: I’ll help, let her sleep. I am sure she needs it ::stopping suddenly, eyes narrowing:: You better not have put toast in her pocket… Flynn: ::He looked her in the eye with a playful smirk.:: Hey, at Casa De La Flynn, we don't judge! ::He paused with a grimace.:: I’m never going to live that down, am I? Ezo: ::grinning and linking her arm through his:: Nope. Never. Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MD Chief Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops C239205ME0 & Lieutenant Antero Flynn CAG Officer Starbase 118 Ops C239205AF0
  24. ((SB118 - Marine Flight Deck)) ::Silence. Despite the several hundred Marines and other staff here to pay their respects, not a single one of them uttered a sound as the UFOP flag draped torpedo slowly made it's way down the runway, quietly tractored by invisible beams of energy. A hundred arms raised in salute, turning towards the podium with a precise click of heels and the combined crash of a hundred boots before dropping it in a few seconds. What had surprised Tatash more than anything was the support and friendships Hughes had, as soon as news had spread a Vedek Larn from Bajor had insisted that he perform this service, a friend in a high place indeed although when pressed to answer 'Why?' all the Gorn had received was a smile and the comment of 'past aid and charity'. If anything though it summed Hughes up perfectly. He was a mystery. His military record consisted of a handful of dates but no descriptions of operations, campaign ribbons and medals with only a sparse amount of information to back up why they were awarded. That's what had made him so good at his work, the anonymity of special operations. The elderly, dark skinned Bajoran carefully climbed the podium in front of Tatash, flanked by Raisillius and Dal in full dress uniform their stillness matching his own. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Tem's squadron quietly adrift in a loose V formation just beyond the barely noticeable force field beyond the large and open hanger doors, awaiting their charge.:: Larn: "Loss, is never something that we can call easy, it is a pain and a grief shared by all cultures, by all people in our shared and fragile existence. Today, we mourn the loss of a colleague to many, a friend to some and a brother to few. Each and every one of us standing in this room understands the risks that comes with preserving peace in our time, each of us understands that their time will come in one form or another. The Prophets offer us guidance on our journey but never the destination. The Prophets teach us that it is the roads that we take, the people who we impact and our action...or inaction that will ultimately judge us as having lived a good life, or an evil one, it is our actions and our method that dictate how we are seen by the our peers. Raymond Hughes, in my eyes, was a good man. Never unjustified, never vilified. When my world suffered at the hands of the Cardassians, I remember meeting him for the first time. We gave him shelter when the Cardassian patrols came looking for the 'Spy' that they could never quite trace, hiding him among the clergy despite the risk to ourselves. In return, he gave us the information he had discovered despite a strict order to not get involved, putting himself at risk not only from our shared enemy but also his own career. This selfless action, allowed us to practice our faith without fear as we knew where to go to avoid attention and persecution, he allowed us to seek out the Prophets guidance even when all other light was extinguished. Now, as he guided us to the Prophets, we guide his Pagh back to them in turn, to be united in the Celestial Temple." ::Tatash watched with curiosity as the priest carefully lit two large lamps with a tapered flame, ornate golden constructs gently refracting and flickering.:: Larn: "Ordinarily, at this point we would sing Hughes to rest with a funary chant, although, at two hours long we might make that a voluntary process later." ::A few subdued chuckles came up from the gathering, Larn himself smiling serenely before gesturing back towards Tatash:: Larn: "Major Tatash, your words here carry as much weight as mine, please..." ::That same smile fixed on him as the old clergyman stepped down, gesturing up to the wooden plinth while being aided down by Dal in a few careful steps. His mouth suddenly dry, Tatash stood up and climbed up to overlook the masses, trying to spot a few familiar faces to steady his nerves before clearing his throat with a rumbling cough:: Tatash: "These last few weeks have been trying for all of us. From the all out madness on Tilanna, the plague of weaponised Tribbles and now this. Captain Hughes's passing has been an exclamation point to an awful period, and all of us can honestly say we have suffered losses unprecedented. Nine of your brothers and sisters lost their lives on Tilanna, each one of their names has been etched into my memory as I poured over each and every one, could we have avoided them? Could I have done something different as your Commander to protect them? Could I have prevented this? The answer is simply, I could not. Be it universal cruelty, chance or the will of ::he gestured to Larn:: higher powers, we all have to face the truth that is our mortality. We cannot prepare for all eventualities, there will always be hard times and dangerous times. But there have to be, if we are to protect and serve the billions of people that depend on us for their peace, protection and freedom. Some of you may look on me and see nothing more then a Gorn. A race known for their hardyness, their unwavering ferocity and strength. But what most outside our borders do not see is how dedicated we are to family. Duty and honor are sought and protected not to benefit the single individual, but to benefit the collective whole of a family or a house. Each and every one of you, is my family. Everything I do is done to benefit us as a collective, even if we have to give up so much in the line of duty. I lead from the front line, not because I seek glory, but because if any of you have to risk your life then I will share that burden with you. Do I wish it had been me that had taken the shot that downed Hughes? A hundred times, a thousand times over. He was a man that thought the same as I do. He risked himself on a daily basis to protect our assets, to gather information that meant we never -had- to fight. He saved more lives through careful action then we ever could through reckless assaults. His quiet words could even any temper, while his fury was capable of toppling governments. He was an Officer and a Leader that each of us, myself included, should aspire to be. To those that knew him as a mentor, you had a chance to serve under one of the finest commando's I have ever seen, to those that knew him as a friend, he never once betrayed trust. To me, he was an adviser whose experience and wisdom... will be sorely missed. Regiment, right-face!" ::Tatash turned sharply towards the Captains final vessel, the bugler, playing his mournful dirge as the coffin slid slowly down the runway, overwritten only briefly by the rippling sound of gunfire echoing around the cavernous bay as a row of Charlie Companies soldiers let out three volleys in salute. He led the salute, waiting until the Raptors had firmly grasped Hughes in their tow before slowly moving away towards the nearest star in close formation. They would ensure to give the momentum to get there, to burn up and join the matter they were all made from. All civilian traffic was instructed to stay clear, a few shuttles and freighters seemingly stopped to watch in quiet observation. Tatash dropped his salute, mirrored by the others before turning back to face them:: Tatash: "Regiment, dismissed!" ::Finally the silence, the oppressive and gloomy sorrow was broken up as people started to converse and head off to where they needed to be. Most stood around in small groups, continuing their conversations on what had happened. The Regiment would not be productive today, but these circumstances were exceptional, a single day of laxity was needed and readily forgiven:: Tatash: "Thank you, Vedek" ::Tatash shook the frail hand of the man who offered a nod in return:: Larn: "The Prophets wisdom can be sought by anyone, regardless of race or heritage. Seek them, Major, in your most trying times. They will answer as they have done for countless others." ::Tatash let that handshake drop before smiling thinly. Faith was something that Tatash never had understood or found himself, it was almost disappointing in a way.:: -- Major. Tatash Marine Lead SB118 Operations C239108T10
  25. ((The Illogical Eatery -- Shi'Kahr District -- Starbase 118 Commercial Sector))::Sequestered in a booth at the rear of the restaurant, Chalan Fuliar offered a silent prayer of thanks to The Prophets for the air conditioning fan that whirred quietly above him. Hailing from Hedrikspool Province on Bajor, Fuliar was used to a mild climate, not the oppressive heat of the Shi'Kahr District which was designed to simulate that of Vulcan. Ordinarily he would have studiously avoided entering this this quarter of Starbase 118's enormous Commercial Sector, but today he faced little choice if he wanted to catch the station commander in between meetings, then he had little choice.::Chalan: oO Of course, if I was allowed into the Operations Tower then I wouldn't need to come here at all. Oo::Despite there being over 250 journalists living on Starbase 118, none of them were permitted to enter the station's nerve centre. On the one hand, he could understand the need for operational security- journalists being allowed to roam The Hub could cause chaos- but the career-minded and predominantly selfish side of his character could not deny that it made job that much harder. He had even gone as far as to petition the office of the station's Executive Officer several times for permission to enter the aforementioned tower- but unsurprisingly, each request had been rebuffed without explanation. Thus, he was forced to try and catch Sal Taybrim when he left the tower and risk heatstroke... all in the name of journalistic gold. Fuliar was not the kind of man to barge into people's conversations and therefore he was waiting for Taybrim to finish his conversation with the station's C.A.G. officer, Antero Flynn. He knew little about the Risian other than he had previously served as a helmsman on theColumbia and Apollo and that people often spoke extremely highly of him. Rumours suggested that he was once romantically involved with Lieutenant Commander Whittaker, but he could not be bothered to substantiate those rumours since he was a respected, award-winning reporter... not some tabloid hack in need of column inches. He was beginning to seriously consider that Taybrim and Flynn were going to be nattering all day when he noticed that things looked as though they were wrapping up. Perking up, Fuliar abandoned the long-cold Spice Tea he had half-heartedly been imbibing for the past half hour and fished the Dictaphone from the pocket of his pastel blue linen trousers. When he was absolutely sure the two men were parting, Fuliar quickly left the booth and crossed the rust-coloured restaurant (did Vulcans appreciate any other colour aside from red?) and caught up with flame haired Betazoid CO. ::Chalan: Commander Taybrim! Commander Taybrim!Taybrim: Yes?Chalan: ::hurriedly showing his credentials, which were hanging from the lanyard he fished from underneath his navy hued t-shirt.:: Chalan Fuliar, Federation News Service -- I was hoping to ask you a few questions about the recent incident in the Dungeon?Taybrim: And I was hoping to get back to work. ::He replied mildly, with a small smile.::::Undeterred, the Bajoran fell into step alongside Taybrim and waved the Dictaphone in front of the man's face.::Chalan: What can you say about reports that your senior staff have discovered a hidden area of the station adjacent to The Dungeon?Taybrim: What can I say? You seem to know as much about the rumors as I do. Maybe you can tell me who is spreading said rumors?Chalan: ::smiling wryly:: Nice try Commander, a journalist never reveals his sources. ::beat:: Besides I'm a journalist, it's my job to ask questions.::The truth of it was that he had had it on good authority from several members of the station's enlisted personnel (who were almost always happy to offer titbits of information) that the station's senior staff stumbled across a sealed section of the station while investigating a nightclub in the dungeon and that the discovery had led to the arrest of the criminal known as Janker -- and the death of a Starfleet Marine. The station's press secretary had confirmed that Captain Raymond Hughes had been killed in the course of his duties, but had staunchly refused to divulge any more information.::Taybrim: That's funny, I thought it was your job to keep other people from doing theirs. ::He smiled sweetly.::Chalan: Does the arrest of a wanted criminal known as Janker have anything to do with a raid by the 292nd on a bar in the Dungeon known as Harkins' Den? Or the arrest of it's propietor? Oma-Saan is it?Taybrim: Harkin's Den was legitimately shut down due to health code violation, and after the evacuation evidence appeared leading to several arrests.::The Bajoran reporter could not resist the urge to smirk. While Harkins' Den was no doubt a cesspit of filth and depravity -- he had never visited it -- Taybrim had neglected to explain why exactly he had ordered Starfleet Marines to do the job of the medical and security department.::Chalan: Since when are Starfleet Marines tasked with responding to health and safety violations? ::smirking:: I bet Doctor Ezo wouldn't be too happy with that, would she?Taybrim: In fact I think Doctor Ezo was quite happy to have the backup. ::He tossed back, watching the reporter carefully.:: Harkin's Den was on several violations of Starfleet rules and regulations and was unwilling to comply with any security measures. Considering their violations put the safety of innocent civilians at risk, the escalation of the matter is regrettable, but necessary.Chalan: So you are denying that you ordering the arrest of Oma-Saan was not connected to the arrest of the criminal known as Janker?Taybrim: Mr. Chalan, the press release already states that Oma-Saan has been found guilty of criminal activity on StarBase 118, he is being transferred to Starbase 44 for trial and will likely serve a life sentence. In light of this, Harkin's Den has been closed and will not be reopening. That space will be cleaned and refitted, allowing a new establishment to open in its place. ::The look on Taybrim's face was unmistakable. He thought he had outfoxed the journalist. Thankfully Fuliar had made a living out of gaining the upper hand and lulling his interviewees into a false sense of secuity... not to mention a few journalistic rivals.::Chalan: In my experience Commander, press releases are nothing more than smoke and mirrors to conceal the truth. I found that out when I was the FNS correspondant to the Palais de la Concorde on Earth. ::beat:: What I also learned was that sooner or later, secrets have a way of coming out for all and sundry to hear.Taybrim: The word 'secret' is a hard definition on a base as big as this one, Mr. Chalan. If you turn around you'll see a bulkhead and a computer panel. ::He pointed directly behind the reporter.::Chalan: ::raising an eyebrow and fixing the CO with a smirk:: Is there a point to this or are you the station's newest tour guide. ::chuckling.:: If you are, you're doing a terrible job.Taybrim: My point being, there's a door in that computer panel. You can't open it, you can't even see it. But a trained maintenance staff could open it and slip inside. And do the oh so secret work of fixing computer terminals or making power system repairs. And no one else would know they were there. Is that secret? Yes. It is also the way the station was built? Yes.Chalan: Are you about to make another point?Taybrim: I think the station is a bit safer with two criminals behind bars, and that is what is important.::Fuliar scrutinised the man's face. He was good. Very good. One of the best even. That was probably down to his diplomatic training. He'd read the man's Starfleet file, he liked to know who his 'opponents' were. Knowing that he wasn't going to get anything else from the Betazoid, he took a step back and offered him a slight bow, not out of respect, but in mocking.::Chalan: Well played Commander. You're good. ::beat:: I should probably warn that I'm not the kind of reporter who takes things at face value. ::beat:: I'm like a Terran bloodhound. ::he turned to walk away, but managed the throw one last quip.:: I don't stop till I get what I want.::He didn't hear a response, if Taybrim had even chose to reply. No, his mind was already working on another avenue to explore.::Chalan FuliarFNS Correspondant/Journalistic Scumas simmed by:Lieutenant Commander Theo WhittakerExecutive OfficerStarbase 118 OperationsC239203TW0
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