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  1. ((USS Gorkon, Deck 9, 'Sto'Vo'Kor' - Main Crew Lounge)) ::Sera stood at the bar having just received her second 'Red Giant' from the old Klingon barman. She'd been reluctant to order any of the synthol drinks having never been a fan of it but after speaking with Mek he'd convinced her to try the bright red beverage. One reluctant taste had turned into many long gulps as the rich flavors hit her, she'd finished it quickly and ordered a second much to the Klingon's roaring delight. She'd spoken with Mek while starting on the second drink and enjoyed his company, but he was soon called away to other patrons leaving Sera to swirl the drink with her straw alone. She looked around the bar and then the many tables in the lounge hoping to find a friendly face, while she did see many familiar faces they were ones that Sera hadn't socialized with before off duty and she was reluctant to join them for the first time uninvited. She decided that it would be best to finish her drink and return to her quarters or perhaps visit the holodeck when she saw someone at a corner table of the lounge that she hadn't expected to see on the Gorkon.:: :: Sitting by herself, reading a padd and drinking what looked like coffee was one of her old Academy instructors, Chief McMann. The Chief had been an instructor on a number of her third and fourth year engineering courses and now her she was on the Gorkon, tunic on the back of her chair engrossed in the padd. The Chief had given Sera a number of dressing downs during her stay at the Academy, most of those had been due to Sera's poor performances in a team exercises or her lack of ability to 'think outside of the box'. But Sera and deeply respected her and tried to take on her advise improving in those areas enough to get her grades up to a respectable level. After contacting her parents, the Chief had been one of the first people she informed that her final exam on the USS Centris-A had been a success. Sera almost skipped over to the Chief's table with her drink in hand.:: zh'Aella: Chief McMann, can I join you. ::Leigh looked up to see a smiling female Andorian over her table holding a colorful beverage. Leigh looked at the familiar, and broadly smiling, face for a moment attempting to recall a name, it took her a moment to make the connection between the face of an old student and one of the names in the mission reports. Perhaps she should have made the connection sooner but she had no idea how common the Andorian surname was and she did make the connection after a few moments. She smiled widely as she fully remembered the former Cadet and gestured to one of the empty seats at her table.:: McMann: Please do. But it's Warrant Officer now. :: She reached behind her and tapped the tunic that was resting on her chair.:: Or just Leigh, in the lounge. :: Sera sat and placed her drink to her right.:: zh'Aella: Congratulations on the promotion, Leigh. :: Leigh hadn't wanted or expected the promotion to Warrant Officer. Perhaps she should have realized it was a possibility, she had completed the warrant officer course. But that had been years ago and she had since completed a multitude of courses when she was chasing a command level NCO position. Still, now she was a warrant officer there was no point in complaining about it so she politely accepted the compliment.:: McMann: Thank You Sera. :: She paused for a moment.:: Is it okay to call you Sera in here or would you prefer Sir? :: Sera was astounded that the human had to ask, hearing a former academy instructor address her by her first name only caused her smile to grow.:: zh'Aella: Of course Sera is fine! I was surprised to see you in here, aboard the Gorkon. How long have you been aboard? :: Leigh tried not to chuckle at the enthusiastic response.:: McMann: Just a few days. I'm still getting up to speed. :: She gestured to the padd and the two empty cups of coffee.:: zh'Aella: It's good to have you onboard. McMann: Thanks. Speaking of congratulations, I've been reading reports from the Gorkon's last mission. :: She gestured to the padd.:: Well done on uploading Federation Standard to the Keepers. :: Sera grimaced at that and swirled her drink around its glass using the straw.:: zh'Aella: That could have gone better. The upload wasn't complete and I personally couldn't understand half the things they were saying. :: With gaps in their language, the robotic spiders had improvised by filling the gaps with other words. The improvised words caused confusing and humorous sentences in equal quantity.:: McMann: From what I've read it was enough to understand each other's intentions. zh'Aella: Maybe, but I'm looking forward to working on equipment that doesn't walk around on eight legs and isn't obsessed with sauce. :: While the last word confused her, Leigh nodded in agreement and finished off her coffee.:: McMann: I can understand that. :: Sera took another sip of her fruity red drink.:: zh'Aella: I imagen the schedule is still up in the air with all the new people, but do you know which engineering shift you will be on? :: Sera asked hoping that they would be on the same shift.:: McMann: Actually, I'm not assigned to Engineering. I'm the ship's Boatswain. zh'Aella: Bosun? :: Sera frowned and her antennae lowered.:: ::Leigh nodded still with a pleasant smile.:: zh'Aella: Well… I'm sure it's only temporary. :: Leigh tried not to curl her mouth in distaste at the comment but kept quiet. She hadn't been excited at being promoted to Warrant Officer, but that was because she was chasing the final NCO rating. Since coming aboard and taking stock of her responsibilities she realized that the role was the type of new challenge that she wanted and having a very junior officer, even one she was acquitted with, talk disparagingly about the position did not fill her with fuzzy feelings. But Leigh was a professional and she realized that the Ensign had simply made a [...] pas, she could forgive that. And she answered while forcing herself to keep the smile on her face:: McMann: It's a new challenge. zh'Aella: You're a professional. :: Sera agreed with a nod.:: But I can have a word with Lieutenant Stoyer about getting you transferred. McMann: Oh? :: Sera was looking at her swirling drink as the warrant officer spoke and she didn't notice the small change in her facial expression, the smile was now gone.:: zh'Aella: Of course. :: Sera sipped again and looked up.:: I certainly don't understand the logic of making you Bosun. :: Leigh's eyes narrowed and she had to fight not to have her temper ignited, she knew the Ensign meant well but the junior officer had gone too far:: McMann: I'm qualified. :: She said it firmly and turned her attention back to her padd, hoping that would be the end of the conversation. It wasn't.:: zh'Aella: Yes, but you're a strange choice. :: Leigh looked over the top of the padd, eye's borrowing into the Andorian like daggers.:: McMann: How so? :: She shouldn't have asked, she knew she shouldn't have. But the masochist part of her was taking over.:: zh'Aella: You were instructing at the academy and now you're running a maintenance team. It would make more sense to have you in Main Engineering. :: Leigh placed the padd back down.:: McMann: Are you suggesting that there is something wrong with being the ship's Boatswain? zh'Aella: Well… :: The single, poorly chosen, word caused Leigh's temper to flare.:: McMann: Perhaps you would care to visit a few of the Bosun Mates aboard the Gorkon and explain to them that they have made an error by not being assigned to engineering? :: Sera's antennae straightened in surprise at the heated accusation.:: zh'Aella: No, no, the position is fine. I just meant that you…. McMann: Perhaps I can't be trusted to plan the daily maintenance schedule? :: The Warrant Officer's voice had risen causing a couple at a nearby table to look in their direction. Sera for her part was confused at what was happening, she'd only meant to compliment the older woman but the situation was getting out of hand:: zh'Aella: Of course not! I'm just saying that you would be far more valuable in Main Engineering. ::Leigh took a deep breath, closed her eyes and then slowly released the air through her nose in a long puff. She forced herself to remember that she was talking to an officer and not a cadet. She reminded herself that while off duty, she could not get away with openly insulting an officer no matter how slighted she felt.:: McMann: Respectfully Sir, my experience in Main Engineering is limited. I was however, a chief in damage control central and a shuttle bay chief. The skills gained from those positions are a good fit for my current assignment. General ship maintenance is very important, wouldn't you agree Sir? ::Leigh added emphasis on the last words and the Andorian blushed a dark shade of blue.:: zh'Aella: Yes. ::Leigh nodded at the comment and returned her attention to the padd but she was no longer reading it, just looking at it while trying to keep control of her irritation. They sat in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like long minutes before Leigh spoke again.:: McMann: You'll have to excuse me sir, I have a meeting scheduled. ::It was a lie.:: zh'Aella: Yes of course. :: Sera said as the Warrant Officer rose and put on her tunic.:: Um…. Good day, Warrant Officer. ::Leigh carefully collected her padd and empty coffee cups as she readied to leave.:: McMann: Good day, sir. :: The words were devoid of any emotion, they could have come from a Vulcan and Sera's shoulders slumped forward as the Warrant Officer left.:: zh'Aella: oO Sorry. Oo =/\= Ensign Sera zh' Aella Engineering Officer USS Gorkon V239107TZ0 & PNCP Warrant Officer Leigh McMann Boatswain USS Gorkon
  2. ((Temporary Officer's Quarters, USS Gorkon - Grace's quarters - Four days post mission, En route to Earth)) ::Grace had only seen Millis out a few minutes before when the door chime went off again.:: Freeman: Who is it? Bancroft: It's... me. ::Grace leapt to her feet from the comfy chair and the book she'd gone back to reading went flying from her lap. She quickly hid the bottle that Millis had left in her recently replicated go-bag, which now contained all of her armor, zipping it so it was covered, and then moved to the door.:: Freeman: Door open. ::The door swished open to reveal Colleen, hands twisted in front of her and looking like she was about to turn and run away. The two stared at each other for several seconds, Colleen's hands pausing, and then Grace sighed and stepped back.:: Freeman: Well come in. ::Colleen did, entering the room and letting the door whisk closed behind her. She stayed just outside of its sensor range as if she was still considering turning around and leaving, her nerves jangling. Grace walked back over to the chair and sat down in it, legs curled under her, retrieving the book and setting it on the table as she did. They watched each other, silently, for a solid thirty seconds, before Colleen walked over to one of the chairs at the table and flipped it around, sitting backwards on it and leaning against the backrest. Grace continued to watch silently for several more moments before speaking, her voice quiet and full of too many emotions.:: Freeman: So...? Bancroft: ::Suddenly:: I shouldn't have come. ::She jumped to her feet and headed for the door, definitely not sure of what she'd wanted now — sure, she'd sort of known on her way here, but apparently it'd all been washed away when she walked through the door.:: Freeman: ::Quietly:: Don't go. ::She stopped, still turned away from her ex.:: Freeman: Please, stay, sit. ::Colleen stayed standing for several seconds, swaying slightly like she was about to bolt out the door, but with an effort, she turned around and headed back to the chair, resuming her position.:: Freeman: I... I'm sorry. Bancroft: For what? Freeman: For everything. Bancroft: ::With a brief, hollow bark of laughter and leaning back slightly:: Define everything. ::Grace half glared at Colleen, wishing the other woman would just give her a bit of a break, while Colleen's mood turned towards anger. She wasn't sure what she'd been expecting here, but it wasn't living up to her (admittedly irrational) expectations.:: Freeman: For breaking up with you so suddenly. For not telling you my plans. For how we met on that planet. For... for everything, dammit. It wasn't my intention to hurt you, but things happened so fast back then, and then the other day... ::She threw her hands out to the side in a helpless gesture.:: ::Colleen stared quietly at Grace for a few moments before responding.:: Bancroft: You left me, completely out of the blue, and then just dropped off the radar. Disappeared. I tried to contact you, Grace. Freeman: I know, I know! And I wish I could have responded. I'm sorry. I was under orders. I've been under a communications blackout with the rest of the universe for the past year something. ::Colleen made as if she was going to throw something at Grace, but there was nothing to throw.:: Bancroft: ::Voice gaining in volume:: You interrupted me. You were my partner and my best damn friend, and you up and disappeared. I understand that communications blackouts are a thing, but for an entire year? ::Almost yelling at this point:: That's absurd! Surely you could've messaged me, at least — at least once! We were engaged, for fraks sake! ::Grace shook her head, short and sharp, and her next words came out like steel.:: Freeman: No. I couldn't have. ::Voice softening once more:: It's been a really... really long year. ::Colleen looked hard at Grace as she spoke the last sentence, and noticed just how deep the crease lines on her ex's face were, how much her eyes had changed — almost as if storms had taken up residence in them — and then there was the matter of the scars. Four, easily countable from three meters away, and that was just on the face and right arm. Two more on the left arm with slightly more looking. Grace had changed in the time since they'd graduated the Academy.:: Bancroft: ::Much quieter:: What happened out there? Freeman: A... a lot. ::They sat in silence for several minutes, then Colleen slowly stood and walked to the couch, sitting down on it so she was facing its other end. Grace watched her sit down before moving to the couch herself, leaning against the opposite end so she was facing her old girlfriend. She moved one foot to touch Colleen's leg, hesitantly, but Colleen didn't push it away, to both of their surprises.:: Freeman: You know... how Starfleet is supposed to be peaceful? I mean, Dominion war and a few others excepted, but Starfleet is supposed to be for exploration, right? ::Colleen nodded, staying quiet. It seemed like Grace was finally starting to open up, and she didn't want to interrupt that.:: Freeman: Well... yeah. Part of Starfleet does that, anyway. Most of it. Then there's us... the Rangers. We're for when the peaceful solution doesn't work. For when the enemy thinks sideways, and most of Starfleet doesn't want to think that way. ::Opening her mouth to protest, Colleen stopped and thought better of it.:: I was recruited to join the Rangers in our third year at the Academy. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, weighing my options. There was a lot of... stuff there, a lot of... ::She circled her hands through the air, as if trying to spin the words out:: Stuff. They told me I was a perfect fit for the Rangers, aptitude tests, etc. Didn't even know I'd been through any of those. So they told me what it'd be like, and it sounded like fun? Like a challenge? A bigger challenge than I was going to face elsewhere, aboard some random starship. And they needed intelligence officers. There were only like three of us who made the cut in the end, and I was one of them. ::Grace paused here, voice quieting further as she thought about the past and tried to relay it to her old friend. A lot had happened in a short amount of time of their life, especially for her, and she was only allowed to talk about parts of it.:: Freeman: One of the first things that was... strongly suggested... to us as candidates was to make minimal personal ties. To cut those we could. Being a Ranger is a dangerous job, and you never know what's going to happen out there. I guess the reasoning is that the less ties you have, the more effective you have. The less distracted you are. So... so I threw myself into it. You weren't the only one I left in the cold, and gods, I'm so sorry... ::she trailed off for a moment before refocusing and continuing at Colleen's half-heartedly annoyed look.:: I threw myself into the training and worked at it, so hard. They didn't give us any time off. From the time I said yes to the time we hit the field, there were no more breaks. Each semester, we trained while we weren't in class. Between semesters, we trained from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed. Barely stopped to eat. And oh, was it hard training. I spent a lot of time burying all the old memories, including... well... us. ::Here, she had to pause again. She could say even less about what happened after training, and she had to keep her head straight.:: Freeman: It was mission after mission. No real downtime. Always on our feet. I barely sleep anymore, and if I do, it's only a few hours a night. Still manage to stay solid though. ::A touch of pride showed through at that.:: Bancroft: Probably not something to be proud of, Grace... Freeman: Hush. ::She smiled, ever so slightly, for the first time since Colleen had entered her room.:: And it continued to be mission after mission. I think in that year, we took one shore leave? And it was cut short. Our team was run ragged. This was supposed to be our last mission for a while, so I'm hoping this shore leave actually lasts a while. ::She sighed:: What I'm about to tell you is entirely classified, and I would probably get in trouble for telling you this — but since I'm the only Intelligence officer on the ship that's active Intelligence, we're probably good — I hope. ::Colleen raised her eyebrows at her former fiancee, but didn't try to stop her from saying it. She knew she probably should, but wasn't sure she cared right then.:: Freeman: My unclassified kill count continues to sit at zero. ::She paused, taking a breath.:: In reality, it's over thirty. ::At that, Colleen's mouth dropped open. Her brain skittered over the information, trying to absorb it. This was Starfleet, and they weren't in the middle of an active war. Nobody was supposed to have an active kill count! No one! And, kill counts only counted for direct combat - most security and tactical personnel didn't even have a kill count, and that was a reluctant part of the job description.:: Bancroft: ::Flatly:: What. Freeman: Some of them were self defense. Most of them... weren't. And I had the second lowest kill count on the team. ::Well, that had definitely been too much information, but that cat was out of that bag.:: oO Bad Intel officer! Bad! Oo Bancroft: How... Freeman: Classified. Every single mission... they were all classified, so only certain people are even allowed to know that. You, ah, probably shouldn't tell anybody that you know that either. ::Grace twisted her mouth in a lopsided half-smile that only counted as a smile in pure mechanics. There was no joy behind it. The two were both quiet for a moment, and Colleen's mind continued to run in overdrive.:: Bancroft: I don't... I don't know what to say to that. Freeman: Yeah, sorry. There isn't exactly much to be said. It's just... a thing. Terrible, mind you, but a thing. Bancroft: Right... Um. ::Colleen curled into herself slightly, unconsciously pulling away from Grace, but only a bit.:: Freeman: Sorry. For that. ::She waved her hand in the air, as if trying to wipe away what she'd just revealed.:: Bancroft: I... I mean, it's part of it, but... ::There was another uncomfortable silence, like too much of the time in this conversation had been already. They both cast about as if trying to find a nicer subject to talk about. Unfortunately, between them, there wasn't much light or nice to discuss.:: ::The two women sat in silence, on the couch in Grace's quarters, both trying to find something to talk about after the bombshell Grace had dropped. Colleen seemed like she'd gone non-verbal, and so Grace finally spoke up. Freeman: I'm sorry I left you. Bancroft: ::A little bit of the anger returning to her voice:: We were engaged. Freeman: I know, Colleen. And... ::Here, Grace paused, and stood up. She paced to the bedroom, where her bag of personal effects sat, having been transferred over from the Drake that morning right before they got underway. She dug into the bag and retrieved what she needed before returning to the couch and flopping down on it once more. This time, she dug both feet under Colleen's legs, almost as if it were a subconscious reaction to being close to Colleen. She moved something around on her left hand, covering it with her right for a few moments, before sighing and holding up her left hand. On it was the engagement ring that Colleen had proposed with, and which had never been returned. Colleen's mouth dropped open slightly once more at the sight.:: Bancroft: You... you didn't get rid of it. Freeman: Nope... keep it with me. Bancroft: But... why? Freeman: ::Exasperated:: Isn't it clear? Bancroft: You either. Freeman: Me either! Of course I never bloody well got over you. ::Her German accent, so well hidden by time, slid in with the last few words, before she reigned it in.:: Wait, you either? Bancroft: Duh. ::They stared at each other for a few moments.:: Freeman: So... what? Bancroft: I don't know. I... we're in Starfleet. We don't know where we're going to be next week, much less in a year. ::When Grace spoke again, it was with just a tinge of hope in her voice.:: Freeman: Yeah, but they work to keep couples together... Bancroft: ::With her voice flat once more.:: And. You're a Ranger. Freeman: Yeah... Except... well. Um. ::She sighed.:: The 451st is being rebuilt. Despite me being the only surviving member, and despite the really bad recent history, somebody thought it was a good idea to rebuild the 451st, and then... well. Then Fleet Captain Reynolds transferred the 451st here. To the Gorkon. ::Colleen was speechless as her brain continued to try to process everything. It seemed like she'd had a hard time processing anything these last four days.:: Freeman: That's a thing. I'm gonna be here for a while. Bancroft: ... Then maybe I should request a transfer off. ::Grace was quiet for a few moments, taking in Colleen's words.:: Freeman: Oh. Bancroft: Yeah. Oh. You screwed me up, Grace, you screwed me up bad. I thought I'd finally started to get over you, but then I saw you in that cave and... everything went sideways. Again. Freeman: I... I know. I'm sorry. Bancroft: Take the damn ring off. Freeman: ::Shocked and hurt:: But... Bancroft: ::Quickly reigning herself back in:: Sorry... sorry. No. You don't have to. Just... it's such a reminder, Grace. Of what happened. And of the pain. Freeman: ::Very quietly:: Do you want it back? Bancroft: No. ::Colleen shook her head, almost violently, while Grace covered her left hand with her right, almost as if trying to protect herself. She pulled her legs back, to her chest, no longer touching Colleen.:: Freeman: ... Oh... Bancroft: I never got over you. Okay? And now you're here and I'm just... all turned around. Freeman: That's... understandable. I'm sorry... Bancroft: Quit! Quit apologizing. Freeman: I— hmph. ::And then the silence descended once more, like a hawk swooping in for the catch. Neither was comfortable with the other, but neither wanted the other to go away now. Emotions that hadn't seen the light of day for almost two years were rearing their ugly heads, and the bonds that each had thought were finally broken were mending, even against their will. When they spoke again, it was quiet but still clear over the rumble of the ship's drives pushing them through the slipstream.:: Freeman: So... what now? Bancroft: I don't know, Grace. I just... don't know. Freeman: Well, I know we're on our way to Earth, and there's a bunch of bars near the Academy... and I haven't gotten good and smashed in a long while... Bancroft: A bar doesn't count as a date. ::Realizing what she said, Colleen clapped a hand over her mouth then swore a few times.:: Freeman: ::Wryly:: Well, now that I know where your mind is at... Bancroft: ::Blushing hard:: I still... I need time! Give me a few days, okay? I'll... I'll contact you. And we'll see about a drink. And... ::Colleen stood up, abruptly, and moved swiftly to the door.:: Bancroft: And we'll talk then. I'll see you later, Grace. ::And with that, she was gone, leaving Grace to watch the doors woosh silently closed behind Colleen's back.:: -- (PNPC) Ensign Grace Freeman Weapons and Intelligence Specialist 451st Rangers Platoon USS Gorkon (Simmed by) And >\/< Ensign Colleen Bancroft Security and Tactical Officer USS Gorkon G239404CB0
  3. ((Dropship Neal Adams, Earth orbit))Jumpmaster: One minute to jump! On your feet!::As one, the marine unit rose to their feet. Well, a marine unit and one Starfleet Commander. Ever the thrill seeker, Alucard had called in a favor with an old friend of his and joined this platoon during a night orbital jump exercise.::::The gear was heavy. In addition to a field pack, weapon, and parachute, each jumper carried an expendable heatshield. All told, each man and woman carried nearly their equal in gear. This made the hold of the Neal Adams a very cramped space. The jumpmaster held up a hand and made a fist.::Jumpmaster: Thirty seconds!::The deck vibrated as the platoon turned in unison to the opening ramp at the rear of the hold. Beyond the blue shimmer of a forcefield they were treated to the blue and green curve of Earth far below. It was deceptively small, and ALucard knew it would soon be growing much, much larger.::Jumpmaster: Rows one and three jump!Alucard was in row three.::::He shuffled along behind the Marine in front of him until he faced the permeable force field. His helmet seemed to amplify the sound of his own pulse until that seemed to be all he heard. He took one deep breath, held it, and allowed himself to tilt forward.::::It was like someone had put a thick pillow over the world. Before, his world had been full of sound. The clunk of boots on the deck, orders being shouted across the hold. Now, even the comm chatter seemed to have been muffled, and Alucard was left with his own breathing as he soared toward the big marble below.::::He free-fell for several minutes. It was an absolutely amazing experience to watch the clouds drifting below, and the lights of the low orbit satellites and ships blinking as they zipped by. Soon though, he had to activate his boot rockets to establish control prior to re-entry. His descent flattened out into something akin to a logarithmic curve as he brought his flight path to a shallower angle.::::Ahead was a familiar sight. The USS Gorkon in all of her glory. Like a ballet dancer she gracefully sailed above the planet below, the rake of her struts and saucer always giving the impression of forward motion. He’d seen that sight many a time from the [...]pit of a shuttle, but from the little bubble of protection that was his jumpsuit she looked much bigger.::::He tipped his ankles to change his flight path, when was he going to have another chance like this? As he got closer, he applied reverse thrust and slowed down, falling behind the platoon slightly. He cruised across the forward section of the saucer, so close that he was able to reach out and touch it.::::The eyes of some of the ships inhabitants grew huge as he flew by their windows. He waved to some as he went, but mostly he just kept his arms wide, like some sort of cosmic angel, and flew on. The Gorkon was more than just a ship to him. It was a home, and a friend. Every scratch, every dent in the hull told a story as he passed. There was where a bit of the hull had buckled when they'd rescued the Tharsis on their first mission. And there, that was where they'd had to patch in some salvaged hull to replace a bit that had been lost during a fight with the alternate universe Dominon. It had been painted since, but in his minds eye he could still see the miss matched metal.::::All too soon, he’d crossed the ships midpoint just forward of the Bridge and continued on toward the his re-entry point. Soon, he’d have to perform a roll and activate his shield.::::But until then he’d just enjoy the fall.:: =/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=Commander Alucard VessUnassignedUSS GorkonDeputy Facilitator – Featured Bio TeamC238601TB0=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=
  4. ((Dominicus VI. Mines “Sickbay”.)) ::The grass was soft and warm beneath his bare feet as he walked, the sun giving off enough warmth to be pleasant but not hot. He smiled to himself as he gazed up at the clear blue sky. Not a cloud to be seen today. He felt her hand take his and his gaze fell to the beautiful smiling face of Xiu. He smiled warmly at her as he squeezed her hand, and the pair of them came to a halt underneath a blossom tree, atop a gentle hill that overlooked the village. His sheathed sword rested heavily against his thigh, and he rested his free right hand upon its hilt. He took a deep breath, Xiu smiling at him again, wondering why he had brought her up here.:: Xiu: What is it my love? ::He removed his sword belt. Xiu gasped. He got onto his knees before her as he placed the sword upon the ground at her feet. It was a traditional gesture. He was offering her his blade, his honour and his life. To take as her own and mould into something new for them both. A home, a family, a- And that is when the alarms began and the fire came from skies…. Tenaka awoke with strangled gasp. Tears flowing freely down his face and into his beard. He looked around, seeing nothing but darkness. His mind caught up with itself and he settled back into his chair slowly.:: Tenaka: oO Nothing but a dream. She is long since turned to dust…. Oo ::Moments later, alarms began to blare and Tenaka felt a pang in his heart. He wanted to close his eyes and return to that wonderful dream. Before the smoke, and the fire. Before the death and destruction. Before Xiu was ripped from life right before his eyes. The last thing he ever saw.:: Tenaka: Little bear? ::Omasi Yarja had been having the dream again. The one where she was trapped in a mine, forced to shove cartfuls of ore for hours on end. Except, it wasn’t a dream at all. That was her life. She couldn’t even escape this place in her sleep. She had joined the geological expedition, set out from Bajor, but their project coordinator was nothing more than a slave trader. He stole their credits and brought them straight into the hands of the Orion Syndicate. She lost count how long it had been, but she’d been the only survivor from her small company. But, it wasn’t the memories, it was the alarms that woke her. These were different, and they scared her. She’d gotten out of her tiny bed, wanting to check on him..:: Omasi: I’m here Master Tenaka. ::He already knew she was there, he could hear her moving about. He could manage perfectly well on his own, but she seemed to take comfort in taking care of him, helping him shuffle around the sickbay and being his guide when he ventured beyond his walls and so from time to time he would ‘accidentally’ drop something or be unable to find his chair. And Goddess love her, she would be there in a flash, to pick up whatever it was or ease him into his seat.:: Tenaka: I am master of none, little bear. Least of all you. ::He reached out and patted her hand gently:: ::He could tell the young boy, Julien was not there. His breathing was panicked and short, but there was nobody here except the two of them. The Marine had gone as well. He shuffled his way across the room, putting some water to boil. He allowed her to huff and fuss and take him back to his chair and sat, staff between his feet, hands atop it and listened intently as she quietly sang to herself. He closed his eyes as he listened out of old habit. It was a bad habit, her calling him Master. He told her stories of his past, and he taught her how to keep the guards and their grabby arms away from her. Once they learned she was his ward, they’d kept their distance. She was forever grateful to him and his kindness. He was all she had in this horrible place. And she vowed to return the favor of his protection in any way she could. She helped guide him through the new tunnels, and where she’d set out his things, after she cleaned them as best she could. He spent his time healing the wounds of the others, and it was important work. Work she couldn’t replicate herself, but she could help facilitate.:: Omasi: Forgive me, Sofu. ::Calling him by his name seemed...so disrespectful. At least to her race. She felt she hadn’t earned the right, so, he told her to call him Sofu. Said it was a nickname. One he liked. He of course never told her it translated to “Grandfather”. But she loved him as if he was, so one day, when she learned the truth, it would still feel right.:: Tenaka: Tell me. Do you miss it? Omasi: Miss what, Sofu? ::He offered a gentle smile as she turned.:: Tenaka: Your home. On Bajor. ::He heard her put down the spoon she was holding, and come across the room. A cup was placed upon the table beside him and he caught the scent of orange tea. He smiled, she was a good girl and looked after him well. He would be sorry to see her go.:: Tenaka: Perhaps you will see it again. Should you choose to return there. ::He took her silence to be contemplative and sipped at his tea as the alarms continued to blare. Taking another sip, he looked up as the speaker on the far wall whined to life.:: Damarkus: =/\=Starfleet, I know you're here. In anticipation of this I have gathered every slave at gunpoint. For every minute you remain in my mines I will slaughter one slave. For every step you advance towards me, I will slaughter one slave. Get out now, or you will die with the blood of countless "innocents" on your hands.=/\= Tenaka: Where is the boy? ::The boy? Oh! The young arrival, who had been beaten brutally. They had taken him. Never letting them stay for long in the care of Master Tenaka. They allowed his administration's because he kept the slave labor alive. Alive, and relatively well. Otherwise, they’d receive heat from their own superiours about the constant need for new replacements.:: Omasi: They came and took him. Bardur and Rell’tham. They took the boy and the soldier to the mines. ::Tenaka nodded slowly to himself, placing the cup onto its saucer with perfect accuracy. He had lived here long enough. He would not be sorry when the end came. He tapped his staff on the floor, rising to his feet with a groan of old age and lingering stiffness from a night slept in his chair.:: Tenaka: Come, little bear. ::We waved his staff at the door:: It is time for us to be on our way. We have much work to do. Much work indeed. ::And with that, like an old warship slowly setting sail, Tenaka made his way from the mines barely functional sickbay for what would be the last time.:: --- Master Tenaka. Healer. Dominicus VI Mines. Simmed by; Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0. And Omasi Yarja. Bajoran Geologist . Simmed by; Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MD. Chief Medical Officer. Starbase 118 Ops. C239205ME0.
  5. ((Gypsy Ranger)) :: The entire ship was deathly quiet and a shade shy of totally dark. Aside from the sound of the engines running, and the occasional noise that the computer decided to make, the small transport vessel was the perfect example of a ghost ship wandering aimlessly through space. But this little ship had a purpose. Find the USS Tiger.:: :: Coordinates had been set and the Gypsy Ranger had been flying on auto-pilot since it had left Til’ahn. It was only a short three day journey to catch the Tiger, but that was six days ago. After altering course to avoiding a plasma storm, and then plotting a direction change to avoid a federation warning beacon about pirate activity in the area, the little ship had lost precious time in finding its target. Now it was hunting for the trail once again.:: :: An alarm sounded. The computer detected a vessel approaching. There was no identification broadcasted from the other ship. It was not the USS Tiger. It was *not* the mission.:: :: The Gypsy Ranger altered course to avoid the vessel, but it continued to follow. Warnings echoed through the vacant cabin that a target lock had been acquired, and then the transport vessel shook and stopped dead in its tracks. The unidentified vessel had the Gypsy Ranger trapped in a tractor beam and it wasn’t letting go.:: :: Final protocol dictated that there was only one thing to do in this situation. Wake the passenger.:: :: Down in the cargo hold, a cryo-pod charged up its systems to thaw-out the patient. Slowly the occupant’s vitals registered as emerging from sleep. Once normal life signs were achieved, the pod’s hatch hissed open in a fog of cold. There was movement beneath the chilly haze. Vital signs started to elevate, and then they suddenly spiked to abnormal levels. Through the veil of cold the female body stumbled out of the pod and directly to the floor.:: :: Waking from cryo-sleep sucked on a good day. But waking from cryo-sleep at the peak of Pon Far was a total [...].:: Computer: Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. T’Lea: SHUT… UP! :: Her scream ricocheted like a bullet off the walls of the cargo bay, and the computer, out of fear, or the voice recognition software complied.:: :: Clawing at the deck, T’Lea tried to get her motor skills to cooperate. Between the utter blood rage coursing through her veins and the still frozen muscles, her body felt like it was at war with itself. Meanwhile, her irrational popsicle-fied brain really only wanted one of two things -- to kill or mate. Unfortunately, she was the only one around?:: :: Sitting up, T’Lea reached for a wall to try to stand. Her legs wobbled, but her back caught the flat surface behind her providing a nice place to lean for the moment. What her eyes saw confused and enraged her. She was still on the Gypsy Ranger. Alone.:: T’Lea: …mother… FRELLER!! Compu- :: Woops, one foot in front of the other, that’s how walking worked. She had to get to the [...]pit and figure out what was going on.:: T’Lea: Computer, report. Computer: Unidentified vessel achieved tractor beam lock at precisely 1400 hours. Thirty-nine requests to disengage sent. A distress signal is being broadcast on multiple frequencies. No response. Awaiting instructions. T’Lea: Fire all weapons! :: She made it past the galley with a little more coordination than in her previous moments, but the struggle to stay sane and upright was etched on her face.:: Computer: This vessel is unarmed. :: Of course it was. She knew that. Damn it.:: T’Lea: Exhaust the engines and open a damn channel! :: Clambering hands used the wall for stability as she moved. She was entering the bridge now, and when she looked out of the front window she saw a vessel of ferengi design slowly dragging her ship in.:: Computer: Caution – engaging maximum warp will compromise the hull integrity. Communications are available. T’Lea: Then start slow and work your damn way up! :: She felt the impulse engines begin to work against the tractor lock and gradually increase. The master controls in the [...]pit were at her fingertips now. The ship began to shake a little. She reached out and slammed a fist on the panel to open the communication with the other ship.:: T’Lea: =/\= I’ll kill you. I’ll frakking murder your entire family if you don’t disengage your lock. =/\= :: A smug Ferengi face appeared on the tiny vid screen.:: Ferengi: =/\= Cut your engines and we’ll talk. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= How about I cut your throat, and then we’ll talk.=/\= Ferengi: =/\= Ooo… you’re a nasty one for your kind. So, listen, we honestly didn’t know the ship was occupied. There were no life signs, see. How about you cut your engines and we’ll let you go. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Computer, increase impulse by two. =/\= :: Now the little transport ship was in a steady shake, and the older Ferengi vessel was feeling it too. T’Lea could see it on the Captain’s toothy little face.:: Ferengi: =/\= Are you insane? You’ll only be killing yourself. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Can you out run the explosion from the engines when I go to full warp, asshole?=/\= Ferengi: =/\= I have shields. ::he smiled:: And phasers. ::at crew:: Fire phasers. =/\= :: Three shots split from the Ferengi ship and slammed into the Gyspy Ranger. Tossing the Vulcanoid.:: Computer: Impulse engines failing. Ferengi: =/\= Just give up, okay? All I want is the ship. I swear on the Grand Nagus. We won’t harm you. =/\= :: Fingers clawed her way back in front of the screen.:: T’Lea: =/\= Computer initiate self-destruct. Shehkuk, teh, dah-leh. F.U. Begin ten second count down.=/\= Computer: Self-destruct code authorized. Ten. Ferengi: =/\= That’s it, I tried to play nice now you’re-=/\= :: He turned to give an order, but something else grabbed his attention. Something huge. T’Lea’s sensors chirped at the same time.:: Computer: Warp signature detected. Identification received. Prometheus class, Federation vessel. USS Tiger. Computer: Eight. Ferengi: =/\= … skritz. Skritz! Drop the tractor. Drop it now! Drop it! Go to warp! GO! GO! GO! =/\= :: T’Lea hunkered over the sensors. Her skin tone was flushed and she was panting heavily. She looked ill, and she felt ill, but there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes. The Tiger was here! In one split second her brain shorted-out. She went from ecstatic, to furious. Or was it aroused. No, it was furious. Or maybe it was a furious arousal. Either way she was brimming with emotion that she could barely contain.:: ((USS Tiger, Bridge)) :: The Trill woman sat in the centre seat seemed rather relaxed, legs crossed casually as she idly swirled the coffee that half-filled the mug in her hand. The crew around her on the bridge knew her well enough by now, however, that they weren’t fooled. Especially not the Betazoid manning the Tiger’s tactical station.:: :: Della’s head turned, eyes meeting his, and for a couple of moments silence reigned as the pair communicated on a purely mental level. That silence was broken, however, when Della let out a cynical-sounding snort and turned her attention back to the main viewscreen.:: Vetri: Collins, please make a note that Dai’mon Snek has earned himself another... talking to. And hail the other ship, please. :: Calm, collected, and seemingly unconcerned. All of these were a mask that covered the fact that the Trill really, really, REALLY wanted to know what the frell her daughter’s ship was doing out here.:: Collins: Channel open. :: The Ops officer hardly needed to say it, though, as the last syllable was kind of drowned out by the sound of a very ticked-off female Romu-vulc. Oddly, her familiarity with the voice – and it’s tone – was something of a reassurance to Della.:: T’Lea: =/\= Are you frakking kidding me?! Six days! Six frelling days of chasing your [...] all across the galaxy and all it takes is a damn Ferengi scav ship to get your attention? What the hell is wrong with you?! =/\= :: Della opened her mouth to reply, then frowned at something she heard in the background.:: Vetri: =/\= How about disarming the self destruct first, lilyali. Then you can carry on ranting without the risk of annoying Gina by blowing up her ship. =/\= :: And herself, which was something that only surprise at seeing her wife out here kept from being a rather terrifying prospect.:: :: The Romu-vulc glanced off screen for a second.=/\= T’Lea: =/\= Computer, shut the frak up. =/\= :: Apparently that was the deactivation code because the countdown stopped and the warp core powered down. When T’Lea flashed her gaze back at the video, there was barely controlled anger glistening in her baby-blues.:: T’Lea: =/\= Were you ever going to comm. me back, or was I just supposed to die of insanity? Do you know how close I came to killing someone? Do you even care?! =/\= Vetri: =/\= Ah... how about we continue this in a more private setting? Would you like to come over and yell at me in my office? =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Would I like… No. I’ll just stay here in my cryo-jammies and watch holo-vids all day. Open your damn docking bay doors and tow me in, or I’ll vent my atmosphere and ram your frelling bridge. How about that for a mother-frellin’ reunion? =/\= Vetri: =/\= ::dryly:: I’m looking forward to it. =/\= :: She wasn’t sure whether she was surprised or not when the channel was abruptly severed, simply letting out a long sigh that mingled exasperation with a very large dose of relief that she wasn’t about to watch her wife blow herself to atoms in a fit of pique.:: :: Not trusting herself to be able to keep her hand as steady as it should be, she set her mug aside before rising to her feet and looking around the bridge – noting, as she did so, the very obvious attention to what they were doing (even if they had to make something up) being shown by the staff around her.:: :: With a wry smile, she shook her head and let out a soft laugh.:: Vetri: You think that was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Collins, you have the conn. Zebriel, if you’d care to escort our visitor to my ready room, I’ll be sure to say something nice about you in your next performance review. :: Rolling his eyes, the Betazoid gave a weary, put-upon sigh, muttered something that sounded a lot like "That’d be a first", and took his leave to do as he’d been asked.:: :: Which left Della about as long as it took T’Lea to get to her ready room to try and work out just what she was supposed to do with the woman...:: Simmed by: Captain Della Vetri Commanding Officer USS Tiger Author ID: O238506DV0 & Lieutenant Commander T’Lea Chief Science Officer Embassy, Duronis II Author ID I238301T10
  6. ((Mines - Level 3 - Dominicus VI)) ::Of all of the places Mirra excepted they would find their missing crew...barreling down a rickety track in a glorified metal coffin was not one of them. But, beggars couldn't necessarily be choosers, so they were running after them, albeit a bit foolishly. Zel and Max had physics and a cart, while they had...increasingly fatigued muscles and a dangerous lack of patience. It was going to be a long day.:: Ezo: ::shouting while running:: Where do these tracks lead?! And who's brilliant idea was it to skip adding brakes?!? Kasun: :: Also shouting while :: Do you really think a criminal operation that relies on slave labor cares about that? It’s not like the follow OSHA or anything. Janul: I would recommend our efforts are focused on your friends. Ezo: ::grimacing:: Right. Rescue them, then yell about the poor planning... Kasun: ::amused:: I’m sure the Orion’s will want to hear all about it. Ezo: ::smirking:: Horribly unsafe working conditions, would not be enslaved here again. Zero out of ten. Janul: Light hearted comments are not helping the situation. Kasun: It’s called bonding. Ezo: ::scoffing:: Would you prefer we stay quiet? oO You clearly don't know me very well...Oo Janul: ::Grunts:: A poor imitation of R’usstai. Kasun: Well that’s Klingon bonding. Starbase 118 bonding is different. Ezo: ::grinning:: It usually involves copious amounts of drinking. Or nearly dying. Or more accurately, surviving and then the heavy drinking. ::And if they all made it out of here alive, she bet she could get Janul to get drunk enough to be her partner in Klingon cage match wrestling. Tatash was apparently disqualified because of "unnatural enhancement". That prosthetic arm was already striking fear into the hearts of his would-be challengers. Her thoughts left the realm of the absolutely ridiculous, and slid back firmly into the task at hand when they all halted in front of a veritable maze of tunnels. None of which seemed to contain an errant mine cart. She began chewing her bottom lip worriedly.:: Kasun: Any ideas? Janul: Three of us. And I count eleven other routes. ::He growled in frustration, slamming the butt of weapon into the ground.:: ::Pacing while she thought, Mirra ended up wandering along the nearest track, straining to see any sign of...well...something other than the inky black of the tunnel ahead. She couldn't see anything. They could be dead ends and they just didn't have time to circumvent them all. Wait, that sound...it was familiar, the high pitched squeal of metal grinding, but where was it coming from? Leaning closer towards the center of the track, the beginning Whoosh of air was the only forewarning she had to prevent becoming a gruesome hood ornament on the out of control cart. She threw herself away from the track, landing with a sound thud on the uneven ground beside the tracks. She stayed down, frozen in a half crouch/half heap, hair blown about her face and bits of the broken gravel digging into her palms.:: Kasun: Are you okay? Janul: You are intact, Doctor? ::Grumbling angrily, she managed to get to her feet, brushing the stray bits of rock off her knees and hands.:: Ezo: ::moving he hair from her face, she answered on a growl:: Oh those two better live through this, because I'm going to kill them for that! Kasun: :: Ishani smiled, a sassy Mirra meant she couldn’t be hurt too badly. :: They went off into that other tunnel. :: She pointed in the direction the cart had gone. :: Janul: Then we must follow. And quickly. Ezo: ::muttering:: Hopefully they don't loop back around for another attempt on taking me down... Kasun: If they recognize us then hopefully they’ll make another pass and slow down next time. Ezo: Providing they have any control over the cart. Remember that whole lack of brakes thing? ::Once again, the screeching sound of metal filled the air as a second cart, loaded with angry looking guards came rushing past. Near plastered against the wall, once again avoiding "Death by mine cart" appearing as a final entry in her medical records, Mirra stared wide eyed, blinking a few times in confusion...:: Kasun: You know when we tell this story later no one’s going to believe us, right? Ezo: I...am not quite sure I believe it and I just saw it happen.... Janul: Were I to report such things myself, I would be declared to have the mind of a simpleton. ::He wasn't wrong. This was shaping up to be a "You...had to be there" type of stories. They had run into some rather unexplained things before, like weaponized tribbles, but even this seemed less plausible.:: Kasun: :: Once again running in the direction of their companions and their mine cart. :: It does feel almost out of a holoprogram Dad would write. Ezo: ::snorting, beginning to run again:: If we make it out of here alive, ask for writing credit when you give him the idea... ::Once again, in far too short of a time, the three were running after a mine cart full of escaped crewmates, but this time they had the added fun of a cartfull of angry Orions with more weapons then they currently had. There was no way this day was getting any weirder. At least this time, they had a direct route.:: Whittaker: =/\= Whittaker to Ezo. =/\= ::Well, Theo and Aitas were still safe. She hit the hidden comm while frantically trying to keep pace with the two others. Once again, she was reminded how she really needed to build up some better endurance. Who knew being a doctor required such a surprising amount of running?:: Ezo: ::slightly winded:: =/\= Ezo here, go ahead sir =/\= Whittaker: =/\= I don't suppose you've seen Ensign Zel have you travelling at high speed? =/\= ::Now that was unexpected. How did he know where Zel was? And his unconventional mode of transport...? oO Oooh right. Aitas. Oo She must have worked her intel magic:: Ezo: ::grimacing:: =/\= You mean the lunatic pilot and his equally crazy co-pilot that we've been chasing after like blind rats through a death trap maze?? Yeah. Got a great look at him and Max. Zel somehow commandeered a mine cart...that he's attempting to steer...=/\= Whittaker: :: with a sigh. :: =/\= Of course he is. Keep me informed. Whittaker out. =/\= ::The commline cut out, and the running didn't seem to be slowing. Except, once again, because this place truly was a death maze from hell, they were faced with a crossroads.:: Ezo: ::skidding to a stop:: Which way?? Kasun/Janul: Response? Ezo: I didn't see, I fell behind when the Comm call came in. ::pointing:: That one looks like it goes up, but up to where? Kasun/Janul: Response? ::It was intensely hot, and each breath in made her winded lungs protest as if she were inhaling cotton. Staying clear of the tracks this time, she ran ahead and squinted through the dim haze. A Flash. An extremely far off one, but was there, if only for a moment. Ezo: ::raising an eyebrow:: Was that...phaser fire...? ::eye widening:: The guard cart!! Kasun/Janul: Response? Ezo: ::nodding quickly:: Right, this way! Damarkus: =/\=Starfleet, I know you're here. In anticipation of this I have gathered every slave at gunpoint. For every minute you remain in my mines I will slaughter one slave. For every step you advance towards me, I will slaughter one slave. Get out now, or you will die with the blood of countless "innocents" on your hands.=/\= ::Once again, she skidded to a halt, but this time it was to hear the last bits of the faint, clearly hostile threat. Her jaw clenched so tight her molars ground together in protest.:: Ezo: ::through clenched teeth:: They know we're here. Our timeline just shortened significantly. What weapons do we have? We'll hit the guards before we find Zel and Max...
  7. OOC: Takes place after "After the Hocktin" but before "A Fresh Start." The stardate used in the sim corresponds to the date the sim was published. (( Runabout Yahtzee)) [[Time Index: En Route to Antor II]] :: Sleep eluded him. It wasn't that he didn't want to sleep, quite the opposite. He was exhausted, physically and mentally. While he craved sleep with every fiber of his being, it continued to slip his grasp. With a sigh, he sat back up and pulled his legs onto the bunk in a half lotus position and began to breathe rhythmically as he began some of the meditation techniques he'd learned. Today was much like any other day, but with one exception. It was his birthday. :: (( Flashback -- Transporter Room 2, USS Za )) (( Time Index: 239407.06 )) :: Chythar took up a position near the transporter console and began programming in the specifics for calibration of the biofilter as Mindor spoke. He needed this to work, for all their sakes. Alex, Lael, his own, and Maddie’s. His focus, or lack of focus, was shaky at best and it took him every ounce of will to keep it. He was likely going to hate himself if he couldn't get this to work before his memory failed him and he forgot how to work this thing. :: Skyfire: Almost got it… :: Once the biofilters were calibrated, he slammed his hand to the button and retrieved the away team, beaming them straight into the quarantined Sickbay before treating Mr. Mindorn's injury with one of the medkits in the transporter room. After said injury was treated and their guest had departed to the surface via the transporter, Chythar beamed himself to sickbay as well. :: (( Sickbay, USS Za )) :: Mark was busy injecting the cure into everyone who was afflicted by the virus. He was assisted by Greywin Fergus, who remained oddly silent during the whole thing except when spoken to. The hologram was also relatively quiet, but that was more because he hadn't been gifted with a small talk routine yet. As the away team returned from the surface, Mark smiled at the Vissian. :: Vondaryan: ::blinking:: Well, that was surprising. ::smiling:: But I'm glad to see you. ::he coughed again, more blood coming forth:: How's the cure coming along? Mark: Done. It's good to see you too, sir. I just want you to lie back now, and relax. :: The holographic doc pressed a hypo to Trellis' neck and allowed him to sleep it off. :: :: Chythar materialized also and lay down onto a biobed none the worse for wear. He was running a high fever at this point and was experiencing rather severe tremors. It was probably just as well he didn't attempt to handle anything. Mark took one look at the doc and quickly injected a hypospray into Skyfire's neck, helping him lie down before he passed out. :: Mark: =/\= Mark to Dr. Alexander. =/\= Alexander: ::taps her commbadge:: =/\= Go ahead, Mark. =/\= Mark: =/\= Just wanted to let you know, thanks to your efforts the away teams are stable. Thanks to Dr. Skyfire's efforts, the teams are home. He and Maddy are also stabilized. I can only assume the Hocktin guest has been returned to his people. =/\= Alexander: =/\= Good to hear, Mark. I still have more batches to mix. Keep me updated.=/\= Mark: =/\= Understood. Mark out.=/\= (( End Flashback )) (( Present, Runabout Yahtzee )) :: Another unremarkable day, except in a few respects. One, he'd lived to see this day through the efforts of his best friends: Alora DeVeau, Dassa Alexander, and Lael Rosek. Two, he'd just been asked by his partner to move in with him aboard the Veritas, which was a major stepping stone in this phase of his life -- his first serious relationship. Three, Alex had survived through the exact same efforts, plus a bit more because of Lael's heroism displayed during the away mission. :: :: Another year older, and some things didn't change -- he never actually marked the occasion with anything. Recently, after his recent doubt in his abilities and his gratitude at being allowed to survive another day, he decided he had to give thanks to someone. Even though Dassa had only told him half a dozen times to have faith, he wasn't a true believer; not yet. He whispered a silent prayer of gratitude at being allowed to survive, following it up by making the sign of the cross. He felt calmer now, but sleep was still going to elude him for a while to come. :: :: In his head, he made a list of what all he had to do upon their arrival. :: oO Step one: check in with the captain and XO. Step two, attempt to arrange for staying with Alex. Step three, get checked out by medical. Step four, get checked out by the counselor. Step five, introduce Alex to my sister. Oo :: He remained in meditation until they landed. :: === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer USS Veritas NCC-95035 O239002CS0 & Mark (NPC) EMH Mk IV O239002CS0 Featuring Flashback Content by PNPC Lieutenant Dassa Alexander, PD, PDS Medical Officer USS Veritas I238110RH0 & Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  8. ((Brell’s Quarters, Deck 4, USS Blackwell)) ::Brell moaned, crawling on all fours as Renu and Linalu yelled. He rounded the corner moaning again like a six legged flen beast, Renu and Linalu riding on his back. He had pushed all the the furniture back to ensure there would be nothing to fall on. He had also stacked every pillow in the place around the edges. He would have felt better doing this on the holodeck where child safety protocols could be set to sense a falling toddler and alter the density of the floor to create a softer landing. But the twins were having fun and Blackwell was a giant sickbay so he was not too worried.:: ::Another lap around the room was followed by a fourth and, he knew he needed to stop soon The kids were getting a bit too excited and on top of unintentionally kicking him in his behind a few times, he knew the chance of one of them falling grew the more caught up in their excitement they became. Rounding over to the pillows he had left on the ground for just this purpose he tilted the two off each taking the chance to jump off dad without getting into to trouble with a squeal of glee.:: :: He rolled onto his back and was immediately greeted with Renu bouncing onto his stomach, followed moments later by his sister. The twins had apparently thought now it was the time to jump on his front side like they had on his back.:: Renu: Jumpee jumpee Linalu: Jump jumpee jump ::It was awfully cute but was already beginning to hurt, and the Bolian commander was still sore from his sparring match the other day with Ensign Thoran. He was also still a bit full from his rather excessive meal from the day before that he had enjoyed when dining out with G’Renn and Morin. He sat up causing a howl of disapproval from one of the twins, who seemed fully intent on more rough housing.:: Brell: Come now, let’s read a story. Linalu: Gre-ean fishy GRE-een fishy! Renu: Gree fishh .. gree fish! Brell: Alright, The Green Fish tales it is. ::He reached over to the table that had been pushed up to the couch, and grabbed a large screened PADD. The twins were ready once he had it in his hand snuggled up close to him so they could see the pictures move as he read to them. A few shouts of fishy fishy came as he brought up the collection of tales of the green fish and its adventures in the deep sea. This one was about how the green fish met its friends blue fish and yellow fish. The little ones hung on every word he spoke and animation on the screen, he gave each a fish slightly different voice none sounding overly masculine or feminine in keeping with the spirit of the book. He had the thought of sharing the Bolian series with Renos to read to nir child as so many stories featured gendered characters, ne might appreciate one that did not. He kept on reading as the twins clapped and enjoyed the story.:: ::The three Bolians walked down the hall of the Blackwell still discussing the topic at hand. Morin felt as if his peacekeeping efforts were about to come crashing down. Lyldra and Hars were intent on talking to Brell, and Brell had expressed his wish to hear them even if all they wanted to do was scream at him. They were in fact pass that however the sting of of Brell’s deceit wound linger for sometime, years most likely.:: Lyldra: You will be fine with them for awhile it could be hours. Morin: Yeah, I’ll take them to the arboretum here on Blackwell, then maybe around the public sector a bit. Hars: If they end up getting too sleepy you are voice authorized to enter our dwelling on the station. ::He hoped the youth would have known that already but felt the need to say it aloud.:: We can call you when we are on our way. ::He gave Hars a nod, Brell’s spouses had been close with him and he felt as if he were more than just a part of just their extended family by marriage. Just as Brell was more than his uncle and had been a father to him, Lyldra and Hars had become as close as co-parents to him as well. Lyldra having had lost one of her parents, connected with him on a level most could not. While, Hars had inspired in him a sense of wonder at the life in the seas and of study in general. The strife between the three of them had affected the youth quite a bit, his picture of perfect family obtainable and pure, had been cracked by the harshness of reality.:: Morin: Alright. I’ll keep that in mind. ::He stopped.:: We are here. ::Lyldra reached out and rang the chime. Morin lived here so it felt odd to stand at the door. Brell and the twins being inside and ringing a bell made all three of them feel odd, but it also did not feel right to just barge in.:: ::Brell looked up and frowned, he hated having to split time with the twins between himself and his spouses. He missed seeing them at any time and waking up with his family all around, but he also felt like he deserved the pain of being without them. He deserved whatever they deemed he should suffer. The story had just finished and they had been looking for which to pick next, he knew they would get distracted by the arrival of Lyldra or Hars to not notice the adults being uncomfortable.:: Brell: Enter. ::Lyldra stepped in first, followed by Hars, and Morin. The twins unsteadily stood up and ran over to the door. Seeing them there reading a story book made Lyldra feel a pang of sorrow for what all of this must be doing to Brell as much as she was on another level pleased to see him suffer. That level was small, and now she wanted more to begin to put the pieces of their family trust back together. Doing his part in things Morin dropped to his knees to talk to the twins on their level.:: Morin: Hey there kiddies let's go to the arboretum and play in the grass! Linalu: Areee.bore..et..tum..tum Renu: Tum..tum..tum. ::The cadet corralled the toddlers over to their double seater stroller and saw to getting them into it. Brell stood up with a bit of a grunt and a guilty look on his face. He could not help it, though he was ready to hear what they wanted to tell him. None talked as Morin got Linalu and Renu ready and then out of the door. They all simply looked at eachother for a few long moments. Then Lyldra and Hars moved into embrace their co-husband, like that they stayed for awhile while hurt their love was still there shaken but not broken. When they parted all three needed to wipe their eyes free of tears, and it was Hars that chose to break the silence.:: Hars: We won't be able to trust you implicitly for a long time … I don’t know how long. Brell: I know. Lyldra: We also miss you, and do not wish for the twins to know the pain we feel being apart, and angry. I am ready see you again and share our bed … but we must discuss things a bit more. Hars: I will start with the questions, why after Turisan II when it was just a kiss did you not tell us then? … That was before the human asked you lie to us, so why had we not already heard something? ::Hars had honed in on something that had occurred to Brell during one of the millions of times he had gone over all the ways he could have avoided this situation in his head. Things on the industrial era planet were not simple, the crew of the Darwin had been under considerable stress having to live there disguised as locals. Stennes had been the person he talked to then, as both had trouble sleeping. He would have normally spoken to his spouses about his fears, but at that time they had their own worries brought on from being on that planet and it all seemed bigger than it really was. He did not know what to say, and was pained by the flaring of emotion in his co-husband’s voice.:: Brell: I .. I do not have a good answer. I do not know why I did not then is what I mean. Hars: No taboo had yet been committed, even if you had slept with him. What I can not get over is that is when it was all on you … no human ideals making you keep things to yourselves. Between that kiss and going back to the darwin, to the next time you and the human spoke you did not say anything to us .. for what .. thrill of an illicit affair … fun … shame .. well what was it? ::Brell was on the spot Hars had not spoken to him since the night he told them both about the affair and having kept it secret. He saw why, his co-husband was a scientist and looked at the world around him as such. He had picked apart the whole situation and looked at it logically through a filter of their culture. He had found the timefarme where Brell could not share the blame of his lie with anyone but himself.:: Brell: I was not sure of anything then yet. Things on the surface had been so odd and when we got back everything else moved so fast. Lyldra: Still every night when we all gathered in bed you did not tell us, we heard about everything else, but this part of your life .. ::loudly.:: A area where our concern should be the most important mind you! ::Regaining composure.:: We should have been the ones you talked to. Brell: I know, and I wish I had ..I know I should have and once the lie had begun I felt trapped by it. Hars: ::Mockingly.:: So we should be pleased that you have told us at all. ::Lyldra shot him a look that said that is not helping anything. She did however agree with the comment somewhat. Brell felt horrible, but knew this had to happen if they any hope of returning to how things once were.:: Brell: I can not undo what I did, I can only throw myself on your mercy and beg forgiveness. I felt the pain of keeping this from you both for some time .. it was not better or worse either as I knew I was only making things worse. .. I felt trapped in the lie, and yes shamed by it at the same time. Hars: That I do believe. Now tell us about it all as if we were not being kept in the dark, the good times and this pain of keeping it secret. ::Brell did as he was told and retold the entire tale of events from the first kiss on newgrange eve still disguised as a turisan right up unto how they broke things off for good the last time the counselor was on the Darwin. He told them about the meetups they had shared, on the holodeck a few nights in Stennes’ quarters, of lunches spent flirting and of how it felt to come home and look them in faces afterwards. Of how he had pleaded with Didrik to talk to them and of how when he agreed to do so the human had been recalled to earth making things prolonged once more. Lyldra and Hars told him of how they were made to feel foolish thinking his sometime aloof behavior was due the incident with the borg girl or from when had had been captured and tortured by a rogue consortium goon. How they let those things blind them to his guilt that they should have seen. They then began talking about how to move forward even if it seemed a distant possibility right now.::
  9. (( Dining Chamber, Gallant Runner )) Sandra: He does look taller. They must be slipping something into that replicated food they serve on those ships. Walter: See? I told you--I swear he took on at least an inch and a half. Hawkins: They don't put anything in our food mom, and I-- ::He stopped in mid-sentence when his dad started to laugh. His mother grinned and tucked her bottom lip under her teeth, giving Hawkins a poke between his ribs. The Gallant Runner, a small-sized cargo vessel, sported a quaint dining room that seemed to collect more decorations and memorabilia every time he saw it. His parents proudly displayed various trinkets and curios from the extensive list of worlds they visited and species they'd traded with.:: ::Being here made a swirling pool of warmth simmer in his belly. It was hard not to reminisce when you stood on the ship you were born on.:: Hawkins: ::A sloppy smile:: All right, you got me. So where is this mysterious guest you said will be joining us for dinner? Sandra: Don't worry, they'll be here in time. Let me go and check on a few things, and let you two talk. ::As his mom left through a hatch, Walter gestured to one of the seats and strode to the wall cabinet. Hawkins sat himself in the sturdy, ergonomic dining chair as his father brought a small bottle of dark red liquid and two small glass goblets. He filled them and slid one towards Hawkins before taking his seat at the table. Hawkins smiled and took the glass, sniffing it before taking a sip.:: Walter: I figure this may be the last time you get to enjoy the real stuff for a while. Hawkins: Thanks, dad. Synthehol just isn't the same. Walter: I imagine. Well you seem so different, Frank. More confident. I guess serving out there in the frontier forced you to do some growing up, didn't it? From Ensign to Lieutenant Commander in a matter of months. Hawkins: That's an understatement. There's no way I could have seen that coming. Most people wait years. Walter: I'm proud of you, young man. But that's not all that's different about you. Hawkins: Well, I've seen some things. I learned a few details that made it--it made it hard to sleep at night. ::Walter nodded in slow motion, merging his lips into an uneven line while his thick eyebrows descended over his eyes like black ice slipping down the side of a porthole. He drank from his goblet and slid his thick fingers onto Frank's forearm, squeezing it.:: Walter: Whatever it is, you can talk about it. I'll listen. Hawkins: That's just it. I can't. I can't talk about it, not to anyone. I wish I could. God, dad, I wish I could. Walter: ::Another squeeze:: It's a heavy burden. And that's why you requested a transfer out of the Gamma quadrant? ::Hawkins used his thumb and middle finger to rotate the goblet a few times before picking it up for a swig.:: Hawkins: Partly. ::Pause:: Mostly. And to be closer so I can visit you and mom when I get leave, if it turns to we can arrange it like we did this time. Walter: Oh, we'll arrange it. Don't worry about that, home will always be there for you Frank. ::The hatch swished open and his mother walked in with a giddy smile hiking the corners of her mouth up. When she stepped inside she slipped to the right. And stepping through after her was the person Frank never thought he'd see again. He lost control of his body for a moment, half-rising with his glass held loose in his hand. His mouth opened but something stuck in his throat--she was that stunning.:: Rachel: Hello, Frank. ::Hawkins managed to regain bodily control, setting his glass down. He stood up fully and his chair swiveled around as he bumped it with his knee, stepping away. The flesh on the back of his neck flashed hot and his eyes kept focusing on her the more he studied her face..:: Hawkins: Why... I mean hello. Why didn't you tell me you were coming? Rachel: I thought it would be a nice surprise. Walter: ::Rising:: Excuse me, we better check on the food. ::His parents exchanged knowing smiles and slipped out of the room.:: Hawkins: I can't. I can't believe how much you've--how amazing you. Rachel, I never got a chance to... what have you been doing ever since I left for starfleet? Rachel: Searching, I guess. Looking for my place, somewhere I belonged. ::When she walked towards him, it was as if the room began to shrink and fade away into the background like a veil of mist obfuscated it.:: Hawkins: Did you--find it? Rachel: Remember when we talked about running away together? To the-- Hawkins: --Vedimin cluster. My God, I haven't thought about that since-- Rachel: --and exploring the Vedimin temples, step by-- Hawkins: --date. It was on the 5th, and you were wearing that silver-- Rachel: --we could still do it-- Hawkins: --and I dropped my... wait, what? Rachel: --never stopped thinking about you. ::They were both older now, and there were those tiny differences you notice when you reconnect with someone after so long. Her smile had changed: it was somehow more reserved. Those things he remembered were still there, like the way she kept touching the pendant hanging from her necklace. He realized with a start it was the one he'd given her, in what seemed like a lifetime ago.:: ::The people they once were, they were phantoms of a sort. Composed of fragmented memories that became hazier every time he thought about them. Was he a phantom that she'd held onto?:: Hawkins: I think about us often, to be sure. Maybe not often enough. Life on a starship is busy, busier than I could have imagined. Rachel: We could still do it. I never--I never met anyone, not anyone important. Hawkins: ::[...]ing his head to the left:: You're being serious. ::A smile and a half-chuckle.:: Just drop everything and run off together? ::Her smile slackened, and refreshed, then slackened again. Like she was trying to stay happy in the moment, to stay positive. Her eyes darted downward, then back up to his face. He felt as if his response hurt her, and his excitement at seeing her took a backseat.:: Rachel: Is that so ridiculous? Hawkins: No, not at all. It's not ridiculous--it's not ridiculous Rachel. It's just so--I have a career now. Responsibility. Rachel: You used to hate that word. I guess you're--a very different person now. So very different. ::And now he hated it even more. He took her hands in his, enclosing them.:: Hawkins: I still care about you. Think about you. But I can't just give up what I've worked to hard to achieve. Rachel: I know. It was stupid of me to think you would. Stupid and selfish. Hawkins: Don't say that. We'll always have what we shared. And I can still see you, from time to time. Rachel: As friends. Hawkins: Is that... so ridiculous? ::She smiled at him and kissed the big knuckle of his middle finger.:: Rachel: No, not at all.
  10. (( F.M.S. Krayvat - Corridor )) ::Mr. Whittaker had clearly stated they were leaving Ms. Trel'lis behind, despite all of their protests. She badly wished to protest further, but she came to the realization that this was another thing that she, as a civillian, just wouldn't understand. And this Starfleet Commander was clearly more prepared to handle situations such as this, and besides a minor run in with an electrical current, she'd been kept out of harm..:: Shadonna: We're coming back for her...right? We're not just going to leave her here forever?...::She glanced around.:: Wait...::In her panic, her voice rose:: WHERE IS DUCHESS?! ::In the chaos, she had somehow lost hold of her beloved pet, but where could she be? She was never far from her at any given time. She wasn't a fan of walking like a common pet...oO Oh why didn't I place her in her carrier?? Oo she began to frantically search around her feet, becoming more distraught at each passing moment.:: Hobbs: Lady Shadonna. ::beat:: We have to go. Duchess will try to follow us. ::In full panic mode, she had momentarily forgotten their rather precarious situation, and any previous hopes of a stealthy retreat were certainly dashed.:: Shadonna: ::panicked:: Hobbs! We can't leave her! She's so tiny, and innocent, and delicate! ::fretting:: Oh my...my little baby..::near tears:: Hobbs: Lady Shadonna, look at these people around you. ::He waited a moment before continuing.:: These officers are risking their lives to keep us safe. We can’t go back for Duchess. ::He adopted a look of deep sympathy. It was no mystery how much she cared for her tiny pet.:: We have to go. Falcon: Assuming it’s not already too- Puhn-Lon: You little! ::The grunt of pain and exclamation from the guard brought Shadonna crash landing back into the present. If that wasn't enough, the squealy, airborne form of her beloved little pet sailing towards Ensign Taelon's face with a surprisingly high velocity was sure to to have done it. Letting out a little shriek in a mixture of relief and alarm, Shadonna watched as both Taelon and Duchess struggled to gain control of the "out of control" situation. With her arms outstretched impatiently for her precious pet, she was suddenly shoved to the ground as a barrage of blaster fire erupted around them. Terrified for her life, she covered her head with her arms protectively, but did manage to see a little pink tuft scampering angrily down the corridor away from the eminent danger.:: Falcon: Down! Shadonna: oO Oh Duchess be careful!! I'll find you my little one! Oo ::Cowering on the floor, she began to shake as the lights suddenly cut out and the sound of heavy boots hitting the deck-plates came closer. Surely they were done for now...no way they were going to get out of this...:: Puhn-Lonb: Mir, Huun- back me up! Whittaker: ::Whittaker’s voice strained from the agony.:: Help! Zinna: ::softly:: Commander! ::Instinctively, her eyes sought out the cry for help. There was a time...although it seemed eons ago, that she would have dove in front of the severely injured Commander, offering herself as additional protection...but now? She was so terrified she could barely move, despite the heavy form of who she assumed was Hobbs, shielding her. She felt helpless, and selfish, and she hated herself for it. Not a single fiber of her being would allow her to move and offer assistance. When had she allowed this to happen...? Had she really lost every shred of who she used to be, to become who she was now? oO What a time for an epiphany...Manu protect him...Oo Puhn-Lon: You will not escape! You should have surrendered! ::Tears filled her eyes and began to spill over. They should have surrendered, surrendered and begged for mercy. What had fighting back gotten them? Their current death sentence about to brought down upon them. She head the unmistakable crack of metal against bone and prayed for the Gods to comfort and make all of their deaths quick...:: Falcon: No! YOU should have surrendered. ::Shadonna's eyes shot up, she knew that voice, and it was one of theirs. And it was [...]ed! She watched in unabashed awe as Commander Falcon delivered a swift and brutal hit, taking out a guard with brutal efficiency. oO I so want to be just like her when I grow up...Oo They weren't quite out of danger yet, taking out the one had just angered the others, and made the fiery haired killing machine a nice, pretty target. Phaser blasts once again started in a series of angry blasts. Luckily, a few of the other crew had managed to get their hands on a few weapons of their own, and were returning in kind. Things seemed to be pretty evenly matched. Well...mostly...:: Whittaker: Please tell me you know how to fire that thing?! Taelon: I - ::Shadonna watched as a blast ricochet off the bulkhead above them before landing...somewhere.:: Taelon: N-n-not really, sir. Zinna: ::still on the floor:: oO Then put it down before you hurt one of us! Oo Whittaker: ::He called out into the gloom:: Trel'lis? Where are you?! Trel'lis: ::Her voice was a whisper:: Over here, about a half-meter from your location. I did a tuck-and-roll, when they opened fire. Whittaker: Good to know you're still with us! :: beat, attempting to boost morale :: And everyone else? Taelon: Alive. ::He paused.:: I think. Zinna: ::finally getting up from the deck:: I'm fine commander... ::Still prostrate on the floor, she gave a little multi-digit finger wave:: Shadonna: ::slightly muffled:: I'm ok too...::whispering directly to Hobbs:: I think you can get off me now... Hobbs: Response? Whittaker: We may yet get out of this yet! Trel’lis: Let’s not breathe too easy yet. ::beat:: I can guarantee you there will be *more* guards, drawn by the weapons fire. Zinna: ::sarcastically:: Terrific... Taelon: Oh. Good. ::The fire seemed to have stopped. Had they managed to shoot everyone? That couldn’t be all of them…:: Trel’lis: Let’s get outta here, before anyone *else* shows up! Zinna: ::Walking away from the group to take a breath:: oO You can say that again... Oo ::Hopping up, she unconsciously held her non burned hand out for Hobbs, not even realizing she was offering him assistance. Once he was up, she brushed herself off and looked warily down the hazy corridor.:: Shadonna: Great plan...I have no desire to be the welcome entertainment for the reinforcements... Trel’lis: I’m just glad my little ‘ploy’ worked and allowed for a countermeasure. Taelon: ::He managed a smile, however brief.:: I’m just glad you’re alright, honestly. Um - to the core, then? ::The Core? What was that again? She knew of a club she used to play at when she first started, but she highly doubted they were heading towards a disco...:: Zinna: ::nodding:: Ready... Shadonna: ::glancing around:: Wait where is- ::She felt a hand slap over her mouth. Right. Not this again. Giving an apologetic look towards Hobbs, she gave a swift nod in understanding and decided Duchess seemed to handle her little targ self well enough...:: Taelon: Oh - ::Taelon looked from Whittaker to Falcon, and abruptly shoved the gun he was holding towards Falcon, offering it with a note of desperation.:: You should probably take this, sir. Before I shoot someone. Again... ::Her eyes widened, oO That blast was him ?? Oo, she slid a little farther away just to be on the safe side...:: Taelon: Sir, with all due respect, you kind of look like you lost a fight with a Gorn. ::He paused, and muttered.:: S-sorry, it’s a regional phrase - but - it might be best if I carry you? Having the others drag you might make things worse? ::Sobering, Shadonna got a better look at the broken looking Mr. Whittaker. Shame washed through her, hadn't she just been cowering on the floor, and here he was...obviously torn to shreds, but not yet giving up...:: Zinna: I may not be a medical officer anymore, sir, but as the only one with current medical experience, I second Taelon's suggestion. You've been terribly injured, multiple times. The last thing we need is a supervising officer who can't lead us. Whittaker: :: holding out a hand :: Thankyou Ensign. ::Standing back, she winced right along with everyone when the battered officer let out a groan of pain. This man needed a physician, immediately. She'd buy him 10 as soon as they got out of here...:: Whittaker: Ensign, it occurs to me how much help you have been today. You've helped keep us all safe where you can and you've managed to do your duty despite being injured. :: beat :: I am hereby giving you a field promotion to Lieutenant, junior grade until we get escape this mess. Taelon: Response? Whittaker: Now, you mentioned a computer core? Taelon: Response? Whittaker: :: nodding :: Agreed. :: beat :: Lead on. :: looking to Trel'lis :: Lieutenant, grab one of the Orion's disruptors and bring up the rear. Shadonna: ::bouncing happily on the balls of her feet:: Oooh promotions!! I love promotions! Whittaker: Find the targ and then take point. with Taelon. :: turning to Zinna :: Counselor, can I borrow you a moment? Zinna: Response? ::While Commander Whittaker had a private word with Zinna, Shadonna clapped merrily, doing happy little dance and making her way to Taelon. Grasping his newly promoted officer's face in both her hands, she laid a big kiss right against his lips. Pulling back she beamed happily.:: Shadonna: Congratulations Lieutenant JG Taelon! You have been ever so brave...::batting her lashes:: Falcon/Zinna/Taelon/Whittaker/Hobbs: Response? ::Hearing the throat clearing, Shadonna casually released the captured Taelon and caught the look Hobbs was giving her.:: Shadonna: ::looking confused, whispering directly to Hobbs:: What..? Whittaker: Is everybody ready to go? Shadonna: ::turning her attention back to Theo, raising her hand slightly:: I'm ready! Whittaker: In that case: move out! ~*~ MSNPC Lady Shadonna Diva As simmed by... Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  11. ((Illogical Eatery - StarBase 118)) ::Ah, the smells of the logically healthy breakfast breads baking in traditional Vulcan stone ovens always warmed the heart of Professor Cade Foster. Though some would say he didn't have much of a heart to warm, he continually proved otherwise, especially as he aged. The tall, broad shouldered human strode into the restaurant looking for his companion - who was always early. Irritatingly early. Always had been. Still, it was good to see an old friend. Cade Foster hadn't seen director Aerdan Jos in nearly a year so when the two found out they would be on the massive StarBase 118 together Cade vowed to spend as much time as humanely possible catching up. He was even conniving a way to drag his companion's recalcitrant, introverted companion to the big concert happening on the base. Maybe, with enough liquid courage he could make that happen.:: C. Foster: Heeeyyyy, blue-Klingon! How's Starfleet medical treating you? ::For his cheerful, if teasing efforts he received a patient and long-suffering sigh. It was just like old times.:: Jos: Well enough. ::The Andorian smiled, speaking with a soft lisp traditional of the people of the cold northern plains, while pushing a menu forward:: I already ordered you coffee. C. Foster: Tcha. What if I wanted tea? Jos: The day you start drinking tea is the day I wonder if you've been replaced by a shapeshifter. ::Cade Foster shook his head, chuckling as he sat. He worked with the man across the table for over twenty years. They had been antagonists, odd co-workers, allies and finally fast friends. They were as different as possible to some degree. Jos was married, divorced, remarried, with children, brothers, nephews, and plenty of friends. Cade was never married, cruising on an erratic course through life with few friends but those he had were good ones. And after all these years they could still trade insults and enjoy every minute of it.:: C. Foster: No shapeshifter would impersonate me, and you know it. Besides, even if they did all they would have to do all day is put up with you. Jos: ::The antennae flattened a little, while his companion's face stayed serene.:: Well, I love you, too, Cade. C. Foster: Let's not get into that again. ::he chortled, slurping the coffee. It was black and strong; typical for a Vulcan brew. And it was good. It was one of the reasons he liked this place.:: Hey you get tickets to the concert that's coming up? Jos: Let's see... loud, insipid popular music with a screaming crowd of people one quarter our age? ::a thoughtful pause:: no. C. Foster: Aww, c'mon. You should live a little! I can get tickets for the both of us. ::He paused, catching the wince of his companion:: And I'll get you earplugs. Antennae plugs. Ooh! No, I know! I'll get you antennae-muffs! I'll even make 'em blue and sparkly... ::he was trailing off into laughter at the ever increasingly unimpressed gaze he was getting in return.:: Jos: ::diverting:: You should order food. C. Foster: You didn't say no... ::he wagged a finger:: Jos: No. ::smirk:: Better. C. Foster: I can change that answer, just gimmie a few hours. Jos: ::A smirk, but one with less self-assurance.:: I'll believe it when I see it. ::A challenge, though one he knew he had an equal chance of winning or losing.:: Anyways... ::his tone turned more businesslike:: I was wondering if you were going to the psychiatric review board for the penal colony on Vesperatin VI? ::Cade sighed, rolling his eyes lightly. Since taking a professorship he found he had a raft of summers free, and when he wasn't writing papers and trying to impress everyone with his medical genius he had been called upon as a specialist in more than a few cases of high profile Federation trials. Some of them fascinated him - he absolutely loved delving into the medical mysteries of crime and figuring out the answers he hated the whole 'working with people and acting like a counselor' bit. In fact, the only reason he kept getting called on to help out was that he was very good at figuring out whether inmates were faking various ailments - physical and mental - or not. Coupled with brutal honesty he was a prosecutor's dream ally. But it didn't mean he enjoyed doing it.:: C. Foster: Two weeks, talking to a bunch of ex-Starfleet crazies? No thanks. ::he waved his hand in dismissal, stopping only when he registered the look on his companion's face.:: ::Jos' eyes widened fractionally, but the antennae were upright in surprise. It made Cade draw a breath in through his teeth, waiting for whatever bad punchline was about to drop.:: Jos: Here I thought I would have had to drag you away from that assignment kicking and screaming... ::he lisped very quietly, like a child dipping toes into the water to test the temperature.:: C. Foster: You did? ::That earned a quirk of a shaggy graying brow:: Why on Earth would you think I'd want to waste a week there when there's fun stuff in the galaxy to do? ::He was getting the sneaking sensation that he was missing something important.:: ::Aerdan Jos let his expression furrow into a slow forming frown, his antennae dropping downwards. Cade Foster was a smart man, and he would have certainly not forgotten that the Vesperatin colony housed one Thomas Janeway, who was up for an 18 month review. Not that his sentence would be overturned - but it would mean the difference between staying at the medical incarceration facilities on Vesperatin or being transferred to a more secure location. Jos was expecting to have to step in and force Foster away from the job due to a conflict of interest, but he was also assuming that Foster was fully aware of said conflict and would be trying to pull the wool over Aerdan's eyes. When in fact, it appeared that Dr. Jos was the one with all the knowledge and Cade was the one who was completely in the dark. He clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth in disappointment. This sort of information was not freely shared with retired Starfleet doctors; however Dr. Jos had fully expected Cade's son would have willingly shared the information with his father. Then again he wasn't too surprised. He knew how hard it was to pry information out of Cade. Wyn was much younger, much more foolish and much more stubborn. Now the question was: How to broach the subject?:: Jos: I'm assuming you haven't talked to Wyn lately, have you? ::He was one of the few Andorians who actually called Shar'Wyn by his preferred Human sounding name rather than the Andorian pronunciation. It was a battle he stopped fighting years ago.:: C. Foster: Talk to him about every other week. He just got off some crazy Suliban mission. ::Pause, suspicion flooded his expression:: Why? Jos: ::he closed his eyes momentarily, looking very tired. He did not want to be the person to break this news to an old friend. But it was far worse to withhold the information, so he was going to have to endure a mighty unpleasant conversation.:: I don't suppose he ever told you why he was moved to the USS Apollo-A? C. Foster: Something about the Calderaan incident... ::He started, his gaze getting dark, tinged with worry.:: Why? ::Cade knew all about the Calderaan incident. He had raged about the Calderaan incident, and finally chalked it up to a bad reputation and a bad chief medical officer. That said, he considered it character building. His adopted son had risen in ranks, and regained his position on a fairly prestigious galaxy class starship, so he was wracking his brain for what he might have missed. Or worse, what Wyn might never had told him.:: Jos: ::The director sighed, grabbing his PADD and typing in a few passcodes to bring up a few choice - and classified - reports before pushing the PADD towards his friend.:: Read. ::Cade Foster's face turned a curious shade of purple as he digested the words on the PADD. Red rose up his throat and twisted his mouth into a feral sort of snarl, teeth bared and eyes slitted. When he was done he slammed the PADD to the table with enough force to crack the reinforced screen.:: C. Foster: I have to go. ::breakfast remained untouched.:: Jos: Cade... ::he started gently, snowy brows creasing in concern.:: C. Foster: Don't Cade me. ::He spat back, almost apologetically. He kept reminding himself it was a very bad idea to bite the messenger.:: I'm gonna go kill someone. Or talk some sense into some one. Pray it's the latter. Jos: Please don't make me have to sedate you and tie you to a biobed to keep you from doing something stupid. ::It was only partially a joke to diffuse the situation. It was partially a valid concern.:: ::Cade Foster paused, offering a light huff. He would try the diplomatic way first. As diplomatic as he could get. He might also try to hop a high speed shuttle and warp his way over to StarBase 11, and depending on how any preliminary conversations went, he might also try very hard to take a trip to Vespera VI with a spiked bat and a Klingon Painstick. Which was exactly the point where he knew his friend would intervene.:: C. Foster: I'll start with a comcall. Happy? Jos: ::he shook his head no in an earnest manner:: No... but I realized you needed to know. ::beat:: In return, please don't do anything stupid. C. Foster: Fine, deal. ::It wasn't too hard to agree to.:: But I gotta make this call. ::He turned and rushed out, leaving his breakfast companion to dine in unpleasantly contemplative silence.:: ~*~ tbc... ~*~ pNPC Professor Cade Foster Harvard University Earth by Lt Commander Shar'Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B
  12. ((Dr. Foster’s Quarters - USS Constitution-B)) (Time index: Sometime after the Bowling Party) ::Wyn was not having a good shore leave. The sudden transfer of Nate Wilmer weighed heavy on his mind, over and above his resurfacing mental problems. His not-quite-spat with Sinda had unearthed more emotional damage than he cared to admit and he had fallen into full on hiding mode after the bowling party in an effort to stave off panic attacks. Or, more realistically to simply be in a position to deal with them somewhere dark, quiet and isolated. For a while he had been in his office, staying away from Ozameen as to not bother the poor kid more. But Oz was taking the sudden leaving of Kael pretty hard, giving Wyn a little breathing room for his own troubles. He was being good tonight, just sitting and relaxing, trying to work up the courage to call his father before leave was over and maybe tell him the truth of what all was going on. Wyn’s whole quarters were very dim, very cool and very quiet. Just the way he liked them when he was being antisocial. Which was why the knocking on the door and the slash of bright light that followed it was such a jarring change from his quiet meditation:: Foster: ::Grumbling, but not really grumbling:: Who in the fresh pits is it…? ::Rustyy wasn't the brightest fella on board, but at times he was the most crafty when it came to things along the lines of fixing ship and making up a still that made his family brew... If he was ever busted it would be the end of his career. But until then - he was going to be a good friend... This would make him a good friend right? He was terrible, and he hoped it wouldn't scare the Andorian off. Here he was like a fool, with an untested bottle of fresh brew. He banged on the door and helped himself in... Was that to much? Dang it - too late.:: Hael: I's'a gots good news, eh! ::standing at Wyns door.:: wanna sip ::holds up bottle of booze.:: fresh from the ... Wells reckon it be fresh booze… Is I botherin’ ya? ::he noticed the dimmed lights as he stood in the doorway.:: ::His antennae perked upwards, sapphire eyes shining. There were many people who, if they randomly knocked on his door, would get a very swift ‘go away’ - then again those people didn’t tend to actually knock on his door. However Rustyy was one of the people Wyn trusted, one of them that he not only would not chase away, but immediately invite inside because the truth was he loved companionship.:: Foster: No, no… not bothering me. I was just… resting. ::He stepped backwards, brightening the lights somewhat.:: Did you say fresh booze? Hael: ::childish, boyish grin spreading like wildfire across his face.:: Oh yea’s we done gots us a still… ::paused. It was Wyn, he trusted him.:: In engineerin’ just a small thing real’y. This be the first batch dones an’ ready for drinkin’! ::Rustyy stepped fully into Wyns quarters to let the door close behind him… Probably should have thought about that before opening his mouth about the still. :: Foster: ::Both snowy eyebrows raised:: Did you say still? ::He grinned slowly, offering a deep chuckle:: Why am I not surprised…? ::He walked inside, waving Rustyy with him. Wyn’s quarters were very clean, with a main central area and two wings - one for Oz and Mark, the other for him. It was also notable that most of Wyn’s furniture, especially the stuff on his side of the room, lacked legs. There was a fluffy couch that lay on the ground, a pile of furs and pillows that served as a chair and a very low table that accommodated both.:: Foster: Welcome to my humble home. ::Wyn paused as Rustyy offered over the bottle and he hesitated, He had been a very good boy lately, not drinking a lick in fear that Sinda would come knocking and write him up. Or call him stupid. Or do the thing that she threatened to do, which make his skin want to crawl. Then again, if one was quiet, no one cared. And this was Rustyy. And Rustyy was Rustyy. That had to count for something.:: Foster: ::Thoughtfully, carefully.:: Should I get glasses? Or plastic cups? ::He smirked:: ::He looked around with wide eyes. It was a lot bigger and a heck of a lot cleaner than his room was… Ever. A warm feeling made him smile. He had barged in and was still being welcomed. He cradled the bottle as he followed Wyn.:: Hael: Oh, well’s I don’ be needin’ anythin’ fancy.. Plastic be just fine Foster: I got that. ::he bounded over to the cupboard and returned with two plastic goblets, the sort that bounced when dropped.:: Hael: I hear’s you was dealin’ with some fun stuff up here’s durin’ that there last mission. ::The mission. Yes, let’s talk about the mission. Not the shore leave. That was infinitely less fun.:: Foster: ::he shrugged:: Not so much. A autopsy and some computer eating virus. I heard you got ambushed by crazy people? Hael: Always somethin’ try’n’a eat the computer ::he grumbled.:: An I tell’ya’s wha’... All them folks was crazy… But I didn’ get no one killed, so all is good. ::He put the cups on the table and flopped into the low cushioned chair, stretching out and gesturing for Rustyy to pour:: ::Rustyy smirked and filled the glasses to the brim with shaky hands and pursed lips all in focus. He plopped down and grabbed the glasses, handing one to Wyn. It took everything he had to not spill the overflowing goblets. He fidgeted a little, not use to the lack of supports when he sat, but boy it was nice.:: Foster: Hey, no one dying is a good thing! I’ll drink to that. ::Yep, that was a massive hint there.:: Hael: Here, here! ::he clinked the cups together.:: Foster: hear hear! :: a toast! To being alive! Which was as good of a reason to toast as any!:: ::Wyn took a sip of the stuff, considering and then a bit more before he coughed a bit:: Foster: That’s good. It’s strong. It’s good. ::Rustyy nodded and took a hefty gulp. Not the smartest thing for the first batch, but what the heck, he was drinking with a doctor. Him and one other working on the still had argued over what they should make first. He had won, with a blueberry mash. Something told him it would be liked by someone.. He regretting downing so much at once as he lost his breath and felt the burn down his throat.:: Hael: You taste that there .. ::cough… Taste.. Cough.:: Hint of them blue-berries? Blue - brandy… Foster: I taste the blue. ::he nodded, taking another drink.:: I do. I’m blue… ::Looking into the cup:: How strong is this? Hael: ::very innocent shrug.:: Fig’r ‘bout… 70 proof… ::he picked up the bottle and shook it.::: see dem bubblies? Lots means ::he smiled.:: gettin’ drunk faster. ::he took another gulp, coughed and blinked a few time.:: ::So not *quite* as strong as Romulan ale. Good to know.:: Foster: Well then this should be a fun trip. ::He grinned, his teeth looking very white against his blue skin in the dimmed light of his quarters:: So… what do you want to talk about? ::Drinking:: Hael: ::paused.:: I called one them fellas on the planet, Rumplestiltskin… He didn’ get it. Do you gets it? ::he had to make sure it wasn't just him… Sip.:: Foster: I know the reference… but I grew up on Earth so that doesn’t say much for my reference getting abilities. ::he shrugged, taking another sip:: What was he? A noxious little troll? Hael: ::curious.:: No…. Big ol’ built mister actually. ::chuckled.:: His shoulders was as wide as I is tall… well’s, just ‘bout. ::sip:: Foster: ::Perking both brows:: Ohhh, I see. ::a chuckle:: Tell me how you managed to not get anyone killed again? Hael: With me charmin’ personality I reckon’s ::he laughed, a real laugh that seemed to need some dusting off.:: Could be a cap’in or somethin’. ::he chuckled and shook his head then finished the rest of his cup..:: Foster: ::He shook his head slowly:: Wouldn’t want to be a Captain. I’m better at doing my job. No time for posing on a bridge. ::He took a drink to that:: How about you? ::It took far more effort than normal, to sit up and refill his glass. The sensation of being not in contact with his body, yet heavy as a rock told him he should have eaten before chugging high proof booze. With bug eyes, he did his best to not jerk and spill the clear, yet slightly tinted liquor into his glass. He offered Wyn a topper.:: Hael: ::slightly beat.:: Oh hells, not me. I ain’ cut out fer that role, none. ::sip… gulp.:: ::Wyn nodded in agreement. There was a part of him that was honestly shocked that someone saw fit to make him a chief medical officer. Then again he ran a tight ship in sickbay; but it was what he was good at. Other leadership roles? Not so much.:: Foster: Me neither. ::He grinned, swishing the alcohol around in his glass:: Remember those command classes in the academy? ::He smirked:: I ended up skipping them for extra credits in xenopharmacology. Hael: ::he stared blankly at Wyn… that was a big boy word!:: Nah, I took them classes at school, just like ev’rone else… But I only done it ‘cause of this cute gal… spoke some crazy thing ::he waved his hand.:: I done had to learn, to just say ::rednecked.:: “Hi” ::That prompted a long sigh from the Andorian as he rolled off the chair and headed to the replicator. Doctor sense was kicking in and he replicated two non-alcoholic drinks to compliment the alcohol, pressing one in front of Rustyy.:: Foster: Ahh, I remember the days of in class dating ::a chuckle:: Those days are long gone. Hael: Yea’ they is. ::he took the offered drink and wet his whistle… .Paused with a coy smile.:: But them was easier than on ships, eh? ::Wyn shook his head very slowly:: Foster: Shipside dating is a baaaaaad idea. I think people who get stationed on ships are forever doomed to be bachelors and bachelorettes. Hael: Oh? I dunno ‘bout all tha’ ::his optimism shined best when he had a good buzz.:: So long as you ain’ ‘fraid to fight. My mama and pa’ an’ seven kiddies all locked up toge’er fer three months at’a time, ‘bout like bein’ on a ship. Foster: ::he shook his head and spoke with the voice of heavy experience:: No. When you date a co-worker it gets weird. It goes from romance to tragedy at warp speed… Hael: ::Sheepishly.:: sleepin’ with someone ain’ like datin’ right? Foster: ::He hiked one snowy brow sky high:: Rustyy! Sleeping with someone is exactly like dating someone, unless said second sleeper is a pet or under the age of three… ::cough cough:: I mean platonic relationships are few and far between, but yeah… usually sleeping means biology, yanno? Hael: Oh… ::he turned several shades redder.:: Foster: ::Leaning forward with a curious expression:: Who are you sleeping with…? Hael: Uh… Wells… ::his lips danced over his teeth.:: One them gals that work fer me… I think… Foster: You think!? ::Both antennae raised in alarm:: Rustyy! Either you slept with her or you didn’t - and how do you forget sleeping with someone? How do you think and now know?! Hael: ::shrugged.:: I don’ ‘member none. ::chuckled.:: Was drinkin then too. ::he held up the drink proudly.:: But she ain’ said nothin’ none either, so I’m’a thinkin’ I didn’t…. ::he kind of pouted. He was no ladies man for sure..:: Foster: Well, you could go through the checklist - ::he started ticking off on his spindly blue fingers:: Did you wake up in the same bed? Was she wearing clothing? Were you wearing clothing? Did you have any itching or burning sensations in the groin area afterwards? Hael: ::he couldn’t turn redder. He mumbled and squirmed a little.:: No itching or burning…. Foster: ::Shrugs: Well, then you’re probably safe. Probably. Hael: Even still, though… I’s’a don’ why it ain’ a thang. ::facepalm… Fantastic, now he was sounding like his mama.:: Foster: Because girls are weird and they get crazy once you start dating. ::he shrugged. Wyn - the ever eloquent, and arguably completely clueless person when it came to women.:: Hael: But… People needs people and gals are people… Right? Foster: ::He shrugged:: Of course people need people. ::pause:: But people will also tear out your heart and destroy it if you let them. My advice is to be careful. ::Rustyy turned his head a little and took a hefty drink of the real alcohol, then chased it with a gulp from the non-alcoholic one. He knew people like that. Children could be so cruel with such little regard for how it affected others in the long run… It hadn’t been since then that he had even took this much time to spend with someone else. He felt the head coming off his face.:: Hael: ::clearing his throat.:: Yea’ no kiddin’, eh. ::he shook his head and that goldfish brian did the work for him.:: I’s’a ain’ worried none… I got this thang - no one ever calls back. ::he snorted.:: Foster: I know how that feels. ::He muttered a little.:: Hael: So you ain’ seein’ no one? Even pla- plo... plo-ton-i-cally? ::he eked out.:: Foster: ::He snorted, nearly spitting out his drink:: [...], Rustyy, beyond Mark you’re the only person who comes to call. ::He shook his head:: After I left Atlantis I haven’t seen jack and crap as far as action. Hael: ::sitting up.:: Who’s Jack? Foster: ::He twitched one antennae in irritation:: It’s a saying. It means nothing, barren, dry, nope, less than zero. Hael: ::he nodded, then sighed:: I don’ get it none, either…. I mean, I like you. ::he pointed at him.:: You like’s me… Why don’ others? ::Wyn opened his mouth, and then stopped. What he was about to say was: ‘Well, because you’re weird and I have a terrible personality…’ But he figured that didn’t reflect well on either one of them:: Foster: I… uh… I don’t know, Rustyy… I don’t know. I guess they’re all too normal for us? Hael: ::He smiled.:: I’d buy tha’... An’ I think tha’ calls fer more drinkin’ ::he held up his half emptied glass.:: ‘Cause tha’ there is just ev’ryone else loss. ::Wyn smiled, refilling the glasses. And this was why he liked Rustyy.:: Foster: True, that. ::He toasted the engineer.:: And they don’t have ‘shine - and we do. Hael: So… Who’d you have a crush on, on tha’ there other ship, eh? ::he asked innocently.:: Foster: ::He coughed a little:: It wasn’t so much a crush… ::Coughing more… did he drink something wrong, or was he directly trying to avoid something?:: Hael: Oh? ::he asked and wiggled like a high school girl chatting up her bestie about the latest gossip… Or crush.:: Foster: ::he shook his head:: She was the chief engineer ::Irony. Right there.:: There was a holodeck program that went wrong, way wrong. ::He paused, taking a very long drink:: And afterwards she wanted to have kids. ::Shrug, as if that was the most normal relationship progression, ever.:: Hael: ::blankest stare ever.:: Was she … Sounds like… Is that crazy? ::that little description only described his mom… He scratched his head. He was hesitant to admit that though.:: My folks met once an’ started havin’ kids right ‘way… Tha’ ain’ to crazy is it? Foster: ::With surety:: She was crazy. Though the entire ship was crazy. ::He gave a long low sigh.:: Hael: ::wry chuckle.:: Aww, she couldn’ be- ::he cut himself off.:: The whole ship, eh? I’s’a be takin’ it righ’ to say, not in the good way. ::Wyn shook his head slowly. This was something he hadn’t talked about - really hadn’t even dealt with in his mind in a year and a half. He really must be drunk.:: Foster: No, not in the good way. Not at all. ::he shook his head.:: Either that or they were sane and I was crazy. But I prefer to believe it was the other way around. Hael: Eh. ::he shrugged and winked.:: I reckon tha’ there be dependin’ on who yer askin’. ::he propped his head up on a fist a looked at Wyn, big brown eyes - mostly watching the antennae, but with a sincere expression of interest..:: Foster:Well, lets see.. I was the one kicked off the ship, so that probably means I was the asshole, right. ::He shook his head. It was one of the things he didn’t like to talk about.:: So, yeah, my luck in so-called love is abysmal. ::he looked down at his boots. He got the feeling he was lurking in an undesirable area for Wyn. He chewed on his bottom lip. He picked up on vibes, though never fully understood them. He got the feeling things needed to be vented but weren’t ready yet. So he would talk about something else! That always worked.:: Hael: Means you jus’ ain’ found tha’ there righ’ one yet!.. You know wha’ we need? Foster: ::He turned his somewhat bleary sapphire gaze towards Rustyy:: What do we need? Hael: Beer! You ev’r had tha’? We only ev’r had it imported, but I bet’cha we could replicate it. Mighty tasty, an’ ain’ nothin’ like whisky, bourbon, or brandy. Foster: We need… beer? ::He shook his head a little, not following that logic.:: OK, first, of course I had beer. And second… how does beer tie into bad love stories? Hael: Well’s… It don’, real’y. ::deer caught in the headlights.:: I’s’a jus’ thought it sounded good… ::he [...]ed his head..:: Foster: Well… ::he offered a nod of agreement:: It does sound good. Though I think tonight it might put us on the puke train. That said, I do rather like beer... Hael: ::he clapped his hands.:: Well’s it’s’a good thang I knows this fella who’s a doctor, make yer tummy feel fine. ::he smiled proudly at Wyn.:: You. ::just incase he didn’t get it. Had to make it obvious, more for Rustyy than Wyn.:: Foster: ::He tinged a bit darker blue:: Yep, that’s me. I’m a doctor. But please, let’s not become emergency beam ins. ::he decided to get them a second round of water…:: Hael: Nah… ::out of the blue.:: Wha’ be tha’ there gal’s name? From tha’ ship? ::Stop, pause, the glass nearly slipped from his hand.:: Foster: Gwen. Gwen Gardener. ::He drank the rest of his drink.:: Hael: ::he snorted, not realizing the nerve he had touched by asking.:: Terrible name… No wonder she was crazy. Foster: ::Pause. Pause. He put his head back and started to laugh. He laughed and laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks.:: I never… never knew… a name… made ya crazy… ::He stumbled up to stand near Wyn. Big eyes looking at the Andorian like he had grown tentacles or something. Well… Quick look to the antenna.. He thought he had broken the doctor. How would he explain that to the boss ladies?!? He sounded like he was laughing - but there were obviously tears.:: Hael: Well’s yea’ ::he started unsure.:: Ain’ ya ever heard the song “A Boy Name Sue” ? ::he brought his face close to Wyn.:: Why is’ya cryin’? Foster: Cause it’s… funny? ::He pause, coughed and wiped his face, trying to compose himself.:: Anyways, the song… sorta. I mean I grew up on Earth, but didn’t listen to every song, yanno. ::Pause, drink:: I know Sue’s a girl’s name. But so is Gwen. Hael: Song be ‘bout a name tha’ wasn’ no good fer the person. ::he moved back a little.:: Just a thing I guess. ::smirking.:: Makes sense to me. Foster: ::He raised his glass in a toast:: Well then that’s good enough for me. Hael: Was she yer only one? ::that goldfish brain was in overdrive as the booze made the room hazzy.:: Foster: Oh, hell no. I had plenty of girls at the Academy. ::he shrugged:: It was easier back then, we were young and frisky and stupid. Hael: ::plopped down in his seat with a huff.:: Easy, eh? Foster: ::A shrug:: You know - help them with their homework and then they say “thank you!’ and you get pizza and snog. Hael: Pft! Ya’know, I got turned down by just ‘bout ev’ry one, try’na find them ones. And the ones I *did* get with, I nev’r finished. ::he snorted and shook his head.:: Foster: ::He tipped his head a little:: Seriously? But you’re a nice guy… thought you’d be a shoe-in. ::pause:: Why did you never finish? Hael ::he was feeling a lot more open than normal.: Cause I passed out or they had a third leg, which I weren’t expectin’ an it weren’t like what you and I - ::he paused. He had no idea if they were similar below the waist. He said it a little more gently.:: Like wha’ I had. ::he looked at Wyn coyly.:: Like I’m pretty sure there was teeth or somethin’ down there. So I would leave… To keep myself safe. Foster: ::That prompted both snowy brows to drunkenly hike upwards:: Teeth?! Who were you dating?! Hael: ::shrugged.:: Good question… :: he bobbed his head.:: I’s gots zero idea. ::deadpan.:: Foster: ::He waggled a finger at Rustyy:: And this is why Biology 101 is an important class for everyone. Hael: Eh, tha’ be wha’ yer fer. ::gulp, the closer to the bottom of the bottle the more the burn.:: Plus, wha’ few things I did take fer ::he waved his hands.:: stuff I didn’ understand none. Ya’ll have a lingo that goes ::he made a swishing motion over his head.:: clear over me head. Foster: Well, lesson one: Teeth are bad, unless they’re in a mouth… ::he smirked wildly:: Hael: ::both eyebrows, straight up.:: Yeah…. Foster: ::He leaned over and poked Rustyy with a finger:: So you’re telling me you never had a girl?? Fer serious? ::Oh, great now he was drunk enough to talk like Rustyy…:: Hael: Uh… ::fifty shades of red.:: I don’ … None’s I ‘member.. But I had to see a doc a time or two so I know’s somethin’ happened. ::duckface. He recovered best he could.:: ::Wyn looked incredulous, both antennae curled forward, he palmed his face:: Foster: Rustyy! You’re supposed to remember things like this! How could you forget?! ::He froze. Usually he wasn’t so bad about things. But in his more intoxicated funk, he was worse than normal. He stared at the moving things on top Wyn’s head like a dog did a squirrel:: Hael: ::Utterly serious.:: Can I’s’a touch’em? ::he leaned in close to Wyn’s face, rather fixated on the top of Wyn’s head.:: ::Wyn was rather drunk so it took him a half a second to realize what Rustyy was talking about. Unfortunately the second he did realize the reaction was immediate and dramatic.:: Foster: No! ::The word ripped from his throat like a raw curse as he pulled back like a man bitten, eyes wide, pressing himself in the far corner against the cushions.:: Hael: ::turning instantly pale and regretting what he had just ask. He put his hands up.:: Sorry! I,::he jumped up and stepped back, but the lower table caught him just enough to send him toppling over onto his bum.:: uh… I -I -I didn’ mean nuffin’ by it… I’s’a sorry! ::Wyn stopped, dead, and suddenly pitched forward, as if realizing where he was and what was going on.:: Foster: Oh crap... Are you OK? You didn’t break anything did you? ::He took in a shallow breath:: I mean, I’m sorry, it’s fine… I mean it’s not, but it is… ::He shook his head, words failed.:: Hael: ::keeping some distance between them.:: I’m fine. ::he sat on the floor rather than continue to be sprawled out.:: I didn’ mean ::his bottom jutted out slightly. He chewed his own butt for being the way he was. Not that he knew how to be anyone else.:; I shouldn’ have done asked tha’ ::shrugged.:: I’m’a really sorry’s. ::he looked at the floor.:: Now I’s’a buzz kill. ::he huffed a chuckle.:: ::Wyn frowned, his shoulders collapsing into his chest, shrinking away a little.:: Foster: No, you’re not… I’m sorry… ::He waffled in his words, pain and drunkenness swirling together in a fuzzy mixture.:: It’s just… I had one ripped off in a fight once. It’s… it’s hard to not panic… I mean… ::he sighed, it wasn’t making much sense.:: ::Don’t panic. Breathe. Don’t panic. Wyn admitted if it was anyone else in his room he would be panicking far more; but the puppy dog eyes Rustyy kept making were talking Wyn down from a full on attack. The booze was helping, too. He hated to admit it, but being drunk made the attacks go away. That was a dangerous seductress lingering around his brain, one he didn’t want to dwell on too heavily.:: Hael: ::as honest as he could be through slightly gritted teeth.:: I’s’a know’s… ::he looked at when through glazed over eyes.:: I ain’ called someone friend since I was lil’... So I know I ain’ no good with this. It done been a while. But i really likes ya, an’ I don’ wanna… ::he stared at the floor.:: Can we’s backtrack to *before’s* I asked? Foster: You don’t need to. ::He spoke gently, in the way one who was a good listener would speak. It was one of those hidden talents that he had - one that made him a good doctor, but one he usually hid under a calloused exterior:: I mean… I’m not mad, because it’s you. You’re not the people from the past, you’re Rustyy. And I like Rustyy. He’s my friend. ::A small shrug:: Besides, I’m not really one much for regrets. Hael: ::sheepish smile.:: I is yer friend. ::it was only then he realized that he had spilled all down his front, on his shirt and pants..:: Uh-oh… ::boyish smile.:: I’s’a wasted perfectly good booze. Can I’s’a gets a towel? Foster: ::He perked one snowy brow:: I think that’s called alcohol abuse… ::Staggering upwards to fish for a towel. How long had it been since they started drinking? How much had they drank? Ugh, it was all blurring together.:: Here… ::He tossed the towel haphazardly at Rustyy, which landed like a sheet half covering his head.:: Hael: ::he fought between smirking and trying to be serious.:: How’s I look? Foster: ::laughing a little:: Looks, uh… good on you. Hael: ::he pulled the towel off and began dabbing himself off.:: You don’ think the booze will sue, do ya’s? Foster: ::sounds oh-so-academic about it:: Probably not. I think you’re safe. Hael: ::standing up.:: ‘Nutter round? ::Both antennae flickered upwards:: Foster: If we’ve already talked about this much stuff, what on earth will we talk about if we drink another round. ::he asked skeptically. They were getting dangerously into the ‘drunk enough to share the things one usually didn’t talk about’ stage. Heck they had already reached it.:: Hael: Well’s, could always get’s worse chats ::he smirked as he took a seat closer to Wyn.:: Or weirds Foster: Really? ::he canted his head to one side like a confused puppy dog:: Like how? Hael: Could talk ‘bout *love* which be kin’a different than datin’... ::huffing.:: ~Love~ Foster: Love… ::He scoffed a little:: I don’t know about love… ::Both antennae waggled a bit:: I mean… love is tough, right? Love is a big step… ::yep, now he was babbling.:: Hael: ::both eyebrows raised up slightly as he eyed his friend.:: Yea’ it is.... Maybe… I fell’s in love with an actress once… ::nodded assuredly.:: but I was just a kiddie. ::he smirked.:: Foster: Really? ::both snowy brows perked before the most natural question ever slipped out:: Who? Hael: ::without missing a beat.:: Audrey Hepburn. ::smile innocently.:: Purdy sure she was me first. ::wink.:: at least that there one I ‘member. ::smirk.:: Foster: ::he snickered into his cup:: She’s not real! She’s been dead for like centuries! So i’m not sure that’s love. ::He shook his head slowly:: More like a crush. ::Pause, he looked up:: How’d you find Audrey Hepburn anyways? Hael: Well’s tha’n be wha’ I get fer watchin’ all them ol’ movies.. ::snicker.:: Wha’ ‘bout you? Foster: Kinda ::he shrugged, leaning back, his eyes gazing far off out the window.:: Hael: Ah come’ons, i’s’a told’ya mine. ::he pleaded.:: Foster: ::He gave a sigh, turning slightly navy:: Oh, fine. So before I went to Earth with dad, we were on a starship. The USS Augury - it was a big ship. ::Thinking, one antennae [...]ed downwards:: Akira class - big well armed sucker. And, well, my Dad’s boss was the first officer - who was a former medical officer. I guess they had a long history together, anyways, he was the scariest guy I ever met… Hael: Oh’s? Big ol’ cat, eh? ::he smirked leaning in to the story.:: Foster: ::He took a long drink, leaning over:: No, he was small - like only a few centimeters taller than me; and thin… but he had this way of staring you down with eyes that looked like they had seen hell and come through swinging… ::he shuddered a little, even now, thinking about it.:: Anyways, he was an Andorian. One of the few I ever met who would talk to me. Super soft spoken guy, and again - you would think that wouldn’t be scary but it was. ::Another drink, he shook his head:: But he has this daughter. Who is way older than me… and hot. Man was she hot. ::Thinking:: I’m pretty sure she’s still hot. Hael: ::winking.:: Well’s you ev’r get with her? Foster: Well for one ::He ticked off on his spindly fingers:: She’s about ten years older than me and two, as I said, her Dad is suuuuper scary. And three, she thought I was a jerk. ::Thinking:: Probably still does. Hael: Aww, ::he lightly pawed at Wyns shoulder.:: Was you the type to pull girlies hairs ‘cause you liked’em? Foster: ::A thoroughly impish look crossed his face:: Maaaybe… ::A dreamy look crossed his face:: She had this long wavy white hair, and big sapphire eyes… ::Leaning back. His childhood friend was about as opposite to Liani as possible - and Liani was the only other female Andorian who had ever given him the time of day. Other humanoid ladies were lovely, but he admitted he dreamt in shades of blue and white.:: And pale blue skin. Northerner… so she said. ::He shrugged:: Never been to the northern plains of Andor, but man, if her family was representative I’d have to say they have scary guys and lovely girls. Hael: She must’a been purdy special to have you lookin’ like a newborn babe on a summer morn’n… ::he flashed a wide smile.:: You ain’ *never* tried to get with her? Even later on.. ::he pried.:: Foster: Eh… I went to Earth, she stayed on the Augury, and I was an awkward high school kid when she was in the academy. I didn’t have a chance. And once I was well on my way to becoming a smooth medical genius, she was already halfway across the stars. Operations and Command division. ::he shrugged:: Last I checked she was on the USS Armstrong-C. ::He looked over with a gaze of innocence that clearly said ‘not that I ever check this or anything.:: Hael: Ah, well. ::shaking his head. He looked at his nearly empty glass:: Women’s, for all we love’em, ::sigh.:: they don’ seem to notice… ::That prompted Wyn to chuckle a little.:: Foster: In my experience, man or woman - few people notice. That’s why when you find someone who does care you cherish them forever. ::Did he just admit that? Whoops… he must really be drunk.:: Hael: ::raising his glass.:: To the folks, friends or lovers, let’em be good fer each other. ::or something like that… He was so drunk, he was having slight issue understanding himself. He patted Wyn on the leg, it was a ways away from his head.:: Foster: I’ll drink to that. ::He raised his glass, toasted, and then some brilliance of higher brainpower decided that, yes. He should be the responsible person and cork the alcohol and get another round of water…:: Hael: ::he watched the bottle being closed off.:: Aww. ::he pouted.:: Should I’s’a take it I’m’a gettin’da boot too’s? ::he'd seen it enough times to get the hint.:: Foster: No! ::Said a bit too fast:: I never said you had to leave… just that I don’t want you to puke is all. ::Big wide innocent eyes. It could happen. Actually he was startlingly good at the so-called ‘puppy dog eyes’ when he put his mind to it.:: Hael: ::nodding.:: Make’s’s sense’s… ::looking into Wyn’s eyes.:: You’ve’s got’s them bluest eyes I’ves ever done seen, you know’s that. ::he said leaning in further.:: Like them’s lakes’s durin’ first thaw. ::he pulled at his shirt some, was it just him or was it warm. Of course he was pretty convinced StarFleet uniforms were self heaters.:: ::Wyn stopped. He just… froze. Even his antennae froze eyes going a bit wider. How drunk was Rustyy? How drunk was Wyn? Did he mishear that? That was usually the sort of things that he said to girls because he wanted them to come home with him. Or at least he used to say to girls when he was young(er) and stupid(er). Then again it usually worked with the ladies he had tried it on and now he knew why. Flattery was somehow enticing. Warming. It fluffed the ego that lay deep inside one’s chest and made the heart flutter a little. Wait. Rustyy. Drunk Rustyy. Then again drunk Rustyy was pretty adorable. And Andorians traditionally married in groups of four. He started wondering is Rustyy would be amenable to finding two women… did he really just think that about Rustyy?! How drunk was he?:: Foster: ::Flushing deeply navy:: Uhm, thanks… ::A pause, and finally his laughter broke the silence:: You’re drunk! Hael: ::He said what he meant, and he meant what he said… At least he thought so. He liked this moment, this time spent. Now he just wished it would be more than a blurry memory.:: Uhh… So’s is you’s! ::he pointed and chuckled.:: Foster: Well, at least you’re poetic when you’re drunk! Hael: Ahhh… Pft… ::maroon colored.:: Wha’ i say’s don’ rhyme none. ::he grinned and shook his head, watching the blue hues darken. Blues was always a pleasing color to look at. It was that, white or black back home.:: Jus’ how many’s shades’s of blue can you’s turn? Foster: ::He narrowed his brows, and in the next second he quickly proved that alcohol could not dull his ability to quip:: Not as many shades of red as you can turn... Hael: ::he could feel the heat emanating from his cheeks.:: I’m’a not red. ::he duckfaced pouted. He tried to take sip of water to cool down.:: Foster: And wet targs smell like roses. ::He chuckled, reaching for his own glass of water:: Hael: ::submitting.:: Wha’ ev’rs… ::even more blood to his head..:: It done jus’ go’ real’y hot’s in ‘ere… Tha’s all… Tha’n be why I red… ish. Foster: Hot?! ::He sputtered in his glass a little before waving his arms and antennae in unison:: You realize you’re in my quarters?! Quarters of someone who is from a planet that is a ball of ice?! Quarters that others constantly complain are too cold… I mean I could turn the heat down further if you fancy it … but hot? ::Blink blink…:: Hael: ::puppy dog innocence.:: Well’s… I feel’s warm… ::he pulled at his collar:: My’s room ain’ no better’s ::he chuckled.:: Alway’s’s to cold fer others… ::thoughtfully.:: Maybe’s tha’n be why no one ev’r stays… Foster: I’d stay. ::he nodded in drunken assent.:: ::That came out wrong. Or right. This conversation was going downhill and Wyn was not only incapable of stopping it - he was pretty sure he didn’t want to stop it either.:: Hael: ::hopeful smile.:: Would’ya’s? ::playfully.:: Even’s sober? ::Because it, he, would be nice to remember. Even if it was just once. He could feel his face turn flush yet again… But just as others before - this would be just another chance for him to face plant. Even drunk he hoped not.:: Foster: Well, depends on what we were doing… ::Those antennae waggled back and forth in a quite interesting manner.:: Hael: I’d take ya’s fer ‘ride ‘course. :: He meant the car he had gotten from the past. Right? His brain was getting more fuzzy and not only from the booze. All he could do was smile sheepishly.:: ‘Course you’s could’s drive too’s if’n ya wanna. ::Blink blink. Blink blink blink. Did ride and drive mean what he think they meant? Was that drunken innuendo? Then again Rustyy was a gear head…:: Foster: … ride? ::Both snowy brows perked, his cheek flushing navy without his brain’s permission.:: Like… what kind of ride? Hael: ::perking up.:: in me auto-mobile from 1912 ‘course! I’s’a just put’in a new carb. So she’s’a purry mighty nicely… ::he looked eagerly at Wyn.:: Foster: ::Flushing darker navy:: Ooooohhhhh! ::Pause.:: Well, I’m sorta drunk right now and I think I would puke. But maybe tomorrow after a greasy breakfast? ::Rustyy bobbed his head repeatedly and regretted it instantly when he turned from red to green in a matter of precious few seconds. He set his drinks down so’s not to spill - again - and tried to stabilize himself.:: Hael: ::frowning.:: Wha’ time be’s? ::he looked around for a clock.:: Foster: I dunno... it’s late enough that I’m sleepy, and the delicious booze didn’t help, but I’m too wound up from conversating ::great grammar there, Wyn:: to sleep. ::he shrugged:: In my academy days we’d play stupid games or watch dumb holovids. Hael: ::[...]ing his head at Wyn.:: I’m’a throw’ups if’n we play games. ::apologetic smile.:: Foster: Ok, ok, no games! ::he put his hands up as if to prevent any unnecessary upchucking.:: Holovids it is! Hael: ::smirking.:: We’s’a can watch “Breakfast at Tiff’s”. ::he stuck his tongue out slightly and bit down on it, trying not to laugh. Innocently enough.:: Wha’? ::broad smile.:: Foster: ::both snowy brows hiked sky high:: Isn’t that a girly-film? Hael: Uh… Well… oO Yea’. Oo I’s’a guess it - I mean’s it’s purdy macho. ::Wyn shook his head. He didn’t rightly know what constituted a ‘macho’ film since he had never been in the ‘macho’ crowd. He had always been an outsider. He wondered if there was a movie for that.:: Foster: Ok, what about films for weirdos? Not chick-flicks, not testosterone and muscles. Films for people like us… Hael: ::[...]ing his head and looking over his shoulder.:: X-Men. ::serious as a clam.:: Foster: What-men? That sounds like a porno… ::He remarked with his usually crassness:: What’s it about? Hael: Well’s… There blue folks in’it… An’ them an’ others fight crime ev’n though no one thanks them fer it. ::he smiled, knowing that was something they both dealt with. A lot of people appreciated it and some overlooked all the work put into keep machines and people in one piece.:: Foster: Huh. ::He canted his head to one side, thinking about that. Sounded, actually, like something he’s be into.:: No crap, huh? ::Taking another long drink.:: I would watch it. Hael: ::eager.:: Real’y? ::sliding down to sit on the floor. Sitting in the soft beanbag like seat was too much work.:: You be thinkin’ we gonna be able to see’s it all? Foster: No, with as much stuff as we just drank we’ll probably get about ten minutes in and fall asleep. But I’m OK with that, too. Hael: You know’s how long it been since I done did a sleep ov’r? ::smirking.:: Ferever, an’ we built a fort. ::his brown eyes pleaded.:: Foster: A... sleep… over? ::He blinked. How drunk was he?:: What’s that? ::Rustyy opened his mouth... Closed it... And mentally reached for the fuzziness that was once his happy, loopy, ridiculous drunken stupor. He was rather fond of that state. It made the universe seem less feeble, happy go lucky rainbow and unicorn lands. Though words continued to evade him. How to explain a sleep over. Well... It's what kids did! Not that the two were classifiable children, but they could act it all they wanted. Instead of the hazy booze thoughts, it was a blurry, tear ridden long forgotten memories pushing forward. Nope, he wasn't okay with that. The hiccup in his breath and the puffy eyes took more than a slight shake of the head to get under control.:: Hael: Um… ::murmuring.:: What kiddies do when they be hangin’ out late with friends… Just, ::he looked up and shrugged.:: This. Foster: In my experience a sleep-over either meant grade schoolers or ::cough:: ladyfolk. ::cough.:: Hael: ::boyish smirk.:: Well’s ::groaning as he attempted to stand up.:: If’n’a ya ain’ alrighty with’it, I’s’a better be - Foster: ::Drunkenly fast, that sort of odd desperation one has when they don’t want to lose their company:: No, no! I’m OK with it… Hael: ::sigh of relief for two reasons. One he didn't have the strength to get up.:: Well I’s’a been told I snore like a caveman. ::two, he was worried if he left, he would wake up and it all would have been a dream, trick of the mind that made him deal with the past..:: Foster: You snore? ::His antennae twitched. His Dad snored, too. He remembered listening for it late at night when they were on Earth.:: Hael: ::he gave a genuine laugh.:: Well you can always hit me till i’s’a shuts up. Foster: ::A ghost of some sort of strange fear clouded his vision.:: No. I would never hit you. ::Said all too fast.:: Hael: It ain’ no thang. ::he smirked, remembering all the stories from when he was younger.:: Not like it’a hurt me none. Foster: ::He shrugged, passing it off:: I mean, why hit you? What good would that do? Besides, I’m a medical genius. I could figure something out. Hael: ::shrug.:: eh, my mama and pa use ya do it, wakes me up ‘nough to make me stops. ::his brain rewound slightly.:: I’s’a don’ think fig’r’in’ somethin’ this late be such a good idea. ::chucked.:: Foster: No… ::He shook his head, as if clearing away cobwebs… or ghosts:: I don’t hit people unless they absolutely deserve it. I’m sure we can find another way. Hael: I’s’a guess ::long big yawn.:: we’s can deal with it when we gets there. Let's get that there movie started, eh. ::he smirked. He would be passed out before the previews were over at this rate.:: ::Right. Wyn offered a light nod, wandering towards the computer which compliantly flashed a nice menu up on the blank wall. He honestly had never tried this before. Watching movies was a curiously old fashioned thing. But, sure enough, the computer was all too happy to comply.:: Foster: Right. ::He blinked:: You know there’s like twenty of these things - and about half a dozen cartoons. How big was this? Hael: ::childish, geeky grin as he bobbed his head.:: Yuppers, only the best a finest. ::he wiggled down to rest his head on the pillow like seat and face the screen, his eyelids got very heavy suddenly.:: Foster: Figures. ::He chose the one that seemed to be the first and tapped play.:: I admit I’m not sure how long I’ll stay awake for. Hael: Mmmhmm. ::he wrapped his arms across his chest and crossed his legs. His head jerking up ever few seconds…. Blink blink. He patted the floor next to him.:: com’on’dow’s’ere… ::Wyn paused, freezing for a few seconds before sliding down beside Rustyy in the way brothers snuggle up to one another on a cold night where the heater’s broken. Man he was drunk. Didn’t matter. Felt good. Like some sort of home he didn’t have.:: Foster: Hmmm, ok. ::Relaxing into a cat-like puddle:: How many brothers you say you had? Hael: ::grunt.:: Four’of’em… An’ ::he held up two fingers.:: two sissies. ::sleeping close to someone was like home, snuggling to stay warm in the living room of their house.:. Foster: Thats… that’s a lotta ‘em. Hael: Yep… You’d like’em, should meet’em ::he eyed Wyn from the corner of a drooping eye.:: Though, you’s migh’ not like bein’trap’d with’em all. Foster: Don’t know. ::He shrugged lightly, head drooping:: Guess Andorians have big families, too… never tried it. Might like it. Hael: ::nodding, he turned on his side and hid his face, the movie long forgotten.:: Mmm, g’nigh’. Foster: ::Movie? What movie? Mmmm, sleep. He hadn’t slept well in days, but finally tonight sleep was coming easily.:: Good night… ::Who knew what tomorrow would bring, but for the night, sleep was sweet…:: ~*~ A JP by: Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Constitution A239202RH0 ~and~ Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B
  13. ((Chez Georgio, USS Constitution-B)) Georgio: ::grinning brightly:: Oh, him! Red hair, beard, ugly uniform. I'd love to get my hands on that one. So many possibilities! ::Truth be told, Kael thought it was an ugly beard, too. But she didn't feeling ripping on her dad today. She simply smiled.:: Wilmer: So is there anything special I have to do to maintain this look? Georgio: You can do this yourself at home. Use some mousse spread it in both palms and then just run your fingers through it and play around. You can have it as wild or tame as you like. The gloriousness is that it looks high maintenance while it is really simple. ::He winked at her.:: Wilmer. Awesome! Georgio: Magnificent. You're only missing some sparkles and you'd be visited by dozens of leprechauns a day looking for their gold. ::He had heard about that from another crew-member during his make over and found that quite charming.:: Look look. ::He gestured to the big mirror on the wall:: ::Kael walked over to the giant reflection panel and took herself in. The hologram did good work. She was impressed.:: Wilmer: Kickin'! :: She giggled in childlike glee. It was something that she rarely did, but when she did it, it was always genuine.:: Georgio: Now listen, darling. This is a work of art. Georgio is possessive of his work and no other should lay hand on it. So when you want to refresh the colors, you come to auntie Georgio. Clear? ::She saluted him.:: Wilmer: Yes ma'am~! Georgio: Fabulous. Now hop on, little dumpling and show your dad. He'll fall in love with it, I'm sure. ::Kael was about to respond, when her commbadge went off.:: N. Wilmer: =/\= Cmdr. Wilmer to Cadet Wilmer, come in please. =/\= ::Kael was confused, but tapped her badge.:: oO How could he already know about my hair? Oo ::She wondered.:: Wilmer: =/\= Go ahead, dad.... =/\= N. Wilmer: =/\= Could you report to our quarters? I have something very important to tell you. =/\= ::She couldn't even respond before he closed the comm. That was a bad sign. Her father only forgot pleasantries when the news was bad. Kael looked concerned as she made double time to their quarters.:: ((TImeskip, exactly one hour, outside the academy classroom)) ::It was horrible, it was terrible. The Delta Quadrant? What was he thinking? Why had he accepted that post aboard the Darwin?? She would have to leave everyone again. First her mother disappeared and she had to leave the Morningstar. Then the Apollo was decommissioned. Now they were leaving the Constitution for the Darwin??:: ::She wondered if she would ever have a home that was permanent.:: ::But before she left she had one more person to see, one last goodbye. She ran at breakneck speed from her quarters. She had to do something, had to say something before leaving. It felt like she was always leaving without saying proper goodbyes. But not this time. This time she was going to do it right. This time she was going to say how she felt.:: ::Before long she was waiting outside the instruction room for academy training. She was the first one there, as she had hoped. She needed to catch him, but make time back to the shuttle bay before they were to depart. Her father had given her just enough time to say what she had to say. She didn't want him to have to call and remind her.:: ::It was then that Oz walked up.:: ::Kael sprinted over to him, as he came from half way down the empty corridor. She placed her index finger on his lips and stopped him from asking the next obvious question.:: Wilmer: Look Oz. Don't talk. Listen.... ::She paused, somewhat out of breath.:: Wilmer: I swear if you say anything I'll lose my never, y'dig? ::She removed her finger.:: My dad accepted a new job in the Delta Quadrant. I guess he's mission specialist or something, on the USS Darwin. And I have to go with him. I don't want to, I want to stay. I love everybody on the Constitution. I love... ::She stopped herself. Edited herself, and then continued.:: Wilmer: You come and see me if you have a free semester between academy years, okay? And there's always subspace communication through the MIDAS array. That's better than nothing..... ::She leaned in, jumping up on tippy toes and kissed him full on the lips. It was her first. She had no boyfriend, ever. She often expressed no affection. But Oz deserved to know that he was less annoying than all the other boys.:: ::She blushed in total embarrassment. And then, in true Kael fashion, she placed her favorite mask of boredom back on her face, and gave a two fingered twitch of the hand.:: Wilmer: C'ya round, dork... ::And she punched him in the shoulder. She would leave him no time to say goodbye. That would have been too hard. But that was the way she did things. That was the way she liked it. Anything else would have been not her, somehow.:: ::She would see that boy again. She knew it.:: ~Not the End~ ((OOC - this will be my last sim aboard the Constitution. I have really enjoyed simming with everyone. And I will miss your writing Jess. You have been an awesome Captain, and I owe my growth as a writer to your excellent examples. See you all around the galaxy!)) Cadet Kael Wilmer As simmed by the lovely Lt. Cmdr. Nate Wilmer HCO USS Constitution-B E239107NW0
  14. ((Flashback - Three Days Before Quikz's 26th Birthday)) ((Santo Domingo Church, Granada, Andalusia Provence, Spain, Earth)) ::Santo Domingo Church rose high above the Santeen family and their loved ones, but even its vaulted ceilings, gilded fixtures, and touches reminiscent of the beauty and expansion of the Renaissance period, could not contain the entirety of their immense grief. Indeed, their pain was a sackcloth garment which seemed to cling about their necks and constrict the very hope in their lungs with a vice-like precision that was every bit as cruel as it was unrelenting.:: ::Quikz clung to his mother Helena and his remaining sister Rosemary amid a stunned silence which was accentuated by the staccato drops of their tears boiling down their cheeks. His mother was veiled in black and was adorned not only by the breaking of her heart for her deceased child but by the splendor of her beauty, which not even her lamenting could arrest from her visage. Rosemary, being only 19, trembled young and fresh-faced as she wept openly, the slick of tears wetting her face, only to eventually bury themselves into the collar of her funeral dress.:: ::The priest offered prayers and words of comfort to the mourners, yet even as Quikz stood beside Esmer's coffin, those words felt just as hollow and devoid of life as he now realized his sister's body was, having been reduced to merely a brittle husk and shell of her former self. When the priest spoke of life beyond death, of promises divine and of pleasure in the face of pain, the words seemed to catch in his innards, rattling around within the go-betweens of his ribs and chest, like bits of bone too soon swallowed, too soon felt.:: ::He simply couldn't breathe.:: ::He was angry, hurt, and confused - a thousand emotions colliding and clamoring over each other all in the singular effort to somehow burst the dam of his soul into a moaning wail which he suspected could easily shatter himself, just as much as what remained of his entire universe. Yet, it was his outward silence and stoicism broken only by the slight tremor in his upper lip which Quikz allowed the world to see. He would be the face of the Santeen family. He would be the rock for his mother and sister which kept their feet from sinking any further into this ever-widening pit of despair::: Santeen: oOI shall be strong for them. I shall be what my father cannot be. I shall be the man that they need, this I truly swear.Oo ((After the Ceremony, Santeen Family Cemetary, Santeen Estate, on the borders of the Granadine Countryside)) ::After the ceremony at Santo Domingo, Quikz had been one of the pallbearers to carry his youngest sister's small coffin. Other than a few cousins and uncles and a close family friend who helped shoulder the load, he was the sole representative of his immediate family to guide Esmer's remains on her journey to her final resting place.:: ::His father had not been in attendance, not at the church service, nor even at the graveside of his own daughter's funeral. Instead, Quikz was certain he was stumbling and wallowing around in his study in a drunken stupor, trying to drown the demons of his life by virtue of strong spirits of his own choosing, which he found decidedly easier to swallow than his own pride and guilt.: ::At the moment it was Quikz's seething anger and unabated loathing of the man that had sired him, that kept him from collapsing fully into the throughs of despair. It was hard to believe he was only days away from turning 26, a man in his own right, and yet he couldn't help but still feel the weight of his father's toxic pull in his life. To think he had spent so much time, wasted so much effort trying to live up to the expectations of his father, while yet the man himself was the epitome of everything that Quikz desperately hated and yearned to escape from in life.::: ::Esmer's grave had been dug, as generations of his family before had been, by hand. He himself had underseen the task, and as such, he himself would be the one to bury her today. It was not that there weren't many willing to help. They had a large extended family and were of course well known in the community. Also, if truth be told, they very easily possessed the money and means to have hired as many hands to do the work as they desired. But Quikz had insisted that he would do it, alone. And by the fire found in his eyes, no one, not even his father would dare talk him out of such a solemn task:: ::After the remaining family and friends had paid their final respects and parted, he stood for a few moments with his mother and Rosemary, looking down into the gravesite. For one moment, time stood still, as the three of them huddle around her resting place, speaking with words wrapped in silence but which broke the heavens with the thunderous fists of their grief.:: ::Finally, he picked up the shovel, and Rosemary began the walk back to the house. His mother seemed to focus for a moment on a point outward beyond her pain and even beyond her son. Then, Helena Santeen, the inwardly shattered matriarch of this already shaky dynasty, reached out and touched her son's cheek with her delicate mature palm. Neither mother or son spoke, nor would they ever know how long they stood there like that, but through that one touch came the transferance of strength that they both desperately needed to share.:: ::With that she parted, allowing Quikz to busy himself in the fury and pain that would be his work. Always his work. Striving. Fighting. Trying. Pushing himself to new limits, breaking his back by way of the sweat of his brow. For in this manner and in this manner alone did he ever seem to find his own means of personal salvation. Only in his breaking down, and rising again from the dust, did he ever find his resurrection. This was a truth known to mother and son, a truth known to them both only all too well.:: --------------------------------------- Ensign Quikz Santeen Security Officer USS Darwin, NCC-99312-A A238805Z10
  15. ((USS Darwin, Deck 7, Santeen's Shared Crew Quarters)) ::As Quikz stood just outside the door that his PADD indicated was where his shared quarters was, he couldn't help but wonder just what his new roommate would be like. All his PADD had indicated was basic information such as deck and room number, and the single name of his roommate: Ensign Christopher Lambert who was listed as being a Science Officer aboard the Darwin. Though with his new security clearances he could probably find out even a bit more preliminary information about him, he decided on this occasion he wished to be (hopefully) pleasantly surprised.:: Santeen: oOBesides, what is the purpose of spoiling all the mysteries for yourself on the first day aboard? There is something to be said, surely, about taking things as they come and in stride?Oo ::Nodding to himself, he depressed the door chime, just in case his roommate was actually in the room or in the middle of something. He had learned long ago, especially in his academy days that just because there was always the illusion of decorum and procedure, didn't mean that people weren't people - everyone enjoyed their privacy one way or another.:: Santeen: oOBesides, it's not like there are door knobs to hang socks from like in ages past.Oo ::Cringing to himself, he remembered just how it was quite a common problem for many cadets at the Academy, and how on a number of occasions he had wished that practice were still...well...a practice. In fact, there was that one very awkward moment he had accidently walked in on his friend, William "Buck" Wellington and that Orion bartender, only to discover to both his horror and laughter that maybe they needed a new nickname for the young cadet after all.:: ::After waiting several moments, he entered the room and took in his surroundings. He already saw the tell-tale signs that indeed another Male ensign lived here. Judging by the few mementos and bric-a-brac he saw here and there, he was sure that he was more than likely human. Other than that, he did not try to intrude in any real way on his new roommate's privacy. There would be plenty of time for them to get to know each other in the future.:: ::Turning to the bunks in the opposite wall, he saw his belongings had already been placed on his upper bunk. There wasn't much, indeed he had always traveled rather lightly. Maybe it was all his years spent as a sprinter and cross country runner and athlete, but he usually preferred only to have on his person those things most essential to him at any given moment. If he truly needed something, he would seek it out. If he couldn't attain it with the true sweat and determination of his most concerted effort, he had had long ago learned he could simply go without it.:: ::Picking up the PADD that lay next to his belongings, he quickly scanned it to make sure his correct items were on the manifest, and having confirmed, he set it aside. Taking a deep breath, he pulled his leather rucksack off the bed and sat down at the small dining table and began sorting his few belongings. Of his few possessions he had brought with him, there was a handful which were most significant to him, and which always brought about a wave of emotions and memories welling up from the fount of his heart and into the spray of his mind.: ::As he pulled them out one by one, Quikz reflected on them, as he had each time he had come to a new place on his long journey to where he was now.:: ::The most cumbersome and self-explanatory, even if somewhat out of sorts for the clean lines and necessary sanitation of a Federation Ship, was a dust-covered pair of worn cross trainers. Though muddy, the cross trainers were worn not from neglect, but from use. They were stained with the dirt of achievement and grit; they were emblazoned with the signs of sweat, blood, and determination which had taken him all across his homeland in competition after competition in search of proving himself to all, especially his father.:: ::Closing his eyes for the briefest of moments, he still could feel the give of the treads beneath his feet, the thunder of his heart as it leaped like an antelope in his chest, the shout of the crowds and his family as it urged him onward. Yet above all, he still could feel those piercing eyes and the quiet brewing presence of Otto Santeen and the immense silence with which his father could shake the heavens above and rattle his earthly dreams below.:: ::Setting the shoes aside, he took a deep breath and withdrew another couple items from his bag One was a well worn, highlighted, dog-eared copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Though most books these days were unanimously held on PADDs, this was one of his most prized possessions, not only because it was so rare to have an actual printed book these days, but because it was a special gift given to him by his mother shortly before he had left for his Academy. Opening the inside cover of the book, a paperclip fastener held a picture of his elegant mother suspended just above glittering green swirls of her script which she had inscribed into the book for him::: ========================== Helena Santeen: To My Beloved Son, I give you this book on the start of your journey toward claiming your own personal treasure in life because in so many ways you have been one of the few splendid treasures in my own. Remember Quikzal, just as this book says so elegantly: "Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World...When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream." Therefore, may you always have courage in life, but most importantly, may you always know how deeply you are loved. Love Always, Your Mother ========================== ::As he read those words, he touched his mother's picture, almost in the same way she had touched his own face many years ago, comforting him as he prepared to leave their Spanish villa and set out to make his way in the world. His cheek flushed and felt warm to the touch as if he could still feel her hand upon him, but soon he realized it was because of a single tear that had burned a trail down his face.:: ::Also inside the book was a letter from his sister Rosemary, which he had received right in the middle of his Academy days. He had read it many times before, but for now, he did not have the heart in him to read it. It spoke of love, and loss, the laughter and joy of their youth, and the haunting pain of the recent past. All things he wasn't privy or willing to allow himself to visit at the current moment.:: ::The only other items, other than basic toiletries and a single change of civilian clothes, was a small acrylic globe with a single dried flower petal suspended to the light, and a thick squat rusty spike that was attached to a long leather cord which could be worn around the neck. These two items alone, where the most weighty to bear on his heart: for one meant the beauty of life, and the other the cruelty of death.:: Santeen: oOAnd sometimes, I'm not exactly sure which one stands for which.Oo --------------------------------------- Ensign Quikz Santeen Security Officer USS Darwin, NCC-99312-A A238805Z10
  16. ((Adova: Arc's Personal Residence)) :: It was a funny feeling, here she was probably dying and yet she was at peace with it. All her life she had fought, and struggled, and raged against the world to survive on her own terms, to live under her own rules, but now… Now it felt a little bit okay to let go, to just surrender to whatever her fate may be. Maybe she needed to stop fighting for once, and stop trying to control every aspect of her life, even if staying alive was one of those things.:: :: She wasn’t suicidal. She was just tired.:: :: Della had been right. A starship was not a safe place to raise a child -- there had been far too many times T’Sara and Gina had been put in harm’s way. And T’Lea had been wrong – she couldn’t protect any of them. Hell, she couldn’t even protect herself.:: :: So, here she sat on a rather festive tile floor, on some far away planet, in some alien home, drowning slowly in her own blood, and for no other reason than being hated for being a telepath. It almost made her laugh that she was going to die for something so pathetic and meaningless. She’d done plenty of horrific things in her lifetime, things that warranted execution, or at least a long prison sentence – betrayal and murder topped the list. But the crime of being a telepath? Now that was funny.:: Kells: Hold on, T'Lea. Hold on. ::to the others:: We need med tech. Is it all back on Compass? King: I’m going to check the surrounding rooms for any provisions we might need. ::beat:: We’re all dangerously close to being dehydrated. ::beat:: The Compass has most of the provisions and equipment we need but it doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to get to it in the near term. :: Well, that sucked, thought T’Lea as she sat there and did her best to concentrate on her breathing. All that meditation was paying off. She was keeping calm and had slowed her heart rate. If necessary she would put herself in a Vulcan healing trance, but for now she was complacent with other thoughts.:: :: Looking back on things, she couldn’t blame Della for leaving, and she couldn’t hate her for it either. It was never hate that she felt. Anger perhaps, but never hate. The truth was that she would always love that stupid Trill, even if Della didn’t feel the same way. There was simply too much history between them to let their separation, no matter how permanent, ruin what T’Lea still felt, and would always feel for Della.:: :: After all Della had been there when T’Lea had needed her the most, when death was eminent and she needed someone to keep her Katra safe. Della did that for her, and thinking about it now, that was the moment T’Lea had fallen in love with the Trill. The moment she had died.:: ((Flashback)) ((USS CONSTITUTION - T’Lea’s QUARTERS)) :: The pain had quelled, but now there were moments of inconsistent consciousness. A feeling of drifting in and out of life. It was nauseating and confusing. The Vulcan hybrid was dealing with it the best she could -- with logic.:: Vetri: =/\= Vetri to sickbay - medical emergency in Lt. T'Lea's quarters. =/\= ::The call for help made, Della darted to the hybrid's side, dropping to the ground to haul her up into a vaguely sitting position. The Romu-vulc’s body was fairly limp at this point. The only thing keeping her sitting upright was a combination of the wall and the Trill. T’Lea couldn’t distinguish between the two, but her right hand tightly fisted a bunch of fabric from one or the other. T’Lea: Who…? Vetri: ::whispering:: Your cute as hell angel, come to save the day... ::They had an agreement, Vetri would come first when T’Lea called, but medical would be on the way. That left little time. Little time would hopefully be enough so that they could have their private moment together.:: ::Gently, Della brushed the hybrids hair aside, and laid her lips gently against her brow, not bothering to try and hold back the tears that were rolling down her cheeks.:: ::The sudden warmth against her skin rallied T’Lea’s focus. Her vision sharpened in, then out, then in again. She was seeing spots before her eyes.:: T’Lea: ::weak, but surprised:: … Spots, you came…? Vetri: Of course, silly. We had a deal, remember? ::Deal. Her heart looked inward. What deal? At first she didn’t remember, but eventually after some searching, yes, she remembered. T’Lea remembered what they had been working on all this time, all those long nights together training for this moment. A lobotomy would be the only way she could forget those moments with Della, actually she wasn’t far from one. But right now, in a moment of perfect lucidity she was stacking her thoughts in proper order. And with fluid thought came a curiosity. Did Della mean that she was willing to go through with the Katra transfer?:: T’Lea: Are you certain…? Vetri: I'm certain. You're not getting away from me that easily. ::The Romu-vulc’s grateful pale blue eyes slid down the Trill’s delicate face, following a particularly intriguing line of small dark spots. Her mindless gaze ended in a sliver of strength. With her body tensing in Della’s hands, T’Lea moved to sit more upright just as they had practiced during their nightly visits. This had to happen fast, right now or not at all.:: Vetri: ::trying to summon up some humor to keep herself together:: Don't want to rush you or anything, but... ::The hybrid’s right hand flattened against the fabric she’d been clutching all this time. Oddly enough she had no idea where that hand was, or if it was even still attached. The left hand seemed to be easier to find and operate. T’Lea moved closer still, barely holding on to the stoic, regal Vulcan poise as she did so. Another odd moment of brief wonderment over what the Trill was wearing and why her locks of hair were wet, flashed through T’Lea’s dysfunctional head. It was strange how these unimportant thoughts rambled to the forefront of her mind so clearly. The remnant of a Vulcan brow twitched under the stress.:: Vetri: Stay with me, T'Lea. I can't do this on my own. ::Face to face with Vetri, T’Lea tried to stay steady, tried to control her breathing, tried to summon the inner Vulcan to finish this. For the Romulan in T’Lea was nowhere to be found. Like a coward she had stepped away from the situation, unable to confront the emotional humiliation of it all.:: ::Shaking slightly from the frayed nerves, T’Lea reached up with her left hand, failing at first to place it in proper position for a mind-meld. Instead, that hand came to a soft rest on Della’s cheek. The next precious few seconds were spent trying to form her fingers and find the correct points of contact. It was quite possibly the most difficult and most exhausting thing she’d ever done. Finally, it paid off.:: ::Relieved, T’Lea dipped her forehead against Della’s, not for technique but out of her tiresome struggle. Next she tried to set her breathing to match Della’s rise and fall. Della made the change for her, finding T’Lea’s rhythm instead, just as they’d practiced.:: T’Lea: …assist… ::She didn’t even need to say it, it was already done. Della was holding her left hand steady in the proper position, keeping it from slipping. T’Lea blinked her eyes, trying to clear out the fog, but her thoughts strayed again as she felt Della’s invading warmth. It distracted, then enveloped, then penetrated, and then reinforced. It seemed to wash out the pain. The hybrid was starting to see through the haze in her eyes. Logic started to jell into a solid thought. Was Della sending her empathic support? If so it was precise and well controlled. But it was also speeding up her death. T’Lea didn’t know for sure…. She wasn’t sure of anything right now except the meld.:: ::Drawing on the training she'd received on Betazed, as well as the lessons the hybrid in her arms had given her, Della forced all the fear and worry in her mind aside. It wasn't easy to accomplish, but she managed it, leaving her thoughts clear and calm, ready for what was to come.:: Vetri: ::firmly:: Do it. ::Her melding-hand rested confidently at the correct points of contact against Della’s face. Her voice, though labored, was as true as a Vulcan’s should be.:: T’Lea: My mind… to your mind… ::A pause as her eyes settled deeply into Della’s.:: T’Lea: My thoughts… to your thoughts… ::A bright, white hot pain started to slash its way through the incredible blanket of... what was that feeling? It was beautiful…:: T’Lea: Our minds… are one… ::Nothing. A realistic fear registered in T’Lea’s eyes and reflected back in Della’s. What if the malfunctioning chip in her brain had damaged her abilities?:: ::Repositioning her hand with more determination, T’Lea firmed herself against Vetri’s body and started again this time with a heavier conviction. This time the Romulan joined in out of desperation. She took one lungful of air and spoke without taking a pause, or another breath. The words were the same, but the tone was completely different -- intense and rippling with pain.:: ::Wrapping T'Lea even tighter in her arms, Della held her close, desperation clawing at her awareness. Wildly, her thoughts flashed through everything that could have gone wrong, all the possibilities that could have prevented the link from forming.:: Vetri: Again! Try again! ::Physically the two could not have been any closer. Mentally… A terrible feeling started to bore a hole in the back of T’Lea’s skull. It took all her strength to hold on to Vetri, to stop herself from shaking loose. She was sure she was bruising the woman.:: Vetri: Come on you crazy [...]. I've never seen you back down from anything yet, so make this frakking work! ::One last time. One last act of desperation. One last intense effort to establish the mind-meld. T’Lea needed just one more shot at it. One more. But before the next word could be uttered, it was over.:: ::The Vulcan hybrid never finished.:: ::T’Lea wasn’t holding her breath anymore. She simply wasn’t breathing.:: ::Her head fell on Della’s shoulder.:: Vetri: T'Lea? T'Lea! ::Frantically, she searched for a pulse, a flicker, anything that would deny the evidence of her eyes. Breath coming in ragged gasps, blinded by tears, she tore at the hybrid's uniform, trying desperately to get her body to respond to the instructions her mind was firing out. Somewhere in her skull, a rational bit of consciousness was driving her start CPR, to try and get her patient breathing again.:: Vetri: Nonononono... Don't leave me like this! Breathe! BREATHE! ((End Flashback)) ((Arc’s Personal Residence)) :: A deep, shocking gasp of air filled T’Lea’s lungs. For a moment she’d stopped breathing and had passed out, but she was back. Nobody had seemed to notice her brief disappearance. They were all heavy in conversation about something. She tried to focus and tried to listen.:: TBC Lieutenant Commander T’Lea History & Archaeology Specialist USS Invicta Author ID I238301T10
  17. ((Main Sickbay - USS Constitution-B)) ::The readings were going from 'dead' to 'mostly OK' - this was a good thing. A very good thing. On the other hand, Wyn Foster's body was going from 'fueled by drugs and adrenaline' to 'worst hangover he could remember in a very long time' at warp nine. So when he spoke, it was with a soft lisping drawl that almost made him sound like a true Andorian. Almost.:: Foster: Hey, hey... I think everything's OK. Let's calm down. Everybody good, everybody alive? James: I think he's back with us now...for a while there, Nate, you wuzn't.... ::He fixed his sapphire eyes on Nate, turning serious. Wyn hated playing with life and death. For some reason the miracles of modern medicine seemed to make most people downplay the seriousness of what went on under the biobed monitor.:: Foster: Seven seconds of flatline, Nate. And I've played the game of getting oxygen to the brain before brain damage occurs. I wasn't going to play it again! ::The human smiled, giving a thumbs up, and Wyn couldn't help but smile back. There was something infectious about Nate's cavalier attitude. That and the strange humor gave the little blue medic hope that maybe this time the same person emerged on the other side of death.:: Wilmer: Told you I could do it... James: Oh! You complete [...]! ::She said through smiling exasperation.:: Foster: I would have called him something stronger than that... ::He grumped, staving off an onslaught of nagging. He had expressed concern before this whole debacle happened and it fell on deaf ears. Saying more would only make him look like a dottering mother-in-law; and Nate was too good of a friend for that.:: Wilmer: I'm clear enough to know this isn't my bedroom, Doc. I guess things were that bad, huh? ::He nodded slowly, looking more serious than he wished once again. This was supposed to be a stupid happy fun night of drinking where the worst thing to happen would be some impromptu vomiting and a bad hangover. Not a full on sickbay emergency.:: Foster: I cannot stress how much I don't play around with a patient who has no heartbeat. I'd rather overreact than bury someone. Life support did a bang up job of getting everything regulated again. Wilmer: Doc, please tell me I don't have to spend the entire shore leave in sick bay.... ::Wyn perked a brow and an antennae at Wilmer, debating the answer which he already knew. He wanted to chide Nate and remind him that he had already shot down the engineering repairs before the shock. Oh well.:: Foster: Probably not. But you'll remain here for overnight observation. I want to make sure there's no problem with arrhythmia. James: Yeah, mate, you listen to the Doc proper, yeh? Foster: I'll try to make you as comfy as possible. ::He paused, casting a glace towards James:: Nessa can even stay here if she likes. I have a comfy chair you can sleep in. James/Wilmer: ? ::He bobbed his head in an assent gesturing towards his nearby office.:: Foster: Yeah, I have a non-regulation recliner in my office. It's very, very comfy. But you have to be OK with Triberius sitting on your lap. James/Wilmer: ? ::a hand wave, he was trying to make them feel at ease about staying the night.:: Foster: Triberius is the ::cough:: cat-tribble hybrid Liani made. She said it was for advanced relaxation therapy. ::shrug:: When she left I kept him. He's an irritating ball of fur that loves to sleep on laps. Not sure if I would call that the ultimate in relaxation but he's a decently sweet sort. ::And since Wyn had lost his oldest and most favorite tribble to a soul sucking monster, Triberius was the oldest pet and most constant thing left in his life. He was more attached to the stupid furrball than he would ever admit.:: James/Wilmer: ? Foster: No, I'm not going to be your bodyguard. I'll let the nursing staff handle that. I'm probably going home and nursing one killer hangover. ::A thoughtful pause:: Speaking of, I'll have them treat you guys for hangovers, too. James/Wilmer: ? ::He moved to his office allowing Nessa use of said comfy chair if she desired before taking his leave.:: Foster: I'll see you guys in the morning. James/Wilmer: ? ~*~ ((Foster's Quarters - USS Constitution-B)) ::Wyn Foster dragged himself to his quarters feeling weak, shaky and sick. This was supposed to be a fun night. A relaxing night. A night of teasing and innuendo and drinking. What the hell went wrong? As the door slid open he stumbled inside, looking at the darkness of the big room. It was silent - he couldn't even hear sounds of breathing. That meant Ozameen was out with friends - not unusual. And Mark was... wherever Mark was. And he didn't breathe. God, it was quiet. He walked in like a zombie, letting his oversensitive eyes adjust to the darkness. The cold. It felt good, in stark contrast to the achy sickness in his chest and limbs. The whole conflict of sensation sent unpleasant chills across his skin as he stumbled towards one of the low cushions he called chairs and collapsed down into it. That was when he realized he was shaking. He just couldn't shake it. Could not shake the feeling that every time someone died on his watch, and he brought them back to life that they were never the same person when they woke up again. Could not shake the feeling that something terrible would come of this. Breath caught in his throat as his entire body tensed and he caught himself before he screamed like a mad fool. Instead he made a strangled sound, halfway between a muffled scream and a sob. And in that instant, between soberness and drunkness, between hangover and sleep he opened a slim blue hand and slapped himself across the face to jolt his body into some sort of awareness.:: Foster: Why are you so paranoid?! ::he yelled at himself in an impressively loud tone.:: ::The darkness had no answer.:: ::He cursed. He called out every deity he knew and threw foul words at them. He looked at the stars and called them names that would make his mother blush. Well, probably make her blush - he never knew her. He yelled and screamed at the walls until the reverberations made his antennae hurt. And when all was said and done he didn't feel any better than he had before he started. But his throat was sore. Here he was, over on year after his transfer and not much better healed than the day he set foot on the Apollo.:: Foster: ::Sinking to his knees:: I am stupid. I am so stupid... ::Both antennae perked up. There was footfalls outside. He frowned deeply - the bulkheads were pretty thick, meaning he had to have made a pretty good racket for someone to hear. Maybe they didn't hear. Maybe they were just wandering the halls...in the middle of the night... after a big tiring mission. The chime rang.:: Foster: ::Muttering under his breath:: I really am stupid... ::normal volume:: Who is it? Any: ? Foster: Nope, all fine in here. ::A blatant lie, but hey, it sounded convincing. Less so if one just heard his tirade, but Wyn was a decent actor.:: Any: ? ::He sighed. He had to admit something. Otherwise he seemed like a mad fool:: Foster: I'm a bit too drunk to be thinking straight and far too sober for my own good. Any: ? ::His brain screamed 'do not open the door!' But his heart screamed 'open the door, stupid!' Anyone standing outside a locked door for a conversation this long was someone who deserved a bit of recognition for that fact at the very least, if not an explanation. He sighed, and opened the door. Wyn was not quite as much of a mess as he felt. He was mostly put together. There was some smears on his white shirt from the quick emergency transport, and big dark navy rings under his eyes from a far too high dosage of alcohol inhibitor (which was wearing off..) but otherwise he was looking fairly normal.:: Foster: Hi. Welcome to my humble home. Any: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Lt Commander Shar'Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Constitution-B "Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must" ~Julian Beck E239010ST0
  18. (( USS Conny - Main Engineering )) ::It seemed almost surreal when a mission ended. It was hard to pinpoint the moment it even began. The course of events was always the same though, a mission briefing with the captain followed by task assignments and duty posts. There was always the air of excitement depending on task assignment and it was generally a good anxiety.:: ::Then at some point between briefing and completion, you found yourself hanging on a limb, over an abyss… on fire. Questions racing through your mind like “How did I get here?” and “What does it all mean?”.. Or “Did I turn off the lights when I left?”. In quiet moments after a few drinks, you hear the things people think and you realise it’s not just you.:: ::Then after a blink or two, a duck and run.. It’s over! You find yourself wandering a corridor trying to make sense of what happened, how you even survived. Yet amid the calm and austere environment of the Constitution, only a handful of people suffered the trial of fire. 90% of the crew only knew by rumour and gossip the bare outline of their escapades and within the next day or two would even forget the name of the planet they had visited.:: ::Lerayn. Sindri knew already that eventually he too would forget its name. When he had scraped through 10 more worlds like it, each time repairing his physical damage but carrying the wounds internally forever.:: ::He had run into Rustty on his dawdle through the corridors, and they talked the surreal talk of normalness. They spoke of things trivial. They laughed and slowly regained their composure through observing routines, pleasantries and ribald ribbing. They carried on.:: Hael: At least Shore Leave be here’s now. Take’r easy for the next day or two. Sindri: I don’t know what scares me worse, going back to Lerayn or going on shore leave on SB11 again.. They may still remember my face ::He chuckled:: At least I didn’t use my own name. :: Rustty sighed and smirked he was definitely curious.:: Hael: You be usin’ oth’r folk’s namer so’s not to get into trouble’s eh? ::chuckled.:: Sound I ask’s? Sindri: Let’s just say there’s at least one sandwich counter that may not want to hear your name again. Besides, they shouldn’t serve Rom Ale with sandwiches, that's just asking for trouble. ::His expression dropped. A long, annoyed huff.:: Hael: I’s’a also be ‘earin’ you’s done done used my name down there’s on that Sulban’s planet. ::he set his hands on his hips.:: If’n’s you’s keeps that up’s I’m’a gonna have’ta be changin’ my name - an’ I done grown rather a’tached to it. ::he mocked sternness for as long as he could muster, which wasn’t very long.:: Sindri: Well I must admit, it was just fun until your name got that "Lieutenant" attached to it.. I think its a penal code violation now to continue using it. Hael: Ah hell’s, ain’ worse than wha’ I’s’a done already’s. But come on’s, break it up’s a bit an’ use someone elses, eh? ::he smirked.:: Sindri: Agreed. I can promise not to wear your name out.::he grinned widely:: And it’s not personal, I usually just pick the one who definitely has an alibi so they can’t be blamed after it’s discovered. Maybe next time I’ll be a ….”Hopper”?? Hael: ::choked on air.:: If’n ya wanna die, I suposin’ you can use ‘ers… But I wouldn’t tell no ones tha’ Sindri: You right.. Besides I don’t know if I can be masculine enough to pass for her? Hael: ::leaning against the doorframe.:: Gotcha plans fer this ‘ere shore leave? ::chuckled.:: ‘Side’s not goin’ to particular sandwich shop? Sindri: Plans? ::He stared blankly at Rustty for a second.:: I don’t know. I suppose I might think of something yet. ((OOC - No tags yet.. TBC) Ensign Dag Sindri Engineering officer USS Constitution C239211DS
  19. ((Day 98 - Bridge, USS Gorkon)) Marshall: ...looks like they're moving off, Captain. ::The relief was hard to describe, and she watched as it washed over the bridge like the tide. People slumped in the chairs, others smiled, others still bowed their heads, and there was even a fist-pump from one young ensign. All eyes were on the viewscreen throughout, watching as the Cardassian fleet wheeled about in a slow, graceful arc and made their way toward the edge of the ship graveyard.:: Reynolds: Keep an eye on them, just in case this is an attempt to lure us out. :It's what she would do. But perhaps they had been convinced enough by their two day search that there was nothing to find. She hoped that was the case, as it had been wretched living on a ship playing possum for this this long.:: Marshall: Understood. Maintaining... ((Day 131 - Abandoned Research Outpost, 83 Leonis II)) ::...as Blair's away team dragged the last of their haul to the upper deck of the research outpost, Quinn found her attention drawn to the vista outside. With all the doom and gloom of this universe, she found the place oddly calming -- at least here, the people were still alive and prosperous, not doomed by the Prime Directive and Cardassian grandstanding. ::Her gaze was drawn away as Larant approached her, and the ensign pressed the isolinear chip into her palm. She'd given the fiery young woman an odd request, to retrieve as much research data as possible from the wiped computers, and this was the fruit of her labours.:: Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: Thank you. ::She looked down at the chip, then stuffed it into her pocket. Those were answers for another time and another place. Now, she had to attend to the business of survival.:: Reynolds: Let's get this beamed up and secured, then we... ((Day 157 - Bridge, USS Gorkon)) ::...blood trickled into her eye as she hauled herself back into her seat, and she wiped it aside, thoughtlessly smearing it across her cheek and temple, where it mingled with the grime and ash clinging to her skin.:: Eerie: Shields at 34 percent. Phasers offline. Torpedos offline. Rosek: Inertial dampeners are failing and the warp engine is offline. ::No surprises there, given how they were being tossed about like ragdolls with every hit and manoeuvre. She squinted through smoke and sparks at the flickering viewscreen, trying to hold in the cough that the acrid air was producing.:: Nkai: Casualty reports coming in from decks 9, 10, 14 through 17, and… ::a frightened pause,:: we're losing antimatter containment. ::For a moment, Quinn swore her heart actually stopped. Was this it? Was this how it was all going to end? In that moment, all she could think of was Dylan and Amelia, and that hurt so much she could barely breathe.:: Sevo: Captain, I have an idea... ((Day 185 - Port Nacelle, USS Gorkon)) ::...Stoyer looked at her, and she could see the concern etching deep lines into his face. He was looking positively haggard these days, even more so after the recent accident in the fusion reactor that had claimed the lives of several of his engineers.:: Reynolds: Do the best you can, Lieutenant. Stoyer: Aye, Skipper. ::They both turned to look at the problem, and it was not a pretty sight. The row of verterium cortenide coils were scorched and bubbled, some entirely stripped of their inner layer. It made maintaining a stable warp field even more difficult than it already was, and added yet another item to their ever-growing list of desperately needed goods. ::While Stoyer stared at the massive job in front of him, Quinn stole another look at her chief engineer. He was dead on his feet, and that was a dangerous thing.:: Reynolds: And get some sleep. ::He opened his mouth to protest, and she held up a hand to silence him. She was reluctant to do what she was about to do, but the Triumphant crew had been aboard for months now. Perhaps it was time to trust some of them with some real responsibility.:: Reynolds: That's an order. Lieutenant Reynolds can hold the fort while... ((Day 199 - Cargo Bay, USS Gorkon)) ::...it wasn't a big crowd, but she wasn't surprised. This was all-too common an event these days, and it was simply too depressing for everyone to attend all of them. She was one of the few who did, because it was her responsibility. *They* were her responsibility. ::Taking a breath, she swallowed to try and wet her dry throat. No tears, though. No tears for people she barely knew. It made her felt guilty, for not knowing them well enough to feel the loss as only friends and family could.:: Reynolds: We are gathered here today to remember and celebrate the lives of Crewman Teesoan th'Ranthi, Crewman Skalvis, Crewman Devu Levon, Crewman Arash Resa, Crewman Miya Ataaxon, Crewman Tyrene, Crewman Sanjay Patel, Crewman Ayumi Ishikawa, Chief Petty Officer Shelen zh'Raasia, Chief Petty Officer Maxwell Alder, Ensign Pak, Ensign T'Mei, Ensign Marruh, Lieutenant Vrida Prex, Lieutenant Ozioma Babatunde... ((Day 207 - Marketplace, New Donetsk)) ::...her ribs sang with pain, but better the rough collision with the floor than the disruptor bolt that had bored a smoking hole in the wall. Hunkered down behind a low wall, chips of stone flying over their heads as the disruptors slammed into their chosen cover, the Russian woman responsible for their current predicament grabbed onto Brunsig's arm with a desperate strength.:: Nazarova: I'm sorry! Erik came here, he took my wife -- he took Lise! He said if I didn't get you here, he would… he would... ::Quinn dropped her head, looking at the floor, unable to find the words. When Brunsig echoed her movements, the raven-haired merchant paled, tears welling up in her eyes.:: Nazarova: N-no. No! He said-- He promised! Brunsig (Alt): ::He shook his head.:: She's gone, Irina. Erik left her for us to find. ::She half-expected some brutal comment about how the woman should have known better than to trust a traitor to keep his word, but if Brunsig was thinking it, he mercifully kept it to himself. Irina released his arm, collapsing to the ground as though her strings had been cut, and began unashamedly weeping. ::The young security ensign that had escorted the away team gestured for Quinn's attention, indicating the street to their right. There was movement, and it looked distinctly like they were being flanked.:: Tyan: Captain, I suggest we... ((Day 219 - Ready Room, USS Gorkon)) ::...it was pathetic. *She* was pathetic. Pathetic and weak and useless. But it had just been one more piece of not even terribly bad news, and something had snapped inside her. So here she was, huddled and hidden behind her desk, completely unable to stop the tears from flowing as every regret and loss of the past few months rushed in to haunt her. Tam: Quinn... ::The nurse's voice was low and soft as he crouched down beside her, and she turned her face away from him. It was bad enough that she had lost control, worse still that someone was present to witness it. ::He put his hand on her shoulder, a gentle and soothing weight that somehow made it all worse. She shook her head and half-heartedly batted him away.:: Reynolds: Just… ::She heaved a sob, unable to string even a couple of words together.:: ...go. ::He didn't. He hand slid around her shoulders and he pulled her close against him, holding her tight. She could hear his heart beating a steady rhythm and she buried her head in his chest, curling up in his arms…:: ((Day 247 - Ready Room, USS Gorkon)) Reynolds: ...how long do they usually take to reply? Brunsig (Alt): Not this long. ::She cast a weary look toward the three men sat around her desk, asking for their opinions without saying a word. Brunsig had barely changed at all over the past eight months, and why would he? This was the same life he'd been living for years.:: Vess: Ah think this is a bust. We canna sit here twiddling our thumbs forever. ::Vess. Oh, Vess. He didn't know it, but he was the cause of so many of her sleepless nights. His family. His children. What kind of life was this for them? Of course, she had made sure that the few children on the ship were not going hungry the way many of the adults were, and there was an ongoing effort by many of the crew that she too participated in, donating some of their replicator rations to make sure the children had toys and clothes. ::Still, it was no way to grow up.:: Blair: I agree, Captain. We have to stay on the move. ::Dear, stalwart Blair. Quinn wondered if he had regretted his decision to accept the post of first officer on the Gorkon, given how things had turned out. But she was glad that he was here, even if he was not. ::She sighed, sinking back in her chair. They were right, of course, but their options had grown increasingly thing, as Erik Jansen had continued to hunt them, growing ever more ruthless in his efforts. The Gorkon was becoming a cursed name in the Corridor, bringing only death and destruction in their wake. Reynolds: Alright, we'll-- ::There was a burst of painfully loud static, the sound that had long since replaced the polite and quiet chirp of an incoming communication. Nobody batted an eyelid -- they were all too used to it by now.:: Nkai: =/\= Captain, we have an incoming message from… ::he paused,:: uh, the IRW Rh'vaurek. =/\= ::Brunsig abruptly straightened in his chair, and the frown that carved its way onto his forehead was one of alarm and concern.:: Brunsig (Alt): That's a warbird. Reynolds: That's unusual? Brunsig (Alt): Yes. Either our luck is turning, or we're about to get blown out of the sky. ::Nothing was an unremarkable decision anymore. Everything was life or death. And she couldn't remember when she had stopped struggling against that miserable fact. ::It wasn't as though they had any choice in the matter, after all. And now, it was time to...:: -- Captain Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  20. (( Bridge- United Orion Starship Orion Glory, 2.9 hours from Duronis )) :: Xoren looked out at the viewscreen, the faint dot reprsenting the USS Ashoka soon resolving itself into the image of a Defiant Class starship. Although still outside weapons range, Xoren knew the Defiant Class she was facing would be a formidable challenge, one she and her sister ship, the Orion Pride, would be more than willing to take on:: :: The tall Orion woman, thinner than most, with long brunette hair down her back, with piercing green eyes to match her green skin, had been more than happy to take on this last minute mission. Originally, her job was to rendezvous with the ship carrying the assassins, but that plan was now shelved due to their failure to complete their mission. Unlike Orions, those fools did not choose to kill themselves for their failure...instead, they were captured, and most likely now being interrogated. Xoren had been busy , her fleet raiding dilithium ships and stealing their cargo, stealing so much of it over the quadrant that there was now an acute shortage..and the Orions had cornered the market. Her exploits had made her rich, but not as rich as the commander of the three Orion ships now racing towards her prize:: ::Her orders were to either kill or capture a Vulcan named Varaal, who was making his way to Duronis Two. She was also well aware that this was Quiana's territory, but The Council tasked her to deal with this threat. Hers was not to ask why...following orders had been very lucrative for her in the past, and she saw no reason for that to change.:: :: Closing on her target, her Communications Officer spoke:: Comm Officer: Commander...I am receiving a hail from the Federation starship... Xoren: Put it on the speaker.... ::The next voice she heard was that of the commander of the USS Ashoka:: Zhao:=/\= Orion vessels, this is Captain Marina Zhao of the USS Ashoka. We are on an emergency mission to the Federation Embassy at Duronis II.=/\= :: Standard Starfleet claptrap...they always want to talk before fighting. Before her Coomm Officer could ask the next question, Xoren responded: Xoren: Do not respond. Let them choke on silence....Tactical...charge weapons and go to battle alert...that will be our answer... Tactical Officer: Yes, Commander....weapons charged... :: Once again, the Federation starship hailed them:: Zhao:=/\= Orion vessels, we have detected that your weapons systems have already been activated. Stand down immediately or we will open fire upon reaching weapons range. You have been warned.=/\= :: That was key. This Starfleet captain was going to open fire as soon as she had an opportunity. Her ships did not have the range of Starfleet weaponry..they were never meant to combat Starfleet vessels. It meant surviving the extra 50,000 kilometers range the Ashoka had on them, which meant the Ashoka would get off the first salvo. It meant a knife fight at extremely close range. Turning to her First Officer, a smaller Orion male named Seron, Xoren spoke:: Xoren: Order the Orion Pride to hold course and open fire when in range. Seron: Yes, Commander... Xoren: Helm...put us on a parabolic course...increase speed to emergency... Helm: Yes, Commander... Seron: Your plan, Commander? Xoren: As they engage the Pride,we will be swinging around and will fire directly into her amidships with all weapons. Then the two of us will swing around and make another pass. Once her shields are down, we will batter her into submission, then board her and take what we came for.. :: The First Officer pursed his lips. He was uncertain if the plan would work. He had seen the specs for the Defiant Class vessel they had once managed to have delivered into their hands, the USS Avenger. The ship was subsequently stolen back by Starfleet forces, but not before the Orions managed to build their own copy, which was destroyed during the 2389 invasion. He knew what the Defiant Class was capable of, and he was dubious that such a plan would work. Quietly, he spoke to his commander:: Seron: Commander..the initial assault must be flawless. That class of ship is extremely formidable. We will not get a second chance to effect an affirmative attack... :: Feeling the deckplates slightly heel beneath her as the starship began its turn, Xoren spoke:: Xoren: Noted. Prepare your boarding forces. Do it quickly.... ::Seeing that she was in no mood for contradiction, the Orion male nodded:: Seron: It shall be done.... ::As Seron left the bridge, her Comm Officer spoke:: Comm Officer: Commander...the Ashoka is sending out a distress signal to the Embassy... ::Xoren snorted:: Xoren: The battle will be long over by the time help comes. Let them beg...... Tactical Officer: Twenty seconds before the Pride is in weapons range... Xoren. All weapons ready...drop from warp in five seconds...three...two...one... :: The starfield abruptly shifted to see the bulk of the Defiant Class showing Xoren her broadside. However, her tactical officer called out a warning:: Tactical Officer: Commander! They are firing on the Pride! :: Inwardly, Xoren cursed the heavens. When the Pride dropped from warp she should have been firing. Instead, the Ashoka got off the first shots, a white hot flash emanating from the Pride's engineering section:: Xoren: FIRE ALL WEAPONS!!! ::The Glory shuddered as she fired a full spread of photon torpedoes and raked the Ashoka with phaser fire:: TAG Xoren Commander United Orion Starship Orion Glory As simmed by: Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker Marine CO Acting Chief Of Security USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy C238703HP0
  21. (( Brig; F.M.S. Krayvet ))Falcon: Worst case, yeah, they’ll know we’re up to something and come stop us. I’m banking on them wanting to keep at least one person in here alive. If they come into get her, that’s our opening. Trel’lis: With my prior Security and Tactical training, I can be useful on all fronts. Taelon: That’s good, at least… ::glances at the Diva and her manager:: Trel’lis: It’s not difficult to locate hidden panels, when you know *what* you’re looking for, tactile-wise.::Taelon started heading toward the forcefield, with Trel’lis looking on. Her science and security experts were working the problem, giving Kaitlyn a moment to think.::::That Orion woman. Kaitlyn knew her. It had not triggered immediately; due to the dark/bright contrast Kaitlyn could not see the details of her face. Now that she had a chance to let her mind work on it a bit, however, the connections were made.::::And if she really was who Kaitlyn though she was, then Theo was in a lot of trouble…::(( Flashback – Seven Years Ago; Abandoned Factory; Oliph VII ))::A sharp crack and flash of pain heralded Kaitlyn Falcon’s return to consciousness.::::The sequence of events which had brought her there came back to her in a flood. An old partner, one of the Braxton brothers, had shot James a message. He wanted to talk about a new opportunity to expand their operations into another sector. The Braxtons had generally been straight-up folks, so James was happy to continue working with them.::::The Braxtons were old friends. The message had not given any of their distress code phrases, and the meeting location was public. Safe enough. Kaitlyn had offered to go, freeing up James to cover other obligations.::::From the moment she arrived, something seemed… off… When Kaitlyn met Ulfric Braxton’s eyes, there was an underlying warning to them. It was pretty clear he was in some kind of trouble. Concern for their old friend drove her onward. Besides, if there was trouble, she had probably already been spotted. She still managed to tap her emergency beacon to summon help.::::That turned out to be a pretty good decision. The beacon, rather, not so much continuing onward, because within three meters of Braxton all hell broke loose.::::The doors burst in, individuals wearing heavy cloaks shoving their way inside. They opened fire immediately, blasting holes in the ceiling as patrons dropped to the floor in a panic. Unable to go back, Kaitlyn pushed forward. If she could reach Ulfric, then maybe the two of them could break through the other side.::::Only problem with that plan, not that she had known it at the time, was the additional cloaked figures pushing in the place’s back door.::::Kaitlyn had only just grabbed hold of Ulfric’s arm, when the butt of a rifle came swinging into her temple, dazing her and knocking her to a knee. Hands landed on her shoulders, holding her down.::::All she could do was struggle and watch as one of the attackers ran a knife across Ulfric’s neck… Another blow to her head, and the world went dark.::::Another loud crack and another sharp flash of pain brought Kaitlyn fully back into the moment. She was bound; her wrists wrapped with leather straps to poles on either side of her. Her feet, too, were tied down, preventing her from kicking out. She held upright in the center of the room which made up her ‘accommodations’. All around her was metal and rust; something old and industrial.::Orion Male: Wake up!::Ah, him again. The Orion who had ‘greeted’ her once she had first woken up. Never gave his name, but undoubtedly Syndicate. Whoever this guy was, he had been the one in charge of softening her up. Or bloodying her up. Kaitlyn was still trying to figure out their main goals. For the moment, keeping her awake seemed to be the main one.::::Their primary tool was that whip. Her arms and back screamed in protest long after he had finished each… session.::::Much as she preferred ignoring him, she knew she would need her arms at some point. She had no intention of remaining there forever.::::With as much anger as her eyes could project, Kaitlyn slowly pulled herself up from her unconscious slouched position. The poles on her sides were too big for her to break. The straps did not seem like much, but she had seen such things reinforced with external fields.::::The Orion stood menacingly, towering over her. Of course, that was all the brutes were really good for.::Orion Male: You’re lucky the bosses have something special in mind for you.Falcon: oO That’s right. Tell me what you’re up to. Oo ::Sarcastically.:: Oh, I’m sure the Braxtons will be plenty happy with you. Ulfric wasn’t the favored baby brother, or anything.Orion Male: ::Dark chuckle.:: Oh, the Braxtons will get theirs. ::Shakes head.:: No, you Nova-folks have been a thorn in our sides long enough. We’re gonna pull you out. ::Leans in.:: Permanently.::So. Good news; these guys did not know about the family. Nothing would reach back to the ‘Fleet folks. Bad news; they were gunning for James and Nichole, too. Explained why they let her hit her emergency beacon. They wanted all three of them.::::Still, this guy had presented himself as a perfect target. Why pass it up?::::Kaitlyn quickly pooled up a ball of saliva and spit it straight into the Orion’s ugly green nose. He recoiled, yelling angrily as he swung the whip around to bite into her arm again.::::Ow.::::Worth it.::Khante: ::She strode in, with a lean catlike grace, her voice was biting and sharp:: Did you even listen to what I said when I left? What were my orders about touching the prisoners after they woke?!::A woman shouted from the doorway, angry eyes focused on the male. He shrunk back a bit at the sound.::::Someone with enough force to make THIS guy back down? Interesting…::Orion Male: To… not to.Khante: ::Sweetly, cajoling:: But some poor moron forgot about that. ::She strode up to the male, taking his chin in her hand for a moment before harshly slapping him across the face. A pause and a moment later she pressed a finger into a pressure point behind the ear and pulled the lobe down in a gesture that had him whimpering in pain. Yillara smiled sweetly, drinking in the agony.:: Khante: ::Her voice turned harsh, barking orders to the now-cowering males.:: Out. Get the recording gear set up. ::Evil smile to Kaitlyn.:: We wouldn’t want her brother to miss out of the fun, would we?::So… THAT was the plan… Mess her up enough, send the footage to James, and make him attack them stupid. Kaitlyn hoped he would not be that dumb… but she now had her own objective.::::The male departed, door shutting behind him… but not quite fast enough to hide something VERY interesting.::::A device on his belt. Communicator, perhaps, but that was not the interesting part. What WAS interesting was the fact its lights were dark on the near side of the doorway, and lit up after he passed through.::::Energy dampening field… They had her in an energy dampening field…::::She could work with that.::::Of course, all those revelations were kept from her features.::::The woman looked over the injuries on Kaitlyn’s arms and back, seeming to admire the handiwork.::Khante: Say what you will about males, they follow SOME instructions well. ::Smirks, her voice turned coaxing, almost seductive.:: I’d say your arms have had enough attention. I can’t have as much fun as I’d like to… yet… What’s say we give that back of yours some more attention, hmm? Falcon: If it’s FUN you’re after, why not just cut me loose. ::She flexed her hands into fists.:: Or are you afraid you’d lose?Khante: ::With an offish flick of her hand as she stroked the whip on the table.:: Fear and pride are downfalls of males. ::Turning her dark eyes towards Kaitlyn:: I prefer not to tempt fate. I enjoy you right where you are. Falcon: Justify it however you want. Coward. ::Walking up, she let the barbed whip dance across Falcon's back, giving a little moan of pleasure as she watched the cuts well up with blood. As she walked around she dipped a finger in blood and dragged it across her prisoner's cheek in a mockery of seduction.:: Khante: I find fun in the patterns your blood makes as it runs down your back. I find artistry in the cuts I will make across your cheekbones and the way the flesh can be peeled back. ::Looking closely at Kaitlyn:: Too bad you're not prettier. I just love mutilating a pretty face. Falcon: Why?::Kaitlyn gave a smirk; the kind which suggested SHE was the one in control. She just needed some time alone to figure out the first part of the plan. Once she was out that door, out of the dampening field, she could do something. If she could frustrate this woman enough to make her leave…::Falcon: Is someone jealous? Khante: ::That riled her up, and she swore hotly in the Orion tongue, casting the whip across Kaitlyn's chest:: You and your Terran pride! Your hot-tongued lies! I will mutilate you, not because of your inherent beauty, but because it will make your brother weep! ::She hissed::::The strike did make Kaitlyn shift back, momentarily, but the remains of her jacket managed to take most of the blow. Either the woman was a half-step shy of full-blown crazy, or Kaitlyn’s words were having something of an effect.::::Or both…:: Falcon: Then you don’t know my brother. ::She leaned against her restraints, bringing whatever menace she could in her position.:: He’s got an itchy trigger finger, and your face is the perfect target to scratch it.(( End Flashback ))::A click from the far side of the room brought Kaitlyn’s attention back to the present.:: Taelon: Sirs - ::looks to Trel’lis and Falcon:: I might have something, but I can’t reach it to see. Can you tell what it is? ::wipes his bloodied hand on his uniform as he realized the issue:: I c-can lift you or one of you can lift me. Whatever works.::Kaitlyn pushed against the wall, and found that her legs were finally ready to carry her. She started moving across the bridge, giving her temple a test touch; not nearly as bad as before. Before she could reply to Taelon, Shadonna spoke up.:: Shadonna: ::eyes snap toward Taelon, stands quickly:: I'll do it. Trel’lis: That’s quite alright. We can – Shadonna: ::reddens slightly, clears her throat:: N-no, please, I want to help. ::takes a deep breath:: Please...I'd like to help. I wasn't injured when the shuttle was attacked and...besides ::holds up her hands, fans her twenty four fingers with a small smile:: I'm pretty dexterous... Taelon: Okay. Be careful - whatever it is, it’s sharp. It feels like a panel that’s rusted through.Hobbs: ::His shoulders loosened, and he admitted a small smile.:: I suppose so.. Shadonna: ::turns to Hobbs, she patted his shoulder in awkward affection:: I'll be extra careful. ::quietly:: I want to do this...if I can help...I should...right? Trel’lis: Thank you Lady Shadonna. This is much appreciated.::It was certainly unexpected. Not really the image Kaitlyn had about the woman on hearing her through the [...]pit door. If she wanted to help…::Falcon: If you’re sure… Shadonna: ::a deep breath, straightens, walks towards Taelon, nodding slightly:: I'm ready. Trel’lis: ::softly:: Something’s ‘changed her. And that a good thing.::Kaitlyn looked over to Trel’lis, giving a small nod. At least, Kaitlyn HOPED this was a good thing…::Trel’lis: ::to Falcon:: As soon as he’s successful, prepare for rather sudden *guests*, or should I say *thugs*?Falcon: ::Nods.:: Probably. I doubt they’ll WANT us to escape, after all. Trel’lis: If need be we use the element of surprise, appearing helpless then pouncing when the right time presents itself.::As hopeful a thought as that might be, Kaitlyn shook her head.::Falcon: I’m pretty sure that breaking ourselves out will kill any chances of us looking helpless. Hell, I’m surprised they haven’t come in here, already.::In fact… Why had they NOT come charging in? Was it possible they had no internal cameras to the brig?::::Wishful thinking… NOT something they should be relying on.:: Trel’lis: My security/tactical training has me prepared for close-quarters combat, with a bit of martial arts thrown in.::Fair enough, though there was something Trel’lis would lack in a fight, or rather something that would hold her back.::::Starfleet Officers were trained to fight, trained to defend themselves, but they were not trained to kill.::::In this situation, they would be given no mercy, no quarter. They had to do the same.::::Of everyone there… Kaitlyn was pretty sure SHE was the only one who had dealt with the kind of fighting they were likely to encounter. Not that she particularly WANTED to kill anyone, at that particular moment, but if the need arose…::Falcon: True. That’s why I want you to stay with Shadonna and Hobbs. You’re their last line of defense. Zinna, back her up however you can.Taelon: I don’t have any real hand-to-hand training. ::His tone was a bit sheepish.:: I’ll try to stay with the Lady and Mister Hobbs.::Kaitlyn looked to him, giving a nod.::Falcon: That should work for the moment. I might have more for you, thought.Hobbs: What if they walk in on us?Falcon: Then I’ll make sure they don’t get a chance to do anything about it.::It was said with a strong degree of harsh certainty.:: Hobbs: I guess you’re right. ::He looked back to Shadonna.:: Are you ok up there? ::Hobbs moved closer to Taelon..:: Hobbs: Do you think this will work? Taelon: Honestly, I don’t know. I hope so. ::A piece of metal fell away from the wall as the diva got the panel open. Taelon adjusted his grip and looked up. Kaitlyn watched, checking if he needed any extra hands nearby.:: Taelon: W-::Kaitlyn could hear the crackle of energy, passing through Shadonna and Taelon in an instant. She rushed over to Taelon as Hobbs checked on Shadonna, but Taelon was back up in an instant.:: Hobbs: Lady Shadonna! Talk to me!Taelon: ::Pressing his fingers to Shadonna’s neck.:: Sorry, sorry - please be alright - where did it hit you? What did you touch?Shadonna: ?Taelon: Thank the goddesses. I'm so sorry, I didn't realize how degraded the emitter might be –::Taelon looked over his shoulder, Kaitlyn following his gaze to see the door to the hallway open. There was no sound from the hallway… which concerned Kaitlyn greatly.::::Yep… They knew that their captives were up to. And rather than try to stop them, they were looking to play…::::They should have known better what happened when Kaitlyn got out to play.::Taelon: What do we do now, sir? ::He looked to Falcon.:: How do we get the Commander back?::Well, the door was open. She had her opening.::::Kaitlyn’s stance was stronger than it had been for a good while, her fires relit. Her objectives were clear; get the civilians clear, find Theo, escape. Her eyes immediately shot to the others. The Kaitlyn they saw was… unfamiliar. She was neither the diplomatic Kaitlyn who showed up when needed, nor was she the standard snarky pilot.::Falcon: Trel’lis, Zinna, you’re with the civilians. Keep them protected as best as you can. Taelon, stick near them, but if you spot a console see what you can pull from it. Escape routes, FO’s location, some way to disable this fleatrap, anything. Plan to get the Commander back will depend on what information we can get.Falcon: I’ll take point. Trel’lis; if I fall, you’re in charge. Don’t wait for me. Get yourselves out of here. That’s an order.::Her tone made it clear that there would be no questioning of that order. If both she and Theo were lost, priority HAD to be given to the civilians.::Falcon: Is everyone ready and able to move? ::Her eyes softened ever so slightly as she looked to Taelon and Shadonna.:: You two okay?::Kaitlyn nodded, looking between her fellow officers.::Falcon: Grab weapons of opportunity as you can find them. Watch doors and intersections. ::Looking to Trel’lis.:: Anything additional?::While Kaitlyn did have her own experience with this sort of thing, much of which she could not talk about, she was well accustomed to working with a team. Trel’lis was her strongest backup when it came to the coming fight.::Falcon: Then let’s move. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Lt Commander Kaitlyn FalconChief Helm OfficerStarbase 118 / U.S.S. AlbionF237507RF0=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  22. (( Ops Command Center; Starbase 118 )) ::Kaitlyn, PADD in hand, stepped out of the turbolift into the Command Center. They’d all had some time to depressurize, which they sorely needed, and now that she had a calm head, there was something Kaitlyn needed to say to Leo.:: ::Not that this was their first time talking since the mission ended. Since getting to the station, Kaitlyn and Leo got to talk on a daily basis, with many of their meals shared. She wouldn’t call it common-place yet, though. The concept of actually being able to see and interact with Leo on a daily basis was still novel and exciting. Their relationship had survived a difficult long-distance period. In her mind, that boded well for them.:: ::She approached his ready room door. Though Leo had long since told her to just come in whenever, she still felt it right to ring the chime. After all, he probably wouldn’t want some Admiral seeing a girl rush in from the side and start making out with him out of the blue.:: ::Then again, she thought with a smirk, that might be fun.:: ::Kaitlyn tapped the chime.:: ((Captain’s Ready Room; Hub; Starbase 118)) :: Leo was sitting at his desk, cup of tea half drunk. The chimed was unexpected, but not a surprise. He was a popular port of call for the crew, and Leo was only to happy to lend an ear to their concerns.:: Handley-Page: Come... ::She slipped through the door, giving him his customary smile as the door slid shut behind her.:: Falcon: Hello, my prince. :: Leo beamed at the sight of his red-headed princess. This was the best result possible. He stood up and walked around the desk.:: Handley-Page: It is good to see you. How are you today? Falcon: I’m doing fantastic. ::Smiles.:: How are you? Handley-Page: Excellent. Yes, I am doing fine. Checked on all the injured and new crew. All’s tickety-boo… ::He gave her a hug, Kaitlyn squeezing him tightly and giving him a kiss on his cheek.:: Handley-Page: Would you like a drink? Falcon: I’d love one! Handley-Page: No problemo. I know what you like! ::As Leo went to the replicator, Kaitlyn made her way toward the couch. She looked over to him again before she’d even sat down.:: Falcon: First things first, how’s Nia? :: Leo joined her, drink in hand.:: Handley-Page: There you go… ::Leo passed the cup to Kaitlyn, and then sat next to her and sighed. Kaitlyn took her first sip of delicious chai as he started.:: Handley-Page: She’s doing well, thanks, all things considered. The Docs have her dosed up on drugs to keep her mind… stable. Talking to her she was as chirpy as could be expected. ::Kaitlyn nodded her understanding. She remembered the look on Leo’s face when Nia had suddenly wandered onto Albion’s bridge, sounding extremely… different. To hear that his sister was even a bit better than that was a good thing.:: Falcon: That’s a good start, if nothing else. ::Another sip.:: What happens next? :: Leo sighed again.:: Handley-Page: Longer term, I’m not sure the procedure. Whatever that monster did to her on the Noguwip, it’s not going to be cured easily. ::Kaitlyn sighed as well, shaking her head.:: Falcon: ::Muttered.:: [...]s… ::Another sip.:: Handley-Page: I will not let this rest. I will hunt that serpent down and save my sister’s sanity. ::Kaitlyn looked to Leo again, one eyebrow slightly raised in curiosity.:: Falcon: You have an idea of where they came from? :: Leo pondered her question for a moment. He wondered if his suspicions were correct, but he wanted to confide in Kaitlyn.:: Handley-Page: I recognise all the hallmarks of the Noguwip and its crew…. they are…. ::That trail off spoke volumes to her. She remembered their conversation not too long before, just after the Noguwip departed the station. If he was shaken up that much about the revelation, it had to be…:: Falcon: Byzallians? Handley-Page: Yes, Byzallians…. well :: he paused:: They once were Byzallians. Now they are mere monstrous puppets. Falcon: Taree, and Y-rocck? ::Slight head tilt.:: Puppets? Handley-Page: Aye, I am coming to the opinion that both the demons we had aboard the station who came here from the Vytak, and our would-be saviours - the Noguwip were in fact dancing from the same string. :: Leo’s voice had gone from merely sad to haunting. If his fears were confirmed, then his and Nia’s location was now known to the ONE being in the galaxy they needed to hide from.:: ::Kaitlyn leaned back, taking another sip of her chai as she thought. She held the mug before her, tapping its side with one finger.:: Falcon: Given what’s happen with Nia, I can see where that idea came from. Question is, is there any proof? :: Leo puffed out his cheeks.:: Handley-Page: I don’t have any hard proof, especially as the demon’s body was conveniently vapourised by the Noguwip, but the whole episode stank of my homeworld. Demons and monsters aren’t normal encounters for Starfleet, but they are an everyday occurrence on Byzatium. Believe me, I spent eight long years there. ::Part of her wanted to remind Leo of her own history, if only to assure him that he wasn’t the only one who had encountered demons, but he was already well aware of the fact, and this was hardly the time to bring it up.:: Falcon: ::Nods.:: I believe you. Handley-Page: But it seems now that whatever warped experiments they are up to have progressed to telepathy, and what’s worse… their tentacles have reached the Starbase, and Nia in particular. It’s like they are searching me out and trying to drag me back… but if we are to cure Nia, I may have no choice. ::Kaitlyn set her chai on a nearby end table, shifting closer to Leo and reaching out to take his hands in hers.:: Falcon: Hey… Whatever happens, Leo, I’m here to help. :: Leo clasped Kaitlyn’s soft hands in his.:: Handley-Page: That means so much to me, but in all honesty I would want to keep you away from that Hell if at all possible. Besides, we will need some extra muscle. ::Kaitlyn gave him what she hoped was a confident smile.:: Falcon: Then we call in some backup. No one’s too big to stop, no matter what they have up their sleeves. Handley-Page: He has very big sleeves… :: Leo said that with a hint of menace. He knew quite well who the *HE* was that he referred to.:: Falcon: If it helps you feel any better… ::Holds out PADD.:: My one piece of actual business. Update on Albion. EDMC Jemeth’s had the repair crews pushing hard on repairs. Most of the major systems are 100%, and he expects the remaining systems to be back up and ready by the day after tomorrow. :: Leo was pleased with the change of conversation subject, and his face rose into a soft smile.:: Handley-Page: Jolly good, Jemeth is a top bloke, eh?There’s life in the old girl yet, still packing a punch.. Falcon: We never HOPE for a pounding out there, but it’s good to know she’s up for a scrap. Handley-Page: Aye. :: Leo took another sip of tea, and then placed the cup down. He looked into Kaitlyn’s eyes, and saw the warmth and confidence that burned in them. He also noticed how pretty her hair was in this dappled light. He leaned forward.:: Handley-Page: When are you off duty? ::She made a show as if looking at a wristwatch, then looked back up with a smile.:: Falcon: ‘Bout five minutes ago. Handley-Page: Got any plans? Falcon: Nothing major. ::Leans forward.:: I did have something else I wanted to talk to you about, though. ::Kaitlyn held up a forestalling hand, knowing how those words sounded to any man when spoken by any woman.:: Falcon: Nothing bad, don’t worry. Just something I noticed that I wanted to mention. :: Leo smiled warmly.:: Handley-Page: Fire away, my dear. ::Kaitlyn leaned back into the sofa, keeping her arm outstretched to continue grasping Leo’s hand.:: Falcon: Well, we’ve been through a lot since we got to the station, and more than once the situations seems a lot more risky than either of us would’ve liked. Handley-Page: Aye, that is very true. Not the quiet posting I had been hoping for. Sorry for dragging thee here. Falcon: The only thing that ever worried me about being here, about working with you again in the positions we’re in, is that… Well, that you might let our relationship affect your decisions. That in the heat of the moment, you’d hold me back from doing my job. Handley-Page: Really? I wouldn’t dare. I am more scared of you than all the monsters in the galaxy! Although I do worry about you when you’re out of sight. :: He winked at her.:: ::Kaitlyn smirked, managing a chuckle.:: Falcon: Be that as it may, you haven’t. I know you didn’t want to send me over to the Asphodel, but you did. I know you didn’t want to let me go roving across the Promenade, either, but you let me. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate it, and that it lets me know you have confidence in me. ::Smiles.:: Handley-Page: Seriously, I trust you to be able to handle yourself as good as anyone, and better than most. In fact, I feel safer when you are around. I know you’ve always got my back. Falcon: ::Smiles.:: That was never in doubt. Handley-Page: And I have yours. To Be Continued... Captain Leo Handley-Page Commanding Officer; Starbase118 Ops wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Handley-Page,_Leo --- "Professional Daydreamer & Rural Spaceman" AND =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  23. To form a friendship Part 1 To Form A friendship Part 2
  24. ((PART ONE)) ((USS Atlantis - Deck Two - The Trident)) ::The turbolift came to a stop with the introductions completed, and both officers stepped out. Walking into the Trident, both sat down. At first, no one spoke. But little by little, Adam gained the courage to take his eyes away from the large window, and engaged T'Var.:: HAASE: So, what were those ideas you talked about? I’m just bursting with anticipation. HELLING: You remember in the briefing Commander Townson said we may have to infiltrate Holonna. I’m just, ::T’Var hesitated:: I’ve been thinking over possibilities. HAASE: I'm good at keeping secrets. ::Adam inched forward a bit:: Go ahead...I'm all ears. HELLING: ::T’Var considered him for a moment.:: Alright, ::leaning forward on her elbows.:: We know that the inhabitants of Holonna look a lot like humans, right? HAASE: Yes. In fact, they are almost indistinguishable - except for a trained eye in anatomy. HELLING: Exactly, so we can send a human away team down to search for the Captain. Braddock and I can monitor the group’s progress from the ship, guide them or advise them as need be. HAASE: But, and I’m not saying this from a tactical perspective since I’m not, but don’t you think we should conduct a bit of surveillance first? I mean, what if they wear strange clothing? We’d need to replicate it. What if they have scanning devices for incoming citizens? They may track the slightest difference in anatomy. I would agree that this sounds paranoid, but we must be certain. We don’t want to lose anyone else. Losing the Captain was enough. ::Adam sighed. Crossing his arms, he placed them on the table as a pillow for his head.:: HELLING: True and if we can find a possible diplomatic solution I would be thrilled. Obviously we try talking first, but I’ll leave that up to Commander Townson or our new diplomatic officers. Negotiations have never been my strong point. But if that fails, we scan the planet, send in a probe if necessary, try to locate the Captain that way. And again if that fails, then we turn our attention to a infiltrate and rescue mission. Our scans should show us what kinds of clothing they wear and should reveal any sensor nets. We may be able to hack into any surveillance equipment they have, but that would take time we may not have. Kidnapped Captains have a tendency to not end up in the best shape, I’d rather get him back on board in one piece. HAASE: Hmmm…::Adam pulled a PADD from his back pocket:: I have an idea. ::With a few clicks and taps, he had retrieved every piece of information on the inhabitants of Holonna.:: Perhaps, we could adapt personal dampening field to each one of you, allowing you to look, sound, and anatomically be one of them. No medical problems, no scanning problems, no dialect problems. We’d automatically program their vernacular into the systems for your continued use. How does that sound? ::Adam always became excited when he figured something out. Especially if it had to do with dampening fields. In fact, his thesis at the Vulcan Science Academy was on dampening fields and subspace harmonics. Quite a different subject indeed, but his mind was wandering. He focused back on T’Var.:: HELLING: ::T’Var considered him for a time, mulling it over.:: Maybe I really did need an engineer’s point of view. You’d make a good tactical officer. ::Interlocking her fingers beneath her chin she leaned in, eyes locked with Adam’s.:: It’s an interesting idea, and highly plausible, would it work just for small changes, like with humans or also for more... ::she paused, trying to decide upon the right word.:: ...extreme differences, like, for example, Klingons? HAASE: In fact, you, my dear, would be relatively simple to dampen. Most of your body is human, due to your unique situation, one parent Klingon and the other Human. Only a few of your organs would have to be masked, along with a few…::he paused::...exterior features. ::T’Var snorted with amusement.:: HAASE: But I wouldn’t suggest sending...let’s say...Andorians on this mission. That would be an extreme programming disaster. ::Adam laughed:: HELLING: How long do you think a dampening field like that would take to adapt? Do you have enough data at the moment or will you require extra scans of the planet, inhabitants, anything? HAASE: Well, the information here is a little sketchy. According to the Starfleet Colonization Database, this planet has only been approached by two ships. Only one got close range scans, and no away teams were sent due to the prime directive. Although...in my eyes this species looks smart enough to achieve warp drive. Why they haven’t I do not know. But unfortunately, I’m going to need us to take a direct orbit of the planet...even if that means hiding around one of the poles...so that I can get some more detailed information about this species. I can program the shields to protect us from any of their satellite equipment, just in case. HELLING: Could we get the appropriate data with a probe? HAASE: ::Adam considered T’Var’s idea...but had to knock it down.:: I would...but this type of data needs to be precise. A probe’s sensor range is limited...and I don’t want to risk having to send anything down into the atmosphere unless we absolutely have to. If need be, I’ll try to re-route power through the ship’s aft couplings to allot the necessary power to the sensor relays to get us extended range. But that would still require an outer orbit. HELLING: ::T’Var dropped her hands to her lap, twisting her fingers together, thinking it over.:: I’m hesitant to bring the ship into an orbit in which the inhabitants of Holonna could see us. But if we hide it over a pole, as you suggested, we might be able to keep her undetected. Do you think Fenelli could keep us out of their sight? HAASE: ::Adam considered for a moment:: I’m sure she could...and, with the shield modification I’ll implement, with the approval of Varaan of course, their scanning technology will bounce right off of us...no detection whatsoever. Of course, keeping us within a polar orbit will make sure that we aren’t detected. As soon as we get those scans, I’ll begin to program your dampeners. This all shouldn’t take more than 5 or 6 hours. ::Adam wiped the metaphorical sweat from his forehead and smiled.:: Nice work! HELLING: ::T’Var nodded slightly.:: Okay then. You’d better be ready with your programing expertise. I want to get this done as quickly as we can. In and out. Well, ::adding with a shrug.:: that’s if our commanding officers approve this. HAASE: Of course. ::Adam sighed. Such good ideas go to waste when the commanding officers don’t approve. Perhaps mind control was an option….:: Let’s swing this by LtCmdr Townson. I’m sure that with all of the planning we’ve done she’ll agree. In fact, I’ll replicate the dampeners now to show her. I’ll demonstrate on myself...and you...if that’s okay. It’ll help her to know that we worked on this collectively. HELLING: That it will. ::Smiling,:: And you can demonstrate on me as long as you promise not to kill me. HAASE: ::smiling:: It’s a deal. HELLING: ::T’Var laughed slightly.:: Let’s get to work. ((Engineering, USS Atlantis)) ::Over the next couple of hours, Adam and T’Var slaved away at the replicators and in front of computer screens. Everything must be planned correctly...and planned correctly it was - down to the nanosecond. Diagrams were drawn, schematics were archived. Laughter proceeded. Everything was going as planned. The only thing left - approval.:: HAASE: So...do you think we’re ready to show what we’ve got? HELLING: ::Hands on hips, looking over their work.:: I think so. We’ve gone over every inch of this thing enough times. But you’re the engineer, so if you with all your techie knowledge think it’s ready then it’s ready. HAASE: Perfect. Here, mind holding these PADDs? ::Adam picked up what seemed to be 20 PADDs and placed them into the arms of T’Var.:: Yes...we need them all. HELLING: ::The half Klingon laughed, trying not to drop them.:: oO Maybe I’ll just throw one at him when he’s not looking. Oo ::She stopped, narrowing her eyes at Adam in mocking disdain.:: Can you read my thoughts? HAASE: Oh, yes. ::Adam picked up the test dampeners.:: And before we go I think I will replicate a helmet. Don’t want one of those flying PADDs of yours to knock me unconscious! ::Adam laughed:: HELLING: ::She laughed.:: Well at least you’re honest about it, it’s Vulcan’s I don’t trust, ::whispering for effect.:: emotionless. HAASE: Well they say that Vulcans have deep-seeded emotions, but coming from a half-Klingon I can see as to how you might think that they are emotionless. ::grinning:: But coming from a Betazoid who is trained in the art of digging deep into the thoughts of others - let’s just say that I’ve broken the emotion barrier in a few Vulcans, to say the least. HELLING: ::Raising an interested eyebrow.:: Really, you must tell me what you found. But lets walk, or I might just have to throw one of these at you so I don’t drop the lot. HAASE: Well, if that’s the case...then so be it! ::Grinning:: Let’s get a move on. To Be Continued... ---------- ((PART 2)) ((USS Atlantis - Corridor to turbolift - Deck 11)) ::Together they left engineering and walked down the corridor heading for the turbolift. T'Var clutching the PADDs haphazardly in her arms and Adam carefully holding the prototype.:: HELLING: ::Adjusting her hold on the various PADDs:: So tell me a bit about these Vulcan emotions. HAASE: They are very, very deep. ::rubbing chin:: Although I don’t think I ever sensed happiness. I’ve sensed guilt...worry...stress...and sadness even, but I don’t think that I ever felt happiness. Must be really buried. HELLING: They feel worry over happiness!? I thought being half Klingon was hard oO what with all the conflicting emotions. Oo but I'll take any day Klingon over Vulcan anyway. HAASE: ::smiling:: I can understand that. But being Vulcan and not being clouded by any emotion might be helpful sometimes. But then again - not having any gut feelings might be a problem as well. I’m sure that your gut works perfectly, T’Var. ::Adam looks over to T’Var who is still slightly struggling to carry the PADDs:: HAASE: I’m sure those Klingon sense are all fired up and ready for action! ::T'Var thought back over all the times when her instinct had got her out of problems and how adrenaline always rushed through her just when she needed it.:: HELLING: ::Nodding in agreement.:: I guess you’re right there. But being half Klingon has got me into trouble more than most people. ::Smiling a little.:: Let's just say we Klingons, or half Klingons, have a bit of a temper. HAASE: Oh, really? I couldn’t tell! I thought you were being nice when you threatened to throw a PADD at me. ::laughs:: Was that not what you intended? ::Adam was trying to make her aggravated with his sarcasm. It was always fun to play with a feisty Klingon:: HELLING: ::A cheeky smile playing round her lips:: It may have been a little bit of a joke but then, ::her eyes darted sideways to watch his reaction,:: you'd better be ready to duck, just in case. ::It was about then T'Var wondered if she would actually get away with throwing a PADD at him. But remembering that Adam might be reading her mind, she instantly tried hide those thought with others, it didn't work to well, the image of a PADD hitting the Betazoid's head was just too funny to block out.:: HAASE: ::Adam began to laugh:: I really should be scared! That image is a little gruesome, if you ask me! I had no idea you could throw so hard. ::Adam stopped and closed his eyes:: And why is there blood? Are you planning to kill me? HELLING: ::T'Var laughed.:: It May briefly have crossed my mind. But don't worry, ::somehow she managed to maneuver one of her hands still clutching PADDs to pat him reassuringly on the shoulder.:: I've never killed anyone. ::The mischievous side of her rose again and she added.:: Well, not yet anyway. HAASE: ::Adam pressed the button outside the turbolift, which opened, and both officer entered:: So, how do we plan to present this? HELLING: ::Turning to Adam.:: Well how do you want to do it? HAASE: I’m not going to come up with the plan! You’re Security chief! You should be the one who has tactics in mind. ::Adam grinned:: See what I did there? ::Adam always admired puns, especially when he created them:: HELLING: ::T'Var snorted with laughter.:: oO I think I'm rather growing to like this Betazoid. Oo Alright then. When we get up there I think we should tell Townson our idea, explain a little about how it would work, I'll give you that job since you’re the engineer. Then, if she asks to see how it works, which she probably will, we demonstrate the prototype. HAASE: That sound’s like an appropriate plan. ::Adam look up, as if the computer was actually there:: Computer, Deck One. ::The humming of the turbolift ended the conversation, and both officers arrived, arms full, onto the bridge.:: ((Bridge, USS Atlantis)) HAASE: After you, Lieutenant. HELLING: Thank you, Lieutenant ::grinning.:: ::T'Var left the turbolift, Adam just behind her and approached the Captain's chair where Commander Townson sat.:: HELLING: ::Slightly nervous, though she wasn't about to admit it to anyone. Spoke.:: Commander. HELLING: ::T'Var glanced quickly at Adam, hoping, for the first time he was listening to her thoughts.:: oO Good luck, lets hope she likes it. Oo HAASE: ::looking to T’Var, and back to LtCmdr. Townson:: We have something we’d like to show you. ::smiling.:: If you would, could you follow me to the conference room? TOWNSON: response ((Briefing Room, USS Atlantis)) ::As each officer entered the Briefing Room, Adam looked to T’Var to begin the explanation.:: ::T'Var, for her part, leaned over the table and dropped the PADDs onto it letting them slide over each other like lava from a volcano. Looking up from the mess to Tracey, she began her explanation.:: HELLING: We were thinking about how to reach the Captain when we get to Holonna. Even though humans and the inhabitants of Holonna are virtual identical, if they have any type of sensor net, or something similar, scanning for anyone who is not of Holonna then any search and rescue party would stand out a mile. To keep us from being discovered in this eventuality, we came up with the idea of a personal dampening field which we can adapt to make us appear the same as the Holonna inhabitants. TOWNSON: response HELLING: We have a prototype with us. ::Nodding towards the device that sat on the table in front of Adam.:: As for how it would work, I'll let Adam....er... Lieutenant Haase explain that. He is after all the Engineer. HAASE: Commander Townson, this device utilizes a dampening field to shield all known medical and scanning devices from detecting the actual organism. Let us say that I wanted Lieutenant Helling to be an Andorian. Simply program needed medical and physical data into the device, and activate it when necessary. These devices are powered by merely walking, so power is not a problem. Would you like a demonstration? ::Adam gestured towards T’Var, the PADDs, as well as the devices, all in one long, elegant swoop of the arm.:: TOWNSON: response HELLING: It will affect both interior and exterior physiology. TOWNSON: response HELLING: Very well. ::T'Var picked up the prototype and offered it to Adam.:: Shall we? HAASE: Of course, Lieutenant. ::Adam walked to the wall console, and accessed the small device on the table, while T’Var attached the small device to her ankle.:: Now, I will activate the device and transform Lieutenant Helling into...hmmm...how about a Gorn? ::Adam couldn’t help but giggle:: HELLING: ::Stifling a laugh herself:: Gorn sounds good to me. HAASE: A Gorn it is! ::Adam accessed the console, and activated the device. Immediately, a royal blue light shown through the Lieutenant’s uniform, scanning her physiology for the smallest of deviances. Almost instantly afterwards, the transition began. Her feet became claw-like and green. Her outfit changed as well, and eventually the all-too-well-known Gorn appearance stood before them:: HAASE: If you would, Lieutenant. Please speak. ::Adam wanted to test and see if the syntax and vernacular database was in operation:: HELLING: ::T'Var knew what was about to happen but it still surprised her when her oddly transformed voice came out.:: This is the part that I find the most impressive. ::As soon as she spoke, the Gorn accent was clearly visible, and even words that Adam had never heard were pouring from the lips of the newly transformed Lieutenant Helling. Adam wanted to laugh, but this was a professional experiment. Adam walked over to LtCmdr Townson.:: HAASE: As you see, Commander, this not only physically changes the dampened officer, but also includes precise information from the speech database of the culture being replicated. Would you like to scan her? ::Adam figured that this would be the ultimate test - the test that would help to determine if this plane would succeed or fail. If she was indiscernible from a Gorn, then the plan worked.:: TOWNSON: response HAASE: Yay! I mean, yes commander. We planned for every possible contingency. Do you have any questions? Perhaps you would like to be transformed yourself? ::T'Var found an uncontrollable smile spreading over her face. It had worked! It had actually worked. She'd hoped it would obviously but she had been worried that there would be a few discrepancies they'd overlooked. This, well this had worked better than anticipated or even hoped.:: TOWNSON: response ::Adam was about to take the PADDs out of the room when he realized that he had forgotten T’Var, who was speaking in quite an interesting Gorn accent:: HELLING: ::T'Var reached to help Adam pick up the PADDs and gave a start of surprise when she saw Gorn hands were where her own should be. She leaned close to Adam and spoke in a quiet voice so the acting captain wouldn't hear.:: Adam. Although being a Gorn is novel, I would much rather not make everyone on the bridge panic when they see a Gorn magically appear from the briefing room. HAASE: Oh, Sorry Lieutenant. ::Adam hid the smirk that appeared on his face. He walked over to the controls and released her:: ::T'Var waited as the young engineer moved to the console, tapped the controls and made her usual half Klingon visage appear once more.:: HELLING: Thanks. ::She sighed when she heard her restored voice. It was oddly pleasing being her again.:: HAASE: Well...let’s go place this stuff back in Engineering. I’ve a few slight modifications to make that will require the use of a Tactical officer. Would you mind helping out a little more? HELLING: Of course. ::She nodded politely to Tracey as they left.:: HAASE: Thanks. ::Both officers made their way back down to engineering - where Lt. Helling was to enlighten Adam on the concept of advanced shielding and procedure.:: ((USS Atlantis - Deck 11 - Engineering)) HELLING: ::Dumping the PADDs on a workbench and turning to Adam.:: Shall we start? HAASE: Yes. Let’s begin. I’d like to add some safety equipment to these, just in case. You know - something always has to go wrong. ::Adam rolled his eyes and spoke to himself:: oO I thought that there were procedures on Away Missions - but it always seems that no one pays attention to them. I might as well add something to keep their butts safe Oo HELLING: What sort of safety equipment were you think? HAASE: Well, I was thinking about small portable shields. What do you think? HELLING: I think you'd make a good tactical officer. ::Leaning over the prototype to examine it in closer detail.:: Due to it's size, the shield won't be the most powerful thing in the universe but if everyone on this mission has their own, it won't need to be. We just need something large enough for one person and strong enough with with stand phaser fire. It could also do with being fairly adaptive so it can stand up against a variety of frequencies. HAASE: ::laughing:: You make it sound like we’re fighting the Borg! I would worry more about projectile objects, such as bullets, more than I would about varying phaser frequencies. According to the Colonization database, about half of the planet is rural, so unless we infiltrate their leader’s household, I would just focus on making the shield work. ::smiling:: But if you can make it adaptive and stronger, I invite you to do so. HELLING: ::Chuckling.:: I guess I've spent too long training against more advanced species. ::More to herself than Adam.:: Maybe I should include a scenario like this at the next Security training. ::Turning her attention back to Adam.:: Okay, shall we begin? HAASE: Of course. The first thing that we need to do is find a generator small enough to fit on the outside of the dampener. It must also not interfere with the dampener in any way. Any suggestions? HELLING: ::Hesitating for a moment to think.:: Well the damping field works on a few specific frequencies. So as long as the shield doesn't work on or block those frequencies there should be no problems. HAASE: ::nodding his head in agreement:: I believe so. But we also need to make sure that the shield doesn’t cause any malfunctions. The creation of the shield might potentially cause a shutdown of the dampener. What are the most common shield frequencies? HELLING: Um.... ::she shuffled through the PADDs on the table.:: I think. Ahh here. ::She handed Adam a PADD filled with numbers and equations. Clicking through T'Var found the page she was looking for.:: These. HAASE: Thanks. ::begins typing furiously on another PADD:: So, as long as we stay away from those frequencies and keep with this shield model, we should be fine. Does that make sense to you? Sometimes I only think things are right when I understand them… HELLING: Yep, it makes sense to me. ::But T'Var's attention was elsewhere. With Adam's back turned her eyes had wandered to the pile of currently unused PADDs and a smile of mischievous glee was spreading over her face.:: ::Biting her lip, T'Var glanced up at Adam as he typed away, back turned. Trying to force her mind to stay blank so as not to give the telepath any warning. T'Var reached carefully and quietly for a PADD. Careful not to use too much force, she didn't actually want to hurt him, T'Var launched the PADD towards the back of the new friend’s head.:: HAASE: ::Adam continued to type on the PADD, so engrossed that he was unaware of the mischievous act T’Var was planning. He had just finished and turned around when a PADD smacked him across the face:: Ah! What the frak was that? T’Var! HELLING: ::Laughing:: I only torture my friends. HAASE: Why do you torture friends? Isn’t saying “friend” supposed to mean that you’re going to be extra specially nice? ::rubbing face:: HELLING: ::She considered it for a moment, maybe she did have a slightly unusual relationship with her friends.:: Possibly, ::T’Var walked over to Adam and placed a friendly hand on his arm.:: But friendships come in a variety of different forms. Mine always seem to have a slight element of violence in them. oO That’s probably the Klingon in me. Oo HAASE: I can definitely see that. ::Adam smiled:: Just try not to...you know...use that violence on my face again. ::Both officers started laughing, and soon enough the newly enhanced prototype was completed. Adam moaned inside, knowing that he should probably show his creation to Varaan, acting chief engineer. He sighed, and picked up the small device.:: HELLING: ::Looking to Adam with a smile.:: I think that’s everything. HAASE: We have to show this to Lt. Varaan - just to make sure all department heads involved are in the loop. ::sigh:: But that means putting ourselves in the immediate line of fire of a scrutinizing Vulcan. HELLING: The ‘not so emotionless’ Vulcans. I guess that’s the true final test, Vulcan approval. HAASE: Yeah, but I feel like Vulcans do express one emotion. An emotion that we may not consider an emotion - but they use it so often that it’s just like one. HELLING: ::Curiously:: What’s that? HAASE: Are you ready for it? ::grinning:: HELLING: Tell me. HAASE: ::starting to burst with laughter:: Criticism! ::Trying to talk while laughing:: If they’re happy, they criticise. If they’re sad, they criticise. It they’re upset, what do they do? HELLING: Criticise HAASE: Exactly! ::Adam looked to T’Var and stopped laughing:: And..::Adam’s smile faded from his face::....I guess it’s not that funny because you’re not laughing. HELLING: ::She smiled.:: It’s not that. It’s…. I’ve enjoyed working on this with you. HAASE: ::Adam looked to T’Var and smiled:: I’m glad we’ve had this time to...you know...connect. Just know this one thing -- no matter where we go, or what happens - I’ll never forget you. HELLING: ::T’Var was touched, it’d been a long time since she’d made a friend like Adam.:: I doubt I’ll be able to forget you anytime soon either. HAASE: ::Adam tried to hold back the tears that wanted so terribly to come forth. He forced a smile.:: Let’s go show this to Lieutenant Varaan. HELLING: ::T’Var hesitated for a moment, then hugged Adam. Stepping back she met his eyes.:: Let’s go and show him. ______________________________________________________________________________ Joint Post Brought To You By: Lt.JG. Adam Haase Engineering Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 & Lieutenant T’Var Helling Chief of Security/Tactical USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  25. ((USS Columbia - Outside Brek’s Office)) ::Talia followed the Gorn out of their new FO’s office.:: Kaji: Sooo... there’s a party? Nugra: ::Nodding:: Yes, there is a party. Columbia crew is invited. Kaji: Well, I guess that’s us now, isn’t it! When is it? What’s the dress code? Nugra: ::Checking PADD:: Looks like it already started. As it is a beach simulation on a holodeck, I assume the appropriate is…::confused:: beach clothes? Kaji: :: looking over at him in his perfectly stiff and crisp uniform:: Please tell me you aren’t wearing that. Nugra: ::sheepish:: I was planning on it. Kaji: ::sighing:: Of course you were. Well, I’ve got my quarters assignment if you want to change there. You can replicate something to wear. Ben and Iria are still on the station, we haven’t gotten our stuff moved yet. ::murmuring to herself:: Hmm, he’d probably like the beach. Maybe I should call them and have them meet us there. Nugra: I made sure that she had a commbadge registered on the station, so she should be easily reachable. :: They walked in companionable silence. Talia was wishing she had some of her clothes aboard. She’d have to replicate something too. Then a thought occurred to her.:: Kaji: How did you not know I was coming aboard? Didn’t Iria tell you? Nugra: I haven’t spoken to her since we left the Victory. Kaji: Seriously, you guys need to work on your communication. You told her you were leaving right? :: Nugra knew she had a point, but his daughter was still someone he was trying to get used too. He knew for a fact, she was a clinical psychopath without conscience and that the code instilled in to her by the Sisters of Conscience and Fidelity were the only reason she was able to function in public. A sort of high functioning psychopath. :: Nugra: I know, but...there are still a bit of issues between us and she and I are still trying to figure out how to relate. :: Kaji knew full well many of the issues as Nugra’s adopted daughter, Iria, lived and worked with her as Ben’s nanny. She probably knew the girl better than Nugra did by now. The arrangement was strange, she guessed, having a psychopath for her four-year-old’s nanny, but Iria adored Ben and took good care of him. Plus the fact that she was a fantastic bodyguard didn’t hurt. Several boarding actions against the Victory had prompted Kaji to ask Iria to stay with Ben full-time to ensure his safety.:: :: They’d reached her door and it opened for her easily. It was her first glimpse of her new home. The reason she already had the room assignment was she’d had to specially request it in her transfer acceptance. Having a son and a live-in nanny meant she needed three separate bedrooms, which was rare on a starship. This one seemed to be small, but cozy. The windows in the living room looked out, not onto space like her old quarters, but onto a beautiful arboretum. She gazed happily out for a moment before remembering her guest.:: :: Nugra stood uncomfortably at the door as Talia went in. :: :: Kaji laughed when she saw him hovering awkwardly in the doorway.:: Kaji: Please, come in and make yourself comfortable. ::She said graciously as she chuckled.:: :: Nugra cautiously stepped in and looked around. Propriety screamed in his head, but Talia was his friend and it seemed he needed to change. :: :: While he came in, she peeked through the doors around the apartment. Two of the bedrooms, small with a single bed in each, were on one side of the apartment, and a bathroom and the third bedroom were on the other side. The third had a double bed, but wasn’t much bigger than the others. Space was always at a premium in space, she thought humorously.:: ::Nugra was still obviously uncomfortable, and Kaji realized he’d only been in her quarters one other time, and that hadn’t been under the best of circumstances. He’d come to inform her son of Kaji’s death...which had turned out to be untrue as he found out when he found her there in her room, quite alive. But that memory reminded her....she turned back to Nugra with a grin.:: :: His stiff, slightly guilty expression caught her off guard. She wondered, wickedly amused by the idea, if he thought she was going to strip and change right there in front of him. He was so darned appropriate all the time, she was often tempted to shock him just for the fun of it. But tonight there was a party and she wanted to get there before everyone left.:: Kaji: You know, maybe I don’t want to go to this thing with you. The last time I was supposed to go to a party with you, I ended up captured and replaced by a shapeshifter Nugra: ::determined:: I’m not going to let you out of my sight, Talia. Never again will I let someone take you. :: Nugra mentally kicked himself. That had come out stronger than he had meant. :: ::Her heart thudded, and she was suddenly speechless. She’d just been poking fun, hoping he’d lighten up. She hadn’t expected such a heartfelt reaction. She had to clear her throat before speaking, and even then it was a much quieter voice than usual.:: Kaji: Oh. Um...well, you can change in there, that’s Iria’s room. ::She pointed.:: And there’s the replicator to make something to wear. :: She turned and went into the larger bedroom, and waited for the door to shut before leaning back against it heavily.:: oO Wow...what?? Oo JP By… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captain Nugra Chief of Intelligence USS Columbia, NCC-85279 FWPA '15 Facilitator Captain's Council Magistrate V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ & Lt Talia Kaji CounselorUSS Columbia
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