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  1. ((Bridge, IRW Draxan)) ::The Draxan shook violently as the Zalkonians fired again, but Commander Koral held firm in his command chair.:: Tactical Officer: Shields down to 30% but holding! Koral: Very well, bring disruptors to bear on the Zalkonian vessel. Target both their bridge and engineering… Pilot, bear down straight upon the ship then veer off at full impulse. ::The Draxan was still without torpedoes but at this range, its disruptors would rip through whatever shielding was left. Koral wanted prisoners, but he was not going to lose the Vorax. The most immediate threat had to be eliminated.:: Tactical Officer: Disruptors locked… Koral: Fire! ::Koral watched the viewscreen as vivid green pulses bore down upon the Zalkonian ship. Seconds later, explosions wripped throught the hull. The Draxan Tactical officer: ::audibly sighing with relief:: Enemy vessel destroyed. Koral: Very good. Pilot, station us near the Vorax. Communications, bring up their bridge. Communication: Yes, Commander… ::The Vorax had sent an automatic distress signal a few minutes before. That meant that the both the commanding and first officers were incapacitated or dead.:: Comm Officer: Sir, I have Centurion L’Rel. ::Koral did not know L’Rel well, but she was the fourth highest ranking officer—young but sharp.:: ::The viewscreen flickered to show a dimly lit bridge. L’Rel’s face remained stoic.:: Koral: Commander, Report. L’Rel: Commander Nasan and Subcommander Mikral are dead. Chief Engineering Officer is in critical condition. ::Koral knew all of them and had even met their families. This was no way for them to die. Maybe this mission order was cooked up by Devok's co-conspirators. But he chose to show no emotion.:: Koral: And the status of the Vorax? L’Rel: We are still on batteries. But we should have the impulse drive back within 30 minutes. The warp drive may take a few hours. We just regained sensors. Koral: Weapons and shields? L’Rel: They are inoperative. I spoke to the surviving tactical officers and he suspects sabotage. ::L’Rel’s tone was both bitter but surprised.:: Koral: I understand. We have eliminated one of the Zalkonian vessels. We will stay close in the mean time. Tell your doctor to transport any severe injuries directly to the Draxan. Provide me an update in 30 minutes. L’Rel: Yes, Commander. ::L’Rel offered an arm salut and closed the channel. Koral: Status of the other vessels… Tactical Officer: The Federation ships have eliminated the vessels attacking them. The Bronwyn shows significant damage, but the Thunder none. ::Koral knew he was losing all tactical advantage.:: Koral: Lieutenant Sataal, who was beamed out with the Major? ::Sataal turned from the damage control panel. The lieutenant had tried to warn Koral about Devok, but the Commander dismissed the younger officer’s observations as paranoia. No one would be able to influence a Tal Shiar major.:: Sataal: From the bridge, Centurion Tikar from Security and Sublieutenant Kiron from Engineering. So far, three other officers from elsewhere on the ship are reported missing. One was seen being transported. ::Koral’s hard expression broke for a second into one of disgust and worry.:: Koral: Thank you, Lieutenant. If you have any further updates, please let me know immediately. ::Sataal nodded. That was the closest that Koral would make to an apology in public, but it was understood.:: Koral: Bring up the commander of the Stol’vas. ::The viewscreen changed from the scarred hull of the Vorax to the bridge of the Stol’vas. Koral: =/\= Commander M’Vas, what is your status? =/\= M’Vas: =/\=We have almost eliminated the other vessel… their shielding has been rather resilient. It appears they were aware of our disruptor frequency. =/\= ::The image shook as the Stol’vas came under fire.:: M’Vas: Also Commander, our science officer has also found Orion bio-signs on board. Koral: oO Orion?! Oo =/\= Eliminate the ship and the join formation by the Vorax… =/\= ::Before M’Vas could respond, a voice called out from the background.:: Stol’vas Officer: =/\= Commander, enemy vessel on collision course. =/\= M’Vas: =/\= Pilot, evasive, emergency speed. =/\= Stol’vas: =/\= Helm unresponsive, sir! =/\= ::The signal then turned to static.:: Koral: M’Vas! Comm Officer: ::in frustration:: Signal cut at the source, Commander… ::Koral’s face turned to horror he saw the Stol’vas move on thrusters while the burning hulk of the Zalkonian vessel headed at flank speed. :: Koral: Koral, tactical officer, are we in weapons range? Tactical: Barely, commander. The D’Narax is moving in toward the vessel. The last Zalkonian vessel is pursuing it. Koral: Lock weapons and fire at will…. Pilot: Commander! ::Koral faced the screen as he saw the D’Narax open fire. But it was too late. The bow of the Zalkonian ship rip into the Stol’vas, ripping off one of its wings. The D’Narax tried to move off, but the last Zalkonian vessel headed at full speed, ramming into it as well. The horror was not done yet. The screen turned bright white as one of the Zalkonian vessels self-destructed violently. When the flash was gone, there was nothing but debris:: ::Koral was stupified. He sat in his chair, completely still. The bridge was silent. Sataal ran over to the empty science station.:: Sataal: ::looking at sensors, slowly:: Both warbirds are destroyed, Commander. No survivors. Koral: ::quietly:: Damn Orions. ::Now, Koral would have no choice but to withdrawal. A greater crisis appeared to be approaching as well.:: Koral: Are we in range of the Starfleet ships’ weapons? Tactical: Yes, we are but they have not locked on us. Koral: Very well… Hail the lead vessel. Comm Officer: Yes, Commander. ::Sataal came over with a concerned expression.:: Sataal: ::quietly:: What are you planning, Commander? Koral: Our withdrawal. We have lost enough comrades for one day. I know it is not Federation policy to act vengefully, but I have had enough surprises today as well. ::Sataal never saw Koral so humbled.:: Comm Officer: I have the commander of the Thunder… Koral: =/\= Admiral, it looks like it has been a day of surprises for all of us. =/\= Turner: =/\= Yes, Commander, I would have to agree - one surprise being, your reason for this call. =/\= Koral: =/\= I wanted to inform you that we will be withdrawing from this system. My apologies for the intrusion today… it seems to have been a most imprudent decision, probably one of many leading to this day.=/\= Turner: =/\= I see. Apology accepted. Fate has a way of surprising us in many different ways. =/\= ::Koral thought carefully. Some would say the destruction of Romulan vessels would be just desserts. He did not care for Starfleet, but Koral thought it worthwhile to mention their discovery of the Orions of the enemy ships. He would be in no position to eliminate them, but perhaps Starfleet could.:: Koral: =/\= Another thing, Admiral. Pay attention to the Orions… we detected some on the vessel that destroyed the Stol’vas. It appears we have grossly underestimated their power of influence... even within our own ranks. =/\= Turner: =/\= We are fully aware of their influence in the system, but I do appreciate your concern. Have a nice trip, Commander. Rear Admiral Turner Out.=/\= Commander Koral IRW Draxan Romulan Star Empire As simmed by: Lt. JG Savan Tactical/Security Officer Embassy of Duronis II/USS Thunder-A Writer ID: E239303S10
  2. ((Sickbay – USS Gorkon)) ::A crew, trapped by the strangeness of the galaxy and for the pleasure of a sadistic playwright named Murphy, who wrote a law about things getting worse. A Sovereign class starship, once the pride of the Menthar Corridor, now battered with holes and breaches that looks like it's ready for the junk heap. One year, spent in hell. One battlefield, where chaos reigns supreme. All hell was breaking loose here on this vessel, and things only had gotten worse since their attack on DSX.:: ::CD had read what reports came through after the attack, and knew the fragile condition of the crew. He could feel it in their emotions as they looked at him, and his meditations had done nothing to help ease his mind or their pain. In his capacity as morale officer, his jokes were falling flat. Many of them had given up trying to laugh at his jokes, and some didn't remember how to laugh anymore. He didn't know what was going on outside of Sickbay, except that alarms were going off everywhere, from what speakers still worked. Consoles flickered, equipment functioned on a good day, and not very well on a bad one. Their luck just kept getting worse.:: ::The cacophony of Sickbay was a mixture of people shouting for help, nurses and docs calling out for different medications. Wounded came in a few at a time; some on stretchers, some on the shoulders of their comerades, and some just on their own. The number of wounded meant that all those days CD had spent working part time in Sickbay were a sunny day by comparioson to this -- the latest victim of the attacking battleship as two security officers rushed in carrying a third, and shouting for help.:: ::Alucard was busy with another patient when these three came in, and the Irishman's sense of urgency assumed a new height as he called out the name of the victim.:: Vess: Kael! ::Alucard, Chythar, and Marcus all converged on their friend. Kael was the first face that CD had actually seen when he came aboard the Gorkon, and had been uneasy seated in the captain's chair during that mission. To see a fellow teal-collar in such a state was a terrible omen, and it was things like this that made him realize how much he missed his own efficient secretary, one Gabrielle Porchevska off of the Invicta. The omen, in this case, was that when one doc went down, more would follow. He'd lived through this omen before, aboard the Excalibur when a suicide bomber on Argurtha practically blew him and Dr. MacLaren into itty bitty pieces.:: Vess: Looks like plasma burns! Security Off: A conduit blew as he was climbing out of one of the tubes! ::The officers seemed to be panicking around him. The only thing CD could do was attempt to calm them down. His jokes weren't what was needed here. A few calming words were, as it couldn't do any harm.:: Skyfire: ::to the security officer:: Just take a few breaths and try to calm down. Drake: You’ve done the right thing and got him to us, we’ll take it from here. Vess: Get him on a bed. ::CD helped whomever it was get Kael onto one of the functioning beds, and silently hoped that their equipment wouldn't fail mid surgery. Their patience worn, his calm sorely damaged but still holding, much to his surprise. As the former occupant of the biobed made his way off to make way for the critical burn patient, he could make out the FO slapping his badge. From what time Chythar had spent learning the relationships of those around him, he knew that Kael and Quinn were friends at the very least. He wasn't sure to what degree, but relationships tended to solidify over time.:: Vess: =/\=Sickbay to Bridge. =/\= ::CD was doing all he could to anticipate Vess's orders and grabbed what little koltane gel they had, along with a functioning tricorder. He missed most of the conversation between Alucard and Quinn, but managed to tune in just as he heard her voice giving them a direct order.:: Reynolds: =/\= Do what you can. It won't be long, either way. =/\= ::Raw emotion was audibile in her words, as was the smooth determination he knew she had. It was one thing to express such emotions in private over coffee, but it was a completely different circus to break down mid-crisis in front of one's crew. In order to ensure their survival, that could not happen. The crew needed her to stay in one piece. He felt that he needed her to stay in one piece, to keep himself sane. If they ever got out of this mess, he'd be scheduling therapy appointments for himself. He had promised himself that time and time again.:: Vess: =/\= Understood.=/\= Skyfire: Tricorders are fried... ::Alucard turned to his fellow doctors as the channel closed. They didn’t have much time if they stood even a fraction of a chance to save Kael’s life.:: Vess: Let’s get to work. Dr. Drake, start him on painkillers and antibiotics. Oh, and throw in a sedative, Ah dunna want him waking up like this. Chythar, those burns on his chest will make breathing difficult. Set up fer an escharotomy. Skyfire: Aye, sir. ::He began to set up what he could. They didn't have much time to do so, as the Trill's condition was indeed bad. CD thought back to the shuttle craft victim he first treated and recalled the procedure well enough to carry out Alucard's orders to the letter. Once the Trill was on oxygen, and in between incisions, his hands started to shake once more as the horrors of his practice returned to haunt him.:: Skyfire: oO Not now, Stripey! I'm busy! Oo Drake: Sweet dreams. :: Marcus said under his breath as he applied the sedative and the reported that to the others:: Patient's medication applied. ::There was no answer, which implied that either CD himself was dying or that there was just too much going on in his mind for the damned striped nuisance to make an appearance. A running gun battle was heard moving toward Sickbay, and a few of the security officers left the room to intervene and prevent them from reaching the medical ward. It was the best they could hope for. The pain, panic, and fear was starting to overwhelm him.:: Drake: Shock to the nervous system looks pretty severe but not unrecoverably so. Vess: Very good. Check his vitals. ::Skyfire took another breath and exhaled just as slowly, forcing his hands to steady themselves in order to continue his efforts to save Kael. He gave a slow nod as his answer, not willing to risk words until he'd finished. He was calm, but nervous at the same time. Once the incisions were finished, he glanced up at Alucard for their next move.:: === Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire Chief Medical Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 History Team Co-Facilitator Medical Duty Post Facilitator Dear Doc Columnist Podcast Script Writer O239002CS0 http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Chythar_Skyfire
  3. ((USS Conny - Engineering)) ::A new song hummed in the seemingly never ending path; Jackal, Lumberjack. The rev of a chain saw presented its uniqueness in time with the vocals. One of their more dynamic titles. Rustyy flopped, more like fell due to gravity being stronger than him, onto his butt. He was really tired now, so much so that with engineering being closer, it looked like he would be crashing there for the night. That he would complain, he felt safer there, surrounded by non judgemental things. People could be judgy, equipment went unbiased. It took a few more breaths before he could breath without sounding like an asthmatic kid in gym class.:: Hael: ::looking up.:: You know wha's? ::he asked innocently.:: We is perdy .... Odd. I was tha' way no matter wha's, but I'm'a glad I ain' alone. ::he smiled softly.:: ::And he meant it. His shoulders sagged, as his body gave up trying to hold him up with good posture. Little beads of sweat rolled down from curly bangs.:: Foster: Yeah... odd... ::trailing off, he looked Rustyy dead on, blue eyes searching.:: Really? Hael: Real’y, real’y ::he spoke softly and comforting, like a boyfriend comforting his girlfriend, assuring her she looked good no matter what. Because - beauty was in the eye of the beholder. He gave Wyn a crooked boyish smile.:: Foster: Hey, I hate being alone, too. ::He admitted evenly.:: I'm glad you're here, even if you don't like running. ::Light groan. Correction, he hated running. But he like Wyn, so here he was, spending a sleepless night on a holodeck, running. He was going to sleep for the rest of shoreleave at this rate.:: Hael: I’m’a sure there be a few folks you’d be happier runnin’ with. ::light chuckle.:: ::He didn’t move when Wyn brought his face in closer to his. Just looked further into those blue eyes. He couldn’t help it, he had a soft spot for the pools that reflected depth and emotion. :: Foster: Nope, no one else on the ship that I'd rather be running through a holodeck with while deliriously tired. Hael: ::it was his turn to turn colors, red tinging his cheeks and ear tips.:: Me too. ::Well he could do without the running in general, but as it stands it wasn’t the worst thing. He smiled, eyelids just started to drop a little when suddenly he was being embraced by something warm. A hug. He froze for a micron of a second, before returning ten fold. He was surprised at the warmth that came from Wyn, and the strength he projected in the hug. There was a sudden swell building up just behind his eyes. Not from lack of hugs, he had a family that was all about that. And he’d hug just about anyone. No, they came from a dark, dusty, forgotten part of his mind. From an area that had been under lock and key and threatened to be burned down if it ever came out to bother him. Saved by the awkward bell, the black abyss retracted as the hold did. Rustyy joined in a coughing game. The only time running had done him any good, he was already flush from the physical activity so it was harder to tell he had been so close to tears. It was like a [...] being broken, both past issues and current stress and exhaustion compiled and compacted, finally given a chance to let loss. Foster: I, uh, think we should go to bed. ::cough, cough, he turned bright navy.:: Hael: ::pause.:: Yea’... You won’ tell no one’s ‘bout me sleepin’ ‘round righ’? ::he smirked and giggled a little. Is was a blessing and curse to have such an easy going, goldfish brain.:: Foster: Nope, I won't even tell anyone that you tuck in by the warp core. ::He pulled himself up, with a hefty grunt, groan, moan, huff, puff and sigh. His legs had turned to noodles, lower back stiffened, and eyes burned from unshed tears and being to dry. He stumble out after Wyn towards the exit of the holdeck.:: Hael: Eh, ::he shrugged on second thought.:: I reckon them’s couldn’ think any less of me. Foster: Get some sleep, Rustyy - I'll see you... like tomorrow morning. ::a fond wave:: Hael: You too’s Wynnie. ::he returned the wave.:: ::He stood still for a moment, watching after the Andorian. His legs were uncooperative and his brain functions minimal. There was just enough to get him back to his room, into the shower, and to the couch. A table top would have been just as comfortable. Emptiness consumed him, pulling him down into a dreamless sleep.:: ~~ Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Conny A239202RH0
  4. ((Deck 7, Shayne and Pond's Quarters, USS Darwin-A)) ::Shayne wished he was knitting.:: ::It was a peaceful, productive, time consuming activity that offered a level relaxation could sometimes border on catatonic meditation. As one became more practiced and skilled, new projects and more difficult goals could be sought and completed. One's dexterity might also improve with prolonged execution of the art form, and, when all was said and done, everyone enjoyed receiving a fuzzy sweater from a loved one or friend.:: ::And apart from all these wonderful benefits, the act of knitting had one very important feature; unless you screwed up, the quality and size of a project is directly proportional to the work and time put into it. You could earn progress. The more you worked, the more you achieved. If only every activity in the universe could be that fair.:: ::But, of course, there were a multitude of exceptions, and as Shayne glowered at the computer terminal before him, he rued this fact. After all, he'd been sitting there for nearly an hour, straining to think of something to say, and what had he to show for his valiant effort? An empty data packet, a bad mood, and a pulsing headache.:: ::How could it be this difficult to send a simple communiqué to someone? He wasn't informing a family about a death, or anything like that. For god's sake, all he wanted to do was talk to family. How long had it been? A year? Longer?:: Shayne: Computer, start recording. ::Beep. It was as if the computer were saying, you're on.:: Shayne: Hi, Dad. It's been awhile. I, uh...I hope you're doing okay. I'm sorry I haven't contacted you for so long- things have been pretty intense out here. ::Growling in frustration.:: No, no, that's terrible. Computer, pause. Delete that last sentence. ::Dad wouldn't want to be reminded of the fact that he was not in the service anymore, or that his eldest was stationed in the line of fire of a hundred different alien threats. Shayne knew that his father's love for him conflicted with his desire to keep the young helmsman out of harm's way. The contradiction put a constant strain on the retired admiral, and Shayne was loathe to add to that worry any more than absolutely necessary.:: Shayne: Computer, continue. ::Beep.:: Shayne: The Delta Quadrant has held some...interesting surprises. ::Perfect. It was simple, informative without suggesting that most of the interesting surprises in particular were dangerous and even life threatening. The second thing that his father had ever taught him, long before he'd been indoctrinated into the Academy, was that honesty was paramount, and the truth was far too important a thing to be omitted or tampered with.:: Shayne: I just came back from a bit of an explore inside the Dyson Sphere I'm stationed near. You should've seen it. I've seen some weird stuff in my time, but few things compared to this. Holographic technology beyond anything anyone's ever seen! ::Pointedly omitting the more dangerous aspects of the last mission, and the one before it (and the one before that...), he moved on.:: Shayne: I'm, uh... I'm with someone. ::Here he smiled.:: Name's Isabel. A Trill doctor serving on the same ship as me. It's... pretty serious. ::Smiling awkwardly.:: We've moved in together. Yeah. She's wonderful. Kind and compassionate. A hell of a medical officer, and a talented dancer to boot. I'm beyond lucky to have her. Next time we're within distance of Earth, I have to introduce y'all. ::He pinched the bridge of his nose. What else did he have to say? So, so much. What was he going to say? Not much else. He'd wanted to, perhaps without even realizing it. So much he wanted to confront, to get off his chest.:: ::There is a certain point that a person reaches, where they have subjected themselves to so much self-ridicule and hatred and disgust, that they're mind becomes accustomed to it. From then on, each reminder of the reason for that hatred does not illicit a feeling. Rather, it manifests itself as a shape, a sound, a color. It passes through the back of your mind like an unholy shade traversing a graveyard. All the memories and feelings associated with it wrapped up into one dreaded totem.:: ::Now that shade passed behind his eyes. Grey and lingering, it obscured his thoughts and tainted his joy. Dad, he knew, forgave him his trespass. Mom did, as well. And Zach, ironically, was perhaps the most eager to forgive, the most willing. In fact, the only person in the universe that seemed to be unwilling to forgive was himself. This was why he didn't want to contact his father, or anyone who knew. Out here in the wilderness of unexplored space, he could run, and hide, and forget. By contacting his family, he was awakening those memories, those not-quite-feelings. And that was something that had to be avoided.:: Shayne: I'll talk to you... Shayne: oO When? Oo Shayne: Sometime. Love to you and....everyone. Be safe. ::With that, Shayne ended the message, and transmitted it to the Endeavor, which would carry it to the Alpha Quadrant. He hesitated before hitting the send command, but only for a moment. It would be good to catch up with family, he told himself. Very good.:: END Lieutenant Randal Shayne Helmsman USS Darwin NCC 99312-A G239202RS0
  5. ((Shooting Range -- Starbase 118)) ::Trellis held his hand steady as instructed. Aim. Breathe. Exhale. Fire. He was, yet again, wide of the mark. He howled in frustration and threw his hands in the air. ::It didn’t help his annoyance level that Kaitlyn promptly fired a quick succession of shots that all hit true. He stared at her, barely concealed anger in his eyes. His nostrils flared as he breathed heavily. Why had he let him talk her into this? He was never going to get better, no matter how long he practiced. ::Yes, phasers were important in modern society. Being able to hit something on a mission was vital. He had seen that for himself during the rescue. Yet he had proven himself to be next to useless in that department. ::He watched again as she calmly fired another few rounds. So deadly. So precise. So cold and calculating. He stared at her hands. Though he had touched those hands when she was lying in sickbay he was suddenly filled with fear of them. Those same hands that had killed the Orion woman, Khante. Those same hands that now held a phaser that could, with a flick of the wrist, be pointed at him. ::He trusted her enough not to act on him with those hands, but it was a close thing.:: Vondaryan: I don’t see how you can ever get good at this! ::Kaitlyn set her phaser down on the table, taking a breath to steady herself.:: ::It was true that she was out-and-about now, no longer under observation. Her family was still close, still ready to help at any moment. She had worked through most of the remaining emotions weighing her down.:: ::When Trellis had asked her for help, however, she could not help but wonder if it was too soon. Too soon for her, to soon for him, too soon for them both. Still, he was a friend in need, and over the last couple days she had not been the best person to her friends. He needed help, she wanted to give it.:: ::Kaitlyn looked over to Trellis, her features remaining calm. While she had managed a smile or two, a lot of the old fire was still dampened.:: Falcon: All it takes is practice. Learning the phaser and how it fires. Are you-- Vondaryan: ::shouting:: Yes I’m following your instructions! Do you see me getting any better? ::Kaitlyn involuntarily flinched back, though this time she managed to keep her mind in the there-and-then. Her memories were still riding very close to the surface, and getting cut off sent her dangerously close to Thomas territory.:: Falcon: Sorry... ::He let out a sigh and with it some of the exasperation he had been feeling. It wasn’t her fault he was a terrible shot. It wasn’t her fault that he never felt comfortable around phasers. It wasn’t even her fault that he was frustrated with the ease with which she fired. He was entirely to blame for all of it. Him and that blasted nerve damage he’d suffered as a child. Ever since he had damaged it he had been just a fraction too slow, suffering a mere second delay in his actions. ::Normally that short timespan didn’t hinder him at all. But in situations where seconds counted, he fell flat. Even in practice a second was the difference between hitting a target and it moving on. In battle it would be even worse, with people moving, dodging, falling, running, throwing obstacles in the way or finding cover. In battle, seconds were the difference between life and death.:: Vondaryan: ::downcast:: Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. I’m just rubbish at this. I’ve never been good, and I doubt I’ll ever get better. ::Kaitlyn took another deep breath, trying to release some of the tension she felt. Trellis had not been Trellis since they got back. He was more angry, especially at himself, and even more wary than usual.:: ::Then again, Kaitlyn knew she was hardly herself, either… They had both been run through the wringer…:: Falcon: Let’s… ::Another deep breath.:: Let’s step back, for a minute. Back to step one. ::Kaitlyn grabbed the small PADD which controlled their lanes. The moving targets vanished, replaced by a single static target.:: Falcon: We already know you can hit a still target, but I want us to start there again. After a few, we’ll start in moving again. This time, though, I’ll watch what’s happening. Maybe I’ll be able to see something you can’t? Vondaryan: ::he sighed:: Okay, fine. ::Kaitlyn took a step back, leaning over to watch his stance, his form. It looked spot on with regulations, and was just as she had recommended. (Just because her form worked for her did not mean it worked for everyone.):: ::Clenching his jaw he nodded at Kaitlyn. As he had before Trellis aimed, took a breath and fired. The small beam of light shot out from his phaser, striking its intended target. He let out a small grunt of satisfaction though he didn’t feel particularly proud. Anyone could hit a stationary target, he was proof enough of that. Enemy combatants weren’t often stationary.:: Vondaryan: ::despondent:: Well, I can do that, at least. ::Kaitlyn nodded.:: Falcon: Good. Now, let’s start it moving again. Vondaryan: ::he sighed again:: Well, I suppose the enemy won’t be staying still, will they? Fine, let’s get this over with. ::With a few taps on her PADD, Kaitlyn ordered the target to begin its random series of movements. It started slow, speeding up moderately over time. The longer it went, the faster it moved, and…:: ::He missed. He missed again. Just as he was pulling the trigger, the target dodged out of the way. He was a fraction of a second late each time. Trying to compensate he fired faster and faster, losing his aim as he went. He missed the targets by a wider and wider margin.:: ::Kaitlyn could see it. Trellis was shooting at where the target had been a second before, not where it was. His shots were consistent; had they been a bit faster he would likely have been hitting it.:: ::Finally reaching his limit on frustration, Trellis threw his phaser against the wall in disgust. It didn’t even have the decency to break apart, making him feel even more useless.:: Vondaryan: AAAAGGGHHH!! ::There was no point in containing his rage.:: ::The flashes of rage… So much like her own, only his were uncontrolled, uncontained. Kaitlyn could not help but shrink back, if only for a moment. Her own mental defenses were far from their usual strength. She pushed through it, forcing herself to stay put.:: Falcon: It’s okay, Trellis. That’s why we’re here, to see what’s happening and what we can do about it. Okay? Vondaryan: Really, it’s going to be okay? As soon as a target starts moving I completely miss. HOW is that okay? ::He moved over to his thrown phaser to pick up up and bang it against the wall again. A piece of paneling fell off of it, which Trellis supposed was about all he was going to get out of it. He hung his head to turn back to where Kaitlyn stood.:: ::All the raw emotion in the room, from the both of them, was starting to get to her… When had she become such a wimp? Once again, she pushed ahead. Her friend was hurting as much as she was. If there was some way to alleviate that, she wanted to try.:: Falcon: I could see it, actually. And it gives me an idea. Vondaryan: ::he snorted:: At least one of us has one. And that’s usually my department... ::Kaitlyn tapped the PADD, stopping the target again. She leaned against one of the lane separators, feeling a bit more calm as her mind worked the problem.:: Falcon: Have you ever heard of the EM-33? Vondaryan: ::he tilted his head to look at her:: No, should I have? Falcon: ::Shakes her head.:: Not necessarily. It was the last plasma pistol Starfleet used before phase weapons were introduced. You can still find a few of them out there, though I haven’t had the chance to try one out. Sill, I heard some stories from when they were phased out. Folks who had only covered basic weapons training kept overshooting when they switched to phase pistols. The EM-33 had taught them to lead their targets, whereas phase pistols were as immediate as a phaser. ::If Trellis were in a normal state of mind he would piece together the information Kaitlyn was giving him. Today he was not in a normal state of mind. Rage and frustration mixed with a smattering of fear was keeping him from thinking clearly.:: Vondaryan: So I need to go find an EM-33 and use that? ::Well, the Tower probably did have something in inventory if he really wanted to get his hands on one…::: ::Kaitlyn managed a small smile.:: Falcon: Not QUITE where I’m going. I could see that your shots were on-target… just slow. You were consistently shooting a little behind your target. ::Looks to the target for a moment, then back to Trellis.:: I think you need to treat a phaser like old Starfleet officers treated the EM-33. Lead your target, try to shoot just ahead of it. Make it so that when you shoot, your target will be there when your shot gets there. ::Besides, actually using an EM-33 would probably exacerbate the problem. He would have to lead by an even larger margin.:: Vondaryan: So I just need to know where my target will be before it gets there? Sounds simple. ::Had he just used sarcasm? In his state of mind he couldn’t tell.:: ::It was, and she could hear it plainly. However, she could also understand where it came from. That, and she was not in the state of mind to counter it.:: ::Probably a good thing, too. This was a situation where more sarcasm would do no good.:: ::Kaitlyn took another breath. Dad. She needed to be Dad. Dad was always calm, no matter what situation he might face. She tried to mimic Dad’s tone, keeping her voice smooth and calm.:: Falcon: I never said it was simple, I just said it might be a solution. ::He blinked at her and took a few breaths, trying to listen to what she was actually saying. She was giving him encouragement, not berating him. She wanted to help. Help him to become as effective a killing machine as she was.:: ::Trellis looked down at the broken phaser in his hand. He realized that both he and Kaitlyn were as broken as the phaser.:: ::A sudden spring of emotion welled up inside of him. He tried holding back tears but could not. He wasn’t being fair to Kaitlyn, or to himself. Yes, they had seen a lot in the last mission and experienced their fair share of hardship, but they had survived. Somehow, they had come through. Damaged and broken, but not completely. They needed help to rebuild. That’s what Kaitlyn was offering him. Trellis realized, too, that’s what he was giving to her through this exercise. The strongest steel was tempered through the fires darkness.:: ::He wiped the tears away from his eyes. He steeled his jaw. There was a renewed look of determination in his eyes when he looked to Kaitlyn again.:: Vondaryan: Right. Lead the target. Anticipate where it will be. Shoot it. ::he took a breath.:: I can do this. ::Kaitlyn could feel her own chest catch for a moment at the confirmation… They really were equally broken, each in their own way.:: ::If he was game to continue, then so was she. Kaitlyn held up the PADD.:: Falcon: You can do this. ::As she set the targets in motion again he tried to concentrate on where his targets would be in a fraction of a second, not where they were. Moments later he’d hit the proper space. Not with any finesse or eloquence, but enough to register as a hit. Moments later, he did it again. And again.:: Vondaryan: ::smiling at Kaitlyn:: Well, it’s not pretty, but it counts, right? ::For the first time in a while, Kaitlyn was able to give a real smile. Seeing Trellis smile was a bit of a balm; she had been able to help. Or at least, it seemed that she had.:: ::Now, she would probably ask for St. Eliza’s prayers that he would never actually NEED those skills. He was WAY too peaceful a guy to be shooting anyone, even on stun. Still, should he ever find himself with no other options, at least he would have this to fall back on.:: Falcon: ::Keeps her smile up, giving a nod.:: I’d say it counts plenty. As the saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect’. Vondaryan: ::chuckling:: I guess it does. ::He sighed, releasing with it all the frustration, anger and fear he had built up over the past hour they had been practicing. He felt lighter, more calm. He could feel his mind clearing from all its negative thoughts.:: ::As she saw Trellis visibly calm, Kaitlyn felt a bit more calm as well. Not quite 100%, all weight off chest, or something like that. If her read was right, she had helped. That was something.:: Falcon: So? Vondaryan: This was… ::He wouldn’t say fun. Phasers were never fun.:: Something… ::he tilted his head at her, some of the mischievous look he kept hidden back in his eyes:: Now, I could use a good game of chess. You in? ::To that, Kaitlyn actually managed a chuckle.:: Falcon: Well, to be honest, I’ve never been particularly good at chess. Vondaryan: ::his eyebrows shot up:: Oh, even better. Now I can give you a bit of payback. ::She gave another chuckle. Trellis was absolutely right about that one.:: Falcon: Fair point. I DID just give you a metaphorical butt-kicking in here. Vondaryan: So...? ::he let it trail off, anticipation in his voice:: ::Kaitlyn shrugged, but smiled as she did so.:: Falcon: Why the hell not? ::Chuckles.:: I’m in. Vondaryan: ::smiling:: I know just the place! Have you been to the 8x8? ::Without even waiting for a response he headed out the door, the perfect chess match on his mind.:: -- Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan Chief of Intelligence StarBase 118 Ops O239208TV0 And =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion F237507RF0
  6. ((Engineering, USS Za)) :: As soon as Laura entered engineering she knew something wasn't quite right, it didn't sound right. She couldn't put her finger on it at first, then she noticed the warp core it wasn't glowing or make the usual humming sound she was accustom too. :: :: She moved quickly towards the warp core and heard people busying around. :: Human crewman: Ready to reactive reactor injectors Bajoran crewman: Go ahead. I'll monitor the anti-matter flow from here. :: Laura watched as the warp core light up, it was an impressive site. :: Andorian crewman: Reaction is increasing steady. Bajoran Crewman: Keep an eye on it. It takes about 30 minutes for it reach operation levels. Give me a shout if there are any problems. :: Turning to the human crewman:: Run the standard warp core initialisation diagnostic sequences. I'll be back in 20 minutes. Human crewman: Understood, sir. :: Laura moved to intercept the Bajoran crewman as he walked away from the warp console. :: Baxter: Ensign Laura Baxter, nice to meet you. Vreya: Chief Petty Officer Vreya Kima, I'm a little busy at the moment :: He continued walked and Laura quickly followed behind. :: Baxter: If you could just give me an update on the current situation? Vreya: What is your role? Baxter: Acting Chief Engineer ::Proudly:: :: Vreya stopped and turned, looking her over intently. :: Vreya: What happened to Lieutenant T... Te..., I can't remember his name ::He said shaking his head:: and Lieutenant Phillips, I think it was his assistant? Baxter: I don't actually know ::Honestly:: I was ordered to transfer about 2 weeks ago weren't you informed. :: Vreya shook his head :: Vreya: Do you know when your replacement will arrive? :: Laura shoke her head, but she couldn't hide the surprise from her face.:: oO My replacement Oo ::She hadn't though about the fact that they may be sending someone experienced to replace her. :: oO But I am only acting Oo Vreya: How long have you been out of the academy? Baxter: 2 months ::Embarrassed:: oO That doesn't sound great Oo But I have lead teams during my days as a civilian engineer. Vreya: It's a bit different being in the military. If you need any help just ask. I've taken Crewman Behl over there :: pointing to Andorian :: under my wing. Baxter: I'll bear that in mind. ::Slightly frustrated:: Vreya: Anyway need to get back to work. :: Kima walked away. After a few seconds Laura realised that she hadn't got the answer to her question. She considered chasing after him, but now felt very uncertain of herself and didn't want to face him again. :: :: Laura went to hide away in the engineering office, not ready to face anyone else. She pulled up the personnel record for Vreya. He was 45, with over 25 years experience serving on starships. :: oO No wonder he didn't respect me Oo :: Laura read further. He had a wife and two children who were onboard and he had joined the starship during it's refit on starbase 118. She closed the record, she was getting distracted and pulled up the current status. It looked like the warpcore had been shut down due to the need to make some adjustments due to diagnostic amoralities with it's interaction with the slipstream drive. :: Solzano: =/\= This is Fleet Captain Zalea Solzano to all Za personnel. Please board the Za at your earliest convenience. We will be departing at 1000 hours, at which point all officers should report to their Alpha Shift posts. ::beat:: Solzano, out. =/\= :: Listening to the communication, Laura decided it would be best to stay in engineering and monitor the situation with the warp core, then once they were going steady she would report to the captain. Though she would monitor from a distance, as she was still feeling a bit uneasy about her authority after her conversation with Kima. :: Ensign Laura Baxter USS Za Acting Chief Engineer ID number: E239306LB0
  7. (( Weapons Evidence Laboratory – Security Complex, Starbase 118 Operations Tower )) :: Seven hours. That’s how long Sanara Pran had been sat inspecting the weapons seized from the marauder Krayvet. Seven hours of tedious scanning, tagging and bagging- or some cases binning. For what amounted to a handful of Orion privateers, they had amassed a collection of weapons so large, it would make a Klingon battalion jealous. Some were standard Orion crafted knives, designed to be hidden from view discreetly, there were several ceremonial Klingon knives that Sanara swore smelt of dried blood, an assortment of Reman daggers and even a Jem’Hadar kar’takin. The fact that these men had possibly killed a Jem’Hadar warrior was disturbing. Or it would have been if Sanara had not of lost the will to live. As she placed another weapon under the scanner and peered into the viewing hood to examine it for possible identification marks or striations, she sighed heavily, hoping that it was not too long until the end of her shift. Checking the chronometer in the corner of the hood, she groaned as she realised she had another three hours till she was due to finish. Leaning back up, she got to her feet and yawned, rubbing the back of her neck. The tiredness was real. Making her way across the evidence lab, she came to a stop in front of the replicator. :: Pran: Shot of espresso. Computer: Please choose from one of the sixty seven different flavours of espresso. :: Rolling her eyes, she let out another sigh, as the replicator displayed a list of all the available flavours. All she wanted was something to keep awake, rather than a thousand and one questions with the replicator. She pressed a flavour at random without paying it much mind, hoping it would be pleasant and not targ-flavoured. :: Computer: Thankyou. :: beat :: Please select from the selection of available cup designs. :: That elicited another audible groan from the tired and now irked security officer. :: Pran: Computer, I don’t care what kind of cup my espresso comes with, or the kind of espresso I have. I just want an espresso!! Computer: Please restate request. Pran: :: to herself :: Trillus preserve me. :: beat :: I have no preference, surprise me. Computer: Understood. Cup design will be randomised. :: beat :: Please specify temperature. Pran: :: the last nerve gave in, and she looked at the replicator with a loathesome look. :: I. don’t. CARE. :: beat :: Why am I being asked a million questions? Why can’t you just give me a regular espresso?! Computer: It is help you make an informed choice. Pran: :: snapping :: My choice is this: regular espresso, hot…. And I don’t care about the cup design. It could have a seh’lat dancing to Lady Shadonna on it for all I care. :: The computer chirped affirmatively and the tired security officer snatched the drink from the replicator pad and downed the bitter beverage in one gulp, before putting the cup down on the pad again with a dark scowl. With another heavy sigh, she returned to the scanner and carried on with her tedious assignment. :: -- Lieutenant Sanara Pran (Disgruntled) Security Officer Starbase 118 Operations as simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Theo Whittaker Executive Officer StarBase 118 Ops C239203TW0
  8. ((Arboretum, Deep Space 32)) ::It was a strange thing, this need for nature. And it was a need, a telling mark of the tether that bound them to planets; to ground and open sky and growing things. They were, all of them, creatures of living worlds, not truly adapted to an existence in space, however much their technology might allow them to move through the dark between the stars. And so they brought these little pieces of planetary ecology with them.:: ::The trees of Deep Space 32's Arboretum were majestic, the small patch of grass lush and inviting, to those who were accustomed to such things. Green, rich, humid, with the trickle of water in the background. Nothing like home; nothing like arid plains, dry orange skies and red vegetation of Vulcan. His world, like his people, were an anomaly amongst the humanoids of the galaxy; one exercise in extremes. But they were not the only one.:: ::And now they were venturing to another extreme, the deep galactic south, far beyond Federation borders. I was the kind of exploration that called to him, even as he left things behind. But such was the nature of a career in Starfleet. From the Embassy on Duronis II to the previously little-explored Menthar Corridor aboard a series of ships; theMercury, Garuda and finally Invicta. And now further afield still, on the newly refurbished USS Za.:: ::The ship was unknown territory as, quite probably, were all his crewmates. Perhaps a few might be familiar, but he understood that the crew was drawn from across Starfleet. The Captain was an unknown as well, but he understood that they shared both a career in Starfleet Medical and a concern for the plight of the Romulans. Perhaps that was why he had been requested. The unknown would require flexibility and diplomacy, if the space they were to explore was anything like that they were leaving.:: ::There would be time enough to meditate on that, and on other things.:: Saveron: Saavok.::He called to his son.:: It is time to board the ship. ::The young Vulcan boy looked up from where he was investigating a heretofore unencountered plant with the kind of enthusiastic and slightly destructive interest of young children everywhere.:: Saavok: Yes father. ::He would rather have stayed, but he knew they had to go. Every movement took them further from the Corridor and the friends he had made. Even if those friends also came and went as their parents transferred. Such was regrettable, but it was a consequence of his choice to accompany his father.:: ::Brushing off the knees of his trousers, the boy picked up a small carry-cage and approached his father. The white angora tribble in the cage began to coo at the movement. After a moment the two set out together in the direction of the ship dock.:: Saveron: Our possessions will have been conveyed to our quarters. We shall go there directly. Saavok: Do you know whether there are any other children on board? Saveron: Negative, however I will enquire on your behalf. ::He had already resolved to do so, aware of his son's preference for companions of his own age.:: Saavok: At least it's a long mission. It will not be easy for them to transfer away. ::He mused.:: ::Saveron let the comment go. His son expressed excessive regret at their departure from the Corridor, but emotional suppression was not the easiest discipline when one was nine.:: ::They both left friends behind, those whose company they considered preferable. Some more than most. But in some cases a clean separation was preferable to the unanticipated difficulties surrounding continuing association with one with whom he had been... very close.:: ::Such things were in the past. As they approached the umbilical joining the ship to the station, the only way to look was forward to the future. If it was anything like his time in the Menthar Corridor, it would be full of fascinating challenges.:: END Commander Saveron Chief Medical Officer USS Za R238802S10
  9. ((Delta Quardant, Pouiyeog region, USS Darwin-A, Deck 7, Holodeck 1, Above Outpost Unity)) ::The gentle breeze stirred the grass as Kurt stood on the small hill overlooking the valley with its grass covered lowlands that stretched out before him. The middle ground held a sprawling woodland birds flying from its canopy, a river meandered in from its left side and emerged from its right and even at this range the effects of the fish within it could be made out. As the sun shone down making the water sparkle the woodland appeared to be a dark emerald sitting proud on a silver necklace. Out to the left a small stone built house stood, a thin lazy trail of smoke rising from its chimney into the valley still air, tended gardens of flowers and crops spread from the house, the bark of a dog just reached the hill Kurt was stood on quickly joined by a deeper note. The two owners of the noises came into view a large hairy wolfhound of a dog tall and thick chested, the second a small more wiry short coated animal sprinted from around the house being chased then turning to chase the three children with them. The house to the door stood open as a dark haired woman lent in the doorway an easy grace shone from her as the squeals of delight from the children mixed with the barks of the dogs as the grassy area in front of the house was changed into part raceway part game of chase where no one knew or cared about rules or turns:: ::Stepping backwards Kurt sat in the well-worn wooden high backed chair, padded and covered with large yellow flowers on a vibrant green background, just like every grandmother had in their homes, it did seem a mystery of the universe how no matter what the race such chairs existed everywhere as if it was a subtle hidden message that no matter who you were there was little difference at the end of the day between anyone:: Logan oO It’s just a shame not everyone listens to that Oo ::Sitting in the chair Kurt cradled his drink as his gaze shifted to the smooth three foot tall rounded top piece of granite that stood upright within easy reach of the chair:: Logan: You’ve missed quite a bit my old friend Friend: That’s an understatement….. I’ve been dead for several years so I’d say I’ve missed more than a bit ::Looking up at the sound of the voice Kurt looked into the tanned face and dark hair of a man he knew well but hadn’t seen for long years. He felt emotion rise and forced the eyes that threatened tears to stop and dry back up, the man before him wasn’t part of the program he hadn’t programmed him into it way back when:: Friend: Of course I’m not part of the program you loon, you may be good at shooting and hitting things but don’t every apply for a science role will you ::The chuckle that rose up was infectious and welcome standing up he matched the height of his friend but outweighed him by fifty odd pounds, but as he looked he saw none of the lines or worry that seemed to now be a fixture on his own face:: Logan: You would have liked the Dyson Sphere investigation right up your alley Friend: More brains than brawn you mean… ha ha .. oh Logan you always make me laugh you can out think the best of them but choose to hide behind the rifle …….. ::The sentence stopped as he fixed his gaze:: Ok I know that look what are you up to ? Logan: Nothing why ? Friend: Because you’re going to do something stupid again aren’t you …. Logan: No I …. Friend: yes you are, like the time you challenged Nelvek our Vulcan unarmed combat instructor to a contest Logan: That’s because you said I couldn’t beat him …. And what happened ?? Friend: Yes you beat him …. Then spent a week in intensive care Logan: But I beat him, the first to do so in twenty years… well if you take out Hannibal Parker and Tyr Waltas of course … and Marios Canto and a few others …. Friend::Laughing:: Ok that is true but you can’t hide from me remember Logan::looking back out across the woodland below them:: It’s for the Captain……. I’ve set up a tracking program for every time he leaves the ship, I’ll be informed of his movements it’s also tied into the medical database to monitor his vital signs in case anyone tries to just move his comm badge Friend: You haven’t …. Logan::Shaking his head:: I haven’t activated it yet, but the programs all set ready to go Friend: What ?, why ? … Kurt you know what will happen if you activate it and it’s found don’t you ?, that has to be against Fleet regulations Logan: FLEET !!! ……. ::The words came out with the emotion that had been held in check but had now found a crack in the [...] and was pouring forth:: Against their regulations why should we care about their regulations, they don’t care about us. If not this way how am I supposed to protect the Captain… headquarters didn’t want to go rescue him… and don’t even begin with that diplomacy rubbish when Lyldra has already told me that they were making no headway as they weren’t talking. No instead they were quite happy to let a Fleet Captain be kidnapped and tortured and their … Help ….. was to tell Commander Traenor to do nothing but wait for a more experienced Captain to arrive, so how many Captains have experience in running a rescue mission for a kidnapped Fleet Captain in an area of space they don’t know while giving the enemy another week’s grace…. How many ??? …. HOW MANY ???? ::As his words disappeared into silence, leaving Kurt breathing mixing in with the faint barks of the dogs and squeals of delight from the children, but it didn’t last as he filled his lungs again Kurt began to speak:: Logan: Then afterward when they’ve been confronted with what one ship did that the whole rest of the vaunted federation couldn’t or wouldn’t do what did they do ? …. Awards ? … Congratulations?….. No i haven’t heard of one message congratulating any of us for the Captains rescue, instead the Commander is moved out to wherever … we can’t embarrass the great UFOP can we oh no …. We have to leave that the people in charge, I bet you anything you like that the J’naii government are sitting their laughing at us, not only is there no comeback but we punish ourselves for them ::That’s when it blew the last brick in the [...] fell away:: TELL ME WHATS THE POINT ?? …… WHATS THE POINT ?? …. WE RISK EVERYTHING OUT HERE AND THEY BASK IN THE ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT AS SOON AS WE TRY AND LEAN ON THEM THEIR GONE LIKE GHOSTS IN THE MIST AND THEN MOAN AT US FOR NOT FOLLOWING TO THE COMMA ON ONE RULE. And now we have new crew on board how do we know they weren’t sent to keep an eye on us and report back … how … you remember Helen Audren put there to report on the training of the section. HOW DO I DEFEND AGAINST OUR OWN PEOPLE …. HOW !!!!!.......... how ? Friend: You are a good friend to all those you know, but somethings you can’t defend things, there beyond your control and scope, you just have to react to them as best as you can. It’s not what you want to hear I’ll admit but that’s just how it is Logan: I know but whose door does it land at if it goes wrong ..there’s or ours ?... which one …::Running his finger and thumb over his eyes Kurt pinched the top of his nose:: I’m just tired … Friend: You never listened to me when I was alive but don’t do anything to stupid your better at things than you think you know Logan:: Looking from his friend to the granite marker:: I listened to you once and I shouldn’t have done …… it’s been a very long day since I last saw you ….. I’ll see you at the end of it. I’ve got to head back now have paperwork to do and thinking to get done ::Seeing his friend smile Kurt lifted his glass:: May your long house be warm, may your battles be glorious and may you annoy your ancestors far more than you did me. I may see you next time my friend ... SKAL ... :: Draining his glass Kurt let his Peach Cooler slide down his throat savouring it's taste., looking back to the now empty space he felt the taste drain away, reaching the door Kurt called out :: Logan: Computer. End program, and erase record of program activation Computer: Record erased Lieutenant Jg Kurt Logan - Security Officer USS Darwin,NCC-99312-A E239203KL0hy
  10. ((USS Constitution-B Williams quarters)) ::Alex was still sitting at his desk checking the local news from Earth when the door buzzer sounded. Wondering who would need to see him this early he grabbed his cup of tea from the desk and made his way to the door.:: Williams: On my way! :: As the door opened up Alex assumed it was Snezhana to report for her extra choirs but it turned out to be Rajel. Since to two of them didn’t meet in their quarters Alex assumed bad news. Someone was sick, dead or missing, it had to be… The somewhat sad look on her face left little doubt :: Rajel: Alex, good morning. I'm sorry to intrude into your time off, but I need to talk with you. Williams: Come in… I assume this inst a social visit? :: Alex prepared himself, names were going through his head like crazy.:: oO Father, Mom, my brother or sisters, SUN! Rajel: Thank you. ::As Rajel took another breath Alex was prepared to grab the PADD from her and see who it was but then she spoke:: Let me get to the point since this isn't getting easier. oO Oh dear here it comes.. By the Prophets of Bajor and the God of my father, please let this sad news pass me…Oo ::He knew what was coming but he still didn’t want to hear it:: I have received transfer orders for you. Williams: What?! oO That’s all!? Oo ::Relieved everyone was alright Alex calmed down. He was relieved to hear no one died but as he thought about what she said he realized this wasn’t any better… He was leaving the Constitution-B! :: Rajel: Believe me, I am not fond of it either. ::Raising the PADD she handed it to him.:: You will be Chief of Tactical and Security on the USS Za. Williams: The Za? :: Alex wondered what talented mind in Starfleet came up with a name like that but before he could ask Rajel told him there wasn’t any time for questions. :: Rajel: Fleet Captain Solzano expects you as soon as possible. So you will have to leave right away. I know it is short notice but ... Williams: Right… Well uhm… that’s a lot to process captain. I thought you were here with bad news about a friend or family. So somewhat relieved it’s not that.. but this isn’t much better… I was really starting to feel at home here. :: It had taken a year to recover from his injuries after the Excalibur and in the past few months he’d finally started to feel useful again. Sinda’s offer to make him chief tactical was certainly a step in the right direction although truth be told he was eager to take on security as well:: ::Alex looked at the PADD, it was his name on the transfer order and he had to admit the position and shortly described mission of the Za seemed very promising:: oO Back where I belong, at the frontier. Oo Williams: Well…::taking a deep breath as he looked around his quarters and thought about the unpleasant job of moving all this things:: I guess I better start packing then… Rajel: Watch out for yourself, Alex. And if you need anything I'm just a call away. Williams: Yeah, I guess this is good by then… really hate to move on sedge short notice but duty calls I guess. ::He walked over to Rajel, shook her hand and wondered if she would welcome a farewell hug. They had known each other for many years but besides his time with Sundassa, Alex wasn’t really the hugging kind of man. :: Williams: Make sure you keep her in one piece captain. She’s a fine ship. ((timeskip)) ::It took Alex about an hour to get all his stuff. It wasn’t that much. Some clothes and a few uniforms easily fitted in his travel bag. The items that took some more time to pack were his weapons, his bow in particular, and the muskets and large painting from his office. He put it all in a cargo container and made sure it would be transported to the runabout that was ready to take him to Starbase 32. When he got to the hanger he thought of all the people he couldn’t say goodbye too, Rustty, the somewhat crazy speaking man in engineering and his sidekick Sindri. There was Wyn, the man that took care of him when he was still crippled and what to think of Milsap and Dial? T’Mar, his old buddy from the Apollo who joined them again as First Officer. The list was longer when he started to think of it. The new helm officer he just met, Sinda, EsAlah, Daniels and Snezhana from his own department. There was Ch’Gabor from science who he never really understood since he talked about things he didn’t know that much about and finally the people from Intelligence. They always had fun in their sealed office and until now Alex never really understood what they did all day. And last but not least there was Zogi. The man that had been with him for almost his entire career. Somehow Alex doubted he’d seen the last of that Ferengi. As Alex made his way to the Runaboat he was welcomed by Porus, a name that hadnt come up yet but was definatly someone he didnt want to leave behind.:: Porus: Sir, we are ready to leave, bridge has cleared us for departure. ::Alex set down next to his Klingon bloodbrother at the co-pilot seat of the Runabout.:: Williams: Its nice of you to fly with me Porus but you don't have to. I'm sure i can find my way to Starbase 32. Porus: Alone? I have swore an oath to protect you, and when commander Sinda informed me of the changes I headed straight for the captain and requested a transfer. She and captain Solzano agreed. So I'm with you on this one Sir. Williams: Are you? That is best news i heard all day my friend. Honored to have you with me. ::knowing the Klingon would keep this professional as always he didn't even think about shaking a hand or giving a hug. He simply smiled at him. And then the console bleeped to signal they were cleared for departure. The last moments of the Conny were here.:: Porus: Bridge reports we are cleared for disembarking sir. Williams: Then take us out Luitenant, full speed to starbase 32 and new adventures… =========================== With great pleasure written as: Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Williams Chief Tactical/Security Officer USS Za
  11. (( Starbase 11 - Strike Lanes Bowling Alley )) :: After Rustyy had left to settle the tab and perhaps throw some balls himself, Sol turned back to Essen with a grin. :: McLaren: So, you ready to give this a shot? Sinda: I guess so. I’m only gonna regret it if I don’t. McLaren: Alright. I’ll go get the shoes… Sinda: Thanks Sol. :: Sol nodded, and headed up to the counter to get them both some incredibly tacky footwear. She soon returned, holding out a pair to Essen :: Sinda: Classy. ::dryly:: :: She leaned back in the seat and plonked her boots on the tabletop. Unlacing them took some time but she finally slipped on the colourful shoes and promptly skidded on the floor, grabbing onto Sol for support. :: McLaren: :: Sol reached out, helping to steady Essen. :: That better? Sinda: Thanks! Seems you’re always there when I need you... McLaren: :: Sol smiled. :: Thats what friends are do. :: Essen opened her mouth to speak. Sol had thrown herself in front of a laser to protect Ess on the last mission, an act of incredible self-sacrifice. All the more so as Ess usually assumed she’d be the one putting herself in front of the gun to protect the crew - she was the Security Chief, after all, that was her job. She’d never even considered that someone would do it for her, and that was going to take a little while to process. But not here, in the middle of a noisy bowling alley. :: Sinda: Sorry, I was thinking of something else. Okay, so how does this game work? :: Sol nodded sitting herself down to put on her shoes, looked up at Essen as she did. :: McLaren: The basics of it are you take one of the balls, theyre all different weights, so find you one thats appropriate for you. And your goal is to get it down to the other end of the lane, and knock down all the pins. And you get two throws to do it. Sinda: Any special tricks to the run up? I’m pretty sure I saw the captain skipping up to the line earlier. McLaren: Not really… everyone sort of develops their own style. :: Shrugging, Essen picked up one of the lighter balls and flung it down the wooden aisle. It bounced a couple of times with loud thuds before dropping into the gutter at the side. :: Sinda: So, not like that then? McLaren: :: Sol laughed, not at Essen exactly, but at the whole thing. :: Hmmm, not exactly. Though… that is what my first go looked like... Sinda: Ah, well I’m in good company then! ::grinning:: :: Sol stood and moved just behind Essen, gently taking her wrist. She was close enough to take in Essen’s scent, the faintest odour of sharp, bitter smoke mixed with old leather, and she found it slightly intoxicating. :: McLaren: The way it was explained to me a long time ago… was that you want it to be a smooth motion in time with your steps, :: Sol mimed a smooth swing as she explained. :: and you want the ball to sort of naturally roll from your grip… Sinda: ‘Smooth’ and me don’t usually go well together. :: Sol stepped back, grinning :: McLaren: Though… I was never able to actually put that into practice… so for all I know the person who told me that could have been full of crap… :: Ess watched Sol for a moment as the other woman talked. Her wrist still tingled from where Sol had held it - Ess couldn’t actually remember the last time someone had touched her, it was that long ago. With affection, anyway. Bar room brawls probably didn’t count. :: Sinda: Guess there’s one way to find out. :: Taking a new ball, Ess took a couple of slow steps towards the lane and released the ball so smoothly it barely skimmed the surface. This time it made it almost all the way to the end before falling into the gutter. :: Sinda: Yeah, I reckon they were full of crap. ::She quirked an eyebrow at Sol:: So who was it who told you? McLaren: An acquaintance back on Earth… Im pretty sure he was just full of crap... Sinda: You know Humans have this reputation for just kicking back and playing games. It’s a wonder you ever found time to found the Federation. I’m serious! You ask any alien and they’ll say the same. Humans are the most laid back race out there. All you guys do is have fun and rest on your laurels. McLaren: :: Sol crossed her arms. :: Not all of us are like that! :: she laughed:: Sinda: Hey I’m just saying! ::she held up her hands:: Anyway, pretty sure it’s your go. McLaren: :: Sol nodded. :: It would appear that way. :: Sol collected a ball, testing its weight. She reached up and tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear, setting herself up for her first throw. She sent the ball rolling down the lane, watching is it made it nearly to the end before tumbling off into the gutter, only knocking over 2 pins. She frowned. :: :: Essen waited while Sol collected her ball and was concentrating on her run up. She found herself smiling at the way Sol absentmindedly tucked a stray strand of her white hair behind her ear. She was undeniably attractive. Ess was still hesitant though. Fun was one thing, and there had been plenty of ‘fun’ at the Academy, but what if Sol wanted more? The ball veered off a little at the end but it was still enough to knock over a few of the pins. Ess shook her head slightly as the sound brought her back into the present - again, more thoughts for another time. Right now, there was fun to be had. :: Sinda: Are you hustling me? McLaren: :: She shook her head. :: No. I’m really just not that good. Sinda: It’s a good job I still have some tricks up my sleeve. McLaren: Oh really? Like what? Sinda: You’ll see. McLaren: :: Sol [...]ed an eyebrow. :: If you say so… :: This time Ess stayed close while Sol collected her ball. Just as she was about to bowl, Ess gave her a sharp pinch on the bum. :: :: Sol retrieved the ball as it came up from the return and then set up again, starting off on her next throw. A sharp pain in her rear cause her to jump, sending the ball down the lane. It stayed on for a moment, before careening off into the gutter. :: McLaren: Hey! What was that for? Sinda: Oh what a shame, you seem to have missed… McLaren: It would appear that way. :: She grinned. :: So this was the trick you were talking about. Sinda: Well as you’re great tactician Sun Tzu once said, “if at first you don’t succeed, cheat.” McLaren: :: Sol blinked. :: I dont think he said it quite like that... Sinda: ::shrugging:: He might have said it when no-one was listening. McLaren: :: She laughed. :: Fair point. :: Sol gestured to the lane. :: Your turn Ess. :: She winked. She had nothing planned, but thought just the idea that she did might throw Essen off. :: Sinda: Just remember, while you’re planning whatever it is that you’re planning, that I can have you arrested. :: The hybrid selected a heavier ball this time, testing its weight. Satisfied with her choice, she rolled it straight down the middle, knocking over all but two pins at either side. :: :: Sol took a seat watching Essen as she got ready for her next throw. She wondered just what Essen thought of their relationship, and found herself wondering where it would lead. She knew her hopes, but could also only hope they were realistic. She was jolted from her thoughts by the sound of pins falling. :: McLaren: Who’s hustling who, Ess? Sinda: I must have slipped or something. McLaren: A likely story. :: She laughed. :: Sinda: Either that or Earth games are just so easy to learn there’s no real skill involved? McLaren: So Ive been told. :: She nodded. :: Come on then, Ess. Lets see if you can get some more. :: Sol again sat back, watching Essen again. She moved with a sort of calculated elegance, that Sol was almost sure was unintentional. She let her eyes trace over Essen’s form, appreciating her thin build. She made sure to not be openly ogling when Essen turned around after her throw. She had missed how many pins she had gotten though. :: McLaren: oO Youre getting distracted Sol… but what a fantastic distraction… Oo Nice shot. Sinda: Is that sarcasm? I missed them both. :: She threw herself down on the seat opposite Solaris with her usual lack of grace. :: McLaren: :: Sol blushed, caught in her distraction. :: Well, they were nice attempts… :: She was quick to cover, chuckling. :: (( Several frames of bowling later. )) Sinda: It’s getting late. I have some work I need to sort out back on the ship. :: She bent down and started unlacing the bowling shoes. :: McLaren: Oh? Need any help? Sinda: I appreciate the offer, but it’s something a bit… private. Nothing serious, just a thing I need to look into. McLaren: :: Sol nodded. :: Fair enough, still, let me know if you do. Sinda: Looks like just your final frame left. ::she gestured at the scores:: Unless you completely mess it up, I reckon you’ve got me beat. McLaren: :: Sol glanced at the scores, seeing that it was the truth. Her last ball would decided who won or lost, or even if they tied. :: It would seem that way... Sinda: There was one last trick, actually. I wasn’t sure about using it but figure what the hells. McLaren: Well… this I have to see... :: Ess stepped close to Sol until their bodies were touching and in one swift movement slid her arms around the other woman and kissed her. Not a gentle, affectionate kiss but aggressive and passionate, like everything else Essen did. It lasted less than half a minute but felt much longer. Finally Ess stepped back with an impish look in her dark eyes. :: :: Sol was startled for a moment, before feeling herself ease into the kiss. She found herself wishing it had lasted longer when Essen stepped away. :: McLaren: oO ifreann Fola… Oo :: She blinked, still processing what had just happened. :: ( OOC: Roughly: Bloody hell…) Sinda: ‘Night Solaris. Good luck with your last ball. Hope you’re not too distracted… :: Bare-footed and with her boots in one hand, Essen spun on her heel and wandered towards the exit. :: McLaren: ‘Night, Ess... :: Sol watched her retreating form for a moment, then looked back to the lane. Suddenly the game was the furthest thing from her mind. :: Right focus… ball. Down lane. :: Sol picked up the ball she had been using and readied herself. She started her run up and sent the ball down the lane. And then she turned away, almost not wanting to see the final score. She turned back though, and grinned. :: 140-140… After that… thats about what I expected… :: Sol sat down and removed her own shoes, switching into her boots and making her way out of the alley, letting her thoughts wander as she made her way back to the ship. :: ~~~ Lieutenant (JG) Solaris McLaren Chief Intelligence Officer U.S.S. Constitution NCC-9012-B C239210SM0 & Lt Commander Sinda Essen Chief of Security USS Constitution-B R238401JT0
  12. ((No'Vok Prime)) ::Ashes and death. That was all that was left of the small settlement on No'vok Prime, the air still hung heavy with the stink of the bodies of the fallen and the shattered husks of buildings draped in a pall of black, pungeant smoke. There were no survivors to the merciless and brutal attack, only the steady pinging of the automatic distress call that had echoed out of the colony's central communication centre before being little more then another hiss in the background radiation of the system. Dempok's boots crunched in the shattered debris. Where once was six thousand Klingon civilians and workers, there was now nothing save for the last dregs clinging to the sole of his foot. The attack had been unprovoked, unwarranted and a complete act of barbarity that made even his own veteran stomach churn:: Warrior: Councillor, we have found it. ::Dempok turned, his beard flicking in the light breeze as he narrowed his eyes to make out the figure of his small away team clutching a metal box. The last recorded moments of what had been a bustling hive of progress, locked inside the resilient data recorder that every ship, starbase and base carried with them:: Dempok: Good. ((IKS S’Tarahk)) ::There was nothing more to say, no ears to hear the silent prayer he offered the departed to guide them to Sto-Vo-Kor, not that their spirits would find peace, fell in a way that didn't fit the aspirations of any warrior or true citizen of the Empire. The burning vestige mercifully vanished in a red haze, replaced with the dark metal interior of the S’Tarahk's transporter bay. The Warriors took the device with them, no doubt towards the ships computer core as Dempok strode towards the bridge of the narrow Vor'Cha cruiser, his thoughts marred with the sense of anger boiling through his veins. There would be a price to pay for this, a terrible one that would be wrought with his ships disruptor cannons or preferably by his own D'k tahg should the enemy offer an honourable fight, which he doubted.:: Science Officer: The box has been connected, we have the last few minutes of sensor readings, vocal... it is heavily damaged, Sir. ::Dempok gestured towards the viewscreen with a gauntlet-ted finger, the fuzzy image of a Klingon woman appearing suspended in time. Governer Krell, if he remembered correctly. She'd bravely stepped up to offer to administer the colony, despite knowing how deep it was into the frontier, her pioneering spirit would be remembered:: Krell: ..der attack! Coun.... casual... ::The screen froze again, skipping ahead a few moments before the computer finally peiced together what little remained into someting more coherent.:: Krell: This is Goverenor Krell to any imperial ships in range, we are under attack! We have countless casualites... this, this is responsible! ::The screen jumped again to another fuzzy image, slowly coming into focus. A large green blur finding clarity, ice forming in Dempok's chest as he slammed his fist down on his seats large armrest.:: Dempok: D'Deridex... Krell: They are not responding to hails, our planetary batteries are having no effects! We need h- ::There was an explosion, a scream, then nothing save for the Imperial emblem and numbers rolling across the bottom of the screen giving the last telemetry. Energy spikes, temperature readings elevating sharply as the emergency control centre was reduced to constituent atoms.:: Tekal: The Romulans! Honorless dogs... our colony was defenceless! ::His first officer snarled in rage, standing to his flank as Dempok continued to look at the now empty screen.:: Dempok: How many ships do we have in range? Science Officer: None Councillor. The IKS Varaktyl is five days away at maximum warp, B'rel class. ::Woefully inadequate support, a Bird of Prey would do little more then shatter like glass under the warbirds firepower:: Dempok: Did anyone else receive the signal we just triggered? Tekal: The message was sent to high-command automatically as per your instruction. ::By now he had no doubt that the dogs of war were baying in the council's chambers. The same ones that had sent him post-haste to investigate the mysterious signal now validated in their grave concerns. He'd let them watch the results right along with him and rapidly his screen flashed up once again with the grim face of General Crang, the regional imperial military commander. Crang: The Romulans?! What cause would they have to attack us... this cannot go unpunished! Dempok: It doesn't stand to reason, General. None of this does. A single Warbird, attacking an unarmed colony. The Romulans are cowardly and devious I fully agree, but surely they are not this foolhardy... Crang: We may argue if they are or not, but a world of the Empire burns! The evidence speaks for itself, Councillor. Dempok: It does, General. I too wish to avenge every citizen and child of the colony. I can only offer a word of caution, the Romulans are in no position to start a war... ::Crang ignored him, his loud voice barked orders off screen as Dempok lent forward in his chair, fingers steeped. Everything seemed wrong, yet so line with the hit and run attacks a broken Empire would attempt against their adversary if they wanted a war. Hit and run, strike from the shadows... but the choice of target was what caused him concern. No'Vok was a farming world, of no strategic importance. It wasn't local enough to serve as a staging area, it didn't have defences or materials worth more then any average ore. Which meant, it was little more then a target of opportunity. Which meant they -wanted- someone to come and investigate, it was a distraction.:: Crang: The Second and Fifth Imperial Fleets are mobilising as we speak on a war footing Councillor. They will arrive within six days, either stand and defend or get your ship away from there. If it is war the Romulans want, we shall be ready and we will -break- them. Dempok: I will remain General. I may be a politician, but I am a Warrior by birth. ::Crang rewarded him with a begrudging nod of approval before the communication line closed.:: Dempok: Commander, engage cloaking device and sound general quarters. I want every frequency, every communication monitored for any sign of attack. ::For once Tekal nodded, foregoing his usual hot-hotheadedness, before issuing his orders as the ship descended into a noise of klaxons and flickering lights. He muttered quietly under his breath, a single passage from the famed Klingon author who wordsmith-ed war like a tapestry:: Dempok: "Sound trumpets, let our bloody colours wave. And either victory, or else a grave". ::Peace, that had reigned for decades, was beginning to crumble and he was there on the cusp of the wave about to crash upon them all:: MSPNC Councillor Dempok By Major. Tatash Marine Lead SB118 Operations C239108T10
  13. ((First Officer’s Office)) ::There sat . . . lay . . . the Rodulan in his office, face down on his desk lightly snoring. He hadn’t managed to return to his quarters in time before he finally collapsed unconscious on top of the numerous PADDs waiting for him to sign off. He was out of uniform, having decided upon docking to Astrofori One, he was technically off duty. Or as “technically” as being First Officer would allow him to be off duty.:: Officer: =/\= Astrofori One to Commander Core. =/\= ::It roused him, if only barely, the man scrunching his eyebrows, his nose, before finally straightening up with a half-hearted stretch. ::Seven hours sleep. It was better than none, he supposed.:: Core: =/\= Core here. =/\= Officer: =/\= There’s a woman here in docking bay 2B by the name of Venxi asking for you. =/\= ::It was a joke. It had to be. There was no way. Why would a Rodulan ever come out to Astrofori One - there was nothing here for his people, let alone *Yanata*! ::Maybe it was a mistake. A lure to get him away from his desk, his oh so comfy desk.:: Core: =/\= Give me a few minutes. =/\= ::Just the idea of having Yanata within arms reach was too much of an opportunity to miss. He had to see for himself. Maybe it wasn’t her, maybe it was a case of mistaken identity - but he had to be sure before he came to a conclusion. So a quick change of clothes and a spash of water later, and he was off to the docking bay.:: ((Astrofori One docking bay)) ::Yanata Venxi was a dark olive skinned, brown haired, wide-eyed beauty to behold, even if she looked mildly flushed and uncomfortable around other strange looking species and beings Tristam himself had grown accustomed to. Even when standing in a docking bay full of people, Tristam could spot her immediately upon entering - he knew that carefully-planned and executed hair bun a mile away, those judging eyes analysing and criticizing everything around her. Not to mention that she was a comforting void within the buzzing minds of the officers and civilians around him. ::He must have been for her, too, because as soon as he stepped within those doors, her attention went immediately to him. It was easy to identify a Rodulan mentally when faced with about a hundred people’s worth of minds. The Rodulan would be the empty void - a silent buzz, but no sound coming from them.:: ::Tristam almost tripped over running to her.:: Core: I can’t believe you’re here- I don’t even- how did you- Yanata:::scolding:: Broebas Daneil Tristam Core! ::He’d been stunned to silence at the sound of what his full name was when structured within her Krzexxi titling, though he’d snapped immediately back into her heritage custom. As her hands roughly took hold of his cheeks, his own found her shoulders - she was at least a foot shorter than he was and had about thirty years more experience in life, but for the first time since leaving home, he felt as though he finally had a proper equal, someone who would frown at him if he held his utensils wrong, spoke in a slurred and unprofessional tongue (of which lately he’d been doing a lot), to have his manners finally corrected and basotile critiqued. Her eyes bore into his, but not in an unpleasant way. Instead, they displayed her fondness and familiar openness to him, as well as likely judging his scruffiness and rings around his eyes. It felt like a millennia since he’d been able to comfortably achieve this sort of greeting, let alone a form meant only for family. There was only one other woman he’d willing allow to assault his cheeks, after all.:: ::He’d been missing home for so long, and here was home, now brought to him by his sister in basotile.:: Core: You’re really here. On Astrofori One, so far from Rodul! Why didn’t you *call* - I would have been here to- Yanata: If I was capable, trust me, I would have. But it was a last minute thing - and the *technology* is just *unuseable* off world! I do not know how you can possibly stand it at all! ::It takes practice, he mused. The first time he held a PADD, he couldn’t make heads or tails of it. And now, as a components expert, he was considerably better at working with all sorts of tech. Rodulan interfaces were far more simple, and didn’t require learning the meaning of thousands of various numbers and codes to work properly. Then again, Rodulan computers were never designed for space exploration.:: Core: Wha- how’d you even *get* here? Yanata: Cardassian transport system. Part of the political apology was the creation of a transport between Basul Rodul and another spaceport I can’t possibly remember the name of but is within Cardassian space. I think. Honestly, whenever I get off Rodul, it’s just one giant black bowl of pointlessness. ::Tristam blinked. That answered *one* of his questions, he supposed.:: Core: *Why* are you here!? Don’t get me wrong, this is one of the best gifts the Artist has given me in about ten years, but . . . *why*? Yanata: You have so many questions. Didn’t Taywor tell you? Core: The reason you’re here? Yanata: Yes. Core: *No*! No he *didn’t*! ::The woman gave a deep, Rodulan kind of frown Tristam hadn’t seen for too long, shaking her head in what some people would call over-emphasized. In fact, her body movements so far had made her the most conspicuous thing in the bay:: Yanata: Relations with the Cardassians is better. Much better. So we’re having some talks about trade and what not. I am here as one of the representatives - I’m to relay a couple of deals, give responses, that sort of thing. There is a few of us, actually. The Cardies set up travel documents for us. ::Though he cringed as his sister’s use of “Cardies” whilst in public, he had to muse about the situation she’d presented to him. Rodulans and Cardassians working hand in hand. Tristam sincerely hoped that was so they could milk the Cardassians for whatever they had after the whole occupation apology. It hadn’t been in Tristam’s time, but for some Rodulans, it might as well have been yesterday. Not pleasant, but at least they’d been able to move on without forming any Maquis-like ‘retribution’ groups.:: Core: Why Astrofori One? Yanata: Neutral ground. Betreka Nebula seems to be uneasy at the moment - one of your Starfleet ships investigated a “distress call”, or so I heard, so the Defense Force is on high alert because of them, and won’t allow diplomatic meetings until their problems have been sorted. Of course, that could take years, and as per usual, they didn’t want to have Cardassians in their space for too long. They were getting a bit nervous. And we do not really want to be on Cardassia Prime just yet, now do we? ::Made sense.:: Core: Okay, well, uh . . . do you have some place to stay? Yanata: No, I plan on sleeping in a dirty corridor somewhere- of *course* I have accomodation. What’s the matter with you? Did you leave your brain in a bin somewhere? Core: I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that you’re actually here! Yanata: Well wrap it quickly. I would like to get out of here and settled as soon as possible. I am hoping you can help me around this place because the design seems like an absolute *nightmare*- ::As she took a step forward, she stumbled, Tristam having to catch her before she ended up on the floor. After a few deep breaths, she straightened up, tugging her shirt down a little as she regained her faculties.:: Yanata: I am fine. It has been a long trip. Core: Long trip worth of space-sickness. Didn’t the Cardassians have doctors aboard? Yanata:::sighing:: I do not need to speak with any doctors of any kind. ::She paused, gripping his arm a little tighter.:: Though this nausea *is* getting worse the more the station rocks. Core: All the more reason to take you to medical. ((Guest quarters, Astrofori One)) ::A trip to medical had Yanata's symptoms of space sickness sorted, she'd retired to her quarters demanding time to settle and some privacy - given her overbearing nature, Tristam bid her a good night and instead returned to his own quarters for a good nights rest, looking forward to giving his sister-in-baso the tour of the station. ::When she answered the door to her guest quarters, Tristam found her cross-legged on the floor, feet bare, eyes concentrated purely on the clay-like substance currently at her hands. ::Basotile. ::He hadn't seen another Rodulan work with basotile since . . . well, since forever. Though basotile was grand in its expression, his family often worked with it in seclusion. Yanata was the only one of the household whom would openly craft. At first it was a quality of hers that he constantly questioned, but now it was something he took comfort in. It felt as though a large weight had been lifted from his shoulders.:: Core: I didn't mean to disturb you. Yanata: I am almost done. I will be with you in a minute. ::Yanata wasn't using tools to mold the clay, instead shaping it with her hands. So far, it was simply a cube, patterns traced within it by her smallest finger. She was currently digging out clay from the top. ::Tristam set himself down at the table, staring at his sister-in-baso in a way Gamighan would have likely called 'rude', but one she was not adverse to. When she finally completed the small sculpture, it had taken form of a strange cup. She removed her hands, leaving the basotile on the table as she got up to wash them, toes stretching as she cleaned the remaining craftments from her fingernails.:: Yanata: I am afraid I won't have time for a tour today. My meeting for the trade agreements has been rescheduled for two hours from now. Core: Did they tell you why? Yanata: Yes, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Something about some random Dennermé conflict. That is how you say it, yes? Core: Yes. Dennermé. And they’re not exactly known for their subtlety. Yanata: You have heard of them? Core: Spoken to a few of them, actually. You’d like them - they’re very . . . critical. Yanata: Sounds about right, given the Cardassian’s attitude when I asked. You are speaking two dialects, by the way - it’s getting irritating watching your mouth slug over Krzexxi. Choose one or the other. Core: Sorry. ::Krzexxi often used a precise words, children taught away from using contractions as one of the first three words of a sentence in the Western Gate. Laziness was frowned upon when speaking, and given that Tristam had resorted to using three different languages when he’d had problems talking, he hadn’t broken out of it easily. It was a bad habit.:: Yanata: Do not apologise, just don’t do it. Why are you even in the first place? Core: It’s a long story. No one speaks Rodulan dialects on Invicta because of the universal translator, so no one has noticed. Yanata: Consider me surprised Taywor hasn’t pulled you up on it. Core: We’ve been a bit busy focussing on my actual health. Yanata: Hmm. I suppose the fact that you *can* talk is a blessing. ::She nodded to herself, pulling a mug off the bench and placing it in front of Tristam.:: Yanata: I come baring gifts. Core: You didn’t have to- Yanata: Hush. It was a requirement set by your father. ::And just as quickly as she had sat down, she was up and off again, headed to the couch to pick up a crate, heaving it up and dumping it onto the table in front of him. Tristam stood from the table, Yanata unlocking the mechanism.:: Yanata: These are personal effects Gamighan wanted you to have. ::She pointed to each individually.:: Supply of proper basotile, instead of just the clay import- Core: What’s the matter with my clay stuff? Yanata: I am just the messenger, but he said to tell you that clay likely isn’t giving you the workout you need. And since Starfleet doesn’t have a telepathic psychophysiotherapist . . . ::She simply shrugged. Tristam was trying to work out if “psychophysiotherapist” was even a word or if Yanata was just trying to paraphrase Gamighan’s argument somehow.:: Yanata: It may take more time out of your day, but it’ll be worth it in the long wrong. Moving on, there is a couple of blankets, as well as a new copy of the Ozara Sect of Dikken - Taywor thought you might appreciate that. And, of course, an eye of the Artist . . . ::Gingerly, as though she thought she was going to drop and break it, she handed Tristam a chain and pendant. An Eye of the Artist was essentially just a good luck charm, one associated with the belief that the Artist was watching over all, a stainless steel locket, inside holding materials associated with Dikken. The “eye” was the front of the locket, a patterned circle revealing parts of the glow-in-the-dark blue held in a glass container within. ::Because he’d left Rodul, because he was out of the gaze of the Artist, it had felt necessary to keep one with him. It was one of the few connections to home he’d had during his time in Starfleet. He’d lost his original on the Pioneer, having gone missing when they’d rounded up his personal effects to send back to him while he was recovering from the accident (he hadn’t worn it on duty for reason of protocol), and at the time, he was so wound up in losing what might as well have been a limb, that he hadn’t had the capacity for a crisis of faith. It only hit him when he was half-way through his tenure on Seventeen, but he’d been so lucky in his recovery and everything after that, he hadn’t believed it a loss worthy to dwell over.:: Core: Been a while since I’ve seen one of these. ::As if it’d been his original, he pulled it over his head, the pendant settling against his chest as if it hadn’t been years since he’d last had one on. Yanata was trying to hide a smile, pulling the crate off the table and out of the way.:: Yanata: It’s not all I bring. ::She moved off as Tristam continued examining the eye around his neck, heaving up a much larger crate and all but dumping it in the place the other had been.:: ::One of the problems he’d had whilst being away from home was the constant over-stimulation of flavours. Eating non-replicated meals had been a nightmare, and even then, he’d had to endure the use of nutrient pastes for years on end (the Medical Starbase he’d been a resident of for that brief tenure had many a creative solution to this problem) before he finally got around to programming meals or altering them. To this day, he couldn’t prepare a proper meal for Roshanara without instruction to make it more flavoursome and she couldn’t prepare anything for him lest she accidentally burn his tastebuds off. It was a never ending problem, his Attraxan tongue being too sensitive for it’s own good. He was often stuck with eating fish and unseasoned vegetables, soups or stews, customized replicator pastes (essentially what he’d been living on since boarding the Invicta due to it being a quick meal and lack of time to program anything else), or the worst of the bunch, nutrient and protein shakes, but even then, there was the occasional problem. ::But here he was, peering into this ridiculously large crate that Yanata had somehow managed to get aboard a Cardassian passenger transport with likely few questions asked because it was Yanata Venxi doing it and you better have a damn good reason to not let her do it thank you. All he saw were baking ingredients, fresh food, syrups and more. ::It wasn’t even the only crate. She was back over at the couch moving another one towards him.:: Core: How did- what- *why*!? Yanata: Taywor said you were complaining endlessly. ::Where was he two years ago!?:: Core: The Menthar Corridor doesn’t exactly accommodate for Rodulans far away from home. Yanata: I am painfully aware of this. I have been here one day and already I despise everything I smell. You have been living away from home for *years* - I don’t know how you stand it. Core: You get used to it. Yanata: Well, regardless to what you’ve done to work through the fifth sense pain, here is a temporary solution. This is all fixes for tastes. It is not much in the scope of things, but essence of ytic, strom and selt, extract of det, esir and regayo; I figured you could combine those as much as you like and change things up a bit. Herbs and spices as well. Uh . . . ::she held up a cetbe fruit:: fresh produce, fruit and vegetables, obviously. I also brought some diluted vinegar since you love your fish so much. Sweeteners and syrups, so forth. Oh! I called up your personnel office and asked if these can be programmed into your replicator - they said you shouldn’t have a problem and that if you do, you should talk to operations. I did not bring any flour or thickeners or water or anything of the like but I assume you can find substitutes? Core: I’m sure I’ll find something. Yanata: Oh good, because Gamighan was concerned that I should have brought five crates worth. Core: I don’t think you’d have gotten away with that. And I thought you were in a hurry? How’d you manage to find time to call Starfleet yet not call *me*? Yanata: I had two days to prepare. Completely last minute - this on top of all the reporting I had to finish up, you’re lucky I managed to pull anything together at all. ::Yanata was nothing if not efficient. Tristam couldn’t help but glance back at the crates. They’d be his first legitimately Rodulan meal in *years*. He cracked a smile, huffing a laugh, before finally pulling Yanata into a hug. ::He was hugging his sister-in-baso. He hadn’t hugged her in years, hadn’t heard her voice in person for just as long. But here she was, shoulder warm against his chin. Not only that, but she’d showed up on his doorstep and brought his *culture* back.:: ::He had to take a shaky breath to stop tears from forming.:: Yanata: Tristam, are you alright? ::He only held her tighter.:: Core: You have no idea how much I missed you. Tbc . . . LtCmdr Tristam Core First Officer USS Invicta C238803SB0
  14. (( Romulan Refugee Ship )) Kells: You know this place. ::Intimately. Too well. It was a place Valesha would give a lot to forget, and a place that stalked her dreams far too often at night. Areinnye, but the *smell*. Sienelis: ::Quietly,:: Do you know what we're supposed to do here? Kells: An -- idea. But no more. ::He sounded uncertain, but he had more than she did. Her head was spinning with memory and heartache.:: Sienelis: I- I can't think. What's your idea? Kells: We completed my "challenge" by refusing to play through it correctly. It looks like Roshanara's group completed theirs by finding the promised purple flag. ::A moment.:: We may have to do one or the other. The question is, how? ::She closed her eyes, trying to take shallow breaths, trying and failing to regain some control over her thoughts and feelings. Perhaps the so-often scorned emotional suppression of their Vulcan cousins had something going for it, after all.:: Sienelis: I don't know. ::She swallowed, her throat dry.:: We just... survived. Like animals. There wasn't anything more to it. ::She could still hear her voice shaking. When he took her hand, she realised he could hear it too. Whatever stubborn pride she might usually have was long gone, and she gripped his hand like as though it was the only thing keeping her from falling.:: Kells: We'll get out of this. ::A moment.:: But we need to do something. Either to find a flag, or to end this illusion. I know it must be hard to be here again, but can you think of how we might do either? Sienelis: I- I don't know. ::It was becoming a refrain, and she hated it. She tried to just talk, instead of think.:: The flag, maybe? There was a storage room filled with what little we brought from the homeworld. ::The idea of sorting through mementos of a destroyed home hardly filled her with joy. Perhaps that was the point? Where she had found the Q irritating before, that feeling was swiftly turning into loathing.:: Kells: Where? Sienelis: It's- ::she faltered, her eyes falling on a pair of young children clinging to a suspiciously still mother. Looking away, she blindly gestured down the corridor.:: That way. ::She continued to cling to Aron's hand, unaware she was doing it. This wasn't a game, this was cruelty for the sake of it.:: Kells: We'll get out of this, I promise. ::Aron walked, she stumbled. They hadn't got far when there was a flash of light, one that seemed even brighter in the dim confines of the ship, and there was two new faces with them. Suddenly hyper-aware of herself, she yanked her hand back, her cheeks flushing pea-green.:: Kells: Gentlemen, where in the universe did you come from? Dara: Captain! Sir, it’s a long story. Most importantly, sir: Commander Rahman and Core, Lieutenant Fennelli, Doctor Blueheart and I managed to find the purple flag. We were sent back in time to Bluehearts old school on the moon and... Kells:Slow down, Ensign, slow down. ::He paused.:: I'll let Va-- Ensign Sienelis explain where we are -- and what we hope to do. Sienelis: It's a refugee ship. ::She paused to catch a calming breath and immediately regretted it, the awful smell sticking in the back of her throat.:: After Hobus destroyed ch'Rihan - Romulus, to you - the survivors fled in whatever they could squeeze aboard. ::There was a collective silence as they looked at her, absorbing the information.:: Sienelis: I think we're finding a flag again. The best place I can think to start is a storage room, down the corridor. ::But she didn't trust herself, since she couldn't exactly think straight right now.:: Unless you have a better idea? Kells: I don't know that we are. **** Ensign Valesha Sienelis Science Officer USS Invicta
  15. OOC: The following is an approved plot twist. <evil laughter> (( The Island - Hemix )) Whittaker: It can't be... :: Those were words that should never be uttered on an away team. Nugra gripped his rifle even closer and unintentionally let out a low growl from deep inside his throat. It was a mixture of a low rumble and distinctive clicks. :: Kelly: Talk to me Mister Whittaker, What've you got? :: Nugra watched the butterfly as it flew off and the urge to pursue it started to overcome him. He resisted and turned his attention back to the conversation trying to ignore the call of the jungle. :: Whittaker: My H.U.D registered a.... :: he consulted the data :: ... 0.6% increase in the output of the energy field at almost the same that moth landed on Ensign Ezo's tricorder. Kelly: You're telling me that the little red moth is connected to this advanced energy field? Whittaker: Normally I would say no, but it appears to be too much of a coincidence in this case. :: to Ezo :: May I take a look at it please? :: The young starfleet officer took the tricorder from Ezo and quickly examined it. More and more, in the back of his mind, Nugra felt a gnawing feeling of...something eating at him. :: Whittaker: The energy cells have been totally drained. This tricorder is dead. Ezo: What...completely? Is it possible it malfunctioned? Whittaker: It isn't. :: In the distance, the Gorn was sure he heard a combadge chirp and some talking, but it sounded faint and far away. His mind had entirely focused on a presence that was pressing in on him, speaking to him in wordless speech. The feral beast of war, the Admiral of Skulls, the darkness of his formal life rumbled deep inside him and fear gripped the Gorn's heart. Was he loosing control of the demon inside? Above him, he saw a swarm of butterflies move together taking on the shape of a larger bird. Instinctively, he savagely ripped the weapon from his shoulders and aimed it aloft. :: Ezo: ::quietly:: Theo...? is it still normal to be nervous? Kelly; Lewis, NO! ::He began to move towards the golden EV suited form of the Petty Officer:: Don't shoot! :: Completely on primal instinct, Nugra hunched down lowering his profile as the swarm of butterflies descended on the hapless enlistedman who had the unfortunate fate of not hearing Ensign Ezo's cry in time. :: Kelly: Throw your phasers on the ground. They are intelligent and we need to let it know we are not a threat. :: Insteading of doing so, Nugra slunk backwards, the silent form amazingly making no sound as it blended in to the heavy brush and weeds that grew abundant in the jungle that surrounded them. :: Ezo: ::frantically:: You have to let me up! I have to go to him! Please Theo! :: The deep foliage engulfed him and the frantic cries of the woman seemed to blend in to the sound that was beating inside his head. :: oO I've...I've got to get out of this suit. I've got to be free of it. Oo :: His brain screamed at him to avoid doing that, giving in to the feeling would allow the monster that he had hidden for years to re-surface and take control. He could feel his heart beating wildly, the beast within trying to claw its way out from the deep recesses of his mind. It...was hungry. :: :: Ripping at the seals on his helmet, his sane mind called out to stop one last time before the safety latch clicked and popped off. The sweet smell of the jungle filled his nostrils and his eyes narrowed in to predatory slits as the whole world came in to focus around him. Ripping off the e-suit silently, he slung it away failing to notice the sounds of the newcomers that had surrounded Commander Kelly's team. The Nugra that everybody had known was forced in to a quiet corner of the giant lizard's mind, helpless at the moment to only watch, to weak to try to force the demon back in to its place. The feral monster, the Admiral of skulls, the one that his crew had named Krr'Sak, keeper of the dead, reared its ugly head finally free to the rules and regulations. :: :: A rustling came behind him and he turned, more predator that sentient upon the sound. A straggling pirate had pushed his way through the foliage and spotted him. :: Korvin: Hey you--- :: That was all the sound he got out as the lizard leaped forth, teeth bared in a savage attack silencing the man before he could speak again. Crouched over his prey, Nugra watched helplessly as Krr'Sak, the subconscious id from the days of the war of the singularity took control of the situation. :: Krr'Sak: oO It is time my old friend. it is time that we dealt with anyone who dare defy our leadership. Oo Nugra: oO No! I refuse to become a monster again! Never will I slay just for the sake of killing. Oo :: Nugra's nose slightly turned up in to the air, sniffing at it, knowing that whatever awoke the beast was calling to him. :: Krr'Sak: oO She disagrees, weak one. She wants us to save her from them...Every...single...one of them. Oo :: He looked towards Kelly and the pirates and the monstrously toothy grin covered his face. :: Krr'Sak: oO She will be free. Oo ~tbc~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captain Nugra Chief of Intelligence USS Columbia, NCC-85279 FWPA '15 Facilitator Captain's Council Magistrate V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  16. ((Science Lab - USS Columbia)) ::He pored over the images and spectrometry results. Nothing jumped out at him showing that the planet's atmosphere had changed at all over the past three years. Instead the same uniform measurements with a bit of noise interspersed here and there showed up on all the scans. One thing struck him however. The star Hemix was orbiting was dimming and brightening at all the wrong intervals. Oh at first glance everything looked fine. But when Kevin sped up the measurement timeline and watched the wobble the anomaly appeared. Hemix' system was a strange one in that its sun had a close-orbiting gas giant, making it wobble much more frequently and more pronounced than a star like Sol would. But at the end of each single year for Hemix the sun did not wobble quite as much. He ran a simulation and the results were awkward to say the least. The only explanation was to posit another planetary body with a great deal of mass. Gravitic sensor scans of the system hadn't turned up anything producing that much gravity so the mystery remained for now. Something kept nagging him though. The wobble data, derived as they were from observations of light coming from the Hemix star, had all come to him pre-processed by something called K7 heuristic algorithm. He had to admit he wasn't as up on his computer science as he would have liked and a glance through the ship's wiki would take him away from his other duties. It seemed like a better idea to use this as an opportunity to get to know the others on the crew. Breeman: =^= Breeman to Nuvia Oori: =/\= ...Nuvia here. How can I help you? =/\= Breeman: =/\= Are you familiar with an algorithm called K7? =/\= Oori: =/\= Yes sir, I certainly am. The K7 heuristic algorithm is usually only used when trying to process a large amount of data very quickly, and even not then sometimes because of the way it handles it. It's a searching tool. Essentially what it does is takes in all the data, finds the first thing that will match the criteria for what you're looking for, returns that, and then dumps the rest. That's why it's named K7, I'm sure you know that explosive Tribble story. It's a very unreliable algorithm. =/\= ::If the algorithm was this notorious why wasn't he familiar with it? Had he been out of the field long enough for him to be getting ignorant of the latest... He was being too hard on himself. Of course he didn't know the latest technological jokes. University engineering jokes, like inflatable dartboards, tended to fall by the wayside once the students employing them had graduated and entered the working world. Kevin was no different.:: Breeman: =/\= Hm... Then that would explain a few things about why it's deciding that gravity is changing once a year in the Hemix system. ::Just because he was a working professional now didn't mean he couldn't banter still and maybe gain a few of the jokes. Math and science jokes were, after all, as much instruments for learning as they were of humour. In the distant past they'd served as a code that gave their users a sense of superiority over others. Of course that superiority soon waned when the jokester realized that after graduation she was surrounded by thousands of others from a multitude of other schools who'd told similar jokes while snickering at the arts majors. A few experiences and mistakes out in the office served as darts to deflate the humour and make the invention of esoterica in academia not something held by a select few but of which everyone was guilty.:: Breeman: =^= Okay so... Why the name? It sounded at first like something out of graph theory or something but that doesn't seem right. Oori: =/\= You know, the first Enterprise, Captain Kirk. There was an explosive tribble amongst hundreds of others in one of Deep Space K7s grain holding containers. Some people inside the container found it somehow and got rid of it, and then when Kirk opened the container all the rest of the tribbles fell on top of him. I doubt it's a true story, probably just something that floats around the academy. Anyway, whoever created that algorithm knew it. =/\= ::Kevin thought about it. There had to be a grain of truth somewhere in this name. Something about the algorithm itself. It was too much like the leaky bucket algorithm or 'big-endian' representation. A concept named for an allusion.:: Breeman: =/\= Okay... Thank you I think that tells me a lot actually. Oori: =/\= Glad I could help. If you don't mind my asking, where did K7 come up? =/\= Breeman: =/\= Well... ::Kevin pored over the data again and then looked over the graphic on the IEEE magazine article he'd been linked to when looking up the algorithm. He watched as a few points of data were gathered from a set of millions. These points were then used as reference markers for looking for other similar patterns in the data. Soon several more points fitting the pattern were teased from the data until a veritable explosion of confirming evidence emerged.:: Breeman: oO So it's a computer's version of confirmation bias? Oo Breeman: It's an algorithm that the data on the Hemix system was passed through before we got it. Looks like it takes a couple of points from the noise and uses them to extrapolate a pattern. Oori: =/\= Yup, that's K7 alright. Like I said, very unreliable. Is that Romulan data though? =/\= Breeman: =/\= No... That's the thing. It's data from the Federation Astronomical Survey. Oori: =/\= Well, I'm just saying, whoever ran that algorithm might have done it for a reason. They should have known as well as I it's not very useful. =/\= Breeman: =/\= Yes, you're right... ::Something was out of place now. Why would the FAS use a more or less academic exercise in confirmation bias to process their data on the Hemix star system? He tapped several commands into his console and opened up Buster, an automation software he'd written a few years back. He told the program to file a request with the FAS for the raw data used in observing the Hemix system.:: ((Short Time Warp)) ::As the days went by Kevin was surprised to find that no one had responded to his request for the raw data. At first he thought this might be on account of their travelling at best speed but that shouldn't have made a difference. Starships were often in contact with relatively stationary objects like starbases while travelling at high warp. He was tempted to file the request again but thought better of it. So he spent a while trying to work out the original data based on the algorithm. Unfortunately this turned out to be impossible, as the K7 function was like a one-way hash, spitting out a data set that couldn't be used to derive the original input data.:: ((Breeman's Office – Science)) ::He paused one day and looked over his surroundings. His arriving here was at the tail end of an interesting and winding path. The counselling at Starbase 118 had led to his being sent to Earth for eleven months. There he'd been sent to what had been dubbed a mental health home. When he'd heard the term he'd envisioned some kind of nasty place like an institution. Soon however several things became apparent. First he'd be left to live there alone for two weeks. Second the place would be a large house on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the coast of British Columbia, rather than a stuffy building somewhere near San Francisco or Toronto.:: ::The first two days had been awkward. He'd stood in the doorway of the house for almost an hour after being dropped off there by a pair of officers. Soon he'd found himself settling into a routine of sorts.:: ((Flashback – 11 Months Earlier)) ::The table before him was empty, its glossy wood reflecting the morning light outside. Meanwhile through the window he could hear the distant sounds of waves crashing against the shore tens of feet below the cliff.:: ::Kevin had to admit that this felt a little like a guilty pleasure now. The day after he'd arrived he'd had the replicator produce a book for him and he'd taken to sitting inside and writing in it whatever came to mind. At first he'd tried to do the therapeutic thing and write about Sarah Novak. He'd written descriptions of her lying there dying, and then about Cyrus and how he'd taken care of the dog for a while. But something had felt artificial about what he'd been doing, and soon Sarah and the dragons and the Columbia would recede, refusing to be inspected with the pen. Everything faded into a distant fog like the one he'd seen out the window of the runabout just outside Odyssey Station when he'd looked back at the dim clouds which turned out to be the Milky Way Galaxy seen from somewhere inside the Large Magellanic Cloud, and he'd just written. He'd tried a few poems before settling on writing a collection of little poems that expressed revulsion at the existential angst he'd felt in his youth by portraying it in the form of an angsty teenaged girl whose angst wasn't reflected in the universe but rather ignored. He'd been unsuccessful though in conveying that this signified that he'd reached a new level of human agency in which his own power to act was conferred precisely by the apathy the universe held toward him. Whether his teenaged girl had learned the lesson was unclear.:: ::On other occasions Sarah did return. ((Flashback – Three Nights Ago)) ::He opened his eyes to the sight of the morning sunlight entering the window of the room upstairs in the house. Soon he was aware of someone else in the room with him. He looked down toward the chair at the foot of the bed only to see Sarah Novak seated there. ::Kevin sat up. Sarah continued to stare at him and as he blinked the image disappeared. He looked about him and saw only the empty room again, a still rocking chair at the foot of the bed. He stood and placed a hand on it, not sure what he hoped to find. The wood was cold, its only warmth coming from the sun outside.:: ::So she really had died. It hadn't all been a nightmare. He shook his head. This had to end somehow. Other people lost crew and survived. Why couldn't he? Why hadn't he been able to concentrate after that mission? Why had Captain Nicholotti decided to keep him on the Excallibur rather than send him on the away mission? Why had he seen strange lights and then blacked out? Why was he going backwards, falling from being an accomplished chief engineer and scientist into this wreckage, constantly doubting himself, worrying about what people would think of him, whether they'd ever want to serve with him again. Why was he the only one?:: ::He found himself dressing and walking out of the house, book in hand. He marched determinedly until he stood at edge of the cliff, looking down at the surf below. The sand and the rocks seemed happy there, ignorant of his presence and certainly of the horrifying thoughts that rushed through his mind. It would be so easy. He just had to take one step and it would all be over. He clenched his jaw between his fingers and opened the book to his first attempt at exorcising her. The writing was artificial and Sarah receded again until she was just another collection of words, shapes on the page. He wanted to throw her depiction instead at least. That would at least remove one artefact – Not that his mind couldn't produce others whether he wanted it to or not. He turned to another page and then another, all the while feeling his feet beneath him tracing their way backward until when he looked down expecting to see surf again all he saw was the tall grass, rustling in the gentle morning wind, the sound of the water below providing a calming accompaniment.:: ((Present – Science Office – USS Columbia)) ::And that had been how his recovery had begun. He'd felt like hell, wanted to commit suicide, but refused to do it. And then the training had begun again. It had felt like he was going through school again. At first he'd felt guilty for this. Hadn't school come and gone a decade earlier? “One is never too old to be a student,” doctor Chen had said. “Ever heard of changing careers? How do you think those people do it?”:: ::He'd been right. And this had been easier. He'd just had to re-learn to be an officer again, and to accept that everyone (not just him) who donned the uniform accepted the risk. His combadge chirped, bringing him back to the present.:: Lt. Cdr. Kevin Breeman Science Officer USS Columbia
  17. ((OOC: The Full title of this is: Episode 1: SB118 Mystery Hour - The Pact, but unfortunately it was too large to fit in the Topic Title input)) ((Blueheart’s Quarters, USS Avandar / Haase’s Quarters, USS Gorkon)) ::Adam had recently changed quarters after the sudden invasion of the glass orb. Finally settling in, he felt compelled to speak with his mentor - Captain Raj Blueheart, who was now serving aboard the recently commissioned USS Avandar.:: HAASE: =/\= Computer, establish a linkup with the computer of the USS Avandar. =/\= COMPUTER: =/\= Please enter authorized security code =/\= HAASE: =/\= Haase-Alpha-Twenty-Four-Green =/\= COMPUTER: =/\= Security code recognized. Linkup has been established =/\= ::Adam walked over to his computer monitor located on his desk, and sat down in the uncomfortable chair.:: oO I really need to get a new one of these…. Oo ::Tapping a few buttons, he established communication with his former captain, who was conveniently located in his quarters:: HAASE: =/\= Hello, Captain! =/\= ::Raj was awakened by a pinging. An annoying pinging. Getting up and rubbing his eyes, he dragged his feet to the computer console and blinked several times. Tapping a few buttons he stared at a face with one eye open. After a few seconds, he recognized the face as his former engineer, the much adored Lt JG Adam Haase. Raj gasped. Was he ready to talk to his former crew member, let alone see his face? He almost reached out to switch the computer off. But something prevented him from doing so. Perhaps he missed the guy too much.:: BLUEHEART: =/\= Adam.. =/\= HAASE: =/\= It’s good to see you again, sir. Looks like SFI defrosted you nicely. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::chuckling:: =/\= Yes.. it seems they have. It’s good to see you too, Adam. =/\= ::He wanted to run away. He still found it difficult to look Adam in the eye. How can someone look the person they let down ever again in the eye?:: HAASE: =/\= So...I, um…=/\= ::Adam now had no idea what he had wanted to say. His mind was suddenly blank, a clear sheet of paper. Looking into the eyes of the obviously tired captain, he brought up the only subject he could relate on.:: =/\= Why, Raj? How? =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= Um.. I got fired. Ha. Ha. =/\= ::It was just a combination of too little sleep and haunted memories resulting in extremely poor humor. It was only after a few moments of silence did he realize that his friend was asking why he had been silent for so long. For surely their friendship went beyond the call of duty and actually meant something.:: BLUEHEART: =/\= Oh.. =/\= ::lengthy pause, turning his head away slightly:: =/\= I.. I guess I’m still trying to resolve some guilt. =/\= HAASE: =/\= Guilt? =/\= ::Adam took a pause to keep from sounding upset:: =/\= What guilt? =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= For letting the crew down. For letting you down. =/\= HAASE: =/\= Letting me down? =/\= ::Adam was shocked:: =/\= You didn’t let any of us down! =/\= BLUEHEART: oO But I did!! Oo ::bowing his head:: =/\= Maybe.. but it still feels that way. =/\= HAASE: ::Adam silently wanted to reach through the monitor and shake some sense into him:: =/\= You did what you had to do. I never questioned your motives. I only question Starfleet Intelligence…=/\= ::Adam’s face turned cold:: HAASE: =/\= What did they do to you…. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::shaking his head:: =/\= I wish it were clear to me too. Everything is a blur. =/\= HAASE: =/\= The cryo-stasis, the sudden disappearance from the base….and other intelligence that I’m sure is classified. Can you clear any of this up? =/\= BLUEHEART: ::shaking his head again:: =/\= I can’t. That’s what is so frustrating! All I remember is being drugged, then waking up in some dingy lab surrounded by surgical instruments. Then the next thing I remember is walking out of a dungeon and into a frozen wasteland and.. nothing after that. =/\= HAASE: =/\= ::astonished:: A dungeon?! Who would have any desire to capture you? How did SFI know you were there? =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= I don’t know. SF Medical ran a battery of tests on me back on DS26. They didn’t find anything, or should I say, couldn’t find anything. All I know is when I regained consciousness, I was back on DS26, and all I knew was what was revealed to me officially. Everything else was classified. =/\= HAASE: =/\= How can they classify your own disappearance from you? That’s just wrong…. =/\= ::Adam drifted off for a moment, clouded with his own thoughts:: BLUEHEART: =/\= Oh, one other thing! When I was in the lab, I recall seeing.. seeing a vision of myself. I know it sounds crazy and I may have been under a lot of drugs, but it was so vivid. It was like staring into a mirror! Do you think.. do you think that someone who looked like me could’ve committed the murder? To frame me? I don’t have all the details only what I read after I was released by Medical. =/\= HAASE: =/\= I don’t know….this is all so confusing. ::rubbing his eyes in frustration:: BLUEHEART: leaning forward close to the screen:: =/\= Promise me! Promise me we’ll get to the bottom of this! Maybe not now but.. one day! =/\= HAASE: =/\= I….::starting at Raj::...I promise. =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= And.. =/\= ::A dark shadow swept across his face.:: =/\= And there’s one other thing, Adam. =/\= ::Adam couldn’t imagine what more there was to discuss, but he listened intently.:: HAASE: =/\= Go ahead… =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= Emerson. =/\= ::He almost looked away from the screen altogether.:: =/\= I need answers! His death.. I can only hold it all together for so long! I’m ashamed to even say this but I want justice! No! I want vengeance!! =/\= HAASE: ::surprised by his sudden rampage:: =/\= Raj….I...I never met Emerson. =/\= ::looking to the ground, and then into his eyes.:: =/\= But if he means that much to you….I will do everything in my power to resolve his death. =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= I don’t want his death to be in vain! Do you understand? He means the world to me! =/\= oO You still do, my love. Even in death, you still do. Oo ::Although Adam was thousands of miles from his captain, he could sense the absolute need for resolution. The need for answers. And he wouldn’t stop until he got what he wanted. Adam just hoped that Raj wouldn’t take it too far…:: HAASE: =/\= Yes...I understand.=/\= ::sighing:: =/\= I just don’t know what I can do…=/\= ::A ship-wide comm alerted him to the mission briefing about to take place in a few minutes.:: BLUEHEART: ::curtly:: =/\= I have to go. Mission briefing. =/\= HAASE: =/\= Understood. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::terse:: =/\= This stays between us, okay? Only between you and me! =/\= HAASE: ::Adam grimaced in fear:: =/\= Yes, sir. I understand. But - one more thing. I need your help as well….sort of a...mutual arrangement. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::arching an eyebrow:: oO The young padawan is learning. Good. Oo =/\= Go ahead. =/\= HAASE: =/\= Do you remember…=/\=::Adam paused and blushed::...=/\= Mary Fenelli? =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= Of course. She’s on board with me on the Avandar. What about her? =/\= HAASE: =/\= You must keep this confidential. =/\= ::Adam stared intently:: BLUEHEART: =/\= Oh out with it already! =/\= HAASE: =/\= Her paralysis was not….entirely coincidental. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::voice dropping a tone:: =/\= What are you saying.. .. ? =/\= HAASE: =/\= I went over a few of the Atlantis’ medical logs. Someone...and I don’t know who...managed to replicate neurological toxins….unrecognizable by conventional scanners...to intentionally paralyze her. She was paralyzed on purpose. =/\= ::He felt like he was hit by a starship flying at warp 9. What was going on? He felt like he was returning to different life from the one he left behind before his kidnapping. Suddenly the world was an evil, dark place filled with evil, dark people.:: BLUEHEART: =/\=No……….. =/\= HAASE: =/\= I...I can send you the logs. They were well hidden - but I know how to retrieve lost information. I...I couldn’t believe it myself. =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= I can’t believe this is happening!! =/\= ::He grabbed the sides of his head with both hands.:: =/\= What did I wake up to?? I wish.. I wish I was never thawed back to life! =/\= HAASE: =/\= No! You can’t say that. I need you. You need me. Together -- we can solve these mysteries and determine what really happened. =/\= ::A second reminder shipwide comm interrupted their conversation.:: BLUEHEART: ::hastily:: =/\= We’ll get to the bottom of this! You have my word! =/\= HAASE: =/\= Thank you, Sir. Just… =/\= ::pausing:: =/\= You can’t tell Mary. It would break her heart. =/\= BLUEHEART: =/\= I won’t. Scout’s honor. =/\= ::finally managing a smile, albeit a weak one:: =/\= Thanks for calling, Adam. It’s nice to know someone still believes in an old, washed-up has-been like me. =/\= HAASE: =/\= You’re not washed-up, sir. In fact - you may be the only one I can truly trust. =/\= ::Adam’s console beeped.:: =/\= I’d better go. =/\= BLUEHEART: ::nodding:: =/\= Stay safe, soldier. =/\= HAASE: =/\= You as well. =/\= ::Adam tapped his monitor and ended the call. What was happening to the Federation? To Starfleet? How were we so easily infiltrated? Adam would determine this, if it was the last thing he ever did.:: ::The connection was terminated. He only leaned back for a second, to heave a great sigh, before jumping out of his seat to head to the briefing room.:: Stay tuned for the next installment of SB118 - Mystery Hour =========================================== Lt JG Adam Haase Engineering Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 A239112TJ0 & Captain Raj Blueheart Chief Medical Officer USS Avandar NCC-80203 D238601RB0
  18. ((Deep Space 6 - Deck 20 - Race Spectation Area.)) ::She had joined the crowds as captain Harrington took the stage. Her lunch or second lunch as the case was with Walker had been quite enjoyable. She had not expected to open up to her as much as she had wanted Luna to do. She had told her things no one on the ship knew, things that she had not even told her spouses. It had been enjoyable, and she had more in common with Luna than she would have thought. After hearing the crowd praising Ugly Baby she felt a great deal of pride for her crewmates on the winning team. She would give them her personal regards when they were all back on the ship instead of fighting her way through the crowd to congratulate them now. She would take the time to give the Deep Thought team her compliments as well their AI driven ship was quite a curiosity. After getting through the crowd she made her way to where the the food and her Uncle in law would be. Spotting his table she saw he was quite busy when she entered the area. Many people had also found their way over to the buffet tables all stuffed to brim with food from local station eateries. She started to walk up his table from behind when she stopped about ten meters away. She realized one of his assistant chefs at the table looked more familiar than he should. :: Lyldra: No. It can’t be. ::She looked again at the three figures at the table serving up sandwiches and shimmershell puffs. One was Meko her co-husbands cousin and the largest one in the middle was Garll. The third was not one of Garll’s other two assistants, no it was unmistakably her co-husband Brell. He was in civilian clothing and here on the station serving food she could have been blown over by a feather. She scanned around the room and there she saw Hars sitting at table near by looking dour.:: oO What are they doing here? Oo ::She should have felt happy to see her spouses but she had been avoiding contacting them. She wanted to stay on the Darwin but did not know how to tell them without sounding selfish. Maybe it was selfish they were a month from not just being married but a family of five and she wanted to keep running off on adventures. She wanted more time, she almost turned away to leave and at least she would have until they came looking for her.:: oO Frell, what am I going to do! Oo ::She stood and watched them, Brell was much like his uncle in appearance though Garll was the brother of his co-father. Both men were heavy-set as was common for Bolian males but Garll much more so. Both were chatting it up with the tables patrons and fulfilling another Bolian stereotype of talking too much. Hars was another matter he was tall slim and for a Bolian quiet, he had recently come out of his shell when he moved to Til’ahn to be with her and Brell. There he could not get away with hiding in a lab all the time, though he was still often prone to brooding. Her being pregnant had made him much worse than usual and there was part of her that had been glad she was away and didn't have to deal with it. Even though she knew his overbearing worry was out of love for her, it did not make it any easier to listen too. His face showed it all as he sat there looking at Brell help his uncle. She could see the worry in that furrowed brow and pursed lips she longed for his warm smile to replace it.:: oO If you don’t move soon they will spot you. Oo ::She exhaled and started walking toward the table. It felt to her like each step was taking at least five minutes though time was passing normally. With each of those forever in a moment steps she still had to fight the urge to run off.:: ::Hars saw a blue figure through the crowd it was was her … Finally. He stood and went to get Brell he could not tell if she had spotted them there but if she had it was better they both be ready to greet her. After getting his co-husband away from serving food their spouse was now only a few paces away and they started walking towards her. She looked nervous and he wondered if everyone had been right in their warning that she could take them showing up unannounced the wrong way.:: ::She was still shaking off the feeling to run away, she had weeks yet she kept telling herself, weeks to figure out how to tell them her desire. Now they were five meters in front of her and walking towards her looking happy as she should be. She did smile as they got closer even unsure as she was she had been missing them dearly. The three reached each other and with out speaking each raised their arms and pressed forelimbs together then embraced. After they parted Lyldra spoke first.:: Lyldra: What are you two doing here? Brell: Well as you know the last mission at the Embassy had us thrown back in time, and well we saw an altered timeline I can’t say much but there was no federation no anything as we knew it. Hars: After that we had to see you not after your next mission and what ever convoluted event happens in the galaxy. ::Lyldra let out a little giggle at Hars’ cynical remark. It was just like him to say something like that. Hearing it made her miss statements like that from him even if they usually caused her to roll her eyes at him. She wanted them to be with them so badly, but she was not ready to give up on her new found career in starfleet.:: Lyldra: I can understand that, after my last mission and the effect it has had on the crew I’m glad to see you both as well. Brell: And look at you you're as big as a shuttlecraft! Are they still doing somersaults in there like you said it felt like? Lyldra: Yes the one on the right is bouncing about now. ::She guided his hand to that side of her distended belly. Brell almost jumped out of his blue skin when he felt a kick against his hand. It was unlike anything he had ever felt before he had been around plenty of pregnant family members before. But this was his wife and that was their child he had just felt.:: Brell: That is amazing, Hars feel! ::Their slender co-husband placed his own hand beside theirs on her stomach. He first felt a kick on his arm the touching her left side, then from under his hand. It startled him as well and all this became instantly much more real to him. He smiled for the first time since they were here last time all together. He gripped Brell’s shoulder for emotional support.:: Hars: ::Nearly tearing up:: It is amazing. Lyldra: You got the other one going. We ... we need to talk but can we sit please. Brell: Of course. ::He took her arm and Hars took the other the three found an open table and there finally she told them of her wishes. Hars’ head did not explode, Brell did not have to choose sides and she didn’t have to restate her words over and over. The dread she had built up over talking about this turned out to be over nothing as they simply and rationally talked about their family's future. Garll joined them after the festivities had nearly ended and they relocated the conversation to his Deli. He made them dinner and offered a few helpful comments. The hour grew quite late and she got them clearance to board the Darwin from it’s nightwatch deck officer so that the three of them could all sleep together in her quarters. They had not come up with a definite plan even after talking all evening but she was amazed in what they were willing to do for her. Never before had she been so sure that she had picked the right partners to share her life with. As the three of them all curled up together in the rather small double bed she felt more at ease than she had since leaving Til’ahn to come here.:: TBC/NT Lieutenant Brell On Extended LOA & PNPC Hars Vlin Oceanographic Scientist & ===================================================== Lieutenant (J.G.) Lyldra Diplomatic Officer/Counselor/FDC Attache Uss Darwin NCC-99312-A Graphics Team Member E239109B10 =====================================================
  19. ((Earth - Star Fleet Academy - Near the shore)) ::DeBarres was sitting on a bench near the bay, she put down her PADD and looked out at the water. It had been a good couple of weeks at the academy. She had skipped her 3rd year cadet classes and was now ranked as a 4th year cadet. The two years as a crew member and her work on the Victory and Vigilant had convinced the brass that she would just be wasting her time spending her third year with her classmates. Not that she even considered them her classmates. She had spent most of her academy class time via subspace and serving in the engineering department.:: ::She had far more practical experience aboard a starship then probably the entire 3rd year class combined. Any ways being on Earth wasn't a picnic. She missed deep space, as she had spend the vast majority of her life aboard a ship of one type or another. Most of her time extra time these days was taking tests to stay out of classes. Sure there were some required classes she had to take, but with her experience getting out of a lot of them had been not too difficult.:: ::She had learned that most of her crew from the Victory had transferred to the USS Gorkon. The sounds of the seagulls snapped her back from the day dream of deep space and back to the here and now.:: DeBarres: What test is next? ::She picked up the PADD and looked it see that it was her final exam for her piloting skills test.:: DeBarres: Good grief. I can pilot a balky freighter into a repair facility without a scratch. ::Charlotte had been raised on the long haul space freighter and had done everything at one time or other aboard the ship.:: ::She paused for a moment.:: DeBarres: Alight, one little scratch. Any ways the starboard thrusters were out. ::She started to review the requirements of the test and it was important that everything was done the "Federation" way.:: DeBarres: I think a bit more holotime... just to make sure. ::She pressed to the PADD and made a reservation in a holodeck to work out any kinks that might crop up. Just then a small white spot appeared on the bench next to her. There was a noise from one of the sea gulls hovering over her looking for some food.:: ::She looked at the bird dropping and then up at the sea gull.:: DeBarres: Go away! ::Waving her hand at the bird.:: Wonderful, just wonderful.::Dryly.:: Give me a star ship any day. This is for the birds. Got to finish up and get away from here. ::She looked away from the ugly bird dropping and back out to the San Francisco bay.:: (PNPC) Charlotte DeBarres4th yearCadet SIMmed by Eerie Serial number # A238803E10
  20. ((Rosek's Quarters, USS Gorkon)) ::Lael was browsing through her message inbox when she noticed one from Janel. Eager to read it, she selected the message and entered the command that would allow her to view it.:: =========================================== Dear Lael, How are you settling in aboard the Gorkon and what have you been up to lately? I’m really enjoying it here on the Darwin and am catching up with old friends as well as making new ones. I helped the medical relief crew aboard Deep Space 6 while they had their second annual shuttle race. I thought it would mainly be a case of tending to the drunken mob after the results were announced, or the odd bumps and bruises of those fighting over lost bets and the like. I never expected that someone would lose their life or that one of my very own colleagues would be involved in a crash and in need of our care. Darwin crewed teams did really well with the race though placing first and second with their shuttles so I guess there’s a silver lining. I am missing you though and wish you could be here. I hope you’re settling in well with your new crew and look forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards, Janel ============================================== ::She frowned. She'd heard about the crash second and third hand, mostly from articles by the FNS. Until his message, she'd wondered if Janel had been involved and perhaps been the one killed. They still weren't releasing the name of the individual who had died.:: ============================================== Dear Janel, I'm sorry to hear about your colleague. I'd read a little about the crash, but the FNS still isn't saying much. It's been pretty routine here. They've got us on a course for the Menthar Corridor. From what I understand its part of the Astrofori initiative to build positive relations with the Cardassians and the Breen, though it makes me nervous that the Corridor shares a border with Tholian space. As I'm sure you remember, our last encounter with them was anything but pleasant. The crew has been nice enough and I've even developed a somewhat friendly rapport with Ensign Orrey, one of the Medical Officers on board. He's easy to talk to and has been kind enough to lend an ear when I needed one. I've taken to spending my off hours with Ensign Goodwell and a few of his friends to keep my mind off things. It's been a tough adjustment, but I'm getting there. I still wake up in the middle of the night half expecting to find you next to me. While Maggie, my new puppy companion, is good for snuggling, I wish she was you. I'm glad to hear things are getting better for you. I know you were in a difficult place for a bit there with all of the crap that rained down on us. I'm working on a little surprise that will hopefully make the time apart a little more bearable. I'm studying the Darwin's crew manifest everyday and I have a few friends up the ladder keeping their ears open for news of Engineering or HCO positions available. With any luck, I'll be joining you soon. I love and miss you desperately, Lael ============================================== ​::She then tapped the attachment link and laughed as a picture of Janel wearing his ever-charming grin popped up on her monitor. It was a rare treat to see Janel smile, especially as of late. Saving the file to her desktop, she then downloaded it to the electronic frame of holophotos beside her monitor.:: ::Pausing, she snapped one of herself wearing her sexy bedroom eyes and attached it, then sending the message.::​ -- LT JG Lael Rosek HCO Officer USS Gorkon I238110RH0
  21. (( Sick Bay, USS Apollo - A )) :: Jalana leaned back in the seat in her office. She was catching up with paperwork that had piled up while she had served as First Officer. While the EMH had been in charge of Sick Bay, she still wanted to know what had happened, not to forget messages from the outside that had come in and news in the medical field. But after such a long time reading she had to rest her eyes and raised her hands to rub over them and massaging her temples. :: :: For a moment the Trill closed her eyes. She still had not heard from Viktor and was getting really worried, wondering what kept him. She really needed to keep her mind busy so they would stop wandering to the worst case scenarios her brain tortured her with. Sighing she opened her eyes and looked at her screen. Nyals. The message he had sent her was highlighted on her screen, so she would remember that she needed to answer him. :: :: Shaking her head Jalana raised her hand to tap her badge. :: Laxyn: .oO Let’s get this over with Oo. =/\= Laxyn to Nyals. =/\= :: After he and Sherana planted his Rub'ratya Aristo, Nyals went to gym near his quarters on deck 4 to stretch. He checked the size of Gymnasium and figured there cannot be so many people using it. Nyals replicated both German and Cyr Wheels and after he changed into Leotard and stirrup pants, he started assembling them. Just when he was done with a puzzle of German Wheel and moved to assembling Cyr wheel, his commbadge whistled. Nyals got up from the floor and moved to answer. :: Nyals: =/\= Ensign Nyals, how can I be of assistance. =/\= :: He responded in calm even voice, though he was pretty annoyed by the call in time he wanted to play. :: :: A little piece of her had hoped that he was not on board, but she was not that lucky. So she really had to go through with that. She hoped deeply that he did not want to talk with her about this stupid incident. :: Laxyn: =/\= You sent me a message about wishing to talk with me. I would have time now. =/\= Nyals: =/\= Now, as right now, Sir? =/\= Laxyn: =/\= Yes, now. Of course if you don’t have time… =/\= .oO Don’t have time, don’t have time Oo. Nyals: =/\= No, I just planned to exercise I absolutely do have time. =/\= :: He hoped she need him for just a moment and he will be able to return to his workouts soon. Nyals did not exercise since he left Academy almost a month ago and he knew it would bear badly on his performance. He was a gymnast and was supposed to exercise regularly. :: Laxyn: .oO Darn Oo. =/\= Good, then meet me in my office in Sick Bay =/\= Nyals: =/\= On my way, Sir. Nyals out. =/\= :: The line closed and Jalana sighed as she dropped against the backrest of her chair. No turning back now. .oO Really, stop behaving like a child. You are a grown woman and are able to talk to other people. Get it together, woman. Oo. Sadly the mental finger wag did not work all too well and she raised from her chair and stepped to the replicator. :: Laxyn: Jestral Tea, hot. Slightly sweetened. :: The blue light began to form and soon embraced a cup of steaming tea. The scent of it floated into her nose and she sighed relishing it. Her father had introduced her to the tea from Betazed and since then she always drank it to calm her nerves. She took the cup and raised it to her lips for a sip and the warmth began to fill her. :: :: Nyals attached a commbadge to his chest and moved to the nearest turbolift. He was happy how good he was in going into right direction on the parts of the decks he knew, like the deck 4 with his quarters and the deck 13 with his ward on the right from turbolift and Medical Bay on the left. He passed through the center of the main part of the bay and chimed at the CMO’s Office door. :: Nyals: Commander! :: Hearing the voice behind her she almost dropped the cup but caught herself just in time. To spill only a little of the tea over her shirt. She still did not wear her uniform as she was not officially on duty. Turning she looked at the giant of a man, who only was topped by Tal’s height if she wasn’t completely wrong. She offered him a slightly nervous smile, hoping it looked not as bad as it felt, then her eyes dropped to what he was wearing and she raised one hand to her mouth, covering it, but not able to hide the snorting sound.:: Laxyn: Don’t tell me ::snickers:: that is all that is left :: chuckles:: after I ruined your robe. Nyals: What? No! :: He was so used to these clothes, Nyals never before felt wrong wearing it. Even during Academy, he was changing in his quarters and walking through the campus to Gym. :: Beg your pardon? :: Still very calm. :: oO Those spots are mesmerizing, especially those on her forehead. Oo :: She had to put the cup to the side and out of her hands because she could not hold it back any longer and began to laugh. She knew that this was probably a bad thing to do, but he looked too funny in this leotard and those leggings. Usually she was not one to judge anyone by what they were wearing but she could not help but laugh and laugh. Pressing her hand on her belly she tried to stop it, covering her mouth to press it back but nothing helped. Her face was tomato red by now as she tried to speak. :: Laxyn: I hahaha am soohohoho sohohohohorry. :: Nyals looked down. He was aware how ridiculous his clothes must look here in the sickbay. He was feeling… insulted? Nyals was breathing deeply as he taught Williams to do. :: Nyals: You do not look sorry, you seem pretty amused, SIR. :: It was not so loud as it was firm. Nyals was trying to reach his inner calm, but even when he closed his eyes and tried to concentrate it was impossible to get rid of a picture of Doctor holding her belly laughing… laughing at him. If he was naked, he would be just naked. From her reaction, this was worse. :: Laxyn: ::chuckling:: What do you want me to do? Cry? ::She cleared her throat, trying to focus on not laughing but it was not easy. The whole stress she had been through for months, ever since looking up that rifle on Izar, seemed to become cracks, just in the worst moment.:: So… what is that get up for? Nyals: I am a gymnast; I was getting ready for exercise when you called me. :: He coughed preparing to continue. :: Gymnastics is good for whole body; developing strength, balance and flexibility. It helps developing healthy lifestyle and prevents numerous health ailments. ::sigh:: It should also raise the self-esteem, though sometimes may drop IT, too. oO I am not a clown. However, from her reaction it looks like I am. Oo Laxyn: ::Her laughter had stopped by now and she listened fascinated.:: Really, a Gymnast? I always thought that those are small. Nyals: I was Academy champion in Cyr Wheel. :: He pouted looking up to avoid her gaze. :: I am equally good in German Wheel, but there were better than me in that discipline. Laxyn: That is quite impressive. I mean that. Nyals: You sounded as it is emergency, Sir. :: He finally nailed that light in his chest and started to calm crazy beating of his heart. :: I regard my job seriously, Sir. Laxyn: I could say the same. You sent the note that you wanted to speak with me. So.. ::She gestured towards the seat in front of the table. :: .. what can I do for you? Nyals: I wanted to talk to you, to see what makes you tick and how you think. You are my direct superior and we are going to work closely together. :: He had to stop and breathe deep again few times before he could proceed. :: We obviously did not start well; I thought talking might change that. :: He stood straight and rigid, still looking up and avoiding her gaze. :: :: She took the saucer with her teacup and headed to the desk, noticing that he had not looked at her, so he hadn’t seen the gesture. Placing the tea on the desk she sat down in her seat and leaned back. :: Laxyn: Please, sit down. I wouldn’t want to get a stiff neck. ::smiling:: Nyals: Yes Sir. ::He sat as ordered. :: Laxyn: ::Watching him, though avoiding his eyes and thought about his request. And he was right, that they really did have a weird start, one she would want to forget about, even though she had not been responsible for how she reacted to that gas.:: Well the first thing you should know about me is that I am not very formal, despite my rank and position. Nyals: Yes Sir. oO Can you see me, really see me, Lieutenant Commander? No woman ever touched me the way you did in the turbolift. She is engaged, I must not think like that. I cannot tell her what I feel... how I feel. Oo Laxyn: That means I prefer to be simply called Jalana, especially in Sick Bay but also generally. We are colleagues at first, the rank is just some extra metal. That whole ‘Sir’ thing makes me feel incredibly old. Nyals: Yes… :: Cringe :: Jalana. Ma’am, I wanted to ask you, how old are you. :: Nyals cringed again, but it was impossible to retract the words. :: Laxyn: ::smiling:: If you are relating to Trills being ‘older’ than they look… No, I am not joined at this point, so I am the age you see in front of you, 30 Earth years. Nyals: Do you plan to join? Do you have a wish? oO Am I too direct, will she notice? Oo Laxyn: Yes, I have a remote Mentor. She was on the Apollo before, but got transferred, we keep in touch though and continue the mentorship until the commission is satisfied with her reports. Nyals: It is good to know. Laxyn: Well, what is it you want to know, Nyals? Nyals: You are joking a lot. :: He was badly out of tact, but she was making him nervous. :: :: The Trill tilted her head slightly and couldn’t help but smirk. He was direct and blunt, she did not mind at all. :: Laxyn: I take my job serious, while I am not by the book. I know when to be sober, well as we just have seen not always but mostly, but I like to take everything with a good portion of humour. Anything else? Nyals: Are you in a hurry? oO I cannot lie. I must tell her. Oo Laxyn: No, why are you asking? Nyals: You are trying to end this conversation and it is making me nervous. oO Because I do not want to talk, but feel good close to you, cannot you notice that? I am intoxicated with her, what is wrong with me? Oo Laxyn: I’m not trying that.. Nyals: “Anything else?” as the end of the sentence or response sounds same as “dismissed”. Laxyn: Then you are mishearing. I merely asked if you want to know anything else, nothing else. :: He seemed to be satisfied with the answer, because he went right on in the conversation. :: Nyals: Let us talk about serious things first? I have a few questions about the reports. :: He paused. :: Do you believe that as counselor I have a right to keep some information out of the reports? oO Those spots at the edge of her hairline are so kissable. I want to kiss her there. Oo :: She blinked slightly, placing her hands in each other as she curiously looked at the man before her. :: Laxyn: What do you mean? Nyals: Do you expect me to report everything to you or maybe you prefer to do not know? Sometimes Officers tell counselor things that may be very personal and told to explain some reaction, but may be understood wrong if were taken out of context of the whole picture. Do I have to include it all in my reports? oO Like my juvenile record... Oo Laxyn: You are the Counselor. I am not reading your counseling files and I will read a report only if you mark it as having importance to my job. Some CMOs might do that, but I believe in the confidence between Doctor and patient.. that also goes for Counselor and their clients. I do suggest to file in your report as detailed as possible without breaking that confidentiality unless it is important that the Leadership has to know. For example if it influences their ability to do their duty or are a danger to the ship, that is something at least the CO would have to know. :: He went right on to the next question and she wondered if he was just nervous or trying to get a feel for what was okay. Since he was new, she thought that both could be a factor in that. :: Nyals: Since my job is round the clock. It is not something I will never change. If anyone needs me I am available. Do you expect me to be in my office at some exact times or it is fine with you that I am commbadge away at all times? :: Jalana was pretty surprised about that question. She never had a Counselor ask her these things so she was caught a little off guard. He possibly just wanted to make sure that he did not step on her toes or something like that, since it was his first position as Counselor and he was new to the whole process.:: Laxyn: You do your job the way it works for you. Nyals: I understand that crew evaluations must be done seriously, with some ugly questions. I will always perform them in my office. :: He sighed. :: Do you expect me to perform all Counseling sessions in my office or other parts of the ward? Laxyn: Your position is not confined to your office, just as mine is not confined to Sick Bay. If someone needs my help they need the help, same goes for you. Nyals: Do you accept meditation and hypnosis as acceptable counseling techniques? :: His lack of reaction to her answers and jumping from question to question amused her but she tried to keep that to herself, so he would not think that she would laugh at him - again. But it reminded her so much of herself when she had just come aboard the Apollo. She had been thrown right into action because the CMO back then had been on an away mission, but after Sidney had been back Jalana could almost not stop asking questions. She smiled gently and leaned forward. :: Laxyn: Nyals. You are the counselor, not me. I might be the Chief Medical Officer but I will not interfere into your job or tell you how to do it. Nyals: I must thank you for your understanding, Sir. oO I must ask her. I should tell her. Oo This is personal question, but do mind that I will ask it officially sooner or later, but right now you don’t have to answer it. I have heard that you are engaged with a member of the crew who is often leaving on the missions for Starfleet Intelligence. How do you cope with it? :: After being all business she had not expected that question. Especially now that she actually wanted to not think about Viktor still not being back. She looked down to her engagement ring, took a breath and shook her head a little. :: Laxyn: Viktor has not left for Intelligence once since we are together. The only time he had to leave was for personal reasons. There is not much to cope but missing him, thankfully there are subspace messages and such. Nyals: Do you have children or any other dependent? Do you plan to bring anyone aboard now that we have ship with civilian contingent? Laxyn: ::Laughing slightly:: No. I do not have children or anyone else that would depend on me apart from my patients. And we already had civilians before on the Apollo. ::She thought about what she had just said and added with another shake of her head.:: But of course you cannot know that since you have never been on it. Nyals: Thank you, I truly appreciate your answers. Do you have questions for me, S..:: cough :: Jalana? Laxyn: Since you know these things about me now… do you have family? Like a girlfriend, wife.. boyfriend, husband? Nyals: No family, but I have a dependent. Laxyn: And will they join us here? Nyals: I hope I will be allowed to bring somebody aboard. Laxyn: ::raising her brows:: Oh really? So, who is it? Nyals: Dosea Hosie. We lived in same orphanage… she is like a sister to me. Laxyn: So you are close with her? ::She had not seen him show much expression of emotion since he was on board so it made her smile to think that he might have this other side they had not seen yet. :: Nyals: oO Am I imagining this? Was that question sounding a bit jealous? It is just my wish. Oo I have not seen her for several years before meeting her on the party at the Academy campus. :: He cringed thinking of the day. :: She was drunk, drugged and was looking for customers. Yes, “that” meaning of customers. :: Jalana had of course heard enough and was old enough to know what he was talking about and she could imagine that it was not easy for him to see someone in that position that was like a sister to him. She decided to not ask more about her, at least not for now. :: Laxyn: Well I do hope I’ll get to meet her. ::Leaning back again.:: Tell me about P’Jem, please. You mentioned it during Dial’s party. Nyals: Well. :: He was not sure how much he was ready to tell her. :: I had trouble adapting to life in orphanage. Master Fabol knew me from before; when he offered to take me to P’Jem, government officials decided it is best for everyone. Laxyn: I am curious what would bring you to live that big part of your life there and how this experience has been for you. Nyals: At the start it was hard. :: Hard was understatement, but Nyals was ashamed of that time and did not want to talk about it. :: With time, I got used to order. :: Jalana watched the man before her and had the feeling that there was something he did not want to say. She was tempted to ask about it, but on the other hand it was not her business. Maybe he would tell her one day when they knew each other better after some time to work together, but right now she was almost a stranger to him, so she understood. There were things she did not talk about either. :: Laxyn: You mentioned that this Master Fabol knew you from before. Before the orphanage? Nyals: My… well mother probably, left me at the door of the Fana Monastery in the woods of the northern Dalar. Master Fabol was visiting the monastery often. I lived there until I was old enough for school. They were not suited to raise a child and I was like a wild animal. :: Now that was interesting. A wild animal? Jalana could hardly imagine him as such and was curious about what that actually meant. But he seemed uncomfortable talking about all this. .oO Maybe later, when we know each other better Oo. Again she left the topic and steered towards a question that sounded safer for Nyals. :: Laxyn: P’Jem is Vulcan if I’m not all wrong about it. Does that mean you follow the Vulcan philosophy? Nyals: My emotions were tamed; I mastered emotion suppression techniques needed to control my body and mind. oO Though it may fail sometimes. That is it, sensory failure. When she touched me, she caused disbalance. It caused my unusual body reactions when I am near her and that is why I have a need to stay close. I enjoy emotions I did not feel before. Oo Laxyn: Is that difficult? From your file I saw that you are Betazoid, that is quite .. different from Vulcan. Or didn’t you have much background in your Betazoid roots before going there? Nyals: It was… I did not… :: He was on a slippery ground. :: I remember my life in the woods. I remember Fana Priests fighting and me learning to follow them. I remember arrival to the city and the walls surrounding me, which were choking. I remember running away from it, but I could not escape. My first travel in the ship was shocking experience... :: He suddenly stopped talking. All the memories, together with her presence were too much. Sensory overload made him holding to the chair so tight his fingers hurt. However, his face kept calm as the night. :: :: Her eyes dropped to his hands, seeing his knuckles turn white and she knew that his face was only a facade. She apparently did hit a bad spot there and looked up to his eyes again and softened her voice. :: Laxyn: I apologize if that is too personal, I do not wish to intrude in your privacy. Nyals: Commander. :: He practically whispered it. :: It is too late. :: He opened to her as he never opened to anyone and while he wanted it, it scared him. Nyals was confused, he felt so much at the same time he could not control it. He knew his control was failing him. :: Laxyn: ::She was not sure what he was referring to and quietly asked:: Too late for what, Nyals? Nyals: There is no easy way to say that. There is no proper way to say it either. Just straight to the point. Laxyn: ::Her confusion only grew. It seemed like he was in his own little bubble that she did not have access too. She resisted the urge to furrow her brows. :: Say what? Nyals: I have a crush on you. :: He watched her with eyes wide... scared. He was scared from the words he just uttered. :: :: That she had not expected and her eyes grew almost as wide as his. Did she hear him correctly? Did he say a crush? Her mouth opened but what was she going to say? Thank you? Oh? Why?... No, nothing came out, she just looked at him, not even able to whisper a word in her surprise. :: Nyals: No woman ever touched me the way you did. It caused sensory failure and when you are close I cannot concentrate and my heart is beating fast and… :: Nyals jumped from the chair and vanished from her office and from sickbay before she could even inhale to say something. :: :: Jalana was stunned and speechless. Her mouth remained empty of words as he suddenly jumped up like stung by a bee and literally ran out of Sick Bay, followed only by her eyes. What had he said? Sensory failure.. was that what had happened when she had been under the influence of the gas? They would have to work together! It took her several moments before she finally found her voice and only one word left mirroring her confusion and surprise. :: Laxyn: What? :: Nyals was running through the ship. It was late evening and good for him was that only few engineers from the yards were still working on the ship. He entered the opened shaft to Jefferies tube and crawled through it until reached junction, then chose the way up and then crawled and climbed, until he reached Deck 4. After some walk, he reached gym where he left his wheels and when assembled both he exercised and exercised. Nyals knew he could not continue when he grips the wheel so lousy it twisted his hand until he felt a crack of the ruptured ligaments. Nyals did not care. Pain was familiar feeling, one he could control. :: --- Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn Chief Medical Officer / Second Officer USS Apollo-A & Ensign Nyals Counselor USS Apollo-A
  22. (( Quarters Laxyn/Lanius )) :: As good as it was for Jalana to distract herself with work, talking with Dr. Mike and Nyals and exploring the new Sick Bay, at some point she had to return into her quarters and that point had come sooner than she had expected. Upon return she had hoped to find him in their quarters, waiting for her with an explanation why she had not seen him for a few days, but all that greeted her was quiet emptiness and that has it been ever since. :: :: The night had been short and empty and her morning walk had not helped to calm her down. With a sigh she kicked off her shoes and dropped on the couch, turning slightly to look out of the window, seeing metal bars that held the ship in position and behind it Station 1. Maybe she should get over there and try to keep her mind off things. But instead she wanted to stay here, wait, wishing that the doors opened any moment and he would stand there with his [...]y smile and tell her that he just had a few too much to drink with his buddies and got carried away. Or anything that would make sense really. What was going on? :: :: Sun wanted to wait until they had enough information regarding what was going on with Viktor before talking to Jalana. While she didn't have all the details, and she wasn't sure if she would ever have all the information, she knew that if Jaxx disappeared like this, she wouldn't be able to handle it. So the longer she waited to tell her friend what she knew, the more pain her friend was going to go through. There was a different kind of pain that came with not knowing, than with knowing. :: :: Straightening her uniform, she walked towards the quarters that were assigned to her friend, the quarters that she was sure Jalana thought Viktor would be sharing with her. Taking a deep breath, she rung the bell. :: :: When the ringer of the bell went off she literally jumped off the couch and crossed the living room with running steps. That must be him, he had not been on board yet so maybe the computer did not recognize him as inhabitant yet. She almost banged into the door, if it were not for her slithering over the ground on her bare feet. With a bang of her hand, that was still in motion, on the opener next to the door the wings of it swooshed open and Jalana's heart dropped. :: Laxyn: Oh. :: Sun could only imagine who her friend was expecting when the door opened, maybe she was thinking that the computer wasn't programmed to recognize Viktor. But, she didn't take the tone of the word personally, or least she tried not to. :: Faranster: Hmmm... Not exactly the friendliest greeting I've gotten... Laxyn: What? No.. sorry. Come in. :: Sun stepped forward over the threshold as she spoke. :: Faranster: I probably should have contacted you first, I feel like I disappointed you. Laxyn: I thought it's Viktor. Do you want something to drink? :: Sun looked around the room, she knew Jalana was waiting for Viktor, it would have been what Sun had done. But the words, made it harder for her eyes to meet Jalana's. She was delivering almost the worst news possible, and the possible reactions Jalana could have. For the moment she focused on the offer of a drink. :: .oO That's right Sun, take this visit one step at a time. Oo. Faranster: Sure, a glass of water would be fine. :: The Trill walked up to the replicator and got their glasses of water, before walking to the seating corner and put both down. :: Laxyn: Please, sit. How was your shore leave? Did you and Jaxx have a nice time? :: After carefully picking out her seat, Sun sat, and picked up the glass of water, taking a sip.. She was glad that she had decided to wear the ring Jaxx gave her, on a chain, under her uniform. Not that she wanted to hide the news from her friend, but now wouldn't have been the proper time to discuss it. Right now, she was here for Jalana, so she needed to try to steer the conversation that direction. :: Faranster: It feels short, but I enjoyed my time. I did have to share my time with him, with his new duties... :: Jalana had leaned back, just to change her position again placing her arms on her knees, holding her glass, before sitting back again, pulling up her feet and took a sip. She then looked at her friend in surprise. :: Laxyn: New duties? Don't tell me he is leaving. Faranster: Rear Admiral... Apparently that's what got us all on this beautiful ship. Laxyn: Oh! That is great news. I'll need to congratulate him. You mentioned new duties, so I take it that some things change. Faranster: It requires more work, but I've been spending some time showing Shel Earth and the ship, when Jaxx is busy and I am not. Laxyn: ::smiling slightly:: It is nice that you got to spend time with your brother. I am sure he appreciated it. :: Jalana wished she could have spent her time with someone too, but of course that someone just did not show up when he was supposed to, and her family would have not been too happy to see her on their doorstep. Or so she assumed. :: :: Sun realized she was doing a lousy job of directing the conversation towards Viktor. Perhaps it was not wanting to break her friend's heart. But she needed to get to what she came to do. Why did the jerk have to go and get arrested? Surely he knew that when they headed back to Earth, there was a chance they would catch up to him, given his crime. :: Faranster: .oO I wish I was direct like my brother sometimes... Oo. :: She put down her glass of water and looked at her friend. :: I am sorry I didn't visit with you sooner. Laxyn: It's okay, you were busy with Jaxx and Shelter. Faranster: I can tell by the way you answered the door, that something is wrong. .oO And I am not sure if I am going to make it better. Oo. Laxyn: :: Jalana sighed and dropped against the backrest of the couch.:: That obvious huh? Faranster: :: Nodding. :: Just a bit. I don't think that's quite the way you mean to greet a friend, or least I hope not. :: She let out a half hearted laugh. :: Laxyn: When Viktor and I left the Aegis we arranged to meet in our quarters here just a bit later. That has been days ago. I am going crazy worrying that something might have happened to him. Especially now that we are going to leave again.. ::looking up to Sun:: We cannot just leave without him. :: Her friend was as worried as Sun had suspected, of course Sun would have been surprised if Jalana wasn't worried. Part of her wanted to reach forward and give her a hug now, the other part told her that she needed to deliver the news, and then do whatever her friend needed of her. :: Faranster: I'm really sorry...:: She pursed her lips, they weren't leaving without Viktor, because Viktor was no longer with them, but that wasn't the way her friend would see it. :: Laxyn: ::Looking up to her friend and watching her for a moment. She had the impression that her friend knew something she did not tell her.:: Sun.. if you know something you need to tell me. Faranster: Jalana, can you put your glass down for a moment? :: When Sun spoke her request she was confused but then put her glass down on the table, shoving away some padds and other little things she had put there before she would sort them into their rightful places and looked at Sun with an expecting expression in her eyes that were filled with worry. :: Faranster: :: Sun tried to figure out the words to say. :: There were some attacks on Earth while Viktor was there, before we were on the Aegis. Faelrun Lanius III, and some associates of his were murdered in a titranium mill that was later destroyed, and the doctor that was tending to Mary Anne McCollough Lanius was attacked. :: Sun looked at Jalana, watching her reaction, this was part of what led up to the news, but it wasn't it. :: :: Listening to the words her face went pale. She had been there not that long ago and met these people. Well she had only seen his father, but the meeting with him had not been too well, but that he was dead now.. she could not believe it. His mother has not been well and the hospital she had been in was not the best, but why would the doctor be attacked? :: Laxyn: We have to tell Viktor, he will want to know that. Faranster: There was one suspect, and the authorities tracked him down. Because of the line of work of the suspect, I had a hard time shaking loose enough details, which is why it took so long to come to you. :: She paused, giving Jalana a moment to process where she was going. :: :: She pulled her brows together trying to wrap around what Sundassa was saying. If anyone should know, it was Viktor. Maybe she had thought to find him here? :: Laxyn: Why to me? Faranster: Jalana, Viktor is their only suspect, he was arrested on Starbase 1. Shel saw the arrest, but didn't know who it was. I suppose I hoped he tried contacting you, or having his lawyer contact you, while I tried figuring out what was going on. But, by what Jaxx has told me, it's not looking good. Viktor has been cut loose from Starfleet... :: It was like a huge hole opened up beneath her seat and swallowed her whole. Viktor was the only suspect? That was .. no. He could not be. :: Laxyn: That is impossible. :: Sun took a deep breath, she knew her friend would have a hard time with this. Denial was to be expected. :: Faranster: I don't know... Laxyn: Sun! Viktor would not do something like that! :: Sun wanted to believe her friend, but what she was able to shake loose on the investigation didn't allow her. For some reason, she felt like the man was off a bit, when he came back. But she didn't spend much time interacting with him since. :: Faranster: Jalana, are you sure there wasn't anything strange about his behavior, anything that might make you think he was capable of this? :: Sun spoke quietly, trying to figure out a way to get Jalana to tell her why it was impossible, or least realize that it was possible. :: :: Jalana stood up from the couch and walked up to the window. She had noticed that Viktor had been different, off from his usual self. He had been more distant and did not talk much with her, he also had a lot of these things to do he did not keep her around for or did not talk about. But could he actually do something like that? Could he really kill his own father and attack a doctor? She thought back to the visit on Earth they had made together and the way he had acted against his father and the people occupying the farm. He had been so angry.... :: ((Flashback - Earth Ireland - About a year ago)) Lanius: Where's Faelrun? He has to be here somewhere... McCready: Aye :: in a thick irish accent :: But ya can't see em. Not until I say it's okay. Not until... Voice: Mac... that's enough... :: He recognized the voice almost instantly. He knew that hard as stone voice from back in the [...]les of his childhood. It was his father. :: :: This felt strange, not at all as Viktor had described his home to her in the past. He was definitely right when he thought, that something was wrong. She was not sure why this man did not want him to see his own father, when he was apparently around. Carefully Jalana placed her hand on the small of Vik's back, a gesture she did not even think about.:: :: Then the new voice joined, authority swung in it that made her want to stand attention. Supressing that urge she turned her head to the source of that voice and the first thing she noticed was that the man had this ridge on his forehead, just like Viktor had it. Knowing it was an Acamarian trait she had no doubt that this would be his father. And that surprised her, he did not appear like a smooth talker to her as Vik had mentioned earlier. And that was not the only thing that was off to her. :: Faelrun: Boy... :: cracking a smile :: You're home... :: He held his hands out to the sides, as if expecting a hug. :: Lanius: Father... :: There were no words on the tip of his tongue. He was dressed in fine clothing, a suit and tie or sorts. Vik had thought about it on the way down, that his father must've had something to do with all this in some way, but the way things were shaping up, the way he talked to those lackeys, the way he was dressed. This was no farming man, no honest, hard working man at all. He was a thug. A want-to-be mobster from an age that died long ago along with his pride and integrity. Viktor's anger began to turn into rage. He and he released Jal's hand, realizing that he could've hurt her with the tightening of his fist. His worst fears had come true. :: Lanius: I see you've got yourself a fine little establishment here. Doing well? :: His tone was almost crazy sounding, but soft. He didn't look up to him until the very end of his statement. He looked him square in the eyes. :: Faelrun: Oh boy... enough. This had to happen. I suppose you're talking about the farm? Lanius: Right... I'm sure you throwing away your culture, your livelihood... had to happen... Didn't it. :: His voice unchanging. :: Faelrun: You know me... you know I can't finance my way out of a paper bag boy... Tallke offered me a way out. A couple actually. He said I could pay back my debt by selling the farm. Or I could keep it and work for him. I just figured... Lanius: :: interrupting him :: Where's mother... Faelrun: You're Ma... she's... Lanius: Where... is... Mother? :: He looked up again, his voice squaring up with him. :: Faelrun: She's... in a home. It's all paid for! Tallke made sure of that... I just. :: His eyes flashed over for a moment. He couldn't even process what he had just heard. His mother was... in a home? He didn't even know what that meant. He really did know what it meant, but he just couldn't fathom that the shell of a man... of a beast that was standing in front of him, had done that. It took everything in him not to pull that phaser, point it straight at the man's head and press the button. His eyes narrowed... He was inches from losing his mind. :: Lanius: Where... :: voice still stern and low :: Faelrun: English quarter. Weatherly Place. Lanius: :: turning to Jal, :: Let's move. I've seen enough. :: The Trill was not quite sure what to make of all that. She did not know Faelrun, but she was quite sure that he was not the man that Viktor knew. Instead of the expected farmer's clothing he wore a suit and the way he talked.. somehow it sent chills down her spine. She nodded to Viktor and turned to head back to the shuttle.:: :: And just as he turned away, he heard the withered frail soul behind him speak. :: Faelrun: Oh, come on boy? No hug for dear ole dad? Lanius: :: he turned, keeping his hands near his sides. He moved within inches of the man's face, the goon guards coming in a bit closer, he leaned forward over the man's shoulder and whispered into his ear. :: You're dead to me... deader than your pride was when you sold out our name and our integrity. :: in Acamarian tongue :: Tu'lale Viocadre unt vio... :: He never spoke Acamarian... especially the words he had just spoken unto the man in front of him. :: :: Turning back to them when she heard the voices she saw Viktor getting right up into his father's face. She knew how angry he was, it was like a dark aura around his whole body, deep and flaring like a forest fire. She did not understand the last words, but she didn't have to. Before Vik could do anything he might regret later, even if he would not think so now, she stepped over to the men and placed her hand into his, reminding him that she was here with him, without looking at his father.:: Laxyn: ::Quietly:: Come. Let's see your mother. :: He could do little now but turn from him, and as he moved away he could feel a hand land on his forearm, trying to pull him back. He threw the arm away, heading for the shuttle. Jal needed no que to follow. He was dancing an awful ballet of anger, sadness and hatred at that moment as he walked towards the shuttle, the look of pure hate in his eyes... his long coat blew in the wind, with Jal at his side. It was raining now, the rain flowing off of his face. Faelrun stood at the entrance to his world, watching all that he had left of his family leave in an argo. He did little but turn and walk back into the compound. :: ((/Flashback)) :: The memory brought her a nagging thought she did not want to have. But the voice kept whispering .oO Yes, he could have done it. He hated his father. He hated that his mother had to be in such a situation. He he said that his father was dead to him. If you would not have been there who knows what he had done. Oo. A dark knot formed in her stomach, pulling her being together in its iron fist. Why... why did he do that? She could not bear that her conviction of him being innocent suddenly had changed into the doubtless thoughts that he had done the unthinkable.:: :: Moments passed, and Sun had been watching her friend from the seat, before standing and walking across the room. The quiet was disturbing, and she didn't have Jaxx's ability to sense her friend's emotions. Instead she had to rely on how she would feel in a similar situation and what she knew of her friend. :: Faranster: Jalana... Are you alright? :: Sun's voice pulled her out of her thoughts, but she kept staring out into the darkness of space, only interrupted by the metal of the claw holding the ship. She had to close her eyes when a wave of anger washed through her. How could he do that to her... to them? They had their whole life planned out, together as a family, even getting kids at some point and now he had gone and done something that stupid. So reckless without thinking about anything but his revenge. He had *killed* his father. Her hand clenched around the hem of her shirt, forcing herself to at least appear calm and whispered. :: Laxyn: I am fine. :: There was something about the way her friend was holding herself that told her something wasn't right. Adding the tone of voice when Jalana responded, Sun wasn't convinced. Sun stepped closer to Jalana, watching the fabric on her friend's sleeves move slightly as her fingers tightened on the skirt. :: Faranster: You don't seem alright, are you sure you are alright? :: It was not the words or the repeated question, but the whole pressure of the recent months, the worry, the stress and what Viktor had done crashed over her like a Tsunami, crushing her fragile being under it, making her want to fight, not only the wave but everything that had happened. Without really being able to control herself her arm slung itself backwards against Sundassa, hitting her in the attempt to push her away as her other arm got caught in the plant podest at the window which was then thrown through the room with her lashing out. :: :: Sun had started reaching out to her friend, when suddenly things changed. Whatever was going on in Jalana's mind, caused her to twist hitting Sun in her side, pushing her to the side. Quickly stepped backwards, tripping over her feet and falling on her butt, to avoid any further strikes, which luckily allowed her to not get hit by AFOs (angrily flung objects). :: Laxyn: ::screaming:: I SAID I AM FINE! Faranster: .oO You are not fine... Oo. Okay... :: The sudden jerk around twisted her leg in a way that she dropped down on her knees, shaking as she tried to contain the anger she felt raging in her veins, clenching her hands to fists on the rug that she began to drum on to let out her feelings. :: :: Standing, Sun watched her friend take out her rage, on the floor, she wished she had thought ahead to bring something to calm her friend. Sun was banking on her friendship, and realized that might not be enough with the way her friend reacted. Right now she was okay beating on the floor, but she wasn't sure how long Jalana would be okay with this, and wanted backup. :: Faranster: I'm just going to... :: She pressed her commbadge. :: =/\= Sundassa Faranster to Shelther Faranster, :: She lowered her voice as she stepped towards the door. :: I need something calming, at my current location... =/\= :: She didn't let him respond before closing the comms, and stepping back towards her friend. Hopefully he understood the cryptic message, as she had discussed the situation with him briefly. She might need a tranquilizer, but medkits didn't have them. When she got close, she sat down on the ground next to Jalana, just out of immediate reach. :: Faranster: Jalana... :: The Trill's fists hurt as they kept slamming against the rug on the floor, brushing over it with the coarse material, leaving reddish rashes on her skin. Her muscles grew tired but her anger had not subsided, just pushing her to continue as if the ground was the source of the endless pit of pain in her stomach. :: Jalana: NO... NO... NO... :: She kept repeating, with hoarse voice, that grew weak the more she said it. Her face reddened and wet of the tears that left her eyes. Tears of pain, of fury and loss. It hurt in a way she could have never described in words. :: .oO I can only imagine what you are going through... Oo. :: Part of her wanted to say the words, but she didn't know if they would actually provide what she needed. :: Faranster: Jalana, talk to me... Please? :: When the doors opened and her brother walked through, she felt relieved and stood to move over to him. He held up the hypospray and she nodded. Least he understood the message, and if he didn't, it was clear the way he looked at Jalana. Sun took the hypospray and held onto it as she watched Jalana. :: :: The usually sparkling green eyes were not twinkling as she looked around, searching, something to throw, to grab and tear apart.. anything. This hammering hurt her more than it helped her to deal with the pain. Somewhere in the back of her mind she heard the doors open, she had not locked them and a light came in from outside, a shadow casting over the room before the light vanished again with the swooshing sound of the closing door. :: Faranster: Jalana, don't be alarmed, Shel is here... :: Shel approached Jalana, from what Sun had said about Viktor the day before, she was going through something similar, but different than what Sun had. Of course when Marseen got arrested, it was a minor thing, and Sun put on a strong and brave face once she found out that Marseen didn't appear to be wanting to come back, but he knew everyone reacted differently and Sun's reaction had ended up with her on the other side of the Universe, or least it felt like it. The thing that needed to be done, was to get the woman to calm down. :: Shelther: Commander Laxyn, can I get you something? Laxyn: Get away from me! :: Shel ducked as he moved closer to the woman, trying to avoid any lashing out. He noticed Sun moving around the other side of Jalana. They both were taller, but he didn't think Sun would be much stronger than the angry red head. :: :: Sun had moved to the other side of Jalana, worried about her brother's safety, not sure how Jalana's anger would be directed. She realized that she didn't actually know what to have expected, she thought her friend would be upset, but for her, that was crying. Now, if Jalana had Tel-ar's strength, she'd be certain the ship would be destroyed. :: Faranster: Jalana, I'm not going anywhere. You're my best friend, I am here for you, whether you like it, or not. That's why I brought you the news. :: As Jalana had not found anything as a substitute and folded her body so her forehead touched the floor, her arms wrapped around her head as her body shook, washed over by the tornado of emotions.:: Laxyn: I want to be alone! :: With Sun trying to talk to Jalana, Shel moved into a position that he could grab the woman and hold her long enough for Sun to use the hypospray. Hopefully this would happen without getting hurt, but the woman was smaller than him, and he didn't know how flexible or determined she would be. :: :: The Trill did not see that they shuffled and moved around. Instead she felt that she had trouble keeping all those feelings at bay, they teased and laughed at her, threatened to burst out and take everything with them. Her fists dug into her hair, pulled at it but the pain did not help her to focus on that, too much tumult kept her in the whirlwind. And then the whirlwind packed her to pull her away from everything. :: :: No, that was not a whirlwind. These were hands, pulling her arms back and her body upwards. Her eyes jumped open, looking around like a hunted deer, seeing the tall man hovering over her, constraining her arms. Shelter! :: Laxyn: Let me go! LET ME GO! :: Her voice sounded foreign in its shriek, she did not even know why she was filled with such a panic as he grabbed her so tight, that she could not even wiggle out of it, no matter how much she tried. :: :: Sun watched Shel grab Jalana and wrap his arms around her from behind as she kicked and thrashed. This wasn't the way she wanted things to go, but least now she could give Jalana something to calm her down. She checked the vial to confirm it was Rexlin and then doubled programmed the proper dose to sedate Jalana. :: Faranster: Try to keep her from kicking me, Shel. :: Sun approached toward the side, and tried to dodge her friend's legs as she pressed the hypospray to Jalana's neck and administered the medicine. :: :: When she felt the cool metal and heard the hissing sound, Jalana's green gaze jumped in the other direction, looking at the bright lilac hair of her best friend before her body grew limb without her control and she had the urge to close her eyes. She tried to fight against it, but lost before her mind drifted into darkness. :: :: Once Jalana relaxed in his arms, Shel moved her to the sofa, unsure what his sister expected to do with the sleeping CMO. :: Shelther: Is here alright? Faranster: Yes. :: Sun said while nodding. :: You can go back to work, I'll stay with her for now, I now need to contact Nyals and Jaxx and tell them what happened. :: Sun sighed, looking at her friend, sleeping there peacefully, at least more peacefully than she seemed in a while. She heard the doors close and assumed her brother left. :: ----- Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn Chief Medical Officer / Second Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669-A & Commander Sundassa "Bright Hair" Faranster First Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669-A Also writing PNPC LtCmdr Shelther Faranster
  23. (( Botanical Gardens, Deck 12, USS Apollo-A )) :: She knew she could do the job, if she wanted to. But truth was, if it led her from him, she didn't want to. And there were different aspects of her career, he only seemed to be focused on one part, but before she became his First Officer, she was Assistant Chief Medical Officer, and she liked the job. :: Jaxx: And you have done so, masterfully. Faranster: I missed you terribly while I was in Command of the Aegis, while there was a part of me that liked it, it wasn't right without you. I know there will be times when our adventures have to be separate, but what I want, is to have as many of my adventures, be with you. And if that means that I have to take care of the crew and you in a different capacity, I will. Jaxx: We can talk about that capacity tomorrow. :: Things always seemed to go fast for them, but she couldn't deny that she felt better near him, than when she was away from him and she wanted him to know that she would do what she could to stay close to him. He was home to her, she had told him that before, but until this conversation, she didn't realize that he thought she might just visit home for holidays and vacations. She supposed that her admitting that she wouldn't push her career in a direction that separated them, would require further conversation. :: Faranster: Okay. Jaxx: For now... :: Sun watched curiously as her uniformed boyfriend, and Admiral moved off the bench, putting his knee in the grass. He said he had a meeting later, although they were going to their quarter's after this, so she could make sure he had to get changed. The following words filled her heart with the same warm feeling she always felt when he told her that he loved her. :: Jaxx: Sundassa Faranster...I love you, and will continue to do so every day I am alive. :: Her lips curved upward into a smile, lately she had felt like she was missing a lot, constantly being surprised with something she thought she should have known. But there were the good surprises too, the ones she didn't need to know about beforehand. Even though she was curious why he was getting grass stains on his uniform, she let herself trust his reasons. :: Faranster: I hope so, because I love you too. Jaxx: :: Sun watched as a ring was presented before he spoke. :: Will you do me the honor of being my wife? :: At some point she lost control of herself, because within moments she had her arms wrapped around his shoulders, on top of him in the grass kissing him, it took a moment for her to re-register the scents of the plants around them. She stopped kissing him, and looked down at him, into his dark eyes. Even though it was a public location, there weren't many people on the ship at the time, but she could still feel her cheeks slightly burning. She realized that she didn't actually say anything, just assaulted him with affection. :: .oO While he could, he won't read your mind to know your answer is, yes, you know that. You have to make words, Sun. Oo. Faranster: I would love to call your arms, home, for all our lives. :: She leaned her head down, touching her forehead to his. :: Yes. Jaxx: Good. If you said no, I think I might have had a security detail arrest you for attacking a flag officer. ::laughing:: :: Giggling, she moved off of him, pretty sure her dress was going to have some grass stains with the way she moved. Standing up, she brushed her skirt, inspecting to see how bad the stains were, however she could only imagine the back of his jacket. :: Faranster: Another elemental victory. :: She grinned at him, a joke that went back to the beginning with them, as she pointed to his knee. :: Jaxx: ::smirking:: Yeah, I think we were due. Faranster: I usually do well to control my impulses...I would have done the same, if I had a moment to think. :: She paused. :: But if you get any reports of a lilac haired woman, wearing a yellow dress, looking a lot like me, running and squealing through the halls, earlier today... Try to bury them. :: She couldn't help but giggle some more, it was something she wanted to do in the moment, something she thought she could get away with because of how empty the ship was. Now she was in another mood like that, having tackled Jaxx to the grass before he could even slip the ring on her finger. Now she held her hand straight, giving him the opportunity. :: Jaxx: There. Faranster: I am glad we put our quarters last on the tour. :: She smiled at Jaxx. :: Jaxx: ::smiling:: Yeah, I think this uniform has had it. ::moving toward the door:: :: Sun took his hand again as they headed towards the exit of the Botanical gardens, with their quarters being the next destination of their tour. :: Faranster: Do me a favor... Don't look at the back of your jacket... Jaxx: Luckily, I have some uniforms ready in our quarters...for moments like this. Commander Sundassa "Bright Hair" Faranster First Officer USS Apollo, NCC-71669
  24. ((Tamaiti Scott’s Quarters, USS Atlantis)) ((Ren's dream)) ::Navin was floating in space, dressed like he used to, like a Trill would, not like the Borg had done him up ten years ago. He was carrying a purple trident that glowed with terrific mystical power. He smiled broadly.:: ::Ren scoffed.:: REN: You said no more dream visits. What the hell? ::A song played around them. Sound in space. It was a familar voice, but an alien song. Something from another world.:: EMERSON: Your heart is not open so I must go The spell has been broken, I loved you so Freedom comes when you learn to let go Creation comes when you learn to say no.. ::Ren looked down and realized he was tattooed head to toe. Tattoos of Borg implants on every inch of his body. It was disgusting.:: ::Navin pointed the trident at him imperiously. He didn't say a word.:: EMERSON: There's nothing left to try There's no place left to hide REN: Why are you haunting me? NAVIN: Haunting you? ::Navin floated closer, letting the trident go. He took Ren in his arms, tenderly.:: I haven't haunted you, Ren. Don't you see it yet? I'm not here. I've been gone for years. Only you're here, only you. Alone. EMERSON: There's no greater power Than the power of good-bye.. NAVIN: You've been haunting yourself all along. EMERSON: There's nothing left to lose There's no more heart to bruise ::Ren struggled to get away. This wasn't the Borgified Navin he'd been dreaming of for years, the enemy of sleep, the stuff of nightmares. This was worse. This was Navin as he should always have been remembered, a vibrant, kind-hearted Trill, who never would have hurt Ren. Who never would have haunted him. In some ways, it had been easier to blame the fear all these years, for holding him back. It kept him from facing the loss, the despair. How good it could have been between them, if Navin had lived.:: NAVIN: You know what we have to do here, don't you, Ren? You know why I'm here in your dreams one last time. ::They weren't in space anymore. They were by the stream at the back of Uncle Wavern's fallow field, that last golden summer, when the war was over, and their lives stretched forward together into eternity, all things possible. Navin was leaving tonight, one last short tour with the Trill Defense Force. It was only a month. Nothing was going to happen. Then he would come back, and be Ren's forever.:: ::They held each other, standing there by the stream, the sun setting gloriously over Arnmere. Their kiss lit the world, chasing all fears from the burgeoning night. Only a month, then eternity. Ren could wait that long.:: ::He waited ten years.:: REN: I don't want to see this! Our lives were beginning. You shouldn't have gone! NAVIN: I couldn't have done anything else. You've punished yourself for nothing, all these years. For one little word. ::Ren had told Navin that night that he didn't want to say goodbye. It was bad luck. It was a jinx. No goodbyes.:: NAVIN: You never said goodbye. EMERSON: There's no greater power Than the power of good-bye.. ::They were in space again. The voice faded away in the dark, black night, it's song of pain finished. Navin held Ren close again. The tattoos were gone. No sign of the Borg anywhere. Their kiss lit the galaxy, and chased away every bad dream.:: NAVIN: Say it to me, Ren. I know you want to. REN: Don't go. Please, don't go. NAVIN: Not that, Ren. I'm going. You'll have to let me. ::The trident reappeared. Navin gripped it tightly, and it began to pull him away from Ren, into the vast eternal night. With his free hand, Navin caressed Ren's cheek in one last moment of togetherness. He floated backwards and away, mouthing a word Ren couldn't hear in the cold of space, until he said the same word himself. With every ounce of courage he could find, after ten long years of regret and self-doubt, Ren said what he'd always wished he could.:: REN: Goodbye, Navin. Goodbye. ::Before he floated out of sight, an electric streak of purple blurred by eyes filled with tears, Navin's whisper reached Ren's ears.:: NAVIN: Goodbye. Goodbye, my love. Goodbye. ::Ren woke on Tama's couch, maybe much later.:: ::The room was darkened. Ren, still half sitting, had curled against Emerson, his head resting awkwardly on the Terran's side. It was a little inappropriate, yes, and he thought of moving. He stayed. In that brief moment of consciousness, he knew he was safe, and relaxed for the first time in years, finally at peace with the past. He let himself sleep again, slipping easily into a deeply restful slumber he hadn't known in a long time. It was the sleep of one who no longer fears the coming of dreams.:: LtJg Rendal Rennyn Helm Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  25. Ambassador Della Vetri - Extreme Babysitting ((ZSC Supreme Vigilance, Turbolift)) :: Having left the bridge, Della was using the ride in the turbolift to indulge in what were by this point probably at least fourth thoughts about what she was about to do. Her comment about her mental shielding hadn't been an idle one, and now here she was about to shove herself head-first into what promised to be the emotional equivalent of a fusion reactor.:: :: Not, all in all, one of the things she would have put on her list of "things I'd love to do today".:: :: On the other hand, she wasn't doing it for her *own* sake, and if there was one thing she was reasonably sure of, it was that a horde of children, fresh from whatever nightmare experience they'd just been living, were going to need someone around that quite plainly *wasn't* involved in the business of hurting people.:: :: She had no doubt that at least some of the marines they had around would be utterly brilliant when dealing with kids - it was just not the time to start experimenting along those lines.:: :: The lift doors opened, and she took a deep breath to try and steady herself, shoving every ounce of mental effort she could summon into shoring up the barriers between her psionic senses and the outside world as she started heading down the corridor the short distance needed to reach the lounge.:: :: It didn't help as much as she might have liked.:: :: Even before she'd reached the door, she could feel the emotional blaze on the other side, and it took a concerted effort of will to force herself through. What greeted her on the other side of the door was about what she'd expected, though in far more luxurious surroundings than she might have counted on. It seemed senior Suzerainty officers got to enjoy quite a bit of the high life when off duty...:: :: Far more important than that, though, was the fact that there were quite plainly two groups of people here. Near the door, trying to look as unthreatening as possible, were a pair of Starfleet marines who gave the impression that they'd much rather be a lot of other places. Occupying a large portion of the rest of the room was a, well, horde of Zalkonian children of various ages, giving off an almost living aura of fear, distrust, and perhaps more tellingly, almost totally hopeless resignation.:: :: Another thing that struck her was the fact that apart from the sounds of breathing and the occasional rustle of movement, the room was utterly silent.:: :: Time to bite the bullet...:: Vetri: Okay, first thing I need to ask - is anyone hurt? :: She kept her tone brisk and businesslike, with none of the exaggerated cheer or cuteness that people often put on when talking to children. The merest glance was enough to tell anyone with half a brain cell that these kids had seen too much of the dren life could throw out to be impressed by such a tack.:: :: There was no answer from anyone, but it was impossible to miss the way attention shifted to focus on her even more than it already had. being on the receiving end of that much scrutiny was... uncomfortable, but she pressed on.:: Vetri: No? Good. In that case, we can try and skip forward to the nicer bits. :: She made a deliberate show of shooing the two marines into a corner, away from the kids and hopefully making the point that the guys with guns were not the ones in charge around here. Somehow, and she had *no* idea how it happened, what resulted was an odd little pantomime that had both of the marines sloping off into the corner looking sheepish and for all the world like they were being sent to sit on the naughty step. For that matter, the Caitian one of the pair managed to make his eras and tail droop in a truly spectacular display of fake dejection. :: :: Given the flare of amusement - grim as it was - she sensed from a couple of the kids, the fact the pair of them were playing along without any sort of hesitation at all was definitely helping.:: Vetri: Right, you two sit there, be quiet, and behave yourselves. ::turning back to the children:: Just so you all know, my name is Della, and I'm here to make sure that you are all as comfortable and looked after as we can get. I'll apologise straight away for the fact that things are a little... unsettled, right now, but we're working on fixing that. :: No response at all, which she pretty much expected. At least they seemed to be *listening* to her, though.:: Vetri: Somewhere in this room, I know we have one of these... ::pointing at the commbadge pinned to her jacket:: ...that one of you was given. Now, I'm not wanting it back, I'd just like to know where it is - my friend Hella would probably like it back eventually. :: A subtle shift in the group drew her eye, and she was a little disappointed to see that it was a few of the kids pulling away slightly from one of their number. The reason for it was easy enough to spot, though, glinting in the child's hand. Just as easy to see was the rather disturbing fact that apart from the commbadge the only thing the little girl had was a Starfleet uniform jacket wrapped tightly around her - one she strongly suspected had been donated by one of the Marines, given the colouring.:: :: Any thought at all as to *why* such a donation might have been necessary ws ruthlessly shoved aside, and Della made her tone stay casual as she addressed the little female.:: Vetri: You have it? Great. Keep hold of it for me, would you? You've kept it safe so far, so I think we can trust you to keep doing it. ::looking around:: Also, I think I should say thank you for taking such good care of it. After all, if you hadn't kept hold of it, I wouldn't have been able to scoop you all up and get you here. :: This time, when she looked around the room, she made a bit of a show of just how tacky she thought the overblown decoration really was.:: Vetri: And just as soon as I can, I think I'll see about getting the bits together for you to redecorate in here. I know *my* girls love doing it... especially the littlest. ::smiling at the smallest of the children she could see:: She's about your age, actually. Child: What are you going to do with us. :: Outwardly, Della just glanced at the boy, one of the eldest in the group, as she listened to his question. Inside, however, she practically jumped for joy at the fact that his challenging demand for answers was coming her way at all.:: Vetri: You got a name, kid? Doesn't matter much if you don't want to give it to me, just thought I'd ask. :: With a stubborn set to his jaw, he stayed silent, and Della just shrugged amiably once again.:: Vetri: Probably wouldn't answer that myself, if I were you. No worries, was just being curious. To answer your question, though... ::she pointed at the replicator on the wall:: I'm declaring open season on that thing, just don't make yourselves sick. I'm also going to see about getting some stuff in here to make it a little more homey, so if there's anything you want then let me know and I'll see what I can do. We're not planning to be on this ship for long, though, so I apologise in advance if I can get everything done for you. :: There was some quiet muttering among the group, and Della waited for a minute or so before speaking up again.:: Vetri: I *am* going to need to start getting names soon, I'm afraid. *But*, that's so I can arrange something else for you. You know how grown-ups always seem to be the ones in charge? Well, *this* time, it's the other way around - we have a cargo bay full of adults, and I would *very* much like to be able to find some kids they belong to. That way, I can put them in the care of people who have a decent grip on what the next little while is supposed to be about for you guys. Child: Which is what? :: Somewhere along the line, either she'd gotten used to it or the emotional pressure around her had actually eased. Either way, Della felt a lot less buffeted than she had been when she walked in, and that in turn let the laugh that came out of her mouth sound smooth and easy as she wandered over to the replicator.:: Vetri: You tell me, kiddo. I'm just here to make sure you stay safe. :: Calling up the menu listing on the replicator, she browsed it for a moment, then looked over her shoulder at the children.:: Vetri: Could someone tell me what the heck Vethaberry caramel pie is, and whether it's as tooth-rottingly cakey as it sounds? Girl: It's really nice... but we never get anything more than boring plastic dinners. :: With a sly grin, Della pointed at the young girl and beckoned her over. With obvious reluctance, she obeyed, looking more than a little nervous about what opening her mouth had let her in for. As a matter of fact, that turned out to be far less daunting than she might have feared.:: Vetri: You just volunteered to be in charge of cakes. Go nuts. ::to the rest:: Okay, ladies and gentlemen, we need to at least *pretend* to be organised around here, or this is going to get horribly messy. ::pausing, and pretending to think about it:: Actually, who cares about the mess. Turner: =/\= Turner to Vetri, is everything alright?=/\= :: At the sound of the voice over the comm, everything went still again, apart from Della, who tapped her commbadge to respond.:: Vetri: =/\= That depends. We seem to be trying to decide whether we should work the replicator into a meltdown. =/\= Turner: =/\= We will be leaving soon to rendezvous with the Thunder. =/\= Vetri: =/\= Good. The sooner we're not here, the happier I'll be. I didn't go to all the time and trouble of arranging a planet for these guys to take over just because I was bored. The sooner we get them on their way there, the sooner they can get to the serious business of being *kids*. =/\= :: And the mention of the planet had been quite deliberate. A whole other kind of stillness settled over the children as the import of what she'd said started to sink in, and she could only imagine what the response of the *adults* was going to be.:: Turner: =/\= Do you think you can go organize the adults soon? =/\= Vetri: =/\= Hell no, I'm staying here. Get someone else to organise the grown-ups. I'm staying with the important people. ::pausing for a beat as she gave the children a thoroughly cheeky grin:: They have cake. =/\= :: Or at least they would do if she could get them to actually start raiding the replicator. She'd given them enough hints that it was fine to do so, but so far there had been little sign they really trusted her enough to follow through.:: :: Hardly surprising, really.:: Vetri: =/\= Oh, speaking of cake. If you could arrange for a medic to show their face at some point, that'd be nice. *Someone* is going to make themselves sick, probably me, so having a little help on hand when that happens would be appreciated. =/\= :: And, whilst they were at it, maybe that medic could take a few moments to discretely check the kids for any problems that would need attention...:: :: Actually, that thought triggered another one - one that made use of some very large blunt instruments to get her attention. Given just how raggedy and malnourished these kids looked, what she'd been trying to get them to do was probably a truly idiotic idea. Possibly the very *worst* thing she could do to a bunch of kids so drastically underfed was put rich food into them.:: Vetri: ::muttering:: Crap... Turner: =/\= I'll send the Marine medic. He should be able to take care of them until we can get them to the Thunder's sickbay. =/\= Vetri: =/\= Something just occurred to me. Look, I need to try and figure out what needs doing around here. If you'll excuse the method, I'll just give you a peek at why... =/\= :: Closing her eyes, she concentrated, filtering her way past the various auras the clouded her sense of the ship around her until she locked in on the one she was after. Carefully, she reached out to it in a particular special way, and slipped an image of the children as she'd first seen them into Toni's awareness.:: ::Toni soon envisioned the images of hollow-eyed terror, gastric distension, lethargy, and malnourished and bruised bodies. Tears blurred her eyes, and her medical training kicked in.:: Turner:=/\= Yes, stay with them, but take cake off the menu. Start them on a nourishing broth. It will be easier for them to tolerate food better. I'll be down to check them as soon as the teams are beamed aboard. =/\= Tag Ambassador Della Vetri Diplomatic Officer Embassy of Duronis II
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