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  1. ((Black Hole Bar, night of the ceremony)) ::After finishing the holo novel from captain Blackbeard Alex headed over to the bar. Zogi was still busy preparing the place. A few voodoo masks were attached to his beer tap while his Dabo girl was changing the light settings over and over. In one of the corners a new Ferengi waiter that Alex hadn’t seen before was installing what appeared to be a smoke machine shaped like a huge orange pumpkin. :: oO Seems he is putting a lot of effort into this Halloween thing Oo ::Alex never cared much for Halloween. This parents told him a few tales when he was young but it wasn’t big event in the Black Forrest where he originally came from. The Hawaiians did celebrate the feast of horror but when Alex and his parents moved in there he was no longer a kid so he didn’t go house to house gathering as much candy as he could:: Zogi: You are a bit early Alex, the feast won’t start for another hour… Williams: I know… but I thought I be a little early. Play a little trick on my shipmates. ::Alex looked around, looking for the perfect place to hide himself:: Williams: You wouldn’t happen to have a huge bottle of rum would you. Just the bottle… Zogi: Rum? Sure I have rum, but it would be waste to throw the stuff out. ::Alex grimed:: Williams: Get me a two glasses of white rum, fill them only half and replicate me a bottle if you can. ::Zogi gave the man a puzzled look but did what was asked, Alex was a good costumer and as long as he paid for it he didn’t really care what would happen next. He filled two small glasses with the rum and set it in front of Alex. Then he headed over to one of the replicators and made a copy of the bottle. As he turned back to Alex he saw him moving to the edge of the bar and drink one of the glasses. Then he put his finger in the other glass and started to drip the rum over his face and costume. The last bit was saved and as Zogi turned the bottle over to Alex the commander lied his head on the bar and closed his eyes:: Williams: Now… do me a favor and put one of the plants in front of me. Make sure people can see me, but not too much and then once people arrive just ignore me. Zogi: Right… ::Zogi grabbed one of the large plants near one of the tables and put it in front of Alex and now he was getting the point. Alex looked like he was part of the Halloween décor:: Zogi: BROK! Get that smoke machine over here… make sure the commander is covered in a nice mist when the people come in. Brok: Sure thing boss! ((Timeskip)) ::People moved in one by one, Alex kept his right eye shut but with the special eye patch on his left eye he could see exactly what was going on. He noted a large devil, a huge fish, and an oddly moving Baxter that had grown a few extra legs overnight. Most of the seniors where close enough for Alex to eavesdrop and all he had to do was find the perfect moment to reveal himself:: Traenor: I must say, you both have inventive and charming costumes. I'm looking forward to the evening, and the chance to see everyone's creativity. Vondaryan: I don't wear costumes as a matter of habit, so it is interesting to see what everyone chose. Though I must say, I hope we don't have another first contact encounter while we are here. Falcon: First guess; confused. VERY confused. Solzano/Svalasdottir/Any: ? Petras: Sirs… Mr. Traenor. It is agreeable to see you again. An interesting choice. From your homeworld? Traenor/Solzano/Svalasdottir/Any: ? oO Showtime! Oo ::Alex slowly moved his hand to his left shoulder and activated the blue bird. It took the holo-emitter a second to active which gave Alex enough time to keep his fake sleeping position:: Ara: My captain needs a drink AAAAHH, My captain needs a drink! AAAHH :: Alex tried not to laugh when he saw that some people were shocked by the screaming parrot:: Pandorn: Well, wonder how you'd be fried...::opens his hand to show the holo-flame. Now the 'mannequin' burst forward, guns drawn and pointed at him.:: oO Hehe, good... keep focusing on the bird! Oo ::The moment to reveal himself was there. Alex quickly rose up, grabbed two pistols from his belt and pointed them at the first man who dared to speak up:: Williams: You dare to insult a my bird, yarrrrrr, Pandorn: Terrific. Another pirate soul. As if we don't have enough of them. Williams: We’ll hoist ye over the yardarm ye mermaid marrying rascal! Pandorn: I'm not the marrying kind. But I do have a few succubi consorts down in the netherworld. Perhaps you'd like to meet a few of them when your soul accompanies me. ::evil chuckle:: TBC =========================== With great pleasure written as: Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Williams Chief Tactical/Security Officer USS Za News Team member Writer ID:A239006AW0
  2. :: Reni looked up from her PADD as the computer signaled a notification and right after gave voice to what it was :: Za Computer: =/\= Link with the USS Athena established. Link up with selected waystations enacted. Requested Intelligence encryption used, delay is 0,06 seconds. =/\= :: She sat up from her bed and quite eagerly made the short distance to the desk in her quarters and turning on the screen and accepting the transmission. There was a slight delay before Lan’s dark-haired and black eyes, betraying his betazoid ancestry appeared on the screen. The transmission was slightly less in visual quality than a regular subspace transmission within the alpha quadrant. :: :: Onboard the USS Athena, Lan’s late evening meditation was broken by the sound of his quarter’s console announcing an incoming call. Getting up, he walked briskly to the screen and made it come alive with a touch of his fingers. Subspace call from the Alpha Quadrant, Intel encryption. Given that they hadn’t established a comms relay in the Gamma Quadrant yet, that call had to have been bounced by several friendlies in order to reach them; the caller was either very lucky, or very high in the food chain. He quickly hit the ‘accept’ command, glad that he had kept his tank top on. :: Svalasdottir: Well what do you know? It worked. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to you Commander. ::she smiled and pulled away a rogue blonde lock from her face. She realized it was the first real smile in quite a while:: Are you receiving me OK? You’re a little fuzzy over here. :: Reni Svalasdottir, of all people… Lan mirrored her smile. Incredibly lucky, then… or ‘Svala’ was making a very important business call. Last he saw her, the blonde Amazon had made a lighting-quick stay in his department before being reassigned to the USS Za as a diplomat... And she had given him his old title, which he didn’t feel like correcting right now. He would have opportunities to spoil the mood of this conversation later. :: Riel: Could be better, but good enough, Svala. And it’s just ‘Lan’ after hours, thank you. :: A small probe, in order to ascertain the purpose of the call. :: ::Reni smiled again:: Svalasdottir: Look, I know I am the one calling on you, but you have to tell me, how’s the Gamma Quadrant? :: Lan raised an amused eyebrow. Small talk, and she hadn’t taken his bait… That being said, while she couldn’t possibly be making an encrypted subspace call only for asking that, her curiosity seemed genuine. :: Riel: :: In a [...] blasé tone :: Well, I haven’t been dirtside so far, and a ship on red alert is still a ship on red alert, no matter which quadrant you’re in. I haven’t debriefed with the away team yet, but the locals look interesting. Svalasdottir: ::raising an eyebrow:: Red alert? What’s going on over there? :: Lan let out a chuckle, and tented his fingers in front of his face, a half-grin on his lips. :: Riel: Well, information on the Gamma Quadrant is a seller’s market, miss. How about you start by revealing me the real purpose of your call, before I consider telling you more? :: ::He had called her out. Well it wasn’t much more than fair, she had called him after all, why wouldn’t he wonder why?:: Svalasdottir: :: Adjusting herself in her seat:: Well, our first mission is over and… And I need someone to talk too. Look, before you say anything, I don’t know any of our counselor’s yet and I’m not comfortable talking about this with any of them…yet. Besides, I wanted to talk with someone with Intelligence clearance, experience and… and besides that I feel that I trust you. :: Lan’s smile softened, and he bowed slightly. :: Riel: Your trust honors and humbles me. I’ll be glad to help; I know all too well how it feels to have burdens you are not allowed to share with your counselor. oO Like the Hunger. Deities above, the Hunger. Oo ::Reni nodded at him with a tiny, wry smile at his bow and ceremonious words. She still didn’t know why she trusted him so much, it wasn’t like they had known each other well and long; sure they had served on two ships together, but Reni had been in and out of both very quickly. There was just something… something about him:: Svalasdottir: We had been asked for aid by a species that call themselves the Deep. Too make it short, they are plagued by a deadly illness and they asked both Starfleet and the Klingon Empire for aid. ::she shook her head and rolled her eyes:: Well, they got what they wanted; we both showed up on their doorstep and of course the Klingons started to throw their chest out. :: It was Lan’s turn to wince and shift uncomfortably on his chair. A non-aligned species, a deadly illness, politics and a warzone… After all this time, he still had flashbacks of his first mission, and its tragic ending. :: Riel: Let me guess: it ends with a fight. Svalasdottir: ::nodding in agreement:: Yes, to make it short; a fire fight broke out between the Klingons and the Deep, mainly because of a certain Deep commander who… I don’t know if she was just mad or really hated Klingons, but she started it all; and me, Captain Solzano and two other officers were aboard her ship when she fired on the Klingons. ::Reni paused and rubbed her left eye, when she continued her voice gave the impression that she was reliving the moments in her mind:: The Deep ship got damaged in a return volley from the Klingon disruptors, our engineer got badly wounded but the Deep commander, well she wouldn’t quit. I… I could see it in her eyes Commander… Lan, she was borderline. ::Reni paused again, she took a deep breath and then continued, clearly having gotten to the meat of the matter:: So, just before she was to fire their massive primary weapon at the Klingons… I stunned her. ::beat:: Shot her right then and there. ::There was a long period of silence. It wasn’t like she had told Lan that she had killed the commander, but he seemingly waited for her to continue:: :: Lan was listening intently, his eyes trained on Svalasdottir’s face. Her look was focused far away, but her distress was visible. He didn’t say a word, leaving her all the time she needed to let her feelings out. :: Svalasdottir: Lan, I don’t know how much you checked up on me after I left the Gemini, or before I joined the Athena. But I was on mission for SFI for two years. And… ::Reni broke off and stared at the face on her screen. A calm, serious face with those deep, dark eyes that seemed to stare into your psyche:: Svalasdottir: Lan. I managed to join the diplomatic corps -because- I wanted to distance myself from… from violence and shooting. ::beat:: I know I only stunned her, but still. It was almost the same feeling. :: Lan nodded gravely. :: Riel: Good. Svalasdottir: ::Reni blinked. Then she blinked again before she tried to respond to that unexpected rebute from Riel:: What!? :: Her surprise made him smile. :: Riel: I have checked up on you, as you say, from time to time. I don’t have the details, because I didn’t ask for it. If you want to tell me, I’ll listen, otherwise I won’t pry. But I believe I can easily guess what kind of job leaves classified sections in your record. :: All too easily, in fact. He had been through several situations involving very dirty Federation secrets, and all he had in his record was sections with a distinct lack of details. To warrant a full blank, the mission had to be rotten from the get-go. :: ::Reni couldn't help feel a tinge of flattery in her chest when Lan confirmed that he actually had checked up on her. She had never gotten the chance to cultivate real friendships. Never. When she was younger she had been studying all the time and that only got worse when she join the Acedemy, and right after that she had been whisked away. To hear that someone from her brief ‘visits’ on starships had actually wondered what happened to her meant a lot more than even she expected:: Svalasdottir: Lan, I… thank you. ::that was all she managed to convey tight now:: Riel: I won’t try to say anything to make you feel better about what you did. Because if you still feel bad when shooting at someone, be it at heavy stun, that’s good news. Cherish that feeling, Svala. It’s the sign you still have a soul. Svalasdottir: ::narrowing her eyes in mock scrutiny, hiding her true feelings expertly behind some humour:: Are you going to get all spiritual on me? :: Lan shook his head, smiling. The fact that he was the one to bring her that kind of comfort was so ironic he could have laughed until he cried. But he had the opportunity to do something that could be counted in his favor when the Judgement would come, and Deities knew he was begging for those these days. :: Riel: You had a chance to stop her, and you didn’t hesitate or let your feelings get in the way. You saved yourself, you saved her, you saved the ship and both crews. And yet you feel remorse about incapacitating her for her own good afterwards. In my book that makes you a good officer, and a damn good person. What is there to fix? :: Reni used both of her hands to catch her long, blonde hair and adjust it on her back. There was no need for it and she wasn’t really aware of that she was doing it :: :: The body language was not lost on the Betazoid, though. :: Svalasdottir: I guess… ::beat:: I guess I just feel that I should have come up with another solution? ::Before Reni’s eyes the scene played out again, and she could clearly see the look in the Deep commander's eyes. Would any words really have helped? Her vision returned to the present and she looked into Lan’s eyes instead and all that she could see was kindness:: Riel: :: With a skeptical frown :: You know what they say about hindsight, right? Listen, if you replay the scene in your head long enough that you find a better solution, go ahead and use it next time you need to make that kind of split-second decision. For the time being, a phaser shot is quick, clean, with little to no collateral damage and more or less fail-safe. Svalasdottir: Lan I… ::she paused but it didn’t get any better:: Thank you. ::she smiled at him, a genuine warm smile of appreciation and heartfelt gratitude. She didn’t think Lan would fully appreciate how much this meant to her, but perhaps some day, when they knew each other better she could tell him:: Riel: :: Waving a dismissive hand :: Don’t mention it. Pointing out the obvious is a hobby of mine. Svalasdottir: ::nodding slowly:: Oh and Lan. If you don’t get your rank back soon, be sure to tell the brass what I do to officers I don’t agree with. And I know just where to aim, they taught me that. ::she grinned a rather wolfish grin, giving her beautiful face a surprisingly haunting look:: Riel: oO Yup, definitely wetworks Oo Riel: :: With a contrite smile :: Heh, thanks but no thanks, violence against officers is kind of what got me here in the first place. Just keep shooting rogue alien captains and leave the rest to me. Svalasdottir: Will do. ::she took a few milliseconds to compose herself:: So, is that payment enough? What can you tell me about Gamma and the Athena? ::and she added with a marked emphasis that this budding friendship was a two way wormhole:: and how about You? :: Lan leaned back in his chair, eyes closed, and let out a sigh. It was a part of his job that he hated. :: Riel: About the Quadrant and the ongoing mission, not much, alas. Lots of classified activity going around. I won’t be able to give you specifics, but we have been infiltrated by terrorists who compromised our Intel and comm networks and caused severe structural damage to the ship. :: The bitterness in Lan’s tone was evident. His home had been attacked, his own department compromised, and he couldn’t help thinking that he could have done a better job preventing it. Svala’s face when he opened his eyes showed worry, but no judgement, and for that he was grateful. :: Svalasdottir: ::measuring her words:: That sounds… Actually that sounds pretty bad Lan. :.she had the feeling he could be blaming himself, she thought that she would, in his case. But she knew it would do him no good, most career officers always thought they could do better, do more especially in hindsight:: Riel: Pretty bad, yeah. The away team got battered. Last I heard, Bishop lost a foot. Svalasdottir: Lost a foot!? ::lowering her voice again:: Well, that’s easily enough replaced I suppose. :.suddenly that strain of gray, dry humour acted up again:: Hey, perhaps he should get one of those fancy canes, some think they add composure and dignity, you know? :: He couldn’t help but chuckle. :: Riel: Thanks for the wonderful image, Svala. A doctor Bishop even more sarcastic and showing less empathy than usual, limping through the corridors with a cane in hand… Deities, you could make a holoseries out of it. Svalasdottir: ::was the one chuckling this time:: Yeah, and doing what? Hunting down more and more weird diseases? Who’d watch that? ::she smirked at his handsome, bothered face and got back into a more supportive stride:: Hey look, there’s no use second guessing your protocols and internal security. Learn from this and move on. oO Jeez, it’s so easy to say, no wonder people keep telling me that. Oo Riel: :: He tried to retreat into humour and mock outrage :: Hey, *I* am the counselor, here! Svalasdottir: Yeah, well I grew up with TWO in my house. Besides, I’m only saying stuff I’m supposed to say. ::she leant back in the chair, a few seconds passed:: That’s not all the reasons right? You don’t strike me like a man that seconds guesses himself a lot, has this… something to do with your demotion? Riel: :: Defeated, he looked down, his shoulders slumped :: I… don’t know. Michael Tonston… showed me a great deal about myself and my abilities. :: He shuddered :: RaBeem. ::Reni didn’t say anything. She gave him a chance to talk, to talk about what he felt like he wanted and could.:: Riel: Part of it was on purpose. I goaded him. I wanted to give him a chance to attack, I set him up for a self-defense case in my favor. I didn’t intend to kill him, but… part of me didn’t say no. ::Lan couldn’t see Reni’s reaction as he was looking down as he talked, had he, his trained eyes would have seen it go ever so slightly paler and stiffen in the jaws. Her eyes went blank as she suddenly was hit by the intense memory a knife in her hand and the feeling of still warm blood running down her fingers. Before Lan could notice she had snapped back and using her training, abolished all signs of her own issues from her face. However, she could not really hide her sympathetic gaze, that she knew all too well what he was talking about:: Svalasdottir: Lan I... :: When he looked back at her, his black eyes expressed sadness, pleading… but also something more. :: Riel: A lot like you, Svala. I know what I can do, what I can *be*, and it scares me. And my greatest nightmare is that one day it wouldn’t scare me anymore. Svalasdottir: Good. You see a real smartass once told me something like: “if you still feel bad when shooting at someone, be it at heavy stun, that’s good news”. So I figure, as long as it’s your biggest nightmare, that’s a good thing? :: He let out a bitter, dry laugh. :: Riel: oO My “heavy stun” left a man braindead, but thanks for the sentiment. Oo We’re lucky to have each other, right? I don’t think it would be easy to find a support group where you could stand up and say, ‘Hi, my name is Lan Riel, and I’m a suspicious, cold-hearted, manipulative and potentially murderous [...]’. ::Reni nodded, leaning forward closer to the screen smiling:: Svalasdottir: Hey, how about that we become a really small support group? Just you and me. And until our next meeting, our assignment is to look to the future. OK? Our past is not much to be proud of, so maybe the best thing is to leave it back there? You’re a whole quadrant from it and I’m about to become five years ahead of it. Deal? :: Riel paused and raised an eyebrow. He was glad beyond words for the offer, but a single word had derailed his train of thoughts. :: Riel: Deal. But either you just meant ‘light years’, or Temporal Investigations would roast you alive for having said that.. Svaladottir: ::wincing in jest at the thought of such an investigation:: Sorry bad phrasing, I meant that the Za’s mission is supposed to last five years. :: Reni looked at her another part of her computer screen :: Svalasdottir: Look, I am bouncing this signal over relays whose owners would not take kindly to us talking about our sad lives all night long. ::she grinned and couldn’t help throwing in a small wink:: Lan, it’s been really good talking to you. Let’s not make it too long before we do it again alright? And if you just wanna sent me a letter, do it. :: A letter? Lan was familiar with the term, of course, but in context, it was either ironic, figurative or just plain weird. :: Riel: :: Grinning :: I’ll make sure I do the next time we happen upon a Dominion mailbox. Svalasdottir: ::grinning back:: Stay good Lan. ::Reni leant back in her chair as the screen went black. She closed her eyes and could see Lan’s dark ones in her mind:: :: The Betazoid officer shook his head as Svala killed the comm. He closed his eyes, counted slowly to ten, then pinched his arm. Nope, not dreaming. Between the very content of the call and Svala’s attitude towards him, he had been toying with the possibility. That had been… unexpected, to say the least. Still, it felt good. Better than that, even. Lan rose up from his seat as subroutines triggered by the Intel encryption protocol erased the communication logs, changed his mind, made an appointment with Jamison, and went back to his meditation. Only this time with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. :: === Lt. Junior Grade Reni Svalasdottir Chief Diplomatic Officer USS Za, NCC-65385 Writer ID: D239009RS0 and Lieutenant Junior Grade Lan Riel Intelligence Officer USS Athena G239107LR0
  3. ((Personal Quarters, USS Darwin-A))::Iniko paced restlessly back and forth across the limited free space in jheas quarters. That free space would hopefully shrink even further soon, if jhe could convince Captain Renos to allow jhea to bring Ukwu aboard. For the moment, though, that bit of floor was still empty, and jhe was working on wearing a hole through it.::::The last meeting with Sawat Chalor had gone amazingly well. Iniko still had trouble believing it had really happened. But now Iniko was expecting Sawat to call again at any moment, this time for their first real fielding lesson, and jheas nerves were back full force.::oO What if jhe changes jheas mind? I'll probably turn out to be absolutely useless and jhe will disown me again in disgust. What if I misunderstood and the whole thing was just a joke? Maybe jhe has come to jheas senses and jhe won't even call. Or the Fielding League found out and they'll prevent jhea from calling, and I've probably gotten jhea into so much trouble just by talking to them, and . . . Oo::Thankfully the message tone sounded from jheas console and interrupted the impending panic attack. Jhe spun around and accepted the call before jhe could talk jheaself out of it.::::Sawat appeared on the screen, looking as calm and composed as ever. Jhe was sitting on a cushion in an otherwise empty room, with a tiny animal curled up in jheas lap. The window behind jhea showed the night sky. Iniko couldn't even remember what time it would be in Rania, and jhe didn't actually have any idea where Sawat lived, so jhe had no idea what time it was there. Iniko hoped jhe wasn't keeping Sawat up too late.::Chalor: Iniko, it is good to see you again. I admit I was not entirely certain you would still be amenable to this arrangement.::Iniko twisted jheas mouth wryly. It seemed highly unlikely to jhea that Iniko would be the one to give up on this relationship, but it didn't seem polite to say so.::Mpeba: I’m not that easy to shake off.Chalor: No, I'm beginning to see that. I'm glad.::Sawat smiled hesitantly, but warmly. Then jhe turned serious again, and lifted the protesting creature out of jheas lap. Now Iniko could see it was a small meeka, a rodent that was native to the norca fields of Southern Tanal. Growing up in Rania, Iniko’s main exposure to them had been as lab animals, and jhe tensed up momentarily. It quickly became obvious that this meeka was a pet, though, not something to perform experiments on, and jhe relaxed. Sawat pet its head and the little creature stopped protesting and starting chittering contentedly.::Chalor: I'm not sure how much you already know, so I will most likely repeat some lessons you are already familiar with. There are many approaches to the discipline, however, so I will ask you to bear with me so that we do not leave any holes in your training.::Iniko nodded acceptance of these terms, and leaned forward curiously.::Chalor: Since there are many different types of energy fields, and everyone has different strengths, it is possible you may need to seek out different methods of training than the ones I will be most familiar with. Then again -::Sawat’s face twisted and jhe looked away. It was a moment before jhe could meet Iniko’s eyes again.::Chalor: Pardon me, I am not accustomed to this. It occurred to me that as my, well, offspring? ::jhe shuddered just a little as jhe said the word, but jhe looked more surprised than disgusted:: Yes, well, you might have a higher likelihood of sharing the same strengths I do.::Iniko sat back and wrapped jheas arms around jheaself, feeling the prickling sensation of tears in jheas eyes. Jhe tried to smile.::Mpeba: I think I'd like that.::Sawat coughed and sat up more stiffly, but an involuntary smile was tugging at the corner of jheas mouth.::Chalor: I suppose I would also find it somewhat gratifying. But let us move on. My specialty is with living creatures and plants. The energies within them are far more chaotic than those found in machinery or most other natural phenomenon. This can make them very difficult to understand, but it also makes them the most beautiful, in my own opinion. A fielder well practiced in biological energy fields can spot problems occurring at a cellular level, but even at the beginning you may be able to see illnesses or changes that are occurring at a macroscopic scale. Because of that, there are certain codes of ethics that you will need to study if you are going to pursue this course of study. For the moment, though, I would like to see what level you are at to begin with.::Iniko’s head was already starting to spin, and they hadn't even begun the lesson yet. Jheas previous teachers had largely focused on electrical fields, having despaired of teaching jhea anything more complicated than that. Jhe had never had much skill, and was really only pursuing it now so that jhe could control jheas own reactions to it. The idea that Sawat might start jhea off with one of the most complex applications of fielding seemed a bit ludicrous. Then again, it also sounded fascinating, and if there was a chance jhe might be able to grasp it, jhe would like to try.::Mpeba: Alright. How should we start?Chalor: I don't suppose you have an animal at hand, do you?::Sawat gestured towards the meeka. Iniko shook jheas head sadly.::Mpeba: Not at the moment, no.oO Soon, though, I hope. OoChalor: Ah, well, plant life is likely a better starting point anyway. I see you have a potted plant in the corner there. Would you bring that over, please?::Iniko stood and dragged over one of jheas plants. It was meant as a climbing tree for Ukwu, if jhe got to bring her aboard. For the moment, though, it served as a reminder of some of the more pleasant aspects of Til’ahn, for when jhe became homesick. Jhe took jheas seat again and looked at Sawat expectantly.::Chalor: That will be ideal. Since we are communicating electronically, you will not be able to sense the same things I can, so you will have to have your own tools for practicing. Now, you will need to focus your mind and apply your fielding sense to the plant. Then tell me what you can sense.::Nodding, Iniko closed jheas eyes and tried to settle into a more relaxed position. Jhe started chanting the first verse of one of jheas favorite meditative poems, an ancient story about the origins of the two moons of Til’ahn. Jhe was interrupted almost immediately as Sawat began coughing. Iniko opened jheas eyes, concerned, only to realize that Sawat was actually laughing at jhea.::Mpeba: Did I do something wrong already?::Sawat sputtered a few more times before jhe managed to respond.::Chalor: I’m sorry, that was unforgivably rude of me, but what exactly was that?Mpeba: A chant? To meditate? You told me to focus my mind.Chalor: I see. Well. I knew Chioma had been meeting with some strange people, but where exactly did she find someone to teach you that archaic rite? And in Rania of all places?::Iniko flushed, embarrassed for both jheaself and jheas mother. Jhe disagreed with jheas mother plenty, but it was different when someone else did it. On the other hand, if that really was a ridiculously outdated method, jhe was horrified that jhe hadn’t known better, and that jhe had given Sawat such an awful first impression. Jhe crossed jheas arms defensively.::Mpeba: What exactly is wrong with it?::Sawat seemed to realize that jhe had caused offense, and held jheas hands up placatingly.::Chalor: I didn’t mean to offend. It was just . . . a surprise. These sorts of focusing chants are now understood to be unnecessary by the majority of fielders, but certain more traditional sects prefer to retain them. If you find them useful, then by all means continue.::Iniko narrowed jheas eyes, but jhe relaxed a little.::Mpeba: If you were to teach someone how to focus, how would you do it?::Sawat rubbed jheas chin thoughtfully for a moment before responding.::Chalor: Try this. Close your eyes and take deep, steady breaths.::Iniko was tempted to roll jheas eyes at the obviousness of the suggestion, but jhe really didn’t want to offend Sawat when their relationship was still so fragile. Instead, jhe simply followed directions and closed jheas eyes. Jhe slowed down jheas breathing, and focused on the feeling of the air going in and out of jheas lungs.::Chalor: Now, stop thinking about your breathing, and instead focus on the rhythm of your pulse. Feel the blood flowing through your veins, and then see if you can feel your heart.::That seemed like nonsense. Iniko was pretty sure you couldn’t feel your own heart beating. But jhe did jheas best anyway, and bent all jheas attention to it. Jhe couldn’t feel it, just like jhe had expected, and yet there was something . . . Somehow jhe could sense it beating, but not through jheas nerves, as jhe had expected. Not like hearing or seeing it either. It was a different sense entirely. Jhe could feel the spark of electrical impulses driving the muscles to contract and relax, and the pressure of the kinetic energy as blood was forced between chambers. Jheas eyes flew open, and jhe stared at Sawat in shock.::Mpeba: That was- I’ve never- How?!Chalor: It worked, then? I was wondering. It’s a technique I’ve used before with students who don’t respond well to the usual methods of instruction. I wouldn’t normally present it as a first choice method. Most students find the other methods simpler. But, well, that was how I first mastered the skill, and I thought maybe you . . . and it seems to have worked. So that’s good, then.::Iniko felt like jheas grin was stretching all the way to jheas ears. Not from seeing how discomfited Sawat became whenever jhe confronted the idea of their familial ties, but because there was a tiny, proud smile flickering at the corners of jheas stern mouth. However uncomfortable this made Sawat, jhe also seemed to find it pleasing. To find Iniko pleasing. It made Iniko’s chest feel almost painfully full. Not to mention the fact that jhe had finally actually sensed the energy fields, not some barely-there flicker of them but actually tangibly felt them. Jhe had never managed so much with any of jheas other teachers, despite months of work.::Mpeba: I want to try again!Chalor: Please do. This time, once you are in the proper state of mind, I want you to turn your attention to the plant. See if you can sense it.::Iniko nodded and closed jheas eyes again. It took longer to focus this time. Jhe was too excited and jheas thoughts swirled fiercely. But jhe managed to get them under control eventually, and feel the beat of jheas heart again. It was a heady feeling, and jhe nearly lost it almost immediately because of jheas excitement, but jhe pushed through and managed to hold onto it. Once jhe was settled again, and felt jheas heartbeat return to its normal rhythm, jhe broadened jheas focus, trying to look for the plant without opening jheas eyes. It was a weird feeling, and it took jhea a minute to work out how to direct jheas new sense. It was less like groping blindly through a dark room, and more like walking through a fog of static. There were fields going every which way, in patterns jhe didn’t understand, intersecting and interfering with one another until everything was just noise. Finally jhe found something, though, and latched on to this new sensation.::::The plant was much less active than jheas heart. The gentle, steady pull of water, up through its roots and trunk towards the branches and leaves. The quiet crackle of photosynthesis. Jhe could sense photosynthesis? That was utterly bizarre. Jhe couldn’t sense it on a cellular level. It was more like a constantly changing foam that covered all the surface of the leaves. That was a terrible way to describe it, but jhe didn’t actually have anything to compare it to.::::Jhe tried to speak without losing jheas concentration, but the very action of opening jheas mouth caused the sensations to disintegrate.::Mpeba: I can . . . ack, it’s gone. ::jhe opened jheas eyes:: I could see it, though! Or feel it. Or something. It was amazing!::Sawat smiled and nodded.::Chalor: You will be able to maintain your concentration while doing other things when you have practiced more. Don’t be discouraged that it doesn’t happen right away. Now, tell me what you observed.::Iniko leaned forward and began to describe the experience. Jheas nervousness had been fully replaced with enthusiasm now. Jhe was finally succeeding at a skill jhe had always been told jhe could never do well, and developing a relationship with jheas estranged parent. Right now, jhe felt like jhe could do anything.::Lieutenant JG Mpeba - Engineering Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-AD239205IM0
  4. ((Cabin #12 - Raskor I - Evening of Kinney's Resignation)) ::It had been one hell of a...Day? Week? Month? She was losing count. After the painfully awkward encounter with Tyler, Mirra's hasty patch job and near sprint of a retreat had been less than ideal. But, once in the Raskor Embassy Medbay, she had plenty to keep her distracted. Ishani had thankfully regained her sight, as expected, and the majority of those who had been in direct path of the flash bomb or phaser fire had been cleared. Dr. Phrik had yet to regain consciousness, and Mirra was lingering to keep an eye on him. While she waited, the news came from Sal, now aboard the Columbia, that with Ambassador Nicholotti's oO As in...Captain Nicholotti? I can't believe it...Oo, witness, Allen Kinney had resigned his commission, effective immediately. It was over. They finally had a win. And it only cost a near assassination. She had no clue the fate of the Angosian Augment, nor did she truly care. As long as it meant she was in the hands of those who knew how to deal with her, and far away from windows, and Mirra. With the hours ticking on, Dr. Phrik regained consciousness. But the vision in his left eye hadn't returned yet. Along with the resident physician, she had ordered a variety of tests. His vitals were steady...but she herself, wasn't. She was exhausted. Weary down to the marrow of her bones. Despite all her protests, she actually began to wobble a bit on her feet and was promptly kicked out of Medbay. Someone had come with a key and a map for her to find her way to the circle of cabins surrounding the Executive Beach house Commodore Kinney had installed several years ago. She shambled her way towards a small, beautiful cabin near the left corner of the outcropping. Raskor I was beautiful. The cabin was whimsically decorated in swirls of light blues and greens, matching the clear sky and gorgeous shore line. She assumed. She was far too tired to appreciate it. She stumbled over the threshold, stripping the ruined dress whites as she went, before collapsing on the over-sized bed at the end of the hallway. Before she passed out, she giggled to herself wondering just when exactly the other eight or so people who would make use of the excessive amount of pillows would show, but ended up crafting a rudimentary pillow cave around herself instead.:: ((((Brief Timeskip - A few Hours later)))) ::Mirra had woken with a start, she was deeply disoriented. Had she fallen asleep in a vat of marshmallow..? Oh, that was the pillows. Sitting up, she looked around at the darkend room. She had been so tired, she must have slept through to the next evening. No, it was just before dawn. What had woken her? She couldn't remember if she had been dreaming, but after attempting to reconstruct the pillow cave, it had clearly lost it's magic. Crawling out, she stumbled into the attached bathroom and caught her reflection in the mirror. It stopped her cold. Her neck was a patchwork of blueish purple from the healing bruises, the bags under here eyes nearly matched the shade. Taking the regenerative bandage off her wrist, the deep bruising extended from her hand to halfway up her forearm. Apparently she had swung harder than she thought. A smirk ghosted the corner of her mouth. oO I punched Allen Kinney. Hard. Oo Glancing back up at her reflection, she gave a satisfied little head nod. Much to her absolute delight, the cabin was equipped with a real, water shower. She had cranked the heat, and stayed in to the point where the complexion of her skin nearly matched the vibrant red of her hair. Finding a large, fluffy robe, Mirra had wondered out to the semi enclosed porch directly through a set of French doors off the bedroom. She settled into a large, almost complicated looking deck chair that had been fashioned to look as if it was made of driftwood and an overly large leaf. It enveloped her like a warm, comfortable cocoon. She was certain whatever the fabric of this chair was, it had to be bewitched. She had never been this comfortable in her life. She was going to stay here, in this chair, until she withered away. She sat, eyes transfixed on the ocean before her, with the twinkling stars above. She had transcended sleep altogether, and transitioned into some sort of dormant state. Completely oblivious to the passage of time, the fading of the stars and the first soft rays of the sun. There she sat, her hair long since dried by the soft, salty sea breeze. Unfazed by the morning opening up around her. She had become one with that deck chair. That was...until she heard footsteps approaching. Lethargically, she moved her head towards the new arrival.:: Ezo: ::tiredly:: Is someone dying or bleeding...? Tatash: Not yet, but the booze has just been opened so it's just a matter of time. ::Slowly, she turned her head back towards the sea.:: Ezo: Oh thank the Gods. I was worried it would require my moving. ::barely gesturing:: This chair and I have come to an understanding. We're one and the same, this chair and I. Tatash: But I made breakfast. ::he nudged his snout towards the dining area:: ::She let out a very disgruntled sound:: Ezo: ::slightly whimpering:: But...the chair, it's accepted me as one of it's own. If I leave now, that's...hours of diplomatic negotiations, wasted. It'll never trust me again. Can you live with that knowledge...? Tatash: Then I officially declare war on the Republic of Chair. Get up and come and have some bacon. Ezo: ::crestfallen:: Well...does it require pants...? ::looking pathetic:: I've become one with the bathrobe too... Tatash: Theo will shade you for eons if you mope about in a robe all day. ::Mirra let out a lamented wail. With exaggerated struggle, she finally freed herself from the confines of her throne of comfort. Her eyes narrowed into near slits:: Ezo: Stay here, and make amends with my chair while I change... -------------------------------------------- Lieutenant Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  5. (( OOC - This happens at the same time as Holly & Cody's JP )) (( The Command Complex, Deck 2, USS Athena )) :: Selene's day felt very long and tiring. It was exhausting trying to get people to understand why she was upset or disappointed in her. But she had a rewarding conversation with John Nugra at the end of the day. She wasn't sure if it was the conversation or the view off the cliff in the holodeck, but it calmed her a bit. :: :: She still had to check on Sundassa, who by what she was informed, was sleeping comfortably in her security officer's sleep chambers. Now she was heading back to her quarters, the chef usually had her dinner ready for her, so when she smelled the aroma wafting from the kitchen her mouth watered. :: :: When she rounded the corner, she expected to hear the normal hum as the chef worked. But what she heard instead was two voices. :: Cody: Now... the more you get to know your ingredients, you'll realize the various combinations are going to develop interesting and different flavors. That's not a bad thing. If anything, you want to see what those flavors develop and add to the meal at the end. Unique flavors are always encouraged when they develop, because they can add an unique spice to the meal you're preparing. But... don't let them get out of control, either. Holly: That makes sense. Now I kinda want cooking lessons. .oO I just want dinner. Oo. :: Her stomach growled as she realized she was not going to have access to dinner immediately, the two of them were talking. With how stern she had been with Holly earlier, she didn't have the energy to go in and ask what they were doing. Since she was being generous, and not bursting in, she hoped they would return the favor by putting together a plate for her. :: :: She sighed as she took the few steps to her quarters. From there, she changed into something more comfortable, got a small snack to tide her stomach and read a couple chapters of a book. :: :: When she thought enough time had passed, she stood up and exited her quarters. She was hoping that there would be food ready for her. When she got to the kitchen she heard their voices again. :: .oO What are they doing in there that takes this long? Oo. Cody: ::softly:: Where is your head at right now, Commander? And be honest. A lie you tell yourself is a lie you'll tell someone else. Holly: I would say cloud nine wondering if you’re making a pass at me Commander. .oO Well, that answers that... going to have to call Ops to have them sterilize the kitchen. Oo. :: Back to her quarters she went, making notes of what she needed to address, and what provisions she needed in her quarters when people decided to commandeer her kitchen while she too exhausted to be herself. :: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 Academy Commandant - Starbase 118 Academy Executive Council - Captain At Large Writer ID: A239001SF0
  6. (( Quarters Sherana )) ::Well shoot… He hadn't meant to draw attention and join in this conversation. That’s what he got for opening his mouth - he inserted his foot right away. His eyes looked between Sherana and her… parent of sorts. A hint of an idea sparked and lit his face ever so slightly.:: :: Sherana could just stop herself from rolling her eyes. Of course he had to say something, he couldn’t just stand there waiting until the call was over. Bloody doctors. :: Sherana: That is Nijil, one of the Constitution’s doctors. Nijil: ::a curt nod.:: I am your… ::pause.:: daughter’s ::he was sure he had picked up on that correctly.:: attending physician. Grawn: Attending Physician? ::He took a closer look at Sherana:: She doesn’t look like she needs one to me. :: Sherana didn’t believe what he was doing and opened her mouth, but didn’t even get a single word out. :: Nijil: ::he cut of Sherana’s protests.:: On the contrary - she was injured recently and was careless about it. ::Did he talk too much? No He had a knack for getting people in trouble and that trouble turned into them doing what he had asked for in the first place. So it worked for him just fine. Though his cold exterior might have made it seem malicious. But it wasn’t … Entirely.:: :: Hearing these words had an obvious effect on the Klingon on the screen. His shoulders seemed to grow even more as he sat up straight and stared down Sherana. His voice had become a growl, as he was obviously displeased. :: Grawn: Sherana! Sherana: I am well. It was not a big deal. .oO A Klingon does not complain about physical discomfort. Oo. :: Her father had taught her that. :: Nijil: ::heartlessly.:: Unless You call being found nearly dead “not a big deal” ::that was slightly exaggerating it.:: Grawn: VIt jatlh! * :: A mountain of a Klingon raising his voice in a growl made even Sherana wince. Oh she hated Nijil for putting his nose where it didn’t belong. He would pay for that. :: Sherana: During the last mission I was stabbed with a knife by a scared crewmember. I was treated and told to give it some rest. I worked, I carried things, I collapsed last night and Doctor Nijil treated me again. :: The Klingon stared at her and sighed shaking his head. :: Grawn: You have been careless, daughter. You can’t die with honor in a sickbed. You should listen to Doctor Nijil. Nijil: ::he rolled his eyes and mumbled.;: That is what I’ve been saying... :: Sherana turned her head and glared up to the Rekarian. She dug her fingernails into her palm, feeling the pain to keep herself from jumping at the guy’s throat. :: Sherana: ::Snarling under her breath:: I’ll show you how I’ll listen… Grawn: Doctor, I want the truth about the extent of her injuries. :: Sherana crossed her arms. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her father really wanted to know more about that and not from her… from the doctor who had stabbed her in the back like a bIHnuch. :: ::Oh yes, he could feel the irritated death glare attempting to bore holes into the side of his head. True, at the time of the secondary incident he had said something along the lines of “he wouldn’t tell”. But that was then and this was now. And now was a good time to share he thought.:: Nijil: She has a deep wound in her abdomen, which has been subjected to excessive movements. It caused precariously sealed injuries to become agitated and more heavily bruised. :: The warrior didn’t seem to be pleased. Well, he wasn’t. While he admired his daughter for living Klingon life so far from the Empire, he did not admire that she had been so careless, as being almost killed after a coward stabbed her, was not the death of a warrior. :: Grawn: I hope you have a good reason for this behaviour. Sherana: I had a job to do. I could hardly stop doing that. Nijil: ::he gave her a long sided look.:: I know she has a job to do, but those kinds of injuries need to be allowed to heal. With overextending herself,::he looked back to Grawn.:: Miss Sherana wound up bleeding internally, something that takes time to stop. ::He looked at Sherana:: Something not stopped in time means death. Grawn: You do not want to die outside of battle, daughter! I taught you better. :: She had crossed her arms tighter, almost as if trying to wrap them around herself. She did not like when her father had to remind her of things. It made her feel like she was a child again and she was too old for that. Too bad that Nijil made it impossible to see that, because he kept listing all the things she did wrong and not what she had done right. :: Sherana: And today I haven’t lifted anything, so you can stop riding on that now. ::Towards Nijil:: Nijil: So long as she actually listens, she shouldn’t have any more complications. ::he sighed.:: I am just making sure she is abiding by the instructions given. Grawn: And she will. Won’t you, daughter? Sherana: ::growling:: HIja', vavDaj! * Nijil: Oh. ::he said rather dully.:: Do you know where any Klingon Opera’s might be being performed? Or perhaps… metal Klingon music? :: The change of subject seemed to distract well from the former subject. The man on the screen swelled with pride and a smile showed on his face. :: Grawn: Why on Qo'noS of course! Sherana: A shame that the times of killings on stage have yielded to acting. That gave the Opera the extra fire. ::Nijil nodded in agreement. That is definitely something he would have gone to see. Even if he couldn’t understand anything. Like the language or plots…. At least there would be rare emotion from the viewers and the performers. That would give him all the information he would need to enjoy it. Though it could have been due to beingsuch a people watcher.:: Nijil: Indeed, a shame in 2197 they decided that wasn’t such an appreciated bit of work. Grawn: Oh you know our history, Doctor. ::He looked surprised but at the same time impressed.:: Only in very few locations you will see the old way of the Opera and you do not want to visit those places.::A belly laugh shook the man.:: Nijil: ::nodded. Yes anywhere illegal work was performed were nasty areas to avoid.:: I would believe you are quite right. Sherana: Why would you want to listen to it anyway? Grawn: Enjoy that he is cultured enough to enjoy an acquired taste, Sherana. You still do have the collection I gave you when you left, don’t you? ::Nijil chuckled internally. It wasn’t exactly his interests or likes. At least not yet. He had just been recently exposed to the work in a new light. However, the Klingon home world was a little too far away for him to get Alize and himself to and back before anyone realised they were short a field medic and the mortician. :: :: She stared at her father, knowing where this would end. But lying was out of the question, it was a coward’s way out. :: Sherana: I do. Grawn: Then share with the Doctor. It will do you good to share a common ground, as he is taking care of your physical well being. ::He perked up a little. Not from excitement or anything, but because there was the sudden feeling of a knife to his back that made him stand up a little taller. There wasn’t physically one there, but the daggers he felt from the steaming woman beside was enough. Nijil found it more amusing than anything.:: Nijil: Posh.. That’s not needed. ::he waved his hand.:: Sherana: I agree. .oO Now that’s a rarity. Oo. Grawn: It is. My daughter should show a bit more gratitude towards the man who saved her life. ::The look the Klingon gave her could have stabbed the wound right open again. Sherana couldn’t believe her father would say these things to reprimand her in front of others. But at the same time it shouldn’t surprise her because he had done that when she’d been a child as well. All parents had done it to teach children through humiliation. :: Nijil: I would not impose into her personal life ~as~ much. ::he snarked.:: I will tend to her medical needs regardless. ::he assured the burly man shoved into the tiny screen before him.:: Grawn: ::nodding:: I wouldn’t expect less from a doctor honoring is oath. Nijil: Though should you come across a live performance closer, I’d be interested in knowing the details. ::he eyed the woman.:: :: Sherana quietly looked at her father, despite her feeling Nijil’s eyes on her. She hoped he was almost done bonding with her father. Nobody here even knew him or had heard of him other than Solaris, because the Intel woman had helped her to find him. It really went against her preferences that Nijil, someone who rubbed her the wrong way, would meet him during the first conversation she had with him in years. :: Grawn: I will send word to Sherana if I hear something. A good opera should best listened to in person and intoxicated. ::He laughed that belly laugh again. Then he looked up as if listening to someone beyond the screen and nodded, before looking to Sherana again. :: I am needed on the bridge. Sherana: JIyaj. Qu' 'ej batlh, vav. Grawn. Qapla', puqbe' vIghaj. ::He turned his head to Nijil:: Qapla’ Doctor. Nijil: Good day. ::he said simply and bowed his head slightly.:: :: With that the screen went dark again and showed the Starfleet symbol. The Orion finally turned to Nijil and stared at him. :: Sherana: You just couldn’t resist to shame me in front of my father, could you? Nijil: ::pause…. Oh so sarcastically.:: Whatever~ do you mean? Sherana: ::She ignored the tone and what he said.:: For how long will I have to … take it slow? Nijil: ::he raised an eyebrow.:: As long as it takes. ::beat:: simply enough? Sherana: ::snarling:: The vagueness is incredibly… unhelpful. ::He had done quite a bit, some good some not so good. But all in all he had accomplished more by dropping by then he thought he would. He had such impeccable timing.:: Nijil: I will leave you now. ::he turned on a heel.:: Sherana: Finally. ::She was so annoyed by him that she had almost lost her manners. Even though some people didn’t think she had any. They were there, but hidden and edgy. :: Fight well. ::Nijil bobbed his head and headed back for the door. There was overstaying your welcome and there was committing acts of war. He was familiar with both, though liked to toy on the line, he knew it was time for him to leave.:: Nijil: One last thing - you have a check-up scheduled in four days… ::with that he stepped through the door without waiting to hear a lovely line of most profound wording.:: Sherana: ::Sarcastically, while the doors closed so only part of it passed the threshold.:: I can’t wait. ------- Translations: Puqbe - Daughter Vav, qalegh 'oH QaQ 'e' - Father, it is good to see you VIt jatlh - Speak the truth bIHnuch - Coward HIja', vavDaj - Yes, Father JIyaj. Qu' 'ej batlh, vav. - I understand. Duty and honor, father. Qapla', puqbe' vIghaj. - Success, my daughter. ____________________________ PNPC Lieutenant JG Nijil Field Medic Simmed By Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Constitution A239202RH0 & PNPC Sherana Botanist Simmed By Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  7. (( Le Château de Rose - New York District - Starbase 118)) ::Kro sat silently at the secluded candlelit table as he adjusted his infernally uncomfortable collar. He quite liked looking a bit more classy than his normal gruntwear allowed, but it was becoming clear that it came at a price. He quite enjoyed the finer things, but had rare opportunities to enjoy them in person over the course of his military career. His past assignment fighting in the trenches on a backwater planet did not allow him to spend many of his evenings in high class French bistros. He arrived no less than an hour early for their date, as his butterflies were unwilling to allow him respite at the idea that everything might not be perfect. The wine of course he had called ahead to order, as it was best served with several hours to decant. He had attempted to confirm the temperature it would be stored, but they had insisted it would be handled with the utmost expert care. He smiled softly as he watched an elderly couple slow dance on the small dance floor in the middle of the room, enjoying the enchanting french music that rolled smoothly into the dining area. Glancing back toward the entrance to the restaurant his heart skipped a little beat as the lovely Ishani seemed to glide into the room. Her dress was a simple black sheath dress with lace sleeves and matching low black heels. Temporarily mesmerized, he found his composure and moved to meet her, lifting her hand with a smile and giving it a little kiss.:: Kro: Miss Ishani, you look beautiful. Kasun: :: Ishani flushed slightly in pleasure at Kro’s kiss and his complements. How long had it been since she had experienced actual romance? Not since before she joined Starfleet at least. :: Thank you Mister Kro. You look quite handsome as well. ::Moving to their table, he pulled out her seat and let her get situated before returning to his own.:: Kro: It dawned on me after arriving that perhaps the setting is a bit too much. My apologies if the ambiance is not appropriate for a first date. ::He shifted uncomfortably at his own lack of eloquence.:: The truth is I don’t have much experience on the matter. Kasun: I think it’s quite lovely here. :: smiling :: You have good instincts, I never would have guessed. Kro: ::Smiling slightly:: I suppose when I’m charging down corridors with high powered energy rifles I don’t exactly give off the sophisticated gentleman vibe. Kasun: :: chuckling :: I doubt any person would be able to look like a gentleman or a lady under those circumstances. Kro: Unlikely. ::He continued, an amused expression across his features.:: Though I have seen some Vulcans come close. It can be unsettling how calm their expressions can remain even in when under fire. Kasun :: Ishani’s smile flickered slightly at the mention of Vulcan’s under fire. :: oO Poor Dovak. Oo ::He considered her with a worried expression as his comment seemed to briefly darken her features.:: Kro: Are...you alright? Kasun: :: She pushed the memory of his fiery death aside. :: Ah sorry, no I’m fine. :: She took a deep breath. :: One of the engineers on the trip to rescue the Avalon survivors was a vulcan and he didn’t make it back. ::He frowned, the last mission had been so full of death and despair. Definitely not a feeling he wanted to haunt his lovely date with..:: Kro: I’m so sorry, If I had known…::he let himself trail off.:: Kasun: :: She smiled softly. :: It’s alright, you didn’t know. :: They were saved from more awkwardness by the arrival of a youngish looking vulcan woman with what looked to be their menus in hand. Behind her stood a young human man holding a beautiful crystal wine decanter and two wine glasses. :: Fimi: Greetings, I am Fimi and I will be your waiter this evening. :: Fimi set down the menus in front of them as her fellow waiter set down the wine glasses and began pouring. :: Fimi: Byzallian Cirsion. An excellent choice Mr. Kro. ::He gave an appreciative nod and looked back to Ishani with a smile as Fimi moved away.:: Kro: I do hope you like wine. ::He lifted the glass and admired the deep dark shade of purple before bringing it down and taking in its aroma. This is one of my favorites, inspired by the classic Earth Bodegas Roda Vineyard:: Great structure and smoothness. Kasun: I do but I haven't had much time to indulge lately. :: She swirled the wine in her glass before taking a sip. :: Mmm. I agree, this is an excellent wine. Kro: Perhaps a toast is in order. ::He held his glass forward, stars in his eyes.:: What shall we honor tonight miss Ishani? Kasun: :: Smiling :: Hmm, there are so many good options. :: ‘To us’ was a bit to forward at this point and to health seemed cliche. :: To new beginnings perhaps? Kro: ::Grinning:: I like that. Kasun: :: Still smiling she held up her glass. :: Cheers then. Kro: ::Lifting his glass:: To new beginnings. :: Their wine glasses chimed as they brought them together. :: Kro: ::He took a sip and set his glass down.:: Hopefully one with less destruction, but just as much physical contact.. ::Just as he said it, he couldn’t believe he had. His thoughts of the mission had been swirl of darkness and gloom, but somehow the memory of carrying this beautiful woman to safety and fighting to survive together had shined through every time. Leaving him with a smile at nearly every recollection. He supposed the kissing helped too..:: Kasun: Agreed. :: She smiled and took another sip of wine, outwardly ignoring Kro’s freudian slip. Internally, on the other hand, she enjoyed a surge of giddy happiness; it was always nice to have verbal confirmation that the man you’re interested in considers you attractive. :: ::Now sure he was emitting a glow strong enough to guide ships at sea, he pulled at his tightening collar and picked up his menu just as the server re-appeared.:: Fimi: Would you like to place an order with the chef? ::Kro looked to Ishani for confirmation before shifting his gaze back to Fimi.:: Kro: Yes, I would like the Soupe au Pistou. Fimi: Of course. ::She looked to Ishani:: and the lady? Kasun: I’ll have the Soupe à l'Oignon. ::Their order placed, Kro undid his top button and looked to Ishani with a renewed confidence.:: Kro: ::Smiling:: I believe someone promised me dancing? Kasun: Indeed I did. :: Ishani stood up and grasped Kro’s outstretched hand as he led her out onto the dance floor. :: Kasun: It has admittedly been a while since I danced with a partner. I’m afraid I might be a little rusty. :: She was suddenly very glad she had worn low heels . The last thing she wanted was to stumble and ruin the evening by breaking her ankle. :: Kro: ::With kind eyes.:: No need to impress, just follow my lead. ::Finding an open space on the dance floor, Kro placed his hand politely on her hip and offered his open palm with a soft smile. With a matching smile Ishani took his hand and Kro began to lead her through a simple swing dance. :: Kasun: How long have you been dancing? Kro: I’ve always had a deep appreciation, though it took me awhile to get any good at it. Kasun: My father encouraged my interest in dancing when I was a child, though unlike singing my interest in it has waxed and waned over the years. :: Kro pulled Ishani close and spun them both out of the way of another couple’s path. :: Kro: Singing? That is something I would love to hear. It sounds like your father was very supportive. I like him already. Kasun: :: Chuckling, she danced closer to him. :: oO You may or may not like him once you’ve met him. Oo Music and dancing are a large part of the El Aurian subculture my father is part of. I’ve gotten the impression that it would be unusual to not be trained how to sing, dance or play an instrument. Kro: I had quite the opposite experience. Most of my interests I had to keep secret for fear of consequence not only from my peers but from my parents. Kasun: ::Softly :: Why did you need to do that? :: Sadly she probably already knew the answer. She had seen that conflict so many times with her patients; children stuck between two worlds and adults that had repressed their own desires to fit in with their families and cultures. :: Kro: It was a military family in a military town, those traditions were paramount. Anyone interested in useless things like art and dance were considered weak and…::He trailed off and shook his head at the harsh words he didn’t care to repeat.:: Kasun: Oh Kro. :: Her expression sad and empathetic. :: Kro: ::Forming a grin he dipped he dipped Ishani low before pulling her back up. :: The important thing is that I survived to find an elegant, graceful and sophisticated woman willing to dance with me. Kasun: Yes. :: She smiled kindly at Kro and adjusted her grip. :: Your experience is sadly not that unusual, especially if you ignore the military element. Kro: :: Kro swung her away so he only one of her hands. :: It is something I have grown accustomed to, good or bad. Kasun: :: She nodded as Kro whipped her back towards him. :: That issue is common with any society or culture that has rigid roles or cultural norms. Conformity is a big deal and is zealously enforced upon everyone, but especially those who don't fit in or actively rebel against conforming. Kro: It’s nice to be able to discuss it freely. You are very insightful. Kasun: Thank you. I got to see it a great deal in my private practice. Kro: Oh? You dealt a lot with cultural differences? Kasun: Oh yes. :: She was finally beginning to remember enough of the motions of the dance enough that she and Kro were more partners than teacher and student. :: I specialized in hybrid children and adults and it is a common issue with them, especially if their parents’ species have very different cultural expectations. Kro: That is something I have not put much thought into, but it sounds truly fascinating if you are ever willing to discuss your work. Kasun: :: Smiling :: Of course. ::As the music shifted, he led her into a fluid spin. With a little debonair smile, he laid his hand her hip and pulled her a little closer. He had often said that beauty was a reflection of the spirit, a resonance of the person within that was unique to every individual. The more he got to know Ishani, the more intoxicating her found her beauty. Her intelligent and insightful mind doing wonders to beguile him with captivating charm.:: Kro: I hope you do not find my words tawdry Miss Ishani, but I must confess that I find you quite enchanting. Kasun: :: Flushing :: I don’t find it tawdy at all. :: She slid her hand off his shoulder and around his neck. :: Just the opposite. :: Ishani leaned in and kissed him gently. As she pulled away she noticed Fimi heading towards their table with two plates of of soup. Kro followed her lips briefly and smiled at the affection, following her gaze to the food.:: Kasun: Looks like our food is here. Kro: Best served hot. To be continued? Kasun: I wouldn’t mind dancing afterward. Kro: ::Smiling:: Good. ::He took her hand and gave it a gentle kiss before leading her back to the table. The two spent the remainder of the evening completely absorbed in each others company, barely aware of the world outside their table. The conversation came easily, and the laughter was often close behind. As the perfect night drifted to a close, they exchanged a long and meaningful embrace outside Ishani’s quarters before parting ways, only to dream wistfully of their next encounter.:: Ensign Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0 & Lt Commander Antero Flynn Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 Ops / USS Columbia C239205AF0
  8. (( Hangar, Deck 32, Athena )) :: After checking in the rest of his gear, Amuro decided to pay a visit to the hanger area where the Marines’ heavier equipment were stored, their fighters and other armored vehicles that he would have liked to have during the last mission. :: :: Looking over the hanger, he took a chance to take in the air, recycled be it, and found himself at home as he walked around. He then noticed Cranford working on her fighter and decided to walk over, fixing his uniform a bit. It was slightly out of regs and he was purposefully not wearing it correctly. :: McKnight: Usually most pilots would leave the maintenance work to the grease monkeys. :: Kary heard the man from behind her, she glanced over her shoulder before continuing to fine tune her engine. The handling of the controls were slightly off, something only someone sensitive to these things would notice. :: Cranford: You sound surprised. McKnight: Nothing wrong with a hands on approach to your stuff.A good Marine takes care of their stuff. Cranford: Any respectable pilot treats their craft as an extension of themselves. If not, you end up with glitches that you don't need when out there. When you are out there, the enemy provides enough surprises without your fighter or shuttle working against you. McKnight: Could've used you in the last bout, but the skipper or whoever was on the bridge didn’t think we needed air support other than a shuttle. :: Rumors had spread through the ship, and she had come into the shuttle bay not too long after, and there were still "grease monkeys" pawing over the USS Heraclius. There was a good bit of cursing over the parts that needed to be replaced, whoever was behind the helm did damage. :: Cranford: The shuttle did come back with a few lumps of her own... who was flying the thing? McKnight: oO Lumps? More like burns Oo I was, on the way back. I’d like to think I’m a good pilot. Some...security guy who took control earlier wasn’t so much. Cranford: That's why you should always have a dedicated pilot, instead of some sort of hybrid position. You said you needed air support? What were they armed with? :: Kary didn't understand why when she went places people acted like she was deaf as well as klutzy, but in addition to her hearing the cruelest things people said about her, it allowed her to hear things going on through the grapevine. With what she heard of the mission from both the engineers on the shuttle, but those who knew people who went to the planet, it was majorly FUBAR'ed. :: McKnight: Unknown at first. Mostly small arms but a shuttle is only meant for transportation and basic defense. It’s not a support vehicle. I needed big guns from above where it can see everything and lay down the hurt when needed. The security guy crashed the shuttle and barely kept it flying, not for lack of trying. They left the guy piloting with another team doing explosive work so no one qualify was actually able to man the shuttle. Cranford: Sounds like you had things under control though. :: She paused a moment, and put down the tool she was working with. :: Mind handing me the hyper spanner? ::Amuro turned took a glance at the table and picked up the tool, passing it to Cranford.:: McKnight: Thankfully, the hostiles were only lightly armed. Didn’t stand a chance against shuttle phasers but then again, we had no dedicated pilot and no real air support. We had to make due, but that’s what Marines are given. We make due. We don’t have time to complain until after it’s passed. Cranford: Yeah, my baby here :: she patted her fighter :: would have put a hefty amount of fear in anyone attacking our people. :: The fighter packed enough heat to be able to assist with the take down of a Borg cube, but not enough to take on it, or another any other adequately armed vessel by itself. But it sure would make ground personnel pee their pants. :: McKnight: I read your file. Hopefully the next time when I requested air support, they send you. :: Kary stopped what she was doing, and turned completely to face the Lieutenant. :: Cranford: You read my file? Interesting. McKnight: I read up on everyone I’m in charge of even those who technically outrank me. :: While she probably could have looked her file over, she was sure there were things that those who were in charge had access to that she didn't. Details of performance ratings, all the specifics of any altercations she was involved in, or were directed at her. :: Cranford: Does my file also refer to me as "Captain Klutz" or are those just the idiots in the corridors? ::Amuro walked over to the fighter to get a closer look. Maybe he should have become a pilot. He’s always loved flying.:: McKnight: It's an official file. I think only code names are put in. If the grunts got a nickname for an officer, I won’t want to hear about it. Cranford: That's something at least, so what caught your eye? McKnight: You like flying...and I have an appreciation for anything that can take you faster than your two legs can carry. It's nice, being a fighter pilot...Just a small bit of metal and glass between you and the endless space as you fly faster than the speed of light. A fighter makes you more intimate to space than inside a big ship. The Athena might as well be a floating city. We can’t even tell we’re moving but a star fighter...it’s like having wings and there’s no limit in where you can go. :: Kary couldn't agree more, the man seemed interested in the flight of the fighters. When she was out in her Valkyrie, she felt one with it, like its movements were an extension of her own. It certainly felt freeing. :: Cranford: There is no feeling like it. Some think space is too vast and scary, but it's peaceful. Flying one of these things lets you just escape all the things holding you down, like nothing is holding you down. The speed, the maneuverability, the size. You can really explore. And with the specialized nano resin, she's hard to see coming. McKnight: To quote Admiral McCoy. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence...and that’s what appeals to me about space. The unknown… ::Amuro touched the fighter a bit, feeling the smooth hull on his hand almost like he was trying to read it.:: Cranford: You want to go out sometime? ::Amuro quickly turned around at looked at fighter pilot with a raised eyebrow..:: McKnight: You asking me out on a date, Captain? ::And now he was back to his default, a [...]y smile and all.:: :: Kary's eyes went wide with surprise at the man's assumption. It took her a moment to regain her composure, realizing she set herself up for that comment inadvertently. :: Cranford: Lieutenant, one of us outranks the other... not entirely sure who though... McKnight: I don't see the problem either way. :: She was now a bit flustered, unsure where she was going with the conversation. This was not like her, to be this unsure of herself next to her fighter. :: ::Amuro couldn’t help but continue grinning at her. He found the pilot's embarrassment adorable.:: Cranford: I didn't mean that... McKnight: I wouldn’t mind taking your bird out for a spin. ::Giving Cranford some air.:: Would get me a chance to know you better since you seemed to put your heart into it. Cranford: Flying is my saving grace, if you spend enough time around me you'll see why I enjoy flying so much. :: On her feet she was a mess, except in the presence of her fighter, or really anything that she could fly. But, in the sky, she was the definition of grace. :: McKnight: Wouldn’t mind meeting you for drinks later, either. :: The only person who understood her clumsy moments hadn't talked to her for over a year. He always disappeared for long periods of time, probably his way of showing he was uninterested anymore. She didn't even want to know what he was doing while he was not talking to her, not like she said they were exclusive. :: Cranford: Is that an invitation, Lieutenant? McKnight: You asked first…Captain...::He glanced at her almost casually after giving her fighter a nice pat before letting go.:: :: She was quiet for a moment while she processed the information, likely he would regret the invitation afterwards. Then there was the fact that she didn't know enough about the man to know if she would be the one regretting accepting the invitation later. :: Cranford: Where? McKnight: How about Gardens? Wine and dine? Cranford: I don't dance... :: Kary wanted to get that out there. It wasn't that she didn't dance, she just really needed to trust her partner, and he needed to wear steel-toed boots to avoid damage to their toes. :: ::Amuro then walked closer to her. Not too close to be uncomfortable, but enough to be in her space. He leaned in almost as if to bow and stared right into her eyes..:: McKnight: Neither do I…::He then retracted and walked away, all the while maintaining his grin..:: Carry on...Captain Cranford. 1st Lieutenant Amuro McKnight Marine Strategic Operations Officer USS Athena D239302AM0 & PNPC Captain "Pixie" Cranford Marine Pilot Simmed by: Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 Academy Commandant - Starbase 118 Academy Executive Council - Captain At Large Writer ID: A239001SF0
  9. ((OOC - This happens around eighteen hundred Night One of Shore Leave. )) ((Command Dining Room, Deck 2 - USS Athena)) ::Sabrina placed the replicated food on the table as she hesitantly awaited Cody’s arrival. Her last one on one meeting with him didn’t go as well as she had hoped. Sabrina knew that first impressions meant a lot, and people rarely got a chance for a second impression but Sabrina hoped that this dinner with Cody would give her a chance to prove that she was more than just a screw up with delusions of Grandeur. Sabrina also wanted to ask his help in preparing her for Command, mostly because she knew she needed help and now that she had read his file he seemed like the right person to ask.:: ::The doors swooshed open as David’s nose twitched, responding to Sabrina’s earlier message. He was reviewing a number of things coming through on his slimpadd, including the data dump the tracker gave before Pavi and her crew warped out of the area. He had the woman’s file from the Bajorans now, and carefully reviewing it. He glanced at the Command dining room area, noting a door where he suspected might lurk kitchen facilities, before tucking his slimpadd under his arm and smiling as he spotted Sabrina.:: Holly: Hello Commander, thank you for joining me. Cody: Evening, Commander. I understand you’ve had a stressful day. Holly: Could have been worse. I can’t imagine your day was much better. ::Sabrina took her seat. Sabrina knew she had made a mess on the planet and the lecture only helped her realize that she wasn’t perfect and she wanted help getting that promotion.:: Cody: ::a slight nod:: It’s actually been a productive day. I was in the observation room attached to the interrogation room at the end of your run in with Prendar. Holly: Ah..that..well...I can’t say I didn’t deserve it. ::David recalled the comments from Thomas, guessing correctly the nature of the conversation. He turned his eye toward the food on the table and arched a skeptical brow.:: Cody: You survived. ::indicating the plates:: Did this come from the kitchen? Holly: :: Laughing :: I wish, I’m a dreadful cook. Its replicated. I hope it’s okay. ::David stared at her with widening, horrified eyes.:: Cody: I think you may have misinterpreted something. ::grabbing both of the plates, and marching them back to the replicator.:: Come with me, Commander. Holly: Umm...okay… ::Without taking no for an answer, David got rid of the plates and marched directly for what he hoped was the kitchen, explaining along the way.:: ::Sabrina followed him to the Kitchen, she was very confused as to why he seemed horrified at the thought of a replicated meal.:: Cody: In every quarters I’ve ever had, even if it’s not equipped with one, I cook my food, Miss Holly. I avoid replicated meals if I can, except during the lunch hour. When was the last time you’ve had a home cooked meal? Holly: Last shore leave when my boyfriend cooked… ((Kitchen, Deck 2, USS Athena)) ::Entering the kitchen, David proceeded to examine the contents on hand before selecting a Prime Rib, au ju, and several vegetables. He went to the stove top and turned on the heat, selecting a pan appropriate to sear both sides, then found the knives. He cut the rib into appropriate portions, set it aside, and used another knife to cut the vegetables.:: Cody: We can talk while I prep dinner. Holly: Yes sir. ::Sabrina’s voice was almost meek, she was very timid and kind of embarrassed, all she had wanted was a nice dinner and to prove that she wasn't a screw up and she seemed to be proving the opposite.:: ::Finishing with the cuts, David selected another pan, found the olive oil, and gave a small coat before tossing the vegetables into the pan. He quickly eviscerated a clove of garlic and studded the rib with it, along with a sprig of rosemary. He went to the oven and turned it on to the temperature he wanted.:: Cody: The key is your herbs. ::smiling:: Believe it or not, cooking is both therapeutic and relaxing. ::nodding to the counter:: Grab a knife and a couple of potatoes. Holly: Okay, I guess adapting is part of the job. ::Sabrina grabbed a knife and some potatoes.Sabrina sliced the potatoes but they were very uneven. She has no idea what she was doing, but the point was to learn so she was treating it like a class at the Academy.:: ::David glanced down and found what he was looking for, a couple of small empty cans. Grabbed them, he went to the sink, turned the water extremely hot, and dumped both of the small cans to sterilize as he checked on the room temperature of the meat. Not quite yet…:: ::Coming back to the sink, David grabbed a towel, removed the smoking hot cans, and took them back to the cutting board station.:: Cody: Let those cool off a moment, then you’ll want to stuff those potatoes into both cans. Add a little parsley, a dash of sour cream into the mash first. ::chuckling:: It’s an au gratin recipe I came across years ago. Holly: If you say so. So the reason I asked you to join me tonight... ::Turning around, David grabbed some butter and spooned a small scoop onto the vegetables simmering in the pan. A dash of salt, a dash of both black pepper, oregano and cayenne… David smelled the flavor beginning to develop and smiled.:: Cody: Go ahead, I’m used to cooking and talking. What’s on your mind? ::Sabrina thought about it, the words just weren’t rolling out of her mouth. She wasn't used to asking people for help, so asking a Commander for help was really hard for her.:: Holly: I’m not very good at this, but um...I wanted to ask you for your help. I know I’m not the best Command choice, but I’d like to be. ::Perfect… the vegetables were simmering nicely and glancing back, David saw Sabrina mashing the potatoes into those small aluminum cans and smiled. Checking the oven temperature, he made a slight adjustment before finding a jar of whole black peppers. Swiping it, he returned to the rib and began studding the meat with peppercorns back at the station. He glanced up into Sabrina’s eyes with a wink and smile.:: Cody: What do you think are the qualifiers are for being a Commanding Officer? ::glancing at the potatoes:: How are you doing stuffing those cans? Holly: Diplomatic skill, leading away missions that actually manage to complete the missions that don’t get most of the team killed, and proving to be a leader. However if this mission proved anything, its that I’m not as ready for Command as I hoped. ::Sabrina stuffed the potatoes into the cans. Prendar and Selene had given her a lot to think about and she still hadn’t fully processed everything.:: Cody: Command… is just like cooking. Holly: Oh? ::Checking on the vegetables, David made a couple of adjustments before taking the potatoes stuffed in two cans, dumped them onto a sheet, and stuck them in the oven, setting a timer.:: Cody: Think about it like this. You’re given (x) ingredients to accomplish a meal. So you get the vegetables set up and let them do their thing, keeping an eye on how they’re developing because you may have to make a few adjustments here and there. You do the same with the potatoes, as well as the meat. The trick is making minor tweaks here and there while they do what they do best, keeping everything steered to the end result, what you’re going to put on the plate. ::grinning:: That is what command is all about, Sabrina. The ability to manage what you’ve set forth, knowing you’re going to have to make adjustments along the way. If you trust your ingredients, and add the right amount of herbs and spice with a few tweaks here and there… you end up with an excellent meal at the end. Try and turn them into something they’re not meant to be… your meal is a disaster you end up having to toss into the incinerator, and start over. ::Cody’s analogy actually made sense to Sabrina, and oddly enough it made Sabrina want to replicate a cookbook and teach herself how to cook. Maybe she could get Kani to teach her to cook if nothing else.:: Holly: That makes sense, I’m following you so far. Cody: Now… let’s say the vegetables aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and somehow get stuck halfway. That tells me I have to go in, see what isn’t working, add some stuff to get it rekindled and back on track. ::winking:: You use what you have on hand and make the best of it, knowing you have to steer it here and there. The trick is recognizing when it needs to happen. Most of the time, your ingredients know what they’re doing. And if you pay attention and listen, you add or subtract as needed. Holly: Okay that last part sounded a bit silly when applied to cooking. ::David barked a laugh.:: Cody: Same applies to an orchestra, if you like music. You have all these different instruments. Your job is to make them shine, both individually and collaboratively. It’s all about learning when and when not to act before everything spins into a disaster. Holly: I guess that makes sense. Oh yea, after our last meeting I read your file. I felt a little embarrassed taking that meeting unprepared, and didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. ::Sabrina looked at Cody. She had managed to get a dinner with him but for some reason she couldn’t get five minutes alone with her own boyfriend and she wasn't too happy about that.:: ::Leveling her a long stare, David raised a hand.:: Cody: Let me finish your question and we'll get to that, okay? Holly: Alright. Cody: Now... the more you get to know your ingredients, you'll realize the various combinations are going to develop interesting and different flavors. That's not a bad thing. If anything, you want to see what those flavors develop and add to the meal at the end. Unique flavors are always encouraged when they develop, because they can add an unique spice to the meal you're preparing. But... don't let them get out of control, either. Holly: That makes sense. Now I kinda want cooking lessons. ::With everything simmering and baking to the end, David took the meat and set it on the heated pan, searing one side, then the other.:: Cody: And then we get to the grand finale... that final touch which makes the experience memorable. ::Taking the pan of seared meat, David removed it from the stove and shoved it into the oven for a few minutes, then pulled it out.:: Holly: Kind of like a promotion banquet as the final touch on a grueling mission in the middle of nowhere? Cody: Yep. ::Spinning around, David took a padded pot holder, removed the vegetables, and set them aside to rest. He pulled the oven open, removed the canned potatoes au gratin, setting both of them aside to cool. While letting them rest, he went and extracted two good plates, a pair of napkins, and silverware for two place settings.:: ::Plates on one of the side tables, David plated the vegetables first, then dumped the potatoes out of their tubes, two logs, then took a carving knife and went over to slice thin slices of medium rare prime rib, laying all of the ingredients on the plate for final presentation.:: Cody: You could replicate a meal, and sure, it might have the same taste... but if you go directly from point A to point Z, ::with a direct stare:: you miss the experience of the journey that gets us there. And, you don't learn how to multi-task. Many up and coming Command officers mistake multitasking for micro-managing. Your job is to multi-task, with however many dishes you've got in the works. Not micro-manage them. Holly: The journey...I guess I lost sight of that, there was my first mistake. ::Sabrina realized that she had stopped focusing on the journey somewhere after seeing Gwen die on the Atlantis. She was going to lose officers on the job, it came with the territory but she had to remember that she couldn't lose sight of the journey no matter the destination.:: Holly: Shall we take this delightful meal to the dining room? ::David's crooked smile formed as he grabbed the plates.:: Cody: Let's eat. If you wouldn't mind grabbing the napkins and silverware, I'd appreciate the help. Holly: No problem. ::As such, teamwork from beginning to end. David led Sabrina back into the dining area and set the plates down before considering.:: Cody: One sec. ::He disappeared back into the kitchen briefly, and re-emerged with two wine glasses and a bottle of 2373 Picard Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a corkscrew. He set one of the glasses at Holly's seat, the other at his place setting, popped the cork, sniffed, then poured her 1/3 of a glass as well as himself.:: Cody: ::feeling a sense of relaxation:: With the final embellishing touch. ::Sabrina tilted her head, if she didn’t know any better this felt a little more like a first date then a casual dinner the casual dinner with a coworker that it was supposed to be. Though Sabrina noted that that was mostly her fault for not realizing that he didn’t like replicated food in the first place.:: Holly: So Commander what are we toasting to? ::Coming around, David slid into the seat, unfolded the napkin to set it in his lap, and toasted the wine glass.:: Cody: A toast to your eventual success as a command officer. ::taking a small sip:: So... what else would you like to talk about? ::Sabrina toasted her glass and took a sip herself. She liked having someone she could talk to. She would have love to have this chat with Cassie or someone who was in the Temple but other than Cody and the Captain she was pretty sure Prendar was the only one with the right clearances to talk to about this kind of thing.:: Holly: Something on the planet actually...the Temple hologram called itself the Warden and said something that was kind of bizarre when I tried to ascertain its purpose. ::Sabrina thought back to the conversation in the Temple. She wanted to word it just right so she choose her next words carefully.:: Cody: ::with one raised brow:: Oh? Holly: The hologram said it was a caretaker maintaining a synchronized connection to its assigned waystation points within this galaxy and that it was not at liberty discuss anymore about its operations besides that. I’m fairly certain it’s relevant to the mission, I’m just not sure how. Do you think the Captain would know what the hologram was talking about? ::Sabrina looked at Cody for a reaction and a response. All of the people in the Temple had been just as confused as she was. The difference between them and her, they probably would think little of it and Sabrina wanted to know what relevance it held to their original mission.:: ::Well, if nothing else, that confirmed something David postulated to himself. Revealing nothing, he ate a bit and took another sip of wine as he considered this new influx of information. So... the Waystations were Yeltan in origin. While he was doing research, David didn't pay too much attention to the symbols already logged from the other two places. He meant to do that later, but he felt a tug of familiarity.:: Cody: Well, you've been read into why we went to Sigarus III. What do you think? Holly: I think it means that there could be Yeltan waystations in our galaxy that could hold Yeltan secrets, possibly even gates and if that’s accurate then we need to find and close them before the Hunger figure this out and use it against us. ::David eyed her a moment, assessing what Sabrina said.:: Cody: I have to admit I'm curious why you would ask me. I wasn't a part of the away team and didn't get a chance to look at the temple or converse with Bashir about the symbols. Holly: I’m asking you because frankly as far as Command level officers, even on a ship this big are kind of limited and I’ve read your file, its colorful to say the least. The people high enough on the chain of Command I think I am actually allowed to ask about this are you, the Captain, and Commander Prendar. I do intend to bring it up with them, but you were first on the list mostly because out of the three I think you’re the least mad at me right now. ::Sabrina wasn’t usually this nervous but she’d never been confronted with classified anything before. If the hologram deemed it classified she didn't want to be discussing it with the Ensigns who were in the Temple with her, she wanted it a bit higher up on the chain of command.:: ::David indicated the food as he continued to eat as he contemplated this.:: Cody: Tell you what. The room here isn’t secured for this kind of conversation, and I don’t have the tools on hand I would need to secure this place. If you’d like to discuss aspects of this mission, I would prefer to have that conversation in a place I can secure without ears listening in. Holly: Fair enough. Cody: How did the plate turn out? Holly: Really good, thank you. ::They continued eating until they finished. David stood and collected the dishes, indicating Sabrina to follow.:: ::Leading her back into the kitchen, David began cleaning up, washing the dishes, putting ingredients away, wiping the counters, sweeping up. As he would on any given night if he were cooking for himself.:: ::Sabrina followed Cody, the indication that they needed a more secure room the the Command dinning room was a shallow indication of just how classified the information she was requesting actually was.:: Holly: Any other Command tips for me? Cody: There’s one last thing I can teach you about command. Holly: I’m all ears. ::Whirling, David took her hand, spun her as if they were dancing a Waltz, before bringing her close, their mouths inches apart.:: Cody: ::whispering:: At any given moment, a curveball can happen. Before a blink, and this close. Prendar took you through one aspect. Now you’re in a complete opposite situation. Remember, a kiss can be just as deadly as a blade. ::Sabrina felt her heart racing, she really did feel like this was a date more now than it did as they sat down to dinner a few moments ago. Sabrina didn't know how to respond.:: ::He stepped back, breaking off all physical contact with a nod of respect.:: Holly: Um… ::Sabrina locked eyes with Cody as she stood against the counter. She had almost wanted to kiss him a second ago, and if he hadn’t pulled away she may have. That would have led to an awkward conversation with Jason later.:: Holly: So you said something about wanting a secure location, my office, yours or do you have another location in mind? ::David narrowed his blue gaze as a knowing smile flashed.:: Cody: ::softly:: Where is your head at right now, Commander? And be honest. A lie you tell yourself is a lie you'll tell someone else. Holly: I would say cloud nine wondering if you’re making a pass at me Commander. ::Sabrina couldn't believe she had just vocalized it, but there it was. He was the one being flirty after all. Sabrina just didn’t know how to feel about it.:: Cody: ::gentle:: And how did it make you feel? Holly: Awkward would be the word for it seeing that I’m already in a relationship and that you’re my acting mentor. ::Sabrina had to sort out the rest of her feelings, but she didn't want to do that right now. Maybe an actual counseling session with either Mellie or Kani would help..she could probably use one of those after this mission anyway.:: Cody: Sabrina… ::smiling:: Holly: Yes? Cody: The point of the exercise is you need to guard your heart. I’m not going to say there is or isn’t an attraction. First and foremost, I am your friend, and your mentor. I have never, in my entire run in Starfleet, ever abused my power, nor ever will. I play by a very strict code... but the truth is any romantic interests in my life usually become targets. ::smiling and crinkling his eyes:: I’m damaged goods. ::Sabrina met his eyes. There was chemistry, it was almost undeniable, but she had a boyfriend who she cared for deeply. He was safe, the kind of family man she had dreamed of her whole life. Sabrina didn't know why Cody had flirted as he did only to explain himself like that, but in a way she was glad he did.:: Holly: I...don't believe you’re damaged, maybe you just need the right girl. ::The right girl… David nearly laughed. He knew exactly what he was. A father, a bachelor, a man who was considered a legend by some, but no one really knew outside of a few people who shaped and forged him into what he became. He had yet to meet the woman who understood and accepted him for who he was.:: ::Sabrina would find her way. He treasured being her mentor, and admitted to himself, deep within himself, yes, the chemistry was there… but for all he knew, he might end up in an unmarked grave. A hornet’s nest of extremely powerful people with far reach were out there.:: Cody: I’ve seen several potential candidates lead by the heart. It only lasts so long. This is the final lesson you need to learn. The mind must lead the heart, not the other way around. If the wrong person gets inside your heart… ::Stepping back in, David gave Sabrina a hug, and a fast lightning kiss.:: Cody: ::whispering:: Go back to your boyfriend, and think about what just happened tonight. ::Sabrina saw the truth in his eyes, he honestly believed what he was saying to her. Sabrina smiled at him, the kiss still lingered on her lips. She would have to explain that to Jason, and tell him that she was kissed by a Commander...and that she wasn’t sure how she felt about it just yet.:: Holly: Yes sir…I...should go… ::Almost unwillingly Sabrina gave David one last smile before leaving the kitchen. She wanted to catch some shut eye now that the hard stuff was out of the way, though she would have to make an appointment with David so they could have that other chat.:: Cody: ::calling out:: One last thing. Do not, under any circumstance, take a bullet for me. Holly: I would put myself on the line for you or any other officer I serve with, for the good of Starfleet. It comes with the job, David. ::His words made even less sense, through it all she just wanted to go to her quarters and cuddle Princess Cupcake the one person she could love unconditionally.:: Cody: ::shaking his head:: I made my bed a long time ago. ::the soft, unrevealed smile came out, usually hidden from decades of sorrow, painful experiences:: Remember what I’ve taught you, and steel your heart. Your boyfriend is a lucky man. Don’t let go of him. Holly: :: Meekly :: Even you can be saved. Cody: ::an exhausted, sad smile:: I go to bed every night with that thought. Whether it’s true or not, that’s a different story. ::Sabrina didn’t even wait for him to stop her again, he had confused her enough for one night. Departing the kitchen, she left for her quarters. Her eyes had already started watering and she couldn’t help but feel conflicted that she had cheated on her boyfriend only to be told that the man who had just kissed her wanted nothing to do with her and wanted her to stay with her current boyfriend. She had no idea how Jason would react, if he reacted at all and even if their relationship did survive, would it ever be the same?:: ::After she left, David slumped against the counter and closed his eyes. He never hated himself more than just now. He remained there, quiet and disgusted with himself, hearing the hums of engines and the quiet space of the kitchen along with the dining area. A lightning flash within his memory from earlier today ghosted.:: Cody: Doesn’t make your job any easier. ::a moment:: If it matters, I think most understand you’re just doing your job. Prendar: ::chuckling:: Very few think that. I think I’ve been mostly described as a [...]. ::Right now, David felt like one. And he deserved it.:: JP by Lieutenant Commander Sabrina Holly Executive Officer USS Athena NCC-97780 E239101AJo & Commander David Cody Mission Specialist USS Athena, NCC-97780 P237106MB0
  10. Lt. Aria Oddas: Vulcan Calvary (( USS Bronwyn, Bridge )) oO You? Great, some sort of ship is out there stalking them. Oo :: It seemed the feeling of unease was justified. :: T’Mihn: Thank you for the sensor adjustments. =/\= Thunder, Egon Spangler found a class five floating canine phantasm. =/\= oO What the heck was all of that about? That can't be an actual sentence. Oo Turner: =/\=Do what? :: pause ::Say Again! =/\= Tiran: If it is the Tal Shiar, the speed is a rational choice. They are traveling at a lower warp speed to avoid detection. If we hadn’t made the sensor refinements, they’d be on top of us without us noticing at all. T’Mihn: Question is, what or whom is their target ,and were they aware of the other vessels demise. I'm guessing they are aware and they weren't theirs or they'd be here weapons shooting in revenge. :: The Commander looked towards the Romulans as if they were going to give some more information. :: Bridge: Response :: The Romulans looked uncomfortable and Aria understood it to a point. There were Bajoran separatists after all and it was never pleasant to talk about them with outsiders. Bajor, of course, had its own history with the Romulans from the Dominion war. It wasn't always pretty but it wasn't as hostile as it appeared to be from some people on the bridge. :: T'Mihn: If Til'ahn is their target, we give them a new one. Oddas: Commander, if I may, our previous plan with the Tachyon scan is still queued up and ready to go. If we were to focus that on the cloaked ships, not only should it knock their weapons offline it should blind their sensors. We maybe able to deploy sensor buoys and make it appear that there are several other craft in formation with us. Bridge: Response T'Mihn: An idea to increase our numbers. Oddas: That's the idea, if the plan succeeds we'd have several minutes before they can cut through the sensor confusion and we'd be able to maneuver and attack at will. Bridge: Response :: The bridge erupted in more alerts and sounds, most of them tactical from the sound of it, as if they needed more tactical news to deal with. For not the first time this mission Aria wondered if she should have become something other than an Engineer, something other than the one responsible for just putting the ship back together when everything went to heck. She leaned on her station and looked at the screen someone had changed to focus on the new source of the new alerts. She saw a ship that was vaguely familiar, the way something out of an ancient text or history text was familiar. She couldn't quite Oddas: What in the name of the prophets is that? :: she blushed a bit when she realized she was speaking speaking out loud. Most humans, and other members of the Federation for that matter, spoke well of being accepting of various religious beliefs, but she had found they preferred it when you kept it to yourself. :: Bridge: Response oO Since when do Vulcans maintain their own warships? Isn't their official government position one of pacifism? Oo Oddas: I'm guessing they are on our side? Three to five is a bit better odds than two to five, especially if that thing is armed the way I imagine .... :: There was a a logic in not sending out a craft like that if you weren't going to arm it to the teeth. Perverse logic, but logic. Oddas had met quite a few Vulcans in her academy classes, it was probably why she was so surprised by the Vulcans she kept running into at the Embassy. The Vulcans drawn to Engineering seemed to be drawn to the logic of machines and the way they fit together to form a working system. Vulcans seemed to view machinery as a puzzle that could be solved, much as Aria did. Of course, they seemed to differ a lot to when Aria would mash unrelated things together to get something brand new or unexpected, even her logical instructors were sometimes caught off guard during training exercises when they found themselves admitting her way would work, even if it wasn't what they had expected. She had liked her Vulcan peers and instructors, they often forced her to calm down and remember that she was in a position to do things right and the people around her were not there to make her like harder. Indeed they had often reminded her that the people around her wanted her to succeed. She knew this new Vulcan ship would be out there and it would be loaded for to help the Bronwyn accomplish its mission, that would be its logical, driven, purpose. :: Bridge: Response Oddas: If we can coordinate our plan with the Vulcan cruiser we potentially have the ability to knock out most of the warbirds, especially if they stay in the sensor shadows. We can help make sure the rescue team has as clean a getaway as possible. Bridge: Response TAG, TBC Lieutenant Oddas Aria Chief Engineering Officer Duronis II Embassy - USS Thunder-A - 70605-A ID number: E239305OA0
  11. ((Sickbay - Back offices - USS Constitution-) ::His eyes snapped open, and his body pitched backwards gasping for a breath of air that he didn't need. In the moments it took for his program to realign itself from maintenance mode into full power mode, Mark felt his entire holographic body shake. His visual imputs hadn't fully rebooted and all he could see was phaser fire, all he could hear was the horrific, murderous scream of Vrin Dakrevi as she died. His hands clenched, and his body tensed as his program tried desperately to reassert logic and clarity to his matrix. Too bad no one ever told Mark Two that logic and sentience rarely went together. When all was said and done, his legs had given out from underneath him; not from malaise, but from memory. A reaction that was engrained from the human thoughts imprinted on his psyche and manifested through sheer power of thought. His form flickered slightly as his mind tried to sort out where he was and what was happening. This was sickbay. It was dark. He was alone. Limbs quavering, Mark slowly regained his feet and pulled himself to a standing position. What now? Holograms weren't supposed to be afraid, and they most certainly didn't have nightmares. Technically he didn't even sleep; but his downtime data processing and automatic maintenance cycles had a curiously similar effect; a chance for his subconscious mind to wander. While the computer part of his being was occupied with standardized base processes, the human imprint on this program, that what gave him sentience was allowed to wander freely. And lately it always seemed to wander into dark areas. Frustratingly enough Mark was very ill-equipped to deal with such terrors. He was born into a strange world where his predecessor had been a murdering monster of a program; and where the chief engineer of the ship he was activated on had been on a mission to deactivate and delete him. From there it had been a strange and often terrifying ride into the unknown. Worse he had the life experience time-wise that amounted to little more than an infant; but the mental processes of a fully grown adult. A standard EMH had little problem with this dichotomy. Without frustrating emotions and human memories the time from activation to current was merely considered 'run time.' But for Mark it was a constantly frustrating mix of impulses that he could barely keep up with. He found himself pacing in the darkened back offices until a shred of light pierced his vision. Valis: Mark? Is that you? Are you back there? ::he waffled on his response for a few seconds before sputtering out:: Mark Two: Uhm, yes? I was going through my maintenance cycles... Valis:: with a chuckle:: you mean you were sleeping? ::Mark cracked a smile. Of anybody, Valis was one of the people who most frequently referred to everything he did in 'living people' terms:: Mark Two: Yeah, sleeping. ::he ventured towards the light.:: ::The big blue Bolian orderly took a step backwards:: Valis: Whoah, Mark, you look like you seen a ghost! Mark Two: ::he blinked. Could his holographic body really register such physical changes? Then again he wasn't particularly surprised, his holographic form registered some pretty strange things when stress was concerned.:: I, uh... maybe? ::Valis canted his head at the hologram, his hairless brows furrowing in confusion at the weak tone:: Valis: Maybe? ::beat:: Mark, are you alright? Mark: ::Clearly lying:: Yep, fine! Good! In one piece, see? Never better! ::He headed past Valis and towards the door.:: ::The big blue orderly sighed and caught the holo-doc by the arm:: Valis: Mark, get back here. ::He fixed an even gaze at the wide blue holographic eyes:: You're a terrible liar. Tell me what's really going on. ::Mark's lower lip trembled as an all-too-human blush rose up from his neck to his cheeks:: Mark Two: I..I..I... ::meekly:: nothing! ::The usually cheerful Bolian had just about had enough, as he dragged Mark towards the light as if to emphasize his displeasure with the one-two punch of 'see my face, this is an angry face' coupled with the reminder that Valis was six inches taller than Mark:: Valis: Nothing my [...], Mark. You're been strange for weeks. Stranger than normal. What is going on? ::Mark flopped backwards like a ragdoll as he was pulled. It didn't hurt - it never did. Ok, wrong. It did when phasers were involved. Or at least the closest thing that holograms could equate to pain (and it was horrible no matter what). But this was just physical movement. The sentient EMH wavered in his stance, his brain clicking through the possibilities. Did he admit to his trouble? He couldn't lie - that much was wholly clear. His skill at lying was terrible. That left either the admission of the truth or keeping his mouth shut. How could he possibly admit that he was a hologram that had nightmares and hangups about a dead serial killer? Would they reprogram him? A mechanical lobotomy? Laugh at him? Disbelieve him?:: Valis: Tell me. ::He repeated in a tone that was altogether too serious.:: Mark Two: ::Mark's mouth dribbled open and words started to pour out like water down a child's slide in the middle of a monsoon:: So back when Dakrevi stabbed Sorenson I went in and I know you told me not to and you were so right, but I wanted to help and I wanted to be useful so I tried to stop her from killing people again, but she was terrible and said she lived to kill so when we came out I told the security people to shoot her and she said she would kill me and I said I was a hologram and they should still shoot, and so they did, but they shot me as well as her and the smell was awful like burning flesh and teeth and stuff and the phasers hit my core matrix and internal emitter and disrupted it and it felt awful and I can't feel pain but it was awful and I can't forget it and every time I do my maintenance cycle it all comes back and I can't forget it! ::Mark didn't need to breathe and his torrent of words made that especially clear. Valis took a step back, dropping the EMH to the ground and blinking slightly:: Valis: So... you mean... you're having nightmares? Mark Two: ::in a tiny voice:: yes. ::Valis sighed a world-weary sigh.:: Valis: Go see a counselor. Mark Two: They don't make holographic counselors. Valis: ::furrowing his bald brows:: Sure they do. Go to the holodeck and call one up. Mark Two: ::He took a step back, throwing his hands in the air:: But those are still counselors programmed to, you know, counsel humans! Living things! Not holograms! Valis: ::Through clenched teeth:: Mark, nightmares are a living-thing reaction. Go see a counselor. Mark Two: ::He slumped backwards with a undefined little whine:: I can't. At least not now. Valis: Why not? Mark Two: Because the holodecks are all offline because of the repair issues. The only reason I'm still running is because I have an isolated power source. ::It was Liani's last blessing she gave to him, the ability to control when he could be turned on and off, separate from the ship or anybody else's command:: ::Valis scratched his head, thinking the situation over. In his mind things like this were very simple: have problem? Get help.:: Valis: Then go see a real counselor. You know, a living breathing one. I'm sure someone will see you. Mark Two: Really? Valis: Yes really. ::He pulled Mark out of the darkened room and into the lights of the main sickbay.:: They counsel crew members. Last time I checked you were a registered EMH, and therefore a crew member. ::The lanky blonde hologram wavered on his feet, shifting back and forth, unwilling to move from his firmly planted position:: Mark Two: Are you sure? Valis: ::Turning, his voice pointed:: Are you scared? Mark Two: ::flustered:: Well... yes. Valis: Do you want to get better? Mark Two: ... yes Valis: ::no nonsense:: Then do it or I will make the appointment for you. ::Mark let his jaw drop in a very nice impersonation of a petulant child that just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar:: Mark Two: I can do it on my own... ::Valis smirked. Mark was a chaotic intelligence, but a fairly easy one to manipulate. He had all the naiveté and gullibility of a child, which made him fairly easy to navigate around.:: Valis: Ok, do it. ::He pointed at the computer panel:: Do it now. ::Mark sighed and plodded over. Valis had played him well and now he was stuck. The counselor request process was startlingly easy - possibly because most people hated seeing counselors so they deliberately removed any roadblocks to making an appointment. It was over almost before it began.:: Valis: When's the appointment? ::he was quick to ask:: Mark Two: Tomorrow at 1400... ::Looking back in a jerky manner:: Uhm, why do you need to know? ::He trailed off, feeling like he had been duped.:: Valis: Because I'm going to make sure you go. ::Mark sighed and let his shoulders slump. He didn't want to go; he really didn't - but now Valis was going to make him accountable for going.:: Mark Two: ::irritated and sarcastic:: Thanks. ::A frown:: Valis: ::Brightly:: You're welcome - that's what friends are for! ~*~ tbc ~*~ pNPC Mark Two Emergency Medical Hologram Mark II USS Constitution-B Simmed by: Wyn Foster
  12. (( Earth – Mr Chongs food palace, Shanghai )) :: Things had escalated quickly, to the point where the trio of commanders were left with a serious dilemma. Ess found herself wondering what Weston would do under these circumstances. Or Kells. :: Gunman: You! American spy! Hael: That ain’t good.. I mean.. No. :: Ess heard Foster groan at Hael's response. :: Gunman: You, stop talking! Hael: I ain’ to good at that un’r pressure. :: Tension levels in the restaurant were rising to the point where they were nearly ready to snap when Rustyy spoke again.:: Hael: So… I’m’a :: Raising his voice over the noises that hadn't stopped.:: Goin’ that’a way! :: He pointed towards the front door:: Ya’ll can call me when ya can! :: It was about to happen. Ess didn't know exactly what Hael had in mind, but every standoff had a point where something snapped, and in this case it turned out to be Hael charging the gunman. The sudden commotion brought everyone in the restaurant to their feet and Ess couldn't see what was going on over their heads. There was a gunshot, followed by an acrid smell, and someone was running through the restaurant nearby. :: Williams: That way! We should be safe in there! Sinda: Are we all in one piece? Foster: Well, I'm not shot yet. I thought policemen were supposed to be the good guys... Williams: The police is probably looking for crime cartels. Given the status of this place it’s safe to say Mr Chong has deep pockets, if you get me. All the more reason to skip dinner and get going. This place will be crowded with cops soon. Foster: If we want to make a break for it, now would be a good time. :: Ess followed Williams as the taller man as he forced his way through the crowd towards the kitchens. They were already empty, pans and spilled food scattered across the floor, and the wide open rear door indicated the cooks had had the same idea as the officers.The backyard was covered in walls with high fences on top and a small metal door led to a small alley. Alex took the lead and ran towards the door, his gun still in his hand:: Williams: Careful, where not out of harm’s way just yet. This side of town looks like the underground. Gang territory. Sinda: Okay, take it slow. Hopefully your uniform will be enough to scare off any would be muggers. Let's put some distance between us and Chong's. Foster: Right. ::They slid through the maze of alleys for several minutes, seeing nothing more threatening than a couple of stray dogs. Seemingly alone, they came to a stop in small courtyard strung with washing lines and damp laundry, and Ess lifted the pendant on her necklace, squeezing the small gemstone. She was rewarded with the familiar sound of a Federation communicator. :: Sinda: =/\= Hael, speak to me. =/\= Hael: =/\= I’m’a alive… :: He whined… :: Fer now. =/\= :: Ess closed her eyes and let out a sigh. :: Sinda: =/\= Thank the Prophets for that! =/\= Foster: =/\= Are you hurt? =/\= Hael: =/\= No, but I drank a lot of water… =/\= Foster: =/\= ... =/\= ::His jaw lolled open a little:: =/\= Sea water? Are you kidding me? =/\= Hael: =/\= I think I threw up ev’r’thin’ I ate since last week. =/\= Foster: =/\= Yeah, well keep throwing up. That's probably the best thing you can do right now and sit tight until I can get to you. =/\= :: Ess grimaced. She'd caught the smell of the ocean as they'd entered the city and even at that distance her Cardassian senses could detect the odour of rot and decay mixed in with the brine. Behind her Williams made a gagging sound. :: Williams: BURP! Sinda: =/\= Agreed, we'll come and find you. Are you safe where you are? =/\= Hael: =/\= Yea’ I be good fer now. You good? =/\= Foster: =/\= We're alive. Enough. =/\= Williams: ::joining the conversation:: =/\= You know where you are? =/\= Hael: =/\= ? =/\= Williams: =/\= Might be a good spot to look for a ship or supplies. Anything interesting sight Mr Hael? =/\= Hael: =/\= ? =/\= Sinda: =/\= Keep out of site, we're on our way. When we get close I'll contact you again, Hael, and you can guide us to your location. Sinda out. =/\= ::With the com closed It was time to regroup:: Foster: what now? Williams: Regroup, and lie low for the night. The police will be looking for Hael now. Foster: ::He shook his head:: Now everyone knows Rustyy's face. He's a liability, isn't he? Sinda: True. It's going to make things harder. We might well skip to plan B and find a ship to Singapore or Hong Kong. Williams: They will probably look for him in the main city. We might be safe in the docks. Sinda: You don't think the police will be patrolling the docks, too? Williams: On the contrary, with the police seeking Hael in the city they might pull some guards back from the ports. Giving us some more room to work. Sinda: In that case let's make the most of it. Williams: Your call commander ::looking at Sinda:: :: Essen sighed and ran a hand through her hair. They'd planned on keeping a low profile, not being the subject of a police manhunt. And now they were sneaking through stinking, muddy alleyways searching for a half-drowned Chief Engineer. She looked up at the half-moon hanging in the sky above the city - somewhere orbiting it was the Conny, and if they couldn't find what they were looking for, the ship would remain stranded. :: Sinda: We get out of here. Shanghai is too much of a danger for us now. We'll acquire a boat, as planned, but we're going to have to look for supplies elsewhere. I want us out of this city before sunrise. Williams: Alright, the docks should be that way. :: He pointed to the less illuminated part of the city. Ess sniffed the air, that same smell of fish rot and salt wafted from the direction Williams indicated. :: Sinda: The dark, smelly part? ::she sighed yet again:: Of course it is. Williams/Foster: ? :: As the trio moved on. Ess found herself irrationally annoyed that her dress was pretty much ruined. :: Lieutenant-Commander Sinda EssenChief of Security/TacticalUSS Constitution-BR238401JT0
  13. ((Lt. Cmdr Luna Walker's quarters, USS Apollo A)) :: The pink haired woman thrashed on the bed, having sobbed herself into an unwilling doze. The pressure and pain of the last few weeks pulling her down into unconsciousness, shackling her to her fears. Her body told the tale, low moans of denial mixed with a thrashing that weren't quite sufficient to pull her from the nightmare. :: ((Nightmare-scape)) :: Luna looked around with panic in her eyes. Her wrists and ankles were bound tightly enough that even her vulcanoid heritage wouldn't free her. It didn't stop her from struggling, she'd gotten out of tougher spots than this... Finally, exhausted, she looked around the room. It smelled harshly of cleaning fluids, with tile on the floor and a drain in the center. She closed her eyes and refused to imagine what would flow down that drain, and struggled again against her bonds but to no avail. She noticed a Tal'Shiar officer walk into the room. The uniform, attitude and cursed ring on his hand. She pulled more against her bonds in sudden fear. :: Faceless Tal'Shair: :: Applauding slowly:: Yes, quite good Lluneh, struggle as fiercely as you should. I can promise you, that it will only get worse from here. :: She felt a spike of fear and dread as she faced him, but licked her lips and tried to play it off as nothing. :: Walker: Well I have to say, this is the worst day spa I've ever been to. I mean the conditions here are app...OW! :: Despite her attitude, or because of it, the romulan had moved forward to slap her hard enough to make her teeth rattle. :: Faceless Tal'Shair: Child, I feel I should explain something. And I'll use small words. :: She started to speak, to tell him off, but he raised his fist to hit her again... and she couldn't. She tried.. she tried mouthing off in any of the ways she knew.. but the fear overwhelmed her. All that happened was her cringing away from the blow and mewling in fear. His smile was darkly pleased, and instead he patted her on the cheek.. making her flesh crawl as she found herself grateful that he'd not hit her. :: Faceless Tal'Shair: Good.. even a mongrel like you can be taught her place. Now, I'm sure you are thinking that you only have to hold out for awhile. That in not too long at all.. someone from Starfleet is going to break down that door and save you. :: He smiled, and turned to watch the door. :: Any minute now... Oh.. that's odd... it looks like no one is coming after all. :: Something in her snapped. The fear, the self loathing, all formed a perfect focus for her. She pulled her arm free, ignoring the pop as bones in her hand disjointed with the effort and slammed her fist into the Tal'Shiar's face. He fell without a sound, and she quickly untied herself. She was free! In moments she was running to and through the door... :: :: The room she ran into was a mirror of the one she'd left... down to the broken strap.. turning.. there was no longer a door there.. only a wall. When the faceless Tal'Shair came into the room.. she felt the strength go out of her legs.. dropping her to the floor. :: Faceless Tal'Shair: There's no where to go Lluneh.. no scenario you can break free. No one who knows where to find you even if they cared to do so. The only question is... how much pain do I get to give you before you get back into your chair? :: It was too much... too much to take.. no way out.. no way... The Tal'Shiar loosened the whip at his side, a neural whip.. enough to flay her nerves raw without ever hurting her flesh. It sparked as it activated.. and almost of it's own volition.. her body moved toward the chair. :: Faceless Tal'Shair: Good girl Lluneh. And just think.. if not for you.. I wouldn't be here. We are going to have such a very long talk won't we. :: Suddenly she could see his face... her brother's face. It was twisted with an evil energy and intent.. She squirmed back in the chair.. shaking her head in denial. :: Luna Walker: No.. no no no no no! Not you.. can't be.. you wouldn't.. couldn't... it's.. it's NOT POSSIBLE!! :: A sardonic smile crossed his lips, a dark look of amusement that she'd never before have imagined on his face. :: Ben Walker: Oh but it is little Lluneh, and all thanks to you. I went down to rescue you.. and you.. :: he paused.. as if puzzled:: you.. did nothing and left me behind. :: He laughed, sending chills up her spine. : But that's not all is it? You also lost Kali.. who is the only person who you might have convinced to come after me... and then lost your ship! And best yet.. when it happened again.. when an Admiral was in a position you could stop his death... you failed. No wonder you were given to us. :: A look of horror and loss flowed over her features, her bonds going slack beneath her. :: Luna Walker: What...what did you say? :: He smiled jovially, as if two close friends sharing something far too humorous to contain:: Ben Walker: You don't remember? Starfleet GAVE you to us. They said you were less of a threat to them with us, then with them. Now, enough reminiscing... let's get started shall we? :: She didn't even feel the first lash of the whip, but screamed anyway. Screamed in fear and confusion and loss. :: ((Luna's quarters, USS Apollo-A)) :: Her own scream woke her, not fully..but enough to recognize she was trapped. She pulled and tore the blankets before launching herself across the room, crashing into a table. She couldn't stop screaming.. the nightmare too real.. too visceral to deny. Long moments passed as she pulled herself back together, recognizing the nightmare for what it was. Licking her lips, she focused.. calming herself.. yes. she'd been captured and tortured by the Tal'Shiar.. but not by Ben. He'd asked to be left behind with them... not been abandoned. And she was at least mostly sure that Admiral Jaxx's death wouldn't be at her feet. She'd tried everything within the regs.. and a bit beyond.. hadn't she? :: ~fin for now.. Lt. Cmdr Luna Walker Mad Queen of Quarters USS Apollo-A
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