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  1. (Shuttle bay- USS Discovery-C) ::Mitchell awoke with a start and a throbbing head. As he tried to get his head to stop throbbing, he felt his hand hit something and then the sound of hollow glass rolling across a deck.:: oO Ugh! My head hurts…Oo ::He slowly opened his eyes and found wherever he was, it was brilliantly lit. He let his eyes focus, and found himself looking out at open space. As panic started to set in, he noticed the wavering effect of a mag-con field in place. That meant he was in a shuttle bay and a Starfleet one at that. He pushed himself to his feet and fell back on his face. Groaning, he rolled over and spotted the massive logo of the USS Discovery-C painted there.:: oO That giant eagle Tyr put up there is still scary…Oo ::Before he got to his feet, he noticed the empty whiskey bottle he had knocked when he woke up. That brought back a flash of last night…:: oO I was sitting there with Perin…I made an [...] of myself and started an argument…Oo ::He forced himself to his feet and stumbled to the bay’s exit. Lucky for him his quarters were only one deck up and a short distance around the saucer’s curve thanks to the old days when he was XO.:: oO Things got a little heated I think… I said at least a couple of things I will probably come to regret…Oo ::He stumbled into his old quarters which were still assigned to him for the duration of the special trip. He stripped off what looked like the stained remains of this dress white as he headed into the bathroom.:: oO She had it coming after all….she’s the one who left me and dropped out of contact…Oo ::After a long hot shower, he shaved carefully and felt a lot better than when woke up. He pulled on a pair of jeans since he’d only brought one duty uniform. He was pulling a long sleeve t-shirt over his head when he noticed another ship moving by outside. He recognized the familiar lines of an Akira class ship getting underway. And there was only one Akira in the system, the Thunder-A assigned as Embassy’s support ship.:: oO They put us in a parking orbit right in back of her but plenty clear. After all, an orbit pattern can only hold so many ships. I wonder where why she’s changing orbits at this hour…Wait, she’s leaving orbit..that’s weird. Oo ::Walking over to the replicator, he ordered up a mug of his preferred double strength mocha coffee blend in its travel mug with the Discovery’s logo on it, before setting in at the desk, as the flash of a warp translation reached his window.:: oO Was that the Thunder? Stranger and stranger…Ugh, I really don’t want to find out what exactly I did last night. But I better check on the ship. Oo ::He called up the ship’s s status reports and started going through them. Since he was one of the two people responsible for the ship on this run, and as far as he knew, Raj was still down on the surface, one of them had to take care of it. Everything looked ok and ready for departure when the time came.:: oO Well…she did a good job on the flyby. Nothing got broken and diving that far into atmo with a ship this big could break a lot if done wrong. Oo ::He was finishing off the last of the reports when Suddenly the sound of an incoming call on an open com line sounded.:: WALTAS: =/\= Waltas to Embassy senior staff, Commander Mitchell and Ambassador Ghyurn. Report to the Admiral’s residence immediately and take the Embassy to Red Alert status. =/\= oO Wha…what?? Oo ::He slammed the coffee down and ran and grabbed socks and his old flight boots. He pulled on the socks and the old boots with their special accessories of his old slug thrower and a spare magazine. He hadn’t worn these in quite a while, and felt like slipping into an old pair of slippers. He quickly dung through the track of discarded clothes on the floor and found his com badge.:: MITCHELL: Computer, one to beam directly to the Admiral’s residence. COMPUTER: Stand by….Command authorization needed… MITCHELL: ::tapping the com badge:: =/\= Mitchell to Waltas and Parker. Tyr, I need you, Toni’s or Major Parker’s authorization to beam down to the Admiral’s residence. =/\= PARKER: =/\= Where are you Commander?=/\= MITCHELL: =/\= I’m aboard the Discovery and Red Alert prevents beaming through the Embassy’s shields. =/\= PARKER: =/\= Roger Commander. Stand by.=/\=:: Tapping his commbadge again:: =/\= Computer.Command override for Commander Rode Mitchell. Authorization code Alpha Romeo Epsilon Baker Alpha.=/\= Commander Rode Mitchell Unassigned C238005RM0
  2. ((Kitchen - Waltas’ Residence)) :: After finding Tye had come visiting, Toni invited him into the kitchen where she was preparing breakfast in bed for Tyr.:: Turner: Have a seat at the bar and I'll pour you a cup of coffee. Tye: No thank you, Admiral. Turner: Your dad mention you were not acting like yourself yesterday. Are you not feeling well? Tye: No, I wasn’t. It’s difficult but,:: he lied:: perhaps you’re the best person to talk to. There’s this girl.. :: he paused:: this woman. Her name is Samantha. She works with the Security forces and we, well. Turner: Let me guess, you two broke up. Tye: ::Nodding:: Yes. Well, we broke up and.. I didn’t realize how much I felt for her. :: He pitched a crack of emotion into his voice, lowering his head and seeking sympathy. Turner, being the sympathetic woman she was, fell for it, hook line and sinker.:: Turner: Oh Tye, I'm really sorry to hear that. Tye: :: Head still down:: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to darken your day with my behavior. :: Taking a deep breath, he stood from the stool and stepped over to her.:: The reason I came over first thing this morning is that I realized how selfish I was last night. I wanted to apologize. Please, forgive me. Turner: :: Moving closer, giving him a motherly hug:: There's nothing to forgive, Tye. I understand your feelings more than you know. :: He stepped into her embrace, then gripped the sides of her head with both hands. All pretense of emotion gone, his eyes grew cold, the smile disappeared, and a searing darkness entered his voice.:: Tye: You are mine. Turner: :: Trying to break away:: Tye, what's wrong with you? Let go of me! :: He pushed hard against her formidable mind. This was no wet-behind-the-ears youth, and he found mastering her thoughts difficult. She attempted to cry out and he let go with his left hand, covering her mouth as he martial all of his mental acuity to the surface. He felt the love she had for his father, the confusion at the attack, and the realization as she saw who he really was.:: Sanuye: ::Smiling wickedly:: Yes..now you see me. But it’s too late. :: With one final, crippling push, he cast Toni’s mind into the darkness and imposed his will upon her. Instructions followed as he uncovered her mouth.:: Sanuye: You will board the Thunder with a minimal crew and set a course out of the system. You will tell no one. Especially your husband. Turner: When? Sanuye: Leave. Now. Turner: :: Something seemed all wrong, but her mind surrendered to his control, making it right.:: Alright. :: When he was satisfied she was firmly under his control, he broke the hold, feeling a rush of weakness from the effort. He watched her as she walked glassy-eyed to the comm panel and issued orders. :: Turner: =/\= Turner to T'Lea, Jorey, Frazier, and T'Leria meet me on the Thunder's Bridge immediately. We have to leave the system at once. Turner out! =/\= Break =/\= Turner to USS Thunder-A, Two to beam up now from my coordinates. :: Within a few moments, she and Sanuye disappeared in a transporter beam. The last thing heard in the now-empty kitchen was a cold, menacing chuckle, and the smell of burning biscuits.:: :: Plunged into the familiar setting of the Bridge, she went to work on his orders, not really knowing why or where they had come from.:: Turner: Pelzer plot a course out of the system, We'll leave as soon as Jorey, Frazier, T'Lea, and Doctor T'Leira are aboard. Pelzer: Yes, Ma'am. Any particular direction or destination? :: Now confused as to what to say, she glanced helplessly at Sanuye.:: Sanuye: From what you told me Admiral we would be given specific course headings once we reach the other side of the sandbar. Turner: Yes, that's correct. We won't know until we're underway. :: aggravated by her confusion:: Just follow the damn orders, Janzen. :: In all the years Kim Janzen had served under Admiral Turner, she had never been so short with her, and it seemed out of character for her to be so curt, but then it could be the mission they were embarking on that was infringing on her honeymoon. Given that, Kim dismissed it and plotted a course, then waited for the rest of the crew Toni had cited to come aboard. :: TBC Tag ~Toni Rear Admiral Toni Turner Commanding Officer Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A Author ID number: E238209TT0 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Turner,_Toni ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Executive Council Member Wiki Admins Team Featured Bio Team - Deputy Facilitator ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." ~ Roslynn Carter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  3. ((Bridge, USS Veritas, 0900 hours)) :: Mei’konda hadn’t gotten much sleep. It was hardly his first experience in assisting a starship’s departure on a mission, but this was the first time he’d felt this combination of excitement and anxiety. Excitement, because it’d been a year since his last deep space assignment. Anxiety, because of what was going on with Evan. :: :: He hadn’t had as much time to get to know the Bridge crew as he would have liked, but as he understood it, he’d have the better part of a month to get to know them while the Veritas traveled to Shadow’s Edge. Being limited to Warp 5 was going to be interesting. He’d settled at the Operations console, logged in, and spent the better part of the morning chatting quietly with Lieutenant Maravosh, the helmsman, as well as reconfiguring the console to his exact preferences. :: :: The Caitian’s ears rotated as the turbolift door slid open. He didn’t have to look in order to recognize Rahman’s footsteps, but still turned his seat and bobbed his head toward her. :: Rahman: Notify the station we are heading off on our way to Shadow's Edge. Blake: Aye, Captain. Flight plan logged. Esperance is standing by. :: Rahman’s eyes turned toward him. :: Rahman: Final pre-departure systems check please, Mr. Mei'konda. Mei'konda: Final pre-depaarture systems check. Aye, Captaain. :: Spinning his chair briskly back around, Mei’konda let his hands dance across the ops console as he began the automated level five diagnostics that would supplement the more intensive ones that the crew had been running, in preparation for departure. One by one, major systems blinked green on his screens. Moments later, he heard the telltale whistle of a shipwide announcement, and the Captain’s voice. :: Rahman: =/\= All hands, this is the captain. We are making way for Shadow's Edge. You've all done an excellent job getting the ship ready during this difficult transition. We're going to find answers, I promise you. =/\= :: Tradition. The Captain preparing the crew for this mission. Considering what had happened to their previous commander, certainly a smart move. :: Rahman: Departure check? Mei'konda: All systems reporting nominaal, Captaain. The Veritas is ready for depaarture. Rahman: All right, get us underway, Commander Blake. Blake: Standby for clearance from Esperances Ops. :: Mei’konda glanced toward his right, where the Lieutenant was working through the departure procedures. He remembered being at the helm. It was a lot to keep track of. :: Maravosh: Star Station Esperance confirms we are a go for departure. Blake: Engage thrusters. Steady away from station docks. :: Mei’konda’s ears perked and rotated as the Veritas began to move slowly away from the station. For a moment, he was surprised. On the Garuda, his human crewmates hadn’t been able to pick up the sound of maneuvering, and on the Invicta, engine sounds were muffled completely, often replaced with something natural played through the hull. But the Veritas was very different. Less well insulated, much more power for her mass. She wanted to MOVE. He was starting to understand the attraction of a smaller, tougher ship. :: Rahman: Ahead to Shadow's Edge, warp... ::She raised an eyebrow.:: five. Maravosh: Warp five, confirmed. Mei’konda: Full power traansferred to navigaational sensors. Tetryon fields chaarted. It doesn’t look liike there is anythiing out of the ordinaary in our path. At least… not for the Shoals. Blake: The Mother Road's current trajectory has been confirmed, but we'll need an additional check once we get into Coalition space. Long range sensor calibrations will likely be required with drifting from the road. All departments are green. Rahman: Engage. :: Stars streaked in front of them, Mei’konda instinctively leaned back in his seat, and let out a short breath. They were on their way. :: ========= Lieutenant Commander Mei’konda Operations Officer USS Veritas
  4. ((Tro'Arn Farm, Arnmere, Trill)) ::It was spring in Arnmere, and Norva Rennyn had a lot on her mind.:: ::Her oldest son, Norvil, was the proud father of his third child, a bouncing baby boy of such typically large Rennyn size that he had put out his father's back, leaving them all short a hand for the season. She remembered very well that famous Rennyn baby mass. She'd had nine of them herself, only three of them under ten pounds at birth, and two of those were the twins. Then there were the nine grandkids, now ranging from twelve years down to one, all of whom had been dropped off at grandma's house on a regular repeating loop since birth. She loved those sweet babies with all her soul, but it sure would be nice if someone would call first once in a while.:: ::There was Norvil and his wife and three kids, and her oldest daughter Thara and her husband Maren and their three kids. And old Aunt Metzi to worry about, though she was fairly self-sufficient. And her husband Elan, of course. That was just here on the main farm. Down the road, Norva's son Dirin and his wife ran their own farm with their two little ones, getting bigger every day. Fess moved into the city for work, but he was back like clockwork every weekend, and Vye dropping in and out as her business allowed, and of course Ren and Alin were both off in the stars, but Nila, the other twin, was a new mom, and they just lived over in town in Lenna Golfarn's old place. Then there was Tor, her youngest, twenty now and away at school. Tor was on her mind most of all these days, and the worry that he might not come back here. Some days she wanted a little space to herself, but she sure didn't want any of her kids to move away.:: ::Today, Norva was in her shop, her own little work place out the back of the oldest barn. Elan carved out the space for her years ago, and she had all her woodworking tools and her metalworking tools, her trusty big hammer and her welding torch and her soldering iron. Needlework was for other grandmas. Since she was little more than a young girl, Norva loved working with her hands, and had by now nearly furnished the whole town with her chairs, tables and other creations made out of repurposed building materials.:: ::Right then, she was hammering a few things good and hard. There was so much to think about on this farm, and it got to be so she was sick of it some days.:: ::The planting was ongoing at this time of year, and Norvil and Thara had ostensibly taken over operations at Tro'Arn. It still seemed that Norva and her husband Elan had to take charge of everything. From ordering to equipment to shipments and service schedules, there seemed nothing that couldn't get a detail past her grown up kids, who had absolutely insisted they could handle it. So in addition to being babysitter to their kids, she had to hold her own adult childrens' hands and guide them step by step through all the management tasks and processes they already should have known by now. The busier the farm's season, the more time mama needed with her big hammer.:: ::Anyway, it was spring, at least. The farm was beautiful this time of year, with breezes that alternately warmed or cooled just right, the smell of rich dirt tilled up wherever you went, and the fresh scents of green plants growing from every direction, just about to ripen and blossom. It did make you feel good to be able to walk around the fields in a light jacket, taking in the farm for its scenery as much as its technical aspects. The barn animals were out and about, making their various calls in the yard. And vast fields of grains stretched in every direction, as far as the eye could see.:: ::Norva paused in her work to look out the open barn door, to smell the fresh air that came just this way every year this time. This was the time of year, almost exactly to the day, that her Ren loved most, so it was fitting that this was the day he was coming home.:: ::Norva's heart almost stopped, and she tore the goggles from off her head, casting it and her project aside as she rushed to close up the shop at the sudden realization.:: Norva: Oh for the love of-- This is the day Ren's coming home! ::In a panic, she closed the barn door and ran up the yard towards the main house. She'd barely done a thing to prepare. No one had made up any of the beds, no one had planned any meals, she didn't even know if anyone had called the other kids to tell them he was coming. They were supposed to be famous for their Arnmere hospitality around here, but as it stood, she hoped Ren's friends liked planting crops, because no one had even thought about entertaining them.:: ::She rushed into the house, the big old sprawling complex with its generations of add-on wings they only jokingly called a farmhouse, and found Elan, her wiry, silver-haired husband, napping in a chair. She dumped him out of it.:: Norva: Ren's coming! Starfleet's coming! ::She barely formed a sentence as she ran past and into the house. She was covered in saw dust and grease. She didn't have a clue how she was supposed to entertain whatever crew of space-traveling friends her son brought home with him.:: Elan: 'S 'at TODAY? Shoot! ::With no complaint about being dumped from a comfortable nap, Elan scrambled to his feet and ran in the other direction. Norva hoped he was going to call the others back from their work planting fields in those giant hovermachines. It was Ren who insisted they get those, and then he'd left them. And now all this fuss over him coming home. He should have stayed here in the first place and then they wouldn't always be short a man.:: ::At least the grandkids were at school today. Except the baby, but his mother had him in town just then. And Aunt Metzi was tucked in her chair, a relic as old as she was, wrapped in blankets of psychedelic patterns, looking fine with an elaborate updo and heavy eye makeup like they used to wear way back in her day. Of course no one else was around. The took and they took, and then as soon as she needed them, there was no one around to help.:: ::At least, now that she rushed to inspect it, the house was in its typical modern-day order. By the time Ren or any of his friends beamed onto the wide, welcoming front porch, their rooms would be ready, rooms enough for as many as cared to stay. She was always a little bit frustrated with her son and his decision to leave them for Starfleet, but any friends of his were very welcome on the farm, and she hoped they were going to enjoy themselves, and if any of them wanted to help with planting, well, she wouldn't turn them away.:: ::It was spring, and as usual, life at Tro'Arn was busy, and Norva had a lot on her mind. Foremost now was the thought of real Starfleet officers visiting her home. What was she supposed to say to a Starfleet captain? How was she going to keep the neighbors from nosing in all day each day and pestering them?:: ::What was she going to say to Ren when she saw him?:: ::Still, his friends were welcome here. They would have the run of the house, the fields, the village.:: ::Then she heard the whine of the transporter outside, and remembered she hadn't thought to clean herself up. It didn't matter. She put on a smile and bravely went out the door. Unprepared as she was, Norva had no idea what to say to a Starfleet officer, but "Welcome" came to mind.:: LtCmdr Rendal Rennyn Chief Ops & Helm Officer USS Darwin NCC-99312-A A239102RR0
  5. ((USS Constitution-B, Dial's quarters)) ::After moving to the Constitution-B, Dial had noticed that she didn't have quarters for herself only anymore. On the huge Apollo, any officer had had the priviledge to have small but one-person apartment like quarters. On this ship things were a little different. For the duration of the first half year aboard this ship she had never seen the one she shared her quarters with awake. Whenever she woke up he was asleep. When she came home, was not there. And that made "living together" actually quite comfortable. Dial missed the ability to leave the doors open as she was used to from her home planet and the time at the Academy and on the Apollo. But she had come to adopt far more odd habits from Terrans and other species.:: ::All of this perfect room sharing agreement was about to end when Ensign Raomozji was to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant JG. Not just did he leave get a higher rank, he also got quarters of his own. Therefore Dial would share her quarters from now on with someone else. She doubted that she'd be this lucky again and that the other person would have the night shift, too.:: ::For now Dial didn't care about it. She hadn't received any information on this matter and was only concerned about the party Milsap had announced to her already. She sat down at ther computer console searching information about traditional winter holidays on Earth. She learned that Chanukkah, a Jewish festival was celebrated one day before christmas this year (according to her research the date changed from year to year). On the decembre 23rd according to the Old Terran Calendar. Christmas was starting at the evening of the 24th each year. She also learned that both festivals lasted more than one day. There were also many other festivals rouhgly located in the winter time.:: ::Out of personal interest, she had read quite a lot about Chanukkah, especially since she had been taking part of this festival once without knowing about it back then. Then she had read a little bit about Christmas, since it seemed a little more popular. Afterwards she only skim-read about other festivals ranging from Kwanzaa, set for the week following the decembre 26th, to ʿĪd al-Fitr, a festival which occured on decembre 28th this year. There were far too many stories about the origins of these festivals, too many information in general. The only thing that most of these festivals had in common was that they were celebrated by having a feast. And, at least nowadays, most of them included the tradition of gift-giving.:: ::Only when she leaned back, thinking about her research's result, she recognized some funny coincidence. It was a huge coincidence that this year all of Earth's more or less traditional winter holidays took place roughly around the same time. She had read something about Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhist celebrating some kind of religious thing in this period. It was a merry coincidence, she had read about many times, for this meant that many of these religious people could celebrate their festivals together.:: ::She somehow liked that thought and how the very same idea was present aboard the Constitution. Of course the situation was a little bit different here. Not even half of the crew was of Terran origin, so their feeling for the right time to be 'winter' might differ a lot. It even varied on Earth where the southern hemisphere was going through summer while the northern one had winter time. And even if people felt winter to be the right time of the year, that didn't mean that they had any festivals planned for this season.:: ::To Dial the concept of holidays had been totally foreign until she started studying on Earth. Paelians did sometimes celebrate birthdays, sometimes had small religious ceremonies, but all 3 Paelian worlds lacked the idea of a holiday season. Festivals of any sort were something very individual to be decided by the individual and sometimes celebrated by close families. It occured that very small settlings decided to have feasts together. In fact, in preindustrial times harvest festivals had been pretty common. Most people, if not unable or unwilling to do so, would help harvesting at those times and afterwards all would share the fruits of this work. But with traffic becoming faster and the supply of food being all but seasonal, traditions like these dropped away more and more.:: ::In the end, Dial was pretty happy to experience this combination of spiritual and material special days. The spiritual elements were rather personal, she had read, depending on whether or not people felt belonging to that religion, while the material celebration was something all of them did together. Gift giving in a society where wealth and poverty were chapters of history books - at least for the people living aboard a Starfleet Starship - was also not purely materialistic anymore. Of course most of the gifts were made from materials. But since anyone could replicate anything, gifts were more thoughtfully chosen than some ages ago. Dial would created things with her own hands but since the lack of time was pressing so hard on her, she considered a different approach. She thought that if she made presents of stuff people wouldn't think of but appreciate, it would be a nice idea, too.:: ::While thinking about the people she had got to know during her one and a half years of service, she also sometimes wondered about those she didn't stay in contact with. Her former CO, the ominous Rear Admiral Jaxx, whom she had met a few times only. Or what had happened to the many people who got transferred. But then she thought about Alex who had first moved away and who was back now. She shamefully realized how much she had avoided him. Hopefully he would be present at the party. She'd like to reapproach him. Perhaps, she'd create certain something-something for him. Some sort of more personal present maybe.:: no TAGs -------------------- OOC:http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Dial/Personal_Glossary ------------------- Ens. Dial Nurse USS Constitution-B A239103D10
  6. (( Bridge, the White Canary )) ::There had been a petty officer tracking them, by all accounts. A reptilian thing, one of the engineers outside the holodeck. However he had been doing it, they'd shaken him off -- he'd lost their trail after one of their turbolift rides and they had made it to their transport vessel unhindered. Already they were a fair distance from the station, but they hadn't escaped. Not yet.:: ::Ch'kehla, Alistair's Klingon companion, was leaning over one of the bridge consoles, and at the sound of a quiet alarm, she straightened to her full and considerable height, looking over at him.:: CH'KEHLA: They're outside the cargo bay. The ones from the holodeck. HASTINGS: Is the captain with them? CH'KEHLA: No. She's at the Cardassian Embassy. ::Alistair flashed a grin at that, chortling away to himself.:: HASTINGS: Oh, she's not going to like what she finds *there*. Not at all. ::He grinned.:: Put the feed on the viewscreen? ::She brushed her fingertips against the console, and the dark cargo bay appeared on the small vessel's screen. Another time, and she applied a filter, a pale green veil over the image that let them see through the blackness. The audio feed was even sensitive enough to pick up the blond Lieutenant Commander's low mutter.:: SKYFIRE: =/\= I got a bad feeling about this =/\= EERIE: =/\= Agreed. =/\= ::The Brikar pulled out a tricorder and attempted a scan. Alistair just grinned, smug and superior at the attempt at something so utterly pointless.:: =/\= Must be a dispersal field in place. Not getting anything but some odd chaff on the tricorder. =/\= ::Alistair watched as the security chief swept the dark cargo bay with his phaser rifle.:: SHAPIRO: =/\= Someone must be inside the cargo bay and waiting for us to surprise us. =/\= ::Ch'kehla snorted at that, and Alistair chuckled to himself again. They had no idea. He watched as the Brikar stepped out into the darkness, the rest of the team following the echoes of his footsteps.:: EERIE: =/\=Lights. =/\= SHARPE: =/\= I am with you there Ensign, I am not liking this one iota. =/\= HASTINGS: He's almost adorable, isn't he? For a talking rock, that is. Ch'kehla, be a dear and active the phaser turrets. ::She muttered something under her breath, probably something about traps and honour, but he paid no mind. Honour was a fool's game, and it was no one's fault but her own if she clung to outdated cultural ideals.:: ::And despite her complaints, she still did as she was asked. Phaser beams lanced out from the turrets strategically placed around the 'bay.:: EERIE: =/\=Get down! =/\= ::Alistair watched as the team scattered, throwing themselves to the side and to the floor, trying to avoid the coordinated fire. Though the turrets missed the man, it did hit the security chief's phaser rifle, disintegrating it in his hands and throwing him to the floor. He had the luck of the devil, that one.:: SHARPE: =/\= You okay Commander? =/\= ::One of the security chief's men checked on the status of their superior. Bless. It was all so sweet and caring. If only Starfleet had tried so hard to save others at Ohmallera.:: SKYFIRE/EERIE/ROSEK/SHAPIRO/LANG: SHARPE: =/\= Okay where is that fire coming from, I need to find me a computer interface. =/\= ::A few of the phaser turrets had been hit by the team's weapons fire, and the barrage was already beginning to slow. Despite this, Alistair continued watching the display with an ever-growing grin on his face.:: EERIE: =/\= Fine except for my weapon and uniform. =/\= ::In the midst of ongoing phaser fire, the human security officer passed his phaser rifle to his chief.:: SHARPE: =/\= Take mine Commander and cover me, I am going to see if I can get us some lights in here. =/\= EERIE: =/\= Good idea. ::Taking the weapon.:: =/\= ::As the firefight continued, the security officer kept frantically tapping at PADD. What a curious individual -- Alistair had not anticipated this tactic.:: SHARPE: =/\= EUREKA! =/\= ::The lights came back on, which was unexpected, and revealed that the Starfleet team's opponents were entirely automated phaser turrets. Still, no matter. There was more to the cargo bay than an ambush.:: SHARPE: =/\= I could only get us the lights Sir. =/\= ::Finally. Alistair leaned over and pressed a button on the arm of his seat, opening a comm channel. A panel in the cargo bay lit up in front of the Starfleet officers, and much like a bridge viewscreen.:: HASTINGS: You survived! Well done. I wasn't sure you'd survive. Disappointed that you *did*, but that's by the by. ::He beamed at them, unabashedly smug. The Starfleet team who had been hunting them down were there, and he was elsewhere. And it looked like their escape might actually work! Hitting Astrofori One had always been a huge risk, what with the station's standing fleet, Peaceforce Five nearby to deal with any troublemakers.:: ::And of course, the Gorkon herself, with some of the biggest guns Starfleet had to offer and a quantum slipstream drive to boot.:: SKYFIRE: =/\= In this case, glad to disappoint. =/\= ::The Gorkon's XO motioned for his team to let him take the lead in the discussion. A pity, really -- Alistair had been hoping to hear some spit and fire from the obviously aggrieved men and women. The Brikar looked as though he'd happily shoot first and worry about the consequences later.:: SHARPE: ::Laying a friendly hand on his shoulder:: It's okay Commander he will get his. ::Sharpe said to Eerie.:: ::All eyes were on Alistair, and he could see fury burning behind so many of them. Good. He hoped how they felt today stayed with them for a long, long time.:: HASTINGS: Well, you're obviously hot on our little tails and that won't do at all. So you have a choice. Us, or your own people. SKYFIRE: =/\= Meaning what, exactly? =/\= HASTINGS: Remember those forty-nine people who are missing? I bet at least one of you does. ::His eyes wandered over to Lang, and he flashed her a wicked grin.:: SKYFIRE: =/\= Meaning? =/\= ::Heavens above, the man was dense. Alistair rolled his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. A little bit melodramatic, but he was having fun now.:: HASTINGS: Do you want them back safe or sound, or not? I mean, without the transporter coordinates, they could be anywhere in a three light-year radius and I'm fairly sure they don't have enough oxygen for you to conduct a proper search... SKYFIRE: =/\= I presume at the cost of letting you go. ::He stared, unblinking for several moments. Alistair rolled his eyes again as he waited.:: Give us the coordinates. =/\= ::*Finally*, he had caught on.:: HASTINGS: Without any guarantees? You must have mistaken me for an idiot. ::In the blink of an eye, the cheer and arrogant charm was gone, and his voice dropped dangerously low.:: I am not an idiot. SKYFIRE: =/\= You have my word. =/\= HASTINGS: That's very good of you, Commander. But your word carries about as much weight as my pet chihuahua. You're neither in command of the Gorkon, or the rest of Astrofori One's fleet. SKYFIRE: =/\= That much is true. I'm here, and they aren't. So my word will have to suffice. :: then whispered to Eerie :: No need to blast a hole in him, Eerie. =/\= EERIE: =/\= Yes, Sir. ::Eerie lowered the weapon to the ready position.:: =/\= HASTINGS: Fine, I will give you some coordinates. At these ones, you'll find a probe. It will give you the coordinates to your people -- once my ship is clear of Astrofori One's space. If I am intercepted at any point, the probe self-destructs. If you tamper with the probe, it self-destructs. Basically, if you try any funny business, the probe explodes. If I *think* you're trying any funny business, the probe explodes. SKYFIRE: =/\= Thank you. =/\= HASTINGS: Who's a good boy. ::He nodded to Ch'kehla. She tapped a button on the console, and a set of coordinates flashed up on the screen.:: Off you go, bye bye now. ::He beamed and gave the sour-looking team a merry wave, and flicked off the screen. He glanced at Ch'kehla, and she glowered back at him. The question was, did he blow up the probe anyway, once they had got away? It would serve them all right, but could make life difficult for his Reborn brothers and sisters in the future. And Ch'kehla would have a fit -- she was already sour and breaking a promise, not to mention the mass murder of the defenceless, might just tip her to breaking point.:: ::Decisions, decisions:: -- Alistair Hastings & Ch'Kehla Terrorists Maquis Reborn simmed by Captain Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon
  7. (( Starbase 118 Diplomatic Area)) :: Terran Ambassador Gavin MacLaren straightened up from heaving into the toilet bowl and leaned his head on the wall of the stall as he waited for his quivering stomach to settle. He wiped his sleeve across his brow and took a deep breath before he flushed away the contents of his stomach pointedly avoiding looking at it. This was an all too familiar ritual after he'd eaten Klingon food. In the course of his diplomatic career, he'd mastered eating almost any cuisine; he'd even learned to keep down Klingon food long enough to finish a dinner and then politely excuse himself to walk to the men's room casually exchanging pleasantries with various dignitaries even as he felt his hand's grow clammy and his stomach roil. This time he was a distinctly nasty shade of green by the time he'd run the last few feet, but he'd not had to ingest a squirming dinner for a long time. As he stood taking deep breaths he thought longingly of his appointment to the USS Columbia as UFOP Ambassador traveling with the starship as they encountered new cultures or came to the aid of endangered planets. While it was his skill with languages and his startlingly good record as a peace negotiator that had earned him the position, it was his own request for the position that had secured it. He'd been close to burnout after years of negotiating, and he'd yearned for a permanent posting instead of being a diplomatic nomad. On Columbia, he'd grown close to the crew, served with a captain who was a close personal friend and had the added bonus of being on the same ship as his younger sister to whom he was very close. It had been a dream come true. He was now technically on leave having a much deserved holiday, but he'd been roped into attending a dinner where he'd been asked to ask as a buffer between two rival Klingon families. He was acqainted with both and had been successful in keeping them from each other's throats, but it had meant that he had to sit with them. There was simply no way to avoid eating the same food. Klingon's had no respect for a man who could not down their revolting fair. Gavin wasn't hard to please when it came to food, but he did not want to look at his dinner only to find it was looking back at him. He shuddered at the memory and walked to the sink and washed his face. He was about to return to the banquet room when Secretary Folap Nall of the UFOP entered. He looked at Gavin and shook his head sympathetically as he looked at the young man's pallid face:: Nall: You had me fooled, Gavin. I thought you had finally mastered Klingon food. MacLaren:: shaking his head carefully since it felt as if it was ready to split like an overly ripe melon:: Weel, Eh can keep it down long enough to get through the dinner, but it willna stay down any longer than that. Nall: I'm sorry to have asked you to do this especially when you're on holiday, but you have a certain magic with them. They're actually out there swapping war stories. I don't know how you do it. MacLaren: Eh just try to see each point of view and then help each to do the same. :: He didn't mention that it was easier to understand points of view when one was highly empathic and telepathic. He was one of those rare hybrid Betazoids who had keen abilities despite his brown eyes. Normally a human/Betazoid with eye color had very low empathic readings if any. He'd always been happy to allow people to assume that about him. Most people with whom he dealt simply assumed he was human especially since he spoke with a distinct Scottish accent. His father, a Starfleet doctor, had raised his children in his home village of Aberfoyle, Scotland choosing to use a runabout to commute to his position as a senior professor of medicine at Starfleet medical. His mother, a Betazoid ambassador had done the same. The children had grown up in a ancient family estate on Loch Ard in the Trossachs although Johanna had spent a number of years in school on Vulcan..:: Nall:: smiling:: I hope you're enjoying your holiday, this evening being an exception. It's a grand base. MacLaren: It is. Nall: That was hardly an enthusiastic endorsement. There is no base that can touch this one. MacLaren: Eh ken that; it is a magnificent base. After all, Eh've been here many times. It's just.... Nall:: [...]ing his head with a worried expression:: It's just that you still don't want to go back to your negotiating work. You're so good at it, Gavin. You like people; you genuinely care about them. You're respected in your field because everyone sees that in you, and they know that you are completely honest with them. I'm not sure what the problem is. MacLaren:: knowing that Nall had long ago moved from mentor and superior to friend:: Eh do like people, Folap. I also need them. Eh'm tired of drifting from one place in crisis to another and then leaving just as things get back on track. I'm tired of …. Nall: Tired of essentially being alone. MacLaren: Aye. I liked getting to know a crew and working with the same people over a period of time. Eh liked having friends that Eh that were not light years away. :: Nall sighed:: Nall: There are many in UFOP who think that you are too valuable to assign to a single ship, but I'm not willing to burn out one of my best diplomats. I'll see what I can do, Gavin. There is a push to have more civilian UFOP diplomats on our star ships, and the new slipstreams are encountering more and more new species. We'd like to have diplomatic teams on board instead of single diplomats without the luxury of a colleague. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, go home and eat something duly bland like some Scottish oatmeal or something. Gavin:: laughing:: That sounds just about right now. Thank you, Folap. :: looking in the mirror.:: Eh suppose the green has faded enough to go back out there. TBC PNCP Ambassador Gavin MacLaren simmed by LtCmdr. Johanna MacLaren CMO USS Apollo 0238905JMO
  8. (( Main Engineering, USS Gorkon )) :: Chythar hadn’t time to read up on the specs, and he was still getting to know this fine ship. What better way than by a tour of the facilities? Since he’d asked during the party about what was under the hood and they were rudely interrupted with the death of the Cardassian envoy, it made sense to revisit the matter during shore leave. He entered the engine room and glanced around, having a vague understanding of what was here from his engineering courses; but that didn’t make him any more knowledgeable. It took him a few moments to locate their chief engineer, Lt. Cory Stoyer. Once he did, he caught the man’s attention by calling out to him. :: Skyfire: Cory! :: Cory was standing on the main floor of Main Engineering. He had just completed his first walk around of the day. You could look at the monitors and get an overview of what was going on, but unless you walked around and looked you would miss things. His Department Master Chief went to check on some crewmen that were not working to his efficiency. Cory smiled at the thought. :: oO I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. Oo :: Cory heard someone call his first name. :: oO What? Oo Stoyer: :: Turning and smiling. :: Hey XO. Welcome to Main Engineering. What can we do for you, sir? Skyfire: Let’s dispense with the formalities, first off. Second, you can answer my earlier question I attempted to ask at the party. Show me what’s under the hood. Stoyer: OK, Chythar. :: sweeping an arm around the main floor. :: Here is the main floor of Main Engineering. In front of us, the big glowy thing is the Warp Core. It is a class nine Warp Core and it powers everything onboard. The main consoles around this area are for monitoring the flow of matter and anti-matter into the warp core. :: As Cory explained, most of the engineering seminar came back to CD’s mind. Granted, the schematics of a Sovereign were buried in the bottom of what he’d learned, so it took him a few moments of staying quiet before he recollected anything. :: Skyfire: Like internal temperatures of the EPS conduits and such? Stoyer: Yes, everything about the warp core and transferring of power is monitored here. Other stations cover the Impulse engines, shields, weapons and damage control. There are several back up stations in secondary control, just in case. Shall we take a walk? :: Chythar grinned slightly and made a sweeping motion with his hand. :: Skyfire: After you, chief. :: Cory led Chythar over to the main display table on the middle of Main Engineering. CD followed close behind, but far enough back to give the man his space. For being a Terran, the XO suspected a hint of Italian blood as the man was very expressive with his hands. :: Stoyer: Here is the main display of Engineering. You can see anything that is going on. From the power usage to what damage control lockers are being inventoried. There are repeater console on the bridge, in my office and in my quarters. :: Looking to Chythar. :: Do you want us to install one for you in your quarters or office? It is a good way to get an overview of what is going on. :: The offer did have its merits, though realistically...what use would he he have for installed engineering consoles in his quarters or office? It probably would be a good idea, at any rate. There may be the possibility some of his buried knowledge might come in handy later, he realized. So, CD nodded. :: Skyfire: I’d like that. No rush, though. :: Cory smiled at Chythar and looked over his shoulder and got the attention of one of his Chief Petty Officers.. Cory Motioned him over. :: Stoyer: Chief, the XO would like a repeater display installed in his office for now and maybe one in his quarters. Can you get that done at your earliest convenience? Chief Stenton: Yes sir, it will take a day or two, but we will get it done. :: The Chief nodded to the Xo and walked back to his station. :: Stoyer: There you go Chythar, in a day or two. :: The XO nodded again to both men, and glanced around at the other stations briefly before returning his attention to Cory. :: Skyfire: Anything else you wanted to show me? Stoyer: My time is yours. We can go for a walk on the upper level. There is where we keep an eye on the Impulse Engines and auxiliary system. If you have more time, we can take a walk to a damage control locker and you can look it over to get an idea of what is inside. Knowing what we have could help you in the future. :: Truth be told, CD was actually enjoying being away from the desk. Away from the paperwork. Away from the horrid choices that had to be made outside this room. He was having fun, and felt the bond of friendship with Cory grow stronger as they continued. :: Skyfire: Please, lead on. Stoyer: OK, come on. :: Cory lead Chythar to the small elevator that would take them to the upper level. After making room for the XO and closing the gate, Cory hit the button to raise the platform. As they rose, Cory turned to Chythar. :: Stoyer: One thing I had my Department Master Chief do is work with the Officers in charge of the shifts to let more junior crew to man the supervisory positions to let them get experience and learn the person’s position above them in case of casualties. :: At the top, Cory opened the gate and let Chythar exit first. :: Skyfire: :: nodding :: A good thought. Never was the case when I was CMO, though. I remember the paperwork… :: shuddered at the thought. More he’d have on his desk when he got back. :: Did I mention I hate paperwork? Stoyer:I think you did several times. I agree. Someone important said that an army doesn’t march on it’s stomach, but slides on its paperwork. :: Cory chuckled at his own humor. They walked over the the Impulse Engine management area. The crew men and women were busy at work, or just looking busy. Cory suspected that his Master Chief come through and ensured that everyone was alert before he got there. :: Stoyer: :: looking at Chythar. :: Here is the Impulse management area. The crew here keep an eye on the engines and are ready to engage them as needed when we drop out of warp. Skyfire: Always good to have someone ready to do so. Stoyer: Yes, indeed. Most of the time, the day is routine down here. The crew completes preventive maintenance on all of the systems. Most of the time there are no problems, but occasionally we find something that needs to be replaced or repaired. They try and catch things before it gets bad. Of course there are he requests for maintenance that come from the different departments. The officer in charge of the shift will prioritize them as needed. :: Cory continued to walk and talk around the upper level of Engineering. :: Skyfire: :: nodding :: Saves wear and tear on the user later, and prevents exploding things. :: CD shuddered again after he finished speaking, as this one triggered the memory of his first hours on the Gorkon and having to save Carter from shrapnel. :: Stoyer: Yes, exploding is bad. You are correct, if we can find problems before they get back, we can fix them quicker. :: Cory remembered the shuttle fire and explosions in the hangar bay of the Shiloh. What he really remember is the white sheets covering his friends. :: Stoyer: So, what else would you like to see on your tour? I mean I still owe you a rematch. :: CD chuckled slightly. Ah yes, the pool game. That too would be a thing which needed to happen. :: Skyfire: You said before the chief would slap you upside the back of the head with rules? Or used to? I don’t know if I had the same professor as you. Is there a rulebook? :: Cory recalled Senior Chief Bill Johns, his Senior Chief on the Shiloh. :: Stoyer: No, it was not a professor, it was my Senior Chief onboard the Shiloh. Bill Johns. He had these rules. If you broke one, he’d smack the back of your head. A good way to remember. :: Ah, that was very reminiscent of the holovid series NCIS, and John’s 21st century probable alter-ego and inspiration, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. A technique that seemed like it worked for some people. He might have to learn these rules and employ them. :: Skyfire: I’d like to see these rules sometime. Think you could arrange that? Stoyer: I actually wrote most of them down. I will have to go through my stuff in my quarters to find it. It shouldn’t take long….. :: Cory remembered that Petra had gotten a hold of his quarters in preparation of moving in together after the wedding. :: oO Well, I don’t know where it is. Oo Stoyer: I will get back with you on that. Skyfire: I could probably scribble them while you’re taking your shot. Stoyer: OK. That sounds like a plan. I will find them and bring it to our rematch. So would you like to see a Damage Control Locker? Skyfire: :: nodded :: Sure. Show me what damage control lockers look like. :: Each new thing that was shown to Chythar in engineering made him realize he loved the department that much more. A shame he only took a few classes to fill out his transcript at the academy, but perhaps there would be time for further study later. :: Stoyer: Follow me. :: Cory led Chythar to Damage Control Locker 5. This locker was responsible for Main Engineering. The locker was neat and well organized. Cory showed some of the equipment that was used. He was grateful for an efficient Damage Control Assistant. He turned back to Chythar. :: Skyfire: Keep it up, Cory. Looks like a well-oiled machine down here. Stoyer: Thank you Chythar. I will pass on your praise to the Department. So meet up after work for that rematch? Skyfire: Sure. Hope you can find those rules for me. Stoyer: After my shift I will go and look. === Lieutenant Cory Stoyer Chief Engineer U.S.S. Gorkon C239111CS0 & Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire First Officer USS Gorkon NCC-82293 History Team Co-Facilitator Medical Duty Post Facilitator Dear Doc Columnist Podcast Promotions Reporter O239002CS0
  9. (( USS Conny - Security Chief's Office )) :: Rustyy had been called to Sinda’s office, the chief of security.... It had similar feelings of being called to the principles officer. Someone had done something wrong. And it was, of course, his shining star Penny Hopper. She had gotten into a fight with a part time civilian slash part time security officer. Just great. :: oO Could’a been worse..Oo ::Blank stare.:: oO Hoooooow? Oo ::His mind gumbled at him.:: oO It could’ve’a been somethin’ you did.. Oo ::Lightbulb.:: oO That’n be true. Oo :: Sinda had passed along some advice, good advice at that. Though it probably meant that Penny would be mad at him for a while. Having an angry little gnome, who was usually frisky and foaming at the mouth, actual angry with him didn’t sound pleasant. But he liked her. :: :: But changing positions couldn’t be all that would help. There had to be something that would work long term. What if Rustyy or Penny was transferred? Then she would face the same dilemma. And he wasn’t about to get blamed for anything that happen with her new supers. :: Hael: I’s’a gots a question fer ya… You talk to someone ‘bout things? Sinda: Well, I appreciate your bluntness, Hael. It has a certain refreshing tone. And, yeah, I've talked about it. :: Rustyy’s face was blank. Was he being blunt? He thought he was just asking a question. But so long as whatever he did, didn’t receive a butt whooping…. :: Hael: Reckon it help ya any? Sinda: Turns out if you keep all that stuff inside, it burns you up. I found out the hard way. And let's just say Danzia is very good at her job. Hael: ::nodding.:: Reckon I’ll’a pass that’a’long Sinda: Good. Now, what about you, Hael? No offense or anything, but you look like targ dung. How're you holding up down there? :: The understatement of the day! Still no shirt, no bath, no clean non-itchy pants. But he had eaten and slept a little. So it wasn’t all bad. He half hearted threw up his hands and shrugged.:: Hael: Reckons I’s’a beens worse. Sinda: I've got a whole host of tactical guys with nothing to do - if you want extra hands, they're yours. I keep them trim by making them scrape the carbon scoring off the phaser emitters, so they know how to handle menial tasks. Hael: You’d be makin’ more than a few folks happy I tell’ya wha’. If’n you can spare’em… I’ll’a take’em. Sinda: Done then. Hael: Just send’em on down to engineerin’ and tell’em they be workin’ fer me. :: He smirked… Bet those mostly up-tight officers would *love* to find out they were going to report to the illiterate engineer.:: Sinda: I don't like having complacent staff. Gamma shift will be on their way just as soon as I press this button. Hael: Wish’n I had that magical like power. ::chuckled.:: Sinda: I'd lend you a few security officers, too, but they're currently roaming the halls until we get internal sensors back to optimum power. Hael: ::nodding.:: Yeah we should be havin’ more things up’n runnin’ soon ‘ere. ::started to stand up.:: Sinda: There was something else. Down there, on Earth, you knew the risks. In the tea room I mean, when you led those police on a merry chase so the rest of us could get away. You knew the mission was more important than your life. :: Still face syndrome.:: :: The mission? He knew his life -in the eyes of those from *his* century- was worth less than their mission. Let’s be honest, he was running to save his own butt. He wanted to live, and pull off almost steampunk style revival on his engines. That was the other big reason. Which to Rustyy’s great pleasure work b-e-a-uuuuuu-tifully. :: :: Okay maybe there was some bit of him that knew that if his group was caught there would be huge consequences. And he didn’t like anyone getting in trouble. Even if he barely knew them. Darn his mama for giving him her heart. It was what made the fix-it Felix tinkerer more delicate than he cared to share. He pulled out his best leisure smirk.:: Hael: Reckon it weren’t no thing. ::holding his hands up.:: We gotta do, what we gotta do. Sinda: I've worked with a lot of officers over the years. I reckon there's only a handful would have done that without hesitation. ::Rustyy’s brain laughed at him and he couldn’t help but smile a little. Like his mama always said, “ Rustyy you ain' got what it takes to be 'fraid of anything”. He did dumb things all the time, though he didn’t know its dumb.:: Hael: The wise ones pause an’ them foolish ones react. Ain’ no thinkin’ involved when I did it. Sinda: I'll let you get back to it, Chief. I've got to meet with Prendar and then track down Foster to sort my face out. If you need me for anything, just shout. Hael: I’s’a purdy good at shoutin’. ::pause.:: I can whistle purdy good too. ::he winked.:: :: Rustyy stood and smirked. Waving to Sinda as he left, Rustyy pondered the ever growing list of repairs. There was some good news though. The arrival of the other ship -providing he could get access to their replicators- meant that things would go smoothly. But something else was nagging at the back of his mind…. The new engine. Just a peek. Then he would get back to work. :: oO Promise! Oo TBC/TAGs ____________________ Lieutenant Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Constitution A239202RH0
  10. (( Bridge, Deck 1, USS Doyle-A )) :: As Selene finished up with the new Engineering officer that she had just been assigned. She noticed the medical ship’s former commanding officer. A woman whose paperwork was on Selene’s desk, with a recommendation for her as First Officer. Selene trusted her brother, but she wasn’t entirely sure if she trusted the woman, so she had set out to avoid the prospect of talking to her for as long as she could. Now the woman was approaching. Did Shel send the woman up, or did she come on her own? That was the question Selene had going through her head, but wasn’t going to be vocalized. :: ::Having done all she could have done in preparation for this moment, Joan stood in idle wait for the captain to take note of her presence on the bridge. She far from enjoyed taking a passive role, but there was only so much that could be done in an active manner. Besides, enough time had passed and there would be no doubt that Faranfey had at least taken note of her transfer orders.:: Faranfey: Commander. I assume we have a conversation to have. Follow me. ::A chill ran down Joan’s spine. She couldn’t read the emotions behind the comment, but the words came off as almost dismissive in tone.:: Hart: As you wish Captain. :: Selene would have to wait to have the conversation with the Intelligence Officer, at least until after this conversation had finished. :: :: It was only a few steps back to the doors of the ready room, and the doors opened automatically when they stepped in front of them. Like the room was anticipating being a host to whatever conversation happened next. :: ::Stepping inside, the human woman took a second to appraise the surroundings, reflexively noting if there was anything within arms reach that she would need if the “friendly conversation” turned sour. Naturally, this was entirely flawed thinking, but human nature with all of its advances, still fell to the whims of their base emotions, illogical as they were.:: Faranfey: :: Turning around, looking at the woman once they were safely behind closed doors. Her arms folded across her chest. :: My Executive Officer stepped down, and Captain Faranster recommended you as the best replacement. Do you know why that is? Hart: oO Well… that was sudden… Oo ::It didn’t take much to throw her mind into defensive turmoil. It had been so long since Joan had reported directly to anyone, and this situation was eerily familiar to when she started on her very first vessel more than a decade ago. Unlike before, however, she had more gumption and experience. She couldn’t allow herself to be intimidated in this manner anymore.:: Hart: ::With her arms folded against her back.:: I can only conjecture why your Executive Officer stepped down sir. My information would be vastly limited compared to your own. ::Though she had heard about the ordeal. Since it appeared to be a personal affair, she didn’t look further into the incident, though now she wished she had.:: Faranfey: Can you at least tell me what would make you a good choice as my next Executive Officer? ::The question she was trying to still find an answer to. Racking her brain day and night, there was no gentle way to convey her opinion.:: Hart: ::Taking a deep breath.:: Captain… permission to speak freely? :: Selene knew how she was coming across, but she needed someone strong, and someone she could trust. Right now she wasn't sure of the officer in front of her, but the fact that she didn't flinch at being asked these questions, least not yet. Was a good sign of her strength. Trust was earned, not given. :: Faranfey: In this situation, it won't help me if you don't, so permission granted. ::Before the words exited her mouth, Joan once more felt the shame that haunted her until this day. Her removal of command from the USS Sacred Heart those years ago. Unfortunately, she could not wallow in these emotions, she never could if she wanted to save those lives....:: Hart: I can give you a detailed rundown of my history. ::She motioned with her hand.:: My flaws, my strengths, and even psychological reports about my state of being. However, I don’t believe that any of those things will change your mind because these items, much like the bytes of data they are encoded on, are unable to convey real information about how two individuals will work together. Given my last mistake, though I would still do it again, you have a limited notion of who I am and what I am capable of. Faranfey: You're right, I have a limited notion of who you are. As you have a limited notion of who I am. My crew is my family, and I take care of them. They trust me to do that. In order to do that, I trust them to have my back. It's a delicate dance, a give and take. Your mistake took one of my crew from me, with little explanation of why. Given the situation, I let it go. ::The woman resisted the urge to raise her eyebrow. Such things could hardly be “let go” at the drop of a bat.:: Hart: A trait that is admirable when applied to the correct context… Faranfey: I fight for my crew, it's what I do. I had a multi-directional battle going on, and you were just as capable of taking care of my officer as my Medical department, so I didn't fight. Doesn't mean I am not irked, doesn't mean I am not suspicious. ::Shaking her head, Joan said nothing. This is what she knew was coming, and she made no effort to change the direction. Completely contrary, she hoped that Faranfey would plow down this path without care of what she may encounter along the way.:: :: Selene knew what was in the files, and the woman said it right, the paper was unable to tell her whether or not she could work with the other woman. The vital information, whether or not the woman would have the best interests of her people at heart. :: Faranfey: What I need to know, if I take you on as my Executive Officer, and I fight for you, if you will do the same for me and my crew. Hart: ::Without missing a beat.:: I will, as long as I receive the same trust in return. Faranfey: I'm listening. ::Joan relaxed her pose slightly, to increase the flow of blood into her arms that had remained still this entire time. She was well experienced in being dressed down, though it never made the experience any easier.:: Hart: I promise to give you my all, but it will come with you trusting my own judgement. I find it insulting when another officer grovels for favours and promotion, as such, I will not play to your emotions since your opinion of me shouldn't matter. I am here to support you in all areas, and I will not pull out any blows if I feel there is a danger to the ship or her crew. :: Selene would have likely thought she was weak if she grovelled. Strength was a quality she needed, the ability to speak up when necessary, regardless of the consequences. Selene had a tendency to get a bit snappy with those who questioned her, so she needed someone who could handle that. But she still had the concern on the trust situation. :: Faranfey: Trust is a two way street, and it's earned. You started with a deficit, but I am willing to give you a shot. You have an opening to earn my trust. :: She paused for a moment. :: Liking me isn't a requirement, taking care of the crew and having my back, is. Respecting each other, is. If I ever forget my duty to the ship or her crew, I -expect- someone to speak up. ::The woman’s face was stoic and calm. What did she have to lose? Her position? Her rank? These things were already taken from her once… The only person she could rely on was herself… or…::: Hart: The offer is a recommendation only… ::She paused.:: Though, don’t get me wrong, I no longer play the political game. Faranfey: That's good, that means you can't be bought for favors and power. ::A compliment, well, maybe not quite. However, it was a fair assessment. Of course it came with a cost…:: Hart: ::Caught off guard.:: I… ::Regaining her cool.:: Would aim to meet the expectations. Faranfey: I do want to know though, do you have any diplomacy skills? ::That was a hard question. The truth? Yes. In practice though… she tended to be more abrasive since it usually landed her better results.:: Hart: I can sir, though I would have to admit it is something of an art that will take some time to be reaquianted with…. oO For obvious reasons. Oo Why do you ask? :: Selene leaned against her desk while she listened. When the other woman asked why, she took a moment to make sure that the woman knew what was at stake. :: Faranfey: There are times when a diplomatic response is not only recommended but necessary. In those instances it would be good to have someone who can take a soft approach. Hart: :: Lowering her voice.:: I see…. Faranfey: It's apparent you have a quick mind, or least quick enough to respond to me. The conversation immediately put you on the defensive, I told you that I don't trust you, I questioned your ability, and you haven't cracked or told me where to shove it. So I can tell you respect the command structure. But, this is the way I am, I can force diplomacy, but I will need you to take out your diplomacy skills, dust them off, and practice them. ::Taking a moment, Joan made the opportunity to phrase her words correctly. Words, were in essence weapons. While a hammer could be applied to many a situation, sometimes a scalpel would provide better results.:: Hart: ::Biting her lower lip.:: I am here to support you after all. :: She turned around enough to grab a PADD off her desk, she was glad for the conversation, it gave her enough reassurance that her brother wasn't trying to saddle her with someone who was going to make her wish she was back in 2414 dealing with the hunger. :: Faranfey: Then, the job is yours, for as long as I can trust you, or until you can no longer deal with my style of running things. :: She extended the PADD to the woman with her new assignment, crew quarters and clearance codes on it. :: ::Clasping the device gently, Joan nodded her head.:: Hart: Both fair and honest points. ::She forced a smile.:: Captain. I will… enjoy the challenge of working with you. ::The words were honest. Certainly more honest than she generally could be. Perhaps this would be her final hurrah before…:: Faranfey: I can say that is probably an adequate way of putting our working together, or at least the beginning of our working relationship. There will be a lot of work, especially your predecessor having stepped down so abruptly. Hart: I will take my leave then to appraise myself of the Doyle and her crew. ::Beat.:: Enjoy the rest of your few days off, and although I wasn’t able to say it before. Congratulations on the promotion. :: Selene pushed herself off her desk so she was fully standing again. When she leaned against the desk, she stood shorter than her new Executive Officer, however when standing, she was a good half a foot taller. :: Faranfey: Thank you, Commander. It was quite a surprise to me. :: She paused. :: We both have work to do, and since yours involves you getting acquainted with the ship before we are sent on our next mission, you should get on it. ::Turning her back, Joan left the Captain’s ready room. Her hands slowly relaxing as soon as she entered the hallway. However, she knew the hardest part was still yet to come…::: Lieutenant Commander Joan Hart Executive Officer USS Doyle-A T238303LF0 & Captain Selene Faranfey Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A Writer ID: A239001SF0
  11. (( VIP Quarters - Deck 2 - USS Doyle-A )) :: Shiarrael's eyes opened groggily and a piercing headache shot through the side of her head. Her mind was muddy and the Romulan had trouble gauging where she was. The cool breeze in the room immediately told her that she did not have a stich of clothing on and the small set of cases in the corner finished up the idea that she was in her room aboard the Doyle. :: :: Sitting up, she placed her aching hand to her forehead and tried to keep from collapsing back on the couch. :: oO Fvadt! What did I do this time? Oo :: Stumbling out of bed, she tripped on some hard and cold. Looking down through bleary eyes she saw four empty bottles of Romulan Ale strewn about and a half full cup on the vanity. :: oO Well, that explains the headache. Oo :: Slowly her memory came back of the night before, the uncomfortable conversation in the corridor and then rummaging through her supplies for the Ale. Blinking and looking in to the mirror to clear her eyesight, the thing that struck her was the second glass of ale and as the light in the back of her mind turned on. She heard a rustle in the bathroom. Grabbing her disruptor out of the vanity, she spun and aimed it at a young human man with dark hair stepping out of the bathroom in a clean uniform. He froze and put his hands up. A blush sat on his cheeks. :: Davidson: Uh...I'm not sure how to take this? Shiarrael: ::Angrily:: How the hell did you get in here? Davidson: :: Umm....you kinda...asked me in for a drink...and well then... :: The extremely hazy memory of the young man spending the night explained the lack of clothing and the bottles everywhere. She lowered the weapon trying to keep an air of control. :: Shiarrael: I...see. Davidson: ::hopeful:: I got you that new uniform replicated with the materials I told you about. :: He gingerly offered the faded gray jumpsuit to her. She snatched it from him and closed the distance. :: Shiarrael: ::Warningly:: I barely have any memory, Mister... Davidson: Brian. Brian Davidson. Shiarrael: ::hissing:: Brian. If you want to keep your happy memories of last night I highly recommend you don't tell ANYONE that you were here. Do I make myself clear? Davidson: Yes, Ma'am. :: He started for the door and stopped, turning scared and somewhat hopeful. :: Davidson: You want to get some coffee? Shiarrael: Get out, Brian. :: He quickly exited and she plopped herself on the floor exhausted holding her sore fist. :: oO [...] that Romulan ale! Oo ~tbc~ PNPC Shiarrael Republic Liaison Officer USS Doyle-A As Simmed By... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Colonel Nugra Marine Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-980221-B Deputy Commandant Captain's Council Magistrate V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  12. ((Shuttle orbiting Igguden III)) :: The shuttle approached the planet and started to slow down. :: Pilot: We are here Cmdr. Where do you want me to land? Tel-ar: Move into orbit above the largest land mass, above the large inland sea. Pilot: OK. :: He replied slightly confused, then again it kind of made sense. The massive Andorian had made the entire 4 hour flight without saying a single word, which for him was normal. Still it made you wonder why he was here. Not that he was going to be stupid enough to ask the man. He had something of a reputation, one that made you think twice before you asked him a question. As he brought the shuttle to a halt at the indicated location he spoke again. :: Stable orbit achieved Cmdr. :: Tal did not reply, he merely stood up, grabbed his pack and opened it, pulling out an unusual object. It was made of some kind of fabric, a case or bag of some kind with 5 heavily reinforced straps that appeared to buckle together in an unusual manner. Then he closed his bag and walked over to drop it on the transporter pad. :: :: He spent a few moments adjusting the controls and then beamed the bag onto the planet’s surface below him. :: Pilot: Uhhh…. Sir. The colony is on the other side of the planet. Tel-ar: I know Ensign. :: Was all he said as he merely readjusted the controls before he tossed the unusual bag onto the transporter pad and then beamed it into the upper reaches of the planet’s atmosphere. :: :: Then he set the timer before he also stepped onto the pad. As he turned he spoke one final time. :: Tel-ar: That will be all Ensign. :: Just as he finished speaking he was beamed off the shuttle to the same location as his unusual bag. :: :: The Pilot turned to glance back, saw the Andorian vanish in a shimmer and turned back to his controls. :: Pilot: What the @#$%^&*(). :: He exclaimed as he saw the read out on his sensors. The Andorian had beamed himself off of the shuttle into the upper levels of the planet’s atmosphere and was now plummeting towards the planet’s surface at an alarming rate. :: :: He automatically started to reach for the transporter controls off to one side of his flight control panel. Reached them and adjusted the controls to allow him to beam aboard an object falling at high velocity but at the last second he stopped himself. :: :: This was Cmdr. Tel-ar. The same lunatic who had attacked a Borg cube by himself. Yeah sure he had landed in medical, more dead than alive but he had survived. Still beaming yourself into the upper reaches of a planet’s atmosphere was a whole new level of crazy. :: :: Just then the sensors indicated that his decent was slowing. It made no sense but then at least he did not have to return and report that the man had impacted into the planet’s surface. :: :: Shaking his head he turned the shuttle and increased speed, heading back to DS285 as fast as he could. :: ((Above Igguden III)) :: Tal materialized high above the planet’s surface. The air was thin here, thin and very cold. The second the transporter affect had completed the job of transferring his atoms one by one from the shuttle, gravity took over and he started to plummet towards the ground below. :: :: He angled his body so that he was at an angle with his head down and his arms tucked in tight against his body. It allowed him to drop more rapidly. The frigid air battered his face and body, making his eyes water. Normally this would not be a reason to worry but it also made it almost impossible to spot the parachute falling below him. :: :: Tal blinked rapidly then reached up with one hand and wiped his eyes then partially shielded them from the bitter cold air. It took a few moments, even for his excellent vision but he soon spotted the object he needed. He altered his trajectory, shooting through the air. It was an exhilarating feeling, one that lifted his spirits and made him feel more alive than he had in months. :: :: Unfortunately as he dropped rapidly towards the hard unyielding surface of the planet, his parachute vanished with in the fluffy white expanse of a cloud. In seconds he followed it, one second buffeted by the wind yet still able to see and the next blind as a bat as the density of the water vapor instantly soaked him. That added to the temperature made it feel like he had just dove into some foggy winter wonderland. :: :: His inner clock warned that he was quickly reaching that danger point, the one where even with a parachute he would still be traveling to rapidly, that any impact with the ground would result in broken bones. :: :: Just then he emerged from the cloud, his eyes quickly scanning his surrounding followed by his spreading his arms and legs, leveling off to decrease his speed. He had passed the parachute, it was now above him. Added to that was a cross wind, a brutally strong one that snatched the parachute and started to move it away from him. :: :: He had to alter his flight path, angling to follow it while letting it drop closer and closer to him. :: :: He reached out to grab it…. Missed…. :: :: For a moment panic threatened to rear its vile head as Tal spun his body, twisting to follow the chute, then bringing his legs and one arm tightly together as he aimed head down towards the ground. The sudden shirt, the increase in speed was drained off as he leveled off, his free hand reaching, grasping, fingers touching but failing to grasp the straps as it spun away from him. He spread his arms and legs, his wet clothes plastered to his body, breaking for that one split second needed to try again. This time his fingers touched a strap again, failed to grasp it as the wind tore it from him. :: :: He ignored the ground below, strained his body to fight the air, the wind, to maneuver closer, ever closer to the chute. Again he reached, touched, missed…. Then closed his hand over the groin strap that was suddenly whipped past him as the chute flipped end over end. :: :: Tal pulled it in, sliding both legs into the opening in the straps, having to fight the wind the whole time. Then he shoved in first his left arm, then his right and grabbing the buckles secured the straps against his midsection. :: :: Then he hit the release, waited a second as the chute deployed, his entire body slamming into the leg straps and his velocity was cut almost instantly by a half. :: :: Looking down he could see the lake, the dense jungle reaching almost to the edge of its dark blue waters. According to the survey data he had read the massive lake had very steep sides, quickly vanishing into the depths. The survey team had been sure based on the data that a large asteroid had impacted at this site causing the almost round depression that had eventually become a lake. :: :: Tal grabbed the straps that allowed him to control his angle of decent, the large rectangular chute above him spun slightly as he changed direction to take him closer to and over the water. :: :: He continued to fall, but now it was a more relaxing, almost sedate feeling when compared with the start of his fall. :: :: He angled farther from shore, he needed deep water under him as he was still coming down too fast. Not that it would have mattered, there was no clear ground anywhere near by where he could have landed anyway. :: :: When he reached about 100 feet above the water he pulled the release, detaching the chute and suddenly dropped straight towards the water. He braced his legs to take the impact, then slammed into the surface with bone jolting force. :: :: The force of the impact drove him down, down, down even as the density of the water bled off his speed until he slowed to a stop. Instantly Tal started to swim, his long legs and arms propelling him up and towards the shore as fast as he could. Time was now against him, the welcome drag of the water was now a danger, one even more dangerous that the possibility of not catching the chute had been. :: :: He pushed, ignored his bodies warning signs, the indicators that he should surface and surface soon. His lungs screamed for air as he refused to alter his angle, just kept swimming, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick…..:: :: Suddenly the water color started to change, to grow lighter, the warm sunlight filtering down through the water to where he was, He was close, he pushed harder, nothing mattered but the movements, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick…..:: :: Suddenly his arm followed by his head burst through the surface of the lake, he gulped in air, his lungs grateful even as he pushed harder, swimming for the shore, for solid ground, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick…..:: :: Tal took a second to glance up, the shore was close, 50 feet left to go, all he had to do was keep pushing, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick…..:: AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :: The sound erupted behind him, mingling with a massive explosion of water that crashed down around him. The sound slammed into the jungle in front of him and bounced back. Tal ignored it and kept pushing, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick…..:: AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :: The sound rolled over him again, an angry bellow of savage rage and blood thirsty need. It was angry, angry and hungry but Tal’s right hand struck bottom and he clawed his way forward, pushing himself, pulling with all his strength. :: :: In moments he had struggled the last few feet, staggering as he left the water. Only then did he look behind him. The creature glared at him, half of its head above water. Its two dark, eyes glaring at him, daring him to come closer. Then it opened its jaws to scream in frustration one last time. :: AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :: The teeth revealed were the size of daggers and looked to be razor sharp. It glared at him for a few moments more then, the head sunk beneath the water leaving only a few ripples to mark its presence. :: :: For a few minutes Tal merely stood, getting his breath back, enjoying the warm caress of the tropical sun as it slowly dried the clothes that he was wearing. :: :: Then he turned and started to walk along the shore of the lake, searching for his bag that he had beamed down. As he did he allowed a smile to drift across his face. So far this vacation had turned out to be both enjoyable and stimulating. Hopefully the rest of his week would be as well. :: ************************************ Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Chief Tactical Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A darylpea[...]@hotmail.com Daryl.Pea[...]@ontario.ca Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0
  13. ((Camped near the great lake on Igguden III)) :: Tal woke, stretched and slowly sat up. His antenna scented the air, the clean fresh air mixed with the numerous different scents of plants, flowers, animals, birds, death, decay and rebirth. :: :: The week had gone by so fast. The shuttle should be returning in a few hours to collect him and return him to the ship. Part of him was looking forward to it and part of him was dreading it. This life, this having to rely on his wits and strength alone had certain attractions that spoke to him on a depth that was almost unnerving. :: :: Still he had his duty and he was not one to avoid it, no matter what the problem. After all there were plenty of planets like this where he could visit or maybe even retire to once he had finally left the fleet. It was a pleasant thought, one worth considering for his distant future. :: :: With animal like grace Tal moved from a sitting position to a standing one. It was something that amazed a lot of people, especially due to his size and musculature. Few people expected such speed, such dexterity from one who looked more like a walking advertisement for a life of professional weight training. :: :: As he stood a small object leapt from a nearby branch and landed on his shoulder. In many ways it seemed to resemble a miniature humanoid but one with a very long slender tail and long slim arms and legs that seemed to be a bit out of proportion to the size of the tiny body and small head. It curled its tail around his back and over one arm as it sat there calmly. :: :: For the most part Tal ignored it, it had been his almost constant companion since his arrival on this world. Watching as he built his shelter in the upper reaches of its tree. It had soon realized that it had nothing to fear from him and had been following him since. :: :: Tal stretched again, raising his arms straight up and the creature moved easily out of the way, then scampered up one of his arms to leap to a nearby branch. Tal continued to stretch, twist and move, slowly running through a routine designed to loosen and relax every single muscle group in his body. :: :: Only when he was finished did he finally reach out for his clothes. He took his time dressing, enjoying the view, the sight of two of the large lake creatures fighting a few hundred yards off shore. The way the leaves danced in the cool summer breeze, the delicate flowers bending to the same breeze. :: :: This was a very beautiful world, one well worth returning to, even if it was only for the occasional camping trip. At the thought a smile brightened his features and he decided to leave most of the supplies he had brought with him. There was a natural hollow in which he could secure them, that way they would be here the next time he came. They were all made of high tech composite materials so wind, rain and exposure to the elements would not damage them too much. :: :: Tal packed the tools and equipment into the small hollow, then took down the heavy duty water resistant tarp that had served as a roof and after carefully folding it up packed it in on top of the gear. It took only a few more minutes to firmly secure the tarp in place. It would keep the rest of the gear safe and last a long time as well. :: :: Finished Tal packed the last few items that he would be taking with him, ignoring the small creature who watched him the whole time. :: ((Short Time Jump)) :: Tal heard it long before he saw it, the shuttle slowing its descent as it got closer and closer. It was obviously time and as he gave his tree top shelter one last look his comms badge chirped. Tal automatically reached up and tapped it. :: Tel-ar: =/\= Cmdr. Tel-ar here. =/\= Pilot: =/\= You ready to go sir? =/\= Tel-ar: =/\= Yes. =/\= :: Tal replied as he glanced around one last time as he reached out and grabbed his pack, swinging it easily up and onto one shoulder. =/\= Beam me aboard. =/\= :: As Tal felt the all too familiar tingling sensation that meant he was being disassembled into his various subatomic parts for the transfer to the shuttle he distinctly felt the sudden and unexpected contact of a small object, obviously the creature as he could feel its tiny hands and tail through his shirt. :: ((Shuttle)) :: It was too late to shoo it off as the next moment he reappeared on the shuttle standing on the transporter pad in the back. He expected the creature to panic, to act irrationally but all it did was to tighten its grip on his shirt while looking around. :: :: Tal turned his head to look at it, his steel gray eyes staring deep into its dark green eyes. It merely tilted its head then reached up with one tiny paw to touch one of his antenna. :: Pilot: Sir what is that? :: Tal considered the question carefully. Not once during the time that he had spent on the planet had he seen any other members of this creature’s species. Obviously there had to be more on the planet but there had not been any, anywhere near to where he had met this one. :: :: It was also obviously a social creature, one who must have normally belonged to a larger group. Otherwise it would never have spent so much time near him or overcome its natural fear of predators to get so close as to touch him. :: :: For some unknown reason Tal suspected that the creature had been lonely. That, that was the reason it had spent so much time following and watching him and if that was true then its actions in leaping into the transporter beam and its seeming lack of fear was due to it not wanting to be left alone again. :: Tel-ar: That Ensign is our passenger. Pilot: Passenger? Tel-ar: You heard me Ensign. :: Tal replied calmly as he took his backpack off his shoulder and tossed it onto one of the empty seats. As he did the tiny creature leapt off his shoulder onto the bag and sat, curling its tail around itself as it looked all around. :: Pilot: But Cmdr. I don’t think I should be bringing that back to the ship. Tel-ar: That’s perfectly all right Ensign. Consider it to be a direct order. That way your completely off the hook. Understood. :: The young man just stared at him for a moment, then glanced at the tiny creature, then back at the Cmdr. Only then did he move turning and sliding back into the pilots seat even as he replied. :: Pilot: Direct order it is Cmdr. :: He replied as he turned the shuttle and piloted it away from the planet’s surface. :: :: Tal turned and sat down, relaxing into the seat, ready to enjoy the flight back to the USS Doyle-A. :: ((Shuttle inbound to the USS Doyle-A)) :: Tal sat in the back of the shuttle, dressed in stained, worn and distinctly smelly clothes. He sat up straight, his back barely touching the backrest with his eyes closed but he was not asleep. His mind was active even though he had not moved a single muscle in over 3 hours. :: :: This ability to remain motionless for hours had been an essential survival trait for him while growing up. Without it he would have either starved or been killed by other savage predators or even more violent humanoids and while he often relaxed into what appeared to be complete rigidity he was actually very comfortable like this. :: :: Not the same with most people around him. It freaked most of them out and further distanced him from them as both a person and an individual. Tal did not mind, he liked the solitude, hence his going camping by himself. Still there were times when it was nice to have someone around. :: :: His mind drifted back to his last vacation as it had in-numerable times over the last week. He had spent almost every single waking moment and sleeping moment as well with Sherana, an exotic Orion woman trained to be a Klingon warrior by her adoptive father. She was a civilian aboard the USS Constitution-B, a botanist who was responsible for taking care of the ship’s arboretum. :: :: Like him she felt out of place, alone. They had found each other and as unlikely a couple as they were, they had enjoyed each other’s company. It helped that their unusual backgrounds and childhood upbringing provided them with many of the same outlooks and personality quirks that made it difficult for them to make friends among the rest of the crew. :: :: He hated to admit it but he missed her, not just her company which had been both a comfort and enjoyable but everything about her. The way the light caressed her green skin, the way she moved, her scent, so earthy yet intoxicating and almost indescribably sensual regardless of the medication that she took to curb and control her genetic quirk, to repress her pheromones. Most species and most people could not sense it but he could, even more so than most Andorians and he could understand how her kind had enslaved countless men. :: :: Still it had been the quiet times he had enjoyed the most with her, when it was just the two of them, when they could relax and simply enjoy each other’s company. He still remembered the last night they had spent together, the passion, the closeness, the feeling of moving against each other, kissing, caressing. Him waking up in the morning with her warm, tender body molded to his side, her head on his shoulder, her warm breath wafting gently over his chest. :: Pilot: Cmdr. We’re on final approach. Touch down should be in less than 5 minutes. :: The pilot’s voice snapped him out of the day dream, his eyes opened and the intense memory drifted back into his past as he replied. :: Tel-ar: Thank you Ensign. :: Tal glanced over to where his bag was, his tiny friend stirred, lifted his head and stared back at Tal with his tiny, large eyes. Then it stretched, arms and legs both straightened for a moment then it sat up looking around. :: ((Small time jump – Shuttle Bay, USS Doyle-A)) :: As the sound of the engine stopped, Tal stood up, reaching out and grabbing his bag as he did so, his friend leapt onto his arm and ran up it like it was a branch on a tree. Tal ignored this as he moved to the hatch and activated the controls to cause it to open. Then he waited patiently as the door unlocked and opened. :: :: Tal walked off, his long legs quickly taking him across the large room, past other vessels, mechanics hard at work, pilots inspecting their ships and various other crewmembers busy with their various duties. :: :: Out in the corridor he immediately headed towards the closest lift, climbed on and continued his journer to his quarters. :: ((Short time jump - Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar’s quarters)) :: Tal walked in, crossed his large empty room and tossed his bag onto his bed. Then he started to get undressed. As he did his tiny friend leapt off on his shoulder, bounced off of the bed and landed on the floor. Once there he scampered around the room. :: :: Tal tossed his dirty clothes into the chute that would take them away to be cleaned and walked into his bathroom and into his shower. :: ((Short time jump - Bathroom)) :: Tal turned off his shower feeling refreshed and noticeably cleaner. As he opened the door he spotted his tiny friend standing on the counter beside his sink, looking at himself in the mirror. For a moment he paused, simply watching him, his actions and reactions. Again Tal wondered why he had not beamed the small creature back down to Igguden III. It was his home, there he was free to live, to wander amid the tops and branches of the dense equatorial jungle. :: :: Tal gave a small shake of his head as he left his bathroom, content to drip dry. Out in the large empty space that was his quarters he started to walk towards his closet but stopped, turned and walked instead over to where a wall screen could be seen. It stood out against the uneven, tan surface of simulated stone that covered his walls, floor and ceiling. :: :: Once he reached it he taped in his code and checked to see why the light was flashing. He had a message. He was slightly surprised to see who had sent it, surprised and pleased. It had been a while since they had talked, duty and other factors making the time seem to fly between then and now. Without thinking he selected it and activated it. :: :: An image of Sherana appeared on the screen. Her hand was partially blocking the image, as if she was reaching out towards him. Then she lowered her hand and started to speak. Her voice captivated him, thrilled him after not being able to hear it for so long. His antenna twitched and leaned forward so as to drink in every single subtle sound. :: Sherana: =/\= Would you believe if I told you that we were in 1914 and are just back? Of course you would, I wouldn't lie to you. I have not seen any of it, you know the rules for civilian personnel, but I hear it was interesting. :: She paused. :: I have gotten into a fight last night. Because of that ride through some rift, we didn't have much energy and life support was pulled down. My plants were freezing and I went to demand power. The woman I spoke with did not like that and we got into a brawl. Now I have to apologize to her. =/\= :: A this last part a ghost of a smile drifted across Tal’s features. She had growled the last words, her feeling plain in regards to what had happened. :: Sherana: =/\= She will have to as well, but that does not change my dislike. :: She exhaled. :: She was no substitute for you anyway. Even our training was more challenging than this. I ... :: Tal felt a sudden wave of concern as Sherana’s voice broke. He found himself worrying about her, concerned about her even as she inhaled deeply before she continued to speak. :: You know that I am not good when it comes to talking about emotions. :: There was another slight pause as she raised her eyes to look directly into the camera lens. :: tIqwIj Sa'angnIS.* I miss you, Tal. =/\= *((OOC Translation: I must show you my heart)) :: That was the end of the transmission. :: :: Tal stood there for a moment, then reached up and hit replay, watching the short video two or three more times, memorizing again every single subtle aspect of her features, movements and mannerisms. Only then did he activate the record button himself. :: Tel-ar: =/\= Hello Sherana. It is nice to hear from you. =/\= :: Even as he said it he winced inside. He could just hear his best friend Jason chuckle and shake his head before saying, “How many times do I have to tell you Tal, the best way to win a woman’s heart is to let her know yours.” He reached up and stopped the recording, erased it and started over. :: Tel-ar: =/\= Hello Sherana. I miss you as well. =/\= :: This time there was no inner chuckle and he continued. :: =/\= In fact I was reminded of you on my last mission. We ran into a Klingon Bird of Prey with a renegade crew. They destroyed a Federation colony and then the planet as well. =/\= :: Just then a loud metallic clangor made him turn and look towards where his bed was. He could see that his Bat’leth had been knocked off of the wall and it was pretty obvious who had done it. The sight of it laying there caused him to close his eyes for a moment. When he opened them he looked back and erased the recording. What was he thinking, telling her that running into some renegade Klingons had made him think of her. :: :: Tal paused, taking a few long deep breaths before he restarted the recording again. :: Tel-ar: =/\= Hello Sherana. I miss you as well. I just came back from a week off. I visited a nearby planet Igguden III. It is mostly deserted but pleasant, tropical with a large fresh water lake buried within dense jungle. It reminded me of that time we spent together on my shore leave, us walking along the beach, enjoying the warm waters, our hotel room with the amazing view. :: Tal paused for a moment before continuing. :: It was just me roughing it…. Camping out in the upper branches of one of the bigger trees…. Still I wish you could have been there with me… in my arms… waking beside me…. I miss you… I need you… =/\= :: Suddenly Tal reached out and turned off the recording even as he blinked his eyes rapidly a number of times. What was wrong with him? Tal closed his eyes and took a few deep breathes. When he was done he restarted the recording. :: Tel-ar: =/\= I do not know how to explain just what you mean to me…. Other than you are important… that I think of you often… that you haunt my memories… pleasant memories… some of the best I have… that I do miss you… :: Tal paused, and for a moment a brief smile softened his otherwise stern features, his steel gray eyes seemed to mellow and his voice softened, grew a bit more husky with hidden emotion as he finished speaking. :: I miss holding you… being with you…. I miss it all…. :: Again Tal paused as he stared deep into the screen. :: Bye my heart, until we meet again. =/\= :: Then Tal stopped the recording and programmed the computer to send the message to her on the USS Constitution-B. :: :: When he was finished he turned and walked over to where the Bat’leth lay, picked it up and returned it to its spot on the wall before he turned and looked at where his small friend crouched atop the rounded head of a bronze mace. :: Tel-ar: I guess I am going to have to provide you with some form of amusement, otherwise you are likely to either kill yourself, chop your tail off or even worse damage one of my toys with your activities. :: The small creature grinned, then leapt the 14 feet easily to land on his bare shoulder, tail and hands ensuring that he did not fall off as Tal turned to walk back over to the monitor. This time when he activated it, it was for internal communication. :: Tel-ar: =/\= Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar to Engineering. =/\= Engineer: =/\= Yes Cmdr. How can I help you. =/\= Tel-ar: =/\= I will be submitting a work request for my quarters. I need the alterations to be completed before the end of the alpha shift. =/\= Engineer: =/\= I cannot guarantee that Cmdr. It will depend a lot on the nature of the work you need done. =/\= Tel-ar: =/\= I see. :: Tal paused for a moment then he continued to speak. :: You should be able to see the creature on my shoulder Ensign. =/\= Engineer: =/\= Yes Cmdr. I can. =/\= Tel-ar: =/\= Good the alterations are to provide him with a living space and recreational facilities with in my quarters. I doubt that it will be a very difficult or time consuming job. =/\= Engineer: =/\= No, I doubt it will be. I will get started on it as soon as I receive the details of your request Cmdr. =/\= Tel-ar: =/\= Thank you. I will send them within the hour. Tel-ar out. =/\= :: Tal closed the channel and turned to walk over to the closet. He still needed to get dressed. :: ************************************ Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Chief Tactical Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A darylpea[...]@hotmail.com Daryl.Pea[...]@ontario.ca Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0 With help from Cmdr. Jalana Rajel, the writer for PNPC Sherana from the USS Constitution-B Jalana Rajel
  14. ((Starbase 118 Ops, Operations)) (Day of the Party and Awards Dinner) *OOC: A little long but should be enjoyable none the less.* ::Baylen had been sitting up in Ops watching the reports of the Flight Officer while he had gone to lunch, This was not his normal cup of tea, there was far more that he should be doing. Station traffic was pretty run of the mill but while he running names against the station watch list there was a name that caught his eyes and made him jump straight up. He looked at the screen with a big huge grin for several minutes. While he watched the Runabout approaching the Star Base, a Runabout with Baylen’s best friend from his youth. Standing up and pull a Operations Ensign over to the Flight Ops station. Baylen pointing at the station and the incoming Runabout.:: Anders: Ensign Morgan, that Runabout there, it has VIP docking, it bumps all other incoming ship. ::Looking at Morgan:: Are we clear? Morgan: Aye sir, Shuttle Port 12 fine sir? ::She looked at the runabout in some confusion.:: But sir there are no known VIP’s on that runabout. Anders: There is a VIP on the shuttle make no mistake, a VIP for me, and that will be very good, let the flight officer know I have gone to greet an incoming guest. Morgan: Very well sir. Anders: Too bad I did not know he was coming, I would have had the Statbase 118th Marine Corps Band waiting in the shuttle port. ::Baylen was grinning was he got out of Ashley’s way.:: ::Ashley Morgan took the station as Baylen walked to the Turbolift and departed Main Upper Operations. As he rode the lift down the 200 decks he smiled and thought about all the times sitting on the white sandy beaches and the crystal clear ocean, while they rubbed wax on there boards for hours, while looking at the visitors and talking about how funny some looked and how good some looked and and how out of place others were. All the times the would sneak and place a Horgon next to some stranger and sit back and watch with big grins on their young faces. (( Runabout Bastille - Outside Starbase 118 )) ::Antero sat at the helm, leaning lazily against the wall of the runabout, sure that he would start hitting his head against it at any moment. He had the expression of a zombie and was watching the comm traffic and praying it would all be over soon.:: Honeycutt: ::Laughing:: Well it turns out the plasma coil was wrapped around the isolinear rod in such a way that it was coming through with a negative charge! Oh man, you should have seen the look on his face. ::Sobering:: Hey, are you listening? Flynn: Hm..? Oh, yeah. Of course I am. ::He sat up a little straighter:: That's definitely the most interesting story I have ever heard about isolinear plasma....charges? Honeycutt: ::Smiling:: You know if you paid more attention you might learn something. Flynn: Sorry, what was that? ::He shot the Engineer a wink.:: Honeycutt: Have it your way. ::He looked toward the main viewer at the busy Starbase:: How much longer until we dock? Flynn: Were in the que but they are pretty backed up. ::He leaned forward to check the docking status, tilting his head in confusion at a notification.:: Something about you I should know Honeycutt? Honeycutt: What do you mean? Flynn: They gave us VIP priority. ::His hands went to the controls and he moved them into position at Port 12:: Better let everyone know to grab their gear, won't be long now. ::As Honeycutt moved to the back of the Runabout, Antero wondered silently what their special clearance was about. Whatever the case, he had no objection. He sent proper notification to approach control that the vessel was ready for docking, and confirmation was received almost immediately and the space doors opened. With the system locked on, the vessel had a short trip along the directional array and before long the Risian was slinging his pack over his shoulder, off to complete his final check in.:: ((Starbase 118, Docking Port 12, Deck 44)) The turbolift doors parted and Baylen stepped off the lift and walked right across to the Shuttle Port just as the Runabout set down on PAD Five, Baylen watched as other shuttles came into the large 14 deck tall shuttle hangar bay, others turned and went into docking ports. Baylen walked over to the Port side hatch of the runabout as a few flight deck hands pushed over a set of steps and watched as a few Officers got off the ship, then there was Antero Flynn, stepping off with his bags. Baylen just beamed, Overcome with joy to seeing his old friend.:: Anders: Lt. Antero Flynn, What the hell are you doing in this part of space, much less in that uniform. ::Smiling:: ::The last one out, Antero was surprised to hear his name as he exited the craft. He turned and his eyes went wide, it had been several years, but he recognized the officer instantly. He dropped his bag practically tackled him in a hug before pulling back, hands on his shoulders.:: Flynn: Baylen?! No way! When did you join Starfleet? Anders: I joined the fleet six years ago. Now I am the Mission Specialist of the Station. I did not think anything would drag you away from beaches of Suraya Bay? ::It dawned on Antero that he might not have heard about what happened to his younger brother Aurelio. This was not the time, but he still answered honestly.:: Flynn: Oh you know, had to find that next great adventure. The waves only get so big on Risa. ::He grinned:: Anders: Well that still does answer my question, what brings you to Starbase 118. ::Grinning and throwing an arm around his neck and shoulder and picking up his other bag with his free hand as he walked Antero out of the shuttle port.:: Flynn: I volunteered to transfer a reassigned runabout from the Apollo, my home away from Risa. ::He looked to his old friend, happy to have the person he used to confide in the most.:: I actually have a tiny bit of an ulterior motive. Anders: You an Ulterior Motive? Never… ::Grinning:: Flynn: ::Smiling sheepishly:: It’s not like me but, I sort of fell for a guy on my last assignment. Anders: Oh really, that is great. I have meet someone myself, I really like him a lot. He is such a sweetheart, and very sexy. Flynn: Oh yeah? I’ll be interested in hearing more. ::He shrugged:: Things have hit a bit of a bump for us. Transfers tore us apart and we never really talked about it. I figured it’s time for some resolution, maybe see if there is a way we can keep things going. Anders: ::Smiling:: Cheers to that. Shall we head out of here? ::The two stepped into the turbolift.:: Flynn: You bet, I’ve got some time to kill. Lead the way. Anders: Did you arrange for quarters, I have a guest room, or are you staying? Flynn: I’m all set, thanks. Anders: ::Baylen started to Laugh at random: Sorry I just thought about those Tellarites. Flynn: Tellarites? Anders: You know the four that was skinny dipping in mavgos bay? We snuck out on to the beach and stole their clothing and hid them in the woods. Flynn: ::Laughing:: Oh, man. How could I forget! We definitely knew how to keep ourselves entertained. Anders: ::Smiling:: We watched them all day running around naked looking for there clothes and women running off and screaming. Flynn: It was like staring at the sun, I think i'm still a little scarred from it. Anders: ::making a funny face:: I am too, I have never seen four butt cheeks on anything before. Flynn: ::Chuckling:: Reminds me of the time I took Illona tandem skydiving and we landed in the middle of a nudist colony populated by some Yridian crew. She still can’t look a Yridian in the eye… Anders: That is funny. ::Smiling:: Flynn: ::He paused, suddenly considering:: How did you know I was here anyway? My arrivals don't exactly make the news... Anders: Oh, well I was in Flight Control in Ops and saw your name in the runabout crew and you had a two hour wait, so I thought I would fix that. ::Grinning:: I bumped two Captains for you. Flynn: Good to see you still have my back. ::grinning:: I guess it’s safe to say I have connections in the fleet. Anders: You want to go get a drink, or are you in a hurry to go find this man of yours? ::Antero felt butterflies at the mention of the conversation he had come here for. A couple drinks sounded like the perfect remedy.:: Flynn: Definitely a drink. If i’m not pulling you away from anything…? Anders: Not at all, we are on leave I was just lending a hand up on ops. Flynn: ::Smiling:: Great. So where do all the cool kids go to put their feet up around here? Anders: Well the Promenade has a place I like called Cabo Breeze Flynn: Yeah? Is it any good? Anders: I is a lot like the old Mole Hole back home, very beach resort like but not too overdone. Flynn: Sounds right up our alley! Anders: ::Pressing a button on the lift.:: Promenade Beach section. Flynn: ::Smirking:: The important question, is are they as tolerant of spontaneous tabletop musical numbers? Anders: ::Blushing a little:: Hey I am part of the Command Staff here, I am not so sure I could get away with that here. ::Laughing:: Well maybe after a few Rums I might be talked into doing a musical number. ::Cutting Antero and silly look.:: Flynn: Sounds like we're going to be drinking some rum. ::He winked with a wicked grin:: Assuming they are any good. ::The Turbolift dropped into the clear tube part of the Promenade, you can all five cities and all there highrises. The bay in the middle of them all with branches of water that flow out between the cities with bridges over them. The bay was full of sailboats coming and going. The lift hit the water line and the two went under the water line to the subway like station below the Promenade and the lifts moved and adjusted and came back up and opened up at the beach.:: ((Promenade, Beach Area Cabo Breeze)) http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Cabo_Breeze Anders: ::Pointing:: Cabo Breeze, they have some Rum Punches that are awesome. ::The pilot looked the place over and nodded his approval.:: Flynn: Looks like they did a good job of capturing a nice beach vibe. ::The two started to walk to the bar it was like a Bamboo Hut, with a palm leaf roof. That sat on the edge of the beach and a deck that hung over the water. The two walked up and Baylen sat down some the bags he was carrying on the floor next one of the outside tables. He walked up to bar and picked up two drinks that are in coconut shells with little umbrellas hanging out of them and tons a fresh fruit and walked back and handed one to Antero and took a seat.:: Anders: One of my favorite places off duty, I come here often. ::Smiling:: So tell me about their person you are here to see? Flynn: ::Taking his drink gratefully.:: An officer I met on Columbia. Really a sweetheart, and his hair had magical powers of always looking awesome. Couldnt resist! ::He paused in reflection:: I admit, it’s the first time I ever really connected with someone at that level. Anders: Oh really, I just can't see you chasing after someone. ::Smiling:: What a change, I guess we all do finally grow up, even if we don't want to. ::Baylen took a large drink of his Rum and Fruit juice and smiles:: oO That is cool, Theo was on the Columbia, I wonder he knows him. Oo Flynn: Grow up? ::He took a big drink from his Coconut shell.:: Lets not get hasty. Anders: Ok so not growing up then, but being more open to more than oneself maybe? ::Grinning:: Perfect hair huh? ::Baylen ran his hands through his hair and frowned:: I wish I could say that about mine. ::Laughing.:: Flynn: Hey you do alright, but like me you actually have to put work into maintaining a nice mane. ::He smiled:: So tell me something about this fellow that caught your eye. Anders: Well, I first meet him on the Bridge of the Albion, it was odd because he was glowing, he was so warm and radiated a white light then I noticed he was just standing in front of a light beam on the bridge, but he was so beautiful he almost took my breath away. On top of that he saved my life. He jumped on top of me in the torpedo room and knocked me to the ground and laid on top of me as a plasma fire raged over head. And you remember be telling you my fantasy about something along those those lines. ::Baylen leaned back and took another drink almost lost in the memory.:: So you know me, I flirted while he lay on top of me with the fire over head. ::Smiling:: Flynn: ::Leaning forward, looking amazed:: Wow, sounds like quite a catch. If only we could combine these two gentlemen we might have one hell of a specimen. ::He smiled:: Though I have a feeling you would agree that our own respective individuals are perfect just as they are. ::Baylen smiled and nodded at the Bar Tender and help up his hand with two fingers up. A few seconds later a female in a grass skirt walked over and placed two large drinks on the table and nodded and left.:: Anders: I would say that would be about right. ::Grinning:: Early this morning he saved my little pug from being cooked. ::Smiling:: I would have died if I lost Baxter. ::Taking a big sip.:: How are your Parents doing? I was thinking about Hewitt the other day he was always so much nicer than my dad? Flynn: ::Adopting a look of puzzled amusement:: Don’t they always say that saving a pug is the key to true love? ::He shrugged with a small smile and looked away evasively, not sure he was ready darken their enjoyable reunion.:: They are okay I guess... Anders: ::Baylen could pick up the fact that Antero did not want to talk about family at this moment. Risians has a small amount of Empathic abilities but it was much stronger Risian to Risian.:: Did you say you are on the Apollo? A friend of mine the this Ship's X.O., Alex and I go way back. I went the Academy with her Commanding Officer Kali for that matter. ::He hoped that was a good change of subject.:: Flynn: ::Brightening.:: Oh yeah? I guess I’m more connected than I thought! ::He grinned:: I’ll be sure to do some name dropping as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Anders: I hope it does not land you in the brig. ::Grinning, he picked up the two empty coconut shells and held them up to chest and did a little dance in his chair, with a stupid look on his face as he could feel the rum in his body.:: I have no idea why I just did that. Flynn: ::Laughing:: Oh man, it’s just like old times. It really is great to see you. Thanks for this. Anders: Anytime you are in this area feel free and drop in we can do sleepovers and PJ parties like when we were kids ::Grinning:: Flynn: Count on it. I won’t bother arranging quarters. :: He smirked:: We can even get up early and watch cartoons in our underwear again. Anders: Oh my that is really going back. The “Risian Dress Whites.” : : But sounds awesome… As long as we don't have to eat those nasty eggs with green sauce on them. ::Making a funny face.:: Hey!!! I got an invite from the Station Commander for a big function tonight in the Command Holodeck, we are doing winter sports and such with dinner and award. I would love it if you can come? I can introduce you to guy I have been talking about. Flynn: I do have some paperwork to file over this vessel reassignment. ::He paused and then smiled:: But what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t stop in at least to say hello. Anders: That would be most awesome. ::Baylen looked up at the artificial sun light beaming down on him and Antero.:: To bad we don't have our swim trunks, we could go Surfing. They have some awesome waves that break beautiful out there. There is also some great caves and reefs down there I love to explore while Scuba Diving. Flynn: Oh man, it’s been too long since I had even a taste of ocean. ::He looked at his childhood friend with resolution:: Next time i’m on the base, nothing stops this from happening. Anders: Agreed, we can make a full weekend of it, I can use a friend of mines sailboat and we can camp on the boat all weekend, take tanks out with us and catch our food, there are lots of lobsters out there with our name all over them. Then grill them and drink on the deck of the boat. This time I will sail it though. Last time I went sailing with you we were off the coast of Suraya Bay in the Gaxlin divide on my dad's boat and you wanted to see how fast the boat would go, Next thing I remember was the stren coming up and the bow going down and the Gaxlin ocean hitting my face as we flipped four times. ::Smiling:: And we had to swim back home, a five hour swim I might add. ::Baylen stood up and walked over to the bar and handed the bartender his Federation Credit Disk. He waited to make sure it was all good and then walked back over to Antero and tossed him a t-shirt.:: Anders: I got you a shirt to remember the day. ::Smiling and tossing it to Antero.:: I guess I will let you go get your paperwork done. But I look forward to seeing you in a few hours at holodeck 4. ::Baylen walked away quickly before he got sucked into having another drink and showing up to the awards dinner drunk. But as he walked from the bar he was very happy at seeing his oldest friend, and being able to catch up a little with him.:: Anders: oO It will be fun getting to introduce him to Theo tonight. So long as Antero does not try and put the moves on him with those cunning way of his. How many dates have I lost to Antero now, too many to count. Oo ::Smiling ::Baylen smiled and walked to the Turbolift and made his way back to Ops. He walked out and nodded at a few people and then made his way into his office and laid down on the sofa to let the Rum settle for a moment. Before he had to get ready for the Awards Dinner.:: * To Be Continued............ */Wishing you Fair Winds and following Seas.../* *Lt. Commander Baylen M. Anders* Mission Specialist Fleet Operations 118th Fleet *Star Base 118* http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Anders,_Baylen ID: R238606GH0 */~The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.~/* AND * **Lt. JG Antero Flynn* Helm Officer USS Apollo - A C239205AF0
  15. (( Kaitlyn Falcon's Quarters; Starbase 118 )) ::It was quiet. Far too quiet.:: ::After a wonderful night spent with Leo, the in-depth conversation began. He gave her his updates; what had happened, what he had learned, what he had done for his sister and his friends.:: ::He also told her what had to happen next... He would be leaving the station, turning over command to Sal, and he had no idea when he would be back.:: ::Kaitlyn's next question was the obvious one; "When do we leave?":: ::That was when the other shoe dropped. Leo needed Kaitlyn to remain there. Kaitlyn had immediately prepared for a lengthy verbal battle... though it seemed Leo knew exactly how to diffuse the situation. He had need of Kaitlyn's skills, but this time her most important contribution would be off of the battlefield. He would need a reliable source of supplies, something he knew she could provide.:: ::It was a blow, to be sure, but it was also something Kaitlyn could not argue against. If Leo needed her providing support from where she was, then she would provide him the best support she could.:: ::Leo had not remained much longer. Their farewells were not exactly happy, but they were hopeful at the very least.:: ::And then... silence. Her quarters seemed far more silent than they had before, even though it was still just her and Rhino.:: ::She needed to move. Needed to do... something...:: ::Then she remembered her mental note, to fire up the old sparring program and work out her stresses. A quick check with the computer found a free holodeck. She booked a reservation immediately.:: (( Holodeck 47; Starbase 118 )) ::The holodeck doors parted, admitting the civilian dressed officer onto the gold-grid-on-black room.:: Falcon: Computer, activate program Kaitlyn Spar 1, with gear. Computer: Acknowledged. ::The room around Kaitlyn shimmered, floor replaced with a hard white surface as the room faded into darkness all around her. A spotlight illuminated the center of the room, a black ring marking the floor. A similar light remained over her head, showing a table and chair form nearby. Atop the table were a line of bottles of chilled water and a duplicate of her weighted staff.:: ::She had first used a staff in combat many years ago, before she had joined Starfleet. She had been taken hostage by the Orion Syndicate, long story, and after breaking loose grabbed the closest thing she could use as an improvised weapon; a metal rod with large hexagonal nut at either end. While she was able to recover her twin phase pistols, her initial escape had been thanks to that rod.:: ::Once she returned to civilization, she got her hands on a better constructed staff and learned how to use it. While she had not yet been able to use her knowledge in the field, it did give her an excellent form of stress relief.:: ::Kaitlyn grabbed the staff, hefting it slightly to remind her arm of the weight.:: Falcon: Computer, reduce ambient temperature to 18.3 degrees Celsius. Computer: Working. ::The room started to chill as she removed her jacket and flung it over a chair. She liked working out in the cold; it meant she was unlikely to overheat, and the added pain of impact (while maintaining safeties, of course) gave her ample reason to avoid hits.:: ::Kaitlyn moved to the center of the circle, holding her staff in a two-handed ready stance. She did a short warm-up, making multiple practice swings of the staff with steadily increasing speed and sweep.:: ::Once she felt adequately stretched, she dropped back into her ready stance.:: Falcon: Computer, begin round one. ::The computer gave its acknowledging beep as Kaitlyn listened to the shuffles beyond the light, waiting for the first opponent to appear.:: ::Points of light manifested; eyes in the darkness. Two figures entered the light, both Orions in patched leather jackets and tan pants. Each had the symbol of the Orion Syndicate at his shoulder. One cracked his knuckles, the other his neck, and both charged.:: ::Kaitlyn stepped forward, thrusting the end of her staff into one Orion's chest to stop him before spinning the staff around to bring the other end's weight into his head. The blow dazed him, leaving him open for a follow-up side swing to the side of his head, knocking him down as he vanished from the program. She immediately reversed, ducking down as she brought the staff around and into the side of the second Orion's head twice. The second opponent vanished as well.:: ::Kaitlyn had encountered the Orion Syndicate many times over the years, or rather FAR TOO MANY times. The amount of harm they caused, the amount of destruction she had witnessed over the years... No minced words; she hated them. Time might have given her some distance from it, but it would never truly be gone.:: ::While at the Academy, she had asked one of her more holographically capable friends to make this sparring program for her. While training dummies were okay, sometimes Kaitlyn wanted to fight something that could fight back. Besides, it always provided excellent stress relief.:: Falcon: Computer, begin round two. ::As Kaitlyn got back into position, four new opponents emerged from the shadows. They remained in two pairs, moving around the ring to attack from two directions. Kaitlyn turned in place, keeping the assailants to her left and right.:: ::The quartet charged her, Kaitlyn snapping her staff up and around to knock each pair into each other. They staggered, three of them momentarily collapsing while the fourth managed to keep his feet.:: ::That simply meant he was the first to fall, as Kaitlyn swiftly brought her staff around for another decisive strike.:: ::The remaining trio regained their feet, though did little to coordinate their attack. Kaitlyn dodged the clumsy grasp of the closest Orion, snapping her staff behind her to crack against the back of his head. Reversing her swing, she swept the second's feet out from under him, chaining her movement to slam the other weight down against the Orion's chest. Both vanished from the program as the final Orion approached. Kaitlyn made another two-hit combination; a straight strike to the Orion's chest followed by a comical upswing between the Orion's legs.:: ::The look on the Orion's face was priceless. Kaitlyn couldn't help but smirk as he fell over sideways and vanished.:: ::Kaitlyn took a moment to breathe, using her staff as support. Typically, she would make the next round one-on-one, going up against an opponent armed with a staff of his own and getting more movement into the mix. However... Kaitlyn found she really did not feel like continuing.:: Computer: Standing by for round three. Falcon: I know... ::Sighs.:: I know... ::The escape was always nice, and as expected she had burned through the residual stress of the last mission.:: ::Yet, all it had done was remind her of the terrible new truth... She was separated from Leo once again. She had spent a couple years and several postings away from him before, and the prospect of repeating that did not sit well with her.:: ::It was necessary, sure, but that did not make it any better.:: ::Kaitlyn walked back over to the table, setting down the duplicate staff and picking up her jacket from the chair. That day, there would be no round three.:: Falcon: Computer, end program. ::The room shimmered, quickly replaced with the same gold-grid-on-black she had seen on entry. Her escape would have to come from elsewhere.:: =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion F237507RF0 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  16. (( USS Constitution - Daycare / School )) :: The time had finally came for school to be over. Not that there was much in the way of schooling after the ship jostled everyone like a martini. The adults were solome, milling around constantly asking if they were alright. Worry etched in their features as they offered comforting words and coo’s. :: :: The children, on the other hand, were wound up tighter than a fresh ball of string and bounced around like a spring that had been sent down a flight of steps. Even though they had gotten their fill of bumps and bruises, and the classrooms looked like a massacre of school supplies, energy seemed never ending. In fact it might have grown with the new experience and once the shock wore off. :: :: Tabitha was one of those children, giggling and creating mayhem in her own little way. But the fun she was having with the other children, as the day came to an end, and one by one the others left. She had kept up her bright and cheerful smile until the last student left, leaving her alone with a few teachers still trying to pick up the pieces. But the day had been long on them as well. Quietly they moved around, mumbling slightly to one another, with worn expressions and exhausted bodies. :: :: Tabitha needed to see others smile and be cheerful for her own happiness. Her father, Jack, saying it was because she had such a big heart for someone so young. Seeing the dreary faces pulled the corners of her mouth down, hanging her head as she sat quietly at a desk, closest to the door. :: :: Would Akeelah ever come? She wondered, wrapping her little arms around her chest and pouting. She was hungry by this time, and her father always came to pick her up with a snack to tide her over till dinner. But it wouldn’t be him picking her up, he was too busy. Despite understanding, as much as a 5 year old could, it still hurt. :: :: But at long last, the doors opened and in walked Akeelah. Tabitha jumped up with such glee, a spring under her butt that made her nearly fly towards the woman, and arms thrown out wide that worked quickly to wrap themselves around Akeelah’s legs. Both in happy embrace and to make sure she couldn’t pull away easily from Tabitha. She rested her head on Akeelah’s upper thigh and looked up to her with large eyes and smile. :: Tabitha: You’re here! :: She said as if it had been years since she last saw the woman. :: :: Akeelah had felt guilty for leaving work while they still were in this situation, caught in the past, but at this point there was no direct threat towards ship or crew. There were no alien ships around, no weapons from the planet that could hit them, no criminals who could beam up and enter the ship, so after a short discussion with a colleague, she had been convinced it to be safe enough to go off duty after her shift had ended. Of course under the premise to be called in case she was needed. So Akeelah had made her way directly to the Daycare Center, knowing that Tabitha would already be waiting for her. When she entered she did not have to look around to find the girl, as she had jumped up and run right into her so fast she was merely a blur in Akeelah’s vision. :: D’Sena: Of course I am. Have you thought I go back on my promise? Tabitha: :: Pause. :: Well no, but school let out almost 15 minutes ago! :: It was just so inconceivable to Tabitha. Time, that is. :: D’Sena: I did mention it would take a bit longer than when school is out. ::She reminded the girl and looked down to her, the way she wrapped herself around her legs, as if she wanted to make sure that Akeelah didn’t leave. She could feel that so clear from the girl. :: I won’t be able to walk like that. :: Reluctantly, Tabitha released the trapped legs, with a frown. A spark flared along with another way to ensure her company, quickly snatching up Akeelah’s fingertips and holding them tightly. :: Tabitha: Are you ready? D’Sena: I indeed am. ::She looked at the wrapped up finger. At least Tabby wouldn’t get lost like this. As she raised her eyes she saw that the teacher was looking over, he smiled and nodded to her instead of trying to get her out again, so she assumed Jack had informed him just as he had promised.:: Let us go, Tabitha. :: She turned and headed to the door, careful not to go too fast for the short legs of the girl. :: :: Tabby nodded, her rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes gave away all the excitement she kept bottled up. She glanced around and waved at her teacher ‘goodbye’ before stepping out into the corridor. The lights seemed dimmer than in the classrooms and the air more chilled. :: D’Sena: Are you hungry? Tabitha: :: Perking up even more.:: Yes! Are you? D’Sena: I have not had dinner yet, we can eat together in my quarters. Do you need something from home first for your stay? Tabitha: Um… :: She tapped her free hand on her chin. :: Yes. :: Shhe looked up at Akeelah. :: I need clothes… Toothbrush… *My* b* blankie and… D’Sena: You can have a toothbrush from me. Tabitha: But I can’t sleep without my blankie :: Akeehal was not sure if that was true. A blanket was only an object and objects did not influence how someone would sleep, right? Either way this seemed to be important for Tabby, and it was cold thanks to the reduced life support activity, even in the living quarters. So she nodded.:: D’Sena: Then we will get your blankie. :: Tabby picked up a slight skip in her walk as she and Akeelah stepped into the nearest turbolift. She stepped off to one side, still clinging to the woman’s fingers. Her tummy rumbled and she patted it, looking down then back up too Akeelah.:: Tabitha: What will we have for a snack? D’Sena: I thought we could have something from my home planet. Tabitha: Really? :: She perked up.:: that sounds most yummy. Does the computer make it taste good? :: With the energy level so low they had to bring down life support, replicating was out of the question. Which was good, Akeelah did not like replicated as much anyway. It wasn’t supposed to taste any different, and pretty sure it was all in her head that it still did. :: D’Sena: I will cook. If you like and promise to be careful you can help me. Tabitha: I promise! :: Her voice raised an octave or two.:: :: Akeelah nodded and with the girl at her finger she stepped into the lift to get whatever Tabitha would be needing for the night. :: (( Quarters D’Sena )) :: After the quick trip to the Gards’ quarters Akeelah and Tabitha arrived at the Rodulan’s quarters. They were smaller than the family quarters but quite adequate and pleasant in size for her. There were not many personal things around. It looked like standard quarters, with a couple of books, two pictures and a few small basotile statues. :: :: Tabby smiled in wonder as she glanced around the living quarters. It was just perfect. So clean and neat, everything seemed to have its place. Tabby tried to keep her smile from growing. No wonder her papa liked Akeelah. They were both neat people... Unlike she, herself who preferred things laid out. It made it easy to get or find things. Though her papa would just smile and shake his head at her reasoning.:: D’Sena: You can put your things over there. ::She pointed to an empty spot next to the door.:: Tabitha: O-Tay! :: Tabby nodded, with blanket and dolls in tow, turning to see where she was directed to leave her things. She laid the blanket down first, then her dolls on top. With a smile and a firm nod she turned back to Akeelah, who had already made her way to the kitchen.:: :: Since they both were hungry, or to quote Tabby ‘starving’, Akeelah headed to the kitchen corner and retrieved the tools and checked on which ingredients she had, while she allowed Tabby to take a look around the quarters. She did not have all she needed right now, but she’d adjust and improvise a little. It would still be like home, but with her own spin.:: D’Sena: I hope you like vegetables. Tabitha: I love veggies! :: Tabby clapped her hands together in joy and giddiness. She walked towards where Akeelah stood, stopped for a second and began dragging a chair over to the counter top. :: Tabitha: And fruits. :: Tabby pulled the chair as close as she could to the counter top, sticking her tongue out in concentration. She slide her flats off, using the chair to keep her stable.:: Tabitha: Tomatoes I like mosted. :: She smiled as she stood up on the chair.:: :: Akeelah had noticed, that the girl was pulling a chair closer and she let her. In this cold the ship was in - and unfortunately her quarters as well - she preferred to be near a heat source, which the small stove could provide. It had an internal power source, so she wouldn’t strain the ship’s resources. :: D'Sena: Do you now? Good, because we will have … veggies. Tabitha: What kind of veg-i-ta-bles are these? D'Sena: These are vegetables from my home planet, Rodul. And these here… ::She raised a small cone shaped piece in a nightblue shimmering shade.:: … are the closest that we have to tomatoes. Tabitha: I love to-ma-toes! :: Akeelah smiled slightly and extended her hand to the girl, so she could take it. :: :: Tabby took the tomatoes similar food and popped it into her mouth gladly. She smiled and she chewed, very much pleased with the flavor. It was slightly different. But to her it was just a different type of tomato.:: D’Sena: And? Tabitha: Yummy! :: She threw her hands up.:: Are they real? D’Sena: Yes, they are fresh. I am not very fond of replicators. I receive fresh ingredients during shore leaves or with the help of the botanist. Tabitha: Someone grows these? On the ship? :: It was awe in Tabby's eyes. She had never stopped to consider someone might actually grow real food on a star ship. She was always tickled to learn knew things.:: D’Sena: She grows fresh vegetables as per request, if she has room for it. Tabitha: ::Giggled.:: that is am-a-zing! ::Paused.:: What can I do? :: She looked down at the counter top.:: :: Akeelah made sure to be between Tabby and the stove, so the girl could not burn herself and wondered how she could help. :: D’Sena: Have you cut vegetables before? Tabitha: Yes! :: She clapped her hands together.:: D'Sena: Good then you know, that you need to pay close attention to the blade, so you won’t cut yourself. Keep your fingers away from the sharp edge and cut on a steady surface, like this here. ::She patted the counter:: :: Tabby bit down on her bottom lip in concentration. Listening closely to Akeelah. Her papa often reminded her of safety first.:: Tabitha: What is this? :: Tabby held up a soft green veggie that was long and narrow. It resembled a green bean but with blueish spots all over it. :: D'Sena: This is called a Taruk. It is slightly bitter, but when you bite on the blue spots, it becomes sweet. Tabitha: Can I cut it? D'Sena: ::Thinking about that for a moment she finally nodded.:: Alright. You cut them once along the long side so you have two halves and then once in the middle of the short side to make it 4 pieces. Got it? Tabitha: Okay! I can do that. :: She giggled.:: :: Akeelah smiled and for a moment she watched Tabby. Not only to make sure that she didn’t hurt herself but also because the enthusiasm about helping during cooking preparation reminded her so much about herself and her little sister. Before she could dive too far into the memories she pulled a piece of poultry from the cooling unit and cut it into small pieces. She then mixed spices and herbs with some oil and began to pour the mix over the meat, digging with her hands into the bowl to cover the pieces evenly. :: :: Tabby’s little tongue stuck out of her mouth and her eyes fixated on cutting the veggie. Her determination to cut everything as exactly as she could caused her to be slow. Down the middle and then again. One down! Tabby set the four pieces aside, lining them up side by side. The lengths were close but not exact and Tabby frowned. Grabbing a second one, she focused even harder but much to her dismay they two were uneven, and longer than the first one she cut. She looked to Akeelah.:: Tabitha: Am I do-ing o-kay? D’Sena: You are doing very well. I still have some dough left from last time, so I will be doing some pasta for us and we are going to put everything together with a lovely sauce. :: Tabby beamed, despite the uneven cuts she was still doing good. She thought for minute about what they might be making. Something with pasta? She frowned slightly, thinking. :: Tabitha: Pasta? That is not from your home, right? :: It was half statement and half question. :: D’Sena: ::smiling:: .oO Smart kid Oo. No, pasta is not from Rodul, but I do not have the ingredients for original Rodulan noodles, so these will have to do. Tabitha: :: Smiling.:: O-tay! D’Sena: When you are done with these, you can set the table. This won’t take long. :: Tabby reached for the sixth veggie and continued to cut length ways and then width ways. She nodded pleasantly. Oh how she very much enjoyed having helpful things to do. It made her feel like she was useful and right in the middle of things. :: Tabitha: I can do that… ::Paused.:: Just for two? :: There was slight hope in the undertones of her voice, hope that the answer would be three.:: :: The hope didn’t get past Akeelah and she could understand the girl. Of course she hoped her father would be here. But with the state the ship was in, that wasn’t likely. :: D’Sena: Yes, two. :: Tabby set down the knife delicately, on the opposite side from her, and hopped down off her chair. She snatched a Taruk that was uncut and bit into it as she followed where Akeelah pointed for the dishes. The veggie was indeed bitter and yet almost bland until the sweet stepped in, making the veggie taste more like a sweet pea. She smiled. She retrieved two of everything. Two plates, bowls, cups, knives, little forks and big, little spoons and big, tea cups and tea plates and carried them out to the table two by two. :: :: Akeelah showed her where to find the cutlery and dishes, before returning to the pasta. That went rather quick as she tore small pieces off the dough and as she was done with enough of that, she poured them in boiling water. While that cooked she began to stir-fry the meat and the scent of spices and oil combined with the meat began to fill the whole room. The vegetables were steaming in another pot and the Rodulan was pleased when everything came together and finished at the same time. Quickly she gave everything into a big bowl and from the juices she made a quick sauce with some lovely cream and put that into another vessel. Carefully she brought both into the dining part of the quarters, noticing that Tabby had set the table nicely and was now looking around a bit. :: :: Tabby filled the table with dishes, much like what she does with her dolls’ tea parties. It was fancy like to her. But with the table set, she took the chance to look around the room. :: D’Sena: Dinner is ready. Tabitha: Are you married? :: She turned asking innocently enough. :: :: Akeelah’s eyebrow raised slightly at the question, taken off guard by it. Her people didn’t marry, they did not believe in the artificial binding together of people. They followed the natural flow, things began, things ended, it was not assumed that relationships held forever, especially not with their prolonged lifespan. :: D’Sena: No, I am not. Why do you ask? Tabitha: :: Shrugged.:: Well, :: She spoke walking back to the table. :: Some of the ol-der kids talked a-bout people with lots of love-rs. D’Sena: Ah, but not all lovers get married. ::Just as she said that, she wondered if that might be a wrong subject for a chat with a child.:: Tabitha: :: Thoughtfully.:: Papa says that people that love, get marr-ied. D’Sena: You father is correct. On Earth or in other cultures many people who love each other get married. But not everyone does. Come on sit down. :: Tabby sat down at the table and smiled. The food smelled very good and she was excited to try something new, even though some of it was familiar. She watched intently as Akeelah served the food. :: :: The Rodulan began to fill the plates with the pasta, covering it with the sauce and topping it with a piece of meat. As she put the tool down again she looked over the table and then realized something was missing.:: D’Sena: What would you like to drink? Tabitha: Milk please! :: Tabby sat quietly waiting for Akeelah before tasting the food. She nodded her thanks when the woman placed a glass of milk in front of her. After Akeelah sat down Tabby asked something. She was sure she knew the answer but truly wished to know for sure. :: Tabitha: Do you love Papa? :: Akeelah had just sat down and was in the progress of taking a sip from her glass when Tabby asked her question. The water got stuck in her throat as her heart skipped a beat, just like in those moments when you thought someone caught you in the act of doing something naughty. She coughed and patted her hand on her chest. :: D’Sena: What? ::some more coughing:: Tabitha: :: Giggled. :: Do. You. Love… Papa?!? :: Tabby giggled as she dove into the food. It was very yummy! Tabby enjoyed working with Akeelah to make the food. It would make sense that she would be able to do so if Akeelah and Papa lived together. It was an exciting thought!. :: D’Sena: How do you get that idea? .oO You are evading the answer Oo. :: Tabby covered her mouth as she giggled, curling up into half a ball. Why wouldn’t she think that? Her innocent view of love, she loved Papa and Akeelah and she knew Papa loved her. So, to Tabby, it just seemed to complete the circle. :: Tabitha: :: Bit her lower lip. Shrugged.:: Be-cause, you spend time to-geth-er and seem happy. You smile when you are with us. So? Do you? :: Akeelah stared at the young girl. What was she supposed to say? Love? Did she? No that couldn’t be, they didn’t know each other well enough for that. She believed that love developed over time the more people got to know each other. But granted, she had spent quite some time with Jack and Tabitha. Her cheeks began to warm up, still trying to give an answer, realising that she tried to answer with her head, with logic and rules, instead of her heart. :: D’Sena: I… I ddon’t know, Tabitha. I… .oO You coward. - I’m not a coward I just don’t know. - You keep telling yourself that. Oo. ... like him. Very much. But love takes time. Tabitha: Nuh uh! :: She lightly protested.:: The stories Papa tells, says love is like a shooting star. Happens all the time and all in a blink of an eye. D’Sena: ::tilting her head:: That easy, huh? Tabitha: Yes! :: she threw her arms up. Her face dropped.:: Does that mean… D’Sena: ::She sensed the vulnerability of the little girl, a glimpse of fear and she softened her voice. :: Mean what? Tabitha: Well… :: She tapped her toes together and looked at the flloor.:: I-I love you. Does that mean you do-not love me? :: Akeelah stared at the young girl, who had looked behind her exterior from the first moment they had met. She had looked past the rules, the stern face, the fully black eyes others found so creepy, and had given her unconditional love. And here she said afraid that Akeelah didn’t love her back. :: :: It wasn’t that Akeelah didn’t. But it was true that she held back. The last time she had loved, really really loved someone had been such a long time ago... :: (( Flashback )) :: It was one of those nights, when the starry sky was lit brightly, twinkling and whispering promises of far-away worlds. Akeelah loved sitting on the small hill behind the house and look up, dream of what would be out there. Not many of her people left Rodul, but she kept thinking about it. Not only because of the beauty of it, but to help fight back against those who had tortured her people. But tonight was not the time to think of that. Tonight she was not alone here. :: Jenia: Do you think we can travel the stars, Keelah? :: With a smile she wrapped her arm around her little sister’s shoulder and pulled her closer. Jenia was almost 10, Akeelah almost 25, mere children compared to their lifespan. :: Akeelah: Of course. We can do anything we want. Jenia: ::grinning:: Anything? Even grow wings and fly? Akeelah: ::laughing:: If you work hard on figuring out how to do that, I’m sure you will. :: The little girl wrapped her arms around her sister’s waist and squeezed her tightly. :: Jenia: I love you Keelah. Akeelah: ::She tilt her head and placed a kiss on the curly dark hair:: I love you too, Nia. (( /Flashback )) :: Tabby took notice of the sudden quietness of the room. She had the feeling that it was her fault. Pushing the chair back from the table and shoveling one more, big bite into her mouth, Tabby walked over to Akeelah and pushed her way onto the woman’s lap. Different cultures, her Papa had taught her where different, plain and simple. Some ways they were similar, but you should never pressure another into agreement with your own ways. :: Tabitha: I sorry… :: She wwrapped her arms around Akeelah’s neck.:: I am.. :: She thought of a good neutral word.:: happy we are friends. D’Sena: ::Without thinking, she wrapped her arms around the little girl and kissed the side of her head, right on top of the dark hair as she whispered.:: Me too, sweetie. Tabitha: So! :; Her enthusiasm returned.:: What are we going to do after dinner? D’Sena: :: Akeelah was not sure if she could keep up with the sudden changes Tabby went through, but she tried.:: What do you want to do? Tabitha: Could we build a fort! D’Sena: A fort? Tabitha: Oh please! :: She clapped her hands together.:: We can build it and play with dolls and tell stories.. :: She inhaled sharply. :: D’Sena: Mhmmm, and then? Tabitha: We could sleep in it! :: Tabby jumped down and bounced on her toes in front of Akeelah, her hands folded in front of her. A wide smile upon her face and the conversation from second ago long gone. :: :: Seeing the girl so excited, feeling the dark thoughts that had been hanging around in her head vanish in smoke pleased her. She didn’t want her to doubt and feel this pain at such a young age. How could she not give in when Tabby was reacting to the mere thought of this fort. :: D’Sena: Well then, a fort it is. But now eat up. Tabitha: Oh-Kay. :: Tabby went back to her own chair and gladly became eating again.:: :: After they had devoured their dinner, and just in case left something for Jack - because who knew he might be hungry after all the work he had to do - Akeelah and Tabby began to collect blankets, pillows and other materials they could turn into their magical fort. They had taken apart the bed and half the couch, pushed together the single seaters and this fort was slowly turning into a castle. Both of them stood in front of it, Akeelah had her hands on her hips. :: D’Sena: What do you think? :: Tabby smiled, folding her hand up to her mouth as her dazzling gaze and vivid imagine nation took over. It was an enormous castle, with tall towers to see across the land. A towering door that opened up at the end of a bridge. The bridge went across a moat that surrounded the castle to keep the princess and queen safe. It was one of the biggest castle Tabby had ever built. :: Tabitha: I love it! :: Paused. She spoke seriously:: We should name it. D’Sena: Good idea, would you do the honors? :: Tabby nodded and thought. What would be a good name? She usually just called her castles, Castle Gard. But with Akeelah she wanted it to be something else, something special. Castle… Girl power. oO No Oo Casstle… She smiled :: Tabitha: I dub thee, :: She tapped the entrance of the “castle.”:: Castle Friend-ship :: She turned and smiled at Akeelah. :: D’Sena: ::clapping into her hands:: A lovely name. All that is missing now, is getting into our pajamas. Tabitha: Oh tay! :: Tabby ran over to grab all of her things. Her dolls, blanket, jammies and cloths for tomorrow, and her tooth brush. She pushed her dolls under the canopy they were using for the roof of the castle and held up her onesie pick princess jammies. :: Tabitha: Do you have jammies like these? D’Sena: Not like these, but they are still pretty. Tabitha: :: She giggled.:: Where should I change? D’Sena: ::She had not thought about that and considered the options for a moment.:: Come with me. :: She went with the girl to the bathroom, she’d have the chance to wash and change in privacy here. :: D’Sena: You can prepare here. I’ll be in my bedroom. :: Tabby followed Akeelah into the washroom, setting her toothbrush on the sink’s edge. She nodded to her and once alone changed quickly. She didn’t want to lose any time playing in the fort they had just built. When she emerged she ran to the castle and crawled in. :: Tabitha: :: Poking her head out.:: Come on Ah-key-la! :: Akeelah was just finishing to change. She did not really have pajamas like Tabitha wore, she preferred nightgowns. But with their castle, she could pretend to be a princess in it. The thought made her giggle, something she hadn’t done in ages. :: D’Sena: I’m coming, I’m coming. ::She called out and left the bedroom in direction of the castle, but before she could crawl in Tabitha seemed to have remembered something. :: Tabitha: Oh wait! D’Sena: What is it? Tabitha: We need pop-corn! :: She threw her hands into the air.:: To eat while telling stories of course. D’Sena: ::blinking:: Of course, your highness. ::She smirked as she turned on her heels. She didn’t have popcorn, so since they had been good in saving energy, she allowed herself to replicate some popcorn for them. With the bowl she finally crawled into the fort which was surprisingly big. She didn’t have to crouch and could sit up straight. :: :: Tabby giggled at being called ‘your highness’. She crawled back under the fort and sat on the far side, leaving plenty of room for Akeelah. She closed her eyes and smelled the buttery scent of popcorn filling the air. :: Tabitha: Yay! :: She threw her hands up.:: :: While building the fort they had also put some light-cubes with their own light source inside, so it was not dark, and the confined space with two bodies would also not be too cold. The walls out of pillows and parts of the bed and sofa were thick enough to block the chill out. That was all she cared about: making sure that Tabby was alright. :: D’Sena: So what kind of stories do you want to tell? Tabitha: Princess ones!. :: Giggle.:: Of course. D’Sena: ::sinking a hand into the popcorn she took a good portion out:: Well then, I would love to hear one of your stories. Will you tell me one? :: Tabby leaned over and took a small handful of popcorn and set it in her lap. She loved listening to stories as much as she loved telling them. Though hers usually came from books filled with old fables. :: Tabitha: Have you ev-r heard the story of re-pun-zle? D’Sena: ::Shaking her head:: No, I have not. ::She did not really know stories. She had heard of princesses of course, but she did not recall the details, having heard them over 50 years ago. But she did not know of Terran princesses. :: Tabitha: :: Clapping her hands.:: It is one of my fav-or-ites. D’Sena: Well then, I can’t wait to hear it. :: Tabby ate a few pieces while she thought. She wanted to tell the best story. It was one she knew well, but something about *how* she was going to tell it was important. Her papa would create such awe with just his voice. It was important that she did well for Akeelah. :: Tabitha: :: In a slower voice.:: Once upon a time. :: Dramatic pause.:: There was a pretty princess. With the prettiest-es of hair. :: She reached over and rub Akeelah’s curly hair. :: Every-one in the world wanted to look at her hair. :: She sat back down.:: Her name was Re-pun-zle. :: She finished excitedly.:: D’Sena: What a lovely name. Tabitha: I am not done yet. D’Sena: Well then, continue with the story of Re… what was it again? Tabitha: :: Giggling.:: Re-pun-zle, ::She continued in her best story teller voice.:: had a mean guard-i-an, who did not want any-one to look at the pretty hair. So she built a biggest-es of towers and locked the poor princess away. For a long time, ::She waved her hands for effect.:: She stayed up there. :: Perking up.:: Untill! :: She paused.:: :: It was adorable how Tabby went deep into the story, changed her voice, gesticulated and mimicked. It was a joy to watch and listen to and Akeelah tried to follow the example, feeling a little silly, but at least she wasn’t alone doing it. She widened her fully black eyes and stared at the girl, holding her breath.:: D’Sena: Until what? :: In Tabby's little mind, and big heart, all of Akeelahs actions only encouraged her more. She beamed, believing she told stories as well as her papa and had the woman enthralled in her skills. Of course it was one of her favorite stories and her own happiness blinded her of anything else around. There were no problems with the ship, no sadness of those not present. Simply pure childish joy.:: Tabitha: A prince a-rrived! D’Sena: Nooooooo, a prince? Tabitha: Oh yes! Had he fell in love at first sight. D’Sena: Oh my, how did he get up into the biggest of towers? Tabitha: Well. :: Dramatic pause.:: He yelled up to re-pun-zle, ::she created a hand mega phone but kept her voice down... Slightly... As well as she could.::, "Re-pun-zle, re-pun-zle! :: Yawn.:: Throw down your long hair!" And she did. He climbed all the way up. D’Sena: ::Forming an O with her mouth she placed a hand in front of it, as if in shock.:: Oh no, did the guardian see him? Tabitha: Oh no, but Re-pun-zle had to cut off her long locks ::yawn.:: so they both could climb down and live happily ever after. :: she smile sleepily.:: :: Tabby had finished her story, all the way up until her eyes were heavy and the yawning never ceased. She laid her head down on Akeelah's legs, pulling her blanket in close. Her eyelids closed in mere seconds and sleep was upon her.:: :: Akeelah had known that she’d fall asleep really soon, once the yawning had started. Now that Tabby’s head rested on her lap, she gently brushed through the girl’s hair, smiling at how sweet and peaceful she looked, still a light smile on her lips from telling her most favourite story. :: Rajel: =/\= Rajel to the Crew. =/\= :: Akeelah winced and placed her hand gently over Tabby’s ear, so she wouldn’t wake. But to her surprise the girl didn’t even stir. :: Rajel: =/\= We will have the night to get everything ready for departure. As soon as we see that things are in order on Earth, I want us to be ready to head home. So everyone help where they can, even if it is not your department. Those don't matter if we are stuck here. Great work on keeping the ship together so far, let's keep it up! Rajel out. =/\= :: A brief red alert sounded but was silenced immediately. Usually that meant that Akeelah would have to leave and get to Security, ready for anything. But tonight her duty consisted of taking care of Tabitha. She wouldn’t leave even for a minute, but she would have to make a few preparations. Carefully she placed Tabby’s head on a pillow and climbed out of the fort. :: :: She grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and placed the paper on the big table, before she thought about what to write as a note for Jack. Her first thought was to write ‘Dear Jack’ but it sounded so intimate and she didn’t even know if he felt anything like that. To simply write ‘Jack’ sounded impersonal. She sighed and shook her head about her thoughts and finally wrote. ‘Leftovers are in the kitchen, enjoy. Akeelah’. Then she told the computer to add Jack to the access list, so he could simply enter, without having to wake them. :: :: A smile danced over her lips as she did that, though the moment she caught it it vanished again. Tabby’s question ghosted her mind, and again she pushed away the answer, a pang of fear crawling up her neck. Pushing the thought away she went back to the fort. It had started to become warmer, so she removed the ‘roof’ of it, otherwise it would have been too stuffy inside. :: :: Carefully she stepped over the pillows and blankets and laid down in the fort, using a cushion under her head and slipped an arm under Tabitha, pulling her a bit closer. Before she knew it the girl cuddled herself into her. Akeelah relaxed, holding the girl carefully in her arm until she drifted into sleep herself. :: ((Timeskip - Outside Akeelah’s Personal Quarters)) :: No one knew the exact time, only that it was late. No one knew how long they had burned the lamps, only that it had been too long. With the return of the engineering chief something, rather than bits here and there, were finally put into motion. A goal and white light blinked in the distance. And finally engineers were sent away to get what little rest they could. :: :: Jack was one of the last to leave. He felt responsible for getting done all that he could, but the lack of food and rest impaired him greatly. So with last call, he left engineering and now stood just outside Akeelah’s room, leaning against the back wall. They had such little time to work out a plan and it gnawed at him. The last thing he wanted to do was wake them. :: :: Rubbing his burning eyes, Jack walked up to the door. He would have jumped if not so tired, when the door opened automatically. A little smile, almost knowing. Of course she would be prepared and think ahead. The room was darker, but the light from the stars made it easy to see around. :: :: His heart warmed at the sight. Two girls, tucked together in the makeshift fort. Popcorn and Tabby’s dolls scattered around. He wasn’t going to move them now, having planned to take Tabby back to their own quarters. He stepped in far enough to let the door close and looked around. With the exception of the current state, Jack was sure the room was kept cleaned and organized. The second thing he noticed was a picture frame, sitting all alone. Instinctively, he wouldn’t have looked. But a bit of curiosity of the woman he was spending a great deal of time with, made him look. It was of two girls, one undoubtedly Akeelah and the other… Looked similar. He moved quietly around the room, stumbling across the handwritten note. :: :: She really did think ahead. It was welcomed to someone who also thought and planned and organized. He had enough troubles with Rustyy to know he could breath and not be as uptight when around her. He grabbed his plate and ate it in a hurry, not realizing just how hungry he was. :: :: Afterwards, he moved back to the girls and the fort. Kneeling down, he kissed Tabby on the forehead. And of course no movement came. She slept like the dead. He moved to Akeelah, bringing his face close to hers. Then pulled back. The last thing he wanted to do was wake her. He moved to the only bit of the couch still left intact and half laid half sat up. Wrapping his arms across his chest and falling asleep quickly to one of the happiest moments he’s had for a long time. :: ---- Tabitha & Lieutenant Jack Gard Child & Engineer Simmed by Lt JG Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Constitution-B A239202RH0 & LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena Security Officer USS Constitution-B simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  17. ((Earth, Los Angeles)) ::Sivah beamed down to the surface from the Starbase in orbit. She headed back to Earth as soon as she could in order to be at Angelica's graduation. She barely made it back in time. She had beamed down into the quad at UCLA campus where Angelica had transferred to in order to complete her degree after leaving Starfleet Academy. She glanced around and was overwhelmed by a tackling embrace by her beloved.:: Angelica: SIVAH!!! ::Sivah couldn't get a word in edgewise as Angelica was kissing her all over and holding onto her tightly. Sivah resorted to simply hanging on and letting her emotional spouse pour out her affections.:: Angelica: I have missed you so much!! Tell me, what happened? Are you okay? What's your ship like? Is the captain nice? How was your mission? Sivah: ::raising her hands some:: Easy, my love. I have missed you as well. The ship's crew was under the influence of something that caused delusions. Yes, I am okay. No, I didn't get a good look of the ship, but I assume the specs are typical of other galaxy class vessels. The captain seems polite and agreeable. Finally, the mission has ended, to which I am thankful. ::Angelica giggled as she took Sivah's hand and they walked across the campus to where the ceremony would be taking place. They walked closely together with Angelica's head on Sivah's shoulder. Sivah allowed the emotional display, knowing how lonely Angelica had probably been without her around. They made for a strange pair: a stoic female Vulcan introvert married to an emotional female human extrovert. More opposite people could not have come together if you tried. As illogical of a union as this was, Sivah would not trade it for anything in the universe.:: ((Timewarp: Later that day)) ::The ceremony went well, and the after party was more than Sivah could tolerate, but she endured it for Angelica. Angelica kept introducing her to everyone. Afterwards, they headed back to their apartment. Sivah was busy packing the last of hers and Angelica's things. She had her uniform laid out for the next morning. Everything would be efficient and ready for tomorrow's early return to the ship.:: ::As she was neatly and meticulously folding some of Angelica's clothes, she felt the warm soft hands and gentle embrace of her lover's arms come around her. She hid a smile as she felt Angelica softly kiss the back of her neck. Sivah continued her folding as she let Angelica tease. Like all couples, they have their little games. Angelica would get playful while Sivah acted busy. When the time was right, Sivah would turn the tables.:: ::Sivah gently laid the meticulously folded blouse into place, and spun around with a Vulcan's grace and precision as she picked up Angelica and flung her onto the nearby bed. Angelica squealed in excitement as she landed and was soon joined by her Vulcan lover. They shared a soft kiss before a command was given by Sivah to dim the lights. Suddenly the bedroom faded into darkness.:: -tbc-
  18. ((Science Lab 3, USS Atlantis - 2391)) ::Barbara Tarch didn't know where she fit in. Was she chasing after her baby daughter, or abandoning her in Sickbay? Was she trying to find a solution to the time rift, or standing idly by? Was she moving forward in time, or trying to move back? Was she coming? Was she going? And where had she been...?:: TARCH: Look, I just want to get this thing solved. So we can all go back to wherever we're supposed to be, and get on with our lives. SOVAK: You believe the Pike will escape from the rift into its own original time? TARCH: I believe I'm not supposed to be on Atlantis in the year 2391. Whatever else happens, happens. Though for my daughter's sake, I'm hoping that-- ::Barbara didn't fight what happened next. The polaric energy that surrounded her was comfortable, familiar to her. She didn't remember her experiences through the rift, the months she'd carried and delivered her daughter, the time she'd spent unstuck in the time stream. But she knew this feeling, this warm, energized fluidity. She gave in to it, by instinct, and let it carry her where it would. She knew, by some forgotten experience, that fighting against it only made it worse.:: ::Maybe Atlantis could help her, help her crew, help Diana. But there was no holding on to them now, not unless the rift wanted her to.:: ::She was going. She went. She was gone.:: ((Somewhere, Some Time)) ::Barbara floated in the treacherous purple ether of the Norlian Nebula, out of phase with reality, unconcerned with breathing, as she had been many times before. The rift took care of her, the rift never failed her, though the rift confounded her, controlled her, contorted and distorted her.:: ::Since the first time it took her, two months pregnant with Diana and eager to return from this mission, to disembark the Pike for a desk job until her daughter was born, she had come to both hate and love the rift. She knew it now, as she hadn't while aboard Atlantis. She remembered where she had been. What the rift had put her through. What it had taken.:: ::Barbara was in a room now, if that made any sense. It didn't matter where it was. Not the Pike, not Atlantis. Perhaps it was a room in her mind, while her body floated through the Norlian nonsense. It was empty, and it was yellow, and it was where her daughter had been born.:: ::Now she was in space, and a figure like her mother appeared behind her, floating silently, smiling self-confidently, wearing a mini skirt and white boots, her hair in an elaborate updo, her eyelids heavy with makeup. She was translucent, she was almost not there. She was a surely a ghost. Barbara didn't see her. She never had, though sometimes through the decades she had sensed a movement from the corner of her eye, or caught a sense of her mother's perfume that sent an unreachable thrill through her nostrils. The rift liked to play its little tricks.:: ::Barbara was on the Pike, in a corridor outside the science bay, just where she'd stood in 2299 when Frank Delavigne's experiments had gone horribly wrong. She was blasted with energy she couldn't understand, and sent flying across the hall. She expected to hit the wall, but she kept going. She was sure she and her unborn daughter were going to float out and suffocate in space, but she'd landed in a strange room instead.:: ::She was in the room again now. The yellow one, with one little lace-curtained window that looked out on a field of purple space, where Romulans circled in the distance. She tried to remember how she got there. She tried to remember where she'd been. Talking to a Vulcan. Talking to a Trill? Rennyn was his name, but how did she know him? She'd only just been on the Pike? She looked out the window, trying to get her bearings. She couldn't get her bearings.:: ::Barbara was in the nebula again, and from the corner of her eye, she caught a movement. She could have sworn she saw a white boot float past, which a high heel, just like her mother used to wear.:: ::The Pike exploded around her, blasted with polaric radiation in exponential amounts. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air and expected to hit the wall, again and again, until she was too disoriented to go on. It made no sense. It made no sense. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall.:: ::She existed for months in some pocket of space where Frank Delavigne delivered her baby. While he held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held her little girl, Barbara was taken away.:: ::At last, Barbara was in the nebula, floating in the purple mists. She woke from a dream, where the muggy air of Florida made her tri-colored jumpsuit stick to her legs. She remembered it all now, everything she'd experienced, over and over again, in this time rift. But there as a continuity to it. It had been hell. No wonder her mind wouldn't let her remember. She'd lost her daughter again and again. The accident on Pike happened again and again. She'd watched the Romulans again and again. But she'd only been to Atlantis once. She'd only lived the events there once. There was something to that. There was something there.:: ::There was something behind her.:: ::Barbara turned to catch what was in the corner of her eye. In all the times she'd floated here, she'd never caught up to the rift's nasty tricks. Now she did. Stunned, she watched the ghost in a mini skirt and white boots, in an orange and purple dress with an updo and heavy makeup on her sparkling eyes. The ghost floated silently, smiling with motherly pride.:: ::Barbara floated towards it, stunned. This was more surprising than anything else that had happened.:: TARCH: ...Mother? ::Her mother's ghost said nothing, but, smiling, floated farther away, out of Barbara's reach.:: TARCH: Mother. I have a daughter now. I named her Diana, after you. ::Her mother's ghost smiled more deeply. It nodded, knowingly. It floated farther away.:: TARCH: Mother, don't go. I want to go with you. I don't want to be part of all this anymore. ::Her mother's ghost shook its head. It's eyes spoke of love, but told Barbara 'No.':: TARCH: I have to stay, don't I? I have to help the Atlantis. I have to help the Pike. ::Her mother's ghost nodded, proudly.:: TARCH: I have to save Diana. ::The truth was, that after all the time she'd spent going back and forth in the rift, she understood it, a little. She could help. She could help from within the rift. But if she did that, she was never going to make it out herself.:: TARCH: I have to save Diana, no matter what it takes. The way you saved me. ::Her mother's ghost floated towards her, came very close, gazed into Barbara's eyes with all the love in the universe. Then, in a cloud of purple vapor, she vanished into the ether.:: ::Barbara knew what to do. She could help close the rift from within. She could help save the Pike. She could help Atlantis save itself, and she could even help save the Romulans. She could save Diana, after everything.:: ::She wished her mother's ghost could have touched her, could have held her in its vaporous arms. For she herself had never held her baby daughter Diana, and now she knew she never would.:: MSPNPC Lt. Barbara Tarch USS Christopher Pike simmed by Lt. Rendal Rennyn HCO & Flight Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  19. ((Unknown)) ::There was everything, and then there was nothing. Both concepts described the circumstances, yet neither did it any justice. All that could be said was that nothing was as it should have been. Everything, even the laws thought unbreakable, were turned on their ends. Time dripped down into the nether itself flowing forward, and backwards, and in on itself.:: ::Darkness fell all around, suffocating, despite the blinding light that ignited a fire so cold it froze one to the core. Or was it all just a lie? There was nothing that could be seen, and yet everything lay out before everyone all at one point in time. It made perfect sense, and no sense, all in one neatly chaotic little package.:: ::A voice echoed in the space around her.:: Hellooooo....hellooo....helloo... ::Like the river of time, the voice faded and amplified, turning in on itself and disappearing from the very existence it once encompassed. What was this place? Faded memories like old newspaper clippings washed around what could be described as a mind, yet in this universe, was no more than electrical impulse. Transcendence, one could claim, would take humanity and all other species to a place where only pure energy existed. Bodies, thoughts, differences, pain, suffering, joy, hate, camaraderie...it would all fall to the wayside as evolution found ultimate control.:: ::If there was a universe in which that would happen, it was this one. Evolution had taken the bodies, but had not effected the minds as some philosophers would have believed. Though the images of what was and what would be were invisible, sentience permeated space itself.:: ::It made no sense, except for that it made all the sense in the galaxy. Or universe. Or multiverse.:: ::A whisper crashed through the din of the silence like a wave on the rocks of Cape Horn.:: Unknown: Ressssst. ::The return of something, an answer, a directive, gave means to struggle. Against the lack of restraints there was fighting, and though nothing held anyone down, she was frozen. The questions froze with her, unspoken to the winds that comprised wherever this was.:: Unknown: Reconstruction has already begun. ::And with that, everything once again faded into nothing. The fond memories of a life left behind found her once more, albeit this time with an urgency that didn't exist before. It seemed to mean nothing just then, but in time, it would come to mean everything.:: TBC Unknown In an Unknown Universe where Nothing Makes Sense As simmed by Lieutenant Cayden Adyr Intelligence Officer/Command Advisor USS Apollo
  20. ((Bridge, USS Atlantis)) ::The ripple in time gently rolled across the ocean of consciousness, and in its wake, fragments of past, present and future lives, intricately entwined yet remarkably distinct, lay scattered along the shores of forever.. .. :: ((Through the rift – an alternate tale)) ((Il Diavolo Blu, Living Museum District, Sigma Iotia II)) ::His flame-colored hair appeared black under what must have been a ton of pomade. A stray strand of scarlet had still managed to break free of its waxy sticky prison and now hung carelessly over one twinkling emerald eye. His face was flushed from all the dancing and Red Death, the crimson jarring with the dark olive vest that he had on. The crisp white shirt was unbuttoned at the top, the knot of the solid mauve tie loosened around the collar, and the sleeves rolled up above the elbows. Blue smoke filled the high vaults of the nightclub, the sweet scent of tobacco intoxicating. The chandeliers had been dimmed, but they still defiantly scattered their light in a thousand snowflakes that drifted about the dancehall like fireflies on a summer‘s night. Couples swayed languidly to the lazy bluesy jazz number filling the air, their individual bodies merging into one shadow. Raj loosened his own magenta tie and unfastened the top two buttons of his lavender shirt, pressed firmly against his sweat-moistened skin by a pair of thin suspenders. He rested his head against Emerson’s chest, the top hairs tickling the latter’s chin. He could hear Emerson’s heart beating, almost in tandem with his own. The heart sang a comforting canticle to him, a song without words, for no words were necessary. It was a song of solace and serenity, sanctuary and surrender. The other patrons hardly moved in the smoky, lulling ambience. They were faceless shadows that filled the chairs and booths and stared at the dancing couples. Thin trails of smoke escaped the mouths of these shadows and rose to the high-arched ceiling like inebriated souls seeking the forgiveness of heaven. A murmured I love you here, a whispered plot to kill there. Smoke and shadows, lingering in time. Emerson held Raj close to him and they danced to the rhythm of their own hearts. The night was young, the night was endless for all those who seek eternity. The night will never die! And the night belonged to them! It was an exquisite snapshot in time. It was but a photograph of a single frozen moment in time, a photograph out of time, and there on the wall of this timeless consciousness of the multiverse, it hung, framed. And within the confines of its frames, solace and serenity, sanctuary and surrender.:: TBC ================================ Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682 & Lt Emerson Ravenscroft Xenolinguist USS Atlantis NCC-74682 as simmed by Captain Raj Blueheart
  21. ((Temporal Rift)) ::Lieutenant Commander Franklin Delavigne – Frank to his friends – sat in the fathomless waste of the rift in time, petting the head of an infant no more than a few days old.:: DELAVIGNE: There, there, Elizabeth. Don’t cry. I will find you some food if we can ever get out of here. ::Her name wasn’t Elizabeth. It was Debra or Diana or something. But that didn’t matter. He mother had been here, sometimes she was full of spite and hormones, sometimes she was lying down, covered in the mess of birth, cooing and nursing the child. Sometimes the baby was born, sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes he was alone here, sometimes he wasn’t. Things did not flow in a straight line within the rift. That’s why Frank liked it so much. It was as if his past had never happened. As if it was fluid, changeable. He longed for the life he was denied. It was something that had never come out over the course of his duty. He was always so put together, so parental. He was everyone’s favorite grandfather that they didn’t have, which only struck them as odd when they realized that he had no family. Had no family left, to be precise. He thought in a naive way that he had gotten over it. That he could put the past behind him. That was, of course, before the accident tore through the science lab and he had been left at the mercy of temporal flux and polaric radiation. It was now nearly a century that he had been living in limbo, forward and backwards, moving through the ages like a drunken wanderer desperate to forget the past and yet inextricably tied to it. He realized all too soon that the accident has been a direct result of his own hubris. Sure, Starfleet had commanded his team to do research into polaric energy, but he was the one who threw caution to the wind, believing they could control any reaction within their labs. However being at the epicenter did give him freedom, for the scientists who were not immediately evaporated in the explosion found they had a mobility through the time rifts that the others did not. Most of the crew were caught endlessly replaying the same scene over and over again, from a few seconds to a few hours. He had started out trying to communicate with the crew, get the ones who were experiencing a longer loop to make changes and try to correct things in the vain effort to throw the Christopher Pike out of the anomaly. At one point he thought he had it – he was sure it would work, bringing the ship out only a week or two after the incident. And then the Romulans came. Frank bared his teeth to the darkness, swallowing bile at the thought of the species. The Romulans, the [...]s. They who had taken everything from Frank and continued to take, and take and take. In his arms little Diana coughed and gave a weak gasp. She needed nourishment, which the void of the rift would not provide. Frank shivered. How many times had the girl died in his arms, only to have time reversed and to find her anew? How many times would she die again? ~*~ ((Flashback – New Dakota Colony, 112 years prior)) ::Warmth flooded his body as his wife pressed against him:: ANGELA DELAVIGNE: Must you go? Can’t you just tell Starfleet that you’re taking early retirement? FRANK DELAVIGNE: ::he chuckled:: I wish. This will be my last mission, I promise. But I feel the border defense is important. You know, I’m keeping colonists just like you safe! ANGELA: ::She smiled softly:: Technically you’re keeping us safe, too. FRANK: ::He waved her concern aside:: The Romulans would have to come pretty far past the borders to harass New Dakota. Besides, with Elizabeth walking now, you won’t have time to worry. You’ll be chasing her all day and night! ANGELA: ::letting out a soft sigh she turned towards the child sleeping on the sofa:: She’s getting so big. I’m glad you got to see her first steps. FRANK: I am, too. ::He walked over to the little girl, petting her hair back and kissing her head:: Tell her Daddy will be home before she knows it. ANGELA: Will you? ::She watched Frank, questioningly. All too often Starfleet had a habit of making short mission stretch out for years:: FRANK: Captain Hassalet knows I intend to be home for Christmas. I’ll be here, even if I have to steal a shuttlecraft! ANGELA: ::chuckling softly, she rose to her feet, drawing Frank up with her:: You promise? FRANK: ::He nodded, gazing back at her:: I promise. ::With a mischievous smile:: But I want something from you… ANGELA: ::Raising a brow, curious:: What’s that? FRANK: I want a tree. ::He smiled:: All dressed up in pretty lights and tinsel! ANGELA: ::In mock protest:: Frank! There’s no evergreen trees on this whole planet! FRANK: You’re a clever lady, I’m sure you can think of something! ANGELA: ::with a sigh, she leaned into him, wrapping her arms around his waist:: All right, I’ll make sure you get a tree. FRANK: ::Kissing her gently:: I’ll see you in four months. ANGELA: ::Kissing him back:: Come home safe, Frank. FRANK: I will. ::A pause:: I love you. ANGELA: ::Whispered, through unshed tears:: I love you, too. ~*~ ((Temporal Anomaly – Present time)) ::The rattling breath in the infant’s throat was getting worse and Frank shivered. Part of him wondered if it was better to keep her here, or if he should have left her with her mother. DELAVIGNE: Come on, Elizabeth. Hold on. Maybe we can get on that shiny Romulan ship and steal some food for you. The other part of him, the one that was damaged by radiation and pain, coveted her. Wanted her to replace the family he had lost. When his mind started failing, he had gone to sickbay and found one of the orderlies was caught in a loop, tending a young baby boy. The kid had a respiratory ailment, nothing major for this day and age, but enough that his parents brought him by sickbay. That’s what started the yearning inside Frank, the longing for something he had lost. And while the orderlies could not break out of their time loop, he could move through it. It was a simple thing to simply lift the child from their hands and take it with him. And yet on a failing starship, caring for a child was hard. Frank was constantly moving to find a working replicator, and enough supplies for both himself and a helpless child. It focused him and yet consumed him. Maybe it was his fault the time loop wasn;t broken and not the Romulans. No. It had to be the Romulans. Romulans were the root of all evil. Somewhere along the way Frank had lost the boy. Maybe it was in engineering? Maybe it was on the bridge? He really couldn’t remember. He had searched the ship, but by that point his mind was failing into an endless cycle of torment, time loops and pain. He never found the baby boy again, and for days (or was it months? years?) he wandered alone. ~*~ ((Flashback – New Dakota Colony, 111 years prior)) ::The shimmering haze of the transporter faded as a cold wind blew through the desolate streets of the burned out colony. The reports had not done this justice. It wasn’t a strategic strike, it was a massacre. Commander Jolani cast a wary glance towards Lieutenant Delavigne. She knew all too well that this was the settlement his family had been in, and with comm lines down the chances for survivors didn’t look good. Their boots crunched through sand that had been melted into glass by orbital fire. Smoke still rose for a few building on the horizon, though it appeared any fires in the local vicinity had long since burned themselves out. The Romulans had called it retribution for the unintentional destruction of a cargo freighter by a trigger happy gamma shift on patrol in the neutral zone. Jolani called it murder. Delavigne was shaking as they moved their way through the empty streets. There was no sign of survivors rushing out to meet them. Unless they found some way to get underground and hadn’t yet found the courage to come up for air, it was looking like all the medics could do was start tagging bodies. They crossed a high street and without warning Frank Delavigne broke into a full sprint. Security Officer Connel reached out for him, but Jolani put a hand up.:: JOLANI: Let him go… ::She understood all too well the need for closure. The need for answers, even if those answers were not good ones. As her team circled around looking for survivors, she followed Delavigne into the gaping burned out hole of a colonial habitat. Inside was the same chalky black burn pattern the rest of the colony displayed. No one saw it coming. Maybe the settlements on the far side of the planet would have survivors, but it was clear this city had been caught in the middle of broad daylight by seven decloaking warbirds. A scream ripped out of Frank’s throat, raw and bitter as he collapsed next to the ashed remains of what appeared to be one of the leafy fern trees. Spatters of gold and silver were melted to the ash, piled around the charred remains of two corpses. The man crumpled like a marionette with all the strings cut, screaming into his hands until he coughed up blood and the screams lapsed into tears. She could make out one word: ‘no.’ JOLANI: Frank… ::She started as soft as possible:: DELAVIGNE: There is no justice for this! There is no sense! My baby! My wife! ::The Commander’s brows knit and she lay a hand on his shoulder and he started to sob incoherently:: ~*~ ((Temporal Anomaly – Present time)) ::Baby Diana gasped again, her face turning blue. Frank felt his heart leap into his throat:: DELAVIGNE: No, Elizabeth, hang on. ::He looked up, feeling a surge of fear tear through him as the strange shiny ship came back into view. He didn’t want to go there. He was afraid. Terribly afraid. But as the baby in his arms gasped, he felt tears sting his eyes. How many times did she have to die?:: Dear God, please hang on… ::Frank Delavigne took a deep breath and stepped through the rift, onto the USS Atlantis…:: ~*~ OOC – any ideas on where he should land? Tbc! ~*~ MSNPC Lt. Commander Frank Delavigne Science specialist USS Christopher Pike as simmed by Lt Shar'Wyn Foster Chief Medical Officer USS Atlantis
  22. (( Holana Orphanage, Musilla Province, Bajor )) :: Holana orphanage was on fire. It filled Essen’s senses - the acrid smell of smoke, the sound of the crackling flames, the intense oppressive heat pressing down on her.Ess shook her head in confusion. What was she doing back on Bajor? This wasn’t right, the orphanage had never caught fire when she’d lived there. :: CINDER: So this is where you‘ve been lurking? Pretty dull place, really, I’m glad I could make it more interesting. No need to thank me. :: A blazing figure strode out of the grove of Jumja trees. As she did so the trees burst into flames, adding a spiced perfume to the hot smoke around them. Essen squinted - although the shifting flames made it hard to make out any features there was still something about the other woman’s build, the way she walked. :: SINDA: You’re me? CINDER: Sort of. ::shrugging:: I’m parts of you. Or parts of you have shaped me anyway. It’s complicated. SINDA: I remember you now. You’re the entity from the ion storm aren’t you? You used my body, used it to burn the station. ::she gestured to the landscape around her:: This place isn’t real, so why bring me here? CINDER: You’re mistaken. This is the memory you’ve been hiding in since I arrived. I didn’t bring you here, you brought me. SINDA: Did I? How? :: Essen narrowed her eyes:: I thought you were the one in control. CINDER: Well… SINDA: They’re beating you, aren’t they? When the rock one was smashing you to pieces I remember, I was conscious for a moment. ::she rubbed her sore ribs absently at the memory:: It’s happening to you now isn’t it? :: The fiery woman seemed shift uncomfortably for a moment. :: CINDER: I may have underestimated my brothers. But that doesn’t mean… SINDA: You’re losing. :: Cinder laughed, her hair raising to form a red halo around her head. :: CINDER: I do not lose! Cinder never… :: Essen cut her off. :: SINDA: Really? If you’re not losing, why are you hiding out in my memories? And how come you’re not burning me to ashes, that’s your normal threat isn’t it? Face it, Cinder, Rock-boy and Ice-man battered the crap out of you. :: They faced each other warily. :: SINDA: I can sense your memories now, Cinder. You got too arrogant. You never plan ahead, you only live for the moment. Typical of a fire, all about power, all about what you can get right now. CINDER: Is that so? SINDA: Like now. Overconfident, and that’s why I’m going to defeat you. CINDER: You can’t beat me, you idiot, I am you! All your anger and rage, all those thoughts and emotions you hide away from everyone else! That’s why I chose you, your fire gives me power. It would give you power, too, if you let it. SINDA: No. ::shaking her head:: You’re lying. CINDER: I was shaped by you, I just gave you the spark you needed to start the inferno burning. Go on, admit it, there’s part of you that likes the power, isn’t there? :: Essen bunched her fist and lashed out, sending Cinder sprawling into the dust. :: SINDA: Huh, that did feel kind of good. I guess you weren’t lying after all. :: The fire woman looked up from where she lay, her form flickering and changing as if seen through a heat wave. She suddenly looked a lot less like Sinda Essen now. :: SINDA: The balance of power has changed, Cinder. :: Ess grabbed the creature and hauled it upright. The flames wreathed Essen’s arm but only tingled rather than burnt. She clenched her fist and punched Cinder again and again, forcing her to stagger back towards the Jumja trees. :: SINDA: You should run, Cinder, find somewhere else to hide. This place isn’t safe for you. I can feel your weakness. And you know what? I think I’ll take my body back now. :: Ess span and planted a firm kick in Cinder’s chest sending her fiery form flying into the middle of the grove where she merged with the flames. Ess thought she caught a faint cry of frustration before the fires went out completely. In the blink of an eye the orphanage stopped burning and the smoke dispersed. Ess sighed deeply and closed her eyes. :: SINDA: It’s over… :: Behind her, unseen, a single orange ember twinkled amongst the shadows of the burnt trees. :: (( SB118 - Docking Bay )) :: With the immense roar of a forest fire a burst of yellow and orange flames streaked through the air directly towards the amulet leaving one last moment of chaos in its wake. Essen opened her eyes slowly. The pain in her sides and limbs was incredible, more than one broken bone most likely, but at least she was breathing. Glancing down, she clenched her singed right fist, feeling the familiar dull ache of the old injury.She was back. :: Lieutenant Sinda Essen Fleet Operations Starbase 118 Ops
  23. ((Holodeck 2, USS Garuda))) ::She had finally managed to untangle herself from the questions of the Counselor. While Alora understood it was his job, she just didn’t feel comfortable divulging her troubles to him. Maybe once she got to know him a little better she might feel differently, but for now, she was fine simply confiding in her friends. One of those friends just happened to be a certain Vulcan Chief medical Officer whom she knew waited on the holodeck along with his son. The ‘evaluation’ such as it was had taken more time than she expected, so she arrived a minute or so later than planned. While it wasn’t the end of the world, Alora hated to be late, even for something as informal as friends exploring with the holodeck. Well, she was there finally and she was just going to relax and enjoy spending time with good company.:: ::When the holodeck doors opened, the air from the corridor whistled past Alora and into the Holodeck, a symptom of the lower air pressure. What air was present was both baking and desiccating, the temperature being well above the comfort level of most species and the relative humidity almost non-existent.:: ::As the doors hissed shut Alora was faced with a balcony over a dizzying view; they were sixty-four stories up. Other sky-scraping buildings rose around them, and beyond those the vast, red, sandy plains dotted by only the occasional hardy shrub or thin grass. After a few miles even those petered out, leaving nothing but the burning sands all the way to the mountains. Two Vulcans stood by the railing, both wearing much lighter robes than previously and obviously at home in the heat. They both had a healthy green flush to their cheeks and two green spots were visible on the back of Saveron's neck in the instant before they both turned to look in her direction. Saveron had already disabled his universal translator.:: Saveron: Dif-tor heh smusma, and welcome to Vulcan. ::Or at least an acceptable simulation. Saavok made the ta'al in the same motion as his father.:: ::Alora repeated the greeting, then gingerly took a step forward. The view almost made her dizzy. Even though she was millions of miles high and away in space, for some reason, that particular situation set her on edge and made her uneasy. Perhaps it was far too obvious of a freefall drop down, and the knowledge of what would happen if she met the ground by launching from the ledge - purposefully or not. Saveron: If the atmospheric conditions become uncomfortable I can alter them. ::That would not, of course, give the authentic Vulcan experience.:: DeVeau: What? Oh, no. ::Alora retreated a step away from the ledge. She'd get used to the height, but it would be a few moments. That didn't mean she'd necessarily dare to actually go all the way to the edge.:: DeVeau: No, you should make it just like Vulcan. Speaking of which, where are we? Saveron: This is ShirKhar, considered the Capital of Vulcan. It is the cultural centre of the Golic peoples, located on the site of an ancient water source in the Shi'al region. To the north is the Womb of Fire and the Caves of Kohlinar, to the west is Mount Selaya. ::Which was quite famous as a centre of Vulcan mental discipline, the greatest temple to the religion that Vulcans didn't have.:: DeVeau: Womb of Fire? Is that a volcanic chain? ::Alora dared to retake the step she had given up and eyed the ledge with great caution. That step was as far as she advanced - at least, for the moment.:: Saveron: It is a rift in the planet’s crust where magma wells to the surface. The safeties are engaged. ::He commented mildly, observing Alora's trepidation. They couldn't fall from the balcony, and the view was a simulation in any case.:: DeVeau: Yeah. I know. ::Her head knew that. Logically, there was no way she could suffer injury. That didn't mean that her emotions were going to follow logic - something she knew the Vulcan probably wouldn't understand.:: Saveron: This was our apartment, before I left Vulcan. ::He said simply.:: DeVeau: Really? Wow. It's...high. ::Granted, Tokyo had its share of high buildings, but Alora didn't visit them that often, and when she did she kept away from the windows for the most part. The view consisted of far more development than Vulcan, and lights kept the city aglow at all hours of the day. It was never silent in Tokyo, there was a constant hush from various automobiles and foot traffic that, though it was lighter at certain points, never fully died down. She wondered how much this place was like that.:: DeVeau: Do you miss it? ::Alora missed Japan. And Atlanta. At the same time, she was far too fascinated with what lay beyond her own world to remain there.:: ::The doctor considered the question. To most people he would simply have stated that a sentimental attachment to a location would be illogical, but somewhere along the line he'd stopped feeling the need to uphold strict Vulcan propriety around Alora. Perhaps because she did not, perhaps because he considered her a friend. Aron Kells had earned that same honesty.:: Saveron: I do not regret leaving ShirKahr. ::He said after a moment.:: I found the culture here disagreeable. Prior to ShirKahr we lived in my ancestral home in Kal-an. I considered it preferable to remain there, however the facilities for studying Xenomedicine were lacking. T'Rel also wished to further her studies at the Temple. ::He nodded towards distant Mount Selaya.:: DeVeau: T'Rel? ::The name was not one she heard him speak before. She cast a sidelong glance at the Vulcan and he met her gaze, grey eyes to green, with the completely flat expression his people wore when they suppressed all emotion.:: Saveron: Saavok’s mother. ::He said quietly.:: My previous bond-mate. DeVeau: Oh. ::Alora wasn’t sure what to say. She hadn’t meant to bring up what must be a painful subject, even if Saveron didn’t want to admit it. Or had she? Alora had to admit she’d been wildly curious, but at the same time, she didn’t want to cause any pain to her friend.:: DeVeau: I’m sorry. ::The young woman reached out to place a gentle hand upon his arm. It was just a light touch, an attempt to sooth and comfort.:: ::Saveron looked down at Alora but did not shy away, despite the fact that most Vulcans preferred to avoid casual physical contact. He found that he did not find it disagreeable. It did cause him to realise that his economy of words might have led her to an incorrect conclusion.:: Saveron: She is not dead. ::He told her quietly.:: She chose another. I elected to have our bond severed rather than face kun-ut-kal-if-fee. I considered it more logical. ::The right of challenge was a hold-over from pre-Surak days, and a tenacious one. Sometimes there were situations where logic was not enough.:: ::That was worse. DeVeau knew enough about Vulcan culture to understand the significance of what had occurred. It was far more serious than divorce. Her death would have been easier to deal with, she was certain.:: DeVeau: I’m still sorry. She shouldn’t have let go of someone like you. ::He made no secret of the facts of the situation, but no one had responded quite like Alora had. It was an alien reaction, and for a moment he pondered how to acknowledge such. Briefly he laid his other hand on her arm, careful to touch fabric and not skin.:: Saveron: Thank you. ::Perhaps alien sentiments were best answered with alien words.:: ::Alora smiled, but it held a hint of sorrow to it, as if somehow she had managed to share in the pain that such an event had caused. But how could she know? She had never experienced anything akin to what he had, but she knew it couldn’t have been easy and it couldn’t have been without heartache, Vulcan or no. Her reaction to his touch on her sleeve was automatic. Like when she had taken Saavok’s hand, she didn’t really think. Her free hand rose, her fingers curled over his as skin touched skin:: ::The contact made Saveron shiver. Many other species made casual physical contact and Terrans were particularly fond of it. It was why many Vulcans in Starfleet, lacking voluminous sleeves into which to tuck their hands, opted for the hands-behind-back stance when working around them. It avoided those awkward scenarios where one was inadvertently confronted with another’s thoughts.:: ::As those cool fingers closed over his own he felt a sense of sorrow not his own, and curiosity, and the knowledge that one didn’t, couldn’t know. Perhaps Alora understood better than many. It had been months since he had touched any mind but his son’s, and though the contact was unexpected it was not unwelcome; for a brief moment he opened his mind to hers, answered her question.:: ::Two halves of a whole, suddenly separated. Rejection by a part of one’s self. Where there had been the sense of another for the majority of his life - her mind and yes, her emotions, hidden from others - there was only emptiness. Loss. Irreconcilable grief. But before all that a wall. Iron self-control that separated emotion from thought, feeling from action. And, over time, the wound had healed, though it had left a welt of scar tissue.:: ::A moment later he pulled away from her touch, tucked his hands back into his sleeves.:: ::Alora stepped back and inhaled deeply. The exchange had been intense and revealing. She’d ‘seen’ him in a way she was certain no one else had, not even T’Rel. For him to have done so was odd, but she was also honoured. He had allowed her touch, accepted it, and shared an intimate part of himself. And yet, he had also broken the contact. Alora would not initiate a second time. As it was, she had already overstepped her bounds and she made a mental note to be more careful and not let her guard down so easily. She was forgetting herself around him and she had to remember proper etiquette around Vulcans, even ones she called friend.:: DeVeau: I’m sorry. ::But that time it was her own actions she was apologising for.:: ::Saveron only shook his head.:: Saveron: It is I who must apologise. ::He had reacted not from logic, but something far baser. He missed that mental contact, and wanted it. But he had to remember that for Terrans, such physical contact was casual; social niceties and no more. For Vulcans with their touch telepathy, it was intimate. He had sensed when she made that touch that it had been an idle gesture. He should not have taken advantage of it.:: DeVeau: No. You have nothing to apologise for. ::She smiled, not quite so bright, but sincere none the less.:: DeVeau: I’ll try to be better. ::That earned her another of those slightly thoughtful looks that usually indicated he was trying to puzzle out her meaning.:: Saveron: I did not object. ::He said at last.:: DeVeau: No. ::Her reply was soft.:: But I… ::She trailed off. Alora had a feeling she wasn’t going to win the argument and really, it was probably best to simply move on.:: ::Saveron was of the same mind as he voiced his next question. As he turned away he was aware that Saavok was watching them with that same blank expression that his father sometimes wore when he didn’t quite understand what was going on.:: Saveron: Do you harbour a preference for certain places on Terra? Saveron: Do you harbour a preference for certain places on Terra? ::He wouldn't do her the discourtesy of implying she was being emotional by asking whether she 'missed' a place. By the same token he had come to understand that Terrans meant no offence when they used such terms.:: DeVeau: Yeah. Atlanta and Japan. Japan more so, but...I love doing what I do - even if I haven't been doing it for long. The prospect of exploration and discovery, of learning, holds far too much appeal to keep me on Terra. ::That was a sentiment that Saveron understood well.:: ::Alora turned her gaze to the child who had been almost invisible thanks to his silence. She wouldn't forget him, however.:: DeVeau: You've been rather quiet. Do you hold memories of Vulcan? ::Saavok turned to regard Alora with that same quiet, thoughtful look his father often wore.:: Saavok: Affirmative. I lived on Vulcan until I was two and a third Vulcan cycles. ::Which equated to six Terran years.:: I grew up in ShirKahr. We lived in that building. ::He pointed to another tall, ochre-coloured building not far from the one they were in. It had a very similar type of construction, apparently made up of myriad apartments.:: DeVeau: Do you prefer traveling and exploring? Saavok: Affirmative. ::He seemed to consider his words carefully for a moment.:: I found life in ShirKahr restrictive. The galaxy is very interesting. DeVeau: I have to agree with you there. Saveron: His teachers labelled him disruptive. ::Yet the look he gave his son held no reproof.:: He has inherited his father’s restlessness. ::The doctor would own that fault.:: DeVeau: Hm. I’m not sure I would agree with the teachers’ assessment. Being on a starship has its advantages, though, and I imagine you learn a lot of things that you wouldn’t be able to on Vulcan. Saavok: That is why I prefer to be stationed with my father. ::The little Vulcan agreed with a certain finality.:: Saveron: Some individuals benefit from a far broader education. ::He agreed.:: ::His son was more at home in space than on Vulcan, the doctor acknowledged that. It was why, despite the dangers of the posting, he had requested that he be permitted to bring Saavok, and why he kept him with him. Others might not agree but Saveron was of the view that the benefits outweighed the risks. For a moment he rested a hand lightly on his son’s shoulder, as family might do. He also found having his son with him preferable.:: Saveron: Would you be interested to see Mount Selaya? ::It was one of the more famous locations on Vulcan.:: DeVeau: Of course! ::She wondered if she’d be able to compare it to any of the Terran mountains she’d seen. Fujiyama was, of course, the one most familiar to her, but she’d visited Mount Mckinley as well as Kilimanjaro and Everest, though she’d only viewed them from afar. :: DeVeau: Are there other places on Vulcan that you two prefer as well? Saavok: Ut-kashi tower? ::He suggested.:: Saveron: If such is considered agreeable. ::He replied, before looking over at Alora.:: Would you be interested in exploring part of T’ralor? That is where I grew up, in southern Han Shir. DeVeau: Absolutely. ::As he spoke he led them through the portal and into the apartment proper, which was neat, sparse in it’s low, Vulcan-style furnishings and restful in it’s neutrally coloured wall hangings.:: ::Through the entrance was a long hallway which they followed into the heart of the building. As they walked they were joined by members of the holographic population, robed in ochre, charcoal and sand, they were shorter and stockier than Saveron. Hair was almost universally black and predominantly worn in the same porridge-bowl cut that Saavok wore, eyes were mostly dark and skin was coppery. There was the occaisional glance, nod or flash of the ta’al, but mostly they walked quietly. Saveron stuck out like a sore thumb, obviously racially different, and Saavok’s hybrid nature was more obvious when seen next to his mother’s people.:: ::They entered a turbolift, formed in the same shades of copper and ochre as the rest of the building, and travelled down the length of the building. As they did so Saveron called for a control panel and inputted several commands.:: ::The doors of the turbolift opened not onto the foyer of the building, but onto a flat, sandy plain with an oddly short horizon. As they stepped out perspective changed and it became obvious that they stood upon a high plateau in the mountains. Behind them the door of the lift closed and disappeared.:: ::When they turned to look back they were faced with the Temple of Gol, carved into the red rock of the mountain itself. Pillars and spires of proportions that looked alien to Terran eyes; aesthetic to Vulcan ones adorned the entrance. Across the plateau was a narrow rock bridge that led to an arena and altar, balanced atop another rock spire. Above them the reddish, dust-filled sky seemed to loom closer and below there was nothing for a very long way, until the distant, rocky valley below.:: ::Here and there Vulcans in long, ornamented robes walked or stood in quiet contemplation.:: Saveron: This is the Temple of Gol, atop Mount Selaya. It is the seat of Golic culture and mental discipline. DeVeau: Oh...wow. ::It was nothing like anything she had ever seen. Her experiences with the mountains on Terra could not compare. They were beautiful, that, there was no doubt, but the alien majesty of the Vulcan mountain and the temple cradled within swept her breath away momentarily. The view was frightening and instinctively Alora inched closer to the two Vulcans, taking comfort in their presence. Despite that fear, it was amazing to behold and she couldn’t help but stare, her eyes wide as they soaked in the brilliant surroundings.:: DeVeau: You studied here? ::As Alora moved closer to them Saveron made a mental note to take into account that she appeared to dislike heights. Her reaction to the balcony view had been less than favourable.:: Saveron: Negative; T’Rel did. She is a disciple of the Temple and a student of their most advanced teachings. She is extremely adept at mental discipline. The Temple is central to Golic culture. ::But it was also an easily recognisable landmark, and something that aliens often seemed to know about and consider worth visiting.:: DeVeau: It’s beautiful. ::And it was. Beautiful, magnificent, and terrifying all at once. Alora took a deep breath and let it ease out slowly. As long as she stayed away from the edge. Well, it was just a hologram, but even that knowledge didn’t help dissuade her discomfort.:: Saveron: The teachings of my own people vary somewhat from Golic mental traditions, though the core values and systems are largely identical. My people are strong adherents of the IDIC principle. DeVeau: Do you have a badge? Saveron: Affirmative. I have one that I use as a communicator. DeVeau: How do the teachings differ? Saveron: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations was one of the prime teachings of Surak, along with the principle that we must control our emotions, lest they control us. My people put more emphasis on the former, Golic teachings on the latter. DeVeau: Interesting how much difference there is. Saveron: It is, I think, a function of differences in culture. Golic peoples traditionally dwell in these very arid areas, congregating in large numbers around water sources. As such conformity is important for social cohesion. My own people are agrarian and traditionally live in small family communities, each with it’s own traditions. DeVeau: So not only does the philosophy differ but so does the social aspect. ::He nodded slightly.:: Saveron: Such difference is IDIC also. You yourself have given me much insight into Terran cultural differences. DeVeau: I think it’s interesting to learn about different cultures. Vulcan culture, when studied on Terra and in the academy, is generally presented in a two dimensional fashion. There’s so much more richness though just from what I’ve learned from you. They don’t teach us this much when studying the language. I wish they would. It would certainly help Terrans keep from being so ignorant. ::The grin was rueful and a sigh accompanied it.:: DeVeau: So, where else shall we go from here? ::Preferably some place not quite so high. And narrow. And high.:: ::Judging that Alora might not find the idea of crossing the narrow stone bridge to the arena agreeable, he suggested a change of scenery.:: Saveron: The An’ahyaes Valley may present an interesting contrast. Kal-an is the main settlement of the region. ::Which was where he’d spent most of his life.:: DeVeau: Sure, that sounds good. ::A few verbal commands from Saveron and the scenery around them changed from the dramatic and barren mountains to a more open vista. They were still at a viewpoint but the hillside sloped away from them more gently, down to a vast, undulating valley floor. As far as the eye could see the valley had been sculpted into geometric fields planted with crops in the various red and brown hues characteristic of Vulcan vegetation. The soil itself was sandy and pale and the plants looked parched and spiky; it was an arid landscape by Terran standards, but clearly a lush, productive land by Vulcan ones.:: ::Small settlements were visible on the hills that ringed the great valley, clusters of buildings no more than a couple of storeys high, in much the same colour as the surrounding soil. Roads led down from the hillside dwellings to the valley floor below; clearly the locals knew better than to build on precious, fertile ground. There was an obvious roadway along the tops of the hillsides, connecting the farming communities, and in the distance what appeared to be a small city sprawled down the side of a particularly large hill.:: ::The air was cooler up here than it had been in ShirKahr, though it was still parchingly hot for a non-native. In the fields below people and machines moved in the shimmering heat. To the east the line of hills was broken and the land instead dropped away into a series of ravines that ran, in the distance, to a faint shimmer that might have been the narrow, shallow Voroth sea.:: Saveron: This is the An’ahyaes Valley; it’s farmland feeds half a continent. There is Kal-an. Saveron: This is the An’ahyaes Valley; it’s farmland feeds half a continent. There is Kal-an. ::He gestured to the city in the distance.:: Saveron: To the north-east, behind these hills, lies the T’ralorean Preserve, one of the last vestiges of Vulcan as it was before the gravitational shift. At the southern end of the valley lie the ruins of Ut-kashi tower, an ancient defensive holding of my people. These are my family’s dwellings. ::He gestured around them to the low, sand-coloured buildings that seemed to be dug into the hillside as much as they were built on them. Low walls marked out pocket gardens between them, filled with varieties of plants from across the planet.:: ::Alora soaked in the view and studied the buildings and the land that surrounded them. It was a stark contrast to the mountain. There one had been filled with a sense of awe and almost fear. But there with the squatter buildings and agrarian culture that was obvious by the tilled and readied land, it felt less intimidating and far more welcoming.:: DeVeau: What sort of crops do they grow? Saveron: We grow a variety of grains and legumes and rotational crops, and fruit from established plantings; you might describe them as ‘orchards’. ::Though the squat shrubs would look rather sad compared to a Terran fruit orchard.:: ::Alora’s gaze fell back to the fields as they stretched out in a wave of earth. Had they just finished plowing or had seeds already been planted in that simulation?:: DeVeau: It’s amazing how many you guys are able to feed. What are your parents like? Do they work the land too? Saveron; Affirmative. My father Vahnyahraeon is an agricultural engineer; my mother Saehleyrah is a Preserve warden. ::He said, pronouncing his parents’ correct Nel-Gathic names rather than simplifying them.:: My clan has worked this land for generations. Our ability to produce sufficient food for the population stems partly from careful management. It is also the reason that we do not eat animal products; it would take several times as much land to produce the same amount of nutrition if the land was used to raise livestock. ::That was the logic behind Vulcan veganism.:: DeVeau: So no animals are kept anywhere at all? Saveron: The nomadic desert tribes of the Go’an are traditionally hunters, and they still conduct rare ritual hunts according to their cultural traditions and sustainable practices. But no animals are farmed. DeVeau: Interesting. How do the plants get water in a place like this? Saveron: In the evening as the sun sets the temperature drops and the wind direction changes. Moist air from the Voroth Sea blows over this land and the moisture condenses out as mist. ::Of course, ‘moist’ was a relative term. The rate of condensation also had a lot to do with the low water-holding capacity of the thin atmosphere.:: DeVeau: I understand that Vulcans don’t eat meat on Vulcan because it’s not worth the effort, but what about when you’re not on Vulcan and such things are plentiful? I know you don’t, but do you just prefer to avoid meat and dairy? Or is there another reason you don’t partake? ::It was a reasonable question, and one he’d been asked before.:: Saveron: It is true that in the age of replicators there is no longer the need to eat only plant material to ensure sufficient supply. ::He admitted.:: However it is part of my culture, and a part that I choose to continue to practice. ::He acknowledged that there was no logical reason not to eat a replicated hamburger, but he still wasn’t going to be chowing down on one in the near future.:: Saveron: I understand that other species appreciate differences in flavour that are encountered in animal products, however most other species have a far more sensitive sense of taste and smell than Vulcans. I anticipate that the finer nuances of flavour would be lost on me. DeVeau: Because of the lack of taste? Saveron: The sense of smell requires moist receptor cells in the nasal passages; these are a potential site of water loss. We have only a few receptors and they are largely sensitive to the scents of predators. Females have greater sensitivity than males. ::It was interesting that there was a distinct cross-over to species from other planets, such as Terran canines. Dogs were particularly offensive.:: DeVeau: Ah, interesting. So an acute sense of smell, but receptive within a narrow scope. Saveron: I understand that the sense of taste developed in other species to allow individuals to determine which foods were safe to eat and which were poisonous or spoiled. Species on fertile worlds have the luxury of being selective. ::Alora nodded slowly. It was luxury all right, particularly compared with what she saw before her eyes.:: Saveron: On Vulcan we cannot afford to be so; rather we developed efficient livers which can process most native toxins, and active immune systems that can neutralise most effects of putrefaction. ::Vulcans could eat just about anything that grew on their world and regularly did. That didn’t mean that it was palatable or even safe for other species.:: DeVeau: Which means compared with humans, there’s not much that can harm you or poison you. So your livers actually allow your bodies to deal with more things and give you a hardier immune system. Saveron: Affirmative. Our adaptations give us an immunity to native toxins and simple poisons such as cyanide and ethanol. We have no particular resistance to complex toxins from other worlds. We are still affected by caffeine. ::He added by way of example.:: DeVeau: Well, most Terrans are too. I avoid caffeine for the most part. ::She got very little, chocolate being the only food she consumed that would contain the stimulant, and even then it was negligible compared to coffee and other caffeine laced drinks.:: DeVeau: Caffeine makes me shaky. ::The Vulcan had never seen the appeal in the substance himself.:: Saveron: You would have experienced many Terran cuisines, and others through Starfleet. Have you developed preferences? DeVeau: Oh I love food. All sorts of food. On Terra, in India and other asian countries, they have various types of curries. Spices. I love spices of all sorts, though I’m not very good when it comes to actually creating various dishes. I can follow a recipe okay, but tend to leave cooking to others. ::Like her mother and the youngest of her brothers. Who needed to cook when she had them? Of course, there was replicator food as well, which was not quite as good, but better than some people’s cooking she’d tasted.:: DeVeau: There are all sorts of vegan curry dishes. Maybe you can visit Terra sometime. Aime can cook for you. Saveron: I would not object to that. ::He [...]ed his head slightly in query.:: I am not familiar with ‘Aime’. DeVeau: He’s one of my brothers, an artist and gaining in notoriety. He cooks like nobody’s business. Saveron: ::Trying to think how to ask politely.:: Would that perhaps suggest that the experience might not be beneficial? DeVeau: I mean, he’s an excellent cook. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything he ever made and didn’t like it. Saveron: I see. ::Terran colloquialisms again.:: I would be honoured to meet your brother, and to taste his cooking. DeVeau: Do you have any brothers and sisters? ::Alora couldn’t imagine a life without her brothers. Of course, they had plenty of spats, but she’d never trade any of her family for anything in the universe.:: Saveron: My siblings have remained on Vulcan. If you were to visit I could introduce you. DeVeau: Really? That would be great! I’d love to meet more of your relations. How big is your family? Saveron: I have three siblings, ten nieces and nephews and seven great nieces and nephews. ::Not to mention his own spawn and grandspawn.:: DeVeau: Wow. I’ve a few nieces and nephews, but only half that many...and no greats, but I’m young yet. ::Vulcans lived longer than humans. How old was Saveron? Although he had mentioned grandchildren before, she hadn’t truly thought about how old he was til he listed a goodly portion of his relatives. He didn’t seem particularly old to her, though having a young child probably helped with that. She refrained from asking about his age. If she really wanted to know, it was in his public file and it would be rude to ask such a question.:: DeVeau: Do you go back to Vulcan often? Saveron: I have done so, although I do not anticipate returning as frequently now that none of my children are on Vulcan. I left Vulcan five months ago. DeVeau: Oh, so you’ve not been back for that long. Did you two enjoy yourselves? ::The Vulcan considered his response. He knew that it was an idle question, no implied insult was intended by the suggestion that they might have experienced an emotive response. Never mind that if they had, for him at least it would have been far different.:: Saveron: It was a complex period of time; there were several situations that warranted resolution. ::He admitted.:: We did take the opportunity to visit Kal’an and my family. ::Saavok was really only coming to know his Nel-Gathic side now.:: ::Alora nodded and allowed her gaze to wander.:: DeVeau: So would you mind giving me a more detailed tour? Then you can choose anywhere else you’d like to show me. Saveron: I would have no objection. Which part of Vulcan would you consider interesting? DeVeau: I’m interested in all of it. ::She grinned again then turned so she could follow behind her guide. If she was honest, her desire would be to visit the real world. That wasn’t possible at that time, however, and she was grateful for the holodeck. It was better than nothing.:: ::As the two wandered along the path, watching people and machines working in the field below, Saveron considered Alora’s request.:: Saveron: Vulcan is not a small planet. It will take some time. DeVeau: That’s okay. ::Alora assured him with a smile.:: I don’t mind spending more time with you. END A JP by Lieutenant Commander Saveron Chief Medical Officer USS Mercury and Lt. JG. Alora DeVeau Science Officer USS Mercury and PNPC Saavok Vulcan Child USS Mercury
  24. ((Epsilon VII Medical Facility - Counseling and Neuroscience offices)) ::The call has come through from Starfleet Medical, indicating that the USS Excalibur-A, a ship in dire need of a full counseling staff yet barely able to keep one counselor onboard at any given time, was docked back at Starbase 118. Doctor Solan arched a perfectly sculpted Vulcan brow, and idly wondered if it was logical to contact him with such short notice. If he was not an enlightened follower of the Kohlinar, he might have attributed an emotional reasoning to the late orders. His colleagues often said things like ‘that is so rude’ or ‘they do that on purpose’ as if short notices were planned specifically to irritate them. Solan believed that if there was blame involved, it was due to an inefficiency of the processes of bureaucracy rather than any personal vendetta. Inefficiency was not inexcusable, however it was understandable. Still, Starfleet Medical recognized Ensign Solan’s efficiency, perhaps even counted upon it. If anyone could be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, it would be him. He had few personal effects to pack, and those he did carry with him were meticulously organized enough to make packing a simple affair. Add to that the simple fact that Solan, by nature, made sure than every report that needed to be filed was filed precisely on time and all loose ends were wrapped up as a matter of course meant he left nothing dangling to be cleaned up should he need to leave. Part of this could be attributed to his Vulcan heritage. Certainly it did not hurt. But moreover, it was part of his age and routine. Despite the fact that he only bore Ensign’s pips, this was only another stage in Solan’s journey to better understand neurochemistry and how it affected various species - a journey that he had already traveled for many decades. He had already spent half a lifetime researching at the Vulcan Science Academy, he could boast – if Vulcans were given to boasting (which they certainly were not) – two adult children who were both fine scientists in their own right and a wife who was an honored diplomat. Twenty years ago Solan would have thought he would have spent the rest of his life on Vulcan researching neurochemistry and neurology, peaceful in his choice of studies and staying in communion with his family and extended family. But that was before his mother, T’Lara, developed Bendii Syndrome at the painfully young age of 146. For the next three years Solan was driven to research the neurological illness, defying the bounds of logic in an almost desperate attempt to find a cure for the incurable. At the same time he became his mother’s closest caretaker – suffering the brunt of her telepathic emotional projections. When she died, three years after diagnosis, Solan was crushed and his emotional barricades crumbled like sandstone beaten by the relentless winds of the harsh Vulcan desert. His faith in medical science was shaken that day, and he wavered between unbecoming bouts of anger and depression. Finally Solan decided to re-cleanse himself by the ritual of Kohlinar. He spent five years attaining enlightenment and purging emotions and in the end he came to two conclusions: the first was that true enlightenment came from neither blind denial nor failure to acknowledge emotion. No, in fact the highest illumination was reserved for those who keenly understood emotions and chose to eschew them in favor of the course of pure logic. The second was that despite the depth of research that the Vulcan Science Academy had, he believed that breadth of experience might be what was needed to break through to new discoveries. As his children were well set with their lives and his wife was used to traveling and connecting with him when opportunity presented itself, Solan found it logical to expand his horizons. He enrolled in Starfleet Academy, in the hope that other cultures might provide him with the spark of an idea he needed to solve the medical mystery he was so intent on solving. While the medical facility on Starbase Epsilon VII was state of the art and well staffed, it wasn’t the breadth of experience Solan was hoping for. A mere three months after his posting he suggested to Starfleet Medical that it would be logical to test his expertise in the field. Certainly there would be a starship that could use a Vulcan counselor who was an expert in neurochemistry and neuropharmacology. Reading the reports – slim as they were – from the USS Excalibur, it appeared that he would be wading into what Terrans so colorful called ‘shark infested waters.’ He did not know what frontiers this ship might bring him to or what he might learn, but he was quite sure just from reading the scattered reports of the last and current counselor that the crew could use a guiding hand into understanding their own mental health. Thus prepared, he straightened and prepared to big farewell to his colleagues. He found them an agreeable group to interact with, and it was logical to retain good connections with intelligent doctors and scientists. Logic dictated that one must always remember the past, but not be bound by it. Solan felt at peace with the job he had done and curious for the one to come. As much as a student of the Kolinar could enjoy himself, Solan had agreeable expectations for what was to come.:: pNPC Ensign (Doctor) Solan Counselor en route to the USS Excalibur-A
  25. ((StarBase 118 - Promenade)) ::As the others went off to eat, Tracey considered joining them, but they all seemed still like strangers to her and she didn't feel so hungry as of yet. So she strode through the shopping district of this massive starbase almost aimlessly as her thoughts turned to her adopted Romulan infant still on DS 285, wishing she could return to his side, and soon.:: ::As she walked, she passed by an open doorway where a distinct sound could be heard coming from within. Pausing, she looked into the darkened lounge and could see the silhouette of the massive instrument standing in the center of the lounge. In curiosity, Tracey entered and could now more clearly see the lines of the large instrument, and the person sitting there playing single keystrokes with his index finger. The simple tune was in sharp contrast to what Tracey would think to be the powerful sound that should be coming from such a large instrument, with its top opened at an angle.:: ::As the simple tune would repeated, and Tracey came even closer, she noticed the black and white keys sprawled across the apparent playing surface as each time one was pressed down, a new tone was emitted, and just above these keys, in the center read the name "Steinway" in a gold script. As she came closer, she noticed the young man sitting and playing the simple tune wore a uniform of a Cadet.:: ::Tracey stopped not far behind the young man and clasped her hands behind her back as memories of the simple tune flooded back into her. It was the same simple lullaby her father from a universe that now only existed in her mind, used to sing to her when she was a child, and she closed he eyes and began to mouth the lyrics.:: ::Suddenly, perhaps due to the proximity of Tracey to the young maestro, the music abruptly stopped. Tracey opened her eyes and the young man was standing at attention.:: CADET: ::noting the pips on her collar:: Commander. TOWNSON: ::with a look of surprise:: No...no...Please. Cadet...as you were. CADET: ::with a curt nod:: Yes Commander. ::And with that, the Cadet sat back down and continued playing the single keystrokes on the large instrument. After awhile, and as he continued, he turned to look back. Tracey stood immobile as her eyes fluttered closed again and she continued to mouth the lyrics. Feeling the weight of the Cadet's stare, Tracey opened her eyes and felt somewhat embarrassed. The darkness of the room kept the flushing of her face from view, however.:: CADET: You know it, Commander? ::as he continued playing now without looking and using all fingers in his right hand.:: TOWNSON: ::nodding slowly as she twirled her long black hair in her fingers as she did when she was a child:: Yes. It is a beautiful sound. Thank you, Cadet. CADET: You have never heard the sound of a piano, Commander? TOWNSON: Only recordings. ::looking around the room before moving towards the piano.:: In this room, it just sounds so much more...vibrant. ::smiling:: CADET: ::smiling:: I am happy you enjoy, Commander. ::tapping the piano stool next to him.::Please...sit. It is very simple. I could teach you if you would like? ::Tracey's smile turned to a grin, and without thinking, took the young Cadet up on his offer and sat. The Cadet stopped playing and the two looked at each other for a moment.:: CADET: This particular piano was built in the 19th century and was re-furbished last year. There are only ten known left in the galaxy, and only two on earth. I was lucky to find one here. ::putting out his hand to shake hers:: My name is Steven. TOWNSON: ::taking his hand in her right prosthetic hand:: Tracey. CADET: OK then, Commander Tracey... TOWNSON: No...just Tracey. CADET: OK Tracey. there is no need to be nervous. I noticed your hand is very cold. TOWNSON: I am not nervous, Steven. The hand is not real. CADET: ::with a look of concern:: I am sorry to hear, Tracey. TOWNSON: ::nodding and gesturing towards the piano:: Please? CADET: Of course. ::And with that, the Cadet showed Tracey how to play the simple tune. After about a half hour, Tracey had the keystrokes ingrained in her memory and as the two played the simple melody in different octaves, Tracey grinned like a schoolgirl until her com-badge sounded. Tracey then stopped and looked at the Cadet.:: TOWNSON: Duty calls. CADET: ::nodding:: I too must be getting back. TOWNSON: Thank you, Cadet....? CADET: Bance...and you Commander? TOWNSON: Townson. CADET: Pleased to meet you, Commander Townson. TOWNSON: And you as well, Cadet Bance. If you'll excuse me. ::standing:: ::And with that, Tracey spun on heels and headed out of the lounge as the young Cadet watched her leave knowing full well he probably will never see the woman ever again..:: -TBC- Lt. Commander Tracey Townson Chief of Operations USS Discovery-C/USS Odyssey
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