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  1. ((Jansen Orrey Apartment - San Francisco Earth)) ::Jansen smiled and carried the plates to the table before returning to the replicator and returning with a pair of wine glasses with a light white wine that had a slight greenish tint to it. On the plate was a narrow fillet of fish paired with a creamy salad.:: Orrey: Lemon smoked salmon, with a creamy cucumber and fennel salad paired with a nice Chablis to go with it. A decent attempt at lunch I think. Sablone: It certainly looks good. Awful fancy for the likes of me. Orrey: :settling into his chair.:: Bah it is the least I can do for keeping you out so late yesterday. Sablone: No problem. Orrey: ::using his fork and knife to move one of the lemon slices off the fish before cutting into the fillet slowly.:: I still appreciate you the last few days. Even if there wasn’t any good news yesterday. Sablone: ::She popped a slice of the creamy cucumber into her mouth.:: So… While I enjoyed the area… you gonna tell me the results? Orrey: ::He laughed some covering his mouth as he finished chewing before lifting the wineglass up and taking a small drink before answering.:: I enjoyed the people down there. Direct, warm, it was nice. Sablone: :smiles as she continues through the salad. Waves her fork vaguely in the air.: I liked the feel. I might even go back and check it out further. See if they need any shrinks. Orrey: They would be lucky to have you there. ::He moved his salad around some with his fork before taking a small bite of it.:: Sablone: So..? Orrey: ::Again chewing to extend the time before he answered.:: There was no good news. I was nearly offered the services of his brother-in-law, a lawyer, to help start getting things in order. Sablone: ::winces:: Oh Janse… Orrey: ::Jansen shrugged some.:: It was a nice offer all the same. Sablone: ::puts her fork down.:: That’s not what I meant. ::pause:: What are you going to do? Orrey: ::Raising his head to look at her.:: What do you mean then? Sablone: Another doctor? Orrey: I will have to find one. The guy I went to see was one of the best on Earth. Sablone: What about off Earth? Orrey: I am looking into it. I have a few requests sent out, inside and outside of Starfleet. ::He pointed with his fork to her plate.:: Don’t let it get cold, it won’t agree with your stomach. :: Catalina stared at him with a slight frown.:: Orrey: Cooking I can fiddle my way through, but don’t think I don’t understand how to feed you, that is why I chose the Chablis instead of a Dry Riesling, or a malt whiskey to pair with the meal even though they would match the salmon just as well. ::smirking as he recalled the woman in the bar.:: Knowing how to care for the people around me...it's like my comfort food. Sablone: What does that even mean? Orrey: The same thing I tried explaining to you when we were in London for your birthday. You may not understand my ways of processing or dealing with things. But to me, I am most useful...I feel the best when I am helping someone else. Sablone: Till you can’t anymore, you mean. And then what? You go softly into that good night with a life well spent? Orrey: I doubt I will go softly, but a good night with a good life...I have had worse days. Sablone: You can’t be giving up. ::Jansen looked down at his plate and took a long moment cutting another piece of the fish away, carefully taking a piece of fennel and a cucumber slice on top before lifting it to his mouth, never looking up as he chewed, after another drink from his glass he raised himself up to look at her. His smile, that she had never seen him missing was gone, his eyes were wet and the lines on his face seemed heavy enough to weigh down a cruiser.:: Orrey: :quietly: no.. /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Lieutenant Junior Grade Jansen Orrey M.D. Diplomatic Attaché/Counselor USS Gorkon O238506JO0
  2. ((Fight Deck - Shuttle 'Aiko')) Hasha: The bay doors are locked down as well. ::moving as to stand up:: I'll have to deactivate and open the doors from an external panel. Peeex: ::with a restraining hand:: There's no time. I'll take care of it. ::Peexed fired an armed and unleashed a micro-torpedo from the shuttle's fore launcher. The flash of the matter/antimatter reaction as the torpedo ignited was blinding, and the shuttle rocked and buffeted momentarily from both the shockwave and the rush of outgoing air before a forcefield was raised.The shuttlebay door was gone. It was superficial damage to the Za, easily fixed, but not before they left and returned with Mother.:: Peeex: ::to Hasha:: There. Now launch. Hasha: ::Sitting back down manning the navigation controls:: Acknowledge... hold on Lers: Just get us to Mother safely...::He sits back in his chair and holds onto the side of his chair as the shuttle pushes into safety of the cold space. It was no long before the Za began to move and forced the shuttle to halt when the tracker beam was used upon them:: ::The security officer launched the shuttle through the breached bay doors. The sterile light of the bay interior gave way to the inky blackness of space, and their swing towards the planet was smooth and controlled. Unfortunately, their forward momentum did not last long, as a jolt shuddered them to a stop in the icy blue hue of a graviton field. They had been tractored by the Za.:: Hasha: They are hailing us.... Lers: ::Taking a deep breath he was going to be the old selfish Lers again and stood up grabbing the other Security Officer pistol:: On screen...::Meanwhile he puts the phaser to vaporizing and points it at the Security Officer in the back, he sees the bridge crew appear on the screen:: =/\=Good day Captain...=/\= Rhani: =/\= Mr. Lers. You seem to be in one of my shuttles. With members of my crew. Care to explain this state of affairs? =/\= Lers: =/\=Yes, it seems that way, the shuttle is in temporal use for us ::He looked at the screen as he continues:: I would like to advise you to shut down the tracker beam or I am forced to do something I don't wish to do....=/\= Rhani: =/\= Can’t say as I’m rushing to let you just fly off, Mr. Lers. =/\= Lers: ::He shrugs as they tested his bluff, an ill choice to do so:: =/\=Then one of your man just died due your selfishness=/\= ::He fired without warning his phaser as the Security Officer vaporize with agony pain. Lers points his phaser to the pilot:: =/\=I wonder if you test my patience again Captain, shut down the tracker beam...=/\= Rhani: =/\= I was willing to talk to you, Mr. Lers. I am *now* informing you that if you do pull that trigger again, your lifespan will be as long as it takes for a torpedo to reach you. ::with a smile like razor:: Possibly less. You still have the chance to come out of this alive. I suggest you don’t waste it. =/\= Falcon: =/\= Shuttle is within torpedo launcher fire arc. =/\= Lers: ::Hishnend was not impressed with the counter and he did not even break a sweat over this:: =/\= That does not sound very Federation style, can I taste a bitter sweet Orion pressure tactic in your lines? =/\= Rhani: =/\= Believe me, Mr. Lers. If I was using Orion tactics, you’d be a lot less happy about the situation. =/\= Lers: ::He puts the phaser to the head of Hasha that reacted perfectly in panic and begging eyes towards the screen:: =/\= Miazra, please take the helm controls over, it seems that our Captain is willing to sacrifice yet another crew member....I believe the records state that you are new to the ship Captain? Well short career...you let two members of your crew be killed and at the same time letting your shuttle get destroyed. I believe that it is a court marshal or removal of those beloved pips of yours Captain. Listen to your First Officer and shut down the tractor beam=/\= Peeex: I've got the helm... Peeex: ::to Lers:: I've got control again, setting maximum speed. Lers: ::Gave a grateful smile at the Captain:: =/\=Thank you Captain for your solid trust in this matter, we will return this person back to you as soon as we arrive at the planet =/\= ::Meanwhile he tapped onto the console with his left hand while staring at the screen as he heard a beep and smiled =/\= Oh and beaming us to your ship, not going to work....I placed a jamming device here. We will meet again...soon enough Lers out =/\= Peeex: And I thought my plan was a gamble. Yours is positively suicidal, Mr Lers! Lers: ::Sat down as he looked at Hasha:: Sorry for the brute force, but we can't leverage at this time and time is against us... Hasha: Understandable, just did not expect to feel a phaser against my head ::he shrugs:: Lers: Desperate times, desperate measures.... Peeex: At least we finally are so close to our goal. Whether because of the actions of our brethren or because the Starfleet officers capitulated, we will soon have the mother in our midst! Lers: Good they got some sense in them... move with haste towards the planet. We got no time for any more delays! ::At maximum impulse, they were approaching the planet that they had sought for so long within minutes:: Peeex: ::nervous:: I can't find anyone, Mr Lers. After 30 years, is it possible... are we too late? Lers: ::Taking a deep breath he shrugs knowing that their cryo might have taken a toll on their fellow mates:: If we cease our search now, all is lost and we would not succeed in our plan. I will make some scans ::starting to start up some of the lower ground scans and thicken the array of the shuttle to get a better signal:: Peeex: ::only slightly mollified:: I know we wouldn't be - us - if the mother was no more, but still... What good is it if we can't find her? Lers: I got something, it is faint....weak but it still there...:: he stared, looking closer towards the scans:: Check the following coding 12.0049399, 79.81303950000006 ::Looking at Peeex:: Peeex: Yes... yes! I see it now. It's the mother! ::scrutinizing the scans further:: But... but her host is dying or dead. The mother is weak, I can barely make her out. Lers: The long years have taken its toll on her, she will need a new host to get back into life itself ::Taking a deep breath:: This is is a heavy burden to carry, but so far scans have indicated...she is suffering badly as her host is barely holding. Peeex: We can lock onto the mother and beam her directly into one of us. Then she will survive, and we can get her back to the Za. ::resolute expression:: Then all will be as we had always planned. We will finish what was started 30 years ago! I should take the mother. This host is genetically predisposed to co-existing with a large being within it, and the host will likely handle the transport and integration the best. Hasha: ::incredulous:: Why should you be the honored host? I can host the mother just as well as you! I should be the one to take her! Lers: ::Both offers were gracefully and noble by heart, he took a deep breath and nodded to conclude his judgment of the situation. The situation was dire and he could not waste time anymore:: Hasha you will take this honored duty, get ready in the back for transportation into your body ::He nodded towards the man that stood up and made his way towards the back as he looked at Peex that was kinda disappointed:: I need your skills and thinking for something else, the way back....if we return to you as new mother, it would only be logical to shoot you first. We can't take this gamble. Start the process.... =============== Hishnend Lers Engineer, Morning Star ~as simmed by~ Lieutenant (JG) Nak'aqi Socxo Assistant Chief Science Officer, USS Za FNS & Podcast Member Z239308NS0
  3. ((USS Darwin, Deck 6, Personal Quarters)) ::Kael’s quarters was relatively bare. He’d always liked it that way. Things were ordered but not cluttered with everything he needed in easy reach and never out of place. It’s not that he had an obsessive nature where things had to be perfect he just hated having to search for things. In a functional sense his room worked. But in an inviting and warming sense it was cold. His walls weren't lined with his families pictures or even pieces of art or memorabilia that might help provide a superficial insight into Kael’s interests. They were bare bulkheads. :: ::Turning to his bed which was covered in the odds and ends that Kael had accumulated during this shoreleave. He had quite a few things and he realistically knew that not everything would find a home, but he was hoping to be a little more open about his room decorations. In there he hoped might be some gifts for others also. Not to say that Kael was just going to regift all the things he couldn’t find value in, but rather he bought them all because he liked them. It’s possible with some more thought he could gift them to others who would appreciate it. Possibly even give them encouragement to get to Trill. :: ::Picking up a large fitting button up shirt Kael lifted the navy blue fabric up to fold it into a useful shape. The smell of the natural fibres took him back to the warm summer day at the market where he purchased it. Sorting through the clothes he packed them away neatly and moved onto other tokens.:: ::Picking up a wooden object, he flipped it over in his fingers while moving to his desk. It was angled slightly and had a wooden recess on the bottom. Kael always thought about having somewhere to rest his PADDs on when reading instead of holding them and this provided a nice solution to that. A memorable item, but with purpose ticked all of Kael’s newly created criteria. :: ::Turning back to his desk, he saw a framed picture. Picking it up in his hands Kael admired the excellent reproduction of colours and feeling from the photo. As he moved to hang it on the wall, he could almost hear the waves from the photo as if he was right there.:: ((Backsim)) ((Trill, Aopdic Beach)) ::The coffee felt warm between Kael’s hands in the cool light air of pre-dawn. Kael had partaken in a few drinks with the crew for New Year's Eve celebrations but he kept them modest. Kael always liked to start off his New Year productively and this year he got to do it with amazing surroundings. Having transported here a few moments ago, Kael had taken up a spot up from the water line where the sand was still loose and remained dry. He’d thought about wearing shoes because he wasn’t doing a great deal of activity but he wanted to feel the sand under his feet. Sitting down his arms resting on his knees he waited patiently.:: ::Casting his eyes upward he got a look at the night sky. It was so different to what he’d been used to at home. He was obviously in a different position to Earth and as such the night sky was different, but still held the familiar arm of the Galaxy. With very little light bleed he could take in even the dullest of stars. :: Thomas: oO When I was a kid, I used to look at the stars and want to be among them. How strange, but gratifying to now sit here and say that I have been among many of them. Is that success? Oo ::There was no question that Kael had wanted to be a Starfleet Officer from a very early age. Owned in part to the some bleed from his parents who were also in Starfleet, albeit Earth bound, but also owed to Kael’s explorative and hunger for knowledge inner drives. He would never have been content on Earth, wondering what else was out there. What he was missing out on. As he looked at hte sky, he realised his place in the universe was so small. So insignificant. But as his Lecturer’s would also say, “Even the smallest fly has a role to play.”:: ::Getting lost in his thoughts wasn’t a problem because the Sun caught his attention immediately. It began to fill up the horizon and the night sky was in quick retreat. It’s amber light shone around Kael who couldn’t help but smile. This was a great moment and one he hoped to capture to remember. Bringing out the camera, Kael took a few photo’s. Happy with his work, Kael sat back and reflected upon just how blessed he was. He was in good health, he had family and he a was placed on an excellent ship. He was really content with where he was right now, and prayed that 2394 would also be a prosperous year. Kael remained well until the sun had climbed above the horizon, not wanting to miss a moment.:: ((Present Day)) ((USS Darwin, Deck 6, Personal Quarters)) ::The picture hung well on Kael’s wall, about eye height. Moving back a little to reflect upon his work Kael was happy with the placement. Furthermore, he was happy with the shot and the memories of that morning and what it represented. He would make sure he had a great year and without a doubt, it had gotten off to a great start.:: ===================================================== Commander Kael Thomas - Engineering Officer, USS Darwin, NCC-99312-A V238010KT0 =====================================================
  4. ((Lucaf’s, Arnmere, Trill)) ::Emery was sitting at a very nice table in a quaint little family owned restaurant in Arnmere, with Logan and Stennes. Kurt had recommended it, as he'd eaten here previously with someone else. After only a little bit of interrogation, he'd let it slip that his companion had been Doctor Lahr. What kind of soldier did he think he was, breaking that easily? Emery smiled. She enjoyed this kind of friendly ribbing between shipmates. It brought them closer, and helped form a more cohesive team. To his credit, he remained tight lipped about the depth of his connection with the good doctor - whether it was just dinner, or if there might be more come out of it later. It was none of her business, so she didn't press. You never wanted to take friendly ribbing too far.:: ::But the restaurant was nice. The lighting was low enough to make it comfortable, but not bright enough to remind you of being on board a starship, where the lighting in the corridors and non-personal areas was always set at optimal working levels...meaning bright. And the decor inside this place was fairly rustic, giving it a comfortable old world charm, rather than the sterile feeling one got in the rest of the civilized Federation. Emery liked it here. And the smells wafting from the kitchen did nothing to change her mind. Whatever they were currently cooking for the other patrons, it smelled wonderful.:: ::A waiter came and took their food order. Being a native of the planet, Emery knew all the dishes on the menu and had to talk Kurt out of ordering something she knew he wouldn't like. But she suggested some tralisom stew, and the table ended up ordering three bowls. It came with a salad and bread, and they each ordered a glass of something to drink. The waiter retrieved the menus, smiled in acknowledgement, and bustled off to deliver their orders. It was just then the ambient background music changed, and a sudden memory rushed into her consciousness.:: ((Timeskip backward - 223001.06 - 164 years ago, Avanyu, Trill)) ::Dinara was still sitting at her cliepestra, staring at it. She'd been here for hours. Well, no. She'd only been here for twenty minutes. But when you're trying to find inspiration and nothing comes, time seems to drag immeasurably. Nils was trying to keep the children busy outside, but the sound of their excitement was traveling through the closed window into the conservatory. Dinara could hear them. She'd been listening to them for twenty minutes, and smiling the entire time. She loved the sound of her children playing. Four of the five of them were frolicking in the wonderful spring sunshine with their father. The fifth, Aliana, was still asleep in her crib in the nursery.:: ::Dinara got up, and pushed back the cliepestra stool. She wandered to the window, gently held back the curtain and looked out onto their courtyard. Her previous compositions had made her famous and wealthy enough to afford a manor-house in the countryside. They had a courtyard, which bordered on several hectares of prime country real estate, and a 17-room, three storey home, done all in stonework. It was much too much for them, but as her husband had said, "nothing else they looked at was big enough, and you can't remove part of a building as perfect as this one." He was right. The entire family loved this house. It was incredibly peaceful. And non-intrusiveness was an attractive feature for a famous composer such as she was.:: ::She didn't like the fame. She didn't like all of the public attention. She just wanted to write her music. People said she had a gift. Whether that was true or not, she didn't know. But her music certainly was popular enough to pay for her current lifestyle. That was another thing she didn't like. Well, having money wasn't not to like. But she didn't need as much as they had. They did have five children, though. So she kept half of her earnings, and donated the other half to various charities. And they still had enough to pay for this manor. But the money certainly wasn't the reason she wrote her music.:: ::Just then a quiet knock came at the door on the far side of the conservatory. Dinara wasn't composing just now, anyway, so she wasn't upset at the interruption. She let the curtain drop back into place as she turned and strode across the polished marble floor to the double 6 meter tall doors. She grabbed the tall door handles and pulled. The doors easily glided open silently. Eliandra, their live-in nanny, was standing there with little Aliana in her arms. The baby was smiling and gurgling in joy. The smile already on Dinara's face seemed to grow even bigger. She reached out and took her daughter from the nanny, pulling the child in close.:: Eliandra: She only just woke up, and since I didn't hear anything from inside, I figured you were distracted again. Dinara: Yes, and you know the only thing I love more than my music is my family. Thank you, Ellie. Eliandra: If the children are distracting you again, I could take them into Avanyu for a few hours. I know they enjoy the Children's Exploratory Museum there. Dinara: Thank you, Ellie. But I think I'll give up for this afternoon. I've been having a lot of trouble focusing recently. Eliandra: If you don't mind me saying, ma'am, I think they're pushing you too much. Dinara:: I agree with you. Music must flow, it can't be forced. But I haven't written anything since before this little one was born. I think I'm afraid that I'll lose it if I don't write something soon. I think I'm pushing myself. Eliandra: Shall I go get her bottle ready? It's almost time for her feeding. Dinara: Again? My goodness she eats a lot! Eliandra: She is growing. Dinara: By all means then, Ellie. I'll bring her down momentarily. ::The nanny left on her errand to the kitchens. Dinara wandered back into the conservatory with her youngest daughter in her arms. She found herself back over by the window, trying to get all five of her children into view at the same time. The two-year old twins, Weren and Valdin, were running from their older brother Gram, who would be eight soon, and laughing at the top of their lungs. Renna, Dinara's five year old daughter, was being pushed on a tree branch swing by her father Nils.:: ::Just then, though, the sun shone in Aliana's eyes, and she started to cry. Dinara turned her to shade her eyes, but the crying continued. Dinara started to hum something, anything to quiet her. Dinara looked out out to her family again while she hummed. She didn't even notice that Aliana had stopped crying and was cooing again. When she did notice, she smiled down at her daughter, but continued to hum.:: Eliandra: That's lovely. What is it? ::The nanny had returned with the bottle when Dinara hadn't found her way down to the kitchens. Dinara turned and looked up to Ellie, still humming. Then she realized that whatever she was humming wasn't something she'd heard before. A look of realization came over her face. She continued to hum, so she didn't forget what the tune was, but rushed to put Aliana in the nanny's arms, then rushed back to the cliepestra. She started to play the tune on the stringed instrument as Eliandra smiled, inserted the bottle into little Aliana's mouth, and wandered out of the conservatory humming the tune herself.:: ((Timeskip 164 years forward, Arnmere)) Rhyn: I love this piece of music. It's called Aliana's Lullaby. ::Emery had always loved this piece. It was played to sleeping babies all over Trill. She hadn't realized that one of her symbiont's hosts had composed it, because even though Dinara had been Joined to the Rhyn symbiont at the time, she'd continued to use her family name of Krindon when she composed.:: ::Just then their food was brought to them and Emery's thoughts returned to her meal and company. Although the past was nice, her focus was on their future. Who could know what surprises it would hold?:: --------------------------- LtCmdr Emery Rhyn - Chief Tactical Officer - USS Darwin-A, NCC-99312-A V237810V10
  5. ((USS Darwin / USS Gorkon Subspace Call)) ::It had been a while now since Chythar’s return from hell. The strange sensation of a real bed, the full eight or so hours of sleep per night, the comforting presence of the beagle, and a working replicator still felt a wee bit alien. Not nearly as strange as it had the first night he was back, but still not quite routine just yet. It was a long re-learning curve, and it would take time before it all felt normal again.:: Computer: Subspace call from the Darwin. Lt Commander Icavoc, USS Darwin. ::Chythar blinked and scratched his head curiously as he pulled on a shirt and walked over to his desk. The name sounded familiar, but he could not place it.:: Skyfire: oO Wonder what they want...Oo Skyfire: Onscreen. ::The screen flickered to life and displayed a rather disturbing set of blue eyes, the kind of icy blue that reminded him of Azin. It was disturbing in the amount of resemblances: blue eyes, black hair, and Dokkaran. The two reassuring features that made this the more pleasant were that this one was wearing red and was a lieutenant commander. CD blinked once, but then found his tongue in short order.:: Skyfire: =/\= Commander. To what do I owe the pleasure? =/\= Icavoc: =/\= I would ask you the same thing. I believe you wanted to discuss a matter with me? =/\= ::Nicu Icavoc shifted his weight, his was voice serene and even as ever, but a faint smile and sparkling blue eyes conveyed a sense of friendliness and amusement. He couldn’t really blame Chythar Skyfire for being surprised. He had tried to get in touch some time ago, unsuccessfully. That was the way it was with Starfleet, people were always busy and the last year had been challenging for the Darwin’s crew from start to end. It was only now that they were on leave on Trill awaiting new orders that he finally had free time and was at a loss how to use it.:: ::Had he put in a request for that? Oh yes, now he remembered. Captain Reynolds had mentioned putting him in touch with someone who wasn't Azin but was of that species to aid in his search for comprehension. It made sense now, sort of. In a few hours it might make more sense, but for now it was enough.:: Skyfire: =/\= Right. Sorry, I momentarily forgot. Okay. =/\= ::He paused and took a breath before beginning to explain the basics of what had happened.:: Skyfire: =/\= So, what I'd like to know from you is: is it possible for an ancient memory to cause blindness in your species upon awakening from hibernation? =/\= ::With Dokkaran, each individual was born with all the knowledge they needed to get started in life. No two individuals were blessed with exactly the same knowledge. He had been born with botantical and zoological knowledge, and had a love of science. It was his thirst for knowledge and concern about the threat represented by the Borg that drove him to enlist in Starfleet and learn about the galactic threats beyond his own world so that he might bring back knowledge to his people of how to defend themselves. It took many years but he did achieve that goal and later retrained at Starfleet Academy to take up a career as a scientist. He had walked many paths and it was the knowledge bestowed upon him at birth that started him along it.::::He knew of others who were blessed with the knowledge of their young species history, indeed there were a few individuals from those early days who still lived! They were among the species eldest members and showed no signs of slowing down. No one yet knew the natural lifespan of a Dokkaran as none had died from old age. Disease and disaster had claimed them but not time itself. Nicu looked down and fell silent as he searched his memories. This was one of the most intriguing and unique questions he’d ever been asked. While he was no medic, his background in biology, alongside all the work he’d been doing with Doctor Pond and scientific colleague Merrick R’Ven gave him a considerable understanding of his species.:: Icavoc: =/\= I have never heard of it, nor can I think of any way it would be biologically possible given all I know of my kind. What makes you ask? =/\= ::Difficult question to answer, and to explain it would be just weird. Here’s hoping.:: Skyfire: =/\= My circumstances...I was told long after the incident that I had a predisposition to the genetic mutation for the possibility of becoming telepathic. It wasn't until after I assisted with this...thing...that I became such. One of your people came to me with sensory difficulties of sight and collapsed in my arms. My nervous system became linked with his, and he mentioned my mental resistance was impressive for a human. It took both of us a moment to recover from the inciting incident, but he wished my assistance in combatting a memory of someone named Vehsa. After that second melding, which was actually the one which rewrote my genome, that’s when... =/\= ::He paused and took a very long breath, silent for a few moments as he tried to recall the events which practically killed him the first time.:: Skyfire: =/\= When this link broke, I was...transformed, and the patient’s sight was restored. I received an initial rating of T2/E2, meaning that I was a non-contact telepath and empath with other humans. It wasn’t until later that year my abilities changed again to my current rating of T4/E6 through a different incident not involving one of your people, but the linking of minds with that patient had messed with me in ways I didn’t imagine. =/\= ::It was an incredible tale! One Nicu had to consider very carefully. His people were capable of performing what some had likened to a sort of ‘Vulcan mind meld’ He had melded once or twice with other members of his own race he was chasing or being chased by. It was considered a most intimate act, in fact the most intimate act between individuals. He knew it to be possible to meld with others not of his own species, all he had to do was attune his nervous system to theirs, though he had never done it. One had to be very careful with such things as most minds could be easily overwhelmed by it. He could see a situation in which a meld might occur through unintended or even involuntary means and perhaps that is why it had occurred in this case. It felt like he didn’t yet have all the pieces for the puzzle however and Nicu hoped Skyfire would not be offended by his questions.:: Icavoc: =/\= And you are human? Forgive me but there are so many distinct species who look alike on the surface but are different enough genetically for it to be significant. =/\=Skyfire: =/\= Correct. Full human, born on Earth with no history of reader ancestry, only the predisposition for a telepathic mutation somewhere in my genome which emerged after the...meld. =/\= ::He still wasn’t sure what it was called with Icavoc’s race. It was a bizarre experience he didn’t really know how to explain, but he’d experienced a few melds since. It was different each time.::Icavoc: =/\= Any hybrid DNA? =/\=::Humans were not known for being a species capable to telepathy or empathy and the brain anatomy of those that were had specific biological foundations that made such things possible. Skyfire’s direct parents might both be human, but if there was a telepathic species, maybe a Betazoid somewhere in the family tree above him then perhaps it would account for this genetic predisposition that had been mentioned. His brain might be just slightly different enough to a regular human with no hybrid family history to explain how this was physiologically possible.:: Skyfire: =/\= None that I know of. According to my colleague Dr. Saveron, he couldn’t find any; just the predisposition. =/\= ::Humans were not known for being a species capable to telepathy or empathy and the brain anatomy of those that were had specific biological foundations that made such things possible. Skyfire’s direct parents might both be human, but if there was a telepathic species, maybe a Betazoid somewhere in the family tree above him then perhaps it would account for this genetic predisposition that had been mentioned. His brain might be just slightly different enough to a regular human with no hybrid family history to explain how this was physiologically possible.::::One of the reasons Nicu had joined Starfleet was to learn more about the species his had been modelled on. At the birth of their species they had been granted forms similar in appearance to Lieutenant Evangeline Dell, and Ensign Christian Allanzar - the first individuals to meet The Lady. He was no human or doctor, so while he wasn’t aware humans had any predisposition for this type of thing he had to accept it at face value. He was sure both Skyfire and Saveron had looked into this extensively, so the only insight he could give was about his own kind, which, thankfully was what the human seemed to be after. The answer had filled in a few more gaps, allowing him to analyse the situation. After several more minutes of contemplation he could draw only one conclusion and perhaps this had already been considered too.:: Icavoc: =/\= It is not physiologically possible for telepathic abilities to be ‘passed along’ you might say, in the manner you describe - even with a genetic predisposition and a bad melding - that is to say one that was not deliberately and very carefully and purposefully executed. =/\=::Of this he was quite confident. A bad meld could turn someone into a vegetable and shut down pathways in their mind. He didn’t know the details about the memory concerning Vehsa - it was probably private and possibly traumatic. Knowledge was sacred among his people, he returned to the homeworld whenever he could to link with the lady and share all he had learned from academia and experience. The Lady would then pass that along to other Dokkaran. By communing directly with the lady he had on occasion gained insight direct from her that had first been learned by others among them.:: Icavoc: =/\= There would have to be something else - another, probably unaccounted for, third factor. Perhaps it was also affecting the individual in your arms. =/\=::It seemed most likely that if there was, Skyfire wouldn’t have been aware of it at the time with being caught up in the moment and the mind meld. Such things could take you so far out of your reality that someone could come in, climb on your back and you wouldn’t be aware of it. Of course, with all the time that had passed from the incident it was not something that could be easily checked either. It left him fearing that he could offer little help or closure about how exactly he had gained such fantastic abilities. Hopefully something he had been able to provide was of some use to the man.:: Skyfire: =/\= I’d say it was pretty purposeful and deliberate, given the scenario. I’d asked him the same question, but he neither confirmed nor denied I would be altered by the experience prior to it happening, nor had he seemed to consider the possibility it would be even possible to trigger the existing predisposition of telepathy polymorphing into limited abilities within my own species. The pain overwhelmed me and almost killed me, so whatever the third factor is...I hope you can figure it out and get back to me. =/\= ::Nicu doubted anyone could have known beforehand what the long term consequences would be so the response was hardly surprising to him. Nicu considered what he knew of the case and as much as he wanted to be able to help, the information he had about this case was limited and nothing jumped out at him. If something had been missed when the incident had originally occurred they may never find out what this third factor might be. Skyfire had called with questions about how a Dokkaran mind meld could bring out telepathic and empathic abilities in him and he had responded to the best of his knowledge as a scientist. Nicu did not believe the mind meld was the cause of Skyfire’s emerging telepathy, certainly not on its own as it was physiologically impossible.:: Icavoc: =/\= As much as I would love to help, I also don’t want to fill you with false hope. There is nothing more I can give, based on the information I have. Good luck with your search for the answer. =/\= ::As simplistic as the answer was, it also made Chythar rather sad to hear it. He was the first human he knew of with non-reader ancestry to have an “awakening” caused in this fashion. Since the commander could find no evidence in his species of this being what could only be described as a first time. He kept his expression neutral as he spoke, deciding to wrap this up before writing a log entry.:: Skyfire: =/\= Alright. Thank you for your time, Commander. =/\= Icavoc: =/\= ::Sincerely:: I truly hope you find the answers you are looking for. Good day Chythar Skyfire. =/\= ::Once the line closed, Chythar sat back in the chair and blew a strand of hair from his face. He now had something to report if Flt Captain Reynolds made an inquiry on whether the Dokkaran contact got in touch. Granted, it wasn’t particularly helpful, but it was at least contact. This made him the first case in Dokkaran history to have abilities awaken via such a meld. In any case, it was something to log for his next conversation with Lt. Uzoamaka. With a sigh, he glanced up at the ceiling.:: Skyfire: Computer, begin recording. Today consisted of a conversation with another Dokkaran who wasn’t Azin to discuss my unique abilities. Such an awakening, which is the name I’ve given it, is physiologically impossible. Bad meld or not. So, the third factor will remain a mystery and I’m the first human in the history of their kind to have this happen. End recording. ::CD contemplated going to bug Alex and talk it out, but he had woken up just for this call. So maybe it was easier to go back to sleep instead. He heard the inquisitive “raff” from the bed behind him, so it seemed like the answer was “go back to bed.” He left his desk and returned to the confines of his blanket and the reassuring presence of the beagle, leaving that mystery for another day.:: ::Meanwhile, on the Darwin, Nicu Icavoc stood and paced. Was he mistaken? Was there some detail he had overlooked? For the next three hours, Nicu reviewed all he knew about Dokkaran and human physiology and studied them both more closely, using the most up-to-date materials. The time he spent using advanced models and holoimaging techniques led him to one conclusion. There had been no mistake. Whether this unknown factor was environmental, or biological he could not tell from the information he had and the possibilities for what it might be were almost limitless. It was disappointing that he could not be of more help to the doctor. It would be wonderful to be able to point to something and say, this is it, this is the reason these wondrous abilities emerged. Perhaps one day he would find the answer he was looking for.:: PNPC LtCmdr Icavoc - Chief of Security Fleet Captain Renos - Commanding Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member * Academy Commandant A238805EB0 And Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire Chief Medical Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 O239002CS0
  6. ((Bridge, USS Discovery)) ::The first salvos in what would likely result in the end of his career and possibly life had been launched. The scenario was beyond anyone could dream up for a work of fiction, much less real-life. He was in a command of a decomissioned Starfleet vessel, pursuing another Starfleet vessel, commanded by a Federation Admiral who was also his wife, who had just fired torpedoes at him. He had returned fire. The damage that both ships had absorbed was nothing compared to the wreckage left in his soul. He didn't have time to think, and his long experience taught him to put aside emotion, at least as much as he could, and deal with the situation at hand. Otherwise he, and possibly thousands of others, would die.:: RIVERWIND: Sir, I'm sorry for the pain that this is causing you, but perhaps when it comes to dealing with you one son, it might be helpful to include his brother.. ::pausing:: seeing as it his Twin. There's not doubt that he's in as muich pain as you are. He may have ideas that we haven't thought of yet, ones that would save both of them should either end up setting foot on Ba'ku. ::Tyr looked up and began to snap off a response akin to "stay out of my business", but the Ensign was already gone, and perhaps it was for the best. She was only trying to help, and the advice was solid. He turned to where Tye had been standing before combat began, but found him gone. A quick query to the computer showed that he had removed his comm badge.:: o O I know what you're planning, son. You won't be the one to do it. O o ::Quietly, he tapped in commands to the console on his chair arm, locking down all the shuttles and the shuttlebay, giving clearance only to the one Oddas and Riverwind were flying to disable the Thunder.:: WALTAS: Savan, I want you to go with Riverwind and Oddas and take your boarding team. Once you fire off the probe we'll open fire, and then you can transport into Engineering and take it over. SAVAN: response MITCHELL: New contact. Showing it to be the Thunder's yacht. ::Tyr frowned, realizing now he had two to chase.As Savan left the bridge, the attention turned to the Thunder, who somehow managed to leap into the slipstream while travelling at maximum warp.:; o O Damn you, T'Lea. That's got to be your handiwork. It figures you'd choose to shine when I want you to screw up. O o MITCHELL: Targets are going to slip stream... WALTAS: Take us into the stream. We'll use theirs so we don't have to wait to power ours up. Stay on their tail, Anders. Mitchell, what's your opinion on the yacht? MITCHELL: Stay with the Thunder. The yacht is a diversion, Tyr. WALTAS: I'd tend to agree but why? ANYONE: response MITCHELL: Cause even you and I aren't crazy enought to try and survive a full power launch from a ship running at full impulse. Only an unmanned craft on remote could pull that off. WALTAS::Nodding:: Makes sense. All the same I want it disabled. Target its deflector and fire phasers. ::The Discovery lashed out with her main phaser banks. The yacht's shields were no match and the deflector took a direct hit. The yacht dropped out of the slipstream and went spinning out of control, lying adrift far from the approaching battlefield.:: WALTAS: Helm, stay with them. ::Both ships emerged from the slipstream and the looming chaos of the briar patch was just in front of them.:: WALTAS::Tapping his communicator:: =/\= Bridge to shuttlebay-Oddas, Riverwind, Savan, are you ready? =/\= Oddas: =/\= Oddas here, we are ready to launch. =/\= WALTAS: Launch and good hunting. Anders, full impulse. Take us in as close as we can get. Stay with the shuttle. ::Surprisingly, the Thunder didn't immediately open fire. He wondered if there was something going on on the bridge-if the crew had possibly mutinied or..worse..if they were dead. Either way, the plan was in motion, and couldn't be stopped. The shuttle hovered just in front of Discovery's massive saucer section and flew neatly under the Thunder's hull. He looked down at his own sensor console and saw the shields drop, and the grav plating failed on multiple decks.:: WALTAS: Looks like the probe worked. Their shields are down. Mitchell! Fire! Now! ::Tyr had, on many occasions, witnessed the might of the Discovery, but he'd never been so terrified of it as he was at this moment. As precise and skilled as Mitchell was, he was still dealing with aspects that were uncontrollable. No one could direct explosions or tell weapons to hit only ship hulls and systems. People were going to be hurt, and there was nothing he could do about it. The Discovery's phasers slashed into Engineering and then torpedoes followed, striking the the hull and the nacelles. The lights on board the Thunder went dim, then went out completely.:: MITCHELL: Target hit. Showing power out across multiple decks. looks like we got the feedback into the main capacitors. WALTAS: That should keep them down for awhile. ::Turning:: Major. Get our teams moving. Get Irina back up here. PARKER: Will do, Captain:: tapping his comm badge:: =/\= Major Pavlova, report to the Bridge.=/\=..:: low, so only Tyr could hear him:: We'll handle this Tyr. We'll bring Toni and the rest back...and make sure Sanuye hurts no one else. Your place is here, my friend... WALTAS::Quietly, only to him:: I know that. I also know that I'm going over there and nothing you or anyone else on this ship do or say will stop me. Besides.. ::sighing:: Tye is gone and his comm badge is shut off. You know what that means. He's going to confront Sanuye himself, or at least try to. We have to get there first. PARKER: I know, Tyr...I know....::standing up:: Let's go get him... ::Irina appeared, armed to the teeth, as Tyr walked over to the ready room. He'd stored his gear from the Embassy here, and took a moment to regard the emptiness. The rosewood desk was gone, a gift to Raj, and the painting of the USS Discovery now hung in his new office on the Embassy. The medieval broadsword, from the Camelot mission, was gone as well, and he didn't know where. Strapping on his katana, he checked the ancient phaser given to him from Irina, making sure it was set to stun, and holstered it on his thigh. Returning to the bridge, he found the rest of the team assembled. All were wearing gravity boots, knowing that the Thunder's gravitational systems had been cripppled.:: WALTAS: Mitchell, you're in command until we return. If the Thunder moves or powers up you're to open fire, whether we're on board or not. Keep our foot on her throat. Understood? MITCHELL: Aye sir. Full salvo on stand by. WALTAS: T'Minh, I want you to get with Dr. Hendon and prepare to receive the Admiral. We'll be back with her shortly. Hopefully. ::The teams beamed simultaneously to Engineering, auxillary control, and the bridge. The true test was about to begin.:: ==================================== Captain Tyr Waltas Commanding Officer USS Discovery C237910TW0
  7. ((Sickbay, Deck 4 - USS Za))::With a yawn, Noros Tanna slowly allowed her eyes to flutter open. It felt like she had been in a deep, dreamless sleep, and it took her a few moments to realize where she was and why the environs were so bright. Once her memories resurfaced, she started with a jolt. The vivid recollection of the attack she had endured outside the guest quarters flooded in, and she was surprised to feel no ill effects. The Bajoran security officer had been in a lot of pain, both physically and to her pride after the small Trill survivor had bested her so spectacularly, yet all that remained was the bruises to her ego. The physical effects were no longer there.::::Tanna turned her head to see the likely source of her newfound well-being, the resourceful and kindly Femi Cattan. She was attending another patient, and as Femi sighed and turned towards Tanna, the prone security officer could see the object of her ministrations. Ezra, the sell-out dabo girl that was a disgrace to Tanna's outdated sensibilities, appeared to be held under an induced medical stasis. Absently, Noros considered the lapse of time during her unconsciousness, and wondered what had brought her countrywoman to this state.::Cattan: How do you feel?::The medical officer was looking down upon her, appearing harried and concerned, but still tempered by a sweet demeanor. Noros felt first and foremost an affinity towards Femi for her effortless ability to project a cheerful and outgoing vibe, though there was a slight twinge of jealousy. These traits of Femi's were ones she herself had never owned, nor was she ever likely to obtain them. At this time and place, however, Femi had all of Tanna's gratitude.::Noros: Better. Much better. ::moving around tentatively to ensure that all her pains had fully abated:: You do great work, Ms Cattan. ::a bit more seriously, and with a hint of a scowl:: Good enough to give me a rematch with the waif who bested me, I hope.Cattan: ::nods:: I understand, your experience with Miazra can be of use to us ::to Porus and Soxco:: how do we proceed?Soxco: While I don't tend to agree with my culture way of life, they do have a valid point of knowing first who or what we are dealing with::Noros was about to object that she knew exactly who she wanted to deal with. Miazra Peeex, formerly an occupant on the Morning Star, soon to be an occupant of the Za's brig. But common sense shortly prevailed, and she realized that there had to be more to the story than just a common misdemeanor. No Trill that Noros had ever heard of possessed the superior strength and reflexes that she had witnessed in Peeex, and there was no telling what new information had come to light during her unconsciousness. So, she bit back the bitter retort borne of shame and frustration in the circumstances beyond her control, and decided to listen instead.::Porus: Agreed, found anything of use in that database?Cattan: ::she nods:: did something like this happen before?Socxo: We are dealing with a being that can take over a person mind and force it to its will. The USS Enterprise had to similar situation and dealt with it swiftly by finding the source of its problem ::Looking at the others:: If you push the head of the infected person aside, and lower the collar down you will see a green tail stick out of the neck. This is how you notice the person to be infected and it can be removed by precize point to point transport. But it requires some time and effort.Noros: So there's aliens controlling these survivors?::The information actually gave Tanna a small measure of relief. She had been ashamed to look her fellow security officer Porus in the eyes, thinking herself a fool for allowing herself to be bested by Peeex. But, if Peeex was under the influence of an undetectable performance-enhancing alien, then Noros could be forgiven for underestimating the situation that had led to her being overwhelmed. At least with this knowledge, she could ensure it wouldn't happen a second time.::Porus: I guess that means we stun them and remove the buggers?Cattan: ::she turned around:: I don't think it's that easy. 2 phasers on maximal stun, fired three times didn't work out as we thought either. ::she showed them the monitor with the brain activity on display:: These parasites are still “awake” but the host is knocked out.Socxo: ::looked at the file:: The Enterprise seemed to have contain the problem by taking out a being called the Mother? I got no real idea what it is...but it neutralized all beings and hostNoros: So no problem, then. We frag this Mother. Where's my phaser, I'll happily do the job.::Tanna sat up and swung her legs off the side of the biobed, and instantly regretted her bravado. Though she didn't swoon, her head swam a little at the rapid movement, and her hands had to grip the padding of the bed tightly for a moment in order to regain her equilibrium. Had she known about the introduction of anesthazine to the atmosphere during her incapacitation, she wouldn't have been quite so concerned.::Noros: oO Just how long had I been laying here? OoPorus: It might solve the problem but if I understood correctly it won’t remove the beings from their heads right?Cattan: with precise point to point transport we can remove them from their hads but it is risky. ::she thought for a moment:: do we know where this Mother is?Socxo: That ...::He shrugs a bit::... we don't know as the files indicated that the Enterprise crew were guided towards it.Noros: Well... okay then. When we DO figure out where this Mother is, let me know. I'll gun her down. I'll even gun down Peeex. ::shrugging, with a smirk:: Y'know, as a precaution.::A new entry to the sickbay was heralded by the opening of the main doorway, and an escorted officer entered the room. The escort, a fellow security officer by the name of Carritaro, stood at attention at the doorway. Noros gave him a friendly nod, which he returned in kind.::DeVeau: Hey, it’s just us!Porus: ::Lowering the phaser again:: Sorry…Cattan: ::to Porus:: No need to apologise. Since she could've been taken over we have to be very cautious.Socxo: It is a precaution to our own safety, we do not know whom to trust or whom we can't. But thanks towards the Enterprise files we can see it to their necks ::pointing to his own neck below the collar::DeVeau: oh no, I totally get it. Just not quite the welcome I was expecting. Noros: Wait, did I miss something during my beauty sleep? Not only is there an alien presence in some, if not all of the Morning Star arrivals, but they have been infecting the Za crew?Porus: That is correct… unfortunately, we are not sure how they spread their influence. We could be looking at a dozen casualties right now. It's seems to be spreading and give those under their control a lot of stamina too.Cattan: Yes, it makes them very dangerous.::Tanna nearly did swoon this time, but it was an emotional response instead of a physical one. The thought of another creature entering her body and using her as a puppet... it was more than she dare to consider. She looked pleadingly at Femi.::Noros: Was... Is... Am *I* infected?Cattan: No luckily you aren't. Peeex flew before she had the chance. If you didn't call us it could've been too late. ::she looks at Noros:: But Pandorn and you were both talking about the same kind of creatures.::The relief was palpable and overwhelming, though Tanna still felt herself gingerly touching the back of her own neck subconsciously looking for a protuberance that wasn't there.::Noros: Well, that would explain Peeex's words and actions. By the Prophets, that was a close call! PNPC LtJG Noros Tanna Security Officer, USS Za ~as simmed by~ LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor Chief Science Officer, USS Za =/\= Top Sims Contest Facilitator =/\= A239111MT0
  8. ((Main Computer Core - USS Za)) Losak: And now the bridge has been sealed. ::smiling:: Which means they can't get out, either. Well, then, let everyone fire away! Petras: ::finally looks up.:: What did you do? ::She shrugged.::Losak: Wasn't me. The bridge must have done something... But since they can't get out, it shouldn't be a problem. Lushington: which means they’re trapped…no time to lose. Don’t forget we still got a brother up there. Wouldn’t like to lose him either. Petras: And he will understand the sacrifice we may all have to make to achieve our goal. ::Her console beep. And she turned to look.:: Clever girl… ::He rolled with his eyes. He had made some sacrifices himself. With his hand he softly rubbed his swollen chin and cheek. It stung a little bit but the swollen parts were numb and speaking became more difficult. He shakes his head:: oO That damn Romulan gave me a good beating, he even kicked out my tooth. I will get my revenge on him Oo ::The bleeding luckily stopped quick enough but he couldn’t understand that his beautiful Faran still gave him a kiss. That she still showed some kind of interest in him though he looked hidious:: Lushington: ::He looked on her console but couldn’t understand one thing:: Whas hapfened? ::he knew that it sounded weird but it was the best he could do for now:: Losak: What's that, Nicky? You want to know what's happened? ::she didn't intend to sound like she was speaking to a young Tumerian prairie pup, but she didn't change the inflection of her voice either:: Someone has launched a set of probes. Unmodified, by the look of it. Petras: I warned you they would take action and they have done so. Lushington: Witw ‘they’ youw ean thew weowle on the bridge wighthh? Losak: ::sharply:: Who else would 'they' mean? Petras: They began by attempting to restrict access to personnel on the bridge only. ::pauses and then types rapidly.:: Oh… very clever girl… Lushington: vefy cwever indeed…what awe we going to dow abous it? Losak: Not much. There's no point. We weren't going to the bridge anyway. Petras: The captain has sent out probes… ::nods to herself:: I can make use of this… Lushington: awe we lucky to hawe yous onboarwed. ::he looked agry at th’Enise who was laughing at him and grabbed him by his collar:: dowt laugh at me owe I will woop youw [...] pfall!! Losak: ::she chuckled at the thought, then scowled back at Nicky, chiding in her voice:: Now, now, boys. We have work to do still. No time for fighting among ourselves. :: The console chirped tentatively as afraid to give more bad news. ‘Petras’ cursed in a manner which didn’t suite her Vulcan no-emotion look:: oO DARN IT, they trampled all our ideas down before we could even come up with another plan Oo Losak: Well, that doesn't sound good. What now? Petras: The captain has locked out slipstream, warp and long range communications. ::shakes head:: It will take too much time to bypass. Lushington: ::he didn’t understand it at all. She was talking about systems he never heard of:: so we hawe to be qwick and take ofer the sjip… ? Losak: If it were only that simple, little simple Nicky. ::sarcastically:: What do you think we've been trying to do? th'Enise: ? Petras: ::looks at the Andorian:: They will move the ship to follow the probes. I can access them. Send the signal. ::To Lushington and Losak.:: Connect with the rest, we need to regroup if we are to salvage this mission. Lushtington: Yesh good pwan Ma’am ::After what happened earlier in the turbolift he tried to be as kind as possible to Petras. He knew that she was his sister now, but the amazing strenght she had wasn’t something he wanted to feel a second time:: Losak: Does anyone know where the others are? :: He grabbed Losak’s hand and they walked towards the doors. He reminded himself that finding her was probably the second best thing that happened in his life. His Casino was of course the first thing but still. Before leaving trough the doors Losak’s comm.badge went off, but the call wasn’t meant for her:: Lers: =/\= Lers towards Lush....boy it is now in your hands to take control of this situation. Both myself and Peeex will be not available a certain amount of time...."=/\= ::He leaned in so he could speak trough her comm.badge. He tried to keep his distance but he felt, especially one cheek, blushed a little bit.:: Lushington: =/\= Mr. Hish. We wewe about tow m-m-meet up withs you. ::paused for a moment and glanced at Faran:: But you can fuwwy twust on me…and ush! ::pause:: wiw you be back again? =/\= Lers: =/\= Don't worry we will be coming...just hold your ground=/\= Lushington: =/\= whatewer you awe up to…be savw and pfrotect Lady Miazwa! =/\= ::The conversation ended and he looked up into Faran’s beautiful eyes. This called for a change of plans:: Lushington: So, whaf do we do now? Losak: Relay the news, obviously. ::Nicholas turns around to the others. He had to discuss this in the group. Their options changed quite a bit and he didn’t know how to achief it without losing lifes from his siblings:: Nicholas: so, Mr. Hish and Miazwa are up tow somefing….we have to twust them of couwse but our pwan to meet up withs them ish gone now. ********************************************************** Nicholas Lushinton Sadly, a former Morning Star member and a proud Casino Dealer (missing a tooth) As simmed by, Ensign Femi Cattan Nurse Officer USS Za Z239308FC0
  9. ((USS Discovery Bridge)) ::Ceilidh had gripped with all her might her station, and it seemed that time slowed down. It had first started when she alerted the Captain of where the Thunder was. What happened next was surreal. Love that had shined the day before, was now bitter cold darkness. One pleaded with his heart, while the other used her words as a weapon to hurt where it would do the most damage. Within a short period of time the Discovery was hit by torpedoes. The bright flash of each one of those 6 torpedoes caught everyone's attention and seemed to hold their gaze. What followed next was the ship jolting to the side, people making a mad dash to grab on to whatever they could, or tuck and roll in the hopes of avoiding major bodily damage. It was a picture painted dark, where despair and desperation were quickly replacing hope and love. Where what had to be done was neither comforting nor fulfilling. It reminded Ceilidh of old Earth paintings she had seen while back on Earth at the academy. Pictures of war painted in bold and dark blacks, browns, reds, greens and blues. At this very moment, if someone from that time on Earth were here today, that is how they would paint this brief moment in time. :: Waltas: What's their projected course? ::Ceilidh looked down at her console and realized where the Discovery was headed...the Ba'ku homeworld. She glanced up and things began to click from her academy days. Capt. Waltas was Ba'ku, the first if her memory served her to enter Star Fleet. WALTAS: What’s their projected course? Riverview: Sir, he's headed for the Ba'ku homeworld. ::The look that came from the Captain was both surprise and hurt, and from the rest of the bridge staff, they echoed that surprise. Ceilidh listened to what was to take place next. This was a new situation for her - missions were normally get in, get what you need, get out. This was different, there was a deep emotional aspect to this mission, and every decision that was made, had to be considered deeper than before, fully knowing that one, if not more people that were on the Thunder, would pay with their lives, and that this time, hearts were involved, and hearts complicated matters much more messily than anything else. Ceilidh was brought back from her thinking when she heard an unfamiliar voice over the comm system.:: Pavlova: If we get that close, will there even be anything left to board? Riverview: Sir, would it work if we could modify a probe and then take it by shuttle? They'll be looking for the discovery, and perhaps will ignore a shuttle. Ensign Ceilidh Riverview Diplomatic Attaché Duronis II Embassy - USS Thunder-A ID number: C239209CR0
  10. (( Quarters D’Sena )) :: Thousand. That many times she had gazed to the chronometer, and it seemed as if time was passing torturingly slow. She now stood in front of the window, looking out to the stars passing by. But she couldn’t do that long either. She had possibly cleaned her quarters so much that there was nothing left to ever clean for her. It would be an understatement to say that she was restless … and nervous. :: :: For hours during her shift she had tried to come up with anything that she could say to not go, but the problem was, she wanted to. That was not really a problem though, but she hadn’t been that nervous in a very long time. Not being able to stand still she walked into her bedroom and took a look at herself in the mirror. She wore a black dress, elegant and simple that went to her knees. It hugged her figure and it came with a lovely small bolero with little zirconias here and that, that blinged slightly in the light, like stars in the night sky. She had pulled back the sides of her hair and put it up in the back of her head, to a half updo, framing her face with single curls.:: .oO Maybe I should change. Oo. :: She suddenly was filled with doubt, wondering if she was overdressed. He had not specified anything, neither where they would go, no what the dress-code would be. This made things even more difficult. What if he’d taken her to a burger diner in the holodeck? She was milliseconds close to take off the dress and grab something else when she heard the door opening. Realisation hit her, that she hadn’t removed Jack from the access list, so he still didn’t have to buzz. :: :: Throughout the day, Jack wondered if he would receive a message ending tonight's event. He had figured the plan out in minutes once he had dropped Tabby off at school and started his shift. It was easy though. Now he approached Akeelah's door, in black slacks, black button up and a black jacket left unbuttoned. He didn't plan for it to be anything other than a nice casual dinner.:: :: He was about to buzz the door, it opened. He was surprised he was still on the free to enter list. But it pleased him.:: Gard: Lt Com- ::he cut himself off.:: Akeelah? :: Akeelah’s heart stopped. Pretty sure it was for a long time, before she finally breathed again and slipping into her black, strappy heels, she then left the bedroom and looked towards the door, seeing him stand there. She swallowed hard. When had she turned into a teenager again?:: D’Sena: Good evening. :: He was awe struck. The dress, the heels, her legs- ...He shook his head slightly, best not let his mind wonder. But.. She looked stunning.:: Gard: Good evening. ::walking over to her.:: You look beautiful. D'Sena: ::She brushed over her dress, not quite sure what to do with her hands.:: Thank you. You look good as well. Gard: Are you ready? D'Sena: ::Was she?:: I think so. Where do we go? Gard: You will see. ::a small smile.:: Though you may be ... Overdressed. :: Jack felt warmth mix with hesitation fill his chest. He had just teased her. It had been a long time that he was anything but serious and literal. And it was all because of her, in a good way.:: :: When he said that, the little voice in her head sang a little taunting song mostly consisting of ‘I told you so’s and ‘nana na na naaaaa’. Immediately her heart sank and she back-paddled. :: D'Sena: Oh. I can change into something else real quick, it’ll only be a minute. Gard: No, ::stepping closer.:: What you are wearing is perfect. D'Sena: ::She had been in the process of turning to go and do it real fast, when he stepped closer. A little unsure she looked at him.:: Are you certain? I would be real fast. Gard: ::with a reassuring smile.:: Yes I am certain. D’Sena: .oO Get yourself together, you are not 20 any more. Oo. ::She took a deep breath and nodded.:: As you wish. Then please lead the way, Mister Gard. Gard: Very well. ::Jack held out his the crook of his arm for Akeelah to hold onto, then lead her out into the corridor. He began to lead her to one of the holodecks. As they walked he noticed other crewman giving the woman by his side second glances. He couldn’t help but feel a tint of pride.:: ((Timeskip - Holodeck 4)) :: The Holodeck doors opened and Jack lead Akeelah inside. The program was already running. The lights were dimmed, and they walked out onto a balcony. The pink and purple hues kissed the sky above and around them. :: :: There was a table that sat in front of them and looked out over the edge of the balcony. Where rainforests and a waterfall could be seen. Big white fluffy clouds drifted over towards the darkening sky. The doors closed behind them, finishing out the scene. Music hummed distantly, from all around.:: ::Jack looked at Akeelah, watching her expression for approval ... Or disapproval. The two chair dinner table was fully set, with covered plates to keep the food warm.:: Gard: I hope you are hungry. :: The moment they had entered and she had seen the sunset she had not been able to tear her gaze fully from the sky. Even though she looked around on the balcony, saw the trees and the waterfall in bedazzling colours, she always returned to this breathtaking sky greeting her. Her heart began to beat a little faster. He had programmed this for her? :: D'Sena: What? ::She then remembered.:: Oh yes, I do. :: She followed him to the table Jack pulled out on chair and waited for Akeelah to sit down and pushed the chair in, pulling off the lid as he went to take his own seat.:: D’Sena: It is beautiful here. :: oO Yes you are.Oo Jack had difficulty pulling his eyes away from her. He wanted to know what had drawn her attention so. But instead remained focussed on her from across the table.:: Gard: I am ... Happy to hear that. D’Sena: Has it been a lot of work? Gard: :: Looking around.:: No. I thought of you and it came easily. :: She blushed at his words and lowered her gaze to the table. He made her feel so young. She thought about asking what they would have when the server already stepped to their table. She jumped slightly, as she had not felt his presence, which was no surprise since he was a hologram. The scent floated into her nose and she recognized it immediately. With widened eyes she looked at Jack. :: D’Sena: Is that Salmon? :: Her question made Jack's expression skip. He hadn't asked her what she liked to eat, instead ran off of his own preference. His thought was to share with her. But if it wasn't something she liked he would change it immediately.:: Gard: Yes. Is that alright? I can have something else made for you. D’Sena: No no, I love Salmon. ::tilting her head:: Have I told you that before? Gard: ::smiled slightly, proudly.:: No, you haven't. It is one of my preferred items. My intention was to share with you. :: A wave of positive emotions washed over Akeelah, knowing it came from him. The corner of her mouth pulled up, enjoying that she made him feel good. About himself, about what he had put together. About this evening. :: Gard: Please, ::he gestured to her plate.:: eat. D'Sena: You don’t have to say that twice. ::She smiled and began to eat. Slow, so she could savour the taste of the Salmon, the hint of heat by the pepper and mustard sauce, even the fresh spinach was seasoned beautifully with a hint of spiciness. She closed her eyes, the smile dancing over her lips. Even if it was replicated, it tasted wonderfully. :: :: Jack ate, half distractedly as he watched her. The salmon was prepared classically, though replicated. He was no cook and didn't dare to try. His mother told him that he had the black thumb of cooking.:: Gard: I hope you leave room for dessert. :: She opened her eyes again, lowering her hands and looked at him. :: D'Sena: Of course. I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast, just to make sure I don’t spoil my appetite. :: That it mostly had been because she really had been nervous about his invitation she didn’t say. Well not that one could call it an invitation when he had simply decided, but she still could have said no. So yes, an invitation. :: Gard: Very good. D’Sena: Let me preface by saying, that I am certainly not complaining, Mister Gard, but… ::She did not look at him, instead kept cutting and observing her food.:: why now? ::She quickly shoved a piece of Salmon into her mouth to keep herself from elaborating, pretty sure he knew what she meant.. :: :: “Why now?” Like a loaded gun to the heart. He paused, setting down his fork and laying his napkin across the table. It was a fair question, though one he wasn’t sure if he was ready to answer. It had been five, nearly six years since the death of his wife, and he had not even looked at another woman cross. Unsure if his grieving would ever truly be over. Though before her death, he had only ever looked at her with such determined love. And now… Sitting across from him was a woman who had yet to leave his mind, even if only a faint lingering. He thought about her, about Akeelah. :: :: But what to say? The same as Jack had with Tabby? Or would that seem to afront? He had always treated each situation with the same thought process and behavior. Upfront and honest, after long deliberations. And yet, there was a stone lodged in his throat, making it difficult to breath or speak. He had a growing fondness for the exotic looking woman, and not just for her looks. What had drawn him in the most was her attentiveness to Tabby. His daughter had a way of winning the hearts around her, but it seemed so different with Akeelah.:: :: But that wasn’t the question, the question was “why now?” Why not sooner or later? But, now. Because he was determined and desired more. And before was to soon, not enough time to think and consider. And any later, he chanced losing her to another who might have swept her off her feet from under him. He wasn’t willing to let that happen without standing a chance.:: :: Now how to say that so the elegant woman in front of him understood…:: Gard: ::clearing his throat.:: It seemed the best time. :: What could he mean with that? The best time. Akeelah wondered and at the same time caught herself to be disappointed because deep inside she had hoped for something different. Something like that he couldn’t wait any longer and otherwise stupidly unrealistic in other places like romance novels. If her mother would see her now she’d slap her over the head, so she’d stop behaving like an idiot. :: D’Sena: I see. Gard: If you are not agreeable to it, it is also the best time to say so. :: Jack didn’t mean to sound rude. But she was similar to him, at least as far as he had seen. And honesty was the best way for no one to get hurt. What else was there to say? His dazzling blue eyes never left Akeelah’s face, though his expression softened. To know how to continue, he needed an answer. But what she might say…. He mentally shook his head, wiping away the thought. if there were feelings, a hint of them…. :: D’Sena: ::blink:: I have accepted your invitation. ::Would she have done that if she hadn’t wanted to be here?:: Gard: ::bluntly.:: Tabitha asked me today if I loved you. If I know my daughter, she asked you the same? :: Her heart stopped beating and played the little drummer boy at the same time, colour shot into her face. A part of her wanted to ask him what he had answered, shake him if she must. But the actual grown up part of her held her back and told her to do it later, after dessert. Never give away a perfectly good desert, even a holographic one. What a weird thought to have in this situation. :: D’Sena: ::Nodding:: Yes she indeed has. She told me that it is very easy. Love is like a shooting star, her father keeps saying. ::She raised her gaze to him, the side of her mouth slightly twitching to a half smile.:: Gard: Her stories have lead her to believe that love is at first sight. But you and I know, that is not always the case… ::pausing.:: D’Sena: Yes, sometimes it is like a flower that needs a lot of care to open and reveal itself. :: The music in the air began to change, as was according to plan. The scenery changing slightly, still wooded and with the waterfall, but the balcony they sat at changed into a ballroom styled floor, with an elegant chandelier, that was held up by a tree limb, just over the center of the floor. It glowed warmly as the setting sun finally dipped out of sight. The gems glittered from the only light source, casting a firefly effect around the two.:: (( Holodeck )) :: The music in the air began to change, as was according to plan. The scenery changing slightly, still wooded and with the waterfall, but the balcony they sat at changed into a ballroom styled floor, with an elegant chandelier, that was held up by a tree limb, just over the center of the floor. It glowed warmly as the setting sun finally dipped out of sight. The gems glittered from the only light source, casting a firefly effect around the two.:: Gard: ::standing.:: Care to dance? :: Solid black eyes widened in wonder when the surroundings suddenly changed with the music, the floor, the chandelier, the firefly lights… it was magical and it made her heart beat faster once more. He really had gone all out. Finally her gaze landed on him and she raised from her chair placing her hand in his as he reached out for her. :: D’Sena: I’d love to. :: Jack smiled softly and Akeelah rose to her feet and took his hand. She was tall, which made it too easy for one to look into those dark pools for eyes and get lost. He brought one hand around to rest on the small of her back, pulling her in closely to him. He had danced for many years, until one night when he had stopped and thought he never would again. It was easier than riding a bike or water skiing. :: Gard: Wonderful. :: Following the gentle pull of his hand she found herself right in front of him, looking up to meet his eyes. She waited for his sign before following his lead for the dance. That little nagging voice became louder, he had started with it was the excuse. Finally she decided to ask after all. :: D’Sena: If I may ask, Mister Gard, what did you answer her? :: He guided her round the antique ballroom styled floor, enjoying her just being near. Her voice seemed to shake and was small compared to what it usually was. He twirled her around the room in large circles. :: Gard: ::small smirk.:: Could you not simply read me? Find out yourself. D’Sena: ::smiling slightly nervous:: It is true that I could do that, but I prefer to hear it from you rather than prodding your mind and causing you headaches. :: Jack spun Akeelah around quickly, controlling the dance and sending her into a half dip. He locked eyes with her, agreeing with her that a headache would not do the evening well. The symphonic music was the only noise for a moment as he held her there. She had to trust him to not drop her. :: Gard: What did you answer? D’Sena: .oO That’s fair I suppose, she asked me first after all. Oo. I said that I like you. :: He pulled her up quickly and continued to dance. A little more distance between them. The dance that had been more romantic turned to more traditional. His heart dipped a little. People “liked” his work ethic. People “liked” his daughter. Not many have ever said they “liked” him, so it was something. Simply not what he had hoped for. But at least he knew now. And she was still the most fitting influence for Tabby… It was something.:: Gard: ::bowing his head slightly.:: I see. D’Sena: Well, that was not everything. ::She paused, taking a deep breath, her fingers suddenly felt very cold against his warm hands. Moment of truth. :: I also called myself a liar. Gard: ::looking more sternly.:: Really? And why would that be? :: It felt to Jack, that her hands became cold and pulled away, giving him a hot and cold burning sensation in his hand. He didn’t care for liars, but a white lie was sometimes needed. His only question was, who was she lying to. :: D’Sena: .oO He really wants to know, does he? Oo. Because ‘like’ is … ::Pause. She lowered her eyes to his chin, anywhere to not look into his eyes, helping her to finally say it.:: .oO Be brave, Say it. You are an adult speak your mind. Oo. .. a mere shadow of my feelings towards you. .oO There you and you survived. Oo. :: His blue eyes, like steel, dared her to retract what she had said. To see if she would lie to him now. And though she kept her eyes cast down, he could almost feel the emotion emitting from her. She had confessed her feelings, and he could do little to refrain from not confessing his. He stopped the dance, bringing his hands down to hold both of hers between them.:: Gard: To answer the question you were truly asking... :: oO Don’t do it. Oo His strict mind warned, it was not alway wise to jump. Despite the pull of his mind, Jack reacted with his heart. In half a heartbeat he wrapped both arms around her waist and pulled her in close giving her little room to pull away and, almost too controllingly, kissed her. He pulled back, still cradling her waist in his arms and searched her face.:: :: In surprise of suddenly being grabbed she gasped and before she could even react she felt his warm lips on hers. Explosions of the most colorful majestic fireworks filled her insides, from head to toe, overwhelming her just a little so she had to close her eyes. Way too early he pulled away his lips, but he held her close. Slowly she raised her lids looking into his eyes, not able to say a single word, as the vibration of the fireworks still waved through her. :: Gard: We will see where this goes. But it most certainly ::devilishly.:: looks promising. :: Her stomach made cartwheels, it felt like after a long way up the rollercoaster suddenly fell towards the ground and just in the last moment the rails shot it back up. Now she was not sure why she had been so afraid to tell him how she felt. :: D’Sena: Mhm, it does. :: The music quieted to barely a whisper, as was according to plan. As much as Jack would have love to dance the whole night away… He still had to pick up Tabby when they were done. And of course it was now time for dessert. The ballroom turned back into the balcony and the table for two took center stage. Off in the distant, the stars shined brightly and reflected off of the waterfall in faery like blue shimmerings that bathed the two. :: Gard: Are you ready for dessert? :: She was not sure if she could eat anything with the way her stomach had decided that doing the somersault would be its new daytime activity. But she was curious what he had chosen for that. Still holding his hands she nodded slightly. :: D’Sena: Yes. What will we have? Gard: chocolate lava cake, with vanilla bean ice cream. D’Sena: Mhmm, that sounds good. :: Lead by his hand she followed him back to the table, fascinated by the changes he had integrated into his program. For a moment she wondered what would have happened if things had gone different as planned. Did he have a safe-guard so the scene did not change before it really was time? With him planning so carefully, she couldn’t imagine he’d let that in the hands of coincidence. Not that it mattered. Her mind went back to the kiss and a smile formed on her lips as she sat down again. :: :: He took the seat across from her and noticed the sweet smile on her lips. It was contagious, despite not knowing what caused her too. :: Gard: May I ask what you are thinking about? D’Sena: ::Looking up, she blushed slightly.:: To be honest, I thought of the kiss. :: He couldn't help it. Casting his gaze to the table top, a warm smile spread like wildfire across his expression. Looking up he met her look, noting the flush coloring in her checks. It only went to enforce his thought, he had been spontaneous in a good way. A very good and promising way.:: Gard: Your thoughts? D’Sena: It was certainly promising. ::She smirked at him.:: Gard: I'm pleased to hear that. :: The waiter appeared with a tray. Two bowls with warm chocolate cake and melting ice cream was set down in front of the two. Jack ate his, still keeping his gaze to Akeelah, who enjoyed her dessert visibly. Once they were done he reached his hand and covered hers drawing her attention to him. As much as he wanted to stay here forever, with her. He had another he had to take care of, his precious and remarkable daughter. :: :: Jack had intended to ask Akeelah for dinner, something nice between two adults. But Tabby's question sparked something and gave him a different focus. Something with the hopes of more. She had been the one to inevitably set them up without even knowing it.:: Gard: I hope you have... Enjoyed yourself this evening. D'Sena: I certainly have. ::Thinking about his words, her heart sunk a little.:: That sounds like the evening is over. Gard: I do still have to pick Tabitha up from her friend's. D'Sena: Oh. Yes of course. I wouldn’t want Tabitha to have to wait for you. :: She expected that he would leave then, and felt a strange sadness that their ways would part already. :: Gard: :standing and offering his hand.:: I still have time to walk a lovely woman home. :: A smile appeared on her usually so serious face, a smile he was able to lure out of her more often than anyone else ever had. She placed her hand in his and raised from her chair. :: D'Sena: Why thank you. (( Hallways )) :: After Jack saved and closed the program, they had left the holodeck and took their time to stroll to the next lift, without letting go of each others’ hand. It had something calming. This evening had been one big surprise after the other for Akeelah. Jack had put a lot of effort in this date. Had it been a date? He had only said dinner but it felt like one. The walk was quiet, but her mind was not. She still relished in the feeling that this evening had caused in her, impossible for her to describe other than bliss. The dinner, the dance… the kiss. Everything. She felt like walking on clouds. :: :: The walk was pleasant. The silence given Jack time to think more with his head than his heart. To think of the best way to continue with the woman walking next to him. It had been years since he had "dated". And even then he was no Kirk. He stopped just short of Akeelah's door, [...]ing his head as she seemed to keep walking. He held onto her hand, standing still, and letting her drag his arm out until she could pull no further. :: Gard ::teasingly.:: Have you moved since I picked you up tonight? :: Hearing his voice, and feeling the slight pull of his hand she stopped walking and looked back, realizing that she had been about to walk past her own door. :: D’Sena: Oh. Uh no, I didn’t move. ::She smiled and there was that awkward part. What to do? She didn’t want it to end yet, but she also knew that he had to get Tabitha. How to say good night? :: Would you maybe want to come in for a last drink, Mister Gard. :: A nice, strong, real drink sounded like a perfect way to end the night. But then what would they have to look forward to on their next... Date. It felt strange, in an exciting way, to even think that word. He turned so she was between him and her door, still holding her hand:: Gard: ::leaning in.:: "Jack" ::he corrected.:: ::He pressed his lips to hers, and just as when they danced, took the lead, and walked her backwards. Her door opened without question to them and he walked in just far enough that only Akeelah stood just inside her room. He parted with her just slightly, keeping his eyes locked with hers.:: Gard: ::whispering.:: Not tonight. :: The second kiss had been just as intense as the first, sending vibrations through her whole body. She had followed the gentle push backwards, the swooshing of the doors like a whisper compared to the loud drumming of her heart. That feeling of loss when he parted from her lips made her wish for more, but when he looked into her eyes she knew she’d have to wait even before he spoke. Maybe it was better like this, taking things slow. Even though her body did not completely agree with her mind. :: D'Sena: Okay. Another time. ::Her voice was a mere whisper, not able to get out anything louder as the kiss still rippled through her. :: Gard: Soon... ::he promised.:: D’Sena: ::nodding:: Have a good night… Jack. ::It felt strange and good at the same time to call him by his first name, after all the time. :: Please say goodnight to Tabitha from me. Gard: Have a lovely evening. ::bowing his head slightly.:: And I will. :: Before he could go, she now crossed the small distance between them and placed a gentle kiss on his lips, stealing that moment before he would leave. :: :: Jack had let go of her hand and bowed his head once more. But before he could turn to leave Akeelah pressed her lips to his. It sent sweet warmth through him, for her to bring the kiss to him. It only went to strengthen his resolve and determination to see this promising relationship blossom.:: Gard: ::looking down at her.:: Good night, ::devilishly.:: my dear. :: When the doors closed behind him Akeelah stared at it for another moment. .oO Yes, this starts out really promising Oo. As she finally headed to her bedroom, she was not sure if she would be able to find any sleep at all. :: :: Once the door had closed between them, Jack was finally able to breath deeply. He hadn't realized just how hard it was to breath around her until he wasn't. And even still, preferred to be close to her. He stood at the door a moment longer, looking at the floor. A smile crept into his features as he practically looked through the door.:: oO Promising indeed. Oo ------ JP written by Lt JG Jack Gard Engineering Officer Simmed by Lt JG Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer USS Conny A239202RH0 & LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena Security Officer simmed by Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B A238906JL0
  11. ((Convention Center Starbase 118)) ::Baylen was leaning against the bar talking to his dad and drying off his uniform and face with a bar towel when Theo walked over rather quickly with a none to happy look on his face. :: Anders: Commander Whittaker. :: Baylen was waiting on the bomb.:: Whittaker: "Excuse me Doctor Anders, may I borrow your son?" Armond Anders: ::Not really to be bothered.:: Yeah Yeah, oh course... ::Waving his hand. :: Baylen stepped away from the bar as Theo motioned for him to follow him, They walked around the corner to a clear area and then Theo rounded on Baylen not wasting any time. :: ​Whittaker: "That was mortifying Baylen!"​​Anders: ::Looking very sad, Baylen hated conflict and more so from some one he liked and cared about.:: I had no Idea she was coming, I thought they were still on earth. Whittaker: "​I had hoped to keep the fact that we are dating quiet for the moment." :: beat :: "As it happened, I had to tell Sal because your mother let that particular cat out of the bag :: "And speaking of, where is she?" Anders: I sent her a message and said I had gone out on a date, about once a week I send them a little message and update, like I said I had no idea they were not on Earth, if I had known they were coming I would have never said anything. ::Frowning:: And I am not sure I am guessing she is walking around blowing off steam, I think I upset her. :: Baylen could see that Theo was appraising the stained dress uniform :: Whittaker: "I take it that she's also responsible for this?" Anders: Like I said I upset her, i did not mean to, she is my mom and all. Whittaker: "There's a replicator in the kitchen. Replicate yourself a new uniform." :: beat, dangerously ::" That's an order." Anders: ::Feeling like a beat little puppy dog and speaking very timidly:: Aye sir... right away. :: There was a loud commotion from a nearby table and looking over, found the answer to his question. Baylen was shocked, and knew without a doubt that he was more so in the dog house than before. He frowned as He and Theo walk over to try and save the Gorn. :: Anders: ::Yelling:: Mother..... Tatash: "Wait, what?! Mother?" Alia: Oh I am Bay Bay's mother. ::She winked at the big Gorn.:: Oh Mr. Theo and Bay Bay so good you two could join us. Whittaker: :: he couldn't deny it, he found it rather amusing and his irritation began to dissipate :: "Oh no..." Tatash: "I uh..." :: Baylen was to the point he thought Theo was going to run far far away and Baylen almost felt a tear in his eye when Theo let out a snort of laughter :: Tatash: "That's not very helpful Theo..." :: he hissed :: Anders: Mother, this a Star Fleet, Base, this is not a Bath House of Risa or New Orleans. Mr. Tatash is a Officer of this station and this is this is. Alia: This is what. Mr. Tart... Anders: ::Grinding his teeth:: Tatash... Tatash Alia: Tart Tatash, you know what I mean. Tatash: "Well when an attractive woman throws herself at me..." ::Baylen was about to say something when marine officer interjected into their conversation. Baylen was so embarrassed that there was no a full blown circle around his mother and she was holding court.:: Raisillius: In those situations I've found it's best to splash a drink in my own face to save her the trouble later. Whittaker: "We might be a bit late that." :: he motioned to Baylen's uniform and turned to him :: "Go." Anders: ::Blushing and frowning:: Aye sir... ::Baylen walked away very sad... He just new that after today and all this Theo would never want to see him again, he would probably have Sal transfer him off to a cargo ship running some stupid smelly cargo to dumps of the federations and Sal would go along with it because his mother Kissed him and hugged him and all that. Why could she not be like a normal mother. She had no boundary's at all and stayed half drunk all the time. Baylen walked into the Kitchen feeling like crap He made his way to a small room at the rear of the kitchen and took off his ribbons, combadge and pips laying them on a desk and then took off the uniform and stood the bare chest for a moment looking at the dress whites and noticed the stains were gone. He turned them round and round in his hands and no stains the uniform look new again.. He took a seat in the chair and add the his pips and Combadge back to the uniform then added his Ribbons back and put it back on. He looked in a glass at his reflection and walked back out. Really wanting to go to his quarters and go to bed in his depression more so than sit through a dinner knowing that his Mother messed things up for him and Theo. But he was a Star Fleet Officer and he had to be at this dinner that was a order and Baylen would be noticed if he was not there. Baylen started making his way to his table.:: TAG/TBC Wishing you Fair Winds and following Seas... Lt. Commander Baylen M. Anders Second Officer and Mission Specialist Fleet Operations 118th Fleet Star Base 118 http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Anders,_Baylen ID: R238606GH0
  12. (( Marine Commander's Office - Deck 11 - USS Doyle-A )) :: Nugra stared at the Federation logo that lazily twirled on the pop up view screen built in to his desk. Having assumed command of the Doyle's marine detachment, he finally felt more at home than anywhere since leaving the Victory. The USS Victory was the reason he was staring at the screen. What had happened to his old crew? It was almost a year since they all transferred to the Gorkon under Captain Quinn Reynolds, but were they still alive? Did they still serve? :: :: Nugra kicked himself mentally for not checking up on his old friends. One of them especially. Alucard Vess had been his friend since the Gorn arrived at the Embassy at Til'ahn while they were under fire. Nugra had stood at the tactical panel of the Rodimus Prime while Alucard Vess fought to the very last phaser charge. They had grown to become friends in a very distant sort of way. They were never chummy like some crewmembers were, but they both had known that the other was there no matter how dark things became. :: :: Nugra decided it was time to quit being such a broken down lizard and connect with old friends and memories. A quick search easily gave him his friend's information. :: Nugra: Computer. Route me a call to Commander Alucard Vess. Presently stationed on the USS Gorkon. :: The computer beeped and Nugra waited until the face of his dear old friend appeared. :: ((Meanwhile - Vesses Quarters - USS Gorkon)) :: Alucard was alone in the quarters with the kids. Angie had gone to meet with some of the other mothers on the ship in the lounge. No doubt husbands and children would be a subject for discussion, and not necessarily in a flattering light.:: :: Lunch had just been cleaned up and Alucard had seated himself at his desk while the boys played. He wasn’t expecting any calls, let alone the familiar face that popped up on the screen.:: Nugra: ::smiling:: Alucard! It's been awhile! How have you been? Vess: Ah’ve been we… :: A cry from the behind him caught his attention.:: Vess: Hang on… :: He turned and assessed the situation before taking action.:: Vess: Ally! Give yer brother his bear back right now! :: He turned back to the screen.:: Sorry. Nugra: Hope you don't mind the impromptu call. Vess: Glad yeh called. :: Something about Nugra was different.:: Wait, yer a Marine now? Nugra: ::chuckling:: Yes. Major Parker was not happy when he found out. I saw him back on Duronis when I had to do some paperwork there. :: That was not a pleasant visit and one that the Gorn was glad was over. :: ::Alucard couldn’t help but chuckle. It was too funny.:: Nugra: I was sure he was going to have a heart attack right there. Vess: It’s just that, well, now the great Hannibal Parker and Nugra, who both nearly beat each other to death, are now on the same *team*. ::Pause.:: Dinna know the Columbia had Marines. Nugra: That’s the other change. I’m on the Doyle now. Vess: Doyle? They transferred yeh, again? Nugra: Sadly, yes. Commander Brek was offered a great financial opportunity and as a good ferengi, he chose to pursue it. How about yourself? How’s the Gorkon? ::Alucard shrugged.:: Vess: Oh, it’s same old same. Other than getting my side ripped open by a werewolf. Nugra: ::surprised:: Werewolf? I thought those were only earth myths. :: Alucard smiled. Nugra was one of the few who he’d told about where he really came from, and why he was so hard to hurt. He didn’t know how secure the channel was, so he didn’t go into too much detail regarding his injury or how he’d kept going despite the pain and loss of blood.:: Vess: Sabotaged holodeck. We all got pretty banged up, one guy was shot with a bullet of all things. Most of the reports are still wrapped up in red tape, so Ah canna say much over the comm. How’s Iria? She still with yeh? :: Nugra nodded recognizing the underlying cautiousness of his comment that he had grown to recognize and respect. Vess had been around a lot longer than most people expected and it had taught him a lot about being cautious. The Gorn was not surprised though at the change in direction of the conversation. :: Nugra: No. She didn’t tell me why, but something was bothering her and she decided to roam for awhile. Since Doctor Kaji took a research position removing her from normal fleet operations, Iria has been rather...lonely. Vess: Ah suppose it was a bit of a lurch fer her, having just gotten settled in to normalcy to have it taken away. Have yeh tried talking to her? Nugra: I know, but as you’re quite aware, she’s not the easiest...or safest to talk to if she doesn’t want to. Vess: Oh, Ah know. ::Pause, then smiles.:: Neither is her father at times, come to think of it. Nugra: How about Angie and the little guys? From the beginning of the call, they sounded rather rambunctious. Vess: Oh, they’ve reached the wrassling stage. ::Shrugs.:: Ally takes a toy, Sloane cries, then a fight usually ensues. It all comes down to jealousy. Nugra: No other children on the way? ::grinning:: I’ve been warned about the water. Vess: :: Smiles.:: No, none on the way yet. We’re taking a break until the boys are a little older. Well, sort of a break… :: Truth be told, they weren’t actively trying, but all the same not trying to prevent anything. He and Angie both wanted a lot of kids, whenever they showed up. So whenever the next one happened was fine with the both of them.:: Vess: We should get together on Til’ahn sometime so they can see yeh. Ally loves that little wooden sword yeh gave him. We just canna let him play with it a lot. We’d like Sloane to keep both of his eyes. Nugra: It seems Ally is going to grow up to be a formidable warrior like his father and I would love to visit you all. We’ll just have to plan as the Doyle is stationed in the Avalon sector and it’s not a short hop to Duronis. Vess: :: Chuckles.:: Well, we *could* just hijack our ships and use the QSSD... :: The Gorn gave the man a friendly smile. He missed having him about and hoped that one day things would change. Nugra missed his old crew a lot. :: Nugra: Please wish the rest of our ol’ compatriots aboard the Gorkon a hello from me. It’s good to speak to you again, Alucard. Vess: Ah’ll do that. It was good speaking with yeh too. Nugra: Fight for Duty and Honor. Vess: Always the serious one... We’ll talk again, soon hopefully. ::Pauses, then decides to follow suit with a motto of his own.:: Alba gu bràth. :: The channel closed and, after a few beeps, the screen displayed the Starfleet logo.:: ~tbc~ JP By… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Colonel Nugra Marine Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-980221-B Deputy Commandant Captain's Council Magistrate V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ & =/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\= Commander Alucard Vess CMO USS Gorkon C238601TB0 =/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=
  13. ((Main Convention Center - StarBase 118)) ::He had just broken away from a pleasant conversation with Ian West about the unpleasant subject of how exactly were tribbles sterilized. Sal shivered. No conversation should include the words 'gonad irradiation' without copious amounts of alcohol. As a reaction, he straightened himself and eased a genial, diplomatic smile across his features while pushing the particulars of tribble breeding out of his mind. This little chance in stance seemed to draw attention to him, as he stood out in the sea of well dressed partygoers. Soon afterwards a Khobeerian who was practically dripping with bling sauntered over. Sal pressed his lips slightly together to prevent his jaw from falling open. Her headdress alone looked like a treasure chest vomited over an artsy designer's concept art. It was at the same time both visually enticing and incredibly gaudy. He recalled her name from both his guest list inspection and Shali's coaching. Madame Lurtz - a big (and rich) name in the tribble arena:: Taybrim: Greetings Madame Lurtz, you are looking fabulous this evening. Can I assist you any? Lurtz: I can only thank Starfleet for being gracious enough to allow us to hold our event in such a magnificent station, and you and your staff for facilitating it. Taybrim: ::He offered her a gracious nod. The words were kind, even if they were couched in careful diplomacy:: We are happy to have you here, and hope your convention is a spectacular success. Lurtz: You are too kind, Commander. Whittaker: "If you have the time during your visit here, I could arrange for one of our senior staff to give you and any of your associates a guided tour of the station." Lurtz: "A most gracious offer. When I was a young girl, my father would take me to watch the coming and going from the city's starport. I used to make up stories for each of the little ships, wondering where they were going, what they were going." :: pause :: "Although of course, seventy years ago ships were a lot smaller. Perhaps there is a place with a similar view." ::Sal leaned back, smiling gently as Theo too the reins of the conversation. His brand new ExO was settling in nicely, and Sal couldn't be more proud - and warranted in his decision.:: Whittaker: :: smiling :: "I know just the place, Madame." Taybrim: Commander Whittaker has a keen sense for starbase vistas. You couldn't ask for a better recommendation. Lurtz: "That sounds perfect. I never had the strength to venture into a naval career like you have, and now as a makeshift grandmother I certainly won't be pushing myself into it." ::Sal smiled kindly. There were a range of opinions on Starfleet and the careers within. Some loved it and would always serve, some valued Starfleet but preferred to stay in civilian service, some saw Starfleet as a necessary evil and some avoided it at all costs. Sal had met them all, and he had to say that as long as the person he was conversing with wasn't hostile he was fine with all walks of civilian life as it interacted with Starfleet:: Taybrim: ::A good natured chuckle:: It sounds like you have found your own calling, and that's a service in itself. ::Leaning back he gazed across the room, curious to know if Madame Lurtz was attached to anyone else at the gala. She did say makeshift grandmother - an unusual turn of phrase:: You mentioned family - did you travel with anyone? :: His eyes followed to where she gestured, setting on a youthful, attractive bajorain woman conversing with Ensign Broi:: Lurtz: "Aliyah is my closest friend and aide, I am godmother to her children. If you need anything, she handles the day-to-day for me... I confess my memory for the minutiae is not clear as it once was." :: Sal nodded genially, thoroughly understanding the need for assistants. He had, at one time, been a young officer that handled everything on his own. But he found that becoming ExO was hard enough in keeping track of everything on a massive starbase. Now ascending to CO brought with it a myriad of minutiae that he could never hope to corral by himself. He found himself with a strange empathy for this unusual, rich old bird standing beside him.:: Taybrim: Well understood, Madame Lurtz. ::he smiled towards her:: It was good to meet you/ Lurtz: "It's been a pleasure, I look forward to hearing some of your stories after dinner. Please allow me to excuse myself for a moment, I see an old friend." Taybrim: Certainly. ::he waved a hand towards her, letting her sail away into the gala's stormy seas:: Whittaker: "Of course, Madame." :: once she was safely out of ear shot, Theo turned to Sal :: "She's... unique." ::He gave a sigh as the Khobeerian left. She was in equal parts charming and insufferable, empathetic and cold. It was a unique mixture indeed. She reminded Sal of the members of the high houses of Betazed, the born and bred aristocracy of his world that had tried for centuries to breed only the best and brightest telepaths, training them away from the common populace. Now they had simply waned into a figurehead of tradition and strange old ways that codified both the elegance and blindness of a simpler time.:: Taybrim: Unique... that is an interesting way to put it. ::Interesting and strangely fitting:: Whittaker: "An unfortunate habit I picked up from 'father dearest'. It's what happens when you are forced to go along to endless, stuffy university banquets and are surrounded by countless outdated aristocrats all desperate to fall over each other to compliment somebody in the hope of getting funding." :: Sal canted his head, feeling a surge of bitterness well up from his young ExO. The very term 'father dearest' indicated Theo had some connection to the ways of aristocracy and it left him with a general disdain. Sal, on the other hand was decidedly middle class - which was not unusual on his homeworld. It was, by far, the largest percentage of the population. However most of the general population preferred to stay on the homeworld. Most outsiders thought about Betazeds in terms of 'what house is your lineage part of?' The answer was 'in ancient times the land I was born into was ruled by the seventh house. But that doesn't mean we were necessarily part of it.' He could, technically, claim membership to the seventh house in the same way the people of earth could say their ancestors belongs to the demesne of a feudal lord. But there was no lineage in living on the land ruled by someone else. Therefore Sal had always had very little interest in aristocracy in general and the houses of Betazed in specific.:: Taybrim: I can see distinct parallels. ::He agreed quietly before sensing it was time to change the subject:: Personally I'll take the food and drink and leave the put upon airs behind. I'm ready to try the Finarian wingfish. I hear it's delightful. ::He turned towards Whittaker:: Trying something new? Whittaker: "Herbed Tarkalian Goose. I can't wait, I'm famished." Taybrim: Good choice. ::He nodded, sipping his drink in a meditative fashion before offering another nod of agreement:: I'm hungry, too. And trying to avoid the plates of appetizers they keep bringing out. ::He grinned, almost ready to snatch one and eat it despite himself but fortunately Lt Commander Anders came onto the scene to prevent that tragedy from befalling.:: Anders: "Greetings Captain, fine gathering tonight" :: he turned to Theo :: "Thank you for the beer, cheers." Taybrim: Greetings, Commander! Good to see you. ::He smiled readily:: Whittaker: "And thank you for the wine" :: he raised the glass slightly as if he was making a toast. :: :: beat :: "How are you finding this evening thus far?" Anders: "I am having a very good time actually. I love meeting new people." Taybrim: It is quite the gathering - and there are plenty of interesting - some might say 'unique' people to meet tonight. ::he raised his glass towards both Theo and Baylen:: Anders: "I must say you two do clean up well." Whittaker: "I'm in a bloody straightjacket Commander." :: beat :: "Lieutenant Trel'lis actually likes wearing it." :: beat :: "Mind boggling." Taybrim: Well, they do make almost everyone look good. ::he shrugged his shoulders and wiggled a little:: I have to say mine fits well enough so it doesn't bother me. But it is heavy. I suppose if you're the sort of person who's always cold it might be a comfort. ::another deep breath as he settled comfortably backwards:: Though it is a bit incongruous with subject matter. ::Anders seemed to have the exact same reaction, his expression falling in dismay as he spoke.:: Anders: "I guess I don't understand the fascination with the tribble. Klingon's hate them, mortal enemies of the Empire. We are close to the border." :: he frowned, making Theo wonder whether Baylen expected a marauding Klingon taskforce to storm their way through the station in a vengeful quest to exterminate the highly prized balls of fur. :: "Now if this was a pug show... then this would be something." :: he grinned :: Whittaker: :: chuckling ::"If this was a pug show, then you'd be flaunting Baxter to all and sundry." Taybrim: Baxter? ::amusement danced in his eyes:: I didn't know you had a show dog... would you bring him to a pug convention? Anders: "I would, he is a prize Pug after all. Whittaker: :: joking, but lowering his voice :: "Do you think that the tribble breeders would mind if I mentioned I once heard a Klingon opera about 'The Great Tribble Hunt?'. Taybrim: ::He coughed:: I think that might provoke a spot of tribble trouble. Anders: "Maybe you can use that to get out of a conversation if you get stuck in one." :: laughing :: Whittaker: "I used to have a Klingon roomate at the academy. He liked his operas." :: beat, smiling :: "But yes, that would be a diplomatic [...]-pas if I mentioned it. I don't have anything against tribbles- their rather soothing as it happens and rather cute. I just don't get this." :: he motioned to the room :: "Still, each to their own. I'm not one to judge." Taybrim: You know, any time there is something to specialize in there will be fanatics that converge around it. I think it's a natural urge of many species to perfect something - even tribbles. :: He jumped a little as a joyous feminine squeal pealed through the gala hall. Sal turned, casting his gaze towards a smiling older woman who was descending upon them at warp speed. Sal was just about to ask who she was when the answer miraculously revealed itself.:: Arlia Anders: "Oh BayBaylen, Baylen, Honey!" ::Concern turned to mirth in less than a second as a wash of motherly affection hit his empathic senses. That, coupled with the fact that he misheard her affection squeal as 'BabyBaylen' prompted him to do everything he possibly could to not grin like an idiot and keep his face with a more sober, diplomatic smile. Oh, but his eyes were laughing:: Baylen: ::Muttered under his breath:: "Not one word about me getting shot please." Taybrim: ::He gave a nod of assent along with Theo before turning towards Anders:: I take it these are family members, Commander? ::Smiiiling, still smiling:: Anders: "My parents..." ::Sal was not surprised at all. However Theo's expression changed from mirth to shock in less time than it took an unfixed tribble to get pregnant.:: Arlia Anders: "Surprise BayBay, I bet you did not expect to see us here." Anders: "Oh; no...." :: pause :: "I am just overjoyed." ::Said like the least overjoyed person on the Starbase. The contrast only heightened Sal's mirth as he struggled with his composure. He didn't like seeing his officers squirm - but then again, Baylen was being showered by motherly affection rather than hostility. Sal's own mother would be coldly incommunicative in any form other than telepathy. It reminded him that he still hadn't told her about his promotion. Whoops. Well, in his defense she hadn't handled his other promotions well, telling him he was on a mission to get himself killed moving up in ranks like that. So he hadn't realy spoken to her much since he came to SB118.:: Taybrim: Perhaps you can introduce us, Commander. ::he let himself smile, though it was a more reserved look that gently directed the conversation away from the embarrassing flow of emotion:: Anders: "Oh I am sorry. This is my mother, Doctor Arlia Anders and my father, Doctor Armond Anders, and these are Station Commanding Officer Commnder Sal Taybrim and First Officer Lieutenant Commander Theo Whittaker." ::Baylen blushed deeply, while his father keps a cool composure and offered the first formal greeting:: Armond Anders: "A pleasure to meet you both." Whittaker: :: with a courteous nod of the head :: "Likewise." Taybrim: It is wonderful to meet both of you! ::he offered with a gregarious expression:: ::And without warning Baylen's mother rushed him, scooped the little Betazoid up in a big hug and kissed him firmly on the cheek. Sal blinked, staying very still, sort of like a deer does when it's caught in the gaze of a cougar - or a pair of headlights. Was this a strange ritual of the Risians? They were an open sort of folk, much like his own race; meaning he wasn't particularly offended by the generous outpouring of affection. But he was highly surprised and rather confused. But he was about to get a very interesting answer...:: Arlia Anders: "You did not tell me Theo was such a looker!" :: smiling, she pinched Sal's cheek.:: ::A wide, slow smirk fell across Sal Taybrim's face as his eyes moved slowly, inexorably towards Anders and Whittaker. What was that Baylen had said about being late for a date? The atmosphere of euphoria? It was nearly impossible to miss, but now he had confirmation. That, and this whole situation was awfully funny. And he was apparently 'a looker' according to an older woman - which was a first for him!:: Whittaker: oO Oh no.... Oo ::Well he heard that thought clear as day. Theo looked like a kitten trapped by a vacuum cleaner, distressed and ready to hiss or flee:: Anders: "That is Commander Sal Taybrim, Station Commanding Officer, this is Theo Whittaker" :: he pointed at Theo. :: Whittaker: :: sheepishly, waving his hand :: "Hello." ::Embarrassment settled heavily among Theo and the Anders family. Something which Sal tried to break with a charming smile. Breaking slightly backwards from Arlia, he offered a hand:: Taybrim: It is a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Anders. Welcome to StarBase 118! Armond Anders: "Maybe you should have a glass of wine dear..." ::A better suggestion was never more timely.:: Anders: "Okay. I think that is good. let me take you two to the bar, we don't want to take up the Command Staff's time..." :: Theo turned slowly to face Sal, his face was as red as a Risian sunset.:: Whittaker: "Well I'm pleased that Baylen's mother though I was the CO." Taybrim: ::With high spirits:: I suppose I'm pleased she thought I was attractive! ::A light chuckle, the CO was certainly not overly bothered by what just happened.:: Whittaker: :: he glanced across to the bar :: "Finding them guest quarters should be easy enough can we cater for two more people tonight." Taybrim: ::Sal offered a nod of agreement:: We have plenty of open rooms. There was an expected inrush of tourists to the festivities. Many of the larger civilian suites are modular and we ended up taking large dwellings and turning them into two smaller temporary guest rooms to handle the overflow until the convention is over. :: There was an unusual - and somewhat hilarious - tension between the two officers. Sal, mildly talking about station logistics while Theo sweated in his boots ramping up the courage to admit to a fact that Sal Taybrim had already deduced.:: Whittaker: "Sal, now might not be the best time, but you should know that Baylen's mother made a fuss of you when she thought you were me because Lieutenant Commander Anders and I are... dating." :: he looked at Sal, uncertain. :: Taybrim: ::he paused for effect before offering an admittedly famous quote:: I know. Whittaker: ? ::Mirth played at the edges of his lips, watching the reactions of his new first officer. This, too, was a lesson - a growing pain. Everyone had them, and it was never an issue when handled well. So Sal lingered in the moment, watching the young man's reactions before grinning just a little.:: Taybrim: I don't have to violate any telepathic barriers to catch the wellspring of projected emotion that surrounds the two of you. ::His expression turned gentle:: He makes you happy. You make him happy. You're both good officers who know Starfleet rules and regulations and I trust you to follow them. Beyond that, you have my blessing. Whittaker: ? Taybrim: ::He shook his head lightly:: You wouldn't be the first officer to fall in love with a co-worker and I'm sure you won't be the last. Like everything else in life it will have its trials, and it will also have a bounty of joys. ::A grin:: I wish you both the best. Whittaker: ? Taybrim: ::A light wink:: You started your career as an engineer - I started mine as a counselor. Whittaker: ? Taybrim: Well, I have to admit, Mrs. Anders has a strong grip. Be prepared for a mighty big hug in your immediate future. Whittaker: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Commander Sal Taybrim Commanding officer StarBase 118 Ops "Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must" ~Julian Beck E239010ST0
  14. (( Sto'Vo'Kor Lounge, USS Gorkon )) :: The recent mission had left Ayiana physically and mentally drained. She needed some time to unwind, and with the Gorkon warping away from the catastrophe that is Astrofori One, Ayiana thought she’d have a nice drink and meal - something to clear her head. As she was off-duty, Ayiana was dressed in a red T-shirt, black skirt, and sneakers. :: :: While it was named after the Klingon afterlife, regulations prohibited the place to be designed like a Klingon establishment. It had the usual Starfleet paint job with standard chairs and tables. Large models of Chancellor Gorkon’s ship, Qo’noS One, and the Gorkon itself hung from the ceiling. The walls had portraits of Gorkon, Azetbur, & Chang, along with other influential people of the Khitomer Accord era, including Federation President Ra-ghoratreii, Captain Kirk and crew, and Captain Sulu and crew. Additional paintings and photographs consisted of the Enterprise-A, Excelsior, and Qo’noS One, as well as planet Khitomer and Qo’noS itself. All-in-all, the lounge did an honorable tribute to Chancellor Gorkon and the Khitomer Accords without anyone feeling like they just walked onto Qo’noS itself. :: Sevo: :: She wandered up to the bar, then asked the bartender. :: Give me something...I don’t know. Something to make me forget about the other day. Bartender: Yea. I heard what happened to you guys over there. :: Ducking below the counter, then popping back up with a bottle of something. :: Here, try this. Pure alcoholic; no synthehol. I think you need the kick. Sevo: Thanks. :: Taking the glass and looking at it. :: Its...green. What is it? Bartender: Take a swig, tell me what you think. :: She took a gulp, and almost spit it back out. The taste was alright, but it was really strong and burned on the way down. She liked it. :: Sevo: :: Her throat momentarily hoarse. :: Smooth. <Cough> Bartender: Aldebaran whiskey. oO Meh. I prefer “the green stuff.” Oo Sevo: Thanks. Think I’ll just chill here for a while. ::As she stood there, another person joined her at the bar. Tall, broad-shouldered and with a mop of dark hair, the spots running along his hairline and down his neck marked him out as another trill. He was in his uniform, but the jacket was open and the teal collar unfastened.:: Tam: Lida juice, please. Bartender: On it. ::While he waited, he turned to look at her, offering her a warm smile that reached his twinkling eyes.:: Tam: Ayiana, isn't it? Congratulations on your awards -- well-deserved from what I've been told. :: Ayiana recognized the man from the disastrous night. He was talking with Captain Reynolds when Ayiana entered the program. Now, as then, Ayiana felt a sudden surge of...something. Anger? Loathing? She didn’t know why. She had never met this man before. :: Sevo: Thanks. Tam, isn’t it? Kael Tam? :: The name didn’t sound familiar. It wasn’t any Symbiont name she recognized. :: Tam: That's me. Mind if I ask how long you've been joined? Sevo: :: Taking a sip of her drink. :: Let’s see… :: Thinking for a moment. :: It’s been about three years now, I think? Wow. Tam: Surprised? Sevo: It's just...three years. It feels like a lifetime already. Several lifetimes, actually. :: Despite the feelings Ayiana kept having, she tried to maintain neutrality. She was sure she never met Tam before. :: Tam: I suppose it is, in way. After all, how many lifetimes has Sevo had? Sevo: Ayiana is my fourth host. My last one was Vereesa, a material chemist. :: Taking a drink. :: You? I don’t recognize your name. ::He gave her a long, evaluating look -- much like the kind of look a doctor gave his patient when they suspected they weren't quite telling the truth about their symptoms. Then he smiled and carried on as though nothing had happened.:: Tam: Oh, I'm not a host. Just a plain Trill. Sevo: I see. Sometimes I envy you Unjoined. Life was a lot less...complicated back then. ::He smiled and continued amiably chatting away, thanking the bartender as he was presented with his requested drink.:: Tam: My sister's Joined, she says a similar thing. But it never really appealed to me. Sevo: It didn’t for me either; not at first. I had often thought about it, but didn’t pursue it. An early Academy instructor convinced me to finally apply. I already had good grades and a few awards, so I guess that helped. Now that I think about it, it was a pretty quick application turnover. I remember my previous hosts spending many years working on their applications. :: Ayiana poured a fresh glass from the bottle, then took a sip. She still had a nagging feeling about this man. Now was a good a time as any to get to know him. :: Sevo: Did you work for the Commission? Tam: Well, I was a Guardian once upon a time. But that was decades ago. :: Ah, the Guardians; an eccentric lot. Ayiana always heard rumors about them; the lifestyle they chose. The Guardians surrendered any opportunity to be Joined, and even living among normal society to live in the Mak’ala Caves, tending to the Symbiont pools where they are birthed, and eventually return. :: Sevo: Oh, sorry. :: Suddenly realizing that wasn’t what she meant. :: I mean...it’s just that the Guardians usually work in the caves the rest of their lives. Why are you here? Erm...I mean, why did you quit? ::He looked awkward for a few moments. It was not a look he wore often, and it didn't sit well on his face.:: Tam: The Commission and I… we had a disagreement. We mutually decided it was best if I looked for a different profession. Sevo: You were fired?! From Guarding?! :: That was almost unheard of. :: Tam: ::He chuckled.:: I wouldn't go so far as to say they nudged me off the homeworld, but I don't think they were too disappointed when I decided to enter Starfleet. Sevo: I guess you don’t want to talk about it, then. ::It was moderately busy that evening, with many of the tables and couches filled with crew taking the opportunity to take it easy and catch-up with friends. A game of 3D chess was taking place in one corner, the first match in the first round of the Gorkon's first ship tournament. The atmosphere was relaxed and calm, the conversation soft and unintrusive. Ayiana had forgotten how cool the lounge was.:: Tam: It's not that I mind talking about it, but it's all long in the past. ::He smiled.:: I've moved on, I have a long career in Starfleet. There's a human phrase I'm quite fond of -- "let sleeping dogs lie". Sevo: I still have memories of being in the pool. Its weird. I mean, I know it wasn't really *me*, but it was. It was me as a Symbiont. It's a strange feeling. ::Kael nodded, taking a sip from his juice before answering. He seemed to be enjoying her company, from his easy smiles and relaxed posture.:: Tam: You're not the first to say something like that. I remember one man I worked with describing it akin to an out-of-body experience. Sevo: Yes. That describes it perfectly. :: Pause. :: The strangest thing to happen to me is that I acquired claustrophobia after Joining. It turned out it was from when I - Sevo - was still in the pools. It had a traumatic transfer from the pools to its first Joining. It's...a long story. Tam: ::He sipped at his juice, raising his eyebrows.:: Something you want to talk about? Sevo: Mmm, not now. I talked about it enough with my Victory counsellor. Another long story with her. Suffice to say, I quickly discovered being Joined is more complicated than it's made out to be. Tam: It certainly is, at that. ::He paused.:: Have you undergone your Zhian'tara yet? Sevo: Not yet. :: Every Trill knew of the Zhin'tara ritual. It was a way for the current host to literally "meet" their previous hosts through the memories carried by their Symbiont, with the help of a telepathic Guardian and some very nice family or friends, who “loaned” their bodies. :: Tam: How do you feel about it? Sevo: I'm kind of looking forward to it, actually. I remember being those people. Tam: Even when they were nervous beforehand, the Trill I worked with enthused about the ceremony afterwards. They learned a lot about their past hosts, and so, themselves. Sevo: Not sure when I'd be able to do it. My family would help, but that’s way out on Trill. I don’t know if aliens would be okay with basically "loaning" their bodies. Tam: If you choose to undergo it out here and need volunteers, I'd be happy to play host for a while. I've never been on that side of the ritual. Sevo: :: Smiling. :: Thanks, I'll think about it. ::He returned the smile, warm and genial as ever.:: Tam: You're welcome. :: An awkward silence ensued for a few seconds as Ayiana poured another glass of her drink. :: Sevo: So what was the person you worked with like? I mean...can you talk about them? Y'know, doctor-patient confidentiality, and all that. Tam: Well, there were a few. It's not too dissimilar to what I do now, now that I think about it. Lots of people to look after at the same time, for lots of different reasons. Sevo: Don't suppose you can give any examples? ::He [...]ed his head in curiosity, taking a sip of his juice.:: Tam: Was there something specific you wanted to know? :: Ayiana *did* have this burning question. More of a feeling, really; ever since she saw Tam's face. When she did, something deep inside her stirred, like remembering a dream you had years ago. :: Sevo: Um...this may be out of the blue...but you treat anyone for war? You know, after the Dominion War? ::He watched her, wariness and interest lighting in his eyes, and he nodded slowly.:: Tam: I did. Sevo: I'm not sure how to say this, and I hope you don’t get offended. It's weird, but ever since I saw you, I've felt this...I don't know. Feeling. Hatred? Loathing? Loathing; specifically for you. I don't know why. I swear I've never seen you before. ::This time he hesitated, and caution bled into his easygoing demeanour.:: Tam: I think we may have crossed paths. Sevo: N-no. Not any of my previous hosts. Tam: Who was your last host? Sevo: Vereesa. Tam: Well yes, you're right. I didn't ever meet her. And I'm certainly not old enough to have bumped into the rest. ::He smiled, but this time it didn't quite reach his brown eyes.:: Sevo: Huh. Didn’t think I knew you earlier. I guess you just remind me of someone else I can’t place. Tam: It's not uncommon. Several lifetimes means there's a lot of people you've met in passing. Sevo: Probably. There’s a lot rattling around up here I'm still sorting through. :: Ayiana pointed to her head. :: I doubt you’d know my symbiont Sevo, huh? ::He hesitated again, draining his glass and staring thoughtfully at the bottom of it before answering.:: Tam: I did know a Sevo. A few years ago, when I was a Guardian. His host was Toran. :: That was strange. Ayiana was pretty sure she hadn't seen a Guardian since Vereesa's zhin'tara many, many years ago. :: Sevo: Huh. I'm pretty sure I’d remember. Maybe it was a different symbiont. I don’t think same names would be all that uncommon. :: Deep down, though, a part of her didn't believe that. Somehow, Ayiana knew Tam from somewhere. It was a constant, nagging feeling she wanted to get to the bottom of. :: Tam: ::He paused, watching her with guarded interest.:: What's the last thing you remember as Vereesa? Sevo: I...she was in a Commission hospital, getting Sevo removed. She was old and dying. I...she lived a good, long life. Tam: And can you remember *when* that was? :: Ayiana put down her glass and dug through her memories; trying to remember a specific date. None came to mind. Sevo: Can’t remember a specific date; one generally doesn't think of the calendar on one's deathbed. If I had to estimate...somewhere around 2388. ::Kael hesitated, staring down at his empty glass in a rare display of indecision. Then he looked up at her and shook his head.:: Tam: 2365. Vereesa passed in 2365. :: That one statement sent shivers up Ayiana's spine. She dropped the glass of her drink loudly on the counter, to a frown of consternation from Kael. That was impossible! Ayiana came right after Vereesa! Besides, Ayiana was born in 2366! :: Sevo: N-no. That’s not right! Sevo was placed in me right after Vereesa. I've been Joined for about 4 years now, so it must be 2388. Tam: Toran, he sometimes spoke to me about his past hosts. Vereesa, she was a chemist. And… Lizara, I think it was? He used to laugh about her purple hair. Sevo: oO Oh. My. Gods! N-no! It...its not possible! Oo That...that’s impossible! W-what about the second host? He wasn't a chef, was he? Tam: Camen. :: Kael accompanied the word with a slow, cautious nod. Ayiana's mind started to race, her concentration lapsing. :: Sevo: I...Yes. That’s him--er--me-- :: pressing her fingers to her temples:: --I mean, yes, that was my second host! oO Wh-what is this?! Some kind of sick joke?! Oo ::He placed his empty glass of juice down on the bar, pushing it to the side, his attention entirely focused on her.:: Tam: ::Gently,:: Suppressed memories aren't unheard of in symbionts. ::He paused, a faint grimace creasing his face, worry colouring his eyes.:: Perhaps you should get in touch with the Commission. Sevo: N-no. Th-this is a joke! Some sick, depraved joke! What’s wrong with you?! :: Ayiana bared all of her anger on the poor Trill man. :: Tam: It's not a joke, Ayiana. I wish it was, but I'm not that cruel. :: Ayiana’s hands started to shake; she could feel her heart racing. Sounds in the room started to feel distant and muffled, as if someone placed earmuffs on her. Sweat started to bead up on her forehead and neck. :: Sevo: I-I… :: She leaned on the counter, as if to steady herself. :: ...I don't feel well. This-this can’t be right! ::He reached out to her, then seemed to think better of it, his hand not quite completing the journey and instead hovering in mid-air between them.:: Tam: Just take a breath. Focus on the act of breathing. :: Taking the muffled words to heart, Ayiana sat back down on the barstool and slowly but steadily breathed in and out. Touching her wrist with her index and middle finger, Ayiana could tell her pulse was slowing down a bit, but still racing pretty fast. :: Sevo: Th-thanks. Sorry. Tam: ::He shook his hand, withdrawing his hand.:: Don't apologise, it's fine. It's a lot to take in. Sevo: :: Sighing :: You-you *must* be wrong. How could I possibly forget an entire life? Tam: It's rare, but it's been known to happen. ::He opened his mouth, about to say more, then thought better of it.:: Sevo: I--this, I need to check all this out. This can't be right. ::He looked at her for a long moment, then his words came with an exacting reluctance, a recommendation he really did not want to make.:: Tam: Contact the Commission. They'll be able to help you. Sevo: E-excuse me, Tam. :: Ayiana stood up to leave. :: And...uh...sorry. :: Ayiana carefully walked out of the lounge. Her mind was still swimming in random images and thoughts, she had a headache, and the noise and lights were confusing and painful. She almost tripped and fell on the floor as she walked out. She tried not to show it, but Ayiana had rivers of tears running down her face as the lounge’s doors closed behind her. :: fin --Lieutenant Ayiana SevoChief Science OfficerU.S.S. GorkonV239109AS0 & Lt. Commander Kael TamChief of NursingUSS GorkonT238401QR0
  15. ((USS Apollo-A, Holodeck)) ::On a low, white couch in a large, brightly-lit room, all clean lines and sophisticated sparseness, no windows, no doors to be seen, Ren Rennyn sat, one leg crossed ankle to knee over the other, his right arm draped casually on the back of the couch, his left holding a glass of scotch, good, decent scotch, by the standards of replicated synthehol, anyway.:: ::He tried not to giggle and failed.:: ::Ren was in a holo-program called "Max Alpha," currently set for Chapter Three. Introduced to the game by his brother-in-law Maren, he'd finished the first two chapters already, and, after nearly a year of anticipation, had at last returned to it. In character, ready and primed, he waited until the chapter's opening narration, his favorite part of the program, began. The computerized narrator's brassy-toned, nasally voice boomed out somewhere above him.:: Narrator: Deep space. Region of mystery, of duplicity and danger, and, known only to a handful of the very best sort of people, home to Max Alpha: The Galaxy's Greatest Secret Agent! ::Ren s[...]ed, trying to keep a serious face as Max Alpha.:: Narrator: Having defeated the duplicitous denizens of Dnarko, and crushed the criminal capers of the cruel Comet King, Max Alpha sits serenely, soaking silently in serious speculation. ::He couldn't take it -- Ren laughed out loud, but quickly tried to stifle his impulse.:: Rennyn: Sorry. Serious speculation. Narrator: Soon the universe will face another incredible danger. Its only hope -- Max Alpha: The Galaxy's Greatest Secret Agent! ::Just then, a door, which had been invisible when closed, opened in the wall behind him. In came a being about a meter in height. It had three stubby legs on a long torso, two very large yellow eyes in a bulbous head, and skin a color that resembled old pea soup. :: Narrator: ...and his assistant, 86. Rennyn: Good afternoon, 86. 86: Yoik! ::It was a strange interjection the meaning of which Ren hadn't deciphered in the first two chapters. 86 scrambled around the couch, his breath ragged from running.:: 86: We've got ...incoming, sir! Control wants you... straight away! Rennyn: Well, put her on the screen. 86: Yes, sir... hold on, and I'll just... I'll just get my breath back... Maybe have a bit of a rest... Rennyn: 86! Control is waiting. 86: Oh, yes, sir! ::86 scrambled about again, and the viewscreen, invisible when inactive, was projected in front of them, seeming to float in the air. On it was a very old woman, a Terran, white hair elaborately piled high. She was tiny, shriveled and age-spotted, yet looked as though she might instantly snap the neck of any person who crossed her.:: Control: Good afternoon, Alpha. Rennyn: Hello, Control. How's the weather where you are? ::She was his only contact at i3, the interplanetary agency Max Alpha worked for, but they had never met in person, and though he had his guesses, he had never learned Control's whereabouts.:: Control: You'll never know. As a deep space agent, Alpha, you'll never meet me or any of your superiors face to face. You are assigned missions by me and expected to carry them out without question. Rennyn: I've never failed you. ::In two chapters, he hadn't.:: Control: You are our top agent. That's why I'm contacting you now - your next mission is of vital importance, and we couldn't assign it to anyone else. Have you heard of the Hammer of Bajor? ::Ren was surprised. As a matter of fact, he had.:: Rennyn: As a matter of fact, I have. A supposed archaeological relic that was rumored to be lost some ages ago. It was said to have great power-- Control: Enough to destroy a small planet, perhaps. Before its disappearance, it was closely guarded by the Vedek Assembly, who believed that in the wrong hands, it could cause widespread panic and destruction. And now it has been recovered. 86: Oh, well that's alright then, isn't it. Good job it was recovered, before it fell in the wrong hands. ::Ren's bemused look at 86's mistake was withered by Control's typical annoyance at the interruption.:: Control: No, 86. It was recovered BY the wrong hands. 86: No! You don't mean...? Control: Yes... ::All three said it together.:: "Commandant X!" Rennyn: But if Commandant X has the Hammer of Bajor... Control: He controls a vast power. He can ransom entire planets, one after another, and there's nothing we can do to stop him. Rennyn: Oh, yes there is! We're going to get the Hammer back before the Commandant can use it. ::86 blinked.:: 86: Uhm... "We"? Control: Good luck to you, Alpha. i3 are counting on you. Rennyn: We'll do our best, Control. 86: "WE"?? Control: Control out. ::The screen blinked off, again fading to blend in with the wall. Ren jumped to his feet, opening the invisible door, ready to dash out of the room. Max Alpha was ready for action.:: Rennyn: Come on, 86. We've got work to do! 86: Uhm, yes, coming, sir. Only, we're going to have to talk about your use of pronouns, I feel... SOON: ::Despite his less desirable qualities - cowardice, cowering, codependence - 86 was more than extremely useful. He hailed from Tlbx, a world where technological know-how is taught from birth; on a planet full of outrageously brilliant technologists, 86 was considered one of the best and brightest.:: ::At age 15, 86 -- a code name, as his own name was too technical to be pronounced -- invented a new transporter so advanced, the Federation's highest ranking personages deemed its existence too dangerous to be known to the universe at large. He'd sold the patent to i3 in exchange for a permanent job for life. On a planet full of outrageously brilliant technologists, job security was next to godliness.:: ::The transporter pad in Max Alpha and 86's Secret Deep Space Headquarters was one of a kind, the only model ever built from 86's original schematic, drawn on the back of his algebra notebook during 7th grade study hall. The pad was outwardly indistinguishable from any standard Federation equipment, but its inner workings had a key difference. It allowed instant transportation to any location in the universe, no matter the distance.:: Rennyn: oO Too bad real transporters can't be like this. Would sure save on travel time. Maybe they'd let me commute to work from Arnmere. Oo ::The souped up transporter in the Max Alpha game was an important plot device, but of course could never exist in the real world. You'd never know what Borg or something would suddenly appear standing behind you. Horrifying thought.:: ::86 interrupted his thoughts from the control panel.:: 86: Uhm, the coordinates are set, sir. We'll beam directly into Commandant X's top secret headquarters! Rennyn: But how do you know where it is? 86: Luckily I invented a Secret Headquarters Of Villainous Evildoers Locator. Rennyn: That ought to dig something up. 86: It has! Commandant X is hiding out on the dark side of a moon of Raidok, called Dishpan by the locals. Rennyn: I've been to Dishpan City. Turns out their main industry is laundry. 86: That's funny. Rennyn: Well, it was the lighter side of the moon. 86: Uhm, sir, you do realize that every side is the light side at some point? Rennyn: Yes, well, I don't think the Raidokians realized that. They mix their darks and their lights. ::Ren stepped onto the transporter pad and 86 scrambled on next to him.:: Rennyn: Ready, 86? 86: Ready, sir! Rennyn: Then beam us out. ::At a tap of one of 86's singularly long digits, the amazing transporter hummed into action, whisking their molecules away with uncommon magic.:: THEN, IN THE SECRET HEADQUARTERS OF COMMANDANT X: 86: I've beamed us in it! ::They were in a sort of warehouse, all full of packing crates, and a row of nine Tellarites in ninja costume stood menacingly before them. Ren smiled.:: Rennyn: Looks like we've come to the right place. Who but Commandant X would think of something as dastardly as ninja Tellarites? 86: I'll tell ya right! ::86 was always trying to quip with the big leagues.:: Rennyn: That will be quite enough, 86. 86: Sorry, sir. Rennyn: Okay, boys! Come and get it! ::The nine ninja Tellarites reacted to Ren's call, and, slowly at first, began to close in threateningly.:: ::This was the physical workout portion of the game, and Ren had programmed his settings on the lower side for strength and fighting skill. Not that he didn't want the physical challenge, necessarily, but he'd tried a harder setting on the first chapter to ill effect. Max Alpha was supposed to be a master of martial arts, and Ren learned quickly he would have to build up his skills. He was already out of practice on his kaigut. This time through was more of a fun run.:: ::Two Tellarites advanced on him at once, and he sidestepped, cracking their heads together. A third came at him and gracefully obliged as Ren flipped him on his back.:: Rennyn: Maybe I set it too easy, these guys are pushovers. Whoa--! ::He ducked as two metal stars went whizzing past his head.:: Rennyn: 86! They're armed! 86: Got that memo!! Yoik! ::The little guy went clattering past, chased by a ninja with two swords. The way his three stubby legs worked furiously under his long torso, his tiny arms flailing helplessly toward the sky, 86 resembled a large, frightened celery stalk. Rennyn: Keep running, 86! I have an idea! 86: No problem, sir! Not stopping!! ::The fleeing genius shrieked, scrambling around a stack of crates, three ninjas now in pursuit.:: ::Ren came about as another ninja tried to attack, only to find itself slammed headfirst into a wall in a signature Max Alpha move. A whirling kick knocked another to the floor.:: ::Quickly, Ren scaled the nearest crates, his goal in sight. Above him was a catwalk that ran around the entire room. If only he could reach it, the plan would come together. He jumped from one stack to the next. Below him, 86 continued to outrun his pursuers.:: 86: Doing fine, sir! ::While 86 continued to panic, only one more stack of crates needed climbing, and Ren was near the railing. It was just close enough to grip the edge at a jump. He did and, dangling from the side, swung himself up to the platform.:: ::In the back of his mind, Ren did a quick ninja count. He'd put five on the floor, and could see three chasing 86. But wasn't there a ninth ninj--:: Rennyn: --Aaaa! ::A flying kick caught him square in the back. He fell forward to the catwalk deck then instantly flipped himself over, catching his attacker's second pass with his feet, launching him aside before leaping to the ready.:: ::The ninja, recovered, faced him off squarely, the two gauging each other before their next attack. This ninja was different to the others, taller, with a hood that covered all but his hard eyes, ice blue. Then Ren noticed - this one's hands had five fingers each, and under that hood, there was no room for a snout. Rennyn: You're not a Tellarite! ::A deep and resonant laugh answered him, sending a chill through Ren's body.:: Ninja: You are correct, Max Alpha, I am not one of the porcine brood. Behold, it is I... Commandant X! ::The Commandant threw back his hood dramatically, revealing a face so horrifyingly horrible, so terrifically terrifying, so blindingly blood-curdling... Rennyn: oO Oh, actually. He's sort of handsome. Oo ::Ren was caught off-guard. Commandant X had pulled all the evil strings in the first two chapters, but Ren hadn't seen his face until now, Terran-looking, dark hair, nice features, about Ren's age.:: Rennyn: You know you're really sort of dreamy. ::Just a little crazy in those crisp, cold eyes.:: Commandant X: You are dreaming to think you can stop me, Max Alpha! Ninjas -- to me! ::At the Commandant's call, two of the Tellarites, appearing suddenly behind Ren, pulled the hero into their grip. Ren struggled, but couldn't break free.:: Commandant X: What now, Max Alpha? ::The Commandant's voice was deep, highly cultured, and accented with a certain lack of sanity.:: Commandant X: How do you like the taste of defeat? Rennyn: I prefer the rinds, thanks. Commandant X: Shut him up! ::The ninjas obediently grabbed Ren's head and held his jaw closed. The Commandant's hand emerged from a pocket in his black ninja garb to reveal a round slice of metal that reminded Ren of an ugly paperweight. But even from a short two meters away, Ren could hear the object humming with energy.:: Commandant X: You will never escape me, Max Alpha. I wield the Hammer of Bajor, a power mightier than planets. With this device in my control, I will become the supreme ruler of this galaxy. All worlds will bow to ME!! Rennyn: Mourm mnmrambl. Commandant X: What? ::At a flick of Commandant X's hand, the ninjas released Ren's mouth.:: Rennyn: You're unstable. Commandant X: How dare you... ::The Commandant glowered. He took several steps toward Ren, coming very close, until his face was only inches from Ren's own. Each syllable crackled with contempt.:: Commandant X: Max Alpha. What are you to so insult the great Commandant X!? ::Ren spoke softly, cajolingly, smiling a gentle smile.:: Rennyn: Oh, now, don't take offense, handsome. I didn't mean you, exactly. I meant your catwalk. You see, when I climbed up here, I rigged the platform we're standing on to break apart at my assistant's command. Marvelous inventor, he is, and it's a wonder what can be done with magnetic nanotechnology. If you don't release me, or if you try to move from this section of the deck, you'll have an awfully long fall to the ground. Commandant X: As will you, Galaxy's Greatest Gobhead. Rennyn: Ah. But you see, I happen to have antigravity shoes in my favor. Isn't that right, 86? ::Commandant X, Ren, and the two Tellarites who held him looked down to the ground, where 86 perched proudly on a pile of passed-out porkers. He waved his control mechanism above his head.:: 86: Ready when you are, sir! Rennyn: What will it be, Commandant? Will you keep the Hammer and drive your head into the floor below? Or will you tap out? ::The Commandant fumed.:: Commandant X: I will never give in. I will never--!! Rennyn: 86! Now! ::At the press of a button on 86's control mechanism, the deck beneath Ren and the Commandant began to tremble. The Tellarite ninjas released Ren, jumping away to safety with unnecessary backflips. Commandant X yelled after them in a fury.:: Commandant X: You fools! Attend me! Rennyn: Sorry to hog all the attention, but I really must fly. ::At the last word, Ren rose into the air on his antigrav shoes as the floor caved underneath Commandant X, sections of deck crashing toward the ground below. The Commandant clung desperately to a bit of railing that remained attached to the wall. Ren came alongside him, hovering in midair.:: Rennyn: Be a good Commandant and give me the Hammer. Commandant X: Never! Rennyn: Pretty please? I promise to rescue you if you do. Commandant X: I should rather plummet to my death! Rennyn: And waste that pretty face? I don't think so. ::Floating lower, he grabbed the Commandant by the ankles, tore him from the wall, and took him toward the floor, where 86 stood waiting. He dangled the Commandant above his little pal, shaking the evildoer a little.:: Rennyn: Take it from him! ::86 jumped, trying for the Hammer, which Commandant X clutched to his chest.:: Commandant X: No! Get away, you meddling mechanic! Rennyn: Hurry it up, 86! He's kind of heavy. 86: He IS the heavy, sir. Rennyn: Keep trying on the puns, buddy. Okay, now who's had enough? ::Ren dropped Commandant X to the floor as 86 skittered out of the way. The Commandant got to his feet, but before he could run, Ren threw a right hook that sent him to the ground faster than a Tellarite ninja fleeing an evil hideout. The Commandant was out cold.:: 86: Well done, sir! ::Ren knelt over the villain, prying the Hammer of Bajor carefully from the fallen fiend's hand.:: Rennyn: Cheer up, handsome. Better luck next time. ::He turned from the comatose criminal to 86, tossing the powerful Hammer casually in the air, then coolly catching it again.:: Rennyn: Let's go home. BACK AT THE SECRET DEEP SPACE HEADQUARTERS OF 86 AND MAX ALPHA: ::Control loomed over them on the viewscreen, her lips curled ever so slightly in the beginnings of a smile.:: Control: Congratulations, Alpha, you've done it again. With Commandant X and his ninjas in the custody of Dishpan's authorities, we're all safe again. Rennyn: Yes, I thought he'd be secure in Dishpan hands. Control: Let's hope he doesn't slip away. ::86 looked confused.:: 86: My only question is... Why Tellarite ninjas? I mean of all the henchmen the Commandant could have hired. ::Ren thought about it carefully.:: Rennyn: I suppose he wanted to find a way to really put the ham in Hammer. ::86 laughed a sound like a squeaking balloon.:: 86: Oh yes, I see. That hits it rather on the head. Rennyn: Yes, well, I thought I'd take my best swing at it. 86: You've really driven it home, sir. ::Control interrupted with an uncharacteristic smirk.:: Control: Now, gentlemen, no need to keep pounding away at it. ::86 leaped up exuberantly.:: 86: Nailed it, ma'am! ::Ren smiled proudly. 86 was finally improving on his puns.:: ::Control's face turned serious again. Time for her signature sendoff, Ren knew, which officially ended each chapter.:: Control: You've saved the universe again, Max Alpha. Rest well -- your next adventure is coming soon. Control out! ::The screen blinked away and Ren turned to 86. Rennyn: Well done today, 86. You're making progress. 86: Thank you, sir. Shall I fix us a drink, sir? Rennyn: Please. ::Ren watched 86 go out the invisible door, and supposed it was time to call up an invisible door of his own. He'd had fun, but it was almost time to get back to work.:: Rennyn: Computer, arch. ::That familiar sound of the door to reality greeted him. With one last glance at Max Alpha's hideaway, Ren walked out to rejoin the Apollo, an enormous grin on his face as he looked forward to his next exciting adventure.:: LtCmdr Ren Rennyn Ops Officer USS Apollo-A, NCC-71669 A239102RR0
  16. ((Arboretum, USS Apollo)) ::There were moments when the bright lights caught a plant just right, and Ren could believe he was back home in Arnmere. Those moments came in flashes only, not strong enough to break through the knowledge that deckplates were under his feet, or that the air he breathed was typically bland and unnoticeable recycled starship atmosphere. The air back home was full of imperfections - mud and fertilizer and underrot from the forest line, drifting towards his nose on an unpredictable breeze.:: ::He was alone in the arboretum for the moment. Even with so many people aboard Apollo, it felt empty at the moment. So many had gone down to Earth, or on short trips to nearby places. He understood Antero and Mirra had taken a shuttle away. Ren had considered going down to Earth himself. It had been home for four years, at the Academy. Parts of it were so similar to his own world. But it wasn't Trill. It couldn't replace the home he keenly missed.:: ::Instead, he stood in the arboretum, considering a jonja tree. Dirin and Dee had lines of them planted around the moba fields. Two Bajoran plants, thriving in distant Arnmere. Ren had thought he could thrive far from home, too. Sometimes he had to wonder if he'd made the right choices in life. If he'd leaped off the right cliffs.:: ::As he inspected his fellow expatriate, the jonja tree, Ren remembered a day long ago when the trees had not been in bloom, but the decisions that shaped his own life were beginning to form.:: ((Flashback - Arnmere, Trill - 15 years ago)) ::Ren's sister Vye was known as "the responsible one." It was generally accepted that she was going places, and every time their parents said so, it was a gentle reminder to the other eight Rennyn siblings that they appeared to be going nowhere. Not that they were supposed to physically go anywhere. Each was expected to take their place in the business, and stay in Arnmere forever. Each was further expected to play a functional role in expanding the success of Tro'Arn Farms and to contribute significantly to continuing operations. The expectations were high, though the success rate was so far low, though to be fair, at least half of them were still in school.:: ::It didn't matter where Vye was concerned. Her high school successes had been nothing short of aggravating to Ren, only a year ahead of her, yet always in her shadow. The younger ones would be compared to Vye by their teachers for years to come.:: ::At least away at university, there was a chance to get out of the shadow a little. Ren's studies in systems operations at Ledaro offered him a chance to carve his own path away from Vye, who was far on the other side of the globe, studying at a genius school with a lot of jealous geniuses.:: ::Today, they were home for the holidays. The two of them had lately been the resident outsiders, the two who were away at college, their four older siblings having already come back home to start taking up their places. Even they couldn't live up to Vye yet. Their parents were anxious to have her come back. They were a little afraid she wouldn't, and it showed. It made her want to get away all the more.:: Vye: I don't know if I can do it. ::She ambled thoughtfully down Arnmere's main street, her arm laced through her tall brother's, her red mitten laying casually across Ren's mustard coat sleeve.:: ::A few weeks at home over winter break called for a lot of long, slow walks in the cold.:: Rennyn: Come back to live in Arnmere? ::He inhaled the freezing air deeply, looking around at the little village he knew in every detail.:: I don't know. Maybe I'm okay with it. ::Vye shook her head, and her raven hair tousled stiffly in the cold.:: Vye: No. It's the opposite, Ren. I don't know if I can leave. ::She broke away, moving ahead by a few quick steps, until she reached a low wall at the corner of Eosh Lucaf's little restaurant, where they'd sat outside many summer nights in their lives, enjoying a meal. Eosh's elderly mother used to come out and yell at them when they were kids, for climbing the little wall. They'd thought she was a witch, maybe, and they'd climbed and climbed, to see if they could provoke her to reveal any powers.:: ::Now, Vye hopped up to sit on the little retaining wall, and her feet dangled to a few inches from the ground.:: Vye: Everything about my life tells me to go. There's amazing opportunities out there for me. I don't want to be the one who stayed when going could have led me to something wonderful. But then I come back here, for a few days, a week, and it's hard to imagine leaving again. I don't know how to be away from Arnmere. ::Ren had been through the same feelings. He loved his town. His home. But what could he accomplish there? He would never fly they way he wanted to fly. He would never see all the wonders he wanted to see.:: Rennyn: You've been farther around the world than any of us. You know best what's out there. Vye: I know there's a lot of shuttle and transporters, and I can be back here in hours or less. From the other side of the globe. But it's not the same. It's never the same. ::She stroked the wall with one gloved hand, remembering some time when she'd fallen from it, or thinking of that old lady, or remembering how she felt the starlit summer night when she kissed Eosh Lucaf's son the first time, sitting right where she was now. He hadn't come home on a break since freshman year. Would it ever be the same?:: ::Ren watched his sister grow more pensive. If he sat on the little wall, his feet would touch easily. Instead, he leaned against it awkwardly and put a comforting arm around her, uncaring that it wasn't a comfortable way for him to stand, as long as she got caught up in the hug she needed.:: ::Ren was only a semester from university graduation, and Vye was a year behind. They had their lives ahead of them, but at times, in those stressful, uncertain years, it seemed there was no knowing if what was ahead would be any better than the times they'd already lived. It was all about letting go, of childhood, of home, of the life they'd known, of the habits they'd formed. Letting go of old friends as they all moved toward their onrushing futures. The path wasn't clear, yet it was unavoidable. There was nothing for it but to step again and again off the precipice, not knowing which foot they would land on, aware of the possibilities, but blind to the path.:: ::Once they'd made so many leaps - farewell to schoolmates and childhood friends, leaving home, tearful goodbyes, choosing their education, making new friends - the reckless process of moving forward in the maze of life started to become easier. But so many choices made and chances taken in so few short years took their toll. It would be easy to go back home and forget about all that. At the same time, it was so hard to consider turning away from all those hard won little victories and to stop moving forward.:: ::Was it possible to call a permanent move back home to Arnmere a step forward? Ren considered that it might be. He could make the choice to return here, to his family and the land he loved, and take his place in their community. It wasn't remotely the same as giving up, as part of him wanted to believe. It wasn't a step back, as that part of him which had become so accustomed to taking chances, to leaping, whispered in his ear.:: ::Vye leaned in closer to Ren's embrace.:: Vye: Sorry I'm whining. All these decisions to make. It's like standing on a cliff. ::Ren kissed the top of his sister's head. Their thinking had always been so alike.:: Ren: And we used to think this wall was high. ::He shifted position, hopping up to sit next to her. His feet touched the ground, but he pulled them up, bending his knees until his toes were even with hers. Their futures were uncertain, but filled with possibility. As the thrilling air of the gathering winter evening crept coldly in around them, they sat together on the precipice, deciding how far to leap.:: ((End Flashback - Arboretum, Apollo)) ::It hadn't taken Vye long to find her place, traveling around the globe making distribution deals for the farm, making a greater success of the family business than any other Rennyn before her. She had the best of both worlds, a place at home, and a place in the global community. She'd found her path.:: ::Ren spent another decade dithering around Arnmere before he'd made his leap to Starfleet. It wasn't a path he could have predicted. The way was still not clear.:: ::It was a long way from Trill. Always too far. He wished he could hug his sister now. Any of his sisters. His brothers, his parents, his nieces and nephews. He was out here to make them proud, but sometimes he was sick with missing them. It would still be so easy to go back home.:: ::Moving forward wasn't easy. He'd had doors shut in his face, opportunities handed to him then taken away. Starfleet didn't make him feel safe and in control, the way he'd felt back in Arnmere, in his own domain. It wasn't easy. It was sometimes very hard. He was always standing on a precipice, not sure where he would land.:: ::He considered the jonja tree. It had lived in Arnmere, far from its origins on Bajor. It lived here on Apollo too, in excellent bloom. If the jonja could go where it pleased, then so could Ren. To the corners of the universe, or maybe, someday, right back home where he started.:: ::In between, all he had to do was keep on leaping.:: LtCmdr Ren Rennyn Ops Officer USS Apollo-A, NCC-71669 A239102RR0
  17. ::The day had been a long one, Merrick was a newly minted Lt JG the pips on his collar not even a few hours older yet. He considered calling his parents, but immediately rejected the idea.:: ::Standing Merrick slipped off his uniform and put on something to wear to bed, something comfortable as his mind continued to churn over what to do, who to talk to, the whole thing creating a strange sense of . . . .oO Being alone Oo. . . . restlessness. :: ::As Merrick slid into bed the fans in the room came on stirring his sheets slightly and his thoughts went back to a name he had not thought of in years: Sinadra.:: ((Dream/Flashback)) :: The night was well along and cooler breezes were blowing off Mount Seleya and in through the open bedroom windows.:: ::The bedcovers under which Merrick slept also folded back and then in the middle of the room was filled with shifting shadows and the slightest sound of fabric moving along skin. ::However none of it had anything to do with the breezes.:: R’Ven: Sindrana? ::Merrick had awakened and spoke without even turning.:: Tovek: ::soft contralto.:: Yes Merrick. :: Now Merrick rolled over in bed to look at her, her long dark hair, her slender figure, the elegant way that she moved, as always made his heart beat a little faster as watched her move in the dimness.:: ::Although his black on black gave little aid in seeing in the dark, Merrick seemed content to watch her, her form illuminated by Delta Vega's moonlike glow on an otherwise dark Vulcan night.:: R’Ven: What are you doing? ::There was a slight quaver in Merrick voice as he asked the question.:: Tovek: You already know Merrick, we talked about this already. ::Yes, Merrick knew already, but the question was in itself a stall, a pause to stave off the inevitable recognition of what was coming, even if for a few more seconds. Even his silence was an effort to try and extend it for a few more precious moments as he sat there looking at her.:: Tovek: Lights! ::Merrick blinked under the assault of sudden light but his mind was already telling him what was happening.:: .oO She is leaving Oo. ::The light revealed Sindrana’s single piece jumpsuit, simple belt and boots. The light also revealed the hints of her Vulcan and Romulan heritage. He always found it to be a perfect blending. With the proper make up or hair style she pass for either or both.:: R’Ven: ::flat voice:: You are leaving. Tovek: ::equally flat tones:: You knew that I would be. We have discussed this before. ::Merrick sat up in bed to face Sinadra:: R’Ven: Yes we did. .oO But I did not expect it to be so soon. Oo. ::Sinadra turned to look at Merrick, her upswept eyebrows dropping slightly and her lips, as if holding back something she couldn’t bring her self to say, flexed before she pulled them under sharp control.:: Tovek: Do not make this any harder than it has to be. ::slight pause:: You know that I must go. ::Merrick nodded:: R’Ven: Your family needs you? ::It was what She had told him, but he was never sure if he believed it.:: ::Sinadra’s face became like a glacier, cold and remote, yet Merrick could see a note of sadness when he looked.:: R’Ven: ::he spoke with crispness:: Your family is on Romulus? ::Sinadra just looked at Merrick, her silence ringing loudly in his ears. He knew that there was something that she was not telling him. Should he push it? He was afraid to.:: R’Ven: I will go with . . . . Tovek: NO!! ::slight pause:: No. We have been through this before. You are not trained. Romulus . . . I must go . . . ::Merrick had not intended to say that, it had just came out, but her answer spoke volumes.:: R’Ven: ::reluctant nod:: . . . and do what you have been trained to do. ::Sinadra stared at Merrick for a long moment, her eyes dark and probing, but then finally she nodded:: R’Ven: Do you know when you will be back? Tovek: No. ::Merrick rose to his feet and walked over to Sinadra, looking into her eyes as he took her hands in his.:: R’Ven: Then you must go. ::There was a cold finality to Merrick’s words, and there was a tightness in his chest as he spoke them.:: ::Sinadra’s dark almond shaped eyes were moist and yet still held a steely firmness as they looked into Merrick’s coal black ones.:: Tovek: I . . . ::Merrick kissed her, one last physical act to cover who knows how many years that would stand between them.:: ::It was warm, passionate, lingering, and it was filled with all the emotion that they were trained to never show in public. It spoke words they couldn’t find and fears that that they couldn’t say.:: ::But as all moments do, they finally end, and there was Sinadra standing at the door.:: Tovek: ::holding her hands in the traditional Vulcan salute:: Live long and prosper Merrick R’Ven R’Ven: ::Holding his hand in a mirroring salute::. Peace and long life Sinadra of the house of Tovek ::Like a wave, sadness broke over Sinadra’s Vulcanian features and then faded leaving behind only a cold countenance, the one that she always seemed to present to everyone.:: ::Everyone but Merrick.:: Tovek: I am afr. . . I do not believe I will have either. ::The last words seemed to be torn out of her. She closed her eyes, turned strode out of the door without looking back.:: ::Merrick watched her leave and standing, his hand finally dropping to his side like some forgotten thing there long moments after the door slide shut, his own sadness written openly on his face.:: R’Ven: Lights! ::With that simple word the illumination in the room vanished, even the dim lightthat had been streaming into the room had faded vanished. Lifelessly Merrick crawled back into bed.:: ::He had been on Vulcan for almost a decade and now he was alone again, probably for a very long time to come. Perhaps Sinadra would come back . . . or not, but Vulcan would teach him more than just academia, and achievement it could teach him about coping and loss and he would embrace it. And maybe, just maybe, if Sinadra didn’t return he would venture out and away from Vulcan and find her himself.:: ::It took him some time but Merrick finally found sleep:: ((END FLASHBACK)) ::And Merrick finally found relaxation and sleep tonight as well.:: ((NO TAGS/END)) -------------------------------------------------------------- Ensign Merrick R'Ven Science Officer USS Apollo - A ID: A239210MR0
  18. ((Starbase 118, Promanade)) :: As the two left Bassel’s office and headed back towards the exit, Theo found himself holding Baylen’s hand again and shouting over the thumping bass coming from… somewhere.:: Whittaker: “He’s…. unique!” Anders: Yeah he is different that is for sure, but he does what he says. You ready for dinner, I have a table waiting on us at Cabo Breeze. I asked for a private outdoor dining room on the beach. :: Touched at the effort that Baylen had gone to, Theo merely smiled in return and squeezed his hand. : Anders: That is if that is ok, if there is something that you would rather do, please tell, I want you to enjoy the night. ::Smiling:: :: Emerging out of the club and the fresh evening air, Theo shook his head :: Whittaker: “I’m genuinely touched by the effort that you’ve gone to Baylen.” :: beat :: “No one has ever done this for me before.” Anders: ::Looking at the First Officer in the eyes.:: Anything worth doing it worth doing right, so any effort put in was in enjoyment. I will admit. :: I got a slight crush on you the first time I saw you on the Bridge of the Albion. I thought you were glowing. ::Deeply blushing as he admitted his crush.:: So I am very happy you allowed me to take you out to night. It means a lot to me. Whittaker: :: dubiously :: “I was glowing?” :: Theo let his companion lead the way to this Cabo Breeze. He had seen it in the station directory but he had no idea where it was. Evidently, local. :: Anders: No turns out that you were just standing in front of a lighted post on the bridge. But boy it makes for a great memory. ::Smiling.:: Whittaker: “I do believe you are flirting with me again Mr. Anders.” :: grinning. :: Anders: Again? Have I ever stopped. ::Giving a slight puppy eyes look as the two walked down the hill side road to the beach.:: If I flirt it is because you make me feel happy. I have some slight empathic abilities and some people just really make me feel happy. You are the strongest I have ever met. Whittaker: “Strongest what? I don’t follow.” ::The two rounded the bottom of the hill and walked out past the replica of the golden gate bridge, that was often used for venders to sell things, but tonight there was a concert on the bridge. Baylen pointed over to the far side at Cobo Breeze:: Anders: There it is… ::Baylen thought for a moment.:: it's hard to explain, I guess it's like a chemical reaction in the body. It is something that happens to Risian Men, it's how they generally find their mates. ::Baylen and Theo walked up to the Tiki Hunt that had a white ribbon and bow tied around the entry. The hunt had steps that lead up to a small bridge that lead to the floating hut that sat about fifteen feet out into the water. They could hear the band on the Bridge playing, Baylen took the ribbon down and walked and pulled out Theo’s seat and then walked over took a seat of his own. He picked up the glass of the iced water on the table and took a sip.:: Whittaker: “My my!” :: beat :: “You really are pulling out all the stops.” :: he looked around :: “This is lovely.” Anders: ::Smiling:: I love this place, it reminds me of home. I have not been back in 11 years. So this is a home away from home for me. I will go get us some drinks. Would you like another Cosmo or something different? I want a Risian Sun Rise. Whittaker: :: smiling :: A cosmopolitan would be lovely. ::Baylen hated to walk away but he had forgotten in his excitement to let anyone know that he was there, so he walked up to the bar and to order the drinks. He was so happy and so excited that he walked with an extra bounce in his step. He barely could feel his injury now. Walking up to the bar he nodded at the Tender and ordered a few drinks and let them know that him and Theo were there. He walked back to his beautiful date with the drinks.:: Anders: Here you are Theo, ::Pausing:: is that ok? Off duty and alone? I would never call you that on duty or in front of another officer. Whittaker: I genuinely don’t mind if you were to call me Theo on duty. Sal does, after all :: he smiled :: Anders: It is one thing that I know well, from serving with some many Admirals and Ambassadors, there is a way to act on Duty in front of the crew, there is on Duty and in Private and then there is Off duty then Off duty and alone. I would never want to do anything to embarrass you. ::Baylen turned when he heard the music on the bridge change. He smiled at the slow melody that was playing and the drifting the notes that flowed down to the beach side. Baylen suddenly smiled a Theo and took a big sip of his drink and stood up.:: Anders: Care to dance. ::Smiling and holding his hand out.:: It's not everyday that you have a private beach front under the stars and a great band from above. :: Theo suddenly felt self conscious. Dancing was not his strong suit and he didn’t want people watching him make a fool of himself- especially so soon after his promotion. He looked unsure as he replied :: Whittaker: “I.. um, can’t dance and I don't want to embarrass myself :: Anders: I don’t think anyone would see. ::Smiling:: And I am not the best of dancer either but I don't exactly have two left feet. Whittaker: :: smiling :: “I guess I don’t have a choice.” ::As Theo stood up to dance, Baylen took him into his arms and the two started to move to the music. The feeling of Theo in Baylen’s arms felt wonderful. He also smelt wonderful too. As the two danced Baylen felt like he was worth all the latinum on Ferenginar. To top it off Fireworks started bursting in the air above them, they had been shot off from the bridge from the concert. Baylen looked up and smiled at the fireworks and then back down at Theo. He really wanted to kiss him now more than ever. Theo stopped and looked up at the fireworks before meeting Baylen’s stare. He might not have been telepathic but he could sense what was about to happen. He smiled, giving silent permission. Baylen felt very hot in side and holding a very warm Theo, he was very happy. He leaned down and kissed Theo softly on the lips. He held him close as they dances and smiled back at him. As the song ended. Baylen pulled off his shoes and rolled his pants legs up. Picking up his drink and walk over and taking a seat on the beach with his feet in the water.:: Anders: Well Theo I guess 92 is out and 93 is in… Happy new years. ::Smiling:: To Be Continued... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Wishing you Fair Winds and following Seas... Lt. Commander Baylen M. Anders Second Officer and 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 Lieutenant Commander Theo Whittaker Executive Officer Starbase 118/ USS AlbionC239203TW0
  19. (( Bridge- USS Thunder )) :: Finally leaving Sick Bay behind, then stopping in his quarters for a fresh uniform, Hannibal came onto the bridge. The site where Hendon and company had put him back together still itched, and the knitted together muscle was still a little stiff...but in a few days, all that would be gone. Making eye contact with his friend Colonel Waltas, Hannibal approached the command deck..although Tyr did not seem pleased about something…:: Waltas: Relinquishing command. Sir. :: There was a seriousness to Tyr’s tone, one Hannibal recognised..almost the same tone he used when he took command of the Marines. Hannibals’ shields instantly went up..inclining his head towards the Ready Room, Hannibal spoke..:: Parker: Let’s talk in the ready room…. Waltas: If it’s all the same, sir. I need some sleep. Excuse me. ::Without waiting for a response, Tyr left the bridge.:: :: Hannibal watched his friend go, but he knew something was bothering him...and eating him up inside. Watching as the distorted warp field streaked by, Hannibal turned over and over in his mind just what the hell was going on. The Gamma Shift Commander was manning Ops, and deep into the ships’ night, Hannibal needed an answer to the only question rounding in his mind..and he replayed the conversation he had with Tyr right before he and Kamela set out to retrieve Captain Turner and the rest. It took him awhile to figure it out, and when he did, the realization hit him like a thunderclap. Thinking that Tyr may be stewing in his quarters, Hannibal asked the computer where Tyr was..to his surprise, he computer told him he was in the holodeck. Turning over command to the the Gamma watch commander, Hannibal went down to talk to his friend…:: ((Later, Holodeck)) ::Sleep had eluded him, and the Ba’ku found himself programming the holodeck at 0300. He was surrounded. The deck, as it had been scanned from Thunder, of the smuggling asteroid stretched out before him. Brawls between holographic characters had broken out all around him, but five of the largest thugs were approaching him all at once. Tyr was armed only with his trusted katana, and his wits. The blade gleamed even in the weak holographic light. shining like a star. Three of the thugs, a Nausican and two Klingons, charged him at the same time. He stepped into the the closest attacker’s strike, grabbed the outstretched arm, and slammed his palm into the elbow, hearing a distinct crack. The man screamed in pain and dropped. The other klingon was on him but quickly met the business end of the katana, the blade embedding itself deep into his gut. He staggered backward as the Nausican attacked, grabbing the Ba’ku from behind. Tyr slammed his boot into the toes of the Nausican, snapped his head back, which bloodied the Nausican’s already-gruesome face, and neatly spun out of the grip. Ripping the katana from the gut of the dying Klingon, he tore a vicious gash down the Nausican’s chest, then reversed his strike and lopped off a leg. A final thrust embedded the blade in the Nausican’s heart.:: ::Pulling the blade, Tyr spun to face his other two opponents, two Ferengi. The first Ferengi screamed a squealing war cry and pounced, only to meet the boot of the Colonel. He collapsed to the ground, his windpipe crushed. The final Ferengi took a look at the carnage, and retreated into the shadows. Tyr wiped his blade on the Nausican’s clothes and returned it to the scabbard on his back, turning as he heard the doors opened. The last person he wanted to see walked in.:: :: Hannibal made his way into the holodeck, and was surprised to see the place he had left not too long ago...the hangar bay on the asteroid..same dim lighting, the chaos of the brawl..and the figure of Tyr Waltas, armed with his kitana facing the hordes. Walking up to the Colonel, Hannibal spoke..:: Parker: What’s on your mind, Colonel? ::The Ferengi who had retreated was creeping out of the shadows, using the distraction. He held a vicious, jagged knife in a stabbing motion.:: Waltas: A lot of things, Parker. I’m here because I wanted to see if there was any justification for what you did. PARKER: What the hell are you talking about? ::The Ferengi crept closer. Tyr continued to face Parker.:: WALTAS: I was seeing if I lost a step. If somehow I’ve lost my fighting form. Or, better yet, if you could handle the situation on the smuggling asteroid better than I could have. :: Hannibal shook his head. Tyr was a man he knew he could count on, and after the brawl they had, Tyr had more than proven himself to be more than able to handle himself…:: PARKER: Come on, Tyr…. ::The Ferengi was nearly within striking distance. He raised the knife to Tyr’s back, ready to stab him through the heart. Tyr’s eyes darted to his periphery, showing Hannibal he knew he was there.:: WALTAS: Know what I found out? PARKER: What’s that, Colonel? ::Tyr spun so quickly that he was a blur of white steel, brown hair and green uniform. The katana sang when it was drawn from its scabbard and in one motion, severed the Ferengi’s head from his shoulders. It fell to the floor with a sickening plop and rolled to Parker’s feet. Tyr re-sheathed his blade and walked up to Parker until the two men were nose-to-nose. He placed his foot on the Ferengi’s head.:: WALTAS: I’m not the one with the problem. :: Now nose to nose and almost eye to eye, the two men looked at each other, anger flashing in both mens’ eyes…:: PARKER: Allright Tyr...spit it out…… WALTAS: I spent the last 9 months trying to forget about being in command. To turn my mind and heart into a Marine. To lead the charge and be the tip of the spear. And when the moment finally comes that I should get to do that, you leave me sitting in the command chair and go galavanting off on your own. You know [...] well I should have been your FIRST pick, and you didn’t even put me on the team. PARKER: Tyr...I needed someone...someone experienced...who could do what needed to be done in case we were unsuccessful. Kamela and I had done this before, and I thought we have the better chance to pull it off successfully. I knew you could make the right decisions commanding the Thunder… :: This slowed Tyr not one bit..and in fact, only seemed to ratchet up the heat even more….:: WALTAS::Shaking his head:: I KNOW I can command the ship, but that’s not my job anymore, Parker. And it took me a VERY long time to get used to that. But you denied me my chance to prove it. ::Sighing, he took his foot off the Ferengi’s head and kicked it away in frustration:: But since you put me in command, let me speak to you as a Commanding Officer and a Captain who’s served in that capacity a long, long time.. You. Were. Out. Of. Line. :: Hannibal bit his lip, and he could feel the minor annoyance at Tyr’s attitude turning into a full-blown boil. Narrowing his eyes and squaring his shoulders, Hannibal spoke through gritted teeth…:: PARKER: You are way over the line, Colonel, and you know [...] well you are DEAD WRONG about your assumption.Just who in hell do you think you are COLONEL? WALTAS::Voice rising slightly:: No it IS the truth, and I’m [...] sure qualified to tell you that. You were in command. Captain Turner was gone, which means YOU are the commanding officer. And instead of letting your people do their jobs, including ME, you went screaming into hell’s maw with only your pregnant wife and our Security Chief as backup. Did it ever occur to you that the crew needed you ON THE BRIDGE? That they had just LOST a commanding officer and could have lost ANOTHER one? Or were you just interested in rushing in where angels fear to tread, and being the hero one more time? :: Hannibal had just about had enough. Friend or not, Tyr was on the verge of being the recipient of a right cross at point blank range...something which would make him back off..or shut up. Hannibal balled up his fist, and prepared to deliver what Tyr was asking for…:: PARKER: You son of a bic……. ::He knew he’d pushed Parker’s temper to the limit, but he had to get his point across. He stood toe-to-toe with him, refusing to budge, refusing to back up. He was in the right, and Parker had to learn this or his future was in jeopardy, as well as the crew. When he spoke again, his words were measured, his voice returning to an even tone.:: WALTAS: Part of being in command is giving up a part of yourself that you may not be ready to give up. But you have to, for the crew’s sake. You can’t simply risk yourself like you could previously, because if you die or are captured, it’s not just you that suffers. The entire crew does. Possibly all of Starfleet does. Wars have been started because the right people weren’t in command at the right time, Hannibal. And whether you want to hear it or not, whether you believe it or not, on this mission your place was ON THE BRIDGE. *MY* place was on that asteroid. :: In that microsecond, shaking with rage, Hannibal knew what his friend and former starship commander was saying to him...Tyr was right…his duty was to the ship and her crew, not roaring off to do what he had always done...but, the brutal realization was...it was no longer his job. His anger melted. He should have known better...after all, he was the son of two starship commanders. In fact, deep within him, he knew this day would come, and he had no idea how he would handle it, and in his first time out, he bungled it. Hannibal had never failed to complete an order, come back from a mission..but this...this was something else. Hanibal looked away slightly, not wanting Tyr to see the realization in his eyes. He turned away from him, and walked a short distance away, before turning back to look at his bringer of truth..:: PARKER: Tyr...I’ve lived my life being the one...doing whatever it was the Marines, Starfleet, or SFI tasked me to do. The more I did it, the more people knew I could get it done. You were right, Tyr. As much as I hate to admit it. My place was on the bridge. I have to let the people under my command do their jobs, and that includes you. From here on out you long haired penguin [...], you better keep reminding me of my place..::smiling:: Thank you…:: Walking back over to Tyr, Hannibal extended his hand. the two shook at the wrists, as warriors…:: WALTAS: I’ll keep you in line as long as you keep me out of that chair, shellback. ::Scratching his chin:: The more I do it, the more I miss it. PARKER: I’ll do my best to not make that mistake again...and Kamela would appreciate that too, I’m sure…. WALTAS::Non-chalantly:: Yeah, if you still couldn’t get it through your thick head what I was trying to say my next speech would have been the “you’re about to become a father and have an obligation to your family” speech. :: Looking around at the carnage in the holodeck, Hannibal had a twinkle in his eye..:: PARKER: Wanna practice killing some bad guys? I’m sure we’ll be back to that place eventually…. WALTAS: If Starfleet doesn’t destroy it first. We signalled them on the way out. Still, can’t hurt to get in some practice. ::Drawing his katana again:: Computer, reset. ::The bodies disappeared and then reappeared, looking nastier than ever. The two stood back to back, each picking their first target and what method they would use to dispatch them.:: :: Hannibal drew his Bowie knife, and picked out a Klingon..:: WALTAS::Stalking the Nausican:: So what was Kamela upset with you about? PARKER:: Clashing blades with the Klingon, then shoving him backward:: She thought I had slept with T’Lea... WALTAS::The answer shocked him so much he nearly missed his swing at the Nausican. It connected with his shoulder and sent him snarling to the floor in pain:: What?! PARKER: :: Parrying the Klingons’ advance before drawing his blade across his throat:: We got drunk, very drunk the night before their wedding... WALTAS::Jamming the blade into the Nausican’s chest, he turned:: Can’t say I blame her. And the bride-to-be would’ve killed you too. PARKER:: Head-butting another Nausicaan:: Yeah, it could have gotten rather serious… :: Avoiding a wild swing, Hannibal buried his blade in the armpit of his newest attacker..:: WALTAS::Locking blades with the other Klingon, he slid the katana into the gap between the bat’leth blades and wrenched the weapon from his hands:: So….did you? PARKER: What do you think? I was drunk, not stupid….. WALTAS::Grinning, he decked the Klingon, which only seemed to make him more angry:: Just asking. ::He kicked out at the Klingon’s knee as he charged and a grotesque crunch signalled the destruction of the patella. The Klingon fell dead from another jab from the katana. The two spun to face the Ferengi, who squealed and retreated into the darkness in terror.:: :: The retreat of the Ferengi elicited a hearty laugh from Hannibal, and a smile spread across his face..but their revelry was short lived as the comm came alive…:: Turner: =/\= I hate to bother y'all at this time a night, but something of great importance has come up and I need to meet with y'all... say in about an hour in my Embassy office? =/\= :: The two men looked at each other, duty overtaking their enjoyment. Tapping his commbadge, Hannibal replied..:: PARKER: =/\= Parker here. Acknowledged, Captain…=/\= WALTAS: =/\= I’ll be there, Captain. =/\= :: Hannibal knew they were approaching Duronis, but he didn’t realize they were that close. Sheathing his knife, Hannibal looked to his friend..:: PARKER: Thanks again, penguin…. WALTAS::Nodding:: Better you learn from a friend than when your crew falls apart because there’s no one to lead them. PARKER: I’m pretty stubborn, but between you and Kamela y’all will keep me straight… :: No doubt he would need a reminder or two, but Hannibal would accept his role as First Officer, his days of being the tip of the spear over...but he would always be ready… Tyr walked out with him, and spoke.:: WALTAS: Oh, by the way, how do you feel about being best man? :: That caught Hannibal by surprise..:: PARKER: What the frak!.. ::smiling:: You didn’t...did you? WALTAS: I asked Hella to marry me. Crazy girl actually said yes. PARKER: I’ll be [...]ed! You bet I will. Get ready for one hell of a bachelor party, my friend….:: JP by: Colonel Tyr WaltasMarine CODuronis II Embassy / USS Thunder And: Lt. Commander Hannibal Tiberious ParkerFirst OfficerUSS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy
  20. ((Starfleet Morgue, DS26)) ::The hall was appropriately dim. It reeked of bleach and death. A single metal table stood in the center of the hall, illuminated within a cone of white light, surrounded by an audience of cabinets brimming with the dead. A white sheet covered the body. It took forever for him to take three steps towards it.:: The gods know how much he wanted to go back in time, if not to restore the past, to see Raj just one last time. And tell him that not even Time can tear them apart. But all that planning and talking and reuniting was proving to be quite the task for him. Every time he tried to concentrate, to focus on what they were saying, his head would start throbbing and the tics would begin emerging. Following a conversation to its end was now a herculean task. Never mind multiple conversations. At the same time. Exhausted from trying to keep up with everyone’s thoughts, he had sought the solace of the dark and dreary ship’s morgue. There were no annoying, painful conversations in here. Only the lulling hum of the warp coils reverberated through the bulkheads. A hum that had been the soundtrack for 186 years of his life. He limped towards the cold stone slab on which the body of LtCmdr Raj Blueheart lay. He shivered a little from the cold. His boots created echoes throughout the room. ::He was amazingly calm as he drew back the white sheet. Once pale skin now tinged green, stared back at him. How many times had he attempted and failed to count the freckles on that face. The fiery red hair was now dark, wet and oily with disinfectant. The eyelids were stitched close. How dearly he missed those infinite emerald orbs! What he would do to lose himself in them again. The palest of lips were sewn together, the sutures making little X’s across the mouth forever sealed shut. What secrets hid within?:: Lieutenant Commander Raj Blueheart’s corpse lay on a cold metal slab in the infirmary’s morgue. The doctor had led him into the morgue and hesitated just a moment before drawing the sheet covering the lifeless body. As the doctor stepped back, Emerson’s face was still a blank slate, a mask. Only after a full minute did he take a step forward and lean over the slab to peer into dead, opalescent eyes, wide open from rigor mortis. Drawing the sheet further down, he saw a large gaping hole where once the biggest heart in the entire universe had been. He stared into the black abysmal hole, perhaps to look back in time, perhaps to look for remnants of a lingering soul. He moved towards the head, staring once again into those lifeless eyes. ::Withdrawing a small, folded piece of paper from the breast pocket of his uniform jacket, he stared at it for several seconds, rubbing his thumb across the surface in circles, before gingerly inserting it into a pocket on Emerson’s uniform. Just over his still heart. Resting his palm there, he looked adoringly at the lifeless man, peering into eyes permanently shut. A soft breath of air escaped his lips. It might as well be his soul departing. He leaned in and kissed the cold, bloodless lips, the catgut X’s [...]ing his own.:: He bent over. His torn lips met those of the dead. Kissing them softly, he only tasted death and formaldehyde. ::Raj knelt beside the table and took Emerson’s cold and rigid right hand into both of his. Squeezing it gently, he silently invoked Athena’s blessing for a soul’s safe passage to the stars and beyond. He closed his eyes not to focus his thoughts and prayers, but because he was ashamed that he never really believed in gods and demons and the life eternal. Death is finite. Death is final. Death is the end.:: Like he cat, he sprung onto the chest-high slab, staring into opaque corneas, slowly reclining beside the frozen body. He ignored the biting cold gnawing into his flesh as he turned towards the body and draped his arm across it, nuzzling his head into the crook of its neck. The late First Officer’s skin was a powdery film of ice crystals, turning to waxy sludge as he ran his hand across the ripped-open chest to cradle the head. He hugged the corpse, the merciless cold boring its way into his own core and his blood began to flow languidly. For the first time in his life, Emerson wished he could cry. He wished he could know what it feels like to have a river of tears wet his cheeks. But shredded tear ducts and multiple repeat brain surgeries denied him this modest request. Rocking gently as if to soothe a colicky infant, he but whispered into dead ears. ::A lonely tear emerged from hiding to roll down his face. It would prove to be the last tear Raj Blueheart would ever shed.:: TBC ================================ Captain Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
  21. ((Erscyne Station, Eridani Erscyne System, Afehirr Sector)) ::A softness encompassed her much like a light, fluffy cloud might in a child's imagination. The fabric brushed across her skin as she moved slightly, encouraging her to pull it closer. Still hanging on the edge of unconsciousness, Kali wasn't thinking of much aside from the warmth the blanket gave her. It felt foreign and different against her bare skin, like something one had only read about, but had not actually experienced. And in that realization, she didn't quite want to let it go.:: ::But then the vision of the stars popped into her mind. Immediately her crystalline blue eyes flew open only to be forced closed. Sadly, they weren't met with the dim but beautiful light of a million stars, but the bright artificial light of some kind of craft.:: ::Again, her mind reeled.:: ::Everything felt so out of control. Where she was from one minute to the next, and what she remembered from one point to another all seemed fleeting. It seemed as if she wasn't there to make her own decisions, but someone else would for her. But that didn't seem right either. No, she had to be in control of her own destiny.:: ::A slight frown formed on her face as she felt the air nearby stir. Someone else had entered the room. Forcing her eyes open again, she struggled against the light to make sense of any of it.:: Voice: Be easy, Captain. You are safe. ::The melodic tones of the voice were far different from the one quickly fading from her memories, yet it also seemed familiar. Thinking hard, she finally came up with something. Azeykan. Like a history book, information about the race, including their musical voices popped in her head. Trying to force herself up onto her elbows, Kali also tried to speak. Unlike her caretaker, however, her voice reflected the fact that she was quite thirsty, having never actually had anything to drink.:: Nicholotti: Wa...ter? ::That was all she could get out through a mouth that suddenly felt like sandpaper. Slowly, her eyes were adjusting and things around her became somewhat less blurry as another body approached with a vessel full of liquid. Kali didn't even notice that it wasn't clear.:: Voice: Drink this, it will help regenerate you. ::It didn't take much to get her drinking. The liquid was slightly sweet with a hint of something almost minty and Kali readily drank from the strangely shaped glass. By the time she was done, someone had adjusted the platform she was laying on so that she could sit with support and still remain covered in the super soft blanket. Thankfully, she handed the now empty glass back to the one who had given it to her before speaking.:: Nicholotti: Thank you. ::The one who had spoken only nodded, her long, slim fingers now folding into those on her other hand. For the first time, Kali could see the reddish brown hue of her skin beneath the white cloak she wore.:: Voice: The Prime Captain will be here shortly to speak with you. ::And with a bow, they were gone. Again, Kali found herself left alone in an empty room.:: TBC -- Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti As simmed by Lt Commander Cayden Adyr Intelligence Officer/Command Advisor USS Apollo A
  22. ((Flashback - USS Knightsbridge; 22 years ago)) ::Nate was only fifteen when his father was assigned to the Knightsbridge as second officer. It was a great assignment, as is the ship was one of the few Galaxy class ships in service. His father had earned the position and as such, Nate was able to get his first real feeling of deep space travel. He would apply for the academy the following year, but for now, he was a free agent, getting his feel of whether he liked deep space travel or not.:: ::Nate was in the bowling alley, when he encountered his first Betazoid. She was a young ensign, about ten years older than he. As with most Betazoid women, she was incredibly attractive, with brown hair, and deep black eyes, that could drink on ones soul in a glance. She was in her off hours and been practicing in his neighboring lane. Occasionally she would give him a glance, or if he would happen to manage a gutter ball, might he get a s[...] out of her.:: ::Nate was incredibly tall for his age, though he looked like a young man, his lanky mid-teenage frame betrayed his attempts to be adult and suave. He believed he could flirt with the best of them, and it never seemed to occur to him that adult women might be interested in men their own age.:: ::After he had watched the cute young woman complete her frame, he took a moment and approached her.:: ::Nate walked with a swagger that did not match his callow appearance. When he attempted to be charming and experienced he almost always came off as goofy and comical.:: Wilmer: You know, if you keep your elbow locked and aligned with your hips, you'll get better aim when you let the ball go. ::The empathic woman did everything she could to not laugh out loud. Her senses had alerted her that a hormone rabid teenager had been interested in her, long before he had decided to make a fool out of himself.:: Ensign Petra: Is that so? ::She answered in a sweet, but bemused tone.:: :;What Nate could not realize was that Ensign Dani Petra was a full Betazoid who had been born with her empathic powers completely switched on. Unlike others who could not deal with the flood of constant thoughts and emotions, Petra had received help early and could emotionally cope with the invasive thoughts and feelings of others.:: :The fact that this forced her to deal with the sometimes pornographic thoughts of teenage boys proved to be no less amusing to her. She intended to cut him off of course, but she was polite enough to let him finish his pitch.:: ::Nate was rattling on about how he could 'help her perfect her technique' when something in her mind began to bother her. There was something in the young man's mind that was blocking her, and that was an unusual sensation. It intrigued her, and frightened her all at the same time.:: Wilmer: ...and so if you grip it like this, it works better. ::Petra wasn't listening to his voice now, she was listening to the brick wall, buried underneath his hormones.:: ::She stopped and looked at him, uncertain now if he was trying to deceive her, to use flirtation as pretense for something darker, or more sinister.:: Petra: What? I mean... what are you...? ::Nate stopped talking and looked at her, feeling a strange kind of pain in his forehead. He'd felt it around other telepathic species and it made him feel funny, as if his mind were being ripped at from beneath its surface.:: Wilmer: What...are you...doing? ::The stabbing sensation became irritating now, and it was beginning to anger him. Petra, to her sweet credit, felt too polite to dig deeper into his mind. But like a scab a child might pick at, the deception of subconscious buried thought was intriguing and begged to be read like an open book.:: ::Petra took a peek into the buried blocked thought and was not rewarded for the effort.:: ::Her mind was filled with the echoed screams of children, disconnected imagery, the olfactory memory of the smell of fire and smoke, and a second presence. A strong and disciplined mind had left its imprint here. Telepathic powers had touched his mind before, changed it...tampered with it. And there was a name...a very strong name...a hidden name.:: ::And the name was Alex.:: ::Petra's telepathic snooping left a telepathic tickling sensation in Nate's mind and though he did not know what he was feeling exactly, he knew he didn't like it.:: ::He panicked and fell backward over the lane divider.:: Wilmer: Stop it! ::His disturbance made such a scene that everyone who was playing in the alley stopped and looked at him. And the telepathic intrusion startled Petra as well, who suddenly took a step back from his outburst.:: ::Nate did not wait for explanations, or apologies, or even a hand up. Scrambling to his feet, he bolted head first for the door. He never wanted to see this woman again. He hated telepaths, mental intruders. He'd dealt with them before, always poking into his mind. How dare aliens read his mind? What gave them the right?:: ::The darkness shut his mind down again, buried it beneath the wall. Erased the incident, erased the anger at the poking sensation. The memory was hidden with the dark thing underneath. He wouldn't talk about this again. He never wanted to run into a telepath again.:: ::[...]ed telepaths. How dare they? The darkness echoed inward, until it smothered itself and replaced the anger with fun, false memories.:: ::He'd embarrassed himself in front a girl he liked?:: ::No he didn't, the darkness said. The girl had laughed at all his jokes.:: ::Someone had tried to read his mind?:: ::No they hadn't. He got a strike in his score.:: ::He'd scared the Betazoid woman?:: ::No he hadn't. The darkness said she'd thought he was cute.:: ::By the time he'd gotten back to his quarters, he couldn't remember anything other than the fantastic day he'd had with his awesome new friends.:: ::[...]ed telepaths.:: TBC ____________________ Ensign Nathaniel Wilmer HCO USS Apollo-A
  23. ((Outside Chief Science Officer’s Office)) ::”Find Lieutenant DeVeau.” Sounded simple enough.:: ::And yet, as Roshanara looked ahead down the corridor that resembled now more a hedge maze, she wondered if she should have had some of the other shuttle crew come along.:: ::Holding a flashlight in one hand and a tricorder in the other, the Kriosian engineer crept closer to Alora’s office. The sensors on the device were of a little help, just showing an ill-defined biomass.:: ::The doors to Alora’s office abruptly opened as she approached, startling her a bit in the dark. Peering in, she found the humble abode just as deserted as the rest of the science facilities.:: ::As she waved the light slowly across the room, she caught sight of a few tiny tendrils reaching out from a petri dish on the small desk in the center of the room. She stepped closer and the green finger-like projections arched towards the light.:: ::Creepy.:: DeVeau: Nara... ::The single name swept out of the void, but there was no face to accompany it. Only the shadows of the mass of flora that surrounded the Kriosian, that thrust the office into the depths of darkness that filled the little room. A sigh, soft, disembodied, followed upon its heels, then faded.:: :he spun around, trying to find the source of the singsong voice.:: Rahman: Alora? Are you all right? :he glanced down at her tricorder, but only indeterminate readings returned.:: DeVeau: I’m fine. ::The sound had switched directions, coming from above Roshanara rather than in front. From those depths, a pale oval slowly slipped into view - her face, just her face, tiny, then tendrils clinging to her cheeks and forehead. She smiled, then her visage faded gloom.:: ::Roshanara turned her gaze upward, gasping at the sight of her friend.:: Rahman: Oh my God, Alora… we need to get you some help. I’ll call for Dr. Skyfire or Del… ::Her answer was in the form of a sudden whiplash of vines that whirled about her form and pinned her arms to her sides, causing her to drop the tricorder and flashlight. As she struggled to get free, Alora appeared again, more of those vines clinging to the science officer, lowering her slowly to the floor, then releasing her - save for those same, slender tendrils that trickled over her face and body, like tattoos etched upon her skin and clothing.:: Rahman: :till straining against the vice-like grip of the vines:: Alora, we have to help contain this… infestation. It’s taking over the ship… hurting people… DeVeau: Is it? ::Alora seemed to glide over to Roshanara and drew close. She leaned forward, her face stopping a breath away from the other woman’s. Her lips parted, tongue darting out to trace a path over them, then she pulled away to encircle the captive.:: DeVeau: What do you propose we do, hmm? ::The vines holding Roshanara tightened, as if to punctuate Alora’s question. The engineer winced as she looked back at her friend, but despite those brilliant green eyes she’d remembered since they first served together aboard the Mercury, she could tell this was not the same young woman she’d helped mentor and reassure during her early days as an ensign.:: Rahman: Alora, please… you’re hurting me… DeVeau: Am I? :he tittered and twirled about as she returned to Roshanara’s view.:: DeVeau: Dear, sweet Nara. :he shifted in closer and laughed, spittle spraying across her cheek.:: Rahman: ::turning her head slightly:: Do you understand what’s going on here? These plants… they’ve done something to you. :he felt another squeeze of the vines and winced again.:: DeVeau: To me? ::A smirk stretched over her lips, those verdant eyes glinting in the dimness afforded by the torch.:: DeVeau: Oh my dear, sweet child. You have _no_ idea. :he cackled, then flicked her fingers. For a moment, the vines loosened their grip just ever so slightly. Roshanara took in a deep breath of relief, coughing as she did so.:: Rahman: What do you -- *they* want? ::Were the plants somehow communicating with Alora? Through her? She needed to keep her talking regardless if she were to have any chance of calling for help.:: DeVeau: What do we want? First...I think we should take a little walk, don’t you? ::Not as if Roshanara had much choice. She twisted in futility as the vines wrapped her up once more and brought her close to Alora.:: Rahman: Alora… please… people are dying out there. ::Alora whirled around, hand curling around the Kriosian’s neck, her fingers digging into the flesh as she pressed her face close to Roshanara’s. Her lips hovered just above the other woman’s, her breath warm as she sighed. A single finger stroked the flesh of her neck, then she released Nara, nails trailing lightly over her skin.:: DeVeau: Come, my dear. I’ve been remiss - I’ve shown my favour to so many, but not to you. That, however, is about to change. I have a gift for you. ::The engineer tried to turn her face away, but the vines just brought her in closer.:: Rahman: ::furrowing her brow:: What are you talking about? This isn’t some game- ::But the science officer’s only answer was a heavy, full laugh, as a piece of fruit hanging off of one of the vines -- a mango, it looked like -- was shoved into Nara’s mouth, silencing her screams.:: DeVeau: Shhhhhh. ::Alora flashed her friend a sinister smile before flicking her fingers as she moved out of the office. The vines confining Roshanara began to follow and soon the two were swept into the shadows.:: --- Lieutenant Alora DeVeau Chief Science Officer, USS Garuda & Dr. Roshanara Rahman Project Manager, Starfleet Soon-to-be-Corpse of an Engineer
  24. (( Deck 4, Crew Quarters )) :: Andrew hadn’t had much of an opportunity to add personal effects to his quarters, so when he stepped out into the corridor with the intent of eating breakfast in Ten Forward, he had no warning to prepare him for what greeted him. :: :: The ceiling of the corridor was overgrown - completely - by a series of what looked to Terran vegetable plants. Tomatoes, specifically. His mother had been a gardener, once upon a time, and there was no mistaking the plants for what they were. Although the overripe, too-green fruits littering the floor didn't much resemble the tomatoes he was familiar with. :: :: Except, these weren't like any tomato plant his mother had grown. For one thing, they were massive. For another, they were growing over the ceiling with so much speed that the reporter could actually see it. It was like watching clouds drift across the sky on a windy day. Except weirder. Actually, a lot weirder. Things like this were the reason he had never even considered a career in Starfleet. :: :: Further down, many of the plants were wide enough to fill the entire corridor and long enough to touch the floor. But, the part that really bothered him, was that they were moving. :: :: Near-panicked officers in less-than pristine uniforms were rushing through the corridor in an attempt to see to their jobs. He saw several armed security and operations officers trying to work their way through the corridors, edging away from the largest plants wherever they could. Except, as that group rounded the corner, another lone ensign, trying to edge around one of the plants, inadvertently bumped into another of them. It apparently didn’t like that. As the young gold-collared Bolian realized her mistake, the plant slammed into her with considerable force, eliciting a scream of terror from the woman. She turned to run only to have her ankles pulled out from under her. :: DAVENPORT: Okay… :: At the sound of his voice, the ensign's eyes found him, and the desperate plea was clear even before she voiced it. :: PREN: Help me! :: She was being pulled towards an open ceiling panel by the time Andrew got to her. He’d intended to pull her free, but when he grabbed the ensign’s outstretched hands and lowered his center of gravity to get a little more leverage, he realized how ill-conceived that plan had been. Two seconds later his own feet were off the ground while the plant snared him as well. He almost screamed, but the Bolian took care of that for him. Instead, he closed his eyes and braced himself for what he was sure was going to be an unpleasant ride. :: :: The missing panel was just large enough for his shoulders to squeeze through. The monstrous tomato plant somehow lifted them into a dark, narrow tunnel, and even more limb-like vines dragged them deeper and deeper down some kind of narrow shaft. When it dropped them, the majority of its body had slumped back down into the corridor, blocking out the light and any any chance of escape, at least through the same hole they’d been pulled in. Plunged into darkness and surrounded by the damp, sharp scent of the plant, Andrew fully expected something worse to happen. But when that something never came, he allowed himself to relax. At least as much as he could. :: :: He took several slow breaths while tentatively reaching around him to feel the walls of their makeshift prison. There was no light, but the smooth metallic walls made him think they were in some kind of ventilation shaft. The woman he’d tried to save was hyperventilating, her rapid breaths echoing loudly through the narrow shaft. :: DAVENPORT: Hey! Settle down. Panicking isn't going to help. PREN: I...I’m sorry. :: Andrew scoffed. :: DAVENPORT: For dragging me up here? That’s all right. By the look of that corridor, we might be better off. I’m just trying to figure out why it took us up here. We’ll skip the how for now, because I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that one. :: She reached for his arm as she began to breathe more deeply, gulping down slower breaths. :: PREN: I… I think we’re in the ship’s ventilation system. DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think so too. :: He was still feeling along the floor, looking for anything he might be able to use to find his bearings. Instead, his fingers found a complex weave of small, interwoven vines. He couldn’t see in the dark, but they reminded him of the morning glory he’d used to pull out of his mother’s garden. What was something like that doing up here. :: :: More disconcerting, the tiny vines reacted to his touch, curling around his fingers, gripping tightly. Andrew was able to pull his hand free, but with more effort than he’d care to admit. Some of the vines snapped and popped rather than release him. An artificial plastic scent struck his nose as some kind of moisture splashed over his wrist. :: PREN: There are more plants in here. DAVENPORT: I noticed. What’s going on? PREN: I don’t know. Someone called me up to ops, except the turbolifts were all shut down, so it took me a long time to get up here - my quarters are all the way down on deck 19. These plants are everywhere. And. I… I think they’re eating people. :: Andrew laughed. :: DAVENPORT: Last I checked, plants didn't have teeth. :: That didn't seem to help. :: PREN: I… saw one that did. :: That shut him up. Okay. Massive mobile plants with strength to match and an apparent hunger for humanoid flesh. It was starting to get just a little more terrifying than it was absurd. :: DAVENPORT: Do you know how to get out of here. :: There was a pause, then the sound of a commbadge.:: PREN: =/\= Ensign Pren to transporter room 1. Can you beam me and one civilian out of here. =/\= OPERATOR: =/\= Sorry, Ensign. We just lost power to the entire system. Do you need help? I can send security, though they're hands are pretty full at the moment. =/\= PREN: =/\= Um… no. I think we can get out. Pren out. =/\= DAVENPORT: So… PREN: I've been up here before. During the Garuda’s last refit we had to replace a lot of these shafts to make room for other systems. I think I can get us to another access panel. Except… :: She trailed off, prompting Davenport to prod. :: DAVENPORT: Except what? PREN: Except there’s probably a reason that plant brought us up here. Crawling around up here might make things worse. DAVENPORT: Worse than sitting up here in the dark and hoping someone comes along to save us? PREN: When you put it like that… :: Andrew gave her the time she needed to collect herself. :: PREN: If we’re where I think we are, the nearest panel will be about 70 meters this way, but we’ll need to drop down to get there. :: She started down the corridor, where the thinner vines were growing more prominent. Andrew followed here, desperately trying to ignore the growing sense of unease that came when he realized he could no longer feel the metal of the ventilation shaft underneath. After Pren’s comment about plants with teeth, he couldn't shake the sense that he was crawling right into some great beast’s stomach. :: PREN: Here’s the drop. :: She said after a few moments of the slow crawl. :: PREN: It should only be about two meters. I’ll go first. If… you don’t hear anything from me, something went wrong. :: Andrew wanted to say something. Volunteer to go first, maybe. But self preservation was a powerful instinct, and one he wasn’t ready to shake just yet. :: :: He heard her drop more than he felt it. It was a soft sliding noise followed by a considerable bang that drowned out any sound of the Bolian’s impact below. After a few seconds she called up to him. :: PREN: It’s not so bad. More plants down here. They help break the fall. :: That was encouraging, Andrew thought as he reached the edge. His eyes strained to see below, but there was still no light. :: DAVENPORT: I’m coming down then. :: A moment later, his feet were slamming hard against the bottom of the shaft. It really wasn't that bad, and the anxiety he’d been feeling was slowly starting to abate. :: PREN: Just a few more meters this way. :: He followed her, encouraged by a sliver of light in the distance. He could see Pren’s slender frame as she crawled along the shaft. And the thickening weave of vines still lining every surface for as far as the limited light would allow him to see. :: :: The sliver of light, it turned out, was the panel they’d been trying to reach. The vines, growing in knotted coils, had somehow forced the side panel open a few centimeters. :: DAVENPORT: Can you get it open? PREN: I think so… :: It took some effort, but the panel eventually gave way to her efforts. She gasped a moment later when she saw what it opened up to. Andrew peered over her shoulder. :: :: The thin vines were growing from an absolutely enormous mass in the center of what appeared to have once been some kind of biology lab. The plant, which vaguely resembled an enormous pitcher plant, now filled the room, while hundreds of vines of various sizes shooting out from it in all directions. Some of them appeared to even be linked into the ship’s power grid. :: DAVENPORT: Maybe we should try another-- :: Andrew had just enough time to start his thought before the vines surrounding them folded into a net-like lattice that plucked them from the ventilation shaft and down into the lab. More vines began wrapping around them, slowly cocooning, like a spider wrapping a fly in silk. That was the last thing Andrew was aware of for quite some time. :: (( OOC - If anyone needs something to do, feel free to get involved! ))=== Andrew Davenport Press Observer USS Garuda simmed by Lieutenant Evan Delano
  25. ((DS26, Docking Port from Atlantis)) ::Felix M'Rrow, the diminutive Caitian special investigator, scrambled down the gangway away from Atlantis like a cat from a hot tin roof.:: M'RROW: Get me off this ship! I have never, in all my years as a Starfleet investigator, been so humiliated, so inconvenienced, so utterly outraged by the atrocious behavior of-- of-- ::He realized no one was around to hear him, and stopped talking.:: ::He'd been brought aboard specifically to assist Lt. Commander West in uncovering the whereabouts of Atlantis' missing weaponry. On the way into the Norlian Nebula, a known landscape of treacherous danger.:: M'RROW: I TOLD them it was a mistake. ::Then, West had the gall to unexpectedly depart Atlantis before it arrived in the nebula. M'Rrow, meanwhile, stayed aboard, assuming he had a duty to fulfill.:: M'RROW: The nerve of them. ::To add insult to injury, they didn't even need him to begin with. They'd already solved the mystery. The weapons were stolen and tampered with by West's doppelganger from the mirror universe. They had camera footage, for heaven's sake. Why did they need an investigator?:: M'RROW: I will write a scathing report. Scathing! ::Useless and unnecessary in West's sudden absence, M'Rrow had sat in his quarters, watching the nebula out his window, not sure when the Romulans were going to torpedo him. Eventually, he had a long conversation with some kind of temporal ghost, a nice young man from Schenectady who was out on his first tour of duty, and seemed to think the year was 2299. It was all very confusing, and M'Rrow assumed it had been a dream.:: ::Anyway, the young man appeared to be transported away just before Atlantis flew out of the nebula.:: ::M'Rrow could also swear he had been sucked through a vortex and was treated to a sumptuous dinner by angular aliens in the distant past. Or the future? It was unclear. The indigestion he suffered later was his only clue that the experience was real.:: M'RROW: I will write, perhaps, a concise report. No need to include every detail.:: ::Some detective he turned out to be. At least the mystery about Atlantis' weapons was solved. That's all his superiors would ultimately care about.:: ::Felix M'Rrow cut a quick path away from the Atlantis, darting in and out of the crowd. He might hide away for a while, before going out again on the prowl. Either way, he would always land on his two feet.:: MSNPC Felix M'Rrow Forensic Investigator simmed by Lt. Rendal Rennyn HCO & Flight Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
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