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  1. ((Par’tha Expanse, Beta Quadrant, USS Darwin, Deck 8, Personnel Quarters)) ::Taking a last look round his shared quarters after making sure that all his belongings were packed such as they were, with replicator technology the only things that were carried were items that had a personnel significance everything else could be replicated when you arrives at your destination. Thinking of his meeting with Lieutenant Pond when she was moving quarters and her multitude if items that had miraculously been packed into the bags that she carried, made him look at the two that he had, not packed tight and not massive. One sea bag with the more important items in and one Corp duffel type bag, with everything packed Kurt did the one thing his father would despair at but his mother insisted on, the art of saying goodbye:: ::To his father machinery was machinery smaller bits were put together to make bigger pieces all inanimate and in no way effected by the words or actions made by the crew to elicit continued working or performance above the parameters set by said machinery. His mother was on the other side of the coin it didn’t hurt to be polite even to inanimate objects especially when they kept you alive as did virtually everything on a ship did virtually every day. Then there were the stories that virtually every crew had about their ships where it exceeded its design limits set by those inanimate objects that made everything up, if two examples were needed then the USS Gorkon and its year long run in a hostile dimension and the very ship he was on now the USS Darwin. She had taken more punishment than she designed for and fought as hard against a battleship as any other battleship would have, way beyond her design limits. So regardless of your feelings to the odd golf ball on a stick shape that while perfect for her designated role wouldn’t win any beauty contests she had won a warm place in most of the crew aboard:: Logan oO Well those that chose to look properly at her anyway Oo ::A hand rested on the bunk he had ironically occupied twice, once when first assigned aboard then again after his demotion and then a tap to the bulk head on his way out to the corridor, hearing the door close Kurt settled his sea bag on his shoulder and with duffel in hand headed to the Turbolift:: ((Deck 7 docking port)) ::Due to the number of crew changes and organisational changes brought on by the enlargement of the Andaris taskforce all four of the ships were docked with Deep Space 26, allowing for easier personnel and cargo movement. Kurt could have used the transporter to quickly change to the Atlantis but time wasn’t pressing so it allowed time for a small Corp ritual that Kurt liked to do, there were enough in the Corp gathered from all the races that made up the Federation. Some unique to a singular race some a hark back to the origins of the unit, this was one of those an old custom’s that had somehow kept going due mostly to that belief that kind words and belief could lift you and yours beyond what was possible. That included what sat in his hip flask that sat in a pocket attached to a sash that was tied round his waist seeing as Duty uniforms didn’t come supplied with a pocket for hip flasks as standard, something to do with drinking on duty. Sitting inside the flask was a drink known as Grog and although it sounded much like something a Klingon would find appetising it was a drink that had begun with the Marines on earth sometime around 1740 so the history said. Made up of the sailor allowance of Rum mixed with water, lemon juice and cinnamon, designed so their allowance couldn’t be hoarded over days allowing for a drinking session to take place. After a time the recipe developed a following of its own as the drink for the Marines to have, times had changed as had the development of different alcohols and replicators so storage wouldn’t be an issue any more, still tradition is tradition sometime for good sometime to stagnate, this one was a good one:: ::Standing before the open docking port door a Security officer talking with another in gold noting down the comings and goings, usually even on a friendly base this door would be closed for security reason the fact that it was open and manned meant they knew that it had been requested for use. Turning his back to the door Kurt placed his bags in the floor and lifted his hip flask in hand taking a look around he unscrewed it’s top:: Logan: To you and those that walked along side, and to those that stay. Thank you for bringing us home. ::Taking a swing of Grog Kurt snapped a salute to ship, he could hear the silence from behind him no doubt they hadn’t seen of someone doing a salute before leaving a ship. Replacing the flask he re shouldered his bags and turned to the silent faces staring at him Kurt focused on the Security Officer:: Logan: Ensign Logan leaving the Darwin for the Atlantis ::Accepting the silent nod from the officer Kurt stepped of the ship and down the docking corridor, with a final turn and nod toward the ship he headed off to the Docking port that held the USS Atlantis. ((USS Atlantis Deck 8, Docking Port)) ::In a déjà vu image Kurt walked up to the Atlantis who’s door was also open with an officer talking with a, this time, a woman in gold talking about no doubt additions and subtractions from the ship. His nod to the ship caught the attention of both officers who looked over their shoulders to find the individual that was the recipient of the nod, finding no one the creased brown of confusion greeted him as he stopped next to them:: Logan: Ensign Logan transferring from the Darwin to the Atlantis ::Showing his transfer orders his name was marked against and he was given the permission to come aboard, walking past leaving them to continue with their conversation Kurt stopped several paces into the ship and paced his bags down and lifted his hip flask again its embossed emblem glinting in the light:: Logan: To you and those that will walk along side, and to those that no longer can. We ask you bring us home. ::The Swig of Grog and snapped salute was again accompanied by silence from behind him, the chuckle that bubbled within from the image of the two behind him looking at each other Kurt held in it wouldn’t look good to, however good natured it was laugh at two crew members he didn’t know. In terms of transfers this one had had a lengthy window of time meaning his authorizations had already been granted and his quarters were already assigned and they were in another round of déjà vu shared quarters. It was the usual arrangement of two, two person bunk rooms shared a small lounge and a bathroom which in terms of size and shape mirrored the one he had occupied on the Darwin:: ((Deck 7, Crew Quarters)) ::A shared room didn’t give a lot of space for personal effects, in fact the small shelf above the bunk consisted of that space unless agreement was made with either your bunk mate and or the other two in regards of lounge area. Kurt had few personnel effects that he put on show, his Marine Sabre he fixed to the bulkhead he had been allowed to keep it despite the manner of his movement so it took its rightful place next to him. The only other item was one of his old dancing shoes, his left one the other shoe was at home on the mantel piece placed there by his mother so he would always know where to come home to, dust free and polished as much as old leather could be it was the only other piece to be displayed:: ::Of the rest only his Corp uniform remained in his sea bad, along with his growing weapon collection the duffel held his rosewood boxes containing his awards. He hadn’t opened them since he had received them, yes the boxes were dusted and kept shiny but the contents hadn’t been touched:: Logan oO No doubt that will come up sometime with Sindrana when I next have to have a conversation, although with her on a different ship that may thank fully take some time Oo ::Storing his bags in the under bunk space Kurt eyes drifted to the one different box in his duffel, a dull silver glasses case he wanted to put it straight back into the bag but his hands instead slowly opened it. As the top slowly hinged upwards Kurt willed the box to be empty to find nothing but a pair of dark glasses even though he knew it would be, he knew what he would find.. a dog tag. It laid there its chain underneath it the light shining from its surface highlighting the indented letters on its surface:: ::The dark corridor spotted with weapon hits to the bulkheads flickered in to and out of view as the lights spluttered with life, burnt wiring and insulation hung heavy in the air mixed with clinging smell of death. No matter how fast he ran it wouldn’t leave him it only became stronger the father he went, but he couldn’t stop he had to go faster always faster, faces appeared in from of him and just as quickly vanished. Lines of fire from energy weapons left lingering traces in his eyes as he moved orange lines joining the green criss-crossing the corridors in front of him:: Logan: …..no…… ::He had made a promise he couldn’t, no wouldn’t fail not for him but there was so many of them everywhere he turned raising stings of pain from him but he refused to fall to stop. There it was the barricade or what was left of it, yes he had reached it he’d made it now together they could.. a Phaser rifle lay on the ground a Phaser ll lay to its right, there were other weapons even if they were spent there had to be:: ::He saw the feet first then legs slowly he let his eyes climb, hands held weapons still ready to fight scorch marks on the uniform led upwards till Kurt looked him straight in the eyes..:: Logan: …NO… ::The throbbing in his left hand cut through the stings from elsewhere, different sharper looking down he saw his clenched fist but he had been holding something hadn’t he…yes..YES he had been before the corridor, something in his hand. Forcing his hand to open his breath coming shallow and sharp, at first it refused to obey the stings becoming stronger but slowly it obeyed him, slowly it opened revealing what was inside. Focusing hard the Dog Tag came into view shinning in the darkness no not darkness it was light, light and clean and safe, safe. Darkness evaporated round him revealing the bunk room on the Atlantis his left hand aching where the edges of the Tag had dug into his hand, dampness clung to him a run of sweat traced his spine as he stood there. Placing the Tag back in the case a shaking hand placed it back into the duffel his voice cracking:: Logan: It’s been a long day my friend, I’ll see you soon at the end of it ::Securing the last of his belongings the bathroom became a sanctuary, the sonic shower a comfortable cloak bringing the world back into focus. Stepping back out into the bunk room the mirror checked his dress, clean sharp standing tall, room squared away officer squared away, locking the door as he exited Kurt headed down the corridor to his next port of call on his new ship:: Ensign Kurt Logan – Security/Tactical Officer USS Atlantis, NCC-74682 Andaris Task Force E239203KL0
  2. ((First Officer’s Quarters, Deck 2 -- USS Za))::Trellis sat at the desk in his quarters, subspace communicator at the ready. He was excited to have his weekly conversation with Zaina. He had a lot to talk to her about. This last mission had been quite emotionally, physically and psychologically draining. He needed the Risian’s good spirits and happy face to help cheer him up. A good glass of wine or three wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. For the moment, though, he’d willingly accept Zaina’s beaming face. He was sure she had a lot to talk to him about, too. ::He hit the call button and waiting patiently for the relays to connect. While waiting he looked over at the chess set on the table in the corner. It was his move in his correspondence game and he was analyzing his options. Another board was on another section of the table. That was for his regular games with Kaitlyn and other members of the crew. Finally, after what seemed like minutes, he saw the blonde hair of his long-distance girlfriend appear. He grinned when he saw her.:: Vondaryan: Hello! Am I glad to see you! Zaina: Trellis! ::She beamed:: It’s so good to see you! ::It really was. The Academy had been everything she had hoped, and at the same time so much more than she had expected. It was certainly exhausting, and with her term finally complete she was enjoying some down time at her brothers beach house, sitting on the deck and enjoying the warm sun of Little Risa while Antero and the rest of the stations senior staff were off saving the universe. Or whatever it was they were up to, it was slightly above the cadets clearance level. Thankfully the massive Pina Colada next to her was working wonders to help her not worry about it. Now she had something even better though, losing herself in those dreamy blue eyes. She only wished she could wrap herself up in his arms and take in his scent.:: ::He sniffed the tea he held up to his nose as she spoke. It was aromatic, with a hint of orange spice and moba fruit. It was an intriguing mix which he had to admit he rather liked.:: Vondaryan: How was your first full term at the Academy? Have you got your finals results back yet? Zaina: Yeah! I did alright. The basic engineering classes were a lot of fun, but some of the other core classes like TAC110 didn’t go all that well…::She deflated a bit, averting her gaze:: Thankfully the phasers all default to stun, so the instructor ended up being fine... Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: That wasn’t exactly what I expected to hear, actually. But good to hear nonetheless. Zaina: Oh ::She slumped her cheek into her hand.:: and History of the Federation? Ugh, way too many Stardates to remember. Vondaryan: I was being serious about getting the answer keys for you. ::he tapped a few buttons on the display:: It wouldn’t be much of a problem and you would have lots of extra time for other activities. Zaina: ::She giggled:: Great idea until I get caught. Only one of us is smooth enough to be a master spy. ::She stuck out her tongue with a little smirk.:: Besides, I’ve managed to get by so far. I even joined a casual volleyball league. Vondaryan: ::he raised his eyebrows:: You have been busy. I hadn’t realized. Zaina: Yeah, but I like it. It’s better than being stuck working at the family resort my whole life. People here see as more than just a person to give their drink order. ::She gave him a happy smile.:: It’s nice. Vondaryan: How’d your brother take the news? ::Trellis had fond memories of Antero Flynn. They both had a love of fun and drinking, among other things. It was amazing how similar Vissians and Risians were. Probably why he really liked Flynn’s sister.:: Zaina: Antero didn’t really take the news well, but he came around. Once he accepted it he showed me a lot of support. ::Shrug:: Plus I guess he realized I would be getting a lot of the same outcast treatment that he got for joining. Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: I’m sure you get much better treatment. ::he smirked:: After all, you’re WAAY cuter than he is. Zaina: Your sweet. ::A gentle smile.:: But i’m sure we have MUCH more interesting things to talk about. By which I mean you. ::A playful smirk:: How are your adventures in deep space? Been staying out of trouble I hope. ::He frowned. While technically true that he hadn’t been in trouble -- thankfully he’d remained parasite free throughout -- the last mission had been tough nonetheless. He didn’t especially want to talk about it at the moment so took a sip of his tea instead.:: Vondaryan: I don’t get in trouble… But it has a habit of following me around. ::he snorted:: Just another day in the life of a Starfleet officer, really. Zaina: Sounds like that’s something I’ll have to get used to when I graduate. ::She sat up as she took a sip from her iced beverage..::What’s it like being a first officer? Are your quarters nice? Vondaryan: ::he tilted his head:: Oddly, quite similar to being an intelligence officer. Lots of paperwork, sifting through reports and gathering the right information for the right situation. ::he chuckled:: Though this time I get to be more open about it. ::he smiled:: My quarters are about the same size as back on Ops. Lots of chess sets around and even a small workspace for my engineering projects. Zaina: I bet your bed is huge. ::She gave him a devious grin.:: Have someone to help you keep it warm? ::He blinked at his girlfriend. Why would she be asking such a thing? Before he had left Ops they’d agreed to continue their relationship long-distance. Did she suspect something different? Why would she think that?:: Vondaryan: ::he blinked again:: Um, no. I’ve actually been quite lonely without you here. ::Her heart broke a little at his expression. It wasn't a feeling of guilt, but of familiarity. From the moment the pair met the chemistry between them was obvious. Their relationship blossomed into something beautiful, and while their time together was rather short lived, being with him made her heart soar. Once he was reassigned though, she was filled with a very different feeling. The kind of feeling that was so obvious to her friends like Theo, Mirra and Aitas that she had been dragged out of the beach house more than once. Her eyes wandered to the damaged exocomp unit that he had bought for her at the Curious Bauble. It was a project that she was thrilled to undertake with her new sweetheart, but with his departure it she couldn't bring herself to work on it without it being a reminder of his absence. As it turned out, long distance was hard...:: Zaina: Trellis…::She left out a soft little sigh, wishing she could hold her hand to the side of his face as she gazed into those brilliant blues..:: I’ve been lonely too. I just feel like maybe we need to go easier on ourselves. Vondaryan: What did you have in mind? Zaina: I want us to embrace the time we had together, and the time yet to come. But maybe the time in between we shouldn’t close ourselves off to the comfort of others? I just don’t know if pining for each other all the time is doing us any favors.. ::Well. That was unexpected. Not entirely unprecedented in either of their cultures, necessarily, but unexpected.:: Vondaryan: ::smirking playfully:: Does this mean you’ve got someone in mind at the Academy? Zaina: Well, not really…::She matched his smirk.:: Would you really want to know if I did? ::He pursed his lips, considering. He was still a little shocked at her proposal, truth be told. He had grown to like and perhaps even love her in the short time they were together. While he wasn’t typically a jealous person, did he really want to hear about his girlfriend’s love life outside of him? He thought better of it.:: Vondaryan: ::he chuckled:: No, probably best I don’t. I don’t have anyone on the Za in mind, but I haven’t been looking, either. ::he sighed:: It does make sense, though. I believe there’s an old Earth saying: ‘What happens on Vega stays on Vega.’ ::he shrugged:: So I guess we’ll consider this our time on Vega, until we see each other again. Zaina: ::Grinning:: Well rest assured, there isn’t anyone on Ops half as handsome or clever as my trelly bear. Vondaryan: Trelly bear? ::he raised his eyebrows in surprise:: Zaina: ::A mock frown.:: What? All healthy couples must have lovey dovey nicknames that they embarrass each other with. ::She gave a serious nod.:: It’s a fact. Vondaryan: ::he chuckled again:: Oh, well then by all means, let’s get nicknames. I am, after all, a fan of facts. ::he tilted his head:: Just not ‘Trelly bear,’ okay? Zaina: ::She giggled.:: Well I did say embarrass each other. Besides, you can pay me back with my own little nickname. Vondaryan: How about Zay-zay? Or Zany? ::he pursed his lips:: No, too plain. Zaney poo? ::He gave a sour face. Even he didn’t like that.:: Zaina: Well I do tend to be a bit Zaney, ::She scrunched her nose.:: but maybe a version with less poo in it. Vondaryan: Well, I’m open to suggestions. Zaina: Hey, I can’t pick my own! ::She grinned:: You just gotta use that officer thinking and come up with something. Vondaryan: I’ve never had to give anyone a lovey dovey nickname before. This is new to me. ::he grinned:: It’s a good thing I like new experiences, then, isn’t it my Zanthi fever. ::he shook his head.:: No, that’s not good at all, is it. ::Sometimes he was too literal and linear for his own good. He was really struggling with this nickname issue.:: ::She let out an amused laugh which relaxed its way into an expression that portrayed her deep affection for the man. She met his eyes, as best she could through a subspace feed.:: Zaina: You are way too far away. ::She shot him a little pout.:: I miss you. ::He sighed. She had a point. Sometimes he regretted his new posting. Those times were few and far between, but sometimes. Usually when he was alone in bed or talking to Zaina. Still, the fact that they could speak was great. They’d be back together soon, too, he hoped. The years would be gone before he knew it and he’d be back with Zaina.:: Vondaryan: I miss you too. ::he kissed his fingers then put them to the screen. It was the best he could do for now.:: -- Zaina Flynn Engineering Cadet Starbase 118 As simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Antero Flynn Chief Helm Officer Starbase 118 Ops C239205AF0 and Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  3. (( Deep Space 26, Level 4, Conference Room 1 )) :: Jalana turned and headed off to find the reptile again. Okay that was not really hard, he was really tall. She knew a couple of reptile species, and she could keep them apart if she cut them open and looked at their organs, but she had the slight suspicion that he wouldn't like that. Once her curiosity was peaked she wouldn't stop though. Jalana headed right for the mass of white fabric and as she stood in front of him, she realized that she really was too small. Either she'd have to look up so far that she'd fall on her butt or he had to bend forward and step on the ... tunic. Yes that was a good word. So Jalana did what Jalana did. She pulled up a chair and climbed on it, being above everyone else for the second time, but at about the same eye level as the reptile. She reached out and tapped his arm, chuckling to herself as she realized that she continued the circle. :: ::With a deep nod and a smile of respect, the fifty-three year old Ferentis turned, sauntering deeper into the party. As he observed officers and crew below him, he wondered if that had been right. If Starfleet was based on anything, it was truth. Truth to oneself, to one’s organization, in all matters, whether they were scientific, or historical, or personal. And though he subscribed to this idealistic… naive… charming… fragile view of the universe, he still told a white lie once in a blue moon. Come, now- what being had six stomachs? But in all seriousness… was he not in error? In his time before Starfleet, for all those years, lying had been a skill, and like all skills, it had required constant practice to maintain. Deep space was a dangerous place. If one didn’t know how to obscure the truth, it was unlikely one could survive. But that past was behind him. Wasn’t it?:: Rajel: Pardon me. ::Several things struck him at once. First and foremost, it wasn’t many people who could sneak up on him, even if he was brooding. Excellent hearing afforded him an advantage few species could match. And yet, the owner of this effeminate voice had managed to do just that.:: ::The second thing that struck him was how she sounded. Specifically, where the sound was coming from. Rather than emanating from somewhere below him, as most noises did, this (rather pleasant) anomaly of noise seemed to be entering his ear directly, almost as if the speaker were at his height level. Highly intrigued, he turned.:: ::To his abject astonishment, he didn’t need to bend down to see who had spoken to him. She- an exceptionally pretty young Trill with hair that would have made the sands of Vulcan look pale- stared into his eyes, instead of craning her neck upwards. This was something he almost never experienced outside the comfort of his home planet. Few other species could compare to the sheer size of Ferentis’ people, and this individual did not appear to be a member of any of those races.:: ::He cleared his throat, and his reply came out in a rich baritone.:: Ferentis: ::Taken aback, but hiding it with the practice and charm of an old gentleman.:: Yes? :: Oh that Bariton. Unless the women on their planet spoke that deep, she assumed it to be a he. :: Rajel: ::Jalana raised a hand and wiggled her fingers as she looked at him with a big smile.:: Hi! I'm Jalana and you are? Ferentis: oO Confused, that’s what I am. Oo ::What was the explanation? Had his spotted superior suffered a particularly egregious growth spurt while a child? Did her culture find value in exceptionally tall heels? Another miserable possibility crossed his mind. Had he begun to sink through the floor? Someone might have laughed at the mention of such a preposterous occurrence, until Ferentis gave them one of his rare, “Do not interfere in the affairs of Pahkwa’thanh, for thou art crunchy and go well with brie” looks.” Because it had happened. As far as he knew, the poor maintenance crew aboard the El Corazon had yet to totally smooth out the warped deck plating from Ferentis’ first steps aboard.:: ::But such a kind face deserved a genuine answer, regardless of intention or position. Ferentis: I am Ensign Ferentis, at your service. ::Bowing humbly.:: Rajel: Such a pleasure. ::She looked at the outfit he was wearing a little more up close now and leaned forward.:: Lovely embroidery. Who made it? ::She just had to bring up the embroidery. She couldn’t have let it go. Not that he was entirely embarrassed about it, but still.:: Ferentis: That would be me, ma’am. ::Taking on a more informal tone.:: What do you think? ::Wizened eyes glittering with contained mirth.:: Rajel: ::She raised her eyes to his.:: Really? A little improvement here and there, but good. ::She paused and blushed.:: I'm so sorry. One of my former hosts was a fashion designer, she liked to poke her head out every now and then. :: Pause :: Actually I wanted to meet you to find out which reptilian species you belong to... that was too direct, wasn't it? :: She smiled apologetic.:: ::Poor Jalana. Ferentis was certain that she meant no offense- the sincere apologies made that clear. But besides their fearsome appearances, and even fiercer appetites, the one thing Pakhwa’thanh were known for was their manners. Even when insulting someone- a rarity in their culture- it was done politely. He used every bit of willpower he had- quite a considerable force- to keep absolutely nothing from showing on his face. His surprise, his mild annoyance, his far more considerable amusement- nothing pierced that rock solid visage.:: Ferentis: oO You could always eat her. ::Pause.:: No, too predictable. Oo Ferentis: ::Smiling kindly.:: It’s quite alright. I am a Pahkwa’thanh, hailing from Dupwa’thuv, Deena Sector, Beta Quadrant. And if I might observe, you are a...Trill? Ferentis: oO Which still doesn’t explain… Oo ::The lizard glanced down, and only then did he realize that the captain was standing upon a chair. He wasn’t sinking, and she wasn’t insanely tall. Just resourceful and quite precocious, in his elderly opinion. He liked her.:: ::He’d put Jalana’s momentary spontaneity behind him. Obviously, she was a vivacious individual, one who took hold of life and apologized rather than ask permission. It was a rather unusual trait for the Pakhwa’thanh, but one that was not entirely unprecedented in his time in space. On Dupwa’thuv, such a mentality might make a person particularly ostracised from the public. He’d lived long enough to learn how to forgive and forget. Most things, at least.:: :: He smiled, or so Jalana thought. Reading reptilian faces was sometimes a challenge. She had been able to practice just a little on the Gorn features of Nugra before his passing. But she had never met one of Ferentis' kind. At least she thought so. :: :: These names tied a knot into her brain in the first moment. But as a doctor, she had heard a lot of difficult words and had memorized them. She'd just have to hear it a few times and she'd be fine. She was also quite sure that she'd never heard about that species and in her long life that was a pleasant surprise. .oO Meeting a new species - Check Oo. A bright smile spread from her lips to her sparkling green eyes. :: Rajel: That is correct. I am a Trill, hailing from Trill, Trill Sector, Alpha Quadrant. ::She just couldn't stop smiling, it was so exciting to meet new people, especially new species in their own Fleet. :: I would just _love_ to learn more about the Pahkwa..uh.. Ferentis: Pakha’thanh. ::He was used to people butchering his name, the name of his species, and the location of his planet. When he’d been younger it had been a cause for great annoyance. Nowadays, he simply accepted it with as much poise and grace as his elderly status afforded.:: Rajel: Yes, thank you Pahkwa'thanh. If you ever have some time and we are not at a party, maybe we can have a chat if you like. And if you want to know anything about Trills we can make an exchange. ::There was that perky grin again.:: What do you think? ::Never before had anyone of so lofty a rank been so...friendly to him. His Academy instructors saw him as another student at best, and a rather terrifying threat at worst. To see a captain of so distinguished a position and so kind a manner was exceptionally new to him. Her green eyes glittered like a thousand emerald gems in the Vulcan sun. Red hair, freckled features...by any standard she was beautiful.:: ::Had he not learned early in life to hide that which he did not want to make public, he would have jolted himself awfully. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. Had he been?...no. But had he? Could he? He was a reptile, for god’s sake! Never before had anything like that happened. Was his absence from his home causing him to feel like this? It had been decades since his return- perhaps this was simply a side effect.:: ::It wasn’t appropriate, by any stretch of the imagination. And he would not allow a simple imbalance of hormones to destroy what was fast becoming a tight friendship.:: Ferentis: I would enjoy that very much indeed. :: She couldn't help but bounce and clap in her hand before she blushed and reminded herself that she wasn't 12. She cleared her throat and put her hands behind her back. :: ::Her reaction could only be described as childish. But not in a bad or demeaning way. It was absolutely adorable to his half-century old eyes. It was something that he had not seen in years. A child’s laughing, cheerful, wondrous eyes. Not to say she was a child- by no means. But she had a life about her that he hadn’t been privy to for years. He cherished it.:: Rajel: Pardon me. What I meant was that I'm looking forward to it. ::She paused, remembering something else.:: Oh and if you are ever looking for a new garb, feel free to send me a holo image, I know two people who would love the challenge. ::He grinned his toothy grin.:: Ferentis: Nothing would please me more. ::Pause:: By chance, who are the people you speak of? Rajel: Well me for one, and Georgio. Our sentient emergency holographic hairdresser, but he also is a fashion diva with some great sewing and .oO What's the right word here? Oo. unique design skills. ::A sentient...holographic...hairdresser. Those words simply didn’t go together often, and Ferentis took a few moments to allow his large brain to chew through their meaning. What poor soul had been so devoid of duty so as to have time to put someone like that together?:: Ferentis: It sounds like there is a story in there somewhere. ::Suddenly, her attention was diverted away from Ferentis for just a brief moment. It was a moment he understood well. It was the sign that things were coming to an end.:: :: Jalana noticed that Maxwell walked away from the group, that was the sign that he'd disconnect the link between Conny and this place very soon. She gave him a quick nod and looked back to Ferentis. :: Rajel: I hate to cut this short, but it is time for me to leave. If you would excuse me, please? It was a real pleasure, Ferentis. ::Despite his happy smile, he felt a rather grievous pain inside. He knew it would be some time before he spoke to this most strange captain again.:: Ferentis: Believe me, captain- the pleasure was entirely mine. :: She grinned at him and with a slight bounce jumped off the chair. :: ::As he watched the excitable captain depart, he wondered what would become of him, he in the service of this idealistic little smattering of planets. The faintest stirring within him told him that the leathery old heart of his was beginning to stir again, despite his intention to keep it otherwise. If a part the heart dies, it’s best to leave it as is. That was his thought process, until now at least. One thing was clear; he would see her again, and he would always care about her.:: ::And he doubted he’d ever forgive her for that.:: ::Smiling a sad little smile to himself, he lumbered off. He needed another drink.:: ::Or twenty.:: ---- PNPC Ensign Ferentis Engineer USS El Corazon NCC 74220 as simmed by Lieutenant Randal Shayne Helmsman USS Atlantis NCC 74682 G239202RS0 & Captain Jalana Rajel Commanding Officer USS Constitution B Image Team Facilitator A238906JL0
  4. ((Tallesin Forest-Devi Providence, Til'ahn))::Tyr and Toni materialized at the foot of a large forest. In spite of all the time he'd spent on Til'ahn, he had never really studied the geography, except to plan for tactical situations like a ground or air attack. Now, he fully appreciated the beauty of the planet he'd called home. The forest was composed of enormously tall trees, taller than the ones on Ba'ku, although he wondered if part of that was due to the regeneration of the cells in the trees. They were ever-young on Ba'ku, but the trees here seemed ancient by comparison. Time had scarred and bent them, leaving markers that bore witness to the passage of the years. He took a deep breath of the natural air, catching the scents of the forest and the creatures within. A deep contentment filled him -he was in his element. Turning a Ba'ku loose in a forest was like turning a child loose in a candy shop. His energy spiked, his interest became keen in everything around him, and his senses seemed to magnify.::Turner: :: Hugging him, smiling:: Alone at last. . .Waltas: :: Closing his eyes:: I'll give it ten minutes before someone contacts us or Hannibal tracks us down.Turner: :: Frowning:: Do you think I'm a dummy? I made sure that the transporter engineer had good cause to be discreet.Waltas: :: Smiling:: Good. I think that extra week of shore leave I gave him might have helped too.Turner: ::slipping her backpack onto her shoulders:: It will be dark in a few hours, so we best get started and find a place to make camp.Waltas: :: Nodding, looking into the forest:: There's a clearing about a kilometer away judging from the tree dispersal. :: Kneeling:: The ground has a steady downward slope. We'll probably run into a stream or small lake near the clearing. :: He paused, looking at her expression:: What?:: Toni had a flashback of her teen years, watching her father read the signs that the landscape provided. As a guide in the lower portion of the Appalachian Mountains, (Georgia and the Carolinas) he had taught her everything she knew about survival, and he'd always said that those skills would come in handy some day. And now, somehow, his words now had a clarity she could not deny. Turner: Nothing, you just reminded me of someone when you did that.Waltas: Ba'ku are natural rangers. What I can't see I can smell, and what I can't smell I'll either hear or track. Didn't you know you married an elf?:: Immediately she envisioned the stereotyped short little man with pointy ears, nothing like the tall, well-built man that she married. Turner: :: chuckling:: You must have had one helluva growth spurt somewhere along the way.Waltas: :: He leaned in and kissed her:: I'll warn you..in an environment like this other aspect of our physiology are enhanced as well. :: He winked::Turner: :: smiling teasingly:: Oh? Really? That'll be a nice enhancement for a delayed honeymoon.Waltas: :: Moving forward, speaking over his shoulder and chuckling:: I was talking about strength and hearing, but it's interesting that's where your mind went. :: Grinning he quickly moved out of range before he was smacked:::: She ran to catch up with him, swinging her fist at him, but missed. :: Turner: :: laughing:: Okay big boy, sooner or later, you'll pay for that one.:: They journeyed through the forest, with the light of the two suns playing through the branches of the trees. It was peaceful, and they found themselves walking not for speed but for enjoyment, slowing their pace, meandering, arm in arm and very much in love. It was beyond peaceful-beyond anything they'd hoped for - just hoping it would last. They were both Starfleet officers, and knew that duty had a way of poking its head in personal affairs at the most inconvenient of times. He'd taken no weapons with him, relying on Hannibal and the crew to protect them but at the same time to stay out of sight.:::: Holding hands, they journeyed a little over a kilometer before the forest thinned a bit, revealing a small clearing and a large, crystal-blue lake nearby. A waterfall could be heard cascading downward nearby, and there were fish swimming in the water. Birds chirped in the trees and seemed to greet them, and a few land animals similar to squirrels chittered angrily at them from the branches above on their invasion.::Waltas: This looks like a good spot to me.Turner: :: pleased with his choice:: It's perfect. :: searching for a better word to describe it.:: Magical.Waltas: I hear a waterfall nearby. Want to join me?Turner: I'd love to.:: They were both a little warm from their journey and the volleyball game earlier, and the thought of a mountain waterfall shower was enticing. Tyr led the way, letting his ears guide him, and the source of the lake's water was soon revealed an enormous waterfall cascaded down from high above a rocky outcropping. Tyr took no time in stripping off his shirt and shorts.::Waltas: You coming with?Turner: Great joy? :: already stripped, she took his hand:: If you're waiting on me, you're backing up.:: They raced together and splashed into the end of the lake, moving to the waterfall. The water was cool but not overly cold and was intensely refreshing as it washed over his body. He turned to watch Toni for a moment, admiring her form and her grace -it was like a scene from a movie - the ones that always ended happily. He grew quiet, stepped toward her, wrapping his arms around her.::Waltas: I love you.Turner: :: whispering:: My feelings for you are mutual.:: He kissed her softly, then the kiss deepened.::
  5. ((USS Magnus Hirschfield, [...]pit - En Route to the Typhon Expanse)) Allison: Captain...Chang acknowledges our message, says "good hunting", Captain.... Pavlova: Oh yay, tell Sammy Spook I said high. Jorey: Well, hopefully it won't come to that. Our plan is just to head into the expanse and test the TSD at impulse and warp speeds. How long until we reach the expanse? :: Kamela checked her instruments one more time:: Allison: Three hours, twenty three minutes until we reach the outer boundary... Jorey: Well then, ::Brayden said standing up from his chair.:: we definitely have some time. Commander Oddas, Major Pavlova. Please, join me in the lounge. ::While Oddas, Pavlova, and Jorey went to the back of the runabout, that left Kamela alone at the helm, with T'Lea and the Laudean scientist Nia. Making a slight course correction, Kamela now had the runabout on the most direct course to the Typhon Expanse. She was barely paying attention to the conversation going on behind her between T'Lea and Nia...there was something about the Laudeans' voice...Kamela wasn't sure what it was, but...there was something there, but she just wasn't sure about it. Once the two had finished their conversation, unwanted company settled down in the seat next to her...T'Lea. It wasn't in her plans to talk to the woman, especially now. The cloud that has been hanging over them since the night T'Lea and Hannibal got drunk together was about to clear:: T’Lea: Is it business or personal? :: Coyly, Kamela responded:: Allison: Exactly...what are you referring to? T’Lea: Your hatred for me? Just curious where you are coming from? ::There it was, out in the open. Knowing she could quickly stab the woman in the throat, she thought better of it. She was a Starfleet officer, and besides, being away from Hannibal and Ryland was something she did not wish to do. Turning to face T'Lea, fire flashing in her eyes, she spoke:: Allison: I have nothing against your skills as a Starfleet officer..and you better believe it's personal... T'Lea: This is in reference to mine and Hannibal’s indiscretion with alcohol? :: At best, she respected T'Lea's straight forward approach. It was also one of the reasons she disliked her. She had not realized that she had clenched her fists until she felt her fingernails digging into her palms:: Allison: Yes, it's about that night. It's not about what happened, it's about what could have happened.... T'Lea: You don’t honestly believe that- Allison: Hannibal is many things, T'Lea. Violent, barbaric according to some, brash, occasionally arrogant. Much like yourself. It's a reputation well earned. He wouldn't hesitate to protect you, your family, this crew from anything or anyone who might threaten it. He's also honorable, loyal, kind, a great father, and thoughtful. Also well earned. T'Lea: You just affirmed your trust in him. There should be no issue. Allison: The problem is...the two of you together are like dynamite and matches. Kindred spirits. I know way too much about you to think otherwise. I've lured him away from much prettier women than you, but you have that something extra. You two feed off each other in certain circumstances, like drinking in the holodeck and wrecking the place. I trust him to not step over the line, although by his nature he can and has gotten pretty close, but he knows when to say when. The question is...do you? ::Kamela had no doubt of Hannibals' fidelity..the man was an Alpha in all sense of the word, but she possessed the one thing no one else could ever get..his heart, a fact she had proven over the years she had known the massive Marine. Kamela was good at reading people, and she was quite certain of the answer she would be getting...and knowing T'Lea, it would possibly open up another avenue of mayhem:: T'Lea: You think me a threat? That I am some amton'wi-kha nvaihr that wrecks marriages? You’re out of your frelling mind. I have no designs for your husband. I do not covet him, and I am not secretly plotting against you. :: she got up:: My marriage may be in question, but believe me yours is safe and sound. Enjoy it. :: There it was. Behind the bravado, Kamela saw pain, pain she was not expecting to find. T'Lea could indeed be hurt, and the woman had just revealed her weakness to her. There was more here than meets the eye, and although if T'Lea was a suspect, she would have dug deeper. It still didn't change the overall picture...Hannibal and T'Lea were indeed dangerous together, but not in the way of the two being intimate. She was satisfied with her answer, but she was not about to let her know that. Refusing to give her the high ground, Kamela also stood up as T'Lea fired her parting shot:: T’Lea: If it makes you feel better I’ll avoid any further interactions with your husband. Allison: That will be impossible, T'Lea.:: Her voice low so only T'Lea could hear her:: Three things...one...the day will come when the two of you will have to work together at the behest of SFI. Two...I know who you were...and who you are now...and three...I know who your mother is.::smiling:: Glad we could clear all this up, it's been a long time coming::inclining her head towards the back of the runabout:: You may go now... :: Kamela watched as T'Lea made her way back to the aft lounge. One thing was certain...there was no danger of T'Lea seducing Hannibal, or even attempting to. She had learned something important about her, that her marriage with Della was having problems, and she now knew that Kamela had access to her whole sordid history before she joined Starfleet. There was nothing she would ever do with the information...T'Lea was a good Starfleet officer, with no issue of divided loyalties. She felt for her, in the way only a woman would...certainly, the distance had to be a factor, but there was something else there, but in Kamela's mind, it was up to them to work it out. The two women had one thing in common...they were both mothers and there was no doubt in her mind that T'Lea loved her children as much as she loved Ryland. Kamela may appear to be an ice queen, but T'Lea would not feel her wrath...at least, not now. She her another axe to grind with Della concerning her allowing the Romulan assassin who almost killed Hannibal several years ago to go free. That was another day, another fight, she thought as she settled down back at the controls:: TAG/TBC PNPC Lt. Commander Kamela Allison-Parker Operative- Starfleet Intelligence/Helm Officer USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy As simmed by: Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker Marine CO USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy C238703HP0
  6. OOC - Second day of shore leave, shortly after 0930 hours ((Corridor, USS Athena)) :: Asno walked quickly along the corridor away from his quarters and towards the nearest lift. He was a tall man, 5’11” with an athletic build and a quick easy way of moving. He had shoulder length black hair that was currently tied back into a pony tail, a deep tanned complexion and brown eyes. :: :: Currently he was out of uniform, wearing loose black pants tucked into mid-calf high black boots with a loose cream colored shirt with loose sleeves that was open half way down his hairy chest. Over it he was wearing a dark brown leather vest. Tucked into the top of his left boot was a knife, the hilt of which was plain black with a stylized silver V like shape built into it. :: :: He started to jog, moving with a strong gait but when he turned the corner leading into the next corridor, the one with the nearest lift he had to suddenly stop and reach out to prevent slamming into a young woman who was in uniform. :: :: Dressed in a fresh uniform and full of renewed determination after a good night's sleep, Nia strode purposefully down the corridor. She had decided, upon waking this morning, that she would not get lost today. Of course, if she was being honest with herself, she doubted her ability to find her way round this ship had improved that much over night but one could always hope. :: :: Nia was about to turn the corner into, what she presumed would be another long, and not at all confusing, corridor. When a athletically built man with shoulder length black hair came jogging round it. His hands found her shoulders and gripped as he forced himself to a sudden stop .:: :: Slightly stunned by his sudden appearance she struggled to think of something to say. He was standing so close to her, they were the same height and the only thought that moved through her stunned brain was that his eyes were a perfect shade of brown. :: Plito: Are you OK? :: Asno asked in a concerned tone, his warm brown eyes mirroring that concern as he let go of her shoulders which he had instinctively grabbed in order to prevent a more serious impact between them. :: :: The man's warm brown eyes mirroring the concern in his voice as he let go of her shoulders. :: Stone: Yes, I... I'm fine. :: Her brain sliding back into gear. :: Plito: It was completely my fault. I was in a hurry and not really looking where I was going. :: He replied as he stepped back placing a more acceptable distance between him and the young woman. As he did he could not help but notice both her hair with its vibrant and unusual color and her eyes. If he had to guess he would say that she was an Antosian. :: :: He took a step back as he spoke and Nia finally pulled her eyes away from his. :: Stone: Don't worry about it. :: She smiled at him, hopping it would offer reassurance. :: :: Asno stood about arm’s length away from an attractive young Antosian woman, one he had literally just ran into and now he was introducing himself to her even as he tried to maintain a calm and relaxed image. His sudden contact with her had been a surprise and if he had not grabbed her by the shoulders he might have knocked her to the ground by accident. What had surprised him was his reaction to her. :: Plito: Plito, Ensign Asno Plito, paramedic. :: He replied with a smile as he offered her his hand to shake. Her grip was firm, the skin soft, warm and for some reason he found himself checking her out, impressed by her beauty and poise. :: Stone: Ensign Niastrave Stone, HCO. Plito: Niastrave, :: Asno did his best to pronounce it exactly as she had said it, being careful to use the same diction that she had when saying it even as he released her hand. :: that’s an interesting name. Stone: Call me Nia. :: Her eyes slide across him. He was her height, with shoulder length black hair tied back into a pony tail, his eyes were brown and his skin tanned. He was dressed in a cream shirt with a dark vest and loose black trousers tucked into mid-calf high black boots. Nia tried not to notice how well everything fit him. :: Stone: oO He's handsome, I'll give him that. Oo :: The thought made her blush and she cast her mind around for something else to say. :: Plito: Ok Nia. Nice to meet you. :: He responded with a big smile, one that softened his features in a nice way. :: :: Asno noticed it when her cheeks changed color, the rosy hue both surprising and charming, causing him to notice just how entrancing her eyes were, a beautiful deep green, different from the deep green of her hair. :: Stone: So what brings you down this corridor at, :: she checked the time, :: 0930? Plito: I was going to meet a couple friends; we are going over to the station to explore. Stone: :: A slight frown creased her brow. :: Isn't it still closed off? Plito: Yes, most of the station is still off limits but most of what must have been a common area, a kind of recreational zone has been deemed safe. Not sure what we will find but that’s the reason to go exploring is it not? :: He asked in an excited tone. :: Stone: :: Her smiled returned, this time with a playful hint to it. :: Always looking for adventure? Plito: Ha, ha, ha, :: He laughed easily, in a soft masculine manner. :: That’s one way to put it I guess. Stone: So why explore the station? Plito: I like new things, new experiences, it’s one of the reasons I joined Starfleet. Stone: I can understand that. It's one of the reasons I joined to. Plito: I think that’s why we all joined. :: He replied even as he moved his arms to indicate everyone around them, on the whole ship. :: Stone: The adventure of if all, the mystery. Everyday a chance to see something new. Plito: That an excellent way to phrase it. :: Asno paused for a moment as he admired the way her face went from beautiful to enchanting just because of her smile. :: Sort of poetic almost… :: She looked down and away from him when he said that and it was a few moments before a slight sigh escaped from her as she looked back up at him again. :: :: Nia smiled again, her eyes flickered down then glanced at the time. With a slight sigh she looked back up at Asno again even as she spoke. :: Stone: Well, I need to finish getting myself sorted here; check in with Medical, that sort of thing. But maybe we could happen into each other again soon? Plito: I think I would like that. :: As he said it he smiled again. :: How about tonight? Stone: :: She bit her lip, thinking. :: Not tonight, I'm still getting settled in here, shore leave won't last forever and I want to be prepared. oO Make sure I know everyone's names, or even just the senior staffs'. Oo Plito: OK. I can understand that, how about this weekend instead? Stone: :: Her left eyebrow raised slightly. :: Persistent are we? Plito: My people have an old saying, “Only the determined bird gets the worm. “ It means if you want something do not give up. :: As he finished saying it he smiled again. :: Stone: oO Attractive and charming. Oo Nice phrase. :: Nia hid her smile. :: It implies you have something to pursue. Plito: I think having a chance to get to know you is something worth pursuing. Don’t you? Stone: :: This time she couldn't hid her smile but she couldn't resist being coy just one last time. :: If you continue with that kind of flattery, I might just take you up on that offer. :: As she walked past him, Asno turned to watch her. He smiled slightly, hoping that she might turn back, waiting patiently and was rewarded when she stopped just short of where the corridor turned away to look back at him even as she spoke. :: Stone: Saturday, 1900? Plito: Sounds great. :: He replied with a big smile. :: Stone: Okay. I'll see you Saturday. oO Well that didn't last long. Oo :: She shrugged to herself. :: oO The coy thing doesn't suit me anyway. Oo :: For a moment longer Asno kept watching as she turned away and walked around the corner and out of sight. If anything his smile got slightly bigger as he turned to hurry away as well, his friends were waiting. :: TBC/TAG ************************************ Ensign Niastrave Stone HCO Officer USS Athena A239401NS0 and PNPC – Ensign Asno Plito Paramedic/Emergency Combat Medic USS Athena, NCC-97780 As simmed by Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Chief Tactical Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 darylpea[...]@hotmail.com Daryl.Pea[...]@ontario.ca Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0
  7. Data here used on the species wiki page OOC – First day of shore leave ((Science Department, USS Athena)) :: Hsina had just left what had turned out to be a somewhat less brutal interrogation than she had expected, no doubt made a little easier by the good night’s sleep, hearty meals and vigorous workout she had enjoyed between her arrival on the ship and her appointment with the Intel officers. :: :: She still hadn’t met the captain though no doubt she would be summoned as soon as the intel reports were in, but it was clear that her file and codes had been uploaded and she now had at least basic access to some of the science facilities. :: :: Basic clearance, strangely, couldn’t access most of her own research concerning the Preservers and other ancient spacefaring species, but that was to be expected. What she was able to access was the Starfleet unclassified library, which included the one item she wanted most; the definitive history of the Preservers, published in Oxford University Press way back in the year 2324 one Hsina Amman, Ph.D and doctoral candidates Natsuko Imai, Jason Klein and Semak, who was a Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet on an educational leave. Based on Hsina’s work decoding Preserver cuneiform script 19 years earlier, the four scholars had undertaken the massive project of translating all extant Preserver texts and, most importantly, cross-indexing them with ancient Terran, Vulcan and Klingon writings that linked Preserver contact with those respective species. :: :: Information, including full cuneiform lexicon and translation matrix loaded into a PADD, Hsina logged out of the research system and headed for the door, almost running into the last thing she expected to see, which was to a say a woman of roughly the same height. She had known a few, VERY few, but it still usually came as something of a surprise. :: ******* :: Torali stretched and then reached up to massage her neck. She had put in a lot of hours already and the little interruption by that barbarian had not helped. A glance to the side showed that it was past time that she should have stopped and gone to get something to eat. :: :: With a shrug she turned off the computer she was working on and stood. As she did her mind wandered back to her home. She had not been back since she had informed her father that she was going to enlist in the Federation militaristic war machine as a scientist. He had exploded, the first and only time she had ever seen him angry in her life. :: :: In fact that was the last time that she had spoken to him. He could not grasp the concept that his daughter had chosen to live with and work beside such primitive barbaric species and while she understood his worries and his disdain for any species that could not rise above any and all forms of violence her intellectual curiosity had driven her to take the step that she knew might drive a wedge between her and her people. :: :: So far it had proven to be a mix of interesting new experiences and disappointments, mostly disappointments. Far too many of the species that belonged to the Federation were noticeably inferior, barbaric and savage. Even the Vulcans who were intellectually on a level close enough to be considered members of an intelligent species harbored a dark and primitive capability. :: :: Still the exposure to so many different species, cultures, worlds and societies was a treasure trove of unexpected new concepts, information and even experiences. All of which she recorded, preserved in analytical and concise scientific reports that she diligently sent back to her world. :: :: She doubted that it would make any difference with her father but she knew far too many others and not just scientists who would read, debate and study her reports. If her people were to survive in this savage universe they needed to be warned, to be prepared for just how uncivilized all of those species were. :: :: With a shrug she shook off her thoughts and turned to leave. As soon as she exited the lab she had been working in she had to stop before bumping into someone who was almost as tall as she was, a female Lt. Cmdr. that she had seen a few times here in the science department. :: Elzizabath: Excuse me. Amman: Pardon me, I should pay more attention. :: Torali found it refreshing not to have to look down when speaking to someone, especially another female even if she was old enough to be her mother. :: Elzizabath: Ensign Torali Azivalora Poracin Elzizabath Amman: Hsina Amman, nice to meet you. Elzizabath: I came aboard the USS Athena just before leaving the Alpha Quadrant. Amman: I came aboard yesterday. I’ve actually been stranded on that space station the last three weeks, and was transported there from a very, very distant planet, most likely by some sort of gate. Elzizabath: I had heard about that, the circumstances which resulted in that occurrence seem to be unusual and deserving of further scientific research. Unfortunately that is not my field of expertise, is it yours? Amman: I’m an archaeologist actually. You? Elzizabath: Technically I am a planetologist but I also have a solid understanding of most of the sciences associated with planets and their ecology. I have been assigned to this vessel to study the various new planets this vessel comes into contact with. Amman: Well, being as far out as we are, its likely I’m stuck here for at least the near future. Elzizabath: I would expect that to be correct. :: Torali tilted her head slightly and asked a question in a curious tone. :: I take it you would have preferred not being rescued or was there some place you would rather be? Amman: Well, a ship assignment is not what I was looking for. I was in charge of a rather extensive research project for the last few years, based on a bronze-age planet. High gravity, harsh weather, no technology. I’d gotten rather comfortable not having any of the bureaucracy or protocol of Starfleet. Elzizabath: Aahhh…. I think I understand…. :: She paused for a moment then continued. :: Having scientists on a military vessel seems wrong… being free of the bureaucracy… the savage Neanderthal mentalities of most Federation individuals would have been a wonderful way to immerse yourself into proper scientific research. Amman: I wasn’t there to study a primitive culture, rather exploiting a long-lost library left behind by the Preservers; ancient spacefarers who seeded many of the galaxy’s humanoid species. Elzizabath: That is not what I mean, merely that maintaining an intellectual devotion to peaceful scientific research should be the goal of all scientists. Amman: Is that why you are here, to peacefully study us Federation savages? Elzizabath: Call it scientific curiosity. My people have never been able to understand how the Federation has managed to survive considering the barbaric and violent nature of most of the species that are members of it. :: She paused for a moment and then smiled as she continued. :: In many ways that phenomenon deserves to be studied so that some kind of understanding of the events and forces involved can be better cataloged and understood. Amman: Yes, it is rather surprising we haven’t blasted ourselves into tiny bits yet. Elzizabath: I meant no insult by my words, my only real desire is to develop a better understanding of the various species that make up this Federation. My people find it difficult if not impossible to understand why any intelligent being would ever resort to physical methods of dealing with problems in regards to others. It is my hope that by exposing myself to these species I may eventually develop some king of logical hypothesis as to why they do it. Amman: No insult taken, I was being serious. It really is surprising. My ancestry is Greek and Iraqi, specifically Spartan and Assyrian, with the Spartans in ancient Greece known for their military prowess and purity and the Assyrians of ancient Iraq for their military power and brutality. Elzizabath: Spartans…. Assyrian…. Ohh… I read about them at the academy. They were both ancient human cultures, militaristic, savage, brutal… an unusual heritage for someone who values logic and knowledge. Amman: The Spartans, and all ancient Greeks were eventually enslaved by the Romans, who not coincidentally based their military on the records of the Assyrians. Sometimes I think I was born 30 centuries too late. :: For a human this woman was surprisingly intelligent, showing unexpected depths. Too bad most of her species seemed to lack those fundamental qualities. :: Elzizabath: That is a surprising statement. Considering what I know about those cultures you would have been treated as less than a person, useful only for the work you could do and the children you could produce. I believe that would have been a waste of a brilliant mind. Still that does not explain why you are here in this quadrant. Amman: That bronze age world I was on was a Preserver seed world, an almost exact duplicate of Earth in the 7th century bce. I was, in a way, living among my Assyrian ancestors, right down to their language, their foods and their religion. Elzizabath: Ahhh…. Hence the unusual connection to your own heritage, still I believe that this opportunity must have also allowed you to make numerous discoveries that may have an impact on the history of your own world and people. I almost envy you the opportunity that you were able to involve yourself in. Amman: Tell me about your species. Since by your own admission they lack an understanding of violence, I’d be curious to learn of your history, and how they reached such a state. Elzizabath: My homeworld is Ash’lie IV in the Draco Sigma Sector of the Alpha Quadrant. It is deep within the current borders of your Federation. My people had mastered space travel and visited most of the planets in my own system more than 5,000 years ago. Amman: I’m slightly familiar with it. Your people didn’t leave many footprints on surrounding worlds. Elzizabath: We never really traveled farther than our own system although we did visit many of the systems within a twenty light year radius. On those worlds that we observed intelligent life we left satellites to observe and send back data. Amman: 5,000-year-ago even the Vulcans were 3,000 years before Surak taught them to embrace logic and suppress emotion. The Preservers were still seeding worlds and extracting resources, but had already abandoned the Alpha quadrant a few thousand years before that. Elzizabath: It was due to these observations that we learned about the savage, violent nature inherent in all of these species. Long debates among the council with input from a vast majority of our intellectual leaders resulted in us removing those satellites and withdrawing back behind the border of our own system. Amman: Hence the lack of an exploratory footprint. Elzizabath: It was just a precaution, to prolong the inevitable contact that must eventually occur once one of those species mastered enough engineering and scientific knowledge to allow them to produce some form of space craft. Most of our leaders believed that those species would never reach that stage or that they would cause their own extinction before it could occur. Amman: We came very close on many occasions to wiping ourselves out, but give us time, we might still bring about our own destruction. Elzizabath: That is a conclusion that many of our intellectual leaders believes applies to all of the other species we have encountered so far. I just find it unusual that someone from one of those species would agree with them. Is there a reason for this belief? Amman: Despite all of our altruistic laws and lofty ideals, most of our species maintain not only their potential for violence, but dare I say our reliance on it. Thanks to a 60-year nap in a stasis tube I’ve lived more than a century, and I honestly believe that the galaxy is just as dangerous, or perhaps even more so than it was at the time of my birth. Elzizabath: You would find many of my people who would agree with you. Still it is nice to meet someone who does not ooze testosterone fueled primitive aspects. :: As she said it she smiled. :: Amman: I’m perhaps not as peaceful or evolved as you might think. In addition to being a scientist, I’m also a boxer, a Terran blood sport in which two fighters, following certain rules, beat one another up with their thinly padded hands until a certain number of timed periods elapse or more often, one is knocked unconscious. Elzizabath: I observed a few such matches at the academy as well as others involving martial arts, although I never did learn where the arts came into those activities. Even those sports, I believe that is what they are called that did not have physical violence built into them seemed to be aggressive and rudimentary with undertones of primitive savagery. :: Torali paused for a moment as she considered how best to ask the question she now wished to ask. :: If I may ask, why? Amman: I started as a teenager and have always excelled at it. Physical strength runs in my family, and I guess I enjoy the contest on many very different levels. The thrill of the challenge, the pain and even the pride at winning far more often losing. :: Torali shook her head. The answer matched those that she had received from others during her years at the Academy. It still made little sense to her, how could anyone enjoy hitting another sentient, intelligent being. It was cruel, sadistic and inhuman. Yet they did and neither party involved in the barbaric acts seemed to even realise that it was wrong. If anything both parties seemed to emerge from the encounters experiencing joy, happiness and elation. Again she shook her head, still baffled by the very concept and the fact that everyone else around her accepted it as a normal part of their existence. :: Elzizabath: I fear that I may never understand. However that is part of why I joined your Starfleet, to learn about other species. Amman: I take it your decision wasn’t a popular one. Elzizabath: My people may never understand, my family certainly did not. None of them have spoken to me or replied to any of my messages since I announced my decision. ::Hsina found it almost amusing that a species that prided itself on being so highly evolved would be so narrow-minded when it came to one of them wanting to explore and study. Amman: Not a particularly evolved response. Elzizabath: You must understand. While some of my people do have limited but regular contact with other species only a very small percentage have ever left our world to live and work among aliens. Amman: Strange that they chose to excommunicate you over your choice to explore and serve. Elzizabath: It was my decision to join Starfleet that created the insurmountable gulf between me and my family. Regardless of all the medical, scientific and altruistic acts that members of the fleet take part in each and every year it is and always will be considered by my people as a militaristic war machine. One whose sole purpose is to fight, maim and kill others regardless of the reason for such actions. Amman: Well, we do fight, main and kill others from time to time, though for the most part it is usually done in defense of innocents or to thwart the aggression of others. Elzizabath: My studies at the Academy for the most part were fairly complete in regards to this aspect of service. That does not mean I understand or condone such actions. Amman: Tell me, have you ever taken a life? I mean personally, up close. :: The question was both shocking and abhorrent at the same time. Torali could not help allowing the feelings to be mirrored on her face but her time at the Academy had presented her with so many shocks that she was quickly able to regain her composure and hide her reactions behind a mask. :: Elzizabath: Never!!!! I have never intentionally or accidentally struck, injured or by some action allowed someone to be injured. It would be unthinkable. Amman: Not even in self-defense? Elzizabath: No. Not even to protect myself. Amman: What if it came down to self-defense, or defense of your shipmates? Starfleet is pretty clear on such things. Elzizabath: I enlisted under a provision that ensures that I will never be expected or asked to take part in any such acts of barbaric violence. Amman: I have, more than once. The first time was when I was 19-years-old, at university in Los Angeles, a big city on Earth. :: Against her better judgement Torali found herself asking the question. :: Elzizabath: How did it happen? Amman: It was self defense. I was late coming home from school, and a man grabbed me and tried to force himself on me. Elzizabath: Force himself…. :: Torali had to think about that for a moment. It was a foreign concept to her people but one that she had quickly learned about while living on Earth herself. :: He wished to mate with you. :: The nod she received in response confirmed her guess even as the other woman continued tio speak. :: Amman: He knocked me to the ground and then got on top of me, but I was able to grab a rock and I hit him in the head with it, and kept hitting him until he was dead. Elzizabath: Your actions were extreme… :: Torali said even as she allowed a slight smile to soften her features. :: but from what I have learned about your species it may have been instinctual, not a rational response…. Did it not bother you??? Amman: I’m not really sure. It bothered me at the time, and I remember having nightmares for years afterwards, but I never felt sorry or that what I did was wrong. If anything, I think what bothered me the most was the thought that he wasn’t really any different than me, or anyone else for that matter, but somewhere in his past, or perhaps in his genetics, something went ever so slightly differently and resulted in a criminal or a deviant, instead of a scholar, or a baker, or anything else that humans could grow up to be. I don’t even think he was that much older than I was at the time. Elzizabath: It is incidents just like that, that make me glad that I was raised on my world. :: As she said it Torali thought back to her childhood, the flowers, music, art, a time of wonder and joy. It brought a wide, warm smile to her face even as she continued to talk. :: Still it must have been a traumatic experience for you. :: The smile had faded as she talked but her expression was still warm and soft. :: Still you seem to have survived more or less intact. Amman: Honestly I hadn’t thought about it for many years, but I’m sure it was a formative experience. :: Hsina found herself enjoying the conversation despite the dark memories it brought up. :: Elzizabath: You humans. :: Torali said with a smile and a soft laugh. :: How many species could say that of attempted rape and defensive murder. Amman: Quite a few I would imagine. From what I’ve seen, violence, at least in defense seems more the norm than the exception. Even in just the criminal context, there are so many crimes related to taking a life. Homicide is the generic, of which are varying degrees of murder depending in intent, manslaughter is a lesser version. Voluntary, involuntary, reckless, justifiable, I’m sure I am missing a few. Elzizabath: I stand corrected…. That is yet another peculiarity that I have not yet mastered, this series of descriptive designations used to describe and define the parameters of someone’s death. Amman: Well, we must differentiate between natural causes and otherwise. Elzizabath: For us it is simple. Either one is alive or he is dead. Amman: Rather simplistic, don’t you think? Elzizabath: Every member of my species that dies is medically examined. In this way we continue to improve our understanding of medicine and the frailties of the physical form. Amman: Frailty is something I do my very best to avoid. A great comedian from my world named Groucho Marx perhaps said it best, “Time wounds all heels.” Elzizabath: That makes no sense. :: Torali replied with a puzzled expression on her face. :: Amman: It’s a play on an older saying, “Time heals all wounds”, meant to help people grieving a loss or suffering an illness or injury. Reversed it’s a metaphor for aging and the delicacy of life. Elzizabath: I think I understand… :: Torali still had a puzzled expression on her face, it was just not as puzzled as it was. :: sort of, but….. this helps? Amman: My father died when I was a young girl. He was a police officer and was killed on duty. My mother died about 7-years-later when I was a teenager. She was a medical doctor, healthy and strong, but she slipped, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck. It doesn’t matter how young or how strong you are, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Elzizabath: That sounds more like fate and fate I understand even if my people do not believe in it themselves. Still from what I understand of most human cultures there is a grieving process, it varies from culture to culture but most seem to have one. If it is not prying was that true for you? :: Torali asked politely. :: Amman: I remember when my father died, I cried for weeks. We all did, my mother, my brother and my two sisters. It took us a few years, but eventually life returned to a new normal, and then that ended too. Elzizabath: If there is one thing that I have learned since leaving my world, it is that regardless of the species nothing stays the same forever, change is inevitable. :: Torali paused for a minute as she tilted her head and pursed her lips while looking away. It only lasted for a moment then she returned her gaze back to the Lt. Cmdr. and continued to speak even as she tilted her head back upright. :: Obviously something else happened, may I ask what? Amman: Nuri, my oldest sister was away at police academy, following in father’s footsteps. Day, my brother was a professional boxer, and Samira, my other sister was a college student. For a few weeks Samira and I stayed in the house, but she withdrew, hardly said a word, ate almost nothing. One day I came home from school and found her hanging. Elzizabath: Hanging…. I am unfamiliar with that term…. I understand how things hang but a person? Amman: She took her own life, asphyxiation. :: A shocked expression appeared on Torali’s face, one that lingered even as she spoke in a tone that was also stunned. :: Elzizabath: But that is illogical…. to take one’s own life….. :: She reached over and placed a hand on the older woman’s shoulder. :: I do not understand… why… there is no logic to such an action… this must have been…. confusing… disorienting… how did you respond? Amman: I’m not sure really. That time is rather foggy, but I remember moving in with my brother and he made me go to the gym with him after school and do my homework while he trained. Elzizabath: He worried about you, cared for you… that is good, I think I would like your brother, as a person, not as a barbarian. :: As she said the last Torali smiled to take any sting out of her words even as she dropped her hand from the other woman’s shoulder. :: Still it is obvious that you overcame a series of unusual traumas to become the person you are. I have a feeling that your brother was instrumental in that development. Amman: Well, I started boxing, stopped mourning, stopped hurting, stopped crying and stopped fearing. Right or wrong, I learned that pain and pleasure were basically the same, and that since everyone will die anyway, there was no point fearing it. Death revealed itself to me as just an inevitable part of life, the last page, a comforting future rather than something to be feared. Elzizabath: Death comes to all living things, it is not to be feared, nor is it to be embraced. My people believe that life is for living, to be enjoyed. So we learn, live, laugh and love. We do so for as long as possible, knowing that eventually it will end. Amman: Many of my kind believe the same way. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we can be a rather chaotic lot. Learning is seen by many humans as a chore, by some as a challenge, and by a few of us as a passion. Laughing, living and loving, we try to do as much of those as well. In fact it can be argued that most human behavior at some basic level is aimed at attracting an appropriate mate. Elzizabath: ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, :: Torali laughed, the sound almost musical for the sheer sense of joy that rang through it even as it lit up her face. :: Sometimes I forget just how different our species are. :: She finally managed to say when the laugh died out but the smile remained. :: Amman: So you no longer have baser passions? Elzizabath: Those are for the most part myths and preconceptions regarding my people. Yes we do enjoy the physical act but just as much as the emotional aspect. It just does not rule our lives, it is merely a part of a healthy and rewarding life. To be enjoyed as much as music, art, dancing, the thrill of learning something new, reading a new book or hearing a new poem. :: As she finished speaking she turned and motioned in a way that seemed to ask, shall we walk while we talk. :: :: Hsina walked alongside this most interesting officer, eager to learn more about her and her kind. :: Amman: I think most humans have evolved far beyond their animal instincts, but still the drive remains. I tend to think that most humans put far too little effort into their relationships and perhaps too much into their careers and hobbies. I am quite guilty of this myself. I’ve only had two intimate relationships in my life, and neither of them went particularly far. The physical aspects were fine, but I’ve always found it difficult to make a deeper connection with living people and tend to prefer studying people who’ve been dead for millennia. How do your people approach physical intimacy? Elzizabath: I would not go that far, :: Torali replied even as she started to walk along beside the other woman. :: still I will admit that from my experience my people do tend to pour a bit more effort into the physical aspect, much like some of your athletes do with their sports. Especially the one called a marathon. Amman: I’ve run more than one marathon, and can’t imagine the “physical aspects” having that kind of duration. Is that normal with your people? Elzizabath: Not bragging, merely a statement, still I will admit that I could be wrong, after all my experiences in this regard would not be what you could call all that conclusive. After all I did spend most of my time at the Academy learning about your Federation and the species in it, not experimenting. Amman: I would very much like to learn more, perhaps experience such a different approach to life. Elzizabath: That is the scientist in you. :: Torali replied calmly. :: Something that I think we both have in common. Although I believe that we approach it in slightly different ways. :: Torali glanced over at the other woman as she continued to speak and walk. :: Would you not agree? Amman: While archaeology was always my primary field, anthropology was my minor and is quite closely related. In my last assignment, it was always a struggle when reporting back to Starfleet to drop the mannerisms of the culture I had assimilated into. I love to “go native” as many scholars refer to fully assimilating into a culture to facilitate a deeper understanding of it. Elzizabath: As I thought, while I have enjoyed studying the various species and cultures I have encountered since joining Starfleet I have never felt the urge to “go native” as you call it. However the idea is intriguing. Could you elaborate on the concept if you do not mind? :: She asked is a curious tone. :: Amman: Pisces IV had most of the cultures that Earth had 30-centuries-ago. While I spent most of my time among the Assyrians for access to the Preserver library, I also spent considerable time with the Shang Chinese and the Egyptians, and was able to integrate into different strata of their societies and truly “go native”. Elzizabath: An interesting concept, one that would most likely result in a better and fuller understanding of the culture and species. :: For a few moments they walked along in silence before Torali again spoke. :: However I doubt that such an experiment would work for me. I fear that certain aspects of my cultural beliefs would prevent me from being able to achieve a status even faintly close to what you describe. Amman: That’s the point, you have to abandon your cultural beliefs and live within someone else’s. Certainly you’ve had to adapt somewhat to be where you are now. Elzizabath: My first year at the Academy was most definitely a cultural shock but I was fortunate to have a good roommate who helped me to adjust. Amman: How so? Elzizabath: Perela was a Serilian from Seril IV. However she had spent most of her formative years off world with her father living aboard a freighter. As a result she was able to fit in with little to no difficulty. Amman: People in isolated environments like a freighter, or even a farm, tend to be far more egalitarian, while in most large groups gender norms tend to be more strict. Its something I’m always very keenly aware of when I try to blend into a society. Most humans tend to have rather rigid views on age, gender and many other immutable characteristics. Elzizabath: She mentioned that. :: Torali replied calmly but then her tone changed to one tinged with puzzlement as she continued to speak. :: Even after all this time I have difficulty understanding how any intelligent species could logically think there is a difference between the sexes. From what she told me most females from her world would never have the opportunity to join Starfleet like she did. :: The two of them stopped at the lift and waited for it as they continued to talk. :: Amman: But there are differences, beyond the strictly anatomical. There is a spectrum in any given trait, but averages definitely exist, and are vary among species. In humans men do average stronger than women and women on average have a longer life span. Of course there are men who live to be vastly older than the average woman, and women who are vastly stronger than the average man, but in general there are traits and identifiable differences. Elzizabath: ha, ha, ha, ha, :: Again Torali laughed her musical laugh before she continued to speak. :: From what she told me she was most definitely not your typical female Serilian but I think that was a good thing. If she had been I doubt that she would have gotten into Starfleet or been assigned as my roommate. :: As she finished talking the lift doors opened and they both entered. :: Amman: And how exactly did she help you adapt? Elzizabath: She encouraged me to try different things, foods, activities, even some sports…. :: A large smile lite up her face as she spoke. It stayed there as the lift doors opened and they walked out into the corridor. :: Amman: Sports? Elzizabath: I know, silly really but it seems that there are some that do not require a baser instinct for savagery, besides, regardless of anything you may have heard about my people we all tend to spend a portion of every day in some kind of physical fitness activity, swimming being one of the most popular. Amman: I love sports, at least individual sports. I was never much of a team player, but I did always enjoy direct competition. I’m a mediocre tennis player, but I’ve always enjoyed the game. It’s the same with swimming, where I have excellent endurance but am rather slow. Which sports have you tried? Elzizabath: Most were classed as track and field activities but I also tried gymnastics which are very similar to something we have on my world but we consider it to be a visual performing art set to music however Perela and I did play a lot of tennis as well. I found it challenging and an excellent way in which to exercise. Amman: Perhaps we can play some time. Elzizabath: I would love to, for some reason I have found that it is not as popular an activity among most humans. :: As they turned a corner Torali had to pause her speaking for a moment and sidestep out of the way or she would have bumped into a purple skinned being with three eyes and strange waving tentacles hanging down from the top of its head. However as soon as it had passed she continued speaking. :: If you do not mind my asking, are there any other activities that you enjoy? Amman: You mean hobbies? Well, I’m not very good yet, might never be, but I’ve gotten involved in ballroom dance and try to practice at least two or three times per week. I also like combining my professional knowledge with cooking, vinting and brewing. Elzizabath: An interesting selection of activities. I am not sure what form of dancing, ballroom is but cooking I am familiar with and correct me if I am wrong but vinting is to create wine and brewing is for ales? :: Looking over Torali saw her new friend nod to indicate that she was basically correct. :: Amman: That’s the fun part. Ancient recipes are very easy to find, and with archaeological evidence we can often get a fairly accurate picture of the processes they used, but in many cases ingredients are no longer the same or even available due to changed climates and extinct plant and animal species, and of course we can often only guess. Elzizabath: While I was at the Academy I heard about some university students that had managed to recreate what many believe may be one of the first brewing recipes on Earth, something from approximately 5,000 BC. Amman: The oldest I’ve managed was an Sumerian millet beer dating to about one thousand years later. How about you, any hobbies? Elzizabath: Me. I paint, do some drawing, play a few musical instruments. I use to perform as part of the Ulasivierathalosovoron Olarisian Ensemble. My mother is one of the senior musicians with the company. Amman: Olarisian Ensemble? Elzizabath: Olarisia is the most popular form of performing art on my world. Every major city has a couple dozen performance troupes. :: Hsina was genuinely curious. :: Amman: Can you describe it to me? Elzizabath: If I had to describe it I would say that it is a large spectacle. :: Torali paused for a moment to consider how best to describe just what a performance was like before she continued. :: Think of it as a hybrid blend of Earth like ballet combined with circus de soile acrobatics and backed up by a symphony orchestra of 50 plus musicians and an audience participation that might resemble those individuals attending a performance of the Earth cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” but without the audience wearing any silly costumes. As you might expect most performance groups have at least 100 performers. Amman: I’m not familiar with the Picture Show you mentioned, but it does sound like something I’d like to see. What is your part in it? Elzizabath: I played the coralis, an instrument that is faintly like one of your Earth saxophones but with one mouth piece connected to two sloping metal tubes, one longer and thinner than the other which is slightly thicker and each with its own keys. Amman: I sort of know a woman who was a world class violinist, but I don’t believe she still plays. Elzizabath: Violinist? :: Torali answered in a slightly puzzled tone even as she glanced over at her new friend. Then her expression changed as she continued to speak. :: Oh yes, a stringed instrument from Earth. It has some wonderful tonal qualities as I recall. What happened? Amman: It’s a long story. Someone my shipmates and I rescued, a woman out of time. Elzizabath: That is an unusual statement. If you do not mind my asking, how and why did you describe her in such a way? :: Torali asked as they turned the corner and came to a stop near the entrance to the officer’s mess hall. :: Amman: We found the wreck of an early Federation starship in orbit around a remote world with unusual conditions much like the planet Ba’ku in that it caused organic cells to regenerate themselves. The crew of that ship had been stranded on the surface of Kjenta II for almost 220 years, but were all in their physical primes. In the three weeks I was there I reverted physiologically ten years. It’s a rather desolate place, extreme gravity and weather, but it was also the proverbial fountain of youth. Elzizabath: That is a human reference correct? :: Torali asked and was rewarded by a nod even as she continued to talk. :: something to do with one of your mythological stories, water that prevents aging…. An interesting biological mystery, one that would be sure to interest anyone with a medical background, I take it that the Federation is now studying it? Amman: It’s quarantined now. Elzizabath: That is a unexpected decision. I would have thought that scientific curiosity would have won out… still that has no bearing on your story. What happened to her? The violinist. Amman: Major Irina Pavlova is her name. She was accepted to the Moscow symphony in the year 2165, but chose to join Starfleet instead. About a week after we had evacuated the survivors to the Discovery she tried to play, but couldn’t make her left hand work the strings without severely cramping. That was three-years-ago, and when I saw her a few-months-ago she didn’t mention playing again, and I didn’t think to ask. I hope she did. Elzizabath: My musical talents may not be nearly as extensive or impressive as my mother’s but I would miss them greatly if for some reason I could never play again. Did you ever play an instrument? Amman: I tried the guitar and the flute as a child, but I had no talent whatsoever, and I’m a horrible singer. Something about female vocals and tenor just not being a pleasing combination. Elzizabath: I think I understand, most species that I have encountered since leaving my world seem to produce only a small number of musicians, artists or performers. Amman: None of my my brothers and sisters ever had any musical talent. I guess its just not in our gene pool. Elzizabath: Almost everyone on my world practices some form of artistic expression. Amman: You are known for it. Elzizabath: I had to laugh when I read the Federation description of my people at the academy. We were described as a species of artists, our world a gallery of visual and performing arts to delight the senses. Our achievements as doctors, scientists or engineers received only a short mention. Amman: I’ve only read of your world once, and if my memory serves, we hadn’t made first contact yet when I was a student. I hope you’re not offended by my lack of knowledge or my people’s oversimplification of your society. Elzizabath: It did not offend me. After all there has been less than a dozen visitors to my world from the Federation that I know about. I can see how it might be possible for them to have come to the conclusion that they did. Amman: Not unlike some of your people’s impression that we are all violent barbarians. Anyway, I do need to take care of a few things and I believe I’m due to be interrogated by a punch of Intel types who seem to think I’m not who I say I am. Should be fun. Elzizabath: Oh… I’m sorry. I did not mean to keep you. :: Torali replied in response to her new friends statement that she had to run as she was expected elsewhere. :: Amman: Oh no, I most enjoyed our conversation. If you don’t mind, I’d very much like to spend more time with you. Perhaps you could show me one of those performances on the holodeck? Just because I have no musical or artistic talent doesn’t mean I’m not a discerning spectator. Elzizabath: I would like that. :: She replied with a smile. :: This has been an interesting meeting, one that I welcome the opportunity to continue at another time. Amman: I’ll see you soon. Elzizabath: Till we meet again. :: Torali replied as her new friend turned and left. As for her she turned and entered the officers mess. It was long past time that she should be getting something to eat, or at least that was what her stomach was telling her. :: TAG/TBC ************************************ Lt. Cmdr. Hsina Amman Science Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 Author ID 0238908HA0 And PNPC – Ensign Torali Azivalora Poracin Elzizabath Science Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 As simmed by Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar Chief Tactical Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780 darylpea[...]@hotmail.com Daryl.Pea[...]@ontario.ca Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0
  8. ((USS Blackwell, Chief Science Officers Office)) ::Sometimes times the brightest days can have their own special darkness. A shadow that cast itself on life and one that resists all attempts to dispel it..:: ::Merrick sat in his office, the lights dimmed to the point where the fixtures were but glowing embers, hardly enough to be seen against the blackness of the room. However between them and the screen in front of him there was more than enough illumination for Merrick to see his screen.:: ::D E A R:: ::Four letters hung there staring at Merrick as if daring him to add anything more.:: ::He was writing family. Rodulan family. Yet the Vulcan part of himself, the part that was cultural rather than biological, demanded he excise the emotion laden word. Merrick just gazed at them, transfixed and silent as he contemplated what seemed to be an exercise in impossibility.:: ::For the past several months Merrick had been at war with himself about home, about talking to his people. However for a man with so many memories locked inside his head, fighting with himself had taken on new and epic proportions. Voices and emotions spoke to him. There were images of alien landscapes. He could smell the gardens, hear the tinkling laughter and feel the happy little kisses of children on his cheeks. Other memories displayed for him broken vistas where the Borg had come and decimated entire homes, tribes, cultures and even planets. The burning sense of loss was almost overwhelming as he continued in his unmoving vigil of his screen.:: R’Ven: oO Home. Oo ::It was a word that had become unmoored from almost all meaning.:: ::Even Merrick’s own childhood had been one of travel, moving from this planet to the next. The only cord of continuity was the Vulcan ship that threaded itself through his life. It represented family, school, work, and in many ways life. His whole personality . . . .his whole being had been consumed and tied by all things Vulcan. The language, the culture and the driving desire for logic and order.:: R’Ven: oO But are we Vulcan . . or . . . ? ? Oo ::The very plurality of his question was a reminder of the changes he had gone through . . and was still going through.:: R’Ven: oO No! . . . we are something more. Oo ::The desktop was pleasantly cool to the touch as Merrick rested his hands on it and leaned forward to watch his screen. It was if through sheer desire and determination that he could force more letters to appear. The futility of that desire was making itself felt as pain, spreading from his neck and across the back of his head.:: ::He was not even sure why he was composing this letter. Merrick was writing someone he had not seen in decades.:: R’Ven: oO Would she still want to hear from us . . . from me . . . after all this time? Oo ::The only answer was silence and four letters glowing defiantly in the darkness.:: ::Standing up Merrick stepped away from his desk. He could hear his shoulders pop as he stretched. After a moment of silent contemplation Merrick folded his arms behind his back as he came to a decision and turned to face his desk and the quartet of letters still standing on his screen.:: R’Ven: Computer delete the last letter and begin again. ::Instantly the screen became a blank canvas upon which Merrick could once again attempt to pour out his thoughts. The question was how would it appear when converted to text?:: R’Ven: Greetings Akeelah ::It was a compromise between ‘To: Akeelah’, and ‘Dear Cousin’. Neither felt . . . genuine.:: R’Ven: It has been some time since we have last spoken and I am curious . . . how are you doing? ::Actually the last time they had spoken Merrick was still living on Vulcan and had gone to Rodul for one of his sporadic visits. It had been during a time that his parents were reconnecting with relatives that they had not seen during the occupation. it had given him a strange feeling of contentedness and had a centering affect on him. Now he felt so much less Rodulan than he had ever felt. He felt so completely removed from himself that he felt almost alien in his own skin.:: R’Ven: I have been through . . . . a few changes since last time we met. ::Partially assimilated by the Borg, lost his telepathy, accused of treason, promoted to Lt. Commander and department head, assigned to a new fleet and ship to name a few. The first two changes were in sealed medical records available to his Captain and any medical staff it pertained to. The third one was accessible with digging and the last few were on his service jacket.:: ::All of it felt like a cacophony of sudden and disjointed changes, like a man stumbling drunkenly in the darkness and crashing through the events of his life. What would being next?.:: R’Ven: I wonder if perhaps there might come a time when we could meet again, or perhaps correspond. It has been many years since I have had a chance to speak with family. ::He was conveniently ignoring his parents, who no doubt were out gallivanting from one place or another. Then there was Dorn his older and adoptive brother. It had been years since they had talked as well. Merrick's isolation was partly of his own creation.:: R’Ven: I look forward to hearing from you. ::and he signed it:: Merrick R’Ven. ::Merrick slid into his chair and turned to face his desk. Resting his elbows on the arms of his chair, he interlacing his fingers together he stared resolutely at his monitor. He was satisfied that at least there were more than four letters this time, even if they were not the same ones as before.:: ::The letter was so short and it looked painfully stilted and forced even to him.:: ::Sighing, Merrick looked over one last time and was satisfied that there was nothing else he could think to add.:: R’Ven: Computer, please send to Akeelah D'Sena of the Constitution. ::As the letter spun and then vanished from his screen Merrick leaned back in his chair wondering what the woman on the other side would think of his letter . . . or even think of him. Would she welcome family after so many years of silence? . . . . Would she answer? . . . . Would she even remember?:: ::The answer would require time and patience. Two qualities Merrick had in abundance.:: --------------------------------- LT. Commander Merrick R’Ven Andaris Task Force | CSO @ USS Blackwell Training Team A239210MR0
  9. ((Conference Room 1, Level 4 - Deep Space 26)) ::It has been a nice evening full of success for Isabel. She had met some new people, was recognised for her achievements during the last mission with two new ribbons added to her collection and was able to celebrate with others who had received promotions and other accolades.:: ::It appeared to her, that Starfleet parties are always over quite abruptly. It didn’t even need a red alert or other similar emergency. As soon as people start to leave, it was basically a rap for everyone. Right now, their guests from across the galaxy were leaving, from Isabel’s point of view simply by disappearing.:: ::This was bad news, as one of the more important items on her imaginary To-Do-List was not yet checked. She was quite relieved when she saw Commander Traenor still being there, obviously in the last moments of a talk with Commander Thomas.:: ::Isabel smiled, as this pair most certainly brought up some memories. It was the two officers who had led her mockup mission serving as part of the final exams of the Academy. Even though Thomas had been the Commanding Officer, she had always thought of Traenor being her examiner, since they had had to split the team during the mission, leaving her without much time with Thomas.:: ::This bond has been strengthened further on Turisan, where Traenor and Isabel had met again and shared an apartment for a couple of weeks. But unfortunately, he had been assigned to another position and their correspondence had dropped to literally nothing.:: ::Now, it was time to act, as it appeared as if he got ready to leave this place as well. Isabel made a quick exit out of her current conversation which could easily be continued as her counterpart was not disappearing to a place lightyears away.:: ::She rushed over and actually reached him in time. The quick sprint across the room had actually taken her breath a little.:: Pond: oO I have to start exercising again, instead of laying around with Randal on the couch all the time… Oo Pond: Commander! ::trying to find her breath again:: I’ve been trying to get a hold on you the whole evening. Do you have a couple of seconds for your old student? ::smiling:: ::Having mentally prepared to exit the simulation that placed him at the celebration on Deep Space 26, Maxwell Traenor had steeled himself to consider this the last time to see his former colleagues for a long time, if not forever. Therefore, he was quite surprised to be interrupted at the last second by someone he was very fond of, and had not gotten the chance to talk to before this very moment. The smile that erupted on his face was enough to give him facial cramps.:: Traenor: Isabel! None of this rank stuff! We’re former flatmates, after all. ::With all these previous thoughts, Isabel had a bit of a substitute-dad-reunion-vibe going on, which was quite confusing, as she had never actually felt their connection was that strong before.:: ::She somewhat awkwardly extended her arms for an invitation to a hug, until she realised that this surely wouldn’t be inappropriate, leaving her standing like a old scarecrow with arms that had already bent under the weight of the rain soaked coat.:: ::Maxwell saw the momentary hesitation in Isabel’s carriage and doubt on her face, and understood fully. A combination of time apart and rank, conflicting with familiarity and shared history, made for a perfectly reasonable moment of awkwardness between the pair. Whether it was proper or not, the scientist swept in and gave the doctor a warm hug. It was simply the mood he was in.:: Traenor: You look good, Isabel. Happy and content. Everything is going well, then? Pond: ::Happy about how the hug-attempt turned out:: Yes, very! A lot’s going on recently, with Randal and the new ships and everything… Traenor: This is an exciting time for you and all the rest. New ships, new region, new adventures. It’s a great time to have a party, and has been a great chance to catch up with everyone. ::There might have been a trace of wistfulness on his visage, but Maxwell buried it behind an authentic smile. He could live vicariously through the accomplishments of those like Isabel, whom he had seen rise through the ranks and become an accomplished officer and doctor.:: Pond: It is a great party, and really great that they were able to bring you all here! But I see, you’ve changed colours! Blue suits you well, I must say. ::smiling:: How come? Traenor: Thank you! I’ve worn blue for so long, that I just couldn’t give it up for long. ::conspiratorial wink:: Actually, I was given the chance of a lifetime to specialize in my scientific field. It’s not a step back so much as a step sideways. I’ll get the chance to wear a red collar again someday, but for now, I’m happy and healthy, and that’s what truly matters. ::Isabel was relieved to hear that. Seeing her previous mentor drop out of the command path against his will would have been really heartbreaking. Although not entirely sure if that was the entire truth, Isabel decided to stick to the version to not kill the all around good mood.:: Pond: That sounds great. I kind of got a new position as well, as it sometimes gets a bit boring in Sickbay… Whenever there’s a biological question to ask, I guess I am the girl for that on the Atlantis now. ::laughing:: Traenor: I see you and Randal managed to get posted on the same ship in the Task Force, then. I ran into him earlier, he seems pleased as punch to get to pilot an Intrepid class. ::There was an unspoken question that Maxwell left hanging. He knew that Starfleet was launching a dedicated medical ship as part of the Task Force, the USS Blackwell, and he didn’t know if missing out on the opportunity to serve on such a vessel was a bad thing or not. If he knew Isabel at all, though, he was certain that she’d be content to serve wherever she was needed, and if she had Randal at her side, then all the better. Those two were one of the most successful couples he’d ever had the privilege of witnessing.:: Pond: Yes, I am so happy about that! I am quite sure Renos has pulled some strings to make sure of that. I was a bit afraid that Randal felt like being dragged along with me, as the Blackwell surely is bigger than the Atlantis. But if you say he said that, I am quite relieved... Traenor: ::laughing:: Oh, I’d say he is. I mean, if you can put up with that haircut of his, then it must all be good. That probably makes him happy enough. Pond: ::jokingly:: Heey, don’t speak ill of my boyfriend! His hairdo is brilliant! ::The laughter was hearty at that last jab. Glad to be finally in a place where he could joke about and with his former colleagues, Maxwell felt a warmth and happiness that had been muted for a long time. Any doubts that he had about visiting the ceremony had fully dissipated, and he was left with a contentment over all that had transpired during this virtual visit.:: Pond: ::hesitant:: Can I let you in on a secret? Traenor: Of course. I’m all ears and zipped lips. ::It really was a spur-of-the-moment decision to tell, as she hadn’t had the chance to talk about that to anyone. But with him leaving quite soon, there literally was no chance for some ill-informed rumor to spread which could ruin the whole endeavour.:: Pond: I think it might be time for Randal and me to tackle the next step… ::It was such an open-ended statement that Maxwell was left with an unflattering blank expression as his mind reeled through several possibilities. Before his imagination could run roughshod over the truth, he prodded Isabel for more.:: Traenor: Such as… ::Once again, Isabel was hesitating. She hadn’t told anyone and she was not sure if it was a good idea to do so right now.:: Pond: I am thinking about a way to ask him to marry me. ::If the grin that prefaced their fortuitous meeting was grand, then his latest one was simply macabre. There was no way for Traenor to express how overjoyed he was with the state of these two young friends’ union. He couldn’t help himself, he swept Isabel up in another bear hug.:: Traenor: That is the best secret ever! I’m so proud of you, so proud for both of you! There better be an invitation for me that comes across subspace when the date is announced! Pond: ::laughing while being hugged:: Easy! I said I was thinking about it! ::getting out of the hug:: But seriously. I have read that on Earth it is custom for the man to do that and you somehow have to ask the parents? That all doesn’t make much sense to me, do you think that would be a problem? Traenor: Randal doesn’t strike me as an overly traditional type of guy, especially with a custom as archaic as all that. I honestly believe that regardless of who does the asking, he’ll be over the moon. Don’t worry about it one bit. Do what’s right for you and him, and let tradition be damned. Pond: ::playfully grimmly:: Yeah. Screw tradition, I always say that! ::Isabel burst out with laughter. It was good to hear from another individual from the same culture as Randal hailed from that her plans weren’t doomed from the beginning.:: Traenor: ::once his own laughter subsided:: Look, my chronometer is telling me that my time is about up. But this visit wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t had the chance to reconnect with you. Thank you so much for tracking me down like this. It made my evening to hear from you. Pond: That’s too bad. But I am glad that I’ve caught you. So, already a new mission on the screens? Traenor: Yep, that’s the life of Starfleet, isn’t it? New life and new civilizations, etcetera. The Marchlands, our new area of operations, has it’s fair share of all that, and I get to chart it all. Pond: Let me know if you make any exciting new discoveries. Send me your papers or something, I have always time to read while waiting for patients. ::Isabel realized that there hadn’t been a big farewell scene the last time they had parted. She wasn’t sure if she had missed it or if there simply wasn’t time for that. It made the whole deal just more awkward as it was already.:: Treanor: The same goes for you. I’m always game for following the career trajectory of my former students and friends, and it’s so much more tasteful when I don’t have to cyberstalk them to get the details. ::wink:: Pond: I guess I’ll let you disappear then. Fair winds and all that… ::quite sad:: ::Before they got too wistful again, Maxwell gave Isabel a friendly wave and moved as if to walk away. But before he did, he leaned in conspiratorially.:: Traenor: I’m serious about that invitation. I better get it! Destination weddings are always nice, say Casperia Prime? ::chuckling:: Pond: Send me a leaflet, I’ll consider it. ::smiling:: ::Maxwell Traenor stepped back once again and disappeared. There was no transporter blur that normally accompanied such an event, it actually made Isabel startle for a second. After he had vanished, Isabel stood there for a moment reminiscing.:: Pond: oO Alright, time to go make plans, then. Oo __________________________________ Lt Isabel Pond Medical Officer USS Atlantis D239212IP0 ~and~ LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor Scientific Specialist, USS Constitution =/\= Top Sims Contest Facilitator =/\= A239111MT0
  10. ((OOC: SUBMITTER'S NOTES: For context's sake, there is a lot of alcohol consumption going on in this meeting. As a consummate imbiber, Traenor hides it well, so his responses don't show the same level of intoxication as the others without the background text to make it obvious. Rest assured, the entire scene is of a same vein, if not as 'stellar' as this prime post!)) (( Starbase 104 - Habitat Area, The Sink )) Iel’ue: Commander Traenor here is one of the best kept secrets of the Constitution. I’d call him the foremost expert in Astrometrics and Stellar Cartography, but I’m sure he’d deny it. ::Commander Traenor seemed a little flustered by the remark, giving a muted “harrumph” in response. The ensign didn’t think that Aurelians could “harrumph,” but if they could the entire conversation would probably be the two veteran scientists harrumphing back and forth, since that was just the sort of thing the Professor enjoyed.:: Traenor: Is there another Commander Traenor on the Constitution? Because THIS Commander Traenor may be a stellar physicist, but he's far from a stellar stellar physicist. ::musing distractedly:: Unless we're talking about exceptional stars. Then I could be a stellar stellar physicist. But I wouldn't characterize myself as a stellar stellar stellar physicist in that case... ::shaking his head:: What I mean is that you pay me too high of praise, kind sir. ::The Aurelian chirruped his pleasure. A wide grin was spreading across Ji-hu’s face. He loved nerds. Maybe this was what he had missed all those times his fellow cadets had asked him out into the city.:: Iel’ue: Too damn humble, Commander. We stellar cartographers gossip like Ferengi housewives, and your name and work has come up enough to put me to shame. Choi: I’ll leave you two to talk, I don’t want to interrupt! ::The Commander turned to Ji-hu, looking mischievous.:: Traenor: I need a witness for this, Ji-hu. The Professor here is buttering me up for something, and if I'm going to be swindled, I'll need corroborating evidence. Iel’ue: Nonsense, sit! ::The Aurelian waved over a server. The winter wine seemed to be going straight to his feathered head. He’d never thought the scientist could be so giddy.:: I simply wanted to give Commander Traenor a flash drive with some of my data on astrophysical phenomenon in the Lembatta Cluster for his perusal. Nothing too interrupt. ::He pulled a small disk from his robe and slid the flash drive across the table.:: Now, drink! I call the first Lembatta Sun Scientific Conference to order! ::Commander Traenor took the disk and tucked it away, looking a little surprised.:: Traenor: This is too kind of you, Professor. I must have read and re-read the papers you published on the ternary star system within the Cluster. That's the sort of papers that careers hinge on. It was a fantastic analysis. ::Ji-hu nodded enthusiastically. After the first couple of classes in Professor Iel’ue’s “Probability and Statistics” course Ji-hu had looked up some of the scholars work, including his masterwork “Gravitational Impact on Terrestrial Planet B3 In Lembatta Trip Star System.” He hated himself for not taking more stellar cartography and astrophysics courses. Maybe if he’d done another two years… The Aurelian’s chest puffed out, his neck feathers ruffling proudly.:: Iel'ue: I had a damn good team under me on that work. It was as much their success as my own. Speaking of work, a couple of the Darwin’s crew spoke very highly of your work in astrometrics. I was hoping you might be applying your talents to our little corner of the universe… Traenor: We're focusing all of our efforts on the Leron system right now, but trust me, I will be pestering my captain for a trip to the Lembatta Cluster at the earliest possible convenience. And, if I have any sway whatsoever, I'll ensure that there's a berth for you to join us as a subject matter expert if you would so enjoy. ::The Aurelian clicked his beak against the glass in excitement.:: Iel'ue: A perch in a cargo bay would do if it got me off this damn hunk of metal and out into the stars! ::Iel’ue and Traenor began to swap stories of their exploits plotting the universe and the strange maths that arose out of unexplored astral phenomenon, and Ji-hu was rapt by their conversation. He could only dream that some day he had seen as much of the universe and its infinite combinations of gravitational forces and explosive matter that these two scientists had plotted. He was so lost in the flow of conversation as Professor Iel’ue waxed poetic on the hues of his favourite binary star system in the Lembatta Cluster that Ji-hu almost hadn’t realized the Commander was speaking to him, a kind smile on the older man’s face. Ji-hu straightened in his seat at the attention.:: Traenor: So, Choi Ji-hu. I can only assume that there's a story about how you were taught by the venerable Professor here and yet became an engineer. Do you have a minor in the sciences? Choi: A d-d-double major, sir! Science and Engineering! Although m-my science courses mainly focused on pathology and m-mathematics. I specialized in nanotechnology and advanced computational systems in m-m-my Engineering courses! Traenor: My new best friend! I couldn't program my way out of a wet paper heuristic algorithm. You would be surprised how often I've had to bribe, beg, and steal my way through the simplest of computer tasks. Thankfully, I've always found a sympathetic specialist to assist me... speaking of, what are you drinking? Refreshments are on me during the inaugural Lembatta Suns Scientific Conference! ::The Terran scientists gave a wink and grin, and the Aurelian crowed enthusiastically. Ji-hu grinned nervously. He wasn’t sure if the professor should have another glass of…:: Iel’ue: Winter wine, my good sir! The more you drink, the less it tastes like berries that have sat out in the violent rays of a red hypergiant! ::Traenor looked to Ji-hu expectantly. Ji-hu opened his mouth to order another water, but then he remembered his conversation with Commander Foster earlier in the day. How sometimes “party things” could be a change of pace, and a way to celebrate getting through danger. Sure, his life hadn’t really been in danger today, altough Lieutenant Sindri certainly made his heart feel like it would stop, but he’d joined his first starship crew. Certainly that was worth celebrating?:: Choi: I’ll… I’ll have a d-drink! ::Although he didn’t know what to order as the Gorn server came over. Luckily, the Professor seemed prepared.:: Iel’ue: A glass of winter wine for me, and two Heart-of-Golds for the Terrans! ::the Aurelian chirruped contentedly as the server walked away with the order:: You’ll have to forgive me, gentlemen, but its a reference to an apocryphal old-Earth science fiction story, or so I’m told. These Gorns have a strange taste for old-Earth literature, if you would believe it! ::The drinks showed up, and the three went to, although Ji-hu was a little more cautious. A “Heart-of-Gold” turned out to be an opaque white drink with colourful swirls of other liquids. He sipped it and the taste was… not good, but not as offensive as he’d assumed it would be.:: Choi: ::whispering:: Turing, keep track of my blood-alcohol level. Turing: ::sigh:: Can do, meatsack. ::As Professor Iel’ue had explained, the taste of alcohol got better with each new glass. After his second “Heart-of-Gold” Ji-hu was wholly convinced that he had never had better friends than the Professor and Commander Maxwell. They were both SO INTERESTING! And SMART! And FUNNY! He wanted to be JUST LIKE THEM, and he even found that he could speak to them without stuttering too much! Maxnor Commander was just the best, and being really nice even though Ji-hu was just a tiny little ensign. This was great! He was smiling to himself, and he couldn’t help it! This was the best night of his entire life! They were up to round three, and Ji-hu was snorting with laughter as the Professor began to croon an Aurelian mating song to them, for the purpose of scientific demonstration, when a thought struck the young ensign.:: oO Oh no. Oh, alcohol is evil. Oo Choi: ::slurring slightly, whispering:: Turing, I thought I told you to keep track of my blood-alcohol level! ::The leaf-green icon appeared on his wrist console, although there seemed to be two icons instead of one. Curious.:: Turing: I have been keeping track, meatsack. You were fine until the second sip of your second beverage. Choi: ::slurring, slightly louder:: Damnit, computer! What am I supposed to do now?! Search LCARS, parameter, “what to do when you’ve had too much to drink…” Traenor: What is that, and what did it just tell you to do? ::Ji-hu sat up straight in his seat so fast his knees slammed against the underside of the table. Professor Iel’ue let out a started hoot, punctuating a pickup line to a very disinterested Bajoran mercenary sitting at the next table.:: oO Normal voice. Do normal voice brain. Oo Choi: ::slurring:: This is my best friend Turing, he’s a VI who lives inside my wrist PADD, but someday I think I might turn him into a full blown AI. ::Ji-hu grinned:: I made him myself! But my online friends added a bunch’a… uh… jokes and stuff… tell a joke, Turing! ::Ji-hu held his wrist out toward the Commander, almost bopping him on the nose. The leaf-green icon appeared, and Turing’s cool, androgynous voice buzzed out of the wrist mounted PADD system.:: Turing: Tell me, Commander Traenor, how do you stop a sentient AI from destroying you and the rest of civilization? Traenor: I don't know, Turing. How do you stop a sentient AI from destroying me and the rest of civilization? Turing: You don’t. ::Ji-hu shoved the wrist console into his lap, his face going as red as Iel’ue’s winter wine.:: Choi: ::slurring:: THAT WAS JUST A JOKE! I promise! My friends and I liked old-Earth stories about killer robots and stuff, so we put a bunch’a that kind of stuff into his personality matrix! And he’s not sentient! He’s just a virtual intelligence! NOOOOOO sentience! Traenor: I like it. In fact, I love it! I would love to have an access device on my wrist when I'm working, and if it had enough attitude to keep me on my toes, all the better. Good work with that, Ji-hu. Choi: ::slurring:: Thanks Commander… ::Ji-hu hiccups:: You know… this is the most fun I think I’ve ever had… ever! Do you think people on the Constitution are gonna like me? Traenor: Well... ::grinning:: I like ya just fine. You're a good egg. Others will like you too. Just got to give them all a chance to get to know the real you. Choi: ::slurring:: I really like Commander Foster… and Ms. D’Sena’s nice even though she acts scary… and Cap’n… Cap’n Tiger… and… uh… XO… and Mc… McLarry? But Lieutenant Sindri scared the hell out of me… you’re really nice though! ::Ji-hu probably shouldn’t have had that third Heart-of-Gold. His brain was mush, he was swimming through his thoughts upstream just to keep up with the flow. Neon lights spinning around your head was not a fun feeling… like a whirlpool. He braced himself on the table, giggling to himself.:: Choi: ::slurring:: … Sindriiiiiiiiiiii… ::Professor Iel’ue plopped himself between Ji-hu and Traenor, spurned by the Bajoran, leaning in close to the Commander, speaking low. The Aurelian didn’t slur, but he could barely keep himself upright after his fourth glass of winter wine. Ji-hu could still hear, even though he couldn’t make much sense of what the Aurelian was saying. Damn alcohol…:: Iel’ue: We think it’s a megastructure… my dearest Commander… Traenor: A megastructure? What megastructure? Iel’ue: You’ll find it in my notes… a solar megastructure around Star HK 10822, deep in the Lembatta Cluster… unauthorized, no recorded development, although when I brought it to my superior officer he accepted my report, but there was no further inquiry. A damn megastructure, and we can’t even go in to look at it closer… You understand my concern, sir… Traenor: You can't be serious, Professor. Are - are you sure? Iel’ue: And my dear Oel’ett, all the way back on Aurelia, and she won’t even take a call… aaaaaaaaah, Oel’ett! Choi: ::slurring, patting Iel'ue's feathered hand:: Professor! Don’t be sad! I looooooved your courses! You were the best professor! Iel’ue: ::pining:: Oel’ett, my dear Oel’ett! tbc/tags ***** Ensign Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  11. ((Starbase 118, Ensign Maxwell’s Apartment – Thirty-one hours after the Columbia’s return.)) ::His face and neck were itching like mad were Dr Ezo had removed the scarring that belonged to the now discarded persona of Logan Lang. The rest of his body was also sore and aching, but that wasn’t the worst part of how he felt. There was a deep ache in his chest, which some would call a broken heart. No, that wasn’t it. They’d split up for the final time when he was a year into the Academy. She’d breezed back into his – and Milly’s – life like she’d never been away. Maxwell had honestly thought his mother was going to throw her back out of the door. Without opening it first. They’d been back together about three months when she decided to flit off again, and that was the point Maxwell decided enough was enough. For good. Not for him, but for Milly. It wouldn’t be any good for her as she grew up to have some random woman popping in and out of her life on a whim. She hadn’t been near the house – or Maxwell – ever since anyway. He was confused about how he felt. On the one hand, he was utterly crushed. Because somebody he’d been friends with since he was nine, and later in love and had a daughter with had died. Despite their constant on-off relationship, his own feelings had never really changed. And then even when she’d dumped Milly on him and swanned off, he still felt strongly about her. On the other hand, the way she’d destroyed her own life and shown no interest in Milly except when it suited, the way she had insulted his parents amongst other things, he didn’t care that she’d taken a [...]tail of various “highs” and had succumbed to their negative effects. He loved her. He hated her. He missed her. He was glad – in a way – she was gone as it would be less painful for Milly as she grew up. He didn’t really know if he actually knew what he felt. And then that thought hit him. Milly was four. Even though Maxwell and his sister didn’t get along in the slightest – couldn’t stand each other in fact – Milly absolutely adored her. She would eventually begin to wonder why she had her Grandmamma and her Auntie Rosetta, but no Mamma of her own.:: oO How the hell do I explain something like this without breaking her heart when she’s older? Do I explain it at all….? Oo ::He hadn’t even realised he was still playing, as the door chime broke him from his swirling thoughts. He removed the bow from the strings slowly, turning his head to face the door:: Maxwell: A-Aye, who is it? ::Did his voice just crack?:: oO Get a grip man! Oo Erin: Hey Max! It’s only me! ::She sounded chirpy as ever:: Maxwell: Enter ::His voice allowing the door to hiss open:: ::And in she bounced. Even though they’d only known each other as long as they’d been on the station, they’d hit it off the moment they’d met in the lobby. She was without doubt, his best friend. But being fair, he only knew any other people on the station via working at present. At that wasn’t the same. She was still in uniform, and based on the time, had probably finished her shift and come here instead of next door. Knowing that he was back and wanting a chinwag. He replaced the cello on it’s stand, along with the bow, before standing. He walked over and gave her a big hug, before arching a questioning eyebrow at her:: Erin: Why thank you, Max. I would love a drink. ::She smirked at him:: Maxwell: Get yourself sat doon, I’ll get it. ::He went over to the little fridge in the kitchen area, ripping open the small case of Turners. He removed two of the six bottles and cracked off the lids. Closing the fridge again, he wandered back as Erin flopped onto one of the sofas. She grinned as he handed her one of the bottles. He sat in one of the chairs facing her, careful to not sit in his usual knees-apart posture. They chatted for a little while about what they’d both been up to. Eventually, she sat upright, putting the empty bottle on the coffee table:: Erin: Max, what’s the matter? I can tell something is bothering you. ::And so he told her everything. Maxwell wasn’t one for showing a lot of emotions, so the dozen or so tears he shed highlighted to Erin just how bad he was feeling. She stood, walked over and – kneeling beside him – gave him a hug. He returned it, holding on tight as he swallowed everything back. He gently broke the hug off, smiling at her and returning to his padded stool. He picked up the bow and cello, offering her a smile as he began to play one of his favourite pieces.:: Erin: So what are you going to do? About your daughter that is? Maxwell: I’ve two bedrooms. I only need one. So I’m going to speak to the ex-oh about getting Milly out here with me. ::He paused, suddenly feeling a little selfish:: If she wants to that is…. ::Erin offered a smile that said ‘Why wouldn’t she?’ but remained silent, instead sitting back with her eyes closed, listening to the music.:: Maxwell: Anyway! You’ve got plans tonight lassie! Best go get ready for your date wi’ the wee green man… ::She opened one eye, before sitting upright. She fiddled with the think plait that lay across her shoulder before standing up and smoothing down the skirt of her blue-trimmed uniform.:: Erin: ::Laughing:: He’s a Marine, Max. And his name is Carl. ::She poked her tongue out at him:: Maxwell: Marine, sure. A wee green man. ::He said with a wink, and he began to play a romantic piece of music.:: ::She huffed at him, although it was playful, and flounced theatrically to the door:: Erin: Jealousy gets you nowhere, Mr Maxwell! ::She said with a laugh as the door opened.:: Maxwell: He’d best treat you like an Empress! ::He called after her as she disappeared from view:: ::He continued to play, the tune faltering a few moments after the door had closed itself. He began to play a classical nineteenth century piece he’d learnt at the Academy, but after only a couple of bars he stopped again. He closed his eyes briefly before beginning to play a slow, melancholy piece instead.:: Maxwell: Forge on, lad. Forge on. ::Once again his beloved cello found itself back on the stand, and if an inanimate object could look fed up, this cello certainly did as it listed ever so slightly to the side. He went and washed his face, before returning to his desk:: Maxwell: Computer, record and send this message. Computer: Waiting…. Maxwell: Counsellor, I would like to request an appointment with you sometime this week if possible. I could use your…guidance. Ensign Maxwell::He tapped a button on the keypad to end the recording.:: Send to Ensign Reyes. Computer: Message delivered. ::He had the rest of the evening to kill, and he had a great idea about how to spend it. Despite not being on duty, he had still pinned his issue comm-badge to his t-shirt. He grabbed his wallet, stuffing it into the sporran on his kilt, and made for the door. He tapped his badge as the door opened:: Maxwell: =/\= Maxwell to Antraydin. Beer O’Clock big man? =/\= Antraydin? --- Ensign Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  12. ((Starbase 118 – Twenty-seven hours after the Columbia’s return.)) ::Crewman Julien Paradi had been in uniform just over a year, having joined Starfleet as soon as he turned eighteen. He’d completed his training and been shipped out to Starbase 118 as a “Transport & Storage Operative”. It was a glorious sounding title for what was essentially a Starfleet order picker. He ran lift loaders and other equipment, shunted palletised freight and equipment from storage locations to transporter bays or aboard shuttles and larger cargo haulers. Some days he was in one of the transit offices, generating or reviewing manifests for anything and everything that went in or out of the storage areas. He found it pretty dull, so when he was asked near the end of his days rotation if he would take a couple of items up to an officers apartment in the next “block” from his own, he’d been halfway up the corridor before realising he’d left the items behind. Still, he was here now. Deck 830 North, Apartment 49C. He entered the common lobby, and proceeded to the apartment in question, chiming the door as he came to a halt. The tiny speaker set flush into the chime sounded. “Hello?”:: Paradi: Crewman Paradi, I have your items from the cargo bay sir. ::“Enter” came the voice, and a moment later the door hissed open. He stepped over the threshold and into an apartment that was identical in layout – but mirrored – to his own. To his left were a trio of doors that led to bedrooms and a dedicated washroom, he was stood in what was the open plan entry/lounge area, and to his right was the rest of the apartment that was the remainder of the lounge area and an open plan family/dining/kitchen layout. There were framed posters of musicians and bands adorning the walls, along with framed examples of what looked like….:: Paradi: oO Surely they can’t be vinyl records, can they? Oo ::There was a pair of two seat sofas and three comfy looking chairs in the lounge area, and there was a fair sized coffee table in the middle of them. There were a couple of old style printed music magazines on the table, sat beside a trio of empty beer bottles, and one half-full. There were several display stands and bookcases dotted about the room, with all manner of militaria and music memorabilia on show. He even spotted a storage rack with a decent collection of records in it. No record player though…. A padded stool was sat by one of the three windows – Paradi knew the ‘outer’ bedroom would have it’s own window too – beside a Cello on a stand and also a stand for sheet music. Behind the stool was what looked like a violin case as well. His gaze flicked back to the left, noting a short bookcase against the wall between the inner bedroom and washroom. Sat upon it in a glass case was a highly detailed and intricate model of an old Ambassador-class Starship, and beside the case was a framed photograph of a Science Officer and his blushing bride. His attention had been drawn that way by the hissing of the door to the outer bedroom. Out of which strode a shirtless man who looked to be about twenty-two. Paradi took in the slim but toned physique at a glance and felt a mild flush of excitement. One side of his face and neck was reddened and looked to be mildly irritated; the other side of his neck had a square dressing on it, low down. His torso was peppered with purple-green bruising and not a few nasty looking scratches and gouges. He had short hair and a short beard, and his eyes were different colours. He also didn’t have any trousers on. Instead, he was wearing a pair of heavy-duty black boots. And a kilt.:: Paradi: oO Kinda hot really… Oo Maxwell: Awright pal? Those ma things? ::He nodded at the bag strap on Paradi’s shoulder, but also meaning the case of Turners Lager couched under the other arm. Paradi nodded, relieved. He put the duffel bag and beer case down, smiled and made to leave. His eyes flicking briefly over to the stool by the window. Maxwell turned, following the gaze, his own eyes falling on the Cello:: Maxwell: Aye, she’s a beauty ain’t she? D’you play by chance? ::Paradi’s heart skipped a beat. He did indeed play the Cello! He nodded enthusiastically:: Maxwell: Aye, great. Tell ye what lad. Why don’t ye come doon at some point? We can sit oot on the veranda and play a while. By the “veranda”, Paradi took him to mean the communal area outside the apartments. He nodded again, excused himself, and left. Maxwell: oO Who’d have thought? Another Cello player! Oo ::He glanced up at his wall-mounted clock, noting the time before grabbing a t-shirt from over the back of a chair and pulling it on. There were still boxes of his collectibles and clothes dotted about, and stray piles of clothes strewn about everywhere. Brushing a pile of socks of a chair, he sat down in front of his viewer, declaring the recipient of the call. About a minute later, the screen came to life and an olive-skinned woman with dark hair and sparkling green eyes appeared before him. An enormous smile broke across her face and a hand went to her mouth. Maxwell: Hello mam ::He couldn’t help but grin, and he realised how much he was missing her. She tutted. Abrielle Maxwell: Italiano! ::she scolded, but there was a playful edge to it:: ::He shook his head, laughing.:: Maxwell: Ciao Mamma. ::She smiled. She always wanted to talk to him – to all of the kids – in Italian, a fact that mildly irritated his father. They talked this was and that for a while, at one point the screen splitting as his father had joined in. Maxwell’s mother calling out to him, and Maxwell had heard his father in the background calling back that he couldn’t understand a bloody word she was saying. The rest of the family knew full well that William could speak Italian almost as well as his wife. To any outside observers, it would have sounded like the brewing of an argument, but it was just a playful little routine his parents had gotten into during their thirty years of marriage. He’d spoken briefly with his brother Henry and got a relatively polite ‘hello’ from his sister as she had passed Amelia into her “Granmamma’s” lap. He’d never once stopped smiling as he sat there listening to her chatter away about everything and nothing that was world-spinningly important to a four year old.:: Maxwell: Okay, Milly. You go with your auntie Rosetta. Be good, night night. Daddy loves you! ::She’d waved at him, then held her arms out to be picked up. Maxwell’s mother smiled, giving her a kiss goodnight and watching as she was taken from the room. Then her expression changed to one of sadness:: William Maxwell: Awright, son. I’ll leave you be to chat wi’ your mother. I’m proud of you son. Speak soon, aye? ::And with that, the split screen went back to a full screen of his mother’s face. He knew that look. Something had happened. It was a month or so since his Grandad had passed away, so it couldn’t be that. He lapsed back into English as he spoke:: Maxwell: Sup, Ma? What’s happened? ::His beloved Mamma began to weep:: Ensign Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
  13. ((FLASHBACK - Vulcan, 2362)) ::She was supposed to be producing a historical analysis of the political and economic circumstances surrounding the last Vulcan intra-planetary war and the Awakening, but after the first few journal articles, T'Reshik found herself losing interest. At eleven years old she did not yet have the resistance to boredom that most adult Vulcans were disciplined enough to maintain, and besides, she could not see what possible applications this subject might have to her planned future career as a brilliant doctor and/or scientist (she hadn't quite decided which one she was going to be yet).:: ::In this light, the amount of detail she was obliged to go into seemed quite irrelevant. Before Surak, her people were violent, irrational and murderous, and eventually began to fling nuclear weapons at each other until they almost wiped themselves out; after that the philosophy of Surak spread until they all became sensible and productive enough not to play with atomic bombs any more and that was that. There's your tedious bloody essay, Professor Barok: now sod off back to your archives to look at old bits of paper and leave the scientists to get on with the interesting stuff.:: ::Knowing she would likely get in trouble for this, but not especially caring, T'Reshik dismissed the historical journals from her screen and diverted her attention back to this week's object of affection: her genetics textbook.:: ::She opened it reverently, eyes bright and hungry for the reams of knowledge within. Formulae, diagrams, long streams of symbols denoting the secrets hidden within her own flesh... she could spend all night reading this kind of thing, and in fact frequently had, much to Barok's disapproval when she started nodding off in his seminars. (It wasn't her fault that history class was the perfect place to catch up on sleep.):: ::Her small finger followed the page as she read, first in Vulcan, then in Federation Standard English, and the subtle linguistic discrepancies between the two columns did not fascinate her nearly so much as the content. She thought of her own DNA, encoded deep in her cells, its chemical signals sending out instructions like a general directing her troops from the war room, tissues proliferating and growing and shedding and dying as every day her body grew older and stronger...:: ::At first she did not realise why her eyes had paused on a specific section, re-reading it over and over before she even knew it was happening.:: T'Reshik: o O Iris coloration is determined by the below factors... Blue is largely the result of a recessive gene... Green eyes are caused by an inherited variance on the following and in Vulcans will always dominate that which causes blue and grey pigmentation if the superseding pattern for brown is not present... O o ::Will always dominate.:: ::T'Reshik closed the book.:: ::She did not need to consult a mirror. Nor did she seek, as a human child might have done, a family photograph for reference, or perhaps to try and reassure herself that she had made a mistake. The relevant faces had been burned into her mind as clearly as those damning paragraphs were now.:: ::Two blue-eyed parents and a green-eyed child.:: ::She grabbed the textbook and consulted furiously; then, after a few minutes, brought up the genetic science database and consulted that as well, scouring all the available knowledge for anything that might disprove her unsettling conclusion. There were genetic disorders that could cause this, but none that were relevant here; mutations of this kind would have caused other observable factors in her genes, none of which she manifested... :: ::Eventually her hands went slack on the inputs and she stared at the screen, her mind reaching for an explanation.:: ::She already knew a little about Pon Farr, mostly from demurely-worded biology lessons and the dubious assertions of her classmates (some of which were more reliable than others - she was fairly sure that it didn't temporarily turn you into a mountain lion, for example). She was vaguely aware that she had an uncle, Shirok, who had died of the condition, and that these sort of things were rarely spoken of.:: ::And she knew, with a cold flood of realisation, that whatever circumstances had driven her parents to conceal her true lineage - for surely a straightforward adoption would not have needed to be concealed, in a family as open and forthright as her own - they had been driven by a horrific kind of necessity.:: ::Abruptly she returned her attention to the screen and rattled out a brief and petulant set of logical arguments for Professor Barok regarding the irrelevance of historical study to the progress of modern science. Then she turned elsewhere, back to the journal database, and this time her search was fuelled with determination.:: ::As expected, there wasn't much out there about Pon Farr, or if there was it was couched too deeply in euphemism and scientific jargon for her to uncover as yet. The only thing she could find, hidden away in a second-rate offworld journal, was a case study, authored by one Professor Sutek of the local university, regarding the potential long-term uses of a particular hormone antagonist. Although the purpose of his research was not stated outright, the language in his conclusion hinted at the necessity of discussing such issues, the lives ruined and lost due to wilful ignorance where science could surely find a solution if only it were given the chance.:: ::The rest of the article was mostly beyond her understanding, but T'Reshik wasn't going to let a small thing like that deter her. She hefted her biochemistry textbook onto her desk and prepared herself for a long night of study.:: ::It was clear she had a lot of work to do.:: Ensign T'Reshik Science USS Constitution D239311T10
  14. ((Deep Space 26, Deck 6, near Xenobiology Labs)) Ferentis: Gree-sa-sa... gree-sa-sa... ::With his face still firmly embedded into the deck, Ferentis snored his gentle, reptilian snore, perfectly unaware of the events that were occurring inside and out of the station. Firefights, diplomatic struggles, mechanical wizardry, medical miracles- it all played out around him, unrecognized and ignored. His internal workings, however, had his full attention. Memories and imagination, interwoven so one could not be told from the other, plagued his thoughts. Synapses and dendrites processed barely understandable information at 110% percent, and he found himself equal parts exhilarated and exhausted. Terrified of looking over the edge but unable to resist the temptation, he continued to spiral downwards into the murky, rusted depths of his subconscious...:: ((Somewhere, somewhen, somehow...)) ::He'd never been afraid of the night.:: ::One couldn't have light without darkness, and he'd always found the solitude of poorly lit areas to be comforting. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he enjoyed relatively excellent eyesight, even in dark conditions, or maybe it was the fact that few people would follow a dinosaur into an unlit corner, but the enveloping loveliness of the black had never caused him to feel fear.:: ::So imagine his surprise when he looked out, saw darkness, and was more afraid than anyone had ever been.:: ::The reason he knew the thing before him was large was because it blotted out the stars. Planets that orbited the monstrosity, planets that he knew had a mass far exceeding his native Dupwa'thuv, appeared as pointless pin[...]s against the all-consuming, hungry, eternal, hateful mass of hellish emptiness. In his hearts of hearts, he knew that one day, those pointless planets would drift into the maw of that beast and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.:: ::He stared for a second, he stared for an eon. And then everything sped up considerably. One by one, the planets came closer and closer to the singularity, and in turn, each was consumed without so much as a scream. Entire civilizations, whole solar systems, complete galaxies were torn asunder, and enveloped by the darkness. And though it was already the darkest thing in the pseudo-universe of Ferentis' mind, with each dead world, each stomached galaxy, the surrounding light dimmed a little further...a little further...:: ::He had to get out, had to escape! He clawed against the thick nothingness, knowing neither where he was, or how he was kept alive- knowing only that he needed to get away. He dragged his front paws against the fabric of reality, but reality wasn't as strong as it used to be. He sliced through it like a bat'leth through paper. And something latched onto his leg, and he was slowly pulled backward...:: ::No. No! Nothing had ever gotten him so desperate, and it had been a long time since anything, within his mind, or in the real world, had approached that level of terror. He bit, he screamed, he sold his soul. And just when it seemed that nothing would help, nothing would save him from his downward plunge into what could only be described as hell, those same forces let go, and he was able to escape. He...swam?...walked?.. as fast as his limbs would carry him, and only when he was certain that he had left the beast far behind did he turn and observe.:: ::And that's when the real disaster hit him.:: ::Because he'd done it. He'd gotten away from the singularity that was sucking in anything and everything.:: ::But nothing else had.:: ::The universe was so completely, perfectly silent. Empty. Pointless. And untarnished.:: ::And he realized that he'd been handed something that could never be replaced. The chance to define the laws of physics in this new reality of one. The chance to bend and shape and coerce the fabric of truth to his will, to his perception.:: ::The beast still waited, quiet, ready to strike and absorb anything that came near it. But it had already taken everything. Everything! And it could never die...:: ((Reality.)) Ferentis: Gree...sa-hmm? ::Rarely had anything looked quite so comically stupid. His elongated snout was buried into the floor. It seemed impossible, but through no fault of his own, a Pakhwa'thanh had managed to face plant.:: ::His arms, legs,,,and neck (oh, his neck!) ached with a fire that would have set a Klingon crying. How long had he been here? And why? Now that he was awake, he faculties began to return to him. Wisps of consciousness teased him, telling him that he had been thinking something dreadfully important, something that mustn't be forgotten, but nothing was forthcoming. He sat for several seconds, straining his brain, before coming up totally empty. He knew he'd see those thoughts again, sometime. Until then, he had a situation to ascertain.:: ::Wiping the considerable amount of drool from his chin disgustedly, he gathered his strength.:: Ferentis: ::Staggering to his feet.:: Hello? ::No reply. Though the station appeared fine, and nothing particularly strange drew his attention, he hardly trusted it.:: Ferentis: ::Under his breath.:: If you are unconscious, please report immediately. ::Again, nothing. Perhaps he should go hunting himself. No- bad term. When it came to his people, the word "hunting" meant something far more literal than most species were generally prepared for. He would investigate on his own. Doing his best to keep his balance, he set off, tail wagging.:: Ensign Ferentis Engineer USS El Corazon NCC 74220 =========As simmed by========= Lieutenant Randal Shayne Helmsman USS Darwin NCC 99312-A G239202RS0
  15. ((Rear Entrance - Dou'lempor)) :: Fortunately, the elements were working with Alex and his companions. Having been forced for the past week to work in very low light in an effort to save on their supplies, he had gotten very used to working in near darkness. There was just enough ambient lighting to provide what he and his team needed to be able to work comfortably enough to hold this rear exit. :: :: Alex motioned to the other members. Since they were inside the ship, he did not want to give away their position by causing too much noise, so he resorted to hand gestures. Hopefully he remembered them all from his cadet years. First, Alex pointed at Lt. Barrett and signaled for him to watch the corridor to the left, then to Ensign Saavei to watch the doorway behind them. Finally, he signaled that he would watch the corridor to the right and to only speak if they had contact with anyone from any direction. :: :: Alex could hear noises and shouting from within the corridor as it echoed off of the walls until it reached him. The sounds were fairly far away and did not make him believe anyone would be coming in the next minute or two. His mind and heart raced in anticipation for what could possibly happen next. To be safe, he readied his bow and readied an arrow, but waited to pull back, he had learned through practice that holding the arrow back on a pulled bowstring too long would cause him too much muscle strain and he needed to be certain that the arrow would be able to hit its mark when he needed. :: :: Several minutes walked by and he heard footsteps coming from down his corridor. He quietly tapped his foot behind him to try to alert his team that someone was coming. He peered around the corner waiting for someone to come towards them. He saw some light down the hall from around another corner start coming closer. :: :: Three figures turned the corner and Alex caught a quick glance, there were two women, dressed like the ones they had fought and killed before and a man in his early twenties he guessed. This guy had a collar around his neck and did not dress like the women around him. Alex readied his bow. From past encounters, he knew it was a "Them or Us" scenario. :: :: Fortune was on his side, the enemies that approached had not seen him yet. Alex ducked back behind the corner and waited. He [...]ed the arrow and pulled back, waiting for the enemy to finish their approach. He felt the presence of his companions come closer, they must have heard the footsteps of the people approaching them. :: :: Alex signaled using the tip of the arrow that he would strike the one on the right first, then hoped that Ensign Saavei and Lt. Barrett would pick the other two and take them out, or incapacitate them somehow. As the slavers turned the corner, Alex loosed his arrow into the head of the woman on the right, killing her instantly. :: Lt Alexander Bishop - C239112AB0 Chief Medical Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-90221-A
  16. ((Transporter Room, Deck 9 , USS Darwin-A)) ::Today was a day of mixed emotions. Lyna Namid was leaving the place she had called home since Sicarian agents had sntched her from her homeworld many months ago. She had once been so afraid of aliens she had been too afraid to leave the shelter of the Darwin to make the intimidatingly long journey home. Aliens still made her nervous from time to time, especially ones she hadn’t met but nowadays it was rooted more in a fear of offending them than an inbred dislike of them as it had been initially. She was excited to have this opportunity to spread her wings but it was tinged with sadness.:: ::Unexpectedly, the xenophobic Ash’lie had grown to see beyond her people’s prejudices. She saw value in these new people she had met even if she was still a pacifist at heart and did not agree with all she had seen and heard of. Many of these species histories had been plagued with wars and as much as she wanted to guide them away from violent tendencies she knew she did not have the influence. Perhaps this role as a diplomat would allow her to become an Ambassador for her people and someday have the influence to encourage different approaches to problems.:: ::There was one person above all else she would miss. Her feelings for him had grown in unexpected ways. Last night talking to Graeme about cross-species relations and realising the fact they were different species didn’t have to be a barrier had brought those feelings into sharp focus. Graeme was the most wonderful, kind man she had ever met. He had treated her better than anyone among her own people. Happiness filled her as he finished saying goodbye to Lyldra and approached her as well as sorrow in knowing they would not see each other again for some months.:: Cook: ::In a hesitant voice:: Hey I just wanted to say I had an amazing time last night! Here I want you to have this take it with you. ::Last night had been one of the true highlights of her time on the Darwin. Being in love and feeling loved was something she hadn’t experienced before - at least not like this. This was different to the familial bonds she had back home. She looked at the gift and gratefully received it - a wonderful light blue blanket with green squares and straight red lines crossing through them. It was soft to touch and Lyna was delighted to have such a practical gift. Hopefully where they were going she wouldn’t need it but it warmed her heart to know Graeme was thinking about her comfort. Every time she looked at it or held it she’d think of him and the great times they’d shared.:: Lyna: Thank you ‘mynameisGraeme’ ::With playful nudge:: I had a great time too and thank you for the beautiful blanket. Cook: I'm nae good at this goodbye malarkey! ::As Graeme choked up with emotion Lyna saw how much this meant to him. It was difficult to leave but easier on her being the one who had agreed to it. She couldn’t miss this chance to become a contributing member of the Federation. If everything worked out like she wanted she would be able to continue seeing Graeme regularly after the trip to Earth. Otherwise she would have to beg Captain Renos to let her return to the Darwin. The androgynous commanding officer had been beyond accommodating to her and she was always mindful of and grateful for it.:: Cook: I know it's not forever but it will feel like it! Lyna: The time will fly by Graeme as we will both be so busy. ::Lyna had often had to wait weeks at a time sometimes to be able to spend time with Graeme because his work kept him so busy. At first she had not understood this because the crafting professions she was familiar with operated in a considerably more relaxed fashion. In time she had come to understand how things on the ship work and just as importantly, why things were so. Now she would not be constantly available to him whenever he had the time to visit. It would be strange being around so many strangers, with Lyldra being the only familiar face. Graeme pulled her into a strong embrace. She felt safe in his arms and started to well up with emotion too - this was it. After she transported over to the Endeavour she wouldn’t see him again for a long time. She squeezed him tighter, wanting to make the moment last as long as reasonably possible.:: Cook: I will miss you. ::Her ears were highly sensitive and as he whispered in one, he could feel his breath tickling her skin, making her grin. :: Lyna: ::Whispering back:: And I will miss you. I wish you could come with me… don’t say it, I understand now. Your duty is here. ::Lyna released her grip of him as he let her go and took her hand. They looked into each other’s eyes, enjoying a brief moment of silent understanding.:: Cook: I will video message you when I can. As I know you and I will be busy..... ::As Lyna saw the tears start to fall she had to struggle to hold back her own. She was a sensitive, emotional soul, prone to tears and did not want to be engulfed by the sadness she felt over leaving Graeme behind. To get through the next few months without him she needed to remember and focus on the positives because the tasks ahead would not be easy, the training would be intense.:: Lyna: Don’t be sad Graeme. ::Touching his cheek:: We will see each other before we realise any time has passed. Lyldra: ::She looked to Lyna:: Are you ready. ::Lyna glanced over to Lyldra, suddenly feeling guilty for keeping her waiting. The Bolian had a number of people who wanted to bid her farewell but the petite Ash’lie by comparison knew very few of the crew and was close to very few of those.:: Cook: Look after each other.......... Don't forget my stick of rock ::He burst out with a sobbing laugh that broke Lyna’s heart. She didn’t get the joke but there was classic Graeme - trying to see the lighter side of life even when he was feeling down. She had such tremendous admiration of him for his strength and endlessly fun loving personality. She stepped onto the transporter pad near Lyldra and when she looked back to Graeme he seemed a little more composed. The floodgates that were holding back her own tears were starting to crack. She knew that as soon as she transported to the Endeavour the reality of leaving Graeme behind would it her full force and she would probably end up crying it out of her system.:: Lyldra: Fare Tidings to you all. Until the next time I see you all again. Anyone: response ::Cook looked at Lyna and mimed the words I'll miss you.:: Lyldra: Enginerize. ::Lyna felt a very slight, strange sensation as she was engulfed completely by blue light. This was still a new experience to her for there were only a very small handful of time she had used the transporters. She patted her stomach, hips and thighs on rematerialisation as she found to her immense relief and awe that she was still very much in one piece. She nervously shuffled a little closer together a someone approached - she presumed they would show the pair to their temporary quarters.:: PNPC Lyna Namid - Trainee Diplomat Simmed by:- Fleet Captain Renos - Commanding Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member * Cadet Steward A238805EB0
  17. ((Iria's Shuttle - Deep Space)) Tarna: Please don’t get upset. Iria you are a wonderful person and I greatly value our friendship. I’m certain you will find love but it won’t be with me. I’m sorry but I just don’t see that changing. ::Was he patronizing him now? The little ember of anger ignited and exploded in her chest at what seemed to be an offhanded remark. She began to squeeze her fists trying to somehow keep her temper intact. The words from her psych eval came tickled the back of her mind. "Iria is a high functioning psychopath with a tendency towards violence". Violence sounded so good right now.:: Iria: ::angrily:: Excuse me? You saved my life. You sent me PICTURES and you don't love me? ::Janel’s mouth opened and closed a few times as the bewildered Trill struggled to decide what to say next. Things were very rapidly escalating and that made him very nervous indeed. He knew he had to remain calm, speak gently and try to descalate the situation. He did not feel he had led her on and was shocked that she took these two things as a sign of love. He didn’t want to seem callous but when he had saved her life he had just been following order, he had just been doing his job. There had been many people on the radiation flooded deck that needed evacuating and he had saved as many of them as he possibly could, including her. As for the rest, that had been a simple gesture of friendship and nothing more. Now was probably not a good time to correct her and point out that he had actually only sent one picture… Probably this was just an honest sli of the tongue brought about by frustration and the last thing he wanted to do was add to it.:: Tarna: I saved a lot of lives that day Iria. That’s what doctors do. I sent you the picture as a gesture of friendship. Because I thought you might like something to make your quarters a little more like home… They were two acts of kindness but that does not equate love. ::The swirl of anger and hatred began to poke at her mind as the reason for his apparent lack of interest. How could she have been so blind? It had to be that other woman keeping him hostage from her!:: Iria: It's Rosek, isn't it! She's convinced you to stay with her. That's it, isn't it? :: growling:: I'll KILL her! ::Janel had loved Rosek like no other but the circumstances in which they had met, the things they had endured together and the drugs that had coursed through his system. It had been hard to figure out how much of his emotions had been his own and how many had formed due to the emotion enhancing drugs and dire circumstances. He had been heartbroken when he had been transferred. He had been suspicious that the counselor, thinking their relationship unhealthy, had brought it about to break the two of them up. He couldn’t prove that though and though his heart still ached for her he was getting over her. He definitely wasn’t looking for love right now and just wanted to figure out what to do now that joining was out of the question. In some ways he’d got his life back. He didn’t have to follow a plan set by others, he didn’t have to jump through endless hoops in pursuit of a goal that mattered more to his family than himself. He could do the things he was passionate about and figure out what he wanted from life. He felt panic that Iria would threaten to kill her as she had proven to be dangerous in the past.:: Tarna: You can’t do that!!! Rosek and I are no longer a couple. She has moved on. She has nothing to do with this at all. ((8 Months Ago - Ensign Lael Rosek's Quarters - USS Victory)) Rosek: ::laughs:: I meant are we dating or what? ::Janel scratched his cheek and considered it. Given everything that had happened he probably should have been avoiding making any commitments. Of course he wasn’t exactly thinking about the fact his decision making processes could be completely skewed right now and dating didn’t sound too bad though. He reasoned that it was hardly as big a commitment as marriage and it spoke to him of the getting to know you stage. That was what he wanted.:: Tarna: What do you want to do? Dating sounds good to me. Rosek: ::brushes her lips against his:: Sounds good to me, too. Oh! ::grabs a PADD from her bedside table:: This is for you. Tarna: Oh? ::He took the PADD and sat himself more upright so he could get a good look at its contents. He couldn’t imagine what was on here that had her looking so pleased with herself.:: Rosek: ::grins:: It's a letter to the Symbiosis Committee. Tarna: Huh? Rosek: I contacted my friend, Alva, when we got back and she agreed to look at your service record and write a letter recommending you for joining. ::Janel was totally blown away and found it hard to believe there was anything in his short career of 8 months only that would impress Alva, much less the symbiosis commission. In fact one could almost argue that each mission had gone more badly than the one before. By that logic he needed to hand in his resignation immediately. Furthermore, the Commission were expecting progress on the research project he’d undertaken while in his final year at the Academy, and shamefully he’d made no progress on it due to duty and time constraints. He read the contents of the PADD through several times.:: Tarna: Wow! Thanks so much, this really means so much to me! Rosek: ::smiles:: I thought it might. Tarna: There must be something I can do for you by way of thanks? Rosek: Keep yourself out of trouble and that'll be thanks enough. ((END FLASHBACK )) ::Fear coursed through her mind mixing with the rage that boiled within. He was lying to protect her now? How could she have been so blind not to see that he was only using her! Iria's mind was a mess of conflicting emotions with one side trying to convince her that it was all a big misunderstanding, but drowned out by the scream of the other.:: Iria: Liar! She's making you say that! I've seen the way she looks at you! ::Rosek had been the one to call it off with him. Having a long distance relationship wasn’t fulfilling enough for her and she had needed to be able to move on. Janel could understand that even if it hurt. He was jealous of the fact she had seemed to move on so easily. She had found someone else whereas he was still struggling to move on and find himself. He wished she still looked at him like that because nowadays they barely kept in touch as friends.:: Tarna: Not any more she doesn’t. Even if she did it wouldn’t change my decision. Can we go back to the outpost now, please? :: Through all the noise of her mind and the swirling emotions of devastation and hatred, the through hit her like a icy bolt of clarity. Tarna did not love her. Tears welled up in her eyes as sorrow washed over her. She had made a fool of herself, the man never had any interest in her. Iria arms drooped to her side as he tried to calm her. :: Iria: oO He doesn't love me. Oo ::It snapped. One could almost say they heard it, but a dark warm feeling flooded through Iria and her eyes grew cold with hatred and despair. A feeling that she had not felt since she fought and killed alongside her father Nugra. The hatred, the rage, that outright despair choked her. She flew forward with a scream of rage and struck him three times in the chest with her fist screeching.:: Iria: You. WILL. LOVE. ME!!! ::He looked stunned and then down at his chest. Iria's eyes followed his and the haze of violent emotion evaporated and the three growing circles of red on his chest. Janel's face blanched white and he stumbled back. Iria looked down at her left wrist and saw that the hidden blade that she always wore there was fully extended and dripping red. The young Myrivan murderess caught him in his arms as he fell sickness sweeping through her. What had she done? What in the name of all things innocent had she done?:: Iria: ::screeching:: NO! NO! NOOOO!!! ::She pressed hard on the wounds trying to force the life blood back in, but her hands quickly became coated in the slick liquid.:: Iria: ::agony:: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! ::Filled with the most intense pain he had ever felt Janel could no longer stand, he could hardly form a coherent though. Life was fading from him fast and he knew his time had come. There was no chance for goodbyes. He was already dead to his family - his mother having told the rest of his friends and family he was dead, told him never to return to Trill or contact any of them again. He had failed. He had failed to earn the love and respect of his family. His mother would surely feel relieved that she no longer had to worry about him coming back to spite her and expose her lies. He’d long imagined that even were he stood right in front her her she would deny his existence, claiming him to be an imposter rather than admit her own son was not fit for joining. Tears leaked from the corners of his eyes and he was filled with sadness and regret. No one would mourn his loss. He had followed someone else’s dream all these years and now it was over.:: Tarna: ::Weakly:: I’m sorry. ::Iria scooted back from the now lifeless eyes of her love. She clutched her fists to her chest wide eyed in horror. He was gone. Janel Tarna was gone. Stopping as her back came flat with the shuttle hull, she gaped dumbfounded. Iria, Daughter of Nugra, had murdered him.:: PNPC Iria As Simmed By… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Colonel Nugra Marine Commanding Officer USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-B Podcast Team Facilitator Deputy Commandant Captain's Council Magistrate V238008N10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ & =/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\= PNPC Lt Janel Tarna - Outpost Unity Medical Officer Simmed by:- Fleet Captain Renos * Commanding Officer, USS Darwin * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member * Cadet Steward =/\=/\=/\= A238805EB0 =/\=/\=/\=
  18. (( Somewhere, nowhere, everywhere )) :: Hungry, so hungry. It wasn't sure how long it had been, but the source of deliciousness had been long depleated. Nothing was left, not the spicy, not the sweet. Nothing had been so scrumptious since. The little snacks throughout the time had been nothing to fill the void. Oh it was so hungry. Starving even. It needed food, urgently. While it could go longer periods without that time would be over soon. It would call out, its new home was able to. It had seen it happen before. It would probably take a while. It had listened to the words, before the food ran out. It could use them, yes that would help, then they would hear and come. The wait so long and then there it was: the lost piece. It could feel the lost piece and it was not too far, ready to help. It new it would. Prepare the way and find its way home, yes it would come. It already was on its way. Repeat the call, just repeat, they would hurry, they'd be here soon. It was so hungry, anticipation grew, couldn't wait for them to be here. Time's a passing, what took them so long? They were so close, so close, it could smell the food already. There, finally. They were here. It wouldn't take long. It had seen it before. A few would come, visting and looking around. They would be good food, not enough but good. They would stay, grow and feed so they could join once more. It could feel them. They had found a body made of spicy food. But then the sweet food came to visit it, oh yes, glorious food.Eat slowly, not too fast. Enjoy, relish, savour the sweetness. But it was so hungry. Eagerly it began to eat... too fast. It lost one. Slower now, smaller portions, that would be better. It would not be hungry any more very soon. So much sweet food with them. Soon they would be strong enough to find more. But now it had to eat slowly and wait for them to be ready. :: TBC----It written byCaptain Jalana RajelCommanding OfficerUSS Constitution BImage Team FacilitatorA238906JL0
  19. OOC: Going to assume we're home. Also, I wrote this while listening to "Hearts I Leave Behind", which [...] near made me cry. It was in tribute to Chris Kyle, the soldier the film "American Sniper" was made for. It sort of fit's Tyr's situation too. ((Bridge, USS Thunder)) ::They were home.:: ::Or at least, his temporary home. With his involvement in the rescue mission and the events in the ready room, Tyr knew what he had to do. He quietly left the bridge as the Thunder achieved orbit, heading for his quarters where he packed his meager belongings into his backpack and slung it over his shoulder, his back protesting immediately and just as immediately being ignored. He headed for his temporary apartment on Duronis.:: ::Temporary. Like everything here was.:: ::Love had been temporary with Hella. Happiness had been temporary with his new duty station. Physical ability had been temporary with his injury. Even friendship; although Parker would never admit it, his new duties as a father and increasing duties as a command officer would reduce their friendship to dust. Duty always did.:: ::Usefulness had been temporary. It seemed the only permanence the Ba'ku knew was loneliness. He'd felt that during the birth of Parker's child. And even as he'd held Toni's hand and dared to explore the possibilities that the gesture allowed-he knew that was a dead end too. It had been before, and would be again.:: ((Transporter Room, USS Thunder)) ::He quietly sighed and stepped onto the transporter pad, nodding to the chief as he realized the Thunder would be the last starship he'd set foot on. He noted, with a pang, that it shouldn't have been. Coming here had been a mistake. The last starship he should have been on was the Discovery, now wasting away in her berth at some forgotten outpost.:: ::Wasting away. Useless. Like her Captain.:: ((Duronis II Embassy Grounds)) ::The Ba'ku materialized on the parade grounds of the Marine CIC and quietly shouldered his backpack with his possessions inside, heading for his quarters to change. He let the Starfleet Marine uniform fall to the floor and pulled on his blue jeans and black Discovery t-shirt-the same attire he'd worn the first day he'd arrived. Grabbing his guitar, he walked out, leaving the uniform lying on the floor.:: ((Beach, Duronis II)) ::He walked until his aching back wouldn't allow him to walk any further, clad in his casual attire with no communicator and only a pair of sunglasses to shield his eyes from the bright Duronis daylight. His feet took him to the beach near the Embassy, and finally, either from emotional or physical exhaustion, the Ba'ku sat down in the sand. He stared out from behind the sunglasses at the endless waves that lapped the shore, the ebb and flow of water as eternal as time itself. But nothing, truly, was eternal.:: ::Nothing.:: ::He withdrew a PADD from his backpack and sent the waiting resignation to Toni, then casually tossed the PADD into the water as well. He watched as the approaching waves tugged at the device, finally gaining enough purchase to pull it out to sea. He watched it bob at the surface, then it quietly slipped beneath the waves. He sighed softly and picked up his guitar. There was no one about, thankfully, otherwise he was sure the Laudeans would protest offworlder music just like his people did on his homeworld. He strummed at the instrument and then quietly picked out a song from his favorite genre, 21st-century Earth.:: ::The song bled into him, the words striking his heart. He'd made a mark of a permanent kind..but that was long ago. Now he could only scratch feebly at the surface. And in spite of the help his friends had sought to give him, in the end, it just wasn't meant to be. He HAD to be useful. He HAD to be making that permanent mark, or it would be washed away, like the waves had washed away the PADD. He thought of T'Lea's fury and their confrontation in the lounge, and how right she'd been. He was weak. It was time he'd accepted that. T'Minh, Parker, Pavlova, Lupo..they had all tried to help him and in their own way, they had, but it just wasn't enough. The message was clear. He needed to go.:: ::He finished the song, then struggled to his feet and turned to schedule a flight back to Ba'ku. But there was someone waiting for him.:: OOC: No, I'm not really leaving. This is a plot arc. Stay tuned. ============================== Colonel Tyr Waltas Resigned
  20. ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Dunbar)) ::The Bridge was alive, which was more than Connor could say for himself right now. He had endured some very hard hours and there was little left in his tank for much longer. His officer had been trying to think of ways to free the ship from the anomaly but the Dunbar was simply not equipped with the sensors, or the engines to shake it free. Connor was a little under the pump and he was feeling more than a little overwhelmed. :: Tansey: Sir, hull stresses are increasing. I’ve attempted to reinforce, but, it’s not having a great deal of effect. Dreyfus: oO When will I get some good news I wonder. Oo ::The ship had been moving towards the rift at an increasing rate. While Connor wasn’t concerned with hitting it just yet, they were approaching a threshold where their proximity was about to start becoming a problem. :: ::Connor opened his mouth to provide a response, when he noticed the officer jump quite excitedly in front of him.:: Tansey: Sir, we have an incoming transmission, from the USS Darwin. ::The Captain almost fell out of his seat. They had sent out a transmission earlier but had received no return response. It was discussed that perhaps they simply were suffering the extreme effects of the rift and communication never made it out, or couldn’t make it in. Hearing from the Darwin was the answer that Connor was hoping for, but with everything else, wasn’t expecting.:: Dreyfus: Put it through! Renos: =/\= USS Dunbar, this is Captain Renos of the Federation Starship Darwin, responding to your distress call. What is your status? =/\= Dreyfus: =/\= Captain good to hear from you. We have been caught in the Anomaly which i’m sure you can see. We have been unable to remove ourselves from it’s grasp, and over the past 24 hours have been accelerating towards it. We have had random and consistent failures across the ship, with no reason that we can identify. We are starting to see some hull stresses across the ship. I’m not sure what your sensors can pick up, but we are running out of time. I could send you Captain, what we have collected her so far. =/\= ::It strangely felt good to get all of that out off of his chest. He already knew it, and so did his crew, but sharing his problems with someone else felt a little like some of them could be shared, that the burden could be someone elses for a moment. As if sharing the situation allowed someone to feel like he did right now. While the list of things he shared weren’t the complete list, he was sure only the essential items were necessary to mention now.:: Renos: =/\= Negative. We cannot accept data transfers at this time due to a weapon called an 'Anoxia field' that the Zalkonians have - have you heard of it? ::Connor had know about the Zalkonians for some time, but they had for the most part ignored his presence in the region. He wasn’t sure why now, they would be interested in what has happening here.:: Dreyfus: =/\= Sadly I am not familiar with that. Are the Zalkonians causing problems? =/\= Renos: =/\= Since they've been sighted in the region we're taking no chances. My First Officer, Brayden Jorey can fill you in. I'm sending him over with a team right away. =/\= ::They were sending over an away team was a great boost to Connor’s hopes of success. If they could change the tide, and provide some fresh ideas about how to break free, Connor would be forever grateful. He just hoped that they didn’t now become extra prisoners on his ship.:: Dreyfus: =/\= My officers tell me that Transportes won’t work though Captain. Do you have another idea? =/\= ::While his team didn’t have a great need to transport anything, they had discovered the targeting sensors and distortion field, would likely render any rescue via transporters wouldn’t work. :: Renos: =/\= How full is your cargo hold right now? Could it accommodate a shuttle? =/\= Dreyfus: =/\= We were on a survey mission, the Cargo bay should be fine to house your shuttle. I’ll have my officers prepare it. =/\= Renos: =/\= Okay, I'll pass that on to the team. What of your missing engineer, is there any sign of him, or leads surrounding his disappearance? =/\= :: A man that Connor hadn’t stopped thinking about since he went missing. It was the general theory that the Anomaly had been the cause of his disappearance, but he was still the only officer missing. He had his teams working on ideas on how to find him, but they had so far come up with nothing. The failures had done nothing to improve upon Connor’s mood.:: Dreyfus: =/\= We’ve had some thoughts Captain, but so far nothing we have come up with works. To be honest, the impending proximity to the anomaly has begun to take priority. =/\= ::It sounded harsh even as he was saying it. But it had to be done like that. He could not force his teams to focus on finding the chief when the entire crew’s safety was in jeopardy while they were approaching the anomaly.:: Renos: =/\= I see, well our team will certainly help you figure it out and if we can stabilize your ship and get all systems functioning again I'm sure it'll help. Have there been any other disappearances? =/\= Dreyfus: =/\= No Captain, the Chief is the only one. =/\= Renos: =/\= At least that's something. Is there anything else I need to know? =/\= Dreyfus: =/\=Keeping us from falling apart is probably the priority right now, and my team is struggling with that. =/\= Renos: =/\= Okay, thanks for that. I'll pass all of that onto the first officer and we'll get them over to you as quickly as possible. Renos out. =/\= ::Knowing they were coming aboard gave Connor a renewed energy. Brought from the brink of despair Connor now felt as though they might get out of this mess after all.:: Dreyfus: Get that Cargo bay ready for their arrival. Summons me as soon as they arrive. ::Connor had some freshening up to do. He wasn’t about to present to them in his current, filthy state. Heading to his now re-lit ready room, Connor freshened up in preparation for the Darwin Crews imminent arrival. He needed to be thinking straight, and to do that, he needed to wake up. He'd spent hours in a lull and it was time now to take action.:: MSNPC Captain Connor Dreyfus Commanding Officer USS Dunbar Simmed by ================================================================ Lieutenant Commander Kael Thomas - Chief Engineering Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A Academy Statistician Contact: azzabax@gmail.com ================================================================
  21. ((USS Einstein, Counsellor's Office, Stardate 239109.15)) ::One month. These appointments had been going on for one month. Vance was friendly and optimistic and he could get on with anyone, but he was finding Ensign Kellan Joran to be impenetrable. He'd tried talking. He'd tried not talking. He'd tried adjusting the lighting and temperature in the office to make it seem brighter and more welcoming, or to seem less formal and more relaxing. Whatever he did, he was met with the same impassive expression, and he was running out of ideas.:: ::Reading through Kellan's files hadn't helped, either. There was precious little information for anything prior to his service aboard the USS Vigilant. It looked like he'd led a relatively mundane life, and then been placed there as his first assignment from the academy. There was a perturbing entry about some kind of an alien social experiment on his file, in which the unfortunate Ensign had been unconsentingly assigned the role of a patient in a mental asylum, and that was worrying. The record read like a storybook as much as anything else and it looked like Kellan's therapy had been signed off to various other members of the crew rather than to one specific counsellor. Chances were extremely high that his current catatonic state was related to that incident, but he had been serving without problems for months before it had happened. Trauma could take a long while to surface, of course, so perhaps the Bajoran's failure to turn up for his shift for a full day and his violent reaction when medical staff had entered his quarters to check on him weren't so difficult to explain after all.:: ::Mentioning 'Ravensville', the name assigned to the alien experiment, had been the only real mistake Vance had made. Kellan had become anxious and had started to pace around the room, wide-eyed. When the Bajoran had headed for the door, Vance hadn't stopped him, and he'd quickly been picked up by the non-commissioned officers who waited outside during each of his appointments. The medic had administered a hypospray and Kellan had been taken back to his quarters, otherwise unharmed. Yet despite that, it was Vance's hope that he would be able to assist the stricken officer in returning to duty. There had to be a way through.:: ::And so he'd decided to pick one tactic and stick with it. Kellan had been the subject in an experiment, and his confidence had been completely undermined. The word 'humiliation' was insufficient to cover what had happened. It looked very much like he had been robbed of his humanity. Treating him like a normal person rather than a patient seemed like the best way to go and when the breakthrough was made, Vance was just going to have to find a way to sneak in some treatment under the radar. He would have to think on his feet, and be very careful in the process. He had to earn Kellan's trust, and then show him that he wasn't going to break it.:: ::This time when Kellan was brought to the counselling office, Vance was wearing casual attire. White slash neck t-shirt, covered with a dark blue cotton jacket, and a pair of comfortable black pants. He was sat on one end of the office sofa with a mug of Tarkelian tea in his hand, just as he would in his own quarters. There were no PADDs in view; everything was filed away, and even the terminal on the desk was deactivated. When he entered, Kellan almost seemed to stop in his stride for just a moment, a little suspicious of what was happening. His face quickly regained the impassive look that Vance was used to seeing, though, and the young officer took up his usual position on the other end of the sofa.:: Vance: Hey, Kellan. I figured you could maybe use a break from all the uniforms and regulations for a while, so I decided we should just hang out instead of having a formal session. Let me get you a cup of tea as well, unless there's something else you'd rather have? ::Nothing.:: ::Undeterred, Vance walked to the replicator, ordered some more tea, and then carried it over to the table next to Kellan's seat. He took care not to step too close to him so that his personal bubble was left intact.:: Vance: ::Returning to his own seat:: I know you haven't really felt like talking lately, so I thought I'd maybe try just talking to you. It must get lonely being cooped up in your quarters for so long. I know I wouldn't like that very much. ::Still nothing.:: ::Having spent part of the afternoon considering ways he could fill potential silences, Vance launched right into the one that he thought might give him the best shot at making some headway. When it came down to it, Kellan had only been aboard the ship for a very short amount of time, and his breakdown had happened within a couple of days of his arrival. That meant he hadn't had any time to get to know Vance, and he really had no reason to trust him. For most officers, a Starfleet uniform would be enough, but it was clear that Kellan didn't fall into the 'most officers' category.:: Vance: I wanted to tell you a few things about me. I've been trying to get you to talk about yourself, and it seems pretty unfair that you should have to do that without even really knowing who I am. You know me as Counsellor Sheridan, but my name is Vance, and I was born on Earth. My uncle inspired me to join Starfleet with stories about my grandfather. I've been serving with the fleet for three years now, and I started with an internship at Starfleet Headquarters. I loved it there. The town I was born in gets pretty cold over the winter and is sometimes not much better in the summer, so being in San Francisco was great. After four years in the academy and the internship, I had to put on a second coat when I went back to visit my folks. ::He paused for a moment, in case memories of San Francisco stirred anything in his Bajoran patient. They didn't.:: Vance: I haven't been outside the Sol sector yet on duty, but I've had the chance to talk to members of quite a few different species already. Sometimes I feel like we should get a big checklist, so we can try to collect as many as possible and broaden our horizons. It's great hearing the different viewpoints of members of species you've never met before, and finding out the things that you do and don't have in common with them. In fact, just talking to anyone is fun. You get to hear their stories about where they've been and what they've done. It really brings Starfleet to life... ::He carried on just talking at Kellan about inocuous things like food, music, art, sports, his family back in Whitehorse and those who had travelled, and even brought up some of his school memories. Nothing seemed to be working, but he was determined to keep trying. If he had to spend another month or two at the drawing board before he came up with something then that was what he would do. In the end, a soft chime from the computer on his desk informed him that the appointment was over. The Bajoran would be coming back in a few days to fill his quota of two therapy sessions per week, so cutting his losses didn't seem like such a bad idea. There was something that he wanted Kellan to take away with him before next time, though.:: Vance: Looks like we're done for this week, but I'll be looking forward to our next meeting. I think it's going to turn out that we've both got things in common. We were probably both at the academy at the same time, or at least we seem to be not too far off the same age, so I get the impression we could turn out to be good friends. ::At the mention of that word, Kellan's eyes flicked towards Vance. They stayed on him for a good few seconds, before fixing themselves back on the office floor.:: Vance: oO Interesting... Oo ::It seemed that he'd finally got his in. Pretending to be friends with Kellan wouldn't necessarily do any good in the long run, but trying to make friends with him? Maybe that would work. Maybe this particular patient needed to feel as though there were people who cared about his welfare other than those who had to because it was their duty? As the doors opened and the non-coms arrived to take Kellan back to his quarters, Vance was already thinking about his next move. With a little luck, it wouldn't take another month to get through the next layer of armour.:: TBC Lieutenant Vance SheridanChief CounsellorStarbase 118 Ops
  22. ((StarBase 118 - Security detention center)) Taree: Rhiaandrus…. thank you. :: The girl stared into the his eyes and suddenly the world of pain went away. His mind went back to his homeworld. His homeworld before it was torn apart by riot and radiation and war. His homeworld where they used to sit under the cokaberry trees after all the chores were done, eating the berries until their tongues and lips were stained a deep purple. His sister Vorna would keep the pits of the biggest cokaberries and carve them into tiny tops. It was always a game to see which one would spin the longest.:: Alstred: Thank you. ::he murmured back, his gaze was a million miles away:: Taree: Bye bye. Alstred: Jolan tru ::Murmured dreamily:: ::He looked around, gazing into the eyes of his sister. She looked older, and somewhat confused to be sitting under the [...]aberry trees:: Vorna: Rhansu! Where are we? Alstred: Rhiaandrus. ::he smiled, looking around:: oO We're back home on Rhiaandrus.Oo Vorna: This is my favorite tree. ::She smiled, looking upwards:: I thought it burned down. Alstred: oO It will never burn down again. We can stay here forever.Oo Vorna: I'd like that. ::She moved over to him, snuggling up by his side:: This place is beautiful. I love the springtime blooms, but late summer is the best. Alstred: ::Repeated, dream-like, softer:: Rhiaandrus... ::He closed his eyes looking ever so peaceful, daydreaming - or perhaps napping:: Vorna: ::Playfully:: I thought you never liked it here. You were the one who always wanted to head out and see the galaxy. Go somewhere bigger like Voralis Beta or Romais VII. Alstred: oO I never knew what I loved until it was gone. Oo Vorna: ::She lay a comforting hand on his cheek:: Well, I'm not gone anymore. We can stay here for as long as you like. Alstred: ::plaintive:: Forever? Vorna: ::Smiling:: Forever. Alstred: oO What about the voices I hear? Oo Vorna: ::Soothing, she brushed his hair back away from his face:: You've just been through trauma. Your mind is playing tricks on you. The voices will go away soon enough. Alstred: oO Good. I don't like them. I want to stay here with you. Oo Vorna: ::Smiling:: Then stay here with me. ::She drew him into her arms and hugged him warmly:: I'd like that. Alstred: I'd like that, too. Vorna: ::She reached up, plucking a cokaberry from the tree:: Are you hungry, would you like a berry? Alstred: ::ponderous:: oO Maybe later. I'm not very hungry. But I'm tired. I'm so tired. Oo Vorna: ::She patted the ground next to her:: Then come and lay down for a little bit. You've been through so much. A nap would do you good. Alstred: So tired. ::he slowly ambled off his chair and lay down on the ground, a faint smile growing across his features:: Vorna: ::Stroking his shoulder with sisterly affection:: I missed you so much, Rhiandrus. Alstred: I missed you too... ::He smiled as he closed his eyes.:: ~*~tbc~*~ MSNPC Ry'Van AlstredTerrorist and Prisoner Simmed by: Sal Taybrim
  23. ((Capitol City Heralokk, Mercadia III)) ::The cool night air swirled around her as she walked further away from the lights of the city with the rest of the group. Members of her family, along with other people from around the grouping who had come to Heralokk for the launch, moved further from the few lights that were left on so that their view of the sky would be better. Above them, the stars twinkled in the clear protective layer of their atmosphere.:: ::And all around, wonder danced from young to old. It was the dawn of the space age here on Le'wei; no one was willing to miss out on the fun. As the crowd slowed, a voice filtered back from the front of the group.:: Voice: Here is good. Looking up, you'll want to find the drawing of Malak, the Guardian of Le'wei. The stars of his sash will point the way to where our hero will fly by. ::A small capsule housing only one man had been sent to the heavens. It was only the fifth launch of the current era, but in such a small amount of time they had come such a distance. The moons were closer to them than ever before. Plans were already in the works for visits there, and to the other planets of their space system. Every bit of creative energy was being put into the program and the whole of the population ran rampant with excitement.:: ::The future was out there. All they had to do now was grab it.:: Kai'la: One day I'll be up there. ::It was a statement whispered to her twin brother who nodded in return. He was well aware of the newfound obsession his sister had for the space program.:: Herolt: We know Kai. ::He grinned and found a place on the cool grass to lay back and look upwards. Kai dropped beside him and into a similar position. Together, they found themselves transfixed on the sky above them. In the distance, she could hear the voice of the one who had lead the out here, but she already knew most of what he was saying so she tuned it out. Instead, he leaned her head a bit closer to her brother and whispered again.:: Kai'la: I wonder what's out there. ::It was a statement more than a question. She did wonder, but she also knew that in her not far off future, she planned to find out.:: Herolt: I guess you'll have to just wait. ::He knew the time would be problematic for her, as she always was one to just jump in with two feet, but he didn't know how to pass it along faster. Instead he'd chosen just to pick on her instead.:: Herolt: Besides, it's probably some big scary space monster playing with marbles or something. ::His sister snorted, having fielded a number of his crazy space and universe origin theories.:: Kai'la: Well then one day I will play with him. ::The teenager grinned, never taking her eyes from the stars above. This was magical, and it was something she swore she'd be a part of.:: TBC -- Kai'la and Herolt Civilian Citizens of Le'wei (Mercadia III) As simmed by Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti Commanding Officer USS Excalibur A
  24. ((USS Excalibur - Deck 1 - Briefing Room)) Nicholotti: If there are any other questions, I will field them now. Otherwise, let's get to work. :: Cory got up quick got up and headed for the door. He wanted to get back to the helm and look over the information that was on his PADD. Since the ship was already on course and the ride is smooth, he could look it over at his leisure. :: oO Hmmmm, the Afehirr sector, the Mercadian system. Not much there. Something that can destroy a planet? It would take every starship in the galaxy. I will definitely have to get sometime in the holodeck to get a feel for maneuvering the Excalibur. I do not want to get hit by anything that powerful. Oo =/\=You are invited to come help Lt.JG Aurora James and Major Irina Pavlova celebrate their new Engagement at a private party in Irina’s quarter sat....2000 hours. If you don’t know what to bring, bring Vodka for drinking games! Major Irina Pavlova, Chief of Marines=/\= oO What in the world is this? A party? Well, a party might mean there is someone I could meet there. I really didn’t get a chance to meet anyone on the Conny. I know Alex was getting chummy with that new science officer before we left. Oo :: Cory sat back and continued to monitor the Conn station watching the warp field around the Excalibur. He sent a query to the Hanger Bay to see the status of the fighters and shuttles. He is learning that the Captain and XO like to know what is going on and ask a lot of questions. He wanted to stay on top of everything. Cory’s mind started drifting to where everything started. :: (( Flashback, Stardate 238703.2, U.S.S. Shiloh NCC-95201)) :: The Main Hanger onboard the Shiloh was a burnt mess. Parts of shuttles and equipment were scattered everywhere. The acrid smell of burn plastic and even the faint smell of burnt fresh still hung in the air. Petty Officer Second Class Stoyer stood and looked around to see where his crew should begin to start the cleanup and repairs to the bay. :: oO What a darn mess! The guys I have with me are lucky to be alive. Too many of our friends are in bags in the morgue. Now, we have to get this place put back in order. I have no idea where to start. Oo :: Cory looked about picking a nearby corner and pointed. :: oO As good a spot to start as any. Oo Stoyer: Let start there. Let’s get the serviceable equipment in one pile so Engineering, when they ever show up can go over it. Let’s start with a wash down and then we will know exactly what needs to be repaired. :: His crew started over to the indicated corner and started moving everything. One crewman got a hose and was ready to start washing the bulkheads and deck of the soot and other debris. Cory was watching and directing when he noticed someone walking over to him. :: oO Darn, it’s the Captain. Oo :: Cory stood at attention when the Captain and the XO walked up to him. :: Captain Wynne: Petty Officer Stoyer, you and your team are to be commended. You help save the ship from further damage. I am hereby promoting to Petty Officer First Class. Since Lieutenant Davis is still in Medical and you do not have a Hanger Chief, I am making you the acting Hanger Chief. oO What??? I must be hearing things. I was just promoted to Second Class. Oo Stoyer: Thank you, skipper. :: Cory shook the offered hand. :: Captain Wynne: I want you to come by my ready room at 1600. I have something I want to discuss with you. Stoyer: Aye aye sir. ::With that the Captain and XO left. He noticed that some Engineering folks entered his Hanger. :: oO Let’s get this over with. Oo (( Captain’s Ready Room, U.S.S. Shiloh )) :: Cory freshly showered and in a clean uniform pressed the buzzer to the Captain’s ready room. After hearing the Captain bellow “enter”, he went in. :: oO What did I do wrong? It is never good for an enlisted man to go see the skipper. Oo :: Cory stopped 12 inches from the Captain desk and stood at attention. :: Stoyer: Petty Officer Stoyer reporting as ordered Captain. Captain Wynne: Stand at ease. :: Cory relaxed a bit and waited for the other shoe to drop. :: Captain Wynne: I have here a completed application to the Academy for you. After your performance yesterday, and with Lieutenant Davis’ recommendation, I approved it and will send it to the Academy. I think you will make a good officer, Petty Officer Stoyer. oO Again, I am not hearing him correctly. I barely graduated school. Well, they was mostly due to me not caring about the homework. Oo Stoyer: Yes, sir. Captain Wynne: Is that all you have to say? Stoyer: Skipper, it is all sudden. Sir, I barely graduated. I don’t think I could make it through it. Captain Wynne: Stoyer, you have brains and leadership skills. You do not quit either. Those are qualities that are needed in the Academy. They have tutors to help you with the more interesting subjects. Besides, Lieutenant Davis, the XO and I think you will make a pretty good officer. Stoyer: Thank you, Cap’n Captain Wynne: We will see orders for you in a couple of months. Thank you again for your efforts yesterday. You are dismissed. Stoyer: Aye, sir. :: With that Stoyer left the Captain’s ready room and the rest as they say is history:: ((End flashback)) :: Cory came back to the present to see his relief looking at him. Sheepishly he started his turn over. After that he headed to his quarters to start unpacking. :: (( Stoyer’s Quarters, Deck 4, U.S.S. Excalibur-A)) :: Cory was about to open his door when he saw a beautiful blond lady wearing command red coming out of her quarters a few doors down. He stared unabashedly for a few second until he realized that she was starting at him in return. Blushing he hurriedly entered his quarters. :: oO Who was that? She is gorgeous. Real smooth Mr. Slick. You probably scared her off. Oo Lieutenant JG Cory Stoyer Helm Officer U.S.S. Excalibur-A
  25. ((Marine Facility, Deck Thirteen, USS Constitution-) ::Cerissa was stood in front of her unit going over the mission briefing. She felt like she should say that she knew it was their first mission together, that they could get through it if they worked hard and pitched in…but she didn’t. If there was one thing law school had taught her was that the right thing needed to be said at the right time – these people were Starfleet Marines, they didn’t want to see their commander second guessing herself before they had even set foot on the Edison.:: ::No, keep it focused on the mission, that was the key…for Cerissa as much as for them.:: Tyren: The virus is apparently spread via contact with bodily fluids so I wanted us equipped for a category four contagion. Also, we will need to go inside the transporter black out zone so everyone make sure you’re wearing two high power emergency transport beacons – one for you and one for our survivors. Fisher: What’s our triage protocol, Lieutenant? ::Cerissa turned towards the medic.:: Tyren: Ultimately, Corporal, that will be up to Commander Udas but the initial plan is to transfer them to the quarantine unit aboard the Constitution as soon as possible; based on that I don’t foresee the need to move to a disaster plan at this stage. ::It was a frowned upon part search and rescue missions but, sometimes, you only had so much in the way of supplies and you would have to make the choice – use a significant amount to save one person or spread that out to save multiple casualties but let the ‘expectant’ patient die. She didn’t relish the thought of having to make that call.:: Tyren: I’m uploading your ROEs to your combat tricorders now but, broadly, the ‘infected’ are still Starfleet personnel and the Captain hopes we can find a way of reversing its effects - so keep your weapons on heavy stun. That having been said, the priority of this mission is the recovery of the survivors and the safety of our away team so lethal force is authorised. ::She paused while she transferred the mission protocols to the marines tricorders.:: Tyren: One more thing, the Edison is in a state of significant disrepair, particularly in the aft section. We don’t want to compromise the superstructure or systems further with explosions and wayward phaser fire so keep your shots tight. ::She returned the screen to its ready state before addressing the room.:: Tyren: Okay, Gunnery Sergeant Tau, Corporal Fisher, Private McPhail you’re with me, transporter room one in five minutes. The rest of you will remain here on stand-by; Master Sergeant Reichart will be in command. Any questions? ::A selection of shaken heads indicated none were to be forthcoming.:: Tyren: Alright, you have your orders. Dismissed. ::Cerissa left the briefing room and began walking towards the armoury when she heard the footsteps behind her.:: Reichart: Lieutenant, permission to speak freely? ::She turned to face the man known, affectionately or not, as Golem.:: Tyren: Granted, Master Sergeant. Reichart: Why are you leaving me out of this mission? With respect… ::Cerissa raised a hand.:: Tyren: Don’t…don’t say ‘with respect’ and then proceed to insult me. I have ears and eyes, Clay, and your feelings about me are thinly veiled at best. Reichart: They’re my team, I should be there. Tyren: They’re our team; and whether you like that or not doesn’t change the fact. Look, I understand where you’re coming from, I do, and your care for our people is what makes you a good NCO. ::She leaned in closer.:: Tyren: But here’s the thing - they won’t miss me if something bad happens over there…and if something bad does happen over there I need you overhere watching our backs. Is that understood, Master Sergeant Reichart? ::The sergeant held her gaze for what felt like an eternity.:: Reichart: Yes, Ma’am. Tyren: Good. ((Timeskip - Five minutes later - Deck Twelve, Transporter Room One, USS Constitution-) ::Udas was already at the transporter when her team arrived.:: Tyren: Commander, allow me to introduce Gunnery Sergeant Tau, Corporal Fisher and Private McPhail here to provide extra protection as well as medical support. ::She saw Li arrive and gave her a nod while she went over last second checks with her marines. Tel-ar close behind.:: Udas: Well, there isn't any time to waste, I'd say. Chief, lock onto the corridor just outside the Edison's Engine Room. Energize when ready. Tyren: oO Here we go then, Ceri, this is the job you applied for… Oo Mongiello: Energizing. ::The world glimmered as the transporter activated, sending them across into the unknown of the USS Thomas Edison.:: ---Second Lieutenant Cerissa Tyren, SFMC Marine Officer USS Constitution-B NCC-9012-B
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