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  1. ((Temporary Quarter, Starbase 118)) Shevon had seen a lot of cargo and docking bays, but rarely did she venture far from her home in the stars. She'd even been to 118 a few times in her life, but never took the chance to venture into the belly of the beast. But now, here she was. A maze of corridors and levels. She wasn't sure where to go or what to do. Her life was suddenly halted from its norm. The Promenade seemed as good a place as any to lose one's self and it was there she went. ((Promenade, Starbase 118, a short time later)) Shevon used the PADD that was provided with her temporary quarters to navigate her way to the Promenade. The shear number of shops and restaurants was enough to overwhelm anyone, not to mention the vast variety of alien species she was seeing. She'd seen her share, but there were many here she couldn't even have imagined to exist. And the view to the Commercial District below, she did not know such things could be built, at least not on a space station. Everything appeared nice and clean too. But then again, compared to the Delight, a bucket of dirt appeared clean. She eventually approached one of the many replicator cafes...replimats...whatever they were, they were free. But she hadn't a clue what to order. Food aboard the Delight could only be described as "edible," and nothing else. Eventually she just ordered some kind of soup she'd overheard someone else ordering. As she slowly sipped tiny spoonfuls at a time, she watched the passersby and wondered if it was always this busy. And with each passing second, she realized more and more that she was alone. Not just alone at a table. Much of the crew was already seeking employment elsewhere, on ships soon to leave. And since many of them came from other ships, that made sense. She knew nothing else, hadn't a clue yet what she would do. Other existential thoughts came and went. Would anyone even remember what had happened? Would anyone know she even existed? Of course not. The only person she ever really knew was dead. From birth it seemed, she was destined to be abandoned by the galaxy. As her soup grew cold, which she wasn't really enjoying anyways, a beeping sound came from the PADD she had with her. She wasn't sure what it meant, but there was a small blinking light on the touch screen so she tapped it. A box opened up on the screen showing the face of the woman who came to retrieve her from the shuttlebay. The one with the same name. The one that accused her of being some sort of random creation by something she still didn't understand. A. Sherlock: Miss...Sherlock. Um...can I all you Shevon? S. Sherlock: I'd prefer that actually. Aine noted that Shevon's face looked both suspicious and reluctant. She'd seen that face on her when she first brought her to the Observation Lounge and Captain Monroe had revealed Aine's name. She wondered if the woman often made that face. A. Sherlock: Good. I was wondering if you had any free time to meet. There's some things I'd like to discuss with you. Shevon noted what Aine had said and how similar it was to what she'd said in the shuttlebay after her rescue. She wondered if all Starfleeters talked that way all the time. S. Sherlock: Do you always talk like that? A. Sherlock: ::a look of surprise came across Aine's face:: Like what? S. Sherlock: I don't know ::long pause:: evasively? A. Sherlock: I'm not trying to be evasive. S. Sherlock: Then why don't you ever just say what it is you want to talk about? Aine had always just considered it polite. A. Sherlock: I just... ::shrugging:: I want to talk about our father. And, your future. S. Sherlock: I don't know who my father is. And from what you said before, neither do you. Shevon was still bitter at the fact she was hypothesized to be a random creation. She'd been around for quite some time and who was this little...thing...to say anything like that about her? A. Sherlock: Between your DNA scan and... S. Sherlock: What DNA scan!? A. Sherlock: It's standard procedure when you're transported aboard a Federation starship. Anyways, I have some other information. And I'd like to talk to you about it. A part of Shevon didn't want to talk about it to this woman. She found her a bit smug, like all Starfleet officers she'd met. S. Shevon: Fine. When and where? Aine was half tempted to go back on her plan. Shevon was aggressive and standoffish, like most Merchant Marines. A. Sherlock: I'll send you directions. ((Apartment 302, Kowloon Block Apartments, Hong Kong Subdistrict, StarBase 118)) All Shevon could think was, "Of course she lives in that fancy dome, I bet all of them do." Her PADD guided her to the nearest turbolift, for which the wait seemed forever. Down to a place called Trinity City, before catching a waterborne craft of some sort she'd never seen before that dropped her at the deepest point of a series of waterways. She felt like she was being led to nowhere. But after departing the craft, she spied the building the PADD was guiding her to. Compared to some, it wasn't so big and looked a little dirty. Lots of things looked that way deep in this waterway. Upon entering the dingy building, she took a small lift to the third floor and found the apartment labeled 302. The dim lighting kind of reminded her of the Delight. She approached the door cautiously, but when she got close, it swung up. Her head and shoulders reeled back as if bracing for someone to jump out and grab her, but there was no one there. S. Sherlock: Hello? A. Sherlock: Hey, come in. I'm in the kitchen. It's the door on your right. Shevon slowly inched her way in and the door closed behind her as she began to make her way into the kitchen. She peeked her head in and could see Aine standing near a replicator. A. Sherlock: Tea, Barry's, hot, splash of milk. As the order materialized, Aine grabbed the mug of tea and turned to face Shevon. A. Sherlock: Tea? S. Sherlock: ::hesitantly:: Coffee. A. Sherlock: Any preference? S. Sherlock: I don't care so long as it's hot, black, and bitter. Aine simply nodded and then placed the order. She began to make her way out of the kitchen, handing Shevon the mug and leading her out to the sparse living room and gestured to one of two recliners in the room. She sat first, sipping her tea, and patiently waited for the obviously hesitant Shevon to take a seat. A. Sherlock: I spoke to my ::long pause:: our, father. S. Sherlock: ::taking a seat:: Are you going to apologize? A. Sherlock: Look, I was shocked. It didn't mean... Aine could see anger in Shevon's eyes. She was saying the wrong thing and she could see that. She took a moment to think. Right now, she didn't need to be a Starfleet officer, she needed to be Aine. A. Sherlock: I'm sorry. It was completely inappropriate for me to suggest that. Shevon gave her a sharp nod then took a long sip of her coffee. A. Sherlock: As I was saying, I spoke to our father. And it's just that, he is your father. He and your mother were...together. So that means... S. Sherlock: I get what it means. You don't need to say it. A part of Aine was relieved to hear that. Things were uncomfortable enough. S. Sherlock: Is that all then? A. Sherlock: No. I wanted to offer you a place to live. I have a spare room. I'd also like to see if you'd consider working for Starfleet. I can ask Commodore Taybrim if you can be made a provisional... S. Sherlock: You arrogant little shit. Aine's head shook and reeled back. Her eyes widened in surprise. She couldn't understand what prompted this response from Shevon. She was only trying to help. She sat in silence, shock. S. Sherlock: What makes you think I want or even need anything from you? A. Sherlock: I'm just trying to help here. S. Sherlock: Why? I don't know you, and you don't know me. Just because we're suddenly sisters...it means nothing to me. Aine considered her next words carefully. She realized that the reaction Shevon was having wasn't all that dissimilar to her blow-ups, at Sil, at Luthas and Egil, at Mel, at her father. It wasn't a family trait. It was a trait of trauma. You seek out excuses without asking for help. You seek out blame without consideration. A. Sherlock: I'm not offering these things because we're sisters. That's just a coincidence. I'm offering because I know what you're going through. Shevon stood up, the anger in her eyes was growing. Aine was half expecting to get a face of hot coffee, but somehow the half Orion woman held fast to the mug. S. Sherlock: You don't know anything! YOU were clearly the chosen one here. YOU had your parents. YOU were spoiled... A. Sherlock: Spoiled? S. Sherlock: Yeah, look at YOU! You're still a child and don't even realize it but no, little miss perfect is an officer in Starfleet! You probably haven't had an actual hard day in your life! Aine sipped her tea slowly. She looked up at Shevon. She wanted to yell, to fight back. But she knew that wouldn't help the situation. She also knew Shevon wasn't completely wrong. She did have both her parents. Compared to many in the galaxy, she had it easy, of that there was no doubt. But... A. Sherlock: And here, you don't know me at all. I'm not perfect. My parents hated that I wanted to join Starfleet, but never really told me why. But I did it anyway. And do you know what it takes to even get into the Academy? Much less graduate? Oh, and let me tell you this, don't get pregnant and then heartbroken in your first year, it doesn't make it easier. Aine paused, raising her eyebrows. Hoping that Shevon was getting the message. And it seemed to be setting in a little as she sat back down with a slightly shocked look on her face. A. Sherlock: I lost a ship once too. So when I say that I know what you might be feeling...I...know...what...you...might...be...feeling. Look, I'm not saying we have to be friends. I'm not even saying we have to call each other...sister. Don't let that crap stop you from accepting help. Shevon's eyes shifted away for a second. She was still angry. But maybe Aine was talking sense here...which she didn't think would be possible. But maybe she didn't give her enough, or even any, credit. S. Sherlock: ::eyes shifting back to Aine's:: Tell me about your ship. Aine cupped her hands around her mug, resting it in her lap and leaning forward. A. Sherlock: It was called the Resolution. Aine hadn't talked about the Resolution to anyone outside of the crew that was there or counselors. It wasn't a particularly hot topic for her. There were so many memories, bad ones at that, wrapped up with. Death, loss, and a little ribbon that was a terrible reminder of a mistake made. A. Sherlock: I can't tell you much about the mission as it's classified. But I can tell you that I was shot. I technically died. But I was revived. And during our escape, as I was standing there bleeding and in pain, I watched from a shuttle as it was destroyed. There were one hundred and fifty people assigned to it. Half a dozen of us weren't on it. At the time, I didn't know if anyone had made it off. Shevon stared almost blankly at Aine. Here she thought that the young woman, her younger sister, had never experienced serious hardship. She felt for her, but she still wasn't sure if she could trust her. Some part of her didn't want to trust her. A. Sherlock: I later found out that four... ::remembering the classified nature of one of the deaths:: thirteen of our crew lost their lives. S. Sherlock: Why weren't you on the ship? A. Sherlock: I can't tell you that. S. Sherlock: If you had been, would it still have been destroyed? A. Sherlock: I ask myself that every day. Would things have happened differently on that ship? Or what if I hadn't been shot, would we have gotten back to it sooner and been able to stop it? These are things I replay and relive every damn day. S. Sherlock: What did you do about it? How did you move on? A. Sherlock: I don't think I ever have. That was the truth. Starfleet had done their best to help them. And some of them did move on. She never did. It was an oddity within herself that Aine struggled with. Her first mission after being posted to the Resolution had taken a turn. The away team she was on ended up in a firefight. Life or death depended on quick reactions without thinking. It seemed to be something she had no problem with. She'd been in many fights as a teenager, but nothing so serious as that one. She took twelve lives that day, and not once since has she ever questioned it. Not once has she ever dwelled on it. Not once did it ever invade her dreams. Death, she thought, wasn't something that affected her. But she was wrong. When it came to the deaths of those she knew or those she was sworn to protect, it overwhelmed her in a way she could never have imagined. A. Sherlock: They, Starfleet, brought in a team of counselors to help us. All it seemed they ever did was ask how I was feeling. Give us exercises and ::beat:: methods they thought would help us mentally. Really, all I wanted was someone to tell me I was going to be alright. Not breathing exercises or recreational activities or ::beat:: Risian distractions. Shevon was beginning to see what Aine was getting at. That she didn't want her going down the same path. But she wasn't even sure if that's what she wanted or needed. But at this point, she didn't have anything else...maybe that was the point. She also didn't trust anyone. How could she start over among people she didn't even know? Was it worth the risk? S. Sherlock: Maybe ::beat:: I'll take you up on the offer. But, what if it doesn't work out? The job. A. Sherlock: Well, you're still free to stay here. I'm not going to turn my back on you. We'll just find you something you can do. S. Sherlock: Ok. But, I don't have any money. What I did have saved was all on the Delight in gold pressed latinum. A. Sherlock: You don't need to pay for anything right now. I'll take care of it. The rent on the apartment is covered. And, if you need anything, I'll grant access to my credits. Furniture, food, anything. And, as you saw, you have access to the apartment, you're free to come and go as you please. Shevon's eyes diverted again as she took another sip of her coffee. S. Sherlock: Thank you. No one's ever helped me before other than my father...my captain. A. Sherlock: I'm glad to help. And, I hope that I can help you see things differently. I know you don't think highly of Starfleet, but we are here to help people. We're not always perfect, sometimes, far from it. But we try. The pair sat in silence for a moment, sipping their drinks before conversation turned to sharing of their lives. Things they'd done, places they'd gone. There were few smiles, just polite exchanges of histories. Neither was quite ready for niceties just yet. Neither was ready to openly acknowledge their paternal connection. Time was what they would need, and time was what they now had. End (for now) Shevon Sherlock Recently Unemployed and Lieutenant Aine Sherlock Tactical Officer StarBase 118 Ops R239712AS0
  2. OOC: I found Vargas' snarky narration rather amusing here. IC: ((Bridge, USS Glenn)) Catherine was fascinated by the modified Galaxy class vessel. What some might consider extravagance was creativity in her eyes - then again she specialized in holograms, the very essence of extravagance for some people. There were even ships that used holographic chairs instead of normal chairs. Things were going well, and no one seemed to mind the human-looking hybrid being relatively quiet until an Andorian's voice called for the group's attention. th'Zaahlis: Cap, we're getting a message from 118. It seems there's a distress call from a civilian freighter that was en route to 118 and they're asking us to check it out since we're not docked. Monroe: Must not be too dangerous since they know we have a skeleton crew aboard. Cat didn't understand the reason behind sending the Glenn to investigate - the Starbase seemed to have a bunch of ships available - and Captain Monroe made a good point. There was barely anyone on board. Diata: Some of us are Starfleet Officers. Oh right. They were on board. Diata: We are willing to assist. Renot: More than willing. Throw me at anything Engineering. Vargas: Also an Engineer. ::pause:: but please don't throw me. th'Zaahlis: Last message said they were under attack by pirates, Cap. Pirates? And that so close to One-Eighteen? That was odd. Monroe: Very well, let's get to it then. Red alert! The lights dimmed and everything was bathed in red light, and Catherine felt adrenaline rushing through her veins. This was exciting. And terrifying. Monroe: I need some volunteers. ::pointing to Renot:: Can you man the Engineering console? ::pointing towards the back of the bridge:: We're going to need the warp core up to full speed. Renot: Absolutely, yes Captain. The Al-Leyan moved behind the console, taking a moment to familiarize himself with it, before he nodded an affirmation. Monroe: ::pointing to Diata:: Can you take the Helm? Diata: Ready to move out, Captain. Monroe: Good, since we don't know what kind of ship it is, we may need to move quick in there...as quick as a ship this size can anyways. Diata: Aye captain. Monroe: ::to Vargas:: And you, young lady, you mentioned holograms, but can you run a science station? Cat blinked, hesitated, and then remembered that she was also a scientist. She could run a science station! It was easy, barely an inconvenience, and she totally remembered how to do that. What could possibly have changed in the past... seven years.. since she graduated from Academy. Vargas: Yes, Captain. The Captain glanced around, searching for the two that wandered off. Monroe: Where the hell...? The doors opened and the two lost humans quickly returned. Cat couldn't help but notice the woman's jacket zipper, and she could make a fairly educated guess as to what they had been doing/ Gross. Monroe: ::making a zipper motion up the front of her jacket while staring at Aine:: You, tactical, now. ::to Martinson:: And you, you're number one for now. Sherlock: Yes, ma'am. Martinson: Sure thing, Cap. The two seemed to spring into action, dispersing the awkwardness around them. Monroe: Helm, set an intercept course. ::taking the center chair:: Engage. Diata: Acknowledged. Course set, moving out. Renot: Diverting power from impulse to warp. Powering up. Sherlock: response They left the Starbase, and Catherine had to admit that she had never really been on the bridge before - not in this capacity anyway. She was usually hidden away somewhere, and right now she was glad that she could busy herself with the console in front of her. Diata: We are ready to go to warp, Captain. Renot: Warp core at full power, Commander. Vargas: Up and running from my end. Sherlock: response Diata nodded and worked the controls with ease and grace, coaxing the ship into warp, and a moment later the stars turn into streaks. Exactly ten minutes and thirty-six seconds later, they dripped out of warp and came in visual range of the Spacefarer's Delight, a large vessel that had sustained significant damage, caused by a smaller ship of Orion origin. The exterior design was hawk-like in appearance, incorporating swept wings positioned at the aft of the vessel, with a beak-like forward section. Diata: Captain, the distress signal is from the Spacefarer's Delight and has sustained heavy damage. Structural integrity is compromised. Renot: ::softly:: Takes a special kind of stupid to attack another this close to a Starfleet base. ::louder:: On standby to divert power to weapons and shields as needed. Egil looked over, hands poised above the console. He was alert and ready to react quickly. Vargas: The ship best matches an Interceptor, I am running scans to see if they have friends, so far, nothing. It was clear how uncomfortable she was with the situation, but she did not want to be useless when everyone else was being a hero. Sherlock/Diata: ? TAG/TBC _____________ Lt. Catherine (Cat) Vargas Holo-Engineer / Photonic Applications Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  3. After my week started out bad and ended in just plain awful, I was very grateful for this community. Why? Because I get to write with awesome people. And sometimes I come across posts that just make me laugh like this one. IC: ((Evac-19 – SS Belladonna)) Some people had an odd timing, and a flat-out weird way to prioritise one thing over the other. Arys noticed that Alora wasn't exempt from that rule - the woman seemed oddly interested in Engineer Lowel,l and Arys... wasn't quite sure why. They were here to help people evacuate, not make friends. Perhaps Alora was eager to date someone who wasn't reporting to her, in one way or the other. Looking for potential partners outside of Starfleet wasn't a bad idea... Arys just was unsure if this was really the right point of time for that. DeVeau: So, Engineer Lowell, like my colleague indicated earlier, you really seem to know your stuff. How long have you been with the Belladonna? Lowell glanced at Alora, who smiled at him in return. Lowell: Three years now. It’s a good crew. Trovek: Fascinating. She sounded very Vulcan saying that. Perhaps she didn't really care because the man barely even seemed to look at her, and much preferred to speak to Alora. Why? Who knew. Maybe teal just wasn't his colour. DeVeau: Oh really? ::Alora’s eyes lit up a little and a smile accompanied the piqued interest.:: What did you do before that? Was she really that interested? He was an engineer, and probably did engineering things before — something with screws. Lowell: I grew up on Mars, worked on a freighter as an intern with my uncle for a few years, worked up the ranks until I was chief engineer on a couple of big freight rigs, and landed this job three years ago. It’s really a step up. Trovek: It is. Just not a particularly big one. Maybe they could set her up with a handsome Cardassian. Or maybe Dal - Arys had heard them use first names and all, so evidently, they were close. DeVeau: I see. Always on the go, sounds like it can be hard to settle down. When they came to a junction marked ‘staff only’, they didn’t stop and Lowell led them straight to a room marked ‘maintenance’. oO And now he's taking her into a utility closet. I think this is the point where I should go and do something else. Oo Lowell: Actually, I’m engaged. Getting married after this trip. DeVeau: Really? Congratulations! Arys here is getting married soon too. Trovek: Sure am. Poor Alora. And it had been going so well. oO Guess we'll actually have to concentrate on the assignment now. Oh no. Oo He unlocked the door and it opened to another room. Within contained modern equipment, a diagnostic scanner, controls to access various maintenance information and coordinate repairs, tools that could be used to fix any problems around the ship. Lowell: There we go. What do you want me to scan for? DeVeau: We’re looking for passengers who haven’t congregated at the evacuation points. There seem to be quite a few missing. Trovek: Is that possible with the equipment here? If not, maybe the Narendra can initiate the scan. Lowell: response Suddenly, Alora peered at Arys, and Arys peered back. She was about to ask what was going on, when Alora handed her the triPADD and glanced pointedly between the device and the Arys. oO Woman. What? Oo Evidently unable to read Arys mind, DeVeau turned to step a little closer to Lowell. DeVeau: According to what we’re seeing, a few hundred people are missing, if not more, and we need to figure out where they are. Lowell: response DeVeau: Are you? Lowell: response Arys glanced at the triPADD, deciding that at least one of them would have to be useful - and froze. She read the displayed message once, twice, a third time. The Doctor swallowed hard and looked at Alora. Why had she allowed Lowell to lead them here? What was her plan? Was that why she had pretended to be so very interested in him? Lowell: response Trovek: That is... helpful. ::she caught Lowell's gaze and sighed:: Sorry, this is my 'I just found out my Doctors are spreading chaos in my sickbay'-face. DeVeau: response She handed back the triPADD and nodded. Trovek: Let's finish this quickly before it gets any worse. I would very much prefer to return to the Narendra and take care of it from there. We can't do much from here. DeVeau: response Lowell: response Lt. Trovek Arys Chief Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  4. OOC: The latest in a series from @Arys chronicling the past of her NPC, Ferri. I'm really enjoying this storyline! IC: ((Somewhere on Cardassia Prime)) ((Time Index: four years ago)) Even in her dazed state, Ferri noticed that the room behind it was very different, and reminded her of a teacher's office, kept in warm natural colours. There was a desk, a shelf with PADDs, and two sofas facing each other, with a low table in between. The large window allowed a view into a luscious garden and bathed the room in sunlight. It was comfortably warm here, and the scent of freshly brewed Redleaf tea filled the room. Garo: Ezak. Unhand her. Ferri had been so taken in by the room that she hadn't noticed the man who had sat by the sofa and was now making his way towards them. He was tall, dressed in a neat and expensive-looking tunic, and wore a frown of disapproval. It took the young woman a moment to realise that said frown was aimed at the other man, Ezak, and not at Ferri. Ezak nodded and let go of her, and a moment later he had left through the door that had brought them here. The man's sharp gaze softened as he regarded Ferri, his voice calm and almost comforting as he spoke. Garo: Ferri, is it? Come on, have a seat. ::he motioned towards the sofa:: My name is Garo. She nodded, though not out of agreement. Ferri didn't want to talk to the strange man. Ferri had tried to talk, but they had left her in that room for days or weeks - she didn’t know. She neither knew where she was, nor how long she had spent in maddening silence, with huger and thirst gnawing at every fibre of her being. Garo seemed to notice her hesitation and reached for her hand. He didn’t pull her, but instead, he gently but firmly led her to the sofa and sat her down. The material was some kind of leather, cool and soft to the touch. Here in this pristine room, Ferri became aware of how disgusting she was. She hadn't showered ever since she arrived here. Her hair was matted and greasy, and her wrinkled clothes hung from her thin frame. She was ashamed, and just about ignored the need to apologise for being so disgusting. Garo: Do you know why you are here, Ferri? His voice was soft as he spoke, and Ferri observed him making his way to the replicator sitting by the side of his desk. Emlott: Because... of Irrot and Nal. Those were the names of the two men Ferri had killed, and she wasn't at all surprised that the authorities knew. She had never planned to get away with it. She had never planned for them to die. Garo: That is correct, Ferri. ::to the replicator:: Irmok-tea, sweetened. Not too hot. A moment later a cup of bitter-tasting liquid materialized, and Garo carried it over to Ferri, setting it down in front of her before taking a seat opposite of her. Garo: When did you decide to kill those two men? There was no accusation in his voice. Emlott: I didn't.. I.. She reached for the mug, wrapping her hands around it, and soaking up its warmth. It was an acquired taste, but it was something to drink, and despite its temperature, she gulped it down greedily. Garo waited until she had finished before he spoke again, still calmly, a gentle correction rather than admonishment. Garo: Please don't lie to me. Emlott: I didn't mean to kill them… I just wanted information… Garo: What happened? He waited, and as Ferri did not reply, he got up and crossed the room to get something from his desk. Upon his return, he placed a small metal box on the table between them, and opened it. Garo: You used one of these, didn't you? Ferri nodded. The chip-sized modulator was referred to as an Enhancer. Once attached, it was designed to target an area of the brain that contained not only the masterplan of a Cardassian's physiology, but also stored their deepest anxieties. Garo: What do you know about them? Emlott: … I know they are called Enhancers. I.. ::she swallowed hard. She had seen the device in action - would Garo use it on her?:: I… know it targets the primal nexus with neutrinos that mimic stimuli requesting information for repair after an injury. It causes panic attacks. They... they are torture devices. The Obsidian Order used them to gain information. Garo: How did you hear about them? Emlott: They were mentioned in a history course I took. She hadn’t even liked the teacher much, or paid particularly much attention to the class. The idea of an Enhancer had stuck with her because of a joke a friend had made - something about using one to figure out if her partner was cheating. Ferri had laughed it off, and yet, she had remembered it when she was in need of a tool to gather information. Garo: And how did you get one? Emlott: I… had a friend, his family owns a small collection of items from before the war. Books and… some maps… paintings. He told me how to get in touch with someone collecting and selling those items. I got it from there. He responded with a frown, and reached for his own cup of tea, savouring the taste before replying. Garo: Could you just purchase it? It must have been expensive. Emlott: I... stole it. Garo raised furrowed his brows, and for a moment he seemed almost impressed at the statement. For a moment it seemed like he was going to inquire further, but then his line of questioning returned to the issue at hand. Garo: What happened then? Ferri once more remained silent. She had gone through the events of that evening again and again and again, and she felt guilty for not regretting what she had done. She had sought out Nal and Irrot, the two men associated with the disappearance of her sister Kara. After almost a year of preparing, she had managed to circumvent their house's security systems and tried to force them to tell her what they had done to the girl. But Enhancers were a tool of ‘last resort', when other means of sensory destabilisation had failed. In the hands of someone not trained to use them, their use could easily result in a brain bleed. Garo: I will make a guess. You used them, and those men died. But you didn't want that. You wanted information about your sister. Emlott: ::nodding:: Y-... yes... Ferri felt tears welling up in her eyes, and was too tired to hold them back. She barely noticed Garo getting up, until he sat down next to her, and to her surprise, his voice was compassionate as he spoke. Garo: Did you find out anything? Emlott: They-... Irrot just... screamed and... I tried to do it better the next time, but Nal said he couldn't remember.... and... then he started crying but it was blood and.. and.. Garo: So it was all for nothing. ::he sighed, and then added:: Is that why your father and his wife didn't want to visit you here? Do you think he is disappointed in you? With that, Garo voiced what Ferri had always feared. Her father, Arla, had become distant after Kara’s disappearance, and he blamed her for giving the younger of the two girls the impression that taking a skimmer to visit her sister was okay. Had she not done so, Kara wouldn’t have run away from home. If she had not done so, those men would never have found her alone. Kara would still be alive. Ferri held her breath, wrapping her arms around herself, and squeezed her eyes shut. It hurt. Thinking about it hurt so much that she felt her very being breaking apart. She didn’t see Garo regarding her thoughtfully, and then nodding to himself as if a decision had been made. But she felt him pulling her into an embrace that gave her the stability she so much needed. Garo: I understand. I’m sorry you didn’t find out anything. I know what it’s like to lose family. He held Ferri, despite the fact that she was dirty and disgusting, despite the fact that she had hurt people, despite the fact that she had a year to prepare, and still failed to surface any information about Kara. Garo allowed her to calm down, before he inquired further. Garo: Her disappearance was a year ago. have you been looking for her all that time? At first, Ferri didn’t answer, but after further encouragement, she wiped her tears away. Emlott: Yes. Garo: I am curious. How did you get into Nal’s apartment? They had an alarm system if I recall correctly. Emlott: I … circumvented it. I looked for the blueprints… they were… new buildings, some still for purchase. The… one underneath it… it was empty and.. Garo: Did you have help? Ferri shook her head. Anyone who might have helped her, did so unknowingly. She didn’t want them to get into trouble. Garo: That is impressive. ::he sighed:: I would like to hear more about that, but I fear that's all the time I have for you right now. Ferri’s eyes widened. Was he sending her back into that horrible room, to rot there for days, forgotten, with only her own voice for company? Garo seemed to guess what she was thinking. He let out another sigh, and took her hand. Garo: I will do what I can for you, Ferri, as long as you cooperate. I can speak to Ezak to not be so harsh to you. Garo got up, and walked over to the shelf with PADDs on it. He picked one out, looked at it, placed it back, and got another one. Garo: ::approaching Ferri and handing her the PADDs:: Here, something to read. They are my favourite works of literature, I would be curious to learn how you like them. As if called by an unsaid command, the door opened and once more Ezak stepped inside, wearing the same sneering disdain on his features. Garo: I’ve decided to allow Ferri some books to read. Ezak grunted a ‘As you wish’ and grabbed Ferri’s arm, pulling her to her feet once more. Garo: ::to Ferri:: Be good. It might take a while, but we will talk again as soon as I can arrange it. Ferri just about managed a weak nod before she was dragged out of the door. TBC Ferri Emlott Cardassian Visitor Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  5. OOC: I love the enthusiasm! IC: ((Academy Grounds – Starbase 118)) oO So...tell me: please, Nella. Enlighten me. Tell me what we're doing, exactly. Tell it to me straight so's I can understand it better . . . Oo “ . . . so much to see” a young Iotian woman in a mint-condition dress uniform surveyed her faint reflection in a huge panel of glass creating an expansive portal into the open universe. This could also be described as a big window. The purest vacuum of space held all the beauty of the Trinity Sector in perfect stillness before her. Her dark-haired reflected figure carried a PADD as it matched her brisk stride in mirror-image, and the text: “ AWAITING ORDERS” bobbed in reverse on the device's bright display. Nella was attempting to practice reading backwards while moving, to pass the time. oO Am I actually doing it? Or am I just cheatin' because I know what it says . . . Oo Her heart was thumping like an obsolete warp core. The worst thing Nella could do for her current state of mind was remain idle and still, yet she paused a moment. Her faint mirror image stared with dark-blue eyes and placed an olive-skinned finger on the single yellow metal pip that now adorned her collar. It felt at once foreign and familiar. Graduation day. “Ensign” Nella Noxwyn. The new title was itself as pristine as the formal uniform Nella was issued this morning; exciting, tidy, rather uncomfortable, commanding more respect than a typical crewman or cadet. Ultimately, all Ensign Noxwyn could expect to feel as she broke into her role as a newly-minted security officer—the rigid, fresh-scented, unbroken baseball glove of her Starfleet career would eventually become a like second skin, her profession an extension of her life purpose. The pressures put on her yellow-banded shoulders would be as the mattresses sandwiching a new mitt, softening the leather, making it into something supple, flexible and familiar. Starfleet protocol was a bone-white baseball stuffed inside this glove, giving it shape and form and depth and meaning. A properly broken-in security officer was like an old baseball mitt; with proper care and attention, it could reliably catch anything a mind and body could. oO This picture of you in uniform fits like a glove... Well, a glove that fits well. Plenty of gloves that are too big or too small, fit on, but they don't fit. A glove that fits good, or well.. well.. I dunno... I haven't played baseball in a long time, and Feds all run the bases in the wrong direction... Oh! What am I talkin' about?! Oo Nella kept occupied as she paced along a narrow observation concourse roughly ten metres' distance from the noisy grouping of excited former cadets and entourage. In the vast window directly ahead of her, she paused again to observe the boundless expanse of space and light-emitting objects. Nella also noticed flashes from professional photography equipment interrupting the expansive pane of glass, lights from the Federation News Network team that milled about as they covered the ongoing celebrations behind her. A photographer over there ordered the computer to momentarily alter the ambient lighting. In the new mode, Nella now saw a near-perfect mirror image of the luminous scene of graduates in the reflecting glass. oO Never turn your back on a room—unless you can see behind you and you know where you're going Oo Echoes of one of few clear memories of 'something her father said' repeated in her mind as she waited. Then she thought more about him and swallowed down the memory like bile. oO Let's think of something else—anything else . . . uh, how was your morning, Nella? Oo Earlier, she had been on her way to a star ship—her first assignment. There had been an unexpected development: “Academy Grounds – Starbase 118. Wait for contact from leadership,” the new orders had come to her PADD over an hour ago. Nella wondered which cheery 'El-Tee-Jay-Gee' from the crowd behind her would emerge to feign a long-time familiarity with her, as humans often did in new and uncomfortable situations. Now she heard shouts and cheers and shrieks of glee from the crowd—perhaps the Academy's Parises Squares team had made a collective appearance at the graduation after their recent setback at the conference semi-finals; to massage their morale. oO I want nothin' to do with that drummering... Not my monkeys, not my circus... bunch of space cadets... Oo ::Ensign Noxwyn reflected a moment, facing a window:: The ambient lighting flickered back to its previous settings. “Thanks everyone!” someone shouted. There was a general cry of “Woo!”. Her head swung over to the sound of multiple approaching footsteps on deck-plating. A group of fresh young graduates approached Nella, one of whom broke forward at a rapid pace, and extended an arm toward her. She didn't recognize any of them. oO Finally! I was beginning to think these “new orders” were somebody's idea of a joke! Oo In the foreman-graduate's hand, he held a small device. It was for taking photos. He flashed a set of white teeth. “Hi! Can we take a picture?” his arm alternated between pointing at himself and a cluster of three other cadets of mixed species and gender, some of whom made eye-contact and waved at Nella. She realized immediately these were not the people she was waiting for. “Sure pal, you just have to believe in yourselves and you'll figure it out”, Nella squeezed his extended arm reassuringly before turning and escaping with a strong walk. oO I'd rather be outside in a space suit than in the middle of this racket. Scratch that—I just wanna get outta here. This waitin's for somebody with time to feed the birds! Oo Nella was about to split and head all the way over to administration to clarify her “new orders” with a superior but paused after having made it across the room from the window she had been beside. Nella raised her PADD and re-read the document containing her new orders. She didn't want to miss her first assignment because somebody behind a desk got wise and sent her to the wrong ship, even worse if somehow the mistake was of her own making! Taybrim: Ensign Noxwyn? A red-haired man a few inches shorter than she was had gotten the jump on her. The Commodore! He spoke in a warm, welcoming tone and smiled in a calm, reassuring manner. Very personable, very warm, as if he was just some lieutenant here to catch her up on things. oO . . . and the worst part about it is, he got the jump on me! Oo Taybrim: I wanted to welcome you to StarBase 118. His near-black irises twinkled like sunglasses at a card table. Noxwyn: You? . . . wanted to welcome me? . . . Sir? . . . Commodore? The quick-moving man waved her forward with an arm that seemed to be plotting their course and heading with an intangible sense of authority. They broke into a walking pace that was just a quarter-step faster than Nella's tried and true rhythm, on the edge of behind a light jog. They were heading somewhere fast. Well, you see, I requested a special placement for security and we are launching for our mission in the next seventy minutes. So I hope you’re ready for an adventure, Ensign? oO Seventy minutes?! Oo Noxwyn: ::her hand went to her hip and felt a noticeable lack of phaser:: I can't say that I'm packed, Commodore. Taybrim: I assure you, one of the most delightful things about immediately going on a mission is that some of the lovely housing officers will have everything moved to your new quarters, ready and waiting for you when you return. No fuss, no hassle, just walk in, unpack and enjoy. Noxwyn: ::with a hint of confusion:: Yes, sir. The pace he had set was brisk, but Nella was beginning to hit stride with the Commodore. It was manageable, but her gams would feel this tomorrow. ::looking at the Commodore's legs in stride:: oO And how much walking have those legs done?! Oo Taybrim: By your academy performance, Starfleet felt you were a perfect candidate for this position and this mission. ::His eyes were near-black enough to catch the glint of an overhead light as they passed beneath, causing them to appear to twinkle ::Which we’ll go over in more detail once we get underway. Noxwyn: Thank you, sir. Understood. ::appearing not to fully understand:: They had reached the main turbolift, and the same hand which commanded the entire Starbase ushered her inside the rapid conveyor that could take days, if not weeks, off a top-to-bottom journey through the immese spacedock. ((Main Turbolift, Ascending)) Commodore Taybrim worked the control panel for longer than was typically necessary to input a course for the lift. The computer made an atypical chirp, but it was an acknowledgement of whatever instructions the Commodore had given it. Taybrim: Don’t be alarmed. The mission we’re going on is classified and unfortunately our good deeds from the last few missions have made us a prime target of interest from many unsavory factions. And the Federation News Service. Noxwyn: Sir, I believe you said “don't be alarmed” and “prime target” in the same sentence. Nella almost felt like throwing up as she realized she had taken a more familiar tone with the Commodore than she probably should at this stage in her career. Worse, the turbolift activated and took them upward, faster than she ever knew turbolifts could go! She thought felt her heart hit her knees. There was a pain in her midsection, like a bubble that needed to be burst. Taybrim: We’re off to diffuse a bomb, Ensign. A cult faction has levelled a threat against the Federation and had a stolen tri-cobalt device in their possession. Noxwyn was about to speak, but was intruded upon by the sudden unsubtle sound of her own flatulence. Yes, it was a normal and natural response to sudden stress, but it was also in an elevator with the Commodore. This incident wouldn't likely be forgotten, but hopefully would remain just between them. Noxwyn: Well . . . shoot! :: looking to the Commodore in horror, her mind absent of anything else to say :: On the plus side, her stomach started to feel better. She felt worse about everything else. Especially the word “bomb”. A bomb had torn her childhood apart and probably killed her mother. Taybrim: Response
  6. I don't need assigned quarters, she said. I'm going to look in the commercial district, she said. Be careful what you wish for. 😉 IC: ((Freedom Beach, Little Risa, StarBase 118)) The Commercial Sector of StarBase 118 reminded Aine of something she'd read about in ancient Earth history. The city on the North American continent named New York had once been referred to as The City That Never Sleeps. She'd never been there but imagined it was much like the cities she had been to. Sure there was always a vibrant nightlife, but for the most part the majority of a city just slept. The Commercial Sector wasn't like that at all. Some of her appointments to view apartments were even scheduled late into the night. Thankfully she didn't have anything else really going on and luckily this one was during the day. Her first appointment was set for a small highrise in Little Risa just off the beach. And by small it was still nearly as big as the resort she'd stayed in when she was on the actual Risa. As she approached the building, she was amazed how they'd gotten the environment to match so well. About the only thing that it might be missing was Risa's three moons. The lobby of the building was very typically Risian. Wide open with big leafed plants everywhere. A woman approached her dressed in what might be considered formal were it not for the very short skirt and very low collared shirt. And much like her short time on Risa, Aine felt overdressed in her typical leggings and flannel shirt. Keana: Hello! ::grabbing and hugging Aine:: You must be my 1500? Sherlock: Yes, ::reaching out to shake hands:: Lieut...um...Aine, I'm...Aine. Keana: It's lovely to meet you! The woman was overtly chipper and it caught Aine off guard. She had to remember that this was a civilian area of the station. Formality probably wasn't something they practiced much of, especially in Little Risa. Keana: Well, as you may have noticed, we have direct beach access. This building also has its own dining hall, complete with fully stocked bar. It has synthale if you prefer. Sherlock: Oh, no, I definitely prefer the real thing. Keana: Excellent! Keana's smile was huge. The kind of smile Aine was sure she practiced for every potential tenant. Keana: Within walking distance, there's many shops, bars, and specialty services ::giving Aine a wink::. You're never alone in Little Risa! Sherlock: Great. ::nodding her head slowly:: oOIs this for real?Oo Keana had led her to a lift which promptly took them up to the sixth floor. After a short walk down the hall and some small talk Aine was sure Keana practiced like her smile, they came to the apartment for rent. When the door swished open, there was a burst of cool air. Walking in, it seemed more like an extended stay resort room than anything else. Keana: You have your living space, kitchen with a replicator if you prefer not to cook, and a half bath. And over here, ::pushing Aine along with a hand in the small of her back:: Is your bedroom. And a wonderful master bath. This was one of the most important things to Aine, a water bath. It was something she always looked forward to when either the Resolution or the Excalibur came into dock. She always reserved a room on DeepSpace 224 just for that. Yeah a sonic shower got you clean, but there was nothing quite like laying back and soaking in steaming hot water to relax. The tub of this apartment looked like it could hold four people, not that she'd want to have three others with her in it. Keana: You also have two balconies overlooking the beach. ::leading Aine to the balcony of the master bedroom:: It's a wonderful view! The door slid open and the warm and slightly humid air rushed in as Aine stepped out to the railing. From here she could see Trinity City and Ashalla. And something else... Sherlock: ::pointing to a couple on the beach:: Um, what are they doing? Keana stepped up next to her to see what she was referencing. Keana: Oh! Jamaharon. Sherlock: Oh god! I...uh...need to go. Aine quickly turned and went back inside, and straight for the door. While the view and weather were great, she didn't feel comfortable with that happening right outside her door. It wasn't that she didn't understand, it just wasn't her thing to watch. Keana: ::yelling after Aine:: Well, let us know if you change your mind! tbc Lieutenant Aine Sherlock Tactical Officer StarBase 118 Ops R239712AS0
  7. ((Ghemor Memorial Hospital, Andak, Cardassia Prime)) There were many aspects of Cardassia that had drawn Arys in, intrigued and fascinated her, and made her feel right at home. The larger cities were brimming with life, a fusion of Cardassian and Federation influence that kept the homesickness at bay, and yet sated her hunger for new experiences. The smaller villages were less cosmopolitan and more intimate, and much like the Cardassian community back on Starbase 118, offering artisan specialties and a glimpse into how old traditions could enrich new culture. Lukin’s home was located in the outskirts of Andak, and Arys never tired of admiring the the mountains that rose from the north and the west, and how the black rock glittered in the Cardassian sun. But then there were the harsh realities that came to light if one knew what to look for, and suddenly Cardassia was once more an alien planet, and so very different from the Federation. Arys had learned this the hard way when Geleth was in need of medical attention, and when the called emergency skimmer did not arrive because, as an orphan, her priority was not high enough. Arys had decided to cheat the system and used her own ID bracelet to indicate an emergency, and eventually Geleth had received the care she needed, but only as far as her priority allowed. Lukin, Arys knew, had a meeting with Ferri and would return home late. She had found her own solution for the problem, and she wasn’t quite sure into how much trouble she had gotten herself with it. Nurse: Here is her room. The Cardassian halted in front of a hospital room, and the door promptly opened. Arys stepped inside, and decided then and there that she had made the right choice. The walls were pale but not sterile, and the lighting was less harsh that that of the rooms low-priority patients were kept in. A large window offered different settings and currently allowed a view on the Cardassian sunset, and a holoemitter allowed for entertainment if it was wished for. An adjustable hospital bed stood in the middle of the room, and between comfortable looking sheets of the standard grey fabric, Geleth was sleeping. The girl has been sedated when Rishon had discovered a growth in the girls lung, and decided that a sample was needed. Arys walked over to Geleth, pulling a chair to the side of the girl’s bed, and taking her hand. She looked pale, more pale than usual, and while she had access to Geleth’s medical file and was thus informed about the treatment plan, she still worried. And she wasn’t just worried about Geleth. Arys had, strictly seen, broken the law when she had used her own emergency beacon to call for help. She could claim that she didn’t *know* any better, had assumed that Geleth’s was broken, and perhaps people would believe her. What was a lot more difficult to explain away however was how she had essentially bribed a stressed and overworked head of Paediatrics to grant her privileges. When Doctor Ganra had taken Geleth away, Arys had - true to her word - sought out the interns superior. He had turned out to be a middle-aged Cardassian who was head of an understaffed department and hadn’t slept in days, and had stopped just short of hugging Arys when she had offered her help in exchange for an increase in priority for Geleth. And now? Now she was, apparently, working in a Cardassian hospital, and needed to figure out a way to explain Lukin why that was the case. No matter. She sighed and reached for Geleth’s hand. To say that she loved the girl was perhaps a little early, but she was her brother’s daughter. That made her family. And Arys had failed her father and grandfather, and she wouldn’t fail Geleth. ***************** Lt. J.G. Trovek Arys Medical Officer Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  8. OOC: I realised I just kept putting quotes from this in the thread, so decided to share the entire thing. Now y'all can have context! 😄 IC Geoff: ::quietly:: Don’t judge me. The First Officer stifled a giggle, and Ozai finally, *finally* began to believe this was her real reaction. Velix had seemed to like Geoff, now DeVeau. Was it women in general? That did seem to be who Geoff tried to face-grab the most. Though his Bajoran roommate broke that mold, as did Rustyy Hael. Y’zyr: ::smiling at his spider-bro:: I’m not. I’m just saying… I guess most people aren’t spider fans. ::more quietly:: I think we gave Commander Hael a stroke. DeVeau: Well, I have two advantages that most people don’t. Ozai looked down at her curiously, gold irises focusing on the First Officers face. DeVeau: First, I’m a zoologist. I *love* animals of *all* kinds. What kind of zoologist would I be if I didn’t like spiders? Geoff: Now you can call yourself a cyberzoologist! You can study me any time. Ozai gave a painful grin, and reached out to thwack Geoff’s little spider butt with a flick of one of his cybernetic fingers, to silence the little miscreant. DeVeau: Second, like I said, I’ve met cyborg spiders. Big ones. After that, someone Geoff’s size is nothing. She motioned for Geoff to behave himself, which he seemed to be doing better at now that the initial face-grabbing was out of his system. DeVeau: Geoff’s an AI…so he’s capable of learning. Maybe you just need to learn now to grab people’s faces, my friend. She poked him playfully on one of those spindly arms, her grin returning to her features. DeVeau: And I’m sure not only the population at large would be grateful, so would Y’zyr. Geoff: ::nodding at her wisdom:: Yeah, it sure stresses dad out. *Dad.* UGH. Y’zyr: He’ll get there. I’ll keep trying to work that kink out of his programming. But I’m afraid he just gets more fervent with every alteration I make. I may still have some learning to do, when it comes to *programming* bots. DeVeau: Right. Yeah. Definitely got some learning ahead of you. Maybe he just needs his own face to grab so he can fulfill his wish. Like a mannequin or robot head… One cybernetic hand formed a fist and came down into the other open palm, as if a brilliant stroke had hit him. Y’zyr: That’s weird enough, it just might work! Geoff: I *would* appreciate a nice cozy face to recharge on. Y’zyr: That’s it. We’re replicating you a mannequin. I’ll install a wireless charging unit in it, and you can pick out the face yourself. Geoff didn’t respond verbally, save to open his little mandibles wide, and he seemed to make an excited gasping noise. His multiple little eyes seemed to glimmer a little brighter, as if they were responding to his rising delight. Geoff: You’re the *best,* dad! The Trill laughed, still a little uncertain about the spider-bots responses and calling him “dad,” but at least it was a working, testable theory. DeVeau: ? Geoff: Next you’ll tell me you’re taking me to Disney Station! It *is* the happiest orbital theme park in the Alpha Quadrant. Y’zyr: Don’t push your luck. No way am I taking a face-happy spider bot into a theme park filled with children. The very idea was hilariously disturbing. DeVeau: ? Y’zyr: ::to the 1st Officer:: If you come up with any more ideas, let me know. ::he paused, and seemed to remember he was talking to the 1st Officer:: It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. I think the engineers are starting to consider me a nuisance. Another reason to be able to do more of his own minor repairs. He couldn’t keep bothering actual engineers with his personal needs or side projects. DeVeau: ? ~*~ Ensign Ozai Y’zyr Tactical & Security Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  9. Oh man, @Ashley Yael had me laughing out loud with this one. HILARIOUS. ((Science Lab - Starbase 118 Ops)) Geoff: That’s good to hear! YOU HAVE A GREAT FACE! The sense of dread filled the Trill as he felt Geoff’s small weight shift and shove off strategically, and he tried to reach up to grab him before he could complete the maneuver… And with horror, he failed. Geoff briskly leapt the small distance between them with a trilling warriors cry, and screamed in his little mechanical voice as he joyfully and energetically attached to DeVeau’s face. He completed the motion with the fervor of a dedicated zealot practicing his craft, his little arms wrapping around to her ears and clasping in her hair, his trilling cry lasting long after he’d completed the jump. Everything inside Ozai seemed to seize up in that moment as Geoff landed smack center in Commander DeVeau’s face, and she wrenched backward in the panic that would fill *anyone* with a giant attacking spider bot on their face. Her arms flailed in a failed attempt to avoid, then in an attempt to dislodge, the psychotic spider bot on her face. He set his hands to his face, covering his eyes in a moment of pure horror. He knew Geoff wouldn’t *hurt* her, but… this face grabbing business was no good. No good at all. The Trill split his cybernetic fingers to see the Commander coming to the realization she wasn’t being harmed, lifting her arms with more direct purpose, and pulling Geoff off her face. Thankfully, the spider bot released his grip without fighting. He popped free, letting go of a few strands of hair last as she extended her arms to full length, holding Geoff like she might a delicate explosive. She set both eyes on the spider bot, his having gotten her full attention. Which was probably the point of the face grabbing, aside bragging rights, Ozai figured. DeVeau: What the heck!? Ozai didn’t say anything. Instead, he covered his eyes again, almost like he could ostrich himself away from what had happened. He wanted to curl up in a corner and just die from embarrassment. Geoff hung there in her hands, his bulgy body firmly held in place. His lower four legs dangled delicately, his other four perched carefully on her wrists, naturally holding on without digging in his claws. He set his multiple pairs of eyes on her, little lights glowing as he looked at her… and she looked at him. It was a staring contest for a moment as she processed what he was, as well as she could, after having been startled. Ozai uncovered his eyes when he heard the squeal… at first he thought it was another scream, and that Geoff was doing something even worse. But he realized quickly it was *delight.* Delight?! After that?! DeVeau: Oh my gosh, what *is* this? She proceeded to try and answer that for herself but turning it around and over and upside down. And then it spoke again. Geoff: Hey, hey! I have an *up* side, ya’ know! *Rude* much? He sent a single claw tip into the air and pumped it a few times, as if to admonish her, but he didn’t sound upset. He was a robot. Robots really couldn’t get upset, unless they were programmed to. Geoff was just being Geoff… bombastic to the core. Ozai extended a hand in what might have been a polite maneuver under normal circumstances, forward slightly before him, palm up, and raising it ever so slightly as if to say “here it is.” Y’zyr: Commander DeVeau… this is Geoff… my assistive spider-bot… His tone was one of defeat, and he didn’t look up for a moment… until there was another squeal of delight. Was that right? That couldn’t be right. DeVeau: Oh my gosh, he’s ADORABLE! Geoff: ::beaming, his little eyes lighting up:: I know. I’m an adorable scamp! Y’zyr: I can take him, if you want me- He was interrupted as he tried to accept Geoff back. He was going into damage control mode, so she took him by surprise with the barrage of questions. DeVeau: Tell me more about him! Is he…are you…fully mechanic? Or do you have organic matter as well? Are you a cyborg? I have some cyborg spider friends. I bet Sheba would *love* you. Either that or eat you… Geoff squiggled a little in her hands, raising two clawed tips above his mandible level now. Geoff: I don’t know who this Sheba is, but I bet I’d *like* her. Y’zyr: He’s, umm… ::blinking in shock and trying to recover:: … He’s fully mechanical. I built him. I’m… still working on his programming. He’s quick, and can fit places I can’t… and he really likes grabbing faces… I’m so sorry about that, ma’am. … Wait… you know cyborg spiders…? Confusion was the name of the game now. He’d expected a swift dismissal from Star Fleet, and he got someone who knew *cyborg spiders*? DeVeau: ? Y’zyr: He’s gotten a few people now. I don’t know *why* he does it, exactly. None of my personality mods seem to stop him doing it. Geoff reached out both his top legs, long and scraggly as they were, reaching for Alora’s face again almost romantically. Geoff: You’re number three on my list, but number one in my heart, baby. Then he moved his mandibles and made an audible *SMOOCH* sound. And Ozai’s posture sank, his eyes falling to the floor as he willed his katra to leave his body and just let him die in peace, hands rubbing his face above his mask level. DeVeau: ? Y’zyr: ::quietly, he reached out to take Geoff, if she wanted:: You can give him to me, if you want… I swear he’s harmless. To all but his pride. Geoff: Aww, don’t be like that! You made *me* and I’m a work of art. ::he tapped a claw on DeVeau’s wrist as if to get her attention:: Have you *seen* his crochet skills? MAD. If you’re lucky, someday I’ll show you my pajamas. DeVeau: ? Geoff: For now though, we just need to find *this* guy... ::he arched one claw-tipped foot back toward Ozai::... a cute cyborg to date! So... do you know any cybabes? Who aren't spiders? ::Geoff then fake-whispered loudly to Alora:: I think he prefers two-legged, bipedal species. Death, please take him now. DeVeau: ? ~*~ Ensign Ozai Y’zyr Tactical & Security Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  10. OOC: There was just too much in here for just the quotes thread, so I'm sharing the whole thing! BUGS IC: ((Si’Laan Migration Ship - Engineering)) ((Timeskip)) Who prayed for warp core meltdown? He did… Velix: Well, not *those* bugs, obviously. Since, you know, they’re invisible. Rustyy made another kind of face. One of those blank, no lights on up stairs, confused looks. It was pretty easy to see it if one was looking through the helmet of his suit. Otherwise, one could almost _feel_ the same confused emptiness roll off him. Were there bugs… were there no bugs… was he about to have to stand in between a very little lady and a massive man to make sure there was no blood spilled? Sigh Big brother, I choose you… Ya’faemi: :: Annoyed :: And...? He stepped back to take up most of the other engineer’s view. He offered up a smile. Hael: An’ nuthin’ ma’am. Listen my friend ‘ere - he’s got some wicked optics - artificial ::he added in there, cause it was cool:: - an’ thems can pick up on things we can’. It ain’ no offense, an’ we gonna turn our attentions to gettin’ yer ship in ship shape. ::he bobbed his head.:: Righ’? ::he turned to the other two, like younger siblings and ‘keep yer mouth shut” glance.:: Y’zyr: ::sheepishly from behind his dual mask set up:: Sorry, sir… Velix: ::upon getting some further readings:: Hm… yeah that’s weird. They’re there but.. not really? He physically smacked the front of his helmet, which would have been his forehead. Rustyy was the type to express exactly what he felt, when he felt it. And every bit of ‘smoothness’ he possibly had inside of him was used up just a second ago. Velix: It’s like Y’zyr said, they seem to somehow be in a state of hyper-acceleration. Oh! We should gift them to DeVeau, she did bug things. Ya’faemi: What! :: Hissing :: You brought them here. You have contaminated this place. Rustyy turned to the polka dotted ensign with pleading eyes. His hands moved; up, down, weird little circles, he put them up to face to ‘whisper’ _stoooooooooooppppp_ WHat could he do… what - he was going to have to break something… something big! Something, anything, to get them to change subjects. This was like listening to mama talkin’ to strangers about his awkward teen years… the first time he pooped in the potty as a toddler. The first time he kissed a girl! … Not going to even think about when that had actually taken place. Hael: Listen, real’y - Y’zyr: I promise, we didn’t bring them with us. ::insisting as politely as possible:: The time-jump may have affected lifeforms on your vessel. If they’re actually hyper-accelerated, or displaced with chronitons, they could have evolved from microbes in just hours. Velix: Can we get a container or something? ::she frowned, then made a face:: And Y’zyr should get to give them to her. He found them. He stood there, dumb smile on his face, praying it would be enough to put out the first fire sized situation out. While the other two went on to discuss bugs. Both freaking him the crap out to think there were tiny little bugs everywhere… they could be in his suit… And frustrating him because, despite being on the dumber side of the spectrum, he knew this was not winning any peoples over. When this was done… lets just say he was overjoyed for the size of the station. He could go die under some rock and no one would know. DeVeau: =/\=DeVeau to Velix.=/\= Oh thank Gods - the tension was suspended by the outside source. DeVeau would be getting a hug and a thank you for reasons she would never know about. Velix: =/\= Hi! =/\= DeVeau: =/\=Found that anomaly for you. =/\= So much had happened, Rustyy could honestly say he had no idea what was being discussed. But it didn’t matter - it wasn’t about bugs. DeVeau: =/\=If you could alert the others on the Si’laan, and perhaps help with repairs so we can get them under way, that would be the best course of action. We have a two day trip ahead of us, and it will reappear in five and a half days.=/\= Velix: =/\= ::very excitedly:: Sure can do, I’ll let the others know. Oh! We found interesting bugs, well, Ozai did, not me, but I helped… uh… I mean… ::beat:: Absolutely, Commander, I will make sure appropriate steps are taken. =/\= He mentally screamed ‘shut it!” when she started to talk about what was found. And his shoulders dropped in relief when she cut herself off. DeVeau: =/\=Over and out.=/\= Velix: Sooo….? Ya’faemi: :: Roaring :: Repairs! Get to them. Hael: Uh - yeah, we-we’re on it. ::he turned to the other two and waved them away… huh much like his mama used to do.:: Velix: ? Ya’faemi: And stop talking about pests! Y’zyr: ::defaulting to obedience, feeling like his mother was yelling at him:: Yes, ma’am. Hael: ‘Course! ::he said with a smile.:: Velix: ? Rustyy had gone with the other two, he was attempting to put as much space between them and the angry little lady they had just created. Also… that was where the bug had been found… What followed next was a series of animated hand gestures and overall movement. He hadn’t found words yet and all the emotions and thoughts came out in hand waving and tilting side to side. Until - Geoff: ::loudly stating:: Goodnight, dad! Rustyy gave up for a second, bent sideways at the hip, elbow on the console, bent up and supporting his helmet sized head. He just looked at them, and so much from his childhood made sense. That fact that his mama didn’t drown him like a pup, said soooooo much about the woman. AND she went on to have several more. Hael: Ya’good? ::to Y’zyr:: Y’zyr: ? He stood back up as straight as he could and held his hands out before him. Hael: We is gonna pretend like none’a tha’ jus’ happened. ::he cut off any protests:: NONE’a it. Keep yer creepy crawly thoughts to yerself. ::he pointed to both of them.:: He could hear his mama… Y’zyr/Velix: ? Hael: You two’s is gonna work on life support systems an’ eternal sensors. Y’zyr/Velix: ? Hael: I don’ - I don’ care if’n we done it before, I’m so ::he gave a heeby-jeeby shake.:: I can’ even think righ’ now. All I be knowin’ is ya’ll two can’ be near her ::he thumbed over his shoulder. So go’on.. Find ::he put his hands up.:: anything. ::he made a pushing motion with his hands.:: An’ keep tha; thing outta sigh’ ::he pointed to Y’zyr:: She migh’ kill you an’ it, if she sees it. ::he added brotherly.:: Y’zyr/Velix: ? He took a steadying breath before he turned away to face the fire and offer his continued help with the ship repairs. Hael: Righ’, so ::he tried to not sound like anything had just happened.:: I ain’ sure what this means, ain’ been able to read yer language none, but levels ‘ere look low. Somethin’ we can work on? Ya’faemi: ? TBC/TAGs ~~ Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael Chief Engineer Starbase 118 Ops USS Narendra A239202RH0
  11. OOC: Brand new, just graduated from the academy Ensign. Well done! IC: ((Shuttle Leonid, en route to USS Aegis)) It was a strange type of day. While Julan expected his posting to happen relatively quickly, he never really gave any consideration to whether he may be posted to the very place he’s spent the majority of his Academy years. Not only was this a surprise, but he was instructed that he would be heading out immediately to an active mission. While on the one hand Julan was thankful everything had been sorted, he’d been placed and what his role would be decided, he was also sort of hoping for a small downtime window. He’d not been home for some time, mostly of his own choice. He’d of late allowed the thought, the possibility of getting home to creep in. Which had now firmly dosed him with some disappointment. Something he didn’t really need when he was intending to be impressive. Gazing out beyond the shuttle, Julan caught his reflection. The teal collar looked good on him. In fact, Julan thought he had done a good job getting his haircut cut, beard trimmed and sorted ready. He craned his head around checking the angles, giving no consideration to the fact he wasn’t sitting in the shuttle alone, he all but grunted his satisfaction. All that aside, Julan respected personal grooming and consideration for others. Looking untidy and unkempt, while not necessarily reflective of all of your habits and traits, didn’t stop everyone from assuming it. Afterall, the whole point of indelible first impressions is that they can’t be unmade. Sherlock: So, are you excited for your first posting? The young Ensign hadn’t exactly neglected the fact that the Lieutenant was piloting the shuttle whilst sharing the close space together, but rather he would have been equally as happy if they had ridden in relative silence. Glancing at the officer with the same level of commitment she demonstrated him, Julan acknowledged. Voleer: I’m not really sure I’ve had enough time to be much of anything yet. I am a little anxious about meeting everyone though. Julan understood social structures very well. While no one would likely actively make him feel welcome, he would still need to find a way to demonstrate his worth and value to the team. An unappreciated, daunting task for a fresh Ensign. As the Lieutenant motioned the availability of the replicator, Julan shook his head slightly. He’d drunk enough water before leaving that he wasn’t sure it was wise to test just how much he could hold. Sherlock: :: taking a sip of tea :: Truth be told, I'm a little excited, and a lot nervous. But I always get that way with a new post. So, are you in the medical field? Or one of the sciences? Julan had just graduated from the Academy with a Science Major, specialising in Computer Science and Sociology. Decision, largely influenced by his parents who he could hear like a parrot next to his ear “Why study something, that you’re already good at, pick something you know nothing about.” While, if you asked Julan if he was an independent strong willed young trill who did not need his parents deciding everything for him, he’d of course say yes. That it wasn’t that he wasn’t able to say no, but rather, one must pick the important battles. Truth be told, Julan had rather enjoyed the Sociology aspects of his Academy training. Over time, almost everyone will have picked up some Engineering skills or have access to a vast array of science and material to learn. But study, research and sometimes, manipulating human behaviour, now that is something you can’t just read on your PADD when you go to sleep. Working on a busy Starbase would give Julan a lot of opportunity to demonstrate his usefulness in unique and novel ways. At least he hoped so. Voleer: I’m posted as a Science Officer. We’re probably in a bit of a bind if you see me attempting to help anyone medically. Point me at the Stars however, and I’ll be able to tell you anything you want to know. Sherlock: Well, I'm sure there will be plenty of things for you to discover out here. If it's one thing I know, there's always something happening. Voleer: So, is this also a brand new assignment for you? Sherlock: Response It was one of the things about life in Starfleet. One didn’t always have much agency over one's own posting. While Julan was hoping, in some small way, to be posted to somewhere new and exciting he’d also come to call Starbase 118 home. He knew all the best places to eat on the promenade and likely the commercial sector. That is, once he convinced some officers to arrange takeaways from the areas he couldn’t get into. Voleer: Guess there isn’t much point asking for any insider advice then….. ::He let his request linger in the hope there might be something.:: Sherlock: Response In no time at all, Julan was in fact glad the Lieutenant had broken the silence with her question initially and he'd gotten to know at least one familiar face in the sea of people he was about to work with. The time had flown, they had shared some humorous stories of their academy time all the while getting to know each other all the while burning through their 2 hour journey. A mark that was signalled, by the all too familiar beeping from the panel beside him. Voleer: We’re a few minutes away from the Aegis now. Sherlock: Response tags/TBC Ensign Julan Voleer Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239903JV4
  12. ((Shrine of the Guides, Si’laan Migration Ship)) ((Time index: Before the Ion Storm)) As a young girl, I have often found myself jealous of the gift the line of the Speaker had received from the Guides. It predestined them to be leaders of our people - after all, they could connect not only to Risu around them, but to the ancestors who had long left their mortal shell behind. I, too, had received gifts, but more often they not, especially in my youth, they felt like a curse. My mother had carried the burden of the visions on her shoulders, as had her mother before her. And when those dreams of disaster and destruction were passed on to me, I accepted them with grace. My father once told me that, hundreds of turns ago, our families were one, and what set us apart from the others was, in it’s core, one and the same. But as time passed, and our journey became more and more perilous, our migration looked to the Speaker for comfort, and to me as a representation of the illnesses and losses we had suffered. And then the Speaker had died. He had returned injured from an attempt on friendship with another species, and died in his daughters arms. She, as the only Risu aboard the Si’laan who shared his gift, stepped into the role of the leader. And me? I was not a leader, I was just a messenger. The guides did not bless me with what it took to connect to our people in such a unique way as Ki’yara was able to do it. But had she consulted me, asked me about those strangers in their warship, I would have advised her not to trust them. *** He’liseka let out a long pent-up sigh and opened her eyes. The Shrine of the Guides was dimly lit, but still it took her eyes several moments to readjust. In the shadows she could make out Tu’pia’s small frame, and that of the slightly taller Ku’kari nearby. The two girls attended to He’liseka, and assisted her when her age caught up with her. He’liseka: I fear the Guides do not answer me today. She struggled onto her feet, and Tu’pia quickly came to aid the older woman, lending the support her walking stick could not offer. Tu’pia: I am certain they will, honoured He’liseka, in time. The older woman responded with a rare smile. Her own daughter had been killed turns ago, and both her bloodline and her gift would die with her. Perhaps it was for the better. Ku’kari joined them, as always eager to help. She was older than Tu’pia, and would soon be looking for a mate. Her long, silky black fur and bright blue eyes made her desirable, even if her connection to the Messenger of the Guides did not. Ku’kari: Perhaps we ought to take a walk, He’liseka. We have remained here far too long, and when the guides wish to speak, I am sure they can wait. Tu’pia: ::scoldingly:: Kari! You mustn’t speak of the Guides like that. Ku’kari answered with a slight shrug, and turned her attention to He’liseka, who nodded at Tu’pia’s words. He’liseka: Your sister is right, Ku’kari. If the Guides decide to leave me waiting, so be it - but… I suppose your suggestion is not a bad one. Ku’kari smiled triumphantly, and Tu’pia nodded with a small sigh. Together, the three woman left the darkness of the meditation chamber and stepped into the much brighter corridor, one of the pathways leading to and away from the Shrine of the Guides. The hallway was decorated with glittering tiles, sacred plants, and artwork created in devotion to those they worshipped. Tu’pia: Is it often that the Guides do not answer? He’liseka: The Guides know when it is the right time for us to receive their message. And they deliver it when-…. She was interrupted by a straining and bracing of metal, followed by a lurch forward that threw her off her feet. The two younger women quickly helped her up, only to loose their own footing as the ship began shaking violently. They had passed through storms before, sustained attacks, but this felt worse than what they had experienced so far. Ku’kari: Watch out! Instinctively He’liseka scrambled out of the way as the wall of the corridor caved in, burying Tu’pia underneath it. Around them, screams filled the air as scared and injured Risu tried to get out of the crumbling passage. He’liseka: ::to Ku’kari:: Run! Ku’kari would be faster without her, but the other Risu just looked at her, tears streaming down her cheeks as she tried to comprehend what she had just witnessed. He’liseka: Ku’kari, *listen* to me! Ku’kari snapped out of it, taking He’liseka’s paw and dragging the older Risu with her, dodging the falling debris. There was an opening not far from here, like a clearing in a forest, if only they could make it there… And then the metal strained once more, sounding almost like a long-stretched groan, which ended in the collapse of the tunnel. He’liseka clasped Ku’kari’s paw tightly, pulling her into an embrace before everything went dark. [End Scene] ***************** MSNPC He’liseka Messenger of the Guides Si’Laan Colony J239809TA4
  13. OOC: Been really enjoying @Ashley Yael's PNPC, Y'zyr! IC: ((Main Engineering, USS Rahuba)) Ozai had brought up all their collected data on the main center view screen in engineering. The ship was huge, really. Didn’t seem capable of space flight, but somehow it worked. Not everything was apparent at first with this type of machine, of course. Various space-worthy designs were the norm, all being unique as their developers found solutions to problems in their own ways. But for its size, it had almost no weaponry. Nothing to write home about anyway. The scans of the Rahuba were clear, but as they worked they were able to start clearing up the data on that other ship. It was probably a *good* thing they didn’t have many weapons… for the size, one might assume a relatively large complement of them. But the much smaller Rahuba could probably take them out if it wanted… they tended *not* to want that though. Star Fleet being the non-violent sorts, unless provoked. Velix: And how are they even moving it? Biodigester? Because considering nature and radiation doesn’t go well together, that would suck. Hael: Oh boy ::he agreed.:: we gonna wanna run this by their engineer too, bu’ it be lookin’ like their systems ain’ holdin’ up. Rustyy reviewed the data pad, and Velix looked at Ozai expectantly. Y’zyr: Despite their size, it seems we outmatch them with our defensive tech. The ion storm knocked loose a lot of bits. But I can’t identify a propulsive source with the data we have. The cybernetic Trill was doing his best, but he felt outmatched by the data and the task. He was supposed to be kicking hostile aliens around, not patching their engines for them. It was lucky he was a quick learner… building bots like Geoff had him understanding a lot more tech stuff about himself, and that translated nicely into some systemic use. Still. The brain power in a trained engineer likely outmatched his ability to the same tune as the alien ship vs the Rahuba. Hael: I ain’ to sure If’n it’s how their ship runs or If’n the extra ::he waved his hands about.:: stuff in the cloud be affectin’ them more. See ‘ere - ::he pointed to one of the scans.:: Velix: It would be great to have one of their engineers tell us how exactly their ship works. Other than that… I mean from what we *do* know it doesn’t look good. They seem to have sustained quite some damage. Y’zyr: Combination hits. The tachyons, ion storm, and the natural material in the cloud are all compounding one another. ::pausing, he visualized the problem for a moment as his metallic gold eyes scrolled the data:: We don’t have enough data on their ship directly, but we’ve got plenty of data on the Jenatris Cloud composition. If we can help them filter out the cloud particulates first, it might give them breathing room to solve the larger scale engineering problems. They could take a little weight off their shoulders that way. Let them focus on their own tech. Hael: Reckons I be agreein’ wit’ tha’ theory. Their science assistant gave him a look that seemed both approving and also questioning at the same time. What the question was, he wasn’t sure, and after making eye contact for an uncomfortable moment he went back to formulating the possible plan. Y’zyr: I’d go with direct filtration. Extend our shield to encompass theirs… match shield parameters… and clear the enclosed space of intrusive particles. Give them a bubble of “clean” space to work in, stop them intaking what’s harming their ship. Was that stupid? That was stupid, right? He looked to Hael, wanting an engineers thoughts on just how stupid that was. But it made sense in his brain, and sometimes his stupid ideas were the best ideas. And sometimes they were just flat out stupid. But a *few* times they’d been kind of brilliant! He could hit another one out of the park. His completely unearned but inflated confidence told him so. Hael: ? Neeya let them discuss amongst them. Even though she had *some* engineering knowledge, that was lifetimes ago, and hardly up to date. For example, now that she was looking at the preliminary information about the other ship, it seemed like chroniton particles were leaking from the cloud into the ship itself. And that wasn’t possible. Right? Velix: Uhm… Hael: ? Velix: Stupid question, but what does ::she pointed at the specific readings:: that mean? Ozai focused on what she was pointing at, and he was drawing a blank. He didn’t know what the problem was. What was she seeing that he wasn’t? Hael: ? But they didn’t have a chance to leap into it before Commander Dal’s voice came over the comm line. Dal: =/\=Commander Dal to Commander Hael =/\= Hael: =/\= ? Dal: =/\= Commander, we’ve successfully made first contact with the species in the geodesic dome. They are willing to assist us in getting back through the temporal anomaly if we can help them repair their engines so they can get out of the Jenatris Cloud. =/\= Repairing the alien ships engines? That was a *lot* bigger than just bubbling them in a warp field to ease the leakage problem with the particulate problem from the chronotons and cloud. Ozai’s eyebrows scrunched downward with concern as he wondered how the first contact had gone. Were the aliens huge like their vessel? How would they assist them, exactly? Hael: =/\= ? Dal: =/\= From initial scans the engine design of this ship is a complete marvel. Hael: =/\= ? Dal: =/\= Doctor Trovek is working on quick parameters on how to safely be able to enter their atmosphere. For most of our species their air is breathable, but we want to be careful. Preparing EVA suits is not a bad idea. =/\= Wait… they were going over to the other vessel? For a moment Ozai got excited again. Now *that* was his kind of mission! His hopes rose as he realized they would need a security detachment, and an EVA suit mission atop that was always exciting. Hael: =/\= ? Dal: =/\= You can contact Ensign Veelix to assist, and use Y’zyr as well. =/\= Aaaaaand his hopes were dashed. He was chained to solving engineering issues? *That* was boring… was it because he was already here in engineering, and it was easiest that way? Or was it because he was more machine than person, so they figured he belonged in engineering? Letting out a breath, he tried not to show his annoyance. He could still learn a lot while they let him mess with the systems. Though he’d rather be out there in the thick of things, potentially kicking alien butt. Well… not all aliens needed kicking. He could live with that. Hael: =/\= ? Dal: =/\= I am getting you into contact with their Chief Engineer, Ya’faemi… =/\= Okay! An alien engineer? That was slightly *less* boring, despite his disappointment he would still get to meet and maybe work with an advanced alien race. That was potentially worth it. Would this Ya’faemi come work with them here, or would it all be remotely done? The voice that came over the comms was translated roughly with some accent, but at least the Universal Translator seemed to have their language down. Ya’faemi/Hael/Velix: =/\= ? Y’zyr: ::noting aloud:: We will need better specs on the engineering systems in question if we’re going to be of much use in helping fix them. The insinuation being, their engineer could send them the data, rather than having them rely on questionable scans corrupted by chronitons and cloud dirt. Ya’faemi/Hael/Velix: ? ~*~ Ensign Ozai Y’zyr Tactical & Security Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  14. ((Transport - The Shinobi)) The trip was long, the void of space stretching endlessly outside the view windows. The stars warped past… or rather, they warped past the stars. The pilot was a chatty Bolian who kept up a running conversation very much with himself, and with a few small points of input from the Denobulan hybrid sitting in the furthest seat to the back. Ash kept mostly to himself though, letting the Bolain socially torment any other riders who came aboard while he watched out the view ports for hour upon hour. Thinking. Dwelling. He didn’t sleep. He felt… well… he wasn’t sure how he felt, exactly. Disjointed? Strange. He felt strange. He’d recalled almost everything he hadn’t been able to, but it was still hard to logically place the pieces together. Like having a slightly unfinished puzzle, you knew what the image was, that you had all the pieces, but you just couldn’t magic the larger chunks into one whole. He *had* it all, thanks to Kherys. But… Maybe it was because he didn’t like what he knew. It was irrational. Less on the emotional side and more on the physical, he wore a new patch over his injured eye. Medical scans revealed it was finally starting to heal, thanks in part to his inherently vigorous Denobulan halves immune system. His other wounds were well enough along, apparently his body had finally gotten to that line on the To-Do List. The doctor gave it a healing boost that would encourage cellular turnover, but it would still need to rest in order to continue the healing process on its own. Despite his not being rather foreboding in stature, he still inherited that physical prowess at least. It made him glad he took after his Denobulan side so strongly. If they could get through something, they could *usually* heal from it. Physically, anyway. Pilot: ::continuing some story he’d been telling on and off for approximately an hour now:: So I’m telling the guy, you *can’t* take a Risian hor’ghan with you to Casperia Prime. It’s *rude.* Just RUDE, I’m telling you. Completely different cultures, if both luxurious of course, but *different.* They’ll smile to your face and then tell stories about That Guy With The Hor’ghan in the staff rooms. They might not remember your name, but they’ll *never* forget what you did! The animated Bolian kept talking even as a Human woman took the second main seat, rode to her location, departed, and a Vulcan gentleman joined them for another leg toward Vulcan. There were a few others as well in the eight seat transport. Thankfully, aside the endless chatter, the trip was quiet and uneventful. Eventually though, he did rest the side of his forehead up against the window next to his seat. He wasn’t sure when, but his single amethyst eye drifted shut after some time, and he slipped into a shallow half-sleep, his body slumping with his shoulder braced against the bulkhead in his seated position. ((Vulcan - Above The Forge)) Pilot: ::cheerfully:: Estimated arrival time to transporter range with Vulcan, thirteen minutes! Ashley jarred awake at the sudden announcement being made over the small intercom. That was somewhat unnecessary, with there being only eight seats in the shuttlecraft… but it *had* gotten his attention. He pushed up from his slumped position… his back ached, and he stretched it, groaning lightly as his back popped and cracked. The Vulcan sitting silently across the walkway from him glanced his way, an eyebrow rising slightly with silent judgment. Yeah. A one-eyed Denobulan-Human hybrid on Vulcan. It was… probably not the norm. Pilot: Mr. Tumehn, your location is coming up first. If you’ll step onto the transport pad. The Vulcan gentleman did so, carrying his small satchel, and was transported to the surface near his arrival location as they orbited above it. Pilot: Mr. Yael, you’re next. Yael: Please set me down on the main road outside Shi’Kahr. There was a pause as the pilot recalculated the transporter, the Bolian seeming puzzled for a moment. Pilot: That’s about eight kilometers away from the Seleya complex. Yael: I understand. Pilot: Do you… have a pickup scheduled? Yael: ::smiling at the Bolian as he took his place on the transporter pad:: No. Pilot: Oh… ::eyeing him with uncertainty::... well, alright then. The transporter shimmered in that bluish gold, and he was remolecularized on an expansive, open roadway outside the city of Shi’Kahr. The glinting lights from the city glimmered in the heat of what was mid-day, locally… the heat was a bit refreshing for a half-tropical species such as himself. The starbase wasn’t *cold* exactly… but he sometimes wore a thin *thermal* underlayer to his uniform in order to say that. For this trip though, he didn’t need all that. He had shirked his uniform early in the shuttle trip for a simple off-white, v-neck linen shirt, full sleeved but very light, along with a similarly smart pair of off-black sports leggings, along with black walking canvas shoes. Dressed smartly for comfort in the heat, he raised a hand over the level of his good eye, shading it from the sun above as he looked around him. The road leading to Seleya from Shi’Kahr was not a modern marvel, despite Vulcan being a perfectly modernized place. There were certain places that remained as hand-shod as it had been in the Age of Awakening, and this road was one of them. Travelers historically walked it barefoot to reach the temple of Seleya, and he was nothing if not accommodating of local tradition. But… he glanced down at the searing hot, somewhat uneven rocks and shifting loose sand in the warm breezes at his shoes… Yeah. He was keeping his shoes. Slipping a pair of sunglasses out of the small pack lashed to his thigh by a slim leg belt, he slid them on over the patch and looked into the distance at the small red mountain looming ahead. Eight kilometers. He could do that. Eight kilometers was *nothing* to a trained Starfleet officer. TBC ~*~ Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  15. ((Yael’s Studio Quarters - Starbase 118 Ops)) It was enough. It was really just *so* enough. Honestly he didn’t want to do this again, even if it hadn’t worked yet. He felt so… fractured. He could hardly tell what one feeling was before another would overwhelm him. His hand beneath his good eye was damp… small drops fell into his palm, silently. He didn’t make a single sound, save to forcibly breathe more slowly than he needed. It helped him formulate an iota of calm when he felt anything but. Harper: Ashley… Yael: ::sounding small, without lifting his face from his hands:: … please leave. She stood and contemplated, and then… he felt her weight sit next to him on the couch. It was the opposite of leaving, in fact. He wasn’t sure what to do or say about that… he had no fight in him. Harper: Ashley… There was an empty moment before he sighed, sliding his hands down his face and then dropping his arms to fall on his thighs. He knew that tone. He took a deep breath before responding evenly. Yael: Yes? Harper: I can’t leave. Not like this. Did she feel responsible? There was no blaming anyone, save maybe himself to an extent. He’d gotten what he asked for, and she’d warned him copiously. He’d pushed, and she’d relented. The Denobulan hybrid knew that tone well though, and she meant what she said. He took another stabilizing breath, willing himself to slow his heart rate, slow his breathing. It… sort of worked. Yael: It’s… just a deluge. And things I knew from reports, but… reports have no texture. It’s like… suddenly seeing color when you’ve been colorblind. He’d had no idea what all he’d been missing. And even if they didn’t find the answer he’d been seeking exactly, the memories they did retrieve and flesh out were heavy weights now that they fit into the structure of his recollections. Harper: It’s okay. We are friends. *Good* friends. You can trust me. Sometimes we need other people. Remaining where he was for a drawn out moment longer, he didn’t really want her to stay. But it was more that he wouldn’t want anyone to stay, rather than feeling it about her personally. Hide it away, deny it, joke about it. Wasn’t that what he always did? Finally he moved. He slowly eased back against the couch, letting his weight slip down into it… and then he let himself lean to the side, against her shoulder. He took another deep breath, this one coming a bit easier than those before it. It was no dramatic proclamation. No neon sign in the dark. But it was acceptance, nonetheless, and a sign he was giving up any pretense. Silence stretched out between them, but it was a silence that grew in comfort, and his breathing finally eased off into a natural pace. His weight seemed to increase, and his good eye was heavy. The adrenaline from the memory procedure was bleeding out of him, leaving weakness in its wake. Though he wanted to nestle in and disappear into his nest of blankets and pillows on the bed only some ten feet away, he weighed the contribution it would take in moving from where he was, leaned up against his warm friend... and it wasn't worth the change of scenery. Before he let the exhaustion claim him, he allowed himself an honest feeling. He was glad she stayed. Even when he was sure he wanted to be alone, when he was being honest with himself that was just him hiding away, self defending. And he rarely felt *better* if left alone. In reality, Denobulans *rarely* wanted to be alone. And Kherys staying did, somehow, make him feel better. Her steadying and well intentioned presence didn't leave him in a vacuum of emotionally chaotic energy that could easily go downhill when unguided... and her presence guided it now. He tried to fight it, but his good amethyst eye fluttered shut. Within moments there was a slightly less normal sound. A very, very light rasping sound as he breathed. It was the very hint of what could be an adorably tiny snore. ~*~ Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  16. OOC: The follow up to the White Void! Excellent writing from Yael, as usual. IC: ((Yael’s Studio Quarters - Starbase 118 Ops)) ((Mindscape)) They had been tossed unceremoniously into the back of the prison transport, only for the walls to blanch out. It had been dark initially, then gone a pale white. The walls… well, there were barely walls, despite their being trapped within them. Yael ~ What is going on?! ~ Harper: ~You’re tensing. ~ His inner image pressed uselessly against the walls, getting caught up in the systemic mental jarring and chaos. This wasn’t his field. This wasn’t his expertise. He had *thought* he knew his own mind well enough to navigate it… not like a telepath could, but as well as any non-telepath should be able to. But the disjointed array of half truths and things that seemed to be memory but might not be combined with the sharp realism of the memories that were valid… it was almost overwhelming. Yael: ~ This *isn’t* how it’s supposed to go! ~ He felt it emerging within him… a foreign source of stability. He didn’t turn, more, he *felt* the force of Kherys calm presence. Her voice radiated through him like heat in the cold. Harper: ~Breathe. Breathe deep. If you lose control, I can not help you. You have to relax.~ Turning to press his back against the wall that had trapped them in, he watched the entire visual… if it was a visual, there in his mind… shimmer before stabilizing. If he focused on her voice… and *not* on the chaos and fragments… it seemed more real. The colors seemed less greyscale. He didn’t *say* it, but he still projected the doubt-filled thought loud and clear. Yael: ~ I’m not sure I can… ~ She engaged in her own advice and breathed, trapped in the white space with him. Despite the array of contrasting, unsteady emotions around her, she still managed to radiate the calm of a practiced mind, steadying everything around her with her breath. Harper: ~Perhaps it’s too soon, Ashley. You need more time.~ Yael: ~ Don’t give up on it yet… let me try again. ~ There in his mind, he breathed… and his body in his quarters matched the mental representation of breath. He took it in deep, held it a few seconds, and then slowly let it out. Then again. He tried to latch onto her stable presence. Emulate it. Relax. Breathing. Relax. He had asked for this. He wanted this. This could still work, if he relaxed and stopped trying to force the process. Let it happen. He closed his minds eyes to any visuals. Let them fade away and stopped focusing on coalescing them into what he wanted. The white room remained, but everything outside of it melted away with his expectations. He stopped trying to [...] the water, stopped trying to force it to run where he thought it ought to, and let it flow. The haphazard emotions eased, slowly, but surely. Breathing. And Kherys matched his breathing. Harper: ~Let’s start again. The mission. Earlier. Begin just after you decided on the plan. What happened after you left that apartment? Take it slow.~ Yael: ~ Okay. The mission. The apartment… ~ He tried to focus without tensing up, and voices filled the white void. They were nondescript at first, more a jumble of several voices, none of which were dominant. They flowed in the river, bubbling up and then melding back into the soft white of noise. Kherys’ voice first, her bidding him to relax. Then his mothers, telling him not to be scared… the elephants didn’t appear again, but the sentiment of strength filtered through the words. Then it was Alora’s voice, putting the plan in place, surrounded by the ragtag team of rebels on Miranda, who they’d met in the apartment. Okay. That’s where he wanted to be. He thought for a moment he had it, but the next voice to clear the combined murmur was Wyn, the Andorians sharp New England accent sliding easily into prominence. He was ranting angrily about something medical… but there was a warm familiarity lacing the anger, like it was a safe space to vent in. Ash then found himself unintentionally focusing on a voice he’d not heard in some time… Anthony Meeks, issuing orders while they were having a training session… one where Ash had spent most of his time being thrown. The mental image was suddenly bright, the training room swirling as his body was thrown. *THWUMP* He was suddenly facing up at the ceiling of the gym, the breath knocked out of him as he panted lightly, a strong Human hand reaching down to help him up. The Marine smiled down at him. He was clearly amused at either how easy Ash was to throw, or his tenacity to keep getting up again. This wasn’t right. This was *nice,* but it wasn’t right. Ashley almost laughed in his mind… what the Hell was he thinking about *this* for? It was a *good* memory, no doubt about that. Despite the physical action it was calm. The gym smelled a bit musty, but it was comfortable. The sweat lacing his skin was well earned, and a warm, loving feeling swept through him as he reached up to take that strong hand. He felt *safe* here. Only for Alora’s voice to cut through the warmth like a hot knife. DeVeau: ~ Ashley, you mentioned you’ve been training. ~ The entire world seemed to take a sharp turn, throwing them to the side. There was a vibration and a pull, as if they and their surroundings were in motion. All evidence of safety shattered. And the white room encased them again. Half as large as it had been before. And it hadn’t exactly been *large* before. There was another motion… how there could be motion in his mind, he wasn’t sure… but it felt as if they were being thrown about in a vehicle, despite the room being stationary. He hit the wall with a sound that matched hitting the training mat. Amethyst eyes… fully functional, non-injured eyes in his mind, turned to look to Kherys again… and he breathed deep. Don’t get caught up. Don’t get distracted. Yael: ~ Back here again… ~ He was frustrated, but getting used to the almost frenetic changes. He could almost hold himself outside the alterations, watch them happen without investing emotionally. Almost. Harper: ~ ? Yael: ~ It’s okay. I’m starting to get used to it. I can get us back. ~ The apartment filtered back in where the walls were. Alora and Sheila and the strangers and the hybrid they’d followed, all organizing. Most of the people were faceless forms… they weren’t important. What mattered was what was happening. He breathed again, calm. Letting it come. Just let it come. The plan was hatched. They would either pretend to join Terra Prime… that didn’t seem feasible… the other option was to get captured on purpose. Yael: ~ It was a good plan, considering the options. It made sense. We needed to get closer to Malefic. Figure out what made him work. Gather intel. ~ He felt he knew all that in his bones, and the memory seemed crystalline in its purity. There was acceptance and acknowledgement, and a sense of dedication to the mission. Confidence in his team. But beneath it ran a steady current of doubt. The very natural doubt of a Human hybrid walking into a hybrid hating death trap. The scene shifted away from the apartment. They were in the streets of Miranda, being led to the soldiers by their hybrid ally. Or was she an enemy? Who really knew. The important thing was that the ruse was afoot. Soldiers hands searched, groping with a bit too much fervor in places he’d rather remain ungroped, and even though he knew it was just a recollection he still flinched. The people and faces and place fizzled with a scrapingly harsh fluctuation born of embarrassment… he didn’t want to see or feel that, or for Kherys to see or feel it, so the memory lurched before continuing. They were thrown into the prison transport, the light shutting out again… before they found themselves in the White Room again, smaller than ever. Alora and Sheila had been thrown in too, but disappeared as the diffuse light grew again. Ash pushed up from the floor onto his knees to lean on the wall, stopping as his mental visage threatened to bump into Kherys… there was barely enough space to move. Yael: ::with restrained frustration:: ~ I’m noticing a trend here. ~ Harper: ? Yael: ~ Something happened here. It wasn’t Malefic. It was *before* Malefic. ~ More bone-certain knowledge. He didn’t know what it was, but he knew it. All the rest had been horrific, but he wasn’t hiding from the assault. From the gauntlet shattering his bones. From the taste of hybrid meat. Even from the certainty he’d walked into his own death. It was all gritty and real, and he could face the assortment of conflicting emotions resulting from it all. He had good friends. Loving family. A strong support structure. The time to heal, and good doctors to enable it. He was still processing it all, but he was *safe* now. It was going to be okay. DeVeau: ~TIME TO PUT THAT TO USE. ~ The distorted voice cut through him at a volume that would have burst his eardrums if he’d actually heard it in the physical world, and naturally his braced hands clapped up to cover his ears, flinching at the intensity. Harper: ~ ? His friends voices which had been a calm sea before began to echo the words at an impossible volume in a cacophony of overlapping clamor, with words they’d not ever said themselves. ~ PUT THAT TO USE ~ PUT THAT TO USE ~ YOU’VE BEEN TRAINING ~ TO USE ~ BEEN TRAIN- ~ PUT THAT TO ~ PUT THAT TO U- ~ BEEN TRAINING ~ PUT THAT TO USE ~ Then in one screaming unison, the voices merged. ~ GO FOR THEIR WEAPONS ~ The White Room shrank and crushed them, mental bodies powerfully smashed to one side and together… and the Denobulan hybrid, despite restraining it mentally, heard his own scream resonate behind the cavernous echoing mash of voices. It was all he could do, bodies crushing and hands clutching his not-real ridged ears, to recognize the sound not as one of fear, but of pure distraught. It was an animal sound free of sentience and soaked red in remorse. Harper: ~ ? *KCH-SNAP* The crunchy sound echoed last in his ears as his good eye snapped open. He was staring… with his one functional eye, panting for air and shocked at the mental displacement… up at the ceiling. His actual ceiling. All the screaming sounds were replaced with the deafening silence in his quarters. It was punctuated only by his heart strobing in his ears along with his labored breathing. There was a sharp, cold sweat on his skin. They hadn't gotten it. Harper: ? ~*~ Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael Counselor Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  17. ((Ashalla District, Starbase 118)) Ferri Emlott was somewhat certain that Zorkal disliked her - and that although he really had no reason to do so. She could, she supposed, understand that the Ambassador was not too pleased with how she had inserted herself into his life, but there was nothing that could be done about it now. He had it a lot easier than she did, but Ferri was sure that he had done similarly morally grey things to be where he was now. Of course she would prefer being both liked and trusted, but she could just as well deal with both not being the case. She did appreciate her friendship with both Tito and Trovek Arys - both of them of course had no idea who she was, and what she was here for. They wouldn’t understand. The Federation, so Ferri found, had a very black and white approach to how they thought of matters such as loyalty. Things were very different on Cardassia. For example, she wouldn’t get invited to a dinner by someone who then said they wouldn’t be part of said event, but send a proxy. That didn’t make any sense at all, and Ferri had been close to declining the invitation. But part of her was curious about these alien customs. Once she had finished her work, the Cardassian made her way to the designated meeting area. Aine was lucky enough to get a few days to recover. The night out with Arys turned out to be a little more than she was expecting, not unwelcome however. Though hangovers didn’t exist for her, some time to decompress was nice. She’d decided to stay on 118 for a while longer. There was no reason not to and there wasn’t a need for her to rush back to 224. An invite from Arys for dinner, but more casual than their special night out. Thankfully this meant she could go in her normal flannel shirt and black leggings. No need to get fancy, not that she really did before. She liked this new friend. They seemed to think alike and have many similar values. Aine sat waiting at the location Arys had indicated to meet. It seemed her new friend was running a little behind, which on a starbase this size didn’t seem odd to her. Scanning some reports from the prior day on her holo-PADD, she was suddenly interrupted. Emlott: Excuse me. Are you Aine Sherlock? Sherlock: Yes, I’m Lieutenant Sherlock. The last thing Aine expected was a random Cardassian she’d never seen before to approach her knowing her name, of all things. Emlott: I am Ferri. She looked at Aine expectantly. Surely Arys had mentioned that she asked Ferri to come here. Or didn’t she? Ferri wasn’t quite sure yet how many of those human customs worked. She had never been a proxy before. Sherlock: It’s ::beat:: nice to meet you, Ferri. But ::beat:: I’m sorry, do we know each other? Emlott: ::tilting her head:: I am Arys’ proxy. She cannot attend your meeting. She sent me instead - is that disagreeable? Sherlock: Proxy? I’m uh… Emlott: I do not think we are obligated to ::looking for the right word:: proceed. I am unsure. Sherlock: I’m not sure either. And I don’t want you to be inconvenienced. Aine’s first thoughts were that something had happened to Arys, but reasonably, if she’d sent someone to meet her she was ok. She thought the situation through. She had nothing else to do so maybe a tour with the young woman before her was ok. Emlott: I came here. I think leaving again would be inconvenient. Sherlock: Well, I’m still not familiar with the station. But if you’ve got ideas, perhaps you could show me around? The Cardassian nodded, and motioned towards the bridge leading into the Coranum District. It lay adjacent to Ashalla District - the ‘Bajoran’ district - and had established as a sub-district not too long ago. Emlott: I would like to go there. I feel most comfortable there. ::pause:: Do you speak Cardassian? It would also make me feel most comfortable. Aine looked across the bridge towards the island in which was the Cardassian area. The cityscape looked grey and metallic. She had nothing against the Cardassian people despite being close to the Master Chief who served during the Dominion War and held strong opinions. She knew there was truth in the old maxim: My friend today, who is my enemy tomorrow, will be my friend again. And in this time, they were not enemies. But something about the city looked intimidating. But if she let everything that intimidated her stop her, she would be who she was now. Sherlock: ::looking from the city to Ferri:: I don’t speak Cardassian, unfortunately. Just Romulan and a “tiny” Klingon. But I would love for you to show me around. Ferri nodded, though she seemed a little disheartened at that. Emlott: We will make it work. As they crossed, the tall spires throughout grew taller and taller. And perhaps it was just a figment of Aine’s imagination, but it felt as though it was getting darker as well. Ferri did not seem to share that impression. On the contrary, she seemed to lighten up as they crossed the bridge. Perhaps she was feeling more comfortable in a surrounding that resembled home. Sherlock: Do you live in the district? Emlott: I do. I am not here long, but I like it here most. The road they were following seemed to lead into the centre of the District, or at least it was the impression Aine would get when looking ahead. Even from here she could see three large spires, clawlike structures that seemed to mark the heart of the Cardassian settlement. Sherlock: If I’m honest, it looks a little intimidating. I find that fascinating in a way. But, here I am in a Cardassian area, with a Cardassian I don’t know. ::with a look of mock curiosity on her face:: You’re not going to like, kill me or something are? The woman halted her steps and peered at Aine. Emlott: Are you an enemy of the state? If so, I might have to. Sherlock: I’m joking! I’m just joking. Trying to lighten the mood. Sorry, I’ve never been great at jokes. Emlott: ::with a small smirk:: Me neither. Aine hung her head, but with a smile. Another kindred spirit. Sherlock: That’s good to know. Emlott: Do you also serve on the Starbase? You said you are a Lieutenant. She continued walking, but despite having spent the past few weeks here, she moved slowly, allowing Aine to admire the window displays of clothes, baked goods, restaurants and similar. However, Aine noticed less and less the shops and buildings and the previously foreboding darkness for the small light that was leading her. Sherlock: I actually serve on a ship. The Excalibur. It’s stationed in the Borderlands, not far from here. Emlott: Oh. And why did you come here? Is your ship also here? Sherlock: I was just on the station for a conference. The young Cardassian thought about that for a moment, and then asked: Emlott: So you are important? Did you give the conference, or did you listen? What kind of conference? Aine took in a deep breath. It was almost as if she couldn’t escape the topic. But giving the young woman the benefit of the doubt, she would tell it once more. Sherlock: I spoke at it. The conference was about Security procedures in the fleet. I was asked to speak because I took part in a hostage rescue a few months ago. Actually led the team. Emlott: What kind of hostage situation? What did you do that was worthy of speaking at a conference? Sherlock: oO Got shot. Oo A doctor from our ship was taken hostage by Suliban terrorist on a research station. I lead a small team to get him back. The team was just made up of members of our away team. ::pause as she reflects on what went wrong:: Ultimately, we got him back. Emlott: Your family must be pleased. Aine’s eyebrows shot up, for that wasn’t the whole story and ma and da were hardly happy with her. Especially when she chose to stay in the fleet. Sherlock: Most definitely not. The woman furrowed her brows and tired her head. That did not make any sense to her. Why wouldn’t her family be proud of her? Emlott: Why? Sherlock: Well, there’s a little more to the story. So, like I said, the team was a part of our away team. The other officers weren’t Security nor trained for hostage rescue. So, the tactic I used was to place myself in the most danger and hope it was enough that most of them would survive and get the hostage. Unfortunately, I was shot and critically wounded. Emlott: You didn’t die. You took a risk and the risk was rewarded. It’s… hero-like. ::pause:: If you had a Cardassian family they would be pleased. Not so pleased had you died. But pleased because you did not. Sherlock: ::holding back a laugh:: I kind of look at it that way. The ends justified the means. No one died. Doctor was saved, who in turn saved me. Terrorist was arrested. But, my parents, besides being human, are also just worrisome. And to be fair to them, I haven’t always made the best choices. Emlott: I understand, I think. I think your current choice is good. You saved people and arrested terrorists. That seems good to me. What not the best choices have you made? Sherlock: That’s another story or two…or ten. Maybe I’ll save that for another time. But tell me about you. How’d you end up on the station? Ferri was disappointed that Aine wouldn’t tell her more. The younger woman likened Starfleet to the military, and on Cardassian, it was still a male domain. Perhaps she admired Aine a little - what she had done sounded very… hero-like. Emlott: I am here for work. I work for the Ambassador. Sherlock: Wow. That’s prestigious. Emlott: I… ::pause:: … write letters, sometimes. And I put files where they belong. It is not very exciting. Sherlock: Exciting isn’t always better. Trust me. I like to think I’m okay at what I do, but sometimes I wonder if it’d have been to become something like a scientist. Emlott: Science is good. But exciting is better. ::she smiled:: Would you family be more pleased with science? Sherlock: I think my parents would prefer I stayed home and farmed or fished. Emlott: I don’t quite understand human customs yet. It is very different to Cardassia. Sherlock: Sometimes, I don’t understand them. It was hard convincing my parents to support my choice to join Starfleet. I think we fought more the week I told them than we had for years before. You say Cardassia is different? How? I’m not too familiar with your customs. Emlott: Cardassia is not as rich on resources. It is important for us to strive upwards. Everyone has a place on Cardassia, and a function, but it is better to have a … better function. Is that understandable? Sherlock: I think I get it. Aine thought there was a slight undertone of classism in what she was describing. She learned about Cardassians a bit at the Academy, but much of the information has since passed in her mind. The term “better function” seemed to stick. She wondered about those who couldn’t and what became of them. Even thinking of Ferri in that moment, she was a clerk. Was she limited in function by the standards of Cardassia? Emlott: I have learned it was more so before the war. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Striving to uplift the family is important. Sherlock: There’s some families that are like that on Earth. For instance my ::beat:: ex-boyfriend. His family has a history of trade dating back almost six hundred years. He was expected to do the same. Instead, he joined Starfleet, and they were not happy. Emlott: Will he change his ways? Trade seems preferable. Sherlock: No, he doesn’t so much care what they think. I guess he just wants to be his own person. The last part felt like she was unintentionally instilling an insurgency of sorts in Ferri’s mind, which was not her intention. She wasn’t there to change others views, but to learn from them. Ferri considered those words. She was her own person. But she was also Cardassian. Even moreso tha she was her own person, perhaps. Emlott: Can I ask, how do you know Arys? Sherlock: We met ::beat:: oOAt a bar…Oo over lunch. Who do you know her? Ferri: I met her through a human I met here. He introduced us. Sherlock: oO And now you’re her proxy…interesting…Oo Interesting. Emlott: Can I ask, what do you know of her relationship to the Ambassador? Aine stopped walking, looking at Ferri as she stopped and turned towards her. This information was new to her. Little flashbacks of what she could remember of her talks with Arys flashed through her mind. And nothing about an Ambassador. Sherlock: ::looking around as if to make sure no one was in earshot:: I don’t know anything about that. I just know she was having some relationship issues. Is this Ambassador the same one you work for? Emlott: ::nodding:: Yes. I didn’t mean to imply a relationship. I spoke to Arys and she said he did not share any bond with Cardassia, but the Ambassador mention she was connected to him. I was curious why she wouldn’t disclose it. In particular because the Ambassador was putting so much effort into making a possible adoption as easy as possible. Sherlock: ::shrugging:: I don’t know. She was pretty vague on details when we spoke. Aine felt a little tinge in the back of her mind. Perhaps it was the training she’d been through at the Intel School, but something was up. She leaned in close, hoping to make it feel like they could trust one another. Sherlock: Do you think they’re hiding something? Emlott: I think perhaps they are close. Or were close. I am unsure. It’s not my place to speculate. Sherlock: I guess. ::tilting her head and raising her eyebrows:: Emlott: It would be a good match for her. But I think a lot of politics would be involved. Sherlock: I think this is where humans and Cardassians differ. I’m not sure I’d like complications like that in a relationship. Keep it simple, you know? Emlott: It’s different on Cardassia. Complications are common. Aine noticed the subtle deflections, though wasn’t sure if that was just common of Cardassia like so many other things. Ferri was a tough one to figure out. She decided to change track. Sherlock: So, what are your hopes and aspirations? I assume you don’t want to stay a clerk? She seemed to think about that. While hopes and aspirations were important, they were rarely openly discussed as such. In particular with strangers. And then, of course, there was the part where Ferri couldn’t answer genuinely without disclosing that she wasn’t just a clerk. And she couldn’t do that. She settled on something that was safe to say. Emlott: Is it not a good job for humans? To work in an Embassy? This time, Aine wasn’t sure if this was deflection, or cultural misunderstanding. She was beginning to see how Cardassians were all about Cardassia. Sherlock: It’s a fine job. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. I guess, we just differ. You see, we’re taught, humans, that a job isn’t always your aspiration. We’re taught to seek and desire. To grow and improve. Emlott: I am improved. My family had different work than I have now. I like what I do, for now. Of course that wasn’t true. Ferri knew what she wanted, and she knew that she had to be careful if she wanted to get it. But perhaps she could give her new human friend a little more. Emlott: I… think perhaps I can become an assistant. I would like that. Aine smiled when it seemed like Ferri might be learning something from her. Sherlock: I’m improved too. What does your family do? Emlott: My father is working as a… ::looking for the right word:: tutor. For children. In an educational institute. Sherlock: That seems noble. Mine is a farmer. And my mother’s a writer. I’m actually the first in my family, that I know of, that’s been a spacefarer. A brief memory surfaced. The Resolution and it’s encounter with a Q. There had been a moment when she had been transported to what appeared to be an alternate time. Aine was on the bridge of a dank old freighter, her father the Captain, and she an engineer in dirty coveralls. She still didn’t know what it meant, but there was a sneaking suspicion it meant she wasn’t actually the first. Emlott: My mother was a …. ::looking for the right word once more, and once more settling on:: tutor. But not for education. For children when their mother had much to do. Maybe it was a language barrier, but Aine wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Tutor just didn’t seem like the right word. Sherlock: She ::beat:: taught them chores? Emlott: She made food. And… sorted their clothes. It doesn’t sound like much but it was for a good family in a large house. An uncomfortable word crept into Aine’s mind: servant. This seemed like it would not be the best topic to continue prying into given the idea of classism that had been presented earlier. Sherlock: Ah, I see. Well, I think that’s a very noble thing to do. While walking and talking they eventually got a clear view on the very centre of Coranum. While the district, for the most part, was relatively flat, this part seemed to stand at a small incline, which made the three clawlike spires seem taller than they already were. Emlott: It’s a good place to view the district. From up there. Aine looked up at the tall spires with the artificial sky above them. An old impulse came over her. Sherlock: ::pointing to the top of the spires:: Can you climb those? Ferri’s features showed surprise. She looked at the spires, and for a moment she seemed at a loss for words. The reply, eventually, was an exasperated: Emlott: No. Sherlock: I don’t mean like you personally. But like, has anybody climbed them? Emlott: I… hope not. ::looking at Sherlock scoldingly:: It would be disgraceful. I don’t like that you suggest such a thing. ::shaking her head:: It’s vile. Sherlock: Vile? Emlott: ::insisting:: Vile. ::pause:: It’s a memorial. For those who died in Coranum on Cardassia. ::another pause:: You can’t say things like ‘climb them’. Sherlock: Oh my god! I’m so sorry! I…I didn’t know that it was a memorial. Aine looked away from Ferri. Her thrill seeking didn’t even allow her a moment to consider that something like spires would even be a memorial. Sherlock: I’m sorry. Emlott: ::still shaking her head:: It would be rude to climb it. Please do not climb it. Sherlock: ::snapping her head back to look at Ferri:: I won’t, I promise. Emlott: There are many memorials on Cardassia. The one I have visited most is in the University of the Union. It is for the students who defended it. It was… brave. And yet, futile. The older students had erected barricades to protect themselves, and the school. The younger students had been sent to hide. None of it had mattered, in the end. Sherlock: Did you attend there? Emlott: Yes, I studied there. I graduated with good grades. I think my mother would have been pleased. Sherlock: oOWould?Oo Does she not know you went there? Your mother? Ferri seemed surprised for a moment, but then remembered that, likely, the Federation did not care about what happened on Cardassia. Were Aine Cardassian, Ferri was sure she would easily determine her age, and what situation Cardassia was in when Ferri was born. Emlott: ::shaking her head:: No. After the war, Cardassia was… uh… it was difficult. For many years. Everything was broken. Perhaps she was prying too much? It was becoming clear to Aine that when Cardassian’s spoke, it was the implications of the words that was enough for them. Sherlock: I’m ::beat:: I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be nosey or pry. Look, I just want to say… oOI don’t know what…Oo …I uh, really appreciate you spending time with me when you didn’t have to. And I’m enjoying our talk. I don’t want you to think ::beat:: I don’t know. How do you say in a Cardassian way that you’re trying to get to know someone better? Emlott: I also try to get to know you better. I am.. not used to people not knowing. It’s more present in Cardassia. But I am not disturbed by your question. Sherlock: ::smiling and nodding:: Good. Thank you. Ferri smiled carefully, then motioned towards the spires. Now that they had arrived in the platform, Aine could see a single, large building with a pond in front of it, and surrounded by what perhaps was the Cardassian version of a park. There was no grass, but beds of exotic flowers, each of them perfectly and purposefully planted. Emlott: This is the Embassy. It’s also for, uh, legal matters. Such as registration of a family unit. Sherlock: By registration, do you mean marriages? Emlott: Yes. There are celebration but the registration is what matters. Because it’s official. Sherlock: I notice that Cardassian’s use a lot of grey in their architecture. But, the flowers, they’re very bright. They almost seem out of place. Do they have meaning to you as well? Emlott: ::thinking about this for a moment:: It’s a symbol for wealth. Because flowers need water, and water can be sparse. It’s… art? It’s difficult to.. uh, create flowers like these. Sherlock: I assume there’s no touching either? I’m kidding again…just in case. Aine smiled, hoping the joke stuck this time. If it did, it’d be the first time in years. Ferri smiled carefully. She hoped it was a joke. There was no touching the flowers, of course. She lowered her voice. Emlott: Sometimes I touch the fish. In the pond. A sly grin formed on Aine’s face. She heard loud and clear what water meant to them. Sherlock: ::raising an eyebrow:: That sounds a little dangerous. ::leaning in a whispering:: Any other dangerous secrets I should know about? Emlott: It’s not dangerous… ::frown:: And I just do it sometimes. ::pause:: It’s not *forbidden*. Sherlock: It’s ok, any secrets are safe with me. ::giving her a wink:: The younger woman blushed, something that due to the texture and color of her skin was barely visible, but noticeable. She nodded, giving a half-hearted shrug, and quickly turned around, desperate for something to point out, and distract the human with. Emlott: Do you want to see the fish? They are called Kûpi. Sherlock: I would love too. The pair approached the pond and Aine knelt near the edge. Peering in she could see a black fish with a slight gold tint coming from its scale. Flecks of orange and white. Long tentacles coming from the sides of its mouth reminded her of the Terran catfish, or an old man. Sherlock: ::smiling at the memory of catching Blackfish back home:: We have some similar fish on Earth. Emlott: ::almost offended:: But those are Cardassian. Sherlock: They’re quite tasty. Emlott: ::definitely offended:: That’s… horrible. Those are for decorative purposes. We predominantly eat the ugly fish. Sherlock: ::smiling deviously:: I know. I figured that since they were in a pond. Ours, I used to catch them in the open sea. And they’re quite ugly too. Aine found a certain fun now in poking the Cardassian and wondered how many times she could get away with it. Ferri knelt down at the edge of the pond, carefully poking her finger into the water. The Kûpi, it seemed, were either used to that, or thought the slender digit was a particularly odd worm. Either way, it quickly attracted two larger specimen. Emlott: They don’t have teeth. Aine watched as the woman carefully slipped her finger into the pond. A glint from her eyes showed just how much she was enjoying this small insurgency. Have just learned how much symbolism meant to Cardassians, how much class meant, there was something in this action that Aine admired. A small sense of self within Ferri. That small spark in a timeline that starts a fire and could burn an empire to ashes. Sherlock: Only predators have teeth. Aine gave Ferri another smile, but a softer one. Ferri withdrew her hand, trying to hide a smile. Looking at the fish made her happy. Touching the fish was even better. One day, she had decided, she would own an aquarium full of the most beautiful fish on Cardassia. Emlott: I would like to show you the memorial. So you know why not to climb it. Sherlock: I would love to see. I’m enjoying today very much and want to see more. The Cardassian nodded and led the way towards one of the pillars. The platform was large, and they walked for a good few minutes in which Ferri seemed to be eager to explain more about the flowers and the way the grounds of the Embassy were organized. Eventually arriving at the spires, Aine could easily see that they were more than a more or less aesthetic structure. They seemed to be made from obsidian rock, shot through with gold that glistened in the artificial sun. Countless of Cardassian names were inscribed in the spires, each angle from which one could observe them, displaying a new set of names. Hundreds of thousands of names. Sherlock: Who were they? Emlott: They were killed when the Jem’Hadar attacked. Those were the citizens at the time registered in Coranum, on Cardassia Prime. The closest thing that Aine had ever seen was on a school field trip. A memorial wall to those Federation citizens lost during the Dominion War. She remember that it seemed as though it stretch from horizon to horizon, in reality it did not and it was just the overwhelming sense of size. She looked up to the top of the spires, the light from the artificial environment drowned out the tops as if that was their horizon. Sherlock: It’s quite touching. I can see why it upset you when I asked what I did earlier. Ferri nodded. She hadn’t been born when the Dominion turned against Cardassia, but she had heard many tales about it. Emlott: Thank you. Those things are important to us. They…. Belong to the identity we are. Sherlock: I understand. We have similar displays. They’re important to us too. They remind us of the struggles we’ve been through and those we lost. There was a sudden feeling deep inside, akin to grief. Part of this was unspoken so far. Here, Aine stood, learning from a Cardassian about their losses. She’d learned about their own. All from a time when a human and a Cardassian couldn’t stand in the same room together. They both were born after it all happened, so it wasn’t a part of their individual histories, but it was a part of their identities as children of a culture. Again, the words came to mind: My friend today, who is my enemy tomorrow, will be my friend again. [End Scene] ***************** Ferri Emlott Cardassian Visitor Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4 And Lieutenant Aine Sherlock Chief of Security USS Excalibur NCC-41903-A R239712AS0
  18. ((Starbase 118 Ops - Y’zyr’s Half of His Shared Quarters)) The cybernetic Trill had accomplished a genuine feat this time. It was a bragworthy event! He’d cleaned his room. Well… he’d picked up and processed his dirty clothes. There were still little mechanical bits and bobs everywhere. But he was done with his latest project! It sat atop the tabletop near the door, waiting on him to finish the final details. The vital last touch required. All the mechanical bits were finished, the programming was done too. Now, he sat leaning back into a deep chair, one leg crossed over the other, cybernetic foot absent mindedly bobbing in the air as his fingers worked. The object atop the table tapped a single leg impatiently as he hooked another loople and sent the rabbit through the cave. Or… whatever that move was when you used the hooked needle to do a bobby loop catch thing with the fabric stuff. Yes, the cybernetic feat of bio-engineering was crocheting. Meanwhile, the slightly-larger-than-hand-sized mechanical spider he’d built tapped a clawed foot impatiently atop the table. Geoff: You couldn’t finish that *before* you turned me on? Y’zyr: Relax, spider-bro. I’m almost done. Geoff: *SIGHS LOUDLY* I’m not “Spider Bro.” I’m Geoff. You just named me seventeen minutes ago. Black and gold eyes flicked up to the spider, still tapping a single out of eight mechanical legs on the tabletop. Did he really program this one to be so… salty? Y’zyr: I’m sorry. My bad. Geoff: Why would you name a mechanical spider “Geoff,” anyway? Y’zyr: Geoff’s a good name! Geoff: Yeah. Sure. It was good. ::pausing:: In the *fifties.* An eyebrow rose, and the Trill chuckled behind his mask. He *liked* this one. He was looping and securing an end doohickey, not knowing any of the *names* for what he was doing, but having the muscle memory to do them, when the doorway to the dual shared quarters opened and his roommate walked in. Now, his roommate was a good natured sort. Didn’t make waves. Worked as a medic, was overly diligent, was *tidy* as all heck. Classic Fleet brainiac material. The Bajoran stopped inside the door when he noted motion to his right, on the tabletop. Apparently did *not* like giant spiders. Geoff didn’t help things by leaping at his face with an excited trilling sound. The scream that escaped the Bajoran was one of sheer terror as he tried to claw the giant mechanical spider off his face, falling to the side and to the floor. Geoff cackled… actually CACKLED… as he leapt off the poor guys face and out the door, flying down the side of the wall of the corridor with his eight adorable little grippy claws. The Trill was out of his seat, dropping the eight legged crocheted spider pajamas he’d been finishing and, with a glance to see his shocked roommate was okay, headed out the door. Y’zyr: Sorry, Bartok! GEOFF, get BACK here!! He happened to hear Bartok breathlessly cursing as the door slid shut and he ran down the corridor, following closely behind the multi-eyed mechanical beast who had escaped, seemingly, for the sheer thrill of it. Shoot… a person… another Bajoran, with long black hair. Ozai sped up, the warning indicator at the lower left of his vision going yellow for alarm as he picked up speed somewhat loudly. He could hear more cackling as Geoff aimed for the persons face, and leapt from the wall where he’d speed-crawled prior. Except Ozai jumped forward at a running leap just before, power shooting through his legs and sending him into a controlled, powerful leap somewhat longer than he would naturally be able to do without his cybernetic parts… and just as he landed with quite the loud impact sound, sliding somewhat closer to the person, he clutched his own mechanical fingers around Geoff’s body just before the apparently EVIL spider flew into the Bajoran woman's face, all eight little legs scrabbling in the open air before he pulled them away from said persons face. Geoff: ::in his mechanical voice:: NOOOOO! I was so close!! Y’zyr: ::sharply:: You absolutely *cannot* run around face grabbing people… ::then, less sharply::... without consent. The spiders round little eyes turned on its head, little mechanical mandibles closing and opening as he looked at and spoke to the Bajoran woman. Geoff: Can I please grab your face? Trovek: ? Y’zyr: I’m sorry. I apparently neglected to program any *manners* into him. ::then to Geoff:: Gunna have to download some *civility* into you. He looked at Geoff sharply, and the mechanical legs sagged at being chastised. Geoff: ::sounding quite sad:: Aww… Now that he’d gotten his thrills out, Ozai opened his palm, letting Geoff stand in it and walk up his arm some ways for stability. Then he held Geoff out toward the person at a polite, non-face grabbing distance. Y’zyr: What do we say to the nice lady…? Geoff: ::drawing it out like a child might when embarrassed:: Iiiii’m soooooorry. Y’zyr: What for? A dramatic sigh escaped the robot, and if a mechanical spider could roll its multiple eyes, this one did now. Geoff: For trying to grab your face without asking first. Trovek: ? Finally, Ozai actually *looked* at who had nearly been face-grabbed, realizing he knew this face from somewhere. He smiled at her through his mask, making his eyes smile, as if this type of thing was completely normal. Y’zyr: We’ve met, right? ::recognition hitting him:: Oh, I remember! The Rahuba, right? You showed up after the people exploded. While he spoke, Geoff grumbled with annoyance and crawled up the Trills arm to sit on his shoulder, then ran a leg through his mandibles, as if he were cleaning it. Trovek: ? ~*~ Ensign Ozai Y’zyr Tactical & Security Starbase 118 Ops C238211TZ0
  19. ((V’luna’s quarters, Starbase 118)) The room was dimly lit, and the pillow Neeya was sitting on made her position just comfortable enough to give her an excuse to be distracted. *Breathe in peace. Breathe out emotion. Allow your thoughts to settle into silence.* On the table in front of her sat a small, fuel-powered lamp. The mediation lamp in itself was perfectly balanced and harmonious in color, and it kept it’s flame steady and controlled. *Inhale. Exhale.* Neeya found that V’luna’s voice was softer than usual, even though the Vulcan had never been harsh in her words. *The flame flickers as air currents brush past it. Your thoughts flicker as emotions come and go.* Emotions. They were a difficult thing for Neeya to handle. That had been evident by the initial reaction she had to V’luna’s suggestion to join her for meditation. She wouldn’t admit it, but secretly she was relieved that the older woman was patient with her. *Inhale. Exhale.* Despite having been back on the Starbase for only a few weeks, she already had a list of people to apologise to. And those were just the people she had openly agitated. If she were to apologise for every unkind thought, she’d be busy for the rest of the year. *Watch the flame dance, and let its movement still your soul.* So why did V’luna care? The woman had been Neeya’s teacher, but she had been teacher to plenty of cadets, a lot of them brighter and more pleasant to deal with than the young trill. *Inhale. Exhale.* Perhaps it was because of Dekim, the symbionts previous host. He had been one of her students, for a while. He had been bright and charming, and begun a stellar career within Starfleet. And then he had joined the Maquis. *The lamp is control. Without control, the fire would spread and destroy everything. Without control, emotion is overwhelming and destructive.* The reason was something Neeya didn’t quite understand yet, but she knew that she would keep it a secret. *Inhale. Exhale.* It was his disappointment with Starfleet that spilled over into her consciousness, that made her assume the worst, and that filled her with anger which lead to her outbursts. *With control, the flame provides light and warmth. Without the fuel the lamp provides, the fire would die. Control is life. Without control, emotion bleeds away your life.* She wondered if the Symbiosis Commission had known about Dekim’s true feelings. When the Dominion War had started and the former Maquis were offered a return to Starfleet, he had taken it. He had, seemingly, made peace with what had caused his malcontent, and lived a full life within the rules. *Inhale. Exhale.* Officially. *What is, is. You cannot change the nature of existence. Accept what is now and change what can be changed in the future.* Would they have joined here with the Velix-symbiont had they known? Or would they have given it so someone else? *Inhale. Exhale.* Perhaps they did know. Perhaps they had decided that Neeya, with a calm and gentle demeanour, was a good candidate to offset Dekim’s lasting influence. *The lamp is control. Meditation is control. Let your meditation control your emotion as the lamp controls the flame. Let your breathing slow. Follow the rhythm of the flickering fire.* If so, it was just proof that the system was wrong. That there was something fundamentally wrong with how things worked. *Inhale. Exhale* Like a cage one needed to escape out of. *Inhale peace. Exhale emotion.* [End Scene] ***************** Ensign Neeya Velix Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4
  20. ((Starbase 118- Galaxy Invaders Archaic Arcade)) ((During one of Wyn’s sneak outs >.>)) Rue knew when it was time to give someone space - especially when they snuck out of their room despite being on medical leave. Wyn’s recovery had been rough at first, just as he had forewarned, and yet got better with each passing day. Doctor Jos had also explained things to her in a calm, easy manner that had ultimately made her feel a good deal better about the entire process. Ergo, the fact Wyn was up and about wasn’t a huge shock to her. It was if anything, proof that Jos’s skill was to be respected, and that Wyn was made of tougher stuff than he let on. Thus, when he decided to go out and about, so did she. The commercial sector was still an area that Rue was working on visiting piece by piece, and she gravitated towards San Francisco as it reminded her so much of Portland, while being different enough that she truly did feel like she was getting out and being a bit of a tourist. There was a place she had heard about and had wanted to go multiple times, and just hadn’t gotten the time - well, now was a good moment. Galaxy Invaders Archaic Arcade. She smiled as she got to the entrance and walked inside - rows and rows upon old style arcade cases where there for the asking. True, she could have just replicated something, or gone to a holodeck, but there was something unique about the experience. And it was the sort of thing her father would have loved. She walked along the various games, perusing the options - most were from earth, though there were a few arcade cabinets as well, from a post WWIII emergence of the games that occurred after earthlings started traveling and populating other places. There were families and what Rue guessed to be antiquers playing the games. One was a father and daughter duo, and she caught herself stopping to watch - they were playing Donkey Kong, a game she was familiar with, even though it had frustrated her as a child. It had been one of the first 20th century mementos her father had let her play, and she recalled that her tiny hands just did not want to work the buttons correctly to have the little sprite jump, and ended with him smooshed by the giant gorilla. Her brother was a bit better, but he was always more attracted to driving games,that allowed a player to simulate driving a car. For her of course, it was flying games. Surprisingly, her favorite was not a space flying game, but an old World War 2 Pilot game that featured the option of picking different strikers to attack enemy bombers, targets and other planes. It always seemed to Rue that it was a very grim subject to make a game for, but then again it was so ridiculous in terms of the graphics and style that it was hard to imagine the dark realities of ancient warfare. She managed to find one of the flying games that wasn’t taken up - it was an ace pilot combat simulator, and she was eager to give it a try. The first few passes were …disasters. While she figured out the actual joy stick and controls quickly, it was leagues away from flying a shuttle in space, and her instincts were completely off. She laughed as she ended up crashing the fictional plane into a field of cows, and then directly into a house. Wryly, she thought that perhaps she would have done better at her goal of defeating the enemy if she simply pretended to be a pilot on their side. After a few tries, she got the hang of it and completed a level, but not further, and moved on to another section that featured more console games. She was in luck that one of the couches with a television and game set up was free, and so she plopped down to see what was on offer. After a few minutes she quickly identified that it was an old platformer about a whip holding hero fighting dracula. She started to give it a go, finding that the controls were easy enough to figure out, though again she laughed at what the designers thought made sense - such as hiding roasted meat in walls for the sprite to use as power ups. As she started to move through the level fighting nightmare creatures, she felt a small weight beside her, and glanced quick enough to notice a little boy sitting beside her. Wide brown eyes, round face with freckles, framed by sandy blond hair, in a blue and black outfit. “Hello there, did you want to try?” ::Rue looked to the little boy, offering the controller:: He gave a very shy shake of his head, and she quirked a brow, and then looked back to the screen and started to continue. “Where are your parents? Are you on you own?” “ No.” ::He said in a little voice, which she guessed put him at about nine or ten. Eleven if she was generous:: “And…where are your parents?” He pointed, over his shoulder, two a couple who were watching a little girl play a very exacting puzzle game, and obviously the quiet boy had stepped away. Rue was not thrilled with their observation skills, but after a moment, she expected they would notice, and so she kept moving her character forward through the rigorous level…grimacing when the character met his demise at the hands of a savage looking ghost. “...Annnnd that was bad” “You jumped too soon” the little voice responded. “Truth “ She agreed and offered the controller again. “Care to show me how it’s done?” He finally took it and started the level over -and she realized very quickly she was outmatched. The boy was a prodigy - he had reflexes she envied and she found herself watching intensely as he moved through the level with an ease that she found absolutely humbling, given the space between their years. “Oh! Watch out! Werewolf!” she waved towards the screen. “I know! I know” He yelped in response, barely escaping the claws of a beast. Rue felt her heart beating faster as she snorted at the sight of the hero narrowly missing falling down a hole, dodging a dangerous enemy, and finally getting a weapon upgrade. She had barely notice how much time had past when a voice called over “Aiden! Time to go!” a little girl with red pigtails shouted to them. Aiden, the little sandy haired boy, looked over and jumped up, giving Rue the controller. The excitement of the battle suddenly gone, he reverted back to a shy smile as he stood. “Um, thanks” and he was off. Rue took the controller and blinked as he suddenly dashed off, and then looked back to the screen to realize that the hero was on the last boss…and after a valiant, and admittedly hilariously clumsy try - she died. She couldn’t help but sheepishly facepalm, but she was smiling, as her little adventure reminded her well of similar times with her own father, when he would inevitably claim he couldn’t beat the level, and needed her help to do it. She’d always thought he was simply pretending…and now she wondered if she’d amazed him with her hyper reflexes just as aiden did her. It was a musing thought she had all through the rest of the afternoon as she meandered her way back towards the living spaces of the base. -- Lt. Prudence Blackwell Comms/Ops Starbase 118 G239308PB0
  21. I just love the way Jamie brings her characters across in her writing, and the atmosphere here is just like a breath of fresh air as I read this. ((Academy Campus Green – StarBase 118)) Some Cadets enter the academy because they had a family tradition of Starfleet service. Some had high hopes and were the first of their family to move forward and enter the ranks to better themselves and make a name for themselves in the universe. Very few could say they made a calculated mistake, took a near-fatal electrical shock and decided to change careers in the aftermath. Even fewer could then boast that they went far higher than they ever dreamed and made far more of themselves then they ever would have as a civilian scientist. And yet somehow, incredibly, that was exactly how Sal Taybrim got here. Sometimes he even wondered how that path had wandered through the universe to end up here. Taybrim: I spent a lot of time working with Starfleet medical in the aftermath. Not only in recovery but on reports. I liked how the approached problems with a goal towards solutions rather than Federation science which tends to approach problem with an intent to keep questioning and hope that someone finds use from the data. Harper: Something that could have been a tragedy turned into a benefit. He nodded gently, considering that perspective. Taybrim: Some things are truly tragedies that cannot be turned. I would not disparage the suffering to say that all bad situations can be turned into benefits. But I do find that it is a powerful strength to be able to understand when tragedy has a potential benefit and to seize it when you can. He had seen too much pain and suffering to think that there was really, truly a silver lining in every cloud. Sometimes things just sucked. Sometimes life was unjust and unfair and the only way to get past that was to be able to stomp and yell and be angry at how unfair it was or sad at how much it sucked. Processing difficult situations was as important and valuable as being positive. Sometimes moreso. Harper: Do you ever wonder what your life might have been like had you not received that shock? He gave a gentle assent, his gaze turning towards the simulated horizon. He would have much stronger telepathy, but his empathy would have stayed at baseline sensitivity. He would have stayed complacent in his role. He would have married for social standing. He would have probably been a good father. It would be different. He probably would even be happy. But he was already happy and didn’t feel the need to dwell on what ifs when the right now’s were something that gave him joy. Taybrim: Sometimes. I don’t dwell on what ifs more than as a curiosity. ::He smiled gently:: I like where I am. But, as a curiosity… I probably would have eventually been promoted to work on the planetside facility of Tona IV, settled down, married and had kids. My mother would have liked that a lot. It would have been pleasant. Sal generally found ways to make things pleasant. It was just in his nature. Taybrim: What about you? Harper: I’d likely have stayed on Earth. Maybe I would have gone into the medical field. At some point, I would have taken over the ranch from my father. He nodded, trying to imagine her on a ranch. He had a vague picture, but not a clear one, not from seeing how much she shined as an Starfleet cadet. Taybrim: But…? ::he prompted the rest of the story.:: Harper: Things change. My path led me here. Now we’ll see where else it leads. Taybrim: That is all we can do. They walked in silence for a few moments before she changed the direction of the conversation once again. Harper: Do you missed Betazed? Taybrim: I am nostalgic for it when I think about it. I enjoy when I visit. But I do not miss it so much to be melancholy. Harper: ? He smiled, looking out at the academy green that sprawled before them, having completed a half loop and coming back around. Taybrim: I have the benefit of liking where I am, very much. That chases the doldrums away. Harper: ? Taybrim: Do you miss your home? Harper: ? He nodded gently. Taybrim: I think that is natural. Harper: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Commodore Sal Taybrim Commanding Officer StarBase 118 Ops
  22. I personally have a hard time figuring out what to do in a ship battle. @Kaijin445 writes up an introduction that certainly allows more insight. I always appreciate the way you set up and narrate a scene. Welcome back! IC: ((Bridge, USS Rahuba)) A tactical officer's job was sometimes (sorry, usually) unpleasant in principle. Wherever you fired upon the other ship you risked killing someone, or someones, another few people who wouldn't be going back to their families this time around, or ever, really. Not a nice thought indeed. That being said there was something a little satisfying every time you actually hit your target, like zapping a fly, which was odd. Ish. Sadly (or maybe not so sadly) that wasn't what Dunamis was doing today. That job fell to his department head; today he was covering at the Engineering station working phaser banks while co-ordinating repairs on the side. Imagine handling and firing deadly weapons while being budget receptionist slash co-ordinator to a multitude of calls about where to go and why coming in every few seconds while clinging on while the giant metal cocoon around you jackknifed its way through the air. That was exactly what the experience was like (sorry, was) for him; he took it in stride, but by whichever higher power existed was it hard. Dal/Zel/Y'zyr: ? Maxwell: Here's another for you lad. Another phaser blast across the hull and one "miss" near the bridge. Dal/Zel/Y'zyr: ? He'd only just glanced up when a torpedo streaked between the vessels, smashing into hull plating and knocking the coolant remixer of Obsen's ship out of alignment. Or at least that was what his console said. That was good. That meant that his power levels were going to plunge even further and give them a little more time to get him (or get himself to, he supposed) where they wanted him to go. Stamina was the name of the game here and Obsen's was running out. Maxwell: Oops, was that me? Dal/Zel/Y'zyr: ? Ha ha. Funny. At least his department head had some sense of humor, which was appreciated. Dune: Yes, sir. His scrawny fingers deftly manipulated and pressed down on the firing controls, and watched with satisfaction as the beams of brilliant orange punctured a small hole in the coolant pipes and a greenish cloud began to billow from the ship. Now not only was the coolant getting dirtier by the second, it was leaking out into the emptiness of space, too. It wouldn't be long before their goal was reached. Dune: ::glancing down at his console:: Osben's coolant systems are leaking, sirs, I estimate about ten minutes before his warp drive systems fail from overheating. Dal/Zel/Y'zyr/Maxwell: ? Though of course knowing their adversary that wouldn't necessarily rattle him too hard. At prima facie he judged Trampis Osben to be an incredibly prideful man who placed himself on a pedestal, who bullied weaker others with his likely ill-earned title and had gotten away with it so often that he was convinced that everyone would cave the same way. The fact that he poured so much power to weapons and offensive systems in lieu of, you know, using it to keep his ship together, said much the same. The other vessel fired yet again. Dunamis was shaken by the impact, clinging to the edge of the engineering console. Dune: ::glancing down:: Shields holding at 94%. Hull breach on deck nine, emergency force fields have erected and sealed it for the time being. Dal/Zel/Y'zyr/Maxwell: ? No time to waste. Dunamis' palm slapped down on the engineering console, opening a communications channel: Dune: =/\= Damage control teams, this is the bridge. Please proceed to deck nine and effect repairs to the wall located at bulkhead 7A. =/\= Engineer: =/\= Copy, we'll be there, over. =/\= That was the easy bit. The need to coordinate repairs was an ongoing one and more would come soon enough and he knew that a little too well. Dune: Engineering is dispatching a team to the location of the breach, Commander. The comms rang once more, likely the slimy 'general' with all his bravado demanding their surrender. Persistent, wasn't he, he thought with a sliver of irritation. Some people simply didn't learn the first time round. Oh, well. This was a job for the higher-ups on bridge, not he. Not for a while at least. Dal/Zel/Y'zyr/Maxwell: ? Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra 0239706DM0
  23. @Kaijin445 I wanted to post this sim of yours here for a few reasons. 1. I just love how much of a gentleman Dune is towards Sheila/in general. He is really the perfect sort of man in my opinion. 2. I also love the descriptions you provided on Dune's background. It definitely helped me get a deeper understanding of the type of person Dune is. I can't wait to see where the scene goes from here. ❤️ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ((Sheila’s Quarters, Starbase 118)) Well, the good doctor did seem happy to be talking to him, at any rate, which he was pleased with. The reddening of her cheeks, the smile that seemed to never stop growing across her face and making it positively glow – all good signs, he took them as. Perhaps she didn’t often get visitors and he was a rare exception to that norm; in which case he was still glad to provide her the company she wanted. Dune: ::blushing lightly:: Well, I suppose. I did earn the top score of the cadet’s command and control course at Starfleet Academy – but book learning does not substitute for actual empirical experience, does it? Holodeck simulations are quite close but they still cannot compare to the unpredictability of real-life circumstance, can it. Then she seemed to stumble and fall, even in the lowish gravity that they were currently floating in – in response to which he surged forward, catching her in his arms and providing support. He must’ve felt like a tree, strong, tall and sturdy as most of his people tended to be. The perfect steadying pillar. Bailey: You could say that again. ::Sheila gave a low laugh, relating her current experience to Dune’s statement:: Dune: Does this happen often? Bailey: Oh, no. I don’t fall often but it’s not unusual. My left hip is weaker and it must have had a twinge suddenly. ::Here Sheila blushed not out of fondness but embarrassment for her fall as well as her rambling:: Dune: That’s alright. Does this affect you badly? Bailey: Well I’m not sure if you have experienced this but being a minority species comes with certain disadvantages within Federation space and Starfleet. That gave him pause. He too was of a minority species, in fact, a species that’d only just come into the Federation – and he felt the pressures all the same. He’d scared children his age for looking different and felt daily the pressure to represent the best of his people, to perform in the best arenas possible and show that there was plenty the Kelpien race had to offer. Dune: As a matter of fact… I have, somewhat. ::glancing towards the sofa:: Would you like me to help you back to your seat? I can handle our drinks if you’d like. Bailey: Oh, that would be great thanks. ::Though she sounded less enthusiastic than when she had replied to his opinion on the gravity situation:: Gripping her hand he floated over, gently easing her into a sitting position upon the presumably much more comfortable sofa, and off he went again towards the kitchen counter. He’d been scalded a few times in his life from careless hot water handling and poured many, many drinks; he could presumably handle himself around two cups of tea. He could sense the drop in enthusiasm in her voice, however. It was plain to see: the doctor valued her autonomy greatly and offering to take this simple task from her likely made her feel a little worse than she let on. Nonetheless she’d accepted, perhaps feeling that it’d be best that she not ruin their talk by spilling boiling hot liquid on herself, and so he would gladly offer his assistance, but he’d have to keep that in mind from now on. Dune: Growing up on a Federation vessel of humanoid children was not easy. I was a scrawny, hoof-footed bald boy with large yellow eyes at age six and you can imagine how my class of humanoid, hairy-headed peers felt about that. It is easier for young humanoids to accept other young humanoids, I feel, ignoring even the color of one’s skin, extra bodily features and so on. So I did not have very many friends and continued to do despite my parents’ best efforts. Bailey: ? Dune: I had some very persistent friends who took my hand and ran the journey in part with me. Indeed Qltlha and Julien had helped in spades; the former was adamant about dragging him from the cosy confines of his textbook and dorm room to attend the wild party that cadet Strauss three doors down sometimes held; not for the purpose of partying, but to get him to mix with people. It was a life skill, she’d said with utmost certainty, to be able to at the utter least be able to spend time in crowds and seem less like a shut-in, especially for someone with the ambitions that he held. Oh, it’d been nerve-wracking at first and he bemoaned silently each and every time, but slowly but surely he’d learned. Julien was a different story. The human took it upon himself to hone his crush’s person to person skill; behind many of their interactions (yes, including the badly veiled attempts to win his affections) was a lesson to be learned about the nuances of face to face relations. Again it had not been easy for the then much younger man that Dunamis had been then; making eye contact, reading body language, catching tone and so on was a supremely difficult affair for someone who’d been deprived of it for a great portion of his life. But he’d learned. Slowly but surely. He in fact continued to attribute his success in the Academy’s command modules to Julien’s efforts back then and this he did without a single sliver of shame. But that being said this conversation was not about himself. This conversation, this visit in its entirety, was about Sheila, and his purpose in seeing her was to offer her support, be it the starbase’s – or his own. He brought the steaming cups of tea over, placing them delicately on the table between them. Bailey: ? Dune: Would you be comfortable in sharing with me how you feel in that regard? Bailey: ? Ensign Dunamis Tactical Officer as simmed by Ensign Drevas Matthel Security Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra O239706DM0
  24. OOC: Same scene as Sucky Situation, different perspective, and just as amusing! IC: ((Main Engineering – Pirate Ship Drowning Band)) Secretary Valeria had never been in a real life threatening emergency before. She had only been in things that seemed life threatening or were merely made-up emergencies. And in general she was cool under fire – but she had a black sense of humor and that was her main coping mechanism when things got extremely crazy. Like right now. Lurtz: Defend with what, dear? We have no weapons, and even if we did, if they are shrunk to scale they may as well be toys. She huffed a bit, but didn’t argue. Drevas: Perhaps the best option is to find somewhere we can hide in or to simply keep moving. I think we should all first try and slow down and get our bearings- Valeria: Slow down or calm down? Did she mean that as a dare? A dig? Maaaaybe. Lurtz: Don’t you -dare- tell me to calm down, this is the second time I have had an event going to absolute pot on that forsaken station. Who do you think you are, with your tongue in cheek mannerisms, to address me like some second rate hotel guest. A snap of my fingers and I can bring down entire economies.. I well… I… She stopped, and her face paled and Valeria’s smug expression of defiance turned to one of concerned panic and action as she dashed forward to ease the matriarch back to safe ground. Drevas: ::stepping forward:: Your Highness? Is everything alright? Valeria: She’s so pale… and so warm. Linn Valeria was not a doctor. She knew the very basics of first aid to keep a scene safe before doctors could arrive. Lurtz: I… I need to sit. I feel very lightheaded… my chest… Drevas helped move Empress Lurtz back to the wall where she slowly slid downwards. Drevas: Over here, Empress. ::gently taking her by the hand and leading her to the wall:: Here, sit and rest. Is there any other way we can help you? She tried to respond, but her eyes rolled back in her head. Linn pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and dabbed at the sweat on Lurtz’s brow. Valeria: She fainted. She just dead fainted. Oh no, not dead. Please don’t be dead. Linn wanted to take that back, just in case it actually happened. At least two sets of footsteps distracted her from her self-admonishment as she looked up, expectantly. Maybe the Major and the Ensign could help? Andrews: So what's our plan now? We can't just wait for whatever's next to find us. Drevas: No, we can’t. We need to keep moving. The Empress needs a moment to rest, though. ::glancing back at the room around then, arms folded:: Ishreth Dal was also not a doctor, but as a search and rescue specialist he was a trained first responder, and was well practiced in basic field and combat medicine. He moved immediately to Empress Lurtz side, checking her vitals and loosening her clothing in several key constriction areas. Now he wished he had a medkit. And they had no idea where Doctor Bailey or Doctor Foster were. But he could lessen airway and chest constriction, get her comfortable and keep her warm. Dal: Either I need a medkit, she needs a doctor or both. Where are we perched? He was so busy tending the injured he hadn’t take the time to inspect the new locale. Andrews: We're above their warp core, right? Can't we use that somehow? What if we got down there and did some sabotage? If we could take their warp capability offline, that would be a big help to anyone coming after us, wouldn't it? Drevas: It would be, yes. Maybe if we got enough people standing on shoulders we could reach and operate the console, what do you think? Dal: I think a person-chain would be very dangerous. We’d be better off forming some sort of rope. He hated to admit it, but he silently wondered how many centimeters of rope would Empress Lurtz’s voluminous skirts make? And how bad would things have to get that she would allow that without tanning his hide. Andrews: ::grimacing:: I freely admit I have no kind of experience with this sort of thing. Maybe somebody in our party ::he indicated the civilians:: has some know-how we could use? Drevas: Maybe. Perhaps there’s a- His antennae spun wildly, his head snapping to one side as he searched for the sudden low buzz that filled the air. Dal: Something’s coming… And then there was a shriek as a large hovering metallic device bumbled into view and sucked up one of the partygoers. It made a horrifying schlooorp sound as the person was just sucked into the nozzle and held in a large spherical chamber. Clearly still alive, pounding on the chamber walls and panicking. It turned and sucked up a second civilian as the rest screamed and ran back towards the tunnels. Emblazoned on its side in large gaudy capital letters and Ferengi script was the brand sticker advert: “SUX-U-LUX 5000, THE BEST AUTOMATED SWEEPER PAST ANTARES!” Andrews: Oh, come *on*. Ishreth Dal had fought many battles in his lifetime, but this was clearly the first time he had faced off against an oversized Roomba. Drevas: Complain later! Help me move the Empress – we need to go. Now. Back to the tunnels. It can’t fit in there, can it? Everyone else, back to the tunnel! Now! Ishreth pushed Valeria out ahead Dal: Valeria, get everyone inside. ::He showed Drevas and Andrews how to safely carry Lurtz:: Take her, I’ll bring up the rear. Andrews: ? Herding panicked civilians was no easy task. Two more were schlorped up before the group was pushed, practically jammed into the tunnel Drevas: Who’s still with us? Valeria: It’s your lucky day, I’m still here. We have a head count of fifteen now, down five. The Sux-U-Lux kept mindlessly schloping and sweeping, heedless of the screaming passengers it had inside its belly. Andrews: ? Dal: In one piece. ::A pause, pointing to the drone.:: Its’ on an automated loop, it will come back. Drevas: ::panting:: Now what? Everyone alright? Valeria: That completely depends on your definition of alright. Andrews: ? He poked his head out, tracking the drone and then gasping. Dal: We have help. ::he jabbed a finger forward towards Commander McLaren and Lieutenant Zel.:: Look over there. Andrews/Drevas: ? Dal: That’s the trick, they’ll never hear us above the racket of the sweeper. How do we get their attention? Andrews/Drevas: ? Dal: We can all work together to get the engines on this ship crippled and then hopefully get Empress Lurtz the medical attention she needs. Too bad their micro-surgeon was currently a mini-micro surgeon. Hopefully the ship had brought someone who was good at medicine on such a small scale. Andrews/Drevas: ? ~*~ tags/tbc ~*~ Commander Ishreth Dal Marine Liaison Officer StarBase 118 Ops
  25. OOC: We're in the middle of a mission where some of the crew and some civilians have been shrunk to about 8cm in height (around 3 inches). Currently, one group is stuck in a shaft near the warp core and there's a vacuum coming after them (pirates kidnapped them and are trying to get them back after they escaped). Here's the situation from one point of view that I just really enjoyed. IC: ((Pirate Ship Drowning Band)) Matthel felt sick to his stomach. Yet another two of their team were gone, one in foolish bravery and one to rescue that one person. Not that he was one to give up easily, mind, but the thought of never seeing them again made him queasy. Thank the Prophets for the empress’ snooty voice, which cut through the momentary haze that clouded his mind: Lurtz: Where is the Andorian man? Drevas: He… went after Isaiah. Er, ensign Andrews, your Highness. Valeria: Oh no, your tasty blue snack of a Commander went back to save your very heroic Mr. Andrews who ran off to save the bravest Gorn of them all. Hopefully at least two of the three will return to us soon? Uh huh. She clearly wasn’t happy about that. Yay for the best answer he could provide – what was he expecting? Agreement? A sympathetic nod and lamentation as to how they might never see them again? Also not that he doubted the empress’ capacity for sympathy or empathy, but still. What was he expecting, eh? Stop it, he told himself. You’re not here to judge her on what she thinks about the situation. You have something bigger to take care of right now. Drevas: They are resourceful people. They’ll find a way. He raised an eyebrow at the fact that somehow or other, despite their circumstances, the archaeologist that’d followed them found it in herself to grin. Not the kind of grin meant to comfort, mind, but an expression of amusement. Yes, somehow or other she found this entire debacle and the impending sense of danger that constantly pressed down on them like a barbell really very amusing. Prophets, why, he asked himself. Why had it been him that was thrust into this situation? Valeria: Please, we’re eight centimeters tall, watching a disco warp drive. What isn’t funny about that? Lurtz: Your lack of professionalism is neither endearing nor wanted. Wow. Okay, then. He turned away for a brief moment, hiding a snicker of amusement. Drevas: With all due respect – I think we should plan our next move here. Valeria: probably finding a safe defensible space is priority number one. So we can regroup and have the actually combat trained people rescues any kidnapped other people? Lurtz: Defend with what, dear? We have no weapons, and even if we did, if they are shrunk to scale they may as well be toys. Drevas: Perhaps the best option is to find somewhere we can hide in or to simply keep moving. I think we should all first try and slow down and get our bearings- Valeria: ? Lurtz: Don’t you -dare- tell me to calm down, this is the second time I have had an event going to absolute pot on that forsaken station. Who do you think you are, with your tongue in cheek mannerisms, to address me like some second rate hotel guest. A snap of my fingers and I can bring down entire economies.. I well… I… Something changed in her demeanor then; a grimace of something which he could’ve sworn was pain. Oh, goodness. Was she having a heart attack? Or could it be another medical issue? Drevas: ::stepping forward:: Your Highness? Is everything alright? Valeria: ? Lurtz: I… I need to sit. I feel very lightheaded… my chest… Good thing they were on a ledge, raised off the floor, in an empty room save the warp core – and the wall itself wasn’t so far away. Drevas: Over here, Empress. ::gently taking her by the hand and leading her to the wall:: Here, sit and rest. Is there any other way we can help you? Valeria: ? Lurtz: ? Footsteps. Footsteps, sounding from inside the passage from which they’d emerged. Had the commander and Isaiah survived? He turned his head, praying to the Prophets for their safe return – but it seemed that they’d pulled the thought of the prayer from his head and answered it already. The two emerged from the tunnel, alive and seemingly quite well. Now that was a relief. He might’ve grinned, leapt a half foot into the air and embraced his friend had their situation not been quite so serious, along with thanking the Prophets of course. He settled for a wave back at Andrews while they convened – at least, for now. Andrews: So what's our plan now? We can't just wait for whatever's next to find us. Drevas: No, we can’t. We need to keep moving. The Empress needs a moment to rest, though. ::glancing back at the room around then, arms folded:: Dal: ? Andrews: We're above their warp core, right? Can't we use that somehow? What if we got down there and did some sabotage? If we could take their warp capability offline, that would be a big help to anyone coming after us, wouldn't it? Drevas: It would be, yes. Maybe if we got enough people standing on shoulders we could reach and operate the console, what do you think? Dal: ? Andrews: ::grimacing:: I freely admit I have no kind of experience with this sort of thing. Maybe somebody in our party ::he indicated the civilians:: has some know-how we could use? Drevas: Maybe. Perhaps there’s a- Dal: ? There was suddenly a shriek -- probably Empress Lurtz -- and the shouting of several voices that prompted the officers to turn quickly. The sight was horrifying. A giant (to them) floating drone that took up nearly the entire shaft with its chassis had (somehow) silently floated up and -- right as they watched -- was sucking up civilians one-by-one, like they were delectable candies. The panicked civilians were running in the direction of the officers, with the drone following behind, vacuuming them as they went, individuals vanishing into an extended tube shaft with a *ssssshhhhhhooooop!* every time another was taken. Prophets know how and why the pirates had somehow preempted their escape and procured this weird device solely for the purpose of recapturing and recontaining them, but they didn’t have time to dwell on that. Andrews: Oh, come *on*. Drevas: Complain later! Help me move the Empress – we need to go. Now. Back to the tunnels. It can’t fit in there, can it? Everyone else, back to the tunnel! Now! Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? Well, he hoped that it wasn’t, at least. With the assistance of his fellow security officer he lifted the Empress by the arms, apologizing profusely in the process, and began to walk-jog-kinda-sorta-run her back the way they’d came. Thank the civilians for being fast enough, too; they began to run, albeit several degrees more panicky-ly. Hold on, that wasn’t even a word… He would’ve prayed to the Prophets to once again shield them from danger and grant them safe passage through the blah blah blah make it out alive blah. Too bad the sucking noise began to grow louder and louder behind them, interspersed with the swiftly cut off screams and further sickening ‘shhhhooop!’ noises of those taken disrupted that. All he could do was keep moving and moving.. Drevas: Who’s still with us? Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? The more significant members of the party, it seemed. So far so good – but they weren’t safe, far from it. One of the civilians latched the opening shut as soon as they disappeared through, leaving the drone to hover outside with its sucking mechanism vibrating the floor and walls round them with a deafening ‘vwooooop’. Drevas: ::panting:: Now what? Everyone alright? Dal/Andrews/Valeria/Lurtz: ? Ensign Drevas Matthel Security Officer Starbase 118 - USS Narendra O239706DM0
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