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  1. Paraphrasing our first officer and since we didn't have a quotes thread, let's start one! From "Minefield, both metaphorical and literal" Allegedly Lia Rouiancet, in fact @Tony, aka Kells You've KILLED me with that, Skipper XD
  2. The current Thor/Amity joint mission has generated a lot of highlights for me but I wanted to take a moment to show my appreciation for @Ikaia Wong's humor and style. This JP was his idea, went in completely unexpected directions and ended up being a real pleasure to work on. I hope this encourages folks to reach out and try writing with new people as often as you can! =================================================== ((High Containment Science Lab 4, Deck 3, USS Thor)) Geoff Teller grumbled slightly as he made his way from his office to the lab spaces on Deck 3. The visiting crew of Amity had been given run of the ship and while that hadn’t been a problem, it had mostly lead to some vaguely lost officers wandering the halls. As First Officer, he’d been primarily responsible for herding these lost sheep so when he received an alert from the High Containment Science Labs, one of the few fully restricted areas aboard ship, he assumed it was simply another officer who had gotten turned while looking for the ships spa. What he wasn’t expecting was a frantic looking medical officer tending to a large and varied collection of plants, spread across several of the lab tables in specialized bio-monitoring pods. Geoff watched in bemused silence for a few moments as the young officer, a Lt. in blue with an oversized lab coat, ran the scanner from a medical tricorder over one of the bits of flora before reviewing the readings with narrowed eyes. When Geoff realized he’d likely be standing there for hours if he didn’t say something, he cleared his throat politely and spoke up with a smile. Teller: I don’t remember authorizing a new Arboretum on this deck, Lieutenant. Ikaia nearly jumped out of his skin from hearing that voice. His hand reached up and clutched his chest as he spun around. Wong: Ah! Commander! I didn’t see you there! ::Takes a moment to breathe:: I nearly had a heart attack…. Geoff chuckled and put his hands up in a placating gesture. Teller: As you were, this isn’t exactly a formal inspection. I don’t think we’ve met...Geoff Teller, ships XO. He stepped from the doorway and offered a hand in greeting. Ikaia allowed his hand to drop from his chest as he tried to relax. He reached out to shake the ginger haired officer’s hand. Wong: I’m Lieutenant Ikaia Wong. Physician Assistant and part of the Amity crew. Nice to meet you, Commander. Teller: Ah yes, Mr. Wong...I remember your name from the manifest. You’re Amity’s incoming Chief Medical Officer, right? ::Geoff nodded to the wide assortment of plants:: Botany a hobby or are these for medical use? Ikaia put his tricorder down on the nearest counter. He had been caring for many of these plants since he was an ensign. In fact, it was a collection of plants he had inherited from a previous doctor. In many ways, he felt like he had adopted them. Wong: Ah yes. That’s correct. I’m looking forward to my new posting. As for these… ::gesturing to his plants:: …. They’re something of a practical hobby, I suppose. I’ve been caring for them for a better part of a year and in their care, I’ve also been studying them as well. With the exception of the aloe, many have their origins in The Shoals. Teller: Ah I see...quite the impressive collection in that case. ::Geoff walked over and looked at a few closely, surprised to recognize a few varieties from Ketar V and Havleys Hope:: In fact, I might want to steal a few ideas from the designs...I’m always looking for a way to grow a better coffee bean. Ikaia offered a curious head tilt. Wong: Are you into botany as well? Or coffee? You almost make it sound like you’re sourcing something for The Brew Continuum. Teller: The Brew Continuum? ::Geoff’s expression was the picture of innocent ignorance:: Never heard of it. Ikaia raised an eyebrow at him for a moment. Then a smile crosses his face. What a cheeky Commander! Wong: I know that at one point, the Brew Continuum was created by you. I can say I recognize at least your name from that. I was a regular customer back on the Veritas. Geoff found himself smiling again, thinking back to the tiny converted storage space that had grown into so much more over the years. Teller: Guilty as charged. ::Teller nodded back towards one of the pods:: Don’t think I’ve ever seen that species before...the hell is it? And why is it doing...that. Ikaia picked up a watering can and went to water one of the plants. He stopped to glance back at Teller. Wong: Be careful around that one. That’s u. Tempturvium. It may be beautiful to look at. But it’s actually about to bloom very soon. It lets off a fine mist of oils that smell very much like a rotting corpse. A sonic shower absolutely will not remove the smell from your skin and well…. The less said about what it will do to your uniform, the better. I’ve had a few incidents with it. The Klingon PA could remember the first time he encountered the Tempturvium’s oils. He got a face full of it. This would have been a horrible experience for a human. But for a Klingon, it was like entering a level of hell. Especially in getting it directly in the face. He could still smell that rancid smell for a few days following the incident. Teller: Great, a stinkbomb plant. Well, at least it’s in the right place - we can eject this whole lab compartment directly out to space if we need to. Haven’t had to do it yet but there’s always a first time. Geoff shook his head and took an extra wide step around the cylinder. Teller: What is that? Ikaia moved over to the next plant. It looked like a collection of vines curled up in a pot. Wong: This one is v. Eatoanium. It’s a fast growing carnivorous vine. I suspect that in its native environment that it would have snagged small prey items such as small birds or rodents. However, this specimen has been known to go after well…. Me. I’ve found ways of placating it, though. Geoff leaned forward just enough to catch the vines ‘attention,’ which began wriggling within the containment chamber. Teller got the impression that ‘Eatoanium’s definition of small prey definitely included him. Teller: Interesting choice of pets, Mr. Wong. I find myself glad you’re taking them as far from me as logistically possible, though. Wong: You can see why I asked for high containment lab space for these plants. Many of them have specialized care needs and probably wouldn’t have been safe to be allowed into the Arboretum where anyone could have access. Previously, I kept them in my office as it was the safest place for them and typically, I was the only one who usually used that office. Geoff snorted, remembering the close quarters aboard the Veritas and imagining this flower show jammed in it. It definitely would’ve made a visit to Sickbay a lot more interesting. He dug a small padd out and verified that the lab was properly assigned to Lt. Wong for the duration of the journey and, satisfied all was in order, prepared to leave. Teller: Absolutely appropriate, Mr. Wong. I don’t think the Commodore would appreciate having his stroll through the Arboretum disrupted by the scent of corpses. Alright, I’ll leave you to it Lieutenant - as you were. Geoff turned to leave but only made it a step before he paused. The vinelike ‘Eatoanium’ was writhing violently within its containment vessel and the whole apparatus was beginning to thrash about on the lab table. Teller: Your salad looks upset, Mr. Wong. Ikaia paused to look over the Eatoanium. He froze. A look of horror briefly crossed his face. Wong: Where’s the PADD that went with this? This plant needs that PADD. Geoff’s eyebrows went up as he took another instinctive step backwards. Already, Ikaia could see the vines shift and move. He started backing up as soon as they started slithering out of the pot. Teller: Wasn’t anything on the table when I walked in here. What do you mean the plant needs the padd? It’s just a plant….right? Almost in response the whole writing mass of vines shifted as once, tipping the containment chamber off the table and onto the floor where it shattered open with a crash. Alarms began howling and alert strobes began blinking urgently and the labs heavy isolation doors slammed into lockdown with a muted thud. They were now locked in a very thick duranium box surrounded by numerous redundant containment fields. Wong: Usually, this is placated with recordings of Picard’s speeches or 80s power jams! Something about the rhythm usually calms it down! That’s why I had the PADD with this plant! ::Turns around to see the isolation doors slam shut:: Oh that’s just perfect! It’s a plant! Not some spore or highly dangerous contagion that will invert your rib cage or fill your sinuses with incompatible fluids! Geoff worried about how unusually specific those two descriptions were but felt it wise not to press the issue at the moment. He had other, more immediate concerns. Teller: Computer, erect a level ten containme…. Geoff ducked as the vines slapped a tray full of instruments his way. When he looked back, the mass of vines had vanished, scuttling behind one of the lab tables or possibly into the equipment racks. Bits of gear clattered to the ground as the creature shifted. Ikaia put his hands on his hips as he pushed some air out of his cheeks. This has turned into a much bigger mess than usual. He went looking for a PADD. Wong: Well THAT'S new. Normally, that plant isn't entirely mobile. Teller: =/\= Teller to Larell - Chief, we’re stuck in one of the science labs with an angry plant, tell me you can beam us out of here. =/\= Geoff suspected he already knew the answer, but he had to ask. Larell: =/\= Sorry sir, you know how strict the lockdown protocol is around the labs. You’d have to bring down the isolation fields for me to get a lock and if the computer detects those have failed, it’ll automatically eject the lab. Can’t do it, sir. =/\= Already the plant had decided enough was enough as it started chucking lab equipment at Ikaia. The Klingon PA squeaked as he saw a microscope come flying towards his face. He quickly dodged that one. Wong: For the love of Kāne! You get back here this instant! ::Dodges some empty petri dishes:: Teller: Stay on it, Chief, we need some kinda way out that doesn’t involve floating home. Larell: =/\= Yes sir, I’ll give you an update as soon as we have something. =/\= Geoff sighed to himself, wondering how his day had gotten this far away from him so quickly, before shooting a scowl in the direction of the nearby Mr. Wong. Teller: So we’re locked in...we try to break out, we get ejected into space. We try to beam out, we get ejected into space. Compartment’s independent life support is only good for about...oh..four or five hours. ::Geoff leaned back against one of the lab tables as casually as he could:: I’m open to suggestions, Mister. Ikaia picked up a tray to shield his face. More petri dishes rebounded off of it. Wong: Our issue is two fold here and it's not as simple as looking for a means to escape. We need to calm down my Eatoanium first. It's likely agitated from the alarms. There's a PADD on the far counter I've been recording my work on. If we load that with the correct sounds, we might be able to soothe it. Either that or--- ::a vine now lashes out at him causing him to yelp!:: GAH! Either that or we both end up on the menu after it's done with its temper tantrum! Ikaia vaguely motioned to where the PADD he mentioned was. He knew that if they didn’t calm down his plant before their escape, there was a chance it could be released into the ship at large and this was something he did NOT want escaping the lab. Wong: The second part of our plan, the escaping part, we're going to need your PADD for the security clearance alone. I've been having a number of issues surrounding my guest clearance. Most of which surround doors and replicators. I will NEVER eat wasabi-cilantro paste out of desperation again! Geoff ducked under something that looked suspiciously like a microscope hurtling through the air and crouched low, trying to keep a few heavy solid barriers between him and the aggravated parsley. Teller: I can’t lift the lockdown until we get that thing... ::A beaker flew and shattered against a far wall:: ..back in a tube and the computer is content there’s no hazard to the ship. Wong: Right. As to what we need the PADD for ----- ::Deflects a vine with his tray:: Ugh! Let’s just get my plant to settle down and take it from there? Geoff took a quick glance over the top of the lab table and still couldn’t find any evidence of an errant padd. With a sinking suspicion he ducked back behind the table and turned his attention out the observation windows at the rear of the lab and into the connecting compartment. There, on a small worktable just on the other side of the sealed door a Padd sat perched, completely out of reach. Teller: Well, the good news is I found your padd. Geoff pointed out the nearby window and shrugged in frustration. It may as well have been on Vulcan for all the help it would be out there. Wong: This is literally the third thing I've been trapped in in about six months! ::A beat:: The good news? Why does it sound like there’s BAD news? Ikaia felt something wrap around his right foot. He screamed as it yanked him over. He fell flat on his butt and felt himself being dragged across the floor. He smacked at some other vines coming for him with his tray. It looked like Klingon was on the main menu as an entré! Geoff dove around the table and grabbed the man's labcoat, yanking backwards as hard as he could. The plant had an alarmingly firm grip. Well, Ikaia had mostly been yanked away from his plant. The vines were still firmly wrapped around Ikaia’s boots while his bare feet were free to the elements in the lab. Ikaia grabbed the counter top and stumbled back to his feet. Teller: Hold on! What did you say was on that padd again? Music and speeches?! Wong: Yes! 80s power jams and Picard’s speeches. That’s the only thing that seems to calm it down! Teller: Well library computer access was cut when the lab went into isolation mode and my singing is limited to sea shanties....how’s your accent? Wong: My accent? Well, it’s Hawaiian…. Teller: No, your french accent! Start Picard’ing, that’s an order! Wong: Oh. Riiight. Uh… ahem…. :Glancing nervously at the vines coming for him:: “Starfleet was founded upon seeking out life. To boldly go---” GAH! Ikaia ducked as one of his boots was flung back at him. Teller: No no, it’s gotta be a little more British than that for some reason! Like this…::Geoff took a deep breath and tried to draw upon the gravitas, poise and baldness of one of Starfleet’s most legendary officers.. ”“We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back...this far...no farther....” The creature continued to thrash about but the vines slowed slightly, but his [...]-french accent would not have won him any awards. Ikaia tried to concentrate. What did a French-British accent sound like again? Wong: Okay okay. Let me try this - “While most of us recoil in fear, we must remember that this plant, the Eatoanium, is still worthy of our care. It has demonstrated at least on some level sentience. Are we not there to seek out new life?” He could see his plant starting to calm down a little more. It was still gripping on to that other boot. Teller: It’s working! ::Geoff cleared his throat and tried again for something approaching stately gentility::...”With the first link, the chain is forged….The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden….” Teller doubted he’d win Starbase 80’s famed talent contest but the creature was loosening its grip, and Geoff was able to haul Mr. Wong backwards towards relative safety, but not before another projectile headed their way. It flung the last boot. It rebounded off of Ikaia’s head. He yelped as it smacked him. He was getting really tired of being hit with things. Wong: Ow! GEEZ! Ugh….“That is one of the tenants that Starfleet was founded upon. We are Starfleet. It is our duty to ensure that this plant is well cared for as long as it is under our protection. It is not to be ejected into space like refuse.” Geoff put aside his personal feelings in this moment of deep crisis and called upon the powers of Earl Grey himself. Teller: “The first duty of every starfleet officer is to the truth! Whether it's scientific truth, or...uh”…::Geoff’s memory was failing him so he improvised.::....to space truth...or...ground..truth... The plant was starting to come down off the shelving. Ikaia crouched down low and started making his way closer. Wong: Ah… it’s working….. It’s calming down…. Ah “Part of seeking out new life is also the care and protection of that new life. That’s what we must do. This is not a compromise.” Geoff tried to lower his voice towards a register he hoped was soothing as he slowly lifted an unbroken containment canister. Teller: “So I lied...cheated….bribed men to cover the crimes of other men….”...wait, dammit, that’s not a Picard speech. ::Geoff took another small step towards the creature and nodded to Mr. Wong.:: “There’s coffee in that neb…” dammit that’s not right either. Ikaia calmly approached his plant. The vines were already starting to curl back up into its pot. He carefully picked it up in his hands. Wong: ::Whispering:: Are you ready to seal it up? We’ve got it back into dormancy. With the vines as docile as he’d seen them, Geoff crossed the final meter and scooped the vines into the canister and sealed it in one quick motion. It wasn’t until after he’d gotten it fully back on the lab table and behind a level five containment field that both men exhaled and slumped to the floor, Geoff’s back against one of the tumbled equipment racks. After a few deep breaths, Geoff laughed out loud at the absurdity of the last few minutes until his eyes were watering. When he could catch his breath again, he wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and tapped his com badge. Ikaia was more than thrilled to see his plant safely tucked behind glass. He rested his back against a counter as he seemingly sprawled across the floor. Ikaia snorted. The ludicrousness of it all! But at least everyone including the plant was safe. Wong: ::Sighs:: That’s a relief….. Maybe now we can lift the lockdown? Teller: =/\= Computer, lift isolation lockdown on containment lab 4, Authorization Teller Sigma Kilo Alpha Nebula Tango Sigma. =/\= Computer: =/\= Unable to comply, internal sensors detect a possible contagion which matches established viral profiles. =/\= Geoff gulped, his good humor forgotten. He looked around nearby and found several tricorders scattered in the debris on the floor. He flipped one to Wong and began scanning the area the vines had been writhing around. Ikaia blinked at what the computer had said. Sure, he often worked around the sick. But that wasn’t without decontamination afterwards. He took the tricorder in his hands and began looking. Teller: Were you storing anything else in here? Biomatter? Research samples? Especially pungent cheese? Wong: There shouldn’t be. I always decontam whenever I deal with the sick. There shouldn’t be anything here. Teller: Tricorder’s picking up nothing over here...air reads fine....no particulate matter...no radiation...certainly nothing that looks like a virus….you got anything? Ikaia was about to get up when his hands brushed against his thigh. It stung when he touched it. Bringing his hand up to his face, he could see a pink liquid coating his fingers. Blood. His blood. He glanced down at his thigh and sure enough, he could see where it had been sliced. Possibly from the glass when the Eatoanium escaped. Wong: I think some of the glass got me. My thigh’s been slashed by something. I’m going to need a dermal regenerator here to fix it. Geoff swung around in alarm at the shrieking tricorder. Teller: Stay still, try not to move. It could be on your uniform...we could still decontaminate it… Ikaia froze. He looked at Teller. Wong: Wait. On me? Geoff narrowed the scan field on his tricorder and took a few steps back towards Mr. Wong, following the increasingly rapid beeps from the scanner. When he was within a meter, he slowly panned the device down, starting with Mr. Wongs head. Teller: I’m no medical officer, Mr. Wong, but I’m picking up something tricorder thinks is a retrovirus…. Ikaia’s eyes went wide. It was as if Teller had said something that had triggered a memory for him…. ((Flashback - Russell River Mines - Approximately Six Months Earlier…..)) S’Ten: What do you know of Drell? That question came as a surprise to him. His hand slowly reached up to touch his hair. Since he started experiencing new cultures and other planets on his travels with Starfleet, that name has come up over and over again. Mostly in response to his blond hair. Some days, he was half tempted to dye it just to keep a lower profile if he knew he was dealing with other Klingons. Wong: House of Drell. I’ve heard of it. Mostly through it being shouted at me with plenty of finger pointing. But I really don’t know much about it. Except for that blond hair seems to be a house trait. Although, I’m not sure if I’m connected to that house or not. I absolutely know nothing. What do you know about this? S’Ten: I see. I can only tell you what I know from my briefings on Romulus. It was important to understand the workings of Great Houses, while they are an Empire there are always disputes between their houses, which is something that can be exploited during a conflict. Membership of a Great house has traditionally been by virtue of birth, or marriage. But the House of Drell was different. You are aware of the Klingon augment virus? Wong: Bits and pieces about it from what’s been mentioned in Starfleet databases. Victims impacted by it lost their head crests. S’Ten: The first Klingon that was born with blond hair was a result of this virus. Over time, Klingons with your hair color were born throughout the population, but only a handful. Word of them spread, and they became shunned like other augments. As a joke, Klingons said that blond Klingons were of “jul”¸ the Klingon word for “sun”. Klingons also found it amusing to claim that any Klingon born of jul were of the same family. One blonde Klingon was so incensed by being teased constantly that she formed a house named “Drell”, a play on the word jul. She declared that any blond Klingon was instantly a member of Drell, should they choose to be. Wong: Did all those impacted join this house? S’Ten: Many blond Klingons joined, proudly. Conversely, many sought genetic modification. And some… were sent from the Empire by their parents to live elsewhere. Ikaia frowned slightly. The gene pool expanded significantly and even if he got a hit in his search using DNA, it didn’t mean that it would be someone from this house. His investigation has just hit its first snag. ((High Containment Science Lab 4, Deck 3, USS Thor - Present day….)) Ikaia scanned himself and began cross referencing his DNA with the RNA of the Augment Virus on file. Sure enough, the virus had been embedded in his DNA. It was less than a 5% fragment of the original virus. But it was still there. He briefly reached up to touch his blond hair for a moment. Ikaia’s breath seemed to be caught inside his chest. Time almost felt like it had stopped for him. This was a major revelation. The reason for his hair colour, for who he was came down to a virus fragment. He looked at Teller wide eyed. He had been quiet in his realization for the longest time. At that moment, he finally broke his silence. Wong: Commander….. That virus you’re picking up isn’t on me. It’s a part of me. Geoff’s attention turned away from the baffled tricorder and towards the bewildered looking Mr. Wong. Teller: That’s...that’s somewhat alarming. I’m alarmed. I feel like you should be more alarmed. The lab is certainly alarmed. Wong: I have less than a 5% fragment of the Klingon Augment Virus embedded in my DNA. It’s what’s causing the blond hair and I suspect what triggered the lockdown when I got cut by the glass. It was never my plant. It was me the entire time. Geoff flipped the tricorder closed and scowled but focused on the immediate problem and located the compartment's medical kit, one of the few things that hadn’t been tossed around. Teller: Pretty basic but there’s a dermal regenerator in here along with some broad spectrum antivirals... Wong: I’m not contagious nor am I sick. It’s a virus fragment. But it’s certainly enough to trigger the lockdown of the labs. I’m sorry, Commander. Which meant that now the labs had to be keyed into his DNA just to avoid future lockdowns pending their survival from this lockdown. Teller: Well, it’s not really me you need to apologize to, it’s the sensors in here. Patch yourself up and try not to bleed on anything else. We’re going to need to decontaminate every surface you’ve touched or brushed against and…::Geoff shook his head, wondering how he’d explain this to the Commodore.::...lose the pants. Gonna have to vaporize those. oOExcuse me. Who’s the medical officer around here---- wait. Is he REALLY suggesting THAT?! That’s EXTREME.Oo Wong: You’re asking me to depants myself and BURN them?! Am I hearing this correctly? Teller: Look, I’m not the one who [...]ed off the computer, so I get to keep my pants…. A single drop of pinkish blood, accidentally smeared across the back of Mr. Wong’s tricorder dangled and fell before either man could react. Geoff could only watch in horror as it landed with a small splat on the right leg of his uniform pants. Ikaia gave something of a coy head tilt. Wong: Hmm yes. I seem to recall something to the effect of vaporizing one’s pants if they’re contaminated with my blood? Ikaia started to remove his pants. This was quite embarrassing. Almost as much as the tattoo on his backside. Teller: Welp...yep, ok, now we’re going to be two totally normal officers not wearing pants, cleaning a lab. ::Geoff sighed and began sifting through equipment on one of the nearby racks.:: Find yourself a subsonic sterilizer and get to work once that leg is patched up. Wong: Don’t worry, Commander. I very much understand sterilization procedures and medical care. Pretty sure that’s why I’m the Amity’s CMO. ::Sighs:: This is really embarrassing. We’re really going to have to key in my DNA into things to avoid generating false positives in the future. He finally removed his pants entirely and folded them up on the floor leaving him in his standard issue Starfleet boxers. He cleaned off his hands and grabbed the dermal regenerator to run across his wound. The whole incident had him stressed out, if he had to be honest with himself. It wasn’t just that he’d have to make the long walk to his quarters without any pants. It was what he had just learned here today. It was entirely possible with the virus fragment in his DNA that he was a member of the House of Drell. But given how Klingons handled matters like this, there was still a chance he may not be. Either way, this was a heavy result for him. It made him somewhat terrified of what the entire truth was going to be. Wong: Sorry about the mess….. It was the better part of an hour before the two men, fully stripped down to their starfleet standard issue skivies, emerged from a lab the computer now considered entirely free of pathogens. Both men made a dash for the nearby turbolift in an attempt to forestall questions or curious glances and they were entirely successful, except for Lt. Kowalski, who valiantly managed to restrain their laughter inside the turbolift car until Geoff stepped out, but broke before the doors could close again. [End] ======================================== Lieutenant Ikaia Wong PA-C Chief Medical Officer Amity Outpost V239711IW0 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  3. OOC: I really enjoyed this insight into one of our newer members. Good job @Kammus Corelli! (USS Nashira, Main Engineering, Deck 6) Kammus stood in the chief engineers’ office, as music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoe8K1yj50 played, and filled the air with a somber reminder of the mission. 27 PADDs were stacked in different piles on the desk, and Kammus watched the damage control teams, system engineers, and repair personnel work diligently on the problems caused by pushing the Nashira beyond all limits. Finn popped his head in, leaning more than walking, as if to signify he was busy, but wanted a quick word. Finn: What is that noise…? Corelli: Es Ist Vollbracht. It is finished. Bach. Finn: I’m more of an Orion Thrash Punk kind of guy. Corelli: Something I can help you with? Finn: Just to report, console repairs have been completed, Paket is having issues with some of the plasma conduits on deck 2. We’ll get it soon enough. Corelli: Copy, carry on. After a time of thinking, he moved to the turbolift, and traveled down to Deck 8 surveying the repair of the antimatter containment systems. From a nearby window, he saw Starbase 375 grow ever larger, as the ship dropped out of warp, and align for docking. Jadin Wills approached; she had been placed in charge of the final antimatter systems adjustments. Wills: All under control here, sir. Secondary antimatter containment pod will need replaced, scheduled for 4 days maintenance. We’ll be on dock power so it’s a good thing we’ve got shore leave coming up! Right? We do have leave? Corelli: Yes, you have leave. I will remain on board. Wills: You’re not taking leave? Surely you want to get off this oversized shuttle? Corelli: (Raising eyebrows) Let us not speak ill of our assignments. Wills: Sorry sir, I’ll get back to work. Kammus returned to his quarters just as the ship docked with the station. The room lights dimmed as internal power was switched to external support and the docking gangway tunnels extended. He unzipped his uniform top, took a deep breath, and relaxed for a moment. Presently his desk display chimed and he ran over, pushed the button, only to see Aiya’s face, bright and cheerful. Corelli: You're not dirty? Did you skip work? Aiya: Hey, Parrises Squares, 10 minutes, we entered a tournament! Corelli: We you, or we me? Aiya: You can come watch and cheer me on! Corelli: Cheer? Kammus contorted his body, raising one hand above his head, and placing the other on his hips, mocking. Aiya: I hate you. You don’t have any other friends! What are you gonna do? Sulk by the warp core? Corelli: The warp core doesn’t try to take my clothes off just because I’m Deltan every moment of the day. Aiya: Oh… (beat), probably best if you don’t go into a room full of a hundred strangers. Corelli: Might turn into another type of tournament! ::They both laugh:: I will be fine, plenty of work here to do, and someone has to supervise the repairs. Aiya: You’re not the chief engineer. Corelli: They don’t have a chief engineer! Aiya: Fine. BYEeeeee! The channel closed, and Kammus was once again left alone with his thoughts. He mashed the button on the display. //Personal Log, Stardate 239809.2 The Nashira performed well. We pushed these systems well beyond their specified design limit. I will have to re-write some of them. The crew is an interesting group, I will have to be less technical around some of them, which is a shame. We have put in at Starbase 375 for repairs, and since the ship currently has no chief engineer, I have elected to remain on board and supervise, in whatever capacity I can. I am certain Starfleet Command will assign a more senior engineer to oversee the repair work. I dread venturing onto the station, all those people, they can’t help but be affected by my biology, which I cannot turn off. Perhaps it would be better to be an android… I hope the crew enjoy their leave. I for one await reassignment, as this ship, while I enjoy it very much, will likely not be a permanent home. I wonder if an ensign can request to have NCO’s assigned… I sure would like to have Aiya with me, whatever the next adventure is. //end log He returned to the window and awaited the arrival of refit teams from the station. _____________________________________________ Ensign Kammus Corelli Engineering Officer USS Nashira Writer ID: T239807KC3
  4. OOC: @Geoffrey Teller must be loosing it. He's naming plasma eddies. 😄 ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Thor - Two Hours and Nine Minutes Later)) Hunching forward in the Captain's seat Geoff Teller's eye was twitching again. He'd been staring at the viewscreen for so long now he'd practically named every random band of colorful energy currently encircling the ship as he tried to tease detail from the images the vastly more sophisticated and accurate sensors somehow missed. Harold, a large shimmering column of plasma and radiation, was currently gyrating just slightly off the port bow and Fernando, that small pink rascal, was drifting diagonally across his field of view. At several points Geoff had been reasonably convinced they were mocking him, intentionally shielding the Nashira from their view in a form of subspace pettiness known only to an unfortunate few. With a hand that was vibrating slightly from either too little or too much caffeine, Geoff Teller tapped at the controls and resumed recording an overdue ships log. //Ships Log, Supplemental, Stardate 239808.19, Cmdr. Geoffrey Teller reporting. ...The Thor has been effectively navigating the storms edge for the last several hours and while the ride has by no means been comfortable, our shields have held strong and we are in position to spring our little trap on the Nashira. As this exercise was intended to evaluate crew performance in non-ideal conditions, I must take a moment to offer commendations for Lt. Jg. Reid and Lt. Jg. Richards, both of whom have performed their duties with the professionalism and creativity of officers with far more experience. I'm also quickly coming to respect the abilities of our new Engineering officer Ensign Rocheford. While I'm certain the next few hours will be a test for ship and crew I'm extremely confident in both. I'm certain we'll honor the Thor's proud legacy. And I'm going to get that damn lawn dart if it's the last thing I god da....wait is this still transcribing.... //End Log The ship jolted slightly as another plasma front shifted and grazed their shields. Teller shook his head in mock frustration at Gertrude, who was being pushy yet again. A few minor warning indicators appeared on the status display to his left and Geoff decided to break the heavy silence. Teller: Status report? How're the shields holding up, Lt. Richards? Richards: Response Geoff smiled and turned in his chair. Teller: Excellent, let me know if it becomes a problem. Lt. Reid, how's the storm? Dissipating along your projected curve? Richards/Reid: Response Both officers had been largely unknown to him prior to this last mission and now Geoff was confident they were both capable and reliable colleagues, more than fit for the task at hand. It renewed his confidence in their plan of action and their hopes for success. Teller: Understood, update the helm if you think we need to move to a new position but keep an eye on those sensors. The minute we can get a peak outside the storm I want to know. Reid: Response Teller: Very well. Ensign Rocheford, what's the status of the EPS grid and the impulse engines? If we detect the Nashira has taken the bait I want to move in as quickly as possible. Rocheford: Response Teller: That's correct. Our hope is that the Nashira mistakes our disguised fighter for the weapons platform they've been trying to make off with. If they grab the fighter in a tractor beam that'll be our signal to pop out and hit them with everything we've got. If they're disabled they can't make it out of the system, and we win. Rocheford: Responses Geoff found himself regarding the young engineer with something like sentimental fondness. He'd been in that young mans position once, tossed into a dynamic situation and forced to push himself far beyond what he thought was capable. He hoped Mr. Rocheford enjoyed the experience as much. Teller: Don't worry Mr. Rocheford, the weapon hits are simulated but the computer will make the damage 'seem' real, down to the overloading eps conduits and the disabled systems. With any luck we'll get their engines in our opening salvo and it'll be over in the first few seconds. Rocheford: Response Geoff smiled and turned his attention back to the viewscreen. Several of his new friends, like Lloyd, Fredrick and Harriet, were beginning to dissipate visibly and Teller could swear he saw faint snatches of clear space beyond. Their moment was rapidly approaching. Teller: Lt. Reid, is that what I think it is? Rocheford/Richards/Reid: Response Tags/TBC! =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  5. I'm honored that I was able to participate in such a special moment for my CO, @Tony, aka Kells, and that I could help be part of what made it special for him! To all our guests you have our sincerest thanks for participating! =========================================================== (( Main Arboretum, Deck 5, USS Thor )) In his dress whites for the first time in a long while, Geoff felt an odd bit of nervousness creeping in around the edges of his fairly manic last minute planning. The guests were due to arrive at any moment and represented friends, mentors, colleagues and some of the upper echelons of modern Starfleet. It would be the largest single function the Thor had hosted and, thankfully, it wasn’t even Teller’s court martial. Fleet Captain Aron Kells, his CO and friend, was about to step into the truly rarefied air of the Starfleet and all these fine people were arriving to celebrate and witness the moment. Teller: Commodore Kells...rolls off the tongue. Very nautical. I like it. Talik: Sir, are you talking to me? A nearby petty officer was arranging trays of food on a nearby table, designed to mix in with the ambient foliage and rolling green grasses of their small slice of nature. Geoff realized as he listened to the rushing of the nearby waterfall that he hadn’t spent nearly as much time in this room as he should’ve over the last year. It was a profoundly soothing space, most especially here under the wide boughs and thick leaves of the central tree. The air handling systems had been designed to emulate a planetary weather pattern and Geoff found the occasional hint of breeze rippling in the treetop tremendously calming. Talik:....sir? Geoff took a deep breath, smiled, and put aside his small reverie. Teller: I wasn’t, Mr. Talik, but your opinion is welcome, and speak freely. Think the Fleet Captain’s new title suits him? The petty officer placed the tray down and considered his response for a moment before speaking. Talik: Well, honestly...sir...it’s a little...embarrassing to say but… Geoff's eyes crinkled into a confused squint. Talik:...well it’s just...Co’mo’dr is the archfiend of the afterlife on Denobula...I grew up there and I guess the name...stuck in my head. Geoff snorted, rolling the unfamiliar pronunciation around, entirely amused. Teller: I’ll make sure to pass that along to Starfleet Command. Can’t have the higher ups getting called devils behind their backs. ::Geoff lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper:: Not when they don’t deserve it, anyway. Geoff winked to the young crewman and relaxed a hair as the large double doors to the arboretum opened. Their first guests were arriving. Teller: Various sirs, ma’ams, honored non-specifics ::Teller was babbling. Apparently that ninth cup of coffee had been one too many.:: Welcome everyone, welcome. Please, make yourselves comfortable while the rest of our guests arrive. We’ll be getting started in just a few minutes. The Constitution was on shore leave; fairly extended shore leave due to the slight issue of not being entirely in one piece, the most notable issue being the missing warp nacelle. Which meant that, after a trip to Vulcan, to detour via Cardassian space on the way back to the Marchlands in the galactic south. Saveron had never really anticipated stepping foot on the Thor, but this was the second time within a relatively short space of time. Dressed in the robe variant of Starfleet dress whites, the Vulcan Commander paused to regard the expansive greenery afforded by the Arboretum, before his grey gaze fell on one of the few familiar faces. Approaching, he raised one hand in the ta’al, the traditional splay-fingered Vulcan greeting. Saveron: Commander Teller. It is agreeable to be in your presence again, and observe that you appear to be well. Given that the last - and first - time they’d met was so that Saveron could help extract the katric remains of Alieth’s long-dead lover from Geoff’s brain before he went completely mad, the fact that the Thor’s FO appeared to be suitably functional was eminently acceptable. Teller: Commander Saveron! I’m glad you were able to make the trip again, I never really got to thank you for the whole ::Geoff artistically pantomimed removing a ghost from one's head via the ear:: well, anyway...I owe you one. Geoff extended his hand in the ta’al but his smirk was far from stoic. Teller: That’s a Good Job Guarantee. Buried somewhere in his uniform jacket Geoff’s padd chirped with an incoming message. With a smile and a wave, Geoff watched Commander Saveron join the rest of the party as he dug out the padd and discovered a message for their guest of honor. // To: Commodore Aron Kells, Commanding Officer, USS Thor NCC-82607 From: Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, Medical Officer, USS Chin'toka NCC-97187 Subject: Congratulations & Invitation Hey, Kells. It's good to see you excelling in the fleet and I wish I'd be able to present a kilo of our Chin'toka-branded Nip of Winter in person, but with all of the planning for my wedding going on I am not exactly Mr. Free Time. I have arranged for said kilo of coffee to be delivered to you. By the by, if you aren't doing anything in October, I was wondering if you'd be interested in popping over to the Chin'toka for my wedding to Lael. I so rarely do social things in the public's eye, but here's a recording for you to enjoy of the proposal. And man, let me tell you keeping her in the dark that long was hard. Miss you, buddy. Fair winds. Fair winds and following seas, commodore. Regards, CD // Geoff smiled as he pocketed the padd, glad his first CMO was happy and well aboard the Chin’toka. He’d make sure the soon to be minted Commodore saw the message after the ceremony. Compared to normal space the Shoals was like mashed potatoes compared to - well, normal space. Thick and gluggy, and hard to navigate through. When Lieutenant Commander Wil Ukinix of the USS Veritas had received an invite to the celebration of Fleet Captain Kell’s promotion to Commodore, he couldn’t resist. So he’d made his way to the Thor despite knowing how slow the initial journey from the Shoals would be. Kells had been marooned on a tropical moon along with Wil and the rest of the Veritas crew, and Wil had personally escorted his ex-crewmate, good mate and continental neighbour Nic del Vedova back to Fleet Captain Kells so that they could be re-united. But there was another good mate that he had to see personally first. And, thankfully, that person hadn’t seen him yet... And once that person was lined up (and in keeping with what was becoming tradition), Wil ran at full speed in a straight line, and then crash tackled Geoffrey Teller to the ground. Geoff had made the small tactical error of turning his back to the door, concentrating instead on a plate of surprisingly delicious confections from some planet he’d never heard of. His moment of distraction and gluttony was all that his best friend needed to stealthily approach and tackle him to the ground. Geoff didn’t even bother looking up before speaking. Teller: ::wheezing:: G’day knackers! Ukinix: CHIEF! Teller: I thought I told our Marines to keep this crowd respectable. Panting, Wil stood up and offered his hand to Teller to help him up. Geoff smiled warmly as he was dragged to his feet and into a firm embrace. As soon as the Thor’s FO was on his feet, he wrapped his arms around Teller’s shoulders. Ukinix: How’s it going, ya’ bugger! It’s good to see you. Teller: Good to see you too, Chief. Or do you prefer your majesty these days? Wil Ukinix, Second Nephew of the 47th house, heir to the ancient creaky chair of Ithric? Not totally surprised by Geoff's teasing of Wil's potential pending Betazoid nobility, the Human/Betazoid hybrid gave Geoffrey a gentle but effective smack on the back of the little man's head, before looking around the room. Ukinix: ::Cheeky smile:: Is Kell’s Del around? Geoff looked around the arboretum which was filling nicely as the hour approached. Chatting amicably near a small crowd was the guest of honor himself and his husband, Doctor Niccolo Del Vedova, their acting chief of medicine. del Vedova: He’s right here! And he’s his own man! So to say, as he fairly charged Wil and wrapped him in an embrace, and only after that was broken did he reveal the man of the hour (difficult though he was to hide behind the shorter Del): Aron himself. Kells: Hello, Wil, Geoff. Geoff, thanks for this, truly. Aron looked around at all the familiar faces and beamed as he took them all in. Her arms crossed, and uniform collar extended to reach her chin, Commander Blake tilted her head down toward Captain Roshanara Rahman next to her. Blake: I think Wil’s trying to hog everyone to himself. Rahman: I suppose I can’t blame him... Ukinix: ::Turning to Blake and Rahman:: Isn't it exciting! Geoff’s smile widened to nearly goofy proportions at the sudden reunion of friends from the Veritas. It was the first time he’d seen all these people in the same place since he transferred more than a year ago. Teller: Commander Blake...Skipper. It’s been too long. A warm smile donned Blake’s face as she relaxed her stance. Blake: It’s good to see you again. I’m glad we could make our way out of the Shoals to be here. Rahman: Indeed. Roshanara smiled as she looked back at Teller, and then her gaze turned towards Del. Kells: (with a grin) I’m glad you could as well, especially since my last trip out there did not go according to plan. del Vedova: Aw, but at least we still spent some time together. That, Aron thought, was the understatement of the century: Limbo, as the Veritas crew had nicknamed the moon, operated outside of the time experienced by the surrounding space. What had seemed like hours from a removed orbit had been experienced as months by the shipwrecked crew. Naturally, though, Roshanara waved off the memory of that extended planetary stay with a more important question. Rahman: Are you two still an item? Aron considered answering with a kiss, but Roshanara also would remember his habit of a friendly kiss for any of his crew who received a promotion or an award. It would not answer her question. Del, however, beamed and embraced Aron for a moment. del Vedova: Space husbands! Rahman: ::shaking head:: Naturally. The Kriosian captain of the USS Veritas then looked to the man whom she’d first served under as chief engineer before he had brought her back to active service as his first officer for the Invicta Expedition. Rahman: No matter what, sir, you’ll always be Captain Kells to me. Del interrupted Aron’s search for a reply that matched how heartfelt Roshanara had been with a smack in the shins from his cane. Certainly he knew that Aron was in danger of tearing up. del Vedova: And never mind him, you’ll be Rosh to me. As Addison entered the arboretum, she smoothed the front of her dress whites when her eyes fell upon a group of colleagues very dear to her who’d already arrived. She’d normally have been there earlier, but she took the opportunity to take a quick tour of the ship. It was in much better shape than the last time she’d been aboard - leading the majority of the non-essential personnel off the ship in shuttlecraft during an emergency was a memory that wouldn’t soon leave her. Grabbing a flute of champagne, she approached the group of distinguished guests and former colleagues. MacKenzie: Teller isn’t causing trouble, is he? I mean, aside from his usual… Captain Rahman, always good to see you. Rahman: Likewise. I hear you’re doing good things on the Resolution. MacKenzie: ::gesturing to Blake and del Vedova:: And the two of you are looking good - the last time I saw each of you, you were patients of mine. Del exchanged a look with Blake, then shrugged at Addison. del Vedova: We got better. MacKenzie: ::resisting the urge to smirk at Ukinix:: Trouble’s junior colleague. ::winking:: How’ve you been my friend? Ukinix: ::mock offense:: Hey! I'd at least be Trouble's first officer by now. ::Offering hug:: It's so good to see you again Addison, I've missed you. With pleasantries exchanged, she approached Kells and offered a hug. MacKenzie: The man of the hour! I can’t think of a more CO. Congratulations, Commodore. Kells: Thank you, Addison! And all of you. I can’t tell you how much it means that you were all able to make it. Nor had everyone arrived yet, as the group in the arboretum continued to grow, most recently with an officer Aron had first met when he’d been assigned as an ensign, and who was now a captain of his own ship. Mei’konda: Speakiing of congratulations…hello, everyone. And congratulations, soon-to-no-longer-be Captaain Kells. Aron had last seen Mei’konda at his wedding to another of Aron’s former officers, Evan Delano, and he hugged Mei’konda as well. Kells: Captain! It’s so good to see you. It’s been too long, too long since I’ve seen any of you. Mei’konda returned the hug, despite just a moment of hesitation. There was a time, not so long ago, where he stiffened up like a board when Aron Kells’ eyes fell upon him. But this was a special occasion. Mei’konda: Indeed! It’s like a family reuniion, isn’t it? The Caitian approached the gathering of senior officers, dressed in the carefully tailored dress whites that inadvertently emphasized his lean, muscular build. With negotiations for the Federation’s new colony site successfully concluded in the Expanse, the Chin’toka had moved back close to Federation space in order to prepare to escort the shipments, and it had given Mei’konda the time to take a brief shore leave out to the Thor in order to attend a very special occasion. Since his own promotion to Captain, this might’ve been the most brass he’d ever been in the presence of, but he found it interesting that he didn’t feel uncomfortable in the slightest. These officers - some of whom had been his direct superiors during his own early days in Starfleet - were now his peers. He aimed a reserved nod toward the Admiral lurking at the edges of the room, and a slight smile toward Teller and Saveron, as well. He and the Vulcan had had their disagreements years ago, but he liked to think they’d buried the hatchet. Mei’konda: Commander Teller. Commander Saveron. A pleasuure to see you both again. Teller: Captain Mei’konda! This is fantastic...I haven’t seen you since..hmmm...since I got my [...] bitten off by some voles at your Captaincy promotion! I can promise you - none aboard this ship. Mei’konda quirked a slight smile over at the red headed Commander. Mei’konda: If it was goiing to happen to anyone, Mr. Teller, it would happen to you. Geoff laughed good naturedly as he fought to urge to scratch his suddenly itchy backside. Teller: I’ll take that as a compliment. Commander Saveron, do you know Captain Mei’konda Delano of the Chin’Toka? Kells: He sure does! (glancing around) Almost half of the Invicta’s senior staff is here. They were missing a few faces — Alora DeVeau, Quinn Reynolds, Evan Delano, Hanar Tuk — but Geoff had promised Aron that most of them would be there, and it was an impressive guest list no matter what. Flicking his tail upward to curl it around one of his ankles, the Caitian folded one hand behind his back and held the cup of cinnamon tea he’d replicated in the other, lifting it to his lips to take a careful sip. There were unfamiliar faces here as well, some he didn’t know at all, and some he knew only by reputation. Mei’konda: On that note, my husband sends his regaard, Captain Kells. He’s on assignment, commanding the Diligent just outside of the Par’tha Expanse. A moment later, he added to those he hadn’t yet greeted. Mei’konda: Captain Mei’konda Delano, USS Chin’toka. A pleasuure to meet all of you. The rest of my crew sends their regards. She had slipped in among the other guests, pausing in the doorway, partly to admire the beauty of the surroundings. Arboretums were one of her favourite places to visit aboard ships, and she was pleased that the ceremony would take place in the Thor’s. It was well cultivated, a wide variety of plants growing in clusters according to soil and environmental needs. Alora paused at one such cluster, inhaling the scent of the blossoms, their sweetness energizing and almost addictive. From that spot, she had paused, her eyes shifting from person to person. There were quite a few people gathered, not surprising considering Aron’s long history with the fleet. She had known him from the beginning of her own career - he had been her first captain. And yet the man she came to celebrate that day was not the same man she had met when she had come aboard the Mercury. That had been someone different, but when the real Aron Kells had shown up, when so many people had doubted, when suspicions had been raised, she could only think about how hard it must be. He had proven to be as kind as she knew he would be, and the two had forged a friendship that had turned into something of a kinship. Even when he had left Starfleet briefly, they had remained in touch - rather necessarily thanks to their mutual investment. Had it only been eight years? It felt like she’d known him almost her entire life - and she certainly couldn’t imagine a future without him in it somehow. There were others she’d known for just as long and when her eyes settled upon them, her expression brightened into her characteristic smile. Faces so familiar, and dear to her, though in a different way, mingled together. It had only been two years since she’d seen some of them - though it seemed like it had been far longer. Taking one last whiff of the flowers, Alora finally turned and aimed for the cluster of bodies, the gathering of people with whom she had, at one point in time, served with. DeVeau: Man, I’m getting hit hard with some déjà vu. Wil turned to look to see Alora, and froze. They had communicated via dreamscape only weeks earlier. He checked his hand to see if it had the right amount of fingers, ensuring he wasn’t dreaming lucidly again. He then looked again at Alora. Ukinix: ::Blinking eyes:: So am I. DeVeau: I almost feel like I’m back on the Veritas. Or the Invicta. She’d followed a couple from one ship to another. Some had been left behind while others had remained. After her classified assignment, she’d suddenly been placed on Starbase 118 and had only known one person there - thankfully, a friendly one. Now, faced with the ghosts of the past, she couldn’t stop the nostalgia from rolling over her. DeVeau: How are you? Each of you? Kells: (another grin) Persisting and thriving, I’d say. And all here, most importantly! Teller: Hale and hearty, Alora, just like that violet you gave me. Further back, a solitary figure lingered around the edges of the gathering crowds, watching the reunion of old friends. Clad in a pristine dress uniform, Rear Admiral's pips marking her rank, the scrawny, freckled hybrid kept her distance, not wanting to intrude. The only one Quinn Reynolds truly knew was Rahman—and while their interactions weren't the frosty poles of Andoria they'd once been, it was still awkward enough she thought it best to stay away. She didn't want her arrival to ruin the moment. That, and underneath it all, Quinn was still the chronically shy woman who'd fled from almost every party as an ensign. Instead, she contented herself with a stroll through the arboretum while the guests continued to arrive. The sex botanist delighted in the flora on offer; admiring the brilliant rainbow of colours in vibrant blossoms, breathing in the heady scents of exotic blooms, running her fingers across velvet petals and furred leaves. The professional engineer wondered how feasible it was to pilfer the arboretum design for the Gorkon, and whether it was an abuse of power to reconfigure the ship to have a nice garden. A very nice garden. She spared a smile and a nod for Saveron as they moved through the crowds, pleased to see him again. Perhaps later they'd have a chance to catch up, and she could let him know Amelia was thriving. But for now, her attention was drawn by another; the man she was here for, finally alone... at least for a few minutes. Reynolds: It barely seems like two minutes ago we were evacuating refugees from Romulus. ::She chuckled.:: If you'd told me then HQ would pin this much brass on either of us, I'd have laughed you off the ship. Aron was very happy to find himself alone for a moment with Quinn — Admiral Reynolds, now. He’d followed her career, of course, but it had been many long years since they’d served together, since he’d relied upon her counsel as the director of intelligence. She’d had a storied and successful career since she launched the Gorkon, but like Roshanara and Mei’konda, and equally like the officers there who weren’t (yet!) captains, he both relished their success and missed the good advice and endless assistance that had allowed them to progress in their careers. Kells: (with feeling) I’d have helped you! No doubt. She grinned at him, struck with both awe and a sense of ridiculousness at their situation and status. A pair of flag officers who’d caused no end of trouble and headaches for Starfleet HQ back in the day, helping the Romulans when the rest of the Federation had forsworn them. Many of those refugees still lived on Vulcan to this day, a community counted in the tens of thousands, thriving and seeding the beginnings of reconciliation. Reynolds: Valesha sends her congratulations, by the way. ::The Romulan scientist had been one of those refugees, and both Quinn and Aron had taken a special interest in her career.:: She's doing well. Kells: I’ve heard! Lieutenant already? I’m glad she’s done so well, and that she’s been with you for most of her career. Not that she needs one of us to keep an eye on her, but — you know. However, whatever else they might have said was truncated, as Geoff had obviously noticed Aron’s absence from the main group, and called for everyone to be seated. With the guests assembled the attention returned to Geoff, who nodded respectfully to his CO and then to Admiral Reynolds as he approached the small podium placed directly in front of the great tree. It seemed to Geoff a worthy backdrop for this rare, special ceremony. He waited patiently at the podium, not bothering to raise his voice and within moments, the room grew hushed on its own accord with a shared sense of anticipation. When the silence was complete, Geoff spoke in clipped, clear tones that carried across the room. Teller: Attention to Orders, Please. Attention to Orders. Fleet Captain Aron Kells, please step forward sir. Aron did so, with aplomb. Or as much aplomb as he thought he could handle, given the circumstances. Kells: Here and ready, Geoff. Teller: Thank you, sir. Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds, would you step forward please ma..::Geoff barely caught himself in time.::...would you step forward please. Kells: (muttering) Good save. With an arched eyebrow and the hint of a smirk cast in the direction of both men, the Admiral stepped up to the podium as requested. Heart thrumming in her chest, she smiled through a deep breath. Over the years, she had learnt to keep the timorous tremor out of her voice, still the anxious fidgeting that wanted to erupt when dozens of eyes were upon her. But she was here for Aron, and the desire to honour and celebrate her friend made it easier to bury the nerves. Reynolds: I'd like to first thank you all for coming. There are a lot of familiar faces here, and I know how pleased Aron is to see you all. It speaks to how many lives he's touched, and how important he is to so many. Geoff stepped aside and retrieved the small decorative box which seemed unusually heavy in his hand. From here on out the attention of the entire room fixated on the two people standing front and center. Reynolds: Those of you who know me are already well aware that I loathe public speaking. For those of you who don't; it takes a very special event, or a very special person, to lure me to the front of a crowd. Today fulfils both requirements. As Quinn began to speak, Aron found that Del’s earlier save with Roshanara had been for naught, as he started to tear up anyway. He broke his gaze away from her and gazed out at his friends, but that was even worse. The people gathered in the arboretum represented decades upon decades of memories and experiences, and if he was looking for an escape, they were not it. Not that he was looking for an escape. It was just — after all he’d been through recently, from Calabrum and the Zet to nearly dying on New Bajor, he wasn’t sure if he’d thought a moment like this — not even the promotion, but where he was able to gather with so many of his friends — would ever happen again. Even by Caitian standards, the room had grown quiet but for Admiral Reynolds and the ever present subtle rush of a starship’s life support systems functioning around them. Mei’konda kept his ears angled toward the two standing together as Kells’ only superior officer in the room continued speaking, and Mei’konda stood silently with his fellow officers. It was one of those rare occasions that he’d come to savor in Starfleet - as much reward as he felt when he was able to promote or offer commendations to his own officers, there was something particularly special about being invited to witness one of his old Captains being recognized like this. Reynolds: I first served with Aron over ten years ago. He was a science officer under my command on the Drake, and we had a few... interesting adventures together. ::She grinned at him for a moment, a shared joke twinkling in her hazel eyes, and then continued.:: He was one of the finest scientists I've served with, and I valued his keen insight, quick wits and his ability to keep a clear head under pressure. They had shared just about every professional dynamic there was in Starfleet: subordinate, superior and peer. It had forged a respect and understanding few shared, and though—or perhaps because—there had been some bumps along the way, Aron’s friendship was one she treasured. Distance made it harder, but her fondness had not diminished with time. Reynolds: It was a few years later, when I served under his command aboard the Mercury—and later, the Garuda—when we became friends, and someone I still trust to this day to offer me sage advice when I need it. As well as my friend, he's been my teacher; I strive to emulate his diplomatic finesse in all situations, and his ability to cut to the heart of a problem. It is my firm belief he is one of the most exceptional officers in Starfleet, and I'm beyond honoured and pleased to be here today to recognise his ability, his compassion, his loyalty, and his dedication to all those he serves with. Quinn looked expectantly toward the red-haired Commander. Geoff lowered his voice and leaned in, waggling the Commodores pips. He couldn’t hold back a small smirk. Teller: Last chance to change your mind and pin these on me, Admiral. Reynolds: You shouldn't play with fire, Commander. ::Her eyebrows twitched upward as she responded just as quietly.:: You might get burned. Geoff stifled a laugh and opened the small box, profferring its contents to the Admiral, and she turned back toward Kells with pips in hand. For Teller, the challenge of the day had instantly been made worthwhile when he saw the look of profound gratitude and deep joy on his CO’s normally reserved face. Reynolds: Fleet Captain Aron Kells, it is my privilege to promote you to the rank of Commodore, with all the associated rights and responsibilities. ::Then, more softly,:: You’ve done us all proud, Aron. Kells: (quietly) Thank you. (more loudly) Truly, thank you. I can’t fully express how much it means to have you all here. And then came the moment. Quinn had the single-gold-pip-on-black of the commodore ready to go, and the moment itself — the pinning — was over in a moment. His new insignia gleaming under the arboretum lights, she dropped her hands onto his shoulders. Then, with an impish smile, she copied his favourite trick and rose up onto her tiptoes to press a kiss to the new commodore’s cheek. Reynolds: Congratulations, Commodore Kells. Teller: Three cheers for Commodore Kells! HipHip! The quiet of the Arboretum was broken by the thunder of applause and the shouts of hurrah ringing from the walls. But then the applause. Oh, the applause! This time, Aron tried to return the room to its former quiet, and he locked eyes with everyone there as he gazed around. Kells: Without each of you, I wouldn’t be here. That you’re here to celebrate the continuation of what I love to do — it means so much. Maybe it’s inadequate to keep saying so, but: thank you. Teller: My sincerest thanks to all of our visiting guests, you’ll be receiving complimentary gift bags on your way back to the shuttlebay or transporter pads. Officers and Crew of the Thor...please assemble front and center. The Commodore isn’t the only one we’re celebrating today! Mei’konda couldn’t help a subtle flattening of his ears, this time. There was such noise, and his ears were sensitive. But he participated nonetheless, the broad smile on his short muzzle exposing his sharp teeth while he clapped in turn with the others. Later, he’d share time with the others, perhaps take a brief tour of the Thor considering that he’d never been aboard a Vesta class ship before, and catch a shuttle back to the Chin’toka late in the evening. Mei’konda: Congratulations, everyone - and thaank you for the invitation! Responses: ? END! =================================== Commodore Aron Kells Commanding Officer USS Thor V238208LV0 he/him/his (character & player) & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 with special guests (in order of appearance) Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer / Barista USS Chin’toka NCC-97187 O239002CS0 Lieutenant Commander Wil Ukinix Chief Engineer, Second Officer USS Veritas V239511WU0 Cmdr Sky Blake Executive Officer USS Veritas C238803SB0 Captain Roshanara Rahman Commanding Officer, USS Veritas I238705TZ0 Commander Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS First Officer USS Resolution V239601AM0 Captain Mei’konda Delano Commanding Officer USS Chin’toka, NCC-97187 M239002M10 Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau First Officer Starbase 118 Ops alora@blar.net M239008AD0 Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  6. Really great work @ElandraDAR and @Geoffrey Teller. This JP turned out AWESOME. Love the back and forth, and the slow build up. I'm so interested to what's coming next!!!
  7. OOC: I was posting specific quotes and I just kept laughing, so decided to post the whole thing. IC: ((Holosuite, Deck 5, USS Thor)) Katsim: What is this? Fred: It’s our base. Come on, move. Richards: I do like what you guys have done with the place! Ted: Until we can verify who you are, you really need to keep moving…. Sir? The man gave Peri a little prod, not painful, but enough to indicate that he wasn’t kidding and so the woman continued marching forward. Under the watchful gaze of their captors, she and Richards were herded toward one of the buildings and inside. More soldiers were there, most in armour, a few people out of armour, but in clothing of the same hue and with the same insignia as the armour. Around a large table, a mixed group stood, talking, though it stopped as soon as one soldier looked up and saw the prisoners, and he brought them to the attention of the rest of the group. The tallest of them, his head shaven, turned and glared down at the newcomers. Frank: Did you two boneheads ever come to think that when I said “Don’t let anyone into the base”, that bringing two people into the base might be a bad idea? Commander Frank looked his two guards up and down, as well as Anton and Peri. Fred: We thought so, but… Ted: Sir… he said. Anton could see these poor guys were struggling, and after the whole guns to the head and pokes to the back, Anton wasn’t going to let this end just quite yet. So he waited a half dozen long seconds, While Ted and Fred scrambled for words. Just when he was pretty sure Fred was going to pass out, Anton stepped in. Richards: Commander Sir. We have never met formally. Captain Cool Guy, Sir. Saviour of the galaxy and what have you. We don’t really have time for formalities here. Something bad has happened. I was on my mission from Admiral Peacebringer Sir, when… Just then, Commander Frank shushed Anton. Peri glanced nervously over at Richards, then at the commander, who continued to peer down at them, his eyes narrowing. Anton held his ground firmly, in this universe, Anton believed he outranked Commander Frank. Frank: And who was this that you’ve brought with you. Anton looked up towards Katsim, he knew what she was going to say. He preemptively let out a sigh. Katsim: Peri. Richards: Commander... what Ms. Peri means to say is, “Supreme Commander Peri Protector of Good Things”. I gave her a field promotion when she was forced to play a crucial role in negotiations with a Splurge Commander. Ted: You see Sir? We didn’t know what to do. Frank: I see… ::glancing at Ted and Fred:: and where did you pick up, our supposed leaders of peace? Fred: We just found them in the forest, wandering around. Another glance was cast toward Richards, but Peri dared to speak up. Katsim: We were trying to keep away from Commander...Splurge. Richards: You really should tighten up your defenses here, I have reason to believe there could be more of them around here. Ted: You see Sir? And then he says stuff like this, which makes me n’ Fred wonder. That’s why we brought him back. Sir. Frank: I’m quite surprised that you would make such an accurate observation Captain, considering we are on the Splurge homeworld. I’d imagine you are correct! He looked over Anton and Peri suspiciously once more. Splurge homeworld? Anton thought to himself. That’s when he remembered what his friend had told him when suggesting the program. “Anton Man, Trust Me! Once you see the Splurge City over the horizon. You’ll understand why this is such a great program! Just as Anton looked towards Peri, a voice cut through his thoughts like a knife, bringing him back into reality. Captain Versa: Commander! What’s going on here? The tension suddenly grew amongst the group, Commander Frank, Ted, and Fred were all standing at attention. Anton turned to see a tall woman, tanned skin offset by sharp, hazel eyes. Her hair was pulled back into a severe bun, and like the others, she wore armour, her helmet tucked into her arm. She was gorgeous, Anton thought, and just before the entire situation became a story about how Anton fell in love with a holodeck character. Her voice cut through Anton’s thoughts again. The three stood and saluted attentively. Captain Versa: At ease! Frank: Ma’am. We have a situation. Versa eyed the group up and down before her eyes, locked in on Anton. Her hazel eyes were glistening through… wait… are those tears? Then they were gone, and a strong firm look proceeded over the three. Captain Versa: Commander, you are dismissed. Be sure to debrief your men, as you know this is classified at Peace Saviour Level 5. Frank: But Ma’am. I think you should know that they… Versa cut Frank off, this was good, because Anton wasn’t sure how he was going to explain himself. Captain Versa: Now! Frank/Ted/Fred: ::Comically in unison:: Yes. Ma’am! Captain Versa: Come with me. She nodded towards Anton. She turned and began walking into the direction of what appeared to be a large modular command centre located at the back most portion of the base. As Peri and Anton proceeded to follow, she stopped once more and turned around. Now what Anton was perceiving in her eyes, was not sadness, or anything that would result in tears. What Anton saw was… Blatant jealousy. She looked towards Peri sharply. Captain Versa: And who might this tag along be? She glanced at Peri. Anton was a bit confused. He hadn’t progressed in the program enough to know who Versa was, but Anton knew that he was definitely supposed to know. Katsim/Versa: Response? Richards: She has been crucial in my survival and in the mission against the Splurge. Katsim/Versa: Response [[Tags! & TBC]] __________ Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1
  8. OOC: This made me chuckle. IC: ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, Deck 10, USS Thor)) Hoping to save some of his precious time, Wes stood in front of Lieutenant Alieth’s desk, hoping against hope that she would help him out. Greaves: Hey Doc, hope you're not busy. I was looking for a favor. The woman's face remained expressionless, but somehow acquired a more relaxed air. Alieth: No, in fact, it is a remarkably quiet day. How can I be of service? Wes slid a padd out of his uniform pocket and slid it across Alieth's desk. Greaves: I won't lie, I'm not here for a social call. I'm swamped with work and I need my annual medical signed off. Can you hook me up and clear me for duty? The Marine watched as Alieth glanced at the padd, then at the marine, then back at the padd, and once again at her friend. Her brow furrowed anew, dangerously so. Largely because there was a taunting glint behind the sullen expression. Alieth: Absolutely not a chance. You are going to get the mandatory physical. Point. By. Point. oO Ah, so we’re doing it the hard way Oo Wes dropped into a chair in front of the woman’s desk and frowned at her. Greaves: Alieth, come on. I’m swamped with work, I don’t have time. Besides, you basically just did an exam after my shuttle… incident. Tell you what, we can work something out. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. The Vulcan folded her arms across her chest and radiated an energy that would make most men taller than her cringe. Alieth: I will not accept bribes this time Wesley, you have skipped so much Vulcan scolding lately, Come on, take off your jacket. For a moment Wes considered arguing, but he knew his friend. This was a lost battle, and it wasn’t a hill he needed to die on. If anything, cooperation would speed things along. Then again, a little begruding acceptance wouldn’t hurt. Greaves: Fine, fine, but let’s make this quick. Just wave a tricorder over me or something and call it good. Alieth: Come on Wesley, stop being so shy, I have stirred the inner part of your ribcage, I think few people can say the same. With an exaggerated huff more characteristic of an angry 12 year old, Wes stood and began unbuttoning his uniform top with extreme prejudice. Greaves: Alright doc, have it your way, but I’m going to remember this next time you need a favor from us. Just know, if you ask me to pee in a cup, I’m spilling it. Now what do you want me to do? Alieth: Response He tossed his uniform jacket onto the desk, nearly causing one of the two small towers of padds to wobble. For a second it looked like it might topple, but eventually the wobbling settled and Wes shot his friend a mischievous glance. Greaves: Well you should know my medical history better than I do by now. I basically don’t remember the last time I was here… you know, head trauma and all that. Aleith: Response Greaves: I mean, I’ve got all the usuals. My back aches, my ears ring, my knees hurt, I seem to roll my ankle at least once a week… You know, normal stuff. Is there something in particular you’re asking about? Alieth: Response TAG/TBC ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander Chief of Security & Tactical USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  9. Ladies, gentlemen, people of neutral or other genders, meet Mr. @Geoffrey Teller and his unique ability to turn something mundane into something fun and a true genius. ((XO's office, Deck 1, USS Thor)) Unnecessarily straightening his uniform for the seventh time in as many minutes, Geoff Teller shifted in his chair and watched as the chrono counted down. He hadn't been looking forward to this call and even though the smorgasbord of brass were all safely on the other side of a screen, Geoff still felt their looming shadows like they were in the office with him. Teller gulped the remainder of his cup of coffee and looked towards the carafe parked on his desk, already half-empty. Starfleet Command was still digesting their most recent mission reports and unsurprisingly, they had more than a few questions about how matters were handled. It was a formality for the most part triggered automatically when Fleet Captain Kells mentioned the Prime Directive in his mission report but it still rankled Geoff slightly that his judgement, and that of his CO, was being dissected from afar. Still, he'd gotten to his office early, prepared his mission notes thoroughly and legibly and he'd even polished his pips. In his experience, Admirals appreciated a bit of extra spit & polish. The last few seconds ticked off and the display on his wall monitor was replaced briefly by that Starfleet Command. Geoff sat up, prepared for at least three admirals and their various aides, but after a minute all he continued to see was the Starfleet Command logo, spinning in place. Teller: The hell... Vansen: =/\= ....an you hear me now? =/\= One third of Geoff's screen was replaced with the shaky image of a Lt. Cmdr. in Engineering gold. Teller: =/\= Uh...hello? =/\= Vansen: =/\= Oh finally, the Admiral is going to kill me if he misses any more calls today. Damn..on.s.orm.re..ly..fou....p....tran..iver =/\= The image degraded before freezing and being replaced with a test pattern. Geoff snorted a laugh but felt a pang of empathy for the poor engineer that was about to give bad news to an Admiral about their subspace transceiver. He wondered if that meant the meeting was going to be rescheduled when the right third of his monitor came alive with the image of a particularly stoic and wizened looking Vulcan Rear Admiral. Any smirk on Geoff's features was immediately erased as his spine stiffened. The Admiral pinned him with a frosty gaze and began speaking. T'mpok: =/\=...........=/\= Geoff's brows furrowed in confusion. He could see the Admiral's mouth moving, so Geoff was certain the man was saying...something. Geoff found himself nodding along at what he thought were appropriate moments but he could find no break or pause in which to politely tell the Admiral that his audio pickups had been disabled. T'mpok: =/\=...........=/\= It felt like an eternity but the Admiral paused and Geoff interjected as best he could. Teller: =/\= Sir this is Cmdr. Teller...I'm not sure if you can hear me or not, but I haven't been receiving your audio...I can see you just fine though..sir...I recommend running a level 3 diagnostic of your...=/\= The Admiral's image suddenly winked out and Geoff was left with his mouth hanging open, wondering what he'd done (recently) to earn the favor of the subspace gods. A few moments later a brief text message from the Admiral's office came through stating that the Admiral had only recently received a new communications unit and was still, in their words, 'getting used to it.' Geoff could hear an aides deep exasperation written large between every letter. He responded and offered to reschedule as the center of his screen came to life. Roth: =/\= Cmdr. ::bark:: Teller? This ::bark:: is Cmdr. ::bark:: Shelby Roth in ::bark bark:: Admiral Otyl's office...I ::bark:: apologize for ::bark:: MISCHA NO! MISCHA DOWN! :whimper, scratching sound:: Don't you dare!...Go, go...go find your bobo... =/\= Geoff watched this unexpected animal psychology lecture with rapt fascination. His only regret at the moment was not having a snack of some type on hand. The Commanders image was briefly replaced with an empty chair and Geoff could hear the distinct swish of doors opening and closing in the background. Roth: =/\= Sorry about that, Commander. The Admiral's prized Alfa-177 can be a real handful when things aren't just so. ::Muted bark:: To that end, the Admiral is behind ::Muted bark:: schedule...he was supposed to be here to get his ::Muted bark:: dog three hours ago. I'm reaching out to let you know we're rescheduling this debriefing and we'll forward you ::Muted bark:: a new set of subspace ::Muted bark:: frequency details. =/\= Off camera there was the sound of something heavy crashing to the ground, the excited yapping of a completely uninvolved dog, and a colorful string of expletives from Commander Roth, several of which Geoff would have to look up. The screen winked out and the three panels merged, replaced again with the stately logo of Starfleet Command, under which Geoff was surprised to see a small query prompt. Teller: Well I guess the call quality was pretty good... Geoff tapped five several times, hit submit and poured himself another cup of coffee, relaxing in his office chair and reveling in his unexpected free time. [End] =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  10. @Alex Brodie has a way of really deepening his character and also giving more depth to a situation. Here we see a blast from the past and a relation to something that involves the planet the Thor is now taking shore leave on - Cardassia. I can't wait to see what happens next. I love this look into Brodie's past! IC: ((Applied Psychology Division, Elysium Research Institute, Mars)) ((Year: 2375)) Alexander Brodie sat watching the feed come in from the Federation News Service; he wasn’t channel hopping for fun though, this was work. FNS Reporter: I’m here with Anders De Brunn, Chief Financial Officer of Teldaris Resources. Mr De Brunn, can you comment on news reports from Ferenginar that Teldaris are being investigated by the Ferengi Commerce Authority over irregularities in commissions paid to agents to operate in the Irtok system? The man raised his mouth to his chin and rubbed his face unconsciously, covering his mouth. De Brunn: I’m glad you asked me that question… Brodie: ::Muttering:: No you’re not… De Brunn: …I can honestly say that there is absolutely no truth in these reports regarding an investigation from the Ferengi Commerce Authority. There were some undisclosed advanced payments to secure the contracts… It was all there. The repeating of the question, the raised shoulder, the change in cadence and lowering of the voice. Alex smiled while shaking his head and made a few notes. Brodie: ::Muttering:: …bribery… De Brunn: We’ve discussed this with the FCA and we’re satisfied that the matter is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. He turned his wrist slightly, almost pointing at the interviewer to try and make the point and cover the lie again. FNS Reporter: Anders De Brunn, thank you. Now back to our main story, Federation relief efforts cont… The sound went off and Brodie turned around in his chair to see Tommy Morgan leaning near the control console for the audio-visual suite. Morgan was, to all intents and purposes, the business manager for the institute. While they primarily focused on research, they had a commercial arm that could be hired to examine corporate matters and, on occasion, support the court system. His presence meant there’d been a request but, to his credit, he went for small-talk first. Morgan: ::Nodding at the screen:: What do you think? Brodie: I think the Commerce Authority are raiding their offices as we speak. Morgan: Not a surprise really. He’s a business executive, they all lie. Brodie: True…but he is extremely bad at it. Tommy pointed to the screen. Images of the destruction on the Cardassian homeworld from the culmination of the Dominion War had dominated the news for the last two weeks since the peace treaty had been signed Morgan: Hell of a thing, isn’t it? Brodie leaned back in his chair. Brodie: I’m just glad it’s done and the threat is gone…or at least diminished. I still can’t quite shake those images of San Fransico…I’m just glad they left Mars alone. Morgan: For sure…actually…it’s on a similar subject that I’m here actually. There’s a request come in for a project – of world…out of the system actually. That was a cagier and more circumspect than he’d expected from Morgan. Alex regarded him more closely. Brodie: ::Suspiciously:: Why are you sweating? Morgan: It’s warm. Mars is hot…right? It wasn’t, and Tommy knew that. Brodie: ::Still suspicious:: Compared to Breen maybe…tell me, Tommy, exactly how far-slash-long is this trip you had in mind? Morgan: Er…::pointing at the screen::..Cardassia… Brodie: Cardassia! Morgan: …for three months. Broide: Three months! Morgan: Now, Alex, calm down. You see why I was sweating. ::Pause:: Look, the civilian government wants independent observers to make sure that those giving aid aren’t establishing any kind of political foothold…there’s a lot of players in the game. I know we’re Federation citizens but we’re not Starfleet. Broide: Thankfully…three months is a long time to be away though. You know we’re trying to start a family, right? Morgan: Yeah but, Ros isn’t pregnant yet, is she? Brodie glowered at the man. Brodie: Not that it’s any of your business but no – and that’s unlikely to change if I’m not here. Morgan: It’s just a few months… Brodie: On Cardassia! Which was a war zone until about two weeks ago!::Pause:: Why me? Morgan: You know why. You’ve made no secret you’re thinking of moving on when your grant runs out – and I’m not blaming you, far from it. You’re looking to start a family and you’re not tenured so I completely understand the desire for more security. Alex leaned forward, clasping his hands and resting his elbows on his knees. Brodie: But? Morgan: ::Sighing:: But the old man in the wheelchair doesn’t want to see you go – he knows you might but he wants you to know that, if you go without doing this then you’ll not get the reference you need. Brodie took a deep breath through his nose. He shouldn’t shoot the messenger, and he could now see why Tommy was sweating, but he would have his displeasure noted. Brodie: ::Icily:: So it’s blackmail now? Morgan: It’s…a mutually beneficial arrangement. We secure the best services for the job and you secure your future… Brodie: ::Standing:: What was it you were saying about business executives Tommy? Morgan: That’s a little harsh…I wouldn’t lie to you, Alex. Brodie looked the man right in the eye. Brodie: True…but then you know I’d know. He turned and looked at the feed, still playing out in silence… Brodie: I do not care for this, Tommy. Fine…send me the details. ::Grabbing his jacket and leaving the room:: I’m taking an early lunch…possibly a liquid one. TBC ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  11. @Alex Brodie writes up a lovely summary of our most recent mission but couples it with some thoughts about the Prime Directive. I love how he refers to precedents to make a case for what the Thor did. I found it a nice wrap up to our mission! IC: ((Intelligence Watch Centre, Deck Three, USS Thor)) Broide had occupied the main office in the Intelligence suite. Jehe was on leave so he was taking his rotation although there was less in the way of intelligence briefings and a lot more legal documentation scattered over the desk. This was likely to be a bit of a problematic report for the ship and, while his reports were mostly kept to the medical archives he wanted to make sure he had everything locked in place. He pulled up the draft. --- THR-AWB-COU-MIS-0010 TO: Starfleet Medical Central Records CC: USS Thor Central Records Following a period of shoreleave on Vulcan the USS Thor was initially assigned to conduct a survey of an unusual stellar phenomenon: a pair of hypervelocity stars on nearly identical trajectories. Enroute to the system in question, however, the Thor detected a distress call from a cluster of nearby planetoids. This identification code associated with the signal identified it as being the USS Excalibur. Records show that this vessel was officially listed as lost during the Federation-Klingon War in the mid twenty-third century – well over one-hundred years ago. Under the guidance of Commander Geoffrey Teller this officer, along with Ensign Peri Katsim and Ensign Dar Elandra began reviewing available information regarding the vessel, including its likely course and possible locations. Consideration was also given to General Order One (Prime Directive) regarding potential indigenous populations and the effect that either the Excalibur crew, or their descendants, may have had on their natural evolution. The same also applies to the potential transfer of technology – which seemed likely, given the source of the signal. Given the lack of information available in the records, and the age of the information that was. A decision was made to beam down to the surface as a group, under cultural camouflage protocols and investigate further as well as take scientific samples for further study. Upon arrival on the planets surface, in the margins of a volcanic plateau, samples were collected and some tectonic readings were taken indicating an increase in volcanic activity in the region. Shortly after arrival, however, a series of life signs were detected and the group moved to cover with overwatch being provided by Ensign Dar. The lifeforms in question appeared to be Klingon in origin. These riders were led by an individual known as Betlak and appeared to be a ‘scout party’. This officer conversed with Betlak as the universal translator seemed unable to process the dialect they were using. The situation deteriorated as Betlak was not receptive to diplomatic channels – taking Ensign Per Katsim hostage. This conflict was short lived, however, as a group of mounted troops arrived to disperse the Klingons. These troops, more accurately knights, were from the local city of Calabrum and were led by their Queen – Arta Du Pendragon. This city, it became clear, had been established by the original crew of the Excalibur and maintained by their descendants. This officer, in addition to Commander Teller, Doctor and Quen and Ensign Dar was granted an audience with her Highness. It became clear that it was the queen herself who had made the distress call and that she was being advised by the court ‘wizard’ a man named Velik. It also became clear that the decedents of the Klingons – known locally as ‘Klings’ had been at war with the city of Calabrum for the majority of the previous century. In recent times these Klings had become more organized under the leadership of an individual known only as Modrawt. It was resolved that Ensign Dar and Commander Teller would remain and work with the Knights Calbrum and myself and doctor Quen would accompany the Queen to the local settlement of upto see how the conflict had affected the local population in the nearby settlement of Upton. On arrival it became clear that the local water supply had become contaminated, possibly deliberately, form the volcano leading to chemical burns. A parasitic infection, however, could not be ruled out. Following the realisation that a larger raiding party was headed for Calabrum to place the city under siege a meeting was called between Fleet Captain Aron Kells and Queen Du Pendragon where a plan was put in place to remove the descendants of the Excalibur, at their request. Further, the increased tectonic activity of the volcano now threatened an eruption. While this could not be prevented under General Order One it would provide appropriate cover for the evacuation attempt. This officer was assigned, along with Lieutenant Commander Lia Rouiancet to provide a level of control to the volcanic eruption. This involved the use of a binary explosive mixture that would be detonated in order to collapse a section of the magma chamber. This allowed a portion of the magma to be drained to adjacent chambers to limit the exposure to Calabrum. The detonation was conducted without incident once the explosives had been placed by hand. During this time, the remaining senior staff performed the evacuation. [[Classified: Command Level Only]] Consideration must be given to the Prime Directive. The actions undertaken by the USS Thor during this mission do constitute a violation of the prime directive. In mitigation, however, I submit the below reasonings along with appropriate precedents: The distress call was directed by Velik. Further review of the original crew manifest of the USS Excalibur at the time of its loss would indicate that this is likely to be a Vulcan who was serving as a junior science officer at the time. This would classify as a request for aid from a fellow Starfleet officer and the need to conduct a rescue mission [Precedent: Zeta Gelis Star Cluster, 2366]. In addition, any request for aid [Precedent: Drema VI, 2365] may be considered exemption criteria and the level of aid rendered by the crew of the USS Thor was conducted in such a way that it is believed it would not have impacted the pre-contamination development of the indigenous society [Precedent: Barkon IV, 2370]. This also allowed the correction of alterations to the natural evolution caused by the Klingons [Precedent; Neural, 2268]. It is my understanding that any indigenous people who were caught up in the evacuation are being transferred to Deep Space Thirty-Two for repatriation. The Same is true of the Klingon descendants who have been repatriated to the Klingon Empire already. The descendants of the Excalibur are to be relocated once a suitable world has been identified for them. It is recommended that observation teams are dispatched to both the original extraction planet to monitor any possible disruption. [[End Classified]] [[Personal Notes]] The nature of this mission, regrettably, is somewhat of a pyrrhic victory. While there was the aversion of a significant loss of life, we cannot ignore the fact that a culture has been uprooted from their home world and will take some time to adjust. Further, this culture, through no fault of their own, has been locked in a conflict with the remnants of the Klingon Empire for over a century. I wonder what the Klingons will make of their new wards? I would hope they would welcome them back as fellows but where they may fit into Klingon society after one-hundred years…it will be a difficult adjustment but I hope the Klingons hold true and honour their ancestors. Following the events of this mission several crew changes have occurred including the leave of Doctor Quen Deena and Junior Lieutenant Jeha Saja. I’m pleased to report, however, that Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia will be re-joining the USS Thor on our arrival at Cardassia Prime. Signed Lt. Cmdr. Alexander W. Brodie; Psy.D, Ph.D. Chief Counsellor, USS --- Alex re-read the citations on the legal side of things, just to make sure he had his dates right and then submitted the report. He leaned back in the chair and picked up a PADD - Cardassia Prime....how long had it been? FIN ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  12. Continuing his tradition of a 'Counselors Perspective' writeup of each mission, Lt. Cmdr. Brodie does another great job summarizing the beats of a complex mission and making it interesting even if you weren't there. I hope the folks at Starfleet Medical appreciate his work as much as we do on the Thor! Great Job Alex! ========================================= ((Intelligence Watch Centre, Deck Three, USS Thor)) Broide had occupied the main office in the Intelligence suite. Jehe was on leave so he was taking his rotation although there was less in the way of intelligence briefings and a lot more legal documentation scattered over the desk. This was likely to be a bit of a problematic report for the ship and, while his reports were mostly kept to the medical archives he wanted to make sure he had everything locked in place. He pulled up the draft. --- THR-AWB-COU-MIS-0010 TO: Starfleet Medical Central Records CC: USS Thor Central Records Following a period of shoreleave on Vulcan the USS Thor was initially assigned to conduct a survey of an unusual stellar phenomenon: a pair of hypervelocity stars on nearly identical trajectories. Enroute to the system in question, however, the Thor detected a distress call from a cluster of nearby planetoids. This identification code associated with the signal identified it as being the USS Excalibur. Records show that this vessel was officially listed as lost during the Federation-Klingon War in the mid twenty-third century – well over one-hundred years ago. Under the guidance of Commander Geoffrey Teller this officer, along with Ensign Peri Katsim and Ensign Dar Elandra began reviewing available information regarding the vessel, including its likely course and possible locations. Consideration was also given to General Order One (Prime Directive) regarding potential indigenous populations and the effect that either the Excalibur crew, or their descendants, may have had on their natural evolution. The same also applies to the potential transfer of technology – which seemed likely, given the source of the signal. Given the lack of information available in the records, and the age of the information that was. A decision was made to beam down to the surface as a group, under cultural camouflage protocols and investigate further as well as take scientific samples for further study. Upon arrival on the planets surface, in the margins of a volcanic plateau, samples were collected and some tectonic readings were taken indicating an increase in volcanic activity in the region. Shortly after arrival, however, a series of life signs were detected and the group moved to cover with overwatch being provided by Ensign Dar. The lifeforms in question appeared to be Klingon in origin. These riders were led by an individual known as Betlak and appeared to be a ‘scout party’. This officer conversed with Betlak as the universal translator seemed unable to process the dialect they were using. The situation deteriorated as Betlak was not receptive to diplomatic channels – taking Ensign Per Katsim hostage. This conflict was short lived, however, as a group of mounted troops arrived to disperse the Klingons. These troops, more accurately knights, were from the local city of Calabrum and were led by their Queen – Arta Du Pendragon. This city, it became clear, had been established by the original crew of the Excalibur and maintained by their descendants. This officer, in addition to Commander Teller, Doctor and Quen and Ensign Dar was granted an audience with her Highness. It became clear that it was the queen herself who had made the distress call and that she was being advised by the court ‘wizard’ a man named Velik. It also became clear that the decedents of the Klingons – known locally as ‘Klings’ had been at war with the city of Calabrum for the majority of the previous century. In recent times these Klings had become more organized under the leadership of an individual known only as Modrawt. It was resolved that Ensign Dar and Commander Teller would remain and work with the Knights Calbrum and myself and doctor Quen would accompany the Queen to the local settlement of upto see how the conflict had affected the local population in the nearby settlement of Upton. On arrival it became clear that the local water supply had become contaminated, possibly deliberately, form the volcano leading to chemical burns. A parasitic infection, however, could not be ruled out. Following the realisation that a larger raiding party was headed for Calabrum to place the city under siege a meeting was called between Fleet Captain Aron Kells and Queen Du Pendragon where a plan was put in place to remove the descendants of the Excalibur, at their request. Further, the increased tectonic activity of the volcano now threatened an eruption. While this could not be prevented under General Order One it would provide appropriate cover for the evacuation attempt. This officer was assigned, along with Lieutenant Commander Lia Rouiancet to provide a level of control to the volcanic eruption. This involved the use of a binary explosive mixture that would be detonated in order to collapse a section of the magma chamber. This allowed a portion of the magma to be drained to adjacent chambers to limit the exposure to Calabrum. The detonation was conducted without incident once the explosives had been placed by hand. During this time, the remaining senior staff performed the evacuation. [[Classified: Command Level Only]] Consideration must be given to the Prime Directive. The actions undertaken by the USS Thor during this mission do constitute a violation of the prime directive. In mitigation, however, I submit the below reasonings along with appropriate precedents: The distress call was directed by Velik. Further review of the original crew manifest of the USS Excalibur at the time of its loss would indicate that this is likely to be a Vulcan who was serving as a junior science officer at the time. This would classify as a request for aid from a fellow Starfleet officer and the need to conduct a rescue mission [Precedent: Zeta Gelis Star Cluster, 2366]. In addition, any request for aid [Precedent: Drema VI, 2365] may be considered exemption criteria and the level of aid rendered by the crew of the USS Thor was conducted in such a way that it is believed it would not have impacted the pre-contamination development of the indigenous society [Precedent: Barkon IV, 2370]. This also allowed the correction of alterations to the natural evolution caused by the Klingons [Precedent; Neural, 2268]. It is my understanding that any indigenous people who were caught up in the evacuation are being transferred to Deep Space Thirty-Two for repatriation. The Same is true of the Klingon descendants who have been repatriated to the Klingon Empire already. The descendants of the Excalibur are to be relocated once a suitable world has been identified for them. It is recommended that observation teams are dispatched to both the original extraction planet to monitor any possible disruption. [[End Classified]] [[Personal Notes]] The nature of this mission, regrettably, is somewhat of a pyrrhic victory. While there was the aversion of a significant loss of life, we cannot ignore the fact that a culture has been uprooted from their home world and will take some time to adjust. Further, this culture, through no fault of their own, has been locked in a conflict with the remnants of the Klingon Empire for over a century. I wonder what the Klingons will make of their new wards? I would hope they would welcome them back as fellows but where they may fit into Klingon society after one-hundred years…it will be a difficult adjustment but I hope the Klingons hold true and honour their ancestors. Following the events of this mission several crew changes have occurred including the leave of Doctor Quen Deena and Junior Lieutenant Jeha Saja. I’m pleased to report, however, that Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia will be re-joining the USS Thor on our arrival at Cardassia Prime. Signed Lt. Cmdr. Alexander W. Brodie; Psy.D, Ph.D. Chief Counsellor, USS --- Alex re-read the citations on the legal side of things, just to make sure he had his dates right and then submitted the report. He leaned back in the chair and picked up a PADD - Cardassia Prime....how long had it been? FIN ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualit...@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  13. The title alone deserves to be here @Wes Greaves Jokes aside, Wes never disappoints in creating well rounded characters, full of personality and giving us an excellent perspective of what's going on either with his PC or with his amazing PNPCs. Brilliant work. ((Main Shuttlebay, Deck 7, USS Thor)) Rodriguez: Get yours hands outa your damn pockets Cooland and help get those tools moved! Sarah didn't even wait for the reply, she just pasted a deep scowl on her face and placed her hands on her hips. The Marine in question opened his mouth but thought better of it and raced to the corner of the shuttlebay where several tool racks were still standing. Reports from the surface weren't looking good. The Klingon's attack had arrived early and shifted everyone's timetable, including everyone's on the ship. Greaves had set up the work assignments for everyone before he left and Sarah's platoon was split to the four corners of the ship, helping pretty much everywhere. There were advantages to having her Det Commander also be Chief of Security, namely much closer integration for work like this. Sarah wasn't sure if it all had been intentional or if Greaves had just been forced into it due to lack of planning time, but for all intents and purposes, it was working out. A deafening series of metallic clunks and clangs reverberated throughout the shuttlebay and Sarah spun on heR heel to find Lance Corporal Cooland perilously keeping a shelf full of tools from falling over while a fallen wrench bounced along the deck plating. Rodriguez: Cooland! Some of that crap ain't easy to replicate! Get your head on straight! (turning to another group) Crewman Jones! Go help Cooland. The man gave Sarah a sideways glance, not wanting to meet her gaze, and then scurried over to help steady the tool case. Sarah had worked with Starfleet Security off and on throughout her career. Moreso since transferring to the Thor but she'd never been in charge of security personnel before. The dozen Marines and Security personnel in the shuttle bay today were under her direction, however and the woman could tell those in gold weren't exactly thrilled by her leadership style. Sarah mentally shrugged at the thought. She was a Marine, and a Marine leader at that. She wasn't going to change things up just because a few non-Marines weren't used to getting shouted out. The woman glanced at her padd looking for a status update and frowned more severly at the news. Rodriguez: (Loud, clear, command voice) Okay, grunts, listen up. Ops has started bringing aboard some of the civilians from downstairs. It's only a matter of time before some of the Klingons are brought aboard, and THIS PLACE STILL ISN'T READY. She paused and stared down everyone across the bay as her voice echoed against the walls of the nearly empty room. All of the shuttles and fighters had already launched. All that was left to do was move all the tools, carts, and cargo containers so they could use the space to secure the Klingon's. Rodriguez: You've got five minutes to get this all done. FIVE MINUTES. Got me? The Marines in the room muttered out a rushed aye-aye, while most of the security personnel offered nods of acknowledgment before turning back to work. They were running out of time to prep the ship. With a final look at everyone from near the door Sarah grabbed a hovercart and started helping to clear the room. ========================= Staff Sergeant Sarah Rodriguez Marine Platoon Sergeant USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  14. The level of technobabble, the fine set of the situation and the ability to be clear about a very complex scene/setting from many points of view of @Sirok always amazes me. Magnificent work. ((USS Thor, Main Engineering)) It had been a grueling few days, even for a Vulcan's physiology. The work for Sirok and all the people under his command had been extensive and had only just begun. On the one hand, the engineers readjusted the life support system in order to extend as much as possible the number of people that the Thor could accommodate. On the other hand, the operations crew, along with the ship's security team, prepared every available space to accommodate as many people as possible. With an added difficulty, a significant number of them would be considered enemies, so they would almost have to be treated as prisoners. To this end, the areas where they would be had been equipped with more force fields and anesthezin prepared to use in their ventilation ducts. Given the number of people to be accommodated, even the shuttles and runaboats were outside the ship to add a few more people to the total and make maximum use of the hangar. Still it would be impossible to accommodate everyone, there were no miracles possible to accommodate 5000 people plus the Klingon army, when the Thor even pushing the limits and using the auxiliary ships could accommodate just under 4000 people. And the Thor already had 745 crew members. Another team of engineers worked with several scientists to set up a system that could help temporarily contain or accelerate the pressure in the tectonic plates and thus regulate the timing of the explosion. Unfortunately, it had to be placed inside the volcano itself, which was tremendously dangerous at the time. They had also worked on designing the plan to remove the wreckage of the Excalibur and the Klingon ship. The Excalibur was apparently in one piece, but to get it out they would have to lower the Thor to a tremendously dangerous altitude for a starship, which is not designed for atmospheric flight and take it out of the planet with the tractor beam. They would also have to configure the tractor beam not only to pull it out but to break it apart in the process,because due to the humidity and being in the planet's atmosphere most of the structure was totally rusted. The Klingon ship, impacted in a more distant area of the planet and was in much worse shape, the good thing is that a couple of runaboats would be enough to remove the wreckage of considerable size. A much larger impact than the Excalibur would explain why the Klingon survivors did not use more advanced technology, simply because they could not recover it. At that time Sirok was in main engineering viewing the data projected by the holographic table that was relatively close to the warp core. On the one hand he had a view of the area of the Calabrum fortress, where he could see the movement of the troops of both armies. But his interest was to control when the transporter enhancers were activated. Without them they could transport people but at a much slower pace due to the problems caused by the ash from the volcano. The screen also noted the position of the Loki, with Commanders Rouiancet and Brodie, who were going to place the device in the volcano. If they succeeded in their mission it would give them more time to do everything else and blow up the volcano when they were done. To review their activity and give more data to the commanders he had tasked Ensign Katsim. Sirok: Ensign, Have you found a safe landing zone for the Loki? The commanders might have good data while they were in the shuttle, but it would not be the same once they started moving forward on foot.. Katsim: response He had left the last piece of the holographic projection to check the tractor beam and the position of the Thor in relation to the Excalibur. It would be the last thing they would have to do once they had transported as many people as possible from Calabrum. Kells: =/\= This is the captain to Sirok and Katsim. =/\= Sirok: =/\= Sirok here, Capitán. =/\= Katsim: =/\= Responses =/\= Kells: =/\= How are the preparations going? Or have you begun beaming refugees aboard? =/\= Sirok: =/\=No, Captain, unless you order otherwise. The ash from the volcano advises against transporting large groups of people, at least until the pattern enhancers are connected. =/\= The engineer checked again the numbers of how many people they could accommodate on the Thor and its auxiliary ships. Sirok: =/\= Captain, I have rechecked and after adjusting the systems we cannot accommodate more than 3205 people, including the crew of the Thor 3243 if we can count on the Loki once she completes her mission. Under no circumstances can we count on the wreckage of the ships on the planet, their condition makes them totally unfit to transport anyone. We have to select who we transport. My recommendation, taking into account the prime directive in the long term, is to transport anyone with non-autochthonous DNA and the others should be randomly selected.=/\= His voice was monotone as always, with the same tone he used to report the status of the ship's plasma conduits. Katsim/Kells: =/\= Responses =/\= Tag/TBC
  15. @Geoffrey Teller 's giving it his all to start Act 3 of our mission and hits all the right notes: humor, epic, references to legends, novels and classic books and a great setting to kick off the final fanfare of our epic/fantasy crossover. Incredible work! ((Outside the city walls, Calabrum)) There was simply no eloquent way to put it. No deft turn of phrase to encapsulate his thoughts. However he turned it over in his head, Geoff Teller's thoughts kept coming back to one thing, and one thing only. His [...] hurt. He'd spent the better part of the last two days in a mad dash around the planets surface, largely traveling by the local equivalent of horseback, and he was miserably saddlesore. It may not have been the most modern means of transportation and the smell was truly appalling but it was far more discreet than the transporters or a shuttle and the crew was already bending the Prime Directive nearly in half to help these people. They were interfering, yes, but with the larger goal of removing mass scale cultural contamination which Starfleet had, however inadvertently, caused. At least, that's what Geoff kept telling himself when he imagined the forthcoming board of inquiry after this mission. Whatever happened there was going to be a lot of paddwork. For now, neither Geoff's sore backside or his forthcoming court martial were really the issue. They were running out of time. Geoff drew his mount to a halt roughly a hundred meters from the next group of refugees they'd try to get into the city, or off to the ruins of the Excalibur. A crashed starship turned ark...Geoff shook his head. At least the court martial would be entertaining. The remainder of his team halted their mounts alongside his and Geoff looked over his small order of knights. Captain Greaves had somehow found for himself a green gambeson suitable for a Marine and wore it and the heavy metal armor with apparent ease. To his right, Ensign Dar was brilliant in crimson, wearing the colors the knights of Calabrum themselves wore. It suited her, much like the armor. Doctor Quen, at least to Geoff's eye, did not appear quite as comfortable in her azure regalia, explicitly set aside specifically for those dedicated to healing or the wizardry of science. Geoff looked down at his own golden tunic and felt an odd pang of sentimentality. For almost half of his career he'd worn gold as an engineer and somehow it felt good to be wearing it again just now. Geoff raised a hand to his group and pointed towards the refugees. Teller: That makes...four hundred twenty seven we've helped move so far and that group looks like it could bring us to an even four fifty. Captain Greaves, Ensign Dar, how're we doing on transport enhancers? Greaves/Dar: Response Teller: Good, but let me know before we're down to the last set. I'd like to keep one in reserve, just in case. Greaves/Dar: Response Geoff chuckled. Teller: When has plan A ever worked for us, Captain Greaves? Greaves: Response Teller: Lt. Quen, how're your medical supplies holding out? Think you've got enough left if these folks have injured? Quen: Response Teller: Alright, use whatever's left. We might have enough time to make a resupply run back to the city but those drums are getting awfully loud and ::Geoff turned his head and shouted in the general direction of the oncoming klingon hoarde:: extremely annoying! The drums were unimpressed. Quen/Dar/Greaves: Response From behind Geoff heard the galloping of an animal approaching and turned to see the Queen herself, resplendent in shining golden armor, mounted on something that looked like a horse wearing half a tree as a sideways hat. Geoff would later learn that this animal is called an elk and that he was not, in fact, born to be a poet. He nodded respectfully as she approached. Teller: Your Highnessness. We were just about to head to that next group. How are the preparations going? Du Pendragon: Response Quen/Dar/Greaves: Response Tags/TBC =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 --
  16. @Sirok & @Geoffrey Teller have given us the best of them to make a perfect crossover of Star trek and high fantasy, klingons and orcs, so i only can love everything in this JP, from the title to the song. Great job guys! --------------------------------------------------------- ((Gre’thors Latrine, Klingon encampment on the outskirts of Calabrum)) Kaaj came out of the tent of his warboss, whom the pitiful weakling peasants called Modrawt, with a savage smile that was as large as it was toothy.. He had not seen the ancient warrior so excited in years but when he handed him that arrow-shaped trinket, everyone knew their long awaited destiny was finally at hand. Finally they would finish what their fathers and grandfathers had started. Finally they would crush the hated humans and their stone city. Finally they would reclaim their lost honor and rise, as the stories told, to hunt once again among the stars themselves. The camp had two clearly differentiated areas. The Klingon officers had their tents haphazardly arranged on a promontory, although the way they were positioned meant that one protected the other. Like a pack of wolves, the solitary klingons formed groups like this for only two reasons. Mutual protection, or when hunting large and dangerous quarry. Occasionally, laughter and the clash of metal blades or a ringing expletive could be heard. Their peasant levies did not dare approach for fear of becoming a source of brief and painful amusement for the increasingly frenzied warriors. In the lower camp and in perfect orderly ranks were the ramshackle tents of the slave soldiers. There, several Klingon officers shouted training orders with sharp, guttural barks to a huge company of malnourished and terrified peasants. Those that failed to follow orders perfectly were beaten savagely the first time. Those that failed a second time became practice dummies for the spearmen or small snacks for the perpetually voracious wartargs. It was a cruel but effective training technique. It was what had allowed Modrawt to rampage across the country, to gather more resources and equipment, and to finally lay siege to Calabrum. Almost as soon as his scouts reported sighting the city, the great Kri'stak Volcano began to rumble and belch flame. Like a powerful omen from the ancient songs brought to life, the sulfurous fumes and searing heat had lit a fire in the hearts of the warriors. The young Klingon made his way to one of the tents outside the camp, where the beast guards were stationed. Kaaj: Good news, brother. We've made it. We've found the ones mother and father were talking about. Our enemies from the stars. He held out his hand showing the trophy of his defeat, a damaged combadge with the symbol of his ancestral enemy, perhaps the only sweet defeat he would ever have in his life. In his fairly short life, Gron had come to love only two things with great fervor. The rancid taste of stinging Blood Mead sloshing down his gullet was by a wide margin the first. The second were the great wartargs, for whom he had cared all his life. So far the work had added scars to his skin and subtracted years from his life, but Gron didn’t care. The wartargs were the brothers and sisters he headed into battle with and it was his pride that they were nearly uncontrollably vicious. Now the pack was starved, having not been fed for several days so their appetite was at a peak when they reached the battle. Gron looked at the golden amulet, and the shattered mountain belching deadly fire against the backdrop of a reddening sky, and smiled. Gron: Today is a good day….to ride. Gron rattled his trashing stick against the cage bars behind him, eliciting a cacophony of savage yips and snarls. As soon as Kaaj finished, he patted him firmly on the back. Kaaj: That's right old friend, at last a rival worthy of a legend. Behind Gron the targs howled and snarled in apparent agreement. Gron: and a meal worthy of legend... The conversation was interrupted by a rhythmic murmur coming from the rest of the camp. As they left the tent they understood that the murmur was a song, a song sung in unison by the entire camp.Both Klingons saw all the warriors and soldiers looking at their leader's tent, who was at the door and had the bat'leth over his head. Despite hearing everyone singing the voice of their leader stood out above. *Qoy qeylIs puqloD. Qoy puqbe'pu'. yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI' Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw. maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu'. nI'be' yInmaj 'ach wovqu'. batlh maHeghbej 'ej yo' qIjDaq vavpu'ma' DImuv. pa' reH maSuvtaHqu'. mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov. Both warriors joined their voice to the song. Today they would finally secure their places in Sto’vo’kor. Shouted orders and a stampede of running feet brought the army into marching formation soon after. The sky darkened and the ground shook as they began the final journey towards Calabrum...and destiny. [End] ========================== Kaaj of the Klings E239702S10 & Gron of the Klings V239509GT0 ======================= *Hear! Sons of Kahless. Hear! Daughters too. The blood of battle washes clean The Warrior brave and true. We fight, we love, and then we kill. Our lives burn short and bright, Then we die with honor and join our fathers in the Black Fleet where we battle forever, battling on through the Eternal fight. =========================
  17. Awesome job with this one! @Anton Richards! [[Inside the burned-out library, Calabrum, Unknown Planetoid]] Richards: It looks like Christmas has come early. Alieth sighed. He couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. Alieth: Ensign, what did I say about remarks about elves?? Anton’s impulses already had another joke already loaded into his verbal slingshot, but with his eyes finally reaching normal levels of light reception, he decided against it. Richards: You didn’t tell me there were going to be consequences for my actions! ::Rubbing his head again:: Alieth observed Anton with her typical Vulcan concern. This comforted and concerned Anton both at the same time. He preferred to pretend things like these didn’t happen. Alieth: Are you sure you have no symptoms that could be concerning? I would be interested to check you, what you have done a minute ago… At that moment, voices were heard closer and closer, in the direction in which the children had fled, followed by the guards. They were running out of time. Alieth: Pick up everything you have found useful and that you can hide in your clothes, ensign, and let us go, we cannot be discovered here. Anton shook his head once more, finally starting to feel half-human again. Richards: Yes sir! Anton looked around at the nothing he had found and just began gathering anything that looked like it could be salvageable. These items included, his vendor advertisement, a golden chain with markings Anton didn’t recognize, and a half burnt book titled “How to write explosive endings… in which the last half of the book was lost to the fire. Just before leaving Anton bent down and picked up the feather that had fallen from Alieth, he tucked it away and made a mental note to ask about it later. Alieth had gathered what looked like a collection of tombs before heading towards the exit, Anton shortly joined her, Alieth gathered one last piece of evidence, and they headed to find the rest of their team. [[A few minutes and a lot of wandering later, Fountain at Guilds Square, Calabrum, Unknown Planetoid]] When they finally made it to the guild square, Katsim and De Scheppes were already waiting for them there, as well as a new member of the group, a tiny Coffee Drake sleeping on the scientist's shoulder. Alieth: ::As a greeting, gesturing at the purple creature:: Why do you have that on your shoulder? Anton chuckled childishly, he liked this little drake, he pointed out one finger and curled it playful towards the drake. Richards: Is he friendly? Katsim /De Scheppes: Response The Vulcan's unslanted eyebrows furrowed deeply. Alieth: :Take that back to... "our home" is both highly irregular, and perhaps hazardous, I cannot allow it :: Alieth noticed the look in the two women's faces and, at this stage, she decided to leave the subject for later, focusing on what was most relevant::: What have you found so far? Anything you can tell us about these Guilds? Anton looked over at Alieth with an exaggerated open mouth, and began talking to the drake in a child like tone. Richards: Oh, don’t listen to the mean lady. You're the cutest. He then playful placed his finger on the drakes nose, the drake bit him without hesitation. A faint image of a steaming cup of hot liquid shot into his brain. It was relaxing for a moment… Then he took a step back and felt an itch in his eyebrow. His face twitched and wrinkled, it was like an itch somewhere between his skin and his eye socket. It couldn’t be scratched. Katsim /De Scheppes/ Alieth: Response? Richards: I think I’m fine. I’m just…. Itchy. Anton relentlessly waved his arms around trying to scratch a part of his back in which he apparently could not reach. His eye still twitched with a slight but very annoying discomfort. Katsim /De Scheppes/ Alieth: [[Tags! & TBC]] __________ Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1
  18. We.... we need to love @Geoffrey Teller just like this. Don't change ((City of Calabrum, Training Yard.)) McKittrick: Oh, there's time enough for questions later friends! A quick test of mettle. Dar Frowned a little confused. Dar: A match…:: She shot Teller a glance. :: Geoff nodded and the two of them stepped a short distance away from the knights to speak privately. L'ancelot: Look for suitable protective clothing, it's a friendly contest. Jorann's doublet may be useful. Across the courtyard Tomas laughed in apparent delight as Geoff stood ready, thought he wasn't entirely sure for what yet. The other knight had stepped away, searching out something on a nearby equipment rack. McKittrick: The same Jorann whom, though I hold him dear as a brother, has soiled his armor each and every time he has worn it? L'ancelot: I know his hygiene is not the highest in these places, but it's nothing that can't be fixed later with a few cleanings. Tomas strolled off to find the equipment while Geoff scowled. Even with his limited capacity as a diplomat, he knew refusal wasn't really an option. The specifics may have been unique but the idea of getting sized up by the locals through a contest of some sort happened so often it was nearly Starfleet tradition at this point. If Teller was lucky and put on a good enough show of it, he might even get the information he was looking for. From somewhere nearby Tomas called out. McKittrick: Good fortune sir, everything appears to be dry! Teller stepped into the arena and faced off against his opponent without much hesitation. Dar: Commander, Ummm good luck. Dar gave him a look that strongly suggested he was going to need it, and Geoff agreed. This was almost definitely going to hurt. Teller: Ready when you are. His opponent seemed surprised but moved past it quickly. L'ancelot: I was preparing for your companion but if you want it you will have it. McKittrick I think Wong's gambeson will fit Master Teller better, even if it has to be adjusted with some webbing. Don't forget to get him a helmet. Tomas returned and began helping him into a set of equipment that while foul smelling did seem to broadly fit his less than broad torso. It took several minutes but soon Geoff was wearing what felt like an entire plasma manifold worth of metal. Teller rolled his arms, trying to find his range of movement in the cumbersome equipment. He missed his skants immediately. Apparently L'ancelot saw the look on his face and empathised. L'ancelot: with more time we would have found them more suitable equipment, I just hope it is enough. Dar: Oh I’m sure these will do just fine, right Commander? Geoff's pants clanked. Teller: Oh yeah, definitely one of my best ideas yet. McKittrick: Worry not friend, it has been some time since L'ancelot maimed anyone in practice, thou perhaps that means he's due? The young man readjusted his helmet while Teller put on his protective gear. Geoff found the pommel of a sword in his hand and thanked the youth who'd passed it to him before taking a few tentative swings of the heavy blunted blade. L'ancelot: I'm sorry it's cumbersome, Master Teller, but even with no edge or point, a sword like this could easily break a bone. And soon we will need every available hand. Either to get away from that damn volcano or to make our way through the klings and their minions. Dar: Your planning on attacking them? As if in response the training yard rattled a bit, a small tremor running through the ground. Their frequency was increasing noticeably. Tomas looked pained. McKittrick: Simply, We are too few and they...are many. Their peasant levies, conscripted to serve Modrawts will or die, number in the thousands now. To attack directly would be certain death and though none among us fear it, there is no cause to throw away life so casually. Our Queen thought to contact Modrawt and broker some compromise that would stem the bloodshed, but our envoys never returned. Teller listened intently as Tomas laid out more useful tactical information then they had discovered in days until L'ancelot politely cleared his throat. L'ancelot: ready? Geoff wrapped his gloved hands around the pommel and brought it into position with a wobble. He felt off balance, his helmet limited his field of view to a fairly narrow slit, and he was starting to understand why Jorann, whoever they were, peed in this getup. Teller: Yep, ready. As a child of some seven years of age, Geoff had once managed to drag a large round metal refuse canister to the top of a tall hill near his family home. For no particular reason he climbed in, tilted the bin over and rolled down the rocky hillside so fast he blacked out. As an adult he had little memory of why he'd done it or even what had happened afterwards, but he did remember the sound all those rocks made as the stuck the outside of a fast moving metal can tumbling downhill. The ringing of L'ancelot's blade against his helmet, shoulder, chest and somehow helmet again was a perfect replica. Geoff put his sword up in a blind effort to deflect blows and was rewarded with a shock up his arms as L'ancelot deftly knocked the blade aside before ringing his bell a third time. From somewhere far ahead Dar was shouting. Dar: COMMANDER…UMMM BLOCK….GET HIM OFF BALANCE! Geoff considered this nuanced and complex tactical advice while L'ancelot continued raining blows on him with apparent ease. Teller felt like he was moving around on a planet where the gravity was too high and somehow L'ancelot hadn't even broke a sweat yet. He moved around in his armor like it was made of silk. McKittrick: Careful Sir L'ancelot, I think Master Teller intends to let you exhaust yourself! Why else would he allow you to attack unchallenged for so long? Geoff shifted his shoulders at the last second and successfully avoided one of L'ancelot's strikes, but his joy was short lived as the man deftly pivoted and fired another shot into Teller's ribs. Geoff saw an opportunity and wrapped his arm around the sword, trapping it and drawing both men together in close proximity. Geoff panted with exertion as L'ancelot fought to free himself. Teller: Had enough yet? For once, Geoff's low center of gravity gave him the advantage and he pivoted all his weight, sending the armored knight crashing down to the courtyards flagstones with a thunderous ringing of metal. Geoff stepped back and opened his visor, grinning like an absolute idiot. It had been a fluke victory but he'd take it. Geoff reached his hand out to the prone L'ancelot. Teller: Best two out of three? L’ancelot: Response She could feel the excitement inside her growing, her own heartbeat a mile a minute as she moved to follow the Combat that was now breaking out in the arena. McKittrick: By the Stars he's a feisty little imp. It is a rare thing to see L'ancelot grounded so and quite exciting. Tomas watched the man named Teller move and fight with rapt attention. He was clearly untrained and possibly a buffoon, but he fought with surprising bravery and spirit. Great knights had been born of far less. Dar: I think exciting is an understatement…you clearly:: She nodded in L’ancelots direction. :: Get a lot of training it. Tomas nodded gravely, not taking his eyes off the two men as they returned to the ready position. McKittrick: It is our duty to defend the people but we cannot do that if we cannot defend ourselves. As you've seen, monsters prowl these lands. Faith and a strong sword arm are often your best allies. Is it not so for you? Have you not trained in the sword and the spear since you were old enough to lift either? Dar: I can handle long-ranged and short-range melee attacks easily enough, I trained with Kl…:: She paused. :: Killing blows. In the yard Geoff had moved back to the center but he'd kept his sword low for a moment. It had nothing to do with the amount of panting and sweating he was doing inside the armor at the moment. Teller: If you give me a few minutes I can turn the armor plates around and you can bang out all the dents you just made. L’ancelot: Response Teller: Stalling? ::Geoff took a long moment to raise his sword and close his visor.:: Absolutely not. Ready as I've ever been. L’ancelot: Response This time Geoff went on the offensive immediately, swinging the blade down and across where L’ancelot had been a fraction of a second earlier. Geoff looked down in confusion as his blade impacted the cobbles before his helmet rang once again with a particularly hard strike. Geoff turned and raised his blade to block and successfully intercepted the blade before it could find its target. It was as much guesswork and luck, but Geoff was gradually reducing the number of blows his armor absorbed. Dar: WATCH OUT! TURN! Dar's warning carried across the courtyard and Geoff moved without thinking, a whistling blade passing centimeters from the tip of his helmet. Teller: Whoa hey maybe we should try negiogat... Geoff hurried back but L'ancelot pressed his attack relentlessly and eventually, Teller was all but chopped down and left panting like a turtle on its back. Teller: Ungh..ok...I think you got me that time. So do you think we're worth trusting yet, or do you need to knock me around a little more to be sure? Whatever L’ancelot decided Geoff was content to lay on the flagstones and look at the sky for a bit. He hoped the ringing in his ears would fade soon. McKittrick: Perhaps Master Teller is right, L'ancelot, and time is nearly as short as he is. They must know how desperate things are. Dar/L’ancelot: Response Teller: Well, I appreciate that. A surprising amount of my work results in head trauma. You get used to it. Geoff clanked on his own helmet with an armored fist like he was knocking on a door. Dar/L’ancelot: Response Tag/TBC =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  19. I was rereading this JP this morning while updating the Thor's mission summary, and man, this is just so elegantly written. I LOVE the sheer amount of lore and build up that is done in this two parter. @Alieth and @Brutus did such and amazing job with developing the kingdom of Calabrum in such few words. The stink of @Geoffrey Teller is all over this thing too. And that ending... I missed it the first time around, but way to tie everything back to the Thor at the end. I consistently stand in awe at the writers around me. Bravo you two.
  20. The mix of humour, action and guiding the scene towards an open cliffhanger-like closure is spectacular. The mix of the Starfleet officer Teller at the end of the scene with Teller being.... well "Teller" at the beginning and the subtle transition from one to the other is magnificent. Spectacular work @Geoffrey Teller! ((Volcanic grotto, planet surface)) Brodie: =/\= They’re going to find her... =/\= Geoff risked a glance and cursed as he ducked back down. Teller: =/\= Dar, draw a bead on the lead rider. Alex, get the one on the right. I've got the one on the left. This goes sideways we lay down fire, get Peri and beam out. Standby. =/\= While a targ as big as a workbee sniffed at Peri like a potential snack the poor Ensign was knocked to her back in surprise. Geoff's hand tightened around the grip of his phaser as the lead Klingon shouted out in something which sounded more recognizably Klingon. Betlak: There are intruders! Brodie: ::Quietly:: Oh hell… Teller: =/\= Everyone stay calm, no sudden movements. Peri, you may want to apologize to the giant targ. It looks grumpy. =/\= Katsim: Uh…um...sorry. Peri scrabbled away from the dripping jaws and flaring nostrils of the beast. For the moment, the rider seemed more amused than alarmed. Geoff wondered if that would be the case if these Klingons discovered they were Starfleet. Geoff offered silent praise for Alex's choice of non-descript mission clothing, it might give them a chance to talk their way out of this. More importantly, it might keep them from becoming targ chow. Betlak: I can’t help but wonder, little worm, what you are doing here. Sent to spy on his? The language was a brutal collision of Klingon and some [...]ized shorthand. Geoff managed to catch about every third word with confidence, but it was enough to get an idea. It seems they'd run across some kind of patrol, or perhaps perimeter guards. The question of what they might be guarding had rocketed to the top of Teller's mind. Teller: =/\= If there's something here worth spying on, we're in the right place. =/\= Katsim: I’m sorry...I don’t...I don’t understand. Betlak: If there is one of so little size, she must not be alone. Spread out and search. The lead rider was clearly losing patience and drew a sturdy but roughhewn looking spear, leveling it at Peri's chest. Geoff nearly gave the order to fire but Peri must've remembered some Academy Klingon. Katsim: jup jIH! jup jIH! Friend! I’m a friend! Everyone present froze as the troop leader evaluated Peri very closely, but he did not move to strike. His expression became suspicious. Betlak: Who are you? Brodie: ::Quietly:: =/\= So they do understand… =/\= Teller: =/\= Keep your head down, remember you're our plan B if this goes badly. =/\= Betlak: We will find your companions. You certainly are not capable of getting here on your own. Geoff shifted himself out of cover and used the totality of his skill in camouflage and stealth to effectively cover less than a meter before he was spotted. As it turned out, even ash covered pale white skin tended to contrast against black volcanic stone. Betlak: As I thought. Grenvor! Stoft! Staring down the suddenly very upset looking Klingon, Geoff decided to shift tactics. Teller: Hi There! Lovely day for a ride in the lava flats, isn't it? Geoff closed the distance to the lead rider voluntarily, walking forward slowly but casually. Behind him he could hear rocks shifting and the bark of other klingon voices. It seemed at least one of his teammates had been uncovered. Geoff made a mental note that all of them were due for a refresher course in Starfleet survival and evasion when this mission was over. Brodie: ::Nodding to the spear:: DaHjaj jay' 'e' DaHar'a'? ((Do you really think that today is a good day to die?)) Geoff sighed to himself slightly, wondering if perhaps the Counselor could've used another notable Klingon expression that didn't summon to mind the image of glorious death. Or quoted some Shakespeare, which some Klingons rather inexplicably loved. Geoff trod as close to the giant targ as he dared and stared up at it's rider and his rather sharp looking spear as if he didn't have a care in the world. As the expression went, bluff big. Teller: Lovely creature, what this big fellas name? Is it Fluffy? Looks like a Fluffy to me. Fluffy snapped at Geoff's hand and very nearly took it off. The Klingon rider roared in laughter. The UT had finally hashed through enough of the updated Klingon dialect to start providing a serviceable, if not perfect, translation. Geoff hoped that was true from the Klingon perspective as well. Teller: It seems my companions and I have gotten lost here and we much appreciate your assistance. Could you point us towards the nearest town or road, we should be on our way? The spearpoint waivered slightly, the rider becoming more and more uncertain of their quarry. Geoff knew Klingon patience would not last and he pressed on with his most sincere expression. Teller: Very fine spear you have there my friend...don't suppose you have any of those for trade? As you can see, my companions and I do not carry weapons like this. Peri, why don't you stand yourself up and come over here, check out the craftsmanship of this fine spear! Fluffy here is very friendly. Geoff felt ever so slightly bad for stretching the truth as the weight of his phaser pressed against his hip, concealed under his ash covered poncho. They still had one other ace in the hole in the form of the still concealed Ensign Dar. Geoff updated his mental note - she could skip the refresher class. At this rate, she'd be the one teaching it. Katsim/Dar: Response Behind him a few meters Alex stepped out of his ineffective concealment with open arms, slowly approaching him and Peri with the juvenile klingon following close behind. To Geoff, the warrior looked jumpy and nervous, as if he'd never experienced anything like this before. Brodie: There…now we can talk. Tell me, who do I have the honour of addressing? The Klingons eyes narrowed, his suspicions deepening. Betlak: Response Brodie: 'ej qaStaHvIS ram, joHwI', batlhlIj. ((Honour to you, and to your house)) He switched things back to normal for the benefit of all. Brodie: I am Alexander…of Clan Brodie. Geoff smiled appreciatively at Brodie's discretion, which reenforced his bluff wonderfully. Teller: And as long as we're making proper introductions I'm Geoff of the Clan Teller. And we're...::Geoff very quickly considered his options::...scholars. Well, he'd said it. Scholars. He could make this work. Maybe. Katsim/Dar: Responses Betlak: Response Brodie: We don't want a conflict, Betlak. Geoff could feel the mood souring. He only hoped Dar was paying attention. Behind his back and out of the Klingons line of sight Geoff fanned his fingers out in a message to Dar and hopefully to Alex. Five. Teller: Indeed, in fact we were just about to head out. We'll just collect our gear and... A thrown spear landed at Teller's feet and dug into the ground several centimeters, a clear warning not to move. Betlak himself dismounted and hit the ground with a pronounced thud. Between the armor and the simply massive bulk of the klingon himself, Geoff suspected about one hundred and fifty kilos of angry were bearing down on him. He curled another finger. Four. Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses Betlak closed to within spitting distance, towering over Geoff and flexing heavily armored hands in menacing anticipation. Betlak: Response Three. Teller: Well there's no need for that, I told you - we're simply scholars who got a bit lost! An armored fist clamped around Teller's neck and lifted him bodily into the air. Geoff croaked for breath and curled another finger. Two. Teller:...would...you...have...believed...merchants? One. The burning eyes and deep growl suggested he would not. Geoff curled his last finger and a moment later all hell broke loose. The sound of a phaser piercing the air. Guttural shouts in Klingon. Geoff felt himself tumbling to the ground and rolled to avoid being devoured by a furious but spooked targ. Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses Geoff managed to wrestle his phaser out of its holster and rolled to his feet, firing repeatedly to discourage the onrushing targs. The fact that all his shots hit had everything to do with the sheer size of the beasts. Geoff shouted and hoped to be heard over the din. Teller: Fall back to Dar's position, keep laying down covering fire. Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses Geoff ducked behind one of the odd hexagonal columns, barely dodging the business end of a whistling blade. Teller: =/\= Teller to Thor, get us out of.... Betlak: Response Something struck Geoff on the back of his head and he staggered, his vision going red and blurry. Shapes became indistinct and he fell to the ground, only capable of dragging himself forward with his arms. He didn't get far before something heavy landed on his back and began pressing down. Geoff could already feel his spine creaking but somehow it seemed far away. Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses Under the crushing weight of Betlak's boot Geoff couldn't breath and his already blurry vision darkened to a point of light. As he struggled vainly and slipped into unconsciousness Geoff's last lucid thought was the desperate hope his team had gotten away. Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses Tags/End Act 1 for Teller! =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  21. Jehe is a pleasure to read and how @Brutus is able to weave his character (with her opinions and ideas) into the plot by taking everything his fellow writers have established is a real delight, and an example of good simming manners. Great job! (( Troop Compartment, Valkyrie 1 )) Up until this point, Jehe Saja had been relatively unaware of the existence of the Valkyrie wing aboard the Thor. Having researched the origins of the ship's name, having the Valkyrie's aboard seemed almost poetic. This appreciation for the religious origins of the did not extend to an appreciation for the somewhat cramped confines of the interior of the small craft. All in all, she decided that she rather prefered a runabout to one of these things, and lamented that they had not been sent out aboard the Ra. She liked the I, having a soft spot for the craft she had delivered to the Thor herself from Deep Space Nine when she'd first come aboard. For now though, that was neither her nor there. Rouiancet: I'm sure you're all wondering what this is about. Jehe: oO Well yes... OOC Saja leaned in, tapping a PADD against her knee as she listened, and tried not to fidget with the second pip on her collar. Quickly, the Commander ran through a mission briefing. Essentially, the Valkyries were supposed to do a brief census of the solar system -- and it was the Valkyries, as opposed to any of the other craft that the Thor carried, just in case they ran into anything that required some extra defenses. A point in favor of the strike craft over runabout, Saja was forced to concede. Rouiancet: So far as we know, there are no warp-capable species in this solar system. But the sheer size of the system -- dozens of planets and planetoids and moons -- means we may be missing something. Henderson: Makes sense ma'am. This is sorta where we shine, giving the Thor a little extra autonomous reach. Singh: Wasn't that your nickname in flight school, Ringo? ::Ishani smirked apologetically:: Sorry Commander. Jehe: I'm fairly certain I don't want to know the context behind that. ::The delivery was deadpan, but sparks of mirth danced in her eyes.:: Rouiancet: I was hoping that you three would have some ideas. (to Jehe) I know we're far out, but is there any information about this system? Even a long-range survey that might give us somewhere to start? Jehe: This place is way out in the back of beyond, as it were. The Jessok system hadn't even been surveyed on long range sensors when the ship we're looking for crash landed. That said, I do have some details we can use for a starting point. ::She wiggled her PADD.:: It's not much to go on but I can have it loaded into Valkyrie's main computer. The Commander nodded but gave nothing away, even as Saja tried to get a read on her reaction. Without comment to her, the other woman turned toward the marines. Rouiancet: You two will have a much better idea of how to search a system of this size than I do. If we have to go back to the very beginning, how should we start? Singh: Won't be a problem Commander. The squadron can go to maximum dispersal to extend our overall sensor coverage - it will take a bit for everyone to get into position but we should be able to conduct a quick and discreet survey of the system. If anything decides to be unfriendly, the formation collapses inwards towards the attacker from all sides. Low risk profile in this situation, Commander. Henderson: Really Snowball? I figured you'd just want to do barrel rolls around the system. Singh: Please ignore Lt. Henderson, Commander. When he was four someone told him he was clever and he never let it go. Henderson: In all seriousness ma'am, I agree. The Valkyrie is a good fighter. Top of the line sensors for small craft. We'll be able to cover a lot of space pretty quickly that way, and if something weird comes up, we can always return to a rally point. Ishani allowed a small grin and nodded. Getting a word in edgewise between these two was going to be a challenge, but Saja didn't mind much. Sometimes it was simply the wisest course available to keep your mouth shut and observe. Singh: We can get you a very detailed survey of the system and as many of the celestial bodies as you need. If you can give us specifics to focus on we'll make them a priority. If not, I'll head back upstairs and relay orders to the rest of the flight. Rouiancet: Unless Lieutenant Jehe has anything more specific, then I'd suggest we start with subspace tech and matter/antimatter reactions. That should be a good start if we're looking for anyone who might be warp-capable. Jehe: Given the sheer number of celestial bodies in this system it's going to be about as easy as baiting a Tyrfox in its own den. On the one hand I'd suggest starting with anything in the habitable zone, but on the other hand, given the right conditions any of the larger bodies could be converted into some sort of outpost so...::She shrugged her shoulders and leaned back. No Intelligence officer liked to be without answers to give.:: I'll upload what I have, and we can run a filter against it I suppose. Where can I sync up? Henderson: There's not much in the way of auxiliary consoles for these ships. They're designed for just a crew of two plus a few troops if needed. . . (pausing in thought) I'm sure we can pipe in all of the sensor controls to that mission planning console though. Singh: If not, I'm happy to make Ringo available to you as a runner. (with a wicked smile) In fact, anything you need, just consider Lt. Henderson here your man. Rouiancet: I appreciate it, if you can spare him. Lt. Jehe leaned over and passed the PADD off to Henderson, after having encrypted all the other files. Jehe: Make sure I get that back. Henderson: Consider it done. (Turning toward the ladder) Come on Snowball, lets get this baby moving! Singh: That's a solid copy, Ringo. Commander. Lieutenant. Enjoy the flight...(with a glance around)...as much as you can. Saja watched them head off, shaking her head a bit, before she felt the mission leader's eyes settling in on her. There was a weight in Rouiancet's gaze that was almost physical, as the Bajoran swept her hair back from in front of her face and leaned forward, elbows resting on her knees. Rouiancet: What do you think? For my part, I can't help but wonder how a starship could have crashed all the way out here. Jehe: Given just how far away from the battle fronts of the 2250's this ship is? ::She blew out a puff of air, shoulders slumping a bit.:: None of the likely answers are good. Rouiancet: Response Jehe: Well there's any number of interstellar phenomena that could have done this. ::She started ticking off options on her fingers.:: Graviton Ellipses. Soliton Waves. Wormholes. It'd be a stretch, but they could have stumbled into a transwarp corridor for all we know. Can't rule out abduction by a higher form of intelligent species either. I have plenty of records of such things happening all across Federation history. Rouiancet: Response Jehe: That's fair, ma'am. I don't really expect this to be the work of the so-called Preservers. Though if we find an Obelisk in the system somewhere I reserve the right to freak out. Ma'am. Rouiancet: Response. (Tags & TBC) ========== Lt. (jg) Jehe Saja Intelligence Officer USS Thor T239712JS0
  22. An eloquently written intimate scene between two characters that just survived a near death experience and discovered a little something more along the way. Well done @Wes Greaves & @Alora DeVeau! ============================================ ((Main Sickbay, Deck 9, USS Thor)) It was never completely quiet on a ship. Everything was still, all the people around had left, and she was alone in the darkness. Surgery had been successful, and after a brief stay in ICU, Peri had been moved to a regular biobed for monitoring. In all honesty, she would have preferred her own quarters. Despite the presence of a roommate, the surroundings were more familiar, more comfortable. Those sounds, the ones that crept through the stillness of the night, were more appealing to her there. The deep, steady hum of the ship held an even lower pitch in her quarters, and thrummed a well known lullaby to her every night. The soft breathing of Saja had, over the course of the week they’d been together, already harmonised readily. There, in that bio bed, the almost imperceptible crackle of the privacy field and slightly higher pitched hum were a harsh antithesis to what she was used to. Fatigue had settled in, even though she’d spent at least a day in the clutches of the slumber that had claimed her down on the icy would-be tomb of a planet. There, she had no qualms about meeting her fate, if only the man with her could be spared. Her fervent prayer had been lifted up, the last vestiges of her strength poured into it, her desperate plea to the Prophets. They had answered. That answer had been coupled with her own salvation, a request she had not made specifically, though she had no desire to die. It had just been more important to her that he live. And they had graciously granted his life, and hers. When she had awoken, the soft beeps of the computer, the gentle and somehow not quite monotone voice of Alieth greeting her, she had barely been able to remain conscious to listen to her explain what had occurred and what had to be done to her on the operating table. It hadn’t mattered. Wes was alive. She was alive. Only moments later, she had slipped back into the realm of unconsciousness, her body desperate for rest. For all the technology they had, healing wasn’t instant. Regenerators seemed to do so instantly, healing and closing up minor wounds with ease, but there would always be soreness associated with it. They didn’t actually heal, simply promoted healing by increasing the body’s own natural cellular regeneration. It was still the body working, and the consequences of it could still be felt. So, she slept, her body losing sense of its circadian rhythm and simply listening to its own internal needs. At some point, however, sleep became a ghost, a spirit that wandered, haunting her for a time, only to leave and keep her guessing as to when it might return. In the middle of the night, she found herself wide awake, alone, still exhausted, but unable to crawl back into that healing trance. **** Four days in sickbay. That was the price to pay for the shuttle crash. Who knows how much physical therapy would follow. Who knew how much therapy would follow. Each time Wes closed his eyes he could see the ice peak filling with the screen of the shuttle, powerless to stop it’s collision course. All he could do for now was to lay there in the bed, stare at the ceiling, and contemplate their disaster. He replayed the events over and over in his head. What he’d missed. How the shuttle’s warning systems could have failed. Should he have caught it earlier? Could he have? Was a lapse in judgment the cause of his near death? Of Peri’s? And what had happened to them on the planet together? They both saw the end in sight. He’d never given up the fight for survival but for a time, just before the transporter beam took them away, he didn’t think he’d make it. When he thought Peri was gone, all had seemed lost. The thought scared him. In that moment, he’d been broken in a way that he hadn’t experienced since young adulthood. He was still working through that event, and now his mind was filled with new terrible thoughts. For a time he lay there, disaster replaying over and over in his mind. Finally he couldn’t take it any longer. It was late, and the medical staff weren’t paying particularly close attention. He needed to talk to someone. Someone who could understand. He needed to talk to Peri. Cautiously Wes crept from the bed, unhooking a monitor from his arm. His bare feet pressed against the cool metal of the floor and he was thankful the loose fitting medical clothes did not include shoes. He could move much more quietly without the resounding footfalls on deck plating. Carefully the Marine moved around his bed, ducking when nurses looked his way, until he reached Peri’s bed in an adjacent ward. No one was immediately nearby so Wes chanced a whisper. Greaves: Peri, are you awake? She heard him before she saw him, the gentle tap of feet against the floor, the rustle of fabric. Turning her head, the shadowy form was familiar enough that even if she couldn’t see him properly, she knew exactly who it was. A smile attempted to appear, and appear it did, small, but sincere. Katsim: Wes. Her voice was soft, partially from fatigue, partially from the knowledge that though Sickbay was less populous at night, there were still doctors and nurses about. Peri suspected he had set out on his journey without permission, and while she was one to generally follow the rules, the relief at seeing him, to put a visual to the reassurance from the medical personnel that he was just fine, was far too potent for her to protest. Greaves: (Approaching her bedside and smiling) Man, you look awful. Katsim: So do you. He stifled a small laugh, and the pressure on his ribs flared in pain. He’d been hurt worse during the crash than he initially had thought, and the doctors had assured him that healing would take some time. Greaves: (A little more serious) I can’t say how good it is to see you awake Peri. How’re you holding up? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. What should she say? Go into the gory details of her injuries? The consequences that would linger? How she was exhausted though she’d done nothing but lie there? Staring at him for a moment, she decided not to delve into specific aspects, and really, that wasn’t the question he had asked. Even so, she shied away from giving too much information. Katsim: I’ll survive. That was it. And maybe, for now, that was enough. He nodded, just glad that she was still alive. The moment that she’d passed out on the shuttle Wes had thought she was dead. It was foolish. No one dies like that in real life. A dramatic closing of the eyes was how it worked in the holo-flicks. Still, it had felt like she’d slipped away from him in that moment, and Wes had realized something when he thought she was gone. Slowly he reached out and clutched the woman’s hand in his own. Her skin felt cool and soft. Greaves: I’m sorry Peri. He was apologising, though she couldn’t fathom why. That brow furrowed, the ridges standing out more with the expression and she turned her head a little, as if trying to see him better. Katsim: For what? Greaves: I messed up. I should have spotted the issue with the warp coils before we even left. Katsim: Oh. So he blamed himself. That hurt her more than any of her physical injuries, the idea that he was dealing with guilt in regards to their accident. Peri shook her head slightly, and the hand that he held tightened its hold, hoping somehow to reassure him with more than just words. Even though she knew they would likely fall upon deaf ears, she spoke them anyway. Katsim: It wasn’t your fault. Greaves: (Frustration creeping in his voice) Of course it was. I was the pilot. That shuttle was my responsibility. Katsim: It was an accident. And you weren’t the only one who looked at that shuttle. Likely it was an issue before, one that had somehow slipped under the radar. They had just been the lucky ones to be in it when it had become a bigger problem. He took her hand again, gave it a gentle squeeze and forced a smile in acknowledgement. She believed her own words, but Wes knew better than to fall into that trap. He’d made a mistake somewhere, and it nearly had cost them their lives. That was simply something else he’d have to learn to deal with. Greaves: It doesn’t matter. What happened, happened. I’m still sorry, and you’re just gonna have to accept that (smile softening into something more genuine). Peri didn’t respond right away, but her hand tightened in response to his. Her eyes regarded him, a silence settling between them, words, waiting to be spoken, yet not uttered. Those words ran over and over again in her mind, thoughts returning to those moments where they had clung together, to the words that she’d managed just before she’d passed out from everything. Yet, in that moment, what she wanted to say remained captive and instead she spoke words that had nothing to do with what roiled around inside her. Katsim: You need to let it go. It wasn’t your fault. The man looked into Peri’s eyes for a moment before responding. Greaves: I’m just glad you’re alright. Maybe we stick to the holodeck for our outings? He wasn’t going to let it go. Peri hoped he wouldn’t sit on it and let it fester, wouldn’t let the guilt linger. She sighed softly, then managed a half smile. Katsim: That might be best. Greaves: Good… speaking of which. You feeling up for a springball match tomorrow? (Winking) For a second, Peri couldn’t only stare at him. Springball? Tomorrow? After all that? Peri wasn’t even going to be released for another day or two! Then it dawned on her. A joke. He was always joking, and she was always falling for it. Once more, she relaxed, and the smile that appeared was brighter than the previous. Katsim: I feel like you’d have an unfair advantage. Greaves: Hey! I have to get in the wins where I can! Katsim: Maybe give me a week or two. If not more. Peri had been told the extent of her injuries, and despite the technology that was vastly superior to what they’d had even fifty years ago, her body was going to take time to get over everything that had happened. Greaves: Deal. But only one week. I don’t stand for slackers, and there’s no way I’m gonna let you live down laying around for two whole weeks. Besides, I might not be able to whip you if you get that much rest. Katsim: We could race again if you prefer. Greaves: (Raising hands defensively and taking a step back) Oh no, I’m not falling for that again missy. Let’s make it a light jog and we can relax at the water’s edge after. (Voice softening) I liked that last time. Peri couldn’t help herself. The smile grew a little wider at his insistent joking. He was intent on making her feel better, and she had to admit, his demeanor was uplifting. For a moment, she almost laughed, but her body’s aching reminded her that might not be the best course of action. Still, there was weight that lifted from her shoulders. His presence, his smile, the tease of his voice, they all seem to lighten her mood, lift her spirits. Around his hand, her fingers curled, his warmth soothing and she sighed softly, settling further down into her bed. She didn’t want him to let go, didn’t want him to leave. For a moment, her pain wasn’t quite so acute, could be pushed aside and ignored because all she had to do was concentrate on him and it seemed to simply fade away. Katsim: I liked that too. And there was more that she could show him. While not the real place, it was a replica, a replica of where she had run and visited on Bajor. It had been a sanctuary, a place to rest and get away from what lay behind. To forget the world and simply be. There, she could enjoy the beauty of nature, be at peace with all creation. Only one person had shared that with her. She was gone, but Peri knew that she could share that with him. Suddenly, she wanted to share that with him, to take him there, but they were in no position to do so. Not yet. Katsim: I...like running with you. Greaves: I… She’d caught him off guard and suddenly there was a bump in the road, a hiccup in the peace that had for a brief time had settled between them. An awkwardness developed, and though he still held on to her hand, she could sense his uncertainty. His hesitancy. Had she said too much? Revealed too much? Was it not returned? Peri chided herself. Why would it be? Just because they had lived through a frozen hell didn’t mean anything had changed. His invitation had been given to a friend, nothing more. Peri’s dark eyes settled upon him and silence invaded, a distance seemed to stretch out between them, one that could not be seen but could certainly be felt. Leveling her gaze at him, she pined for that fleeting moment of closeness they’d had just seconds before and she struggled to bring them back there. How would he handle it? What would he do? Katsim: I especially like beating you. Greaves: Oh man, look who’s got the jokester now. The levity had helped, and though Peri’s smile returned, her heart twisted a little in disappointment. She had expected too much. Of course she had. Katsim: You’re rubbing off I guess. Greaves: What can I say? We’ve been spending a lot of time together lately. It was bound to happen. (Jokingly) Good thing I invited you to Earth, right? Now we get to spend some real quality time together in sickbay. Katsim: I’m glad you did. Her eyes shifted to the opening that would allow someone to walk in if they so desired, the privacy afforded her easily intruded upon. That was as it was in sickbay, though those who trespassed were simply medical officers doing their duty. Her eyes returned to him and studied the man a little more closely. Wes followed the woman’s gaze as he heard the sound of voices approaching. For a moment, he thought that his escapade had been discovered, but the voices passed without pause. Katsim: What did the doctors say? Greaves: (Nonchalantly) Oh, you heard Alieth. Nothing else new really. I’m gonna be here another day or two for observation, and then light duty with regular treatments for the next couple of weeks. You? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. Alieth had listed out all the injuries, the procedures, the subsequent consequences and she knew Wes had been there to hear it. Not that she had minded that so much, but that she still hadn’t really taken the time to process it all. Katsim: At least a couple of days beyond that. He winced at the thought. It made sense, Peri had died after all. Still, Wes couldn’t help but feel responsible for what would likely be a very unpleasant stay in sickbay. It darkened his mood again and brought the man’s thoughts back to the crash. Greaves: Look, I know you don’t want to hear it anymore, but I’m so sorry this all happened. It’s just, when I thought you died down there… when I thought you were gone… (trailing off) He paused, not sure of what to say. The Marine had been concussed and probably suffering from blood loss and shock at the time. Still, he remembered the moment clear as day. When Peri’s eyes had closed and her body went limp, when he kissed her goodbye, something inside him broke. Greaves: ... I’m just glad you’re okay. Really glad. Katsim: I’m grateful that you are all right. Her prayer, it had been spoken with all of the will, all of the strength that she’d had left, and she would have said the same, even if she knew the outcome had been different. But it hadn’t been. They had been rescued, they were there, and the conversation waned into stillness. Their eyes met again, and a small smile formed on Wes’s lips. In that moment something unspoken passed between the two. He wasn’t exactly sure what it was, or what it meant, but Wes felt the connection. He felt the warmth in that look, the calmness it brought on, and the comfort. Still, they lingered, his hand still furled around hers, their warmth joining together. The silence that fell between them was gentle, filled with unuttered phrases, unspoken words, murmurings kept close to their chests and inside their hearts, perhaps desire present, but afraid to manifest itself. She held his gaze, her dark brown against his lighter blue, shadows of hope whispering behind the coloured windows, but nothing was voice. That silence reigned, but it was pleasant, each one basking in their presence, hesitant to break it, but finally practicality won out in the mind of the marine who hovered at her bedside, her hand still gently clasped in his. Greaves: I really should get back to my bed, before they catch me up and about. Peri almost said no. She almost requested that he stay, that he linger a little longer, maybe even remain until she was safely tucked away into slumber, the last thing seen was his smiling face. But once more, the words shied away from actual speech and she merely nodded. It was Wes who had to break the hold, his hand releasing her own and she let it fall back to her side, the chill of the room stark in comparison to his warmth and she couldn’t help but shiver a little. He cast her one last smile and she returned it with a small one of her own. Though he was not present when Peri finally did return to the realm of slumber, she had, at least, that to ponder upon, the vision of his face and the gentleness of that departing expression carrying her into sleep. ********** ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander Chief of Security & Tactical USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 ========================= & Ensign Katsim Peri Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0
  23. OOC: Beautiful. And heartbreaking. ((Vulcan Forge, Xial, Vulcan)) The wind was blowing in the desert, still cool in the early morning. It brought the fragrance of morning dew, of desert succulents and fresh spring. High above, a bright silver kestrel hailed the rising sun and, far, far away, among the hills, another bird answered its call. Alieth sat on the rock and for a few minutes just admired the bird's evolutions in the air, as the desert sands swirled at her feet. Finally, she sighed and placed the ark she had been cradling in her arms on her left. Her fingers moved over the surface to the appropriate spots and, to her mind's eye and only to her, a figure became visible on the other side of the rock. Alieth: It has been a long time, my friend. Sern perched himself on the rock, crossing one leg over the other and lacing his fingers over the top knee. Sern: Has it? I seem to recall speaking with you just the other day… The features around Alieth's eyes relaxed slightly before she spoke again. Alieth: That was weeks ago, my dear friend. Sern: Then it has been a long time, indeed. Is this-? She gave a little nod. Alieth: Where we used to meet, when you were obsessed with hover car racing. She stretched out an arm towards a watercourse a little further down, half hidden from view by a dense mass of thorny, shrubby vegetation. Alieth: You used to hide your vehicle there, so the matriarch would not send it to the junkyard. I still hide mine there. The ghost of an all-too-human smirk brightened his eyes. Sern: Ah. An apt choice. Alieth: Indeed. I have fond memories of this place. Slowly, he scanned the horizon, eyes eventually settling on a cluster of rocks off in the distance. Sern: And some not so fond... She let out a small sigh. Alieth: Effectively that happened here as well… There was no need to point out "that" event. It was in his mind as well as hers. Like so many others. Like so many memories. Thereafter, a comfortable silence settled between the Vulcans, each lost in their own recollections- some clearer than others. Either seconds or hours passed before Alieth spoke: Alieth: Are you sure you want to do this? Sern: If my choice is between this and ::he opened his hand in the direction of the device, in a manner not unlike a certain human:: that - I would say the choice is obvious. A genuine smile danced in her dark Alieth: I have no objection, everything Geoffrey John gets his hands on ends up looking like a mayhem ball affixed with way too much duct tape. Two beings of any other species would likely have laughed. It would not be a laugh of mirth, but one of two old friends diffusing the growing tension of anticipated conversation. A conversation both parties were perfectly content to leave unspoken, until they were forced to form the words by both time and circumstance... In the end, it was he who spoke, his countenance more sober than it had been so far, if that was even possible. Sern: It is time. You have brought me further than I could have hoped. But it is time. She looked at him and, for a brief second, bit the inside of her lip. She had to have one last try. Alieth: I just want to persuade you to remain here. We still have so much to experience, so much to learn, so much to live... perhaps we could... Sern shook his head. Sern: No - not 'we'... you. For a moment, he wasn't entirely sure he would win the staring contest. Alieth: :with a sight: You are right, of course… Silence settled between them once more, thickening as the minutes passed, and only the wind filled it faintly, along with the cries of the birds of the sands. At last, Alieth turned to his friend's shade, took a deep breath and spoke again. Softly, barely over the whisper of the wind. Alieth: I loved you, you know... In some way I still do. No amount of emotional discipline could hide the look of surprise that shifted across his features. A greenish flush crept into his cheeks. Sern: I - uh…. I - I loved you, too. She nodded silently, opened her mouth to say a word but ultimately chose not to. At another time, in another life, perhaps the blush would have crept up her cheeks too, but not then. Sern: Yeh- ::he cleared his throat, trying to force the flush away:: uh, yes, well… Alieth: I know. ::Sigh:: Perfect timing. She looked down at the crystal encapsulated in a mechanical device that was humming on the rock beside her. She ran her fingers over it. Not a word, he would know what was in her mind. Alieth: And speaking of time, the moment has come Sern: Now or never. She nodded faintly and took the device in her hands. Sern crossed over to a scrubby-looking bush and tried to grasp a branch. His hand passed right through it. He moved back to where Alieth stood, the ark device cradled in her hands. Sern: Could you-? Alieth: I have already did so. In her hands, the device had ceased its humming. The crystal still twinkled dimly, the energy that animated it slowly fading, with an increasingly slow pulse. There was another bit of a pause before the fade started. Much like the image of the Veritas, the edges went first, limbs and core gradually shifting away to reveal the unbroken landscape behind him. Shifting into nothingness. Once the will of her friend, of the person who had most marked her early and many of her later years, had been fulfilled, Alieth remained there for a long time. Until the sun rose at its zenith and the shadowless noon of the desert forced her to seek shelter. When she did so, there was red dust staining the hem of her robe and wetness in her eyes. But there was also peace in her spirit, a peace she had not felt for a long time. Goodbye, my dear friend, and farewell… [End] ================================= Alieth daughter of Saros Mourning USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director & Sern of Vulcan Deceased E239602QD0 =================================
  24. OOC: I jumped the gun (okay, fine, I miscounted the number of parts they said the jp contained before I posted it) when I posted the other sections, but honestly, perhaps this was as it should be. While this may be the finale, it deserves its own entry. From laughter to tears, this part of the JP moved me both ways. Well done @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] ((Twenty Minutes Later)) In the holodeck’s version of the Temple at Mount Selaya, the trio stood. Saveron didn’t need the atmospheric location, but perhaps the others did. There was a lot to be said for how ambiance could affect an individual’s thoughts. Reaching out, he placed his long fingers on one side of Commander Teller’s face, slowly shifting his fingertips until he found the strongest synaptic nodes. Satisfied, he repeated the movements on Alieth’s face, until he could feel both of their minds hovering just within reach. Next, she placed her hand on Teller's temple, the fingertips where his synaptic centres were strongest. The other side of his face was occupied by Saveron's slender fingers. Alieth's other hand rested on the vibrating crystal placed on the electronic device. An asymmetrical circle. An origin, a bridge, a guide and a destination. And a soul to be coerced to go around the circuit. Alieth took a deep breath and looked at the two men beside her. Then, she closed her eyes briefly. She lowered her mental barriers and opened herself to mental contact. The other Vulcan's mind resonated in hers as a clarion call. Saveron shone bright and strong. Clear as the first light of morning. Like the birth of a star. Alieth: ~~ Osu ~~ Saveron: ~~ Orensu ~~ He would not normally condescend to call Alieth his student, but in this alone he was the only one with any experience. Their walls came down, hers first, then his, and their minds touched, as intimately as if they were lovers. It seemed as though he saw Alieth clearly for the first time, without the barriers of the physical world. She was a flame; burning bright and slightly angry. Anger could be a powerful driver. Saveron: ~~Ready?~~ She nodded minimally. It was more an intention than a movement in itself. Her dark eyes turned to Teller's green ones. Her fingers flexed lightly at his temper. In the holographic reconstruction of the temple, far away, out of the shady recesses under the columns, there rang a chime. And the shriek of a kestrel. Alieth: Ready Geoff? Teller: ~~I CAN HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS IN MY EYES~~ Alieth: ~~Just the answer I was waiting for~~ She pushed lightly, and the tenuous walls to enter his mind cracked open wide, to that cacophony of an orchestra tuning up before a great fanfare that was the human mind. A confusion of brass and wind and string noises and for some strange reason, a duck. The mind wove strange stories in this dreamscape. Saveron was there to guide Sern’s katra and keep the situation from becoming confused. It was easy to forget one’s goal when memory crowded so close. Alieth: ~~No trips down memory lane this time, we just look for Sern, okay?~~ Teller: ~~That’s fine by me, I still feel like I have sand in my boots from the last time~~ One corner of her mouth, both inside and outside the meld, curled into a tiny smirk. Saveron: ~~Bring to mind, if you can Commander, the sensation you experience when you ‘hear’ Sern’s thoughts.~~ Geoff concentrated, turning his mind's eye to the place where he and Sern would meet. It had always been just out of focus when Geoff had gone there but now the details were clear and sharp, the meld helping to enhance his recall. He could see the sand on the arena floor, stained with dark green blood. This is where Sern had hidden himself away, residing forever in the last moments of his mortal life. As if beginning a journey, Geoff felt himself drawn from one memory to next, and every time they felt a step closer. There was a spark. Something long extinguished coming to life one last time, a flame burning the dregs of its remaining energy in one last bright, ephemeral blaze. The moment that they found Sern he became apparent to Saveron, the only one who did not yet know him. Around them for a moment a combat arena resolved, dust in the air and blood on the sand. What a place to linger; it was as though he didn’t know where else to go. This was why he was here. Silently, Saveron’s mental avatar, clad in a deep desert suit and robes as he tended to appear in the dreamscape, reached out a hand and beckoned Sern to follow him. Outside the meld, Teller’s contraption sprang into life, beginning to detect and analyze a living Vulcan neural pattern entwined with a human’s. Components whirred and hummed, dissecting subquantum data states and rapidly forming a transcription matrix. A few components sparked and shook under the strain. Over and over it spun, burning out whatever existence it had left on an never-ending trail until a summon from Saveron showed it the way, and a gentle nudge led it to the bridge. And Sern crossed him. It was only then that she could feel him. The warm familiarity. The long summers in the shade of the trees of his clan house. Hundreds of anodyne study afternoons, with hardly any words, just each other's company as they each focused on their subjects. The first hovercar race. Her first accident. HIS first crash. An escape to Vulcana Regar with a bet, three Orions, a Nausicaan and four broken ribs. Sern's, of course, not hers. Then, the day he confirmed her the news of his engagement. Her own wedding, not so long after it. And that last goodbye of her fingers on his. These were scenes that were familiar to both, he could see, and re-lived far more times than they had actually been lived. A comfortable place, a clinging to what had been. Gently, Saveron nudged at the pair, politely pushing Sern towards the path he must walk. He couldn’t stay here, not again, not without losing himself. But the pair deserved a certain amount of respect. Saveron knew what it was to hide the pain of a love lost. Before what followed, before the bitter end, and the thievery and the escape and the hidden years, she let him go. And just as quickly as he had moved through her mind, he left it. The last trail, the last faint echo of the familiar psyche swirled over the fingers that touched the crystal. There was a moment of stillness. Alieth pulled her fingers away from the crystal and only three were left behind. Three minds and three bodies, connected as closely as they could be, but not intermingled as Sern had been with them, each their own being, in their own flesh. Beep She opened her eyes and looked at them, her heart trembling for a loss she had foreseen but not overcome, for what she had regained only to be lost again. Beep, Beep There were no words, but there was a sense of warning, a sense of urgency transmitted quickly through shared neural pathways. Beep, Beep, Beep Somewhere between consciousness and whatever the mind meld was, Geoff could perceive a sound on the very edge of his hearing. A bad sound. A sound that meant they had to run. The machine started whirring. Fingers were quickly removed from the other's temples. The whirring grew to an agonised whine, the sound of a dying beast. The sparks became a living fire, the radiation sizzled on their skin, leaving livid greenish-black marks behind. As one person, the remnants of their shared consciousness still fraying between their minds, they all ran.. No sooner had the door closed than the ensuing explosion shook the corridor and lobby, filled them with smoke and, more than likely, left a cracked hatch connecting the holodeck to the adjoining decks. Geoff sagged against the corridor wall as the alert klaxons rang, the throbbing behind his eyes competing with some plasma fire burns on his hands. He’d made one desperate half-blind grab towards the workbench as they’d escaped and he’d paid for it with blisters and reddened skin. Alieth: Are you...? Geoff rubbed his throbbing head and looked within, but found himself properly alone for the first time in months. He certainly felt like himself, for whatever that was worth. Teller: ….ungh...no more...mind melds…. Saveron: That would be advisable. He’d felt, in that moment before the beeping that Teller had forewarned them about, Geoffrey’s mind settled into it’s full and whole space, no longer having to make room for another, even a mild lodger like Sern. He would recover. Her gaze darted around Alieth: Is he…? Geoff extended his burnt hand and gingerly opened his cracked fingers. It may have been a little scorched but he’d managed to get his hand around the ark, and it appeared intact. His palm had been seared with the impressions of several Vulcan characters, but that seemed to be the limit of his injuries. He reverently passed it to Alieth with his remaining strength. Instead of responding, he took his hand and, in her palm, placed the crystal. Faint, subtle, Sern's essence reacted to the touch of her fingertips. Alieth took the container that held her best friend and cuddled him against her chest, then she rested her back against the wall and let herself slide down to the floor plates. Saveron looked away, politely pretending not to notice Alieth’s emotional indulgence. He had felt the strength of her attachment to Sern, in that place behind her emotional shields. She had carried him for years, and they all knew that this would be goodbye. The heavy footfalls of the approaching damage control team could be heard up the corridor, but Geoff found he had little strength and happily accepted their assistance when it was offered. To their questioning glances he simply shrugged. He’d explain this some other time. He was alive. They all were. And they were fine. [[END]] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  25. OOC: There's a play by play of the most humourous parts over on the Thor quotations thread. However, once you've read the gems out of context, I thought it was only fair to allow people to read them in context. @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller have done a superb job of invoking humour and solemnity. Excellent arc with excellent writing. IC: ((Temple of Gol, Mount Selaya, ShirKahr Region, Vulcan)) Their slippers sounded ever so softly on the stone floors, polished smooth by millennia of footsteps, as the two Vulcans walked in a stately, measured manner, side by side, through the Hall of Ancient Thought. Stone faces, far larger than life, were carved to represent the katras that they housed; High Priests and Priestesses of the order of Kolinahru since long before Surak had walked their world, and the name of the order implied something very different. How might those slumbering thoughts view their modern world now? No one asked them. Some ways of the past were best left behind. If only everyone could see that. T’Rel: You stated that you had a request of the Temple? Her voice was even, smooth, completely devoid of emotion. She had purged it from her mind. Once, in a different life, there had been emotion there, even love, for him, and he had held the same for her. But they had parted many years ago now. And both of them had changed. Saveron: Affirmative. I would ask that a Senior Priestess accompany me to the USS Thor to retrieve a katra from a non-Vulcan crewmember. She paused, turned to look at him for a moment, before continuing her sedate walk. T’Rel: Why not bring the crewmember here, to the temple? ::She asked.:: It was the most logical and simple solution. Saveron: Because of the clan Matriarch, T’Sai T’Mihn, whose logic appears to be impaired on the subject of her grandson. ::He said quietly. It was no light accusation.:: She has suppressed her grief, and I know the damage that failing to process such can cause. He glanced across at her. Oh, to have known fourteen years ago what he knew now what he had only learned by undertaking Counsellor training through the multi-species entity that was Starfleet. If he’d understood her grief then, that she’d hidden so well, they might never have parted. But then he would never have left Vulcan. Now she was kolinahru, incapable of grief. She was content, and he must therefore be so also. But there were times when it was challenging. T’Rel: You anticipate that T’Sai T’Mihn would obstruct the process? He nodded curtly. Saveron: If Commander Teller were to set foot on Vulcan, I anticipate that she may instigate a legal claim of ma maat katra. And when I spoke with her, she expressed no regard for his wellbeing. Humans, he had learned, had a pre-Federation legal concept called Habeus Corpus, whereby one might challenge an individual’s imprisonment and obtain their freedom by proving that their incarceration was invalid. There were some parallels with the ancient Vulcan right of a Clan to demand the katra of one of their members from the individual currently holding it. T’Rel: So you would seek to circumvent our legal system by having the Fal-tor-pan performed off-world. ::She observed.:: The Commander’s thin lips pressed together into a thinner line. Saveron: The claim of ma maat katra predates Federation and does not take into account a non-Vulcan bearer of the katra. It assumes the ability of the bearer to relinquish the katra they carry. ::Which a non-telepath couldn’t do without assistance.:: In Commander Teller’s case, it would force him to undergo the Fal-tor-pan against his will. That itself contravenes Federation law. Which made the situation very complex. T’Rel: There are those who hold that traditional Vulcan law stands above Federation law on our homeworld. Saveron: T’Sai T’Mihn is one of them. But then for what purpose did we federate? I say to you as I said to her; the needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. There is no logic in destroying this man’s mind for the katra of one already deceased. His people hadn’t always thought that way, and some still didn’t. Vulcan had a long and tumultuous history and the complex culture that went with it. In the days before Surak wars had been fought and people tortured and killed over just such matters, as their literature still detailed. But he was a true adherent of logic, if not the best disciple of mental discipline. He returned the look that his erstwhile bond-mate gave him. She knew his view on traditions that lacked logic in his eyes, but he was less certain of hers. Especially now that she was steeped in Vulcan tradition. T’Rel steepled her fingers and kept walking, but she changed their direction, heading for a small antechamber T’Rel: Regrettably, your understanding of the legal implications is not complete. If T’Sai T’Mihn has already made a legal claim for ownership of the katra, then no registered telepathic practitioner may intervene until that claim is resolved. Saveron considered her words as they passed through the doorway and T’Rel headed for a niche that proved to contain a discrete but very modern computer terminal. The Temple was not as unchanging as many thought. Saveron: That process could occupy cycles, years. Humans have not proven durable to containing a Vulcan katra for so long. T’Rel nodded slowly, dark gaze following a rapid scroll of Vulcan script on the screen, before turning back to him. T’Rel: The legal claim has already been made. Its trajectory is longer if it must be made through Federation channels, and seizure of the individual less likely. But whilst it is unresolved, my colleagues and I cannot assist. Saveron: Then Commander Teller’s welfare is in jeopardy, whether he comes to Vulcan or not. A touch from T’Rel closed the console down again, and it blended in with the more antique decor. T’Rel: Unless one goes to him who is not bound by such law. It applies only to those of us who have trained through the traditional pathways. Again that piercing, dark look. He knew what she referred to. Saveron: They are the only pathways to guaranteed proficiency. ::He objected.:: The situation on the Constitution was made urgent due to synaptic degradation, and we were days from Vulcan even with slipstream. I had no alternative. She knew, because he’d called her; logically, serenely desperate for a way to save two Ensigns who’d placed themselves in a most untenable situation. T’Rel: But you succeeded, where most would not dare to try. Did that make him revolutionary, or foolish? His old research supervisor Professor Ramsey Bakewell had once remarked ‘they said it couldn’t be done, but the damn fool didn’t know it and went ahead and did it anyway’. Far too apt. Saveron: Not entirely. The Human retained a significant influence on his personality, likely permanent, from the Vulcan participant. ::He admitted.:: He… had welcomed her influence, I believe that he envied her confidence. She shrugged eloquently. T’Rel: Then the fault is not yours. He considered her words. Saveron: Having one untrained perform the rite when the ship is in orbit around Vulcan, home to the majority of our telepathic practitioners, appears to lack logic. T’Rel: Yet, as you have observed, you have no alternative. [[Transporter Room 2, Deck 4, USS Thor, On orbit over Vulcan]] There were few occasions when Alieth was strictly punctual. But there were even fewer occasions when the petite Vulcan was early for an appointment. This was one of those infrequent occasions, since the event merited it. After weeks of research, work, plead and rummaging through what seemed like half of Vulcan and a quarter of the Fleet, finally the time that she had been waiting for had arrived. Also, the time she had dreaded. The time to remove Sern from his temporary residence aboard Geoff's brain. Given how long the two had been together and the confusing mix they were in, it was a delicate situation per se. But she, too, had perhaps made it a little more complicated. A few days ago, when her mentor had left for Gol, he had left her one of the crystals that could be used in the ritual. And she had given it to Teller. She bit the inside of her lip slightly and straightened her posture even more, enough to clasp her wrists tighter behind her back. It had seemed like a good idea. The crystals were intended for use with Vulcan minds and given the important part a human was going to play in all this, it made sense that a human (more so! A brilliant engineer trained at Starfleet Academy) could come up with some kind of enhancement, some kind of catalyst to facilitate the ritual. Then, when it was just too late, she had realized that she had given it to Geoffrey John "Good Job Guarantee" Teller. The whole thing could end in disaster. However, she had no time to further torture herself with this, as, at that moment, a form began to materialize in the centre of the transporter. Alieth: Osu Saveron Saveron acknowledged his protégée with a slight bow before he stepped down from the transporter and glancing around, but the only other person in the room was the engineer behind the control panel. Saveron: Alieth. I trust that Commander Teller will be joining us? She offered a small nod. Alieth: I have sent him a message to join us on the holodeck 3. It was a fitting location, as they would be able to recreate the conditions and location that would be best suited to ease the process. Alieth: I expect he has read it and is already there. Saveron: Then he is prepared for the ritual and understands what is involved? Alieth:... Perhaps... She would have preferred to provide a more accurate answer but, given who was involved, it was better than a lie. He gave her a long look from grey eyes, noting her hesitation. But the facts were the same; what would be, would be. Saveron: Then lead on. Without further ado, they both left the room and walked down the many corridors of the Thor in search of uncertainty. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] Geoff was uncharacteristically nervous as he headed down towards the holosuite, his grav-sled of equipment humming along merrily while taking up most of the hallway. He’d spent the last several days cooped up in one of the ships engineering labs, emerging only for parts and the occasional “nearly fatal” dose of coffee from the new shop. He’d been working himself ragged ever since Alieth had passed him the rare Vulcan crystal that was somehow part of the upcoming procedure to disentangle Sern from his mind. Likewise, he’d spent days pouring over the tiny bit of information he could find about katras and katrics arcs and the general handling and operation there of, but there simply wasn’t much to work with. For all their intellect and deep adherence to scientific rigor, the Vulcans were still steeped in a kind of mysticism surrounding many aspects of their telepathic gifts. Empirical information was almost nonexistent and most of what he had found was guesswork and worryingly incomplete translations from ancient texts. There was simply no other way to say it. They were winging it. Hard. Geoff smirked in spite of everything, having too often been the source of unconventional ideas and improvised problem solving to shy in the face of it now. That folks were taking that approach to his brain was equal parts unsettling and reassuring. Geoff resumed whistling a tune Alex had sung brilliantly on the holodeck a few days earlier while he considered what little his research had turned up. Everything he had found said what had happened to him shouldn’t have been possible, or that it should’ve killed him within days. The one fairly well documented account he had found was in the fleet archives, surrounding a ships human surgeon who had unexpectedly become a receptacle for the ships Vulcan XO. Over the course of a few weeks the surgeon's personality was slowly overwhelmed as his body broke down, the strain of carrying two people in one brain acting like a deadly poison. In the end, it had been a near thing, and it had required the direct participation of the most revered high priest on Vulcan. Geoff’s resources were somewhat less...robust. He had a troublemaking Doctor, a Commander he’d never met and a medium sized shuttles worth of hastily assembled parts. Geoff wasn’t sure how prepared that actually made him for whatever ordeal lay ahead but was satisfied he was going into harms way as well armed as possible. He was fairly certain he’d been in worse situations than this one but at the moment no graver set of circumstances sprang to mind. As the double doors slid aside and Geoff pushed his sled of rattling equipment to one side, he waved merrily to the two stone faced Vulcan’s staring back at him. He didn’t think he was egregiously late but the deep scowls, identical on both officers faces, said otherwise. Geoff looked down at himself and considered a different possibility. Teller: What, are these the wrong robes? They were in the replicator database. The long flapping Vulcan robes, with a number of glyphs down the front explaining the lineage of Teller’s ‘clan’ and how great logic must be, or so Geoff imagined. The petite doctor used a few precious seconds to stare her executive officer up and down, and then, she frowned even more deeply. Not for the first time in the course of all that trouble, Alieth wondered if it was really worth all the effort to try to save Commander Teller. While certainly Sern would be lost in the process, maybe the galaxy would be better and more organized without him. Pausing for a moment, she glanced sideways at the other Vulcan, more than curious about his reaction. Saveron had never met Teller previously, and he couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow slightly at the man’s attire, and the mound of equipment he’d brought with him. Saveron: Commander Geoffrey Teller, I presume. ::He greeted him.:: I am Commander Saveron, as I do not doubt you can intuit. He’d been told by Alieth that Teller’s mind had seemed remarkably stable for a Human carrying a Vulcan katra. Taking in the man’s attire and accompanying collection of… stuff, Saveron was forced to ponder either Alieth’s perception of him, or his nature before acquiring Sern as a mental companion. Alieth: Commander, I presume you are aware that you are wearing a priestess's regalia. While not unprecedented, it is... rather unorthodox. The words were calm and measured, but the glint in her eyes belied these facts. Teller: Priestess...robes? Phew….now I’m really glad I didn’t wear the hat. Before she could be drawn into a long, convoluted and (admittedly) instructive lecture, the other Vulcan wrapped up the matter tersely. Saveron: Your choice of attire is irrelevant. ::Said the man wearing his standard Starfleet uniform.:: What is the purpose of this equipment? The Fal-tor-pan was traditionally performed using telepathic abilities only. Whilst he would advocate the use of the Thor’s Sickbay, the purpose of this accumulation of engineering parts he could not begin to fathom. Alieth: Given that the commander's telepathic abilities are nil, I considered that some external assistance might be in order. Of course, she refrained from pointing out her own lapse in not taking into account his tendency to get overzealous with mechanical gadgets. Reminding himself that he was dealing with a Human - visits to Vulcan always tended to shift him back towards an earlier, less alien-centric frame of mind - Saveron decided to reserve judgement for now. Teller: Well I can tell you about this thing, or you can tell me what the plan is. Actually, while we’re doing that can you help me unpack this stuff? Geoff nodded to the grav sled. There were a half dozen equipment cases, spools of ODN conduit, several tool boxes and at least one small supply of self sealing stem bolts. Saveron: The 'plan' is to perform the Fal-tor-pan. ::He said, opting for the first option.:: This is the ritual whereby the katra of a deceased individual is removed from the mind of the one carrying it, and placed in a suitable vessel. This can be the mind of another, in rare instances a new body, or a katric ark. The intention is to return Sern’s katra to Alieth who will then take him to his ancestral katric ark, or if necessary utilise a small, temporary ark to house him for his return to Vulcan. As he said the last he glanced at Alieth, silently requesting the crystal ark that he’d entrusted to her. It was a small one, only intended to house a single katra temporarily, for transport home. Saveron normally kept it with him in case of disaster. The woman, who up to that point had been discharging part of the bizarre stack of objects off the sled, halted mid-motion, with what seemed like three kilometres of cable struggling to snake out of her arms. Alieth: Commander Teller has been working with the crystal which is why an educated guess is that it must be here ::pointing with her chin towards the sled:: … Somewhere. Had ever one managed to compose an expression of apology and sheepishness by not moving a single muscle on his face, then Alieth achieved that feat at that moment, as she gazed up at her mentor. On the other side of the sledge, the only human in attendance appeared utterly oblivious to the exchange. Teller: Computer, give me a standard engineers workbench, height 70 cm, with a type nine EPS power feed and a standard ODN interface. Tie the whole thing into the ships power grid and data networks. The holodeck shimmered as Geoff began grabbing equipment cases and shifting them to the floor. The visiting Commander watched, perhaps a little bemused, as Teller began to assemble the… contraption. Was this a nervous displacement activity? Saveron: Commander Teller, the Fal-tor-pan is an ancient rite which does not require additional equipment. What is the purpose of… this? He asked again, gesturing to the pile and beginning to doubt Alieth’s assessment of the man’s mental state. Perhaps she couldn’t see the desert for the sandstorm. Alieth: Osu may be a bit non-standard, but I am sure the idea fits, considering Sern's reluctance to leave Geoffrey John. The older Vulcan turned to look at his mentee. Saveron: Is Sern’s reluctance to leave Commander Teller, or to return to yourself? ::He asked, pointedly.:: Alieth: Both. ::The faintest hint of an expression crossed her face briefly before she specified:: Yet mostly the latter. At the same time, Geoff huffed as he shifted another heavy crate off the sled and onto the workbench. He went to grab another but realized he owed their guest an introduction and an explanation. Teller: Commander Saveron... I’m sorry to come off a bit frantic. I’ve probably had enough coffee in the last two days to keep this ship moving for a week. Geoff Teller. ::Geoff offered his hand:: I really appreciate your assistance in this, and I’d be happy to explain what I’ve cooked up here. Normally Saveron didn’t shake hands except with very special friends, being an active touch telepath. But since he was about to be delving into the man’s mind, he decided that the gesture might help to instill a little confidence, so briefly clasped the other man’s hand. It also gave him a momentary impression of the frenetic activity going on in the other man’s head. Saveron: I would appreciate your explanation. ::He said evenly.:: Teller: Ok, so the crystalline structure of these katric arcs is, frankly, pretty amazing. The refractive lattice allows for the creation of a self-sustaining energy matrix...the katra...and it functions great as a durable long term storage medium. But they’re not perfect. The Katra itself has to be in pretty good shape to begin with to be stable in there, and we know that’s not the case with Sern. So think of this as an...upgrade. Saveron listened with a mixture of interest and mild horror. The traditional Vulcan in him held to the sacred ideal of mental discipline and telepathic primacy, whilst the doctor and scientist in him knew that for something to be real and true in this universe it must be detectable and understandable. All else was religious dogma. He did not hold with religious dogma, but that did not mean that this dissection of his people’s most sacred practices did not make him uncomfortable. It would be something to meditate on later. Geoff took the last of the components off the sled and pushed it to the far corner with a foot. Laying spools of cable out for easy access, he cross connected a subspace field emitter he’d pulled from one of their class five probes to a tunnelling quantum resonator he hoped the science lab wouldn’t miss for a few days. The devices began humming and beeping as he slotted in power connections and began self-diagnostics, still connecting more components to a growing pile. The young Vulcan woman nodded as the human in the room work. Likewise, she stepped away from the device that seemed to grow in size and complexity in the middle of the holodeck, just to avoid disturbing or tampering with whatever it was that was being connected. Alieth: ::Slowly:: So this is a kind of ICU for a katra? A system to keep it stabilized and prevent the degradation of one that is in a compromised state? It was certainly a revolutionary solution. Saveron: Fascinating. Teller: I decided to look at the problem like I would with a computer core - Sern’s a subroutine I want to save, but there’s a lot of data corruption, right? This…::Geoff nodded over::...is a katric data recovery system. As you guide Sern into the ark, it’ll be scanning through my brain, finding all the little bits of him that have gotten tangled up and making sure they get transcribed over to the ark. If it works right, he’ll be back to his old self and better than ever. Saveron didn’t think anyone had looked at the problem in quite this way. Mind you, usually there wasn’t this problem in the first place. One of the components sparked and started smoldering. Geoff swatted at it with the hem of his robe. Teller: That’s fine, just...warming up. Speaking of, there is just a...tiny bit of radiation. Not enough to get worried about, but we should probably get some hyronalin shots later...today. The young woman's eyebrows furrowed slightly and, for a moment, she paused in her efforts to untangle a pile of wire from a shiny thing she could not define as anything other than a "thing" from another.... "thing" that had begun to hum faintly. At least it wasn't on fire. If it wasn't supposed to be. Alieth: would not be preferable to do it… before? Saveron: Logical, certainly. Humans; what would they think of next? Teller: Well the thing is I already turned it on….and the half life of some of these isotopes is pretty short. ::Geoff nodded towards a humming cylinder on the floor:: Just try not to stand too close to that glowing part over there. She didn't feel reassured at all, but she couldn't oppose it either. Alieth: I will accept that, then we radiate ourselves and then...? Teller: Anyway, the ark itself slots into that cradle on the workbench. This’ll all run automatically, but if you hear anything start beep/beep/beep’ing three times we should probably get out of the room. ::Geoff coughed awkwardly:: Quickly. Certainly, all that process made sense in a wacky way. In a way that was bordering on lunacy, yet Alieth had learned, over the course of the last year, that unconventional solutions were sometimes not just the only possible option, but the most logical one, no matter how much she vehemently protested against them. On the other hand, Saveron resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, and reminded himself that Commander Teller was understandably extremely nervous, and possibly being pushed by the katra they were trying to retrieve. Saveron: Commander Teller, I appreciate that you are understandably nervous about the procedure, and trusting your mind to an ancient Vulcan rite which, not being a telepath, you cannot fully understand. By the same token, I am sure you would appreciate that I am reluctant to trust my mind to an untested piece of equipment. He gestured to the pile of… stuff. Which was humming, in a slightly worrying way. It was the kind of hum that indicated pent-up energy, just before something exploded. Saveron: However, I appreciate your interest and active participation in this endeavour. The petite doctor glanced first at the tall, pale-eyed Vulcan and then at the not-so-tall ginger human. Somehow a kind of tacit and respectful agreement seemed to have been established between them. Alieth: ::Nodding to herself.::So we have ::she did some quick mental calculations::: ...twelve percent higher success rate. She tilted her head to a side, her expression still mostly controlled, but there was a slight relax in the muscles of her face, a not-at-all-expression somehow more casual. Alieth: It is an improvement... Geoff shrugged and crossed his robe covered arms. Teller: Look, I know how serious this is. This doesn’t work, the odds of me waking up are pretty low, and even if I do…::Geoff shuddered:: I might not be the same person. It’s not something I’ve enjoyed dwelling on. If there’s anything I can do to help, you can bet your ear points I’ll do it. Then, the older Vulcan sighed, ever so slightly. Saveron: Computer, chair. He sat down, bringing himself closer to Geoffrey and Alieth’s heights. Saveron: I understand that much of the recent discussions have been around Sern and his katra, and how to retrieve it. I do not doubt that the importance placed on that by his Clan has had an impact. But, Commander Teller, I want you to understand that that is not why I am here. He spoke, aware that what he was about to say may not go over so well with his mentee. The chair had been created by the holodeck and should’ve been perfectly comfortable, but somehow it was already digging into his back. Teller: You’ve got my undivided attention, Commander. And seeing as how you’ll be wandering around in my brain, I think you can call me Geoff. Saveron: I am here for you. Sern is dead, and as you have observed, his katra partially degraded, likely long before he came into your care. If I can retrieve him then I will, but my focus is the preservation of your mind and mental faculties, and if I have to discard Sern’s katra to preserve your mind, then I will do so. Alieth clenched her jaw but said no word. It was something that she understood could be required, and yet she didn't relish the prospect. For his behalf, Geoff looked to Saveron in surprise and considered raising a protest, but it died on his lips. Teller: I regret to admit I see the logic in your position, Commander. ::Geoff sighed:: It’s what Sern wanted too, and I can’t ignore his wishes in all of this. He never wanted to take me down with him. Still, I want to give the guy a fighting chance. Is there anything else I can do? The woman swallowed her breath and finally found her voice to speak again. Alieth: I would prefer that both could be preserved intact. ::She lowered her head to stare at her hands before continuing:: But in case that is not possible... Geoffrey John's life has priority. Those words stung like salt on an open wound. The need behind them, even more so. Saveron: The only other reassurance that I can offer is this; the Fal-tor-pan is rarely needed on Vulcan, and one High Priestess in a generation might only perform it once in her lifetime. ::When it was utilised for Captain Spock, it had not been used in living memory.:: I have already performed it once, successfully, so am in the unique position of having prior experience. ::Because he hung around with aliens too much.:: What you can do, is trust me. Geoff considered the impassive features of a man he hadn’t met before today, then looked to Alieth, who had brought them all together. Four minds, 3 bodies and an odd collection of technology, drawn from different worlds and vastly different cultures. It was slapdash and desperate and crazy. It was also reassuring, somehow. Teller: I can do that, Commander Saveron. Doc, you got any last minute advice? She took a deep breath and stared at Teller for a while, a moment that thickened rather quickly. When she finally answered, her reply was remarkably specific. Alieth: Give up coffee. Or at least reduce it to less than 250 millilitres a day. Teller: Oh come on, Doc, you can’t be serious. How will that help? A little spark flashed in her eyes. It was a very brief thing, hardly a second, a little more herself there, just as was before all this had happened, before the danger and Sern's silence. Alieth: It will improve your digestion. You may recover part of the parietal cells.::She tilted a head to the side, the glint again in her gaze:: You may even get the amount of sleep stipulated for your age and species. Saveron: She does appear to have your wellbeing in mind… this time. ::He said dryly.:: OK, two on one - and two Vulcan at that - probably wasn’t fair. Geoff smirked and turned his attention to Commander Saveron. Teller: You happen to need a medical officer over there on the Conny? ::Geoff scowled in Alieth’s general troublemaking direction::I think I’ve got one available. Alieth: ::raising an eyebrow:: Really, Geoff... Saveron: In fact our CMO recently went on leave, so we do have a vacancy. She quickly spun around to look at her mentor, the surprise and shock, while not reflected in her features, plain in her attitude. Geoff’s barked out a laugh. For all their claims otherwise, Vulcan’s could have a great sense of humor. Teller: Fine, but I’m putting a pin in this conversation till after we’re done. Alright Doc, Commander. Let's get started. [TBC] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
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