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  1. We have one more job before we say goodbye to the Top Sims Contest forever: Crown the Top Sim for 2017! Please read these three sims carefully before choosing your favorite in the poll above. Voting closes automatically at 23:59 Pacific Time on Sunday, October 15. Set 1 winner: Jalana Rajel & Sal Taybrim, "Captain to Captain" Set 2 winner: Kamela Allison-Parker and T'Lea, "The Gloves are OFF!" Set 3 winner: T'Lea and Della Vetri, "Seven Year Itch" Each of these sims were submitted by a member of the community. A panel of judges, consisting of one judge from each ship, voted on the best sims submitted in each round. The winning sims were then sent to the run-off rounds, where community members like you voted to select the winner for each set. And now, finally, we're voting on which of those set winners is the best sim of 2017. You can see each of the run-off votes here: Run-off round 1 Run-off round 2 Run-off round 3 And you can see all the sims submitted for the 2017 contest in the Hall of Fame archive. FAIRNESS AND VOTING For a vote to win the final round, at least 10% of its votes must come from a ship other than the one the sim was created on. That does not mean that you can't vote for a sim that was originally simmed on your vessel. You just shouldn't vote for a sim from your ship simply because it's by your crew-mate. Instead, choose the sim that you believe is the best written, most engaging, and embodies the principles of good simming that this community values. Your vote in this poll is public so that we can ensure that one ship's crew is not "stuffing the ballot box."
  2. The Top Sims Contest is closing. Our last job is voting to crown the Top Sim of 2017, and after that, the contest will close permanently. But we still want everyone to highlight great sims, which is why we've created the Appreciations forum, where you can post sims without rules or restrictions – and no need to post "complete" sims! Head over to that forum to highlight things you enjoyed reading!
  3. Polling closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Friday, September 15. This is a run-off poll, where our general membership (that's you!) chooses which sim, from Set 3 of 2017 (Rounds 14-20), should proceed to the final round of the contest for a chance to be selected as the Top Sim of 2017! These sims below were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) from the sims submitted in Rounds 14-20 of the contest. TO START, please read these sims: Round 14: Quinn Reynolds, "A Walk On the Shore" Round 15: F.J. Hawkins and Lan Riel, "Labyrinth Of Secrets" Round 16: Taelon, "Next You'll Tell Me They're Radioactive" Round 17: Choi Ji-hu and Colleen Bancroft, "Flashback: A Brief Hacking Diversion" Round 18: Tenaka, "Dreams are but windows to the Future" Round 19: T'Lea and Della Vetri, "Seven Year Itch" Round 20: Della Vetri, "Taking Time for a Good Start" NEXT, using the poll above, vote for the sim you like the most. It should be the sim that's the best written, with strong characterization, and evocative or descriptive scene-setting. DON'T vote for a sim just because you serve on the same crew as the person who wrote it. Any crew that "stuffs the ballot" (by having everyone on the crew vote for the same sim to ensure that it wins this poll) will be eliminated from the contest and shamed by the rest of the community as terrible, terrible cheaters. That would be awful. Good luck to the nominees!
  4. Per the Community News post about the closing of the Top Sims Contest, please note the following: Round 20, 2017 – which closed on Sunday night – is the final submission period for this contest. Run-off Round 3 will open next week, and close approximately a month later by September 15. The final vote – which will pit the winners of 2017 Run-off Rounds 1, 2, and 3 against each other – will be open for 30 days, ending mid-October. You may still post sims in this forum as a way of highlighting great writing of your crewmates. We plan to transition from a contest format to more of a "kudos" format, where we encourage everyone to post great sims in an open and free-form way.
  5. ((Shuttlebay, USS Atlantis)) :: They were checking the code, and at least that put some of their doubts at ease. But they were certainly not a welcoming public, and Olin was a bit frustrated. They openly distrusted his demonstration about the robotic... instinct. Maybe if they were able to run their own experiments with the robots... He looked at the shuttle. There was, of course, their best model. It was technically impressive and totally multipurpose. But a bit too alien for some. :: Olin: Ah, of course. There is a new model I haven't shown you yet. Udro: New model? How does it differ from the ones we have seen? Olin: Not much in the programming, but a lot in structure. This one is multipurpose. Udro: If we may have a quick moment to discuss, we would be happy to see your final product. :: His eyes reduced to a slit, considering whether they had already reached a decision and were just planning how to tell him. But there was little he could do about it either way. :: Olin: Of course, of course. I will get the new model, meanwhile. :: Leaving them to conspire in a small group, Olin went to the shuttle. Labetha was there, playing with something, and Olin doubted for a second. Labetha was an autistic child (well, she was 17, not a child anymore, but anyway). But she was a robotics genius, and had come a great part in designing their current line of robots. Showing her work always had a great impact. But it was a wild card. Let's first show them the base for her work, and then we'll see. :: :: He grabbed a big box and downloaded it from the shuttle. Then two similar ones, and finally a small suitcase, with three spherical components, the size of his fist, together with a PADD for control. Once on the shuttlebay, he opened one of the boxes, which completely retracted. Inside, there was a dense grey mass. It was called Biomechanical Multipurpose Gel. Some company workers called it goo, but the marketing department had made it very clear that nickname had to be kept in private. With it ready, he just waited for the team to approach. :: Udro: What is it? Pond: Wow, that looks cool. Olin: Thanks. I present you the Biomechanical Multipurpose Gel. By itself, it's just a gel with components similar to the ones from the other robots. They have no processors, so don't interpret it as a nanite mass. :: He pulled one of the balls from the suitcase, and showed it to them. :: Olin: Now, this is the processor. You can check the programming later. And with this PADD you can change the basic functions. :: He left the sphere on the gel, and pressed a few commands on the PADD. The ball slowly sank into the gel, and the gel got lit in a brownish pulsating color, looking as a brownish core inside a grey net. After he pressed another command, the gel started to take a humanoid form, one similar to the security robot he had previously showed them. :: Udro: Astounding .. so it could be any of the robots you have shown us? Olin: Correct. Although we do sell this model, most buyers are looking for a particular use. In this case, our other models are more specialized, and cheaper. But we use the multipurpose gel to design them, and then when we see a model we consider practical, we redesign it with more standard pieces. :: He looked at the rest of the group, in case they had further questions. :: Pond: How does it work? Olin: Think of the components of the gel as cells. They can be repurposed on need for specialized functions. So, for example, the ocular components are now working as a receptors, while the external layer has become a hardened surface. Feel free to touch it to check for consistency. Oswald: Interesting, very interesting. Olin: Right now, it has the same programming the security model has. That's the point, using this, you can change the programming in the central processor. :: He pointed at the gel humanoid and entered a few commands. The gel compacted again into a box, and then a small portion of it climbed out in the form of the spiderlike engineering bots. :: Olin: Of course, they are not limited to the current models. And, as this model shows, they are not limited in size. They can walk out leaving part of the element behind. Or several materials can be joined to form a larger one. :: After a few commands, the spider itself walked to the other two boxes, opening them. Then it returned to the central box, which started to crawl towards the other two. Once they were touching each other, the whole mass started to take form. :: Udro: What are the limits of this ability? Olin: Of course, that would depend on your needs. We usually sell one of these boxes, which contains a hundred... litres. A bit over the average volume of a humanoid. :: He struggled for a second trying to remember the right units the Federation used, according to the information he had on them. :: Olin: A single processor can seamlessly control around five hundred litres. We generally don't recommend building robots larger than that, but the programming to do so does exist, and it allows the linking of several processor spheres. Pond: Could we do whatever we want with that gel? Olin: We also sell the tools for limited... reprogramming. That is, to use the gel to design new robots. I am not an expert on that subject, but they basically allow for direct sculpting and programming by assigned body parts. I can ready a demonstration if needed. :: That was the very reason why he took Labetha with him. On that aspect, she was an artist. But maybe they were impressed with what they had seen. :: Udro: Your demonstration thus far speaks for itself. Froid Olin - Taventa Robotics Representative as simmed by Lieutenant E'riQ, son of Lo'PeH - HCO - USS Blackwell, Andaris Task Force PotW facilitator D238701JV0
  6. (( Bridge - USS Thor )) :: Hendon looked over the Medical station and noticed his own readings were off by 10%. He frowned at that he felt great. But his forehead was about to become more wrinkled. When another crew member entered the bridge. Who ever it was their readings did not register.:: EMH Charles: Looking beyond them at Toni:: Madam, I'm EMH Charles the Bridge EMH reporting for duty. Caminos/Pavlova/Waltas: Response :: Toni turned to Hendon's station to her left.:: Turner: Boris, did you enact him? :: But before he could answer, Charles answered.:: EMH Charles: Madam, I'm set to engage at any time the Thor leaves orbit. Hendon: Admiral Turner was talking to me you holographic Jackass!!!! Turner: Alright, Charles, you've reported in, now go stand at the ready near the Turbolift. EMH Charles: As you wish, Madam. :: Turning on his heel, he did as she said.:: Hendon: Admiral......... Turner: Not now, Boris, just report it as glitch number 2 after the power loss to the brig, and we'll have engineering take care of it after the cruise is over. Hendon: Yes Admiral. Anyone: Response(s) :: Was it Hendon's imagination? Or did the bridge EMH gave him a rather sarcastic looking smile. Boris did not like the EMH. How would the rest of the Bridge crew react if the CMO. Gave the bridge EMH a right hook to the head.:: Hendon: oO Ty samodovol'nyy syn sviney Oo :: A thought crossed Hendon's mind. Maybe the clothing problem with the medical EMH. Had not been a personal attack on him from Dr Zimmerman. It was common knowledge the man was a grumpy old goat. Maybe this was his way at getting back at 'Starfleet ' for what they did to the first series of EMH's. Using them for mining duties instead of medics.:: Lcmd Dr Boris Hendon Chief Medical Officer Duronis II Federation Embassy USS Thor Author ID:- W237809SP0
  7. ((Casa Printzyessa, Duronis Embassy)) ::Katya was sitting quietly in her mother’s room, working on a school project, while Jazmine was downstairs watching a holovid. Her mother and stepmother were up playing on the new ship, and for the first time Jazmine was left in charge rather than getting a babysitter or the two girls going to stay with Admiral Turner’s or Major Parker’s families. To Katya it was pretty cool having Jazmine in charge, though not so cool that she still had to do her homework. Math finished, she turned to her history reading, and then her Laudean language homework and finally her science. When finished, she stood up to head down to the kitchen when something caught her attention from the corner of her eye. It was the dented metal box that Irina had dug up four-years-ago when they were first rescued from the Columbia. Katya remembered that trip to Sochi, Russia like it was yesterday even though she wasn’t even five yet at the time, and more than that, even though more than half of her physiological aging had taken place at a vastly reduced rate in a cryostasis tube. The box looked now as it did then; dented, faded and dingy. Sliding the bench from the foot of Irina’s bed over to the closet, Katya climbed up and took hold of the box and then brought it down to the floor where she sat and just looked at it for a few minutes as she tried to decide whether or not to open it. She knew what was inside already. A few trinkets, some old photos, and an old book, Irina’s diary, that only went up to her departure for Starfleet. Her curiosity was getting to her. What was Irina like as a child? What was her family like? What things did she enjoy doing? She knew she wasn’t supposed to look, but she couldn’t help herself and finally opened the lid and took hold of the photos. Irina looked much the same a she did now, only her hair was a shinier yellow/blond instead of the duller blond it usually was now, or the black that she dyed it a few days ago. There were pictures of Irina as a young girl as well, and while her youth was obvious, so too were facial features that were pretty constant from about the age of six. There was a picture of a very young Irina, perhaps 4, smiling as she played the violin. Another of a roughly 10-year-old Irina at a skeet range looking very serious as she stood at the firing line as the only child shooting amongst a group of very serious-looking adults. Another of a teenaged Irina in a bikini smiling with a boy of about the same age as they both held surfboards, and another of a young-looking adult Irina in her 22nd century Marine uniform. Katya thought to herself about what her mother’s life must have been like, and how long ago it really was. In history class she learned that Federation and Klingons had only become allies in the last century, but that picture of Irina was taken more than a century before even that. The amount of time was something that frequently caused Katya to lose herself to her imagination, wondering what it must have been like before replicators were invented and when kids like her didn’t love Klingon food. Katya heard a crash and a bang from downstairs and knew that Jazmine had dropped something. Not hearing any screams, she went back to looking in the box and finally removed Irina’s diary. For a few minutes she just held the old book in her hands, still in its plastic cover, but finally she pulled it out and opened it to the first page.:: ((Diary Entry)) January 5, 2154 Today is my tenth birthday. I clothes (boring) and a full-sized violin that sounds much better than my old 3/4 size, that will go to Anatoli and then eventually to baby Ekaterina. Anatoli is still too small too small for my 3/4 size, but he plays pretty good on the half sized violin that also used to be mine. It still has the glue line from where I dropped it and cracked the back. Mom gave me this book to write in for special days, and a bigger one to write in every day. Since its my birthday, I’m writing in the special one. ((End Entry)) ::Katya flipped through a few more pages and only skimmed as they were pretty boring. She stopped at a longish entry that had to be better than just a list of birthday presents.:: (Diary Entry)) October 7, 2160 Dimitri is finally off his crutches, but he still has the cast on his ankle. At least he gets around a little better and I’m glad he doesn’t blame me, even though the accident was my fault. We rode our bikes down the trail and I could barely avoid the rocks at the speed I was going, and should have known he would keep up instead of slowing to a safer speed. I need to remember he just isn’t that well coordinated. Actually, he’s a total klutz, but he always reminds me that his grades are much higher than mine so I guess its fair. Today we both snuck out of class and into the faculty men’s bathroom where Marco, Pavel and Nadia met us with a big bottle of vodka and half pack of cigarettes. The cigarettes taste terrible and made me cough, but it was fun to smoke them. The vodka was warm, but we got very drunk anyway. Mr. Karatov came in and saw us, smiled, [...]ed and then left without saying a word and I was sure we’d all get busted in seconds, but minutes passed and then we just started drinking and smoking again. I bet he did the same thing when he was our age. I wonder what he’ll say when I come to Russian class tomorrow, or if he’ll just smile. He’s so handsome with his short brown hair and wire-rimmed glasses. ((End Entry)) ::Katya flipped through more of the book and finally decided to read the last entry.:: ((Diary Entry)) July 20, 2169 Tomorrow I ship out on Columbia, and as I close this book, I close my childhood and upbringing with it. Dimitri and I are having dinner tonight and then probably go to a jazz club, and then tomorrow morning he goes back to Camp Pendleton and I report to USS Columbia as Chief Armory Officer. I still can’t believe I was picked for this mission, by the commodore himself, but I will focus on my duties and make sure not to let Commodore Moretti or any of my shipmates down. As the whales said in one of my favorite old books, I now also say to my childhood. “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” ((End Entry)) Katya: Fish? What fish? Katya Pavlova Printzyessa Author ID O238908HA0
  8. ((Starbase 118 - Marine C.I.C.)) ((1 Day After the Columbia's Return)) ::Tyler was sitting at a console in the C.I.C. filing the lengthy mission report in which he had to explain how he'd wound up flying the Columbia. He'd also had to submit a signed affidavit detailing the events surrounding Bomba's dismissal, which he'd happily provided. Fortunately, the Columbia's logs provided enough evidence to keep Bomba out of the center chair for the foreseeable future. It had been touch-and-go there for a minute, but in Tyler's opinion, the mission had been a great success in the end. Considering the state he'd been in for his last couple of missions, his own morale had made massive improvements. He'd gone on a mandatory leave to try and find some way to cope with his trauma and had very nearly found himself discharged by Starfleet Medical when he'd met the man that would help him turn it all around.:: ((Flashback - a few months earlier)) ((Utopia Planitia Support Colony - Starfleet Counseling Offices)) ::Tyler Kelly had served as a Starfleet Officer for the better part of 11 years, he'd never had the chance to set down roots or start a family. Hell, Mirra had been his first steady girlfriend in several years and even that was history now too. All these years of serving the greater good, whatever the hell that was supposed to mean, had served only to get Tyler beaten, scarred and finally marooned in the cold vacuum of space as he watched his own ship die. As he sat in the waiting room to be seen by the Counselor for his mandatory sessions, he leaned back into his chair until his head came to rest on the neutral colored wall behind him. He'd come back to Mars because it was the only place he had any history. His mother, Dana Kelly, still lived and worked there at the Fleet Yards but so far he hadn't been able to bring himself to visit her. Tyler could see her face as if she was standing right in front of him, frowning as she took in his slightly overgrown hair, scraggly beard and generally scruffy appearance. Not to mention the fact she hadn't yet seen the 3 parallel claw marks running down the left side of his face where an enraged Gorn had given him a little love tap. No, instead he spent his leave staying in uncomfortable barracks-housing and drinking too much nearly every night just so he could sleep. Tyler didn't know it, but things were about to turn around that day. Not in the counselor's office, but there, in the waiting room.:: Man: Son, you look like something the Targ dragged in. ::Tyler sat up a bit straighter as his eyes found the only other person in the waiting room that morning. He was an older man with a thick neck, square jaw and a head of close cropped silver hair. He seemed like the kind of man that had seen it all and didn't like most of it. Tyler, already aware of his rough appearance, he didn't really feel like discussing it.:: Kelly: Thanks. ::He leaned his head back against the wall.:: I hadn't noticed. ::Despite Tyler's attempt to disengage from the conversation, the man, who looked like someone's tough old grandpa crossed the room and took the seat immediately adjacent to his. Annoyed, Tyler adjusted in his seat as the man turned towards him, clearly intent on continuing the conversation.:: Man: So what's your problem? ::He narrowed his eyes curiously as he prodded.:: You're obviously Starfleet or you wouldn't be here. D'you lose some buddies? Get your [...] kicked? Tortured? ::At first Tyler was caught off guard by the man's indelicate approach, but really he preferred it to the light-handed track the counselors took. Still, he had no idea who this grizzled old grump was or why he was talking to him. He just wanted to get the mandatory counselling session over with so he could get on with his day, not chat it up with strangers.:: Kelly: I don't know, uh... ::He shook his head in confused annoyance.:: All of the above, I guess. ::He paused::...Do I know you or something? ::If the man was put-off by Tyler's attitude, he didn't let it show. He simply sat up a bit straighter, puffed out his chest a little and fixed Tyler with a proud little expression that hinted that he'd been waiting for him to ask that question.:: Man: Colonel Roderick Holland, SFMC retired. ::He chuckled in his grizzled way.:: Well, as retired as a Marine can ever be, that is. ::His gaze found Tyler's:: And I'm here, Commander Kelly, because I've been down in the same hole you're in now and I'm going to tell you how to climb out of it. ::The Colonel had used his name without Tyler ever mentioning it, it was becoming clear that his being her was no coincidence. He just wondered why he was here, and what he'd have to do to bring this strange encounter to a close.:: Kelly: Look, Colonel Holland, I don't know what you think you know about me but let me save you some trouble. ::He felt the same anger and frustration brewing that had driven away everyone who tried to help.:: I'm done. I've given my whole damn life to the fleet and what do I have to show for it? Nothing. I've got no family, what friends I do make get lost to transfer or killed, and there's no place in this god forsaken galaxy that feels like home. ::He fixed the Colonel with an icy glare.:: No, all I've gotten are a bunch of scars, ghosts that won't let me sleep and an extremely vivid memory of what it feels like to freeze to death in a frakking vacuum. ::The older man waited patiently for the tirade to end, a look that was suspiciously close to amusement playing across his face. He pulled a small worn shoulder patch from the pocket of his civilian jacket with a picture of a Galaxy Class ship and the name U.S.S. Cairo emblazoned on it. It looked to Tyler like it had been cut off an older EV suit, judging by the tattered remnants of fabric still clinging to the edges. The name didn't ring any bells, but he could tell by the reverential way the old Marine handled the patch that it held some great meaning to him.:: Holland: I have a feeling I know more about you than you know about yourself, Mister Kelly. ::He shook the patch:: U.S.S. Cairo. We got ambushed by the Dominion patrolling the Cardie border back in '74. Lost with all hands... well, almost. ::He stared past Tyler, obviously remembering events long passed.:: I was a Security Officer, like you, and it was pure dumb luck that I happened to be preparing to run an EVA drill in the shuttle bay. When the ship got hit the force field went down and I got sucked out with an extra canister of o2 in my hands. ::He stuffed the patch back in his pocket.:: I guess the baddies missed me in the wreckage, I floated for a full day before my suit put me under. Woke up half frozen on a Romulan Warbird. ::Tyler eyed the Colonel cautiously, he'd never heard this story, but he had no reason not to believe him. As the old veteran relived his experience Tyler could see flashes of himself in the Marine's eyes. He still didn't know how he was planning on helping him, but Tyler decided the man had earned his attention.:: Kelly: ::Leaning forward slightly, interested against his will.:: Then what happened? ::Holland waved his hand in Tyler's direction and gave another gruff chuckle.:: Holland: I went through all of this too. ::He patted Tyler on the shoulder with a sad smile.:: I think every man, men like us anyway, is born with the notion that they if they wanted it bad enough, they could be invincible. That if we just trained a bit harder and planned a little better than the rest, we could never possibly die. Then we survive a few crazy missions and it just reinforces the notion that we just might be un-killable by virtue of our own bad-assery. ::He glanced down at his hands then back up to Tyler:: Then we are confronted with something like this and our brains aren't conditioned to handle it; no amount of planning or training can save you when you're in freefall in the cold, dark, infinite expanse. You realize that the indestructible self-image you've created, the legend you've built for yourself to cling to when times get tough is, was, and always will be a complete fallacy. ::He let out a sigh.:: And it hurts. ::Tyler felt his face go red as a wave of embarrassment washed over him. He was never the type to share his feelings openly, but this man he didn't even know had just cracked open his head and poured it's contents out on the small coffee table in front of them. It was true, all of it. He was scared of dying, afraid to let his crew down again and terrified of space itself. Tyler felt like he had a lump in his throat the size of a hand grenade.:: Kelly: I... well...::He gave up on words and nodded slowly:: ::Holland stared at the broken man in the wrinkled gold uniform across from him with the sympathy of someone who had been in this exact place so many years ago. Carefully he began the same pitch given to him by another old Marine just like he was now.:: Holland: You're not a lost cause. The things you have done have mattered. ::He pulled a small PADD from an interior coat pocket.:: You want a family? I can give you as many brothers and sisters as you could ever hope for and you will love them like they were your own flesh and blood. I can give you another chance. You will never be invincible, but I can make you a part of something that is. ::The older man pushed the PADD into Tyler's hands and he glanced at what it was. He saw that it was the necessary paperwork for him to transfer from Starfleet Security to the Starfleet Marine Corps and it was already approved, awaiting only his signature. Tyler brought his gaze up to find Holland watching him expectantly, he knew the Marine had pulled some serious strings to get this done before Tyler scrubbed out of the Fleet completely. It was all pending his successful completion of the grueling Starfleet Marine Basic School, but the fact that Tyler found himself considering it, rather than brushing it off and retreating to the nearest bar like usual, was promising. He gazed at Holland with all the desperation of a man at the end of his rope.:: Kelly: Did it work? ::The old marine smiled and [...]ed his head to the side slightly.:: Holland: You think I'd be here if it didn't? ::He paused to let the words sink in.:: Come on Mister Kelly, lets go make you presentable. ::Surprisingly, Tyler rose from his chair and followed the man out the door.:: ((END FLASHBACK)) ((Starbase 118 - Marine C.I.C.)) ::Tyler was shaken from his memory by the voice of the Bajoran Second Lieutenant he'd met back in the Columbia's Brig.:: Torok: Major. ::She waited for him to look her direction.:: You're needed in holodeck 4 to oversee the Orbital Drop Quals, Sir. ::He rose from his console as he fixed her with a quick smile and nod.:: Kelly: Thank you Lieutenant. ::He kept his smile as he made his way to the holodeck, wondering what Colonel Roderick Holland was doing now, wherever he was.:: ======//////======> Major Tyler Kelly Marine Officer Sb118 Ops O238811CD0
  9. ((Outside of New Macau, Antor II, in a mine.. under a bunch of rocks)) oO Ow.Oo :: Her first thought on awakening.. it was immediately followed by.. :: oO Danni's going to kill me.. Oo :: Despite the pressure on most of her body, the pain of multiple rocks attempting to become one with her body, and the possibility of being buried alive, she couldn't stop the momentary grin at her next thought. :: oO But only if she finds out. Oo :: She opened her eyes slowly, glad for the light and hum of the force field above her head. Apparently she'd been at least partially successful in throwing herself to it, though the throbbing in her head said she hadn't been perfectly so. She closed her eyes, waiting for the pain to pass.. when she heard voices nearby. :: Voice 1: And I'm telling you we don't NEED to move at all now. They tripped the trap and "proved" this mine is unstable. Heck, they'll probably fall back to the refugee camp mentality after this. :: Even with her head still feeling like she'd just barely survived a killer party the night before, she forced herself to lie still and listen. Both voices were male, that was something... :: Voice 2: We got lucky is what I'm saying. And see this force field? It's not like Starfleet is going to forget about that. Or her! :: "Her" which likely meant Thorin was further trapped in the rubble somewhere. Or hopefully had gotten out entirely. :: Voice 1: Take a look at this. If they had a stronger reactor, this would easily hold the weight. But as it is? It's going to die out in not that long. And when it does? The rest of this area will collapse. Even if she eventually wakes up.. which from the bleeding on the back of her head seems unlikely.. oO Wait! I'm bleeding? Oo Voice 1: ... the rest of this will crush her. No mess, no fuss. Meanwhile, Blackhurst is going to be having to deal with people hearing that Starfleet can't help them. Come to think of it, having some news crews present and recording as the broken bodies come out would be a crushing blow. oO This doesn't sound like Jilor's work at all.. Oo Voice 2: Wait! I think she moved. :: Luna felt a barrel pushed up against her head. She forced herself to remain limp, despite the agony that rolled through her. A ragged moan slipping out between her lips. :: Voice 2: She's alive! We need to kill her now.. what if she tells someone! :: The voices at this point seemed to fade in the distance behind the pain. She knew they were close because she could feel the weapon.. and feel it knocked away...rocking her head back slightly and sending the world spinning. :: oO Come back here.. I'll vomit all over your legs Oo Voice 2: Ow! What was that for? You said she was going to be dead soon anyway.. I'm just making sure. Voice 1: What are you, stupid?!? If the ceiling falls on her, they may suspect sabotage.. but they can't prove it. Even if they do, it's a trap laid. but if they find any part of her missing... like from a disrupter... they are going to know someone was here.. and look around! Voice 2: :: Petulantly:: Still no reason to hit me. What if I take a rock and bash her head in then.. will that work? oO Ok.. We have a daughter. She went back into the past to save Danni. This can't be the end for me.. otherwise she'd be here. Stay calm.. Oo :: She fought back the seemingly rational voice that pointed to temporal fluctuations, the possibility of a Q showing up to bring her back later.. or a host of other increasingly unlikely scenarios. Panic wouldn't help... yet. :: Voice 1: No.. too risky. Besides.. that rock there? As soon as the force field fails.. even for a moment.. that's going to fall perfectly without us doing anything. :: His voice took on a note of concern:: In fact, let's just leave to the deeper levels now.. no sense in risking being caught. And once we hear the collapse, we can move onto the next phase of the plan. Voice 2: :: Excited:: Finally! We'll see some action. And won't they be surprised when... oO When what?!? Oo :: Luna tried to focus, but the pain from her head shifting was intense enough to send her back down into the black for a long moment.. :: James: Really? I let you leave for not even ten minutes, and you just lie down? :: Luna blearily opened her eyes, half expecting to see her wife standing there. Instead... she remained alone. :: Walker: Figment.. right.. :: She closed her eyes again:: g'night fiment.. just need a couple minutes... James: Figment am I? :: She paused for a moment:: Well maybe I am... But that doesn't change things.. you need to move! Walker: You may have noticed the rock formation on my back. I'm a miracle worker.. but even I can't move mountains. James: What? Is the mighty Luna Walker admitting she can't do something? Giving up and allowing one of her engineers to die because of a pebble or two? :: Her head really hurt.. but the words echoed in her head:: Walker: Wait. what? Pebbles? I'm not positive that there isn't light coming in from above.. James: Drama queen. you know the first level of this mine wasn't more than a dozen feet below the surface. This is the area that they'd bring inspectors down to prove safe conditions. and since we can't see light.. that means that you have at most ten feet of rock on you.. likely much less. Walker: Yay me? :: Further proof that this Danni was a figment, despite not being able to see her.. she still knew that her eyes were rolling:: James: Wow.. you are pretty dim right now. It means that if you can wriggle yourself free.. you can get loose.. and get to the force field controls. Holding all of this up might be too much... Walker: ... but reducing the area will keep it going longer. :: The half romulan was likely concussed, and she didn't want to know what condition the rest of her body was in, though "thankfully" she was still receiving pains. so there wasn't loss of sensation. But real or not, "Danni" had made her point. Lying here was simply waiting for death. It took longer than she wanted, but she managed to slowly work her arms free of the rubble without disturbing it. And by stretching as much as she could... she was just short of the controls. After a brief nap.. or passing out in reality.. she tried again. Slowly pulling her body forward until she reached the controls. Her celebration was cut short by the sound of rubble shifting behind her..and the white hot pain suddenly radiating from her lower leg. :: Walker: Don't pass out. can't pass out.. don't.. pass out.. :: The world greyed around her, everything focusing down to the controls in her hands. She kept chanting her mantra, unable to do anything more for awhile.. Finally, she managed to make the adjustments she needed. More rubble fell in front of her, but the generator no longer drained as quickly. :: Walker: Come on guys.. if there was ever a time to impress the boss.... (TBC) Lieutenant Commander Luna Walker Chief Engineer, USS Veritas I238010BW
  10. (( Isanapura - San Francisco District)) ((Lunchtime - The day after the Columbia’s return)) :: Before Gazkra could respond, the waitress returned with her drink and set it before Gaz. Gazkra took a sip of her tea, wrinkling her face for a moment and then took another sip.:: Gazkra: Huh. Not bad. Kasun: It it a bit different from what you’re used to. ::Gaz looked up, taking in the station around them. Stuff still wasn’t quite back to normal, whatever normal was. Not having someone nearly destroy the station?:: Gazkra: Still feels weird having all of us assigned here. Not that it’s bad, just- Kasun: Almost like fate? Gazkra: Yeah. Universe as big as it is and we all wind up here. Kind of like the place though. Bet a ship wouldn’t have much Klingon food either. Kasun: It would probably depend on the ship. If they had a decently sized population of Klingon’s the cafeteria would probably provide decent Klingon food. Gazkra: ::tapping her hand on the table.:: Wouldn’t know. Kasun: I’m guessing. :: Shrug:: Ops has been my only posting so far. Gazkra: Same. Wasn’t too surprised; they don’t stick Marines everywhere. Kasun: My training was specifically tailored for a posting on a starbase or embassy, so I doubt I’ll ever be assigned to a ship unless I move up into command. :: Which she wasn’t certain she wanted to do at this point. Best to get the Crisis Response program firmly established first. :: ::Gaz took a swig from her tea. Wasn’t bad, might even have been growing on her.:: Gazkra: What sort of training was that? Not the usual security stuff then. Kasun: No. Starfleet wanted to start up a new security department to handle crisis cases and felt my background made me a good fit for Crisis Response. Gazkra: Huh. Haven’t heard much about crisis response. ::another swig:: Seems like they see enough of them here though Kasun: :: The corner of Ishani’s smile twitched but stayed upward. :: Indeed. Hence why the pilot unit was started here rather than another base. Gazkra: Good to know we have you on it. Hope they won’t keep you too busy. Kasun: :: Ishani laughed. :: Unfortunately I have faint hope for that. We now have a new group of ex slaves to rehabilitate so not busy isn’t going to happen any time soon. ::That was when the server came back, two bowls set atop the tray in her hand. Gaz leaned back in her chair, taking a look at the food. She hadn’t been quite sure what it’d be like, but this seemed...alright? Always felt weird seeing noodles instead of gagh though. Ishani inhaled deeply, taking in the mouth watering aromas as the waitress placed two chinese soup spoons and sets of porcelain chopsticks next to their bowls. This particular curry was quite soupy and used khanom chin rice noodles rather than rice. :: Gazkra: That smells good. So uhh...any trick to eating it? Kasun: :: Picking her own chopsticks. :: Have you ever used chopsticks before? ::Gazkra stared at the sticks...weapons? They weren’t familiar.:: Gazkra: No. What are chopsticks? Kasun: We can get you a fork then. :: She looked at the waitress questioningly who nodded in acknowledgement. :: Waitress: That will be no problem. Gazkra: Can’t use my hands? :: Both Ishani and the waitress blanched at the suggestion. :: Kasun: That’s not a good idea with this dish. Waitress: Yes, it’s far too spicy. I will be right back with your fork. :: If their was a hint of ‘and it’s bad table manners in their tone it was because there was’. While some Thai and Laos dishes could be and were eaten using only your hands, noodle dishes, especially spicy, soupy noodle dishes, were not one of them. :: Gazkra: ::eyeing her meal uncertainly:: That mean drinking it from the bowl’s out too? Kasun: I would try a little bit of the broth first before you make your decision. :: She scooped up a little bit up with her own spoon and sipped in demonstration. The wonderful burn of the red savina peppers mixed wonderfully with the rest of the curry paste’s spices and coconut milk, leaving her mouth both watering in delight and to dilute the peppers’ capsaicin. :: Gazkra: ::Gaz picked up the spoon, holding it awkwardly before scooping up a bit of the broth and taking a sip.:: Not bad. Most of the human food I’ve tried is kind of bland. Kasun: It was named Volcano curry for a reason. :: She grabbed a clump of noodles with her chopsticks and slurped them up. :: Gazkra: ::she gulped down some noodles, then swallowed.:: Is good. Kasun: I’m glad you like them. :: She smiled and picked up a bit of pepper and duck and popped them in her mouth. :: ::Having taken too big of a bite, Gaz paused a bit til she’d swallowed again.:: Gazkra: Yeah, drinking it would have been a bad idea. Kasun: :: Laughing :: Indeed. You don’t need to show off how tough you are for me. Gazkra: ::grinning:: You’re not a Marine, I don’t have to play tough. Kasun: ::Teasingly:: Oh? Perhaps I should let Kro know that you only play tough around the Marines? ::Gaz froze at that, spoon held halfway between the bowl and her mouth.:: Gazkra: Hey, don’t tell Kro I said that! Kasun: :: Smiling:: Fine, fine. I won’t tell Kro. Gazkra: ::she relaxed a little before setting her spoon down:: So, there any other siblings I should know about? Kasun: Well, you’re the third one I’ve ever met so I don’t have a whole lot to say. Gazkra: Third? That’s...a lot. Kasun: Well there’s Taelon of course. I assume Mirra told you about him too? ::Gaz just nodded, her mouth a bit too full of curry to speak.:: Kasun: Yes well he’s very... :: she paused trying to find the right words :: young and uncertain in himself. Gazkra: Isn’t he like...twenty years older than me? ::She took another bite of curry. Wasn’t like she’d talked to the Science nerd much.:: Kasun: He’s full El Aurian, so unlike you he’s not a full adult biologically or culturally despite his chronological age. Gazkra: Oh. Huh. :: Didn’t seem like the moment to ask if that meant she’d age weird. Plus, more curry.:: Kasun: Jian Kuan Yuen is the other one. He’s a Federal Security Investigator so you might end up meeting him sometime through work. Gazkra: ::setting down her spoon.:: That how you met him? Kasun: No. Our first meeting was rather... awkward. :: And she really didn’t want to get into why. :: His job keeps him busy so we mostly only talk occasionally. I imagine he’d be interested in meeting you, he’s been wanting to come out to meet Taelon at some point so having you both here will probably be more encouragement. Gazkra: I’d like that. Still trying to figure out all of this. Kasun: He’d be able to tell you more actually. Jian’s made contact with several of our siblings over the years since we’d first met. Gazkra: ::she paused, looking off into the distance before glancing back to Ishani.:: That’d be nice. I think. Kasun: I can certainly message him and ask if he has time to talk to you and then let you know what he says. ::Gaz slid her chair back from the table, realizing the time.:: Gazkra: I should probably get back to work. They’ve been keeping us busy cleaning up after Captain Hair Gel. :: Ishani watched as Gaz pushed back from the table, smirking at the nickname for their not so dearly departed ex CO. :: Kasun: Understandable. :: She sighed. :: The marines aren’t the only ones stuck with cleaning up his mess. ::Gaz nodded. Seemed like half the station was playing clean-up. Or trying to fix the transporters.:: Gazkra: And, uh, thanks for the info. Kasun: :: Ishani smiled at Gaz. :: You’re welcome. ------------------------------ Lieutenant JG Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0 & PNPC Gazkra Starbase 118 Marine ~Written by~ Lieutenant Aitas Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239307A10
  11. (( Isanapura - San Francisco District)) ((Lunchtime - The day after the Columbia’s return)) :: It was a time of families it seemed. Her father and Maxwell’s father were visiting, Aitas had been reunited with her father after far, far too long, and she and Taelon had another sibling on the station that none of them knew they were related to each other, even her father. Gazkra had contacted her less than an hour before she she had been due at their ex-Captain’s first briefing and, given the subject matter, Ishani had to unfortunately beg off meeting her immediately much to, she hopped, both their disappointments. At the very least she had been able to point the girl at their father in the meantime. Hopefully that had gone well. Ishani sipped on her Thai iced tea while she waited for her newly discovered sister to appear. She had chosen Isanapura mostly out of a lack of options, she wasn’t the biggest fan of Klingon food and Ishani doubted her usual go to lunch options of soup and salad would be enjoyable for the half Klingon.:: ::Gazkra stepped into the restaurant a bit nervously; wrinkling her nose up at the sight of all of it. Her visit with Jakarn hadn’t gone badly, but it also hadn’t provided much information on her siblings. And with the mess around the Orion dreadnaught, she’d not exactly had a chance to ask Kro either. So she strode up to the table, her posture as stiff as if she were wearing her dress uniform. Maybe a little stiffer.:: Gazkra: Kasun? Kasun: :: Standing up :: It’s good to finally meet you. :: She gave the girl what she hoped was a reassuring smile. :: ::Gaz just stood there for a moment before she remembered to smile. It might have been a little bit toothy, but it was at least a smile.:: Gazkra: Uhh...thanks. Jakarn-Dad didn’t tell me much. ::She sat down, still a bit stiff.:: Kasun: :: She gave a loud sigh and sunk back into her chair. :: Yeah he wouldn’t. I usually have to pry things out of him. Gazkra: He did say my mom pulled him from a...trash bin? Didn’t get far before Major Tatash wanted to talk to him. Kasun: :: She let out a laugh. :: Really? Seems to be a theme then. Gazkra: He seemed to think he might be arrested. Don’t know why. Kasun: :: Smiling:: Mom caught Dad trying to get into an area in the docks that civilians weren’t allowed into. Gazkra: ::Gaz let out a sharp laugh at that:: Sounds like he does that sort of thing a lot. Kasun: It does seem to be his thing. ::Gazkra paused, looking at the place around them.:: Gazkra: Ummm...any recommendations on food? And he didn’t get arrested. I think. Kasun: Oh I doubt it. :: smirking. :: I would have heard about it if he had. And I would recommend the larb khua mu or any of the curries are good if you like your food spicy. :: Which Ishani definitely did. :: Gazkra: Can’t say I’m going to turn down a challenge. ::a shrug, as she gave Ishani a curious look.:: Didn’t take you as that type, to be honest. Kasun: I love spicy food, I always have. I’m getting their extra spicy red curry that they make with red savina habaneros. :: Her mouth was watering just thinking about it. :: Gazkra: Huh. Kro didn’t mention that. Don’t think I’ve ever had a habanero though. ::It sounded like some sort of small animal, right? Angry one? Maybe.:: Kasun: I doubt it would have come up given the circumstances. :: Ishani’s smile widened at the mention of her boyfriend. :: And you’d remember if you have, they're not the hottest chili pepper out there but they among the hottest of the popular chilies. ::Gaz nodded, pretending that she knew what a pepper was. Or a chili pepper. Some human thing, probably?:: Kasun: Is Kro the only one to tell you non mission or training related information? ::That prompted a grin. Gazkra might not have been the most subtle sort, but she could still manage a few things.:: Gazkra: Other Marines do tell me things. Sometimes have to beat them at arm-wrestling first though. Kasun: Oh? Is that because you like arm wrestling or because the marines have a habit of withholding information. :: Ishani suspected it was the former over the latter:: Gazkra: Hey, Kro started the arm wrestling. ::grinning:: Challenged a group of Klingons to it and then made me stand in for him. Kasun: ::laughing: Really? Doesn’t sound like him. Gazkra: Wasn’t about to let him forget it. Kasun: I doubt he would. ::Gazkra looked down to the menu again. It all looked...confusing. Worse things than spicy though.:: Gazkra: Guess I’ll try whatever you’re having. Can’t be backing down on that. Kasun: ::Laughs :: You might regret that later then. :: Ishani waived to catch the attention of one of the waiters, a young human woman, to come over and take their order. :: Waitress: Are you ready to order? Kasun: Yes, I’d like the Volcano Red Curry with duck. :: After the waitress recorded Ishani’s order she turned to Gazkra expectantly. :: Gazkra: Same for me. ::She had to admit, volcano sounded tough. But no point backing up now. Backing out? Gaz looked over to her sister (sister felt weird) with a grin.:: Waitress: And anything to drink? ::The grin faded.:: Gazkra: I...uh... Kasun: The Thai iced tea is good. :: She held up her drink as an illustration. :: Gazkra: ::relieved:: Yeah, that. :: After the waitress left with their orders Ishani took another sip of her tea before speaking. :: Kasun: So why did you chose Starfleet over the Klingon forces if you don’t mind me asking? Gazkra: Wanted to see the galaxy, I guess. Met a few Marines when I was younger and all that. ::shrugging:: Didn’t seem too odd at the time, I guess. Kasun: You aren’t the only half Klingon I’ve met. Most of them tended to prefer joining the Klingon Defense Force if they decide to pursue a military career over Starfleet. :: She purposefully left out that most of those Klingon hybrids had been her patients. :: Gazkra: Huh. ::she rubbed a hand across her ridged forehead:: Seems like I saw plenty of Klingon space already. Mom’s work took us lots of places. Kasun: Oh? What did she do? Gazkra: Cargo ship. Mostly gagh these days since they got the refrigeration updated. Kasun: Sounds like she’s quite successful. ::Gaz set her hands down on the table and leaned forward.:: Gazkra: So, why’d you join up? Kasun: ::Ishani raised an eyebrow at Gazkra’s aggressive body language. :: I wanted a change from what I’d been doing. . ::Gaz leaned back a little, her expression curious.:: Gazkra: What you’d been doing? Kasun: I’d been a psychiatrist for 60 years and I was getting bored with it all so I wanted to do something different. Gazkra: Long-[...] time, that. Why Starfleet, though? That’s a whole lot of excitement. Kasun: :: Shrug:: My mother had been in Starfleet her entire life and I’d grown up surrounded by Starfleet so I knew what I was getting into as far as the lifestyle. Gazkra: ::she nodded, tapping one hand on the table as she did so.:: Smart. Bet you had plenty of options, though. Kasun: :: The corner of her lip quirked upward. :: It was far more attractive than going back to college for another degree or becoming a professor. ---------------------------------------------------------- Lieutenant JG Ishani Kasun MD, PhD Crisis Response Unit Starbase 118 Ops O239306IK0 & PNPC Gazkra Starbase 118 Marine ~Written by~ Lieutenant Aitas Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops O239307A10
  12. ((Embassy, Kainga Ranch)) T’Lea: So what exactly happened? Was the reassignment voluntary, or because of that. :: Her gesture at the cane conveyed a lot of meaning, and Della’s first answer was an ambivalent shrug – though she followed up with more right away.:: Vetri: I’m beached from command duties until I’m back up to spec physically. Because of that, I’d lost the Tiger at least for a while. Since that was the case, I threw a temper tantrum or two until they decided to give me my old job here back. I believe the reasoning was “since you’ve not managed to start any wars out there, we’ll send you back before you manage it *here* instead”. T’Lea: T’Lea: How’s rehab? You’re making good progress, right? How long do you think it will be before you get back out there? Vetri: Lilyali, nobody can guess how long, if ever, it’s going to take before I’m fixed. You may be able to think of a reason I’d stay away from here if I had the chance to come back, but I’ll bet a shower with the babysitter you can’t name a second. :: Though given the nature of the babysitter/bodyguard/malodorous piece of mobile scenery in question, she doubted T’Lea would be all that eager to take her up on the wager.:: T’Lea: ::chuckle:: Frak that. :: She paused, stopping walking for a moment.:: T’Lea: You have to be [...]ed leaving your ship behind like this. You worked hard to get that seat, Della. Vetri: ::shrugging:: Yeah, I enjoyed the work. But I enjoyed working here, too, and this way, I get to be with you. :: Which may not have been the most sappily romantic thing she could have said, but then she didn’t *need* to say it. The emotions the Romu-vulc would be able to feel over their bond did that for her.:: Vetri: Are “Qoots” meant to be able to dig under the walls of their enclosure? I’m just asking because one seems to be trying it to get at our daughter’s feet. T’Lea: Hey! Get back in there you little jerk! :: An outburst which, predictably enough, was ignored by the critter and sent T’Sara off into gales of laughter. The rest of the tour was a bit delayed until all that got sorted out, but that was fine with Della – she was hardly going to complain about getting *more* time with her family, after all...:: :: Even if her hip did ache really rather a lot by the time they returned to the cabin and unpacked the remainder of T’Sara’s assorted birthday loot.:: ((Fast Forward, Porch)) :: T’Sara had staked her claim to the couch by a very simple method – she’d flopped face-down on it and started snoring, the energy boost of the treats she’d gorged on departing in a rush that had left her basically dead to the world.:: :: For her parents, this was actually a good thing, since the girl had done her level best to run them totally ragged before conking out, and now Della and T’Lea were relaxing on the porch swing, the Romu-vulc with a blanket around her shoulders, the Trill laid out with her feet resting in her wife’s lap.:: :: All in all, not a bad evening at all, especially since T’Lea had made no effort – apart from claiming the right to deliver a foot-rub – to dispute the Trill’s territorial claim to the swing.:: T’Lea: This is going to sound selfish, but… I don’t care how or why you’re back. I’m just glad you are. Vetri: ::smiling softly:: You’re not the only one, lilyali. I’m pretty much right there with you. T’Lea: If it looks like your leg is getting well enough to sit in the Captain’s seat again, I’m of good mind to break your other one. :: Della opened her mouth to reply, then closed it, then shook her head with a wry chuckle.:: Vetri: A little excessive, don’t you think? T’Lea: What can I say, you married a evil [...]. Vetri: ::muttering:: Don’t I know it... :: The pair settled into companionable silence for a while, only the quiet creaking of the swing competing with Til’ahn’s evening soundtrack, and Della let herself simply wallow in the moment. She’d *missed* this, and had difficulty remembering why she’d thought it had been a good idea to leave it in the first place.:: :: The feel of a thumb running across the arch of her foot had one Trill eye opening and aiming itself T’Lea’s way. At which point it’s owner was in no way surprised to see the smirk on the other woman’s face.:: T’Lea: Did you hear? Toni’s pregnant. Again. Vetri: Oh? No, that one was news to me. ::falling silent for a moment:: Is Tyr on any sort of special vitamins or something? T’Lea: Frelling humans. They’re worse than tribbles. Although… I wouldn’t mind getting you pregnant at some point. :: That comment didn’t so much as come from left field as from an entirely different sport altogether, catching Della totally off-guard. Reduced to little more than confused blinking as she tried to process what she’d just heard, it took the Trill far too long to form a response that was even close to coherent.:: Vetri: Huh? T’Lea: Hey, I carried the last one. Your turn. Vetri: Yeah, I get that, but... huh? T’Lea: Seriously though, I’m ready when you are… :: She left it hanging, starting a slow massage of Della’s other foot, and the Trill got to work trying to wrap her head around the concept.:: :: She wasn’t *against* it, certainly. She’d just never really *thought* about it all that seriously. Especially since it would require some rather involved – and thoroughly unromantic – activity to make it happen. There was no Mr. One to take care of the logistics this time.:: :: Which reminded her, she still owed that creep a very thorough fonging...:: T’Lea: Oh, uh… probably not good a time to bring this up, however… Vetri: Please. :: She waved a hand for T’Lea to continue, glad for the distraction.:: T’Lea: T’Sara’s imaginary friend, Uncle Mo… she’s been using him as an excuse to dismantle and build things like gravity slingshots. We finally had a talk about Mo. :: Okay, this was *definitely* worth paying attention to, and Della sat up a bit as she listened.:: Vetri: Anything useful? T’Lea: Not much. He seems to show up mostly when I’m on mission. Funny thing though… she said I've met Mo before. Weird right? Vetri: ::frowning thoughtfully:: A bit, yeah. But it could simply be due to the fact that neither of us were here at that sort of time. T’Lea: Probably. At least it’s out in the open now and we can talk about it. Maybe since you’re back she won’t feel the need to fill the void. Vetri: ::nodding firmly:: That’s the plan, certainly. :: A creak from the door had them both looking that way, and they watched as T’Sara, resplendent in PJs and sparkly pink riding boots, emerged onto the porch, rubbing her eyes as she came.:: T’Sara: Oh. Phew. I thoughted you leaved me without saying g’bye. Vetri: I’m not leaving at all, nugglet. Though I am getting up. :: She shot a glance to T’Lea, followed by a nod of thanks as her feet were released, then carefully got herself to her feet and snagged her cane.:: Vetri: I have a confession to make, though. I forgot where your bedroom is. Mind showing me? :: The little girl thought it over for a moment, then shrugged.:: T’Sara: ‘Kay. Vetri: ::to T’Lea:: ~~ And if anyone interrupts me tucking my daughter in, they’d best be wearing body armour. ~~ ((Morning, Kitchen)) :: A luxurious lie-in, a long, sumptuous breakfast, some more time spent puttering about the ranch to get good and familiar with it, chasing Ceedel off from the garden before he killed it with his proximity... all had been ingredients to a great first morning back on Til’ahn.:: :: Okay, she could have lived without the last one, but overall the effect was the same.:: :: Now, though, she was back on the porch swing, sipping at some coffee and watching T’Sara attempt to build the present Gina had sent the plans and replicator patterns for, whilst T’Lea muttered to herself as she looked over whatever it was on the padd she was holding.:: Turner: =/\= I hated to bother you two during shore leave, but I'd like to meet with you both on the Thor in about an hour? We could have lunch in the Captain's Mess if you're up to it. =/\= :: With a mouth full of coffee, Della wasn’t exactly in the best position to respond to the call, which meant it was down to T’Lea to do it.:: T'Lea: =/\= No bother. I’m looking forward to it. =/\= Vetri: ::swallowing quickly:: =/\= We may as well get the “showing off her new toy” thing out of the way, I guess. Uh... is this invite *just* for T’Lea and myself? =/\= :: The implication being that she would prefer that it wasn’t.:: Turner: ::smiling:: =/\= Of course, T'Sara can come. Knowing her, she'll be more excited to see the ship than you are. =/\= :: Which was true enough. The general call that went out shortly afterward was noted as well, but was of less interest to Della than wondering where her cane had gone.:: T’Lea: You feeling up for another walk about? Vetri: Hey, if she wants to give us a tour, I’m not going to complain. Especially if there’s free food too. T’Lea: Then get your lazy [...] up, and let’s get ready. -------------------- Ambassador Della Vetri Diplomatic Officer Embassy of Duronis II https://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php/Vetri,_Della Author ID: O238506DV0
  13. ((USS Gorkon, Deck 9, 'Sto'Vo'Kor' - Main Crew Lounge)) ::Sera stood at the bar having just received her second 'Red Giant' from the old Klingon barman. She'd been reluctant to order any of the synthol drinks having never been a fan of it but after speaking with Mek he'd convinced her to try the bright red beverage. One reluctant taste had turned into many long gulps as the rich flavors hit her, she'd finished it quickly and ordered a second much to the Klingon's roaring delight. She'd spoken with Mek while starting on the second drink and enjoyed his company, but he was soon called away to other patrons leaving Sera to swirl the drink with her straw alone. She looked around the bar and then the many tables in the lounge hoping to find a friendly face, while she did see many familiar faces they were ones that Sera hadn't socialized with before off duty and she was reluctant to join them for the first time uninvited. She decided that it would be best to finish her drink and return to her quarters or perhaps visit the holodeck when she saw someone at a corner table of the lounge that she hadn't expected to see on the Gorkon.:: :: Sitting by herself, reading a padd and drinking what looked like coffee was one of her old Academy instructors, Chief McMann. The Chief had been an instructor on a number of her third and fourth year engineering courses and now her she was on the Gorkon, tunic on the back of her chair engrossed in the padd. The Chief had given Sera a number of dressing downs during her stay at the Academy, most of those had been due to Sera's poor performances in a team exercises or her lack of ability to 'think outside of the box'. But Sera and deeply respected her and tried to take on her advise improving in those areas enough to get her grades up to a respectable level. After contacting her parents, the Chief had been one of the first people she informed that her final exam on the USS Centris-A had been a success. Sera almost skipped over to the Chief's table with her drink in hand.:: zh'Aella: Chief McMann, can I join you. ::Leigh looked up to see a smiling female Andorian over her table holding a colorful beverage. Leigh looked at the familiar, and broadly smiling, face for a moment attempting to recall a name, it took her a moment to make the connection between the face of an old student and one of the names in the mission reports. Perhaps she should have made the connection sooner but she had no idea how common the Andorian surname was and she did make the connection after a few moments. She smiled widely as she fully remembered the former Cadet and gestured to one of the empty seats at her table.:: McMann: Please do. But it's Warrant Officer now. :: She reached behind her and tapped the tunic that was resting on her chair.:: Or just Leigh, in the lounge. :: Sera sat and placed her drink to her right.:: zh'Aella: Congratulations on the promotion, Leigh. :: Leigh hadn't wanted or expected the promotion to Warrant Officer. Perhaps she should have realized it was a possibility, she had completed the warrant officer course. But that had been years ago and she had since completed a multitude of courses when she was chasing a command level NCO position. Still, now she was a warrant officer there was no point in complaining about it so she politely accepted the compliment.:: McMann: Thank You Sera. :: She paused for a moment.:: Is it okay to call you Sera in here or would you prefer Sir? :: Sera was astounded that the human had to ask, hearing a former academy instructor address her by her first name only caused her smile to grow.:: zh'Aella: Of course Sera is fine! I was surprised to see you in here, aboard the Gorkon. How long have you been aboard? :: Leigh tried not to chuckle at the enthusiastic response.:: McMann: Just a few days. I'm still getting up to speed. :: She gestured to the padd and the two empty cups of coffee.:: zh'Aella: It's good to have you onboard. McMann: Thanks. Speaking of congratulations, I've been reading reports from the Gorkon's last mission. :: She gestured to the padd.:: Well done on uploading Federation Standard to the Keepers. :: Sera grimaced at that and swirled her drink around its glass using the straw.:: zh'Aella: That could have gone better. The upload wasn't complete and I personally couldn't understand half the things they were saying. :: With gaps in their language, the robotic spiders had improvised by filling the gaps with other words. The improvised words caused confusing and humorous sentences in equal quantity.:: McMann: From what I've read it was enough to understand each other's intentions. zh'Aella: Maybe, but I'm looking forward to working on equipment that doesn't walk around on eight legs and isn't obsessed with sauce. :: While the last word confused her, Leigh nodded in agreement and finished off her coffee.:: McMann: I can understand that. :: Sera took another sip of her fruity red drink.:: zh'Aella: I imagen the schedule is still up in the air with all the new people, but do you know which engineering shift you will be on? :: Sera asked hoping that they would be on the same shift.:: McMann: Actually, I'm not assigned to Engineering. I'm the ship's Boatswain. zh'Aella: Bosun? :: Sera frowned and her antennae lowered.:: ::Leigh nodded still with a pleasant smile.:: zh'Aella: Well… I'm sure it's only temporary. :: Leigh tried not to curl her mouth in distaste at the comment but kept quiet. She hadn't been excited at being promoted to Warrant Officer, but that was because she was chasing the final NCO rating. Since coming aboard and taking stock of her responsibilities she realized that the role was the type of new challenge that she wanted and having a very junior officer, even one she was acquitted with, talk disparagingly about the position did not fill her with fuzzy feelings. But Leigh was a professional and she realized that the Ensign had simply made a [...] pas, she could forgive that. And she answered while forcing herself to keep the smile on her face:: McMann: It's a new challenge. zh'Aella: You're a professional. :: Sera agreed with a nod.:: But I can have a word with Lieutenant Stoyer about getting you transferred. McMann: Oh? :: Sera was looking at her swirling drink as the warrant officer spoke and she didn't notice the small change in her facial expression, the smile was now gone.:: zh'Aella: Of course. :: Sera sipped again and looked up.:: I certainly don't understand the logic of making you Bosun. :: Leigh's eyes narrowed and she had to fight not to have her temper ignited, she knew the Ensign meant well but the junior officer had gone too far:: McMann: I'm qualified. :: She said it firmly and turned her attention back to her padd, hoping that would be the end of the conversation. It wasn't.:: zh'Aella: Yes, but you're a strange choice. :: Leigh looked over the top of the padd, eye's borrowing into the Andorian like daggers.:: McMann: How so? :: She shouldn't have asked, she knew she shouldn't have. But the masochist part of her was taking over.:: zh'Aella: You were instructing at the academy and now you're running a maintenance team. It would make more sense to have you in Main Engineering. :: Leigh placed the padd back down.:: McMann: Are you suggesting that there is something wrong with being the ship's Boatswain? zh'Aella: Well… :: The single, poorly chosen, word caused Leigh's temper to flare.:: McMann: Perhaps you would care to visit a few of the Bosun Mates aboard the Gorkon and explain to them that they have made an error by not being assigned to engineering? :: Sera's antennae straightened in surprise at the heated accusation.:: zh'Aella: No, no, the position is fine. I just meant that you…. McMann: Perhaps I can't be trusted to plan the daily maintenance schedule? :: The Warrant Officer's voice had risen causing a couple at a nearby table to look in their direction. Sera for her part was confused at what was happening, she'd only meant to compliment the older woman but the situation was getting out of hand:: zh'Aella: Of course not! I'm just saying that you would be far more valuable in Main Engineering. ::Leigh took a deep breath, closed her eyes and then slowly released the air through her nose in a long puff. She forced herself to remember that she was talking to an officer and not a cadet. She reminded herself that while off duty, she could not get away with openly insulting an officer no matter how slighted she felt.:: McMann: Respectfully Sir, my experience in Main Engineering is limited. I was however, a chief in damage control central and a shuttle bay chief. The skills gained from those positions are a good fit for my current assignment. General ship maintenance is very important, wouldn't you agree Sir? ::Leigh added emphasis on the last words and the Andorian blushed a dark shade of blue.:: zh'Aella: Yes. ::Leigh nodded at the comment and returned her attention to the padd but she was no longer reading it, just looking at it while trying to keep control of her irritation. They sat in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like long minutes before Leigh spoke again.:: McMann: You'll have to excuse me sir, I have a meeting scheduled. ::It was a lie.:: zh'Aella: Yes of course. :: Sera said as the Warrant Officer rose and put on her tunic.:: Um…. Good day, Warrant Officer. ::Leigh carefully collected her padd and empty coffee cups as she readied to leave.:: McMann: Good day, sir. :: The words were devoid of any emotion, they could have come from a Vulcan and Sera's shoulders slumped forward as the Warrant Officer left.:: zh'Aella: oO Sorry. Oo =/\= Ensign Sera zh' Aella Engineering Officer USS Gorkon V239107TZ0 & PNCP Warrant Officer Leigh McMann Boatswain USS Gorkon
  14. ((Temporary Officer's Quarters, USS Gorkon - Grace's quarters - Four days post mission, En route to Earth)) ::Grace had only seen Millis out a few minutes before when the door chime went off again.:: Freeman: Who is it? Bancroft: It's... me. ::Grace leapt to her feet from the comfy chair and the book she'd gone back to reading went flying from her lap. She quickly hid the bottle that Millis had left in her recently replicated go-bag, which now contained all of her armor, zipping it so it was covered, and then moved to the door.:: Freeman: Door open. ::The door swished open to reveal Colleen, hands twisted in front of her and looking like she was about to turn and run away. The two stared at each other for several seconds, Colleen's hands pausing, and then Grace sighed and stepped back.:: Freeman: Well come in. ::Colleen did, entering the room and letting the door whisk closed behind her. She stayed just outside of its sensor range as if she was still considering turning around and leaving, her nerves jangling. Grace walked back over to the chair and sat down in it, legs curled under her, retrieving the book and setting it on the table as she did. They watched each other, silently, for a solid thirty seconds, before Colleen walked over to one of the chairs at the table and flipped it around, sitting backwards on it and leaning against the backrest. Grace continued to watch silently for several more moments before speaking, her voice quiet and full of too many emotions.:: Freeman: So...? Bancroft: ::Suddenly:: I shouldn't have come. ::She jumped to her feet and headed for the door, definitely not sure of what she'd wanted now — sure, she'd sort of known on her way here, but apparently it'd all been washed away when she walked through the door.:: Freeman: ::Quietly:: Don't go. ::She stopped, still turned away from her ex.:: Freeman: Please, stay, sit. ::Colleen stayed standing for several seconds, swaying slightly like she was about to bolt out the door, but with an effort, she turned around and headed back to the chair, resuming her position.:: Freeman: I... I'm sorry. Bancroft: For what? Freeman: For everything. Bancroft: ::With a brief, hollow bark of laughter and leaning back slightly:: Define everything. ::Grace half glared at Colleen, wishing the other woman would just give her a bit of a break, while Colleen's mood turned towards anger. She wasn't sure what she'd been expecting here, but it wasn't living up to her (admittedly irrational) expectations.:: Freeman: For breaking up with you so suddenly. For not telling you my plans. For how we met on that planet. For... for everything, dammit. It wasn't my intention to hurt you, but things happened so fast back then, and then the other day... ::She threw her hands out to the side in a helpless gesture.:: ::Colleen stared quietly at Grace for a few moments before responding.:: Bancroft: You left me, completely out of the blue, and then just dropped off the radar. Disappeared. I tried to contact you, Grace. Freeman: I know, I know! And I wish I could have responded. I'm sorry. I was under orders. I've been under a communications blackout with the rest of the universe for the past year something. ::Colleen made as if she was going to throw something at Grace, but there was nothing to throw.:: Bancroft: ::Voice gaining in volume:: You interrupted me. You were my partner and my best damn friend, and you up and disappeared. I understand that communications blackouts are a thing, but for an entire year? ::Almost yelling at this point:: That's absurd! Surely you could've messaged me, at least — at least once! We were engaged, for fraks sake! ::Grace shook her head, short and sharp, and her next words came out like steel.:: Freeman: No. I couldn't have. ::Voice softening once more:: It's been a really... really long year. ::Colleen looked hard at Grace as she spoke the last sentence, and noticed just how deep the crease lines on her ex's face were, how much her eyes had changed — almost as if storms had taken up residence in them — and then there was the matter of the scars. Four, easily countable from three meters away, and that was just on the face and right arm. Two more on the left arm with slightly more looking. Grace had changed in the time since they'd graduated the Academy.:: Bancroft: ::Much quieter:: What happened out there? Freeman: A... a lot. ::They sat in silence for several minutes, then Colleen slowly stood and walked to the couch, sitting down on it so she was facing its other end. Grace watched her sit down before moving to the couch herself, leaning against the opposite end so she was facing her old girlfriend. She moved one foot to touch Colleen's leg, hesitantly, but Colleen didn't push it away, to both of their surprises.:: Freeman: You know... how Starfleet is supposed to be peaceful? I mean, Dominion war and a few others excepted, but Starfleet is supposed to be for exploration, right? ::Colleen nodded, staying quiet. It seemed like Grace was finally starting to open up, and she didn't want to interrupt that.:: Freeman: Well... yeah. Part of Starfleet does that, anyway. Most of it. Then there's us... the Rangers. We're for when the peaceful solution doesn't work. For when the enemy thinks sideways, and most of Starfleet doesn't want to think that way. ::Opening her mouth to protest, Colleen stopped and thought better of it.:: I was recruited to join the Rangers in our third year at the Academy. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, weighing my options. There was a lot of... stuff there, a lot of... ::She circled her hands through the air, as if trying to spin the words out:: Stuff. They told me I was a perfect fit for the Rangers, aptitude tests, etc. Didn't even know I'd been through any of those. So they told me what it'd be like, and it sounded like fun? Like a challenge? A bigger challenge than I was going to face elsewhere, aboard some random starship. And they needed intelligence officers. There were only like three of us who made the cut in the end, and I was one of them. ::Grace paused here, voice quieting further as she thought about the past and tried to relay it to her old friend. A lot had happened in a short amount of time of their life, especially for her, and she was only allowed to talk about parts of it.:: Freeman: One of the first things that was... strongly suggested... to us as candidates was to make minimal personal ties. To cut those we could. Being a Ranger is a dangerous job, and you never know what's going to happen out there. I guess the reasoning is that the less ties you have, the more effective you have. The less distracted you are. So... so I threw myself into it. You weren't the only one I left in the cold, and gods, I'm so sorry... ::she trailed off for a moment before refocusing and continuing at Colleen's half-heartedly annoyed look.:: I threw myself into the training and worked at it, so hard. They didn't give us any time off. From the time I said yes to the time we hit the field, there were no more breaks. Each semester, we trained while we weren't in class. Between semesters, we trained from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed. Barely stopped to eat. And oh, was it hard training. I spent a lot of time burying all the old memories, including... well... us. ::Here, she had to pause again. She could say even less about what happened after training, and she had to keep her head straight.:: Freeman: It was mission after mission. No real downtime. Always on our feet. I barely sleep anymore, and if I do, it's only a few hours a night. Still manage to stay solid though. ::A touch of pride showed through at that.:: Bancroft: Probably not something to be proud of, Grace... Freeman: Hush. ::She smiled, ever so slightly, for the first time since Colleen had entered her room.:: And it continued to be mission after mission. I think in that year, we took one shore leave? And it was cut short. Our team was run ragged. This was supposed to be our last mission for a while, so I'm hoping this shore leave actually lasts a while. ::She sighed:: What I'm about to tell you is entirely classified, and I would probably get in trouble for telling you this — but since I'm the only Intelligence officer on the ship that's active Intelligence, we're probably good — I hope. ::Colleen raised her eyebrows at her former fiancee, but didn't try to stop her from saying it. She knew she probably should, but wasn't sure she cared right then.:: Freeman: My unclassified kill count continues to sit at zero. ::She paused, taking a breath.:: In reality, it's over thirty. ::At that, Colleen's mouth dropped open. Her brain skittered over the information, trying to absorb it. This was Starfleet, and they weren't in the middle of an active war. Nobody was supposed to have an active kill count! No one! And, kill counts only counted for direct combat - most security and tactical personnel didn't even have a kill count, and that was a reluctant part of the job description.:: Bancroft: ::Flatly:: What. Freeman: Some of them were self defense. Most of them... weren't. And I had the second lowest kill count on the team. ::Well, that had definitely been too much information, but that cat was out of that bag.:: oO Bad Intel officer! Bad! Oo Bancroft: How... Freeman: Classified. Every single mission... they were all classified, so only certain people are even allowed to know that. You, ah, probably shouldn't tell anybody that you know that either. ::Grace twisted her mouth in a lopsided half-smile that only counted as a smile in pure mechanics. There was no joy behind it. The two were both quiet for a moment, and Colleen's mind continued to run in overdrive.:: Bancroft: I don't... I don't know what to say to that. Freeman: Yeah, sorry. There isn't exactly much to be said. It's just... a thing. Terrible, mind you, but a thing. Bancroft: Right... Um. ::Colleen curled into herself slightly, unconsciously pulling away from Grace, but only a bit.:: Freeman: Sorry. For that. ::She waved her hand in the air, as if trying to wipe away what she'd just revealed.:: Bancroft: I... I mean, it's part of it, but... ::There was another uncomfortable silence, like too much of the time in this conversation had been already. They both cast about as if trying to find a nicer subject to talk about. Unfortunately, between them, there wasn't much light or nice to discuss.:: ::The two women sat in silence, on the couch in Grace's quarters, both trying to find something to talk about after the bombshell Grace had dropped. Colleen seemed like she'd gone non-verbal, and so Grace finally spoke up. Freeman: I'm sorry I left you. Bancroft: ::A little bit of the anger returning to her voice:: We were engaged. Freeman: I know, Colleen. And... ::Here, Grace paused, and stood up. She paced to the bedroom, where her bag of personal effects sat, having been transferred over from the Drake that morning right before they got underway. She dug into the bag and retrieved what she needed before returning to the couch and flopping down on it once more. This time, she dug both feet under Colleen's legs, almost as if it were a subconscious reaction to being close to Colleen. She moved something around on her left hand, covering it with her right for a few moments, before sighing and holding up her left hand. On it was the engagement ring that Colleen had proposed with, and which had never been returned. Colleen's mouth dropped open slightly once more at the sight.:: Bancroft: You... you didn't get rid of it. Freeman: Nope... keep it with me. Bancroft: But... why? Freeman: ::Exasperated:: Isn't it clear? Bancroft: You either. Freeman: Me either! Of course I never bloody well got over you. ::Her German accent, so well hidden by time, slid in with the last few words, before she reigned it in.:: Wait, you either? Bancroft: Duh. ::They stared at each other for a few moments.:: Freeman: So... what? Bancroft: I don't know. I... we're in Starfleet. We don't know where we're going to be next week, much less in a year. ::When Grace spoke again, it was with just a tinge of hope in her voice.:: Freeman: Yeah, but they work to keep couples together... Bancroft: ::With her voice flat once more.:: And. You're a Ranger. Freeman: Yeah... Except... well. Um. ::She sighed.:: The 451st is being rebuilt. Despite me being the only surviving member, and despite the really bad recent history, somebody thought it was a good idea to rebuild the 451st, and then... well. Then Fleet Captain Reynolds transferred the 451st here. To the Gorkon. ::Colleen was speechless as her brain continued to try to process everything. It seemed like she'd had a hard time processing anything these last four days.:: Freeman: That's a thing. I'm gonna be here for a while. Bancroft: ... Then maybe I should request a transfer off. ::Grace was quiet for a few moments, taking in Colleen's words.:: Freeman: Oh. Bancroft: Yeah. Oh. You screwed me up, Grace, you screwed me up bad. I thought I'd finally started to get over you, but then I saw you in that cave and... everything went sideways. Again. Freeman: I... I know. I'm sorry. Bancroft: Take the damn ring off. Freeman: ::Shocked and hurt:: But... Bancroft: ::Quickly reigning herself back in:: Sorry... sorry. No. You don't have to. Just... it's such a reminder, Grace. Of what happened. And of the pain. Freeman: ::Very quietly:: Do you want it back? Bancroft: No. ::Colleen shook her head, almost violently, while Grace covered her left hand with her right, almost as if trying to protect herself. She pulled her legs back, to her chest, no longer touching Colleen.:: Freeman: ... Oh... Bancroft: I never got over you. Okay? And now you're here and I'm just... all turned around. Freeman: That's... understandable. I'm sorry... Bancroft: Quit! Quit apologizing. Freeman: I— hmph. ::And then the silence descended once more, like a hawk swooping in for the catch. Neither was comfortable with the other, but neither wanted the other to go away now. Emotions that hadn't seen the light of day for almost two years were rearing their ugly heads, and the bonds that each had thought were finally broken were mending, even against their will. When they spoke again, it was quiet but still clear over the rumble of the ship's drives pushing them through the slipstream.:: Freeman: So... what now? Bancroft: I don't know, Grace. I just... don't know. Freeman: Well, I know we're on our way to Earth, and there's a bunch of bars near the Academy... and I haven't gotten good and smashed in a long while... Bancroft: A bar doesn't count as a date. ::Realizing what she said, Colleen clapped a hand over her mouth then swore a few times.:: Freeman: ::Wryly:: Well, now that I know where your mind is at... Bancroft: ::Blushing hard:: I still... I need time! Give me a few days, okay? I'll... I'll contact you. And we'll see about a drink. And... ::Colleen stood up, abruptly, and moved swiftly to the door.:: Bancroft: And we'll talk then. I'll see you later, Grace. ::And with that, she was gone, leaving Grace to watch the doors woosh silently closed behind Colleen's back.:: -- (PNPC) Ensign Grace Freeman Weapons and Intelligence Specialist 451st Rangers Platoon USS Gorkon (Simmed by) And >\/< Ensign Colleen Bancroft Security and Tactical Officer USS Gorkon G239404CB0
  15. ((Dropship Neal Adams, Earth orbit))Jumpmaster: One minute to jump! On your feet!::As one, the marine unit rose to their feet. Well, a marine unit and one Starfleet Commander. Ever the thrill seeker, Alucard had called in a favor with an old friend of his and joined this platoon during a night orbital jump exercise.::::The gear was heavy. In addition to a field pack, weapon, and parachute, each jumper carried an expendable heatshield. All told, each man and woman carried nearly their equal in gear. This made the hold of the Neal Adams a very cramped space. The jumpmaster held up a hand and made a fist.::Jumpmaster: Thirty seconds!::The deck vibrated as the platoon turned in unison to the opening ramp at the rear of the hold. Beyond the blue shimmer of a forcefield they were treated to the blue and green curve of Earth far below. It was deceptively small, and ALucard knew it would soon be growing much, much larger.::Jumpmaster: Rows one and three jump!Alucard was in row three.::::He shuffled along behind the Marine in front of him until he faced the permeable force field. His helmet seemed to amplify the sound of his own pulse until that seemed to be all he heard. He took one deep breath, held it, and allowed himself to tilt forward.::::It was like someone had put a thick pillow over the world. Before, his world had been full of sound. The clunk of boots on the deck, orders being shouted across the hold. Now, even the comm chatter seemed to have been muffled, and Alucard was left with his own breathing as he soared toward the big marble below.::::He free-fell for several minutes. It was an absolutely amazing experience to watch the clouds drifting below, and the lights of the low orbit satellites and ships blinking as they zipped by. Soon though, he had to activate his boot rockets to establish control prior to re-entry. His descent flattened out into something akin to a logarithmic curve as he brought his flight path to a shallower angle.::::Ahead was a familiar sight. The USS Gorkon in all of her glory. Like a ballet dancer she gracefully sailed above the planet below, the rake of her struts and saucer always giving the impression of forward motion. He’d seen that sight many a time from the [...]pit of a shuttle, but from the little bubble of protection that was his jumpsuit she looked much bigger.::::He tipped his ankles to change his flight path, when was he going to have another chance like this? As he got closer, he applied reverse thrust and slowed down, falling behind the platoon slightly. He cruised across the forward section of the saucer, so close that he was able to reach out and touch it.::::The eyes of some of the ships inhabitants grew huge as he flew by their windows. He waved to some as he went, but mostly he just kept his arms wide, like some sort of cosmic angel, and flew on. The Gorkon was more than just a ship to him. It was a home, and a friend. Every scratch, every dent in the hull told a story as he passed. There was where a bit of the hull had buckled when they'd rescued the Tharsis on their first mission. And there, that was where they'd had to patch in some salvaged hull to replace a bit that had been lost during a fight with the alternate universe Dominon. It had been painted since, but in his minds eye he could still see the miss matched metal.::::All too soon, he’d crossed the ships midpoint just forward of the Bridge and continued on toward the his re-entry point. Soon, he’d have to perform a roll and activate his shield.::::But until then he’d just enjoy the fall.:: =/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=Commander Alucard VessUnassignedUSS GorkonDeputy Facilitator – Featured Bio TeamC238601TB0=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=/\=
  16. ((Dominicus VI. Mines “Sickbay”.)) ::The grass was soft and warm beneath his bare feet as he walked, the sun giving off enough warmth to be pleasant but not hot. He smiled to himself as he gazed up at the clear blue sky. Not a cloud to be seen today. He felt her hand take his and his gaze fell to the beautiful smiling face of Xiu. He smiled warmly at her as he squeezed her hand, and the pair of them came to a halt underneath a blossom tree, atop a gentle hill that overlooked the village. His sheathed sword rested heavily against his thigh, and he rested his free right hand upon its hilt. He took a deep breath, Xiu smiling at him again, wondering why he had brought her up here.:: Xiu: What is it my love? ::He removed his sword belt. Xiu gasped. He got onto his knees before her as he placed the sword upon the ground at her feet. It was a traditional gesture. He was offering her his blade, his honour and his life. To take as her own and mould into something new for them both. A home, a family, a- And that is when the alarms began and the fire came from skies…. Tenaka awoke with strangled gasp. Tears flowing freely down his face and into his beard. He looked around, seeing nothing but darkness. His mind caught up with itself and he settled back into his chair slowly.:: Tenaka: oO Nothing but a dream. She is long since turned to dust…. Oo ::Moments later, alarms began to blare and Tenaka felt a pang in his heart. He wanted to close his eyes and return to that wonderful dream. Before the smoke, and the fire. Before the death and destruction. Before Xiu was ripped from life right before his eyes. The last thing he ever saw.:: Tenaka: Little bear? ::Omasi Yarja had been having the dream again. The one where she was trapped in a mine, forced to shove cartfuls of ore for hours on end. Except, it wasn’t a dream at all. That was her life. She couldn’t even escape this place in her sleep. She had joined the geological expedition, set out from Bajor, but their project coordinator was nothing more than a slave trader. He stole their credits and brought them straight into the hands of the Orion Syndicate. She lost count how long it had been, but she’d been the only survivor from her small company. But, it wasn’t the memories, it was the alarms that woke her. These were different, and they scared her. She’d gotten out of her tiny bed, wanting to check on him..:: Omasi: I’m here Master Tenaka. ::He already knew she was there, he could hear her moving about. He could manage perfectly well on his own, but she seemed to take comfort in taking care of him, helping him shuffle around the sickbay and being his guide when he ventured beyond his walls and so from time to time he would ‘accidentally’ drop something or be unable to find his chair. And Goddess love her, she would be there in a flash, to pick up whatever it was or ease him into his seat.:: Tenaka: I am master of none, little bear. Least of all you. ::He reached out and patted her hand gently:: ::He could tell the young boy, Julien was not there. His breathing was panicked and short, but there was nobody here except the two of them. The Marine had gone as well. He shuffled his way across the room, putting some water to boil. He allowed her to huff and fuss and take him back to his chair and sat, staff between his feet, hands atop it and listened intently as she quietly sang to herself. He closed his eyes as he listened out of old habit. It was a bad habit, her calling him Master. He told her stories of his past, and he taught her how to keep the guards and their grabby arms away from her. Once they learned she was his ward, they’d kept their distance. She was forever grateful to him and his kindness. He was all she had in this horrible place. And she vowed to return the favor of his protection in any way she could. She helped guide him through the new tunnels, and where she’d set out his things, after she cleaned them as best she could. He spent his time healing the wounds of the others, and it was important work. Work she couldn’t replicate herself, but she could help facilitate.:: Omasi: Forgive me, Sofu. ::Calling him by his name seemed...so disrespectful. At least to her race. She felt she hadn’t earned the right, so, he told her to call him Sofu. Said it was a nickname. One he liked. He of course never told her it translated to “Grandfather”. But she loved him as if he was, so one day, when she learned the truth, it would still feel right.:: Tenaka: Tell me. Do you miss it? Omasi: Miss what, Sofu? ::He offered a gentle smile as she turned.:: Tenaka: Your home. On Bajor. ::He heard her put down the spoon she was holding, and come across the room. A cup was placed upon the table beside him and he caught the scent of orange tea. He smiled, she was a good girl and looked after him well. He would be sorry to see her go.:: Tenaka: Perhaps you will see it again. Should you choose to return there. ::He took her silence to be contemplative and sipped at his tea as the alarms continued to blare. Taking another sip, he looked up as the speaker on the far wall whined to life.:: Damarkus: =/\=Starfleet, I know you're here. In anticipation of this I have gathered every slave at gunpoint. For every minute you remain in my mines I will slaughter one slave. For every step you advance towards me, I will slaughter one slave. Get out now, or you will die with the blood of countless "innocents" on your hands.=/\= Tenaka: Where is the boy? ::The boy? Oh! The young arrival, who had been beaten brutally. They had taken him. Never letting them stay for long in the care of Master Tenaka. They allowed his administration's because he kept the slave labor alive. Alive, and relatively well. Otherwise, they’d receive heat from their own superiours about the constant need for new replacements.:: Omasi: They came and took him. Bardur and Rell’tham. They took the boy and the soldier to the mines. ::Tenaka nodded slowly to himself, placing the cup onto its saucer with perfect accuracy. He had lived here long enough. He would not be sorry when the end came. He tapped his staff on the floor, rising to his feet with a groan of old age and lingering stiffness from a night slept in his chair.:: Tenaka: Come, little bear. ::We waved his staff at the door:: It is time for us to be on our way. We have much work to do. Much work indeed. ::And with that, like an old warship slowly setting sail, Tenaka made his way from the mines barely functional sickbay for what would be the last time.:: --- Master Tenaka. Healer. Dominicus VI Mines. Simmed by; Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0. And Omasi Yarja. Bajoran Geologist . Simmed by; Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MD. Chief Medical Officer. Starbase 118 Ops. C239205ME0.
  17. ((Gypsy Ranger)) :: The entire ship was deathly quiet and a shade shy of totally dark. Aside from the sound of the engines running, and the occasional noise that the computer decided to make, the small transport vessel was the perfect example of a ghost ship wandering aimlessly through space. But this little ship had a purpose. Find the USS Tiger.:: :: Coordinates had been set and the Gypsy Ranger had been flying on auto-pilot since it had left Til’ahn. It was only a short three day journey to catch the Tiger, but that was six days ago. After altering course to avoiding a plasma storm, and then plotting a direction change to avoid a federation warning beacon about pirate activity in the area, the little ship had lost precious time in finding its target. Now it was hunting for the trail once again.:: :: An alarm sounded. The computer detected a vessel approaching. There was no identification broadcasted from the other ship. It was not the USS Tiger. It was *not* the mission.:: :: The Gypsy Ranger altered course to avoid the vessel, but it continued to follow. Warnings echoed through the vacant cabin that a target lock had been acquired, and then the transport vessel shook and stopped dead in its tracks. The unidentified vessel had the Gypsy Ranger trapped in a tractor beam and it wasn’t letting go.:: :: Final protocol dictated that there was only one thing to do in this situation. Wake the passenger.:: :: Down in the cargo hold, a cryo-pod charged up its systems to thaw-out the patient. Slowly the occupant’s vitals registered as emerging from sleep. Once normal life signs were achieved, the pod’s hatch hissed open in a fog of cold. There was movement beneath the chilly haze. Vital signs started to elevate, and then they suddenly spiked to abnormal levels. Through the veil of cold the female body stumbled out of the pod and directly to the floor.:: :: Waking from cryo-sleep sucked on a good day. But waking from cryo-sleep at the peak of Pon Far was a total [...].:: Computer: Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. Patient critical. Please return to the cryo-pod. T’Lea: SHUT… UP! :: Her scream ricocheted like a bullet off the walls of the cargo bay, and the computer, out of fear, or the voice recognition software complied.:: :: Clawing at the deck, T’Lea tried to get her motor skills to cooperate. Between the utter blood rage coursing through her veins and the still frozen muscles, her body felt like it was at war with itself. Meanwhile, her irrational popsicle-fied brain really only wanted one of two things -- to kill or mate. Unfortunately, she was the only one around?:: :: Sitting up, T’Lea reached for a wall to try to stand. Her legs wobbled, but her back caught the flat surface behind her providing a nice place to lean for the moment. What her eyes saw confused and enraged her. She was still on the Gypsy Ranger. Alone.:: T’Lea: …mother… FRELLER!! Compu- :: Woops, one foot in front of the other, that’s how walking worked. She had to get to the [...]pit and figure out what was going on.:: T’Lea: Computer, report. Computer: Unidentified vessel achieved tractor beam lock at precisely 1400 hours. Thirty-nine requests to disengage sent. A distress signal is being broadcast on multiple frequencies. No response. Awaiting instructions. T’Lea: Fire all weapons! :: She made it past the galley with a little more coordination than in her previous moments, but the struggle to stay sane and upright was etched on her face.:: Computer: This vessel is unarmed. :: Of course it was. She knew that. Damn it.:: T’Lea: Exhaust the engines and open a damn channel! :: Clambering hands used the wall for stability as she moved. She was entering the bridge now, and when she looked out of the front window she saw a vessel of ferengi design slowly dragging her ship in.:: Computer: Caution – engaging maximum warp will compromise the hull integrity. Communications are available. T’Lea: Then start slow and work your damn way up! :: She felt the impulse engines begin to work against the tractor lock and gradually increase. The master controls in the [...]pit were at her fingertips now. The ship began to shake a little. She reached out and slammed a fist on the panel to open the communication with the other ship.:: T’Lea: =/\= I’ll kill you. I’ll frakking murder your entire family if you don’t disengage your lock. =/\= :: A smug Ferengi face appeared on the tiny vid screen.:: Ferengi: =/\= Cut your engines and we’ll talk. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= How about I cut your throat, and then we’ll talk.=/\= Ferengi: =/\= Ooo… you’re a nasty one for your kind. So, listen, we honestly didn’t know the ship was occupied. There were no life signs, see. How about you cut your engines and we’ll let you go. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Computer, increase impulse by two. =/\= :: Now the little transport ship was in a steady shake, and the older Ferengi vessel was feeling it too. T’Lea could see it on the Captain’s toothy little face.:: Ferengi: =/\= Are you insane? You’ll only be killing yourself. =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Can you out run the explosion from the engines when I go to full warp, asshole?=/\= Ferengi: =/\= I have shields. ::he smiled:: And phasers. ::at crew:: Fire phasers. =/\= :: Three shots split from the Ferengi ship and slammed into the Gyspy Ranger. Tossing the Vulcanoid.:: Computer: Impulse engines failing. Ferengi: =/\= Just give up, okay? All I want is the ship. I swear on the Grand Nagus. We won’t harm you. =/\= :: Fingers clawed her way back in front of the screen.:: T’Lea: =/\= Computer initiate self-destruct. Shehkuk, teh, dah-leh. F.U. Begin ten second count down.=/\= Computer: Self-destruct code authorized. Ten. Ferengi: =/\= That’s it, I tried to play nice now you’re-=/\= :: He turned to give an order, but something else grabbed his attention. Something huge. T’Lea’s sensors chirped at the same time.:: Computer: Warp signature detected. Identification received. Prometheus class, Federation vessel. USS Tiger. Computer: Eight. Ferengi: =/\= … skritz. Skritz! Drop the tractor. Drop it now! Drop it! Go to warp! GO! GO! GO! =/\= :: T’Lea hunkered over the sensors. Her skin tone was flushed and she was panting heavily. She looked ill, and she felt ill, but there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes. The Tiger was here! In one split second her brain shorted-out. She went from ecstatic, to furious. Or was it aroused. No, it was furious. Or maybe it was a furious arousal. Either way she was brimming with emotion that she could barely contain.:: ((USS Tiger, Bridge)) :: The Trill woman sat in the centre seat seemed rather relaxed, legs crossed casually as she idly swirled the coffee that half-filled the mug in her hand. The crew around her on the bridge knew her well enough by now, however, that they weren’t fooled. Especially not the Betazoid manning the Tiger’s tactical station.:: :: Della’s head turned, eyes meeting his, and for a couple of moments silence reigned as the pair communicated on a purely mental level. That silence was broken, however, when Della let out a cynical-sounding snort and turned her attention back to the main viewscreen.:: Vetri: Collins, please make a note that Dai’mon Snek has earned himself another... talking to. And hail the other ship, please. :: Calm, collected, and seemingly unconcerned. All of these were a mask that covered the fact that the Trill really, really, REALLY wanted to know what the frell her daughter’s ship was doing out here.:: Collins: Channel open. :: The Ops officer hardly needed to say it, though, as the last syllable was kind of drowned out by the sound of a very ticked-off female Romu-vulc. Oddly, her familiarity with the voice – and it’s tone – was something of a reassurance to Della.:: T’Lea: =/\= Are you frakking kidding me?! Six days! Six frelling days of chasing your [...] all across the galaxy and all it takes is a damn Ferengi scav ship to get your attention? What the hell is wrong with you?! =/\= :: Della opened her mouth to reply, then frowned at something she heard in the background.:: Vetri: =/\= How about disarming the self destruct first, lilyali. Then you can carry on ranting without the risk of annoying Gina by blowing up her ship. =/\= :: And herself, which was something that only surprise at seeing her wife out here kept from being a rather terrifying prospect.:: :: The Romu-vulc glanced off screen for a second.=/\= T’Lea: =/\= Computer, shut the frak up. =/\= :: Apparently that was the deactivation code because the countdown stopped and the warp core powered down. When T’Lea flashed her gaze back at the video, there was barely controlled anger glistening in her baby-blues.:: T’Lea: =/\= Were you ever going to comm. me back, or was I just supposed to die of insanity? Do you know how close I came to killing someone? Do you even care?! =/\= Vetri: =/\= Ah... how about we continue this in a more private setting? Would you like to come over and yell at me in my office? =/\= T’Lea: =/\= Would I like… No. I’ll just stay here in my cryo-jammies and watch holo-vids all day. Open your damn docking bay doors and tow me in, or I’ll vent my atmosphere and ram your frelling bridge. How about that for a mother-frellin’ reunion? =/\= Vetri: =/\= ::dryly:: I’m looking forward to it. =/\= :: She wasn’t sure whether she was surprised or not when the channel was abruptly severed, simply letting out a long sigh that mingled exasperation with a very large dose of relief that she wasn’t about to watch her wife blow herself to atoms in a fit of pique.:: :: Not trusting herself to be able to keep her hand as steady as it should be, she set her mug aside before rising to her feet and looking around the bridge – noting, as she did so, the very obvious attention to what they were doing (even if they had to make something up) being shown by the staff around her.:: :: With a wry smile, she shook her head and let out a soft laugh.:: Vetri: You think that was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Collins, you have the conn. Zebriel, if you’d care to escort our visitor to my ready room, I’ll be sure to say something nice about you in your next performance review. :: Rolling his eyes, the Betazoid gave a weary, put-upon sigh, muttered something that sounded a lot like "That’d be a first", and took his leave to do as he’d been asked.:: :: Which left Della about as long as it took T’Lea to get to her ready room to try and work out just what she was supposed to do with the woman...:: Simmed by: Captain Della Vetri Commanding Officer USS Tiger Author ID: O238506DV0 & Lieutenant Commander T’Lea Chief Science Officer Embassy, Duronis II Author ID I238301T10
  18. ((Mines - Level 3 - Dominicus VI)) ::Of all of the places Mirra excepted they would find their missing crew...barreling down a rickety track in a glorified metal coffin was not one of them. But, beggars couldn't necessarily be choosers, so they were running after them, albeit a bit foolishly. Zel and Max had physics and a cart, while they had...increasingly fatigued muscles and a dangerous lack of patience. It was going to be a long day.:: Ezo: ::shouting while running:: Where do these tracks lead?! And who's brilliant idea was it to skip adding brakes?!? Kasun: :: Also shouting while :: Do you really think a criminal operation that relies on slave labor cares about that? It’s not like the follow OSHA or anything. Janul: I would recommend our efforts are focused on your friends. Ezo: ::grimacing:: Right. Rescue them, then yell about the poor planning... Kasun: ::amused:: I’m sure the Orion’s will want to hear all about it. Ezo: ::smirking:: Horribly unsafe working conditions, would not be enslaved here again. Zero out of ten. Janul: Light hearted comments are not helping the situation. Kasun: It’s called bonding. Ezo: ::scoffing:: Would you prefer we stay quiet? oO You clearly don't know me very well...Oo Janul: ::Grunts:: A poor imitation of R’usstai. Kasun: Well that’s Klingon bonding. Starbase 118 bonding is different. Ezo: ::grinning:: It usually involves copious amounts of drinking. Or nearly dying. Or more accurately, surviving and then the heavy drinking. ::And if they all made it out of here alive, she bet she could get Janul to get drunk enough to be her partner in Klingon cage match wrestling. Tatash was apparently disqualified because of "unnatural enhancement". That prosthetic arm was already striking fear into the hearts of his would-be challengers. Her thoughts left the realm of the absolutely ridiculous, and slid back firmly into the task at hand when they all halted in front of a veritable maze of tunnels. None of which seemed to contain an errant mine cart. She began chewing her bottom lip worriedly.:: Kasun: Any ideas? Janul: Three of us. And I count eleven other routes. ::He growled in frustration, slamming the butt of weapon into the ground.:: ::Pacing while she thought, Mirra ended up wandering along the nearest track, straining to see any sign of...well...something other than the inky black of the tunnel ahead. She couldn't see anything. They could be dead ends and they just didn't have time to circumvent them all. Wait, that sound...it was familiar, the high pitched squeal of metal grinding, but where was it coming from? Leaning closer towards the center of the track, the beginning Whoosh of air was the only forewarning she had to prevent becoming a gruesome hood ornament on the out of control cart. She threw herself away from the track, landing with a sound thud on the uneven ground beside the tracks. She stayed down, frozen in a half crouch/half heap, hair blown about her face and bits of the broken gravel digging into her palms.:: Kasun: Are you okay? Janul: You are intact, Doctor? ::Grumbling angrily, she managed to get to her feet, brushing the stray bits of rock off her knees and hands.:: Ezo: ::moving he hair from her face, she answered on a growl:: Oh those two better live through this, because I'm going to kill them for that! Kasun: :: Ishani smiled, a sassy Mirra meant she couldn’t be hurt too badly. :: They went off into that other tunnel. :: She pointed in the direction the cart had gone. :: Janul: Then we must follow. And quickly. Ezo: ::muttering:: Hopefully they don't loop back around for another attempt on taking me down... Kasun: If they recognize us then hopefully they’ll make another pass and slow down next time. Ezo: Providing they have any control over the cart. Remember that whole lack of brakes thing? ::Once again, the screeching sound of metal filled the air as a second cart, loaded with angry looking guards came rushing past. Near plastered against the wall, once again avoiding "Death by mine cart" appearing as a final entry in her medical records, Mirra stared wide eyed, blinking a few times in confusion...:: Kasun: You know when we tell this story later no one’s going to believe us, right? Ezo: I...am not quite sure I believe it and I just saw it happen.... Janul: Were I to report such things myself, I would be declared to have the mind of a simpleton. ::He wasn't wrong. This was shaping up to be a "You...had to be there" type of stories. They had run into some rather unexplained things before, like weaponized tribbles, but even this seemed less plausible.:: Kasun: :: Once again running in the direction of their companions and their mine cart. :: It does feel almost out of a holoprogram Dad would write. Ezo: ::snorting, beginning to run again:: If we make it out of here alive, ask for writing credit when you give him the idea... ::Once again, in far too short of a time, the three were running after a mine cart full of escaped crewmates, but this time they had the added fun of a cartfull of angry Orions with more weapons then they currently had. There was no way this day was getting any weirder. At least this time, they had a direct route.:: Whittaker: =/\= Whittaker to Ezo. =/\= ::Well, Theo and Aitas were still safe. She hit the hidden comm while frantically trying to keep pace with the two others. Once again, she was reminded how she really needed to build up some better endurance. Who knew being a doctor required such a surprising amount of running?:: Ezo: ::slightly winded:: =/\= Ezo here, go ahead sir =/\= Whittaker: =/\= I don't suppose you've seen Ensign Zel have you travelling at high speed? =/\= ::Now that was unexpected. How did he know where Zel was? And his unconventional mode of transport...? oO Oooh right. Aitas. Oo She must have worked her intel magic:: Ezo: ::grimacing:: =/\= You mean the lunatic pilot and his equally crazy co-pilot that we've been chasing after like blind rats through a death trap maze?? Yeah. Got a great look at him and Max. Zel somehow commandeered a mine cart...that he's attempting to steer...=/\= Whittaker: :: with a sigh. :: =/\= Of course he is. Keep me informed. Whittaker out. =/\= ::The commline cut out, and the running didn't seem to be slowing. Except, once again, because this place truly was a death maze from hell, they were faced with a crossroads.:: Ezo: ::skidding to a stop:: Which way?? Kasun/Janul: Response? Ezo: I didn't see, I fell behind when the Comm call came in. ::pointing:: That one looks like it goes up, but up to where? Kasun/Janul: Response? ::It was intensely hot, and each breath in made her winded lungs protest as if she were inhaling cotton. Staying clear of the tracks this time, she ran ahead and squinted through the dim haze. A Flash. An extremely far off one, but was there, if only for a moment. Ezo: ::raising an eyebrow:: Was that...phaser fire...? ::eye widening:: The guard cart!! Kasun/Janul: Response? Ezo: ::nodding quickly:: Right, this way! Damarkus: =/\=Starfleet, I know you're here. In anticipation of this I have gathered every slave at gunpoint. For every minute you remain in my mines I will slaughter one slave. For every step you advance towards me, I will slaughter one slave. Get out now, or you will die with the blood of countless "innocents" on your hands.=/\= ::Once again, she skidded to a halt, but this time it was to hear the last bits of the faint, clearly hostile threat. Her jaw clenched so tight her molars ground together in protest.:: Ezo: ::through clenched teeth:: They know we're here. Our timeline just shortened significantly. What weapons do we have? We'll hit the guards before we find Zel and Max...
  19. OOC: Takes place after "After the Hocktin" but before "A Fresh Start." The stardate used in the sim corresponds to the date the sim was published. (( Runabout Yahtzee)) [[Time Index: En Route to Antor II]] :: Sleep eluded him. It wasn't that he didn't want to sleep, quite the opposite. He was exhausted, physically and mentally. While he craved sleep with every fiber of his being, it continued to slip his grasp. With a sigh, he sat back up and pulled his legs onto the bunk in a half lotus position and began to breathe rhythmically as he began some of the meditation techniques he'd learned. Today was much like any other day, but with one exception. It was his birthday. :: (( Flashback -- Transporter Room 2, USS Za )) (( Time Index: 239407.06 )) :: Chythar took up a position near the transporter console and began programming in the specifics for calibration of the biofilter as Mindor spoke. He needed this to work, for all their sakes. Alex, Lael, his own, and Maddie’s. His focus, or lack of focus, was shaky at best and it took him every ounce of will to keep it. He was likely going to hate himself if he couldn't get this to work before his memory failed him and he forgot how to work this thing. :: Skyfire: Almost got it… :: Once the biofilters were calibrated, he slammed his hand to the button and retrieved the away team, beaming them straight into the quarantined Sickbay before treating Mr. Mindorn's injury with one of the medkits in the transporter room. After said injury was treated and their guest had departed to the surface via the transporter, Chythar beamed himself to sickbay as well. :: (( Sickbay, USS Za )) :: Mark was busy injecting the cure into everyone who was afflicted by the virus. He was assisted by Greywin Fergus, who remained oddly silent during the whole thing except when spoken to. The hologram was also relatively quiet, but that was more because he hadn't been gifted with a small talk routine yet. As the away team returned from the surface, Mark smiled at the Vissian. :: Vondaryan: ::blinking:: Well, that was surprising. ::smiling:: But I'm glad to see you. ::he coughed again, more blood coming forth:: How's the cure coming along? Mark: Done. It's good to see you too, sir. I just want you to lie back now, and relax. :: The holographic doc pressed a hypo to Trellis' neck and allowed him to sleep it off. :: :: Chythar materialized also and lay down onto a biobed none the worse for wear. He was running a high fever at this point and was experiencing rather severe tremors. It was probably just as well he didn't attempt to handle anything. Mark took one look at the doc and quickly injected a hypospray into Skyfire's neck, helping him lie down before he passed out. :: Mark: =/\= Mark to Dr. Alexander. =/\= Alexander: ::taps her commbadge:: =/\= Go ahead, Mark. =/\= Mark: =/\= Just wanted to let you know, thanks to your efforts the away teams are stable. Thanks to Dr. Skyfire's efforts, the teams are home. He and Maddy are also stabilized. I can only assume the Hocktin guest has been returned to his people. =/\= Alexander: =/\= Good to hear, Mark. I still have more batches to mix. Keep me updated.=/\= Mark: =/\= Understood. Mark out.=/\= (( End Flashback )) (( Present, Runabout Yahtzee )) :: Another unremarkable day, except in a few respects. One, he'd lived to see this day through the efforts of his best friends: Alora DeVeau, Dassa Alexander, and Lael Rosek. Two, he'd just been asked by his partner to move in with him aboard the Veritas, which was a major stepping stone in this phase of his life -- his first serious relationship. Three, Alex had survived through the exact same efforts, plus a bit more because of Lael's heroism displayed during the away mission. :: :: Another year older, and some things didn't change -- he never actually marked the occasion with anything. Recently, after his recent doubt in his abilities and his gratitude at being allowed to survive another day, he decided he had to give thanks to someone. Even though Dassa had only told him half a dozen times to have faith, he wasn't a true believer; not yet. He whispered a silent prayer of gratitude at being allowed to survive, following it up by making the sign of the cross. He felt calmer now, but sleep was still going to elude him for a while to come. :: :: In his head, he made a list of what all he had to do upon their arrival. :: oO Step one: check in with the captain and XO. Step two, attempt to arrange for staying with Alex. Step three, get checked out by medical. Step four, get checked out by the counselor. Step five, introduce Alex to my sister. Oo :: He remained in meditation until they landed. :: === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer USS Veritas NCC-95035 O239002CS0 & Mark (NPC) EMH Mk IV O239002CS0 Featuring Flashback Content by PNPC Lieutenant Dassa Alexander, PD, PDS Medical Officer USS Veritas I238110RH0 & Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  20. ((Brell’s Quarters, Deck 4, USS Blackwell)) ::Brell moaned, crawling on all fours as Renu and Linalu yelled. He rounded the corner moaning again like a six legged flen beast, Renu and Linalu riding on his back. He had pushed all the the furniture back to ensure there would be nothing to fall on. He had also stacked every pillow in the place around the edges. He would have felt better doing this on the holodeck where child safety protocols could be set to sense a falling toddler and alter the density of the floor to create a softer landing. But the twins were having fun and Blackwell was a giant sickbay so he was not too worried.:: ::Another lap around the room was followed by a fourth and, he knew he needed to stop soon The kids were getting a bit too excited and on top of unintentionally kicking him in his behind a few times, he knew the chance of one of them falling grew the more caught up in their excitement they became. Rounding over to the pillows he had left on the ground for just this purpose he tilted the two off each taking the chance to jump off dad without getting into to trouble with a squeal of glee.:: :: He rolled onto his back and was immediately greeted with Renu bouncing onto his stomach, followed moments later by his sister. The twins had apparently thought now it was the time to jump on his front side like they had on his back.:: Renu: Jumpee jumpee Linalu: Jump jumpee jump ::It was awfully cute but was already beginning to hurt, and the Bolian commander was still sore from his sparring match the other day with Ensign Thoran. He was also still a bit full from his rather excessive meal from the day before that he had enjoyed when dining out with G’Renn and Morin. He sat up causing a howl of disapproval from one of the twins, who seemed fully intent on more rough housing.:: Brell: Come now, let’s read a story. Linalu: Gre-ean fishy GRE-een fishy! Renu: Gree fishh .. gree fish! Brell: Alright, The Green Fish tales it is. ::He reached over to the table that had been pushed up to the couch, and grabbed a large screened PADD. The twins were ready once he had it in his hand snuggled up close to him so they could see the pictures move as he read to them. A few shouts of fishy fishy came as he brought up the collection of tales of the green fish and its adventures in the deep sea. This one was about how the green fish met its friends blue fish and yellow fish. The little ones hung on every word he spoke and animation on the screen, he gave each a fish slightly different voice none sounding overly masculine or feminine in keeping with the spirit of the book. He had the thought of sharing the Bolian series with Renos to read to nir child as so many stories featured gendered characters, ne might appreciate one that did not. He kept on reading as the twins clapped and enjoyed the story.:: ::The three Bolians walked down the hall of the Blackwell still discussing the topic at hand. Morin felt as if his peacekeeping efforts were about to come crashing down. Lyldra and Hars were intent on talking to Brell, and Brell had expressed his wish to hear them even if all they wanted to do was scream at him. They were in fact pass that however the sting of of Brell’s deceit wound linger for sometime, years most likely.:: Lyldra: You will be fine with them for awhile it could be hours. Morin: Yeah, I’ll take them to the arboretum here on Blackwell, then maybe around the public sector a bit. Hars: If they end up getting too sleepy you are voice authorized to enter our dwelling on the station. ::He hoped the youth would have known that already but felt the need to say it aloud.:: We can call you when we are on our way. ::He gave Hars a nod, Brell’s spouses had been close with him and he felt as if he were more than just a part of just their extended family by marriage. Just as Brell was more than his uncle and had been a father to him, Lyldra and Hars had become as close as co-parents to him as well. Lyldra having had lost one of her parents, connected with him on a level most could not. While, Hars had inspired in him a sense of wonder at the life in the seas and of study in general. The strife between the three of them had affected the youth quite a bit, his picture of perfect family obtainable and pure, had been cracked by the harshness of reality.:: Morin: Alright. I’ll keep that in mind. ::He stopped.:: We are here. ::Lyldra reached out and rang the chime. Morin lived here so it felt odd to stand at the door. Brell and the twins being inside and ringing a bell made all three of them feel odd, but it also did not feel right to just barge in.:: ::Brell looked up and frowned, he hated having to split time with the twins between himself and his spouses. He missed seeing them at any time and waking up with his family all around, but he also felt like he deserved the pain of being without them. He deserved whatever they deemed he should suffer. The story had just finished and they had been looking for which to pick next, he knew they would get distracted by the arrival of Lyldra or Hars to not notice the adults being uncomfortable.:: Brell: Enter. ::Lyldra stepped in first, followed by Hars, and Morin. The twins unsteadily stood up and ran over to the door. Seeing them there reading a story book made Lyldra feel a pang of sorrow for what all of this must be doing to Brell as much as she was on another level pleased to see him suffer. That level was small, and now she wanted more to begin to put the pieces of their family trust back together. Doing his part in things Morin dropped to his knees to talk to the twins on their level.:: Morin: Hey there kiddies let's go to the arboretum and play in the grass! Linalu: Areee.bore..et..tum..tum Renu: Tum..tum..tum. ::The cadet corralled the toddlers over to their double seater stroller and saw to getting them into it. Brell stood up with a bit of a grunt and a guilty look on his face. He could not help it, though he was ready to hear what they wanted to tell him. None talked as Morin got Linalu and Renu ready and then out of the door. They all simply looked at eachother for a few long moments. Then Lyldra and Hars moved into embrace their co-husband, like that they stayed for awhile while hurt their love was still there shaken but not broken. When they parted all three needed to wipe their eyes free of tears, and it was Hars that chose to break the silence.:: Hars: We won't be able to trust you implicitly for a long time … I don’t know how long. Brell: I know. Lyldra: We also miss you, and do not wish for the twins to know the pain we feel being apart, and angry. I am ready see you again and share our bed … but we must discuss things a bit more. Hars: I will start with the questions, why after Turisan II when it was just a kiss did you not tell us then? … That was before the human asked you lie to us, so why had we not already heard something? ::Hars had honed in on something that had occurred to Brell during one of the millions of times he had gone over all the ways he could have avoided this situation in his head. Things on the industrial era planet were not simple, the crew of the Darwin had been under considerable stress having to live there disguised as locals. Stennes had been the person he talked to then, as both had trouble sleeping. He would have normally spoken to his spouses about his fears, but at that time they had their own worries brought on from being on that planet and it all seemed bigger than it really was. He did not know what to say, and was pained by the flaring of emotion in his co-husband’s voice.:: Brell: I .. I do not have a good answer. I do not know why I did not then is what I mean. Hars: No taboo had yet been committed, even if you had slept with him. What I can not get over is that is when it was all on you … no human ideals making you keep things to yourselves. Between that kiss and going back to the darwin, to the next time you and the human spoke you did not say anything to us .. for what .. thrill of an illicit affair … fun … shame .. well what was it? ::Brell was on the spot Hars had not spoken to him since the night he told them both about the affair and having kept it secret. He saw why, his co-husband was a scientist and looked at the world around him as such. He had picked apart the whole situation and looked at it logically through a filter of their culture. He had found the timefarme where Brell could not share the blame of his lie with anyone but himself.:: Brell: I was not sure of anything then yet. Things on the surface had been so odd and when we got back everything else moved so fast. Lyldra: Still every night when we all gathered in bed you did not tell us, we heard about everything else, but this part of your life .. ::loudly.:: A area where our concern should be the most important mind you! ::Regaining composure.:: We should have been the ones you talked to. Brell: I know, and I wish I had ..I know I should have and once the lie had begun I felt trapped by it. Hars: ::Mockingly.:: So we should be pleased that you have told us at all. ::Lyldra shot him a look that said that is not helping anything. She did however agree with the comment somewhat. Brell felt horrible, but knew this had to happen if they any hope of returning to how things once were.:: Brell: I can not undo what I did, I can only throw myself on your mercy and beg forgiveness. I felt the pain of keeping this from you both for some time .. it was not better or worse either as I knew I was only making things worse. .. I felt trapped in the lie, and yes shamed by it at the same time. Hars: That I do believe. Now tell us about it all as if we were not being kept in the dark, the good times and this pain of keeping it secret. ::Brell did as he was told and retold the entire tale of events from the first kiss on newgrange eve still disguised as a turisan right up unto how they broke things off for good the last time the counselor was on the Darwin. He told them about the meetups they had shared, on the holodeck a few nights in Stennes’ quarters, of lunches spent flirting and of how it felt to come home and look them in faces afterwards. Of how he had pleaded with Didrik to talk to them and of how when he agreed to do so the human had been recalled to earth making things prolonged once more. Lyldra and Hars told him of how they were made to feel foolish thinking his sometime aloof behavior was due the incident with the borg girl or from when had had been captured and tortured by a rogue consortium goon. How they let those things blind them to his guilt that they should have seen. They then began talking about how to move forward even if it seemed a distant possibility right now.::
  21. (( Dining Chamber, Gallant Runner )) Sandra: He does look taller. They must be slipping something into that replicated food they serve on those ships. Walter: See? I told you--I swear he took on at least an inch and a half. Hawkins: They don't put anything in our food mom, and I-- ::He stopped in mid-sentence when his dad started to laugh. His mother grinned and tucked her bottom lip under her teeth, giving Hawkins a poke between his ribs. The Gallant Runner, a small-sized cargo vessel, sported a quaint dining room that seemed to collect more decorations and memorabilia every time he saw it. His parents proudly displayed various trinkets and curios from the extensive list of worlds they visited and species they'd traded with.:: ::Being here made a swirling pool of warmth simmer in his belly. It was hard not to reminisce when you stood on the ship you were born on.:: Hawkins: ::A sloppy smile:: All right, you got me. So where is this mysterious guest you said will be joining us for dinner? Sandra: Don't worry, they'll be here in time. Let me go and check on a few things, and let you two talk. ::As his mom left through a hatch, Walter gestured to one of the seats and strode to the wall cabinet. Hawkins sat himself in the sturdy, ergonomic dining chair as his father brought a small bottle of dark red liquid and two small glass goblets. He filled them and slid one towards Hawkins before taking his seat at the table. Hawkins smiled and took the glass, sniffing it before taking a sip.:: Walter: I figure this may be the last time you get to enjoy the real stuff for a while. Hawkins: Thanks, dad. Synthehol just isn't the same. Walter: I imagine. Well you seem so different, Frank. More confident. I guess serving out there in the frontier forced you to do some growing up, didn't it? From Ensign to Lieutenant Commander in a matter of months. Hawkins: That's an understatement. There's no way I could have seen that coming. Most people wait years. Walter: I'm proud of you, young man. But that's not all that's different about you. Hawkins: Well, I've seen some things. I learned a few details that made it--it made it hard to sleep at night. ::Walter nodded in slow motion, merging his lips into an uneven line while his thick eyebrows descended over his eyes like black ice slipping down the side of a porthole. He drank from his goblet and slid his thick fingers onto Frank's forearm, squeezing it.:: Walter: Whatever it is, you can talk about it. I'll listen. Hawkins: That's just it. I can't. I can't talk about it, not to anyone. I wish I could. God, dad, I wish I could. Walter: ::Another squeeze:: It's a heavy burden. And that's why you requested a transfer out of the Gamma quadrant? ::Hawkins used his thumb and middle finger to rotate the goblet a few times before picking it up for a swig.:: Hawkins: Partly. ::Pause:: Mostly. And to be closer so I can visit you and mom when I get leave, if it turns to we can arrange it like we did this time. Walter: Oh, we'll arrange it. Don't worry about that, home will always be there for you Frank. ::The hatch swished open and his mother walked in with a giddy smile hiking the corners of her mouth up. When she stepped inside she slipped to the right. And stepping through after her was the person Frank never thought he'd see again. He lost control of his body for a moment, half-rising with his glass held loose in his hand. His mouth opened but something stuck in his throat--she was that stunning.:: Rachel: Hello, Frank. ::Hawkins managed to regain bodily control, setting his glass down. He stood up fully and his chair swiveled around as he bumped it with his knee, stepping away. The flesh on the back of his neck flashed hot and his eyes kept focusing on her the more he studied her face..:: Hawkins: Why... I mean hello. Why didn't you tell me you were coming? Rachel: I thought it would be a nice surprise. Walter: ::Rising:: Excuse me, we better check on the food. ::His parents exchanged knowing smiles and slipped out of the room.:: Hawkins: I can't. I can't believe how much you've--how amazing you. Rachel, I never got a chance to... what have you been doing ever since I left for starfleet? Rachel: Searching, I guess. Looking for my place, somewhere I belonged. ::When she walked towards him, it was as if the room began to shrink and fade away into the background like a veil of mist obfuscated it.:: Hawkins: Did you--find it? Rachel: Remember when we talked about running away together? To the-- Hawkins: --Vedimin cluster. My God, I haven't thought about that since-- Rachel: --and exploring the Vedimin temples, step by-- Hawkins: --date. It was on the 5th, and you were wearing that silver-- Rachel: --we could still do it-- Hawkins: --and I dropped my... wait, what? Rachel: --never stopped thinking about you. ::They were both older now, and there were those tiny differences you notice when you reconnect with someone after so long. Her smile had changed: it was somehow more reserved. Those things he remembered were still there, like the way she kept touching the pendant hanging from her necklace. He realized with a start it was the one he'd given her, in what seemed like a lifetime ago.:: ::The people they once were, they were phantoms of a sort. Composed of fragmented memories that became hazier every time he thought about them. Was he a phantom that she'd held onto?:: Hawkins: I think about us often, to be sure. Maybe not often enough. Life on a starship is busy, busier than I could have imagined. Rachel: We could still do it. I never--I never met anyone, not anyone important. Hawkins: ::[...]ing his head to the left:: You're being serious. ::A smile and a half-chuckle.:: Just drop everything and run off together? ::Her smile slackened, and refreshed, then slackened again. Like she was trying to stay happy in the moment, to stay positive. Her eyes darted downward, then back up to his face. He felt as if his response hurt her, and his excitement at seeing her took a backseat.:: Rachel: Is that so ridiculous? Hawkins: No, not at all. It's not ridiculous--it's not ridiculous Rachel. It's just so--I have a career now. Responsibility. Rachel: You used to hate that word. I guess you're--a very different person now. So very different. ::And now he hated it even more. He took her hands in his, enclosing them.:: Hawkins: I still care about you. Think about you. But I can't just give up what I've worked to hard to achieve. Rachel: I know. It was stupid of me to think you would. Stupid and selfish. Hawkins: Don't say that. We'll always have what we shared. And I can still see you, from time to time. Rachel: As friends. Hawkins: Is that... so ridiculous? ::She smiled at him and kissed the big knuckle of his middle finger.:: Rachel: No, not at all.
  22. ((Ranger 3rd Division Headquarters, Tajna III )) ::It was a glorious spring morning. The sky was a perfect cloudless teal, the sun warm but not too hot, the breeze sweet and gentle. Tajna III was a perfectly unremarkable little Federation colony, possessed of a pleasant and temperate environment that would have made it a fine tourist destination, were it not so far off the usual trade routes. Instead, it was something of a large retirement village, where people came to live out quiet and peaceful lives. ::All in all, Matías was rather pleased that the Rangers had decided to headquarter their third division on the sleepy little planet. There was a good variety of environments to train in, a large portion untouched by the small colony's development. The headquarters itself was set in one of the woodlands of the planet, with dense forests and spectacular mountains. His own office looked out onto the crystal waters of a vast lake, often visited by local wildlife. ::The stunning surroundings were not doing much for his mood that day. Preliminary reports had come in from the 451st about a mission that had gone seriously sideways, with significant loss of life. And then, when he stepped into that office to begin his work day, he stopped dead. While his heartbeat kicked up several notches, adrenaline surging through his system, the doors hissed closed behind him -- and the diminutive woman in his chair, her feet up on *his* desk, looked up from the PADD she was studying.:: Reynolds: Good morning. ::As casual as you like. As though she had every, let alone any, right to be there. But he didn't call for assistance, not yet. Someone capable of getting onto the base, into his highly secured office was someone who likely would have taken steps to ensure he couldn't. No, for now, he had to observe and wait for the right opportunity.:: Cavallero: Good morning. ::She smiled at him, evidently pleased by the simple exchange of pleasantries. Skinny as a rake, mousey-haired and freckled, she wouldn't stand out in a crowd. Her clothes didn't stand out, either; worn boots, dark trousers, a plain tunic and a weathered leather jacket. He couldn't see any obvious weaponry, but that didn't mean she wasn't carrying something concealed.:: Cavallero: Is there something I can help you with, Ms-- ::That got a reaction. She narrowed her hazel eyes and interrupted him.:: Reynolds: Sir. You mean "sir". ::She paused, and almost as an afterthought, added,:: But not ma'am. Never ma'am. Cavallero: Excuse me? Reynolds: You really have no idea who I am, do you? Fleet Captain Quinn Reynolds. You know, the sector commander whose sector you've recently been conducting operations in. Whose ship you commandeered for a mission without so much as a polite note. ::He frowned. Well, if she wanted to be addressed properly, maybe she should have turned up in her uniform?:: Cavallero: Then I'm sure you won't mind if I confirm your identity? Reynolds: By all means. ::He took a few steps forward, and tapped the console on the desk, the monitor rising from it. With a sharp twist, he turned the screen so that it was facing him, still thoroughly annoyed by the fact the woman was sat in his chair. A few quick checks to confirm nothing had been tampered with, and he summoned the appropriate files. She looked like the image on Reynolds' personnel file, but he needed more, and so tapped another command into the console.:: Computer: Please confirm your identity. ::He shot "Reynolds" a significant look, and with an obliging smile, she spoke.:: Reynolds: Reynolds, Quinn Erin. Serial number JG-262-5102 WCH. Computer: Voice pattern recognised. Identity confirmed; Fleet Captain Quinn Erin Reynolds. Current assignment; commanding officer, USS Gorkon; sector commander; Tyrellian sector. ::He realised that he had been hoping for a lie. Instead, he had a self-important senior officer with delusions of clearance, believing they had the right to know everything and anything they wanted. Matías had encountered a few through the years, and he'd grown quite adept at fending them off, tedious as they were.:: Cavallero: Well then, *sir*, I shouldn't have to explain to you that some operations are highly classified, with associated clearance levels. Higher than even yours. Reynolds: ::Mildly,:: Are you sure about that? ::He had been. Absolutely certain. A fleet captain wouldn't have the appropriate clearances for the 451st's mission. But hers was a question asked with such gentle confidence, he immediately knew he was on the wrong side of it. He hadn't checked. Dammit, he hadn't checked!:: Reynolds: I'll take your silence as a no ::She paused.:: Perhaps you'd like to look again at that personnel record. ::His jaw locking in frustration and a touch of embarrassment, Matías brought up the relevant data. She had been Chief of Intelligence on Starbase 118. Director of Intelligence for the Menthar Corridor. A vast swathe of her career was classified even to him… and yes, she had the appropriate clearances.:: Reynolds: You're hardly the first intelligence officer to sanctify secrets, and you won't be the last. But let me remind you of something; the purpose of intelligence is to make sure that the right information gets to the right people. The Gorkon and its crew have been intimately involved with combating the Orion Syndicate in the sector. It's proper and just plain common sense to inform the sector commander if you're undertaking covert operations against them. ::His cheeks begin to burn, and he felt a whole lot like a schoolboy being scolded by teacher. He very rarely made mistakes, and he was more annoyed with himself than anything else. There was an old saying, "to assume is to make an [...] out of u and me", and sure enough, he felt like an [...] right now.:: Cavallero: Aye, sir. In future I'll ensure that any mission my Rangers-- ::Once again, she interrupted him and he frowned at her. Was she enjoying this? It was hard to tell -- she played her cards exceedingly close to her chest -- but he got the distinct impression she was deriving at least a little bit of satisfaction from making him squirm.:: Reynolds: *My* Rangers. Cavallero: Excuse me? Reynolds: From oh-nine-hundred tomorrow morning, the 451st are under my command. Check your orders, if you like. I can wait. ::Now, he *was* furious with her. Coopting his command, taking his officers away from him? Who the hell did she think she was?:: Cavallero: Those are *my*-- Reynolds: ::Curtly,:: No, they're not. And might I remind you that the 451st currently consists of one person, and that's very likely due to your blind dedication to secrecy. If they hadn't felt obliged to hide from the Gorkon, there's a good chance this tragedy could have been averted. You made a bad call, Commander, and people died. Be glad this is the only consequence. ::That took him aback, dulling his anger somewhat. Was she right? Maybe. Events would have played out differently, that much was for certain. He'd had the preliminary reports, and if the shuttle hadn't been in the air when… Dammit.:: Cavallero: I… ::He grimaced, squaring his shoulders, and nodded. Blame where blame was due.:: I can give you some personnel recommendations, to rebuild the squad. Reynolds: That would be appreciated. ::He had known that most of the squad was gone, but Matías hadn't quite processed it yet. Never before had he lost so many, all at once, and his thoughts turned to the lone survivor.:: Cavallero: How is she? Freeman? Reynolds: It's early days. Physically, she's fine. There was some kind of physical altercation between her and one of my officers, so she's confined to quarters until we untangle that mess. ::She eyed him.:: We have a fine psychiatrist aboard, who specialises in trauma counselling. She'll be looked after. ::That was something, though he was disturbed to hear about the incident of violence. What had happened there? He would have to wait to find out -- with the languid grace of a sunbathing cat, Reynolds uncrossed her ankles, lowered her legs to the floor, and stood. Their conversation was about to end.:: Reynolds: One of the hardest parts of command is when your mistake costs someone else's life. Do better, Commander. It's the best way to honour them. Cavallero: ...aye, sir. Reynolds: I'll see that you get the results of the inquiry. ::He eyes flicked away from him, to the majestic scene of the forested mountains outside.:: Quite a view. ::She looked back to him.:: Good day, Commander. ::She took her leave, out of his office with no further words or backwards glance. When the doors hissed closed, Matías reclaimed his chair, collapsing into it and burying his head in hands. A few minutes of self-pity, that he would allow himself, and then he would begin the heart-wrenching work of writing to the families of the fallen.:: -- Commander Matías Cavallero Commanding Officer Rangers 3rd Division simmed by Fleet Captain Quinn Reynolds Commanding Officer USS Gorkon T238401QR0
  23. OOC: Takes place after "After the Hocktin" but before "A Fresh Start." The stardate used in the sim corresponds to the date the sim was published. (( Runabout Yahtzee)) [[Time Index: En Route to Antor II]] :: Sleep eluded him. It wasn't that he didn't want to sleep, quite the opposite. He was exhausted, physically and mentally. While he craved sleep with every fiber of his being, it continued to slip his grasp. With a sigh, he sat back up and pulled his legs onto the bunk in a half lotus position and began to breathe rhythmically as he began some of the meditation techniques he'd learned. Today was much like any other day, but with one exception. It was his birthday. :: (( Flashback -- Transporter Room 2, USS Za )) (( Time Index: 239407.06 )) :: Chythar took up a position near the transporter console and began programming in the specifics for calibration of the biofilter as Mindor spoke. He needed this to work, for all their sakes. Alex, Lael, his own, and Maddie’s. His focus, or lack of focus, was shaky at best and it took him every ounce of will to keep it. He was likely going to hate himself if he couldn't get this to work before his memory failed him and he forgot how to work this thing. :: Skyfire: Almost got it… :: Once the biofilters were calibrated, he slammed his hand to the button and retrieved the away team, beaming them straight into the quarantined Sickbay before treating Mr. Mindorn's injury with one of the medkits in the transporter room. After said injury was treated and their guest had departed to the surface via the transporter, Chythar beamed himself to sickbay as well. :: (( Sickbay, USS Za )) :: Mark was busy injecting the cure into everyone who was afflicted by the virus. He was assisted by Greywin Fergus, who remained oddly silent during the whole thing except when spoken to. The hologram was also relatively quiet, but that was more because he hadn't been gifted with a small talk routine yet. As the away team returned from the surface, Mark smiled at the Vissian. :: Vondaryan: ::blinking:: Well, that was surprising. ::smiling:: But I'm glad to see you. ::he coughed again, more blood coming forth:: How's the cure coming along? Mark: Done. It's good to see you too, sir. I just want you to lie back now, and relax. :: The holographic doc pressed a hypo to Trellis' neck and allowed him to sleep it off. :: :: Chythar materialized also and lay down onto a biobed none the worse for wear. He was running a high fever at this point and was experiencing rather severe tremors. It was probably just as well he didn't attempt to handle anything. Mark took one look at the doc and quickly injected a hypospray into Skyfire's neck, helping him lie down before he passed out. :: Mark: =/\= Mark to Dr. Alexander. =/\= Alexander: ::taps her commbadge:: =/\= Go ahead, Mark. =/\= Mark: =/\= Just wanted to let you know, thanks to your efforts the away teams are stable. Thanks to Dr. Skyfire's efforts, the teams are home. He and Maddy are also stabilized. I can only assume the Hocktin guest has been returned to his people. =/\= Alexander: =/\= Good to hear, Mark. I still have more batches to mix. Keep me updated.=/\= Mark: =/\= Understood. Mark out.=/\= (( End Flashback )) (( Present, Runabout Yahtzee )) :: Another unremarkable day, except in a few respects. One, he'd lived to see this day through the efforts of his best friends: Alora DeVeau, Dassa Alexander, and Lael Rosek. Two, he'd just been asked by his partner to move in with him aboard the Veritas, which was a major stepping stone in this phase of his life -- his first serious relationship. Three, Alex had survived through the exact same efforts, plus a bit more because of Lael's heroism displayed during the away mission. :: :: Another year older, and some things didn't change -- he never actually marked the occasion with anything. Recently, after his recent doubt in his abilities and his gratitude at being allowed to survive another day, he decided he had to give thanks to someone. Even though Dassa had only told him half a dozen times to have faith, he wasn't a true believer; not yet. He whispered a silent prayer of gratitude at being allowed to survive, following it up by making the sign of the cross. He felt calmer now, but sleep was still going to elude him for a while to come. :: :: In his head, he made a list of what all he had to do upon their arrival. :: oO Step one: check in with the captain and XO. Step two, attempt to arrange for staying with Alex. Step three, get checked out by medical. Step four, get checked out by the counselor. Step five, introduce Alex to my sister. Oo :: He remained in meditation until they landed. :: === Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire, MD Medical Officer USS Veritas NCC-95035 O239002CS0 & Mark (NPC) EMH Mk IV O239002CS0 Featuring Flashback Content by PNPC Lieutenant Dassa Alexander, PD, PDS Medical Officer USS Veritas I238110RH0 & Lieutenant Commander Trellis Vondaryan First Officer USS Za O239208TV0
  24. ((Captain's Quarters, USS Veritas - Around 0400 hours)) ::Sometimes, fate and the universe were truly cruel masters. Just a few months after Tristam’s Starfleet commission had been reactivated, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers saw fit to have him head off on assignment elsewhere in the Shoals--away from Veritas and away from Roshanara.:: ::It made complete logical sense of course. She’d probably have assigned him similarly if she were back on Earth looking over the Corps’ resources and seeing a components expert posted on a deep space cruiser that didn’t really offer him the same resources as say a Galaxy class ship or a starbase for research. More importantly, Tristam’s skills were vital to the Corps’ efforts (and the Federation Council’s stated commitment) to improve infrastructure throughout the Shoals.:: ::But she thought they’d have more time.:: Rahman: I know we should go to sleep, but I don’t want this night to end… ::Her voice was wistful, her head resting on his chest as they both lay in her bed staring up above. Tristam gave a quiet sigh, nuzzling against her hair.:: Core: The good news is, it’s still in the area. Rahman: Hmmph. Ketar? Karakka? Wherever they send you out here, it might as well be the Delta Quadrant. ::She turned slightly to look up towards him.:: Rahman: You know it could be months before we see each other again... Core: I’m not thrilled about it, either. But maybe it’s a good thing - professionally, I mean. Walker has everything tied down here. With everything else . . . well, I mostly fixed the com problem, remember? Rahman: True… and since that is what I presume you’ll be focussing on now for the rest of the Shoals, maybe finding a way to keep us in touch better is a pretty good incentive for you to do well. Core: Well, I’ll need numerous com tests. Veritas is equipped for that. Not my fault if the captain decided to take those calls. ::She chuckled, reaching back with her right hand to stroke his lightly-shaved beard with the back of her fingers. As she thought though of what their relationship was to become--long distance, again, and one sustained (inshallah!) by subspace calls--painful memories of her last experience with such an arrangement began to resurface.:: Rahman: Tristam, we don’t have to do this. ::He frowned a little, the hand that had been tracing small patterns on her arm now still.:: Core: I’m guessing you don’t mean halting my transfer to the outpost. ::He was trying to keep things light, fully aware of what she was trying to say, but unwilling to let it, or rather, his reaction to it, ruin a good day.:: Rahman: It’s just… I’ve been down this road before. I know how hard it can be. ::She stopped to correct herself.:: Rahman: How hard it *will* be. ::She closed her eyes as she felt them begin to water.:: Rahman: If it becomes too hard for you, I don’t want you to feel like you can’t tell me. And if there’s any doubt, then maybe it’d be best to resolve it here, now--while we’re together. Not months or even years from now when we’re divided by a screen. ::He didn't want to dismiss her concerns. He had no intention to, not after the disaster that had been his time on Rodul. But he couldn’t help but feel that he wasn’t getting the whole story here. He thought about it for a few moments, hand resuming its patterns on her arm.:: Core: Is that what *you* want? ::She didn’t answer immediately. What did she want? Was she just trying to give him permission to break up with her? Or was she just too afraid of enduring a familiar pain again? Of loneliness and insecurity.:: Rahman: I want… I want you to be happy. ::She sat up a bit, propping her elbow on the bed and placing her chin now on her palm. She looked over at him as he continued to lie there, curious all-black eyes staring back.:: Rahman: I love you, Tristam. And I don’t want you to ever feel like you’re trapped or that you’ve been expected to hold up an obligation to us--to me. Especially when we’re not even married. ::She glanced down a bit, her voice quieter.:: Rahman: I don’t want you to ever become resentful because of what we decide tonight. ::He gave her a curious look, opting now to sit up with her, stealing a pillow to lean on.:: Core: I see it in that we have two options. Rahman: I’m listening. Core: We can call it quits here, if that's what you want. It's not what I want. Because I don't feel trapped. But I do have an obligation to us. And I might not completely understand your reasoning, but I respect you too much to make *you* feel like you're stuck with *me*. ::At that, her chuckle erupted into a snicker, almost an embarrassing snort.:: Core: Or, ::He said, smiling and tilting his head (perhaps a bit too far to the right by typical standards):: We stick it out. Being on Rodul was the hardest time in my life - and I say that knowing I have another two hundred years to go. I know we distanced ourselves then, and time zones were unbearable, but I regret us, or really, *me*, not telling you about what was going on. I think I can do better than that. I *know* I can do better than that. ::Roshanara sighed. The time Tristam had been away on Rodul had been hard for both of them, but she couldn’t fault him for needing to take the time to figure out what he wanted. And it had ironically been her own prodding that he finally go back and revisit his homeworld.:: ::It was more the feeling of being left out of a decision that affected both of them that had hurt her more. It was what had happened before with Javed, and what she feared would happen now, even if she were bracing for it.:: Rahman: Just… promise me one thing. ::She stuck out her right index finger and traced it along his bare chest in a similar pattern as he had been tracing on her arm earlier.:: Rahman: Just keep me in the loop about how you’re feeling as time goes by. About us. I know you don’t want us to part ways today. And maybe not tomorrow or a few months from now--or ever. But... ::She let her finger run in a spiral until she stopped it right over his heart.:: Rahman: ...anyway, let’s both be better than that. ::He smiled again, black eyes sparkling in the low lighting.:: Core: Of course, ervami. ::By now, the late hour had finally started to bear its brunt on the Kriosian, whose eyelids began to fall lower and lower. She drew closer to him and placed her head back against his now slightly upright chest.:: Rahman: Good. Mmmmmm. ::She closed her eyes, drifting towards slumber but not before whispering one final, barely audible remark.:: Rahman: ...if you ever break up with me over subspace, I’ll hunt you down, stuff you in a torpedo and shoot it into a blackhole… ::He chuckled.:: Core: It'd be a waste of a torpedo. Rahman: Shhh. Pillows don’t talk. === Lt. Cmdr. Tristam Core Components Expert, Starfleet Corps of Engineers C238803SB0 & Capt. Roshanara Rahman Commanding Officer, USS Veritas I238705TZ0
  25. ((Dominicus VI. Mines “Sickbay”.)) ::If there was but a single man in the galaxy that fit the imagery of an “old kung-fu master”, then it was him. He wore his long silvered hair in a topknot with some left loose either side of his head. His long beard was silver, and bound at it’s longest point with beads. His robes were loose, flowing and various shades of brown, as were his tattered old shoes. He wore cream coloured wraps around his calves and down to his ankles, the dirt of the mine staining their lower halves brown also. He wore a black belt with a scabbard where once a blade had rested, although he had not possessed his own for the seventy years he had been here.:: Tenaka: oO Seventy years. But not much longer. Oo ::He was slight of frame and mildly hunched forwards, walking with a shuffle as he leaned upon a staff that was well beyond his own ninety-eight years. He spent most of his time in this place, the closet thing the slaves had to a sickbay. It was more like a butchers shop combined with a torture chamber, the stink of blood and bowels liquefied in fear permeating the air without pause.:: Tenaka: oO I cannot remember fresh air. Oo ::They had stopped trying to prevent him from spending his days here, tending to the spiritual well-being of those slaves and indentured workers that passed through. Every guard had tried in their turn, and every one of them had been carried limply to this very room for treatment. Some had been cast aside to rot where they lay in the tunnels. The frail and blind old man with the staff laying them low with ease, for some reason not one of them had ever dared to shoot him. He did not know why this was. Perhaps it was the Goddess protecting him? After all, despite learning the ways of war and death as a fiery youth, he had never forsaken his vows to Her as a healer. Perhaps his recent dreams were a message?:: Tenaka: oO All of my days I pledge to Her. To seek out the sick, and the lost. The damaged and the broken. To cast light upon their shadows and lift them from suffering. All of my days I pledge to Her. Oo ::His attention had been drawn much earlier to three new arrivals. Two of them sounded like rough, military men and a fight had ensued. There had been a single heavy shot, and Tenaka recognised the sound of Bardur’s heavy slug-throwing pistol followed by a dead weight hitting the ground. The other military man had been soundly beaten and tied, the third man being bound also, despite his panicked cries and sobs.:: Bardur: Quiet! ::The heavy sound of a backhanded slap from an armoured glove.:: ::Tenaka stood slowly, his sightless eyes boring into the hulking guard.:: Tenaka: You will leave the boy unharmed, Bardur. Lest I provide you another lesson in humility. ::He heard the guard alter his stance, the sound of the halberd scraping the floor as it was raised to a fighting stance. Tenaka slowly picked up his walking staff, tapping its end on the floor by his left foot. He knew the mines and its corridors and tunnels better than any of those with their sight intact and this room best of all. He swept around the nearest table, the tip of his staff at Bardur’s windpipe before the huge guard could even blink.:: Tenaka: Leave us. ::The atmosphere changed almost instantly, the guards slow nod and quick retreat a sign that there was at least a sliver of intelligence in the man’s brain. He grounded the butt of his staff once more and spoke without turning.:: Tenaka: And what is your name, young man? Paradi: Julian. Crewman second class, USS Colum- ::Starfleet. Tenaka held a hand up. Pointing with startling accuracy between the other two new arrivals, one beaten, one dead, he offered the boy a smile as he turned.:: Tenaka: I am not your gaoler. Tell me, Julian. Who are they? Paradi: Marines. That’s Private Lockwood in the chair. ::A sniffle:: The other was Private Selkirk. ::Tenaka nodded slowly. Yes, he would not live here much longer. Time passed, perhaps an hour or two when another slave was dragged into the room and slammed into a chair for treatment. The Marine was unconscious, battered and bleeding where he sat bound to his chair. The boy – Julien – had fallen into a fitful sleep. That was good. He would need his strength.:: Tenaka: And what may I do for you young man? Maxwell: Tripped on mah laces an broke my hand. Tenaka: oO That voice! Oo Then let us attend to it. ::Tenaka bound the fingers and set the broken hand as best as he could, which considering his resources was not very well at all. When the boy returned to his ship, it could be healed properly. But Tenaka could do no more for him than prevent the broken bones from setting themselves too far out of line.:: Tenaka: There. Good as new. ::A ghost of a smile played across his lips.:: Your friends will be safe here with me, Arturo Maxwell. ::He didn’t need vision to tell him of the shock and surprise on the young man’s face at the utterance of his name by a complete stranger. The boy was hauled from the seat once more by the guard – which was Rell’tharn judging by the tiny bells tied around his collar – and Tenaka grabbed the prisoners arm fiercly, leaning in to whisper in his ear.:: Tenaka: Fear not young Maxwell. She is coming for you. Maxwell: Wha? Tenaka: A lady of fire and flame. She comes for you. ::Pause:: For all of you. Rell’tham: Move! ::And with that, the boy was manhandled from the room.:: Tenaka: ::Quietly to himself.:: Fear not. She comes. --- Master Tenaka. Healer. Dominicus VI Mines. Simmed by; Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell. Tactical Officer. Starbase 118 Operations. O239311AM0.
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